by Hadley Arkes on THE CATHOLIC THING
St. John Paul II famously warned against the tendency to reduce “conscience” to the level of feelings passionately held. Conscience, rightly understood, took its guide from a body of objective moral truths. Detached from that understanding, he warned, “the inescapable claims of truth disappear, yielding their place to a criterion of sincerity, authenticity and ‘being at peace with oneself’, so much so that some have come to adopt a radically subjectivistic conception of moral judgment.”
Long before Benedict XVI spoke of the “dictatorship of relativism,” we were already aware of “dogmatic relativism.” Students who blithely say that “there is no truth” had not the slightest doubt of the truth of their own epiphany. But the incoherence never cast up any barriers to the swift surge of these convictions, and we find it, in our current crises, taking now an even more dramatic form. The people who insist that their sexual definition, as males or females, depends most decisively on their own feelings about themselves, have nevertheless turned with raging contempt against those who would not accept the truth of their claim.
Ms. J.K. Rowling made herself beloved in the world with her authorship of the Harry Potter stories, but suddenly she found herself the target of an orchestrated outrage because she dared to express reservations about transgenderism. She had commented archly on a document that referred to “people who menstruate.” She remarked that we used to have a familiar term for them (whisper: women). She had also written in support of a woman, Maya Forstater, who had lost her job because of what were called “transphobic tweets.”
But the tribunal hearing her case refused to agree that she had been fired wrongly for what Rowlings described as “a philosophical belief that sex is determined by biology.” First, of course, Ms. Forstater’s moral objection was reduced to a mental illness, a “phobia.” But then she herself, or the tribunal, reduced her claim to a mere “belief.” The dispute was detached even further from that anchoring, objective truth that should have supplied the ground of the judgment.
Ryan Anderson, drawing on the full range of texts in biology, has condensed the truth of the matter in this way:
Sex, in terms of male or female, is identified by the organization of the organism for sexually reproductive acts. . . .The fundamental conceptual distinction between a male and a female is the organism’s organization for sexual reproduction.
Those obvious anatomical differences mark the telos, the purpose, of why there are men and women: to beget more of our kind. The hard news, then, to some people is that the males who become females will still not be part of those “people who menstruate.” The news even harder to bear is that the conservative judges dealing with these cases seem quite reluctant to move beyond the mechanics of procedure and make that appeal to the objective truth of the matter. But a jurisprudence that cannot touch that ground will be condemned to be a morally incoherent jurisprudence.
Juliana Pilon reminds us in The Utopian Conceit, that totalitarian regimes rested upon lies, and every day they needed to enjoin their populace to affirm those lies anew. And now, even without a prodding coming from our own government, we are being scolded by the surging crowds – and by some of our leading corporations – to join the affirmation of the lies in Black Lives Matter.
The former governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, had the temerity to respond that “all lives matter,” and he was quickly brought to heel. He was made to abase himself in apologizing, along now with the professional athletes who have expressed their own reservations.
“Black Lives Matter” is inescapably right as a principle, but what is inescapably clear is that the principle is so deeply disrespected by the people who have reduced this principle to a slogan. As we have come to know by now, the number of unarmed black people killed by the police in shootings – nine in 2019 – was but one-tenth of a percent of the African Americans killed in homicides in 2019, mostly at the hands of young black males.
And those deaths at the hands of black people, are dwarfed by the numbers of black abortions exceeding live births at times in New York and Chicago. In New York, between 2012 and 2016 black mothers “terminated”136,426 pregnancies and gave birth to 118,127 babies. But these are not the Black Lives that count in the moral reckoning of Black Lives Matter.
That is the incoherence, the lie, that some of our most prestigious colleges and churches are willing to broadcast to the world as their own as they hoist the banner of Black Lives Matters over their buildings and websites. Amazon now affirms BLM, and Starbucks is willing to put the slogan on tee shirts worn by their employees. They are willing to stamp now these phrases as one of their own new orthodoxies, their own reigning half-truths.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like this in our country in my own lifetime, approaching fourscore years. It is tempting to say that we are witnessing a “war on truth,” but the metaphor is overdone. It would be more accurate to say that, for a scarily large portion of our people, there has been a simple ebbing of that ancient conviction that truth matters.
