Jun 26, 2021

"The rich he sent away empty"

I'm just a Catholic out here with an opinion on Eucharistic coherence, which has been in the news lately. At their recent conference, the American bishops agreed -- although not unanimously, sadly -- to have a discussion about whether public figures who profess the faith (Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Lieu, Joe Manchin, . . .) yet remain in obstinate and very public disagreement on fundamental teachings of the Church maybe sorta kinda should be denied Holy Eucharist. It seems pretty obvious anyone not in communion with the Church should not receive Communion (that's why non-Catholic Christians are denied Eucharist after all). Simple. What's to discuss? A basic requirement of being a Catholic in good standing is to submit to what the first Church of Christ teaches. All of it. Whether one knows and understands all the whats and whys, or not. We are called to obedience -- to seek understanding in faith -- to trust that Christ established His Church and has protected it from the gates of Hell prevailing over it for more than two thousand years.

Catholic apologist Trent Horn has a good video on the tactics used by pro-abortion Democrat politicians (but, I repeat) to elide and obscure their heretical positions. 

The six tactics he identifies, in brief:

  1. They double-down on professing their Catholic faith (invalid argument from authority) while denying the Faith's core tenets. 
  2. They express false humility with the "I can't impose my views on others" lie. They would impose their views on the death penalty by abolishing it, if they could. They believe (hopefully) that infanticide should be illegal, etc.
  3. They accuse pro-lifers of having double-standards by not opposing the death penalty, for example. But, would they submit to the Church's teachings if it prohibited the reception of Communion for both pro-abortion and pro-death penalty public figures?? To ask is to answer.
  4. They bring up the "ensoulment" canard. I agree with Trent that the soul is the animating principle of life and, therefore, when a living body exists a soul exists. A precious, God-created, unique and unrepeatable person exists at conception. Personhood is science.
  5. They appeal to "free will." But, they can't possibly believe it. My free will says we should outlaw abortion, but they don't believe my free will is correct, do they? I know with an uncommon certitude that their free will is malformed by the belief that it's ever morally acceptable to set out to kill innocent human beings, wherever they're located (in the womb, for example). 
  6. They argue from the "primacy of conscience," but they don't believe that either. They believe pro-lifers' consciences are mistaken. 
But, I have a gripe with most apologists arguing this issue as well. They seem to argue from the philosophical/legalistic point of view while completely missing the pastoral aspect of denying someone in grave error Communion (with one exception being a woman over at CRISIS Magazine, who writes passionately on the subject). The bishops' vocation is to guide the flock to heaven. Why, then, for Pete's sake (irony alert), would they even think for a split second of allowing someone to eat judgment upon himself? Even a Democrat politician? It is deeply unloving.

And, so, I come to Mary's Magnificat, where she says, "the rich he sent away empty." If one were to interpret this as an uncaring and indifferent God who favors the poor at the expense of the rich, one would have an erroneous view of who God is. He sends the rich away empty because He loves them! It is meant as a corrective, and a call to conversion. Our decadent culture is a sure sign of what happens when we become too rich and comfortable (in Old Testament parlance: we have too many horses, too many wives, and too much gold). God doesn't want us to be comfortable; He wants us to be holy. 

Whenever I pray the Magnificat, I place myself in the role of both the sinner and the saint, because I have had the experience of God in both ways in my life. Try it for yourself:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed

the Almighty has done great things for me

and holy is his Name.

He has shown the strength of his arm,

He has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,

and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich He has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel

for He has remembered his promise of mercy,

the promise He made to our fathers, 

to Abraham and his children for ever.

Do you sometimes (daily) proclaim God's greatness in His Goodness, Truth, and Beauty -- in His infinite Perfections? Do you oftentimes rejoice in being a precious child of God, for whom He was willing to humble Himself to suffer and die for your salvation? Has He looked with favor on you in your lowliness? Do you call yourself, "blessed?" Has God done great things for you? Has He scattered you in your conceit? Has He cast you down when you attempt to exalt yourself? Has He lifted you up when you're suffering? Has He filled you with good things? Has He sent you away empty? Has He come to your help when you are in need, and shown you mercy?

