Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wanderings

I'm too disorganized to organize a post on a single topic. So I thought I'd share a few months' worth of the inside of my head. This is my brain when not on drugs, or at least nothing stronger than Pilsner Urquell.

- In a paper I read recently, the author claimed, unoriginally, that failure to legalize same-sex marriage constitutes discrimination on the basis of 'sexual orientation,' which is not, but should be, a federally protected class. One last time: no, it does not discriminate on that basis. It discriminates on the grounds that some forms of sexual behavior between people are not only wrong, but irrelevant to the state of being married. Aside possibly from Caligula's court, there has never been a society that embraced any and all forms of sexual inclination. Never. Stop pretending that your orientation ought to be included among such classes as women (of all things), race, religion, or national origin. None of those involve aberrant sexual behavior. But your orientation does. It's about sex. Just sex. Nothing but sex.

- I keep hearing worried TV pundits complaining that the Republicans, especially including Romney, are gung-ho to repeal Obamacare but have nothing with which to replace it. They sound so worried you'd think they've stumbled upon a fatal flaw. But why do the Repubs need a replacement? Doesn't that proceed from the assumption that, if they don't like Obie's version of Big Government meddling, they ought to have one of their own? That Big Government is here to stay? I thought the whole point behind repealing Obiecare was that this was the sort of thing THE FEDS OUGHT NOT TO BE DOING.

- Fast and Furious has faded from the news in the last week or so. Eric Holder was held to be contemptuous of Congress for his lack of forthcomingness (is that a word?) on the issue. To the Dems it's either a "witchhunt" or a "fishing expedition," the motives "purely political." (Clichés never rest). The Repubs think the AG is probably hiding something. Now to me, your average Joe Citizen, it sounds pretty serious on its face. We sell guns to the Mexican cartels, hundreds of Mexican citizens get shot to death with them, and one American border patrol agent. All I want to know is: who thought this up? Can't this person and his cohorts be held accountable, as in put in jail? That's all I want to know. The reason is that (to me, your average, uncomplicated guy) selling guns to drug cartels sounds a lot like offering Jack the Ripper a replacement set of butcher knives in case the originals get dulled by repeated use.

- Michelle Obama, by her own account, got passionate recently. I see from a Yahoo news blog that while stumping for her husband, she spoke to a high school audience in Centennial, Colorado:

That is what I think about every night when I tuck my girls in. I think about the world I want to leave for them. I think about how I want to do for them what my dad did for me.
I want to give them a real foundation for their dreams.

So...what did your dad do for you? I know that he was a Chicago city water plant employee, and a Democratic precinct captain, which sounds bad on its face, but what did he do for you? Did he, by any chance, have to pay health insurance premiums, all the while complaining that he'd rather the government provide it for free? Did he teach you moral virtue of the traditional Christian sort? Did he teach you to respect other people's religious beliefs and not to compel them to do things that violated their conscience? She goes on:

"I want to give them opportunities worthy of their promise, because all of our kids are worthy. All of them. I want to give them that sense of limitless possibility...

Oh, so he lied to you. Or are you lying to us? For example, when you say "All of them," is anyone being left out?

...That belief that here in America, there's always something better out there if you're willing to work for it."

Maybe they are, but where are the jobs? Is this a denunciation of Occupy Wall Street? Is another stimulus in the offing?

So if you want to know why I'm passionate, it's because of them. We cannot turn back now — we have come too far. But there is so much more work to do.

That's what some of us are afraid of.

There just is.

So there.

-At The Catholic Thing there was a deservedly unflattering article about Nietzche, who

condemns Christianity because it renders life on earth relatively unimportant. It emphasizes the next world and promotes the cult of mediocrity. Since Christianity preaches that all men are equal in the eyes of God, the powerful must occupy a lower status than is rightfully theirs.

What Christianity was Nietzsche looking at? The one descending through Paul, Athanasius, Augustine, Bach and Mozart on down to Newman and Chesterton and C.S. Lewis and more saints than anyone can keep track of, not to mention King Arthur and Richard Coeur de Lion and just a whole bunch of nice people like, oh, Beth Impson and Paul Cella and Tim Tebow, who make the world a better place? And if there is no next world, words like 'mediocrity' and 'powerful' and 'superman' all resolve to one word: worthless. There was a superman once, who actually used his superpowers to serve rather than conquer, but I guess Nietzsche didn't like the denouement.

- I think it was on Facebook that I found a link to an article about a priest "who believes official Catholic teaching about contraception, and who is not afraid to say so." Well, at least there's one still out there. "Father Landry worries that other priests’ reticence keeps Catholics in the dark on church teachings on contraception." During the preparation of potential marriage mates, the good Father likes to ask "if they are aware of church teaching about contraception. 'Shockingly, 50 percent of the couples that I prepare for marriage have never heard that the church teaches about contraception,' he said." Must be invincible ignorance. "Many non-Catholics," says the article

and many Catholics — see the church’s teaching on contraception as cruel toward women. But Father Landry says it’s women who intuitively get how divorcing sex from procreation allows men to use them; in his experience, it is almost always the woman who moves a couple toward abandoning artificial contraception.

Another reason to love them.

- In other Catholic news, again at the Catholic Thing, we find Father McCloskey, in a wide-ranging article, talking about 'real Catholics,' the sort who can raise their right hand and say, "I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God."

