This Ain’t Rocket Science

You ever wonder why you can’t even mention the word God in some places, like, oh, schools?  I mean, it’s a little word.  Ain’t it?  What’s to be ascared of?

Well, some times you can mention God in school.  But you can’t say anything nice, or good, about God.  You gotta talk about God as if He’s dead, or dopey, or downright mean.  Otherwise you’re not smart, or you’re silly or numb as a hedge fence as the saying goes.  Unless you’re a theologian or some other kind of professionally smart guy, like a physicist or biologist.  Then you can mention God and talk about him as if , well, as if He was a footnote.

It’s because, I guess, if you mention God, you gotta start thinking about good and evil somewhere along the line.  And that leads you to thinking about such things as what is or isn’t good and evil, who’s responsible for it and how to make things better or stop them from getting worse.  The folks who think about these things today often don’t want to think that we can’t do all of that ourselves…if we even admit that some things may be good and other things, well, not bad, really, but not yet, umm, good for everyone, everywhere.  I mean hunger’s not good for everyone, unless you’re dieting, or unless you’re running a shipping line that’s got a big bucks contract to deliver surplus food from a rich country to a poor one.  And sex is always good, everywhere, all the time, with anyone.  And science is good, because what it don’t know it will soon find out and, well, make sense out of all of this.

See what I mean?

Here’s an advertisement from Macedonia that mentions God and good and evil.  It’s really stupid.  Watch it and see.  By no means is this rocket science, and you gotta wonder why folks bother with it.


38 responses to “This Ain’t Rocket Science

  1. Hah! ‘Bout time those commies did something right. They haven’t been right since Alexander leveled Tyre and Sidon.

    Jan Maceding-dong Petrovsky

  2. I was struck by their attention to verisimilitude, even to the use of German for Macedonian TV. Those guys are serious.

  3. Despite historical grievances (i.e. getting run over by Panzers in WWII) Germany is apparently still respected and admired as being a cultural leader (which is not always a good thing–techno music being its major cultural export these days) as well as being an important partner in trade in that part of the world (the formerly Ottoman enclave in SE Europe and Turkey.) Anyway I hope you’re right that they are serious. They just recently received their own Orthodox bishopric (much to the consternation of the Greeks….everything that happens in Macedonia is to the consternation of the Greeks)…perhaps the appearance of this ad has something to do with that.

    • I don’t know who produced the ad, but it is supposed to have run on TV over there. Now, I wonder what would be the reaction over here to something like that? Nah, I don’t.

  4. Which religion or religions are they planning to bring back to schools? Bring one, bring ’em all.

  5. Jan Petrovsky

    Um, at least 1/4 of the population is Albanian muslims…so not all religions, please…

  6. What is the criteria by which a religion qualifies to be back? The oldest? The most correct? The most popular?

    • What was the criteria used to banish religion from classrooms and from the public square is a more interesting question, I think.

  7. Jan Petrovsky

    good question, of course….why not ask the majority which one they want back..

  8. Lemon v. Kurtzman, 1971.

    • I quote from the first few sentences of the decision, above:

      “The court found that the parochial school system was “an integral part of the religious mission of the Catholic Church,” and held that the Act fostered “excessive entanglement” between government and religion, thus violating the Establishment Clause. Pennsylvania’s Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Education Act, passed in 1968, authorizes the state Superintendent of Public Instruction to “purchase” certain “secular educational services” from nonpublic schools, directly reimbursing those schools solely for teachers’ salaries, textbooks, and instructional materials. Reimbursement is restricted to courses in specific secular subjects, the textbooks and materials must be approved by the Superintendent, and no payment is to be made for any course containing “any subject matter expressing religious teaching, or the morals or forms of worship of any sect.” Contracts were made with schools that have more than 20% of all the students in the State, most of which were affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. The complaint challenging the constitutionality of [403 U.S. 602, 603] the Act alleged that the church-affiliated schools are controlled by religious organizations, have the purpose of propagating and promoting a particular religious faith, and conduct their operations to fulfill that purpose. A three-judge court granted the State’s motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim for relief, finding no violation of the Establishment or Free Exercise Clause. Held: Both statutes are unconstitutional under the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment, as the cumulative impact of the entire relationship arising under the statutes involves excessive entanglement between government and religion. Pp. 611-625.”

