Friday, August 2, 2013

“I’m not a monster, just sick.” Ariel Castro and 49 Fewer Shades of Grey

                Judge Michael Russo really got it right when, after Castro’s statement to the court, which verbalized his detachment from reality, he noted that Castro was a narcissist.  This is the root of the problem.  Narcissism builds into a sociopathic personality which builds and becomes practically interchangeable with the psychopathic personality; while not every narcissist is a psychopath every psychopath is truly a narcissist.  The hallmark of this personality is an inability to empathize with others.  To disregard your fellows suffering if it suits your personal agenda and to believe that you’re personal agenda is actually really everyone’s agenda.  Castro, for instance, insisted that the women he kidnapped were actually happy in the house.  It highlights the world of the narcissistic psychopath and the potential blind spot of us all.  We believe that what we do is valid and even good simply because we are doing it, others may not understand but how could they as they lack the rarified view from one’s own skull.

                There is a social aspect we should consider too; the individual experiences the world through the filter of themselves, but it is getting easier and easier for narcissists to find validating information coming from society.  Their interior life is bolstered by a world which seems ever increasingly sympathetic to their hopes for broader acceptance.  The women of the world are not helped by the success of a novel which features fantasy rape scenes, though it is written by a woman, and therefore it becomes charitable to lovingly and verbally jettison the tome.  It is merciful to napalm music videos which exploit women and apply social pressure for the artists to seek reconciliation from those which he has publicly injured.  It is necessary to boycott companies which exploit women’s bodies and feed women and men a message of superficial accessibility void of psychological, sociological, and spiritual truth. 

The problem is that we are losing the ability to identify these sources of social and personal rot.   Society and the individual are locked in the proverbial spiral of death falling from the sky towards the unflinching and diamond hard earth, which represents the truth in this analogy.  We must see though that the truth is not the destructive power in the analogy, it simply is, and evil destroys itself.  Evil consumes itself.  Evil is a cancer which envelopes its surroundings until the organism, humanity, dies.

The anti-thesis is obvious: self-sacrifice, service to others, basically being a loving person.  The problem is that the discomfort this produces causes the individual to flag, to wilt.  Communism insists that the balm is material; that the economic and material benefit associated with the proposed altruism would create this loving society of the disinterested self.  The result instead is abject materialism.  The comfort we seek is not truly about material wellbeing or Castro could be vindicated if he fed and sheltered the women he terrorized, he becomes a Stalin figure teaching society his will or Mao chaining workers to their machines because their sacrifice serves an imagined good but actually serves a privileged few.

Our motivations require something more than materialism, they require spirituality; but they require more than spirituality, they require religion.  The reason for this is that we need to follow a path to God, through God, and in God, which the sacraments of the Church provide.  We see this through the example of the Trinity.  Jesus personifies the will of the Father, not Jesus’ own will, which exemplifies Jesus’ love of the Father.  The Holy Spirit does the will of the Son of God which is the ultimate expression of love for Jesus.  Does this then set up the Holy Hierarchy?  No, rather God the Father exemplifies His love through the words He expresses through Jesus who insists that the greatest must be the servant of all.  God made everything from nothing and holds it together through a constant act of His conscious will.  If He did not serve all He would simply allow those who disobeyed Him to return to their natural state of actual, as opposed to merely poetic, oblivion.

So we have a Trinity which could easily be construed as a hierarchical system but which gains its true nature in it’s being the prototypical loving relationship.  The Trinity is totally open to its members as its dignity is never compromised by any of its members.  The Trinity seeks only to serve, only to love, and that love bore the fruit of all that God called “good” which was created out of that love and is inclusive of the entirety of creation from the beginning.

Jesus stated that everyone who does the will of His Father is His brother and sister.  We become a part of the mystery of the Trinity in the same methodology as the Trinity, and we discover the same life giving fruit which is born of that love.

The ultimate culmination of that love was the crucifixion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ; but more than that, the fruit of Jesus’ obedient love was the realization of the fullness of human life and it’s potential through the Resurrection.  The simply material appreciation of the world is the cross.  It is the instrument of death.  We who believe in the promise which Jesus embodies die to the material of the world in favor of a greater reality which is the fullness of truth, Jesus, and we share in His life, His death, and His Resurrection.

                We seek not our own monstrous will, our own truly evil and narcissistic self-interest, and our idolatry in which we fancy ourselves as a god.  We understand that truth by definition can only be One, Holy, and Perfect.  It is not increasingly smaller increments of grey. 

“Perfection is founded entirely on the love of God: ‘Charity is the bond of perfection;’ and perfect love of God means the complete union of our will with God’s.” St. Alphonsus Liguori

Without this love of God, which is exemplified in the love of charity. Our society is becoming a reality which we will use that house in Cleveland as an analogy for.  May we seek the love and will of God brothers and sisters in Christ.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Atheist Chaplains, Gay marriage, and Army Intelligence or "Topping Orwell!"...snicker...

