Following up on Part 2, here are some more exchanges…
John, those who produce and consume porn are engaging in a private, legal activity that is none of my business and none of your business. To conflate child porn with legal porn is akin to conflating sex between two consenting adults and sex between a 40-year-old and a 12-year-old. I know you see the distinction, so why even mention child porn?
Oh, I beg to differ, Rob. This is the same kind of thinking that produced abortion on demand, same-sex “marriage”, and soon-to-be legalized euthanasia in this country. In short order, it will also be the proud sponsor of the legalization of bestiality too (provided of course you can get the approval of the horse and somehow fit him into the bedroom). Other “consensual” adventures, currently beyond my imagination, will also follow, along with the complete disintegration of our society.
There is no such thing as “private sin”, Rob. Eventually, it all comes out. Sodomy started that way. You know the score, I’m sure. Pierre Trudeau told us that whatever two consenting adults decide to do in their bedroom was fine by him — as long as they kept it in the closet. 40 years later, everything’s out of the closet, and the State is doing its part to force citizens to comply with recognition of sexual anarchy. Same thing goes for porn, Rob. Do you really expect me to believe that child porn is not merely the daughter of its conventional mother? Give me a break. Porn is an addiction which keeps many of its victims coming back for the next “big hit”, not unlike the druggie. In many cases, the druggie needs to keep coming back for the next bigger, more exciting hit. For him, it means the next drug up the chain and so on and so on. For porn addicts, a large population of them graduate too - to the “unspeakable, forbidden porn”. Or perhaps you will have us believe that one day a guy is watching Beaver Cleaver and the next he’s watching a 5 year old being sodomized? Please. Let’s get real.
You are a Trudeaupian, Rob. Plain and simple. Canada before Trudeau was far more “democratic” and “freedom loving” than it is today, and yet Canadians had a vastly different view of what true freedom was since they actually bled and died for it. Debbie Does Dallas was not what they died for, Rob. And my children certainly won’t be volunteering to die for a perverse culture which thinks that she should. During those days, they weren’t masturbating away their existence in some narcistic stupor, demanding that everyone recognize their obvious romp into oblivion. They knew very well that it constituted nothing less than foolish self destruction. It’s very hip, I have no doubt, for you to pick on “religious conservatives” for being so dogmatic, but it’s quite another thing to lump Canada before Trudeau into your criticism. Why don’t you make fun of those fuddie duddies before Trudeau, Rob? I think we both know the answer to that, don’t we? It’s much easier to pick on the new niggers in Canada than it is to be consistent in your application of those who think your view of freedom is in the gutter along with the porn that you pimp for.
Let me also take a shot at your view of ethics, Rob. It’s clear to me in what I’ve read from you that you think that “consent” should be the overriding principle in ordering our society. That fits right into your distorted view of freedom (which is really “license” since it has no moral boundaries). Let’s take a couple of examples.
1) Divorce. We don’t think of divorce as child abuse, do we? But we should because it’s the biggest and most substantial form of it going around today. We’ve been conditioned by the sexual autocrats of our age to believe it’s just a normal part of life, but the very sad reality is that it has produced untold and unspeakable pain against the children who have suffered through it. The spiritual and emotional pain are simply a reflection of the wreckage that it has wrought on our society in very concrete terms. But, you know, “we all gotta be free; we all got to be me”. We all have the “right to make choices” and break our vows and our words. Why do I bring this up? Only to show you that someone’s “freedom” is another’s internal self destruction. You speak of freedom in a way that has no moral boundaries or responsibilities, yet as we see in the case of divorce where children are involved at least, that’s one big fat lie. Why do you suppose that free speech is any different?
2) Consent. Do you support polygamy, Rob? You have to, I suppose, since consent appears to be the principle of your ethics. What about polyandry? Swingers? Orgies? Is it all good for you, is it? You see, Rob, the problem with libertarians is that they don’t have any real ethics or balls, for that matter. If you put them back in the 19th century American South, they have no problem with slaves being slaves as long as they consented to it. And many of them would have consented to it, since they knew nothing else in their lives. A libertarian would not fight to free them, or to show them a better way. They would not try to reveal to them that they had intrinsic dignity as human beings created by God. Or to tell them that no man could own another. (And no woman can “own” her unborn child). They’d just sit there and help perpetuate the lie of slavery, allowing them to settle for their ignorance, because everything was by “consent”. In fact, Rob, in theory, a libertarian wouldn’t have any problem whatsoever with whole populations or even cultures collectively committing suicide. Because, you know, it’s all about consent.
And speaking of consent, are you really so naive to believe that a culture whose highest aspiration is to have a sterile orgasm will not have huge problems in its future? I’m not talking “pie in the sky?” problems, Rob, I’m talking real “meat and potatoes” problems — like health care, pension costs, labour pools, economic contraction, and sovereignty issues. We are a culture that thinks that jacking off into a condom after having false sterile sex with their girl friend won’t have dire consequences for our culture. No kids? No future. So much for sex being a “private” affair. If it’s such a private affair, how is it that if you don’t have the right kind of sex – the sex that actually produces, you’re heading for national oblivion? You see, Rob, you’ve been duped by Trudeaupia. That’s not my opinion, Rob, that’s a fact. The West is dying. That’s because of the false, sterile sexual appetities that you are defending. In the end, if our opinions don’t line up with reality, then they’re not worth much, are they? Yours don’t line up with what’s going on, Rob. Mine do.
