Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Catholic Worker’s temptation
Dorothy knew where to draw the lines. With Chesterton she knew that one is obligated precisely to close one’s mind — rejecting all sentimental ‘openness’ — when one encounters Truth.
From TCR News.
Not worth a camel
From antiwar.com
Nicholas Berdyaev on Orthodoxy
In places he is unfair to Western Catholicism (which arguably really is a body of tradition like Orthodoxy, not just authority) and trots out some clichés (sed contra there are rightly lots of crucifixes in Orthodox churches, but it’s true that Easter tops Christmas, the reverse of Western Catholic culture) but these lines are worth thinking about:
The Orthodox Church is primarily the Church of tradition, in contrast to the [Roman] Catholic Church, which is the Church of authority, and to the Protestant Churches which are essentially churches of individual faith.
See my note above. Here Berdyaev’s description of Orthodoxy sounds like my understanding of what it means to be Catholic. The liberals who are still ‘under the Pope’, and not only get away with being un-Catholic but have clout, seem to prove Berdyaev right! That and the way they talk sometimes, as if the Pope could wave his hand and approve whatever impossible pet cause they’re talking about. (To be fair the Roman Pontiff, who is bound by defined doctrine and tradition in general, would say, ‘Even if I wanted to I can’t. After all I’m only the Pope.’) A people of tradition wouldn’t have come up with the Novus Ordo.
Holiness in the Orthodox world, in contrast to holiness in the [Roman] Catholic world, did not leave written monuments after itself, it remained hidden.
What? Hang on! The Philokalia? The Way of a Pilgrim?
Orthodoxy did not have its Scholastic age, it experienced only the age of Patristics.
Not really, and that’s a good thing. It’s looked down upon now in hip Ortho-circles, like the convert boomlet with its dollop of residual anti-Romanism hooking up with Eastern European xenophobia (some of the former seek out the most obnoxious of the latter to shore up their view).

Rather one can be far more Roman Catholic today living in, for example, essentially 19th-century Russian Orthodoxy, which earlier had adopted scholasticism, than among Novus Ordo RCs who dropped all that and follow Karl Rahner for example.
Characteristic for Orthodoxy is FREEDOM. This internal freedom may not be noticed from the outside but it is everywhere present.
Sounds good.
The admission of the freedom of conscience radically distinguishes the Orthodox Church from the [Roman] Catholic Church.
Not really. See my entry today before this one.
But the understanding of freedom in Orthodoxy is different from the understanding of freedom in Protestantism. In Protestantism, as in all Western thought, freedom is understood individualistically, as a personal right, preserved from encroachment on the part of any other person, and declaring it to be autonomous. Individualism is foreign to Orthodoxy, to it belongs a particular collectivism. A religious person and a religious collective are not incompatible with each other, as external friend to friend. The religious person is found within the religious collective and the religious collective is found within the religious person. Thus the religious collective does not become an external authority for the religious person, burdening the person externally with teaching and the law of life. The Church is not outside of religious persons, opposed to her. The Church is within them and they are within her. Thus the Church is not an authority. The Church is a grace-filled unity of love and freedom.... My personal conscience is not placed outside and is not placed in opposition to the superpersonal conscience of the Church, it is revealed only within the Church's conscience.
True. I’d say it’s a right condemnation of Randian selfishness but of course thanks to the harm principle (‘harm no-one’ or my freedom ends where your hurt begins; the Golden Rule) and parts of Berdyaev’s own point there can be and are Catholic classical liberals including libertarians.

From Ad Orientem.

Here is more from AO and from Owen the Ochlophobist on the once and future Fr Al Kimel’s Pontifications.
The Tories step back from the special relationship
It was, after all, not only a most unconservative war, dreamt up by doctrinaire zealots lacking the traditional Tory virtues of scepticism and common sense; it was also, if one happens to be English, a most unpatriotic war. Blair staked his career on supporting Bush, and got absolutely nothing in return.
It’s just as unpatriotic for the Americans.

And another from The Guardian:

The creepy court of Henry VIII
An open and notorious evil liver, and his court reflected that, but never a Protestant

Arturo Vasquez and I (here) disagree on admiring Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley. Exalting conscience above truth, as the modern C of E and Episcopalians seem to have done putting both these men and the Catholic martyrs in their kalendars, actually insults the courage on both sides: relativistic and condescending. But of course that exaltation only applies today, according to Modernists/revisionists, if you’re misusing conscience to go against reason, that is, objective reality, not standing in the faith once delivered, as shown in the fulminations of Fr Jake’s fans (more) or the rather arrogantly named Thinking Anglicans. (I imagine the Catholic martyrs, long safely dead, are considered quaint if a bit un-ecumenical.)

People have the right to be wrong (and as a classical liberal I’ll defend that right as Voltaire is wrongly thought to have said) but are still wrong, and the faith (not just Jiminy Cricket) does say conscience is your guide but a well-formed conscience, that is, one that tries to follow what is objectively right, which the teachings of the church are.

Getting back to the theme of politics of fear and hatred, from LRC:

The enemy is us
The legal climate Mr Bush’s minders want
Jorge Sánchez on the torture bill
Something from The Onion

Swedish gender feminism flops politically
Marxism applied to the sexes
Huw Raphael and me (scroll down) on why the churches go on so about sex. A correction to what I wrote: the first sin of course was about pride not (as popularly believed) sex.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The way we treat the worst
Of course personhood can’t be re-defined: one of the objective truths of the Catholic faith (‘we are a people of life’). What’s horrible is the state thinks it can! From The Propaganda Box.
Why German soldiers hated Canadians
A story from World War I via the LRC blog
+San Joaquin cleared of all charges
Gaudent angeli. I am signature no. 411 in the petition supporting him (more). From Brad Drell.
Candidate calls for Bushling’s arrest
Former US Army officer and anti-war Vietnam veteran Dennis Morrisseau in Vermont. Sounds good to me. From The Gaelic Starover.
Michaelmas

And from Fr Jim Tucker:

For the last time, no, people do not become angels when they die
RIP Metropolitan Vitaly
I understand he was not the nicest man but had a long, full life spanning epochs in Russian and world history. He was born in St Petersburg in 1910.
God be good to him.
- Archimandrite Serge (Keleher)

Beatification process for Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky) moving along
A Polish count (Austrian graf) who became the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church for the first half of the 20th century, dying during World War II two years before the Soviet persecution really began. He was high-church ‘Ortho-philic’ even though ‘it wasn’t cool’.

