Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rumours of wars
The Revd James Konicki blogs that Russian news, via Polish news, reports that the US plans to bomb Iran... on Good Friday.

Lord, in thy mercy: hear our prayer.
How the US Army broke in Iraq
From Slate
‘War on terrorism’ a wasteful, misguided exercise
From Rational Review
James Dobson, go to your room
James Dobson, who once did some good work on families but now is little more than a Republican political operative... You see, Dobson approves of George W. Bush and his war in Iraq. Last year, Dobson's political magazine Citizen praised this immoral war as a "noble cause." The guy also is a champion of the Drug War and anything else the government does to destroy civil liberties... "Faith-Based Initiatives" (welfare for churches) or the various wars the government gives us, whether domestic or foreign. And, from what I can tell, unless one signs on to support these destructions of liberty, one cannot be a "Christian" in Dobson's eyes.
From the LRC blog.
How might punishment work in a free society?
The idea of primacy for restitution to the victim has great precedent in law; indeed, it is an ancient principle of law which has been allowed to wither away as the State has aggrandized and monopolized the institutions of justice. In medieval Ireland, for example, a king was not the head of State but rather a crime-insurer; if someone committed a crime, the first thing that happened was that the king paid the "insurance" benefit to the victim, and then proceeded to force the criminal to pay the king in turn (restitution to the victim's insurance company being completely derived from the idea of restitution to the victim).

In many parts of colonial America, which were too poor to afford the dubious luxury of prisons, the thief was indentured out by the courts to his victim, there to be forced to work for his victim until his "debt" was paid. This does not necessarily mean that prisons would disappear in the libertarian society, but they would undoubtedly change drastically, since their major goal would be to force the criminals to provide restitution to their victims.

In fact, in the Middle Ages generally, restitution to the victim was the dominant concept of punishment; only as the State grew more powerful did the governmental authorities encroach ever more into the repayment process...
From LRC.
It’s not about Latin
Writers in a message-board thread and Chris Tessone understand

Pugin Gothic
Or you can find high churchmanship in England if you’re looking for it. From TNLM.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Постъ: The Ochlophobist on fasting in the Orthodox tradition
Like this
Fasting in Orthodoxy is not anything like fasting as I have experienced it anywhere else. Orthodox fast like Mediterranean people argue, which is to say, it often makes no sense, from an organizational efficiency or public relations or philosophical point of view.
List of Orthodox saints for special intentions
From Elizabeth at The Garden Window. A good idea for a page but it looks unfinished (for example where’s St Panteleimon, a saint for healing in general?) and needs to be redesigned.

Ukrainian Catholic Church head: state should stay out of church-union talks
The US-supported president of the Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, belongs to the Kiev Patriarchate, the country’s biggest nationalist schism from the Orthodox, and wants a national church. Most Ukrainians are secular but most of the churchgoing minority are Russian Orthodox and want to remain so. (The anti-Russian US government may favour the schism.)
Newman’s litany of Christ’s suffering
‘We were torturing people for no reason’

The left is not anti-war

Again if Mr Bush’s minders wanted to shut them up they’d invade the Sudan

The antichrist and the inversion of values
Rubbishing most ‘conservative’ RC blogs

From The Western Confucian.
Heck of a job, Uncle Sam
Four years in Iraq. From blog reader James.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Why the exodus to WordPress?
Just about every other blogger I read has switched from Blogger to WordPress. I’m staying because despite Blogger’s occasional breakdowns (‘we’re sorry but the server is experiencing a problem’... well, I hope it’s got an understanding therapist) I can customise the template as I’ve done here, which I don’t think you can do there if you’re not hosting the blog yourself.
John Boyden on the Israelis in Palestine
There's a video I had found on Youtube of a young man ... who is saying blasphemous things against Internationals in Hebron. It's the first video listed, otherwise it can be found here.

It's so distressing to see these Orthodox Jews who teach their children to spit at and throw rocks at and otherwise harass Palestinians. One video shows a young boy of 5 or 6 walking with his father throw a rock at a woman with a baby in her arms. The father does nothing.

Most of the Jews seem to be American transplants. Strange to see this behavior from families with several children...
Common sense from a Central Church gentleman on the Episcopal row
The honorable and just thing, I think, would be to reconvene GC [General Convention, their General Synod], divide the church, and be done with it.
Alice Linsley on her conversion
My comment. From Clifton Healy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What is the authentic tradition of your church, rite or use/recension?
Honest survey results:
  • The way things were described in Sunday school/catechism classes (27 per cent)
  • The way the priest did things in my childhood parish (26 per cent)
  • What Granny taught me (17 per cent)
  • A set of conclusions arrived at by reading one or two websites (20 per cent)
  • A set of conclusions arrived at by reading one or two actual books (10 per cent)
Some religious humour adapted from The Onion Dome and got from byzcath.
The war on Muslims
The Gates of Vienna, 1453, all that.
Say even Catholic misguided supporters of this war. LRC’s Fred Reed answers:
Perhaps. There follows a list of Christian countries I can think of that have been conquered by Moslems since the Industrial Revolution:

On the other hand, to the best of my admittedly weak historical understanding, the following Islamic countries have been conquered by Christians: Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Chad, Pakistan, Bangla Desh, Libya, Indonesia, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Kyrgyz, Kazakhstan, Somalia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan, to name a few. On various occasions Christians have tried to conquer Afghanistan, but with no better luck than they deserved.

[Muslims] see Israel as just another example of colonization by armed force.

At the moment, Americans or Jewish allies are brutalizing Palestine and Lebanon, using Pakistan as a puppet, wrecking Iraq and Afghanistan, bombing Somalia, hunting Moslems in the Philippines, and threatening Syria and Iran. Maybe that’s why Moslems don’t like us.

The disasters of war
From The Western Confucian

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tel Rumeida Project
From John Boyden
The Pentagon’s power to jail indefinitely

Getting away with rendition

... Bush's "war on terror" – which is, as we've often noted, simply an escalation of the long-running, bipartisan foreign policy of the "National Security State" that has ruled America for 60 years.

