Sunday, July 05, 2015

Throuples/polygamy, "The Dukes of Hazzard," racists' rights, and more

  • Mass: Dominus fortitudo plebis suae. Anglican processional and recessional; white-gloved altar boys loudly ringing two sanctus bells. Yep, that's my parish. Part of America as if the Sixties never happened; not primarily what church is for but, like ethnic pride at church, legitimate.
  • A new home for St. Callistus. From a West Philadelphia parish closed and merged with us. We managed to cram another statue into our space to welcome neighboring Catholics who've lost their church home. That loss is common here in the American Northeast as we keep getting the effect of Vatican II and the rest of the Sixties cave-in; our white numbers are cratering just like the mainline Protestants'. We've squandered our financial and social capital gotten before the council; now the institution's crumbling. (Our archbishops probably won't be cardinals anymore; the Archdiocese of Philadelphia just isn't that important now.) We won't disappear, just bottom out, and end up conservative again. (Resurrection.)
  • My town's Fourth of July parade. The American Revolution was wrong as is Obergefell v. Hodges (some conservatives are becoming "anti-American" about Independence Day, etc., because of it); that said, love of your community and country are normal. America before 1973 arguably had become the greatest country in history, a fine home for the church. (Catholicism peaked here around 1960, scaring Northern Protestants.) The libertarian pose to look cool, of belittling such patriotism (a lot like the left when the government doesn't do what it wants: terrorists such as Bill Ayers, for example), is part of libertarianism's problem, denying there are such things as society and the common good. Related: we're not really a propositional nation; in a way we're still British, although non-British Isles folk are welcome (so hooray of course for Italian and Slavic immigration, for example). The beautiful old Protestant church is in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
  • Catching up with Fr. Longenecker:
    • In Catholicism, "everything's connected." Of course America's Protestant (British) culture doesn't get it.
    • His buck-up post-Obergefell post. It's woken up conservative Christians to the fact that meeting the liberals' on liberalism's terms is self-defeating, and America's most important churches (Catholic, United Methodist, and Southern Baptist) aren't supporting this; the right kind of ecumenism. (By the way, like the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church, American Eastern Orthodoxy has dissent.) By the way, I've been told that one of our system's checks and balances is Congress can overrule this. But considering the thoroughness of the Sixties' victory, so that Republicans aren't really conservative, it probably won't.
    • "Casual Catholicism." Well-meant criticism with a point but we're not a perfectionistic cult. We never were. There are degrees of involvement in the church. A hospital for sinners as some say. Reminds me of a story I recently read from Mount Athos (not my favorite place from what I read): the tale of the drunk monk. Visitors complained about him but when he died, the angels took him to heaven. Because while we on earth just saw a man sinning, only God saw the spiritual progress he was making, overcoming that sin. Anyway, I've long been a moderate about this stuff: decorum in the sanctuary (why rites and rubrics exist, literally so the ministers don't bump into each other, and why the Tridentine Mass and the Byzantine Liturgy are better than the Novus Ordo), "come as you are" for the laity, up to a pretty lenient point. One of my anecdotes: the local SSPX parish, St. Jude's, Eddystone, at Christmas. Brought home to me that Christianity isn't limited to one rite or culture. Standing-room-only, with folding chairs cluttering the aisles. I saw the true breadth of the church: "The Catholic Church: here comes everybody." Biker chicks in denim pinning mantillas on their heads and bringing their kids. That we're at heart "judgmental" is a liberal lie. (You must not know many if any Catholic ethnics.) Pre-conciliar Catholicism isn't a club for the goody-two-shoes; it's for everyone.
    • Of course the Episcopalians chose gay marriage. The common knowledge is false in the details but "meta" true: "the king created Anglicanism to get a divorce and remarry." Pedantry: no, he did it to get an annulment he didn't deserve. Actually for centuries the Anglicans still taught the same thing about marriage (except sort of denying it's a sacrament) regarding indissolubility that we do; divorced Anglicans didn't get church weddings (why King Edward VIII had to abdicate; the Church of England said no way). Look what one seemingly small lie did. Meanwhile, interestingly, Anglicanism is going extinct in the Anglosphere (unless demographics reverse, it will be gone here in this century); it will survive as conservative but definitely Protestant African. (White liberals are fun to watch when blacks contradict them.)
    • An article celebrates a "throuple." The man's a pickup-artist instructor (for money?) so he's not exactly unbiased, and we can't confirm his story about his background, but it's safe to say game works. (It doesn't have to be sociopathic; it's just social skills, a tool for good or ill.) Except for the straight-porny girl-on-girl aspect, this seems like a reversion both to Old Testament polygamy and paganism. Which leads to the question: why ban polygamy? (Society has an interest in traditional marriage because, unlike other arrangements, it benefits the community.) Getting back to the manosphere, in an ancient-minded society (but not a Christian one) this fellow might have been a true alpha (per Rob Fedders), a pillar of the community, building it; today, he seems more a Roissyan alpha, a sociopath disrupting the community. (They DO attract women, which is how they're disruptive, breaking up families, etc. That stuff about the dark side of femininity is true.) Which relates to the common objection to polygamy in Christian societies; it's usually abusive (Warren Jeffs) as well as disruptive (why the early Mormons were kicked out of every American town they settled in).
    • Freedom and responsibility. Libertarianism is wrong when it ignores responsibilities. From Fr. L's own experience as a father of teenagers.
  • "The Dukes of Hazzard." TV Land was going to cancel showing it. Collateral damage from the left's latest witch hunt: "BAD flag! Look what it made that boy in Charleston do!" I wasn't a regular viewer but as far as I know that dumb show (wasting fine, irreplaceable cars on jump stunts) never said a rude word, literally or figuratively, about blacks. The real issue is the Wrong Kind of Whites, whom the Right Kind is warring, aren't allowed to have ANY ethnic pride. Photo: The best of a few General Lee clones I've seen. Saw this autographed one again in Vineland, NJ. The recent classic-car show in Aston, Pa., in the heart of Catholic ethnic Delaware County, was an unexpected "Little Dixie" (country music playing) with a General Lee too and it was great. So what's next? Banning and expunging "The Andy Griffith Show"? It's about Southerners and there are no blacks in it; BURN IT! Don't want to give the loonies any ideas.
  • Which reminds me. It seems to me, within America's golden era (roughly 1937 to the Sixties' conquest of Middle America around 1973), really embarrassing, demeaning depictions of blacks, carryovers from the 1800s (minstrel shows), ended around the '40s (was its ending a reaction to Nazism?). (And some of it wasn't demeaning; it just mirrored reality then. "Tom & Jerry," for example, had a black maid, voiced by a black woman, because there were many such. That's an embarrassment with which the Right Kind of Whites want to shame the rest of us.) Middle America really wanted to make things right with blacks. As John Derbyshire has noted, by the Kennedy era the commonest depiction of blacks was the Noble Negro; Sidney Poitier (not an American, by the way; he's a British knight thanks to his Caribbean country, Bimini), for example. As with the rest of the culture; the Sixties made hash of that so you had blaxploitation (celebrating negative stereotypes?!). Much of the dog work for civil rights began in the '50s. By the way, the problem with that movement, which is why all principled conservatives opposed it, was, often with good intent, it set the dangerous precedent of placing feelings above rule of law. "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" as a private business. For example, a bakery is not like a city bus; you have no "right" to its services. Because the owner has rights too. Freedom of association: you might be a jerk, and foolish for turning away paying customers, but that's your right.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

