On Crisis Magazine there is an interesting contribution from a US sociologist and – interestingly – Democratic politician, David R. Carlin. I’d like to start from his article, and develop a bit.
Mr Carlin has spent 25 years of his life arguing against so-called homosexual “marriages”; but, in the typical lack of clarity – or of courage – of the politician, he has carefully avoided to solidly base his arguments on their natural basis: the religious one.
This strategy is never going to work, and now Mr Carlin himself admits that he has seen the light. In fact, you can’t argue against homosexuality without even indirectly calling religious values at your defence. Every “non-religious” argument (he mention a long list of them, like the one that marriage was instituted for the begetting of children or that if everyone can “marry”, marriage loses significance) becomes totally devoid of logic is the religious basis of the reasoning is disregarded.
If marriage is not a religious institution, there’s no reason on earth why marriage should not be modified to comprise, say, the raising of cats and dogs, or the marriage between men and goats. If marriage is not based on religion, it has no importance whatsoever what “significance” marriage has, as every significance with which the voters are OK should be good enough. That a child needs a father and a mother will be questioned by those who think that a man can be a woman, and it will also have to be explained how it is that widows aren’t forced to remarry; and so on. In short, there’s no argument against homo marriage that can avoid the only argument against homosexual behaviour: namely, that it’s a perverted behaviour condemned by God.
Mr Carlin honestly admits that the fear of being called “homophobic” was a motive in his avoiding to play the only real card – remember, this is a politician! -. But this is also a non-argument, as the homo mafia will call “homophobic” everyone who doesn’t completely agree with them anyway. Already the idea that one should go into an argument afraid of how his opponent might call him shows all the ineffectiveness of such approach.
Just as ineffective and, in the ultimate analysis, naive is the argument that one doesn’t want to upset relatives or friends who are perverted. One can’t pick relatives, but one can pick friends. I ain’t one of those with the “some of my best friends are homosexual” argument because if one is an unrepentant homosexual, he has as much of a chance of becoming my friend than he had if he were openly pedophile, or given to bestiality. As to the relatives, it is clear that the “sensitive” Mr Carter is putting his own comfort before the soul of people he loves; which might be convenient (before one dies, that is), but is certainly not charitable.
It is time, then, for every opponent of homosexual behaviour to get at the root of the problem: that homosexuality is a perversion, and homosexual behaviour cries to heaven for vengeance. And why it is so? Because God says so. And why do you say that God says so? Because Scripture and Tradition both say so. Because it has always been the teaching of the Only Church. Because for all these years not only Catholics, but even Protestants had enough sense to get it.
The idea that a pervert should be persuaded that he is wrong by the sheer force of logical arguments fails in front of the simple fact that perversion doesn’t listen to logic. The idea that you can point out to a pervert that his behaviour is a perverted one without offending him is just as naive.
We as a society must simply get rid of this cretinous idea that everyone has the right of never listening to anything by which he may be offended.
Until we do this and start to assert the Christian basis of our values, our arguments will be – as Mr Carlin has discovered – ultimately ineffective.
From the treasure trove of Lux Occulta, another interesting vintage booklet in economic and social matters, “A Christian Alternative to Communism and Fascism”.
The book has his own little faults and read with today’s mentality, calls for administered prices and a minute description of the corporative structure do seem more than a bit naive. Still, the booklet makes a good job of explaining the basic idea of Catholic corporatism and whilst the preoccupation of separating it from Fascist corporatism – unjustly vilified and actually much more similar in his day-to-day reality to the model herein described than to the nazi-ish, totalitarian apparatus described – is evident and clearly due to the openly stated necessity of avoiding any identification with the Fascist experience, there is no denying that a lot of sound and easily doable ideas transpire from this little work.
The first is that the omnipresent State activity must be controlled if it is not to stifle the freedom of the citizen. These words were prophetic many decades ago but are tragically true today, after the advent of the “social state” (better said: socialist state) has created the idea that it be not only normal, but good that state nannyism should put its dirty nose in every activity of its citizens.
The second is the concept of subsidiarity: that the citizens should come together and create organisations meant to deal with those matters by which the citizens cannot adequately provide autonomously but do not want to leave to a pachydermic, bureaucratic, wasteful, invading State. Matters like wages, hours of work, regulation of competition, pension contribution, social care for the ill and disabled come to mind. This is a very modern concept, some aspects of which are highly developed and highly efficient in countries like Germany, and that should be given much bigger consideration today.
