November 5, 2017 § 83 Comments
Since 1999, I have directed a pastoral counseling agency that conducts over 12,000 [hours] of pastoral counseling per year. That means that, over the last 18 years, I have either personally conducted, or been directly responsible for, over 216,000 hours of pastoral counseling, which is all about asking how one can apply the teachings of our Catholic faith to some of the most complex situations one could encounter in life. Our agency’s services are delivered in English and Spanish to Catholic couples, families, and individuals across North and South America, Europe, Asia (primarily Hong Kong and India), Australia, and Africa, which has given me a uniquely multi-cultural lens through which to view this question of pastoral practice. I am a Fellow of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and I serve as the Chair of the Education Committee for the Catholic Psychotherapy Association, which is responsible for the professional development of the next generation of pastoral psychotherapists. I also direct a graduate program in pastoral studies which is forming the next generation of pastoral ministers. I have written over 20 books and programs on a host of serious, practical, faith-based topics that have been translated into at least 7 languages.
The idea that the laity are doomed to be spiritual also-rans strikes me as a particularly pernicious failure of pastoral practice. I am, frankly, appalled that what appears to be driving the progressive advocacy of an interpretation of Chapter 8 of AL that supports communion for Catholics who are remarried without the benefit of annulment is that lay people are just too weak to live holy lives. It seems to me that some 50 years after Vatican II, lay people deserve a little better than “we think we have to lower the bar because, well, you suck.”
… I happen to work with an awful lot of people who have been heroically bearing the cross of living faithfully in their irregular marriages for years and who are a testament both to the fact that the current teaching bears real personal and relational fruit AND the fact that heroism is for the average Christian (thank you very much). On their behalf, I can only say, “How dare you.” to anyone, who out of their misguided approach to pastoral practice would seek to demean the witness of such faithful, courageous, godly, and yes, heroic people.
(HT: LMS Chairman)
November 23, 2016 § 25 Comments
Apparently Elton John is going to sing at the inauguration of America’s first unapologetically pro-gay-rights president, who is simultaneously – because of Current Year distortion in political spacetime – so right wing that he is Literally Hitler.
Huffington Post publishes a denial from the Rocket Man’s publicist. Apparently EJ finds Trump personally nice yet politically horrifying ; something that is bound to happen in the closely confined space inside the Event Horizon, which naturally gives birth to ‘personally opposed but politically supportive’ and ‘personally supportive but politically opposed’ doublethink. Maybe that makes Trump’s rainbow flag waving and ‘settled law’ statements about gay ‘marriage’ just fine, as long as we aren’t subjected to a live rendition of “Tiny Dancer”.
November 1, 2016 § 209 Comments
Liberalism survives and thrives over many generations of men by asserting unprincipled exceptions to deal with its own excesses. In a world where Marxist professors are being pilloried for their cisgender whiteness and right wing wrongthought, this gives rise to movements like (what the Current Year labels) the alt right.
The alt-right is a noisy (on the Internet) anti-establishment and – typical of anti-establishment liberalism – deliberately offensive minority part of the new conservative synthesis, which we might call Trumpism. Rather than seeing the 1950’s as America’s cultural high water mark, Trumpism sees the 1990’s as America’s cultural high water mark.
Some parts of the alt-right explicitly repudiate equality, so it is fair to ask why this repudiation does not in fact constitute a principled exception to liberalism. The answer is twofold.
First, the equality at the foundations of liberalism is equality of rights among the superman. Failure to specify that what is explicitly and unequivocally repudiated is liberalism’s assertion of equal rights allows the principle itself to sneak in by the back door, as a principle which still obtains among the superman.
Second, equality is not the most fundamental commitment of liberalism. Equal rights inevitably follow from liberalism’s fundamental commitment to political liberty, and when denied by right-liberals simply reassert themselves under other guises.
The most fundamental commitment of liberalism as a political philosophy is right there in its name: liberty. As long as the alt-right is going on about free speech and freedom of religion and the like it is simply policing liberalism’s worst excesses: preserving liberalism’s unquestioned rule for future generations.
It is fair though, given the ubiquity and existential necessity (to liberalism) of unprincipled exceptions, to ask what principled opposition to liberalism would look like. Obviously we can tell all sorts of fictional stories that might or might not resemble the unfolding of history if certain things are or are not done; but that kind of storytelling is not what I mean. Those kinds of things are always in the hands of Providence, and the idea that we can choose how history unfolds in some pilot-the-machine way is wrongheaded as an idea.
What I mean is simply characterization of principled opposition to liberalism, not a surround sound IMAX movie plot of the future.
Principled opposition to liberalism would repudiate political freedom unequivocally, without making excuses and without trying to sneak it in by some back door rationalization.
It would be willing to call sodomy a punishable crime, and would not promote flaming homosexuals (however talented and amusing) as thought leaders and rhetorical champions. As with all punishable crimes, there is plenty of room for argument over the appropriate range of specific actions balancing mercy and justice: but as a matter of category, sodomy would be a punishable crime.
It would be willing to admit that offensive speech can be a punishable crime.
It would be willing to call public religious heresy a punishable crime, and would acknowledge Catholic Christianity to be the true religion.
