"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Monday, June 23, 2008

Two political notes

1. I recommend David Mills' first column for Inside Catholic, entitled "Gay Marriage and the Slippery Slope to Polygamy." You can surmise his thesis from his title. But there's something curious here nonetheless.

The curious thing is why his point doesn't seem obvious to most people. Consider the course of "the sexual revolution," which today doesn't seem so revolutionary. First there was the contraceptive mentality, followed by easy divorce, widespread cohabitation and illegitimacy, acceptance of homosex as an "alternative lifestyle," and now gay "marriage." At each stage, we have been assured by the partisans of change that the next stage was not going to be the next stage. Well, it was—at every stage. Polygamy is next, then bestiality. Things can sink lower still, but I'd rather not speak more names of sin.

Barring unforeseen and radical change brought on by divine intervention, the very concept of specifically sexual morality will be considered quaint within our lifetime. Perhaps by then some people will see that the whole course of degeneration was foolish. At that stage, those among such people who do not already belong to the quaint minority of traditional religious believers will join them.

2. Frank Beckwith, a philosopher at Baylor and a recent Catholic revert, has some superb observations on Prof. Kmiec on Obama. Here's a sample, from the middle of the piece:

Given the overwhelming evidence that Senator Obama's understanding of life, parenthood, the human person, and pregnancy are inherently hostile to the prolife position on these matters, what can possibly account for Professor Kmiec's infatuation with the Illinois lawmaker? It seems to me that the only way to explain the cognitive dissonance of an otherwise stellar mind is that Professor Kmiec has never really had a good conceptual grasp of what the prolife position actually is. It is not about "reducing the number of abortions," though that is certainly a consequence that all prolifers should welcome. Rather, the prolife position is the moral and political belief that all members of the human community are intrinsically valuable and thus are entitled to protection by the state. "Reducing the number of abortions" may occur in a regime in which this belief is denied, and that is the regime that Senator Obama wants to preserve. It is a regime in which the continued existence of the unborn is always at the absolute discretion of the postnatal. Reducing the number of these discretionary acts by trying to pacify and/or accommodate the needs of those who want to procure abortions--physicians, mothers, and fathers--only reinforces the idea that the unborn are objects whose value depends exclusively on our wanting them. So, ironically, there could be fewer abortions while the culture drifts further away from the prolife perspective.

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