Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • Advent I: Excita, quæsumus, Dómine, poténtiam tuam, et veni: ut ab imminéntibus peccatórum nostrórum perículis, te mereámur protegénte éripi, te liberánte salvári: Qui vívis et régnas cum Pátre in unitáte Spíritus Sáncti, Déus, per ómnia sæcula sæculórum. Amen.
  • I don’t agree with Cranmer’s theology but he had a way with collects: Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
  • Churchmanship: coat or skin? From Fr Edward Tomlinson.
  • From Arturo: The American way of conversion.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

On secular Christmas and the free market
From Michael Lawrence
Early Friday morning, a Wal-Mart employee was knocked over and killed in a stampede of crazy shoppers.
Probably rushing to buy a scarce DVD of The Armadillo That Saved Festivus.
Every year this obscenity seems to get even worse. As a proponent of the free market, I find the the yearly Christmas shopping orgy to be an embarrassment, not only because it takes a wonderful system and boils it down to a base, lowest common denominator kind of thing, but also because this rampant consumerism, what Albert Jay Nock would call “economism,” is perhaps the most powerful argument in existence against the free-market system.

So why support the free market? In short, the free market allows the intelligent to make smart decisions which are not only economically sound but also beneficial to growth in wisdom, virtue, and all those other largely mummified ideals. But the people who know this were sleeping in the small hours of Friday morning when the nuts were out stuffing shopping carts full of junk.
If you want to creatively apply some of your Advent (the liturgical season roughly co-terminous with secular Christmas) penance/ascesis to something socially constructive instead as Revds Ref and Jane suggest that’s fine with me FWIW.
When malls die
From Rod Dreher

Friday, November 28, 2008

‘Celtic’ is the sexy religious thingy
... because the ‘Celtic’ saints are distant figures in the past who, when they were alive, were rather combative old people but pose no particular threats to us now because they’re in books and so they can be moulded to our own fads by suppressions and misrepresentations. As Christmas approaches and you look for suitable presents along the shelves of ‘Church’ bookshops: a word of advice. Shun the shelves labelled ‘Celtic’.
From Fr Hunwicke.

Soap opera dressed as historical drama
With Scarlett Johansson’s considerable charms. Before this I’ve only seen her in two relatively obscure but very good films, Ghost World based on the cult comic book and An American Rhapsody intelligently contrasting Hungary and America in the 1950s and 1960s, in which she played small parts. This plays loose with the facts but it seems you can blame the greed of the Boleyns and Howards (the Bs’ in-laws) for the ‘Reformation’ in England thanks to their pimping out at least one of their daughters to the king (which probably was a real temptation for the women as young Harry was as good-looking as the actor in this; the famous Holbein ‘fat’ painting is from when he was older).

Jim Sturgess from that train-wreck Beatles musical Across the Universe is in this too as the Boleyn girls’ brother whom Anne was accused of incest with.

That would be most good, Newland. Most. Good.
The problem of casting North American actors in these British productions unless they’re talented mimics. (I know people in the 1500s didn’t sound like BBC newsreaders but anyway.) Even if I didn’t know and even though they do pretty well, within the first five words I could tell Johansson and Portman are putting it on (like Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones and the Israeli-born Portman again in the libertarianish V for Vendetta); ISTM the biggest giveaway that the dialect coaches can’t fix is that intervocalic r (similar but not exactly the same sound in many English accents as in North America, and next to nobody under 60 pronounces it as a flap as in ‘veddy’ for very) stays the same.

BTW the joke of the title is from a ‘Family Guy’ cutaway scene making fun of the lovely, unmistakeably North American Winona Ryder in The Age of Innocence (which I’ve not seen) that has her delivering that line in her normal accent but stiffly and in an obnoxious tone. (I couldn’t find a YouTube of it.)
Nock wouldn’t have stomached modern American libertarianism
Claims one writer. What libertarianism’s friends and enemies often don’t understand is it’s not a complete worldview, or we’re not all selfish arrested adolescents who worship Ayn Rand. From Joshua.
From LRC
  • Obamascam. His true colors: he is an old-school corporate liberal, an Ur-Progressive in the mold of Herbert Croly or Walter Lippmann. Such Progressives, influenced by British Fabian “Social Imperialism” and Bismarckian state socialism in Germany, believed in government by paternalistic “experts” or “wise men” who were above ideology.
  • Depression advice for small retailers. You can compete with the big boys and win as chains go broke.
A hero to leftists, part II
... the mixture of politics and religion that Jim Jones used so effectively to lure thousands of followers into his church and to hoodwink much of San Francisco’s political establishment.
And there you have the key words that have always haunted Jonestown stories — San Francisco.

