Miscellaneous Meanderings on the signs of the times
Dr. Mark S. Latkovic
August 1, 2015
~Heather McDonald’s “The Shameful Liberal Exploitation of the Charleston Massacre” (http://www.nationalreview.com/article/420565/charleston-shooting-obama-race-crime?utm_source=jolt&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Jolt&utm_campaign=Shocking%20New%20Revelations%20About%20Hillary%27s%20Secret%20Relationship%20With%20Blumenthal) should be required reading for every citizen of this land who cares about race relations…at least those who are open to listening to cold hard facts.
~The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2358 speaks of how homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” adding, “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” After the Supreme Court ruling making gay marriage a constitutional right, however, we may have to tweak the CCC to include the “respect, compassion, and sensitivity” homosexuals must have for heterosexuals and their right not to be subject to “unjust discrimination,” especially religious.
~It was an Emmett Tyrrell column (see http://townhall.com/columnists/emmetttyrrell/2015/07/02/what-was-so-dreadful-about-last-week-n2020185?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&newsletterad) pooh-poohing the idea that our country has drifted leftward, that got me thinking about the present state of our culture. If you compare our secular culture’s “accomplishments” with those of the Catholic Church, the former look pretty pathetic. So, I’ll take St. John Paul II and his courage over Bruce/Caitlin Jenner and his/hers, St. Augustine’s On the Good of Marriage over the Supremes’ Obergefell vs. Hodges, and Catholic Charities over Obamacare any day.
~When a journalist of such impeccable conservative credentials as the Weekly Standard’s Stephen F. Hayes (he’s also a Catholic) says he’s in favor of gay marriage (see the video here: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/06/27/special_report_panel_supreme_courts_gay_marriage_decision.html), you know the end of the world is near.
~Liberals are wont to accuse the Catholic Church of changing or even being erroneous in her teaching on certain moral issues (e.g., slavery, usury, and religious liberty are three big ones). One can show, however, as moral theologian Germain Grisez has (see http://www.twotlj.org/G-1-36-G.html and http://www.twotlj.org/G-1-36-1.html and http://www.twotlj.org/G-1-36-2.html), that this has been more about authentic development than any actual change or error in official teaching. We also have the Holy Spirit to protect the Church from error.
~Liberals are rarely called upon to answer for errors or changes (so-called evolutions) in their opinions. A few years back, I wrote an article (see http://www.catholicscholars.org/PDFFiles/v33n4win2010.pdf) responding to a September 2010 Washington Post column by gay philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah (see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/24/AR2010092404113.html) which asked the question, “What will future generations condemn us for?” Although he only briefly mentioned homosexuality, the issue of gay marriage could very well have been added to his list of four issues. I have tried to look at all of the arguments…But I am absolutely convinced that future people will look back at our age and wonder how so many could have been so blinded by the gay rights movement.
~Donating multiple organs, as my brother’s late mother-in-law did recently, is a way of multiplying the gift of human life.
~My flashbacks have become ever more frequent as I get older. And there’s a good reason they’re called “flashbacks”: a flash goes off in your mind as you take a trip back.
~If you’re reading the church bulletin during Mass, then you’re not reading the readings.
~I’m surprised no one has yet suggested we ban (as offensive) the word “Chief,” as in Chief Justice.
~Having celebrated my 52nd 4th of July this year and the 239th in our nation’s history, I have tried to make a point of reading a book on one of our Founders every summer. Last year it was Lynne Cheney’s excellent James Madison: A Life Reconsidered and this year it’s been Fred Kaplan’s John Quincy Adams: American Visionary.
~Eventually, as we stretch words to mean whatever we want them to mean, even lying will become a thing of the past for our postmodern age (see also Kim Holmes, “Welcome to John Roberts’ America, Where Words Mean Nothing,” http://dailysignal.com/2015/07/05/welcome-to-john-roberts-america-where-words-mean-nothing/?utm_source=heritagefoundation&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=morningbell&mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRogvanAZKXonjHpfsX56uouW6%2B2lMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4IScpjI%2BSLDwEYGJlv6SgFQrLBMa1ozrgOWxU%3D and Steve Soukup, “Language, Chaos and the Crisis of Reality,” http://www.cultureoflife.org/2015/07/07/language-chaos-and-the-crisis-of-reality/).
~Our media’s emphasis on the Confederate Flag – a symbol, even if a bad one – took the emphasis off where it really belonged: with the racist murderer.
~Never has a nation noted for its individualism, such as ours, been so conformed to an ideology of conformism.
~A thorough knowledge of history tells you when you should panic and when you shouldn’t.
~Referring to the Iranian nuclear talks, Obama repeatedly had said he wouldn’t agree to a “bad deal.” But that shouldn’t make us feel any safer because Obama doesn’t define what a “bad deal” looks like.
