Wednesday, November 30, 2011

From RR
What if the Constitution no longer applied?
From Taki
The Order of Corporate Reunion
Fascinating 19th-century Catholic and Anglo-Catholic history. I have a copy of Dr Lee of Lambeth. Seems at least a project of some eccentric and probably holy people including him, most of whom understandably were or ended up Catholic (Dr Lee right before he died).
  • Fr C: Some ACs over 100 years ago wanted something a lot like the ordinariates now: They drew up a project of an English uniate Church which would allow Communion under both kinds, a married clergy and the liturgy in English. I doubt most English would have converted – once they were forced to be Protestant, which took about 50 years, they’ve been no-popery – but it would have brought the ACs into the church much sooner. Blessed Pius IX on Pusey: ‘He’s like the campanile calling the people into the church but he stays outside’.
  • Bishops at Large says at least one of the little vagante groups were would-be Catholics with similar requests (vernacular, married priests) but Peter Anson snarkily (as always) wrote that most British Catholics weren’t interested in those concessions (either to join the little churches or to ask the Pope for the little churches to be admitted), strange as it seems now (nobody but trads wants Latin again).
  • The story came out that Lee and two others had been consecrated bishops by Roman, Greek and Armenian bishops. ... There is a legend that Archbishop Di Calabania of Milan was instrumental in these clandestine consecrations, but this is extremely doubtful. The most likely is the kind of gullible eastern-rite bishops like those who consecrated Vilatte in India, who were probably very grateful for the simony money! The consecration story doesn’t make sense in Orthodoxy (nor in Western Catholicism but the latter has doctrine recognizing valid orders outside the church, which every vagante bases his claim on) but Fr C may be right, like how some of the first vagantes went into business. The Eastern bishops were very trusting, probably thinking the ordinands had joined their church. (Anson wrote that the converts went into business for themselves when they went home.) Sure, there could have been cash.
  • The York Forum: Everything I have heard about this group is extremely suspicious. While I have no doubt that a clandestine group making these claims might have existed, I seriously doubt there’s any truth to the back story. (Can anybody really believe that 19th-century Rome would approve the consecration of CofE priests to secretly impart valid ordinations to persons who were attached to a community Rome views as heretical and schismatic?) And even if ordinations of one kind or another were being performed, the clandestine nature of this group casts the orders of anyone claiming to have received them from this group in doubt. Sounds a bit like 19th-century anti-Catholic melodrama, a jesuitical plot to undermine the Protestant Church of England and empire, like Guy Fawkes, but who knows?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Against bowdlerized Christmas carols
Pope Benedict is doing good work but the PC niceness police aren’t going gently; they’re still trying to rewrite history like when they ripped up altars 40 years ago. Thomas Day could tell you the result for this: neither a traddie revolt nor re-education. (Him: the old Mass is the ghost that haunts the church, which is why they wreckovate.) The people will keep not singing (‘let’s get this over with; I don’t have all day’) while a miked-up Mrs Oldliberal belts out two verses, futilely waving her arms to conduct.
David Frum on the GOP
Rather than workable solutions, my party is offering low taxes for the currently rich and high spending for the currently old, to be followed by who-knows-what and who-the-hell-cares. This isn’t conservatism; it’s a going-out-of-business sale for the baby-boom generation.
From El Blog del Pelón.
Possibly a cure for autism?
The Stanford University team turned skin cells from people with “Timothy syndrome” into fully fledged brain cells. The abnormal activity found in these cells could be partially corrected using an experimental drug, Nature Medicine reports. UK researchers warned the findings might not apply to everyone with autism.
Then there are the ethics of a cure. The goal should not be to pathologize the different and stamp out the savants (quirky geniuses like TV’s ‘Bones’) – wiping out autistic personalities, trying to force everybody to be the same; shades of Nazi eugenics – but to do what special ed tries to do now, alleviate suffering by compensating for weaknesses, only more effectively. I understand the best special ed for the autistic is great: they can take advanced/gifted courses in their best subjects while at the same time learning things like how to look people in the eye and shake hands properly. How to adapt to normal people in order to get along. If science can figure out how do that with meds, great. A world without eccentrics would be poorer. From RR.
It seems to have gone out of business and thus to the domain-names-for-sale junkyard. Very sorry. A fine service. Got a stand-in for ‘referring pages’ in my sidebar unless/until something better comes along.

Monday, November 28, 2011

‘The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants’

A tribute to ‘Mad Men’ (John Slattery guest-stars as you can see) and it made fun of PC workplace training videos. The animated lecturer in the computer cartoon-in-the-cartoon wears a star of David, and various pieces of office equipment are paired off going into the Tunnel of Tolerance (had to look it up: seems to be a ‘South Park’ reference, something I didn’t watch). A reason ‘The Simpsons’ is good; the left doesn’t entirely own it.