On not getting hysterical about Obergefell and more

  • Traditional (ancient-minded) society case study: MGTOW's Sandman on Amish women (and Mennonites). Very misunderstood of course. Amish and conservative Mennonites don't think or pretend it's the early 1800s. Everything they do or not is based on whether their bishops (not in the sense of apostolic succession) think it would unite or break up the religious community, which is why some modern technology's allowed, the kind depending on the group. Samuel Johnson: traditionally, "nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little." Also, compare this to ancient-minded societies that are very sexual, Catholic ones: Italian and Hispanic.
  • Feedback on my reaction to Obergefell v. Hodges: "It's not so bad, really." Gay marriage is legal in many other Western countries, yet, despite this, Christianity continues to exist. I don't see why Americans have to act like SSM's legality here (already a reality in 38 states before the SCOTUS decision last week) Is it a harbinger of the apocalypse? I don't agree with the decision, but a lot of this doomsday talk among Christians (at least online) Is starting to sound like hysteria. To me, it's just another in the long list of things that the government/media complex tries to impose on me which I disagree with. I understand but I don't think I sound apocalyptic. This is not news; the country we love died around 1973. I remember the change. The debate among conservative Christians on how to survive in the new America, over things such as Rod Dreher's Benedict Option (formerly granola or crunchy conservatism), pre-dates Obergefell v. Hodges by many years. What's really dystopian about this latest development is how unscientific (from people who used to pride themselves on being scientific, accusing conservatives of being anti-science) and thus medically as well as societally dangerous it is. (Related, although most transsexuals aren't gay: The only people allowed to admit Bruce Jenner's still a man, which would still be so even if he has the complete surgery, are doctors and even they can't publicly.) It's even gotten to the point of officially falsifying records: people retconning their lives to literally rewrite their birth certificates. Apparently it's now "hatred" and thus thoughtcrime to affirm that ultimately only a real man and a real woman can make a baby. Plus, the Neuhaus principle: optional orthodoxy isn't orthodoxy; soon it's banned.
  • It’s when online conservatives start quoting the so-called "visionaries" ... that’s when they lose all credibility. Of course in Catholicism signs and wonders have their place but actually much less so than most people think. The church is very cautious about accepting them. Much of our faith is cold, hard Aristotelian reason as filtered through the Schoolmen, not hysteria or warm fuzzies. So conservative Catholics are unlikely to follow some political "visionary" too.

Friday, July 03, 2015

On not selling out, and more

  • Is the culture war a lost cause? Mr. Brooks’ advice is deeply misguided, but attractively so by its appeal to practicality, pathos and pride. His culture-war plan is not for Christians but for those wishing to obtain the peace of the world and human respect.
  • Kathy Shaidle: Libertarians are just low-tax liberal conformists obsessed with weed and embracing the latest p.c. fads.
  • Rather than rescue traditional Christians and conservatives from the dark, feral, snarling forces of culture perfectly expressing masculine sexual potency, the Benedict Option seems more poised to launch an internecine culture war within the ranks of those traditional Christians and other conservatives themselves. Isn't that what the sin of schism is about?
  • Back in '94. The making of Dylann Roof.
  • Reasons to hate "Seinfeld." The most overrated television show in American history for two reasons. (A) It wasn’t funny. (B) Every great American sitcom, from "I Love Lucy" (golden-era America but I don't like slapstick) down to "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (yes, it was quintessentially golden-era, it had heart, it was funny, and it had Mary Tyler Moore in her sexy prime right when fashion was at its most flattering) down to "Friends" (I hate it; basically it was "Sex and the City" and "Girls" watered down for free TV in '94; damnable messages) down to quirky recent sitcoms like "Community" (yes, and it understood nerds; not condescending crap like "The Big Bang Theory": let's put on funny clothes and funny voices and rabbit on about science; that's what you people do, right?) had one thing in common. At the end of the day, their characters liked each other. Push came to shove, they had each other’s backs. (Why people love "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"; the fantasy of your work acquaintances as family. Actually, work is the Army, hierarchical and task-oriented, but anyway.) I never got that from "Seinfeld." Indeed, as I saw it, the four main characters really didn’t know each other at all and never interacted with each other in any meaningful way; they might have been four strangers mindlessly repeating their stupid, unfunny lines. As someone at Takimag wrote, that mean-spirited "show about nothing" is rocket fuel for anti-Semitism, and they're proud of that? Maybe it's "we've arrived so you can't stop us." Much like blaxploitation, which I don't get either. You accomplish so much fighting to exercise your rights, then you throw it away on negative stereotypes?! (Vs. the commonest golden-era, mid-century depiction of blacks, the Noble Negro as Derb says, basically every Sidney Poitier role; think Lt. Uhura too. Nice Cold War liberal Jack Webb pushed that on all his shows too.) By the way, it isn't always like that: another Jew, Carl Reiner, created "The Dick Van Dyke Show" based on his own life.

Catholics, Methodists, and Southern Baptists: The old Middle America isn't dead

  • Another post sort of about same-sex marriage: Looking at its churches, Middle America's on life support, having survived the Sixties takeover around 1973 but obviously defeated. But still with impressive numbers, though apparently a minority. Let's look at America's churches. The biggest and thus most important ones STILL oppose gay marriage. Number one in every respect except size when counted against all Protestants together, the Catholic Church. That opposition will never officially change; it's impossible according to our teachings. But as everyone who's seen the mainstream news knows, "Survey Says." There is huge dissent among nominal Catholics, who go along with the mainstream. Catholics who still go to Mass are more likely to agree with the church. (Becoming more and more so again as the old liberals die and the young who don't believe just leave. We will be the great Cardinal Spellman's church again, but in miniature.) The Sixties including Vatican II eliminated Catholicism as a threat to the American way, the, ignorant, do-it-your-way, Protestant way; it fulfilled American Protestants' dream of swallowing up, assimilating, the country's huge Catholic minority. (From the news: Fordham's not really Catholic anymore.) Let's look at the mainline Protestants, once America's backbone, the country's founders. Few surprises: the small but once prestigious pillars of WASP high society have dominoed. Once at first place, the Episcopalians, AND their ethnic-Scottish runner-up, the PC(USA) Presbyterians. The big episcopalianized (semi-merged) Lutheran denomination, ELCA (the old Scandinavian immigrant synods), is on board too. All three have gay marriage as a local option, meaning local ministers, and Episcopal dioceses, bishops, can refuse. (The Neuhaus principle: optional orthodoxy isn't orthodoxy.) The Congregationalism of the Pilgrims, the United Church of Christ, is the most liberal; I've been told there's no opting out. But America's biggest mainline denomination, the United Methodist Church, is still officially opposed, but with widespread dissent much like American Catholicism. And let's head to the South: the Southern Baptist Convention of course says no. So, Catholics, Methodists, and Southern Baptists: that sounds like a big chunk of the country. The social-justice warriors, the Christian heretics of the white elite who are really fighting this civil war (not the gays themselves; they're too small), have their work cut out for them. The old Middle America's not down for the count (and no, we don't want to pick on gays; we want to live and let live). By the way, a tiny religious minority, America's Eastern Orthodox bishops, speaking through their conference, predictably are on the right side, speaking like the estranged Catholic true bishops they are. (If any non-Orthodox Americans noticed that, the Jews made up another Polack joke on the spot, and the boomer WASPs said, "Let me hear you say, 'Chizburger chizburger,' bishops, ha ha.")
  • My usual American Independence Day ramble. Regular readers know: George III, our Christian king, was right. Moving right along: is the Special Relationship real or was it just Harold Macmillan's wishful thinking? (Or before that, a way to sucker America into World War II, which it sensibly should have sat out. Even before that, the anglophiles, progressives, were hawks for World War I. A Protestant crusade to wipe out Catholic Europe.) I've read that it was his way of trying to still run the empire, trying to be a wise old tutor giving the Americans advice; the Americans such as Kennedy thought he was a pest.
  • Canada: What might have been? If America had stayed in the empire, might British America have become a Burkean Tory society I might have liked? (Bring back the Red Ensign.) Or was the liberalization of the British world (so American anglophiles tend to be lefty snobs, europhiles, not conservatives who love the royals) inevitable because of the "Reformation," furthered by the "Enlightenment" of which our rebellion was a part? (It was really the continuation of the Seven Years' War, the perennial rivalry between Britain and France; royal France supported the rebels to spite its old enemy.) I've long thought, since Canada got more but worse, mostly unusable arctic, land than the U.S. eventually took, its little socialist paradise is really parasitic, living off the big, bad capitalist dynamo of the U.S. while thinking it's better than us. National health care? (Which the American Catholic bishops have wanted since 1919; political opinions aren't doctrine.) Easy to do when you have a much smaller population than the U.S., which lives mostly right on the U.S. border where the best land is. Canada could survive without us (it has a breadbasket, its Midwest, the Prairie Provinces, and other resources) but would be much poorer.
  • Probably clickbait, but: White professor calls for white mass suicide because of slavery guilt. Let me translate: "For thee (hey, that's a sin: "Othering!") but not for me." "You jump first." They wish all conservative whites would just die already. They'd still rule the world with their token black friends and grateful nonwhite underclass for them to benevolently rule, or so they really think; dumbasses. Pride goeth before a fall. And/or: hipster's trying to get some caramel sugar. Hey, I hear Rachel Doležal's available.
  • George Takei mouths off, calling Clarence Thomas "a clown in blackface." Fine, George. Rachel Doležal's black because she probably buys into your ideology and Clarence Thomas is not. Happy? Dare I say, gay? Oh, and your show was just a pretentious version of "Gilligan's Island."
  • Can't scare the Hair. I like Donald Trump. Maybe his campaign is just a publicity stunt and he's probably on the wrong side of much culture-wars stuff but the left hates him and he's not backing down. By the way, César Chavez opposed illegal immigration and I'm part Hispanic.
  • Speaking of the right kind of anglophiles (Catholic AND "the English way"; as with me, Catholicism in English speaks to them with the idiom, not the content, of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer), the two ordinariate parishes in the Philadelphia area are thinking about merging, so "St. James the Less, Jr.," St. Michael's now meeting at a parish church in Northeast Philly, and "Good Shepherd, Jr.," Blessed John Henry Newman meeting at a parish church in Strafford, would unite at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Bridgeport. Recently went to Mass at Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin, NJ, where they've modified the Leonine prayers so when the vigil Low Mass ends around 6, they pray the Angelus. I said the collect from the 1928 BCP (which it uses for the Annunciation, translated from a Latin collect, I think from the Gelasian sacramentary) from memory. Honoring some good people past and present.
  • Photo: Revolutionary War re-enactors in Mount Holly, NJ. Actually some redcoats were Americans, hono(u)rable people. (No revolution, no Noah Webster spite spelling.) The Loyalists who settled what became Canada.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Derb on f*cked-up people, and more

