The failure of the pro-life movement

I know, I know I haven’t posted in a super long time and I apologize for that guys. Life has been busy, but this post should keep you satisfied until I make another post, which should be coming soon!

Athanasius Contra Mundum

46_lady_of_laundryIt cannot be too often repeated that what destroyed the Family in the modern world was Capitalism. No doubt it might have been Communism, if Communism had ever had a chance, outside that semi-Mongolian wilderness where it actually flourishes. But so far as we are concerned, what has broken up households and encouraged divorces, and treated the old domestic virtues with more and more open contempt, is the epoch and power of Capitalism. It is Capitalism that has forced a moral feud and a commercial competition between the sexes; that has destroyed the influence of the parent in favor of the influence of the employer; that has driven men from their homes to look for jobs; that has forced them to live near their factories or their firms instead of near their families; and, above all, that has encouraged for commercial reasons, a parade of publicity and garish novelty, which…

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Protection or Paranoia: Reloading the Gun

Now, this is the part 2 that I promised in my post about a week ago. I won’t cover everything, since I believe this is going to be more of an ongoing “series” than anything else. For this one, I want to talk about the idea that guns provide “protection” or “self-defense”. People seem to increasingly feel it is within their rights to own ludicrous firearms that go above and beyond that dictum.

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Self-defense is a simple enough concept. It is the action of defending oneself from an aggressor, or an individual who strikes out at your person first. The US has long been a proponent of it, courtesy of our 2nd Amendment. Over the more recent years, there has been an extension of this action by virtue of Stand Your Ground Laws and others.

For the Catholic what does this mean for us? The CCC dictates, “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.” (taken from http://www.vatican.va/) In short, it boils down to intention. This is why I have to take issue with those persons that wish to defend their property with more lethal weapons and assault rifles that are much more likely to kill someone than a handgun.

In truth, the Church would rather there be no violence, but in dealing with humanity’s fallen nature that cannot be so. Instead, there have to be concessions, which by no means make killing acceptable. The quote that I offered before is in context about protecting yourself and/or loved ones. That is all. It is quite simply as that.

Therefore, this attitude of paranoia towards neighbors, strangers and the rest of the world is entirely unfounded, especially for Catholics. The Conservative Right has hijacked Christianity by consistently claiming that we align the most with their values, but in reality Christianity does not at all. The Catholics that do consider themselves part of the GOP(because they need to belong to some political party for some reason) agree with this need to be armed to the teeth or to pull the trigger first and ask questions later.

This is not only hypocritical of Catholics and Christians everywhere, but just incredibly wrong to believe such a thing. I am not saying that we have to be pacifist in a break in or threatening situation, only that we keep our intentions purely for defense rather than attack.

I will return to this topic yet again to talk about how the principle for self defense should not be extended beyond our individual persons, but until then stay safe and warm during this wintery months.

The Walsh Awakens: Matt Walsh Stares into the Trump and the Trump Stares Back

I never reblog posts, but this one warrants a share. It hits so many things on the nose of Trump, Matt Walsh, and the issues with the political Right in this country. My fellow American Catholics would do well to read this post and heed what is written here.

trump sewer.jpg Matt Walsh stares into the abyss, only to find Donald Trump staring back

Friedrich Nietzsche is one of my favorite philosophers. Not because I agree with him – I find his views to be quite dangerous – but because he’s so absurd, so willing to take his thoughts to their conclusions, and there’s that perverse part of me that enjoys watching a crazy man shout in the streets. Nietzsche is to philosophy what Gary Busey is to television; both have staying power even though no one really knows why, both pump out Tweets (or “sayings” for Nietzsche, but they were Tweets before Twitter) that look deep, but are just asinine, yet I’ll be damned if it’s not the most entertaining thing you’ll see.

Which brings me to a very famous and oft misunderstood quote by Nietzsche:

“He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster.

And if thou…

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GUNS GUNS and HOLY S*** GUNS

I doubt you have escaped the current cultural discussion surrounding guns. My ears and eyes have been filled with numerous stories and articles about pro and cons of guns and the “rights” that go with them.

Obviously, as an American living in the United States this debate has a huge impact on myself and those in my community. What has shocked/disappointed me the most is that people have becoming increasingly emotional and zealous about guns on both sides of the issue. What I want to do is approach the object of all this debate.

What is a gun?

  • : a weapon that shoots bullets or shells

(Definition taken from http://www.merriam-webster.com/)

 

This may be a oversimplification, but I want to understand the object in its most basic form. Now to look at what the gun consists of:

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This is a basic revolver, but I think we can assume that most guns more or less conform to this format of: stock, hammer, trigger and barrel.

This object is purely for the purpose of pushing ammo out of the barrel into the air at a rapid velocity. While, it has been up for debate at where this bullet is supposed to go I am concerned with how this instrument is made specifically for this function.

