Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ignitum Wednesday

means that there is no blog post for today since I will be linking a post for Ignitum Today on Thursday.  So watch this space tomorrow.

The Management

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

When is friendship simply a word for abuse?

Some unpleasantness that took place recently on this blog has made me begin to ponder a few things about the nature of the relationship with an individual I have known for some time. I have been conflicted about what to do or how to describe it.

In the past I considered this person a friend. I was as close as I could be to a person as I was to this person. A trusted confidant and a good councilor.

But lately this individual appears to me more unstable. These days it seems whenever anything of substance is discussed this person becomes hostile, personally insulting, and at times even incoherent. The accusations that have been hurled at me are done so at the drop of a hat, and when countered, this person then wails for being countered.

At what point is a friend no longer a friend? At what point does the present outweigh the past? When does one realize that it is time to simply cast off someone who seems only capable of hurting you?

When I look at the broken friendships in my life I can see that by and large I was left behind. I was the one cast off, and I felt that I did not deserve it.

But I also know that holding on to a person who no longer uplifts but simply attacks is no friend. Friends do not insult or demean. They help, they are honest and charitable in doing so.

I have more questions than answers. The life of Faith is one that calls us to put God before even those we care about the most. I have had to walk away from those I've cared about in the past. I am ultimately better for it. But it is one of those mysteries that haunts me at times.

When there is abuse, there is no longer friendship. When truth no longer exists in a person, there can be no trust.

I ask those who read to pray for me. I have much to discern in this matter.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dolan FTW

H/T Deacon Kandra

What is true freedom?

The lovely and gracious Stacy Trasancos post about why believers know more about science than non-believers.  It is well worth a read and raises some good points about worldviews and knowledge of them.  But I do have a nit to pick with the article, and since I have nothing else to write about at the moment Stacy will be the latest victim of my habit of critiquing fellow Catholic bloggers.  Mind you, I do not know what Stacy thinks about the subject of freedom. I am only going off of what she wrote in her article.  

The offending quote that I found is the following about freedom:
Faith is not a human invention. The believer bases faith on Divine Revelation, and bases science on Creation. Both have their common source in God, the Eternal Truth. It is true, the believer is less free in his knowledge than the unbeliever, but only because he knows more.
Stacy, say it an't so?  This statement subscribes to the modern notion of freedom, which loosely means, "doing whatever the hell one wants."  This notion of freedom needs to die.  Quickly.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. - John 8:32
 True freedom lies in knowing the truth.  Freedom, properly defined, is geared toward the health and well being of the individual and community.  If knowledge of the truth is absent, my ability to make my choice is compromised.

To say that the unbeliever is more free than the believer is to say something akin to the drug addict is more free than the law abiding citizen.  Yes, the drug addict is "free" in that he "can" take drugs.  But would anyone call something as harmful as doing drugs "freedom" in a healthy sense of the word?  One can say is is free to do drugs, but most likely one would say he is a slave of his addiction.

I have the freedom to reject God's word.  Much in the same way I have freedom to throw myself off a cliff.  The fact that the former damages my soul while the latter will damage my body does not diminish this freedom. That both are boneheaded things to do does not mean I am somehow "less free" simply because I recognize that these are bad for me.

True knowledge aids in freedom, not by saying that you "cannot" do bad things, but by pointing out that bad things are stupid and dangerous.  Sin damages us, no matter how much we want to do it.  That is one of the points of the Faith.  These things that we do against how God designed us damages us.  To point this out is to help us, not hinder us.

True freedom recognizes limits because there are things that hurt us.  We can still embrace these things, much like I can put a gun to my head and pull the trigger.  That doesn't mean these things are right, or smart, or healthy.  And conversely, true knowledge recognizes that freedom, and seeks to inform our conscience of the merits of those choices.

So let us dispense with this notion of freedom that treats eating a fine meal with lacing it with cyanide.  I am not less free simply I recognize the harm cyanide does and refuse to consume it.  If anything, my knowledge of the harm cyanide causes makes me more free, since I can now exercise my choices in an informed fashion.  True freedom seeks the truth, and truth fulfills freedom.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Choose the proven winner

It amuses me when I hear things like the Church should "get with the times."  That it needs to bring its teachings in line with modern thinking about a variety of topics.  It is funny because it is not the first time that the Church has been told this.

In every Age the world states this about the Church.  Sometimes it uses cultural pressure, like in the 60s here in America.  At other times it uses naked aggression to force to "get with the program" (like sadly in the 2010s in America).  Personally I'm not sure why anyone is shocked.  In America we have had a good run.  But now it is time to join our brothers and sisters who are persecuted throughout the world.

