Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The violence in Tucson: Does it stem from "exaggerated rhetoric" or rejection of truth?

John McQuaid, in an article for The Huffington Post entitled "On Political Madness," writes, "Jared Lee Loughner's motives are obscure, but it's hard to disentangle the shooting of a congresswoman, the killing of a federal judge, a 9-year-old girl, and four other people from the political culture that it occurred in, an environment of exaggerated divisions, the demonization of opponents as socialists or traitors, and a lot of gun rhetoric, gun imagery, and...guns.."  Mr. McQuaid goes on to suggest that it is "an atmosphere of exaggerated rhetoric and imagery that portrays political opponents as at best illegitimate and at worst enemies of America" which led to the violence in Tucson.

But Mr. McQuaid's thesis is simplistic.  Most of those who engage in "exaggerated rhetoric" will never pick up a gun to address their political differences.  No, the violence which erupted in Tucson and the violence we are witnessing across America is rooted in hatred of truth.  Today there is a demand for sex without love, for a licentiousness in sex which has wrought a heartless society in which individuals do not care for anyone but themselves. The fruit of this demonic theology is the slaughter through abortion and euthanasia of human beings created in the Imago Dei. It is a theology of violence which is rooted in hatred of truth. For at the heart of immorality is falsity, the hatred of truth. Fr. Vincent P. Miceli, in an essay entitled "The Taproot of Violence," explains:

"...violence entered creation from the rebellion of Lucifer. This rebellion arose from the heart of pride. But the sin of pride is the offspring of the vice known as hatred of truth. Hatred of truth is the result of the creature's attempt to rearrange God's hierarchy of beings and values into an order which the creature prefers to the plan of God. This attempt immediately produces the violence of disorder, the chaos of falsity and immorality. For hatred of truth is really hatred of God who creates all things wisely and governs them lovingly. Lucifer, the Morning Star, was instantly deformed into the Prince of Darkness because he attempted to live a lie. He wanted to dethrone God and become God himself..."

We live in an environment where there is a "violence of disorder" because we have abandoned truth.  And hatred of truth leads to violence.  It is the very root of violence.  Jesus said to the Pharisees, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own account, but he sent me.  Why do you not understand what I say?  It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.  You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me." (John 8: 42-45).

It is rejection of truth which leads to violence.  And so we read in verse 59 of the same Chapter, "So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple."  If there is exaggerated rhetoric and violence across our society, it is because many have rejected God's created order.  But there is a consequence to this rejection of truth.  As Dorothy Sayers reminded us, if we will not have Christ, we will have chaos.


Ellen Wironken said...

Jesus said that, "Whatever you do to the least of my brethren you do to me." Thus rejection of human life in whatever form is really a rejection of Christ himself. Christ who is Truth.

Great post Paul. Thank you and God bless you for your work!

Ted Loiseau said...

That chaos is not erupting throughout America and the other Western nations. Morally bankrupt, our rotting societies are now beginning to feed on themselves. Civil unrest will soon explode across our cities as resources dry up and it will become a fight for survival. We have given up striving to be holy. So God is delivering us up to our own iniquity.

Gerald K. said...

Whose "Rhetoric" Leads to Violence?
By: Fr. Frank A. Pavone

Take careful note of the latest tactic of the pro-abortion forces.

They cannot say that the pro-life movement promotes violence, because the leaders of every major pro-life group in the nation have expressed their opposition to the shooting of abortionists.

So the pro-aborts take this approach, as summarized in the New York Times of July 30, 1994: "Opponents of choice who call physicians 'baby killers' one day have no credibility to the next when they issue polite statements of regret after physicians and escorts have been gunned down in cold blood," said the statement issued by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.

There it is. We oppose violence, but our message promotes it. The implication is, "Shut up." The conclusion is, "Go away -- don't speak to anyone about "baby-killing." It's quite a self-serving conclusion for the pro-abortion people, of course, because if pro-lifers keep quiet, then abortion will continue unchallenged. That's what pro-aborts have wanted all along. Now they exploit the unfortunate shootings to their own advantage.

But whose rhetoric really fuels violence?

It is the rhetoric of "choice" that fuels violence. By exalting "choice" and "freedom," even when the free choice is the killing of a human being, this rhetoric degrades the value of all human life. "Abortion on demand - no apologies." That is the rhetoric of violence. It does not deny that abortion kills children. It simply says, "I don't care. My choice is more important than the child's life."

It is the "pro-choice" rhetoric that promotes violence. A pro-abortion demonstrator in Little Rock, Arkansas in the summer of 1994 held a sign saying, "Keep Baby-Killing Legal." He was serious. That's the message of their rhetoric. As Mother Teresa said in Washington in February, 1994, "If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?"

Pro-abortion forces promote the death of a child as a solution to a woman's problems. Can't they see that this is the same thinking by which some will then promote the death of an abortionist as a solution to society's problems? It is the same wrong idea that we can do evil to achieve good.

When pro-lifers call abortion the killing of a baby, they condemn such violence. The pro-life message is a message of peace, of life, of love. It is not mere rhetoric, it is truth. Abortion does kill a baby. Either society faces this truth and eradicates abortion, or the killing of babies continues.

Pro-lifers are to refrain from violence. They are also to refrain from silence. To know the truth and not speak up is irresponsible, and leaves unchallenged the violent rhetoric of those who support abortion.

Susan said...

Gerald, pro-lifers have long been exposed to hateful rhetoric from the anti-life crowd. The level of hate at times has to be experienced to be believed. Planned Parenthood, in its literature (and Paul has written on this) has often engaged in harsh rhetoric and even anti-Catholicism.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

And speaking of exaggerated rhetoric:


Stewart said...

The Pima County Sheriff, a Democrat, is obviously biased as he attempts to put the responsibility for this heinous act on his political opponents.

Soon, all Christians who actually adhere to Biblical teaching regarding morality will be accused of "emotional terrorism."

Stewart said...

Read this


Ann said...

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Perfect love drives out all fear, for fear has to do with judgment. But for those who reject God and His Commandments:

"Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children,
for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' At that time people will say to the mountains, 'Fall upon us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!'
for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?" (Luke 23: 28-31).

Cyn M. said...

Disorder brings death. Our culture is disordered beyond repair.Our only hope lies in remaining in the protective ark of the Virgin's prayers. Maranatha,Lord.

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