Moral Authority

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Moral Authority

Post by infidel » Tue May 01, 2018 5:24 pm

The Church and the State: The Martyrological Demand and a Contrast in Moral Authority
American Christianity is being increasingly revealed to be a tribal, nationalistic religion. And much of this is due to how military service and sacrifice sacralizes the nation state. As we often say, service men and women are willing to make--and often do make--the "ultimate sacrifice." As there is no greater price one could pay than the "ultimate sacrifice," military service becomes our highest moral authority.

...
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Re: Moral Authority

Post by FredS » Tue May 01, 2018 7:03 pm

Yeah, well, don't say that to JMG.
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Re: Moral Authority

Post by Roadmaster » Tue May 01, 2018 7:08 pm

FredS wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 7:03 pm
Yeah, well, don't say that to JMG.
Indeed.

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Re: Moral Authority

Post by Del » Tue May 01, 2018 8:12 pm

I think the guy would have written a different article if he knew any actual Soldiers -- specifically any Christians who are in military service.

Christians in military service are proud to serve our country for many reasons, and (if you dig deeply enough) one reason is to protect our families from the oppression of persecution.

Pipeson says that there will never be a hot persecution of Christians in this country -- soldiers threatening us with guns -- because our military is so strongly Christian. There are other benefits.... such as the low incidence of wanton cruelty and war crimes by our servicemen in action. (Our primary concern is the cold persecution perpetrated by leftists in the Deep State bureaucracies.)

This writer seems to think that American Christians in military service have placed a (Nazi-like) Nationalism above their own faith and family. I have never even heard of a single American serviceman like that.

To put it blankly: Nationalism is not a problem in America. I worry about the people who think it is.
============================================================================
Here is the author's bio:
https://sojo.net/biography/richard-beck

He needs to get off the campus and spend more time with real people who don't suck up to him so much. Perhaps at a working class pub that mostly serves Budweiser.
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Re: Moral Authority

Post by FredS » Tue May 01, 2018 8:32 pm

I don't think the author has an issue with Christian *Soldiers. I think he's trying to say American Christians are luke warm because we don't have much of a chance of being martyred for our faith. We feel too safe and we're getting lazy about properly worshiping God. I can see his point, but - so what? He offers no ideas or suggestions to combat the condition. And he wisely does not suggest that we'd be better off in China or Saudi Arabia. We're in a perfectly and natural position based on our history. Peace and prosperity lead to a certain place and we're in that place. Should we hope for more church shootings to give us an edginess the author supposes we lack?

*Sysiphus once took me to task suggested I should respectfully capitalize 'Soldier' and I shall never forget that.
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Re: Moral Authority

Post by Roadmaster » Tue May 01, 2018 9:31 pm

The author does have an interesting point.

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Re: Moral Authority

Post by Del » Tue May 01, 2018 9:39 pm

FredS wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 8:32 pm
I don't think the author has an issue with Christian *Soldiers. I think he's trying to say American Christians are luke warm because we don't have much of a chance of being martyred for our faith. We feel too safe and we're getting lazy about properly worshiping God. I can see his point, but - so what? He offers no ideas or suggestions to combat the condition. And he wisely does not suggest that we'd be better off in China or Saudi Arabia. We're in a perfectly and natural position based on our history. Peace and prosperity lead to a certain place and we're in that place. Should we hope for more church shootings to give us an edginess the author supposes we lack?
The 20th Century produced more martyrs than all of Christian history before. Prof. Beck really needs to get out more.

One of the things I love about Catholic life is that we do not forget our martyrs. We remember several of them at every Mass. "Linus, Cletus, Clement, Perpetua, Felicity, Anastasia...."

We do not need to see the shedding of blood in order to remember that blood was shed for our faith.

I am pretty hard on the author in the OP (he deserves it), but he has a point.... Where nationalism has become of problem in the past, the nationalist parties have always hated the Catholics in their midst. They fear our long memories, and how we owe our first allegiance to something larger than our nation. And we remember our martyrs.

There is a reason why Catholic Bavaria was the only region that did not vote for Hitler in the last days of Germany's democracy.

