"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history." -Cardinal Francis George

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Capitalists don't like Distributism

The following is a response by Bob to an audio clip about Distributism located here. I will intersperse my not-so brief [comments in red]. Also I read a great article by Ryan Grant titled Distributism in Popular Christmas Films that examines the 2 classic Christmas movies by Dickens and Capra A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life. I always knew there was something I loved about the way economics is presented in those movies. They manage to avoid the "phoney right-left paradigm" as Grant puts it.

Here is Bob:

...I'd also encourage you to re-listen to what he says, and read my comments at the same time. Of course, learning about Austrian economics might do you good too. [What makes you think I am not familiar with them?] To be honest, everything in this talk was easy to deflect / refute. [I am glad they made it easy for you.]

My comments on Donald Goodman III
Backyard RadTrad Interview

around the 8 minute mark talks about unions protecting the middle class. This is an un-founded assertion, and incorrect under an Austrian mindset. Of course, people should be free to join / create unions, but unions do not inherently protect anyone, and are (in fact) a coercive force themselves. [Yes, a coercive force meant to counteract the coercive force of capitalists]

11:30 - talks about 'paying what the worker is worth'. The idea is to pay a worker enough to keep a family. The idea is nice, but at some point the wage is not worth the employee... the correct thing to do is to lay-off the employee. There is no 'correct' wage, as minimum wage laws prove.  [the wage is not "worth the employee"? this is the capitalist mindset... to treat people as tools or machines -as means to an end. People are not tools. And a system that encourages us to think of them as such (capitalism) is flawed.]

I agree with what they are saying at the 17 min mark about the banks and bail-outs from government. Libertarianism also "doesn't want" this. The root cause (in my opinion) is the federal reserve system (or euro system for our idiot friends overseas) [from a Distributist mindset, the size of these massive institutions makes them de-facto goverments in themselves. They are big enough to make the rules, and they do. Federal Reserve or not, when corporations get massive, they get what they want. ]  - a return to hard currency would help out a lot. [Agreed, but that would not be good for capitalism, which thrives on greed]

I disagree with his remark at 19:50 about the difference between capitalism and socialism. His view on socialism might be correct, but his view on capitalism is jaded by Corporatism (which is what we have in America). This is a common mistake that turns capitalism into a boogy man, even though most people wouldn't recognize true capitalism if it hit them in the face. Socialism = bad, Corporatism = bad, Capitalism = good. He is doing the listener a disservice by not identifying them correctly. [The problem with capitalism is it will naturally concentrate the means of production in the hands of a very, very few people. When this continues to happen, then you get what i think you are calling corporatism, which I take you to mean a sort of 'rule by corporations'. (You must be using a more modern incarnation of that word, because I dont think you can be meaning what the main meaning is)]

at 23:30, he again identifies capitalism incorrectly, calling it "the system where very few own productive property". [Yeah, that's what it is. It may not be the description you would like, but it does fit what happens under capitalism. And yes, even under "unbridled" capitalism. In fact it might be even more concentrated in some situations] Capitalism doesn't care who owns how much, or what. Slapping the straw man! Capitalism is about the unfettered marketplace (something that hasn't been seen in several generations). The invisible hand of the market knows where to best invest capital - weather that is human action, money, property - any kind of capital. Again, who owns what doesn't matter. [But it does matter who owns what. One man or a small group of men "owning" Wall mart stores matters. The fact that they treat their employees like tools matters. The fact that that few men are that powerful matters. Once such a small group is so powerfull that matters to me. It is a unacceptable concentration of the means of production.] At the very least, you own your labor, and can trade that labor for other goods. [If that is the way we view our labor, then that is slavery. What you say here is the capitalist idea though. Instead of viewing our labor as being productive, we view our labor as a commodity to make another man productive. One way is the way of freedom, the other of slavery.]

at 25 min, he talks about tax subsidies for the big stores. He is correct - that is a problem. It isn't a problem with Capitalism, but a problem with Corporatism (where corporations own / influence government). [Which is the natural result of capitalism.] The playing field isn't level. Buying in bulk, however, is not an unfair advantage. Subsidies are.

