Lessons In Tyranny





Photo credit: SwedishCarina (Creative Commons)

FRONT ROYAL, VA — In January 2009, two newly-elected Republican governors took the oath of office.

Immediately, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell were touted as two of the GOP’s hottest future presidential prospects.

Today, they are fallen idols.

The feds are investigating Christie. McDonnell and his wife have actually been indicted on federal charges ranging from conspiracy to “giving a false statement to a credit union.”

Yes, when he’s trying to nail Al Capone, a federal prosecutor can review all of your tax returns, your college loan applications, and even your conversations with congressional staffers to find “inconsistencies” and “misstatements.”

So it’s not hard to nail Al Capone these days.

In The Tyranny of Good Intentions, Paul Craig Roberts, a senior Treasury official in the Reagan Administration, catalogues numerous instances of outrageous prosecutorial misconduct.

As icing on the cake, Boston lawyer Harvey Silvergate has written Three Felonies a Day, describing the nature and number of crimes that the average citizen commits daily without even knowing it.

Given all that discretionary power, many Republicans are seething today at what they see as politicized prosecutors.

After all, Obama’s NSA Director James Clapper blatantly lied in testifying to Congress, and he isn’t in jail. He hasn’t even been fired.

IRS official Lois Lerner, who shared confidential tax information with Obama’s political cronies, pleaded the Fifth months ago; but she hasn’t yet been indicted.

The Attorney General only recently assigned a prominent Obama donor to “investigate” Ms. Lerner.

Which brings us to Eric Holder himself, the poster boy of selective non-prosecution.

Twenty years ago, when Holder was U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Federal Judge Royce Lamberth referred to Holder’s office the case of Ira Magaziner.

The outraged Lamberth wanted Magaziner prosecuted for committing perjury in Lamberth’s court.

But Holder refused to prosecute Magaziner, leaving Magaziner free to continue working in the Clinton White House (he now works for the Clinton Foundation).

The Crony Club prospers, and Holder has been using his office to protect them ever since.

When criticized, he cries “racist!”

“It Can’t Happen Here”

The Rubble recalls the title of a 1935 novel by Sinclair Lewis: It Can’t Happen Here.

In the Rubble’s view, the most prophetic work of the genre that includes Brave New World and 1984 is Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World - a favorite of Pope Francis.

All those authors knew their Aristotle.

“Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all,” Aristotle observed in his Politics.

And when those in power are separated from law and justice, he adds, the result is tyranny.

Father James Schall, S.J., longtime professor of political philosophy at Georgetown, offers us a perceptive view of the tyrant:

“He is not an ugly, deformed brute. Callicles is not repulsive, but sophisticated, a college man. Alcibiades is among the most charming of young Greeks. The tyrant is in fact quite clever, witty, usually handsome and affable, always eloquent.”

Sound familiar?

And yet, we wonder in bewilderment, “how can this happen here?”

We might be loath to hear it, says Father Schall, but “the tyrant almost invariably arises out of a democracy. Democracy breeds tyrants.”

That might not sound so familiar. After all, America is a democracy, isn’t it?

Democracy? Republic? Mixed regime? Who knows?

Not today’s college grads.

They’ve been had.

Does Democracy Breed Ignorance, Too?


For decades, colleges have drowned their students in slave narratives and fawning feminism.

No time for studying history, literature, or philosophy.

At George Mason University in 2009, an adjunct professor teaching the required American History course told her startled students, “You learned all this in high school, so we’re going to talk about Obama.”

And so she did, for the entire semester.

Meanwhile, the once-prestigious University of North Carolina now admits that over 200 of its courses in Afro-American Studies were “academically deficient.”

Which really means that the courses were “barely taught, if at all.”

Alas, those thousands of students (primarily athletes) who took those “courses” over the years were deprived of even the semblance of an education.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, right?

Alas, too few have been vigilant.

And that’s why it can happen here.

According to the PC crowd, the only tyrant around is the husband who keeps his wife trapped in the home raising their children.

But Father Schall knows better.

“The tyrant wants to be loved,” he continues.

“He craves public admiration. He arranges many public appearances. He wants people to tell him that he is nobly serving them.”

It stands to reason that the budding tyrant will hide his lust for power over us.

He longs for love, not justice.

Some conservatives are not immune to the tyrant’s siren song.

In fact, they can be among the most ardent defenders of a more powerful government – as long as they, their friends, or their party are in power.

