Even Aquinas did math

posted at 12:01 pm on February 20, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Often, when religion and politics come up in conversation, people want to ask how a Catholic can be conservative — or how a Catholic can be liberal.  We have plenty of both in our community, to the everlasting frustration of just about everyone.  Normally this doesn’t come up too often, but with the retirement of Pope Benedict XVI, the fight over the HHS mandate, and the standoff over entitlement reform, the last year or so has brought the question more into the center of the public square.

That’s why I was surprised to see Ross Douthat postulate that “the Catholic moment” had passed in American politics. Ross is not wrong in the context he used, although I think he’s off about the cause:

Perhaps not coincidentally, the mid-2000s were the last time the Catholic vision of the good society — more egalitarian than American conservatism and more moralistic than American liberalism — enjoyed real influence in U.S. politics. At the time of John Paul’s death, the Republican Party’s agenda was still stamped by George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism,” which offered a right-of-center approach to Catholic ideas about social justice. The Democratic Party, meanwhile, was looking for ways to woo the “values voters” (many of them Catholic) who had just helped Bush win re-election, and prominent Democrats were calling for a friendlier attitude toward religion and a bigger tent on social issues.

That was a long eight years ago. Since then, the sex abuse scandals that shadowed John Paul’s last years have become the defining story of his successor’s papacy, and the unexpected abdication of Benedict XVI has only confirmed the narrative of a church in disarray. His predecessor was buried amid reverent coverage from secular outlets, but the current pope can expect a send-off marked by sourness and shrugs.

The collapse in the church’s reputation has coincided with a substantial loss of Catholic influence in American political debates. Whereas eight years ago, a Catholic view of economics and culture represented a center that both parties hoped to claim, today’s Republicans are more likely to channel Ayn Rand than Thomas Aquinas, and a strident social liberalism holds the whip hand in the Democratic Party.

The abuse scandals were a much bigger and more acute story during John Paul II’s papacy, so I don’t think that’s the real driving issue.  Matt Lewis got closer to the truth in his response the next day:

So why did this happen?

As I have noted, even as conservatives were winning elections, they were losing the culture. Is it any surprise that conservatism itself would eventually evolve to mirror a society that is rapidly becoming more secular and less traditional? The Overton Window is moving — and it’s dragging conservatives along behind.

This is, no doubt, the most significant factor.

I think that’s part of it, but why is that happening?  Why over the last eight years, as Douthat astutely observed?  The collapse of the economy in 2008 and the poor response to it has driven two impulses in American politics at the extremes: on one hand, a total mistrust of the government, and on the other, a total mistrust of private-sector institutions.  The scandals in the Catholic Church also undermined the trust in that institution, but that damage was done before 2005.

In this environment, Aquinas has a tough time making his case for building just societies.  Compounding that lack of trust is the fact that no one in the government seems to want to tell the truth about what the costs and limits of those efforts truly are.  In my column for The Week, I argue that the problem isn’t really Aquinas v Rand, but the same problem Diogenes had in finding an honest man:

Society does not necessarily mean government, although it doesn’t exclude it either. It certainly didn’t mean “government” in Aquinas’ time. The Christian church pioneered hospitals, outreach to the poor, and education for the masses long before governments decided to enter into those industries, even after they became industries. Ironically, these days government has mostly gotten in the way of Catholic attempts to provide a just society through individual and group action, by threatening their existence with mandates that force the Church and its organizations to choose between faithful adherence to their doctrine and outreach to the poor and homeless.

However, a couple of key elements are also necessary in this paradigm: responsibility and sustainability. The problem facing the American welfare system and the European nanny states is that they are designed with neither in mind. Their fiscal structure pays more in benefits than it receives, a very basic form of irresponsibility and unsustainability. That forces these systems to borrow massively against future production, which in essence means that these social systems pay benefits with someone else’s money — the children or grandchildren to come. One could consider that theft, or at the least taxation without representation.

It’s not difficult to argue that neither of the two philosophers would endorse such a system. After all, even St. Thomas Aquinas did math.

Oddly it was Howard Dean who spoke the actual truth, in an interview with Scott Rasmussen earlier this week:

“This is the fundamental problem in American politics,” Dean said. “Somebody has to tell the middle class that either your taxes are going up or your programs are going to get cut, or else we’re going to go into financial oblivion.”

So who in today’s political class wants to tell the middle class this very obvious truth? “No one,” Dean replies, and he’s right. This takes the reform argument entirely out of the equation, which brings us back to Douthat and Lewis on the “Catholic center” and just society. We have no voices in the current political arena, Catholic or otherwise, explaining that we can have programs that take care of the truly needy, which would require many more to sacrifice a little more — either in eschewing ever-expanding benefits, or in taxes — while ensuring sustainability and stability without taking money from our grandchildren to pay for our policies.

Essentially, we want to eat our cake and have it too, and we don’t like hearing about the impossibility and irresponsibility of this position.  If we have a political class with a Diogenes problem, though, whose fault is thatMatt responded to me earlier this morning:

How does Morrissey’s argument jibe with my cultural criticism?

Spending our children and grandchildren’s inheritance is a moral issue. Knowingly failing to tackle our nation’s most dire challenges — the debt, entitlement and tax reform, etc. — is a moral crisis. Allowing the social safety net to become unsustainable is a moral failing. …

But blaming the politicians is facile. You can’t blame people you only tell you what you really want to hear (that you can have your cake — and eat it, too.)

Political courage is admirable, but we generally don’t reward the truth-tellers. We generally don’t reward those who tell us “the emperor has no clothes on.”

Indeed.  The fundamental problem isn’t actually that our politicians aren’t telling us the truth.  It’s that we’re not telling ourselves the truth and acknowledging that those things which cannot be sustained won’t be.


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Often, when religion and politics come up in conversation, people want to ask how a Catholic can be conservative — or how a Catholic can be liberal

…well…Ed is the only conservative Catholic …I know!…but, in the last few months things have been changing…”government” and “people”…are not synonymous any longer.

KOOLAID2 on February 20, 2013 at 12:13 PM

These things have a habit of working themselves out.

unclesmrgol on February 20, 2013 at 12:14 PM

The fundamental problem isn’t actually that our politicians aren’t telling us the truth. It’s that we’re not telling ourselves the truth and acknowledging that those things which cannot be sustained won’t be.

I believe the technical name is – Self Sustaining Ignorance Loop or Circle Jerk, if you prefer.

VorDaj on February 20, 2013 at 12:15 PM

“We need to cut benefits….just not mine!”
Until we can get rid of that mentality, bankruptcy here we come.

search4truth on February 20, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Ed, whenever one attempts to solve any problem the very first objective (having once recognized and admitted that there is a problem that requires solving) is to gather information. Any time you attempt to solve any problem, if you start with a premise, and then collect information to support that premise, you will always end up coming to the wrong conclusion.

With all due respect (and I honestly mean that) you, Ross Douthat, and Matt Lewis all make that mistake. You begin your investigation with a premise, and then attempt to build a case for that premise. Consequently, you come to a false conclusion based on biased information.

The premise you start with and conclude with, “The waning of the Catholic Moment” is your false premise. Catholicism, like American Academic and Politics was infected with Marxism starting in the beginning of the 20th century.

The Catholic Moment is not fading, it is not waning or diminishing. Over the last 9 decades the foundation of it’s moral and ethical code had been shifted. The “The Overton Window is moving” is close to being accurate. But it’s not dragging the conservative or even the “Catholic Moment” with it, quite the opposite, it is a fundamental shift toward Marxist morals and ethics in the Conservative and Catholic Moment, that are dragging the Overton Window with it.

SWalker on February 20, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Indeed. The fundamental problem isn’t actually that our politicians aren’t telling us the truth. It’s that we’re not telling ourselves the truth and acknowledging that those things which cannot be sustained won’t be.

I think the voters are mostly to blame but our politicians shouldn’t escape ridicule and scorn on this point.

