Someone please tell me again why we need a socialized medicine system. This from Britain, it turns out that the weak and poor are urged to commit suicide (or soon may be killed off) because they are "burdensome" on the common resources. Much of the criticisms leveled at our current health system in the US have a basis but what is forgotten is the piles of regulation and government intrusion that protects and hospitals from free competition the and free market (after all they all have powerful lobbies), which if the market is allowed to function would lower prices and increase standards of care. Why do we trust government and not free people to make free choices? People blame insurance companies and hospitals and plead for government when government is exactly what is insulated and protecting and coddling them away from free competition. This is especially crucial given that governments have a monopoly on force, as this article shows. Are you a "burden", well the state says it is best for you to be executed. Perhaps even the executer can be given a pretty-looking citizenship ribbon or award for doing his "patriotic duty." And then we can all sing, " " --SBW
"If you're demented, you're wasting people's lives - your family's lives - and you're wasting the resources of the she hopes people will soon be "licensed to put others down" who have become a burden on the . ." She said that
Thanks to Mises Economics Blog for this post. SBW
Maybe it's time to start tithing in commodity money like gold, as the Vatican's budget for 2007 was creamed by the plummeting dollar. For 2007, the Vatican had a shortfall of $14.3 million. The high flying era of fiat inflation and irreverent Masses, is over. Usher in the era of frugality, humility, and reverent liturgy. Funny how the Church architecture from the inflationary age of the last 40 years has been iconoclastic and banal, while the Church architecture from the more frugal ages, was majestic and bold. Welcome to another age of humility, this time the Church will play a substantial role in the lives of Americans shattered by fraudulent currencies, unjust wars, and broken families.
Here are some gold coins to consider tithing with, from the Austrian mint, the 2000 Years of Christianity collection. Or go here to Burt Blummert's Camino Coin Company, he's a nice gent and the publisher of LewRockwell.com.
Advocatus Militaris informs us that today is the day Pope Clement VII excommunicated Henry VIII. Pray for England and the Church Henry stole. On that note, here is St. Thomas Becket reminding us of the only real check and balance against the princes and principalities.
Here is a first hand glimpse at the behind the scenes family life, if one can call it that, of a feminist "icon." I found this to be fascinating, particularly at the sheer misery of this women. You have to hand it to her courageous daughter. This post actually follows from the previous one in that here is displayed the true archetype of these third world crusaders, be they "objective" feminist journalists funded by Big Abortion or so-called "humanitarian experts" from the West.
Here is a fascinating interview starring your typical American "objective" journalist who thinks she can pull a fast one on those helpless third-worlders in need of more infanticide. It never ceases to amaze me how infatuated American's are with their own intelligence and idealistic insanity. The only thing missing from this confrontation is telling this bitch to cut the crap and go home.
If I had a five dollar bill (nickles and dimes don't cut it in this inflationary age) for every time I heard someone say that the Catholic Church needs to be more democratic, I'd have enough money for a week's worth of gas. Barney Zwartz, who Diogenes informs us is not a Catholic, is giving the same old gimmicky marketing lessons to the Church to make it more appealing:
"Now it is time to try a touch of democracy. Some relatively simple reforms would not affect the church's core teaching of hope and salvation, which are non-negotiable. But how the church operates as an institution should always be open to self-examination."
Barney, we've already got that, it's called an examination of conscience. And speaking of democracy, isn't it interesting how many adherents to the old Faith rooted in tradition constituted the poor, working-class, and politically unpopular? The salt of the earth, the ordinary demos, like SS. Mary and Joseph, held firm as remnants to the ancient Faith. In contrast, we see from the elites, calls for watering down the faith, emasculating the priesthood, and shrilling for infanticide. Why should the Magisterium and Sacred Tradition yield to the adolescent whims of worldly Herods looking for cheap tricks? It's not that such appeasement would satisfy either Herod or Barney Zwartz.
"I have never been able to understand where people got the idea that democracy was in some way opposed to tradition. It is obvious that tradition is only democracy extended through time... Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to a small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking around." -G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
Well, creating your own brand of religion and then franchising it worldwide. Creating your own religion with passionate charismatic leaders has always been popular and even profitable (at least for the interested parties). But leave it to megachurch American evangelicals to create the idea of franchising their brand of religion across the world.
I came across this really insightful article at NOR and its editors have graciously allowed us to republish the article in its entirety on AnarchoCatholic. I think the article addresses many of the things frequently discussed on this blog: Catholics need to start being and acting like Catholics in their tradition. More often than not, American Catholics are Americans first (ala patriotism) and Christians second. Thus, their devotion is to Caesar first and then Jesus second. As Catholics let us look to St. Mary as an example of a human being who put her devotions to God first, even above her own will. Making such a comparison only yields an understanding of the enormity of her devotion and also how empty and mediocre the distractions are for American Catholics. I think this article raises important questions for American Catholics to consider about our faith, identity, and ultimate devotion.
"WE USE MORE SULFURIC ACID THAN YOU"
American Catholics as Cultural Protestants
November 1999By Thomas Storck
Thomas Storck is a Contributing Editor of the NOR and author most recently of Foundations of a Catholic Political Order, published in 1998 by Four Faces Press in Beltsville, Maryland.
Archbishop Francis George of Chicago made a startling statement during
the Synod of Bishops for the Americas in November 1997. Archbishop (now
Cardinal) George said that U.S. citizens “are culturally Calvinist,
even those who profess the Catholic faith.” American society, he
continued, “is the civil counterpart of a faith based on private
interpretation of Scripture and private experience of God.” He
contrasted this kind of society with one based on the Catholic Church’s
teaching of community and a vision of life greater than the individual.
Cardinal George’s remarks deserve thorough consideration, and need some unpacking. We are no longer accustomed to thinking in such terms as “Catholic culture” or “Calvinist culture.” There aren’t many honest-to-goodness Calvinists (or Puritans) left in America, but the Calvinism of early America went a long way toward putting an individualistic stamp on America as we know it today. In this sense we all are part of a Calvinist culture, however secularized. As for the notion of community, it has been so misused since the Second Vatican Council that the very term is now suspect in the eyes of solid Catholics. But in fact both the idea of culture and the idea of community are valuable means for understanding the ways in which society and religion interact, and thus for understanding how our faith affects, or fails to affect, our own life and the life of our society.
A society or culture tends to reflect in a larger pattern the dominant religious beliefs of its members. For example, two of the most basic articles of the Catholic faith are the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation, and both involve the concept of community. The Trinity is itself a community of Persons and the doctrine of the Incarnation leads to the doctrine of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, the extension of the Incarnation. St. Paul describes the Church as one body made up of many interrelated members with different functions — in fact, a community of persons linked in the most intimate way possible, since we are all members of Christ Himself. From the doctrine of the Incarnation comes that wonderful union of the Divine and the human which is one of the hallmarks of Catholicism. Thus, just as the Divine Word brought the Infinite and Timeless Majesty of God into human form at a certain time and place, so Catholics are ready to incarnate their faith in objects and places, everything from blessed medals to shrines — sacred but still material — just as God the Son did not think it incompatible with His Divinity to actually experience our material condition.
It is certainly the case that some Catholics have promoted a false notion of community, as if we could have community without God or as if a community inside a church building were the primary locus of the Divine. But the best way to create a community is to look toward God. Christ formed the Church as His Mystical Body, and no amount of standing around and holding hands could ever have done so. But on the other hand, since Jesus Christ has constituted us as His Mystical Body, we naturally exhibit that unity in outward forms, as Catholic cultures have always done in their processions, pilgrimages, and festivals, just as these same cultures have exhibited the concreteness of the Incarnation by consecrating shrines and holy places to show that God and the life of mankind are not separate from each other.
But this is not the case with Protestant cultures. Though Protestants do not deny either the Incarnation or the concept of the Mystical Body, their theology has focused on different matters. Protestant theology emphasizes certain truths, but sometimes emphasizes them out of proportion or out of context; in other cases what it promotes is not true at all. But in any case the final product results in a different belief and thus in a different society expressing that different belief. An example of this is what Cardinal George says about the U.S. being “a civil counterpart of a faith based on private interpretation of Scripture.” Our economic system in particular encourages each of us to think only in terms of his own private good and rarely or never in terms of the common good. Similarly, our obsession with rights, which are usually conceived of as being rights over against someone else, is another indication that our society is not based on Catholic principles.
If this is a fair assessment of American society, then we can ask, along with Cardinal George, whether American Catholics also hold these basically Protestant values. In 1899 Pope Leo XIII warned Catholics in the United States of the heresy of subjecting Catholicism to certain traits which were part of the spirit of American civilization. Pope Leo called this heresy nothing other than Americanism! Thus the tendency on the part of Catholics in the U.S. to accept the same cultural attitudes as their Protestant neighbors is not a new phenomenon.
Cardinal George made his remarks while considering the recent immigration of many Latin American Catholics to the U.S. He noted that it is difficult for these immigrants from Catholic cultures to adapt to living in this country. He said, for example, “The government schools, which are the U.S. equivalent of a state church, teach the children of immigrants a history of human progress from which religious influence has been expunged.”
