Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The moral-political nexus

I'm still working on my next post, but this morning a friend sent me the following quote in an email that I think is well worth pondering. Fulton Sheen succinctly summarizes the connection between moral understanding and politics that is pretty much the basis for everything I do in public life. He is also right about the consequences of neglecting it, as we are proving all too clearly these days.

"What men do not see is that the fracturing of the spiritual community means the loss of inclusive and unifying moral sanctions over the whole of man's activities... The modern world has no cement to bind together personal morals and the morals of political and economic life.' If a time ever comes when the religious Jews, Protestants and Catholics have to suffer under a totalitarian state denying them the right to worship God according to the light of their conscience, it will be because for years they thought it made no difference what kind of people represented them in Congress, and because they never opposed the spiritual truth to the materialist lie'." [pg 125]

Fulton Sheen Communism and the Conscience of the West

13 comments:

Jeremy said...

you need to fix your font here!

nail-in-the-wall said...

“There remains the one standard that has not yet been universally used, namely, the choosing of candidates on moral grounds. A nation always gets the kind of politicians it deserves. When our moral standards are different, our legislation will be different. As long as the decent people refuse to believe that morality must manifest itself in every sphere of human activity, including the political, they will not meet the challenge of Marxism (communism). Contemporary history proves that modern political leaders, devoid of a moral inspiration and relying solely on a mass basis (might makes right), proves ineffectual in time of crisis as did the Kerensky regime and the Weimar politicians. Being the creation of a confused mass group and not primarily defenders of the right, they prove in the end to be only transitional phases in a movement toward a revolutionary regime. The apathy of an electorate to moral leadership is always reflected in the apathy of their politicians. 'What men do not see is that the fracturing of the spiritual community means the loss of inclusive and unifying moral sanctions over the whole of man's activities.

The modern world has no cement to bind together personal morals and the morals of political and economic life.' If a time ever comes when the religious Jews, Protestants and Catholics have to suffer under a totalitarian state denying them the right to worship God according to the light of their conscience, it will be because for years they thought it made no difference what kind of people represented them in Congress, and because they never opposed the spiritual truth to the materialist lie.”

Read more at:AIPnews.com "The Political and Economic Moral Challenge - Part I"

http://aipnews.com/talk/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=9735&posts=1#M27119

Truly Alan is Loyal to Liberty and correct, Justice is a friend of Liberty. Or is it the other way around?

Yours in Justice

GCS

Dawg_em said...

Thanks, nail-in-the-wall.

Truly, the connection cannot be refuted.

chiu_chunling said...

I would tend to dispute the idea that totalitarianism is gaining ground because religious Christians have thought the moral character of their representatives doesn't matter.

That supposed Christian who makes no effort to follow the example of Christ in criticizing unrighteous authority is not trying at all. That's the easiest way to emulate Christ. Perhaps some may say it isn't the best way, but a true disciple doesn't pick and choose which things to emulate. Anyone who doesn't follow Christ in what is, frankly, fun enough that I'll do it isn't a follower of Christ at all.

The truth is as Christ warned. "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Those who pretend to be Christian but consistently seek to destroy the Church and the Saints are exactly what this passage describes. The whole chapter is well worth reviewing...it seems that nobody reads more than the first verse anymore.

True Christians are, as ever, a small and despised minority. You should trust in the words of the Savior, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

I'm pretty sure He can do it. He overcame me, after all.

gilbertabrett said...

Chui, stop being so ominous. You are not as bad as you think you are. CHRIST did not overcome you unless you are really old...

HIS grace is sufficient for all...

You were right though about wolves in sheep's clothing. Some church folk do not get involved in politics because their pastors say it is "of the world" or misrepresent JESUS when he was talking about things that belong to Caesar. They lead their flock astray, but cry about things that they EASILY could make a difference in.

