Monday 25th July 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.

Cardinal Burke: Islam is ‘fundamentally a form of government’

Cardinal Raymond Burke said in a telephone interview that Islam is “fundamentally a form of government.” Speaking with Religion News Service, the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta said that “when they (Muslims) become the majority in any…Continue Reading

Nienstedt: misconduct allegations retribution for opposition to gay marriage

In other words, he’s the real victim here. Marino Eccher of the PiPress says, “John Nienstedt, the former archbishop of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul, said accusations of sexual misconduct against him were part of a false smear campaign in response…Continue Reading

5 faith facts on Mike Pence: A ‘born-again, evangelical Catholic’

(RNS) While an official announcement has not yet been made, IndyStar and other media outlets are reporting that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will be presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s running mate. Pence became governor of the Hoosier State in…Continue Reading

Trump In Tatters As Catholic Voters Shift Their Support To Hillary Clinton

A new Pew poll on religion and the 2016 campaign revealed devastating news for Republicans as Catholic voters have shifted their support to Hillary Clinton. A new Pew poll on religion and the 2016 campaign revealed devastating news for Republicans…Continue Reading

St. Anne Catholic Church prepares for 136th annual novena

There used to be a steady flow of stories, tales of miracle cures. They were covered in the Daily Journal, the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, in the early 1900s. The Catholic church in St. Anne, a village of 1,239,…Continue Reading

More deception in the war on Card. Sarah

Speaking at a liturgy conference in London, Card. Sarah, clearly not acting in his role as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, made a personal appeal to priests to say Mass ad orientem and the world is coming down on his head.…Continue Reading

Cardinal Caffarra on Marriage, Family, Amoris Laetitia, & Confusion in the Church

cardc

Editor’s note: the following is an exclusive interview with Cardinal Carlo Caffara, conducted by OnePeterFive’s Dr. Maike Hickson. Cardinal Caffarra is Archbishop emeritus of Bologna and former member of the Pontifical Council for the Family. It was in a letter to Cardinal…Continue Reading

Vatican Liturgy Chief asks all priests and bishops to face east for Mass, faithful to kneel for Communion

LONDON, July 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Speaking at a conference on the liturgy in London yesterday, Cardinal Robert Sarah, the highest authority on the topic in the Catholic Church under Pope Francis, asked all bishops and priests to adopt the…Continue Reading

This priest died in a Korean prison camp. Will the Catholic Church beatify him?

Wichita, Kan., Jul 2, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- There’s good news in Kansas: former army chaplain Father Emil J. Kapaun has taken a step closer to possible beatification and sainthood. But for Scott Carter, coordinator for the Father…Continue Reading

The Affirmative Argument for Receiving Communion on the Tongue

A recent post at the site Roman Catholic Man has focused a great deal of attention on the manner in which the faithful receive Communion. As any discussion regarding the Eucharist is a discussion about Our Lord Himself, the importance…Continue Reading

Hillary Clinton: “I Will Always Stand With Planned Parenthood,” It Does “Extraordinary Things”

Earlier this month, pro-abortion presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told activists at a Planned Parenthood abortion business rally that she would “always have your back.” She means it. In an op-ed written to bolster support for America’s biggest abortion business, Hillary…Continue Reading

United Way Sent $3 Million to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz in 2015

LifeNews has repeatedly chronicled the relationship between dozens of local United Way agencies and the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Last year, on the heels of shocking videos showing the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling the body parts of aborted babies,…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 . . .

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin . . . VP Pick, Tim Kaine, a Catholic?

From the Facebook page for Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of the Diocese of Providence. Democratic VP choice, Tim Kaine, has been widely identified as a Roman Catholic. It is also reported that he publicly supports “freedom of choice” for abortion, same-sex marriage, gay adoptions, and the ordination of women as priests. All of these positions are clearly contrary to well-established Catholic teachings; all of them have been opposed by Pope Francis as well. Senator Kaine…Continue Reading

Hillary Clinton Names Pro-Abortion Tim Kaine VP, Says He’s “Catholic” Who “Supports Abortion”

kaine

Abortion activist Hillary Clinton today tapped pro-abortion Virginia Senator Tim Kaine has her vice-presidential running mate. The Virginia politician is on record as trying to have it both ways — saying he is both a “traditional Catholic” and a strong supporter of abortion. Kaine has a pro-abortion record and the potential Clinton running mate is not following anyone. As LifeNews previously reported, Kaine said he is a “strong supporter of Roe v. Wade” despite supposedly…Continue Reading

Macy’s Fires Catholic Employee for Questioning Transgender Policy

FLUSHING, New York, July 21, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Macy’s department store has fired a Catholic employee because he questioned their transgender bathroom policy, even though he says he told his employer he would enforce the policy. Back in May, Javier Chavez, a senior store detective at Macy’s Flushing, New York, location got a phone call about a male accessing the ladies room along with a female. A female customer and her daughter were afraid to enter…Continue Reading

