Saturday, June 13, 2015

From The Heartland

When moral imperatives and climate change denial meet head on, you know who feels they occupy the higher ground when The Heartland Institute is involved. The following video captures their reaction to the upcoming encyclical by Pope Francis on climate change. My favorite comment is made by the gentleman who just can't find it in his heart to forgive the Church its mistreatment of Galileo. I guess some folks just have very long memories:


  1. It seems Francis has really got them running scared, Lorne. Even Sen. Imhofe is warning the Pope to mind his own business and leave climate change up to Congress to ignore. The denialists are getting louder, ever more strident. There's an air of desperation to their outbursts.

    They can see what's happening around the world, even just the changes this past year, and they must realize this wave is about to break over their heads. They know they can't outrun it but they don't seem to have a Plan B.

    I'm struggling to make sense of this, Lorne. Is there a deeper meaning to this? Could this be typical of imminent collapse? I so hope not.

    Regardless of which side one is on, the factual side or the irrational, we all want to address climate change as a "stand alone" issue not as an integral component of a far greater, and potentially much more intractable, existential threat that melds climate change with overpopulation and over-consumption. It's only when the three are taken together that the possible solutions become manifest. Sort of like baseball, you have to clear first, second and third base before you can make it home.

    1. I like your baseball analogy, Mound. It would seem that within the larger context you describe, there are few sports fans on the right.

      It would be nice if we could come to the unified perspective that really is at the heart of our imminent peril, but I am not hopeful. The self-absorbed nature of the world which has led to this precipice will likely prevent any realistic confrontation of the problem.

  2. Why is it that you can't even tell when you're being hypocrites? You only care about the Holy Father because he *might* deal with climate change in an upcoming encyclical. And he might not.

    This is a man who has, on at least four separate occasions in recent months attacked in no uncertain or ambiguous terms what could be called "gender ideology," and called for measures to strengthen, support and protect the traditional, meaning heterosexual, family. It's clear from this that he sees homosexual "marriage' as an antithesis to the essential role which family plays in society, and yet, you feel entirely content to ignore these things.

    To me, it only demonstrates that like the media, you want to use the Holy Father as a political cudgel against your enemies, instead of letting him be who he is, and do what he's going to do.

    Are you even Catholic? Then what do you care?

    It's not noble, it's not moral, it's not right. It's crass opportunism for people who are trying to use someone they see as a broken clock for cheap points.

    If this is what we can expect from the left, then fuck you. I will not comply. I will resist you with every fiber of my being, and every ounce of my strength.

    1. You seem to have a lot of anger Anon. What you seem to fail to understand is that while no one, not even this Pope, is perfect, he is at least speaking out against the reactionary forces that imperil this world in their relentless efforts to repudiate the science of climate change, despite the validity of that science.

      I'll take Pope Francis' activism any day of the week over those who would destroy the world for their own short-term gain.

    2. You're damn right I'm angry; you don't get to take the activism of the Holy Father without just and fair consideration of the rest of the teachings of the Church. Period. You don't get to use the Holy Father to beat up on Harper because he appeared to make a frowny face. Does Pope Francis even know what Canada's environmental policy is? I seriously doubt it.

      If you'll take Pope Francis' activism any day of the week, then kindly, publicly denounce homosexual "marriage," abortion, contraception, and divorce as grave evils.

      If you won't do that, then you're a hypocrite. I get maligned for picking and choosing by people who don't know a damned thing about theology, but you can pick and choose for the Pope when it suits? I don't fucking think so, and I'm calling you out on your bullshit.

      While I have no particular quarrel with anybody who consciously and genuinely rejects the Church, you don't get to be in the Barque of Peter whenever it suits you. You're either for the Pope... or against. You don't get to pick and choose.

      Worse, the Church its self may be at risk, and while that's no particular concern of yours, it is for me. And it really bothers me that someone who doesn't appreciate what truly hangs in the balance feels entitled to use something that could spark a schism, or, the Great Apostasy its self as something to beat up on Harper.

