Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Shrove Tuesday
Olney wins
Devon school gives contraceptives to students as young as 14

‘First we reunite churches and then make BIG trouble for moose and squirrel!’

Eastern churches
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Ex-KGB agent claims Russians will use church to spy
The threat of global Communism does seem gone for ever and I have no great love for the US government but that doesn’t make sense
...the modern Roman Catholic Church is looking more and more like the non-entity that Newman perceived the Anglican Church to be in the 19th century.
- Arturo Vasquez

A fair description of things on the ground level for the past few decades.
From Drake Adams
Staying put
Those who grew up in the greening-of-America suburbs have no where to stay put because those suburbs do not have a place. In well-designed architecture, a person is always in place, and is at rest. So likewise with the community outside. Just as those in a properly ordered family are at rest in the family, and are at rest in the properly ordered community outside of the family which is an extension of the family. And those who had their neighborhoods destroyed via urban renewal and other like-minded programs which were intended to destroy place, have no reason to remain where they are because they grew up as foreigners to their new neighborhoods.
US Supreme Court backs pro-life protesters
From Katolik Shinja
Tortured logic
An ex-US Army interrogator who served at Abu Ghraib speaks
From The Devout Life
Tom Monaghan’s Catholic town
A colleague told me about this at work yesterday and I didn’t believe it until now! It could be very holy, naff or dangerous. What do you think?

‘Disneyland for First Things readers’ as Hilary White writes. LOL. Celebration, Florida meets EWTN? A Potemkin (Потёмкин) village?
• I too imagine this is likely to be a Steubenville on steroids and not a scene from Pugin’s Contrasts or the Directorium Anglicanum.
• I’d defend their right to secede from the Union and try having a Catholic state (it works in Liechtenstein) but as long as they’re in the States the religious-liberty objection is valid.
• I fear they are simply making the same mistakes as the Protestant religious right (remember Heritage USA?).
• On that note such religious utopianism is built into American culture, the happy hunting-ground of sectarianism, the homeland of Mormonism, etc. The only groups that have made it work are rigidly self-segregated: German Anabaptists such as the Amish and Hutterites and I think some Russian Old Believers...
‘... the possibility that he and his comrades would board a small ship at Plymouth and sail off to find new, less pagan lands in which to practise their faith. “That’ll show ’em,” he chortled.’ (From The Rockall Times. I dare say many snarky English have longer collective/historical memories than American RC neocons.)
• This idealisation could be rather like the Society of St Pius X (I acknowledge the good they do), not representative of the spectrum of Catholic tradition but a caricature of one aspect of it. (Pre-conciliar Catholicism is not monolithic!)
• Would young fogeys and other urban and village eccentrics really be welcome in such a shrine to newly arrived upper-middle-class decorum? (A rhetorical question.)
• A reminder from Fr Anthony Chadwick, quoted here earlier, of the real Catholic Europe.
• A more realistic solution is something friend Paul Goings has talked about, a sort of urban version of Robert Waldrop’s community where Catholics naturally cluster, moving into in a neighbourhood around a traditional church, reviving the area, without any contrived ‘covenant community’ aspect. My girlfriend has told me that this is happening around one such city church. You’d be re-creating a natural village, good points, faults and all.
• I happen to like Domino’s pizza!

Monday, February 27, 2006

The boy in a bubble
Or welcome to the bunker
From the LRC blog
Stop the presses! They’re wrong about something!
Is the world coming to an end? (I remember reading our Lord saying something about the stars falling from the sky — Matthew 24:29-30 — but not this.)

The writer of Slate article ‘The Aryan sisterhood’ I agreed with and thus blogged earlier was not prejudiced against blondes but rather opposed a bias against brunettes, a Nazi-like trend I’ve noticed for a long time. Actresses from Jennifer Aniston (née Anastassakis — I think she’s nominally Greek Orthodox and Telly Savalas was her godfather; her name refers to the Resurrection and thus Easter) and ‘Law & Order: SVU’ star Diane Neal have hit the peroxide bottle over time. (The lovely Annie Parisse on the main show hasn’t jumped on board.)

Then again Karen De Coster isn’t one of my favourite writers on the LRC team and it’s nothing to do with her hair.
From The Gaelic Starover
Blocked from entering Gaza
Three from LRC
The US: From superpower to tin-horn dictatorship

Cheney’s coup

Germany today

A peaceful and productive society can only exist if people can share a spoken and written language.
Internationally for centuries in the West even after the fall of Rome it was Latin, the natural language of the church in that part of the world, and by the way there really was such a thing as lingua franca, a Romance patois used by people along the Mediterranean. Today thanks to British and by continuation American ascendancy it’s English, a versatile language.

[digression into linguistic boffinry]

This point reminds me that in the Byzantine Rite (Julian calendar) St Cyril is commemorated today, one of two brothers (the other was St Methodius) from Thessalonica in Greece who learnt their second language, Slavonic, from their Bulgarian and Macedonian neighbours as boys and, after going to Baghdad to evangelise the Khazars, missionised in Moravia (now the Czech Republic), Bulgaria and Dalmatia (now Croatia). They gave Slavonic a grammar and their own invented alphabet, Glagolitic, which was later replaced with the Greek-like Russian alphabet named after St Cyril, thus giving Russians and other Slavs a literary language as well, which in one form is still the liturgical language of the Orthodox in those parts... and Croatians in Dalmatia used to have the Roman Mass in that language!

(Luther’s wasn’t the first Bible in German but his had that formative effect on the language.)

