Thursday, January 31, 2013

The last Andrews Sister


  • Patty Andrews, 94. RIP.
  • From Damian Thompson: lying clerics. In the Internet age, carefully worded responses can be demolished with a few clicks of the mouse. Politicians worked this out years ago. Religious movements didn’t.
  • From Takimag. Not to beat a dead horse but: The combat arms — infantry, armor, and artillery — are closed to women for good reasons: they can’t do the job, and they keep men from doing the job.
  • From Steve Sailer: Oscar nominations, the sexes and inherited talent.
  • The exposition craze. This came up recently on a Facebook page: a list of churches around the country that have it. Well and good: if you reserve the Sacrament, you can do that. (It’s also a good quick test for soundness: Modernist parishes etc. don’t do it.) I love Benediction too but... regular readers know my line. Conservatives’ recent emphasis on exposition’s not traditional; it’s a reaction to liturgical abuse after the council. Keep doing it but put it back in perspective. Fix the problem instead of coming up with something new. The right order of things is Mass, office, devotions. Have more Tridentine Masses and high-church Novus, and promote praying the office including as church services (Vespers). (In short, dump the council and get back on track with what the liturgical movement wanted.) To give the liberals and Protestants credit, it’s true that the main purpose of the sacraments isn’t to be seen but used, and there’s a difference between the Eucharist (sacrifice made present, sacrament) and Eucharistic devotion (extension, sideline). Ironically, my parish church is a form called an exposition chapel, a very Counter-Reformation reform that brings the altar close to the people without the church-in-the-round nonsense. I’m in the front pew right next to the rail and can sometimes hear the priest read the consecration.
  • From RR:
    • UN panel: Israeli ‘settlements’ illegal.
    • Obama CIA nominee Brennan knew of torture. Of course not a word from the left.
    • Andrew Napolitano: immigration and freedom. Nativism is the arch-enemy of the freedom to travel, as its adherents believe they can use the coercive power of the government to impair the freedom of travel of persons who are unwanted not because of personal behavior, but solely on the basis of where they were born. Nativism teaches that we lack natural rights and enjoy only those rights the government permits us to exercise. Yet, the freedom to travel is a fundamental natural right. This is not a novel view. On that note, common sense from Rod Dreher: The problem is not necessarily immigration, per se. It’s who is allowed to immigrate, and in what numbers. Are they willing to live peaceably with their neighbors? Are they assimilating, by which I mean, do they maintain their own traditions, but adjust them to the general prevailing norms of the liberal democratic society into which they have chosen to move? If they’re not doing this, what kind of crackpot liberal democratic society accepts large numbers of immigrants from cultures radically opposed to the ideals it cherishes?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Today's links


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Today's links

  • From Takimag: Uncle Sam, give us your guns.
  • From The Woman and the Dragon: the peril of pedestalizing little girls. Tricky for well-meaning conservative men. Interesting how both her conservative Protestantism and the sex tourism of the Roissys teach the same natural law and truth about the fallenness of human nature. And how the sister organization of the Boy Scouts isn’t what you think but the American Heritage Girls, new to me. The BSA’s considered conservative; the Girl Scouts are very liberal (a Christian heresy understandably appealing to the nurturing sex?). Anyway, conservative men have a balancing act. Women are reproductively more valuable as Roissy explains so some chivalry’s natural, meet and right. Trouble is, as Sunshine Mary and Roissy agree, women, like men, have fallen natures, so too much of that and you end up with spoiled little girls. Throw in feminism (misguided charity appealing to the Christian value of justice, but really entitlement on steroids) and you get some toxic people. The white knights end up ill used.
  • From TAC:
    • The well-tempered anarchist. I give anarchists a listen but of course believe in ordered liberty, fighting abuses of authority but acknowledging the reality of authority and duty as well as rights. Left-libertarianism strikes me too often as selfishness plus daddy issues. So a bourgeois libertarian I seem to be.
    • The geographical aristocracy of meritocracy. Naturally the big city’s drawn away small-town talent but it’s gotten worse.
    • The problem with ‘nation-building’ at home. The illusory peace dividend. I think Ron Paul has some leeway with this: use the money saved from pulling out abroad to ease people off welfare.
    • Ivy League: Asians as the new Jews; Jews as the new WASPs.
    • Bushism killed Reaganism. Or it amped up the worst of it. The Iraq war. Reagan had the sense not to escalate in Lebanon. Not so these neocons.
    • See, it’s the namby-pambies who create the fundies to a large degree. A lack of seriousness and rigor in one group breeds a perverted form of rigor in another. Modernist Catholics, mainline Protestants -> online Orthodox.
  • Women in combat:
  • On disgraced sports heroes: don’t rewrite history.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Today's links

