Monday, July 25, 2005

Calhoun's Ghost

The Inquirer here has been doing a series on Evangelicals in America. Really good stuff, but often a bit unsettling... Take today's piece:
Frank and Tammy Janoski, the Pennsylvania pilgrims, have landed.

With their four children, they have settled into a little subdivision in the country, the first transplants of a movement that wants to bring legions of conservative Christians here to turn South Carolina's government into a biblically inspired oasis.

In the South Carolina of their dreams, abortion would be illegal. The Ten Commandments would be proudly displayed. Public schools would be a thing of the past. Taxes would be severely limited, and property rights would be paramount.

And if the federal government tried to interfere, well, they'd secede.

It's agendas like these that freak the bejesus outta me. It's 1832 all over again. And what geographic irony.... The historians among us remember the controversy over nullification in those days -- when the Southern states (led by South Carolina) declared the right to overrule federal law if it ever interfered with their beloved "local practices."

Snowflakes, God never said property rights were "paramount." The articulator of that parable was John Locke, and I haven't a clue what Locke has to do with Christianity -- unless these Lord-impersonator devotees are (*GASP*) exploiting the Gospel, because we all saw what happened to those backwoods militias who didn't claim God's anointing.

I guess the oh-so-Christian local practice of lynchings is in for a restoration, too. It's amazing -- just when you thought there was progress and the country had gotten to a reasonable level of sanity....

Kyrie eleison. Time to get thinkin' about Canada again.



Blogger Jeff said...


Yes, people who want to create a society where sucking your kid's brains out while he's being born is forbidden (not just tut-tutted over and forgotten) must surely have lynching on their secret agenda as well. And there must be HUNDREDS of them; gee, they're poised to take over the country!

Our insular American confusion of politics and religion, how crude! Thank goodness that foreigners have a more nuanced idea of things. But--wait a minute!--here's a Cardinal from Africa by way of the Vatican (courtesy of Miss Wellborn):

"After giving a speech on the importance of the Eucharist for family life, he took written questions on a wide range of topics at a benefit dinner at the Le Mont restaurant on Mount Washington for the Apostolate for Family Consecration in Bloomingdale, Ohio. One question concerned whether Catholic legislators who support legal abortion should "be refused" Communion.

"Should the person be given [Communion]? And I ask you, do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to find the answer?" he said to laughter and applause from an audience of 120 ardent Catholics. "Are there no children from First Communion to whom you can pose the question and receive the answer? You do not need a cardinal to answer that. Because it is a straightforward matter.""

Oh, God, the Prelates are coming over the sea like crocodiles! Is there then no escape?

25/7/05 11:29  
Blogger Rocco Palmo said...

"Relations between the Church and the Italian State are founded on the principle spelled out by the Second Vatican Council, which says: “The political community and the Church are autonomous and independent of each other in their own fields. Nevertheless, both are devoted to the personal vocation of man, though under different titles” (Gaudium et Spes, n. 76).... Therefore, a healthy secularism of the State, by virtue of which temporal realities are governed according to their own norms but which does not exclude those ethical references that are ultimately founded in religion, is legitimate. The autonomy of the temporal sphere does not exclude close harmony with the superior and complex requirements that derive from an integral vision of man and his eternal destiny...."

--B16, The Quirinale, 24.6.2005

25/7/05 11:57  
Blogger Jacob said...

Rocco, I'll have to send you my term paper on how John Locke is intimately related to Christianity (specifically Lutheran and Calvinist resistance theory).

25/7/05 13:47  
Blogger Jeff said...

But Rocco, you have to READ it, not just quote it.

"[a] healthy secularism of the State, by virtue of which temporal realities are governed according to their own norms but which DOES NOT EXCLUDE THOSE ETHICAL REFRENCES THAT ARE ULTIMATELY FOUNDED IN RELIGION, is legitimate."

It doesn't say that the Church cannot demand that her members not publicly advocate, say, the gassing of Jews, and punish those in authority who compound the sin by actually supporting such enormities in the course of carrying out their duties. But maybe if the State were beginning to put Jews to death and Catholic politicians were cooperating, you'd be all in favor of giving them communion, right? After all, it's a big tent and, heavens!, that's the secular realm.

These distinctions are elementary. Do you need a commenter to explain them? As a wise man said, a well-instructed First Communicant can give you the answer. Grave public scandal equals no communion.

In the Arlington diocese, we had a priest who noticed that there were always several cars in the parking lot during Mass with "pro-choice" bumper stickers. During the homily he noted this fact and said, "Take your sacrilegious communions somewhere else." And by gum, they got up and left! Now that's a man that knows his job.

25/7/05 14:52  
Blogger Vonshui said...

