Saturday, October 30, 2004

From via blog member Dave McLaughlin
Happy Halloween
From David’s Daily Diversions
Ending feudalism in Scotland
... in pre-Reformation Scotland executions for witchcraft were almost unknown. After the Reformation, it has been alleged that as many as 3,500 people were killed in the witch hunts.
From Dappled Things

Todd Chenault holds a portrait of Fr Henry David Jardine with St Mary's high altar in the background

Is Kansas City’s Anglo-Catholic Episcopal church haunted?
(Cue Bach's 'Toccata and Fugue' on the organ.) Is such a thing even possible? Is it a psychic imprint like a recording, an apparition of the person (The Sixth Sense combined aspects of both - the ghosts initially seem stuck at the time of their death) or a demon pretending to be him? And is the late Fr Henry David Jardine an AC martyr who died accidentally, rather like Fr Alexander Mackonochie, or the disreputable man and suicide his enemies made him out to be? Discuss.

St Mary's sanctuary

(I didn't know KCMO had ACs! Other than the stealth ones at a conservative Central church who taught me in Sunday school.)
Eastern churches
From Catholic News Service via
Katolik Shinja

A boy lights a candle in the Melkite Catholic cathedral in Aleppo, Syria, Oct. 24. Syrian Christians are keenly aware of the deep roots of Christianity in their country. (CNS photo by John Thavis)

The homeland and church of our Samer al-Batal. Note how thoroughly Arabic and low-key the iconostasis is - inculturated and entirely Catholic.
LRC picks
Saddam was friendly to Christians
Mr Bush's handlers' war is not

Reminder: a Greek Orthodox, Michel Aflaq, co-founded the Ba'ath Party.

The war is not another Kosovo, Constantinople, Lepanto or Vienna.

The need to protect Israel is the subject of daily articles in conservative publications, both online and dead tree. Pat Robertson even threatened to form a third party if the Republicans ever waver in their full-throated support of the State of Israel. Such concern for the plight of Christians abroad is non-existent.

Perhaps if the Assyrians and others renounced Christ and embraced the Talmud, American Christians would care what happens to them?
One factor may be that Mr Bush's brand of Protestantism and/or those of his followers don't see these Catholics as Christians.

Reminds me of Drake Adams' speculation of the wild-sounding but not impossible outcome that the Evangelicals may end up Muslims. (Posted on this blog - search to find the entry.)

The Vietnam-Iraq parallel
It would profit us to think about how the Vietnamese communists managed to win the war while losing every battle. In sum, they wore out our will to fight. They were home and had no place to go. We were foreign invaders tethered to a 12,000-mile supply line. The people of Vietnam supported them because they, like most people, resent foreign invaders. The people of America came to the point where they withdrew their support because they discovered that they had been lied to by the U.S. government and because, in the end, they didn't really care whether Vietnam was communist or corrupt. And that was the choice: communism or a corrupt government that didn't give a hoot about democracy.

Everything in the above paragraph applies to Iraq, with one exception. In Iraq, we are tethered to a supply line that is only about 8,000 miles long. But we are the foreign invaders, and the insurgents, most of them, are at home and have no place to go. The people support the insurgents, not us. Furthermore, the Iraqis want us out more than we want to stay. Fewer than half of Americans think the war was a good idea, and as American casualties mount, as they inevitably must, eventually Americans will decide that they don't care whether Iraq is a dictatorship or a democracy.
Choosing between Bush and Kerry ...'is like being asked which of the Menendez brothers you like better'.
- William Lind

Friday, October 29, 2004

A former Marine speaks
Bin Laden: US can avoid another attack
"Your security is not in the hands of Kerry, Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands," bin Laden said, referring to the president and his Democratic opponent. "Any state that does not mess with our security has naturally guaranteed its own security."

Admitting for the first time that he ordered the Sept. 11 attacks, bin Laden said he did so because of injustices against the Lebanese and Palestinians by Israel and the United States.
As I was saying: stop propping up the Zionist state and stop stationing imperial troops in Arabia and the terrorists have no motive.

Entry on this from’s blog
It's called blowback.
From The Stranger
This year’s Halloween costume ideas
This one's making the rounds online
From Katolik Shinja
The Christians of Iraq are under attack
What Bush's handlers hath wrought
From James Harris
Those who served vs. chickenhawks
JH: This is simply sent in the context of the mudflinging that has gone on. Take a moment to look through it. Not that military is the best answer to conflict, but these records speak for themselves.

A case could be made that this will be the last election in which military service in Vietnam has any political currency. For the record, it's worth noting who really served among the heavyweights in each of the major political parties. There are some surprises here. Be sure to read to the end where the TV pundits who jabber about military service have their military credentials exposed. The hypocrisy is staggering.

Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-'47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, three Purple Hearts.
John Edwards: did not serve.
Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
Max Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam.
Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-1953.
Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII, receiving the Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.
Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars, and Soldier's Medal.
Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.
Mike Thompson: Staff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.
Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
Pete Stark: Air Force 1955-57
Chuck Robb: Vietnam
Howell Heflin: Silver Star
George McGovern: Bomber pilot, many missions. Silver Star & DFC during WWII.
Bill Clinton: Avoided service with student deferments. Entered draft but received 311.
Jimmy Carter: Annapolis grad. Seven years in the Navy.
Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
John Glenn: Marine Corps, WWII and Korea; six DFCs and Air Medal with 18 Clusters.
Tom Lantos: Said to have served in Hungarian underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg.
Wesley Clark: U.S. Army, 1966-2000, West Point, Vietnam, Purple Heart, Silver Star. Retired 4-star general.
John Dingell: WWII vet
John Conyers: Army 1950-57, Korea
Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
Tom DeLay: did not serve.
House Whip Roy Blunt: did not serve.
Bill Frist: did not serve.
Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
George Pataki: did not serve.
Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
Rick Santorum: did not serve.
Trent Lott: did not serve.
Dick Cheney: did not serve. Had "other priorities." Several deferments, the last for wife's pregnancy.
John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.
Jeb Bush: did not serve.
Karl Rove: did not serve.
Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked Max Cleland's patriotism.
Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
Vin Weber: did not serve.
Richard Perle: did not serve.
Douglas Feith: did not serve.
Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
Richard Shelby: did not serve.
Jon Kyl: did not serve.
Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
Christopher Cox: did not serve.
Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
Donald Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as aviator and flight instructor.
George W. Bush: six-year National Guard commitment (in four years); questions about his service remain.
Ronald Reagan: made war propaganda movies.
Gerald Ford: Navy, WWII
Phil Gramm: did not serve.
John McCain: Navy officer; Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.
Bob Dole: Army officer, WWII.
Chuck Hagel: two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, Vietnam.
Duke Cunningham: nominated for Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Silver Stars, Air Medals, Purple Hearts.
Jeff Sessions: Army Reserve, 1973-1986
J.C. Watts: did not serve.
Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
G.H.W. Bush: Pilot in WWII. Shot down by the Japanese.
Tom Ridge: Bronze Star for Valor in Vietnam.
Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
Clarence Thomas: did not serve
Pundits & Preachers
Sean Hannity: did not serve.
Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a 'pilonidal cyst.')
Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
Michael Savage: did not serve.
George Will: did not serve.
Chris Matthews: did not serve.
Paul Gigot: did not serve.
Bill Bennett: did not serve.
Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
Bill Kristol: did not serve.
Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
Michael Medved: did not serve.
So interesting which party and people wrap themselves in the American flag...
The Catholic faith
Dappled Things (Fr James Tucker)
Common pastoral problems and the Catholic answer
On the many people who don't live up to the church's sexual teachings
Eastern churches
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal

In Syria, Melchite archbishop says church must make its presence known
Ecumenical relations in Aleppo are excellent. In 2002, the archbishop took them a quantum leap forward by inaugurating an Orthodox-Catholic Church of St. Joseph. In this pioneering arrangement, Catholics use the church in the morning and Orthodox in the evening.
S al-B: One recalls the examples of pre-Vatican II œcumenism such as the gesture mentioned in the Catherine de Hueck Doherty blog entry below.

