Don't expect a rant, by the way, about 'those crazy kids.' I was one of them, and I still believe that there is more to life than 'buying things you don't need, with money you don't have, to impress people you don't like.'
Not everything about the age of grooviness made as much sense as rejecting materialism as a core value, though. Not to me, anyway. Like the idea that government was bad.
That wasn't the notion that all the world's ills were America's fault. A fair number of folks, as nearly as I could tell, really believed that having a government - any government - was a bad idea. It's like the song said:
"...Imagine there's no countriesAbout that "and no religion too" thing: the same folks tended - strongly - to also assume that "organized religion" was a bad thing. Some sort of vague, dreamy "spirituality" - preferably with an east-Asian theme - was groovy. It was the "organized" part that seemed to rub them the wrong way.
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...."
John Lennon, "Imagine" (1971) (oldielyrics.com)
I can see their point, sort of. I don't particularly like living by someone else's rules - and I became a Catholic?! I've written about that before.
Wrenching myself back on-topic. - - -
Take Daylight Saving Time, for example. Back in 1918 it might have been a good way for Congress to make it look like they were 'doing something.' By now, I see it as an annoyance we have to go through twice a year, because the government says so.
And yes, I know: Daylight Saving Time protects our strategic reserves of candle wax. I've written about the biannual nitwittery before:
- "Ben Franklin and Daylight Saving Time: Even Homer Nods"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (November 7, 2010)
- "I'm Blaming Daylight Saving Time: or, Not"
Drifting at the Edge of Time and Space (March 17, 2010)
- "Daylight Saving Time Strikes Again"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (March 8, 2009)
- "Daylight Saving Time, Again: Get Ready for Mandatory Jet Lag"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (February 23, 2009)
- "Daylight Saving Time: A Modest Proposal"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (October 26, 2008)
The short answer is, yes.
Again, the short answer: The Catholic Church says so.
As a practicing Catholic, I accept the authority of the Church.
Being the sort of person I am, it's easier to accept specific teachings if I understand why the Church teaches something.nincompoops in charge saddle us with Daylight Saving Time.
"Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which 'a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.'7That opposition to collectivism doesn't mean that the Church is a lackey of capitalist oppressors: any more than "the establishment of true international order" and paragraph 2432 in the Catechism mean that the Church is part of a commie plot.
"God has not willed to reserve to himself all exercise of power. He entrusts to every creature the functions it is capable of performing, according to the capacities of its own nature. This mode of governance ought to be followed in social life. The way God acts in governing the world, which bears witness to such great regard for human freedom, should inspire the wisdom of those who govern human communities. They should behave as ministers of divine providence.
"The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1883-1885)
I also think that other forms of government can be okay. But never mind what I think:
"If authority belongs to the order established by God, 'the choice of the political regime and the appointment of rulers are left to the free decision of the citizens.'20Despite the impression some folks seem to have, the Catholic Church does not teach that we should be good little subjects and do whatever our masters tell us to:
"The diversity of political regimes is morally acceptable, provided they serve the legitimate good of the communities that adopt them. Regimes whose nature is contrary to the natural law, to the public order, and to the fundamental rights of persons cannot achieve the common good of the nations on which they have been imposed."
"Authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but must act for the common good as a "moral force based on freedom and a sense of responsibility":21There's a discussion of the principle we call 'checks and balances' in 1904 - and that's almost another topic."A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.22"Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, 'authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse.'23"
Here's a list of links I adapted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church's index:
- Government of human communities
- Political community and the
- "Citizenship, Rules, Marriage, and Not Being Decently Quiet"
(March 5, 2011)
- "The Catholic Church: Universal. Really"
(April 19, 2010)
- "Is the Church For Capitalism? Yes: and No"
(March 13, 2010)
- "Party Politics, Reality, the Big Picture, and This Catholic"
(October 1, 2009)
- "Fear of Right-Wing Extremism: Commie-Hunting in Reverse"
(April 19, 2009)
- "The 1950s, California, and Old-School Thinking"
(February 16, 2011)
- "Diapers and the End of Civilization"
(November 10, 2010)
- "Rambling on About Memorial Day, the Flag, and Snake Oil"
(May 28, 2010)
- "Dalai Lama: Good Words for America, President Obama"
Another War-on-Terror Blog (April 24, 2009)
- "United States of America: 232 Years in the Freedom Business"
Another War-on-Terror Blog (July 3, 2008)