But I've talked about that. What I want to talk about today is kind of the flip-side of that: how I have an interest in other people's lives because I cannot get away from them. No, that doesn't make a community. It makes nothing more than a negative relationship. The question is, can I be a libertarian, really? I say I am one by default because I don't want people I do not respect to affect my life. One friend of mine always says, in effect, that it's all stupid because there is no Catholic state, therefore everything's a mess and there's no use to talk about any of this.
If I am going to adopt a libertarian position then I have to leave people alone too. Is that possible? Is it possible to let the public school system do its thing as long as they leave the Separate Board alone? They don't leave the Separate Board alone, so that's a mute point. But what if they actually did? I am starting to think that not even that is possible. What if the Separate Board decides that September 18th is 'Naked Day,' and all their kids walk to school naked and spend the day at school naked? Well, that affects me because I would see them go to school, so would my kids, and even if we didn't, what kind of country will that produce? If I want to be immune from their influence I would then have to leave the country, or at least Ontario. Of course, it's easy to see that 'gay marriage' affects much more than just the couple undertaking it - and that's the point. And while it might seem unfair for me to take a position on something that does not directly involve me: it does indeed affect me in many, many ways. But what the right degree? If I don't like bikinis, do I have a right to commit political mayhem to get them banned? Banned from everywhere, banned from libraries, banned from grocery stores...?
Now many half-wits operate from the maxim that because there is nothing inherently wrong with X then X is always good. Because Zulu women go topless, there is nothing inherently wrong with it, therefore it can happen anywhere regardless. That type of rationale explains the trajectory of the whole sexual revolution. Animals are not monogamous, therefore there is nothing inherently wrong with monogamy. Their reasoning stops short with cannibalism, although not, apparently, in the minds of Planned Parenthood. Homosexuality does not do any direct damage, therefore it is fine. How one can quantify direct damage to include smoking and not sodomy is beyond me, of course.
I am not a big fan of rules. I like to do things my way. I am not a herd animal. Trends offend me. That's me, and I've always been that way - hence my t-shirts at mass tirade. Sleeveless shirts at mass gravely offend me.
But how ought one go about recommending fair conduct?
1. By compromise: I won't wear shorts, if you don't go sleeveless?
2. By far-reaching regulations: no one has anything uncovered ever?
3. By no regulations: I wear whatever I want, you wear whatever you want?
|Is barn-raising actually a political metaphor?|
How do we know who's solution is better? Is there more AIDS, more happiness, more X, Y and Z with the Amish or at the French Riviera? Does it even matter?
I think a really good example of (1) is Madonna House. I am always amazed how well their inter-sexed scenario seems to work. They have rules, but I would not say that they are especially far-reaching as to put them in the Amish category (although some might beg to differ). Of course, in the case of Madonna House, it's not the rules that make it; it's the community's commitment to prayer and to following the Gospel. The rules are secondary and yet logical extensions of the primary reason.
It's hard to get a real read on this. Gay people get such a great sales-pitch from the MSM and Hollywood. Yet is it the case that all non-Christian living leads to AIDS and catastrophe? It depends what you mean by catastrophe. Abortion is catastrophe and it is essential to maintaining the status quo. Divorce is too. Then again, war is catastrophic, and I think one would be hard-pressed to say that nations can exist without it.
Where did Plato go wrong when he set out to plan the ideal state in the Republic and the Laws? I think when he set out to plan the ideal state. Does not Paul tell us quite simply that laws cannot do this, only grace can? Although most students of Plato would agree that Plato's plan in the Republic was not quite as I have set it out here, yet I think that all his provisos aside that are attached to his particular kind of idealism, he still could not think of something much better in politics than a state run with the best laws. Can we think of something better than this? Well, the Church, the City of God... however much those two articulations actually coincide. There is yet one essential wisdom in the Church political view: there is no right formula to be found here on earth.
Now, with this is mind, what should we do about bikinis, gay marriage and schools? Always aim for the closest approximation of the Gospel no matter whether it's our place to do so or not? I call this 'pulling a St. Charles Borromeo.' He tried to regulate every aspect of civic life to reflect Gospel values. He brings us closer to the Amish, but is Catholic Amish qualitatively that much better than Amish Amish?
Is the answer that obvious and have I been so disarmed by secular propaganda by my belief that something closer to libertarianism is fairer given our multicultural context?
One thing is clear, of course: everything affects me. When a bore wants to rev his truck up on a quiet Barry's Bay summer's evening, I am affected. When someone wants to get a divorce and raise his kids in my neighborhood relatively unattended, that affects me. When he chooses to swear around his kids in the privacy of his own home, that affects me. When he tells his kids that homework is unimportant, that affects me...
The argument that 'to each his own' and that 'privacy in the bedroom blah blah blah' requires revisiting.