S al-B: When a Melchite relative of mine passed away, the funeral reception in Damascus was held in the basement of Holy Cross Orthodox Church and Melchite Archbishop Isidore Bat'teekha was kind enough to attend and offer his condolences. There is co-operation and good relations between the Churches in Syria, and that is good. Imagine this sort of fraternal conduct between Orthodox and Eastern Catholics existing in Slavic countries.
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Kerry against Bush
County Kerry, that is
What would St Brendán say?
Saint Brendan must be turning in his grave to think that the message of Christianity he spent his life preaching, and, introduced to America is now been used by Bush to spread fear, hate and war in order to gain money, power and oil. Saint Brendan was one of many missionaries who took up from where St Patrick had left off, spreading Christ's word of peace, harmony, tolerance and love. St Brendan was the first person to bring that message to America in the 6th century. He did not do this for his own personal benefit, nor had he ulterior motives. Also, unlike Bush, Brendan did not bid others to do his deeds, instead he risked his life and travelled across an unchartered ocean to spread his message.
DM: Ciarraí abú!

Incidentally as many already know John Kerry isn't Irish and never claimed to be. His Jewish paternal grandparents from Eastern Europe converted to Roman Catholicism and changed their name after coming to America. Not saying anything about it makes sense (in a dodgy way?) in Massachusetts, where his nominal (and in his case, quisling) RC membership and the Irish name I'm sure carry some political clout. I think his mother was of WASP heritage. (Rabbinically he's not Jewish either.) So actually his background is a lot like mine - mostly WASP with a touch of something else (that's not Irish).
Eastern churches
From blogforlovers

Patriarch of Constantinople will visit Rome
Where Pope John Paul II will give him the relics of church fathers who are two of the three founding fathers of Eastern Orthodox theology, SS. John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzen (the third is St Basil the Great, who wrote many of the Byzantine Rite's greatest prayers). Correction: Patriarch Bartholomew is not 'the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians'. It doesn't work that way. He happens to be one of several co-equal patriarchs in a communion, much like the Anglican Communion in that aspect. His title of 'Ecumenical' refers to Istanbul/Constantinople's (cue song performance by They Might Be Giants) former status as the capital of the eastern Roman Empire, which historians much later called Byzantine. The empire was the oikoumene in imperial thought so anything to do with the capital had that adjective as an honorific.
From Katolik Shinja
Small is beautiful
E.F. Schumacher, Catholic (buy his book)

Damascus neighbourhood of Kashkol a refuge for thousands of Iraqi Christians
LRC blog pick
Russell Kirk’s 10 articles of belief
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
A Chile reception for el Bushling

Thursday, October 28, 2004

From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal

Mel Gibson on embryonic stem-cell research
Catholic common sense on Halloween
A story from a Russian Orthodox monk:
A few years ago 2 fathers came to my apartment with their little boys (they were not dressed as monsters). When they saw my long beard, I could tell by the looks in their eyes who they thought I was. I gave them some candy, and as they walked to their fathers, I said, "See you at Christmas. Hoo, hoo, hoo!" The looks in their eyes still brighten me whenever things try to get me down.
I've got the beard for it so maybe, Deo volente, I'll be doing that in 20 years. 'HO, ho, ho, ho, ho!'

I plug in the white Christmas lights in the eight-foot windows of my Edwardian living room and give Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to the kiddies.

С праздником наступающим - уже наступил.
From Fiat Mihi
How to talk and write proper
Fowler's English Usage is online
LRC pick
The case against Kerry
By Michael Badnarik
From Mike Russell

Pro-abortion film earns 7 award nominations at London film festival
That deserves an 'O tempora, o mores'
By blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin (Daíthí Mac Lochlainn)
Dialann Toghcháin

From Nuacht, a journal in Irish Gaelic.

Translated for us by the author:


One can say that this Presidency was born in scandal.

Indeed, the morning after Election Day 2000, we all woke up without knowing who won the race.

And today, after four years, and stories of denial of voting rights in Florida, the Presidency is in question among some of the American people.

Stll, we are discussing Florida.

However, Florida is not the end of the scandal. A few months after the inauguration of President George W. Bush, the corporation Enron collapsed, with the workers' pensions completely gone and spent.

A month later, "9/11" happened, to the benefit of George W. Bush.

It is said that 9/11 changed everything here.

That is true, in a way, yet the scandals continue to accumulate: billions of dollars for Halliburton, lies about weapons of mass destruction and about a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, Guantanamo Bay, torture in Abu Graib, lost jobs, the savaging of the country's economy, the exposure of secret agent Valerie Plame, masses dead in Iraq.

Yet, Republican strategists believe that Bush can gain support from the issue of security and "9/11".

This week, "9/11" and Bush's responsibility is in question again.

In The Los Angeles Times, Robert Sheer wrote that Bush Administration is keeping a 9/11 report in secret until after the election.

According to a CIA official, the report blames leading people in the White House.

Congress members Jane Harman of California and Peter Hoekstra of Michigan wrote a letter to Bush requesting publication of the report.

Before long, there was another article in The Boston Globe.

A month ago, the group "9/11 Families" issued a press release giving their support to Kerry against Bush.

According to the polling company, Zogby International, half of the people of New York believe that the Bush Administration had foreknowledge of 9/11, this journalist among them.

In addressing the question of the 9/11 Commission, George W. Bush made his best effort to stop it. When he was summoned to face it, he gave his testimony behind closed doors, without taking an oath, and with Vice President Dick Cheney beside him.

Bush's campaign team believes that it can gain support from "9/11".

Now, however, "9/11" may become the main weakness of Bush and his team.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

From The Onion
What do you think? Return of the draft

Countdown to the US election

Election-day guide
From Fiat Mihi
On Ronnie Knox and charismatism
There's two types of science fiction. There's thoughtful science fiction that stretches your mind in directions it's never gone before and there's escapist science fiction that takes you to a faraway land full of rayguns and green bimbos so you can get away from your troubles for awhile. Thoughtful science fiction is found almost exclusively in prose or radio. It almost never makes it to film or television. Even those shows that try to present thoughtful science fiction tend to mix in a few "rayguns and bimbos" episodes to please the Hollywood executives.
- Jump the Shark

And there was 'Star Trek': Gene Roddenberry's globalist-socialist-totalitarian (and vehemently anti-religious) message, got under the radar by masking it with ray-guns and tarts (Buck Rogers + the swinging ’60s). The Great Society in space.
From Protestantism, er, Christianity Today
‘Emergent’ churches: starting to rediscover/re-create Catholicism?
Some Evangelicals use a different approach for a visual age and aren't afraid of images and candles any more as the cover picture shows. This has potential as it isn't liberal indifferentism.

