Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Today's links

  • Should teachers be armed? Well known are the Swiss (every man a rifleman; no crime) and Israelis (primary-school teachers have guns; disputed).
  • From Rod Dreher:
    • Daniel Inouye, badass. RIP. Not our fight, and I think politically he was on the wrong side, but he was one of the Greatest Generation. I think he said he was a Sunday-school teacher to begin with. Saw him in Ken Burns’ ‘The War’ (the left is nostalgic for the wrong reasons, cheering that big statist adventure) describing his first kill, the objective evil in war.
    • A prediction of American Christianity in 50 years. In full. I think it’s pretty close. Some of this is hard to follow. Who are the Reformed? Not the dying (Dutch) Reformed Church in America, a mainline denominataion. (Robert Schuller’s church.) The PCA, the relatively small conservative Presbyterian success story? Evangelicals, the serious Protestants who set us apart from Europeans? (My impression. Us: North used to be mainline, Catholic and Jewish; now spiritual but not religious/moralistic therapeutic deist; South evangelical and Pentecostal; Europe: used to be Catholic or mainline; now non- or anti-religious.) Fr Silouan’s coverage of them seems a little weak. But overall yes. The church: dead in northern Europe, smaller here but sounder; Pope Benedict’s way is our future; laus Deo. White Catholics are disappearing like mainliners; Mexicans prop up our numbers but I don’t feel that Hispanics are the Next Big Thing politically and in the church, because people have been saying for 40 years it’ll happen. The old liberals’ wanted changes won’t happen because most of them can’t; they go against the church’s nature and besides, the kids don’t support them. (Of course married priests can happen but won’t; keeping the rule is part of circling the wagons, damage control after the Vatican II débàcle. Not much call for it and the denoms with married clergy are declining anyway.) Shrinking mainline merger mush for old liberals. Orthodoxy: smaller still (no cultural impact), in ‘stolid decline’ as a friend describes their Slavic cousins the little PNCC*, only a bit less ethnic from the convert boomlet; juridical unity doesn’t matter there so it won’t happen. Conservative Lutherans (LCMS) have a shot at a future. Bob Hart Anglicans? Maybe. My guess is like the conservative Lutherans and conservative Presbys they’ll be vital but still splinters.
  • From Modestinus: two visions of Catholic Action.
  • From TAC:
  • From LRC: liberty is winning, mostly.
  • From RR:
  • From Takimag: the Drudge paradox.
*Hodur was a heretic (if he were around today he’d be preaching a kind of liberation theology and writing for NCR; not evident in PNCC parishes thanks to Polish conservatism) but I think many of those first parishioners, like the Slavic-American Orthodox, just wanted to keep their language and customs and for that were pushed out of the American Catholic Church for no good reason (Toth, Chornock and company weren’t heretics or liberals to begin with).


  1. Re: Catholic Action in the modern RCC

    What it means to me is that lay people in the parish have authority over me in quasi-ecclesiastical matters if not outright ecclesiastical matters. I do not like this. I have to deal with 3-4 potential tyrants in the Church: Pope----->Diocesan Bishop----->Parish Pastor----->(the Catholic school Principal, Sister Mary Stretch Pants). Now every volunteer who is a committee leader, coordinator, facilitator, . . . has a say!

    1. Right, clericalism (power, what many people think the church is about) vs. sacerdotalism (sacrament and service/self-sacrifice, what the church really teaches) as Fr Rutler puts it. Catholic Modernists (the old liberals): anti-sacerdotalists (a reason they're militantly anti-high church as Thomas Day says) but the biggest clericalists. (Those few old ladies who want to be priests do so not because they love the church's teaching about the Mass; they want power and status.) Easy to confuse at first; 'high church' originally referred to authority not ceremonial. The apostolic ministry of bishops in an infallible church is a high ecclesiology.

      From what Modestinus wrote I like St Pius X's vision of Catholic Action.

  2. Re: A prediction of American Christianity in 50 years

    . . . as Dhimmi battling American Islam . . . .

    1. Possible but I have a hunch it's unlikely. More a threat in Europe. Demographics as destiny; as western Europeans have many fewer kids and, to fill that void of workers, more immigrants straight from the heart of devout Islam move in and have lots of kids. My guess is the Muslims who come here are different. (An old friend who loved Indian/Pakistani cultures went to those countries and later said the Pakistanis he met were easygoing, not terrorists.)

