11 March 2011

Coffee Bowl Browsing

Another spanking for the NPR brats!  I happen to like most of NPR's programs.  They are extremely condescending to non-lefties and religious people but they are so polite about it.

Confession:  I am very happy that NPR is being publicly exposed as a pretentious PR firm hired with taxpayer money by Dems; however, lying is always a sin.  Always.  Consequentialism can never be a legit path for Catholics.

Published death threats against Gov. Walker and WI GOP lawmakers.  Is that the sound of crickets chirping at CNN, NYT, CBS, ad nau.?

The Weiner Dogs of Lent. . .excellent, excellent piece on sin, human nature, and dog walking in the Big City.

Earthquake/tsunami hit Japan. . .get those prayers going, people!

My fav character from The Wire is arrested in a drug bust. . .say it ain't so, Snoop!

Mother Mary Clare's visitation of women religious in the U.S. has concluded.  Report in the works.  Of course, none of us will ever see that report. 

Good news:  IL governor signs law abolishing the state's death penalty for capital crimes.  Bad news:  death penalty still in effect for the crime of being an unwanted child.

A liberal defends Congressional hearings on Islamic extremism.

This is me today. . .deal with it.

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  1. Father:

    I love you dearly and check your site every day. I have one question, however, on the subject of lying being always a sin. Is it a sin to tell Nazis that there are no Jews hiding in your house? I don't suggest that O'Keefe's situation is the same, but it does seem to indicate that your statement is not factually correct. Also, O'Keefe's "stings" are intended to get someone to tell the truth, not to lie. Any value there?
    God Bless.

  2. Dan,

    Consequentialism argues that the goodness or badness of a moral act is determined solely by the effects of the act. Good effect = good moral act, etc.

    For Catholics, lying is always a sin. . .even when some good results. "You may never do evil so that good might result." Intentionally deceiving someone is always evil.

    At most, we could say that lying to Nazis--who do not have the right to ask you the question about the Jews--results in a less culpable sin. But it's still a sin.

  3. Anonymous11:02 AM

    Father, I got a struggle with the lying as well. Not as extreme as the Nazi's but I think that it is harder because it is everyday. Police set up sting operations, pose as johns and drug dealers, TSA agents test security by claiming they are unarmed and really passing a gun through. Are Catholics unable to hold these jobs because they require deception? I understand that the ends do not justify the means, but doesn't this really ham string law enforcement? My real problem is that these undercover operations are a form of vigilantism. That these operations such as live action should have been done by the people in authority to uncover the laws being broken. How should I counsel a penitent that is a police officer and does sting operations?

    Fr. Joshua

  4. Anonymous12:16 PM

    I was reading the story of Fr. Walter Ciszek, SJ last night. He was an American Jesuit who spent 15 years in the 'Gulag Archipelago.' He was in Poland in 1939, ministering to Polish Catholics. When the Russians invaded, he realized he could finally achieve his dream of ministering to Russians. The Russians, of course, had been very thoroughly doing everything in their power to kill or imprison every Orthodox or Catholic priest they could identify, destroying churches, etc, and essentially driving the Faith totally underground where it could persist at all. So, Fr. Ciszek had a fake identity created so he could enter Russia as a Polish laborer to work in the factories in the Urals and minister to the Poles and Russians there. He did this with the approval of his religious superiors and the Cardinal Archbishop of Lvov. They all knew fake papers had to be obtained in order to enter Russia. If he and his White Russian priest partner tried to enter Russia openly as priests they would likely be shot on the spot.

    When presenting himself to the Russian work agency looking for laborers for the factories in Poland, he misrepresented himself, of course, saying he was a Polish widower. His compatriot did this, as well. His religious superior and the Cardinal Archbishop approved of this. The entire basis of what was to be a 1 year period of service to Russians (but wound up being 23 years in and out of prison) was based on a forged identity - just like Lila Rose and O'Keefe. He had to lie repeatedly in the furtherance of this mission, and all his superiors including the Cardinal knew this. Fr. Ciszek, whose cause for canonization is underway, does not express any 'regrets' over this sin he committed, nor does he report that his superiors or the Cardinal Archbishop had any moral qualms about this act.

    But now, we are told exactly these same types of actions are sinful and cannot be endorsed by Catholics. I wonder how the many Russians Fr. Ciszek was able to minister to during his time in and out of the gulags would feel about that?

    How could Fr. Ciszek have performed his mission without lying?

  5. Ven., he probably couldn't perform his mission w/o lying. . .but he still lied. Ends do not justify means. That's the world's way of justifying whatever it wants to justify. We are called to a much higher standard: truth-telling, always.

    Fr. Joshua, how would you counsel anyone who lies, regardless of the reason for doing so?

    We can come up with a million perfectly sensible scenarios where lying accomplishes some perceived good. It's still lying. And lying is always a sin.

    Pro-aborts do the same thing with abortion. They construct a million plausible scenarios where abortion is the only reasonable option and then declare that all abortions are moral. Abortion is always evil. Always.

  6. TradCathPhilProf1:45 PM

    Father, you're right that lying is always a sin. The hard part is determining exactly what lying is. Janet Smith has an interesting discussion that I recommend to you:

  7. Anonymous3:43 PM


    When you are disingenuous and trivial writing about NPR--you like most of their work, but they are dishonest and condescending brats--you take something away from your big sermon on the sin of lying.

  8. Anon @ 10.43pm, sorry, I'm not following you. I like a lot of NPR programs--Car Talk, the game shows, etc. But their interviews and news programs are uniformly condescending and leftie.

  9. Anonymous7:02 AM

    Pardon me if I am incorrect, and I cannot now take the time to check the sources out for this, but I think your blanket judgment of all "lying" as sinful is missing what we used to talk about as "the right to the information" of the questioner. If you have no right to the information you are demanding of me, I may withhold that information. Look at St. Thomas's reasons in the Summa, for example, as to why it was good for Our Lady, for Our Lord Himself and for the Church that St. Joseph be regarded as his true father (Summa IIIa, 29). Please insert this into the hopper and then I'd like to hear what you have to say.

  10. Anon @2.02pm,

    The definition given in the CCC takes the issue of the "right to the information" into consideration in judging the gravity of the sin. It's possible for the gravity of the sin to be zero.