Monday, July 31, 2006

Live the Mass on all days
Socialism is misguided but the connexion between traditional religion and social justice is not.

From Penultima Thule.
How Christ saves
The Revd John Fenton on St Maximus the Confessor
The Eucharist: like marital union or a dinner reservation?
A tangent in my recent conversation with the Revd Todd Young that I think illustrates a basic Catholic/Protestant difference. Reader David Bryan Wooten, an Eastern Orthodox, beautifully describes the former view.
Robert Fisk reports from the Lebanon
Clearing the Near East of Christianity
From Eunomia

Here’s more from Joshua Snyder on this article.
Ukrainian archbishop disagrees with president’s push for ‘national church’
Конечно! Abp Mitrophan is in the country’s biggest church, the Russian Orthodox; Mr Yushchenko belongs to the biggest nationalist schism and wants to pull the Ukraine further away from Russia.
The King James Bible vs receptionism
From Western Orthodoxy
Leftism explained
In the comics

From the LRC blog.
The example of Jesus points the way to a meaningful pattern of prayer
By the Bishop of Gibraltar
It was a Broadmoor patient, who had done terrible things, who told his psychotherapist that prayer was “washing your face from the inside” — or perhaps God washing our face from the inside.
Worth remembering alongside Fulton Sheen’s description of sacramental confession as ‘psychoanalysis on its knees’.

From Titus 1:9.
Signs you’ve stumbled into an RC neocon blog
The spread of the war-without-end poison seems to be seeping into the minds of people who should, at least theoretically, know better... the troubling new phenomenon of conservative cafeteria Catholicism. The symptoms? Plaster your blog/website with lots of kitschy GIF and Flash doodads linked to EWTN, the Vatican, sundry pro-life organizations, Matt Pinto’s latest publishing project, etc.... and then say with a straight face how you’re “sickened” by the Holy See’s opposition to total war on the civilians of Lebanon and their infrastructure, how Benedict XVI better get with the neocon program of counter-jihad against global “islamofacism”, etc., etc.
- Anonymous submission

Endeavouring to remain clean, sober and Kool-Aid–free.
Immorality, Inc.
The US example in Iraq

From LRC.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Two links for news on Palestine
From the US and the Irish Republic respectively

Jewish Voice for Peace
Anonymous submission

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Lord Wallace on the Middle East
Two things worth repeating
Scroll down to Fr Will Brown’s numbered points on ‘openly gay’ and ‘who’s in schism?’
From Western Confucian
Fathers are often called upon to be warriors, to defend their families and homelands. A true father is not a pacifist. But a father is still a father, and one question now haunts me: for what cause can a man justly kill a little girl, another man's daughter...? For what cause? Only to protect others from direct and immediate physical harm - that is the only cause. And even then, the use of lethal means must be highly circumscribed to be licit. Unless the absolute justice of killing othen men's children is made perfectly and unambiguously clear, no father could participate without destroying his own manhood. I bring this up because modern warfare inevitably involves the killing of innocent children. "Collateral damage", it is called. If the survival of the modern secular state really depends upon this, I think we have a problem.
- Jeff Culbreath
Mainstream RCs have dissenters who are dishonest lurking among them
In other news: sun rises in east

More from me.

And the likely reaction from Joe Bloggs in the pew to these epoch-making events.

From Titus 1:9.

Talking about clericalism
From Fr Gordon Anderson
The Revd Ref and me revisited
Peace breaks out

Saturday, July 29, 2006

US: evangelical pastor breaks with Republican Party
Rather like LRC’s Laurence Vance
America is not the light of the world and the hope of the world. The light of the world and the hope of the world is Jesus Christ.
- the Revd Gregory Boyd
he created a controversy a few years ago by questioning whether God fully knew the future
And he was wrong. God knows of course but we’re still free in acting it out, and with him there’s no ‘future’ anyway, only an eternal now.

From Ad Orientem.
Can the answer be any clearer?

The Pope agrees.
Audit finds US hid cost of Iraq projects
Sad but logical
On the Seattle shooter

From Huw Raphael.
The No. 1 reason at the moment why people find this blog through Google
They’re looking for this graphic of the gates of hell (link removed) blogged by Samer al-Batal nearly a year ago. I’ve no idea why it’s so disturbingly popular.
William Lind on Lebanon
Could it be Israel’s Vietnam?

Barbarism from above
Mediæval people would have seen modern air warfare with its ‘collateral damage’ as un-Christian and cruel and they would have been right

On good Catholic books, that is, old ones, and being a quixotic young man
From Arturo Vasquez
As a teenager, I was an auxiliary member of the now defunct Legion of Mary here in Hollister, and I used to go with my mother and a blind saint named Genevieve to visit the people in this nursing home. There I learned much about suffering and compassion, and how our society likes to dispose of people who are old, useless, and unpleasant to look at.

The foundation of the Legion of Mary, as you may know, is St. Louis de Montfort's
True Devotion to Mary. This book, along with the writings of St. Alphonsus de Liguori and St. Peter Eymard, gave me a strong sense of what the traditional spirituality of the Roman Catholic Church was. It also caused a whole lot of confusion in my life since I saw that times had changed and I couldn't explain why. To this day I can't.

When you are young, you are very impressionable. These books gave me a vision of what the Church had been: an incarnational religion that passed on traditions from one generation to the next. They gave me a sense of the inevitability of death, repentance, true love and eternal life.
My comment.
Assertiveness and Christian charity
By Fr George Morelli

From Orthodoxy Today.
The delusional US mindset that made the Iraq war a disaster has resurfaced in Lebanon
‘Promiscuous threat conflation’ = lying

From LRC.
‘My country’s wars’
Because of the horror in Lebanon even old-school patriots like friend Jeff Culbreath are starting to come around

Friday, July 28, 2006

The nationalist temptation
The end doesn’t justify the means
John Howard Yoder argues that the rise of the secular state resulted in the values of "national survival" becoming paramount in thinking about war. Whereas for Christians it was considered preferable to suffer rather than sin, this makes less sense in the context of a materialistic worldview. Once reasons of state became the driving force in national policy, self-imposed restraints during war started to seem irrational. If this life is all there is, then using whatever means seem necessary to protect and prolong it makes more sense. Thus a more consequentialist outlook came to prevail. This obviously has implications beyond questions of war and peace; it's reflected in debates about using human life in medical research, for instance.
From Verbum ipsum.

P.S. Ad Orientem, in the bar-fight analogy the writer’s got it wrong: the scrappy little sailor is Palestine and the bullying marine Israel.

