Thursday, March 29, 2012

Population Control: Projected Self-Loathing

Many members of the human race despise their own kind. Nowhere is this more evident than in the calls of advocates of population control seeking to reduce the human population to “manageable levels.”  
Population control advocates see humans ONLY as consumers, who swarm across the earth, steal the earth’s valuable resources, and willfully destroy the earth’s creatures for their own purposes. To them, humans are equivalent to parasites, since humans leech off the Earth without providing anything in return except pollution and destruction.
To population control advocates, the only responsible thing humans can do is to limit their numbers, so as to stop killing the environment. That way, humans can at least limit the damage they do to the earth.
They advocate abortion and contraception, which limit human population. More radical population control advocates even celebrate war, disease, and the destruction of human civilization.
Furthermore, technological advances which “harm the environment” are rejected and even demonized by population control advocates. And if that means a retreat back to ancient era technology, so be it. Human betterment should not get in the way of the well-being of the earth.
But this is a terrifying view of humanity. For if human beings are only parasites that drain the earth’s resources, should they not be destroyed? This is the logical, terrifying road population control leads down - leading to self-loathing and despair. 
Christianity, by contrast, teaches that men should be stewards of the earth, to "fill the earth and subdue it." (Gen 1:28) We are called to treat the earth with respect, while at the same time improving our own station.
For Christians, humans are a positive good on the earth. Humanity thus should seek its own betterment and increase - the more on earth, the merrier. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Contraception and the Church: A Matter of Life and Death

Many people seem to be under the impression that the Church has an archaic prejudice against contraception, and is simply being stubborn in refusing to allow it. To these people, the Church should “enter the 21st century” and accept the modern age’s embrace of birth control.
They are wrong. Contraception is not an issue that the Church can change without consequences.  Indeed, for the Church, contraception is quite literally a matter of life and death.
I have written in a previous post how all of the Church’s teachings are internally consistent. The Church’s teachings all support one another. This is true for the Church’s teaching on contraception.
For the Church’s teachings on contraception are integral to her teachings on sexual morality. If sexual intercourse is meant to be a joyful, life-giving act with the potential of creating life, then any attempt to alter this twofold purpose of sexual intercourse (i.e., through IVF or contraception) strikes at the heart of human sexuality itself.    
The Church’s teachings on sexual morality are integral to Her teachings on the human person. If the complementarity between one man and woman in sexual union is meant to reflect the love and unity of God and the Trinity, then an assault on this vision of the human person is an assault on humanity.
And Her teachings on the human person are integral to Her teachings about man’s relation to God.
So if the Church’s teaching on contraception is attacked, the whole of Church teaching goes down with it. If the Church permits contraception, She loses Her intellectual and moral authority - and will wither away.
The Church has always held that contraception is evil and perverts the nature of sexual intercourse: from the Fathers of the Church, through medieval times, to the present day.
So to the Church, the prohibition of contraception is not an archaic rule that will simply go away with time. Her opposition to contraception is integral to her existence.
And the Church will fight the contraception issue, even until Her death.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Why Do Atheists Complain about Prayer?

Atheists often get upset whenever Christians or others pray for them. They feel that prayer is a waste of time, and sometimes even treat prayer as a personal attack on them and their lack of religious belief.
But there is a problem with their attitude towards prayer.
For if atheists are wrong, and if God exists, then prayer is doing a great deal of good – especially in Catholic theology, since no prayer is ever wasted. 
But if atheists are right, and if God does not exist, then what harm is prayer doing to the atheist? It merely wastes the time of the believer, and nothing more.
So why should atheists take personal offense at being prayed for?
Do they believe that God's non-existence is so obvious that they are angered at the very mention of something they believe is illogical?
Or are they really worried that God does exist, and try to avoid any mention of God or religion because they seek to quell their nagging doubts that they are wrong about His non-existence?

