July 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Several folks have asked me to put up an archive from my old blog. I deleted the Blogger account because of a change in the terms of service along with the requirement that I either “upgrade” or lose control of the blog. I didn’t have time to do a lot of due diligence, so I just deleted the blog at the time. All of the old posts and comments are here, although unfortunately some of the links inside the posts are broken. I’ll try to fix some of the obvious ones.
July 30, 2010 § Leave a comment
My time in blogland has been enriching, including my temporary return to make a small contribution to systematizing the waterboarding debate; and I’m thankful for it and for all of you. Farewell, wherever you fare.
July 25, 2010 § 17 Comments
Homophobia is real. Let me explain.
Fear is not, in itself, irrational. It may be a-rational, but it isn’t irrational. Fear is a natural, human, emotional response to a threat; and the world is filled with threats. In fact that one of those threats will take each of us out of this world at some point is a virtual certainty.
A phobia is a radically disproportionate, overwhelming fear of something. It is perfectly rational to be afraid of, say, heights. I am sure there are even acrophobes who have died or been injured by falling from a height. What is irrational about the acrophobe is not that he fears heights, but that his fear of heights is disproportionate, overwhelming, debilitating. His emotional response to a real danger is vastly disproportionate to the objective nature of the danger.
I have no doubt that somewhere in the world there is a homophobe: a person who sees homosexual acts as a unique transcendent threat to such an extent that it causes an emotional reaction leading to psychological debilitation. I don’t know any such person, but I am sure he exists. I expect that should we encounter such a person, we ought to be able to agree that he suffers from homophobia; that he has… issues.
The reason leftist/libertine polemicists use the term homophobia is, of course, to paint adherents to traditional sexual morality as, not merely wrong, but as having… issues. Often as not this seems to be, shall we say, a projection on the part of folks who themselves seem to have… issues.
July 23, 2010 § 10 Comments
Our country does have a ruling class. All countries always have a ruling class. There isn’t anything outrageous or objectionable about this. There are doubtless objectionable things about the content of our ruling class: who they are and what they do. But there isn’t anything objectionable about having a ruling class. Every community of any significant size throughout all of history has had and will have a ruling class.
July 15, 2010 § 8 Comments
In the presence of a proportionate reason, it can – if additional double-effect conditions are met – be morally licit to engage in remote material cooperation with evil.
July 15, 2010 § 23 Comments
A nice herbal infusion of “only three terrorists waterboarded”, redux.
Or, in this case, just a few trivial “non-elective” abortions funded.
This is all a “major storm in a tiny teacup”, of course, part of a Calvinist-Republican conspiracy on the part of people (like the USCCB) who hate health care reform for other reasons. It isn’t consequentialism when leftist Catholics support state-funded murder as a regrettable “necessary evil” in the pursuit of their good ends. Really. And anyway, leftist Catholics aren’t “supporting” state-funded “non-elective” abortions. They are just refraining from criticizing it, and launching attacks on anyone who does criticize it. Not the same thing at all.
What it is, though, is participation in a propaganda campaign in favor of not just legal abortion but funding of abortion. Which, as we know, is – participation in such a propaganda campaign is – never licit.
Leftist Catholics have it all wrong in my view (not that any seem interested in my opinion). I think there is a lot of truth to the notion that right-wing criticism of abortion funding and other wickedness tends to be partisan: that funding of abortions through private insurance plans is a vile wickedness which has been largely ignored, for example. That makes this a “teaching moment”: a good leftist Catholic could in theory be first in line to vocally oppose the wickedness perpetrated by the Obama administration, and could tie in criticism of private funding.
But that is just a theory. The “good leftist Catholic” seems to be a mythological creature.
A cup of sewage plus one drop of tea: sewage. A cup of tea plus one drop of sewage: sewage.
I’ve said this before in so many words, and I’ll say it again. It seems to me that when you elect a guy and engage in years-long public advocacy of his policies, you bring upon yourself certain very grave obligations. One of those grave obligations is to be first in line to criticize the wicked and despicable elements of his policies. Spending every public word attacking criticisms of those wicked elements is just knock-knock-knocking on Hell’s door.
I hear the tea there is pretty tempting.