This year marks the anniversary of this coup d'état: the 1947 "National Security Act." Writing on the 50th anniversary of this supplanting of the Republic, Gore Vidal wrote:
Fifty years ago, Harry Truman replaced the old republic with a national-security state whose sole purpose is to wage perpetual wars, hot, cold, and tepid. Exact date of replacement? February 27, 1947. Place: The White House Cabinet Room. Cast: Truman, Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson, a handful of congressional leaders. Republican senator Arthur Vandenberg told Truman that he could have his militarized economy only IF he first "scared the hell out of the American people" that the Russians were coming. Truman obliged.
From LRC.
How to prank a telemarketer
From Wendy McElroy
4GW takes to the air
An end to state monopoly on airpower. From The Western Confucian.
Support Good Friday collection for Holy Land

Flickr photos from late 2006 Olive Harvest Delegation trip to Palestine

From John Treat.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The angel of the Lord brought tidings unto Mary
And she conceived by the Holy Ghost. A pro-life feast-day if ever there was one.
Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.
— General Omar Bradley

From The Traditional Frog.
Subsidising destructive behaviour
I wouldn’t idealise the world before the late 1960s as much, a tip of the biretta to my liberal readers who are happy to point out the period’s shortcomings, but other than that Linda Schrock Taylor seems spot-on. From LRC.
Alexander Cockburn on Iraq four years on
From CounterPunch via the LRC blog
On working with the left for peace
Any political alliance, including with the right, is only provisional. From

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Son of ‘spiritual but not religious’
As I’ve written before, that expression really means ‘God is nice to have around but I call the shots’. According to Rod Dreher’s sources this has turned into something called moralistic therapeutic deism, or political correctness (Christian ethics shorn of Christianity) mixed with ‘Back off, God!’ arrogance that stops short of denying he exists:
The upshot is that even among the most religiously enthusiastic Americans, the faith has become so inculturated that it has been turned inside out, and is no longer prophetic, but therapeutic. Ken talked about an interview he did in 2005 with sociologist Christian Smith, who had just written a book on the religious and spiritual lives of American teenagers. What he found was a consistent set of religious beliefs across denominations, and even traditions (i.e., Muslim teenagers told him the same thing). But it wasn't the beliefs of the particular traditions the kids came out of; rather, it was what Smith calls "moralistic therapeutic deism." Its principles, as Ken listed them, were startlingly familiar: God exists, but you really shouldn't get overly involved with Him unless you get into real trouble or something; the point of life is to be happy; it's important to be nice; good people go to heaven, and most everybody is good; et cetera.
Obviously niceness without a solid foundation doesn’t go very far as most people my age and younger who consciously believe this codswallop in fact aren’t very nice.

Seems like secular humanism’s American cousin, still holding onto the trappings of church, unlike Europe where open unbelief is now, it seems, the norm.
What struck me when I heard Ken listing Dr. Smith's litany was how this vague message has been the basic orientation toward Christianity that I've heard in nearly every Protestant or [Roman] Catholic church I've ever been a part of.
The mainline denominations have been heading in this direction since the ‘Enlightenment’ and as Michael Cuneo (a sociologist unsympathetic to traditionalists) has admitted mainstream RC in most places likewise has become a kind of enshrinement of current middle-class decorum.

Dreher’s right: secular humanism, the Protestant religious right’s bugbear, is not the mainstream on this side of the pond. This is.
This is not something that teenagers today have arrived at on their own. This is something they were taught. Ken said that in his own conversations with pastors, they are often astonished by the level of theological illiteracy among young people today, as opposed to 50 years ago. I suppose you might say that even if a religious dissenter within a tradition rejected the tradition, he at least knew what he was turning his back on. No longer. And I thought perhaps the most important thing Ken said all night was his observation that in past generations, young people were ashamed of themselves when they became aware that they didn't know something important, and they endeavoured to learn it. Today, so many are proud of their ignorance, or at least profoundly unmoved to combat it.
I’ll add that the truth should make you feel good. If it doesn’t the problem is not with the truth.
  LORD Jesu Christ, who didst say to thine apostles, ‘Come ye apart into a desert place, and rest a while’, for there were many coming and going; grant to me thy servant that I may rest a while in this present time with thee.

May I so seek thee, whom my soul desireth to love, that I may both find thee and be found of thee; and grant that the Lenten discipline may help lead me onward through the toils of my pilgrimage, to that rest which remaineth for the people of God; where nevertheless they rest not day and night from thy perfect service, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.
— From here

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Israel lobby is working both the establishment left and the Protestant right on Iran
Justin Raimondo wrote yesterday:
The idea that the Democrats are any kind of "peace party" is belied by the latest action of the Speaker in regard to this bill, who excised a provision that would have required the President to come to Congress for permission to attack Iran. And, gee, what a coincidence, but that this was done right after the recent conference of the American-Israel Political Affairs Committee, where Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared:
"I know that… all of you who are concerned about the security and the future of the State of Israel understand the importance of strong American leadership addressing the Iranian threat, and I am sure you will not hamper or restrain that strong leadership unnecessarily."
He forgot to add: or else. Not that he had to: Nancy skeedaddled back to her office so fast that she must have broken the sound barrier – and the offending passage was cut from the bill.
Pat Buchanan noticed.

And John Hagee is still trying to start Armageddon (‘in case of rapture can I have your car?’).
Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right...
The gnostic gospels or the chaff vs the wheat
... the proposition that Gnosticism expired largely because it lacked life from the beginning. F.F. Bruce notes that "Gnosticism was too much bound up with a popular but passing phase of thought to have the survival power of apostolic Christianity."
I benefited from reading Elaine Pagels probably because not even consciously I filtered out whatever bias she has and simply learnt that ‘these exist and here are the groups they came from’.

The illusion of ‘progress’, the return of the gods and human freedom
When God, respecting human freedom, withdraws his grace from those who oppose Him in ever greater numbers, woe to the world. The temptation to revert away from our Creator is as old as the world, and wise persons and nations will not seek to create their own "reality" but rather conform their behavior / acts to the Reality which we found existed by virtue of creation the moment we were born. That alone is the true "given" and precondition not of our ultimacy but of our utter contingency and dependence on the Creator.
From TCR News.
The future of the church in Ireland could be... Polish
Like in the UK, where RCs may outnumber Anglicans soon thanks to... Eastern European immigration. Fr Richard John Neuhaus writes:
Ireland is receiving Europeans with much in common culturally and, in the case of Poles, a greater devotion to Christianity than is found among most of the Irish. The Church has no problem with immigration, Ahern observed with a wink, because the Poles in particular are filling half-empty churches. On Sunday, he said, “they show up and pay up,” so the bishops are happy.
Modlitwa Świętego Patryka
Chrystus ze mną,
Chrystus przede mną,
Chrystus za mną,
Chrystus obok mnie,
Chrystus, aby zwyciężał mnie,
Chrystus, aby pocieszał i odbudował mnie.
From the Lorica.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Pelosi-crats and the war
... the bill she is trying to strong-arm though the Democratic Congress, the "U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health and Iraq Accountability Act," gives the President more money to expand the military than he asked for. It also establishes benchmarks that would supposedly regulate the number of troops in Iraq and their mission, leading to a complete withdrawal by the summer of next year. The only problem is that these benchmarks can be unilaterally waived by the President, with Congress in only an advisory role.

