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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Modern Dogmas

The term "modern dogmas" is rather imprecise. A dogma, as such, is the same in whatever age. It may be described as the end of thought--a truth; and as it is a truth, it does not change and is not subject to temporal determinations. Yet, I use the term in this post for ease. (Perhaps I should say "things recently said that are held out as dogma--unassailable and irrefutable.") I think Chesterton states it well in The Superstition of Divorce, as he does everything else:

For the modern world will accept no dogmas upon any authority; but it will accept any dogmas upon no authority. Say that a thing is so, according to the Pope or the Bible, and it will dismissed as a superstition without examination. But preface your remark merely with "they say" or "don't you know that?" or try (and fail) to remember the name of some professor mentioned in some newspaper; and the keen rationalism of the modern mind will accept every word you say."

This past week has seen its share of "modern dogmas" In reaction to the Gonzales v. Carhart decision. Consider the following from Planned Parenthood (or the "they say" department or the "try (and fail) to remember the name of some professor mentioned" department):

On Wednesday, the highest court in the country voted 5-4 to uphold the federal abortion ban passed by Congress and signed by President Bush in 2003. The ban criminalizes abortions in the second trimester of pregnancy that doctors say are often the safest and best to protect women's health.


Planned Parenthood and women's health care providers have long told the public that if President Bush were given a free hand to nominate ideological hardliners to the court, the U.S. Supreme Court would undermine protections for women's health and safety. On Wednesday that warning came true.

there's more,

In the last 24 hours, people all across America have expressed their outrage at a Supreme Court ruling that has brought about this seismic shift on reproductive freedom.

Now check these from the gals at NOW (or from the "don't you know that?" department):

Not since Bush v. Gore has the Supreme Court made such a political decision, or one that so completely distorts the law and disregards the U.S. Constitution.


This is a clarion call for feminists, progressives and everyone who cares about justice, equality and democracy. We must link arms and say "No more."

Modern dogmatism at its finest! We'll leave Al Gore for another day--after all, his proclamation that the debate is over re: global warming sounds a lot like the end of thought. Until our next installment...vale.