Russian Old Believer council condemns artificial insemination
Because embryos are killed. A Catholic position. Хорошо. They are a separate church from the Russian Orthodox but still ‘in the family’ preserving mediæval Russian Orthodox practices.
The US should quit Asia
From antiwar.com via The Western Confucian
Specks and logs and 9/11
The liberal Dr William Alberts says essentially what I’ve been saying for about five years.

Robert Fisk on the American military’s frighteningly rewritten creed

From CounterPunch.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Me and Frs Marco Vervoorst and Anthony Chadwick on Emmanuel Milingo’s latest silliness
Sometime ++Lusaka has joined the wacky world of vagantes. After the Moonie wedding who didn’t see it coming?
Neither a borrower nor a lender be
Britons are Europe’s biggest debtors

English churches are shrinking slightly more slowly than was thought
Hooray?
It is interesting that the only English churches maintaining themselves or growing are those with a high view of scripture and of Christian morality and behavior. In the meantime, the dying churches continue to try to attract the uninterested by chasing after the culture. No one ever seems to realize that a church which doesn't call you to a different life isn't a church that calls you to bother getting up on Sunday mornings. It's almost as if God has sent upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false. Wait a minute; I could swear I've read that someplace...
Also from The Waffling Anglican:

Winning the culture war by natural selection
Which group marries and has children? Something the Muslims probably have twigged by now. To be fair, though, not everybody who can’t marry is a freak or a selfish git, something at least assumed in parts of the right, which can be ‘judgemental’ indeed. (News to Protestants: some shouldn’t marry.) The blogger is entirely right about the consequences of trying to defy nature but the Catholic world has a place for the people many consider freaks*, from saints like Catherine of Siena (a Dominican tertiary who never lived in a convent, she was a spinster who lived with her parents), Benedict Joseph Labré and the wandering странники and паломники of tsarist Russia (The Way of a Pilgrim) to the marginalised and just plain unlucky (Matthew 19:12). The church has a place for those who neither fit into bourgeois society nor are true monastics. Worthless to the world perhaps but not really worthless.
If we obey God it doesn’t matter what our sexual orientation is ... we have a place in the kingdom of God.
- Florine Deever

As a century worth (late C19-early C20) of ritualist slum priests (possibly including the Russian Orthodox St John of Kronstadt) can attest.

The homosexualists accuse Catholics and others of wanting to persecute them based on the latter when the real issue is they are railing against the former.

*Perhaps among the ‘unwanted lives’ the ‘pro-choice’ people occasionally admit to wanting to kill. The real face of the left.
RIP Iva Toguri
The sad story of the woman who wasn’t really Tokyo Rose, an American in the wrong place at the wrong time. From The Inn at the End of the World.
Mark Shea hates ‘Imagine’ as much as I do
For essentially the same reasons. From The Western Confucian.
Il miracolo é fatto!
Good news this week from Naples. St Januarius’ feast-day was on Tuesday. From Roman Miscellany, a relatively new blog from Fr Nicholas Schofield in London, via Hilary White.

Children on the subject of love
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

RIP Canon Robert Offerle
He was the real thing: a Missal man who was thrown out of Namibia in the 1960s for opposing apartheid (after the example of Trevor Huddleston). He ended up supplying at a Continuing parish in Florida.
O GOD who didst cause thy servant Robert to enjoy the dignity of a Priest in the apostolic Priesthood, grant, we beseech thee, that he may evermore be joined unto the fellowship of the same. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Jesu, mercy; Mary, pray.
Americans just don’t get ‘why they hate us’
From Notes from Underground
What the Pope really said
From the Revd Tripp Hudgins
Christians and libertarians
The anti-state perspective. From LRC.
Murder in the cathedral
Acquaintance Joe Wall remembers the Americans and British bombing civilians during World War II. From Orthodoxy Today.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Remember blowback?
An answer to the ‘The state must save Darfur!’ crowd. To which I’d add: ever read The Quiet American? If not then do.

Compromised
On the US push for torture

A Lutheran encounters Mass-and-office Catholicism
Lee of Verbum ipsum here reminds me of new blogging friend Jorge Sánchez’ use of the breviary (here is his entry)
On ‘Islam is a violent faith’
Much here is true, especially about the causes of Muslim resentment today (forget the ‘they hate our freedoms’ rubbish and 9/11 wasn’t unprovoked), except:

• Note to Karen Armstrong: Muhammad is not the Prophet.
• The Byzantine* Emperor Manuel II Palæologus, now famously quoted by the Pope, had every reason to be ‘Islamophobic’ as they were out to get him. So what happened after the eighth century that turned Muslims against Christians and Jews? The First Crusade wasn’t until 1095.
• The Holy Father didn’t do anything wrong — he was speaking as a Christian (what cheek!) and his critics either didn’t read or don’t understand an academic citation.
• Some of them want to push recent attempts at charity (this business of apologising to the secular world for every real or imagined offence, which Timothy Rivera alludes to here) further to repudiate Christianity.

From old sparring partner Fr Jake.

*Pedantry: The Byzantines never called themselves that. They were renamed centuries later, I think in the 1800s, by Western historians to deny that they were the Roman Empire, which they were and called themselves (Rhomaioi, Romans). To this day as Samer al-Batal, one of the Rum himself, can tell you, Arab Christians of this tradition (Orthodox and Melkite) are called that: ‘Roman people’. And the anti-intellectualism the Pope is criticising as part of his praise of the university is really against this Christianised Roman culture. Reject it — really the same as rejecting the Catholica — and you end up with both Bob Jones and Jack Spong. Or a more obnoxious version of Wahabbi Saudi Arabia. A ‘Reformation’ of Islam would do the latter.

Monday, September 25, 2006

‘The East has solved the riddle of the Western way of war’
From PuckPan
God and girl at ‘Catholic’ college
I’m not a fan of VDARE (nativism shading into racism) nor of the late Joseph McCarthy (an opportunist and bully who was accidentally right) but Athena Kerry’s recent experience of RC institutions was nearly exactly like my first disillusionment with them 20 years ago. The art in the old buildings, as both she and I noticed, and the actual culture of the places — secular school with some non-Anglo-Saxon, wannabe liberal Protestantism tacked on — screamed at each other. From LRC.

