Contra Mozilla

Thursday, July 9, 2015

PC Dukes of Hazzard

I never really watched the original Dukes of Hazzard show--it was before my time, and never really held much to interest me. Nor did I watch the movie remake. But the fact that it's been pulled after being available for literally decades because of the prominent confederate flag on top of the car has me considering buying the series. No, not because I like waving the confederate flag; I may live in the deep south, but I'm not the sort to have much to do with that. Rather, my newfound support of the series is because I strongly oppose the busy-body cultural censors and social justice brownshirts who want to shut it down.

In the meantime, there's always the blue-collar comedy spoof of the show done by Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy.

Political correctness, like other ideologies, tends to ruin everything it touches. The social justice browshirts have taken this to the extreme. They may not be going after something that I love in this particular instant, but they have done so in the past, and will certainly do so again, until the whole country is filled with goose-stepping morons marching to the beat of the progressivists' drums.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

On Slippery Slopes--Does A Lead to B C and D?

The first problem which I mentioned is the difficulty of decisively projecting forward from A (e.g. "gay marriage") to B, C, and D (e.g. its unintended consequences, bad results, etc.) In some ways, this is the most serious objection to the slippery slope argument; it is at least the objection which makes sense wen discussing the issue with somebody who is neutral as concerns A but is opposed to B, C, and D. There's always a way to rationalize that A won't necessarily lead to B, C, or D. "Gay marriage" won't lead to legal recognition of incest, polygamy, or even pedophilia as "legitimate expressions of sexuality," we are told. It is a risible claim, we are told; perhaps as risible as appeared the idea that "gay marriage" would be legal in the US from the vantage point of 15 years ago, or even 10*.

And, in some cases, a few counter-arguments are in fact presented. Just because we accept that there is nothing significant about a difference in sex between the to partners doesn't mean we can no longer accept that there is something significance about the number 2 (how many spouses), or 2 (steps removes for consanguinity), or 18 (age of adult consent in most states). It's not like there's historical or cultural precedent for removing these restrictions or anything. Ahem.

This does, of curse, disregard the fact that "gay marriage" was itself another step along a slippery slope of sorts. Sometimes the slippery slope arguments are actually prophetic, and they do in fact come to pass. Ideas have consequences, they do not merely exist in a vacuum. It is true that there is not always a direct and tangible link from A to B, C, and D: but we don't always act in a direct and logical manner, either as individuals or as a society.

Case in point, one of the bad effects predicted for the "A" of "gay marriage" was a "B" of churches losing their tax-exempt status and the "C" of limiting religious freedoms, then a "D" of outright persecution. Within a day or two of the Supreme Curt's decision, there were issued some calls to strip churches of their tax-exempt status if they refused to perform "gay weddings;" this is itself a rather blatant violation of  religious freedom as it basically means tat the state will now be privileging some churches over others on the basis of a single longstanding religious belief. There have been other calls in a similar time frame, and within a week the social media sphere is abuzz with calls to revoke tax-exempt status or otherwise curtail religious freedoms of those churches who won't go along with this decision. The next front in the culture wars looks like it may be over whether or not people actually can practice their religions, including the moral aspects of their religious beliefs; and whether they can speak of those beliefs in public (including within the confines of their own churches).
The only condition in which "no" is not an acceptable answer.

And as for persecution, well, the soft-persecution has long since begun (just ask any Christian photographer, baker, etc. whether he has the right to not provide services to a "gay marriage" celebration). Indeed, in one case the bakers in questions have been told that they can no longer speak out about their case, in which they lost their business and then were fined $135000 for "emotional damages" because they refused to provide a cake to a pair of lesbians for their "wedding reception."

*I did have one conservative friend, a fellow student at the university, who predicted this would come to pass. He made this prediction in writing around the year 2004 or 2005.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Good Queen Bess?

Suffice it to say that I agree with Fr. Longenecker's assessment of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. She was a tyrant as bad as the rest of her dynasty, a dynasty which happily ended with her. Oh, her reign was certainly good for England if one wants to argue that it keep England distant from those foreign powers which happened to have (at least nominally) Catholic rulers. Of course, England could have been made great without systematically persecuting the Church, and could have been more than great in the merely secular sense. The Catholic Church in England and Scotland may have been one of the more corrupt branches in those days. But what came after was no improvement:
What I have never understood is why Elizabeth did not avoid all the difficulties and simply maintain the Catholic faith that her half-sister Mary had re-established. She could have legitimized her claim to the throne through a marriage to Philip of Spain or a French Catholic prince. She could have won the hearts of her people who were still much more in favor of the old Catholic faith, and if she had borne children would have established security during her reign and secure dynasty. She chose not to, and the only reason one must assume, is that she did not wish to share her throne with anyone—especially a powerful husband.

