A Catholic Bishop, Two Psychology Professors, and an Iconographer Walk into a Bar

 

I’m going to riff off of Rodin’s People Don’t Count post about the twistedness of leftwing ideology and an article written by Bishop Robert Barron on How to Live a Meaningful Life. My post’s title comes from the Zoom meeting between Bishop Barron, Jordan Peterson, John Vervaeke, and Jonathan Pageau where Peterson asked the men to give their “definition of meaning and, more specifically, of religious meaning.”

Now, I’m neither a bishop, a psychologist, nor an iconographer, but having been a self-assured secular leftie and coming late to the religion game (although born a cradle Catholic, I didn’t really start “practicing” until I was in my 40s), I might have an insight or two on what ails our increasingly godless society. Although I’m in agreement with the four men in a Zoom bar, I think what they haven’t said (in Barron’s article anyway) is that leftism is a religion and is the meaning all humans seek — for leftists. Here’s my comment from Rodin’s post:

Leftism is religion for the godless. When there’s no external measure for goodness, the natural inclination is to self-deify. “I’m a good person, therefore whatever I believe to be good must be good” (Pope Benedict XVI called this the tyranny of moral relativism). Which is also why they’re so intolerant of anyone with a different opinion (especially those who make religious claims to goodness and truth). A different opinion or truth-claim is a rebuke to their “divine” judgment. And also why they’re unable to admit error or to repent of past failures.

Leftism is a psycho-spiritual disorder.

The problem with leftism is, lacking a relationship with the summum bonum, as Bishop Barron articulates it, not that leftists lack any meaning in their lives — it’s that they’re looking for meaning in all the wrong places — especially within their self-regard for the real divine spark within them. God revealed that you’re made in the image and likeness of God — not you are “as gods.” That was Satan’s line in the Garden.

Leftism is arbitrary and capricious because it settles for lesser goods, rather than seeking the Highest Good. It’s an ideology made up of demigods who are prone to disagreement over what is true and good at a given moment in history. Are you on the “right side of history?” Give it a minute. You’ll probably have to adjust your position.

You might have noticed that the goalposts keep shifting in leftism. First it was the sexual revolution and the acceptance of widespread fornication, then the normalization of homosexuality, then the lie of “same-sex marriage,” and now the pernicious lie of transgenderism. I just had LMA in for her first OB/GYN appointment and the intake form actually asked “what sex do you identify as?” and “what was your sex assigned at birth?” At an OB/GYN office full of pregnant women in the waiting room!!! If leftism isn’t insanity, it’s demonic. Those are the only two choices I see.

I’ve often thought religious people miss out on evangelization by neglecting to note that anyone who loves the good (the true and the beautiful) loves God. Simple. Now you just have figure out what the good is — or Who the Good Is — rather than trusting in yourself. That was the first step in my faith journey — self-doubt. I believe a good question to ask any leftist is, “have you ever been wrong about anything?” They’re unlikely to answer correctly on the first try, but you’ll plant a seed.

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  1. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    @rodin Your name has been used in vain. . .

    • #1
  2. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Western Chauvinist: Now, I’m neither a bishop….

    I don’t really think of Robert Barron as a Bishop, either.  Athanasius Schneider, Joseph Strickland, Salvatore Cordeleone, they are Bishops in my book.  Robert Barron is a personality. 

     

    • #2
  3. DonG (CAGW is a hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a hoax)
    @DonG

    Western Chauvinist: If leftism isn’t insanity, it’s demonic.

    I think it is the latter.   Communism has caused so much hardship and misery and death since it was invented.  And the latest Marxist idea of pitting peoples against each other based on race is certainly evil.  Would Satan do it any differently? 

    • #3
  4. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    “What was your sex assigned at birth?”

    “None.  My parents think newborn infants are too young for sex.”

    • #4
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    @ rodin Your name has been used in vain. . .

    That’s OK, @westernchauvinist, I don’t “self-deify”. So anyone taking my name in vain commits no sin. 

    • #5
  6. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    “What was your sex assigned at birth?”

    “None. My parent think newborn infants are too young for sex.”

    So your parent wasn’t in the Lincoln Project?

