Sunday, April 10, 2005

Insight from Mark Steyn

If I could have a "Mark Steyn" chip implanted in my brain so that I could immediately receive everything he writes directly into my head as soon as it hit the internet, I would.

Another hat tip to Tom the Pooklekufr for this link, Why progressive Westerners never understood John Paul II. Mark Steyn goes far beyond mere discussion of John Paul II's positions WRT modern liberal politics. He shows that modern liberal moral relativism reflects a culture suicide wish. This is a point that I too have been trying to make however much more crudely. Using bioethics and Peter Singer as my framework I wrote of western progressivism's suicide wish for our country here, here, and here.

Every sentence of this piece is a pleasure to read and any excerpting would do it injustice, but I'll try anyway;
By contrast, the Guardian thought Karol Wojtyla was "a doctrinaire, authoritarian pontiff". That "doctrinaire" at least suggests the inflexible authoritarian derived his inflexibility from some ancient operating manual - he was dogmatic about his dogma - unlike the New York Times and the Washington Post, which came close to implying that John Paul II had taken against abortion and gay marriage off the top of his head, principally to irk "liberal Catholics". The assumption is always that there's some middle ground that a less "doctrinaire" pope might have staked out: he might have supported abortion in the first trimester, say, or reciprocal partner benefits for gays in committed relationships.

The root of the Pope's thinking - that there are eternal truths no one can change even if one wanted to - is completely incomprehensible to the progressivist mindset. There are no absolute truths, everything's in play, and by "consensus" all we're really arguing is the rate of concession to the inevitable: abortion's here to stay, gay marriage will be here any day now, in a year or two it'll be something else - it's all gonna happen anyway, man, so why be the last squaresville daddy-o on the block?
There is a lot here so I'll straight to the conclusion.
Thoughtful atheists ought to be able to recognise that, whatever one's tastes in these areas, the Pope was on to something - that abortion et al, in separating the "two meanings" of sex and leaving us free to indulge in one while ignoring the other, have severed us almost entirely and possibly irreparably from traditional impulses, such as societal survival. John Paul II championed the "splendour of truth" not because he was rigid and inflexible, but because he understood the alternative was a dead end in every sense.

If his beloved Europe survives in any form, it will one day acknowledge that.
Read the whole thing. Read about the "the creepy suck-up letters Gerhard Schröder wrote to the East German totalitarian leaders when he was a West German pol on the make in the 1980s." Read it all.

Damn, I wish I could write like that.

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