  • High school. Government warehousing kids + unnatural prolongation of childhood = psychological damage. Until the Great Depression, the majority of American adolescents didn’t even graduate from high school. ... But these disparate paths did arguably have one virtue in common: They placed adolescent children alongside adults. They were not sequestered as they matured. Now teens live in a biosphere of their own. In their recent book Escaping the Endless Adolescence, psychologists Joseph and Claudia Worrell Allen note that teenagers today spend just 16 hours per week interacting with adults and 60 with their cohort. One century ago, it was almost exactly the reverse. Something happens when children spend so much time apart from adult company. They start to generate a culture with independent values and priorities. ... (From the website of the National Home Education Network: “Ironically, one of the reasons many of us have chosen to educate our own is precisely this very issue of socialization! Children spending time with individuals of all ages more closely resembles real life than does a same-age school setting.”) In fact, one of the reasons that high schools may produce such peculiar value systems is precisely because the people there have little in common, except their ages.
  • From LRC: actor Jeffrey Hunter: ‘Star Trek’ was the Rand Corp.’s idea of the future. Sure. It was a thinly disguised Great Society.
  • ‘Mad Men’ is coming back April 7. Dreading the end of the ’60s and the start of the Sixties.
  • From RR: only European king buried on US soil goes back home. The King has left the country. Yugoslavia’s last king, Peter II Karadjordjevic, who died in the United States in 1970, was taken to Serbia Tuesday, thus removing the only European royal to be buried on American soil. The former ruler had fled the Nazis at the start of World War II. Eternal memory.

Women in combat: a bad idea

From RR: flirting with disaster. This’s the title of West Pointer Brian Mitchell’s book giving the proof behind common sense that this is wrong. (Summary: most women aren’t strong enough; sex damages discipline and morale — the ultimate fraternization and another thing wrecking marriages at home, and pregnancy; and women can cry their way to a discharge easier.) A truism I’m not particularly interested in but there’s lots of conservative commentary to pass on.
  • Sailer: Enlisted women have been overwhelmingly against this change, although some of the most ambitious women officers see restrictions on women in combat as an impediment to promotion. But, so what? It’s not like any of this matters in a practical sense. If more co-ed combat degrades American military performance, it’s not like the Axis is going to win WWII, it’s that a few more brave Americans will get killed in some inconclusive puttering around in Mali or wherever. This kind of thing is like gay marriage: a symbolic war on the realities of biology. Repeating a conservative point going around: guess this means we’re not serious about war.
  • Disgusted in DC: This will not end well. I predict that the policy will be reversed only when there is some sort gross feminist-splitting atrocity such as jihadists raping women combatants. I am dying to know what the peacenik feminists will have to say about this - the Joan Baezs and the Holly Nears and the Judy Collinses of the world. Or all of the ’90s Lilith Festival chicks. Will they say that this is an advance in civilization and womanhood? The left isn’t about peace but power and entitlement. (I understand a good thing about Baez is she never wholly bought into the pinko thing, which is why, besides changing tastes, this talented singer’s been in relative obscurity for 40+ years. Makes sense since capitalism made her millions.) Peer-pressure liberalism isn’t about reason but misguided emotions.
  • And: It might be the case that fewer women will join the military, period, if there is a serious risk that they would be fighting on the front lines when they otherwise would not. If that is the case, then diversity bean-counters will have a problem. Also, I suspect that there are very few women that would have any interest in actual combat and those that would be would, ironically, likely come from the more conservative white rural or small town lower-middle class/working class that feminists tend to detest in real life, though champion in the abstract — the same class from which women police officers are derived. Similarly, unless they are lesbians, the women who would serve in combat are precisely the type of women that share the same folkways and outlook as the evangelical Protestant chaplains, pastors, and culture warriors who would be the first to loudly deplore this new development. The cross-currents and rip tides in the culture wars are going to be very interesting, indeed.
  • Defense analyst Stuart Koehl: Yeah, I’m going to have to fire a broadside about this one. As my friend Martin van Creveld said to a Congressman back in the 1990s, “The very fact that you would think about sending women into combat shows you are not serious about war”. Unless they make service in combat arms mandatory for women. they will have a real problem filling the enlisted ranks, most of whom know quite well what a shit hole the battlefield is. This whole movement has been pushed by a handful of careerist female officers, who realize their promotion prospects past O-4 are limited unless they can get a command slot in a “combat” unit. How odd that my whole professional life has been devoted to driving out careerism from the military and instilling it with true professionalism, only to see the whole notion overturned in the interests of sexual egalitarianism. Well, just as the Church learned it could not run co-ed monasteries, the military will learn it can have co-ed combat units. Unfortunately, a lot of brave young men and women will die before the lesson is learned.
  • Anthony Esolen: I hope the feminists will be split, but I doubt it, even after an atrocity. The only people feminists hate more than they hate men are women. And now for my outburst — my wife recently told me about the latest Christian call for a “new feminism.” I am sick of it. I don’t want a new Nazism, or a new Communism, or a new feminism — and I want to shout, “Since when does the whole world revolve around you and your needs anyway!” Those poor slobs in the platoons will have to have their guts shot out or their legs blown off because some fucking academic feminist who would have trouble toting her suitcase across the street has some point to prove. Absolutely sick of it. I have a dream — I have a dream that one day all men in this country who work with their hands and their backs will say, “Screw the whole lot of you — you build the bridge then! You load the ships and trucks! You clear the fields!” In two weeks we’d all be getting hungry ....
  • Greg Laughlin: Why would women want to be in combat? I’m sure for career-minded military women, being in combat and earning a CIB is a great way to move ahead. But what a price to pay. Who wants to see their friends have their guts blown or their head blown away — and just to advance the cause of feminism? We live in a sick age.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Four more years and all that


