Thursday, April 30, 2009

From the LRC blog
  • ‘Hate-crime’ laws. Ask Fred Goldman if he is “relieved” that this is not considered a “hate” crime because his son Ron was brutally murdered by O.J. Simpson NOT because he was white, NOT because he was Jewish, but because he was an eyewitness. ALL crimes are “hate” crimes. Why? Because a criminal perpetrating a crime obviously HATES property rights — whether it be the “property” of your body or the property of your personal possessions.
  • The great college swindle.
  • What the Singing Nun and Jean Seberg had in common? Jeanne Deckers, to this day the only Belgian international pop star, was a tortured soul but in the end she tried to help the autistic. RIP.
Torture: Lord, deliver us from thy followers. Amen.
From Rod Dreher
Talking to Huw about God made man
BTW who outside the fear-mongering left takes Fred Phelps seriously? He doesn’t deserve it.
From RR
A conservative RC reviews the English Missal
  • Part I with his take on Anglo-Catholic history. IIRC my 1943 copy has nothing for King Charles the Martyr-er.
  • Part II.
Headphones: anti-social or a revolt against egalitarianism?
From Michael Lawrence
Substituting the state for God and family
By Christine Smith, sometime candidate for the Libertarian presidential nomination. From LRC.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why people like ‘Idol’
At heart a conservative show based upon merit and self-respect not self-esteem? Good points from John E. at The Old Hundredth but I don’t like it. With Sir George Martin I agree it’s cruel to pull people apart publicly and especially how they do it. They let a few ringers through to make fun of them on the air and of course they think they’re good until they’re crushed on camera; by the time you see them they’ve passed two auditions setting them up by telling them they are.

And does the world really need more melismatic Whitney wannabes?
Pope Benedict’s Catholic revival reaches Notre Dame
Indiana. From TNLM.
The Harding way
More. From Joshua.

Prosecute ’em
From Taki

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

From truthout
From Joshua
  • Look homeward, America. Caleb Stegall on Bill Kauffman. American Little Englandism. I like it! To paraphrase Gore Vidal, one of Kauffman’s unlikely heroes, the real split lies between those who love the old American republic and those progressive dreamers who would sell their patrimony for a bowl-full of the centralized, mechanized American Empire. We’re a collection of throwbacks and throwaways, retreads and retrofits, hillbillies and hell-raisers, poet politicians and insubordinate patriots.
  • The neglected tradition of high-church conservatism. What would Burke do?
On the Free State Project
A left-wing smear from CounterPunch (‘ultra-libertarians’, oh, my, and ‘can’t go to sleep; libertarians will eat me’) but given history I’m wary of such projects as any libertarian ought to be (they smack of English Calvinism including the kinds gone bad, from Plymouth Rock to Utah to SWPL) and Pam Martens asks a valid question: is it just a front for big business? (But remember, mercantilism is not real capitalism.) That said I tend to agree with the NHers allegedly referred to here:
So long as you are good neighbors and really support the political ideals that you talk about, then they are supportive.
RR’s editor notes:
Interesting hit piece. FSP must be having a greater effect than I’d thought.
The Buckley way of death
Christopher Buckley on his late parents. From @TAC.
Mark Shea on the rubber-hose right
From LRC

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ron Paul on the swine-flu scare
BTW he’s a doctor. From the LRC blog.
Changing your religion
From Rod Dreher
Interestingly, most Protestants who move around within Protestantism don’t do so for doctrinal reasons, but because they either got married, moved, or had some other practical reason for jumping sides.

Actually, movement around Protestant denominations is not new. It just used to be based on the economic status of the individual and you chose your denomination on the basis of where you fit in, theology having very little to do with it.
Doubtless true since the 1700s.

The Sicilian Woman in the comments thread speaks for Bad Catholics and how they’re different from Modernists (who are really name-the-ethnic-group liberal Protestants) and is also a good libertarian here:
A turbulent time was about to hit a little over 10 years ago, so I went back to attending Mass, even though I disagreed, and still do, with many of the RC Church’s major tenets, because I remembered the routine — stand, sit, kneel, repeat. I needed, wanted, some formal way of recognizing God, and, even though the RC Church didn’t provide me religious tenets that I could believe, it did provide me with a time and place each week where I could take part in some formal observance.

That being said, I have no desire to change the RC Church. It is what it is, it believes what it believes, and it has a right to do so. Religious affiliation is optional. If someone doesn’t like a particular religion, one is free to find one that suits her/him (or start their own — it’s been done before with success).
When we sin we know we can’t bend the church to make it say it’s not really a sin. Objective truth.

Good for Mary Ann Glendon
More. From GetReligion.

Update: Bloggers riff on this.
Dreher: ‘Keep your Dame medal!’
Johnson: ‘Fr Jenkins, find yourself a new prop.’
Of course it was torture
Japanese who waterboarded US POWs in WWII were hanged after the war. From the LRC blog.
From Ayn R Key
  • Liberalism, conservatism and libertarianism. There are several factions of each. Ironically Union Liberalism finds itself in alliance with one of the schools of conservatism, Mercantilism. Mercantile Conservatives are the leading faction, and have been since the Republicans were called Whigs, and since the Whigs were called Federalists. Welfare Liberals are very much the core of American Progressive Liberalism. While there isn’t great concern for civil liberties here, economic liberties are completely dead within this tradition. Then there are the neoconservatives. These are the worst that conservatism has to offer.
  • Liberals versus the Nolan Chart. Liberals and libertarians appear to be talking about different things when the subject of civil liberty is mentioned. The biggest area of difference is freedom of association. Both the conservative and the liberal in that example are ascribing to libertarians a sort of legal positivism, an ideology that is as far removed from libertarianism as it is possible to be. The legal positivist believes something good because the law says so. From a legal positivist point of view, the libertarian call to legalize drugs is the same as the libertine call to do drugs, and the libertarian call to end group rights is the same as the bigot’s call to discriminate against those groups. It’s a straw man.
  • Conservatives versus the Nolan Chart. Mercantilism is not capitalism, and advocates for mercantilism are not the same as advocates for the free market.
  • Two kinds of liberalism. One supports unionization in order to achieve economic fairness for workers, one supports economic fairness for workers in order to achieve unionization.
Cruise ship fights off pirates with, yes, private security
From RR
Newspaper circulation crumbles
From T1:9
Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • Fr Feeney revisited.
  • Clerical marriage.
  • A good Protestant. RIP Peter Toon.
  • Also from T1:9: mainline decline again. Specifically the Episcopalians. (Joseph Bottum has written the definitive piece on them and all the rest.) A few thoughts, fair game with no ad hominem or conservative Anglican cant. What if the ‘roots’ are neither Catholic nor ‘biblical’ (by which Protestants mean Luther, Calvin or some such) but political compromise (the English sovereign: ‘Believe or not; I don’t care as long as you don’t follow the Pope, deny the Real Presence and just use my Prayer Book’) so orthodox belief flew out the window in the ‘Enlightenment’ and is now on the way out even in name? Might the political correctness and do-gooderism be the old ruling class’s noblesse oblige (and trying to keep the proles good and obedient — to them) with a costume change (‘we’re not the Tories/GOP at prayer any more: see how cool we are’, a fake informality which is actually showing off claimed status and power) and slightly subtler means (than fines, jail and being hanged, drawn and quartered)?
  • Metropolitan Jonah to speak to new ACNA. He’s ex-Episcopal himself as is the OCA diocesan here (yes, in Ruthenian central).
From @TAC
The religious left
Does God endorse fraud? Or ‘it’s not war, economic fraudulence and government theft when we do it’. From LRC.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