We're rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life. Legal metaphors for faith don't deliver a way of life. We grew up in churches where people knew the nine verses why we don't speak in tongues, but had never experienced the overwhelming presence of God.
- Rob Bell

Oh, really? Reminds me of another Evo mass conversion Catholicwards (not how they'd put it) starting about 20 years ago.

From Polanyi and MacIntyre, he concludes that the emerging church must be "monastic" — centered on training disciples who practice, rather than just believe, the faith.

He cites Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, with their emphasis on spiritual disciplines, as key mentors for the emerging church.
Foster's good.

Of course if this doesn't grow roots in Catholic faith and practice it'll end up as embarrassing and dated as the Jesus Movement: 'Hey, brother! Let's rap about Jesus, man.' Yeah. Guh-roovy.

Dog bites man:

Some Episcopalians in good standing practise goddess worship
But of course it's the wimpy kind that’s metaphorical, not believing in an actual goddess, just like a lot of neopaganism is (to quote Recognized Internet Authority™ Stuart Koehl) sanitized of actual beliefs and blood sacrifices - Christianity's morality ('harm no-one') without its theology.

That said, much neopaganism with its art and ritual is lots more interesting than boring liberal mainline Protestantism (or quisling RCs*).

*Whose actual age range is shown in the picture in the centre of the page, not the graphics showing people about 20 years younger, who are really mostly secular with a Christian minority of 'emergent' and other Evangelical Protestants, Roman (Tridentine) Mass-goers and Eastern Orthodox.
LRC picks
Libertarians vs. ‘conservatives’

Will there be a war on the world after November 2?

Not a word suggests that the American onslaught on the population of Iraq was and is systematically atrocious, of which the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was merely a glimpse.

The coming atrocity in the city of Fallujah, in which British troops, against the wishes of the British people, are to be accessories, is a case in point. For American politicians and journalists – there are a few honourable exceptions – the US marines are preparing for another of their "battles." Their last attack on Fallujah, in April, provides a preview. Forty-ton battle tanks and helicopter gunships were used against slums. Aircraft dropped 500lb bombs: marine snipers killed old people, women and children; ambulances were shot at. The marines closed the only hospital in a city of 300,000 for more than two weeks, so they could use it as a military position. When it was estimated they had slaughtered 600 people, there was no denial. This was more than all the victims of the suicide bombs the previous year. Neither did they deny that their barbarity was in revenge for the killing of four American mercenaries in the city; led by avowed cowboys, they are specialists in revenge. John Kerry said nothing; the media reported the atrocity as ‘a military operation’, against ‘foreign militants’ and ‘insurgents’, never against civilians and Iraqis defending their homes and homeland. Moreover, the American people are almost totally unaware that the marines were driven out of Fallujah by heroic street fighting.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

From Katolik Shinja
The modern catacombs in Iraq today
From Russia
New icon of children killed in Beslan
Consecrated by the Archbishop of St Petersburg
One can paint an icon of uncanonized people in this tradition - just leave off the halos
From blogforlovers

RIP David Melling
The good-hearted Orthodox webmaster of Arimathea

Со святыми упокой, Христе, душу усопшаго раба твоего, идеже несть болезнь ни печаль ни воздыхание, но жнзнь безконечная.

Вечная память.

P.S. Did you know that Joni Eareckson Tada is a member of the Reformed Episcopal Church? I didn't until reading Gerard Serafin Bugge's blog today.
From friend of the blog David Smith (dcs)
The morality of weapons systems
dcs: The initial link given in the article (extreme deformities) is wrong. It
should be this.

The pictures are extremely graphic. They are worse than abortion photos. I
think I got about halfway down the page before I had to close my browser
window. [End.]

Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer.
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Halliburton and the US Army Corps of Engineers
DM: While reading the following story, please keep in mind that today’s Washington Post is reporting that Cheney’s goat-fixated sock-puppet plans to request an additional $70 billion from Congress...
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
The heroine who offered hope for Iraq
Robert Fisk on Margaret Hassan and her opposition to 13 years of US sanctions

Vatican handbook offers political stances
A Vatican handbook released Monday laid out Roman Church teaching questioning preventive war and denouncing the "horrendous crime" of abortion.

On the road to civil war
By Uri Avnery
How the settlers' movement have infiltrated the IDF

The seeds of the civil war were sown when the first settlement was put up in the occupied territories. At the time, I told the Prime Minister in the Knesset: "You are laying a land mine. Some day you will have to dismantle it. As a former soldier, let me warn you that the dismantling of land mines is a very unpleasant job."
S al-B: Religious zealotry and the influence of the rabbis - the Muslim mullahs' Jewish counterparts who can be every bit as boisterous as they are - on settlers' responses to dismantlement should not be taken lightly.(end)

Most of the settlers, we were told, are not fanatics. They went there because the government presented them with expensive villas, which they could not even dream about in Israel proper.
S al-B: Avnery disagrees with the premise, going on to imply that these people are now indistinguishable in their attitudes from religious nationalist settlers. There exist differences in opinion.'s Ran HaCohen believes that the majority could well be non-ideological.

Two blog entries from Lawrence of Cyberia:

The Grim Reaper’s playground
He has an unhealthy interest in children.

A tallying of his 12-year-old victims in Palestine (warning: includes graphic pictures).

How to get away with murder
The IDF's modus operandi: a 12-step programme.

One more on this messy subject:

The killing of Iman al-Hams and others...
...Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered... but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.
...and the general trend and pattern of behaviour it follows.

UN delay: a boost for cloning advocates

Cellist pays out £55,000 to stage Albert Hall show
The former freelance player with the London Symphony Orchestra said yesterday: "The record industry is stupid. They don't know what they are doing and I want to say 'up yours - how wrong you all are and what a wonderful talent I am'."

A combination of global agglomeration and declining sales has meant record companies cutting out risk, sticking with only the biggest stars, and putting their money into glamour, backing performers with sex appeal such as Vanessa Mae or Opera Babes.

Monday, October 25, 2004

From friend John Treat

Quaker global candlelight vigil the eve of the US election
An eye for fakes (register to read)
Psychologist exposes frauds in treatment
From The Gutless Pacifist
‘Talent malfunction’
Never heard of her and didn't see it but sorry, that's funny. To be fair, ‘American Bandstand’ guests never actually sang or played either but mimed their latest hits. Also: sounded suspiciously like a guide vocal that's a common - although almost always unspoken - concert aid. Either the singer "lip synchs" by mouthing words to a backing tape or has a live microphone and sings along to the tape, making the voice sound more powerful than it is.
English and Anglican miscellany and a small coincidence
St Michael’s, Bray
Of course years ago (over 15!) I loved the Inspector Morse episode 'Service of All the Dead' and read the Colin Dexter book not long after. It's set in a fictionalized version of one of Oxford's Anglo-Catholic churches - St Mary Magdalen (not really AC anymore*, alas) is a good guess but it's obviously not. The name (dedication) in the TV version is St Giles but having seen the real one in Broad Street (charming and conservative like the religion I was confirmed in but looks Central, middle-of-the-road) it's obviously not. My guess is the wonderful Catholic appurtenances were brought in for filming - the realistic, graphic Spanish or Italian statuary that made secular everyman Morse say 'I don't like this kind of church'. (Of course we disagree.)