Her intransigence brought about continued insecurity in England and division in war-torn Europe. It necessitated the murder of her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, and kept her country on a knife edge of religious strife, immanent civil war and the threat of external invasion....

For indiscriminating fans of popular history she might still be the red-haired, haughty monarch—the proud and popular Protestant queen, “with the heart and stomach of a king” but for many others she remains the true daughter of her father—a stubborn, cruel and heartless tyrant.
Come rack, come rope... The Church in England, indeed in Europe, did indeed need reforming. The problem of the Reformation is that it threw out good doctrines along with bad practices, and then implemented some bad practices of its own. England under the Tudor dynasty was not only no exception to this rule, but was indeed arguably an exemplar of it.

On Slippery Slopes--Four Problems with the Argument

There are at least four problems with slippery slope arguments in general and with the argument as applied to the issue of "gay marriage" in particular. Here are the four which I have in mind:
  1. The argument fails on account of being unable to prove that A will lead to B, C, and D.
  2. The argument fails because A is worth the risk of B,C, and D.
  3. B, C, and D are not so bad as A itself.
  4. B, C, and D are actually desired ends of A.

Note that here "A" is the stand in for gay marriage," and B,C, and D are stand-ins for additionally consequences which might follow from it (not necessarily three in number). These 4 problems are essentially the counter-arguments deployed against the slippery slope argument. It should also be noted that there can be more than one set of B, C, and D. For example, "gay marriage" can be said by one slippery slope to lead to legal recognition of polygamy, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, etc. until marriage is utterly meaningless; it can also be said to lead to the loss of tax-exempt status of religious organizations, restrictive speech codes, requirements that conscientious objectors participate in events celebrating "gay marriage" (whether pride parades or the actual "wedding" ceremonies, receptions, etc.), to loss of religious freedoms in general and ultimately a persecution of certain religions (namely, faithful Christians).

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Media Lies--American National Catholic Church Edition

They lie. All. The. Time. But these days they seem to be going out of their way to tell lies about the Catholic Church. Specifically, I suspect that soon we will hear about every single "American National Catholic Church" in the US. I suspect this for the simple reason that these churches are actually completely independent from and not in communion with Rome, and hence much more progressive than the "Roman" Catholic Church (the one true Catholic Church, albeit only one rite within the Church). I suspect they will do this in an effort to "encourage" the Catholic Church to change her teachings to conform more with the secular zeitgeist--she won't.

Here, for example, is an article from a year or so ago titled "Meet the Catholic priest who performs same-sex unions." The mention at some point in the body text that he is a part of the American Catholic Church--but not that the American National Catholic Church a relatively small and unknown communion of churches--is not in any way affiliated with the actual Catholic Church (e.g. in communion with Rome). Nor, for that matter, is it affiliated with any of the various Anglican Churches which incorporate "Catholic" into their names, including some episcopal churches; I suspect we may be hearing some reports of the more progressive among these, too.

Oh, but it gets worse:
He answers to his congregation, and he doesn't hide who he is.
"I was born and raised Roman Catholic," he said. "I went to the seminary to study for the priesthood. And I'm a gay priest."

He felt the call to the collar from the second grade.

"Friends used to call me Father Phil when I was in second grade," he said.

Father Phil said Catholic churches aren't usually welcoming to the people who sit in this sanctuary. Here they are home and so is he.
Note the deliberate bait-and-switch here. He was born and raised Roman Catholic. He felt called to the priesthood from an early age. Nowhere is it stated clearly that he left the (Roman) Catholic Church in order to become a priest of the American Catholic Church. Also, there are a few swipes at the actual Catholic Church and the fact that a) our priests and bishops are not just accountable to their congregants (though they ave a duty to teach their parishioners the Faith), and b) that "Catholic churches aren't usually welcoming to the people."

And all of this is without addressing the rather flagrant job of misleading in the embedded video. "Church teachings don't usually allow Catholic priests to perform same sex unions, but one Catholic priest in St. Louis has done several of them." The video goes on to say that all Catholic Churches in St Louis impose ashes on their parishioners' foreheads (while superimposed over an image of the American Catholic priest doing just that).

Then in the interview, they make him sound like just another Catholic priest at just another Catholic parish: "We're very Catholic in essence!... We celebrate the same seven sacraments!...Where we change in is that practical way in which we embrace our Catholic faith." He then goes on to recite a large part of the progressivist laundry list: married priests, women priests, open acceptance of gay and lesbian unions... They mention that he disagrees with Rome, but not that his Church is not in communion with Rome. They also highlight that he went to seminary as a Roman Catholic. Yeah, nothing misleading here. No lies or propaganda in this article.