  • Gay marriage in America: what should the church do? Just like it should with heresy and abortion, excommunicate leaders, in this case, Catholic politicians and judges, who push this. Anything more extreme would backfire. Putting America under interdict, for example. Just like in Elizabethan England, it would make every Catholic in the country a target, by the government; a death warrant, maybe even literally. Still a question: pushed against the wall, will accommodationist churchmen such as, maybe, Archbishop Cupich actually leave the church? Maybe subtly go into schism ("redefine/clarify our relationship" with Rome) to form a puppet American Catholic Church as some said they would in the '70s.
  • Integralism visits First Things? One good thing about this whole mess is it seems to have woken up such polite conservatives to the fact that trying to meet the liberals on the liberals' terms, the idea behind Vatican II, doesn't work. They're starting to say things only "Lefebvrists" used to.
  • Episcopalians now allow actual homosexual weddings. Not news. Aren't they supposed to be somewhat conservative compared with other pseudo-Christian Protestant sects? "Talk to John; he was an Episcopalian at one time." Born Episcopal because my dad married an Episcopalian and joined, but he came back to the Catholic Church providentially two years before he passed away. First, to be fair, unlike Unitarians, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and arguably Oneness Pentecostals, offshoots of Protestantism that are no longer Christian, Protestant sects are still Christian. Gay marriage doesn't change that; denying the content of the creeds does. (Some Protestant denominations are non-credal but still Christian; it's implied.) Second, growing up in the culturally pre-Sixties Episcopal Church, "that's what I used to think." We thought we were Catholic too, partly because we had bishops (hence the name Episcopal). The Anglo-Catholic parishes (a movement going back to the 1800s; either "we want to be Roman but recognize our orders" or "we're just as good as Rome and don't need it") existed because Episcopalianism is semi-congregational; parishes, but not missions, had much autonomy, so the rector (parish priest) and the vestry (parish council), which chooses the rector, were essentially their own Pope. That's how/why some Episcopal churches were a hedge against liberalism when I was a kid; why I'm pre-Vatican II. Now of course it's among the most liberal denominations in a liberal field, mainline Protestantism. I think only the United Church of Christ, what the Congregational Church of the Pilgrims has become, is more liberal, almost caught up with its Unitarian splinter. (The "Enlightenment" hit English Calvinists, including the partly Calvinist Anglicans, hard. America's founding fathers were basically unbelievers.)
  • Derb: Avoid f*cked-up people. Taking the lefties' "Mean People Suck" from around 20 years ago and turning it on its head.
  • Female lefty illogic that would make Mr. Spock famously raise an eyebrow: damned if you do, damned if you don't. Based on things I really hear. "What do you mean 'Star Trek' is a hokey lefty fable? Bigot." If, as I try to be, you're open-minded so you watch things you don't agree with, enjoy them on your terms, and even learn a thing or two: "He's a hardcore Catholic! I can't BELIEVE he says he's a 'Star Trek' fan. How dare he? Gene Roddenberry was an atheist." (Heretic!) So now we're not allowed to watch THEIR show but are supposed to desperately want to, I guess. It's true that Roddenberry and thus the show were anti-religious, actually slightly more mainstream in pre-Sixties America (which the original show mirrored; the Great Society "in space") than imagined (Protestant America, "the American Religion": create your own faith including no faith). Frank Sinatra in 1963 told Playboy he didn't believe in God as we understand that. (Mugged by the Sixties, he made his peace with the church and became a Republican.) One of my lines: "Gilligan's Island" and "Star Trek" are actually the same show (fable), the only real difference being the tone, "Star Trek" seeming grown-up/serious like "The Twilight Zone" most of the time; equally unrealistic (not really about surviving on an island or space travel and meeting aliens, who if they exist probably don't speak English).
  • Arnie speaks. An interview with Christine's Keith Gordon.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The crazymaking left and more