      It's ignorant, and it's disgusting.

    3. As much as possible, Anon, and i realize that I regularly fail to do this, especially with regard to the Harper government, I try not to think in absolutist terms, which you seem to be doing when you say that "you're either for the Pope...or against. You don't pick and choose." By whose rules, yours? We do it all the time when we support and advocate for the policies of a government, and reject others. For example, while I think here in Ontario that Kathleen Wynne is definitely on the right track in updating the sex ed curriculum, I think she is dead wrong in planning to sell off 60% of the hydro public utility.

      What exactly do you mean in your reference to sparking a schism? Why is supporting the Pope on the climate change issue so disturbing, even if I would like to see more progressiveness from the Church on such things as contraception, etc.?

    4. Lorne, thank you for the measured response. It's promising, and helps turn away a lot of wrath on my part.

      To answer your question directly, it's not my rules, it's the rule of Our Blessed Lord, echoed by several Popes throughout the history of the Church.

      Now, I don't normally resort to bibically based arguments, for instance in considering the abortion issue, I wouldn't use the Bible to argue it. For one thing the Bible isn't accepted as authoritative by many people. However, in this case, it must necessarily rest partially on scripture because it is fundamentally a theological consideration.

      We start with Matthew 12:30, and Luke 11:23. It's not my rules, it's His.

      Then we have to consider the Dogma of Extra Ecclesiam, Nula salus. It's not so much salvation with which we must be concerned, but the need to be subject to the Roman Pontiff, and the willingness to accept a second Dogma, that of Papal infallibility.

      What all of this means is, these are not options for me. Now, I've willingly and knowingly subjected myself to the Catholic Church, it is a choice I made knowing all of the consequences. What that means is that I don't enjoy the privilege of breaking ranks with the Pope on the subject of abortion, or climate change (assuming that there's an infallible or dogmatic declaration forthcoming), or whatever else. I am bound to accept all of the teachings of the Church. Even things that I don't like, or that make my life more difficult.

      What all of that boils down to is, there's not really any "wiggle room" when it comes to the Church. You're either for her, or against.

      To agree with the Pope therefore, on this issue, but not others, reveals your ignorance about Church teaching. In this, I don't hold you, or anybody culpable; most self-identified Catholics don't really know anything about the Church. But also, your public proclamations reveal that you are quite content to use the Church, the Pope in particular to further your agenda, and that is objectionable, and offensive. She's not yours. She's not mine. She belongs entirely to Our Blessed Lord.

      To use Her, to use the Pope in the way you suggest is abusive, and I won't allow it to go unchallenged.

      Concerning schism, we turn to another passage, Matthew 16:17-20. If the Pope for instance were to say that contraception and abortion were morally permitted because climate change is a problem, it might represent the end of the Church. Our Blessed Lord promised St. Peter that the Gates of Hell would not prevail. That means that the Church can *never* give the green-light to abortion, and a host of other issues. Certain prelates may falter and not do their due diligence, but, the Church as a whole can *never* say that these things are morally permissible. To do so, would be to promulgate a lie. To lie in such a thing would be, tantamount to the prevailing of the Gate of Hell. That, would show that Our Blessed Lord had lied to St. Peter. If He lied, then was He God? If He wasn't God, the Crucifixion was meaningless, and accomplished nothing other than the death of the deluded man. There's no Eucharist, no Dogma, NOTHING. Think carefully about the implications of that, not just for Catholics. Protestants also believe that Our Lord was God.

      Perhaps it would mean that the Church has subsisted in the SSPX; which has consistently courted schism, and may have in actuality fallen into schism.

      The existence of the Church its self, Her self may be called into question. If the encyclical says things as described in this video, there is no problem.

      If the encyclical contradicts dogma, then I have to think very long and very hard about whether or not the Church ever truly existed.