You see, Jones was a minister in good standing of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), an absolutely normal denomination at the heart of the liberal Protestant ecumenical establishment. He was an idealist on the left and, as everyone knows, this kind of theocratic, cultish behavior is supposed to take place on the theological right, not the left. That’s where the wackos reside. Correct?

Thus, there has always been a tendency to avoid in-depth discussions of what Jones believed, what he preached and how his idealistic, progressive congregation — one committed to racial equality, free health care and social justice — evolved into an armed camp of suicidal killers lined up at a vat of cyanide and fake fruit juice.
Part I.

From GetReligion.

‘Trained at this house’
A photo archive of Anglo-Catholic life in the 1950s when Staggers was in Norham Gardens

Thursday, November 27, 2008

From Joshua
From the LRC blog
Germany’s Trappists will return to old Mass and office
They tried the ‘renewal’ and found it wanting. From Damian Thompson.
Social-conservative self-deception
From Rod Dreher
Two on a theme

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One benefit from a generally terrifying economic crisis may be the demise of political correctness
As P.J. O’Rourke once wrote, when people face real problems spirituality’s out and religion back in. From AmConMag.
Anglican stuff
  • Very ethnic. Huw on the culture. More from Treat on that.
  • Fr Tony Clavier has a new blog. An alternative province. Déjà vu. Fine with me of course if it happens. But... ‘let’s re-create the Elizabethan compromise so it can fall apart again’. Most people don’t choose a church because of Controversial Issues™; the Episcopalian I work with seems to the manor born but became one because he liked the friendly local parish. (A retired teacher, he was impressed with how they dealt with the suicide of someone from his school.) Both sides commune all the baptised and being thrown out of Anglicanism wouldn’t shut the Episcopalians down so... it’s really no big deal.
  • Where is the church? A back-handed witness to the various Catholic one true churches (Rome, Orthodoxy, the Oriental communion and the conservative Nestorians, the Ancient Church of the East) or the branch theory in full denies there is a church! The Catholic world of course has so much in common, which is what the branch-theorists are trying to get at and is better than the online polemics one sees vehemently denying that, but yes. Liberals and conservatives, you may have the creeds, the episcopate and the Mass but if you haven’t got church infallibility you’re Protestant (Articles XIX and XXI). Here Father isn’t fair about papal infallibility whether one accepts it or not as it can’t invent new doctrine that goes against the old unlike ‘progressive revelation’ like the déclassé Mormons and the liberal Protestants who look down on them go in for (as has been written those two types really have much in common in their idealism).
From RR
The sound of a Christian PR stunt backfiring has become a much-loved feature of the festive season
I agree with ‘live within your means’, on the problems of consumerism and waste, and on recovering the spiritual meanings of Advent and Christmas but this is still funny and true. From Damian Thompson.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama and Foca
Signing such a bill would feed into every hostile portrayal of him as a pro-abortion extremist (a portrayal, by the way, that is not an exaggeration of his record).
From Daniel Larison.
The price of Hillary
No secretary of state (foreign minister) will come to that office with stronger pro-Israel credentials. Good for them, and for Bosnia’s Muslims and Kosovo’s Albanians; but for the rest of us Mrs. Clinton’s appointment as the third woman U.S. Secretary of State is hugely problematic.
From Chronicles.

The cruellest satire of single women on television
From Culture 11
Professional girl life isn’t “Sex and the City.” That show, which was created by one gay man (Darren Star) and largely run by another (Michael Patrick King), was an odd mix of believable single-gal horror stories and gay fantasy in a skirt.

