Arguing over Hitler’s org chart

July 31, 2017 § 223 Comments

Consider the phrase “the just powers of government derive from the consent of the governed”.

This phrase is a liberal slogan, and as a well adjusted modern person you aren’t supposed to consciously notice the different things that it means.  What you are supposed to do, as a good conservative, is defend it when it is criticized by taking advantage of the fact that it means different things. When one of the meanings is criticized, the criticism can be parried by claiming that that isn’t what the slogan really means at all (at least not to you): it really means one of the other things that it means. Pay no attention to the body bags, mass graves, and fetal organ marketplaces: that kind of thing can happen anywhere.

One of the things that the slogan means is that no actually functioning government has been overthrown by violent revolution: that the dictator hasn’t been assassinated (yet). This meaning of the phrase is always true by definition, and makes no distinction between liberal and illiberal government regimes.

Another meaning takes the term “just” in the phrase seriously and proposes that the consent of the governed is what morally grounds legitimate government authority and concomitant powers. The consent of the governed is what makes government powers just in liberal regimes, as opposed to illiberal regimes which lack this moral grounding. Consent of the governed is what morally distinguishes liberal regimes from illiberal regimes.

This meaning is self contradictory, because justice always trumps consent by definition. That is why we have jails. The positive law – governance – in its essence tells those subject to the law – subjects who did not choose their own state in life – what they must consent to, or else.  If J always trumps C then C cannot be the moral justification of J.

A third meaning asserts that only particular structures of government are moral: constitutional republic, democracy, or what have you.  You can think of structure as being like the organization chart of a company or other institution. Organizational structure describes who presently reports to whom, how decisions are made institutionally, what policies and procedures are normative in various ordinary scenarios; that sort of thing.

Which particular org charts are and are not thought to be good depends on who is asserting the slogan and what their opinions happen to be about various organizational structures.  The great thing about fighting over org charts is that they provide endless meaningless entertainment and distraction.

The idea that the basic problem of authority and governance in modernity is that we don’t have the right constitution and political structure, is akin to thinking that the basic problem with Planned Parenthood or the Nazi party is how they are organized.

§ 223 Responses to Arguing over Hitler’s org chart

  • John says:

    It seems to me that the slogan ”consent of the governed”, along with ”freedom of speech”, is yet another case of weaponised amiguity.

    For example, consent of the governed can also mean that subjects have the right to chose certain contracts over others and/or voluntarily follow the law of the land and refrain from serious and/or venial crime. Which is just a tautology.

    I think it would be best if modern people discussed the bare bones of politics; instead of fighting over terms like liberty or consent of the governed, we should reveal in public exactly what we want and with all of the necessary details so as to avoid having words that can mean a wide variety of things in different contexts.

  • Zippy says:

    John:

    What you are proposing is inherently undemocratic though, which is to say that it is an inherently aristocratic approach to politics, since most people don’t really have the time to spend on such things (let alone temperament, proficiency, etc). Most people just need to follow the law and get on with life without puzzling everything out from scratch.

    In other words the sort of thing you propose is a kind of inner counsel of kings and aristocrats, and isn’t really even possible until liberalism has been rejected, condemned, destroyed, and had the earth in which it grew salted with nuclear waste to keep folks away from it for a thousand years.

  • King Richard says:

    Prince Jonathan’s most personal objection to Democracy is the inherent cruelty: the system demands that each citizen be an expert in virtually every aspect of life in order to vote then blames them for any failures. Refusa to vote is condemned, as well, meaning opting out is *also* blameworthy.

  • King Richard says:

    I apologize; my comment was incomplete:
    He proposes that Monarchy is so opposed because the moral responsibility of governance is very clearly assigned so it is difficult for scolds to make guilt-based demands on the common man.

  • Mike T says:

    You missed another angle of the ambiguity. Who is the governed? The word choice flirts with the notion of society, but leaves open the possibility of just down to the individual. So what is a criminal then but someone who has right withdrawn his consent to governed on a particular matter?

  • Mike T says:

    He proposes that Monarchy is so opposed because the moral responsibility of governance is very clearly assigned so it is difficult for scolds to make guilt-based demands on the common man.

    The same people despise limiting popular involvement in a republic. The main reason why the US Senate was changed so radically was precisely that the Senate had the same effect on US politics that you describe there. Idiocy tended to flow from the House into the Senate and die there whereas today the House of all institutions often plays the sanity check for the Senate.

  • John says:

    @Zippy,

    Actually, there are certain ways in which a rejection of the classical liberal idea that society is artificial, and the idea of democracy can actually be synthesised and be made compatible, so it’s not like everything in modernity is inherently evil.

    I agree with your assesment that most people aren’t interested in political debates and just want to enjoy their lives. Even people who do show a lot of interest in political debates, of which there are many indeed, do not really like getting into the abstract and/or metaphysical details.But I guess there are some people and commoners out there who are fairly intelligent and do have an abstract grasp of politics & who could join these aristocrats in their debates.

    Another important thing that I notice is that liberty as a political priority is rarely defined properly as well, making it a good weapon for weaponised ambiguity.

    Sometimes liberty is just taken to mean freedom from following arbitrary commands and the open ability to enjoy all the good that life has to offer, which I think even you would admit is quite understandable.Other times, liberty is taken to mean something that removes even natural moral responsibility in the name of freedom, which is quite problematic.

    If liberty is taken in the second way, as being beyond good morality and truthfulness, it is obvious how dangerous this will end up.

    However, taken in the first way, liberty just becomes a desire for autonomy, which makes it easy to see why people would think it as something that politics should be concerned with and protect as well.It is quite easy to rename liberty as nothing more than autonomy and describe it as the result of the good,true and beautiful when followed correctly through in politics.Indeed, if the good is followed through correctly in politics, autonomy would seem like a natural result, as the human will would be rightly guided towards the good and the possible choices would all point towards what is at the very least not evil.

    What you seem to be saying in your criticism of the idea that liberty should be a primary goal of politics is that this forces politics to look up to an efficacious result, rather than something actually concrete.

    It makes politics into the protector of a secondary thing, which is similar to making pleasure the very essence of happiness rather than something that naturally follows from happiness itself which is itself greater than mere pleasure.

  • Zippy says:

    John:

    Sometimes liberty is just taken to mean freedom from following arbitrary commands …

    … IOW it is taken to mean that people ought not be obligated to obey commands that they aren’t obligated to obey: they should only be obligated to obey commands that they are obligated to obey.

    Coat that one with Greek Fire and send it over the wall.

  • John says:

    IOW it is taken to mean that people ought not be obligated to obey commands that they aren’t obligated to obey: they should only be obligated to obey commands that they are obligated to obey.

    But here is the catch that many people object to.

    I guess what people actually want is for the commands to be either few and far in between, or for them to be ordered only when necessary and with reasonable explanation behind them.

  • John says:

    I notice that my attempt to link to another blog post of yours to explain what many people object to failed.

    Here is the blog post that I was refering to:

    https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/shut-up-and-row-or-good-leaders-are-rock-star-divas/

  • Zippy says:

    John:

    I guess what people actually want is for the commands to be either few and far in between, or for them to be ordered only when necessary and with reasonable explanation behind them.

    They need to get over it.

  • Zippy says:

    We both linked to the same post.

    The entitlement-to-an-explanation attitude must die.

  • Interesting point, Zippy. There truly is a difference between the, “moral foundation of the justice (binding moral correctness) of government powers” and the organizational flow chart, the structure and bones. I have seen this in bureaucracy, when you try to go up the chain of command, each layer of red tape nuttier than the last. The organization is pretty on the surface,it just seems to lack a certain moral foundation, along with all common sense and reason.

    I’m a fan of “consent of the governed,” however it is not that simple,it is not an ideology unto itself, the “just” part of that phrase, the moral authority itself must be God given, God endowed, the lines of authority coming down from the top and not up from the bottom. Thinking in terms of marriage here, a husband certainly has consent of the governed, and yet “the governed” are actually submitting to a Higher Authority, to God Himself. A husband or a father’s authority does not spring forth from the “consent of the governed,” it is more akin to God ordained.

    Hitler had no “just powers of government.” But most likely he did have “consent of the governed,” as in it took a lot of manpower and support for him to be able to do what he did.

    “Consent of the governed,” is a wholly inadequate,rather scary “moral ground” for legitimate government. If one of us can go astray, a few hundred thousand of us can go astray even more efficiently, with greater and more tragic results.

  • John Q. Public says:

    OK, then what is the source of just government? Not ultimately but practically? Filmer defended the divine right of kings based on providence. None of those kings is on the throne anymore. Looks like God didn’t want them to be king after all. Now what?

  • Zippy says:

    John Q. Public:

    Are we entitled to an explanation? Does the authority of husbands, fathers, patriarchs, aristocrats, and kings disappear if we don’t have an explanation that you find satisfactory?

  • King Richard says:

    John Q,
    You wrote,
    “None of those kings is on the throne anymore.”
    You mean ‘except for: Prince Emmanuel Macron, Prince Hans-Adam, Grand Duke Henri, Prince Albert, King Willem-Alexander, etc.’ right?

    You also asked,
    “…what is the source of just government?”
    Virtue.

  • LarryDickson says:

    King Richard got it. Virtue.

    Whatever Zippy can find wrong with “the just powers of government derive from the consent of the governed” is equally wrong with “the just powers of government derive from the consent of the powerful”. The just powers of human government derive from human nature and Divine law (and human nature is a form of Divine law). Various mechanisms, variously dysfunctional, can be used to get there; the consent of the governed is one; aristocracy or monarchy are others. We have got to keep trying, but we are not going to find a legalistically foolproof solution.

  • Wood says:

    LarryDickson,

    We have got to keep trying, but we are not going to find a legalistically foolproof solution.

    But isn’t the first order of business to reject, unequivocally, our current evil? If we can’t be trusted to do that what business do we have formulating any solutions?

  • King Richard says:

    LarryD,
    You wrote,
    ““the just powers of government derive from the consent of the powerful””
    No one has said anything like this, of course.

    You contine,
    “…The just powers of human government derive from human nature and Divine law ”
    Incorrect; all authority derives from God.
    There seems to be a weird sort of mirage going on; ‘power’ and ‘justice’ being conflated. “JustPowers” as if it were a singular thing. I suspect that when John Q wrote,
    “…what is the source of just government?”
    He meant,
    ‘what is the source of JustPowersofGovernment’
    [that is admittedly conjecture]
    When the American revolutionaries succeeded in their treasonous rebellion against their rightful ruler they unjustly gained power. They then created a system of authority.
    This derives from God. Just as a sinner gains his life from God.
    Is that authority and and power just?
    That depends upon the virtue of those who wield it.

    Hitler was able to use the laws of Germany to take power within the framework of their government. His authority and power were “legitimate” in that he got them as anyone else could have.

    If he had been a saint? Who would complain about how he used the existing legal framework?

    The question,
    “…what is the source of just government?”
    has a simple answer – virtue.
    Maybe it isn’t the question you meant to ask.

  • LarryDickson says:

    Wood, our first order of business is to reject unequivocally the ARROGANCE of our current evil. Its self-justification is blatantly false, both theoretically and practically. That does not mean you dump “consent of the governed” as an ad hoc solution – especially if it can be used as a club to hit the bad guys. All human governance is ad hoc.

    King Richard, the American revolution was not treasonous even on royalist terms because the monarchically rightful ruler had been overthrown in 1688. King George III was an ad hoc solution for which the Americans substituted another ad hoc solution.

    Your use of “all authority comes from God” applied to human authority means the same thing as my “all human authority is ad hoc”. And you are quite right that its justice depends on the virtue of the one wielding it. I assume by “virtue” you mean it in the Christian sense, not in the ancient Roman sense of skill and strength (e.g. virtuoso). And yes, I am conflating “just powers”. Hitler has the power to throw me in jail (or worse) but that does not give his commands legitimacy – unless they happen to align with good (just) order, as with a traffic cop.

  • Zippy says:

    Wood:

    The important thing is to deflect criticism of liberalism, obviously.

  • King Richard says:

    Larry,
    All I can derive from your last comment was you appear to not know what “ad hoc” means.

  • Zippy says:

    King Richard:

    As near as I can tell, ‘ad hoc’ in context is supposed to mean that what I wrote in the OP – and all of my posts on liberalism – can be safely ignored. ‘Ad hoc’ is a disqualifying incantation: an incantation which, when uttered, dispels the Zippy Reality Field so a commenter need not address the actual substance of what I wrote.

    All political regimes are equally ‘ad hoc’, therefore we can and should use liberal slogans (like ‘the just powers…’) for good, to make bad and really arrogant people leave the Little House on the Prairie and its unicorn farm alone.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    But imagine all the wonderful things we could do with the Ring, if only we could wrest it away from its evil tendencies!

  • “Hitler has the power to throw me in jail (or worse) but that does not give his commands legitimacy – unless they happen to align with good (just) order, as with a traffic cop.”