Sunday, September 24, 2006



40 years ago
• The Beatles’ Revolver was the No. 1 album. They’d just stopped touring, their last concert in San Francisco, and were still usually pictured in matching outfits and marketed as cute. In the free-for-all charts their and other rock songs competed head-on with the older generation’s crooners, and there still was a big, shared popular culture with no narrowcasting like today. People still played fragile things called ‘records’ on ‘turntables’ or ‘stereos’.
• Mainstream and even hip style were still like a more interesting version of the 1950s... in the States you still saw lots of crewcuts, Malcolm X glasses, narrow ties, huge cars with fins and even a few fedoras. The hippy thing was barely beginning and nowhere near mainstream... that wouldn’t happen until ‘the ’60s’ were about over.
• Politicians’ utopian visions were still as abstract as 1950s architecture: Messrs Johnson’s Great Society (and the Vietnam War) and Wilson’s white-hot technological revolution were under way. People really thought the future was going to be like ‘The Jetsons’ or that new show, ‘Star Trek’.
• ARPAnet, the US military project that became the Internet and made narrowcasting what it is today, just got started.
• England won the World Cup.
• God was in heaven, the Missal on the altar and the Prayer Book in the pews, and there still literally were 20 shillings to the pound.
• Things were starting to fall apart though. James Pike got away with apostasy — barely — but had the integrity to quit. But the damage was done as Vatican II was starting to do to the Roman Church.
• Today I first saw the light of day.
We all know sometimes life’s hates and troubles
Can make you wish you were born in another time and space
But you can bet your life times that and twice its double
That God knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed
So make sure when you say you’re in it but not of it
You’re not helping to make this earth a place sometimes called hell
Change your words into truths and then change that truth into love
And maybe our children’s grandchildren
And their great-great-grandchildren will tell
- Stevie Wonder, ‘As’
The former Cat Stevens doesn’t know what he’s talking about
I don’t dislike Yusuf Islam (even though like the Pope I don’t agree with him) but here he shows that he apparently either didn’t read the lecture transcript or doesn’t understand an academic citation, nor what he was taught in RC school

The Pope is not a Muslim. He is a Christian. In other news, ‘sun rises in east’. I thought Mr Islam would know better than to be hurt by that fact.
Pop stars. What don’t they know?
- Paraphrasing Homer Simpson

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What sola scriptura really means
In the happy hunting-ground of sectarianism. From The Western Confucian.
Spy agencies say Iraq war worsens terror
In ‘Fluffya’
Una festa santa e divertentissima

Today is the feast-day of St Pius of Pietrelcina and so Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in South Philadelphia, real-life Rocky country, had a festival. I understand some of his relics were there but I didn’t get to see them. Had a glass of wine, penne pasta and cake and sat with the locals outside listening to oldies. The Catholic sacramental principle and belief in the communion of saints are alive among ethnic Italians and I’m sure Padre Pio was smiling from heaven as the kiddies enjoyed the moon-bounce.
Pray, hope and do not worry.
- St Pius of Pietrelcina (more)
Three New Deals
The Nazis and Fascists loved FDR. From LRC.
On the religious left and more on faith and reason
From the Revd Tripp Hudgins

Speaking of the former, Reverend Ref, I read Dr George Regas’ sermon from nearly two years ago (.pdf file) and my long comment in Tripp’s entry linked above is essentially my answer. I agree with you that it’s wrong and hypocritical for the state to harass All Saints’ for the sermon whilst giving Pat Robertson and other pro-Bush people a free pass.

But Dr R is likewise wrong and hypocritical on abortion. He preached:
But remember — the killing of innocent people to achieve some desired goal is morally repudiated by anyone claiming to follow me as their saviour and guide.
But goes on to say these chilling things disguised as charity to women:
...you do not have the right in this diverse, pluralistic society to force your beliefs and opinion on others. Nor does the President of the United States. There can never be a just law requiring uniformity of behavior on the abortion issue.

I’m not pro-abortion but pro-choice.
So why are there laws against murder? ‘If Mr Jones kills Mr Smith because Mr S is of a race Mr J considers less than human, who are we to force our beliefs and opinions on him?’
There is something vicious and violent about coercing a woman to carry to term an unwanted child. To force the unwanted on the unwilling, to use a woman’s body against her will and choice, is morally repugnant.
The Nazis thought in terms of ‘unwanted children’ as well.

I simply do not see a ‘sensitive conscience’ nor Christianity here.

It also violates the harm principle (harm no-one, or my freedom ends where your hurt begins) of libertarianism and of neo-paganism.

The obvious point: ‘unwanted children’ are ‘innocent (but inconvenient and politically incorrect) people’.
Jesus now speaks to all of us. “I need you to share with me the healing of all life.”
That includes unwanted life.

He’s right, though, that Mr Bush’s minders aren’t really interested in stopping abortions as Dr Stassen’s statistics show. They’re simply trying to play the conservative Christian voters with that.

And as part of the religious left he sees the very state that’s trying to persecute him as the solution to the world’s problems!

He is spot-on about the war on Iraq and on the nuclear bomb. (Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, defender of the Roman Mass, wanted Vatican II to condemn the latter!)
Groups denounce deal on detainee rights
From antiwar.com
The compassionate torturer
From Working for Change

Friday, September 22, 2006

‘Traditional Values Coalition’ supports Mr Bush’s wish to step up torture
I don’t think they mean what Russell Kirk did by ‘traditional values’. Another reason why people hate religion. From Lee Penn: ‘This is Christianity at its worst’.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I must admit this does make Wal-Mart look good
From the LRC blog
Say good-bye to Hollywood
Does the Internet generation need it to create?
From Samer al-Batal in Beirut
Who wrote all of the following commentary

Two human-rights reports on Israeli conduct during the war:

Deliberate destruction or ‘collateral damage’? Israeli attacks on civilian infrastructure
By Amnesty International

Fatal strikes: Israel’s indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Lebanon (.pdf file)
By Human Rights Watch

British journalist Jonathan Cook, based in Nazareth, finds fault with HRW, with senior researcher Peter Boukaert in particular, claiming that the integrity of their reporting was compromised, presumably due to pressure by pro-Israeli organisations’ hostile posturing. In his remarks, Cook goes over points such as Israel effectively using its own citizens as human shields, something that wasn’t given much media attention, partly due to military censorship at the time.

