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Saturday 18 August 2012

Michael Voris, a Great Blog, and RealClearReligion on the Scandal of the Al Smith Dinner--It Continues

Have we all become the Lumpenproletariat? The Politics of Identity

In a book written in 1845 entitled, The German Ideology, Marx and Engels used a term first used by Hegel to describe a sub-group of people in the culture, who have no interest in society or politics. This term is lumpenproletariat.

These people, described as rag-tags, a non-class of those who have no stake in a country's levels of material wealth. In a rude way, these were classed as of no interest to the communist agenda, as they would not care enough to change history or the class structure, as they were outside of it.

Hegel saw in The Philosophy of Right, that only those who owned property, had relationships in a society such as family and marriage, were involved in contracts whether political or economic and who has moral values would be interested in maintaining a society and establishing as well as continuing communities.

He was spot on. The lumpenproletariat would be those who did not own land, were even transients, and were considered, later by Trotsky, as useful in so far as they were disillusioned, depressed and ready for a revolt.

Marx did not think they would revolt, as it would not effect their sub-class. Marx knew that revolution was only possible for those who would actually engaged in political or revolutionary activities and those  who liked and followed a "politics of identity".

We have lost this politics of identity in the Catholic Church. Unless we rediscover how to think as a Catholic, one cannot identify politics with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Marx understood that the lumpenproletariat were not helpful to anyone. At one time, he grouped them with anarchists, who only want to destroy without an ideology of government.

One of the biggest losses for identity politics is the loss of a basis in natural law philosophy.

We no longer speak the same language as the post-post moderns, who do not believe in natural law.

The lumpenproletariat have in their definition, no relationships, no moral code, no church-going habits.

These would be the Fagans and Bill Sykes of the world. These could be called the "missing people".

I am beginning to see that many post-Christian peoples fall into this category. One of the marks of the lumpenproletariat would be no desire for anything but self. In the South, the term for lumpenproletariat would be white trash. In England, it would be yob or yobbo.

The point is that relativism and individualism create a large under-class of lumpenproletariats.

I think we are there at this stage in the Post-Christian, post-Western world.

I think that Marx is correct in putting the lumpenproletariats in the same category as anarchists.

My next post on this will include Gramsci's idea of the subalternity and hegemony, again.  To be continued...

Some of my criteria for publishing comments

On allowing commentators ideas to be published depends on criteria, which many bloggers hold dear:

1) No Anonymous comments are published.

2) Belligerent or purposefully nasty comments are not published.

3) Comments which are part of an agenda from website owner who are not only non-Catholic, but
    anti-Catholic and unreasonable are not published: for example, being rude to the Pope or insisting
    on sinful stands and worded in such ways as to not invite discussions.

4)  Extremely personal, emotional or cries of the heart are not published--I pray for those people.

5) Comments with rude words are not published-obviously, people invited to my dinners at home
    do not use street language.

6) Commentators who only want to advertise their products on my blog are not published if they sell
    items or books or anything contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. For example, someone
    sent me a link containing yoga clothing. As yoga is condemned in Jesus Christ Bearer of the Water
    Life, I rejected those comments.

7) Anti-American or anti-British prejudices or racial prejudices, (which are irrational), are not published.

8) Anything offensive to Our Lady is not published.

9) Ad hominems are not published.

10) Specific references to sexual things are not published.

I do not mind discussion, but it must be real and not for the sake of attack.

Another Great Post from JonathanCatholic: on the Al Smith Dinner

Forgotten Truth and the Al Smith Dinner Scandal, a Commentary

His Excellency, Cardinal Dolan’s article will appear in normal font, and my comments will appear in bold.