SSPX group visits Brussels
Photos: High Mass, the office, proper nuns and (optional) baroque splendour
Bishop Fellay’s Rosary Crusade
My comment
From Tea at Trianon


Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • From T1:9: What unites the church is a common faith in Christ and a common share in the Spirit. Apart from this essential, Christians may have nothing at all in common. We differ from one another in temperament, personality, education, colour, culture, citizenship, language and in a host of other ways. Thank God we do. The church is a wonderfully inclusive fellowship, in which ‘there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female’ (Gal. 3:28). In other words, in Christ we have equality. — John R.W. Stott
  • There’s nothing wrong with seeing the good in Protestants (quoting them like above) but like Fr Gordon Anderson this has me saying ‘WTF?’ J.I. Packer to be commencement speaker and get honorary degree at Nashotah House. More on ‘the enemy of my enemy’ phenomenon in conservative Anglicanism (along with beautiful pictures of St Alban’s, Holborn, which I’ve been to, and the St Mark’s Day Mass yesterday at Ushaw) or ‘let’s re-create the Elizabethan Settlement so it can collapse on us again’. And a reminder of what conservative Protestants really thought of us in the Catholic Movement. (This is not an apologia for remaining in hostile liberal Protestant denominations either.)
  • Speaking of good Protestants, Tripp explains the decline in churchgoing without the Chicken Little panic that sometimes afflicts conservatives. There is a statistically demonstrable and steady decline in church attendance. That’s not news and it accompanies a recent and seemingly rapid church building boom. Some say that what the church in America is encountering is the simple course correction after the WWII bubble. Rather like I understand the history of Ireland: in 1800 it wasn’t religious; then after RC emancipation there was a massive Catholic revival producing the pious Irish many remember; now it’s swung back to indifference. Of course religious liberty is not the same as indifferentism in principle like secular (neutral and fair on religion: freedom for all) and secularist (anti-religious) aren’t the same. I dare say the peaceable kingdom in which Tripp’s faith and mine (and those of no faith for that matter) could live would be neither of the religious right nor the Christian left but... libertarian.
  • Something for Antipascha (St Thomas Sunday): My 2,000th posting on Douglas’ defensive ilk are a ha’penny a dozen in online Orthodoxy, where I’m only an occasional visitor. Fr Anastasios is an old friend.
  • Ethnics vs Baptodox with a chip on their shoulder? Take this as you will: from an e-mail. A well-informed Greek layman tells me that American converts to the Orthodox Church are regarded as “a bunch of Protestants” over at the Phanar.
  • RIP Mgr Stephen Dutko. Вечная память (eternal memory). More on this history. The YouTube above is of Orthodox Easter a week ago; he’s in the chasuble with the big cross (yes, very Tridentine) singing a solo part. Interestingly Russians have their families’ graves blessed today.
Ruthenian-American life: making pierogi at Monsignor’s parish. Of course this could be anywhere in upstate Pennsylvania. (Binghamton, NY is just across the border.)

What the signs say
Click to enlarge

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sanger her heroine
Ugh. But put not your trust in Republicans either. Don’t get played.
Not your father’s National Review
Which was a big nothing to begin with really as Murray Rothbard explains: America Firsters, libertarians like Frank Chodorov and other worthies were forced out by CIA agent Bill Buckley (who although he had genuine good qualities seemed as if the agency created a character to appeal to YFs... neoconnery with a Catholic gentlemanly veneer) who pushed sovietisation ‘for the duration’... in the name of anti-Communism.
Richard Brookhiser has bemoaned conservative criticism of Yalta.
From Chronicles.
Rights, schmights
From the man whose election was supposed to be a milestone for civil rights
The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to overrule a 23-year-old decision that stopped police from initiating questions unless a defendant's lawyer is present. another stark example of the White House seeking to limit rather than expand rights.

Since taking office, Obama has drawn criticism for backing the continued imprisonment of enemy combatants in Afghanistan without trial, invoking the “state secrets” privilege to avoid releasing information in lawsuits and limiting the rights of prisoners to test genetic evidence used to convict them.
I can only conclude the human-rights mask is off and, as in the old Communist bloc, the left really believe in these things.


From the LRC blog.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A 500th anniversary this week
Of an instrument of great evil who changed history. Before I started reading Christopher Haigh (thanks, Dr Tighe) I used to give him the benefit of the doubt but although he personally wasn’t a heretic the rot set in during his reign depending on what he wanted politically. No wonder English Protestantism fell so hard in the 1700s; we’re feeling the aftershocks.

Omnes sáncti mártyres, órate pro nóbis.
From RR
From Taki
  • On politics and RC factions or churchmanships as we with Anglican backgrounds pick up on. I understand Mr Stacy McCain’s pride in his Scots heritage but their ‘independent faith’ is self-made and self-refuting, only one jump removed from the liberal Protestantism he probably doesn’t like; he’s living off the moral capital of Catholicism like most Protestants used to.
  • On single mothers by choice. A rude rant (warning: language) with a lot of truth. Of course the left can twist this into an argument for abortion but still true.
    Today the U.S. Census tells us there are over 10 million single moms in America raising 2 children each without a dad (stop saying “single parent” by the way; barely 3% of single parents are dads who never married).

    Only 38% of single mothers have been abandoned. That leaves over a million women a year having babies with no man, just because they want one.

    Not only did they make themselves victims, but they brought another, more serious victim into the mix — their children.

    Feeling sorry for blacks makes you feel like a Freedom Rider, but what if said blacks made themselves that way? Are paraplegics who got that way from driving drunk victims?

    I wanted a motorbike really badly when I was 13 but I didn’t get one until I could afford my own at the ripe old age of 22. If you didn’t get around to meeting someone you can be with for, I don’t know, at least 18 years, I have some bad news for you. You can’t have a baby. Sorry. It’s not you. It’s the kid. It wouldn’t be fair.
From Rod Dreher
  • Society without religion? Who Fr Arseny was (more).
  • Religion as self-worship. Or Andrew Sullivan tries to tell the Pope what to do as apparently the upper classes in Protestant countries have the charism of infallibility. A phenomenon not peculiar to the putative left: Hey, if George W. Bush can claim that “we don’t torture,” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and still find an audience of true believers...
  • The racism of the left, on the New Haven firefighters’ case being heard by Scotus. We justify the rhetorical contortions that excuse black people from challenging examinations. Which falls more into the spirit of black uplift that you could explain ... in less than three minutes: teaching black candidates how to show what they are made of despite obstacles, or banning a test of mental agility as inappropriate to impose on black candidates?
From Joshua
  • Come home, America. McGovern to Obama: bring the soldiers home this year.
  • Pope: the church interprets the Bible. Two points to remember: the community of believers, even the Pope, can’t renege on past definitions of doctrine and that community is not the same as the upper middle class in Protestant countries and their mores.
  • A traditionalist conservative criticises what he thinks is classical liberalism. A variation on ‘in principle it’s selfish’. But what’s been done by the putative right and left isn’t really capitalism and they don’t give a toss about liberty; they only pretend they do.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mystery moggie
After working 15 hours yesterday (until 1am), as I was leaving home this morning for 10 more hours I heard meowing on the other side of the wall and thought it was my little neighbour Fudge. When I opened the door I found this fellow, who enjoyed visiting my place, running under furniture and marking things (cat people know what that means). Didn’t recognise him at first but the mark on his nose told me he’s the roaming cat (but obviously a pet) who’s been hanging about for a few years; last saw him lying on my car in the winter keeping warm. I wonder if he won or lost that recent fight to be king or queen of the bins.

