To Be A Catholic Thinker ...
Challenge for the Catholic Thinker: Catholic faith demands to be lived, not merely held. Doing good apologetics (defending the faith) alone is not enough. Evangelizing and bringing others into the faith, alone, is not enough. Regular participation in Catholic Liturgy, and a rich Catholic prayer life, alone, is not enough. Being Catholic is very demanding; it is not a part time job, and there is no stepping back from being fully Catholic. One is either Catholic, or one is not.
There is a similar challenge for the American Thinker: If you are too embarrassed to sing the National Anthem out loud in public, or if you feel that wearing an American Flag lapel pin is jingoistic or too nationalistic, or if you are not openly proud to be an American everywhere and in all circumstances, then in good conscience you should stop calling yourself an American, renounce your American citizenship, and emigrate to whatever land you feel is a better place, all around, in which to live as a citizen. Then you, and we, might live happier lives with less internal conflict.
The Catholic Thinker, like the American Thinker, is well armed by strong arguments in favor of the Catholic position, on every topic in every category touched by Catholic faith and reason. Now, many will recoil at that statement, because they incorrectly (in my view) hold the term argument to be a purely negative term. But, to the old-time, pre-scientism scientist, the term argument is meant to clearly state an arguable position, or hypothesis, for peer review, testing and criticism. In accordance with how well or how poorly an argument withstands peer review, testing and criticism, it gains or looses value and credibility among scientists, including the one who originally put forth the argument. This was the time-honored method of such luminaries as Galileo, Newton and Einstein. They put it out there, in public, and said, in essence, Let us all put it to the test, and let the chips fall where they may.
If such an argument is clearly refuted by a good counter-argument or is proven wrong by valid testing, any old-time scientist in the tradition of Galileo, Newton or Einstein would withdraw it, and either reject it, or perhaps modify it and later re-present it again in some corrected form for peer review, testing and criticism. Those who truly seek the truth have no fear of peer criticism, for it is the truth of the matter that is being sought, not merely peer support for a personally held position. Personal ego has no valid place in the honest quest for truth.
As we have seen again and again in this site, this method is just about dead in material science today. Arguments that are easily provably false are predominantly held by the majority of modern “scientists” to be “true” anyway. They don’t want to argue about it. Perhaps they are too embarrassed. Examples abound.
We have the HIV=AIDS=DEATH formula, almost universally accepted today even by the field of medicine, which states that HIV causes AIDS, and that infection with HIV is close to a death sentence, despite the fact that this argument has never been and cannot possibly be proven to be true, by anyone, ever. Indeed it is proven false by its own gathered mathematical statistics, and has been from the very beginning. It was never even published for peer review before being ordered into being a virtual scientific law, not by any scientist, but by a high-ranking government bureaucrat, in a government which held the purse strings to government grants for all university and corporate scientific research projects.
We have the universally accepted Human Population Problem, seen to be so dangerous as to warrant major international intervention to “control” third-world human populations, despite the fact that simple arithmetic is all that is needed to prove that England has a higher population density than China. The problem of poor nations being poor nations has nothing whatsoever to do with national population. It’s national organization.
We have the Human-Induced Global-Warming; Running Out Of Fossil-Fuel; Pollution’s Gonna Get You; etc., etc., etc., public frights out there enjoying the media limelight with no scientific evidence whatsoever to back them up, and plenty readily available to refute them.
We witness millions of human deaths per year from malaria, a disease proven easily controllable by the simple use of DDT, an unfairly demonized insecticide that never hurt any human or any bird, despite wild stories (best sellers among them) to the contrary. My neighborhood (and me, and my bicycle) were regularly hosed-down with the stuff before it became a “deadly substance,” and I’m still around, and so are so many others in my age group. We grew up in homes painted with lead paint, pipes soldered with lead solder, furnaces and ductwork insulated by asbestos, playing around with substances like mercury in grade school, and we’re all still here. Imagine that.
I could go on, almost indefinitely.
