Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn will seek to offset federal aid to victims of a massive tornado that blasted through Oklahoma City suburbs on Monday with cuts elsewhere in the budget.> more ... (0 comments)
I admit that I’ve often wondered this myself. Rod Dreher ponders:
I genuinely don’t understand [Andrew Sullivan's] position. He doesn’t believe the Catholic Church teaches truth, except insofar as it coincides with what he believes. Staying inside the Catholic Church makes him truly miserable. So why stay? If he wants liturgy, smells, bells, and a complete blessing on the way he chooses to live his life, there’s the Episcopal Church. I actually did believe in Catholicism, but for my own reasons was so tormented by staying that I lost my faith … and so I left. I left in tears and heartbreak, but I left. Truly, it’s a mystery to me why any free man would stay in a church in which he did not believe, and that made him so unhappy.Here’s Sully’s unconvincing riposte:
I can recite the Creed with as clear a conscience as any of my fellow Catholics. I do believe that the Catholic church teaches truth in the single unifying credo I can recite at every mass. I do believe in the message of the Gospels as deeply as I believe in anything. I do believe in the Catholic communion as the core guardian of those Gospels and of the sacraments that keep Jesus in our tangible, physical midst. And I do believe in the task of spreading God’s love as the core mission of a Catholic today.
What I do not believe in are the Church’s contemporary social and reactionary political positions, and its cultural hostility to women and gays, and its profound ethical corruption and sexual hypocrisy, all of which have led to astonishing scandal and evil. I do not believe that this evil should be tolerated or enabled by those who love it. And I do not believe that tackling this evil is best accomplished by leaving, as Rod, for reasons that I deeply respect, has.
For now, I won’t delve too deeply into what I view as the various defects in our evolution as a species that lead people to seek out and hold onto religion, but I will posit that I’ve always seen Sullivan as hanging onto his Catholicism for two reasons:
- like many people, he has a sentimentalist attachment to something that was powerful in his life as a child; and
- his deeply contrarian nature binds him tightly to the things within himself that the outside world finds to be naturally incompatible.
This is brought to you by the annual Washington Post Style Invitational:
Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
I’ve always found the Book of Matthew rather beautiful: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me….”Here’s a great idea for feeding the world’s hungry: foreclose on the Vatican, sell it, and use the money to buy everyone food. When I was there a few years back, estimates on the value of the Vatican and its contents were on the order of a few trillion.
It goes on to say, “Unless you live in a city where gays can get married, in which case, to hell with it.”
OK, it doesn’t really say that last part, but the D.C. Archdiocese may be confused on the point.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.
Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.
This quote from Bushlicker Caroline Glick has got to be one of the most vapid, puerile and downright idiotic things I’ve ever read:
It amazes me that Glick is so shameless as to basically announce to the world that surface impressions are the only thing she cares about, without paying any mind to substance. “Mission Accomplished” banners over two failed wars… Flight suits and codpieces over scores of people killed by Hurricane Katrina… Getting Osama bin Laden “dead or alive” over the widespread torture of terror suspects in our country’s custody… The mind reels…
But at least you always knew that Bush loved America and that he loved Americans. You knew that he valued America’s allies even if he didn’t always do right by them. You knew that his values were American values.You can’t say any of that about his successor.
Daniel Larison eviscerates this infantile nonsense with relish:
Yes, this is what you would expect from Glick (or from anyone, for that matter, who thinks that the last two years of Bush’s foreign policy were his worst), but it’s offensive all the same. As tempting and easy as it would be to turn this formulation around on one of the worst Presidents of all time, I don’t assume that Bush did any of the things he did because he didn’t have “American values” or didn’t love his country. I don’t assume that he trashed our relations with Europe, Turkey and Russia because he wanted America to be isolated or because he loathed these other nations. It is certainly true that he harmed American interests, weakened American power, wrecked our fiscal house and isolated us from many of our allies and potential partners, but the world is full of stories of people who harm that which they love. Bush’s problem wasn’t that he didn’t love America. The problem was that he had no idea what he was doing and substituted ideological fantasies in place of understanding.
Indeed, most of his catastrophic blunders came from an excess of sentiment and emotion concerning these things, combined with absolutely incompetent execution and an ideological obsession with American virtue and strength that ensured that his actions would be excessive, arrogant, ill-conceived and unrelated to the real world. Bush’s love of country was something similar to what the Apostle called in another context “zeal not according to knowledge.” The man was actually overflowing with saccharine, do-gooding, Gersonian sentimentality and he had no shortage of emotional, demonstrative professions of patriotic devotion. So what? What good did it do anyone? It might even have been better had Bush been less enthusiastic in trying to protect the United States, since he would not have been so ready to see dire threats around every corner where none existed. America needs fewer paranoid, jealous lovers, not more.
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