They fail to realize that, when it comes to dealing with the temptations and vices that arise in man’s fallen nature, Americans are hardly “exceptional.”

Alas, as sinners, we are no different from anyone else.

Plato and Politics

Many of Father Schall’s students at Georgetown came to Washington in order to enter politics and to improve the world.

Well, says the professor, Plato was no different. He used well-placed relatives and friends to enter the public life of Athens.

“I thought they were going to lead the city out of the unjust life she had been living and establish her in the path of justice,” Plato wrote in his Seventh Letter.

Changing the world is easy, you see: one needs only good intentions.

But when Plato was in his twenties – not much older than today’s college students, Father Schall writes – “Socrates, the most just of men, was convictedŠ They put to death a man who refused to take part in civil injustice as if to say that there is no final justice in any existing city, even Athens.”

Perfect politics are beyond the reach of this world. “We have here no lasting city,” (Hebrews 13:14), Father Schall writes.

Even if it’s ruled by Republicans.

Pity The Poor Dictator

Obama has defied the law, perverted justice, and corrupted the government.

Yet, amidst all the cronies and the glitz, he’s miserable.

He even looks miserable.

Socrates knows why.

At the end of the Republic, writes Father Schall, “we see that the tyrant, who uses everyone else for his own purposes, turns out to be, not the happiest of men, but the unhappiest. He can trust no one. Every relationship with him is tainted with fear or false adulation.”

And Obama?

He has sapped our national spirit, desecrated our laws, and divided our people.

As Pope Francis pointed out last week, “the worm of jealousy and envy” is destructive. These vices “divide the community” and stir “the broth of bitterness.”

They are deadly: “A person under the influence of jealousy and envy kills,” he said.

Yes, Obama has stoked the deadly fires of jealousy and envy in the land.

But no Christian can respond in kind.

 

From Under the Rubble is copyright (c) 2014 by Christopher Manion. All rights reserved. This column is sponsored by the Bellarmine Forum, and distributed by Griffin Internet Syndicate and FGF Books, www.fgfBooks.com.

Christopher Manion, Ph.D., is Director of the Campaign for Humanae Vitae , a project of the Bellarmine Forum. See his biographical sketch and photo.

 

Photo credit: SwedishCarina (Creative Commons)





How Many Holocausts?





Photo credit: TFP Student Action (Creative Commons)

FRONT ROYAL, VA — On January 22nd, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators will take part in the forty-first annual March for Life in Washington. They will be dutifully ignored by Big Media (well, the Post might send an intern), but it’s clear that the City of Man wishes they would go away.

They won’t. And while their very presence might be offensive, their message often offends even more, especially when the Thought Police get involved.

Pro-lifers often refer to the hundreds of millions of unborn children killed by abortion worldwide as “the Holocaust of the Unborn,” or simply “the Abortion Holocaust.”

This introduces into the public square a battle over language, anthropology, and history.

Consider: the motto of the U.S. Holocaust Museum’s “Comprehensive Campaign” is “Never Again.”

The pro-lifers marching to end the Abortion Holocaust most certainly agree with that sentiment, but others assert that they are trespassing on private property.

Opponents of abortion must find another term, they insist. The only “Holocaust” was the death of six million Jews in Hitler’s death camps. That historical reality is unique.

Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, sets the stage. After the death of New York Cardinal John O’Connor on 2000, Mr. Foxman talked to the New York Observer about his relationship with Cardinal O’Connor: “That was a relationship that took a while,” said Mr. Foxman. “When Cardinal O’Connor first came, he compared abortion to the Holocaust. But, you know, he learned.”

Having observed Cardinal O’Connor in action over the years, the Rubble is not so sure.

Nonetheless, Mr. Foxman is not alone: Earlier this month, the Israeli Knesset gave preliminary approval to a bill banning the use of “Holocaust symbols” if they were not used for “educational or historic purposes.”

The bill’s supporters are evidently spurred by what they perceive as a “rise in anti-Semitism” around the world.

In reporting the story, the New York Times wryly notes that “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other politicians routinely invoke the Holocaust in warning against the Iranian nuclear threat.”

Some are apparently permitted to employ the term, while others are not.

Are We All Guilty?

When Pope John Paul II in 1998 canonized Edith Stein, a Jewish convert to Catholicism who died at Auschwitz in 1942, Mr. Foxman complained to the Times, “It’s an unnecessary and painful act. It’s another step towards Christianizing or universalizing the Holocaust. By saying everybody was a victim, it’s a way of saying the church had no role or responsibility.”