For one thing many if not most politicians have an agenda independent of responding to the “market” forces of voters. They aren’t some avatar of public will. They manipulate public perception to direct public will. When Obama – and other liberals – repeatedly lie about the scale of the problem we face they aren’t responding to voters demands that politicians lie to them, they’re trying to convince voters that we don’t have problems or that they can be fixed if we just tax the rich a little more. Low information voters lap this crap up.

gwelf on February 20, 2013 at 12:20 PM

That’s why I was surprised to see Ross Douthat postulate that “the Catholic moment” had passed in American politics

The New York Times being anti-Catholic is not so surprising.

sauldalinsky on February 20, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Indeed. The fundamental problem isn’t actually that our politicians aren’t telling us the truth. It’s that we’re not telling ourselves the truth and acknowledging that those things which cannot be sustained won’t be.

Unfortunately, Ed, that lesson is never actually taught and accepted at a large national level because it simply cannot be done. There is a reason why those lessons are only taught by the elderly: it’s because they actually went through the pain of reality when they failed to heed the warnings of their grand parents when they were young. What the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant churches need to do is to purify and preserve their doctrine and ministry so that when these societal collapses happen, people will be able to find safety within the walls of the Church. Before the Great Dumb Ox there was St. Augustine. And in his On Christian Doctrine he recounts how many people took shelter within the local churches when the barbarians were sacking Rome and killing everyone. Those who sought shelter within the church, many of whom were not Christian, were spared. That’s what the Church needs to do: we need to provide shelter for the coming storm. Purify and preserve your doctrine and ministry, know what you believe and why, hold to the traditions of the Church and provide refuge. Most people will continue to think they can have their cake and eat it too. WHen they can no longer do that, the Church must be there to feed them in the name of Christ.

Weight of Glory on February 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM

It’s that we’re not telling ourselves the truth and acknowledging that those things which cannot be sustained won’t be.

The left came to power by implementing an unstable political/economic system.

The government-media complex loots the private sector to enrich itself, and intentionally dumbs down the electorate to keep itself in power.

How does one even attempt to take on this vested power group? Much like Orwell’s Newspeak, the current media is designed to make questioning of the current structure impossible.

18-1 on February 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Read the article Ed, very interesting. You made a good point, society does not necessarily mean government. Churches and volunteer organizations have helped close the gap for decades; the fact that government steps in and does it in their typically gross and inefficient ways while demanding payment from taxpayers to do it shows an inefficiency of secularism.

BTW, Rand marked two great thinkers in the people she admired, Thomas Aquinas and Victor Hugo. I understand the possible contradiction (although Rand argued against such a contradiction) but it should be noted they are not necessarily thinkers at different ends of the scale.

itsspideyman on February 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM

When I think of the Socialists in our government, and their “concern” for the poor, I always think of this analogy, in the Bible -

John 12:

[4] Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,

[5] Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

[6] This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Total Rubbish.

When you have an entire party whose idea it is to stop teaching history (and with it economical history) with the express purpose of making more compliant wage slaves You most certainly CAN blame the politicians.

What you can’t blame are the fewer and fewer politicians willing to bang their heads against the wall.

WryTrvllr on February 20, 2013 at 12:28 PM

shift toward Marxist morals and ethics in the Conservative and Catholic Moment, that are dragging the Overton Window with it.

One thing that became brutally apparent to me after the 2004 election is that electing and supporting wishy-washy moderates was doomed to fail.

We consistently had the left pushing the Overton window their way, and the Republicans, supposedly the conservative party, at best staking a line dead in the center.

Well, over time how does that play out if one group yanks left and no one yanks right?

18-1 on February 20, 2013 at 12:30 PM

The fundamental problem isn’t actually that our politicians aren’t telling us the truth. It’s that we’re not telling ourselves the truth and acknowledging that those things which cannot be sustained won’t be.

But the so-called low information voter doesn’t want to be told the truth and as long as somebody else is forced to pay for their free stuff they don’t give a damn about what is or is not sustainable. There is more than just delusion going on here.

An aspect in the whole theme that is missing from this thread is the concept of greed. Given that spending future generations into debt is a moral issue, why are so few outraged that we’ve done that in spades? Frankly, the boomer generation and later are greedy spoiled children. They don’t care about anything but the here and now and what they can get out of the system. JFK’s lofty rhetoric about asking what you can do for your country is dead. The new mantra is “work is for losers.”

The culture that built American institutions is what is dying. This of course includes churches, educational institutions, government, and private businesses. In their place is generational theft, European-style socialism, anti-Christian dogma, and Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on February 20, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Apologies, it was Aristotle, not Victor Hugo (her favorite writer), who influenced her.

itsspideyman on February 20, 2013 at 12:33 PM

The fundamental problem isn’t actually that our politicians aren’t telling us the truth. It’s that we’re not telling ourselves the truth and acknowledging that those things which cannot be sustained won’t be.

There is some fundamental truth in that statement. Where I am growing more concerned and confused is how does a person with, what I would consider conservative principles, do to make a Democrat Senate pass a budget? How do we make a difference when knowing, like many that post here, that the political forces in play don’t care about our opinions?

It is clear we are on an unsustainable economic path. After all, it is simple math that tell us that. This current Administration and Democrats are only concerned with keeping the Santa Clause train going. They are not grounded in sort of economic reality.

They are grounded in keeping power and not addressing the reality, of well, anything. That is the frustrating part. We can see the train wreck coming and we can’t yell loud enough to warn others. It is drowned out by the Santa Clause train.

rsherwd65 on February 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM

This tangentially brings to mind two quotes, one a passage I just came across recently.

“… And any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and fails to be concerned about the social conditions that corrupt them, the economic conditions that damn them, and the slums that somehow cripple them, is a dry, dead, do-nothing religion, in need of new blood, and it justly deserves the criticism of the Marxists, it is nothing but an opiate of the people, for it fails to see one basic fact: that man is an animal with a material body, and that that body is sacred, and that we must forever be concerned about man’s material well-being. …” MLK Jr. excerpt from “What is Man?”

“There is nothing more ugly than an orthodoxy without understanding or compassion.”
Francis Schaeffer

Logus on February 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Perhaps this is part of what Pope Benedict XVI meant by reform?

The RCC should lead this reform by example and that includes,unity in doctrine, best practices and this includes overhauling bloated salaries of lay professionals of these organizations.

Interesting article…

“It is no accident that, in the past fifty years, countless Catholic institutions have diluted, ignored, or even defied Catholic teaching, as the amount of government funding they receive has steadily increased. Catholic universities made their move rather dramatically, renouncing the authority of the Church in the famous “Land O’Lakes” statement of July 1967. This “declaration of independence” from Rome made it possible for them to receive federal funding made available in Lyndon’ Johnson’s Higher Education Act of 1965. Since then, they have received billions in taxpayer dollars.

The same conundrum faces Catholic Charities, USA, and Catholic Relief Services, both of which receive a majority of their funding—billions of dollars a year—as federal contractors, often operating alongside, or even cooperating intimately with, organizations whose principles “are not in conformity with the Church’s teaching.”

The implementation of Benedict’s new law will resuscitate true voluntary charity after a century-long Church alliance with a government that has now turned against it in fury. But do not expect it to be welcomed. Leaders of these Church bureaucracies (including the colleges and universities) will undoubtedly insist that Intima Ecclesiae Natura changes nothing, that they need the money, and that they are already obeying it anyway.

Unfortunately, they aren’t. But it will be a brave bishop who will hold their feet to the fire; and it will take a brave pope who will guide, support, and instruct those bishops with love, fortitude, and perseverance. After all, billions and billions of dollars are at stake—a drop in the bucket to the feds, but critical to funding Church institutions as they are run today.

