Apr 11, 2009

Sacrifice, the “Common Good”, and Greater Evils

“My Father! If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done" (Mt. 26: 38-39).

Sacrifice. It is core to the extraordinary teaching of Christ. We are compelled to sacrifice by God’s commandment, love thy neighbor as they self, and the revolutionary insight that it is in giving that we receive.

No where in this transaction is there a role for the State.

The salvific quality of sacrifice – great or small – is in the individual creature surrendering his will to the will of the Creator by free choice. To be compelled to give by force of law is no sacrifice at all.

Herein lies the bitter heresy of the so called Christian Social Justice movement that provides “moral authority” to the rape of human liberty currently being arranged in the halls of government throughout the free world. No thinking free man would willingly sacrifice his hard earned wealth to the corrupt cesspits of waste and ruin that comprise the majority of today’s social justice industrial complex. But force him to fund them through taxation and declare that doing so is necessary in order to ensure justice, eradicate poverty, and save the planet, and what choice does he have?

This is extortion not sacrifice, for the element of choice – Liberty – is wholly absent from it. Entities which identify this process as “sacrifice” reveal the perverted state of their minds and souls. They make virtues of envy and materialism and condemn the exercise of liberty as sin. This they do, they say, in the name of the “common good.” But they are blind to the far greater evil they unloose in supplanting human liberty in the name of “righteousness.”

This is the great sin of our time, for those championing it, know of what they do. It could scarcely be made more plain than in the words of Pope Benedict the XVI in his first Papal Encyclical “Deus Caritas Est” of 2006.

“There is no ordering of the State so just that it can eliminate the need for a service of love. Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man as such. There will always be suffering which cries out for consolation and help. There will always be loneliness. There will always be situations of material need where help in the form of concrete love of neighbour is indispensable. The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern.

We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need.

The Church is one of those living forces: she is alive with the love enkindled by the Spirit of Christ. This love does not simply offer people material help, but refreshment and care for their souls, something which often is even more necessary than material support.

In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live “by bread alone” (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3)—a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human.”

This Easter we pray that the Logos – the Word made Flesh, the Communion of Faith and Reason - be raised again in the hearts and minds of men, shedding the light of true freedom, and stirring them, as before, to fight all that would threaten their God given gift of Liberty.




Joanne said...

Charlie, Happy Easter Sunday. Christ died to wash away our sins and now sits on the right hand side of God. Thank goodness Jesus is our judge, because by the sounds of it, the socialists would rather Christians be strung up and left to the vultures for Easter dinner.

Saint Peter said...

Hey Joanne
The right doesn't have an exclusive on Christianity.

Churchill's Parrot said...

My Dear Saint Peter,

Thank you so much for visiting our blog. Quite an honor. Please do stop by any time.

We would submit, however, that no matter how well intentioned, Socialism is the antithesis of Christianity, for it transfers to the State the authority which God intended for the individual: the right to choose.

This was not, until recently, a Right vs. Left matter. It was, until recently, regarded as among the truths all men hold self-evident, i.e. Liberty.



Anonymous said...

Christ would be considered a socialist.

Joanne said...

Saint Peter - are you saying that the left are all socialists then? Are you stating that socialists are Christians too? Socialists may state they are Christians, but God will know them by your works.

If you are stating people from the left are Christians too, then I would imagine, you are speaking about those who are pro-life and not pro-death.

Anonymous - Christ would be considered a Theocrat in human terms. Socialists in their lowest form tend to slaughter Christians for being Christians, whilst Christ's wrath will come against those who do evil. When Christ returns and becomes our King on Earth, we will obey him because we love him, not because we fear for our lives.

Saint Peter aka Anonymous said...

Dearest Joanne,

Unfortunately socialism has been hijacked by many an awful regime. But true socialism is not so different than true christianity - another example of something that has been hijacked by extremists through the ages ummm ummm. While I agree with the bird that Democracy is the finest form of government in history. The Capitalism part is troubling when you think of all the abuse that it has laid upon the human race through history - mostly in the name of greed. Certainly not christ-like. But much good has come from it too.