Responsibility?

Yes indeed. The allegation of Catholic responsibility for Hitler’s death camps has circulated for years, especially in anti-Catholic circles.

Countless books and articles routinely blame popes,”Christian” Nazis, and the allegedly complicit Catholic Church for the crimes that have no equal.

The notion of Christian guilt is so thoroughly bound up in that version of the Holocaust that to question it is forbidden.

In fact, complaining about collective guilt is not enough. Dr. Efraim Zuroff, head of the Israeli office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, once insisted that “a public pronouncement of an acknowledgment of guilt by Christians is important, but it’s equally important to combine such declarations with active work in education to demonstrate feelings of remorse.”

Here, the Holocaust emerges both as a cherished proprietary symbol and a theory of history. So the defense of the term is intrinsically bound up with a scathing offensive against those who would purloin it.

Christ As The Perfect Holocaust

Catholics need not plead guilty to Mr. Foxman’s charge.

Those pro-life marchers – among whom there are many Jews – believe that commemorating the murder of fifty million helpless unborn innocents in America in no way diminishes the suffering or the dignity of six million innocent Jews murdered in Nazi prison camps.

All those helpless, innocent murder victims are dear to Our Lord in His infinite love.

Yet, like so many issues in our “diverse” culture, the controversy brings to mind the admonition of Confucius that we must strive to restore the proper meaning of words.

And in its silence, the Catholic Church has contributed to this deterioration of language.

After all, Mr. Foxman addresses a Church in which the central truth of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as understood by the church fathers and the saints of old is rarely taught.

This teaching views Christ’s Passion and Death on the Cross as the “Perfect Holocaust.”

At every Mass, we pray that this sacrifice of Christ, the unblemished victim, “may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.”

As the “Spirit of Vatican II” shifted the meaning of the Mass from “sacrifice” to a “shared meal,” however, few Catholics ever learned of the bloodless Sacrifice of the Mass as the “Perfect Holocaust.”

“Some postconciliar approaches” that present “the notion of the meal as the overriding category of understanding” are insufficient, explained Bishop Arthur Roche, of Leeds, at the 2005 Synod of Bishops in Rome.

“A theology of the Eucharist viewed predominantly through the lens of the meal is deficiently devoid of the Eucharist’s necessary and intrinsic link with Calvary and Christ’s sacrifice,” Bishop Roche explained.

There are many fundamental teachings – about the Sacraments, morals, and other basic truths of the Catechism – that millions of post-Vatican II Catholics have never heard of.

The latest issue of the Bellarmine Forum magazine helpfully addresses many of them.

Clearly, a vigorous and faithful renewal of the Church’s teaching is an indispensable preamble to the success of the “New Evangelization.”

Meanwhile, LifeSite News reports that the Knesset will soon approve legislation that will provide free abortions to Israeli women from 20 to 33 years of age.

It is unlikely that the Knesset will embrace the notion of the “Holocaust of the Unborn” any time soon.

 

From Under the Rubble is copyright (c) 2014 by Christopher Manion. All rights reserved. This column is sponsored by the Bellarmine Forum, and distributed by Griffin Internet Syndicate and FGF Books, www.fgfBooks.com.

Christopher Manion, Ph.D., is Director of the Campaign for Humanae Vitae , a project of the Bellarmine Forum. See his biographical sketch and photo.

 

Photo credit: TFP Student Action (Creative Commons)





Defining Conservatism Down





Photo Credit: Donkey Hotey (Creative Commons)

FRONT ROYAL, VA — Every New Year, the usual suspects on the Left generously offer their advice on how to preserve and protect the Republican Party.

This time around, two of the liberal media’s anointed “conservatives,” Peter Wehner and Michael Gerson, take their turn.

In several recent offerings, these co-authors attack the Tea Party and insist that, to “save the Republican Party,” rational folks like them must embrace Big Government Conservatism – or the GOP will fail.

But didn’t the Tea Party save the GOP in 2010?

Ah. Be not deceived: as a preamble to their prescription, we are required to acknowledge their view that the Tea Party’s victories in 2010 were an “aberration.”

Why?

Because Gerson-Wehner consider the Tea Party to be an aberration.

Its “anti-government fervor,” they write, is “intensely felt.”