CP&S Comment: Has the whole world gone stark raving mad? Do the pro-abortion violent thugs running amok in the cities in the USA and other western nations really care about black lives? Of course not. It is a fact: one third of babies ripped from their mothers’ wombs in abortions performed in the West are black, way above the percentage of their population in the West.
Besides, Boko Haram has been massacring hundreds of black Christians in Nigeria every year in the most barbaric ways. Yet not a peep from the hypocrites screaming and waving placards stating “Black Lives Matter” on our streets. Islamics in Sudan continue to kill or force into slavery countless black Christians. Where is the outrage at this from the BLM crowd?
Wise up everyone: there is another agenda behind the lies, anger and anarchy we are witnessing. These riots are being used as a smokescreen by some sinister powerful men and organisations to chip away and destroy our civilisation. They aim is to use them to help herald in Satan’s One World Marxist Government. Our tragedy is we have not heeded Our Lady’s warnings at Fatima! She gave us the solutions to fight the evil now afflicting us.
I wasn’t going to post or respond to anything on this site today because I’m mourning the death of a little Mourning Dove I saved several weeks ago after it was injured on my property when a rabbit ran into it, and I’m more upset with myself along with being concerned how it appears that not enough Divine Intervention from my lowly perspective is being bestowed it seems; upon not just little things like the life of a Dove and a man nursing it back to health to restore its place in God’s creation; but this little death of such a tiny gentle and innocent creature of God’s which I blame myself for 100% having worked vigilantly with it to help it mend to only do a stupid thing or a lapse of attention to detail which caused great suffering for the bird, but its demise just pointed out to me “this morning” 24 hours later, how the abhorrent evil that is a plague upon this planet right now is all being produced and orchestrated by wicked and totally rotten human beings who are capable of making matters much worse which they are going to do, I have no doubt in my heart and mind about this. “Too little too late now,” is my caption, and the wicked would rather open up not just old wounds of the past like slavery or prejudice, but actually the pits of hell and release such horror upon all of us; and where is the “hope” in that, for this God forsaken human race! With all the evil abortion going on in and of itself, I don’t know why God has not stepped in and said goodbye to this entire nightmare gone wild.
Excuse my candid demeanor today which is in complete agreement with what you said so I unequivocally agree with you and this entire article 100%, but will be course and quite harsh in the comment I’m going to add here. It was a comment I made just the other day to another article about BLM and Floyd’s death at the hands of police which as far as I’m concerned has been beat into the ground and way over played as a news spectacle event to generate more sensationalism and the promoting of the perpetual lies and agenda of the Left, Democrats and MSM who all answer to the most powerful mass manipulators, the filthy rich powerful elite the magicians behind the proverbial curtain, which does include the Chinese Communist Party, Soros, Tech giant Bill Gates, Rothschild’s, Rockefeller’s, all of the Democrat party that has gone completely off the rails into the realm of the diabolical, with some powerful Republicans that are RINO’s like the Bush political family waiting in the weeds to see which direction to head off in order maintain their own status-quo or power, of which arrogant former now deceased John McCain was one of these slippery eels and of course in my humble opinion because these people all live contrary to Jesus Christ’s teachings they are being directly influenced and even controlled by the master manipulator Satan. This brings me to the point where I must say Pope Francis is a huge piece to this nefarious group of minions and supporters of darkness and New World Order, a hellish world. Because the comment is specifically speaking to the subject matter you included in this article but is lengthy, I’m going to reblog and add the comment there rather than take up so much space here on this fine article.
Thank you for your understanding and this opportunity to speak-out.
God bless you and may the Lord have mercy on us all.
Brother in Christ Jesus,
I’m including a couple of links that I think are warranted and helpful here.
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I tried for a couple of hours to get the reblog feature to respond but it would not so I built a separate blog on my site and plugged in all your information along with my commentary and I add here a couple more links to articles I wrote recently on many of the points contained in your article here; hopefully that will help someone.
Thank you again for this comprehensive and vitally important article.