Readers may judge from the polls how many among us really qualify as Catholics according to this definition, considering the high number of divorces and remarriages, the dwindling of Catholic births and baptisms, the vertiginous drop in Mass attendance, etc. But there are certainly far fewer than the 70 million or so often quoted, just extrapolating from the percentage of votes by nominal Catholics for candidates with views clearly opposed to Catholic moral teaching (and who presumably live accordingly).

May they all soon return to the Church, as unlikely as that may now seem. Currently, one in every ten Americans is a lapsed Catholic. And each year, for every one convert to the Church, three leave the fold.

He concludes with good news, or possible good news (it hasn't come true yet), but I'll believe it when I see it and you'll have to read the article to find out what it is.

-Some cute young thing, meaning a sweet-looking college age girl, knocked on the front door a couple Sundays ago. She was carrying a clipboard, so I figured she was a former drug addict selling magazines to redeem herself, or an AT&T salesbot pushing the U-Verse bundle. I opened the door anyway so that I could enjoy shutting it in her face. Then I noticed she wore a bright blue T-Shirt with the letters ACLU across the front. No sooner had the door opened than she was off on her spiel, something about helping keep the homosexuals safe from discrimination, like their right to marry and some poor guy in Mississippi had lost his job just cuz of his orientation and for the life of me I can't remember what her point was as she rattled off a laundry list of all homosexual all the time and seemed disinclined to stop until someone stopped her. So I did. "Let me save you some time," I said. "Are you raising funds for the ACLU?" She said she was. "Well, I'm against the ACLU and for all the things you're complaining about."
"Oh, okay, thanks for your time," she said sweetly, and was off to the next neighbor.

I've never had the ACLU at my door before. Very odd. But next Sunday they were back again. I watched the neighbor lady across the street get rid of them right quick. She's good. I'm wondering if this was inspired by Obama's recent endorsement of the SSM agenda. They must think the world is on the verge of turning their way. They could be right, too.

-

The intellectual knows with every fiber of his being that all men are not equal, and there are few things that he cares for less than a classless society. No matter how genuine the intellectual's altruism, he regards the common man as a means.

A free society is as much a threat to the intellectual's sense of worth as an automated economy is a threat to the worker's sense of worth. Any social order...which can function well with a minimum of leadership will be an anathema to the intellectual. - Eric Hoffer -

Can't remember where I found it. Read him in college. Might go back again.

- "In emulation of Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest, who recently changed his name legally to Metta World Peace, I shall henceforth be known as Siddartha Global Apocalypse.
Thank you all for your courtesy and understanding in this matter." - Dylan

Can't remember where I saw that either, but his blog is here.

- "If the Didache were heretical, everyone would've heard of it."- TSO on twitter. I'm not sure Twitter is worthy of such gems, which is why I don't go on it much. But he too has a blog.

- thesis: 1. democracy cannot survive without conservatism. 2. Conservatism, which attempts to purge the evil or wasteful and preserve the good and useful, cannot survive without Christianity. Therefore, democracy cannot survive without Christianity. I believe it, but your job is to prove it.

- I just ran out of gas. More dribblings at a later date.

20 comments:

Beth Impson said...

Good musings, and thank you for the sweet mention -- I try!

We haven't had the ACLU coming door-to-door here, but then they'd probably get an extremely negative reception . . .

dylan (Thomas D) said...

Bill --

Now that's a blogpost! These sententiae and obiter dicta do delight beyond my capacity to describe!

yours faithfully,
Sidd(h)artha

(I'm thinking of adding the "h" in deference to proper orthography, but I just might retain my original misspelling. More gangsta that way.)

William Luse said...

Why, thank you Dylan. I don't care how you spell it as long as I can pronounce it.

Beth, I was hoping you could tell me whether 'forthcomingness' was a word.

TS said...

Thanks for the mention Bill. Good fat blog post as of yore. I don't know what Fr. McCloskey's on, but I'll have what he's having.

William Luse said...

Thanks, TS. Don't get used to it, though.

Beth Impson said...

Sounds like a word to me. "Forthcomingness" -- my spell check doesn't flag it, so it must be!

William Luse said...

Your spell check? You sound like one of my students. I don't know whether to be reassured or not.

Beth Impson said...

Ah, but I know how to use spell-check!

William Luse said...

Yes, I should have known. I enjoy the kids who type a word in and their spelling is so bad the machine can't find it.

Beth Impson said...

I like the ones where they just choose the first word in the list of choices. "I will defiantly use this exercise in my high school classes." Guess you don't need a job all that much!

William Luse said...

Ha!

Accept when my teacher tells me not to. This could effect the rest of my life.

Beth Impson said...

Oh, yeah, those to! :)

William Luse said...

Okay, I can't beet that.

Beth Impson said...

You cant?

captcha: Bundary

William Luse said...

Your a very cleaver women.

Beth Impson said...

I quiet. Your two much four me.

William Luse said...

LOL. UR grate. Well call it a tye.

Beth Impson said...

:-)

Kevin J Jones said...

The next time the ACLU comes around, just be a neighborly timesink.

Every minute they spend with you, they aren't signing up allies.

William Luse said...

Now there's a strategy I hadn't thought of. On the other hand, they seemed so tirelessly fanatical that I doubt they'd be deterred from their appointed rounds.