Takes one…

Takes one… October 25, 2012

to know one.

Prez calls Romney a “bullshitter”.  Of course, with its infallible sense of priorities, the media is excited about the Prez using the B word, not about the fact that a) Romney is, in fact, a bullshitter and B) the God King who called  him that is secretly and unilaterally blowing up four year old girls with drones while bullshitting about how the bodies littering the ground are “terrorists”.  Oh, and Romney is four square in favor of continuing the “blow up children and label them terrorists after the fact” program.  So we’ve got the war criminal vote sewn up.

“”Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” (Matthew 23:23-24)

Mark!  Scripture says you shouldn’t swear!  True.  That’s why I’m not swearing.  Swearing is taking God’s name in vain.  A judicious use of vulgarity in order to drive home a point about our insanely disordered cultural priorities is a form of rhetorical art and perfectly justified if it gets even one person to realize that blowing up innocent children and not making a reference to bovine scat is the real sign of the sickness of our culture. If you don’t believe me, ask St. Paul.  He was not above getting attention with crude language and imagery, even going so far as to wish aloud that the Judaizers would castrate themselves (Gal 5:12).

“Break the Conventions.  Keep the Commandments.” – G.K. Chesterton

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  • Esther

    Ugh. I am so glad I am across the Atlantic and spared some of this “shiniest of two turds” contest. I just want it to be over.

    • I’m just to the North of them, and we’re supersaturated with their race. Can’t they just elect a supreme benevolent dictator for life and be done with it?

      • ivan_the_mad

        It’s called the Supreme Court, and Republocrats love it.

      • Pathfinder

        Unfortunately, neither Augustus Octavian, nor Marcus Aurelius is not returning our phone calls.

        …and Barack Obama and Willard Romney refuse to get off the line.

        • Pathfinder

          For that matter, we can’t even get Trajan or Genghis interested, and please excuse my horrid grammar this a.m. (posting while doing chores on my one day off this week is perhaps not a good idea).

  • Nonymous

    Vote Lizard B — 15% less bullshit!

  • Here’s my favorite:

    2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way: Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.

    • Mark Shea

      Yes. Clearly the *big* issue here is being mean to a couple of rich powerful guys who advocate (and practice) blowing up the children of peasant civilians. We must *always* focus our attention on the tender feelings of war criminals and not on the dismembered corpse of the child he just blew up.

      • Will

        A lot of name calling. Better to spend one’s time volunteering somewhere.

        • Mark Shea

          I’m volunteering right here–to do the spiritual work of mercy of “instructing the ignorant” and “admonishing the sinner” to not fall for the bullshit that saying “bullshit” is what matters while ignoring the fact that both of our presidential candidates think that blowing up four year olds and calling them “terrorists” after the fact is just fine and the press has no problem with it either. If you think that’s “name-calling”, you are part of the problem.

          • Will

            I do more “first line” volunteering. I do not neded the “executive” volunteering.

            • Mark Shea

              And that’s great. But wasn’t what you were saying above basically, “Shut up”? Cuz what I’m basically saying is, “No.”

              • Will

                You degrade your message by name calling. At least that is what the nun’s taught me. Perhaps you know better.

                • Some construction workers were repairing a conventual enclosure, and although they had been instructed about the place before hand by the foreman, laborers are laborers. Toward the end of the day, after several sisters were scandalised by the earthy language of the men repairing their encloseure, the Abbess went to see the foreman.

                  :I wish to discuss the behavior of your men, sir.”
                  “What have they done now? I already told them your nuns weren’t to be catcalled or propositioned!”
                  The Abbess blushed, “No, sir, nothing of the sort, but their language has been unnecessarily vulgar.”
                  “Ma’am, they’re good, decent, hardworking fellows, but you can’t expect everything. They just call a spade a spade.”
                  “well, no, that isn’t true and it’s why I have come to talk to you. I just heard one of them call a spade a f%$&ing shovel!”

                  • Marthe Lépine

                    Thank y0u for a good laugh first thing in the “morning”.

                • Chris M

                  Will, by hammering on with your point (which may be a valid one) you merely wind up looking smug and sanctimonious. It doesn’t help to have a contest about who’s more righteous, holy, or a better follower of Christ.

          • SecretAgentMan

            I have decoded this to see that it preaches the heresy of naturalism. (“Sh*t” was the giveaway.) I’m surprised that Mr. Shea thinks this heresy is a fit message for a Catholic blog. He would do better to examine his own conscience, preferably while eating thin gruel with a fork inside a cold stone monastic cell. I’m praying for you, Mr. Shea, that you may be convulsed with guilt and shame when you think of how your betters behave and thereby gain a chance, however slight, avoiding the Hell you so richly deserve. Try to remember, Mr. Shea, that the true calling of a Christian is to live charitably when not quoting the Catechism or 18th century saints.

            • Satire is becoming harder and harder. If you hadn’t a decade of commenting, SAM, I wouldn’t have suspected it a moment here, sadly.

              • SecretAgentMan

                I have decoded this to see that it preaches the heresy of montanism (the author’s inability to detect sarasm from the external world was the giveaway.) I’m surprised that Mr. Garrett thinks this heresy is a fit message for a comment on a Catholic blog. He would do better to examine his own conscience, preferably while living as a stylite on the Seattle Space Needle for 30 years. I’m praying for you, Mr. Garrett, that you may be convulsed with guilt and shame when you think of how your betters behave and thereby gain a chance, however slight, avoiding the Hell you and Mr. Shea so richly deserve. Try to remember, Mr. Garrett, that the true calling of a Christian is to live charitably when not quoting the Catechism or 18th century saints.

      • I don’t think there are qualifying statements in the Catechism quote. I don’t think it excludes rich guys or politicians.

      • At some point, putting on a faux air of ambivalent civility toward murderers and liars becomes a form of lie itself; or at the very least a form of scandal. The term I have used in the past for this kind of airy ambivalent civility toward murderers and liars is Debate Club at Auschwitz.

        • So what you’re saying is that while the Catechism is no doubt important, there are times when, due to the urgency of a given subject, it’s OK to disregard a particular teaching for a greater cause?

          • Nope, he’s saying the Catechism should be properly understood before it is used to justify banal perpetuation of evil, because understanding helps prevent just such banal perpetuation.

            • I’m not sure that following the Catechism’s teachings on a particular subject would necessarily justify banal perpetuation of evil. If there is some source that addresses this exact section of the Catechism, and clearly states under what circumstances it is appropriate to disregard this section of the Catechism, a link or reference would work splendidly. I think we’ve already concluded that it’s not up to us to determine when a teaching of the Catechism should be followed, and when it can be disregarded.

          • I didn’t even mention the Catechism in my reply to Mark’s comment. As usual, Dave, you are just being a passive aggressive jackass. I don’t know what you think you are accomplishing by acting the passive aggressive jackass, but I expect you aren’t achieving it.

            • Forgive me for assuming, but since my reference quote was from the Catechism, I assumed that was your point of reference. I assumed that you were explaining why the quote from the Catechism didn’t apply in certain circumstances. FWIW, I don’t know why you feel that the best way to respond is to resort to childish insults (which seems to be the crux of the question if you get right down to it).

              What I’m trying to accomplish, by the way, is finding out why the part of the Catechism I referenced above is being dismissed so freely under the principle that it can be dismissed when it involves really serious and grave circumstances. Especially since the principle of ‘it’s OK to disregard something the Catechism says in situations that involve really serious and grave circumstances’ doesn’t seem to be too popular based on other subjects I’ve seen debated here and on other Catholic blogs.

              • Dave:
                Anyone who says “So what you’re saying is …” followed by a bunch of drivel that the other person didn’t say is acting like a passive aggressive jackass.