  • From Mark Steyn: Big fat Greeks, and weddings. The quotable Kathy Shaidle: The same people who told us 30 years ago that “marriage is just a stupid piece of paper” now insist that it’s a “human right.” The same people who told us that “a flag is just a meaningless piece of material” now want certain flags banned and others raised — or else. The same people who say you can’t change who you want to f*ck tell us you CAN change the bits you f*ck them with. The same people who said “Hey, if you don’t like it, change the channel” now run #StopRush and try to ban Ann Coulter et al. from campuses. The same people who used to tell us to “lighten up” and “learn to take a joke” now fire people who make them. LITERALLY the same people. If we’re “crazy,” they made us that way. Here's when, how, and why the left seemed to change. As I say, I woke up in a different country in 1973, when the Sixties captured Middle America. (Roe v. Wade, and real wages stopped rising; the start of a decline.) At first they assaulted the culture by shocking us: talking about homosexuality, for example, if only to make fun of it. Ditto Hef and the wannabe swingers (before the Sixties, just naughtiness, but pseudo-intellectual Hef pushed the Sixties, naturally): down with bourgeois morality. (Meanwhile, the Soviets had figured out virtue is good for society and actually promoted it at home. Vice was to weaken the enemy.) Then once we'd been desensitized, malleable, the left seemed to 180 to a moralistic phase (after all, it's a Christian heresy), accusations of "microaggressions," shaming, and all.
  • Huw Richardson on the whole American marriage mess. I like Huw because he doesn't confuse his likes including any sins with Christianity anymore. "I'm Orthodox. I'm gay. But don't call me a gay Orthodox. Maybe I'm wrong." Anyway, his take in a nutshell, if I understand him rightly: "Traditional marriage IS marriage; the church is right but you right-wingers are idiots, and I'll explain how." The kind of thing I'd cook up if I were trying to sound cool.
  • New Zealander Black Poison Soul repeats the smart line: a tiny minority didn't cause this; we paved the way by buying into Marriage 2.0, turning away from the church's teaching on matrimony.
  • One of the remaining taboos. Which in the left's earlier stages almost wasn't a taboo. Back in Roman Polanski's partying days, the newly victorious Sixties left was ALMOST OK with sex with kids. When good conservative Catholics reported Fr. Weirdo to Bishop Happening, they were told to mind their own business.
  • Do we preach Orthodoxy or Christ? Classic, repeated by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick, not necessarily about Orthodoxy (of course if all it did was preach Orthodoxy, I wouldn't post it); something Catholics can relate to. Protestants often accuse us of worshipping the church instead of Christ, since unlike them we believe he founded a visible church to speak through until he returns. As a good friend says, false religion is always about self first, and as a kindly priest taught me 30 years ago, every act is aimed at an apparent good, so even the church's trappings, including your ancestral culture, all good things, can become idols. As I like to say, if I'm as Christ-centered as a good Missouri Synod Lutheran (they left the church but think they ARE the church, much like our estranged Eastern brethren), I'm doing it right. But the place set up to do it is the church.
  • Bob Wallace: The Bible is for adults.
  • The domestic church. Yes, hooray for folk Roman Catholicism. But, Diane, lay Orthodoxy, the real, ethnic kind, is very much folk religion too (you know my line: Byzantium's mostly estranged Catholics), from services for the dead to lighting candles at your favorite icons to saint's-day festivals to asking St. Panteleimon for healing. Not at all what some call monkabees.
  • More from Kathy Shaidle: The orations of Monica Lewinsky. She is still unmarried and childless, and now, at 41, her chances of altering her status drop daily. By all accounts, such things matter to her, as does the abortion she had just before her fling with the Commander in Chief. Such wrong thoughts are, of course, anathema to the older feminists whose orders — have a career, screw like a man — Monica dutifully followed in her early 20s. And when obeying those orders ruined her life, who turned on her and, yes, “slut-shamed” her? Those very same feminists on the left, of course. ...the real enemy still isn’t obvious to Monica at all. In this and similar speeches, she utters all the usual progressive blather about “LGBT” and “raising awareness” and “compassion.” I’m sure she’ll die (although not by her own hand, God forbid) a registered Democrat.
  • New horizons on the dissection of deviance. A theory behind male homosexuality, and: ever wonder why and how girls are slightly more amenable to homosexual experimentation? And why most such snap out of it by their 30s? And why some straight men like girl-on-girl fantasies and some straight women like "slash" literary porn?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The flashpoint of all heresy, and more

  • Brandon McGinley: Culture: Sex sex sex sex sex. The church: Detachment, sanctity, justice, and you're wrong about sex. Culture: Why are you so obsessed with sex? The flashpoint of all heresy is where God and his creation meet: who Jesus is, what the church is, what the Eucharist is, and sex. Satan, a spirit, rebelled because he would not serve man.
  • The "me too" Christians. Episcopal Church bishops vote for "gender-neutral" marriage rules. And in other news, the fervently religious and the equally devout secularists still don't take the Episcopal Church seriously. It changes its teachings by vote; we can't. Its semi-congregationalism was a hedge against liberalism, believe it or not, when I was a kid (why I'm pre-Vatican II), but here's the true nature of the thing. It's not Catholic. Unofficially agnostic since the "Enlightenment," when English Calvinists lost their sh*t. It tells the world what the world wants to hear and still gets jilted. I like to say if I were going to invent a church to try to please as many as possible including myself, it would be liberal high church like that. I'd congratulate myself as a marketing genius, just like the guy who came up with the Edsel (one of the most planned cars). Man makes plans; God laughs.
  • Ex-Army hits a few out of the park:
    • Never mind the dig at Christ (people blaming him for the ruling Christian heresy of our day), but this might be what "love thy neighbor" is about. "Everybody love everybody!" ... has a certain emotional appeal, as well as certain political implications. However, It is as much impractical fantasy as the perpetual motion machine, and for precisely the same reason: Friction inevitably occurs. In point of fact, to work at all machines require what are called tolerances. These are NOT "the everybody hold hands and sing kum-ba-yah!" thing the flaky Left thinks of in regards to "tolerance", but quite the opposite: In machine terms that word refers to the necessary SPACE between the parts that allows them freedom to move and work, as opposed to just locking up and grinding each other to destruction. Likely this is because most people demand that their machines actually work and create rational benefits, whereas many folks apparently do not require the same of philosophies.
    • "Leave the bastard alone" is much better. It is much more attainable, much harder to interpret in boneheaded ways that lead to messes. The man who loves his neighbor may feel compelled to "save" this fellow from the drink, the vile weed, streetwalkers, or the dice. From such flows nearly every bad policy of the last 100 years. True only up to a point. Hooray for liberty, but libertarianism too often is just part of the same problem as the Sixties, tearing down society: "do your own thing" -> "every man for himself" -> "just die already."
    • Derb: Nothing is real. Catholicism isn't escapism, Dungeons & Dragons for Christians; it's conforming yourself to reality, seeing things as they are.
    • Against trickle-down.
  • The president of the U.S. on persuading us to get over our religious convictions. It's not just that the man's at heart a New England Yankee with no use for religion. Obergefell v. Hodges is just another manifestation of American Protestantism; "America’s a place where you can write your own destiny." An anglophile friend (a conservative, not a European-wannabe lefty snob like most anglophiles today) quotes H.W. Crocker: Europeans know what Christianity is and have rejected it. Americans believe what they want and call it Christianity. Counter-point: the former, as in the mother country, is evil; the latter only ignorant.
  • That said, anticipating Canada Day tomorrow (which I think is the anniversary of Canadian confederation, when most of Britain's remaining North American colonies united, in 1867; bring back the Red Ensign) and American Independence Day, even though British countries including Canada are more liberal than here, not the Burkean Toryism they had the potential to be, here's to our rightful ruler in 1776, George III.
  • Everything you say can and will be used to destroy your life. The thing isn't all these people flying rainbow flags in their profile pictures in celebration; it's whoever's monitoring Facebook surveiling people like you and me waiting to ruin us over any dissenting things we post. Makes me wonder if "social media" are just a surveillance trick to get you to inform on yourself. Plus agent provocateurs trying to anger us so we post something uncharitable or threatening.

Anglicans: When non-Catholics say they're Catholic

The (Protestant) Episcopal Church's new presiding bishop, like an archbishop but not (he has no province nor a cathedral of his own), uncoincidentally black:
While Bishop Curry affirmed his support for his predecessor, the Episcopal Church of the future he hoped would be catholic in doctrine, evangelistic in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, soaked in the Bible, and animated by hearts converted by faith through grace to seek justice and peace for all people.
Small-c because he's not claiming to be under Rome of course.

No surprise; nice pious, even ecumenical (?), rhetoric, standard Anglican stuff. At face value all good.

But of course Bishop Curry doesn't mean you can't change the matter of a sacrament, such as holy orders and matrimony, nor that the Eucharist is Christ's sacrifice pleaded on the altar with the substance of the elements completely changed, among other matters. He's not leading the Episcopal Church back into the church.

(Blessed Pius IX on Pusey, supposedly: he was like the bell tower calling the people into the church but staying outside.)

So, Catholics, what does he mean by Catholic? What does "our" word really mean? Containing the whole; universal teachings open to all mankind.

Everybody from the Anglicans' "Reformation" founders (a schism to give the king his annulment, then copying continental heretics) to high churchmen through the years (including would-be Catholics as well as rival true-church claimants) to liberal high churchmen now, the dominant faction in Episcopalianism, has meant: keeping bishops (whom we don't recognize: traditionally from us, it's Msgr. Tikhon but Mr. Welby, for example), the creeds, and the notion of a liturgy, which was conservative by "Reformation" standards although the Lutherans, seriously claiming to be THE church (the "reformed" Western Catholic Church; the true Anglican branch theory's similar, Catholic among Catholics but the best for being "reformed"), always remained liturgically closer to us (Pietism and American Protestantism changed that). We don't recognize their bishops because we take Cranmer and the Articles at face value, heresy about the Eucharist. Apostolic succession without the apostolic faith (the creeds without the Mass: Christian but not Catholic) is impossible; it would be magic.