28 min - your ability to grow (and expand) is limited by 'what does the guild say'!!! Guild, meet invisible hand of the market. Invisible hand, slap guild in face. [The invisible hand you mention is not all that invisible. It is a very few men controlling a very lot of the world. A guild just gives people a share of that power proportional to what one man can properly control. One man cannot properly control Monsanto, nor should he]. This guy just loves bureaucracy and additional layers of authority (I guess that is expected of Catholics).  [Cheap shot] Lets say your an innovative tailor - do you have to pass your innovation to other tailors so they can become more productive too? He then advocates the state control the 'important' industries? I could spend hours on the danger of that, and how it kills innovation, destroys jobs, and is an all round horrible idea. [So who controls the roads and airwaves in your ideal then? Somebody is going to control them. And with large enough and important enough things, the ones who control them ARE the government! See it in action in our current 'corporatism' right? I agree if that is what you mean by corporatism. Once they have that much control, whether they are a corporation or a government doesnt matter. They are the one in charge. Distributism just levels out that control.]

at 34 min mark, he uses the anti-competitive practice of binding iphone to AT&T. I agree - morally wrong (done for money). However, that isn't a problem with capitalism. That is a problem with collusion. All phones should be able to be used on all networks (its my phone and my contract = property rights / contract issue). This is not a capitalism issue.

39 min mark - wage and price controls - excellent. This guy is doing a horrible job selling distributism to anyone who has studied Austrian economics. I'm guessing his market is the discontented masses who haven't studied economics at all. [imagine if every beef farmer in the counry was part of a beef guild Bob. Lets ay they vote to set the price of a # of ground beef for the next week/month/whatever. What happens next? Instead of beef being about price, it is about quality. So obviously there are immediately no more growth hormones being used, no more corn being shoved down half dead cows throats, and no more feed lots. Huge factory farms are no longer even desired because there are no more huge profit margins selling shitty meat to people. Instead quality is what becomes the reason I go to store A rather than B. Makes sense to me. The capitalist ideal is lower price=good. The Distributist ideal is Higher quality=good. You can see this in action when you buy your grass fed beef. You are getting a taste of Distributism: supporting a craftsman who is getting paid what his product is truly worth (grass fed beef farmers) rather than supporting a destructive capitalist system at wal-mart where wage slaves are used all the way from the farm to the cash register. ]

distributism (as described in this podcast) doesn't have room for innovation. Take farming - larger tractors mean less people needed.[You are assuming that is inovative. It is not. Why is this a good idea? focus is off of quality and on profits and seeing people as tools] That frees up people to do other things - like inventing. Innovation happens because it isn't all 'at the local level'. Distributism also implies that there are certain percentages of people (determined by the guilds) who do certain things. If you want to do something else - go get permission. The invisible hand dictates that there is no 'right number' - rather the right number is the number that the market will bear. Permission isn't needed, just the will to change.
--end thought

44 min - distributism can't deal with the internet at all. It fails in the global economy too. Even basic questions of jurisdiction are avoided.

52 min - he just got done bashing on Tom Woods, then talks about commission being taken away. That's theft (breach of contract). [A mortgage is a contract too. Theft by contract. Why does a contract make treating people like animals ok?] He then complains that there weren't unions to back him up. I don't get it, the cure is worse than the problem. The solution is to stop stealing from your workers, not to hamper the work place with a union. Go to small claims and get your contract enforced! [The solution is not to think of peoe as "your" or "my" workers to be doled out goddies if they behave.]

Again just to clarify, Distributism is not Catholic dogma. There are many Catholic economic and social principals which it puts to the forefront however. Which is why I like it. The focus on the family being the highest unit in society and having the means to production in the hands of the family rather than the family BEING the means of production is what I like.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

CBS News says "Dear Leader" finds cure for cancer!

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.

CBS news reporters must dwell in this strange land. How else could they report so inaccurately?

Title of CBS News story:
Activists Hold Annual March For Life On Roe v. Wade Anniversary

Really? Really CBS? Is that what happened really? 7 pictures of a handfull of pro-choice people and NONE of the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of pro-life people? Each and every picture also says "Activists on both sides of the abortion issue are rallying on the 39th anniversary of the landmark Roe vs Wade case." Yes, we get it you fricking nazis, there are people on both sides of the "issue" (if you can call murder an "issue" that is up for debate). But guess what? If you want to talk numbers, both sides WERENT there.

