Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Patriarch Teoctist of Romanian Church dies
Aged 92. From Byzantine Ramblings.

Hymn parody
‘Our Community’s Stated Purpose’. From Mere Comments via Fr Joseph Huneycutt.

Hymn parodies like hymns themselves are an Anglican art form.
Online straw poll: Falwellians choose Ron Paul over Falwell’s 1980 approach
From the LRC blog
Derek Olsen on the Confiteor
Remembering a real conservative
From a letter from Larry Penner in the US edition of Metro:
1964 presidential candidate [and late US Senator from Arizona] Barry Goldwater believed that what consenting adults consume, inhale, perform, read or view in the privacy of their their own homes or private social clubs isn’t the concern of government. Individual ecenomic and civil liberties prosper best when government stays out of both the bedroom and the marketplace. Limited government means taxpayer dollars should be spent prudently with the least amount of confiscatory taxation accompanied by real balanced budgets, no deficits and actual surpluses. [Second-term Bill Clinton seemed to approach that.]

Goldwater would never support the massive deficit spending that has resulted in today’s $9 trillion long-term debt. He would have also opposed the thousands of congressional earmarks supporting tens of billions of dollars in pork-barrel spending each year. He was no fan of corporate welfare or spending billions on useless weapons systems supported by Congress but not requested by the Pentagon.

If he were alive today he would disown all the 2008 GOP presidential candidates.
Meet Ron Paul.

From Joshua Snyder:

Justin Raimondo explains Dr Paul to the British
He stands in the tradition of the Little Englanders like Chesterton

I have always given it as my decided opinion that no nation had a right to intermeddle in the internal concerns of another; that every one had a right to form and adopt whatever government they liked best to live under themselves.
— George Washington
1. Liberals think they are better than the average person because:

- They believe everybody is equal

- They have higher IQs.

2. The members of America's political overclass aren't as smart as they think they are.
Steve Sailer
The Pearl Harbor myth
More people at the time knew the truth, which is not the patriotic story that is common knowledge today. From LRC.

Buy the book.

Here’s more from Tea at Trianon via Joshua Snyder.

Was Pat Tillman murdered?
Like less famous American soldiers he didn’t want this war

Sobran on Chesterton and the Catholic faith
As G.K. Chesterton, one of the greatest and most joyously funny writers in the English language, wrote seventy years ago, “The Church is always in advance of the world. That is why it is said to be behind the times.” “Only the Catholic Church,” he also observed, “can save a man from the degraded slavery of being a child of his age.”
On Truman
But before we start construction on the Bush Memorial, perhaps someone will explain just what Truman’s greatness (or near-greatness) consisted in. Using nuclear weapons on cities? Waging undeclared war in Korea? Trying to nationalize the steel industry?

If anything, Truman was even worse than his poll ratings suggest. He had the temperament of a vulgar dictator. His most notable achievement was his 1948 upset victory over Thomas Dewey. But how did that, or anything else he ever did, serve the public interest?
A boy and his dog
Mr Bush has a new poodle. From Rational Review.

Not so fast, reports The Independent via antiwar.com:

Britain will pull troops out regardless of US
That’s better

Monday, July 30, 2007

Everybody has to go to church and give money, whether or not they believe anything at all
The Revd Anne Kennedy travels through the American South, where she and her husband seem to find a culture that’s still like that. As a libertarian I’d say no to that but think I understand why a conservative like her would like it.
A new blog from an old online friend
Out of Ergyng, with St Dyfrig as its patron. The most recent entries are about the horrors of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and even of aspects of life in the UK (socialism and political correctness opposed to real charity and common sense).

Friday, July 27, 2007

A moving experience
I am in the middle of moving house! Thanks for lending a hand, Paul Goings, and for the moral support, Charley and Byrd.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Spinning the Pope
GetReligion confirms what I said was happening: the anti-Romish media are trying to make the Pope look as bad as possible: ‘Pope to other Christians: you suck’.

Opposed to common knowledge is the truth, common sense:
From what I’ve seen so far on the blogosphere, it seems that when you are talking to the committed religious, the Pope’s statements are not an issue at all. In fact, they tend to find it refreshing.

“So the Pope believes his religion is superior to the others? Good, I’d be worried about him if he didn’t. I feel the same way about mine.”
Nearly what Archbishop of Canterbury Geoffrey Fisher said about ecumenical dialogue.
It’s only when you start talking to folks who don’t take their religion that seriously that the Pope’s assertions seem to be upsetting people. It’s like the Pope ruined the party for a lot of people who where trying mighty hard to pretend that religion is not, in fact, about the path to ultimate truth, but is more a sort-of “lifestyle choice” - like deciding on jazz or classical music.

It’s like people are surprised that their neighbors actually still believe in this stuff. The death of objective truth was supposed to be a big “no-duh” and yet here we are. And it frightens or annoys the hell out of them.

Talking to the Revd Chris Tessone about some of these issues

Pope: we are the one true church
Shenouda III of the Coptic Church. The two Copts quoted seem to mirror the more famous Pope’s claim for his respective church whilst this Pope seems to echo mainstream Western indignation. Fun fact: historically this is the first patriarchate to use the title, which is not an official one of the Bishop of Rome! (It’s like a nickname then?) And I see the news source made no distinction between the Oriental Orthodox family of churches that Copts belong to (formerly thought to be Monophysite) and the Eastern Orthodox communion. I know Oriental and Eastern literally mean the same thing (one word is Latin, the other Germanic). The two communions probably will reconcile, long before corporate East-West reunion, but they are different.

But what Benedict XVI repeated about the churchness of the EO also applies to the OO.

BTW the reason the word Oriental is now politically incorrect makes sense: like American Indian wannabes and real native cultures, it refers to ideas Westerners have about East Asian cultures (stereotypes), right and often wrong, and not the real peoples and cultures.

