The Gadfly “To persuade and reproach” - Socrates, The Apology
Vol. IX, Iss. 4 October 21, 2008
Voting “Outside the Box” If you're not one of those rank and file FUS Republicans, chances are this election may be a close call for you. If you're tired of the "single issue voting" standard, you might actually be leaning towards Obama. On the other hand if McCain isn't conservative enough for you, you might either be on the lookout for a third party or will just end up voting for your roommate this November. Whatever you decide, just realize that as a swing voter in the state of Ohio, you are part of a privileged group which decided
the election four years ago and may do so again. You may ask, "What if a candidate's Pro-Choice but is right about everything else?" There are always a few brave souls on campus who try to think outside the box – who try to illuminate the usual rank and file FUS Republicans on the notion that there are other issues at stake beyond simply life issues. Certainly, you've heard priests say that it's a sin to vote for a Pro-Choice candidate. Certainly you've seen a plethora of bumper stickers around campus
saying "If you vote Pro-Choice, you are Pro-Choice." But this all seems so dogmatic and uninformed. Well, I think you're mistaken on this one. But in this article I'm not going to appeal to any of these slogans or sayings. Voting for a Pro-Life candidate shouldn't be a matter of single issue voting at all. That's the wrong way to think about it. Check-marking issues on a score card is a misleading analogy when it comes to life issues. On campus, we talk a lot about things being "random." Well, Continued on page 6
SWOP Worker Ode Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you. Surely, the holy and prudent St. Augustine had the Franciscan University SWOP worker in mind when he jotted down these words of wisdom. I know with certainty that when I read this quote for the first time, ten minutes ago to be exact, that the insight contained within our Doctor’s advice was meant for my ears if not for the ears of all my colleagues. I proudly stand in the ranks of the few, the proud, the minimum wage earners. Those brave men and women,
who keep this humble University on its feet, in shipshape and ever stocked with mail. Did you know that over 800 students are employed by the very institution that educates them? I, for one, though I just read that statistic a moment ago, am not that surprised. One can’t take a simple stroll through campus without practically stepping on a SWOP worker. They are, quite frankly, everywhere. Try to walk through St. Joseph’s on a Thursday morning and you will see my point. Washing windows, polishing floors, vacuuming, dusting, and you should see what the other guy does! In fact,
right now, I would like to give a nod (make that grand bow) to the Christ-like custodial workers. Hands down, the quiet, ragwielding militia has, over all other jobs, my greatest respect. Yes, there are other jobs are that are more physically trying and mentally exhausting, but no one beats the custodial worker in self-sacrifice. One needs only to say “rubber gloves.” And then there is that special group of SWOP workers. I, myself, have secretly longed for one of their jobs, but have long given up the quest. Continued on page 7
St. Clare, pray for us!
Staff: Michelle Blohm (MB) Brian D’Amico (BD) Emily Davis (ED) Katherine Eddy (KSE) Layout Editor: Teresa Fasanello (TMF) Manuel Garcia (MG) Amanda Lamuro (AL) Editor in Chief: Gillian Lamuro (GL) Callie Langworthy (CL) John Mario Levri (JML) Business Manager: Joe Maciag (JM) Andy Moe (AM) The Goodkind Gnostic: Michael C. Pezzulo (MCP) Michael J. Ruszala (MJR) Mark Schreck (MJPS) Retired Editor in Chief: Cate Shultis (CS) ** Please note that the views expressed in the articles do not necessarily represent the views of the whole staff.
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~Mission Statement~ The Gadfly is an attempt to “bite the sleeping horse” in the spirit of Socrates. It is a student publication whose purpose is to facilitate discussion concerning campus and cultural issues as they pertain to students of Franciscan University. It aims to be a forum for open, wellthought out, and honest discussion towards the end of knowing and loving truth in its most robust sense.
