Just Be

The Baptist reminds the Pharisees that God could raise sons of Abraham from the stones, yet God chose to be born of a virgin. He could have come as an adult, but He came as a child. The apostles tried to stop children from seeing Him, yet He responded by saying that they should let the little children come to Him, that unless we become like children we will never enter the Kingdom. We like to think that as adults we are better than when we were younger, but children are far more important than us. We like to congratulate ourselves on surviving puberty, on climbing mountains, on this accomplishment, or that award. But little children can slay dragons just by being. Just by being. We have to work at just being; we have to relearn it. It is difficult especially in our noisy times. We have to justify smelling the roses, and then we Instagram it as if Facebook and Twitter were our life’s blood. We rarely take the time to just be, to kneel in front of the God who became a child. So for Christmas take a moment, don’t just turn off your phone (but still do that), turn off yourself and kneel in front of a creche, and just be.

Seriously go. Now!

Quick go before He leaves!

Joshua Fahey is a Chestertonian who knows that if you’re reading this you should be taking the above advice. 

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A Man of Many Crushes

For lack of a better term, I am a man who develops crushes with ease. Wiktionary (the go-to source for every graduate student) defines a crush as “A short-lived and unrequited love or infatuation; the object of this infatuation.” (At the least ‘short-lived’ is inaccurate; even the quote they use for that definition refers to ‘nine years.’) For the sake of this article I am going to alter the definition to be “a not-necessarily romantic love not returned as such that springs up suddenly or unexpectedly.” Even if this definition is imperfect, we all know exactly of what I speak.

When I say I ‘develop crushes with ease,’ what do I mean? Just this: that within few minutes of meeting a women I tend to think “she is pretty amazing and it would be pretty cool to be married to her.” As I get to know someone I tend to think more about a potential relationship (particularly once we get passed the “are you discerning something other than marriage?” stage), still focused on the fact that she is pretty amazing. Even if they are in someway or another unavailable this fact of amazement can maintain some sort of crush (on the non-romantic side).

I can, frankly, entertain at least a half-dozen such crushes. It is a constant rotation of “Wow, look at her play the piano!” to “Wow, her poetry is awesome!” to “Wow, she knows so much theology!” and so forth. I understand well a sentiment a seminarian I know once expressed. Half jokingly (or perhaps less than half) he said that a reason he is in seminary is so that he does not have to choose one woman; he can love them all.

This is, I think, closer to the way things are supposed to be. In Love and Responsibility Karol Wojtyła talks about the proper order of romantic love: femininity (or masculinity) then body. Take a look at your first crush, back in middle school: what is it that you were first attracted by? Odds are it wasn’t their body but that they were other, both as an impenetrable other person and the other sex. It was a moment of “Wow, woman!” or “Wow, man!” Only later would you notice that oh, hey, they have a cute [insert physical feature here].

This is, likewise, the proper way any romance should go, or at least tend toward. What is truly attractive about another person is not their sexuality and sexual presentation, but their personhood. To say “Cute [insert physical feature here], I should ask her out” is not only demeaning but wrong-headed. Rather it should be “Wow, she loves Shakespeare!” or “Wow, she’s a bigger Tolkien geek than I’ll ever be! I’d love to get to know everything about her!”

Tolkien vs. Shakespeare

John Ronald was actually rather disappointed with Bill, particularly his cop-out solution to the Witches’ prophecy.

The tragedy of marriage is that it only lets us know one person so intimately (barring death and remarriage). What my crushing has taught me is that there will always be another, fascinating woman who I will not get to know as well as I should like (It is safe to say that I will never get to know my wife as well as I should like). The value of each other human being is so far beyond measure; all I can do is try to not stare awkwardly and whisper to myself “Wow.”

Justin Burgard is easily enraptured by Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. He is also one paper away from finishing his course work on his MA. He may or may not survive the weekend.

