Friday, August 04, 2017

Liberation (from reality) Theology

It's Friday, so time for... another rambling freeform post, I guess. Possibly very offensive material ahead, but it is what it is. I won't stop until I've offended and alienated every last reader!

Lest anyone think I'm bagging on Protestantism, first of all, I'm only bagging on Luther, who strikes me as a gold-plated madman. But let's give some equal time to Pope Francis, who, with all due respect, is some combination of crazy, stupid, ignorant, indifferent, and/or demonic.

I can say that because I'm not a formal member of the Church. Rather, I only love the Church -- especially the Nonlocal Church Triumphant, what with all those visible saints and hidden cluminaries who continue to enrich my life immeasurably, but also the true Church Militant consisting of local Christians "who struggle as soldiers of Christ against sin, the devil, and 'the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.'"

I can't help it. It's what I really think, especially after reading The Political Pope. Seriously: has there ever been a pope this loved by Christ's enemies and persecutors?

I can't vouch for the scholarship of the author, but he provides evidence that "liberation theology" was invented by the KGB, who even came up with the misleading name. It was an explicit attempt to infiltrate and influence the Church, to convert people to communism "through the judicious manipulation of religion," "the secret task of which was to incite Latin America's poor to rebel against the 'institutionalized violence of poverty' generated by the United States."

I still remember Pope John Paul confronting that Marxist priest on the tarmac in Nicaragua in 1983 and ripping him a new one: YOU MUST STRAIGHTEN OUT YOUR POSITION WITH THE CHURCH! Truly, the sainted Pope could hammer Francis with the identical words. Marxism or Christianity. It's one or the other, Padre.

For the record, I myself was probably at peak leftitude in 1983, so I very much sympathized with the chastened priest. I can't say I regarded John Paul the way I do Francis, because I wouldn't have thought of the former as demonic, just a reactionary malefactor steeped in magical thinking getting in the way of Progress.

Pope Benedict too "repeatedly warned the faithful to reject 'liberation theology,' a Marxist-inspired ideology disguised as concern for the poor..." But Francis is doing his best to rehabilitate this heresy, praising its "high concept of humanity," reinstating defrocked priests and condemned theologians, and appointing these purveyors of anti-Christian doctrine to important advisory positions.

Likewise, in reference to free market capitalism he tellingly deploys the left-wing smear of "trickle-down economics," and proclaims that "inequality is the root of all evil." He seems better suited to Occupy Wall Street than the Vatican.

Oh yeah, I remember. God punishes Adam and Eve because they trigger Him with loose talk about a natural right to private property. The snake puts it in Eve's ear that socialism is both false and unjust, and God responds by kicking them out of their Venezuelan paradise.

Beyond ironically, the actual origin of evil may be traced to "Satan's refusal to accept inequality." Satan rebels out of envy, as "he couldn't tolerate his lesser status." The mere existence of God is a wound to his narcissistic sense of entitlement.

There is nothing in the Commandments in praise of equality. Indeed, the first and fourth commandments mandate cosmic hierarchy and inequality (in reference to our local and nonlocal parents), while the ninth and tenth instruct the faithful to STRAIGHTEN OUT YOUR POSITION WITH ENVY! As in, STOP IT!

But as Churchill well knew, socialism is the ideology of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of ENVY. Gospel, mind you: ultimately the anti-gospel of the anti-Christ. And prior to its badness is its ignorance, in that "Being precedes Truth" and "Truth precedes the Good" (Pieper):

Truth, then, is the prerequisite of justice. Whoever rejects truth, whether natural or supernatural, is really 'wicked' and beyond conversion.... 'All laws and rules of conduct may ultimately be reduced to a single one: to truth.'

For the virtue of prudence resides in this: that the objective cognition of reality shall determine action; that the truth of real things shall become determinative.... This in turn necessitates that the egocentric 'interests' of man be silenced in order that he may perceive the truth of real things, and so that reality itself may guide him to the proper means for realizing his goal.

Oh, and covetousness "means more than the disorderly love of money and property." Rather, it includes "immoderate straining for all the possessions which man thinks are needed to assure his own importance and status," an "overriding concern for confirmation and security."

It reminds me of something Schuon says about how each assimilation of a truth results in a little death for the ego. Truth "is dependent upon the constant readiness to ignore the self," on "the limberness of real humility and objectivity" (Pieper).

The point is, moral action must be rooted in truth, i.e., an objective perception of reality. Now, socialism is very much a subjective perception of reality, which is to say, no reality at all. Look at Venezuela: it is what happens when passionately moral actions (giving those idiots the benefit of the doubt) are rooted in desire instead of truth. The roads built by the Good Intentions Paving Company travel in one direction only.

And if this book on Francis is correct, then he is one of them -- a member in good standing of the Socialist Church Militant. Fellow member Cornel West calls him "a gift from heaven." Talk about damning with fulsome praise.

Of course, I would love to be wrong. But it is difficult to conceive of a cosmos in which praise from the likes of Cornel West isn't a grave indictment.

The left claims that the guilty party in a conflict is not the one who covets another's goods but the one who defends his own.

Envy differs from the other vices by the ease with which it disguises itself as a virtue.

The devil can achieve nothing great without the careless collaboration of the virtues.

There is no noble substitute for gratitude.

The error lies not in dreaming that secret gardens exist, but in dreaming they have doors. --Don Colacho's Aphorisms


Gagdad Bob said...