False assumptions, on their own, are usually harmless. But when they are trumpeted as true and programs are built up around them, and when they enter the public psyche as truisms, they do more than a little damage. Time after time on issue after issue, legal cases are adjudicated, laws and/or regulations are passed, tax dollars are expended and new bureaucracies are created and built up to solve a problem that a little critical thinking done ahead of time would have shown that it was not even a real problem to begin with.
It always involves two things:
- Increase in government responsibility in some area;
- Decrease in individual responsibility in some area.
Which is another way of describing a migration of power from the people to the government. It’s a sneaky way to kill truly representative government, because “the people,” for the most part, are convinced that the government is actually representing their best interests, when in fact what the government is doing is growing itself.
Now, all of that may look like what I’m addressing here would be better titled American Thinker rather than Catholic Thinker, because it looks to be a lot more political than religious. But what I’m trying to point out is that the quasi-religion enemy-from-within that is most dangerous to the Catholic Thinker (and the Greek Orthodox Thinker, and the Protestant Thinker, and the Jewish Thinker) is pure materialistic thought.
The pure materialist does not consider anything to be sacred, and indeed denies or does not recognize even the term sacredness itself. He holds nothing to be sacred. He has no religion-based moral guidelines or axioms to limit or direct his critical thinking, because he believes only in material, and in accidental interactions of bits of matter. That’s his religion, or his guiding belief system, which he cannot prove to be true, but which he rigidly holds, professes and adheres to, by faith alone.
It’s a rather silly superstition, or superstitious belief, based on nothing material or natural, although devotees claim to believe only in the material and the natural.
Nevertheless, it is dangerous, partially because in denying sacredness it denies, among other things, the notion that human life is sacred. Once that ethic is done away with, it clears the ground for the political and legal promotion of everything from artificial contraception to legal abortion to even genocide, in the interest of solving a completely bogus Human Population Problem that in fact exists only in the popularized theory, but not in fact. I’m not saying that the theory is merely unsubstantiated; I am stating that it is patently false.
In the pure materialist’s religious view, matter is all there is and all there ever was. Contemporary scientists, materialists among them, if not the majority of them, hold that the age of the universe – meaning everything – is somewhere between 10 and 20 billion years old, based on the speed at which the universe is expanding and material objects are getting farther away from each other. Therefore, it cannot be said that matter “always was and always will be.” At some point in the past, the first matter went poof, and appeared, as if by magic. The so-called Big Bang; so the question regarding Who lit the firecracker remains not only unanswered, but largely unasked. The notion of some initial Primal Cause of all other causes, and a First Mover to start all other motions, is not to be considered by the pure materialist, because his faith dictates that matter is all there is and ever was, and so there must be a purely material answer to eventually be found by one or another of TTRSTF.
The empirically improvable argument that there exists nothing other than matter is the silly superstition dogmatically held by the materialistic disciples of Scientism. Naturalists and materialistic “scientists” such as Richard Dawkins who cheer-lead and promote the Darwinism Hoax as being somehow scientific are, in truth, nothing more than silly twits. Evolution, natural selection, survival-of-the fittest are all supposed to be so-called scientific theories, but are in fact nothing more than silly superstitions with no empirical material evidence whatsoever to back them up. If they were scientifically established, then they would prove that Orientals, Blacks and People-Of-Color are vastly superior to Caucasians, because they all have always out-reproduced Caucasians, and are therefore superior races. Right?
Of course a race is not a species. All human races can interbreed; all human beings came from one and only one originating parent set. The DNA proves it. No one has ever even observed any naturally occurring new species that can reproduce itself, but can no longer reproduce with the theoretical parent species from which it naturally evolved. Thus, speciation, the cornerstone of Darwinism, has never even been observed. Yet it is held to be somehow scientific by a clear majority everywhere on Earth today. It’s touted to be how all species originate.
So, where’s the speciation? Where’s even any fossil evidence of it?
The only evolution anyone on Earth, including Darwin, ever observed was micro-evolution, meaning changes in breeds or races strictly within a species. No one, including Darwin, ever witnessed macro-evolution, meaning evolution between species. And the incredibly rich fossil record is completely devoid of material evidence of any occurrence of macro-evolution.
The religion of Materialism, like its sub-denominations of Scientism and Darwinism, has piss-poor to non-existent arguments for itself to put forth in any public arena in which old fashioned critical thinking might be applied.