                The shoe fits. Wear it.

                • I conceded your point. Use childish insults if you must (which, again, seems to be the issue doesn’t it). But I clarified to you what I was saying, and thought that would generate a less playgroundish response. To try to put it in a non-drivel framework, it looked to my eyes like you were supporting Mark’s response to the quote I referenced, suggesting that in some cases this particular approach as spelled out in the Catechism doesn’t apply. Is that what you were agreeing with, or did you mean something else, or was it meant to respond to some other comment? At this point, just trying to figure out what you were referring to and what you were saying and who you were saying it to.

                  Oh, and BTW, I didn’t realize the phrase ‘so what you are saying’ was code for anything. I thought it meant ‘so what you are saying’ as in ‘let me get this straight’, or ‘to make sure I understand you correctly’, or such. Apparently I must brush up on my official dictionary of internet discourse.

                  • Are you starting to see the irony here yet, or is it flying over your head?

                    • No irony yet, so it must be flying over my head. Please explain.

        • “At some point, putting on a faux air of ambivalent civility toward murderers and liars becomes a form of lie itself; or at the very least a form of scandal.”

          This that Zippy says above seems correct to me. Just as adultery is more than its narrowest legal definition, one can lie while saying something that may not be technically false. I wonder if this isn’t true of most sins, including sins of omission.

        • Pathfinder

          Heh, many of the Nazis’ victims invariably remarked about how polite they were (when they deemed it important and necessary to be polite).

          I for one am getting a bit sick and tired of the constant haranguing to “be nice” when there is absolutely no regard for being good…least of all from the people all in a flutter about the “niceness”.

          • I wonder how you fit this:

            “To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way: Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.”

            into that idea. I don’t think it says be all nice and everything, though its measured respond to those involved in the abortion industry does suggest restraint should be the default tactic. To me, it looks like a standard for how we should respond to others. A standard, I might add, followed by most priests and bishops I listen to when they are talking about this or that individual or group. From what I gather, the Church is fine with ‘let slip the dogs of war’ on this policy or that statement or this other action. But most leaders appear to stop short of letting fly against individuals or groups, at least in public.

            Since when I look at my ‘favorable interpretation and love’ slide rule, I can’t find ‘bullshitter’ anywhere on the scale, I have to wonder if it isn’t breaking the heart of what the Church is saying about how we should speak of these children of God who Christ died for, even when they are politicians or wealthy people (especially the latter, since despite my financial woes, I’m still among the wealthiest humans in history).

            • Dave G. quotes the Catechism:
              If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.

              and interprets it as:
              when I look at my ‘favorable interpretation and love’ slide rule, I can’t find ‘bullshitter’ anywhere on the scale

              Just to be clear: Is it your contention – I’m asking – that plain, straightforward, honest speech not couched in all sorts of niceties is never a suitable way? Is it your contention that the term “bullshit” is never, under any circumstances, suitable? Not even when the subject is as nontrivial as, you know, murder, and excuses being offered for it?

              Sometimes, in order to get a person, or others (since scandal is always a consideration), to see that he is acting like a bullshitter – or a jackass, for that matter – you have to say outright that he is being a bullshitter (or a jackass).

            • You really aren’t objecting to mendacity being identified, but by the use of language deemed impolite by your petty bourgeois etiquette, then. (Bullshitter isn’t on my moral sliderule) And that sort of fake,( and that’s what petty bourgeois politeness most certainly is, fake), approach to helping your brother is a dangerous thing to play with.

              It’s no different than asking again and again for people to suggest constructive alternatives to terrorising the other, shooting down and rejecting every constructive proposal, and then chortling about the lack of constructive alternatives. Little 4 year old girls are still dead at the hands of remote control airplanes you bought and paid for, operated by killers you hired. It isn’t unreasonable to assume this bother syou not one whit.

