Friday, July 31, 2015

Social class, manosphere maps, Reformed doesn't necessarily mean Calvinist, and more

  • Bob Wallace on Class and class. One of my favorite books. The American dream died in 1973; the Sixties were among its killers: ...this is a class I'm not sure exists anymore. They're the working class/blue collar class who worked themselves up to middle class. Those were my parents, who dropped out of high school. My father was a general contractor and my mother worked nights at the local ER. I never lacked anything. The reason I don't think this class exists anymore is because the economy is so bad, has been for a long time, and will be for a long time. See my comment under his post. He's a smart manosphere critic who changed my thinking by introducing me to Rob Fedders' better social-hierarchy chart. (Real alphas, not bullies or "player" parasites.) Roissy's for example is still useful, but you can think of the manosphere maps Wallace criticizes as alchemy is to chemistry, or like chiropractic: manipulating your back helps your back even though the reason chiropractors do it is hooey. ("Mixers" in chiropractic are OK: basically physical therapists who don't buy the hooey.) "Bad game's better than no game"; an inaccurate map's better than none. The British cartoon infographic is from here.
  • Ex-Army: Man as fallen angel vs. man as rising beast. This is way too simple, of course, because for one thing I don't fit neatly into it anywhere. But it's a good jumping-off point for discussion. The terms seem metaphorical. Of course we're not angels; they're pure spirits. We're unique in creation for having spirits like God and the angels but also bodies like animals. Also, nobody has proved that one species has evolved into another.
  • Anglicanism: I stand corrected. I misremembered Bill Tighe telling me that continental Protestants considered Anglicans eccentric Calvinists who happen to have kept bishops. Actually he said they're eccentric Reformed with bishops. Easy to confuse the two as Calvin's continental denominations, such as the Dutch, call themselves "Reformed." Here he explains how and why that came to be. The only correction which I might be tempted to make to your blog posting is to deplore the promiscuous (and inaccurate) use of the term "Calvinist." (It reaches its reductio ad absurdum in one of your correspondents' statement that the Episcopalian 1928 BCP is "thoroughly Genevan:" there is nothing "Genevan" whatsoever about that BCP, or really any other one, in form or even content [except insofar as it reflects a basic "mere Protestantism" shared among all Protestants, or, in this case, all non-Lutheran Protestants].) Calvin, as you know, attempted to find a via media position between the Lutherans and the Swiss Reformed of Zurich and elsewhere, following in this his mentor, Martin Bucer of Strasbourg. But whereas Bucer "crossed his fingers" and came to an agreement (an agreement with "loopholes") with the Lutherans in 1536 (the eventual result of which was that the "Bucerian" churches of SW Germany, forced by the Emperor in 1548 to choose between Catholicism and Lutheranism, chose the latter, while Bucer himself fled to England, where he died in 1551), Calvin came to an agreement with Bullinger/Zurich in 1548, in which Calvin did most, if not all, of the conceding on issues of disagreement (such as the Eucharist) — and so Geneva formally became part of the "Reformed" world and Calvin had to abandon his attempt to mediate between the Lutherans and the Reformed. Calvin had almost no influence on the English scene before the 1560s: as the enclosed article shows, it was Zurich that was the beau ideal of those who ran the Elizabethan Church of England for decades after 1559. Calvin's influence grew (especially at Oxford and Cambridge, and so among theologically educated clergy) throughout Elizabeth's reign, and beyond, but it never became dominant (and what the English took from Calvin was what he taught on predestination and soteriology generally — mostly they neglected his sacramental teachings, on which English Calvinists tended to be more Zurich than Geneva, and also followed the Zurich "erastian" pattern of subordination of Church to State). Scotland, of course, was different: their Reformation was, among its devotees and leaders, full-bloodedly "Calvinist" in the strict sense of the term.
  • An old idea that always flops in America. I've been hearing about getting rid of the $1 bill for 40 years. We already have coins. People don't use them. The British and Canadians use pound or dollar coins; I wonder why Americans don't. I like the big Ike dollars, even if they're too big to be practical, not the little Susan B. Anthony ones that look like quarters. The Sacagawea one was pretty because it was fake gold. The British make using pound coins easy by using relatively small but thick coins, which are a distinctive color much like the Sacagawea dollar. But all are glorified subway tokens. Bring back real money: gold and silver.

Eccentric Calvinists with bishops: Another ramble about Anglicanism

Anglicanism is interesting to me because of personal and church history but I don't much follow its current doings because I don't have to. The gay-marriage thing just copies the larger culture including the law in America, and I found out the Episcopalians have a new presiding bishop. Recently I Googled who the Bishop of Pennsylvania is because I didn't know.

Anyway, here are lots of familiar talking points with some new insights.

The old Prayer Book, which I grew up with, was conservative American Episcopalians' big no to the Sixties, culturally like the Tridentine Mass that way. That said, books I really like, such as the missals, were all banned in the Episcopal Church the way the Mrs. Buckets wanted it.

A friend who really doesn't like Anglicanism (of course I don't believe in it either):
The old 1928 BCP is quite beautiful. Its fakery all the more dangerous because it is covered in such ornate and moving language.
The point of my last sentence.

Another Catholic Fellow (ACF):
Not fakery at all. Clearly a Genevan work, with no pretense to anything else. How the Anglo-Catholic movement got moving I can only understand by looking at Parliament itself — a mixed bag of every belief, yet in charge of the established church.
I think Anglo-Catholicism and the older high churchmanship got started thanks to Anglicanism's few remaining Catholic elements: bishops (unusual for Protestants), the creeds, and the idea of a liturgy, even though it wasn't a Catholic liturgy anymore. The old high churchmen thought Anglicanism was in the apostolic club with Catholicism and Orthodoxy but the best thanks to being "reformed." Actually a true-church claim (very Catholic); the branch theory isn't the relativism some think. Anglicanism is Erastian, but Anglo-Catholicism got started by asserting divine origins and authority for Anglicanism vs. the government (imitating "nobody can own the Catholic Church"); it was like the older high churchmanship except, ironically, it was less tied to the bishops. The Oxford dons who started it acted on their own, I think independently of the bishops. That it ended up imitating the Catholic Church sort of makes sense given the claims it made for Anglicanism but that came later and was almost accidental.
ACF: I presume it attracted a lot of medievalists in that second generation, the ones that found incense so fascinating.
Right; the second generation was when the Anglo-Catholic movement got together with the Romantic movement reacting against the Industrial Revolution.
ACF: Dr. Tighe is the one person I would love to hear speak on the subject. If he ever lectures on this, someone please let me know — I would schedule a trip back north for that. (yes, even deal with 309 at rush hour, if necessary).
Bill Tighe has explained to me that Anglicanism was just eccentric Calvinism that happened to retain bishops.

I think Anglicanism retained those Catholic elements because the king wasn't sure he wanted to leave the church, plus the government, while brutal, wasn't stupid. They compromised to try to persuade as many of the English and Welsh as possible to accept the new faith, while at the same time being enamored of the new heresies in Europe.

That compromise reminds of my line about the Episcopal Church: if I tried to invent a church to please as many as possible, including myself, it would look much like their liberal high church. I'd congratulate myself on being a theological genius as well as a marketing one (like the guys who created the Edsel thought they were; true story). Ha. God has other plans.
ACF: I have always thought that their episcopacy was kept as an office, rather than an order. James ONE stated "No bishops? Then no king?" His son paid the price. But then, here we go again: semantics = such a pain in the keester in any subject, but especially theology.
I understand the king liked bishops because he thought that arrangement favors kings. Anglicanism thinks of bishops as an order, not an office: still like us; not like other Protestants. But I've learned that it wasn't that clear to begin with: most of the time they kept their claim to apostolic succession but not always.
ACF: So many of the Edwardine appointments were radical Calvinists, who only accepted the office in order to destroy it.
First fellow's answer:
Right. Vestments controversy and all that. It was the experience of the Edwardine "reform" that pushed most of the Henrician clergy into Mary's arms when she ascended to the throne. Very ardent proponents of Henry's "reform" like Bonner and Gardiner returned to Rome and stayed there because of the heresy they had seen unleashed under Edward. When Bloody Bess of wretched memory decided to re-create the fake state religion of her brother and father, only one of the English bishops went along with her, largely because of the gross evil they had observed under Edward.

When Henry split, only one bishop remained faith, when Bloody Bess split, only one bishop followed her. We can thank Edward for that.
Bloody Bess: as Anglo-Catholic alumnus Fr. George Rutler says, a historic example of the ministry of women.
Anglicanism kept as much Catholic form as possible because the vast bulk of the English and Scottish and Irish people were Catholics, didn't like the Reformation, and only went along because of massive government persecution of the faith and the long-life of Bloody Bess of wretched memory. The monarchs like bishops, so they stayed around, and some aspects of traditional liturgical piety (Ember Days, Rogation Days, a Litany that removed the saints and abused the Pope but kept most everything else) were kept. But for the rest, heresy and evil.
But after Henry VIII, under Edward VI, it clearly wasn't Catholicism anymore, bishops, Ember Days, etc. notwithstanding.
Right, precisely. The C of E was a Calvinist body at that point, with just enough Catholic form left to keep people from open revolt. Also, the fact that the King was sickly and fey probably didn't inspire revolution either. Just wait him out...

