Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Honeycomb, the Lily and the Bomb

Back in the seventies, the Brazilian newspaper, 
O Folha de S. Paulo, asked Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira if he favored the end of legal restrictions to divorce. His reply is very applicable to the present debate around same-sex “marriage.” We reproduce the newspaper interview here having in mind the similarity between the two issues.

The Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) had numerous jousts against divorce in its history. Employing every means of action in this struggle, the TFP fought against it until the final moment.

The victory of divorce did not result, however, from the fact that a particularly fervid or efficacious pro-divorce onslaught had finally managed to raze the glorious rampart of conjugal indissolubility. Rather, this victory resulted from the lamentable relaxations that occurred within the Catholic milieu itself! But, I insist, it is manifestly well known that the TFP fought against it until the end.

These facts come to my mind with regard to a question presented to me by the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo about whether I am favorable to or against the “end of legal restrictions to divorce.” Clearly, I am against the revocation of these restrictions. If I see in divorce a catastrophe, I can only be enthusiastically favorable to that which curtails its effects.

I should add that the greatest catastrophe in this matter was not—nor does it continue to be—divorce, but rather the terrible dissolution of customs that has been spreading for many years in a gradual and inexorable way in our country. This is the profound final cause, of which the installation of divorce is only one of the catastrophic effects.

In other words, an increasingly growing number of Brazilians—practicing Catholics (!) or not, and even atheists—are agreeing in this matter.

For they hold that civil marriage between divorcees (or between a divorced person with a single person) lacks moral content, and thus they do not take it seriously. Thus, they agree, in innumerable cases, to live together without bothering with the empty ceremony of the civil contract. And by the time divorce had penetrated into our laws, concubinage had already been widely diffused in the customs of uncountable social sectors of the country—from the highest to the most modest.

It seems that certain persons favoring divorce seemed to think that, immediately after the approval of divorce, an avalanche of requests for the dissolution of the matrimonial bond would take place. It would be like a “stampede” of unhappily-married couples finally “liberated” from legal restraints and eager to form new unions. In fact, in certain places, the installation of more courts in the judiciary halls was quite seriously studied so that they might attend in some way to this avalanche.

However, this “stampede” did not take place simply because the greater majority of the unhappily-married who wanted a “formula” for escaping the conjugal bond did not by any means feel such an eagerness [for the solution], since they had already sunk into the  mud hole of concubinage, aggravated by adultery!

In comparison with the immensity of these moral ruins, what does the loosening—or suppression—of legal restraints for divorce signify? Quite little!

Let me say, however, that from the point of view of its repercussions in public opinion, the present controversy over this issue exerts a less than salutary effect, as long as all that was said above is not kept in mind.

In fact, this controversy presents many anti-divorcists with an occasion to reengage, on a small scale, in the battle lost with the approval of divorce. This they do by making shine, well in the background of a tenebrous horizon, the hope of a restoration of the indissoluble, monogamous marriage.

This can turn the attention of anti-divorcists to a terrain that is more important.
For the restoration of the indissoluble marriage to have viability, it is necessary that what should first be restored, in uncountable souls, is the desire for seriousness, austerity and mortification. This, and something more, which can be expressed by the word, sweet like a honeycomb, perfumed like a lily, and nonetheless, explosive like a bomb in today’s world. That word is purity. And it is closely followed by two sisters, no less sweet, no less suave, and with no less power of explosion. They are virginity and honor.

Until this happens, how can it be hoped that the country will revoke divorce.

Tradition, Family, and Property - The Honeycomb, the Lily and the Bomb

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Knowing What We Can't Not Know

Written by John Horvat II

In a world where baby body parts are bought and sold and marriage has been redefined, it is urgent that we reaffirm that there are certain broad, moral truths that we can’t not know. It needs to be said and proclaimed. We all know that one should not murder. We all know that one should not steal or lie. These are all written on the human heart to the point that they cannot be blotted out. In other words, there are no excuses for not knowing. Many people may live in denial of these truths, but they nevertheless perceive the objects of their denial.

In this sense, Prof. J. Budziszewski’s book, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide, is a refreshing oasis in a postmodern desert. This extremely logical and compelling work on natural law provides a much-needed refutation of the current assumption that moral truth is relative and even unobtainable.

His central thesis is very clear: there is an unchangeable and universal moral code based on human nature that everyone generally knows. This set of moral truths, called natural law, is “a universal possession, an emblem of a rational mind, an heirloom of the family of man.”

Formulations of this natural law have appeared in every culture, among all peoples and in all epochs. By far the most well known is the Ten Commandments, which succinctly summarizes those self-evident moral truths that should govern human action.