    • #6
  7. David B. Sable Coolidge
    David B. Sable
    @DavidSable

    Historic Faiths such as believing Judaism and Christianity including Catholicism maintains that there is a moral order and spiritual physics (such  as the Ten Commandments) that existed long before we got here and will remain long after we leave.  We look to things without – God, revealed truth and observable biology – to understand who we are and how to live the good life.  Secularism, the prevailing religion of the day,  looks for identity and the good life from within ourselves.  What is in my heart is the standard of what is true and authentic.  Yes, two opposing world views if not religions.   The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self:   Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution by Carl Trueman documents how we got from here to there.

    • #7
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    If you haven’t read Bishop Barron’s article, here’s the meat of it:

    Though we articulated the theme in different ways and according to our various areas of expertise, all four of us said that the “wisdom tradition,” which classically presented and defended these truths, has been largely occluded in the culture today, and this occlusion has contributed mightily to the crisis of meaning. Much has contributed to this problem, but we put emphasis especially on two causes: scientism and the postmodern suspicion of the very language of value. Scientism, the reduction of all legitimate knowledge to the scientific form of knowledge, effectively renders claims of value unserious, merely subjective, expressive of feeling but not of objective truth. Combined with this reductionism is the conviction, baked into the brains of so many young people today, that claims truth and value are simply disguised attempts to prop up the power of those who are making them or to sustain a corrupt institutional superstructure.

    I had not thought in terms of the “suspicion of the very language of value” before, but isn’t that what the denigration of reason is? The means by which the West has (materially, anyway) advanced — excellence in science and math, for starters — is now characterized as “white supremacy.” All previously recognized and widely accepted “values” are subject to the Marxian dialectic. It’s all power play all the time.

    What a miserable world the Left creates. I’m convinced Satan is behind it. 

    • #8
  9. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    “What was your sex assigned at birth?”

    “None. My parent think newborn infants are too young for sex.”

    Yeah, the form probably used the term “gender,” but I was reading over LMA’s shoulder until my eyes fell out on my cheeks. . .

    Either way, how utterly absurd.

    • #9
  10. Terry Mott Member
    Terry Mott
    @TerryMott

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    What a miserable world the Left creates. I’m convinced Satan is behind it.

    Me too.

    • #10
  11. Terry Mott Member
    Terry Mott
    @TerryMott

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    “What was your sex assigned at birth?”

    “None. My parent think newborn infants are too young for sex.”

    Yeah, the form probably used the term “gender,” but I was reading over LMA’s shoulder until my eyes fell out on my cheeks. . .

    Either way, how utterly absurd.

    Time to find another OB/GYN.  My wife and I decided to find another allergist for my daughter after she (the allergist) unprompted started going on about how brilliant Fauci is.  This, to me, indicates a fundamental ignorance and/or stupidity that destroyed faith in the doctor.  Not only in thinking that Fauci is brilliant, an opinion she’s entitled to, but mostly in bringing her politics into her practice in such a brazen manner.

    • #11
  12. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Terry Mott (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    “What was your sex assigned at birth?”

    “None. My parent think newborn infants are too young for sex.”

    Yeah, the form probably used the term “gender,” but I was reading over LMA’s shoulder until my eyes fell out on my cheeks. . .

    Either way, how utterly absurd.

    Time to find another OB/GYN. My wife and I decided to find another allergist for my daughter after she (the allergist) unprompted started going on about how brilliant Fauci is. This, to me, indicates a fundamental ignorance and/or stupidity that destroyed faith in the doctor. Not only in thinking that Fauci is brilliant, an opinion she’s entitled to, but mostly in bringing her politics into her practice in such a brazen manner.

    Oh, I can top that! ;-)

    When LMA was receiving chemo one of the doctors at the infusion clinic was a lesbian and started talking to my 13-year-old about her “wife” and how excited they were to start the process of having a baby. My Catholic child receiving chemo for a brain tumor! We were stuck though in the Children’s system, but fortunately we didn’t see too much of that doctor after that incident. 

    The narcissism, though. Stunning.

    • #12
  13. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Terry Mott (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    “What was your sex assigned at birth?”

    “None. My parent think newborn infants are too young for sex.”