Friday, March 23, 2012

I Believe in a God of Love

I believe in a God of love.
I believe that God loves every single one of His creatures with an infinite, burning love, and that He wants all His human creatures to be with Him in Heaven forever.
That is precisely why I cannot support “popular” moral evils, such as homosexual activity.
For I believe He would not have bothered to warn us about Hell if such a place did not exist. (Mark 9:47-48) I also take Him at His word that those who stubbornly commit moral evil (including “popular” moral evil) will face eternal consequences.
I also believe that God is not a liar. I take Him at his word when He says that the gate to heaven is narrow. (Matt 7:13)
God does not lie to us. He loves us too much to do so.
And nor should His followers ignore Christ's warnings and lie to their fellow men about moral evil.
Thus, telling someone that something forbidden by God is acceptable is not love at all, but cowardice. If I tell a murderer that his actions are acceptable, I am lying.
This is true of all moral evil. Telling someone that homosexual actions are acceptable (NOT homosexuality per se, which is disordered but not evil) is not love, but a dereliction of duty. As a Christian, if I am asked whether evil is evil, I must not lie.
Many will accuse me of judgment. But I have not judged these behaviors to be evil – God has already done so. What God has already judged as wrong, I must oppose with Him.
And so, as a Christian, I will love you with every fiber of my being, no matter who you are or what you have done. I will give you anything that you ask me for (so far as the law of God allows) if you request it.
But as a Christian, I cannot lie to you and say that moral evil is acceptable, just as I could not justifiably lie to you in calling black white.
And if I or any Christian were to do so, that would be an expression of cowardice, not love.

This post also appeared on the New Agora. Check us out!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Feminized Society (Part 2)

In a previous post, I examined how American society had grown increasingly feminized. A feminized society carries with it both advantages and disadvantages. This post shall examine the advantages of a feminized society.
The advantages of a feminized society, predictably, reflect the strengths of women.
1)    Women tend to be less violent than men. They are more likely to talk over solutions to problems, rather than resort to fighting. Accordingly, a feminized society is less likely to resort to war to achieve its ends. Feminized societies tend to place a greaer emphasis on dialogue and utilize non-violent solutions to resolve conflict.
2)    Similarly, feminized societies tend to be gentler than masculine societies. Men tend to be less willing to tolerate what they consider to be wrongdoing or betrayal, and treat those who wrong them or others with greater roughness. Women tend to bear minor wrongdoings with a gentler hand than men. (To a point - when a woman gets really angry, stay far out of her way.)
3)    Feminine societies also tend to be more connected than masculine ones. Men tend to be “loners,” while women tend to be more social. Society is also more interconnected – or at least places a greater emphasis on communication.
4)    Feminized societies tend to be more civilized and more mannerly than other societies. Women are the civilizers of men, providing a patina of culture and polish to the otherwise rougher male. So societies reflecting a dominant feminine aspect tend to be more civilized as well.
Unsurprisingly, women do better in feminized societies. Societies with a greater emphasis on dialogue and civilization play to the fundamental advantage of women – emphasizing peace, mannerly behavior, and communication. Thus, women thrive in societies where these themes are dominant.
A feminized society is cleaner, calmer, gentler and more refined than a masculinized society, and is highly advantageous to women.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Seeking the Conversion of Sinners

Recently I came across an excellent post (on the Catholic sex abuse scandal, no less!) by a political columnist whom I normally disagree with on every issue of substance. His arguments were insightful, and he showed a surprising amount of understanding of the painful situation the Church and Her priests face.
This got me thinking. What if leading figures like this columnist were to turn around and become firm and faithful Catholics? 
What if this columnist were to write every column with such sound logic? How many people could he influence by his words to clearer thinking and better understanding?
What if Cecile Richards put her considerable management talents into ruuning a major crisis pregnancy center instead of an abortion business? What if Dan Savage channeled his passion and energy into a cause of love and not of anger?   
People such as Abby Johnson show us what can happen - they can become great champions for Christ. Everyone, even the most hardened sinner, has the potential to radically change their lives and do incredible things for Christ while alive.
And as Christians, we must show all we meet - including the enemies of Christ - a spirit of love that will help to enable this conversion.
The conversion of sinners is precisely what we must strive every day to help facilitate, through unceasing prayer and unwavering good example. We must seek the conversion of those who attack us, that they may be one with us in service to Christ. And we must welcome them with open arms when they do come home, as the father did in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Modernity's Fertility Conundrum