For that mater, no lies are being told by the American National Catholic Church (and won't be told about various Anglican Churches which call themselves "Catholic") in their choice of name. I am reminded of what was one of the most popular Biblical passags during the Counter-Reformation, and which should become more well known as a warning against today:
"And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds" (2 Corinthians 11:12-15).
The devil is the father of all lies. The media, even this independent (schismatic, frankly heretical) "Catholic" church, are just more tools he uses to do his dirty work.


Update: I'm sure there are some Roman Catholic clergy who would happily go along with this too. Not all of our clergy is good and faithful, and so neither are many Catholic parishioners. It's bad enough when the media harps on this incessantly; it's worse when the find small and obscure schisms like this one and then pretend that they are genuine Catholics, as if to deliberately sow disunity within the Catholic Church.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Few God Links (vol. 22)

I think after this week I may undergo a self-imposed moratorium on discussing "gay marriage" and the Obergefell v Hodges case, for a little while at least:
  1. One thing which has long bothered me about this issue is the amount of deliberate deception practiced with regards to what Christ and His Church have and haven't aught regarding marriage in general and "gay marriage" in particular. Mark Shea has a good rundown of three lies employed in the present war against (Christian) marriage.
  2. On a related note, seminarian Joe Heschmeyer has a good rebuttal to all of those ridiculous (insulting, and to be blunt, lying) flow charts put out as propaganda against the Christian position on marriage. I suspect that this set of propaganda--these charts, their approach, their successful misleading of many otherwise faithful Christians--have done more to directly erode the societal opposition to gay marriage than any other propaganda. I should also include a link to a good chart which upholds the Christian argument.
  3. On a related note, The Gospel Coalition has a post on their blog asking 40 questions of those Christians who have been waving rainbow flags (and participating in "pride parades" etc.) in the wake of the Obergefell v Hodges decision. The blog is geared mostly for Protestants (in particular evangelicals)--and specifically ones who take their faith at least somewhat seriously--but most of these questions work for Catholics as well. Actually, a few of the questions are good reflection questions for all of us in general, on whatever side of this culture war battle we happened to fall on. "Do you believe it is possible to love someone and disagree with important decisions they make?" or "Do you hope to be more committed to the church, more committed to Christ, and more committed to the Scriptures in the years ahead?"
  4. If marriage is a dignity-granting institution, where does that leave all the single people? When marriage--or at leas "romantic" (sexual") relationships--becomes the only way to know love, where does that leave friendship and the other loves?
  5. You know that the "pro-gay" propaganda has an ulterior motive when we Christians have to introduce ourselves by saying, "I'm a Christian, not a bigot." The churches have always been the target and their destruction the goal here, not some mythical "equality" or "dignity."
  6. Some forms of incestuous marriage are currently legal in some states. Did you assume I meant Alabama or Mississippi? No, I meant a progressive and urban state, like New York.
  7. Double standards? What double standards? Whatever do you mean that their is an agenda against the Church among progressive fools and the societal elite and the media moguls (but I repeat myself)?
  8. Where do we go from here? I agree with some of the suggestions that we should evangelize by our lives--show not tell--but I also admit that this is a very difficult proposition:
  9. On another topic, it is necessary to put the pope's words in context. That is often needed, since our media likes to quote him out of context (at best) and then further misconstrue what he says or does (that is, they like put lies in his mouth which he never uttered).Here, for example, is some context about his recent remarks about weapons manufacture and arms trade.
  10. A haunting and timely warning to America: no power on this earth lasts forever.
It's hard to discus other topics when one so large is looming on the horizon, or when one becomes the forefront of most discussion in society.

Consistency Isn't Their Strong Suit

A few days ago, I mentioned a possible silver lining to the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell vs Hodges: "a fairly welcome "side-effect" of the SCOTUS Obergefell decision would be the enforcement of concealed carry reciprocity for all 50 states + DC. But, I suppose it is probably too much to ask for the Court to be consistent."

Unfortunately, consistency is not the strong suit of progressives in general--their strong suit, alas, is persistence--and consistency is also not the strong suit of this court in particular:
"[Proponents of "gay marriage"] have a history of making whatever assurance seems necessary, before discarding it in due course. It used to be that prominent supporters of gay marriage pooh-poohed the idea of a judicial imposition of their view on the country. 
In the Supreme Court’s prior pro-gay-marriage decision, just two years ago, it said that domestic relations were exclusively a matter for the states — before turning around and throwing out state marriage laws not to its liking."
I suppose it is too much to ask that we be governed by consistent laws or even ruler by consistent oligarchs. It's a sure sign of tyranny that the rulers become unfettered by established law and legal tradition and cease to act with consistency.