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It’s simple. People, once conditioned to follow a system, have an incredibly difficult time in re-thinking the system, especially its premises.
Why did people in so many European cultures, decade after decade, generation after generation, century after century, think of no alternative to the autocratic, violent, and undemocratic systems they had? Why did no one think of an alternative system to the strong-man rule cemented by a notion of “royalty”?
Likewise, Americans are on display for being incapable of thinking of any alternatives to their sham of a system, including the most important lies they have developed and hang on to.
For example, one of my favorites is the lie that you can separate government from religion, that it is possible not to have a state-sponsored religion. Americans love this lie. They have hung on to it fiercely. Part of this lie is the notion that Americans concretely separated religion from government and were able to create a satisfactory society.
As I have been saying, one must understand that an ideological system, whether it includes a notion of god (or gods) is irrelevant. Therefore, liberal ideology and Protestantism are both ideological systems – since every religion is an ideological system. At the same time, all ideological systems function as a religion does. What’s the main difference? Liberalism merely does not include the notion of a god.
When liberals say they have a government that has set religion apart, it merely means they have increasingly instituted their godless religion as the state-sponsored and enforced ideology, i.e., the state-sponsored religion.
But, given the stupidity and hypocrisy of liberals, they will refuse to admit that all they are doing is playing with labels, pretending that their liberal ideological system doesn’t function the very same way as any state-enforced religion.
Why this hasn’t been particularly obvious to most Americans, especially the religious ones, I cannot understand. I find it so obvious. But I rarely hear religious folks mention the above. Everyone remains so hung up on the label “religion” that they don’t look at the dynamics of both political ideologies and religion – wisely forgetting the labels.
That’s why I was very happy to see one comment, lone as it was, on The American Conservative, from a conservative, who seems is getting closer to seeing the light:
Dommerdog says July 2, 2016 at 4:28 am:
I’m no lawyer, and I’m certainly no constitutional scholar; but it seems to me that this ruling and all the other laws requiring people who run businesses to violate their own religious principles in order to accommodate consumers runs dangerously close to state establishment of religion.
I’m a layman myself, but you don’t have to be a scholar to see what is taking place. People are not blind. The pagan sex cult of the rainbow has just finished wrapping up its holy month with parades, politicians in tow, celebrating genitals and orgasms. It is the civic religion, the very thing that the founding fathers sought to avoid. Consolidation will be incremental but inexorable, and once the first amendment has been nullified (as advocated by Harvard law professor Mark Tushnet) the established state religion of sex and power will seek to ruthlessly crush its rivals, as has been broadcast in the NY Times and elsewhere.
Indeed, the now dominant US liberals are saying, “Convert or be damned (and damned in this case means: suffer the state-enforced punishments for not following our liberal ideology-religion).”
As an aside, you also have to wonder about the American higher ed system. While it can be the world’s best in its most elite establishments, it fails completely to form a minimally intelligent populace. Or maybe this is because the percentage of people who finish college is dismal in the US (only 20%, and I speak from memory). And I don’t even know the percentage for those who go through grad school, obviously much tinier. And when I say “elite establishments”, I’m not speaking of fame (such as the myth of the superiority of Ivy League schools, or expensive private colleges), but of actual quality of teaching and learning.
And then, there is little a school can do if a person has firmly decided to cling on to a lie.
Which leads us to this other wonderful comment, also on TAC:
David Olm says:
July 2, 2016 at 12:46 pm
I think it was Jonathan Swift that said you cannot reason a man out of what he was not reasoned into in the first place, and that is what is scary about the society we are devolving into. You can demonstrate the patent nonsense of the left all day long (sexuality is as fluid as the ocean in transgenders but as fixed as Mt. Everest in homosexuals; the Bible actually condones homosexuality with the proper gnostic understanding of Hebrew and Greek translation) but it doesn’t matter with them at all. Because it is propaganda, not reason. And, as always, THE enemy of the Left is Christianity.