      A long time ago here I quoted someone with the interesting idea that if the unthinkable happened, if the Muslims took over here, the evangelicals, with their simple theology (yes but maybe the writer was a condescending mainliner), could be flipped, converted into devout Muslims. Not so sure about that. I give the evangelicals more credit. As Westerners who've passed through Buddhism back to Christianity say, once Christ is in your heart (even through Protestantism) it's very hard to kick him out, which is why the Western round-trippers went back to him.

  3. Re: Should teachers be armed?

    As I briefly mentioned before, my high school had at least two combat veterans teaching (one had been a company commander in Vietnam). Another was an ex-cop, and I'm not sure I can even count how many of them were avid hunters (including, I'd wager, some of the women). I also suspect the football coach was probably ex-Army, based on several personal clues, and I think one of the other gym teachers may have been some kind of firearms instructor on the side. Needless to say, I'm pretty comfortable with the idea of armed teachers, provided they are competent with firearms. When I learnt that one of my teachers had a gun locked in the trunk of his car out in the parking lot (and I'd bet he wasn't the only one), I was quite reassured.

    Of course, if student safety were the real issue, the whiners caterwauling for more gun control would be loudly embracing a plan to arm teachers, since the single greatest factor in reducing the number of fatalities in a rampage shooting appears to be having a civilian bystander take action against the shooter (as the link you posted a while back noted). For them, though, the issue is not, and never has been student safety. That's just a pretext. What really offends them is citizens defending themselves without turning to the state for aid, as this strikes at the very heart of the state's claims to expansive power- "The state should be able to regulate every aspect of your life, because the state is your protector". To allow armed teachers in the government schools would be an admission that the government cannot even protect the defenseless in its own buildings. The government can't keep drugs out of its own prisons, can't keep guns out of "gun-free" school zones, and if my neighborhood is any indication, can't even stop people driving drunk directly in front of the police station every single weekend. If people noticed how impotent the government in areas where it has total control, they might begin to wonder why the government should be regulating the size of holes in Swiss cheese, or the capacity of the nation's toilets.

    1. "When I learnt that one of my teachers had a gun locked in the trunk of his car out in the parking lot (and I'd bet he wasn't the only one), I was quite reassured."

      Better than nothing, but a gun in the automobile is pretty much useless in a crisis. Teachers who want to be should be trained and armed. And I am not talking about "wimpy" training that merely amounts to weapons familiarization.

      "To allow armed teachers in the government schools would be an admission that the government cannot even protect the defenseless in its own buildings. "

      I think it is time we admit this and tell the Hollywood liberals and their idiot politicians they support to go to H*ll with their moronic opinions.

      Local control of events and security is the ONLY solution wherein the citizen (i.e., moms & dads) have some say in things in lieu of big brother coming in and screwing everything up. The Principle of Subsidiarity applies in spades when it comes to security & safety in the community.

      Jim C.

  4. Joseph3:13 pm

    Utterly anecdotal and 100% unscientific... I live in the San Joaquin Valley of California in a town that is 40%+ Latino. We have one priest for 2 Catholic parishes, and among the Latinos I know who are church-goes, every single one of them is Protestant. Most are of the "non-denominational" stripe, but many belonging to mainline-affiliated congregations that are now indistinguishable from "non-denoms" (aliturgical Methodists for example).

  5. Anonymous5:40 pm

    I admire the perennial and undying optimism of Convert Orthodox (“Convertdox” in some circles both within and without!)… But I remain convinced that the boom has come and gone.

    The contagious enthusiasm of the 1990s found me considering leaving my Greek Catholic home for the OCA. Story after story of Evangelical converts to Orthodoxy and the Ben Lomand miracle circulated… The recordings done at Ss. Peter and Paul were absolutely amazing… The missionary zeal was encouraging. Even as a Catholic I was hopeful for this endeavor… Evangelicals who would never become Catholic MIGHT become Orthodox…

    A few years on, I have a feeling that the boom is over, and what we have left are a few jurisdictions with oodles of convert clergy serving many micro-parish missions here and there.

    I suspect it will remain an option for a select set of ex-Evangelicals who will jump at the chance to have “Catholic Cred” sans Pope… But honestly, how many of those folks are out there?

    A Catholic revert from Orthodoxy has noted that Orthodoxy will likely remain attractive to a fringe subset… like teens who go “straight edge” or “vegan”… Cool things to talk about endlessly (largely in terms of contra-distinction to “The West”)… but how many “Shine, Jesus, Shine!” singing Evangelicals really want to trade it all in for a new “Greek-accented” “weirdness”?

  6. Anonymous7:03 pm

    I agree with you on hudor, he must of been able to talk the talk and a good politician to work his way up to the top of the pncc, there were quite a few strong personalities in their clergy those days


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