Shamelessness in Public and Private Life

We often hear that there is no sense of shame anymore. For decades, that has been evident about sexual matters. Sexual behaviors, even perversions, which were once not only unmentioned but even unthinkable are now in the mainstream. Not only this, but opposing thinking—such as the value of chastity and sound sexual ethics—is held to be abnormal and unrealistic. Instead of norms of courtship and regard for the “nice girl,” we now have a hook-up culture. More, we see people forced to endorse and even facilitate sexual immorality. Corporate executives who dissent from any aspect of the homosexualist agenda are ousted, states try to force bakers and florists with religious objections to serve same-sex “weddings,” and conscience protections for health care workers who don’t want to aid in abortions are eroding. In effect, an attempt is underway to refashion as objectionable morally upright beliefs concerning sex and reproduction.

We see shamelessness in corporate America. Besides the surrender to the homosexualists, we witness CEOs getting large bonuses even when their companies don’t perform well and their employees’ pay stagnates. We see the national Chamber of Commerce pushing amnesty for illegal immigrants because, in the final analysis, they want more workers who will be willing to take minimum wage jobs. In other words, so companies don’t have to pay a just wage.

We see public employees with benefit packages that outstrip the private sector dig in their heels and oppose even efforts to make them contribute toward their health insurance premiums. Their union spokesmen don’t blink an eye about the fact that taxpayers, many of whom are much less financially advantaged, have to foot the bill for them because they won’t make modest sacrifices for the public good.

Our almost reflexive response to private sector excess has been more government regulation. It’s not like we don’t see plenty of shameful actions by legislators and government agencies and officials, however. So can we reasonably expect them to put others on the straight and narrow? We see such things as the IRS—even the same operatives in the same office—frequently giving different answers to the same queries about tax law. Congress routinely passes long pieces of legislation, which its members don’t read. Remember Nancy Pelosi saying that everyone would find out what was in the Affordable Care Act after it was enacted. She herself couldn’t say for sure what was in it. Should that be surprising, since who is likely to read a 2,700-page bill? Still, they think nothing of imposing such a law on us, complete with penalties. Or how about the seemingly endless chronicles of federal grant money provided for silly, bizarre, and at times even vulgar purposes? A sense of responsibility about the stewardship of the taxpayers’ money seems absent. Or consider the “horror stories” we hear about the TSA and their screening of airline passengers, which at times defy common sense and even affront human dignity—while the agency just brushes aside criticism.

Such shameless, outrageous conduct by government is not confined to the federal level. From municipalities harassing people about how long they can let their grass grow, cracking down on children’s lemonade stands because they didn’t get business licenses or health inspections, and using traffic cameras—even cutting yellow light times despite the resulting increase in rear-end accidents—so they can rack up more citation revenue, to some police departments using forfeiture laws against innocent people to increase funds, to some state legislatures voting to pay themselves full-time salaries for part-time work, we see plenty of official shamelessness in state and local government, too. Then there is the child protective system (CPS) that tells us how essential it is to fighting child abuse while spending most of its time interfering with the childrearing practices of innocent parents. It does this even while many of its operatives are not even parents themselves. These are, of course, just a few examples of hundreds of thousands of cases of strikingly shameful behavior by government officials and operatives each year.

So, the contemporary culture of shamelessness sweeps broadly over many different domains and facets of American life. What caused it? At the top of the list are the secularization of the culture and the triumph of moral relativism. Shame is not likely when people don’t believe that they are subject to standards beyond their own making or if they think they will never have to be answerable to their Maker. In some of the examples mentioned we see simple selfishness at work, and that is necessarily going to abound in such conditions.

We can also blame a deeply ingrained utilitarian mindset. For instance, the economic bottom line for corporations is the sole imperative, often regardless of likely adverse effects on society or even concerns about ethics and human dignity. Then there is the gnostic worldview that permeates so many of our institutions and the deformed elites who direct them. Like the movers and shakers of ancient Athens criticized by Socrates, they claim expertise far beyond their areas of competence. They simply think they know better than the rest of us and try to shape our lives in an increasing number of areas.

Ideology often stands behind such gnosticism. Don’t underestimate the influence of a subtle, vulgarized Marxism. These elites set the tone and that triggers actions bred by pure arrogance by the operatives down the line in institutions, like in the IRS and CPS. The modern prepossession of liberating the passions—in effect, turning the soul upside down so the passions crowd out right reason—stands behind our sexual turmoil. What began as justifying acquisitiveness has long since moved on to increasingly base passions. In the absence of sound morality, manners, and norms of civility, the age-old temptations to power, wealth, and pleasure become irresistible.

What can be done about this? Let’s “call out” shameless institutions and their operatives. We need to vigorously and consistently let them know what we think of their behavior and that we won’t tolerate it—and that we’ll remember it at election time or when we make decisions about which businesses to patronize. We can even organize public protests against them. We can communicate with the scholars, organization spokesmen, union leaders, etc. who promote or defend shameless practices—and think they’re below the radar screen—to tell them we also oppose them.

We can also dig in and fight them uncompromisingly when they try to target us, like the Christian florist in Washington State refusing to serve same-sex “weddings” has done. Changing shameless cultural practices is more difficult. I talked at some length about this in the last chapter of The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic. It involves a rededication at the level of families and individuals to solid spiritual, moral, intellectual, and behavioral formation. Well-formed people can then become good examples and, to quote Charles Murray, should also “preach what they practice.”

Stephen M. Krason

By

Stephen M. Krason's "Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic" column appears monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) in Crisis Magazine. He is Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. He is the author, most recently, of The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic (Transaction Publishers, 2012), and editor of three volumes: Child Abuse, Family Rights, and the Child Protective System (Scarecrow Press, 2013) and The Crisis of Religious Liberty (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014); and most recently, Challenging the Secular Culture: A Call to Christians (Franciscan University Press). His next book is Catholicism and American Political Ideologies (forthcoming this fall from Hamilton Books). He is also the author of a new novel, American Cincinnatus.

  • ForChristAlone

    What else can we do? Move our invested funds out of sinful enterprises and purchase mutual funds from Ave Maria Mutual Funds. They only invest in instruments that in no way counter Catholic values. If the atheist left in this country can boycott Indiana, we can boycott financial instruments that flout our moral sensibilities. And it’s about time that all dioceses in the US follow suit.

    • djc

      There’s also an atheist right.

      • Catholic pilgrim

        Yeah but the Conservative Atheists (like George Will) are a tiny minority and do not seek to spread Atheism across society… unlike the militant Atheists (which are the vast majority of Atheists in USA & UK).

      • ForChristAlone

        I retract the comment about atheist leftists. Let’s just call them left-wing nazis.

        • djc

          The right is not our(Catholics) friend either. They use us for votes and then either mock us or forget about us.

          The recent popes have made it clear that just as the church is not to be aligned w/the left it is also not to be aligned with the right either. We follow the gospel only.

          • ForChristAlone

            Thanks for the theology lesson. But when it comes to politics, I’ll side with the right any day against the nazi left.

            Please don’t burden me with what recent popes have made clear especially the current occupant of the chair of St Peter who sees through a glass darkly.

            • Jdonnell

              The Nazis were hardly “left.” Hitler sided with the right-wing industrialists and killed off the Roehm faction that wanted to move on from the “National” part of the National Socialism that had been instigated to the socialism part. Hitler settled that in killing him in the Night of the Long Knives.

              • ForChristAlone

                left=statists

                Nice meme about right wing industrialists. How has your income been generated?

                • Jdonnell

                  “Meme.” my foot. It’s facts–things you try to spin away when they don’t comport with your narrow views. My income sources are none of your business. I will say that I haven’t depended on right-wing industrialists for a living. The fact that you ask the question instead of responding with a comment of substance says it all.

                  • ForChristAlone

                    Your income sources are none of my business because you’d be compromised by revealing them. If you were capable of shame, I’d say you’d be ashamed to reveal them. But you’re not (capable of shame).

                    • Jdonnell

                      Your non sequitur is revealing, as is your equally illogical ad hominem approach. Neither my income nor its source(s) are relevant to the issue of poverty. I am pleased with my career choice and all my post graduate degrees necessary for it. You know nothing about my capabilities but show your capability for logical thought to be very limited. You have yet to make a comment that addresses the issue. But, that would take substance.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      So tell us what you do with all those postgraduate degrees.

                    • Jdonnell

                      Again, that’s’ none of your business. It’s the issues raised that are the subject, not me.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      No, you ARE the subject here. We say so.

                      Now, I’ll give you the last word.

                    • Jdonnell

                      The subject is not me, except in your confused brain. The subject is poverty and the failure of you and your ilk to grasp the issue and instead to express views not from Christians but from that ignoramus, Rush Limppaugh.