Economically speaking, this show accessorizes the malaise years as well as “SATC” did the investment-banking era.
I couldn’t stand ‘SATC’. I appreciate this one in an ‘oh, how clever’ way but prefer subversive conservative humour (or Tracy Morgan riffing on race). I enjoyed the Carrie Fisher episode. And yes, Tina Fey is beautiful.
From the LRC blog
Goodies in the post from Dr Tighe
  • Salve, Mater by Frederick Joseph Kinsman, sometime Episcopal Church Bishop of Delaware, printed in 1927. An insider’s view of Anglo-Catholicism around the time it peaked (he was an undergraduate at Oxford in the 1890s) and a look at ‘Reformation’ history, written along the same lines as, published a few years later, Why Rome by Selden Peabody Delany (people seemed to go in for three names back then) which I read ages ago.
  • E.C. Ratcliff: Liturgical Studies edited by A.H. Couratin (late principal of St Stephen’s House) and D.H. Tripp.
  • The service sheet from the Requiem for Queen Mary I and Reginald Cardinal Pole from Corpus Christi Church, New York.
Many thanks!

Printing day at the newspaper
Or why you’ve not heard from me today until now

Monday, November 24, 2008

From RR
  • Airport-security ‘behaviour-detection’ technology wrong 99 per cent of the time.
  • The case for pessimism. Justin Raimondo on why the putative peace president-elect is assembling an old pro-war crew.
  • Same as the old boss: civil liberties. Obama seems far more likely to hitch the anti-freedom agenda of the Clinton administration to the rogue wagon of Bush ‘unitary executive’ doctrine than to substantially change the US government’s approach to habeas corpus, detention without trial, torture and illegal wiretaps.
  • Science fiction and politics. With every failure of socialism, the promises made by socialist-inspired SF rang more hollow until, sometime in the late 1950s, the genre tried to turn itself inside-out, becoming skeptical of science and technology — instead of junking its broken ideology — becoming increasingly inner-directed and “psychological” as the real world grew more unbearable for disappointed leftists to look upon. Sliding into something resembling nihilism, SF writers lost interest in a future that — however else it might turn out — would not be socialist. And as SF writers lost interest in the future, readers lost interest in SF. The sweeping nature of this change may have been difficult for the average consumer to notice at first. As literary SF was dying a slow, agonized death on the racks, SF in the movies and on TV appeared to flourish. But it was a narrowly defined kind of SF, wedged between the anachronistic feudalism of Star Wars and the paramilitary fascism of “Star Trek” [which of course was really the US in the 1960s] without any room remaining for individuality, let alone individualism.
  • Against and for the LP. Against: libertarians have had some genuine successes over the last 35 years. ... What all these successes have in common is that they were achieved either by working within the two major parties or by efforts outside the context of party politics altogether. The Libertarian Party didn’t play a significant role in any of them. Pro: While it is indeed hard to measure the educational impact of the LP’s efforts on the electorate, there is no doubt that the LP has attracted many more people to the freedom movement than it currently retains as dues-payers. Electoral politics is a very cost-effective way to put the Libertarian label in front of a lot of people who otherwise would never hear of it. Like Ron Paul I’m a Republican on paper (which I used to vote for him) which doesn’t mean anything and am in the LP.
  • Gay marriage, religious rights and freedom of association. Neither the sickle (the mainline-Protestant intelligentsia) nor the swastika (the Protestant right). We should be advocating for more freedom for everyone rather than restrict freedom of a group or class of people.
  • Restricting freedoms and choices. Ron Paul calls it: ‘pro-choice’ really means pro-abortion.
  • The truth about bailouts. Washington can only offer funds that it has borrowed from abroad or printed. Unfortunately, the nation is in the grips of a delusion that money derived from these sources has the power to heal. But history has clearly shown that borrowed or printed money only has the power to destroy
A hero to leftists
