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Libertarianism or Libertinism? (Frank S. Meyer Flashback)
The Potowmack Institute ^ | September 9, 1969 | Frank S. Meyer

Posted on 06/12/2002 10:55:07 AM PDT by Pyro7480


&copy1969 by National Review, Inc., 215 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016. Reprinted with permission

Libertarianism or Libertinism?

Frank S. Meyer
National Review, 1969

Principles and Heresies

The development of contemporary American conservatism has been marked, on the theoretical level, by a continuing tension between a traditionalist emphasis and a libertarian emphasis. Over the years I have argued that these positions are in fact not incompatible opposites, but complementary poles of a tension and balance which, both in theory and practice, define American conservatism as it has come into being at midcentury. If anything, I have stressed the libertarian emphasis because I have felt that unmodified traditionalism, stressing virtue and order in disregard of the ontological and social status of the freedom of the individual person, tended dangerously to towards an authoritarianism wrong in itself and alien to the spirit of American conservatism.

Recently, however, there have been ominous signs that the danger of a disbalance just as alien to conservatism is arising not from traditionalist quarters, but from an untrammeled libertarianism, which tends as directly to anarchy and nihilism as unchecked traditionalism tends to authoritarianism. This libertarianism can be seen at its most extreme in such dropouts from the Right as Murray Rothbard and Karl Hess and their handful of followers. While their position has become indistinguishable from that of SDS, there are increasing signs of a more widespread, if more moderate, development in this direction, primarily among the young, but by no means restricted to them. The essential rationale of this position is so far removed from the rationale of libertarian conservatism, and so completely ignores the proper foundations of liberty in the actual circumstances of the human condition, that, like the position of the anarchist wing of the SDS, its proper denomination is not libertarianism but libertinism.

A true libertarianism is derived from metaphysical roots in the very constitution of being, and places its defense of freedom as a political end in the context of moral responsibility for the pursuit of virtue and the underlying social necessity for the preservation of order. The libertine impulse that masquerades as libertarian, on the other hand, disregards all moral responsibility, ranges itself against the minimum needs of social order, and raises the freedom of the individual person (regarded as the unbridled expression of every desire, intellectual or emotional) to the status of an absolute end.

Libertine ideologes

The underlying issue between conservative libertarianism and libertine libertarianism is at bottom a totally opposed view of the nature of destiny of men. The libertines—like those other products of the modern world, ritualistic liberals, socialists, Communists, fascists—are ideologues first and last. That is, they reject reality as it has been studied, grasped, understood, and acted upon in five thousand years or so of civilized history, and pose an abstract construction as the basis of action. They would replace God's creation of this multifarious, complex world in which we live, and substitute for it their own creation, simple, neat and inhuman—as inhuman as the blueprints of the bulldozing engineer.

The place of freedom in the spiritual economy of men is a high one indeed, but it is specific and not absolute. By its very nature, it cannot be an end of men's existence. Its meaning is essentially freedom from coercion, but that, important as it is, cannot be an end. It is empty of goal or norm. Its function is to relieve men of external coercion so that theY may freely seek their good.

It is for this reason that libertarian conservatives champion freedom as the end of the political order's politics, which is, at its core, the disposition of force in society, will, if not directed towards this end, create massive distortions and obstacles in men's search for their good. But that said, an equally important question remains. Free, how are men to use their freedom? The libertine answers that they should do what they want. Sometimes, in the line of the philosophers of the French Revolution, he arbitrarily posits the universal benevolence of human beings. He presumes that if everyone does whatever he wants, everything will be for the best in the best of all possible worlds. But whether so optimistically qualified or not, his answer ignores the hard facts of history. For it is only in civilization that men have begun to rise towards their potentiality; and civilization is a fragile growth, constantly menaced by the dark forces that suck man back towards his brutal beginnings.

Reason and Tradition

The essence of civilization, however, is tradition: no single generation of men can of itself discover the proper ends of human existence. At its best, as understood by contemporary American conservatism, the traditionalist view accepts political freedom, accepts the role of reason and innovation and criticism; but it insists, if civilization is to be preserved, that reason operate within tradition and that political freedom is only effectively achieved when the bulwarks of civilizational order are preserved.

