Yeah … I guess I must … anyway … as I have said before, when I was taking both secular philosophy (ethics at a secular university) and moral theology (at a Jesuit school, Seattle University), I was taught, in different ways and in different dialects, that Knowledge plus Power equals Responsibility. I.e., if I know that a given situation is morally wrong and if I have the power to effect change, then I am morally responsible for acting so as to alter the situation and right the wrong. And, moreover, the degree of responsibility varies directly with the scope of my knowledge and my power to effect that change. E.g., there is not much I can do to alleviate the plight of Syrian refugees. Maybe all I can do is to give money. But I am obligated to do at least that much. Given how wides
This is going to sound really strange coming from me, i.e., coming from someone who has been a life-long fairly radical devotee of the First Amendment, in particular, of both the Amendment’s religion clauses: the “establishment” clause and the “free exercise” clause. But the recent publication of the grand jury’s findings regarding six Pennsylvania dioceses in the matter of priest pedophilia has caused me to radically reassess my attitude toward the latter clause, especially given that two of the six dioceses in question attempted to have judges quash the grand jury proceedings. In particular, I now believe that, for the most part and because of an arguably well-intentioned but exaggerated deference toward the “free exercise” clause, the Nation has pretty much allowed the Church to r
I believe the greatest rock song ever written is The Eagles' "Hotel California". I have believed this for some time, and for a variety of reasons. But I have come to believe it even more recently, because "Hotel California" is turning out to be the anthem of any nation -- at this time, the United States -- which allows itself to be seduced into tyranny by the meretricious charms of simplistic solutions to problems which, though genuine enough, may be used to further the demagoguery of people whose only loyalty is to their own power. Our fear and perplexity are their strength. The latest highway signpost pointing the way to our Nation's Hotel California is the 20-page memorandum arguing that the President is a law unto himself. We can hear the music and read the lyrics even now.