On Russia, Western bias against it and multiculturalism
Srdja Trifkovic at Chronicles. Even when you don’t agree, he makes you think. I’m more about individual rights (not the multi-cultis’ group rights) than blood-and-soil but of course I like the Russians:
The regimes in Brussels and Washington detest a post-Soviet Russia – the state that no longer is subservient, as it had been in the 1990s, but reviving its patriotic and Christian roots – more than the Cod War leaders of the West hated the USSR.
From RR
  • The price of empire.
  • Who won the Iraq war?
  • Wikileaks wins major journalism award in Australia.
  • A cure for what doesn’t ail you. Government and Big Pharma.
  • Righteous indignation. The seemingly eternal conflict in human societies is between slavers: people who see others as a collective to be used to “greater ends” (which are usually startlingly congruent with the slavers’ own self-interest), and individuals who simply want to be left alone to enjoy their lives, keep the fruits of their labour, not suffer from aggression, and be free to pursue their lives as they wish as long as they do not aggress against others. I’ve re-purposed Larry Niven’s term “slavers” from the known space universe to encompass all of the movements over the tawdry millennia of human history and pre-history which have seen people as the means to an end instead of sovereign beings, whether they called themselves dictators, emperors, kings, Jacobins, socialists, progressives, communists, fascists, Nazis, “liberals”, Islamists, or whatever deceptive term they invent tomorrow after the most recent one has been discredited by its predictably sorry results.
  • Gut, not cut, the government. Ron Paul’s the only one with the guts to do it.
  • Memo to Occupiers: Ten things “evil capitalists” really think. Chatting to some Occupy protesters this morning, I was struck by how wide of the mark were the beliefs they attributed to me as a Right-winger. In the interests of deeper understanding, here are ten things which – trust me – most of the Tory scum I hang around with think. My Occupy Philly chat moment: when I gave my bonafides as a Ron Paul person, a young black man pretended to gag then jumped and yelled several times ‘Ron Paul’s a fascist!’ ‘OK, I’ll bite. How’s he a fascist?’ ‘Some of his positions are racist.’ (So he’s not a fascist. Fascism isn’t ipso facto about race. You just think you’re mad at him about something so you smeared him.) ‘How is individual liberty racist?’ No answer. And no to egalitarianism. Equal opportunity. Not equal outcomes, which would be unfair.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hepworth can rejoin church as layman
Standard: ex-Catholic priests in his situation aren’t reinstated
Miscellaneous photos

Walking around town.

Modern architecture has its place. This arguably isn’t one of them. The Amtrak building, which I like in itself, looks like it’s about to eat St Clement’s.

Christmas Village, moved to Love Park because Occupy Philadelphia was in the courtyard next to City Hall, across the street from Love Park. A copy of Bethlehem, Pa.’s copy of the German Christkindlmarkt.

Bulgarian china.
The reform’s on! Pope B’s new missal is now in use

Click to enlarge.
  • I went to the earliest, lowest Novus on a Sunday, a good choice in most places; Catholics’ lifeline for 40 years. No bad attempt at music and no funny business.
  • I like the congregation reciting the introit at such Low Masses.
  • A congregation of about 40. Not bad for first thing in the morning in an irreligious age.
  • As you can see, St Philomena’s wasn’t wreckovated much, which helps now.
  • The Benedict Effect has high-churched the ceremonial a little.
  • Not bad! Of course Irish Catholics won’t use the Book of Common Prayer’s prose but because it’s an OK translation it’s not that different; it’s like a Tridentine hand-missal translation.
  • More important, the Pope has reset the clock to 1965 where a sound Mass keeps all the priests in line regardless of their own views. He is rolling back the effects of the council.
  • The kindly old gentleman lector kept everybody on track with the new responses most of the time.
  • The congregation lapsed into ‘And also with you’ at the gospel. Understandable.
  • Silent offertory.
  • No intrusive ‘sign of peace’. Yes, I know it’s ancient, etc. You understand.
  • No altar girls at this Mass.
  • No layfolk giving Communion either!
  • Almost everybody went to Communion, and received in the hand in that annoying modern way. That last one will take a generation to get rid of. In the meantime, stick to the basics: be in the state of grace and fasting according to the current rule.
  • My camera filled up before it could get Father saying ‘Behold the Lamb of God’ and giving the blessing in Latin starting with ‘Dominus vobiscum’.
  • 25 years ago two priests on two separate occasions screamed at me that something like this would never happen.
  • The RC liturgy war is over. The real Catholics won. (Gates of hell not prevailing and all that.) The Pope has fixed all the serious problems.
  • Evviva il Papa.
China builds its African empire while the ‘anti-colonialist’ Left looks the other way
From Damian Thompson
Occupy Philadelphia

Me keeping a low profile.

Methodist hymn-sing.

Hare Krishnas.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

From LRC

Friday, November 25, 2011

Almost Advent, and the start of secular Christmas

  • Black Friday myths. From Cracked.
  • Confession of a recovering Advent nag. Sure, technically you’re right but nobody likes a know-it-all especially the church-lady kind. Basically it’s a way for church geeks to be holier than thou. The lefty nags have a point too that in turning Catholicism’s second most important feast (theologically; culturally it’s No. 1: presents, parties and booze) into four weeks to a couple months of shopping, we’re all being played/fleeced.
  • Real Advent and Christmas are far from gone, from the ‘keep us mindful of the needs of others’ message to a line regular readers know: I love the season because the Protestants sort of come home. They forget they don’t like us and put up statues of Jesus and Mary and sing in Latin.
  • Starting Sunday the ICEL Novus nightmare is over. Hooray for Pope Benedict. In English-speaking countries he’s fixed all the serious problems with Catholic services. You don’t have to like the remaining ’70s low-church style (of course I don’t, and the young NLMers are slowly rolling it back). What’s important is there’s now nothing heretical in the default Mass offered in English (‘consubstantial with the Father’ instead of baby talk, ‘for you and for many’ instead of universalism rewriting Jesus’ words, and even the poetic ‘and with your spirit’ is back!) and the new texts keep the would-be heretics in line (or they can always go somewhere else), just like the Tridentine Mass used to. There’s a slight chance of a Pope taking Benedict’s renewal up a notch and issuing a vernacular Tridentine Mass... as the norm? (What I’d like to see the American ordinariate do once it gets going next year, with the American Missal, as Antioch does, not the Book of Divine Worship.) Chances are that Mass will remain in Latin and of a minority. High-churching Novus so it more or less looks the same is not a bad second prize.
  • Almost time for the big change in the office, after a long run of Salve, regina to Alma redemptoris mater.
  • ‘Happy holidays’? No problem. Include non-Christians to be polite. Better than the other, old generic one, ‘Season’s Greetings’ (even though one of my fave small towns here, Collingswood, NJ, above, has that in lights over its Main Street, like Bedford Falls). ‘Holiday tree’ is rubbish of course. I like the game of calling the secular winterfest (natural: cheer ourselves up at the coldest, darkest time of year, the solstice)/shopping con game ‘Holiday’ (big H) and leaving ‘Christmas’ for Christians but see above on know-it-alls.
  • The churchmen quietly keeping Advent strictly Advent (prayer, penance and alms: mini-Lent) and keeping the 12 days of Christmas (me as a kid: ‘Why are they singing Christmas carols in church after Christmas? That’s stupid!’): more power to you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What Occupy Harvard should tell their liberal-elite parents on Thanksgiving
Or reasons I like voting Republican locally (my ticket won this year)
The man you think is a “sucker” because he votes for Republican candidates who don’t seem to give a hoot about him will vote for them every time. He looks at you, the crowd of The-Fix-Is-Always-In, and he casts his lot with the crowd of wealth and initiative.