Last week I was out in Anaheim for the annual Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus. It was, as usual, a most uplifting and inspirational event.
In his rousing address to the thousands of delegates, representing 1.8 million knights, Dr. Carl Anderson, the Supreme Knight, exhorted us to a renewed sense of faithful citizenship, encouraging us not to be shy about bringing the values of faith to the public square. This duty, he reminded us, came not just from the fact that we are Catholic, but also from the fact that we are loyal Americans.
(Bringing the values of faith into the public square is fantastic in terms of defending religious liberty from state oppression, although I would point out that it might be a mistake to focus too much on general religion and general religious liberty in the public square as opposed to Christendom and Her Truth being rebuilt in our nation and in the West. This is just a small point since generic religious faith as opposed to the Catholic Faith is not the main point of this article from His Excellency, but I wanted to point out that our loyalty within culture has to be to the building of a Catholic Society, a society and a culture that are permeated with and informed by true Christianity and Christian values. Everything we do, every battle we fight, every goal we set, MUST be as the Church Militant going about to establish the reign of Christ the Divine King in all of society, as opposed to working, fighting, and establishing goals to the end of protecting “freedom of religious expression,” also known as religious liberty. This is something that is lost sight of in the post-Vatican II days through an erroneous, hermeneutic of rupture interpretation of Dignitatis Humanae. This is the difference between seeing the contraception and abortion mandate as being primarily a violation of religious liberty or primarily an intrinsic evil that is witnessed to as evil by the Catholic Religion, which, because it is the Revelation of the one true God, is the absolute Truth.)
He then went on to announce a promising initiative of the Knights of Columbus to foster civility in politics. Quoting a very recent study, he noted that over 80% of Americans are fed up with the negativity, judgmentalism, name-calling, and mudslinging of our election-year process, and eagerly want a campaign of respect, substance, amity — civility!
(Note very carefully, from this paragraph on, how His Excellency uses the word “politics,” and what he applies it to. Keep in mind that much of his focus in this article is on civility precisely because he views the Al Smith Dinner very much in the light of politics. This is why His Excellency trots out the political buzzwords of negativity, judgmentalism, name-calling, and mudslinging in the context of “our election-year process,” as well as his focus on the American people wanting “a campaign of respect, substance, amity – civility.” His Excellency’s language and manner here is reminiscent of a commentary on political advertisements on television.)
For seven decades, the Al Smith Dinner here in New York has been an acclaimed example of such civility in political life. As you may know, every four years, during the presidential election campaign, the Al Smith Dinner is the venue of history, as it is the only time outside of the presidential debates that the two presidential candidates come together, at the invitation of the Al Smith Foundation, through the archbishop of New York, for an evening of positive, upbeat, patriotic, enjoyable civil discourse. This year, both President Obama and Governor Romney have accepted our invitation. I am grateful to them.
(“…an acclaimed example of such civility in political life.” “The two presidential candidates come together… for an evening of positive, upbeat, patriotic, enjoyable civil discourse.” I’m afraid that His Excellency may not be viewing this dinner in the correct light, the light of a proper hierarchy of priority in the Church Militant. What he is saying here would be a perfectly valid point if he were a Republican politician who was inviting members of Congress from both sides of the isle to a dinner, but he is not a politician of any kind, or shouldn’t be. His Excellency is a Prince of the Catholic Church, and the first and most important focus for him is the Divine Faith. I will comment more on this in a later paragraph.)
The evening has always had a special meaning, as it is named after Governor Al Smith, the first Catholic nominated, in 1928, as a candidate for president, who was viciously maligned because of his own Catholic faith. Smith was known as The Happy Warrior, because while he fought fiercely for what he believed was right, he never sought to demonize those who opposed him. And, the dinner named in his honor is truly life-affirming as it raises funds to help support mothers in need and their babies (both born and unborn) of any faith, or none at all.
The Al Smith Dinner has never been without controversy, since, as Carl Anderson reminded us, politics can inspire disdain and negativity as well as patriotism and civility.
(This is one of the most egregious and truly confusing statements in the whole article. Am I reading this wrong, or is His Excellency saying that the current controversy is of its essential nature a political one? He seems to be saying exactly that, since is reminding his readers that politics can inspire disdain and negativity. Your Excellency, Catholics who are concerned about this dinner invitation extended to Obama are not primarily concerned about politics. The true Catholic in the United States should not be sold out to either party, as both deviate from the Catholic Religion in some ways, though the Democratic Party is by far the more horrendous party in deviating from Truth and authentic morality. Thus the Catholic is not dead set against Barack Obama because said Catholic is a partisan purist on the Right who detests the current administration for being Democrat. Nor can the Catholic Faith itself be primarily considered to be a political stance; politics are merely the societal playing-out of the Truth we hold. No, Your Excellency, Catholics who oppose the invitation to Obama or who oppose Barack Obama himself are not motivated to “negativity” by Right Wing politics. We truly and deeply hold the Catholic Religion to be Truth, and we 1) Fight with all our power any political force that supports or advances the cause of intrinsic evil within society, and 2) Fight all the more against a political force that has lied to us and repeatedly marginalized us in the public sphere. The first reason is being a true servant of Our Lord by holding Catholic Truth to a place of primary importance in our worldview, and the second reason is just being a man.)