And that is why those institutions will change dramatically as Intima Ecclesiae Natura is implemented in coming years, and the Church renounces government funding (as bishops in Illinois and Oklahoma already have). Once those “golden handcuffs” are removed, liberated Catholic bishops will also be able to implement existing Canon Law regarding public scandal. Raymond Cardinal Burke, who heads the Vatican’s highest court, insisted earlier this month that, if a Catholic politician “support[s] legislation which fosters abortion or other intrinsic evils, then he should be refused Holy Communion.”

Such steps are taken not only to bring the supporter of “grave moral evil” back to the Church, but also to avoid “the grave sin of sacrilege,” as well as to prevent public scandal, since failure to act “gives the impression that the Church’s teaching on the intrinsic evil of abortion is not firm.”

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/benedicts-coming-revolution-over-state-funded-catholic-charity?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CrisisMagazine+%28Crisis+Magazine%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 12:36 PM

How about this: Next time there is an election, go out and vote. If fifty million of you republicans hadn’t sat out November because Romney wasn’t conservativey enough for you, we would be in a much different position right now. Remember that in 14.

tdarrington on February 20, 2013 at 12:41 PM

“But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:16

Jesus practiced tough love, deal with it.

LizardLips on February 20, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Logus on February 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM

There is a big difference between a Church that has compassion and works to right social ills, and a Church that asks the government to act out of compassion and right social ills.

tdarrington on February 20, 2013 at 12:45 PM

The problem with the church is that it is serving two masters. Probably actually three masters. It divides loyalty and thus destroys the foundation on which it is meant to reside.
The first master seems to take a back seat to all other masters. God is not the center of the Catholic Church as he should be.
The Second master is Power, which seems to take a front seat for the institution. In its work to gain and retain this power it sides with big government.
The third fits with the second master, money, because money is power.

It does not understand the statement, give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and give unto God what is God’s. Instead, they demand that we give to Caesar in order to remove their responsibility to care for the needy with the money they are given for God’s causes.

Much like how Social Security and Medicare strip the family of the benefit that children are meant to provide, security for the parents, the Church pushes to have Government strip them of their benefit to society. Then they wonder why families are not formed, children not born and the church has no core from which to guide its flock.

astonerii on February 20, 2013 at 12:48 PM

It’s taken a century, but the left has finally succeeded in destroying America’s culture. Now all we can do is watch the decline of our nation.

The progressive movement has replaced the role of faith and family with that of Government. If you lose your job, you no longer have to live in your parents’ basement and scramble to find work. The government will put you up in a Section 8 house at taxpayer expense and will supply you with 3 years of unemployment and an Obama Phone. Have a baby out of wedlock, you say? No problem: Uncle Sam will give you free food, free health care, free day care, money to help raise the kid, and will even serve as your collection agency to extract money out of the father. And last, but not least, all those “patriarchal” and “antiquated” social norms that have constrained the darker side of human behavior for centuries have been replaced by one norm: tolerance!

Outlander on February 20, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Indeed. The fundamental problem isn’t actually that our politicians aren’t telling us the truth. It’s that we’re not telling ourselves the truth and acknowledging that those things which cannot be sustained won’t be.

Not really. America was not built as a Democracy. It was constructed as a Constitutional Republic. The Constitution prohibits most of these programs at the federal level that have run us into the ground. It isn’t the voters’ choice to elect politicians who seem to think they can pass anything they want. We have a Constitution that sets the limits of power of the federal government and THAT is the final word on what is allowed, regardless of what the voters or politicians think.

The fundamental problem is that our courts are broken (thanks to the leftist infestation – people who hate our Constitution and do everything they can to violate it at every turn) and that the politicians (who are not known to be honest or smart or competent and were never imagined such by the Founders) have been allowed to violate our Constitution and place the nation at risk – well … we’re past the “at risk” point as we now live in the American Socialist Superstate.

BarkyCare was the last nail in that coffin. That the SCOTASS decided for that POS and made up a heretofore unknown concept that the feral government is allowed to tax inaction (and allowed to strenuously argue that it isn’t a tax the whole time … though it is DEFINITELY NOT a tax for the SCOTASS’ initial assessment to grant cert and hear the case … but only for that brief moment, as it then morphs into a tax … on inaction …) and use the money to pay for any further un-Constitutional expenditure they deem fit …

Don’t blame the voters, whose choices are supposed to be limited in their power by our Supreme Law and those of which go on to press violations of that law should be thrown out of the government (if not tried, after). Constitutional Republics are set up to limit the voters’ power as much as the powers of the various branches of the feral government. But it all depends on a somewhat honest and not totally insane judiciary, and that is where America broke in two – after the Ineligible Indonesian Imbecile got in and started pushing every anti-American, un-Western, alien notion he possibly could, demeaning and degrading our institutions, processes, and traditions with every word or act to emanate from his putrid dog-eating waste of flesh. The fact that the Constitution was intentionally ignored so that Barky could even run signaled the ruin that was coming, as America just didn’t want to live any longer. Not just the voters (and the America-hating idiot voters who support the ineligible Indonesian but the whole of the judiciary that ran away from every court case to just officially check and confirm whether the Indonesian Imbecile was eligible – which he wasn’t and isn’t).

Of course, the minute that Barky held the largets p[olitical rally of his campaign in a foreign nation … for friggin foreigners, he should have been tossed from the race, arrested and jailed, as that was the most repulsive political crime in all of American history – by miles. But, we didn’t even hear a peep out of anyone, really, about that. At that point, it was clear that America was down for the count.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 20, 2013 at 12:52 PM

The first master seems to take a back seat to all other masters. God is not the center of the Catholic Church as he should be.
The Second master is Power, which seems to take a front seat for the institution. In its work to gain and retain this power it sides with big government.
The third fits with the second master, money, because money is power.
***
astonerii on February 20, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Two quick comments in response. First, the Church is increasingly broke due to all the priest abuse lawsuits. I think something like 5 dioceses have filed for bankruptcy and several others were forced to liquidate a lot of assets to pay claims. So, the master of “money” is not doing so well these days.

But secondly, what’s amazed me about the Church is how poorly it has done compared to other conservative Christian denominations. Evangelical churches are growing by leaps and bounds. Many such denominations have more ordained ministers than they know what to do with, have tons of younger, successful members, and so forth. In my diocese, the Church has to spread its few elderly priests to multiple parishes, has closed a bunch of churches, and preaches mostly to an elderly “flock.” Something clearly went wrong.

Outlander on February 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Logus on February 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM

There is a big difference between a Church that has compassion and works to right social ills, and a Church that asks the government to act out of compassion and right social ills.

tdarrington on February 20, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Yes, one is predicated upon acceptance of personal responsibility ans accountability, the other upon abdication of personal responsibility ans accountability.

During the 1950′s a Jesuit Theological Seminary in Rio, having been successfully infiltrated by Marxist began advocating the “Liberation Theology Movement”. One of the central theological ideologies of “Liberation Theology” is the concept of “Collective Redemption”.

The basic premise behind “Collective Redemption” is that the individuals salvation cannot be accomplished without first securing the collective salvation. It is pure Marxist ideology masquerading as Catholic Theology.

SWalker on February 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM

…The fundamental problem isn’t actually that our politicians aren’t telling us the truth. It’s that we’re not telling ourselves the truth and acknowledging that those things which cannot be sustained won’t be.

All of the LoInFo voters who cannot fathom their way out of a paper bag are the ones who are not even looking for the truth…

So long as the Louse in the House keeps on spouting about ‘free stuff’ and ‘fairness’ they will remain blinded to reality.

It is a fact that few politicians tell the truth, but who is listening? Oh, once the talking heads of the LSM networks get a hold of said truth, they misconstrue it and lie consistently and lay blame at the R’s door and ours.

The media are the ones who will have to take an accounting of shilling for the dems by making the truth a lie…by twisting every word to fit the meme the dems want reported on.

Daily again we hear it is the repubs fault!

