The Act of Severing

“These three goods [concerning sex]–procreative, unitive, and sacramental–are a package deal. Our time has made several great errors about them. The first is trying to tear them apart. It doesn’t work; they are fused by God’s natural and supernatural design, and what God has joined, no man can put asunder. That doesn’t stop people from trying.”

“For example, some wives and husbands try to sever the procreative dimension from the unitive. They imagine that by refusing the ‘burden’ of children, they can achieve a better partnership, a higher intimacy. The problem here is that their partnership was designed for raising children, and any so-called intimacy which is deliberately closed to new life is merely a collaboration in selfishness” (J. Budziszewski in the Foreword to Open Embrace by Sam and Bethany Torode [Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2002], xiv).

“No One Who Speaks German Can Be an Evil Man”

“The ACLU is not evil,” writes Stephen Carter. He’s upset that some Christians have taken the tack of identifying those who disagree with them as “evil.” I agree. Not helpful. And, more than likely, it’s just lazy.

But these final comments are a little strange:

As an antidote to the screechy hatefulness, I recommend Christian love. [Okay, that’s not strange.] While our fallen nature makes all of us, whether on the Left or the Right, prone to hating our enemies, we Christians know that Christ calls us to a higher standard. [Also not strange.]

Want a practical example? The next time a fellow Christian disparages the ACLU, try answering with something like this: “Sure, they’re on the wrong side sometimes, but I thank God for the times when they’re right.”

Hey, I like it when the ACLU fights on the right side too. But they are not “sometimes” on the wrong side and “sometimes” on the right side. [Perhaps this is an example of the ACLU being on the side of religious people?]

Look down the list under “Religious Freedom”: the ACLU is doing all sorts of good things for Christians! For example, they helped a Baptist church get a zoning permit. Score one for the good! Well, oops, they also filed to keep any government funding from the Boy Scouts and they filed against “The Silver Ring Thing.” And, darn it, they don’t like “sectarian” prayers (oh, wait, I think I agree with that one–although, remember, this is under “Religous Freedom”). They have no love for Intelligent Design. They did, wonder of wonders, fight for a prisoner’s right to preach and the right not to have to buy insurance for a Nativity–oh, sorry, that was for a Statue of Liberty. Somehow, the title doesn’t quite fit: “Florida Officials Agree to Protect Free Speech, Suspend Insurance Requirement for Public Displays During the Holidays.” See, that “during the holidays” is what threw me off. On the other hand, I’m all in favor of this one. Ah yes, and here is one of Stephen Carter’s examples, from September of last year.

All of this reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Sideshow Bob is trying to get out of prison to kill Bart. He has “Die Bart, Die!” tattooed on his chest. When the lawyer asks him whether he is going to kill Bart, he says that it is German for “The Bart, The.” The officer says, “No one who speaks German could be an evil man.”
[From Wikipedia:

Pasty-Faced Lawyer: Robert, if released, would you pose any threat to one Bart Simpson?
Bob: (faking innocence) Bart Simpson? (chuckles) The spirited little scamp who twice foiled my evil schemes and (maliciously) sent me to this dank, urine-soaked hellhole?
Officer: Uh, we object to the term “urine-soaked hellhole” when you could have said, “peepee-soaked heckhole”.
Bob: Cheerfully withdrawn.
Lawyer: But what about that tattoo on your chest? Doesn’t it say, “Die Bart, Die?”
Bob: (conciliatorily) No, that’s German for “The Bart, The.”
(The spectators laugh and show understanding)
Officer: No one who speaks German could be an evil man.
Judge: Parole granted.]

The times they defend what is evil, and renounce the good seem to dwarf the times they defend the good and renounce evil. It’s a simple matter of proportion. Fine, some people can dredge up an example or two of exceptions to the general rule that the ACLU likes baby-killers and child-molesters. Well, hoo-rah for them. I’m not buying that the exceptions disprove the rule.