Wednesday, January 31, 2007

FBI turns to broad new wiretap method
From Brian Underwood
Lord Levy re-arrested over cash for honours
Three from antiwar.com via The Western Confucian
Justin Raimondo on Chuck Hagel, Pat Buchanan on the reality of Iran and Paul Craig Roberts on ‘the crime of the century’

Ron Paul on YouTube

And:
In America, it is sport that is the opiate of the masses.
- Russell Baker

Not unique to America nor new but true: panem et circenses or ‘hey, look, a distraction!
Religion around ‘Fluffya’
RCs start ad campaign for schools to reverse declining enrolment
Well and good but
For more than a century, the archdiocese has sharply focused on providing an unparalleled education experience rooted in Gospel values such as respect, justice and service.
shouldn’t be the main selling point because it’s neither unique nor the schools’ original reason to exist. C19 and early C20 generic Protestantism, the de facto religion in the state schools, taught those ‘Gospel values’, making good citizens and so on. (Even long after higher criticism started to take away the actual Gospel!) Immigrant parents wanted their children taught eternal truths underpinning those values, the Catholic faith, and literally saved their pennies to make it happen.

Sounds more like another go at that perennial goal (unchanged from the old to the new religion) of getting government funding for those schools. (Which historically and yes understandably gave Protestants conscience problems.) Notice how what should be the main message, the one thing that should make those schools unique, seems watered down now with that end in mind.

It could be that the well-off suburban RCs (at ‘St Novus’) who I imagine are usually the archdiocese’s main focus are happy to send their children to other schools so possibly the campaign’s generic-values approach is aimed at Protestants and Muslims (lots of black families, the people in the neighbourhoods that used to be immigrant RC) in the city who want their kids to have a measure of the pious discipline those schools are famous for.

Here is David Alexander’s experience with this system (not in Philadelphia).

The Episcopal row at Rosemont
Whatever one’s views on the ‘big three’ controversial issues (not necessarily related but in practice they often come together) — Modernism, gay weddings and women’s ordination — I’m sorry but Bishop David Moyer doesn’t make sense here. So he wants nothing to do with the diocese, is sacked, becomes a bishop somewhere else but wants to sue over being sacked. What?

Granted +Pennsylvania could be nice and negotiate to sell Good Shepherd, Rosemont (the diocese’s only Anglo-Catholic parish in the upmarket ‘Main Line’ suburbs) — Bishop Bennison’s people in those parts are already served by Redeemer, Bryn Mawr; Christ Church Ithan, St Martin’s, Radnor and St Mary’s, Wayne. But legally this is an easy win for the diocese. A spiteful move to smash a Catholic parish and get a building not really needed but an easy win. (The same way the diocese won then closed St James the Less in North Philly.)

The canon used to depose Bishop Moyer (not yet a bishop when it happened) incidentally was meant as a kind of express lane for priests going over to Rome — no trial, no fuss.

Being an Anglican bishop somewhere else — a suffragan in the Diocese of The Murray — is irrelevant to the case. (Bishop Moyer is both a Continuing bishop and a suffragan in The Murray.) All that matters to the court is Bishop Moyer is no longer a priest of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Quotations from elsewhere:
Dr Moyer's victory in getting a trial might end up costing him his building. If he had simply continued in place as the soi-disant rector he might have had a case. Clearly Dr Bennison was using the canons in an inappropriate way, and this would have made for a decent legal argument. Religious or no, an organization is required to hire and fire people in a manner consistent with its own rules; when it fails to do this the courts can intervene.

Since he is now a bishop in another religion, from a legal point of view, and yet still occupies the building on Lancaster Avenue, he is basically trespassing. If you are unfairly fired by McDonald's you are well within your rights to sue them for restoration and damages; you cannot, however, open a Burger King in their building while you are waiting for the legal proceedings to play out. This is how it may well look to a court according to neutral principles of law.

I think there's a fair chance that Dr Moyer will take this opportunity to address the underlying theological and ecclesiological issues, and his counsel may well let him. This is suicide, as no judge will touch this with a ten-foot pole. If Dr Bennison's authority is called into question, or if the plaintiff's case is predicated on something other than the failure of the diocese to follow its own rules and regulations, then it's all over. And if the diocese wins here, an eviction order could easily be obtained, I would think.

All of that said, it's a sad business. The people of Good Shepherd don't deserve to have their building taken away, and Dr Moyer is entitled (or was before the A.C.A. business) to the protections of the canons.
What’s more, there’s already a Continuing bishop more or less locally (he was a curate at Rosemont 30 years ago), in a different jurisdiction (why should that matter?), so why have another one?

Wouldn’t it have made more sense to try to get Bishop Bennison to sell the building — which wouldn’t have worked but it doesn’t hurt to ask — or move out and start over, either way going under the existing Continuing bishop?
May God have mercy on all of us, and may he preserve the Catholic faith and religion for his faithful.
Some good news: the rector of Atonement, Morton told me the Anglican Fellowship of the Delaware Valley (a conservative group made up of Episcopal, Reformed Episcopal and Continuing clergy) will have Evensong one of these days in the Collegiate Chapel of St Andrew at what was the diocese’s theological college, the Philadelphia Divinity School (closed since the early 1970s — it merged with Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Mass.). The University of Pennsylvania owns the buildings now, a marvellous collection of Gothic architecture from the 1920s protected as a landmark. An infant school uses some of them.

Islam in Philadelphia
The centre of the black Sunni Muslim community includes the former St Thomas More High School.
Lancaster Avenue is Philadelphia's Muslim Main Street, the heart of the Islamic community for the city's 100,000-plus Muslims. Several of Philadelphia's oldest and most prominent mosques line the street.

Here, the majority of the Muslim population draws its roots from Nation of Islam (NOI). Temple No. 12 was at 42nd Street and Lancaster Avenue, in what is now the top floor of an abandoned hardware store. An early post of Malcolm X, it is also the place where the modern incarnation of African-American Islam was born, where Wallace D. Muhammad, NOI leader Elijah Muhammad's son, began introducing legitimately Quranic-based teachings into the racist stew of Islam, Christianity and bogus black supremacy that the NOI was passing off as true Islam.

