The Gospel Truth

The Disease of Man | March 15, 2012

I know that my title sounds a good deal like a statement from the Green Movement, which thinks that humanity, or at least too many humans leaving their dirty carbon footprints all over the globe makes human beings comparable to a disease or even a plague.

Of course I assume the green people are human and not little men from Mars and carbon-joggers themselves.

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The greens are humans, aren't they?

Are these self-hating environmentalists or do they have an Obamian exemption from their own thinking?

This sounds very liberal to me.

I am writing more about the moral pandemic that is transmitted to every human being that is fortunate to dodge the green suction machine at birth.

Theologians have filled large libraries with theories and commentaries on man and his and her fallen nature.

Ironically it is many of the same kind of greens above that would disagree.

They like to promote the view that man is basically good by nature…except when he is driving a gas-guzzler or having a fetus.

they much prefer Jean Jacques Rousseau’s noble savage.

Goodness was the essence of his heart

The tension between fallen man and Rousseau’s noble savage is the same tension that divides the sides in the modern culture war.

In political terms, it explains the major differences between conservatism and liberalism.

The term the right uses for fallen human nature is usually concupiscence.

It is a loaded term that most people think refers to lust and unmarried sexual relationships.

Pope John Paul II created quite a stir in 1979 when he said in one of his sermons on his revolutionary thinking that even married men should not lust after their own wives, let alone the wives of others.

What meant by that was that even married men should not treat their wives as merely sex objects but should learn the meaning of the spousal meaning of the body, which he defined as a mutual openness and giving of one to the other that recognized the subjective personhood of the other.

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Must treat each other as subjects and not objects

It has a much broader calculus.

Concupiscence applies to all aspects of human endeavor.

It is that special force in human relationships that seeks to spoil the good that people want to do but feel compelled by inner feelings to follow the dictates of anger, bodily urges and past slights or injuries.

This the condition that many people often excuse by saying well it is just human or even natural to do what they do.

St. Paul felt it when he pleaded with God to help him to attain the good that he wanted, not the evil he did.

Cartoon character Charlie Brown felt its inner tug-of-war.

I have felt that same tug virtually every day of my life.

In the 1970s, comedian Flip Wilson did a female character, Geraldine who often defended her inappropriate behavior by saying, the devil made me do that!

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Like Charlie Brown, he knew about evil.

Catholic philosopher and humorist, G. K. Chesterton said it was the one dogma in Catholic teaching that did not have to be proven.

One need only pick up a newspaper.

The 10 Commandments and or the Seven Deadly Sins are all the proof one needs to recognize the depth and breadth of the inner urge to sin, do wrong or even evil.

It is the same weakness that caused Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York to shake his head in bewilderment when President Obama went back on a promise he never intended to keep in the first place.

How could he trust a man such as Obama?

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Why did he trust the president?

Did he see him as Rousseau’s perfect noble savage?

Or should he listened to the wisdom of Ronald Reagan, who said trust but verify or we might say get it in writing.

It is also reminiscent of Heraclitus‘ statement that if one put a foot in the river or stream the stream would change every second but it would still be the same river.

This is what Charles Darwin or the Progressive School of 19th century historians and the Whig Theory of change could not understand.

While circumstances, accidentals, like height and weight and even intelligence, may evolve over time, the one constant that never changes, nor will it ever change is man’s human nature.

As long as we are alive, we will always have that capacity to do harm and maybe some evil.

Our intellect rationalizes often enable us to do that so we can sleep at nights.

Study German history in the Nazi period and you will easily understand this.

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Could they sleep nights?

Politicians today are great at rationalizations, especially those in the Democratic Party.

They can rationalize killing millions of unborn children as a good thing that is justified because of freedom of conscience, women’s rights or health and the pressures of the environment.

Presumably they sleep well at night or maybe they just drink a lot to ease their pain.

Religion and self-disciple are the best ways to ease and mollify the extreme effects of the disease of man.

Pope John Paul wrote of the redemption of the body that would allow a return  the original nakedness of the Garden when Adam and Eve could look at each other without lust or bad feeling.

They would see in their respective bodies the Imagio Dei and feel nothing love and respect.

That was until the snake showed up and made human history possible.

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Made history possible

Mass, prayer, the sacraments are all tools for Catholics that can provide an antidote to concupiscence that will make our lives more loving and more enjoyable.

As a result a baby’s innocent smile, a party with friends, or even the geometric sway of a beautiful woman will make us think of God’s love and the greater joys that await us.

It is possible!

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1 Comment »

  1. I just got pictures, no text

    Comment by Dawn — March 15, 2012 @ 1:19 pm


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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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