              • CCIG

                Reminds me of Obama at GM and Solyndra! Yeah, another big right-winger there. National Socialist Party – nuff said, what is the word you like so and often flout? Oh yes, imbecile. Are you really so simplistic that you label everything you don’t like as “right-wing” and everything you do as “left-wing”. That is sad. OK – I’ll quit throwing you grenades and just pray for you.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        But they seem willing to leave religious believers alone. They aren’t evangelizing atheists as many on the left seem to be.

    • LifeWarrior

      We can do more than that. We have seen the impact boycotts can have. All companies that support abortion should be boycotted, and all “non-profits” that turn alround and give money to Planned Parenthood, such as Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, ASPCA, American Cancer Society, and more. A list of Komen’s partners and sponsors is readily available at their website. http://www.fightpp.org is the site for the The Boycott List put out by Life Decisions Interantional of all the supporters of Planned Parenthood. And be aware that it is not enough to simply not do business with these companies – we must let them know on a LOCAL level, as well as contacting their headquarters, that a boycott ongoing until their support for abortion stops. This takes some sacrifice, as many of the companies are very popular ones we may hate to give up.

  • TheWhiteLilyBlog

    For Christ Alone, I do agree! The best I have done in that direction is boycott Amazon (several reasons) and I have no mutual funds. I moved my nestegg to a farm bank out in the country, but that’s only a guarantee of higher earnings, not better charity (I started to put morals, but it’s charity, it’s love, to care about what your money buys, because in so many cases it buys blows on Christ’s poor).

    But in the end, we will ‘lose’–I know individuals cannot lose if they hold on to Christ, but certain situations make that harder and souls get lost–if we do not make a more fundamental change. Are you aware of what FIDESZ in Hungary has done? They changed their constitution to reflect belief in the Christian God. I mean, they said something like they still hold to the Faith of King St. Stephen, the monarch who originally converted them. They also prohibited homosexual marriage and adoption constitutionally, so hard to undo. And they attacked some economic problems in what seems to me a more Catholic way–for example, they made the bank examiner appointed by the government, not the banks as previously. Of course Europe hates them and blacks out any positive media presentation.

    I think we have to do something like that, no matter the cost. Even more impossible here, with our national culture so founded in diversity. But I think a wise coalition of evangelicals and Catholics could do it, and I think that’s what they did in Hungary. We would have to do the hard work of converting the country to claim it Catholic–Pius XI said that, but I’m having a hard time finding the encyclical to give you, that if a country were majority Catholic, they had a right to a Catholic state.

    Gallop found that the majority of Americans would like Biblical principles in the constitution explicitly. 2008, Who Speaks for Islam poll, they polled US Christians, too. The fact is, almost the whole world actually wants a religious state, but we’ve been so terribly, horribly brainwashed ever since the so-called reformation.

    Well, this is a fine article. I wish so much we would pick up the cross of politics. We could win, but we just don’t know it.

    • Mickey’O

      TWLB, I have possibly a better idea…. Instead of beating our heads against the wall trying to save this cesspool of a country, let’s move to Hungary and become citizens there. We take our talents and treasure to where it is wanted and treasured today, and leave the hoards of lust-ridden sinners here to their fate. “11 Whenever you enter a city or a village, find out who is worthy to be your host, and make your lodging there until you go away. 12 When you enter this house, you are to wish it well; 13 and so, if the house is worthy, your good wishes shall come down upon it; if unworthy, let them come back to you the way they went. 14 And wherever they will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that city or that house;” Matthew 10:11-14

      • TheWhiteLilyBlog

        Oh Mickey don’t think I haven’t considered it. There is traditional mass in Budapest. Visit my blog if you want the address! Not every day traditional mass like I enjoy now. I lived in Mexico once for four years, and it was so wonderful. I was at home right away, by being Catholic.

        But I came back for family, a granddaughter at last, and then there’s something to be said for one’s own country. It is true that patriotism can become a kind of idolatry, but our pastor says that neighbor is defined by the Church (St. Thomas) very literally, spatially in fact–your upstairs neighbors take precedence over your more distant neighbors, and so forth. I think it might trump the going door to door and shaking the dust from your feet teaching. I owe the Faith to my neighbors, and I try to deliver. Kindness, prayer, good example, good deeds.

        And then I think of my people buried here. I have a pure-blood Cherokee grandfather, a grandmother cousin to Abe Lincoln, and quite a few chicken thieves whose rich legacy of sin I guess I still pay. And ought to. Christians all, the Indians as much as the others. Everything they had is gone, taken by secularism and its never-ending greed.

        But I’m really going to visit Hungary, as soon as I’ve got the marigolds in the ground. : ) I’ll pray for you at Easter mass, I hope you get there too and show them some love, Europe sure won’t (but Polish folks have increased their visitation–hey, visit my blog and see the piece on Hungary where the organizer of FIDESZ talks about the rosary).

        • Mickey’O

          Here is a link to a newsletter I monitor (it keeps me grounded by challenging my mindset):

          http://www.internationalman.com/articles/there-goes-the-neighbourhood

          • TheWhiteLilyBlog

            Clicked on it, is really interesting! I see where you’re coming from! And caused me to come back to say, I know, right? Because I just wrote a novel where the Catholics expatriate, to an asteroid. And along with a distributive economy (max distribution of ownership, not income) and a Catholic state, provide a safe haven for Muslims, too. They terraform the asteroid.

            Now, I’m going back and reading your International Man piece. It looks really interesting!

  • Jdonnell

    It’s not any “Marxism” that is at work in this litany of corruptions, just greed and selfishness that are underwritten by our economic system. Missing from the list given here is the most glaring of public sins–the use of most of our federal tax money to finance war-making and America’s warring in other countries that have not attacked or threatened us. Those wars–Bush’s wars–have now cost trillions of dollars and over one million lives. Don’t blame Marxism for this sinful, imperialist behavior.

    • Rock St. Elvis

      Thanks for sharing the manifesto, Jdonnell!

    • JP

      Err… Bush has been out of office for almost 7 years. For a minute I thought you were going to mention Kissinger and Haig.

      • ForChristAlone

        or the 6 minutes of missing tape recording by Evelyn Woods that the media went ballistic about but who say little about Queen Hillary’s cover up and erasure of an entire server.

        • GG

          At least Rosemary Woods acted out of loyalty, though misguided.

          • ForChristAlone

            Now why did I think her name was Evelyn? Oh, yeah, there was a remedial writing program named after Evelyn.

            • GG

              Think she was about speed reading. I remember the commercials.

          • Jdonnell

            Like Mafiosi?

            • GG

              Well, in a way yes. It was wrong to do it.

      • Jdonnell

        Yes, one could cite them along with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld as war criminals who daren’t venture into some countries for fear of being indicted as such.

    • GG

      Is this a joke?

      • ForChristAlone

        Jdonnell is very funny isn’t he? I find leftist big guvmint types really laughable.

        • GG

          I guess he thinks this is Commonweal or Patheos.

          • No, he thinks we’re some of the little skulls full of mush that haven’t learned how to think for ourselves or realized how little our college professors really understood about about the world they think they can design.

            Like most career academics in nonsense fields, he is to used to having the power of the grade, and a comfortable sinecure.

            • GG

              Yes, sounds like Commonweal,Patheos, or Crux. In less grandiose times we called it intellectual masturbation.

              • John200

                You could also call it intellectual masochism. I have been spanking Jdonnell in Steven Baskerville’s combox.

                Jack enjoys it, a surprise to me.

        • Jdonnell

          Is your head as empty as your comments?

        • John200

          FCA,
          Yes, Jdonnell is very funny. He has been mooning me all week on Steven Baskerville’s March 26 column —
          http://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/can-christianity-survive-sexual-revolution

          This afternoon, I gave him this comment:
          “Ha, ha, ha, ha, …. (infinite sequence of laughter). You are the
          funniest little creature. Thank you for that.

          I wish you a Happy Easter, Jack.”

          Yes, Jack is veddy veddy funny.

    • Joseph

      Those weren’t Bush’s wars. They were conducted with the full support of Congress and, in poll numbers, the American people. I, personally, thought going into Iraq was a fool’s errand and strongly opposed it, but even those of us who were against invading iraq vehemently supported the campaign to invade Afghanistan. It is not fair to call the Gulf Wars Bush’s wars. They are America’s wars – OUR WARS – and we bear the burden of paying for them as well as for mourning our dead and caring for our wounded.

      • winslow

        That’s the ‘good soldier’ reply. Sorry, I’m not buying it.

        • Facts are stubborn things, whether you buy them or not.

        • Siwash

          I agree. The war was a trumped up deal. It was only after Colin Powell seems amenable to it that I grudgingly accepted it. . . and now, years later, Colin points out how he was duped.

          We were all duped. It was an oilman’s war.