The funny thing is that the world tries to bury the Church.  Yet the Church continues to bury the corpses of the latest trend.  The societal fashion of ideas that break from the Church and intend to set the world on fire (sometimes quite literally) do not last.  The Church has outlasted them all.

We have seen the persecution in the past.  Our Faith is persecuted now in other parts of the world.  That it happens here is only "new" in the sense of the last 60 years or so.  Persecution is an old hat for the Catholic Faith.

But a curious thing keeps happening.  The Church doesn't seem to get the clue that it is supposed to go away.  She doesn't "get the message."  Like the guest that would't leave She patiently reminds people that gorging on the foods and wines of this world will make you sick.  When they laugh and hate Her for her "authoritarian" attitude, they mock her and then beat her.  But eventually the others collapse and die from the very thing She tried to warn them about.  And she buries the corpses of those who mistreated Her so.

Don't believe the headlines.  The Church is here to stay.  It might not persist in America.  While the Rock of Peter will never be abandoned, the Church in America has no such promise.  But the Church Herself will remain, when the dust has settled.

So in the latest tussle between Church and the world let's remember who has the proven track record in such fights.  The count is quite lopsided.  And let's face it.  The world has taken a beating in this fight since 33AD.  Sure it has looked like it had the upper hand at some points, but really, like a show that has jumped the shark, the world is once again past its prime.  That is why it lashes out so.

So take heart, Catholics one and all.  The Church is here to stay.  And She welcomes all guests.  But she does have a code of conduct.  You will have to man up.  

But when you look at who else is out there, why not choose the proven winner?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Looking forward to Lent and beyond

The trappings of this world distract us 24/7.  This does not simply mean our iPods and other devices that provide us with on-demand entertainment.  They certainly play a role, but what I am talking about goes deeper into our spirits.

The world distracts us by providing illusions of security.  Fame, money, power are the main things.  Money in particular is a precarious vice, as too often rather than "In God we Trust" we put our trust more in the paper that bears the inscription.  We build these illusions of security, then panic at the first sign that of the dissipation of those illusions.

Our political scene of the day is anther fine example of this.  Our ideologies are argued and played out on the field of politics.  Is something wrong?  Pass a law against it.  Is something good?  Force people to fund it.  This is why we fear the "other side."  Right vs. Left.  We tell ourselves that as long as we hold the power via voting for the right person, we are safe.  We appeal to the raw power of naked aggression to protect us and maintain the illusions of security and freedom.

With the timing that only God can arrange we Catholics now enter the season of Lent.  The world with the state it is in and our illusions of security and prosperity crumbling around us we find ourselves in a real panic.  We now find ourselves on the brink of a persecution not seen on this side of the Civil War.  I cannot help but marvel at the timing.  The sign given to us that now more than ever we must recommit ourselves to God.

We do this by acknowledging both our sins and our mortality on Ash Wednesday.  The call of Lent is to look at our lives and see what hinders our journey to God.  What do we cling to in life?  Money? Sex? Prestige?  What ties us to this world, rather than focusing on the next?  

We do not do these things to wallow in self pity.  We do them to acknowledge the reality of the situation.  We have sinned, and sinned greatly.  We need God and His love to pull us out of the mire that we have sunk to.  We have become lost and distracted, confusing creation with the Creator.  We confess that we need more than help, we need a Savior.

Lent is a time to prepare our souls.  By acknowledging our sins we begin to see the chains in our lives.  We perform acts of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, to bring our focus back to where it belongs.  To turn away from ourselves to look out toward God, the true source of security and freedom.

We do so with the hope and conviction that God hears the cry of the poor, spiritual or otherwise.  And we are that poor.  But we are also made in the image of God.  And He loves His own.  By acts of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving we return to the true focus of who we are by pointing beyond ourselves.  And after that time of refocus and purification, we behold the rising of the sun in the east.  The Light that came into the world for our sake.  

The new Sabbath dawns for us.  But we must have eyes to see it.  And we can only see it if we are looking in His direction.     

Monday, February 20, 2012

Why do we keep ourselves ignorant Pt 2

We discussed in our previous post the reason why we unintentionally keep ourselves ignorant.  The natural means of classification that we use in our everyday lives, while at times useful, can also be a barrier to further understanding.  In this post we will look at how we intentionally keep ourselves ignorant and why.