If the government sought to silence a religious TV network, I’d be as outraged as you. I’d likely not be watching Fundamentalist TV, nor will I be watching Northern Peaks. I’m opposed to censorship, which is what supporting free speech really means. You say “Amazingly, there was a time when Canada did not accept pornography or abortion or homosexual imperialism or even contraception.” Well not everyone does, I suppose. Perhaps Sharia law provides the answer then: http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/016913.php
Rob, you’re speaking like the liberal fool who points to one religion as representative of them all. Sharia is not Christianity and Christianity is not Sharia. Islam is a false religion and Muhammed was a false prophet. There are people who understand what is at stake for the West. Mark Steyn is one of them. He explained the nuts and bolts of it in his book, America Alone. Let me give you a few excerpts:
Appeasement is a vote to live in the present tense, to hold the comforts of the moment. To fight for king and country is to fight for the future. But a barren society has no future, and so what’s to fight for?” (Mark Steyn, America Alone, p.37)
This is why countries that fall into this model don’t care about defense and care even less about having children. National Defense means losing comforts. It means sacrificing part of the huge social programs they have come to expect, to be entitled to. And children? Too expensive. Too much of a drag. (Mark Steyn, America Alone, p45-55)
Her Majesty’s chilly Dominion is the land where straights live in comon-law partnerships and the gays get married. And the upshot is: America’s fertility rate is 2.11; Canada’s is 1.48. And where does that lead? Canucks are aging faster than the Yanks. In 2000, oldsters formed 16.3% of America’s population and 17% of Canada’s-close enough. In 2040, they’ll form 26% of America’s population and 33.3% of Canada’s. (Mark Steyn, America Alone, p.55)
Mark Steyn certainly tells us about the demographic decline facing the West and the rise of Islam, but he doesn’t connect the dots back to sexual morality and responsibility. I’m not sure why he doesn’t do it – at least not sufficiently enough in my opinion. But I’ll tell you that I don’t give a damn about any politically correct barometer, and I’ll tell you straight up that contraception and abortion are kiling us, along with all of the toys that come along with it like, for instance, porn. We live in DEMOCRACIES, Rob. That means, votes count. That means you need more people who oppose Sharia than support it, but when I look at the sexual proclivities of the porn patrons you pimp for, I see lots of sterile sex – you know, the “barren society” Steyn talks about above. But I don’t see that with the Muslims, particularly the “Sharia is Us” crowd. If you want to read about more stats on the West’s impending population implosian, click here. Are you seeing where this is going, Rob, or do I have to draw you a picture? Here’s the picture, Rob:
Here’s something else for you to clue into. I get the impression that you are not exactly proficient in biblical history. Not a problem. I’ll fill you in here on the relevant point. The ancient Jews wanted “freedom” too. They wanted to be free from God, His laws, and His truth. So God let them find this “freedom”. You know what happened? When they “did it my way”, the Persians, Babylonians, and Asyrians invaded and conquered them. It’s the same damn thing that is happening to the West today with Islam. Why is this relevant to our discussion here? Because it shows us, if you try to create a “freedom” without the truth, it will eventually lead to enslavment, and not just the hell that we live in today in our own hearts and minds, but the physical kind the way the ancient Jews suffered, except this time it will be with Sharia. And, Rob, you don’t even have to be particularly religious to figure this out. All you have to know is how to count. So next time you pimp for the porn industry and smack down a Christian, just remember, he’s having the kids to put up an ideological fight against Islam, while the group you defend is masturbating in a condom and flushing the West down the toilet. It’s the truth that undergirds freedom, not legal, delusional fantasies of licentiousness masqerading as freedom.
The truth will set you free, Rob, not Larry Flint.
I posted my response to Rob Breakenridge in his comments box here. We’ve gone back and forth for a bit. In his latest response (see below), Rob side-stepped my challenge to him where I said:
“Rob, if you don’t like the example of public porn of your [fictionally deceased] wife’s photo. What about in a magazine? She can’t sue because she’s dead. All I am trying to do is “level the playing field” so to speak. Very rarely do you see people who defend “free speech” at all costs being themselves the object of PERSONAL attack against a family member. And yet, that is exactly what Jesus Christ is to us. We all know what a “libertarian” would do if someone close to him were smeared and he had no recourse. He’s no different than any other class of people as far as their reactions would go. You’d get some just doing nothing; and other taking a more “proactive” role. If you deny this, then you are simply not dealing with the truth of human nature of reality itself…”
You have not acknowledged my point above. And I’ll tell you why. Social and moral libertarian leaning folks generally have no public targets that mean anything to them. They don’t have religious figures. They don’t generally care about attacks on human dignity in the form of abortion or pornography. In other words, they cut themselves off from the bonds of community and faith so they are less vulnerable to attack, BUT if there was an occasion when they were attacked, like the example I gave you above, you’d see a goodly number of libertarians change their tune. As soon as they’re hit with something that really means something to them, that’s where the rubber hits the road. It’s all well and good for Jesus to be immersed in urine, but I’m sure heads would roll if some fool did it to a picture of their father. In more masculine times, such an act would be settled “mano a mano” outside. And the guy who whooped the offender’s ass wouldn’t think twice about committing the “crime” of trampling on someone’s “free speech”. To suggest that all libertarians would simply rebut a vicious personal attack (similar in “hard core” offense like the one I proposed above) with a detached “I don’t agree with your point of view, but I will fight for your right to say it” is just complete bullkaka and you know it.
What does this mean? It means that stepping on the free speech gas, indiscriminately and without merit, diminishes the common good and disrespects the truth of who we are as human beings. And, yes, it also means heads roll.
Here is Robs’ latest response to me:
“John, you’re a heartbeat away from sounding like Warren Kinsella – “if you don’t think that hate has an effect…” blah blah blah.
I don’t mindlessly accept every reason offered by us “freespeechers”. Of course, hate has an effect. Dangerous political ideologies – like the preceding century’s Nazism and Communism – are not accepted by populations through osmosis, Rob. They are accepted through speech. To the extent that that speech departs from THE TRUTH is the extent to which we will suffer. Suppressing speech is tyranny. But that doesn’t mean that wild and false speech doesn’t bring its own kind of hell. It does. If you think it doesn’t, then you are merely elevating “freedom” (licence actually) into an idol and refusing to acknowledge that speech that does not respect the boundary of truth is speech that will eventually enslave us. This is the legal fiction that many people have failed to recognize on “our” side of the fence. Freedom without the truth is a legal fiction. It will not sustain a civilization. Amazingly, there was a time when Canada did not accept pornography or abortion or homosexual imperialism or even contraception. That was before Trudeau and I should think Canadians before Trudeaupia knew and understood freedom much better than we do today. Lord knows that that generation paid the price defending it so they should know what they are talking about.
But let’s look at the research – as I wrote: “Consider that the amount of pornography has exploded with the onset of the Internet age, and sexual assaults in Canada have plunged dramatically over the last 15 years. According to Statistics Canada, the number of sexual assaults declined by 32.6 per cent between 1994 and 2004. That drop hasn’t ended, either; 2006 numbers were down nine per cent from the previous year, and 2007 numbers were down another 4.5 per cent. (…) Clemson University professor Todd Kendall has examined this question in great detail and has concluded that pornography is a substitute for rape. In other words, pornography prevents sex crimes. Kendall’s research (PDF) finds that a 10 per cent increase in Internet access produces a 7.3 per cent reduction in the number of rapes, but larger declines happened to occur in states which adopted the Internet more quickly. No other crime levels followed the same pattern.”"
So you’re defending porn now, Rob? How low can you go?
Correlation is not causation. It could be true. I don’t dismiss it out-of-hand, since something evil could replace something even worse. I doubt it though. Usually, one evil trying to replace another usually makes the situation worse. Then again, Kendall’s research is hardly conclusive:
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 4, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The pervasive use of pornography in western society appears to be the cause of 6 out of 10 men polled indicating they would rape a woman if there was no chance of getting caught. This is according to a recent study by the Journal of Research in Personality, a report that experts are linking to the consumption of pornography.
The study showed that 60% of men polled would rape or force a woman to do something she didn’t want to do if they were sure they could do so with impunity. Mary Anne Layden, co-director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Cognitive Therapy, said there is a correlation between viewing porn and aggressive sexual behavior among individuals. The results of the study reflect attitudes and behavior that she attributes to prolonged exposure to pornography….(Source)
CALGARY, March 12, 2002 (LSN.ca) – A new study has found that viewing pornography is harmful to the viewer and society. In a meta-analysis (a statistical integration of all existing scientific data), researchers have found that using pornographic materials leads to several behavioral, psychological and social problems.
One of the most common psychological problems is a deviant attitude towards intimate relationships such as perceptions of sexual dominance, submissiveness, sex role stereotyping or viewing persons as sexual objects. Behavioral problems include fetishes and excessive or ritualistic masturbation. Sexual aggressiveness, sexually hostile and violent behaviours are social problems as well as individual problems that are linked to pornography.
