Grace to the Humble

Pride believes it can change the world through sheer force of will, and is crippled with despair when the world proves too big to lift. Cleverness searches for angles and levers, and is crippled with despair when the ground shifts and the fulcrum breaks.

Humility knows it is a creature, and is not free to change the Creator’s will in the world. Humility knows it is a creature, and is free to cooperate in the Creation and Redemption of the whole humane cosmos, or to join those whose Pride and Cleverness bind them in self-destruction, at so great a cost.

Humility is therefore bold where Pride and Cleverness are tongue-tied.

(source: Pride believes it can change the world–Peter Gordon Epps)

This Non Nobis from Henry V, by the way, is one of the finest moments in culture from the past half-century.

Do Not Be Afraid, and Do Not Be Deceived

A friend is thinking out loud about what exactly is right and wrong, in the complex racket Planned Parenthood and StemExpress and their ilk make their living at:

Consider this scenario: Bill and Susan Jones are driving their 8-year-old son, Tommy, to his soccer game. Susan is pregnant. Suddenly, a drunken driver plows into the side of the Jones car. Tommy is killed. Susan suffers a miscarriage. In the hospital, after many tears and prayers with their minister, the couple agrees to donate Tommy’s heart, lungs, kidneys and eyes to suffering children. Then, after many more tears and many more prayers, Bill and Susan agree to donate the fetal tissue from their unborn child—a child they very much wanted—to medical research.

(source: Don’t be so afraid of science | News OK)

What, he asks, is it that we object to, if both of these can save lives?

This is a good question, especially in light of CCC 2296.

My answer:

Well, there’s “science” and then there’s disrespect for humans and their bodies. As a culture, we have travelled a long way down a road that will not hear any serious discussion of the difference between those two things. Yes, it is possible for me to obligate myself to work for someone–but can I obligate myself to use my body *any* way that person wants? Can I sell my right arm to pay the bills?

The ideas that my body parts are property, and that property can be bought and sold by anybody whose claim to title over that property is not contested, are related and dangerous errors. When they are combined–when Planned Parenthood’s murder-for-hire operation crosses yet *another* line and so displays its obvious mercenary interest in keeping vulnerable women weak and panicky, and politicians and citizens too afraid to criticize the slaughter of innocents–then we have something we really *must* point out.

Offering my tissue and organs to save the life of a vulnerable person surely expresses some real virtues of courage and sacrifice. Taking the body parts of slaughtered babies and trafficking them for negotiated fees is not even similar to this, morally. It is abhorrent, and if we refuse to see it, we are no different from the Germans in 1930.

In our culture, we will not listen to serious *reasons* that the treating of bodies as property, and property as always subject to morally neutral exchange, is bad; so we are left stirring up honest and realistic feelings of revulsion that common people have. It’s not the way we should prefer to do things, but until reason has a public voice again, we have no choice but to publicize and accentuate the moments when people finally notice the stark contrasts between glorious, joyful, life-giving truth and the horrible, hidden, death-dealing lies our mass-market democracy insists we tell in order to keep everybody comfortable.

Let me add a final note:

It is important to remember that there are always justifications offered for evil, and they are always plausible within the culture.  That is why the evil can happen.

the lie the Germans believed

It Is Later Than You Think

In light of recent events, I keep reverting to something I said months ago, referencing a strong conviction that has been growing stronger since my days in Europe as the graduate assistant for Baylor’s Study Abroad program in Maastricht–a thought that took concrete form when that group of mostly pre-med students toured the medical history museum at the Charite in Berlin, where the likes of Virchow worked:  

More empirical facts are better than fewer, but they are not a good apart from and incommensurable with other goods, such as the respect for the integrity of human bodies that should have prevented a science from founding itself on stolen corpses and bodies in Bell jars.

(source: Et Seq. | Hang Together)

It is no accident that opposition to the authoritative revelation of the creaturely nature of humans and anti-human views of science are routinely found together:

As Matyssek makes clear, Virchow’s interest in promoting science among the lay public stemmed in large part from his well-known support for the Kulturkampf. Although the museum itself was founded after the Kulturkampf, Virchow himself adhered to his suspicion of “ultramontanism.” While Virchow and others regarded the Kulturkampf as a struggle for science and “Kultur” (what we would today call civilization) against the influence of Catholicism in public life, the struggle was neither religiously nor ethnically neutral. Indeed, the Kulturkampf was often explicitly anti-Polish and, as Michael Gross has shown, liberal Jews also worried about an easy slide from anti-Catholicism to anti-Semitism.[1] While Virchow himself described the Kulturkampf in the language of science versus religion, it was, in fact, as much about enforcing religious conformism as about secularization.

(source: H-Net Reviews)

It is vital that you understand that there are entire classes of people, at all strata from the wage-slave to the well-funded, from the beaten-down lab tech to the people who run the Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation and their cronies, who have for generations been trained to view humans like this:

…and when they awaken, they haltingly admit what has troubled their dreams, like this:

It is up to us to witness the evil, and to bear witness to the truth about Creator and creature; to listen, and to speak, and to act.

Let us find a way to act, decisively, now. (Here’s a start.)

Miyazaki’s Pacifist Nationalism


Over at JPGB I belatedly review Hayao Miyazaki’s last movie, The Wind Rises:

Jiro knows that he and his team of builders can help catapult Japan out of the economic ghetto. They can feed the hungry children of Japan by building planes – planes that will be used to bomb the children of China….

The attempted tragedy of this movie – we must build our dreams even though they’re used for evil – fails because it is trying to escape from an even deeper tragedy: That the demands of justice are uncompromising and inescapable, that we do not have the option of building planes and then sighing with regret that they’re used for a war of aggression.

We cannot have our cake and eat it, too; we cannot hate or regret injustice and at the same time hate or regret politics.