              Get a new sliderule, before you hurt yourself

              • Definition of irony:
                Invoking the Catechism to justify being unwilling to unequivocally condemn blowing up little girls with military ordinance, while unequivocally condemning the use of the word “bullshit”.

                • Pancho

                  Can’t you both condemn both blowing up civilians and using the word “bulls***t”? (No, I’m not saying they’re equally bad.) It seems to me that if I should be worried about the effect that my vote has on myself I should also worry about the effect my choice of words has on myself .

                  • Can’t you both condemn both blowing up civilians and using the word “bulls***t”?

                    Who in this discussion has done that?

                    • Pancho

                      What I meant to say was that just because you’re dismayed at cursing on a Catholic blog doesn’t mean you’re some “church lady” clutching at her pearls and getting the vapors and don’t condemn the evil of killing civilians. Are you condemning Dave G. for not explicitly condemning Obama’s and Romney’s war policies on this thread? Has he been asked directly on this thread to do that? Maybe he should do so, but he chose to focus on the last part of Mark’s post (the “Gee willikers, Marks swearing!” part) instead and now he’s being beat up with some name -calling (“passive aggressive jackass”) and motives being attributed to him (“Invoking the Catechism to justify being unwilling…”, etc.) which I don’t know if they’re justified or not.

                      I get the whole “righteous-anger, let’s not mince words” thing but when we tsk-tsk about others doing it when it comes to things like the liturgy or the culture wars we should be be a lot more shy about deploying these verbal missiles ourselves.

                  • Rosemarie


                    >>>It seems to me that if I should be worried about the effect that my vote has on myself I should also worry about the effect my choice of words has on myself .

                    Good point, especially in light of what James 3 has to say about the tongue.

                • I must really have hit a nerve. All I did was post a part of the Catechism that I refer to when it comes to dealing with others. Given the topic of Mark’s post, I thought it made sense, and thought I would discuss how I see it and why I think it’s a worthy guide for discourse in the present age. Especially when I think of the times I’ve seen some Catholics blast others (Rush Limbaugh for instance) for resorting to such name calling, and the fallout such insults can bring. When some responded, I merely asked how we know when to disregard the basic attitudes that seem to be behind this section of the Catechism. I thought it was a question worthy of an answer.

                  But it’s all this? No actual discourse. Not answering questions. Just petty childish insults, tired insinuations, and worn out comebacks. An increasingly common behavior not unlike that experienced in certain fundamentalist circles within Protestantism (I’m reminded of a long correspondence with a KJV only fundamentalist pastor from Colorado when I first came into the Church – though the big difference seemed to be that his endless insults and self-righteous condemnations of my decision were, at least, done with a concern for my spiritual well being: score one for the KJV only fundamentalist pastor).

                  Anyway, yawn. I have better things to do with my time. Maybe I’ll look up that fellow in Colorado for some reasoned and mature discourse. Kudos to those who kept it respectable. TTFN

                  • Rosemarie


                    Yeah, I’m not enjoying this blog much lately. It’s taken a mean turn; this thread is a good example of that.

  • Peggy R

    You know, I really don’t have an answer for Romney’s positions on these grave moral matters. I wish I did. Because it doesn’t comport with what the man does in his every day life. I don’t think he’s the empty suit, soulless being you think he is. See here…

    As far as drones, I think the general belief was that he was not going to challenge Barry on much of anything in that third debate. He just wanted to look above the fray. Whether that included drone approval for the sake of no argument, I don’t know. He really has made his case on economic issues and seems not to want to be bothered with other matters. Perhaps he wanted to come across assuring he’d be no less strong than Barry. He also said that we can’t kill every body either. We have to do constructive things to combat Islamic terrorism.

    As one of your reader’s noted recently, the Lefty media will come back to life condemning Romney on this if R is elected. I don’t see blanket approval of this from NRO from the standpoint of innocent life as well as from the practical standpoints of (1) missing intelligence opportunities (no wonder Barry thinks al-Q is on the run), and (2) the anger of sovereign nations at the murder of innocents from bullying military activity in their borders.