P.P.S. Il Papa, sì; Joseph Bottum and First Things, no.
More on the Israeli ‘UN killings’
...Cynthia Hess-von Kruedener's comments add fuel to the growing controversy over the bombing, which has included allegations from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that the observers were deliberately targeted by Israel.

It's an allegation that has been vigorously denied by Israeli officials who insist on calling the incident "a tragic mistake."

At the heart of it lies information that has come out over the past few days that UN observers in Lebanon phoned the Israelis at least 10 times over a six-hour period pleading for the shelling of the position to stop.
From Timothy Rivera.
We’re safe
Samer al-Batal writes: We spent some time in Syria and are presently in Jordan, waiting it out.

Thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A war crime
From Dancing with Sprites
Alice Linsley’s conversion in her own words
From Drell’s Descants via Clifton Healy

Sign a petition in support of the Bishop of San Joaquin
‘Priest trained at this house
Fr Michael Heidt answers William Swing
A man I had the honour of knowing many years ago: ‘priest trained at this house

From Canon John Heidt.
CNN repeatedly airs ‘Left Behind’ segments
Summary: With Kyra Phillips's discussion of the Apocalypse and the Middle East conflict with Christian authors Jerry Jenkins and Joel C. Rosenberg -- who share the view that the Rapture is nigh -- CNN has, for the second time in three days, featured a segment on the potential coming of the Apocalypse, as indicated by current conflicts in the Middle East.

...The July 24 edition of CNN's "Paula Zahn Now" featured a segment examining what "the Book of Revelation tell[s] us about what's happening right now in the Middle East." CNN re-aired this segment the next day. Media Matters also noted that Rosenberg is just one of several conservative media figures who have identified and expounded upon the purported signs of the Apocalypse to be found in the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. During his appearance on "Live From ...", Rosenberg claimed that he had been invited to the White House, Capitol Hill, and the CIA to discuss the Rapture and the Middle East, and noted -- several times -- that the apocalyptic events described in his novels keep coming true.
The anonymous submitter writes: Uh oh. It’s not just Fox News now hyping the evangelical ‘Left Behind’ spin on end-times prophecy as a potential justification for US involvement in a broader war in the Middle East. Is Protestant ‘rapture’ theology (and the ultra-hawkish, neoconservative foreign policy it supports) unduly influencing our government, intelligence community and even the mainstream media?
On Mr Bush’s minders’ failed empire
From TomDispatch

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

An interview with Gore Vidal
From The Western Confucian
The spiritual life is a stern choice. It is not a consoling retreat from the difficulties of existence, but an invitation to enter fully into that difficult existence, and there apply the Charity of God, and bear the cost....
- Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941)

Biretta tip to the Revd Tripp Hudgins.
Five myths that sanction Israel’s war crimes
Wobble-free Blair hails new world order
Labour faithful cock-a-hoop, bearded ragheads tremble

From The Rockall Times.
‘My culture’?!
On the sadness of identifying oneself primarily as one’s orientation or temptation to sin

From Rod Dreher.

Seventh anniversary of the death of Fr Malachi Martin
I’ve read The Jesuits and Windswept House. When I started making Web pages one of my most vehement detractors said he hated my pages because I believe much of what the late father wrote. He turned out to be a sex-offender ex-priest. Draw your own conclusion.
Muslims replacing Communists as the new bogeyman
From Cælum et terra
Islam is no more a united front than Marxism was. I would note that the dominant ideologies behind Islamic violence — Shi’ia clerical theocracy, Salafist and Wahabbi puritanical rule — would like Marxism eventually collapse of their own weight.
Also read yesterday’s entry in this blog on ‘Fundamentalism vs orthodoxy’.
Like the boring evenings of recollection I sat through at the posh townhouse home of the Legionaries of Christ — those second-rate Jesuit wannabes — I was there for one reason: to meet Catholic women. (Without luck, I might add).
As Homer Simpson saith, ‘Hee hee hee, it’s so funny because it’s true.’
On the reality of the Incarnation
By Dr Eric Mascall

From An Anglican Cleric.
Israelis accused of using human-shield tactic in Gaza
Hail, Mother of Mary
Hail, Mother of Mary, O gracious Saint Ann.
God’s Marvellous Choice from the whole race of man.
O Good Saint Ann, Saint Ann, pray for us.
O Good Saint Ann, Saint Ann, pray for us.

Sweet Child of election, deemed worthy to bear.
The Virgin of virgins, Christ’s Mother most fair.
O Good Saint Ann, Saint Ann, pray for us.
O Good Saint Ann, Saint Ann, pray for us.

Look upon our sorrows, give ear to our plaint,
Behold our afflictions, O powerful Saint,
O Good Saint Ann, Saint Ann, pray for us.
O Good Saint Ann, Saint Ann, pray for us.
From Fr Jeff Reich.

Here’s more from the Breviary.
In retirement, Buckley admits Bush is not a conservative
We know

From Catholic Neocon Observer.

Here’s more from Rod Dreher.
US Marines use MySpace to recruit young people
Because, you know, being brainwashed and killing people are, like, so cool

Canadian reported dead as bomb hits UN post
Contributor Timothy Rivera writes: The Israelis hit a UN observation post in Lebanon, killing three, possibly four people, all apparently observers from Canada, Finland, China and Austria. What is particularly striking is that while the Israelis have officially expressed ‘deep regret’ over the incident, Kofi Annan has stated that the act apparently was deliberate.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
Where I’ve been

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Reading, Pennsylvania
A sweet little parish church in an old industrial town: Ruthenian to begin with (as a framed list of World War II servicemen shows with surnames like Rusnak) but, surprisingly, revived today by immigration from Russia (including the rector!). Praxis that is both entirely Catholic and completely unlatinised as such places should be.

Primate of Greek Church to state of Israel: ‘Fear God’s wrath’
The apostolic ministry in action. From The Gaelic Starover.

My latest flame-war with a Broad Churchman
The Revd Todd Young. Too often when talking to liberals there’s not a whiff of the tolerant conservatism — search the blog — of Oxford. None of C.S. Lewis’ geniality. More like the angry gay* ex-RCs who dominate Fr Jake’s com-boxes.

Oh, dear, I think I’ve been told to go to hell, Broad Church fashion! (Update: Fr Young says that was not his intent. Accepted.)