Israeli myths
Jonathan Cook on media deception following the war. He also illustrates with recently unfolding examples the Israeli government’s unequal treatment of its own citizens.

Terrorists assassinate Swedish aristocrat*
In remembrance: grandson of His late Highness Oscar II of Sweden, Count Folke Bernadotte (more), a friend to Jewish victims of the Second World War, he was murdered 58 years ago at the hands of the Stern Gang.

Amongst those who gave the green light for this act was a former prime minister of Israel: Yitzhak Shamir.
On 16 September 1948, Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, the United Nations Mediator for Palestine, submitted his progress report to the United Nations. It contained what he described as "seven basic premises" regarding the situation in Palestine. In the one headed "Right of Repatriation," he declared: "The right of innocent people, uprooted from their homes by the present terror and ravages of war, to return to their homes, should be affirmed and made effective, with assurance of adequate compensation for the property of those who may choose not to return.... [N]o settlement can be just and complete if recognition is not accorded to the right of the Arab refugee to return to the home from which he has been dislodged. It will be an offence against the principles of elemental justice if these innocent victims of the conflict were denied the right of return to their homes while Jewish immigrants flow into Palestine..."
Gode Gud, ge hans själ ro.

(Mia, what did he say? I’m guessing ‘Good God, may he rest in peace’. Amen.)

*His father’s marriage was not approved of by the king, and he lost his right of succession.
Reason vs rationalism
Perhaps 'reasonable' is defined, if that's the right word, by the nature of God himself. Whatever is contrary to his nature is ipso facto and most certainly unreasonable.
From Endlessly Rocking.
Gore Vidal on 9/11
From LRC
Roman Catholic-Eastern Orthodox dialogue... again
Nothing will happen soon but it’s good the two sides are talking. From Huw Raphael.
The schism of 1054 created the two churches of Rome and Constantinople - now Istanbul, Turkey.
The MSM don’t get religion. That’s pretty bad from an RC news service. It’s the old misconception that Istanbul is the Orthodox Vatican. Orthodoxy is a communion of churches like the newer Anglican Communion only with no Protestantism (liberal or conservative) so it works better. The Patriarch of Constantinople was once important because his see was in the new capital of the Roman Empire but I don’t think he’s even a symbolic/honorary head of the Orthodox communion like ++Cantuar is of the Anglican. Put another way, Orthodox identity is to do with being in the Orthodox communion which happens to include C’ople but is not defined as being specifically in communion with it like communion with Rome defines being RC or with Canterbury being Anglican (strictly speaking — you could say the fine churches of the Continuum are anglican but not Anglican).

That and there were at least two churches in a communion of churches before 1054!

Amidst the rhetoric:
Cardinal Walter Kasper said the two churches should turn to their "unity in God, one faith, one baptism."
True but pretty vapid. One could say that about mainline Protestant churches with whom corporate reunion is of course impossible. (The way to to go with them is individual conversions.) Because that reunion is possible and even theoretically desirable here this dialogue makes sense and has promise.
A release from the Vatican this morning said that two central and interconnected questions will be addressed by the meeting, “the primacy of the Bishop of Rome...
That’s a real issue. It would make sense for a communion that is in a sense one church to have a visible head, a patriarch of patriarchs, but the early and mediæval church couldn’t have had direct papal jurisdiction over all even if it wanted to. Ranks of bishops are man-made; the episcopate is not. And to muddle things further the Western liberals either oppose Roman authority or in theory sound like ultramontanist caricatures: ‘Why doesn’t the Pope use his power and (adopt whatever impossible pet cause they’re talking about)? The next Pope will do it!’ To which regarding faith or morals the Pope’s answer is ‘Not that I’d want to but I can’t anyway — I’m only the Pope!
...and the theme of ‘uniatism (regarding Eastern Churches who maintain their own Rites, but acknowledge the supremacy of the Pope).’”
Only an issue in that nobody knowledgeable wants to see the Orthodox end up compromised (diluted rite, even liberalised) like the Novus Ordo or the Byzantine Catholics. The accusations of proselytism are rubbish: that’s not what Rome teaches and it doesn’t try to use the BCs that way. The people in Galicia took back the churches the Soviets stole from them, end of story. Get over it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Israel bombs the competition
From The Gaelic Starover
Airport-security idiocy
• I’ve never been treated badly by the TSA but all that was before the latest scare...
• ... which ironically came from London, which as I remember never was invasive nor stupid about security and impressive about handling real threats (at least before 7/7 and the Jean Charles de Menezes cock-up), having much experience with IRA terrorism.
• Osama bin Laden is still at large but the state postures about being ‘tough on crime’ by harassing its citizens.

From Hoosier Musings in Big Sky Country.
An anti-Nazi aristocrat on nationalism
From Joshua Snyder

Fighting to make Muslims godless

On the ‘Reformation’

Pope Benedict’s point on the right understanding of reason (conforming to objective truth as the Schoolmen and classic Anglicans understood), the authentic Catholic position that created the university. Or fundamentalism and Modernism are only two sides of the same revisionist, really anti-intellectual private-judgement coin. Have a Muslim ‘Reformation’ and you’ll get a more obnoxious version of Wahabbi Saudi Arabia.

From Eunomia, now in my blogroll.

Daniel Larison on the upper-class twits at his old school: ‘by turns personally obnoxious and also preciously PC’. Sounds like my experience of parts of the Broad Church blogosphere.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Who has to follow the Geneva Convention?
A lively debate and list of links from the Revd Tripp Hudgins
Those mean-spirited Apple ads
I’m not the only one who finds John Hodgman (‘I’m a PC’) likeable and Justin Long as ‘a Mac’ a bit smug. BTW I started on Macs 15 years ago but use PCs. From the LRC blog.
What to do when your computer bogs down
I’ve done Nos. 3, 4 and 5

The Catholic faith vs the war party
Justin Raimondo on Pope Benedict XVI

... and opposed to Mr Bush’s religion
The neocons again milk evangelicalism

The real Crocodile Dundee
In Australia today, police can enter your house and search for guns, copy the hard drive of your computer, seize records, and do it all without a search warrant.
From LRC.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Brzezinski: US aided Afghan guerrillas before Soviet invasion of 1979
From Lee Penn

Remember the psalm in which it is said that the one who digs a pit for others to fall into will fall into it himself.