Gee. Is that a compliment?

No. Notice how the movement’s principles are reduced to emotions (“felt,” “fervor”), while Gerson-Wehner claim the Olympian summit of intellectual virtue.

Next, the Tea Party is “anti-government.”

This straw man comes right out of Obama’s lexicon, conveniently diverting the public eye from the corruption, illegality, plundering, and other incipiently totalitarian realities of the Washington’s bipartisan establishment.

It is not government, but its corruption, which the Tea Party opposes.

That’s why the Tea Party supports constitutional candidates for – yes – government office.

They intend to do exactly what the Founders expected the “virtuous people” to do: clean it up.

Next, the neocon duo insists that constitutional conservatives fail “to articulate a vision of government,” but then assert that the Tea Party’s “fervor” is “justified by an apocalyptic narrative of American life.”

Stop right there.

The “apocalyptic narrative of American life” is visionary indeed – and it inspires not the Tea Party, but Pastor John Hagee’s “Christians United For Israel,” who very fervently supported George W. Bush.

They advocated ever-wider American wars in the Middle East because, for purportedly biblical reasons, they wanted Armageddon to happen in their lifetimes.

They wanted Bush to help, so they helped him.

In fact, millions of Dispensationalist Evangelicals were indispensable to George W. Bush’s reelection victory in 2004.

Constitutional conservatives, on the other hand, were not.

In fact, conservatives rejected Bush’s war fervor (which nostalgia buffs can watch live on YouTube).

And conservatives actually turned against Bush’s Big Government debacles in the elections of 2006 and 2008.

George Who?

Which brings us to another curiosity: Wehner and Gerson insist that “intellectual honesty is the first requirement of self-renewal.”

Well, gentlemen, let’s be honest, then.

Both of these distinguished authors held important and influential positions in the George W. Bush Administration.

Yet, in well over ten thousand words written to save the GOP from the Tea Party, these two scions of the Bush legacy never mention President George W. Bush!

Perhaps that was unavoidable. After all, in offering to “Save the Republican Party,” they tout the same “Big Government Conservatism” that destroyed the GOP under their old boss.

Alas, with characteristic neocon amnesia, they’ve consigned poor “W” to the Memory Hole.

So what’s the honest truth?

Frankly, the Tea Party has already saved the GOP – from George W. Bush!

Gerson and Wehner, steeped in denial, apparently long to put the party back in the permanent minority – but firmly under Establishment control.

“Intellectual honesty,” indeed.

And yet, there’s a lesson here: Gerson and Wehner are featured favorites of the liberal media precisely because they represent the “Republicanism of Losers” – the “Me Too!” tradition that goes back all the way to Wendell Willkie and Tom Dewey, and runs right up through John McCain and Mitt Romney – losers all.

That’s why Washington loves them.

Caution: Left Turn

Ironically, it’s a wily leftist who comes along to blow their cover.

E.J. Dionne graciously announces that Gerson and Wehner are wasting their time. When it comes to party differences, he writes, there really aren’t any: we all agree already!

And when it comes to Gerson-Wehner, he’s right.

“Why,” Dionne teases, “are we arguing about issues that were settled decades ago? Why, for example, is it so hard to extend unemployment insurance at a time when the jobless rate nationally is still at 7 percent, and higher than that in 21 states?”

“Don’t criticize,” he implies. “You’re one of us!”

Uh-oh.

The florid prose of Gerson-Wehner cracks at the edges as the stiletto draws near: “It was not some socialist,” Dionne smirks, “but a president named George W. Bush who declared: ‘These Americans rely on their unemployment benefits to pay for the mortgage or rent, food, and other critical bills. They need our assistance in these difficult times, and we cannot let them down.’”

Gerson and Wehner might want to forget Bush, but Dionne won’t let them.

He borrows their own Big Government argument and rubs it in their face.

“We’re all liberals now!”

Well, who could possibly oppose the Bush-Obama consensus then, Dionne asks?

Guess who.

“A substantial section of the conservative movement is now determined to blow up the national consensus that has prevailed since the Progressive and New Deal eras.”

And who is the common enemy of that consensus of the Left and the “Big Government Conservative” neocon “Right”?

The Tea Party.

And how inhuman they are!

“This bipartisan understanding meant that conservatives such as Bush fully accepted that it was shameful to allow fellow citizens who had done nothing wrong to suffer because they had been temporarily overwhelmed by economic forces beyond their control.”

