A couple Saturday reading tips

At American Spectator there are a couple good articles.

The first is by one of the best commentators around, Samuel Gregg.  Here is an excerpt:

[...]

Self-identified modern liberals (and secularists more generally) typically insist that justice and tolerance demand that governments shouldn’t privilege any conception of morality, religious or secular, in framing its laws. Unfortunately for liberals, this position — outlined in excruciating detail by the seer of modern secular liberalism, the late John Rawls — is self-refuting. Why? Because it, ahem, privileges a legal and political commitment to relativity about moral questions. It’s the same absurdity underlying the philosophical skeptic’s claim that there’s no truth — except for the truth that there is no truth.

These little internal inconsistencies, however, don’t stop the use of such conceptions of tolerance and justice as weapons for terminating any contribution to public debate that’s informed by the propositions that moral truth exists, that we can know it through revelation and/or reason, and that it is unjust to cordon off these truths from the public square.

And here we come face-to-face with the essence of what a certain Joseph Ratzinger famously described in an April 2005 homily as “the dictatorship of relativism.” Most people think of tyrannies as involving the imposition of a defined set of ideas upon free citizens. Benedict XVI’s point was that the coercion at the heart of the dictatorship of relativism derives precisely from the fact that it “does not recognize anything as definitive.”

[...]

And there there’s a piece by George Neumayr, who writes with a somewhat less restrained style:

[...]

The raffish Greg Gutfeld, who, despite his screwing around on the set, remains Fox’s deepest and most perceptive observer of politics and culture, made the valuable point on “The Five” recently that one of the sick motivations behind the HHS mandate is a form of eugenics and ironic class warfare: Obama does not want the poor to procreate.

To put the point even more directly, Obama does not want the Catholic poor to procreate. Like Planned Parenthood’s twisted foundress, Margaret Sanger, Obama is a chilly eugenicist at heart who fears a backwards America “punished” by the babies of unenlightened breeders. China boasts a one-child policy; Obama’s is more like a zero-child one. Without a universally subsidized right to sterilization, contraception, and abortion via Obamacare, his Brave New World would falter and fail to materialize.

The brutal logic of these bogus rights, as Obama hints in his mumbles about “access” as the trumping value in this debate, is that everyone must recognize them. Who cares if the Church objects to financing the sins of her employees? The Church is wrong, and error has no rights, hiss feminists. The dogmatism of which Obama routinely accuses the religious is on far starker display in his own ideology, a species of raw social engineering that depends for its fulfillment upon bullying conscientious objectors at the point of a government gun.

This is a historic moment in the culture war — a crystallizing flashpoint in which the totalitarianism and bigotry long implicit in secularism rises to the surface and becomes explicit for all to see.

[...]

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17 Responses to A couple Saturday reading tips

  1. New Sister says:

    O my — this is eerie! (you got me looking at propoganda pictures; slow day)
    http://chinesepropaganda.myshopify.com/products/shining-path-of-mao

  2. NoTambourines says:

    Gregg nailed it. Liberals rail against the idea of “legislating morality,” except when they’re doing the legislating, and that is exactly what they are doing here.

    The dictatorship of relativism is a means to an even worse end, because in the long run, we can’t have a Seinfeld-style Society About Nothing. It creates a strategic vacuum for a replacement ideology.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    I hate to repeat myself, but Obama and Mrs., steeped in Black Liberation Theology, do not believe the Jews are the Chosen People of God, but the Blacks. Therefore, eugenics is part of this administration’s agenda. Get rid of all those who think “they” are the chosen ones, such as the Catholics, and the Jews (why he supports the Muslim nations over Israel) and one sees the toxic mess in action. Those who still do not believe me can look at Wright’s church’s website. By the way, I wrote on this in 2008 on my old blog and the agenda from this group was chilling then and still is.