A good bishop under fire
The auto-demolition of the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion is under way. They had a good run, long enough to introduce me to the Catholic faith decades ago.
‘Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed’ as Fr Richard John Neuhaus wrote back in 1997. In the Episcopal Church it became optional, the beginning of the end, with the acquittal of James Pike in the 1960s.
• Bishop Schofield trained at the same theological college I went to, back when it was unequivocally sound. I can only imagine.

Incidentally, Clifton Healy seems to have a gift for talking to Broad Churchmen. (They accept him; I don’t know his track record for converting them!) I admit I don’t. Diverse gifts, diverse ministries.

The wit of William Swing
Lee Penn’s got him sussed. Gaia-worshipping or not, Latitudinarianism has been around a long time.
...with the intent to bring an end to the Episcopal Church.
You don't need the Continuum to do that, Bishop. All your people need to do is keep not having kids.
Mine eyes have seen the starter of a merger into mush...
Jesus junk
From people who think Catholic sacramentals are wrong and tasteless

And don’t forget the audio version: ‘Christian’ pop music.

From GetReligion.

*Here’s a good word from my com-boxes that applies to gay activists.
Fundamentalism vs orthodoxy
From The Western Confucian
The end of Christianity in Iraq
Today, the situation is the worst we have ever lived...
From LRC.
Bolton lied
Texan televangelist promotes war in Middle East
Anonymous submission
RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman and Sen. Rick Santorum were among the keynote speakers for the Rev. John Hagee at his Christians United for Israel (CUFI) group’s Washington Summit kickoff dinner, at which they apparently expressed support for its quasi-apocalyptic goals. Evidently, Sen. John McCain and Newt Gingrich are on board with Hagee as well.
Men who don’t deserve votes.
His indifference to the suffering of Middle Eastern Christians [is] shocking.

Catholics... and others should be troubled by the efforts of Hagee -- an unelected individual -- to aggressively influence U.S. foreign policy, seeking to conform it to his peculiar brand of fundamentalist Protestant theology/eschatology.

Monday, July 24, 2006

They mean well but don’t get it
Asking the United States government for help in the Middle East is like asking the Mafia for a loan

From Fr Joseph Huneycutt.
Bush is not pro-life
LRC’s Karen Kwiatkowski points out the statist consistency of his minders from their warmongering to their anti-abortion posturing
Bush, unlike the American Founders, believes that the state owns life – yours, mine, a frozen embryo’s potentiality, a criminal’s continued existence, lives of youthful American soldiers and Marines, and lives of Iraqis of all ages.
In ‘Fluffya’
Latin brotherhood
Joe ‘Mamma mia! No sense of historical irony!’ Vento doesn’t represent South Philadelphia
Bush blunders roil the Middle East
LRC’s Murray Rothbard thought that Communism’s own contradictions made it collapse, not American militarism and containment

From truthout.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Israelis have turned Lebanese Christians against them
From Jenny Lemieux
On the church and the university
Academic freedom ≠ selling out to secular humanism
Historical perspective is always useful in cases such as this. Let us go back about 1700 years, to ancient Athens. The Athenian Academy was the foremost educational institution of its day--MIT, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge and the Sorbonne rolled into one. It was also an overtly pagan institution, whose curriculum was based almost exclusively on the classic Greek philosophers, poets, playwrites and rhetoricians--an awkward thing in an overtly Christian empire.

Nonethless, it was to the Academy that the parents of men such as Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus sent their sons. They wanted them to have all the knowledge a man would need in a position of leadership, whether it was secular or ecclesiastical. They were not particularly worried that their sons would imbibe too deeply at the springs of pagan knowledge, for they were confident in the Christian formation they had given them in the home. Thus, Basil was able to rub his shoulders with some of the leading pagan philosophers of his day--including a young member of the Imperial Family named Julianus--and come away with his wits sharpened through debate on the merits of Christianity over paganism. Not for them the challenge of Tertullian, "What hath Athens to do with Jerusalem?"--they managed a synthesis of Christianity and classical culture that enriched both (See Jaroslav Pelikan's "Christianity and Classical Culture" for an analysis of how the Cappodocian Fathers used pagan philosphical terminology and categories without being seduced by them, in order to resolve the pressing theological issues of their day).

I think the problem is not the secular university per se, but that we, as parents, generally fail to armor our children against the blandishments and temptations that these institutions offer. We have not equipped them to push back against the arguments and the culture of the intellectual establishment, largely because we are not ourselves prepared to do so. Thus, our reflexive response is not engagement, but withdrawal--we either look for alternative institutions which will shelter our children from the world (even at the expense of a first-rate education) or we turn our backs on education altogether. Neither approach is satisfactory, for neither prepares our children to deal with the world as it is. They are not taught to be as innocent as babes and cunning as serpents, and thus are easy meat when they hit the pavement.

We, as parents, must take more responsibility for the moral and spiritual shaping of our children. We must become more conversant in our faith, and be able to confront alternative sources of authority in our children's lives. If we do this, we can send our children anywhere, confident in the strength of their faith founded in knowledge and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

If Gregory Nazianzen and Basil the Great could go through the Academy unscathed, I fail to see why our children cannot deal with the Ivy Leagues. And unless we, as Christians, make the long march through those institutions (as the radical humanists did from the 1960s to the present day), I fail to see how we can hope to recapture the culture whatsoever.
- Stuart Koehl
Imagine no ‘Imagine’
It’s easy if you try, and if you’ve got the good sense of a teacher at St Leonard’s Church of England Primary School in Exeter, Devon
We are a Church school and we believe God is the foundation of all we do.
- head teacher Geoff Williams

Any church stupid enough to have that song as part of a concert is self-refuting and deserves to go out of business.

The same kind of places that say ‘we have bishops and Communion every week because the Bible says so’ but ‘we have gay bishops and gay weddings because it doesn’t matter what the Bible says’.

From The Waffling Anglican.
Neocon hypocrisy in short
Outside the cavernous US government-run holding centre in Nicosia, Mohammed Shami shook his head. “I feel embarrassed to be an American. They have given Israel the green light to destroy Lebanon. What they are doing is wrong; it is immoral.”

Yes, indeed. President Bush acted very quickly to save the lives of the unborn the other day. If only he would act so quickly to save the lives of the born, the children of Lebanon.
A farewell to Beirut

From Deacon’s Blog.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The problem with imperial overreach is imperial overreach not religion
Don’t blame Christianity for the fall of the ancient Roman, Spanish and British empires

From Eunomia.
An old online adversary is spot-on here — here’s a tip of the biretta!

