Monthly Archives: January 2005

From the Crisis E-letter: Liberal hate crimes OK

In the most recent Crisis e-letter, Brian Saint-Paul has alterted his readers to a case where pro-abort college students have been allowed to get away with a hate crime against Christians and pro-lifers. So here is a story from the most recent letter, to set your blood boiling. To me, the salient point is something I’ve observed in Leftists in general, from message boards and what not.
1. Conservative tries to discuss an issue, whether through a rational appeal or the kind of emotional appeal that liberals generally applaud when it’s on their side
2. Liberal calls conservative an idiot, or a worse name, or some other ad hominem attack.
3. Conservative takes humbrage at the ad hominem.
4. Liberal says, “Hey! This is supposed to be about dialogue and exchange of ideas and free speech!”
(“Yeah, but you’re not engaging in dialogue”)
If you have a conservative who is black, disabled, or female, that person is despised by the Left and attacked with every slur known to man. Armstrong Williams (black) and Maggie Gallagher (female) get attacked for using federal money for propaganda, which is the foundation of Democrat social policy (anyone ever hear of the EPA? NEA? NEH? PBS? the other NEA?). Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter are consistently attacked with “dumb blond” stereotypes. And whenever I explain how my disability is a basis for my conservative beliefs, liberals accuse me of “whining.”

Anyway, here’s the situation. LSU’s Students for Life put up the “4000 crosses” protest display. Poor-choicer students vandalized the display, proclaiming it an act of “free speech,” while voicing their hatred for pro-lifers and Christians. So why the double standard ? Why do liberals get away with hate crimes.

Apparently, the right to free speech doesn’t apply to everyone. Especially if you happen to be pro-life.

That’s the lesson the Louisiana State University Students For Life learned recently. You see, last weekend, in anticipation of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, they placed 4,000 crosses on the campus parade grounds. (The 4,000 figure represents the average number of unborn children killed per day by abortion.)

It was a nice, silent witness to the atrocity of abortion.

But even that is just too much for some people. Around midnight Monday morning, a group of pro-abortion students vandalized the display, destroying 3,000 of the crosses and using some of the others to spell “pro-choice” on the grass. All told the vandals did over $9,000 worth of damage.

Amazingly enough, one of the university police officers saw them doing it and ordered them to leave. But he didn’t arrest them. One wonders if he would have acted similarly had he caught them spray-painting graffiti on a dormitory wall.

The perpetrators were later arrested and charged with criminal mischief — a misdemeanor. But is that enough? Richard Mahoney, president of the St. Mary and St. Joseph Memorial Foundation and owner of the vandalized crosses certainly doesn’t think so. The cross is a religious symbol, he noted to The Daily Reveille (the student newspaper of LSU), and “defacing a religious symbol is a hate crime.”

In an amusing exercise in rationalization, John Philip Morlier, one of the perpetrators, wrote a letter to the Reveille, defending his actions:

“I engaged in what I believe to be an act of free speech. The crosses were planted in an effort to join a debate, conversation. By removing from the ground and disassembling the crosses, I was voicing a counter point. I know that my actions were rash; however, the statement made by the crosses was rash, inappropriate, invasive and hostile.”

Where to begin? I wonder if Mr. Morlier would appreciate my own “counter point” if I were to scratch the word “Idiot” into the side of his car? Probably not. And yet, that’s the kind of reasoning he’s using here with his vandalism-as-genuine-debate argument.

But it gets even better. He goes on to try to explain why he wasn’t guilty of a hate crime… only to shoot himself in the foot in the attempt:

“The crosses are not an invitation to engage in a give and take debate on the issue, rather the issue is evasively hidden behind the most powerful symbol in our community. Those crosses were a black and while framing of a very complex issue veiled behind the threat of hell; a wood and glue manifestation of the self-righteous, mislabeled ‘Christian’ mentality that fuels itself off of the punishment it threatens or administers to those that it persistently persecutes.”

Did you catch his misstep?

When I first learned of the vandalism and the attempt to label it a hate crime, I had my doubts. After all, the crosses were used in the display to represent tombstones — objects that have taken on a secular value in our culture. Most likely, I thought, the vandals were reacting to them as such.

But Mr. Morlier shows that this is not so, thereby surrendering his single best defense. According to his own statement, he DID consider the crosses religious symbols. In defacing them, he was acting against the spiritual message he thought they communicated.

And that sounds like a hate crime to me.

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FYI–Peggy Noonan’s follow-up

In honor of _Roe_, the Supreme Court of Killers strike again

What a disgrace!
Worse, they ruled that “Terri’s Law” is “unconstitutional,” because it’s an attempt to override a court decision!
Poppycock!
The CONSTITUTION–if these fascist pigs (and that goes for Scalia and Thomas, too!) would actually *read* the stupid thing–specifically SAYS that the LEGISLATURE CAN OVERRIDE THE COURTS!!!
The Court does not have the right to interpret the Constitution!
This Republic is over. We might as well hand over all sovereignty to the Almighty Court.
Thomas and Scalia better not have the nerve to show their faces in a Catholic Church ever again.

