Friday, December 2, 2016

The Docile Student

Even if students’ motives are mixed, and their ultimate reason for study is a high-paying job and early retirement, they seem willing to learn inasmuch as they work to master the material. According to [Fr. James] Schall, however, learning is not equivalent to passing exams. The docile student is one who wishes to learn the “truth of things” or “what is.” Wanting to know the truth of things is different from wanting to ace the test. …

The docile student does not merely accept whatever the teacher says, but tests and judges the truth of the explanation. Rather than passivity, teachability requires an active seeking and reaching for truth, even against the opinions of the teacher. The docile student demands proof, not necessarily in the sense of a demonstrated argument, but in the older sense of revealing the goodness (probus) of a thing, the way young athletes prove themselves on the field, or how the military tests weapons at a “proving ground.” Such proof demonstrates goodness, integrity, and worthwhileness. Docility may demand rigorous evidence, but ultimately it seeks goodness and worth. Actively willing to learn what is the case, the docile student tests and considers, deliberates and discerns. He or she does not merely wait for pronouncements to transcribe.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Socialism Defined

Socialism is an ideology built around opposition to private property, in favor of public — “social” or, in practice, governmental — ownership of the means of production, the principle of equality in the distribution of goods, and an assortment of other programs which receive greater or lesser emphasis from time to time.

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Vol. 4: The Growth of America 1878-1928, pg.63

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Homosexual Behavior is Slavery

The West held that freedom, liberty, is the opportunity for a being to express its essential nature, not to do things that corrupt or contradict it.  Homosexual behavior being an obvious denial of what is true about the essence of human sexual nature, the “freedom” to act out homosexual desires is akin to the freedom of a dog to fly like a bird.  The dog can jump off a balcony, but his passage through the air could never be called “flight.”  To the Western Mind, then, there is no “freedom” in acting to betray one’s essential being.  This is, in fact, slavery, because once your will has taken you outside your nature as a human being, you cannot exercise true freedom.  You can’t be true to your nature, because you have chosen to do the opposite.  And the longer you practice such betrayals, the more likely you are to become addicted to them, deepening your enslavement; the more you think you are practicing “freedom,” the less truly free you are getting.

Patrick Michael Murphy, “How the West Was Lost,” p.144-145

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Same-sex Marriage Leads to Collapse of Culture

As the national marriage rate remained stable, the marriage rates in states that redefined marriage fell at least 5 percent.  This is perfectly logical.  If marriage is simply a matter of romance between consenting adults, some persons, content simply to cohabit, will not bother to get married.  But cohabitation isn’t as stable as marriage and…a drop in the marriage rate of only 5 percent would mean over a million fewer women marrying.

In the Netherlands—the first country to redefine marriage as a genderless institution—marriage rates for young women dropped an additional 5 percent over the rate at which they were already declining. That is, same-sex marriage is a symptom of a collapsing marriage culture, and it then becomes a cause of further and more rapid decline.

Ryan T. Anderson, “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” pg.159-160

Monday, November 28, 2016

Controlling the Culture

Since the days of President Wilson and John Dewey, Progressives (née Socialists) have fought to gain control of America’s gatekeepers — academia, the media, entertainment. This struggle didn’t just begin amidst the turmoil of the 60’s with Timothy Leary’s infamous “Turn on, tune in, drop out” mindset. Certainly there were giant leaps for Progressive minds made in that decade. Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” programs began the wholescale dependence of lower income upon the government.

In the span of one decade, Progressives set the stage for subtle, but unrelenting indoctrination of subsequent generations of young people. Conjoined with LBJ’s Great Society agenda, the Left moved the public away from the Founders’ vision of faith and freedom, and toward an ever-increasing government dependency.