In Defense of Marriage

by Christian Ohnimus                                                                         Wednesday, December 19

One of the most heated and controversial debates happening in our culture right now is over gay marriage. In a culture that is ever increasingly guided by relativism, progressivism and hedonism it is to be expected that the traditional definition of marriage (that is, a monogamous and publicly recognized relationship and commitment between a man and a woman) should be challenged. Marriage should be “whatever we want it to be” and anything that two consensual adults agree to is “no one else’s business.” One of the most common arguments in favor of eliminating any objective standard defining “marriage” goes something like this:

“It is no one else’s business if two men or two women want to get married. Two people of the same sex who love each other should be allowed to publicly celebrate their commitment and receive the same benefits of marriage as opposite sex couples.”

Now, coming from the perspective of liberal democracy, the pro-gay marriage crowd seems to have the upper hand. If two consenting adults want to enter into a contract then, as long as no worldly harm comes of it, they should have every right to do so. Government should stay out of the “marriage business.” But what if marriage isn’t just a matter of business? Certainly there is a legal, contractual aspect to marriage but what if its more than just a contract? Libertarians especially are drawn to the laissez-faire approach to marriage but what if the fullness of freedom as we understand it as Catholics demanded a different approach?

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute and the author of Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village, makes the case that 1) marriage is more than just a contract, 2) Libertarians should oppose the privatization of marriage because it will actually expand the role of the State, and 3) privatization of marriage is unjust to children.

It is the third point that is the most important. Traditional marriage is important, not because straights are better than gays or because gays cannot be allowed the same rights as straights but because, as Morse states “Marriage is society’s institutional structure for protecting these legitimate rights and interests of children.” Traditional marriage does this by “attaching mothers and fathers to their children and to one another.” Furthermore, Morse argues, “This is an irreducibly public function” and, therefore, as a public institution it must be defended by the State in promotion of the common good.

Morse argues that we must approach the issue of marriage from the perspective of children.

We can’t begin our lives as objects to which other people have rights, and somehow, magically, become persons with rights of our own. Yet, the redefinition of parenthood is doing precisely this: treating children as objects. The idea of “contract parenting” is becoming the new institutional structure proposed by people who want to “get the government out of the marriage business.” Under this concept, two or more adults negotiate among themselves for parental rights. Perhaps the sperm donor will be a friend of the lesbian couple. They all agree he will be called “uncle” and get to see the child once a week. Or perhaps one woman will “donate” the egg, which is implanted in another woman’s womb. The women agree that they will both be mothers, and exclude the anonymous sperm donor father.

These cases suggest that there is something fundamentally flawed about the contractual approach to children. Rather than just recoil from the weirdness of it all, let me spell out these conceptual flaws.

Pictured: not a commodity.

You can read the rest of Morse’s argument in her article, Privatizing Marriage Is Unjust to Children.

Morse’s conclusion is that privatizing marriage to mean “whatever we want it to” is unacceptable because it violates children’s rights and does them harm. Now, while Morse offers strong reasons why this is the case, many proponents of gay marriage will argue that “the evidence” proves that children outcomes are the same or even better in gay marriages than in traditional marriages. The evidence, however, would be against them.

First, the evidence cited in favor of the “no difference” thesis is insufficient for making any such claim. Family studies scholar Loren Marks of Louisiana State University reviewed the 59 studies that are referenced in the 2005 American Psychological Association brief that came to the conclusion that there are “no differences.” Marks concludes that “not one of the 59 studies referenced … compares a large, random, representative sample of lesbian or gay parents and their children with a large, random, representative sample of married parents and their children. The available data, which are drawn primarily from small convenience samples, are insufficient to support a strong generalizable claim either way.”

Second, sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin, presents new and extensive empirical evidence that shows there are differences in outcomes between the children of a parent who has same-sex relationships and children raised by their married, biological mother and father. This new evidence was gathered by Dr. Regnerus, the lead investigator of the New Family Structures Study (NFSS) of the University of Texas, which in 2011 surveyed 2,988 young adults for the specific purpose of collecting more reliable, nationally representative data about children from various family origins. Already, the NFSS has been acknowledged by critics to be “better situated than virtually all previous studies to detect differences between these groups in the population.”