Libertine libertarianism would shatter those bulwarks. In its opposition to the maintenance of defenses against Communism, its puerile sympathy with the rampaging mobs of campus and ghetto, its contempt for the humdrum wisdom of the great producing majority, it is directed towards the destruction of the civilizational order which is the only real foundation of a real world for the freedom it espouses. The first victim of the mobs let loose by the weakening of civilizational restraint will be, as it has always been, freedom—for anyone, anywhere.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: conservatism; franksmeyer; libertarianism; nationalreview
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I just read this in In Defense of Freedom and Related Essays, which is a collection of Frank S. Meyer's best essays, and includes his famous book "In Defense of Freedom," which was originally printed in 1962 by Regnery. The collection was edited by William C. Dennis, and is printed by the Liberty Fund. I received my copy more than three years ago during a trip to the headquarters of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which is only several miles from my house. The book is part of ISI's Library of Conservative Classics . I finally got around to reading it recently (it's hard to read your own books when you're in college). I think the ideas outlined in Meyer's book are the closest I've ever seen (in print) to my own ideology.

Meyer is a "forgotten founding father" of the modern conservative movement. He was a senior editor of the National Review from 1957 until his death in 1972. I think Meyer's important contribution to the formation of the conservative movement, both intellectual and political, is often overlooked and/or forgotten. Thankfully, a recent biography titled "Principles and Heresies: Frank S. Meyer and the Shaping of the American Conservative Movement by Kevin J. Smant (printed by ISI Books) tries to right this wrong. The biography came out less than a month ago in May 2002, and was recently reviewed by Ramesh Ponnuru in the National Review. For a short bio. on Meyer, visit the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty

1 posted on 06/12/2002 10:55:08 AM PDT by Pyro7480
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2 posted on 06/12/2002 10:55:26 AM PDT by Mo1
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To: Mo1
BUMP!
3 posted on 06/12/2002 11:05:52 AM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: Pyro7480
This article is interesting, and not without merit. If we can get away from the name-calling (fascist, traitor) we might reach some sort of understanding.

``Recently, however, there have been ominous signs that the danger of a disbalance just as alien to conservatism is arising not from traditionalist quarters, but from an untrammeled libertarianism, which tends as directly to anarchy and nihilism as unchecked traditionalism tends to authoritarianism.''

This sentences makes me want to look for more writing by Mr. Meyer. Pyro, you made part of this sentence boldface, while it is important in its entirety.

This is something I've said frequently here on FR: Liberty and responsibility go hand in hand. Liberty without responsibility leads to mayhem, and responsibility without liberty leads to slavery.

For example, the left-wing approach to drug prohibtion revolves around isolating people from their bad acts with such suggestions like giving people free needles, or free health care and drug counseling. The left cannot see that these undermine personal responsibility. On the other hand, the authoritarian approach to drug-prohibition involves punishing everyone for the bad acts of others. The authoritarian does not acknowledge that some people can handle addiction better than others, and want to jail all users to get the ones would cause trouble.

If we have a balanced approach to drug prohibition, we would in no way subsidize people's bad habits on the one hand, but when someone commits a crime we should lock the door and throw away the key.

4 posted on 06/12/2002 11:08:33 AM PDT by Liberal Classic
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To: Pyro7480

5 posted on 06/12/2002 11:12:08 AM PDT by Physicist
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: allend
You never stop lying about libertarians, do you?
7 posted on 06/12/2002 11:24:20 AM PDT by FreeTally
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To: Liberal Classic
If we have a balanced approach to drug prohibition, we would in no way subsidize people's bad habits on the one hand, but when someone commits a crime we should lock the door and throw away the key.

Do you mean when someone engages in a personal or property crime while on drugs? I assume under this balanced approach, possession, sale or manufacturing of "drugs" would not be a crime.

8 posted on 06/12/2002 11:26:52 AM PDT by FreeTally
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To: FreeTally
Not exactly. I believe with any sort of reform of drug prohibition should come two things: one, a similar retreat of welfare, and two, an increase in the penalties for all crime, especially violent crime.

I do not think that committing a murder sober should be punshed less than while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. I feel the same about hate crime: is it more wrong to kill someone because of their race, or for the money? Is it more wrong to slay someone with a firearm or your bare hands? No.

I believe with any softening of our stance of drug prohibition should come a strengthening of penalties for all crimes. In my opinion, child rape should be a capital offence. Why is there such gnashing of teeth over what to do with sexual-offenders? If they are such a danger, don't let them out of prison. Likewise with murderers.