    Yeah, the form probably used the term “gender,” but I was reading over LMA’s shoulder until my eyes fell out on my cheeks. . .

    Either way, how utterly absurd.

    Time to find another OB/GYN. My wife and I decided to find another allergist for my daughter after she (the allergist) unprompted started going on about how brilliant Fauci is. This, to me, indicates a fundamental ignorance and/or stupidity that destroyed faith in the doctor. Not only in thinking that Fauci is brilliant, an opinion she’s entitled to, but mostly in bringing her politics into her practice in such a brazen manner.

    Oh, I can top that! ;-)

    When LMA was receiving chemo one of the doctors at the infusion clinic was a lesbian and started talking to my 13-year-old about her “wife” and how excited they were to start the process of having a baby. My Catholic child receiving chemo for a brain tumor! We were stuck though in the Children’s system, but fortunately we didn’t see too much of that doctor after that incident.

    The narcissism, though. Stunning.

    This illustrates the difference between “tolerance” and “celebration.” America has become more tolerant which is a good thing. Progressives see that as insufficient and demand celebration of that which used to violate societal norms about liberty and conduct. After a sufficient period of celebration it is not surprising that the celebrated or those holding celebrated beliefs would feel entitled to prattle on about it.

    • #13
  14. Trink Coolidge
    Trink
    @Trink

    Great piece Sis!  As alwaysI have to share it.  :). AND Belated Happy Birthday!!

    • #14
  15. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    I’m a big Jonathan Pageau fan (had him on my podcast a couple months back). I’ll have to check this out.

    • #15
  16. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):
    John Vervaeke

    If you find the video, Jon, would you mind adding it to this post? I haven’t had any luck.

    • #16
  17. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):
    John Vervaeke

    If you find the video, Jon, would you mind adding it to this post? I haven’t had any luck.

    I’ll keep my eyes peeled. I was searching YouTube earlier.

    • #17
  18. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    Don’t think it’s up youtube yet – here is Bishop Baron  talking about it

    • #18
  19. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):
    n How to Live a Meaningful Life

     

    • #19
  20. HeavyWater Inactive
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Western Chauvinist:

    I’ve often thought religious people miss out on evangelization by neglecting to note that anyone who loves the good (the true and the beautiful) loves God. Simple. Now you just have figure out what the good is — or Who the Good Is — rather than trusting in yourself. That was the first step in my faith journey — self-doubt. I believe a good question to ask any leftist is, “have you ever been wrong about anything?” They’re unlikely to answer correctly on the first try, but you’ll plant a seed.

    Some religious people hold more self-doubt than others.  

    St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) believed that people should be put to death upon their 3rd heresy.

    With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death.

    In 1864 Pope Pius IX put forth the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary and issued the encyclical Quanta cura with the Syllabus of Errors, which included 80 statements considered by the Catholic Church to be Errors.

    #15   That each person is free to adopt and follow that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. 

    #55  That the church ought to be separate from the state, and the state from the church.

    It is true that since Vatican II, the Catholic church is a bit more open-minded when it comes to freedom of religion.  

    In fact, while the Catholic church used to believe there was no salvation outside the church, in more recent times the Catholic church views Protestants as “separated brethren.”  

    These days it is Islam that remains resistant to freedom of religion.  But historically there were some dissenters.

    You should first of all know that the diversity of men in religions and creeds, plus the disagreement of the Community of Islam about doctrines, given the multiplicity of sects and the diversity of methods, is a deep sea in which most men founder and from which only a few are saved.  Each group believes that it is the one saved and each faction is happy about its own beliefs.

    Al Ghazali (1058 – 1111) classic Islamic scholar

    • #20
  21. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    I really like this WC. I too had a religious conversion in my 40s. Thank God I was a conservative at the time. Sometimes I wonder if I would have become a lefty Catholic if I wasn’t. 

    • #21
  22. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Trink (View Comment):

    Great piece Sis! As alwaysI have to share it. :). AND Belated Happy Birthday!!

    Are you and WC siblings ? 

    • #22
  23. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Manny (View Comment):

    Trink (View Comment):

    Great piece Sis! As alwaysI have to share it. :). AND Belated Happy Birthday!!

    Are you and WC siblings ?

