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

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

TELLING: "My goal is to drag as many people to heaven with me as I can."

Regular visitors to Fumare know that the problems at Ave Maria School of Law are systemic and rooted in the Governance of the law school. This problem is not isolated to AMSL, but every "Ave Maria" institution has suffered and is suffering in some way due to this same fundamental problem.

There is an old saying, "A rotting fish begins to stink at the head."

The smelly head we are speaking of is Tom Monaghan's noodle.

Elsewhere on this blog, the case has been made that Tom is a de jure Catholic (he is baptised and goes to mass) but a de facto Calvinist (culturally and in practice he rejects authentic Catholicism). He is an apostate who feels at liberty to reject certain aspects of Catholic Social Teaching and advance a conservative flavor of make-it-up Catholicism that rejects the dignity of persons and replaces the "golden rule" with the "rule of gold" - he who has the gold makes the rules.

There are many examples of this, but perhaps one which hasn't been commented here is Tom's overall objective (that he is very fond of repeating):

"My goal is to drag as many people to heaven with me as I can."

If you are Catholic, this should strike you as very odd - sort of like a the President of the United States letting loose with a great loud fart at a state dinner and then asking for a "high-five." It is a statement that is culturally at odds with Catholicism.

But, it is very revealing of the kind of stink in his head.

It shows that Monaghan holds a kind of pre-destination mentality. He is rather sure of his personal success in getting into heaven, so much so that he thinks he will have strength left over to "drag" others behind him - as if this is how people reach salvation.

Can anyone name one saint who used similar language such as "drag as many people with me as I can?"

"Drag" - To pull along with difficulty or effort; To move or bring by force or with great effort.

If you consider "heaven" in this statement to be Ave Maria Town and University, then this statement makes a great deal of sense. However, if you understand it to be our eternal destination, then the verb is deeply inappropriate.

Christ is our Shepherd, when at mass, the priest or Bishop is the LAST person in the procession to signal this office. Why? Because the culture of Catholicism says that the servant goes last - the shepherd is the last into heaven because he must shepherd the herd all enter the gates before he does. Monaghan's "goal" reverses this ethos and puts himself first and uses an image of force in relation to others to get them into heaven.
This is not the pastoral language of the Faith. It is the language of an arrogant elitist who presumes that he is going to heaven and is condescending to strong arm others into heaven with him.

What a mess.

I guess "academic terrorists" such as Prof. Rice (living spiritual patriarch of Catholic Lawyers) Prof. Myers (editor and contributor to the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Teaching) and Prof. Frohnen (editor and contributor to the Encyclopedia of American Conservatism) no longer qualify in Tom's mind as people worthy of being "dragged" into heaven by him.

May God help those Monaghan deigns to drag with him to where ever he is headed.