And since the enemy of Christians is big, bad Russia and Putin – which everybody knows is just like Stalin; totally exaggerated threats from terrorists and ISIS; “communists”; or whatever 1950’s Cold War notions the commanders of the Right manage to twist around to manipulate the populace’s fears with in 2016, you could say that the stupid Right deserves the stupid Left in America – if it all didn’t have horrifying consequences for the world.
I went to see Spotlight.(Spoilers ahead).
I liked the pace and the rhythm and the way they treated the subject without being lurid. One of the strongest aspects of the film is that it succeeds in putting a simultaneous spotlight on the pain of the victims and on the collective negligence and cover-up by the Church, the police, the lawyers, society – and, most importantly, the press.
Part of the conscience crisis that members of the Spotlight team face is the fact that the team members begin to see and acknowledge they never investigated, printed, or followed up on several denunciations, clips, stories, and reports during a long time, including from members of their very own “star” investigative team that finally broke the story – this was very well done. They had also been part of the cover-up, even if their cover-up had been due to their disinterest and neglect, and due to not being as aware – unlike the Church, who had been outright criminal. As one critic put it, the film doesn’t lionize and idealize its heroes, showing how the media was often in cahoots with the monstrous Catholic Church.
But… since the movie was written by liberals – who else? – it was replete with propaganda about homosexuality. The most god-awful lie is that these priests just abused male victims “because that’s who was available”. These people are doing a film about the most infamous male sexual abuse scandal in modern times and they want to insist that a 15-year-old male adolescent was sexually abused by a homosexual priest because the priest couldn’t get his hands on a young female adolescent?
What a disgrace. They also never mentioned how many homosexuals there were and are far up in the Catholic Church who aided and abetted the pedophilia and ephebophilia crimes because they were threatened with being outed by the homosexual priests and bishops doing abuse. In the movie, it was all explained away as “these priests are emotionally stunted, that’s why they are pedophiles”. No mention of how many of them are perverted homosexuals and that’s why they abuse.
And Father Shanley, described as “a hippie”, not as the homosexual activist that he was! The movie writers denounce one scandal while continuing to engage in the cover-up of another – the homosexual abuse of minors!! Just as the Catholic Church tries to cover up any truth about its priests, liberals try to cover up any truth about how abusive its homosexuals are.
As we can see, any information that presents the truth about how perverted homosexuals involved in the scandal are and were was purposely scrapped.
On the other hand, it’s very good that the movie won the main Oscar, since this gives it visibility, and that means it gives worldwide visibility to the subject. The importance of this film is that it centers its attention on the societal cover-up, while also touching upon the gravity of the damage done to the victims.
And the ending with the bit about the fact that Cardinal Law is now living in high style in the Vatican was well done. Like Nazis who escaped to Argentina after the war and lived a comfortable life until their deaths.
I was just going to note another of my comments that got censored on the Internet, on the blog that I created for this purpose, but then it turned into a whole post, so I’m posting it here as well.
The Spectator has an article depicting the ignorant-on-psychology approach that some conservatives spouse:
It’s not church doctrine on marriage that needs to change. It’s almost everything else
This explains why my comment to the above article was censored:
When you are completely ignorant about treating psychological problems, like the Church often is, and so is the Spectator crowd, you are going spout this non-sense that homosexuals have nothing to treat and should go about their lives with their minds deformed. This creates the problem that every kind of homosexual perversion is normalized in their minds and many will effectively insult and sexually harass others because of their homosexuality, along with worse crimes. The dominant discourse will always be “what a cross LGBTs have to bear”, not “let’s inquire about why they experience all kinds of perverted sexual feelings towards people of the same sex”. People who are ignorant about human psychology simply cannot answer or investigate the question. Hence the idiotic stance that results from these conservatives.
Last but not least, I know I’m not the only one, but sometimes, when I read such aberrant articles, I feel like the only person who realizes that these so-called Christian/Catholics interpret the Bible any way they want, and then say the Bible is the word of God – and so it must be true. It would be nice to tap on their shoulder and ask, ‘Haven’t you noticed that every century you have changed the discourse and every time you still proclaim your version is the “word of God”? Cute game, isn’t it?’
This is particularly true of this “we can’t turn away the gays because I love them so much and they’re so nice to me” crowd like Hitchens. “I must have them so near to me in my heart, because I’m such a good little Catholic. And tell me once again how beautiful homosexuality is, Shaw, how utterly nice homosexuals are. It makes me drool. I really want to know how another man would worship me, how he struggles with it, how he’d like to be best friends with me forever. It’s not an abomination at all – who could ever think that, Shaw? I’m just doing my Catholic duty to be good here.”
Really, with “Catholics” like this, who needs GLAAD?
Below is a brilliant sentence. One sentence that perfectly summarizes the US today (a comment made at The American Conservative site):
Tis rather a case of a divided house living by the sum of its fears.
Fear – the great uniting force of Americans. Every horrendous policy, every mass murder, every type of exploitation, assassination, usurpation, surveillance, and torture is and will continue to be justified by mechanisms of fear at its deepest level and with material wealth as its most persuasive element. After fear, in second place comes greed.
The American system is crumbling right before the eyes of all. But most Americans, drenched in their ideological propaganda that their system is good, cannot fathom where the problem lies. Not only do they believe their system is good, but they believe it is the best and it works and therefore, by ideological diktat, it cannot malfunction. As a result, they cannot recognize that the problem lies with the very type of savage capitalism/imperialism they have. And now, additionally, this atrocious imperialist capitalism encompasses a deep layer of complete lack of morality and ethics to regulate the personal/sexuality sphere.
Add to this the two very corrupt parties that dominate the political scene – which offer no real alternative to change the system where it needs to be changed. Thus Americans having been going from populist to populist politician as their choice of president, dreaming and clamoring for hope and change, while blindly marching forward and steeping downward to greater and greater systemic malaises.
As I realized not too long ago, Hitler died, but his ideology won in the West. It brought prosperity to some – and given that the prosperity was significant in the US and Europe in the last century – it worked to camouflage a large part of the systemic rot that can never function in this type of system, along with all the people who get crushed by it along the way. Smarter Americans have realized that simply changing presidents won’t change much in the country, no matter if it’s a Democrat or a Republican administration that takes over. Yet, even these people will do very little to bring about change.
Democracy cannot function without ethics. Once you have a rotten democracy in place, such as what has happened in many Western countries, you cannot change that without enormous work from a lot of people. Americans, like most people, are stuck in their ways, their dysfunctional ideology, their attitudes, their blindness, their corruption. With each passing day, certain very valuable attitudes that they possessed, cherished, and encouraged are simply lost as part of the country’s culture. There are no more Mr. Smiths going to Washington today. Nor would they be admired if they existed. Americans traded in I Love Lucy, Jimmy Stewart, An Affair to Remember, and The Partridge Family for Grindr, Tinder, porn, and Caitlyn Jenner. It is sad – and it further underscores just how much the past is often another country.
Instead of fighting the Nazis, Americans now go murder masses of the poorest of the poor in the Middle East and Africa. Or they supply the arms and oversight for other client monsters to do the job. Or they bomb entire countries to pieces with not a thought for the suffering and destruction they inflict on defenseless populations who cannot escape.
And most of the American population supports this. They have as much concern for other people as the Germans did while gazing at the boarded trains taking those unfortunate Jews to their extermination. The threat from Stalin during “Cold War I” gave Americans the justification to commit any barbarity under the guise of fighting the particularly monstrous version of totalitarian communism that Stalin’s USSR represented. Once that fight largely disappeared, American barbarity increasingly came to the fore, naked. So new excuses needed to be created to canvass popular support. Little irrelevant groups conveniently labeled “terrorists” were presented, through a flick of a wand, to the American people as the threat that replaced the USSR communist bogeyman and who were seeking to destroy their glorious system, their way of life, their freedom – even their very lives. And here is where this circus takes on a surreal turn. While Americans will continue to scapegoat their problems on “terrorists” and “illegal immigrants” – no matter how much they murder and bomb other peoples, and no matter how much of a militarized, police state they become, with encircling walls set up along every inch of every border, they cannot stop the gradual implosion of their system, because it is there where the rot lies.
