Dystopian musings – part one: Gold vs. Toilet Paper

Dystopian (definitions courtesy of Google)
adjective
  1. relating to or denoting an imagined state or society where there is great suffering or injustice.
    “the dystopian future of a society bereft of reason”
    noun
    1. a person who imagines or foresees a state or society where there is great suffering or injustice.
      “a lot of things those dystopians feared did not come true”

How did all the “Gold Bug Dystopians” totally miss the fact that TOILET PAPER – rather than GOLD – would prove to be the universal medium of barter and exchange during these strange times?

Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt: Family as the foundation of culture.

Dear friends in Christ,

Since the beginning of man’s life on earth, the family has served as the cornerstone of society.  The integrity of the family set the standard for society from the beginning of time as the underpinning of our civilization, reflecting the beneficial differences between men and women and the complementarity of their hearts, minds, and bodies.

Aristotle argued that the natural progression of human beings flowed from the family via small communities out to the polisThe state itself, then, as a natural extension of the family, mirrors this critical institution.

Inspired by Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas writes, “man is by nature a social being since he stands in need of many vital things which he cannot come by through his own unaided effort. Hence he is naturally part of a group by which assistance is given him that he may live well.  He needs this assistance with a view to life as well as to the good life.”[1]  And Pope Leo XIII develops Aquinas’ thought further, recognizing that “man’s natural instinct moves him to live in civil society, for he cannot, if dwelling apart, provide himself with the necessary requirements of life, nor procure the means of developing his mental and moral faculties.”[2]  Indeed, just as our communities and the state itself imitate the structure of the family, our economy is also modeled after oikonomia—the Greek word for household management.

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Editor’s note: This is a fairly long piece, but it is worth a read. This is what good Catholic bishops are supposed to do – teach!

The “Fornication Pride” movement preceded the “Gay Pride” movement by about 40 years

The heterosexual equivalent of the “Gay Pride” movement occurred a generation or two ago in the so called sexual revolution of the sixties and seventies. The “free love” movement, epitomized by such cultural icons as Woodstock and Haight-Ashbury was as fundamentally challenging and shocking (if not more so), to the moral sensibilities of the Church and larger American culture when it occurred, as the “Gay Pride” movement has been more recently. Certainly it was at least as much a frontal attack on traditional norms and values.

Consider how quickly and thoroughly this revolution occurred. In the space of a few decades, America was transformed from a country where Elvis shaking his hips on TV created a national scandal to a country where TV shows like “Friends” depicted serial fornication among “friends” as harmless fun, indeed, as a charming and even hilarious indoor sport. And now it has gone to another level with shows like “Desperate Housewives” and “Mistresses.” What this shows I would suggest is that the “Fornication Pride” movement succeeded with extraordinary efficiency decades ago and is now so deeply woven into the fabric of our culture that we hardly ever notice it even occurred.

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Women Being Driven by Their Image of Men

Because of Roe – one court decision – abortions were somehow now acceptable. Any obstacles that stood in a woman’s way of getting her education or starting her career were fair game for destruction – even her children. Because after all, a women should be just like a man in every way. She could go to school like a man, have sex like a man, go to work like a man, and not have to carry children like a man.

Yet in this drive to be just like men in every single way, someone forgot that women are uniquely designed to give birth to the human race. We are women for a reason. We are nurturing for a reason – it’s simply a matter of design. Several recent editorials have voiced the view that women ought to realize their right to be mothers and the need for them to be just that.

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Here’s how the little known and often ignored Catholic principle of subsidiarity works – and why it’s so important in today’s world.

hsshenail

by Doug Lawrence

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe the horse was lost.

For want of a horse the rider was lost.

For want of a rider the message was lost.

For want of a message the battle was lost.

For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

From the Catechism:

Consult section 1878 – 1896

IN BRIEF

1890 There is a certain resemblance between the unity of the divine persons and the fraternity that men ought to establish among themselves.

1891 The human person needs life in society in order to develop in accordance with his nature. Certain societies, such as the family and the state, correspond more directly to the nature of man.

1892 “The human person . . . is and ought to be the principle, the subject, and the object of every social organization” (GS 25 § 1).

1893 Widespread participation in voluntary associations and institutions is to be encouraged.

1894 In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, neither the state nor any larger society should substitute itself for the initiative and responsibility of individuals and intermediary bodies.

