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Dutch constitution

A friend points out an NRO article by Rod Dreher detailing Fortuyn’s platform. All very mild. The most interesting point is that Article 1 of the Dutch Constitution forbids discrimination—by anyone—on “religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex, or on any other grounds whatsoever.” So in Holland you have to carry on all relations with everyone in compliance with strict liberal theory. This is fanaticism. Why liberal theory rather than some other theory?

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EU flag

Is this possible? Take a look at the new EU flag!

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Second thoughts in the Dutch Church

Still, not all Europeans in public positions are as lacking in humanity as Times of London staffers. A traditionalist Austrian e-newsletter mentions the statement of the “extremely (‘auesserst’) liberal” Dutch Cardinal Simonis:

“How can a country be described as a model where there is very permissive legislation on the subject of abortion, where euthanasia has been introduced, made to appear as a right, and where marriage between individuals of the same sex is licit?” the cardinal asked.

“These are the consequences of this individualist freedom,” he warned. “Dutch society is too permissive, beyond the limits of what is allowed.”

Cardinal Simonis ended by expressing the hope that Fortuyn´s assassination will “be an occasion to truly reflect on all that is happening in the Netherlands.”

So the shock of murder, like the shock of the pederasty scandals in the United States, is bringing to their senses even some who have been inclined to go along with modernity.

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More on religion and social justice

Social justice requires irreligion; the reverse is true as well. Men need to feel they live in a comprehensible world. If God’s running the show then that’s taken care of, so government can become a matter of what is practically expedient in a situation that is fundamentally well-ordered. Perfection of outcome is not needed because perfection has already been attended to.

If there is no God, then we must create order. Since it is the order of the world as a whole that concerns us most—it is that order that lies behind all thought and action—the death of God means that man must become, as a practical matter, divine. He must construct the world as an ordered system, and since he can’t rely on any higher power or tendency of things toward the good, he must do so as an act of will and by force.

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Religion and social justice

As things are now, the problem with the constitutional separation of church and state is that it assumes that government is not the vehicle of moral life. That assumption is inconsistent with the concept of social justice. “Social justice” means that government supervises how things end up. If government is responsible for what happens, however, then to say government must stay out of religion is to say that religion can have no effect on events.

Government is now responsible for the care of the weak, the upbringing of children, the general well-being of everyone, even the attitudes we display toward each other. Under such circumstances the claim that it is not taking a position on the fundamental questions of human life is absurd. Government today can claim to act without regard to particular religous beliefs only by asserting that religious belief is or ought to be irrelevant to everything serious.

The practical effect of the separation of church and state, under modern conditions, is therefore the establishment of godlessness. The only way of averting such a result is radical reduction in the role of government, an event that is desirable for any number of reasons but appears on the whole unlikely.

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Women soldiers

Are the strongest objections to women soldiers the pragmatic ones? Not really. Certainly the pragmatic objections are more than sufficient, but—as feminists would agree—apparent practicality shouldn’t overshadow fundamental principle.

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Effects of Fortuyn murder

It seems unlikely that the Fortuyn murder will change anything. The Europeans have been absolutely unwilling to talk about issues relating to immigration and get openly abusive and hysterical whenever they come up.

Serves him right! says the Times of London. When people leave reason and decency behind to that extent it takes more than the death of someone they don’t like to bring them back to their senses. There has to be a genuine catastophe, or else the passing of a lot of time.

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London Times on Fortuyn

The British press never ceases to disgust. Here’s the Times on the Fortuyn assassination, “Deadly Ideas: Fortuyn’s killing robs European politics of its innocence”[!]

I especially liked their comment that the killing

will link the violence that has hovered on the fringes of right-wing politics with the ugliness of racial conflict and the emotive theme of immigration.

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Christianity and politics

Random thoughts on politics and Christian orthodoxy:

Political modernism is the attempt to establish a wholly rational and this-worldly social order. The world is to be re-created and redeemed through man’s will. Political modernism thus substitutes faith in man for faith in God. As such, it is a denial of the nature of God, man, and the world. Its natural consequences are anarchy, tyranny, or both.