    5. Thanks for your response, Anon. When all is said and done, I think, as they say, we will have to agree to disagree on this issue. I do note, however, that in his Sunday address in St. Peter's Square, he said that his upcoming teaching document (encyclical) is "addressed to everyone." From that, I infer that he is hoping to spark discussion and a change of heart and behaviour, not just among Catholics, but among all people.

      Whether Catholic or not, I think people of faith who see the natural world as an expression of God's immanence will respond positively to the Pope's encyclical. For those without faith but concerned about what is happening to the world, his document will likely be welcomed as another compelling contribution to the entire debate, one that may help bring about some badly needed action.

    6. Well Lorne, it may well be the Holy Spirit's intention to allow the commencement of the Great Apostasy. And I think we might agree more than you think.

      Don't get me wrong, I would support an encyclical which urges us to do better for the environment. I find the climate debate frustrating, because I personally feel that it has the effect of skewing our priorities, and pitting us against each other.

      If we get an encylical which upholds the constant teaching of the Church, while urging us to do better on the environment, I would recieve that very happily, because I do agree with that 100%. We would probably disagree about the method of accomplishing this goal, but we would agree on setting it as a goal, and working at it.

      If however, we get an encyclical which doesn't uphold the teaching of the Church, if it calls humanity a scourge, and suggests that depopulation would be a good solution for dealing with climate change, and an encyclical which doesn't deal with a lot of the ecological damage not related to climate change, I couldn't welcome that.

      Some have suggested that the latter is in the cards. Hopefully not.

      I like to think I'm already in step with the former.

      I'm what most would consider a climate-skeptic. Not that I deny climate change, I don't. Nor that I necessarily deny anthropogenic climate change, I'm unpersuaded one way or the other on the anthropogenic aspect. But, I do question whether imposing drastic suffering on large numbers is morally correct, even if it would mitigate climate change, which I doubt: the climate has *always* changed. And, there's a lot of damage being done which isn't subject to skepticism, which is wholly uncontroversial. But you never hear about it because there is this, I think, maybe dangerous focus on climate change. I'm not trying to say that climate change isn't important, but ignoring a whole host of other ecological problems has costs also. And the politicization of the "climate debate" is having the toxic effect of standing in the way of real solutions.

      We have people in this country who, in the most peculiar way exocriate and hate groups of people who do the MOST, more than everyone else, including the government to preserve and safeguard our green spaces, and safeguard our biodiversity; hunters. Just look up how many acres of wetland Ducks Unlimited (just one group) has preserved, and compare that with how much say, PETA has done to preserve the environment. Yes, hunters have a vested interest, and the motivation isn't 100% aultruistic. And? Who can argue with the results? Preserving species, even if you intend to kill some of them seems like a pretty good idea to me... but what do I know, I'm just a numbskull selfish, heartless, religious fanatic conservative, at least as far as many on the left are concered.

      So in sum, if the Pope is going to implore us to do better, I have no objection. If the Pope is going to throw humanity under the bus, then it may signify that the Church never existed. Or it maybe a sign that the 2nd Comming is immanent.

      If it's largely the former, and I hope it is, then this will all be an unhappy episode where I got worked up over nothing. In happy anticipation of that eventuality, I offer you an anticipatory apology for comming accross a bit gruff. Still not exactly okay to be turning the Pope into an anti-Harper partisan.

    7. Thanks again for your thoughts, Anon. I appreciate the time you have taken to outline your thinking, and I accept your anticipatory apology. I will only add that as other bloggers such as the Mound of Sound have observed, and this is where, I think, you and I have a point of agreement, climate change is but one (albeit a crucial one) of a series of interrelated threats that we face. Solving one will not solve or eliminate the overall existentialist threats we face.

  3. @ Anon. No, we're not RC but that doesn't matter. Let me return your self-indulgent "fuck you." I doubt you have all that much "fiber (sic) of my being, [or[ every ounce of my strength" to concern anyone. Now, go back and reflect on yourself in the full-length mirror that absorbs the remainder of your energies.