Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What’s accepted in Israeli politics
Lieberman has ... called for stripping Israeli Arabs of their citizenship, executing lawmakers for talking to the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and bombing Palestinian population centers.
From the Revd James Konicki.
Here’s a thought: admit people to university based on grades not race!
I don’t like VDARE but here they’re right; racial quotas including in the form of ‘affirmative action’ are wrong
US: RC voters’ guide
Compare the candidates on peace and other issues
November 1956
Ike enforced the Communist takeover of half of Catholic Europe in 1945 after Yalta (thanks, FDR: socialism at home, war and Communism abroad) and did nothing for the Hungarian freedom fighters (a tough one like Darfur but I’m still isolationist without apology) but at least stood up to Israel and defended Arab rights (can you imagine an American president doing that now?)

‘Over to you’: it had been true since World War I drove Britain into debt (which is why the dismantling of the empire began) but by 1956 everybody realised the centre of Western power had shifted across the Atlantic.

The third and final act?
Military expert William Lind on what may happen next in the Near East. I still say ‘Saigon-like victory in Baghdad for Teheran-like government’.

From antiwar.com.
Not a ‘fear the druids’ rant
Halloween: more fun than Harvest Sunday and of course better than lighting firecrackers to spite the Pope. Some say it’s more popular with adults now in the States as a substitute for ‘the holidays’ (Christmas and Hanukkah) in a more secular age but I don’t think the de-Christianised sentiment-and-retail-sales-fest Xmas is really on the wane. (Fine with me: leave out the money and the guilt and I’m a kid; I still love it*.)

I like what local radio star Michael Smerconish said of bowdlerised parties with national costumes and no scary-fun stuff: please; that’s as a bad as a ‘holiday tree’. It’s really the church’s day and season (the Vigil of All Saints and a foreshadowing of All Souls) so reclaim and enjoy it! So the white lights surrounding my front windows will come on for the first time this season and the local kids will get peanut-butter cups from me.

*How can I object to a season when even hard-shell Protestants acknowledge the Incarnation in its fulness including Mary as the Mother of God and display statues of Jesus and Mary?
The higher the religion the more all-pervading is its "givenness", until in Christianity we find a religion whose very life is divine. Insistence upon the necessity of the Christian Faith is no mere intellectual conservatism, but loyalty to given truth; insistence upon the necessity of the Christian Sacraments no mere delight in ceremonies, but the acceptance of given life; its emphasis from start to finish and in all departments is upon the action of God... not upon the action of man...

This doctrine does not in any way impugn the freedom of the human will -- there must always be a human response to the divine action, a response which is real and not forced; but where it is rght it is a response, and not self-initiated. When we come to the Christian Religion we find that which is uniquely given in the Person of Jesus Christ, Who is Himself the Way, the Truth and the Life.

If this is so it is clear that the Christian life is essentially supernatural. It is the ignoring or denying of this element which is the cause of most of the ineffectiveness of present-day religion. Supernatural religion is not popular, but that does not make it untrue. Protestantism dislikes it, the Reformation was largely a movement for its dethronement; Modernism dislikes it - the pathetic desire to find a merely human Christ and the condemnation of sacramental action as "magic" attest as much; Science dislikes it because it appears to the scientist to introduce an incalculable and undemonstrable element into Nature; the Man in the Street dislikes it because it is beyond his comprehension, and it is a common human weakenss to fear and therefore to hate the unknown; it remains for the catholic uncompromisingly to nail his colours to the mast and live supernaturally, confident that on that level alone will he find fully Him for Whom his soul thirsts.
- From The Elements of the Spiritual Life: A Study in Ascetical Theology by F.P. Harton, sometime Dean of Wells

From Fr Will Brown.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Diana Butler Bass
I linked to an article from her earlier: hooray for the peace message. That I know of her through the several bloggers who’ve praised her work rather proves her point of a kind of re-alignment.
“I write about mainstream and progressive Christianity — churches that base their message on God’s love for all people and God’s vision of peace and justice for the world.”
To which I’d say Catholicism’s got all that (so why re-invent the wheel?) but...
They are NOT the religious right. And, frankly, they do not like the fact that the media depicts most — if not all — American Christians as card-carrying members of suburban megachurches and Focus on the Family.
Well, neither are nor do we.
But they are not exactly a religious left, either. There is a religious left, and a rather vigorous one at that. I’m talking about something slightly different — Christians and churches that are something else—a new, generous, practicing sort of postmodern Christianity, a kind of Christianity that is embracing and redefining tradition while enacting justice in the world — people and communities that escape easy characterization or precise definition.
Throw in an extra ‘post-’ (so you get ‘pre-modern by choice’, which I realise is not the same as plain pre-modern) and take out the bit about ‘re-defining’ tradition and... my friends and I who meet at an old city-centre church to pray the office, go to Benediction and read novena prayers (and don’t stand in a suburban Mass-barn having Marty Haugen sung at us and amplified in our faces*), and write blogs like this one, aren’t that different to what Dr Bass describes. (We say and more important the faith says both belief and praxis matter.)

Then of course there’s the Orthodox convert boomlet, likewise ‘gathered communities’ and not geographical parishes one is required by law to attend, and with an emphasis on praxis. ‘Crunchy’ Catholicism as convert Rod Dreher might agree.

Right in the middle of historic Christianity... and just about off most modern people’s radar, left or right. (And Central Churchmen thought they were invisible.)

Fascinating and fuel for dialogue.