Of course Catholic doctrine is much more than bishops, creeds, and liturgies, though those are essential in it.

The dictionary definition of big-C Catholic is the Christian church that recognizes the Pope as its head on earth. True but not nearly enough. It's a whole set of beliefs and practices (including but not limited to my rite and culture) that includes the Pope, who's really their caretaker. It's not nominalism ("you can be as liberal and low-church as you want as long as you're nominally under Rome").

By the way, most churchgoing blacks are socially conservative, nothing to do with the Yankee SWPL liberalism of Bishop Curry's denomination: actually on the "wrong" side of World War Gay with the Wrong Kind of Whites (Not Our Class, Dear).
The era of litigation and ideological litmus tests may have come to an end for the Episcopal Church.
If you're going to enforce your teachings (changeable, unlike ours), which you have every right to do, don't lie about it. Of course you have litmus tests and conservatives aren't welcome. Non-contradiction. But the liberal "thanks thee, O Lord, that s/he is not as others": honestly enforcing teachings is for bigoted "Romans," fundamentalists, and other icky people.

Fr. Hunwicke's (married; long a traditional would-be Catholic Anglican priest, now a traditional Catholic priest) common sense about Catholic ecumenism (possible: might the Nestorian Church come back?):
My own view is that Separated Brethren should be viewed differently depending on whether they are officially set on a course of convergence towards, or divergence from, Catholic Unity.
So, Bishop Curry, "join us in spreading the gospel!"

And by the way, America's first black Catholic priest and bishop was James Augustine Healy, Bishop of Portland, Maine, in 1875.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cars: Christine and her sisters, and more

Black Tie Classics, Stratford, NJ.

Festival on the outskirts of Hammonton, NJ. Virgil Exner's Forward Look for Chrysler/Mopar, refined to perfection: a '57 and two '58 Plymouths, immortalized in literature and film, the femme fatale who runs over your enemies at night. (I think Stephen King meant it as a black comedy making fun of nostalgia and Men and Their Cars.) Hey, baby: the second Christine near-clone I've seen, Bad 58. (The other is another New Jersey girl, Evil 58.) She's basically a stock '58 Belvedere, with a few tweaks such as a modern air cleaner, automatic gearshift on the floor (the buttons remain on the dash for show), modern stereo speakers in back, and no Belvy badge, to match Christine. The moral of Christine: Arnie and Christine would still be motorvating if only he'd retrofitted her with seat belts. The Fury was a sub-brand of the Belvedere; same body but different engine, a high-performance version that only came in cream with gold trim. Christine's colors were an option for the Belvy so either she was special-ordered, custom-painted early on, or an early hybrid, a Belvy with a Fury engine swap. (The Belvy's speedo goes to 120, which is standard; the Fury's goes higher.)

Christine's heart: The Golden Commando engine with dual-quad carburetors came with the Fury as you can see in the movie (her air cleaners are chromed), but actually this is an engine swap in the '57 Suburban wagon.

"I'm not a '57 Chevy, moron!"

Withdrawal without surrender, and more

  • Desperation. This blogger doesn't like me but he's intelligent. Interestingly he has become Orthodox; besides being a mostly estranged part of Catholicism, Byzantium if anything embodies the Constantinian order (they literally canonized Constantine even though he wasn't sure if Christ was really just the old sun god, and I think a heretic baptized him on his deathbed). The answer: if we end up at Catholic Defcon 1 (out-and-out persecution), withdrawal with honor, going underground (so this blog would stop, among other things). Learn from the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the 20th century. Not the "Benedict option" of surrender including schism.
  • A friend has this interesting observation in the aftermath of Obergefell v. Hodges. The American Catholic Church will shrink by 60%; it's a line in the sand. I think I agree. It will accelerate the institutional decline the Sixties including Vatican II started; we'll hit bottom sooner. The nominal are supporting secular society; the Massgoers more and more are not. Pushed against the wall, which of our accommodationist bishops, who've been hitching their wagons to social democracy and American respectability because of Vatican II (the good old seamless garment), would actually leave the church?
  • "I woke up in a different country a few days ago." I woke up in one around 1973, when the Sixties finally won in Middle America.
  • Philadelphia Catholic colleges and the awful '80s American church. St. Joseph's University is a longtime commuter college where Philadelphia kids used to get business degrees. Maybe LaSalle's still like that. Now, it seems to me (I have nothing to do with the place), St. Joe's is a few liberalized old Jesuits trying to be Villanova, while Villanova's trying to be Notre Dame. (Maybe Notre Dame's pretending to be Georgetown.) Villanova, at least 30 years ago: another, less powerful dying liberalized old religious order (spun off from the Irish branch of the Augustinian friars Luther belonged to) and Massholes (rude people from Massachusetts: Kennedy wannabes without the veneer of bought class) who couldn't get into Holy Cross or something. (Interestingly, the social-climbing Kennedys always went to elite Protestant schools.) Sports, frats, and the only religion on offer was either obnoxious kumbaya ("social justice": liberation theology and let's ordain women) or cultish evangelicalism (technically, charismatic: welcome on campus because ecumenism was cool and it wasn't pre-Vatican II).
  • Why do conservatives keep losing? Because in mainstream society, the left sets the rules and calls the shots.
  • "Racism" and "sexism" as Aristotelian virtues. A disturbing trend in the parts of the right I read: blaming Christ for political correctness. Understandable because it's a Christian heresy. The answer's neither the sickle nor the swastika (race realism but not race worship).

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled for gay marriage

Supreme Court declares same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. That's right, believing American Catholics and other social conservatives, such as from pre-Sixties America: our highest court has kicked us in the teeth. Unthinkable 50 years ago. (Not even a thought among Cold War liberals in power such as Kennedy and Johnson.) Now what?

I guess I'm expected to do one of two things:
  • Attack the gays, which the other side would love. Not biting. I stick to my first lesson on this stuff, from the old America and conservative Christians 40 years ago. Don't pick on them; feel bad for them because they have a problem. (Today, saying they have a problem and that straight is normal are sins in showoff political correctness. "Microaggressions," venial sins.)
  • Spin it as not so bad, really.
It's bad, but...

I'll be a socially conservative scold but not in the way abusive to gays that the other side wants. (The passive-aggressive bullying of the self-righteously peace-loving: make you throw the first punch and have you busted for it. "Hate crime!" A stupid notion, by the way. The law should be about actions, not how you think or feel, other than whether you're responsible for your actions. Does it matter that I murdered you to steal your store's cash at the end of the day or because I hated you for being white? You're still murdered.)

It's a huge symptom but not the underlying problem. Human nature can't change: most people are straight and, being the sexual beings God made them, will still marry and have children, law or no law. A minority of a minority (in the population, about 3% at most are homosexual) pretending to get married doesn't directly affect that; a dog too big for that little tail to wag.

But fewer are marrying and having children. (The PUAs' and MGTOWs' point: what I will describe has turned marriage into a racket that many smart men avoid.) Which leads to this point: who started this? Not the minority of a minority. We did. Straight society, going back to towards the end of America's golden era. Contraception, especially the Pill invented then, and no-fault divorce. When normal people bought the idea that marriage is primarily about how the couple feels about each other, with children, uniting two families, and building society as afterthoughts if that, that, not this Supreme Court ruling, was the beginning of the end of Western civilization at least in the United States. Gay marriage is just a logical extension of this bad principle. As one writer put it recently, we've all become gay: our romantic relationships are superficial.

I've long liked the idea of getting the state out of the marriage business, which would leave both conservative Christians and gays in peace, respecting both's rights. (Except a healthy state has an interest in building society, which real, traditional marriage does. The Soviets were socially conservative for that reason; promote vice among your enemies, not at home.) Looks like SCOTUS has nixed that for the foreseeable future. The left isn't about tolerance; it's about forcing you and me to give up our faith.

Here's a thought. Some conservative clergy, as are some conservative judges (in Alabama), for example, are done with marriage licenses, at least until they get busted. But... since co-habitation is legal, why don't all new conservative Christian couples co-habitate legally, with a church wedding but not a legal one? There's risk and there are penalties, none of the legal benefits of marriage, but think of that as a kind of martyrdom ("offer it up" with Christ's sacrifice and as a penance, as we Catholics say) in which you don't compromise. No pinch of incense for the emperor.

