Friday, June 22, 2012

Moore and Fisher: Two Thought Criminals

How interesting that the point of conflict between Henry and Sts John and Thomas was "marriage". In reality both John and Thomas understood that the King wanted to usurp the place of God, practically speaking the issue was that Henry wanted to take control of men's consciences.

In the case of Thomas especially his crime was a "thought crime", daring to think differently from the King and the government. St Thomas had deliberately kept silent on the matter whilst St John had quite simply said that what the King intended to call "marriage" to Ann Boleyn was in reality "adultery". Henry used the Law and the death penalty to force men to think his adultery was "marriage", he made "obedience to conscience" mean "treachery". By the Law sin was made virtue and virtue vice.

We see again, in our own age, governments wanting to take control of consciences, governments taking control of language, changing fundamental words. As in the days of Moore and Fisher the issue is still about the definition of  "marriage".

There will be no way to define any longer what we had previously understood by that word "marriage", the redefinition will colour and redefine our whole culture, our appreciation of history, our understanding of human relationships, our education.

Both the UK and the US the government is using all its muscle not just to change society but how we think and understand ourselves. We stand on the brink of something truly frightening, truly sinister. Having started where will it end?

Here is a little extract from Orwell's 1984:

'Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we're not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there's no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It's merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won't be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak,' he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. 'Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?' 'Except-' began Winston doubtfully, and he stopped. It had been on the tip of his tongue to say 'Except the proles,' but he checked himself, not feeling fully certain that this remark was not in some way unorthodox. Syme, however, had divined what he was about to say. 'The proles are not human beings,' he said carelessly. 'By 2050 earlier, probably -- all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron -- they'll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like "freedom is slavery" when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking -- not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.'


The Bones said...

Looks like you and I are in sync today, Father.

Fr Dickson said...

Let's hope we are all thinking the same, Father. Sadly, many of us are not; too many seem to be thinking along the lines not of the saints, Thomas and John, but of the king. What is morally good is whatever the Government allows: "Well, its legal, Father!" Our chosen ruler has become the Government of the day (whose authority is limited in time and in space) rather than God (the authority of Whom is beyond, and outside, of time and space).

Mike Cliffson said...

Orwell was unusual for a non believer?
At work , among teachers- ha! I only meet what orwell called "good party men : sloganrepeating gramophones".
There's hope for them yet, as there is for us all! but the rational outlook is a bit grim.
Just as well that it is never, ever us who evangalize - do our father's will and pass God the buck as twere - or the quacking chorus of "great is Diana of the Ephesians would be just too off putting.

nickbris said...

The whole business on both sides of the Atlantic about "marriage"seems strange and incomprehensible.Both leaders are under pressure to get votes and acceptance of some controversial plans.

We all know who controls the media and they have to be sucked up to however ludicrous it all seems to be.Dorothy's friends have skill and determination and will always get their way.eb

amator Dei said...

87 rehostaHow strange. I've long thought that '1984' is a good guide to orthodox Catholic mentality. Big Brother - the Pope. Thought Police - the CDF. Miniluv - the Vatican. Thought criminals - courageous theologians persecuted by the CDF for presuming to think originally about God. 2 Minutes' Hate - traditionalist Catholic blogs, etc. etc.
Don't forget that when he was in the driving seat Thomas More was a good thought policeman himself, by no means averse to burning heretics to preserve the purity of the Party, Church that is.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Amator Dei,
One might well think that if one is not a Catholic.
But if one believes in objective truth, in truthful Revelation, in the promises of Christ about the inerrancy of the Church, as presumably a Catholic does then your analysis falls short, by quite alot.
If you really believe that the intellectually honest thing to do is to leave the Church.

1984 is about constructed truth, a truth that varies, it is ultimately a novel about what the Pope calls "Relativism".

John Nolan said...

Pater reverende,

'Amator Dei' (cognomen nihilominus) tantummodo monstrum est. Praeceptum primum reticuli - noli monstris escam dare!

amator Dei said...

John Nolan, I can only say to you, tu quoque monstrum. I call myself lover of God because I try to love God.
I am a baptised Catholic and continue to believe that the Catholic Church, with its many faults and defects, such as the current leadership's increasing totalitarianism, is the divinely instituted body of Christ. I will not be driven out of it by anyone who wants to impose their own further tests of membership,

John Nolan said...

Sorry, but monstrum is the nearest I could get to troll in Latin.

Richard said...

Father, I agree with what you've written, and I agree that changing the legal definition of marriage will effectively deny State recognition of true marriage and will mean a fundamental change in society.

But one thing puzzles me, and I haven't seen an answer to it.

Marriage is the lifelong union of a man and a woman. If we are fighting for the "man and woman" bit, then shouldn't we also be fighting for the "lifelong" bit?

If same-sex marriage effectively means that the State no longer recognises true marriage, then hasn't that already happened with divorce?

Indeed "lifelong" is arguably more important; relatively few people will be tempted to a same-sex "marriage", but many, many people are tempted to a divorce and re-marriage.

Have I misunderstood something? I would like to read what people think about this.

Fr Ray Blake said...


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