    Perhaps it would be useful to pray for Romney’s soul. He seems more movable and considerate of human suffering than Barry ever would. Maybe when Romney takes a closer look as president, he’ll consider more fully what is happening. It certainly won’t change under Barry.

    Call me a sap if you must.

    • Will

      This “Romney” and “Barry” rhetoric kind of gives you away.

      • Peggy R

        Well, yeah. I don’t like Obama. Shocker, eh?

        • Will

          This “Romney” anf “Barry” rhetoric kinf of hoves you away.

      • Blog Goliard

        Way to duck the substance of her argument, Will.

    • Blog Goliard

      Much too complicated, Peggy; and in particular, finding decency and genuine kindness in the man disrupts the narrative too much.

      We must fight the conservative temptation to make Romney our idol by gleefully indulging the liberal temptation to demonize him. So just stick with OBAMA BAD! ROMNEY ALSO BAD! and you’ll get along much better around here.

      • Peggy R

        I know. Shame on me showing the man is a mixed bag–wow! like most of us in one way or another.

        And for the record, I don’t think you think this, but seeing positive qualities in Romney or considering him the more defensible option over Obama is not making him a savior or saint, which is what I think some folks here are seeking in a candidate.


        • Most? Yes, Peggy, shame on you.

          I am all for giving Rmoney the benefit of the doubt, if we’ll do likewise for the Won.

          • Blog Goliard

            I constantly try to keep in mind Obama’s good qualities, even as I fiercely criticize his policies and decisions in office.

            Or, when that fails, I at least keep in mind that, if the fates had treated me differently and I had not found the Faith, I would have turned out so very like him in so many ways.

          • Peggy R

            Ok. ALL of us. We’re all sinners. Otherwise, I don’t know your critique here. Let us seek to continue in good faith here, please. I have met some pretty good and holy people, whom I could only try to emulate.

            On giving O and R the benefit of the doubt, what I can say is that O has not only spoken but has also acted as president to kill innocents as well as Americans who are entitled to trial before sentencing. But what does the constitution or human life mean to that man? I increasingly find it difficult to find good personal qualities in O anymore. He’s gotten very nasty and ungracious. I am sure he’s a good husband and father. I’ll leave it at that.

            On drones, R has merely spoken. He is entitled to a benefit of the doubt on this since he has not acted. While I don’t like what he says on abortion, I have read that he had a friend or relative die from an illegal abortion in the 60s. Also, as a Mormon “bishop” he counseled a woman against abortion in spite of her health concerns. Apparently, the LDS folks have their feminists as well. I do not excuse his stated positions that are all over the map, but I offer information on the man. I thought we were to have charity for others and we don’t know their souls.

            • My only point, and it is one that applies more to me (Rmoney and the Won) than to you (Barry) is just that, ALL.

  • Queen

    This is BRILLIANT! Posting to Facebook.

  • Steve S

    Christ doesn’t pussyfoot around sin and the damage it does to sinners. He uses very harsh language (as Mark has illustrated above) throughout the Gospels when speaking about it, since he and only he can see the full depth and horror caused by sinful humanity. He is trying to get our attention, and his words are more than the usual Semitic enthusiasm for hyperbole. Like I’ve read somewhere else, Christ is not only the Lamb of God; he is also the Lion of Judah.

    • Since he and only he can see the depth and horror caused by sinful humanity, could it be that’s why the Church cautions us about how to approach dealing with others, rather than saying since Christ did it, have at it for a worthy cause? I mean, Christ can do it. He’s Christ. But can I really boast of drinking the same cup, and having the same penetrating insights into the heart and soul of my fellow man? FWIW, Christ, who could be direct and harsh in his condemnation of others, also cautioned us about the use of derogatory names and insulting terms applied to others. Perhaps that’s why it seems to be the conclusion from the Catechism’s reference above that for those of us not at the Christ level of existence to approach an issue with a certain, shall we say, grace, humility, and love without any exceptions given.