The third one (closely linked to the second) is the concept of proper corporativism: that such activities should be regulated by professional organisations similar to the guilds of old (and actually very similar to the corporazioni of Fascist memory), left free to regulate their own matters in a way able to make their industry at the same time competitive and worthwhile to work in. The bakers have different hours than the transport industry, but as they are all interested in the prosperity of their respective sector they will decide within their own professional guild how they want to have their own wages, working hours, pension, social security & Co. regulated, with a fair sharing of the burdens and profits making the industry attractive for both employers and employees and able to withstand the competition for skilled workforce aspiring to a decent wage and to a decent life.
All this – and this is the basic message – can be regulated and decided within the relevant guilds much more efficiently than through an all-pervasive State intervention imposing rules and obstacles (as the Italians beautifully say: lacci e lacciuoli) which are burdensome and counterproductive. If we think of Blighty, the recent proliferation of asphyxiating health and safety regulations and the even more recent tsunami of “equality” legislation are the best example of a self-serving, ever-expanding State apparatus only interested in creating jobs for their own protegees at the expense of the working – and risking – businesses of the country.
There is much to say for a wise, gradual delegation of powers to the professional organisations and to the local communities. When such systems are implemented, they tend to work well. The German health care system is broadly based on such principles and is infinitely more efficient and less expensive than the NHS Behemoth; so was the Italian health care system until the Sixties, when the cooperative-based, corporative health care system was replaced by a state monster of NHS inspiration. Professional bodies (say: for lawyers, chartered accountants & Co) have a good track record of being able to regulate themselves in a rather effective and efficient manner. Mutual help organisations like the Knights of Columbus in the United States show with what success individuals can organise themselves to provide for self-regulated social services. All this with a degree of efficiency and social justice unknown to Western European bureaucracies purely bent on creating consensus and job for potential voters who are, interestingly enough, never the ones who have to foot the bill.
There is a lot to say for this kind of Catholic corporatism. Not only from a moral and christian point of view, but also from a practical one. The reason that such a model is neglected is that – in this country as elsewhere – the citizens have been brainwashed into thinking that there is no alternative to a huge nosy aunt wanting to regulate your life and matters in the most minute details, allegedly for your good but in reality to procure jobs and favours for her own friends.
You might have read (actually, I hope you haven’t) about all the turmoil in Italy in the last months and particularly in the last weeks.
As many other Italians, I watch with a certain consternation the level of decay those who represent the Institutions have reached. As many others, I wonder what the future holds and as many others, I wonder what the unintended consequences of a “morality drive” might be.
Let us take 2006. The centre-left government wins the election with the shortest of margins. Catholics are heavily represented and the PM is a rather devout chap with an irreprehensible political pedigree and (as far as one can ever be certain of such things) immaculate private life; a “Mr. Clean” not only in comparison to the “Mr. Dirt” (and I am not talking about his private weaknesses here) he fought against, but by any conceivable standard. For those who shouldn’t know, in Italy centre-left generally means “centre-centre-centre-with some crumbles left to the lefties”. It was a centre-“left” government that bombed Serbia without UNO approval, and it was centre-“left” governments who introduced the most relevant pro-market reforms of the last 20 years.
Everything looked fine, then, until the point where the left part of the centre-left coalition decides to get one or two ideological scalps to counteract the, once again, very obvious moderate/Catholic/centrist drive of the PM and his government. The battleground of choice is – in the impossibility of choosing dogs or cats – the “marriage” of men with…. other men, a sacred cow of anti-Catholicism the world over.
The proposal, obviously going against the grain of the vast part of the population, sends the Catholics of the centre-left on the barricades whilst the opposition laughs heartily and says “we told you so”. To make a very long (and as usual very emotional) story short, the Prime Minister finally gets his way in the usual Italian way (victory against internal opposition; then resignation at the first possible occasion; then re-appointment with new and more centrist platform to show who is boss; if you’re not Italian, I bet you’ve lost me…..).
The Catholics, then, win the battle, but the country listens and learns. Millions of aged and less-aged Italians discover that the inconceivable almost happened and that a centre-left coalition does carry the risk of very nasty surprises. At the following general elections, the bill is presented and it is an expensive one: both communist parties don’t get entrance in parliament (first time after WW II) and the vocally pro-poof greens are also kicked out (first time since they first got in). Centre-right wins big and whilst it can’t be said that it was exclusively because of the attempt to institutionalise sexual deviancy, if you add 2+2 you know that the matter played an important role and opened many people’s eyes as to what the real dangers are.