Humans relate to the world through a particular worldview.  We have carefully constructed ideas about how the world works and our role in it.  We like to think that this is view is based off of reasoned thought and universal experience.

Like our previous post this is not only natural but a legitimate viewpoint to an extent.  Our reasoning and experiences DO matter.  They are real and do in fact have value.  And such reasoning and experience can form the basis for discovering objective truths about our existence.

Also like our previous post though this is limited due to our natural limits.  We do not have the experiences of others nor do we have unlimited capabilities to reason.  Thus our perspective, regardless of how earnest deliberate our efforts are, will still be lacking in completeness.

So one would naturally think that because of this limitation that we would be motivated to learn all we can and modify our views accordingly.  But you would be very wrong.

The problem is that we often attach pride to our reasoning.  We like to be thought of as "intelligent."  Our worldview must be correct with regard to certain principles.  And we are not very fond of challenges to such our viewpoints at certain fundamental levels. This is why we react very strongly to things involving core principles, such as religion and politics.

As humans we are aware of a very real war between truth and untruth.  We perceive it at a very fundamental level.  This is why even atheists, who reject objective truth, do so as if truth actually matters in such a viewpoint.  And if you reject objective truth, why would you bother learning about the views of those who disagree with you?  If my ideas are reasonable (and they are, because I am a reasonable person) then reason naturally leads to them.  If my opponents used reason, they would agree with me.  But they don't, so they are unreasonable.

It is far easier to demonize those who have different views than learn about those views.  This is because we are secretly afraid to actually learn, and by extension possibly finding that their views are reasonable.  The narrative of me = good and other = evil is challenged when we actually have to learn about the enemy.

But there is an even deeper reason.  Those who fear to learn the truth about others do so because we would have to confront our own false views.  People who believe lies are afraid of truth.  Those who misrepresent others in a certain sense already know their own views are lies.  This is why they must represent others.

So this how we intentionally keep ourselves ignorant and why.  By ignoring the truth about others we "protect" our limited worldview and therefore our pride.  This is especially true with regard to the lies in that view that we suspect are in fact lies.  Ignorance is always part limited knowledge and part willful attempt to keep it that way.


Completely unrelated, here is a video I've been listening to.  It's the show Glee's main actor Matthew Morrison and guest star Niel Patrick Harris singing Aerosmith's "Dream On".  I know, I know.  But give it a chance.  It's pretty good actually.  I like it better than the original.  Note that the song is on the video twice, and there is no actual video, only the song.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Why do we keep ourselves ignorant?

Deborah Danan asks an interesting question in her article: 

It seems obvious to most civilized people: Ignorance is the mother of conflict and educating ourselves about “the other” is key to building healthy societies et cetera et cetera. 
But if it’s so obvious, then why is it not a primary focus—if not the primary focus—of our leaders, both spiritual and political? 
There are at least a few reasons why leaders and everyone else seem to steer themselves away from learning more.  One is unintentional, the other deliberate.

Humans categorize.  We have to.  There is simply no way for the human brain to work unless we group things together and reduce information to general properties and traits.  For example, I categorize the coffee holder on my desk to be a cup.  It is specifically a mug, but it also falls into the category of cup.

The reason why we do this is so that we do not have to consider each and every instance of a thing as unique on its own.  We can do it.  I can look at each and every cup as its own unique entity.

But I can also generalize.  I can point to certain properties that a cup has, and such properties manifest themselves on other objects.  Thus I can categorize objects that share such properties as "cups."
We do this with people as well.  We categorize people based on look, clothing, ideas, and a variety of things.

There is a legitimacy to this.  If I am walking down the street at night and I happen upon a bunch of tattooed individuals with piercings and ripped clothing, I'm going to avoid or at least keep alert around them for fear of being robbed at gunpoint.  For all I know they might be the local Catholic Knights of Columbus chapter heading off to a late Mass.  But that doesn't change the fact that given there appearance and no other information, I'm going to be more cautious.  For another example, if I am walking down the same street and I see a bunch of balding men in suits and ties, I can assume they are bankers or investors.  I may be robbed legally by them later, but at least I do not have the fear of being robbed at gunpoint at the moment of passing.

But obviously this categorization can backfire.  In my previous examples, the tattooed guys could be saints and the suits could be mafia.  I simply don't know.  But in order to preserve my health and safety I would be an idiot not to exercise caution given the information I currently have.  It does however hinder knowledge.  Assuming both my conclusions are wrong I have misjudged the situation.