The Know-Nothings and KKK, the National Front, the Calles regime in Mexico, even Mussolini hated the Catholic Church (but he couldn't dictate Italians without being nice to Catholics).

The notable exception was Franco and the Spanish Civil War. Catholics fought on the side of the nationalists -- because the Communists hated Catholics more violently than the Fascists did. There were many martyrs during the Spanish Civil War (we meet quite a few as we study the life of St. Josemaría Escrivá).
FredS wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 8:32 pm
*Sysiphus once took me to task suggested I should respectfully capitalize 'Soldier' and I shall never forget that.
I also learned this from Sysiphus. (Is he ever going to finish our tobacco pouches?)

*Sysiphus once took me to task suggested I should respectfully capitalize 'Soldier' and I shall never forget that.
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Re: Moral Authority

Post by tuttle » Wed May 02, 2018 10:10 am

I get what the author is saying and I don't think I have an issue with it. He's observing what's been observable for a variety of things. Namely, nature abhors a vacuum. Where the church in America lacks a certain aspect of moral courageousness it will be filled in with something else. In some cases people look to the sacrifices the armed services take and they find their sacrifices to hold greater weight than what the American Church pays lip service to. FredS has a point about JMG and the like, but I don't think that's what the author was aiming at. But you see this kind of thing all over the place. The American church removes the Lord's Supper and they fill in the gaps with "Experiential" or "holistic" worship services that attack the senses. Or people think secular corporations or the internet have a greater 'authority' when engaging people, or whatever. Comparing the moral authority of the church and military service is just an aspect of this.
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Re: Moral Authority

Post by wosbald » Wed May 02, 2018 10:21 am

+JMJ+

The author (of the piece in the OP) seems to be using "soldier" in the sense of Worldly Power/Mammon rather than in Sys' seeming sense of Kshatriya (warrior caste).

In any event, this article which I posted in The Catholic Thread seems relevant. (I repost it here for convenience.)

——————————————————————————————————————————

Firing Fr. Conroy fits Paul Ryan's pattern when it comes to the poor [In-Depth/Opinion]
Image
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, visits with Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth, Texas, during a private roundtable discussion on poverty-fighting efforts at Catholic Charities' Fort Worth campus April 3. (CNS/North Texas Catholic Magazine/Juan Guajardo)

We may never know the real reason Speaker of the House Paul Ryan sacked House chaplain Jesuit Fr. Patrick Conroy. At The Washington Post, Sarah Pulliam Bailey sketched the full context of the story. And, at RNS, Mark Silk noted the silence on the Catholic right, and examined some of the theories for why Ryan fired the padre.

No one should be surprised that Ryan is something of a fraud. As Silk points out, no matter how you cut it, Ryan's decision to sack Conroy was built on the speaker's refusal to accept Catholic social doctrine. Of the two leading theories, I think the most compelling remains that Ryan was irked by this prayer Conroy offered during last year's debate over tax reform:
May all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.
Ryan apparently told Conroy to "stay out of politics" after the prayer. If Ryan does not grasp that issues of taxation and budget priorities entail religious and moral questions, as well as political ones, and that his Catholic faith makes specific doctrinal claims about such matters, he grasps nothing.

The alternate theory is that members complained Conroy could not relate to them, specifically because he did not have kids.

That is to say, Ryan caved to the old anti-Catholic canard that a celibate cleric cannot really understand people because of his life situation. Ryan should ask one of his buddies in the hierarchy what they think of that rationale.

[…]

Ironically, just a couple of weeks before the firing of Conroy, Ryan went to Fort Worth, Texas, to visit Catholic Charities there, and to speak about ending poverty. Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth tweeted about the visit:

Image

What's next? Will Olson be tweeting an invite to come hear Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi on the need to end abortion? I have never given the former speaker a pass for her position on abortion and I won't give the current speaker a pass, because everything he says about poverty is either delusional or a lie. And, in this instance, where the connection between poverty and abortion is so obvious, I flunk Ryan on the pro-life cause as well.