The Catholic Thinker is well armed with good arguments that can be put forth in any public forum, on any and all items of faith and morals addressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Pick one. Materialism is not nearly so well armed. Most all so-called mainstream Christian denominations, and Judaism, have much, much stronger public arguments than does the religion of Materialism.
Yet, Materialism has infected thought in America, and everywhere on Earth, to a worse degree than any other enemy of the highest morality to ever exist on Earth: the Judao-Christian ethos, upon which all of Western Culture was built. The morality that all non-Western cultures eventually adopted, emulated, or at least pretended to adopt.
A People’s Religion is the root source of a people’s morality.
Judao-Christian morality springs from the Decalogue; the Ten Commandments. The first three Commandments address man’s relationship with God, or his Faith. The last seven Commandments address man’s relationship with his fellow man, or his morality.
Each First Tablet commandment, addressing our faith, should not be addressed by civil law except to the extent that civil law should not interfere with them or hinder their obedience in any way. The next Commandments, dealing with our morality, should form the foundational basis for civil law, in a land ruled by representative government.
Each Second Tablet commandment carries with it strong implications of certain attitudes and rights, which bear strong similarities to those promoted by ideals of Democracy, and free markets, and what has become known as the American ideal. It is on these rules of morality that the civil law and the ecclesial law must agree if a Western Culture society is to live harmoniously. Let's look at what rights are implied in these Commandments.
Implicit in Honor Thy father and Thy mother is the sacredness of the normative family, and the presumptive right of parents to first authority over their own children, and to special social protections for the family.
Implicit in Thou shalt not kill is the inalienable right of all innocent human beings to continue to live.
Implicit in Thou shalt not commit adultery is the sanctity and inviolability and protected nature of the marriage covenant, and, again, the sanctity and protected nature of the family.
Implicit in Thou shalt not steal is the inalienable right to private property: the right of an individual to actually own something.
Implicit in Thou shalt not bear false witness is the protected and sacred nature of truth, and the moral requirement to protect it and to profess it fully and without distortion.
Implicit in Thou shalt not covet is, again, the sanctity of marriage, and, again, the protected right to own private property.
For thousands of years the world has recognized that these Commandments represent what are called the wise restraints that make men free. When any of them are weakened, so is freedom weakened. Only so long as we all agree to adhere to these quite reasonable rules can we trust each other and cooperate together. When that is no longer the general case, we begin the decline into barbarism. Even in the absence of faith, these wise restraints remain the best rules for human conduct ever written, and they remain the best possible foundational basis for civil law. This is what all the world knows as Western morality.
The most religious among us adhere to these rules, this morality, out of the motive of obedience to Divine Will. The least religious among us adhere to these rules purely out of a motive of avoiding punishment under civil law. We are, for the most part, a good and decent people. Many visitors from other lands, particularly non-Western lands, have noted this goodness. It is, to many foreigners, remarkable that so many Americans obey, for instance, various piddling little traffic and parking laws even when there is no cop around. In other places in the world, a red light really means “stop” only when there is a cop present, or a bunch of them.
Pure Materialist Morality, exemplified by the Dialectic Materialism of Karl Marx, replaces this moral foundation with one commandment: The Ends Justify The Means. Achieving the End of his pipe-dream utopian ideal economic and government system justifies using any Means at all, including even mass-murder. The world has seen it applied, in Lenin’s New World Order and his terror famines; in Hitler’s National Socialism and atrocities; in Stalin’s purges, gulags and enslaved nations; and in Mao’s boast of having conquered and killed more people than Genghis Khan. The worst horrors of 20th Century history were all produced by ruthless conquerors and dictators pretending to be “good Marxists.” These terrible events, this horrible history, were all the direct result of the open rejection and repudiation of the Decalogue-based moral norms of Western Civilization in favor of the “morality” of pure materialism.
