A prayer for our country
of peace, lover and guardian of charity:
We are your people, you formed us and brought us forth as a nation. We have always been the recipients of your divine help and providential guidance, even when our thoughts and deeds were far from you.
In four days, one of the states of this Union is scheduled to embark on an inconceivable abomination—to perform legal “marriages” between persons of the same sex. Nothing like this has ever happened before. Man’s sinful rebellion against you, in all its infinite variety, is always happening, but what is about to happen in Massachusetts makes that rebellion official in its most acute form, it places the imprimatur of the state upon perversion.
This was the sin that destroyed Sodom. Sodom was not destroyed because of the sin of a few individuals, or the sin of many individuals. It was destroyed because the people of Sodom, as an organized community, embraced that sin. And what we are doing is even worse, because we are equating and joining that sin with the sacrament of marriage, the basis of all human society. This is the desolating sacrilege spoken of by Jesus.
Father, we pray that you save our country from this wickedness and the utter ruin that must come from it; that you direct the minds and hearts of our leaders, and especially the leaders and the people of Massachusetts, to recognize the abyss into which they are about to hurl themselves and our whole society, and to draw back from the brink.
But if it is not your purpose to spare our country from this disgrace, if it is your purpose to allow the people of this country to continue exploring their imagined freedom from you, even to its utter limits, then we ask you, Father, to protect us from the effects of this rebellion. Help us know that you are always with us, so that we may abide in you, and you in us, and that we may ever walk in your ways, despite the evil and lies that reign in the city of man.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 13, 2004 11:24 AM | Send
And all is not lost yet in the city of man. Concerned Women for America reports that there is still a viable effort underway to stop the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court from changing the Massachusetts constitution.
It was my understanding that the City of Sodom was destroyed for the sin of not treating visitors in a hospitable fashion, and not some particular sexual practice.
The poster should read Genesis Chapters 18 and 19 for himself and see if that remains his understanding. The interpretation he references is the absurdly tendentious reading put out by certain homosexual rights advocates who naturally want to erase the most famous and powerful condemnation of homosexuality in world literature. Their reading is on the level of saying that Adam and Eve were ejected from the Garden of Eden for, say, rude behavior instead of for disobeying God’s most solemn command.
“Some postbiblical Jewish and early Christian writers specifically define the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah as same-sex relations rather than rape or inhospitality.” From the Oxford Companion to the Bible.
I am not debating that homosexuality is considered to be a sin. I am not sure that the Sodom & Gomorrah stories is the best authority for the proposition.
What an age in which to live, in which bad hospitality leads to fire and brimstone raining down from heaven and destroying an entire city or two.
By the way, Lot could only be in one city or the other. Both cities could be guilty of rampant and condoned homosexuality, but how would both of them be guilty of the treatment of visitors to Lot’s house? Lot lived in Sodom. Why was Gomorrah also destroyed?
The interpretation of the Genesis account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and surrounding villages holding that the cities were destroyed on account their inhospitality rather than their gross sin in general and their approval of or engagement in homosexual acts in particular is not only a tendentious reading of Genesis but is also contradicted by other Biblical texts.
“Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” Jude 7
“[I]f he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.” II Peter 2:6-10
Totally in agreement with Joshua.None can evade the ultimate judgment. If God Himself delares such acts as demonstrated in the two cities as an abomination, then surely the conditions which presently permeate our society will likewise come under condemnation.
I can’t help but wonder if post-Christian countries like the Netherlands, who already recognize homosexual “marriages”, will be brought under judgement through the millions of Muslims they are letting in.
The two phenomena are really one phenomenon: “We Westerners are nothing, we do not constitute a larger national or spiritual entity. In fact, all such larger entities are oppressive and must be done away with. We are only a collection of impulses that must be liberated and succored. Further, since all human impulses must be liberated and succored, the desire of other peoples to come here must also be satisfied. But meanwhile let’s ignore the fact that the very people we’re letting in to our society do not regard _themselves_ as a collection of impulses, but as a collective entity seeking world domination. We ignore these oppressive realities in _their_ case because their collective existence and will to power are not oppressive, but only a symptom of our oppression of them, for which we atone by letting them take over our society and subject us to their will. The moment when our total liberation has led us to be destroyed by them is the ultimate consummation for which we long.”
