Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Five reasons 'The Godfather' almost didn't get made

Or the pundits and public opinion can be dead wrong.

From Fr Jay Toborowsky.

A reminder: Romney and Ryan aren't the real deal

Sorry, nothing fun Halloweenish yet as this week in real life has been scary and surreal, with Hurricane Sandy leaving a calling card of a blackout for about 14 hours starting the night after she passed through!

In the meantime, from my good friends the Libertarian Party:
“Why NO True Libertarian, NO True Ron Paul Supporter, NO True Tea Partier Will Even Consider Voting For Big Government Mitt Romney for President”

True Libertarians, True Ron Paul Supporters, & True Tea Partiers:

Vote AGAINST Higher Federal Tax Collections
Vote AGAINST Higher Federal Spending
Vote AGAINST Higher Federal Debt

We ALWAYS Vote AGAINST Candidates Who:
Vote FOR Higher Federal Tax Collections
Vote FOR Higher Federal Spending
Vote FOR Higher Federal Debt

Look at the Mitt Romney / Paul Ryan Republican Budget Numbers Below.

Then Vote AGAINST the Anti-Libertarian, Anti-Ron Paul, Anti-Tea Party Republican Presidential Ticket on Election Day.

Romney/Ryan Republican Federal Budget Plan Boosts Tax Collections 88%, Hikes Federal Spending 35%, and ADDS $4 Trillion to the National Debt

Here are Paul Ryan's own hard numbers on his budget plan (S1)

Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" Budget Plan:
1) Increases Federal Government Tax Collections from $2.444 Trillion to $4.601 Trillion. A $2.157 Federal Tax Collection Increase. An 88% Tax Collection Increase.
2) Increases Federal Government Spending from $3.624 Trillion to $4.888 Trillion. A $1.264 Trillion Increase in Federal Government Spending. A 35% Increase.
3) ADDS $4 Trillion to the National Debt.

Libertarian Presidential Candidate, 2-Term Governor Gary Johnson, has pledged to cut spending 43% to balance the federal budget his first year in office.

Please Vote for 2-Term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for President on November 6th.

Paid for by the Libertarian National Committee
2600 Virginia Ave, N.W. Suite 200, Washington D.C. 20037

I'm undecided between voting for Johnson, writing in Paul or staying home again.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Hurricane Sandy story

Hurricanes here, inland, are usually anticlimactic: after a big media scare, just another rainy day with a few gusts. Almost true again but I lost electricity for an hour yesterday afternoon, then as you can see, the wind got real last night for a few minutes at a time as Sandy went through. Took cover away from the windows, hoping branches wouldn’t shatter them. They didn’t. This tree next door landed on the deck behind my place, barely missing two people in the rooms next to the deck.

Monday, October 29, 2012

On my shelf: he should have been president

Hurricane scare

Saturday, October 27, 2012

It takes a Greek village to beat cancer

And other places where people live longer. Here. From Ad Orientem.

Lena Dunham 'Your First Time' parody

It was funny to see the left admit that women vote for the handsome candidate.

Torture: we're not the good guys

LRC’s Will Grigg here.

American Christians have become warmongers

Chuck Baldwin’s good objection, not to be confused with pacifism. Longtime readers here know the reasons, mostly from LRC’s Laurence Vance, for this problem. As recently as 1936 fundamentalists were doves (with a healthy distrust of the government’s including of course the military’s worldliness) and mainliners (liberal Protestants) hawks (spreading the American way by force). What caused the change? Conservative Christians understandably reacted to the late-’60s culture wars by turning to the military with its clean-cut, yes-sir image as some sort of Christian knights defending normality. (The Cold War was another reason.) It’s appealing. (Before Francis Schaeffer talked Jerry Falwell into activism, fundamentalists were largely apolitical.) The liberal Rockefeller Republicans and the ex-Democrat neocons are happy to use this. I’m pro-military, a reason for being anti-war: support the troops by not wasting them on fool’s errands abroad.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Today's links and remarks