      • The only one here making assumptions about another’s caution, grace, humility or love is you Dave. Why is that?

        • Have I? By posting a quote from the Catechism and referring to it? How interesting. How very, very interesting. I learn new things on Mark’s blog every day.

          • Passive-aggressive. It is unseemly in women. It is perverse in men.

  • How can this whole thread have not included the obvious parallel to the fictional situation described by the late Douglas Adams, as follows:

    “In today’s modern Galaxy there is of course very little still held to be unspeakable. Many words and expressions which only a matter of decades ago were considered so distastefully explicit that, were they merely to be breathed in public, the perpetrator would be shunned, barred from polite society, and in extreme cases shot through the lungs, are now thought to be very healthy and proper, and their use in everyday speech and writing is seen as evidence of a well-adjusted, relaxed and totally un****ed-up personality.

    “So, for instance, when in a recent national speech the Financial Minister of the Royal World Estate of Quarlvista actually dared to say that due to one thing and another and the fact that no on had made any food for a while and the king seemed to have died and most of the population had been on holiday now for over three years, the economy was now in what he called “one whole joojooflop situation,” everyone was so pleased that he felt able to come out and say it that they quite failed to note that their entire five-thousand-year-old civilization had just collapsed overnight. [Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe, and Everything, c. 1982, asterisks in original]”

    The parallels are unmistakeable. While our Chattering Classes discuss with suitable gravitas whether or not the epithet employed is now okay for polite political discourse, nobody seems to notice that we have one duplicitous person pointing out the duplicity of a second as they both ignore the really harsh truths that won’t do either of them any good at the voting booths.

    • This isn’t all the media’s fault. We also have Church Ladies clutching pearls that folks would dare point out such an obvious thing.

      Of course, obviously, with your communist-colored attire inspired by that epitomy of class-warfare, Fred Rogers, we all knew whose side you’d take anyway. 😉

      • Yep, that’s me, Hez: the Fred Rogers of the Catholic Blogosphere. If I’d just shut up and quit wanting *everybody* to be my neighbor…


    • Rosemarie


      I’m not getting the vapors over his language, and yes, the drone strikes are much, much worse morally speaking. However, it *is* still inappropriate for the president to engage in such gutter talk.* Then again, this is from the first POTUS to appear on the Tonight Show, among other things that have degraded the dignity of the office.

      * Same goes for W calling a certain reporter a “major league a-hole,” BTW. Though at least that was whispered to the VP, not intended to be heard by the whole world. We wouldn’t even know about it if a mike hadn’t accidentally caught the whisper.

      • Rosemarie


        Now that I look up the incident again, it appears W made those comments as a candidate in the 2000 election, before becoming president. I guess it’s also inappropriate for someone aspiring to the position of POTUS to make such a vulgar comment. Again, though, it was whispered in confidence. I don’t recall any more such comments during his presidency.

      • That pony left the barn years ago, when the POTUS started ordering death strikes from the sky on civilians. Since you aren’t likely to be in your 70’s, we’re talking before you were born. The dignity of the office is a farce when reduced to the diction of a man who deals death so readily.

        • Rosemarie


          Well, yeah, come to think of it the A-bombs in 1945 definitely demeaned the US presidency.

          • Mark Shea

            Sooooo… is this actually Rosemarie writing? Tell the truth.

            • Rosemarie


              It’s me. Jim never uses the JMJ on his posts.

              FWIW Jim also believes the bombings of Japan in 1945 were atrocities.

  • Bill

    Yeah Mark Shea already knows this Sectet Agent Man

  • Pathfinder

    I’m personally having an issue with people who get the vapors about anything at this point.