Materialism was popularized and infected Western so-called intellectual thought to the Nth degree due largely to the “discoveries” and writings of Western Culture’s Unholy Trinity: Darwin, Freud and Marx. Early Darwinists sought to relegate Genesis to the dust bin of history, or at least turn it into little more than a quaint fairy tail. Early Freudians sought to remove all human inhibitions and to eliminate any human sense of guilt, which, necessarily, meant the elimination of any notion of the existence of sin. Early Marxists sought Utopia; Worldly Perfection; man made Heaven, right here on Earth. The ridiculous and silly belief that a perfect Communist Utopia is possible for man to create justifies any means at all that may be used to create it.
The Catholic Thinker knows that perfection is not of this world, but the next. There is no perfect candidate for President, or any other office. Reagan (like Lincoln, and Washington, etc.) was not a perfect President. John Paul II the Great (like Peter, and like all other Popes) was not a perfect Pope. Jesus instructed us to try to “be perfect” even as He was perfect; and thus we are duty bound to try. But the Catholic Thinker knows that worldly perfection is not possible; Satan still rules the World, and he knows that he is never more powerful than when people do not even believe that he exists. The real battle is between the Spirit (the Kingdom) and the Flesh (the World.)
The Leftist-popularized myth regarding how Western man was rescued from superstition (i.e., religion) by the Enlightnement represents an example of the Leftist revisionist history taught in American government schools today. They may call themselves Public Schools, but they are, in truth, Government Schools. That a civil government should provide and/or control formative education of a nation’s children is not a Western notion, but an anti-Western culture notion. In the Leftist view, the Leviathan State should take over education simply because it says so in the Communist Manifesto. You will find no such argument anywhere in the writings of our Founders or in any of America’s founding documents.
Now that the Left owns show biz, the news room and academia, Leftist thought is being inculcated into the impressionable minds of America’s children. Leftist “intellectuals” betray their true colors by their open, habitual use of Darwinian, Freudian and Marxist buzz-words and their un-critical acceptance of all three theories. They embrace this Unholy Trinity of Western thought as great thinkers of history, who freed Western man’s mind to explore new possibilities and new universes.
This is the real reason that American school children who do not know their multiplication tables, have no sense of such principles as future value of money and cannot point out their own home state on a map of the USA, can demonstrate how to put a condom on a cucumber. It is why sex education, meaning, literally, increasingly detailed education in the mechanics of “safe” fornication, “protected” sodomy and “responsible” promiscuity, have preempted and replaced much of classical formal education. And it’s why American children rank behind those of some 27 other nations on tests of classical education (unless they are home-schooled, or are educated in private or parochial schools.)
The Left despises Reagan and his memory in part because he tried (in vain) to eliminate the Department of Education, in the view that the federal government had no good, arguable interest in being the sole provider of the formative education of the nation’s children. Education is not the proper business of government, any more than health care is. In point of fact, the Department of Education has proved again and again that its only interest is in rigidly censoring, distorting and controlling what is taught to America’s children, rather than in classically educating them. We can all readily see the results of that.
Leftists further despise Reagan because he turned the Cold War into an Economic War, which was infinitely preferable to a shooting war, and then destroyed their beloved Evil Empire, the once great Soviet Union. The hope of the Left was and remains an eventual Communist Utopia in which history will stop and everyone will be happy, and the world will be perfect. This is stupid, silly twittery, passing itself off as brilliant, elitist intellectual thought. The Left hates Reagan’s memory further because he used the word evil, and all good Lefties know that there is no such thing as evil, and no such thing as good; there are only outcomes of actions or events, which must be judged after-the-fact. An outcome might turn out to be preferable, or not preferable, but not good or evil. That’s Leftist morality, as opposed to Western Culture morality.
Since the Reagan – Thatcher – John Paul the Great era that witnessed the end of the Soviet Union, the Leftist position, which was previously almost openly pro-Communist, has morphed into a bland, indistinctive form of just general anti-Western, anti-Americanism. The old Communist slanders still are heard; America is still held to be “imperialistic,” although America holds no empire. Germany is ruled by Germans, not Americans, and Japan is ruled by Japanese, not Americans; we hold no ground in any foreign nation our troops have ever trod upon, except for enough consecrated ground in which to bury our own dead, who died for the freedom of the place. We leave behind us Democracies, and representative governments, not vassal states or puppet governments. If Germany is a puppet state of ours, she certainly has a funny way of showing it. Most German citizens today probably prefer the form of government they have now to going back to Nazism. Most Japanese citizens today probably prefer the form of government hey have now to going back to empire building via military conquest. And, even more importantly, their neighbor nations and the rest of the civilized world are happier with the current situation than the former.
