Showing posts with label elections. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elections. Show all posts

Monday, November 14, 2022

It’s Iimi! A Large Serving of Mammon

 It started out with the youth group discussing last week’s elections. It then moved on to the moral considerations Catholics must keep in mind if they want to put God first. Then, when Iimi admits she sometimes she gets perplexed by the Pope, the others are shocked. Is she having doubts about the Church? (TL:DR—No). These discussions come up as the country orders… A Large Serving of Mammon!

Pre-Comic Notes:
The Blog editor I'm using has some broken code. So, this comic had to be posted with the browser editor. Hopefully, some coding added to the site will make it look normal.

This comic was finalized before control of the Senate was finalized. The House is still not finalized. But, since this focuses on the Catholic moral concerns, that would not have impacted the final results.

I am very grateful to a webpage by Alkymyst that provided the needed code to post the pictures in a way that fits within the margins with no loss of quality  












Tuesday, November 8, 2022

It’s Iimi! Old Classroom (A Song Parody)

On Election Day, Ms. Machen plans to push her agenda once again. Iimi must oppose her. A song parody set to the tune of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X with Billy Ray Cyrus.


Preliminary notes: This is an “Earworm” comic. Sometimes, when I can’t get a song out of my head, I rewrite it to fit the comic. This is one of those songs. It should not be seen as any moral endorsement of the original song or the artist. I blame it on watching Remy and the Holderness Family on YouTube. The original song can be viewed here:













Monday, August 31, 2020

Evading the Abortion Issue

The Church is very straightforward in her teachings. Yes, determining the level of culpability in an individual’s sins might be complex in discerning knowledge and freedom in the decision, But that never makes a morally bad act good, and we must oppose evil, even when we might otherwise benefit from a group that promotes it or fear consequences if that group does not gain power. The fact is, we must not choose to do evil so good may come of it, and we must make certain that any remote cooperation [i.e., not intended] with the evil is done for a reason proportionate to the evil.

Tragically, some Catholics have announced their intention to vote for pro-abortion candidates, arguing that the evil of the other side meets the “proportionate reason” requirement. That they reason this way is deeply troubling. In Gaudium et Spes #27, for example, the Church lists abortion next to murder, genocide, euthanasia, torture, and slavery in terms of abominable actions¥. Those Catholics who intend to vote for pro-abortion candidates announce themselves against these other evils as non-negotiable… and rightly so. But, while they would never dream of compromising and voting for a candidate who supported those evils, they are willing to vote for a candidate who supports abortion, claiming that such a candidate is “more pro-life” while condemning Catholics who won’t vote like them.

The problem is this. While the Church does indeed teach that the Right to Life is more than just opposing abortion, one cannot be pro-life without that crucial piece. So, when the Catholic who announces his or her intention to vote for a pro-abortion candidate while denouncing his fellow Catholic for neglecting other issues of Catholic Moral Teaching in the name of abortion§,  he or she needs to keep in mind Matthew 7:2. “For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.” 

This verse is important because calling out another on a moral wrong means you know that action is wrong. So, calling down judgment on Catholics for downplaying Teaching X in the name of opposing abortion, while downplaying of abortion in the name of Teaching X is also worthy of judgment.

Don’t get into an argument over theological calculus here where you try to calculate what level of other evils is supposed to outweigh abortion (both sides do this, and calculate it in their favor). When the Church says “X is wrong,” don’t try to justify your support of the candidate who champions X by pointing to the other side’s failings. Each one of us will answer for the evils we ignore or try to explain away when the Church has called them “evil” by name.

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(‡) This has gotten so out of hand, that I have seen some Catholics attack Cardinal Paglia claiming he is out of touch with the Church for saying that Catholic politicians absolutely cannot support or defend abortion.

(¥) Yes, the Church lists more issues in that paragraph, and yes, I have cited them in previous articles. But it goes to show that those who invoke those issues cannot claim ignorance on how seriously the Church views abortion.

(§) A popular attack they use is “anti-abortion but not pro-life.”

(†) Again, before you plan to send an angry “what about…?” response, keep in mind, I have also written blogs warning against those opposing abortion being complacent or justifying their downplaying other issues.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Identifying With a Thing Doesn’t Make It Good per se. Opposing it Doesn’t Make it Bad

One thing I encounter among Catholics on social media is the assumption that: because I identify with a thing, it must be good or because I oppose it, it must be bad. The problem with this view is it confuses what makes an act good or evil objectively with one’s feelings about an act. Since people don’t like to think of themselves as being wrong, this assumption frequently results in accusing the Church of error for affirming a teaching in the face of popular sentiment.

