Thursday 25th August 2016

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Guilty As Charged

April 19, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

Perhaps the women in question should not be criticized. It strikes me that we no longer have publications on the right that explore in a thorough and serious manner the difference between the traditionalist and libertarian wings of the conservative movement. That said, the young ladies jumped into a fight that need not be fought.
I am talking about the young women who appeared on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News program a few weeks back. They were calling attention to the liberal bias of the textbook Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare used in their college course at the University of South Carolina. “I was tempted to throw the book away,” said one of the women, a sophomore majoring in political science. “This book goes out of its way to glorify liberalism and demonize conservatism. I don’t think it can get much more in-your-face than that.”
Now I have no doubt that the textbook is as left-leaning as the students say; no doubt that it is opposed to free-market principles, a vigorous American military presence in the world, and laws that reflect the moral beliefs of the Christian West. But when the women protested that the textbook charges that conservatives hold a “pessimistic view of human nature,” they took issue where none should be taken. Conservatives do hold such a view. It is central to the conservative position on the major issues of the day.
Perhaps I should rephrase that. It is a view central to the “social conservative” or traditionalist position on the issues of our time. Libertarians — or “economic conservatives” — do not agree. But let us put off for another day a discussion of the reasons for that difference of opinion between the wings of modern conservatism. The point just now is that the beliefs of those most Americans have in mind when they use the term “conservative” — “law and order” advocates who favor a strong military and laws against pornography, abortion, and recreational drug use — are very much rooted in a pessimistic view of mankind.
More to the point, they don’t think it is something to be ashamed about. Conservatives writing for National Review, Modern Age, and the Intercollegiate Review in the 1950s and 1960s used to call it a recognition of “mankind’s fallen nature” and the “scars of original sin.” It is the conviction that mankind has an inclination toward evil that must be held in check by religious beliefs, customs, and the force of law. It is the message of Edmund Burke, and his American disciples, William F. Buckley, Russell Kirk, and Richard M. Weaver.
One need not accept a literal reading of the Book of Genesis to hold to this conviction. There are atheists who see the story of Adam’s and Eve’s decision to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden as a myth, who accept it as well. They base their pessimism about human nature not on religious belief but on common sense and the historical record. Like those whose views are rooted in religious belief, they are convinced that mankind needs structure, order, and a reverence for traditional values to remain virtuous.
It is this pessimism that leads to the conservative positions on the leading issues of the day. We can run through the list: Conservatives are convinced that we need a strong military because there are those who would seize upon weakness to take advantage of neighboring countries in the world arena, people who would deny others their freedom and access to the natural resources needed for their economic well-being. Those who take this position will point to a long line of conquerors who have done just that over the course of history, from Xerxes to Genghis Khan to Hitler and Stalin. They are convinced it is naive to think that if we reduce our military strength our adversaries will respond in kind. They point to history as proof that the world does not work that way.
When the issue of the criminal justice system comes up for discussion — whether it is capital punishment, the rights of the accused, or the operation of our prisons — the conservative position is based on the conviction that there are those who would commit crimes against their fellow citizens if not for the fear of quick and sure arrest and punishment. The pessimistic view of human nature is what leads to the belief that is foolhardy to put too great an emphasis on the rights of criminals and on the need to construct our prisons as places of rehabilitation rather than punishment. Conservatives are convinced that the most important characteristic of a prison is its power to make would-be criminals not want to go there.
We can also see this understanding of human nature at work when parents check regularly on their children’s homework, on their choice of friends, on what they read and see on television and the Internet, when they establish curfews and rules for proper dress. Parents with traditional values may not resort to the term “scars of original sin” when they impose these structures on their families; they may not even know what the term means. But it is what people mean when they say, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” It is why these parents are so concerned with bringing the lessons of fine literature and the performing arts into their children’s lives. They see them as civilizing influences.
We could go on: Why not permit abortion on demand, free access to recreational drugs, and sexually explicit material in the home? Because, conservatives are convinced, many of our fellow citizens would kill their unborn children for selfish and frivolous reasons and ruin their lives through drugs and porn, if we do. The term “victimless crime” is not a part of the lexicon of social conservatives. They are convinced a healthy and moral society helps its citizens overcome the moral weaknesses that are a consequence of their fallen nature.
I repeat: I don’t want to be overly critical of the young women from the University of South Carolina who appeared with Megyn Kelly. I am uplifted by the realization that there are college students who do not sit back and soak up the agenda of the academic leftists. But it is important that these young women, and those who cheered them on, be prepared for the attacks they are likely to receive from their left-wing professors and fellow students. They have to be ready to answer the charge: “If you are not pessimistic about human nature, why aren’t you willing to trust people to make their own decisions about their reproductive rights and what they read and watch on television and the movies?”
Their answer, of course, should be, “We are pessimistic, in the manner of St. Augustine, Edmund Burke, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Modern society needs a lot more pessimism of that kind.”