‘Strangely morphed’ posthumously ‘into an evangelical Christian fanatic’. Remembering Jim Jones 30 years on. From Taki.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Black music that black people don’t listen to any more
The music that white people have kept on life support for the longest period of time is jazz. Thanks largely to public radio, bookstores, and coffee shops, jazz has carved out a niche in white culture that is not yet ready to be replaced by indie rock.
From — where else? — SWPL.
Muslims Are Scary and Bad Obsession
I got the hour-long promo DVD of this in the post but didn’t keep it; a well-meaning friend lent me his copy so for the sake of ‘know the enemy’ (by whom I don’t mean Sunnis and Shi’ites) I had a look. A thorough, honest read of Near Eastern history and talking to a few Palestinians will make jolly clear ‘why they hate us’. I’m more afraid of the makers of this propaganda (essentially an extended dance mix of the scare film at the GOP convention) than of any Mohammedan.
Wending my way to Mass
Thanks to this it became a long diversion through a park and a slum. Three places of note along the way:
Popping in for Tea at Trianon
  • History lesson from The New Yorker. What the US’s founding fathers had in mind: The United States was founded as an experiment in eighteenth-century republicanism, in which it was understood that only men with property would vote, and publicly, since they were the only people who could be trusted to vote with the commonweal, and not private gain, in mind.
  • One world religion... or else. Two global initiatives to keep an eye on. In raw form, like Sun Myung Moon declaring himself king of the universe, nobody takes this (so earnestly PC it’s like a caricature) seriously so these things don’t get voted in, but stealthily they’ve become mainstreamish, the anti-faith of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’.
  • The new barbarians. Alas, the Brave New World comes in with the fog on little cat feet. Harvesting living people’s organs. Once you devalue life in the name of ‘choice’ you can’t stop.
  • Remembering Queen Mary I. It’s worth remembering as one prays for the repose of the soul of this maligned queen that England was dragged into Protestantism by literal force, really after 1559 when her half-sister took over (and of course Elizabeth’s side wrote the history — the people who now have gay weddings and want to sue ‘backward’ congregations that are opposed out of existence), and William Tighe told me in some parishes remnants of Catholicism remained into the 1580s. Requiescat in pace.
  • Stalin: lest we forget. The older Russians I know who lived under him haven’t. There is so much that has been forgotten.
  • Trianon’s LRC pick: the venerable Eric Margolis demolishes the Churchill myth.
  • How to give and take criticism like a man.
Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • First a couple of pro-RC ones. Fr Longenecker on the end of the Anglo-Catholic movement. RC national parishes are its only future in England.
  • Jeffrey Steenson on ‘why Rome’ (PDF file). Used to know him. I never believed nor was taught that the branch theory is Catholicism is the sum of all Christian churches.
  • Derek: I don’t see biblical interpretation as an end in itself. Rather it’s a means for forming Christians according to the mind of Christ—forming holy habits — as communicated by preaching and enacted in liturgy and ascetical theology. Another angle from which to approach it might be this: approaches to preaching, liturgy, and ascetical theology that aren’t firmly grounded in the Scriptures will range from the anemic to the futile. Yes but there’s not a way but the way to do that so one isn’t carried about with every wind of doctrine (including hot air), our holy mother the church with the charism of infallibility, something Protestants don’t accept, which is what makes them Protestants.
  • Giving one faith in converts to Orthodoxy. Met some last night who are not crazy anti-Westerners; one had his copy of The People’s Anglican Missal.
  • ‘In name only’ in which both Arturo and his target have points.
    In Latin America, you either think the Church is the salvation of civilization, or you think that priests are a bunch of effeminate sociopaths out to take your money and pit your woman against you. There are lots of men in Latin America who love the Church and hate the clergy. And if we are going to talk about morality, well, I suppose I am fresh out of stones.

