Friday, November 30, 2007

What is conservatism?
Obviously not the first example
Show me a man who honestly believes in a balanced budget and opposes giving away the common weal in exchange for campaign contributions, and I would happily both call him a conservative and vote for him.

In the UK, the Conservative party has essentially become a kind of right-wing liberal party.
Disraeli would be a neocon.

From the Ship.
The Ukraine’s klepto-oligarchy
It’s meaningful that every time populist Ukrainian politicians have made noises about renationalising industrial properties stolen by oligarchs, the screaming from the West has been such to make you think a return to Stalinist terror had been proposed.
It’s like profiting from buying the rights to an old, heavily marketed brand (as happened with Cabbage Patch dolls for example): there’s that back catalogue of anti-Russian propaganda going back even before the red scare
And it’s telling to watch [pro-Russian — most of the Ukraine speaks Russian] Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, the Orange revolution’s villain restored now to power, smiling a thousand-watt smile as he consorts with sheepish Western leaders. He knows where his bread gets buttered. Ukraine has achieved that sine qua non of the second-tier country whose elite wants to prosper in the global order — it’s managed to unlink politics from the economy.
And yes, it is ‘the Ukraine’ just like ‘the US’ and ‘the UK’.

From Eunomia.

The truth about the ‘good news’ from Iraq, the new Vietnamisation and why the occupiers won’t quit the country
Such as the homecomings to Baghdad
...heavily "massaged by politics. Returnees have essentially become a currency of progress."

Those relatively modest returnee numbers turn out to include anyone who crossed the Syrian border heading east, including suspected insurgents and Iraqi employees of the New York Times on their way back from visits to relatives in exile in Syria.
The current official Iraqisation scheme:
Colonel Bannister refers repeatedly to "the five-year plan," assuming his audience understands that there is indeed a master plan for his unit – and for the American occupation – mandating a slow, many-year buildup of neighborhood-protection forces into full-fledged police units. This, in turn, is all part of an even larger plan for the conduct of the occupation.
Michael Schwartz says the real reason for the continued occupation is oil.
As for opposition to Iran, 60% of Iraqi citizens are Shiites, who have strong historic, religious, and economic ties to Iran, and who favor friendly relations with their neighbor. Even Prime Minister Maliki – the Bush administration's staunchest ally – has repeatedly strengthened political, economic, and even military ties with Iran, causing numerous confrontations with American diplomats and military officials.

Misty watercolour memories

Mr Maliki really ought to read the stories of Nguyen Van Thieu and even Ngo Dinh Diem... and Saddam Hussein... to see what a likely future for him is.

From LRC.
Simple manners: six ‘don’t’ commandments
From an 1880 book: not snobbery nor showing off but simply charity in action

Believing and saying some things are better than others isn’t being snobbish. It’s being reasonable: acknowledging reality. ‘Making yourself the hero’ when talking or writing about those things is.

From Tea at Trianon.
Thanks, but
Why a Kucinich-Paul ticket wouldn’t work
I’ve long thought that a left-right fusion movement based around opposition to global interventionism, a defense of civil liberties, and a genuine populist critique of government and corporate elites could provide a healthy counterpoint to our current bipartisan consensus. And who better to lead it than these two gadflies?
— Lee at Thinking Reed

How about as a real, governing replacement of it?
"Dr. Paul and Rep. Kucinich are friends and there is a lot of mutual respect," Paul communications director Jesse Benton said in an e-mail when asked whether a running-mate spot on the Kucinich ticket would be attractive to Paul. "They have worked, and will continue to work, together on the ending the war and protecting civil liberties.

"However, Ron wants to substantially cut the size and scope of the federal government. There are too many differences on issues such as taxes and spending to think a joint ticket would be possible."

Can you imagine how much better this country would be if Ron Paul was a typical Republican and Dennis Kucinich was a typical Democrat?
Elizabeth Kucinich says her husband ‘absolutely’ would consider running on a ticket with him.
What really interests me is that she says she’s studied Ron Paul’s position on monetary policy, and come over to his viewpoint!
Completely irrelevant (like voting for the sexy candidate) but a First Lady who’s attractive and English (there’s no reason why a British subject or dual citizen couldn’t be; it’s not an elected office!) with an impressive CV (humanitarian and in ways Christian, probably not right on all points but not a beauty contestant’s puff platform either) would be nice.

From the LRC blog.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Meet the real Margaret Sanger

Not only was she a racist but the secular left’s view of the disabled is the Nazi one. (‘Do us a favour: die!’ Found that out 15 years ago working in libraries, like much of academia very liberal, including from a woman who used to be a psychotherapist and should have known better.) From Dymphna’s Road via Tea at Trianon.
Daniel Larison points out that John McCain either is ignorant or lying by spreading common knowledge about the causes of WWII. As Ron Paul saith the real bad-guy isolationists are the ones in the White House who flipped off the UN and dismissed international opinion (squandering the massive goodwill got from 9/11) by invading Iraq.
Rudy or Hillary: pick your poison
Meet the only two candidates worse than Bush and Cheney. From Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, at CounterPunch.
Both ... are committed to the war. Both refuse to rule out expanding the war to Iran and beyond. Both are totally in the pocket of the Israel Lobby. Both defend the police-state measures that “protect us from terrorism.” And neither gives a hoot for the US Constitution and the civil liberties it guarantees. ...creatures of ambition, not of principle.
Iran’s secret weapon: the Pope
Iranian officials are quietly laying the groundwork necessary to turn to Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican diplomats for mediation if the showdown with the United States should escalate toward a military intervention.

Catholicism and Shi’a Islam have a surprisingly similar structure and approach to their different faiths.
A hierarchy, saints, relics...