The modern world is undergoing a curious crisis of fertility.
On one hand, the modern world seeks to eliminate fertility altogether, through the use of contraception and abortion. Fertility is often treated as merely an undesirable and “treatable” byproduct of the sexual act.
On the other hand, the modern world seeks to extend fertility, through the usage of IVF treatments, fertility drugs, and even cloning. Fertility is often treated the result of scientific ingenuity and technological progress.
In both cases, the modern world seeks to control the gift of fertility – and cheapens the act of sexual union and the value of children. Sexual union a joyful, life-giving act from God, becomes either a mere search for pleasure or the process through which a baby is “made.” Children are not gifts, but either unwanted burdens or the “outgrowths” of parents' (or often parent's) desire.
This desire to control fertility is at its core an issue of pride. Rather than seeing fertility as a gift that is the natural result of sexual union, modern men and women seek to control it and bend it to their will. Modern men and women want children – but only on their say so.
The results of efforts to control fertility are disastrous. Broken marriages, childless families, thousands spent in (often futile) efforts to reclaim fertility wasted after years spent thwarting it through contraception.
The modern world’s attempt to subjugate fertility to human endeavor is a form of the old “Non serviam” of the devil. And like the ancient “Non serviam,” it leads to trouble and chaos for its practitioners.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Debunking Sandra Fluke – Without Name-Calling

Recently, a Georgetown law student named Sandra Fluke made a statement before a panel of House Democrats, speaking in favor of the Obama administration’s decision to require insurance companies servicing Catholic institutions to completely pay for birth control coverage. Prominent radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh called Miss Fluke a "slut," sparking a firestorm of controversy.
It must be noted right away that calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” is disgusting, foolish and counterproductive, and Mr. Limbaugh should be condemned for his language. Furthermore, Fluke’s family, appearance, and personal life should not be attacked personally, as others have done. Disgusting language should have no place in civil discourse.
But just because Fluke’s critics have been foolish enough to personally attack her does not mean that Sandra Fluke provided accurate information in her statement. Indeed, the controversy over Limbaugh’s slur distracted from the real problems with Fluke’s “testimony.” (I put the word testimony in quotation marks for a reason - read on.)
A careful analysis of Fluke’s statement raises many questions:
1)  Fluke’s “testimony” was not sworn. Sandra Fluke “testified” before a panel led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and was conducted without any Republican Congressmen present. Thus, her statement was more of a campaign commercial for the Democratic stance on the issue than an actual Congressional hearing.
2)  Fluke asserted that religious liberty was not harmed by the Obama administration’s decision. But contraception goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church. Requiring Catholic employers to pay insurance companies to provide free birth control, is clearly a violation of religious liberty. Every single one of the bishops of the Catholic Church has said that this mandate does go against the teachings of the Church - an unprecedented show of unity among bishops. (Update – the Obama administration has expanded the decision to include many college students, as well.)
3)  Regarding the issue of the cost of contraception: It has already been reported by many media outlets that generic contraception costs as little as 9 dollars a month. Not all contraception works for everybody, because some women’s bodies reject generic contraception. For many women, 9 dollars a month suffices; for other women, different and more expensive forms of contraception are required, because of the side effects associated with many forms of hormonal birth control. Still, however, $1000 dollars a year comes out to $83 a month - which is a high number. 
Fluke said that contraception “can” cost as much as $3000 over the course of 3 years. This may be technically true. But this cost arises in a minority of cases.
For medical treatment, of course, covering this should not be a problem – and it is not a problem under Church law.
4) Most people use contraception, to, well, contracept. Strictly speaking, preventing pregnancy is not a medical condition in the majority of cases. Pregnancy is the natural result of sexual intercourse.
The question then arises: Why should religious employers be forced to utilize health insurance plans that fully pay for non-medical acitivity?
5)  “Contraception” can only occur where conception is possible. If a woman is not having sex (or is not inseminated), she cannot get pregnant. To call medical treatment for a gay person “contraception” or “birth control,” as Fluke did, is misleading.
6)  Fluke’s claim that 94% of students want birth control is a) unprovable, considering that she does not source her statistic, and b) irrelevant. If 94% of workers want four weeks of guaranteed paid vacation, that does not mean that the government should step in and obligate that employers be forced to provide those vacations. (Aren’t vacations good for health?)
7) It must be noted that the whole of Fluke’s statement is a classic bait and switch. Fluke claims that “some contraceptives can cost more than $3000.” She then focuses her testimony not on contraception per se, but about the medical needs of a minority of students who use hormonal methods of "birth control" for those medical reasons. She claims to be talking about expensive contraception - but in reality focuses her testimony on a small minority who use expensive versions of "the pill" for other methods.
8) Also, Georgetown does cover contraception for medical needs, which even Fluke obliquely acknowledges in her testimony. Fluke claims that female students were turned down because administrators and health officials thought students were using the pill for birth control.
But even assuming that to be true (remember, this was not sworn testimony), that ignores two facts: 1) Most people use contraceptives for the purpose of contraception – and insurance companies will naturally assume that, rightly or wrongly - undercutting Fluke's point that this is purely a medical issue. 2) Dealing with medical insurers is notoriously tricky. Insurance companies, by and large, don’t want to pay for ANYTHING - they seek a profit.    
It must be reiterated that Fluke should never have been called the disgusting name she was called. But neither should she be lionized for her testimony, which clearly has many holes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Return of the Poetry Session...