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

BREAKING: Leaked e-mails show George Soros paid $650K to influence bishops during Pope’s US visit

August 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Leaked emails through WikiLeaks reveal that billionaire globalist George Soros – one of Hilary Clinton’s top donors – paid $650,000 to influence Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the USA with a view to “shift[ing]…Continue Reading

Catholic school faculty member sues school after she’s fired for being gay

A lesbian teacher was fired from Paramus Catholic High School after administrators learned that she was married to a woman, according to her lawsuit. Kate Drumgoole, 33, was the school’s head basketball coach and dean of guidance when the school…Continue Reading

Scottish Catholic Church denies supporting ‘mandatory’ LGBT activist school program

GLASGOW, Scotland, August 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The Catholic Church in Scotland is flatly denying that it is lending its support to advancing a pro-homosexual curriculum in Catholic schools, despite secular as well as gay news sources claiming the opposite.…Continue Reading

Amid falling sales, Target responds to backlash with $20 million plan for single-stall bathrooms

target

NewsGenderThu Aug 18, 2016 – 2:57 pm EST Amid falling sales, Target responds to backlash with $20 million plan for single-stall bathrooms  #flushtarget , bathroom bills , target , transgender , transgenderism MINNEAPOLIS, August 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Facing…Continue Reading

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Signs New Book Deal with Bloomsbury

Indeed, it’s official. Bloomsbury is announcing that Pope Benedict has a new book coming in November 2016, entitled, The Last Testament. It appears to be 224 pages. Ever since Bloomsbury merged (“bought out?”) T & T Clark, they have been…Continue Reading

Transgender Bathroom Access Extended to All Federal Buildings–Including Prisons

The Obama administration is set to unveil a new regulation this week that will expand transgender people’s access to restrooms consistent with their “gender identity” to thousands of federal buildings and facilities across the country — including prisons. Buzzfeed News…Continue Reading

Satanic ‘Black Mass’ held in Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — A small group attended an event held by a satanic church in Oklahoma City Monday night. The ‘black mass’ was met with Christian masses and prayer rallies. Leaders of Oklahoma City’s Church of Ahriman set the…Continue Reading

Uplifting Story . . . Gymnast Simone Biles soars to Olympic gold while grounded in Catholic faith

olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, August 10, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — When three-time world champion gymnast Simone Biles flew to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games, the 19-year-old carried a rosary her mother gave her and a St. Sebastian medal from…Continue Reading

Satanic Black Mass Still Scheduled at Public Venue Despite Protest

Amid growing protest Satanists plan to stage a second Black Mass at the public Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City on August 15, 2016. The public sacrilege against God and the Catholic Mass will include the desecration of a…Continue Reading

Margaret Sanger Award Recipient Nancy Pelosi on Zika: ‘This is About Babies’

nancyp

(CNSNews.com) – At a Capitol Hill press conference on Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the Zika virus threat is “all about babies.” “The Zika in the Southern part of our country is in our country, and because…Continue Reading

Thousands of Colombians join nationwide protest of gender ideology in public schools

August 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Thousands marched yesterday in protests held throughout Colombia to protest a new initiative of the country’s homosexual Minister of Education to implement homosexualist and transsexualist gender ideology programs in Colombian schools. “No to gender ideology!…Continue Reading

98% Of CRS Employee Political Donations Go To Pro-Abortion Candidates

Contributions for political campaigns are recorded and monitored, and made available as public information in order to ensure transparency in the political process.  The information found in these recorded contributions are closely monitored and analyzed by political parties and research…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Baton Rouge Establishes Special Flood Victims Fund

By KATHLEEN NAAB The Diocese of Baton Rouge, La., is welcoming assistance as so many thousands of people have lost homes or property and many have been killed in the massive flooding affecting the state. “The historic flooding that has taken place has impacted nearly every corner of our diocese, and our parishes and schools are struggling to recover in an effort to provide for the spiritual and educational needs of their parishioners and students,”…Continue Reading

Catholic Politician Defends Abortion, Says Catholic Church Doesn’t Think Unborn Babies are People

Minnesota state Rep. John Lesch is a Catholic and a politician in the conservative mid-west. He also supports abortions. Lesch, a board member of the pro-abortion group Catholics for Choice, wrote a column for The Hill this week explaining why he supports abortion and why other Catholic politicians should, too. “I came of age in a time when we learned to respect a woman’s conscience-based decisions, and we were more cautious of the institutional church’s…Continue Reading