“Our findings are very alarming”, said Dr. Claudio Violato one of the co-authors of the study.Dr. Violato, Director of Research at the National Foundation for Family Research and Education (NFFRE) and a professor at the University of Calgary, said “This is a very serious social problem since pornography is so widespread nowadays and easily accessible on the internet, television, videos and print materials”….(Source)
I notice that you omitted talking about the OTHER negative consequences that come from porn in the article. Why, Rob? What about the $3Billion annual child porn industry, Rob? I suppose that’s another beast, completely unrelated to conventional porn, is it?
If you’re confused about real sex and not the false kind that you are defending, may I suggest my little piece here.
DAYTON, OH, August 29, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In an unexpected development that has social conservatives cheering, John McCain announced his choice of dark horse Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.Governor Palin, the first woman elected as Alaska’s governor, is well-known for her strong and public stance on life and family issues. Palin, a Christian, is a long time member of Feminists for Life and a mother of five children.The choice of the extremely popular 44-year-old governor and former beauty queen for VP came as a shock to most, as attention had in recent days largely been concentrated on more prominent prospects such as Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Sen. Joseph Lieberman.Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a political action committee helping pro-life women gain election to Congress, enthusiastically welcomed McCain’s choice. “Sarah Palin is the whole package,” she said. “There couldn’t be a better vice presidential pick.”"Women voters are electrified, and Sarah is someone who is truly in sync with the way real American women think. She is a reform-minded woman who will give all Americans, born and unborn, the authentic leadership they deserve….By choosing the boldly pro-life Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has taken his stand as the one true, authentic pro-life ticket.”….
I’m loving this.
Hilary Clinton, the pro-abort Queen, didn’t make president and got passed over for VP, yet now we have a 44 year old woman who has a shot at being the first female vice president ever. She represents everything that Hilary Clinton is not. And she’s going up against an old man, representing old politics. I’m going to like watching him debate her. Once again, it will be a liberal old white man from the establishment telling a young, hip, “with it”, conservative woman how great abortion is. Yowser! That’s going to be entertaining to watch for sure. She’s going to eat Biden for lunch. Just seeing the spectacle of a young, vibrant woman being talked down to by a pro-abort like Biden is going to be very dangerous for the Demon-crats, optically speaking. The whole optics should be reversed. The Conservative is supposed to be the old, white guy.
So, let’s review all of the angles that McCain covered with his selection:
taps into someone who is very capable, personable, and intelligent, judging by her record and recent speech (she’s no Dan Quayle);
shores up the conservative and Christian vote;
drops the age problem for the ticket;
brings an outsider on to the ticket – she’s from Alaska, for Pete’s sake (compare that to Obama’s “Change” with the consumate big insider Biden);
adds someone of integrity who considers her job a VOCATION instead of a career to advance her own agenda i.e. her political life started as a member of the local PTA then moved from there.
In 2004, she quit a position as head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission monitoring the industry rather than look the other way on ethics violations by the chairman, who was also the Republican Party chief. That made her a political outcast. It took courage, but it’s also profoundly bipartisan.
appeals to women voters, especially the less shrill feminists (not like Geraldine Ferraro);
appeals to mothers because she is more than a “one child policy” subscriber (she’s got 5);
appeals to disabled persons because her last kid had Down Syndrome and she refused to abort (as opposed to Obama who likes to vote for infanticide);
appeals to the “easy on the eyes” (superficial) crowd i.e. she’s a knock-out former beauty Queen
Vice Presidents normally don’t mean a hill of beans in presidential races. However, I think this woman is going to be a real problem for Obama and Biden.
Did I mention that Hillary’s voters are still rather pissed off at Obama? This might be the ticket to push them to dumping Obama.
We just received word that Annunciation of the Lord parish will do the Vigil for 12 hours on September 29th.
This is a good sign and exactly what we are looking for. We need whole parishes to come on board. That will increase the numbers of people participating, the visibility of the Campaign, the courage of its participants, and the momentum too.
It will also help us start a friendly competition among the different churches in Ottawa.
So far, then, the score is Annunciation of the Lord parish 12, everybody else 0.
I hope to change the scoreboard soon. I’m sure you’ll all get moving to score a few goals for your own parish, right? Right. (Source)
Rob Breakenridge has started a debate on how people of faith view freedom. He wrote an Op-Ed to the Calgary Heraldhere, accusing Christians of having double standards. On the one hand, he claims, we Christians want the right to criticize the gay lifestyle, but on the other hand we don’t want gay porn to be promoted in Canada and licensed by the government. This, he says, means we are inconsistent.
Tim Bloedow wrote a rebuttal here, in which he said:
And they do. It is not philosophically inconsistent to be a strong opponent of “pornographic freedom” while also vigorously championing speech freedom. It may be inconsistent if your starting point is libertarianism and a view which does not recognize a qualitative difference between speech freedom and crass or carnal impulses. But libertarianism is by definition relativistic, so libertarians would be hard-pressed to require others to either accept their philosophical starting point as objectively true or concede to being logically inconsistent.
Folks like Mr. Bloedow believe that porn is too “icky” to count as freedom of expression, just as defenders of human rights commission believe that anti-gay or anti-Semitic rantings are too “icky” to count as freedom of expression. The test for whether one supports freedom of expression is how much you’re willing to tolerate that which you find “icky”.
As I pointed out in my two pieces on this subject (which can be read here and here), the libertarian view of free speech does not recognize two fundamental principles. Firstly, they don’t recognize an absolute truth, or if they do, they do not believe it can be known definitively. Recognition and obedience to the truth defines what it means to be truly free. By definition, if what you are doing is objectively false and against human dignity, then how can you be said to be truly free? Doing what you want or expressing what you want can hardly be considered “freedom” apart from a moral context, any more than the drug addict who has the “freedom” to continually poison his body.
Secondly, libertarians naïvely believe that any kind of expression – whether in speech or through “art” – will have no negative consequences to themselves personally or to the society in general. Or if they do recognize this potential, they even go so far as to justify it. Both of these beliefs are obviously erroneous and quite dangerous.
Libertarians, of course, have no problem holding on to the beliefs they do because, for the most part, if someone trashes their beliefs, it’s not a problem since they have an underlying nihilistic mentality. And so “free speech” serves their purposes quite well. They can say anything what they want; and they can permit the pornification of the culture because it matches their relativistic and valueless ideals. Rarely can someone personally offend a libertarian. But as I pointed out in those two pieces above, the inherent nature of freedom, if it not undergirded with, and respectful of, the Truth will turn into license. And that is what essentially a libertarian is proposing. He’s not for “freedom” understood in a Judeo-Christian way with its respect of human nature. He’s for “freedom” understood through the so-called “Enlightenment” which seeks to sever the link between freedom and truth. If you don’t think so, ask a libertarian to distinguish between freedom and license. He can’t or he won’t because he doesn’t believe in a binding, universal morality. In other words, he doesn’t believe in the idea of a truth.