From Byzantine Ramblings.
Today’s spam haiku
Don’t remaining your time.
Keep away
enhancement capsules.
Wonderful sex? It is thinkable!
The life and times of the CIA
Bill Buckley’s old employer, no friend of real conservatism

Were American Indians really environmentalists?
Thomas Woods takes on more common knowledge. No matter what the truth is, I too like the stories of good stewardship, only using or killing what you need, and spiritually (natural religion) even acknowledging the life you are taking to put to good use. BTW the ‘crying Indian’ pictured, from a famous environmentalist advert on American television in the early 1970s, was played by ‘Iron Eyes’ Cody, real name Cotti, not an Indian but part of the phenom now known as ‘wannabes’ (white admirers of what they think native cultures are).

Bush and Cheney are liberals
Their models include Woodrow Wilson and FDR, which tells anybody who knows real history

From LRC.
Bush’s dodgy theology of empire
Jim Wallis from 2003, via Tripp (and this)

The opening quotation from Eugene Peterson sounds like common knowledge: ‘religion is responsible for most of the world’s suffering’. The 20th century for example was the most violent in terms of numbers killed and you can blame the opposite of religion for it.

Also from Wallis:

The US Roman Catholic bishops cautiously say the right thing about Iraq

A Palestinian pastor speaks

From Mark Shea:

A former Bush supporter is unnerved by his ‘mysticism’

Keeping torture legal while pretending to do something about it

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Rod Dreher is disillusioned
With the war and the state. Well and good but he sounds like he still doesn’t understand what is wrong with the war in principle.

Selling the war to Iraqis
Yes. Ugh. Complete with appropriate photo.

‘New Republican Jesus’ Fred Thompson was once a pro-abortion lobbyist
If you vote Republican, most of the time (except for Ron Paul for example) you are being played

Speaking of Ron Paul the Great:
Paul also opposes abortion, which he believes should be addressed at the state level, not the national one. He remembers seeing a late abortion performed during his residency, years before Roe v. Wade, and he maintains it left an impression on him. “It was pretty dramatic for me,” he says, “to see a two-and-a-half-pound baby taken out crying and breathing and put in a bucket.”
And Dreher has this quotation from somebody else:
...in the Mideast, the US is "going to get a crash course in Realpolitik on a scale that few now in power can visualize."
War, gunboat diplomacy and Christianity
From LRC
Tom Brokaw tells 20-year-olds the truth
You have been hearing all of your life that this occasion is a big step into what is called the real world. "What," you may ask, "is that real world all about?" "What is this new life?" Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 2005 at Emory, real life is not college; real life is not high school. Here is a secret that no one has told you: Real life is junior high.

The world that you're about to enter is filled with junior high adolescent pettiness, pubescent rivalries, the insecurities of 13-year-olds, and the ... bravado of 14-year-olds.
From man with black hat
Like spam haiku
These subject headings I got today are gems both of Engrish and automated translation sites:
Great sex? It is probable!
Don't surplus your time.
Drink it, forget it!
Greatest mode to treatment yourself...
Unthinkable -- certain.
Hello, chief! Let’s talk, why not? I send you premium answer question, 100 per cent!

Church as body of doctrine and church as family
Of course the two aren’t mutually exclusive. An old rector, sound from his biretta to the 39th button of his cassock, used to write a lot about ‘the Family of God’. Mark Shea echoes my points about two kinds of Catholics/high churchmen.

The photo: Jurávit Dóminus et non pœnitébit eum * tu es sácerdos in ætérnum secúndum órdinem Melchísedech. (Psalm 109/110:5) Fr Daniel Kehoe, aged 95. From Miguel José Ernst y Sandoval Moya.
One of the things that strikes me about this Mass is that it attracts a large number of 'ordinary' people and few of the bearded men in navy suits and Mennonite-looking women that seems to be a staple of many a Tridentine Mass parish.
The diversity of real pre-conciliar Catholicism. The church: here comes everybody. All are welcome to come and pray.
What is poverty?
“Poverty, real poverty, is not about things. Real poverty is about not having any choices.”

“Help me understand what you mean by that,” I asked.

Russell paused for a few thoughtful moments before responding, “Poverty is about not having any choices. This family has no choice. They have no resources. No options. There is just his daughter and her brother who is too sick to work, and their young children. They help as much as they can. But, in the end, the only choice – the only option – they have is to ask for help, which is really no choice, no option at all, when you consider the consequences.”

Poverty is about not having any other choice – any other option – except to ask for help.
From the Revd Elizabeth Kaeton.

More on the matter from me.

And from Helen Thompson and, from 1966, Bishop Trevor Huddleston.

Managing money
1. Set clear financial goals
2. Quit overspending
3. Create and use a budget
4. Save for a rainy day
5. Share your wealth with others
6. Eliminate debt
7. Plan for retirement
8. Teach the next generation about good stewardship
9. Avoid having a hoarding mentality
10. Live within your means
From Tea at Trianon.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tammy Faye revisited
Lee follows up on this and this. It seems she was foolish — a perfect target, a buffoon made to order for the establishment types to point at — but not evil:
Obviously the kind of fundraising she and her husband engaged in was inherently dubious, but it really did seem that to a great extent she got caught up in events beyond her knowledge and control. And the machinations of Jerry Falwell in taking over their network come across as extremely cynical.

I also was impressed with what seemed as far as I could tell to be a very deep and genuine Christian faith. And her outreach to gays and lesbians in contravention of all the norms of that community was genuinely touching and seemed to be rooted in sincere Christian love. For all her troubles she certainly seems to have touched a lot of people’s lives in a good way.
May she rest in peace. Amen.
Disempower play
Local activist Jane Dugdale, whom I know slightly, works to impeach
The reich wing
On what passes as conservatism today, or Bob Roberts isn’t that far from coming true if it already isn’t
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.
— Sinclair Lewis

From LRC.
Icons and plainchant
Don Marco (via Tea at Trianon) describes some of the components of Mass-and-office Catholicism, East and West — sober, recollected, objective, Godward, doctrinally centred, scriptural, liturgical — which are in sharp contrast to both squishy ‘spirituality not religion’ (I, not God, am in charge) and charismania (earlier when writing about poor Tammy Fae Messner I observed how Pentecostals seem especially likely to abuse religion like she did).

Loneliness of soul
Not to be confused with being anti-social. How ascesis clears the mind and heart to see God more clearly and improve one’s judgement.