  • I didn’t see much of the debate but Lew Rockwell sums up what I remember: Romney’s handlers wanted him to be less of a warmonger tonight, and Obama’s handlers wanted him to be more of a warmonger, but that was all just a lying smokescreen. The establishment scam of bipartisan foreign policy still dominates: these two are twins of empire, interventionism, spending, and mass death. Oh, and Israel, Israel, Israel, Israel.
  • I have no political anti-establishment reason for not voting. I’m not an anarchist. I just don’t see why I should vote. A vote is a choice between two elaborate theatrical productions. It’s a choice between the aesthetics of Star Wars versus Indiana Jones.
  • From RR: The US may soon become the world’s top oil producer.
  • The euro falls as Moody’s downgrades regions.
  • How do you define a successful third-party candidacy? I understand Harry Browne realistically saw his campaigning as educational. This takes a similar approach. Cindy Sheehan’s nice; once sent her an e-mail of support and heard back from her.
  • From Ad Orientem: The SSPX dismisses Bishop Williamson. Thank God for Archbishop Lefebvre; he saved our Mass. My libertarianism and the society’s and the bishop’s monarchism and fascism (just a description, not a dirty word) seem at odds. I won’t attack him for his argument based on science and engineering that questions the magic number six million. The matter’s not doctrine to us; irrelevant. I understand brother trads’ suspicion of the institutional church, given how they’ve been treated for 40 years (so a split if the society is recognized again by the official church is no surprise); I’m barely in it myself (I have my Mass and don’t bother them; they leave me in peace). I saw this coming: in his latest Eleison Comments newsletter he recommended family reading of The Poem of the Man-God, a book the Holy Office condemned in the ’50s. (Some charismatics, the conservative but low-church ’70s-’80s will-o’-the-wisp some thought was the church’s great hope, liked it too; the Medjugorje fraud they fell for recommended it.) But it seems like with another hardliner some trads like, Fr Leonard Feeney (if you’re not Catholic, you’re going to hell), the matter was of obedience (here the Novus Ordo neocons laugh); Feeney was kicked out, in the ’50s, for disobedience, not for his views (which, outrageous as they are, are allowable; he didn’t have to recant when the church let him back in, and he didn’t). The laity have the freedom to go to the SSPX. It’s worth remembering that Joan of Arc sided with ‘the wrong Pope’ yet was later canonized. To show the libs who’s boss, make the society an ordinariate or personal prelature and make Fellay a cardinal.
  • From John Boyden: This seems to clarify the status of Planned Parenthood in regards to their services. They admit they do not do mammograms. Big surprise there.
  • César Chavez. I admit I didn’t know that much about him. A sympathetic figure at first glance because of the Catholic connection (critics called him a showboater with his religion but some called Fulton Sheen that; by the way, it seems that pre-Roe the radical chic sort of liked Catholic ethnics, anything not WASP even though the Rockefeller Republicans were as liberal as they were). He made mistakes (Synanon) and had faults. Maybe like Dorothy Day, economically naive but well-meaning. (Rothbard: Unions are only successful in a market economy where the union can control the supply of labor: that is, when workers are few in number, and highly skilled, so that they are not easily replaceable.) Interestingly, and I didn’t know this, he opposed illegal immigration, for a practical reason that made perfect sense. (He was something like a fourth-generation American who agreed a country’s first priority is its citizens; the companies importing scabs undermined what he was trying to do for American and legal-immigrant workers.) By the way, while I agree with Sailer on group IQs on average and sympathize with some fellow rightists’ reaction against political correctness (Christianity minus Christ, or the left pretending to be nice, claiming to be better than you), Takimag seems annoyingly hostile to Latin people.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Today's links

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Wellwood Park, Merchantville, NJ, and the Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania, Delaware County Community College, Newtown Square, PA.

My shadow became my photo signature at the second show.

Movie stars or their close relatives:

’49 Merc.

The Christine family of Chrysler brands:

’57 Plymouth Fury.

Dodge Coronet.

Versions of what would/will be my ride (’59-’60 Chevys):

Light metallic blue hardtop’s my choice.

I’ll take it! Wait, where’s the gas pedal? How’d you get it here?


Friday, October 19, 2012

Trail of tees

Takimag on manifest destiny.