President Obama’s only a symptom, not the problem.
  • From Bill Tighe: Obama worship on both sides of the Atlantic. Predictable. Foreign mainliners falling all over themselves trying to be charitable and a mainlinish black church where understandably though wrongly it’s about race. (I think Sailer and others have pointed out that church is one of the last places in mainstream society where you can have freedom of association/ethnic boosterism this way, but anyway.) Of course Romney wouldn’t have been canonized like this, in these places. (I can see well-meaning conservative Protestants overlooking his liberal track record and Mormonism to do so. I don’t hate him.) A good word for Rev. Wright since I’m as anti-Israel as he is. With the good-hearted so-cons I don’t like rude remarks about our country either; that said, libertarians get the distinction between the country and the government (something the wrongheaded US involvement in WWII deliberately blurred), and, quoting somebody, the pastor is dead right about 9/11. The chickens came home to roost. Readers of LRC and specifically Thomas DiLorenzo get the irony of getting religious with the allusions to Lincoln, who likely was an atheist. (As a libertarian I wouldn’t mind a nonbeliever as president, provided he didn’t declare war on the church as the culturally white ex-mainline/agnostic Obama has.)
  • King Day. Interesting and more complicated than the well-meant hagiography or his faults well known in conservative circles. Individual liberty for all races? Absolutely. No reparations/handouts or quotas. What about whites’ freedom of association? Rights go both ways. A constitutional issue, which was why principled conservatives opposed his movement. As odious of course as race-baiting is, that was George Wallace’s legal point. The law should leave race out of it. Open the doors for real opportunity, and stay out of the Sailerian HBD/race-realist outcomes (disparate impact is fair — I don’t care if you’re black; do you know how to do the job?). Also, as Takimag noted once, King was in the golden era, appealing to the best instincts in it. Obviously society’s gotten worse. Slavery didn’t destroy the black family; the Sixties did. The rich’s vices hit the underclass harder. Years ago someone pointed out to me that 1) not all blacks were poor (King vacationed in the Caribbean); you could be well off but separate; and 2) his movement meant to help all blacks but only helped the top-class ones like him enter white society.
  • On that note, going back to when I worked in newspapers, this conservative is irked every year by the bowdlerization of the man and his movement. In other words, King Day isn’t radical enough! He was no libertarian or respecter of the rule of law but today’s a perfect opportunity to promote individual liberty for all and the peace part of his message. (Again, Vietnam’s complicated: Communist threat or not our fight?) But instead you get kids making care packages for our soldiers (well and good — anti-war, pro-military — but...); he’s been turned into a patron saint of vaguely charitable work, however the state and mainstream media define that. If I had the time and talent I’d draw a political cartoon of kids being kind to homeless animals today around a portrait of him thinking ‘What the hell?!
  • From RR:
    • Judge: Manning will not be allowed to present a defense. Sounds wrong but military law’s different. In a volunteer Army, soldiers give up some rights. Regular readers know my line. Like principled deserters, IF he’s a hero, part of that is taking the punishment for breaking his contract.
    • Good review of Gangster Squad.
    • Workers and employers still think they’re paying into SS and Medicare because paychecks dishonestly show deductions under the “Social Security” and “Medicare” categories. But all that money is going straight into the politician’s gigantic “slush fund,” aka “general fund,” where they immediately spend it on whatever their black hearts desire: Empire building, undeclared wars against Third World women and children, subsidies for their corporatist cronies, bailouts to benefit the union bosses and the banksters who own them.
    • Science, religion and the Great Stagnation. Here’s the speculation: we’re stuck in a Great Stagnation in part because the social status of scientists is too low. Fewer smart people become scientists, who in turn engage in less research and innovation, which in turn leads to fewer economic advances. Why the decline in social status? Perhaps because many scientists and public intellectuals have conjoined science with an anti-religious ideology, naturalism, that has soiled science in the minds of the largely religious American public (in part via the political activism of naturalists).
  • Independent Catholic’ is a contradiction in terms. Decentralized, folk, running more on immemorial custom? Yes. But not independent in principle.
  • Music: Inga Swenson, ‘Simple Little Things’. Before she put on a war-movie accent to become famous in a dumb sitcom she was a Broadway star.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday: back to green, Pope facts, and against feminism

  • Mass: Omnis terra adoret te, Deus, et psallat tibi. The first noticeable fading out of Christmas as we switch back to liturgical green.
  • Also, the Chair of Unity Octave’s under way. Today, of course of interest to Anglo-Catholic alumni, the intention is the submission of Anglicans, which of course mostly won’t happen. The ordinariates, a few thousand people, are as far as it’ll go: the real would-be Catholics who meant it all are now on board. All I can say is of course everybody should come into the church, the way is example and gentle persuasion, the Anglicans have the right to govern themselves so it’s none of my business, and I thank them, because as liberal as they are, they kept high church in the bad old days after Vatican II when the church mostly wanted nothing to do with it, which is starting to change under Pope Benedict. By the way, the Octave started as Anglo-Papalist, among a very few Episcopalians who converted in 1909 after the Episcopalians voted to allow other Protestant ministers to preach in their churches.
  • Given the Octave’s original name, it might be worth repeating a few things about the Pope. We’re not the cult of one man other than Christ. The doctrine is about his office (the symbolic chair), not the man. It’s a subset of church infallibility. He’s just a custodian of the faith, not its master. Living traditionally in the church, ordinary custom is more important; the Pope’s a rather distant figure, which is fine.
  • From The Woman and the Dragon: entitled attitude, loose morals.
  • From Takimag: women, work and freedom.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Today's links