*’Cos ‘that’s what the kids want™’. Average age of the people saying this: 60s.
Ex-diplomat: US has lost Iraq war and should leave now
Teacher for a day
Last week under the cover of talking about religion in Dostoevsky’s Russia I got to present the Catholic faith to high-schoolers, most of whose parents are followers of Calvin and Knox, and obviously I lived to tell about it. Actually they were very pleasant.
Leftist myopia
From antiwar.com via The Western Confucian

Echoed somewhat by +Durham as reported by Verbum ipsum.
A blueprint for quitting Iraq
From LRC
Sung Angelus
And the text. From All Too Common.

Sometime +Eau Claire: there will be a new American church of Anglicanism; Episcopal Church will be shown the door
Fine except all that will do is re-create the Catholic-Protestant Elizabethan settlement only with no Broad Churchmen. From TexAnglican.

Detroit’s Lutho-Catholic pastor quits, says he will ’dox
From Occidentalis. No comment except his original position didn’t make sense as the German-heritage Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod does not claim apostolic succession.

Per Christum
A blog worth looking at: ‘ancient and future Catholics’
‘The Real World: Ikea’
No WMD in Iraq is good
From Rubber Hose via the Revd Tripp Hudgins
The latest on American torture
From Adventus

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Why the secular world is ultimately so depressing
Mere Comments on a film I’ve not seen
...the effect of a godless world, in which what were once thought sins still have consequences but without the possibility of redemption.
Now Europe targets bloggers as terrorists
UK, EU crackdown on ‘spreading propaganda’ mirrors US assault on Internet freedom

From the reader who submitted it: According to the attached, bloggers may soon be potentially designated ‘unlawful enemy combatants’, since the Internet is apparently now considered part of the ‘total battlefield’.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Catholic Worker statement on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and on the torture law
Trinity, Wall Street continues tradition of change-ringing
From John Boyden

A page of change-ringing MP3s
From Huw Raphael
Orthodoxy, postmodernity and the emerging church
From Notes from Underground
Quiz: ‘What’s your theological worldview?’

The Roman Mass,
Benedictine Abbey of
Le Barroux, France
You scored as Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is Mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Neo orthodox


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan






Classical Liberal




Reformed Evangelical


Modern Liberal


What’s your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

¡Viva el Cristo Rey!
On Fr Denis Fahey and the social kingship of Christ
Cheney: no problem with waterboarding
From truthout
Property squabbles and land leases in Israel
Historical background and a look at present and future. From Samer al-Batal.
Another back-handed good sign on the Roman Mass
The English RC left on the French RC left getting into a state about it. Much about the anti-Semitic and fascist ties...
"Tradition" here means lace, soutanes and mantillas; the old catechism and the priest turning from the faithful to face the altar and God. It stands for fortress Church, a bulwark against a corrupt world, as distinct from the Church of the Second Vatican Council, that seeks to engage with the world.
Mr Crispin is either lying or being obtuse. So the Anglo-Catholic ritualist slum priests, who gladly did or promoted those things, and Dorothy Day, who believed in it all (and wore a mantilla), weren’t engaged with the world. Would have been news to them. (Flip side: nobody needed the council to engage with the world.)
Vienna Teng
A talented singer. Submitted by a reader — I’d heard her before.

Friday, October 27, 2006

In Byelorussia, state-favoured Russian Orthodox Church and Russian Church Abroad still compete
Which doesn’t make sense as I understand at the top level the two churches want to reconcile. So why have Church Abroad congregations in the Russias now? They’re harassed by the government, which isn’t on.
GOP: ‘Hey, look, a distraction!
‘Fear the queers’ (answer)
‘Fear the brown menace’
Traditionalism is not the same as Novus Ordo neoconservatism
As well described by an ordinand. (Anglican theological college in England was in its way at least as bad if not worse.) To give the latter credit I accept religious liberty and ecumenism rightly understood (that is, not confused with indifferentism). No French or Latin-American fascist leanings here.

Mass-and-office Catholicism ≠ devotionalism and the personality cult of JPII.

From Rorate Cæli.
The next war
By Daniel Ellsberg
Abortion in Nicaragua: keep the century-old exception!
It’s fine with the church
Most of the other countries in this heavily Roman Catholic region allow abortion when a woman's life is in danger but deny it to victims of rape or incest.
Because to justify killing for the last two reasons is to say I have the right to murder you for the horrible crime your father committed.

Funny how liberals claim to care so much about society’s outcasts unless it’s an ‘unwanted life’ (very Nazi expression that) that somehow inconveniences them.
++Cantuar defends veils
Quite right. ‘First they came for the Muslims...’
The neocons as gnostics
From Joshua Snyder
Labels mask diverse opinions on faith and the state
Good points but what’s disturbing is how statist many American evangelicals are across the board (‘the state should redistribute wealth, invade and occupy Iraq and take our freedoms away for our own good’). From the Revd Tripp Hudgins.
Poll: US middle class turning away from Republicans
If the result is indeed like 1994 all the better
I don't care if I vote for Happy the Clown, just so it's not who's there now.
As a spanner in the works to bring in our good friend Gridlock, Happy will work.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Kill babies to save Canadian former actors
The secular world’s idea of charity. From Huw Raphael.
On the latest New Insight that Knocks Down Christianity For Ever
Media bias and the furore over something the Church Fathers (St Irenæus) had the sense to reject and that’s ‘new’ if that means ‘rediscovered in the 1970s’. Think that blitz a few months ago was timed for the release of the awful film of Dan Brown’s silly book? From Fr Joseph Huneycutt.
Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) on the rumoured liberation of the Roman Mass
Reports from the French opposition to the proposed motu proprio quote these opponents as saying that not only would the permission for the Roman Mass be a disaster, but such celebrations of the Roman Mass would not attract many people.

