Monday, October 12, 2009
Personal Asides: The Parsing Parson The Ignoble Peace Prize.
The Parsing Parson.
A fairly prominent Catholic prelate has written a book that inveighs against the shortcomings of both liberal and conservative Catholicism thus sparing himself from siding with either: blurring, as ever, the need to take positions on either side which may make him unpopularbasking in the glow of faux intellectuality, allowing him to hedge on tough issues indefinitely in order to avoid controversy. He could be called the Parsing Parson, parson in the pre-Reformist church referring to a priest independent of definitive classification.
He brings up the subject of priests who have strayed into pedophilia. Its a wonder he dares do so because his flaccidity in seminary oversight has been responsible for many derelictions: particularly of one whose homosexual tendencies were well known to the seminary leadership but who was ordained anyhow the seminary rector later promoted to auxiliary bishop and later head of a large diocese that he would ordain the offender againthe offender having been apprehended by the police after being cued to his objectionable behavior by a nun. Result: he is doing hard time in a penitentiary.
The prelate wasnt bothered particularly by such dereliction by the rector and allowed that he would willingly serve in a much higher position with the ex-rector as number two, allowing the ex-rector to ultimately become head of the Catholic bishops. Ah, always avoid the hard choices and when questioned parse your way out of it.
Example of the Parsing Parsons thinking. Some years ago he addressed a prominent civic club whose audience was filled with liberal, pro-abortion Catholic Democrats, most of whom were in denial about their support of abortion while continuing to traipse to the altar to receive the Eucharist. The Parsing Parson began his talk by saying that it occurred to him that the Democratic party had lost its soul. There was a distinct intake of breath in the group: stunned that he would deliver a rebuke that inwardly it knew was greatly deserved. But then he added that it could be argued that the Republican party never had a soul. Ah, that was a comfort and the pro-abort Dems laughed with relief.
I am first to testify that the Republicans have exhibited major flawsbut being born soul-less is not one of them.
When questioned about how he could justify the statement that a party formed to oppose slavery was born without a soul, the Parsing Parson explained it thusly: You didnt hear what I said. I said it could be argued that the Republican party never had a soul! The Parsing Parson had used sentence structure to avoid being accused of having made a judgment on moral principle that might offend the Democratsbending skillfully to berate the Republicans albeit unjustly to salve things over with the Democratsparsing back again to assuage the Republicans that he had not, after all, insulted them but had used hair-splitting language.
The Parsing Parson. Isnt that a wondrous way to grease ones way through the shoals of controversy in a Church whose Founder testified Do not think I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword [Matt. 10:34-36].
After the hair-splitting linguistics involving the phrase it could be argued that were dismissed, the prelate was asked to explain how the two political parties one with all major principals supporting abortion (the Democrats) and the other, with many other faults but whose platforms (if not all its participants) eschewed abortion could be viewed as equivalent in his mind given that the salient moral issue of our time, abortion, has found strident acceptance in the Democratic party and official disapproval in the Republican. How did he defend the equivalence? Guess! No, youll never imagine.
He cited the case of James G. Blaine. And what, in the name of God you ask, did the late U. S. Senator James G. Blaine, Republican of Maine [1830-1893] do that is the equivalent of let us say the party of abortion Blaine whose mother was a Catholic and whose sister was a nun? It had to do, of course, with the proposed Blaine amendment to the U. S. Constitution which never passed but which was adopted in the 19th century by all states but eleven (Illinois being one of the states that adopted it).
In the era before the Civil War, anti-Catholicism led Blaine, a Protestant, to propose the amendment in 1874 which said No money raised by taxation in any state for the support of public schools or derived form any public source nor any public lands devoted thereto, shall ever be under the control of any religious sect, nor shall any money so raised or land so devoted by divided between religious sects or denominations. As author of the amendment (which never passed into the U.S. Constitution), Blaine was regardedand properly soas anti-Catholic. But as we know, the amendments have been overridden in the states by the legal rationalization that federal aid goes to students rather than institutions, justifying it in that way.
Now it so happens that while I disagree heatedly with Blaines anti-Catholicism, I as a former adjunct professor at DePaul and Loyola of Chicago have looked around and have seen the steady disembowelment of Catholic education under the ruse made into a mantra that after all universities that receive federal funds dare not teach much if any Catholicism ere the taxpayers largesse shall be challenged. In short, Blaine was doing the Church and all other religions a great service by seeking to keep federal hands and blinders off their curricula. Understand, a legion of Catholic schools which have shirked their mandate used tax support as a reason when it isnt (wanton secularism and relativism is the real reason) but how much better religious education would behow much more authentic it would beif Blaine had got his amendment through.
But again: to link James G. Blaine, the Plumed Knight of Maine and his failed amendment to the crusading vigor of the pro-abortionists of the Democratic party (and some sectors of the Republican, sadly) as equivalent? What does that specious reasoning which dare not show its face without incurring laughter and ridicule what does that reasoning tell us?
It tells us that the Parsing Parson has been truly desperate in his career to avoid taking positionsand if cornered so he has to take them, quickly issues amendatory statements to blur the old ones: the Parsing Parson.
So thats why Im not buying his book not because I fear reading what he has to say but because I know what he has saidand what he to quote a phrase from the liturgy has failed to do.
The Ignoble Prize.
Most of what I had planned to say over last weekend has been said far better than I canbut I would make these points which I dont think have been satisfactorily stressed to-date.
--The award to President Obama was made by the Euro-trash for one reason and one reason only: in expectation of favors to be conferred to the Left. Knowing Obamas already robust narcissism and hunger for world praise, particularly from the Left, it will be indubitably harder for him to defend the interests of this country if, that is, our interests ever occurred to him. That is what the Prize given to Obama and entered in his name 10 days after his inauguration is all about.
--The Prize has been a demonstrable fraud for many years rescued only by awardees such as Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Theodore Roosevelt got the Prize in 1906 for mediating the Russo-Japanese war but Roosevelt was one of the most bellicose presidents of the U. S., rephrasing the sound Monroe Doctrine to argue for our right to intervene preemptively anywhere in Latin America where we determine our interest is required. That is the essence of the Big Stick. Norway gave the Prize to him to ingratiate the country with TR for political reasons.
--Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam split the Prize in 1973. Le Duc Tho in all graciousness turned down his half of the Prize because he said he wanted to continue making war on South Vietnamwhich indeed he did, joining with Gen. Vo Nguyuen Giap to kill many thousands. Kissinger took his half and deposited it in the bank. Afterward he directed a new series of air-raids on Hanoi and Haip;hong constituting the most intense bombing in world history. In 11 days 100,000 bombs were dropped on the two cities with the combined destructive power of five times the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
--And of course the Euro-trash has been consistent in recent years in defaming George W. Bush by giving the Prize as a token to his enemies: Jimmy Carter Al Gore Mohamed ElBarsei the director of the IAEA who has argued that since Israel has the bomb it should be awarded also to Muslim countries.