Anarcho-Catholicism: Dorothy Day’s day has come
In the face of Empire, the Way of Love.
The faith and this blog are not pacifist but Joshua Snyder honours this holy woman, who died 27 years ago today, as is meet. She saw that the hippies had a point. Theologically and liturgically, from her mantilla to her Little Office (more), she was not a Modernist.
Vietnam should remind all conservatives that whenever you put your faith in big government, for any reason, sooner or later you wind up an apologist for mass murder.
— Karl Hess, Barry Goldwater’s speechwriter

Jim Forest knew her.
Dorothy’s sensitivity for the sacred helps explain her love, rare at the time, of the Orthodox Church (and the Russian Orthodox Church in particular), famous — or infamous — for its reluctance to modernize, rationalize, speed up or simplify its liturgical life. She longed for the reunion of the Church.
US RC bishops: Iraq war ‘unacceptable and unsustainable’
Our nation must now focus more on the ethics of exit than on the ethics of intervention.

Others seem to fail to recognize sufficiently the potential human consequences of very rapid withdrawal.
The people making homemade bombs are trying to tell you something: Yankee, go home! Get out now.

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
Vatican supports Palestinian refugees’ ‘right of return’

From Joshua Snyder.
Mormons: vote for Ron Paul not Mitt Romney
If you accept at face value your faith’s statements defending the US Constitution
I submit to you that candidate Mitt Romney, even though he is LDS, is very much unacceptable. Please, compare his voting record, his speeches and positions to those of Congressman Ron Paul’s and remember this:
“We live in an age of deceit. ... Even within the Church we have been warned that ‘the ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep’s clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood.’ (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., CR, April, 1949, p. 163.)”
Written in the heart of every man
Dr Paul’s political principles ‘should resonate with anybody who values honesty, integrity and decency’.

Like the Catholic Church*, the Ron Paul REVOLution, from German SSPX types, evangelicals and RC pro-lifers tired of being played (by the culture wars... and the War Party, both of them), disillusioned Young Republicans and old Reagan Democrats to neo-pagan kids wearing pentangles, John Lydon (‘Hello, Mr Paul!’ on Leno) of the Sex Pistols and the owner of Nevada’s Bunny Ranch... here comes everybody. ‘I hear America singing...’

Come aboard! (We’re expecting yooooou... the LOVE Boat...)
From LRC.

*Rather different to ‘come, join the club: we’re richer and better educated than most people’.
An example of the problems dogging Byzantine Catholics
The latest from Archimandrite Robert (Taft), SJ, not to be confused with the sometime governor of Ohio or Gov. Taft’s senator grandfather who should have been president in 1952

Don’t eat anything before reading this.
If you think Bp. Trautman is off his nut, or that Richard McBrien is arrogant, you should familiarize yourself with some of Fr Robert Taft’s unguarded opinions. Even the white papers Taft has written for various Roman dicasteries betray his Jedi Master level of nincompoopery.
As I was saying:
At the other extreme from the hateful fanati-dox there’s ‘mainstream modern(ist) RC with Byzantine trappings’ as much of Byzantine Catholicism is.
Dr Taft:
In one of his last articles, Fred McManus wrote lyrically of this liturgical renewal’s “fresh breadth and flexibility” flowing “from a genuine return to evangelical and patristic sources”... a return to the “venerable traditions of the early post-biblical centuries.”[2] This echoes the mandate of the Vatican II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, that the rites “be restored to the vigor they had in the tradition of the Fathers” (§50). Has this promise been fulfilled? Was the liturgical reform mandated by Vatican II a success? From where I stand as an historian of Christian worship down through the centuries, it has been an overwhelming, resounding success!
As friend Paul Goings would say, are you on crack?

The RC restoration (there’s a new sheriff in town as Ad Orientem puts it) is not about Latin nor nostalgia, and is the resumption of the liturgical movement suspended after Vatican II. My tastes changed slightly rather early on from something like this about 25 years ago (just like in the movies) to something more like this, or this old Roman basilica is fine eastward-facing with some hanging lamps and iconography on the walls. (Which works both with flowing ancient, Gothic or Eastern Orthodox vestments on one hand and birettas, fiddlebacks and lace on the other.)
What’s rather scary to me is that Father Taft has some disciples in the Orthodox Church.
It’s better to hang out with some 19th-century-school Russians.

To be fair to the man he’s right about this:
A reliable eye-witness reported to me that during the 2006-2007 academic year, the graduate students of liturgy from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute Sant’ Anselmo in Rome, during their customary annual courtesy visit to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, were informed by a high official there that the purpose of the Mass was the devotion of the priest! That would be simply funny, were it not also rank heresy.
It’s like the old Anglo-Catholic joke (taking the mickey out of Protestants) that Jesus’s reason for starting the Eucharist was so we could have Benediction.

For a more authentic Eastern perspective read this from Fr Methodius.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Derek on the conversation about church infallibility
... if the Church — whether in the person of the Pope or in its councils as with the Eastern churches — is infallible, then all efforts to change its doctrine and/or discipline outside these channels are not only misguided but morally and theologically wrong.
John 10:1-9.

But of course God is unlimitable. He made the church but can work outside its visible bounds.

To be more precise I’d say Rome says the office (chair, cathedra) of the Pope is the means by which the church teaches infallibly. Outside these narrow limits he is as fallible as you or me.
...the way we answer this issue has a great deal to do with current theological dispute and how — or if — they can be settled. If the Church is infallible, current attempts to reinterpret, say, traditional teachings on human sexuality are wrong, full stop. If it is not infallible, then not only are such attempts not wrong but are even helpful. If people holding opposing positions talk they will be able to come to an understanding but not an agreement.
By George you’ve got it.
I’ll add one further thought on the matter which is to say that I think the question of fallibility/infallibility is properly framed at the level of the Church/churches, not at the level of the Scriptures. To proclaim the Scriptures infallible seems to me an easy out because what is being proclaimed infallible is not really the Scriptures but a certain interpretation thereof.