Alas, dear readers, tis a curse/To torment you with silly verse/But lo, the forceful Muse commands/And so I fulfill her demands.

Cast out into the icy dark,
To bed in a deserted park.
His goods in empty, tiny bags,
His clothing rent and ripped in rags.
Those twenty years of buried lies
Awoke and sprung a cruel surprise.
And now his bed is made of snow,
As he has nowhere else to go.

Come, woeful man, take heart, don't fret,
You will survive this torment yet,
Those tears you mingle with the sleet
Shall turn to rosebuds at your feet
And all those icy drops you shed,
And every blood-stained step you tread,
And every horror of this night 
Shall be to you your guiding light.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Am a Catholic

I am a Catholic.
My Catholic faith is not secondary to me. It is not a passing fancy to me. My Catholicism is my life.
It is the single most important thing in my existence, my reason for life, my purpose, my joy. It is my very essence. The practice of my beloved Faith is why I get up in the morning, why I work, why I rest, why I exist.
If you cut me, my blood runs Catholic. You cannot purge my Catholic faith from me, any more than you could stop the sun from rising.

If you befriend me, you befriend a firm believer in Catholicism. If you love me, you love my Faith as well.
Insult my Faith, and you insult me as well. You cannot attack my Faith without attacking my very essence. And if you seek to harm my Faith, I will defend it, God willing, with my life.
Until my dying day, I will remain a Catholic, now and forever.
And I pray with every fiber of my being that as I am, you also will be.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Christian Expectations of Evil