Echoes what I’ve said for some time: those seemingly friendly to the Western churches and keen on ecumenical dialogue are often of this weird type (people who really want to subvert the Orthodox tradition and are Western liberals in disguise) whilst those who don’t want to talk often are the most fervent and authentically Catholic.

This also includes the mythology of some Byzantine Catholics, rarely born/ethnic members, which views traditionalists who take refuge in their churches because of the still-sound services (though not unlatinised as they should be) as Neanderthals.

The masterly Thomas Day rubbished these people’s claims (‘Vatican II was a move Eastward!’) in Where Have You Gone, Michelangelo? (‘two contradictory religions’) as have Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) (the changes are ‘a move away from the Christian East’) and the late Michael Davies (‘a harsh and even offensive condemnation of the practices of Eastern Christians’).
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:22)
...the adhering to the direction of the Millennium Development Goals — goals, and a plan, to alleviate poverty globally as directed and implemented by the United Nations.

Many of our leading voices have declared this to be a triumph of the Gospel message and the primary goal for which the Gospel was given. That is to say, that it is the greatest end to which the Church must work. The feeding of the poor is extremely important to be sure…it is one of the seven Corporal Works of Mercy… which means we are to do it, and do it without fail.

But Corporal Works of Mercy find their meaning in something higher. The Works of Mercy spring from Cardinal and Theological Virtues. And Virtue itself springs forth from the Grace of God. And the Grace of God springs forth from repentance and an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

So in one sense, we have taken the easy road. Who in the world can reasonably argue with a group who is working to feed the poor? Who does not find favor in that? But on the other hand, nothing is required excepting a desire to relieve physical hunger. Any group or organization can participate, and for many different reasons…some higher, some not.

If we were to take a risk and follow our mission statement as we understand it through today’s Gospel, it might look different. We would still feed the poor and work to the end of relieving poverty to be sure. But we would do it through preaching repentance and proclaiming the Salvation of souls through Jesus Christ alone.
- Fr Jeff Reich

Or to paraphrase the great G.K. Chesterton, liberals are right about the world’s problems but wrong about the solutions.
Which countries back an immediate Mid-East cease-fire?
From Empires Fall
AFSC statement on Gaza and Lebanon
From John Treat
Is the modern uni a fraud?
By sending our young to college, we are impoverishing them, and ourselves, and sentencing them to a life of slavery in some grim cubicle painted federal-wall green. Personally, I’d rather be chained in a trireme.

Besides, the effect of a university education can be gotten more easily by other means. If it is thought desirable to expose the young to low propaganda, any second-hand bookstore can provide copies of Trotsky, Marcuse, Gloria Steinem, and
The Washington Post.
Much of what LRC’s Fred Reed says satirically is true, not of the great universities of the past (Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, Louvain, etc.), the Catholic university as envisaged by Newman or Fr George Rutler, the great-books colleges that emulate that or even honest trade schools (which don’t pretend to be universities and get the respect they deserve in Europe — for example they train Swiss bank presidents) but the many institutions rightly rubbished by Paul Fussell in Class (search the blog). (The ones with de facto professional sports teams.) The same small minority of kids actually go to university as around 1940; the others are conned into going to things calling themselves colleges or universities, a form of baby-minding/rite of passage/social promotion/prolonged childhood for people of certain means and a rip-off for those who think those degrees confer instant class and employability for life.
On quality living: smaller but better meals
My wife recently discovered a book on the importance of portion control, and it would seem that the French are instructive in this regard. The French don't skimp when it comes to quality of food, but when it comes to quantity, they simply don't overeat as Americans and others do. They are generally a fairly thin lot as a result. Gyms are apparently somewhat rare in France, but walking and bicycling are quite popular. So, the author argues, eat well but don't eat much, combine it with moderate exercise, and you'll stay thin. No need for diets if this can become a lifestyle.

Anyway, as Rod notes, the price of good food is not so expensive if we learn to eat as intended, i.e., somewhat "ascetically" when it comes to quantity.
- From the com-boxes at Crunchy Con
Some British doctors are now saying embryos who might be on the autistic spectrum don’t deserve to live
Com-box contributor Patrick writes: I wish I could say I was surprised.
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
- Martin Niemöller

And don’t forget Nazi euthanasia.

Friday, July 21, 2006

No, this is not ‘our war’
By Pat Buchanan

I don’t like WND (obvious from their Ann Coulter advert and the stupid T-shirts for sale that say defeating Hillary Clinton and calling her a Commie define conservatism) but they were fair enough to run this.

From Joseph Oliveri.
Israel and the H-word
Cartoon by Ted Rall

From Wendy McElroy.
Bush is an embarrassment
Having a drunk for a president is manageable. Having a stone bozo for a president, on the other hand, is a calamity of global proportions.
Unless you’re one of his minders wielding real power. Then it’s perfect.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is smarter than Bush by several orders of magnitude, insulted George in front of the international press corps with a tight quip about 'democracy' in Iraq. No trade deal got done. The whole thing was a humiliating waste of time, captured best by all the photos of Bush and Putin together. In each and every one of them, Putin is looking at George with an expression that somehow conveyed disgust, disdain and awe simultaneously.

Putin's disgust and disdain are easily understood - the poor guy was trapped in a room with our knucklehead president for hours, after all - but the awe requires notice. What, Putin must have thought, is this fool
(дурак) doing running a country?

It wasn't just the dialogue. It was the tone in Blair's voice. He sounded for all the world like a teacher attempting to explain something to an exceptionally dull student. His tone suggested infinite patience and a touch of true sadness, as if he could not quite believe he was speaking this way to an American president.

'Russia's big and so is China?' Do you know anyone who would have a conversation like this with their neighbor, let alone a business associate, let alone a world leader? Who's proud to know that Russia is big and so is China? If someone is this ignorant, they're usually embarrassed and try not to talk much. But this guy is so dumb he has no idea how dumb he is. This sounds like a conversation you might have with a child...

'Does it concern you that the Beirut airport has been bombed?' a reporter asked. 'And do you see a risk of triggering a wider war?' 'I thought you were going to ask me about the pig,' Bush replied blithely. Then he brought the pig up again - for the fifth time - before giving a long answer that ended with his saying Israel needed to protect itself.

After this came the moment when George tried to give German Chancellor Angela Merkel a back massage while she was speaking to someone at the summit table.

What's next? Will George go to the United Nations, sit on Kofi Annan's head and fart like some bratty brother tormenting a sibling? Will the cameras catch him playing penny hockey during Middle East peace negotiations? You can't say it'll never happen.
I’ve often imagined that Messrs Cheney, Rumsfeld et al. conduct their meetings whilst Mr Bush is in the next room playing with an X-Box.