    Are the drone strikes killing innocents? Yeah; war is a dirty business — people get killed. As a veteran and father of soldiers however, my family cannot play this moral game. We’re not pretty, nice people — as it stands the wars are not stopping, and I am tired of hearing people say we should fight clean (no war is fought clean, never have been, never will be)…especially when they are sitting back, safe at home, not having to worry about taking a dirt nap or having parts of themselves blown off (it’s easy to sit in moral judgment of things when you do not have to deal with the result directly).
    Right now, it’s either drones or troops (or we just pull out altogether) — all of these have consequences, none of them are perfect answers to the problem. Pick one, and live with the decision; don’t try to wipe the blood off your hands.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Yeah, if you’re going to sin monstrously, do it unapologetically!

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Translation from my above wiseass-ery:

        God doesn’t ask us to commit evil with gusto; He desires us to be perfect, just as our Father in heaven is perfect.

        Hypocrisy is a favorite cry of the modernist. He screams that since we all do wrong, then no one can criticize wrong. Instead of saying, “be better, then you can criticize evil,” he says, “no one should criticize evil ever.”

        This is not what Jesus was asking when he condemned hypocrisy. He wasn’t asking that we stop pointing out the wrong; He instead requires us to perfect ourselves.

        It’s easy to interpret the “beam in your eye” lesson as “You’re not perfect, so shut up.” The point isn’t that, it’s “become perfect, and then help others.”

    • Doing good and not doing evil is not a game. It’s the means God has given us to love Him.

      When the Son of man shall come in his majesty, He shall not separate all nations into civilian sheep and civilian goats, while telling the veterans, “You all go ahead and possess the kingdom.”

      Not even soldiers are saved by works.

      • Pathfinder

        Yeah, well, tell that to my buddies that got blown up by a spider. Tell that to my kid who just got back from a year over there — having insurgents fire into the wire (hitting our guys), and our troops can’t even shoot back at them because it’s too close to a village and innocents might get shot as per ROE (which the insurgents are well aware of, hence their tactics).
        Now, the practical thing to do (from a soldier’s perspective) is to light ’em up irregardless, because the moral consequences of doing so kinda takes a backseat to not getting shot at or blown to bits (which at least at that one moment seem awfully imperative). A person may have moral qualms and ethical misgivings, but it’s after the fact (and I say this as someone who has blood on their hands, whose kids do, whose father did before him — we know what awaits us on the day of judgement, and it isn’t going to be a load of fun, don’t think it hasn’t crossed minds in this house; what kills me though is how the people who put us all there seem to be quite able to wash their hands of any responsibility in the matter). Therefore it gets a bit frustrating (to say the least) when people back home are on one hand wanting the bad guys killed, but on the other expect our guys to somehow be able to do this in some absolutely perfect way.
        Just how possible do you think it is to do this? What do you think the cost would be? Are you willing to pay it? And, most of all, are you willing to take your share of the responsibility in it?

        • It is a hard problem, and any simultaneously practical and moral solution would require several things that our society is unwilling to do, certainly in the short term: disengagement on moral grounds, a substantial degree of what is often condemned as “isolationism” (including extensive control of immigration and trade from Muslim countries), rigorous adherence to the just war criteria (especially jus ad bellum), sucking it up and taking the financial/consumer goodies hit that “isolationism” entails, and giving up on the idea that liberal equal freedom is a universal good which must be imposed everywhere by force, just to name a few.

          The fact that it is a hard problem does not give us the slightest bit of license to do evil though. And I’ll point out that the main reason it is a hard problem is not an intrinsic one, but is because of our society’s civic religion and character flaws.


  • LoneThinker

    Mark your bias against the most humanly natural law team while you seem to ignore the lies that Barry and Biden said about different topics in their debates is a scandal: Bengazi and the HHS for two!

    • Huh? Did you leave out some words there? Or misuse homophones? Or what?