The Pelosi bill, in short, is the most partisan, most dishonest piece of legislation possible, under the circumstances. With one hand it proffers a veritable cornucopia of goodies – benchmarks on "troop readiness," an end to extended deployment, "rest periods" between deployments, and, most delectable of all, a deadline of October 1, 2007, for the Iraqis to get their act together, or else we're out of there.

With the other hand, however, the Pelosi-crats hand the ball back to the Bush administration, ensuring that nothing will come of it but a campaign issue for the Democrats. It's all smoke-and-mirrors. News accounts insist the Pelosi bill requires a complete U.S. withdrawal, except it just isn't true...
The British sailors and marines in Iran: the new Gulf of Tonkin?
As I was saying...

Zimbabwe’s Becket
The Archbishop of Bulawayo is ‘ready to face bullets’ and urges his countrymen to topple Mugabe (more)

Look neither to the secular left nor to the Christian right

From The Western Confucian.
Arturo Vásquez goes nuclear on the Orthodox convert boomlet
I wouldn’t go as far — repudiating the rite and denying that this tradition has any future in the West — but he and his commenters touch on many things I’ve observed, thought and remarked on over the years: the boutique aspect, the annoying anti-Westernism... essentially Catholics who don’t want to admit they’re Catholic thanks to their residual Protestant prejudice. They look for and quote the most obnoxious xenophobic junk from old-country Orthodox to reinforce that... which is why for the most part I stay away from Orthodox stuff online. (As Daniel Mitsui writes, ‘I believe it a bad idea to seek religious guidance on the Internet instead of in reality’.) To be fair most of this rubbish seems to come from converts, rarely from Russians for example. (An example given by Fr Andrew Phillips and others: the convert jerks celebrate ‘Nativity’; the ethnics celebrate Christmas.)

But earlier he beautifully described how people in this tradition aren’t necessarily like this.
"So, where do you fellowship on Sunday mornings?"
I know there’s the dangerous phenomenon of cultish charismafundygelicals getting holy orders, icons and a Mass and turning into a little Ortho-cult parish or even sect (a type Owen White the Ochlophobist, another online debunker of, frankly, convert-boomlet crap, calls überfromm) but unlike Arturo’s reaction this in itself doesn’t offend me. As I wrote to Chris Tessone recently my general rule about church is ‘decorum in the sanctuary; friendly “come as you are” for just about everything else’. I think I appreciate what Arturo’s getting at — I don’t want to see the Orthodox protestantised in a bad sense either — but this could be ‘the best of both worlds’ not the worst.

(In Arturo’s earlier example linked above, Archimandrite Anastassy is a traditionalist but not überfromm nor sectarian.)
The soul of the West speaks Latin, prays to statues, and fidgets with rosaries. The soul of the West is covered with side altars, wears lace, and sports a lop-sided biretta. And the soul of the West doesn't particularily care what was done one thousand years ago, or whether such-and-such a practice was precisely what the early Church did. A lifetime ago is more than enough for it, since the Holy Ghost was there too. Whether or not the West has been faithful to its own soul is another post altogether....
Of course Arturo isn’t being literal or precise with ‘praying to statues’ (which isn’t what Catholics do of course) but subjective and impressionistic, describing how Joe Bloggs perceives these things. His point stands.
We will refuse to be a small boutique next to the Hare Krishnas and Scientology.
Yes but this is a nasty swipe at the Byzantine Rite (even xenophobic in its own way) and the sad fact is, though I hate the surrender-monkey term ‘post-Christian’, the centre, the heart of the historic Catholic mainstream is now sidelined in mainstream society including modern mainstream religion. ‘Give up that artsy-fartsy old-fashioned stuff and be a nice politically correct social worker who supports having gay weddings’ it says to us Catholics, whether we pray in Latin, Slavonic or Coverdale’s and Cranmer’s English. (Other conservative Christians who take a swing at the Orthodox this way risk being hoisted by their own petard.) No, thank you.
Not taking this in its most integrist reading, we can say that the West does not need Eastern Orthodoxy to restore it. It can surely help, but the West itself has all that is necessary for the restoration of the Church
It surely can help because it is a working model of much of what the West can, should and even must do.
We will not build our small churches with twenty converts singing kontakia in bad King James version-style English.
As annoying, pharisaical and spite-Rome anti-Western as these types can be (but not always of course) I’m touched that by trying to translate into the idiom of, yes, liturgical English (after the example of Isabel Hapgood) they have more regard for my native tradition than most mainstream RCs or even some Anglicans now.

Being a remnant (‘twenty converts’) by default is honourable, not the same as a cult. ‘Give up that stuff and go to the megachurch with the praise band like a normal person’? No, thank you.
...we refuse to place in doubt the Faith of our Fathers. Our ancestors were not heretics, our saints were saints, and our churches were the Houses of God and the Gates of Heaven, and we will fight to keep them so.

I would wonder if the Orthodox converts who read this blog have really given Western Christianity a shot.
Though I'm not supposed to say so, I think you've hit the nail on the head.
Subdeacon Benjamin Andersen

Fr Gregory Jensen, an Orthodox priest, acknowledges the problems Arturo points out: the main, and Schmemman points this out as well, we prefer to define ourselves in opposition to the West in general and often (as in the case of the Jerusalem Patriarchate church, St Lawrence, in Felton, CA) in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church in particular. This is certainly not a right thing to do, and it is not even helpful.
Charley Wingate writes in his own blog:
...the Orthodox [online] forums are littered with serial Cyprianists who move from one true church to another, until they are completely cracked.
Here’s more from D. Ian Dalrymple.
The Anglican row: orthodox Third World numbers vs American dollars
‘The Africans pray, the Americans pay and the British write the resolutions’
Rowan Williams has proven to be nobody's liberal lap dog, to the disappointment of a lot of people. Of late he chastised the Blair government for the attempt to force [Roman] Catholic charities to participate in "gay" adoptions [the SOR row].
Charley Wingate