From Chalmers Johnson, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, Henry Holt, 2004 (rev. ed.), p. xiii

Johnson says,
The USSR's invasion of Afghanistan was deliberately provoked. In his 1996 memoirs, former CIA director Robert Gates writes that the American intelligence services actually began to aid the mujahideen guerrillas in Afghanistan not after the Soviet invasion of that country, but six months before it. And in a 1998 interview with the French weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, former President Carter's National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, unambiguously confirmed Gates' assertion.

'According to the official version of history', Brzezinski told the
Nouvel Observateur, 'CIA aid to the mujahideen began during 1980, this is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. But the reality, closely guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979, that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion that aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention'.
When asked whether he regretted these actions, Brzezinski replied:
'Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, essentially: 'We now have the opportunity of giving the USSR its Vietnam War.'
Nouvel Observateur:
And neither do you regret having supported Islamic fundamentalism, which has given arms and advice to future terrorists?
Brzezinski:
'What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some agitated Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?'
Get the state out of the marriage business
A view from South Africa by Dr Stephen (Fr Deacon Methodius) Hayes

Rod Dreher on dodging reality/abdicating responsibility
The motive for mainstream acceptance of socialism/sovietisation? Perhaps the bolshies have learnt that sex sells and Mao jackets don’t.
US war prisons a legal vacuum for 14,000

US holds AP photographer in Iraq for five months

Saturday, September 16, 2006

On the row over the Pope’s statement
From Samer al-Batal:

Context given by Fr Samir Khalil Samir

Provisional text of Benedict XVI’s lecture (PDF file)

My take: By quoting Byzantine Emperor Manuel II, who knew a thing or two about dealing with Islam, he didn’t do anything wrong. As regular readers here know I can be sincerely sympathetic to Muslims and Islam, not demonising them and acknowledging their kinship as an Abrahamic faith, actually an offshoot (non-Christian) of Eastern Christianity as St John Damascene, an Arab himself, noted. But just like the Pope stands up for Catholic truth on this and on peace in Iraq and the rest of the Near East he stands up for it here stating that Islam is not entirely true.

Then there’s the irony, like after the furore dodgily stirred up by months-old Danish cartoons, of Muslims reacting to accusations of being violent with... violence. You’re being played.

More from Joshua Snyder.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

On being a priest
By Fr Jerome Lloyd
Why orthodoxy matters
...our charge is always to have charity and love. And we who embrace Christian orthodoxy must remember that orthodoxy is about creating a safe space in which to be drawn into God...
From The Propaganda Box.

More from Warwickensis.

And a word from Charley Wingate in one of Fr Jake’s com-boxes.
The Pope on reason and modernity
Reason rightly understood as classic Anglicans and before them the Schoolmen did is conforming oneself to objective reality. From Traditional Anglopapist, Fr Marco Vervoorst’s new blog incorporating his two older Blogger ones.
‘Third awakening’
Gott mit uns, or taking God’s name in vain. Mr Bush’s minders again milk American revivalism to push their imperialism. Not hard to do historically: that sense of being the chosen people in the promised land (actually the happy hunting-ground of sectarianism as Mgr Ronald Knox put it), of entitlement, fuelled manifest destiny and the treatment of the natives.
You realize that the only other self-righteous leader who seems to use similar terms (of good and evil) to justify his actions is Osama bin Laden?
Yes, how’s the ‘dead or alive’ manhunt for him going?

From The Gaelic Starover.
Serbia: empire runs into a wall
From antiwar.com
Cut off, Gazan economy nears collapse

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The manner how to recite the rosary
From ‘Jesus, Maria Joseph, or The Devout Pilgrim of the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary in his Holy Exercises, Affections, and Elevations. Upon the Sacred Mysteries of Jesus, Maria, Joseph. Published for the benefit of the pious Rosarists, by A.C. and T.V. Religious Monks of the holy Order of S BENNET. Amsterdam 1657’. Via Fr Will Brown.
Lord Chancellor: Guantánamo a ‘shocking affront to democracy’
The Republicans are not conservatives
Andrew Cusack predicts that the 7th November will be elephant-hunting season in the States (more)

From Fr Jim Tucker.
Test non-lethal weapons on citizens at home, says US Air Force secretary
The anonymous submitter writes: This defies comment...
"If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation" said [US Air Force Secretary] Wynne.
Let me guess... Shooting microwave radiation at American citizens is going to be sold as ‘an essential tool in the war on terror’.
On the box
The ‘Journey’ diamond advert
The DeBeers family again try to sell you everlasting love in the form of a rock, actually several in a (IMO) not particularly pretty setting. But I love the music in it — ‘What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?’ sung by either Dusty Springfield or Sarah Vaughan and covered by Barbra Streisand and Alison Moyet. This is pop for grown-ups.

Meredith Vieira
I’m sure she’s perfectly good at what she does (I don’t watch) but to paraphrase Scrappleface (via man with black hat), ‘Why just read the news online when you can pay some moderately attractive person literally millions to read it to you?’
What exactly do they mean by ‘homeland security’?
Justine Nicholas asks after ‘the orgy of propaganda and disaster pornography leading to the 9/11 memorial’

The bogeyman industry
Fear the Germans Japanese Chinese Russians Serbs Iraqis Mexicans Iranians

Cornered empire

On conservatives and mass murder

Muddled Michael Medved

From LRC.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Joe Sobran on hypocrisy
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
On the Anglican Breviary
By Derek at haligweorc, who as a scholar could do Matins on his own at the first go; something he and I don’t recommend for everyone! (Kids, don’t try this at home.) The breviary site I link to in the sidebar to the right under ‘religion’ isn’t the AB but strongly resembles it.

On chanting the office together
By Tim Cravens, whom I’ve met several times
On ‘serial Cyprianism’
Charley Wingate on dancing from true church to true church

As the Orthodox say, ‘we know where the church is but do not say where it is not’. ‘Subsistit in’ (to give Vatican II credit), or the visible and mystical churches are neither exactly co-terminous (the opinion of Catholics from St Cyprian to Fr Leonard Feeney but not Catholic doctrine) nor mutually exclusive! (Not at all the same as indifferentism.)