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Today's links

  • From TAC:
    • Why ‘Cops’ is problematic. I like the police (Philly cops are heroes who handle real problems, and it’s good to see our town squad cars literally guarding the entry roads from West Philly in the middle of the night) but yes. Like with the fictional ‘Law & Order’, watching them push people around. ‘Dragnet’ (see the great L.A. Confidential on its origin) minus the cost of actors; interesting true stories (public domain and thus free). PR for the force, which, like the military with which it naturally crosses over (nothing in itself wrong with that), is not really conservative. It ‘enforces the law’, which is whatever the state says. By the way, the theme to ‘Adam-12’ is one of the best.
    • Via Joshua: better Jeffersonians than Jefferson. Is there a conservative tradition in America?
    • Larison: Obama isn’t a foreign-policy realist but his administration takes realist refugees from the GOP.
  • Huw on questioning your own assumptions. Concupiscence and all that. By grace there’s a golden mean between going along with the herd’s assumptions and overthinking yourself to a grinding halt.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Today's links

  • Raimondo on Hagel.
  • Showbiz history of a famous bad depiction of the golden era: the making of Eddie and the Cruisers. The novel sounds good. Fusion jazz from a self-taught rocker had a chance. I listen to experimental music from then (Brubeck, Monk et al.) along with the pop.
  • GOP establishment tries to devour its own. Sounds like they’re blaming the grassroots so-con base for the defeat so they’ll keep being liberal Rockefeller Republicans, almost indistinguishable from the other party (which is just as pro-war).
  • From Mark Shea: the Medjugorje fraud as the good folk-Catholic instinct off course. Not quite his point but what I read in this. We laity have a lot of freedom. Privately you can venerate anything. Folk Catholicism at its best is traditionalism that gets its back up against imposed liberalism. But of course the official church has its job. In these cases, the buck stops with the bishop. He rightly said no, a long time ago. (E. Michael Jones explained Medjugorje to me: friars in a long feud with the bishop essentially made it up for cred; well-meaning but low-church charismatics spread it; they and this devotion filled a spiritual void in the Vatican II wasteland; then the war in ex-Yugoslavia cut Medj back a lot.) The apostolic ministry at work. (Even if he said yes, you don’t have to believe in private revelation.) I stay away from gossip and don’t watch EWTN (they do good but I don’t need their shows) so I don’t follow the Corapi story, but if it’s true at least he’s into women and what strikes me is he has never attacked the teachings of the church. Voris is against Communion in the hand? Good.
  • From Karen De Coster: economic riots and tramplefests.
  • From Alice Linsley: utilitarianism. A Christian so-con criticism of a granddaddy of libertarianism. I still think the do-no-harm principle, the golden rule or nonaggression (defend yourself and the other guy’s rights but don’t start fights), is a good basis for the church and non-Catholics to get along (pretty much how we got along in America around 1950 and John Courtney Murray was right) but good conservative criticism makes you think. There’s the yuck factor for us right-libertarians in which while error in itself might not have rights, people do (thanks, Jim C.), so we end up defending practices that might disgust us. But, reading this, I think why on earth do Harvard students need official school backing to have that club? Reminds me of some of Rod Dreher’s recent posts about spoiled students demanding school recognition and ordering everybody to change their vocabulary (guilting people, playing on Christian culture’s defending the oppressed; PC’s a Christian heresy) because they want to pretend to be the opposite sex for example. If you want to do it, just do it and leave us alone. But the left’s about power, not freedom: entitled Ivy kids ordering the rest of us around. Plus ça change. Also... deny headship and you get perversions like bondage? Roissy wouldn’t be surprised.
  • From Steve Sailer:
  • From Joshua:
  • From Mark in Spokane: Nixon wasn’t conservative.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Today's links

  • From RR:
  • From Takimag:
    • Charles Coulombe’s tale of two Frances. The anti-religious majority known and imitated around the world, and, this trad Catholic writer says, a fighting trad minority. Probably true based on what little I know about it. Their blue-state/red-state war.
    • Derb: sectionalism then and now. Two big groups of white people who can’t stand the sight of each other. We are eternally re-fighting the Civil War. And there’s the fun fact that founding SWPL-watcher Christian Lander and Steve Sailer point out that the liberals are whiter than we are.
    • Sailer’s also a movie critic. It’s been noted, post-Newtown, that the left loves violence in movies etc. then is shocked, shocked, when people act it out. I’ve seen a little of Tarantino’s work (True Romance and Pulp Fiction) and liked what others did (Dennis Hopper’s and Christopher Walken’s scene is one of the greatest) but Sailer has this interesting take on the arguably overrated moviemaker: The reason Tarantino has had the time to watch so many bad movies is because he doesn’t like the written word. Most people of Tarantino’s intelligence discover that reading is a higher bandwidth way of finding out about the world than watching straight-to-video dreck. But the auteur’s learning disability has left him defensively proud that he’s ill informed about everything other than movies.
  • From LRC: budgeting for a lifestyle contraction.
  • From The Woman and the Dragon: Sexbots. Ew. Sure, it’s easy to laugh at losers who spend mucho money on that but as Sunshine Mary, Catholic pundits, and, as she taught me, C.S. Lewis have pointed out, modern liberalism has been heading this way for a while: an understandable side effect of sex without babies and babies without sex, and the bad effect on society (against provider men and affordable family formation) of the sexual revolution (selfish sin city not just for playas but for naturally hypergamous fallen female nature that loves them, SAT for chicks dig jerks; contraception/abortion, no-fault divorce, and socialism making us all beta chumps paying alimony) she and Roissy point out. He’s said that in our current rotten society, of course men who would have made good husbands in 1960 drop out and into video games and porn.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Today's links