Communist China is still evil
Elena Maria Vidal writes:
It is about as bad as Communism can get, which is pretty bad. It is yet another case of a godless, totalitarian regime promising freedom in order to gain social control.
From LRC.
Russia and Eastern Europe
Russian liberals were, are, accommodating and subservient to the U.S. and the West. Indeed, that seems to be the essence of what passes for Russian liberalism (which is, in reality, about as liberal as the “colour revolutions” were democratic). “Russian liberalism” simply means the transplanting of western European and American managed democratic capitalism in which they, the “liberals,” will serve as the managing elite and organise things according to their particular interests. This would inevitably require them to ignore what most Russians want and what most Russians believe.

Those who cheered on the “colour revolutions” were gullible and usually were not paying very close attention to the people being brought to power in the process. Whether or not the CIA was involved in any of these (I tend to think they were not involved, since these revolutions succeeded), Western governments openly supported one side against the other and cast each one in terms of movement towards the West and away from Russia. The bombing of Yugoslavia
was aggression.
We can’t quit Iraq because... Turkey will be angry

The Third World
I’m hardly banging the drum for intervention in any other places, but who actually thinks that the mess in Iraq is a more “comprehensive and avoidable man-made disaster” than the nightmares that Congo, Sudan and Zimbabwe have been over the last five to ten years? Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of southern Africa, now essentially produces no crops thanks to the insane land-grabbing ways of ZANU-PF [that racist thug Robert Mugabe whom the Archbishop of Bulawayo has courageously spoken out against] and friends. After wiping out four million people through violence and disease, the two Congo Wars continue to have significant aftershocks. Those have been man-made disasters on a grander scale, partaking of a kind of irrationality that is difficult to equal. We do not notice them, because we do not even pretend to care about central and southern Africa the way that some of us pretend to care about Darfur. Then there is Darfur, where the mass killing and refugee crisis together constitute a “more comprehensive and avoidable man-made disaster” than what has happened in Iraq, and its effects have spread to some of Sudan’s neighbours. This is not to say that the Iraq war is not an appalling waste or that it will have calamitous effects for years to come, but this is to say that it is still not, in fact, the worst thing that has happened in the last 25 years. Unlike those others, however, the geniuses in Washington can look at the Iraq disaster and say, “We did that!”
As I’ve said before if Mr Bush’s minders tooks the Democrats and the peace movement seriously they’d invade the Sudan to shut them up. That would be fecking genius.

From Eunomia.
The peacenik Popes
...stop the ‘senseless slaughter’.
— Benedict XV on World War I
Never again war!
— Paul VI
...an appeal for the world to ‘tenaciously pursue the rule of law, to refute with determination any recourse to arms and the temptation to apply old systems to new realities’.
— Benedict XVI

Sounds a bit more substantial than a beauty-contestant’s answer about whirled peas. Is the Holy Father reading Bill Lind on 4GW?

From Joshua Snyder.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

RIP Tammy Faye Messner
Lord, have mercy upon her
"I believe when I leave this Earth because I love the Lord, am going straight to heaven," a gaunt Messner told CNN's Larry King in an interview on 19 July.

Asked by King if she had any regrets, she said: "I don't think about it, Larry, because it's a waste of good brain space."

Bakker said in a statement that his ex-wife "lived her life like the song she sang, 'If Life Hands You a Lemon, Make Lemonade'.

"She is now in heaven with her mother and grandmother and Jesus Christ, the one who she loves and has served from childbirth," he said.
We on earth can’t predict what will happen to anybody in the afterlife (an issue that comes up when talking about excommunication — it’s not a ticket to hell given by the church but an offer to reflect and come back to it) but I dare say she’s in for some rude shocks (as might we all be). The particular judgement, the intermediate state (the Church Expectant in purgatory, which can be merciful!)...

Rod Dreher wrote this recently which backs up the above.

I saw a clip of her on ‘Larry King’:
You’d have to be Christopher Hitchens not to pity the poor woman under these circumstances.

Even Jim Bakker has confessed his sin ... writing a 1996 book called "I Was Wrong," and publicly repenting of having advocated the wicked prosperity gospel.

King said she approached him about doing an interview. I thought maybe she would want to make some sort of appeal to people to get right with God before they die, or something like that, but there was none of that. I thought afterward, "What was that for?"
Memento mori
On Christian wisdom about the usually inevitable decay of the body and faith in the resurrection
Such grim evidence of mortality lends her a terrifying dignity.
From Joshua Snyder.
Gary Hart: if not for 9/11 the US would be at war with China
Harry Turtledovian alternative history? Plausible. Apparently the neocon sabre-rattlers nearly 30 years ago included Lynne Cheney.

Bill Lind had posters of Mussolini on his office wall working for Hart at the US Capitol in 1979? Context? Proof?

Also from The Atlantic:

Debunking Winston Churchill
The man who invented Iraq? Christopher Hitchens may have got this right.
The 1965 Missal (see the ordo here)
Discussion including my contributions (two comments one after the other).

Two facts I learnt:
  • Although there were fine hand missals for the laity printed of this version in the mid-1960s (the quality of which suggests that almost everybody thought this would be the extent of the changes from Vatican II), one of which I recently found and gave to Jorge, there was no official 1965 version of Missale Romanum (altar book). The last MR was printed in 1962. From 1965 until 1968 there was a changing set of instructions for the priest telling him how to use the 1962 Missal, replacing the old rubrics with simpler ones and translating parts into the vernacular for liturgical use (the readings for example). The English translations may have varied in style and quality from country to country (rather like the difference between the American and British/Irish/Aussie/NZ English of the new office); ICEL began to rear its ugly head. (A version I have, printed in Ireland, sounds like that.)
  • The 1971 ‘Agatha Christie’ indult for England, which prominent English non-RCs asked Cardinal Heenan for, to keep this Mass as a cultural treasure, allowed the 1965 version of the 1962 Missal, which some English priests still use though privately. I remotely remember hearing that before. And as I like to say, I remember being able to find high-church there including among the Romans if you were looking for it. But I’ve never been to a 1965 Mass (lots of 1962 ones though). As for the Anglicans, today only four C of E parishes still use the English Missal (Knott Missal) all the time. (Only a minority ever did.) Of course I’ve been to one. Providentially found it.
From TNLM.
On being like the ritualist slum priests... in 2007
My parish, for example, tends to be made up almost entirely of solidly 'conservative' Republicans, or, at least, the only ones who are willing to speak out seem to be such. There is a limited degree of support for certain causes, such as the local crisis pregnancy center and a nearby children's home, but sympathies seem to run heavily toward big business. This seems to be the case with the overwhelming majority of theologically 'conservative' Christians, whether Catholic or Evangelical.