Turns out filming was at St Michael's in the village of Bray made famous by the poem and song memorializing Anglican compromise - yes, there really is a vicar of Bray; whether he's like the one in the song, who knows?

"Church of England? Never heard of it mate," was how one plumber in a white van succinctly put it yesterday while eating a Big Mac and talking on a mobile phone to his divorce lawyer. "It won't affect the interest rates, will it?" he continued. "Tell you what, I bought a house three years ago for 50 grand and it's worth 200k now, so I got a holiday gaff in Marbella on the back of it. And I've got two new cars and a 42-inch plasma home cinema set-up. Bet you haven't, have you? Go on, how big's yours? Twenty-eight inches? Ha! Anyway, gotta rush. Big Brother is on at ten and I reckon that good-looking bird might get her laughing gear round whassisname's spam javelin. See ya."
*You can still get the practice of religion but the teachings? Forget it. Not only is the vicar the Oxford prime mover of the linked group, but the pillock who started that wretched thing was in the room next to me at college. Mr Hawes in 1989 on the Catholic religion: 'I like the opera too but I go to Covent Garden for it'.
LRC picks
Murder outside Fenway
The police state in action in Boston

The madness of King George

Identity crisis

My spoken English is a mixture of British and American English with a hue of German.
I think that's true of many/most Germans (and other northern Europeans) fluent in English, especially those who've been to university, like the readers on Deutsche Welle - they don't talk like ‘’Allo ’Allo’ or Col. Klink ('Ve hef veys off makingk you talk!') but more like crisp 1950s-style BBC English with a 'hue' of something else.

I become accustomed to the benefits of living in a capitalistic society that still rewards hard work and entrepreneurs with more pay and less taxes than a socialized country and a paternalistic government...
Right - again, European socialism (the latter) is an attempt to institutionalize noblesse oblige (what people like the Mountbattens meant when they said they were socialists). It's understood that some people always will be unfree and must be looked after.

I belong to a religious organization that is Catholic. The faith I practice is Christian. It was here in America where I returned to the roots of my faith again. My spiritual identification is in Jesus Christ. In this identification I can find everything I need to rejuvenate my spirit. I can find life of abundance coming forth from its well. The way I practice it may differ from other organizations. All I can do is reflect Christ’s character to the outside. I am not Jesus Christ, the Savior. My Lord does not wave a flag nor does He have a nationality. Those who wait upon His return must understand that He is not looking for brightly colored flags or blind patriotic duty to a political party. He looks upon the heart of every man and woman. His opponents will be the ones who sit upon the ruling throne of the land. They will be judged according to their deeds. My faith and religion are also not defined by a nationality. I am allowed to practice my faith, because of the principles that a country applied to their foundation. God blesses those who observe His laws and not because of my patriotic duty to a government.
How and how not to teach reading
Too many educators believe that the brain is wired for learning to read as it is naturally wired for learning language. It is not.

Louisa Cook Moats, in
Speech to Print, explains:

Alphabets, systems that use symbols for individual speech sounds, were invented little more than 3,000 years ago. It is understandable, then, that learning to read is not as natural or biologically "wired in" as are speaking and listening and that reading must be taught directly to most children over several years through formal education. Our brains are not as fully evolved for the processing of written language as they are for the processing of spoken language, and, therefore, learning to read and write are much more challenging for most of us than learning to speak. (pg 3)
That's how the brains of normal people work but with Asperger syndrome I think that's flip-flopped.

The coming corrupt election
Silver Lining #2: A crippled Kerry presidency with a Republican Congress will result in gridlock
Or, realistically speaking, knowing Michael Badnarik won't win, exactly what I want!

Iran is innocent
Low sexual desire common in women

I'm SHOCKED, I say...

In other news:

• Dog bites man.
• The war in Iraq is bollocks.
• The Monkees were a ripoff of the Beatles.

Of course the article is written with the assumption that this probably natural variation is always bad - such people don't spend money on things like artificial contraception. Reminds me of an account I heard of a tourist attraction in America about 100 years ago - first they'd sell you peanuts to make you thirsty, then sell you lemonade. Consumer culture's movers don't like people who are immune to their ploys.
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
The US election: Cardinal Ratzinger to the rescue
DM: This is not the first time that the Holy See has rescued American [Roman] Catholics from undereducated Bishops. Consider the Vatican's reinstatement of New York's Father Edward McGlynn after his wrongful "excommunication" in 1889.

A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.
- His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Pope John Paul II on the World Day of Peace 2003
From blog correspondent John Boyden
This has been in the news for the past few days:

Luther’s toilet found
The famous place where he came up with sola fide

JB: Maybe I should trying writing my thesis "in cloaca"...might get me movin’... never considered myself as a reformer!

Also from BBC News:

Royal Navy registers first Satanist
Running counter the corporate oppressive 'team' thing sounds good, but aside from objective right and wrong, is it really good for the military to approve a religion that's at its core malicious? I find it funny the man in question is called Cranmer.

JB: So, I guess that makes TWO Satanists in the Cranmer family tree.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

From Frank Purcell of St Michael’s Russian Catholic Church via blog member Dave McLaughlin
Catherine de Hueck Doherty and info on how Eastern Orthodoxy canonizes saints (permanent link as PDF)
I think a lot of the late baroness and Friendship and Madonna Houses (Catholic Action/lay apostolates Vatican II all but killed); she is a fascinating person whose biography, They Called Her the Baroness, I've read and is a source of info for some of the following comments.

Because Catherine was reared in both the Orthodox and [Roman] Catholic traditions
Uh, no. She was Russian and a born Orthodox, but as the book and my acquaintance Archimandrite Serge (Keleher), who knew the baroness, have explained, she had a habit of exaggerating and even fibbing if she thought it helped her cause. Sadly, when she began Friendship House and later Madonna House, many RCs probably were wary if not hostile to the Orthodox tradition (witness the hostility of the Irish-American bishops to Slavic Byzantine Catholic immigrants). So Catherine concocted a story that her family, the Kolyshchkins, were Polish Roman Catholics all along. No, they belonged to the Church of Russia. Her mother was fascinating - an ethnic German and I think formally listed as a Lutheran, like the German born-Lutheran empress of Russia she enthusiastically practised the folk religion of the Russian Orthodox, going on pilgrimages (паломничества), etc.

Would the canonization, in the [Roman] Catholic Church, of someone from Orthodox Russia (that is, Catherine), be an obstacle of any kind to Orthodox Russia’s openness to her gifts?
Honestly, yes, it might.