          • I’m not buyng the “duped” thing either. The fact is Saddam had gassed the Kurds and had months and months to remove things while the U.N. dickered around-he was a 4 star on the JCOS.
            If a man with that career was “duped” he was an incompetent judge of military intelligence, that’s not a defense-it’s an indictment.

      • Jdonnell

        Yes, maybe calling them Bush’s wars is insufficient, since Cheney and Rumsfeld’s names ought to be added to Bush’s wars. Congress and the public were, for the most part, lied into supporting the war in Iraq. Anyone who took the time to read fully in news accounts before Bush starting bombing and rocketing Iraq that Iraq had no WMD programs and that the reports were spurious. The NY Times’ Judith Miller’s reports were only thee most conspicuous lies–reports with zero credibility, yet used by that lapdog Powell in his speech that put the persuasive cap on the Bush administration’s campaign to propel America into war. The war rhetoric was as empty as when Bush stood grinning and puffed up on the deck of the ship with the banner waving above him reading, “Mission Accomplished.” Afghanistan, too, was a Bush-Cheney-Rummy war, using bin Laden as an excuse to invade the country. Bin Laden may not even have been in Afghanistan at the time, but on matter; facts were the least of Bush’s concerns. Obama’s approach should have been what Bush did–to wait for the right moment when you actually know where bin Laden was and then make a strike instead of a war. Those wars are “our wars” in the sense that we and our children and their children will be paying for them. The destruction of Iraq and the deaths of over a million connected to those wars constitute a sin of vast proportions.

        • John Flaherty

          Declaring that Bush or anyone else lied to Congress does not accurately reflect the reality of the past 15 years. If various Congressman had felt that they’d been deceived into voting in favor of inflicting war, they could easily have convened hearings on Capitol Hill to investigate the matter. Such could readily have happened especially after 2006, when the Democrats took over Congress.
          Instead, for over 10 years, we’ve had charge after charge, most unsubstantiated, about how “Bush lied”. Such charges have been almost exclusively politically motivated, not interested in seeking justice for anyone.

          Those who defame Bush on this count do not have the facts in their favor.

    • winslow

      I’ve had problems with some of JDonnell’s ideas, but not this time. He said Bush’s Iraq war was ‘missing from the list’ of the cultural sins listed in the essay, not that it was the only one, and he’s right.
      On his way out the door, President Eisenhower warned the nation of the dangers of the military-industrial complex. Our country has been at war constantly ever since. Trillions are tossed away to the corporations who build and supply our war machine.
      The Iraq war was begun as the personal retaliation of GW Bush under the banner of “[Saddam Hussain] tried to kill my dad.’ Trillions of dollars and, I don’t know about millions, but certainly hundreds of thousands of lives lost. The result? Saddam is gone and the factions he kept at bay have been at each other’s throats ever since. The Iraq war was the catalyst for all the horror we see in the region today.
      I am a political, religious and cultural conservative, but not a puppet. You righties need to review the facts before you shoot from the hip.

      • fredx2

        Saying that the war was “personal with Bush” is beyond irresponsible. We have been at war ever since because we are the one nation that has the power to stand up for the right in the world. Other nations want us to be the world’s policeman because they essentially trust us, no matter what they say. Britain actually cancelled some Trident submarines, saying “America will protect us, we don’t have to spend money on defense”.

        Saddam did not “keep factions at bay” he simply murdered thousands upon thousands of people in order to keep the peace, If that is a sort of peace you approve of, it strikes me as not being very Christian. He refused to allow running water to be supplied to Shia Hospitals in the south. He denied them medicines. So there was a sort of silent holocaust going on in the south, whereby those who needed hospitalization went there, could not really be treated, and just died. No wonder the Shias danced on his head when he died.

        Now that Obama got us out of there, what has happened? Another murder spree by ISIS, that has claimed 170,000 lives. There are no easy answers here.

        • winslow

          Obama ‘got us out of there’ following the strident demands of the American people. I credit him with nothing. What has happened since is on the books. Saddam may have been an unprincipled tyrant and a murderer, but if it’s a body count, you lose. If you’re counting money, you lose there, too.
          During the run-up to the Iraq war I paid close attention to what was written and what was said. I’m sure you did, too. I also took note of the Israeli elephant in the room. We came to different conclusions. The whole ‘weapons of mass destruction’ fiasco lends credence to my opinion, and I’ll leave it at that.

          • You think Saddam was going to live forever?

          • LarryCicero

            “if it’s a body count, you lose. If you’re counting money, you lose there too.”
            Was Roosevelt successful in stopping the aggression of the enemies? By what measure, body count or money?
            How about Lincoln’s War of Northern Aggression? Was it justified?
            How many more 9/11s were prevented by killing the enemy? Has pulling out made us safer?
            It is impossible to really know, or measure.

          • John Flaherty

            On the contrary, Obama “got us out of there” because of the insistent foolishness of the rough half of the country that elected him to office, not because We, the People, demanded it. I would remind you that many of us warned that doing so would be a serious mistake. Sadly, we’ve been proven right.

            As to the whole thing with weapons of mass destruction, I think your opinion has long since been proven ill advised. If we didn’t find giant stockpiles of weapons ready and waiting, we DID find a warehouse full of the appropriate materials, with a contingent of Saddam’s military “conveniently” within appropriate distance to attempt defending the installation.

            I have long been convinced that Saddam played the international community like a fiddle, precisely because the international community has long since refused to admit that anyone could possibly act differently from a “virtuous” ideal.

            …How quickly we forget the lessons of World War II.

      • Do you or JDonnell ever complain about the education-government complex?

    • Right, because there was no greed or corruption until “we” happerned on this earth.

      Looks like Jack lives a pretty good life, skying, travelling….look at the boundless dedication to the poor…

      http://mysite.du.edu/~jdonnell/

    • John Flaherty

      Wow!
      Jdonnell, it’d be wise to remember that Germany, under the Third Reich, never once attacked the United States, nor even threatened doing so. In fact, various factions in both the US and Britain even wished to do business with the Third Reich. Yet ultimately, we wound up fighting against the Nazis and the Japanese. Both posed serious threats not only to our allies, but also to the dignity of mankind.

      In most of these charges leveled against the Bush Administration, I see much of the same adamant intellectual dishonesty. I see the same effort to make believe that Saddam posed no particular threat to anyone important. I see the same recklessness of the international community at insisting that technical lack of shooting war inherently means that we have peace.

      Nothing could be farther from the Truth!

      Too many times have I heard people insist that we should’ve allowed the international community to act; too many times people have refused to admit that the international community had done pretty much nothing for over a decade.

      If you want to howl about imperialism, it’d be interesting to know why you don’t object to efforts to undermine the Constitution, thereby holding all to account to the “empire” of the world community.
      If you think the US has been “imperial” you would seem to be incapable of seeing the ills wrought by the UN.

      • Jdonnell

        You forget (or worse) as to the historical fact that the US went to war with Germany after Germany declared war on the US. The comparison with Iraq is bogus.

        • John Flaherty

          Britain had been trying to get us involved in Europe since the mid-30’s. Many insisted that Germany posed no threat to us, being an ocean away, therefore we should’ve get involved. If Germany voted to go to war with us before we declared war on them, such mostly happened because our entering the war was mostly inevitable after Japan hit Pearl Harbor.
          Comparison to Iraq is very appropriate because the same isolationist argument about Iraq being unable to attack us had the same idea in mind.
          Sooner or later, we would’ve been drawn in. Better to engage while we have a better chance of winning the military fight than after we’ve already lost troops.
          I know, many refuse to admit that a pre-emptive war could be just. I think such attitudes to be quite..short-sighted.

          • Jdonnell

            Nonsense. You were wrong in thinking that the US attacked Germany when it was Germany that declared war on the US. Period. Whether Germany posed a threat to us or not–Hitler had no plans to attack us, historians agree–is beside the point. Iraq certainly didn’t plan to attack us. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Just several years before the US invaded Iraq, the Reagan administration had sent a pair of golden spurs to Saddam Hussein as a gesture of good will and support. That was at a time when Saddam had been doing his worst. Your concern about potential “lost troops” is a disgusting in light of all the troops we did lose there, not to mention all the innocent Iraqis our troops killed, including mothers and children killed when US troops tossed grenades into their bedrooms and murdered them as they slept. You are neither short-sighted nor far-sighted, just blind to the truth and the immorality of what was done in our name and with our tax money.

            • John Flaherty

              I said that we didn’t get involved in World War II until after Japan hit us at Pearl Harbor. Before then, many had insisted that we should not get involved in “Europe’s problem” with Hitler. The attack on Dec 7 changed that; we couldn’t really get into a fight with Japan without also getting into a fight with Germany, because they were allies at the time, such as the Axis ever managed alliances.