    Maybe I just come from an environment where everybody was Catholic, even the Protestants.

    Part of the problem with modern-day
    [Roman] Catholicism is that it forces people to love an institution, which is incredibly hard to do. Since the local parish has become less and less important to the life of the average [Roman] Catholic today, we often have to resort to extolling the joys of the institutional Church.

    I wonder if it might be true that in an old Catholic culture, where everyone is Catholic, most Catholics will be Bad Catholics.

    I’ve been thinking about the “bad Catholics” of yesteryear myself for awhile. I think the difference is that, although people like Frank Sinatra, Spencer Tracy, and the like flagrantly went against Church teachings (particularly on sexual morality), they never suggested that the Church should change her teachings, or thought that they were “good Catholics” in spite of their own personal transgressions. I think this may be one of the biggest differences between the pre-Vatican II and post-Vatican II Church, at least in terms of how ordinary Americans think and act.

    I think I know what the people at the
    Creative Minority Report were getting at, but I think that the fact that people have to comment at all about this speaks volumes.

    Thomas Jefferson, reflecting on his time in France, noted that when Catholics lose their faith, they become atheists, but when Protestants lose their faith they merely change denominations.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

From Joshua
From the LRC blog
From Rod Dreher

Friday, November 21, 2008

From Taki
  • Who killed Detroit? Pat Buchanan doesn’t blame the fat cats building wasteful SUVs but Washington. BTW in this blog the photo artwork on top shows at far left a now-gone artefact of this derelict city, the altar arch of a disused church since pulled down (they moved to the ’burbs) which says in Slovak ‘Let us bow down to the eternal holiness of the altar’.
  • Paul Gottfried on cultural Protestantism and its decay. SWPL or why Nordic kids in northern Michigan are mad for Obama.
    Richard Spencer noted that Western Christians “are obsessed with being virtuous.” At a time when the Christian belief system has eroded, this fixation has led to exaggerated expressions of group self-denial and to the grotesque worship of the supposedly marginalized.

    The only qualification I would make to Richard’s generalization is that the suicidal quest for suicidal virtue is particularly characteristic of Protestants, that is, of those denominations that come out of an individualistic religious tradition. Such beliefs have always impressed me in their pristine form as being expressive of a certain spiritual maturity, but as the Old Presbyterian theologian James Kurth notes, these same beliefs lead rapidly into “a succession of worsening deformations.” Wilsonianism and Political Correctness are both identifiable Protestant aberrations.

    Of course it is possible to find the same traits among
    [Roman] Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Christians. But among these groups such peculiarities are less common, and what often drives the multicultural engagement of some of their members is a sense of having been formerly excluded, directly or through one’s ancestors, from what was once a WASP society. Unlike the Protestants, these religious-ethnic minorities have not joined the Left in order to obliterate their own group identity. It’s someone else’s identity that they are trying to weaken in order to feel more comfortable in American society.
Except over 40 years the former have systematically self-protestantised locally (ironically, where it counts, on religious liberty and ecumenism, I agree with Vatican II) and the latter suffer from bad or nonexistent catechesis so many/most go along with the mainstream herd. (The converts in both tend to be a sub-set of the Protestant right, reliably Republican, and no, that’s not good.)
America’s first transgendered mayor
And that’s the right word as there are no real transsexuals (surgery and hormones change appearances but DNA and the indelible character on one’s soul can’t lie). Worth the fun of watching WND’s readers have kittens. Does this make me question his stability and judgement? Well, yes. But if he held libertarian principles he could wear breast implants and heels and get my vote for president.
The Chrysler bailout
Ron Paul was right 29 years ago. From LRC.
The trouble with pro-gay-marriage mouthpieces
Isn’t that they want civil rights for gays (as do I) but rather want to force their definition of marriage upon Catholics and most of the rest of the human race (who hold that gay marriage is impossible), and with, erm, evangelical fervour. Witness the boycotts and the ugliness towards Mormons and even blacks. Hell hath no fury like an SWPL scorned. You can practically see the mainline Protestants jumping up and down saying ‘We’re still important just like when we marched with Dr King!’ grateful for a secular cause to latch onto. From Chronicles.
From Wendy McElroy
  • What are libertarians anyway? We’re neither all alike (McElroy is a left-libertarian and I’m not) nor the social Darwinists, selfish monsters and narcissistic arrested-adolescent Ayn Rand fans in the common knowledge of those who’ve heard of us (or why well-meaning Christians are scared away).
  • I think we are in for a deep, dark recession that will not improve significantly until the middle or end of 2010.
  • Are we reliving not 1929 but 1873?
  • The U.S. government has spent as much money bailing out one company as it did to put a man on the moon during a 13-year program... and NASA wasn’t exactly known for its thrift.
  • A colourful anti-Obama piece with more than a grain of truth: So here we all are, stuck with a Glorious Leader whose sainthood, conferred by masses of worshippers and by mass media sinking fast and clutching at any straw, threatens to make Jack Kennedy’s beatification — or even that of Father Abraham Lincoln — look like a poor, pale thing. It is up to libertarians to keep our heads up, our vision clear, and to speak the truth at every turn. Barack Obama is the pampered pet of Chicago gangsters. He is good buddies with a murderous African dictator. And his wacko leftist academic background evokes memories of the style of sideways thinking that inspired the death marches in Cambodia. The man burns to have a private army all his own. But Smith holds out the hope of the left’s self-destruction. McElroy disagrees: After being heartened for about 10 minutes by L. Neil’s article, I have come back to the position, “No, Obama, is not a gift to libertarians. Or, rather, he is a gift in the same way a kick in the teeth that reminds to you explore dental insurance is a market service.”
Canadian university pays busybodies to make student conversations more PC
From Steve Sailer

