Critiques & Controversies: February 2004 Archives

The Pacifist Speaks

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Short of removal of a regime, what does one do about things like this:

North Korean Concentration Camps

I am an ardent pacifist (by a very liberal definition of the word); however, how can this be countenanced? How do we redress the wrong already done? And how will we know if it continues or if it is done? In other words, when does our concern for others trump other considerations? When are human rights important enough?

I'm not suggesting that war is the answering, but I do think we should do better on coming up with the answers in a more expeditious fashion.

Link via Goodform. Thanks Tom.

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Husserl a Herod?

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T.S. O'Rama has posted a reather interesting list from Jonas Goldberg of 20th century Herods. And while I have very little problem with most of the people of the list, I must take exception to the phenomenologists (and thus to some extent the "personalists" who derive from them) and the "Husserlites."

As a Carmelite, it should be very obvious why I should do so, but perhaps not so clear to those unfamiliar witht he background of St. Teresa Bendicta of the Cross, a phenomenologist and perhaps the chief Husserlite who became a Carmelite Nun largely because of her work in philosophy and phenomenology (let's not forget perhaps a touch of Grace--or more than a touch).

So pace Mr. Goldberg. While I concur wholeheartedly with several entries on your list, unlike postmodernism, phenomenology has given rise to some good things--John Paul II, St. Teresa Benedicta, Theology of the Body, etc.

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I have noted that some, perhaps a great many, Catholic bloggers support unreservedly an open interpretation of the second amendment right to bear arms. I am in substantial disagreement with these bloggers on their interpretation of that amendment. But that isn't really the point of what I have to say here.

This is one of those areas in which Catholics may freely discourse and agree or disagree on the matter. My opinion on the matter is formed by voluminous reading and personal proclivity. The opinions of others may be formed both culturally and by different readings and proclivities. In neither case does the Church have much of substance to say on the issue of gun control. And so long as one bears in mind any such guidance, conscience is king in this matter as in many others.

We can civilly disagree on welfare and how it is to be distributed, on economic systems, on political duty, even on some matters of how the Church is presently configured (a married priesthood, for example--which, by the way, doesn't really bother me one way or another--I'm fine with the present discipline. So long as it were changed in some reasonable way, I would be fine with another discipline.)

There is a wide range of issues on which Catholics in good conscience are free to disagree. Life is not one of them. And that is why I am glad that there is so much discussion continuing on the matter. It is why I am delighted that JCecil3, a self-proclaimed Progressive Catholic, has categorically stated his opposition not just to abortion but to the presence of the abortion plank in the democratic platform. All of these things are good--the sign of thriving conscience and conviction and lively engagement with our present political system. Long may it reign.

So my thanks to the great many Catholics out there making cogent, reasoned arguments against the abortion plank of the democratic party. Perhaps it will help raise awareness in some arenas. And for those who unreservedly support democratic candidates, please be a little more reserved. Support who conscience tells you to support, but reprimand, scold, and otherwise discipline the unruly minds that lead the party down the path to hell. You can support the good unreservedly, but not to speak out against this greatest of crimes against humanity does no service to your party nor to your country nor to God Himself. The blood of these children is upon those of us who do not seek to stop the shedding of it. And unlike the Precious Blood this blood will not redeem and raise up.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Critiques & Controversies category from February 2004.

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