So Gerson, Wehner, and Dionne agree: the Tea Party is indeed a “shameful aberration,” because it rejects what Dionne has generously revealed to us: a “hidden consensus” on “core questions involving social justice” that unites all thoughtful people.

Namely, the welfare state.

Here, however, a sidebar is in order:

Dionne hijacks “social justice” – a legitimate principle of Catholic social teaching – perverts it, and then slaps it gaily on his vision of the welfare state.

Where it becomes a deadly sin.

“Envy used to be just a human failing,” writes economist Thomas Sowell, “but today it is a major industry. Politicians, journalists and academics are all part of that industry, which some call “social justice.”

By turning moral language upside down, Dionne and Co. would have us believe that anyone who disagrees with their ideology is not only unjust, but craven, selfish, and un-Christian.

After all, it would be “shameful” not to embrace their left-wing agenda – right?

And thus, the anointed among us have every reason to condemn the backward, taxpaying naysayers.

This irresponsible bombast stokes not only envy, but its dangerous companion, resentment.

“There are nearly unlimited opportunities to pander to people’s sense of injustice, victimhood and entitlement,” Sowell writes. It’s part and parcel of “the politics of our time – the politics of envy and resentment.”

Dionne’s farcical “hidden consensus” aside, his hidden agenda plainly encourages envy, resentment, and, ultimately, hatred of those hard-hearted Tea Party taxpayers who would callously allow women and children “who had done nothing wrong to suffer.”

Madame DeFarge, call your office. And bring your knitting.

The Not-So-Hidden Consensus of the Neo-Left

Both Dionne and Gerson-Wehner are united in their desire to distract and dissemble. Dionne is as desperate to distract us from the disasters of Obama as Gerson and Wehner are in disowning those of George W. Bush.

This is their common cause. There is an elephant in the room, as well as a donkey.

Nothing happening here, folks – move along.

All three of these characters write for the Washington media establishment – which pays well, but can exact a high cost in character.

Their common purpose is clear: to foment scorn, condescension, and contempt for taxpayers outside the Beltway who have had enough of “Republicans” like Gerson and Wehner and Democrats like Dionne and the bipartisan corruptos they shill for.

Which goes to show that, when the chips are down, the bipartisan liberal establishment will forget its partisan “differences” in the name of that “hidden consensus,” and unite to defend itself against the efforts of people from the rest of the country who want to unplug the Beltway Hot Tub.

So much for “intellectual honesty.”

 

From Under the Rubble is copyright (c) 2013 by Christopher Manion. All rights reserved. This column is sponsored by the Bellarmine Forum, and distributed by Griffin Internet Syndicate and FGF Books, www.fgfBooks.com.

Christopher Manion, Ph.D., is Director of the Campaign for Humanae Vitae , a project of the Bellarmine Forum. See his biographical sketch and photo: http://www.fgfbooks.com/Manion/Manion-bio.html

 

Photo Credit: Donkey Hotey (Creative Commons)

 





Words, Words, Words!





Joe Biden Words Have Consequences SC Words, Words, Words!

FRONT ROYAL, VA — A few weeks ago, Pope Francis asked us to pray, fast, and give alms on Saturday, September 7, for peace in Syria. We did; and on Monday, September 9, Vladimir Putin’s op-ed in the New York Times somehow occasioned what Joe Sobran once referred to as “the qualm before the storm.”

The Rubble couldn’t help but notice in the background noise to war the tenor of our leaders’ reaction to Putin’s piece. “It turned my stomach,” said Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I was insulted,” said House Speaker Boehner.

Well, isn’t it nice that our nation’s leaders tell us how they feel!

All this comes to mind as we observe the cacophony of verbal concupiscence surrounding the alleged “shutdown” of the federal government.

Harry Reid calls the Republicans “anarchists.” For Pelosi, they’re “arsonists.” Chuck “The Schume” calls them “fanatics.” Dan Pfeiffer, a “Senior White House Advisor,” calls them “suicide bombers.” Al Gore calls them “Political Terrorists.”

According to the New York Times, Obama accuses them of “blackmail.”

Blackmail. That reminds me of my father’s story of his days as a young lawyer in 1923. His client was being blackmailed, so Dad* paid a private visit to a senior judge to seek some advice.

“Pat,” the judge said, “there are only three things you can do with a blackmailer. You can pay him. You can kill him. Or you can tell the truth.”