      Someone once said, “The law, Sir, is an ass.” The sentences from the decision provide ample evidence of the truth of the aphorism. But, perhaps, one should not claim the law to be an ass. Better to understand that lawyers. counselors, legislators and judges are sometimes asses.

      I and millions of men and women like myself are products of Catholic Parochial School education. Not nearly so many millions more have attended private religiously oriented Jewish and Protestant schools. A few thousands have attended schools with Muslim religious foundations. A simple review of the most common indicators of economic well being, group patriotism, public service and civic responsibility, in other words good and faithful and law abiding citizenship, will lead one to the inevitable conclusion that these schools are the best means by far for educating children to the responsibilities not only of adulthood but of civic life.

      What we call the Public School system in these Untied States was once an arm of the Protestant church. That went long ago in the beginning of the last century when secularism and modernism, gifts of the Enlightenment, destroyed main line Protestantism; and is destroying this country. Of course, the destruction has taken longer than what happened in Soviet Russia and what is happening in Europe, but it is happening.

      We have the happy example of Rome, and before that Babylon and Assyria, and in between The Kingdom of Israel, to illustrate for us the inevitable end of a civilization and culture that wars with itself, and alllows selfishness and dissipation to triumph.

      The stupidity of Lemon v. Kurtzman is a match for the stupidity of Griswold v. Connecticutt.

      Do not quote Lemon v. Kurtzman as if it were some magic talisman against the bugaboo of a caliphate, here or anywhere else. It is, and until reversed God willing, a poison draft drunk deep by the kool-aid drinkers of modernism and the belief that “Man Is The Measure of All Things”.

      Go and measure darkness. There is enough of it around.

  9. Jan Petrovsky

    That was great; one wonders what the real beef was that prompted the lawsuit. Who cares if a religious school teaches non-religious subjects to public school students? Who is harmed by learning math from a Catholic teacher…does she teach arithmetic by using multiplication illustrations involving twelve apostles, or three french hens and two turtle doves? But perhaps these students were subjected to sitting in a classroom with a crucifix on the wall, or walking by the parish church on the way to class and exposed to the the devotion of some the Catholics there…who knows…certainly the government should not fund endeavors that lead to such eventualities….they might be scarring kids for life…they are just clay in the hands of the potter at that age…tender little fornicating dears–of course, it is their right to fornicate and be protected from all the natural consequences of fornication…including love and marriage…

    • Dear Dr. Petrovsky,

      As well you know, those who are harmed by learning math from a Catholic teacher are not the students themselves. It is those who live with the suppressed shame and self-hatred of the well educated but small-minded, the self-indulgent and progressive free thinkers, the blind fools and whitened sepulchres of the “tolerant” who are harmed by the mere thought that the few children (the wanted ones) who are allowed to escape the womb’s abattoir may be brought into contact with the freedom and joy of the truth.

      True regards,
      Peadar Roe

      • Jan Petrovsky

        Quite right. However, judging by the amount of ‘I survived Catholic school’ bumper stickers I have seen, and testimonies I have heard, quite of few of those intolerant tolerant ones you mentioned are themselves–well, former Catholic school students, I am very, very sorry to say…and that is probably a comment not only on the power of our culture and its priesthood of libertine psychologists to twist the meaning of wholesome discipline and encouragement of self-sacrifice and self-denial into a belief that one has been oppressed and has suffered emotional stunting, but a comment also on Catholic schools themselves, or what they have become.

        Religion, religion, religion…good Lord, how we need it. True religion, that is.


  10. Wow, Pete, your anger is palpable! Must’ve hit a nerve. You’ve dispensed with your usual folksy blah, blah and, in your rage, actually sided with Muslims. I’m quite sure you were not including madrassas when you state “these schools are the best means by far for educating children to the responsibilities not only of adulthood but of civic life.” You know your penchant for hating Muslims – I mean terrorists – I mean Muslims…

    Regardless, last I checked, the Lemon Test is still used. So, that issue is at rest despite the desperate efforts of those who seek to return us to an imagined and imaginary better age when kids were good because they had the Good Book and its contents foisted upon them.

    As far as Griswold is concerned, I have the right to buy and use all the god damned condoms I want, thank God!

    • Dear Don Don,

      I dispute your contention that I am angry…or was when writing my reply to your short comment about the court decision. I simply do not like stupidity. Even less do I like stupidity in the service of bigotry, which itself is a form of stupidity, and that is what Lemon v. Kurtzman is, a stupid decision which supports the stupidity of anti-Catholic bigotry, and more generally anti-religious bigotry.