My comments/answers on the other issues Derek raises — good points on ‘doctrine or discipline?’ and ‘the wheat and the tares’ — are in the church-infallibility conversation linked above (scroll down in it for more).
  • The larger church trumps everything else. ‘That’s it?’ That’s it.
  • The church like the Incarnation is an example of paradoxical orthodoxy: true God and true man; infallible church made up of fallible and sinful people.
On that note:

St Augustine’s admonition against a hidden church
From Fr John Fenton
Media coverage of the motu
And getting the Catholic resurgence among churchgoing young people right. Of course the mainstream media jump on the language issue, perpetuating some common knowledge. My pennorth, points regular readers of this blog already know well. From GetReligion.
Nevada: Bunny Ranch owner backs Ron Paul
Why not? The church historically is libertarian about that; it’s not the state’s job to combat all vice. Remember the history of Prohibition? The only people who benefited were the state and organised crime (trying to serve customers). War-on-drugs people take note. From Cælum et terra.
A Continuing priest looks at Rome
Almost a continuation of this conversation
A general and consistent apprehension of a divine reality by a body of Catholics is perhaps even more important than the precise theological formulations relevant to it. That is, I think, what is often meant by the sensus fidelium.
Another take on the Anglican row
Charley found this quotation: the rightly outraged Evos may well be using the gay thing to kill two birds with one stone, both the liberal and what’s left of the Anglo-Catholic factions... the advantage [for the Evos] that a lot of Anglo-Catholic style vicars are gay (like real Anglican Evangelicalism, ACism is stronger in England than in the States; 15 per cent of the C of E?), leaving something conservative... and Protestant.

The real deal with realignment?
Those libertarian principles
The US and WWs I and II. From Eunomia.

Let’s sit out World War IV
From Taki
Ron Paul’s economics
...there are forces operating in the world more powerful than the whims of the political class. Every effort at centralized planning, and every attempt to legislate political dreams, bumps up against economic law. Economics is the great brick wall, a thousand feet thick, that limits the maniacal dreams, benevolent or malevolent, of the political imagination. We ignore these economic forces at our peril.
So government best get out of the way.

Like the Catholic faith (the seamless garment), ‘freedom is all of a piece. You can't pick and choose’.

Get the state out of the marriage biz

Why Eastern Orthodox ought to vote for Dr Paul
A light to lighten the convert boomlet, Clark Carlton explains classical liberalism and that political solutions are always relative
  • There is nothing conservative about an undeclared war against a country that has not threatened us.
  • There is nothing conservative about threatening other countries (Iran) with a pre-emptive nuclear strike.
  • There is nothing conservative about “spreading Democracy” at gunpoint.
  • There is nothing conservative about suspending or ignoring habeas corpus.
  • There is nothing conservative about warrantless searches.
The politics of the REVOLultion are of ‘Christ-like humility and love’.

Why the Episcopal left ought to
He’ll stop the war on Iraq, he won’t interfere with gay lifestyles (and refused to tell a conservative Protestant radio show what they wanted to hear on that), he won’t meddle in your church’s internal affairs (the row taken to court), though he’s pro-life he’ll kick the issue to the states, he won’t outlaw contraception and he’ll let you keep your money to support any cause you want instead of taxes. Who could ask for anything more? So as Dr Carlton tries to engage and dislodge his brethren from the Protestant religious right whence many of them came, see through socialism hard or soft and come aboard!

From LRC.
Running on empty
Rod Dreher on peak oil

Being Orwellian about conception
Declaring the inconvenient ‘non-persons’

Ideology is substitute religion, a belief system based on ideas that are often contradicted by history and common sense. Yet men will adhere to ideologies with a zealotry that borders on fanaticism.

Marxism, fascism and socialism were are ideologies, gods that failed. So, too, is democratism, the Gospel of George W. Bush.
— Pat Buchanan in Chronicles

Why Bush is not a conservative.

Before him it was the gospel of Woodrow Wilson, FDR and LBJ.

Road to empire
Justin Raimondo’s latest

From Joshua Snyder.
What’s in a name
Forward in Faith’s and New Directions’ Fr Geoffrey Kirk on Anglican identity. From T19.
The Church of England. The name is an ecclesiology in itself.
The part of the Catholic Church that happened to be in England (Anglican Church simply means English Church) and as such ‘the church in this realm’ (the old High Church position before High Church meant ceremonial).

Not a church and communion unto itself including the Erastianism one also saw in the 1700s: ‘a wholly autonomous state with power to order its own affairs both civil and ecclesiastical’.

The former — ‘There’s already a church in England!’ — is why Anglicans have parishes or churches and dissenters chapels and also explains the Establishment view of setting up an RC hierarchy in England, ‘The Italian Mission to the Irish’*; more than anti-Romanism or snobbery though as Fr K points out those continue to this day and among the politically correct too.
It is remarkable to the modern observer how long that view persisted. Though it could not logically survive the Civil War and the Glorious Revolution, it nevertheless continued into the twentieth century by way of the Oxford Movement. When High Churchmen referred to the CofE as 'the Catholic Church of this land' they were speaking as much of historical and institutional continuity as of theological positioning or colour.
Actually if you spin it right and don’t use the commonly understood meaning of Protestant the old American name Protestant Episcopal translates as an accurate description of Eastern Orthodoxy: ‘does not accept the later papal claims but run by bishops, the divinely instituted form of church government’.

Catholic or commonly understood Protestant? On church infallibility hang all the law and the prophets.

*Today it’s Polish — hundreds of thousands of immigrants. London Mayor Ken Livingstone recently threw a pierogi party to woo voters and in Brighton for example Deacon Jim would be in luck as the local RC parish has a weekly Msza po polsku. The Irish don’t go to church any more.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What divides Orthodox and [Roman] Catholics?
Lee Penn, a convert Anglican for about 20 years now a Russian Catholic (Russian Orthodox liturgy but under Rome), passed this on to me earlier today but I wanted to dedicate enough time and space to a proper fisking. Fr Maximos has his own blog on which he’s been busy answering Owen White’s thorough going-over of the Ravenna statement. (America says you have to register so bugmenot, do your thing.)

Long story short: the scope of the Pope.

(Not his office’s existence. This past Sunday the Orthodox on the Gregorian calendar commemorated St Clement of a-Clementing fame as Pope of Rome as the Julian-date ones such as the Russians do 13 days afterwards.)

Which RCs insist isn’t a big issue and the Orthodox just as strongly insist is.

What divides all Catholics from all Protestants is church infallibility.

But as Fr Christopher further explained at Preludium belief in that is split into two irreconcilable views of it, the modern Roman view of the papacy and conciliar. (Note to some visitors: the Orthodox are not Protestants because they believe in church infallibility.)