Frequently out of favor with his dad, Wallace formally broke with his father's theology in 1977 and began dismantling the NOI. In 1981, Louis Farrakhan reformed the NOI along Elijah's sectarian lines, but the Philadelphia Muslim community seems to have steadfastly cast its lot with W.D. Muhammad.
That’s the same street Good Shepherd, Rosemont is in, about seven miles away.

The school I mentioned above, Clara Muhammad, is named for Elijah Muhammad’s wife even though the people are now real Muslims.

Regular readers of this blog know I don’t scare up anti-Muslim sentiment, and Iraq — once a secular state not a Muslim one — is nothing to do with it, but chaps like Paz (ironically also the Spanish word for peace) remind me why the battles of Kosovo, Constantinople, Lepanto and Vienna happened.
In cities and college towns across the nation, Paz's thick, round frame dominates the stage as he leads an audience of mostly white, middle-class college kids with gelled hair and hipster T-shirts as they gruesomely rant about the almighty supremacy of Allah. The pope is strangled with a rosary. "Pagan" Christians are converted to Islam.
To be fair Paz and these fans are apostate Christians — rebels looking for a cause — not typical born Muslims. However:
Some fans are from Lebanon.
Dhimmitude? No, thanks and this is not a pacifist blog.

Even a stopped clock like Paz is sometimes right, offering some perspective:
"Under what religion did we go to war?" he says. "Bush said God told him to go to war."
Who’s more dangerous, a daft Muslim convert from South Philly whose free speech I’ll defend, legendary Voltaire fashion, or the First Sock Puppet who listens not to rap but the ‘rapture’ crowd and has got nukes?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

‘Now, all our English liberties are becoming orphans’
The Times on the adoption row
We think that we are free people, but 80 per cent of our laws come from Brussels, and cannot be rejected by the British Parliament or, indeed, by the British electorate.
Wasn’t a huge war fought 65 years ago partly to stop something like that happening?
The historic basis of the English common law is one of pragmatism and precedence. Our law has been moulded over time to the shape of our English society. It represents the consensus of the English people over the generations. It has also been influenced by strong individual personalities, going back to the time of Henry II.
From the Revd James Konicki.
A sane US foreign policy
From Andrew Bacevich via Eunomia
The failure of fusionism
Libertarians are growing uneasy about their alliance with the Right, but that doesn’t necessarily make the Left a natural fit.
From AmConMag.
+Durham peels the PM’s paint in adoption row
From Charley Wingate
What will happen when bin Laden dies
Nobody’s really trying to catch him — he’s too useful as a bogeyman

How the rest of the Iraq war probably will play out
Military expert William Lind explains how the Shi’ites are using the Americans to get back at the long-incumbent Sunnis

Best-sellers
What do I mean by "reporting bias"?

Imagine asking a random sample of people what books they read. It’s not hard to imagine they might name some impressive, prestigious books which they imagine a high-toned person ought to be reading. Now imagine how different your results might be if you simply slipped into their houses and looked to see what books and magazines are actually sitting on their night stands. Want to bet some pornography and far-from-prestigious paperback Westerns and bodice-rippers and – oh, I don’t know, gardening books, vacation travel guides – might not feature far more prominently in the second list?

Well, who’s to say bookstore managers doesn’t show a similar reporting bias?

Imagine you’re an independent bookstore manager, perhaps one favoring contrarian titles – Austrian economics, anarchist or lesbian literature, whatever. You buy from publishers outside New York (heaven forfend) and sell quite a few of those titles. So you answer the phone to name 10 books
The New York Times (Publisher’s Weekly, whatever) editors have never even heard of, published by outfits whose ads do not grace their pages. Think you’ll get called again next week?
From LRC.

Monday, January 29, 2007

No motu proprio
From Hilary White via Paul Goings
RIP Fr Robert Drinan
Infamously pro-abortion and ‘no friend of liberty’ but anti-war. From the LRC blog.
Impeach for peace
From The Western Confucian
A long com-box debate on the Pope and the Orthodox
I’d have to do some studying to really keep up with this but it’s fairly obvious there’s been some kind of Roman primacy for a very long time at least as a man-made office like any patriarchate or other rank among bishops for the good order (bene esse) of the church. Both sides believe the episcopate is divinely instituted. As for Soloviev as quoted here, based on what little of him I’ve read I agree with him that the common Catholic faith of the two sides outweighs the differences but he was unfair to the Orthodox side.
HOU didst come to us without leaving Rome by the precious chains which thou didst wear. O first-enthroned of the Apostles, we bow down to them and pray: By thy prayers to God grant us great mercy.
A good word for Chuck Hagel
From Granny Miller

The Gaelic Starover
adds, ‘on the Bushling’s non-strategy for Iraq:’
If we don't debate this, if we don't debate this, we are not worthy of our country. We fail our country.
Vatican Latinist hates the Roman Mass
As I like to say traditionalism is not about Latin and in a way Fr Reginald Foster proves that. He loves the language and wants more people to learn it to really understand important texts but:
It is a useless mass and the whole mentality is stupid.
A priest from an American RC background hates high churchmanship. In other news dog bites man.

So much for the new springtime. :|
The idea of it is that things were better in the old days.
Objectivity, orthodoxy and Godwardness are not necessarily nostalgia for the 1950s.

People like him often seem to apply a double standard and don’t talk this way about the Oriental rites, probably because 1) they don’t know much about them, 2) they think they’re foreign enough, distant and exotic, to be non-threatening or 3) they want to look ecumenical to advance their careers.

From Hallowedground.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

On conscience (more)
From Mario Savio in 1964 via Thom at Ad Dominum. AFAIK this agrees with Catholic teaching: a well-formed conscience is the court of last resort as the story of Franz Jägerstätter shows.
You can't disobey the rules every time you disapprove. However, when you're considering something that constitutes an extreme abridgement of your rights, conscience is the court of last resort.
The really ancient-minded (in the good sense, the wisdom-of-the-ages Catholic sense) might object to this saying that doing one’s duty to something beyond the self and ‘rights’, to God for example and to objective reality, is better than the ‘Enlightenment’ and classical liberal/authentic conservative notion of rights. Sed contra the two are not mutually exclusive!