In his last post, Mr. Auster has given us an amazing - and frightening - view into the mind of the liberal-leftists. What’s even more astonishing to me is that Seraphim Rose, who died in the late 60s or early 70s, saw it all in that short analysis of liberalism and its inevitable degeneration into suicidal nihilism penned not long before his departure.
These western liberals, our own flesh and blood in a sense, have truly morphed into something monstrous though their utter rebellion against the Creator and His ordered world. Ironically, they have become the very thing they are fighting to destroy.
Correspondent to LA:
“Excellent! I find myself praying more than I have in a long time. I am afraid of what’s happening to our once great country: same-sex marriage, immigration insanity, Al-Quida, traitors in Congress and in the news media, and so on. And all the while, the Communist Chinese are watching this and patiently waiting. We are in the fight of our lives. Very bad things are coming. God help us.”
LA to correspondent:
“Thanks. You’ve really summed up the main ills that are all hitting us at the same moment. If this is not a time for prayer, then there is no time for prayer.”
I’ve read the Fatal Shore. Frankly, Sobran’s and Clark Coleman’s reactions are a little naive. Much writing on relations between whites and Amerinds is far worse! If you are in masochistic mood, look over the writings of David Stannard and Richard Drinnon.
I want to thank Mr. Coleman for the link to Sobran’s column on Hughes. Fascinating, and to see what it (liberalism) has done to the Empire and specifically, to the British themselves.
I had been thinking about “masculine figures”—or the lack thereof—in Britain, after watching a number of ’50s movies about WWII (“The Colditz Story” and some others) and I always come to the same conclusion—there AREN’T any (in films)! It is so shocking. Many would consider early Sean Connery’s roles in his early films (“The Hill”, etc.) to be “macho”, but when I try to think of English “machismo” in general in films, I cannot think of other actors who have personafied it. They are mostly of the intellectual, upper crust mold, like Alec Guiness, Kenneth More, Jack Hawkins and others. I am wondering if this is not so much the case in Australian films and culture, as their ancestors were criminals of the Crown and most likely from the lower classes in England. It is puzzling to me, however, that much of British society seems to have been “devoid” of macho characters, and if perhaps that has influenced how their Armed Forces performed in conflict as compared to ours. I wonder too how, in comparison, “machismo” has influenced the Australian Armed Forces—and if they are noticeably different that the British Armed Forces.
While I realize that there is a great deal of difference between reality and fiction (most film), I cannot help but wonder whether the lack of strong male figures (like our John Wayne) in British culture may have “doomed” them to being the Socialist and “feminized” society that they are and how that may have had an influence on the vast majority of Brits not wanting to go to war in Iraq with the U.S. Must we blame this all on the 60s drug culture and negative influence of America? Or is this all too far-fetched?
I think that British culture has always placed emphasis on refinement, manners, propriety, etc. In my opinion, this is a good thing, a key part of our Anglo-American heritage, and it is a mistake to view it in a negative light by claiming that Alec Guinness, Laurence Olivier, etc., were not masculine. They often played characters that projected a great inner strength, but it was not achieved through brawling, or Wild West shootouts, or Dirty Harry blasting the bad guys, etc. Partly because England was a settled country, not a frontier country like America or Australia, and partly because of the reserved British temperament.
Hughes is notoriously liberal, even among liberals, here in Australia. Books like The Fatal Shore led to a backlash against left wing historians: they were accused of “black armband history”.
One thing I’d like to pick Mr Sobran up on is his throwaway comment that Australian Aborigines were “wantonly exterminated in the name of progress”.
To give just one corrective piece of information to this claim: in 1837 there were 70 white convicts assigned as workers for the 140 Aborigines on Flinders Island. The white convicts served the Aborigines as bakers, shoemakers, brickmakers, carpenters and so on.
Now it’s true that the Aborigines on Flinders Island did poorly, due to low birth rates and high rates of death from disease. And it’s also true that some European liberals looked at the decline of Aborigines as a tragic but inevitable aspect of progress.