By obfuscation, they, the media, are the scum of the earth…
Followed by the dems and many in the repub party and lastly 0bama himself…

Scrumpy on February 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM

How about this: Next time there is an election, go out and vote. If fifty million of you republicans hadn’t sat out November because Romney wasn’t conservativey enough for you, we would be in a much different position right now. Remember that in 14.

Meh, if the Republicans had nominated someone who wasn’t just an echo of Obama those voters wouldn’t have stayed home.

Next time choose someone a little less “severely” conservative who didn’t implement the basis for Obamacare.

If you didn’t see Romney’s loss, and the drag on down ticket races he would make back in 2011 you weren’t paying attention.

18-1 on February 20, 2013 at 1:01 PM

BarkyCare was the last nail in that coffin. ***

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 20, 2013 at 12:52 PM

You are right there. The private insurance market will collapse under ObamaCare, and you’ll see the government then rush in to “save the day” with a single-payer system, just as Obama intended from the start. Once average Americans are forced to depend on government for medical care, “small government” Republicans will cease to exist, just as free market conservatives ceased to exist in England after the passage of the NHS Act. (Margaret Thatcher was the lone exception to that rule, but besides privatizing British Airways and a few other government-run businesses, she was not very successful in promoting liberty there).

So here’s the question: Where do we go when America falls to the socialists? Is there a Latin American country we could move to? Or how about Australia? I think Australia is socialist too, and I know they ban guns…

Outlander on February 20, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Outlander on February 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Well, I tired to argue why I think that is.
The Church started asking the Government to do the duties which God commands them to perform. Those duties are the bedrock of what nurtures a holy soul and creates a better mankind and is why it is part of the doctrine. As it removed these duties and moved them to the Government, it never cut back on its demand for God’s share of each member’s wealth and instead spent the extra wealth on opulence. So in reality it forced the people to serve two masters, pay the government for good deeds and pay the church for something or another. Many of those people eventually decided they would rather just serve one master and left the church or just never joined.

astonerii on February 20, 2013 at 1:04 PM

It’s taken a century, but the left has finally succeeded in destroying America’s culture. Now all we can do is watch the decline of our nation.

For anyone who has ever read the first chapter of the book of Romans this should come as no surprise. It is the progression which has taken place in every society and civilization which ever has and ever will exist. The consequences of original sin are every much as fixed an aspect of the natural order as physics and geometry.

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 1:05 PM

So here’s the question: Where do we go when America falls to the socialists? Is there a Latin American country we could move to? Or how about Australia? I think Australia is socialist too, and I know they ban guns…

Outlander on February 20, 2013 at 1:01 PM

We do not go anywhere. They DIE. Conservatives have the guns, conservatives should be better survivalists capable doing rather than accepting. Thus, we win through attrition. We should already be practicing this eons long tradition of allowing those who will not help themselves fail. Instead we are working to help them over produce, but it does not matter in the end, because in the end, when it all goes to hell, only those able to fend for themselves and create something valuable enough to keep themselves fed will survive.

astonerii on February 20, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Meh, if the Republicans had nominated someone who wasn’t just an echo of Obama those voters wouldn’t have stayed home.

Next time choose someone a little less “severely” conservative who didn’t implement the basis for Obamacare.

If you didn’t see Romney’s loss, and the drag on down ticket races he would make back in 2011 you weren’t paying attention.

18-1 on February 20, 2013 at 1:01 PM

So was Romney an echo of Obama, or severely conservative? He couldn’t be both. If Obama is severely conservative, then I think there are alot of people on this site misusing the term.

tdarrington on February 20, 2013 at 1:12 PM

The future I envision is one where America will be divided into states that are democratic strongholds and states that are conservative strongholds.

Each will run their apportioned states as they see fit.

0bama is forcing the issue of s-e-c-e-s-s-i-o-n…

I say this because we no longer have a 2 party system, it is one.

We are being appeased to by our own elected officials, to our demise.

There are more now in the repub party who are willing to concede to the wishes of the dems.

The hatred and the out and out lies are dividing us as a nation…

We, as conservatives, are, as I have noted before, a dying species.

No matter how long or how loud we protest, it does no good.

If John McCain can stand there and bold faced lie, as so many do now, and feel no shame…we are sunk as a group of people who believe so much in a country that is being torn apart by divisive politicians and a leader who has no thought but of his own agenda.

No one cares what WE believe in.

No one is listening.

Scrumpy on February 20, 2013 at 1:15 PM

So was Romney an echo of Obama, or severely conservative? He couldn’t be both. If Obama is severely conservative, then I think there are alot of people on this site misusing the term.

tdarrington on February 20, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Severely conservative is a term Romney coined to describe himself.
Severe being a negative connotation it fits perfectly with Romney who severely detests conservatism and has progressive views. He was not drug along kicking and screaming on all the progressive accomplishments he got in Massachusetts, he is proud of all of those accomplishments.

astonerii on February 20, 2013 at 1:15 PM

But secondly, what’s amazed me about the Church is how poorly it has done compared to other conservative Christian denominations. Evangelical churches are growing by leaps and bounds. Many such denominations have more ordained ministers than they know what to do with, have tons of younger, successful members, and so forth. In my diocese, the Church has to spread its few elderly priests to multiple parishes, has closed a bunch of churches, and preaches mostly to an elderly “flock.” Something clearly went wrong.

Outlander on February 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

I believe we are seeing the restructuring of the American Catholic Church and that this will end up being a positive thing as dioceses regroup under conservative leadership.

Evangelical churches may be growing but some of these “mega churches” are founded on prosperity gospels which have their own problems…

What is important is the strength of catholic congregations and many of these are younger, want greater catholic identity and are more conservative.

The RCC may be quite a bit smaller for a while…the Church has been through this before many times, but she has emerged stronger for it.

Hopefully we are returning to First Things.

“In today’s world, there are tremendous pressures—political, cultural and religious—to change one’s convictions, and conform to certain mass patterns of thought and behavior. We also face an attack on religious freedom throughout the world—and now, to a lesser extent, even in our own country. Benedict has met both challenges with firm resistance, and a clarion call for freedom.

Pope Benedict’s belief in the fundamental dignity and freedom of every human being is at the heart of his papacy, and yet it is usually either overlooked or contested by critics. They accuse him of being inconsistent—preaching about tolerance, while supposedly acting as an “authoritarian” and “oppressor” of those seeking more freedom in the Church.

This is to profoundly misunderstand the true nature of freedom, as the Church expounds it. True freedom is not the freedom to do whatever we please, but the freedom to abandon sin and error, and pursue objective truth, and commit ourselves to Christ unreservedly in the service of that truth.

The charge that the Catholic Church inhibits authentic freedom is unjust. Catholic orthodoxy holds that membership in the Church is an entirely free act, i.e., completely voluntary, not mandatory, and that anyone in the Church is perfectly free to leave it, who objects to its essential teachings and beliefs. Benedict is the first to proclaim this: the Catholic Church proposes; it does not impose. Further, when people freely enter or retains their membership in the Church, they simultaneously accept and understand—if they are knowledgeable and faithful Catholics—that the role of a pope is precisely to uphold, preserve, and develop the Deposit of Faith—but never contradict or undermine it in any fundamental way…”

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2013/02/pope-benedictrsquos-greatest-lesson

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Except that a lot of us are telling ourselves, the truth; we understand both the fiscal and social issues that are driving this country into oblivion even as some of our politicians don’t believe it and others believe it, but won’t admit it.

But those of us who can do that are intelligent enough to A) see outside of our own little comfort zone, and 2) not believe everything the media is selling night after night after night.

The root of the problem is the 50 year, ongoing effort to dumb-down America’s residents by the left.

BKeyser on February 20, 2013 at 1:24 PM

…The fundamental problem isn’t actually that our politicians aren’t telling us the truth. It’s that we’re not telling ourselves the truth and acknowledging that those things which cannot be sustained won’t be.