Most folks, as Eamon Duffy has shown, took the same attitude toward Elizabeth. Hide all the Catholic stuff and just wait for her to die and then when a Catholic monarchy was restored the faith would return. Only problem was, she refused to die. By the time she did, the police state + brainwashing had done the trick.
Christopher Haigh writes about something moving to us Catholics: how the English did what you describe, secretly practicing Catholicism into the 1580s. (Example: the Anglican vicar who'd secretly celebrate Mass, then give people the real Sacrament at the Anglican service.) By 1600 the people had been forced to accept the new faith but treated it with the same reverence with which they'd practiced Catholicism. Extreme Protestants, the Puritans, were an annoying minority.
Lots of people don't realize this, but the BCP was translated into Latin for use of the parishes the Anglicans stole for their own use in Ireland. Covering up their fakery with the flowery tongue of Mother Church.
I knew. Oxford and Cambridge also used the BCP in Latin, as that was the world academic language so for them it was "a tongue understanded of the people." A reason for the Latin BCP in Ireland was many of the Irish still didn't speak or understand English. In Ireland, as in England and Wales, the debut of the BCP was at the same time as the removal of Catholic externals. Before the BCP, the English did hide the schism from the Irish, who at the time were sort of indifferent cultural Catholics, not the pious institution-builders of Catholic emancipation and immigration to America in the 1800s. The first people in Ireland to revolt against the schism were the ethnic English who lived in the Pale. Once the BCP and the rest of King Edward's (and/or his regents') program got under way, the Irish resisted. If not Edward, definitely Elizabeth. Peter Robinson writes that Edward's new religion didn't spread far past the cities; Elizabeth really got the Protestantization under way.

Update: That should be "eccentric Reformed with bishops."

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dolan vs. Trump

America's leading Catholic bishop, thanks to his see being in the capital of the world, vs. the best mainstreamish presidential candidate: Cardinal Dolan slams Trump's "virulent" immigration remarks.

Most of our bishops are fools politically, still hitching their wagons to social democracy. And you thought I live in the past. Anyway, this is why Dolan sounds like he's doing an impression of mainline Protestant political correctness. To give him credit, the ruling Christian heresy's easy to fall into, and he has a point about the church's universality; nationalism's not an absolute. We don't worship a nation or race. As I like to say, political tyrants hate the church because they can't own it. But people and the church are particular as well as universal. The parts of the universal church do best when they are the Church Local. Normal people are loyal to kin and community first. Liberals say they love humanity like God and the church do but they hate people; their "loyalty" leapfrogs over them as Steve Sailer says. They're snobs.

Trump's not perfect; on paper in many ways he's wrong. But the site Radix nails it: he acts like the U.S. is still a real country that matters, which is why he's mopping the floor with the opposition. (For our elite there are no more countries. They have no loyalty to us.) Impressive even if he's not serious.

Also, charity begins at home. A country's first obligation is to its citizens. Those entering illegally are stealing. A difference between the immigrants in question and our plucky Irish, Italian, et al. Catholic forbears at Ellis Island.
So US bishops have time to comment on secular politics, but they've kept quiet about the exposure Planned Parenthood has been getting over the past couple weeks. Not a word there.
Hey! Shut up! Catholics have ARRIVED in American society, damn it! We won't let your moralizing take that away from us. American Catholicism's about socialism, soup kitchens, and cheering for Notre Dame football. So be open to the Spirit! Got it? Good! [/sarcasm]

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Three kinds of cowards

Three kinds of cowards: Abortion apologists who love animals, jerks who go on safaris to waste fine animals, and schismatics.
  • Cecil the lion vs. aborted baby parts. First, I'm as outraged by Cecil's killing as the mainstream; as far as I know, Dr. Palmer didn't kill him for food. If he had the carcass cleaned and turned into lion steaks, I stand corrected. After all, I eat meat. Seems to me like a canned hunt (unmanly, as no less than Teddy Roosevelt agreed). Ethical hunters use what they kill and respect nature, being participants in it as predators like other animals. Conservation and stewardship of God's creation are Christian values. So if, as accused, Dr. Palmer killed this beautiful animal for no good reason, I'm as sad as you are about it. (Maybe he's right to blame the guides, but he has a bad track record. Luring that lion off a preserve was wrong, unless Dr. Palmer knew how to turn him into food and was very hungry.) That said, some conservatives are making the good point that mainstream America's getting all verklempt over an animal while abortionists including Planned Parenthood trafficking in body parts for at least 10 years get away with it. Elementary as Holmes said. Feeling for the lion is easy; sentimentality. It doesn't cramp your style; hey, it even shows you're kind of nice. Turning down the abortionist's offer of "FREE SEX!" is hard. Planned Parenthood has won the minds (such as they are) and hearts of the people that way. Back in the Sixties with the debut of the Pill and no-fault divorce.
  • Ex-Catholic Orthodox who still hang around us online. The ones who leave the church but can't stop writing about the church. I used to be like you. My Orthodox phase didn't last long beliefwise; I had buyer's remorse early on. So I'll level with you. I started doing what you are, hanging around Catholics online and offering "unity" but not on the church's terms, rather, someone else's cockamamie ones, almost admitting my mistake but still too proud to. That's how and why I met Catholic apologist Mark Bonocore. Here's what he told me, which I'll pass down to you. Consider it my last piece of advice if you like. Luther is supposed to have said, "If you sin, sin boldly." Exactly. Pussyfooting around, recognizing our sacraments, for example, is well and good for born Orthodox whose family and ethnic ties keep them where they are. (The late Archbishop Vsevolod, for example, one of the nicest people I've met.) It's charming from them. (And they're not personally guilty of schism.) From you, until you come clean and come home, it's pathetic. It's good Orthodoxy, an option for Orthodox, but according to your new faith it's psychologically dangerous for you, a temptation to revert to a false faith. Mark put it on the line the last time I heard from him, nearly 20 years ago: This is essential if you want to remain Orthodox. (Me: Not go to heaven. Remain Orthodox.) Turn your back on us. Declare us apostates and have nothing more to do with us. On my long road back to the church, about 15 years ago I met two Byzantine Catholics by choice, Anastasios Hudson and Nik Stanosheck. Thought they'd be part of the story of my return. Quite the opposite. They turned against the church with a vengeance, left it, and shook the dust off their feet, joining splinter groups because the official Orthodox aren't Orthodox enough: Greek Old Calendarism and a similar splinter from "the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Reality," half the size but twice the Russianism and anti-Westernism. And I've got to hand it to them: it worked; they're still Orthodox as far as I know. So, like Gavin McInnes daring Bruce Jenner to "cut it off," put your money where your mouth is. If you dare. Can't? Fine with me: I'll leave the porch light on for you.

Taking apart the libcath vision, and what all the attention to gays is really about