                Jason Heap has submitted his resume to the Navy Chaplain Corp. and he is being considered though he is an atheist.  He feels that atheists must be represented equally in the modern military just as people of differing sexes, races, and sexual orientations are.  So what’s the big deal?  Atheists are people too right? If we prick them do they not bleed?  Can’t we accept all?  Is this not just another way the religious are bigoted?  It could be considered thus in a world lacking in definition.  A world which eschews order and logic in favor of the warm fuzziness of relativism. 

                Many believe that there is no difference which cannot be ignored until it simply goes away and this may be quite practical until it is untenable; at which point we have forgotten so much we have no idea what the problem actually is.  We are dishonest with ourselves for the sake of some greater honesty.  This is how dystopias are built.

                Let us consider the case of Jason Heap, the would-be Navy Chaplain and the motto of the Chaplain Corp. “Pro Deo et Patria” or “For God and Country”.  The problem is that the suggestion of an atheist Chaplain is simply dishonest at its very core; as we cannot serve a God we don’t believe in any more than we can serve a country we don’t believe in.  Take for instance if you had a Chaplain who was an imam yet felt America was “the great Satan”. Here we have just the opposite of what is being proposed by Mr. Heap.  We have an individual who believes in God but not in country.  I feel that most would find this person detrimental to the mission of the Chaplain Corp.  The only difference between finding “Deo” significant and “Patria” is that as an atheist he already finds God insignificant and thus disregards the importance and weight of that part of the motto; though one can plainly see it comes first within said motto and rightly so for Chaplains after all.

                The problem is simple and pervasive in our culture; the problem is entitlement.  We feel therefore we are entitled and therefore we are, to modernize Descartes.  Therefore we have contradictory titles and terms becoming normal and accepted, like Army Intelligence. 

                Similarly we have the inherent contradiction within the term gay marriage.  How can this be contradictory to anyone who is not a bigot?  Well it is contradictory because marriage is about sex.  The problem is we have no idea what that means. We use the term “sex” generically as a catch all for pertaining to a person’s sexual organs.  We are wrong if we call masturbation “self-sex”.  We are just as wrong to call “homosexual sex” sex. 

                Why? How can I possibly defend such hate speech?  “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”  Well the answer is written not by our ability to intellectualize incongruities but in our bodies, ourselves.  We can see a vast difference in the ability of male and female organs to accept the male; no woman ever has to understand the term “bottoming”. Women are padded, protected, and lubricated in most healthy individuals.  Men accept men into thin walled, waste eliminators, with no natural lubrication save for perspiration, and no reason beyond the fact that there are nerves bundled there.  Can we spot the difference and this is outside of the obvious procreate argument; which actually is a valid argument regardless of what Judge Sotomayor opines.  Women have various obvious problems simulating sex as well, isn’t it all so obvious if we just look at it as a logic problem and not as “sex” per se.

                The trouble once again is that we are entitled to our emotions and so we are entitled to our entitlement.  So we have a Chaplain who cannot actually be a Chaplain and married couples who cannot actually “couple”.  Even the BBC knows what “coupling” really means.  We cannot accept what is true so we must make those who uphold those morals to be villains.  They are bigots and hate mongers, but on a very superficial level aren’t they also entitled to their feelings; of course not, so bully on until there is no meaning in words.  It is something greater even than Orwellian doublethink; it is nothink.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Spiritual Advisor is Two Years Old-2

                Yesterday my two year old boy was running ahead of me.  He surprised me when we approached the crest of a steep decent and he stopped and reached out his hand to me.  This is surprising because his most frequently used phrase is, “No, me, self!”  He is Mr. Self-Reliance and is impervious to the fears normal people would reasonably have in situations such as this.
                I realized something though as he reached out his hand to me and that is just how grateful I was having it.  I recognized how amazing it is to hold a tiny hand and how I wanted nothing more than his safety and well being.  Reaching out is the key here; his reaching out caused me to reach out to him physically, sure, but more than that I reached out to him within myself, extending my empathy, my protection, my love.     
                I was able to appreciate this as a frail and fallen human father; I cannot begin to fathom how God the Father, the model upon which all fatherhood is modeled, experiences the instance we reach out to him.  We, like my son, often only do this when the danger seems so immanent that even we recognize it.  I long for my son’s hand always. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

WWGBSD (What would George Bernard Shaw Do?) - Back the Republican "War on Women" via the VAWA!