“I have loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore I die in exile.” – Gregory VII
In the 11th century, the great Pope Gregory VII was hounded by Emperor Henry IV, who tried to usurp power over the Church by claiming the authority to appoint bishops. The issue eventually devolved into a political and military struggle in which the Pope’s allies were ultimately defeated, and as a result Pope Gregory VII spent his last days in exile.
It is hardly surprising that Gregory would be pessimistic about human nature in his final days, considering his situation.  
Still, the “therefore” in Gregory’s statement is striking. The great Pope expected to be attacked because of his love of justice and his rectitude. In other words, he expected to be hated because he embodied Christian values.
Pope Gregory’s words should serve as a warning to every Christian. To be a Christian is to be hated in this world. Christ has even said as much, declaring that “you will be hated by all nations because of my name.” (Matthew 24:9)
For this world is a “vale of tears,” a path of trial, and a scene of suffering. The devil is the prince of this fallen world, and he will do his utmost to drag souls to hell. He will also do everything in his power to cause those under his control to attack those who are faithful to Christ.
The devil will tempt us as long as we are on earth. If we are obeying Christ, the temptations and trials of the devil will assault us. The devil will not let any soul seeking to follow Christ go unscathed.
This means that those who follow Christ will be attacked by their friends, demonized by their enemies, and assaulted by their own improper desires. And the powers of this world and the forces of darkness will unite to mock and persecute faithful Christians.
We must guard ourselves from within and without when it comes to temptation. Indeed, we must embrace that time of trial when it comes.
The trials of this world are as nothing compared to the glory of heaven. But the trials of this earth will be severe for Christians who truly seek to follow God.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dear Pro-Life Advocates: Stop Shooting Your Allies!

In a rapidly polarizing world,  factions are developing among old political coalitions. Old political coalitions are rapidly collapsing, and splinter groups are rapidly forming to attack existing political coalitions. Rival factions are attacking each other with reckless abandon.
Depressingly, so-called Christians are among those who have chosen to engage in vicious attacks on one another. Shamefully, this is even true in the pro-life movement.
Pro-life men and women should always observe one basic rule: Stop shooting their allies!
Pro-life activists have a horrible record of friendly fire. They are divided against each other, calling each other names and questioning their colleagues' commitment to the cause. Their organizations often do not work with each other. At times, pro-life leaders actively seek to defeat pro-life initiatives, such as personhood amendments.
And this friendly fire is a major reason why the movement has failed to make significant progress. If pro-lifers spend their time attacking one another's work, then how can they defend the lives of those they claim to champion?
This is unconscionably scandalous. Pro-lifers should be united in the cause of saving the unborn. NOTHING should stand in the way of that goal – least of all the stubbornness of its leaders.  
But far too often, pro-life champions believe their way is the best way – and attack others who believe differently. Thus, measures such as ultrasound regulation are derided as cowardly "incrementalism" that helps institutionalize abortion, while bills such as the personhood amendment are derided as wishful thinking and fantasy. Accordingly, pro-life advocates seek to thwart work they consider foolish.

And in doing so, they waste their energy fighting their own allies, rather than focus on fighting the forces of evil and saving lives, harming their cause. If the pro-life movement continues to remain fractured, it will continue to be resoundingly defeated.
Christ said that “If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:25) So it is with the pro-life movement. If the pro-life movement ever wishes to achieve its goals, it must first stop shooting its own allies.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Tightrope of Humility