All of the LoInFo voters who cannot fathom their way out of a paper bag are the ones who are not even looking for the truth…

So long as the Louse in the House keeps on spouting about ‘free stuff’ and ‘fairness’ they will remain blinded to reality.

It is a fact that few politicians tell the truth, but who is listening? Oh, once the talking heads of the LSM networks get a hold of said truth, they misconstrue it and lie consistently and lay blame at the R’s door and ours.

The media are the ones who will have to take an accounting of shilling for the dems by making the truth a lie…by twisting every word to fit the meme the dems want reported on.

Daily again we hear it is the repubs fault!

By obfuscation, they, the media, are the scum of the earth…
Followed by the dems and many in the repub party and lastly 0bama himself…

Scrumpy on February 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Start with the wrong premise, and you will always end up with the wrong conclusion.

In order to understand the Low Information Voter, you need to ask the right questions. What is a Low Information Voter, and why do they exist.

The answer is not that they are slow or stupid, nor is it that they are apathetic. The answer is counter-intuitively simple. It has two components. Both contribute equally.

One: They are intelligent enough to be aware that both the Government and the Fifth Column Treasonous Media are and have for a long time been actively deceiving them. This is why 85% of the general public believe that the Fifth Column Treasonous Media is untrustworthy, and why Congress has a mere 12% approval rating. Having come to the uncomfortable conclusion that both the Government and the media are willfully and intentionally deceiving them these “Low Information Voters” have gone Galt. Not in the traditional Ann Rand sense, but they have simply given up believing that their vote, their input or their values have any impact on out political process.

Two: Having in a basic sense gone Galt(as it were), the “Low Information Voters” now dedicate more of their time and energy to their jobs, families and personal lives, which further removes them from the sphere of political influence.

Those who insult or marginalize the so called “Low Information Voter” only serve to drive those voters further away from any active participation in the political process. Usually those engaged in insulting those “Low Information Voter” do so from the intentionally implanted false premise that the “Low Information Voter” are a net negative or deleterious effect on the body politic.

This premise comes from Saul Alinsky’s “Rule for Radical’s”

An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent… He must create a mechanism that can drain off the underlying guilt for having accepted the previous situation for so long a time. Out of this mechanism, a new community organization arises….
“The job then is getting the people to move, to act, to participate; in short, to develop and harness the necessary power to effectively conflict with the prevailing patterns and change them. When those prominent in the status quo turn and label you an ‘agitator’ they are completely correct, for that is, in one word, your function—to agitate to the point of conflict.” p.117

“Process tells us how. Purpose tells us why. But in reality, it is academic to draw a line between them, they are part of a continuum…. Process is really purpose.” p.122

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’…

“…any target can always say, ‘Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?’ When your ‘freeze the target,’ you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments…. Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target…’

“One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.” (pps.127-134)

If you do not know that you are being manipulated, you will never recognize the tactics being used to manipulate you. Most people are never able to accept that they are or have been manipulated. Thus they never seek out the information that would help them to understand both how they have been manipulated, and by whom.

SWalker on February 20, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Scrumpy on February 20, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Seen this?

“But lawmakers there are drawing attention by considering a law that would have Texas review how it would respond should the U.S. government no longer be there to send federal tax revenue back to the state.

The proposal would set up a committee to study what the state gets from Washington, “the effects on the state budget if federal fiscal policy necessitates a significant reduction in or elimination of federal funding” and “a plan to address the loss of federal money.”

The plan, HB 568, has been introduced by Rep. James White, who said in a statement Texas Self-Sufficiency Act “creates a select committee to evaluate the effects of a possible reduction in or elimination of federal funding on the state budget due to federal fiscal policy.”

“Due to the fiscal dysfunction of Washington, D.C., and the fact that more than a third of our state’s budget revenue comes from the federal government, Texas needs to study what it would mean if the federal government couldn’t meet its obligations,” he said.

The plan directs the governor, lieutenant governor and other officials to assemble a committee “to analyze not only our state’s dependence on federal funds, but the impact of federal funding on Texas’ economy…”

http://gopthedailydose.com/2013/02/16/texas-preps-for-collapse-of-federal-government/

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 1:26 PM

So was Romney an echo of Obama, or severely conservative? He couldn’t be both.

When trying to describe himself as a conservative Romney called himself “severely conservative”.

I can’t think of a simpler way to prove you are no conservative.

And to clarify the larger point, Romney was indeed an echo of Obama.

18-1 on February 20, 2013 at 1:26 PM

The charge that the Catholic Church inhibits authentic freedom is unjust. Catholic orthodoxy holds that membership in the Church is an entirely free act, i.e., completely voluntary, not mandatory, and that anyone in the Church is perfectly free to leave it, who objects to its essential teachings and beliefs. Benedict is the first to proclaim this: the Catholic Church proposes; it does not impose. Further, when people freely enter or retains their membership in the Church, they simultaneously accept and understand—if they are knowledgeable and faithful Catholics—that the role of a pope is precisely to uphold, preserve, and develop the Deposit of Faith—but never contradict or undermine it in any fundamental way…”

It is not the in the Church where they promoted loss of freedom. It was when they pressured their congregations to vote for welfare, school and medical care to be provided by the government at tax payer expense to relieve the pressure for them to provide these things. People are no longer free because their money is appropriated for things they have no direct or even remote control over. That is where the church SINNED most against God’s will. Now they have Obamacare, one of their beloved government programs coming along and taking away the Church’s freedom directly, something they now have no direct or even remote control over.

It is great to say we are not infringing on your freedom, after the fact that you coaxed the people into freely voting away their freedom by saying it was God’s will to do so.

astonerii on February 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM

BarkyCare was the last nail in that coffin.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 20, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Sorry to have to disagree with you my friend. Obamacare is not and was not the last nail in the coffin. It is merely another Alinsky tactic writ large.

7. Tactics

“Tactics are those conscious deliberate acts by which human beings live with each other and deal with the world around them. … Here our concern is with the tactic of taking; how the Have-Nots can take power away from the Haves.” p.126

Always remember the first rule of power tactics (pps.127-134):

1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”

2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear and retreat…. [and] the collapse of communication.

3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”

6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time….”

8. “Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.”

9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.”

11. “If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside… every positive has its negative.”

12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’…

“…any target can always say, ‘Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?’ When your ‘freeze the target,’ you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments…. Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target…’

“One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.” (pps.127-134)

SWalker on February 20, 2013 at 1:29 PM

People need to buckle down and accept that we are all going to have to suffer in order to make things better. So we can either humble ourselves or we will be humbled. It is as simple as that. But since God isn’t cool and relativism is king a miracle is needed.

I think if Americanist Protestantism became Catholic, or at least more Catholic there would be less red meat for secularists and If Catholics started acting like Catholics there would be less hypocrites and scandal. (Joe Biden, Pelosi, etc.)

Turn to the real Jesus. Not Mormon Jesus, not Protestant Jesus, but the Jesus the Popes have known and protected since Day one of Christianity.

Gatekeeper on February 20, 2013 at 1:31 PM

The majority of voters seem to think there is such a thing as a free lunch, that’s clear. They’ve been taught to believe this by power-seeking politicians and the resulting experience of “free stuff” doled out by said politicians. In other words, they got what they were promised. The long term view was the least of their concerns. Even as the problem has grown, the “la-la-la-la-la-la” attitude of avoidance has grown.

I think many politicians are also singing that tune and ignoring the reality, but the ones who are running the show actually know the problem exists but probably see some bigger, better, more grand solution. What might that be?

For those geeks out there, recall in the movie “Star Trek IV – The Journey Home” (the one with the whales). It was a greenie, leftists’ wet dream – evil humans had driven hump-backed whales to extinction and Kirk and crew was there to save the day. One innocuous thing about the movie was the idea that people in the Trek future no longer used money. When they arrived in the past, they were a bit confused about using money. In their time, there was no money. It’s never really explained how people went about transacting any sort of business (which there clearly was, for example, trade in Romulan Ale). An episode of “The Next Generation” made the same point. Picard told a 20th century person that money had been eliminated and that people just did what they did out of …well out of what I didn’t get. Out of the kindness of their hearts??