Owen and many reasonable Orthodox agree — not just the anti-Western ‘Graceless heretics! It’s a completely different faith!’ Ortho-sites I don’t go to, the barking ex?-Protestant converts mining the most obnoxious xenophobia from Eastern Europe (foaming at the mouth about ‘the ecumenist heresy’ because some, like 19th-century Russians, acknowledge other Christians have a lot in common with them and are willing to talk to them).
For reunion to take place one of the two communions will have to cease to be who she is now.
And as Fr Christopher suggests it’s a fight among three not between two views: either Rome as she says she is, the conciliarists (counting not only Easterners but non-Protestants like Deacon Jim in the Polish National Catholic Church: he believes seven councils are infallible... and of course most Anglo-Catholics outside of England; many English ones are devout papalists) or the Protestants’ ‘there is no infallible church’.

Only one will be left.

In a way it’s another Type I versus Type II issue.

At the other extreme from the hateful fanati-dox there’s ‘mainstream modern(ist) RC with Byzantine trappings’ as much of Byzantine Catholicism is.

A big issue really is would reunion turn the Orthodox into that? Or if it’s so close, and it is, why isn’t it really then?

Owen like old friend Brendan Ross thinks Orthodoxy with the Vatican glued on top, even with Rome’s no-latinisation policy, wouldn’t be Orthodoxy.

He writes:
Why not then be really tired of our division with Lutherans, or with Mormons? The reason, I suspect, that a few Orthodox so tire with the "division" with Rome is that Rome is so big, so strong, and so mighty (to quote an old Sunday School song). They have a box church on every other corner, they can access huge amounts of money (especially conservative [Roman] Catholics), they have cool things like EWTN, they are present in movies and popular culture (as of yet, no one has made a Russian mob version of The Godfather), conservative [Roman] Catholics have a huge and influential intellectual apparatus (there is no Orthodox First Things, no Orthodox sitting on an endowed chair of jurisprudence at Princeton, no Orthodox Ave Maria pizza-financed university, no Orthodox press which yet has the size and influence of Ignatius Press, and so on...), one can count on one's fingers the number of Orthodox institutions of higher learning in North America, you get the picture. All of us, I imagine, know [Roman] Catholics who are great neighbors and great friends. But there is more...

It’s foolish to try and ignore or rail against (Protestant fashion) the biggest member of the Catholic family, the one that in common knowledge has exclusive rights to the name!

And like Soloviev’s point (when he wasn’t dabbling in Jacob Boehme’s thought or writing hack ultramontane books like Russia and the Universal Church — thought I’d like it but didn’t; it was unfair to the Orthodox); the two sides at heart really are close:

This and this are glimpses of the true face of Western Catholicism.

Like Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s ‘eternal Rome’?

Her venerable liturgy is far older than any of her heresies’ as Orthodox St John of Shanghai and San Francisco put it, representing the view of his church.

The Serbian Orthodox in Fr Maximos’ first paragraph don’t know or remember that — I’m reminded of Fulton Sheen’s ‘people don’t hate Rome; they hate what they think it is and often rightly so’ — but in many ways they ‘get it’; they don’t want to be ethnic Novus Ordo but will fight for a natural traditionalism, entirely Type II not liturgy by fiat.

Economy about divorce and remarriage... interesting that. In theory it doesn’t make sense — unlike ‘until death us do part’ (there’s no exchanging vows in the Byzantine Rite) in Orthodoxy the first marriage is sacramental and eternal but the wronged party in a church divorce (for adultery, abuse or abandonment) may remarry for charity’s sake (the idea was to save the wronged party and the children from starving to death) in a kind of blessed adultery or concubinage — but it historically is not a reason for the split. (The Melkites kept this for a century and a half after union with Rome.)

The Orthodox ‘get’ liturgy and the exercise of authority — as an old friend once put it they’re an embarrassment to the Western liberals who hate the Pope because he’s Catholic; they don’t look like AmChurch or AffCath.

(As Anglican Affirming Catholics claim the C word along with us it’s only fair to ask them: do you believe in an infallible church?)

Did the theoretical differences between Rome and the East, most of which go over my head, cause the Western phenomena of AmChurch or the ‘Reformation’ for that matter?

Economy for contraception is new. The Orthodox who do it are where the Anglicans were in the 1950s, cautious and conservative. People don’t ’dox to be swingers like some ex-Romans go mainline Protestant (no stinking infallible church will tell me it’s not a sin; ‘The Episcopal Church: We’re More Lenient Than the Church You’re Mad At’ as Treat says). But this is a problem you can’t really overlook like the divorce issue. All Christians were on board with the traditional ban until 1930; the Pope has held the fort but it’s not peculiarly Roman like the papal claims.

Finally, please, no more conservative rhetoric about bl**dy ‘clown Masses’. Even the naffest liberal RC stopped doing them 35 years ago when he saw that clowns scare the cr*p out of most kids.

A mainstream Roman Catholic priest discovers objectivity, Godwardness and fairness — true open-mindedness
His first time celebrating the Roman Mass
Mindfulness of and obedience to God
Tripp touches on another of Dr Williams’ recently made points, on the positives of Islam
...he also commended the Muslim practice of praying five times a day, saying that it allowed the remembrance of God to be "built deeply in their daily rhythm".
  • This is what Paul means when he says "pray without ceasing." Echoing Orthodoxy (The Way of a Pilgrim), which makes sense when you consider that Islam is the Mormonism (not Christianity) of Eastern Christianity particularly the Assyrian (Nestorian) kind.
  • Islam stresses the will of God. It is supreme. We cannot alter any of His mighty decrees. To try to do so means annihilation. Submission is the first and only duty of man. That is exactly what I have been needing in my Christian life. This can be spun to agree with Aristotle, the Schoolmen and classic Anglicans: reason is conforming yourself to reality.
  • Which leads to the next caveat: the point of the Pope’s speech at Regensburg. We don’t follow the irrational Muslim God, which is one reason the Catholic faith though teaching humility and perspective hasn’t got the grovelling aspect of ‘surrender’. By surrendering to the Christian God you become more like your true self, the one he intended.
  • Laubach, at least this is the connection I make, is trying to rediscover the aspects of Christianity that American Protestantism has left behind. How about the aspects of it that all of Protestantism left behind?
Balance, or setting the record straight on British colonialism
Fr Methodius constructively answers ++Cantuar

Imperialism as a source of human cannon fodder for the mother/dominant country’s wars (ask the Scots about that one; they were horribly used like their American Southern cousins) is one possible exception to my sympathy for Canada’s dominion status: why on earth cross the Atlantic to fight in World War I? As part of the empire Canada went to war in 1914 automatically; ethnic and cultural ties were why HM Dominion (quietly independent since 1931) declared war on its own in 1939 and the RCAF helped fight the Battle of Britain.