Advisor: Dr. John White Advisor Extraordinaire
My Fellow Plebians, These are the times that try men’s souls. So before going off to start that revolution, submit your manifesto to that most accepting of publications, the Gadfly. But as you do that, here are a couple of things to consider: 1. We will not, repeat not, publish articles anonymously or under a pseudonym. This was a mandate established by my illustrious predecessor to deter the angry mobs from burning down the hard fought for Gadfly office and instead go straight for the perpetrator. So please, don’t let your fabulous articles be credited to a nomde-plume. And remember anything you don’t want to take credit for, we don’t want to either. 2. Please think of your audience when you write. Remember, we are college students and while we enjoy philosophy papers on the odd occasion, there is a time and a place for such things. Likewise, I know you are really upset that the men here have the libidos of twotoed sloths and never ask women out ever, I know, it’s painful, but come on. No one wants to read about girls complaining about men. Heck, they could just wander anywhere in America to hear about that. Same thing for the guys. I know it’s hard being a hunted species on campus, girls should be more spiritual, stop wearing shameful clothes whine, whine, whine. These things are always talked about so let’s move one.
Unless you can write about it in a new and funny manner (and this is a really big unless) I don’t want to hear about it which leads us to the next point that… 3. Style does matter!!!!! First of all, have a point. Then try and frame that point in interesting tone. No wheeziness! And it is okay to be humorous. It really is. I enjoy laughing. I don’t know why people feel like if they write something funny, people will stop loving them or taking them seriously (har har) or something. Everyone should know by now that it is way harder to be funny than smart. Think of all the bad jokes you know. Now think of all the good ones. I rest my case. 4. Keep you out of it. It’s your article so we kind of figure that it is from your point of view. You don’t need to begin your phrases with “I think” or “personally.” As my evil high school English teacher once told me, “Nobody wants to know what you think; they want to know what you know,” and to add insult to injury, “If your paper has more than two I’s in it, you are an egotist.” Harsh, no? Especially since I have like 18 I’s in this article which I (Doh!) can’t really analyze right now and so… 5. Rules are meant to be broken and the thing is…I am desperate. I’ll take anything. So please be merciful to the Gadfly and just think about these rules when you write your fabulous articles. Please??
~The very humble Editor
St. Martha, pray for us!
A Letter to the Editor To whom it may concern: I am writing to express my deepest offense at the ads that were run in the last issue of the “Ladies’ Home Edition” of the Gadfly. I am, of course, referring to the heinous “BARE” ads: “Beards Are Really Evil.” In a gesture of horrifying modernism, you adamantly pleaded with your readers to “Just say ‘no’ to beards.” What madness is this?? What foolishness brought forth these wretched notions? For as long as humans have walked this earth, beards have been considered essential to a man’s stature, and, well, manhood! The beard comes forth naturally as a young boy begins to enter adulthood. It does not ask permission, it merely arrives as it should. Can we not then conclude that it is meant to be there?? What is wrong with our modern society, which suddenly sees beards as “scruffy”, and suddenly sees scruffy as a bad thing, for that matter. Think of the many manly men who have appeared throughout history. The great majority of them have not been clean-shaven, but endowed with the most majestic and beautiful beards imaginable. Leonardo da Vinci surely wiped paint from his beard as he crafted the Mona Lisa. Abraham Lincoln surely stroked his beard as he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Gandalf surely tucked his beard into his cloak as he battled goblins and orcs and helped the triumph over evil. And I’m pretty sure Jesus combed his beard before going out and healing people of every illness and casting out demons and all that stuff….In short, men with beards have been doing great things for thousands of years! Not that men without beards can’t do great things…they just don’t look as amazing while doing it! Now I know what you’re
thinking: “You’re a girl.” Well, you’re right. I am a girl. I don’t have a beard and am not planning on getting one. So don’t just take it from me. I refer you now to St. Clement of Alexandria, who clearly had strong feelings about this subject as well: "How womanly it is for one who is a man to comb himself and shave himself with a razor, for the sake of fine effect, and to arrange his hair at the mirror, shave his cheeks, pluck hairs out of them, and smooth them!…For God wished women to be smooth and to rejoice in their locks alone growing spontaneously, as a horse in his mane. But He adorned man like the lions, with a beard, and endowed him as an attribute of manhood, with a hairy chest--a sign of strength and rule.” I’m pretty sure he’s saying that beards are a gift from God….you want to be rejecting divine endowments?? Or if you don’t believe St. Clement, maybe you’ll believe God Himself. I invite you to read Psalm 133, which reads “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down upon the beard, upon the beard of Aaron.” Notice how it doesn’t say, “it is like precious oil running down Aaron’s clean-shaven face, which he just freshened up with a little Old Spice.” And in case you were wondering, that is the verse found on the household shirts of our blue-clad brothers in Christ, the men and future priests of Koininia. I don’t know about you, but I think being a priest is pretty manly. So in conclusion, I ask that in the future you would kindly refrain from making such disparaging statements regarding our brothers’ facial hair. Beards are inherently good. Ah---men!
