It's one thing for people with computers to start popping up on the publicly accessible White House petition site. It's another thing entirely for states to file secession petitions. And since when was this ever considered a good idea? Iran, North Korea, China, Russia--are these security threats or not? If so, how on earth are we going to be able to face them off if people start talking seriously about this?
And if the Democrats had been suggesting anything like this after Bush's 2004 victory, what would have been your reaction? Stop it, right now. Reform your party. Listen to your pastors--we've got much, much bigger fish to fry (yes, that was a KoC pun).
Check these out.
From Mark Shea, excerpts:
...If it is to survive, the GOP must come to represent a conservatism that hews closer to the vision of Burke, Kirk, Fleming, Oakeshott, Burnham, Weaver, Scruton, Berry and Blond; a conservatism that stands opposed to the corrosive cultural influence of laissez-faire capitalism and the mass consumer society; opposed to the concentration of economic and political power in the hands of private interests or the state; opposed to empire and the militarization of foreign policy; a conservatism focused on the care of creation, including the land and sea, as well as the small human ecologies of family, congregation, town, and small business; a conservatism that privileges the farmer, the industrial worker, the teacher and the Main Street merchant over the financial baron, the defense contractor, the big box retailer and the Washington lobbyist; a conservatism of the town hall meeting, not of slick ad campaigns; a conservatism of communities, not corporations.From a blog I think I'll start following, excerpts:
And yes, it must be a conservatism that defends the unborn, but also one that supports and honors their mothers, both before they give birth and long after. And yes, it must be a conservatism that defends marriage, but not by demonizing or marginalizing families that don’t fit a certain mold.
Yes, it must be a conservatism of limited government, but within limits defined by justice, equality before the law, peaceableness, and the care of the aged, the infirm, the poor, and the unemployed.
A friend of mine tweeted that the big loser tonight was Ayn Rand. Thanks be to God.
In the years ahead, may Republicans come to see this as the night when they began to fashion a different kind of conservatism. If they don’t they have no future...
... One group that defies easy definition are the women and men we might call Christian Humanists. In 1939, the New York Times gave their philosophy a lineage. “This is the theme recurring in much of the writings of some of the foremost thinkers of our day, such as the late Irving Babbitt and Paul Elmer More, and [Nikolai] Berdyaev, Christopher Dawson, and T.S. Eliot.” The newspaper of record might have added others: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and their circles in Britain, as well as philosophers Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson in France.And words to live by from Cardinal Dolan (see also True Freedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty), excerpts:
“Humanism is a tradition of culture and ethics,” proclaimed the English historian Christopher Dawson, “founded on the study of humane letters.” The moment St. Paul quoted the Stoics in his mission to Athens—“In Him we move and live and have our being”— he bridged the humanist and Christian worlds. (The line came from a centuries-old Stoic hymn, “In Zeus we move and live and have our being.”) From that point forward, Dawson argued, any separation of one from the other led to what we must consider “dark ages.” Just as “man needs God and nature requires grace for its own perfecting, so humane culture is the natural foundation and preparation for spiritual culture.” Christianity and humanism mix so readily, wrote Dawson, that they “are complementary to one another in the order of culture, as are Nature and Grace in the order of being.”
Regardless of the labels Christian Humanists attached to themselves—some, like Babbitt and More, were “New Humanists”; others, like Maritain, “Integral Humanists”—all of them sought to remind the world, as it turned toward gulags, ideology, and terror, that the human person, no matter how fallen, carries with him a unique face of the infinite.
“In this twentieth century of the Christian era the real contest is between the power of transcendent faith and the power of the totalist revolt against order,” Russell Kirk, author of The Conservative Mind, wrote in 1963. “In our hour of crisis the key to real power, to the command of reality which the higher imagination gives, remains the fear of God.”
Kirk spoke for all the Christian humanists of the century—disparate thinkers such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Flannery O’Connor, E.I. Watkin, Owen Barfield, Frank Sheed, Etienne Gilson, and John Paul II, to name a few, who upheld the traditional concept of each human person as an unrepeatable center of dignity and freedom, deeply flawed but also a bearer of the Imago Dei...
...Acknowledging that the bishops—collectively and individually—have “a lot on our plate,” Dolan mentioned specifically, “the suffering in vast areas not far from here caused by the Hurricane of two weeks ago, the imperative to the New Evangelization, the invitation offered by the Year of Faith, and our continued dialogue, engagement, and prophetic challenge to our culture over urgent issues such as the protection of human life, the defense of marriage, the promotion of human dignity in the lives of the poor, the immigrant, those in danger from war and persecution throughout the world, and our continued efforts to defend our first and most cherished freedom.”
All those challenges having been mentioned at the outset, Dolan exhorted his fellow bishops: “First things first.” The rest of the cardinal’s address focused on the need for the bishops to “fully embrace” the Sacrament of Penance.
...What an irony that despite the call of the Second Vatican Council for a renewal of the Sacrament of Penance, what we got instead was its near disappearance.
We became very good in the years following the Council in calling for the reform of structures, systems, institutions, and people other than ourselves. That, too, is important; it can transform our society and world. But did we fail along the way to realize that in no way can the New Evangelization be reduced to a program, a process, or a call to structural reform; that it is first and foremost a deeply personal conversion within? “The Kingdom of God is within,” as Jesus taught.
The premier answer to the question “What’s wrong with the world?”, “What’s wrong with the church?” is not politics, the economy, secularism, sectarianism, globalization or global warming…none of these, as significant as they are. As Chesterton wrote, “The answer to the question ‘What’s wrong with the world?’ is just two words: ‘I am.’”
I am! Admitting that leads to conversion of heart and repentance, the marrow of the Gospel-invitation. I remember the insightful words of a holy priest well known to many of us from his long apostolate to priests and seminarians in Rome, Monsignor Charles Elmer, wondering aloud from time to time if, following the close of the Council, we had sadly become a Church that forgot how to kneel. If we want the New Evangelization to work, it starts on our knees...