              I have no doubt that Reagan would’ve offered Saddam a gesture of goodwill during the 80’s. Reagan was also arming Saddam (and the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan) to fight the Soviets. He did so with the idea that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. He did not necessarily do so with the intent of provoking Saddam towards moral behavior. Such is the way of statecraft and has been for the longest time. We knew that in 1990 when we began Operations Dessert Shield.

              Knowing that, I truly don’t understand your outrage at the deaths of so many Iraqi troops or the civilian populace. War has never been intensely moral; certainly the mindset of the populace of the United States has never reflected Just War ideals. If we have a choice of our side dying or theirs, we have little cause to choose theirs, so we must choose ours.

              Your rant seems to be almost as enraged by the idea that war exists as it does by the idea that people died.

              • Jdonnell

                You used Germany as an example of US intervention, comparable to involvement in Iraq, and in doing so you ignored the fact the Germany declared war on the US and that is how we got in a war with the Nazis. You cannot grasp the horror of the innocent Iraqis who died as a result of Bush’s lying the country into war. You cannot grasp the fact that some wars are unjustifiable and that Bush’s war on Iraq (and now Obama’s attack on Libya) are unjustifiable. The US bishops, for all their weasel-wording, nonetheless had the guts to object to the imminent US attack on Iraq. As for Reagan, his administration supported the killing in lots of places, including El Salvador, where US supplied arms and support led to the murders of thousands of peasants and the assassination of clergy, including Bp. Romero, who is now to be canonized. The Reagan justification was that the govt. opposition was “communist,” as much nonsense as when his ilk were calling the US civil rights movement “communist.”

                • John Flaherty

                  Your latest comment primarily demonstrates that you despise both Bush and Reagan and that almost any conflict that we’ve been involved in since World War II can almost certainly be blamed on the US. I think it fairly apparent that I don’t share your views.

                  If you wish to insist that Bush lied to cause us to go to war in Iraq, I’ll remind you that I don’t agree. If you wish to rage that some wars are unjustifiable, I would counter that I’ve rarely come across a war that WAS justified. If thousands of people have died by our hand, I must ask why you notice? Thousands more have already died by the hands of dictators, drug lords, and other forms of tyrant. If we value human life, why not be enraged by those just as much?

                  Suffice to say, I’m exceedingly skeptical of those who lash out against Bush or Reagan on grounds that they didn’t do things according to someone else’s views. Considering how little Catholics in America have insisted that the nation should live out lives of faith by Catholic standards–abortion continues unabated, for the most part–I think it unlikely that we should expect the public to demand virtue soon.

                  We won’t solve the problem of foreign wars until we’ve solved the problem of domestic vice.

                  • Jdonnell

                    Your latest comment is more obtuse than the earlier ones. You open by changing the subject and making an illogical inference (about all wars from what I said. Every one of your remarks is dumber than the last. When you get to Bush and Reagan “didn’t do things according to someone else’s views,” you are condoning their support for illegal, mass slaughter. Fortunately, those aren’t most people’s views. I have replied more than enough to your sophomoric views.

                    • John Flaherty

                      If you think my views sophomoric, well, it’s not the first time I’ve heard such sorts of charges.
                      I don’t believe the USCCB has ever declared Iraq to be illegal or mass slaughter. They didn’t like it; they never condemned it. I don’t believe they really could.
                      For all that the principles of Just War theory are important, they’re not a practical guide to fighting wars ultimately. No commander in a theater of battle ever knows what he wold wish to know. He must make his decisions based on his best judgement, not based on what an academic might think 6 months or 12 years later.
                      Besides, declaring a war to be just or unjust is inherently a declaration regarding a political matter, which requires prudential judgement. Such a declaration is, itself, a political matter. Whichever side loses will almost certainly find cause to believe the war to have been unjust, or to have been fought by unjust means. ..Assuming that both sides care about Just War theory in the first place. Most of the time, they don’t.

                    • Jdonnell

                      It’s certainly no surprise that others have seen your views as sophomoric, because they are patently so. Your superficial historical comments show not the slightest concern for the innocent victims of immoral wars. This is especially troubling, given the religious orientation of this site. Declaring a war to be just is a moral matter; you elide moral considerations where they ought to be the center of it. You hardly need to get into talk of the just war theory to see that when a president lies to congress and the public by making false claims about a country that he wants to attack (and that he is being induced in great part by an Israel that wants a weakened Iraq) that the war is immoral. Take a cold shower and wake up to reason instead of rationalizing.

                    • John Flaherty

                      Yes, decisions about Just War are inherently moral decisions. I assumed that to be understood from the get-go. However, any decision about war is also inherently political, meaning that two or more factions may take two or differing views about which moral concern has the greatest weight.
                      Many who condemn the Iraq War do so because they believe that we only went to war due to the threat of readily available WMDs. Generally, such a view insists that one side must pose an immediate threat, such as tanks and troops being mobilized to fight a war. Others like myself understand that such a view does not adequately comprehend how a war might be fought today. We assume that if a man has used WMDs in the past, he will be likely to do so again. He may not have much provocation for doing so. We assume that it’s acceptable to address the threat he poses.
                      We also understand that we didn’t go to war exclusively over WMDs, but also to ensure that Saddam could not act against Israel or our other allies in the region.
                      Most who condemn the Iraq War cannot stand even the slightest hint of the idea of a pre-emptive strike to solve problems.

                      These conflicts of point of view demonstrate how decisions of the justice of war are inherently political, as are declarations about the justice of any war.

                      No war will ever be as morally virtuous as we would like. War, by it’s very nature, mostly does not act allow for moral concern.
                      Just War theory has never been much more than a means to justify those actions that’re mostly unjustifiable, but which are none-the-less necessary.

                    • Jdonnell

                      More hot air, ignorance and inconsistency. Last comment, you claimed that just war decisions were “political,” now you accede to my view that those decisions are “moral.” To add that you assumed the moral quotient contradicts your flat out statement to the contrary.
                      You don’t know what people who’ve used WMDs in the past will do in the future. It is much more reasonable to conclude that it a country has ceased producing them, they aren’t planning to use them; they can’t. US intelligence showed no evidence that Iraq was producing any; indeed, the evidence was to the contrary. Bush and his neocon Israeli backers wanted Saddam removed, even if he was the legal ruler of a sovereign state. Making war on him under such circumstances was criminal. The threat to Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, and Syria is from Israel and the US. The precedent set by both countries in attacking Mideast countries posing no threat to the US or Israel would necessitate the conclusion–from your way of thinking–that they would be likely to do it again. Where is your Christianity in all this? Nothing in any of your comments takes a Christian POV.

                    • John Flaherty

                      Well, at least your last comment makes some semblance of sense. You really do see the US as the evil monster set loose in the world, with the countries you name as innocent victims of US bullying. I think your appraisal…grossly lacking.

                      I consider your attitude to be a vehement misappropriation of Catholic ideals, followed closely by an insistently negligent attitude regarding your rights and responsibilities as a US citizen. (Granted, that’s potentially an incorrect assumption, but I see no reason to consider otherwise.) If anyone, including the USCCB, had felt the Iraq War to be criminal, if they had felt it illegal or immoral, they could have acted with rigor to ensure different behavior. You or the USCCB could have demanded that Bush be censured or impeached if you felt his alleged transgressions to warrant doing so. If anyone felt Bush willfully misrepresented evidence prior to the war, they could have issued subpoenas demanding that various officials testify on Capitol Hill. None of that happened. Whether you or anyone like it or not, you agreed to the fight when you had the chance to say no. Laying responsibility on Bush for “lying” doesn’t absolve you from your own responsibilities in the matter. If anything, such charges mostly make your negligence all the more flagrant.

                      I also think your view grossly distorted regarding Saddam’s intentions. It’s possible that he might have ceased PRODUCING weapons; but even the intelligence you reference never stated for sure that he had destroyed the weapons he already had. Makes sense, considering that Saddam kicked out all the weapons inspectors in ’98, so nobody really knew what he had. ..And like I said, finding a warehouse in Iraq with the appropriate materials tends to seriously undermine claims of his compliance with international demands.
                      Insisting that Saddam wouldn’t have used whatever weapons he had doesn’t match well with his typical behavior. He defied both the US and the UN any occasion he got the chance; he only agreed to weapons inspections because, well, he didn’t have another choice. Even his forced compliance with that didn’t stop him from acting against his own people; thus we conducted Operations Southern and Northern Watch to require him to behave at least a little.

                      If you wish to argue that threats to Libya et al come from the US and Israel, I would remind you that Iran in particular is known for funding terror in the area, especially against Israel. Trying to proclaim Iranian peaceful intentions runs grossly afoul when we admit that Iran has stated that they wish to see Israel eliminated. Then there’s that little problem that Iran doesn’t wish to surrender it’s nuclear program any more than forced, insisting they need powerplants, even as they sit on a large reservoir of oil.

                      I didn’t accede anything regarding politics and morals earlier. If anything, I tried emphasizing that morals have political consequences too.