Comment I left on the CBS "news" site:

CBS reporting:

“In other news… North Korea just announced each of it’s citizens drives a BMW and has more food and luxury than they know what to do with. Also the Dear Leader has just found the cure to cancer. Film at 11. Back to you Ken!…”

Would CBS point the camera at the 2 neo-nazis at a Martin Luther King remembrance march? No. So why point the camera at a handful of pro-choice people when there are HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of pro-life demonstrators?

Hat tip to the Crescat for this. She has a good post about this on her site.
Update: Even better post by the Bad Catholic Marc Barnes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I don't like Libertarianism

The following is my comments on an article forwarded to me. It is by a Libertarian who is explaining why he like Libertarianism.

"We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives"

By starting with this obviously false principle, Libertarians allow falseness to permeate the rest of their destructive philosophy. Of course we are not free to do evil, even to ourselves. And of course we all have the duty to obey the natural law and to honor and obey God. This is self evident.

Having said that, I would much, much, much rather have a Libertarian in office than many other alternative options, including our campainer in chief Osama Obama. I would group libertarianism in the "more of the same" category as all the post French Revolution government styles that talk big about the "rights" of man. Yawn.

They pick and choose from the natural law what they like and what they don't. They talk big about rights, but then choose who gets them. They claim that everyone should be free from coercion of any sort. But their worldview is what the coercion is based on. And yes, my worldview is what my brand of coercion is based on. Mine happens to be correct though.

To them, my family growing up in a godless and wicked Sodom is something that I should not care about because it is other people doing the sodomizing and baby killing. Wrong. No one has the right to do evil. When your neighbor does evil, it affects the community. If possible, he should be prevented from doing the evil. What could be more obvious than that fact?

Libertarians like the guy in the article agree that evil should be coercively stopped in the case of certain crimes (car theft) but not others (sodomy, child-murder). They do this because they define evil differently.

It is not that they do not look to religion to define evil, they just look to their false religion, where man is the highest being, to define evil. So when they point the finger at judgy old Archbishop Dolan, they are pointing at themselves too. Both them and Dolan have a set of rules they wish to coersively conform society to. From my perspective, the difference between them is that Dolan's rules are easy to look up (in Scripture and Tradition), they are consistent, and they conform to the natural law. The guy who wrote this article is just making up his rules as he goes it seems. He states all his opinions as if they are the gospel truth, yet where does he get his opinions from and what authority does he have to impose them on my family? Who knows. But he certainly would love to impose his ideas on my family, that is clear enough.

In his criticism of Dolan he said:

...but rather he is interested in restricting your liberty by attempting to declare various forms of family planning "immoral" and restricting their availability.

The moral law tells all humans regardless of religion that things like sterilization and murder are wrong. So there can be no "right" or "liberty" to do these things. That would not be liberty but license.

I repeat: That would not be liberty but license.

We have libery to do good. But there can be no liberty to do evil. It is not up to man to decide to grant license to do evil anymore than it is up to him to make the sky green. This is a universal law that does not need to be defended. It just is what it is. Yet this Libertarian is defending people who wish to use abortifacient means of contraception which kill children who are clearly protected by the constitution. So here we have the same old Orwelian situation of equality. "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others". "All people have equal rights, but some people (women of childbearing age) have more rights than other (unborn) peopl"e. One person is murdering another person with different heart, DNA, fingerprints, brain, and blood type, but somehow in the Libertarian world this is not pissing on another human beings rights to murder them.

He also judgingly criticizes Dolan for judging ...*gasp*... something as immoral. But like I said, it is not Dolan who can declare anything to be moral or immoral. Dolan is simply stating the fact that murder is wrong. "Restricting the availability" of abortifacient contraceptives is akin to a society "restricting the availability" of child porn. Both things are gave evils that have no good use. Unlike an evil like adultery, where the sex is not an evil in itself but the context is evil, pornography and abortifacient contraceptives are evil every time they are used. Unlike something like a gun, which can be used for good or evil, they have no good purpose. Murder is always wrong. Lust is always wrong. Government should protect people from evil regardless of how weak (unborn human life) or strong (wealthy businessman) they are. Instead, what I see from Libertarians is just more of the same "some animals are more equal than others" mentality.

