Sunday, August 16, 2015

Goldwater, Catholic and trans, cars, and more


  • From 2012: A choice not an echo. I have this campaign pin, on my desk next to a Nixon '60 matchbook. Goldwater should have been president in '64 (he sold out later) — heck, Nixon should have been in '60 — but of course Johnson rode Kennedy's celebrity (decades of his family's self-promotion as the dad had wanted to be president; cortisone-created good looks from treatment for his Addison's disease — arguably he was too sick to be president; and "martyrdom") to an easy win. Johnson was a mixed bag; a well-meaning liberal but of the good, old America. He wanted to treat the poor and blacks decently. (So did Nixon. Trouble was much of the civil-rights stuff was unconstitutional; why all principled conservatives opposed it. Freedom of association.) Vietnam made sense (good old liberals like Kennedy and Johnson were anti-Communist to the bone) but fight to win. MacArthur opposed the war as it was being conducted: without a real coalition of allies to win, get out, he told Johnson as he was dying, in '64. If it really wasn't strategically important (losing seemed not to hurt our security), then yes, stay out. (The John Birch Society was split on Vietnam.)
  • Catholic and trans. I'm slightly acquainted with someone like this. Aoife Hart has returned to the church, is singly chaste (celibate only implies being so, simply meaning "not married"), and doesn't claim to be an actual woman. He's open-minded enough to criticize some trans stuff. So what is the sin in what he's doing? Self-harm, as in hormonal and surgical damage? Self-indulgence, that is, still denying biological and spiritual reality? Parallel to homosexuals: be honest with yourself about your orientation but if you don't sin, then no problem. There are homosexuals who don't attack the church's teachings. Reminds me of longtime blogger Huw Richardson: he's Orthodox first, and secondly, honest about being gay, but don't try to sell him on "gay Orthodoxy." "Maybe I'm wrong." As far as I know, the church teaches what Hart's confessor told him after a suicide attempt: reality is; bear your cross. And there's the regret literature (paralleling ex-gays) that says "transitioning" doesn't solve the underlying unhappiness, etc.
  • Too soon? A little Catholic humor as I listen to the King on the radio in the hours before Mass. Contrary to popular belief, today in 1977 Elvis Presley wasn't assumed into heaven. A Southerner through and through: "I'm not the King, honey. Jesus Christ is the King. I'm just a singer." Actually today is the feast of St. Rocco (a French nobleman who gave up his riches and worked with plague victims in Italy); some Italian parishes and neighborhoods are celebrating. I think it's outranked by the Sunday, Deus, in adjutorium meum intende, in our '62 missal (traditionally outranked by Jesus' grandfather, St. Joachim?).
  • Cars: Riverside, NJ. A '57 Dodge Custom Royal (Virgil Exner's Forward Look, thus the Christine family resemblance), a '58 Olds, a '59 Chevy, and a '60 Chevy still being worked on.
  • The picture on my TV. A Philco.

1 comment:

  1. Vietnam is completely exasperating to me. We piddled around for years, and then Nixon applied enough pressure on the VC until America lost interest in defending the south. And then they retook it. Fast forward to now, and Vietnam trades with us and asks us for help against China. I know the risks of hindsight, but I wish to God we'd let France twist in the wind on that one.

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