  • American Catholic liberals' vision: A church refreshed: A dispatch from an American Catholic future. Hilary White brought this to my attention as of course I never read the National Catholic Reporter. (Nor do I regularly read the New Liturgical Movement; in fact hardly ever now. It does good, but like Fr. Hunwicke alludes to, while the reality of the Sixties' and Vatican II's damage means we can't really go back to being unself-consciously pre-modern, I go to the liturgy, the old Mass, more than talk about it. Much like 50 years ago. I'm actually not that pious; modernity just makes me look that way. Basically I throw myself on the mercy of God every week, praying he'll send me a priest right before checkout.) Her funny and true rant about their vision matches mine. Anyway, besides their future parish looking like the 1970s, what strikes me is they and I agree that the institutional American Catholic Church inevitably at this point will shrink. In their example, the Archdiocese of Chicago, once an archetypal immigrant Catholic success story, will go from 356 parishes to 42. They're pretending the defeat's a victory. "Our church is not rooted in tuck-pointing buildings and repairing furnaces, but in serving the poor, the needy and those in pain." Nice because it's true at face value. Secular smartass: "I serve the poor, the needy, and those in pain by voting Democratic so you can keep your hokey '70s church; I've got Sunday brunch." Apparently we traditionalists and conservative Novus Ordo-ists will no longer exist. But, since you and I know that the libcath vision of the church is dying with the libcaths, so the American Catholic remnant's naturally getting more conservative, how and why do the libcaths think their version of the church will win 50 years from now? Amidst this article's anticipatory self-congratulation, basically for following the Zeitgeist and turning American Catholicism into another mainline Protestant denomination (as many of our American Protestant hosts have always wanted), I don't see an answer to that. Also: let's be ecumenical and look at mainline Protestantism's death spiral. These Catholic reformers going back to before the council meant well (turn the parishes into fervent Christian communities energized by the Bible and the liturgy's text and history, and streamline the church for the space age, and it will only get bigger and better, winning the world for Christ), but not only was their expectation for the laity unrealistic (most people aren't that bright or religious, not wanting to be little priests, essentially) but they fell into the same Christian heresy the mainliners did (which sincere Catholic reformers such as Dom Bernard Botte, who helped create the Novus Ordo, had no time for). By the way, sure, the chancellor of a diocese doesn't have to be a priest or a man and the lay parish council president can be a woman (and why not farm out what's left of the diocesan school system to a private lay foundation, as my archdiocese has done?), but here we have the ruling Christian heresy's fetish/superstition that quota-ing the sexes would make things better. Give credit to women's natural differences from men and that's "gendering," a sin. So... "Just because, OK?" Also, naturally, they think they can change the matter of a sacrament: women deacons. Just like Protestants. In reality, their (per)version of the church will go the way of the Reformed Church in America, for example, demographic invisibility. The opposite of what Catholic reformers before the council imagined. The libcaths' few great-grandchildren will be born non-Catholics; our descendants are more likely to be born Catholic and remain so. And by the way, Archbishop Óscar Romero wasn't really a libcath. Nor was St. John XXIII (learn Latin better and use it more, and don't ordain homosexuals).
  • What the furor about gay rights including same-sex marriage is really about. At least 97% of humanity is straight. That's how and why we reproduce, ideally. (That's in trouble right now in many places, all connected to the issues I'll mention: barrenness by choice, be it aging or contraception, demographic winter, demographic suicide, or why Germany has to import Turkish workers.) Because humanity has concupiscence (being tempted to selfishness as well as lust, good survival impulses gone wrong through original sin), enough of the straight majority fell for the promise of no-strings-attached sex as sold by Planned Parenthood via the Pill and no-fault divorce, the really damaging parts of the already harmful Sixties, that effectively our Protestant and ex-Protestant hosts in America redefined marriage 45 years before Obergefell vs. Hodges; the latter is only an aftereffect, a logical conclusion from straights' sin. And, how convenient as Dana Carvey's caricature Church Lady used to say. Gay rights including gay marriage are a perfect cover for straights to justify their own sins (and their ill effects such as that demographic winter, as well as harming children with divorce/broken homes) by hiding behind a mascot, an oppressed minority who gets sympathy from our Christian-based culture (now ruled by a Christian heresy). "It's the new civil-rights movement!" And... it's a class war, a civil war between whites. (Ask and record uncensored, churchgoing blacks on what they think of homosexuality and watch white liberals squirm.) The War on the Wrong Kind of Whites. Tutsis vs. Hutus. Brahmins want there to be no Vaisyas; they try to assimilate them, through calls for universal higher education and so on, but where that fails, as it usually does, they work to destroy them, to crush their culture, to enact such strict penalties for not falling in line with their ideals that the persecuted Vaisyas admit defeat. America was not meant to be a progressive theocracy, but it is rapidly becoming one. Remember: we already have test acts. When I was growing up, what was left of the old America I saw "say goodbye" when it was defeated and captured in 1973 taught me neither to play along with nor pick on homosexuals. Middle America wants to live and let live; nice Christians the other side took advantage of.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Rock music as a drug, and more

  • Background to the Sixties that was an integral part but by no means all of '50s popular music: Did rock and roll pacify America? Music as soma. Good points. Reminds me of Donald Clarke in The Rise and Fall of Popular Music:
    Heavy metal is the ultimate in phoney rebellion, the logical and boring exaggeration of rock'n'roll as the music to make our parents angry, just as a logical and boring heat death of the Universe may be the ultimate result of the original Big Bang. Heavy metal combines blues-based rock with the portentous doom of progressive pop; it is the loudest music of all; it uses the imagery of vaguely Viking mythical heroes, like the trashy children's cartoon 'He-man': the artwork heroes ripple with muscles, while heavy metal's guitar heroes are usually skinny weeds. Or the HM bands promote images of devil worship, suicide and even Nazism, showing a paucity of any values at all. Yet heavy metal's largely working-class audience is curiously well behaved; the male fans at the concert-as-ritual are succoured by the phallic symbolism of the guitar hero, the females content to play their supportive roles, and all go back to work on Monday morning feeling as though they have rebelled. The cost of their cheap rebellion is that when they are older, they will find that their hearing has been damaged.
    Sidebar: as you gathered from Clarke's slightly condescending liberal tone, metal is actually conservative, built on human nature. Not boomer Beatle nonsense. Men are men, women are women, and as in all rock (originally black slang for sex), sex is celebrated ("the beat sounds like sex"), but no egalitarian nonsense; virtuosity is rewarded, very masculine. Anyway, I'm with Pat Buchanan on loving early rock, which was largely an offshoot of r&b/boogie-woogie (eight to the bar) mixed with honky-tonk country music. Good, timeless music like Chuck Berry and Little Richard plus fun innocuous stuff whose appeal is partly nostalgic: Freddy Cannon, for example. For me, this stuff tapers off to around the beginning of "the end of the world," in 1968. (My soundtrack starts around 1937: Benny Goodman, for example.) Of course I appreciate rock and pop classics during and after the change but recognize that somehow the top rock acts were an instrument of evil; yes, including the Beatles. The girls screamed for Sinatra and Presley too but those acts weren't subversive, just naughty (chicks love bad boys nobody owns). After the end of the the world, around 1973, I get more and more choosy about what I listen to and remember. Stopped consciously following new stuff in 1998. The only new acts that get my attention are in the tradition of the old America: local rockabilly or surf-rock bands such as the Black Flamingos or Internet novelty acts I learned of through car commercials: Pomplamoose, the Les Paul and Mary Ford of YouTube featuring a cute Nordic blonde, whose repertoire includes note-for-note covers of things like "Mr. Sandman."
  • On Park Avenue, a picture of the Catholic Church divided.
  • In praise of the Benjamin Button babes.
  • Being local vs. being rooted.

The decline of the U.S. Marine Corps

It is upsetting to learn that the U.S. Marine Corps may be suffering some decline in the quality of its officers.
The Marines are still an elite; men still volunteer to join them and fakers try to pass themselves off as one of them (Google "stolen valor"). (I don't lie but wear a Navy/Marine leather flight jacket as a tribute.) Because of all the services they've compromised with the Sixties least. Their standards are still high. When the stakes are literally life or death, there's no room for the luxury of political correctness such as quotas. You need men who can fight, regardless, as it should be for every endeavor. That said, some degradation from the larger culture is inevitable. The Sixties cultural revolution has literally made us stupider. So a few good men are harder to find.

And although military and conservative values work well together, as a creature of the U.S. government, the military isn't really conservative but a lab for liberal social engineering. A friend has credited (?!) his being a feminist to his 18 years in the Air Force. If the feds say gay is good then the Marines have to allow same-sex couples.

Anti-war, pro-military here. Our servicemen matter too much to waste them in all our needless foreign wars. (Usually, men who have fought in a war don't want to get into another one.) And putting women in combat is insane; they are the more valuable sex reproductively as well as the weaker on average (so they interfere with the combat mission); every sane society protects them.

U.S. Marines haven't really been used as marines (seagoing soldiers to send fast anywhere, which is why Marines talk Navy lingo; they also do security aboard big warships) maybe since the invasion of Grenada 30+ years ago or even Inchon in Korea in '50. There is obviously still a place for them in modern warfare (rapid deployment force = marines) but like their sister sea service the Navy their last hurrah was in World War II. In their plans, those two naval services are still refighting that war (the carrier task force still seems the Navy's mainstay), which is probably dangerous (a Nimitz-class carrier: a big target for a nimble Third World navy with technology, like guerilla warfare vs. traditional land battles?). Since that war the Corps has largely been an auxiliary of the U.S. Army, as in Iraq.

(The Coast Guard, now part of Homeland Security, is our third naval service, our second navy, specialized as seagoing cops who can enforce the law in America because the rest of the armed forces are not allowed to, and well loved as lifeguards/rescue crews. They can do drug busts at sea; the Navy's not allowed. They have been transferred to the Navy Department in wartime, for World Wars I and II. Shore security of course, manning Navy ships as well as their own — destroyer escorts and amphibious landing ships, convoy escorts and antisubmarine warfare in the Atlantic in WWII: large Coast Guard cutters = small destroyers.)

During World War II the American press agreed to present the European war as the Army's and the Pacific one, mostly covering the ocean of course, as the Navy's including the Marines, but the Army fought in the Pacific too and the Navy was at D-Day (our naval war in the Atlantic was largely vs. Admiral Dönitz's submarines, which made it to our coast, sinking ships; we did the same successfully against Japan). Why weren't the Marines in D-Day, one of the biggest amphibious invasions? Ike didn't like them? Tied up in the Pacific? Not enough of them? (I think by law they're limited to 1/8 the size of the Army.)