From truthout.

Here’s more via the LRC blog, which also notes:
Can anyone imagine how the Religious Right would have reacted had Bill Clinton engaged in the kind of talk and activity (shoulder rub on Angela Merkel) and the like that was typical of George W. Bush at the G8 Summit? I can see Jerry Falwell condemning Clinton, but since it is Bush, we hear nothing at all.
Hezbollah has two mommies
From The Gaelic Starover
It really is tough for orthodox Christians in the West
No, it’s not paranoia or self-pity

From the Revd Larry Beane, a Lutheran pastor, via Fr Marco Vervoorst.

The Orthodox tradition
What can one do about the two Orthodox denominations in the Ukraine?
Neither of which is the nationalist schism the president belongs to. As the Russian Church, whose Kiev metropolia* is this mostly secular, sovietised country’s biggest church, and the exile Russian Church Abroad (ROCOR) reconcile they will decide what to do about ROCOR congregations there and in Moldova.

Russian Orthodox in Kharkov demonstrate to protect their shrines
Which, given the schismatic Kyiv Patriarchate’s power (again, Western-backed Viktor Yushchenko is a member) and the Ukrainian Catholic Church’s aggression working against corporate reunion of Rome and the Orthodox by moving its metropolitan see to Kiev from Lemberg, is understandable!

From RISU.

*Understandably this site has no English version so Anthony Latta and the other person who reads Russian, whoever he may be, may enjoy this; as for the rest of you, sorry, I can’t help it!
On not feeling Protestant anymore
For the Revd Larry Kamphausen learning about icons points the way
Report from Lebanon
From somebody there via Fr Gregory Hallam
To date, Thursday 19, the preliminary results of the bombing actions are:
- More than 10,000 Israeli’s air raid on Lebanon
I’m sorry; I don’t understand that.

Samer al-Batal and his family are fleeing the country, ‘trusting in God’s protection’ as he says, and so of course he is incommunicado.
‘We are all destined for certain duties in life and we always long for that which is out of reach...’
I like this

From Andrea MacKid.
The trouble with liberals
‘Pa, what does “confiscate” mean?’
- Shenandoah

Schools and jails
The government schools are highly successful. The stated and unapologetic goal of [their] founders was to separate children from their parents at the taxpayer’s expense.

Jails do not reduce crime. They delay crime.
From LRC.
More than 14,000 Iraqis killed so far in 2006

UN Security Council resolutions against state of Israel, 1955-1992

RealPlayer file: Noam Chomsky says US and Israel are punishing Palestine for electing Hamas

From TCR News

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What Mr Bush’s stem-cell veto really means
Let’s count up the cynical vote-buying ploys of this year by Bush and the GOP: opposition to flag burning (check), rhetorical posturing against gay marriage (check), sending a small token force of National Guard to survey the border in desperate attempt to stave off anti-immigration backlash that his dreadful policies have incurred (check, check and check), and, last but not least, belated commitment to not expand funding that Bush himself originally approved in desperate pro-life gambit (check and check).
From Eunomia.
Thatcher would have slapped him
From InfernoXV
Pat Buchanan on Lebanon
...what Israel is doing is imposing deliberate suffering on civilians, collective punishment on innocent people, to force them to do something they are powerless to do: disarm the gunmen among them. Such a policy violates international law and comports neither with our values nor our interests. It is un-American and un-Christian.

But where are the Christians? Why is Pope Benedict virtually alone among Christian leaders to have spoken out against what is being done to Lebanese Christians and Muslims?

When al-Qaeda captured two U.S. soldiers and barbarically butchered them, the U.S. Army did not smash power plants across the Sunni Triangle. Why then is Bush not only silent but openly supportive when Israelis do this?

Democrats attack Bush for crimes of which he is not guilty
[?], including Haditha and Abu Ghraib. Why are they, too, silent when Israel pursues a conscious policy of collective punishment of innocent peoples?
On having your priorities straight like the Amish
Radoje Spasojevic, who is Eastern Orthodox, writes:
The essential problem is that we have not made Orthodoxy the foundation, adapting it to our modern lives and not the other way around.

This is where the Amish provide a powerful example. Despite the criticism by those who at heart are probably profoundly uncomfortable with what the Amish stand for, the Amish are not “stuck in the past”. While it is most visible in the realm of technology, the Amish are engaged with the modern world, but the critical difference between them and us is that they meet the modern world on
their terms. Anything that enters their society is prayerfully evaluated on whether or not it is compatible with their beliefs, and what the possible effects will be on their families and society. Replacing our modern life with the Orthodoxy “add-on”, with a way of living that was Orthodox first, with modern life intruding, if it all, only when and where it is found compatible with the Orthodox faith. If this means starting from scratch in an agrarian fashion, so be it. But even without a “back to the land” ethic, would mean a more organic sense of community. It would mean Orthodox faithful living with a close distance of the nearest Orthodox church, and thus each other.

If living in humility means watching a 20” TV... instead of a wide-screen plasma; or driving a ten-year old Subaru station wagon instead of a new Hummer H2 then what is stopping us?
Paige writes at The Ochlophobist that passivity to abortion (and I’ll add contraception) is wrong. Feel-good marches do little real good, and don’t be played by warmongering, statist politicians who use that issue, but complete inaction isn’t the answer either. As these bloggers are writing about the Orthodox I’ll add that the OCA are newcomers to pro-life work to impress their RC opposite number (specifically, then-Bishop Herman impressing sometime Scranton diocesan Bishop James Timlin, his neighbour in Pennsylvania); the Antiochians thanks to charismagelical crossover.

Fr John Chryssagvis on letting go and letting God
From Pontifications

More on why men hate church
Of course they don’t like sissy religion. The problem has been around a long time (search the blog and/or read John Weldon Hardenbrook and Patrick Arnold). The answer to restore balance (because of course there’s a place for what is or what’s regarded as feminine) is to get away from out-of-control devotionalism and sentimentality (be it dodgy apparitions in Bosnia or ‘contemporary Christian music’) and rebuild on the foundation of sound theology and Mass-and-office Catholicism.

From Titus 1:9.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Advocate for disabled unborn is now a Page Three-ish girl
Search the blog for more on the good work the Revd Joanna Jepson has done

Yes, using a clerical collar like that is in bad taste and semi-blasphemous...

More from me. (Alan wrote that it’s good to see the Anglican Communion reaching out to the heterosexual community.)

