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

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels

For obvious and not-so-obvious reasons, today's date is a specially important one to me. It seems to have been St. Michael the Archangel's feastday from the earliest Christian centuries in Rome. Although the Catholic Church has combined the feast with those of the archangels Gabriel and Raphael, thus honoring the "Big Three" mentioned in the Bible, even now the Anglicans call today's feast "Michaelmas."

The name itself signifies. The original Hebrew meant "he who is like God;" in Christian traditon, that description morphed into a question: "Who is like God?" which in turn was held to be Michael's battle cry as he and his host ejected Satan and his host from heaven for a mass rebellion motivated by Satan's claim to God's throne. Thus Jesus said: "I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning" (Luke 10:18). Now I know there are plenty of biblical scholars who explain that away, in context, as nothing but Jesus' approbation of the work of "the seventy-two" in rolling back evil. It was that, to be sure; but frankly, I don't buy the reductionistic 'nothing but' and have never been able to. With Tradition, I believe that Jesus was also describing what he witnessed in illo tempore, as God the Son, before his incarnation as a man. His copious talk of and conflict with Satan in the Gospels strongly suggest that the two go way, way back: further back than we can possibly imagine. God appears to have given Michael the place of honor once held by Lucifer, now Satan. As such, Michael is commander-in-chief of the angelic hosts and champion of the Church Militant on earth.

Many other roles, revealed in apparitions and miracles, have also been attributed to him. Google him, read about him, and learn. This saint is incalculably important, as are angels generally in the "economy" of salvation.

Some people are put off by the fact that he and the other archangels are called 'saint'. After all, Rome hasn't vetted and canonized any such being! That betrays a misunderstanding of the word. The lower-case 'saint' comes indirectly from the NT Greek hagios, meaning 'holy one'; the Latin for that is sanctus, the root of the Old French and Norman saint. Any "holy one" is a saint, even if the pope doesn't know it and say it. All the good angels are saints; they dwell in God's presence and do his bidding. Indeed, the very term 'angel' comes from the Greek for 'messenger'; in the Bible, that role is the most common one attributed to angels for the benefit of human beings.

I am devoted to St. Michael as protector, guide, and hopefully as healer. I concluded a novena to him today for those closest to my heart.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Amy Welborn on gay and not-so-gay seminarians

Even the New York Times is letting this very Catholic, accomplished author and doyenne of blogdom be heard on the ever-more controversial subject of admitting homosexuals to Catholic seminaries. Characteristically, her brief Op-Ed piece is impassioned yet wise, principled yet balanced. I welcome it all the more because, as a dedicated wife and mother, she doesn't elicit the charges of denial-based homophobia that orthodox Catholic men often face when saying the same things.

Amy just can't be Bulverized. Right on, sister!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The heretic dines with the inquisitor

My, my, my. How far we have come. It seems that, if you're a German-speaking theologian and an erstwhile buddy of the Pope, it doesn't much matter that you're a heretic. No, the Pope hosts you at a serene little dinner in the Vatican instead of meting out the Torquemada treatment, which you would have had good reason to fear centuries ago and which you all but accused him of plotting not long ago as head of the CDF. Hans Küng, I salute you as one survivor to another—though what I've survived is admittedly quite different.

Twenty-two years ago in New York, I interviewed Küng on videotape for a fledging Catholic media company. Alas, the firm's swift demise meant that the tape never saw the light of day. That was just as well. My performance was shaky: it was plain on the screening that the guy gave me the creeps. I had never seen such worldiness and naked lust for power in a theologian before; barely more than a kid, I was sweaty and hesitant; at the top of his form, he was toying with me. A few years later, he gave a speech to a convocation of clergy and theologians in New York for which I could have written the script. I wasn't there, but Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things, was. In 2003, Neuhaus recounted the occasion in passing as part of one my favorite articles of his:

It was at a conference in the mid–eighties that I listened to Hans Küng hold forth in triumphalist tones on the victory of the progressives. “We” control, he announced, the seminaries, the academic departments of theology, the catechetical and liturgical institutions, the publishing houses, the magazines that matter, and the chanceries. Most of the bishops, he said, are now on “our” side, and those who aren’t have been neutralized. Anyone who wants a future in the hierarchy or the Catholic academy has no choice but to cooperate, he observed. It was a clean sweep; all that was left were a few details; the disgruntled band of risibly reactionary dissidents from the new order didn’t understand what had happened and couldn’t do much about it. It was an impressive speech.

At the time, I accepted Küng's sociological analysis of Catholic intellectual and ecclesiastical life. Demoralized and fearful, I hoped to make a career in secular academia instead, where I could get away with being an orthodox Catholic so long as I didn't dwell on distinctively Catholic themes. As it turned out, though, I landed in quarters of Catholic academia where loyalty to the Magisterium was not only tolerated but expected. And as Neuhaus says next in the above-quoted article, referencing Küng's speech: "Almost nobody on the left is talking that way today. They are still largely in control of major institutions, notably the academy and some religious orders, but the more astute among them know that they are increasingly on the defensive." Indeed they are, and I'm increasingly optimistic that Catholicism will someday reign again in Catholic academia.

That's not to deny that theologians of Küng's stripe and generation have performed a signal service to the Church. A peritus at Vatican II along with Ratzinger, whom he had headhunted from the University of Münster's theological faculty for that of Tübingen a few years earlier, Küng is probably the best-known of the "progressive" theologians who dominated, if not the Council's deliberations themselves, at least its interpretation in the two or three decades that followed. Books of Küng's such as The Doctrine of Justification; Infallible? An Inquiry; and On Being a Christian, though not of the very first rank, were trenchant enough to force the orthodox to rethink their approaches and get creative. I rather doubt that authentically Catholic theology today would be anything more than a relic if it hadn't been for troublemakers like Küng and others. Though Ratzinger was right back in 1979 to help engineer Küng's de-certification as a Catholic theologian, he and John Paul the Great were also right not to excommunicate him.

Not all of Küng's stuff matters, of course. His Does God Exist? does not advance the discipline of natural theology; his book Eternal Life? deserved the treatment I gave it years ago in the pages of National Review. At this juncture, in fact, the 77-year-old Küng's ideas matter less than his persona. As a living symbol of what many Catholics think and feel, he remains a force for his old colleague, now Pope Benedict XVI, to reckon with. That Ratzinger has chosen to reckon with him by a sincere gesture of reconciliation isn't going to make the doctrinal issues go away, but it will help light prevail over heat.

I suppose I shouldn't be disappointed that, to that end, Küng been brought in from the cold. I just wonder whether he, along with his many admirers, will get the right message.

Monday, September 26, 2005

It seems a fitting occasion...

Given that I returned home yesterday from a Eucharistic congress, I can attest to the topicality of the following joke:

"The Work of the Parish Priest"

During a Eucharistic Congress, a number of priests from different orders are gathered in a church for Vespers. While they are praying, a fuse blows and all the lights go out.
The Benedictines continue praying from memory, without missing a beat.
The Jesuits begin to discuss whether the blown fuse means they are dispensed from the obligation to pray Vespers.
The Franciscans compose a song of praise for God's gift of darkness.
The Dominicans revisit their ongoing debate on light as a signification of the transmission of divine knowledge.
The Carmelites fall into silence and slow, steady breathing.
The parish priest, who is hosting the others, goes to the basement and replaces the fuse.

Source: http://catholicfire.blogspot.com/

Joking aside, it was a marvelous occasion, attesting to the vibrancy of the Catholic Faith in a region of the country where Catholics are still a small minority.

The Fellowship of Catholic Scholars meeting, held concurrently in Charlotte, was also a great tonic for me. I got to revisit with some old acquaintances, such as Msgr. William Smith, who is still teaching moral theology at St. Joseph's, Dunwoodie, New York's archdiocesan seminary; and Msgr. Michael Wrenn of the same diocese, now retired, who for three decades was a major force in American catechetics. I like to think that's why he hired me to teach a few courses at Dunwoodie back in the 1980s! I also got to meet and talk substantively with two men I have long read and admired: Prof. Ralph McInerny, who recently celebrated his 50th anniversary teaching philosophy at Notre Dame and remains as sharp and witty as ever; and Scott Hahn, the Catholic biblical theologian who often writes for a popular audience and has all the right enemies on the left and the right. Finally, I had a long chat over drinks with the Hitchcocks, Helen and James—the former a liturgical road warrior of Adoremus note, the latter a historian and apologist to whom orthodox Catholics need no introduction.