In her deep heart, Catherine belonged to both the Orthodox and [Roman] Catholic traditions.
Doubtless true of another favourite, Archimandrite Lev (Gillet), whose pen name was 'A Monk of the Eastern Church', but again, regarding the baroness...

Русская паломницаShe did help Russian Orthodox exiles in Toronto in the 1920s where she was instrumental in a moving example of real Catholic ecumenism back before such gestures were cheapened by indifferentism with Protestants - the RC archdiocese helped the Russians build an Orthodox church and priest's apartment and the archbishop even gave the Orthodox priest a chalice to celebrate the Holy Mysteries. She's one of those people who according to RC canon law should have been a Russian Catholic but wasn't: the fact is after her change of churches she distanced herself from that tradition most of the rest of her life, being somewhat afraid of it because of the aforementioned hostility. It was her friend now-Archbishop Joseph (Raya) of the Melkite Church, who lives at Madonna House today, who somewhat changed her mind about that in the later years of her life. (Photo: the baroness in the last stage of her life. The Russian pilgrim's clothes look like an Orthodox nun's habit except the nun's hat is taller.)

(But to give her credit, her own book Not Without Parables has some good stories from that tradition.)

It is certainly the desire of Madonna House that we also, “in our deep heart,” embrace our Orthodox brothers and sisters.
Of course that's wonderful and in as much as it's true I think one can thank the Melkite archbishop.

Anyway, in short how it works in Eastern Orthodoxy is a national Church (or its equivalent like the Russian Church Abroad) canonizes its own saints who are then recognized by all Orthodox.

The ancient saying in Orthodox/Catholic relations, that “our divisions do not reach all the way to heaven,” has been achieved in the saints.
Actually the recently canonized (by the Russian Orthodox in France) St Maria Skobtsova said that.

P.S. I take some credit for the disclaimer in the box at the top of St Michael's mission-statement page - I tipped them off about the rumour being spread years ago by some malefactor online that it was a gay church.
Fr Peter Laister, 1927-2002
Died two years ago today. Dona ei requiem. A former Royal Navy chaplain and an old-school (that is, real) Anglo-Catholic, he was there to give me the 'you're now a man, my son' send-off when I went completely on my own 15 years ago. He compared it to commissioning a new warship: 'Whom do we fear, knowing that God, the Father (the Son, the Holy Ghost) is with us?' and the crew answer 'No-one!' before boarding the new ship. (Or at least they used to.) A framed print of the painting looks over my shoulder in my living room where I read the divine office (using the same psalm translations he used for 70+ years). All he needs are his half-glasses.
The Catholic faith
Eastern churches

The psalter as a book of needs
By St Arsenios of Cappadocia, a Greek Orthodox monk. The Book of Needs (требникъ) is the priest's book of blessings for all occasions in the Byzantine Rite. Next to the office (which is liturgical, not devotional, and thus tops any devotion) this is one of the best ways of praying I've seen - a devotion that Protestants can use too. (I understand many of them have their own similar traditions of using the Bible.)
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Mr Bush and abortion

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Iraqi support for US puppet government plunges
LRC picks
The Cold War fraud

Eisenhower vs. Bush

Can anybody get through to Bush’s Christians?

The foot-in-the-door draft

First they came for the doctors and nurses - oh, but now war will be so much fun! It'll be just like Hawkeye, Trapper and Hot Lips on 'MASH'!

Various and sundry
On the Libertarian choice of candidate:
What about the Libertarians? Here we come to a post that’s liable to garner some hate mail. But as Morpheus tells Neo in The Matrix, "all I’m offering is the truth."

I have sometimes wondered if the Libertarians secretly wish to fail as a party. At least, that they have a surprising blind spot on what it is going to take for a Libertarian to get on the national radar screen.

At their national convention in Atlanta last spring, they had an opportunity to nominate a man with millions of dollars of his own money to spend: Aaron Russo. Russo, easily the most experienced and outgoing of the three Libertarian candidates this go around, had worked in Hollywood and had a lot of connections in the entertainment industry. He might have become a Libertarian Ross Perot (minus Perot’s penchant for nuttiness), capable of buying airtime on national television to promote the Libertarian message on his own infomercials.

Instead they nominated a computer programmer and consultant from Texas named Michael Badnarik. Now don’t get me wrong. Badnarik is doubtless a smart guy. He is knowledgeable about the Constitution, having written a book on the foundations of our freedoms and designed an eight-hour course on the subject. Under better circumstances he could have been the right candidate. But when all is said and done, he doesn’t have any money. Not compared to what is needed to run a campaign capable of garnering attention outside late night talk shows. He wasn’t the right candidate. Russo was. Thus once again, on Election Day the Libertarians will end up invisible. This time they will have done it to themselves. They don’t seem aware that writing books and simply waiting for the public to read them and wake up to arguments doesn’t cut it. The public isn’t that literate. Most people – most are government school graduates, after all – need someone to lay the issues out for them, preferably in a way that is lighthearted and entertaining, or doesn’t seem to be too demanding. Russo, I am convinced, could have done that. Badnarik hasn’t.

Reason does not win elections. Money and powerful connections do. Which is why I do not expect to see a Libertarian president in my lifetime. But a few Russo infomercials could have made a few people think, and kept the LP from the invisibility now guaranteed to it.

I wonder how many people realize that UN-backed "observers" will be monitoring this election in several states, almost as if the U.S. had already become a third world banana republic.
On Jacques Derrida:

He never had the following in his native France that he achieved here. Derrida’s death did come to the attention of France’s President Jacques Chirac, however. The other day a reader sent me the following tongue-in-cheek comments made by the French President: Jacques Derrida died the other day "if indeed ‘death’ can be said to mean anything beyond the biases of culture, language, religion and philosophy."

Chirac continued, "Of course, we can’t assert anything positively about Monsieur Derrida’s recent failure to exist. We can’t even state that he ever did exist, since he may have been a mere metaphysical projection of our own prejudices against absolutes. However, in as much as we may categorically claim anything – Monsieur Derrida will not likely be showing up for work tomorrow. Although, who is to say?

"Monsieur Derrida bequeathed a magnificent legacy to the global intellectual community. He has provided us all with the intellectual infrastructure to prevent us from seeking after truth. Thanks to him we know it is fruitless to assert anything with conviction, or to say that any ideology is less true than any other. They are all equally trifling. Their value, if any, lies only in the sport they provide for college professors."
Of course Catholics and other believers say he still exists, though where exactly is anybody's guess.

Friday, October 22, 2004

From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Bling bling Bushling
DM: Aw, c'mon now! I don't care what Ann Coulter says about her "pretty girls" ...GOP women just aren't this sexy.
More dirty tricks
Marijuana-legalization petition really Republican registration form
College students learn lesson
Eastern churches
From Forum 18

Church of Serbia persecuted in Macedonia
Monastery of St John Chrysostom demolished; village church next

Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer
Sgt Frederick sentenced to 8 years in prison for Abu Ghraib
The ranking US soldier at the scene of the crime
Eastern churches
Pope shows more goodwill to Orthodox
He will return to Istanbul the bones of two church fathers among the three founding fathers of Eastern Orthodox theology, SS. John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzen, stolen by Venetians from Constantinople in 1204. (The third is St Basil the Great, whose prayers in the Byzantine Rite office - here is one example - are among my favourites.)