More bad stuff on the horizon, looking at it logically: forget the Constitution, namely the First Amendment allowing the free exercise of religion. It begins: Clinton adviser refuses to comment on church tax exemptions.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Free men, not losers: What's right and wrong about MGTOW

This article/post from Return of Kings' Matt Forney is getting some play in the manosphere: Why “Men Going Their Own Way” is no way for men to go: The creeping cult of male loserdom. Like the thing he's criticizing, a lot of what he's saying is true (the form he's attacking is selfish, even autistic, like what's wrong with libertarianism, and denies human nature as God made it, not just sin) but the premise and conclusion are a little off. Strawman? First, there's Black Poison Soul (you bet he's bitter, understandably), the blog where I found out about this. MGTOW ("mig-tow" or, like the Greek T, "mig-tau") is far more than losers angry they can't get a date, which sounds like the mainstream trying to shame them back into being targets for its sadism (back into the Matrix). Obviously it appeals to such but a lot of it, including apparently its founding fathers, is like the divorced New Zealander who writes Black Poison Soul, worldly successes by just about any standard, married, whom fallen feminine nature (including hypergamy, a.k.a. trading up; men do it for younger and better-looking, women for power and status, both for obvious reproductive reasons, and, for women, survival/self-preservation) and modern mainstream society took to the cleaners (frivorce, alimony).

By the way, the man behind No Ma'am who's written the better manosphere map (real alpha males are leaders, nature's kings, who build society, faithful to their sexy alpha females; sociopath pickup artists destroy it and themselves, just like feminism; beta's just normal) is Rob Fedders, apparently one of the MGTOW non-movement's founders. (Thanks go to manosphere critic Bob Wallace for linking to him.)
These people who are starting to shame the MTGOWs have thus far have not suggested any viable options other than just criticize the guys who are getting their act together and living life on their own terms.

Over the last few months more and more regular guys in all sorts of forums and sites have said "Well, I'm living my life my way for my benefit rather than for the benefit of some female, so I guess that means I'm Going My Own Way". As many have said, MGTOW isn't a group, it doesn't have products, it doesn't have spokesmen. It has a couple of really simple principles: don't live for the benefit of a woman, and find yourself a project or goal of your own. MGTOW lets men do whatever the heck they want, including getting married and raising children, as long as they do it on their terms. I like its phrase: the answer to what a man is cannot depend on a woman.
It's about men learning to be men again.

As I like to say, nobody owns a great man. (Even great men I don't like or agree with, such as Pope Francis.) Like the centurion in the gospel, we're all men under authority, God's law including the law of the universe, but within that authority, man is free. It's how leaders among men, whom women naturally want, by the way, live. Neediness isn't sexy to a woman; she wants a strong man who will make strong babies with her and take care of her and her babies. Mainstream society and well-meaning Christians pedestalizing women want you to think that today's society is or reflects God's plan. (Egalitarianism including affirmative action, as if giving women power and not standing up to them endears a man to them.) Living as a free man doesn't necessarily mean abusing women. Fedders, for example, is clear it doesn't. Game isn't necessarily about that; it's just a tool, social skills. And Roissy, for example, isn't selling snake oil. Learn social skills, he says, and your social life, including your sex life, WILL improve, at least just a little. Even bad game's better than no game or anti-game. A smidge of game will do you good (he covers that: calibration, or how naturals subtly adjust their approach for each woman). Pickup artists are destructive, disrupting a community, because game does work.

P.S. A good one from Roissy's picture blog: dads used to be cooler when they were more emotionally distant. Score one for British reserve, or why the world's still crazy about James Bond. Learn from nature's leaders among men: charming and even caring but also keeping some distance; men of mystery. (Much like Roissy's point about chicks digging jerks; an "uncaring asshole" isn't needy.) As I like to say, leftism's a Christian heresy so I understand the appeal, if you will, of the man in the picture. But compare that to the truthful snapshot of the female libido, the romance-novel cover or the movie idol, even the aging Harrison Ford. Mainstream relationship advice is at best worthless; disinformation. As manospherians note, it's even money this wife (yes, she's cute) gets bored and in a couple of years divorces the man, who's done everything society and even Christians have told him to do; alimony and child support (transfer payments to women) but no more sex for him. Way to stick it to patriarchy, girls. The other picture: Ward Cleaver, neither a mouse nor a monster. Probably not a millionaire or president of the firm, but happily married, etc. The American dream.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Another one bags Byzantium. Not so fast...

Former archdiocesan cathedral musical director: Why I'm leaving the Greek Orthodox Church. Sounds promising. By the way, born Orthodox, don't panic. Regular readers know my line: we're not trying to break you up; we want to bring you all into the church at once and leave your rite alone.
My experience of church is beginning to take a different shape, however, after several years of difficult and painful discernment. I am now leaving the Greek Orthodox Church, and continuing to live out my Christianity as an Anglican, in the Episcopal Church in the United States.
Uh oh. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? These days that's usually what this means. (Hint: World War G.) There are principled people, even ex-Catholics, I respect who join things such as the Episcopal Church; Fr. Jonathan Mitchican, for example. True believers in the English "Reformation" and Elizabethan Settlement. More normally it's a few divorced and remarried boomers (younger people don't go to church) and fewer homosexual ones who've rewritten their principles to suit their circumstances, just like Henry VIII. A church musician, someone in the arts? Not a knock on all such (I love their work), but you know what I mean.
I grew up in a loving parish in North Carolina, where I assumed duties as church organist at the age of 13. I had taken piano lessons and played by ear, so I eagerly jumped into the complex world of Greek Orthodox choirs, replete with arguments over composers that were too “modern”, the appropriateness of choral music versus Byzantine chant, the use of the organ, and more. I attended regional choir conferences, collected scores, and purchased almost every CD of Greek Orthodox music on the market.
Took me a minute to realize Gus Chrysson isn't a convert or a second-generation one (maybe a Swede from Minnesota) but an ethnic Greek (Constantine is shortened to Gus for some reason). His picture confirms it.
During the length of my tenure, I experienced the same, persistent feeling of underlying panic in church that had begun when I was a teenager and had come out of the closet.
I called it. The bad kind of assimilation, nothing theologically profound. Most Orthodox in America leave by the third generation just because they're not really Greek, etc., anymore (American Eastern-rite Catholics lose their people for the same reason), and as a Catholic friend told me, anybody who's really spiritual and/or fairly intelligent sees through the ethnocentrism masquerading as a faith.

Some will ask if these stories signal the American mainstream turning on the Orthodox like the old Protestant one understandably never really liked or fully trusted Catholics. I predict no. The Orthodox are and will remain too small for that. Most American Orthodoxy is Greek Orthodoxy, and that's largely Greek immigration. American Protestants were afraid of us partly because there were so many of us. By 1960, parts of the country had become Catholic. Vatican II, the Pill, and the Sixties in general did what many American Protestants wanted: assimilating the country's huge Catholic minority.

Then there's the matter of, yes, even the outwardly conservative Orthodox going with the flow on homosexuality as they have long done on divorce-and-remarriage and now do on contraception, on both of which they now sound just like Protestants.
Several progressive priests encouraged me to stay on board and fight from within.
Maybe even doing it because of their anti-Westernism, namely, to spite us Catholics. Another reason the American mainstream has given them a free pass. St. Vladimir's Seminary or Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology 20 years from now: "As part of the church's patristic renewal and gradual liberation from Western captivity, leading scholars now say the mind of the Fathers says..."

My prediction: their first public gay weddings will be attempts by desperate clergy to keep some ethnics from leaving.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Skeeved by Byzantium

The paradox of Byzantine Christianity's beauty. As I like to say, Byzantine Christians turned me against them. I've been to Christ the Savior, Chicago, for example: an almost-fiancée joined; her conversion was nothing to do with me. Everything you see and hear in this link is objectively good (the icons and the singing are entirely Catholic) and better than the Novus Ordo, but, knowing the Orthodox' true-church claim including what they think Catholics are, I long wanted nothing more to do with this stuff, and now it's so. I could be Greek Catholic, and under some circumstances I would, but that is why I'm not.

