Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Liechtenstein votes to keep Royal Veto!

Today is a happy day indeed, although the news is a few days old. But it is the first I have heard of it, and so I rejoice! 76.1% of voters in the Principality of Liechtenstein voted to preserve the veto power of Crown Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein. The power, honour, and dignity of the monarchy have been preserved! May God grant long life both to the Crown Prince himself and to the royal line of Liechtenstein!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Rights or Duties?

It has been over a year since I last updated this blog. Nevertheless, a matter has been weighing heavily on my heart for some time, and I can longer keep silent. It is a very sensitive issue, and I shall do my best to keep a level head as I write this. But if, in my zeal, I should become carried away, I ask humbly for your forgiveness, O Reader.

Crown Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein
The issue of which I must speak is one that has the power to divide friendships, families, and even countries. Indeed, right now, it is an issue that is at the heart of the tensions that are plaguing the tiny, yet unforgettably significant nation of Liechtenstein. You see, the Liechtensteiner Parliament recently considered a referendum to legalize abortion. But praise be to God, His Serene Highness Alois, the Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein, told them not even to consider the idea. If such a referendum passed, he would use his Constitutional right of Veto to end the matter permanently. Understandably, the motion failed. And now, disgruntled Pro-Choicers are attempting to pass a referendum which would remove the Hereditary Prince’s power of Veto. In response to this, Alois has threatened to step down entirely if such a referendum should pass.

History will not look kindly on this era in world history. Mankind has always been self-centred. But ever since the “Enlightenment” and especially in the 20th and 21st centuries, we’ve taken this to new extremes never before imagined by our forefathers. And abortion is the latest in a very long line of such issues. The leading argument I hear from Pro-Choicers is “A woman’s right to her body.” They say that it is her body, and her right to choose what she wants to do with that body, including the expulsion of an unwanted fetus. Pro-Lifers often take the opposite stance, championing “A child’s right to life.” They will concede that a woman has rights to her body, but they will insist that the child’s right to life supersedes her rights to her body. Neither side gets anywhere, because they are all screaming about rights like a bunch of spoilt children. And this leads me to the crux of the matter.

Ever since the “Enlightenment,” mankind has had an increasing awareness of, and an ever more voracious appetite for, rights. At first, the battles were about very basic rights: the rights of royals, aristocrats, and businessmen to have power of their underlings vs the fundamental rights of said underlings not to be abused. But it very quickly became more heated. Who has the right to make decisions in government? Who has the right to decide their own destiny? Who has the right to choose their own mate? Do we have the right to own slaves? Do we have the right to terminate unwanted pregnancies? The list goes on and on. Rights. Rights. Rights. Me. Me. Me.

And therein lies the problem, dear Reader. Everyone these days is infected with a madness, an all-consuming insanity and obsession over rights. My rights. My will be done. People wonder why the world is such a messed up place these days. The answer is simple. It is our selfish, rights-obsessed attitude. Now, I know at least some of you will be tempted to say, “Hang on just a minute. I know you’re a hyper-conservative, reactionary, ultra-religious, pro-monarchy wingnut. You’re just taking a stab at liberals and the democratic ideal.” Let me assure you, Reader, I am not here to vilify all Republicanism and to sanctify all Monarchism. Nor am I here to do the same to the liberal vs conservative debate. I will be the first to admit that people on my side of the fence have been just as pig-headed. In the abortion debate, I have already admitted that Pro-Lifers are making the same mistake as Pro-Choicers: insisting upon rights. And in the government debate the same thing stands. Take as a famous example the debate during the prelude to the American Revolution. Thomas Paine wrote his famous essay, “Common Sense” defending basic rights and principles, and upholding the Colonies’ rights to be independent. Less famous is the counter-argument. Shortly after the publication of “Common Sense” a loyalist by the name of Lt. Col. James Chalmers wrote and published an essay of his own, choosing for the sake of irony to call it, “Plain Truth.” In it, he defends the British Constitution as the greatest defense of human rights known to man, and explains how the colonists’ rights would be better defended as British subjects than as citizens of their own new country. He closes with the emphatic statement, “Independence and slavery are synonymous terms.” While Lt. Col. Chalmers makes many convincing arguments in his essay (I highly recommend reading it), he ultimately makes the same fatal flaw as Thomas Paine: he argues simply from a perspective of rights. When we look to rights as the ultimate source of what is good and just, we reduce justice to a system of Me vs You. Whose rights are more important? My rights or your rights?