But they won’t give proper burial to miscarried babies

Sounds like a criticism of the Left, but the double standard in regard to unborn babies hardly helps the pro-life cause. I’m actually surprised that this abortionist sends his victims to a regular mortuary. God bless the mortuary for giving the remains to the Church, and God bless the Church for burying them.
But why can’t we get proper burial for miscarried babies?

Pat Buchanan along the same notes as Noonan

Buchanan gives historical examples of the failure of democratic idealism: the US Civil War (not to mention the entire history of 19th century France), both World Wars, and the various dictatorships that came out of previous US attempts to establish democracy in Latin America and Africa. . . .
Interestingly, Buchanan’s critique of Bush is almost Neo-Marxist: a successful democratic government must necessarily evolve. You cannot invade a country, overthrow a government, and force democracy by military occupation, any more than the Soviets were able to invade countries and enforce Communism.
Limbaugh disparages this as a denial that people want liberty, an attitude of cultural superiorty. But it’s not question fo whether people *want* liberty. It’s a question of what people *do* with their liberty.

Peggy Noonan, the Inauguration Speech, and The Challenges of Party Coalitions.

Well, from what little I heard on talk radio today, some of the big post-inauguration news in the conservative world is Peggy Noonan’s column today in the Wall Street Journal (above).
One of Rush’s callers brought it up this afternoon. Rush said that a) he has high respect for Peggy Noonan, personally and professinoaly, so he refused to either criticize her or try to interpret her, but b) he used it as a sounding board for what he sees as some of the criticism coming at Bush from the Right (focusing on McCain and Hegel).
Just hearing that discussion, I had my own ideas as to where she was coming from. Later, I was listening to Laura Ingraham, who said, “Later, Peggy Noonan sounds off on the inauguration,” but I never actually heard Ingraham’s take on it.
When I finally got to reading Noonan’s column myself, I found I was right on target with my guess. First, the column is misrepresented by the headline as “too much God.”
She doesn’t really criticize the inauguration for being too religious. She criticizes it for
a. Being too Protestant and
b. Having hokey contemporary “praise and worship” music instead of more dignified fare.

More importantly, though, she criticizes Bush’s wide-sweeping mission. I think Rush’s delicate words belied that he really knew where she was coming from.
One of the principle areas where I disagree with both Mr. Limbaugh and Mr. Bush is their optimism. Anyone familiar with Burke or Kirk knows that conservatives are *not* supposed to be optimistic.
Conservatives are supposed to be pessimistic. We know human beings are bad. We mistrust human nature. Pessimism, by the way, is not the same as cynicism.
Liberalism is optimistic about human nature, and false optimism always creates cynicism, which is what we see in the modern Left.
A conservative does not put his trust in government to solve his problems, because government is a flawed, human institution. A conservative knows that only the Church is trustworthy to do actual good in the world. A conservative, versus a feudalist (for lack of a better term), also knows historically the dangers of mixing the Church and the State too much.

For four years, religious conservatives have faced a quandary in George W. Bush.
On the one hand, we have a president who speaks our language. . . . But does he do it too well? Is it just an act?
He has done some pretty significant things, but has he done enough? Has he *really* acted like someone who professes what he professes?
I don’t know. . . . .I know he’s better than the alternatives. And I know he’s done some good, and we must never expect perfection from our politicians.
And that is the point of Noonan’s piece. The world is imperfect, and politicians are imperfect. And as soon as they begin talking *like* they are perfect; as soon as they start coming up with grandiose plans to “do good,” whether in domestic or foreign policy, they are rising on the slippery slope to becoming tyrants themselves.

Oftentimes, those of us with deep set convictions and an understanding of different political philosophies are forced, by the nature of practical politics, to be what I call “political schizophrenics.” We must compromise, and we must sometimes “waffle,” as it were, depending upon the context of the debate.
In fact, one thing I will grant John Kerry is that he is not quite as inconsistent as many accuse him of being.
Thus, conservatives often cite the writings of George Washington, such as his farewell address, when talking about issues like taxation or immigration or religion in public life. But they neglect Washington’s warnings against foreign entanglements.

Now, we know there are many philosophical and political divisions among Catholics, particularly in America. Even Catholics who vote Republican tend to fall under certain divisions.
One one end, there are your so-called “Reagan Democrats,” the people who say “I’d be a Democrat if it wern’t for abortion.”
On the other end are Catholic libertarians, like myself, who mistrust all federal power and say, “If it weren’t for abortion, I’d vote Libertarian.”
Then there are some mainstream Republican Catholics in between who, like Peggy Noonan, are more strictly conservative philosophically, and tend to be more lock-step with the Republican positions.

Then there’s Iraq. I konw people who feel that Iraq was such an important “life issue” that it overrode abortion & they voted for Kerry (even though Cardinal Ratiznger and the USCCB made it clear that abortion *does* outweigh war as a political issue).
And many Catholics who inititally supported Bush, and initially supported the war in Iraq, have at various points repented of that decision, as more information has come out.