                      By the way, the greatest threat to Syria and Iraq both now comes mostly from ISIS; meanwhile, Muslim Brotherhood factions now dominate rule of Egypt and Libya.
                      …Yemen and others have long been debatable allies in the area.

                      Whatever peace it is you may insist would break out if the US would only leave the area, I think you’ll find that the people in the area, themselves, aren’t nearly so optimistic.

                    • Jdonnell

                      Your caricature of my views is another sign of your sophomoric mentality. The US is not “an evil monster” but has a foreign policy (and an economic one that undergirds it) that is evil in many respects, including those I’ve specifically pointed to in earlier comments. The Catholic bps. did take a stand (though did nothing to publicize it) against invading Iraq; they are too “prudent” (in the worst or Dickensian sense of that word) to take any brave stand, not wholly different from the German bps. who were too timid to take on the Nazis.
                      Saddam kicked out inspectors who were using the occasion to spy on Iraq. The IEA reported right up to the invasion compliance with and/or nothing to show any ongoing WMD program right up to the inva

                    • John Flaherty

                      Of course Saddam thought weapons inspectors were “spying”! He didn’t want anyone inspecting anything anywhere at all! You’ll recall that the debate in ’98 centered around whether or not weapons inspectors would be allowed wherever they wished to inspect, not merely wherever Saddam would reluctantly allow. I hadn’t know the tidbit about the IEA in particular–I was overseas at the time and didn’t hear everything–but those reports make sense. …And make a very good smokescreen!

                      After the ’91 Gulf War, the treaty required general weapons inspections. Period. Saddam had used chemical weapons before; we wished to ensure that such weapons had been destroyed, none further made. Saddam, knowing he had no nuclear weapons, allowed for the IEA, who worries about nuclear weapons. However, likely knowing that other inspectors would look for chemical or biological weapons, he didn’t want them around. Charges of “spying” regarding those inspectors makes perfect sense!
                      Bush would naturally refuse to accept the word of the IEA about inspections compliance because the IEA wasn’t looking for the weapons that worried us most in the first place. If the international community hates Bush and would wish to charge him with war crimes, that mostly proves that the international community doesn’t wish to admit that they’d done nothing to address the threat that Saddam posed to the region. Mostly they wish to blame him and his advisors for everything, leaving their own failures unnoticed. …Which is also why many detest Netanyahu because he keeps reminding them that they are, in fact, grossly negligent about addressing the very real threats his country faces.

                      If you want to argue that the bishops conference–or anyone else–took a stand against the Iraq War, but not enough of one, I comment that I consider such a lack of effort to be the same, in effect, as taking no real stand at all. If the bishops had been that terribly worried, they could’ve made their case quite clearly, even from the pulpit of every church in the nation, demanding that we take a different track. They didn’t. Nor did anyone else. Whatever bluster and complaint might be raised in political debates or other circumstances, I take the lack of action at the time as an indication that such concerns were not important enough to anyone to do anything of serious note. Causing a bishop to hand Sec Rice a letter from the US bishops doesn’t make much difference unless Sec Rice has some cause to be concerned about what the bishops think. I imagine she accepted the letter graciously, maybe informed the President, and all involved simply acknowledged the concerns, but carried on with the plans already set afoot.

                      If someone would succeed in leveling a charge of war crimes against Bush, I would consider such charges wholly hypocritical and dismiss them. He didn’t do anything that we didn’t inherently agree to allow.
                      If he’s guilty, every person of voting age at the time is no less.

                    • Jdonnell

                      I’ve given more than enough time to sophomoric nonsense. I’m talking about the period just before the US assault and occupation of Iraq, when Hans Blix and others were doing the inspecting. It’s no IEA “tidbit” but of crucial importance in showing that Bush lied the US into war. There was no evidence of chem. weapons or any other and lots of evidence to show dismantling. The spying that went on concerned attempts to gather info beyond the inspections. The US bps. were, in a word, chicken. They wanted to go on record but were afraid to take on the govt. over a war issue. Period. When it comes to unmarried, pregnant rape victims, the bps. are much tougher. This is all I have to say to you, except to note again that you have shown not one iota of compassion or charity toward the innocent victims of Bush’s wars.

                      Happy Easter and good bye.

                    • John Flaherty

                      Well, you’ve certainly dished out ample nonsense. Weapons inspectors did not entirely agree amongst themselves regarding the state of Iraq’s disarmament. Hans Blix may well have been satisfied. President Bush, acting as an elected Head of State, not just an appointed inspector, understood that Blix had effectively become a tool for the anti-war movement, and over-ruled him. Again, the sticking point was whether the inspections had been thorough enough. President Bush–and the UN, if they’d bothered–had the legitimate right to demand greater depth and breadth. When Saddam refused to budge, Bush took his case to the UN, who dithered, then did nothing. President Bush, realizing that the UN was being as useful as usual, took his case to Congress, reminding everyone that we did have legitimate interests in acting. Congress agreed, however reluctantly.

                      As I recall, the international community was widely ticked off that Bush actually dared to act as the head of a nation, acting when they didn’t wish to do anything.
                      Again, if Saddam or others alleged that inspectors were looking for something they weren’t supposed to seek, such would be a charge you might expect when the nation being inspected doesn’t want to allow for inspections in the first place. I think President Bush and/or his advisors understood that.

                      I can’t agree with you regarding the bishops’ actions related to that fight or to the situation with abortion either. Our bishops have been all but dead silent.

                      If you think I’ve no compassion towards victims of Bush’s wars, I remind you again that innocent people die in war. As citizens of this nation, their blood is on both our hands and the bishops’ just as much as on President Bush’s.
                      I think your charge about lack of compassion or charity to be immensely hypocritical.

  • Beth

    “It involves a rededication at the level of families and individuals to
    solid spiritual, moral, intellectual, and behavioral formation.
    Well-formed people can then become good examples and, to quote Charles
    Murray, should also “preach what they practice.”

    Case in point: Catholic grade school Student Council where students ran a campaign and were elected by the student body to their positions. After several bake sales, this elected Student Council decided to use the proceeds for a Student Council members-only trip to a major sporting event. My husband and I immediately questioned the practice and refused to allow our son–an elected member of the august body– to participate. You cannot imagine how we were reviled by other parents, the teachers and the principal. The admin and teachers laid the blame of the trip not happening at our feet–NOT THAT IT WAS A CORRUPT PRACTICE, but that we ‘complained’. There are still some parents who will not look us in the eye when we see them at mass. Talk about shameful.

  • Vinny

    From today’s other Crisis essay –

    “The new evangelization bids each one of us—whether we are grandparents, parents or simply concerned Catholics who cherish the eternal and the true—to witness to the Holy Eucharist in word and in deed. The time for going through the motions is over. We must show ourselves convinced in every respect that the act offered in time—the Eucharist—brings an eternal good, namely, our salvation. It was once thought that the highest good is our eternal salvation—you have to wonder though do people really believe that anymore? We do and we should show that we do! We must show ourselves convinced in every respect that truth is real and not illusory. There are in our midst today a great many equivalents of Pilate who ask cynically, “What is truth?” (Jn 18:38). To celebrate the Eucharist is to be deeply immersed in the truth. And it is only by living truthfully that we can be free (Jn 8:32). So, to all who tell us that they want to live freely, let us introduce them to the Eucharist or help to bring them back to it. The new evangelization rises or falls on a commitment to the Holy Eucharist!”

    • winslow

      I would add to that, we must also show respect and reverence for the Holy Eucharist by ending the practice of Communion in the hand, which is just one of the several negative consequences of Vatican II.

      • fredx2

        And end the lame, not needed “Eucharistic Ministers” who are only people who seem to want attention. “Look at me! I am important! I get to hand out communion to the little people!” It’s all so very lame.

        • That’s rather judgmental. How do you know the motivations of EMs?

          • BillinJax

            Envy is often the arrow of the those who chose to stand behind the front lines.

  • Keith Cameron

    I was always taught that ‘Character’ was defined as ‘what you do when nobody is looking’. So, we can only imagine whats going on behind the scenes with some of these people based upon their public behavior.

    • CCIG

      Scares me to think that! Black masses? Satan worship? Could be.

  • publiusnj

    W e live in a polity that holds amoralism as its highest value. The dominant interpretation of the First Amendment’s Religion Clause is that this country has no dominant culture into which the Government is willing to buy, and that the only laws are positive laws arrived at for the bye-the-bye by whatever a governing coalition can put together. The State therefore has the right to ignore the morality of the great majority of the population and to determine law on any basis that its office holders can get through the political process. Indeed, the majority culture can be ignored because its adherents are fractured into many different groups and they do not vote in a cohesive way. Moreover, their leaders are running scared from the charge that they are seeking to inject some measure of morality into the Government’s edicts. Indeed, many of the adherents believe that they have no right calling for morality in Government.

