A Glimmer of Reason in the Age of Unreason

Some of my faith in humanity is restored when a Leftist has the humanity to confess that certain moral rules are objective. The mere act of condemning in one’s own party the self same sin condemned when committed by the other party confesses a faith in the objectivity of morals, hence the objectivity of reason.

Allow me to quote an enemy of my Church, but who, in this regard, is an ally, Thomas Paine, from his work (with unselfconscious irony) named AGE OF REASON:

It is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.

It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.

Mr Paine is, of course, mistaken, for he misnames mere self-consistency fidelity; whereas fidelity is faithfulness or loyalty to the truth. One must have self-consistency as a necessary precondition for loyalty to the truth, but this lesser precondition is not the whole of the thing. Mr. Paine makes the classic blunder, nay, the defining blunder of our current age, rightly called the Age of Unreason, since to depart from loyalty to truth is the same as to affirm that there is no truth, which is the same as to affirm that reason is vain, impotent, arbitrary.

Nevertheless, integrity to even mistaken principles is needed before  any reasoning, hence any human nature, can be sought in a man, or fulfilled.

It is perhaps for this reason that the Son of Man in the Book of the Apocalypse announces so sternly to the Laodiceans “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” The indifference of which He speaks is the lack of principles. Myself, I have more respect for a self-consistent atheist who hates my Church and all her works because he hates on principle a thing he rejects as evil, than I have for a bland modern nihilist agnostic who rejects the notion that anything is evil, and merely mouths a mealymouthed approval for all things spiritual. Burning hate can become blazing love when conversion strikes: bland nothingness can be made into nothing.

Likewise I have respect for integrity even for causes of which I do not approve, because an enemy faithful to his flag is something to admire, even in a foe.

How much more respect do I have for a foe who in this case is an ally against anyone, Left or Right, who defaces the Constitution, or would substitute a Cult of Leader-worship for a Rule of Law!

The Leftist is this case is Glenn Greenwald, whose ire I applaud first because as an America is he is right to be wroth with the insolently unconstitutional evils being perpetrated, and second as a Leftist he is right to be wroth with his party for the betrayal of their high-sounding principles.

A core plank in the Democratic critique of the Bush/Cheney civil liberties assault was the notion that the President could do whatever he wants, in secret and with no checks, to anyone he accuses without trial of being a Terrorist – even including eavesdropping on their communications or detaining them without due process. But President Obama has not only done the same thing, but has gone much farther than mere eavesdropping or detention: he has asserted the power even to kill citizens without due process. As Bush’s own CIA and NSA chief Michael Hayden said this week about the Awlaki assassination: “We needed a court order to eavesdrop on him but we didn’t need a court order to kill him. Isn’t that something?” That is indeed “something,” as is the fact that Bush’s mere due-process-free eavesdropping on and detention of American citizens caused such liberal outrage, while Obama’s due-process-free execution of them has not. Beyond that, Obama has used drones to kill Muslim children and innocent adults by the hundreds. He has refused to disclose his legal arguments for why he can do this or to justify the attacks in any way. He has even had rescuers and funeral mourners deliberately targeted. As Hayden said: ”Right now, there isn’t a government on the planet that agrees with our legal rationale for these operations, except for Afghanistan and maybe Israel.” But that is all perfectly fine with most American liberals now that their Party’s Leader is doing it

Here is Mr Greenwald’s article: http://www.salon.com/2012/02/08/repulsive_progressive_hypocrisy/

hat tip to Mark Shea: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2012/05/stop-the-hhs-mandate.html

Myself, I have always been a warhawk, if not a Crusader, but for the love of Christ, let us not lose our souls during this holy Crusade, nor stoop to barbaric means, nor even unlawful. We fight with the Omnipotent on our side against barbarian darkness who embrace the naked evil called Jihad. Do you think gentle Jesus smiles on those who send a retarded child equipped with an explosive vest into a crowd of women and children? What need have we for panicked and extraordinary measures? Our lawful weapons will suffice.The war is spiritual, not physical, psychological, not conventional. We have means enough, if we but avail ourselves.

If even so extreme a war-zealot as I am disgusted by the excesses of both administrations, Bush and Obama, in the prosecution of this war, something surely must be wrong.


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