Benedict—I mean John Paul—I mean John Lennon—calls for a world without barriers and prejudices

More and more, it seems as if Pope Benedict XVI’s true vocation is as the follower of his distracted, utopian predecessor. Via Turnabout, we learn from a liberal blog that the pope in his homily in St. Peter’s Square on December 24 said that Christians should strive to “overcome preconceived ideas and prejudices, tear down barriers and eliminate contrasts that divide—or worse—set individuals and peoples against each other, so as to build together a world of justice and peace.”

The liberal blogger immediately leapt on the pope for saying this. Hey, if you believe in getting rid of prejudice, the blogger ventured, why are you so set against giving legal status to homosexual relationships? Another alert liberal blogger pointed out the irony that just two days before his December 24th remarks, the pope had reiterated his opposition to the recognition of same-sex unions. Such recognition, the pope argued, “tacitly accredits those ruinous theories that strip all relevance from the masculinity and femininity of the human being as though it were a purely biological issue.”

The blogger commented: “A ‘world of justice and peace’ for all, except for those ruinous gheys, it seems.”

The two liberal bloggers have a point. If the vocation of Christians is to “overcome preconceived ideas and prejudices,” shouldn’t we get rid of the preconceived idea that marriage should be limited to one man and one woman? If our moral duty is to “tear down barriers and eliminate contrasts that divide,” shouldn’t we put aside the divisive notion that the distinctions of male and female are of any importance? Isn’t it more important that we’re all humans, children of a single father?

Also, if we are to “tear down barriers and eliminate contrasts that divide—or worse—set individuals and peoples against each other,” shouldn’t we eliminate all national borders, all distinct national identities, and all sovereign national governments, since they are the source of wars and meanness, and divide up humankind into different groups that exclude each other? Shouldn’t we get rid of different religions? What divides people and puts them at odds with each other more than religion? In fact, shouldn’t we go the whole hog and

Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Having embraced the radical liberal principles of non-discrimination, inclusion, and global oneness, the pope is left looking like a hypocrite in the eyes of the left for still holding onto to some aspects of Catholic doctrine and not embracing the total leftist vision. Meanwhile, as viewed from the right, the pope’s stand for traditional Christian teachings is reduced to the status of a mere unprincipled exception to his liberal principles. And we know what happens to unprincipled exceptions to liberalism—they always get run over by principled liberalism. The key traditionalist insight is that in a world in which liberalism is the universal default position, liberalism can only be consistently and successfully resisted by one who consciously adheres to non-liberal principles. Some had dreamed that Joseph Ratzinger was that man.

One’s disappointment in a pope whose election had seemed so promising, and from whom so much had been expected, can scarcely be overstated. Yet none of this is a surprise any more. The die was cast when he did his Larry Summers routine last autumn, and kept doing it, and kept doing it. Once a man folds the way Benedict did, what can be left of him?

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Ben writes:

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)

In other words, if your going to go against homosexuality (as Benedict did) and people are screaming at you that you are dividing and not helping to bring peace on Earth, you as a Church leader should read this verse to their face and say that Jesus did not come to bring peace on Earth but the truth (sword).

LA replies:

This reminds me of a good article Joseph Sobran wrote before he became toxically anti-Israel, in which he showed all the ways in which Jesus was not a liberal.

Tom S. writes:

Your comments on Sobran reminded me how much the conservative movement lost when Sobran went over the edge. He was once a fine writer and thinker, and had he not gone off the deep end, he probably would be editor of National Review today, and might have saved that magazine from its current juvenile irrelevance. But he’s now a lost cause. I recently checked out some of his writing, and, apart from the almost insane anti-semitism, the quality is very low. Sobran has sacrificed everything political he once believed in on the altar of Jew-hatred, and he is hardly recognizable as the same writer who penned the philosophically sophisticated Pensees back in 1985. Just as John Derbyshire has allowed radical Darwinism to poison his writing, turning him into a sort of minor-league Richard Dawkins, Sobran has allowed his anti-Semitism to turn him into a Father Coughlin without the radio show. Alienated from his country, alienated from its history, alienated from the political movement that he helped to create, the man who coined the memorable term “Alienism” has ironically become an object lesson in alienation. It goes to show how resentment and monomania can warp a once fine intellect.

LA replies:

Indeed, the Sobran of today no longer even has the belief in boundaries and judgmentalism that the former Sobran brought out so effectively in his article on how Jesus was not a liberal. The anarchist libertarian Sobran of today thinks that all sovereign power to defend boundaries and enforce judgments is evil. He thinks the U.S. Constitution—the original Constitution, that is—is criminal. And he doesn’t want us to do anything to restrict immigration. Like a deeply alienated leftist, he direct his own judgmentalism solely against those—particularly the Israelis—who exercise power in legitimate ways to preserve their society from enemies.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 27, 2006 01:42 AM | Send

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