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Christianity and politics

Thoughts on politics and Christian orthodoxy:

Political modernism is the attempt to establish a wholly rational and this-worldly social order. The world is to be re-created and redeemed through man’s will. Political modernism thus substitutes faith in man for faith in God. As such, it is a denial of the nature of God, man, and the world. Its natural consequences are anarchy, tyranny, or both.

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Pravda: Fred Flintstone real!

Pim Fortuyn murdered

In Holland one of the targets of a sustained international hate campaign has been murdered.

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Changes in blog

Sorry for the constant changes in the blog’s appearance and URL. I think they’re mostly over now, although I still might fiddle with details. They all had to do with software changes I made to escape technical problems I had first with Blogger and then with Greymatter. Everything seems hunky-dory with Moveable Type, so I hope to stick with it.

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The “new mass”

I missed Latin mass yesterday—it’s been my craze ever since I decided I couldn’t stand the Episcopal Church—so I went to the local English one this morning. From the perspective of the old mass it’s an interesting combination of modernity and archaeology (that is, what worship is assumed to have been in the first half of the second century). It’s all put together under the banners of “updating,” “return to sources” and “noble simplicity.”

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Antiracism in Scandinavia

They certainly know how to fight internet racism in Scandinavia. In Norway they jail you for operating a web site on a foreign server, and in Sweden they make operators of online forums criminally liable for what people say on them.

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Hemings claim denied

I hadn’t known that historians had turned against the Hemings paternity claims: “Jefferson progeny club votes out Hemings’ kin”. I was at Monticello recently and there they tell you it’s true. I thought at the time they didn’t have much choice if they want to avoid trouble.

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Phyllis Chesler on feminine wickedness

Another shocking revelation of the obvious—sisterhood is not so powerful after all. Still, it’s interesting that Phyllis Chesler is the one to notice.

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Racial profiling in medicine

An article on “racial profiling” in medicine. For some reason this sort of thing has become terribly controversial. Even in medicine the will to deny the obvious is becoming stronger and more open.

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Derbyshire on sex and the Church

A friend asked me for my thoughts on a National Review article by John Derbyshire on the recent scandals in the Catholic Church.

I very much disagree with the article. First, the author argues that the sexual revolution has made people happier, all in all, because the abolition of reticence makes it easier to fix problems. That seems doubtful—it strikes me that the abolition of reticence is part of the abolition of the essential connection between sex and close human connections. That’s a catastrophe for any number of reasons. On the other hand, the author’s outlook on this as other issues is that human life is a matter of defining problems clearly and then fixing them in line with what you want, brutally if necessary. So it’s not surprising he thinks otherwise.

As to the lack of social support for celibacy he mentions, he’s apparently thinking of the Anglican church, which essentially exists as part of the political community and so must accommodate itself to it. The RC church is not like that. In fact, it seems to me that celibacy is all the more important now that the Church has such a fight on its hands maintaining independence in an all-engulfing media culture. What I think the Church needs to do is support celibacy itself by its institutional attitudes and habits—that is, act as if they’re serious about their own moral doctrine. Which is I think what JP II told the cardinals just recently.

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Artist nails arm

It’s hard to know what to say about some things: Artist ‘fine’ after having arm nailed to wall. I suppose he’s playing around with an odd kind of symbolism, like going around stripped and naked for 3 years (Isaiah 20:1-3). Three years is too long, though, so he makes up for the shorter time by doing something even odder.

Isaiah had something definite in mind. Besides, God told him to do it. In this case the symbolism is abstract and disconnected from any concrete concern. That’s modern art and modern life I suppose.

I wonder if Kafka knew what he was getting us into when he wrote Ein Hungerkunstler? He was an intelligent man and thought his stories were funny. It’s unbelievably stupid actually to carry them out.

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