The great philosopher Aristotle wrote that virtue lies in the mean, between a vice of excess and a vice of defect. The virtue of humility illustrates Aristotle's point perfectly.
Humility, simply defined, is the virtue of understanding one’s place before God, and acknowledging total dependence on Him. When it comes to humility, Catholics must walk a tightrope. We must reconcile our total dependence on God with our ability and indeed our command to do great and incredible things for His glory - and act accordingly.
On one hand, humans are merely dust, and to dust they shall return. (referencing Genesis 3:19) We would be completely powerless without Him, as Christ tells us: “Without me you can do nothing,” We are mere specks in the universe.
Dwelling on our smallness and our impotence without our Master leads to the vice of despair. The knowledge that we are tiny and impotent without God leads to the realization that our lives are meaningless without the love of God.
On the other hand, humans are capable of great things, exploring and subduing land, sea, air, and even space. Each and every person was made by God with a special purpose in mind for him and for him alone, and are irreplaceable in the eyes of God. God appoints Christians with the triple office of priest, prophet, and king in the sacrament of Baptism - giving us a high and noble calling.
Dwelling on our importance and self-worth leads to the vice of spiritual pride. In focusing too much on our own gifts, we can come to ignore our total dependence on God.
Each and every human being is capable of and indeed called to incredible greatness. At the same time every human being is radically dependent upon God. This odd combination of human frailty and greatness is one of the paradoxes of Christianity. Our human dignity and our calling makes us inherently great – while our fallen nature and our total dependence on God makes us tiny.
As with all paradoxes, the paradox of humility can only be resolved through Christ. Only by constant obedience to the teachings of Christ can we avoid the twin pitfalls of pride in our own self-worth and despair at our smallness in the universe.
Humility, the acknowledgement of our humble station and the recognition of our calling given to us by God, is the ultimate tightrope walk between vice and virtue - one only resolvable through fidelity to Christ.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Illusion of Inevitable Progress

The Whig interpretation of history, formulated in Britain during the 19th century, held that human progress was inevitable, and that history was a study of mankind’s progress from barbarism to civilization.
Although largely discredited as a school of historiography, the Whig interpretation of history still has a strong impact on society, because the notion of inevitable progress still permeates popular culture.
In the Whig worldview, each age in human history is better than the one before it. To a Whig, the modern age, with its defeat of slavery, incredible technology, and tolerance of previously unfashionable worldviews, is clearly the best age in human history. And future ages will only build upon the progress gained in previous eras. 
The term “progressive” reflects this belief that human progress is inevitable. Any opposition to changes which further “progress” is seen by progressives as morally reprehensible, and the work of unenlightened reactionaries or bigots.
On some level, there is an element of truth to the progressive worldview. For the most part, inevitable human progression is true (or at least is plausible) in certain fields of human endeavor.
Technological progress is one example of clearly evident progress over time. While catastrophic events occur that can set humanity back technologically (such as the fall of the Roman Empire), for the most part, the history of technological advance has been marked by unceasing progress. Scientists built upon the knowledge of earlier scientists and thinkers, and were able to “stand on the shoulders of giants.” (Sir Isaac Newton)
But this is not true of all aspects of humanity. Humanity can technologically advance, yet simultaneously regress in other areas. This is especially evident in the moral realm. 
For good and evil are not based upon technological progress. Indeed, the Nazis took power in Germany, perhaps the most educated and industrialized nation in human history of its time, and wrought moral havoc.
Evil wears many faces in many different ages: from human sacrifice in the ancient era, to Nazism and Communism in the mid-20th century. Today, abortion, the killing of unborn children, is the great moral evil.
This is not to say that progress is non-existent. Moral progress can occur in society – slavery was defeated in America and Britain during the 19th century. But moral regress can take place as well. The oppression of factory workers during the period of the Industrial Revolution marked a societal moral hardening during the early 19th century. Moral progress is clearly not inevitable.  
It is a form of hubris on the part of self-styled “progressives” to claim society must inevitably rise towards ever-greater understanding and decency. Mankind can rise in moral stature - but the human race can also clearly decline in morals, as well.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Dangers of One-Step Thinking