As far as your pro-life argument. Most on the left want nothing to do with abortion unless god forbid the life of the mother is jeopardy or something as unfortunate as rape or incest. These are hard real life decisions. And that's why we condone the more reality based prevention method of birth control. It is not religion based ideas but common sense ideas.

But you are so righteous I doubt you ever see things as being nuanced or subtle. And it's that kind of thinking that will destroy our nation in the end. Quit thinking of liberals as the enemy. We are citizens, just as you... Proud Americans with differing opinions, even amongst ourselves. We are your fellow countrymen and women.


Joanne said...

"But you are so righteous I doubt you ever see things as being nuanced or subtle."

Actually, I think you mean 'self-righteous' in your 'subtle' citicism of me.

No, I do not think people are Christians if they condone the killing of the unborn - whether because of rape or incest. I do not condone killing the unborn, even if the mother's life is in peril, if the child's life would be viable outside the womb. I think this is a tough decision the mother should make for herself, because she would be the one to have to live with it. Sometimes you just have to hand the reigns over to Jesus and let him make the hard decisions.

Jesus is not lukewarm, why should I be.

I, too, am for birth control to prevent conception.

I don't think people think of liberals as the enemy, but socialists and marxists certainly will be the demise of America, and it will have nothing to do with how the left or the right think of each other. If you haven't noticed, the left is leaning far further left of the center than ever before in America, and just like other nations who have been controlled through socialism, the people in America will reject it too.

And I am not an American, although, I am certainly related and love America just the same.

Churchill's Parrot said...

My my - we leave to attend a Tea Party or two and look what happens!

Where to begin?

1. "Christ would be considered a socialist." Interesting. We missed the references in scripture where Jesus of Nazareth was railing against the Roman government for its failure to provide for the needs of the underpriveleged; where he demanded that those who would follow him must give their money to the government so that it might redistribute their wealth to those in need; where he told individuals that their own fate was not in their own hands nor their own responsibility but instead that any misfortune or discomfort they were experiencing was the result of an unjust arrangement of social institutions which could only be remedied by decree of the State.

Seems to us Jesus of Nazareth was speaking to the individual human heart and the individual human soul, imploring it to repent and choose to follow him, not under penalty of civil law, but penalty of God's law. "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's. Give to God what is God's." Profoundly different dynamic there you might have noticed.

2. We must concur with Joanne that it would seem, Saint Peter,you find "Socialist" and the Non-Right to be synonymous. Curious. And given recent events, we are inclined to agree with you. Perhaps even more curious is that you take it upon yourself to DEFEND socialism. Even socialists deny they are socialist owing to the ideologies disastrous and blood-soaked past. Socialism is - at best - an affront to human liberty and a sure means to economic stagnation for all (yes even the poor) and - at worst - a gateway to totalitarianism.

3. "Captialism - all the abuse that it has laid upon the human race through history - mostly in the name of greed." No single system of economics has produced any where near as much prosperity and peace among the majority of the human race as Capitalism. In fact the Global Gross Domestic Product of the past 30 years (the Reagan Revolution) was more than the GDP of the entirety of human history preceding it. Please name for us the great socialist leaders who have done well by their citizens? Castro, Chavez, Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin ...?

4. "Unfortunately socialism has been hijacked by many an awful regime." We shall counter with the oft quoted quip: "The problem with capitalism is capitalists; the problem with socialism is socialism." In other words - socialism itself is a terminally flawed system as are any and all collectivist idealogies for they ignore and disrespect human nature and human individuality. No one has hijacked socialism. They have merely implemented it and wrought the poisonous fruit it promises.

5. To suggest that most on the left want nothing to do with abortion is out and out fantasy. You are overplaying your hand here.

6. "Quit thinking of liberals as the enemy." Liberals are not the enemy, where and when they are truly Liberal. To the extent they are Socialist (which it seems we are all in agreement is pretty much all the time these days) they are the enemy of any society premised upon individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise as is - we feel the need to remind you - your United States.



Anonymous said...

Ah bird brain to the rescue.

In response to your points.

1) Well I'm sure Christ never rallied on behalf of capitalism. I"m quite sure that he opposed it. "It is easier for a camel to enter through the eye of the needle than a rich man to enter the gates of heaven." You're right JC was all about the rich getting richer. Hah!