The Greek Catholic Eparchy of Mukačevo
The lone Ruthenian diocese in the Ukraine (in the far southwestern corner) because it was part of Slovakia before World War II (Stalin annexed this area, along with Galicia/the Polish Ukraine to the north of this, to the USSR). Here is their new website.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Brain chip offers hope for paralyzed

From Dappled Things:
Michael Badnarik on NPR, and a Flash video: libertarianism taught in 10 minutes
Anonymous submission
From a blog visitor
I'm an... employee of the [US] Defense Department who thoroughly agrees with your take on the Middle East war. I've written some stuff on the neocon origins of the folks who now control DOD... Just for your information not everyone in DOD agrees with the Bush Doctrine; it is well known that Rummy is Dr. Wolfie's sock puppet.

I've tried to debate the fact that the war against Iraq violates the four points of the Catholic just war doctrine with ...[Roman] Catholics... However they seem to have taken as their infallible teachers whatever Jonah Goldberg or David Frum say at NRO [
National Review Online] so it's pretty hopeless. If they knew I worked for DOD they would immediately turn me in for sedition.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Republican and former US senator ‘frightened to death’ of Bush
By Marlow Cook

Also in the Louisville (Kentucky) Courier-Journal re: the gay-priest scandal:

RC archdiocese spent half a million this year
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
It is shocking: The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names. Although the report by the inspector general's office of the CIA was completed in June, it has not been made available to the congressional intelligence committees that mandated the study almost two years ago.
From the news
Unit commander in Iraq resigns and is reassigned
As the woman commander of the quartermaster unit is black, this reminds me of the Port Chicago incident during World War II when black US sailors near San Francisco disproportionately were sent to a dangerous job loading ammunition aboard ships and thus disproportionately were getting blown up

Britain obeys US, plans to send troops to central Iraq
Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer

Not that it definitely would change things, but no wonder most Britons want Kerry to win in the US.
LRC picks
The old order vs. the worship of modernity
Or WWI vs. Catholic Europe (even though the Kaiser was a Protestant)

Learning responsibility the old-fashioned way
On an American farm in the 1940s - nice companion piece to Sabine Barnhart's series on Catholic Germany

Bush’s socialist disaster

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

From The Gutless Pacifist
John Cleese on George W. Bush
How many Bush administration officials does it take to change a light bulb?

None. There’s nothing wrong with that light bulb. There is no need to change anything. We made the right decision and nothing has happened to change our minds. People who criticize this light bulb now, just because it doesn’t work anymore, supported us when we first screwed it in, and when these flip-floppers insist on saying that it is burned out, they are merely giving aid and encouragement to the Forces of Darkness.
On the box
‘Lonely Planet/Globe Trekker’ (official site)
A hip, snarky, British-made travel show. Ian Wright is cool* and Justine Shapiro is lovely (and originally from South Africa). Speaking of her, this is her Oscar-nominated documentary about children in Palestine:


... it is very painful to travel to remote areas and find Coca Cola signs and cheesy Hollywood movies in place of local films. American Cultural Imperialism is strong the world over and many people resent us for this. Also many people buy into American Culture and you see these weird hybrids of indigenous peoples co-opting MTV clothing styles. One way to be sensitive is to think carefully about who is going to get your money. Eco-tourism is often a thinly veiled hack job. Eco-tours are supposed to be run by locals but most often they are not.

I think that the current political climate is creating a sense of "us" and "them" which is a picture that I just don't buy into. I want to travel to more Arab speaking countries so that I can export the images of the majority of Arab peoples, their manner and their customs and their incredibly rich culture... they are the most hospitable people on the planet and the vast majority of Arabs condemn violence and acts such as 9/11. The truth is that most people all want the same thing which is a peaceful, safe future for their children.

Just look at our record. The US has covertly or overtly toppled governments around the world for our own economic benefit. Sadly too many Americans get their sole news source from the USA Today or Fox TV News. These are poor sources of real information. US foreign policy has caused suffering the world over. Generally speaking, most Americans are not aware of how our power and policy adversly affects millions of people world wide.
- Justine Shapiro

*Interesting accent. I knew somebody from Ipswich and he didn't sound like that - I understand 'mooseum' and 'moosic' for museum and music are hardcore East Anglian.
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
The Nine
movie download page
DM: This is exquisite!... Absolutely BRILLIANT!!!! It may take a while to download, but it's well worth it! (I'm still trying to catch my breath!)

Monday, October 18, 2004

From InfernoXV
Sign me up!
The Anglican Chaplain to King's College sent out an email yesterday, inviting one and all to the chapel next Tuesday for evensnog.
This as well:

I the above hereby swear that I have never ever ever received the sacrament from a woman, not that it would be the sacrament if I had, which I haven't, furthermore I have never received the sacrament from someone who has received the sacrament from a woman. I therefore affirm that I receive the sacrament from men, manly men, even if they are laced up to the eyeballs, I have definite proof that they are men, and men are the only people I have received the sacrament from.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
A denunciation from Ha'aretz:

Killing children is no longer a big deal

No surprise when you read this follow-up to Iman's case:

Gaza girl death officer cleared

"The investigation did not find that the company or the company commander had acted unethically," an army statement said.
Need one say more?

An intriguing diversity of opinions from the Old Right. Here's a golden nugget from The American Conservative: the conservative cases for each individual candidate of this election year - and for spoiling the ballot also.

Unfortunately, this election does not offer traditional conservatives an easy or natural choice and has left our editors as split as our readership. In an effort to deepen our readers’ and our own understanding of the options before us, we’ve asked several of our editors and contributors to make “the conservative case” for their favored candidate. Their pieces, plus Taki’s column closing out this issue, constitute TAC’s endorsement.
— The Editors

On our blog editor's candidate of choice:

The conservative case for the Libertarian Party’s Michael Badnarik
By Alan W. Bock

You can read all the other available columns by accessing the links on the same page.
From The Seattle Catholic via blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Resurrected: lost Raphael painting of Christ

Activists re-enact Temple ritual to remove Sharon

S al-B: Facing a choice between these individuals and Levantine Christians, dispensationalist Christian Zionists wouldn't have much difficulty deciding which side to join.

It is funny to see how some orthodox Jews, coming from a group that has traditionally opposed Zionism and political, human attempts at ending the Jewish exile and restoring Israel, have decided to embrace the ideology (and apparently are even at ease with the dreaded word, 'revolution'), albeit in a religious rather than secular form, yet still a political form that aims at forcing God's hand. [End.]
LRC picks
Karen Kwiatkowski notices that matching blue suits and red ties aren’t the only similarities between Bush and Kerry

Comparing the Libertarian and Constitution parties
Why I'm an official Libertarian: for me it's the Constitution Party without the creepy Protestant religious-right aspect

A Yank in England

Mike Rogers on the US election and meeting Yoko Ono
Last Friday I got the chance to meet and talk with Yoko Ono, the widow of former Beatle John Lennon. She is treated like a goddess in this country. Many Japanese worship Yoko Ono; many despise her. When I met her, I realized what charm and grace she possessed and how anyone could be enthralled talking with her, if even for a few moments.
I don't doubt that - she is very intelligent. My problem with the ballad of John and Yoko is they were both married to other people and had kids by them when they began their romance. Got to give Howard Stern credit here - he is uncharacteristically gentlemanly defending Lennon's 'real peace-loving wife', Cynthia.