This, O Reader, is simply tragic. My Christian readers should recognize immediately that this is not the attitude Christ taught us to have. We are taught to look to others, not ourselves. In his epistle to the Church at Philippi, St. Paul exhorts us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:3-7) Christ Himself teaches us that “Blessed are the meek.” Jesus Christ, God Himself, washed the disciples’ feet. He took on the role of a servant. The perfect and sinless God died on the cross to save corrupt and imperfect humans. How much better is it to take our cue from Him, to act in selfless love and Christian duty?

O Reader, if the Word of God does not motivate you, I urge you to listen to secular philosophers who also exhort duty and sacrifice over rights. Immanuel Kant once wrote, “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” Do not arbitrarily decide things that are right for you and you alone. If it is right, it should be right for all. And if you cannot will that it should be applied to all, perhaps it should not be done. More importantly, Kant also wrote, “Always treat people as ends in themselves, never as means to an end.” In the case of abortion, this means that the unborn child, every bit as much as the mother, should be treated as the end, not the means. We have a duty to that child, as well as a duty to the mother. Our duty is to do good to them. Kant further writes, “Beneficence is a duty. He who often practices this, and sees his beneficent purpose succeed, comes at last really to love him whom he has benefited. When, therefore, it is said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," this does not mean, "Thou shalt first of all love, and by means of love (in the next place) do him good"; but: "Do good to thy neighbour, and this beneficence will produce in thee the love of men (as a settled habit of inclination to beneficence).”

In matters of government, I believe King James I (VI) understood things best in his famous treatise. It is best known by its first title, “The True Law of Free Monarchies,” but it has a second, lesser known title, that more fittingly describes in brief the entire purpose of the work, “The Reciprock and Mutual Duty Betwixt a Free King and His Natural Subjects.” The key words in that phrase are “mutual duty.” When King James wrote on the subject of government, he focused on neither the rights of his subjects nor the rights of the crown (though these are legitimate issues) but he focused on their duties to one another. Although it is true that this document does set forth the teaching known as the “Divine Right of Kings” its focus is far more heavy on the duty of both sides than it is on rights.

And that, Dear Reader, is the point I am trying to make today. Duty, not rights, should be our focus. Love, not self, should be our prime motivator. When faced with questions of government policy, abortion, or any other issue, our response should not be, “What will best protect my rights or the rights of X?” Rather, our response should be, “How can I best carry out my duty to do good to all?” In the case of abortion, the matter should not be between the rights of the mother and the rights of the child, but the matter should be duty. We have a duty to all human life, including the unborn. Let us seek to protect them whenever we can. And as regards government, in the specific issue at hand here, those Liechtensteiners who favour this referendum to remove the Prince’s Veto ought to think more on their duty to their Prince, a most honourable member of a royal line that has for centuries protected and persevered Liechtenstein, and they should think less on their own rights. Let the people do their duty and homage to their lord, and let the Prince concern himself with his duty to protect his subjects.

I realize that my views are not popular. And I may take some flak for what I have here written. But I must speak out. And so I have. May God be with His Serene Highness, Prince Alois. May Liechtenstein continue to be a nation that respects the hallowed tradition of monarchy and the sacred blessing that is human life. Amen.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Proud Protestant Daringly Dons Catholic Colours

In honour of St. Patrick's Day today, I am proudly wearing Green. This has drawn some heat from some of my schoolmates. You see, I am a conservative, confessional Lutheran, and I attend a school populated solely by conservative, confessional Lutherans. And a fair number of them insist upon wearing orange today because, "We are Protestants!" But in my mind, that is no reason to be fostering division. Although doctrinally speaking I am what most would call a "protestant," from a political aspect I am much more Catholic. I would also say that since most Irish Protestants are not Lutherans, it is neither necessary nor appropriate for we Lutherans to wear "Protestant" colours on this day.