Tell the truth? These days, it appears that a lot of politicians don’t want to tell the truth – or hear it, for that matter.

They will erupt with indignation and lay bare their innermost feelings, but none of them will have done with the epithets and speak rationally. Intelligent discussion might survive in private conversation; but, when it comes to the public, all we get is bombast.

The unanimity of this tactic indicates that it emanates from carefully-conducted research, conducted by the Beltway’s “public opinion experts.”

The Density Of The Masses

“The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.”

(Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism)

At a recent birthday party in Washington, I met an old friend who ranks among the best of professional pollsters. “You have your finger on the pulse of the public mind,” I said. “What mentality are you dealing with when you reach out to the public at large?”

“Many of them can’t read very well,” my friend replied. “They certainly can’t write. And you can’t ask them long questions, because they get lost after a couple of lines. You have to keep your sentences very short.”

My friend’s report harmonizes to an alarming degree with the views of my friends who teach college students. And apparently, our politicians agree.

Well, with two generations of voters who have been brought up in public schools to “feel good about themselves,” should we be surprised that our politicians are counseled by the experts to tell these people how they feel?

But keep it short. “I was insulted.” “It turned my stomach.”

After all, explaining the shutdown rationally might take more than two sentences.

It would also require big words, like “Constitution” and “Separation of Powers.”

It might also require a detour into that dreaded subject in which pupils often fare so miserably – arithmetic.

When paired with challenging prose, math merely compounds the difficulty. “Your household income is your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) (joint MAGI if you’re married), plus the MAGI of your dependents who make enough money to have to file a tax return,” says Healthcare.gov. “If you don’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll have to pay a penalty of $95 per adult, $47.50 per child, or 1% of your income (whichever is higher).”

“Uh, when do I get my Obamaphone?”

In 1984‘s Ministry of Truth, Outer-Party member Syme is hard at work on a new edition of the Newspeak Dictionary. He regales Winston with his dreams of ultimate success:

Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make Thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express itŠ. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller.

Uh-oh. Syme was telling the truth.

So he was vaporized.

Big Brother has Newspeak; Huxley’s Brave New World has the “Feelies.”

Are we there yet?

Fetal Slaveholder Syndrome

Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved President Obama’s nomination of Cornelia Pillard to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

According to Lifenews.com, Pillard’s professional writings include her view that “[r]eproductive rights, including the rights to contraception and abortion, play a central role in freeing women from historically routine conscription into maternity.”

Alas, the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments were passed only after the War Between the States; so the right of a mother to kill her slaveholding baby is quite new to the law. In fact, Ms. Pillard acknowledges that her rather lethal take on the matter defies centuries of tradition and practice. But that’s fine with her because, unlike the rest of the law, “reproductive freedom” must admit no limits:

“Antiabortion laws and other restraints on reproductive freedom not only enforce women’s incubation of unwanted pregnancies, but also prescribe a ‘vision of the woman’s role’ as mother and caretaker of children in a way that is at odds with equal protection.”

Well, if Ms. Pillard’s nomination should fail, she can always apply for a job in the Hatchery in Brave New World.

Cure For 95% Of All Cancers Found! Treatment Free!

What if that headline were true?

If a pharmaceutical firm developed a drug that cured 95% of all cancers, throughout the world, it would make billions, win every Nobel Prize, and gain accolades of gratitude and praise from millions for generations to come.

The same is true for Alzheimer’s, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or Diabetes.

But curiously, no major news outlet has trumpeted the news about the miraculous cure for HIV/AIDS that is now available free to everyone in the world, no matter what their social or financial standing.

Why not, you might ask. After all, according to the Center for Disease Control, this well-kept secret could prevent 94.9 percent of HIV/AIDS.

That’s right: the CDC reports that in 2011, “94.9 percent of HIV diagnoses among teenage boys (13-19-years-old) were linked to ‘male-to-male’ sex. And 94.1 percent of the cases among young men ages 20-24 were from ‘gay’ sex.”

President Obama’s FY 2014 federal budget request contains some $30 billion for HIV/AIDS research and treatment.

In a sane world, wouldn’t the president take to the airwaves and celebrate the logical, free, sure-fire cure for HIV/AIDS – abstinence from male-to-male sex – far and wide?

Well, uh…no.