And another nice comment below left on TAC by Cosimano, that nicely finishes my own commentary above:
American ethics have always been subjective. Other than a sort of general agreement that it was not good to steal or murder everything else has always been open for discussion.
Religion was a nice veneer but it never really mattered all that much. People made up their minds and then found the appropriate Bible verse to support them. Not the other way around.
Very interesting article from The Stanford Daily with short recap on multiple instances where people challenged Supreme Court decisions. See author information at the end.
Resistance to the Supreme Court’s authority is nothing new. In 1803, the landmark case of Marbury v. Madison established the Court’s power to review the constitutionality of actions by other branches of government. But the case also highlighted the Court’s inherent weakness. The lawsuit asked whether President Thomas Jefferson’s new Republican administration had to honor the last-minute appointment of a justice of the peace by the outgoing Federalist president. Chief Justice John Marshall knew that if the Court ordered the Jefferson administration to install Marbury as justice of the peace (as he’d been promised by John Adams), Jefferson would simply refuse to follow the ruling. So Marshall wrote an opinion declaring that courts have ultimate authority to interpret the Constitution, but declining – on technical legal grounds – to actually order Jefferson’s administration to grant Marbury his position.
Resistance to the interpretive authority of the Supreme Court has occurred regularly ever since. After an adverse decision in Worcester v. Georgia (another Chief Justice Marshall classic), President Andrew Jackson is said to have responded, “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!” In the 1950s, the Court outlawed school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education, then had to issue another opinion in Cooper v. Aaron calling for “the obedience of the States,” after southern states asserted the power to ignore Supreme Court decisions with which they disagreed. Cooper asserts judicial supremacy – that is, the power of the Supreme Court to serve as the ultimate authority over the meaning of the Constitution, binding on both the federal government and state governments.
These cases of resistance demonstrate the judiciary’s weakness as an independent branch of government. Judges must rely on other government officials – in the executive or legislative branches of the federal government, or in state or local governments – to implement and enforce their orders. When those other divisions of government disagree with the Court’s decision, the Court may be forced to curtail its own actions (as in Marbury). Or the Court might hope that it has enough support among other divisions of government to carry out its directives (as in Brown, which was enforced by President Eisenhower’s deployment of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division to ensure the African American students’ safety, and later bolstered by congressional passage of the Civil Rights Act).
Of course, the judicial branch has substantial powers to encourage compliance. For one, lower courts may hold steadfast objectors in contempt of court. Such specific contempt orders are almost certain to be enforced, therefore helping to bring intransigent officials into compliance. That’s how Kim Davis wound up in jail. Courts also have the lesser-known ability to fashion other kinds of solutions. For instance, the judge in Kentucky could have forbidden Davis from issuing marriage licenses, effectively transferring her power to another state official or ordered the county to withhold some portion of Davis’s salary attributable to marriage-licensing.
But the fact remains that these solutions are, in the end, words on a page. When push comes to shove, somebody other than a judge must escort the holdout to jail. Thus, at bottom, the Court’s decisions are constrained by the views of other branches and levels of government. Unless the Court stays within the bounds of what other government officials consider plausible, legitimate views, it is powerless to carry out its holdings. So while the Court – comprised of unelected, lifetime-tenured judges – is often vilified as undemocratic, it is ultimately accountable to the people and their representatives.
The Supreme Court (and conventional wisdom) would say that everyone does have to follow the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution. But challenges to that view – from history, legal scholars, and modern Kim Davises and Ted Cruzes – abound. And despite the controversy and occasional firestorm, that debate is probably a good thing. It reminds us that the Court, with “neither force nor will,” takes part in an “ongoing dialogue between and among the branches of Government.” In the end, it’s your democratically elected representatives who shape what vision of the law is followed.