Worst of all, they wrap themselves in the flag of "liberty" and pretend they are not forcing their will upon others. Nothing could be more wrong. Having a society where unborn humans are murdered affects me! Having a society where evil is an allowable option affects me! Even in situations where evil is done seemingly by and to only myself or other willing participants, it is still evil. Allowing it affects the rest of society. Also, in almost every case, Libertarians overlook the unwilling participants. In the case of divorce, they overlook the children and the spouses themselves who are damaged by the divorce. In the case of abortion, they overlook the murdering of innocent children.

A moral society based on the natural law and Distributism is the way to go. Then we can all be, not free to do evil, but truly free.

Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat

"Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat"

 William Sloane Coffin 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christmas and Contraception

I just read a great article by Dale Ahlquist at the Distributist Review titled Christmas and Contraception. Lots of great quotes from Chesterton about contraception back in the day.

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Catholics are too mechanical"

Here is a comment I left on a great post titled Salvation Pinball & the Devotional Life of Catholics (Part 4 of Becoming Catholic) by Taylor Marshal on Called to Communion.

Great analogies Taylor. You have a knack for explaining things briefly and well.

One on my pet peeves even when I became Reformed was the way low church evangelicals see liturgy/sacraments as mechanical, yet they choose to ignore the dozens of "mechanical" things they do at their Sunday service and during the week. How many times as a Pentecostal did I pray before a meal and not even have my mind on what I was saying? How many times does the worship band play the chorus to Our God is an Awsome God "one more time" in supposed free movement of the Spirit? When it happens every week, it is just as much a "mechanical" liturgical action as the most rigid liturgy. The altar call that happens every service is an obvious replacement for sacraments. It can seem very forced and mechanical after you’ve seen it hundreds of times. And the spontaneous prayers as opposed to the more formal liturgical ones? As far as the potential for being "mechanical", what is the difference between starting out each and every prayer with "Father we just thank you..." and winging it for 10 minutes, and with making the sign of the cross and saying a beautifully written formal prayer? Either way we can be engaged or not, either way we can touch the divine or not. It is up to us whether it is mechanical. And when a dark day comes when we simply don't have the words for prayer and feel empty, those memorized "mechanical" prayers like the Anima Christi or the Act of Contrition come in real handy. We can say the prayer and ask God for the grace to conform to the words. A spontaneous prayer in that dark moment can often simply fizzle for lack of clear vision.

The point of liturgy is not "if" but "which one". The point is for us to get involved with what is happening. Taylor's waltz example is a great one. We can sit back and mock the dancers for turning romance into something cold and informal, or we can learn how to waltz and take romance to the next level. This is why every woman in America loves Downton Abbey right now. They see that a high level of social "liturgy" can produce a higher level of human respect and romance.

Of course we can always decide to mechanically join the dance and not really enter into the experience at all. But I believe this can happen far easier for a non-Catholic low churchman than it can for a Catholic.

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Why I Hate Jesus, by Hating Religion"

Lame lame lame.

There are lots of dumb statements in that new video about loving Jesus and hating religion, but the one that really put the cheese grater to my ear was this:

"Now I ain’t judgin, I’m just saying quit putting on a fake look
Cause there’s a problem
If people only know you’re a Christian by your Facebook."

Er uh, you aint judgin? Don't piss down my leg and tell me it's raining dude! If there is one thing you are doing it is judging. Not that that is necessarily bad. If your attack on "religion" is valid, then preach on. But it isn't.

Why? Because you are one of the most religious people I have ever seen!

