Friday, June 07, 2013

The church good and bad, and our mediocre, nasty government

  • The Sacred Heart of Jesus. Another feast of the Incarnation like the biblical Annunciation and Nativity (Christmas), which leads to his Eucharistic presence, so this feast intentionally echoes Corpus Christi last week. A celebration of God’s love; from Jesus as both true God and true man. It’s from 17th-century France, with some antecedents in the Middle Ages (St Gertrude’s devotion; the Five Wounds devotion and banner of England’s Catholic rebels: we wyll haue the Masse). SS. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Claude de la Colombière, John Eudes, and Peter Julian Eymard, orate pro nobis.
  • From Takimag: they say they want a revolution. According to Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind survey, 29% of US citizens polled say they believe that “In the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties.” While people may be unhappy at the state of things, there is no political vanguard with ideas or organizational skills.
  • From TAC: millennials in the mist.
  • From LRC: the FBI knew of Saudi 9/11 ties and lied.
  • From RR: NSA taps in to user data of Google, Skype and others, secret files reveal. More from Sailer.
  • My close encounter with the government. All the horror stories about the DMV and the post office are true of other agencies too. As I’m not in the military (but don’t hate the military; quite the opposite) or otherwise working for the government, nor in the welfare or prison systems, I don’t get to see it face to face much. A recent encounter was like the DMV or post office writ larger, minus the lines. An older black woman in a secure job for life. How she ended our meeting: a minute of silence, then, not looking at me, ‘We’re done’. This was sitting at a desk with no line behind me. Government arrogance plus the race card (‘you can’t fire me’). Charming. Truisms: natural monopolies don’t care about customer service, the government isn’t meant to help you as a consumer of its services (it’s really coerced but in theory we are paying customers), it’s only perpetuating itself, and has or wants a monopoly on force so it never has to answer to you, and ‘civil service’ sinecures are for those unable or unwilling to make it in a real job in the private sector. (If you’re mediocre and have a bad attitude, try to get set for life in a government job, military or civilian.) I love the old republic, but wouldn’t mind saying to the government as we now have it, ‘we’re done’, Miz Jackson. (In that unlikely event, in which the market would do its work unhindered actually serving people, either I hope for your sake you have family to support you or you had best change your attitude.)
  • I’ve run across such mediocrities among churchmen. A down side of the true-church claim is, for your millions of members, you’re a natural monopoly. I jump parishes because for trads, the system has been broken since the council. But for the most part, you’re stuck with the institution locally. Priests whose people skills suck. It’s about the song, not the singer; I’m Catholic because of the faith, not the awesomeness, not, of the clergy and lay bureaucrats. I don’t get involved; I keep my nose in my missal, drop my fire-insurance premium in the basket, and leave the priests in peace; they leave me in peace. (Sort of like my understanding about the government; I pay them their protection money and they’re supposed to leave me alone.) I can see how the big underage gay sex scandal and coverup happened. We’re sacerdotalists, not clericalists (a caricature of the church); throw the book at them.

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