And so we come to the present days. Top Pig (or as many call him “Il nano pelato”, “the bald dwarf”; try that in the UK…..) is in power again, but he is a very shrewd marketing man; he knows who keeps him in power and what he must deliver if he wants to hope that the electorate overlooks his very, very many shortcomings. Therefore you have the very strange situation where a government who is nothing less than the embodiment of private decadence and public corruption is also a strong defender of Christian values (euthanasia, say; “civil partnerships” are for now just not on the radar screen anymore).
The last example comes from here, with the Italian government the first one (France followed in tow) to actually say to every other European government to wake up and smell the Christian coffee, and being rather outspoken and rather effective in the process.
Italians – and, make no mistake, the Vatican – are now confronted with the choice whether to push a change which might end up very badly, or to live with the non presentable but reliable deliverer of conservative values.
After reading the link provided you might conclude, with me, that a Berlusconi is still preferable to a Cameron every day of the week.
No, it is not a compliment for the bald dwarf.
Michael Voris has a beautiful video about the habit of too many Catholic shepherd to only care for the apparatus, the money, the business as usual instead of caring for the faith.
His message is unusually open because it makes very clear that bad shepherds do not deserve money to continue to neglect the flock and it is, in fact, not difficult to see that the money troubles are worst where the betrayal of the Christian message is more pronounced.
There is a “Catholic tea party” spirit in this; not because Voris thinks that the Church should belong to the people in the pews and be administered according to their wishes, but because the role of the shepherds is to guide them properly instead of pandering to their every prejudice and weakness. In front of the dwindling resources, Voris is not timid to say that there is a reason why the resources are dwindling and that they will continue to do so until there is a change of direction and the decision to start doing things right again. One cannot avoid agreeing with him if what he has in his heart is the fitness of the Church to fulfill Her mission rather than to allow the Bishops to go on with inflated administrative apparatuses, tepid (or worse) priests, toleration of every scandal and in short, appeasement with the world provided that the world leaves them in peace.
He has a hard truth for the faithful soon asked for contributions again: “In politics you vote with your vote, in the Church you vote with your donations”. Let us hope that this year, together with the political renewal now ongoing on such a massive scale, a renewal of the corrupted and encrusted sixty-eighther hierarchy will be finally seriously started.
Beautiful post on Ann Coulter’s site comparing Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was launched on the national political scene during Goldwater’s presidential campaign, with the “time for choosing” speech, but Coulter makes a good job of explaining why Reagan surpassed Goldwater and went to triumphal victories not only as Governor but as President, too.
Ann Coulter is witty, vitriolic and highly entertaining. She is also spot on in remembering Ronald Reagan in a time of abortionist Presidents of very dubious Christian beliefs, picking lesbian activists as Supreme Court judge candidates.
Once again, we see the difference ideals make.
Interesting article on the national Catholic Register. The article puts England in a European context on occasion of the Papal visit.
If you read the article you will notice that some of the most recognisable traits (abortion numbers; stem cell research; sex education for children) fully reflect a country where not only secular values are aggressively espoused by a good part of the population, but where the pursue of aggressive secularist issues is declared policy of both the old and the new government.
Albeit with differences from the past Labour government, the new “Brokeback Coalition” (David Davies) is not going to change anything substantial on Labour’s policy on civil partnership, abortion, sex education to mention just a few. The only thing that changes is the spin: Conservatives say they want to protect “families”, but then for them two homos or two lesbians in a civil partnership are, well, a “family”, in an utter perversion of common sense meant to deceive the gullible (and rather successful at that, one must add).
The idea that the new coalition be socially more conservative than the old government is, in my eyes, illusory.
The only way to change this situation is for the people to slowly start to wake up to the threat to Catholic values represented by these allegedly so open-minded people and start making their opposition felt with email to the major parties, with drumming the right policies among friends and family, with examining voting for a candidate with Christian values even if this means “wasting” one’s vote and in general to start building the heat for those thinking the Christian vote is a given, so they can woo the secular vote at will.
It is a long process, the more so if the Church hierarchy sleeps and is a part of the problem rather than a part of the solution. But it can be done. As I have often stated, you don’t need great numbers to change a government’s policies, you merely need a determined minority clearly linking their vote with satisfaction on their issues. Look at the sexually deviant: probably not more than half a percent of the voting population, but vocal and determined (or perceived to be determined, which is exactly the same) to make their voting decision depending on their issues.
We see in the US that the landscape is slowly changing; not driven exclusively by Christian values of course, but also driven by them. This trend might (and I think, most probably will) intensify in the next years as Christians (and more specifically: Catholics) become aware of the immense power they’d have if only just a minority of them would become “one-issue voters” and as the US hierarchy progressively improves in orthodoxy and defence of Catholic values. By us it will be longer and more difficult, but by no means impossible.