More from Savio:
There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!
Jägerstätter as libertarian:
When the Nazis arrived, not only did he refuse collaboration with their evil intentions, he even rejected benefits from the regime in areas that had nothing to do with its racial hatreds or pagan warmongering. It must have hurt for a poor father of three to turn down the money to which he was entitled through a Nazi family assistance program.
A liberal defends the Catholic religion!
From Chris Tessone
Epiphanytide
In the one-year lectionary that sustained the Western Church from the beginning of recorded Mass Lectionaries (the Comes of Murbach) up until Vatican II [and still in some quarters], the time after Epiphany was a season unto itself that focused on the revelation of Jesus as God to the world. This was done through some particular and pointed lections, especially those that emphasized miracles. There was the Baptism of Jesus, then the Wedding at Cana, then the healing of the Leper and the Centurion’s slave, then the walking on water, the miraculous feeding, etc.
From haligweorc.

I tend to agree with Fr Peter Robinson that the modern three-year ones mean the people know three times as much scripture about a third as well!


On being in uniform
... they want to know that their clergy are there with them.
From Fr Marshall Scott.

Saturday, January 27, 2007



The message is loud and clear: leave Iraq now!
The Prince of Wales is here
Clapped and cheered as he and the Duchess of Cornwall walked by

I wondered why they’re not going to an Episcopal church tomorrow (!) — I understand he is the royal patron of the Prayer Book Society — but remembered that Arch Street Presbyterian is historically Welsh. Along with the Anglicans the local Cornish community are inconsolable.
On real education
Are well-meant minority-studies programmes really condescending, a form of ‘Bantu education’? I don’t claim to be well-read but Justine Nicholas’ point stands.
"Why don’t you teach us things you really care about? Things you know really well?"

My tongue only partly in my cheek, I retorted, "What if everything I know and love was written by dead white men?"

"Well, we need to read what they wrote."

I realized that the plays mattered to these women for the same reasons they meant so much to me. Shakespeare and Ibsen both dealt with matters of fate and choice, and the consequences of each. And they did it in such a way that reached across centuries and continents, and across divides of socio-economic class and gender.

For me, plays like those of Shakespeare and Ibsen, as well as the 19th-Century English and French novels, and Latin American poetry I would find at the local public library, allowed me to see worlds that existed beyond the bubbling bricks and flaking paint of my blue-collar Brooklyn neighborhood.

I realized that my students were simply asking me to help them experience the intellectual and aesthetic nourishment I gained from my own reading. To have done anything less would have been cheating them.
Some of the same reasons the ritualist Anglo-Catholic slum priests and traditional RC and Orthodox churches didn’t/don’t offer something in church that’s only a reflection/continuation of the slum or factory, or suburb or cubicle for that matter.

From LRC.
Around ‘Fluffya’
Want to witness for Christ? Give a kidney!
Why are most anti-war marchers older?
I’ve noticed that at just about every peace march I’ve been in, most recently in August. It’s like being with a remnant of literally the same people who protested the Vietnam War.

Good point:
To the iPod generation, standing on street corners and holding banners can seem anachronistic. Its members are more likely to voice political objections on blogs and other Internet venues. On YouTube, where anyone can post a video, there are hundreds of clips that feature antiwar themes or music.
This seems to show that many are more materialistic now (but weren’t most of the hippies living off their parents’ prosperity?):
Historians point out that America has grown more conservative in the last 40 years, a trend reflected in its youth. In 1970, the census showed, 79 percent of college freshmen cited "developing a meaningful philosophy of life" as a top objective. In 2005, 75 percent said "being very well off financially" was important.
And that many/most don’t know or don’t care about authentic conservatism.

Then there’s the Catch-22 of conscription that the article mentions. Restarting it would be wrong but chances are it would destroy any remaining support for the war if only for self-interested reasons.

One more time: if Iraq and Iran are really threats why are there such creatures as College Republicans? When are young Barbara and Jenna Bush going over there?

On being cannon fodder (and who most of it is)
The Good German
Retro noir: Steven Soderbergh set out ‘to make a film that looked and sounded like an old studio picture, but without the old studio prohibitions’ as The New York Times’ unflattering review says (here are links to more reviews). I liked it. Seeing it in a 1920s cinema, even one broken up into small screens, added something.
Officers and enlisted men simply could not duke it out like that, without getting court-martialed.
Thought of that too.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bloodshed in Beirut
Samer al-Batal writes from there: We now have individuals sniping from buildings. Lord know how much more distance we are yet meant to plummet down.
Liberal christianity* does not work
Follows up on things Arturo and I have written recently. Some readers — Tripp? Jorge? — may detect some overgeneralisations but Fr Jonathan Tobias’ main points are worth reading.

‘...the gravitational mass toward which all Protestantism tends.’
‘...“co-terminous” with western culture’ like Catholicism used to be. A counterfeit.
• Belief in a ‘Higher Power’, which he seems to criticise, is true as far as it goes. I’ve told people about to turn their backs on God completely to pray the Our Father and/or the Serenity Prayer (‘grant me serenity to accept what I can’t change, courage to change what I can and the wisdom to know the difference’) and know that you depend on a Higher Power. But it’s not the most we can know about him.
‘...mere ethics — as isolated from Apostolic Dogma — has no power to change behaviour.’

Ending this year’s church-reunion octave:
GOD, who through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world : grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his wonderful Conversion in remembrance, may shew forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught. 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.
*His capitalisation: secular humanism or political correctness as christianity, that is, Christianity without Christ, ex-Christianity.
Even Churchill knew better than the current crew in charge
The man who created Iraq. From Brian Underwood.
There is no ‘war on terror’
It is actually a war on ancient freedoms. From LRC.
At the cinema
A Simple Curve

Canadian film from last year about an idealistic ageing hippy carpenter living in the mountains and his grown son facing realities of life today
Should the disabled be shown failing on ‘Idol’?
‘No, it’s cruel’ or ‘the disabled have a right to try and fail like everybody else’?