I find myself nearly alone in my parish in taking a stand against the war and against huge international corporations, as also in condemning the hatred directed toward 'illegal immigrants'. I also find myself alone among my peace movement friends (with whom I will stand in a vigil this evening). I think I stand pretty well in solidarity with those early Slum Fathers, and I revere their memory. Today one is left, if one would 'fit in', with the option of denying one part of their commitment or the other. Their fervent and balanced witness receives even less approval now than it did then.

The Anglo-Catholic Slum Fathers had no illusions as to the ultimate wickedness of humankind, no hesitation to ascribe the nastiness of slum life to the action of sin, sin found not only in the 'oppressors' but just as strongly in the 'oppressed'. They never lost sight of the fact that a godward change of attitude in the poor, while not necessarily solving the problems of poverty, did produce saints.
The problem with modern liberalism:
...often the work is done in such a way as to strengthen wrong and ultimately damaging attitudes. The victim mentality, often institutionalized in such programs, has two profoundly negative effects. On the one hand it sometimes encourages a blaming of others for one's plight to the extent that efforts to improve one's own actions become discouraged, and a dependency on someone else to fix it all. This is paralyzing. On the other hand it sometimes leads to a smouldering internal anger which can easily erupt into violence. (Think gangsta rap.) Treating the symptoms without reaching deep within to treat the causes can sometimes manage to worsen the problem. Give a man a fish and you've fed him a meal. Give him a fish every day and he forgets how to feed himself. Teach a man how to fish, however, and you have fed him for a lifetime.

... presenting the appearance that all problems can be solved at gunpoint. Ultimately that is where a political solution points. Political solutions are enforced by either implied or actual coercion. Scripture does indeed endorse government, consistently treating of it as having the power of the sword. However, though coercion can prevent the worst active manifestations of evil, it cannot bring goodwill to the spirit. Political action, then, though sometimes necessary, often has the side effect of hardening hearts and attitudes.

On moral issues: Well, the secular type of compassion demonstrably tends to weaken the commitment to the austere values that are not comfortable. 'There is a way that seemeth good unto a man', says the Book of Proverbs, 'but the ways thereof are the ways of destruction'. Note where this has led in the treatment of sexual and marital matters. That is a disaster.
[Long story short, the secular approach to sex is a big lie.] Then there is abortion, and the creeping toleration of euthanasia. Morality is costly. If one is not firmly taught to deny his perceived needs and to put the revealed will of God first, one is on a steep downhill slope that leads to utter destruction. Truly Christian compassion knows this and couples deep concern for the soul and for the moral life with all the necessary helop that it gives. Secular compassion tends to waffle and yield to the perceived needs that are not needs at all.

[The faith] starts from the realization that what needs to be fixed is not entirely, or even primarily, what happens to one, but, first and foremost, how one approaches what happens to one. Of course the hungry need to be fed. Matthew 25 makes such endeavor to be a primary element in the judgment. But when money was lavished on something as impractical as pouring oil over Jesus' feet, his response was, 'The poor you have always with you'. The Anglo-Catholic Slum Fathers lavished money and effort on such impractical things as incense and statuary and vestments because their poor needed that as much as they needed practical aid. Man does not live by bread alone.

[On orthodoxy and social justice] the Slum Fathers were very clearly committed to 'both, and', as was Our Lord. [That is, authentically Catholic.]

Most Americans seem to fall into the pattern of 'either, or', and that won't wash.
— Ed Pacht
Ron Paul’s religion
Earlier I boasted I didn’t know which if any church he goes to. Not that it matters politically nor should it (constitutionally it’s irrelevant; if he were a partnered gay atheist I’d still vote for him) but now The New York Times has published something about his faith:
His family was pious and Lutheran; two of his brothers became ministers. Paul’s five children were baptized in the Episcopal church, but he now attends a Baptist one. He doesn’t travel alone with women and once dressed down an aide for using the expression “red-light district” in front of a female colleague. As a young man, though, he did not protest the Vietnam War, which he now calls “totally unnecessary” and “illegal.” Much later, after the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, he began reading St. Augustine. “I was annoyed by the evangelicals’ being so supportive of pre-emptive war, which seems to contradict everything that I was taught as a Christian,” he recalls. “The religion is based on somebody who’s referred to as the Prince of Peace.”
From Joshua Snyder.

Update: From commenter Flo (thanks!) here is Dr Paul’s recent statement on the matter.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Government by fiat
Very scary, kids. From Huw Richardson.
Kids, don’t smoke. BroughttoyoubyPhilipMorris.
Hypocritical but they’re stupid like a fox. It’s masterly reverse psychology: tell kids not to do it (‘it’s an adult custom!’... that’ll do the job) and the forbidden fruit becomes that much more sought. (More.) Like ‘Dare’ interests kids in drugs. The prohibitionists still don’t get it. From the LRC blog.
This is a Republican war
And never let them forget it, says LRC’s Charley Reese
The Republicans refuse to share it with the Democrats, who, despite their many resolutions, have yet to call for a complete withdrawal of American forces.
Cough, AIPAC, cough.
Democrats have not come close to proposing to cut off the war funding, which is the only way the war can be ended.

Killing that bill, which had nothing to do with withdrawal or timetables for withdrawal, clearly proves that Republicans do not support the troops. They support the war. There is a huge difference. Little Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, has become so possessive of the war that he seems on the edge of hysteria.