Instead, as Peter LaBarbera reports, Obama’s CDC awards taxpayer funding to build “self-esteem” among homosexuals (as young as 13) and to protect them from those who might try to warn them of the consequences of their actions (which the CDC daintily classifies as “risk behaviors”). See:

http://americansfortruth.com/2013/09/11/94-to-95-percent-of-hiv-cases-among-young-men-linked-to-homosexual-sex/

Such truth-tellers are “bullies,” you see. And Obama doesn’t want to bully the gays.

He only bullies Republicans.

*Christopher Manion’s father was Clarence Manion, Dean of the Notre Dame University Law School.

 

From Under the Rubble is copyright (c) 2013 by Christopher Manion. All rights reserved. This column is sponsored by the Bellarmine Forum, and distributed by Griffin Internet Syndicate and FGF Books, www.fgfBooks.com.

Christopher Manion, Ph.D., is Director of the Campaign for Humanae Vitae , a project of the Bellarmine Forum. He served as a staff director on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for many years. He has taught in the departments of politics, religion, and international relations at Boston University, the Catholic University of America, and Christendom College.

Christopher Manion biographical sketch and photo: http://www.fgfbooks.com/Manion/Manion-bio.html

 

Photo credit: terrellaftermath


Nancy’s Blind Spot





Nancy Pelosi SC Nancys Blind Spot

FRONT ROYAL, VA — When you’re one of the richest members of Congress and you represent San Francisco, the real world can seem as distant as the dark side of the moon. So it figures that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was awestruck when Republicans had the temerity successfully to upend two of her most cherished political projects – a U.S. war with Syria and the congressional funding of Obamacare.

“I haven’t seen anything like it. I haven’t seen anything like it,” she marveled.

And yet, we’ve seen plenty of things like it. The Rubble recalls then-Speaker Pelosi’s retort when she forced the House to vote on Obamacare before members had read it: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” she helpfully explained.

Well, so goes “leadership” in Washington. But what intrigues the Rubble is the permanent affliction that plagues the Pelosis of the world. They suffer from a constellation of blind spots that serve to conceal from them the better part of reality.

The Thracian Maid laughed at Thales of Milet, the ancient Greek philosopher, when he fell into a ditch while walking with his eyes on the heavens.

But Thales was seeking the truth; the abyss of ignorance into which Obama, Pelosi, and Co. have plunged the country is hardly a laughing matter.

Ms. Pelosi is dismayed that some Republicans have only scorn for the disasters that she and Obama have wrought. Again, she helpfully explains: “You know why it is,” she whines on a leftist website: “He’s brilliant; he thinks in a strategic way in how to get something done, and he’s completely eloquent.” Moreover, she coos, he is “open, practically apolitical, certainly nonpartisan.”

Move over, Moon Rover.

The rusty blade of this dull defiance anesthetizes any prospect of intelligible reply. And yet, the nature of an inquiring mind demands that it seek understanding.

That prospect was admittedly dim, until the Rubble came across a passage in Through The Eye of The Needle, the masterful study of wealth and charity in the late Roman Empire by Princeton historian Peter Brown.

In the year 395, Augustine wrote a letter to a member of his fledgling religious community with this admonition:

Let each man question himself regarding his soul, to learn to hate in it a private feeling Š and to love in it that communion and society of which it is said They had but one soul and one heart outstretched to God (Acts 4 :32). So, indeed, is your very soul not your own; it is also that of all your brothers, whose souls are yours, or rather whose souls combined with yours are no longer souls, but a single soul, the One Soul of Christ.

Obama’s Monastery

The Trappist Abbey of Gethsemane is nestled in the “knobs” of central Kentucky. Above the stone entrance portal are carved these words:

GOD ALONE

In Gethsemane, as in Augustine’s community, all “private feelings” are to be left forever beyond the gate. Moreover, the monastic rule requires of all professed monks the vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience.

As one dear friend there told me forty years ago, “I grew up poor, so poverty has never been a problem for me. Neither has chastity, thank God.

“But obedience?

“I thank God on my knees every day that I am still here.”

In the Trappist monastery, Father Abbot rules. However, he trembles with humility, aware that he is responsible to God for his every action. He must order each decision to the ultimate goal of the salvation of the souls under his care.

For his part, the monk obeys cheerfully, since he knows that Father Abbot’s rule is God’s will for him, down to the tiniest detail of his life.

Now, consider: Nancy Pelosi’s Obama is a brilliant, eloquent, ultimately superior being, apolitical, above partisanship, caring only for what is best for those under his care. She cannot understand why everyone does not see him as she professes to.