The Episcopal Church to the Anglican primates: p*ss off (but we love you)
From Ad Orientem
And now, patriotic Iraq-war spam
Dear Partner,

My name is Sgt James Clayton. I need your help in keeping the money that we moved from Ba'qubah in Iraq safe. We moved this money some months ago to a Security Company in Italy. You know the funds are legal and it is oil money. we
[sic] want to move the funds from Italy now to a secure place or location. Can you provide that? The total amount is US$25 Million dollars [sic] in cash.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The gene that makes you clever can make you mad
Thought so: the more complicated the brain the more can go wrong. From LRC.
The week that was
The fabled Motu Proprio still retains its fabled status. Mrs Federline's haircut has faded from the news but the Fox news channel still keeps us fully apprised of the pater/filia status of the late Mrs Marshall's baby, who is acquiring putative fathers at a great rate. The Congress is startled to find political patronage jobs being treated as if they were political patronage jobs. And the Discovery Channel has discovered a tomb with bones in it just in time for Easter. The Discovery Channel claims the bones belong to, among others, Our Lord and Mary Magdalene, who seems to have been buried under an alias. Well. My faith is shattered; I'll never believe another word Dan Brown writes.
— From The Inn at the End of the World
Catching up on reading Mark Shea
... I am recognizing that it isn't just [Roman] Catholics on the Left who choose to be flavor-free salt among their political fellows.
Thanks for this. I too have been shocked by GOP morph into the Salvation through Leviathan by Any Means Necessary party, but even more shocked to see Catholics making excuses for it. I'm glad to see that there are voices being raised against it.

Having blundered into this war at the pleasure of a brutal and incompetent Administration... the only thing stupider would be to expand the war to Iran.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Mugabe and Verwoerd
[Mr Mugabe’s] policies look more and more Verwoerdian, with the violent suppression of political opposition. He has had as many Sharpevilles as Dr Verwoerd ever had, if not more.

'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone...' St John, Chapter 8. could be argued that the other world leaders have more blood on their hands than those of 1960. The US government was not itself responsible for the Ku Klux Klan or lynchings, but it is responsible for Guantanamo Bay and the endemic violence in Iraq, which is worse than anything taking place in Zimbabwe, a state of affairs for which Tony Blair of the UK is equally responsible, along with the continuing human rights violations in Kosovo. Tony Blair indeed wanted to introduce 90-day detention in Britain, as was done in South Africa under Verwoerd, and was lauded by the British media for "taking the moral high ground" in doing so -- how the mighty have fallen! They certainly have no room to point fingers at Mugabe, but neither does Mugabe have any room to point fingers at them.
From Notes from Underground
The right to self-defence
By Murray Rothbard. Or why this is not a pacifist blog. From LRC.
Simplicity (detachment) and poverty
To mistake poverty for virtue is a mistake. Holy Poverty and economic poverty/hardship are entirely different things. One imprisons us. The other frees us. One brings abject suffering, starvation and death. The other brings life, opportunities for Sabbath, and may well be the fruit of charity. Wayne [Muller] is speaking about simplicity and holy poverty. He is not saying "We all need to live in Cabrini Green [a housing estate in Chicago]."
The Revd Tripp Hudgins

As Trevor Huddleston said 40 years ago the latter is not something that God loves. Or as one of the Bible’s most misquoted verses says ‘love of money is the root of all evil’ (St Paul in 1 Timothy 6:10). Avarice, covetousness. Money itself is morally neutral and as any capitalist, libertarian or non-, can tell you it can and does do much good.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Four years on
Thousands crossed the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial to rally loudly but peacefully near the Pentagon. "We're here in the shadow of the war machine," said anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan. "It's like being in the shadow of the death star. They take their death and destruction and they export it around the world. We need to shut it down."
The world says ‘Get out NOW!’

Two from via Joshua Snyder:

The anniversary from hell

Iraq, Iran and the lobby

A few words from Chris Tessone

Any inappropriate jokes and remarks regarding security may result in your arrest.
— Loudspeaker, George Bush International Airport, Houston

Cuts right through the ‘freedom’ rhetoric, doesn’t it?

Update: Fr Jim Tucker reports that John McCain slipped by saying the carnage is a waste and was slated for it — by the Democrats. The state of course wants to wrap itself blasphemously in religious language and so the PC term is sacrifice.
McCain obliged, saying he should have used the word "sacrificed." Among the sacrifices being made, of course, is McCain's integrity....
That crafty spinning of terms has been around at least as long as men with fancy hats and grandiose titles have been sending men without hats or titles to die for their causes.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Some changes are definitely not for the better. Thirty years ago being a Goldwater Conservative was more like being a Christian Liberal today. The change of direction can best be measured by the number of political operatives and think tanks funded by George W’s corporate clientele over the last 30 years.
— Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

From Rational Review.
Want peace and security? Do as the Swiss do
From LRC

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Frs Geoffrey Kirk and Michael Heidt on the Anglican row
Knew Fr H in England nearly 20 years ago when he was an ordinand

Fr K seems to agree with the Society of St Pius X on the wrongness of the American Revolution (not surprising!) based as it was on the ‘Enlightenment’; I’m not so sure. Of course like them as a Catholic I see the danger but the ‘E’ at its best, for example the relatively mild English version the American founding fathers were part of, can be seen as appealing to reason in the classical and Christian sense, conforming to objective reality, that is, self-evident truths. (Even though many of them, including the nominal Anglicans like Washington and Jefferson, were deists.) But I can agree with them that today’s innovations and unbelief are the endgame of the ‘Reformation’ which domino’d into the ‘E’.

But again unsurprisingly Fr K understands tolerant conservatism as a 1997 article from the Diocese of Southwark (he is under the Bishop of Fulham) suggests:
Neither Kirk nor [curate Fr Francis] Gardom wishes to silence people. They just want to enlist them on the right side.
From New Directions.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

In ‘Fluffya’
Ali G visits the city’s police academy
From this collection of funny videos via John Boyden

Ice, ice, baby
The weather is acting bipolar this week — a week ago I went on my first long bicycle ride of the season, along the river (and would have gone into Wissahickon Park’s woods if the trail wasn’t closed); yesterday the area was hit with snow and sleet (I imagine great for tobogganing) so my drive is a glacier!
Forget the state of Israel; befriend Russia

Incidentally the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (theological liberals) ≠ the state of Israel and sensibly calls for the US to quit Iraq and not attack Iran.
On the box
The reinforcin’ o’ the stereotypes
They drink! They drink!
They drink and then they fight!
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Drink! Drink! Drink!

The Blaaaack Donnellys
Jump the Shark

I tuned out when I first heard the bagpipes and Loreena McKennitt-ish incidental music. Not that I don’t like Irish music mind. More like ‘OK, I get it’. Noo Yawk, family, blah blah. Picaresque: cheeky chappies left over from music hall. Next...
Bombs away
The US threatens a war it can’t afford

Friday, March 16, 2007

Content not consumer model key to church growth
That is, orthodoxy may actually bring people in. Biretta tip to Tripp.
On the Anglican row and why I avoid saying ‘gender’ for ‘sex’
RC writer George Weigel:
Shortly after Rowan Williams was named to Becket’s chair, we spent a cordial ninety minutes together at Lambeth Palace, Canterbury’s London headquarters. I gave him a copy of Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II; we spoke of John Paul’s theology of the body, and then fell to discussing the difference between “sacramental” and “gnostic” understandings of the human condition. The former insists that the stuff of the world - including maleness, femaleness, and their complementarity - has truths built into it; gnostics say it’s all plastic, all malleable, all changeable. The sacramentalists believe that the extraordinary reveals itself through the ordinary: bread, wine, water, salt, marital love and fidelity; the gnostics say it’s a matter of superior wisdom, available to the enlightened (which can mean, the politically correct). Dr. Williams seemed convinced that the gnosticism of a lot of western high culture posed a great danger to historic Christianity and the truths it must proclaim.
The idea behind saying ‘gender’ for ‘sex’ seems to be the gnostic one.

From Fr Anthony Chadwick.
Samer al-Batal’s LRC pick
Ron Paul on the pro-life issue in brief
Samer writes: The man is consistent in principle, in agreement with both the harm principle (abortion as a violation of one’s right to life is the law’s affair) and tenet of decentralisation that libertarianism espouses: he believes that the unborn should be protected by law (not by spineless, ‘personally, I’m pro-life; still...’ blather and false sentimentality), but that the proper route does not lie in federal politics. He believes that Roe should be overturned, funding to abortion providers be stopped, the matter of protecting the unborn be put outside of the jurisdiction of the federal government and federal judiciary, and things be brought down to the level of the states (though he sees ‘an outright federal ban on abortion, done properly via a constitutional amendment that does no violence to our way of government’ [emphasis Samer’s] as a legitimate alternative). Ron Paul’s reservations towards some bills backed by pro-life support that were either compromising (even in regards to the logical principles upon which the case for the unborn rests) or at odds with constitutional principles can be read here and here. The man actually reads something before he votes on it, even while it would seem to agree with his pro-life stance.
On a Lenten Friday: a legend about the Russian cross

From the Ninth Hour

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Annoying popular words and phrases in English (more)
  • Echoes of Paul Fussell’s accurate observations.
  • Corporate business talk is one of the kinds I’ve dedicated my job to getting rid of, making sure it doesn’t show up in the newspaper.
From Mere Comments.
Former US ambassador to UN Holbrooke: Iraq worse than Vietnam
US: Democrats’ quit-Iraq measure clears Senate hurdle
From Rational Review
The shoulder
The story of physical therapy

Last week the physical therapist tried to get the posterior deltoid muscle to work by electrically stimulating it. It didn’t work but was still fun to try. (None of the pain of electromyography!)

One of her colleagues, also a good therapist, yesterday told the story of their field. As recently as the 1800s, as surgeons still didn’t know about germs, most soldiers died either directly from their injuries or from infections. In a classic story of good coming out of evil, that changed with World War I as for the first time most wounded soldiers survived and needed rehab, a process that of course stepped up after World War II.
Geoffrey Chaucer hath a blog
Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote
The Droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour...
‘Ah... I’ll be at Moe’s talking normal.’

Seriously, nice work.
The snarls of empire and a way out
From LRC

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Fun with spam: pseudo-Biblical Lorem ipsum
From an e-mail pushing some penny stock:
... sanctification is not the cause, yet it is the effect of our fiery darts cannot reach those blissful regions: Satan will Then shall they also say, Lord, when saw we thee an sensual pleasures, as the greatest epicure on earth. Others year after year, attending on the means of grace, but then, like faithfulness, or improvement of their own free-will, reminds fondly hopes that God will not be extreme to mark every what then should you fear? You are made the righteousness members, which were before instruments of uncleanness, and with an account of it, when you come to heaven, you must prisons; ere long, these tabernacles of clay shall be dissolved, redemption spoken of in the text, will free your souls from all ...
Somewhere between Chevy Chase improvising a funeral service and something for Samuel L. Jackson to say before he blows you away. I see a bit of Psalm 129/130: at least the programmers had the taste to pinch text from the Prayer Book.
Has Pelosi given Bush the green light to attack Iran?
Justin Raimondo’s latest at
Abortion politics and reality
Coming around to seeing things my way?
...neither of the main US parties is going to stop abortion, so that's a dead issue in your elections.
Fr Deacon Methodius Hayes

Gonzales: ‘Mistakes were made’

From Rod Dreher.
It’s official: Ron Paul is a candidate for US president
Here is his site

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fun with spam: ‘I’m only trying to help’
Phishers posing as anti-phishing security from a bank I’ve never heard of, complete with broken English:
Dear Member,

Due to the recent phishing attacks targeting Community Choice Credit Union we are currently launching a new security system called Multi-Factor Authentication.

In order to benefit from new facilities, click here.

To enhance the security when accessing your on-line accounts, Community Choice Credit Union has implemented an additional layer to our on-line security system.

You may be requested to answer security questions in order to complete your log in to the internet banking system.

Failure to authenticate your account may result in account malfunction, slow online experience or even exposure of sensible
(sic) data.

Please do not reply to this message. For any inquiries, contact Member Service.

Copyright © 2007 Community Choice Credit Union. All rights reserved.
(Artwork from Flame Warriors.)
Why do we remain Christians?
By Fr Anthony Chadwick

From the vault: on liberal religion and ‘spirituality’
On Halliburton’s move to Dubai
Let’s see: Democrats in charge, hearings looming, indictments coming, Bush and Cheney falling from power. The rats are abandoning a sinking ship.
The Revd James Konicki

Here’s LRC’s Karen Kwiatkowski.
The U.S. is throwing in – all the way – with those who want to stop the Shia anywhere in the Middle East. That is a huge escalation because, among other things, the growing contradiction of the policy is that we have made the Shia in Iraq our allies.
Perhaps the Iraqi Shia are learning what Saddam Hussein did: you don’t want the US as a friend.