He seems frightened to death of what will happen when Americans leave. In fact, nothing much will happen except that Iraqis will concentrate on killing each other rather than killing Americans and each other. Most normal people would consider that a positive development for us.
Hello, 4GW:
The Iraqis are killing us on the cheap with secondhand AK-47s, rifle grenades and homemade bombs created out of old artillery shells. We are using the most expensive weapons in the world, wielded by the most expensive army in the world, to kill them by the small handful.

George W. Bush is by no means the first Westerner to make a fool of himself by overestimating his powers and underestimating the determination of the people of the Middle East to rid themselves of foreign conquerors.

Friday, July 20, 2007

What we will see in Iraq is how empires end
Pat Buchanan’s latest

Mark Shea writes:
Unfortunately, Captain Kirk, there are Kobayashi Maru scenarios.
Bush the heretic
His messianism (more)

Battlin’ oligarchs!
Rep. Don Young attacked his fellow Republicans on the House floor Wednesday, as he defended education funds allocated to his home-state of Alaska.

"You want
my money, my money," Young stridently declared before warning conservatives that, "Those who bite me will be bitten back."
Remember when the GOP went to Congress to reduce spending? Remember when the GOP claimed to be conservative and to live by the notion that the money the government took from us in taxes belonged to the people and was not the personal property of a class of oligarchs increasingly out of touch with their constituents?

Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss. These people are begging to be swept from office.
The good and bad of techno-libertarianianism
Glenn Reynolds... is certainly right that technology has made it possible for the little guy to exert more power than ever before. The blogosphere is Exhibit A, as Dan Rather will tell you. Anybody with a computer can now, if he likes, be a one-man publishing house, radio station, and TV cable company. As somebody who likes free speech, I think that's a good thing.

However, there is another side that Reynolds tends to overlook: original sin. It's the parable of
Forbidden Planet: technology liberates the Little Guy to follow hiw Inner Beast and allow Everything to be expressed.
Abusus non tollit usum and this medium does so much good (blogging ecumenism for example) but as a recovering Internet clobberer I know it can be an occasion of sin like other good things.
MCJ on the Episcopal row
As everyone knows, boundary-crossing is the most serious crisis in the history of Anglican Christianity and in case anybody asks, the sole reason for the current controversy. Nothing else and a certain New England bishop whose name escapes us right now.
That issue is a presenting symptom of problems going back through the Pike trial all the way to the Elizabethan Settlement.

We all know how important ancient precedent in the Christian church is to reappraisers... unless it goes against something that’s becoming fashionable in the upper middle class in which case one has to manufacture a theology to accommodate it.

On Roger Dodger Mahony and the gay-priest underage sex scandal
First His Eminence tries to blame the pre-conciliar church
So that’s why so many LibCats were so horrified at the Pope’s recent motu proprio.
On the people in his archdiocese defending him:
Translation: abuse, schmabuse. The Cardinal is correct on stuff we think is important vital social issues so why is everyone so fixated on this?
MCJ is one of my guilty pleasures: as you can see it’s pugnacious but very funny... and often correct. (But not on Palestine, Iraq or secular politics in general. Come on... Rush Limbaugh?)

For some balance here’s Roman Catholic Mark Shea:

On ordinands who are homosexual
Which as many in Anglicanism know describes many in the Catholic Movement:
What's being overlooked about the discernment process is that it's a discernment process, not a machine. I've long believed that mere Same Sex Attraction is not, by itself, a sufficient disqualifier for the priesthood. I think it's a mistake and an injustice for the discernment process to bar men ... whose fidelity to the Church's teaching is tested and proven, from the chance to model the graces they have received in a pastoral way. This is, unfortunately one of the many effects of the The Situation. Institutions tend to clamp down unjustly when, in the past, they were unjustly lax.
It’s a matter of discipline not doctrine. Of course the church can do that (Pope John XXIII told religious-order seminaries to do it!) but here Mark is entirely Catholic: it doesn’t have to and doing so can be regrettable as just about anybody who’s known holy Anglo-Catholic priests knows. The Orthodox can look to Fr Seraphim (Rose).

On the Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles
Sensible and with a nice ecumenical nod to the Orthodox

The church doesn’t micro-manage people
A difference between real pre-conciliar Catholicism in all its depth and breadth and the perfectionism and Jansenism of some traditionalist groups

On this bit of PCness opposed to common sense
Side benefit: You can attack the Church as both homophobic and insufficiently vigilant against potential threats to our children.

Nothing sexually deranged about our culture. This is clearly the exclusive fault of the celibacy and an all-male priesthood.
[More common knowledge!] We laypeople are alright, Jack. (If only figure-skating coaches were allowed to marry...)

How the news works
From Tom Tomorrow
Petraeus’ version of events is unreliable
From Rod Dreher
John Edwards’ populism
Is like Jim Wallis’s politics: well-meant, in many ways appealing to Christians and right about the war on Iraq. As for the rest we don’t agree on how to conduct the peace. We want many of the same things but disagree on the means.

And again I wonder if in the end they’re really just like these folks, especially considering the vicious anti-Roman things Edwards’ staff have said.

Wow, nativism. How hip and original, campaign bloggers.

And interestingly this ‘progressive’ view of the Roman Church is the same historically as the Ku-Klux Klan’s, which seems to back up my and others’ point that Protestantism is a spectrum or a domino path: they’re all headed Spongwards even though many don’t know it. Knock out the church Catholic and her ‘tired old doctrines’ (as Sojo has put it) and sooner or later you’ll throw out the rest of the Christian package.
Imagine there’s no heaven...
From T19.
Catholic vs Protestant views of general church councils
And of the church in general and of the state and its power. From Derek Olsen.
Talking to Fr Tobias Haller about the RC rows
State propaganda on FDR
LRC’s Gary North takes on not just common knowledge (like ‘all Americans who opposed entering World War II were pro-Nazi’) but a party line on the man who against the good sense of most Americans went to war for the Soviet side and handed them half of Catholic Europe at Yalta among other things. (Which was more or less what American Protestant moral crusaders wanted from World War I!) Get to know the views of John Flynn of the real old American right.
What’s wrong with liberation theology from the left or what now passes as the right
Far from having “religion” influencing politics, it subordinates religion to the role of providing justification...