                The “progressives” are confused it would seem.  George Bernard Shaw would skewer them on a spit and slowly roast them over a fire.  George Bernard Shaw was and is by all accounts an extremely progressive figure in the history of the progressive struggle.  He also saw himself as a preeminent feminist; but what that meant in practicality is that women should actual be equal.  Shaw was not sympathetic to arguments which reflected an empathy which caused inequality.  The logical end of this trial by fire/ survival of the fittest Darwinist approach was eugenic. He saw himself as continuing towards the superman of Nietzsche in his philosophy. 
                So as one examines the rhetoric surrounding the “Violence against Women Act” one must wonder who is progressive and who is conservative?  If one erased the preconceived knowledge of what is Republican and what is Democrat one sees the Republican women in the House putting forth very Shavian arguments about equality in order to forgo “special” protections for say female migrant workers. 
                We hear the Democratic women in the house talking about the actual need of women in vulnerable situations; thus undercutting an overarching progressive assertion of the need for “equality”.  A ready example of Shaw’s lack of appreciation for the vulnerability of women would be his play “Mrs. Warren’s Profession”.  In this play Mrs. Warren is the co-owner of an International chain of brothels with the virtuous Shavian head for business.  In the real world outside the theatre and Shaw’s play Jack the Ripper was hacking prostitutes up in the streets of Whitechapel.  The disconnect is not only striking but telling.  Shaw wants us to be detached and rational in regards to sex, as Dan Savage wants us to be detached and rational about sex, and meanwhile the bodies of the vulnerable are used and discarded as rubbish.      
                I find that the question is confused because men and women are not going to be exactly equal as they are not exactly the same.  What needs to be focused upon is not a false notion of equality which ignores fundamental difference but a real equality in the appreciation of the dignity of humans.  The House Republican version of the VAWA fails to do this.  The Democrats usually own this lack of appreciation as they share a Shavian appreciation of sex as business.  I say this as Democrats fail to realize how birth control and abortion commoditize the sexual act, even if not for monetary exchange, thus leaving the vulnerable used and discarded as rubbish.
                So the progressives may hold up the standard for Shaw in almost any instance but in this instance he would bury them up to their necks in the sand of his wit and devour them alive in the fire ants of his logical, though misguided, thoughts and words.  That’s what George Bernard Shaw would do!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Problems Inherent in Comparing Race and Sexual Preference

                Recently, the news media has been drawing ready comparisons between the struggle for racial equality and gay marriage.  I believe there are many glaring problems with the comparison, socio-economics being one obvious area of homosexual advantage.  They are able to excel in their chosen fields and that has created a political war-chest which has fueled the political momentum they now enjoy. 
                Race has involved a generational struggle against socio-economic oppression because of the nature of race, i.e. skin pigmentation.  This explains how the homosexual individual has risen so far within the socio-economic system and people of color have struggled; homosexuality is inherently not generational because of the nature of homosexuality as not being biologically regenerative and it is inherently not superficially overt. 
                Racial equality, though it has been made complex because of socio-economic injustice, has asked us simply and rightly to simply overcome our superficial differences.  The argument is routinely put forth that race is genetically insignificant; meaning there is biologically no appreciable difference between two human beings down to their genes.  Homosexuals and their advocates often state that homosexuality is not a choice but based upon genetic predisposition; so this means that genetics is not insignificant but very significant in determining behavior.  So what will it be?  Genetic determinism, Orwellian double-think, or moral responsibility?
                To update the last update on civil unions in Colorado; I spoke too soon last time.  Civil unions have been defeated in a special session of the Colorado Legislature called by Gov. Hickenlooper.  God only knows why it got so far this year, but Speaker of the House McNulty finally got his house in order and sent the bill to the proper committee where it died.  I would like to reiterate the fact that in no state in our union has marriage been encroached upon by a vote of the polis, in fact just the opposite has happened.  Marriage is under threat from the social vanguard; this causes what has been borne out by history, not the dictatorship of the proletariat but the dictatorship of the vanguard.  It is our responsibility to protect marriage in the milieu of the culture at large.  It is of greater importance to protect marriage in our homes and hearts.  God bless you, marriage, and the family.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Spiritual Advisor is Two Years Old