It seems that churching the Czechs was abortive from the beginning as the Greek brothers’ work was quashed by the Germans. Even though that work was approved by the Pope the damage was done; the ‘Reformation’ (the Czech Jan Hus was apparently a proto-Protestant) and its subsequent religious war sealed that with the ‘Enlightenment’ and Communism nailing the coffin shut. I understand that Czechs are religiously indifferent today.

As for fonts (before 1940 books in German were in Fraktur... a lot like English through the 1500s) and spelling, that happened to Russian too. Before Peter the Great it was written in the beautiful script used for Slavonic, then the Communists got rid of some letters to simplify teaching it (they also did that to Chinese characters). Russians understand Slavonic about as well/badly as we can Chaucer; I’ve read that educated tsarist Russians could understand it better than people today.

A socialist ideology requires keeping people in denial.

A viable solution to this problem
[immigrant groups illiterate in German] would be to provide teachers who share the native language of these children and teach classes consisting of members of one ethnical group only. Of course, especially the leftists would cry bloody murder, as this would be the end of their way to enforce multiculturalism.

Each year German politicians are rallying about job training for youths, as if the power to create jobs comes from the almighty state.

The new generation of Germans can be of different ethnic origin, maintain their religious affiliation and still speak their native language. The source of their success lies within their shared language and their willingness to adopt ethics and values that are universal throughout the civilized world.
Spread naturally through the market and not by government (including ‘exporting’ them by force, a contradiction in terms).
From antiwar.com
Nearly half of 1,000 Americans polled say ‘Pull out of Iraq now’

Sunday, February 26, 2006

From The Devout Life
On young fogeyhood
I had been looking for truth and justice, as had all my friends. But where most of them gave it up as a hopeless quest, I actually managed to find what I was looking for. I found Christendom, but, it seems, only managed to get there in time to attend the burial, the funeral Mass having long since finished.
The Catholic faith
The Sarabite
On Marian belief and devotion
I’d say that the Marian doctrines are essential — that she is the Mother of God — but regarding this or that devotion, ‘all can, some should, none must’ (which is also to do with differences in rite)
From The Perennial Rambler
Free speech and Daniel Irving: a rabbi gets it
Echoing Lew Rockwell
Eastern churches
Rising star Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) has good things to say (more)
From Katolik Shinja
Fault-line through Europe
On the idea that the parts of the continent not in the Roman Empire were never fully churched and so went Protestant:
It is a fascinating phenomenon... that the fault-line of the northern Reformation corresponds more or less to the old frontiers of the Roman Empire. Civilization and Catholicism to the south; barbarians, and hence Protestantism, to the north.
- Passage of dialogue from Father Elijah: An Apocalypse

Makes a valid historical and spiritual point but how does one answer the argument that at least since the ‘Enlightenment’ the Protestant nations (which have taken that path to a logical conclusion and become ‘post-Christian’ — I hate that expression) have become world powers whilst the Catholic ones to the south and east have declined?

They pride themselves on being more civilised than the historic south and east, whom they regard as superstitious and backward, but then again their societies (one can fairly include colonies and ex-colonies here) brought us the atomic bomb (and used it, which horrifies really civilised people), apartheid and abortion on demand.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

From The Onion
Proposed Batman vs bin Laden comic
Frank Miller and DC Comics announced that they would be publishing a graphic novel in which Batman hunts down Osama bin Laden. What do you think?

"A cartoon targeting the Muslim world. I bet that'll go over great."
‘The poor you will always have with you.’

That includes those in monetary penury and those in spiritual penury, and I suspect there are many other areas of penury that human beings suffer.

There are those who, like Theresa of Calcutta, are called to work for those in dire physical need, and there are those called to deal with those in dire spiritual need... The Church's job is to tend the poor souls in need, not to save since that belongs to the Divine Remit, and not ours.
- Jonathan Munn
Though we do indeed have a mission to the poor, the very idea of ‘ending global poverty’ while there is still sin in the hearts of men is both impossible and heretical.
- Ed Pacht
From antiwar.com
Blogger bares Rumsfeld’s post-9/11 orders
‘Blame Iraq somehow!’
Ecclesiastical doings
The Devout Life
What many people do not understand about Zenit is that it is a publication of the Legionaries of Christ. They run it and as all Trads will know, they are the leaders in the Neo-Caths' little agenda the main gist of which is to keep Catholics thinking that really, everythying in the chanceries and in Rome is just tootie-footie-hunky-dunky.
Speculation: Why ‘Archbishop Twenty-Three’ didn’t get a red hat
Perhaps unlike his predecessor the Holy Father isn’t handing them out like free samples and really is a friend of the Roman Mass. We’ll see.

Eastern churches
Soul Saturday
It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins.
- 2 Maccabees 12:46
To those who have been swallowed up by the seas, to those whom war hath cut down, to those carried away by earthquakes, to those killed by assassins and to those burnt up in fires, grant, O Lord, a share in the heritage of the saints.

R. O Lord, give rest to the souls of thy servants who have fallen asleep.
- From the Canon for Matins today in the Eastern Orthodox rite

Greek fringe group leaves Russian Church Abroad (more)
As the latter possibly will rejoin the Russian Church now that the USSR is long gone

Probably good riddance.

The row in the OCA
• No wonder so many people hate religion
• That said, it’s nothing to do with religion as such*, and financial wrongdoing and bishop vs bishop have gone on since biblical times (there was Ananias in Acts, and St Cyril of Alexandria wasn’t particularly nice, to give two examples)
• This is a small, ageing ethnic denomination (with some nice people in it) that, despite the small counter-current of the 20-years-on convert boomlet, really can’t afford to rip itself apart
• ISTM that whistle-blower Fr Deacon Eric Wheeler and Archbishop Job (a lovely man I’m told) are in the right and those attacking them are by so doing making themselves look guilty as sin (rather like, as my girlfriend observed, the cover-up in the American RC gay-priest scandal). These chaps don’t even look above-board.

From Pontifications
Episcopal woman minister changes mind about Catholic orders, resigns (more)
Gaudent angeli. It’s happened before, though of course there’s liberal crossover in the other direction. (‘The Episcopal Church welcomes you: We’re more lenient than the church you’re mad at.’) The first woman ordained for the Church of Ireland and the wife of an American politician are now Roman Catholic laity as is Jennifer Ferrara of First Things, a former Lutheran pastor. And of course there are the Revd Judith Gentle-Hardy and the Anglican Communion Network, rather like my own Central Church friends: things are so bad in the Episcopal Church that even the women ministers who are still Christian are leaving. (Apparently because of Gene Robinson: ‘evil is good’.)

From David’s Daily Diversions
For all his problems, I don’t think John Knox would have gone in for this either

*Even the Articles of Religion, wrong on so much, get that right.
From Ilana Mercer
Pretending the ports were private
It doesn’t add up
From The Gaelic Starover
Norway joins the ‘axis of evil’
... if peace be a blessing, and a chiefe of his blessings, we may deduce what Warre is. To make no otherwise of it then it is the rodde of GOD’s wrath (as Esay termeth it), his yron flaile (as Amos), the hammer of the earth (as Jeremie) whereby he dasheth two nations together. One of them must in peeces; both the worse for it. Warre is no matter of sport.
- Lancelot Andrewes

Friday, February 24, 2006

From CounterPunch
Watching the dissolution of Palestine
From Cælum et terra
Regular folks and Russell Kirk
‘Regular’ in the American sense of ‘ordinary’
From Verbum ipsum
Crunchy libertarians
‘A stupid waste of time and money’
According to liberal cosmology, members of privileged classes can act like concentration-camp guards and get away with it
This decision strikes at the heart of democracy... Elected politicians should only be able to be removed by the voters or for breaking the law.
- Ken Livingstone
LRC picks
All in the line of duty
Another reason why the church is and the state should be libertarian about prostitution

And speaking of pastimes that are none of the state’s business...

US foreign policy drives Fred Reed to drink
From antiwar.com
The brutal Christ of the Armageddonites
On 19th-century dispensationalist codswallop
It’s in Revelation, people!
- Newsreader Kent Brockman, losing it

The Apocalypse, obviously in code about the Roman Empire, is so prone to Hal Lindseyish misreading that the Orthodox tradition, while keeping it in the New Testament, doesn’t use it in liturgical readings.
Arab, Egyptian, Armenian, and other Middle Eastern Christians interfere with their thesis, so the Armageddonites try to hide their existence. Pat Robertson’s ‘700 Club’, for instance, refused to show a segment about Christian Arabs. Jerry Falwell’s tours of Israel purposely avoid them...
From Katolik Shinja
Rethinking democracy
From Cacœthes Scribendi
South Dakota passes abortion ban
Again, perfectly reasonable: medically necessary abortions (a microscopic number) would remain legal just like they were before the late 1960s

Allowing abortions for rape and incest really says one has the right to kill you for the sins and crimes your father committed.

Operation Rescue
One need not appeal directly to religion (‘biblical mandates’*) to ban elective abortions: they violate the harm principle (the limit to your freedom is you can’t harm others) of libertarianism just like murder of the already born. It can be argued that this principle is derived from Christianity and indeed simply from natural religion (several religions have the golden rule and forms of the commandments regarding human relations) but in this form it works with religious liberty.

From Mark Shea
Socialist propaganda for little ones
They left out the sample page that says, "Democrats make sure Mommy could have scissors stuck in your brain as you were being born." An oversight, no doubt.
*Which from a Catholic worldview also cover killing Iraqis for no good reason.
From The Inn at the End of the World
And if you thought the ports deal with Dubai was strange...
Here in the lower, left-hand corner of the United States, about ten miles more or less from this keyboard, lies the Port of Long Beach. For several years now a sizeable chunk of the said Port of Long Beach has been in the hands of a branch (or is "subsidiary" the right word?) of the Red Chinese military.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Big box-office in Turkey: Evil Americans
Where would they get an idea like that?
Can you ‘map’ tastes in popular music?
Marek Gibney thinks so
From antiwar.com
How neocons sabotaged Iran’s help on al-Qaeda
Bin Laden’s more useful to them as he is than dead or captured
From Mere Comments
Fr Leonid Kishkovsky at the WCC
• Does anybody really take the WCC seriously? (From mainline to oldline to sideline.)
• No different really from the statements from RC bishops’ conferences only perhaps gutsier about Iraq and, in Fr L’s case, without the bad liturgy.
• Of course he’s right about Iraq.
• It’s bound to cheese off a goodly part of the Orthodox convert boomlet! (Those who politically are in the Protestant religious right.)
• It’s perhaps politically naïve about government’s rôles in the economy and the environment but of course alms and good stewardship of creation are authentically Catholic.
• Don’t fall for the pathetic fallacy; remember the stopped clock.
• I don’t see anything heretical in what he read if you can accept that baptised Protestants are implicitly somehow part of the Body of Christ, a view not foreign to Catholicism.
From The Gaelic Starover
A Christian call to stop torture now

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Another reason why Firefox rocks
Live bookmarks are the simple, efficient way to read the Internet

Now you can follow this blog through its RSS feed (click the image in the bottom-right corner of this window, in the status bar).