    All in good humor here,but the idea of “legitimacy” makes absolutely no sense. In political science anyway, legitimacy is simply, “the right and acceptance of an authority, usually a governing law or a regime, lawfulness.”

    I suppose we can always sit in jail and take comfort in the fact that we personally believe this incarceration is an illegitimate application of authority, but pragmatically that really doesn’t mean anything. The authority does not simply go away just because we deem it illegitimate.

  • Zippy says:

    insanitybtyes22:

    … the idea of “legitimacy” makes absolutely no sense.

    If the legitimacy of authority makes no sense then there is never any moral obligation to obey. Compliance is just a matter of making a cost benefit analysis given the risk of punishment.

    In other words, there really isn’t any such thing as authority at all.

  • Mike T says:

    If a man’s ability to compel you to obey is based entirely on power and not authority, then you needn’t obey him except as prudence requires. Suppose a king gives you a lawful order and puts a gun to your head and threatens to kill you if you don’t obey and another person gets the same experience from a common street thug. It is precisely that invisible quality called authority that could, in some cases, allow the king to actually shoot you dead if you openly defy a very serious order and also the total lack of it in the thug that gives you a moral right to blow his brains out the moment you get a leg up on him.

  • Step2 says:

    Zippy,
    The great thing about fighting over org charts is that they provide endless meaningless entertainment and distraction.

    You were the one recently claiming that monarchy isn’t a political philosophy but is only a structure.

    The entitlement-to-an-explanation attitude must die.

    If you want to convince or educate anyone you should explain your reasons. I suppose Christian humility forbids such things.

    King Richard,
    When the American revolutionaries succeeded in their treasonous rebellion against their rightful ruler they unjustly gained power.

    Someone advocating a removal of their established system of government should be circumspect about accusations of treason.

  • Zippy says:

    Authority is the moral obligation to obey a command or rule set down by someone who holds that authority. It is theoretically independent of that person’s power to compel you to comply via threat of punishment.

    As Mike T says, authority is what justifies the exercise of power, as in carrying out a punishment for disobedience.

    The ‘consent of the governed’ liberal slogan proposes that what justifies the exercise of power (… just powers derive from …) is not authority — which modern people selectively and equivocally pretend not to believe in — but is some mystical property called “consent of the governed” which, despite being labeled ‘consent’, is in fact obligatory.

  • Zippy says:

    Step2:

    You were the one recently claiming that monarchy isn’t a political philosophy but is only a structure.

    Correct. And democracy is just the snot running down the nose of an AIDS patient.

    If you want to convince or educate anyone you should explain your reasons. I suppose Christian humility forbids such things.

    I have explained ten ways from Sunday precisely how and why the liberal conception of authority is self contradictory and is, as embedded in a real social context, a perpetrator of mass murder, of mass apostasy, of mass degeneracy, and just general asinine stupidity of the sort that makes people believe that mutilating their genitals wearing a dress and being called Nancy is a human right.

    What more do you want?

  • A command from a legitimate authority is presumptively just in virtue of the legitimacy and jurisdiction of the authority. It may be disobeyed (or rather it is no command at all) when the command is manifestly unjust, i.e. “Murder Bob,” “Torture Susie,” “Worship Caesar,” etc. However, given that there are cases of unjust commands from legitimate authorities that are at least unclear whether they are unjust, who has competence and authority to determine such commands to be unjust? John Q. Peasant or Susan B. Commoner clearly do not and are bound to obey an unclearly just command without explanation as to its logic or justice. Its seems to fall to aristocrats and perhaps religious aristocrats, e.g. bishops, to make such determinations. Does that seem reasonable/realistic?

  • Step2 says:

    Zippy,
    What more do you want?

    That you don’t presume to be beyond question or providing an explanation, which is exactly what I pointed out you are claiming. It also wouldn’t hurt if you were less hateful towards the country you live in.

  • “If the legitimacy of authority makes no sense then there is never any moral obligation to obey. Compliance is just a matter of making a cost benefit analysis given the risk of punishment.”

    You have caught me Zippy, I do subscribe to those two beliefs. Love compels me to obey, not moral obligation. Outside the context of love, compliance really is just a simple a cost benefit analysis. God is perfect, Holy, worthy, but I do not obey out of any kind of moral obligation of my own. Apart from Him, I have no “moral” on which to draw my obligation from.

  • Zippy says:

    semioticanimal (and Step2):

    Authority has no obligation to explain itself to subjects, by definition. If I have to persuade you that you should do X then I am not exercising authority: I am exercising persuasion.

    Now in practice persuasion and authority often go together. But a distinguishing feature of authority is that it owes subjects no explanation.

  • Zippy says:

    insanitybytes22:

    Love compels me to obey, not moral obligation.

    Is there a difference?

  • Wood says:

    Some would see detestation of a politics that is destroying ones nation and killing ones fellow countrymen as an example of love.

  • Is there a difference?

    1 John 5:3 “for this is the charity of God, that we keep His commandments, and they are not heavy.”

    I’d say not, and I think the beloved disciple would agree.

  • Good question, Zippy. I’ll have to take some time to chase that rabbit down the hole. I have no idea.

  • Zippy says:

    Wood:

    I love America. It is her politics that I don’t love. (The same can be said of any number of human beings, for that matter).

  • Wood says:

    Zippy,

    Amen. For me, realizing that “America is a propositional nation” (or some such phrasing) is false really helped me in this regard.

  • @Zippy

    Granted that an authority owes no explanation to its subject. What is commanded is taken as identical or congruent with the superior good in virtue of the authority which commands. Going back to my question, given that subjects of an authority are bound by a command, then a unclearly just command can only be condemned or judged by a higher authority. A king can judge a duke’s command to the duke’s subjects, but even a collection of dukes cannot licitly question their kings commands, save when it is manifestly unjust.

  • djz242013 says:

    The authority does not simply go away just because we deem it illegitimate.

    The belief that it will go away when we deem it illegitimate is the founding myth of America, and Democracy itself.

  • Zippy says:

    semioticanimal:

    Yes, the epistemic bias (for lack of a better term) seems right, assuming I understand correctly.

  • King Richard says:

    Step2,
    You wrote,
    “Someone advocating a removal of their established system of government should be circumspect about accusations of treason.”
    Who is this ‘someone’ you are referring to? I am not a successionist, revolutionary, etc. and have no interest in “removing” an established government of North America or Europe.

  • CJ says:

    “You have caught me Zippy, I do subscribe to those two beliefs. Love compels me to obey, not moral obligation. ”

    Insanitybytes22 –

    The question isn’t what compels you to obey, but what justifies the command. An illustration:

    I am physically capable of punishing my 10 yo son should he disobey my directive to lower his voice.

    I am physically capable of punishing my 74 yo father should he disobey my directive to lower his voice.

    Do you not see a difference between those two scenarios?

  • “The question isn’t what compels you to obey, but what justifies the command.”

    Yes, I understand that. And I believe nothing does, nothing tangible, legal, organizational, nothing beyond the authority of God. Authority is justified if it reflects Him, not justified if it doesn’t. It is His organizational chart from which we get our concept of authority and much of it is based on roles, relationships.

    The only difference between your two scenarios is one reflects the ways of God,one does not. Outside of “honor your Father,” is there an argument against it?

  • @insanitybytes
    “Is there a difference?”
    Moral obligation is a principle proposed to the practical reason. The basic moral obligation is do good and avoid evil which is the practical complement of principle of contradiction.
    Love is the principle of the will that moves one toward good and away from evil.
    Love is initiated by moral obligation. I move toward the good and away from evil because I first know the good as to be pursued that is obligatory and evil as to be avoided and therefore prohibited.
    In knowing God as God the Supreme Good whose Authority or Providence created us for Himself it follows that we are morally obligated to love Him.

  • Zippy says:

    insanitybytes22:

    nothing beyond the authority of God

    God created all that exists: including you, the persons to whom you are subject, and the authority they possess over you. So this appeal to the Divine you are making doesn’t call into question the reality of authority any more than it calls into question the reality of rabbits.

  • Zippy says:

    Said differently:

    All authority comes from God because everything that exists comes from God. So that is another tautology which you can light on fire and trebuchet into the modernist motte.

  • “So this appeal to the Divine you are making doesn’t call into question the reality of authority any more than it calls into question the reality of rabbits.”

    I have no desire to call into question the reality of authority. What puzzles me is why some people seem to be seeking justification,legitimacy for authority,outside of the context of what God has ordained?

  • Zippy says:

    Said yet another way:

    “God created everything” doesn’t get you to “children have no moral obligation to obey their parents and you have no moral obligation to doff your cap to the king”.

  • Zippy says:

    insanitybytes22:

    … outside of the context of what God has ordained?

    That may be because that is only taking place in your mind.

    God created all that exists. This includes – not to put too fine a point on it – your local Catholic bishop and his authority over you as a Christian, both of which exist independent of your agreement to that state of affairs or the manner in which the Bishop’s authority is or is not enforced.

    To make it concrete.

  • “….your local Catholic bishop and his authority over you as a Christian…”

    Are you going to go inform HER of that fact or should I? Sorry Zippy, I couldn’t resist.

    All authority that exists has authority over me, yes. Good, bad, or indifferent, it does.

    The liberals who have been running the country for the past decade or so, have authority over me.

  • Aidan C. says:

    insanitybytes22:

    True, the liberals who are running the country (and have been for 241 years, not just the past decade or so) have authority over you, and insofar as they do you are bound to obey them in everything which falls within the rightful purview of their authority. That doesn’t mean you’re bound to accept their false opinions concerning God, the natural law, the purpose of the state, the nature of political communities, etc.

    Our rulers have legitimacy as rulers because they have been given authority by God (ultimately, Rom. 13:1-7) and because they are the universally recognized lawful government of the United States (proximately). Their particular commands have legitimacy unless they require us to violate the will of God or unless they are issued to people or regarding matters that are outside the scope of their authority.

    As I understand it, the above is a (tolerably close) summary of Zippy’s position. Where in it do you find that he is seeking legitimacy “outside of the context of what God has ordained”? Or, if you didn’t mean to accuse Zippy of this, who in the thread were you referring to with that comment? It would be helpful if you would clarify what exactly in either the OP or the subsequent comments you reject, affirm, or distinguish.

  • King Richard says:

    A number of years ago I was speaking with an American of my acquaintance who proudly presents himself as ‘more Catholic than the pope’. He was explaining how he had taken his (minor) children with signs to a parish in his diocese. He had been told that this parish had given a large donation to a charity supported by American bishops that some Catholics claim supports abortion.The signs read things such as ‘[name of the parish] supports abortion’ and [name of the priest] is pro-abortion.
    He elaborated that the pastor (the priest named in the signs) came out, informed him that the signs were upsetting his parishioners and were both defamatory and scandalous and ordered him and his family to stop showing them in his parish.
    The man in question replied ‘I am on a public sidewalk, we’ll stay’. He flat-out stated he was smug.
    I explained to him that the parish was a territorial parish and that the priest had the authority to order Catholics within the territory of the parish to cease public activities that are scandalous, etc. on public land or private. This confused him and he asked me to repeat the point more than once.After a while he stared at me a long time, obviously stunned, and said,
    “But… this is America!”

  • Scott W. says:

    Just fyi: new Kalb article on democracy/monarchy at Crisis: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2017/catholics-democracy-today

  • Zippy says:

    Scott W:

    The article itself is solid. The comments, entirely predictable and depressing. Right liberals are like programmed computer game characters with a fixed dictionary of phrases they produce when triggered by the presence of certain keywords.

  • Mike T says:

    I explained to him that the parish was a territorial parish and that the priest had the authority to order Catholics within the territory of the parish to cease public activities that are scandalous, etc. on public land or private. This confused him and he asked me to repeat the point more than once.After a while he stared at me a long time, obviously stunned, and said,
    “But… this is America!”

    If his accusation is correct, the priest’s command is essentially ordering the protester to stop noticing and informing the public that the authorities are openly and flagrantly cooperating with grave evil.

    A bishop or criminal investigator could compel silence to protect an investigation. But “yes, I know he’s supporting abortion and you’ll just shut up about it because I say so” does not constitute a valid basis to command anything from the man.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    You are just wrong, not to mention turning a real situation into a cartoon. The parishioner lacks the competence and authority to make that judgment. When told to cease and desist by his pastor he is obligated to do so.

  • Mike T says:

    Lacks the competence and authority to do precisely what? Call out supporting a pro-abortion “charity” as an evil act?

  • Zippy says:

    Now the man might well have cause to take his protest to the pastor’s authoritative superiors, secular or religious.

    But here is the thing that modern people have to wrap their heads around: “the public” or “the people” are nobody’s superior, in the hierarchy of authority.

    Certainly in particular the Church is not a democracy, so any specifically democratic appeal-to-the-public protest against your pastor’s or bishop’s explicit censure is just treason by another name.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Zippy:

    Now the man might well have cause to take his protest to the pastor’s authoritative superiors, secular or religious.

    Yes, privately.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Lacks the competence and authority to do precisely what? Call out supporting a pro-abortion “charity” as an evil act?