Our Left has lost much of what it once stood for since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and it is left mostly with things to be against. All the previously demonized things: Capitalism, interpreted solely as a Greed System; Big Business, especially Big Oil; the fabled Military Industrial Complex, including all Defense Contractors; The Rich, even though all of the most vocal and visible Lefties happen to be rich; the White Man, even though the most vocal and visible Lefties happen to be white men; and so forth. It’s a general negativism and pessimism expressed toward all things American and Western and Judao-Christian. It’s “the system” that’s all wrong.
A Leftie can never admit that he was wrong about being a Leftie.
The Leftist damage that has been and is being done to America is staggering. The worst of it may be the pessimism and negativism that trickles down upon the young from teachers, news anchors, celebrities and stars. The touted and popularized myths, such as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, untrue though it is, anchored in the Communist Manifesto, it gains rather than looses ground over time. The warped view of wealth as a sort of fixed pie in need of apportioning out, rather than a living, breathing, constantly changing thing is another example. The young mind grasps the seeming justice in dividing up everything – property, money, food, clothes, houses, etc. – so that everybody gets a “fair share” of everything. Equitable redistribution seems to be just, on its face.
And it is, to me, as long as I am the one who gets to do the confiscating and redistributing. Of course, you might not agree with that, and you may prefer to be the one to do the confiscating and redistributing. When two of us, or many of us, or all of us, concentrate on getting to be the one to do the confiscating and redistributing of everything, who is left to keep on creating more wealth to be confiscated and redistributed? And will he be spending most of his time defending what he earns, trying to be the one who confiscates and redistributes, or creating more wealth?
After everything that exists is confiscated and redistributed, and there is no more being created, we then begin the process of starving to death, if we don’t all kill each other first.
Governments do not create wealth, they only consume it.
Businesses enable the creation of new wealth.
Only individual citizens can create new wealth.
Free Citizens Create Wealth when and only when they are free to do so. Un-free Citizens Consume Wealth until they are free, when they begin to create wealth. The free citizen is, to his nation, human capital who will produce something. The free nation therefore should seek to grow its population of free citizens. The un-free citizen is, to his nation, another mouth to feed, and a drag on the national economy. The un-free nation therefore typically seeks to limit or even reduce its human population.
Since the pre-historical development of specialization, men free to do so have produced more of whatever they produce than they need, in order to be paid more, for their extra effort. This is the source of new wealth. It was explained by Scotland’s Adam Smith in his Wealth Of nations in 1776, the same year as our Declaration of Independence.
Be all that as it may, Leftie-Liberalism has made and is still making inroads in America and elsewhere in Western culture. It almost owns public discourse, and directs if not predominates in the broadcast and print media and in entertainment. It has gained ground not only among unbelievers and weak believers, but it has made some serous progress among practicing Protestants, Catholics and Jews.
Today you may hear a priest, minister or rabbi talking about how it doesn’t matter so much what you believe, so long as you believe in something. This is, of course, hogwash. It does indeed matter what you believe. Immortal souls are at stake here. All belief systems are not “equal” nor are they all even desirable, among a civilized Judao-Christian People. Jews and Catholics and Protestants may tolerate and even love one another, but they may not tolerate such things as cannibalism, Nazism, Communism, Fascism, pedophilia, Islam, anarchy, terrorism, etc., etc., etc., and still remain Jews and Catholics and Protestants, true to their respective faiths, for very long.
(I included Islam among the social menaces above because the open, published goal of Islam is the destruction or elimination of Catholicism, Protestantism and Judaism, along with Democracy and any form or representative government. To tolerate Islam within your household is to invite your own eventual doom. Islam is a social and societal menace.)
