Monday, March 09, 2015

"Make Mine Freedom" and more


  • Make Mine Freedom. Bob Wallace rediscovers a 1948 cartoon classic. The trouble was the Reds in our government had just helped the Soviets win World War II, but this cartoon shows the old America was alive and well, if only for the next 20 years (a boom time for us).
  • False ecumenism. Huw Richardson is against the ecumenical outreach I give Jerry Falwell credit for. Against what C.S. Lewis called the "Christianity and" temptation: mix your faith with some worldly goal and it isn't Christianity anymore, rather an "ism" like the socialism (a Christian heresy like the rest of leftism) Make Mine Freedom criticizes. Before his well-meant reaction against the Sixties, like all Baptist fundamentalists, Falwell shunned politics as worldly. Huw resonates with libertarianism too: We tried it in Prohibition and it flopped there. We've not yet learned. Huw makes me think. But where is the line between not falling for this kind of worldliness (one of the temptations of Christ in the desert; apropos for Lent) and Rod Dreher's plan for conservative Christians, his Benedict option to surrender the public square? (Escapism: be good slaves and play high-church privately, actually very un-Byzantine, vs. an honorable retreat underground, the Ukrainian Catholic story under Soviet rule.) By the way, first and foremost, Huw is Orthodox. And a homosexual. But like many of the old Anglo-Catholics at their best, "Don't call me a gay Christian; I am a Christian above all. Homosexuality is not the sum of my identity. Maybe the church is right so I'm wrong."
  • Much like Fr. Seraphim (Rose). A 20-something Rose sent a letter to Thomas Merton (before Rose entered the religious life). I have always rather barely liked to loathed Merton — Rose takes him on; in the letter he predicts the rise of liberal watered-down Catholicism that nearly ruined my life and still pervades. A California boy, he is a major figure, blessed in the East; rather unknown in Catholicism. For those of us who dealt with same-sex attraction, we have no one like him in the West. Actually you do. Fr. John Jay Hughes, for example, an Anglo-Catholic alumnus who, if asked, will tell you he's bisexual but he has never used this to attack the church's teachings, which is why you don't hear about people like him. I love the sound Catholicism of The Seven Storey Mountain; the wrong people loved Merton in the Sixties; his star has faded since. Good for Rose for calling Merton on mistakes, but Rose bought into an ideology that considers the church of Mountain a fraud; our church, with the same essentials as Rose's. No sale.
  • Another lefty tries to tell the Pope what to do, this time about women. Writing from within the Catholic Church, I call bullsh*t too. To his credit, Pope Francis has no time for the cause of the attempted ordination of women. Thing is, neither do most Catholics, and that's becoming more so as the liberals age and die and young unbelievers just walk away from the church. That's on top of women's ordination being impossible: the Pope can't change the matter of the sacraments. It's a story the media amuse themselves with on slow news days. Right; the Anglicans do it (the chick Pope!) and it's only accelerated their decline in the First World. This stuff doesn't impress feminists. (Right; nothing impresses a woman like a man who caves to her.) They won't start going to church because of it, and it only drives away the believers you have. Finally, even though he's a Jesuit, who are big on obedience, you don't tell Pope Francis what to do, a trait of great men.
  • From November 2013: The case against Daylight Saving Time.

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