And those are just the highlights. I made some good new contacts, enjoyed a great banquet, and even got a few job leads to pursue. Thank you, Holy Spirit.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Off to Charlotte

This weekend I'll be in Charlotte, North Carolina attending two events: the annual meeting of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, and the diocese's special Eucharistic Congress. I am certain that the Holy Spirit is putting me there. Those who are with me in spirit, please pray that the occasions are fruitful.

The Feast of Saint (Padre) Pio

Today is the liturgical feastday of a man whom I am by no means the only Catholic to consider one of the greatest saints in the Church's history. He died thirty-seven years ago, a few days after writing Pope Paul VI to express his support for the recently published encyclical Humanae Vitae, probably the most widely execrated papal document ever (save, perhaps, for Unam Sanctam).

Padre Pio was from the same part of Italy as my father's family. A stigmatist for fifty years, his vow of obedience led him to submit to several scientific examinations that failed to uncover any natural explanation. By all accounts from Catholic and non-Catholic alike, his Mass was transporting, a palpable symbol of the sacrifice he presented in persona Christi. He had the gift of reading souls, hearing confessions many hours per day for decades and tolerating no hint of dissembling. His bilocations were well attested, as were his miracles of healing. The hospital he started at San Giovanni Rotondo, near his monastery, now has few rivals for size and quality of care. I ask him regularly to obtain a miracle of healing for those closest to my heart.

I'm only giving you a bare taste. Of course he provoked bitter opposition and misunderstanding as well as the devotion of millions. For a long time the Holy Office treated him with reserve, even contempt. All the accusations against him, which were many, proved unfounded. That only increases my identification with and devotion to him. He remains very active today among his "spiritual family."

A good introductory book on him is Meet Padre Pio: Beloved Mystic, Miracle Worker, and Spiritual Guide, by Patricia Treece. For those a bit better acquainted, try Padre Pio: A Man of Hope, by Renzo Allegri.

Get to know him. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The job never was any easier....

This rumored to be in the presses at the New York Times (courtesy of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus):

Pick Seen as Sign of Contradiction

By Ian Fisher

CAESAREA PHILIPPI (20 Kislev). Yesterday's surprise announcement that doctrinal hardliner Jesus of Nazareth had been anointed "messiah" provoked mixed reactions in the diverse and sometimes fractious Israelite community, ranging from cautious disappointment to frank despair.

"I see it as a missed opportunity," said Herodias Schneidkopf, a Galilean incest-rights activist. "Many of us were hoping for someone more open to leadership roles for women and more appreciative of our experience. I don't feel valued."

Respected archpriest Caiaphas Bar Nun agreed. "Above all, the messiah should be a good listener. How can we as a faith community keep credibility among the youth of today if we cling to every jot and tittle of an outmoded social code while thousands die of leprosy and hunger? Today's highly educated Judahite community isn't satisfied with the old answers. I'm afraid it's a missed opportunity."

Even some members of the Messiah's personal entourage expressed misgivings. The Rev. J.E. "Dimples" Iscariot, S.J., a media consultant, did not hide his regret. "A missed opportunity, I'm afraid. We in the Society of Judas traditionally enjoy a special relationship to the messiah, but we'll find this choice very hard to explain to gays and lesbians—I mean, of course, to gomorrhaists and sodomitesses as well as to the divorced and the marginalized. Why just the other day I saw 300 denarii, which might have been used to help find a cure for leprosy, squandered on wholly unnecessary ritual excesses."

Fighting the spread of leprosy is a vexed issue among contemporary Palestinians. Most polls show Israelites widely ignore official teachings on ethical matters, preferring to follow their own conscience. Some see Jesus' moral conservatism as a rigidity that leads to disfigurement and death in at-risk populations and that may ultimately doom his movement to irrelevance. "Yesterday's unction was an opportunity missed," insisted real-estate broker Sapphira Glass. "Today's young professionals don't find their own experience reflected in a one-size-fits-all morality that limits options and encodes patriarchal bias. I mean, sacrificing one's newborns to Moloch is a tragic but often necessary choice, and many of us find the language of apostasy alienating and judgmental.' [NYT copyeditor's note: Need some quote from supporter—J.L.]