Actions often come in chains. Every action produces effects, which in turn produce other effects. The theory of the so-called “butterfly effect” reflects the truth that one seemingly simple act can start a chain reaction of events capable of quite possibly changing the world.
Every act humans perform is potentially world-altering.
But many people act as if their actions have no effect on others, living as those they are solitary actors. Governments also act as though their laws and decisions have no subsequent effects other than the ones they intend. Both humans and governments are ultimately guilty of one-step thinking - considering actions without respect for their consequences.
This is true, in part, because humans live in the present and focus on their immediate future. The more distant consequences of human actions are often hidden and not immediately apparent – and thus they are ignored by individuals unconcerned with the future.
But although the consequences of human activity may be hidden from human eyes, they still exist. And the consequences of hidden actions can be devastating.
Governments often adopt policies that reflect one-step thinking. A common government policy, price controls, illustrates this trend perfectly. Government tries to restrict the sale of a certain good by lowering the price of the good. This skews the laws of supply and demand – people want more of the lower-priced good, creating shortages. To remedy the problem, government either has to eliminate the intervention altogether or further intervene in the economy, creating an infinite web of new regulations.
But government is hardly the only entity that engages in one-step thinking. Individuals also engage in activity that reflects one-step thinking, as well.
Many act as though “solitary” vices such as drunkenness, pornography, and masturbation affect only those who engage in them. But “solitary” sins isolate the sinner from his fellow man, leading the sinner to self-centered and concerned solely with his own desires. This in turn affects others, who are turned off by the sinner’s negative behavior. In the end, even “solitary” sin can create an interlocking web of suspicion and sorrow detrimental to humanity.
One-step thinking is incredibly detrimental to governments and individuals who engage in it.
But the fact that actions have chains of consequences is not entirely negative. It has an upside, as well.
Every good action people do affects humanity for the better. The virtues we uphold allow us to inspire others to follow us in virtue. The helping hand we lend others leads to others being willing to lend a helping hand for others. Good breeds good.
As humans, we must be aware that our every action for good and for ill has incredible influence on the rest of the world. We must live our lives as if every action mattered – because our actions can and do have effects far beyond what we humans, with our limited knowledge, can predict or foresee.

This post also appeared on the New Agora. Check it out!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Some Thoughts on the Republican Presidential Nomination

Americans tend to idealize the political candidates they support, while ignoring the shortcomings which their preferred candidates possess. They also tend to favorably compare their preferred candidate with his (or her) competitors by trashing the other candidates. This theme has been evident during this election cycle. Not one of the four Republican candidates for President can stand up to a rigorous appraisal. All of them have strengths, but all of them have serious flaws which might affect their future governance of our country. All of them are guilty of misrepresenting the positions of one or more of the other candidates. None of them have all the qualities necessary to be a worthy president. Here is a look at all the candidates:1) Santorum: Santorum makes marvelous points about such topics as the role of a Catholic in society, but fails to live up to his Catholic ideals when it comes to voting. He supports anything with the label Republican, and makes concessions so as to be accepted by his political peers, instead of upholding the ideals which got him into office. Rather than attacking other candidates for being hypocritical, Santorum should reexamine his commitment to his own ideals.2) Paul: Paul has some good ideas on cutting spending, but tends to cling doggedly to his libertarian philosophy. His political thought is essentially based upon letting the states decide what laws they want in place – no matter how contrary to good government the laws of the states are. He can mesmerize many people, but he also quickly rubs those who do not support him the wrong way. 3) Gingrich: Gingrich has experience, but his morals leave quite a bit to be lacking. While he says the right words during debates, he still does not understand the repercussions of his own actions. He claims to be opposed to gay marriage, but has not lived out the concept of a traditional one. His “flexibility” in his personal life raises many concerns about the type of leader he would make. 4) Romney: Romney is able to run a business, but politics requires more than a cut and dry business approach. Also, does anyone know what he really stands for? Romney’s record as Massachusetts governor seems to suggest a shifting political philosophy. He also needs to prove he is not another establishment pick with a shifting record and no backbone. There are other issues which I did not even bring up for lack of space. Which one of these flawed candidates is the best of the four? I honestly do not know. But bashing other candidates by misrepresenting their positions is destructive. In the end, any of the four current Republican candidates would make a better leader than Obama. If Republicans wish to see that happen, they must stop spewing vitriol at candidates they oppose, make their decisions, and stick behind the final candidate chosen, however great his personal flaws. Otherwise, they are asking for another four years under the current administration, which will have nightmarish consequences for our country.