In response to Regnerus’ findings The Witherspoon Institute concludes:

On 25 out of 40 outcomes evaluated by Regnerus, there were statistically significant differences between children from IBFs and those of LMs in many areas that are unambiguously suboptimal. On 11 out of 40 outcomes, there were statistically significant differences between children from IBFs and those who reported having a GF in many areas that are suboptimal. The “no differences” claim is therefore unsound and ought to be replaced by an acknowledgement of difference.

Acknowledging the differences between the children of IBFs and those from LMs and GFs better accords with the established body of social science over the last 25 years, which finds that children do best when they are raised by their married, biological mother and father. At the turn of the millennium, social scientists widely agreed that children raised by unmarried mothers, divorced parents, cohabiting parents, and step-parents fared worse than children raised by their still-married, biological parents. Although data on gay and lesbian parenting were not yet available at that time, it was difficult to imagine that gay and lesbian parents would be able to accomplish what parents in step-parenting, adoptive, single-parenting, and cohabiting contexts had not been able to do, namely, replicate the optimal child-rearing environment of married, biological-parent homes.

Furthermore, there is the evidence provided by the personal accounts of actual flesh-and-blood people.One bisexual man tells his story of growing up with two moms and the effect that it had on him. Robert Oscar Lopez’s testimony is powerful and I recommend that you read the whole thing.

In his testimony he does not say that it was a bad family environment that led to his poorer outcomes, making his case indistinguishable from other kids brought up in a bad traditional marriage. No, he argues that it was his non-traditional upbringing specifically that caused him so much harm. Furthermore, Lopez goes to great lengths to defend Regnerus’ study. Far from condemning it as homophobia thinly-veiled as research as many gay activists have, Lopez views it as one of the few doses of honesty to penetrate the LGBT rhetoric. With that, I’ll end with a quote from Robert Lopez:

I thank Mark Regnerus. Far from being “bullshit,” his work is affirming to me, because it acknowledges what the gay activist movement has sought laboriously to erase, or at least ignore. Whether homosexuality is chosen or inbred, whether gay marriage gets legalized or not, being strange is hard; it takes a mental toll, makes it harder to find friends, interferes with professional growth, and sometimes leads one down a sodden path to self-medication in the form of alcoholism, drugs, gambling, antisocial behavior, and irresponsible sex. The children of same-sex couples have a tough road ahead of them—I know, because I have been there. The last thing we should do is make them feel guilty if the strain gets to them and they feel strange. We owe them, at the least, a dose of honesty. Thank you, Mark Regnerus, for taking the time to listen.

Christian Ohnimus is a husband and registered nurse in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Franciscan University. He hopes to raise a holy family with the help of his better and more beautiful half.

Liberalism and Means without an End

by Christian Ohnimus                                                                         Wednesday, December 18

In an intellectual tradition that can be traced back to Thomas Hobbes in the 17th century, we have made means supreme and have created a society with no discernible end. Our means serve no end in particular but every end in general and thus means become the end in themselves: a futile and endless endeavor.

Hobbes believed it erroneous to assume that man had any purpose beyond his own survival and comfort. Perhaps some greater purpose existed but Hobbes thought it was not apparent as evidenced by constant disagreement between men over that purpose. If men could not agree on their own end, thought Hobbes, then society had no legitimacy in pursuing one end over another as such controversy inevitably led to violence. All the state could do was assure men the free pursuit of that basic purpose of survival and comfort. In Hobbes’ worldview the controversial values of religion and morality and its ultimate end of salvation were to be replaced with the valueless pursuit of prosperity. Society was not meant to aid man in achieving salvation in the next life but to meet his physical needs and wants on this earth.