1895 Society ought to promote the exercise of virtue, not obstruct it. It should be animated by a just hierarchy of values.

1896 Where sin has perverted the social climate, it is necessary to call for the conversion of hearts and appeal to the grace of God. Charity urges just reforms. There is no solution to the social question apart from the Gospel (cf. CA 3, 5).

Editor’s note: If everybody understands their own order (mission) in life, along with their rights, responsibilities and their own particular vocation and talents under God … then … acting with charity (love) … for the common good … every part of society … beginning with the individual and the family … illuminated by the Gospel and suitably empowered by God’s grace … might reach its’ true potential … according to the dignity of the human person, who is created for good, in the image and likeness of God.

Evil doers, deniers, exploiters, usurpers and shirkers introduce deadly weaknesses and harmful anomalies into society, resulting in various forms of immorality, human suffering and social injustice.

The church and its’ members are called to help remedy these ills by means of authentic Gospel values … primarily charity and truth … embodying a genuine respect and personal concern for the fundamental rights and essential needs of every human person.

This is to be considered a direct and personal responsibility … one child of God helping another … and whenever possible … such duties should not be entrusted to third parties, government bureaucracies, or other far-flung, impersonal organizations.

In short: There’s always plenty of good, charitable work to be done, one-on-one, right in your own back yard. Relying solely on government and/or other third parties to accomplish this great and important work often deprives both the donor and the recipient of the corresponding spiritual and corporal rewards. This, along with the distinct absence of any real personal connection, results in significant losses to society, at virtually every level.

While he still walked the earth, Jesus Christ never asked anyone how much money they gave to some nameless, faceless, charity. He said this:

And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before him: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.

Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.

Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry and fed thee: thirsty and gave thee drink? Or when did we see thee a stranger and took thee in? Or naked and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison and came to thee?

And the king answering shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.  (Matthew 25:31-40)

Occasional, impersonal actions, accomplished at substantial distance are better than nothing, but they simply do not carry the same “weight” as personal acts of charity and kindness … one child of God to another … for either the donor or the recipient. Today’s world is a far colder, darker and scarier place, as a result.

Related reading:

RERUM NOVARUM – ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
ON CAPITAL AND LABOR
 

CENTESIMUS ANNUS – ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
ON THE 100th ANNIVERSARY OF RERUM NOVARUM

CARITAS IN VERITATE –  ENCYCLICAL OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
THE PROCLAMATION OF TRUTH AND LOVE IN SOCIETY

Weigel: The days of Recreational Catholicism—Catholicism as a traditional, leisure-time activity absorbing perhaps ninety minutes of one’s time on a weekend—is over.

The challenge can be defined simply: Throughout the Western world, the culture no longer carries the faith, because the culture has become increasingly hostile to the faith. Catholicism can no longer be absorbed by osmosis from the environment, for the environment has become toxic. So we can no longer sit back and assume that decent lives lived in conformity with the prevailing cultural norms will somehow convey the faith to our children and grandchildren and invite others to consider entering the Church.

No, in our new situation, Catholicism has to be proposed, and Catholicism has to be lived in radical fidelity to Christ and the Gospel.

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2-minute video explains why marriage between one man and one woman is unique, critically important to society – and totally non-discriminatory.

marriagevid

Watch the video

Our Deviant Society

Much of today’s language usage demonstrates a desire to be nonjudgmental. People used to shack up; now they cohabit or are living partners. Few young women of yesteryear would have felt comfortable to publicly declare they slept around. Unmarried women used to give birth to a bastard; later, this was upgraded to an illegitimate birth or a nonmarital birth. In many instances, unwed mothers proudly hold baby showers celebrating their illegitimate offspring, and the man, if known, who sired the baby is referred to as “my baby’s daddy” or sometimes as “my baby daddy.”

Homosexual marriages, which are not a basic human survival trait, were unheard of; today, in some jurisdictions, homosexual marriages have legal sanction. To be judgmental about modern codes of conduct is to risk being labeled a prude, racist, sexist or a homophobe. People ignore the fact that to accept another’s right to engage in certain peaceable, voluntary behavior doesn’t require moral acceptance or sanction.