Libertarians have no problem defending “freedom of speech is under attack by religious zealots”. If there is a truly grotesque offense of Jesus Christ, hey man, it’s all good. Freedom means the freedom to offend. And the people who receive this slander have to take it because we live in a “democracy” with “free speech”. But, if we were to turn the tables on them, would they be so accommodating? Suppose someone were to come up to a libertarian and call his deceased wife every filthy name in the book. Then suppose this person were to pull out a violently pornographic picture of her and plaster it around town, what would the reaction of such a libertarian be then? If he aims to “take matter into his own hands” by ripping the posters down and taking other such measures, would he not be betraying his belief in “free speech”? You may say he would be betraying his beliefs, but you would probably understand the reaction. Yet if he did not take such measures, would he not be considered a coward and loser, someone who is cold and unloving to his late wife’s memory?
Libertarians are all for free speech when it does not affect them personally, but unless they are some kind of super human species, if someone were to hit them hard personally, we’d see a good number of them reacting like most people would: not with exceptional reservation and principle but with anger, frustration, and unprincipled retaliation. It’s all well and good to preach to people of faith not to resort to “violence” or “attacks on free speech” when some offensive events happen. It’s quite another to live through it yourself. For the libertarians to claim that they would, as a group, take their lumps and shut up if the shoe were on the other foot, is one big, fat, and convenient lie.
The Jewish community’s human rights organization says it is being unfairly targeted in a discrimination complaint that it can’t possibly defend.
Legal counsel for B’nai Brith Canada said the organization has been dogged by a four-year-old complaint to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission where specifics of the alleged wrongdoing have not been spelled out and the complainant never witnessed the alleged incident. (Source)
I don’t have an anti-semitic bone in my body. However, I think it is fitting that the liberal Jewish organizations’ leadership, who Ezra Levant terms “the Official Jews”, are getting a taste of their own medicine. They’ve been at the forefront of creating and defending the HRCs. Now they can take their own medicine. Before the HRCs get dumped, I really do hope they experience some of the punishment that the rest of us have been going through. If you want to perpetuate the cult of victimhood, just remember there’s plenty of that to go around.
Until now, American Catholic politicians have gotten a free ride on abortion. With the recent revolt against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, things might be changing. Here is an excellent piece written by Ottawa’s own Brian Lilley about Obama’s pick for VP, Joe Biden.
I was sitting at a table in a senior’s home recently, enjoying the conversation of a couple of elderly men. They were talking about how they stored food throughout the winter on the farm when they were children. As I listened to their stories, it dawned on me… the last couple of generations have no clue how to survive any longer on their own!We have lost the wisdom of the ages, learned and passed on from generation to generation over millennia. Those skills of how to build, hunt, plant, grow, reap… yes, survive—without the help of technology—are nearly all but gone for most of Generation X and the succeeding generations in the Western world.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not against progress. But there is something ominous about the current situation. In the Western world, we live on the grid. That is, we depend entirely upon the state or corporations to provide us electricity and heat (or power for air conditioning.) Furthermore, we depend upon “the system” for our food and most of our material things. Few of us actually provide for ourselves from our own resources, something most generations did to some degree up until this past generation…(More)
Remember what happened to us a few years back when the power went out in Ontario and in the Northern part of the U.S.?
I’ve been thinking about this somewhat lately as well. If everything goes belly up in some kind of catastrophe, what would you do? Could you survive? Not sure about you, but I’d have a hard time. Farming? Are you kidding? Still, I think conservatives would be better off. After all, we still have intact families, for the most part. As for liberals, they’d be screwed. If the State isn’t taking care of them, then nobody would help them. Everyone knows liberals don’t help liberals when it’s everybody for themselves.
“My views are totally consistent with Catholic social doctrine,” says Biden, a six-term Democratic senator from Delaware. “There are elements within the church who say that if you are at odds with any of the teachings of the church, you are at odds with the church. I think the church is bigger than that.” (Source)
Uh. Joe. I know you have not been properly taught what Catholicism is all about, but you’d think you’d grab a clue and understand that what the Church teaches means EVERYTHING. I think the only thing more frightening than a U.S. Senator insisting on displaying his stupidity and ignorance are the nodding head dupes he is talking to who think he actually makes any sense.
“Abortion is an ethical question”. You don’t say, there, Obama! And all this time, I “be thinking” it was about something completely innocuous.
I think Obama is simply trying to say something to take up his allotted time. I can’t believe the Demon-crats were stupid enough to pick this winner over Clinton. Oh well, we’ll take it. This guy is going to get creamed.
VATICAN CITY, AUG. 27, 2008 (Zenit.org).-Benedict XVI asked
> for an immediate end to the acts of violence against
> Christians in India, which has caused at least nine deaths
> over the past three days in the eastern state of Orissa.
> After delivering his weekly catechesis today in Paul VI
> Hall, the Pope said he “learned with deep sadness”
> the wave of violence against Christians, which intensified
> over the weekend after Hindu political leader Swami
> Laxmananada Saraswati and several of his companions were
> Christians are being blamed for killing the Hindu leader,
> although authorities suspect communist rebels are
> The eastern Indian state of Orissa has long been plagued by
> Christian-Hindu violence, as Christian missionaries work
> with poor tribal peoples of the region and Hindus accuse
> them of forcing or bribing conversions.
> Saraswati, a leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad or World
> Hindu Council, was active in the campaign to stop villagers
> from converting to Christianity or to win them back.
> The Pontiff called the murder of the Hindu leader
> “deplorable,” while noting the violence that has
> erupted in the wake of the killing: “Some persons have
> been killed and others injured. Worship centers, church
> property and private houses have also been destroyed.”
> “While I firmly condemn all attacks against human
> life, the sacredness of which demands the respect of all, I
> express my spiritual closeness and solidarity to the
> brothers and sisters in the faith so hardly tried.
> “I implore the Lord to accompany and support them in
> this time of suffering and give them the strength to
> continue in the service of love in favor of all.”
> Benedict XVI also asked “religious leaders and civil
> authorities to work together to restore among the members of
> the various communities the peaceful coexistence and harmony
> which have always been the distinguishing mark of the Indian
> The violence began Monday morning when Hindu extremists set
> fire to an orphanage, a 21-year-old laywoman who taught
> computer classes critically injuring the priest.
> Four people were killed later that day, including two who
> were burned alive when their thatched huts were set on fire.
> A Christian man was killed in his home in Kandhamal, and
> three others were victims of fires.
> Sister Meena of the Bubaneshwar Social Center was raped by
> groups of Hindu extremists before the building she worked in
> was set on fire, reported AsiaNews.
> Some of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s sisters were also
> attacked; a few were pelted with stones and one was
> seriously injured. And a hospital for the elderly, run by
> the Missionaries of Charity, was destroyed for the second
> time, the news agency reported.
> Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told government
> authorities today that a total of nine people have been
> killed in the attacks, reported the Associated Press. He
> added that the situation was “under control.”
> The episcopal conference of India is meeting Prime Minister
> Manmohan Singh on Thursday to urge him to hold an
> independent inquiry. “We will also ask the prime
> minister for payment of immediate compensation to victims
> and their rehabilitation,” spokesman Father Babu Joseph
> Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the archbishop of Bombay,
> announced that all Catholic schools across India will be
> closed Friday as a sign of solidarity with the Christians in
> Orissa and a protest against the attacks.