I've come to the conclusion that, between Bush and Kerry, a Kerry victory is preferable. Incredibly, it seems like Kerry will be the fiscal conservative compared to Bush and I think we can avoid a war with Iran under a Kerry Presidency.
Yanks blind to blundering Bush
No surprise really
Anglican Communion diffident, pulls punch in Windsor Report
To paraphrase Ecclesiastes (and by extension Roger McGuinn), there's a time for English diffidence and a time for 'Anathema! Anathema! Anathema!' While many of us could benefit from English mildness and charity, it seems most Anglicans haven't got the hang of that latter part of the Catholic thing.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

On the box
‘The Lost Prince’
Knew straightaway he was on the autistic spectrum
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal

Another wave of church bombings

S al-B: No casualties, thank God, but Iraq will suffer Christian losses of another particularly nasty sort, nonetheless. Apparently, between ten and fifteen thousand Christians have fled the country since the August church bombings. I believe the number of targeted churches then was the same - five churches - as of those hit in these latest incidents.

I will come tomorrow for the Mass. I don't care if I die. At least I will die in a place of worship and go to Paradise.
Just a small moral lesson from the catacombs there for the ever-callous 'I'll just squat and pray at home/God doesn't live in a building' AmChurch crowd.

['We will have the Mass'... the Church Catholic, ever the same, semper eadem, throughout history.]

No-prescription Valium in Iraq at twenty cents a bottle
A new blog entry from Baghdad Burning explains.

New addition to readers' blog lists:

Unfair Witness
The personal blog of 'tex', blogger.

Old (dated last April), but still deserving of space.

‘M’Lord, a letter from a Sir Brian...

We, the undersigned

...and 52 other former British officials addressed to some bloke called Tony.’

Whether the aforementioned recipient is the British slime sinister or this other Tony is hard to tell, as both seem to think alike in forming strategies and making decisions. Perhaps one has been advising the other all this time?
More on the nutter Protestant religious right from Drake Adams
I know that some Pentecostals - the 'Oneness' school - are non-Christians (they deny the Trinity) and have read that at least some Protestants are Nestorian* in their Christology as gauged by their reaction to the term 'Mother of God' (to be fair the term needs a little explaining for Protestants) but didn't know it was this bad:

But I see a rising intolerance in their group, a rejection of the Ecumenical movement that many had a part in, and the resurgence of Alexander Hyslop type anti-Catholic material. I believe that many of our conversions have led to a fear that has fed their rage against 'Tradition'. The only analogy I have, is I think we've come to the point similar to what the Church was like in the Middle East on the verge of the Muslim invasion. The Nestorians and Monophysites colluded with the Zoroastrians and the Muslims against the Orthodox - led to great suffering, warfare, persecution, and finally the marginalization of Christianity across the Middle East. (I should note, that the Nestorian alliance with the Zoroastrian Persians was particularly based upon patriotism in the Persian Empire, and Monophysite collusion with the Muslims based upon a perceived 'apostasy' in the Roman Church - "Melkites".) It only seems more pertinent for me as many in the Charis./Evang./Messianic movement are privately holding to Nestorianism now. My own father, Finis Jennings Dake, Lester Sumrall (and his sons and grandsons), and others in the 'Movement' hold that Mary was only the mother of 'the Human Jesus', and that Our Lord only became the Christ at the baptism in the Jordan (was without Divinity and Grace before.) Along with the rise of Calvinist theology in the movement (both because of the large number of Baptists gone Pentecostal, and the C. Peter Wagner and Ted Haggard 'Charismatic Presbyterians') - which has also brought about a new Charismatic idea of Predestination, temporal Triumphalism, and especially a sense of prosperity being the true indication of God's favor - there is plenty to be worried about. Despite the losses other Christian groups face, the Charismatic Evangelicals are *not* losing members : they are gaining in the US and worldwide, esp. in the aftermath of 9/11. If we don't evangelize them we'll be caught between them and the Muslims.

(I have another theory that the Evangelicals might end up as Muslims eventually, as they have no tools or arguments to counter those of the Muslim missionaries.)
Wow. Didn't see that coming though I've read that the two religious approaches are similarly simplistic. 'Never mind all that three-in-one, God-and-man stuff = just say you believe in Jesus/there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet' - maybe it's not that big a jump. Just like the Bosnians easily switched from Bogomilism to Islam when the Turks took them over.

Maybe my familiarity and experience as a convert who has to still live within this whole Charis./Evang. culture makes it seem exaggerated to me - I guess it isn't an issue in the NE [US], but in the West, Midwest, South - it sure seems that way.
One moral of this story historically is the enemy of your enemy isn't necessarily your friend. I understand the Copts let the Muslims take over their country, Egypt, because they hated the Greeks and have been suffering for it ever since. So Catholics, be careful - that goes for cooperation with either the Protestant right or with secular people and movements.

*The heresy the historic Church of Iraq was accused of but that experts now say they don't hold.

"Dagliesh: Death in Holy Orders"

Things Anglican
On the box

‘Dagliesh: Death in Holy Orders’
About the only things authentic in this are the accents but visually it's a tat festival - the way things ought to be and perhaps once were in the 1920s in places like the now-gone Chichester, compromised Cuddesdon and my old college, St Stephen's House, but suppressed by the time I got there.

Biggest larf: the moody, handsome young man 'left at the college as an orphaned child' (where did he go during the vacs?) modelling a couple of pieces of ecclesiastical fashion, from the 39-button cassock with mozetta (that only rectors on up have a right to wear) and something that looks like a crude, early monk's habit. By the time I was on the scene even wearing a cassock - which of course ordinands can do - would have got the offender 'sent down' (in Oxfordspeak) posthaste.

More seriously part of the plot was about a papyrus document allegedly from Pontius Pilate with orders regarding the disposal of the bodies after the Crucifixion, a bombshell denying the Resurrection and thus Christianity - a secret passed down from the founder's irreligious brother through the principals of the college (very Da Vinci Code that). A detective asked the priest who showed him the document the big question 'What if it's real? What if all this is disproved?' and Father gave an ambiguous answer that either is a Modernist dodge ('Christ of history' vs. 'Christ of faith' codswallop) or a repeated denial of the alleged proof - 'I experience the light of Christ every day; how does a piece of papyrus change that?'

It also reminds me of those adverts you'd see in the National Review and other places about 20 years ago offering to sell you a book 'proving' 'Jesus fictional!'. I think it claimed Flavius Josephus, author of The Jewish Wars, made the whole gospel story up.

I like the answer William F. Buckley Jnr gave (not saying here that I endorse it): he said if he were convinced by something like that he'd get himself bris'd (ouch) and become an Orthodox Jew.

