07 December, 2009

This is what I've been trying to say....

 R.J. Rushdoony is not an unblemished voice in the concert of Christian social values: the conclusions that he held as orthodox and proper views would today result in his universal condemnation... and rightly so. But in at least this snippet of text he captures the essence of something very important. If you can free yourself from his misapplied labels of "conservative"  or "radical humanists" (think of them as little more than algebraic expressions, "A" or "B") we can see an insightful piece of societal analysis in the ongoing cultural and religious exchanges between Islamic and Christian faiths and the importance of defending creedal values.

"Every social order has an implicit creed, and this creed defines and informs it. When a social order begins to crumble, it is because the basic faith, its creed has been undermined. But the political defense of that order is usually made the first line of defense; it becomes the conservative position. But because the defense is politically rather than creedally informed, it is a superficial defense and crumbles steadily under a highly doctrinaire and creedal opposition. Thus, Cicero's defense of the Roman republic was a spirited and heroic effort, but it was also the epitome of impotence. The republic was already dead; Cicero himself did not believe in the religion on which the republic had been based. When Cicero could not accept the religious foundations which made an aristocracy sovereign, how could he expect to rebellious masses to accept it? Cicero's position was essentially personal, and the various defenders of the republic were more linked by purely personal tastes and interests than a creedal position. . . . . The conservatives attempt to retain the political forms of the Christian West with no belief in Biblical Christianity. Apart from vague affirmations of liberty, they cannot defend their position philosophically. The conservatives therefore become fact-finders: they try to oppose the humanists by documenting their cruelty, corruption, and abuse of office. If the facts carry any conviction to the people, they lead them only to exchange one set of radical humanists for reforming radical humanists. It is never their faith in the system which is shaken, but only in a form or representative of that system. The success of the subversive rests on their attack on the creed of the establishment, and its replacement by a new creed. When the foundations are provided, the general form of the building is determined. When the creed is accepted, the social order is determined. There can therefore be no reconstruction of the Christian civilization of the west except on Christian creedal foundations." —The Foundations of Social Order, R. J. Rushdoony, page 225-6

6 comments:

  1. Women asked for the right to choose their own husbands, to own property independently, to be free of arbitrary spousal corporal punishment, to be able to free themselves of a brutally abusive spouse, to vote, to have a career and maintain an independent domocile, to determine the number of children they would be required to bear, to participate equally with men in the life of the Church and State.

    Each time the Church said no.

    Each time women realized their wants, through perseverence, the shedding of blood and endurance of pain that they once reserved for devotion to God and family. They have been the backbone of the Church, a backbone now broken by the diseased, misogynistic, sodomites who have taken it over.

    Women have ever been the good servant to the Church. No more. Now they stand alone and serve themselves, seeing that no other will. Can you truthfully say that they are wrong in this belief? The Church has failed women in every instance. You have failed Father Tim. You personally. In the Past and in the Present. You have no future. Only a time of failure, revilement and a broken Church.

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  2. Anonymous:

    I very much appreciate your comments. Allow me please to respond to the central point of your argument.

    Yes, the church is guilty of all that you write. The Church has so rarely (if ever) stood on the side of sexual equality as lived today, as to merit the condemnation that you heap upon it.

    Yet I ask: is this a sin that uniquely condemns the Catholic Church and its clergy of today to failure? Did emancipation not only occur within western culture in the 20th century? Did not virtually every Christian faith hold these same convictions to be true? Even the secular forces of culture and western civilization kept women in a subservient position for all but the last 100 years! Do all of these institutions also deserve the condemnation you predict for the Church?

    You would seem to me to be living with a fairly dystopic world if every power is rendered impotent by the sins of the past.

    Is it not more important to look at what the Church IS saying about women (and men... and everything else)? Examine how its priests and Bishops are expressing and living the faith today and measure it by the same standard that you mete out responsibility to the rest of society.

    Fr. Tim

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  3. You're a quite lovely apologist. I'll give you that. So far we've established that you ordained, within the Church, are misogynistic, child sodomizers and very sorry about it.

    The main thing you seem to think you offer is the bringing of the truth of Jesus to the people. Tim, it's pretty clear that Jesus is appalled and sickened by the behavior of not just you but all current Catholic priests.

    I'm sure that the new lesbian, Anglican, Episcopal bishop in Los Angeles finds more favor in his eyes than you or any one of your brethren ever could. I doubt she would blythely find excuses for centuries of evil, oppressive behavior and by simply saying;

    "Sorry about that. I hope things will get better and I am trying to quit."

    We're not talking about a smoking habit or inappropriate flatulence you're trying to quit but the most extreme and heinous human rights abuses against the most helpless members of society.

    I know that taking your own life is against your oh so important beliefs but you should consider an extended mission to minister to the people in a remote area of the World where the presence of poverty, political unrest, lack of the essentials of life and rampant, epidemic, life threatening disease might redeem a person like you. Canadians would do OK without you, probably better.

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  4. Anonymous:

    Thanks for the compliment. Actually what we have established is that I am an ordained priest of a church; a body which contains both the essence of the presence of God and the sinfulness that corrupts creation. An institutional vessel which carries within it the authentic teaching of Christ as given to it by the Apostles Peter and Paul. A church that contains the witness of the martyrs as well as the corruption of sinners. In this it is no different than any other affair of mankind. It is a mix of sinners and saints.

    I do not believe in the ordination of any Episcopalian Bishop. It matters not a whit to me whether they're gay, straight or lesbian as the are not legitimate successors in the Apostolic line. I leave it to them to set and follow their own path without demanding my permission or approval, just as I follow in the tradition of Peter.

    Your analogy to "kicking the habit" seems somewhat puzzling to me. I believe that I established previously that the church, as part of universally held cultural and societal milieu held to positions that are no longer held today. At times the church has lagged and sometimes it has led, but all of western society has muddled along more or less the same pace over the past 400-500 years.

    And, seriously? "The most extreme and heinous human rights abuses against the most helpless members of society"? This you would have to prove - and I sincerely doubt that you could. It's just too "over the top" to deal with, something that reflects more the passion of rhetoric than solid argument.

    Have a problem with a moral teaching of the church? Please do me the kindness of pointing it out for me, and explain how it justifies your sad assessment of my life before I purchase that plane ticket to the missions.

    Fr. Tim

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  5. There's the face of the Catholic clergy I know and love. You're all like demure little Regan, in the Exorcist. It takes a little prodding and splashing about but then the head starts spinning and the green projectile vomit starts flying.

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  6. Anonymous: Believe it or not, I've never watched any of the Exorcist movies. Never got into the blood/guts/horror gendre. But, I don't think that you intended the analogy as a compliment. So, alas sorry I'm not qualified to answer exorcism questions. Any other topic you're interested in?

    Fr. Tim

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