> The episcopal conference of India has also declared Sept. 7
> to be a day of prayer for missionaries in the context of the
> brutal murder of Father Thomas Pandippally, who was slain
> Aug. 16 in the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh.
In a high level meeting of Orissa Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), VHP (Viswa Hindu Parishad), Bajrang Dal and RSS (Rastriya Swayam Sevak Sangh) held in Rourkela on 24th August, they have made a firm resolution to continue the work of demolishing all the Christian Institutions and Churches in the State, especially in the district of Sundargarh. They have planned to start the attacks in the western Orissa from Wednesday (27th August). This is the message given to us by Mr. Patric Minz – a police who went in civil dress to the meeting. Today, the same person conveyed the message that the attacks in the western Orissa will take off from Wednesday (27th August).
Our Confrere, Fr. Edward Sequeira, SVD in Padampur (Bargarh District) and the Rajani Majhi, the warden/ cook of the hostel (which is refered to as orphanage in the newspapers) were very badly beaten up locked up in Fr. Eddie’s room and sent fire. Fr. Eddie locked himself in the bathroom and managed survive. A well wisher of Fr. Eddie took him the nearest sub-divisional hospital at Padampur. His condition was very serious. With the help of the higher Government official, he is brought to the Medical College Hospital at Burla this morning. He is better now.
Another confrere, Fr. Simon Lakra and another Jesuit priest who was with him in Duburi, were chased, caught and taken by the miscreants. They were released and they reached back to the parish by 3.00 AM today. Fr. Joe Perumbil is alright in Dubri and Fr. Victor Soreng is asked to go from Jajpur Road and stay with Fr. Perumbil.
The Catholic Church of Madhupur, Parish Residence and the HM Sisters’ Convent in Madhupur (Sambalpur Diocese), a mission started by Fr. Alois Kanski in 1954, were set on fire on 24th afternoon. The Police told the sisters and the hostel girls to run away. So they left the house and ran into nearby village. The Fathers with the hostel boys also did the same. They are all safe. One of our confere, Fr. Nirmal, who is in Madhupur for language study is also safe. The sisters and girls have managed to reach the neighbouring parish in Chhatisgarh – Chuipalli where the HMs are there. The fathers and boys also have come back to the house last midnight.
The Pastoral Centre of the Archdiocese of Bhubaneswar at Konjamendi, a huge building is totally demolished by blasting it with bombs
Jana Vikas Kendra, a social service centre at Konjamendi was also set on fire.
The director of the Pastoral centre, Fr. Thomas Chellan (a diocesan priest) and Sr. Meena Barwa, HM who ran away and hid themselves in a Catholic house nearby, were caught on 25th and beaten up thoroughly; Fr. Thomas Chellan was stripped and paraded and before they could be torched by fire the Police rescued them and they are now in Balliguda parish.
The new church in Phulbani and few other churches are vandalized and set fire.
One German Lutheran Church near Gaibira parish in the diocese of Rourkela was set on fire on 23rd night itself as soon as the news of the killing of the Swami was flashed in the TV news.
Please appeal to all the Bishops and Major Superiors of Orissa to seek the help of the All India Bishops (CBCI) and in solidarity with the persecuted Church of Orissa, they could call for a close of all the educational institutions in the country, so that, the students’ parents of good will also show some concern and demand the stop of all these atrocities. The earlier we do the better it will be to stop all the planned attacks by the anti-social wings.
In less than a month, the 40 Days for LifeCampaign will begin in Ottawa. The Campaign, as the name suggests, runs 40 days from September 24th to November 2nd, and seeks to end abortion through directed prayer, fasting, vigil, and community outreach.
40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life campaign that over the past three years has generated measurable lifesaving results in every community where it has been experienced. So far, 40 Days for Life campaigns have been conducted in more than 130 communities in the US. More than 500 children have been confirmed as saved from abortion. Some cities have reported as much as a 28% drop in local abortion numbers, numerous post-abortive women (and men) finding healing and forgiveness, and from several hundred to over 1,000 new people getting involved with local lifesaving ministry efforts.
40 Days for Life is an ecumenical, faith-based effort made up of three key components:
Prayer and Fasting: inviting people of faith throughout our city to join together for 40 days of fervent prayer and fasting for an end to abortion.
Peaceful Vigil: standing for life through a 40-day peaceful public witness outside the Morgentaler Abortuary 65 Bank Street (corner of Bank and Sparks, close to Parliament Hill)
Community Outreach: taking a positive, upbeat pro-life message to every corner of our city through media efforts, church presentations, door-to-door advocacy, and public visibility
As someone who has spent over 20 years fighting the abortion war in various capacities, it is clear to me that this particular war will not be won through political or social activism alone. We need the power that only focused, unified prayer can provide. Because abortion is ultimately a spiritual problem, it stands to reason that we need a spiritual solution. Therefore, in order to affect real change in our politics, we must affect real change in our culture because politics is merely a reflection of the culture. But to change the culture, we need to change those hearts which only God will be able to move. The Walls of Jericho fell not by any substantial human effort, but by God’s sovereign power. Abortion will be no different and that is why it is time for a shift in tactics at this critical time in our nation’s history.
I ask you to please consider getting involved. The planning for the campaign is now well underway but we need assistance in spreading the word for this campaign to Ottawa’s churches. (The next information meeting is September 4. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details on the meeting and/or how you may be able to help in general).
The time has come for us to focus our efforts on prayer and fasting, to ask God to move Canada back from the abyss of self-destruction, and to end this slaughter once and for all.
Join us and watch a miracle happen.
40 Days for Life
When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. - Joshua 6:20
The mother in the true story, identified only as Angele, since she has asked her last name not be used, was scheduled to have her 22-week pregnancy ended at the EPOC Clinic of Orlando Women’s Center in Orlando, Fla. Instead, Angele told WND, she delivered the baby alive in a restroom at the clinic and said her cries for help went unheeded by the medical staff, even when an employee saw that the tiny boy was moving.
Angele said she ran to a phone outside the clinic to call a friend for help, then curled up with her son for the full 11 minutes of his short life after birth. She bathed the baby, whom she named Rowan, and cut his umbilical cord. After medical staff demanded she surrender her son’s body, she blocked the door to keep them away and stayed trapped in the bathroom, praying and weeping, until the police arrived, she said.
Angele described her son:
He was perfect, slightly pale and a little translucent. His eyebrows were pale but wide and well-defined. You could see little hairs on his face and head. He had the tiniest little fingernails and toenails. I noticed they already had a little bit of growth. His mouth was lovely. He was this perfectly formed one pound, one ounce human being. He was beautiful. He had been so strong.
I wrapped him in [a] blue pad instead of one of the wet blankets. I just kept kissing him and telling him I loved him so much. I told him I was sorry I couldn’t get anyone to help us and I was so sorry for ever coming here.
A young woman is locked in the bathroom of an abortion clinic after her aborted baby was born alive.
A film about decisions, their effects and the echos [sic] they leave behind. Based on the shocking WorldNetDaily article by Ron Strom, on victim’s testimonies, and real 911 calls about one of the most controversial subjects of our time, “22weeks” achieves to confront both sides of the spectrum and their perspective to the on going [sic] question: “what would you do?”