From Fr Joseph Huneycutt.
On Lebanon, Gaza and the RC neoconnerie beside themselves
I’m not sure if the Irish rebels invented Fourth Generation warfare but the rest of this rings true including the dispensationalist Zionism of the last, got from their contamination by charismagelicalism

I can jolly well imagine the John Paul the Overrated fan club reacting like Norman the robot on the old ‘Star Trek’: ‘B-but the Pope teaches... a-and the president is confirmed in grace... Israel... illogical! Illogical! Illogical!’ (Smoke starts pouring out of their ears.)

From Catholic Neocon Observer.
The left is pro-empire and so not really anti-war
Of course. They’re statists. Remember, Vietnam was a liberal crusade to ‘export “democracy”’ (defined rather loosely, as indeed it is now, as doing what the US wanted) and the authentic right was divided over it.

From LRC.
The Old Right speaks
From the LRC blog
So much more in less
Samer al-Batal writes: Fewer images – only three – than those linked to in my last entry, but much more horrific, that I drop the word ‘somewhat’ from my next sentence this time. Contains graphic content. I can only remember what the priest communicated indirectly but satisfactorily enough last Sunday when he mentioned people ‘who do not have the light of Christ’.

St Elias
In accordance with their ecclesiastical calendars, Orthodox and (Eastern) Catholic churches in Lebanon celebrate tomorrow in common the memory of the great prophet of the Old Testament St Elias the Thesbite (link to an icon of the saint), known here as Maar Ilyaas, and held in honour by all the religious factions of this land, Druze included. The arrival of his feast at this time could not be more suitable. May his intercessions drive from the land the savage Baal that today demands the blood of Lebanese children and the inhabitants of this country.

Interviews with Robert Fisk in Beirut and Ray McGovern, former CIA officer and founder of VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity)
Much of the political analysis out there, including from these interviews and past posted articles, presents ideas and views such as the following: Israeli pre-meditation and a pre-planned operation waiting for the right pretext and time, Hizbullah expecting and counting on the trademark Israeli response of sheer ferocity with set preparations to counter an attack, an original plan by neo-conservatives to eventually reach Iran and Syria by jumpstarting events on the Lebanese battleground, Syria playing power politics with the intent of securing its influence over Lebanon and place in the region’s geopolitical arena, dispute over the level of autonomy with which Hizbullah operates vis a vis its relations with its patrons (and by extension what level of involvement the latter have in the Hizbullah operation), the co-operation of Arabic, Sunni states with the Americans and their tacit approval given beforehand to the Israeli operation to combat what they see as a Shi’ite threat in the region, the notion of things eventually settling down and concluding with prisoner exchanges after enough dead have accumulated to sate everyone’s bloodlust, and the fear of a serious conflagration in the Middle East.

Enough time spent at analysing and it all seems like a game, and the more so, the more the morally repugnant acts behind this catastrophe on the ground seem at a distance and abstractly.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

War ‘a gift to the world’
Daithí Mac Lochlainn on why Al Franken happened to be right about something
No history is provided, of course, because neo-conservatism is, by definition, ahistorical.
Of course I don’t want to remake the Muslim world in the West’s image by force but can show you one reason why I wouldn’t want sharia in ex-Catholic France:

Newsreader Mélissa Theuriau
She’s only above-average pretty really but the French of course are world-famous for having such beauty and using the art of fashion, etc. to perfect and celebrate it (I dare say even Karin Giannone’s jealous!)

Yes, yes, I know, custody of the eyes but Catholic cultures understand all that and still revel in healthy sexuality.

Who’d want to cover her up in a burqa?

Found her linked to the page with the 10 worst URLs ever, blogged earlier.

They may have the hottest TV talking heads but the country of Georgia (Грузья) still has got the best wine.
Things Mr Bush’s minders get right
For whatever reason
Stem cells
Pulling the plug on a nationalised railway (actually a conservative idea for a change!)

One can argue that there is a job for government in building infrastructure but for inter-city travel North America drives cars. Thanks to Eisenhower’s Autobahn-inspired (yes, a Nazi project*) interstate system**, the old passenger rail service is unprofitable and as obsolete as travel by horse-drawn coach. Or like the aeroplane finally killed transatlantic liners.

Interestingly the former Amtrak boss seems as paradoxical as his native Canada: in charge of and defending a socialist programme but admirably frugal and ‘crunchy conservative’ personally.

Oh, and if you live in North America, drive a car and your engine light starts flashing, don’t do business with these people (more) even if a seemingly friendly mechanic sends you there with a discount. They’re con artists.

You know they’re trying to fleece you when they’ve taken your transmission apart (taken your car hostage), finally get round to phoning you and then go into a scripted, condescending ‘says your first name every five seconds’ sales pitch.

Almost makes me wish for pre-end of the world (before the late 1960s) manners when relative strangers and people of different stations weren’t on a first-name basis!

*Hitler also posthumously gave hippies the Volkswagen.

**Meant to enable the military to move quickly across the continent; like the Internet only incidentally helping civilians.
Lebanon: ‘This is what the Israeli raids are doing to my country, to my people’
Samer al-Batal writes: A reel of still pictures. Contains somewhat graphic content by my own standards — there is much worse than this seen as raw video footage. I can no longer tell what counts as too much for the sensitivities of somebody on the outside anymore, though I imagine this might be stronger for many of you than it is to those of us here.
C.S. Lewis was not original
And that wasn’t bad, says An Anglican Cleric, incidentally a rather Protestant brand of Continuer, more pre-1800s High Church or pre-1960s Central Church than Anglo-Catholic*. (A dividing line: complete change of the elements of Communion, the Catholic position**, or bread and Body, something Lutheran-like?) As he’d describe himself, simply a classical Anglican.

No longer Catholic
Fr Gary Kriss, sometime dean of Nashotah House, on the state of the Episcopal Church and the Protestant character of much of the still-Christian Global South. (Somewhat mirrored by the chap described above.) He gives authority to my point that without state coercion the Elizabethan settlement doesn’t work.

Speaking of such matters...

An interesting back-handed slap
From a Broad Churchman*** (as far as I can tell still Christian and superficially traditional) who at least knows the Catholic position and when he wrote this was honest enough to say he wasn’t on board.

*Biretta tip to Brian Underwood for contributing subtle, more grown-up graphics.

**Even though it doesn’t use Aristotle when using only its own native terms and methods, the Orthodox tradition does hold to this despite what he claims.