[…]

EDIT: Fixed formatting errors
Last edited by wosbald on Wed May 02, 2018 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moral Authority

Post by infidel » Wed May 02, 2018 10:33 am

wosbald wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 10:21 am
+JMJ+

The author (of the piece in the OP) seems to be using "soldier" in the sense of Worldly Power/Mammon rather than in Sys' seeming sense of Kshatriya (warrior caste).
What's the difference?
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Re: Moral Authority

Post by Del » Wed May 02, 2018 11:47 am

wosbald wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 10:21 am
+JMJ+

The author (of the piece in the OP) seems to be using "soldier" in the sense of Worldly Power/Mammon rather than in Sys' seeming sense of Kshatriya (warrior caste).

In any event, this article which I posted in The Catholic Thread seems relevant. (I repost it here for convenience.)

——————————————————————————————————————————

Firing Fr. Conroy fits Paul Ryan's pattern when it comes to the poor [In-Depth/Opinion]
FYI: This link is to a schismatic paper with a strong leftist bent. National Catholic Reporter is not recognized by the US Catholic Bishops. They do not have permission from the local bishop to call themselves "Catholic." They aren't Catholic.

They are entitled to their opinions. Just don't be fooled by their fake claim of authenticity.
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Re: Moral Authority

Post by Thunktank » Wed May 02, 2018 12:06 pm

I guess the question is: is there anything worth dying for? Most are willing to die for family out of love. Some are willing to die for state, tribe and religion. For some of us, all those things go together. It seems like a lot of people prefer to stake one against the other. I believe family, faith and tribe are important parts of being human.

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Re: Moral Authority

Post by Del » Wed May 02, 2018 12:34 pm

Thunktank wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 12:06 pm
I guess the question is: is there anything worth dying for? Most are willing to die for family out of love. Some are willing to die for state, tribe and religion. For some of us, all those things go together. It seems like a lot of people prefer to stake one against the other. I believe family, faith and tribe are important parts of being human.
Chesterton says that Soldiers face the harm and danger, "not because they hate what is in front of them, but because they love what is behind them." I reckon this is true of police and firemen, as well.

A willingness to die -- for love of the people back home -- is a very Christian enthusiasm. The fact that military and civil service provide opportunities for courage and valor does not lead to nationalism. Christians can love our country, without feeling tempted to worship it.

Back to the writer in the OP, I think there is a real fear that persons who do not have faith in God. They are prone to worshipping the most powerful thing they can see in their lives, which is the State. These naturally tend to seek a secular salvation from their troubles in the form of government programs.

I can't see our Christian Soldiers turning into socialist fascists.

I think the author, a liberal Christian university professor, is far more likely to turn before any Soldiers do. It will be curious to see what he writes about as the elections get closer.
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Re: Moral Authority

Post by infidel » Wed May 02, 2018 1:26 pm

I think we're missing the point by focusing on the Soldiers. The danger is with the State and it using the inherent moral authority of the Soldiers as cover against any "prophetic rebuke".
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Re: Moral Authority

Post by wosbald » Wed May 02, 2018 3:24 pm

+JMJ+
infidel wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 1:26 pm
I think we're missing the point by focusing on the Soldiers. The danger is with the State and it using the inherent moral authority of the Soldiers as cover against any "prophetic rebuke".
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Re: Moral Authority

Post by tuttle » Thu May 03, 2018 6:59 am

infidel wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 1:26 pm
I think we're missing the point by focusing on the Soldiers. The danger is with the State and it using the inherent moral authority of the Soldiers as cover against any "prophetic rebuke".
I re-read it after reading this, and yeah, I think you said it better than he did just in your summation. I initially read it (okay, skimmed it) from a different angle, as if the church can't compete on the same sentimental (however valid) ground because the same kind of sacrifice is so scarce on her end (in America).

I've read a few things that you've linked from this blog. I think he is thought provoking, but I don't always see his point. Thanks for clarifying.
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Re: Moral Authority

Post by gaining_age » Thu May 03, 2018 7:09 am

Thunktank wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 12:06 pm
I guess the question is: is there anything worth dying for? Most are willing to die for family out of love. Some are willing to die for state, tribe and religion. For some of us, all those things go together. It seems like a lot of people prefer to stake one against the other. I believe family, faith and tribe are important parts of being human.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7cXwtC5zCU

When I was younger, this song bothered me for a while--- but I eventually got the point. We're all out there dying for something even if we don't acknowledge it.
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