(Gallipoli is enshrined in the Australian national consciousness — they’ll joke about anything but that — but you can’t entirely blame the British. It was the first time Australian soldiers were under Australian officers.)
The Libertarian Party should get a clue and support Ron Paul instead of nominating somebody else
...the national Libertarian Party is holding the equivalent of an eBay auction to decide who their candidate will be. And hey, no offense to eBay.

I have two kids in university now — and the hottest little “happening” is the “flash mob.” It is this generation’s equivalent of streaking (running nude through campus). A flash mob is organized via email, Facebook, or text messaging. A large group of people gather, and then, given a subtle clue, behave in interesting and bizarre ways in public. YouTube it. What fun!

I hope the Ron Paul campaign is not a flash mob, though. I hope this really is the start of the Next American Revolution.
From Rational Review.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The better North America that could have been (a clearer view of the map)
Hooray for the Articles of Confederation: the US as ‘a rump state’, the smaller, peaceful republic originally planned by Washington and Jefferson only including expansion to the upper Mid-West

A few ways to improve this:
  • The Trail of Tears never happens and the Cherokee Nation has its own country in what’s now part of Georgia. (But I can imagine the real history happening here.)
  • Upper Canada’s history may well have been like Canada’s; it would still be a dominion (having got independence gradually and peacefully just like in real history). It could have come up with a form of the Maple Leaf Flag but the national flag may have ended up as this lovely version of the Red Ensign like the Maritime Dominion in this history... or like Australia and New Zealand the Maritime Dominion could have gone with a blue flag for the sea and to distinguish itself from Canada.
From the LRC blog (home) via Joshua Snyder (home).

Some reasons a libertarian can favour monarchy including dominion status.
‘I am the eye in the sky, looking at yooooou...’
Houston police’s million-dollar unmanned spy planes: pretty cool but...
HPD leaders said they would address privacy and unlawful search questions later.
Like ‘Law & Order’: never mind the law; let’s have fun pushing people around.

UN: Tasering is torture

The death of the Protestant religious right

Merely entertaining Giuliani as a candidate demonstrates that, for many conservatives, political power counts more than Christian values.
From That’s Life in the City.
‘Help me to understand Anglicanism’
That’s a pretty massive request! Charley, Byrd and others present real history and theology to answer common knowledge.

Another bit of history
From Fr Peter Robinson: next to no-one actually used Cranmer’s first extremely Protestant work, the 1552 Book of Common Prayer. (1549 was ‘commonly called the Masse’, simplified and ‘in Englysshe’, the 1965 Roman Rite of its day; this was a stripped-down service written to specifically deny Catholic doctrine and done in the round at a nearly bare table with little ceremonial.) Edward VI died before it could be implemented in most places and of course under Mary England went back under Rome so the Latin books were used again. (One vicar quoted by Michael Davies kept a diary and was happy to see ‘the catholique faith’ come back.) So for most English people the forced (literally, at axe-blade or sword-/pike-point; isn’t establishment fun?) protestantisation happened under Elizabeth around 1559.
Conservatives against atomic mass murder
Father, forgive
From via Joshua Snyder.
Why Arab-Americans ought to vote for Ron Paul

The decline and fall of America

As ++Cantuar was saying

What’s all this about a virtual fence?
Rudy Giuliani appeals to the racists at VDARE. I understand the appeal of open-borders libertarianism (all should be welcome who are willing to work, as immigrants famously do) but like Ron Paul I understand the need for some immigration controls (regardless of race) as it’s charity to help one’s own citizens and a country can handle only so many new people at a time (it’s not race but economics: scarce resources versus unlimited wants).

BTW true believers in the Black Legend of Latin culture can be found not only among the putative right.

Cold War critic Frank Chodorov
I wonder if the neocon interventionist kiddies at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute know that Mr C founded it as a libertarian outfit, the Intercollegiate Society of Individualists — that name made ‘God bless the establishment’ late-’60s ‘conservatives’ uncomfortable. The hippies scaring those people had a point (romantic ideas the crunchies carry today like the arts-and-crafts people decades before the hippies) but because they were as intellectually and spiritually rootless as their culturally ex-Protestant elders they ended up believing a load of rubbish (like Marxist ideas) and practising savagery (supporting reverse-racist terrorists and destroying a university library — cui bono?).

Individualism like religious liberty is a relative good (Catholics know the answer to ‘Quid est veritas?’ but believe the way is persuasion not coercion — Vatican II was right) so I reckon I’m halfway between Russell Kirk’s and Edmund Burke’s conservatism and Murray Rothbard’s radical individualism.

From LRC.
Χρυσóστoμoς (Julian date)
RACE shining forth from thy mouth hath illumined the universe. It hath shown to the world the riches of poverty; it hath revealed to us the heights of humility. Teaching us by thy words, O Father John Chrysostom, intercede before the Word, Christ our God, to save our souls

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The restoration is under way in Rome under Pope Benedict

The Pope with Patriarch Emmanuel III (Delly), the head of Iraq’s biggest church

From TNLM.

The kids are leading this
From Charley. Note to WaPo: it’s not about Latin.
Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Australia has a new PM
Labor leader Kevin Rudd has vowed to pull troops out of Iraq.’s great to have the monster John Howard tossed out. Another warmonger down, a number of others to go.
Pope: stop the war
The Chaldeans are Iraq’s biggest Christian group and the Chaldean rite is one of the most ancient of the Catholic Church.
Bigger than their Assyrian (Nestorian) parent church (whose patriarch lives in Chicago), a rare reversal among Eastern Catholics under Rome.