It took me a while but I’ve caught up with the times on this.
From Canterbury Tales
What’s worth saving in Anglicanism?
Add tolerant conservatism (search the blog) and the idiom of Cranmer’s Prayer Book and the King James Bible (arguably those fall under Fr Marshall’s fifth heading) and you have my list
The Catholic faith
On the Pope
For the feast of the Chair of St Peter at Antioch
From antiwar.com
Eyewitnesses peel back lies about Iraq war
Like ‘9/11 changed everything’™
From Slate
TV’s Aryan sisterhood
Somebody else noticed!

Up to old tricks in Middle East
Yes, giving money to an opposition group to overthrow a government has worked out so well in the past
This distrust dates back to 1953, when the Central Intelligence Agency plotted with British oil interests to overthrow Iran's nationalist premier, Mohammad Mossadeq, and replace him with the more pliant Shah.
Then supporting Saddam Hussein when that backfired, and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, and the Zionists funding Hamas to destabilise Yasser Arafat...

Isn’t not learning from one’s mistakes part of the definition of insanity?
From Katolik Shinja
The power of English
Learning it gives Asia a leg-up; native speakers can’t rest on their laurels
LRC blog picks
Lost words
Or conveniently forgotten, from George Bush the Elder

And this:
While the reich-wing opponents are motivated by hysterical anti-Arabism, President Bush may have only one motive: the Bush family is being paid off big time.
Here’s more on that from truthout.
LRC picks
A warrior against war
I don’t think the whole of Southeast Asia…is worth the life or limb of a single American [and] I believe that if we had and would keep our dirty bloody dollar crooked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own design and want, that they fight and work for.
- Gen. David Shoup on Vietnam

Or Southwest Asia.

Darwin as holy writ
“The great sociologist of religion Emile Durkheim called the contrast between the sacred and the profane the widest and deepest of all contrasts the human mind is capable of making,” wrote the late Robert Nisbet. “Everything above the level of the instinctual, Durkheim concluded, began in human veneration, awe, reverence of the sacred — be it a god, spirit, grove of trees, or lake or stream. Religion in the sense of gods, churches, liturgies, and bibles emerged in due time from the primitive sacred essence. So did the rest of human culture, its signs, symbols, words, drawings, and acts.”
Partially true. Take this natural religion found universally in fallen man and add revelation (a God who’s not somebody’s invention/projection) and reason rightly defined (objective truth, also not man-made, as the Schoolmen and in turn classical Anglicans saw ‘reason’), conforming yourself to the last two, and you get Catholicism.

(Then there was Chesterton who, trying to come up with the heresy to top all heresies, ended up re-creating orthodoxy.)

As I’ve blogged before, the fallible but admirable William Jennings Bryan (an evangelical* with socialist-like politics but a man of peace) wasn’t the bigot or idiot Inherit the Wind made him out to be. He read the textbook Scopes was using, giving it a chance, and was appalled. It taught things about man that essentially are racist. (Remember The Great Gatsby? Nazi ideas were hip in the 1920s. Margaret Sanger certainly liked them.)

Speaking of big names like Darwin’s, I’ve been told that Freud’s ideas are to psychology as alchemy is to chemistry.

Happy 60th birthday tomorrow, Mr Sobran.

War of the quailhawks
As regular readers know, my final words on Messrs Cheney and Whittington are ‘it was an accident’ and ‘Whittington was to blame really’ (walking into the line of fire without telling his friends). That said... canned hunts?! Incidentally, proto-neocon Theodore Roosevelt indirectly started the popularity of teddy bears because he saw such hunting, correctly, as unmanly: he wouldn’t shoot a captured animal like that.

More to the point here, the neocons thought Iraq would be such a lark, a canned hunt. How wrong they were.

Video: Interview with Gore Vidal

*Once such people knew not to glorify the military.
From Fr Anthony Chadwick
On mediæval English church life
Having read some of Eamon Duffy’s The Stripping of the Altars (or at least dipped into it), the typical parish scene in the late 15th and early 16th centuries would not have been some nice romanticised 19th-century building by Pugin with Pusey or Keble as the parish priest. It would have been a part of a rural culture that was something akin to la France profonde - little villages and small towns where people were, as now, concerned for their work, family lives and - above all, what happened to them when they or their loved ones died. I think most of us are realistic enough not to see the period as the Oxford and London ritualists saw it, but as something more rustic and real than any modern city dwellers could imagine it.

...There was certainly nothing precious about the priests who were distinguished from lay men only by their tonsures, their feelings hardened by seeing public hangings and animals slaughtered in the Shambles, people pouring their excrement out of their windows into the streets. Whether English parish life was steeped in superstition and immorality, or in genuine piety, would depend on the place and quality of formation of the priest and parish clerks. I have heard 14th-century English parish life compared to that of some of the Greek islands of today or even Islam in Morocco, where the church was simply a part of life. One lived and died in it. It was all taken for granted - until the day it was all taken away...
Just like a lot of what we think is ‘English restraint’ in church décor is really the result of ‘Reformation’ iconoclasm — period parish churches were riots of colour with images in the form of murals. And like with Græco-Roman style... we see the statues and buildings as clean and white because that’s how they looked when they were dug up during and after the Renaissance, not as they were when they were new!

Pugin Gothic was an intentional compromise to get the feel of the mediæval buildings but fitting them for the Tridentine use.

Fr Chadwick has the same ambivalence as me about trying to revive mediæval uses such as Sarum that are extinct as living traditions. It’s probably too late but the revivalists’ hearts are in the right place.
The Use of Sarum became increasingly standardised in the early sixteenth century, and the Convocation of Canterbury imposed its use to replace the other uses in 1544. It was replaced by Cranmer's first Prayer Book in 1549. The Use of Sarum had a great deal in common with the Norman rites, such as those of Rouen and Bayeux, though Sarum kept some of the old Gallican and Celtic prayers not found in northern France.