We have before us the new gospel of archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk of Cincinnati, which tells us that Jesus Christ, the Lord thy God, didn’t necessarily know who He was, wasn’t necessarily aware of His “ministry” until it overtook Him, didn’t necessarily select His 12 Apostles, didn’t necessarily rise from the Dead, but that His life story still provides a good example for us all to follow and emulate. While Pilarcyk may not openly preach this new gospel from the pulpit, he knowingly allowed it to be taught as good Catholic catechesis in his particular Church (the archdiocese of Cincinnati) in official Catholic teaching institutions. It was taught in his name and with his full authority by his faculty.
He stated that he found nothing heterodox (unorthodox) in one of his official “Catholic” text books, which called into question, among other things, the Resurrection, arguably the single most fundamental and even foundational dogma in all of Christianity, and perhaps the most important element in the Creed. You can see the gruesome details by clicking the various Cafeteria Catholic navigation buttons to the left on this webpage.
Leftie-Liberalism has entered the Church. Thus is Catholic catechesis watered-down in America, to make us more “inclusive” and less “exclusive,” to make us more “equal,” and to make our faith vague enough to say and believe that it doesn’t matter so much what you believe so long as you believe in something. In archbishop Pilarczyk we see living evidence of my contention that, in contemporary America, a man can fake his Catholic belief and piety well enough, with the help of other high ranking Leftie-Liberal clerics, to be raised to the Purple, be made a Prince of the Church, and obtain for himself an important bishopric.
Leftie-Liberal thought has also gained strong ground in the area of weakening our national defense through the demonizing of our military in the collective public psyche. There was a long-running Communist disinformation program operating in America and in the rest of the world, aimed at the false portrayal of the nature of American serviceman, on average, in the most negative way possible. It was (and is) extremely successful. Vietnam veterans were portrayed (and are still largely believed) to be:
- drafted and not volunteered;
- uneducated and too dumb to do anything else;
- purposely made into a wanton killer by military training;
- killers of women, children and innocents;
- incapable of victory;
- doped no-hopers;
- fraggers – killers of their own officers;
- war criminals;
- guilty of all the things John Kerry said they were guilty of;
- turned into permanent misfits and unemployables;
- etc., etc., etc.
In point of fact, slightly less the one quarter of all the men who served in Vietnam were drafted; all the rest volunteered. Of those who were drafted, very few were front line grunts (infantrymen) who actually did the fighting. Almost all draftees who even went to the war theater were in some behind-the-lines support role. Among the elite corps – Airborne, Rangers, Special Forces, Marines, etc. – there were no draftees at all. You have to volunteer (and be accepted) to get into any of those units. The vast majority of draftees saw no action in Vietnam.
The portrayal of the average GI as a semi-literate dummy is also false. Drug use among veterans was considerably less than among college students, hippies, journalists and other active “revolutionaries” back home. War crimes of any kind were exceedingly rare, found out about, investigated and prosecuted, unlike the situation on the Communist side of the war. The few criminal events committed by Americans were vastly over-reported by the Leftie-Liberal media, and the many criminal events committed by the Communists were censored by the same media. Go to the Vietnam War link to see the details of the purposeful miss-reporting done by American and other “journalists” throughout the entire war.
As a simple matter of fact, real Vietnam veterans are among the most well adjusted and productive American citizens of their era, certainly better adjusted than the druggie-hippies who never served, many of whom later would pretend to be Vietnam veterans as an excuse for their addiction, alcoholism, unemployable nature and general failure in life. Kerry, Rather and other Leftie Liberals rubbed elbows with lots of them.
Being a Catholic Thinker requires skepticism and cautious reading of all journalistic output, to try to discern the truth, when most news and commentary is delivered by a medium overloaded with known, proven liars. The overwhelming agenda of the American media is Leftist-Liberal, and you may fully expect a Leftist slant to have been applied to whatever comes out of it. That’s why I call it the SLIMC.
The Catholic Thinker must discern whether the source of the information he is examining follows the ethos of Judao-Christianity and Western Culture, or some other recognized ethos, or the ethos of BMDFP and Leftie-Liberals. It is a foreign ethos that does not belong here.
No Thinking Catholic or Protestant or Orthodox or Jew should allow it to chip away at our existing national ethos.
Seek the Truth, find the Way, live the Life; please God and live forever.
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