These attacks—like so many others—are not limited to one region or faction. Conservative or liberal; Democrat or Republican; these and many other factions across the public square find fault with the Church where the Church cannot do anything else but teach this way.

To understand why the Church holds that a thing must be a certain way, we need to grasp that there are three things needed to make an act morally good. The action itself must be good (e.g. you can never say an act of rape or genocide is good), the results must be good (a do-gooder who sparks a riot through lack of prudence doesn’t perform a good act even if the action itself is good), and the intention must be good (If I donate money to charity in order to impress and seduce my neighbor’s wife, that is an evil intention). If even one of these three conditions are absent, you don’t have a good act. Let’s look at some illustrations.

Things like abortion are examples of an intrinsically bad act. It arbitrarily chooses to end an innocent human life for the perceived benefit of another human life. Even if the person who commits it thinks that the good outweighed the evil, or meant well in doing so, you can’t call it a good act. How one feels about it doesn’t change that fact. This is why the Church cannot do anything other than condemn it. Reducing the amount of abortion cannot be an end in itself. It can only be a step on the way to abolition.

Other acts can be neutral or good in themselves, but the consequence is bad. For example, the Church does teach that a nation can regulate immigration if doing so is necessary. This is something critics of the Pope and bishops love to point out. But there is a difference between “our country is in the midst of a disaster and we are having trouble dealing with it right now” and “Criminals among THOSE people are dangerous and we don’t want them here, so let’s keep everyone out!” The US bishops are pointing out that America is not in that first situation, and the second situation is a morally bad consequence—refusing to help those in need out of a fear of who might get in.

And, of course, a good or neutral act can be made bad if done for a bad intention. Being thrifty is a good thing. But, if one is frugal for a bad reason (like Judas dipping into the common purse [John 12:5-6]), it’s not a morally good act. If a government cuts expenses with the intent of targeting certain groups or raising taxes in the name of social services, but defines the term to fund immoral policies, then the bad intention corrupts the good or neutral base act.

In these cases, no matter how much one identifies with the cause, if it’s defective in one of these three parts, you can’t call it a good act.

On the other side, the fact that the Church as a whole, the Pope, or an individual bishop acts in a way we disagree with does notmake it a morally bad act. The Church needs to act with an eye towards saving souls. That might be a soft merciful approach, as when Our Lord dined with sinners. It might be a strong rebuke, as when Our Lord rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees. But the point of their action is supposed to be bringing the sinner back to reconciliation. Since the Church is made up of sinners with finite knowledge, we will invariably encounter situations handled badly. But we will also encounter situations we think are handled badly due to our own lack of knowledge… either about the situation or about the teaching behind the Church’s action. 

Every election year, for example, we hear from certain Catholics on how the bishops are failing by not excommunicating politicians for supporting abortion. This is based on a misunderstanding of canon law. Canon law points out that those directly taking part in a specific act of abortion (abortionist, their staff, woman having an abortion, etc.) are automatically excommunicated. But those working to protect abortion as a “right” are doing something gravely sinful and, under canon 916, should refrain from Communion. Canon 915 involves those publicly involved in grave sin. Some bishops have invoked it in refusing communion to politicians in their dioceses. Others don’t seem to have acted in this way. 

But what we don’t know is why they have not acted publicly. It could be laxity or sympathy… the two common charges from those who demand public action. Are there situations we don’t know about? Are the bishops in personal dialogue with these Catholic politicians? Have they privately told these politicians not to receive? Do they want to avoid conflict? I don’t know… but neither do the critics. We should certainly pray for our bishops to shepherd rightly. But we should also keep in mind that—in connecting the dots—we may not have seen all the dots that we need to connect.

This should not be interpreted as a “be passive in the face of injustice.” What it means is, we should not be so confident in our interpretation of events that we think only the conclusion we draw is true. Church history is full of people who thought they knew better and caused all sorts of chaos, endangering their own souls and the souls of others. Because conditions change, the Church will have to decide how to best apply timeless truths to the current times. Sometimes, the attitudes of a society can lead Catholics to tolerate—or even commit—injustice. Sometimes those Catholics are higher up in the Church. But we must not assume that this is the case when the Church must teach in a way we do not like.

 

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(†) Of course, we must do more to help people than just end abortion. We need to help people in situations where they think it is the only choice. But only focusing on those parts while leaving it legal is not a Catholic position.

(‡) Provided, of course, the Bishop is acting in communion with the Pope and fellow bishops. The actions of a Lefebvre or a Milingo (for example) cannot be defended on these grounds.