But to talk of “wanton extermination” is to be unjust to the early European settlers in Australia.
Before making a fderal case over a “throwaway comment” by Sobran, one should be advised that he’s also run off with that strange cult of U.S. lawyers and British ham actors who ascribe the entire works of William Shakespeare to some long-forgotten faggot. (Or whatever one calls them in Oz…)
And “early European settlers in Australia”? The only Europeans in the vicinity were van Dieman and Tasman, and they didn’t settle. I thought the settlers were limeys!
Correction: I checked with my exorcist, and that should read “van Diemen”.
On Friday, I posted what I hope will give people strength to persevere.
I don’t think the British are less masculine because of the 1960s. I believe they are less masculine because of WWII. The 1960s didn’t happen on accident. That was brewing in the 1920s with the Hemingway and Fitzgerald crowd. The 1960s would have happened sooner if the Great Depression and the Nazis hadn’t come along to pee in the proverbial punch bowl.
The 1960s was a rejection of the violent nationalism of World War II. World War II completely destroyed England. They were broke. Nada. Zip. All their money was spent trying to keep their island from becoming a Sauerbrauten stand for Hitler and his pals.
The English have accepted their fate. They’re unimportant, and they know it. There is less of a struggle for what they feel they are entitled to. The U.S. got filthy rich after the war, and everyone has struggled to get “theirs” ever since. Of course, we haven’t accepted our fate, and pretend that we are at our Zenith, despite having a polluted culture and a fiscal situation that would embarass a Soviet minister of finance.
My two cents…perhaps not worth that, though. ;)
Mark’s hypothosis that the social trends and thought in the 1920s were signs of social decay that would have led to an explosion of liberal radicalism as happened in the 1960s, but that such a gestation of liberalism was delayed by the Great Depression and the Second World War reminds me of a similar analysis by Robert Bork in his book _Slouching toward Gomorrah_.
Here are two quotes form the book. (I typed this out so it is necessarily brief.)
[On the history and progress of liberalism]
“Men were kept from rootless hedonism, which is the end stage of unconformed individualism, by religion, morality, and law. These are commonly cited. To them I would add the necessity for hard work, usually physical work, and the fear of want. These constraints were progessively underminded by rising affluence. The rage for liberty surfaced violently in the 1960s, but it was ready to break out much earlier and was suppressed only by the accidents of history. It would be possible to make a case that conditons were ripe at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth but that the trend was delayed by the Great War. The breaking down of restrictions resumed in the Roaring Twenties. But that decade was followed by the Great Depression, which produced a culture whose behavior was remarkably moral and law-abiding. The years of World War II created as sense of national unity far different from the cultural fragmentation of today. The generations that lived through those times of hardship and disciple were not susceptible to extreme hedonism, but they raised a generation that was.” - page eight
“What I have called radical individualism, [Stanley] Rothman calls ‘expressive individualism’; ‘In the 1920s, expressive individualism became the ideology of the American intellectual, serving as a debunking tool for disassembling the status quo… Part and parcel of the good life for the intellectual strata thus became the free expression of individual desires and the pursuit of individual passions. The core of this concept is the priority given to free, unfettered expression of impulses, assumed to be good in and of themselves’ I suggest that the attitude described went back well before the Roaring Twenties, probably into the 1890s, and that its explosion in the Sixties was delayed only by two world wars, the Great Depression, and the smaller size of the academic community prior to the Second World War.” -page eighty-eight
Mark’s comment and Joshua’s quote of Bork are provocative. This analysis reverses the more familiar paleoconservative view, which I share, that the two world wars and especially World War II broke down the traditional civilization of the West and led to the ascendancy of modern liberalism. Now we’re to understand that the world wars delayed the triumph of modern liberalism. I don’t know what to think about this.
Yes, Mr. Auster, I’m not entirely sure that it is correct…but, it is an interesting theory that I have been thinking about for some time. The Robert Bork quotes are extremely interesting. (I should probably read that book)
We can’t forget that movie theaters became a widely used form of entertainment in the 1920s and 1930s. Condom production was booming. Prohibition was passed, but that didn’t seem to work. It seems to be like puritanism was on its way out long before WWII.