    I do not know why people do not take it seriously that this man and his family sat for seventeen years listening to the most rabid anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish theology spewing from the mouth of their pastor, who got dumped by the Tyrant, once the press started looking closely at the nasty rhetoric of this so-called Christian church. Relativism is what the public has fallen into, but the puppet-masters who hold the strings know exactly what communist, activist, Alinsky, Gramsci,
    Marxist, liberation theology, and violent agendas they will show to the world. Obama has not changed since I first was aware of him in Illinois in 2004. He duped the “whities” then and he still does so.

  4. crjs1 says:

    But yet his approval ratings (and chances of a second term) are on the rise,+2% on Fox, while the Republicans implode in infighting…… :(

  5. tcreek says:

    Philip Lawler writes today at Catholic Culture.org

    “Unfortunately, before the bishops released their second statement, leaders of two of the largest Catholic employers in the country—the Catholic Health Association and Catholic Charities USA–had released their own statements indicating that they were satisfied with the Obama administration’s “compromise” proposal. So while the political battle continues, the Catholic forces are already split.”

    For those who believe that Catholic Charities is “Catholic” and a “Charity” see the link below from 2000 at City Journal, an outstanding magazine praised by Bill Bennett, Mona Charon, Clarence Thomas and others. “City Journal is the best magazine in America.”—Peggy Noonan

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/10_1_how_catholic_charities.html

  6. Supertradmum says:

    tcreek, read your article. Here is an interesting part, as the rest is same old, same old news but true:
    “Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum sparked a fierce controversy in 1996 when he rebuked Catholic Charities for drifting away from the faith under the pressure of government funding. Santorum told of a priest he knows who began a psychology internship at a Catholic Charities clinic. The clinic supervisor tested him on three hypothetical counselling situations: a depressed pregnant woman who wants to abort her child, two homosexuals seeking advice on their relationship, and a divorcing couple asking for counselling. In keeping with Catholic teachings, the priest advised against the abortion, refused to endorse homosexual unions, and encouraged the divorcing couple to save their marriage. He failed the test. His supervisor explained: “We get government funds, so we are not Catholic.”

    Nuff said….

  7. Supertradmum says:

    tcreek, read your article. Here is an interesting part, as the rest is same old, same old news but true:
    “Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum sparked a fierce controversy in 1996 when he rebuked Catholic Charities for drifting away from the faith under the pressure of government funding. Santorum told of a priest he knows who began a psychology internship at a Catholic Charities clinic. The clinic supervisor tested him on three hypothetical counselling situations: a depressed pregnant woman who wants to abort her child, two homosexuals seeking advice on their relationship, and a divorcing couple asking for counselling. In keeping with Catholic teachings, the priest advised against the abortion, refused to endorse homosexual unions, and encouraged the divorcing couple to save their marriage. He failed the test. His supervisor explained: “We get government funds, so we are not Catholic.”

    Nuff said….

  8. Supertradmum says:

    apologies, have no idea why some of my comments are coming out twice–some go into never, never land of moderation, so I find all this somewhat amusing….

  9. tcreek says:

    Supertradmum, your posts are worth reading twice.

    Government aided welfare and social programs run by huge bureaucracies are not Catholic.
    Those who promote these programs want others (taxpayers) to shoulder the responsibility, not themselves. And this makes them feel so good about how sharing and caring they are.

    To be Catholic is to strive, in whatever way you are fit, for the redemption of fallen humanity so that you and those you encounter in life may inherit everlasting life in an eternal exchange of Love with your Creator.

  10. Supertradmum says:

    Thanks, tcreek. We are in the world, but not of the world, correct?