This year is surely no exception: I am receiving stacks of mail protesting the invitation to President Obama (and by the way, even some objecting to the invitation to Governor Romney).
(He has simply confirmed my previous point by linking this year with the past political controversies he referenced. If His Excellency honestly believes that the stacks of mail he is receiving protesting the invitation he extended to President Obama is politically motivated, he doesn’t truly understand minds of the faithfully Catholic men who are writing him.)
The objections are somewhat heightened this year, since the Catholic community in the United States has rightly expressed vigorous criticism of the President’s support of the abortion license, and his approval of mandates which radically intruded upon Freedom of Religion. We bishops, including yours truly, have been unrelenting in our opposition to these issues, and will continue to be.
(Your Excellency, how can you be “unrelenting in your opposition” against the President and his policies if you relent for a night to laugh and joke on a positive, upbeat, enjoyable evening? Isn’t this a self-contradiction? It is one thing to be politically opposed, as a Republican is against a Democrat, and take a night off from political divisions, but this is not politics we are dealing with. This is not primarily about politics; this is about intrinsic evil against natural law. Trust me when I say that this is not a political statement: Barack Obama has the guilt of murder, persecution of the Church, lying, and the promotion of contraceptive sex all involved in his person. No-one can take a night off from decrying these evils as if they were political talking points; we cannot act as if we are not in a war for the soul of the West.)
So, my correspondents ask, how can you justify inviting the President? Let me try to explain.
For one, an invitation to the Al Smith Dinner is not an award, or the provision of a platform to expound views at odds with the Church. It is an occasion of conversation; it is personal, not partisan.
(*Groan* Why, Your Excellency, why do you insist on repeatedly referring to matters of intrinsic evil as a partisan issue? Why, why do you believe that enjoyable conversation is beneficial to the situation the Church finds herself in, in the midst of a largely profane, anti-Christian culture? And most confusing, why would a “personal” event be any less damaging by any standard to the honor of Holy Mother Church or to her witness to the Truth, since you are “personally” a Prince of the Church?)
Two, the purpose of the Al Smith Dinner is to show both our country and our Church at their best: people of faith gathered in an evening of friendship, civility, and patriotism, to help those in need, not to endorse either candidate. Those who started the dinner sixty-seven years ago believed that you can accomplish a lot more by inviting folks of different political loyalties to an uplifting evening, rather than in closing the door to them.
(“…our country and our Church at their best: people of faith gathered in an evening of friendship, civility, and patriotism, to help those in need, not endorse either candidate.” This statement carries with it the import of false ecumenism; the Church is not at Her best when she unites with other ‘people of faith’ to help those in need, She is at her best when She is absolutely faithful to and outspoken about Her Lord, Jesus Christ, and offers His Sacrifice, together with Her own, on behalf of all the world. Flowing from this Oblation of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, undivided from our Oblation, in prayer and thanksgiving to the Holy Trinity, comes authentic help for the poor in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy made possible by the working of the Holy Ghost, enkindling charity in our hearts; lighting us on fire with His authentic love. If it is possible, in a secondary sense, to cooperate in good will with people in other communities and religions, great. But this is not the substance of Who the Church is when She is at Her best, it is merely a secondary behavior of the Church acting in good will toward other men. If we are not primarily focused on Christ, His Person, His Sacrifice, and His Truth, but rather on the gathering of “people of faith… in… friendship, civility, and patriotism,” I’m afraid we have missed the mark of what discipleship at Christ’s Feet means. You will notice His Excellency also continues the misunderstanding that the protest against this scandal is somehow about politics.)
Three, the teaching of the Church, so radiant in the Second Vatican Council, is that the posture of the Church towards culture, society, and government is that of engagement and dialogue. In other words, it’s better to invite than to ignore, more effective to talk together than to yell from a distance, more productive to open a door than to shut one. Our recent popes have been examples of this principle, receiving dozens of leaders with whom on some points they have serious disagreements. Thus did our present Holy Father graciously receive our current President of the United States. And, in the current climate, we bishops have maintained that we are open to dialogue with the administration to try and resolve our differences. What message would I send if I refused to meet with the President?