However, jumping forward to the 20th century, intellectual Ludwig von Mises observed that man’s wants can never be satisfied; he will never be truly comfortable. He noted that with each new innovation and increase in prosperity the desires of man also expanded. According to Mises, no matter how prosperous we become we will always desire more – a fact readily apparent in every materialist society. Things do not satisfy men’s souls. To Mises, however, this was an argument in favor of increasing prosperity and, indeed, one of Mises’ primary concerns was how to maximize wealth. If people want more then the function of the market is to meet those wants and no one should interfere with that. Never mind that the market will always fail to provide “enough” no matter how prosperous its economy becomes. Like Hobbes before him, Mises believed that prosperity was the only legitimate end of society. However, as Mises himself observed it is an end which can never be reached. We will never have enough.

Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek, like his mentor, Mises, and Hobbes centuries earlier, also asserted that the state should not attempt to realize any conception of higher human purpose because to do so would violate the market of the liberal society. The market, which is to say private economic activity, cannot be subjugated to higher human purpose. But the market is not an end in itself. It is a mere means. The market is the mechanism of production and exchange by which we create and mediate wealth. Then, to Hayek, like Mises, it is this creation of wealth that reigns supreme and any “personal” belief about any higher human purpose must be subordinate to it. To Hayek this was the mark of what he called the “Great Society.” Hayek’s Great Society is distinguished from smaller communities by what he called the absence of “unity of purpose.” This is what made society great: every man could pursue his own purpose and no purpose could be subject to another under the law: it was the means of production and not shared ends that tied men together.

Mises’ disciples are poor illustrators and even worse comedians

The ultimate end of the liberalism of Hobbes, Mises, Hayek and a thousand other progressives is to expand the means of society necessary to maximize prosperity so that every man may be better equipped, at least materially, to pursue his own personal ends individually and independent of the rest of society. Any social end beyond this is anathema. No end may be declared “better” and therefore worth social pursuit over other ends. Thus, disciples of Mises, in carrying the liberal logic to its end, declare that male chauvinist pigs, drug pushers, blackmailers, dishonest cops, counterfeiters, and non-contributors to charity (to name a few) are not only justified in their actions but are heroes for pursuing their own selfish interests in the face of social moral “oppression.”

However, by subjecting ends to means, by declaring means supreme and ends as something that doesn’t matter beyond “personal” preference we are creating a meaningless society. Is a society which is free to pursue any end but is not allowed to place any one end above another really free? After all, is it not the quality of our ends and not the efficiency of our means that really matter? What worth is it to be a mastermind if it means being a criminal mastermind? What worth is it being rich without an appropriate end to direct those riches? Isn’t physical wealth without a good end to direct its use a poverty?

The truth is that we cannot pursue whatever purpose we like even in Hobbes’ Leviathan or Hayek’s Great Society. Even the liberal state admits that some ends are bad even if it cannot admit that some are good. Thus, men are constrained in their purposes: he cannot steal, he cannot murder, and he cannot commit fraud. Such limits alone, however, are insolvent. If the state can tell a man that he cannot do something because it is evil it should also tell him that he can do something because it is good. “Do no evil” can only serve the higher calling to “do good.” Otherwise, what’s the point?

The liberalism that began with Hobbes sought to liberate man from the conflict of religion in society. Men fought and died for salvation. Therefore, salvation had to go. Ultimately, liberalism seeks to sever man from God. In the liberal society men may pray because they believe in God and eternal life and men may desecrate the Body of Christ because they believe it’s just a cracker and there’s nothing after death anyway. In the liberal society it does not matter which you choose so long as you choose. Do you feel like you’re “expressing yourself”? That’s all that matters. What does not matter is whether there is a God and life after death or no God and nothing to follow our short, brutal life except the horror of nonexistence. Both are perfectly valid, satisfying stances.

Except that is insanity. If there is no God then the pursuit of the eternal is in vain and men waste their short lives on a specter. If there is a God then the stakes are astronomically higher. The things of this earth are but dust and every man should fervently tend to his own soul lest he be lost forever. For society to treat the position of the unbeliever as equally valid and desirable in the name of plurality becomes a repugnant act of almost incomprehensible callousness as it abandons him to eternal damnation. The one end above all others that society must concern itself with is not material wants or even needs but salvation. If it is bad to let a man die of hunger it is infinitely worse to let him die of sin. Mercy and charity demand that we tend to the salvation of others.