Monday, January 07, 2013

Vietnam, left-libertarians, the church and freedom, and, on Russian Christmas, Orthodoxy

  • Taki on Dien Bien Phu. Communism was a threat vs. Vietnam wasn’t our fight (General MacArthur asked President Johnson to get out).
  • From LRC: Tom Woods on an argument between some feminist left-libertarians and other libertarians. The core libertarian value is nonaggression. Right. That means ‘don’t start fights’. The golden rule, not pacifism. A political big tent in which the socially liberal and the socially conservative such as Burkean ordered-liberty types such as Catholics can all get along. (One of Joshua’s points: if the early, clean-cut, Carl Oglesby SDS, the rednecks and the John Birch Society around 1964 had sat down and talked to each other, they might have all agreed not to get played by the state and the Sixties might have been averted, or as he says, Easy Rider’s a conservative movie.) The anti-bourgeois, anti-all authority (that dumb hippie slogan ‘Question authority’) strain in left-libertarianism is annoying as is the (as far as I know) Randian egotism and selfishness you find. (Apparently you can learn from Rand but don’t buy her ideology; she didn’t like libertarians anyway.) For example when it goes beyond protesting abuse of power by the police and military to being anti-police and anti-military. Back to left-libertarians: Too many “libertarians” confuse legality with morality and non-aggression with non-judgment, concluding that if it's wrong to ban a behavior or action through legislation, it’s also wrong to criticize it or hold any personal viewpoint against it. Sadly, these people completely miss the point of libertarianism and liberty in general and only perpetuate the widely held and highly erroneous stereotypes about the libertarian philosophy... Then, once libertarianism has been made to seem as freakish and anti-bourgeois as possible, these same people turn around and blame the rest of us for why the idea isn’t more popular.
  • Real free Catholicism. Fr C’s disillusioned with the official church. Understandably. Many churchmen, including many trads, are jerks. But as he also notes, just about every attempt to improve on it by starting your own version remains small and/or is short-lived, from the Old Catholics (tiny liberal European denomination in communion with the Episcopalians) to the vagante start-ups Peter Anson wrote about that still pop up. Do-it-yourself church as a principle/doctrine’s a dead end. Some ideas for answers. A hint is from Fr C’s old priest in France, from the real pre-conciliar church; the trad movement’s circumstances — small, understandably defensive, in many places in the military-like Counter-Reformation religious-order mold, which of course isn’t for everyone — make it ‘not what we were’. As I’ve said, the real traditional church was/is a big tent, ‘here comes everybody’, strict in principle as it should be but easygoing in practice. (I understand Orthodox in Greece and Russia are like that too.) We’re not a cult; the church couldn’t micromanage you even if it wanted to, and priests have better things to do. Regarding religious liberty, there’s long been a middle ground between ‘Bring back the King of France!’ and the heresy of indifferentism: pre-conciliar American Catholicism, the church meets the founding fathers and their old republic that stayed out of people’s way in religion. (In America we didn’t need the council; by at least the ’40s we were already accepted without compromising.) Mainliners (the Anglicans I was born into thanks to a marriage conversion a generation back) think I’m reactionary (no women’s ordination; non-homosexualist); some brother trads think I’m liberal/an Americanist. That’s OK. Vatican II was the wrong thing to do but John Courtney Murray was right, as is Fr C that the church flourishes most in freedom.
  • On Russian Christmas: Modestinus’ and the church’s points about Orthodoxy. In the spirit of Charles Coulombe’s fine article I linked to yesterday. As I say, a great thing about being Catholic is they don’t teach you to hate the other tradition. (Granted, many Catholics don’t know about the Orthodox, but educated Catholics never rant online about how the other side’s devotions are spiritual delusion for example.) Its defined doctrine and its practices are true: a form of Catholicism that became estranged, with a grassroots/folk aspect that Western Catholicism partly lost and should relearn, a good nuance to traditionalism. (Going to a Greek Catholic parish’s always one of my options but, knowing what the rite’s supposed to be like, I’d rather go to the Tridentine Mass done right than the Byzantine Liturgy done wrong.) So in that sense corporate reunion’s possible and desirable. That’s why, even with the true-church claim (which both sides have), Modestinus’s right not to tell a born Orthodox with strong family/ethnic ties and a good parish to dump it all and go to the Novus Ordo, my Mass or a weak, latinized Greek Catholic parish. That’s not relativistic. As I say, the church gives born Orthodox the benefit of the doubt. (Of course it accepts individual conversions — and the converts are automatically Greek Catholic — but quietly, and it doesn’t solicit them. Eye on the prize: bring them all in, intact.) That said, the ‘anti-’ spirit (spite Rome, no popery), of schism, that he rightly criticizes and I’ll add the widespread flakeout on contraception (changing to what ’50s mainliners taught and today’s evangelicals teach; I asked Fr Peter Gillquist in person about that and didn’t get a straight answer) refute their claim to be the true church. Trying to spite Rome seems commoner among the few largely ex-Protestant converts who just took that with them; though the nasty converts have obnoxious ethnocentric/imperial writings from the old country to prooftext, that chip on the shoulder is rarer among Greeks and Russians, who have nothing to prove. Their attitude towards Western Catholicism ranges from benign indifference — they’re just happy being Greek or Russian — to the obvious as with the visitors in Modestinus’ sermon anecdote: ‘That’s beautiful! It’s the same’ or ‘That’s so close.’ The schismatic attitude’s out there, historically and now, but I don’t think it’s that widespread. Benefit of the doubt.
  • On that note, the late Fr Serge (Keleher), with whom I once sat and talked about this, from 2001:
    It is entirely true to affirm “that Eastern Orthodoxy is not just a sum of liturgical peculiarities, it is an ancient and large tradition”. That ancient and large tradition is entirely Catholic; there is not and never has been any authentic element of that tradition which is unacceptable to the Catholic Church. Indeed, how could there be? This tradition is based upon the common sources of Scripture and Tradition recognized by East and West: the Holy Scriptures, the decisions of the Seven Councils and the Local Councils recognized by them, the writings of the Holy Fathers, the liturgical books, the monastic teaching and practice ... none of this is alien to Catholicism.