Union and the Unia

Gabriel Sanchez these days reminds me of Bruce Jenner, who's still into women, the real reason for what Jenner's doing. (Peter Robinson's made the same comparison describing Westerners turned anti-Western Easterners.) Leaving the church, then more than one post about union, though not on our terms.
  • Cooperation. Neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy can save the West alone, and by “the West” I mean that civilizational accomplishment which began nearly three millennia ago and is rapidly decaying before our very eyes. The good news: this is obviously not the longtime line of what I think is his new jurisdiction, ROCOR, "the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Reality." Their pose comes from 19th-century Russia: take our methods such as scholasticism and catechisms and use them against us to assert their true-church claim. (Very Byzantine: the church is the Russian Empire and its allies.) Owen White once stated many moons ago that for Catholicism and Orthodoxy to (re)unite, one side would have to cease being what it is. My suspicion is that both sides will have to, and all for the greater glory of God. Here Gabriel seems to preach indifferentism, neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy: there is no church or at least no visible church; Protestant. That said, both sides can change nonessentials (my bonafide offer: everything that's not doctrine is on the table) so in that sense both would cease to be what they are. But doctrinally Owen nailed this a few years ago.
  • A comment on "Unia." Here Gabriel has backed off from indifferentism and adopted the theology of Stuart Koehl, "Orthodoxy in communion with Rome," stealth work for Orthodoxy that can charm Catholics at first because it relies on our teaching that both sides have all seven sacraments, which is allowable in Orthodoxy but not at all favored in ROCOR. Like the contrasting approaches to Anglicanism a friend and I have while both holding Catholic doctrine: "Join me in spreading the gospel!" vs. "Fakedty-fake!" Gabriel's smart enough not to approach us the way ROCOR idiots usually do, calling us graceless. It seems that there is still an inclination on the part of some to see “Uniatism,” that is, the incremental reunification of Eastern churches through the establishment of parallel sees, as the only acceptable model of bringing Catholicism and Orthodoxy (Eastern or Oriental) together. Actually not what I say: it's acceptable because of our true-church claim but our goal has been to bring all the Orthodox in at the same time. We're not trying to break up their families, etc., or destroy their rite. But as the late, great Catholic layman turned Russian Orthodox priest turned Russian Catholic priest Brian Keleher/Archimandrite Serge told me in person, we accept individual conversions, quietly. By the way, the Orthodox/Oriental rapprochement ("we're both Orthodox") is very new (and ROCOR at least used to condemn it; they considered the Orientals heretics). The Orientals have a true-church claim too and I think the Orthodox once persecuted them. (Fr. Serge: What's next, the Muslims are really "pre-Nicene Orthodox"? Fellow cultish anti-Western Easterners. The difference between John Walker Lindh and the convertodox is of degree.) If one follows the line proposed by Fr. Robert Taft to its logical conclusion, it would seem that what the Catholic Church “should do” is simply recognize the Orthodox Church as a true, particular church; offer full reciprocal communion to any local Orthodox church that will accept it; and lay aside almost every substantive theological disagreement the two parties have (or at least think they have). This Bob Taft's opinion isn't worth a Zimbabwean dollar as far as the magisterium is concerned; this line really means "Catholics, dump your doctrine by making it optional and all will be well." No, and if that's what you really believe, you belong somewhere else. Such should become Orthodox, because they're not Catholic. (Koehl should have been excommunicated many years ago for teaching heresy online, a powerful modern pulpit.) Most real Greek Catholics, the ethnics, don't think like that at all.
  • Photos: "О кто, кто Николая любит..." Roebling, NJ: St. Nicholas Greek Catholic Church (Ruthenian). Many Eastern Europeans settled in this blue-collar town to work at the factory that made the cables for the Brooklyn and Golden Gate bridges. I also saw a Hungarian flag hanging from a rowhouse there yesterday. I think Gabriel was a Uniate to begin with. Their loyalty to the church runs deep: all their bishops in Eastern Europe said no when the Communists ordered them to leave the church; the first Eastern Christians and indeed first traditional Catholics I knew well were Ukrainians who chose exile over schism right after World War II. So, besides his intelligence, that's why I think he'll come home before the clock runs out. God's very patient. By the way, you DON'T have to latinize to be Greek Catholic (yes, that's a First Communion picture), but most of the time they latinized themselves; that has the right to exist (I was effectively kicked off an anti-Catholic, of course mostly convert Greek Catholic forum for saying that) and as long as it's pre-Vatican II I like it as I do the unlatinized versions. (A visitor to a parish: the OicwRs are even nastier and more anti-Catholic than the convertodox, obviously because they're ashamed of being Catholic. Just like Bob Tur if you don't play along with his pretense: "You stop that now or I'll put you in an ambulance.")

More on "liturgical renewal"

Following up on this.
The vast majority of people who are college-educated never read another book once they finish their degree. I think I read somewhere that the number is around 60%. Of the 40% of college-educated people who do read books, the overwhelming majority of those folks only read one or two a year. The idea that the laity are going to sit around and deeply study the history and rubrics of the liturgy is just nuts. People don't read. Not real books anyway. So, the liturgy has to lived out in the parishes in order for it to really affect people. And the best liturgy for that is... low Mass (reverently and well-celebrated). There is a reason why low Mass was the practical normative form of the Mass prior to the Council. It wasn't because of lazy clergy or bored laity (or at least not entirely because of those things). It was largely because it was a utility Mass, one that Italian peasants and Filipino villagers and North Dakota farmers and Argentine shopkeepers could embrace and follow. Poor parishes could celebrate it. It could be celebrated by one priest riding circuit over a range of missions. Tried and true.
In defense of the old liturgical movement, Thomas Day wrote that when ordinary people had the liturgy's treasures unlocked, when they were taught them, they responded. He tells the story of a Latin-American janitor who knew chant and started singing along at something.
One reason why Vatican II's reforms failed is that they require too much of the laity in terms of reading and study. Yes, get your Bible out and the Documents of Vatican II, and the revised liturgy, and copy of Hans Küng's bestsellers and figure out how to live a Christian life. And nobody is going to read that stuff, nobody read it, and people just kind of went to the figuring it out stage all at once, with no formation or guidance. Result = disaster with bad folk music accompaniment.
That and Küng's a heretic. The pre-conciliar liturgical movement was similarly unrealistic about the laity but their heart was in the right place and they were orthodox.
Yes, true. But Küng was recommended reading after the Council, it wasn't until the 1980s that he was disciplined. The basic problem tho is that all the reformers, both before & after the Council, grossly misunderstood the laity and their concerns. They assumed the laity wanted to basically be little priests -- read and understand a lot about theology, Bible, liturgy, etc. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I once had a priest tell me that his goal was for most of the people in the parish Latin Mass community to know Latin. I said that was a great idea for us to learn the responses. And he looked at me with all seriousness and said, no, that's not enough. People need to know Latin. Okay. Well, guess how it worked out?
Right. For example, Latin's great; it's useful as a template for clear meanings and it's pretty. But as I love to say, my traditionalism isn't about Latin. I know perfectly well that the average Joe Catholic doesn't want to learn it or go back to having services in it.
Most people are too busy with work & family to spend a lot of time learning Latin and studying stuff. Years ago I taught RCIA, and the group of people I taught was highly motivated and even they barely kept up with the reading assignments in the textbook and the Bible. As a wise nun told me, focus on the sacraments and the prayers of the rosary, and let the priest worry about the rest. It worked!
A particularly pernicious form of the clericalism (little-priests syndrome) you describe is the misused extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, often just called a Eucharistic minister, in which the ordain-women cranks get to live their fantasy; Mom gets to pretend to be a priest. That hits me hard as a battle-worn Anglo-Catholic alumnus. The long-term effect is fewer Catholics know and believe what the church really teaches about the Eucharist. The old liturgical movement's correct emphasis on community, derailed from orthodoxy; perverted.

As sympathetic as I am and unsympathetic as you are to the liturgical movement, I think we can agree on a point I made earlier that traditional Catholicism a big tent, not a cult, for the learned or not, the bright and the dim, and the pious and the slobs who know they're sinners. The trouble with "liturgical renewal" old and new is just as you say, it assumes everybody wants to be a pious mini-priest. I'll put it in these terms: just like with the English "Reformation," the founding of your least favorite denomination, Anglicanism, it's a reduction of a universal religion to a bourgeois one for the then-new middle class on up who had the luxury of enough time to read and study. Any other kind of religious practice was looked down on as low-class (the way the English look down on Italians now, for example); it makes the church "respectable" in a pharisaical way Jesus hates; "the carriage trade at prayer" as in Anglicanism, which lost the minds and hearts of the English people (already hurt by being literally forced out of Catholicism) at the "Enlightenment." (Circa 1600 things had settled into a "parish Anglicanism" in which the English were resigned to the new religion but treated it reverently like they used to practice Catholicism; the English Civil War and the "Enlightenment" finished the job for the "Reformation" separating the mother country from Christ.)