Lawrence @ 4:03pm
Thank you Lawrence. I am sorry about the death of the little injured dove you were trying to save. Jesus tells us that “God sees even when a sparrow falls” – in other words, He cares – so don’t let its death upset you too much.
Returning to the subject of the biased MSM, it is good we have reliable Catholic sites like LifeSiteNews who are not afraid to speak the truth and tell us the other side of the story. You might be interested in this one, https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/police-wife-mainstream-media-ignores-that-my-husbands-life-matters-too
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Hi Kathleen! Thank you very much as always and you are so kind and wise! I do remember this Scripture and I do believe it is so and God won’t intercede or interfere in all things especially according to what we always want or where we fail in some way which I did awfully and in retrospect it was such an easy thing to avoid and i absolutely should have taken one little extra measure of caution and the Dove would be here now happily sitting or pacing back and forth in his temporary home I arranged for it responding to my voice and telling it I have more seeds for you now. I sobbed as much as i always do when I have lost a pet dog of which I’ve had several and they are family for many years so the pain is unavoidable but even so this Dove being with me and my dog for only a couple of months had made good progress and we were all used to each other hopeful that we would arrive at a happy ending just like the Miracle Mourning Dove I wrote about back in early January which made it through an unbelievable ordeal and truly a Miracle. Two things tear at me now that I didn’t follow through and continue giving that Dove confidence in me with all the love and then the fact it suffered and I believe died a painful frightening death and the only way I can find a bit of solace so far is to compare and I think how some children are in home fires or crashes of one kind or another and in severely damaged condition slopping away from life in pain and fear so then I say Dear God in the name of Jesus so many lives do suffer horribly and I will be doing wrong if i don’t allow this to pass which I know you want me to do and perhaps you have some special lesson or reason you are going to point out to me out of all this sadness. Again I get very upset with myself now thinking i should have given that Dove the full transition from being almost hopeless to being happy flying away with its friends again one day soon. I do tell myself that this bird had this couple of months of life in a home with a man and a dog listening to them and music getting an unheard of experience in its typical world and when I recued it if i hadn’t it was a gone bird for sure that night whether it be a feral cat or a fox the Dove would never have made another day of life. I’m sorting it out but no matter, it was my fault and I can’t change that; so I carry the guilt and shame.
Yes, I will check this story Kathleen! I used to work in photo journalism many years ago at an ABC affiliate and even back that I didn’t like some of the bias or unfairness of the business of news so I got out and into a little side work with feature films and low budget too. But that’s another twisted and messy business too, so I’ve transitioned into a few different careers and the real job that was steady with hard work and leaving it at the office was the better work in the end. I just watched a little of the ABC Evening News to just get a view of how bad they are and they were again totally biased and working the NWO agenda and supporting the bad guys totally! It’s all poison and bad people are pulling all the strings as the master puppeteers. It really sis sinful what is happening and we have to be strong especially in our faith to deal with this wicked world the way it’s going. I have to run off to a Home Depot before it gets late then later I will read this story, it must be a good one and I thank you for this direction very much! God bless you and hope to see you here again soon.
Hi Lawrence! After apologising for taking so long to answer (explaining it was due to the constant arrival of family visits since our strict lockdown measures were lifted) I actually wrote a long reply to you earlier this morning. Then jumping up to run after our mischievous three-year old I somehow pressed something and lost the whole comment! So frustrating, especially as I have no time to repeat the whole thong now.
Briefly though, I was saying that only sensitive souls suffer like you do, and this likens them to Our Blessed Lord’s sensitive and loving Heart. It is a special grace, a good thing (although we often find it hard to see this when in the midst of it)… yet it is a blessing, as suffering draws us closer to the Cross of Christ, “our only hope”.
Also I was saying how I agree with everything you were lamenting about “this wicked world” we have been handpicked by God to live in. However, if he chose us to live in this time and not another, it must have been for a reason. All we can do, each one of us in our little corner, is our very best to be faithful disciples of Christ, witnesses to the truth He came to bring us, and still keep fighting the evils in the world around us.
Running a traditional Catholic blog to help clarify many of the errors and ignorance in the Church today (due to the poison spread by the Enemy within) is surely a good start.
May God bless you abundantly.