    Yes, Trink is #2 and I’m #7.

    • #23
  24. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Trink (View Comment):

    Great piece Sis! As alwaysI have to share it. :). AND Belated Happy Birthday!!

    Are you and WC siblings ?

    Yes, Trink is #2 and I’m #7.

    Super. 7th of how many?  Either way it’s a large family. 

    • #24
  25. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Manny (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Trink (View Comment):

    Great piece Sis! As alwaysI have to share it. :). AND Belated Happy Birthday!!

    Are you and WC siblings ?

    Yes, Trink is #2 and I’m #7.

    Super. 7th of how many? Either way it’s a large family.

    7 of 7. “The baby.” 

    • #25
  26. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Thaddeus McCotter agrees with me, but he said it better:

    The Left lives in an upside-down world of its own creation. Yet in our pluralistic republic, it is entitled to its delusions. The problem is these delusions are not enough. Their misery demands company.

    Whether their largely undereducated and overly indoctrinated masses know it, the Left crawled out of the anti-Enlightenment, reactionary ooze of French philosophe Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ideological cesspool. Stated simply, the Left’s goal is to rule as an enlightened vanguard under the direction of a “legislator” to impose a new civil religion and other diktats upon Americans and drag them back into an idealized state of nature composed of “noble savages” no longer constrained by the corrupting influences of civilization. It is why the Left’s use of a vehicle called the “Democratic Party” is so deeply, bitterly ironic. For the Left’s tactics and aims are anything but democratic.

    Of course, the Left’s tactics and aims don’t fit on a bumper sticker and, regardless, many leftists wouldn’t be caught dead in an internal combustion-propelled vehicle. Further, as recent election results in Virginia and New Jersey suggest, when the Left’s tactics and aims are imposed through public policy they prove ineffective and, to no rational person’s surprise, unpopular. But this is why the Left spends so much time and money crafting “narratives”—i.e., lies—to obfuscate their unpopularity. Sometimes they are successful, other times not; but the Left’s narratives and disinformation should be easily exposed when one remembers the upside-down nature of their delusions.

    https://amgreatness.com/2021/11/12/the-royalist-left/

    • #26
  27. dukenaltum Coolidge
    dukenaltum
    @dukenaltum

    Father Dave Nix says it better than I can.  https://padreperegrino.org/2021/11/lerins/

    • #27
  28. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Excellent post and you nailed it. I echo your evolution too. I was a bleeding heart liberal too, and changed political parties in 2000.  I also jumped around, as most in our generation did, with New Age type religious beliefs, although raised a Christian.  By the grace of God, and my aunt giving my sister and I our spiritual foundation, we both came full circle later. It’s an eye-opener, like scales falling off your eyes. The “Left” is getting more militant in its outlook. 

    The visionaries at Fatima, and Sister Lucia said the final battle between God and Satan would be over marriage and the family. Look at the schools and parents. I read a terrible story (that came thru on Apple News on my phone) in The Atlantic on how having kids is a bad idea and why. I hesitate to give the author Bloom any clicks or attention, but it was the antithesis of all that is good. It spoke of the opposite of what was described by the young lady on the Main Feed who told her story about climbing the corporate ladder, bought into feminism and became sick.

    • #28
  29. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    dukenaltum (View Comment):

    Father Dave Nix says it better than I can. https://padreperegrino.org/2021/11/lerins/

    This:  “It will be his care to cleave to antiquity, which in the present cannot possibly be seduced by any fraud of novelty.”

    We are surrounded by “frauds of novelty.” The Left likes to call it “progress.” I call it neo-paganism. 

    • #29
  30. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    DonG (CAGW is a hoax) (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist: If leftism isn’t insanity, it’s demonic.

    I think it is the latter. Communism has caused so much hardship and misery and death since it was invented. And the latest Marxist idea of pitting peoples against each other based on race is certainly evil. Would Satan do it any differently?

    dukenaltum (View Comment):

    Father Dave Nix says it better than I can. https://padreperegrino.org/2021/11/lerins/

    I understood most of what he is saying, but was hoping for an explanation of “arianism.” (Which he refers to, and which apparently over 90% of the faithful believed in the Fifth Century.)

    • #30