Clerical lace and ribbons

Altar boys: chierichetti, as they're called in Italian, little clergy. Substitutes for minor-order clergy; as I say, JROTC for priests.
I dissent on lace and ribbons for boys.
I understand but anything that p*sses off libcaths is good. Ditto fiddleback chasubles.
Fiddlebacks are fine. Lace and bows = nicht so gut!
But a paradox of Catholic culture is that men's men such as Cardinal Spellman, visiting soldiers in Korea, and countless priests wore lace and ribbons as part of their choir attire.
That was a late 19th-century affectation that carried over into the 20th.
It's not necessary but it's not bad either.
Too precious.
I understand but it's a matter of context (Cardinal Spellman and your average tough American parish priest who wore this weren't effeminately "precious") and personal taste. You have a point in that healthy men often weren't expected to really attend or take part in church in Catholic cultures such as Latin America. The priesthood might have been seen as sort of a respectable holding area for the kind of homosexual who likes preciously girly things.
Yet when this stuff was in full, um, flower, the problem of lonely gay priests hitting on underage boys wasn't as big as it became after Vatican II's so-called "renewal" got rid of the lace and ribbons. With that, with the Sixties, you had a perfect storm of men in the priesthood for the wrong reasons (a respectable hidey-hole where nobody would wonder why you weren't married) now being told by secular society and Modernist idiots in the church to "let it all hang out" so they followed their urges and, many criminal cases, lawsuits, and parish closings later, the rest is history. Remember, back then the left was almost OK with sex with kids. (Back when Roman Polanski was partying a lot.) Conservative Catholics noticed the funny stuff but their bishops told them to mind their own business. These weren't lace-and-ribbons priests; these were guitar and "don't call me Father" priests. The church of course teaches it's a sin; the left of course 180ed from its own position and blamed the church (America is Protestant to the bone; anti-Catholic).

I understand in the Roman Rite, strictly speaking, lace (with limits, and varying according to rank?) is just an option on festive liturgical days.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

High church, Italian life, and leftist legal fictions and superstition

  • "High church" or Catholic? "High church" really means "strong church authority," high ecclesiology as in "a high view of the episcopate." Like "high Christology" emphasizes Jesus' divinity. To be fair, I can't confirm this because I don't really know any liberal high-church Anglicans, just some ex-acquaintances online, but I understand they do go to confession and even call themselves Catholic (the Society of Catholic Priests, for example). But of course Fr. Hunwicke's distinction's true, in this way: their concept of the church is messed up, per Articles XIX and XXI; it's man-made, do-it-yourself. As much as they love our tradition, it's on their terms.
  • What is it about the Italians? They smoke more than us, they earn less, their economy is in even worse shape than ours, they spend less on healthcare, and yet — they live longer. Not just a bit, but a whopping 18 months more on average. I'd like to attribute it to family, community, and the church, but they used to be shorter-lived. It's got to be more than "the Mediterranean diet." Like the story of the Greek immigrant told he was terminal so he went home to Greece to die, and lived.
  • Leftist legal fictions and the atheists who love them. They either love or hate science depending on whether they think they can use it against us and, more important, against God.

"From Silence to Participation": The liturgical movement

I'm reading a recent gift (thanks, Bill Tighe), the book From Silence to Participation: An Insider's View of Liturgical Renewal, the 1972 memoir of Dom Bernard Botte, a monk of Mont César Abbey in Louvain (he died in 1980). A fast and fun read for non-scholars who generally know about the legitimate Catholic liturgical movement in the 40-50 years before Vatican II.

When you're a traditionalist after the council it's easy to fall into an echo chamber of your fellows and romanticize the past. That's a reason I value the fact that we're still a living tradition: people I call living links to before the council help us keep it real.

You'd think that seminarians and theologians have long studied liturgical texts and their history but according to Dom Bernard you couldn't be more wrong. He and others, including Anglo-Catholic emulators before the council (the late Fr. Ivan Clutterbuck in Marginal Catholics; shame he didn't come into the church), have written that the liturgy was sort of taken for granted, while being treated practically like a sacred text; it was just something you did as you received it, so the only liturgy course was to learn the rubrics. That has its good points but was also a wasted opportunity for the clergy and laity alike.

(But wasn't part of the charm of Anglo-Catholicism that Oxford dons and other "amateur Catholics" fell in love with the liturgy and its history? Did they study the liturgy like they did the church fathers, so many/most traded the Book of Common Prayer for the Roman Rite? As many of you know, in the beginning it wasn't about liturgy or ceremonial; the Tractarians used the liturgy they were told to, as Catholics did theirs, and "high church" originally meant church authority, as in a high ecclesiology and a high view of the episcopate.)

Dom Bernard starts interestingly with a portrait of Catholic life in his Belgium as he remembered it in 1910, untouched by the movement. You have to factor out liberal bias (he was orthodox like his old movement but enthused over the changes after the council) but you have to admit there was a need for reform, for those who might benefit from it. As in centuries past there were no hand missals for the laity (at one point in the church they were banned, but he doesn't say that); the movement came up with those. You had lots of Low Masses in slurred, mumbled Latin, at which the Bible was neither really heard nor sermonized about, leaving the laity to an unliturgical, devotional (me: even voodoo-ey) Catholicism or just bored and tuned out. The laity's knowledge of the liturgy or directly of the Bible was zilch, according to him. Communion and Mass were viewed and done separately: something I've never seen, Communion (for the few who were prepared, rightly) every 15 minutes on Sunday, interrupting Masses to have a priest in cotta and stole open the tabernacle and commune people at the rail. Not just non-communicating High Masses; people didn't receive at the part of the Mass where we do it now. Instead of going to the sources, the Bible and the rite, priests and laity got most of their religion from theology manuals (me: copies of copies of St. Thomas Aquinas?) and devotions, a copy of a copy. And rather than the ideal of a devout community being edified by the Bible and the liturgy, you had an individualistic faith about avoiding mortal sin, true but one-sided. (Small-o orthodoxy, well-rounded Catholicism: "the old religion" and the emphasis on community are not mutually exclusive.) Some priests (Dom Bernard mentions a Jesuit) pushed that individualism as the modern way (like the devotio moderna and St. Thérèse's Little Way, not liturgically based?) and the best way to compete with Protestantism.

Counter-points: there was a community, Catholicism in its national and ethnic forms. It was orthodox though not ideal. Not ideal because most people aren't that bright or religious. If you're like that, some lower level of "participation" is still open to you.

But for those who were interested, the ressourcement and liturgical movements in pre-conciliar Catholicism were of course good: unlocking the liturgy's treasures. Dom Bernard notes it got no support from Rome for many years but it wasn't condemned either. Naturally, pioneering in that movement were men dedicated to living in Christian communities and to praying the rite, knowing the texts well: Benedictines. The ideals included more High Masses and teaching ordinary parishioners Gregorian chant. And that was great.

Thanks to Rome's strong hand, and probably because a lot of movement priests were orthodox as well as honest scholars, the movement was about teaching people to love the Roman Rite as it had been handed down (still like the unself-conscious, pre-modern way in that respect: compatible with modern study?), with more enrichment from studying the Eastern rites. (Here the Catholic reformers ended up being hypocrites, because wholesale rewrites of liturgy are un-Eastern, even anti-Eastern. The Novus Ordo is "a harsh and even offensive condemnation" of Eastern Christian practices, as Michael Davies wrote, deacons, concelebration, "both kinds," and descending epicleses notwithstanding. Un-ecumenical!) I know the Mass and got better acquainted with the New Testament thanks to the movement (if I want to follow along on Sunday I have my Maryknoll Missal from 1957 with Cardinal Cushing's imprimatur). The questions are how much liturgical change is desirable and how do you implement it? Going back to Dom Bernard's description of 1910 Belgium, I'm reminded of a traditionalist writer from Australia in the '90s: the old form of the rite is inefficient, but bad? No. Anyway, like the old litniks such as Dom Bernard, learned traditionalists know that liturgy can and does change, but ideally organically, so slowly as to be almost imperceptible, and we know that Quo primum tempore didn't set the Roman Rite in stone; rubrics are tweaked all the time. Even more than the Mass, the office, the breviary, was reformed a few times before Vatican II. As Peter Robinson (an Anglican) says, the liturgical movement started to go pear-shaped (off the rails as we'd say in America) just before mid-century 1900s, prompting Pius XII to criticize parts of it in Mediator Dei. (Want to play early church by stripping the rite, assuming the Protestants are right that simple is older and more authentic? OK, game on. Public confession of sins! Years of excommunication and hard penances! The sexes stand separately, and no pews! Hello? By the way, "facing the people" is based on faulty scholarship.)

As we know, the wrong people from the movement won: Annibale Bugnini, for example. The church is still the church of course but they did much harm.