Now, 50 years later, academia in the United States is mostly controlled by the Progressives who have ushered in new textbooks to reaffirm their worldview. The gatekeepers keep a stranglehold on education materials, only approving those texts which reinforce the revisionist history worldview, a worldview that typically demonizes America, the Founders, the early settlers and pioneers.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Liberals and the “Poor”

The liberal Left likes to use the nation’s “poor” to justify its constant cries for higher and higher taxes, demonizing all who resist granting money to the visible at the expense of the invisible. Those who do not want taxes raised still higher to help the poor are not compassionate.  Over time, this short-sighted philosophy has robbed the term “poor” of any meaning. … No group of people would, on their own, come up with the concept of charity or the notion of poor.  These are both legacies of western civilization’s Judeo-Christian origins…. The main reason it is so difficult to define “poor” is because we are people, not animals. …  You see, it is relatively easy to define poverty in an animal. Say an elephant requires sixty pounds of vegetation each day to remain healthy. Say a lion requires twenty pounds of meat. If either animal receives less than this, it can safely be regarded as poor. They each have less than they need.  However, if you speak of what a person needs you start sounding a bit like Karl Marx, who felt that communism would provide all a person really needs. His spiritual heirs discovered that Karl Marx erred.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, "America's Real War," pg.247

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Transgenderism Is Identity Politics

The transgender movement has made clever use of the powerful force of identity politics. Clearly, personal identity, the totality of one’s sense of self, does not consist simply of gender any more than it does of one’s race, ethnicity, religion, or class. Such, however, are the categories upon which identity politics are built. To be politically effective, identity politics depend upon lumping people into groups that obliterate personal identities and characteristics. There are no individuals in identity politics, only amorphous masses of people with a common and defining property, one exploited for a political purpose.

This process exploits differences between people (cultural, social, ethnic, religious, etc.) to build constituencies of the aggrieved, the marginalized, and those led to believe they’re marginalized. They are assured redress of their grievances by a special interest group—commonly a political party that profits at the polls from activating them as a victimized group. The victimized must of course have victimizers, who are vilified as oppressors of the community of aggrieved.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Parents Who Allow Children to be “Transgender” Are Insane

If a four-year-old girl, who, afraid of being displaced in her parents’ affection by a new baby brother, announces that she is a boy, wise parents do not begin treating her as a boy. They do not assume she is transgendered. Instead, they embrace her and assure her that she is their precious little girl whom they love. Parents who allow prepubescent children to choose whether they want to be male or female have relinquished their role as rational adults, and are themselves in need of psychiatric consultation.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Government and the Economy Don’t Mix

Government intervention produces distortions in an economy, makes for uneven and often wasteful development, sets the stage for booms and busts, tends to enrich some and impoverish others.

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Vol. 4: The Growth of America 1878-1928, pg.14

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sexual "Orientation" and "Gender" Are Fluid

Nor is there any convincing evidence that sexual orientation is biologically determined; rather, research tends to show that for some persons and perhaps for a great many, “sexual orientation” is plastic and fluid; that is, it changes over time.  What we do know with certainty about sexual orientation is that it is affective and behavioral—a matter of desire and/or behavior.  And “gender identity” is even more fluid and erratic, so much so that in limited cases an individual could claim to “Identify” with a different gender on successive days at work.  Employers should not be obliged by dint of civil and possibly criminal penalties to adjust their workplace to suit felt needs such as these.

Paul McHugh and Gerard V. Bradley, “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Employment Law

Monday, November 21, 2016

Tradition Refuses to Submit to Oligarchy

There is one thing that I have never from my youth up been able to understand.  I have never been able to understand where people got the idea that democracy was in some way opposed to tradition.  It is obvious that tradition is only democracy extended through time.  It is trusting to a consensus of common human voices rather than to some isolated or arbitrary record. … If we attach great importance to the opinion of ordinary men in great unanimity when we are dealing with daily matters, there is no reason why we should disregard it when we are dealing with history or fable.  Tradition may be defined as an extension of the franchise.  Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors.   It is the democracy of the dead.  Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.

G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, pg.40-41