  11. Ted says:

    As a Canadian looking in on all this I am sad that this is happening. But was it not expected?
    The Church in a way lost it with Vatican II. Many wanted the Church updated. The updating ended up being across the board. Whichever way you look at it that meant becoming modern, that is to say, accepting the modern ways of “society”.
    Artificial birth control is a modern way of “society”, and the Church in Canada came pretty close to apostacy with its Winnipeg statement regarding birth control against Humanae Vitae in 1968. I am sure most of the American Church leaders accepted such modern ways too, but did not dare go as far officially as the Canadians. So it should not surprise anyone that there is this problem now.
    The battle between Church and state has been going on for over 2000 years. It does not matter what form of government one has, that battle never ceases. The Church at this point is weak because it has been so divided, but it seems to be coming back to its own through prayer and all these strong statements from the Bishops shows this. So I do not believe this one is lost even when opinion polls reflect a large majority of Catholics support Mr Obama. Mr. Obama may be getting away with this now and likely to get re-elected, but when the right information, the Truth, is taught from the pulpit, folks listen. Calling pregnancy “preventative care” is quite Orwellian and once pointed out is readily seen by fair minded folks. The problem is getting at those Catholics who rarely go to church. Paradoxically these conflicts tend to be as much informative on the issues for everyone as finding out where the line in the sand is. The media certainly has its bias, but there are other sources of information. The Internet has been a wonderful gift from God for this purpose of evangelisation. And in that context, thank you Fr. Z for all your wonderful work.

  12. Traductora says:

    @Ted. Absolutely. This is the classic battle between Church and State, and as usual, the bishops weren’t ready for it. They blew it with Henry VIII and let an entire new “church” develop, run by the State. That “church,” like all the mushrooms that spring up when the true Church is obscured, is vanishing before our very eyes.

    But the problem is that it has taken it 500 years to vanish, although it was fragmented almost immediately. Even though the Anglicans didn’t consider themselves Protestants, they were, and Protestantism is inherently centrifugal and fragmented. This means that many souls have been lost (not to God, who understands all, but certainly to society in the sense that they haven’t made the contribution they could have made) and many changes have been made to our social values that should never have been made. Remember that the founder of utilitarianism, the animal rights movement, and a particularly impressive surveillance system was a Brit.

    The US was fortunate because the Founders were men of the Enlightenment, so while they may not have been Catholics, they looked to Classical ideas (the basis of Greco-Roman Judeo-Christian culture) for inspiration. So if our bishops were informed enough and courageous enough, they could base their objections not even on specifically religious grounds. The law of the Church is natural law and this is recognized by all persons of good will.

    Speaking of which, I am completely stunned, as an American, by how rapidly our government has revealed itself not to be populated by persons of good will but by dictatorial statist ideologues who have launched what they think will be the final battle…and this has all happened without a shot being fired.

  13. Legisperitus says:

    If this is all about “choice,” then what becomes of the Catholic employers’ choice to purchase an insurance policy that does not cover these “services”?

    And if this is truly about making these “services” free of charge, then I look forward to the inevitable mandate forbidding Planned Parenthood from charging a fee for any of their “services.”

  14. Bill Russell says:

    Cardinal-Designate Dolan instructed that on February 12 in all New York parishes a brief letter from him be read which includes the following: “Friday’s announcement that the federal government seems to have softened the mandates, and is open to working with us in further progress, is a welcome first step. We must study it carefully.” Is Dolan “channeling” Lord Halifax and Neville Chamberlain? – But there is no need for worry: next week more than a thousand New Yorkers will head for Rome to attend the gala dinners and receptions attendant upon the Consistory. Lots of laughs. Multiply one thousand by the thousands of dollars that each will spend and you have many millions of dollars. Some financially fragile parishes could be endowed with that, and thousands of scholarships to Catholic schools be provided. But why spoil the fun? One hundred years ago this year, a lot of champagne was uncorked on the Titanic.

  15. Supertradmum says:

    CharlesE.Flynn, this was the intention of Obamacare all along. I actually read part of the long, tedious bill before it was passed. These bills are always available to read. Why did not other Catholics read it? I was working at a seminary and tried to get the sems to read the bill, and none, but one, did so. The complacency of Catholics themselves have led us to this point.