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If Violence Is The End of Politics, Our End Arrived With Roe

June 28, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By SHAUN KENNEY

Over dinner this week, the conversation drifts towards when politics in this country took a wrong turn. One can point back to any series of moments. September 11, 2001 and the war against terrorism, where neoconservative sentiment found a new home for empire despite the warnings of men such as Patrick J. Buchanan.
Or perhaps it was the date of the invasion of Iraq in 2003? Or the failed occupation effort? Or the election of Barack Obama?
Of course, liberals in this country would love to point to counter examples. Bush 41’s “Willie Horton Ad” as the advent of identity politics, the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, or the so-called Southern Strategy implemented by President Nixon in his 1968 election — a fallacy for anyone who can read the electoral maps of 1992 and 1996 when Clinton/Gore split the formerly solid South.
Carl von Clausewitz used to argue that warfare sic violence was politics by other means. One might counter that violence is the end of politics altogether; the moment violence becomes an option, discussion ends.
Though violence may have enjoyed eruptions in American politics before, at no point in time did we ever institutionalize violence in the modern era (slavery being a clear exception).
Surely we fought over segregation, Vietnam, Iraq, tax cuts, the Soviet Empire…but was there ever a policy of violence that killed the very idea of discussion?
Yes, there was. The year was 1973.
Consider that the very act of abortion is in and of itself not merely intrinsically evil, but worse still physically undermines the very notion of a “welfare state” or “social justice” at the precise point where a human being is most defenseless.
When I was born, one in every three children died in the one place where a baby should expect the most love: their mother’s womb. Today those numbers are one in four.
Over the course of 45 years, we have raised two generations with the backdrop of the most devilish and grisly game of Russian Roulette one could ever hope to devise.
Underlying it all is the very notion that life is something other than sacred. Life becomes rather cheap and nihilistic, which only lends itself towards a devil-may-care attitude to any number of other concepts: family, faith, sex, relationships.
Violence covers for many a misdeed in this context. Rape, incest, health of the mother, mental health, ability to pay the rent. . . .
It is no small coincidence that politics in 1973 seemed to enjoy some deal of bipartisanship, if for no other reason than this generation understood a basic grasp of first things. Fast forward to today, and how can there possibly be any conversation between those who believe life is sacred and those who believe life is merely convenient?
Or worse still, between those who see life as something that possesses dignity, versus those who see life as something to be fobbed off by a welfare check and a substandard credentialism that has the forms but nary the substance of an education?
Thus our society is split right down the middle, not on left and right, but rather between those who see the social mass of humanity as something to be pruned in contrast to those of us who rightfully defend the basic human right to exist.
How then to heal these wounds? Surely there can be no political answer, despite the feverish insistence of those in power that man-made problems can be resolved with man-made solutions. Our problems are not material, but rather spiritual — and only God can heal and bind these wounds.
The death of culture occurred on January 22, 1973. A few of us carry the fire every year in commemoration of this death, not to mourn but in the hopes that Catholic culture will restore what was stolen from us.
Yet the problems we face will not be resolved by Democrats or Republicans (or Libertarians), but rather through one simple metric — faithful attendance at Mass. For all the voters’ guides and faithful citizenship debates at the USCCB conferences, more good would be done by treating Sunday morning as an encounter with Jesus Christ with due reverence and liturgy than all the PowerPoint and guitars in the world.
In short, we need to look up for solutions, not down. If violence kills politics, then why waste our time? Focus on the faith of our fathers, and the rest falls into place quite well.

+ + +

I have very little to add to the kerfuffle over the immigration enforcement policies of the Trump administration…or the Obama administration…or the Clinton administration and the unenforceable soup that has absolutely poisoned the entire discussion over immigration and who gets to be an American. Anathema sit.
This much must be noted. The very idea of an organization such as Planned Parenthood sponsoring a so-called “March for Families” is outrageous and offensive in the extreme, and shows precisely which side is on the side of the angels and which side is leveraging the pain and suffering of others for political gain (something PP is quite adept at doing).
Let it be screamed from the rooftops:
Planned Parenthood is responsible for the direct murder of 360,000 babies every year on top of the wounding of 360,000 mothers, and its insatiable appetite for abortion is as boundless as the God-shaped hole that neither materialists nor ideologues can fill.
There is no organization on Earth more evil than Planned Parenthood, and ripping children from mothers is a practice they know quite well, acceptable only if the nation’s #1 abortion chain is doing the ripping, chopping, and selling on the open market.
What a scandal of blood we have heaped upon this country, and what a terrible misplacement of perspective when we focus on the splinter and ignore the plank in this country’s eye.

+ + +

Mr. M — writes via e-mail and lauds the changing of the guard at Catholic University, among other places within Catholic culture writ large. EWTN’s National Catholic Register — not to be confused with the “fishwrap” of the openly heterodox National Catholic Reporter — is head and shoulders above its competition, and though still second fiddle to The Wanderer (of course) the reliably Catholic journalism and perspective there are warmly appreciated by those institutions of Catholic learning worthy of the name.
For all of the lashing out of the opposition, one does start to get the sense that Catholic culture in America is beginning along the path of a restoration. True, we have a great deal to recover. Yet given the times and those with whom the Holy Spirit has gathered around us?
One really cannot consider a better group of souls to be surrounded by — and our friends are literally everywhere. Sunshine amidst the ruins, so to speak.

+ + +

Mrs. W — from Florida wrote me a wonderful little note that just lifted my day. Please pray for her intentions and thank you for reading!

+ + +

Pope Francis — to his credit — was able to condemn abortion as an evil on par with National Socialism in impromptu remarks that (for once) went amazingly right. Yet shockingly, Francis has remained silent as Argentina moves into the arms of the culture of death, following the June 14 lower house vote to legalize abortion within 14 weeks of conception, as well as late-term abortions in cases of fetal deformity or to protect the “psychological” health of mothers.
One has a difficult time reconciling this Pope. On the one hand, Francis can come out with some amazingly clear and abrupt pronouncements on life, marriage, family, and transgenderism (calling that last item a diabolical act).
On the other? His handlers at least seem to wield a remarkable aptitude for obtuseness linked to a tone deafness that simply bewilders the faithful heart. If only such strong words would lend themselves to action from time to time. . . .

Send Me Your Thoughts!

Of course, I am succeeding (but not replacing) the inestimable Mr. James K. Fitzpatrick for the First Teachers column. Please feel free to send any correspondence for First Teachers to Shaun Kenney, c/o First Teachers, 5289 Venable Road, Kents Store, VA 23084 — or if it is easier, simply send me an e-mail with First Teachers in the subject line to: svk2cr@virginia.edu

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