Our society must boldly seek the truth in regards to God and salvation or we can never know towards what ends we must direct ourselves and any means, no matter how efficient, are for nothing. Liberalism is not even capable of acknowledging the question, much less provide an answer.

Christian Ohnimus is a husband and registered nurse in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Franciscan University. He hopes to raise a holy family with the help of his better and more beautiful other half.

How to Increase the Quality of Life in Africa

by Christian Ohnimus                                                                         Wednesday, December 12

The problem of overpopulation gets a lot of media attention and we’re all familiar with the argument: the world population is growing at an alarming rate, there are over 7 billion people on this planet and, unless we do something to reduce that number or at least drastically reduce its growth then, soon, we won’t have much of a planet left to live on. However, once you get past the initial arguments and start paying attention to what actual interventions are being proposed in practice it becomes obvious that virtually no one wants to reduce “world overpopulation” but African overpopulation. The fact is that most of Western Civilization is in danger of something called “Demographic Winter.” That is, their fertility rates are so low that they cannot maintain a stable population. A fertility rate of 2.1 is necessary for maintaining a stable population and economy. Germany, Austria and Hungary have fertility rates of 1.41, Greece is 1.39 and Poland is 1.31, just to name a few. The United States’ fertility rate is barely sufficient at 2.06. The only thing protecting these graying nations from economic collapse are immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and, in the case of the United States, South America who come from countries where the fertility rate is above 2.1, sometimes as high as 6 or 7.

The real problem, from the perspective of western society, really seems to be that there are about enough of us, maybe even not quite enough in some places, and too much of them. Put a humanitarian spin on it and we have a classic example of the White Man’s Burden: We’re rich and not having babies, they’re poor and having lots of babies; obviously the rich, smart westerners must save them from themselves and stop all that baby making.

“Mother Earth can’t support all these Africans” said the American who commutes to work everyday in an SUV, alone.“Mother Earth can’t support all these Africans” said the American who commutes to work everyday in an SUV, alone.

Tod Preston, Senior Advisor at Population Action International frames the problem in a Washington Post letter to the editor:

The number of malnourished people there [sub-Saharan Africa] has skyrocketed from 88 million in 1970 to more than 200 million now. In this same period, the region’s population has more than doubled to 750 million.

With nations such as Ethiopia and Niger projected to double in population in the next 30 years, significant progress in reducing hunger will remain elusive unless more resources are devoted to family planning.

In other words, we can help starving children in Africa by preventing children in Africa in the first place. However, this approach simply sidesteps the problem instead of solving it. We cannot help already existing poor people by trying to stop more poor people from being born in the future. The problem with the contraception plan of action is that it defines the people themselves as the problem. They are the victims of poverty but they are simultaneously the problem. Eliminate the “problem” (human beings) and, ta-da! No more victims (because we eliminated them all).

Well gee, all these kids wouldn’t be a problem if they didn’t exist.
Well gee, all these kids wouldn’t be a problem if they didn’t exist.

But the contraceptive mentality is wrong. The solution to a poverty-stricken existence is not no existence at all. The answer to suffering is not to eliminate life.

The real problem is not people but poverty. Therefore the solution is not to distribute the proverbial pie between less people but to make the pie bigger. Consider this: as alluded to above, the wealthier a nation the lower its fertility rate. Its a correlation that the pro-contraceptive crowd recognizes. In fact, they argue that it is the high fertility rate that leads to poverty – and that is why they advocate contraception in the first place. I argue that causation goes in the opposite direction. Wealth and prosperity, at least at the high levels experienced by Europe and the United States, causes the lower fertility rates. I think that this is the case because, when approached from an economic perspective, it makes far more sense.

Economics deals with value, not moral values but value none the less. So first, I want to ask a simple question: do human beings have value? Most people would say, yes. Some philosophers might not but every economist would say yes: that’s why we hear them use terms like “human capital.” Human beings are not merely capital but in addition to everything above and beyond that they are indeed capital: in fact, they are the most valuable resource in the world. Does it makes sense that an increase in such a valuable resource would, in and of itself, make everyone worst off? Quite the opposite.