You see, Mom and Dad, they don’t lie about his prospects. They tell him that he has to sink or swim. They don’t disrespect his willpower by promising that government will make life easier for him. They tell him that they respect his individuality. They tell him straight out what you, the liberal elite, know to be true but will never say. They tell him that life in America is winner-take-all, and that they are the people who will let him keep what he has. They tell him that his religion, his wife’s capacity to reproduce, his children – whether they are “successful” or not – are his treasure. They tell him that they don’t care if he is a person of modest ambition, little sophistication, and humble means. What they value is his capacity to change his own life.

What you tell him is that he should put his life in your hands. Yet you scorn his religion. You mock his faith in the sacredness of conception. You deride his belief in family. You tell him that his love for hunting makes him a murderer, and that his terror at being economically displaced makes him a xenophobe and a racist. Then you emasculate his hope for the future by telling him that if his ship comes in – that dream of a ship that makes the grinding disappointment of daily life worth living through – you’ll help yourself to a big slice of it. And you expect him to believe your rhetoric about fairness and equality when, all the while, you are accusing him of gullibility in his politics and bad faith toward the least fortunate of his fellow citizens. When, all the while, you are living untouched by your own policies. When you are cushioned against life’s hardness, not by government, but by simply knowing other people in your class. You expect him to buy your talk about equitable distribution of wealth when you are sailing through tax loopholes off into the sunset. For this man, his emotions make all the rational sense in the world.
From the MCJ.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Erin go blah
Charles Coulombe at Taki. Irish religion arguably is cyclical: they weren’t pious in the oppressive early 1800s, then after liberation became the devout people we still know. Right now it’s obviously trying to be anti-religious like the rest of Europe, the cool kids I suppose. I believe in religious liberty: secular not secularist.
In the case of the gender war feminists have made an unspoken agreement with traditional conservatives: you hold him down while I rob him
From the Anti-Gnostic
From Fr L
First antiphon today: While holy Clement prayed, the Lamb of God appeared unto him.

CNN debate: Ron Paul foreign-policy highlights
The true internationalist like Thomas Jefferson: trade with all; meddle with none

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dioceses still dissemble on priests’ underage gay sex scandal
Of course the supercommittee was a super-nothing
Ron Paul is the only one with the b*lls to balance the budget
The American dream has imploded
Pottstown was already depressed; like Norristown you can tell that 50 years ago it was fine. Crony capitalism isn’t capitalism.

48 years ago
  • I would have voted for Nixon. He saw Kennedy cheat and get away with it, even joke about it (‘my daddy promised a landslide’), so understandably he got scared and tried to cheat in ’72 when he would have won anyway. Sad. Even though Dick was no great shakes either: goodbye, gold backing; hello, affirmative action. But in ’60? Sure.
  • I don’t blame Kennedy for being a Cold Warrior. One of the only things he believed in.
  • The story about him starting the end of fedora-wearing by not wearing a hat to his inauguration is a myth. He wore a hat. (It started to go away in sunny California in the ’50s as cars got lower.)
  • I don’t seriously follow the theories but believe Oswald was an American agent, not a lone loon or Soviet agent, recruited by intel while in the Corps and in a phony-defector spy program.
  • So who put him and the grassy-knoll gunman up to it? The CIA? Some say JFK wanted to curb the Fed (issued lots of United States notes before he was killed, which were withdrawn afterwards). Johnson? Well, they hated each other. Did the Mob (Bobby turned on them) have that much power to pull it off, using a CIA operative like Oswald?
  • Some say each new president is shown the uncut Zapruder film: ‘Any questions?’
  • Did it change history? I’d like to think had it not happened, the cultural disaster later that decade wouldn’t have happened. But I don’t think it changed much. He would have buried Goldwater (whom I would have voted for), then made up the Tonkin Gulf attack to really get started in Vietnam. The country still would have turned against the war so the Democrat would have lost to Nixon in ’68.
  • He was a big nothing but God have mercy on him.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Turn left and follow the money
From Taki
A note on moral idiocy
From Venuleius
Evolutionary psychology vs feminism
Roissy: as the Anti-Gnostic says, beneath the bluster he has a substantial conservative message. Here: there is an objective standard of beauty and it’s hardwired.
Fisking Sisk: on well-meaning Christians trying to control the economy
Like with its support for the civil-rights movement 45 years ago (which really was or became group rights, racial spoils/preferences, ‘diversity’) the mainline means well here just like some Vatican officials (sanctified welfare state with family values). In other words here Bishop Sisk sounds a bit like the Pope.

