Category Archives: Politics

Progressive and Conservative

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GK Chesterton pretty much summed up this election cycle Republican and Democratic primaries:

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”

GK Chesterton
The American Chesterton Society

Tragedy, politicians and the media

Men are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern.”

GK Chesterton
The New Name, Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays, 1917

The reaction to the yesterday tragic shooting was as perplexing as it was worrisome. The political class couldn’t wait to exploit the tragic events to advance their political agenda about gun control. Reckless speculation based on a preconceived notion dominated most of the commentary from our political leaders. The fact that real people lost their lives and that real people lost a loved one was relegated to a back seat in favor of the ever-important political ideology.

Is time that as a society we re-learn proper civil discourse. One thing is to have a civil and reason debate about gun control another is to exploit a tragic event without allowing the facts to emerge or get in the way of their political narrative. It is disconcerting that the immediate reaction from some on the left as well, some of the right is to view such events with ideological filters instead from the heart. Frustration and anger are honest and human responses to any tragedy, but when we look at our political leaders we don’t expect knee-jerk reactions full of overt political rhetoric instead we look at them for reassurance and leadership that invokes the best qualities in us.

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The media was not far behind from the political left. The Daily News led the way by declaring in its front page:

“God Isn’t Fixing This. Pray They Wake Up: GOP prez hopefuls offer prayers, not solutions on gun control”.

The headline displays contempt for religious faith by ridiculing the offering of prayers for the victims. It’s as if the headline was saying: go pray to your imaginary man in the sky while we adults look for real solutions for gun control. The problem with this headline is that it not only misdiagnosed the problem, but also that it betrays an utter misunderstanding of Christian faith.

The problem was not lack of gun control, California already has so-called tough gun control laws the problem was Islamic terrorism. Gun control laws will not solve the problem with Islamic terrorism, it will enable it. It didn’t matter that Islamists caused the shooting. What mattered was that it was a “mass shooting” and therefore gun control laws must be enforced.

The selective ridicule of GOP candidates’ faith is astonishing and a condescending shot at people of faith. It ignores that for Christian God is the source of strength, courage and wisdom that is required to deal with such tragedy. That Christianity does not look at prayer as a magic dispensing machine of goods, but rather as an instrument for grace. Christians recognize that out of evil good always emerges. Christ on the Cross exemplifies this belief… to use political candidate’s faith as a slight against religious people is a sign of the sad state of our political discourse.


My prayers and thoughts are for those who lost their lives and their families and friends who they left behind.

The Consequences of China’s One Child Policy

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The announcement of the modification of China’s One Child Policy should come as a surprise to no one but it is a welcome news and first step towards the restoration of the Chinese family.

Article: China Abandons One-Child Policy

According to Chinese officials, China one child policy has averted 400 million births since its implementation in the early 1980’s. It is argued by its defendants that the policy helped millions of Chinese citizens to move out of poverty, allowing the unprecedented growth of Chinese economy, which ironically was fueled precisely by China post revolution population growth.

What proponents of the one child policy do not like to admit are all the unintended consequences of such policy:

1. Woman’s fertility is owned by the state.

The brutality in which the Chinese government enforced the one child policy is well documented. Infanticide, forced late-term abortions, sterilization and economic fines were the blunt instrument that the government used to deprive a woman from her fertility.

Statistics on forced abortions in China:

http://www.allgirlsallowed.org/forced-abortion-statistics

2. Sex Ratio at Birth is perturbed.

It is estimated that in China there are about 38 million more boys than girls under the age of 20. The average global male to female ratio of reproductive age is about 1:1.

The one child policy engendered an open season against female babies, due to cultural preference to having a male baby instead of a female baby. The government introduced many policies to counterbalance such disproportion from criminalizing sex selective abortion to creating incentives to families with one girl to no avail.

Article:  Abnormal sex ratios in human populations: Causes and consequences

3. China is headed to a population implosion.

China has one of the lowest birth rate in the world. This sustained low fertility rate creates a population imbalance that has a severe detrimental effect on the sustainability of the Chinese economy. As the population ages less and less young people are available to replace the working force. The reduction of the working force against a dramatic increase in the aging population will have a severe effect on the Chinese economy.

Article: China lifts one-child policy amid worries over graying population

This is the argument made by Feng Wang, a Senior Fellow of the Brooking-Tsinghua Center in his article: Racing Towards the Precipice published published in China Economic Quarterly

The Chinese government efforts to avoid the un-intended consequences of its one child policy might be too little too late, according to many experts but is far more desirable than other alternative such as forced euthanasia, which will not significantly mitigate the economic consequences of its pending population crash.

The Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton

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GK Chesterton is one of the few authors that can bewilder my imagination to such an extend that after he describes a furious and passionate sunset and says that the sky seem so small to contain it…I would nod and agree with him…

If that didn’t tease you enough here is the opening poem to  his detective novel, The Man Who Was Thursday.

Cheers,

Caleb

The Man Who Was Thursday,  A Nightmare by GK Chesterton

To Edmund Clerihew Bentley

A cloud was on the mind of men, and wailing went the weather, 
Yea, a sick cloud upon the soul when we were boys together. 
Science announced nonentity and art admired decay; 
The world was old and ended: but you and I were gay; 
Round us in antic order their crippled vices came — 
Lust that had lost its laughter, fear that had lost its shame. 
Like the white lock of Whistler, that lit our aimless gloom, 
Men showed their own white feather as proudly as a plume. 
Life was a fly that faded, and death a drone that stung; 
The world was very old indeed when you and I were young. 
They twisted even decent sin to shapes not to be named: 
Men were ashamed of honour; but we were not ashamed. 
Weak if we were and foolish, not thus we failed, not thus; 
When that black Baal blocked the heavens he had no hymns from us 
Children we were — our forts of sand were even as weak as eve, 
High as they went we piled them up to break that bitter sea. 
Fools as we were in motley, all jangling and absurd, 
When all church bells were silent our cap and beds were heard.