...nothing could be worse for a properly robust role for religion in public life than taking Mr. Bush’s badly disordered version of it as an expression of religious influence on politics. This liberation theology, not unlike Marxist liberation theology before it, is a perfect example of how Christians twist and distort the Faith to suit the supposed political needs of the moment.

Christians are meant to defer to legitimate authority and not simply lawless power. That is a vital distinction. The Anglo-American idea of the right to rebel has certain mediæval precedents and theological defences. Even so, this means that God wills that every society and government be well-ordered according to prudence, justice, charity, moderation. To the extent that a liberal democratic government can realise these virtues or allows people to realise them, we can say that it does not stand in opposition to what God wills. It might even be argued (though I would not necessarily argue this) that this is the regime best suited for cultivating such virtues.

[Roman] Catholics and Orthodox are still taught to believe that no single form of government has any special endorsement from on high, and that all legitimate government must be obeyed.
What ‘render unto Cæsar’ and ‘honour the King’ really mean.

The pre-Constantinian Romans thought we were atheists. Compared to the statists left and right today we look like anarchists.
People ask if I’m a Communist. I’m much more dangerous. I am a Catholic.
— Actor Martin Sheen

From Eunomia.
The timetable begins now
More Republicans agree: quit Iraq!

Diana Butler Bass says don’t impeach
I obviously don’t agree. Nancy Pelosi would be a serviceable president but she’s shackled to the Israeli lobby.

A new gilded age
Jim Wallis summed up: the best intentions in the world but going about them wrong

And given Sojourners’ distaste for ‘tired old doctrines’ I suspect that at heart their view of Catholics isn’t different really from that of the World War I-era Protestants whom Murray Rothbard described, urging Woodrow Wilson to send the troops to wipe out Catholic power ‘over there’ and trying so hard to get the immigrants to assimilate.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fr Haller and I agree on...
  • It’s for many not for all. The Roman Rite including the Novus Ordo in Latin, the Eastern rites (such as the Orthodox) and Cranmer get it right; ICEL is wrong.
  • The eastward position
    I think the great days of outreach from Vincent de Paul through the Catholic Worker movement (or the ministry of the Anglo-Catholic slum priests) give the lie to the idea that the posture of the priest in relation to the congregation impedes a sense of community or mission.
Why a one-year cycle of Mass readings is better
Daniel Mitsui explains Fr Peter Robinson’s point that three-year schemes mean people hear three times as much scripture but know it only a third as well
I can understand protecting the temporal cycle from undue encroachment by votive Masses and sanctoral feasts, but that is an old problem, one which probably could be remedied without altering the traditional rhythms of the liturgical year.
Exactly what St Pius V and others have tried to do periodically as needed.

This answers the common knowledge :) that traditionalists are ignorami who think liturgical change has never happened and is impossible.

On the contrary as a Continuing anglican (not Anglican as in invited to Lambeth) priest recently wrote:
...we recall that the earliest eucharistic liturgies were composed ex tempore by a faithful bishop using a more-or-less set pattern, and were only later written down to protect against heresy.
The last part is also true of definitions of doctrine!
But a criticism of the old way is in not the same as a positive argument for the new way.

The positive argument advanced in favor of the new way is that it provides more scriptural nourishment to the laymen; but who actually benefits from this? I would be surprised if most laymen attending the new Mass can remember what Gospel was read three weeks ago, much less three years - nobody save a mnemonic freak will sit in his pew and think:
I don't need to pay attention. I just heard this last year. Can anyone who argues for the three-year lectionary remember what he heard at Mass one liturgical year ago this day? If not, then a one-year lectionary is every bit as fresh and enriching as a three-year lectionary. If anything, more repetition is needed, to inculcate the wisdom of holy writ despite ordinary human forgetfulness.
Echoing Derek Olsen’s point about the value of a repetitive folk office like the Little Office.
Laymen will remember and intuit the liturgy the same way they always have, if allowed to do so: by developing popular devotions to commemorate liturgical events. People do not remember in three-year cycles; they remember according to the annual rhythms of God's blue heavens and God's green earth - aided by feasts and fasts, seasonal foods, patterns of weather and nature. Three-year cycles are not only untraditional; they are unnatural. Man does not do things in three-year cycles. God does not do things in three-year cycles. Why should the Church?

The reformed lectionary was not developed from the immemorial liturgical tradition from which a spontaneous popular piety grew; it was imposed from the top down by curial fiat. The connection between worship and popular religious sentiment was rent, and the laymen have never been more ignorant for it.

The Pope’s ecumenism with the Assyrian Church
As reported by the Roman and Assyrian sides

Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV lives in Chicago.
One in four young Israeli men say ‘f*** the draft’
Venerable Franz Jägerstätter: pray for us

I savour the historical irony.

From the LRC blog.
Who speaks for the US military on Iraq?
Follow the money
...more than half of the Military and Veterans donating funds to the Republican Party candidates gave their monies to one candidate, Dr. Ron Paul.
From LRC.

The ugly reality of US airpower in Iraq
From Joshua Snyder who also blogged the Ron Paul story earlier
Jim Wallis and friends have a blog
As Jane Ellen reminded me yesterday. I’ve linked to and criticised Sojourners in the years I’ve blogged, and ‘God’s Politics’ is a bit presumptuous as a name (the Catholic faith doesn’t claim one political system is divinely ordained, and remember legitimism!) but this is well written and worth reading.

Speaking of political stuff worth your time:

Ron Paul on gay marriage
Dorothy Day declared herself a pacifist even in the class war; Dr. Ron Paul is a non-interventionist even in the culture war.
Or as I put it, don’t get played.
He supports the individual's right to freely associate and contract and to call their association whatever they want.

Towards a Catholic regional patriotism
‘Catholic anarchy’ sort of makes sense to me

From Joshua Snyder.
Keeping the gate
Or as the Orthodox call it ‘guarding the chalice’: a mainline Protestant look at both apparently an ordinary but very holy Catholic, a lovely old man who recently died aged 91:
...he considered my father’s older sister, Alene, his wife until the day he passed on – 32 years after she left a short note and skipped out of the house like a school girl.
As Tea at Trianon blogged, quoted here.
He played the guitar and sang; he wore moccasins; he liked to play catch. He was a terrible driver. He liked to swim in the lakes in our part of central New York and appreciated my mother’s willingness to swim with him when no one else would. He used Grecian Formula on his gray hair and everybody knew it.