Now there is a point to ponder. If almost no one is likely to attend such a service, why does the prospect of allowing the service to take place send the French opposition into a panic?

Put simply, the very idea that anyone, anywhere, is allowed to have That Mass causes an irrational scream of horror.
On the dumbing down of the language
From phoney intimacy as intrusive and patronising to ‘street’ (there is hierarchy everywhere) to pseudo-management speak (which I’ve dedicated my job to eradicating from print)

DJ Nihal reminds me of the point made recently that forced ‘diversity’ (well-intended charity) backfires: kids in school react against this togetherness by forming cliques.

Here’s more on words and reality from Fr George Rutler.

Why I didn’t like ‘Sex and the City’
In a way J-Tron agrees:
If I were Luce, shacking up with this woman who just threw away her marriage vows for the sake of “true love,” I’d be careful to watch my back.
From LRC.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

ABC poll: more than half say impeach Bush
From The Gaelic Starover
I revile him. Not only should he be impeached -- tarred and feathered, too -- but he ought to spend the rest of his days laving amputees in the veterans' hospitals he is so sedulously filling with the legless, the armless, the blind and insane.
- Bill Kauffman
Around ‘Fluffya’

G-O-what? George W. who?
Of course it’s not true in his case but his trying this approach says a lot
Active-duty US soldiers ask Congress to end war on Iraq
From antiwar.com
Neo- vs palæo-
A primer from Ed Iverson via Joshua Snyder
I would only add that any war must be in keeping with Just War Principles.
For peace but not pacifist: correct.
I stand with the latter against Globalism, but I fail to see why the 19th century's nation-state is so idealized.
A difference between conservatism and libertarianism, or the neocons see their empire as one big nation-state whilst the conservatives (Little Englanders) see their nations as ‘small communities’.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The neocons’ plans for outer space
They obviously twigged that modern liberalism with its imperialism was the worldview of the good guys (obviously 1960s America) on ‘Star Trek’ so though they failed with Iraq they can be the founders of the Federation. (Cue the ‘TNG’ theme here.) ‘We come in peace! Shoot to kill! Stuff the Prime Directive.’ From CounterPunch.

Also from the LRC blog:
There are two giant entities at work in our country, and they both have an amazing influence on our daily lives ... one has given us radar, sonar, stereo, teletype, the transistor, hearing aids, artificial larynxes, talking movies, and the telephone. The other has given us the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, double-digit inflation, double-digit unemployment, the Great Depression, the gasoline crisis, and the Watergate fiasco. Guess which one is now trying to tell the other one how to run its business?
- Sign in a Bell lab, 1983
Chasing the swallows out of Capistrano
First Things’ Joseph Bottum on the auto-destruction of mainstream RC churches and hints of a restoration. Did you know the famous birds haven’t been back to the old Californian mission on St Joseph’s Day in nearly 20 years? Interesting metaphor. Of course the pro-life cause is true but it alone is not a substitute for the whole Catholic religion (nor are the emotion-fuelled sideshows of charismatism, Bayside and The Fatima Crusader, or the fan club of John Paul the Overrated), it doesn’t actually stop abortions and I won’t be played on that issue any more. (Fool me once, shame on you...)

Sounds like St Michael’s Abbey understands tolerant conservatism.
Withdrawing in disgust isn’t the same as apathy
Rod Dreher quotes Daniel Larison on the case for not voting (more)
The Catch-22 of the religious left
If you believe the state should take and spend other people’s money on social programmes you condone its use of force in places like Iraq... or on the church.

The five denominations listed, along with the Unitarians, are competing for the same shrinking, increasingly irreligious liberal white upper middle class in the States (their numbers are pegged to the white birth rate), and these five are slowly merging (basically COCU is happening after all).

The Protestant religious wrong
Neither Catholic nor secular-but-authentically conservative (identified rightly or wrongly with early-1960s Barry Goldwater for example)

From LRC.

Monday, October 23, 2006

What was wrong with the ‘Prayer of Jabez’ craze a few years ago
The prosperity gospel, or the middle-class version of playing your lucky numbers. (God is not a vending machine.) Scott Peck’s distinction of constructive vs unconstructive suffering comes to mind. From The Age to Come.
Dirty tricks
Try to imagine a CIA office in Oxford Street with 3,000 US operatives working in a similar way.
How Britain helped push the US into World War II. (One woman agent ‘flipped’ a pro-peace US congressman by seducing him.) Looking at it reasonably, being ‘anti-British’ was nothing necessarily to do with the rightness of the peace position. From LRC.
On loving your enemies
And the wrongness of the pathetic fallacy. From Warwickensis.
Jonah Goldberg says Iraq war ‘a worthy mistake’
From The Western Confucian

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Poll: most Arab Iraqi youth want US to quit their country
From TCR News
Helen Mirren does an impression of The Queen
Conjecture about HM around the time Diana, Princess of Wales was killed. Dumbed down for Channel 4. Seems like a TV-movie with all its expository dialogue because it is. Nothing new really: the royals aren’t very nice and are more interested in their hobbies than in people. (Though Prince Charles comes off rather well.) Then there’s the whole irony that people adored Diana in the first place for becoming a royal.

That said I like what the Queen stands for — duty and self-sacrifice to God and her people as a sacramentally crowned head of state (not even allowed to have an opinion much of the time as we’re reminded, sympathetically, in the beginning). She’s old-school. I understand the religion at the royal peculiars is the same way: not spikey but not modern either. And in the long run tradition was proved right in a way: Dianolatry waned fast and the sobbing masses in the documentary footage must feel awfully foolish.

A point made at the time and briefly by Prince Philip here: who should best decide how to grieve, the Queen who had known Diana Spencer since Diana was a little girl or millions who never met her? (Objectivity vs this kind of spectacle was a recent blog topic of old sparring partner Fr Todd Young. Just say no to eulogies and open-mic at funerals!)

Conjecture aside, the Queen bent but didn’t break. Well done, ma’am. Resisting the ‘Oprah’-fication of Britain.

The best moment is towards the end: a prophetic zing! Just you wait, Prime Minister... (Or ‘Tony bets on the wrong horse across the Atlantic’.)

Dame Helen is an ethnic Russian (Elena Vasilievna Mironova) but not Orthodox and doesn’t speak the language. She’s fashionably non-believing like you’d expect from an English woman like her. Essentially the stance of the Duke of Edinburgh most of his life: agnostic/indifferentist. At least the Prince of Wales is the patron of the Prayer Book Society.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Envoy: US showed ‘stupidity’ in Iraq
Also, a Baathist claims that the US is seeking a face-saving exodus and that insurgents are ready to negotiate but won’t lay down arms
Robert Fisk on the Armenian holocaust
From Samer al-Batal
What this world needs is more cosmopolitan reactionaries.
- Rod Dreher on Fr George Rutler
Iraq: from bad to worse
From the Revd James Konicki
Mr Rumsfeld’s leadership is inspired by God, says the top US general. From The Gaelic Starover.
Iraq: leave or be forced out
From antiwar.com
Sola scriptura is a wash
Even hard-shell Protestants unconsciously use Catholic theology to read it. From Huw Raphael.
Emperor for peace
His feast-day is today. From the vault as is this from LRC.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Spot the media bias
From Western Orthodoxy
How to make a suicide bomber
By Ryan Whitley. A four-year-old article but worth reading.
The formula is simple. Combine equal parts occupation, inequality, and violence. Stir. Bake twenty years. That’s it. Repeat as necessary. It is horrifically easy and it is being done as we speak. The suicide bombers of tomorrow are today’s children. They see what is happening around them and they do not understand. It will not be long though, before understanding does not matter.
In ‘Fluffya’
City schools’ lesson plan: believe that practising homosexuality is good... or else!
Parts of the Episcopal Church including those now in charge aren’t the only ones trying to preach (backed up by threats if necessary, in parishes that say no and/or try to leave) the gospel of gay weddings. (Here is the way out of that culture-wars trap.) What’s being pushed is not neutrality nor equal rights under the law (not a problem) but special rights. Smells like entitlement to me. From dcs, who like me doesn’t endorse WND.
Fight all false opinions with the weapons of gentleness and love, for roughness is bad for your own souls, and will defeat even the best of causes.
- St John Cantius
Tradition is ‘the democracy of the dead’.
- G.K. Chesterton
Cracks in the Bush-Blair axis
From CounterPunch

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Theocracy hypocrisy
Or when the secular left is actually calling the shots. From Rod Dreher.
How to report on the Roman Mass
By Amy Welborn. Because the MSM don’t get religion. Or get it wrong.
St Frideswide
Not in the Prayer Book kalendar but the legendary foundress of Oxford and a patroness of the consecrated life and of chastity in one’s state of life (much misunderstood). Lacking the fortitude to do real Matins I read a version from the Little Office (in Latin* not this modern English) and then Anglican Breviary Lauds for her feast-day today.

*Vulgate not Pius XII.
A modest proposal perhaps inspired by the Jefferson Bible
LOL, brilliant. That said, don’t Fr Jake’s fans do the same thing? One could parody that in a paperback complete with rainbow-flag cover and have it taken seriously.

Leave both kinds of objectionable stuff in, interpret according to tradition (or else you get phenomena like Jim Jones) and what have you got? Bibbity-bobbity-boo Catholicism.

Here’s another bit of religious humour that screams to be redone the other way round.
Iraq’s Christians flee as extremist threat worsens
That again. What Bush’s minders have wrought, in a country that was a dictatorship but a secular one where Christians could practise. From Samer al-Batal who writes:
Sheikh Ra`d Mutar Saaleh, religious head of the Mandæans, has also been murdered recently in Iraq by gunmen.
Bush admits Iraq is like Vietnam

Republicans’ popularity lowest in 14 years

New Jersey: Bob Menendez is a credible default choice
He’s a statist, probably corrupt and wrong on pro-life issues but functionally so’s the other side. And he held his own recently against Tom Kean Jnr in a radio debate. He’s opposed the war on Iraq all along like anybody with any sense and also was against Bush’s attempted Dubai ports deal.

Democrats seize on Iraq as central issue
I still don’t trust them but they’ve got my attention

Looking for scapegoats
Can you do this in an undeclared war? Search the blog for ‘RIP Iva Toguri’ to read the sad story of the American who wasn’t really Tokyo Rose.
The Lincoln cult’s case for mass murder
Illustrated with an analogy. From the LRC blog.
One, holy, neocon and Republican
The Catholic League in the US sells out. From Catholic Neocon Observer.

P.S. Read Mark Shea for the authentic Catholic view on torture.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Me and Fr Jake’s peeps again
This discussion didn’t resolve as nicely as the last but still was interesting

More on this stuff
Unitarianism, Modernism and multiculturalism are all Protestantism gone bad
Perhaps a certain kind of Protestantism, English Calvinism. Another gem from Joseph Sobran. From The Western Confucian.
David Kuo now has a blog
From Rod Dreher
‘October surprise’?
US ships sent to threaten Iran. From The Gaelic Starover.
Russian-born uni student’s job-seeking video backfires
A cautionary tale. Obviously Mr Vayner missed this online public-service announcement. Жаль.
The science of shopping
Retail sales as subliminal seduction, or parting you from your money through psy-ops. (As if advertising weren’t bad enough.) Makes being out of phase with mainstream society look good in comparison. The name of the game is not really getting goods to the consumer most efficiently but selling you sh*t you don’t need.
Illegal immigration and bilking the system
Disclaimer: I don’t like VDARE but a stopped clock is right twice a day. Here state charity ends up being doubly uncharitable to its own citizens. Filter out the racist tinge (fear the brown menace) of this site and of politicians who ride that message (such as Pennsylvania’s Rick Santorum) and it’s still true.

‘Liberals are right about the world’s problems but wrong about the solutions?’, G.K. Chesterton thought. The question is not whether there should be a safety net, says the Catholic libertarian or real conservative, but which non-state group should run it?

Another reason to vote for Sestak in Pennsylvania
Party of small government Party of big government and nepotism
Let not those who seem worthy of credit, but teach strange doctrines, fill thee with apprehension...
The Revd William May, an orthodox Lutheran pastor in Milwaukee, quotes St Ignatius

‘Nada te turbe’ as St Teresa of Ávila, commemorated this Sunday, wrote. Or as the Psalmist sang: Be still then, and know that I am God.

Something that Fr Amphilochios knew.
Give ye heed to the bishop, that God also may give heed to you.
Of course St Ignatius assumes a Catholic bishop, that is, one acting unequivocally in the name of the Catholic Church (not necessarily his own opinions), but point taken.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The wit of Adrian Fortescue
From Fr Nicholas Schofield

More on Dr F
Who’s who in the conservative Anglican scene in the States
Making sense of the alphabet soup of acronyms. A good companion page to this. From Pontifications.

The Revd James Konicki says:
I get the sense that it will break down into a carnival of vagantes.
I wouldn’t rule that out and to be fair parts of the Continuum have done.
Billboard for peace surprises and confuses people in New York town
From the Revd James Konicki
Pennsylvania, land of the retreating Republicans
Like Rick Santorum, who first won his Senate seat by sounding rather like a real conservative. A great counter-balance to Bill Clinton. (Gridlock is our friend.) The result? Prosperity and a government functionally more conservative than what’s in power now.

Now? I’ll probably default-vote for Casey and Sestak.

From Eunomia.
A century of war
More than 170 million people were killed by governments with 10 million having been killed in World War I and 50 million killed in World War II. Of the 50 million killed in World War II, nearly 70 percent were innocent civilians, many as a result of the bombing of cities by Great Britain and America.

Wars that destroyed American liberty came about through a series of deceitful political ploys... Lincoln worked to provoke the South into firing the first shot, and ... he used that shot as the pretext for total war. Wilson learned from this experience in working to get the US involved in World War I, which established a precedent for the planning state. FDR similarly engaged in political maneuvering to prepare a reluctant public for war.
The myth of spat-upon veterans
Shouldn’t haunt the anti-war movement

From LRC.

St Hedwig (Św. Jadwiga)
A patroness not only of Poland but of Silesian Germans, forced to leave their homes at the end of World War II, which friend Larry Reilly rightly describes as a pioneering American example of ethnic cleansing.
Just a thought
Something I’ve seen in a couple of places in the conservative-Christian (I don’t mean the Protestant religious right!) blogosphere (meaning I’ve forgotten exactly where I pinched this... it came up on Mere Comments and GetReligion). Of course we are all sinners and seek forgiveness and there’s nothing wrong with such self-interest. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ Not ‘instead of thyself’ or ‘more than thyself’. But might the social-gospellers who dismiss doctrine and old-fashioned morals ‘as long as our fundamental option is for God, we work for justice’ and so on (Pelagianism?) really mean something like ‘don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain’? Or ‘I’ve got a guilty conscience about something in my life and this is my go at covering it up; hope God buys it’?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Cranmer revisited
Or ‘What will you be doing on Oxford Martyrs’ Day’?
• Remembering what the parish of St Mary Madgalen, in which the site and monument are, was like as Canon Colin Stephenson left it. I caught a glimpse going to Masses and making confessions there a long time ago, before the incumbent went ‘InclusiveChurch’. (Transatlantic déjà vu: went through something similar at All Saints’, Orange, New Jersey.)
• Being reminded of the re-telling of the English ‘Reformation’ on ‘The Simpsons’ with Revd Lovejoy as C: ‘By the power vested in me... by you... just now...’ (Only two good things came out of the actual event: services in English and an attempt at the office for everyman.)
Ab illo bene + dicaris, in cujus honore cremaberis. Amen. Let’s have a cookout!

Seriously (for the irony-challenged), as I wrote to Arturo Vasquez, I use his idiom but unlike An Anglican Cleric don’t go in for his theology. He may not have been black-hearted but was Protestant!

His problem wasn’t so much that he was un-papal as anti-Catholic in general.
We will not receyve the new servyce because it is but lyke a christmas game, but we wyll have our old service of matens, Masse, evensong and procession in Latten as it was before, and so we Cornysshe men, where of certen of us understand no English, utterly refuse thys newe Englysh.
- The rebels of Devon and Cornwall, 1549

But at his best he shared with the Catholic Church a 16th-century Godward worldview and understood objectivity in worship. As G.K. Chesterton said the beauty of the Prayer Book isn’t that it was the first Protestant book but the last Catholic one.

To better understand him, think in present-day terms: what if one of the many little liberal vagante schisms had the power of the state — the police, the army, the courts and the prisons — behind it? (Like they say a language is a dialect with an army and navy.)

St Margaret Clitherow (whose shrine up north I’ve been to), pray for us.
Spare the Rod
More from me on the Dreher row
That thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who camest into the world to save sinners of whom I am the first
It's tragic the way extremists co-opt the notion of God, and that hipsters and artists reject spirituality out of hand. I don't have a fixed idea of God. But I feel that it's us — the messed-up, the half-crazy, the burning, the questing — that need God, a lot more than the goody-two-shoes do.
- Mike Doughty, musician

From Adventus.
The tradition of the church is not the personal cult of the Pope
Says the now-reigning Pope. From Rorate Cæli.
More on the rumoured universal indult
And a comment

This is from a good blog for papal news, which is promising.

And a lively conversation on the subject
Featuring Arturo Vasquez (Pseudo-Iamblichus). Once again, traditionalism is not about Latin. That’s a scare tactic from the other side. They and I know that the rank and file are not interested in dead languages, even beautiful ones. (Though I never hear churchgoing Russians complain about Slavonic.)
India: Ex-untouchables switch faiths
Understandable, ¿no?

First a disclaimer. OK then:
Homer Simpson: No offence, Apu, but when God was handing out religions you must’ve been taking a whiz!
Apu: Well, come to think of it being a dalit does kind of suck.
Homer (offering peanut to statue of Ganesha in Apu’s shop): Here, boy, have a peanut!
Fr David Hart (walks into shop): Hang on! Let’s see if Ritual Notes has got the ceremonial for this.
Close encounters of the Bush kind
By Cindy Sheehan
2001 US survey: ‘Absolute collapse of mainline Protestantism’; RCs’ beliefs no different
Of course I see that but the article is far from perfect:
For example, a mere 21 percent of America's Lutherans, 20 percent of the Episcopalians, 18 percent of Methodists, and 22 percent of Presbyterians affirm the basic Protestant tenet that by good works man does not earn his way to heaven.
Faith vs works always was a non-issue; the recent RC-Lutheran agreed statement was correct (the former didn’t give in as wrongly implied). This quotation implies an old anti-Catholic canard: ‘you think you earn your way into heaven’. Recently blogged another quotation about that: we just can’t please the Protestants and ex-Protestants. When we stress penance and ascesis we’re accused of exactly this; when we preach mercy we’re called lax.
Gerald McDermott, an Episcopalian, agreed: "This happened because in the last 30 years American pastors have lost their nerve to preach a theology that goes against the grain of American narcissism. What we are witnessing now is what (evangelicalism's premier thinker) Francis Schaeffer predicted over 20 years ago -- that the American church of the future would be dedicated solely to peace and affluence."

Paul Hinlicky and McDermott found another result of the Barna survey depressing. Only 33 percent of the American Catholics, Lutherans and Methodists, and 28 percent of the Episcopalians agreed with the statement that Christ was without sin.

To McDermott, these numbers indicate an "epochal change in popular theology." He added, "This would suggest a loss of faith in the Divinity of Christ." If this result is accurate, a large segment of the U.S. population was reverting to Deism, a belief system prevalent in 18th-century England and shared by leading American thinkers of that period.

"Christ would then be no more than the Dalai Lama, an admirable kind of a guy."

"If this figure holds up it signals a complete breakdown of catechetical practice," said Hinlicky who teaches religion and philosophy at Roanoke College in Salem, Va.

"What has brought us to this point is zero theology since the 1960s," Hinlicky explained.

Summing up his views on Barna's findings on the beliefs of mainline Protestants and Catholics, McDermott said, "This underscores how America has become a mission field."
Ministers reading this who are Christians: you’ve got your work cut out for you.

The Eastern Orthodox convert boomlet didn’t happen in a vacuum. On the ground level, where RC = non-Anglo mainline Protestant, where else are Evangelical Is Not Enough* people going to go? (People who would have been happy Modern Canterbury Pilgrims or Newman-like RCs 50 years ago.)

Of course there are also the RC traditionalist movement and the Continuum. Learnt something interesting recently from two priests of the latter: most people in their congregations are not ex-Episcopalians! They’re getting the kind of converts I just mentioned: the majority, followed by the senior/founding ex-Episcopal members, traditional refugee ex-RCs (about 20 per cent to a third in some parishes) and finally something like 6 per cent born members.

*Yes, I know that Thomas Howard has been an RC for about 20 years.
More personal freedom in... the American South
That’s right, the red states and not the blue, hip North-East, says a conservative Christian. (She probably means the South today not historically for blacks.) The difference between Christian-based tolerant conservatism and political correctness.
CP: The Northeastern idea of the South is of a very conformist, rigid place, but that's not how you talk about it at all.