      It is a mark of the intolerantly tolerant to label all who disagree with them as either angry and prejudiced, or blind to progress, or all of the above. Labels are the stock in trade of those who believe in “Man”, labels and cattle cars. But, the truth requires blunt language, where the lie is always told appealingly, dressed up in the treacle of false compassion, pretended equality or the promised apotheotic self realization of the race. The tolerantly intolerant writers of such court decisions as Lemon are the opposite of those “pure in spirit” who will see God. Though He appear in front of them, they will see only their own self opinion…a darkness. They suffer from a lack of humility, a fatal condition; eternally so.

      Those who believe (your own self??) that religion..a simple word meaning to “bind back”…has no place either in education of the whole man or in public life are, literally, unloosed and lost. Only stupid people choose to remain lost.

      An example, as if one were needed, of the folly of the lost may be found in any public school district in the nation when the level of achievement of its students is compared to any parochial school or set of them in the same area.

      True regards,
      Peadar Roe

  11. Jan Petrovsky


    “an imagined and imaginary better age when kids were good because they had the Good Book and its contents foisted upon them”,

    do you mean to say

    1) that kids were not really better then, or

    2) that they were better, but not b/c of the Good Book being foisted on them?

  12. PETE:

    As the title of this thread/article states, this truly ain’t rocket science. The advocation of any particular religion has no place in the public school system.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

    The founding fathers were so brilliant that they created a system whereby at no time and under no circumstances could this great country ever declare an official, state-sanctioned religion.

    Here’s the scenario: Even if every single citizen in this country belonged not only to the same religion and the same narrow vein of that religion AND actually shared abjectly identical beliefs on every conceivable political and social issue, that group of citizens, their representatives and their president could not pass legislation designating their unified and unitary beliefs as the official religion of State.

    How brilliant is that? They went even further making sure (in the same sentence no less!) that the government could not prohibit the free exercise of religion by the citizenry.

    The First Amendment to our Constitution is one of the greatest thoughts ever expressed on paper and I am grateful for it.


    It’s an irrelevant question because such a time never existed.

    • Don:

      You have either forgotten or never knew the reason for the “Establishment Clause”; all of it. That isn’t surprising. Most people either either don’t know or don’t care.

  13. Jan Petrovsky


    It’s an irrelevant question because such a time never existed.”

    You assume your point. I ask for evidence to support it in addition to your assertion.

    It seems to me that there is ample evidence that 1) kids were better then, and 2) the respect accorded to religion in the public schools was part of the reason why. And since you mention the founding fathers, let me state that all the evidence shows that they agreed with the notion that, although a particular religion was not to be made the official religion of the state, yet, that the existence of religion generally was vital to the moral health of our nation, and to the possibility of the new Republic being a success at all. “Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people; it is wholly inadequate for any other.” –John Adams. It was common in those days for the Bible and Watts’ hymns to be read in the public schools. And not the Qu’ran nor the Talmud, I might add.

    It seems no odd coincidence that it took nearly 200 years and a leftist cultural revolution for Bible reading in public school to suddenly become ‘unconstitutional’. There is indeed a then and a now, and neither, unfortunately, is merely a product of human imagination or wishful thinking.

  14. So, exactly when did our country cross the line from morality into immorality?

  15. Oh, Pete. You’re pulling the Arrogance Card again. “You have either forgotten or never knew the reason for the “Establishment Clause”; all of it. That isn’t surprising. ” That’s just rude. Typical though when you realize you’ve been bested.

    Let’s call this thread for Don – Game, Set, Match.

    Allāhu Akbar, amigos!

  16. Jan Petrovsky

    A contentious dilemma you propose which yields no useful insights. I see no need to draw a line between national morality and national immorality. It’s not a question of one side or the other of a hypothetical line, and I wasn’t proposing one–I was simply drawing a contrast between past and present—it’s a question of going from good to less good. Why pretend that there havn’t been changes for the worse? Why ignore the obvious causes of those changes? As there are many causes, so have there been many changes.

    Although revolutions don’t happen in a day, there are lots of events that show its progress. If you know any American history, legal history, cultural history–and doubtless you do–you don’t need me to list them in order to demonstrate that things have changed, even if there is no particular line. Indeed, I wish there were such a line, because then I could hope that things could never get any worse. Alas, I would be hoping in vain.

