What’s Wrong with the World

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Arkes on Kmiec and Obama-Supporting Catholics

On a wonderful new blog, The Catholic Thing, my dear friend, Hadley Arkes, offers, in his own elegant way, an assessment of the reasoning of Doug Kmiec and other like-minded Catholics who have come out in support of Senator Barack Obama. Here are some excerpts from Hadley's entry:

Douglas Kmiec, a good friend, had been Dean of the Law School at Catholic University and Cathleen Kaveny, is a professor of law at Notre Dame. Kmiec joined a meeting of Catholics with Obama and pronounced him a “natural for the Catholic vote.” Kmiec became persuaded that Obama, radically pro-choice, would nevertheless be open to serious measures for “reducing the number of abortions.” Kaveny could hardly be unaware of Obama’s position on abortion, and yet she thinks that other parts of Obama’s program would fit a Catholic vision--most notably, "ending the unjust war in Iraq, providing decent jobs, ensuring affordable health care for all, and working for comprehensive immigration reform."

On the matter of reducing the number of abortions, imagine that there is a wondrous scheme for diverting women from choosing abortions: Let’s suppose that, in counseling centers, we find that playing “You’d be So Nice to Come Home To” had the wondrous effect of stirring 90 percent of the women not to abort their babies--especially if the music is accompanied by the offer of a DVD player. Surely it would be a boon to save those lives, but we should tremble at what the move reveals about the terms of principle on which we live our lives together. For what is left intact is the understanding, deeply absorbed by our people, that there is nothing less than a “right” to order the killing of an innocent human being for reasons that need not rise beyond convenience or whims, and with no felt need even to offer a justification. To offer this state of affairs as a gain is to celebrate a law that has the most pronounced effect in misshaping the souls of our people.

Read the entire entry here.

Comments (10)

Thanks for the link, Dr. Beckwith. As a Protestant trying to understand Catholicism (and its attraction for me, I may as well say), "The Catholic Thing" looks like an excellent place to explore.

It doesn't appear from your website that you are speaking at Summit East this month? I am sorely disappointed; I was hoping to meet you there!

Thank you for your kind words, Beth. I was invited to speak at Summit East, but my summer schedule is pretty brutal this year and I had to decline. I am speaking at 6 Colorado Summit sessions this summer.


Wow, that's a lot! Summit is really expanding; they added Ohio and Virginia this year, run by our Summit East folk. I do hope you will be able to be with us at Bryan next summer. Blessings on your Colorado sessions!

Is Arkes Catholic?

"Is Arkes Catholic?"

No, he's Jewish, but apparently "thinks with the Church" to a greater extend than some of the folks at Vox Nova.

""The Catholic Thing" looks like an excellent place to explore."

Beth, I hope that site does not give you the wrong impression. Like so many others that use "Catholic'" in it's title, it apparently resolves the tension that exists between the City of God and the City of Man by deferring to the latter. You will note that the positions endorsed by some of it's contributors; "preventive war" and "enhanced interrogation technigues", are in oppostion to Catholic teaching. Beware.

As you do explore; this prayer is offered;

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." John 17:20-23

There are a number of places I read and authors whose work I am exploring, Kevin. Thank you for your concern and your prayers.


"...than some of the folks at Vox Nova."

Please refer to VN by its proper name: "Debate Club at Auschwitz".

(CHT to Zippy)

Russell Kirk dismissed Call to Action back in the 70's as "... a convention of the Church mice..." The same might be said of Vox Nova. The site suffers from the same joyless earnestness that is the mark of those who mistake modernity's pronouncements for Revelation and pursue salvation through secular means.

These are incredible times for the Church and the civilization she birthed. Rome is welcoming home her Prodigals of schismatic traditionalists and disenchanted Anglicans, the "reform of the Reform" quickens, the air-passages to our other lung - the Orthodox - are more open, liturgical beauty is replacing banality, and B16 is simultaneously taking on the two death cults of secularism and Islam, but what excites VN? The sound and fury of modern politics in general, and this insufferable campaign in particular. One can be an apparatchik, or an apostle. No one can be both. The folks at VN are cracking under the contradictory strain.


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