NF: There's definitely a different perception. In the South, in terms of the laws, there's more freedom. ... When I went to Philadelphia, it wasn't a place with unbridled freedom because they expected me to conform to their standards. You live so close together, it's hard to avoid conflict, but in the South you can be kind of a rare bird ... You've got more room to live and you're not constantly in conflict with people. People aren't making you be what they are.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

What went wrong in the 1960s and why I don’t like the petitions in the Liturgy of the Hours
From Fr Peter Robinson
Do libertarians outnumber soccer moms and NASCAR dads?
The Cato Institute claims they do. From Fr Jim Tucker.
Bandow on Bush
Don’t confuse this government with real conservatives. From The Western Confucian.
‘Positively 4th Street’
Bob Dylan on narcissistic ex-friends. The ‘I hate Rod Dreher’ club aimed these words at him. They don’t apply there but do in other circumstances.
A bit on liturgical prayer
Defining it as distinct from devotions
Double effect, double standard
From Verbum ipsum
Wisdom, be attentive
Our response to terrorist attacks should always be, “How can we conduct our collective affairs in such a way as to make terrorism pointless?”
- Dr A.K.M. Adam (biretta tip to the Revd Tripp Hudgins)
Arturo Vasquez on the possible liberation of the Roman Mass and his experience with the dodgy side of traditionalism, from Action Française to sleazo caudillos to M. Le Pen. (Fr Anthony Chadwick can relate.) And my answer.

Occidentalis reports that now you can download the whole Missale Romanum as a beautifully typeset PDF file.

Arturo has pointed out some unlovely things that can fuel the following. An MSM smear campaign is on, which may be a sign the universal indult will happen!
The intellectual suicide of Western liberalism
Philip Blosser on the Regensburg speech, or Modernism is self-refuting. No more a call to attack Muslims than the speech itself, it simply points out that truth is not relative, something the Catholic intellectuals of the early C20 taught in their battle with the Pragmatists even as they selectively applied Progressive methods (nobody asked for nor needed aggiornamento). From Sacramentum Vitæ.

On a related note LRC’s William Anderson slates Duke University for its treatment of the rape trial involving some students. The PC of course are in a sense trust-fund babies living off the capital of Christianity: every old-school priest or academic I’ve known in two and a half decades has hated racism, needless violence (which gives you the main point of this blog) and unchastity (not to be confused at all with being anti-sexuality!) as much as these profess to hate at least the first two. (Regarding their take on the last Murray Rothbard had something to say.) Nor do I sympathise with mainstream society’s obsession with sport. That said, whilst the ex-Duke laxmen may not be nice guys (which of course shouldn’t put you in jail) reality seems a casualty here.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A glimpse of Mass-and-office Catholicism
From this chap via one of Rod Dreher’s livelier com-boxes (put on your hazmat suit before wading through the thread)
Why we still fight
Yep, it’s now all about George. Anyone who thinks that is too low, too mean, too despicable even for this bunch does not understand the meaning of the adjective "Rovian." Would they let thousands more young Americans get killed or wounded just so George W. does not have to face the consequences of his own folly? In a heartbeat.

Not that it’s going to help. When history finally lifts its leg on the Bush administration, it will wash all such tricks away, leaving only the hubris and the incompetence.
From LRC.
Me on re-alignment and TEC doings (more)
Sparring with Fr Jake’s fans again. As a certain priest in Newcastle-upon-Tyne says, ‘Of course I could be wrong’.

More on how the courts deal with religious groups
...the Eastern Old Catholic Liberal Orthodox Communion of the Utrecht Empire or something like that.

Trust me, these churches are out there.
Oh, yes. Vagantes. Tee hee.

From GetReligion.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Google list of news stories on rumoured universal indult
From The New Liturgical Movement

Vota ‘sì’!
But traditionalism isn’t primarily about Latin. From The Western Confucian.
Orthodox priest kidnapped, beheaded in Mosul
Again, Christians weren’t targets like this under Hussein. From The Curt Jester.

The gay-priest atrocities bankrupt a fourth RC diocese
It probably deserves it
In explosive book, former Bush official claims faith-based push was political
Say it ain’t so! (In other news most people enjoy sex.) From the Revd Tripp Hudgins.
Good stewardship (a lesson I as an old-school born Anglican learnt as a kid: conservation) and ‘live simply so that others may simply live’. Brilliant! I saw recently that the writers of ‘The Simpsons’ know about the dead-mall phenom. I say good riddance; the waste of space and resources always bothered me. Hooray for the ’Net! From the Revd Tripp Hudgins.
Media bias in covering the possible liberation of the Roman Mass? No!
‘Reform’ has a good connotation so anybody who’s against it must be a big blue meanie, right? From GetReligion.
There are, I imagine, few high-Mass Catholics in the typical newsroom.
The big change would be removing bishops on the left from the decision-making process.
As great as local episcopal independence is in principle (a big argument the Orthodox make, and for them it works because there’s no Protestantism and certainly no Modernism among them like in the West) this would be a good move. The Pope is really the Patriarch of the West so it’s arguably his right. Better still it’s not an arbitrary use of power but restoring immemorial custom (a rule Eastern and Western) where it’d been unjustly suppressed. And if Rome vets all those appointments, why are there Modernist bishops anyway? After all, John Paul the Overrated brought you Roger Mahony (and gave him a red hat!) and his ugly cathedral* in LA.

*To be fair, the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy also seems to have one of the world’s ugliest cathedrals.
What if the Amish were in charge of the ‘war on terror’?
Part of the fine peace witness* of the Sojourners people even if I don’t agree with their whole programme**. The analogy isn’t perfect: though innocent people suffered in both cases, US foreign policy ‘brought ’em on’ on 9/11. But the point remains.

From Hoosier Musings in Big Sky Country as is this:
Montanans are used to this [hardships including natural disasters like this summer’s wildfire]. Bless them, grumbling is at a minimum. Most simply shrug their shoulders, not expecting anything different (some thankful that the politicians are not mucking things up any worse than they already are), and go on about the business of coping.
Well, yes.