~Well, on July 14, 2015 Obama announced that finally a deal had been reached with the Iranians; and it looks like a bad deal (e.g., see http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421185/dont-try-trusting-iran-editors?utm_source=jolt&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Jolt&utm_campaign=Jolt7152015), despite the Vatican calling it a “positive” one and a U.S. bishop bizarrely warning Congress not to “undermine” it (see http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/vatican-applauds-nuclear-deal-calls-for-commitment-to-make-it-bear-fruit-11947/). I guess Congress shouldn’t even bother reviewing it then.
~In order to speak of “defining deviancy down,” you need something our society has lost: a notion of deviancy.
~The expression “defining deviancy down” was made famous by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) in a 1993 article. Our postmodern culture must have him rolling over in his grave. Today, we have trouble defining anything, much less deviancy, up or down.
~Even the word deviancy/deviant sounds quaint to many.
~Advocating liberal policies gets you a media-bestowed halo that makes one immune to attacks – even when one’s personal behavior contradicts what’s professed in public, thus proving that it’s hard to criticize a liberal saint.
~When it comes to faith formation, children need to be taught to see the connection between what they are being taught, acting on that teaching, and then “becoming,” in a sense, one with that teaching.
~The failure to recognize the humanity of the zygote is not a failure to recognize the data of modern science – it’s too overwhelmingly obvious for that – but rather a failure of imagination to see that complex living “speck” as the 5 year-old child swinging in a swing or the adult exchanging wedding vows 25 years later (cf. Richard Stith, “Facing the Unborn,” First Things, August 2015, http://www.firstthings.com/article/2015/08/facing-the-unborn).
~The link between climate change and human trafficking? Yes, the Vatican hosted a conference on the link between climate change and human trafficking (see http://www.catholicnewsagency.com//news/slavery-and-climate-theres-more-in-common-than-you-think-vatican-says-60282/). We’re reaching a point where soon everything will be blamed on climate change.
~Regarding the undercover video of the Planned Parenthood abortionist discussing “fetal tissue” (i.e., body parts) procurement (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjxwVuozMnU), I must ask, If the “fetus” is not human, then why are his/her body parts so darn valuable? (See also http://freedomsback.com/michelle-malkin/the-wine-sipping-butchers-of-planned-parenthood-2/?utm_source=bh&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5117473 and http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/abortion-is-a-medical-procedure-the-reality-of-those-often-isnt-pleasant/ar-AAcZUAi?ocid=U305DHP).
~Obama’s remarks at the White House (see the video here: http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000003805966/obama-reacts-to-chattanooga-shooting.html) after the terrorist shootings in Chattanooga, TN that left four Marines dead, was classic Obama: emotionless and dispassionate, using the word “tragic” to describe the shootings. The statement was so blasé and disproportionate to what had just happened. There was no sense of anger or outrage. No sense that these people (Islamic terrorists) are at war with us and that we are (or should be) at war with them. Perhaps most bizarre of all, he said this: “My main message right now is, obviously, the deepest sympathies of the American people to the four Marines that have been killed.” (My emphasis) That sounds good, at first…And then you ask yourself: That’s his main message? Not, we’ll do everything to get to the bottom of this and prevent future attacks. Not, we’ll defeat these Islamic radicals. No, his main message is to convey his “deepest sympathies” to us. Pathetic, as usual [A fifth victim, a sailor, died a few days later].
~Many responses to the four killings were way off the mark, portraying the idea that it was more of a criminal attack than a terrorist one. Here’s Obama (Yes, there’s more of his BS) describing the shootings in terms of a “heartbreaking circumstance” for these soldiers “to be killed in this fashion.” By describing the terrorist, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez’s actions in this passive this way and by using words such as “senseless” and “unfathomable” (as some did), U.S. leaders show that they still just don’t get it. Terrorists who are at war with us do not see their actions as senseless or indecipherable – no, they make perfect sense to them: “Death to America!”
~One more thing: Have you noticed that we don’t have Obama trotting out the usual blame-it-on-guns line? How could he in this case? Just to mention guns would call into question why our military personal are in gun-free zones.
~Does comedian Bill Cosby’s wardrobe consist of anything besides hoodies?
~It’s one thing to encourage Kenya “to treat gays and lesbians equally under the law” (with some important qualifications, I would add), as it was reported Obama did on his first trip there as president in late July (see http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/obama-pushes-african-nations-to-treat-gays-equally-under-law/ar-AAduHRd?ocid=U305DHP), but it would be another thing altogether to encourage (pressure?) that country to legalize gay marriage.
~The Internet gives us what I call “an avalanche of information” without a corresponding “avalanche of wisdom.”
~This so-called “shadow council” (see http://www.catholicnewsagency.com//news/shadow-council-speaker-pushed-church-acceptance-of-contraception-gay-sex-98836/) really does cast a dark shadow on the upcoming Synod.
~The Catholic faith teaches Mary’s virginal womb while our culture would rather pursue a virtual womb.
~I highly recommend Nicholas Carr’s book, The Glass Cage: Automation and Us. It will challenge if not change the way you think about technology.