Thursday, November 20, 2008

From GetReligion
  • What, the media are biased? No! Though I think by ‘conservatives’ they don’t mean me.
  • As I was saying: Obama wins by 53 per cent: ‘landslide’. Proposition 8 wins by 52: ‘slim margin’.
  • A Palin smear. The media seem congenitally incapable of getting Palin’s religious rhetoric. It’s like there’s something about Palin that makes reporters just lose any sense at all when covering her.
  • On the blind spot that is the reason GR exists.
  • It really isn’t fair to say that “Iker and his predecessors” believe in a male priesthood, when the support for that doctrine is rather larger, when seen in the context of, well, the Roman Catholic Church, all of the churches of the Orthodox East and scores of Protestant bodies, including most of the Anglican Communion (if you are counting national churches and bodies in pews).
  • Explaining excommunication. The continuing story of bad, biased media coverage of a few disgruntled, ageing RCs (you know, cranks) joining the vagante-church world and not quite being honest about that, in the name of women’s ordination. I understand the deadline has passed for Fr Bourgeois to recant. The reason such people don’t simply become mainline Protestants is real or imagined ethnic and class loyalty. They think Catholic means being of non-British white immigrant stock whilst I say it means being Catholic. Everything Thomas Day has written about English-speaking, particularly American, RCs is true. The ‘Irish’ (even when they’re French) hate the ‘English’ (including WASP culture) even more than they hate the Pope.

A week’s worth of RR
Which had been stuck in my spamtrap until I twigged
Graphic from Joshua.
How the state co-opts the opposition
It is true, of course, that conservatism is not libertarianism. But many who identify more with the right than left can be, overall, opponents of the regime.

The conservatives had some great moments in the 1990s. At least some of them did. There was at least a considerable faction with moderately libertarian attitudes.

Some of the good conservatives survived 9/11. But most of them have been nothing if not supporters of the Bush state. The left, in contrast, has sounded much more libertarian since 9/11. Yet now we see the left warming back up to the federal government, but perhaps with a vengeance.

The modern democratic state has developed the ability to perversely convince people to become involved and support the state’s expansion when at first it was the state’s harassment that led them to political interest.
From LRC.
What is the West?
  • The invention of the “City” (polis) and of freedom under the law, along with the emergence of science and of an educational system in Ancient Greece.
  • The invention of a law system, of private property, of the “human person” and of humanism in republican Rome.
  • The ethical and eschatological revolution brought about by the Bible; the prevalence of charity over justice; the intensive increase of linear time by the acceptance of eschatology (i.e. the actual appearance of History).
  • The “Papal revolution” of the 11th-13th centuries founded on the tight synthesis of “Athens,” “Rome” and “Jerusalem.”
  • The revolution in science, economy, and politics triggered in Holland, England, North America, France, and soon replicated elsewhere which was conducive to “modernization” and the avant-garde position of the geographical areas where all five features were present.
From Joshua.
From Steve Sailer

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

From Taki
  • When New York Times columnist David Brooks pondered why the Republican Party was in such bad shape recently, he came to the conclusion that a majority of Americans simply no longer support traditional conservatism. Where one might have found any conservatism for the last decade is beyond me, but make no mistake — voters did not reject traditional conservatism on Nov. 4; they rejected George W. Bush. And the Republican Party is a wreck today because it faithfully rode shotgun with a president fueled by neoconservative ideology, who drove his party into ditch after ditch at every turn — with men like David Brooks as the persistent backseat drivers.
  • The end of Frum. The NR-world is simply becoming even more dumbed-down and partisan than it already is.
What is orthodoxy and why does it matter?
I think a useful distinction between progressive and traditionalist religionists and their approach to religious truth is as follows. Progressives think that religious truth is indefinite and subjective, and can change according to the perceived needs of people in a given time and place. Traditionalists believe that religious truth is definite and objective, and can be known with some degree of certainty.

Put another way, progressives tend to think that religious truth claims are statements of an individual’s thoughts and emotional state; trads tend to think that religious truth claims are statements about metaphysical reality.
A punto.