What do you think?

Incidentally based on what I saw I agree that one of the contestants at the Seattle audutions may have AS (and may have been set up by cruel co-workers) but the judges weren’t particularly nasty to him, just honest like they’d be to anybody else. That said I lean towards the view that the producers who let these people pass two auditions and then be taped simply for comic value were/are cruel. I imagine William Hung was in on the joke; these people are not.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ron Paul the great’s Mid-East peace plan
Operation Mind Our Own Business. If this had been done before 2001 9/11 never would have happened. From LRC.
An interfaith monotheistic/Abrahamic consensus
North African Muslims on the Episcopal row. I understand the weaknesses of this argument — a majority does not decide truth and I believe in the libertarian harm principle that the church/mosque teaches morals but under the law you can do what you want as long as you don’t harm others. But a good point all the same. Besides cutting ties to the Catholic world perhaps for ever the innovations regarding this issue most emphatically do not ‘bring people together’.
A prayer for all lapsed Catholics to return to the sacraments
In keeping with today’s Christian-unity octave intention

A prayer for Christian reunion
By Fr Sergius Bulgakov. Goes well with this. From Occidentalis.

A holy man
So good I’ve added it to my sidebar links under ‘religion’. His resemblance to my rector and father confessor for the past 11 years is remarkable. From Arturo Vasquez.
US: The Safe and Orderly Withdrawal Act
... the safe and orderly withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq within 30 days of enactment to be completed within 180 days.
More senators disagree with Bush’s escalation of Iraq war

The Democrats in the 2008 presidential race, even Hillary Clinton, are trying to sound like peace candidates.

Hey, look, a distraction!

Monday, January 22, 2007

US plans broad attack on Iran
Lord, in thy mercy: hear our prayer. From Brian Underwood.
Legal weaselling
Thus saith Gonzo. From Wendy McElroy.
Radio Yerevan’s jokes about Communism and capitalism
From Memoirs of a Neophyte
On ‘believing in yourself’
Like there’s constructive (offer it up and learn something) and unconstructive suffering there’s good (‘I am a man’ in God’s image) and bad pride; Chesterton obviously means the latter
Lord Falconer vs religious liberty
We have introduced laws which prevent discrimination against people on the basis of their sexual orientation; those laws should be given full effect.
Fine — orientation is a non-issue. Practice is not.

From Brian Underwood.
Impeach
From LRC
Whither the American black man?
From Mere Comments via Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Is ecumenism dead?
I recall towards the end of my seminary days when [Roman] Catholic and Lutheran theologians issued the joint statement on Justification by Faith. This should have been a momentous occasion: the issue that had separated the two had been basically eliminated. The total lack of excitement that greeted the statement astonished me, especially as I was deep into a Master’s thesis on Romans.
Dom Peter’s entry reminds me of these blunt words (right, I warned you) from First Things’ Joseph Bottums:
In the early 1970s, it was not unknown that reputable [Roman] Catholic theologians and even bishops would, in ecumenical settings, concelebrate the Eucharist with liberal Protestant clergy. Such events were unusual, of course, but those participating thought they were only a step or two ahead of where the Church was going. If you cannot imagine this happening today, that’s partly because the old mainline Protestant churches matter so much less than they used to. Besides, their sharp anti-Catholic turn in recent years — much of it occasioned by the battles over abortion — has made this kind of unfocused ecumenical gestures pointless. Mostly, however, you can’t imagine bishops or theologians of stature concelebrating the Eucharist with non-Catholics because the doctrine of communio, with all it entails for Christian unity and division, has grown firm again.
It’s worth remembering that 50 years ago the mainline denominations opposed abortion and 80 years ago contraception as much as Rome does. The World Council of Churches was more clearly orthodox Christian when it began and many Orthodox and other Eastern churches joined it; reunion talks were feasible (from the Catholic point of view really a kind of instruction for non-Catholics though of course clearing up misunderstandings goes both ways).

You can argue that mainstream RC since the big flinch of Vatican II is functionally just as sidelined as the mainline (or even has become mainline as Bottums says 1950s sociologists predicted would happen with the move to the suburbs) — the only difference is people still strongly identify with it emotionally for ethnic and class reasons. About the sense that the Kennedys and Nancy Pelosi (their good points are another matter) are anything to do with the holy, Catholic, apostolic and Roman Church.

A friend wrote anonymously last summer:
...We (Catholics) can only have less and less to talk about with these people (liberal Anglicans). Like with Protestants, Mormons, and Jews, cooperation in humanitarian and charitable works is both possible and desirable, but any sort of ecumenism is best left untouched. In terms of the Anglican Communion, well that seems like it’ll fall apart more rapidly every day, and so there won’t be any anxiety over being in the same jurisdiction with the liturgical Unitarians.

I just wish they had the integrity of Benjamin Jowett and his ilk.
Mormons and Jews are not Christians so the term in those cases is interfaith not ecumenical.

Central Church friend Charley Wingate says:
Ecumenism as a reunion movement is pretty well dead. Ecumenism as a "Can we stop character assasination of other churches?" movement ought to be alive and well.
Which essentially agrees with Dom Peter.

I agree with the latter but am not so sure the former won’t happen: I think you may see the mainliners shrink and merge instead of competing for the same liberal upper-middle-class market share and Rome, the Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox and the Assyrian Church — the Catholic family — at least are still talking to each other, tentatively. I wouldn’t be too surprised if the Orthodox-Oriental Orthodox schism ended in the next few decades.

Which brings me to this recent conversation.

Saturday, January 20, 2007



Big Brother’s new toy
Dick Cheney won’t be the only bloated gasbag watching you from on high

Stop the US Congress silencing its critics
What Gary North warns about

From Brian Underwood.
Quotation

hat which in Doctrine the Church doth now deliver rightly as the Truth, no man will say that it may hereafter recall, and as rightly avouch the contrary. Laws touching Matter(s) of Order are changeable, by the Power of the Church; Articles concerning doctrine, not so. We read often in the Writings of Catholick and Holy men touching matters of Doctrine. This we believe, this we hold, this the Prophets and Evangelists have declared. This the Apostles have delivered, This the Martyrs have sealed with their Blood, and confessed in their Torments, to this cause we cleave as to the anchor of our Souls; against this, though an Angel from Heaven should Preach unto us, we would not believe.
Richard Hooker


Guide to Anglican churchmanships

(In the traditional Roman Rite today’s intention in the Chair of Unity Octave is ‘the submission of Anglicans’.)