***To give Derek due credit, in a way and perhaps because he’s Anglican he ‘gets’ Mass-and-office Catholicism and tolerant conservatism (search the blog for more on those).
The Orthodox tradition
Vassula Ryden has been excommunicated from the Greek Orthodox Church

Monday, July 17, 2006

Bombay was officially renamed 11 years ago
And I didn’t know about it until now! I guessed that it was a nationalist ‘correction’ of the pronunciation and it was. Like the Communist re-spelling of Peking, which in the local language always was Beijing. (To be fair apparently the Wade-Giles way of transliterating Chinese wasn’t very good but I shall never get used to q = ‘ch’ in Pinyin.)

I think the wire services still say Bombay; the television says Mumbai. The national government is right about not wanting to lose name recognition. (Just like trying to eradicate English as a second language would only impoverish the country.)

Usually traditional English names remain in use in our language: Munich, which is also easier for us to say, not the local München, and why Paris is not ‘Paree’. (Napoli is nicer than Naples though and just as easy to pronounce.) One exception is in Italy it’s the prettier Livorno, the local name, not Leghorn anymore. Fair enough.
Former Bush official allegedly assaults wife, then murders autistic son and kills himself
Yesha rabbis call for ‘extermination of the enemy’
An anonymous submission. Can anybody confirm this? If it’s true it nearly completes the parallel with Nazi Germany.
Putting yourself in their place
Or imagine the Iraq war if it were in the US

Question ‘common knowledge’ about Aids
• One need not truncheon his listeners with nasty remarks (Darin Brown doesn’t) to get the point across that wearing a red ribbon loop to try to be charitable is a mistake.
• Does HIV really cause it or is certain unsanitary (and sinful) behaviour the deciding factor?* Of course ‘anti-censorship’ people will stomp on you and accuse you of a ‘hate crime’ if you dare question that.

Bush’s faith and the Middle East aflame
His faith ‘in the efficacy of force’

From LRC.

*Apart from contaminated blood, which killed innocent victims Ryan White, Kimberly Bergalis and Arthur Ashe.
I saw a lot of mindless attempted brainwashing. ‘Repeat after me: you should not intermarry! Israel is blameless and righteous! If you don’t marry a fellow Jew and procreate you are a giant loser!’ There’s campfire camaraderie and lots of friendship bracelets. But if religious observance isn’t about addressing sorrow and injustice and mortality, it seems to me like a steaming pile of shallow noise.’
- Mixed metaphor but good points from American writer Elisa Albert remembering her childhood
Whether he likes it or not, Adam Sandler is Jerry Lewis, the annoying man-child who just wants to be loved in the most maudlin of ways.
- A film critic
‘If our Prime Minister is crying, what are we to do?’
By Robert Fisk in Beirut
So the exchange rate for death in this filthy war is now approximately one Israeli to five Lebanese.
The final say
By Eric Margolis
Israel and its enemies will talk eventually; the only issue is how many civilians on all sides will have to die before it happens.
From Samer al-Batal.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

At church in Galicia or Ruthenia
YouTube video

From the sublime to the ridiculous:

At Truro Cathedral, Elvis impersonator replaces Evensong
From John Boyden
Pre-millenarian fundamentalists are rejoicing over the war in Lebanon
More from Beirut
Samer al-Batal writes: Pardon me for taking the risk of drawing a similarity that may be a little crude, but following the failure to obtain help in effecting a ceasefire after the Security Council’s session, I can’t help remembering Ethiopia’s plight with Italy and the late emperor’s futile plea before the League of Nations.

This has long grown out of all proportion and especially now to beyond the point where the most duplicitous liar can attempt to summon a rationale to explain how military operations are solely aimed at eradicating Hizbullah. This entire country is under threat. They’ve destroyed the lighthouse in Beirut and struck its port, along with the ports of other areas, including the city of Tripoli! This is no area that hosts either Shi’ites or elements of Hizbullah. They’ve reached all the way to the north! They’ve hit both wheat and water reserves, attacked the Lebanese army, and have committed atrocious murders, in particular the devastating attack on a truck of refugees fleeing from one of the southern villages. Those sorry creatures have been reduced to pulverised charcoal, and our eyes were not spared that picture. The images we are seeing deserve to break through the barrier of sanitised media, and I only hope they become available online somewhere, for this is no less than the devil’s handiwork. We are at the mercy of sadistic animals.

It is feeling critically less safe to remain here in Beirut for long! And they’ve struck routes leading to Syria, whether via the eastern border to Damascus or north to other areas of Syria. For this country, and for the containment of this danger so as not to engulf the region itself, not only pray, but offer up intentions on the altar. And do so now!
Ten unintentionally worst URLs
From InfernoXV
David Horowitz plays the anti-Semitic card
World leaders are lining up, either on the side of the Islamic terrorists (Chirac and Putin)...
Of course (pat on the head)... Mr Putin, whose country was terrorised by Chechen rebels at a primary school in Beslan, favours ‘Islamic terrorists’...
Wow, this guy is the warmonger version of Jesse Jackson
Or Al Sharpton.
The Vatican doesn't believe that bombing civilians in Beirut is a just and proportional response to a few nuts in southern Lebanon firing rockets into Israel.
Daithí Mac Lochlainn quotes:
In particular the Holy See now deplores the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation, and assures its closeness to those people, who have already suffered so much for the defence of their independence.
- Angelo Cardinal Sodano on Vatican Radio

Somehow I don’t think the Novus Ordo neocons will talk this up much.

From the LRC blog.
Israel crosses the line

Zionists in Israel and in the Bush administration are leading America into war with Iran, Syria, Hizbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine

Russia is still evil, say the neocons

Because it dares to defy the US and act like a sovereign nation, explains Pat Buchanan. Хорошо.


Friday, July 14, 2006

In cold blood: Iraqi tells of US massacre of civilians
From Empires Fall
Moral derangement
A vicar of unblemished morals is deemed to have acted inappropriately with a grandfatherly kiss, but no one says anything about vicars (or teachers) living in open fornication. But that's no doubt because vast numbers of parents of school children are open fornicators. They may have no idea of the definition of the word (thanks to literacy declining at a faster rate than morals). (I should emphasise I know nothing about this mother, and would not be able to know anything, because her identity is never revealed by the media.)