[Some] Anglo-Catholics introduced Sarum usages into the celebration of the Eucharist following the official 1662 Prayer Book rite with the Prayer of Oblation following the words of institution.

Sarum books are extremely hard to find, even in reprints, whether in the original Latin or the various done into English versions from the late nineteenth century. I would personally be favourable to a revival of the Sarum movement, if the result would be more than an antiquarian curiosity or something to which ordinary Christians cannot possibly relate. Celebrated in full, Sarum was a highly exuberant rite, and would require no less than a very large church for its full deployment.

There is something I once read in an e-mail list, but I am unable to find the exact details. Apparently, some traditional Roman Catholic students at Oxford University had the bright idea of reviving it in one of the college chapels as a way to "get round" the Indult, but its use was condemned by the Congregation of Divine Worship as an "abuse". The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, initially not opposed to these celebrations, was obliged to put a stop to the Sarum Masses in Oxford.
Brilliant! And a noble try.
...the people of the "working classes" are alienated from institutional Christianity, but readily resort to superstitious practices - witnessing to their belief in the supernatural and non-material phenomena.
It’d be difficult but not impossible to make them Catholic again: the natural religious instinct is still there.
From Cacœthes Scribendi
Roman Mass revives moribund church

Fr Richard John Neuhaus doesn’t mince words on Bp Gene Robinson’s drinking
First Things has a blog

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

From Mere Comments
The Wall Street Journal discovers granola conservatism
There really isn’t a conflict because the libertarian harm principle (the limit to your freedom is you can’t harm others) is derived from Christian morals

I remember being shocked in the early ’80s to find that some mainstream media defined a conservative as somebody who plays the stock market.
From Reuters
US: Top court to decide federal ban on some abortions
Mr Bush’s minders are only manipulating pro-lifers but if some babies are saved of course that’s good

Clearing up misunderstanding about autism
What I was saying about Asperger syndrome may also apply to some with full-blown autism:
Morton Gernsbacher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison questioned a common idea among autism researchers that autistic people lack a "theory of mind," which, among other things, gives an ability to empathize with others.

Again, she said, the wrong tests are used to assess this ability.
From CounterPunch
My epiphany
By Paul Craig Roberts
LRC blog pick
Dictators Day
Observed in the States yesterday to make a three-day weekend for many
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Love and not love
Classic Anglo-Catholic spiritual direction

And while in his blog don’t miss this classic popular literature: search for The Most Useful KNOWLEDGE for the Orthodox Russian-American Young People, compiled by the Very Revd Peter G. Kohanik.

Surveillance cameras
Proposed in Houston and Chicago
I vote for putting cameras into the offices of top Chicago and Houston bureaucrats like the mayor and police chief, with a live feed to the Internet. If they do nothing wrong, they have nothing to fear.
- Lew Rockwell
Why is saying offensive things about Jews a crime in Europe but not about Muslims?
The LRC blog and Dancing with Sprites on that, here and here

Long story short: thanks to World War II guilt Jews are a privileged class and Muslims, also an historic designated other, aren’t.

Which is why many make excuses for the Zionist state much like some do for black-on-white crime (‘some groups are entitled because they’ve been oppressed’).

And ‘acceptable’ unspoken racism: Jews of European descent are whiter than many/most Muslims.
From TCR News
The nuclear complex: America, the bomb and Osama bin Laden
True except not all the military leaders knew about the Hiroshima plan and some were appalled at the news

‘Secular values’? Not as an absolute like modern liberalism but as a relative good, protecting Catholics and others, that works because they’re simply an application of/nicked from Catholic ones (love thy neighbour, do no harm, etc.).

‘Baby shortage’
Britons who can and should have them aren’t

Monday, February 20, 2006

Daithí Mac Lochlainn’s LRC pick
Six questions about 9/11
1. Who is Osama bin Laden, and where did he come from?

2. When were Osama’s last non-hostile links with the U.S. government?

3. How did the President of United States react to the August 6 2001 Presidential Daily Brief?

4. Who wrote the script for the rhetorical response to 9/11?

5. Why did the mysterious anthrax attacks come and go like a wraith?

6. Why did Osama bin Laden escape?
From Slate
How to do kids’ TV
Keep it fast-paced and catchy, teach kids to use words in context, hire top-notch entertainers and writers... and slip in a little humour for grownups
Whoever decided to give each punctuation mark its own splurty sound was a genius.
He probably was: Victor Borge, who regretted that his wildly successful comedy made people overlook his talent as a pianist.
Eastern churches
Canterbury Tales
How does one explain the Orthodox view of original sin without being or coming off as Pelagian?
From antiwar.com
Rumsfeld’s pet tyrants
Following North Africa’s lead
From Fr James Tucker
Famous lost words
The peaceful republic envisaged by George Washington
From truthout
On defending American principles
True except don’t blame His Majesty for the War of the Rebellion; blame Parliament
From Katolik Shinja
Joshua Snyder’s LRC pick:

Argumentum ad Hitlerum
Pat Buchanan describes how the war party predictably have trotted it out
So Mr Bush’s minders invade one Arab country nothing to do with 9/11 or national security, fuelling anti-Arab hysteria to do so, then have strategic ports handed over to the government of another Arab country, two of whose citizens were 9/11 hijackers...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Another use for those annoying AOL CDs we’re saturated with

From Slate
Pretending Guantánamo doesn’t exist
And although he left the Catholic faith many years ago, thus squandering his anti-apartheid cred, Archbishop Desmond Tutu gets this one right, just like the West Bank in Palestine (‘a bantustan’)

Is blogging over as a business opportunity?

Abortion and contraception
The secular world doesn’t want to ‘get it’
Men must take more responsibility
So far, so good, then the other shoe drops:
through condoms, etc.
Partial quotation worth something (not that Jansenism is the answer):
...hypersexualizing everything from cars to small children — we will have a lot of unintended pregnancy (and a lot of sexually transmitted diseases and sexual violence)
In other words they don’t want the natural consequences of their actions. ‘Duh.’

This is their big non serviam: trying to punk the Almighty as a line on ‘Will & Grace’ once said. As I like to say, all heresy, apostasy and dissent ultimately come from where God and his creation, matter, directly interact (Jesus said he’d cause division!) and that breaks down into three subjects: the Incarnation (what Jesus is), what the Eucharist is and sex, the last of course being the only one of interest to the secular.
From antiwar.com
A perfect geopolitical storm
Three from LRC
Get out of Iraq now

The end of dollar hegemony

By Ron Paul
Something Daithí Mac Lochlainn has written about: why the US hates Iraq, Iran and Venezuela

Barry Goldwater
He was far from ideal but relatively better than what’s in power now

Sometimes the left gets things right:
I read aloud the part of SDS’s founding Port Huron statement dealing with foreign policy. To the senator, and to me, it sounded brilliantly isolationist, in the Taft mold.
- Karl Hess
From David Holford
Killing in the comfort of your own home (original story)
Abortion in Britain moves forward

And news on abortion in Australia
From Fr James Tucker
On mitred abbesses

The exodus of Arab Christians from the Holy Land

Thursday, February 16, 2006

From Slate
White snow, brown rage
Tapping both racial and class anger

It isn’t truly racist (biological) that northern European cultures are successful nor that their geography enables them to invent, practise and excel in certain sports.
From Verbum ipsum
Not the peace party
Out-hawking Mr Bush’s minders on Iran?
From antiwar.com
The propaganda we pass off as news around the world
Cameron is for ‘affirmative action’ in Tory Party
Not a conservative. As parodied in The Rockall Times, he’s Tony Blair with a makeover.
From last year via Sacramentum Vitæ
By Christina Hoff Sommers
Whose books I recommend and you can buy through the Amazon link in this blog (and by so doing, incidentally, support this blog)

Why the double standard?
...in liberal cosmology, women are victims and men are perps. Accordingly, the former should be allowed to celebrate their sexuality in whatever manner they see fit, no matter how vulgar, offensive, or discriminatory. It's a way of compensating them for their victimhood, after all. Men enjoy no such right, but never mind: perps have no rights.
Right: bolshie rubbish.

But of course celebrations of healthy sexuality are right out: as of a year ago ‘V-Day’ has replaced Valentine’s Day at about 500 American colleges (including craven RC ones).

Speaking of privileged classes, Michael Liccione notes:

It is legal to discriminate against Christians in the US
In that system the state is supposed to be religiously neutral, giving ‘the free exercise’ of religion to Catholics and others
Eastern churches
Sanctus Christopher
Serbian bishop: Don’t abandon Christians in Kosovo
9/11 and ‘terrorism’ are nothing to do with it IMO

From LRC
The forgotten Byzantine Empire

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

From truthout
Can we come home now?
Iraq veterans against the war
It was an accident
My issues with Mr Cheney are to do with policy that kills thousands of people, not something not the man’s fault. The other chap didn’t tell the group what he was doing and walked into the line of fire. You don’t do that at the range nor in the field.
From Drudge Report
New Abu Ghraib photos show up on Australian TV
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Satanist kid lit
I understand many of them don’t believe in a literal devil — which is fine with him. This seems like the popular idea of what Ayn Rand was about. Some things in it are true (the most dangerous kind of lie?) but it’s really only a false gospel of selfishness.

Very different from a Catholic libertarianism or libertarianism in general with its respect for other people’s freedom — the ‘harm principle’ (don’t harm others), which of course rules out Satanism’s teaching that revenge is good.

The narcissism of yuppies (as they were called 20 years ago) and New Agers.

What’s really scary is their name is legion: lots of people who’ve never heard of Anton LaVey think and live exactly like this.

I wonder what my acquaintance Dr Lawrence Sipe, a university lecturer who specialises in children’s literature and is also a traditional Anglo-Catholic priest, would make of this little book. It’s probably crap.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

From Fr James Tucker
The electronic computer turns 60 this week
The weather
The beauty and power of nature: the best moments this past weekend were contrasts
• Shovelling snow off the drive an hour before dawn during thunder snow, a thunderstorm with snow instead of rain
• Walking in town around midday with everything glowing white and very quiet with hardly any traffic
From Slate
Wiretapping, European style
LRC pick
Why they hate us

Monday, February 13, 2006

From The Gaelic Starover
Marketing mischief
From truthout
Cheney and presidential powers
By John Dean
LRC pick
Racist cartoons
By Eric Margolis
One Danish cartoon of Prophet Mohammed shows him with a long, hooked nose, thick lips, a sinister, malevolent glare on his ugly, Semitic face and a curved dagger in his hand.

Change the caption "Prophet Mohammed" to "Jew swine" and you have the double of Nazi anti-Semitic hate cartoons of the 1930s from the pages of
Die Stürmer.

That's what this is all about. Modern anti-Semitism, reborn.
From antiwar.com
Putin the peacemaker
Блаженни миротворцы, яко тии сынове Божии нарекутся

UN: Close Guantánamo
The case for ‘letting’ Iran have nukes
Of course the decision to launch nuclear weapons ultimately rests not with Ahmadinejad but with the actual center of power in Iran—the profoundly conservative Council of Guardians, stocked with clerics who would not sign off on a suicidal decision to destroy the Israelis. MAD may be just a theory, but it has proven to be a pretty good one, since no two nuclear-armed states have ever gone to war with one another.