Arturo Vásquez and his friends on the Catholic faith
Sorry for the length: when you lose track of a good blog there’s much catching up to do!
Ninety-nine percent of all confessions that a devout Roman Catholic will make in his life will be rather routine affairs. Yes, sin is dreadful. Sin is horrible. Sin is the only real evil in the cosmos. Mosquitoes aren’t evil. Leeches aren’t evil. A child stealing a cookie from a cookie jar: that is the only real evil in the world. The other two obey their nature, the third is rebelling against his nature, and therefore against the purpose of existence that God has given to Him.
Why, even though we can hope there are no people in hell, universalism makes no sense:
Many people have a problem with the doctrine of Hell. Anti-Staretz used to always say that he found Hell to be a rather consoling doctrine. Maybe he said this because he was just trying to be funny, but I found that other people who I have respected in my life have said the exact same thing. The problem of Hell has nothing to do with the failure of the mercy of God. It has everything to do with the horrible nature of human sin.
Theodicy: he and I don’t claim to have the answer of course.
Aside from the mystery of the Trinity Itself, perhaps the other great mystery is the mystery of evil. How will God be all in all when many of His creatures will be separated from Him for all eternity? How can they definitively turn away from God in the first place?
Contrition: good thing the imperfect kind is good enough for absolution.
Feeling bad about yourself yet? Don’t. It doesn’t help. You might be very contrite for a while, but then you will just go back to being your old self, stuck in your sins, comfortable with them, and treading water until you die and go before the Judgment Seat. Again, welcome to the human race!

It sounds cynical, but you have to realize that true contrition is not something that you can squeeze out of yourself as if you were squeezing water out of a sponge. It is a special gift from God, and if it were a regular event in your life, it would make you a total basket case.

I suppose this is one of the reasons I am extremely adverse to things written in Christian circles that reflect the sighs of
“o tempora, o mores!” Does any of this calling down wrath on our neo-pagan society help?
I wouldn’t say I’m extremely averse to them but am suspicious of them for similar reasons.
It is not that the evil of this age is not evil. It is rather that we as people who live in this age must claim responsibility for it. It is OUR fault that things are like this. If I have learned one thing from reading St. Silouan of Mt. Athos, it is that real holiness is not about feeling separated from the sins of the world, it is rather feeling responsible for the horribleness of all of the sins in the world as if you had committed each and every single one of them yourself. That is real contrition, and I may not feel it now, but at least I know that this is the direction I should be heading towards.

Many Catholics in the English-speaking world, along with convert Orthodox and Anglicans, will attempt to make sense of this cosmic catastrophe of sin and passion. They will try to use theories of asceticism, moral conduct, and other theoretical tools to soften the blow of proud modern man confronting the darkness and abyss of the fallen human heart. Rest assured that none of this stuff ever works, and what will endure, what has always endured, are the sacraments that Christ left us and the traditional piety that in an infinitesimal way compensates for our almost total lack of attention to the things of God.
On the lighter side:
We believe that a crucified Jewish carpenter rose from the dead. Some Lourdes water won’t kill you.
On ‘book religion’ or ‘living-in-your-head’ religion (RC neoconservatism or ‘as long as it’s a Wal-Mart’ churchmanship: ‘Yay! Imagination church!’) vs praxis:
There is a greater point I would like to make, however, and it has to do with the rest of our blogger's superb post, and it concerns what I call the rationalization of Roman Catholicism. That is to say, the creating of another parallel religious praxis of Roman Catholicism after the Second Vatican Council to replace the old one. In an earlier post on this featured blog, it was put very well in this manner:
“Well, at least we have the real sacraments!” is an oft-heard cry, but with it carries a smidgen of triumphalism and something more pernicious – that it doesn’t matter what they or we believe, as long as our sacraments are valid. We then give a point in argument to our critics: that all that holds us together is what the Catholic Church teaches about itself legally – that as long as one is tied to the pope, one is doing just fine in the spiritual sojourn.
I have been condemned for using the term "neo-Catholic" on this blog, and I realize that categorizing people often does not help. If, however, we are to understand what is going on in our own church, we must apply some labels, if ever so delicately. My main fear about Catholic conservatives who unquestionably accept the order that has emerged out of the Second Vatican Council is that they are creating a religion out of the book, and not using the book to guide the religion. That is, what is occuring now is no longer an organic development of what has been done in the past but rather a formation of something new loosely based on what some experts think the past should have been like.

Many of the more prominent neo-Catholic voices are either converts or Catholics who grew up in a very secularized Anglo-Saxon culture. Those of us who had the benefit of growing up in a Catholic culture that was merely the normal way of life often cannot understand their very polemical and all-too-Anglo concerns about having to justify the Catholic triumphalist position at every turn. ... I cannot help but feel that these intellectuals are creating a safe, paper religion that does not know how to keep vigil all night in a cemetery, do the Stations of the Cross on one's knees, or pray in front of a rosy-cheeked statue of the Child Jesus. Is the heart of this new conservative Catholicism,
Novus Ordo, faithful to the Pope, able to cite Newman at the drop of a hat, just cultural Protestantism on which a Catholic ideological structure is supposedly built?

...they have no idea what was lost; they have no idea how powerful all of those "decadent" things that have been consigned to church basements in the wake of the
aggiornamento really were.
My father confessor agrees entirely with that last bit.

Of course this Anglo will add a good word for the culture even whilst acknowledging (and bewailing my manifold sins and wickedness) Arturo’s points. With deep roots in Catholicism including the right understanding of reason as ‘conforming yourself to objective reality’ (the teaching of the Schoolmen and in turn classic Anglicans) English culture brought you tolerant conservatism and the foundation of classical liberalism, the culture that Newman of course belonged to. He was thought too conservative by the Anglicans (‘I can relate’ as they say) but too liberal by the Romans but had he really changed? I don’t think so.