2. Socialism will never work. I agee. Nor would I want it too. But there are some ideas in Socialism that are not all bad. Just as there are some ideas in Buddhism that are not bad either.

3. "Capitalism has caused much grief throughout the world. Oppressed workers, Slavery, War. Prostitution can be lucrative too but that doesn't make it chrislike for chrissake!

4. See # 2

5. Hello. Are you insinuating that the left wants to kill babies? Really? So we are baby murderers?

6. It is that thinking that will cause our country to cave in on itself. Turn off your radio and hang out with some of us lefties and you will see that we do believe in individual liberty, a government that lifts it's citizens up so that they too can enjoy free enterprise to boot!

Churchill's Parrot said...

My Dear Anonymous,

Foolishly - we feel compelled to respond to your last comments as they demonstrate the very flawed thinking our original post sought to address.

1. The camel quote - used by simpletons to justify socialist policies in the name of Christianity since their have been simpletons seeking to justify socialist policies in the name of Christianity. Tell us, is that rich man any more likely to pass through the gates of heaven because he gave of his wealth merely because he was forced to under penalty of law? Christ demanded charity as an act the INDIVIDUAL WILL, not as government edict. For the later is not charity at all and thus of no salvational value to anyone, least of all rich men and camels.

2. "There are some ideas in Socialism that are not all bad." Yes - they are called free market policies, peppered throughout many of the socialist economies of the Western world in order to keep them from becoming full blown members of the Third World.

3. Oppressed workers, slavery, war, prostitution ...these evils exist throughout the world, mostly in totalitarian/collectivist states. If the world's primary Capitalist states are the cause of them, then why do the world's poor (and everyone else) continue to flock to them by the millions?

4. Abortion. Ah but the Left tells us they are not babies, they are merely embryos and fetuses - clumps of cells no more human than a tumor and in need of removal at the whim of its host. Afterall, its a woman's right to choose is it not? How you can feign indignance at our pointing out the infanticidal policies of the Leftists is really most laughable. And disingenuous.

5. What will cause America to cave in on itself is America forgetting the principles it was founded upon. The government's job is NOT to "lift up its citizens", but to protect national borders and institutions so that the citizens can lift THEMSELVES as much or as little as they choose by the power of their own imagination and work ethic. Giving people wealth is not free enterprise. Protecting people from failure is not Liberty.

Lastly, for your information, we have little access to radio and are up to our teeth in Lefties who spout the very adolescent feel-good bilge as do you, thus our urgency in addressing it. For the more this poison is peddled as "Christian" or "compassion" the more easily it is sold to the under-educated, the unwitting, and the apathetic who, it would seem, comprise the better part of the American electorate at present.



Anonymous said...

It seems to me that every effort by me, anonymous, to present the world as as gradation of ideas rather than black and white have been thwarted by you and a few of your loyal followers. I'm sure Mr. Churchill would be proud of his loudmouthed bird. I have been gracious and understanding and even complimentary. What's the point of a discussion if it's your way or the highway. If you think it is okay for yourself and Joanne to dictate who and what defines a good Christia then best of luck to you at the pearly gates; if such a place exists.

I will not waste my time here any longer here. Best of luck. Enjoy the discourse with yourself.

Joanne said...

"I'm sure Mr. Churchill would be proud of his loudmouthed bird. I have been gracious and understanding and even complimentary." by Anonymous

Tell me if I am wrong, but isn't calling a person a loudmouthed bird, rather ungracious and nary a bit complimentary.

It's always a pleasure to read your retorts, Churchill's Parrot....you are truly brilliant - now that is a compliment.....just so Anonymous knows the difference.

Churchill's Parrot said...

My Dear Joanne,

Thank you. We very much appreciate your kind words.

My Dear Anonymous,

Disagreement, even arguement, are the very essence of political discourse. That we do not see eye to eye is hardly cause to cease the attempt. Indeed it is often the only means by which understanding is wrought.

Thus on this blog we make every attempt to keep our Comment arena free of the vulgar pissing-matches into which so many others devolve. We consider our conversation above a valuable exposition of the two sides typical of this debate, and not a pissing-match. We regret that it appears you do.