The economic truth is that poor countries have less prosperity than their rich counterparts, not because they have too much human resources, but because they are experiencing the following circumstances: either first, they have less physical resources or, second, they are not utilizing their resources (human or otherwise) which leads to the same consequences as the first.

Consider the following: who can produce more and who can do it more efficiently? An African woman who weaves rugs by hand every day in order to make some kind of living or an American woman who works in a rug factory? The American woman produces more and at a lower cost and as a result she receives a higher rate of compensation than her African counterpart and the economy in which she works is better off with more rugs, probably at a higher quality and a lower price. An economy like the United States relies very heavily on capital investment: our workers are highly educated and employ the use of expensive, sophisticated machinery. But poor nations in Africa don’t have the capital or the education to be as efficient.

So, what do you do to increase production if you can’t increase your efficiency? Simple: you increase the number of producers. If you can’t outperform then perhaps you can outnumber. Poor, agrarian economies require a high fertility rate in order to survive because they need young laborers to work the family farm for example. This need not be a conscious choice made by individuals in poor nations but it is the dynamic experienced by society at large.

The solution, then, is not to reduce Africa’s population with contraception, abortifacients or sterilization which may or may not have any effect on anyone’s quality of life. If the overpopulation crusaders really want to help Africans they can do so by investing in African economies, donating to charities that do and by advocating for a strong, stable rule of law in African nations that defend human dignity. With more capital investments to work with African nations will be able to unleash more of the untapped potential of their workforce and rise out of their poverty at an accelerated rate. With the increase in prosperity those African nations will be less dependent on as many unskilled laborers and their fertility rates will likely eventually decrease to more stable levels as well. Increase prosperity and you decrease overpopulation. And that’s what the overpopulation crusaders want, right? . . . right?

Christian Ohnimus is a husband and registered nurse in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Franciscan University. He hopes to raise a holy family with the help of his better and more beautiful half.

The Mercy of Hell

by Christian Ohnimus                                                                         Wednesday, December 11

Recently, fellow Back Porch blogger Paul Fahey wrote on the justice of purgatory. While we usually think of purgatory through the lens of God’s healing mercy, approaching the reality of purgatory in the context of His justice can enlighten us to before unseen facets of what God is doing and what purgatory is and does. Likewise, while hell is a topic we usually view through the lens of justice, seeing it in the light of God’s mercy can reveal new meaning.

The doctrine of hell is dark. It is the punishment for unrepented sins in which we suffer eternally with no hope of redemption and no rest from our suffering. It is a place or, rather, a condition of the soul totally devoid of all comfort, all joy, all of God’s love and goodness. However, it is also completely just. Justice is every man getting what is due to him and those who reject God are due to have their wish, existing apart from Him forever. Since God is love and goodness itself this must mean also existing apart from all love and goodness and the suffering that must result is something that we can only imagine. This is the terrible and severe justice of hell.

In the face of such horror some may be driven to repentance, fearing such abominable separation. Many others however, in the face of such terror, conclude that God must be lacking in all love and mercy. How can a loving God inflict such cruel punishment on his very own creatures?

To answer such a question requires that we have some understanding of God’s mercy as well as His justice. Why is hell dark? Because it is a shadow and like all shadows its darkness is cast by a source of light. Hell is not so dark because it grows from a dark god; it is so dark because the light of God’s goodness that casts it is so great. God is love and supreme goodness itself. He created human beings in His image and likeness. We disobeyed Him but He offered us salvation. His own son Jesus Christ humbled Himself and died on a cross so that we may be saved. God made salvation possible so that every single human being had the offer before him to accept or reject God. In accepting God we are promised eternal salvation with Him in heaven, existing in perfect bliss in complete communion with Him. However, in rejecting God, we freely choose to cut ourselves off from Love and Goodness Himself, existing eternally divorced from Him.