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Dangerous Flirting: Russian Wonders Why West Is Enamored With Socialism

He explains that he finds the Obama administration’s socialist leanings particularly disturbing, and draws attention to a hero of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Saul Alinsky, a neo-Marxist writer who dedicated his first book to none other than the Devil, whom he saw as the first successful revolutionary to overthrow the “oppressive regime of God.” (Alinsky’s exact words were: “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”).

Komov believes that if you “dig deep enough into the ideological roots of these socialist movements, you end up finding satanic roots in them.” And although only a softer version is prevalent now, “it is still very dangerous,” he says. “I would warn all those people fascinated by socialist ideas that they have never worked in human history — never worked.”

The traditional nuclear family is a particular enemy of socialism, he says, because it is the basic institution that preserves values and passes them on to the next generation. “The state, if it wants to dominate life and the individual from birth to death, needs to destroy the family, because the family is independent of the state,” he argues. “As Marx and Engels said, the family is a repressive, bourgeois institution that needs to be destroyed; they need to get rid of its patriarchal power and that of Christianity because they are the main obstacles of the social revolution.”

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Submitted by AndyP/Doria2

Progressive Inhumanity, Part One: The State against the Family

The family, then, is that natural society where individual liberty and the common good are most nearly reconciled.  To deprive it of its rights is to rob people of a great part of what it is to be human.  It is repressive.  The judgment of Pope Leo could hardly be more sternly expressed: “The Socialists, therefore, in setting aside the parent and setting up a State supervision, act against natural justice, and break into pieces the stability of all family life.”

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Study: Moral standards have been replaced by feelings.

This latest study cited by David Brooks confirms what conservatives have known for a generation: Moral standards have been replaced by feelings. Of course, those on the left only believe this when an “eminent sociologist” is cited by a writer at a major liberal newspaper.

What is disconcerting about Brooks’s piece is that nowhere in what is an important column does he mention the reason for this disturbing trend: namely, secularism.

The intellectual class and the Left still believe that secularism is an unalloyed blessing. They are wrong. Secularism is good for government. But it is terrible for society (though still preferable to bad religion) and for the individual.

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Cardinal George on God in Action

Chicago’s archbishop reflects on religion’s place in an increasingly secular society.

Link

George Weigel on the clerical abuse scandal and the John Jay Report

A Church that was not in doctrinal and moral confusion from the late 1960s until the 1978 election of John Paul II might have been better armored against the worst impacts of the sexual free-for-all unleashed in the mid-1960s. A Church that had not internalized unhealthy patterns of clericalism might have run seminary programs that would have more readily weeded out the unfit. A Church that placed a high value on evangelical zeal in its leadership might have produced bishops less inclined to follow the lead of the ambient culture in imagining that grave sexual abusers could be “fixed.” All that can, and must, be said.

But if the Times, the Globe, and others who have been chewing this story like an old bone for almost a decade are genuinely interested in helping prevent the crime and horror of the sexual abuse of the young, a good, long, hard look will be taken at the sexual libertinism that has been the default cultural position on the American left for two generations. Catholic “progressives” who continue to insist that the disciplinary and doctrinal meltdown of the post–Vatican II years had nothing to do with the abuse crisis might also rethink their default understanding of that period. The ecclesiastical chaos of that decade and a half was certainly a factor in the abuse crisis, although that meltdown is not a one-size-fits-all explanation for the crisis and the way it was handled.

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Quiz: What do Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle, and Pope Benedict have in common?


The Pope, the Palins, and the Pursuit of True Happiness.

What happens when God grants us “all the desires of our hearts”?

Christianity withstood every assault leveled against it over two millennia–the Romans, the Barbarians, the Vikings, even Napoleon, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao. But it’s having one ‘hell of a time’ with modern democracy.  Over the past half century the Christian surrender has been complete. And an anti-Christian society is no match for Islam.

Even the Catholic Church—the once great nemesis of Islam—has been busy Protestantizing its sacraments, discarding its sacramentals, and plundering its own sanctuaries.  Who’s fault is that?  The Muslims?

Catholic schools and universities routinely teach the mythification of Sacred Scripture, the  denial of Genesis, the promotion of evolution, and the recasting of  defenders of absolute truth as blood brothers to the fascists. Shall  we blame Islam for this, as well?

