RORATE CÆLI: Fr. Rutler: In this presidential election, we cannot be indifferent – one side is flawed, but the other is EVIL

 

October 30, 2016

by Fr. George W. Rutler

On the Election
Exactly eight years ago I wrote a column titled “The One We Were Waiting For” in which I referred to a book by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, The Lord of the World. That dystopian novel has been cited by Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis said he has read it several times. The protagonist, if one can apply that term to an Anti-Christ, imposed a new world religion with Man himself as god. His one foe was Christianity, which he thwarted in part by using “compromised Catholics and compliant priests to persuade timid Catholics.
Since then, that program has been realized in our time, to an extent beyond the warnings of the most dire pessimists. Our federal government has intimidated religious orders and churches, challenging religious freedom. The institution of the family has been re-defined, and sexual identity has been Gnosticized to the point of mocking biology. Assisted suicide is spreading, abortions since 1973 have reached a total equal to the population of Italy, and sexually transmitted diseases are at a record high. Objective journalism has died, justice has been corrupted, racial bitterness ruins cities, entertainment is degraded, knowledge of the liberal arts spirals downwards, and authentically Catholic universities have all but vanished. A weak and confused foreign policy has encouraged aggressor nations and terrorism, while metastasized immigration is destroying remnant western cultures, and genocide is slaughtering Christian populations. The cynical promise of economic prosperity is mocked by the lowest rate of labor participation in forty years, an unprecedented number of people on food stamps and welfare assistance, and the largest disparity in wealth in over a century.
In his own grim days, Saint Augustine warned against nostalgia: “The past times that you think were good, are good because they are not yours here and now.” The present time, however, might try even his confidence. Sands blow over the ruins of churches he knew in North Africa where the Cross is virtually forbidden. By a blessed irony, a new church is opened every day in formerly Communist Russia, while churches in our own formerly Christian nation are being closed daily. For those who bought into the seductions of politicians’ false hopes, there is the counsel of Walt Kelly’s character Pogo: “It’s always darkest before it goes pitch black.”
It is incorrect to say that the coming election poses a choice between two evils. For ethical and aesthetic reasons, there may be some bad in certain candidates, but badness consists in doing bad things. Evil is different: it is the deliberate destruction of truth, virtue and holiness.
While one may pragmatically vote for a flawed candidate, one may not vote for anyone who advocates and enables unmitigatedly evil acts, and that includes abortion. “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it’” (Evangelium Vitae, 73).
At one party’s convention, the name of God was excluded from its platform and a woman who boasted of having aborted her child was applauded. It is a grave sin, requiring sacramental confession and penance, to become an accomplice in objective evil by voting for anyone who encourages it, for that imperils the nation and destroys the soul.
It is also the duty of the clergy to make this clear and not to shrink, under the pretense of charity, from explaining the Church’s censures. Wolves in sheep’s clothing are dangerous, but worse are wolves in shepherd’s clothing. While the evils foreseen eight years ago were realized, worse would come if those affronts to human dignity were endorsed again. In the most adverse prospect, God forbid, there might not be another free election, and soon Catholics would arrive at shuttered churches and vacant altars. The illusion of indifference cannot long be perpetuated by lame jokes and synthetic laughter at banquets, for there is handwriting on the wall.

Narcissism and the Dynamics of Evil

Source: Narcissism and the Dynamics of Evil

On Politics

Mere Christianity

C. S. Lewis remarked, in Mere Christianity, I  think, that the greatest evil we can do is to call what is evil good  and what is good evil.  It does not matter whether this calling is  shrouded in the form of relativism, diversity theory, or the will to  power.  The effect is the same.

In  the end, we now call, by various sophisticated names, what is evil  good. We make laws to justify this reversal of good and evil, which, as  such, do not change. We penalize those who hold that the “thou shalt  not’s” are correct.

But  the key point remains: the “enablers” who justify and make evil  possible by their own disordered souls. Repentance remains the only way  to stop this reversal, repentance and, as Benedict says, judgment.

Read the article . . . On Politics.