I would love to follow you to whatever you do on a weekly basis for involvement with "Jesus". I don't want to presume it is "going to church" on Sunday morning or anything so religious as that, I mean that would make you a hypocrite for doing something external, right? Riiiight. Perhaps it is a weekday bible study or prayer group with some of your Jesus loving, non-religious friends. If that is the case, what should we best call this experience of yours? ...That's right... R-E-L-I-G-I-O-N. What songs do you sing during "worship" at your gathering? Hmm, what to call that... oh yeah there's that "religion" word again. When the guy with the ripped t-shirt playing the guitar plays the slow song "one more time", what do we call that? It is liturgy, AKA religion. (Yes it is bad liturgy, but liturgy nonetheless)
Do you have the Lord's Supper/Communion/Eucharist once in a while where you (non-religiously of course) eat bread and drink wine grape juice with your non-religious fellows in remembrance of Jesus? How should we best describe this action? Once again, it is a RELIGIOUS action. Even what you believe is happening when you eat and drink is all about your religion dude. You do not get to follow Jesus and avoid religion. It is just sad that you have probably made your religion up yourself.

Sorry, but the fact that you are quite religious is...

...unavoidable. It is your destiny.

What about baptism? Are you paedo-baptist, credo-baptist, or no-baptist? What occurs during baptism? Is it a sacrament which gives grace and forgives sin or merely a outward sign of those things already having happened? Whatever you answer will be a description of your religion.

Even your video is a religious video. You are telling the world about your religion. Could it be you don't like religion because you see it is other people telling you what to do and believe? Could it be that you would much rather tell them what to do and believe in lame videos?
Also how do you know who Jesus even is? Oh wait, from a religious book collected by Catholic bishops in the 4th century, that's right.

And did Jesus hate religion?
You said in the video:

"What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion"

My answer: If you told me that I would call you a liar. This is hilarious because it is almost word for word the EXACT OPPOSITE of something Jesus said!-

Matt. 5:17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
If there is one thing the law and prophets were it was religion. And Christ specifically said he did not come to abolish it. For a Protestant, this guy isn't too well read in scripture.  

And that's not all! Jesus had plenty more to say about religion: 
Matt. 28:18-20 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

Just in this verse we have Jesus saying "go", "teach", baptize", He tells them how to do it, tells them what to teach: "observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." That is religion if I have ever seen it.

John 14:15 If you love me you will keep my commandments.

Again, that is religion. The guy in his poem says:

"religion says do, Jesus says done."

Jesus says "do" all the time! The problem he finds with the pharisees and scribes is that they do not "do"! They are all talk and no "do". It is not the doing that is the problem, but the not doing. It may sound corny, but it is true: Love is a verb. The "doing" of religion is exactly what Jesus wants us to do. He wants us to love Him and each other. When we do that, if we do that, it is going to look outwardly like we are holy people. But guess what? There are holy people! There are people that obey Christ by "doing" what he commanded most of the time and confessing their sins the rest of the time. Are these "religious" people part of the problem because they obey Christ? No way. Hypocrisy is bad. But there can be just as much hypocrisy in someone claiming not to be "religious" as someone who claims to be. Obeying Christ is the difference, not religion. Both hypocrites and non-hypocrites are religious. THAT is why they can be judged in terms of hypocrisy! Because they are measured by their professed religion.

Lastly, I find it sick how many hits this video has on Youtube. If the video was titled "Why I hate Hypocrisy, but love Jesus" do you think it would have more than a few hundred hits? No way. It just goes to show how anti-"religion" and antinomian American Evangelicalism is. The Reformed can complain all they want that there evangelicals just aren't getting it when it comes to understanding sola fide and sola scriptura, but guys like this seem to me to be taking BOTH to their logical conclusions: pitting works against faith and pitting organised religion (Apostolic Tradition) against the scripture.

For more Catholic responses (video and otherwise) look here.

For a great Reformed response look here.