Dom Bernard, a scholar and orthodox, was smart enough to criticize some things after the council, and he said that he didn't expect his reforms to turn everybody into saints overnight, but while the orthodox reformers' intentions were good (let's turn the parishes into lively communities energized by the Bible and the liturgy, and the church will get even bigger and better, winning the world for Christ!), the scores of closed parishes, schools, and convents, empty seminaries, ex-Catholics, and American ethnics who aren't Catholic tell the story: "How's that 'renewal' working out for youse?" American Catholicism was a Christian community to be reckoned with in 1960, not now.

The movement wanted a change from Low Masses junked up with sappy hymns to High Mass and the office, even chanted by ordinary laity, with everybody studying the texts and their history, knowing what they mean. Instead, for all the movement's scholarship (as Dom Bernard notes), you ended up with ... Low Masses junked up with sappy hymns (only now with guitars) AND dumbed down so, until Benedict XVI's reform in English, you didn't learn Catholicism from the text. At least the devotional Catholicism and catechisms in 1910 got that job done, and for average slobs, not just the goody-goody pious. (Traditional Catholicism, "the Christian community": here comes everybody.)

"It's Not About Latin™": Latin is useful as a template so meanings are clear; I'm fine with the vernacular. All we needed was an option to translate everything but keep the old forms, just slightly tweaked. The Orthodox Church in America (OCA), then the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in the USA, among other Eastern churches in America, handled the Sixties just right: just translate and tweak the old religion. (They're failing too, losing their ethnics by the third generation in America for cultural reasons plus Orthodoxy's inadequacy, but Protestantization still isn't the answer.) For all the good intentions of the Dom Bernards and the bishops and experts at Vatican II, we f*cked up.

(Interestingly the book's cover seems to depict a ruined English abbey. The Benedictines and their movement self-destructed, Dom Bernard's assertions notwithstanding.)

Dom Bernard was nice but for a good explanation minus the self-congratulation read Thomas Day, the great interpreter of American Catholicism, faults and all, past and present, for Anglo-Catholic alumni ("Why's it so low-church?").

I actually don't dislike modern stuff before the council, because it still had to serve the old religion. Of course it doesn't have to be baroque or Victorian to be Catholic (just like Byzantium's not the whole church), but those are good things.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Liberal Christianity is self-limiting

The starting point of this conversation: the Church of England consecrates two more women bishops. While I thank Anglicanism for accidentally being a hedge against liberalism years ago and teaching me pre-Vatican II Catholic practices thanks to Episcopal semi-congregationalism, now I understand the nature of the thing, good and bad, thanks to its apologists such as Fr. Jonathan Mitchican (an ex-Catholic but a gentleman), so I don't care what the C of E or Episcopal Church does. They have the right to enforce their teachings among themselves as we do ours.

My snark: And the English are running back to church now that it's so cool. Oh, wait.

My non-snark, just now, which I didn't post in this conversation: my image of Pope Francis saying to them, "Join me in spreading the gospel!" Which is really a nice way of saying "Convert to Catholicism!" Nicer than saying "Fakedty-fake!"

(Blessed Pius IX: "Don't be like the bell tower calling the people into the church but staying outside!")

An acquaintance who's been an Episcopalian for about 10 years (a born Protestant), conservative, at an Episcopal parish because of that hedge of semi-congregationalism and of course he likes the music better (the English choral tradition and great organ music) than the unliturgical dreck in American Catholic parishes (mine being an exception: organ prelude and postlude, Anglican processional and recessional, classic Catholic hymns at the offertory and Communion, and plainchant and polyphony for the Sung Mass itself):
I am opposed to the purported ordination of women. But I know and respect Anglicans who support it. I don't think most supporters of WO really believe that consecrating female bishops will make otherwise secular English people come running back to church in significant numbers because it's "cool." I think they believe it is the right thing to do regardless of whether it makes the church more popular or not. While I strongly disagree, I don't think it helps to oversimplify their motives. The painful fact is that Christianity, especially hierarchical, liturgical Christianity, is pretty marginal in modern Britain (and getting that way in the US) regardless of whether or not it "ordains" women. It's not like lapsed Anglicans in England are flocking to the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Churches in droves either. They're not flocking anywhere.
"I think they believe it is the right thing to do regardless of whether it makes the church more popular or not." I imagine a lot of unthinking people who mean well, believing in God and who are in the habit of going to church, often older people, think "I believe in women's rights," so sure.

But if you think about it: women's ordination is right -> the church was wrong for 1,900 years (cf. Articles XIX and XXI: fallible church) -> since the church gets things wrong, who needs it? "Stay home on Sundays, sin, and be happy, because you only live once."

"B-but... Christian community!"

"Screw that! I have my family, my man or woman, and my friends. I help humanity by voting Democratic, recycling, and saying 'Black lives matter.' Spare me the maudlin crap, the bad music, and the cheap wine. Nobody needs your fake 'community.'" So mainline Protestantism is self-refuting.

That said, yes, thanks in part to Vatican II, American Catholicism is cratering too, our numbers being artificially high by counting Mexican immigration. But there's a turnaround as the liberals age and die. The remnant is overwhelmingly conservative. There's something similar in Episcopalianism, liberal high church, which loves our creeds (not agnostic like older liberals) and traditional liturgies too but has the same logical problem I describe so it's self-limiting; man-made, not the church.
Well, at least in the English cathedrals, the music is still pretty great. Parish churches...more variable. (There has been more than one article about how attendance at cathedrals has actually risen somewhat in recent years as parish churches struggle.)
Not everybody loves classical music and free concerts in themselves don't save souls.
And we talk about the hopeful reunification of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican communions. Ha. Fat chance.
Most people haven't thought like that for about 40 years. The churchmen know it won't happen, because the various groups won't convert to one of them (Anglicans have a kind of true-church claim like the others if you think about it: Catholics or Orthodox would have to change their theology), and the people don't care anymore as churchgoing wanes.
The Archbishop must think he knows better than God.
So did Henry VIII. So even though he and Cranmer never intended women clergy or same-sex weddings, those are logical conclusions from Articles XIX and XXI. But a good Protestant would say no, because the Articles limit the Church of England to what's scriptural. Thing is, scripture's not self-interpreting. Modern(ist) biblical criticism (higher criticism?) has deconstructed it so you can pretend it means the opposite of what it says. Anyway, that game has little appeal for normal people so most just don't go to church now, with a few becoming Catholic or evangelical (the Orthodox convert fad is too small to matter).

In other news, unsurprisingly ACNA is backing away from women's ordination; it and the homosexualism they oppose are connected. Interestingly, I've read that in the '70s conservative Anglicans predicted that WO would lead to same-sex weddings and the pro-WO people denied it, but at least one of the first women priests was an outspoken lesbian so there you go.

And in still other news, hooray for the Missouri Synod, our cousins, for enforcing THEIR teachings. I don't lose sleep over creationism vs. evolution. Catholics can believe in a six-day creation and young universe but don't have to. Darwin's random chaotic theory of evolution isn't the only one. The points are God started creation, stepped in and made man, unique among creatures in both having flesh and sharing some of his qualities, and man sinned. Science is not a threat (St. Thomas Aquinas: our doctrine is about faith and reason working together); if anything it backs up our teachings. By the way, nobody has proved one species evolves into another.

And yet more news that's not really news: with Pope Benedict's reform to the Novus Ordo in English, we've won, but the liberals are still fighting. A Manhattan parish priest erases George Rutler's legacy. Of course I'm not leaving the church because of this, either pretending again that Byzantium's the church (I didn't really buy that for long) or heading back to Anglican semi-congregationalism, as if a club were the church. We have our doctrine and the Mass at this place is still the Mass (thanks, Benedict the Great), but some Catholics are jerks, even heretics (Protestant wannabes). Again, not news.