The other side’s right that capitalism/the market/libertarianism isn’t a complete worldview/religion. Bishop Sisk as a mainline minister doesn’t believe in an infallible church/magisterium so to fill the gap, and probably to respect freedom of religion, he falls back on ‘the community’s wider values’. Pretty good as far as natural law and natural virtue go but human nature’s fallen so no to mob rule: as Chris Johnson points out, the mob can go for some horrible things. (Also, a fungible church running only on ‘the community’s wider values’ is self-refuting.) Individual rights not group rights; the golden rule in political form, libertarianism’s do-no-harm/nonaggression principle (don’t start fights but defend yourself), under which Catholics and non can get along.
From RR
  • Memo shows how seriously PTB take OWS. It has potential.
  • Too bad it’s wrong about capitalism.
  • The sinful state.
  • Middle class in big trouble.
  • Progressives today say people should come before profits. Now in a privilege-ridden corporate state, that’s a worthy goal, though Progressives have no clue how to achieve it. How nice it would be if they were equally committed to putting people before bureaucracy. Here they fall down rather badly because their signature ideas would subordinate regular people to the dictates of the power structure.
  • Cain: so what? Shall we choose our next president based on who smooched whom behind the bleachers in the eighth grade? But let’s say Mr. Cain is guilty as charged. So what? America is interviewing for a new federal CEO, not a priest or a Scout troop leader. Now, is it any loss that this politically motivated attack may derail Herman Cain’s presidential candidacy?

From LRC

Some county sheriffs push back against feds

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Property rights: at least in some places the Episcopalians really were/are sort of congregationalist
South Carolina. Parish ownership of property (the historical lay-trusteeship controversy in the American Catholic Church and the means Polish and Greek Catholic Slavic immigrants here in Pa. used to protect their parishes from the hostile local Irish; one way of doing that was to incorporate as a private club) is a legitimate Catholic option, nothing to do with apostolic order and sacerdotalism (we’re not clericalists; that’s a cartoon of Catholicism even some Catholics believe: the few old Western church liberals are the biggest clericalists).

Because of that history, parish councils have a lot of clout in American Orthodoxy – ‘every parish a diocese and every council its own patriarch’ – and some parishes are still incorporated that way: as an ‘independent’ Russian Orthodox church even though ecclesiastically of course it’s in the OCA diocese. The Greeks do it: Protestant influence? My guess is in the old country it’s run just like the Roman Catholic Church; the diocese owns everything.

Regular readers know my line: I defend all religions’ rights to govern themselves and to their property, as long as they respect other religions’ rights to do the same. (The ex-Episcopalians don’t have the right to steal property.) So the Episcopal Church’s internal business is none of my business: knock yourselves out. I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for their few relative conservatives any more; by staying with them they should have known what they were getting into (denomination founded by schism exactly to cater to the ruling class’s whims).

Its nature is to change the ground rules, once by royal whim and now by synod/convention vote (probably coming soon: ‘Resolved: belief in the creeds is now optional’; apostasy but they won’t be upfront on that) – its right. But not everybody in it realizes that. (The Tractarians didn’t.)

A dying liberal denomination making a change to grab property it never really owned reminds me of the last weeks in the bunker in its desperation.

(Gotta love it when they play high-church and call the leavers ‘schismatic’. Hard to throw that around when you’re in communion with all the other mainliners, and ‘the nuncio just e-mailed wanting the English cathedrals back’. The last real Archbishop of Canterbury was Cardinal Pole.)

The Bishop from 60 Years Ago: ‘Of course we were Protestants and snobs, and jolly proud of it, but never jackholes, let alone thieves. That would have been ungentlemanly.’

ACNA is Episcopalianism 1.0.

From Dr Tighe.
Guardian: Syria needs mediation not a push into all-out civil war
By suspending a country in crisis, the Arab League is giving Assad’s regime fewer peaceful ways out of a dangerous corner.
The motives.

From Samer.
Mark Steyn on Penn State’s institutional wickedness

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crystal Cathedral board would like Catholic diocese to buy it

It’s a beautiful building, and I’d like to see it remain Christian as Robert Schuller’s legacy (he probably wouldn’t mind if his old hero and friend Fulton Sheen has the posthumous last laugh), but it doesn’t work as a Catholic church. It’s an auditorium, a big Dutch Reformed preaching barn, not a temple for the Christian Sacrifice (commonly called the Mass). Putting up an altar and hanging devotional stuff in it wouldn’t change that. What to do?