*Issues on which David Virtue and I are opposed BTW.

**No statism of the right or left, thank you. Christian political activism should work to cut back the state; stopping government-sponsored evil like apartheid historically or the war on Iraq. When Christians try to use the state you get tyranny like the executions of English Catholics and flops like Prohibition (also infringing on rights) or, surprise, the state ends up co-opting the church. ‘Talk up the Iraq war from the pulpit — or else!’ Far-fetched? Not really. Ask All Saints’, Pasadena!
Bishop of Quincy 1, TEC and AffCath nil
Post-Hussein Iraq
For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.
- Hosea 8:7

From The Western Confucian.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Onward, moderate Christian soldiers
Good points:
Our difference concerns the extent to which government should, or even can, translate religious beliefs into the laws of the state.

People of faith have the right, and perhaps the obligation, to bring their values to bear in politics.
Many conservative Christians approach politics with a certainty that they know God’s truth...
Knowing God’s truth! What cheek. What’s that to do with Christianity? (Perhaps Fr Danforth could have saved the church fathers and councils a lot of bother.) Latitudinarianism and Broad Churchmanship... Quid est veritas? Never mind; just shut up and obey the king even if he’s pushing heresy.

(But of course nobody on this earth knows all of the truth.)
...and that they can advance the kingdom of God through governmental action.
We agree here that they’re wrong. So is the religious left like Sojourners* (likewise relativistic though well-intentioned) for the same reason.

From Speaking of Faith.

*Hooray for the peace message there.
The right and wrong approaches to mission
From The Scrivener via The Ochlophobist

As I was saying...

And a word from St Ignatius via the Revd James Konicki.

Schmemann was cool but you have to read him in the context of his tradition. Cabasilas on the Divine Liturgy is a good counter-balance to help you do that.

Also, Owen on mission statements:
The Ochlophobist’s Rule #129: Mission Statements are for persons and institutions whose personal or corporate character and function is determined by bureaucratic fiat. Mission Statements employ, by necessity, committeespeak. Bureaucracies and committees are contrary to the life of both the Church and the human. The Holy Spirit does not inspire them, and Christ never used committees or cooperated with bureaucracy (“My Kingdom is not of this world” is Christ’s short dismissal of the means and ends of bureaucracy). Therefore, Mission Statements are to be avoided at all costs, and people who advance them should be politely teased, or, if necessary, slapped.
A right thing to do with a redundant church and vicarage
One successful idea: turn them into a monastery! The many little traditionalist orders could be today’s slum priests. From Ship of Fools.

Another example described there:
The Anglican Parish Church of St James in Bristol is an ancient city-centre Norman priory church that was no longer needed by the C of E and about 10 years ago was transferred to the Little Brothers of Nazareth, a Roman Catholic group which ministers to drug addicts, alcoholics and doubtless other lost souls. The LBoN have built very attractive residential buildings next to the church and the church has a real feeling of the sacred again.
War without end
US Army plans to keep current number of soldiers in Iraq through 2010
An imaginary dialogue: Nietzsche vs St Thérèse
By Fr Michael Paul Gallagher
On the death tax
Even the neocons at First Things get it
The latest rumour of liberating the Roman Mass
Seems more promising than all the others — Ruth Gledhill’s article is headlined ‘Pope revives Latin Mass across world’ — but have you got proof the Pope signed a universal indult?
More from Thomas Woods
From The Church Confronts Modernity: about 100 years ago you had as a rival to Catholicism
... the social-political vision of Albion Small, which included the need to encourage the growth of allegiance to the new centralised state as the very font of democracy and to discourage excessive attachment to other sources of allegiance (by which were meant not merely local governments but also competing belief systems) ... very much in line with the Zeitgeist. Part of his aim consisted of merging the Christian denominations into a single, non-dogmatic system divorced from the supernatural.
All the essential issues are the same today.

From my com-boxes yesterday. Imagine there’s no heaven...

Mine eyes have seen the starter of a merger into mush...

But of course liberal religion isn’t the only kind that can be perverted this way. (But the example in LRC today is still Protestant. Draw your conclusion.)

Also, I’m sure images in worship are right out with this lot but literally venerating a cut-out of Mr Bush is OK. Again, as T.S. Eliot said:
If you will not have God (and he is a jealous God) you should pay your respects to Hitler or Stalin.
Libertarian Wiki
What have the Republicans done lately that was not socialist, big government, and tax-and-spend? As rotten as it was, I will take the Clinton administration any day over Bush and Co.
From the LRC blog.
When theologians try to be economists
From Verbum ipsum. As I wrote here on this:
Regarding the systemic stuff, as I like to paraphrase the great G.K. Chesterton liberals are right about the world’s problems (handouts don’t bring about justice or solve the underlying real problems) but wrong about the solutions (‘the state can abolish poverty’).
Study: 655,000 Iraqi war dead
I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

... I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believin' that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believin' that we all were on their side.

Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.
- Johnny Cash

‘Of course not — the US only bombs countries that can’t fry us back. Serbia, Iraq... you know, loser countries.’

Rice: No plans to attack North Korea

More fallout from Kim’s nuke

Couldn’t resist writing that headline. From Jorge Sánchez.
The values of liberal democracy
One of the things about religious freedom is that protecting the religious freedom of others is also a protection of my religious freedom.
From Notes from Underground.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Crap that (would-be) ordinands have thrown at them
Pathologising healthy men because of their views. Having both spent time at a theological college and worked at an RC seminary I know it’s true.