    This framing begs all sorts of questions.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Mike T.:

    Lacks the competence and authority to do precisely what? Call out supporting a pro-abortion “charity” as an evil act?

    No. To accuse the parish and its priest of an evil act based on hearsay evidence.

  • Terry Morris says:

    …and to make a public spectacle of it. ‘He has his reward.’

  • Zippy says:

    Terry Morris:

    And not just hearsay. I expect the charity in question was involved in all sorts of things — food and medicine for the poor, etc. I expect the connection to abortion was one of material cooperation. Etc Etc.

    But in any case the judgment is not the parishioner’s to make, the public is not a competent authority to whom to appeal, and begging the question by painting a political cartoon picture with words doesn’t justify treason.

  • Mike T says:

    so any specifically democratic appeal-to-the-public protest against your pastor’s or bishop’s explicit censure is just treason by another name.

    And that wouldn’t apply in my case because I didn’t make that appeal. I directly said the command is immediately null and void if the protester is correct because authorities can only suppress the uttering of true statements if there is a valid common good reason. Military necessity, helping a broken person recover from sin and such are good reasons to compel silence. “You will not speak of your cooperation with a pro-abortion charity as being what it factually is” constitutes no basis for a valid command as it is literally nothing more than “you there, I say stop telling everyone I am doing grave evil of my own free will with no shame.”

  • Mike T says:

    I expect the connection to abortion was one of material cooperation. Etc Etc.

    Muslims often give to charities affiliated with Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood knowing fully well that every dollar they give to support the poor frees up other funds to wage acts of terrorism. Association with a charity that freely does evil from time to time is a voluntary association. You have no natural moral obligation to them as you do when the state funds abortion.

  • Mike T says:

    No. To accuse the parish and its priest of an evil act based on hearsay evidence.

    Lacking specifics on the quality of the hearsay evidence, we can only conjecture about many things. However, people often unjustly make the accusation that hearsay evidence cannot be damning. If there are enough people making the claims, authorities should investigate to gather concrete evidence of what is actually true.

    This is not unlike the issue with the Clintons. People “just happen” to drop dead around them all the time. In the last two weeks, two “wow, that’s just crazy!!!!1!” so-called suicides happened. On its face, there is no concrete evidence that the Clintons are murdering anyone, but only a gullible fool would fail to notice that the number of suddenly suicidal people that intersect with the Clintons has more in common with a mental health clinic than a normal political machine. Sure, it’s hearsay, but hearsay is often smoke that implies there was a fire.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    You seem to be talking to yourself, because I am not seeing any evidence that you actually grasped what other commenters have said.

  • King Richard says:

    Mike T.
    When Philip of Macedon was approaching Sparta after conquering many powerful Greek city-states sent them a message,
    “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city”
    The Spartans replied simply,
    “If”

    If a handful of laymen are correct and the Bishops (who ordered a forensic audit of the charity before supporting it) are wrong then the Bishops might, perhaps, be in error. Do you know?

    You wrote,
    “the priest’s command is essentially ordering the protester to stop noticing and informing the public that the authorities are openly and flagrantly cooperating with grave evil.”
    False. Detraction is a sin. Encouraging hatred of priests and bishops is a sin. Further, what was the man going to accomplish by his public scandal? Whip up enough votes to replace the pastor? Encourage a priest to disobey his bishop?

    The rest is as bad

  • Mike, what you are appealing to is basically the authority of mob rule. That is one of the scariest, least moral forms of authority.

    “Or, if you didn’t mean to accuse Zippy of this, who in the thread were you referring to with that comment?”

    I do not accuse, Zippy. The desire for a source of authority outside of God, a cut and dry list of rules perhaps, is simply the essence of what I read in many of the comments here. This
    very thread is an example of that, pointing out the fallacy of Hitler’s organizational chart as a form of authority.

  • King Richard says:

    As i am careful to point out to the young, telling the truth can be objectively evil.
    From the Catechism;
    “2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 He becomes guilty:…
    – of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them.”

    Here is an example-
    In the 1930’s the Nazi regime published a great deal about how organized crime effectively ran many large American cities. Police were corrupt; judges and juries were corrupt; the common man, especially children, admired hardened criminals for their wealth; etc.
    All true. It was designed to erode confidence in and cooperation with America by European and South American nations. Were the Nazis lying?
    No.
    Was their goal sinful?
    Yes.

    Do you think an atheist driving by that parish and seeing those signs was improved by the experience? How about a teenager who wasn’t sure if she should get an abortion or not?

    As far as ‘hearsay’ – lots and lots of hearsay that you agree with doesn’t improve its quality.

  • Zippy says:

    insanitybytes22:

    The desire for a source of authority outside of God, a cut and dry list of rules perhaps, is simply the essence of what I read in many of the comments here.

    Maybe you could be more specific. Which comments in particular?

  • John in the first comment is appealing to the authority of aristocracy, Mike seems to be appealing to the authority of mob rule, Winston I believe, appeals to the authority of consent of the governed, CJ appeals to the authority of a kind of innate moral compass.

    I am not complaining, I’m just curious about that desire to find something,anything but God, on which to draw our understanding of morality and authority from? It may sound trite or simple, but for me I can find no way of really defining “just or legitimate authority” beyond, “God said.” Every other option is just, “might makes right.”

  • Zippy says:

    This seems to be Mike T’s central claim:

    I directly said the command is immediately null and void if the protester [thinks he] is correct…

    Wrong. He was told to stop marching with signs claiming that the pastor is pro abortion. That he thinks his signs fairly state the truth (stipulating that he thinks this) is irrelevant.

    Marching with signs claiming that the pastor is pro abortion is not morally obligatory. The parishioner wasn’t being commanded to do something evil when he was told to cease and desist. Presumably if he had stayed home and played ball with his kids he would not have been doing evil.

    Rejecting liberalism doesn’t merely mean that you can repeat certain arguments. It means that you substantively change the way you think about authority.

  • King Richard says:

    If all will indulge me further, the way we address this in Edan is simple;
    You take an oath of fealty.
    A born citizen? Once you turn 18 you have a limited amount of time to take the oath. If you do not you are no longer a citizen (although in that case you can take it later).

  • Zippy says:

    insanitybytes22:

    In none of your examples – not even the ones I disagree with – is someone appealing to something apart from God. God created all things, including the various things to which various folks appeal (aristocracy, etc).

    It appears, in other words, that the person appealing to this false dichotomy is you: you posit that aristocracy is “apart from God” and that therefore referring to aristocracy as a source of legitimate authority is “apart from God”.

    I think you are projecting your own false dichotomy onto the discussion, in other words.

    If I say “apples grow on trees” am I appealing to a source of apples apart from God?

  • “If I say “apples grow on trees” am I appealing to a source of apples apart from God?”

    We are living in a world were we have genetically modified and grafted oranges onto the apple tree, where men can take shots and become women, were we splice 3 way DNA for designer babies in 3 way marriages.

    I’d say our entire culture is attempting to appeal to an authority apart from God.

  • Eavan says:

    “local Catholic bishop and his authority over you as a Christian, both of which exist independent of your agreement to that state of affairs or the manner in which the Bishop’s authority is or is not enforced.”

    This is so helpful. I was a Protestant received into the Church at Easter (thanks in large part to Zippy, and with great gratitude for his patient explanations of Church teachings) and I’ve struggled to explain to questioning friends how it’s different than choosing a Protestant denomination. In my mind, I was repenting of rebellion and submitting to true Church authority, but it looks to them like consent to just another denomination. This will help me explain, although I may have no friends left if I tell them they’re under the authority of the Church whether they recognize it or not 🙂

  • Zippy says:

    insanitybytes22:

    I’d say our entire culture is attempting to appeal to an authority apart from God.

    “Our entire culture” seems to be a change of subject from “the specific commenters in this thread.”

    Sure, moderns posit that God is dead. And one of the more equivocal ways that they posit that God is dead is by suggesting that they have a direct personal gnostic connection to God which means that they can ignore the truth shouting at them through God’s creation.

    Do seedless oranges come from God? Does DNA come from God? Do cars and buildings come from God?

  • Zippy says:

    Eavan:

    You just made my day, thanks!

  • Pretty sure I just read an article about a dude who “gave birth”…somehow.

    Pretty sure that was an Arnold Scrawzenegger movie.

  • Does abortion come from God? Divorce? Wars, cloning, disease? I’m not so certain, Zippy. I think there are some perversions of His design that God did not intend and I believe that their are evil forces at play that are not “of God.”

    How do we discern just authority from illegitimate? It is just the closer it is to God’s design, invalid the farther we move away. We know the essence of God’s design through creation,natural law, the bible, perhaps even something innate within ourselves.

  • Zippy says:

    insanitybytes22:

    … think there are some perversions of His design …

    Nobody has suggested otherwise. But if you want folks to grasp what you are saying it would probably help to pick some particular point and focus on it. As it is, your comments seem all over the place to me.

  • Mike T says:

    IB,

    Mike seems to be appealing to the authority of mob rule

    I am appealing to the right of every person who to annoy the hell out of human authorities by speaking the truth when they prefer the truth not be spoken for no common good reason.

    King Richard,

    “2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 He becomes guilty:…
    – of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them.”

    “Without objectively valid reason.” One would think that turning the collection plate over to Planned Parenthood and the resulting scandal of using funds earmarked for God to be used in a perverse way would be more than a little, well, objectively valid to force disclosure.

    Now I freely admit that the facts of your case might lean on the priest’s side as the hearsay might be rather weak. However, again, it depends on the nature of the hearsay and claims. If the charity sometimes screws up, but that isn’t what it normally does, you’re right. If it is closer to Planned Parenthood than a good Catholic mercy ministry than the priest can go pound sand.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T is the poster child for someone who has learned to repeat some of the arguments against liberalism yet still retains his own liberal commitments substantively. I promise that he isn’t a sock puppet of mine.

  • King Richard says:

    I had forgotten how Mike T tends to invent things as he goes along….

  • “I am appealing to the right of every person to annoy the hell out of human authorities by speaking the truth when they prefer the truth not be spoken for no common good reason.”

    With all good humor Mike, annoying the hell out of human authorities is not a skill I lack. A far more interesting question is, “why?” Why do we do that? I’m not asking, I already know for myself. Since you often seem rather enthusiastic about telling priests to, “go pound sand” you might enjoy puzzling that question out yourself.

  • Mike T says:

    I had forgotten how Mike T tends to invent things as he goes along….

    You’ll forgive me if I don’t take your story at complete face value when you leave out pertinent details and then end with your usual, smug, anti-Americanism that was validated by your story. Maybe I am wrong and missed the point where you said “and no person knowing this charity would believe the claims were anything but defamation.”

  • Terry Morris says:

    Mike, it seems pretty obvious, at least to me and based on what information King Richard provided us in the story, that the man in question *should have* taken his complaint to the proper (ecclesiastical) authorities prior to any thought of protesting with signs in front of the parish.

    Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on the receiving end of false allegations leveled against me before based on nothing but pure hearsay, and I don’t like one bit, not leaat of which is because it can be dangerous. Good intentions and all that notwithstanding.

    Do unto others.

  • Mike T says:

    Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on the receiving end of false allegations leveled against me before based on nothing but pure hearsay

    As I have I. However, all of you seem to be missing the fact that there are three types of hearsay claims:

    1. Defamation.
    2. Plausible, but invalid, accusations.
    3. Accusations that, if investigated, would yield real evidence damning the target of the hearsay.

    As presented, we are supposed to assume #1 or maybe #2. I am simply looking at the story as presented and saying that I will not rule out #3 and if #3 is the truth, the priest is the one in the wrong.

  • Wood says:

    MikeT,

    I imagine there’s some correlate between physically protesting and picketing a local Catholic Church and just war doctrine.

    The priest came out and said scandal was being caused. Scandal. That’s very serious. Perhaps too serious to even justify whatever the correlates between just war doctrine are in this example of rebelling against authority.

  • Mike T says:

    Wood,

    And yet suppose the protester is entirely right and everyone is just getting the middle class vapors at some uncouth individual revealing that Pleasantville is a bit closer to Carthage in its treatment of children than they care to admit?

  • Zippy says:

    Or imagine a world in which Mike T doesn’t get the vapors over the idea of real authority like a feminist triggered into apoplexy by the word ‘patriarchy’.

  • Step2 says:

    Zippy,
    Authority has no obligation to explain itself to subjects, by definition. If I have to persuade you that you should do X then I am not exercising authority: I am exercising persuasion.

    It depends on how well the authority wishes for me to obey. I will go above and beyond to assist an authority I trust and I’ll do the barest minimum possible to satisfy the letter of the “law” for an authority I distrust. Trust is earned, you don’t get trust simply by having authority.

    King Richard,
    I am not a successionist, revolutionary, etc. and have no interest in “removing” an established government of North America or Europe.

    You should have the courage of your convictions. If the monarchy idolization is all just talk and no action it is only a “meaningless entertainment and distraction” as Zippy would say.