What to name it? Crystal Cathedral of St Callistus (as that’s the territorial parish it would take over) is my pick. Catholic and acknowledge the building’s real name. It even keeps the alliteration. Maybe the switch is meant to be.
Criticizing distributism
Regular readers know my line: Fine. Make a good product millions want to buy and we’ll talk. Like what passes for Catholic social teaching (not doctrine: sanctified welfare state where the king, Franco or the Christian socialist party makes family values the law and controls the economy; if you believe in the market you’re just selfish), not heresy but no. That said, Rod Dreher says:
My suspicion of utopianism makes me hesitant – and Joe (and Couretas) are right that there’s a lot about distributism that is utopian. Nevertheless × 2, I believe that there are some useful insights about work, economy, and human nature, both individual and social, that we could take from distributism and its decentralist view.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Where’s Waldo YF?
Catholic News Service: Rome’s ban on Eastern rites’ ordaining married men in Western lands still on
Rome’s prerogative, nothing to do with doctrine and, unlike last century when it caused a couple of schisms for no good reason (the other side wasn’t liberal), it won’t change anything because it’s long been those churches’ norm. The real issue with the Orthodox wouldn’t change; it’s still the Pope scope. The Orthodox of course ordain the married in the West but they’re hurting for vocations (especially native ethnic ones?) and simply people (losing them) too.
From RR
  • Another one on what’s wrong with OWS. The movement isn’t really standing up to power. It is standing in for power to urge that the state take on more responsibilities and control people’s lives even more than it does already. They imagine that they are demanding human rights, but the main agenda as listed in public websites amounts to a list of ways for the government to violate human rights, or at least intrude aggressively upon them. Put another way, what the fed-directed cops just did to them, they want to do to you and me ‘for our own good’ (or, um, they just want our money, OK?). His parallel to the anti-Vietnam War movement doesn’t hold though. They were spoiled kids looking for a way to party on our dime too, and at heart not for peace either with their ideas about the government dead wrong (‘carrying pictures of Chairman Mao’... even John Lennon, a man who owed it all to capitalism, called bullsh*t). Hillary ‘Lady MacDeath’ Clinton cut her teeth in the so-called antiwar movement.
  • Mainstream GOP economic proposals actually from Communist countries.
  • Tibor Machan visits Moscow.
From Cracked
  • Five scientific advances that should have changed everything.
  • The seven dumbest things students do when cramming for exams. If you’ve ever been to college, or a coffee shop within two miles of one, you’ve seen a student painting their notes like a My Little Pony in drag. In Thailand.
  • Christianity is not big in Japan; less than one percent of the population is Christian. So you wouldn’t think Christmas would be a big deal, but man do the Japanese people love them some Santa! Godzilla comes and Hello Kitty goes, but for some reason Santa endures in Japan. Not that they’re totally clear on the subject. Imagine you got a job at a nuclear power plant and taught yourself how to do it from old “Simpsons” episodes. That’s kind of how Japan goes about the whole “Christmas” thing. As I wrote earlier, the Japanese respect Americans for defeating them and the occupiers were/are relatively kind (Japan doesn’t need to be an American protectorate now) so they got Christmas, but not Christianity (been trying since St Francis Xavier; after a wave of persecution it didn’t take), from us. So a little like the people St Paul was trying to preach to at the Areopagus (doing his best Socrates impression), they sort of worship a god they don’t know. (Sidebar: Google the history of the kakure kirishitan, descendants of early Japanese Catholics.)

TomDispatch remembers going to the movies
From LRC
  • Old gentleman of the left and WWII air combat vet George McGovern: abolish Homeland Security and the TSA.
  • The financial gorilla in the room. The feds spend far more than they have and only Ron Paul, whoever the Libertarian candidate will be and maybe Gary Johnson (dream ticket next year: Paul/Johnson) would do anything about it.
  • Literacy’s last hurrah. Remember what I wrote earlier about noticing teens don’t know how to hold a pen to write? Like how Americans manning a cash register don’t know how to count back change anymore.
The feds ran the OWS crackdown
Can’t blame the Republicans for this one. So how’s all that hopenchange working out for you? From LRC.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why the hell is Obama stationing American soldiers in Australia?

ISTM they can defend themselves.

  • ‘Orthodoxy is closer to Islam than Western Catholicism.’ Putin, appealing to multiculturalism like an American classical liberal (the founding fathers to their credit weren’t out to get the ‘Mahometans’ and pointed out America is not an officially Christian country, good because its official non-Protestantism means freedom for Catholics) or neocon, tries to make peace between Christian Russians and Muslim Middle Eastern citizens by cutting down Western Catholicism. Not good. When I saw the headline, I thought I’d agree. They’re both Eastern, and as Brendan Ross pointed out to me years ago, although the first Muslims weren’t apostate Christians, Muhammad borrowed from Eastern Christianity as well as Judaism so in a sense Islam is Orthodoxy’s bastard, its Mormonism. The mosque is an Orthodox church stripped of its altar and icons. Re: caesaropapism, come on. Sounds like Vatican II RCs (basically what RISU is) getting in a cheap shot at Orthodoxy, forgetting their own history (not heretical but as a libertarian I disagree) of state churches, from Austria-Hungary to Franco, or the heart of the SSPX’s case against modern Rome (It’s Not About Latin™ but objections to religious liberty and ecumenism, which rightly understood, not relativistically, I have no problem with).
  • The Barna Group on why young people quit church. I think it’s simple: the ‘Reformation’ (which was evil) and, dominoing from that, the ‘Enlightenment’ gutted Western Christianity in practice (but of course Catholic doctrine held: the gates of hell will not prevail) so you had a hollow shell that ‘the (late) ’60s’ kicked over fairly easily. So the boomers grew up in the ’50s good times going to church but started to drop it; their kids and their kids’ kids aren’t in the habit. A recent survey of (suburban, mostly rich) teens in my beat at work says fewer than half go to church or shul. (Sidebar: Chris’s right. Despite the media pushing its message, the mainline, now mostly boomers and older, is still losing people like crazy and it’s not because of the big bad religious right. Progressives don’t need church at all; they have better social venues than yours.) Of course it’s great that the religions aren’t trying to kill each other here but we’re turning into irreligious Europe. Only the religion that’s left is, rather than atheism, American Puritanism gone bad or Moralistic Therapeutic Deism or ‘I’m spiritual not religious’. Fundamentalism (dating back to the ’20s?) is an understandable, thoroughly modern reaction and arguably just part of the same problem as Modernism. The ‘emergent’ thing: the dopey priest or minister 40 years ago growing his hair long, buying a denim jacket and saying ‘Hey, man, let’s rap’.
  • Venuleius: Eastern vs Western approaches to traditional liturgy.
  • A good word for the Little Office and Diurnal; I use the latter (simplified 1960-style rubrics but Winfred Douglas’ old-BCP translations).
  • Also, I don’t have any real beefs with the SSPX per se and my experiences with SSPX faithful – priests and laity – have been, by and large, positive.