First of all, Christ Himself, as well as the Holy Apostle Paul, exhorts us to keep the Church united. We are divided enough on account of doctrinal issues already, and I am sure God does not look happily upon the divided state of His Holy Church in our time. Why then should we further disregard His command by fostering more division than is already necessary? Wearing orange on St. Patrick's day serves no positive purpose. At best it is a reminder of the division in the church. At worst, it is outright provacative to our Catholic brethren in the Faith.

Secondly, green is the colour of Ireland, not of the Catholic Church. The fact that Irish Protestants feel the need for a new colour, in my opinion, is ridiculous. If anything, it is a denial of their Irish culture, not of their former Catholicism. Orange is not the colour of Ireland. This defiance is just another jab. Reformers such as Hus and Luther were not interested in hostilities with the Catholic Church, but in the reformation of teachings which they considered counter to Scripture. This is why I reject the label of Protestant, myself, though just about everybody applies it to me. The name Protestant comes from the verb "to protest." Protests, even if not always violent, are always defiant. They are always divisive in nature. Since I seek Christian unity, not division, I reject this label. Where I have my disagreements with His Holiness on matters of doctrine I will certainly stand my ground based upon the Scriptures, but that is no cause for me to be hateful towards either the Pope himself nor towards my Catholic brothers and sisters. I have the utmost respect for Catholics and for Roman Catholicism. Indeed, in my heart I greatly yearn for reconciliation with the Catholic Church, and only aforementioned doctrinal differences preclude this.

Finally, green is a colour associated with St. Patrick himself. To wear orange in defiance on this day is to defy St. Patrick himself and his mission. And what was his mission? Why, the very mission which Christ gave to all Christians: to go forth unto the nations and baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. St. Patrick brought the gospel to thousands of souls yearning for their Saviour. To defy this is to defy the Great Commission itself! This is most certainly not the act of a Christian, but of a pagan! Whether they realize it or not, Protestants who wear orange on St. Patrick's Day are in effect defying the very command of Christ to preach the gospel!

Therefore, for the sake of Christian unity, out of respect for Ireland, and in honour of St. Patrick and the Great Commission, I proudly wear green on this Feast Day of St. Patrick. God be praised for the work He did through this great saint. And may God's blessings follow all who read this message. Pax tecum!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ugliness Unleashed


“For every monarchy overthrown the sky becomes less brilliant, because it loses a star. A republic is ugliness set free.”
Anatole France, first winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1921.

There are many things about democracy and so-called “representative government” that bother me. One of the many is their sheer hatred for true beauty and their worship of ugliness. Now, anyone who believes in the democratic principle will immediately ask me, “What the heck are you talking about?” And I suppose I owe that an answer. Again, there are many examples I could name, but here I am specifically thinking about flags.