    CJ,
    The third scenario is if your 74 yr old father gives you a command that doesn’t make sense and then refuses to give an explanation. If I’m visiting his house I would likely do it but would gripe. If we are in my house he would explain his reasons or his command is null and void. His authority doesn’t go away but it isn’t the same in every circumstance either.

  • Mike T says:

    doesn’t get the vapors over the idea of real authority like a feminist triggered into apoplexy by the word ‘patriarchy’

    Clearly everything I’ve said here was a foaming at the mouth, barely legible emotional explosion of rhetorical diarrhea. Because triggered or something

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    You obviously can’t help yourself.

  • Zippy says:

    Step2:

    I will go above and beyond to assist an authority I trust and I’ll do the barest minimum possible to satisfy the letter of the “law” for an authority I distrust. Trust is earned, you don’t get trust simply by having authority.

    Agreed.

    On the other hand, modern people qua subjects are feral ungovernable entitled disasters who don’t even believe in authority. Trust goes both ways, and modernity has destroyed it.

  • Mike T says:

    You obviously can’t help yourself.

    I probably could, but that would require me to see some value in doing so.

  • Mike T says:

    On the other hand, modern people qua subjects are feral ungovernable entitled disasters who don’t even believe in authority. Trust goes both ways, and modernity has destroyed it.

    Men who are never taught how to follow will only stumble into being good authorities by accident of being born with the right personality. Everyone is born a follower. Even a prince must follow the king until it’s time to inherit the throne because until then, the prince is just first among equals as a subject.

  • On the other hand, modern people qua subjects are feral ungovernable entitled disasters who don’t even believe in authority. Trust goes both ways, and modernity has destroyed it

    We’re bad followers? Feral, huh? I tend to agree. I never really thought of trust going both ways in terms of authority, but you are quite right. We need to nurture and pour some encouragement over our leaders, to value the job and the role they have been assigned,and to be merciful if they stumble.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Everyone is born [civilized].

    Your belief in the “noble savage” is absolutely precious.

  • King Richard says:

    Mike T
    I am referring how it went from ‘a charity some think…’ to ‘making payments to Planned Parenthood’ in just a few of your posts.

  • King Richard says:

    Step2,
    You wrote,
    “You should have the courage of your convictions. If the monarchy idolization is all just talk and no action ”
    The concept that the Monarchists’ choices are limited to ‘let’s just talk’ or ‘violent revolution’ is a false dichotomy.

  • King Richard says:

    Mike T.,
    You wrote,
    “all of you seem to be missing the fact that there are three types of hearsay claims:”
    False. There is ONE type of hearsay claim – ‘a statement or claim that cannot be substantiated’.

    For example,
    “I heard that Mike T tortures Slovenians to death for fun.”
    If I believe that without support that is *rash judgement* (a sin) because there is no evidence. If I repeat it that is gossip (a sin) since repeating hearsay is imprudent (at least).
    If I ask,
    “Heard from where? Is their proof?”
    and none is forthcoming then acting on that/believing it/repeating it is sinful unless I have an objective reason to need to determine the truth. ‘I want to get one over on Mike’ is not a valid reason. ‘I pay Mike to guide Slovenian tourists on spelunking tours’ might be. Then you have to find proof and only act if you can prove it. Firing Mike because some guy said he hates Slovenians is unjust

  • King Richard says:

    Sorry for the poor editing

  • Step2 says:

    Zippy,
    On the other hand, modern people qua subjects are feral ungovernable entitled disasters who don’t even believe in authority.

    Okay, but consider who our political authority is. From Trump’s visit to the Vatican:
    Pope: You should see the exorcist.
    Trump: I don’t have time for a movie.
    Pope: Movie?

  • Mike T says:

    Your belief in the “noble savage” is absolutely precious

    My example is rather clear that I was using follower not in a higher sense, but as a synonym for “subject to some authority that precedes them.” The part about the prince naturally being born subordinate to/a follower of the king, his father, was your clue.

  • Mike T says:

    King Richard,

    There is ONE type of hearsay claim – ‘a statement or claim that cannot be substantiated’.

    I think the definition is wider than you are allowing.

    Obviously, in the narrow context you defined, hearsay is unequivocally wrong. However, in the more vernacular definition that is understood and generally used, hearsay is not intrinsically evil. In fact, most rape allegations are, by their very nature, tantamount to hearsay because there is absolutely no way to prove it wasn’t consensual fornication in the absence of witnesses to a struggle or signs of coercion.

    That is why I used the Clintons as a good example. There is absolutely no way for the average person to substantiate concretely the direct claim that they’re serial murderers. However, the flip side is that no one in their right mind believes that two people in American politics who have associates drop dead at seemingly regular intervals of very sketchy “suicides” is even remotely normal or just “bad luck” at some point. At some point, a war on hearsay becomes another name for a “war on noticing” by people who aren’t in a position to get down to the facts.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    That is why I used the Clintons …

    … as a way of changing the subject.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    My example is rather clear…

    …ly a non sequiter, then, given that you proposed it as a contrast to my characterization of modern people qua followers.

  • Mike T says:

    I am referring how it went from ‘a charity some think…’ to ‘making payments to Planned Parenthood’ in just a few of your posts.

    You’re assuming I just take your description (which is lacking details I think are important) at face value. I am often skeptical like that. So I raise those points to point that for I know, you could be ignorant of the facts and the protester actually has truth on his side. It’s a matter of answering the question “if I looked at the facts, what would I see.”

    As I said at some point above, you could well be right. On the flip side, there are many Christians–including Catholics, that think that PP is totally awesome and doing the Lord’s work everywhere outside of its Department of Butchery. So it is pretty much a certainty that there are congregations who are actually, quietly or openly, giving money to support groups that slosh the money around and use it to kill babies.

    So what the charity is doing and what the church leadership knows is actually quite relevant. A priest who knowingly throws money at a charity that has a mission that leads it to support the abortion industry as part of its ordinary work deserves to be slugged in the face by an elder in the congregation, not obeyed, when commanded to be silent.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T to KR:

    You’re assuming I just take your description (which is lacking details I think are important) at face value.

    So you were talking about some other scenario in your head this whole time, not the scenario KR posted?

  • Mike T says:

    So you were talking about some other scenario in your head this whole time, not the scenario KR posted?

    I often don’t take others’ characterization of an even at face value unless I have a sufficient view of the data to agree that their reading is probably more right than wrong. I have been told that it is annoying, but I come by it honestly given my family background.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    So you had no idea what you were talking about, didn’t ask the person who actually related the facts of the actual event for clarification, assumed that everyone reading the combox is stupid and ignorant, addressed your comments to some implicit fictional story you made up not the actual event, treated us to numerous nonsequiters and red herrings, and this is perfectly understandable because this kind of behavior runs in your family?

    Good to know.

    I leave it to others to discern to what extent this is a confirming data point vis a vis my characterization of modern people qua followers.

  • Mike T says:

    So you had no idea what you were talking about, didn’t ask the person who actually related the facts of the actual event for clarification

    Most of what I wrote was actually directly addressed to responses to my initial disagreement. Even when I raised issues that needed to be clarified such as “why does the protester think these things are true”… nothing. Even now.

    And none of the points about PP were non-sequitors to his story. Depending on the nature of the charity and what the parish leadership knew (or refused to know because ideological commitments), that changes the very nature of the command. If the charity actually is pro-abortion, a command to be silent is literally a command to stop noticing and telling the congregation that their money being handed over to the church is being given to commit wild violations of the moral law.

  • command to be silent is literally a command to stop noticing

    No command to be silent was given. A command to stop holding signs in a particular parish that publicly accused the parish and priest of being pro-abortion was given, but that is a much more specific command then “be silent on the matter.”

    It really matters very little (if at all) what the exact nature of the charity’s connection to planned parenthood is. Even if the donation was to planned parenthood itself, the command would hold, because it is within the domain of the priest’s authority to give that specific command, no matter what his actions were. Not to mention the objective moral commands to refrain from scandal, detraction, and calumny (the sign implicitly accuses each and every family that is a member of that parish of being pro-abortion).

    Many other more prudent avenues of dealing with the problem exist, and it is perfectly within the bounds of even a highly immoral priest’s authority to morally obligate that man to refrain from taking that particular approach. As Zippy said, in addition to just being wrong, you are attacking a phantom of your own making.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Even when I raised issues that needed to be clarified such as “why does the protester think these things are true”… nothing. Even now.

    Maybe you can link to the comment where you politely asked KR that question. I have a notion myself of what the particulars are likely to be, but I’m probably more familiar with Catholic inside baseball than you.

    Also, it has been explained to you repeatedly why the answer doesn’t even really matter. But like most liberals you think marching with signs and acting like an ass are human rights.

  • King Richard says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe Mike T has directed *any* question to me, directly, in this thread….

    Related to the topic: Prince Jonathan and I have an exercise we do. Occasionally in a public forum or on social media we will post simple statements such as,
    “Libertarians are Liberals”
    of
    “Democracy is logically inconsistent”
    We do not intrude into other threads or comments, we start a new topic and interrupt/address/name no one.
    Invariably 3 things happen:
    1) Many people disagree
    2) There is a fair amount of personal abuse
    3) No one asks any questions of us

    It is the third part that I find most fascinating, especially because when we point out that no one has asked us any questions often 1 or more people say, even insist, that they *have* asked us questions. When we ask them to show us or link to the questions they, of course, cannot.
    Facebook, 4chan, etc. – all the same.
    It is often true of blogs, as well, with a slightly different dynamic.

    When we say these things in person there is much less personal abuse, but people still don’t ask questions I;d say 90%-95% of the time.

  • Terry Morris says:

    King Richard:

    It is the third part that I find most fascinating, especially because when we point out that no one has asked us any questions often 1 or more people say, even insist, that they *have* asked us questions.

    They’re confusing what is going on inside their heads with what they actually type out and post.

  • King Richard says:

    Terry,
    We know, but that is the interesting part.

  • Terry Morris says:

    King Richard,

    I agree – it *is* interesting.

    I sometimes make provocative statements to the effect as well; the “libertarians are liberals” statement is the kind, in my experience, that will *sometimes* elicit questions from interlocutors, but when I do it it is usually in one-on-one conversations with people I know or general acquaintances.

    For example, I am surrounded (in my little circle) by people who style themselves “ultra conservative” and the like. When the opportunity presents itself in our discussions I will go Larry Auster on them and say something to the effect of (as Larry said to me way back in a private email conversation between us), “well, Terry, basically all ‘conservatives’ are liberals.”

    I’ll never forget my initial reaction when Larry told me that: “Please explain to me what you mean by that because if there is anything I *don’t* want to be it’s a liberal!” Ha, ha. Interestingly enough, I have gotten the exact (almost verbatim) kind of response from numerous interlocutors when stating the fact. As you well know, I’m sure, there really isn’t any such thing as an “overnight” political conversion, so the explanation involves a long term commitment, turning them on to a bunch of blog posts like here at Zippy’s, and so on and so forth. I will even turn them on to some of my own blog posts from way back to illustrate the point that ‘I get it, I was once where you are too.’

  • Mike T says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe Mike T has directed *any* question to me, directly, in this thread….

    In a sense, that is correct. However, I did point out in direct response to you:

    Maybe I am wrong and missed the point where you said “and no person knowing this charity would believe the claims were anything but defamation.”

    So maybe I should have phrased it as a question.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Maybe I am wrong and missed the point where you said “and no person knowing this charity would believe the claims were anything but defamation.”

    Why would reading that statement have any effect other than to reinforce the impression of your clueless solipsism?

  • Mike T says:

    Also, it has been explained to you repeatedly why the answer doesn’t even really matter. But like most liberals you think marching with signs and acting like an ass are human rights.

    I have said no such thing. I have rather pointedly said that the validity of the priest’s command hinges upon the the truth of the accusation leveled against him because that matter actually determines the nature of the command itself. In one case, it is a command to stop defaming and scandalizing; in another it is a command to stop revealing his abuse of authority and church funds.

    See I don’t think it’s a human rights matter, but a matter of priority. Suppose the protester is 100% right. Why do you give a petrified rat #$%^ dropping about the priest’s authority if he is guilty as charged?

  • Step2 says:

    King Richard,
    The concept that the Monarchists’ choices are limited to ‘let’s just talk’ or ‘violent revolution’ is a false dichotomy.

    I didn’t say you were planning a violent revolution but if you are serious about establishing a monarchy it is fantastical to believe you will not eventually be in some type of conflict with our established system of government. A monarchy that is wholly dependent upon the authority of a different system of government has no sovereign power. At most it is a private club of some sort.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    I have rather pointedly said that the validity of the priest’s command hinges upon the the truth of the accusation leveled against him …

    And it has been repeatedly pointed out to you that the one thing has nothing to do with the other.

  • Mike T says:

    Why would reading that statement have any effect other than to reinforce the impression of your clueless solipsism?

    Well, you are convinced that I am triggered all the time by authority. So I don’t know what to tell you other than your family would have eaten a hell of a lot worse if you’d majored in Psychology and gone that route to support them.

