A few days ago, L challenged me on some things, and I thought I'd give it a whole blog post, even though it's a mix of subjects.
I feel that this "culture war" is a farce designed to keep everyone politically polarized and towing their party lines. The DEMs & GOPs need this war to be happening because many people are realizing that there is common ground, but we can't lose our voting bases, so we demonize the "other side."
I disagree with this. The liberal and conservative bases are comprised of true believers. The "war" is a battle of ideas between those true believers: Liberals truly believe that their philosophy and worldview is the best one, the one that will help the most people. Conservatives truly believe that their philosophy and worldview is the best one, the one that will help the most people.
I thank God for the freedom to have the vigorous debate so that those in the middle can see the clear difference. The culture war is not contrived, it's utterly real.
"Common ground" has its place, but not when fighting for truth over error. I'll let Gandhi make my point:
All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.and
An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.
For the conservatives I know, it's not about towing any party line. I can't think of a single conservative friend who is not disgusted or disappointed with the GOP. Catholic Republicans will walk if the GOP begins to support abortion or gay "marriage". Catholics have no ultimate loyalty to any political party. We are loyal to our Church and our God. From our perspective, it's a battle between the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death. And the battle is a spiritual one (again, utterly real).
Think about this: You have me, you all, and college student - all different religious/political persuasions and nuances, yet we can ALL agree: Abortion isn't good. We don't want abortion.
I believe that you don't want abortion. I believe that many liberals don't want abortion. However, the leaders of the pro-"choice" movement are not exactly saying that. They are saying "Abortion on Demand and Without Apology". Some of them call abortion a "sacrament" and a "blessing". The abortion lobby convinced the Democrats to take the "rare" out of "abortion should be safe, legal and rare" in their party platform. Planned Parenthood issues "Choice on Earth" cards, equating (and mocking) the "peace" brought by Christ on our holy day to the "choice" of abortion.
Does any of that sound like "abortion isn't good"? I beg you to read what the abortion lobby, the feminist movement, and academia write and think about abortion.
We are talking about life and death for millions upon millions of children. Real live human beings, not figments of our imaginations. If you really think that the 50 million body count, the over 4,000 aborted babies a day is "not good" and you "don't want it", then why do you support it? Why do you call yourself pro-"choice" when the "choice" is so horrific? Why don't you fight to make it illegal to kill these children? I could never identify myself with a movement that promotes and defends something I believe to be "not good" and something that "we don't want." Help me understand why you are not on our side?
So instead of putting our heads together and thinking of solutions we can agree on, like building up women's self-respect, embracing our fertility and demanding more out of men OR how to stop pregnancies form being a "burden" and forcing women to choose between career and kids.... We're having a "culture war."
Yes, yes, all these things you want, I want them all, too. Please, yes! However, all those laudable goals are not a substitute for the legal protection of the unborn. The laws of our land protect every human being except for the smallest of our brothers and sisters. They deserve as much legal protection from killing as you and I get. So, these are completely separate issues. It's not an either/or, it's a both/and.
If a "culture war" is necessary to protect the lives of innocent people, then it's essential to have a culture war. Think of the culture war over civil rights in the 1960s, and how vital it was! Abortion is the human rights issue of our day. The beautiful thing about America is that we are free to debate ideas vigorously and work to influence public opinion -- i.e., a culture war.
The problem is that you will not be satisfied unless everyone immediately converts to Catholicism.
No, not true. This thought has never crossed my mind, because it is absurd. Would I absolutely love it if all people were Catholic and knew Jesus Christ as the savior of the world? If they realized that they were made in the image and likeness of God and never acted contrary to their own human dignity? If they found peace and joy living according to the Ten Commandments? If they achieved their highest happiness in union with God, a union for which they were made? Yes, I would love that! But it never occurred to me that the goal was to immediately convert the world to Catholicism.
First of all, conversion of the heart is generally a very slow process. Secondly, there's that "free will" thing again. The Church proposes, not imposes. It is meaningless to humans and to God if someone is "forced" to believe something. We would all recognize that as a farce. It's like a bride being "forced" to love her husband. Who wants that? It's not real, and it's not love. God wants our love, not our forced conversion.
Everyone must see sex as god's gift for hetero, married procreation only.
Well, there's no changing the truth that sex is God's gift for marriage and the procreation of children. Sexual intercourse is the union of a man and a woman who become "one flesh", and it is ordered only within marriage. Genital stimulation and sexual play can come in all forms, but only a man and a woman can have sexual intercourse, become one flesh, and make a new person.
Anyone who is disenfranchised, simply cannot have sex.
When you say "disenfranchised" people, what does that mean? That designation can cover everyone from homosexuals to pedophiles to polygamists to those desiring incestuous sex, or sex with animals, or children having sex, you name it. How do you define "disenfranchised"?
But yes, sex is a privilege of marriage, and unmarried people should not be engaging in sex. Interestingly, the world "celibate" actually means unmarried. Think about that. The culture used to understand that sex was for marriage. The Church still does.
Everyone must want children.
I'd say it this way: Everyone who gets married and has sex needs to be open to having children, because sex produces children. That is actually what sex is for. The purpose of sex is babies, and the meaning of sex is love. These two aspects cannot be separated. Life and love always go together. It's a beautiful theological truth that I hope to blog about sometime. And it's true not just for sex, but for God Himself and for our whole lives.
If someone truly does not want children, then perhaps he or she is not called to marriage. It is actually grounds for annulment if a couple comes to the altar of marriage with the express intention not to have children. "Will you accept children from God lovingly...?" is part of the Catholic wedding ceremony, and must be answered in the affirmative, before God and man.
You seem to think there was once this Utopia where these rules were the norm and everyone lived happily and perfectly... until the Devil infected the people we now call "the liberals." (ha ha - my tone is fairly light) And we all have to hearken back to this mythical time. Newsflash- there never was such a time.
Well, of course there was the Garden of Eden before the Fall, but after that, you are so right! I don't think you'll find any entity on earth that knows and speaks of this more than the Catholic Church. That we live in a world of evil and sin is not a newsflash to Catholics. I see my own sins every single day, and it's not pretty! Time and again on this blog we've said that "there are no new sins, just recycled old ones". So you are preaching to the choir here. I am glad you agree with the Church on this!
Ironically, it's actually progressive liberals who believe that we humans have "evolved" morally, and that we are *this close* to forming some great, vast Utopia on earth. (If only Christians would stop oppressing everyone! ;))
And as far as community help is concerned, I don't have a problem with that! Please help out your community! To be frank, my husband and I always defend the Christians when it comes to charity -- they are awesome. We have many Christian friends an relatives who are always doing amazing work. I am inspired by them.
That's awesome to hear! Thanks!
But on the other hand, if we only supported our own communities and the charities we thought worthy, most people would be left out. Sure, Maggie's Place in Phoenix would be booming, flat-screen TV's, top-line Medela breast pumps and leather rocker/glider ottoman sets.
I know you are being funny, but seriously, a charity like Maggie's Place takes any extra money and simply opens a new house to help more women in crisis. They will always use the money as wisely and frugally as possible, in order to help the greatest number of people who need help. You won't find any excess and waste in these charities. (They don't operate like the federal government, heh heh!)
Inner-city and rural substance abuse shelters? Not so much. Babies are way cuter than most of these guys and besides - inner city & rural people don't have the resources that the folks in your neighborhood do. Hence we all need to chip in for them.
Oh, but we do. We don't give only to the cute babies. Did you read about some of the stuff St. Vincent de Paul does for example? Not much about babies there. And last time I hosted a table at their annual fundraising breakfast, there were over 2,000 attendees filling two huge adjacent ballrooms in a resort. The halls, food and staff were all donated for the occasion by the host hotel. All this to help "not so cute" people (homeless, elderly, disabled, sick, imprisoned) find their dignity.
And DCFS, Public Aid, things like this that save people every day are vilified by the right as being "entitlement." Healthcare coverage for all children is an entitlement to them.
You are talking about policy here. Policy issues are issues of prudential judgment on which reasonable people may differ. In the public sphere, there are a few non-negotiable moral issues for Catholics. On everything else, there are no objectively "right" or "wrong" answers. Yes, we must feed the poor and help the needy. But the "how" of it can vary wildly from person to person, depending on our philosophy, experience and even our personality.
I have never in my life heard a conservative say that there should be no safety net for those who are truly in need. That is a no-brainer. But in my humble opinion, that is not what we have today. We have programs and departments that have become unwieldy and irresponsible, which too often serve to keep people entrenched in their unfortunate situations. The intention behind these vast government programs may be good, but the results are often horrible. The amount of bloat and corruption in these programs (some of which are glorified Ponzi schemes) is shocking to anyone paying attention, and no liberal or conservative should tolerate it. Fiscal responsibility is a moral issue, too, after all! If I go nuts charging up my credit card, and I end up bankrupting my family, then I am acting immorally. Disordered. Against virtue.
Programs that truly help and are effective? Yes! And the more local, the better. Programs that are wasteful and strip the dignity away from those whom they serve? No, thanks. Just because a program "sounds compassionate" does not mean it's a good program. It might even be a very bad one.
Again, my political views, aside from the non-negotiables, are my own. You are free to disagree, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
Libs can't understand why pro-lifers could throw sick kids under the bus and this is why you have the title of your post.
Look, we are all called to help the needy. And that's what conservatives do all the time. Since liberals incessantly slam conservatives for being mean and stingy and unfeeling towards others, I simply must correct the record: It is a fact that conservatives give to charity in much bigger numbers than liberals. It's really not even close. I think it's because liberals see taxes as their major source of "charity" and help for others, while we religious folk know that our obligation to help others begins after the tax man cometh. Jesus told us to feed the poor, clothe the naked, and care for the widows and orphans. He didn't tell us to pay the government (passively) so they could do it instead. So, we pay our taxes and we give to charity, in abundance. This is hardly "throwing sick kids under the bus" (or "wanting kids to die", or "wanting grandma to eat dog food" or any of the other unjust and insulting things we conservatives have to hear every day). I hope and pray that at least one liberal reading this will have the integrity to stop slandering conservatives on this issue.
I just think you do have a gift of riling people up which can be used for good instead of another voice pushing us all apart.
I don't know. I think that on many issues we are already "apart", and my blog is an appeal to bring us together to talk it out, challenge assumptions, look for Truth, and remember our human dignity. A lot of us from different persuasions have come together and had good conversations, staying fairly civil and respectful!
If I wanted to "rile people up", I would use a lot more emotion, present fewer facts, ask fewer questions, all while rudely shouting down the other side. As it is, everyone is free to present their case, and I welcome it! I try very hard to stay in the realm of reason and evidence, and not go off on emotional tirades. It's true I might have failed at times, but I am trying.
I realize that the only true "sin" of the modern liberal age is "offending" someone, but in the end, that cannot be my concern. I have to speak the truth as I know it, boldly (and hopefully charitably). Then, it's up to the readers to weigh the arguments and decide what they will.
And ultimately, I gotta be me! :)