The democratic mentality and criticism of a sitting Pope

The norm in public discourse in America and the west more broadly is that if you dislike something a leader does, you publicly lambast them for it.

This is, of course, a fool’s errand (and democracy is supremely foolish). But as terrible as this is for civic discourse, the effects on discourse in the Church are even more harmful. The Pope (and the bishops generally) is a monarch, and this form of critique is anathema to the type of government which is proper to the Church. The problem with democracy, or democratized monarchies, is that lambasting authorities doesn’t build them, but rather just tears them down. Want to endlessly criticize everything the government does, you’ll get a weak-willed cowardly President. Want to be a hippie who hates the Church authorities? You’ll get a hippie Pope.

More fuel on the fire, is still not going to put it out.


The Church as counterrevolution

I’ve often seen the counterculturality of the priesthood as an aspect used to attract young men to it. In itself this seems unproblematic as an opening sales pitch, but the Church must be careful not to make its generalized message one of revolution.

The Church’s goal is not to liberate people in a political sense, but rather to submit all things to Christ. Far from calling for the destruction of order, the Church calls the world to perfect order.

In the days of the early Church, when she was being persecuted by the Roman government, she did not call for the overthrow and replacement of the government, but rather taught the faithful to submit to it in all that was not sinful. Eventually, the Roman government converted to the faith.


Jesus was anti-semitic

The Parable of the wicked tenants:

“Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.

When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.

But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned.

Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way.

Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’

But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’

They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”

They answered him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.”

Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the scriptures:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes’?

Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.

Here Jesus lays it out as clear as day. The Jews would not heed him, but rather killed him just as they killed the prophets he sent before himself. So the status they held as God’s people will be taken away from them and given to the Church. Moreover, it is confirmed elsewhere that the Jews will eventually be converted, and thereby cease to exist as a people, thus the Jewish people qua group will be figuratively “put to death”.

There are, of course, a great many more parts of the Gospels where Jesus says very critical things about the Jews (calling them a brood of vipers, children of the devil, etc.). This is one of the most politically incorrect aspects of Christianity, but it needs to be explicitly understood in order to fully break with the spirit of the age.

As a side-note, there’s also an (imperfect) analogy which can provide a lesson for us. For the last two millennia, white people have been bestowed by God with many blessings, including superiority in nearly every way over the other peoples of the world (intellectual, technological, medical, etc.) But just as God removed his blessing from the Jewish people, gave it to others, and promised to ultimately destroy them as a corporate group, so too if we do not repent, he may do the same to us. If current events are any indicator, this may be in progress already.


Cartesian dualism and magisterial interpretation

Cartesian dualism is one of the many false philosophies that is ubiquitous in our society. It is in practice (and that is the sense I’m addressing here) a tendency to focus on what must be going on in the privacy of others’ minds, rather than their actual words and deeds.

When interpreting the current Pope’s magisterium (or anything, but especially Francis), it’s important to avoid this. As head of the Church, the Pope has the right to be interpreted in accordance with Catholic tradition (and does not have the right to be interpreted otherwise). Interpreting the Pope to be espousing whatever heresies you imagine he must be adhering to, but which he has not actually expressed in his magisterial teachings (or at all) is spiritually dangerous and can lead to intentional disobedience to the magisterium.


The parable of the tolerant man and the promethean neopelagian

He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.

“Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a tolerant man and the other was a promethean neopelagian.

The tolerant man took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—racist, homophobic, xenophobic—or even like this promethean neopelagian.

I’m #NeverTrump, and I give communion to adulterers.’

But the promethean neopelagian stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’

I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”


The impossibility of avoiding anti-semitism

Ted Cruz is among other things, a fanatical Israel-worshipper. There’s probably not a single other candidate (not even Sanders, I’d bet) so bent over backwards in absolute and unconditional support for the Jewish state.

But that doesn’t matter, none of that prevents him from being labeled an “anti-semite”. As a Christian, he is hated by the Jews and their lackeys. He needs to learn, no amount of grove long will ever change that.


Against the psychobabblers: A mechanistic view of the mind

This is the first part of a multi-part series criticizing the theory and profession of psychology. I will also be criticizing the related field of psychiatry.

While many of his specific theories have fallen out of favor, modern psychology ultimately descends from the thoughts of Sigmund Freud. While the details of psychology’s origin are somewhat complicated, the simple version is this. With the coming of the enlightenment and the scientific revolution, and the successful (prima facie anyway) description of the natural world in terms of strictly mechanistic explanations, according to rigorous mathematical equations, some people wondered if the human mind could also be thus explained.

The result of this wondering was Freudian theory, the idea that our various emotional reactions and feelings are the result of repressed desires and fears, that supposedly exert a sort of pressure on our minds. Chief among these repressed desires and fears, on Freudian theory, was his belief that as children boys develop s desire to commit incest with their mothers, and a fear that they will be castrated by their fathers, which desire and fear later become repressed. As s compliment to this, was the practice of psychoanalysis, whereby a person educated in how the human mind supposedly works could help liberate people from their complexes by bringing their repressed fears and desires to the surface, where they could be confronted head on.

Now, let’s consider the problem with this. Leaving aside the plain absurdity of things like the Oedipus Complex, the principle of suppressed desires and fears is demonstrably absurd in itself. Because after all, what is a desire but something you want? And wanting is s conscious act, this the notion of non-conscious desires is absurd. By the same token, fear is something which troubles your mind with worry. But again, what sense does non-conscious fear make? If I’m not aware of something, I can’t be afraid of it.

Now, modern psychology has for the most part rejected the specifics of Freudian theory, but the same underlying materialism remains. And the same refutation is valid for non-Freudian theories as well. Because however you put it, the notion of non-conscious mental processes is simply incoherent.