While no one may want to go to hell many may will it – and God allows the willful rejection of Himself even to the person’s own self-destruction. He does this because he loves us as persons, persons made in His own image and likeness, persons endowed with free will. God could save everyone; all he would have to do would be to take everyone to Himself even against their will. He could obliterate our free will entirely, making it impossible for anyone to reject Him. It would even be just as we all owe God our unreserved adoration. However, to do so would reduce us to the level of mere robots. Like a computer, we all would merely be programmed to accept God. What a poverty this would be, incapable of love, compared to the boundless blessings God has showered upon us.

In respecting our free will God exhibits not only His perfect justice but also His perfect mercy in making love possible. We may choose hell and be damned to eternal terror but it is the same free will that makes the choice of heaven and an eternity in perfect love a reality. From the great light of heaven is cast the shadow of hell and the two cannot be separated. God, in His mercy, tolerates the shadow so that we may choose the light.

Our response to this truth should be two-fold: first, we should rejoice in the reality of perfect and eternal Love that God makes accessible to us. So much so does He want us to participate in this love that He willingly tolerates the privation of Hell for our sake. in the hopes that our choice may be free and so that we may approach Him as persons. Second, we should be ever vigilant to say “yes” to God always in our lives and seek reconciliation when our response falls short, lest we fall into the ever present danger of losing God’s great gift of salvation and, by thought, word or deed, damn ourselves to hell. This Advent season let us contemplate the constant danger of hell but let us do so always in the context of God’s mercy and His promise to us of joyous communion with Him in heaven.

Christian Ohnimus is a husband and registered nurse in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Franciscan University. He hopes to raise a holy family with the help of his better and more beautiful other half.

Lies, Witchcraft, and Political Correctness

Truth is revealing

Alright I’m going to hammer a nail, which I pounded last time. So you don’t ever get fooled by what Political Correctness is. We all know that when you speak the truth it is a reflection of reality, and as Christians we believe that God is Truth, so our speech so be a reflection of God.This is the heinous part of a lie, this is the tragedy of a lie, that it denies Christ. Christianity is completely incompatible with lying. We need to seek the Truth, and we need to speak Truth, so that when we reveal the Good News it may be believed. In the same way that the professor explained to Peter about Lucy in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe when asked if Lucy was a liar. Truth reveals reality, lies reveal nothing.

Of course, words can also be used to persuade, to change things. If it is an attempt to change what may be changed (like what’s for dinner) or what should be changed (for instance, to stop human trafficking) then our words once again perform as an extension of Truth. They reveal reality. If, on the other hand, we use words to try to change things that can’t (using slurs to degrade human dignity) or shouldn’t be changed (making murder legal) then our no longer reveal reality. Instead they reveal ourselves, our inner bigotry and prejudice, our rebellion against God, the lies we want to be true. I’ve already mentioned slurs, words that point to a meaning that the other is evil, wrong, that God made a mistake, that animals are more deserving of respect, of love. This is an attempt to change reality by saying things that do not reflect reality, this attempt is akin to trying to punch a man by stomping on his reflection, or killing a man by sticking a pin in a voodoo doll. It is witchcraft.

"The witch no. 1" lithograph

The question is, Who are the witches?

If we use signposts as an analogy for words, the truth are the signposts that will get you to the City. Lies are the signposts that will lead away from the City. Witchcraft tries to change the way to the City by changing the signposts. Political Correctness removes signposts, and changes others in an attempt to start a new city. The rebellion of Lucifer. Like witchcraft, PC tries to change reality by using words, and it believes that if certain words are never spoken their meanings can be weeded out of reality. It is the ultimate puritanical, controlling, despotic, idiocy. This modern witchcraft is  anti-Truth because it believes that Truth is malleable, and molded by, of all things, words. They mistake the reflection and the voodoo doll for the person. They will say what they want, to get what they want, and if anyone opposes them, they will move the signposts.

Joshua Fahey is a Chestertonian and programmer, is still alive, and oddly still Catholic. Or is it still oddly Catholic? Either works.