As a child (not then a Catholic) I went to these government schools, and Cardinal George’s statement would have been accurate even back then. One of the dominant impressions public school gave me was that industrial and scientific progress is the highest (and unquestionable) good. My high-school chemistry textbook stated unforgettably that the level of civilization in a country could be measured by the amount of sulfuric acid it consumed. Sulfuric acid was very important at the time (late 1960s) in manufacturing processes, and industrialization was the mark of civilization, ergo, sulfur equaled culture. Even then I knew that religion, morality, literature, art, and music were much better indices of civilization than technology. But I suspect that many North American Catholics could read that statement about civilization and sulfuric acid without batting an eye. Such Catholics, whatever the quality of their faith, are sadly deficient in a sense of Catholic culture, for they implicitly accept a materialistic understanding of society. The Germany in which Hitler ranted certainly used more sulfuric acid than the Paris in which St. Thomas Aquinas taught or the Italy in which St. Francis preached. Did Nazi Germany therefore have a higher level of civilization?
North Americans, including North American Catholics, are apt to consider Latin America backward, disorderly, and dirty. Without doubt, Latin America is not perfect. But I am afraid that our attitudes toward that region confirm that Cardinal George is on the mark: U.S. Catholics are Calvinist in their cultural assumptions. Yet if we care about living lives that are entirely Catholic, about showing our faith in what we do, then we ought to try to rethink things from the standpoint of the true Faith. Reading sound Catholic books is one way in which we can work against the individualistic atmosphere in which we are forced to exist. The books of the English Catholic writer Hilaire Belloc, especially Essays of a Catholic and Survivals and New Arrivals (available from TAN Books, 800-437-5876), are excellent antidotes to Calvinist thinking, as are the works of Christopher Dawson, the historian, and G.K. Chesterton, the journalist, novelist, apologist, poet, and wit.
The Archbishop of Chicago has definitely identified a weakness of Catholics in the U.S. In the midst of our battles to preserve orthodoxy in the Church, it might not seem like a very big weakness. But if we really want to preserve and hand on the Faith, then it should go without saying that we want to be Catholic in every part of our being. We want to believe as Catholics, to think as Catholics, to live as Catholics. And if Belloc were alive, he might add: “Yes, and to sing, to walk, to sail, even to drink as Catholics!” To which I would say, Amen.
This article first appeared in the November 1999 issue of the New Oxford Review, and is reprinted with permission. Copyright © 1999 New Oxford Review, 1069 Kains Ave., Berkeley CA 94706, U.S.A., www.newoxfordreview.org.
Here is a fascinating article published by New Oxford Review, in the year 1998 no less, that describes the growth of the Catholic neo-con movement with the trio of Weigel, Neuhaus, and Novak. All three "former" near communist leftists that eventually adopted the "America first" ideology that essentially, in this blogger's mind, seconded their Catholic identity, and thus their truest devotion to Christ, to the "America project" or the messianic American fantastic dream. A subscription to view the whole article is required, but I recommend that our readers take out a subscription to NOR, they do great work.The link is below.
There is not a fundamental right to have the party of a voter's choice appear on the ballot.This is a true statement. You can still vote for whoever you want regardless of party, contrary to the fictional judge existing only in the imaginations of the North Carolina LP. But you don't have a fundamental right to put any party on the ballot when you walk into the voting outhouse and leave your mark on history.
My wife and I sat down and watched the season finale of the NBC television program, The Office, last night. For those of our readers who are familiar with the program, you of course know Michael Scott, the boss of the Scranton branch of the fictional paper supply company, Dunder Mifflin. He is a quite a likable character both because of his seemingly innocent naivete' and because he fights hard against the mediocre politically correct American corporate culture. Last night on the finale, Michael learns that his former longtime girlfriend, Jan, is pregnant. This comes as a complete shock to Michael as the two have been apart for apparently some time. Jan was or is Michael's boss at "corporate" where she continually comes down hard on him for the way he runs the office. At any rate, Jan is your typical insecure power-hungry American feminist who is extremely aggressive, arrogant, and uses her sexuality as a weapon. She's ready to take on the world! Well, it turns out that Jan, while she was with Michael, did not cheat on him but rather, decided to go to an IVF clinic where there was "reputable" sperm (according to the glossy catalog she perused), and now she is pregnant. Here is her explanation to the camera as to her actions:
If I was 22 and I had lots of time to have lots of children, then sure, let's let Michael have a shot at one of them, but this time I just need to make this one count.