Professor Quote of the Week:
"Stalin went about his treaty with Germany with all the sophistication of a school-boy's first crush." —Dr. Matthew O’Brien
Did your professor say something hilarious recently? Tell us about it!
St. Radegunde, pray for us!
Nature, Reason, and the Average of the World Nature can be defined either as â€œsomething having to do with the elements of the natural worldâ€? or as the way that something is. In the latter, it is present in an object whether it is natural or supranatural as the inherent and true reality of this something. In the case of a person, nature can be applied to both the physicality of their bodily existence in the world as well as to the reality of the person's natural instinct. This instinct or inherent tendency guides the person by their nature towards the favorable response according to that nature in all situations of their existence. Thus it is the case that a person, who is inclined to act some way by their nature, will invariably do so again. In this the liar lies, the cheater inevitably cheats, and the lustful seeks to lie with the object of their lust. So it is seen that the person is compelled by their nature, which dwells in their be-
ing, to follow a seeming path of action throughout their life. It is apparent that a person discovers over time that they contain this compulsion towards certain decisions or movements on the path of action even if they do not understand its significance in that they are expressing their true selves through what they do. Yet, it is absolutely necessary realize that the these Wetofind ourselves in truth a unique persons are expressing is not neclaboratory here at Franciscan essarily the absolute truth meant Universityâ€”a microcosm and tomagnification be expressed of bythe them in their Christian lives. confrontation with secular culture By the very nature of fallen man, it is conceivable to express mistrust upon this inherent tendency guiding the paths of persons; particularly if this guidance urges the person to lie, cheat, or lust. How then might a person understand the good and evil? How might a person be able to distinguish the evilness of an act and then ponder whether or not
they should commit it? In these considerations, must not a person draw upon the reason that humanity alone possesses? If this reason is then able to determine the truth of a matter or action as evil and as harmful to the person about to commit it, then should the person not disregard their inherent guidance and even countermand it, thus denying the evil aspect of the act to affect themselves? However, the greatest dilemma arises from this. How might a person know what is true and good? How is it possible for a person to declare morality or immorality? How has this person the authority and even the audacity to countermand their own nature without knowing that what they do is right, good, and true? This stage of knowledge is the most important development in the history of humanity. The fact that the person realizes
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Continued on page 7
St. John, pray for us!
The Price of Truth Freedom of speech is no longer free. It comes with a hefty price tag, at least for non-profit organizations and their representatives. One of our beloved T.O.R. friars had to print a public apology in Christ the King Chapelâ€™s weekly bulletin because of his comments regarding the upcoming presidential election during a recent homily. He made certain remarks that could have given the impression that he was endorsing the Republican candidate. He stated his own opinion with passion and humor, saying nothing untrue. At the conclusion of his homily, the congregation applauded. Yet his homily was considered dangerous. Why? Because the authorities believed his homily could potentially jeopardize the tax-exempt status of Franciscan University of Steubenville. Priests, pastors, and rabbis throughout the United States of America must cautiously avoid saying anything in public that could be taken as endorsement of a political candidate. Endorse-
ment of a political candidate could cost their organization a fortuneâ€”in taxes. Generously enough, the government does not require documented, licensed, certified non-profit organizations to pay taxes. But this is an allowance that comes with many conditions. By filing the paperwork to become a non-profit in the United States, an organization surrenders some degree of its independence. It agrees to abide by certain rules or else start paying taxes and lose its credibility and, probably, its donors. The United States of America is the only country with something like the First Amendment. Yet this freedom that the Constitution grants to all United States citizens has been abridged. It could be argued that the government has made rules limiting the First Amendment for good reason. Government limits on freedom of the press forbid child pornography, for example. But when does the federal government cross the line? In Canada, it is illegal for a priest,
pastor, or rabbi to speak out against homosexual marriages in public. If they do so, their organization will lose its tax exempt status. Is that where America is headed? Of course, pastors would still have the option of speaking outâ€”but only if they are willing to take the consequences, accepting a kind of financial martyrdom. It will be left to each individual person to choose either the loud truth and punishment, or silence and security. This is, albeit indirectly, a choice each American citizen will make this Election Day. Should the government be given more power or less? If schools are given federal funding, how much power will the federal government have over what teachers and students are allowed to do and say? How far do you want the federal government to go?