New interview: Cardinal Burke says ‘I will never be part of a schism’

cburk12

August 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – In a new interview, Cardinal Raymond Burke has revealed that he and other “serious-minded” Church leaders are calling on Pope Francis to release a document correcting the confusion emanating from his recent apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. He also decried characterizations that he is an “enemy” of Pope Francis. The cardinal says clarification of Amoris Laetitia is essential “for the sake of souls” because of the rampant confusion…Continue Reading

Life Issue Is Not Front and Center with Pennsylvania Catholics . . . Catholic voters split, perplexed by presidential choices

By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The conversation flowed freely at the school cafeteria tables as families sat Thursday over a dinner of chicken and ratatouille at Our Lady of Grace Church’s annual parish festival in Scott. But when a reporter brought up the presidential election, there was more head-shaking dismay than enthusiasm for any candidate. “I can’t see myself voting for Clinton,” said Bob Bauer. But as for Donald Trump, he’s still going “back…Continue Reading

Lifesite editorial . . .The first step needed to get the Church out of the current crisis

August 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – In his book Magisterial Authority, Fr. Chad Ripperger, PhD, says “the Church will not climb out of this tumultuous period” without reversing the “practice since the Second Vatican Council onward not to police the doctrinal integrity” among bishops, priests and theologians. The crucial observation comes at the end of nearly fifty years of destructive leniency, which has in the Francis pontificate taken on new dimensions. While under the pontificates of…Continue Reading

Summer 1916 . . . The Second Apparition Of Angel Of Portugal

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY The previous article on this topic (April 28, 2016, p. 8A) looked at the first of the three apparitions of the Angel of Portugal, or the Angel of Peace, to the three Fatima seers, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, and Lucia dos Santos, in the spring, summer, and autumn of 1916. This…Continue Reading

ISIS And Other Useful Fictions

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY Islamic State (ISIS or Daesh) and al-Qaeda are useful fictions. “Islamicist” is another ill-used word. Has anyone ever identified the borders of the so-called Islamic State, identified the site of its central government, attributed to it a president, prime minister, cabinet, parliament, or congress, or anything resembling such? Even the most…Continue Reading

The Real Existential Threats Of 2016

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN On September 30, the end of fiscal year 2016, the national debt is projected to reach $19.3 trillion. With spending on the four biggest budget items — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense — rising, and GDP growing at 1 percent, future deficits will exceed this year’s projected $600 billion. National bankruptcy,…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… A Frontal Challenge To The Left: Taking On The Homosexual Movement

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Truths And Trends

By DONALD DeMARCO Aristotle, in his Metaphysics, declares that “it is right also that philosophy should be called knowledge of the truth.” This statement contrasts sharply with Pontius Pilate’s famous assertion, “What is Truth?” If we cannot know truths, there is nothing to build on and philosophy is a vanity. Pilate, on the other hand,…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Divine Mercy And Justice

By Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke Part 2 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the Consecration Weekend, The Marian Catechist Apostolate, Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, Wis., July 23, 2016. Because of its length, we are publishing it in two parts; part 1 appeared in last week’s issue. And also because…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Moral Outrages Mount While Bishops Snooze

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The U.S. bishops’ conference is a leadership disaster. Joe Biden presiding over the marital simulation ceremony of two men who work in the Obama administration was the latest unanswered provocation to assail the American portion of the Body of Christ. Vice President Biden has completely sold-out on Church teaching. He enthusiastically promoted the rainbow revolution…Continue Reading

The Marvel Of The Catholic Church . . . The Historicity Of The Old And New Testaments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 14 Is the Book of Genesis historical or simply allegorical? Many have spent hours and days and years trying to prove one view or the other, as if God our Lord left to individuals the ability to decide about it. The truth is that some things are historical and some things are allegorical and some…Continue Reading

The Baptism Of Jesus

By DON FIER Much that regards Christianity and the Catholic faith we profess to believe is prefigured in the Old Covenant; signs and shadows which prepared the way for the New Testament abound throughout the pages of the Old. And as we saw last week, this is especially true for the Sacrament of Baptism: “[In] water, seen as source of…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. At the time when Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, was the original intent of the Fifth Commandment to be a proscription against murder? — P.C., California. A. We would say yes. Beginning with the murder of Abel by his brother Cain long before Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, God had told His Chosen People…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Euphrasia Eluvathingal

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1605 Fr. Robert De Nobili, a Jesuit priest, arrived in India to evangelize the people. He found them to have a noble bearing and a deeply spiritual life filled with fasting, prayer, and meditation. Difficulties presented themselves to him as he struggled to convert them: “If these people did not see me do such penance, they…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St.…Continue Reading