Knowing when to categorize and when not to is actually quite difficult.  Given the limited knowledge we have at any given time, we nevertheless still need to make judgments about our situations and duties.  And in my previous examples, categorization is my only option at the point of contact.  This is why while my knowledge is deficient regarding the encounters I am left with little choice in that regard.

This is the unintentional aspect of being ignorant.  The circumstances in the case above do not permit me to draw an accurate picture, nor do they allow me to correct this.  The intentional way we keep ourselves ignorant is for another post.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Who doesn't get sex?

A friend of mine sent me an article about how Rick Santorum doesn't get sex.  After having read it I wonder if the title would better apply to the author, one Christopher Ryan.  The following is a takedown.

In a recent appearance in New Hampshire, he summarized his thoughts on the subject, saying, “God made man and woman, and men and women come together to have a union to produce children, which keeps civilization going and provides the best environment for children to be raised.”
This is fine as far as it goes.  But even in the beginning it goes off the rails:
But the sexuality of human beings—and our closest primate relations, bonobos and chimps—is utterly different. We and our chimp and bonobo cousins typically have sex hundreds—if not thousands—of times per birth, with or without contraception.
 Not three paragraphs in and we have a false dichotomy AND a strawman.  This is quite efficient of Mr. Ryan.

The Catholic Church teaches that sexual relations between married couples is both for procreation and unitive purposes.  The procreative aspect is referred to as the primary purpose. To attempt to sever procreation from the union aspect (contraception) or vice versa (in vitro fertilization) is to damage both.

So already Mr. Ryan has proposed that because humans mate with a low conception ratio this somehow disproves the primary purpose of sexual relations of humans. And that this in turn disproves Rick Santorum's point.  Not only does this misrepresent Santorum (and in theory the Catholic Church), but it is a false dichotomy.

Let us continue with the train wreck:
 But human beings happily experience, witness, imagine, and lament a cornicopia of erotic encounters that couldn’t possibly result in conception.
As we have discussed here before, inclinations do not by any means prove the morality of one's actions.  That a serial killer may be inclined to bash in the skull of another does not confer a moral status onto the action fantasized about.
 For Homo sapiens, sex is primarily about establishing and maintaining relationships—relationships often characterized by love, or at least affection. Reproduction is a by-product of human sexual behavior, not its primary purpose.

Now we are just engaging in a massive question begging exercise.  It is simply asserted, not established by any argument nor does this even follow from the previous statements.  There is a reason why they are called genitals.    And finally:
Another way in which we differ from most mammals is in our complex, multi-male social networks. 
Which has very little to do with the notion of if one can morally separate the unitive nature of sexual relations from the procreative aspects.  This last assertion is so weak that one can safely ignore it at this point.

Perhaps Mr. Ryan should take Human Physiology 101 and learn what sexual relations are for from a biology perspective.  That might explain to him why the contraception industry works so hard to sever what is the natural outcome of engaging in such "socializing behavior."  Based on this I'm not convinced that Santorum is the one who doesn't know what he is talking about.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Evil in stages

We humans are quite good at rationalizing evil.  When attempting to achieve a good end we oftentimes succumb to temptation to take a "shortcut."  Evil is such a shortcut.  Evil says to us that as long as we do this "quick" thing we can achieve the good end with only a little evil.  Often we think this will be the only time, or it will be a "rare" thing.  Evil but necessary to bring about the good. end.

But this is the insidious trap of evil.  Once we establish that we can use an evil means to achieve a good end, the evil means becomes a valid (if distasteful) way of achieving a good end.  Slowly but surely as we do the evil more often to achieve the end the evil becomes a legitimate path toward the end sought.  Little by little the evil way transitions from "evil but necessary" to "just another way of doing things."

Eventually we must ask ourselves a question though: Why bother with a moral path to the good end?  If we can achieve the good end by either means, why not do the "taboo" path?  Why is it even wrong, when we achieve the same goal either way?  Everyone is doing it already.  Who am I to judge?

Eventually the evil used to achieve a good end is rationalized as a good in and of itself, by virtue of it achieving a good end.  What was supposed to be a difficult but necessary compromise is now just another way to achieve the same goal.  And if it is just another way to achieve this goal, then it is just as good as the other ways.  And if it is just as good, no other means has a higher moral ground.

In the final stages the evil end becomes a "right" in and of itself.  We rationalize that we should have the right to perform this evil action.  The good end is all but forgotten.  And not only is the evil means a "right" but that others must recognize it as such.  To even comment on the possibility that such means are evil is seen as judgmental, bigoted, and intolerant.