I certainly am no historian, but I believe that it is true what Mr. Auster, Mark and Joshua all state—that “WW II led to the ascendancy of modern liberalism.”
However, I see that ascendancy more in “psychological” and social terms. By that, I mean that the typical American, Brit, Australian or Canadian or Frenchman who returned from fighting The Superman (Nazis) and Imperialist Japanese wanted to bring up their families in a way that would be different from the way that they were brought up—“liberally”. This, in my opinion, led more than anything else to the Baby Boomer liberals and socialists of the West. What I am proposing is that “sparing the rod” by of those returning WW II vets had more to do with what eventuated in the 60s than any political movement prior to the 20s. It gave the Baby Boomers (of which I am one) SO much freedom and lack of fear in standing up to the aging stalwart WW II vet parents (fathers), that instead of treating that freedom as those in the early 50s did, my generation revolted, rebelled against all authority—took to the streets, fought the police and National Guard, broke down the social order (the mid-50s were quite peaceful by comparison and “booming” economically), and changed the U.S. and the West for the worse. I’m sure the increasing divorce rates also influenced “liberalism”, because the male figurehead was “out”/gone and those children had to grow up without the paternal influence, be it liberal or conservative. Can one imagine the concept of “gay marriage” in the 50s? Utterly unbelievable.
I have read many times that waging a major war requires a large government, which inevitably leads to more government power. Also, once government is enlarged, is is very difficult to contract. Government programs take on a life of their own and end up performing functions their creators may not have intended.
I believe that the USA was a more liberal country after WWII. I am a baby boomer and I have seen and experienced this in my lifetime.
I was not familiar with Bork’s theory and had more or less subscribed to the Paleo view described by Mr. Auster above. It is a very provocative theory indeed.
The Scopes trial in Tennessee took place in the 1920s, as I recall. In addition, theological liberalism (apostasy) had entered the mainline Protestant seminaries as early as the 1890s. The very term “fundamentalist” comes from the title of a pamphlet (The Fundamentals, ca. 1915) published by conservatives warning against the so-called “higher criticism” of scripture already gaining ground within the ranks of clergy. With much of Protestantism having already rejected the idea of Apostolic tradition, debunking the idea of scriptural inerrancy naturally became the focus of liberal efforts, which persist to this very day (The Jesus Project, etc.) The ACLU was, of course, founded in 1920, about the same time as the Communist Party.
Even a cursory look at the historical situation shows that the seeds of liberalism’s monstrous tree of death were already planted and sprouting by the 1920s, especially among the elites. Bork’s idea that the depression and WW II delayed its fruition until the 60s is certainly worth examining.
As an aside to the very first post regading the effort to somehow stop the gay “marriage” juggernaut, the US Supreme Court has decided not to intervene in Massachetts’ folly. Barring some sort of Divine action of mercy, this abomination will be established legal doctrine by the election in November. Bush and the Republicans will start up the talking points about how there’s nothing much that can be done shortly. George W. Bush is the Emperor Honorius of America.
One who would take exception to Judge Bork’s and the above posters’ view of the morally straightening effect of WWII is the British historian John Costello. His 1985 book “Virtue Under Fire” portrays wartime America and Britain as quite a randy world. He mentions a 1943 survey of WACs that said many more were driven by a desire to “get out of the house” than were inspired by patriotic duty.
Dear fellow posters: please allow me to share with you my personal theory on why liberalism is now totally out of control.
Relationships with people, in my humble opinion, are founded on two concepts: the concept of duty and the concept of negotiation.
When you go to 7-11 for a coffee and a pack of smokes, you are negotiating with the cashier. You are nice to him and you smile at him and you pay him because you want to negotiate that fine columbian bean and that lovely virginia tobacco out of him. He is not a family member. He is not a friend.
A relationship based on duty can only come from God, Family, or the State. For example, when a good American who was born in 1947 in say Lubbock, Texas, decides to volunteer for Vietnam, his relationship with the Army is a duty relationship. He acts out of duty to God (maybe), family (probably), and the State (very likely.) He wasn’t in it for the college money, or for the great Army food.