Brother Thomas writes:
The serial Cyprianite... expects the institution of the church to be perfect...
The Catholic Church is infallible and indefectible but its people are not. (In plain English: sinless church, sinful people.) As he says it’s like the hypostatic union, the sinless and sinful mystically united, like true God and true man united in one person: the paradox of God almighty becoming a man capable of being mortally wounded on earth.

Charley also notes:
Someone over in GetReligion has invented the political unit of "Fubaristan", which from a news reporting point of view is a perfect coinage. I (among others) am jealous.
‘War on terror’ will turn a generation of angry young men against the West
But considering their power grab ‘because of the current environment’ that could be what Mr Bush’s minders want
‘I am not my sin’
The authentic Catholic position on homosexuality, another take on the matter that answers blog reader Tim J.’s recent challenge to Robert Cooper on it (and reinforces one of Cooper’s points). It’s not perfect — I question the charismagelical psychology that says weak relationships with fathers and lack of interest in conventionally masculine stuff cause homosexuality — but pretty good. (Writer Steven Robinson also rightly criticises ‘change therapy’.) From Oh Taste and See.
The Church is only concerned with who you are becoming in Christ through the practice of the virtues, regardless of your besetting sin.
And tolerant conservatism (see the definition in this blog’s sidebar to the right) understands that we often fall short — that’s what confession and absolution are for.
We all grow up fractured and broken. We grow up with a warfare within us that we did not choose, but which was given to us.

People with SSA
[same-sex attraction] are seeking the same thing every human being is desperate for: intimacy, unconditional acceptance, to love and be loved.

[They] are not the only people in the world “doomed” to abstinence as a lifestyle against their choice and desires... neither is celibacy hell.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Little Englanders
From Eunomia
Thinking the unthinkable
From The Western Confucian
What motivates suicide terrorists?
It isn’t Islam

Number of religious people in US underreported

Church in Odessa returned to Russian Orthodox

Хорошо

Old Believers meet in Vinnytsia for world conference

‘A Christian Buddhist agnostic’
From Daithí Mac Lochlainn. More from the Broad Church fringe though this is really nothing new. (Not to be confused with acknowledging the truth in other religions.) For ages now we’ve been hearing Westerners talk up some Asian religion or other but not actually join it adopting all of its beliefs or its disciplines (unlike Fr David Hart). This has turned into ‘spiritual but not religious’. The writer probably remembers when this sort of thing was considered extremely cool, as in ‘guh-roovy’.

I’ll let Fr Wilson in on something: many (most?) kids are not impressed.

Did you know...
That for the feast of the birth of Mary, the antiphon at Second Vespers in the Roman Breviary is the same as the Byzantine Rite (Orthodox) troparion for the feast?

Sunday, September 10, 2006



A virtual 9/11 memorial
From Todd via Huw Raphael

I said at the time there should be a Peace Park there with an eternal-flame monument. And I like the main picture: of peace officers, many of whom died trying to save the others (for which Fr Mychal Judge will be remembered). This has the right interfaith look for all who were killed that day. It also looks a little like the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

A couple of stories
Fr George Rutler AFAIK disagrees with me on ‘the Muslim menace’ but as a priest in Manhattan lived through the aftermath of the attack there. In the street he found himself surrounded by Catholic firemen who wanted to make their confessions before going into the World Trade Center. He gave them a battlefield-style general absolution, the right thing to do according to the circumstances, and into the burning towers they went...

Acquaintance Marina Belica who lives in SoHo borrowed some binoculars and when she looked at the towers saw a man, faced with either burning to death or falling, swan-dive off a ledge...

Five years on
The causes/motives of the attacks, that is, the reasons parts of the world don’t love the American empire, haven’t been addressed and if anything are even bigger problems, going from putting soldiers in Saudi Arabia (what got Osama bin Laden angry) in order to fight pointless Gulf War I to starting Gulf War II, invading and occupying a secular country nothing to do with the attacks, and supporting an unfair Israeli attack on the Lebanon.

So, Mr ‘Dead or Alive’ posing in a fighter pilot’s work clothes (remember ‘Mission accomplished’?), where is bin Laden?*

Dona eis requiem sempiternam. Jesu, mercy; Mary, pray.

*Daithí Mac Lochlainn is a World Trade Center survivor.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

J.P. Getty, meet C.S. Lewis
From Logos
God is not a vending machine
Fr J used to draw a comparison between Orthodox and other religious views. He would cite the common prayer, "Lord, let this (new job, new dating partner, new house, etc.) be Thy will." People were always praying for whatever they wanted to be God's will. "Let it be Thy will that I get this cool new MacBookPro for my birthday..."

I note that that particular deity functions nearly the same way as a Santa Claus. And also rather like one of the ones that I used to address in my neo-pagan Magic days. Do the right things, and you'll get what you want.

God, said Fr J, doesn't work that way in the Church's teaching. We don't have to pray for X, Y or Z to be God's will. God's will is known clearly: look at 1 Timothy 2:3-4.
Hoc enim bonum est et acceptum coram salutari nostro Deo qui omnes homines vult salvos fieri et ad agnitionem veritatis venire. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

God's will is that all be saved: that is His will for All Time. But we can thwart it. And we can thwart it by willing things - on our own - that are not salvific. The question to ask about the new job, about the old one, about the new girl friend, about the children, the kids, the car, the house.... the question is not "God, is this thing your will?" But rather, "God, will this thing help me or hinder me in my quest for salvation?"
- Huw Raphael

It’s an easy trap to fall into! As friend Larry Reilly once described that’s how pagans as in the classical world thought: do the rite correctly and you’ve made a contract with the gods that they have to honour (you control them, at least temporarily); they owe you one!

I don’t know if that difference is peculiar to the Orthodox; sounds like simply authentic Christianity opposed to superstition.

Is ‘Fr J’ Fr Joseph Huneycutt?
‘History cannot judge me if I end it soon’

September what?


From The Onion.
David Gushee on Christian support for war
From Verbum ipsum
The truth is out: Saddam Hussein was nothing to do with al-Qaeda
Which we already knew, but...