And for dramatic irony, the evil now supplants the original good as that which society must be ordered around. All must recognize and celebrate this new "good."  Not participating, supplying or even attempting to criticize the new "good" is condemned as "evil" and "wrong".  Evil is now the good, and the good evil.

It is an interesting thought to see how contraception has progressed.  Its initial beginnings with the infamous Lambeth conference in 1930 for "hard cases" has transformed into a "right" to enforce at gunpoint by the Obama administration.  It is now the new good.  And anyone not participating will be forced to.

Such a growth of evil should sober us when we think of the evil in our own lives.  How often since the first time we gave into temptation have we come back to the same sins?  Does that sin now rule your life?  Do you struggle against it?

Evil offers nothing but more evil.  It seeks to destroy all that is good to sustain itself.  Do your part to exterminate evil.  Do not feed it.  Do good. And evil will die.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Obama the tyrant

President Obama has done what the USCCB has not been able to do for decades.  The HHS mandate issued on Jan 20 has united everyone from Michael Sean Winters to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf.  I mean hell, if Chris Matthews has a problem with it, you know it is bad.

The mandate effectively forces Catholic institutions such as hospitals and universities to fund contraception, abortion and sterilization procedures via the healthcare plans offered to their employees.  If they do not, they are fined (I believe to the tune of $4000 per employee).  So the choice left is to either violate the conscience of Catholics and the institutions they run, go out of business due to fines, or violate the law.

This is nothing less than a full frontal assault on the First Amendment and religious liberty.  The whole point of the First Amendment was to protect the religious from government interference and to allow the people to live out their Faith.  This INCLUDES public actions such as serving the poor and needy.

What is absolutely stupefying to me is how people seem to think that it is the Church violating separation of Church and State by resisting this law.  Like Mark Shea says, that is like accusing the pistol-whipped victim during an armed robbery of a lack of charity. Such a view of freedom is not freedom but tyranny.

It is highly unlikely that this will hold up if it goes to the Supreme Court, given the trouncing that Obama received just recently.  But the very fact that the "Constitutional Scholar" even tried to bring either of these up shows at the very least an appalling lack of understanding what the First Amendment actually is.  So any of the lawsuits filed should come back with a victory for common sense and religious liberty.

Obama is a tyrant, pure and simple.  He is ordering us to go against Natural Law and a proper understanding of the human person.  He has, in his zealotry for the Culture of Death, overstepped his authority and is perpetuating the worst persecution of the Church since the Civil War.

As the bishops stated in their template letter, we cannot and we will not comply.  It is only a matter of how we will resist this unjust command.  Do your part to resist this evil measure.  At the very least sign the petition and let your voice be heard.  Even if you are not Catholic you should recognize this as an assault on all religious freedom.  Because if this goes through, religious liberty in this country is dead.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Positives from the Susan G Komen kerfuffle

So the you-know-what hit the fan last week over the Susan G Komen foundation was reported to have cut funding to Planned Parenthood.  The wailing and gnashing of teeth from the pro-abortion supporters was quite livid, and within a matter of days Komen seems to have reversed itself.

I was about to give a donation for the first time to the Komen foundation but something told me to hold back as  the firestorm died down.  When the reversal occurred (which to be fair is hard to tell if they did reverse, Komen's wording is quite vague and hard to pin down) I decided to put down the checkbook and see where everyone stood when the smoke cleared.  It still remains to be seen what if any effect this will have.  But the damage is done, and Komen's supporters and detractors are already pulling out.  It remains to be seen if Komen survives this.

But I would be remiss if I did not point out some positives about this incident.  I can think of a few:

1. It really is all about abortion.  At the end of the day those who criticized Komen's move did so out of the idea that they were pressured by "anti-choice" ideologues.  The irony of that criticism as they actually pressured Komen back into the fold has seemed to escape them.  This has been helpful to illustrate to the doubters that for whatever the rhetoric of the PR machine of Planned Parenthood, at the end of the day it is about abortion, and abortion MUST be an acceptable choice.  No criticism of abortion will be brooked.  And offenses will be punished to the extreme.

2.  Charities will think twice about joining up with Planned Parenthood.  This episode will deter future charities from getting in bed with PP for two reasons.  First is that the firestorm over this will make anyone think twice about partnering up with an organization that draws so much controversy.  Controversy kills charities.  And nothing gets more controversy than abortion.  And given that abortion is PP's bread and butter it should be obvious to any charity to stand way-the-hell away from Planned Parenthood.