On another note: I am very pleased we have a new administration here in VA. VERY PLEASED. I am very pleased for our friends in NJ as well. Hopefully the fires will remain lit in the people across this country. Who knows... maybe we still have a chance to get rid of the usurper before his appointed time. I mean if we elect some people into Congress with some BACKBONE, maybe there could be a chance that enough could bring forward this investigation into who is REALLY sitting in OUR White House!

chiu_chunling said...

I meant that I was overcome by awe and admiration...and divine power.

As--eventually--all the world must be. Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess.

But until that day, one must realize that most people are mainly interested in secular pursuits. They will readily pay lip service and even obedience to moral laws if they benefit materially by doing so, and that is the purpose of every well framed government. To have government at all is to recognize that few are disposed to seek to do good out of pure devotion to God.

Indeed, even among those who personally witnessed the supernal power and wisdom of Christ, it is a minority which truly became His disciples. These reflect His glory and become a light to a fallen world. But the world itself remains in darkness.

True Christians have a power...one that I can hardly understand. But they pay a price for it, in suffering that I do not endure. And of course they are required to forgive...which is a concept utterly alien to my being. Honestly, I do not even know what it is supposed to mean, even when I see it demonstrated. I have witnessed it enough to recognize it, but can formulate no clear explication of its principles.

To utterly reject sin and yet love the sinner...I cannot do so. Part of this is a defect in my way of loving. For me, to love is to enjoy something aesthetically. If the sinner is beautiful then the sin is part of that beauty. A person cleansed from sin is beautiful in a different way, to love the purity of the spiritually cleansed is not to appreciate a sinner but to admire innocence.

The love of Christ is wholly different. It is the difference between glass and fire, water and light, clay and life. Incomparable. Mysterious.

Beautiful.

Dawg_em said...

If not for the Christian acknowledgement of the blessings bestowed upon us by our Creator, our founding in no way could have been in liberty. One tyranny would have replaced another. Today's Christians lack discernment, rooted in a faith less practiced. This weakness can be summarized by the fact we dare not mention the plank in our brother's eye because of the speck in our own. Therefore, a live and let live attitude is the order of the day. We have no moral authority because who are we to judge. (Exceptions exist, of course, but as a group...)

In other words, if the Church Militant isn't standing up to the Beasts of Conquest, who will? Or can? What other group of people on this planet, save righteous Christians, can turn back the hord that is the New World Order? Let us not presume upon the Lord God to save us from ourselves. What more can He do for us? He gave us the gift of free will. It's time to man up.

Derek P. said...

"I mean if we elect some people into Congress with some BACKBONE, maybe there could be a chance that enough could bring forward this investigation into who is REALLY sitting in OUR White House!" (gilbertabrett)

The first person that comes to mind is Dr. Keyes. Maybe he should consider running for an available seat in 2010.

So, how's about it Dr. Keyes?

nail-in-the-wall said...

I think, therefore I am(a little eclectic.)

'What men do not see is that the fracturing of the spiritual community,...(Spiritus Sanctus)"

Alan Keyes has repeatedly said "he is a servant of the people, but God's first".

If 'We the people..' ever turn from our wicked ways, (2 Chronicles) I am, in faith and reason know, he will be there to serve, a 'moral' and 'just' -US.

But, first things first;

Quit drinking the Kool-Aid, “of a confused mass group". Find the "CEMENT" - (""reference Fulton Sheen), for me that cement is "Justice", for Alan "Liberty" and get to work.

WE are called to be architects of the future, our posterity is counting on U.S.. Don’t let them down.

Yours in Justice

Guy c. (small 'c')

There is a "Just" Way, to which truth and righteousness precede.

Please read (Alan's) latest link at World Net Daily or at AIPnews.com "How GOP party bosses betray grass roots"

http://aipnews.com/talk/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=9808&posts=3

gilbertabrett said...

Chiu, real quick before I go to read the new post, I do not understand forgiveness either. GOD is able to put a transgression out of HIS mind, but we remember things. Some of us anyway... I have to really WORK on that AND more importantly, let JESUS work it out for me. Believe me when I say I do have to beg HIM to take things from the steel trap my mind can be sometimes. Sorry I misunderstood you and thank you as always for clarifying!