When our mother falls ill, we take care of her out of duty to love and family, not because we are trying to negotiate something out of her.
What in God’s name does this have to do with the progression of liberalism you ask? Well, look around you at where people live. We don’t live near our families. We don’t serve in the military like we used to. And, I’m sorry to say (Attention all you optimists at NR and Weekly Std) most people don’t have a close relationship with their church. We have abandoned the notion of duty.
Now, let’s take this framework at look around us. The Army today? “Son, if you join the infantry, we’ll give you $30,000. You can go to college free. The food is great. We have girls here now. It’s an Army of One. This is about you.” Not much mention of God, Core, and Country, etc.
Divorce rates you ask? Well, of course they’re skyrocketing. Look at how women these days look at marriage. Gimme, gimme, gimme. No duty to Church. No duty to family. No duty to procreate. They want a $50,000 wedding, 1.2 kids (if that), and a nice house in the burbs. If they don’t get this, the man has failed in his part of the negotiation. That’s how she sees it. What did she offer? Herself, of course. She traded the knight on the white horse for her husband. She paid big (in her mind). Now he should pay big. Or else…
As a side note, this is a reason why Conservatives need to stop alligning themselves with free-market libertarians so much. Liberalism is about negotiation. Conservatism is about duty. In my humble opinion. Perhaps I’m wrong…but I’d love to know what my fellow posters think. Thanks.
Actually, Mark, your last comment is very similar to some points made by Jim Kalb about the marriage of capitalism with liberalism. In an earlier era, a majority of the corporate elite understood such transcendent concepts as duty and morality - which is ultimately the source of duty (to God, family, country). Divorced of such illiberal foundations, capitalism degenerates into pure materialism and ultimately ends up serving liberalism. Today’s corporate elite have no such concept of duty. CEOs like Bernard Schwartz of Loral would sell Al-Qaeda a suitcase nuke and give Kerry a campaign contribution with some of the money if they thought they could profit from it in some way.
Once traditional, transcendent values are rejected, all social contracts (like marriage and family) are reduced to mere commercial transactions.
The Sobran review to which Mr. Coleman links contains a great quote from that San Francisco-born quintessential New Englander Robert Frost:
A liberal is one who won’t take his own side in a fight.
As for the effects of the wars, I will just throw out the idea that a lot of conservatives have said that World War I was the turning point, at which European society lost its confidence in itself, because it perceived that the old aristocracy and the old ways had brought on a terribly senseless and destructive war. This opened the door for radical change and a lack of respect for the old core of the society. World War II was a continuation.
“A liberal is one who won’t take his own side in a fight.”
Soon after she lost the O.J. Simpson Trial, Marcia Clark was interviewed by Jeffrey Toobin for New Yorker magazine. Here is the relevant passage:
Toobin writes, “Now forty-two years old, she came of age in the years of the civil-rights movement, and she remains a political liberal. It astonishes and appalls her that she finds herself a representative of her race in a black-white confrontation.”
This article is in the October 23, 1995 issue of The New Yorker.
On Thurs. I walked outside of my apartment in Philadelphia only to be screamed at my various blacks who were marching down the street. The had some types of red and green signs…”Freedonia?” with pictures of various radicals…they had megaphones…I could barely understand the message, until I made eye contact with one and he seethed with anger at me. (I was wearing a suit, as I had just returned from work.)
Of course, I soon realized that I didn’t really hate the racist blacks so much as I hated the scattered white hippies who were marching with them.
Carl put it best: “Once traditional, trascendent values are rejected, all social contracts are reduced to mere commercial trasactions.”
Marriages of convenience (for financial gain) happened most notably among our “leaders”. Look at McCain, Gingrich, Kerry and even Ahnold. I think Mark is correct—not many marry for God, family and country anymore. There is a certain
“desperation” with some who figure “I have better marry for money/position NOW or I’ll lose that opportunity later when I’m older”. There certainly is some truth to that as one’s physical looks decline over time. There is also (with McCain and the others) the obvious opportunism of the moment.