But his outstanding characteristic was his profound devotion to the Church.

Uncle Walt told me how he drove each Sunday to Syracuse (at least an hour’s drive) to hear the Latin mass

He died on Tuesday, the day Pope Benedict XVI released his statement which contends, in part, that Protestant denominations are no more than “Christian communities.” This reiteration of the “Dominus Iesus” declaration of 2000 and the news last week about the lifting of restrictions for the Latin mass may very well have been too much of a good thing for the old guy. He must have died a happy man.
And at Catholic teaching on closed Communion. (More from me earlier on the subject.) Commenters Derek Olsen (a cyber-friend back from holiday) and Ralph Wagenet defend it.

The article’s approach to both subjects is perhaps a bit patronising but not unkind.
To the gatekeepers I say, "Keep the gates if you must" (let us question-asker/ADD/open-ended types just deal with it), but do it with love.
I can’t disagree with that.

From Episcopal Café.

Talking to Fr Tobias Haller and others about the Pope’s latest and other issues
Not being patronising at all I think his take on one Controversial Issue™ is really fascinating: an answer to Peter Kreeft and others?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Another reason why this is not a Republican blog
Back in the USSA: добро пожаловать, товарищы! From Granny Miller.
The optional Jesus
Joe Sobran has got Modernism sussed: ‘we have met the historical Jesus and he is us’. Or as G.K. Chesterton saw regarding immanentism, when Jones starts mainly worshipping God within Jones (in itself valid) it’s not long before Jones is worshipping Jones. He would have understood the ageing suburban boomer RCs celebrating themselves at St Novus Church parish community whilst their kids are mostly honestly secular* — if I’m gonna worship myself who needs a middleman? — with a few others, ‘YFs, The Next Generation’, off listening to MP3s of music in Latin and reading Pope Benedict’s latest on the Web (or even upping Ron Paul’s already high Technorati rating!). Or in the case of the liberals in the Episcopal row, chase whatever is fashionable in the upper middle class (right now gay weddings are becoming accepted) and manufacture a theology to accommodate it.

BTW if I were a gambling man I’d bet you a gold sovereign the sometime Archbishop of Cape Town wouldn’t be a media darling if he were still Catholic (which is how the anti-apartheid movement started out). For some time he has agreed with the First World upper middle class on everything, therefore...

From Joshua Snyder.

*In America not hard-core atheist like in Europe but more like ‘I’m spiritual but not religious’: God is, like, cool and all but I run my own life.
The neocon national anthem
Song of the chickenhawk. From LRC.
Terry Mattingly’s three-question religion quiz
Which some critics would call a litmus test:
All together now — if you want to know where people who say that they are Christian believers fall on a left-to-right theological spectrum, just ask these questions:
  • Are the biblical accounts of the resurrection of Jesus accurate? Did this event really happen?
  • Is salvation found through Jesus Christ, alone? Was Jesus being literal when he said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)?
  • Is sex outside of the Sacrament of Marriage a sin?
Huw Richardson has blogged and answered it. Here are my rather different answers. Draw your own conclusions about us both.
Doctors thought she had an IQ of 20. You know what? They were wrong.
ICEL liturgical paraphrase and actual translation compared
No contest
Tonkin Gulf II and the guns of August?
From Chronicles
Thought conviction
No-one is forced to see his website and they are certainly free to immediately surf away from it the moment they find something they don’t like.

While I don’t condone Mr Love’s choice of humour, neither do I think it should be a criminal offence.

Keeping chastity out of school
Or the multi-cultis’ ‘all religions are valid except yours’
In the future the school can be a chastity-free zone. If someone wants to express religious ideas of sexual purity, she can wear a hijab.
Christianity rebounding in Europe
But not in the Swedish Church
Hedvig Eleonara [parish church] has three full-time salaried priests and gets over $2 million each year though a state levy. Annika Sandström, head of its governing board, says she doesn’t believe in God and took the post “on the one condition that no one expects me to go each Sunday.”
From David Holford.
Gay weddings could be profitable for NYC
Springfield’s Joe Quimby and Fluffya’s John Street want in on that

New Titanic film told from iceberg’s point of view

John Edwards vows to end all bad things by 2011

Our global food-service enterprise is totally down for your awesome subculture
Yo, dawgs! Sounds like what happens when these awful corporate-talking types use sock-puppets online.

From The Onion.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cracks in Zionism
From antiwar.com
On Broad Church comprehensiveness
Christopher Johnson quotes scripture:
And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
— I (III) Kings 18:21

One can be ‘into spirituality’ following both but that’s not Christianity.
Does the Pope use this for his private Mass?
Not the Knott Missal but the Missale Romanum

Some possible photographic evidence.

Another reason to like him.

Update: The Vatican says he celebrates facing east but does not use the Tridentine Mass. (Via Joshua Snyder.)

Fr Zuhlsdorf fisks another nasty article from a sputtering liberal
It is legitimate to wonder, given liturgical history, theology, canon law, and pastoral practicalities, whether the liturgy is being taken seriously by this motu proprio or being treated as just another choice available in the [Roman] "Catholic cafeteria".
So, Fr Francis, the pre-conciliar church was evil because among other things it was monolithic (common knowledge!) but you’re angry because now your church won’t be monolithic. (Guess that’s not what you mean by ‘multicultural’.) Let’s take your statement to a logical conclusion applying it to the Eastern churches. Michael Davies and Thomas Day sussed out your kind years ago. Sure and begorrah, underneath the patronising ‘I love icons’ ecumenicism you’d like to ‘warmly invite’ those backward Oriental greaseballs your Eastern brethren to modernise their services... or else.

Like I said, the shadow of the Type 1s.
Thinking about shrines and pilgrimage
Shrines it seems are meant to be “messy” places; they are the bastions of devotion and cult, rather than the refined rhetoric of theologians. These are the points of holiness that erupt into our very secularised “profane” world challenging us to think differently, to see, and touch the sacred. These places are to be experienced and not merely gawked at from afar.
From independent bishop Alexis Tančibok.
Святые царственные новомученики и новомученицы и страстотерпцы россiйскые, молите Бога о насъ
89 years ago today. More.