    The battle for what is right never ends. If our country were perfect, we should still have to fight every moment to keep it from sliding into evil, as human nature is wont to make it slide.

    • It is said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. It was also said that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

  17. Ahh, Don, it isn’t so easy as that. The “game” is mine. If you wish to start or end something of this type you must do it on your own court with your own set of rules.

    As Petrovsky has indicated you have adroitly avoided any mention of the reasons for the “Establishment Clause”, and glossed over any changes in the life and culture of the country while extolling the way things are as being as possibly good as ever they can get.

    You cannot get away with that and claim anything like victory. About the most I will give you, Don, is credit for being a rather clever blind man. But, then that’s no thing to boast about. You have millions of peers, including a majority of the legislators, educators and judges in the nation.

    The advertisement and accompanying essay (if it can be called that) which occasioned this interesting series of twists and turns on your part deals with the problem of God..the camel in the tent?..who is better off done without among the blind, to the certain destruction of a culture as history ancient and recent shows.

    At the risk of repeating myself I restate a suggestion for why this is the case: “It’s because, I guess, if you mention God, you gotta start thinking about good and evil somewhere along the line. And that leads you to thinking about such things as what is or isn’t good and evil, who’s responsible for it and how to make things better or stop them from getting worse. The folks who think about these things today often don’t want to think that we can’t do all of that ourselves…if we even admit that some things may be good and other things, well, not bad, really, but not yet, umm, good for everyone, everywhere. ” It’s folksy, I know, but it works for me, and a lot of other folks.

    You have failed to engage the issue.

    You cannot win a game by avoiding suiting up and taking the field.

  18. Pete,

    You’ve never heard of a road win?

    Are you actually asking for an explanation of the motivations for the First Amendment and Establishment Clause? Which, of the hundreds of books and thousands of essays and writings would you like me to consult first? I was law-school bound in college for a couple of years and I’m sure I have some class notebooks laying around somewhere…

    I’ll get back to you two – especially Jan – tomorrow.

    • Jan Petrovsky

      We await thy ‘blog with ‘bated breath.

    • Hello Don,

      Tomorrow is come and gone, and still we linger on.

      I do not recall asking anyone to explain anything. In any event, Petrovsky has provided ample evidence in this quote from Mr. Adams -“Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people; it is wholly inadequate for any other.” –John Adams.- that the atmosphere of the place when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were cobbled together was much more congenial to religious beliefs. Then their place in both private and the public life of the nation and its people was both welcomed and universally accepted as necessary for right behavior among citizens and sanity in in the community.

      Not so now.

      I will now ask a question. Why?


      • I meant to add, “I await in joyful hope the coming of your Blog”

      • Jan Petrovsky

        Adams was no fool to think that every American was moral, much less religious. It seems logical to propose that he believed that the state should have something to do with helping Americans be moral and religious. The one thing the founders ruled out for the purposes of effecting this state of things was a national religion. However, they did not rule out the states having official religions and indeed some states had official religions for a time. It is silly to imagine that the existence of states with an official religion at the time of the ratification of the Constitution and afterwards would somehow be thought by anyone at the time to be in violation of the first amendment by having prayer and Bible reading as a part of the public school curriculum. If it was not unconstitutional then, neither should it be now. If not for the strength of stare decisis deriving from the Lemon-inspired caselaw of the last 40-something years, a more conservative Court would probably be able to recognize the obvious constitutionality of prayer in public school again.

        Leaving prayer in public school to the States is slightly less satisfying to hardened theocrats like myself than leaving abortion to the States, but at least it ought to be constitutional to leave it to the states. I mean, slavery was constitutional….which is to say, first, that if slavery can be tolerated, so can prayer in public school…and second, that if it cannot be tolerated, then maybe abortion can’t be tolerated either….but since abortion is not practiced in separate regions of the country, but in every region of the country, organized civil war is not the answer….organized guerilla war, on the other hand…but I digress…

  19. Sorry for my absence. A business to run, a kid, house, gutters…no time!

    Jan, I’m glad you outed yourself as a hardened theocrat. Admission is the first step in recovery. Pete, take notes!