Daniel Larison’s big-O Orthodox take on this
The C20 Parisian school of Russian Orthodox thought can skid into Modernism like mainline Protestantism; as Christopher Johnson wrote of this ‘I feel this’ school, ‘Yes, I know what the stuffy old Bible and (the rest of) church tradition say but look at all the nice _____s I know’. Sed abusus non tollit usum.

Like Rod Dreher I thought Obama’s weak profession of faith was much like moral-therapeutic deism, the self-help Pelagianism that Robert Schuller and Joel Osteen are accused of. ‘Possibility thinking’ or ‘word of faith’ for a different demographic I suppose but all part of the same happy hunting-ground of sectarianism as Mgr Ronald Knox said.

More on this
From Ross Douthat

Mr Larison’s take
Relating it to civic religion or the Americanist heresy (again moral-therapeutic deism)
From Chronicles’ Clyde Wilson
You must understand that the nature and function of the Democratic and Republican parties is to PREVENT there being any real discussion of issues, to make sure that the people have no input that might upset the power-holders. The parties have to be broken up first before any real issue can be addressed.

I don’t advocate bailing out anybody, but it is curious that our rulers will bail out immensely wealthy people who speculate in pieces of paper and not people who actually make things.

How our Congresspersons like to argue about how to spend money that they don’t have and does not even exist yet!

I don’t know about you, but unlike all the people who now claim they were honestly misled, I never believed Iraq had anything to do with 9/11.

It cannot be repeated too often that the purpose of politically correct censorship is to punish people who tell the truth; p.c. is perfectly happy with liars.

This cannot be repeated too often as the usual bunch of “conservative leaders” bother their heads about how to redirect the Republican party. Repeat after me: The Republican Party and conservatism are not the same thing. They never have been. They are not now. They never will be.
What Mrs Clinton as US secretary of state would mean
The same foreign policy as before, something Mr Obama doesn’t really care about. From Justin Raimondo.
From Joshua

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Obama’s religion
My line. From Daniel Larison.

On American indifferentism
From Rod Dreher
America the illiterate
We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture.
Yet much of that print-based world, the élite who voted, and pushed the proles to vote, for Obama, gets so much wrong.
The most essential skill in political theater and the consumer culture is artifice.
LRC’s Karen De Coster writes:
Christians might offended by the target of his blame (I think he’s too simplistic and off-base on that), but otherwise, this is a stellar, hardcore column.
From the LRC blog.

Monday, November 17, 2008

From LRC
Hillary at Foggy Bottom?
I first read of this at Joshua’s. From Justin Raimondo.
A Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not change but tacit approval for someone who supported the bombing of Kosovo, the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and a renewed cold war with Russia.
More from the Grey Lady
Ron Paul does a Q&A in the NYT
From the LRC blog

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Two films with Al Pacino
Also recently seen: The Brave One with Jodie Foster as a city vigilante.
Barna: the religious vote in 2008
From T:19
Anglicanish doings
  • Elvis has left the building. The Episcopal Church’s last Catholic diocese and thus that movement have left that church for the same Elizabethan compromise but without gay weddings (more).
  • Quincy: I don’t go in for suing congregations out of their buildings and as a libertarian I defend the Episcopalians’ right to be but must admit, based on photos, I’m not sad to see one of the world’s ugliest cathedrals go to the other side.
  • Congratulations! The English-born priest who named tolerant conservatism for me, one of my catch-phrases (which essentially means all are welcome, mind your own business and God forgives), has been elected a suffragan bishop of the United Episcopal Church of North America, one of the three early Continuing denominations. I’ve known him online for years through message boards: a sensible Northerner (no froufrou for its own sake) with a real parish ministry. And he looks as if I had a long-lost younger brother! I write ‘Anglicanish’ as, unlike the Southern Cone and the Episcopalians, UECNA is not recognised as a member by Lambeth.
UPDATE: Photos from Fort Worth.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Well-written anti-Obama naysaying
The economy trumped race and many supporters don’t really know what he stands for. From Chronicles.
Mormons and SWPLs: brothers under the surface
Rather like RC-Orthodox animosity online they hate each other because they’re so much alike: rivals. Historically and culturally both are forms of English Calvinism gone bad. (Liberalised Congregationalism and Unitarianism were way-stations for the SWPLs’ ancestors.) Southern social conservatism is a different brand. Don’t overlook the com-box.
They’re going after the Mormons because the Mormons are white and middle-class, therefore safe to attack.
Rod Dreher