Perhaps I’m just thick but I don’t understand this
Posted for honesty’s sake, the only way ecumenism can work, during this octave of prayer for Christian reunion.
When Dr Williams was enthroned as ABC in Canterbury he directed that the filioque be deleted from the Creed that day in order not to offend the participating Orthodox clergy.
It’s probably more accurate to say they attended not participated.

So in the Anglican Communion one can have women bishops, gay weddings (at least unofficially) and clergy who don’t believe in the creed (I realise these three issues are not necessarily related!) but leaving out the filioque is supposed to impress the Orthodox. Okaaaaay...

Not to knock ++Cantuar’s recent efforts to be fair to the non-liberal majority in his communion including authentically Catholic statements like this.

Without state coercion the Elizabethan compromise doesn’t work. As I wrote here two months ago:
The recent news story of a German construction worker killed when he struck an unexploded World War II bomb reminded me of this. In our time bad Queen Bess’s settlement seems to have detonated like that... perhaps Catholic Anglicans and ironically the old-school Central Churchmen (you can argue that these ‘middle way’ people really ‘got’ Anglicanism and we didn’t) are its last casualties.
P.S. Suing conservative Christians out of their meeting-houses is not a virtue.
Funny. KJS & the rest of TEC* sure didn't have second thoughts about subverting many other "ancient precedent[s]" at the General Conventions of the past few years.
A quip from Randall Foster.

*Obviously not true of all Episcopalians!


Pro-Armenian journalist murdered in Turkey
Hundreds of Turkish citizens gathered outside Agos chanting “We are all Armenians, we are all Hrant Dink.”
To their credit.
On a winter’s day: RIP Denny Doherty
Who brought to the world hauntingly beautiful harmonies (an iconic sound of their decade) and a sense of humour as his stories on his site show

Of course this music wasn’t really a hippy thing, more a glossy studio version of it (with loads of reverb?) from people who weren’t really kids any more, a very commercial operation, but marvellous pop all the same. You can read into it a bittersweet echo of the, yes, youthful idealism of the ‘other’ ’60s, the ‘square’ ’60s.
Who are the savages?

More on Ron Paul the great


From the LRC blog.
Pelosi: better than nothing but not enough
Democrats will never cut off funding for our troops when they are in harm's way, but we will hold the president accountable.
‘He’ll get the frowning of a lifetime!’ as Abe Simpson said?

You were right on this one, Paul.
He has to answer for his war. He has dug a hole so deep he can't even see the light on this. It's a tragedy. It's a stark blunder.
Two heartbeats away from the presidency
Which partly explains her reluctance to impeach: it would look like self-promotion

Friday, January 19, 2007

Methodists reject ‘war president’s’ library
Dr Andrew Weaver left this in my com-boxes recently. From The Gaelic Starover.
I’m sorry but the man doesn’t deserve a star on the Walk of Fame
He’s a property tycoon not an entertainer
Cakewalk, take two!
Selling the surge even though the man who first talked about a cakewalk has changed his mind
Quotation
Fr Lev (Gillet)The whole teaching of the Latin Fathers may be found in the East, just as the whole teaching of the Greek Fathers may be found in the West. Rome has given St Jerome to Palestine. The East has given Cassian to the West and holds in special veneration that Roman of the Romans, Pope St Gregory the Great.

St Basil would have acknowledged St Benedict of Nursia as his brother and heir. St Macrina would have found her sister in St Scholastica. St Alexis ‘the man of God’, the ‘poor man under the stairs’, has been succeeded by the wandering beggar St Benedict Joseph Labré. St Nicholas would have felt as very near to him the burning charity of St Francis of Assisi and St Vincent de Paul. St Seraphim of Sarov would have seen the desert blossoming under Father Charles de Foucauld’s feet, and would have called St Thérèse of Lisieux ‘my joy’.
- Fr Lev (Gillet), ‘A Monk of the Eastern Church’

Explaining Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism to each other
О ИОРДАНЕ крещающуся тебе, Господи, троическое явися поклонение, Родителев бо глас свидетельствоваше тебе, возлюбленного тя Сына именуя, и Дух в виде голубине, извествоваше словесе утверждение. Явлейся Христе Боже, и мир просвещей, слава тебе.

HEN thou wast baptised in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest; for the voice of the Father bare witness to thee, calling thee his beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of the word. O Christ our God who hast appeared and hast enlightened the world, glory be to thee!
Films that age well and those that don’t
The movies teach us to expect too much from romantic love and to think violence can make the world just.

The films I like best treat love and violence with irony. I think this may be why Alfred Hitchcock’s movies wear so well. They respect moral norms, but they show happiness and justice coming at a price. It’s no accident that Hitchcock never made a war movie, not even during World War II.

Not that he could do religious propaganda either, but his Catholicism, as many critics have noted, seems to color his work, even
Psycho.

The morality of a great writer, as G.K. Chesterton says somewhere, “is not the morality he explains, but the morality he forgets to explain.”

By contrast, even a Christian watching
Ben-Hur today feels that it was obviously trying to manipulate the emotions of the audiences of another time.
From Joe Sobran via LRC.
The mediæval personality quiz
Based on the four humours. It seems that even without understanding the structure or chemistry of the brain Catholic spiritual writers (such as St Teresa) using these ideas from antiquity diagnosed and treated at least some psychological problems effectively and compassionately. It’s scientific: even without the theory about the four elements it’s based on centuries of observation. A Godward psychology. (Fulton Sheen called confession ‘psychoanalysis on its knees’.) From Fisheaters via Brian Underwood.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Why I don’t watch ‘Idol’ any more
I imagine Simon Cowell is playing to the camera now and my impression in passing is the same as Rod Dreher’s: the cruelty has been stepped up. Before this Simon was simply blunt but honest: if he didn’t think you had talent he said so. When the ‘Idol’ phenom began Sir George Martin* said the same thing as Dreher now.