But more importantly, this scare tactic is coming from the U.S., a country that in 2002 released a Nuclear Posture Review that indicated our willingness to launch first-strike nuclear attacks against countries who do not possess nuclear weapons. What's crazier—a virtually powerless Iranian president making empty threats against a sworn enemy, or the world's most powerful country threatening to obliterate you any time it pleases? Keep in mind that this country is still, 60 years after the dawn of the nuclear age, the only country ever to use nukes in combat.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

From Drake Adams
10 mistakes conservatives make in art and entertainment
Or when people whose true heritage is mediæval art and architecture go in for Precious Moments instead — of course many/most Protestants are cut off from the great tradition
From Fr Lee Nelson
Photo from St Nersess Seminary

Holy Communion from Armenian archbishop

Seminarians assist His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian at a pan-Oriental Orthodox Concelebrated Liturgy at St Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Cathedral, Teaneck, New Jersey

Receive Communion worthily.

I’ve met the dean of the seminary, Fr Daniel Findikyan, trained in Rome and a fine fellow.

A reminder: What partial-birth abortion is
Messrs Bush and Alito notwithstanding, this is true

BTW, South Dakota’s proposed ban on elective abortion that recently was passed by their House of Representatives seems perfectly sensible to me: medically necessary abortions (a microscopic number) would remain legal just as they were before the late 1960s.

Friday, February 10, 2006

From truthout
US ends Guantánamo hunger strike with force-feeding
From Pontifications
Catholicism and the ecumenical adventure
The churches of the ‘Reformation’ are not really interested in unity
When Catholics talk about unity between Catholics and Protestants, they mean an ever-deepening consensus in the faith, ultimately leading to eucharistic fellowship.
Which of course really means ‘become Catholic’. Ecumenism with Protestants, who haven’t got ‘churches’ (the current Vaticanspeak for them is ‘ecclesial communities’, which in plain English means ‘not churches’) because they lack the apostolic ministry and the Eucharist, is really ultimately about catechesis/instruction: you-come-in-ism. (‘You mean you don’t believe you earn your way into heaven or worship Mary like a goddess?’) Corporate reunion is only possible or desirable with groups like the Orthodox. Which, ideally, is not to say that everybody coming in has to adopt present-day RC practice. (Heavens, no!) Bring in sturdy, singable, orthodox hymns and the idiom of the Book of Common Prayer and King James Bible (fundamental texts of the English language that share with ancient rites an objectivity and Godwardness), and there is even latitude for non-doctrinal, disciplinary matters like the ordination of married men (as the Christian East practises it).
From Father Jake Stops the World
Right about peace issues, wrong on much else, which he’d say in turn of me!

National Religious Campaign Against Torture
From Slate
Some change is good
Ageing doesn’t mean turning dowdy anymore: agony-aunt Prudie gets a makeover



Much better.

Harrison Ford squanders what’s left of his reputation
From Han Solo and Indiana Jones to Air Force One and this
vaguely techy
Like those TV programmes in which computers beep every time somebody hits enter or a new screen comes up.
From The American Conservative via Katolik Shinja
Lumpen leisure
From TCR News
Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Iraq
From Tom Tomorrow
Nothing to hide
From antiwar.com
Keep antiwar.com online: Give

Ex-CIA official: Iraq intel ‘misused’ to justify war

Basically the US government ignored the facts and did what it wanted, which had been planned since the 1990s

The neocons’ long, hard war
A Thirty Years’ War-style plan for world empire. Here is LRC’s military expert William Lind on why that would be a disaster. (Wasn’t a long war of endurance and slow attrition what the Viet Cong won?)

US military spending nearly at Cold War high

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Church of England votes to disinvest from companies whose products are used by Israeli government in territories
Thanks be to God — even the mainstream C of E can get something right
Catholic ecumenism and the elephant in the room
By Fr Matthew Kirby
Catholic ecumenism is a question then, not just of how to forge a common future, but how to interpret a divided past.

A large number of Orthodox theologians and hierarchs contend that the difference between themselves and the Monophysites has been, for many centuries at least, based on logomachies. As a consequence they also hold that the two Churches already hold to the same Faith and possess the same Sacraments, and are thus already one in the most important sense, such that restored intercommunion is justified. These theologians appear not to contend that such a restoration would be a return of a schismatic body to the Catholic Church but that it would be the resolution of unfortunate, long-standing misunderstandings between sister Churches. Thus, it is effectively recognised that true ecclesial unity can co-exist with lack of visible unity for considerable periods.
IOW the Oriental Orthodox weren’t really Monophysites after all and the schism, like the one between East and West, was fuelled by imperial politics (the Orientals hated the Greeks) and linguistic differences.
It is now common in ecumenical (revisionist?) history to claim that the EOC and RCC did not really completely break communion or finalise the schism till many centuries after previously posited dates. It appears to be a permissible and common opinion among orthodox RCs and the EO to say that sacramental communion was not properly or completely absent till the 18th Century. However, the very fact that the schism had been dated by most people as being from much earlier shows that whatever unity there was, was not easily visible. And this includes to the people contemporary with the disputed period, since in Anglican-Roman debates of the 17th Century it was commonly contended by Roman interlocutors that the EOC was in schism and heresy.
In blog member Samer al-Batal’s native Syria, and I believe in his current home in the Lebanon as well, communicatio in sacris is standard between the two groups of Arab Christians (his Melkite Church and their Greek Orthodox opposite number); the only division is that the clergy don’t concelebrate.

Fr Kirby also notes that during the late mediæval Great Schism in the West with rival Popes there were saints on both sides (Joan of Arc supported the wrong Pope, somebody later determined not to have been the Pope).