Buzzwords dumb people use to sound important
As Paul Fussell describes; what I try to zap from print and the work website. From Cracked.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

From RR
  • NYC razes OWS. My feelings are mixed as they’ve been about OWS all along. Like with the Tea Party, so much potential. Mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. An LRC writer yesterday saw that potential in the pro-Joe Pa riot. (About justice and on behalf of a man of the old American culture. Objecting to the injustice to him and caring about the kids are not mutually exclusive.) Reminds me a little of the Bonus Army and its outcome in the other depression only those men arguably earned what they were asking for. On the other hand, like with the hippies, spoiled rich kids partying, asking Daddy Government for a raise in their allowance (that is, they want to extort money from you and me ‘because I want it, OK?’) and showing off how nice they think they are (how much they care about the poor) by having campouts (aw, look, they made a fort), which I’ve never been to because I’m one of the 99% who has to work for a living (on the clock since 4 this morning, kiddos). If I worked in town I wouldn’t want to literally find or smell sh*t in the walkers’ tunnels either. Sure, part of me likes to see cops beat up hippies but I know better about civil rights.
  • Economic law vs OWS.
  • All process and no principle.
  • Harry Browne on the Libertarian position on abortion.
  • Lech Walesa: What has struck me the most as I have followed the protests on television and in the social media is that the protesters generally know that the status quo should not be tolerated, but are a lot less clear and unified about what they want to replace it with. In the war of ideas, it’s not enough just to be against something; you have to be for something that is sound as well.
  • Allowing people their natural freedom.
  • Pat Buchanan: return of the War Party?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fr C’s take on high, low and broad churchmanship among Roman Catholics
But of course the old churchmanship wars were more pronounced among Anglicans with would-be Roman Catholics and ‘Western Orthodox’ (both: an appeal to an ancient infallible church) on one side and Evangelical Protestants on the other (an English, Australian and Third World phenom, not American: Episcopalians of that persuasion just left for another denomination) with middle-of-the-road mild Protestants (old majority) and the liberals (majority now) in the middle. Like four separate churches under the artificial big tent of establishment in England. A difference has been that you were likelier right after Vatican II to find nice old-fashioned liturgics among the Anglicans (when a Much Younger Fogey appeared on the scene as a kid, taking the high trappings at face value) among several versions (lots of liberals dress up) except the Evangelicals.

Catholic: ordinariates; bye. Central: used to be the majority; dying off. Evangelical: in irreligious England and Australia, and in the Third World, sticking around in their denom for now. Liberal: running the denom in white countries but dying out too.

Now in Fr C’s small Continuing churches it’s a little different. They’ve rewritten the doctrine with something Orthodox-like, the Affirmation of St Louis, replacing the Articles; the Evangelicals and liberals aren’t there. More like ‘Western Orthodox’ to old high middle-of-the-road (Bob Hart’s mild Protestantism).

I say ‘churchmanships among Roman Catholics’ not ‘Roman Catholic churchmanships’ because there’s only one Roman Catholicism, the magisterium, with which you may include lots of immemorial custom, just like with the Orthodox, as trads do. With Hilary I’ll agree that trads don’t fit on a scale; either you’re a trad or not. But the neocaths aren’t heretics.

Then there are Orthodox and Greek Catholic churchmanships!

Orthodox high: Russia including ROCOR, and other Old Calendar churches (the ones in schism, Old Calendarists, are like their SSPX and sedes). Convert Antioch. Low? Fr Eusebios Stephanou and his charismatic Greek-American Orthodoxy? Liturgically low: St Vladimir’s Seminary and Schmemann fans, New Skete (sui generis: former Roman Catholics’ ’60s monastic experiment that passed through Greek Catholicism). Middle: GOA, OCA, ethnic Antioch. Ethnic, easygoing, Catholicky. Liberal: Elisabeth Behr Sigel, Valerie Karras, Orthodox in Finland (tiny minority in Protestant countries who believe in women’s ordination or homosexuality, far removed from the Greek and Russian rank and file; not to be confused with untaught or non-churchgoing Orthodox). Liturgically it’s all high compared to the modern West.

Greek Catholic: high would be the OicwRs and what I’ve called the high-church minority (unlike the OicwRs they support the magisterium), the ones who do what Rome wants liturgically (be just like the Orthodox). And the Melkites. Low? Nah. Middle: the ethnic rank and file, sort of Byzantine high Novus. Liberal: same deal as with the Orthodox, only they’ve essentially joined the Novus mainstream; they could have a convention in my bathroom.

With our cousins the Lutherans (more Catholic than most people think; ironic because of Luther’s place in history) you have Lutho-Catholics (I like the Missouri Synod ones; check out Grace Lutheran Church, Tulsa, on YouTube), the ones who want to blend into American evangelicalism (in short the Missouri Synod’s churchmanship war) and then you have the liberal denoms, ELCA (basically Episcopalians) and the churches in most of the old country (Germany and the Scandies).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Goadwin’s Law
Any time someone mentions Nazi atrocities, remind them that the Communists killed more people.
I’m on it.

From Taki.
From LRC
My biz and big boss: newspapers’ digital apostle
John Paton prepares for a world without print

The style, literary quality and work ethic of the 1950s; the technology of the 2010s.

Fine with me: I’m already on it. Field story leads by e-mail, drive around my beat, meet interesting people who tell their stories and do their things, video them, drive to the nearest café or library and create! Beats proofreading pages for 26 hours at a time.

No jet packs or moon or Mars colonies in ’11 but no more newspapers. Funny how these things work out.
Roissy’s case against alimony
Like he says to end no-fault divorce. Foul language but again conservative, or women’s nature is fallen too and different from men.
My latest guess on the ’12 election
Obama rode the race card into office but it won’t work this time because of the depression and the Dinkins factor (whites assuaged their guilt in ’08; done). That factor is also why the Clarence Thomas smear against Cain will work. Perry’s an idiot; he’ll probably be Sarah Palin as Romney’s running mate, sort of a bone to the so-cons. Bachmann’s a loon; after Palin the GOP won’t go near her. Paul and Johnson (who’d make good running mates) will keep being frozen out. The Mormon robot will win.
From RR

1 million page views

Since I started counting in 2004 (the blog’s been up since ’02). Not exactly a million-man march (or if I had a buck for every view, which is how I understand my day job in the former newspaper turned news-Web biz is supposed to make money) but I like to think it counts for something. Somebody’s read this message of peace, Catholicism and liberty and maybe done something to reach those goals. So thank you all.

