Monday, August 18, 2003

Maureen McHugh's Done It Again!

Maureen McHugh is continuing her brilliant discussion of The Moral Order. You can tell when someone's really got the ball -- he or she ends up writing things that aren't limited to a specific teeny perspective, but have multiple applications. Here she delivers a concise indictment of "liberation theology" while discussing our very bad social habit of tolerance:
Our whole culture seems to be structured around the goodness inherent in man and the damage imposed on him by society and ‘sinful structures‘. We believe that the innocence of youth is the equivalent of goodness, that children should "lead the way", that people should "be all they can be", that our innermost ‘face' is Christ. Apparently our faith in the individual's natural goodness is unshakeable.

Obviously, the evil that people perpetrate can not be laid at their own door. Instead, since evil does exist, it must be a function of social constructs and constraints. As a corollary, we can infer that any ‘evil' that is not a function of authoritarian structures, is not truly evil.
It's also, seems to me, a perfect description of the thinking condemned by Pius XI's Mit Brennender Sorge, which says anything that "exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State . . . above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level . . . distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God." If structures and institutions are the real determinants of human evil, it follows that they're the only real criteria of human good. That's an instant recipe for idolatrous politics -- whether they pursue Lebensraum or a "right to choose." Pius XI said that anyone who engages in that kind of thinking "is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds."[1]

So much for "it can't happen here." It is happening here -- Roe's not the ne plus ultra of what the Devil has in store for America. Roe's just a test case, the first fluttering of eyelashes in what will become an extremely ruinous seduction.

If you're not reading Ms. McHugh's series, you're cheating yourself.

[1] Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge, ¶ 8 (1937).

No comments: