Thursday, July 26, 2007


At work in the garden A garden is an excellent metaphor for civilization. A garden is a thing of nature, and most of us gardeners are nature lovers. At the same time, a garden goes beyond nature; it is a harnessing of natural energy to dramatically enhance nature's fruitfulness and loveliness. In harmony with nature, the garden moves beyond mere nature.

In a similar way, let no one deny that man is a natural being, an animal with all the drives, instincts, and appetites thereof. But the basis of civilization is man moving beyond mere animal nature. In harmony with his animal nature and with his unique nature as a rational and spiritual being, civilized man seeks to harness his natural energy in a controlled and orderly manner.

Unfettered nature is not a garden. Unfettered nature is a random mixture of wild plants and animals. Left untended, a garden will easily revert to such a wild and unordered randomness, the weeds and vermin moving in and obliterating the order and fruitfulness. A garden takes hard work and constant vigilance; a weed patch requires no effort.

To be sure, there is beauty and life outside the garden fence, and the gardener might be tempted to wonder if his labor is worthwhile. Does it really make much difference? A casual observer might even accuse the gardener of being a control freak, of engaging in repression and manipulation. Indeed, from some plants' perspective, the gardener would be have to be regarded as a violent killer, spending much of his energy in uprooting or digging up the plants he doesn't like. So, it would seem that the more liberal and caring approach would be to cease such mean-spirited oppression, and instead allow full rein to the uninhibited forces of nature. Relax, let the forces of nature flow freely, and celebrate the increasing diversity and freedom that would result.

Nice beets from the garden But time is the proof. In April, the garden looks rather barren compared to the wild meadow. By mid-July, the superior fruitfulness of the garden is apparent. And later still, when the bitter winds of January howl outside the door, the gardener's well-stocked larder and root cellar remove all doubts about the garden's worth.

My point is, of course, that our culture's moral demise, its 'Slouching Towards Gomorrah', is a very effortless movement, and may even appear quite attractive, but will prove fruitless and barren in the end.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Folding table

folding table Over a month now since any comments have been added to the 'Roundtable' piece below, so I guess that particular discussion has petered out, and I will now remove the sidebar invitation. (But feel free to continue to comment on that or any other article in this blog.)

Thanks to 'Summerfields' and 'Deepwoods Mike' for your comments in the Roundtable. I was hoping for more of a sharp exchange, a real roundtable, and so was sorry that no one of opposing viewpoint expressed any comments. Especially disappointed that no Herald staff responded to my specific invitation for them to explain their policy (cf. our email of June 8).

That policy continues to mystify me. Week after week, the Herald pays money for the dissident comments of Father McBrien, ostensibly in the interest of a broad-minded freedom of thought. But the Herald will not contract with true Catholic writers, and will only print a single comment by any one reader, with no opportunity for clarification or rebuttal. Their support for freedom of thought would seem to be rather one-sided.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sign 'Stop CEDAW' petition

C-Fam logo Related to the previous post, I would like to invite anyone interested to sign another online petition. This one is to urge our Senators to not ratify the CEDAW treaty. This U.N. treaty is ostensibly designed to protect women's rights, and may have innocuously begun thus. But it has now become the means by which U.N. thugs pressure member nations to legalize abortion, same-sex marriage, even prostitution.

Read more about at it this C-Fam webpage, and sign the petition there. It only takes a moment.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Thanatos - 2

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the official U.N. facility for seeking to reduce human fertility worldwide. This means pressure on developing nations to legalize abortion (of course), and also entails incentives for sterilization programs, often coercive ones.

The latest "Friday Fax" from C-Fam details how most of the funding for UNFPA is coming, interestingly, from rich nations whose own population decline is an obvious problem for their future prosperity. The current manifestation of Thanatos, then, is apparently quite evangelical. The same folks who are bent upon their own extinction want to proactively spread their neurosis.

It would appear from this same C-Fam report that the United States is a sort of battleground nation in all this. Under The Bush Administration and the Kemp-Kasten amendment, the United States is currently witholding funds for UNFPA, while Democrats want to reinstate funding.