If you are so inclined you may support this blog using the yellow ‘Donate’ button on the top of this page, or by buying something through the Amazon box in the right sidebar.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Catholic culture wars: define your terms
Hilary on the ‘candle’ of Roman Catholic churchmanship, as in the Anglo-Catholic expression ‘up (or down) the candle’, ‘up’, meaning ‘high-church’ (originally about authority not ceremonial, which it mostly refers to now), being Catholic and thus good. In both versions, doctrine, authority and ceremonial are pretty closely related.

Parts I, II and III.

Jeff Culbreath did something similar for me about 10 years ago, distinguishing between traditionalists and conservatives. Traditionalism is closer to Orthodoxy’s approach (uncoincidentally traditionalism and the little Western Rite Orthodox experiment look more or less alike): it puts great authority in the way things have always been done, which changes but naturally and very slowly. ‘We’re papal minimalists’, he said. Home turf to ethnic Catholics (including Bad Catholics: ‘I don’t go to church but there’s only one church and who am I to try to change it?’).

(This is what the Anglo-Catholics I met in my teens, who helped form me, were imitating.)

Conservatives (neo-Catholics) include the low-church charismatics who seem to have peaked under their hero, John Paul the Overrated. Not heretics but their approach to the church was/is weird: every papal utterance was a holy nugget (sort of a parody of Roman Catholicism foreign to most ethnics born into it) and they hated trads for not being ‘open to the Spirit’, whatever that meant, such as the weird idea that it was normal for a Pope to order a wholesale rewrite of the services, which nobody, including the ultramontanists 140 years ago, ever imagined. (Hilary: ‘novusordism isn’t Catholicism’.) I think the late disgraced Marcial Maciel’s Legionaries of Christ were of this persuasion.

Me? Neither a hand-clapping JPII neocath cheering the Mideast wars nor a Social Reign of Christ trad. Vatican II/the Novus Ordo were bad, but: classical liberalism/libertarianism, not the neocons nor the monarchists/Francoists nor the distributists. So religious liberty is good. Ecumenism rightly understood is not a problem. (So other than its bad approach to liturgy, no problem on paper with V2. But Archbishop Lefebvre was a fine fellow.) The market, not a sanctified welfare state, no matter how well meant. So they all think I’m screwed. Whatever. The Italians and Slavs I know wouldn’t care what they think. There you go.

My message is like how I look, basically the same as it would have been in 1960: Good Protestant hymns at some Low Masses, though I prefer chant. (I like the quiet Low Mass first thing in the morning.) Sure, let’s have some dialogue Masses. More High Masses. More chant. Congregationally sung chant. Teach the laity about the office (breviaries for all who want them, and bring back Sunday Vespers). Let’s have the choice of doing some of it in English. Yay for Byzantium (where I’ve parked for nearly 20 years), and cut out the latinizations, Ukes. Liberal then, reactionary now. (If you think that’s reactionary you’ve never met the SSPX or the sedes.) Whatever.

The Modernists ought to get the hell out and join the mainline where they belong. But pretty soon both will be mostly dead anyway. God have mercy.

By the way, Bainbridge Street in South Philly, which I walked down today, has two charming little old Episcopal churches that inside are a lot like the Anglo-Catholicism I walked into as a very young man. (Essentially it was a monument to one man’s faith: imagine if Fr Toles had been ordained in the ’40s.) 19th-century Roman Catholic in style but small with charming taste. Those two, St Mary’s and the Church of the Crucifixion, were originally for the black servants of the uptown rich white Episcopalians. Apparently the blacks liked Catholic looks and ways. Obviously what I hope ordinariate parish churches will be like.
Damian Thompson’s week in review
  • The Conrad Murray case about Michael Jackson: pharmacies are basically candy stores for troubled adults.
  • The eurozone crisis shouldn’t blind us to the wonderful things we have absorbed from continental culture. For example, the German word Schadenfreude. Jolly useful, isn’t it? Call me mean-spirited, but it sums up my reaction to seeing the European elites demolish their own empire by accident, Norman Wisdom-style. Look at the way long-suppressed national stereotypes are back in vogue. Feckless Greeks. Lazy Italians. (Or possibly the other way around: it doesn’t greatly matter.) Arrogant French. Ruthless Germans. All difficult customers, no doubt – but do you know what I mean when I say that Europe suddenly feels real again?
  • I never thought I’d see a politician make a fool of himself more thoroughly than Rick Perry doing his JR-meets-Mr-Humphries routine in front of New Hampshire Republicans. Alas, the governor of Texas was just warming up for this week’s debate. I expect most of you have seen it by now. Anyway, that’s him out of the race. I’m assuming Herman Cain won’t last the course, which leaves us with the Mormon robot. Unlike Thompson I’m not a fan of the military-industrial complex (but like him am not anti-military). My guess is it’s a case of Thatcher-like British neoconnery, living the empire vicariously through the former colony now (since WWII) in charge. As I like to say, libertarianism seems to most Brits like Beowulf: its roots are deep in their culture (where the classical liberalism that started America came from) but they think it’s scary, foreign and barbaric, and they don’t understand it. (Counterpoint: they started the postwar welfare state because poor Londoners used to literally starve to death. Think Dickens.)
  • Bad coverage of religion, only the culprit seems to be a minister pushing his own bias: Writing in The Daily Telegraph, the Reverend George Pitcher told us that the St Paul’s Cathedral row displayed a fault line between the “dressing-up, ceremonial and remote” bit of the Church of England and its “progressive, reformist tradition”. Nicely fits ignorant secular people’s view of it. A cartoon. No mention of either the orthodox Catholic social-justice tradition (often well-meant leftist opinion not doctrine, such as when a Vatican official recently called for a world government controlling the economy) that some Anglicans imitated (now usually just a churchy copy of the secular left; the Catholic version’s pro-life and family values), that the ‘progressive reformists’ are a dwindling bunch of old folks driving their denomination to death (the way the mainstream media tell it you’d think they were bringing in boatloads of youth and ex-Catholics; not so much) or that, as Thompson notes, the only Anglicans with their act together are the happy-clappies, which is fine if you like that sort of thing – and most people don’t. Don’t be distracted by superficial differences of costumes and rhetoric. High, Low, Broad, traditionalist, liberal – they’re all equally committed to a Liturgy of the Wringing of the Hands while the established Church falls off a cliff. That’s their right (I don’t tell them how to run their church), and it’s not broadly socially helpful to Catholics like in Newman’s day, so, so what? Sayonara.