    So, it is only going to get worse from here unless a new majority with a Christian bent seeks to end amoralism as the highest good of the Polity. The US polity was always based on Christian principles for the most part until the 1960s. Indeed, the US Supreme Court famously called ours a Christian Nation in an 1880s decision on Utah, Mormonism and Polygamy. Although such a new governing majority would have to find a way to accommodate minority views and moralities within its polity, there is no need for morality to be the only bete noir of the US polity if we just join together and reintroduce some sanity into our political system.

    QUERY: once we enshrine transgenderism (the current push), what is next? Polygamy? After that we will need to tackle this: can one of those women who is involved in a polygamous marriage (presumably limited to 4 wives) take on a multiplicity of husbands concurrently? Otherwise, wouldn’t that be sexist? What judge will have the intestinal fortitude to expose him/herself or (heaven forfend) his/her spouse (of whatever gender) to the wrath of male polygamists who see their harems invaded by new beaus for their wives?

    • Keith Cameron

      I honestly believe that the American Republic (as we know it) is Doomed to failure. We’ll become a fractured Nation and will fall into region pieces.

    • Mickey’O

      Publiusnj, your first paragraph could describe Yugoslavia under Marshall Tito. A polyglot of language, race, religion, history, and political views held together only by massive amounts of brute force. A country in name only.

      • publiusnj

        Bosnia-Herzegovina would be a better comparison. There were real nations subsumed within Yugoslavia: Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia with Montenegro more a personal polity with affinities to Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo being the true mish-mashes.

        As to America, what makes an American beyond presence within the political boundaries of the US? According to the current rulers of this land, illegals are as much Americans as those here legally. That means everyone in the World is a potential American lacking only physical presence. And according to the current rulers, not only is it wrong for people to question the right of illegals to enter this country, it is wrong even to ask the question: how many people should we have in America? We have more than twice the number of people now that we had in 1950, with the borders being wide open. Yet our rulers at the same time are also quick to claim that there are too many people in the World. So what is it: too many or too few?

  • margojean

    Krason says “Don’t underestimate the influence of a subtle, vulgarized Marxism. These
    elites set the tone and that triggers actions bred by pure arrogance by
    the operatives down the line in institutions, like in the IRS and CPS.
    The modern prepossession of liberating the passions—in effect, turning
    the soul upside down so the passions crowd out right reason—stands
    behind our sexual turmoil.”

    In fact, the sexual turmoil; reflects the original intentions of Marx. In an early edition of the Communist Manifesto (1920 or so – I have lost my copy), Marx and Engels speak of “the community of women” to be share by all men without the ” bourgeois hypocrisy” of marriage.

  • St JD George

    It’s easy to get discouraged with the daily trials of our confused and regressive society so I am always trying to finds ways to rise above the feelings of bitterness that sometimes well up and look for things that inspire. I stumbled across this site (DynamicCatholic.com) recently and wanted to share with everyone in hope that you will find inspiration also. God bless you on this Holy Thursday.
    http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/bestlentever-backup/ble-43-video.html?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRonuqTLd%2B%2FhmjTEU5z16uouUKK0i4kz2EFye%2BLIHETpodcMTsphPK%2BTFAwTG5toziV8R7LMJc1o0toQWBbl

    • Tamsin

      hey, I clicked through to Dynamic Catholic, and was appalled to read the headline,

      DON’T GIVE UP CHOCOLATE THIS LENT. INSTEAD, DO SOMETHING LIFE CHANGING.

      I gave up chocolate this Lent, and it has been a most excellent mortification. Very humbling!

  • Michael Dowd

    So much of the reason things are as they are is due to political correctness which is a way of silencing the truth. And so much of the reason for political correctness is that Christian churches have compromised their beliefs either formally or tacitly beginning with divorce and contraception in order to enjoy sex without responsibility. In addition the scandals of the homosexual and pedophile priests, the Catholic Church lost it’s moral high ground to condemn immorality and in fact approves it by means of ‘pastoral mercy’. Now, since the advent of Pope Francis, this tacit immorality is now in the process of possibly being approved at the Synod on the Family. Let us hope and pray this doesn’t happen.

    All of this could be a watershed moment for Pope Francis to forcefully re-articulate the historic moral teachings of the Catholic Church. The reaction would be seismic. He would no longer be the favorite of the press or the public but he would be a saint.

    • winslow

      I like your message, Michael Down, but it’s going to take a lot more than merely upholding settled Catholic doctrine to make Pope Francis a saint. He has much to answer for, not least which is his arrogance, his ham-fisted governance of the Church and his constant scolding of faithful Catholics with not a word of admonition to sodomites and adulterers.

      • Michael Dowd

        You are correct. What we are talking about here is a need for a miracle of conversion. Let us pray that God sees fit to make it happen. We sure need the help of the Almighty at times such as these.

        • winslow

          I agree with you, but there are serious impediments to what you suggest. Please see my comment to the article included with the one we’re responding to.

        • mollysdad

          Are we going to get a miracle of conversion? Or are we going to let the unbelievers abort, contracept and sodomize themselves into extinction?

      • fredx2

        “What is being proposed is not marriage!”

        “Humanae Vitae was heroic!”

        “Adolescent progressives”

        “Pope Francis Backs Slovakia’s Referendum Against Same-Sex Marriage”

        ” Pope Francis has said “the family is threatened” by the efforts of those seeking to “redefine the very institution of marriage”, in a reference to same-sex marriage campaigners.

        …“The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage. These realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces which threaten to disfigure God’s plan for creation,” the Pope said.

        Ramping up the rhetoric he continued: “Every threat to the family is a threat to society itself.”

        All things Pope Francis has said, but were, for the most part, ignored by the media and never heard by most Catholics.

        • Chris Cloutier

          All the more reason for him to speak clearly and forcefully.

        • Glenn M. Ricketts

          Do the media ignore such comments or do they perhaps, like the rest of us, have difficulty finding them from among the many other less stellar things that the Pope says? I’ve also read his speeches and they don’t simply leap off of the page – you have to look prettty closely.

        • pupsncats

          So what is he doing to reign in the clerics who support the destruction of the family, sodomy, divorce, cohabitation, and are fighting to install priestesses and allow the divorced and remarried to partake in the community meal of the Novus Ordo churches?

          Modernists (which Francis is through and through) are like the politicians who speak with forked tongues. They say things that are true while their acts reflect the opposite.

    • Guest

      Yes. Everyone liked Pope Paul VI until he published Humanae Vitae. He was seen a visionary after Vatican II and then vilified because of his writing. The faithful have been vilified since Pope Emeritus Benidict XVI retired. I am sure if Pope Francis confirms Traditional Catholic Teaching, he too will be vilified.

      • Michael Dowd

        Let us hope Pope Francis is vilified. Then he will be like Christ, which is his role after all.

    • pupsncats

      He would have to admit that he is an apostate and has been working to destroy the Catholic faith for decades.

  • jacobhalo

    Young girls who have children out of wedlock see no problem with it. They say that we elders are old fashioned. There is no more shame.

  • WalterPaulKomarnicki

    can’t recall if it was Suetonius who said that what were once vices are now virtues?

  • LarryCicero

    “A sense of responsibility about the stewardship of the taxpayers’ money seems absent.”

    It has been said that elections should be held on April 15th, the day income taxes are due. Problem is, for too many it is no longer the day the bill is due. Everyone should pay income taxes because if there is no “skin in the game” there is no reason to hold anyone accountable. For many it has become a season where a refund check is received as if withholding is a savings account or a bonus. There are a myriad of other places that taxes are paid-property taxes, often paid through escrow in the mortgage payment, sales taxes on just about every purchase, hidden fees on your phone and cable bills etc., and corporate taxes that are passed along in the price of goods. It is nearly impossible to account for what one pays in taxes because there are so many layers and it is so spread out. It is calculated that the average person in America works about five months of the year to pay for taxes. That time and effort could be much better spent. That is a shame.

    • JohnE_o

      “Everyone should pay income taxes because if there is no “skin in the game” there is no reason to hold anyone accountable.”

      I keep hearing this, but the people who say it have never given me an answer to the following questions – perhaps you will, Larry Cicero…

      My brother-in-law is an autistic 45 year old mentally retarded individual with the mental capacity of a ten year old. He moved in with my wife and I after his mother – who had been taking care of him all his life – died.

      His ‘income’ consists of Social Security Disability benefits.

      Questions for Larry:

      Exactly what good comes from ‘taxing’ the Social Security benefits of my brother-in-law? Please be specific.

      Please give examples of how this puts ‘skin in the game’ for this mentally retarded individual. Do you imagine this tax will inspire him to enter into political debates and confer upon him the mental capacity to do so?

      How much money do you suggest society ‘tax’ the subsistence level monies that are his sole means of support?