To change the subject, the new polls show our leader is down in the dumps—whereas up til now, he was holding off Kerry. With more bad news about prison mistreatment sure to come out of Afghanistan and Gitmo, one can assume Bush will drop even further. Will he start pandering to us on the right? Will he start firing advisors and others in his Inner Circle? I think some on the right might find favorable his firing of Rove and Powell. Short of that, his ship is sinking.
I would be interested to hear other Messengers’ takes on Bush’s apparent fall.
David, I don’t think Bush will pander to us on the right. I can hear Karl Rove and Conda(sleaze)a Rice in his office now having a big laugh over the fact that we’ll all vote for him regardless of his insane positions (immigration, education, energy, iraq).
I think Bush’s fall is temporary, though. Probably just flak from Abu Gharib. (And the fact that gasoline is over $2 per gallon.) I don’t believe that there is a conspiracy behind Iraq… However, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few suitcases full of cash are handed over to the Pakistani’s this summer and miraculously Bin Laden will be taken in custody in October.
The question is, now that Bush is falling, will he pander to us on the right? Not a chance. When a liberal Republican get in trouble, he ALWAYS moves left. Anyone old enough to remember Charles Goodell in the 1970 New York Senate Race?
On May 14, GWB spoke at a Christian College in Wisconsin. The article says Bush will appeal to “women and suburban swing voters this fall.” Bush is bringing back “compassionate conservatism.” He used terms like, “show the good heart.”
His “compassion agenda” includes improving education, fighting poverty, helping faith-based groups compete for global contracts, fighting global AIDS and treating drug addiction. In short, our Conservative Republican President sounds more liberal than Hillary Clinton.
I predict that GWB will even promote amnesty in his campaign speeches. He will keep going left as long as he stays in the White House. Here is the thread from the Washington Post:
I can trump Mark’s story from 3:19. A few years ago a Mumia march was staged through the Bohemian lefty West Bank neighborhood adjacent to the University of Minnesota. (The business school, no less.) Or, I should say, formerly Bohemian neighborhood. The lefties there for generations have been pushed out by Somalis, Ethiopians and Eritreans over the past decade. Call it “Mogadishu-on-the-Mississippi”. These Africans showed zero interest in the march. No doubt it was another manifestation of the nuttiness of white folk.
That’s right— white folk. Except for a single Asian girl, almost certainly an adoptee, all thirty marchers were white.
“Anyone old enough to remember Charles Goodell
?”—David. Hey, Goodell had a valid reason for acting like a Kennedy— he was appointed to replace one! What’s Bush’s excuse?
Here’s Goodell’s fate:
James L. Buckley 38.8%
Richard L. Ottinger 36.8%
Charles E. Goodell 24.3%
(This is eerily close to the Ventura/Coleman/Humphrey split of 1998. 2004 will probably not look like this.)
Goodell, like Javits, Giuliani and John Anderson, managed to wrest the Liberal Party endorsement from the Democrat. At least he was a native. The last four elected ones, Kennedy, Buckley, Moynihan and Rodham-Clinton, were all born out-of-state, making this a true carpetbagger seat.
I have the greatest respect for Robert Bork, but his theory that the Great Depression and the World Wars somehow had a delaying effect on the disintegration of traditional morality and Western self-confidence is extremely hard to swallow. In the case of WWI, the demoralizing effect was palpable and was almost universally perceived in the 1920s and 1930s. The Great Depression certainly had a demoralizing and radicalizing effect; to the extent that it prevented the expression of “radical individualism” because few had the money to implement it this was only a minor and temporary phenomenon. As for WWII: it had a somewhat different effect because it was perceived as necessary then and later, and showed that there was something worse even than the democratic West — which came to many brought up between the wars as a surprise! That however hardly erased the impact of the earlier events and within 20 years or so the muckrakers got to work on WWII too. Although John Costello’s book, cited by Reg Caesar, is a bit exaggerated, it is more realistic than any supposition that the war saw a renascence of traditional morality.
Please avoid comments like “Conda(sleaze)a Rice.” That’s a cheap shot and adds nothing to the discussion.