When a society believes that it has the power or authority to say what is right or wrong, situations like the one in Tamworth are inevitable. By taking on board this "what's right for you may be different from what's right for me" everything and nothing is acceptable at the same time. By referring to the vicar's behaviour as "previously acceptable", the diocese of Lichfield reveals its own relativism. The behaviour was acceptable, is acceptable, and will always be acceptable, because it is acceptable to God, not the diocese, the police, social services, the LEA, or this deranged mother.
From David Holford.
Corpus Christi with the SSPX in Toulouse
Blessed, praised, hallowed and adored be our Lord Jesus Christ on his throne of glory in heaven, in the most holy Sacrament of the altar and in the hearts of his faithful people.
From Paul Goings.
A most devastating critique of the Orthodox convert boomlet
Not entirely true — the misinformation about the Greeks in America is his biggest mistake (they’re under Constantinople not Athens so some of their offerings go to the former) — and marred by malicious gossip and a Protestant bias but the writer hits and seems to demolish several targets.

Officials from these churches lying about their membership numbers is nothing new.
Orthodoxy, both worldwide and in the United States, is in decline.

My priest historian friend also speaks of the exaggerated reports of Orthodox growth in the Slavic and Greek lands. Much of this is hype drummed up by old country Patriarchates to justify and encourage all the American dollars headed their way. We see in the Slavic lands growth since the fall of communism but the rates of growth are greatly exaggerated, and probably tapering. Whatever growth the Russian Church claims to be having it has no effect whatsoever on Russian culture. Abortion rates, divorce rates, and suicide rates in Russia continue to climb. With the current rate of 4 out of 5 Russian pregnancies ending in abortion there soon will not be a Russia in which to have a Russian Orthodox Church. The Greek Church is a cultural museum, and the Arab Church has, for the most part, moved. Maybe three out of ten Arab Christian kids remain Orthodox after their parents move to a Western country.

The reports that you hear of the vast numbers of converts to Orthodoxy are simply false.... those dioceses in the Antiochian and OCA jurisdictions which have had significant growth are those in which large numbers have come into Orthodoxy via the Evangelical Orthodox Church or Christ the Saviour Brotherhood.... I believe that the OCA
[claimed membership: 1.065 million] likely has somewhere in the vicinity of 15,000 people who are active communicants.

There were more practicing Orthodox in the United States 50 years ago than there are today. Far more. Look at the pictures.
[I did and noticed that.] Look at sacrament records. As immigrant kids became assimilated the need for ethnic clubs waned, and without a sense of the catholicity of the Church such as immigrant Roman Catholics had, there was no reason to continue the whole church game beyond its ethnic-club function.
I’m reminded of friend Charley Wingate’s observation that every go at evangelism by the Episcopalians in the same period has flopped and the only way for them to grow is for members of their ethnic/social-class demographic to start having lots more kids, which given the widespread acceptance of contraception in both the Episcopal and Orthodox churches won’t happen. And interestingly, when you call online Orthodox on that, more often than not they refuse to answer you.

And I’ve asked myself before if the boomlet can offset the massive attrition from their ethnic bases as the old die and the young move away from their American Rust Belt population centre and defect. (The Byzantine Catholic churches are dying out for exactly the same reason and without a counter-current boomlet. And they’re compromised by their tie to the Novus Ordo.)

The writer is very plausible indeed — can anybody back up his claims?
Evangelical converts to Orthodoxy who were a part of what I will call the "first wave" of converts in North America are schooled in 1970s forms of evangelism and apologetics which simply do not work today.
Can somebody here explain that difference to me?
Many people expected a huge wave of Evangelical converts following the much publicized EOC conversion. That has not happened. Converting from Evangelicalism to Orthodoxy is not as hip as it was 5 to 10 years ago, and is no longer newsworthy in the Christian press. Evangelicals and other Protestant groups have become more serious in their counter-polemics (the RCC has also joined that game with a vengeance).

... Christ the Saviour Brotherhood is a cult. It grew leaps and bounds when many cults were growing leaps and bounds, the 1970s and ’80s. Its churches have not grown significantly since, and they will not do so because cults of their type do not attract people like they once did.
True of cults in general in the period he mentions. The charismatic ‘covenant community’ I rented from for nine years was a cult that peaked in the 1980s and was dying all that time I did business with them. In fact they did that business because they were dying and needed cash from the great unwashed like me.
The only cult growing today is the Mormons and Mormon evangelistic styles are the complete opposite of Christ the Saviour's.
(Mr Spockian eyebrow raise.) Fascinating. Can anybody explain what he’s referring to?
The only purpose Christ the Saviour churches serve today is to infect Orthodox jurisdictions with their new age nonsense.
Here the writer segues into his American evangelical-bred hatred of the traditionalist mindset, which he calls überfromm (over-pious). His main objection to Fr Seraphim (Rose) is to do with the toll-house theory, which is only a folkloric explanation of the particular judgement and not gnostic or cultish.

I too have wondered if the horrid financial scandal in the OCA — clergy stealing hundreds of thousands of church-offering dollars from Ruthenian retired steelworkers and ex-coal miners — will sink that denomination.

That said, these churches still beat the Novus Ordo in their praxis by a long shot (unlike this chap I like their rite as handed down), except for a few fanatical places there is an air of normality one doesn’t find in the Tridentine traditionalist ghetto, the ethnic thing is not oppressive or cultish but part of a real community, people don’t join to be divorced and remarried or to practise birth control — it’s a wholesomely demanding church, not mainline Protestantism with beards and icons added — and if a Newman-like ex-evangelical happens upon a parish where the authentic Catholic teaching against contraception is upheld, it’s not the worst place for him to drop anchor.

I’ve noticed this as well
It is stereotypically cliché these days for a homosexual couple to renovate a Victorian house. Those vocations which have something to do with the preservation movement (that is, preservation of old buildings) are overly represented by homosexuals. The point is that homosexuals, in general terms, seem to be attracted to those cultural forms which are traditional in only a superficial manner.

Many gays take great interest in and are over-represented in the western high liturgical traditions, whether Roman Catholic or Anglican. Again, it seems to me that this fascination with dignity and order stands in contrast to the baseness and disorder of gay life. We have a lived out caricature/counter-caricature phenomenon in which life is a play between the grotesque and its contrasts.

Certainly not all gays fit into these categories or caricatures. But modernity makes bit part character actors out of all of us.
I don’t know if I agree with his theories but I’ve tried to figure this out for 20 years. There’s the lesson of tolerant conservatism (search the blog — Catholic parish, ; gay parish, no) but take that just a degree off course and you get an empty, or worse, sacrilegious show, the commonest criticism of this.

The feudalism of Sark
And why abolishing it is bad

From The Ochlophobist.