Right: an Assyrian bishop in his choir dress, 1779

Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) on the occasion and the ongoing problem of latinisation (from Samer al-Batal):
This was surely well intended, and there can be no doubt that the Chaldean Church in Iraq — indeed, all Christians in Iraq — need all the help they can get. But it remains the case that making a Patriarch into a Cardinal is not, objectively, an honor, let alone an elevation; it rather betokens a failure to understand what a Patriarch is.

One small indication of this is the persistent reference to “Cardinal-Patriarchs” by their surnames, which is downright insulting and offensive.
Mainstream society is not very kind
Nor are all or even many libertarians selfish monsters as this exchange between Lew Rockwell and a vicious WSJ writer shows

From the LRC blog.
The truth about Scopes
Inherit the Wind is fiction. William Jennings Bryan wasn’t an idiot (even if he was well-intendedly off in his politics like Jim Wallis today); he was a Christian who gave the text Scopes used a chance and was horrified by its then-hip racism (remember the party chatter about ‘Nordics’ in The Great Gatsby?):
...the Progressive William Jennings Bryan, who argued in the Scopes Monkey Trial that evolution meant elevating "supposedly superior intellects," "eliminating the weak," "paralyzing the hope of reform," jeopardizing "the doctrine of brotherhood," and undermining "the sympathetic activities of a civilized society."
Take modern liberalism (including neoconservatism) to its conclusion and ‘Nazi supermen are our friends’.

...engineered by Soviet authorities to force peasants across the former USSR to give up their privately held plots of land and join collective farms.
Голода = hunger.

Никогда не забудите (never forget).

Funny how the left never mentions this when it gets all soppy over the October Revolution or the Communist brigades in the Spanish Civil War.

From the Russian Orthodox funeral service:
Со святыми упокой, Господи, души усопших раб твоих в месте светлем, в месте злачнем, в месте покойнем, идеже несть болезнь, ни печаль, ни воздыхание, но жизнь безконечная.

Во блаженном успении вечный покой подаждь, Господи, раб твоих и сотвори им вечную память.

Lord, give rest to the souls of thy servants fallen asleep with the saints in a place of light, joy and rest where there is no pain, sorrow or sighing but life everlasting.

In blessed repose grant, O Lord, eternal rest to thy servants and may their memory be eternal.
John Gray
The irreducible plurality of human “needs and illusions,” Gray argues, means it is utopian to imagine that any single kind of political or social order could ever be good for everyone. “If there is such a thing as spontaneous social evolution,” he writes in “Black Mass,” “it produces institutions of many kinds.”

Alas, conservatives have completely lost track of this crucial point, at least by Gray’s lights, which is why “traditional conservatism ceased to exist” at some point over the last few decades.

The reviewer tells us that the book illustrates that "the doctrines of Soviet Communism, Nazi racism, Al Qaeda’s technophile fundamentalism and the Bushian 'war on terror' are various forms (however incompatible) of an essentially utopian impulse derived from an Enlightenment notion of progress."
From Joshua Snyder.

Linguistic conservatism

Linguistic conservatism It’s innate, or why 1,300 years on English — still a clanking Germanic tongue despite William the Conqueror and all those French words — and German still share so many everyday words: Mann, Fisch, Hand, Glas, Licht, Haus. From LRC.
Local media buzz about Ron Paul
A rich-hipster freebie paper (the kind with politically correct editorial in front and porn and prostitution adverts in back to pay for the thing) calls him a crank (reaction) — because, I suppose, only a crackpot would let you keep your tax dollars (so helping the poor is up to you) and do whatever you want in your personal life (‘non-interventionist including in the culture wars’) — but mainstream conservative Michael Smerconish helpfully outlines Dr Paul’s platform and gives him some begrudging respect

Speaking of lefty hypocrisy about sex (‘That’s demeaning to women! Fifty bucks; are you a cop?’), a fine new blog, Ecumenical catholic Charterhouse, has this wisdom of the ages from Dawn Eden:

Pig heaven marketed as empowerment
Or the way to empowerment is to sink just as low as some men

Friday, November 23, 2007

One way that things used to be better

Tom McMahon names one. Now? Xmas/Christmukkah, or ‘Advent? What’s that?

For Byzantine Rite readers using the Gregorian calendar in church it began on the 15th November, the day after St Philip’s Day, a six-week Advent like the Ambrosian/Milanese Rite (here is its traditional order of Mass). For the Russians Филиповка starts 13 days after that. For many readers it will start with I Vespers one week from tomorrow.

Of course the secular world doesn’t care about Easter because presents aren’t involved. In these parts secular Christmas began just before yesterday (American Thanksgiving) and stops on the 2nd January.

I think I’ll rent The Armadillo That Saved Festivus this ‘holiday season’ (feh — observant Jews aren’t offended by Christian displays and it’s not about going to Spain, Greece or on a cruise so in true YF fashion it’s Advent and Christmas and to all a good night).

No, in spite of its failings I love the season, the Roman and Germanic pagan ‘let’s cheer ourselves up in the dead of winter’ party that was perfectly adaptable to the faith (the light shineth in darkness... And the Word was made flesh). It’s when even hard-shell Baptists forget their Mariaphobia and some of their iconophobia and put up statues of Jesus and Mary.

That said a biretta tip to the purists who hold out on throwing the Christmas gear up until Christmas week (for example not decorating the tree until Christmas Eve... after Vespers/Evening Prayer?) and keep it out through Epiphany/Theophany.

On being a gentleman

On being a gentleman
The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman. The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly -- the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light. The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He cannot only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honour feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.
— Robert E. Lee From Tea at Trianon.
Pope Benedict moves to restore sacred music in Roman Rite
And bring St Peter’s infamous choir up to speed
The joke in Annapolis: how to get out?