  • Mike T says:

    And it has been repeatedly pointed out to you that the one thing has nothing to do with the other.

    And I have repeatedly made it clear I don’t find your argument convincing or anywhere near as good as you consider it.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Suppose a protester is carrying a sign around on your property accusing you of something. You command him to cease and desist.

    Does your authority as property owner to oblige him to cease and desist depend upon the veracity or fairness of his accusations against you?

    No, it does not.

    The impression I have is that you simply don’t think the pastor has this authority in the first place, and you are tying yourself up in solipsistic rationalization.

  • King Richard says:

    Mike T
    When you wrote,
    “…“and no person knowing this charity would believe the claims were anything but defamation.””
    I disregrded it because not only is it not a question, it betrays that you don’t know what ‘defamation’ means.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Well, you are convinced that I am triggered all the time by authority.

    I am convinced of that because it is true. Any discussion involving authority is guaranteed to produce the same reaction from you: a niagra falls of rationalizations and qualifications designed to reduce any authority over you to an obligation that only applies when you agree with it.

  • King Richard says:

    Step2,
    You wrote,
    “…if you are serious about establishing a monarchy it is fantastical to believe you will not eventually be in some type of conflict with our established system of government.”
    Incredulity is not an argument. I am not aware of Monaco, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, or Liechtenstein having any real conflict with other nations because they are monarchies. Also, I maintain continual contact with the EU, British Foreign Office, and US State Department to ensure that Edan has no such conflict, either.

    You continued,
    “A monarchy that is wholly dependent upon the authority of a different system of government has no sovereign power. At most it is a private club of some sort.”
    May I gently suggest you both become more familiar with international sovereignty law and read more carefully what it is that me and mine do?

  • Mike T says:

    Does your authority as property owner to oblige him to cease and desist depend upon the veracity or fairness of his accusations against you?

    Sidewalks are public spaces, private property is not. You can find a better example of that.

    I disregrded it because not only is it not a question, it betrays that you don’t know what ‘defamation’ means.

    The only thing I’ve betrayed so far is a knowledge of some of your terms that would better stand up in a court of law or discussion with the general public.

  • Mike T says:

    a niagra falls of rationalizations and qualifications designed to reduce any authority over you to an obligation that only applies when you agree with it.

    That’s not what I did here. Did I deny the general authority of the priest? Not in the least. I challenged your claim that a priest can command a parishioner to stop protesting against him IFF the particular nature of the protest is revealing actual, grave misconduct that the priest is trying to hide from the congregation.

    You should note that I did not even challenge that the priest can bind people to stop protesting in many cases or order them to change their tone to a more Christian one. I specifically limited in this case on the stipulation that IFF the protester is correct, the priest is attempting to use the authority to force a non-disclosure of grave evil he has committed in an official capacity with the congregation’s money and reputation.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    Sidewalks are public spaces, private property is not.

    Right. You believe in the authority of property ownership, and have no problem seeing the irrelevance of your own objections in that context. So the issue isn’t that your objections make any sense – they don’t – it is that you don’t believe in the pastor’s authority in the first place.

    Classical liberals attempt to maintain a robust affirmation of the authority of private property ownership while disbelieving in other kinds of authority, or equivocally watering them down to irrelevance. That description suits you to a Mike T, despite your protestations.

    …the priest is attempting to use the authority to force a non-disclosure of grave evil…

    Baloney. It has been pointed out to you many times that marching with those specific signs displaying those slogans as described is a specific action. You just keep ignoring anything that destroys your narrative.

    …the congregation’s money and reputation…

    Again displaying the liberal democratic mindset you can’t seem to escape.

  • King Richard says:

    Still not asking any questions….

  • King Richard says:

    Mike T,
    You wrote,
    “Sidewalks are public spaces”
    If I may rephrase that slightly?
    “But… this is America!”

  • Terry Morris says:

    King Richard:

    “Sidewalks are public spaces”
    If I may rephrase that slightly?
    “But… this is America!”

    LOL!

  • Zippy says:

    If it is stipulated that a pastor has the actual authority within his geographic territory (not limited to just within the secular lines drawn by real estate titles) to obligate his parishioners not to march around with signs, then objections based on the supposed veracity and fairness of the signs (or at least the parishioner’s opinion that they are true and fair) are nonsense — just as they would be if a proprietor were ejecting protesters from his property.

    If the pastor has no such authority then the veracity and fairness of the signs don’t matter: he still cannot obligate a protestor to stop protesting outside the bounds drawn by secular real estate law. (They might be so obligated by some moral principle extrinsic to his authority; but they cannot be so obligated specifically by his own authoritative juridical act or command).

    But liberals are always casting about for non-authority theories of authority, which is why Mike T can’t bring himself to commit to one or the other.

  • King Richard says:

    And, naturally, the core error runs much deeper. The original protester [let us call him Bob] and Mike T are both wrapped up in the idea of,
    “*if* the complaints are correct then I can do anything I like, therefore I can do anything I like!”
    And are skipping from step 1 to step 5 and fighting tooth and nail to not be dragged back to step 4.
    Step 2 is ‘what does the fact that ‘this parish gave the most to a particular charity some claim is bad’ actually *mean*?
    For more of what Zippy wonderfully calls ‘Catholic inside baseball’ here is how donations at Catholic parishes work [the extremely short version, skipping a bunch of special cases]:
    1) There is a collection for the parish itself. With a few exceptions, 10% of this goes to the diocese, the rest to the parish
    2) The pastor may add a second collection for specific charities (the Legion of Mary or something); the pastor is not required to take 10% for the parish, but can. If 10% goes to the parish, 10% of that goes to the diocese.
    3) The bishops can set a second collection for a particular cause (not counting the Bishop’s Appeal). The parish may get 10% of this, or 10% of this amount is forgiven from the Bishop’s Appeal (most likely)
    4) If a donation is placed into the collection with no strings attached typically the pastor cannot refuse it unless he can prove it was, say, stolen. He could potentially return it. If it is for a Bishop’s collection, he can’t refund it.

    Lots of words that boil down to ‘if someone donates to a charity promoted by the bishop the pastor MUST pass it on’.
    But other things happen. For example, in the parish I attend the pastor wishes to avoid controversy and when the charity in question has a bishop’s collection the pastor quietly states that he ‘will be disappointed’ if there is anything placed into the second collection.
    But is someone walked in off the street and placed a check for 1 million euros into the second collection the pastor would be required to pass it along.

    See the problem, the *real* problem, with protesting the parish? If one single person decided to ‘make a point’ by coming in on that day and dropping a $100 bill into the second collection the parish could *easily* be the ‘parish that was top donor to X’. Someone might have been distracted by a toddler and dropped a first collection check into the second collection and never realize.
    Regular parish members might have given $0. the pastor could have asked them not to. Etc.

    So, and this is key, *even if* the charity is somehow cooperating with evil saying ‘this parish supports abortion’ or ‘this pastor is pro-abortion’ is almost certainly calumny to at least a few people and perhaps to everyone. Since no investigation was done, this was rash judgement based on hearsay and no matter what the intemperate actions are a public scandal that is designed to cause hatred!

    So, to sum up:
    Before we even get to the fact that a pastor of a territorial parish has real authority over all Catholics within his territory regardless of sidewalks, the action itself was obviously, and I mean *obviously*, inherently wrong.

  • Zippy says:

    To summarize:

    If the pastor does have this authority within his geographic territory, objections to the effect that the protester thinks the pastor is in the wrong on the topic of protest are irrelevant. The pastor’s juridical authority within his territory is analogous to the property owner’s authority on his property, and binds morally on pain of sin whether or not the subject agrees, objects, or complies.

    If the pastor cannot obligate the parishioner in this particular way then what we are talking about isn’t authority at all. There will of course be other moral principles in play, as always: but to deny that the pastor can morally obligate the parishioner to cease and desist on his own authority is simply to deny that he has any authority at all.

    And this is in fact the typical maneuver made by moderns since the Protestant Revolt: moral obligation is never mediated through the juridical choices of men with actually real authority. That is, authority doesn’t exist. Wives and children are obligated to “obey” husbands and fathers only when they agree that his choice is wise and fair; trespassers and thieves are bound only to the extent they agree with the current disposition of property; government powers are only just when derived from the consent of the governed; mens rea implies that women who don’t agree that abortion is murder mustn’t be subjected to any juridical penalty; etc etc.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    Not exactly apropos to the above conversation, for which I apologize, but this post got me thinking. I don’t have a theory of legitimacy, but I think I may have a theory of injustice as it relates to authority.

    There are two cases in which authority can be unjust:

    1) the authority morally obligates you to do something manifestly morally wrong, or

    2) the authority attempts to usurp some higher authority which it does not have, e.g. telling you you must worship Caesar, or the mayor commanding his aldermen not to turn over taxes to the king

    I’m not sure I can find any supportable case of 1) that isn’t actually a case of 2) where the authority usurped is God’s. (The key word is ‘manifestly’.)

    Case 2) can be dead obvious, or it can be complicated. In the case of the mayor commanding his aldermen not to render to the king, for example, what is the proper course for the aldermen? I should think it depends on prudential considerations.

  • King Richard says:

    Exactly! Rather than examine the morality of actions, the default is to discuss how the actor feels about themselves while acting and dismiss anything else as ‘unreal’.

  • Terry Morris says:

    I think I simply do not understand the basis of Mike T’s objections. If I tell a sign-weilding protester (on the public sidewalk in front of my house) to cease and desist scandalizing my family in general, and my authority in particular, by God I mean it! There is *so much* relevant information he is completely oblivious to, I cannot even begin to list it. Funny thing too: Mike T. would almost undoubtedly claim the exact same authority were he wearing the same shoes.

  • “And this is in fact the typical maneuver made by moderns since the Protestant Revolt: moral obligation is never mediated through the juridical choices of men with actually real authority. That is, authority doesn’t exist.”

    With all due respect Zippy, and I understand you did not actually say this literally, but I want to mention that many protestants are actually fighting on the front lines when it comes to matters of authority, whereas many Catholics have adopted and more modern, liberal perception. Of course, my observations are anecdotal and based on personal experience,locale,etc. I’m just asking you to take note of that observation, because many Catholics have a tendency to perceive us protestants as the somewhat rebellious, prodigal step children who ran away from home.

  • King Richard says:

    insanitybytes22,
    “Somewhat”?

  • Mike T says:

    Terry,

    I think I simply do not understand the basis of Mike T’s objections. If I tell a sign-weilding protester (on the public sidewalk in front of my house) to cease and desist scandalizing my family in general, and my authority in particular, by God I mean it! There is *so much* relevant information he is completely oblivious to, I cannot even begin to list it. Funny thing too: Mike T. would almost undoubtedly claim the exact same authority were he wearing the same shoes.

    It come down to two things:

    1. Part of it is a misunderstanding of certain Catholic practices and terminology which King Richard made clear in his recent comments.

    2. Aside from that, the reason I object to the idea of the priest being able to bind the parishioner in the event he is right that the priest is actually intentionally supporting abortion is that such a command is an attempt to morally obligate someone to not bring grave and relevant sin to light. That, to me, is an obligation to do evil on the level of a father ordering his son to not tell his mother that she is being cheated on when the son catches his father in the act of cheating on his wife.

    To use your own analogy, let’s say you cheated on a man and he confronts you at home. He demands your wife come out to hear the truth of what you did. You order him to leave and prevent that. Then he shouts repeatedly for a while what you did so your family can hear it.

    If he is speaking truthfully, the source of scandal is you. You committed the sin, not him. You are only commanding him to leave your property because you don’t want your wife to know the truth that you have sinned against her and grievously so.

  • Mike T says:

    cheated on a man

    Cheated with another man’s wife.

    Your wife may be under your headship and authority, but if you are cheating on her she has a right to know and confront you so you are held accountable. The same is true of any religious authority who is supporting evil with church funds. Even if they have no authority to punish him, they have the moral right to know that he is intentionally doing evil, particularly in their name.

  • Mike T says:

    King Richard,

    Thanks for the clarification on the rules. I was unaware of how little authority priests have when the bishop makes a bad call. So yes, I think you have a fair point that the parish is entirely powerless if the bishop is flirting with bad causes.

    Lots of words that boil down to ‘if someone donates to a charity promoted by the bishop the pastor MUST pass it on’.

    Dead serious here… if the charity actually does intentionally do things which violate Catholic doctrine, and the bishop supports it, what authority does the priest have here? For example, suppose the bishop actually does choose Planned Parenthood and say “we’re supporting them on cancer screenings only” (wink wink).

  • “Your wife may be under your headship and authority, but if you are cheating on her she has a right to know and confront you so you are held accountable.”

    I think not, Mike. I think the only option really is to appeal to a higher authority. Ultimately in all matters we are left with, “may the Lord rebuke you,” and pray that they are convicted by God. In a husband/wife situation, she pretty much lacks the authority to hold him morally accountable or to force his repentance, because his sin is not her job to fix. He already has a Savior. Believe it or not, that attitude is actually rather liberating for a wife, because it means one need not go out on a public street and start picketing his cheating behind.