      Looking forward to your reply…

      • LarryCicero

        Disability is a form of welfare and should not be considered income. I have a family member who is schizophrenic and receives disability. He could probably work at a low paying, low stress job but does not want to endanger his disability. Likewise I knew of someone receiving unemployment and would not take a lower paying job. I had a neighbor who’s daughter fried her brain on acid out at Berkeley in the late sixties and took care of her until she died at age 92. I am not saying the mentally ill need to pay their fair share.

        • JohnE_o

          Thank you for clarifying that, Larry.

          • LarryCicero

            There are degrees of disability. Taxes are a moral issue. How much is too much? Who should pay? Who should receive? I thought of another man I know. He’s not retarded but definitely slow. He works as a janitor in a Catholic school and he washes cars at a dealership on Saturdays. The person who works the system is shameful. The man who could probably qualify for disability but chooses to work two jobs is honorable and deserves respect. Your brother-in-law deserves respect and our compassion and prayers.

  • St JD George

    I had an unoriginal thought again this morning reading this article. Unfortunately we are all aware here that the world is a mess and publishing articles highlighting the insanity which passes for normalcy today does little to inspire or help figure out how to go from the grief and sorrow to feeling alive again with passion and evangelical. I for one and not predisposed to cower in the face of evil though I understand the need for caution, mercy and patience in this unholy world. If I can inspire the authors here, I would suggest fewer articles highlighting man’s fallen nature and more articles about the accomplishments of those who stared evil in the face and didn’t back down, and overcame their fears with deep faith. This is not meant to be a critique Stephen, I deeply enjoy reading your columns. I find a great deal of my inspiration today comes from the ME and Africa for those who live their faith in a very passionate way, including to death. I struggle to find that same level of passion in the west, not that I hope for anyone to suffer in a similar way. I will tell you though that the lack of passion will be our undoing because the forces who are against Christ certainly are energized, dare I say more so.

    • SnowBlossoms

      St JD, your comment is so charitable and such a breath of fresh air. Thank you and may God bless you.

      • St JD George

        Thanks Snow, and may God bless you too on this Holy Friday.

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    If you wish to understand what is REALLY happening read Saward’s ‘The Way of the Lamb’. What we see now is quite simply a Satanic assault on innocence, childhood, It is a war against the child with the ultimate Herodian hunger of the Dragon to devour the Holy Child and rule forever. As Saward describes it we live in Herod’s palace of pleasure. The basement of this luxurious palace is full of murdered infants and children sacrificed to demons.

  • hombre111

    For all this tough talk, Americans are amazingly passive about a fate that grows worse. In Europe, people would be on the street. In ever more conservative America, it’s blame it all on Obama, take your stagnant wages, and spend your weekend drinking or watching sports.

    • Seamrog

      What a vapid comment.

      Wonder if you’ll be washing the feet of any lazy, beer-swilling conservatives this evening?

      • You can bet your backside, he’ll not mind their dollars.

        • Seamrog

          Holy Week is a tough spiritual time for many priests.

          It is taxing – physically and spiritually.

          My first thoughts seeing Hombre’s posts today was that he was drunk.

          Perhaps not, maybe it is just a tough week for him. I offered a prayer for him for grace at this time.

          I found myself in tears at Easter Sunday mass last year. The church was standing room only – FILLED with people I’ve never seen before. It was really tragic to me that people will only come to mass twice a year.

          Hopefully those that wander into Hombre’s church will not meet the bitter man who posts here.

    • Brian

      You really are something else.

    • Veritas

      Would Jesus hate a redneck?

      • hombre111

        As a Galilean, he was a redneck. At first, they flocked around. But when they began to understand what he was really asking, they abandoned him in droves.

        • Veritas

          But it doesn’t appear you view the redneck as Jesus would.

        • ForChristAlone

          As a priest, shouldn’t you be celebrating the Mass of the Lord’s Supper? Instead you’re posting on the internet. Let’s see….you were ordained around 1966.

          • hombre111

            Had a wonderful celebration in our little mission parish among the ranchers and farmers. Washed the feet of these big sturdy guys and some of their kids.

            • ForChristAlone

              and then rushed over to begin posting on the internet…this is what priests ordained in 1966 do?

        • ForChristAlone

          fantasy…pure fantasy…you’ve created your own Christ

          • hombre111

            You clearly do not know much about the Jewish world in which Jesus lived. And Scripture scholars have often pointed out the way Jesus’ followers abandoned him, so that, following the Transfiiguration, he focused on the formation of his close disciples.

            • ForChristAlone

              an adherent of the Jesus Seminar

    • Scott W.

      Jamming. Anything but the topic at hand, eh?

      • GG

        He might be a priest, but he ain’t Catholic.

    • GG

      Thanks for the commercial, now back to our “gay” sex, IVF, abortion, contraception, transgender absurdity, pornography, radical feminism, perpetual adultery, false mercy, and welfare dole seen as god sent entitlement no matter how much it is our own fault from acting out on hedonistic sexual impulses.

      • ForChristAlone

        well said in response to the poseur.

    • We’re also passive about your refusal to leave after declaring us unfit and unworthy of your presence. However I agree, we’re often too tolerant of the things that bedevil us, including a political activist posing as a priest.

    • guest

      I come back hours later to read this comment once more.

      Shame on you. Whatever you think you are, you aren’t. I’ll pray for you and the people you minister to. please God help us.

    • ForChristAlone

      Obama is damnable but not so much as those like you who voted the bum into office. Shame on you!

      • hombre111

        Right wing hatred of Obama is pathological. I guess I felt the same way about Saint Reagan, whose “morning in America” started the destruction of the American middle class.

        • GG

          He promotes sodomy and abortion. It is evil.

        • ForChristAlone

          I do not hate the guy. In fact I pity the poor slob. I do have contempt for those who voted for a total incompetent who’s hates America, her history and what she stands for. But you’ve already drunk the Kool-Aid.

          • hombre111

            And your objective proof against Obama is? Apart from the blatherings of Rush and Sean? Sounds like you are the one who has imbibed the brew.

            • ForChristAlone

              You seem to know more about Rush and Sean than I do. I presume that besides spending your priestly time giving scandal on the internet you are listening to talk radio a lot.

              Because this information is in fact “objective” it is eminently knowable by all – inclusing you.

  • Pastor Ron Budwine

    Unless “We The People” decide to actually “LIVE” our faith daily while demanding our church leaders “Teach & Preach” God’s Holy Word in place of their current “Feel-Good” messages, ain’t anything going to change in this Republic OR for that matter anywhere else on this planet because THIS is exactly what the scriptures teach us. Sin, evil and the poor are always going to be with us BUT our church leaders are tasked with the duty of holding these sins to a bare minimum through their messages and counseling. It’s not “Rocket Science” dear “Sisters & Brothers” it’s a matter of individual faith and its practice, Amen
    Pax Christi

    • Jdonnell

      When Jesus observed (in a specific context) that “the poor you will always have with you,” he was not saying that you should keep them poor.

      • ForChristAlone

        except when you’re a Democrat and your electability counts on keeping them poor.

        http://www.city-journal.org/2015/bc0403fs.html

        • Jdonnell

          Your imbecility is astounding. The War on Poverty didn’t solve the poverty program but it got many out of poverty. Republican measures to hold down wages and hire loads of illegals at less than minimum wages, besides obstructing other measures designed to give a hand up rather than just a hand out have also kept many in poverty. Christian charity demands action; so does the “preferential option for the poor.”

          • ForChristAlone

            You’re simply deluded. With the trillions paid down on anti-poverty programs, every “poor” person in the USA could have been given a few million dollars and we could have shut down the poverty industry.
            I suspect that in some way you have managed to cash in on this industry and that’s why you support more and bigger government,

            • Jdonnell

              Talk about “deluded.” It’s you and your totally wrong (and irrelevant ad hominem) suspicion. Your “solution” is just as goofy and based on no facts. The quotation marks you place around the word “poor” show something more–a snide attitude toward poverty, the sort of thing one associates with the likes of Rush Limpaugh. The poor are a reality that you half deny with that punctuation.

              • ForChristAlone

                Now I am convinced that you profit from the poverty industry.

                • Jdonnell

                  You are once again dead wrong. It would make no difference to my argument even if I were, but I am not. You deal with anything but the issue.

                  • CCIG

                    What tax category are you in there, JD? In other words, what do YOU do about poverty besides ignorantly blame others? If <, say $50,000, per year in fed taxes, then I'd say you need to walk the walk before mouthing off when you don't pull "your fair share" yourself and blame others. I'd like to know the TOTAL of fed taxes AND donations to charity you give. Crickets. Are you just a self righteous do-nothing? If you don't meet certain minimum requirements to show you mean it – bust your ass for others, then maybe you ought to SHUT UP since you have NO SAY WHATSOEVER in the matter at hand. You are the case of the squeaky wheel that turns the least.