(Culture, society, and government are merely different facets of Western culture in particular and the world in general. His Excellency seems to be neglecting two very important things here, one that is known in Faith, the other, in simple Reason. First of all, we know by Faith, and it is a De Fide dogma according to Dr. Ludwig Ott’s famous and wonderful work, “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma,” that “The Devil posesses a certain dominion over mankind by reason of Adam's sin.” If the devil possesses a certain dominion over mankind by reason of original sin, then why ought we to be primarily concerned with engagement and dialogue? Should not our primary focus be on the fact that we are in a perpetual war against evil in this world, with engagement and dialogue taking the level of secondary importance? The dualities His Excellency attempts to construct between ignoring or inviting, talking together and yelling from a distance, and opening a door or shutting one are rather nonsensical, since warring against evil and taking a primary stance of manly resistance toward it is not ignoring it, nor is it yelling from a distance or shutting a door. Second, we know from Reason, just simple common sense, that you cannot dialogue with someone or something that is unwilling to cooperate. The devil will not ‘dialogue’ with us, and those who repeatedly lie to the Catholic Church and persecute her relentlessly have rendered service to the evil and have spoken quite loudly and very clearly that they do not want a dialogue. Such is the person of Barack Obama, and such is his administration. They have made it quite clear that they are no longer interested in compromise. With all due respect to His Excellency, now is the time for manful and serious resistance, as soldiers of Our Lord, not pleasantries and dialogue. You cannot dialogue with someone who refuses to compromise.)
Finally, an invitation to the Al Smith Dinner in no way indicates a slackening in our vigorous promotion of values we Catholic bishops believe to be at the heart of both gospel and American values, particularly the defense of human dignity, fragile life, and religious freedom. In fact, one could make the case that anyone attending the dinner, even the two candidates, would, by the vibrant solidarity of the evening, be reminded that America is at her finest when people, free to exercise their religion, assemble on behalf of poor women and their babies, born and unborn, in a spirit of civility and respect.
(Again, with all due respect to His Excellency, how can you have “vibrant solidarity” with someone, Barack Obama, who supports intrinsic evil and violation of natural law? That’s pure nonsense. How can you dissolve the white and black of natural morality to an unholy, grey pablum wherein we can all be ‘nice’ to one another and support the same moral causes in solidarity? Does His Excellency honestly believe that it is that simple, that we can band together as a nation in support of women and infants regardless of that messy issue of *how* we differ regarding what is support and what is harm? The naïveté of thinking this way is beyond comprehension. That paragraph stands out truly in the midst of the whole article as a truly nauseating mush of ‘niceness’ and false solidarity, considering the blood that is spilled and the millions of lives contracepted or aborted out of existence every year with the full and express approval and support of the President. No, we cannot have solidarity with such a man; no, we cannot make nicey-nice and joke and laugh with him as if nothing is wrong and take a night off from the decidedly moral and not political fight.)
Some have told me the invitation is a scandal. That charge weighs on me, as it would on any person of faith, but especially a pastor, who longs to give good example, never bad. So, I apologize if I have given such scandal. I suppose it’s a case of prudential judgment: would I give more scandal by inviting the two candidates, or by not inviting them?
(Some? Your Excellency, hundreds of thousands of Catholics feel this way, I promise you. I take you at your word, Your Excellency, and I appreciate your good will from the bottom of my heart, with sincerity. What is painful to me, and what weighs on me, however, is that you demonstrate that you still do not understand why the Al Smith dinner is a scandal in the first place. If you had not invited the President, you might have given scandal to non-Catholics, but you know that by inviting him you give scandal to Catholics. Is this of equal weight in your eyes?)
No matter what you might think of this particular decision, might I ask your prayers for me and my brother bishops and priests who are faced with making these decisions, so that we will be wise and faithful shepherds as God calls us to be?
(You have my prayers, and the prayers of all faithful Catholics, Your Excellency. We want nothing more than to get behind you and support you with Rosary Crusades and Chaplets of Divine Mercy, Novenas to the Sacred Heart and Litanies of the Holy Name of Jesus. Consider us your prayer warriors and your army of support; we only beg that you make the hermeneutic of continuity your guide and remember that we are the Church Militant, and balance your worldview from one of dialogue and pleasantries and politics to one of militancy against intrinsic evil and one of zealous Faith above politics.)
In the end, I’m encouraged by the example of Jesus, who was blistered by his critics for dining with those some considered sinners; and by the recognition that, if I only sat down with people who agreed with me, and I with them, or with those who were saints, I’d be taking all my meals alone.
(They were sinners, Your Excellency. Christ dined with them, but He did not make light of sin in the process. He never once treated evil as politics or neglected hard truth and blunt or even offensive language when charity demanded it. His Sacred Heart burned with the fire of infinite charity such that He was willing to die for us, and flowing from that charity He was offensive when He had to be to call out evil and those who promote it.)
I will continue to pray for His Excellency, Cardinal-Archbishop Dolan of New York. Please join me, and pray for a restoration of Sacred Tradition and a return of faithfulness, among the elderly and the youthful, the clerical and the lay, to Catholic principles and Catholic loyalties, to putting the sacred Faith first and not dialoguing incessantly or acting like religion is politics and politics is religion.