On the difference and danger of ‘pre-modern by choice’ vs unself-consciously pre-modern:
It can be argued that even the mumbled pre-conciliar Mass of a distracted priest in an old Baroque church carries much more weight than even the sung Novus Ordo Mass as done by Solesmes. The former was unconsciously traditional, the latter is not. Tradition is truly tradition because we are beholden to it, not because we can re-make it according to our fancy.
I am barely old enough to have got my religion not just from reading books (‘the end of the world’ in the late 1960s happened when my father confessor was in his 20s; I got the aftershocks 25 years ago when I was a teen-ager and already catechised) so I think I understand you here, Arturo.

¡Muchísimas gracias!

Monday, March 12, 2007

US Senate’s No. 3 Democrat says attorney general should quit
There is very little credibility in the Justice Department right now.
Mr Bush, the Geneva Conventions and habeas corpus
From the TCR News blog
‘Smart’ rebels outstrip US
Which wouldn’t surprise LRC military (including 4GW) expert William Lind. From truthout.
In a speech at Mount Vernon, President Bush likened the war on terror to the Revolutionary War. What do you think?

‘I’m confused. Are we the Americans or the British in that analogy?’
The Onion

Sunday, March 11, 2007

‘And you still believe in God?’
‘Got anybody else in mind?’
— Dick Ohrt, RC former seminarian and Vietnam veteran, from Paul Hendrickson’s Seminary: A Search

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Pastor Strangelove
One of Mr Bush’s mullahs (more). LRC’s sub-heading reminds me of an idea Drake Adams has that if Muslims either by force (unlikely) or demographics — immigration and reproduction — did take over the nominally/ex-Christian (I hate the expression ‘post-Christian’) West, rather like the Bogomil dualists (now the Bosnians) in the South Slav lands when the Turks took over, American fundygelicals could be turned relatively easily into Muslims, even fundamentalist ones. From one simplistic knock-off of Catholicism to another, from ‘say you accept Jesus and you’re guaranteed to be saved’ to ‘there is no God but Allah* and Muhammad is his prophet’.

*Simply the Arabic word for God. Christians use it.
From republic to empire, and on militarism and neoconservatism
The unintended result of this record of militarism is the contemporary Leviathan that dominates Washington, threatening our nation with bankruptcy, turning many of the organs of our "free press" into Pravda-like mouthpieces, and disgracing the nation by allowing our young men and women to torture prisoners picked up on various battlefields or even snatched from city streets in allied countries.

As for the conduct of today's servicemen, I believe the troubling trends are results of both the general degeneration of young society and the unworthy and poorly led missions which they have been given.

Neoconservatism is ... a brilliantly conceived political movement that achieves power by capitalizing on the public’s fear and disgust over liberalism’s manifest results, while refusing to challenge liberalism’s crippling dogmas.
The militarism really started to pick up when FDR got the US involved in World War II (becoming fascist in the name of fighting fascism), silencing the Old Right, which accelerated with the Cold War (the Red bogeyman) and CIA employee William Buckley rubbishing what was left of real conservatism for the sake of the anti-Communist cause. (The USSR collapsed from its own internal contradictions like men like Murray Rothbard thought it would.)

To balance the ‘O tempora! O mores!’ message here the conversation about the different standards for officers and enlisted men reminds you that there have been atrocities about as long as there have been armies. Fallen human nature and all that.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Why it is that the Catholic Church is most often seen for its doctrine and dogma instead of the beauty of its life is beyond me. There may be a thesis in there somewhere, but it seems to me that no one ever really talks about the Orthodox Church in terms of what it believes (beyond the Trinitarian and Christological basics, that is!), yet on so many points of doctrine and social teaching, [Roman] Catholics and Orthodox are agreed. Even when it comes to Buddhism and the gentle face it presents to the West (the image we have in the West of Buddhism, with its placid, orange-robed monks, its incense, and its bells), there would be a great deal in common between the two religious systems.

That the Catholic Church is rather heard for its many words than seen and experienced for its beauty may have something to do with the Reformation, or perhaps its post-Conciliar liturgical turmoil. Whatever the case, what the Catholic Church is can be far better apprehended in the lives of the monks of
La Grande Chartreuse than in the words of countless media descriptions of what she has last written, or indeed, in the words of what she has in actual fact said.
From fides et ardor.
‘Why are we still in Korea?’
US Justice Department: FBI misused Patriot Act
The Onion echoes LRC on the state schools
Captain America is dead
Comic-book fans are mourning the death of the Marvel Comics' icon, who was gunned down by an assassin in "Captain America Vol. 5, No. 25." The "Sentinel of Liberty" was perhaps at his lowest point — he had become an outlaw while fighting and ultimately losing a war against his fellow superheroes to protect the civil liberties of all Americans. At the time of his death, he was facing a life sentence in prison.
Biretta tip to Tripp.
Two LRC picks from Samer al-Batal
Earliest Gospels acquired by Vatican
The Bodmer Papyrus XIV-XV

Letters to the past: Iwo Jima and Japanese memory
On Clint Eastwood’s new antiwar film
Four politically unspeakable truths about the Iraq war
When it comes to Iraq, there are two kinds of presidential candidates. The disciplined ones, like Hillary Clinton, carefully avoid acknowledging reality. The more candid, like John McCain and Barack Obama, sometimes blurt out the truth but quickly apologize.
From LRC.
On abortion and voting for US president
The Revd Tripp Hudgins and Clifton Healy have a discussion

The issue cancels out; vote for the peace candidate and stop the killing you can.

Global warming in Blighty
The chilly, damp England I remember is disappearing — climatically Passport to Pimlico as I’ve heard it described may happen!

(And now the weather forecast in Anglican chant by the Mastersingers. From All Too Common.)

The eventually mandatory identity-card scheme
A ‘surveillance society’: Ingsoc is only a few decades behind schedule. Double plus ungood.

From David Holford.

MPs vote again for an all-elected Lords
The trouble with that seems to be that the Lords, in theory until now above partisan politics, would be more buyable (hmm, cash for honours), an argument like that of monarchists in the dominions who claim they are freer with a foreign head of state who stays out of all that
The Episcopal row
The gay pity party has really got to stop
You're not being asked to pay any price the rest of us aren't being asked to pay. All that's being asked of you is what's being asked of us: That you read your Bible, acknowledge your sins, and meet us at the foot of the cross where we repent and ask for forgiveness.