9 posted on 06/12/2002 11:32:56 AM PDT by Liberal Classic
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To: Pyro7480
Frank S. Meyer is well remembered by the thinning ranks of what we once called (with capital letters) Young Conservatives, including me. He and Elsie Meyer often entertained the young lions at his mountaintop home in Woodstock, New York. If we respected Frank, we adored Elsie, a dear person and wonderful hostess.

Every wall of the house, and even an addition to the house, was lined with books. This reflected both the Meyers' great minds and Frank's work as book editor of National Review. The discussions were intense and instructive. I was going to say "enLIGHTening," but Frank was so much a night person, he hardly ever saw daylight! The talks lasted all night, over too many glasses of Dewar's.

Their two young sons, John and Gene, frequently joined the grown-up talk, or whupped their elders at chess (Gene today is an international Grand Master, John a Master). Gene is still active as founder and gray eminence of the Federalist Society. He looks just like his dad :-)

10 posted on 06/12/2002 11:35:26 AM PDT by T'wit
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To: Liberal Classic
I believe with any softening of our stance of drug prohibition should come a strengthening of penalties for all crimes. In my opinion, child rape should be a capital offence.

I agree. Actually, I could probably agree that murder, rape, child molestation and treason should be the four crimes that are capital offenses.

11 posted on 06/12/2002 11:42:52 AM PDT by FreeTally
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To: Pyro7480
It's difficult to make any sense of this because it doesn't clearly define the distinction between government and society. It gets halfway there with the statement "libertarian conservatives champion freedom as the end of the political order's politics", but is far less clear in addressing the other half (that social norms must be left exclusively to social tools such as selective association, criticism, etc. and may not become entangled with the state).
12 posted on 06/12/2002 11:44:34 AM PDT by steve-b
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To: allend
Watch the libertarians apply their principles in defense of cannibalism on this thread here.

"Obviously, nobody around here is in favor of cannibalism, and everyone, libertarians included, agree that murderers should be punished." -- allend, reply #21 from the thread.

Changed your mind, I see. The oldest and crudest rhetorical device for demonizing one's opponents is to claim that they are cannibals. To your credit you've stopped just short of that, and merely declared us to be their moral equivalent.

13 posted on 06/12/2002 11:45:18 AM PDT by Physicist
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To: Liberal Classic
Thanks for commenting here. Please do look into the writings of Meyer. He was originally a Communist, and after some soul-searching in the 1940s, he became an influential leader of the emerging conservative movement. George Nash, in The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, calls Meyer "an ardent, argumentative libertarian, as well as one of the formative personal influences on the conservative revial," while others call him a "fusionist," someone who tried to reconcile the libertarian and traditionist schools of conservatism. But one of the best reflections on Meyer's contribution comes from Morton Blackwell, founder of the Leadership Institute. He commented on "In Defense of Freedom" in his essay, Read to Lead. Meyer's basic thesis, according to Blackwell, was that "if the conservative movement was going to succeed, adherents of both lines of thought, natural allies on most issues, must be fused together. Supporters of a conservative economic policy, he taught, couldn't expect their policies to be enacted without the backing of social-issue conservatives. And it was equally true, he continued, that social-issue conservatives couldn't expect their policies to be enacted unless they allied with economic conservatives. The presidential elections of 1980, 1984 and 1988, as well as the congressional elections of 1994 and 1996, were manifestations of the wisdom of Frank Meyer."

Another great quote by Meyer comes from his 1964 essay "Freedom, Tradition, Conservatism."
"But both extremes (of traditionalism and libertarianism) are self-defeating: truth withers when freedom dies, however righteous the authority that kills it; and free individualism uninformed by moral value rots at its core and soon brings about conditions that pave the way for surrender to tyranny."

I admire your well-thought comments. The "essay" describing your train of thought on your profile page seems to back up my thought that you are a well-trained thinker. I agree with you that the all the name-calling on FR needs to stop. It is very immature. It can be a very anti-intellectual environment on here at times.

If you want to read more about the "tension" between liberty and tradition, a good book (also printed by ISI) is "Freedom and Virtue: The Conservative/Libertarian Debate," edited by George W. Carey. It includes essays by Meyer, and commentary by Murray Rothbard on Meyer's ideology.

14 posted on 06/12/2002 11:47:19 AM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: FreeTally
Actually, I could probably agree that murder, rape, child molestation and treason should be the four crimes that are capital offenses.