But her vision of Obama dispenses him from the limits that have burdened his predecessors – “private feelings” like God, the Common Good, the rule of law, and individual liberty.

Moreover, as our National Abbot, Obama does not tremble, like Jefferson, “reflecting that God is just.” For him, the sense of duty that motivated Jefferson and Father Abbot is worlds away.

Because of his superior nature, Obama is responsible to no one. The country no longer needs to fret about the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” or the Constitution. Things are simpler now: his brilliant word is iron law.

Like his fellow monks, Father Abbot takes a vow of poverty. But our National Abbot lives in luxury while he demands poverty of the rest of us. Only his cronies can dodge the bullet.

Like Augustine, Obama calls on us to hate our selfish “private feelings,” with our hearts and souls stretched out – not to God, this time around, but to his eloquent self.

A curious aside: earlier presidents have not branded their programs with their name as this one has: Obamaphone, Obamacare, etc.

Obama draws his authority not from the God of Augustine but the Sovereign of Rousseau, the intellectual godfather of totalitarianism. The Sovereign imposes his superior will (volonté générale) on all his subjects. Those who refuse to shed their selfish “private will” (volonté de tous) must be “forced to be free.”

From the NSA to the TSA, our loving National Abbot holds our very lives in the palm of his hand.

Inverting further the Christian metaphysic, Obama consecrates his private feelings and proclaims them as public rules. He will “spread the money around,” stealing, spending, and extending poverty throughout the realm when the money runs out, bringing us all on our knees.

That’s right where he wants us.

Only then will we “thank him on our knees every day,” as we are reduced to a “single soul,” with our arms outstretched towards the National Provider.

But first, we must learn obedience. And in Obama’s Monastery, as in Gethsemane, that demands a lifetime of self-denial and sacrifice.

So much for poverty and obedience. What about that vow of chastity?

Here, Obama subverts nature once more: in Obama’s Monastery, perversion is worshipped.

Those who insist on obeying the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God must be “forced to be free.”

Big time.

This attack on the Natural Law is not merely a sop to the prurient; it is a metaphysical necessity. The Natural Law is a golden thread that gently binds the social fabric. Remove it, and freedom disappears, while society collapses.

Thus, in Obama’s Monastery, the rule of law is first ignored, then destroyed, all with the ironclad authority of the National Abbot.

Enter The Leviathan

“I chastise my body and bring it into subjection,” –Saint Paul (I Cor. IX, 27).

“Here, let me do it for you,” says our National Abbot.

On the cold stone façade over the entrance to Obama’s Monastery, these words are written in the blood of the martyrs:

OBAMA ALONE!

When I was a roadhouse entertainer, I heard the tearful account of a battered woman whose boyfriend often beat her.

“He’s got such high standards,” she sighed, rubbing her bruises, “and sometimes I just don’t live up to them.”

In Obama’s Monastery, we must live up to Obama’s high standards.

And when we don’t?

Well, like the misbehaving monk assigned a penitential task by Father Abbot, Obama’s monastic rule requires that we welcome the government beating.

After all, it’s for our own good.

It gives a new meaning to “SWAT.”

Admittedly, the prayerful pursuit of perfection in a monastery is hardly a perfect metaphor for a drivel-driven spin machine oozing self-serving treacle masquerading as dialogue.

But what about Nancy Pelosi? Does she really believe her gushing blather? Does she “thank God every day” that she has to get up in the morning and peddle that pathetic palaver to the masses one more time?

Who knows?

In her hardened heart of hearts, this Catholic grandmother might still remember that the Hound of Heaven is patiently curled up outside her door.

But alas, that door opens only from the inside.

In contrast, Big Brother can kick yours down whenever he pleases.

And so can our National Abbot.

 

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From Under the Rubble is copyright (c) 2013 by Christopher Manion. All rights reserved. This column is sponsored by the Bellarmine Forum, and distributed by Griffin Internet Syndicate and FGF Books, www.fgfBooks.com.

Christopher Manion, Ph.D., is Director of the Campaign for Humanae Vitae , a project of the Bellarmine Forum. He served as a staff director on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for many years. He has taught in the departments of politics, religion, and international relations at Boston University, the Catholic University of America, and Christendom College.

Christopher Manion biographical sketch and photo: http://www.fgfbooks.com/Manion/Manion-bio.html