All this got me thinking. My acquaintance with the Christian East goes back 30 years and is much more than my "doing time" with the Orthodox (that's what it felt like). I don't regret that my first traditional Catholic Mass was Ukrainian.

It can be so good and holy; they say the worst is the corruption of the best. It seems to have potential to be a fine, traditional form of American Catholicism. Some Latin Catholics are called to it; Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky) should be their patron saint. But even in the church, it dies by the third generation in America. It has no future here.

Both unlatinized and latinized, as long as it's not Novus Ordo, are good.

So let me back up. Real Orthodox normally don't creep me out. And yes, theologians, I know that sacramentally every member's the same. That said, of course you know what I mean. How and why I'm pro-Russian, pro-Putin, politically. Christos running his local eatery with the best spaghetti sauce around. Heck, at the Olympic Flame in Wildwood I've given to the family's donation can for St. Demetrios Church. I mean born Orthodox who just are what they are, with nothing to prove. Estranged Catholics acting in good faith, with a clear conscience. They don't know they're schismatic. God understands.

There are principled Westerners who don't accept the Catholic Church: the high-church Anglicans such as the Tractarians and Bishop Grafton, for example, and their spiritual progeny.

Still, what weirds me out about convertodoxy, the hyperdox Hermans, beyond their aggressive anti-Catholicism is, rather like how I see the Episcopal Church now, those parishes are creepy counterfeit Catholic churches by Westerners to convert other Westerners.

I know we have freedom of religion in America, which protects us, but any healthy Catholic community would literally tell those folks to get out of town.

Then there are the Byzantine Christians worse than the convertodox, the "Orthodox in communion with Rome," mostly an Internet phenomenon (like Dungeons & Dragons for church geeks). Because they're trying doubly hard to deny they're Catholic, sort of like Rachel Doležal making an extra trip this month to the tanning salon. They want us to get rid of our teachings. Just like Catholic liberals.

Religious Catholics almost never switch anymore. The few the schismatics get tend to be indifferent ones, probably most often, as before, through marriage, with a few who came in by way of fervent Evangelical Protestantism. Convertodoxy won't last beyond two generations. It's not a threat. It's just that it's so spiritually wrong, in a way that hurts more than Evangelicalism because they have the Mass, for example, that it's annoying.

By the way, the reason Christ the Savior's building looks Anglican is I understand it was built for the Irvingites, the Catholic Apostolic Church, actually not related to Anglo-Catholicism or even Anglicanism but contemporary with early A-Cism. Rather fitting venue for self-hating Westerners.

My reaction to groups of literal ex-Catholic Orthodox, such as some Slavic-Americans, is different from either the one to born Orthodox or to the ex-Protestants. Felt that once, seeing the now-ACROD parish in St. Clair, Pa., St. Michael's. Profound sadness. As a Catholic friend understands, they didn't choose "the crazy" at first; they almost had it forced on them. Nothing to do with our teachings and, though it takes two to have a fight, mostly our fault.

Photo: Never been and plan on never going. A convert parish of "the Russian Church Outside Reality" in Michigan.

Manosphere reads, Love and Rockets, and more

  • A wise man: The real division in the United States, and by extension the West, is not between political liberals and political conservatives, or Evangelicals and Catholics, or liberal Protestants and conservative Protestants, etc., but between those who think like traditionalists and those who think like modernists. And believe me, there are many Evangelicals, Catholics, "conservative" Protestants and political "conservatives" who are numbered among the latter. Right; learned that 35 years ago, when the mainstream pushed the idea to me of "conservative" meaning "plays the stock market" for boys and "shops at the mall" for girls, because there really was no generation gap; the Sixties won.
  • Roissy: Game in the ego validation age. Classic psychology: showering a girl with compliments, which inexperienced men do, doesn't endear you to her. She takes it for granted. Interesting graph on how couples meet in America: church has nose-dived. I guess the North is becoming Europe in that regard.
  • Black Poison Soul: What do you like to do? Perhaps that's why the divorce/frivorce occurred. He's literally not the man that she married. Much or all of his individuality has been wiped away, replaced with an interchangeable robot who can do not much more than acquiesce to whatever her desires are. So she leaves because he's not what she fell in love with — no duh, stupid. Giving women power doesn't endear you to them. Shorthand for the female libido: romance-novel covers. All those pirates grabbing girls in prom dresses. (Apparently Fifty Shades of Grey is really of this genre, plus perverse modernity.) Not a sweet guy who caters to his girl among them. That said: No Ma'am on the Keynesian sexual market, a better map for men than that of the pickup artists (very modern sociopaths, parasites, any sane community would run out of town; beta's actually normal, not a dirty word) that doesn't sell out like many Christian-based (white-knight) sites (the woman- and child-centered herb as the ideal Christian husband and dad; ask Leif Erikson how that's working out). Leftism is a Christian heresy so I think I understand male feminism's appeal to naive nice guys. Men shouldn't be saps for women (naturally hard when your glands start screaming at you as a teenager) but Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) shouldn't be the regressive (childish) He-Man Woman Hater's Club either. It's about men becoming men again, which incidentally is what healthy women want. Which — authentically conservative, authentically Catholic (which isn't a pious game or fantasy but conforming yourself to what's real, what Aristotle meant by reason) — builds society the way nature's leaders, real alpha males and their sexy wives, do, or at least used to.
  • The Rational Male: Build a better beta. How the manosphere can sell out.
  • Radix Journal: Rachel Doležal and the quest for identity. I agree with the amateur psychologizing about her: her ultimate revenge against her "pathologically altruistic" parents, still seeking their approval, was to become their perfect person, then disown them. Whatever became of those criminal false reports to police? Charges against her? That's what interests me. With that, she wasn't harmless anymore. She probably didn't think anybody would get hurt since, after all, there was no real threat against her.
  • Music: Love and Rockets, "So Alive," from 1989.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Putin, the Pope, and more

  • Putin meets Pope Francis: The pontiff and the pariah. Nothing new: he met Benedict too. Francis may parrot liberal platitudes (but not always, which we don't hear about) but here he's right, not being reflexively anti-Russian. It fits my Catholic big picture: respect the Russians so they'll come back to the church. I don't think Francis gives the Christian East much thought; he seems to know little about the world outside Argentina. He has a quality of great men as well as of the faith in that no secular ideology, left or right, tells him what to do; some worry that's a sign of megalomania. A friend recently made the interesting parallel to Argentina's Juan Perón, a well-meaning populist economic blunderer.
  • A little story from the mother country: At Cambridge, former Archbishop of Canterbury bans jelly wrestling for being sexist. Again nothing new. Here Rowan Williams fits an outdated image of the British establishment as moral and proper (the image Americans who love the royals and "Downton Abbey" have), only the Christian beliefs about purity and modesty have been rewritten to fit today's fashionable Christian heresy ("Down with sexism!"). Both devout Christians and the politically correct tend to agree these things demean women. That said: jelly wrestling; lighten up! Plus, healthy desire: witness the sexuality in Italian and Latin-American cultures.
  • South Dakota: Angry anti-white Indians vs. New Age Indian wannabe festival.
  • Jeff Culbreath: How many of you have noticed that "let's have a conversation about..." really means "the hammer's going to fall on you hard"? Very WASP (SWPL); euphemistic.
  • Takimag's Kathy Shaidle: Moral and comedic anorexia.
  • Bob Wallace:
    • An entirely free market may not always be the answer: his experience running a taxi company.
    • When I was a teenager only teenagers worked at fast-food places. Adults weren't hired (the phrase used was "overqualified," which is something I don't hear anymore). Now adults work at these places and it's considered acceptable. In fact, the economy is so bad the last time I heard the average age of someone making minimum wage is 35 years old. Since you can't live on that kind of money we now have all kinds of transfer payments: Earned Income, Section 8 housing, HUD, food cards. Nothing good is going to come of all this.
  • Roissy:
    • Power, then charm, then affection. That’s a pithy aphorism describing the contours of female attraction for the competing character traits of sexy men. Establish your dominance (which can be done by showing you won’t cave like a supplicating beta to her feminine wiles), engage her with your charm (an attitudinal cue that you live with an abundance of women mentality), bestow her with your affection (but only after she’s bestowed you with her sex and love). The problem with the more romantically earnest sort of beta males is that they start with the affection, and then clumsily try to segue to the power and charm when they see that their affection is driving the girl away. It never ends well. True but that said, remember the better manosphere map Bob Wallace posted, from the writer of No Ma'am. Real alpha males (in the canine world, simply fathers: patriarchs) are faithful (they mate for life with alpha females) and build society; Roissy's pickup artists are sociopaths who ultimately destroy themselves, others, and society. As part of modernity they're part of the problem.
    • "Hey, beautiful! How was your day?" is actually anti-game. Supplication: weakness, which naturally kills female desire. On the contrary, as the mild, mainstreamish The Art of Manliness (Brett and Kay McKay) filters it, start dating women instead of being friends with them.
    • Trump for president. May as well shake it up and enjoy the spectacle of the ruling globo-equalist class sweating bullets.
    • America then and now: Game in '63.
    • Mainstream relationship advice is worse than useless. Women not only give wrong advice to men about how to seduce them, they usually give advice 180 DEGREES removed from what actually works! This is a bug in woman code that men must accept and work around.