From the Greek Catholic option: how's that "renewal" working out for youse? Still better than the Novus Ordo but the same general idea.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My favorite mainstreamish presidential candidate and more

  • Roissy: Trump's got game. Too mainstream for my vote but I wouldn't mind if he won. Reminds me of a bit from HBO's "Not Necessarily the News" 30 years ago: "Donald Trump: he doesn't want to be your husband. He doesn't want to be in your family. He doesn't want to be your friend. No, he wants to be your president. He speaks his mind regardless and gets what he wants, personally and professionally. Think he's up for the job? So do we. What America needs right now. Donald Trump: a real son of a bitch."
  • Rod Dreher's hypocrisy. Besides simply being angry with him for leaving the church, this gets me. As his most vocal critics note, one minute he's preaching strategic withdrawal from the world, but next thing you know, he's vacationing in Europe or dining at one of New Orleans' great restaurants. Not that good Christians can't enjoy the high life, but you know what I mean. Recently I checked the feed for his blog (I don't that often) and found this sob story and fundraising appeal. Hmm. If his schismatic priest's travails mean so much to him, why not forgo a luxury or two? The man's basically his house chaplain anyway. By the way, ROCOR's a cult. Nicely illiberal like Russia but still. If you hate this country's traditional culture including its church (birettas, novenas, and all) so much, Russia's not Communist anymore; I'll even chip in for your one-way plane fare. Anyway, for real strategic withdrawal, I'm not for the Benedict option but rather the Volodymyr (Sterniuk) option that stays in the church no matter what.
  • From here (subscribers only): Training the Ukrainian military is turning out to be a boon for Army note takers studying the warfare of rivaling Russia, according to military officials. The 300-some U.S. Army trainers find themselves vicariously exposed to warfare tactics, presumably stemming from indirect Russian participation in the conflict, that they would not otherwise experience. Among those is a dense rain of artillery and rockets as well as electronic-warfare equipment so disruptive that workarounds must be found to keep up Ukrainian forces' communications in combat. We should not be training the Ukrainian military. Why the hell does our elite want a war with Russia? Is it that scared of Putin's illiberalism? Putin's great for Russia, by the way. He promotes the best in his culture; our elite promotes the worst in ours. Russians love him because he literally saved many of their lives by pulling the country out of a nosedive under gangsters, under Yeltsin. Slavs aren't democratic. They have strongmen because they like them. Anyway, I'm supposed to be suckered into all this anti-Russianism as an old Cold Warrior and a Catholic. No. As a Catholic I try to look at the big picture. And Ukrainian nationalism is really nothing to do with the church, nor Irish for that matter.
  • Bob Wallace: I for one welcome our new Eve overlords. Femininity of course is wonderful; God made it. Like anything, separate it from God's plan and it becomes destructive.
  • Ex-Army criticizes the non-aggression principle, a libertarian staple I don't think I have a problem with. It's not pacifism. You can and will fight; you just don't start something. Christian.
  • T.S. Eliot's American roots. A great man of the last century: artistically innovative while being rooted in reactionary views.
  • Kathy Shaidle: Shame or something like it.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cultural appropriation, anti-bullying, and more

  • Something Catholic: Why Christopher Dawson loved the church.
  • Cultural appropriation. You want to respect your neighbors by not being rude, but of course some appropriation's fine: it inevitably happens when peoples of different cultures are forced to live in close proximity and a certain overlapping of cultural traditions results.
  • That non-story about the Queen doing a Nazi salute when she was only around 7. The interesting thing is it matches the official unofficial story about Edward VIII, the uncrowned king. He was the Prince William of his day, very popular, so of course the British were upset he had to step down. So the government leaked a story about his really being a Nazi so it had to get him out of the way, to make them feel better. I understand the real story is much simpler: the Church of England said no way to his marrying a (weird, unattractive) divorcée. Historical irony: their traditional teaching on divorce and remarriage was still the same as ours.
  • Anti-bullying by Pauline Hawkins. Yes. That said, kids know egalitarianism is nonsense and resist it, and being in school, by forming their own hierarchies. How about a golden mean between the well-meaning social-justice warriors and the kind of conservative who scoffs, saying some toughening up does a kid good? Ian doesn’t have to be friends with everyone, but he must be respectful to everyone. Children also need to know that there’s a big difference between wanting to be friends with everyone and picking friends wisely. Wanting to be popular will lead to bad choices and disrespecting other people to achieve that popularity. ...the unwritten social rules in school teach children the art of self-preservation — children figure out quickly who not to upset, how to stay under the radar and with whom not to be friends... A lot of that's just social skills in a fallen world. Keep your head down and get your work done. Some hard knocks are part of growing up (the case against helicopter parents and spoiled millennials) but of course adults have to step in before it turns into Lord of the Flies, because kids by nature aren't quite yet civilized.
  • The fall of Gawker? Hope so.

A great Catholic of the East, and more

  • The good news: The Holy See has recognized Metropolitan Andrew's (Sheptytsky) "heroic virtue" so he's now "Venerable," meaning the cause for his canonization is under way. I've said he should be the patron saint of Roman Catholics called to the Eastern rites as he was. (A Polish nobleman who became head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.) Of course the mainstream with its ruling ideology doesn't care about that. (If the Orthodox rejoined us it would probably double down on harassing us. It would hate Russia twice as much as now.) The bad news: it's being presented as if political correctness is the criterion, even by the Catholic press. Of course saving victims is good, and the Jews even deserve an additional nod as the people of the Old Testament. Political correctness is the ruling Christian heresy with much overlap so it's easy to confuse it with its source. Speaking of "heroic virtue," I've proposed another candidate, Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sterniuk), a model for what we should do if political correctness or ISIS really goes after us. In modern cities he saved a traditional Catholic church by running it completely underground during prolonged persecution.
  • Quite possibly everything wrong about the Western understanding of marriage and sex (male/female) in one article. Prepare to have your brain leak out your ear... "My wife, the swinger." I'm fairly sure Roissy has written about this sort of thing. YUCK! The worst aspects of the sexes, switched. Given human nature as God made it, obviously the wife is tired of this wimp who won't stand up to her, or even get a job and support her, and will probably leave him soon. (See the Athenos commercial above: hooray for Yiayia.) She doesn't even have a selfish economic incentive to stay, other than he's a built-in babysitter and maid. "Yes, I too enjoy sexual carte blanche. I just don’t use mine as much as my wife uses hers. What’s important is equality of opportunity, not outcome." HA! That means NO woman is interested in him. He has nothing to offer them. I'll put it this way: can you imagine this poor fellow on the cover of a romance novel? Fifty Shades of Househusbandry? Me neither. Well-to-do women watched "Mad Men" for Don Draper (Matthew Weiner's ideology was plausible deniability). Can't imagine that about this sap, or a "reality" TV show about him. For one thing, it would probably end up telling too much of the truth (vs. egalitarian modern relationship advice, which is disinformation) to pass censorship. Maybe a sitcom on HBO but it would be a raunched-up version of the dopey-dad stock character.
  • Still a man: As if his looks and voice didn't already tell you. Robert "Zoey" Tur vs. truth-telling Ben Shapiro. "What about your genetics, sir?" "You cut that out now or you'll go home in an ambulance." P.S. Diane Sawyer: real, spectacular, and even used to be conservative but a sellout.
  • Ex-Army: We're supposed to think of Roof and Abdulazeez in completely different terms. Of course the ruling ideology is hypocritical, but hey, "reason" is just a white male construct. The Kulturkampf is a war on the Wrong Kind of Whites, our Hutus.
  • Mark Steyn and the Anti-Gnostic on Donald Trump.
  • LRC: Education: take the federal nickel, get the federal noose.
  • How Facebook's news feed works. If you ignore a person's posts long enough, it stops showing them to you even though he's still on your friends list, yet its algorithms "show you lots of stuff you have no interest in." It can be a lifeline (for example, for those with disabilities*) but it can also be a trick to help someone surveil you and a substitute for real relationships, deteriorating in this age, which weakens natural ties among people, traditional communities. *Got to give the left credit. Christian-based though heretical, they're right that "people with disabilities" is nicer than "the disabled," the latter being "labeling."

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Presidential timber: Jeb Bush vs. Donald Trump

On an unkind post I linked to, from Roissy on why Jeb Bush's not presidential timber.

Offensive. And friggin’ hilarious. First intelligent promotion for Ass Clown Trump I’ve heard so far.
There are many good reasons for not supporting Jeb Bush. The fact that he's stayed with a woman who's been with him since they were teenagers is not one of them.

Trump is a loser by the Jesus standard. By the Herod standard, maybe a winner.

Gadzooks. Wealthy man marries high-school sweetheart, converts to Catholicism in part due to the relationship, has children by her, stays with her as she ages and hits the wall = obvious loser who is good for nothing. Wealthy man goes from relationship to relationship trading "up" to various supermodel type hotties, etc. = the right stuff. Gadzooks. This is precisely the problem with the manosphere stuff. I am not a Jeb supporter, but good night! To object to him on this basis is not just frivolous, it is evil. Evil, evil, evil. Is that the kind of social behavior you want to condemn? If this is what passes as "conservative" commentary now, well pardon my French but this country is f#$*ked.
A good man isn't necessarily a good president.

Like many of you, I see where Roissy's wrong here, so while I was away I regretted posting that link, but to give him credit, let's put this in Rob Fedders' better manosphere terms: if Jeb were presidential material he would have attracted and been loving and faithful to someone sexier to begin with, an alpha male making an alpha female his queen consort. Not Trump's using women by trading up. Think Mitt and Ann Romney. While Jeb's love for and loyalty to Columba are in ways commendable, that as a young man his mating options were so limited (either the more attractive women, such as in his class, rejected him or he didn't have the courage to try for them when his class and money made it easier than for many of us) seems a sign of weakness, such as simply a lack of confidence, you don't want in a president. (Then again maybe he and Columba really are a sweet early and lasting love story.) Trump's act has always been confident (which of course women love) and now includes some blunt truth-telling. More presidential. Trump's story: born rich, which reinforced what confidence he already had, and he's managed to stay rich. (Much like Mitt Romney.) Smart. So the questions remain: are the rest of his views sound and is he serious?