Infallibility: My reaction to the reaction to John Lipscomb’s plan to convert to Rome. Can one issue, infallibility, explain why something with the creeds, a claim to the historic episcopate, a high view of the sacraments, a liturgy and even ceremonial is not Catholicism? Not necessarily papal infallibility, church infallibility. Came across a hint of this more than a year ago when a new friend of the blog (aloha, Fr Mark) with the best intentions to defend his position on one Controversial Issue™ answered this:
...not my words but the words of God through His Church.
A Catholic statement. With these:
The commenter says these aren’t his words, but God’s. I’ve been looking in the Bible...
Catholics don’t believe in sola scriptura.
Ordination as a whole is a human invention.
Fr Mark doesn’t believe in that sola either but I think what’s implied is ‘nor is there an infallible church’. More on these conversions. Still more. (On ‘welcome home’ as ‘spiking the ball’.)
To do religion in general and Christianity in particular correctly you can’t do it 1) alone or 2) based on your whims. There are both teachings and communities that must be negotiated. Or, to borrow other language, the Dharma and the Sangha... (What? You mean it’s not just those Christians?!)
Derek Olsen
Noam Chomsky rubbishes Ron Paul
And the LRC blog answers him (with quotations from the left!) much like I do the religious left like Jim Wallis (the well-meaning Christians who think all libertarians are selfish monsters like Ayn Rand)

John Edwards wants to be generous with your money
By taking it from you. Money you could be investing in a business, making real jobs and solving the problems he, you and I want to fix.

Hey, look, a distraction
...our culture of fear has eroded common sense and civility. The danger of a zero tolerance mentality is that we lose the intellectual flexibility to exercise sound human judgment. When we blindly follow rules, when we waste time and energy defending ourselves from imaginary enemies, we actually create the potential for real threats to overtake us.
— Canadian Paula Simons on travelling to and from the US

Or possibly worse like hiding a remaining real threat disguised as doing something about it by creating imaginary ones... like the neocons wrapping their latest (domestic) power grab in the flag and xenophobia by trying to push around another Middle Eastern country (like the junta invading the Falklands; Thatcher was right)... or when some institutions in the Roman Church react to pædo ephe-, ephebo-, gay priests going after underage boys (orientation is in itself not an issue; behaviour is) by shifting the blame, suspicion or cost to pious teen-age girls (for the sake of political correctness because, you see, ‘it’s everybody’s problem’... sure) or, to pay for the settlement, threatening to close a little convent of conservative nuns doing charitable work.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

"The Incredibles"

On the box
The Incredibles
A review. Unlike Wendy McElroy I’m not an Ayn Rand fan. From LRC.

God is not nice

God is not nice but he is kind.
I do not speak of those who indulge in rank insult against individuals when they inveigh against immorality or error. These merely vent their spleens, which is just another form of self-indulgence. I speak, rather, of those who merely speak uncomfortable truths – who call, for instance, homosexual desire disordered affection, or indiscriminate warfare murder, or abortion maternal betrayal, or paying unjust wages theft.
The Catholic seamless garment of Christ, our mantle. There is much good about niceness (when it means kindness as Mr Zehnder explains), from English tolerant conservatism to the Protestant America (today giving thanks to God as is very meet, right and our bounden duty; Eucharist means thanksgiving) Joe Sobran praises. When it goes bad you get political correctness.
God speaks through His servants and, finally, through His Church.
Protestants, left and right, at heart don’t believe the latter (in an infallible church); ‘he speaks through ME and the church is a nice (ha) add-on’.
More on Ron Paul and Roman Catholics
He doesn’t use religion to cadge votes and a partnered gay atheist with his political principles would make a fine president and get my vote over a values-card player (‘fear the queers’) like Rick Santorum any time — they ‘should resonate with anybody who values honesty, integrity and decency’ — but Mark Shea (via Joshua Snyder) points out that of all the candidates he lines up closest to Rome on social teaching: 99 per cent!

Rudy Giuliani finished last on this list. Jim Coffey may be right: either he wasn’t paying attention to the nuns in class or the minimal catechesis, like the minimal liturgy including in the good old days, didn’t cut it.

Forget Alan Keyes (he’s a prat anyway).
It will be highly amusing to watch both parties twist and squirm to try to square the circle on this. The Left, of course, will just say that they care about "values" (whatever the hell that means) but that the Church should not be imposing its values on people--as though Catholics should be allowed no voice at all in the public square.

Meanwhile, on the Right, the standard "Abortion! Ooga Booga!
[hey, that’s my line] Shut up and vote for who we give you to vote for or Hillary wins and it's the end of the world as we know it!" tactic [the misogyny card... on the other hand the left are engaging in much projection ‘because she’s a woman’ and don’t seem to actually hear her; she voted for the Iraq war, remember?] will only fly so far, especially if the GOP winds up trying to sell us Rudy. would be a poetic and indeed prophetic act of justice for the GOP if it wound up prostituting itself for that man.
And thanks to Clinton’s real positions on war the establishment right would secretly cheer for her and vote for her over Paul.

I don’t want a theocracy or religious liberty revoked either but a reason for this reaction against him from both sides is Protestants, conservative and liberal, don’t believe in an infallible church (not just a charism of infallibility for the papal office). Conservative ones are relativists only they don’t know it yet; the secular left in America are in many cases lapsed Protestants at least in their thinking.

Nancy Pelosi is arguably the most powerful person who happens to be RC in the US. She could be the first female US president if she would get the gumption to IMPEACH Bush and Cheney... which would be fine but she won’t stop the war because she answers to the Israel lobby.
On race, tribe and class
From a comments thread at Taki
I think England will look like the Bronx in the seventies in fifty years.

The people who oppose our heritage oppose our Western identity. British culture should not be dismantled.