Yes, yes, the bishops should deny the Sacramental Presence of Jesus to those who bring scandal upon the faithful. But, these dissenters should be sent away empty because God loves them. He wants them to come Home to Him, and to do that, they need to repent and to correctly form their consciences in Christ, with the moral guidance of the Church He established. And mostly they need to stop advocating for and enabling the killing of God's other precious children. 

Amen. Alleluia!

Jun 12, 2021

Gay Rights Advocate Has Trans Regrets

Author and expat gay rights advocate, Bruce Bawer, has written a lengthy lament on the history of gay rights advocacy turned queer activism and, finally, transgender ideology in The Great Consonant Shift over at American Greatness. I skimmed the history parts to get to his main complaint because, frankly, I don't care about the minutia of how we got here -- only that we're here, at the end of western civilization. I'm more of a big picture gal when it comes to my love for the West.

Mr. Bawer is upset that "transgenderism" was attached to his noble pursuit of "equal" rights for gays by queer activists, since sexual appetite isn't the equivalent of gender identity. He acknowledges that leftwing queer activism was always about tearing down the longstanding institutions of the West and argues . . .

. . . indeed, that the gay-rights movement and the transgender movement are utter opposites: while the former is rooted in the objective reality of homosexual attraction, the latter asks the general public to acknowledge an objective impossibility -- namely, the fanciful notion that subjective feelings alone can determine gender. The moment a person declares that he's now a she, or that she's now a he -- no hormones or surgery required -- one is supposed to respond with immediate and absolute affirmation.

Oh, dear. I think Mr. Bawer has missed the forest for the trees. Respectfully. His "equal" rights advocacy (of which he was an early promoter of SSM) has asked something very similar of the public. Namely, that we "acknowledge" the objective impossibility that two men or two women can be married to one another. In fact, gays insist on overthrowing reality, they don't just "ask." Because "equality" -- 'er something.

I've long argued that SSM advocates weren't asking for "equal" rights for gays. Persons who are same-sex attracted always had the "equal" right of legal and social acknowledgement of marriage to someone of the opposite sex. Heck, they even had that right within the Church! And the union of two men or two women isn't the equivalent of a married man and woman. What homosexual advocates laid claim to with SSM was a special right -- the "right" to overthrow the reality of marriage.

To recap: marriage has the dual purpose of 1) unifying a man and a woman for the (hopefully) intended purpose of 2) procreation. The unity piece is so essential not just for the couple's happiness, but because of the procreation piece. When mothers and fathers divorce, they "blow up their kids' planet," as Andrew Klavan says. And you should see what happens when homosexual couples with kids divorce! It's doubly confusing and tragic. This is no way to form a happy and healthy society.

While gays may find unity in a homosexual relationship (although the rates of promiscuity among gay men and domestic violence among lesbians as compared to heterosexuals would seem to suggest a problem), their relationship is intrinsically sterile. In short, marriage wasn't made for them either by nature or nature's God. If it's discriminatory to say so, it's discriminating an objective truth, which Mr. Bawer seems to be passionate about when it comes to transgenderism coopting his pet cause.

All of this societal degradation was totally predictable and was, in fact, predicted by opponents of the SSM cause. The slippery slope argument isn't always fallacious. Once we insist on lying about fundamentals such as what marriage is, it follows pretty naturally that we'd lie about other basic truths such as gender identity. 

When I was a lefty I used to complain about conservatives wanting to "get into our underwear" on sexual morality. Now I wish gays had gotten out of their own underwear long enough to see the big societal/cultural picture. 

My advice to Mr. Bawer? Never ever side with the Left -- not on feminism, not on economics, not on nationalism, not on social causes -- not even the ones you think are in your self-interest. That way leads to destruction. It always does, as that's the Left's objective and competence. The Left is very good at destroying, and I'm of the opinion it's too late now for the West. What we will have is anyone's guess, but I'm confident in saying our society will be neither free nor respectful of human dignity, as the one very much depends on the other, and we can have neither when we're lying to each other on the essentials of human anthropology.