    Consider, for example, iconography: no one would deny that iconography is an essential element in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Neither can anyone deny that throughout the iconoclast persecution, Rome stood firm in support of the Orthodox iconodules in Constantinople, nor can anyone deny that Saint Theodore the Studite, to give only one example, insisted that the East, Emperor and all, had no right to take such a decision without reference to the Bishop of Rome. At the Seventh Council, it was clear that Rome had maintained Orthodoxy and stood with the Martyrs and Confessors.

    If one wants a lighter example, consider Russian liturgical music. I yield to no one in my enjoyment of Russian choral liturgical music. But who does not know that some of the most widely used Russian Orthodox composers learned their expertise in Italy? One of Bortniansky’s best-loved pieces was actually written for the singing of the
    Pange Lingua Gloriosi. Consider the liturgical texts: it is not at all difficult to find texts in the liturgical books published by the Russian Orthodox Church which witness most eloquently to the Roman Primacy.

    Nobody can “copyright” the Christian tradition, just as nobody can claim “exclusive rights” to the Saints.
    [The church: born Orthodox saints from after the split get the benefit of the doubt. Private veneration is fine, and a few Greek Catholics — Melkites and the small, largely born Western, Russian Catholic Church — publicly venerate them.] It is one thing to abuse someone else’s tradition; that is bound to give offense — as, for example, when the League of Militant Atheists staged blasphemous parodies of the divine services, or, on a different level, when well-meaning people in Italy who do not understand the authentic tradition of iconography circulate an outrageous pseudo-icon which, to the eyes of anybody who does understand the tradition of iconography, appears to indicate that the perpetrators must think that Saint Joseph was the natural father of the Child Jesus [the people who produced this disgraceful image almost certainly do not hold to such a heresy, but their ignorance does not altogether excuse them]. But who would possibly claim that Catholics should not be “allowed” to venerate the icons of the Theotokos Odigitria, known to the West as Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and the Vladimir Theotokos, which has become very well known in recent decades? Who would forbid Catholics to venerate the Icon of the Old Testament Trinity depicted by Saint Andrew Rubliov?
    Христос рождается.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Epiphany

Confusing extramural Anglicans

This started as a long reply to Tubbs here.
“By the way, funny how a movement that started by reacting against Catholic emancipation ended up imitating the Catholic Church.”

And I thought I was the only one who picked up on that irony.

And speaking of irony, how does the “Reformed Episcopal Church” end up so Romish now? Go figure.....
Thanks. I noticed that too about the REC online. Once stopped in at Christ Memorial Church, 43rd and Chestnut, now moved away after the building partly collapsed, and got to see old-school REC. They have a few other churches around here but I don’t know what they’re like. My guess is the REC was dying out and they thought they could save themselves by reinventing themselves as higher and identifying with the largely Anglo-Catholic Continuing Churches (Episcopalians who left and started their own churches at the end of the ’70s because of women’s ordination and arguably the new Prayer Book, symbolically their ‘Vatican II’ even though the old Prayer Book’s arguably more Protestant), maybe to encourage highish ex-Episcopalians to join.

In the early 2000s they almost merged with the Anglican Province of America, a small group that started out in 1968 as the American Episcopal Church, good-intentioned ex-Episcopalians reacting to their denomination’s perceived sellout in the Sixties (not realizing the rot was in the roots, from the king wanting a divorce to the loss of faith at the ‘Enlightenment’). That was about keeping the Protestant Episcopal Church as it was, but then I think in the ’90s it merged with a Continuing church, the Anglican Catholic Church. The merger failed but I think the APA essentially is now a high-churchified Continuing church.

That’s another one: the ‘Anglican Catholic Church’ recently seems to have reinvented itself as more classically Anglican/anti-Roman/via media.