I wonder what the Revd Lon Solomon is saying now about presidents telling the truth*:
In one sermon during the Clinton impeachment, Solomon reportedly issued a thinly veiled Clinton-bashing spiel about how lying to the American people is wrong.
You mean it was all only partisan rubbish? Sob... say it ain’t so!

Reminds me of when Jimmy Swaggart got caught.

Commentary from Huw Raphael.

More from LRC’s Paul Hein on bending the truth.

*Quite possibly Mr Bush tells untruths but isn’t guilty of lying: he believes what his minders tell him and admits he doesn’t read the papers.

Friday, September 08, 2006

We’ve had enough of foreign wars
Nobody can say anything any more about the adventure in Iraq: it’s too hopeless and depressing and Blair has moved on.
- Vicki Woods of The Daily Telegraph via Eunomia
Messianism and antinomianism
The horrific ideas of the neocons and how and why they play their conservative Christian supporters. From The Gaelic Starover.
Rome acts for traditionalists
A new religious order and another hint of ending restrictions on the Roman Mass. From Jeff Culbreath.
Man who converts to Hinduism retains licence as Anglican priest
The cosmic outer limits of Broad Churchmanship. This is not the church that first showed me the Catholic faith but I’m not surprised any more. From Daithí Mac Lochlainn.

Hello, what’s this?
From GetReligion
In ‘Fluffya’



Rocky statue moved next to museum steps and rededicated by Sly Stallone himself
I was there

More from me on the Rocky phenom
It’s not about muscle; it’s about heart.
- Sylvester Stallone at the rededication
I don’t hear no bell!
- Mick, played by Burgess Meredith (RIP), on not quitting

Why the left hates it
By Jamie Glazov

West of Penn
Hip and fun, with jumble sales and beautiful Victorian architecture — I live nearby (in crumbling Edwardian splendour) and bicycle through all the time. (Like just now to the Rocky thing and back.) Can you readers who know the city tell me which coffeehouse the cover art depicts? (Yes, I know which one. Do you?)
Russian Orthodox-ROCOR reunion talks given green light
Слава Богу! From Brian Underwood.

LRC’s Jeffrey Tucker on annoying converts (and being one of them)
Not perfect as I point out but he makes a lot of good points, and to be fair he’s also part of the blog The New Liturgical Movement which supports the traditionalism of the Christian East

Arturo Vasquez points out that mainstream RCs don’t:
Any liturgical, spiritual, or theological treasure Rome had was either thrown out the window or is now kept in the basement. (I should know, I have been to many liturgical basements.) If the [Roman] Catholic and Orthodox Churches united tomorrow, why go to Divine Liturgy every Sunday when you can go to St. Anne's Catholic Community down the road and only spend an hour in church instead of three or four? If you don't do things the same, you aren't the same. That's just the way it is. If anything, Orthodoxy would just become one more corner in the Roman liturgical storage area: the people with the "funny-looking Mass."
Which is exactly what happened to the Byzantine Catholic churches (along with largely self-latinisation) and no traditionalist who knows better wants.
One thing I heartily agree with is the sentiment that the Church of the future will be small and strange. (Was it Flannery O'Connor who said, "the truth will make you odd"?) The whole urge of professional ecumenists to get us all in the Big Tent as soon as possible is very odd to me. "Ut unum sint" (that they all may be one) was not a command. Even if we take the Vulgate (sorry, I do not yet know Greek), the verb is in the subjunctive; it is a wish, not a command. What is commanded is that we hold fast to what has been handed down to us, that we presevere in our Faith to the end, and that we love one another. Anything that is not contained in these things is not urgent. It is not urgent that we have the same CEO on the masthead of our Christian "corporations", it is not urgent that we have the exact same press releases, and it is not urgent that we look organized, efficient, and effective as an organization. Maybe "unity" in the form we want it is not ours to seek, but rather God's to give. If we cannot receive it, it is because we are sinful. Just leave it at that.
Here’s more from Charley Wingate on the second part.

P.S. Being up on the rubrics ≠ überfrommity.
Liberate this
From blog reader James who writes: Here is the link to the website of Dr Dahlia Wasfi, who is of mixed Iraqi and Austrian-Jewish parentage, and is working indefatigably to bring about an end to the US occupation of Iraq.

Baptist minister on peace and war
... in 1802. From Jonathan at Manalive!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

America working from ‘the dark side’
From Cælum et terra
Soldier who chose jail over Iraq war goes home
Kevin Benderman, hero

Spinning the troop levels in Iraq

Bush: OK, OK, we’ve got secret torture camps

But only 14 people went there — honest! Meanwhile he wants to change the law to exempt US interrogators from prosecution. Maybe his minders remember that the Nuremberg defence didn’t work.

From antiwar.com.
Dissenting RC parish supports vagante ordination
From Fr Chandler Holder Jones

Fr John Zuhlsdorf fisks the pastor’s statement

Me on the boat thing
(scroll down to the last comment)

At the end of the day it’s really a Modernist version of this silliness (more). I wonder if the ordinary would look the other way if one of his parish priests announced in the bulletin that Pope Michael is making a official visit to the area and encouraged his people to support him.
Hopko on Rome
This nearly year-old article was republished online this week by Orthodoxy Today (which seems to be down), starting a firestorm in blog com-boxes. It’s a mixed bag.

The discussion at Pontifications.

Huw Raphael on his reverse Uniatism/Byzantinocentrism:
Seems that Fr Tom wants the Pope to make normative all Eastern traditions, with Western traditions being ‘OK’ for ‘pastoral reasons’. How generous of him.
I wonder if Hopko’s being ironic on purpose. It mirrors how Rome has treated its Eastern Catholic churches.

Here Owen (The Ochlophobist) confirms what Mule and I have seen and said about mainstream RC. He also nails the common Western attitude towards the Orthodox. From Ad Orientem.
Lebanon blockade to be lifted
Samer al-Batal is back in Beirut. Here are his picks of the day:

Not so clean break
By Taki in The American Conservative

The Ukrainian massacre
As I was saying, they’re the only ones who ‘never forget’ that the USSR was worse than the Nazis. So when will The New York Times do the right thing and give back that Pulitzer (à la ‘Jimmy’s World’)?