And here is Michael's perspective in response to Jan's revelations:
My whole life, I have known two things: I love sex and I want to have kids. And I always though that those two things would go hand in hand...but now I think it may be one or the other...
Indeed, Michael you may be correct. That is, of course, the consequences of acceptance of contraception and what the contraceptive mentality has created. Don't worry though Michael, Jan will do just fine, the government will "fill in" for you as a surrogate "father" and provide all the material needs that Jan and the child require. Hey, maybe she and the child could even get some free "counseling" and "guidance" from social workers. You certainly couldn't offer that. They will be "taken care of", because as we all know, parenting is all about "inputs" and it can be done "effectively" by one or any number of autonomous people.
Watch full episodes HERE .
The other night while searching for Russian Orthodox blogs I came across this ARTICLE entitled, Jack Bauer and Just War. This should be interesting, perhaps it is an in-depth critique/commentary on the television program "24" and the contemporary neo-conservative justification for preemptive war and torture. Well, that certainly did not turn out to be the case; rather, the article is a simplistic, almost laughable, justification for Jack Bauer's actions. The article is so pathetically illogical and contrary to the Gospel that it is hardly deemed to be taken seriously, except to perhaps understand the warped utilitarian worldview that many of our fellow Christians have adopted. Below are some poignant excerpts. I really cannot see how Christians accept this rationale, but I know of some Evangelical colleagues and even a few Catholics that aggressively love Jack Bauer as well as the Bush doctrine, so this worldview is not limited to secular conservatives.
Pray for them, and for our enemies.
But the question is: How do Bauer's actions hold up to the Christian Just War Theory?
(okay this is off to a good start)
First, it is important to keep in mind that Bauer works for the government. Clearly, the state's right to wage war and right to use force when necessary are affirmed by Holy Scripture. For example, St. Paul wrote: "Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain." (Romans 13:3-4) Bauer is a combatant or a bearer of the government's sword.
This is laughable. Bauer is an agent of the state, therefore his actions are moral. When in doubt, pull out the trump card: Romans 13! Now this is biblical exegesis-- forget what the historical time period in which St. Paul wrote and how it differed from our own, and forget the meaning of the words used--hey, I will just interpret the text to what a 21st-century Enlightenment modernist says the text means! I am sure a man like St. Paul, who had suffered so much at the hands of the state, who had seen so many of his fellow Christians martyred, and he himself probably martyred at the hands of Nero, he definitely would be in favor of the federal superstate with no moral restraints on it "Jack Bauer style" that exists in "24" and nearly in contemporary America.
So, what do we make of Jack Bauer's actions from a moral perspective via the Just War Theory?
Listen up wayward Catholics, particularly rebellious American Catholics, to the Holy Father offering another affirmation of the two millenia old Christian teaching condemning the use of contraception (once called the sin of Onan, or Onanism, after its basis in Genesis 38). See here for the full story. American Catholics should start taking their cue and approach to life by looking at Christ and the teachings of His Church, instead of acting like a bunch of loudmouth rebellious Protestants.
"The teaching laid out in the 'Humanae vitae' encyclical isn't easy," Benedict said.
"What was true yesterday remains true even today. The truth expressed in 'Humanae vitae' doesn't change; on the contrary, in the light of new scientific discoveries, it is ever more up to date," the pope added.
"No mechanical technique can substitute the act of love that two married people exchange as a sign of a greater mystery," Benedict said.
Benedict expressed concern that human life risks losing its value in today's culture and worried that sex could "transform itself into a drug" that one partner had to have even against the will of the other.
"What must be defended is not only the true concept of life but above all the dignity of the very person," the pope added.
Someone passed this You Tube video on to me as a short quasi documentary on Oprah's unofficial church. See her website to learn more about her "New Earth" project (sponsored by Chevrolet). Interestingly enough, I think the video is produced by a Protestant apologetics ministry. No doubt Oprah does some good and wonderful things, being a child of God. Yet, many American women take their teachings from her and not the Church or, if Protestant, from the Holy Scriptures. Americans love branding and marketing, so it is no wonder she is so popular and effective in fulfilling her mission. Oprah openly affirms New Age pagan beliefs and has for years proudly lived in fornication with another man. The above video just presents more moral and religious relativism that is so popular in the post-Christian west. No surprise that Oprah affirms and proselytizes the same muck. The video present a more Protestant understanding of justification, but I think the point made to be wary of taking one's teaching on matters theological or moral from the television is well made. Say a prayer for Oprah's conversion today, the Triune God could use her mightily for His glory in building up the Church.
Thank you Martin Luther, for giving us the poison of Sola Scriptura, may God have mercy on your eternal soul.