No. Really. This is about ideological war against the Church

No. Really. This is about ideological war against the Church August 8, 2012

…not about care for the uninsured.

Do not underestimate the way in which principalities and powers move seemingly rational human beings from fixation on a seemingly small issue (a five cent condom, a pinch of incense) to being fanatical enemies of the Church when she does not capitulate on a seeming triviality.  Chesterton does a nice job of sketching how this happened in antiquity:

The life of the great civilization went on with dreary industry and even with dreary festivity. It was the end of the world, and the worst of it was that it need never end. A convenient compromise had been made between all the multitudinous myths and religions of the Empire; that each group should worship freely and merely give a sort of official flourish of thanks to the tolerant Emperor, by tossing a little incense to him under his official title of Divus. Naturally there was no difficulty about that; or rather it was a long time before the world realized that there ever bad been even a trivial difficulty anywhere. The members of some Eastern sect or secret society or other seemed to have made a scene somewhere; nobody could imagine why. The incident occurred once or twice again and began to arouse irritation out of proportion to its insignificance. It was not exactly what these provincials said; though of course it sounded queer enough. They seemed to be saying that God was dead and that they themselves had seen him die. Ibis might be one of the many manias produced by the despair of the age; only they did not seem particularly despairing. They seemed quite unnaturally joyful about it, and gave the reason that the death of God had allowed them to cat him and drink his blood. According to other accounts God was not exactly dead after all; there trailed through the bewildered imagination some sort of fantastic procession of the funeral of God, at which the sun turned black, but which ended with the dead omnipotence breaking out of the tomb and rising again like the sun. But it was not the strange story to which anybody paid any particular attention; people in that world had seen queer religions enough to fill a madhouse. It was something in the tone of the madmen and their type of formation. They were a scratch company of barbarians and slaves and poor and unimportant people; but their formation was military; they moved together and were very absolute about who and what was really a part of their little system; and about what they said, however mildly, there was a ring like iron. Men used to many mythologies and moralities could make no analysis of the mystery, except the curious conjecture that they meant what they said. All attempts to make them see reason in the perfectly simple matter of the Emperor’s statue seemed to be spoken to deaf men. It was as if a new meteoric metal bad fallen on the earth; it was a difference of substance to the touch. Those who touched their foundation fancied they had struck a rock.

With a strange rapidity, like the changes of a dream, the proportions of things seemed to change in their presence. Before most men knew what had happened, these few men were palpably present. They were important enough to be ignored. People became suddenly silent about them and walked stiffly past them. We see a new scene, in which the world has drawn its skirts away from these men and women and they stand in the center of a great space like lepers. The scene changes again and the great space where they stand is overhung on every side with a cloud of witnesses, interminable terraces full of faces looking down towards them intently; for strange things are happening to them. New tortures have been invented for the madmen who have brought good news. That sad and weary society seems almost to find a new energy in establishing its first religious persecution, Nobody yet knows very clearly why that level world has thus lost its balance about the people in its midst; but they stand unnaturally still while the arena and the world seem to revolve round then And there shone on them in that dark hour a light that has never been darkened; a white fire clinging to that group like an unearthly phosphorescence, blazing its track through the twilight’s of history and confounding every effort to confound it with the mists of mythology and theory; that shaft of light or lightening by which the world itself has struck and isolated and crowned it; by which its own enemies have made it more illustrious and its own critics have made it more inexplicable; the halo of hatred around the Church of God.

Don’t think it can’t happen again.  It’s happened hundreds of times.  This seemingly trivial demand that the Church offer a pinch of incense to Dionysus is not trivial at all.

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  • Ted Seeber

    I finally clicked on the original article: Secular Libertarian scumbag who doesn’t want to provide health insurance for his employees gets find $2000/employee/year; faithful Catholic who doesn’t want to poison his female employees to remove their fertility gets fined $36,500/year. Yeah, right. Tell me again who is waging the war on women?

    • ds

      You mean wants to deny women employees the right to decide what their medical choices should be for their own bodies, right?

      Civil war: its not about slavery, its about FREEDOM!
      Freedom to do what?
      Own slaves!

      HHS Mandate: its not about contraception, its about FREEDOM!
      Freedom to do what?
      Deny contraception to others!