    Let me try to sum up where we are. The issue is whether or not we are a less moral society than in previous generations AS A RESULT OF eliminating the teaching of the Bible in public schools as the true, only path to morality. Correct? A corollary to this is liberal progressive (aka: demonic) values have debased and have never added anything positive to society. Again, correct?

    One of the points I wanted to make to Jan is that at the founding of this country when we were a supposed morally superior people, slavery still existed, women were denied voting rights and labor laws were non-existent (this applies more appropriately to the industrial revolution). Only through liberal, progressive action were these, and other, deficits overcome.

    I’ll take today’s society where I don’t have to worry about a public school teacher telling my son he’s going to Hell someday because he isn’t baptized (I did baptize him into my own religion, Donism – God willing the tax-exempt status will be coming through any week now). Nor do I want our society – schools, especially – to socially elevate the class of child abusers known as Catholic priests (Hey, Bernard Law, why don’t you come back to Boston for a visit sometime? Got a couple of questions for you).

    So, kids are unruly and seem to have no moral compass. It’s never been any different. My guess is that you two are just so far removed from being young that you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be teenagers or tweenagers. Please, Pete, I know enough about you to know that the last thing you were when you were young was a good boy. Steph regales us each time we’re in the ‘Burg with tales of your hostility, anger and general awfulness.

    And I’ll bet there weren’t too many days growing up where you didn’t have the Good Book presented to you as your Guide to the Way Things Ought to Be.

    • Hello Don,

      I kept the thread open so you may take another at bat. You have struck out.

      For the benefit of those who do not know either of us as well as you have assumed you know me, I will tell Jan…the only other fellow here…that you are my sister’s (Steph) son-in-law, and a nice fellow in spite of it. I love her dearly, but…what she doesn’t know of me would fill libraries. I will say no more.

      It was a good try at an ad hominem argument, though.

      So is the reference to abusive priests and disgraced cardinals. In the same vein I shall merely mention that the instances of sexual abuse of children are, and continue to be, much higher among the populations in public schools than they were ever in rectories, sacristies and the basements of Catholic churches. Amazingly, nothing at all is being done about it except for the occasional sensational week or two of headlines when Mindy Lou Uplift becomes the latest teacher of sixth grade boys to be arrested, or Coach Burley is found to be a child pornographer.

      Wanna know why? There ain’t no money in it for the lawyers who have made hundreds of millions on the cases. Damages are capped in every jurisdiction.

      In addition, there is no where near the instance of rape, murder, theft, drug dealing, assault and extortion among students of religiously based schools as one finds, tragically, in public schools. The staff of a private religiously affiliated school is not nearly..if ever, I haven’t the stats to robustly stocked with police officers and behavioral psychiatrists as are public schools. Tuition costs at these schools do not include money earmarked for condom distribution, abortion counseling, drug sniffing dogs or metal detectors. Students are not routinely searched for weapons or drugs, nor required to undergo random drug tests.

      Of course, God has nothing to do with the conditions in either of the two systems. One is simply required to take in everyone who is by law required to be there, and that includes rapists, murderers, extortioners, gang members, prostitutes and drug addicts. The other may pick and choose. How un-American.

      I am happy to know that you have baptized your son. It indicates that you have at least discovered what is common to us all, a yearning for some connection with the really Real, the ground of being, without which at some point life is found to be utterly meaningless. One of the greatest saints in the history of Christianity (of all makes and models) who is also one of the greatest philosophers and thinkers of the last two thousand years anywhere in the world, Augustine of Hippo, came up against much the same understanding after a life of dissolution lived during a period of time in late antiquity much the same as one finds today.

      You have probably read his Confessions. If not, please treat yourself to the experience. “Late have I loved You, Beauty ever old, ever new. Late have I loved You..” he has famously written about his encounter with God. Our history is full of such stories. One could begin with Abram, the shepherd in Iraq four thousand or so years ago, and wander through history and literature noting the thousands of instances when the same story was recorded; a worldly person comes to the realization that this world is empty of something if all one does is seek to find answers to one’s need in it.

      But, that is the creed taught, well, required of being taught, by the very stupid secular powers who have chosen to think that Man is the measure of all things and is capable of solving all of man’s problems.

      It is an empty and hopeless promise held out to a wandering and lost several generations, and not for the first time in history. Such things as are being promoted in your home state are its result, and there are ever more examples of our cultural and civilizational suicide. Only now, we are capable of wiping out the entire species.