I don't know. Since you've distinguished it from rape, the definition of child molestation gets awfully fuzzy.

I'm a big fan of corporal punishment, myself. If some old lech feels up a 15-year-old, a thorough caning will probably suffice to correct his behavior.

15 posted on 06/12/2002 11:52:09 AM PDT by Physicist
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To: Pyro7480
"But both extremes (of traditionalism and libertarianism) are self-defeating: truth withers when freedom dies, however righteous the authority that kills it; and free individualism uninformed by moral value rots at its core and soon brings about conditions that pave the way for surrender to tyranny."

Thank you for your reply. I feel much the same as Mr. Meyer when he said conservatives and libertarians need each other.

16 posted on 06/12/2002 11:53:27 AM PDT by Liberal Classic
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To: Pyro7480
Libertine libertarianism ... In its opposition to the maintenance of defenses against Communism, its puerile sympathy with the rampaging mobs of campus and ghetto...

I don't know what he has in mind here. He mentions Rothbard and Hess, but no position or stand of theirs - no specifics.

17 posted on 06/12/2002 11:59:08 AM PDT by secretagent
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To: steve-b
Well, this essay was designed as a response to Murray Rothbard and his followers' ideology. As I mentioned before, I just finished "In Defense of Freedom," and in it, Meyer makes a huge distinction between the state and society. He said, "Those who possess the power of the state possess it exclusively and over against the rest of society, whether their power is cofirmed by hereditary right, landed property, wealth, or the democratic ballot." So that would address your issue.
18 posted on 06/12/2002 11:59:25 AM PDT by Pyro7480
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: allend
Not at all. I never said that libertarians were cannibals or even supported cannibalism, merely that, when challenged, they were ready to apply their principles in its defense, i.e., to say that as long as no murder or other violation of human rights were involved, the practice should be legal.

Certainly I would apply my principles in defense of the ritual cannibalism practiced by Catholics and other religious sects.

Provided no rights were violated of course.

20 posted on 06/12/2002 12:05:41 PM PDT by OWK
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To: secretagent
See post #18. It would probably be a good idea to look into the history of this time period to get an idea of what he's talking about. The Nash book I mentioned earlier would be a good resource for that.
21 posted on 06/12/2002 12:06:24 PM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: OWK
Ritual cannibalism practiced by Catholics and other religious sects? Well, if you look at the beliefs of the Catholic Church bluntly, it may appear to be just that. But this belief/practice, according to Catholics, is Biblically-based. I don't completely understand the issue over cannibalism as related to libertarianism, but I think I will take a look at this controversy.
22 posted on 06/12/2002 12:09:46 PM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: steve-b
It's difficult to make any sense of this because it doesn't clearly define the distinction between government and society.

I think Meyers tangentially addresses that point here: The essence of civilization, however, is tradition: no single generation of men can of itself discover the proper ends of human existence. At its best, as understood by contemporary American conservatism, the traditionalist view accepts political freedom, accepts the role of reason and innovation and criticism; but it insists, if civilization is to be preserved, that reason operate within tradition and that political freedom is only effectively achieved when the bulwarks of civilizational order are preserved.

Which is to say, Meyers apparently rejects the idea that there is a clear distinction between government and society. Nor, apparently, should there be -- to believe and act otherwise is to pretend that one knows a priori all of the contingencies with which society and/or government might be faced.

It's worth noting, BTW, that the "libertine libertarians" are very much with us, primarily as a cultural force, but also among many of the more aggressive (predominantly liberal) activist organizations.

23 posted on 06/12/2002 12:11:03 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: T'wit
libertine libertarians and facist conservatives both hold more than a grain of truth. That's why I'm now a Constitutional republican (not a Republican).

Only the Constitution separates us from anarchy or statism. When people here realize this, the libertarian-conservative wars will end.

24 posted on 06/12/2002 12:12:00 PM PDT by FastCoyote
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To: Physicist
I don't know. Since you've distinguished it from rape, the definition of child molestation gets awfully fuzzy.

I didn't think about that. I guess you could lump the two together and just call it rape. The age of the victim should not matter.

I also would want for there to be new "rules" covering a conviction for rape. Juries have been known to convict a person for rape merely upon testimony, without any real evidence. That could not be allowed. I would insist that there be laws that would prevent prosecuters from filing any charges without actual, physical evidence. The word of the woman(or man) can not be considered as evidence.

