Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Legislature Caught in a Fury

Can a legislature be taken up by a passion? Yes. Pius VI recognized this when he wrote to his Archbishops in France during the summer of 1790. Here is a paraphrase of what he said:

By writing the way that he does to the Archbishop, the Pope shows his fatherly diplomacy. He tries to speak in a way to each person, understanding what that person is capable of accepting and doing at that moment. The Pope thinks that to say these things clearly and publicly would not be prudent at the moment. It would only exacerbate the fury of the Revolutionaries. To say things directly and strongly to the king would not be prudent. The King is in a state of confusion. He might not be capable of understanding the principles clearly. If he were to act on them, he might do so in a confusing way.

Could a similar set of circumstances exist in the United States right now? Our national legislature is wounded, but it is also caught in a passion. We are potentially in a state of confusion. We are not sure whether we want to stay in the Middle East or go. Some in the Middle East or who have a stake in the events there, want us to stay. They are using all of their efforts in Congress, the Media, and elsewhere to keep us there. They are caught up in the fury that perhaps the US should be at the vanguard of the world movement to democracy.

The Pope is now in Turkey, attempting to quell the violence. Will his voice (the voice of conscience), or that of the war party become predominant in the US?


Blogger Tortoise(notHare) said...

Wow, great insight.
Permit me to add a minor example (by extension). We have the illusion of dispassionate economics in which guns and butter are traded off with the detached calculations of graphs and curves. Have you ever seen video of the trading floor of the NYSE (or any other major exchange in the world)? All the traders look like ants at a picnic who have discovered a dropped ice cream cone! They are frantic...and if news (or rumors of news) is especially good or bad they are like frantic-on-crack!!!
Kind of interesting that the first word Our Resurrected Lord would usually say in those special 40 days was "Shalom" "Peace".

Legislatures? My goodness yes! Look at the legislative history of any war, any impeachment, any economic downturn and they stampede with passion.
They even have a vote-getting leadership position called the "Whip" who is responsible to count noses/votes and make sure that things come out the way the leadership wants (and to twist arms if some votes are needed).
As for Dubya...he should have honored his father. If he had honored his father, 41, himself a former President, Vice President, Ambassador to the UN, to China, Director of the CIA, RNC Chair, Congressman, WWII Vet, then he would not have started the Iraq War. And if Dubya had listened to The Holy Father, the Servant of God John Paul II The Great, then he would not have started a war about which the Holy Father specifically gave him the prior moral warning was an unjust war under Catholic teachings (not that we should ignore any Pope but when it comes to knowing about Aquinas I'm especially paying attention to JPII and not to the man who traded away the 20 year-old Rangers' rookie Sammy Sosa for essentially nothing). The ending of your entry today raises an excellent point. We made a horrible and tragic and immoral decision to ignore JPII, so the best way to remediate that would be to pay attention to BXVI and seek his help to achieve Peace. Shalom.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Joe Philipowicz said...

A number of good insights. Thanks for your comments. By the way, Augustin Cochin in an untranslated book describes how the political machine worked in the Revolution, and how it eventually seeped into most Western Democracies. That is probably why it is untranslated.

8:45 PM  

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