The recent decision to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Trump is a very troubling historical event.
The reason is that the government of the United States, in pursuing this path, is showing the telltale signs of decline, which will eventually lead to its downfall.
The strength of the United States of America, over the nearly 250 years of its existence, has been the stability of its government on the one hand, and the civility of its citizens, on the other. Both of these qualities are remarkable, given the fact that it is a federation of many states, covering a vast territory, and a people consisting of many differing cultures, backgrounds, races, and religions.
Just when you thought that you heard everything, a new shock came to light in July. America magazine, the publication of the Jesuit order in the United States, actually published an article advocating communism — yes, communism. The title of the article is: “The Catholic Case for Communism.”
The Roman poet Horace once said: You may drive out nature with a pitchfork, yet she’ll be constantly running back.
June is the traditional month for the “pride” marches of the sodomites. This June will be particularly active, owing to the fiftieth anniversary of the demonstrations at the Stonewall Bar in Greenwich Village in 1969 in which the sodomites made their first attempt at public acceptance.
But is this appetite for unnatural sex acts something to be proud of? Is it something to be celebrated and admired by all?
Much has been said recently about women who have suffered from the sexual assaults of men.
It is true that the conduct of some men is deplorable in this regard, but it is also true that the conduct of some women is deplorable as well.
The 1960s produced a sexual revolution unheard of in the history of the world, which in turn caused a revolution in family life from which we are still reeling, and the end of which is nowhere in sight.
The trend began over one hundred years ago, and gained momentum in World War I. Before the war, for example, women covered their entire bodies with clothing. After the war, the hemlines came up and the necklines came down.
Never in the history of women’s dress, up to about 1918, did women wear skirts above their ankles. It was considered immodest. Even in the eighteenth century, where the necklines were low, women covered their arms to at least three-quarter length, and wore skirts to their ankles. To show one’s bare arms or to wear a skirt higher than the ankles was a sign of a prostitute.
By the 1920s women’s clothing had undergone a radical transformation. So did their behavior. With the advent of the cinema, and especially that of Hollywood, the “glamor girl” look became fashionable, as well as the flirtatious activity which accompanied it. Nevertheless the average respectable woman wore a dress that came to mid-leg length, and was otherwise modest in clothing. The skirts gradually made their way higher during the 1940’s and 1950’s, but in general a woman’s dress was within the norms of modesty.
I say “in general,” because even the 1930s saw the dawn of tight-fitting dresses on women, which were immodest inasmuch as they were too revealing. Later this gave way to a full skirt in the 1950’s, much more modest. But the 1960’s saw the return of the tight dress, and with it the miniskirt, something that the human race had never seen on decent women since the dawn of mankind.
Hollywood became extremely immodest in both dress and behavior in the 1950s. It was the prelude of the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Marilyn Monroe was a typical example of this degenerate tendency.
Up to about 1965, most women were married, not divorced, had five or six children, at times more, and were devoted to their homes. With the appearance of the birth control pill in the 1960s, the role and attitudes of women would change radically, and with these changes, family life would suffer immeasurably.
“Freed” from the burden of having and raising children, and urged on by the radical feminists such as Betty Friedan, women left their homes and went out into the workplace. This change was concurrent with the general attitude of sexual freedom in the 1960s, by which people abandoned the inhibitions of previous times, and felt no restraints in pursuing the inclinations of their lower nature. Movies and television took ever greater liberties in this regard. This decline in morals could easily be seen if one were to trace, little by little, the modesty of television in the 1950s to the immodesty of television in our own time. The doses came in small spoonfuls, just as Vatican II did. Little by little decent people were asked to tolerate more and more immodesty.
The effect of all of this revolution in sexual mores, as well as the role of women, is that men and women have been thrown together into situations which are very dangerous. Women are daily interacting with men in the workplace. In many cases they are dressed in such a way as to be immodestly attractive to men. The inevitable result is that, unless the men in the office are very vigilant about the virtue of chastity and fidelity to their wives, some very bad things take place.
The reason why there was, in past times, so much modesty in women’s dress, and the reason why women stayed mostly in the home, is precisely that men have a very hard time controlling their sexual desires.
Although men are principally guilty, the women are partially if not equally guilty. In many if not most cases their dress is sexually enticing, and their conduct with men often invites sexual advances.
Most of these assaults upon women are seen in show business, an environment which is notably loose and never known for its observance of chastity and fidelity. Most of the “victim” ladies in these cases look like lascivious women, and probably did much to cause the assault.
Other cases of assault occur in situations in which men enjoy much power and influence. Sports figures are often guilty of this as well as politicians. There seems to be an aggression that occurs in men as they advance in power and/or fame. Women should not be close to any environments such as these.
While women should not look odd by returning the mode of dress in 1912, they should nonetheless take all the steps necessary, even difficult, expensive, and inconvenient, in order to avoid being an occasion of sin to men, and thereby inviting upon themselves outrages by unscrupulous males.
Saint John Chrysostom, who died in 404, summed it up:
You carry your snare everywhere and spread your nets in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment. When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent Tell me, whom does this world condemn? Whom do judges punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You have prepared the abominable cup, you have given the death dealing drink, and you are more criminal than are those who poison the body; you murder not the body but the soul. And it is not to enemies you do this, nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride.
As a result of my recent blog posting, entitled “Judging the Judge,” I received a good deal of complimentary comments, but was inundated by very critical comments.
I would like to answer those who criticized what I said. First I will give some explanations of things that may have been unclear.