Update: Some facts from an old acquaintance. It’s crueller than I thought!
For those of you unaware, there is an intensive screening process by which competitors audition for producers in two rounds of tryouts prior to even getting to sing in front of the ‘American Idol’ judges some two months later (they compress it to make it look like it's all happening within forty-eight hours). It’s fair to speculate that those people who make the third round of auditions are being led to believe they have enough talent to make the third cut, and, potentially, land a spot as a contestant.

Apparently, the morbid fascination with the truly talentless, sometimes arrogant, and usually oblivious persons who should be doing anything but singing — a staple of all previous seasons — was wearing thin enough for ‘American Idol’... to raise their game...

Don’t get me wrong: if someone can’t sing, they should be told they do not qualify for the job (many of us are often left wondering exactly who is telling some of these folks they can, in fact, sing)! But is it fair to ‘set up’ people... for the purpose of making what the media defines as ‘good TV’?
*I dare say more people remember the Beatles than Curiosity Killed the Cat!
Quotation
On the theme ‘if you take away God people don’t believe in nothing but anything’, from a youngish hip agnostic:
It’s no wonder so many kids are obsessed with the hippie-dippie abracadabra bollocks of Dungeons & Dragons and The Lord of the Rings. Compared to the grim reality of a high-tech rerun of the Crusades, a fictional medieval hell-world full of spell-casting wizards and battle-axe-wielding trolls must be comforting.
No offence intended to the fine folk who love Rings. But I’m sure you know what this person meant.

As I like to say if I were 14 and didn’t know better I could have been like that. Natural religion: as Joseph Campbell said of another generation when the church stopped using Latin (putting faith in a white-hot technological future instead, the common belief of the secular élite at the time?) the kids started learning Sanskrit.
...the Scientific Revolution was not, as is popularly supposed, the result of an alleged Enlightenment battle of “secular forces of reason” against the “irrational religious dogma” of the Middle Ages. “Rather, these achievements were the culmination of many centuries of systematic progress by medieval Scholastics, sustained by that uniquely Christian twelfth-century invention, the university. Not only were science and religion compatible, they were inseparable — the rise of science was achieved by deeply religious Christian scholars.”
Get rid of the church and you get rid of the right use of reason (conforming to objective reality, just like science): the result is not perfect order but among other things people who believe in spell-casting wizards and battle-axe-wielding trolls.

Maybe Gandalf can fix my arm. Have you got his mobile number? Meanwhile I’ve got prayer (thanks) and my physical-therapy exercises at least don’t do any harm. Chances are even if the back deltoid remains paralysed I can get back at least some range of motion.
Defeat in Iraq is not a question of if but when
From LRC military expert William Lind. Sooner or later you will see a Saigon-like victory for a Teheran-like government.

Corn syrup
America’s home-grown sugar is ubiquitous and may be harmful

Joe Sobran on vouchers
Like both tsarist and Communist Russia wanted access to warm-water ports, whether the religion taught was Catholicism or Modernism a longtime goal of the RC authorities in America has been some form of government funding for their schools. Historically this scared the nativist Protestant element, whose organisation, Americans United, like many of the Protestants themselves, seems to have turned secular. It was originally ‘Protestants and Other Americans United for the Separation of Church and State’ complete with Thomas Nast/Jack Chick–like cartoons about the papist menace taking over the government. Now they fear the fundygelicals as they should but the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend! In any event these subsidies in different guises are bad for religious liberty including the church’s because they really mean state control. (For a reminder of the forms of that control witness the taxman harassing All Saints’ Episcopal in Pasadena for preaching against the war on Iraq.) One needn’t be Jack Chick or a militant atheist to agree with Sobran that ‘the only sound approach is the total separation of school and state’.

Fun fact
Likeable square and travel-show presenter Rick Steves is on the board of NORML. Legalise it.
The divide
Between the Roman and Orthodox communions. From The Ochlophobist.

Of course I blog to be affirmed as well as inform and discuss/debate and of course I disagree with Owen about journalism.

An entry to start the Christian-unity (Chair of Unity) Octave; today in the Roman Rite is the feast of the Chair of St Peter at Rome.
I’ve been tagged for a meme
Thanks, Dave Holford. Unlike Elizabeth at The Garden Window I’m not nearly cultured nor hip enough to make this really fun but...

1. Name a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies. I recently saved several copies of the American 1928 Book of Common Prayer from being thrown out and have given some away, of course not for Protestantism’s sake but to spread and share the Godwardness and beautiful language of the first liturgical prayer I ever heard. (I read 1662’s psalter, ‘noise of the water pipes’, ‘congregation of naughty men’ — add camp remark about spikey shrine churches here — and all.)

2. Name a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music. As a kid I heard and appreciated Anglican chant and Beethoven (‘Moonlight Sonata’: bleak!) but John Lennon’s ‘A Day in the Life’ showed me a world beyond the stanza-chorus-bridge-stanza pop-song formula, as did Heart’s ‘Magic Man’, which introduced my childhood self to the concept of the extended jam session. (Huw, I like that Dan Fogelberg song too. It’s about his father, a high-school music teacher, and like Sir Paul McCartney’s ‘Let It Be’ about his mother you can read something religious into it.)

3. Name a film you can watch again and again without fatigue. These days I usually don’t see films more than once, oddly enough. I should have a list of classics to answer this but I’ll say two non-classics, True Confessions (1940s LA murder mystery and a look at the church in the period) and The Family Man (‘I work on Wall Shtreet’... a marvellous, I think implicitly Christian fable not just for Christmas).

4. Name a performer for whom you suspend all disbelief. Vince D’Onofrio as the great Detective Bobby Goren on ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’. That such a quirky guy is so successful gives me hope. :) He’s a Renaissance man, part Sherlock Holmes and part Columbo. The suspension of disbelief is that I’ve read the confessions he tricks out of people wouldn’t hold up in court; you never see the follow-up to the cases he cracks.