And Huw Raphael notes:
Jan. 28 is also the Feast of St Isaac the Syrian. Many people don't like to talk about it, but he was a member of - and a supporter of - a heresy: the Nestorians. Oddly enough this fact tends to be ignored on most Orthodox sites, but a Google makes it clear.
Or put another way he was in the Assyrian Church, outside the Roman/Byzantine Empire and thus accused of being Nestorian.
LRC pick
US in 2008: Choose your foreign-policy poison
From antiwar.com
How conservatives went crazy
Two from Slate
Gonzales: Praise the Lord and shred the Constitution
Sen. Edward Kennedy, like other Democrats, took the tack of a spurned lover. He spoke longingly of the Republican administration that was in office when Congress drafted and passed FISA in the late 1970s and then said plaintively, "They came down and worked with us on FISA. … Why didn't you follow that kind of pathway, which was so successful?"

Gonzales' answer wasn't what most of the senators wanted to hear. "We didn't think we needed to, quite frankly," the attorney general said. Take that, co-equal branch.
Ex-Soviet soldiers for hire in Iraq
From Drudge Report
Former US president and preacher slate Bush at Mrs King’s funeral
It was difficult for them then personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated as they became the target of secret government wiretaps.
- Jimmy Carter
She extended Martin's message against poverty, racism and war. She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions way afar. We know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction over there.
- The Revd James Lowery
So make sure when you say you’re in it but not of it
You’re not helping to make this earth a place sometimes called hell
Change your words into truths and then change that truth into love
And maybe our children’s grandchildren
And their great-great-grandchildren will tell
- Stevie Wonder, ‘As’
From The Onion
White House débuts Iraq-war infomercial

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Our obligation to use masterly language
A defence of ‘liturgical English’
From truthout
Bring régime change home
From The Rockall Times
Prince Harry to serve ‘whatever the risk’
As befits the first prince of the House of Hewitt
A catena of quotations on Mr Bush’s most recent big speech
Compiled by columnist Gordon Bennett:
...George Bush spoke with unsubstantiated optimism about the war in Iraq; yesterday another American soldier was killed, bringing the total to 2,243. If all the families of all of those soldiers had been sitting in the chamber, could Bush’s self-serving comments about sacrifice have been heard above the cries of grief and anguish?
- Celeste Zappala, whose eldest son Sherwood was the first Pennsylvania National Guardsman to die in combat since World War II. She’s a member of Gold Star Families Speak Out.
President Bush states that... ‘the United States of America will continue to lead’. This President led the U.S. into an immoral, illegal war against Iraq based on lies and deception. The president worries that ‘a sudden withdrawal of our forces from Iraq would abandon our Iraqi allies to death and prison.’ He does not mention that U.S. forces are imprisoning 16,000 Iraqis, many of them held without charges.
- Kathy Kelly, co-founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Bush stated: ‘We are continuing reconstruction efforts and helping the Iraqi government to fight corruption and build a modern economy, so all Iraqis can experience the benefits of freedom.’... a cleverly worded lie… The contractors are already shutting down their work even though some of the original $18.4 billion allocated for reconstruction over two years ago has not been spent and half of the money spent so far has either been spent on insurance and private security or worst of all diverted to other schemes such as the building of a new United States embassy.
- Pratap Chatterjee, author of the book Iraq Inc.: A Profitable Occupation
President Bush said that ‘violent crime rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1970s’. This is true only if you look at violent street crime and ignore the violent corporate crime that results in pollution, worker and consumer deaths. The rate of violent corporate crime is by all indications on the increase.
- Russell Mokhiber, editor of Corporate Crime Reporter
Bush made no mention of the comprehensive energy bill he recently signed. That makes sense; the lobbyists went wild with it, the oil companies got $5 billion, $8 billion for coal, $12 billion for nuclear, and only $3 billion for renewables. Oil companies are posting record profits.
- Tycom Slocum of the Public Citizens’ Energy Program
Bush stated, ‘We accept the call of history to deliver the oppressed and move this world toward peace… And we do not forget the other half -- in places like Syria and Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea and Iran.’ Bush left out from that list... oppressive countries that are aligned with the U.S. (Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE, Oman, Jordan, Libya, Algeria, Guatemala, Azerbaijan, etc.
- As’Ad Abukhalil, author of The Battle for Saudi Arabia: Royalty, Fundamentalism, and Global Power
While President Bush declares that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose ‘a grave threat to the security of the world’... the U.S. is retooling its own nuclear-weapons research, design, and production infrastructure to maintain thousands of nuclear weapons for many decades to come, while enabling the production of new nuclear weapons for ‘post-Cold War’ missions envisioned by U.S. war planners.

Following the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration openly declared the potential first use of nuclear weapons -- even against those countries that don’t have them... (
U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, 2002)... But just beyond Iran’s border, the U.S. continues to turn a blind eye toward Israel’s sizable undeclared nuclear arsenal.
- Jacqueline Cabasso, executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation
LRC picks
Following orders is no excuse
Or how a few good men get smacked down in the US military

And, from Gary North:
In 1939 [Herbert] Aptheker joined the American Communist Party. During the Second World War he served in the United States Army and took part in Operation Overlord and by 1945 had reached the rank of major....
Think perhaps the bolshies were trying to destroy Catholic Europe?
LRC blog pick
On really supporting the troops
Dishonest sentiments find expression in the phrase "support the troops," when the message that is really intended is "support the war." Were they honest about it, they would say: "support the war, no matter how many dead and maimed soldiers it takes." If they truly cared for and respected the soldiers and their families, they would declare: "support the troops: bring them home at once!"
- Butler Shaffer