Re: Rocco

Every civil law's foundation is traceable to property and its protection. Private property is required for the free exercise and flourishing of the human person in the here and now. I cannot exsist unless I have MY things. My food, MY clothes, MY own defenses, etc. And if private property is not paramount, then you may give me everything you own (and that goes for everyone reading this), and I shall decide its use. Communist much? The basis of the private property idea is found in the intellect. You cannot exsist without your intellect which controls your powers and your body. Your thoughts inspire your labors, producing your "money", feeding you food which allows you repeat the same processes until death. If someone were to take those things away (which they literally cannot) you would die, assuming no one cared about you. Charity is necessary paired with a person's self-responsibility. If the temporal is supposed to be a reflection of the eternal, living the Imago Dei as it was imprinted, then private property is its mirror. The reflection of the self within the divine was the goal of the framers, do you see?

You have dismissed the Constitution and the traditions that formed this Union. States rights ARE paramount to federal laws in that federal laws may NOT infringe on those of the states. This is the double-edge sword of gay marriage legislation. Leaving the states to call their own shots is conservative, but many conservatives want the ban, which would mean a federal infringement after some states have already allowed the practice. It is modern congressional practices which have violated this concept. This is a biggy for anti-EU folks who feel their own governement is being minimized in the name of a foreign power, Chirac and his men, corrupt and obnoxious. Remember: Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. To minimize the corruption, you must minimize the authority to the level of necessity.

Unlike the Vatican, the arrangement of the US government is as de-centralized (and is far more effective) as possible for an effective, free, self-perpetuating system, the anti-thesis of tyranny. And unlike the Italian State you mentioned, the US has had the same system of governement every day since its birth. What is Italy's today? Tomorrow? Three weeks? Anybody's guess.

The Fathers came from a government constructed like that of the Vatican and for reasons of tyranny and ineffectiveness they created this legal continent. The basis of Locke, Smith, Acton, et al. philosophy of liberty and governence is based on their experiences and learned knowledge as Christians. I have enclosed a link at the bottom of the post to demonstrate.

You surprised me when you equated Frank and Tammy with old southern biggots. To say a lynching is in the same spirit as the couples principles is anti-intellectual, more passioned than reasoned and stupid. You want to give Mahoney et al. a break for stringing the clergy out to dry in Dallas or whatever the daily grievance happens to be, but God forbid someone merely SAY they would like their faith represented in their child's school! Priorities, Roc. As an aid for the prevention of foot-in-mouth disease, please visit my blog more often (i often speak of the issue of liberty) and visit:

P.S. Sainte Chopin still likes you and will continue to visit Whispers.

25/7/05 15:35  
Blogger Laura Gonzalez said...

Unlike the Vatican, the arrangement of the US government is as de-centralized (and is far more effective) as possible for an effective, free, self-perpetuating system, the anti-thesis of tyranny. And unlike the Italian State you mentioned, the US has had the same system of governement every day since its birth.

I guess we've always been a federal state, but how about the Articles of Confederation? They were adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1777, and were replaced by the Constitution in 1788. The main problem of the Articles was the lack of power of the central government. Congress couldn't enforce anything and couldn't raise money through taxes. The early Americans were so scared of having a powerful central government after all the abuses by George, that they purposely chose this method of self governance. The Constitution gave us a more powerful federal government, but obviously this has been a continual source of conflict (i.e. Civil War).

25/7/05 16:01  
Blogger Laura Gonzalez said...

South Carolina's government into a biblically inspired oasis.

I daresay that is against our principles as a federal republic. We are not a theocracy

...private property is paramount.

I thought Catholic social teaching says the common good is paramount?

"Furthermore, the state has the duty to prevent people from abusing their private property to the detriment of the common good. By its nature private property has a social dimension which is based on the law of the common destination of earthly goods. Whenever the social aspect is forgotten, ownership can often become the object of greed and a source of serious disorder, and its opponents easily find a pretext for calling the right itself into question."
Gaudium et Spes #71

Laura Gonzalez

25/7/05 16:13  
Blogger Laura Gonzalez said...

Aaaaargggggggggghhhhhhhhh! Sorry for not adding name to first comment.

Laura Gonzalez

25/7/05 16:14  
Blogger Vonshui said...

To ensure the common good, is to ensure private property. Without liberty, the common good is impposible. Liberty is the root of private property.

My first comment as well as this response do not contradict Gaudium et Spes. I even think Gaudium et Spes is not applicable to the discussion. I mentioned in the first post, the irreplaceable relationship of charity and personal responsiblity in the light of private property.

The common desitnation of goods does not mean everyone receives the same things. It means every person is entitled to receive goods and keep them as their own, USING said goods toward the common good, which in no way, again, contradicts anything I have said.

25/7/05 16:49  
Blogger Vonshui said...

... the US is and always has been a Republic whose central authority is arguabley the weakest of any other state, regardless of congressional modifications throughout our history. And its no accident. The early Americans were afraid of tyranny as much as any thoughtful person should be today. We are the same people defeated by the same, perennial vices since our birth as persons in the garden. Tyranny is not a legend, it lives just fine and the constitution and our minimally centralized politcal system is our protection.

25/7/05 16:58  

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