|Core: noun, the most important part of a thing, the essence; from the Latin cor, meaning heart.|
|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
The Weblog at The View from the Core - Tuesday, November 16, 2004
The Village Voice Explodes
With anti-Christian bigotry.
Thanks to Margaret for calling our attention to this Catholic League press release, today:
Catholic League president William Donohue called attention today to the anti-Christian explosion under way at the Village Voice: ....
The release references this article, among others, by a psychotic named Michael Feingold who is, apparently, functional enough to be a theater critic. (True, the threshold is probably low.) Get a load of this load:
.... But the paradox of this election is that it was won not on the basis of the issues at stake or the actual conditions of our life, but on matters of good and evil. The majority that voted for Bush ó the slimmest an incumbent president has received since 1916 ó did so not because they agreed with him on any important issues, but because they viewed his opinion on matters like abortion and same-sex marriage as good, and any alternative opinion as evil. The two great failures of this election were the failure of democracy as a concept in the public mind, and the failure of Christianity as a religion.
For make no mistake, this is the election in which American Christianity destroyed itself. Today the church is no longer a religion but a tacky political lobby, with an obsessive concentration on a minuscule number of social topics so irrelevant to questions of governance that they barely constitute political issues at all. These are the points of contention tied into what are blurrily referred to as "moral values," though they have almost nothing to do with the larger moral question of how one lives one's life, and everything to do with the fundamentally un-Christian and un-American idea of forcing others to live the way you believe they should. The displacement of faith involved is eerie, almost psychotic: Here are people willing to vote against their own well-being and their own children's future, just so they can compel someone else's daughter to bear an unwanted child and deprive someone else's son of the right to file a joint income tax return with his male partner.
If this isn't Christianity ó and it isn't ó still less is it in any respect like democracy. The whole meaning of America was predicated by the founding fathers on the right of citizens to practice their own faith and conduct their lives as they saw fit; to interfere actively in others' lives, on the basis of "moral values" about which there is no agreement, is the most radical repudiation of constitutional values in our electoral history, reducing the word conservative to absurdity. Today the Republican Party is not the right wing of anything; it is a band of violent radical reactionaries preaching medieval totalitarian bigotry. And Christianity as currently preached and practiced in Middle America is virtually Satan, by the standards of anyone who strives to follow the teachings of Jesus. Having degraded themselves to the level of political lobbies, most Christian churches should certainly be compelled to register as lobbyists and pay taxes....
Al Kresta's Story
Catholic, then Protestant, now Catholic again.
Over at Cor ad cor loquitur:
.... This is one of the most remarkable, "meaty," thought-provoking conversion stories and extended criticisms of Protestantism (though within an overall ecumenical attitude of respect and affection), that I have ever seen. I have had the desire to transcribe this for many years. The following is an edited version of Al's talk, which took place at my house on 4-26-92. It lasted about 3 1/2 to 4 hours, and every minute was interesting and informative....
Catholic Carnival IV
At Dunmoose the Ageless, Protomonk this week.
St. Cecilia Schola Cantorum
(Thanks, Fr. Jim.)
New City Journal Time
It's that time again. Your Humble, Faithful Blogster has been informed by no less than the Senior Editor himself of City Journal that the latest issue is now available. As usual, I haven't had a chance to look at anything in depth, so here follows Brian Anderson's synopsis.
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In "Homeland Security? Not Yet," Heather Mac Donald tries to wake us from our firmly held illusion that no one could want to smash the extraordinary civilization Americans have so painstakingly built. Though terrorists quite publicly announce their intention to kill us in our own country, we still behave as if it is a 9/10 world, failing to secure our porous borders, allowing political correctness to trump airline security, and not focusing domestic counter-terrorism efforts on the specifically Islamic terrorism that we are fighting.
A new crop of influential bestsellers, including Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed, is trying to convince Americans that the U.S. economic system doesn't work for many and that only government can lift them out of poverty. As Steven Malanga shows in The Myth of the Working Poor, the scaremongering tomes are economically illiterate, failing to understand how quickly the dynamism of the American economy over the last four decades has propelled millions, immigrants and native born alike, out of poverty.