Google opens up 200 years of news

From LRC.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More profiling
From Fr Jim Tucker
Death penalty sought for charged soldiers
From John Boyden
Evangelicals and the Christian right, and a bit on evolution
From old sparring partner Fr Jake. The com-box predictably is going on about homosexuality. A few points from this end:

• I’ve praised the historic peace witness, concern for social justice and distrust of the military from evangelicals such as William Jennings Bryan. Very different to the right today, which is Randall Balmer’s point.
• There’s actually continuity between the meddling and attacks on freedom of the 19th-century Protestants and the neocons (who are really a kind of liberal). ‘We Methodists know what’s good for you’ said Hillary Clinton. Like Mr Bush’s minders know what’s best for the Near East. And look what a smashing success Prohibition was and the War on Drugs still is.
• The market is the friend of freedom and peace not its enemy.
• As I like to say, quoting Chesterton, liberals are right about the world’s problems but wrong about the solution.
• Theistic evolution? No problem!

Incidentally I don’t think Fr Jake will mind my mentioning that in an e-mail exchange I sent him ‘On making apologetical points — or not’, the story of Fr Amphilochios, and he liked it as much as I did.
American religion gone bad
The Revd Larry Kamphausen has seen where Protestantism is heading. I understand some are allergic to the word ‘Lord’.
Hey, Rummy
By Eric Margolis. From LRC.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Defending Internet freedom
By John Nichols. From truthout via Brian Underwood.
Modern philosophy is a big wank
I’m nowhere near as well-read as endlesslyrocking but you’ve got to love this:
I'm not wrong about 20th-century philosophy, thank you very much. With notable, and noble, exceptions, it is a soup of theosophical debauchery and professorial sorcery, with a dash of positivistical and pragmatical whimsy thrown in for good measure.
Pat Buchanan’s nativism is wrong
From the LRC blog
On crises of faith, the dark night and spiritual growth
The key question for me was whether I was able to deny Jesus. Going through my time of spiritual darkness (which lasted about 10 years) I was able to deny and reject a lot of things. However I was never able to deny or reject Jesus. I was tempted, and I thought about it, but I could never make that statement. I could not tell Him to go away.

Some ‘adults’ never get beyond childish faith (I believe in God because mommy would be angry if I didn’t and I don’t want God or mommy to punish me) or adolescent faith (I believe because I want to be accepted in the group/community).
From Huw Raphael via the Revd James Konicki.
Pennsylvanians standing for office distance themselves from Mr Bush
The war is lost
Surprise! The Sunnis would rather fight than hand Iraq over to the Shi’ites, but whatever happens, the right thing to do is quit the country. Now. Even old CIA shill Bill Buckley is talking sense about this.

Karen Kwiatkowski on Bush’s and Rumsfeld’s speeches

The crap economics of ‘Star Trek’

This was explained to me ages ago. Gene Roddenberry was also nastily anti-religious (the kind of chap who finds atheism a perfect cover to cheat on his wife, plagiarise and generally be vicious) which showed in the stories. Look at it (eyebrow raise) logically and you’ll find that the good guys in his make-believe world (obviously really the Great Society, Cold War US and its military in the 1960s Captain Kirk version) weren’t. They were... totalitarian. One of the last times I saw this I found the party-hearty, hard-drinking post-nuke apocalyptic characters freer and more fun than the ‘Trek socialist men and women’. That and the newly discovered aliens stepping off the spacecraft speaking English told me I’d grown up some time back and gone off this stuff.

From LRC.
Charley Wingate looks at the mainstream Bible market
Which for ‘hysterical raisins’ (as the hackers used to say) is largely Protestant, and he finds that
what we see is a mass market which, with the exception of the [Roman] Catholic NAB, is completely occupied by theologically conservative translations. From a strictly textual or translational perspective, they are not all conservative; the Holman, for instance, uses a modern textual basis, and the NLT is paraphrastic. But they are all connected to radically conservative Protestant groups.

What this would appear to say is that mainline Protestants are not an important bible market anymore.
My Bible collection.
Apocalyptic paradox
From The Gaelic Starover
Talking about the papacy
With Petra in Germany, in the spirit of the university

Monday, September 04, 2006

Quotations
When blog responses between [Roman] Catholics and Orthodox exceed 50 light has ceased to be shed.
- Fr Stephen Freeman
I was also investigating Roman Catholicism. I don’t have to go into much detail explaining my relationship to [Roman] Catholicism. It is my opinion that that great church has suffered a great deal in the last 40 years, and that she is just now coming out of a very difficult period in her history...

This was even stranger in that the pope at that time was that great, good, and faithful man, John Paul II. Faithful
[Roman] Catholics explained to me that the [Roman] Catholic Church had passed through a period directly after Vatican II in which the old cobwebs had been swept out, but then was replaced by the worst of liberal Protestantism. The priests in the [Roman] Catholic Church were, if they were over 50, and most of them were, they were products of this environment... The [Roman] Catholic Church, though, is the sleeping giant of Christendom. When she recovers her true self, reunion with the Orthodox and the reconstitution of the Great Church [Catholic] will rapidly ensue. Nevertheless, after my fifth or sixth Mass, though, [Roman] Catholicism as it is currently practiced in this country ceased having any appeal to me.
- The writer called Mule, who is anything but a jackass, in a long, wrenching spiritual autobiography

Natural religion is conservative
Not news to the Orthodox, who aren’t slated for it because they’re still small and foreign enough in the West not to be taken seriously there (not that that’s right!)
In the time I have spent with the Dakota Indians their resistance to liturgical change was obvious to me. Their devotion to the Dakota translations of the worst nineteenth-century Gospel hymns and the reverence they hold for the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, an ideological expression of a culture utterly alien and recently overtly hostile to them, can appear absurd. I have visited churches, where the cast-off stoles of some eastern parish of fifty years ago are treated with a profound reverence that could appear excessive to some. Yet there are no people in the church who better live the principal [sic] of sensibility to the archaic.
- Urban Holmes

Maybe they knew better and clung to these things because they’re not ‘absurd’ nor ‘ideologically hostile to them’ but transcend secular history and ideology and are objective and Godward whilst modern liberal religion is not. People from a traditional culture ‘get it’.

- Dances with Wolves The young fogey