Payback: go, Granny, go

True story: Walmart tried to cheat a lady out of two cents and lost. From last year.
When Mary Bach reached the cash register at Walmart with her pack of Brown ’N Serve sausages, she knew that something was very wrong — the label on the product read 98 cents, but the cashier tried to charge her a full dollar. She wasn’t impressed. Walmart offered to defuse the situation by refunding the two cents, but the damage was done, and this grandmother wasn’t about to take it lying down. So she sued their asses over those two cents, alleging that it was totally intentional and they were trying to rip her poor ass off. According to Bach, the suit wasn’t about the money — it was about principle. How can you justify overcharging customers two cents? The kicker is that Bach won the suit. The courts awarded her $100 for her suffering and $80 for her trouble. On one hand, that's a trivial sum compared to the time and energy she must have devoted to pursuing it. But that is also 9,000 times the disputed amount.
From Cracked, which I normally like but they meant to make fun of her.

Verizon Wireless tried to steal $50 from me. My bank refunded it. Now I get my phone service from the Germans.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The ghosts of war

An artist superimposes World War II photographs onto modern pictures of the same French streets.

From Bill Tighe.

Christians and politics

Dr Fleming here.

Ding dong, print is dead

Newsweek will switch to online-only.

Buzzwords dumb people use to sound important, and more links

  • 10 expressions that should be banned from church. The difference between stilted and elegant, which of course goes beyond church.
  • From RR: who is plotting to steal your pension?
  • Hell is paved with Obama’s intentions.
  • It seems to me after long experience that people in general don’t really want the truth. They only want that which comforts them. They have no desire to actually be right – only to feel right. And this is, after all, the only reason government and politics exist in the first place.
  • From LRC: the cops can’t really help you; you have to protect yourself. An idea here: private police would be better because they answer to you, a customer, like insurance, not the state. (What about people who can’t afford it? Save up and buy a gun; good advice anyway.) Most people don’t care about you but a company cares about your money so it has an incentive to try to help you. Still, all police can do when deterrence (I’m happy to see patrol cars stationed at town borders at 1am; unlike pure libertarians I don’t hate the police) doesn’t work is try to catch the person after he’s hurt you. (Philly cops have been nothing but good to me in nearly 30 years living here. They deal with real problems.)
  • The future of old age security in the United States has been lost, because the job base has been given away to foreigners in order to maximize incomes in the short-run for the few decision-makers. Paul Craig Roberts criticizes both the right and the left. Some libertarian rebuttal ideas: mercantilism and crony capitalism aren’t really capitalism.
  • Government debt burdens our grandkids.
  • Got to give the mainline Protestants credit, trying to stand up for Palestine. Israel’s overreach might break up an alliance that defined liberal elite America, mainliners and Reform Jews. But the Jewish neocons probably have long known the mainliners are through so they disdainfully use the evangelicals instead. Sidebar: before Kennedy, Catholics went from being persecuted to accepted (Jewish family-owned Hollywood made pro-Catholic movies because they sold, reflecting the country’s good attitude by then). With Kennedy, Catholics were welcome as long as they sold out and did what the mainliners and Jewish liberals said. Vatican II was like pouring gasoline on a fire. Now we’ve got most Catholics indistinguishable from other peer-pressure liberals, and the minority sound (orthodox) Catholics who, like the evangelicals, are pretty much owned by the neocon Republican Party. (The religious across the board vote R, thinking they have nowhere else to go.)
  • An exhortation. These have their place because they have a point. But the church as a relatively easygoing big tent (Mediterranean; strict rules lightly enforced), not a perfectionistic cult (what happens when northern Europeans get religion?), has had a lot of staying power and power to gently do good, plus now there’s reason to be discreet in an increasingly hostile culture as those who’ve lived under Islam and Communism can tell you. (Does the Irish Legion of Mary’s door-to-door evangelism, like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, really help? I understand Mormon missions don’t work; they just keep the troops too busy to realize the religion makes no sense.) That said... Thank God our Pope means business; he’s cleaning up some big problems (who’d have thought back under John Paul the Overrated that a future Pope would fix the Novus Ordo in English, which the annoying charismatic neocons, like the liberals, were insisting there was nothing wrong with?). So does the crew now running our country (turncoat Catholic Sebelius and the HHS mandate; there are Bad Catholics and then there are people who know what they’re doing, turning on the church). Choose your side. God will spit out the lukewarm. (Easygoing Latin Catholicism ≠ lukewarm.) By the way the big tent is probably also true of cultural Orthodoxy (at heart a folk Catholicism) in its homelands (Greece and Russia) and small ethnic bases here.
  • From Takimag: Derb on the one-party state. Of course Barry Commoner and I had little in common but the media coverage of his Citizens Party taught me the libertarian idea (before I learned about libertarianism) that the Dems and GOP are really the same.
  • I didn’t watch the debate yet. Busy getting Life After Newspapers™ under way. Latest: proofreading Web content for a European computer company, which means early-morning Skyping because of the time difference.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

'In the same way that movies, television, and radio emerged from the wreck of vaudeville...'