Britain has already been abolished in that Brown continues down the slippery slope into Europe, eventually losing sovereignty and what little that now means. Brown is continuing what Bliar started and
habeas corpus etc., the foundations of British culture, will soon be completely gone. In fact Peter Hitchens wrote a book called ‘The Abolition of Britain’ and never has a title been so apt at describing current affairs. People are dying in hospitals through mismanagement and neglect. Decent middle-class law-abiding people are being arrested and/or cautioned for what they say (eg. ‘homophobic’ remarks - one was a joke by a 10 yr old boy to his school friend that he looked gay in that top) yet police are unable to investigate a burglary if it’s in the wrong post code (=zip code in US). People's children are removed by the State for no good reason than suspicion and those children in genuine need are ignored. It feels more like the Soviet Russia of yesterday that I heard about and was pleased not to be a part of. But here it is, 1984, coming to a street corner near you in Britain.

Anyone who hates whites for being white will get a kick in the groin from my lady, of Chinese and Japanese ancestry.
SHE believes that our country, Australia, SHOULD keep the British Union Jack in the corner of our flag!

I saw this segment on a new book on Joe McCarthy... the State Department was a WASP redoubt, and the fact that an Irish lower-class type could browbeat people whose ancestors came on the
Mayflower, and on national TV, was an insult that the WASPs never forgot, and it is thus that he is seen as an unrelieved villain.
Populism can be a good thing indeed; it’s part of the appeal of the Ron Paul revolution. Like anything it has its dark side — recently read someone pointing out that Nazism is a form of autocratic populism much like the conservatism people associate with McCarthy. (And was opposed by aristocrats like Count von Stauffenberg.) The ugliness in mainstream RC culture can be seen as a manifestation: reverse snobbery.
The white race forgot God and aborted itself out of existence. There is no turning back.

And - did you know? - most Australian Aborigines
SUPPORT the British Monarchy! Because they figured out that Australia as a Monarchy will be better for the Aborigines than a Republic would be. Hmmmm.....
The First Nations people (Indians) in Canada feel the same way. A big reason why those countries are not republics is the people are freer with a foreign head of state living far away and bound by rule of English law (such as parliaments) than under an American-style president.
The Cultural Marxist “Left” is just as obsessed with “race” as the racialist nationalist “Right”.
They both like keeping track of race and having hiring quotas, don’t they?
Culture is more important than race. Being a Catholic myself, I would rather my children marry black Catholics than white Protestants. I would rather attend a Catholic Mass with blacks than a Protestant service with whites. It is culture for which we should be fighting, not race.

The only difference between what the Nazis and previous empires did was to take advantage of new technology.
If Andrew Jackson had automatic rifles and Zyklon gas chambers he would have used them on the Cherokee.
The creations of the 19th century are such things as “Germany” and “Italy”.

tribe we should be fighting for. A tribe is just an extended form of family, and is the real basis on which the 19th-century intellectuals constructed the concept of culture. Race is immaterial, as it is easily ignored in actual tribes. John Ball’s wife is part of his tribe. My Korean sister-in-law is part of my tribe. Both race and culture were abstractions created in the expanding colonial period in a largely successful attempt to destroy tribal loyalties in favor of the nation state. Note that while a tribe could never really be co-extensive with the concept of empire, both race (as in the white man’s burden) and culture (as in our current Crusade for Democracy) can. So stop supporting your empire and start thinking globally, and acting tribally.

Cicero rightly recognized that a tribe would have a common (hereditary) tradition, the
‘mos maiorum’ (tradition of the ancestors). One just does not mix and match and create a tribe out of thin air. It is the result of hundreds or thousands of years of a people being together.

Seen anthropologically, the tribe comes about because the smaller blood groupings — family, clan, curia — are too small to be acceptable to the incest taboo. A tribe is a blood group large enough for intermarriage, but never more than a few thousand people. It was subordinated to the polis in early Mediterranean antiquity, and then became only vestigial. Indeed, the central Roman myth of Aeneas tell how total strangers joined, then ruled the Latin tribe. Richard Sennett,
The Fall of Public Man is good about the evils of retribalization.

In reality, America is just as atheist (via Protestantism) as Europe.

Honorable Gentlemen and Great Minds may agree to disagree, and indeed ought to. When everyone agrees about a complex issue, probably something is wrong. And only through clash can the truth emerge. Gentlemen know this.

Russell Kirk once said that ideology is the “belief that this world of ours may be converted into the Terrestrial Paradise.”

The problem is that, apart from a few militarily challenged Muslims, the elites have no external enemies aginst whom to send the sons of the working class, so they turn on the working class itself. Vicarious thrills come easily to the morally bankrupt, no matter what the source. Towelheads, racists, what’s the difference. Nuke ’em. Can anyone doubt that Dick “Five Deferments” aka “Yosemite Sam” Cheney, George “The Decider” Bush and Rush “The Cysto Kid” Limbaugh think of themselves as heroes? I read somewhere that when men who never served in the army reach the age of forty, they start wondering what it would have been like. That’s fine and possibly/probably normal, as long as they scratch the itch by collecting military-surplus radios, used G.I. underwear, or whatever. And speaking of age forty-plus, that just about times it perfectly for those three buffoons Cheney, Bush and Limbaugh. Mission accomplished! Bring ’em on!

I have no “beef” with “race mixing”. As soon as a Catholic becomes an apostate,
THAT is when I get upset.

Catholic teaching on equality does not make sense unless the distinction between the person and the individual is kept in mind. We are equal as persons, but certainly not as individuals—as a matter of justice, a certain hierarchy is necessary. (Contrast this with socialism which denies the person and calls for equality as individuals, ie, equality of “results”.)

Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

That the people in charge of England hate Western, that is
CHRISTIAN culture, is no surprise. They make the same mistake as the people that consider Christian culture as “white”. Christian (that is, Catholic) culture is not “white”, it simply is “Christian”, and far older than the Enlightenment. It is a fact that the concept of “the white race” is an invention of the Enlightenment, and has no place is Christian (that is, Catholic) culture. 600 years ago my Scottish ancestors were no more “white” than the Moors in Spain. However, my Scottish ancestors were Christians, whereas everyone knew the Moors were not. Once again, I have more in common with my African Catholic friend (his name is Gaston) than I do with the anti-Christian white guy whith whom I work. Why should I feel an affinity for someone with which I completely disagree? That a person’s blood ties are more binding than the ties to the Body and Blood of Christ is heresy, and I don’t accept it. My Catholic culture trumps my “white race”.