Brittany Jones is the president of the Stanford Law Review. Alex Twinem is one of the Stanford Law Review’s managing editors. Michael Qian is one of the Stanford Law Review’s executive editors. Danny Kane is one of the Stanford Law Review’s senior editors. Contact them at bjones2 ‘at’ stanford.edu, atwinem ‘at’ stanford.edu, mfqian ‘at’ stanford.edu, and dkane ‘at’ stanford.edu.
Below is a comment that was left to this article, and my reply to it.
I saw this small exchange on some thread somewhere on the vast interminable Internetniverse:
Nice but what about Jesus?
He was kidnapped by evangelical Protestants centuries ago, and suffers from Stockholm Syndrome by now (at least according to his captors).
There’s this commenter over at TAC, Charles Cosimano, who can be witty and smart at times, and usually that’s what most of his comments try to be (although usually a bit more witty than smart). He had a serious comment (September 25, 2015 at 12:13 pm), however, that I found interesting, an excerpt of which is copied below:
Here in the midwest the Pope … might as well still be in Italy for all anyone cares.
Reiff is of course wrong. Cultures do not die. They are transformed. Other than that, Rod has it right.
People do not make decisions that matter in their lives on the basis of religious teaching. They make the decision and then find the proof text to justify it. What is interesting now is that people are not going to Christianity for the proof text any more. In that sense, the broader culture is, de facto, post Christian.
For large portions of the culture, Christianity carries no special authority. By that I mean if you say to X, “A Christian would not do that,” X is likely to say, “Probably not, but who cares?”
Now, it is a mistake to apply that to the Pope in the US for a very simple reason. The US is overwhelmingly non Catholic. The Pope carries with him no special authority for the bulk of the population. He is easily ignored. The rot of Christianity goes far deeper than what is happening to the Catholic Church which
never really had much cultural weight here to begin with. It is reflected in the decline of the mainline Protestant denominations which did control the culture and who still matter in ways that
the Catholic Church can only look upon with envy.
The question now is what is going to replace Christianity as the determiner of Western, particularly US, which is the only place that really matters, culture.
I don’t think that’s really a question to where there’s any doubt. We already know what has replaced Christianity – it’s the deformed, perverted, and violent culture of liberalism.
Savage West + savage capitalism = savage sexuality (homosexuality/bisexuality + porn + promiscuity + sexual abuse + sexual harassment + STI epidemics + adultery epidemics + divorce + abortion as contraceptive + transgender + prostitution + etc.)
And liberals are like mullahs – ignorant, narrow-minded bigots who stifle everyone else and destroy society while thumping on their porn, because for them, being deformed and sexually violent represents freedom and progress.
And like mullahs, the thing that liberals hate most is freedom of speech – because that permits dissident voices to be heard. It means their nasty ideology is criticized. It means all the violence and harm they do in the world is not entirely covered up by their own lies and denial.
This is why liberalism is just another form of any dictatorial religion. It’s oppressive, repressive, and so very destructive.
I think we are advancing rather fast to a state where Twitter et al will censor all viewpoints that attack liberalism. Mullahs and dictators are like that. They hate to be challenged.
Then, more specifically on how liberalism is really the very expression of the savage and brutal capitalism that organizes the West and the rest of the world today, there was this comment from KD (September 25, 2015 at 9:33 am):
I was reading Turchin’s War, Peace an War where he discusses Southern and Northern Italy, and argues that Southern Italy is a capitalist wash, at best family business with large Mafia contingent.
In contrast, No. Italy has produce medium-sized corporations (family-based), but nothing like a GE or Microsoft capable of planetary organization. These larger structures only occur in particular societies (generally Protestant/Confucian).
It will be interesting if American corporations will continue to be able to function as secularization progresses. Note, it may be that MTD and therapeutic managerialism may be superior to
Protestantism: the materialism, status consciousness, conspicuous consumption, commodity fetishism divorced from any spiritual elements of Calvinism. In other words, MTD may be the new order because it is adaptive to an international system of resource exploitation and consumption, in a way that Christianity, with its focus on the family and its symbolic particularity could not be.