Examples can be multiplied. But we can certainly know a principled exception when we see it. And the exceptions we see on the alt-right specifically, and in the new Trumpist conservative synthesis more generally, are not principled.
October 31, 2016 § 67 Comments
In the post below donnie suggests:
Trump supporters may be liberals who are still half-asleep, but at least that means they’re also half-awake.
I don’t see “make America 90’s again, other than the opposition to abortion and homosex” as half awake. I see it as the typical consolidation of a new ‘conservatism’ which attempts to protect liberalism from its current worst excesses (white genocide, safe spaces vs free speech, etc).
The central focus of Trumpism is on stopping white genocide, but under the guise of immigration/nationalism. The reason for this is twofold.
First, liberalism is the political philosophy of white people and cannot survive – at least not yet – under a system which is not ruled by a majority of white people capable of overruling dindu, la raza, and mohammedan tribalisms.
Second, Trumpism is promoted under the guise of ‘nationalism/immigration’ because that allows charges of racism to be plausibly denied while still opposing white genocide. Nationalist liberalism is still liberalism, so liberalism itself can remain unchallenged and unquestioned.
So Trumpism represents a walk-back of liberalism’s most recent and most self destructive excesses without any repudiation of liberalism whatsoever, and with the ‘successful’ innovations (e.g. normalization of sodomy) retained. That is how the process works: successful liberal innovations are retained, while unsuccessful ones are walked back and re-tooled.
Meet the new cuck. Same as the old cuck.
October 30, 2016 § 15 Comments
We must not tolerate illegal immigration. Since 1992, we have increased our Border Patrol by over 35%; deployed underground sensors, infrared night scopes and encrypted radios; built miles of new fences; and installed massive amounts of new lighting. We have moved forcefully to protect American jobs by calling on Congress to enact increased civil and criminal sanctions against employers who hire illegal workers. Since 1993, we have removed 30,000 illegal workers from jobs across the country. – Between Hope and History, by Bill Clinton, p.134 , Jan 1, 1996
Donald Trump in 2016 is objectively very similar to Bill Clinton in 1992. The main difference is that from an Overton Window standpoint Trump is now an extreme right wing candidate rather than an extreme left wing candidate. Anything resembling social conservatism has simply dropped off of the radar: even the pro life movement these days is pro choice. Donald Trump when elected (assuming he is smart enough to let Grandma Abortion Witch implode) will just be the third black president.
Liberalism is insane and anti-human, but its insanity ironically makes it extremely adaptable. The Trump phenomenon is not some great new hope for the salvation of Western civilization: some new direction which represents the possibility of a future free from SJW excesses and other leftist insanity. Rather what we are witnessing is the action, in real time, of liberalism’s own internal mechanisms for protecting itself from the results of its own excesses as it continues to dominate more and more of reality. We are witnessing how it absorbs and repurposes any possible incipient opposition, turning the energy of that opposition toward liberalism’s own ends: ends which include self preservation.
Liberalism’s greatest enemy has for centuries been the consequences of its own comprehensive triumph. But by keeping all political conflict inside of its inescapable gravity well it ensures its own long term persistence, in spite of itself.
June 27, 2016 § 287 Comments
Warning: in this post I am kind of talking out of my hat, just sharing something I recently discovered. I haven’t done the sort of due diligence that would warrant a strong view on my part. This is just one of those things that make me go “hmmm.”
A personal admission: I tend to get bored out of my mind when I start to read sedevacantist material (articles expressing and attempting to justify the view that there is presently no Pope of Rome, and that the man who presently appears to be Pope is not in fact the Pope). In my experience, the folks advancing those arguments tend to be completely unaware of their own metaphysical baggage. At the very least their metaphysical baggage remains hidden and unacknowledged — perhaps because acknowledging it would weaken their arguments, or perhaps because they simply suffer from a limited imagination and are unaware of all of the questions they are begging.
Life is short, and when writers issue too many promissory notes of which they seem utterly unaware themselves I tend to lose interest in what they have to say.
It was interesting to discover though that sedevacantist arguments seem to draw heavily on the Jesuit School of Salamanca: the same “Georgetown of the Middle Ages” that (arguably) brought us Jesuit economic anti-realism and waffliness on usury.
April 6, 2016 § 12 Comments
One of the interesting things about the intramural dynamic between left and right liberals is that it is sometimes the ‘conservatives’ or right-liberals who craft the newest, latest, most progressive innovations in the ways in which liberalism attacks and destroys the natural moral order. In order to stay respectable conservatives sometimes have to out-progress the progressives.
Back in the day the insanity defense provided a kind of compromise or unprincipled exception as a way of saving liberalism from itself. Liberalism requires public-square neutrality, so the liberal ruling class must prescind from making moral judgments. Disease is unlike moral failure inasmuch as moral agents are culpable for their moral failures but are not (necessarily) morally culpable for contracting a disease or having some sort of defect. Under the insanity defense heinous criminals could be defined as ‘sick’, thus avoiding making substantive moral judgments while at the same time still asserting a form of politically correct authority.
However, even this vestigial politically correct pseudoauthority is intolerable to mainstream pro-life conservatives or right-liberals when it comes to women who choose a particular kind of murder. Female emancipation means that when a woman chooses abortion she must face no consequences whatsoever.