It may be fashionable to hate Muslims right now but it’s not right and it only exacerbates the problem. If we had any appreciation for history we’d be terrified of what’s in store for us, realizing along with Hilaire Belloc that “cultures spring from religions” and that ultimately the vital force which maintains any culture “is its philosophy, its attitude toward the universe”, and that the “decay of a religion involves the decay of the culture corresponding to it.” Belloc argued that the “bad work begun at the Reformation is bearing its final fruit in the dissolution of our ancestral doctrines—the very structure of our society is dissolving.”

Psalms 81:8-14 Hear, O my people, and I will testify to thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken to me, There shall be no new god in thee: neither shalt thou adore a strange god. For I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people heard not my voice: and Israel hearkened not to me. So I let them go according to the desires of their heart: they shall walk in their own inventions. If my people had heard me: if Israel had walked in my ways: I should soon have humbled their enemies, and laid my hand on them that troubled them.

Romans 1:22-25 For, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts and of creeping things. Wherefore, God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness: to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

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Submitted by Doria2

Deconstructing the Essential Father


Marxist feminists and others have seized upon this notion of male domination and concluded that all men oppose women.  They then urge the “deconstruction” and “deculturation” of fatherhood in the interest of producing a genderless society in which there can be no possibility of male oppression.  Such a revolution, however, if it could be brought about, would mean the end of both fatherhood and motherhood.  What these revolutionaries fail to understand is that fatherhood is of indispensable significance and should not be rejected and replaced, but redeemed and restored.

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The true meaning of the word “tolerance”.

Yesterday, I discussed some terms that are manipulated to normalize homosexuality, and today I want to discuss a few more that are misused in the pernicious effort to use public schools — including elementary schools — to normalize homosexuality. The first term is “tolerance”:

  • Tolerance actually means to put up with or endure something one finds objectionable. Implicit in the idea of tolerance is disagreement and disapproval. One does not tolerate something with which one agrees or approves.
  • True tolerance would mean allowing or enduring the expression of ideas, even ideas which we find offensive or wrongheaded. (It does not, however, require the expression of ideas that are age inappropriate.)
  • When, however, the self-appointed cultural elites and public school administrators contend that society should be tolerant of homosexuality, they are really claiming that one ought to approve of it, affirm it, and celebrate it.
  • Under the guise of promoting tolerance, schools offer only resources and activities that espouse liberal beliefs while censoring all resources that espouse conservative beliefs, which is completely inconsistent with the idea of tolerance.
  • Resources that express disapproval of homosexual acts no more represent intolerance of homosexual persons than resources that express disapproval of promiscuity represent intolerance of those who are promiscuous.
  • A commitment to true tolerance requires that some put up with the expression of the belief that homosexual conduct is moral, and requires that others put up with the expression of the belief that homosexual conduct is immoral.
  • A skewed understanding of tolerance is, ironically, cultivating hatred. When children are taught the lie that those who believe homosexual acts are immoral also hate homosexuals, those children and teens start hating conservatives.

Read more at Matt C. Abbot’s site

Sex, chivalry, and shipwrecks: “Upper and-middle-class men had the lowest rate of survival on the Titanic.”

…men who are not reared to be courteous, to be gentlemen in service of ladies and children, often sink to the level of scoundrels. To paraphrase Voltaire, a belief in and fear of God are especially important for those in authority. They must fear a Higher Authority, who sees all that they do and who will mete out eternal punishment. Otherwise, they may do whatever evil pleases them. Voltaire also warned, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” In 1948, Kinsey, the antithesis of a gentleman, caused millions to believe absurdities about the sexual morality of the Greatest Generation. Predictably, restraint slackened and sexual atrocities followed — and have skyrocketed.

Read the article by Matt C. Abbott

The Bible is replete with “discriminations” shocking to modern man.

The Sixties brought about not only political revolutions but religious, artistic, and cultural ones as well. Today discriminating has assumed an almost exclusively negative meaning: to be prejudiced, intolerant, unfair, politically incorrect. Many are those who live in constant fear of a lawsuit because of an accidental remark they made that is (willfully) interpreted as discriminatory. There are plenty of lawyers who specialize in cases of discrimination. This historical fact had the regrettable consequence of making us totally forget that we should be “discriminating.”