Last fall the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council tagged us a "problem diocese." But instead the Episcopal Church has now been recognized as a "problem province."
— +Fort Worth

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Déjà vu for Germans in Ramallah
From The Western Confucian (photo by John Treat)
On torture
From Salty Vicar
Around ‘Fluffya’
A story that seems to show what LRC says about the US state schools is true
This is much to do with power and little with education or common sense. Put the boy in detention for a week and make him clean up the mess; don’t give him a criminal record.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Celebrating Latino culture through expensively insulating one’s child from real local Latinos
Not to promote the racism of VDARE but they make a valid point here with a headline worthy of The Onion
Considering that the San Jose Unified School District is 51% Latino, I would suspect there are cheaper ways… I guess that Ms. Smith wants little Amelia to learn Spanish so she can make enough money when she grows up to be able to afford to insulate her daughter from all the Latinos in San Jose, and so on and on until the family eventually dies out from the expense of insulating their children.
Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, ‘I’m going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway.’
— Maya Angelou

From the Revd Tripp Hudgins.
English ‘Reformation’ monarchs’ body count
From Dr William Tighe in Whitehall

The Episcopal row: who’s trying to clobber whom?
If you believe what you like in the Gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the Gospels you believe, but yourself.
— St Augustine
The principal reason in my judgment why there is so little effective evangelism today is that we clergy have, in many cases, ceased to believe in it. We are no longer expecting to see moral miracles.
— From Parochial Evangelism by the Laity by John R.W. Stott

Monday, March 05, 2007

Switzerland accidentally invades Liechtenstein
Oops. From Fr John Fenton.
RIP Thomas Eagleton
While considered a liberal, Eagleton criticized forced busing (gasp!) as a means of school desegregation, and as a [Roman] Catholic, also opposed abortion -- back when a liberal could get away with a thing like that.
Ex-Kosovo PM in war-crimes trial
Rapturists who want war
Lee Penn writes: I got this e-mail from a Rapturist site. See how they lick their chops at the possibility of a war of annihilation, and note their regret that the US did NOT (yet) do to its Muslim enemies what it did to German and Japanese cities in World War II. [End.]

Again, why people hate religion.

And why I am loth to link to anything from WorldNetDaily.

Lord, in thy mercy: hear our prayer.

The e-mail (put on your hazmat suit):
The fulfillment of Isaiah 17:1
Jim Bramlett

Dear friends:

Isaiah 17:1 prophesies, "Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap."

In all history, this has never before happened to Damascus. It is one of those prophecies that remain to be fulfilled. Many people believe this, or the rapture, or both simultaneously, will be the next prophetic event on God's timetable.

The stage is being set, as revealed in a news item today. WorldNetDaily reports:

"Syria is positioned to launch a biological attack on Israel or Europe should the U.S. attack Iran," Jill Bellamy-Dekker told WND. "The Syrians are embedding their biological weapons program into their commercial pharmaceuticals business and their veterinary vaccine-research facilities. The intelligence service oversees Syria's 'bio-farm' program and the Ministry of Defense is well interfaced into the effort."

Bellamy-Decker currently directs the Public Health Preparedness program for the European Homeland Security Association under the French High Committee for Civil Defense.

Full article.

Israel cannot allow another holocaust and will be forced to attack and neutralize Syria's weapons, wherever they are. Note that the weapons are being "embedded" into commercial enterprises, no doubt in the city. A few years ago I read where Syria was placing their missiles in urban areas in the same way. Syria probably thinks no one will risk so many civilian casualties to attack there. Bloodthirsty Muslim cowards typically hide behind their own women and children while they are murdering others, as they did in the recent Lebanon/Hezbollah war.

Unlike America's super-sensitivity to criticism from the left and timidity in Iraq and failure to conduct a victorious scorched-earth policy as we did in World War II, Israel will not be so stupid. The enemy will have to be disarmed and destroyed.

Isaiah 17:1 may soon be fulfilled.
Samer, doesn’t it warm your heart to know that Bible-believin’ folk want to lay waste to your country?
Why a state-ordered guaranteed minimum annual income for all wouldn’t work
As some in Canada want to do
Like the minimum wage idea over here (of which the guaranteed income seems an extension) it's a good idea in principle but doesn't work in practice: all that happens is that those on the bottom rung get paid y as a minimum instead of the more crappy x, and those immediately above who were being paid y demand and get y+z and so on. In order to afford these increments in wages, employers have to put their prices up and the ensuing inflation effectively devalues y back to x.
From Ship of Fools.
Demonising Serbia
A favourite cause of lefty hawks 10-15 years ago. Samuel Huntington blames the RCs (including the Croats) too.

No end to war?
For God's sake, can't someone impeach George Bush? Can't the British Labour Party muster together the scraps of its tattered integrity and remove Tony Blair from the leadership before he does any more damage?
A Christian response to witchcraft and Wicca
Wicca (originally spelt Wica) was founded by Gerald Gardner in the 1930s and AFAIK is obviously something by and for apostate Christians, Christianity’s ethics without the theology

From Notes from Underground.
What libertarianism is and is not
From Rational Review
The US is the most religious nation in the developed world... Americans are also the most religiously ignorant people in the Western world
Which wouldn’t have surprised Mgr Ronald Knox who described it as the happy hunting-ground of sectarianism

What’s chilling about part of English and I imagine continental society (right, John?) is that the intelligentsia do understand the faith intellectually (the university man who knows what the name of his college means) and say non serviam. A creepy self-awareness as somebody once described it to me.

From the TCR News blog.
Does Mr Cheney’s war validate al-Qaeda?
From truthout
New blogs
Is your site blocked in China?
Find out! My forwarding URL is but the actual URL of the blog is not. From Endlessly Rocking which for some reason is.
Pat Buchanan on stopping the Iran war
From The Western Confucian

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mass-and-office Catholicism including the legitimate liturgical movement described 83 years ago by Kenneth Ingram:
... it is the Propers which should be made congregational. It comes as a revelation to the average Catholic layman to discover a book which gives him the Propers and leads him to realise the amazing wealth of liturgy which the Church has handed down for his possession. Virgin Mother of God, the whole world cannot contain him’, says the Church on Lady Day. ‘Yet made man for our sake, hidden he lies in thy womb.’ Or on Christmas Sunday: ‘When all things were in quiet silence and night was in the midst of her swift course, thine almighty Word, O Lord, leaped down from heaven out of thy royal throne.’ [Introit.] One could quote a hundred examples. The Catholic Revival will never be complete until all the words which the priest reads are familiar to the congregation, and every layman acquires the splendid heritage which has been bequeathed him by the ages.