Why point this out? Because I think that many socialist dreamers really think that the ultimate egalitarian society would not have money, which is to say, all “wealth” would be shared just because we all care so much. It’s the ultimate utopia for them. We all just do things like dig ditches or plow fields or work long days in the hot sun building houses because it makes us feel super good. And we don’t need to worry about food because it’s all shared. The same would be true for clothes, shelter and, oh, healthcare. Never mind that nearly all of that presumes that human nature is conformed to this kind of thinking (history be damned) and that “the good of the many out weighs the good of the few…or the one” so quoth Spock. For these people progress means collectivization. To them this is actually inevitable as a natural outcome of human evolution. Individualism hinders this “progress” so must be pushed aside.

All this “debt” is artificial to them and won’t matter when the new day dawns and we all just get along. It’s truly delusional.

BillyWilly on February 20, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Evangelical churches are growing by leaps and bounds. Many such denominations have more ordained ministers than they know what to do with, have tons of younger, successful members, and so forth. In my diocese, the Church has to spread its few elderly priests to multiple parishes, has closed a bunch of churches, and preaches mostly to an elderly “flock.” Something clearly went wrong.

Outlander on February 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Gay marriage. The Church holds the line, and hemorrhages youth.

Washington Nearsider on February 20, 2013 at 1:33 PM

If you do not know that you are being manipulated, you will never recognize the tactics being used to manipulate you. Most people are never able to accept that they are or have been manipulated. Thus they never seek out the information that would help them to understand both how they have been manipulated, and by whom.

SWalker on February 20, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Yep!

Which is why we must continue to communicate to many liberals with clarity…forcing the cognitive dissonance necessary to wake them up from their stupor.

The cognitive dissonance in the indoctrinated liberal may be triggered by exposing hypocrisy/corruption…indoctrination into amoral agitprop like feminism promoting eugenics…fascism undercutting the constitution both ideologically and economically…etc.

Some professional liberals have a vested interest to deny and promote the agenda…But many are just ignorant of both the factors behind the liberal agenda and the principles of conservatism.

Case in point…David Mamet.
http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-03-11/news/why-i-am-no-longer-a-brain-dead-liberal/

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Turn to the real Jesus. Not Mormon Jesus, not Protestant Jesus, but the Jesus the Popes have known and protected since Day one of Christianity.

Gatekeeper on February 20, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Are you serious? The Catholic Church was created by government fiat hundreds of years after the death of Jesus! I’ll just end my long winded tirade here…

astonerii on February 20, 2013 at 1:35 PM

The majority of US Americans, legal or illegal voters, are harlots on the dole.

The land is lost. Rome lasted longer.

Schadenfreude on February 20, 2013 at 1:36 PM

I have believed for years that the public would actually follow someone who told the truth and set us on a course if fiscal discipline.

I naively underestimated the lengths to which the other side would lie and buy votes with entitlement candy.

I give up. I now believe in the prediction of Clubber Lang… PAIN.

connertown on February 20, 2013 at 1:41 PM

It is great to say we are not infringing on your freedom, after the fact that you coaxed the people into freely voting away their freedom by saying it was God’s will to do so.

astonerii on February 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Pope Benedict XVI has initiated conservative reforms.

Hopefully his successor will continue and broaden these reforms.

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Pope Benedict XVI has initiated conservative reforms.

Hopefully his successor will continue and broaden these reforms.

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 1:41 PM

That is good to hear.
Just a day late and 16 trillion dollars short.
Maybe the Church is worth a second look. I looked it over for a few months back in the 1990′s.

astonerii on February 20, 2013 at 1:43 PM

It will get worse before it gets better. Collapse the system and rebuild it closer to the heart’s desire. Who will take charge of the rebuilding? While we get preoccupied trying to stop the collapse, those who are shaking the foundation already have their blueprints drawn and the bulldozers idling.

tdarrington on February 20, 2013 at 1:45 PM

rsherwd65 on February 20, 2013 at 12:34 PM

I heard Herman Cain on O’Reilly last night and he said it best (though I am paraphrasing), “Suffering is sometimes the best lesson.”

IMO, the system will need to collapse before conservative thought gets a second look… unfortunately.

lucyvanpelt on February 20, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Next time choose someone a little less “severely” conservative who didn’t implement the basis for Obamacare.

18-1 on February 20, 2013 at 1:01 PM

If more of you had voted for your candidates in the primaries, Romney wouldn’t have won.

The truth is that the anti-Romneys jumped from candidate to candidate, and so he was the last man standing.

Gelsomina on February 20, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Turn to the real Jesus. Not Mormon Jesus, not Protestant Jesus, but the Jesus the Popes have known and protected since Day one of Christianity.
Gatekeeper on February 20, 2013 at 1:31 PM

How does the Catholic Jesus differ from the Protestant Jesus? I had always assumed both were relying on the Jesus revealed in the four Gospels. I’m interested to know what you believe the differences are and how they are ascertained.

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Case in point…David Mamet.
http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-03-11/news/why-i-am-no-longer-a-brain-dead-liberal/

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Very nice piece.

SWalker on February 20, 2013 at 1:53 PM

I heard Herman Cain on O’Reilly last night and he said it best (though I am paraphrasing), “Suffering is sometimes the best lesson.”

Herman is absolutely is absolutely right. Wisdom is born of pain.

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 1:53 PM

The fundamental problem isn’t actually that our politicians aren’t telling us the truth. It’s that we’re not telling ourselves the truth and acknowledging that those things which cannot be sustained won’t be.

“We have met the enemy, and HE is US.” Pogo

novaculus on February 20, 2013 at 1:54 PM

The abuse scandals were a much bigger and more acute story during John Paul II’s papacy, so I don’t think that’s the real driving issue.

You could not be more wrong. Do you think the accusers just went away or what. The Pope resigned 6 days after a criminal indictment was served against him. He leaves the Vatican and he will be arrested. March 24′th the assets of the Church will start being confiscated.

No idea why this is not being covered. He will seek protection from the Itilian President on Feb 23′rd.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Hilary (PRESS HERE) Clinton (PRESS HERE), knows all about this and for $200,000/hour will tell tell all.

jpcpt03 on February 20, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Pope Benedict XVI has initiated conservative reforms.

Hopefully his successor will continue and broaden these reforms.

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 1:41 PM

That is good to hear.
Just a day late and 16 trillion dollars short.
Maybe the Church is worth a second look. I looked it over for a few months back in the 1990′s.

astonerii on February 20, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Sometimes the response of Reform comes from resulting crisis…It is the children of the Vatican II generation who are leading the conservative movement within the RCC. They are seeking clarity and continuity.

http://www.catholicscomehome.org/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bmQS_DGe8M

This generation offers Hope…

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 2:01 PM

“When we refer them to that tradition which originates from the Apostles, which is preserved by means of the succession of presbyters in the churches, they object to Tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters, but than even the Apostles.” St. Irenaeus (“Against All Heresies,” c. 180 A.D.)
pannw on February 20, 2013 at 2:01 PM

The traditions of the Apostles are now contained exclusively in the New Testament scriptures. The cannon had not been established when Irenaeus wrote Against all Heresies.

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 2:08 PM

You could not be more wrong. Do you think the accusers just went away or what. The Pope resigned 6 days after a criminal indictment was served against him. He leaves the Vatican and he will be arrested. March 24′th the assets of the Church will start being confiscated.

No idea why this is not being covered. He will seek protection from the Itilian President on Feb 23′rd.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Maybe the ITTCS will save money and try Queen Elizabeth and Pope Benedict XVI in a joint trial…

Then they can seize Buckingham Palace & the Vatican together…and redistribute…yada yada yada…

And if you believe this hooey…I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’m looking to unload…For you it will be discounted cause you’re special.