      • Mark Shea

        Lie. Nobody is denying contraception to others. They are rejecting being forced to pay for other’s contraception. Stop lying.

        • ds

          Mark, its pretty rude to call someone a liar for disagreeing with you.

          IMO you want to deny OTHERS medical coverage (that IMO they should have) based on YOUR (interpretation) of YOUR religion. Freedom of religion for YOU, no freedom from YOUR religion for OTHERS.

          You wont agree with this and its your blog, but please dont call me a liar for typing my opinion in your blog.

          • ds

            And although you are twchnically correct that you are not trying to deny others access to contraception, only refusing to provide medical coverage for it (so limit access, not deny it).

            I was incorrect, but please dont call me a liar.

            And my point largely stands: its not about conraception, its about FREEDOM! of religion!
            Freedom to do what?
            Deny medical coverage for contraception! (Based on our religion, regardless of yours.)

            • Ted Seeber

              How does not paying for it limit access to it?

          • Mark Shea

            No. It’s rude to call someone a liar when they are not lying. Since it has been accurately stated many times in your presence that opposition to the HHS mandate is not some plot to deny anybody contraceptives, but is a desire to not be forced to pay for contraceptives that people are free to buy themselves, I conclude you are a liar when you continue to state this falsehood. If you do not wish be called a liar anymore, then stop lying.

            PS. When you say it is “technically correct” that opponents are not trying to deny anybody access to contraceptive, what you mean is, “What I said was a lie.” You should just say that. Follow it up by never telling that lie again.

            You’re welcome.

            • ds

              Hey, like i said, your blog. How’s that shouting liar! workin out fer ya? Feel better?

              • ds, you write that you have an opinion, and that’s great, but opinions are only worth the facts that they are based on and the logic that holds them together.

                You can say that we are trying to limit women’s access to health care, and that’s your opinion, but your opinion is squarely wrong. We are trying to avoid having to pay for it.

                Should we be required to buy everyone oatmeal, too? That’s healthy. Am I limiting your access to oatmeal by complaining that I should not be forced to buy it for you?

                You’ve never bought me a video game. I think you should have to. Video games make me happy, and studies show that happier people are healthier. You should have to buy me a new video game every month. Otherwise, I won’t be able to afford as many, and it will be YOUR FAULT!

                You see how goofy that sort of reasoning is, mate?

                • ds

                  I would be opposed to a federal law requiring me to pay for others’ video games. But i wouldnt claim it on religious freedom grounds.

                  I might be ok with oatmeal, id have to see the details.

                  • Dale Price

                    Keep shakin’ those pom-pons for statism.

                    Eventually, the State will get around to compelling you to violate your principles.

                    Perhaps. Frankly, it’s hard to tell if you’re willing take a stand against anything other than people you dislike.

            • Mark, you’re hilarious. Well said. Call a spade, mate.

      • Ted Seeber

        That only works if contraception isn’t cheap and readily available and handed out for free all over the place, including your local middle school.

      • Ted Seeber

        Also, poison isn’t a valid medical choice. From the research I’ve done, once you accept a woman’s fertility as the *natural state* and anything that happens to it as *disease*, then a medicine that destroys fertility can no longer be described as medical care. Like most medicines however, synthetic estrogen DOES have it’s therapeutic purposes, but contraception isn’t one of them.

  • Gordon Zaft

    Which book is the quote from?

  • Vision_From_Afar

    So, basically the entire quote is,

    Christians have always been stubborn, even (and especially) when it ticks off Earthly governments. This means we’re going to enjoy being pariahs for all of time because stubbornness is its own reward.

    Yeah, I suppose that’s true enough.

    • Mostly that Christians refuse to give in to earthy governments and it get very ugly and at the end of the day the church is left standing and the earthly government is no more.

    • Mark Shea

      Spoken like a good spaniel for tyranny.

      • Dale Price

        If the dog collar fits…

  • David Davies

    Isn’t it odd that roughly the same group of people who vehemently argue against women stuffing themselves full of artificial hormones (via the food they eat) also argue, in almost the same breath, that women should stuff themselves full of artificial hormones (birth control). Weird, isn’t it?

  • Gégé

    From what book please? I ‘d love to read it !