      You have proposed that God has no place in a school. Your contention is that religion..of any kind…and the inculcation of religious belief that there is a God, and that what is perceived with one’s senses is not all that there is, and that Man is not the master of his quote Seinfeld…is a bad thing to teach young children. You have a lot of company.

      You further propose that religion and religious belief is responsible for great evil in the world through history, and most recently in this country. You have a lot of company, here, too.

      You are, simply, wrong in your position and belief, you and millions of others. I will not count coup with you. Review history to know who is the cause of evil and who proposes the only solution to the problem, and what that solution is.

      Finally, before I end my participation in this discussion I will return to your precis of my moral failings, and take notice of your criticism of sinners in general a few paragraphs on when you mention the failings of Cardinal law and others in the church. You fail in a number of areas, here, chiefly in charity by doing this. Your failure also extends to a failure in argument, as i mentioned above. What I may or may not have done or will do tomorrow in no denies or negates the truth of Truth. Indeed it is that Truth which allows rebirth and restoration to people like myself, quite apart from whatever opinion of and worth I may be held in by others. Indeed, not only does Truth allow such restoration and re-birth, Truth yearns for it.

      This is the value of allowing the presence of and knowledge of God into schools, and among the hundreds of millions of lost and wandering empty ones in the world today. This is the value of religion, which allows Man to understand who he is and where he belongs.

      You should begin to pay attention to this now, or most assuredly the Truth will show itself to you in another realm and you will perforce spend much time wishing you had done so when the opportunity was given you, here. This is meant neither as threat or promise. It is a simple recitation of fact, as cold or warm a fact as the presence or absence of sunlight.

      Factual and Final Regards,

    • Jan Petrovsky

      Dr G I think has given you an excellent reply so I will only say a few things–

      1–‘hardened theocrat’ was of course tongue-in-cheek; even Deists can be ‘anti-choice’ in respect to abortion–I merely meant to caricature the ridiculous allegations of those that believe that bringing prayer into the schools constitutes the second coming of the Massachusetts Bay colony(which, maybe wasn’t so bad…have you read any Nat Hawthorne lately or eva…)

      2–that women were denied voting rights is rather a sign of perspicacious moral clarity (as is so often the case with the wisdom that has been received from antiquity) than a blemish on the moral judgment of our American ancestors. If you really want to argue that giving women the suffrage has done great things for America, be my guest.

      3–through slavery the blacks became civilized, not to mention baptized, so on the whole it was a huge gain for them from where they were. Yep. Don’t forget it. Whom has our great modern civilization civilized recently? Nevertheless most founders had moral qualms about it, to their credit, and wrote its eventual demise into the Constitution. Please do not kid yourself that we are better than they.

      4–the ravages of the industrial Revolution were the result of free market liberalism, which was the economic system that overthrew the Church-sponsored guild system. (If you think unions protect workers, you have no idea…) Free-market liberalism was the very vanguard of ‘progress’ against the old benighted backward oppressive feudalistic mercantilist etc. Church-sanctioned order of things. (But the world didn’t want its Mother looking over its doings anymore. The little chldren wanted to play grown-up, except, they didn’t want to have any more rules–just like children think what being grown-up is all about. Well, the philosophers had told them that they were all-grown-up now that they had ‘rediscovered’ ‘reason’, which Mother Kirk had kept safely hidden for over a thousand years in a cupboard in some monastery in the Alps with the other dangerous knives and electric light sockets.) While it is true that socialist progressivism historically played an important part in making life easier for workers AFTER the Industrial Revolution, religion was not opposed to this goal–it was in fact in the vanguard of those dedicated to improving the lot of the poor industrial detritus. Pope Leo XIII wrote his famous encyclical Laborem exercens in 1891, I believe it was. The Catholic religion, at least, was a force for good in making life better for the miserable. True, a few protestant sects took Darwinism to heart and smiled at nature’s God ‘bettering’ all the world by weeding out the weak ones, but most did not.

      But all these points are to argue consequentially, which is a manner of argumentation that does not appeal to me very much, for much the same reason, I think, that it does not appeal to Dr. G to argue from the state of Cardinal Law’s soul, or his own soul (which, from what I gather, is probably doing pretty well at least most of the time) to whether or not the Truth is True, and that is: what does it matter to me if, for instance, a black man is President, if our country is going to hell? That’s progress to be proud of? What does it profit if a man gains the whole world, but loses his soul?