                My two year old son has a specific quality my wife though I should write about; I obviously agree.  He is so cute but when I scold him he does something which is beyond cute, its heart melting, and so endearing: he gets a huge quivery lip and heavy knitted brow; he puts his chin down on his chest and rolls his shoulders forward, he has a look of complete dejection and he often whimpers to himself in such a way that it mimics talking to himself.  He appears to be hopelessly wrestling with the abandonment thrust upon him by his father.  I disintegrate inside.
                It is what happens next which makes him my spiritual director.  He runs to me, hugs me tightly, and bursts into tears.  I console him, I tell him I love him, I stroke his hair, I kiss his cheek, I think only of his peace of mind, of his peace, after all he is a good boy.  I don’t tell him what he did is now ok, just the opposite, but I let him know that he is still a good boy and that is why he cannot do what he had just done.  Then I hold him until he cheers up or gets distracted, which is usually very quickly, the clouds dissipate and he’s off again.
                So often we experience our own lip quivering moment and we run away from God.  We assume he isn’t listening or would not listen to us, we may fear his wrath, and we may assume his judgment when inside our Father his heart has melted.  He extends his arms to our heels running in the opposite direction and we miss our opportunity to be little ones who hug it out.  We miss the opportunity to have our Father assure us that we are not defined by our faults, and so we become defined by our faults, but by the love of God.
                It is fitting that my wife encouraged me to write this after she was in adoration of the Eucharist as she has a strong devotion to St Therese and writing this has reminded me of her “elevator to heaven”.
                “It is impossible for me to grow up, and so I must bear with myself such as I am with all my imperfections. But I want to seek out a means of going to heaven by a little way, a way that is very straight, very short, and totally new. We are living now in an age of inventions, and we no longer have to take the trouble of climbing stairs, elevator has replaced these very successfully. I wanted to find an elevator which would raise me to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection. I searched, then, in the Scripture for some sign of this elevator, the object of my desires, and I read these words coming from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom: "Whoever is a little one let him come to me." And so I succeeded. I felt I had found what I was looking for...The elevator which must raise me to heaven is in Your arms, O Jesus! And for this I had no need to grow up, but rather I had to remain little and become this more and more. O, my God, You surpassed all my expectation. I want only to sing of Your Mercies.”
                Uncanny, I think.  St. Therese, pray for us, especially my little spiritual directors! 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Objective vs. Altruistic Morality

                I wish to expound upon an idea I touched upon in my last blog post “It’s not natural.”  I tried to illustrate that an objective morality which would allow one to find no fault in homosexuality would also leave the door wide open to the genetic or hormone therapies one would use to cure homosexuality.  Genetic engineering is always a gravely immoral act; the ends never justify the means. This is not to say that homosexuals are free of their responsibility not to act upon their disordered understanding of human sexuality.  Disordered sexuality is everywhere from pornography to adultery.  It is not as if the homosexual’s disordered appreciation of sex is graver than a husband who looks at porn; although the homosexual will not ever have the option of a fruitful sexual union leading to the unavoidable usage of one's partner as a sexual object with every single sexual act, whereas the husband looking at porn still has the option of repenting and having a natural and ordered relationship with his wife.  It is moreover that homosexuals are trying to compromise the institution of marriage.  That moves the arena from the personal battle to the social.   
                Objectivism is on one end of the moral theory scale as it rejects altruism in favor of rational self-interest.  What this means in the actual world is that those with the power to assert their self-interest will prevail.  If the gay lobby is stronger than the university research lobby then the homosexuals are golden; but if they aren’t then the babies are getting some hormones, right into the anterior hypothalamus.  This is not morality it is a pissing contest. 
To illustrate I would refer to the recent exchange between Dan Savage and the students of the National High School Journalism Conference.  Dan Savage stated, “We can learn to ignore the bullsh--in the bible about gay people- the same way we have learned to ignore the bullsh-- in the bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation.”  When more than 100 students walked out of the auditorium in protest he called them, “pansy-a--ed.”  Did I mention he was speaking out against bullying?  See how fickle objectivism is?  The ends justify the means, or the meanness.  
                What altruism brings is not only objective truth, as the one truth lies outside oneself or one situation; but the promise of checking power in favor of that objective truth, actually saving us from ourselves as we are eventually crushed by the objectivism we use to crush others.  So it is not moral to “fix” homosexuals but it is moral to witness to them how we carry our crosses, which we all have to.
                The crosses we carry are lessons in holiness.  We learn self discipline, we learn to sacrifice, and thus we learn to love.  True love is not a feeling but every action in our lives directed at expressing the reality of that feeling.  Otherwise the hormones and neurotransmitters evaporate without moving us into deeper and longer lasting hormones and neurotransmitters.
                We witness in private but in the public square we defend the Church and her teaching, especially as it pertains to marriage and abortion.  We must try to keep our faith whole and intact; because as the Catholic Church may prescribe individual self mastery, the objectivist prescribes extreme and punitive reprisals against “bigoted” theological teaching.
                To update the last blog Civil Unions will pass the Colorado House of Representatives, the Governor will sign it and it will become law in Colorado.  God bless this state and our country, please pray for us.  
 I must add, just to clarify, the Church is not bigoted and neither should we be.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “2358- The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.  They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.  Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.  These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359- Homosexual persons are called to chastity.  By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”
                The conversion of sinners and the perfection of the faithful are not won without the long suffering of the faithful.  Simply to shout down the homosexual lifestyle is to convert sinners to sin and highlight our own faults as Christians.  We must firmly resolve to be prayerful and closer to the sacraments than ever before for the sake of society’s conversion.  God’s will be done; He has already won through his cross and resurrection.  Let us resolve to be faithful witnesses of that truth.