"It all comes down to power," countered maverick theologian Fr. Richard Maccabeus, retired professor of applied autology, who pointed out that the successful candidate had almost no pastoral experience. "What we're seeing is a right-wing restorationist fantasy in its death throes. Intelligent Israelites aren't buying. We want to be heard. We want someone who speaks not with authority but like us academics—I mean, of course, like the scribes and the pharisees. One can only call it a missed opportunity."

The Procurator of Judea was unavailable for comment.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Pope approves barring gay seminarians

As I hoped, Benedict is bringing it on. I posted on this general topic both last month and a few weeks ago, eliciting some thoughtful comments. If you now have any to add, please add them here.

Limbo, believe it or not

At one time, I didn't think this relatively peripheral theologoumenon would occasion much passion today. I was wrong. See my article on limbo at Pontifications.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The baby trade

Reports from several sources, none of which can be considered biased in favor of pro-life views, indicate that throughout the world, trade in fetal and even born-baby parts is growing. My only surprise is that it hasn't happened sooner. What can one expect when the personhood of conceived children is denied, or allowed to be denied, for the sake of justifying abortion and infanticide? If you're "pro-choice" but object to what's happening, it might be time to re-examine your premises.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The latest round in the Pledge slugfest

It now looks like the Supreme Court will no longer be able to dodge the issue about the Pledge of Allegiance's "under God" clause the way it did last time round. A federal District Court judge has ruled that requiring schoolchildren to recite the Pledge with that clause violates their right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God." Though the mover behind the suit was the same atheist, Michael Newdow, whose case the Supremes threw out on the ground that he had no legal standing to do so on behalf of his biological child, Newdow has got round that problem by bringing a group of custodial parents into the latest suit. So if, as is likely, the Ninth Circuit upholds the latest ruling, the case will once again be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Maybe I'm naïve, but the ruling seems absurd to me on the merits. If it's unduly "coercive" to require recitation of a phrase that is fully in keeping with the explicit language of the Declaration of Independence about God, in whom the vast majority of citizens believe, then why is not at least as unduly coercive to require pledging allegiance to a "flag" and asserting that there is "liberty and justice for all"? The former requires veneration of a mere symbol, not of God, and the latter is arguably if not clearly false. If we're going to leave God out of the Pledge for the reason given, we had better ditch the whole Pledge for consistency's sake. Maybe that's what some people want after all; but if that's what ends up happening someday, they had better come up with a better way to instill proper love of country in children, or this country will be in even bigger trouble than it is.

Of course, maybe nothing much will happen. Maybe the Supreme Court will dodge the bullet this time by just refusing to hear the appeal. That would be understandable if pusillanimous. For the past half-century at a minimum, the Court's jurisprudence on matters of religion and the state can charitably be described as incoherent. In its attempt to balance the free-exercise and anti-establishment clauses of the First Amendment, the Court has succeeded only in undermining the former without giving a clear sense to the latter. The Framers intended both only as a means of preventing the federal government from legislating or encroaching on what the states chose to do about religion. The Court would have done better, purely from the standpoint of intellectual respectability, to stick with that. This is where the originalists have an unassailable point.

When this latest case is appealed to the Supremes, John Roberts will be Chief Justice. As a good Catholic, he gives reason to hope that he will at least understand the importance of taking the case on the merits and using it to clear up the mess. As a member of the Catholic men's organization that led the campaign to get Congress to adopt the "under God" clause back in 1954, I sure hope so.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Outside the Church there is no salvation?

I apologize to my loyal band of readers for letting this blog lie dormant for a bit. I've been heavily absorbed in a debate over at Pontifications about my article Development and Negation II: extra ecclesiam nulla salus. That topic touches a nerve that is raw for many people, which is why I expected the article to be the blockbuster it was. If you're one of those people, check it out. But if you wish to comment, please do so here rather than there. After well over 300 comments, the discussion there is best left as is.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

They're co...mmm..ing: but will it matter?