Politics for All Seasons – Truth and Charity Forum

Sir Thomas MoreNo matter how powerful or how democratic the government might be, if they should declare something to be a right which is not in accord with the truth of man expressed in the natural law, such a right would not be a law but a usurpation of law.

Voting then must be guided by the truth. It is possible that a person would vote for a given imperfect candidate because even though they found some of their ideas about individual laws repugnant they recognize that a vote for such a candidate minimizes the evil that can be done when compared to an even more problematic candidate whose policies are worse.

For instance, this would be the case with a candidate whose policies would allow for abortion in the case of rape or incest versus someone who supports abortion on demand. This would presume that there was no electable candidate who opposed abortion in all cases. Even though both candidates approve abortion, one would save many babies. Their error has no right to exist but it would be a worse evil to elect the other candidate. Evil is tolerated here because of the possibility of a worse evil and the impossibility of completely establishing good.

Without the prior existing nature as the source for both rights and conscience all morals become relative and then only the most powerful determines even the right to life, who lives and who dies. The most powerful would then  play God. It is only when statesman and voters do not forsake their private conscience for the sake of their public duty that any country can be saved from moral chaos.

Full article . . . Politics for All Seasons – Truth and Charity Forum.

God is Love

Love Love Love

God is Love Itself and Christ is sometimes referred to as the Truth, the Light, the Good or the Beautiful. In fact, many people find Christ by looking for one of these traits specifically. Each of these attributes is in reality a reflection of our God as revealed in Christ and they possess a common thread.

Love is simply that which mankind needs to fully become human. It fills him and rescues him from his loneliness and his misery. It gives meaning to an otherwise meaningless life.

As it happens, we humans are attracted to the other attributes as well.

Now Truth is the friend of men because it reveals to our reason the object of our attention without distortion. We would not be able to rely on our use of reason if it were not for our desire to seek Truth. Evil loves confusion, perversions of truth and the masquerading of lies as the Truth. We love Truth because we find, in Truth, Love: a reality that lay hidden among all the lies which abound.

The Light is also a friend of man as it reveals to the eye what is hidden in the darkness. Man has always feared the dark. Even in our modern era a vestige of this fear can be seen in those who become depressed and despondent in low light environments. Evil, it seems, prefers the dark and hides in the shadows. It is much like the pesky cockroach that retreats at the first sign of light. But for man, the Light is another manifestation of Love. It shines light on the things we fear and they retreat: leaving us to rely on light as a loving and truthful guide that supplies us with security and courage.

As with the first two attributes, the Good is a reflection of Love and leaves man feeling secure and happy in its presence; the opposite effect being the anxiety associated with those who exhibit evil or wrongful habits and desires. The Good is pleasing to man while Evil fills us with dread, anxiety and loathing. The Good is how man relates to trust and to Love. Its polar opposite leads man to distrust and to hate. It hides the Good and is a perversion of the Truth.

As with the Good, the Beautiful brings out our feelings of wonder and awe at the majesty and grandeur of this world and the infinite cosmos in which we abide. The starry nights help us cope in the darkness and we find the scenes wrapped in splendor. The perversion of this celestial beauty, as when a tempest has ravaged our landscape or dark clouds black out the sky, is disheartening to our souls and our hearts are disquieted and a bit heavier at its sight. The Beautiful leads us to Love as well. We identify with it, want to imitate it, by adorning ourselves, creating music and art to uplift the spirit. When we create something which is antithetical to beauty it depresses and fills us with anxiety and fills us with doubt. It hides the beauty that lies within.

God is Love, and all of Christ’s attributes lead to this revelation. That which is hidden is revealed in these attributes. God, at first, was hidden from man and we feared Him; and rightfully so. But through Christ, we have come to see God as He really is: we found His Truth, His Light, His Goodness, and His Beauty.  So in this way Love reveals all that was previously hidden; it is no longer hidden from man but manifest in Christ. Christ and His gift of Self to fallen man naturally draws man to Himself through these attributes. Any other response to Christ is a perversion of our God and an affront to His Love for us.