The four-culture model of American history
The premise of Albion’s Seed, or the English Civil War transplanted: New England Puritans, Highland South Scotch-Irish (the culture most identified with the South today, of Nascar, Baptist and Pentecostal churches, country music and the US military*), Lowland South Cavaliers (identified with the old South) and the Mid-Atlantic hotchpotch (not anglophile Mid-Atlantic but geographical Mid-Atlantic including Pennsylvania, not dominated by any of the other three groups). Historically you can even hear echoes of the original accents.

From Steve Sailer.

*Much like in the mother country the Scots, defeated in their fight for (continued) independence, ended up as human cannon fodder in the empire’s wars, the ones the Puritans in various forms started because ‘they know what’s best’ for the rest of us.
GOPocalypse: a call for decentralised populism
From Daniel Larison at Taki

Rod Dreher:
The future of conservatism in this country doesn’t lie in the pseudo-populism of Sarah Palin, which struck an oppositional rhetorical stance while embracing conventional GOP policies, nor in neoconservative “reformism,” nor in adopting a knee-jerk oppositional stance to Obama.
But rumours of the death of music videos may be exaggerated. On one hand it’s progress like the death of record shops or why people don’t use cassettes (‘I made you a mix tape’) any more: MTV twigged that with the Internet (YouTube for example) they don’t need music television now. On the other, blame the ‘reality-TV’ blight brought on years ago by that threatened screenwriters’ strike. No need to pay writers and actors to do a lot; just have jumped-up game shows for people with short attention spans. From Rod Dreher.
From the LRC blog

Friday, November 14, 2008

Month-old fun with Photoshop

As I was saying:
It was a battle between the young sexy candidates.
Your school chum’s not asking for you: sued
From Fr Methodius
RC bibs and bobs
From Taki
From Rod Dreher
  • On blacklists:
    When the gay-rights protesters move from the Mormon churches down to black or Latino churches or institutions, let me know. They’re going after the Mormons because the Mormons are white and middle-class, therefore safe to attack.
    Ludwig von Mises was right: privately you may discriminate against anyone and hurt yourself by so doing; the market works against it.
  • Why I oppose the religious left (riding piggyback on the real power, the secularist left): the same reason I oppose the religious right.
    Eugene Volokh, the UCLA law prof who supports gay marriage, once wrote that one of the key goals of the gay-rights movement is to punish and marginalize people who in private life hold views they see as anti-gay.
    As I’m sure anybody who’s been around a liberal Protestant church can tell you: Act Up hijacks Lake Wobegon Lutheran. They want the state to go and do likewise.
    It’s in the interest of prudent social conservatives and prudent gay-rights activists to come to some sort of settlement that would allow for gay marriage while establishing a zone of protection of religious liberty around religious institutions, for the sake of religious freedom.
    There already is one, everybody’s for the asking! Libertarianism: get the state out of the marriage biz. Catholics can have sacramental marriages and gays theirs.
  • Common sense on child-rearing from an American Indian.
  • On bailing out the Rust Belt. Heartfelt on upstate New York. The state throwing money into unprofitable businesses doesn’t work.
  • Economically we’re mighty screwed. There’s nobody left to finance US borrowing. Bishop Richard Williamson:
    The crisis consists essentially in mountains of debt, piled up over tens, even hundreds, of years, and which must be paid back or defaulted on. Now credit cards are an all too easy way of running up debt, and the rates of interest to be paid on them are often sheer usury. Unless one is very disciplined in their use, they should be torn apart and thrown away, and debit cards should be used in their place, if necessary. St. Paul says, owe nothing to any man, except charity. The Old Testament says, the debtor is slave of the creditor (Romans XIII, 8; Proverbs, XXII, 7).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

On tele
  • Das ist eine Kindergartenkarte. More here and here. It’s surprising to me that it’s Germans playing the role of ultra-conformists. They tend to be pretty open-minded after WW2 lol. It is American business that tends to be frightened of individuality.
  • A ‘Simpsons’ quiz. Not the most original thing but fun. Warning: embedded music.
From Joshua