Not all unhelped we held the fort, our tiny flags unfurled; 
Some giants laboured in that cloud to lift it from the world. 
I find again the book we found, I feel the hour that flings 
Far out of fish-shaped Paumanok some cry of cleaner things; 
And the Green Carnation withered, as in forest fires that pass, 
Roared in the wind of all the world ten million leaves of grass; 
Or sane and sweet and sudden as a bird sings in the rain — 
Truth out of Tusitala spoke and pleasure out of pain. 
Yea, cool and clear and sudden as a bird sings in the grey, 
Dunedin to Samoa spoke, and darkness unto day. 
But we were young; we lived to see God break their bitter charms. 
God and the good Republic come riding back in arms: 
We have seen the City of Mansoul, even as it rocked, relieved — 
Blessed are they who did not see, but being blind, believed. 

This is a tale of those old fears, even of those emptied hells, 
And none but you shall understand the true thing that it tells — 
Of what colossal gods of shame could cow men and yet crash, 
Of what huge devils hid the stars, yet fell at a pistol flash. 
The doubts that were so plain to chase, so dreadful to withstand — 
Oh, who shall understand but you; yea, who shall understand? 
The doubts that drove us through the night as we two talked amain, 
And day had broken on the streets e’er it broke upon the brain. 
Between us, by the peace of God, such truth can now be told; 
Yea, there is strength in striking root and good in growing old. 
We have found common things at last and marriage and a creed, 
And I may safely write it now, and you may safely read. 

G. K. C.

Relativism and Natural Law

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“What is true for you may not be true for me”.

Is an axiom of today’s culture. It plays as a subliminal call for civility, tolerance and understanding. It is also the hallmark of a confused and decaying society, for civility, tolerance and understanding are meaningless in a worldview that forswears objective truth and embraces relativism.

Relativism is the idea that moral truth has no objective or absolute value. Relativism reduces moral truth to a subjective opinion that is variable and contingent on experiences and perspectives. This equivocation makes relativism an existential threat to any civilization that embraces its abnegation of objective truth because it undermines its moral foundation. The absence of objective moral truth subjugates morality to a consensus of opinion at best and at worst to the rule of the mob. In such framework rights are not indelible or universal. They are subjugated to the disposition of a society and subject to change. Thus, under relativism there is no ethical or moral framework upon which to condemn the slave trade or a legal justification to adjudicate crimes against humanity. For relativism disparage the notion that as rational beings, we can discern what is right, proper and just and condemn what is wrong, improper and unjust.

As Professor Peter Kreeft aptly puts it:

“But in fact it is only the believer in the old-fashioned natural moral law who could be a social radical and a progressive. He alone can say to a Hitler, or a Saddam Hussein, “You and your whole social order are wrong and wicked and deserve to be destroyed.” The relativist could only say, “Different strokes for different folks, and I happen to hate your strokes and prefer mine, that’s all.”

Peter Kreeft
A Refutation of Moral Relativism—Transcription

It was precisely the “old-fashioned natural moral law” that afforded the Dominican Friar Bartolomé de las Casas an intellectual framework upon which to argue against the slave trade of the 16-century and for the universality of human rights. He argued that every human being has an intrinsic and objective dignity and thereby should be universally respected. His arguments were not only based on his Christian faith but also on Natural Law. A fundamental principle in classical philosophy that states that there are objective and universal ethical principles that are inherent in all human beings and that these principles can be known through reason.

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Moreover, the intellectual and judicial arguments against Nazi war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials were firmly grounded on Natural Law:

“When I say that we do not ask for convictions unless we prove crime, I do not mean mere technical or incidental transgression of international conventions. We charge guilt on planned and intended conduct that involves moral as well as legal wrong…It is not because they yielded to the normal frailties of human beings that we accuse them. It is their abnormal and inhuman conduct which brings them to this bar.”

Robert H. Jackson
Opening Statement Nuremberg Trials, 1945

Relativism begs the question whether the outcome of the Nuremberg trial was justifiable if the moral values of the tribunal were conditioned by the experiences and perspective of the Nazis. For under a relativistic intellectual regime, the slave trade and crimes against humanity are just a matter of opinion. The only logical conclusion under relativism is that such atrocities are only atrocity because we view them as atrocities. Not because they are intrinsically evil. They are just a value opinion. This is a devastating thought.

Yet the appeal of relativism is inescapable to a self-centered culture. That is obsessed with denying the nature of sin or wrongdoing. It is no wonder that Relativism is today’s most profitable currency in the economy of progressivism. It gives an effective, albeit intellectually unsustainable, framework upon which to justify anything. Its effectiveness in today’s culture is self-evident in its successful devaluation of human life to a commodity through its rationalization of abortion and euthanasia. The former led to an ongoing holocaust of countless generations of human beings whose life are ended by abortion and the latter provided the means to justify the cleansing of those that society considered to be undesirable, i.e. a burden. Its inhumanity is hidden behind the doors of abortion clinics and exposed behind the gates of Auschwitz.

To be continue…