The long-awaited apostolic visitation of American seminaries and other houses of clerical formation is gearing up and coming soon. Given the hugely damaging sex-abuse scandal—so damaging partly because so assiduously publicized, unlike similar problems in public-school systems and other spheres—it is certainly needed. But as Diogenes over at Off the Record suggests, there seem to be as many Church professionals who hope it won't work as hope it will. More even than the scandal itself, that explains why the visitation is so necessary.

With not a little dismay, I have written before about the apparently inability of the American bishops as a whole to attack the roots of the dispiriting problems confronting the Church in this country. One of those roots is the self-serving unwillingness of many to even admit what one of the roots is: homosexuals in the priesthood. Progressives have no problem repeating that the inexcusable coverup and belittling of so many sex-abuse cases was self-serving on the part of the offending bishops, who were more interested in covering their own and the Church's posterior than in protecting the young. Yet it has become all too apparent that, in some cases, the problem is that bishops were either homosexuals themselves or otherwise more inclined to sympathize with homosexual priests than to rein them in. Speaking as a former seminary adjunct professor as well as a former victim, I can state unequivocally that the intellectual and social tone of many seminaries during the 60s, 70s, and early 80s contributed to that problem as much as it reflected it.

One symptom thereof is the fact that, in the last several years, half-a-dozen American bishops have been forced to resign on account of their own sexual improprieties. Four of them committed homosexual improprieties—none of which were with pre-pubescent children. But many Church types like to deflect attention from the fact thereby illustrated: the majority of sex offenses committed by clerics were not cases of pedophilia, i.e. sex with pre-pubescent children, but of ephebophilia, i.e. sex with adolescents. Most of those adolescents have been boys. The National Review Board's report (PDF; 4.9 MB) shows as much literally graphically:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Yet even the film "Protecting God's Children," distributed by the USCCB and required of all who would work with children in a Catholic setting, totally downplays the problem of homosexual ephebophilia in the priesthood. It presents four specific cases of abuse, only two of which involve male victims and only one of which involves an adolescent boy. Thus, even though the majority of abuse victims have been such boys, both the title and the content of the film show that is not where the bishops are correspondingly focused. And that is in keeping with the general approach of the media, in which the victimization of "children" and thus pedophilia is taking to be the main problem.

Of course pedophilia is a horrible crime and should be most vigorously prevented. I can't blame most people for focusing on that. But not even most homosexual priests are pedophiles; and by focusing on the pedophilia problem, the bishops are addressing only one symptom of the larger problem rather than its main cause. That permits them to continue skirting the formation issue of admitting homosexuals to the seminary and allowing them to form circles of mutual sympathy even when many do not actually violate celibacy. That's just the sort of clubbiness we can no longer afford. Some, such as Archbishops Chaput of Denver, George of Chicago, and Burke of St. Louis have admirably come to grips with the larger issue. But many more have not. And that's the negligence which the apostolic visitation needs to focus, laser-like, on addressing.

Like the last one actually was, this one threatens to become just another bureaucratic charade. The visitees will put on their best faces; curricula, procedures, and numbers will be reviewed; seminary faculty and rectors will enjoy some fine meals with Vatican bigwigs. But will the unvarnished facts be made clear, discussed frankly, and acted on effectively? I hope so, and there's more reason for hope now than in the past. But let the passive resistance not be underestimated.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Thomism Blues

I haven't had this much fun in weeks!

For full effect, hit the bumper before every line.

Now, when I was conceived,
Though my momma didn't know,
My body was infused
With a rational soul.
Now I'm a man
With one final end:
Eternal beatitude
With God as a true friend.

I'm a man
Spell it M
Y'all listen to me,
'Cause you know I ain't teasing.
I'm an individual substance
Of a nature with reason.

Repeat Chorus

Ain't just made of matter.
Ain't spirit trapped in mud.
I ain't just my soul,
I'm my soul plus my flesh and blood.

Repeat Chorus

I stand at the top
Of the material order,
But I also cross
The spiritual border.

Repeat Chorus

Bows and nods to the author, Tom Kreitzberg of Disputations!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Is abstinence immoral?

