Tag: infallibility

Quote of the Day: The Infallible Left


“A totalitarian state is in effect a theocracy, and its ruling caste, in order to keep its position, has to be thought of as infallible. But since, in practice, no one is infallible, it is frequently necessary to rearrange past events in order to show that this or that mistake was not made, or that this or that imaginary triumph actually happened. Then, again, every major change in policy demands a corresponding change of doctrine and a revaluation of prominent historical figures.” — George Orwell, “The Prevention of Literature”, Polemic (January 1946)

Have you ever noticed the continuous tendency to remove “inconvenient” episodes from history? Consider that 1970s environmentalists believed in a new Ice Age and that Bill Clinton promoted the Defense of Marriage Act in the 1990s. Obama was opposed to gay marriage then he was in favor immediately after the Supreme Court decision. There are lots of problematic lines from prominent Democrats and leftists across history but the Democrats are always portrayed as right and on the side of all that is good. If people are perfectible, obviously their side is perfect and always was perfect. Any problems are someone else’s fault.

Pope Francis’ Political Instincts Are Execrable


As a faithful, devout Catholic, I believe the pope to be infallible when he is pronouncing on matters of faith and doctrine. However, as I have told my own children many times, that does not mean that the pope is right about anything else. As a historian, I teach them of the history of the papacy, with all its lechers and weak-minded boobs, as well as its holy saints and wise and powerful leaders. In most of my lifetime, the pope has been someone whose wisdom I valued and whose reasoned statements on matters of international importance I could at least respect, even if I disagreed.

But, Pope Francis, as much as I pray for him as the leader of my church, has terrible political instincts. His self-important idea that if he doesn’t speak up, the Israelis will suddenly start oppressing religious worship, rather than being the only country in the Middle East that guarantees freedom of worship, makes me sick. The reality is that the threat of violence is not coming from the Israelis, and that only areas of Jerusalem that are under the control of the Israelis, not the Palestinians, are safe for people of all faiths.