Is there anything Trump can't do? In California we have professional cuddlers to help residents cope with him. I wonder if Obamacare covers it?

Calexit can't come too soon.

Rick said...

Sounds like you and Dr. Warren are on the same wave/particle.
Which is to say, so am I!

julie said...


Continuing the study of Acts this week, with chapter 13 there was an animated discussion yesterday about the meaning of "justified," as well as a relevant observation by Paul: "“You son of the devil, you enemy of all that is right, full of every sort of deceit and fraud. Will you not stop twisting the straight paths of [the] Lord?" (emphasis mine)

Gagdad Bob said...

Paul didn't pull any punches. The last chapter of the book mentions that Paul once had to forcefully correct Peter, and wonders if and when Francis will be similarly confronted.

julie said...

I don't think we've gotten to that point in the story yet.

Paul is very interesting. My theory, which is mine, is that he was chosen to lead Christians precisely because he was so zealous to serve God that he was happily having them tortured and killed in the genuine belief that what they were preaching was the worst sort of blasphemy. And even today, reading his words is likely to trigger even the most serious Christian on some point or other.

Anonymous said...

You certainly write like someone who has never gone hungry. Me thinks you have been a mite too lucky for your own good... used between fat, well-off equals. The oppressed call it complaining about their lot.

Nevertheless I get where you are coming from. You believe unchecked market forces work for the common weal (and they probably do).

Your discussion has all to do with economics, and not much to do with religion.

The current Pope is a Jesus follower, which explains all of his words and actions very well.

And you...are you a follower of Jesus? How do you manifest this in your daily life?

Gagdad Bob said...

You'll never guess.

Anonymous said...

You certainly write like someone who has never gone hungry. Me thinks you have been a mite too lucky for your own good...

I think this is what I find most juvenile about our sophomoric culture. The assumption that no one, least of all the person that I am speaking to, could possibly understand the suffering I am describing. That they must be either ignorant of or uncaring about the plight at hand.

julie said...

No joke. It is as though one may not be considered to have a valid point without first establishing the proper victimhood credits. A statement or observation may not stand on its own veracity, it must be considered in light of the speaker's privilege status and treated accordingly depending upon how much the speaker has suffered or been privileged during xhits lifetime.

To the veracity of the post, nevermind that the American free market has lifted the plight of the poor and the sick here and around the world to standards of comfort and plenty never before enjoyed by kings of nations, much less ordinary people. It is inequal and therefore evil! Better to be like the equalized citizens of Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, where envy has successfully been stamped out and the poor suffer no privation compared to their neighbors. And how spiritually liberated they are, too - they hardly have need for Christ, having all but achieved heaven on earth!

Gagdad Bob said...

In America the poor aren't hungry. They'e obese. Meanwhile, because of diabetes I'm usually hungry. Go figure.

Re my friend's niece who wants to give away her possessions because she feels terribly guilty over her White Privilege. I would remind her that America's blacks are the most affluent in the world. In short, they have American Privilege. Shouldn't they give their stuff away to non-American blacks?

Also, since the slave trade was run by coastal Africans who kidnapped the slaves from interior Africa, doesn't Africa owe American blacks reparations?

julie said...

Seriously. Africa owes me!

As far as giving the stuff away goes, there are a lot of good reasons to do that, particularly for a young person who has never had to be particularly resourceful, but White Privilege is not one of them. Poverty sucks, but there is something deeply liberating about realizing that we don't need All of the Things to have a full and fulfilling life.

Gagdad Bob said...

I learned invaluable lessons when I was of modest means. Like how to be happy regardless of material circumstances. I lived as student until I was 32, but never felt deprived. As they say, a student is someone who can't afford the necessities of life, only the luxuries.

Gagdad Bob said...

Moreover, there is a type of poverty -- no doubt the most common kind -- that no amount of wealth can remedy.

Gagdad Bob said...

"Poverty is the only barrier to the throng of vulgarities that whinny inside our souls." --The Aphorist

Gagdad Bob said...

Come to think of it, the envious man is always poor, isn't he?

Gagdad Bob said...

The only way out of that kind of poverty is to attack and destroy that which provokes the envy. Which is why the left will always be with us.

Anna said...

Anon. said... "Your discussion has all to do with economics, and not much to do with religion."

I laughed and laughed... couldn't help it. When you are talking about economics, of course you are talking about religion.

And... "The current Pope is a Jesus follower, which explains all of his words and actions very well."


The two combined together -- double argh. I notice this kind of infertile crossbreeding of ideas quite often. It kills all the crops. It reminds me of the same problem an art teacher pointed to when she said to the class, 'You can't art art'. Or if you have a subject-object problem.

julie said...

Anna, good to see you! And yes, exactly.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anna:

I do not follow your conclusion that my prior comment had an infertile crossbreeding. Your observation that religion and economics are linked is valid, but you could say that about almost anything.

The blog author dislikes the Pope because of his economic stance, instead of any deficiency regarding the teachings of Jesus. That's like complaining your lawyer is a bad plumber. Popes and anyone can interpret the teachings as best they can.

If the Pope was demonic, then he would not be able to take communion, as at the moment of transformation, halfway down the esophagus, the flesh and blood would make him ill. This clearly has not happened.

Gagdad Bob said...

--The blog author dislikes the Pope because of his economic stance, instead of any deficiency regarding the teachings of Jesus.

Not true at all, and besides, irrelevant. The question is whether he is deficient with regard to the teachings of the Church. Which he surely is.