On the single life popular demand..mental preparation for marriage.

Two points for my single sisters and brothers today. As you wait for Mr. or Mrs. Right, please recall that only Jesus Christ, the Son of God, can fill the empty spaces of your hearts. Loneliness or lack of vision are individual crosses one must deal with in or out of marriage. Marriage is not a band-aid for serious wounds of the past, not is it a sacrament to end all sufferings.

What many men do not understand, is that women who are really traditional Catholics, want babies, want children. This is natural and a God-given drive. Men who are single sometimes look for a women who will meet all their needs, not wanting to share life with children, not realizing that God has called all, male and female, to die to self and to live in and with Christ as fully as possible.

The second point is that one must choose a vocation which is conducive to the married state if one is really called to that vocation. For example, as a teacher in the past, teaching was something I could do in home schooling and then, at least part-time, continue after the nest was empty. Some careers are simply too demanding for a woman who wants children and a husband, both motherhood and being a wife are full-time jobs.

Likewise, if a man is considering marriage as his vocation, he must enter into a calling which will support a family. Catholic families are counter-cultural by definition, and the stay-at-home mom is the paradigm.

Some of the problems have to do with two generations of women and men who have been brainwashed by the world. They want it all: a high standard of living, comfort, climbing the ladder of success, even having the so-called necessary two or three weeks of vacation yearly.

The Catholic marriage model has been set aside for convenience and selfish pursuits.

All vocations are hard, but if one is called to marriage, the joys and graces of the sacrament may be found in abundance. But, one must plan and not merely fall into a state of torpor or insensitivity.

May I add one more item. Look at my earlier posts on the Pope's encyclical on love.

Look at your politics. There is no doubt that socialism destroys the family and the primary husband and wife relationship. It destroys caritas.