25 posted on 06/12/2002 12:15:16 PM PDT by FreeTally
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: allend
Hey, looks like the time is ripe for you to join The Holy Church of Anti-Catholic Brethren right over here! Bask in the approval of like-minded folk! Go and enjoy!

Anti-Catholic?

Not at all. Not two posts ago I stated that I'd apply my principles in defense of the ritual cannibalism practice by Catholics and other religious sects.

What's anti-Catholic about that?

(or do you disagree with the assertion that Catholics and other religious sects practice ritual cannibalism?)

27 posted on 06/12/2002 12:20:25 PM PDT by OWK
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To: Pyro7480
Ritual cannibalism practiced by Catholics and other religious sects? Well, if you look at the beliefs of the Catholic Church bluntly, it may appear to be just that. But this belief/practice, according to Catholics, is Biblically-based.

Biblical or otherwise, it remains ritual cannibalism... no?

28 posted on 06/12/2002 12:22:16 PM PDT by OWK
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To: OWK
Certainly I would apply my principles in defense of the ritual cannibalism practiced by Catholics and other religious sects.

You need to 'splain that one to me. It went completely over my head.

29 posted on 06/12/2002 12:26:38 PM PDT by Scuttlebutt
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: T'wit
Wow. Thanks for posting this. Were you one of these "Young Conservatives" that visited Meyer in Woodstock? It seems from your account that you were, but it isn't completely clear. I admire the man even more now that you mention that the every wall of the house was lined with books. I'm defintitely a bookworm. Almost my entire room is full of printed material - books, magazines, papers, etc.

I recently browsed the Smant biography of Meyer that I mentioned earlier at the Borders near my house. I read about Meyer being such a night person as you said. This occured because of Meyer's departure from the Communist Party. The Meyers so feared reprisal by the Party that they kept a loaded rifle near their bed for some time, and because of the resulting imsomnia, they became night people. This is another reason for me to admire him, because I'm SO not a morning person. My "best" hours are between 6 pm and 2 am.

The reason why I looked into Meyer's book finally after having it for almost 3 years was an article that was posted on FR that was written by a fellow college student named Daniel McCarthy . Titled "Crash-Course for Conservatives," it mentioned a small reading group the author had started at his school, and one of the books they read was "In Defense of Freedom." After reading about the "disagreement" the book had caused amongst the students in the group (similar to the controversy that was caused after the book was first printed), I had to read. My discovery of Meyer's writings and ideology has been rather exciting for me, since as I mentioned before, it is the closest I've seen to my own ideology. I think it will help me to tighten up and better argue my own conservatism. I am glad to consider myself a new follower of Frank Meyer.

31 posted on 06/12/2002 12:29:34 PM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: allend
Not at all. I never said that libertarians were cannibals or even supported cannibalism, merely that, when challenged, they were ready to apply their principles in its defense, i.e., to say that as long as no murder or other violation of human rights were involved, the practice should be legal.

It seemed to me that people on the thread were saying that, so long as no murder or other violation of human rights were involved, the practice of looking at photographic representations of it should be legal.

I've seen many pictures of the atrocities of 9/11. I'm sure you have, too. By viewing them, did you and I lend support to those atrocities? Did we do something morally wrong? Should someone have stopped us?

32 posted on 06/12/2002 12:29:34 PM PDT by Physicist
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To: Pyro7480
Thank you for posting this, Pyro. It complements well an article I posted yesterday in which I appealed to Republicans to understand what they would vote FOR if they cast a so-called protest vote for a Libertarian Party candidate. It generated some lively discussion. I supposed I should not be surprised at how many people misunderstand — and adamantly refuse to consider — the true position of the group of founders who wanted a limited federal government. What they wanted was for the states to retain their sovereignty. They wanted strong state governments and a weak federal government. What the above article calls "libertine libertarianism" is as foreign to what they had in mind as Jupiter is to Earth.
33 posted on 06/12/2002 12:30:43 PM PDT by Wolfstar
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To: Pyro7480
Meyer bump. His vision that real-world libertarianism could work hand-in-hand with staunch conservatism and be productive together was a great and valiant effort made with admirable sincerity. His detractors, as I remember, were the ones who came up with the 'fusionist' term, implying that it was a compromise or melting down of the two great strands of conservatism.
34 posted on 06/12/2002 12:32:46 PM PDT by KC Burke
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To: allend
It is a standard accusation, patently absurd, originally made by the pagan Romans back in the first or second century, and more recently taken up by a certain variety of self-styled "Bible fundamentalists."