... so the Net is emerging as some weird, all-inclusive form of infotainment.

“Boffo box office” shall go the way of the journal that spawned the phrase, and in time the movie industry will collapse as television continues merging with the Net.

The real question is not whether its content will be stupid, prurient, and soul-killing, since that seems foreordained; it will be whether it can generate money.
Charles Coulombe at Takimag on the death of print.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Today's links

Monday, October 15, 2012

Today's links

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cars: fall fest in Barrington, NJ

’49 Bel Air. Smart!

I think one make had the first postwar design in ’48.

Everybody else including Chevy the next model year.

By the way that’s Donna’s late grandfather’s Borsalino fedora.

Most of my hats are Adam or Dobbs, nothing fancy.

’52, the last year Ford used the ’49 body.

’59 El Camino.

’60 Pontiac Sky Chief. More or less what I want my ride to be, probably smaller (the Chevys that year).

Not pictured: At a shop in town I found Donna a white/light-grey mink hat Jackie Kennedy could have worn.

Church: in my area, from nine parishes down to three

Today’s Mass: Omnia quæ fecisti nobis, Domine.

The great pullback continues (Archdiocese of Vienna: from 660 to 150 parishes; Diocese of Perigueux, France: 555 to 32!), interestingly announced after the stuff about the Year of Faith celebrating the anniversary of the start of Vatican II. Again, how’s that 50 years of ‘renewal’ working out for you? Post hoc ergo propter hoc: hell, yeah! The mainline’s dying but so’s the other old mainstay of Northeastern American white culture, the church. (Mexicans prop up our numbers nationwide.) The church has used up its capital earned before the council, on top of the depression and the gay-priest scandal. My parish is in a corner of far northwest Philadelphia mostly ghetto after white flight ages ago (so hardly any Catholics still live there), almost all default-Irish parishes (not a Puerto Rican part of town) plus an ethnic national parish; my church, a territorial (Irish) parish, is in what used to be a well-off area (one of my jobs, for parishioners, is based in a mansion just down the road; I occasionally work on site). The friars under Fr James took it over last decade and high-churched it, making it a showplace of Pope Benedict’s sounder church, with a weekly traditional Mass ever since the Pope freed up our Mass. (We’re a mix of black and white locals, relatively young trads who travel in, like me and, better, young trad families, and old stalwarts who kept the memory of the old Mass all those lean years under Popes Paul and John Paul.) So anyway the pastor says all the priests of the other eight area parishes grouped with us say to keep ours as one of the three remaining. We’ll see.

Hope we don’t get renamed Our Lady of Hope and Change or something.

Photo: St Donato’s, the Italian national parish. Great building outside (love the bell tower); probably generic Novus in English inside, which thanks to the reigning Pope has recently changed from conscience problem to only annoying. I like our 1890s faux-Gothic exposition chapel of a church but would love to keep this Italian Romanesque basilica. Put a baldacchino over the high altar, have the traditional Mass and we’re good.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Today's links and lines

  • The EU won the Nobel Peace Prize for what, not invading Poland? Hooray for Nigel Farage. In a sane world he’d be the British prime minister. I don’t hate a naturally German-run Western Europe (I agree with Taki and monarchists: the world would have been better off if the Central Powers won WWI) but that line, I forget where I first read it, is still funny.
  • From Takimag: Obama ‘owns’ the media but what if he didn’t? Romney will still be president.
  • From Mark in Spokane: Nat Hentoff reminds you Obama’s a ghoul on abortion.
  • Dano in my comboxes. On Paul Ryan: It’s a pity he’s a lockstep Bush-era Republican on foreign policy, because I could almost stomach him as President if I only had to look at his domestic positions – not a real libertarian, but the kind of libertarian-leaning conservative who would mostly leave people alone... unless, of course, you happen to live in a foreign country, in which case you better start cleaning your bomb shelter.
  • The debate is an interesting look, though, at the generation gap among practicing Catholics in America. Older Bad Catholics stay with the Church despite their misgivings because they were raised on the idea of One True Church; younger Catholics aren’t really given that spiel anymore, so the only ones who really care to stay are the ones who take it fairly seriously. Joe Biden reminds me a little of some of my older relatives, while Paul Ryan would fit in quite nicely with a lot of the youngish friends I have from various Catholic groups (and yes, some of them have terrible ideas about foreign policy, too).
  • Catholic Europe’s worse off than I thought. James writes: My mother’s diocese (Perigueux, in France) reduced from 555 parishes to 32 a decade ago. How’s that 50 years of ‘renewal’ working out for you?
  • Jazzed about the Year of Faith? Me neither. Same plan: try to do good, keep going to the traditional Mass once a week and counting my beads every day (today in 1917: ‘I am the lady of the rosary’; O my Jesus, forgive us our sins...), hoping a priest gets to me in time so I have a better chance of crossing the finish line in the state of grace with minimal purgatory. As for the rest of the church, it’ll keep closing and merging, getting smaller but sounder, holier, under this Pope.
  • Photo: La Vita’s Pizza, Moorestown, NJ. The church is on the run here but I think will never completely go away.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Catholic Europe's falling down

The VP debate for what it's worth

The vice president is a nonentity unless something bad happens to the president but anyway. Mildly interesting. Two Catholic politicians, different brands, different acts. One an old-school, clownish, extrovert bully Bad Catholic, more cultural than theological? The other young, cool and collected, probably fitting in with the Novus neocons. I don’t hate either style; both have their place though Biden’s obnoxiousness was annoying. (An observer: have a drink every time he condescendingly calls Ryan ‘my friend’.) I don’t care what religion the president is. I care about real positions. This is a dog-and-pony show.

Pick one of these personalities and substitute Ron Paul’s platform. Which one do you think would get us more votes now and in the next few years? Neither? Our guy’s been written off as a crazy uncle and besides he’s too old to keep campaigning. (Cracked: it seems if it were up to people online, he’d be president of the galaxy. Why the difference from real voting?) A new face?

Show of strength ‘for our security’. Dems try to sound like relative peace candidates, impressive if you don’t actually follow the news. Ryan of course is a neocon warmonger.

Ryan on Syria: don’t these people, American pols, ever learn? So you want to overthrow Assad, not really Muslim, in order to hand the country to real Muslims, thinking it will turn the country into an American colony? How’d that work out in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya?

So what if Iran has nukes? They can’t and won’t attack us. Mind your own business and the US capital is not Tel Aviv. A foreign country and the evangelicals should not be running our policy.

Why can’t the two sides agree to bring the soldiers home and cut the war budget, then use the peace windfall to ease seniors and other needy off welfare?

Remember that when mainstream pols talk about military and other spending cuts they don’t really mean cuts. They mean raise spending a little less.

Abortion: Ryan impressed me. Heartfelt. Except the official spin, in order to cadge moderate pro-abortion votes, about rape and incest, which doesn’t make any sense in principle (‘I have the right to kill you for what your father did’) and besides most abortions are for convenience. So I like him but he’s just as compromised as Biden. (I don’t hate Romney personally but he comes from a Rockefeller Republican background and was a pro-abortion governor, and his religion doesn’t care about the issue. As president he won’t change anything.) Biden’s face seems to confirm what I wrote yesterday: he’s a real Catholic but with a bad conscience. First, a sop to the lib base by mentioning Catholic Social Teaching™ (the holy welfare state). Tried to sound libertarian (‘I won’t force my beliefs on you’) but murder of course violates the libertarian no-harm principle so no sale.

Doesn’t change anything. The Catholic rank and file, because of a vague memory of CST and because of modern peer-pressure liberalism identified with CST, normally vote left. I still think the depression and the Dinkins effect (whites feel they did their duty in ’08 and can move on) will steer enough of those middling voters to the Rs this time. The Rs, right or wrong, already have the self-consciously orthodox, who actually go to church, in the bag.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

About that poll where 1 in 5 Americans claim no religion

  • From the paleos at Chronicles: O tempora; yes, religious people across the board tend to vote R and the irreligious D, and no, you don’t want America to go European, turning secularist, not just secular (politically I’m secular!).
  • Owen White: on the other hand! A familiar theme. Religious people aren’t necessarily your friends (Arturo Vasquez’s old blog: Catholic cultures are scary because people are); seemingly lax Bad Catholics are more likely to be. (Andy Warhol was devout but didn’t advertise it. Judge not.) That’s how my experience interprets him on ‘liberal Catholics’. My best two bosses in the newspaper biz, about 15 years apart, were middle-aged or older ethnic-Irish casual Catholics. (Other editors who were good eggs, back when quality people entered the biz, before the Internet killed it: an upper-class, 25-year-old Ivy grad from Tennessee who turned five-points TULIP Calvinist after moving north; and an irreligious, artistically gifted, urbane Northern WASP in his 30s with an inherited fortune, who happened to be homosexual.) Churchy Modernist Catholic shrikes like those old nuns in the news are annoying and I’m glad I never had to work for any. I imagine the spiritual-but-not-religious are just as likely to push PC (a knockoff of Christianity) as their substitute religion as to be live-and-let-live (liberals who are actually liberal). And... one of my employers now, whom I don’t know well but like just fine, are fellow parishioners (it literally pays to network at monthly coffee hour, but socially I don’t expect much from the church); the other, for whom I write client companies’ Web content, is a young man of Middle Eastern descent and we never talk about religion; there’s no need.
  • Helen Rittelmeyer on the dumbing down of conservatism.
  • The Judge at Takimag: let Johnson debate. Are the mainstream puppeteers afraid of him like they were of Paul?
  • Paul Craig Roberts at LRC: our government’s moral degeneracy.
  • From Bill Tighe: Biden’s not hardcore pro-abortion but a compromised, sellout Catholic. The kind who’s really pro-life but ‘grows in office’ and thus garners ‘strange new respect’. I knew in ’08 Obama is a ghoul.
  • From RR: when even the relatively poor have hundreds of commercial TV channels, who needs PBS? The libs mock – ‘Wah! Romney wants to kill Big Bird!’ – but he’s right. The government has no business paying for TV. That said, the left has a point (a few hours of military spending = PBS’ government funding), pretending to be anti-war again when the Dems aren’t doing the warmongering. Cut the war spending and bring the soldiers home now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Today's links

  • From Ad Orientem: how Romney hijacked four Ron Paul delegations.
  • Sailer at Takimag: quantity vs. quality births.
  • From truthout: how Netanyahu’s ‘bomb Iran’ ploy failed. If Obama’s really ‘not pro-Israel enough’ as I understand many Republicans think, good. I still won’t vote for him. Never did.
  • From the Anti-Gnostic: bubble theology. Mostly about Eastern Orthodoxy from a convert’s POV. My guesses are more like, I imagine, if I recall rightly, Owen White’s, which is not surprising here. They could become extinct in America in a couple of generations or, likely in my opinion, remain but be even smaller, and remaining mainly ethnic (not necessarily bad; Greek and Slavic immigration will probably keep them going), like the similar recent history (exacerbated by liberal mainline decline) of the old Dutch Reformed Church in America (Robert Schuller’s church), whose numbers I think are in freefall. Ditto the Slavic Greek Catholics (plus their problem of assimilation into the Novus Ordo; unlike the Russians they don’t seem to benefit from post-Soviet immigration). A thought regarding being ‘soft’: it’s some churchmen’s (priests) job to exhort you to improve, but is the way of the church in the long run to be a small, perfectionistic cult like many trads, evangelicals and convertodox, or a more easygoing (strict rules but lightly enforced) big tent in which there’s room to grow in holiness, like the Catholic experience in America before the council, or the Orthodox one in Greece and Russia?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Ecumenism II: the Episcopal boogaloo

In the comments under ‘Ecumenism’ recently Fr Methodius left a link about the charismatic movement he was active in as an Anglican priest in South Africa. In black Africa with its conservative Anglicans apparently it’s doing well. That started me writing this about that denomination and ecumenism.
One still heard echoes of the old refrain, “We must work ecumenically and not denominationally”, but the awareness that that just doesn’t work seemed to be expressed more forcefully.
I don’t follow Anglican news (I don’t have to) but looking back it’s interesting, and a little sad if you were on their losing ‘Catholic’ side, to see their ecumenical lurchings. (I’m not broken up about it at all now because I think I understand it.) They recognized non-episcopal Protestants when it was diplomatically useful for England. (Everything was for the state.) There were brief attempted and proposed mergers with them, with the German Lutherans in the 1800s (the joint bishopric in the Holy Land), then the proposed Episcopal/Presbyterian merger in the ’40s that high churchmen including Anglo-Catholics narrowly defeated. (The dominant Protestants among the Episcopalians got revenge by threatening to out the married, secretly homosexual Bishop of Chicago, forcing him to retire young.) You had the South and North India mergers in which the non-episcopalians became Anglican episcopal. The ’60s had, in England, the proposed Anglican/Methodist merger that failed like the Presby one in America, and America had the COCU proposed mainline merger (sort of like South India; the mainline Protestants would have bishops in the Episcopal line). Now the Episcopalians and the big merged liberal Lutheran denomination are merged, with the bigger, latter denom slowly getting Episcopal orders, and non-episcopal ministers grandfathered in. (Not to be confused with the non-mainline, conservative, semi-Catholic Lutherans such as the Missouri Synod.) I think all the American mainliners are now in communion even if completely interchangeable ministers (Episco-Lutheran/Presbyterian/Methodist/UCC etc.) isn’t happening, yet.

But at the same time, with the Catholic legitimate liturgical movement and Vatican II (yick) in the early, good ’60s, Anglo-Catholics seemed to dominate (even though they were really a minority). More Anglicans started having full vestments and Communion as the main Sunday service, the Catholics gave the Anglicans a nod at Vatican II, Pope Paul gave the Archbishop of Canterbury one of his rings, ARCIC got under way, even the liturgical modernizations (‘facing the people’, ‘and also with you’) were mimicking what the Catholic Church was (wrongly) doing, the charismatic movement was another thing that brought Catholics and some Anglicans closer (orthodox but low-church, 25-40 years ago it was huge in the Catholic Church, one of the few official options for the theologically conservative, but it seems to be dying out), and so Anglo-Papalists (a kind of Anglican) thought maybe, just maybe... I remember the media buzz when the Pope first visited Britain and thought the same thing. ‘We are one...’

Not so fast! Anglicanism’s true self was there all along in the ’60s and after: for example the Episcopalians spared an unbelieving bishop, ex-Catholic James Pike, a heresy trial (many Anglicans have been discreet skeptics since the ‘Enlightenment’, such as America’s founding fathers), the world denomination unofficially decided there was no reason not to ordain women (what about all the high-churchifying to get ready for reunion with Rome?) and the Episcopalians started doing it. Game over. In Catholicism, the matter of the sacraments isn’t up for a vote.

Obviously they didn’t become Catholic (or Orthodox like Fr M). They got so liberal that, getting away from classical Protestantism (their Articles of Religion that trash Catholicism), they weren’t offended anymore by Catholic trappings so they adopted more of them, which can be misleading to the casual observer. They have liberal high-church people who believe the same things about the creeds and the sacraments that we do, except they believe the church is fallible, which is why they’re not with us, so they believe the matter of the sacraments is up for a vote.

Long story short, they obviously don’t want union so let them be!

Today's links

Monday, October 08, 2012

An untimely post

Modestinus burns up the screen with this.
Abortion is murder and sodomy is a sin; to hell its practitioners shall go for the Bible tells me so. And even should I have never been born in an age where the Scriptures are open and translated for every literate person to peruse, I would know those two facts from the Church’s catechesis and, if I were a thoughtful sort, the exercise of my natural reason. Nothing I think, do, say, believe, wish, pray, etc. will alter this reality.


My two cents here.

Today's links

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The impermanence of political labels

Paul Gottfried at Takimag.

Below: related, from Facebook. Probably meant to make fun of mainstream neocon Republicans, Tea Partiers (being used by the mainstream neocons but good-hearted; I don’t hate them to try to look cool) and strict constructionists (not the same as the mainstream GOP), but it makes interesting points, most of all that originally the Republicans obviously weren’t the natural party for us classical liberals/libertarians.
For those who are confused about what it traditionally meant to be a Republican, it included:

1. The spirituality of the Second Great Awakening, which stressed our duty to change the here and now through public education, improved care for the mentally ill, and voting rights for African Americans.

2. Investment in roads, canals, railroads, and state universities to build the economy and give more people access to the American dream, financed largely through government debt.

3. High tariffs to protect American industry, not shipping jobs abroad in the name of free trade.

4. A general horror of populism and a belief that it was necessary to disfranchise large numbers of Southern whites after the Civil War, since they were traitors to America.

For those of you want to condemn elitists, advocate the millennial beliefs of sects unknown to Americans before the 19th century, and who worry that secret cabals are undermining the republic and that brown and black people are trampling on the rights and privileges of real Americans, there is a traditional name for you: Jacksonian Democrat. Inconveniently, they no longer exist.

P.S. For those of you who take the rhetoric about getting back to the beliefs of the Founding Fathers seriously, the men among you should check to see whether they own enough property to have been allowed to vote in the early republic. Only about 60% of free, white men could vote at the time of the ratification of the Constitution. If you don’t own enough property, the Founders would want you to stay home on Election Day, trusting that your betters were handling things as Nature and Nature’s God intended. If you are a woman with traditional values and any amount of property, you should also stay home — it’s what the Founding Fathers wanted.

P.P.S. Five out of thirteen colonies didn’t allow Roman Catholics to vote. If you live in one of those states and are a Catholic who believes we should get back to the nation’s founding values, do stay home on Election Day. If you are a freedom-loving Catholic who lives in a state made up of land claimed by one of those colonies, you should also stay home. If you are a Catholic who lives in a state that was not part of the original colonies or land claimed by them, you should also stay home — you’ll be giving a powerful witness to your belief in the doctrine of strict construction.

P.P.P.S. Are you still so sure you like the sound of traditional American and Republican values?
Dano wrote a few posts ago:
As Rose Wilder Lane correctly pointed out, nobody has the inalienable natural right to vote. The question of who should be allowed to vote should never be governed by abstract, universal principles that are held to be true for all mankind and all of history – it depends on the conditions on the ground, and what is most conducive to the freedom and public order. Frankly, I would have objected to the 19th Amendment simply on federalist grounds – some states allowed women to vote before that time, and the 19th prohibited all other states from using their own local judgment in the matter.
So only landed gentlemen having the vote doesn’t offend me in principle.

Our Lady of Victories, commonly called Our Lady of the Rosary

Mass: Gaudeamus omnes in Domino with commemoration of the 19th Sunday after Pentecost! Did a double take when I saw the white vestments this morning. Is this ranking universal in the traditional missal (double, second class vs. Sunday) or unique to some places such as my parish, run by historically Spanish friars? The gospel, of course, is about the Annunciation and Incarnation: be it unto me according to thy word.

Anyway many of you already know it doesn’t commemorate St Dominic introducing this best-known form of prayer beads to the church but the 1571 naval battle of Lepanto, off the coast of Greece, that saved western Europe from the Ottoman yoke: the world’s last big sea fight with oared ships, the priest explained, with thousands of Christian slaves as oarsmen in the Turkish fleet, whose admiral was an Italian apostate if I recall rightly. This fought a cobbled-together Spanish and Italian fleet that was the first and last papal navy.

The rosary is my No. 1 devotion outside of church; I usually pray it in the car, with a small set of black beads, got at a Slovak national parish, obviously intended for a little boy’s First Communion set. A proper rosary not too big to get in the way. I have a bigger vintage version (pictured, with a new crucifix that matches) at home.

I don’t do the Luminous Mysteries. I like the parallel of the 150 Hail Marys and the psalter, the office for everyman, who might not be able to read, certainly in the Middle Ages.

I say it the Irish Legion of Mary way, like in their Tessera pamphlet. Frank Duff got that from older prayer books, in which it begins like the office. No prayers on the pendant, no Fatima prayer, but I do that prayer separately sometimes.
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Leave all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of thy mercy.
Driving past a Novus Ordo church going home I saw the priest in green; their ranking is different except maybe where it’s the parish’s feast of title (interestingly it is that parish’s former name feast, before merging/renaming).

G.K. Chesterton’s poem Lepanto.

Jesus saves. Mary prays. Benedict is our Pope.

Buona festa.

Photos: cars and beer

Burlington, Stratford and Marlton, NJ:

The quintessential beautiful ’40s car, the ’42 GM Fleetline body, here in the form of a ’42 Pontiac Eight Chieftain. There were a few ’42s (fall ’41) before the war stopped production; this one’s probably very rare and expensive.

Streamlined postwar design: ’50 Ford.

’50 Bel Air.

’53 Biscayne.

’56 Ford Victoria.

’57 Belvedere complete with Christine’s dashboard.

’58 Impala.