Derek P., I have said before we need to buy a mobile home and send Dr. Keyes out on the road to go ahead and start campaigning for 2012! We do not need to hear what the other person is not capable of - we already see that every day on the TV, on a newspaper or magazine, or in the line at the grocery store on something... All he needs to do is bring the Constitution and the Declaration back into the minds of people and present his agenda. AND GET about 150-200 people to campaign WITH HIM as potential House members and Senators. Same agendas, that's all.

Lower taxes, get rid of UN (or maybe install wire taps in all the building?) BOMB IRAN, stop buying Chinese, DRILL FOR OIL AND BUILD MORE REFINERIES/NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS, prosecute Barney Frank and several other members of Congress who are TRAITORS, NO government "health" care, cut Department of "Education", SEAL OUR DERN BORDERS!, put the brakes on Wal-Mart and give farmers their land back without government regulated poisons on our food, tell the Cancer Society to STOP LYING and some other ideas I have.

Pray for the many loved ones that are grieving over lost ones at Fort Hood. OH! By the way... did you see that nasty rascal Obama get on TV and look as if he were about to laugh when he was feigning his sorrow and concern and outrage for what happened? I am not lying. Look at the dirty dog and watch his nasty lips and eyes! I was shocked and dismayed that he seemed to struggle in keeping a straight face as he spoke. HE IS A SICK PIECE! PLEASE GOD will you remove that curse from our White House?

Terry Morris said...

Chiu,

Your clarification post above reminded me of the time, years back, when I was in a spirited discussion with a group of leftist anti-Christian Atheists (each term in that descriptive does apply in this case). The 'bone of contention' between us, brought about by the main topic of discussion, which I think was homosexuality, was this concept of "love the sinner, hate the sin." One of my interlocutors at some point said that she thought the concept was absolutely illegitimate and utterly impracticable as a matter of putting it into actual application; that she truly believed that those who claim to possess such an attribute or to make such a distinction between sinner and sin were simply lying to themselves. Me included, of course.

Several others quickly joined in to this chorus, basically opining "yeah!, what she said." I simply pointed out in response that as parents of less-than-perfect children, they should understand the concept of unconditional love quite well. As parents, we may well draw lines in the sand that our children are not to cross in any event lest they wish to risk permanently damaging their favored status with us. And I certainly do. But this does in no way mean that we don't still love them ... unconditionally. In point of fact...

Of course, this is only analogous to God's perfection, thus it fails ultimately to explain it as always. But most people do, I think, have a sense of what unconditional love is, as well as its practicality (of course, in logical terms they must have a sense of what it means else they couldn't speak intelligently about it, but this isn't the place for all of that). But you know how people are -- they tend to let their emotional attachment to a given cause get in the way of sound reasoning all too often. As Noah Webster once said,

"But reason without revelation is a miserable guide. It often errs from ignorance, and more often from the impulse of passion."

chiu_chunling said...

I'm not surprised at all. This Hasan fellow apparently has wanted for some time to get out of the military, and his primary loyalty has been clearly evident. What sort of officer corps is so insistent on hanging on to this kind of fellow?

Somebody wanted this to happen. Obama's puerile amusement doesn't mean he's actually behind it, but he'll certainly fight tooth and nail to build a more 'politically correct' military now that he's seen the result illustrated so clearly.

chiu_chunling said...

Ah, the simul-post.

"How can you measure the love of a mother? how can you write down a baby's first cry?"

There is a point at which words fail. Perhaps I'm just too sensitive to that. But I think the truth is that there really is some mystery here which I apprehend from a fundamentally different perspective. Not, in my own mind, an invalid one. But not readily compatible with normal humanity. The tin-man wanted a heart...I'm merely curious about how it works. Give me one and I'd just take it apart to examine the details.

Not the most trustworthy personal quirk, I must say.

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