  • King Richard says:

    Mike T.,
    You wrote,
    “1. Part of it is a misunderstanding of certain Catholic practices and terminology which King Richard made clear in his recent comments.”
    When I described this scenario to the 13 year old daughter and 11 year old daughter of a close friend shortly after it happened the 13 year old’s rely was [paraphrase],
    “But did he find out if every single person gave to the charity?”
    The 11 year old asked,
    “But does the charity really do those things?”
    The young ladies are precocious, but not *that* precocious. They asked morally important questions immediately.

    You continued,
    “…the reason I object to the idea of the priest being able to bind the parishioner in the event he is right that the priest is actually intentionally supporting abortion is that such a command is an attempt to morally obligate someone to not bring grave and relevant sin to light.”
    I have no idea how many times different people must explain this to you until you will understand, but,
    ‘Stop creating a public scandal in the territory I have authority over’
    isn’t even in the same neighborhood as,
    ‘Don’t expose grave sin’.

    I’ll give it a whirl.
    You are not a practicing Catholic.
    Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
    You are head of your household, responsible for your wife and children.
    My family shows up on your porch with signs that read,
    ‘Mike T hates God’ and ‘Mike T’s family are heretics’ and ‘Mike T wants his children to burn in Hell’.
    I am firmly convinced this is true *with more evidence than ‘Bob’ has about the charity*.
    I am attempting to expose a grave sin *to save the souls of you and your family* with more evidence, support, and theological backing than ‘Bob’ had.
    You tell me to get of your porch.
    According to you, you are.
    “…attempting to morally obligate someone to not bring grave and relevant sin to light.”
    And, *according to you*, I don’t have to obey you because your authority doesn’t apply anymore. Because reasons. So I can stay on your porch and protest as much as I like.
    Right?
    Right.
    What is your address?

    Your analogy is terrible, BTW, because you are avoiding the real key point.
    A man who thinks you cheated with his wife is in your living room telling your kids you’re an adulterer. You tell him to leave. He sits on your couch,
    ‘Never. Because you are trying to hide sin you have no authority to make me leave your home’.

    Here is a better version of yours
    You go to work. There is a man marching out front with a sign that reads
    ‘Mike T is an adulterer; his address is xxx’
    Next to him is a little girl,
    ‘Mike T wants to steal my mommy. his phone number is xxx’
    And next to her is a little boy with a sign,
    ‘[Mike T’s boss] endorses adultery; don’t do business with [the company Mike T wrks for]’
    Your boss tells them to get out of the parking lot.
    ‘You’re just trying to prevent us from exposing a grave sin. You have no authority over us!’

  • Mike T

    an attempt to morally obligate someone to not bring grave and relevant sin to light.

    As has been repeatedly pointed out to you, this simply isn’t the case. If you refuse to accept that the command “stop holding those specific signs” is different than “be absolutely silent on the matter” then there is nothing anyone here can say to convince you that the man had an obligation to stop holding those signs.

    If he is speaking truthfully, the source of scandal is you.

    False. The sin would have remained a private matter if it weren’t for the screeching of that other man, therefore, the scandal is a direct result of that man’s actions. Scandal is a sin in and of itself, not something that is tied to a particular sin.

    Even conceding that there is some “right” by which people should know how other people wrong them, that does not mean that anybody can morally use any means of revealing the truth, just because it’s true.

  • TomD says:

    Scandal doesn’t even have to involve revealing a sinful act at all – you can scandalize whilst not doing wrong (though the scandal itself is wrong) – see meat sacrificed to idols.

  • Step2 says:

    King Richard,
    Incredulity is not an argument.

    Yet it is a reasonable response to eccentricity.

    I am not aware of Monaco, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, or Liechtenstein having any real conflict with other nations because they are monarchies.

    You don’t have a sovereign territory nor are you likely to acquire any through conquest, treaty, secession, creation (i.e. artificial islands) or settlement of abandoned territory.

    May I gently suggest you both become more familiar with international sovereignty law and read more carefully what it is that me and mine do?

    You may and I have. From what I’ve read no property you possess and nobody you govern is outside the jurisdiction of an external established nation. Further, if you were to contest any of that jurisdiction you would almost certainly be in a conflict like I claimed earlier and the international court rejects any such contest attempted by micronations. Which is why your kingdom has all the characteristics of a private club and none of a sovereign power.

    The Order of Malta, which did at one time possess sovereign territory, does not have all the usual privileges given to regular national sovereigns. Most of its powers are formally derived from the authority of other sovereigns, namely the Vatican and Italy’s government.

  • King Richard says:

    Step2,
    You are incorrect about SMOM – under international law it is sovereign with the right of issuance of passports, ambassadors, etc.and has extra-territorial embassies in many nations and formal diplomatic relations as a sovereign nation with 109 countries. It is a formal observer at the UN .
    The UN is, itself, sovereign under international law even though it is also devoid of territory (all of its holdings are considered to be embassies or such).

    And sovereign territory is not a goal; the goal is recognition as a Non-Territorial Nation using the international legal definition of Nation:

    ” “While the terms country, state, and nation are often used interchangeably, there is a difference. A State (note the capital “S”) is a self-governing political entity. The term State can be used interchangeably with country. A Nation, however, is a tightly-knit group of people which share a common culture. A nation-state is a nation which has the same borders as a State.”
    [emphasis added]

    The goal is to avoid some of the esoteric legal side-effects of being a nation-state in order to provide a lasting legal solution to the issue of Statelessness.
    Yes, some people prefer to consider us a Non-Governmental Organization but this harkens back to the core problem – only sovereign nations can legally issue passports and visas and the long-term goal is to issue legal passports and visas to directly address statelessness.

    Odd? Certainly! But I didn’t write international law, I am merely confined by it.
    After 20+ years of talking to international lawyers, the EU, the UN, the US State Department, and academics from around the world it appears that in order to solve statelessness you have to either:
    1) Radically overhaul existing international law concerning territorial sovereignty and re-write scores of treaties and the UN Charter
    or
    2) Have a sovereign nation with no territory that is interested in having actual citizens.

    Making myself king is the more realistic option.

    FYI: we don’t have fake crowns, we don’t wear costumes, etc. None of that. I spend my free time on the phone or on email with scholars, lawyers, politicians, and diplomats.

    And talking to my citizens, of course.

  • Mike T says:

    King Richard,

    Your analogy is terrible, BTW, because you are avoiding the real key point.
    A man who thinks you cheated with his wife is in your living room telling your kids you’re an adulterer. You tell him to leave. He sits on your couch,
    ‘Never. Because you are trying to hide sin you have no authority to make me leave your home’.

    What I said was this:

    To use your own analogy, let’s say you cheated on a man and he confronts you at home. He demands your wife come out to hear the truth of what you did. You order him to leave and prevent that. Then he shouts repeatedly for a while what you did so your family can hear it.

    I am aware that there is some ambiguity in my wording, but you have added quite a few details to what I said. You are now engaging in that practice of “inventing” that you accused me of doing. What I said include nothing about him entering the house and refusing to leave, but more closely describes him standing on the public easement or door step and making a pest, announcing his grievance over your wishes from outside.

  • Mike T says:

    Yes, some people prefer to consider us a Non-Governmental Organization but this harkens back to the core problem – only sovereign nations can legally issue passports and visas and the long-term goal is to issue legal passports and visas to directly address statelessness.

    Considering a micronation to be a NGO is actually showing it charity that it doesn’t deserve. It’s nothing more than LARPing Sim City.

  • King Richard says:

    Mike T.,
    You wrote,
    “What I said include nothing about him entering the house and refusing to leave…”
    Which is why it is a terrible analogy- you avoided the conflict of authority.

  • TomD says:

    If you want to make the “personal property” analogy; the priest’s personal property is his territorial parish boundaries, not the church building and grounds.

  • If you want a non-property analogy, you could imagine a teenager who makes serious accusations against her family members on Facebook/twitter/other social media. If her father tells her to take the posts down, she is obliged to do so whether or not the accusations are truthful.

  • Terry Morris says:

    TimFinnegan:

    If you want a non-property analogy, you could imagine a teenager who makes serious accusations against her family members on Facebook/twitter/other social media. If her father tells her to take the posts down, she is obliged to do so whether or not the accusations are truthful.

    Not at all hard to imagine a scenario like that.:

    https://www.google.com/amp/amp.usatoday.com/story/96804264/

    Of course to the girl and her advocates she is perfectly justified in defying her father because he is a “racist.” Good luck to her future husbands in trying to keep her under control. Ha!

  • Mike T says:

    Tim,

    As has been repeatedly pointed out to you, this simply isn’t the case. If you refuse to accept that the command “stop holding those specific signs” is different than “be absolutely silent on the matter” then there is nothing anyone here can say to convince you that the man had an obligation to stop holding those signs.

    I was about to respond to you yesterday, but as I was finishing up the comment the Lord rebuked me rather clearly over something I was going to say having to do with cynicism. He said yes, you are cynical and dangerously so. What was made clear to me through the rest of the evening is that my cynicism is so strong that it actually clouds my judgment here, and I think it is fair to say I was also shown that my issues with authority are not primarily “liberal commitments” but rather worse in that they are rooted in a general cynicism toward humanity that flirts with nihilism at times.

    In examining my own comments, I think that is entirely correct. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that everything I was saying had to do more with a tendency to assume the worst in people unless I either know them to be decent or like them. So we can add a rather large dose of unrighteous judgment there as well to my moral issues.

    So, to wrap it up, I not only concede the points, but admit that it was rooted in evil on my own part.

  • Mike T says:

    If you want a non-property analogy, you could imagine a teenager who makes serious accusations against her family members on Facebook/twitter/other social media. If her father tells her to take the posts down, she is obliged to do so whether or not the accusations are truthful.

    There are cases where the father would be in the wrong for ordering that. One example from a relative of mine is one who was actually quite wrongly accused of being promiscuous because another relative hated her guts. The offender was actually notoriously known in the family to be projecting her own faults on the girl. I think the father would be crossing into a moral grey zone if he ordered her to take down a post or comment where she defended herself and said “to everyone sharing and reading this, you might want to know that my accuser has actually done the things I haven’t and am being accused of doing.” Sure, he could oblige her to take it down, but then he is obliged to take up the slack in protecting her reputation. If he doesn’t acknowledge that and just lets her be attacked, his inaction is absolute wickedness to his daughter.

  • Mike T says:

    There are cases where the father would be in the wrong for ordering that.

    Not wrong in the sense of being unjust, but that it is just not what he should do as a matter of prudence because the alternatives are worse, particularly if he does not acknowledge that he may have to personally act in her stead.

  • Terry Morris:

    I tried to make a realistic example, so thanks for the confirmation. She may find that if she tried to pull that stunt with her husband, he wouldn’t take it quite so calmly as her parents did. It does give me a new appreciation for the difficulty that social media poses for parenting.

  • There are cases where the father would be in the wrong for ordering that.

    It is the father’s decision to make, and that is what you need to come to grips with; just as it was the priest’s decision to make whether or not the man could carry those signs. The father is responsible for the activities of his wife and childeren, and the priest is responsible for activities by the laity affecting the Church within his territory. Either you accept this (and all that it entails with respect to actual personal moral obligations in particular cases) or you don’t. Bringing up fringe cases where it might be more prudent for the father to let the teenager leave the posts up doesn’t change the fact that it is the father’s decision to make and the daughter should, in general, obey. Brining up fringe cases just to bring them up doesn’t help the discussion at all.

    I appreciate the concession you made, and I’ll say a prayer for you for what help you need in dealing with the issue you mentioned.

  • Mike T says:

    You are correct that it doesn’t help understand her obligation to obey him, but the reasons I bring it up are two:

    1. I think it is increasingly typical of the challenges parents face as responsible authorities in their kids’ lives.
    2. I have seen plenty of examples of parents who maintain an almost smug ignorance of how far-reaching the consequences can be and don’t accept that their imprudence has caused grave consequences.

    What the parent should do is as important as what the child must do because good intentions don’t amount to a bucket of warm piss in many cases where imprudence causes damage.

  • Mike T says:

    FWIW, I am also speaking here as a father who has observed others’ poor decisions and is often struck at how easy it is for a parent to cause devastating damage in a moment of smug ignorance and self-confidence in the rightness of their decisions that years later they end up saying “if only I had known.”

  • Zippy says:

    Welcome to the human race.

  • Mike T says:

    I am not sure how I feel about that. I was planning on coming out as a Level 99 Lawful Evil Dark Elf at the next company sensitivity training.

  • Terry Morris says:

    TimFinnegan:

    Social media is the devil’s workshop; parents who permit their teenage kids to have a facebook account and the like are just asking for trouble in my view. When it comes, as in the case I linked to, it shouldn’t be shocker to them, but it normally is in my experience.

  • King Richard says:

    Mike T.,
    Thank you.