Personally, I still support the war and think it was the right war, but given the wrong justification. I believe we should have ousted Saddam Hussein in 1991. Giving him the second chance under sanctions was a great application of Just War Theory, but Hussein violated the sanctions on numerous occasions, so a continuation of the just war started in 1991 was inevitable and obligatory. It just took to long for the US to do it.
To me, the justification of the present conflict in Iraq is derived from whether the 1991 conflict was justified. And I know that many Catholics on “the Right” believe that *both* wars are unjust. To that end, I applaud their consistency and respectfully disagree.

What’s important here is that, as the Democratic Party is imploding on its cynicism and socialism, and as the Republican “coalition” beocmes the deminant party in American politics, it’s time to take stock of the different factions taht make up that party.
And the many factions taht call themselves Republican, or even conservative, have often been ignored.
Rush calls it political opportunism, but I think it’s more like any political revolution–violent or non-violent.
When Christians were being persecuted by Rome, they didn’t give as much attention to theological nuance. But as soon as Christianity was legalized, the heresies came out of the woodwork and they Church needed to clearly identify itself.
The broad coalition of Republican interest groups, like the broad coalition of Democrat interest groups, share certain basic and interconnecting goals, but have many nuances that, within their own context, become quite extreme.
We overlook those nuances to gain power. But once we’re in power, those nuances become crucial.

The principle of “schizophrenia” in practical politics makes us squelch some seemingly lesser concerns for the ones that seem more important. So, if I’m a Catholic who is politically Republican and philosophically conservative, I’m going to be wary of finding that I share the same misgivings of our current Republican president as those on the Left (if for different reasons).
It is a bold move, especially by a prominent figure like Peggy Noonan, to make that admission.

The difference is this. The Left doesn’t want the Church influencing the state, where the religious person is wary of the state influencing the Church.
The Left says that Bush’s religious rhetoric is just that, empty rhetoric that he doesn’t really believe. Most people who know the president, including Noonan, agree that his beliefs are authentic.

The question is: what *are* his beliefs? One of the great temptations suggested in _The Screwtape Letters_ is for a cause initially joined for the sake of religion to overturn religion itself.
Look at Action Francaise. The Catholics and the monarchists in 19th Century France were allied, for a variety of reasons. But there were a lot of differences between them, as well.
Catholics saw the monarchy as more conducive to a Catholic society than democracy (esp. the radical secular democracy being pushed in France). So they supported the Action Francaise movement. But when the leaders of that particular movement, who were atheists, talked of the CHurch as a tool to advance monarchism, the Pope condemned the movement (the situation was later rectified).

Many Catholics in Italy and Germany initially supported Mussolini and Hitler because of their talk of traditional values. And when the veneer came off, they changed their tunes, but it was too late.
I honestly do not believe that is the case with George W. Bush. I don’t agree with the Left that he’s a Hitler or a Mussolini.
But I *do* fear that his rhetoric and his policies might pave the way for a Hitler or Mussolini.
Think about the “War on Terror.” In 2001, Jerry Falwell published Clinton-era FBI files, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, that showed how the Clinton Adminsistration considered the pro-life movement one of the most dangerous terrorist threats in the country, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to be the most organized terrorist network in the country!
Imagine what would happen if a Democrat came to power with the mandates of the Patriot Act and Homeland Security.
Now Bush is saying that we need to have a global war to liberate every country in the world from every tyrant?

Villanova University, a Catholic school, honors true FemiNazi

Today, Rush Limbaugh spoke about Villanova University honoring a dead professor who slit the throat of her baby with Down’s syndrome and later committed suicide in jail. This woman has become a poster-figure for post-partum depression. Now, post-partum depression is one thing. Post-partum *psychosis* (actual violence against a child) is quite another. And this is hardly a case of either. The woman openly admitted to willfully killing her child, who was on a feeding tube, to “spare” the child from “suffering.” It’s like justifying Michael Schiavo’s behavior as a “mid-life crisis.”
Secondly, it is one thing to use a tragic case as an example to raise awareness of a societal problem. It is quite another to make a hero(ine) out of the perpetrator. It’s like naming a building after John Hinckley in order to raise awareness of schizophrenia. . .. Of course, the way the left’s going, they’ll probably start praising John Hinckley as a hero, anyway.
Lastly, Villanova is supposed to be a *Catholic* institution. Interestingly, when I came home and looked up both Villanova and this particular story, I found that the main Villanova page had several pro-life events listed, but nothing about this dedication. It took a second perusal of Rush’s site to find where the article was linked.
Then I sent off a letter to Villanovans for Life, the Villanovan Newspaper and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The good news is that when I e-mailed the message to the Villanovan paper, they have an online poll, asking for people’s opinions of the memorial to Ener: disapprove, approve or don’t know. It was 100 % disapproval.