Normal blogging will resume once I catch up on sleep.
The difference between Arbor Day and Earth Day...
... is the difference between planting a tree in your backyard and e-mailing a machine-written plea for a global-warming treaty to your UN representative.
Bill Kauffman via Joshua

Monday, April 20, 2009

From RR
From Mark Shea

Post-modern religion
Proving one of Chesterton’s points. From Carioca Confessions.
From LRC
More photos

Logan Circle at 5am
Walking from Russian Easter to the train station where I watched Septa transit cops, some driving around indoors in a cart, honk at or pound the benches waking up the tramps sleeping on them

100 unintentionally hilarious spam subject lines
A perfect storm of the Lads from Lagos and Engrish
From T1:9

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.
— George Carlin, no friend of the church but very talented
The synthesis of all the heresies
Michael Liccione quotes an American RC priest (I’m guessing an older one) who thinks this is a good thing:
Faith (as modern Americans construe it) is not some objective reality into which they feel they should fit; rather, faith is the way people choose to assemble their ideals, in accord with the force or thrust of those ideals.
That, my friends, presents the basic spiritual problem from which all of America’s ecclesial and social ills flow.
Of course because it’s a culturally Protestant country: the happy hunting-ground of sectarianism as Mgr Ronald Knox called it.
SCOTUS said in 1992, and was believed almost without question when it repeated in 2003:
“At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and of the mystery of human life.”
That’s exactly the right our first parents claimed for themselves.
It works politically as long as the golden rule, the harm principle, is enforced but objectively of course it’s wrong. To anticipate the reaction a good friend of the blog, I agree that the neocaths sometimes fall into the same traps as their liberal opponents (just like fundamentalism is itself thoroughly modern unlike the traditionalism we both believe in) but this is still good and I give credit where it’s due.

The really scary thing that I’ve begun to notice (being a recent Boston College grad and knowledgeable of all the goings-on there) is that cafeteria Catholicism is not purely a subjective choice which presupposes some form of inclusiveness. Rather, many of the faithful select their own dogma and then try to impose it on the Church as if the fate of the civilized world depended on it — it’s tyrannical, which is ironic since that’s the dissenter’s word of choice for the Vatican.
Liccione adds:
It’s subjectivity masquerading as objectivity. Everybody has a pope in their belly. In other words, the imperial self.
Russian Easter
Top row: The St Anne banner and the tomb with the burial shroud. Second row: Mother Anna the resident nun reads from the Acts of the Apostles. After the midnight street procession round the block: in the foreground are the tsar’s old flag and an old Russian tricolour, again the national flag. World War II refugee Russians started the church in 1951. Third row: During the hours (offices) before Liturgy: Fr A in the altar and Fr Valery the deacon putting the thurible in motion. Fourth row: Fr A at the Great Entrance. As you can see the liturgical colour has changed. Blessing the baskets afterwards. Fifth row: Shrinking plastic wrap for eggs. Somebody gave me this one. Seems too pretty to use and has anybody else got a problem with using icons for something that will be thrown away? BTW that’s Our Lady of Kazan. Bottom: One of many ways great and small that real life is better than online: in this immigrant parish there’s no petty anti-Western rubbish as they have nothing to prove. Fr A in one of his Latin cassocks. White is traditional on a festal day in this tradition. The sanctuary aglow.

Christ is risen (Greek)


St Demetrios, Upper Darby

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Oh, no
Israel stands ready to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites.
From T1:9.
Spring bicycle ride: Upper Darby and Philadelphia
Top: The Tower Theatre. Second row: I don’t know if they’ve got the retro stuff for su car boss but Manny, Moe and Jack would like to help. They’re effigies of the original 1940s owners of the chain; one of them had a cigar until PCness decreed he couldn’t any more. Third row: Concrete Gothic in West Philadelphia complete with gargoyles. Fourth row: Ah, Romanesque (known in England as Norman): the bus terminal that ought to be an abbey. As far as I can tell the acoustics would be good for chant. A detail in West Philadelphia. Fifth row: Interfaith. What part of West Philadelphia used to be. At right, this piece of Moorish-detailed splendour (AFAIK a Sunni house of worship) reminds me of Brendan Ross telling me the design of the mosque is stolen from Eastern church architecture. Bottom: A bit of 1920s Georgian revival in UD: ex-St Giles Church. I think the Episcopalians left in the 1990s.