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Did more research and turns out that the ITCCS is a one man operation and false.

There is a lawsuit in Canada that is going nowhere most likely.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 2:13 PM

I retract the correction.

Reuters is reporting the same they are legitimate.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 2:16 PM

And if you believe this hooey…I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’m looking to unload…For you it will be discounted cause you’re special.

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 2:11 PM

I believe Reuters.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM

No idea why this is not being covered. He will seek protection from the Itilian President on Feb 23′rd.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Your 2nd News link is written by a British Liberal Pagan Nutcase named Stuart Wilde…

Do you even read the content of the links you post?

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 2:18 PM


“…or at the least taxation without representation.”

I’ve heard that somewhere before…

… but I just can’t put my finger on it.

Seven Percent Solution on February 20, 2013 at 2:19 PM

I believe Reuters.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM

That’s a mistake.

Gelsomina on February 20, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Diogenes would be swinging the lamp today, too.

That (from the front page) just seems … wrong.

The post and lots of commenters hit the nail on the head: government is not society, and government welfare is not charity. The problem with the church comes when confusing those things.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Too bad some people just can’t see past their agenda.

GWB on February 20, 2013 at 2:24 PM

I believe Reuters.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM

The EU does not have jurisdiction over the Vatican State.

This is a bunch of Hooey!

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 2:26 PM

I believe Reuters.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM

No doubt you believe that the EU court can come to the USA and seize Former President George W. Bush and try him for Crimes against Humanity as well…

Sheeesh!

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 2:30 PM

The EU does not have jurisdiction over the Vatican State.

This is a bunch of Hooey!

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Maybe why the article says he is safe as long as he stays in the Vatican.

But other Countries could take Vatican Statehood away from it if they wanted to.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 2:31 PM

That’s a mistake.

Gelsomina on February 20, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Name any organization that never got anything wrong.

Yes they have an agenda as does everyone. But this would have been retracted were it wrong.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 2:32 PM

No doubt you believe that the EU court can come to the USA and seize Former President George W. Bush and try him for Crimes against Humanity as well…

Sheeesh!

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 2:30 PM

They could arrest him if he went into any of their countries. A real problem for the Vatican which has no airport. It is in the EU just not a member of it. Surrounded by Italy on all sides.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 2:34 PM

But other Countries could take Vatican Statehood away from it if they wanted to.
Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Only through a military invasion. The Vatican is a sovereign State.

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Maybe why the article says he is safe as long as he stays in the Vatican.

But other Countries could take Vatican Statehood away from it if they wanted to.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 2:31 PM

1. Pope Benedict XVI security has nothing to do with any legal case…it has to do with his physical security, which in this age of assassination attempts on public figures is prudent. This is why former presidents & their families get CIA protection after they leave office.

2. Vatican Security will continue for Benedict XVI within the confines of Vatican City because that is their beat so to speak.

As to your claim that countries will suddenly strip Vatican City of it’s statehood is amusing since the only way to do that is to do that by force of arms.

The EU would gather a united army to storm the Vatican…arrest all the Priests,Nuns,Cardinals,students,staff etc…

And then what exactly?

I don’t see that happening…Nope.

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 2:42 PM

They could arrest him if he went into any of their countries. A real problem for the Vatican which has no airport. It is in the EU just not a member of it. Surrounded by Italy on all sides.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Pope Benedict XVI will live in seclusion to pray…

This is how he wants to use his last days…

He will not be a public figure and will not travel. He will essentially live the life of a cloistered monk.

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 2:45 PM

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Protestantism can make Jesus what they want because there is no central doctrine besides the bible. The Church (Catholic) came before the bible and it composed the bible. It believes the Bible to be doctrine but doesn’t teach that anybody can interpret it how they feel, which is what Luther taught.

Even though some Protestants can believe nearly the same about Jesus, they can’t fully embrace the truths he taught because they do not embrace his Church. He did say that he was the truth and the light. We can’t pick and choose what he taught and instituted.

I wouldn’t believe in Jesus if he left behind protestantism. There isn’t solidarity in doctrine. If he was God he would leave his people divided like Protestantism is. You can say the Catholic Church is divided in ways and you are correct, but in Dogmas and Doctrines and the authority of the Pope it isn’t.

The Church teaches against heresy, while Protestantism can’t even make up it’s mind what heresy is.

Besides, who would want to go to Church in Protest?

Gatekeeper on February 20, 2013 at 2:49 PM

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Protestantism can make Jesus what they want because there is no central doctrine besides the bible. The Church (Catholic) came before the bible and it composed the bible. It believes the Bible to be doctrine but doesn’t teach that anybody can interpret it how they feel, which is what Luther taught.

Even though some Protestants can believe nearly the same about Jesus, they can’t fully embrace the truths he taught because they do not embrace his Church. He did say that he was the truth and the light. We can’t pick and choose what he taught and instituted.

I wouldn’t believe in Jesus if he left behind protestantism. There isn’t solidarity in doctrine. If he was God he would leave his people divided like Protestantism is. You can say the Catholic Church is divided in ways and you are correct, but in Dogmas and Doctrines and the authority of the Pope it isn’t.

The Church teaches against heresy, while Protestantism can’t even make up it’s mind what heresy is.

Besides, who would want to go to Church in Protest?

Gatekeeper on February 20, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Nice summary.

Tradition (which proceeded scripture) holds equal weight to scripture…And Apostolic Succession lends the authority behind the weight.

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 3:02 PM

The EU would gather a united army to storm the Vatican…arrest all the Priests,Nuns,Cardinals,students,staff etc…

And then what exactly?

I don’t see that happening…Nope.

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 2:42 PM

LOL. They would invade the Vatican… and the Swiss Guard would beat them like red-headed stepchildren with their halberds and their fancy pants.

GWB on February 20, 2013 at 3:02 PM

The Church (Catholic) came before the bible and it composed the bible.
Gatekeeper on February 20, 2013 at 2:49 PM

That is not true at all. While the cannon was not acknowledged until later, every book of the NT was written well before the Catholic church (as opposed the the catholic church) existed. These scriptures were read aloud in church services from the very beginning.

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Pope Benedict XVI will live in seclusion to pray…

This is how he wants to use his last days…

He will not be a public figure and will not travel. He will essentially live the life of a cloistered monk.

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Which is well known but why would he do that when Popes normally go to other sanctuaries in Italy to Pray and meditate?

Now we know.

But the next Pope will be under the same restrictions according to the articles.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 3:09 PM

The Church (Catholic) came before the bible and it composed the bible.
Gatekeeper on February 20, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Ummm, no. Scripture was written long before the Catholic church formed. The canon was formed by a council that brought together the various bishops across the church. (Notice the lowercase “c”.)

Except, of course, you will claim that the Catholic church formed when Peter went to Rome. Sorry, but no.

It believes the Bible to be doctrine but doesn’t teach that anybody can interpret it how they feel, which is what Luther taught.

No, that is not what Luther taught. Actually, what Luther taught was that you interpret Scripture with Scripture. He also pointed out that Scripture very pointedly said that we no longer need a high priest – which the pope had set himself up as – to intercede with God for us.

I wouldn’t believe in Jesus if he left behind protestantism. There isn’t solidarity in doctrine. If he was God he would leave his people divided like Protestantism is.

So, human sin would cause you to lose faith in God? Better not open your eyes, then.

The Church teaches against heresy, while Protestantism can’t even make up it’s mind what heresy is.

Well, *I* am pretty confident I know what it is. Claiming to be God’s authoritative representative on Earth would fall into that category.

GWB on February 20, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Tradition (which proceeded scripture) holds equal weight to scripture…

Not true at all. Jesus freely quoted scripture as divine revelation and bitterly condemned the Scribes and Pharisees for putting their traditions above scripture.

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 3:15 PM

The traditions of the Apostles are now contained exclusively in the New Testament scriptures. The cannon had not been established when Irenaeus wrote Against all Heresies.