Then there‘s the ‘Traditional Anglican Communion’, a name that makes me think of old-school REC and Morning Prayer with surplice and scarf, which was actually Anglo-Catholic (some of the national names reflected that: Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, etc.) and has partly come into the Catholic Church in groups. What’s left behind probably, understandably, will go the ACC’s route emphasizing what it thinks Anglicanism is vs. Rome.

Archbishop Peter Robinson, the presiding bishop of the smallest and lowest-church of the original Continuing groups, has noted that his movement’s theological divide is between those like his denomination, who are about continuing the old Protestant Episcopal Church minus name-the-innovation, and the more Catholic-minded majority of Continuers, who replaced the Protestant Thirty-Nine Articles with the more Catholic Affirmation of St Louis (the ‘charter’ of the first Continuing church, which split into a few denominations), which at points reads more like Orthodoxy or conservative Old Catholicism (seven sacraments, seven ecumenical councils) than Anglicanism (Articles, first five centuries of the church per Andrewes; I never understood that cutoff date). Prayer Book vs. the old unofficial Anglican missals.

I think the Affirmation reflects American Anglo-Catholicism as it was around the ’50s: somewhat Tridentine ceremonially (missals) but attached to much of the Prayer Book and believing in something high but non-papal, seeing themselves as sort of the American version of conservative Old Catholics.

The few sincere would-be Roman Catholics, Anglo-Papalists, understandably have come into the church, first under John Paul’s Pastoral Provision and now under Benedict’s ordinariates, with the highest of them, Tridentine, just joining the trads, as has happened around here. One of the first four Continuing bishops, Peter Watterson, was of that persuasion and soon converted, ending up a Catholic priest. My line: the ordinariate’s great for married ex-Anglican priests who want to be Catholic priests and for those jonesing for the Prayer Book in some form. (Celibacy’s just a rule and hooray for the American Missal but I’m sticking with the Tridentine Mass close to home.)

Speaking of ‘continuing the old Protestant Episcopal Church minus name-the-innovation’, you have the Anglican Church of North America (interestingly the name of the first Continuing church), relatively conservative Episcopalians who mostly went along with WO and left over the denomination’s moves Unitarianwards and homosexualist. The Continuers got started because they hoped Canterbury would kick out the Episcopalians for breaking with Catholic order with WO and recognize them as the official Anglican church here, which of course didn’t happen, because Canterbury’s just as liberal as the Episcopalians. (The Church of England is now essentially Episcopalians in an uneasy state merger with Evangelicals, in an anti-religious country.) The new ACNA’s the Episcopal Church 10 years ago minus the wackier theological stuff and annoying political liberalism (which p*ssed off the ’60s and ’70s leavers too); I call it Slightly Less Liberal Protestant Denomination. Amazingly, what were until recently the Episcopal Church’s last three Anglo-Catholic dioceses joined this outfit and not the Continuers despite not doing WO. The Episcopalians’ first homosexualist bishop managed to do what WO and the 1800s high-low war that started the REC didn’t: four dioceses quit! (And a fifth just got kicked out.) Though both WO and homosexualism go against nature and the church on the sexes, WO’s a theological matter that most chivalrous Protestant Episcopalians didn’t mind; homosexualism’s another matter; more primal I guess.

A little perspective: while the conversions are great of course, more troops in Pope Benedict’s conservative renewal, in all these cases, including all these relatively new denominations, we’re talking about only a few thousand people.

Earlier I’ve noted the conservative Presbyterian success story, the PCA, who like the Continuers left the liberal mainline in the ’70s. They seem to have their act together (ditto our cousins the Missouri Synod Lutherans) while the Continuing Anglicans, for all their Catholic order, splintered again and again.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Epiphany Eve

The time of I Vespers for Epiphany (Los Reyes Magos), so Christmas as such ends.

Perpetual war, news gathering in the Internet age, and the church and women's ordination

  • From Daniel Larison:
  • From Rod Dreher: Spengler and imperial America.
  • Glenn Greenwald via LRC: the ‘war on terror’ — by design — can never end.
  • From Noah Millman: on Andrew Sullivan setting out on his own, and the future of journalism in the Internet age.
  • From MCJ:
    • Quotation from LaVallette: Ordination of women is a bit like gay marriage: to make it mean something one has to redefine the very fundamentals of the institution concerned to the extent that institution no longer exists and a completely new one emerges. Yes by all means ordain women if you want to but it will no longer be the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ. Plenty of them around already. In the same way, s/s marriage requires the redefinition of the natural-law concepts of what “male” and “female” mean and and what the fundamental purposes of marriage are. What strikes me, living in the church (actually, mostly I leave the clergy and lay bureaucracy alone; they leave me alone), is that WO just doesn’t come up, despite a minority living in Protestant countries such as this one trying hard to sell it for 40 years, from lay ‘ministers’ including the few old nuns as pastors to altar girls (none of which, going to a Pope Benedict high-church parish and the Tridentine Mass almost exclusively, I see!). It’s self-limiting; not part of the church’s nature. Different from the defensive retreat Anglo-Catholics had been in for all those years. Plausible: like-minded bishops setting up a church within a church as a ‘Catholic Anglicanism’, what Forward in Faith tried to be. I see the analogy to what Catholics like me do, but like the Buca di Beppo T-shirt says, ‘The Pope’s on our side’. Or rather, we and the Pope are on the side of Christ, the apostles and the ordinary practice of the Catholic religion for centuries. The other side won fair and square in Anglicanism, a fallible denomination in which everything’s up for a vote. The Tractarians, ‘conservative’ against Catholic developed and defined doctrine, thought they were in the infallible church but were proved wrong. By the way, funny how a movement that started by reacting against Catholic emancipation ended up imitating the Catholic Church.
    • On political correctness and the decline in churchgoing.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Today's links


Thursday, January 03, 2013

Taking down the tree

That’s right; the one that Superstorm Sandy pushed onto the back of my home, blocking the driveway. Amazingly I didn’t hear it fall; I was ducking for cover from the wind, getting away from the windows.