In moral theology there are certain reflex principles which are used in order to resolve a doubt. In the case of two testimonies which are contradictory, i.e., “he said, she said,” the doubt is resolved, all things being equal, by taking the word of the superior. Judge Kavanaugh is the superior in this case, not because he is a man, but because he is a federal judge, and a very renowned one at that. He has stronger credibility, according to this moral principle, than his opponent.
I say “all things being equal,” since it is possible that the word of an inferior could be more credible than that of a superior, for various reasons. But when both seem credible, presumption must be made in favor of the superior. Perhaps my critics disagree with this principle, but nonetheless it is Catholic moral theology.
By saying that the immoral actions of a seventeen year old, especially while drunk, should not affect his qualifications later in life, should not be taken as an absolution or a condonation of the immoral behavior of teenagers. It is simply to say: if he repents of his immoral actions, and if this repentance is accompanied by the amendment of his moral habits, these actions should not disqualify him in the future from responsible and honorable positions in society. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux said “Penance is second innocence.” There is the outstanding example, as well, of Saint Augustine, who led a morally dissolute life as a young man, but who converted from it and went on to become a great saint and one of the greatest doctors of the Church.
It is a mortal sin to get drunk. Inebriation, however, does reduce the culpability of a sin, inasmuch as the excessive alcohol impairs the use of reason, as well as moral inhibitions, with the result that people do and say things while drunk that they would never do or say while sober. This is Catholic moral theology. If you do not accept this, your argument is with both Catholic moral theology and even common sense, because everyone knows that this is true.
I do not believe, however, that Judge Kavanaugh is guilty of the aggressive behavior of which he is accused, because I do not find the testimony of Dr. Ford to be credible, owing especially to the many memory lapses concerning the circumstances of the event.
This is my conclusion. It was also the conclusion of the FBI. Others may find her credible. I do not impose my conclusion on them, and they should not impose their conclusion on me.
But this is exactly what my critics did. I received about thirty hate emails, many of them interspersed with vulgar and filthy language, such as the S-word and the F-word, but nearly all of them accusing me of condoning sin, of being a child abuser, of being non-Catholic, and of other horrid things. One of them said, “You are a pig, Bishop.” Another said, “How many young boys have you f****d?” These were not isolated cases. Only two of the thirty emails that I received were civil and balanced, although they expressed disagreement.
First, let me say that attacking your opponent with anger, hate, insult, and filth does much to detract from your credibility. People who are confident of their positions are able to defend them with rational arguments, not F-words.
Second, to express my opinion about the credibility of Dr. Ford’s testimony, or that of any witness, is entirely my right, and I should not be harassed or preyed upon by Leftists who disagree with me. Abusive language and false accusations are themselves a form of violence.
The Leftists have turned their political views into religious dogma, and they are ready to burn at the stake anyone who disagrees with them.
The recent weeks have been dominated ad nauseam by the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh. Here I will give my reflections on this case and provide some moral principles.
In the first place, I have no knowledge of the judge’s political views, and am quite indifferent regarding his approval. Although he comes highly recommended in conservative circles, the fact that liberal neocon George W. Bush supports his nomination is disquieting. On the other hand, the hatred that the Leftists have for him is reassuring.
What is of particular concern is the manner in which he is being accused.
In the first place, I found Dr. Ford’s testimony against him to be very unreliable and inconsistent. The prosecutor who interrogated her published these inconsistencies in a report to the Senate.
Secondly, I find it hard to believe that she would have said nothing about the incident to anyone for thirty-six years.
Be these things as they may, what should we think about Judge Kavanaugh?
Moral theology — indeed the law of God — requires us to not think any evil of him beyond what is evident. If there is insufficient evidence to make a certain judgement of guilt, then we must hold him guiltless. If there is sufficient evidence to cause suspicion of guilt, then we may lawfully suspect him. To think evil of someone without sufficient evidence is a sin of rash judgement, and it is a mortal sin if the matter is serious. This matter is certainly serious.
In this case, however, it is Judge Kavanaugh’s word against Dr. Ford’s word. Moral law requires us, in that parity of contradictory testimony, to take the word of the superior, which in this case would be that of Judge Kavanaugh.
Furthermore, the testimony of Dr. Ford is weakened severely by the fact that she was not cross-examined. The purpose of cross-examination is precisely to test the truthfulness of the witness. Cross-examination by a good lawyer would have demonstrated the many contradictions in Dr. Ford’s testimony, as reported by the prosecutor who questioned her.
As well, it is a general principle in both civil law and moral law that the accused has the right to face his accuser. This right was denied to Judge Kavanaugh.
The fact that the Leftist senators kept the information secret until the last minute also seriously taints the integrity and honesty of the senators who oppose Judge Kavanaugh. For if they had really believed the information to be true, it is of such a nature that it should have been brought forth immediately.
I therefore conclude that Dr. Ford’s testimony should be discounted for all of the reasons I have stated above.
Even if, however, one should accept Dr. Ford’s testimony as true, I do not believe that the qualifications of any human being should include actions which he or she performed when seventeen years old. Teenagers do many imprudent, foolish, stupid, and sinful things, but in many or even most cases they recover from these bad actions or habits and act like responsible adults. Furthermore, what the judge is accused of is not even a complete act. It was not a rape. Even as it is reported, the prosecutor said that it is not actionable even from the point of view of prosecution as a crime. Furthermore, Judge Kavanaugh is supposed to have performed this act while drunk, according to his accuser, which would reduce culpability, if the incident did indeed occur.
If Judge Kavanaugh had done something like this in more mature years, then I would say that there would be reason to block his nomination.
I would like to find out from both the accuser and from the senators some of their activities during their teenage years.
What is most lamentable about the whole matter is the absolutely deplorable manner in which these hearings took place, with no regard for the most fundamental rules of evidence, or even of human decency.