A group of U. S. professors launched a campaign this week protesting plans by a prominent political science organization to hold its annual conference in Toronto next year, claiming that Canada’s restrictions on certain forms of speech puts controversial academics at risk of being prosecuted.Bradley Watson, professor of American and Western political thought at Pennsylvania’s St. Vincent College, said he will present a petition calling for the American Political Science Association (APSA) to re-evaluate its selection of Toronto for its 2009 conference at this year’s annual meeting, taking place over the Labour Day weekend in Boston.His protest has garnered support from dozens of professors across the United States, including prominent scholars such as Princeton University legal philosopher Robert P. George and Harvard University’s Harvey Mansfield.”Our belief is that the APSA should choose its sites carefully, with particular regard for questions of freedom of speech and conscience,” Mr. Watson told the National Post by e-mail. “We therefore believe Canada to be a problematic destination.”
Mr. Watson said that professors signing the petition are concerned that recent human rights commission investigations into Maclean’s and Western Standard magazines over articles concerning Islam, and the conviction of pastor Stephen Boisson, who was ordered by Alberta’s human rights tribunal in May to cease publicizing criticisms of homosexuality, suggest that professors risk being chilled from discussing important academic subjects, or ending up in legal trouble. Mr. Watson said he plans to distribute hundreds of buttons to attendees at the Boston conference reading “Toronto 2009, Non!”
In a statement issued on Thursday, the working group behind the protest said: “The nature of radical Islamism and the relationship of public morality and homosexual conduct are issues of vital public importance” and that “all political scientists have a professional interest in a full and open scholarly debate” on these topics. The group called it “unseemly” for APSA to “turn a blind eye to [Canadian] attacks on freedom of speech” and “unacceptable to risk exposing its own members to them.” … (Source)
Apparently this group includes both American and Canadian academics and is the oldest and largest organization of political science professors. I’m not sure of the political leanings of the group, but I suspect it’s probably dominated by liberals, even if it’s a modest majority of them. It’s good to see the liberal zeitgeist starting to eat its own. I knew it was only a matter of time, but I must admit that it’s a lot sooner than I expected.
I told you so.
What a laughingstock Canada has become. People who want to have a good political scrap are starting to scratch this country off the list for the place to do it in.
Fear of the HRC thugs, backed by the full power of the State, is enough to keep away anyone who wants to stay out of the Star Chambers.
“Opposing this understanding is modern philosophy which attempts to create a wedge between truth and freedom, as if the demands and limitations that the truth imposes on us as moral human beings somehow limits genuine freedom. Truth does not limit genuine freedom, but it does limit license. For instance, one does not have the “freedom” to murder or steal. Why? Because, principally, doing so is against the truth of the dignity of the human person. No sensible person would argue that genuine freedom has been limited by this truth. In point of fact, we see that legitimate limitation or restriction is required in order for freedom to respect the truth and retain its own value and meaning. If there is no constraint, there is anarchy and a breakdown of civil order. Indeed, any system of justice which seeks to depose the truth can only be described, more or less, as a dictatorship. Seeking to impose arbitrary and artificial criteria to settle conflict in society only leads to more societal conflict since it is not grounded in what is natural to the human being. As history has shown us time and time again, especially in the preceding century, any philosophy which is foreign to the natural moral order is eventually overthrown but only through much pain, suffering and bloodshed. All of these manufactured and arbitrary philosophies, in one sense or another, are also “dictatorships of relativism”. When the line of truth is blurred or outright denied by immoral and vain philosophies or relativism, freedom is blotted out with unspeakable crimes against humanity.”
Although freedom can be a principle good and a human right, it is not, strictly speaking, an end in itself. It is rather a means to an end. Freedom itself, unconstrained by a moral underpinning, is really only a morally neutral ideal. Isolated from context, it is not an inherent human right because, for something to be a genuine human right, it must be foundationally true. The so-called “freedom”, therefore, to seek something which is objectively false cannot be a genuine freedom. Why, for instance, do we have laws which prohibit tort defamation? We have such laws because we value the truth over slander; we value a person’s good reputation over those who would presume to have the ”freedom” to slander someone. Even today in our culture, which does not recognize an objective truth in morality, there is still a sense that one does not have the legal freedom to lie if it means real harm has been perpetrated on someone. Without the truth, which is the ultimate end of freedom and its guarantor, freedom can quickly turn into license. The definition of license, of course, is uninhibited freedom without any objective frame of moral reference. A so-called “freedom”, therefore, that builds on a foundation of an objective error or a falsehood, cannot be a human right since error has no rights.
Genuine freedom, on the other hand, is not without a floor or a ceiling; it is not without a boundary; it is not without a restraint. Free speech absolutists who refuse to acknowledge that a moral restraint is required for the right functioning of society are the same people who refuse to recognize the cliff at the end of the road as they step on the gas. But if it is true that genuine freedom can only come by seeking the truth, how does this ideal work in a world which might not know what the truth is? And more importantly, does not this principle open the door for State sponsored censorship where a bureaucrat will decide what is true and therefore what is a freedom and what is not?
To help answer this question, let us return to the previous example about tort defamation. Why do both sides of the current free speech-human rights debate agree on this issue – that one is not free to slander someone else’s reputation? The answer is that they both recognize that in such a situation, the truth can be known: either the person was slandered or he was not. But what about an issue like homosexuality? How do both sides approach this issue? The libertarian free speech side says that a person should be able to exercise his free speech, regardless of its truthfulness. Incredibly, the truth of that speech is relegated to a footnote while the mere exercise of the speech is given a perverted prominence. The human rights bureaucrat, on the other hand, will say that speaking badly against homosexuality tramples on the feelings of homosexuals and therefore should not be permitted. Neither side, however, really cares too much about the truth of the matter. Humans Rights legislation even goes so far as to deny truth as a defense. For such legislation, what is paramount is punishing politically correct emotions, not seeking after the truth. The positions of both sides have the same approach to the truth, regardless of the socio-political matter under discussion. The proponent of free speech will insist on the absolute right to his views, however false they may be, while the human rights campaigner will demand the right to censor politically incorrect opinion, even if it is true. And so while both sides might be diametrically opposed on the question if it is a civil right to cause offense, they are agreed that the truth is not, strictly speaking, required even if they admit an objective truth exists in the first place.
In one sense, both sides are seeking to preserve two goods. But when the truth is removed from the primary objective of both goods, then serious tensions begin to arise and society begins to feel the pain. Unfortunately, for us, the debate thusfar has been framed within a legal fiction which seeks to find a political solution instead of a moral and substantial one. The challenge is not to choose either freedom or the common good. This is a false alternative. The solution is not to pick “either/or” but to realize “both/and”. The current debate is framed in such a way to pose freedom against the common good; to force us to choose one over the other. Why? Because the truth as the end objective is not admitted and so we must settle for one of the two legal fictions. The very mortar that sustains the two pillars of civilization (genuine freedom and authentic common good) is the truth, and its recognition can transform the question from either/or to both/and.