From Kerygma (Lee Nelson)
Fr Jeffrey Steenson is the Episcopal Church’s bishop-elect of the Diocese of the Rio Grande
I remember him when he was the rector of Good Shepherd, Rosemont (18 years ago!) - nice man and back then sound on the essentials. I fear for that, though, if he's going to be the bishop of a non-Forward in Faith diocese.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Sunday special
Churches installing mobile-phone jammers
Something good has come out of the Zionist state - and it's helping Christians! Brilliant.
Four reactions in Philadelphia to the Bush-Kerry debates
A little while earlier, coming in from Haverford, I'd witnessed another political ripple: An old lady, perched like a mocking bird on an aisle seat of the R5 local, had noticed my PW, with its mnemonic "Vote Kerry or Burn in Hell" headline.

She clapped me on the shoulder. "I've been a Republican all of my life," she chirped, her eyes bloodshot. "But this sumbitch is a liar!"

"Madame, that's no way to talk about the president," admonished a skinny fellow in blue-and-white seersucker, a briefcase balanced on his lap.

"Tush to you, sir!" she said. "Bush destroyed the GOP! Him and that gang of zealots--Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz ... "

"Mentioning Wolfowitz makes you anti-Semitic as well as uninformed," Seersucker rejoined.

"Shush, tush!" the Democrat convert cried. She looked like she was going to hit him with her purse: "No weapons of mass destruction! No connection to Al Qaeda! Two hundred billion in taxpayers' money to prosecute the damned war! And a lot of it going to Cheney's Halliburton."

nonsense," Seersucker shot back. "Left-wing propaganda."

"Oh, shush, you fool! Kerry's as boring as you are. But at least he's relatively honest."

And we rolled into 30th Street.
What about religion in the UK?
Through the Valparaiso University study's maps posted here yesterday we looked at religion in the US. Perhaps somebody on location in the UK full-time (David Holford?) can give a report but based on what I remember and on the news, etc.:

An obvious difference is there are lots more Anglicans! Still, only about a third of the people in England are Church of England; about 7% actually go to church. (Makes you wonder about the viability of Establishment.) Like Catholic Europe of which England was a vital part in the Middle Ages, there are village churches, geographical parishes. What's left of that is pride of place: the people don't go but they are proud of 'their' church and oppose its closing. Of the four factions in the C of E (Anglo-Catholic, Central, Evangelical and non-Christian Broad Church) the most thriving one in the pews is Evangelicalism. The ACs are on the ropes of course because of the attempted ordination of women to the priesthood, legalized on 'Black Martinmas' 1992. The clergy are more Broad Church than the laity.

Like the States, it's between the RCs (probably the most robust single denomination) and the Evangelicals (both Anglican and various Free Churches). Not only are the secular majority gaining on the Christians but as I recall so are the Muslims, much more so than in America, thanks in part to immigration from the former colonies such as Pakistan. When I was in Birmingham 15 years ago the big new house of worship going up was the mosque. The C of E has schools, some of which are 100% Muslim students.

It's still possible to be High Church there, even if you're RC, and was 15 years ago, more so than in the States - you simply had to look for it. Mainstream RC is a smidgen better than Stateside but not by much.

As David will tell you there is an Orthodox presence that parallels America's - largely immigrant and ethnic with a small Anglo presence thanks to conversions, some of which is disgruntled traffic from the C of E - but is much, much smaller.

Don't know much about Scotland except it's between the nominally Presbyterian majority (?) in the state Scottish Kirk and a big RC minority dating from 19th-century Irish immigration.

(In England the RCs are substantially immigrant and ethnic Irish too. You can get several of the latest Irish newspapers in the narthex of the church!)

Haven't a clue about Wales: largely nominally Methodist?

Anglicans are a small minority in Scotland and I think Wales too; in both historically they've been High in reaction to the Protestant majority.

The Scottish Episcopalians (just about the only other Anglicans besides Americans who call themselves that) used to be positively Catholic but alas that's all gone now what with lady clergy and the turncoat Richard Holloway.

Northern Ireland: well, everybody knows the Presbyterian majority who came from Scotland 400-500 years ago and the RC minority hate each other.
From Mother Jones
Breaking ranks
Iraq veterans against the war

Nickel-and-diming homeland security
LRC picks
How the war in Iraq will be perceived if either Bush or Kerry win
Let's review very quickly why the Mesopotamian venture is failing. It is not because the soldiers and Marines in Iraq are poorly led, or have inferior equipment, or are badly trained, or even don't have the support of enough of the country. It isn't even because the political leaders are incompetent, though the incompetence of Bush Jong Il and his politburo got us there in the first place. The US military in Iraq is solidly led and reasonably well equipped. No, it is failing because the political objective those soldiers were sent to accomplish – the democratization of the Middle East, or the scaled-down desire to simply create a pro-American Iraq – is simply unachievable at any price we are willing or able to pay.

If Bush Jong Il gets re-elected – or reappointed, or whatever – then the domestic political fallout of a withdrawal from Iraq will be manageable. Team Bush will paint a happy face on Iraq, call the January "elections" a success, and probably start a six-or-ten month pullout that will likely be accelerated. Last American out of Iraq shut the lights and don't let the door hit you on the butt or blow up as you leave.

The mindless minions of Bush Jong Il will probably live with that, though many will go looking for someone to blame. Certainly Democrats – those powerful, evil, omnipresent, obstructionist Democrats – will come in for their fair share of blame. Anti-war types of all stripes – Howard Dean, Brent Scowcroft, Pat Buchanan, LRC – will also be recruited for team blame. (Will they blame neoconservatives? Gawd, I wish, but probably not.) But because the Party Faithful must believe the story told by Bush Jong Il, and because he will call the whole thing a "a victory" (and then change the subject after the first coup in Iraq) and "a success," it will be fairly calm, sedate and well-managed.

However, if the patrician junior senator from Massachusetts is president, then the political consequences of the war will become downright toxic. Because then Iraq will become one of those dreaded "Democrat Wars" Bob Dole (and more than a few cranky Republicans) decry in less guarded moments. Because a Kerry administration will simply be able to do nothing right. The endeavor in Iraq will suddenly have very few friends in the Republican Party.

It is common currency among many committed Republicans that Democrats know nothing about the military and are simply incapable of commanding it properly.
Yeah, uh-huh, sure - John Kerry, who commanded a Swift boat in combat (see article in yesterday's entries), knows less about the military and command in same than George W. Bush, who blew off Air National Guard duty and never left the United States.

So, if Kerry presides over a withdrawal from Iraq – even the same withdrawal that Bush would have undertaken in virtually the same way – be prepared for the big lie, a "stabbed-in-the-back" theory that will bitterly and angrily poison American politics and society, likely worse than post-Vietnam recriminations damaged our national politics.

Expect to be told – to be lectured and hectored – that were it not for likes of us, for dissent, America would have won, if we had just been as united as we were on September 12, 2001.

Never mind that there was no winning.
Kerry will win
Charley Reese's prediction

Sci-fi and the military-industrial complex
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

What’s with those bizarre wife/mother ‘trading places’ shows on US TV?
I've never watched - they seem too painful, messing with people's lives - but this is a good look at them