      But if you cannot see that our social ills are simply a case of kids only being a little rambunctious as healthy ones usually are, your powers of observation are very much constrained.

      • My Dear Petrovsky,

        Masterful! I imagine our interlocutor is probably on life assistance; always a dangerous thing in these parlous times of “voluntary” and assisted suicide. I mean who decides what is voluntary and what assistance means…? A bunch of guys in white coats? The kids who yearn for a life without a rule maker and law giver? A-GASP-lawyer??!!

        We get that courtesy of the ability to do things on our own with no help from God, whom we wish would simply disappear from our lives. It is a much better way, of course, than all of that messy compassion, prayer, grief and condolence. And, I do feel for the fellow.

        Anyway, your aside about unions reminded me of my father, may he rest in peace, and his “turn” at “organizing” and being a small time union official in the NALC (National Association of Letter Carriers) back in the 40’s and 50’s. I cannot put my finger on it to be sure, but the evidence points to the fact that his long descent into self-destruction via alcohol was brought on by the use made of him by tougher, stronger, more heartless and deadlier men than he was prepared to be.

        It reminded me also of my near twenty years investigating labor racketeering and white collar crime for the federal government, and my daily exposure to greed, hatred, pettiness, cutthroat competition, waste fraud and abuse…just inside my office! I will not…because there isn’t enough bandwidth in the Universe…expatiate on what I found when I actually was allowed to do what I was being paid to do, or the near total inadequacy of law or administrative procedure to deal with the twin problems of power and greed which give rise to such quaint and time honored practices as embezzlement and extortion…indeed the refusal of either to comprehend the depth of our fallen humanity which produces these systemic weaknesses. But, we don’t need any suggestion that we may be at fault, and may be, despite all out attempts to do so, unable to do anything whatsoever to find a solution.

        Well, Don Corleone has such solutions to hand. So does Johnny Friendly without whom the Corleones of the world…and the Kennedys…would have nothing to do. Johnny Friendly, you will remember, was brought down by a man whose life was changed through the action of a priest of God…and all of it a story true as day is after the sun rises.

        I remember Karl Malden’s soliloquy in the hold of the ship over the dead body of a murdered man. Such a thing would be protested now as an interference of religious belief with the “right of people to be entertained”..or some such silliness found somewhere in the “penumbrae of meaning” contained like an oort cloud around the Constitution; the dark matter of Godless minds.

        Alas. Is trua mor.

        Final regards and true,

        Will it be the sherry or the port, Petrovsky? Come enjoy the view from this window of the sunset. It will not be long before it is dark night. But, then, the Dawn!

  20. Jan Petrovsky

    Amen to the dawning. I don’t expect to be near your window to the universe anytime soon, but I appreciate the invitation. My physical penury at this time does not permit me to reciprocate. In the meantime I think we might do well to keep one another in prayer, and perhaps look forward to an encounter some time in the City, since I have some family ‘back there’ (my own window, such as it is, is probably over 3000 mi. from yours) that I visit now and then.



    Oh, Pete. I know enough about you to know two things: 1. You have a hard time making decisions for yourself – you need an authority figure (god, wife) to keep you focused. That’s all right. That is what religion is supposed to be – a psychological structure to keep one “focused on the ball,” so to speak. Now, when one begins imposing that structure on others, problems arise; 2. When you are refuted properly and well, your replies contain numerous grammatical and punctual mistakes (see your reply to my last posting).

    And Jan, please tell me you are joking about your comments on slavery? If they were serious, you have a future as a Neo-Conservative politician.

    • Sir,

      You know next to nothing about me, and that is the truth. What you describe as a “need” is simply my lack of a need to make decisions, and my quite ready desire to allow anyone else who wishes to accept the responsibility. As a corollary to that way of living I have been blessed with companions in life and partners in work who readily accepted, and accept, the arrangement.

      I do not know what a “punctual mistake” consists of. Could it be something like arriving early for one’s funeral? That seems to me to be something quite incapable of being done. However, I do not live in Oregon where the right to kill oneself has been established. I await, now, for some fools to establish a right on the other end of that spectrum.

      My last reply contained no grammatical mistakes.

      Finally, the last thing that God is for me is an authority figure. If that is what you have come to think of God as, and believe that all others do, too, you have missed the mark widely.

      Now, please go back to work.

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