A culture that does not recognize a basic, objective truth will soon descend into two camps who support amoral solutions to the problems of conflict. That is essentially what has transpired in the recent human rights interrogations against Canadians. One side expects to have the “right” to offend while the other side believes in the “right” to not be offended. This may be a simple caricature of the debate, but I submit, it is not too far off from the substance of the issue. If we examine the substance of this debate, therefore, we see, quite clearly, that it revolves around this idea of “offense” – either giving it or taking it.
The current human rights industry, for instance, will essentially find someone guilty if he has breached the offensiveness barometer of one of the designated OAGs (Officially Aggrieved Groups). But “offense” in and of itself cannot be used as a means of adjucating disputes. Otherwise, we arrive at the situation we have now in Canada where our citizens are pronounced “guilty” of having politically incorrect emotions about politically protected groups or ideas and forced to pay vast sums in legal costs and compensation to the aggrieved party. The Human Rights apparatchik has basically reduced the standard of adjudicating disputes from an objective standard to a subjective, arbitrary one. At the philosophical heart of this whole fraudulent system is an assent to a poisonous relativism which Pope Benedict has pardoxically called the “dictatorship of relativism” which threatens to unleash the personal or group bias of those who administer “justice” from any due process or traditional judicial safeguards, and thereby erect a veiled totalitarianism which operates within a decaying democratic system. While this may seem to be an advantageous and agreeable situation for those who now hold the power or wear the ideological crown, thrones can change quickly and those who once sat on the prince’s throne can become the paupers the day after the next election. Once the totalitarian influence has been accepted in principle, sounding the benefits of freedom rings rather hollow, especially if it is coming from a ruling elite which has been subsequently deposed. After all, communities who have experienced the liberal jackboot for years are likely not going to pass up the chance to try on the jackboot themselves and do some squeezing when the time presents itself. That’s just human nature. In the shoe store of totalitarianism, after all, one size fits all.
The Human Rights Industry as it currently exists in Canada operates within the philosophical view of relativism. Theologian Jaroslav Pelikan, writing shortly after Pope Benedict’s homily at John Paul II’s funeral, described relativism as “nothing more or less than the deconstruction of all objectivity in our perceptions of reality. Accordingly, there is no real, objective and historical truth, only those notions which each special proponent offers as his own idea of truth.” We know this because grounds on which it bases its decisions are manufactured rights with little or no association with the objective moral order or even natural law itself. That is why this poisonous philosophy not only infects the nation’s star chambers but also the highest levels of our legal system. That’s why the Attorney General’s Office can say:
40. The nature of the remedies that may be imposed under s. 54 have also informed the Supreme Court’s analysis of why truth is not a defence to a complaint under s. 13 of the CHRA. (Source)
Can you imagine running a society on a principle where truth was not a required prerequisite in adjudicating between disputes? Whether that’s in a criminal court, a civil court, a political forum, in family relations or social relations – indeed in every day life, truth is something so basic and fundamental that its abandonment can only lead a society into complete and utter ruin. In fact, the implications of jettisoning the truth for adjudicating disputes shows a very ominous sign for our country. If the truth is no longer the means by which we try to convince our opponents of the validity of our position, then there really is no more need of debate either. The whole idea of discussion and debate is that both sides attempt to get at the truth of an issue. But if searching for that truth has been removed as a necessity, then debate itself has ended too, and so, for that matter, has the need for free speech. What good is free speech if you cannot debate? And what is the point of debate if truth is no longer a requirement for a decision?
The reason why truth has been demoted in cases before the nation’s Star Chambers, of course, is because the very notion of truth being a universal and binding mechanism has been undermined and rejected. If, as Relativism holds, truth is only personal and private with no claims on everyone, everywhere, and everytime, then as the saying goes, “what’s true for you, may not be true for me”. And, if that’s the case, then the whole idea of truth being the ultimate instrument of adjudication becomes meaningless. Truth simple becomes another criteria among many to choose from in making a decision. In fact, it even becomes meaningless because everyone’s “truth” (like multiculturalism) is equally valid where critique and discrimination are not permitted. It is therefore no surprise that an objective truth and the principle means of arriving at it (i.e. discrimination) are both held in the same contempt by our modern culture. If there is a truth, you need to distinguish and set it apart from false claims, but you can only do that through debate, critique, and yes, (oh the horror!) discrimination. In seeking therefore to find a criteria for adjudicating disputes now that the truth has been deposed from its rightful central role, it is not difficult to see how arbitrary and reckless the star chambers have become. If truth is not a defense, as our Attorney General insists, then it is not required as an “offense” either. In this arena, a society is therefore reduced to being the plaything of capricious “judges” who base their arbitrary decisions on arbitrary judicial principles. And if that’s the case, we are reduced to what Pope Benedict calls the “dictatorship of relativism”.
Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be “tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine”, seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires. (Source)
This paradoxical phrase “dictatorship of relativism” is highly significant. It sounds somewhat strange, though. How can something which does not seek to impose the “truth” be a “dictatorship”. If “everything goes”, then isn’t that the opposite of a dictatorship?
No, it’s not.
Whether a society bases its means of adjudication on some objective norm like “the truth” or a subjective one like “relativism”, the reality in human interaction is that there will be conflict which needs to be settled. So the question is not, “do we impose?” (as is commonly argued by the Left), but rather “what do we impose”? The recent star chamber fiascos across this country certainly highlight that reality. As we’ve painfully learned, truth is no defense (or offense, for that matter). But if truth can’t used, then something else must be, otherwise our society would quickly devolve into anarchy. In other words, the “imposition” of rules is going to happen one way or another. The only question is: what moral or amoral paradigm will be used? That’s where the whole idea of a dictatorship of relativism comes into play. Something is a dictatorship when it seeks to impose something which does not respect authentic freedom and which posits things about human nature which are untrue. Imposition of some law or principle does not necessarily make it a dictatorship. A society must have imposition of laws, after all, in order to allow it to function. Therefore, the distinguishing element in determining whether something is a dictatorship rests with its truthfulness. There is no such thing therefore as a “dictatorship of truth” because truth in inherently and intricately tied to authentic freedom. A healthy respect for the truth means a harmonious and truly just society where competing goods like freedom of speech and the common good are not set in opposition to one another but are both acknowledged for their contributions to civilization. It provides the boundary to keep out the horrors of human sin which destroys a culture.
Opposing this understanding is modern philosophy which attempts to create a wedge between truth and freedom, as if the demands and limitations that the truth imposes on us as moral human beings somehow limits genuine freedom. Truth does not limit genuine freedom, but it does limit license. For instance, one does not have the “freedom” to murder or steal. Why? Because, principally, doing so is against the truth of the dignity of the human person. No sensible person would argue that genuine freedom has been limited by this truth. In point of fact, we see that legitimate limitation or restriction is required in order for freedom to respect the truth and retain its own value and meaning. If there is no constraint, there is anarchy and a breakdown of civil order. Indeed, any system of justice which seeks to depose the truth can only be described, more or less, as a dictatorship. Seeking to impose arbitrary and artificial criteria to settle conflict in society only leads to more societal conflict since it is not grounded in what is natural to the human being. As history has shown us time and time again, especially in the preceding century, any philosophy which is foreign to the natural moral order is eventually overthrown but only through much pain, suffering and bloodshed. All of these manufactured and arbitrary philosophies, in one sense or another, are also “dictatorships of relativism”. When the line of truth is blurred or outright denied by immoral and vain philosophies or relativism, freedom is blotted out with unspeakable crimes against humanity.