The faith on near-death experiences

There is defined Catholic doctrine on the afterlife of course but as far as I know not on near-death experiences in which someone dies temporarily and remembers his experience.
What are Catholics to think of near-death experiences that we often hear about by several sources? I have a skeptical attitude towards what many claim to experience when it comes to near-death experiences for various reasons.

"The four last things" are death, judgment and heaven or hell. Catholic teaching states there are several places that a person can go upon death: Heaven, Purgatory, Hell and possibly of Limbo of the Children, a theological opinion. Many theologians are of the opinion that most people who are saved, who are heaven-bound, need to undergo purification in Purgatory. Furthermore, many theologians and saints are in agreement that sadly many will be lost as well. Scripture itself alludes to the point in many places that nothing unclean will enter Heaven.

With all this being said all these descriptions of near death experiences sound more New Agey than Catholic. Most people who claim to have had near-death experiences come from a variety of backgrounds. Some of them may be Catholic, but many others may be non-Catholic and many others are nonbelievers or non-Christian (pagan). Yet most of them claim that they feel a sense of peace and comfort upon these experiences, so much so that they do not want to come back to earth. There is often no reference to a particular judgment in which traditional Catholic teaching states that we are all judged immediately upon death.

I am naturally skeptical of these accounts for obvious reasons. I doubt that many of these people are without sin or any stain of sin. These accounts almost make it sound like they are going directly to Heaven, which I doubt is the case of even the majority of devout Catholics. Furthermore there is not only no description of Heaven but many of these near-death experience accounts give no account of anything sounding even close to traditional Catholic teaching on different aspects of the Afterlife.

What are you guys' thoughts?
Right; too many modern Catholic funerals are universalist: canonization ceremonies for the deceased, who needs prayers, and/or primarily to make the mourners feel better. On the contrary, no eulogy is allowed for a good reason, and stop calling such Masses "memorial Masses." Bring back our culture: "Requiems." I've been to someone's funeral and actually instead asked her to pray for me. Privately that's fine too.

The Soul After Death by Fr. Seraphim (Rose) is worth a look, with just some Catholic correction required (he was a convert from Methodism by way of the Beat movement and Buddhism to Eastern Orthodoxy: "purgatory is too literal" is stupid and any form of universalism is heresy; hell is final — his version is really purgatory where you can be stuck forever if nobody prays you out). It does a lot to explain near-death experiences. According to Russian folklore, the newly dead are in a natural but spiritual state in "the aerial realm" undergoing the particular judgment ("the aerial toll-houses," actually controversial in Orthodoxy). Parts of this are what people in near-death experiences see and remember. The feeling upon entering it is peace, relief from physical suffering (note, in the image, the angels holding the soul symbolized as a child, right after death). That realm, heaven, and hell (and we add, purgatory and possibly limbo) are states of being, other dimensions in the universe sharing our space which we don't normally see. We don't have to believe all outside the church are going to hell; God is infinitely merciful as well as just. There may be no people in hell but we can't presume it.

Image: Greek icon, "The Mystery of Death." Not to be confused with the the Mexican magic cult born of ignorance, Santa Muerte.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Flannery O'Connor vs. Ayn Rand, and more

  • Academician and old friend John Treat on what's wrong with libertarianism (but, being open-minded, I've learned much from it: I'm a live-and-let-live Ron Paulian who's consistently voted LP since '04; first did in '92 — socially conservative MYOB, not the libertarians' sassing of all authority), or to be more accurate, Randianism (Objectivism; Ayn Rand didn't like many people, including libertarians); "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Flannery O'Connor used the abnormal and parochial as a mirror for what she saw as the shallowness of modernity. Ayn Rand idealized modernity and rootlessness. Rand's books are full of a Russian Jew's charming wonder at the marvel of golden-era industrial America, but part of their problem besides Rand's philosophy is the message came first, the art second, which makes them excruciating to read. I've tried.
  • "Safe spaces" for Benedict-optioners. Rod Dreher's dangerous because he's persuasive, but once you've figured him out (as someone has done for me) you can refute him calmly and briefly, not cruelly: his strategy is one of surrender for conservative Christians (he's a false friend to them); fitting that perfectly, his Christianity is schismatic; and like us all, the man has faults; he's a little conceited.
  • U.S.: Already long gone, Eastern puma declared extinct. I wonder why it was listed as endangered in '73 when it went extinct in the '30s. Still hoping for survivors, I guess. Good point about keeping the deer population down. Bambi, my foot. Kitty's gotta eat.
  • Basics: Why liturgy? From a Lutheran pastor.
  • Humour about Canada. (As our northern neighbours spell it.) Old. In short, it's very cold and they're Americans too but underneath it they're really British.
  • Photo: '60 Impala, Vineland, NJ.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Charleston: I smell a rat

A libertarian online asks, as Roissy has. The Charleston massacre: staged or random? I think it could have been either. It's definitely NOT what the media, still pushing the Narrative, are making it out to be: "Because of the evil Wrong Kind of Whites with their guns, even flying the Confederate flag at one of their statehouses. How dare they? The Wrong Kind of Whites have no right to be proud of their past in those parts as an independent nation." (Nor, apparently, do they retain their constitutional right to freedom of association; well-meant feelings have trumped rule of law.) In contrast to Charleston (I've never been), I've been to Raleigh, where Reconstruction has rewritten their history; a beaten nation.

Of course it's horrible that nine people were killed, Christians in their house of worship no less. Criticize the Narrative and you're accused of not caring about them.


When that starts to be questioned, gin it back up. Too convenient, too pat.

Also awful: the left's preening. The posturing about forgiving the alleged killer (yes, innocent until proven guilty; hooray for Anglo-American rule of law). Obviously appealing because it riffs on Christianity.

Steve Sailer:
The murderer who perpetrated this Charleston black church massacre appears to have intended to maximize publicity for himself by pushing every conceivable hot button of the mainstream media in the fashion that would generate the most unending coverage of this Teachable Moment.
A socially impaired 21-year-old can't do that on his own.

Dylann Storm Roof may well be a random nut (again, not representing white Americans). Either he's mentally ill (but maybe still guilty) or he's acting. By the way, such creeps aren't the ones to watch out for. Sociopaths don't make ugly faces with thousand-mile stares; they're charming. He reminds me of Lee Harvey Oswald, who in my guess was an American agent, even an agent provocateur. This kid might not be a full-fledged agent but he may have been coached or pushed over the edge. By the way, most of the mentally ill aren't violent.

And America's No. 1 promoter of gun safety and keeping guns away from the mentally ill is the NRA. Rate of violence at gun shows: approximately zero.

"You think dangerous criminals will obey anti-gun laws? You must be a special kind of stupid." At least naive, to give the well-meaning credit.