No death threats, love sonnets, etc? Try again.
Voting Outside the Box, from page 1
chances are a presidential candidate's stance on life issues is anything but random – it's probably the single most important manifestation of his whole underlying philosophy. The Constitution states that the government has a responsibility to protect "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." But apparently it couldn't tell us precisely which life, what kind of liberty, or which type of happiness! These questions have come to be answered through Presidents', legislators', and supreme court justices' philosophies about man – whether in accord with the truth about man or not in accord with it. A person's philosophy is what unifies one's thought and grounds how one acts, so if a candidate shows significant contempt for life issues – life being the foremost of responsibilities entrusted to the protection of the state – this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. This philosophy is likely to pervade and inform this politicians' every decision. Furthermore, voting for a Presidential candidate is more than voting for a single man – it's voting for the man who will appoint the supreme court justices and put together a whole administration of countless government officials with a like-minded philosophy. Thus it seems the language of "single issue voting" is after all quite misleading. Perhaps we should speak instead of "overall philosophy screening." Now you might object that in practice the culture of life philosophy does not imbue all ProLife candidates' political vision.
St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!
“Thus it seems the language of ‘single issue voting’ is after all quite misleading. Perhaps we should speak instead of ‘overall philosophy screening.’” This is unfortunate, however these candidates in general do tend to be more supportive of traditional and religious values while most ProChoice candidates, while sometimes offering attractive views on social issues, are doing so because they are driven by secular postmodernist philosophy which is antithetical to traditional values and only resembles Catholic social teaching on the surface. What is Barack Obama's underlying philosophy? While addressing a liberal Christian group in Washington, the senator dared to turn to an obscure passage in Leviticus on Old Covenant dietary law in order to demonstrate that the Bible is an unreliable resource for governing a society. Further, his US Senate website documents that, in the same speech, he dismissed the Sermon on the Mount as unrealistic. Poor theology aside, this should give us a good glimpse at what kind of engine would be under the hood of a future Obama Administration – one operating on the principles of a post-modern and anti-values philosophy. You might also object that since more philosophically sound third party candidates may exist, we should vote for them if we are to keep a clean conscience. Now if the FUS students were to select any major American politician to be the next President, surely they
would choose Senator Sam Brownback from Kansas. But Senator Brownback himself, when he was here in September, urged us to vote on the principle of electability over strict fundamentals. Thus Brownback is not only a support of Senator McCain but is the head of national Catholics for McCain. John McCain pledges his support to most Pro-Life issues and promised to appoint Pro-Life judges to the supreme court. We are already encouraged by his selection of the Pro-Life governor of Alaska – Sarah Palin – as his running mate and look to more similar appointments in the future. McCain is running as a generally Pro-Life candidate, but the question for us is this: are we going to let life issues get walked over because we vote for a third party candidate we know has no power to actually affect life issues on a national level and hence be responsible for an Obama victory in November, or are we going to vote for one of the two nominees who will exert many times more influence on a national and international level in favor of life issues? The catechism doesn't say "It's a sin to vote for a Pro-Choice candidate." Rather, we have principles on life issues which we are entrusted to defend, and voting for a Pro-Choice candidate when a major Pro-Life candidate exists would undermine life issues in the election. We can't just sit back and get walked over this November. We must be prudent in making our vote count for those values for we have a responsibility to uphold. ~MJR
St. Teresa of Avila, pray for us!
Pop Culture Seminar
“Klaatu barada nikto” —The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
SWOP Worker Ode from page 1
For you see, these workers know how good the jobs are and hold on to them with a deadly grip. And who could blame them? The mere idea of being paid to do your schoolwork is ingenious and utterly irresistible. Yes, so they answer the phone sometimes, asks students to show their ID, do a little filing, and are pried from their comfy swivel chairs to refill the printer with paper once and a while, but who wouldn’t do that for ability
Average of the World from page 4
that they cannot comprehend how they reached such a conclusion, and admitted based upon it that they were wrong and are wrong in desiring it, points to a higher value, standard, or truth in life. This person then actualizes this revelation by actively seeking this more absolute truth while abstaining from the wrongful lulls of their nature precisely because they know it is wrong.
to study and do homework for 75% of their “work” hours. And get paid to do so! Plus, if they don’t have any homework to do, they can watch movies and play computer games! That, as my fleißig father would say, is a sweet gig. I, being the naïve student of the world that I am, somehow always get myself in a paying position in which I actually have to do work. Not only that but I have chosen for myself a profession
that reputedly requires you to do over 60 hours a week for the first two years of your employment.
In this we see that knowledge is all powerful and that the one who has the knowledge has the truth and thus, the search for truth has always been the quest of mankind to the point where they are willing to die in order to defend their truth or obtain the truth of others. It should then be more surprising that in the world of today, knowledge has been usurped and overthrown by wealth as
proof of righteousness and absoluteness. Instead of seeking truth, the average of the world today discards, hides, and flees from truth as if it were a matter of a right to be ignorant; and that is precisely what makes truth terrifying to the average of the world today.
What, you may ask yourself, was she thinking? If you ever find the answer to that question, please come and tell me. I will be waiting in the computer lab. ~AL
The Illegal Immigration Secret Fear of terrorist infiltration and growing concern over the large numbers of immigrants, mostly Hispanic, who manage to avoid detection and arrive in the United States each year are sure to make illegal immigration an issue in the 2008 presidential campaigns. There is something disconcerting in the thought that the United States government cannot keep people out of the country even if it wants to. But are we sure the government wants to keep illegal immigrants out? Considering all the fuss that is made about border security, this might seem like an incredibly foolish question to ask. Interestingly, however, it would be comparatively easy for the government to find and deport illegal immigrants, once here. While it is true that some immigrants work lessthan-minimum-wage “under the table” jobs, most work quasi-legally using false social security numbers that really belong to citizens. These illegal men and women have to pay income tax and contribute to social security like the rest of us. The I.R.S. could simply check their records to see which people were paying social security two or more times. Then illegal immigrants could be discovered and deported. So why doesn't the government do this? It would be bad for the economy. I remember textbooks predicting that within a few years, social security would be bankrupt. After the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, coupled with the increasing
popularity of contraception, the population was dropping. Sociologists knew that the decreased birth rates would have disastrous effects on the economy. There were more old people retiring, disabled and unemployed than young people taking jobs and paying into social security. I was assured that by the time I was ready to retire, there would be no retirement money left for little old me or anyone else in my generation. Sociologists were partly right: the population has decreased. The native population, that is. The population as a whole has not suffered, and the social security system is flourishing. The millions of immigrants—legal and illegal—who make their homes here are good for the economy, and the government knows it. That being so, one might wonder why the government doesn’t just grant illegal immigrants legal status and allow them to stay here. After all, that is what the immigrants want, and it would benefit our economy. But just think how much more profitable illegal immigrants would be to us if they paid into social security without drawing any benefits. Suppose we let them stay here and work for a while, several years perhaps, and then we deport them. That way, even if they sneak back into the United States, they will not be able to hold a steady job and they will not receive any retirement benefits, thus leaving all the benefits for us. It is a brilliant plan—as
long as no one objects to exploiting human persons for money. The immigration issue, when viewed in this light, threatens to become an issue of human rights. Needless to say, those who wish to take advantage of illegal immigrants are not keen on having this point of view become popular. It is much more to their advantage to focus the controversy on other aspects of illegal immigration, primarily its glaringly obvious illegality, so that the immigrants appear to be unjust aggressors and the rest of us an honest, hard-working nation that is being taken advantage of. I am fully aware that a government’s first priority must be to protect its own citizens, and that the threat of terrorism is real. I would venture to say, however, that if America could regain her once genuine respect for the “inalienable rights” of man, the illegal immigration problem would disappear. Unfortunately, in our increasingly materialistic society, wealth and profit have come to be seen as the end result of a successful “pursuit of happiness.” Don DeMarco wrote in The Anesthetic Society: “Money is a more intoxicating myth than paradise because of the relative immediacy with which its redemption takes place.” But money is a dangerous dream to pursue, since in that vision men come to be viewed as mere expendable means to an end.