In his monumental encyclical letter, Veritatis Splendor (“The Splendor of Truth”), John Paul II masterfully summarizes the plight of the modern misconception of freedom and its relation to the truth. Here are some excerpts from his letter which highlight some of the points discussed above:
32. Certain currents of modern thought have gone so far as to exalt freedom to such an extent that it becomes an absolute, which would then be the source of values.This is the direction taken by doctrines which have lost the sense of the transcendent or which are explicitly atheist. The individual conscience is accorded the status of a supreme tribunal of moral judgment which hands down categorical and infallible decisions about good and evil. To the affirmation that one has a duty to follow one’s conscience is unduly added the affirmation that one’s moral judgment is true merely by the fact that it has its origin in the conscience. But in this way the inescapable claims of truth disappear, yielding their place to a criterion of sincerity, authenticity and “being at peace with oneself”, so much so that some have come to adopt a radically subjectivistic conception of moral judgment.
As is immediately evident, the crisis of truth is not unconnected with this development. Once the idea of a universal truth about the good, knowable by human reason, is lost, inevitably the notion of conscience also changes. Conscience is no longer considered in its primordial reality as an act of a person’s intelligence, the function of which is to apply the universal knowledge of the good in a specific situation and thus to express a judgment about the right conduct to be chosen here and now. Instead, there is a tendency to grant to the individual conscience the prerogative of independently determining the criteria of good and evil and then acting accordingly. Such an outlook is quite congenial to an individualist ethic, wherein each individual is faced with his own truth, different from the truth of others. Taken to its extreme consequences, this individualism leads to a denial of the very idea of human nature.
These different notions are at the origin of currents of thought which posit a radical opposition between moral law and conscience, and between nature and freedom.
34. “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?”. The question of morality, to which Christ provides the answer, cannot prescind from the issue of freedom. Indeed, it considers that issue central, for there can be no morality without freedom: “It is only in freedom that man can turn to what is good”. But what sort of freedom? The Council, considering our contemporaries who “highly regard” freedom and “assiduously pursue” it, but who “often cultivate it in wrong ways as a licence to do anything they please, even evil”, speaks of “genuine” freedom: “Genuine freedom is an outstanding manifestation of the divine image in man. For God willed to leave man “in the power of his own counsel” (cf. Sir 15:14), so that he would seek his Creator of his own accord and would freely arrive at full and blessed perfection by cleaving to God”. Although each individual has a right to be respected in his own journey in search of the truth, there exists a prior moral obligation, and a grave one at that, to seek the truth and to adhere to it once it is known. As Cardinal John Henry Newman, that outstanding defender of the rights of conscience, forcefully put it: “Conscience has rights because it has duties”.
Certain tendencies in contemporary moral theology, under the influence of the currents of subjectivism and individualism just mentioned, involve novel interpretations of the relationship of freedom to the moral law, human nature and conscience, and propose novel criteria for the moral evaluation of acts. Despite their variety, these tendencies are at one in lessening or even denying the dependence of freedom on truth.
42. Patterned on God’s freedom, man’s freedom is not negated by his obedience to the divine law; indeed, only through this obedience does it abide in the truth and conform to human dignity. This is clearly stated by the Council: “Human dignity requires man to act through conscious and free choice, as motivated and prompted personally from within, and not through blind internal impulse or merely external pressure. Man achieves such dignity when he frees himself from all subservience to his feelings, and in a free choice of the good, pursues his own end by effectively and assiduously marshalling the appropriate means”.
84. The fundamental question which the moral theories mentioned above pose in a particularly forceful way is that of the relationship of man’s freedom to God’s law; it is ultimately the question of the relationship between freedom and truth.
According to Christian faith and the Church’s teaching, “only the freedom which submits to the Truth leads the human person to his true good. The good of the person is to be in the Truth and to do the Truth”.
A comparison between the Church’s teaching and today’s social and cultural situation immediately makes clear the urgent need for the Church herself to develop an intense pastoral effort precisely with regard to this fundamental question. “This essential bond between Truth, the Good and Freedom has been largely lost sight of by present-day culture. As a result, helping man to rediscover it represents nowadays one of the specific requirements of the Church’s mission, for the salvation of the world. Pilate’s question: “What is truth” reflects the distressing perplexity of a man who often no longer knows who he is, whence he comes and where he is going. Hence we not infrequently witness the fearful plunging of the human person into situations of gradual self-destruction. According to some, it appears that one no longer need acknowledge the enduring absoluteness of any moral value. All around us we encounter contempt for human life after conception and before birth; the ongoing violation of basic rights of the person; the unjust destruction of goods minimally necessary for a human life. Indeed, something more serious has happened: man is no longer convinced that only in the truth can he find salvation. The saving power of the truth is contested, and freedom alone, uprooted from any objectivity, is left to decide by itself what is good and what is evil. This relativism becomes, in the field of theology, a lack of trust in the wisdom of God, who guides man with the moral law. Concrete situations are unfavourably contrasted with the precepts of the moral law, nor is it any longer maintained that, when all is said and done, the law of God is always the one true good of man”.
And so we see, quite clearly, that freedom – yes, even freedom of speech – is not something to be pursued for its own end, but rather only as a means to an end which is the good, the truth….God. Speech does indeed lead to incredible destruction. The destructive ideologies of Nazism and Communism of the past century did not spread through osmosis. They spread through speech. It is not credible for us as freespeechers to say, therefore, that speech does not have the potential for incredible evil. It does. However, it is not the ‘free speech’ per se that is the problem but the corruption of the moral sense which uses free speech to advance its terror. To blame free speech for the problems of “hatred” is not much different than the liberal socialist who thinks by “banning guns” he is going to be successful in banning the crime that comes along with it. Such a moral reduction, of course, is really an abdication of courage in facing the real problem which is the corruption of society’s moral fabric. Laws banning guns and free speech seek to wrongly address the form instead of the substance of the problem. The reason why liberals are quick to jump to legislating against guns and free speech is that it’s comparatively easier to ban both (or put severe restrictions thereon) instead of dealing with why conflict is happening in the first place. In the case of violent gun crime, for instance, no liberal wants to say that family breakdown and a fatherless society are major causes of such crime because his recent divorce has helped precipitate the situation. But he would much rather avoid personal culpability, wave his hands in the air, and whelp about the need for more laws to “protect society from guns”. It never occurs to him that the problem with the drunk driver is not the car but the drunk himself.
At the end of the day, neither freedom nor an appeal to the common good will save our civilization if both of these ideals are devoid of the search and moral adherence to the truth. In itself, free speech and measures to restrict it via the common good are neutral ideals in themselves which have the capacity to redeem but also to destroy. Truth alone, not cheap legal fictions, will save us in the end. And the sooner we realize this, the sooner we can stop wasting time talking past one another with our legal fictions, get on with genuinely searching for the truth, and build up society once again.