  Second, this episode also illustrates that once you are in with Planned Parenthood, you are in for good.  It is like the Mafia.  You never leave the family, except with a toe tag.  Charities should be well advised to note that it might not be a good idea to join up when that partnership will be an enduring one.  Any attempt to secure one's own freedom will be met with a vengeance.

3.  The media's leftist tilt is never more apparent when it comes to abortion.  From ignoring the 400,000 stealthy ninjas in D.C. during the March for Life, the mainstream media does its best to put lipstick on the Grim Reaper of abortion.  The coverage of the Komen issue has been so tilted to the point where the commentators couldn't even figure out why Komen might want to part ways with Planned Parenthood.  Doubters take note, while one may argue there is diversity about other issues, when it comes to abortion, there is only one side of the debate as far as the media is concerned.

All in all incidents like these are helpful to get the lay of the land.  It remains to be seen if Komen can survive.  Komen now knows that Planned Parenthood has it by the throat.  Such is the fate of any charity dumb enough to get involved with them.

Monday, February 6, 2012

In honor of

Super Bowl Monday, which should be a holiday, this blog will not have a post.  Apologies but come back Wednesday for our regularly scheduled programming.

The Management

Friday, February 3, 2012

Putting Politics in its place

I typically try to stay away from politics these days on this blog for a few reasons.  First, I usually schedule my posts in advance.  And political posts are more often than not outdated on this site before they go up.  Second, politics is quite transient by nature.  Most political discussions pertain to a current event or proposed laws that often are relative to culture and time.  Since I typically gear my writing to more universal truths, politics is usually not the best topic for such discussions.

Finally I feel in this day and age we are too focused on politics in general.  Somewhere along the line America went from the government being one of many ways American culture expressed itself into the de facto method of expressing one's views.  Is it the growth of the government, changing views on society, the regression of other modes of expression (arts, religion, social gatherings)?  I think that they all play a part.

I would however submit that the reason why politics is so paramount in today's life is the rejection of universal truth.  All of the expressions of a healthy society and culture are ordered on a particular purpose, to learn and express the truth in a variety of different ways.  Arts, literature, social commentary, religion, and a host of other modes all are oriented toward discovering those truths that speak to all mankind.

The rejection of universal truth however undermines this purpose obviously.  By rejecting truth itself and reducing principles to mere "beliefs" we have severed the very reasons for these modes of expression.  Art no longer reveals beauty.  Literature is forgotten.  Social commentary dissipates into meaninglessness.  Religion is outright rejected.

Truth reduced into mere "belief" means that any person can believe anything that they "want."  By "want" I mean  truth is reduced to whatever makes a person comfortable.  It does not matter if it is actually correct.  As long as my beliefs make me comfortable and "happy" in the shallowest sense, then that is good enough.

No society can live like this however.  A culture, a people, a society professes truths about men and how they should relate.  Murder is wrong, regardless if the serial killer wants to believe otherwise.  At some point in order to have a society, some truths must be preserved, asserted, and enforced.

Enter the modern state.  Unleashed from any restraint of universal truth the state will seek to enforce its own whims.  An individual whose beliefs are transient is powerless in the face of naked force for two reasons.  First, by rejecting universal truth the individual has nothing to appeal to.  Second, the individual's own beliefs are one of convenience.  By making the situation more inconvenient, the reason to hold onto the belief evaporates at the business end of a gun.

A people that rejects universal truth is prostrate in front of a modern secular state.  Force unrestrained by conviction is a club to keep the populace in line.  And a people without truth has no convictions to resist such force with.  The dictatorship of relativism is in full swing.

In order to put the state back in its proper function we must rediscover the notion of universal truth.  But in order to that we must reeducate ourselves that there are some truths that bind all men.  That no power, no opinion, no desire, can invalidate.  This requires discipline and sacrifice, two words our modern society has forgotten.

Yet it must happen for Western society to survive.  Because there is a word for unrestrained state power that recognizes neither universal truths nor limits on its own influence.  Tyranny.

Update:  I'd like to thank Mark Shea for his shout out for this blog and my work on IGNITUM TODAY.  Also, more than a few of you are visiting this from IGNITUM TODAY.  Welcome to all new visitors!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It's that time again

My piece for IGNITUM TODAY will go up on Thursday, so no post today.  Check back here on Thursday for the piece or go to IGNITUM TODAY right now and read many other articles by fine writers.  You should be doing this anyway.

The Management