5. Name a work of art you’d like to live with. Pre-Raphaelite paintings come to mind (and painters after that school like John Duncan in Scotland). Tripp and I seem opposites on this issue but I wouldn’t mind Dalí; Picasso’s right out though.

6. Name a work of fiction which has penetrated your real life. Well, if that can mean ‘helped form my worldview’ George Orwell’s 1984, which I read that year.

7. Name a punch line that always makes you laugh. Can’t think of one in particular. Colin Stephenson in Merrily on High and most of them from ‘The Simpsons’. The one from Elizabeth’s daughter about the dog is a contender.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

US senators sign onto quit-Iraq resolution
Non-binding isn’t much but better than nothing
The insane war criminal in the White House
From The Western Confucian
‘Pro-choice’ violence and Big Pharmaceutical
The Libby trial begins

New US law could subject civilians to military trials

UN: More than 34,000 civilians killed in Iraq in 2006

American public don’t buy ‘surge’


From Rational Review.
Saving historic churches
Of course when the crucifix at San Damiano told St Francis to ‘build my church’ Jesus meant the people but that said a consecrated church means something to Catholics

Preserving the Ukraine’s wooden churches

Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon needs lots of work
Like that story last year about Canterbury Cathedral being held together with duct tape. Related to the Episcopal row in the States, in which liberals clamour to claim property rights and sue conservatives out of their churches, a good friend suggested the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster should come round and ask for the keys. ++Cantuar could unload that problem and look ecumenical all in one go!

Friends of Friendless Churches
Where I’ve been
Evensong and Benediction at St Mark’s, Locust Street
With guest organist and choir from Christ Church St Laurence, Sydney. Catholic religion with English music in Puginesque Gothic architecture. Lovely.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Western Confucian’s links for today

Also:

That’s a hanging offence
On eastward-facing altars
...love of Gregorian chant, time-honored vestment styles, the Old Mass, traditional architecture, old-time devotions and ceremonies, eastward worship, and Latin is in the historical mainstream of Christianity. It is not some weird, far-right ghetto province.
- Fr Jim Tucker

The conservative Novus Ordo constituency at Amy Welborn’s blog has noticed that this tradition as practised by some Anglicans and Lutherans including today outcatholics much of mainstream RC and also sees the threat in some churches of encroachment from un-liturgical evangelical worship.

Common sense:
Lutheran rubrics were simple--for the parts of the liturgy that are "sacrificial," in which you are offering prayer to God, you face the altar; for those parts that are "proclamation," directed to the people, you face them.
I know it’s not Fortescue but I’ve seen Mass done this way and it works fine.

I also like the Byzantine Rite way in which the vested reader chants the epistle (Apostol) in the main part of the church but facing the altar, the deacon chants the gospel front and centre likewise ‘facing east’ but if a priest chants the gospel he’s facing the people.
On the box
‘Citizen King’
You can argue there is liberal bias here but the film is largely footage of MLK himself, magnetic, charismatic, a master of oratory and for all his failings a national hero. Incidentally I wasn’t joking when I mentioned some use his day to support the war on Iraq (in the guise of ‘support our troops’); locally a primary school did just that. I’d like to be in a room where a pupil writes and recites things reflecting what Dr King actually thought about those issues!

It’s also worth noting that the real work for civil rights seems to have been done in the ‘square’ ’60s — the more interesting version of the 1950s when much of the left seemed steeped in Christian principles and rhetoric — not the destructive end of that decade most people remember.

Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church calls for end to Iraq war
On religion or not in the conservative movement
Eunomia’s Daniel Larison (a true palæo?) seems to challenge both the neocons and the libertarianism and classical liberalism I like, or ‘is Christianity true or merely useful?’ The last is the modern view as Dr Frank Senn has explained (‘be a productive worker and good citizen; go to a church, any church’, a 1950s-ish view), which I’ll try saying among the left has changed from faith into political correctness (Christianity without Christ with all the blowback of good intentions). Of course I don’t deny it’s true but unlike other traditionalists fall back on religious liberty as a relative good to defend it in a free society. (I think Reasoning Repaired would disagree.) I like to think that 50 years ago I would have been the kind of churchman who, though disagreeing with them very much on their unbelief or indifferentism in religion (by then the damage was done; if I’m not mistaken lots of the élite left and right thought like that), would have happily worked with secular common-sense conservatives like Barry Goldwater and his fans.
When Cal Thomas started singing the praises of secular modernity after 9/11 (as if to show you that he was no religious fanatic like those people), you could take it as a given that religion, and specifically the great significance attached to Christianity even by some old Moral Majority hands like Thomas, was potentially expendable for a lot of conservatives when supposedly more important things (such as the fight against “medievalism” and for “women’s rights” and “tolerance”) were at stake.
Gotta love the irony and in Baathist Iraq as long as you weren’t a threat politically (of course it wasn’t perfect) you more or less had those rights. Not now.


Jen shiang is universal
The Chinese word for ‘truth’ shows they agree with Aristotle, the Schoolmen and classic Anglicans: the characters mean ‘conformity to fact or actuality’. From Reasoning Repaired.
Murtha proposes bill to cut off funds for ‘surge’
From antiwar.com
Andrew Sullivan discovers anti-war conservatism
From Rod Dreher
1913
A year great evil was unleashed. LRC’s Michael Tuggle marks Woodrow Wilson’s presidency as the end of the American republic and the beginning of empire. His getting the country into World War I with the passing of power from a cash-strapped Westminster to Washingon confirmed the change.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A US Marine’s call for drawdown
‘It’s people dying for no benefit’
There is no autism epidemic
Now doctors are better at diagnosing it
Did the French PM really want France to merge with Britain 51 years ago?
Incroyable!
The Ukraine: more state meddling in the church?
Like Eritrea today, Peter the Great’s Russia or Henrician England... obviously Mr Yushchenko, who belongs to the country’s biggest nationalist schism from the Russian Orthodox, wants his side to be the national church with the bigger Russian Orthodox province of the Ukraine/metropolia of Kiev absorbed into it and cut loose from Moscow; something I’ve heard the US may favour as it meddles in the area trying to keep Russian power in check. (What if Mr Putin did that sort of thing in Canada?)