Living in the States, I am constantly bombarded with American patriotism, and one of those things is a love for the “Stars and Stripes.” You would not believe how often I have heard expressions such as, “Isn’t that the most beautiful flag you’ve ever seen?” And of course there’s the bumper sticker that reads, “These colors don’t run.” And I am forced to ask, just what is so beautiful about it? Thirteen stripes alternating in red and white, a blue field taking up less than a quarter of it, with fifty little white stars in it. Big whoop. My six year-old cousin could draw a better picture than that! When I look at that thing, I honestly wonder how my neighbours can look at that and have pride swell up in their hearts. Of course they would argue, “Well, it’s the things it stands for! Freedom! It stands for freedom!” Uh huh. And what is freedom, exactly? Well, any proponent of democracy will tell you freedom is having a say in your government. Guess what? That was the claim that Cromwell and his thugs made when they waged war on King Charles I, and what did England get when Cromwell won? The greatest tyranny in her history, worse than any king she had ever known. Coincidence? I think not. That was the battle cry of the rebels in the thirteen colonies that would later come to call themselves “The United States of America.” It seems to Americans the idea of representation is the only thing that matters. Americans today are taxed far more heavily and far more forcibly than their colonial ancestors. “But at least we have representation!” You know what? You keep your representation, and let me keep my money. Deal? The French Revolution had a similar battle cry about public representation as well, and from said Revolution we got the Reign of Terror and the Vendee Massacre, considered by many historians to be the first instance of modern genocide. Is it any wonder the lament went up to heaven, “O Liberty, what horrors are committed in thy name!”

King Charles I of England, that monarch supposedly so horrible and even treasonous (if it is even possible for a king to be a traitor), had a very different definition of freedom. He insisted that the liberty of the subject lies not in participation in government (a thing which never has been, nor ever ought to be a right of the subject in his hallowed opinion), but rather in this: that each man’s life and property be his own. Now, I don’t know about you, but I like that definition of freedom better. Let me have my life and my goods, and I’ll be happy. But the Federal Government gets a nice chunk of my income before I ever even see it, and don’t get me started on Imminent Domain. In short, freedom is rather lacking in this country, so the claim that the beauty of the American flag is that is stands for freedom is effectively nill. Without that claim for its beauty, what else remains? It’s a kindergarten-level drawing is what it is.

Compare that with the standards of the royal families of Europe. The Stuarts, the Habsburgs, the Bourbons, these were families with beautiful banners. Not some silly tri-colour with arbitrary colours declaring, “we’re a bunch of tasteless robots!” But a beautiful work of art, with each intricate detail holding meaning, declaring that this is a family with a proud history, a legacy which they shall never surrender.

This is, of course, only one of many things I have to say. But it is as good a place as any to start. It is something that has bothered me for a long time. These republics overthrow monarchies and claim to defend the liberty of the subject and usher in modernity. Well, if “liberty” and “modernity” are this oppressive and ugly, I’ll take my “tyrannical” and “old fashioned” monarchs back, please. I’m sick of republics, I’m sick of their pseudo-liberty, and I’m sick of their boring, tasteless, tri-colour banners. The world needs a change. A change back to the old ways. We need to remember our traditions, our monarchs, and restore them!

I’m not a conservative because I can’t stand the present status quo. I’m not a progressive or a liberal because I don’t think the next “new” thing will fix the problem. I’m a reactionary, because I know it is only by looking back to our roots that we can take the proper steps forward.

I’m still out of shape, but that doesn’t stop me from running.

I am… The Reactionary Runner! God save the Kings! Every last one! (And yes, God, save the Queens, too!) + In hoc signo vinces +

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Ash Wednesday

It is Ash Wednesday today. Thus begins the season of Lent, a time when the Church bids farewell to her Alleluias as she remembers the suffering Christ endured for her and as she honours the preparations He made for that suffering. On the festival of Easter (or, if you prefer, Pascha) when we celebrate Christ's triumphant resurrection from the dead and the accomplishment of our salvation, we shall again sing Alleluia. But for now, we remember the sorrows of our Lord, and that we are but ashes and dust. A blessed Ash Wednesday to all, and may we all look forward to the joys of that Paschal Sunday, forty days hence.

Friday, March 04, 2011

The Beginning

So, I've finally done what I figured I would never do. I've created a blog. It's main purpose was to allow me to comment on other blogs, but Lord only knows what may come of it in the future. I may not post much, I may become a prolific writer. What I do know is... I'm here. And I'm here to stay. I'm a traditionalist who believes the old ways, not the new, are what we need to restore some good to this word. I'm a (rather out of shape) cross country runner who loves the thrill of each race, and refuses to back down. I am... The Reactionary Runner!