I know, you wouldn't think I would raise a question like that. And I wouldn't—in earnest, anyway. I made it my title to start focusing your attention on what's really interesting about those who would answer "yes."

During the heyday of the so-called "sexual revolution," in New York a generation ago, I did encounter that answer from a few people I knew. Having observed my sometimes successful efforts to be chaste, they assured me that ongoing success would endanger my mental health. If that were true, I suppose chastity would be immoral. But that viewpoint, there and then, was only to be expected. What I've never expected is to see it becoming conventional wisdom. Apparently it is.

Ted Olsen at Christianity Today's "Sexuality and Gender" forum has posted some interesting tidbits in support of the following trenchant observation:

Can we be good without God? The question seems somehow abstract, a topic for Atlantic Monthly cover stories and college seminars more than practical applications. So here's another question: Can we keep our pants on?

Ironically, the group that often answers "yes" to the first question says "no" to the second. And some believe that not only can't we stay chaste, but we should not.
(Emphasis added.) Olsen proffers many tidbits in support of those last two assertions. Typical is this: "An abstinence-until-marriage program is not only irresponsible," U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said last year. "It's really inhumane." My eyes are still bulging; she actually said it is inhumane to counsel and educate young people to avoid fornication. The only humane thing would be to give them condoms and winks.

Such abject surrender to hormones seems like conventional wisdom only because the MSM promote it tirelessly, though more through spin than through philosophical argument. Yet the philosophy is most instructive.

Olsen is right, and there's an obvious inference to be drawn. People who like to point out that one can be good without believing that there's a God who requires us to be good tend to have a different moral code than those who believe that morality has some foundation in God. That some atheists and agnostics are virtuous, to a degree, goes without saying; that secular and religious morality intersect at various points also goes without saying. So what's the difference that accounts for Olsen's ever-more-accurate point?

The difference is that secular morality, at bottom, is relativistic. Sure, there have been rather fastidiously moral people, including some philosophers, who were neither theists nor relativists. There still are. But once ethics are unmoored from God, then a moral philosophy that is absolutist in principle becomes relativistic in fact. For all such morality is, ultimately, a matter of opinion; and opinions in turn are affected more by culture and its evolution than by any philosophia perennis or religious authority. Thus, once contraception and abortion both became widely available, especially to the young, the sort of sexual morality once sustained by Judaism and Christianity, and retained by the Victorians regardless, became far weaker than the appeal of sex without apparent consequences. Only God, and a life sustained by a relationship with God, can definitively resist the power of that appeal in a person's life.

Okay, I admit that STDs convince some here and there to get back on the straight and narrow—the ones who don't seek cheap grace in the form of condoms. But that actually segues into my next point. The elements of traditonal morality that secular liberalism retains are those which don't require much inner self-denial, have some clear utilitarian value, and make us feel good about ourselves. That's why the morality of secular liberalism is actually harder on certain sins, such as neglect of the poor and the sexual abuse of minors, than traditional morality. Championing obvious victims and vilifying the victimizers makes us feel good about ourselves, reduces the amount of overt nastiness in society, and doesn't require much sacrifice of us as individuals beyond government action—i.e., laws and taxes. But the same people who execrate non-consensual sex also execrate the voluntary renunciation of consensual sex outside marriage. People can't be expected to deny themselves to that extent, can they? We're only human, after all; and aren't humans just animals with speech and creativity?

Which brings me to the ultimate irony in such morality. These people are always chanting "Choice, choice," as though we have some sort of freedom of the will that mere animals lack and as though such liberty were an inherent, not just a socially constructed, right. And we do have some such liberty: as creatures of God subject to God. But once freedom is unmoored from God along with morality it becomes, literally, autonomy. Humans, either individually or collectively, thus legislate for themselves without reference to a divinely bestowed natural law whose precepts are written in the collective conscience of the race. Once that happens—and the many Barbara Lees of the world take it as a fait accompli—then expectations descend to the least common denominator toward the bestial. That's what's happening in our society with sex. If it doesn't stop, we'll find that it happens with everything else too.

My argument is essentially the same as that of C.S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man. I always used to require it in my undergraduate ethics courses because, written in the World-War-II era, it was one of the most prophetic books of modern times. Read it if you haven't already.