We have made some incredibly innovations to guns with semi and fully automatic guns. The advent of the machine gun in 1884 fundamentally changed the usefulness of guns against infantry. I don’t want to delve too much into the history here, but simply put guns have always been meant to kill.

Americans love to dress up guns “patriotic rhetoric” and there has become an increasingly fanatical range of individuals, who defend the use of guns. The often quoted Second Amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Now, the first part of that line is about keeping a “regulated militia”. From my knowledge we do not keep a militia anymore in any state. The closest thing to a militia I can think of is the National Guard. I don’t here any of these “pro-gun” folks throwing a fit about that, though. Funny, that we’re selective about, which part of the amendment should be kept around or not used.

Most gun control groups are not about taking guns away, though I’m sure there are some out there. Guns can be used as tools as they are with hunting. The idea that guns are for “protection” leads to leading terminology. Guns in the home, if improperly stored or taken care of, leads to accidents. In fact: “Nearly 800 children under 14 were killed in gun accidents from 1999 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Doesn’t sound like they add that much protection. Is there any real reason to have such a fanatical, if not, blinding loyalty to a single object?

In conclusion, a gun in an object with a single purpose. One that is to eject bullets from it’s muzzle at a target. I have shot guns before in my life and I received a moment of awe and respect for the tool, but it is not one that I would wish around my home or defend until I am blue in the face.

I think it is the other issues that are linked to the guns, themselves that provide numerous questions as to why these “gun rights” need to be untouchable in the USA. I’ll return to this issue soon to look at the rise of smart gun technology and discuss what is wrong with putting “gun rights” over civil rights.

#AllLivesMatter

So, the other day I got wrapped up on a Facebook thread discussion/argument over this image. Now I understand that people have a problem with the various sides of these issues and what not, but that isn’t what I am here to write about.

What I do want to comment on is this counter movement that is #AllLivesMatter. I can’t comment on the broader strokes at work here, but from what I have read on the news and seen on my varied Facebook feed has been really revealing.

What I have seen is that most #AllLivesMatter supporters assume a defensive position in a debate, because they feel that their livelihoods has been encroached upon. They will be the first to point out that everyone should respect all life, but only to the point that it doesn’t make them uncomfortable. I am going to explain this positioning in a few moments.

I want to talk about what it means to stand by the statement that #AllLivesMatter. This entails that you respect life as it coincides with human persons. It in turn means that life should be defined as the well-being of those persons, which would entail that they have food, water, shelter. This is of course speaking very broadly, but I can safely assume that we can agree on that.

Now to go a step further I want to look at that third aspect, “shelter”, and analyze what this means. For this discussion, I believe “shelter” includes security. In our current soceity climate, the #BlackLivesMatter movement has grown out of the injustice that African Americans are not afforded the same security that is given to the majority of the populace. With the numerous injustices of Laquan McDonald and Tamir Rice, without getting into the nitty gritty of “police procedure” or “they got what was coming to them” sort of arguments, we have to recognize that these two individuals were children and they were not the only cases this year.

If #AllLivesMatter than why do we think it’s acceptable for police to arrive on a scene without proper assessment and open fire? If #AllLivesMatter than why do we believe it’s okay to subject refugees to the pain and suffering of war? If #AllLivesMatter than why do the homeless, poor and mentally incapable rest on the streets?

My own experience over these past few months with the #AllLivesMatter stereotype has been with white males, like myself, that feel somehow persecuted, because what they want isn’t good enough. Their voices are no longer singular in what they have to say. This may not be true for all, but if you can agree with my previous paragraph then this doesn’t apply to you.

What this hashtag is ultimately covering up is guilt and the conceit, because they cannot admit that they are wrong. They cannot dignify the other side with a real response, because that would make them gain validity in the common discussion.

The implicit fear that #AllLivesMatter have towards refugees, of possibly being terrorists even though those instances are very few and far between, isn’t good enough to deny them sanctuary. Sure, I understand the concept of protecting family and country, though I’m cynical of the latter. Yet, protecting and fostering life is a RISK. It always has been and will keep being a risk for as long as there are living creatures.

Parents know the risk entailed. They can only protect their kids for so long before they go out on their own. All the things that I myself got into when I was a tot was potentially dangerous. Living by its very virtue takes into account of risk and that is why our cars, buildings, and other contraptions all have warning labels or safety features on them. We use some of these objects daily, despite them being so much more dangerous than some stranger walking down the street.

People are like that too. We don’t have control over them. That’s the beauty of all of us having our own free will and person hood. We have to take the risk and welcome them into our communities and homes. Alienating them doesn’t help anyone and I would go as far as to say that it works in a counter productive manner. And this doesn’t even just apply to refugees obviously, but any group of people that is different from our own.

In short, if we are going to take up arms with certain movements and phrases we must be ready to stand by them. If one is going to claim that #AllLivesMatter then they must be ready to defend life in all it’s forms and phases. If you cannot then you shouldn’t be espousing the position or supporting its cause.

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