Everyone knows that family breakdown is central to the plight of the African-American underclass. As Kay S. Hymowitz reports in her moving "Dads in the 'Hood," there's good news and bad news on this front. The good news: black America is starting to take seriously the state of the inner-city family, and ghetto dads are trying to be fathers to their kids. The bad news: the ghetto social structure won't re-knit until the dads and the moms marry and commit to being real families which isn't yet happening.
Our advanced urban civilization with its banks, hospitals, computers, and the like depends on the most exquisitely sophisticated network of power plants and transmission lines. In the fascinating and informative "Can Terrorists Turn out Gotham's Lights?" Peter Huber and Mark P. Mills offer some sound suggestions for stopping the terrorists from cutting the wires that keep the magnificent mechanism humming.
As Theodore Dalrymple observes in "The Frivolity of Evil," civilization rests on the prohibitions that keep in check the potential for evil that exists in every human heart; and if a government relaxes the laws and conventions that promote self-restraint, evil flourishes, if only on the domestic scale, where every man tyrannizes his own wife and kids. And so, Dalrymple writes, not a day has gone by in which he, as a doctor in a British slum, has not heard patients tell of children raped or beaten by their mothers' boyfriends, of 14-year-olds turned out by their own mothers as being in the way of a new affair, and on and on. What kind of society produces families like these or will be produced by them?
Finally, Robert George and David Tubbs explain why we need a federal marriage amendment.
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See also these, too.
One of the world's most consistently hysterical Chicken Littles, Australian pediatrician (yes, pediatrician) Helen Caldicott, mouths off in Boston, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald today (brackets and quoted ellipses in original):
Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr Helen Caldicott fears US President George Bush's re-election will lead to Armageddon and she isn't sure if mankind would survive another four years.
"This is the most serious election that has ever occurred in the history of the human race, without a scrag of doubt," she told smh.com.
"I don't know if we'll survive the next four years ... I don't think the Americans have, on the whole, the faintest idea and I have to say also I don't think most Australians do either. But it's not just the threat from nuclear war. It's the threat of what's happening to the environment, the global warming which is occurring rapidly now, to ozone depletion, to species extinction, to deforestation it's the whole thing." ....
"They [the Bush administration] have been able to con the American people with their extremely brilliant propaganda and brainwashing, with the help of the media ... they consistently lie. On the whole the American people don't really understand the dynamics of the right at all. They don't know that Bush et al want to go into Iran next and that they want to dominate the world militarily and that they want to put weapons in space.
"I don't think they [the American public] understand. It is a mandate for Bush to do absolutely anything he wants. I know people don't like me using this word but they're fascists." ....
New meme: it's no longer Bushitler. It's Busholini.
"Five Reality Checks For Democrats: Dump Kofi, Moore, Dopes"
A blockbuster by Tish Durkin at The New York Observer, yesterday:
.... Bush is not an idiot. Kofi Annan is not an oracle. Michael Moore is not Everyman. Women are not ovaries with feet. And to be an American is not an embarrassment.
Lest this sound like gloating, I confess to having a pronoun problem here, and will hereby switch from "you" to "we." I voted for John Kerry. As a liberal separation-of-church-and-state type, I donít like the idea of a President who owes his political life to a conservative religious base. I canít fathom George Bushís policies on the economy and the environment. As for Iraq, while I find nothing of genius in the Democratsí prescriptions at this point, I find astonishing the idea that the administrationís performance there is, on balance, something to reward rather than something to punish.
Curiously, then, it is not the party I voted against that is driving me nuts right now. It is the party I voted for. Itís the same feeling that I got about the Democrats after 2000: I agree with them, but I canít stand them, in the exact same way I canít stand anyone who would rather whine than shine.
Now as then, Democratic partisans seem to be more interested in coming off as wronged rather than defeated. We have lost an election ó and so far, we are acting as if we have lost a contact lens, crawling around the red parts of the map in search of the speck of strategy that would have turned it blue. We are all set to keep on ridiculing the Presidentís syntax, when it is our message that no one can make sense of. The party of F.D.R. and J.F.K. has turned itself into the political equivalent of the woman who responds to her husbandís leaving her by living in her bathrobe for years: Itís O.K. for her to be miserable, so long as enough people around her know that heís the bad guy.
In short, the Democratic Party is losing the American people ó and so far, we arenít even looking for them....
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|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
|The View from the Core, and all original material, © 2002-2004 E. L. Core. All rights reserved.|
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