The Eucharist is not ritual cannibalism?

Isn't it the ritual consumption of the blood and body of Christ?

Isn't the doctrine of transubstantiation a support of an even more literal interpretation of this assertion?

I have no objection to Catholics (or any other religious sects) engaging in this ritual cannibalistic practice. In fact, as I've already stated, I apply my libertarian principles in defense of it (provided rights are not violated).

What part of my position do you object to?

Do you disagree with my assertion that the Eucharist is ritual cannibalism?

If it isn't, then what is it?

35 posted on 06/12/2002 12:34:04 PM PDT by OWK
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Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: OWK
I think allend is taking issue with your terminology. I don't think you're spouting anti-Catholicism.
37 posted on 06/12/2002 12:36:03 PM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: Pyro7480
It's funny how even on a thread that is discussing conservatism and libertarianism, how the Catholics vs. anti-Catholics argument creeps in. ;-) I'm not taking issue with it entirely, but I think it can be easily discussed elsewhere. ;-)
38 posted on 06/12/2002 12:37:45 PM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: Pyro7480
I don't think you're spouting anti-Catholicism.

Thanks. (I am certainly not)

39 posted on 06/12/2002 12:39:02 PM PDT by OWK
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To: Pyro7480
It was not my intent to single out Catholicism in my reference to ritual cannibalism.

In fact there are many Christian sects (if not most) which practice it.

40 posted on 06/12/2002 12:41:16 PM PDT by OWK
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: T'wit
Thank you for your personal recollections at #10. FR is one of the best places to get such insight.
42 posted on 06/12/2002 12:44:29 PM PDT by KC Burke
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To: allend
It would appear that you have some kind of chip on your shoulder with respect to percieved anti-Catholic bias. I have no idea what conversations you've engaged in previously on the subject (and quite frankly I have no interest in them).

My point had nothing to do with Catholicism. It had to do with ritual cannibalism (which is practiced ceremonially by not only Catholics, but in fact by many, or perhaps even the majority of Christian sects).

If you find it necessary to extract some kind of anti-Catholic sentiment from my statements in order to paint yourself as a victim, that's your problem.

No such sentiment was intended.

43 posted on 06/12/2002 12:49:41 PM PDT by OWK
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To: OWK
No such sentiment was intended.

Oh, Please. You can do a bit better than that.

44 posted on 06/12/2002 12:54:07 PM PDT by Hacksaw
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To: Hacksaw
Man... what a bunch of whiners.
45 posted on 06/12/2002 1:00:11 PM PDT by OWK
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Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: OWK
Catholics don't practice ritual cannibalism, they practice ritual metaphorical cannibalism.

They only symbolically consume the body and blood of Christ.

47 posted on 06/12/2002 1:31:12 PM PDT by secretagent
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To: Pyro7480
Ok, let's drop it. He didn't call the Catholic Church the "Whore of Babylon" or something ludicrous like that. This is a doctrinal misunderstanding. This thread is supposed to be about the Meyer article...
48 posted on 06/12/2002 1:43:44 PM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: T'wit
Oh, I forgot to add that I just ordered the Meyer biography by Smant from ISI. I can't wait for it to come in!
49 posted on 06/12/2002 1:45:43 PM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: allend
You explicitly accuse Catholics of ritual cannibalism, and then affect wide-eyed innocence when I "extract some kind of anti-Catholic sentiment from [your] statements." HeHeHe!

No, in fact I said Catholics and other Christian sects.

I did not mention Catholics exclusively.

The only reason I mentioned Catholics individually at all, is that they as a group, are more likely to endorse the doctrine of transubstantiation (the belief in the literal conversion of sacramental wine and wafers, into the blood and body of Christ).

It isn't a slam on Catholics or on what they believe. They may believe as they wish, and I support their right to practice their beliefs in any way they see fit, provided they don't violate the rights of others in the process.

You seemed to me to be slamming libertarians because you percieved them to be defending cannibalism (although I think that's a bit of a stretch). I just thought you might want to think about that statement in a different light.

Apparently it was a bit too much for you emotionally, so you had to drag out your hair shirt.

50 posted on 06/12/2002 2:24:04 PM PDT by OWK
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