  • Zippy says:

    The problem with actual human beings in authority is that they are human beings: usually barely competent, often selfish, narrow minded, with limited imaginations and inadequate portions of prudence, etc. This provides liberalism with its surface plausibility.

    Unfortunately liberalism can’t actually “fix” humanity by eliminating authority. It just makes authority inhuman and sociopathic, producing murder factories and other dystopian structures in the process.

  • Social media is the devil’s workshop; parents who permit their teenage kids to have a facebook account and the like are just asking for trouble in my view.

    I agree. I did have one when I was a teenager, but I voluntarily gave it up only a few years later. It just isn’t worth the hassle (although there are practicalities which I have to deal with because Facebook is so institutionalized). Even for many adults it seems to be a problem.

  • The problem with actual human beings in authority is that they are human beings: usually barely competent, often selfish, narrow minded, with limited imaginations and inadequate portions of prudence, etc.

    It is the perennial problem. Liberals don’t seem to want to wait for God’s final solution to the problem, so they create their own Final Solution.

  • TomD says:

    I’m waiting for the encyclical Contra Facebook – I have my suspicions that Facebook is emotional porn and thereby nefas.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Tim Finnegan:

    I often (half jokingly) say that the average facebook poster can’t possibly have an IQ of above about 85-90. Lol. I’ve never allowed any of my kids to have facebook, but one of my daughters decided at 16 that she was big enough to make her own decisions and, with the help of a friend and her computer, made herself one. By the time I figured out she had one set up, a lot of damage I was trying to protect her from had already been done. …

  • I often (half jokingly) say that the average facebook poster can’t possibly have an IQ of above about 85-90. Lol.

    Ha! I think even for people with higher IQ posting on Facebook tends to temporarily lower it. In all seriousness, it’s probably that there are so few social boundaries in real life people have no inhibitions whatsoever on Facebook.

    and, with the help of a friend and her computer, made herself one.

    I think this right here is why it’s such a huge parenting problem. It’s pretty easy to create one if there’s any access to internet, and it can be kept secret for an extended period of time (though obviously not indefinitely). Just another one of those problems that comes with being a human being in 2017.

  • King Richard says:

    When I was a young man my father told me more than once,
    “If people were to say whatever was on their mind whenever they wished you’d soon learn that about 20% of everyone is insane in some way or another and another 70% never have anything in their heads worth repeating. Keep that in mind before you open YOUR mouth.”

    About 3 years ago he finally looked into Twitter. His comment?
    “See? I was right.”

  • pilgrim says:

    King Richard,

    Am I to gather from the above that you have received sovereign nation status from the UN, the EU, or the US? Or that these entities recognize you as an NGO?

    Along the same lines: if the locale you generally reside in is within a place that before 50 years ago was considered by all nations of the UN to be within the boundaries of an existing territory of a nation-state, say, British Columbia, and if you gave a command to a subordinate (one of your subjects) that directly conflicted with the laws of said territory, would the government of said territory refuse to enforce its laws upon your subject on account of your sovereign nation status? Just trying to understand.

    just as it was the priest’s decision to make whether or not the man could carry those signs…and the priest is responsible for activities by the laity affecting the Church within his territory.

    Tim, I am extremely doubtful that the priest’s jurisdiction extends to the matter of that command. I applaud Zippy on this point, as the only one here to make clear that possibly the priest does not have that jurisdiction. Pastors have certain authority within the boundaries of the parish, especially over the activities of the parish entity, and very few powers over anything else. He could well tell the man “You are committing a sin” without having the authority to command him to stop.

    Above Zippy says:

    Authority has no obligation to explain itself to subjects, by definition.

    On the contrary: in a matter that has been previously been subject to custom, the authority does have an obligation to explain itself to subject in commanding something contrary to that custom – at least to the extent of making manifest that the matter is within the jurisdiction of that authority, if there could be any reasonable doubt. For custom has the force of law, and some customs of themselves limit the extent of the authority of certain magistrates. To speak more generally, anyone in authority (except for God) is obligated to make his jurisdiction manifest where it is not already manifest.

    Generally, though, I agree with Zippy that a person in authority has no general obligation to prove that his commands are prudent and well-ordered to the good. To be in authority is to be in a position where your judgment is binding on another, and therefore his judgment must give way to yours. “by definition”, as he says. Since his judgment must give way to yours, he needs no explanation of your judgment.

  • pilgrim says:

    The priest came out and said scandal was being caused.

    Yes, but that is not the same thing as “scandal was being caused.” The priest could be wrong about the matter.

    (the sign implicitly accuses each and every family that is a member of that parish of being pro-abortion)

    This is not quite correct. It fails to account for corporate actions. If the priest, in his role as pastor, had decided to initiate a collection for planned parenthood to support abortion, the parish would be supporting abortion whether or not “each and every family that is a member of the parish” supported abortion. The corporate act applies to the whole parish in virtue of the command authority if the one in charge, the pastor.

    “2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 He becomes guilty:…
    – of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them.”

    There is a common misconception (especially among those in authority, and this includes priests) of what “objectively valid reason” entails and what “unjust injury” means in the case of someone engaged in an evil behavior. My bishop of years ago, for example, thought that this rule precluded his speaking out about a pastor who had been accused of using parish funds for a severe pornography habit, to this extent: he confirmed that the pastor had been accused, and had been removed from office, but refused to affirm whether credible evidence had indicated the claims were accurate, on the theory he had a “right to his good reputation.” In whatever sense he might have had some claim to be free of public accusations for “private” sins (which is at best doubtful), the bishop’s notion ignored the needs of the parish faithful to have what information was to be had for whether the man to whom they had been going to confession for years might have been giving them bad advice for years, particularly on sexual matters.

    Just reason covers a great many things. In the case of King Richard’s example, had the man’s claim been true it might have meant the pastor was a man of gravely bad judgment, or (rather improbable) unwilling to stand up to the bishop in a matter in which he was obliged to resist the bishop’s orders. Either of these CAN present “just reason” for public knowledge in the parish, for parishioners have a need to know whether their pastor is morally upright and trustworthy in a generic sense. Canon 1741 says

    Can. 1741 The causes for which a pastor can be removed legitimately from his parish are especially the following:…
    3/ loss of a good reputation among upright and responsible parishioners or an aversion to the pastor which it appears will not cease in a brief time;

    This must be understood, in citing “upright and responsible parishioners”, as behavior on the part of the people that is reasonable and justified – which means that on occassion the pastor’s behavior can be judged by them to be such that he loses his good reputation. (Similar things can be said of other public figures, including legislators and judges.)

    Nevertheless, scandal can be caused even when “just reason” exists for making a sin known to others. For this reason, it is usually necessary to proceed slowly and through narrow channels first, as we see in Matthew:

    If your brother sins against you, go and confront him privately. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, regard him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    The first “tell it to the church” almost has to mean, (in the context), the church authorities, for the last remedy is the one where it goes public.

  • Wood says:

    Yes, but that is not the same thing as “scandal was being caused.” The priest could be wrong about the matter.

    Sure. The priest could be wrong about any number of things. I suppose the stakes for those in authority can be rather high at times – those are their trials, not ours. Even stipulating the priest has no jurisdiction, the criteria by which its fair game for a layman to “go public” and physically protest with signs the local Catholic Church should be more stringent than what has been provided thus far.

  • TomD says:

    Authority being wrong does not diminish or destroy said authority.

  • Mike T says:

    should be more stringent than what has been provided thus far.

    Agreed, and in general that is true not just here. It is not as though the man had documents in hand proving a material and intentional link to a pro-abortion charity that demonstrated intentional cooperation and then the priest ordered him to leave.

    In such a case, the man’s options as laid out in scripture would be limited anyway, as since the authorities themselves are implicated in his charges (which he can actually prove).

  • King Richard says:

    Pilgrim,
    You wrote,
    “Am I to gather from the above that you have received sovereign nation status from the UN, the EU, or the US?”
    One of the most interesting things about international law is – that isn’t how that works!. Edan is de jure a sovereign nation according to all three entities that you listed, as well as several others. Edan is also de facto sovereign to the satisfaction of many non supra-national definitions, as well.
    I suspect what you mean (and this is supposition) is, ‘does Edan have formal diplomatic relations with… etc.?’.
    No, we do not have formal diplomatic relations with any supra-national body although informal talks are not infrequent.

    The difference between and interplay among the concepts of national sovereignty, statehood, territoriality, citizenship, diplomatic recognition, foreign travel visas, and more is amazingly convoluted and ambiguous. For example, with a Southern Rhodesian passport you can get a work visa in a nation that officially denies that Taiwan exists (but accepts Taiwanese passports).
    The confusion is so great that there are over 12 million people who are legally ‘stateless’ so that they do not have, and cannot easily gain, citizenship anywhere and typically cannot travel, either. That was why we began – to create a solution to that hole in the system.

    You went on,
    “Along the same lines: if the locale you generally reside in is within a place that before 50 years ago was considered by all nations of the UN to be within the boundaries of an existing territory of a nation-state, say, British Columbia, and if you gave a command to a subordinate (one of your subjects) that directly conflicted with the laws of said territory, would the government of said territory refuse to enforce its laws upon your subject on account of your sovereign nation status?”
    No more than an American or Italian citizen in Vancouver can break Canadian laws with impunity unless they have some form of diplomatic immunity.

  • Pastors have certain authority within the boundaries of the parish

    The parish boundaries aren’t just the property the church sits on though; the parish boundaries encompass a larger geographical location with boundaries separating them from the territory of other parishes. The activity was one that directly affected the parish and was being done by a catholic layman in the territory of the parish. It seems clear to me that the priest would have jurisdiction. I might be wrong on the point, but I (obviously) don’t think I am.

    This is not quite correct. It fails to account for corporate actions.

    Noted. However, each family would be accused in the sense that outsiders have no way of knowing which families supported the donation and which ones didn’t. All are being accused, if only by association. The point I was trying to get at was that the accusation was calumnious, even if my statement about each family being accused was wrong.

  • pilgrim says:

    King Richard, thank very much for your response.

    Edan is de jure a sovereign nation according to all three entities…
    No more than an American or Italian citizen in Vancouver can break Canadian laws with impunity unless they have some form of diplomatic immunity.

    So, (still trying to understand here), your de jure sovereign nation status does not have the effect of making it so that your de jure civil “internal laws” are considered to be controlling law, as far as any other juridical body considers, right?

    This would be quite different from, say, the civil law of the Vatican State, or that of San Marino, which though those entities are miniscule and completely surrounded by Italy, are in the position where their internal laws are recognized by Italy as being the controlling law within those places. Right?

  • pilgrim says:

    The parish boundaries aren’t just the property the church sits on though; the parish boundaries encompass a larger geographical location with boundaries separating them from the territory of other parishes. The activity was one that directly affected the parish and was being done by a catholic layman in the territory of the parish. It seems clear to me that the priest would have jurisdiction

    Tim, the pastor has jurisdiction of the things that canon law and the bishop have given him jurisdiction over. This is not anything like “plenary” powers of moral or spiritual matters. The authority of a priest – with respect to giving orders and having the ability to formally oblige the parishioners to obey, is a limited authority. To put it another way, he is nothing like a mini-king within his parish, with powers over everything that comes up inside that mini-location. He only has such powers as are granted to him, and I seriously doubt canon law does (or the bishop can) grant the powers that are depicted here in his ordering the guy to stop. Though I have not read canon law thoroughly, I have frequently been surprised at the limitations implied in its rules.

    Outside of the subject matters strictly within his jurisdiction, he is much more like a father over adult children living on their own (and maybe “like” is not especially necessary there), his intentions and desires and “directions” are morally suasive because of his position, which is not the same things as obligatory. One ought to grant them considerable respect and usually to follow them out of respect.

  • To put it another way, he is nothing like a mini-king within his parish, with powers over everything that comes up inside that mini-location.

    I didn’t mean to imply that he was. However, canon law clearly states that no one is allowed to “harm illegitimately the good reputation which a person possesses.” Does the parish priest not have the juridical authority to judge that this exact thing was being done by the man to him and the members of his parish, and to give the order for him to cease and desist?

  • Step2 says:

    King Richard,
    You are incorrect about SMOM – under international law it is sovereign…
    In addition to eliding what I specifically wrote about “all the usual privileges” of a regular national sovereign, you appear to misunderstand the word sovereign. The recent actions by the Vatican demonstrate that the Order of Malta is ultimately a vassal, not a sovereign. Which is not very surprising considering it was created by a papal bull.

    Making myself king is the more realistic option.

    This past week I received two crowns from my dentist. I hereby declare this authorizes me to govern two nations.

  • Zippy says:

    I suppose the specific example KR brought up (the asshat protestor) has a defect qua example, inasmuch as a better demonstration case would not involve the putative subject acting like an asshat — doing something he obviously ought not be doing independent of what any authority tells him to do or not do. In the most demonstrative example case the subject might be perfectly in the right – had the authority remained silent – to do what authority has in fact forbidden him to do, and is in the wrong precisely and only because of disobedience.

