Saturday, April 1, 2017

Items of Interest: Fifth Week of Great Lent

Inequality and Redistribution in Catholic Social Teaching
by Daniel Schwindt (Catholic Front). «Central to the Biblical concept of the Jubilee is the redistribution of property to alleviate accumulations and dispossession. Such concentration occurs very naturally in many economies, since none are perfect, but it becomes greatly exaggerated in industrialized nations: ‹The development model of industrialized societies is capable of producing huge quantities of wealth, but also has serious shortcomings when it comes to the equitable redistribution of its fruits and the promotion of growth in less developed areas.› There is an overwhelming amount of time spent in Catholic Social Teaching exhorting authorities and private persons to act against rising social inequality. Pope Francis has gone so far as calling inequality ‹the root of all social evil.› And if we grant the interdependence of political and economic power, which implies that inequality of property necessarily implies imbalances in political power, then it is not difficult to see why this is so.»

«Alt-right» vs human rights: What happens to us when we disengage from Christianity
by David Mills (Aleteia). «This shows where man without God winds up: in wishing some people will die so the world will be a better place for people like you, in which you buy the ‹truly great life› at the cost of others’ lives. Those of us who, believing in the God who so loved the world that he gave his only son for it, value every human life? Radically dysgenic, egalitarian, multi-racial human rights thumpers. But then we follow the radically dysgenic, egalitarian, multi-racial human rights thumper who said ‹Let the little children come to me.›»

Justice in Economics is not Socialism
by Mark and Louise Zwick (The Distributist Review). «Today, the danger is not large Communist meetings; they do not exist. It is, rather, what Pope John Paul II called a new feudalism. The Middle Ages and feudalism are usually criticized as a horrible time, when serfs had little materially and had to give their allegiance to a landowner. One of the strongest criticisms of that age was the enormous gap between rich and poor that existed. In the present global economy large numbers of workers are in a position similar to that of serfs from an earlier time. We are speaking here of those who labor in maquiladoras or out-sourced plants and make a pittance, of those who lost their farms in Mexico to multinational agribusinesses when NAFTA and other ‹free trade› agreements took force, and now only have seasonal work in the fields or even work on the land they previously owned as hired hands. Undocumented workers in the United States are often underpaid or even cheated out of their meager wages.»

Supreme Incoherence: Transgender Ideology and the End of Law
by Jeff Shafer (First Things). «Transgenderism public policy advocates are not proposing a compromise at the margins, and indeed they cannot. Their program is totalistic, as its ambition is to redefine humanity writ large. If the law governing us all says Gavin is a boy and not a girl, then ‹boy› and ‹girl› no longer mean for anyone what they always meant before. We’ve then all been redefined.Transgenderism is supremely incoherent not only because it is irrational, but because that irrationality doesn’t diminish its appeal or social standing. Its irrationality is not a defect but its principle feature, its point of pride and perverse strength. Judge Niemeyer wrote in dissent to a ruling in Gavin’s case that, as against transgender policy, ‹[v]irtually every civilization’s norms on this issue stand in protest.› Well yes; that’s rather the point. For transgender ideology, the unanimous testimony of human civilization not only has no authority, but civilization is precisely the foe it aims to vanquish. Settled categories—of law, logic, or physical creation—are targets for subversion.»

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