Today's links


  • Ordinariate: half of the Wantage nuns are now in the church. Renamed the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary (because the Anglican community still exists). Great to see: their habit’s traditional again. Like the American All Saints Sisters of the Poor, who always kept their old habit, almost all of whom came into the church and are now an order of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. ‘Penguins’, now what they were long taken to be. Also great to see the fiddlebacks. All part of Pope Benedict’s plan. With the mitre and crosier is Mgr Newton, the ordinary. Like bishops, the highest-ranking monsignori have them. ‘Anglicans have nuns?!’ Very few; part of 19th-century high-church people’s emulation of Catholicism. I remember the Oxford Oratory when it was St Aloysius.
  • Also in England, the church’s changing of the guard. Pope Benedict’s cleaning house. Their liberals, what Damian Thompson calls ‘the magic circle’, are losing a London church and ‘gay Masses’ there, to the ordinariate. Some understandable gay sour grapes (but hey, they know what the church teaches): ‘one group of old queens for another’. (Most Anglo-Catholics are gay men.) Lesson: if it’s true, it shows the church doesn’t care about your orientation. Same morals for all. The ordinariate follows the church on morals. Many of Philly’s Tridentine ACs are now in the church, not in the ordinariate (they’re not interested in the Book of Common Prayer even in its American Missal form) but a parish like mine. (Our AC alumni are from Good Shepherd, Rosemont.)
  • Our Mass as Rite I. Moving up from near-oblivion in the official church as recently as 15 years ago.
  • From Orthodox England: new world disorder.
  • On that note, Fr C’s pictorial. The church in France is dead. Except the small trad minority.
  • Part of what killed it. From Hilary: why, despite Benedict’s dogged (and frankly embarrassing and tiresome) persistence on the subject, The Council’s star is inevitably waning.
  • From Roissy: science proves game works. God-given human nature even when fallen; the natural law. Game’s a tool, not a religion.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Today's links


  • Gangster Squad.
  • The Mail: Britain always right to be wary of the EU.
  • Victor Davis Hanson: 2013: Welcome to very, very scary times. I think it is instructive of their goals that they are attacking both the First and Second Amendments at the same time and that their aim at the latter is specifically those firearms most useful to a militia. And then we have the piece in the NY Times suggesting we abandon the Constitution altogether. These folks are downright frightening.
  • From OC.net:
  • From LRC:
  • Is Cracked slipping? I don’t read The Onion anymore because I’m not on their side of the white class war (lefty snobs putting down proles). Cracked was better: non-putdown valuable history lessons (such as how Tesla deserves credit for inventions Edison and, if I recall rightly, Marconi stole) and news of the weird; original thought. Like LRC debunking Lincoln and FDR. But I’m seeing a few more Onion-like editorials. (References to a post-Sixties pop culture I sometimes notice but don’t follow I just ignore. Like video games. Angry Birds? What is that, like pinball?) Even when they’re putting down movement conservatives I don’t agree with either (like when the SWPLs attacked Sarah Palin), my guard goes up.
  • From Takimag: Jim Goad vs. PC. Whereas PC was still somewhat a fringe phenom in the 1990s, it has become the very fabric of our dying civilization. It is now so pervasive and dominant that it only seems invisible. It has metastasized into the popular narrative and continues expanding with no end in sight. Of course. It’s the Christian heresy that’s replaced the church, so concern trolling/manufactured outrage is being holier than thou/the new pharisees.
  • From KN@PPSTER: left vs. right anarchists: tempest in a teapot? Interesting. Thomas Knapp’s RR is my No. 1 source for news stories and editorials but I get the problem of left-libertarianism, a hatred of any traditional order. (Do your own thing = every man for himself. That said, if they’re really libertarians and not leftists, we can make a deal and get along.) Better Burke and Mark in Spokane’s Catholic ordered liberty. Bourgeois libertarian? (Why some more libertarian than thou rejected the culturally conservative Ron Paul.) Thank you.
  • From RR:
    • Time to hoard 75-watt bulbs. Rather than get expensive government-pushed bulbs full of poisonous mercury.
    • Congress kicks the can. The government serves itself; it doesn’t care about you. More.
    • Unequal protection. If one person must pay income taxes of 50% or more on earnings of $1million while another person is required to pay 20% on earnings of $100,000, that amounts to a denial of equal protection of the law as the former must pay half of his income to the government while the latter must pay only one fifth.
  • From Joshua: again and again it is clear that the intent of the US-supported rebels is to target for genocide the Christian community in Syria — a Christian community that had been living side by side with Muslims in Syria for centuries.

'Vegas'