Trump's crack about McCain insults prisoners of war. Rather he should have asked if McCain really did collaborate with the North Vietnamese when in prison, if we really did abandon POWs in Vietnam, and if McCain is part of that cover-up. Aside from that, unlike many other combat veterans, McCain apparently has never seen a foreign war he doesn't like so I've never supported him.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

"The second coming," Trump and his women, and more

  • From here at MCJ: "The second coming." These mainline Protestants are desperate try-hards; the secular liberals they're trying to impress aren't impressed. The mainline is dying off. But interestingly there are still lots of Methodists, quiet as is their way (the old silent majority, defeated and captured since 1973), and officially they still oppose same-sex marriage. You realize of course that the whole sex (of any kind) without reproductive consequences schtick is self-limiting.... Even if you don’t believe that man, woman, and marriage were designed by God. These people won’t be happy until they can buy a designer baby from a vat. As Steve Sailer points out, they accuse us of uncharity yet they practice eugenics, and they don't buy their own bullsh*t on "diversity." (Plenty of tacit racial and class segregation, which the elite knows how to get away with.) The "pathological altruism" of our ruling Christian heresy is often consciously sincere, but this is really to make war on us white squares.
  • The Anti-Gnostic: The Stranger. The ruling Christian heresy calls this "othering," a sin. Sed contra, Sailer: normal people, conservatives, love the people they're actually around (family, region, ethnicity, race); liberals leapfrog their loyalty, "loving humanity" (badly imitating Christian universalism) but hating people locally.
  • Heartiste (Roissy): The measure of a man by the women he keeps. Score another one for the Donald. He's fun: "Can't scare the Hair." But I'm wary too. Re: corvinus; instead read Rob Fedders' manosphere map. Recognizing and obeying superiors is normal, a social skill. Women love sociopaths (sociopaths are charming) but real alphas, the superiors, aren't that. Bob Wallace: alphas are really fathers, patriarchs.
  • Surprising? No. The priest who undid Blackfen has come clean by coming out and quitting at least the parish. If this happened to the Tridentine Mass in my archdiocese, I'd look for conservative Novus Ordo, and at least the baseline in the parishes is Pope Benedict's Novus (I actually go to a liberal parish when on vacation, because that's the only Mass available; it's Catholic because of Benedict and in spite of those people), and there's the Greek Catholic option (Ukrainian like my first traditional Catholic liturgy, and Ruthenian).

Friday, July 17, 2015

What average Americans will murder for, and more

  • Of course Planned Parenthood harvested and sold aborted babies' body parts and will get away with it. Because PP sells the idea of sex without consequences; people will murder for that. The Pill and no-fault divorce defeated the old Middle America; abortion became legal everywhere in America in 1973.
  • A man with emotional problems spending his fortune on plastic surgery doesn't deserve a sports-heroism award. It's probably a fetish.
  • On another Mohammedan Arab shooting Americans. This is really a civil war between the liberal white elite and conservative whites. That elite hates the American people and is using these Muslims as a weapon against us by bringing them in. Of course they think they can control the Muslims; they can't. As for the Muslims, stay out of their lands, stop supporting Israel, and just buy oil from them, and they'll probably leave us alone.
  • The hipsters are getting tired of mid-century modern. Good. No more people being ironic with it to make fun of it. More for me. When demand drops, so do prices. Started doing it before I saw "Mad Men." Bringing it back because I realized I can. Ransoming the stuff piece by piece, giving it a home again.
  • Unsurprisingly, "The Astronaut Wives' Club" is getting awfully 2015 preachy. Like I said, it's golden-era style ("Mad Men" raised the bar for accuracy), a lot of real history, and beautiful women, but with wooden acting and dialogue, like a high-school play parroting Sixties platitudes. Bet they're tempted to rewrite history. Have Trudy Cooper and the first black astronaut be the first on the moon.
  • Like with World War II: the real story is the Soviets won; the Germans wanted Russia's land but poor planning including bad timing (their hubris and the Russian winter) defeated them. These days Americans "learn" that it was a noble American fight to save the Jews, won almost singlehandedly by the Tuskegee Airmen and the Japanese-American 442nd Infantry Regiment. (Our ruling Christian heresy, cheering for the oppressed.) You're not supposed to learn that the Soviets murdered more than the Nazis.
  • The last Divine Liturgy in Hagia Sophia was in 1919. Heroic Greek Orthodox. Too bad the Turks pushed the Greeks back into schism after they took over.
  • The English martyr I've visited. The story of the finding of St. John Southworth's body.
  • Throne and Altar on "strong female characters" who aren't feminine: Even obvious truths deserve to be stated. Physical toughness is not attractive in women. No guy was ever aroused at the thought of a girl who could beat the crap out of him. Men are attracted to vulnerability and cuteness, not warrior toughness. Also, this applies to "Mad Men": Liberals can never make good entertainment without slipping in some conservative bits, can they? Matthew Weiner meticulously re-created the era so he could smash it like a piñata, but he unintentionally triggered nostalgia. Well-to-do women watched because of Don Draper.

Mixed marriages and how to convert people

A conversation about this post:
Ah, Orthodoxy: the fashion of Tsars and Sultans since the Fall of Constantinople (defended by the last Emperor of the East, who died a Catholic).
What strikes me here is the difference between the hyperdox Hermans stressing their true-church claim so they'd understandably discourage a mixed marriage or dare to try to convert the Catholic spouse, and the real Orthodox, normal people who date who they're attracted to and fall in love; their clergy know their sect is dying in America so they push the "sister churches" etc. jazz instead, trying to get us to raise the kids from those marriages in their church. Understandable for cultural survival; I almost feel sorry for them.

Bet it's fun to compare, say, Orthodox evangelism in America, such as it is, to what really happens at American ecumenical meetings:
Orthodox bishop: Come on! Raise the kids in our church. "Sister churches"! Pleeeeease? I'll be your friend!
Catholic bishop: Forget it, Stan. And hey, wasn't one of your priests calling us graceless just now?
Orthodox bishop: Aw, you're mean!
We should do something like that with the Episcopalians if ecumenism isn't dead yet: "Leo? Hi, Tom Wenski here. Remember when you received one of our priests and made that crack about the Inquisition? Well, the ecumenical service's canceled indefinitely. So long." Ditto to other Protestants who host episcopi vagantes' ordinations of so-called "Roman Catholic Womenpriests."
Yes, the Orthodox are in a bind, dying out in their ancestral homelands and unable to keep the youth engaged here in the West. But surely this is part of the bad fruit harvested on account of the excessive ethnodolatry of the modern Orthodox? Without Rome, without a sense of the universal, it just becomes worship of the tribe. Back when I was in college I had a great attraction to Eastern Orthodoxy, and used to attend Mass at the local Greek Orthodox parish on occasion. I remember talking to a woman who was a convert once, and I asked her what the most unexpected part of her conversion was. She said, words to the effect that she thought she was becoming Greek ORTHODOX but it turned out she was becoming GREEK Orthodox.

But, it must be remembered, the Orthodox for all their problems aren't like the Anglicans — the Orthodox have valid sacraments and are an estranged part of the Church, if in an irregular situation. The Anglican "Church," alas, remains fakedty-fake.
That reminds me of Holy Apostles Church in southeastern Virginia, which is joint Catholic/Episcopal. As you can imagine, alas, it never was precocious Anglo-Papalists and kind traditional-ish "Romans"; it's Sixties ecumenism. (From when mainline Protestants were strong in America and people wrongly thought the churches were about to merge: either the Anglicans were becoming Catholic or, ha, the Catholic Church was becoming mainline like American Protestants always wanted.) American Catholic liberals and Episcopalians; a few people in mixed marriages, mostly older now. It's orthodox, but barely; the Catholic bishop makes sure of that. They don't concelebrate or intercommune. It has two altars side by side where the Catholic and Episcopal priests do their respective things. I don't know if they've ever had an Episcopal woman priest; not as far as I know. I think it's endangered because the Catholic diocese doesn't have enough priests.

As you know, I'm as against indifferentism as you are, but yelling fakedty-fake often isn't the best way to bring Anglicans into the church. Yes, thanks to Vatican II, in England some Catholic and Anglo-Papalist (Forward in Faith: would-be Catholic; no women priests) parishes did things together: for example, an event starting with a prayer service at the Anglican parish church, then a joint procession, then Benediction at the Catholic church. Makes sense; all recognized the Catholic sacrament. Now at least some of those Anglicans are the British ordinariate.

(Related: Taizé co-founder Max Thurian ended up a Catholic priest, still in Taizé.)

It seems to me that mixed marriages with Episcopalians aren't that much of a problem, unlike Catholic/Orthodox, exactly because we're less similar. My guess is the Episcopalians now don't have a problem with the kids being Catholic, even though they don't like us (they think "Romans" are low-class and bigots); they don't require the Episcopal spouse to raise them Episcopal.

They may not like us but they have always recognized our orders, for example, which showed the way into the church for me.