Unlike mutilated natural law theories from the Enlightenment, Prof. Budziszewski takes a classical and Thomistic natural law perspective that embraces as a given the existence of a Creator and the need to give Him honor. He masterfully demonstrates this by calling up what he terms the “witnesses” of natural law: “deep conscience, the witness of design as such, the witness of our own design, and the witness of natural consequences.” The result is a spectacular intellectual artifice of crystalline logic and clarity. 

However, this book is not a theoretic exposition of some ideal law that has little to do with the modern world. Quite the contrary, the author actually explains the present moral crisis through the prism of natural law. He answers the obvious question: Why do so many appear not to know that which they can’t not know?

To answer this question, the author does not claim we all have an innate, detailed, and precise vision of natural law. He only says that we all have a general knowledge of basic moral truths. This knowledge requires constant development and nurturing. We must find the applications and reach the conclusions of this primary knowledge with the help of faith, tradition, culture, institutions, and moral education.

The problem with the modern world is that we have taken away so many of those institutions and means that normally help people apply natural law well. Moreover, we have adopted so many mechanisms of denial, sin, rejection, rationalization and “just plain bad living” that make living according to natural law onerous.

As a result, many fail to live inside natural law and are in denial of it. However, this denial only proves its existence since when we fail to live in accordance to our nature and design, we pay the price of misery and disaster. Driven by the guilt from our consciences, we are indicted and punished by what the author calls the “Five Furies” of remorse, confession, atonement, reconciliation, and justification. These avenging modes of conscience are “inflexible, inexorable and relentless, demanding satisfaction.”

In a world where we are told we can know nothing, we need to be told what we can’t not know. The merit of What We Can’t Not Know is that it does this so well, and in so doing perfectly describes where we went wrong in our rebellious culture. For those who are seeking a return to order, this book is one that we shouldn’t not read.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/07/knowing_what_we_cant_not_know_.html#ixzz3gj2lsKL7
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tell the Boy Scouts NOT to accept homosexual scout leaders

July 21, 2015:  According to CNN, the executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America has adopted a new resolution to accept openly homosexual scout leaders.  The announcement clearly contradicts the original mission and oath of the Scouts, which is based on honor, duty to God, and moral uprightness.
Take action:  The national executive board will vote whether or not to accept this new resolution on July 27.  So please sign this petition, urging the Boy Scouts to REVERSE course.
But we only have until July 27 to make a difference.
Now is our LAST CHANCE to contact the Boy Scouts and tell them that faithful parents don't want this pro-homosexual agenda.  Faithful boys don't want it either.
Moreover, parents understand how the public acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle would not only undermine good morals, but also increase the risk of sexual abuse.  An in-depth study published by the Family Research Council demonstrates that homosexuals, who account for approximately two percent of the population, are responsible for up to one third of child sexual abuse cases.
Contact information (please be polite yet firm)
Boy Scouts of America
PR Department:  PR@scouting.orgFeedback:  Feedback@scouting.orgGeneral e-email:  MyScouting@scouting.org1325 W. Walnut Hill Lane
Irving, TX 75038
Phone: 972-580-2000

Tell the Boy Scouts NOT to accept homosexual scout leaders

Monday, July 20, 2015

Why We Need Beauty in Our Lives

Written by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

God created beauty for the life of the soul. It has no corporal usefulness. It does not satisfy hunger, shelter us from a storm or provide warmth. For the life of the body, it is perfectly useless.

However, beauty is more useful than food, shelter and warmth. This is because beauty is useful to the soul, and the soul is worth more than the body.

Let us say, for example, that a city has no bread. Without food, everyone dies. But can a soul live in a world without beauty?

When the Jewish nation under the Machabee family revolted against the foreign pagan domination of their country, the first Machabee, the one who started the revolt, launched it with this cry: “It is better to die than to live in a land devastated and without honor.” We could say: “It is better to die than to live in a land devastated and without beauty.” The beauty of the things of the earth is one of the reasons for their existence. Beauty makes life worth living.

Because of this, one who wants to love God must be sensitive to beauty. Normally, a person insensitive to art is insensitive to God. In Catholic civilizations, art is cultivated as much as possible. That is why a church building as a whole is beautiful, or at least attempts to be beautiful. This is why even in the catacombs in the bowels of the earth, we find chapels that were attempts at beauty. The worship of God ought to take place in beautiful circumstances so that the soul might be truly led to God by means of the worship rendered. This is the reason for being for beauty.

Since everything that is beautiful leads to God, it is natural that those who would destroy Christian civilization would want to diminish and eliminate beauty from the world.

Tradition, Family, and Property - Why We Need Beauty in Our Lives