The tsarist national anthem

Book: Nicholas and Alexandra

Meanwhile today Mr Bush seems keen on Cold War nostalgia (there’s a reservoir of Russophobia to draw upon, like when Mr Clinton bombed their Serbian cousins on their Easter)... perhaps he can rebuild the Berlin Wall then heroically demand that Mr Putin tear it down...

Payback for Nato expansion
Русское воскресение

And a quotation for today:
Living in a free Western society we also have the responsibility of showing that ‘Church’ and ‘freedom’ go together; that both can be misused and abused by the demonic ‘powers and principalities’ of this world but that it is Christ, and Christ alone, who ultimately ‘made us free’ (Galatians 5:1).
Fr John Meyendorff

Monday, July 16, 2007

A righter shade of green
Roger Scruton notes that "[w]hile the Left pursues environmentalism to advance its global agenda, conservation is best entrusted to local stewardship".
Contracepting the environment
Scientists at the University of Colorado "studied the fish and decided the main culprits were estrogens and other steroid hormones from birth control pills and patches, excreted in urine into the city’s sewage system and then into the creek".

Don't expect left-environmentalists to say anything about this; rivers are but collateral damage in their war on mankind.
Impeach now

False prophets

Or the cakewalkers should be eating their words: a catena of stupid quotations from the neoconnerie before the war
This one, from the War Street Journal's William Shawcross, takes the cakewalk:
What a wonderful, magnificent, emotional occasion – one that will live in legend like the fall of the Bastille, V-E Day, or the fall of the Berlin Wall. All those smart Europeans who ridiculed George Bush and denigrated his idea that there was actually a better future for the Iraqi people – they will now have to think again.
It would be funny if tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands had not died in the meantime.
From Joshua Snyder.
Time to go!
What are you waiting for? Mark Shea is on a roll:
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that the Iraqi military and police are capable of maintaining security "any time" the Americans want to leave the country.
We've been told we'll leave when the Iraqis can look after themselves.

Time to leave. However, we should still follow Andrew Bacevich's recommendation and throw open our doors to all the refugees we've created.
Such as Catholics.

Christopher Hitchens’ atheism doesn’t work
Chris: Nice and slow. The point is not "Atheists are immoral." The point is, "In the universe of Is that you posit, there is no way of deriving an "Ought". Yet you continue to do this. How?
On the love that dare not shut up
The holy crusade of some, particularly in the Episcopal row, or as Brad Drell calls it ‘waging reconciliation’ as in ‘we’ll reconcile the f*** out of you... in court’. OTOH see how the Presbys try to act like Christians. BTW if the Episcopal supremo is right and only a small minority of malcontents aren’t on board with all this, doesn’t running them out of their churches make her side bullies?
This blog [and mine] has made clear times without number that I believe a civil society not only can but already does tolerate homosexual behavior. But heterophobes ... are not content with that. Nothing less than approval of homosex will do. I object to having Gay GoodThink imposed on me--particularly by a priest who is supposed to proclaim, not distort, the Tradition.
The state is not in the truth business. The church is.

Fr Joseph O’Leary is wrong about many things and I hate his go at pathologising Catholics but he’s spot-on here as Mark Shea agrees:
O’Leary takes Fr. Brian Harrison, the Ratzinger Fan Club and various other fans of the Pope to task (rightly in my view) for somehow suddenly becoming extremely interested in trying to figure out a way to reconcile torture with the bleedin' obvious teaching of the Church, just at the moment when it was most convenient for supporters of President Bush's policies of torture and prisoner abuse.
Father has defended this blog publicly for its peace witness and back-handedly he helped me in another way through reading his stuff: I realise his brand of RC liberal — Irish, anti-high church, in its own way doctrinaire and moralistic as in PC — is an inversion of the ‘neocath’ described above, among the first kind of Catholics I describe here.

‘The trouble with you airy-fairy high-church types is you don’t follow the Pope like we do. Pretty services don’t matter. We stand on the Rock!
‘What about the war? What about torture?’
‘Well, erm, we, ah, prudential judgement and... just shut up and vote Republican, OK? ...and stop reporting on the priestly underage gay sex scandal!’
On Cardinal Mahony’s apology and payout
Well, $660M is better than nothing but still doesn’t cut it

How about dropping Cheney on Iran instead?
From T19
Yankee Doodle idolater
You mean Gelernter’s serious? Oh, sh*t. From Eunomia.
Real conservatives believe in a weak presidency
Fr Jim Tucker and Gene Healy at Cato remember Barry Goldwater
On the Pope’s statement, Anglican orders, Lady Bird Johnson...
... and 42 years ago today Time reported that Bishop Pike was right about something

More from me.

From GetReligion.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Classical liberalism, reform liberalism and libertarianism lite (part II)
A Thinking Reed’s Lee goes over the book The Making and Unmaking of Technological Society
Early modern liberalism, or “classical” liberalism, Jardine argues, combined a new sense of individual freedom to be secured by limited government and the free market with the remnants of a natural law ethic. This ethic encouraged thrift, rationality, and productivity - the classic Protestant work ethic.

The next stage of liberalism is “reform” liberalism, or what we would identifiy as New Deal/Great Society liberalism.

Finally, with the economic stagnation that appeared to face western nations at the end of the 1970s we see the rise of what Jardine calls “neoclassical” liberalism, or what I would call “libertarianism lite.” This differs from reform liberalism in wanting to set the market free as an engine of wealth creation, but also differs from classical liberalism in rejecting the old bourgeois ethic in favor of a more thoroughgoing subjectivism about values.
The kind of people like the imaginary Alex P. Keaton and his creators who think conservatism means playing the stock market and not Russell Kirk’s ideas (‘Wasn’t he the captain of the Enterprise? That hammy Canadian who! Talked! Like! This?’)
The purpose of life becomes one of self-expression through consumption, cultivating a particular “lifestyle.”
Why many/most people today aren’t very nice.