  • Mike T says:

    A potential example would be one where some fairly reasonable protesters are protesting outside of PP and the priest orders them to leave because he thinks they’re turning women away from Jesus. (With the key factor being that their behavior is objectively not hateful/asshatish)

  • Mike T says:

    There is a movement called “seeker-sensitive churches” among certain Protestant factions. The TL;DR version is that they are Safe Spaces for people who would reject many of the moral teachings of orthodox Christianity that are shared by conservatives across the body. I would think that an authority working with these or the equivalent attitude in the RCC would encounter a lot of actually legitimate disobedience because he might be cajoled into order others to do what amounts to simply “you shall not speak the whole truth about the faith because it might complicate things if we are honest about everything.”

    I could easily see an authority tempted to tell a subordinate to stop saying that no, gay marriage is not compatible with scripture or tradition. I don’t see how an authority could legitimately morally obligate someone to stop correctly stating religious truth when the only outcome would be a disobedient, rebellious person in the congregation, forced to make a choice, might leave.

  • Mike T says:

    Perhaps they could do that, but I would think that in terms of objective truth the authority and subordinate alike would both skate in the direction of evil WRT the use of authority and obligation to obey. This is a solid reminder of why “muh hurt feelinz” is an increasingly dangerous way to do business today for everyone from corporations to the church.

  • Zippy says:

    I expect that the streets of Hell are paved with the skulls of bishops and kings.

    But modern people want to think that there is no real space within which authority actually operates: that ‘obedience’ just is the exercise of one’s own judgement leading to a conclusion that the sovereign has chosen wisely, and that Hellbound sovereigns need not be obeyed. This non-authority theory of authority is now rather ancient, coming to us from at least as far back as Wyclif.

    It is of course also insane and sociopathic.

  • pilgrim says:

    However, canon law clearly states that no one is allowed to “harm illegitimately the good reputation which a person possesses.” Does the parish priest not have the juridical authority to judge that this exact thing was being done by the man to him and the members of his parish, and to give the order for him to cease and desist?

    I seriously doubt it. I would bet that this is exactly the sort of thing that would have to be taken to the bishop or be submitted to an ecclesiastical court to enforce against the man. But even if the pastor were to have the authority to so judge AND to command him to cease, there is this:

    Can. 51 A decree is to be issued in writing, with the reasons at least summarily expressed if it is a decision.

    One of the reasons for this is presumably so that exactly what it is that the pastor is commanding is clear and explicit, including its limits. But whatever the reason, the pastor’s telling him verbally does not comprise a decree.

  • pilgrim says:

    I suspect what you mean (and this is supposition) is, ‘does Edan have formal diplomatic relations with… etc.?’.

    King Richard, what I meant to get at was whether any other territorially law-enforcing entity, like a county, state, province, or nation-state, accords your edicts and commands as having the force of law – even when incompatible with their laws if applied to the same location – in any location or territory in which you lay claim to rule. Does any such entity recognize your laws as prevailing instead of theirs within your territory?

  • Can. 51 A decree is to be issued in writing, with the reasons at least summarily expressed if it is a decision.

    So a priest, bishop, or pope cannot exercise any authority at all unless he does so in writing?

  • Mike T says:

    Well, the growing habit of authorities of not just placating people who are rendered (at least somewhat) crazy by their beliefs, but people who are actually crazy in a medical sense is going to yield a bumper crop of trouble for them and their non-crazy subordinates who have a choice between yielding to crazies and rebelliously defending reality.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    I don’t think that’s a proper example of authoritative moral obligation, though. God and the Church are both pretty clear on the requirements of sexual morality contra the current craziness, so anyone who tries to mandate this kind of thing is pretending to authority he doesn’t have.

  • Mike T says:

    is pretending to authority he doesn’t have.

    It comes down to how you slice and dice the issue logically. A priest could say well sure, the Church says X, Y and Z but that doesn’t mean you ever get to say as much to that trans/gay/rebellious heterosexual leftist freak. Just like an authority could say I am not ordering you to use xis preferred pronoun, but you will stop using “it” or “he” to refer to the transperson over there who still has a penis.

    In fact, this is probably the single biggest remaining issue I have with authority. A liberal hangup perhaps. It is the idea that having been shown to be no authority where they want to be, a modern authority can pull some chicken#$%^ side issue that is totally unreasonable and clearly being used to punish the person for non-compliance on the primary issue and get away with it. Like oh, you won’t agree to call the tranny a “she” well, I heard you told your female colleague she looked great and while we know no one on your team took offense, that is technically a violation of our fraternization policy (if we peer at it through a kaleidoscope while on LSD) so off you go into the job market.

  • King Richard says:

    Pilgrim,

    You wrote,
    “Your de jure sovereign nation status does not have the effect of making it so that your de jure civil “internal laws” are considered to be controlling law, as far as any other juridical body considers, right?”

    and (related)
    Further down you wrote,
    “King Richard, what I meant to get at was whether any other territorially law-enforcing entity, like a county, state, province, or nation-state, accords your edicts and commands as having the force of law – even when incompatible with their laws if applied to the same location – in any location or territory in which you lay claim to rule. Does any such entity recognize your laws as prevailing instead of theirs within your territory?”
    The EU and US State Department both accept my list of citizens and officers; they accept that I have the right to claim citizens and appoint officers as well as dismiss both and de facto accept my right to speak with foreign governments and supra-national bodies on behalf of my citizens.
    No situation of conflict has ever arisen so I have no examples.

    Step2,
    You wrote,
    “In addition to eliding what I specifically wrote about “all the usual privileges” of a regular national sovereign, you appear to misunderstand the word sovereign. ”
    Since ‘all the usual privileges’ is a phrase so vague as to be meaningless in this context it was ignored. As for ‘misunderstanding the word sovereign’ I suggest you check with, oh, the UN, EU, and ICC, all of whom state that SMOM is a sovereign entity.

    “The recent actions by the Vatican demonstrate that the Order of Malta is ultimately a vassal, not a sovereign.”
    By that logic Monaco, Latvia, and Japan are vassals of France, the EU, and America, respectively, and cannot be sovereign. Are you contending that Japan is not sovereign?

    Zippy,
    My example is less than perfect because it actually happened as described.

  • Mike T says:

    King Richard,

    The EU and US State Department both accept my list of citizens and officers; they accept that I have the right to claim citizens and appoint officers as well as dismiss both and de facto accept my right to speak with foreign governments and supra-national bodies on behalf of my citizens.
    No situation of conflict has ever arisen so I have no examples.

    That sounds more like they accept a voluntary association with you as the leader of the same, rather than recognizing you as a sovereign or head of state.

    So here’s the real question. If you were to buy a piece of land, declare independence and raise an army from your citizens, would they consider you a sovereign or a terrorist?

  • Mike T says:

    you were to buy a piece of land, declare independence

    For clarification, think “Free State Project.” You raise funds, move your citizens all to a particular land, buy out the natives in their entirety and can now claim credibly that this small territory is actually inhabited by your nation and that no citizens from the existing nation state would be forced to become stateless if you seceded.

  • King Richard says:

    Mike T,
    The idea is outside the scope of Edan, but based on everything from 20 years of micronations to my discussions with the US State department the reaction would be,
    “Again? Ignore them, too”
    What you’re describing has been done very publicly in the US several times with no friction, BTW.

  • Mike T says:

    What you’re describing has been done very publicly in the US several times with no friction, BTW.

    Examples of any of that without friction aren’t coming to mind at the moment. Which ones are you thinking?

  • King Richard says:

    The most obvious is Molossia who is frequently on TV and in the press.
    Bought land, declared it a country, issues money, has currency exchange, issues valid stamps, etc. All quite public.

  • Mike T says:

    Visitors are not allowed to bring certain items onto the property, including tobacco and incandescent light bulbs.[21][unreliable source?]

    I would imagine it gets quite interesting if a state trooper, chewing tobacco or smoking a cigarette decides to pay him a visit.

  • Zippy says:

    Does this mean that the difference between nations and non-nations is that the latter are subject to external interference or even “regime change”?

    If so, does that mean that the USA is the only existent “nation”?

  • Mike T says:

    Not at all. However, a nation is a people who share common culture and blood. Inherent to that is that you are born into a nation and want to no longer claim that nationality, you must prove that you are no longer actually part of the culture at the very least by real differences rather than just self-serving contrivances made to create a basis for rebellion and/or secession from authority.

    Considering that Edan aspires to actually go a rather different route in some areas of culture and political structure, I think a much stronger case can be made for Edan than Molossia or that “micronation” that was just a bunch of libertarians living on an old British AA platform in the channel.

  • King Richard says:

    Mike captured the idea well – a Nation is about culture, which is why we’re are how we are.

  • TomD says:

    The need for an nation-state to be “recognized” by other states to have “legitimacy” is a modernistic result of liberalism, probably.

    And we’ve seen nations survive complete conquering just in this century.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    Mike T wrote:

    It comes down to how you slice and dice the issue logically. A priest could say well sure, the Church says X, Y and Z but that doesn’t mean you ever get to say as much to that trans/gay/rebellious heterosexual leftist freak. Just like an authority could say I am not ordering you to use xis preferred pronoun, but you will stop using “it” or “he” to refer to the transperson over there who still has a penis.

    Sure. Actually finding the proper way to obey the messy, sometimes conflicting net of obligations that is authority requires prudence, discernment, and a good heart. In fact that brings up a good point: we can say that one of the characteristics of a good sovereign is that he does what he can to make this as easy as possible on his subjects, by (for example) proclaiming that everyone follows a small body of standard laws that he promises not to change too often and widely publishing those changes when they happen.

    In the particular cases mentioned, here’s how I would try to execute my duty (assuming no moral failings on my part, which is a terrible assumption):

    1) If a priest told me as much, I’d carefully avoid saying any such things to gender dysphoriacs. I’d also privately try to convince the priest to change his mind and/or closely question him to understand exactly why he says so, and perhaps write to his bishop about the issue if his answers are not satisfactory.

    2) If the State told me to stop the use of language in such specific terms, I’d stop, at least in the public sphere. However, since I have a duty to Christ to correct the sinner, I’d still be publically professed against such behaviour, and part of my tactics might well be using ‘old-fashioned’ pronouns for other members of that class. However, we both know that the State is never that specific; instead it will, at best, say that ‘this use of language is now verboten about that class rather than that individual, and frankly with the State we’re under it won’t even go that far, because it likes to avoid the pretense of ruling. No subject is authoritatively bound by what he thinks his sovereign might like to have him do, except by charitable considerations.

    Similarly, if the State told me that I can no longer enforce the distinction between male and female bathrooms, I’d comply by putting in unisex bathrooms on my commercial property, while still making it clear that I as a public business owner believe in the natural distinction of the sexes. If I were required to specifically create ‘transgender’ bathrooms, I’d dissent, under the idea that my first duty is to not materially cooperating with evil in that way. I’d also accept whatever punishment the State saw fit for such dissent, while publically proclaiming that I did so to follow God’s law, and that my punishment is unjust because the State is trying to coerce me to do something outside its proper authority.

    Or at least, that’s all how I imagine I’d behave if I were saint material. It’s my aspiration.

  • TomD says:

    An example of an exercise of the “shut up about the truth” that would be obviously valid is every heresy ever – because every heresy is taking a truth of the faith too far and thereby denying other truths.

    And so the Church can (and has) told people to stop harping on an aspect of the truth, such as “extra ecclesiam nulla salus”.

  • Mike T says:

    Mike captured the idea well – a Nation is about culture, which is why we’re are how we are.

    I would add that a certain degree of common blood or at least “similar blood” is necessary as well as nations build on tribes, which build on families in turn (conceptually, anyway). We know from various studies (the sort that send SJWs running to get their meds) that visual signs of diversity lower trust, raise defensiveness and other factors that whittle down community. So there is more or less a constant factor of “he/she looks like me, talks like me, sorta thinks like me, therefore is one of my people” that is inherently involved.

    There are exceptions like Switzerland and, to an extent, the American South, but you’d be hard pressed to look at historic patterns and conclude that shared blood AND culture aren’t the two pillars on which a definitive, undeniable national identity rest.

    The need for an nation-state to be “recognized” by other states to have “legitimacy” is a modernistic result of liberalism, probably.

    It is, but that it’s not liberal for anyone to question whether a micronation is a real nation because very, very few of them actually have any actual identity distinct from an existing nation that goes beyond “we are X that doesn’t want to be under the authorities of X.” It’s not like the American/British divide where by 1776 there were many actual real cultural differences that were growing progressively more prominent every generation. It’s usually just “I’m a white American/Brit who doesn’t want to doff the hat to the President or the Queen.”

  • pilgrim says:

    The US contains within its borders many Indian Tribes, which are considered separate nations.

    King Richard, is Edan somewhat similar in idea to these separate nations within the US?

  • Zippy says:

    Maybe people would like to discuss the specifics of KR’s project somewhere where that is more on topic.

  • […] to transcendent evil. Blind faith in the ruling class religion of total open-mindedness and the nonexistence of authority must never be questioned, no matter what your lying eyes may tell […]

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