Here is the Russian Orthodox response. Most Ukrainians are secular; most of the churchgoing minority are Russian Orthodox. Galicians in former Polish territory in the south-west are Ukrainian Catholic; I don’t know how many of them practise.
Quotation: Mr Bush on the war effort
Fellow citizens: The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice and resolve.
So, like, when are Jenna and Barbara, you know, enlisting and going over to Iraq?

The speech condensed.
US: Why Robertson, Falwell and Dobson slime McCain
McCain is pro-campaign finance reform so Dobson claims McCain’s pro-gay marriage

Evangelical hawks in hiding
Still think invading Iraq was God’s will? Hello?

Meanwhile the evos not in hiding say Robertson’s predictions are rubbish

From Frank Lockwood.
Endlessly Rocking on Whiggery
Eritrea persecutes native church
One of the Oriental Orthodox communion, I think of the Ethiopian Rite. The rulers there seem to have studied European history: what Henry VIII and Peter the Great did. :| From Ad Orientem.
The president who cried wolf
Only this president, only in this time, only with this dangerous, even messianic certitude, could answer a country demanding an exit strategy from Iraq by offering an entrance strategy for Iran.
From The Sacred Weblog of the Universal Inquisition.
A liberal case for tradition
That is, classical liberalism. Catholic rule of law.
LRC on MLK
That said, ‘MLK was an outspoken opponent of the US empire and war’. From Juan Cole last year here are 10 things he would have said about Iraq.

If I had the time I’d draw an editorial cartoon of a portrait of him surrounded by causes that have been glommed onto him posthumously from ‘be kind to animals’ to ‘support the troops’ with his annoyed countenance saying ‘WTF?!’
Two links on St Seraphim of Sarov
From last year
His version of the Rosary
Rod Dreher seems to get it now regarding Iraq
From the LRC blog

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Friday, January 12, 2007

Playing the hate card
Canon Gary L’Hommedieu on the Episcopal row

The missing pages
With some honourable exceptions many of the mainstream churches are guilty of tearing pages from the Bible. The Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches have for a very long time taken stances on the matters discussed below which are in accordance with accepted and traditional belief and interpretation. They seem to be the only churches... that take the whole of scriptural authority seriously. It is difficult to avoid concluding that our own church the C of E (as with other members of the Anglican Communion) is quite possibly among the worst of the offenders.
You’ve got to love the irony here that the churches of the great Catholic family don’t claim to believe in sola scriptura (which scriptura itself doesn’t teach) but rather that the Bible is part of tradition. ‘Only the Bible’ ultimately really means ‘only me’.
A Christian against the state
From LRC’s Laurence Vance

On serving at the Roman Mass
It’s about objectivity, Godwardness and orthodoxy, not the Latin though it’s a beautiful language. This approach pointed the way to me as a child even though the libretto was by Cranmer.
That meant a black cassock, and white surplice. No designer costumes of red, or long white robes with rope-like belts.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with the Eye-talian way but Sarum with albs is good too. :) And I’m sure Mr Hein means a cotta not an English surplice!
Practical political reasons for opposing ‘the surge’
Like Mr Clinton turning out to be a fairly good conservative president thanks to being boxed in by our good friend gridlock in the form of a Republican Congress, sometimes the system does good in spite of itself. A bit like the invisible hand in economics. From Eunomia.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

‘Dangerously wrong-headed’
“This is a dangerously wrong-headed strategy that will drive America deeper into an unwinnable swamp at great cost,” said Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican and frequent critic of the administration’s Iraq policies. “We cannot escape the reality that there will be no military solution in Iraq.”

The Democratic leadership of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, said in a statement that Bush’s new Iraq strategy “endangers our national security by placing additional burdens on our already over-extended military thereby making it even more difficult to respond to other crises.”
From the Revd Tripp Hudgins.


Ron Paul the great
An actual peace and freedom candidate. From the LRC blog.
And more pond differences: class and the great college swindle in the States
Points raised by Paul Fussell
Sobran on Pelosi
She’s somewhat better than the old crew but he makes some points
Seeking a historical parallel, my mind raced back nearly a quarter of a century, to 1984, when the media went into similar throes as the Democrats chose a woman to be their vice-presidential candidate. Her name, as every student of history knows, was Geraldine Ferraro. Then too the word historic was used with abandon.

The parallels don’t end there. Ferraro was a woman, a Democrat, Italian-American, and
[Roman] Catholic. So is Pelosi. One more little thing: Ferraro was outspokenly pro-abortion. So is Pelosi. All this is more than mere coincidence.

If either one of them had expressed opposition to abortion, it goes without saying that the Democrats wouldn’t have exalted her. This throws an interesting light on the historic achievements of women. In today’s America, there are few constraints on how far a woman can rise, so long as she is a Democrat, a professed Catholic, and a proponent of abortion.

Pelosi does have one advantage over Ferraro. She was the daughter of the mayor of Baltimore, so, despite her self-dramatization, it’s not as if she had to struggle to overcome her humble origins. This isn’t exactly a Horatio Alger story.

If, as is not improbable, a woman finds a cure for cancer, nobody will be very surprised. There will be nothing marvelous about it. It won’t be hailed as a great “woman’s achievement.” It will be the sort of thing we have come to take for granted.

The liberal creed holds that women and minorities never have a nice day. The victim act should have been retired long ago, but it has persisted long past the point of satiety.
From LRC.
US: Poor blacks failing because of self-induced victimhood
Shoulder update (parts one and two)
The nerve test yesterday was a bit like that scene in The Right Stuff when a doctor sticks a needle into a man’s hand and uses electricity to clench his fist over and over but not nearly as bad. It was electric shocks and then a small needle stuck in various arm and hand muscles. It confirmed what Dr Salvo thought: the deltoid muscle is ‘denervated’. From my online reading it seems it has a chance of healing itself starting two months from now or there’s a chance a neurosurgeon can fix it.