Land O’ Lakes on Steroids

In this bulletin on the Laetare Medal/Vice President Joe Biden episode, we consider its broad significance. As Bishop Kevin Rhoades declared, the University of Notre Dame has given scandal, but there is much more. In publicly spurning the counsel of Notre Dame’s (and his) bishop for the third time, University President Father John Jenkins has further undermined the crucially important relationship between Notre Dame and the Church. More, he rejected the recommendations for honorees from…Continue Reading

GIRM warfare: Experts criticize Vatican’s quick dismissal of Cardinal Sarah’s call for Mass facing East

cardinalsara

July 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Recent official statements from the Vatican and United States bishops’ conference on the Catholic Church’s chief liturgist Cardinal Robert Sarah’s call for priests to offer Mass facing the apse have been misleading, Catholic liturgists and experts say. Earlier this month, Sarah spoke at a London conference on sacred liturgy and asked priests and bishops to offer Mass ad orientem — that is, facing the tabernacle with the congregation rather than facing…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Readings And Meditations For Praying The Rosary

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY How to Pray the Secret Rosary by Frank M. Rega OFS (CreateSpace, 132 pages, Paperback $11.43, ebook $6.30). Available at amazon.com. This slim paperback from Frank Rega gives guidance on how to pray the rosary when you aren’t necessarily able to pray with rosary beads — if you are doing household…Continue Reading

Who Gave Us Justice Ginsburg?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “Her mind is shot.” That was the crisp diagnosis of Donald Trump on hearing the opinion of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the possibility he might become president. It all began with an interview the past week when the justice was asked for her thoughts on a Trump presidency. Ginsburg went…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Second Time Around: The Future Of Euthanasia In Holland”

By BRIAN CLOWES “There will be casualties” — Australian euthanasia activist Dr. Philip Nitschke. + + + The Final Step: Accepting And Accommodating Evil After decades of struggling with the euthanasia issue, it appears that the government of the Netherlands is in the process of accepting reality. It has given up attempting to place any…Continue Reading

New Film . . . Explores Jerome Lejeune’s Life And Work

By MARY O’NEILL LE RUMEUR “To kill or not to kill; that is the question.” It is August 1969, in San Francisco, and Professor Jerome Lejeune is addressing the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. Ten years before, in 1959, he had discovered the genetic cause of Down syndrome, when he saw…Continue Reading

Lawyer Says . . . Not Even Kafka Could Write Something Like Obama’s Bathroom Edict

By DEXTER DUGGAN The Obama administration’s legal assault against sexual reality is something that not even novelist Franz Kafka could have written, an attorney representing the North Carolina legislature told a presentation at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. Attorney Kyle Duncan made that comparison as he and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton spoke…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Marvel Of The Catholic Church… The Great Catholic Library: The Bible

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 10 “Ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ,” said St. Jerome, one of the greatest Bible scholars of all times, who translated the whole Bible from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into Latin in the fourth century — over one thousand years before Martin Luther preached his heresies in Europe. Luther and his followers down…Continue Reading

Liturgical Diversity And Unity

By DON FIER In considering where the liturgy is celebrated, we saw last week that “the worship ‘in spirit and in truth’ (John 4:24) of the New Covenant is not tied exclusively to any place because Christ is the true temple of God” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCCC], n. 244). It is through Him that the…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I would like to know where St. Patrick is buried. — M.A., Pennsylvania. A. St. Patrick, who died in AD 461, is thought to be buried next to Down Cathedral in Northern Ireland. Once a former Benedictine monastery that was built in 1163, the church now belongs to the Church of Ireland and is known as the Cathedral Church…Continue Reading

Seek What Is Above

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Eighteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Eccl. 1:2; 2:21-23 Col. 3:1-5, 9-11 Luke 12:13-21 “Vanity of Vanities, all things are vanity!” What a great line and what profound insight Solomon shows in writing these words. Most everything that the world holds up to be of some importance is nothing but vanity. Unfortunately, it is…Continue Reading

From Casuistry To Mercy . . . Toward A New Art Of Pleasing?

By MSGR. MICHEL SCHOOYANS Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Michel Schooyans wrote the following essay for LifeSiteNews, which graciously granted reprint permission to The Wanderer. The essay will appear in two parts because of its length; part two will appear in this space in next week’s issue. (John-Henry Westen, editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews, provided this background information about the essay: (“Msgr.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Cassian

By CAROLE BRESLIN Frequently, the lives of the saints demonstrate that God calls us to go in directions that we would never consider unless it became clear that it is God’s will. St. Francis Xavier went to the Far East, St. Damien died in Hawaii on the opposite side of the world from his native Belgium, and St. John Cassian…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Saints Louis And Azelie-Marie Guerin Martin

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Lord sends the Church the men and women who are needed to keep her holy in times of trouble. Among these are: St. Francis of Assisi, St. John of the Cross, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Faustina, and the first married couple ever to be canonized together: Louis and Azelie-Marie (Zelie) Martin. Their feast day is…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading