Narcissism and Love



Andrew Klavan’s beloved dog is dying and he springboards that sad fact for a powerful meditation on a media that mourns a dead lion while attempting to conceal the deeds of Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc., that traffics in the body parts of some of its victims:

Narcissism should not be confused with self love, no matter what the dictionary tells you. Narcissism grows out of a sense that the self is fragile, that it will shatter in the presence of hostility or even bland contradiction. True love of self, used wisely, is a virtue. True love of self is the school of our affections. The Gospels tell us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves because it’s in true self love that we first learn forbearance, tolerance and kindness to someone very dear to us. With true love of self as a guide, our love for our pets can be a perfect training ground for a love of others.

In this, the love of animals is very like another kind of love: the love of a mother for her baby. That love, too, has a measure of narcissism in it. That love too attaches itself at first to a creature with no inner consciousness of its own.

 But a good mother knows that people don’t just live in space, they live in time as well. (This is the great point Peter Singer misses, by the way.) You are not just who you are, but also who you’ve been and who you will be. Likewise, a fetus is not just the creature it is, it is also the child it will become, and likewise the child is the adult it will grow into. A mother who lets the love for her baby grow as the baby grows, who learns to release her child into its own consciousness and yet loves it still even on into adulthood — she is the nearest exemplar to the gospel commandment we have this side of heaven. That’s why — no matter how many female soccer stars and talk show hosts and corrupt senators the media hold up for our veneration — the Good Mother remains our chief human image of love, sacrifice and virtue.

Narcissism or the golden rule; Cecil the lion or America’s murdered babies; to dance round the golden calf of our own egos or to worship in the temple of true love. In the media these last couple of weeks, we’ve seen what choice the powers-that-be would have us make. Let’s make another.

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  1. Thank God for perspective from reality.
    It sickening to see this time after time. A complete non-story to take the place of news of significance. The liberial Media Mobsters struck again. Short changing the American public and directing the attention of the viewers to drink arsenic instead of upholding their fiduciary responsibility.

    Thanks for Klavan’s message this morning.

    Our Good Mother leads us to everlasting waters of Life. Thanks be to God.

  2. “Narcissism should not be confused with self love, no matter what the dictionary tells you. “
    Perhaps, we should consult the Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. “”I” is the first letter of the alphabet, the first word of the language, the first thought of the mind, the first object of the affections. In grammar it is a pronoun of the first person and singular number. Its plural is said to be “We,” but how there can be more than one myself is doubtless clearer to the grammarians than it is to the author of this incomparable dictionary. Conception of two myselves is difficult, but fine. The frank yet graceful use of “I” distinguishes a good author from a bad; the latter carries it with the manner of a thief trying to cloak his loot.”

  3. Killing the lion who was a threat to no one was wrong. Killing innocent, defenseless children is infinitely more wrong.

  4. Killing the lion who was a threat to no one was wrong”
    Was it wrong because it was not a threat? Or because it was a lion? I’m wondering who cries for cows and chickens. I’m having a ham sandwich for lunch.

  5. Oh boy, here we go again. If I hunt and kill a deer or a moose or a turkey or a boar (hopefully without ccausing unnecessary suffering – a quick and decisive kill is best), and then use its flesh to provide food for my family, or in the case of a deer or similar animal use its hide to provide clothing for my family, then that is all well and good. If a lion or a tiger or a bear or a cougar or smiilar animal is attacking human beings and I kill the attacker, then that too is all well and good.
    But if my ego needs just one more trophy please and I discard into refuse the flesh and the hide (how one can eat a lion’s flesh or employ its hide for clothing I do not know), but use the severed head as evidence of my jungle safari prowess, then I am an ass of a man and a waster of God’s good resources.
    Now none of this compares to the torture by dismemberment and live vivisection of an unborn baby which Planned Parenthood routinely performs. The man who killed Cecil the lion should get some jail time and some mandatory community service (perhaps at a jungle preserve while disarmed). The man who murders unborn babies however merits the punishment visited on his Nazi forbearers who did the same thing in the concentration camps of WWII. There is a difference in degree of wrongness here. The first doesn’t adequately compare with the heinousness of the second. But that doesn’t make the first any less wrong than it really is. We are called upon to be stewards of the environment just as we are called upon to be loving parents. Both require personal responsibility and accountability.

  6. Paul,
    I do not follow trophy hunting. The hunter may do nothing with it, but the processor might make sausage or animal feed. Some hunters do eat wild game. This type of hunting is not new.
    I am not one against mink coats, bear rugs, lion blankets, or squashing bugs. However, I have a problem if the animal population is low. Poaching is a crime. Hunters should abide by the laws which govern what, when, and where one can hunt.
    I completely agree with your PP assessment. Monsters. People used to scratch their heads wondering how people neighboring concentration camps could possibly turn a blind a eye. I ask the same of too many Americans today.

  7. Kyle,
    I am opposed to trophy hunting. Now if someone kills a lion because he has become a threat to the local people, or because the people in the local village may make use of the lion’s hide, or whatever, and the killing does not reduce the local lion population below viability, then that is all fine and good. Eat or otherwise make good use of what you kill. Don’t waste the providence which God provides. However, as I understand it, the dentist who killed Cecil the lion was after another trophy. This wasn’t a case of protecting villagers or even providing a rug for someone’s living room (though there are less expensive and more environmentally benign ways of providing said rug).
    As for those who perform live vivisection on pre-born babies, you know where I stand about that. The Lord’s mercy for those babies will one day be the undoing of us all.

  8. Animal trophies are a natural part of our Southern Culture. They are on office walls of lawyers & administrators & restaurants, and homes–all over the place!! Not only are they part of our culture, I think they are absolutely beautiful. If you have not seen a well preserved pheasant, then you are missing one of the most beautiful displays of God’s artwork on the face of the Earth.

    It is my understanding that any lion meat from such hunts as this dentist was on is required to be given to the locals for food. The money from the hunts provides jobs for locals as well as finding wild life conservation efforts.

    Hunting raises money needed for conservation of the animals being hunted & the environment in which they live (hence saving other species as well.). Hunting also helps to manage over population of given species (deer for instance here in AR.). When animals such as deer become too great in number, there is not enough food for them all which results in unnecessary suffering through starvation, sickness & disease, and death by predators taking advantage of animals in their weakened conditions. Here in AR, every year, hunters give hundreds of pounds of dear meat to charities which provide the free, high quality protein to the poor of our state for sustenance.

    I have been greatly amused by the horror surrounding “baiting” of an animal. One animal rights extremist became personally insulting with me when I pointed out to her that traps of all kinds are “baited,” and even hooks ate baited in order to get fish to bite a hook. Corn feeders are “baiting” deer.

  9. Let me say, before I post the following link re: the hunting of lions, that I am livid those idiots killed a protected line. The nationals who were involved in that business should have the law book thrown at them because they knew better than what they did. Now, having said that, let me say that the feelings that I have re: the mutilation, torture, & selling of babies are so deep and so horrific that I don’t have the means in the English language to express them.

    Now, here is a relevant article about the necessity of hunting lions from the NT Times.

    Since this incident with the dentist is obviously being used by national & international animal rights extremists to push their political agenda, I am expecting a push for national legislation to stop Americans from going abroad & hunting and/ or bringing any part of their hunted animal home to the US with them.

  10. Phillip said: “The liberial Media Mobsters struck again.”

    Just one animal rights extremist organization here in the US has billion dollar assets with which to push their political agendas through stories like what happened with this protected lion. They have big time PR & advertising departments.

  11. “Was it wrong because it was not a threat? Or because it was a lion? I’m wondering who cries for cows and chickens. I’m having a ham sandwich for lunch.”

    Animal rights extremists, who ate pushing this lion story, religiously believe that to own or kill any animal is the same thing as owning or killing a human. I am NOT making this up. When it comes down to it, the animals are usually placed above humans in importance. Hence judges destroying thousands of acres of CA farm land & driving multigenerational farms, which grow food people need to eat, by denying them water–to save a few small fish.

  12. I am livid those idiots killed a protected li[on]. The nationals who were involved in that business should have the law book thrown at them because they knew better than what they did.

    What they’re alleged to have done.

  13. Ernest Said: “What they’re alleged to have done”

    Thank you, Ernest for the correction. If anyone should know that false accusations are regularly made re: animals by the media, it should be me. Sometimes, even I forget.

    One of my close friends had her horse ranch raided in 2010 by animal rights extremists under the color of law–she was charged with 25 felony counts of animal cruelty–all charges had to be dropped & her animals returned to her legal custody after 18 months & tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. All kinds of false allegations were made against her in the media. This friend is the only person in the US of whom I am aware who has received all of her animals back in relatively good health & has had all of the charges against her dropped. She is one tough bird!

    Another man I know, who owned a huge farm & sale barn business was raided by the same animal rights extremist orgs–they walked off with $325,000 worth of livestock belonging to 7 people from 3 states. Again there were all kinds of false, horrid accusations made in the media & on line re: this poor man. Again, after 4 years of legal tangling, around 100 counts of animal cruelty including some felonies had to be dropped.

    Another friend of mine, a dog breeder, who took her case all the way to our state supreme court after about 3 years of legal wrangling received right at 200 of her dogs back from a county “humane” society who had held them against a judges order for an extended period of time. Horrendous accusations were made against her in the media & on all kinds of online forums.

    Etc., etc., etc.

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