                • CCIG

                  Good observation!

              • CCIG

                JD – have you ever been poor? I mean hungry poor? If so, you would recognize that people who refuse to work are NOT POOR. They a LAZY and you are their DUPE. Why is it that blacks who come here from Africa do very well. Better than average of all people, yet your victims who refuse to work languish in poverty. That is what your welfare state produces! I have been hungry – doing much better now. No government handouts….just 50 years of hard work, just like God intended.

                • ForChristAlone

                  I was listening to a program last night about Sikh immigrants to the US. Just as dark-skinned as most of the “poor” in the US. Yet come here and maintain their traditions, language and culture all the while attempting to integrate within the larger culture. What sets these people apart from the indigenous “poor” is that their FAMILY structure (of course, I mean one father who is male and one mother who is female) remains very tightly intact. One man interviewed said that they will typically get two jobs. The proceeds from one job gets banked for future investment in expanding their capital and the other to live on. They are farmers, trucker company owners, you name it. Why is their story different from our home grown “poor?”

            • CCIG

              I understand why you have the quotation marks on “poor” JD doesn’t because he has likely never even seen a poor person. Fat people in Walmart with food stamps is what passes for poor in his judgmental eyes.

              • ForChristAlone

                You couldn’t be more accurate.

          • CCIG

            No it didn’t get the folk out of poverty or we’d have no poverty….SO, who is calling whom “imbecile”? It IS the hand-out that causes ever increasing poverty. Markets determine wages. Not a political party. And markets – capitalism – has lifted more people out of poverty than ALL government hand-outs – here, in Russia, in Europe – everywhere. Who is imbecile? Not looking good for you. You are blaming God! After all was He who said, “Go and scratch the earth for your food.”

          • 1. You cannot have open borders and a minimum wage without hurting a lot of poor people. Pick one.

      • CCIG

        I don’t know anyone, not a soul, who wants to keep people poor. The poor suffer because God said, “No work, no eat.” Many of the “poor” think themselves above whatever work they are qualified to do. Just ask them! So, blaming others, especially those who do the work they will not – is a non-starter.

        • Jdonnell

          Maybe no one wants to keep people poor in any explicit way, but many are unconcerned about the poor-as your comment illustrates. You simply don’t know what you are talking about; willful ignorance is a way to avoid issues. Most of the US poor are children or aged. God, incidentally, did not say what you claim; our divine Lord instructed us to care for the poor and to follow the Beatitudes. Your remarks, like so many on this Crisis site, are blindly unchristian, a most astounding thing.

          • ForChristAlone

            No one is unconcerned about those in REAL poverty. Don’t pretend to divine the minds of all others on this site. And, if you find what you read here so objectionable, why would you condescend to remain and annoy the rest of us?

            Now I’ll give you the last word. Over and out.

            • Jdonnell

              Your question is just what the scribes and Pharisees might have asked Jesus.

          • eddie too

            this world’s abundance is sufficient to feed, shelter and clothe all of our human brothers and sisters. it is our political systems that are preventing the just distribution of the world’s abundance.

  • Ronald Nelson

    America is experiencing the end game of a Marxist Cultural Revolution… an ideological shift away from God centered morality to embrace a State oriented amoral culture. Our best defense against this paradigm shift in our cultural standards of morality is too fight back in vociferous ways in our Churches and Homes… waging, a counter-cultural revolution, which speaks out against the immoral and amoral standards of morality attacking our Judeo/Christian heritage. .

  • Will

    You are grouping together a lot of things that are not necessarily related.

    • Scott W.

      Can you be more specific?

    • SnowBlossoms

      What do you mean? They are all related in that they are all evil. Hell’s agenda.

  • SnowBlossoms

    This was very good, true and depressingly real. We need to fight back- Now, before it really is too late. So many ways to fight back, prayer, fasting, standing against evil and corruption on every level, saying NO to any cooperation with any kind/form of evil.

  • Siwash

    Stephen K: this is one TOTALLY AWESOME article! It sums up so much of my angst at the craziness of our society.

  • cestusdei

    There is plenty of shaming. Mostly of Christians who dare to stand against the hedonistic culture.

  • Thomas J. Hennigan

    Fighting shamelessness is not at all easy for the ordinary citizen as the politicians and bureaucrats have ceated tremendous bureaucratic snarls which are a challenge to the most persistent moral campaigners.

  • ferdinandgajewski

    We have reached the point where a female faculty member in a Catholic high school, in my area in NJ, can mention on her Facebook page that she endorses marriage between a man and a woman. She is then fired by her school. The local bishop upholds the school’s decision as being in conformity with Pope Francis’s thinking. The local Catholic laity are silent. They would seem to approve of the sexual thinking in Newchurch.

  • mollysdad

    Good idea.

    Is there an appropriate aphorism that isn’t quite as abrasive as : “God Hates Fags!”?

  • Watosh

    Mr. Krason should feel shame for saying public employees should be ashamed as they “oppose even efforts to make them contribute toward their health insurance premiums.” I know for a fact that federal employees do now, and have been for many years contributing part of their pay toward their health insurance premium. Many private companies in the past offered more benefits, but with the stress on the CEO’s getting salaries and bonuses based on their companies profits, these companies have been cutting their benefit packages greatly, sometimes entirely. So envy steps in when people look at the public employees and want them to lose too. This is no secret. Mr. Krason makes a charge that is false and is easily shown to be false. Corporations drool over getting paid big money by getting contracts from the government to do what federal employees do, so they use their ability to propagandist and spread falsehoods about public employees. Too many people who imagine someone else is getting more than they do, will believe these stories.

  • Mickey’O

    History shows repeatedly that societies that descend into a pit of self-absorbed lust and gluttony soon will not lift a finger to defend themselves from danger. Even now, the barbarian hordes (fundamentalist Muslims who decapitate victims using a hunting knife) are gathered at America’s borders (Dearborn, MI, amongst other places), waiting for us to drop our guard. That will happen and it won’t be pretty.

  • russell snow

    This is a spot on analysis, but the solution ignores a profound reality that the enemy is already in the minds of a sufficient number of Americans that makes an electoral solution unlikely. My generation, the generation who grew up and married before the sexual revolution of the 1960′ are passing away. I am quite certain the cultural and intellectual elites who have successful imposed the radical secularist and Gnostic understanding upon the nation know will how to rig elections. This un-Godly system will sooner or later collapse. Meanwhile, we must hold on by living our lives according to the teachings of the Church and showing our love for God in Christ, but loving our neighbors as best we can.

  • ferdinandgajewski

    Why are my posts to Crisis discussions being deleted? I’m a 74-year-old Catholic man with a Harvard PhD.

  • Howard

    “We see the national Chamber of Commerce pushing amnesty for illegal immigrants because, in the final analysis, they want more workers who will be willing to take minimum wage jobs. In other words, so companies don’t have to pay a just wage.” I may doubt the sincerity of the Chamber of Commerce, but some form of amnesty is really a step in the right direction for two reasons. (1) The system we have now seems to be the worst of all possible worlds, and it is nearly impossible for that to be a coincidence. We make it very easy for illegal immigrants to get into this country, but once they’re here, they’re in a kind of legal limbo, making them not only willing to take jobs at “minimum wage”, but afraid to go to the police if they are not paid at all or if their working conditions are unsafe. This makes them almost a form of slave labor, and businesses are more than willing to exploit them. (2) Only a police state would have the resources to deport all the illegals who have come here over the past 30 years or so. I don’t approve of disrespect for the laws — including such laws as speed limits, which everyone seems to excuse himself for breaking — but I am much, much more concerned about the prospect of becoming a police state.

  • smk629

    Speaking as a public employee and the wife and daughter of a public employees, I think you are being a bit short-sighted about the benefits package for public employees. I resisted my father’s advice to apply for work at our local government when I graduated from high school because of the low wages. I instead became a secretary at Firestone Tire and Rubber and made twice as much as I would have at the City of Akron. After working about 7 years at Firestone, I quit because I needed to work at a place where I could earn a pension, and it became apparent that I would always have the threat of permanent layoff over me at Firestone, as much as I enjoyed working there.
    When I went to the City, I made less than a dollar over minimum wage. I had to rely on my savings to support myself for a couple of years until I married my husband. He is a college grad, but made considerably less than he would had he worked for a private concern.
    The benefit package and job security is what made it worth it to us to work for the government. I cannot tell you how tiresome it is to be told continually by the person on the other end of the line that he is paying my wages. I wanted to say that I was also paying for my wages, and that I also had to sign a paper when I hired on that I would abide by the rule that I had to live within the city limits (this was found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court years later).
    So please consider these things when you attack public employees and accuse of of shameless greed. We serve the public with pleasure, but we are not living a life of luxury and we work hard to provide good service.

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