Sunday: real men pray the old Mass
From NLM

  • Soldiers’ Masses in the field circa WWII.
  • Fun fact: Fr Rutler boxes.

Assange vs Zuckerberg

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Japanese swing girls

Swing Girls
Japanese band plays ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’
The Japanese take American culture very seriously, and excel at just about everything they try.
They like it very much (an Orthodox priest I know lived in Japan), which is part of the Engrish phenomenon that comes from people not knowing English well (‘Hello, chief! Let’s talk, why not? I’ll give you premium answer question, 100%!’). They make mistakes either trying to write instructions for a product or trying to write T-shirt slogans in American slang (a sweet girl wearing a shirt that says ‘F*ck’ for example). Like the kanji-tattoo fad here some years ago: the language is decoration that’s not understood. Of course it works both ways: bad Japanese in a gaijin (non-Japanese) accent is sort of a national joke.

The original:

Reminds me: on Veterans Day I saw a double feature, Tora! Tora! Tora! (again) and The Longest Day.

As much as I love the Greatest Generation, I don’t hate the Japanese. Provoked by Roosevelt (God have mercy on him for several reasons) they attacked military targets and had no intention of trying to conquer the US (to compete economically with the British, Americans and Dutch, they wanted an Asian empire like the US dominating the Western Hemisphere). Is the movie true that the Japanese meant to declare war before the attack but a malfunction (bad atmospheric conditions) delayed the message so the Americans thought it was a sneak attack?

Amazing that after nuking them (which was a war crime, as decent people then, from Admiral Leahy to Fr Feeney, knew), they like us.

As for D-Day and all that, it’s a huge part of our national myth but I’m not sold on the cause of helping the USSR win the war in Europe (worse than the Nazis, with Roosevelt handing them half of Europe – Communists had pretty well infiltrated the government).

America first: the Soviets and Nazis could have destroyed each other and that would have been that. Hitler flaked in the Battle of Britain: he didn’t want to squash the British. He hated the Russians and went after them, and that’s what did him in. The Germans were smart and skilled (Hitler was crazy but his generals were smart) but the Russians outnumbered them and had the weather (winter) on their side.
Continuing churches meet
Interesting: American high churchmen who on principle don’t accept the papal claims (like Bishop Grafton 100 years ago) and don’t want to give up their culture for Greek or Russian (their slight Protestantism notwithstanding, understandable to anyone who doesn’t hate Western Christianity); old Prayer Book but varying versions of ceremonial really based on the Catholic Church 50-150 years ago. (One priest I know online looks like a vocations recruiting poster for Cardinal Spellman’s Archdiocese of New York, biretta, fiddleback, lace and all.) That is, the Episcopal Church about 50-60 years ago, or the kind of church that got me started, take that as you will. (Compared to the Vatican II mess in the Catholic Church that Pope Benedict is cleaning up, no wonder a Much Younger Fogey took the trappings at face value and thought he was in the church. 1850s-1950s Catholic practice on steroids but in a little church and in English: what I saw was one priest’s faith and not that of his denomination. BTW he’s long dead and his little church since turned liberal and closed.)

Essentially they believe in a mid-19th-century high churchmanship, slightly Protestant (wary of devotions to saints or prayer for the dead per the anti-Catholic Articles) but, thinking they’re the purest branch of the early church (of course; that’s why they’re members; first five centuries; never understood the cutoff date; most Continuers hold to something more like Orthodoxy, based on the big seven councils), they think its nature is like the Catholic Church’s (the faith which was once delivered unto the saints is not revisable by vote; a kind of church infallibility) and not that of a denomination in which everything is up for change (what happened to the mainstream denomination they left, founded to cater to the ruling class: to give the king of England an annulment he didn’t deserve, schism -> Protestantism -> widespread unofficial unbelief after the ‘Enlightenment’ -> long holding pattern coasting on the larger culture’s residual conservatism [’50s Episcopalians, or the good pre-neocon Republican Party at prayer] -> lady ministers [Catholics: we couldn’t do that even if we wanted to] -> gay weddings [ditto] -> ? [my guess: soft-sell apostasy, a churchwide vote to make the doctrine in the creeds optional; from ‘Bible-only’ Christian to no longer Christian in about 500 years; literally, liturgical unitarians with bishops]).

(The newly departed Fr Serge on the Continuum’s thinking: it didn’t work so let’s repeat it.)

In short I wish them well, FWIW, but their religion doesn’t make sense to me.

They are acting on principle. You don’t have to agree with them to respect them.

From Fr C.