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 2:08 PM

That would depend on which Bible you are reading.

The Catholic Bible is different…and includes Books that King James,Luther and Calvin found to be…inconvenient…

Such as Maccabees, in which the Catholic Tradition and Doctrine of Purgatory is confirmed.

The story of Hanukkah is preserved in the books of the First and Second Maccabees. These books are not part of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible); they are Jewish apocryphal books instead.

Thus Jews celebrate a holiday that they don’t include in their bible?

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 3:17 PM

The Catholic Bible is different…and includes Books that King James,Luther and Calvin found to be…inconvenient…

Only after the counsel of Trent. Jerome bitterly opposed putting the Apocrypha in the Vulgate.

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 3:18 PM

You can compress this timeline even more. In 2008, Barack Obama made a concerted effort to appeal to religious voters, including Catholics. He appeared with John McCain at Rick Warren’s “summit.” (Remember his famous “above my pay grade” comment when asked when life begins.) The Democratic Party as a whole believed such appeals were absolutely necessary for it to win national elections, and put a ton of money and staffing into outreach to evangelicals, Catholics, and other religious groups.

Just four years later, the Democratic Party tried to remove all reference to God from its platform and there was serious opposition to Cardinal Dolan giving a benediction at the DNC convention. I don’t think a single speaker at the DNC even mentioned God, other than the mandatory God Bless America at the end of the speeches. It was the most aggressively secular campaign we have ever seen. The Democrats all but abandoned the blue-collar white Catholic vote that it had worked so hard to regain since the Reagan era.

What happened in four years? It wasn’t that the culture moved, or the economic disaster polarized the electorate. It was, simply, that Obama’s campaign realized that his only chance at reelection in a dismal economy was to drive out his base voters, namely single women and young secular people. Just as Bush did with the evangelicals in 2004.

rockmom on February 20, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Thus Jews celebrate a holiday that they don’t include in their bible?
workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 3:17 PM

You mean like the Catholics and Ash Wednesday?

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 3:20 PM

GWB on February 20, 2013 at 3:13 PM

As to Luther…Hard to get married if you’re still a monk.

“Suddenly, and while I was occupied with far different thoughts,” he wrote to Wenceslaus, “the Lord has plunged me into marriage.” At the time of their marriage, Katharina was 26 years old and Luther was 41 years old.

*snicker*

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 3:24 PM

But the next Pope will be under the same restrictions according to the articles.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Really?

Who will enforce these restrictions?

Maybe the same people who tried to get Italy to remove crosses from Church steeples?

That went well…

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Turn to the real Jesus. Not Mormon Jesus, not Protestant Jesus, but the Jesus the Popes have known and protected since Day one of Christianity.

Gatekeeper on February 20, 2013 at 1:31 PM

.

I wouldn’t believe in Jesus if he left behind protestantism. There isn’t solidarity in doctrine. If he was God he would leave his people divided like Protestantism is. You can say the Catholic Church is divided in ways and you are correct, but in Dogmas and Doctrines and the authority of the Pope it isn’t.

Gatekeeper on February 20, 2013 at 2:49 PM

.
The Protestant denominations are not trying, nor have they ever tried, to establish another “Jesus”, different from The One the Vatican recognizes.

Jesus didn’t “leave behind” either Protestantism or Catholicism.

He left behind a way for any person to re-establish a personal relationship (because Adam lost it) with the living God.

listens2glenn on February 20, 2013 at 3:31 PM

“As to Luther…Hard to get married if you’re still a monk.”

If marriage was good enough for the Apostle Peter I’ve got no problem with Luther taking a wife.

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Thus Jews celebrate a holiday that they don’t include in their bible?
workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 3:17 PM

You mean like the Catholics and Ash Wednesday?

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 3:20 PM

The liturgical use of ashes originates in Old Testament times. Ashes symbolized mourning, mortality and penance. For instance, in the Book of Esther, Mordecai put on sackcloth and ashes when he heard of the decree of King Ahasuerus (or Xerxes, 485-464 B.C.) of Persia to kill all of the Jewish people in the Persian Empire (Est 4:1). Job (whose story was written between the 7th and 5th centuries B.C.) repented in sackcloth and ashes (Job 42:6). Prophesying the Babylonian captivity of Jerusalem, Daniel (c. 550 B.C.) wrote, “I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes” (Dn 9:3). In the fifth century B.C., after Jonah’s preaching of conversion and repentance, the town of Ninevah proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, and the king covered himself with sackcloth and sat in the ashes (Jon 3:5-6). These Old Testament examples evidence both a recognized practice of using ashes and a common understanding of their symbolism.

Jesus Himself also made reference to ashes. Referring to towns that refused to repent of sin although they had witnessed the miracles and heard the good news, our Lord said, “If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have reformed in sackcloth and ashes long ago” (Mt 11:21).

The early Church continued the usage of ashes for the same symbolic reasons. In his book, De Poenitentia, Tertullian (c. 160-220) prescribed that the penitent must “live without joy in the roughness of sackcloth and the squalor of ashes.”
Eusebius (260-340), the famous early Church historian, recounted in his The History of the Church how an apostate named Natalis came to Pope Zephyrinus clothed in sackcloth and ashes begging forgiveness. Also during this time, for those who were required to do public penance, the priest sprinkled ashes on the head of the person leaving confession…

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=262

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 3:35 PM

The Catholic church brought us the Dark Ages. They committed genocide to such an extent it would make Hitler blush. They attacked Christians as well as all others. You either believed their Pope was divine or you died. Add up the Latin numbers on the Popes crown 666. The Holy Roman Empire ruled for 1260 years just exactly like the bible said 42 months = 1260 days or years as common in the bible.

Paul said All men sin and fall short of the Glory of GOD. Yet the Pope is somehow an exception not according to Christ or Paul.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Gatekeeper on February 20, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Maybe the Protestants were protesting the frothing-at-the-mouth rantings of someone who would identify himself – first and foremost – as a Catholic – instead of as a Christian.

I’m non-denominational – I believe that I’m a sinner and that, only through Jesus Christ, and faith in Jesus Christ, am I saved.

I, also, believe that Jesus Christ, and only Jesus Christ, is the mediator between sinful mankind, and the forgiveness of almighty God, and that denominations are man-made hurdles, barricading the road to Him.

Those who rely on denominations, instead of Jesus Christ, as the basis for their beliefs and salvation, are already doomed.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 20, 2013 at 3:35 PM

I, also, believe that Jesus Christ, and only Jesus Christ, is the mediator between sinful mankind, and the forgiveness of almighty God, and that denominations are man-made hurdles, barricading the road to Him.

Those who rely on denominations, instead of Jesus Christ, as the basis for their beliefs and salvation, are already doomed.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 20, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Your denomination will not save you but you will do much better if you attend one that meets your needs the best. If it fails then find another. Do not expect it to be perfect though we will never find that on Earth unless we live to see Jesus dwell on Earth again.

Steveangell on February 20, 2013 at 3:41 PM

“As to Luther…Hard to get married if you’re still a monk.”

If marriage was good enough for the Apostle Peter I’ve got no problem with Luther taking a wife.

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 3:32 PM

St. Peter was married before he was called to be an apostle.

Martin Luther took vows and was ordained…and then changed his mind.

Big difference.

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 3:47 PM

GWB on February 20, 2013 at 3:13 PM

As to Luther…Hard to get married if you’re still a monk.

“Suddenly, and while I was occupied with far different thoughts,” he wrote to Wenceslaus, “the Lord has plunged me into marriage.” At the time of their marriage, Katharina was 26 years old and Luther was 41 years old.

*snicker*

workingclass artist on February 20, 2013 at 3:24 PM

.
I see no requisite for celibacy in the “Protestant” New Testament.

Is it mentioned in one of those four omitted, “inconvenient” books the Vatican recognizes?

listens2glenn on February 20, 2013 at 3:47 PM

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