From Hilary
The tea-party thing has potential
If it’s not co-opted by the GOP (blech) and hooks up with the Revolution. One quibble: fake conservatism pre-dates Bush the Younger’s minders by a few decades. From Taki.
Prepare for a lifeboat economy
And learn from recent huge mistakes. A dire prediction from LRC.

From Jim Wallis
Why we don’t really have common cause with the left on peace issues
From Joshua

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • Orthodox Holy Saturday. From the Canon at Matins: In hades as well as in the tomb and in Eden the unique divinity of Christ was inseparable from the Father and the Holy Spirit. This was done for our salvation and we praise him: blessed art thou, O Lord, for thou savest us.
  • Easter at St Peter’s, London Docks.
  • Chronicles has a go at the mainline. What follows is very familiar to regular readers but for the benefit of new people here it is: of course the mainline churches collapsed because there was no principle of authority really. Catholics East and West believe in an infallible church; Protestants left and right in a fallible thus fungible one. Mainliners coasted for a few centuries on the moral capital from Catholicism, inertia and mere social convention, although Modernism really got started in the ‘Enlightenment’. The Anglicans and Congregationalists seem to have been hit especially hard by that, with many Congregationalists turning into Unitarians (non-Christians) and lots of Anglicans (like Washington and Jefferson) becoming private nonbelievers but still giving lip service to orthodoxy following the old Prayer Book. Now it seems the other mainliners have caught up with them.
  • Why were English Protestants hit especially hard by the ‘Enlightenment’? Methodism and Anglo-Catholicism both were trying to remedy this. The English Calvinists caved. I understand the Congregationalists self-destructing but the Anglicans, although at the top their church was compromised by its dependence upon the state and the religious indifference (latitudinarianism) that resulted (essentially the forerunner of everything MCJ complains about), were at heart still mediæval village Catholics who wanted the Prayer Book services done right like their ancestors had the Mass (Anglo-Catholicism didn’t come from nowhere), and the creeds and Articles at least gave credal orthodoxy. Protestantism is self-refuting but the Scots including American Presbyterians seem to have held together slightly better than the English. P.S. Thank God that politically the English ‘Enlightenment’ wasn’t like the French! It produced the Constitution that Ron Paul defends: a framework of freedom for the faith to flourish in (all right, I’m done) and not anti-religious. Hooray for Edmund Burke.
  • On being firm but kind to the erring and ‘ritual rascality’.
  • An Australian Anglican priest who’s a man’s man and pro-Palestinian. From here.
  • Conversation-stoppers for overeducated evangelicals. LOL. From Mere Comments.
  • A popular topic here: the PNCC. My comment.

Friday, April 17, 2009

From William Grigg
From RR
Obama, AfPak and Russia. From Taki.
The gospel of the pharisees
From LRC

Spring 2009
Top: a detail from Port Richmond. Second row: weather with mood swings, from flowers to the other night. Crikey, it was cold! An ethnic Russian from Alberta made that woollen knitted jacket: it works. Thanks, Nadia. Third row: from flora to fauna. A friendly shop cat (his owner says many people take his picture) and Taz the Italian greyhound. Fourth row: sawing off and chipping tree branches yesterday morning next to Runnemede and a friendly cop near work, actually a tribute statue titled ‘Oh, It’s You — Welcome!’. Fifth row: ‘Got it? Good!’ A shop owner whose approach to customers is direct. He sells old records to collectors. ‘Let us who mystically represent the cherubim...’ Bottom row: the old cinema is long closed. The art-house next to it.