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Katie van Schaijik

Whom shall we serve? God or Government?

Sep. 6, 2012, at 1:07pm

Just a week or two ago we heard at Sunday Mass the stirring exhortation from Joshua 24:25

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Personalist that I am, this set me reflecting on a mysterious fact of our being:  Service is an ineradicable exigency of our contingent nature.  We cannot decide whether we will serve, only whom we will serve.  We are not God.  We have no way of explaining our existence, nor any power to set its terms.  We are "handed

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Josef Seifert

Does Freedom of Conscience not Matter if Obama pays? - AND Socrates’ Advice to Cardinal Dolan

Mar. 11, 2012, at 10:40pm

Socrates’ Advice to Cardinal Dolan: it is better for man to suffer injustice than to commit it.

Many concerned citizens, Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Jews, Muslims, and even some atheists, have voiced their deep concern over the attack on the freedom of conscience and religion that we now suffer in the USA. Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, in his impressive letter of March 2, 2012, expressed his deep concern and shock, alluding even to the hard times which may expect the Catholic Church in view of the unbending and frontal attack on religious freedom by the Obama government. Also Pope Benedict has shown signs of deep alarm, saying to some US bishops during their ad limina

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Katie van Schaijik

Persons vs. Power

Mar. 2, 2012, at 11:08am

Increasingly over the years I have been understanding the essential truths of Christian personalism as being radically opposed to the master/slave hermaneutic of human relations established at the fall of Eden.  We are framed for love.  We come from love; we're made of love; we're called to give ourselves in love and service.  That's how we are fulfilled as persons, as individuals and as communities.  It's how we realize through our freedom our being made in the Image and Likeness of God.

The fall of Eden was essentially a refusal to love and serve.  A preference for domination and servility.  

It's interesting to consider the nature of the temptations Satan posed to Jesus in the desert.

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Jules van Schaijik

The personalist significance of involuntary emotions

Sep. 17, 2010, at 2:29pm

In a recent post at Contentions, Jennifer Rubin opines that in an effort to regain his popularity, President Obama has decided to “show some emotional connection to the American people.”

What makes this mock-worthy, of course, and also somewhat sad, is the fact that emotions cannot simply be manipulated like that. They are not at the disposal of our will. We can decide to fake them, but not to feel them. And the problem for Obama is that the difference between the two is usually pretty obvious to the onlooker. (Though Rubin brings up the interesting case of Bill Clinton whose play-acting was so convincing that he might be described as a “real phony”.)

Rubin’s post nicely

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Jules van Schaijik

What’s wrong with ideology?

Sep. 24, 2009, at 12:31pm

In an online interview I came across recently, the interviewer, obviously annoyed by president Obama’s frequent exhortations to “move beyond the ideological battles of the past”, asks: “Since when did ideology become evil?” Why is “adherence to a coherent set of beliefs” bad, while “pragmatism, doing whatever fits the moment, the panacea?”

If ideology were nothing other than “adherence to a coherent set of beliefs,” then there is nothing wrong with it. But that is not all it means. An ideology is in some way disconnected from reality. A coherent set of beliefs becomes ideological as soon as it is no longer tested against the concrete facts on the ground and adjusted

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Katie van Schaijik

Obama’s cultural identity

Jun. 26, 2009, at 7:42pm

Here is an insightful and sobering analysis in the American Thinker of Obama’s cultural identity from an American woman of West African descent. (Hat tip Rush Limbaugh.)
She charges him with having absorbed from his father a marxist ideology out of resentment against the ravages of colonialism in Africa.

Like many educated intellectuals in postcolonial Africa, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was enraged at the transformation of his native land by its colonial conqueror. But instead of embracing the traditional values of his own tribal cultural past, he embraced an imported Western ideology, Marxism. I call such frustrated and angry modern Africans who embrace various foreign “isms”,

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Katie van Schaijik

Obama utters a truth he defies in practice

Jun. 4, 2009, at 2:22pm

In a speech today (hat tip, Andy McCarthy at the Corner), President Obama remarked:

[T]here are some who advocate for democracy only when they are out of power; once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others. No matter where it takes hold, government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who hold power: you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion[.]

The first sentence calls to mind the intimidation campaign unleashed by homosexual activists against the supporters of Proposition 8 in California. It reminds me of Obama's pet organization ACORN, which demand "justice" while it commits fraud and thuggishly shakes down banks. Obama

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