UPDATE: I just watched the following video. Wow! I could have just avoided this post and shown this video. It says everything I wanted to say but much better. I Love it when the priest compares the incident with Judas whining about the purfume being poured on Jesus with the complaints about big churches.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Michael Voris at Argument of the Month

Last Tuesday, I went to a local men's gathering called the Argument of the Month Club. It is a bit crowded, but it is quite fun. I was extra pumped last week because Michael Voris was there, and was surprised when he started shooting an episode of the Vortex, which is the daily 5 minute podcast of RealCatholicTV. Here I am at the meeting (about half the room is shown in this picture).
I love Voris because he says what needs to be said. There are a lot of people out there who need to hear straight talk and for whom innuendo and beating around the bush just will not get the message across. Voris is the guy for these people. Other people may find his approach to in-your-face, that is fine. I think the Church needs both approaches. Another thing I like about Voris is that he names names. To often we are content to talk about abuses in the Church in a nebulous way. But lets be honest, sometimes names need naming, even the names of Bishops. Not to be "jerky" and offend, but to protect the innocent. Some of RealCatholicTV's "CIA" (Catholic Investigative Agency) episodes have been very eye-opening for me. He manages to tread the line between staying faithful to the magisterium while pointing out the warts and open wounds on the body. Voris gets in a little hot water when he mistakenly says he is in Minneapolis in a roomful of mostly St. Paul men, I though he might be mobbed.

Watch the Vortex episode:

And at the end of the Vortex video, he gives a link to the actual talk he gave at the meeting. It was highly inspiring.

Archbishop Nienstedt, please do not spare the rod!

Below is a comment I left on an article in the local liberal fishwrap the Star Tribune. It is titled "Priests told not to voice dissent". I love my Archbishop! My only complaint is that perhaps he goes to easy on these evil priests who dissent from the Church. To think there are priests in my own archdiocese who think abortion is acceptable and homosexuality is not a sin makes me so angry. We should all be angry. The priests who call these evils good, and teach their congregations to call evil good should be "relieved" of their duties right now. Not tomorrow. Not when the souls in their care are in the balance.

Rock-on Archbishop Nienstedt! He is doing what a CATHOLIC Bishop is supposed to do: defending the CATHOLIC faith. Why would a priest who does not hold to the Catholic faith even want to remain in the Church? Or laypeople for that matter? If you do not believe what the holy Catholic Church believes, then no one is stopping you from leaving. Disagree all you want, it is a free country, but don't pretend to be a Catholic if you dissent from clear Church teaching. Abortion is murder and Homosexuality is a grave sin on the same level as adultery... that is simply the faith of the Church. Disagree all you want, but don't call yourself a Catholic.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Alaskan Whaling Captains: Dont forget your deduction!

So I am filling out my taxes using TaxAct online. I'm doing the itemized deductions section and come across this in the instructions. (my emphasis:)

Gifts to Charity
You can deduct contributions or gifts you gave to organizations that are religious, charitable, educational, scientific, or literary in purpose. You can also deduct what you gave to organizations that work to prevent cruelty to children or animals. Certain whaling captains may be able to deduct expenses paid in 2011 for Native Alaskan subsistence bowhead whale hunting activities. See Pub. 526 for details.

So to all you native Alaskan whaling captains out there who were like "crap, all these  expenses paid in 2011 for Native Alaskan subsistence bowhead whale hunting activities are kind of depressing me."
Cheer up! Uncle Sam has got your back!
As a left handed person, I am still waiting for my deduction for all the pain and lonliness my condition causes. Come on Federal Government! What about me!? I want my fair share of all the loot! Isnt that what a Republic is all about? Sharing loot?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reason # 528 the Catholic Church is a miracle: Contraception

Her: "Hooray! This pill will enable me to become a piece of meat to be used by a man as a more realistic alternative to masturbation! Womankind is finally liberated!"
Him: "Can you hurry it up over there..."
I ran across a really great article on contraception and the Catholic Church called Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later. What an amazing story! The committee that studied the issue in the mid 60's recommended that it be allowed by the pope. So what does he do? He forbids it totally in his encyclical Humanae Vitae! Then came the most vocal dissent in the history of the Church from what this article says. People couldn't believe it! All the hippie priests were irate! Rock on Pope Paul VI!

The encyclical itself is a great read just on historical grounds for anyone to read, but for Catholics, it will make you cry at how miraculous our glorious Church is. She is truly divinely protected from teaching error! Starting with the Anglicans in 1930, who allowed contraceptives in "grave" circumstances and within marriage, every Protestant denom, and even the Eastern Orthodox have caved on this issue, but not the Catholic Church!

Along with upholding the moral law, the encyclical is highly prophetic in its predictions of the disillusion of society as a result of contraception.
Prophet Pope Paul VI

Personally what I find amazing is 2 things:

1. That the vast majority of "conservative" American Protestants are OK with contraception/in-vitro/masturbation etc. Not to toot my own horn, but as a Protestant I 100% knew it was evil even just going on the sola Scriptura principle. Similar to homosexuality, it is simply just evil, and even a child can tell you that it is evil. Ask one. They will tell you. I seriously don't get why it is so widely accepted by Protestants. They are so good on abortion and gay marriage issues, yet FAIL utterly on this! So sad.

2. That "conservative" American Protestants will try to justify the use of abortifacient contraceptives!
I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't heard it multiple times from family and friends. One female who shall remain nameless told me that she knows (she claims she can feel it) when her body releases an egg, so she is ok with using the IUD. For some background, the IUD is abortifacient, which means it will cause a fertilized egg (a human being) to not implant into the uterine lining. That is straight up murder, bizatch! Does your husband seriously need to not only use you like a whore (as St. Augustine would say) but also risk killing his own children just because he can't wait a few days to ... you know? Even if it were a 0.5% chance that a fertilized egg were aborted from using the IUD (and I bet it is way more), is it really worth that risk to murder someone?

This whole issue was yet another fact that pointed me to the Catholic Church. Only one claimant to the title "Church" has not allowed this grave evil. The barque of Peter alone has stayed afloat in the evil storm contraception. All others have caved like the wimpy pretenders they are. Viva il papa!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Solo Scriptura

"All appeals to scripture are appeals to interpretations of scripture." -Keith Mathison

Protestants are rebels who became what they hated. They rejected papal authority and became popes of their own little outposts. They traded a Magisterium with at least a plausible claim to infallibility for their own sure fallibility of opinion.What they are left with is the "truth", as Obi-Wan would say "from a certain point of view".

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

WWLD (What Would Luther Do?) if he were alive today?

The following is a comment I left on a blog of a local church here in the Twin Cities that I found on a list of churches thinking about joining the new Anglican ordinariate thing in the USA. HE asks an intruiging question:

"If Martin Luther was born today would he try to reform the Catholic or Lutheran faith?"

Here was my response which didnt immediately post on the site:
Luther would put on sackcloth and ashes, and crawl on his knees to St. Peter's in Rome to repent and submit to the magisterium of the Catholic Church if here were here today.

Both Luther and Calvin had a vision of a changed Church, but still their vision was of a SINGLE changed Church. They would be absolutlely horrified to see what has become of their reform. In no way would they stomach for a moment the thousands of sects that claim the authority of Scripture Alone. In the past few hundred years, Protestantism has largely ceased to even pretend that the Church needs to be one entity with one authoritative hierarchy. Luther would have had a fit at that idea! Seeing the reforms of the counter-reformation, the never ending division and discord of Protestantism, and the continuing unity and faithfulness of the Catholic Church, I truly believe Luther would not even hesitate to swim the Tiber. (Actually being a Catholic, he would just need to recant and go to confession to have his excommunication lifted). I also think he would be won over to Catholicism primarilly by the obvious and spectacular failure of his "pillar" Sola Scriptura. The division and heresy he may have seen in germ form (think anabaptists) which resulted from sola scriptura are now so blindingly clear after 500 years of ever increasing fragmentation that as for the first pillar, Luther would likely choose to read Sola Fide in a Catholic friendly way as Benedict XVI has suggested, but as for the other pillar, he would find no way of ignoring the evidence of history that Sola Scriptura has been anything but a spectacular implosion of failure.

I say all of this as someone who was a flaming Reformed Protestant 2 years ago. I have read Luther, and my heritage is LCMS. A year ago I discovered a site that took unity seriously and found my faith in Sola Scriptura had crumbled under the weight of the evidence and so I did the unthinkable.... I swam the Tiber. I felt Luther smiling down on me, and I feel he would have been crying right there with me as I submitted my heart and mind to Christ and His Church.

God bless any Christians who take the time to think about Christian unity in a serious way. I truly believe that the one option, Rome, will be the light at the end of that tunnel of questioning.