The curse plaguing our society was already identified by Isaiah: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness . . .” (5:20). “Dictatorial relativism” (so designated by Pope Benedict XV) commands us to eliminate distinctions: Statements and propositions are “true for oneself,” and not necessarily true for another person. To call some modern churches shockingly “ugly” is arrogant and undemocratic. To place Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven above rock music should be condemned as elitist, and an imposition of one’s subjective taste on others. The individual subject is the “measure of all things” (Protagoras). Truth, moral values, beauty are empty words; what matters is what the individual accepts as true, what he calls morally good, what he likes. It is up to the all-important “me.”

This is “the climate of the time.” That it is nefarious and unhealthy is best proved by the Bible: One of the plagues affecting modern man is that he has caught the disease diagnosed by Isaiah quoted above — we no longer know how to discriminate.

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Piercing the Darkness – Good Friday

Even a casual observer of American society can tell that there is a certain sinister chaos spreading throughout every aspect of public life these days. Naturally, as it filters through society it finds its way into our homes, families and personal lives as well. The reports of monumental breakups and takeovers, meltdowns, dysfunctions, cutbacks, disasters, protests, catastrophic events, scandals, and just plain moral chaos are, shall we say, legion, and it does not look like there will be any let up in the dismantling of our formerly decent society any time soon. Public officials and the movers-and-shakers of social communications long ago divorced American culture from authentic Christian values, and the result is that modern America has found itself first wandering then running down a very slippery slope to moral and social anarchy. The darkness has settled upon us.

This idea came home to me this week when I attended the 5th Anniversary Mass of Terri Schindler Schiavo at Ave Maria University in FL. How well I remember the horrible killing scene in Pinellas Park, FL in 2005 when the combined efforts of pro-lifers and some political allies were not able to stop the forward motion of such raw evil. From the Florida circuit courts all the way up to the US Supreme Court, the corrupt judiciaries refused to intervene and even ordered her killing, with impunity. The US Congress was almost laughably powerless to help. The utter uselessness of the bishop and clergy in the diocese where Terri was murdered was a microcosm of the Church Impotent rather than the Church Militant. The thousands of calls that the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation now gets in their attempt to stop other similar killings are an indication that this same darkness is now penetrating our society at an alarming level.

Every aspect of American society is touched by this chaos: the pervasive and unstoppable corruption in government, the major media, Hollywood, academia, healthcare, and even within our own churches! All of this corruption is multiplying the shadows over our society and penetrating into every aspect of personal and family life as we speak.

What I find most alarming, as an exorcist, is the spread of truly occult phenomena in our youth culture. It used to be that vampires had to go back into their coffins with the first streaks of dawn. Now handsome young vampires are sullying the covers of every gossip magazine and tantalizing prime time audiences with their evil – and teenage girls are just swooning for them…. Don’t be fooled: the vampire culture is the spawn of the Harry Potter culture that has washed over our youth for a decade and still seduces parents into thinking it is all just “harmless entertainment.” Kids dressing up as sorcerers, blogging about vampires, dabbling in Wicca – it’s just plain seductive and evil. Our Baptismal Promises demand that we “reject Satan and all his works and all his empty promises,” and that includes demons, witches and vampires!

If I were anything other than a Christian, I would probably despair of the status of the culture all around us. Yes, there are movements fighting to take the culture and politics back, but most of these are just about political power and, if they have an effect at all, they will just install another version of corruption in place of the political devils they cast out.

The reason I don’t despair in the face of all this darkness, though, is because I remember that once-upon-a-time Evil had its Hour. I am not talking about sixty-minutes of willowy darkness. I am talking about the worst crime ever committed in history, the blackest deed ever known to man: the killing of the Son of God on Calvary. The corrupt politicians, clergy and laity of the day were all implicated in the crime. Worst of all, the devil was sitting back gloating at his masterpiece of evil.

But much to the devil’s surprise, evil did not win the Day…because at that very moment of deepest darkness, the Son of God did something utterly unforeseen and caught the whole wicked world unaware: He shattered the darkness and rose from the dead! Who would have imagined!

Ever after, those who persevere through Good Friday looking toward the joy of Easter Sunday find themselves immersed in the same eternal mystery of Light. Christ has pierced the darkness and given us Hope! We can sing the great “Te Deum” hymn with the greatest fervor now in every dark hour of our lives: “In you Lord is our hope – and we shall never hope in vain!”

Sincerely,

Fr. Thomas Euteneuer

Human Life International