Friday, August 30, 2013

Cracked hits

The church in the new world order

From Rod Dreher:
  • The place of the church in the new world order. Phil Lawler: Faith is not a matter of adding something on to reality; it is a matter of plunging deeper into reality, of aligning oneself with the truth about the human condition. Reality is already enchanted, if you will. As Catholics, as apostolic witnesses, we are not trying to convince our neighbors to recognize something different from everyday reality; we are trying to help them recognize what is true, good, and beautiful in the reality that we all perceive. Echoing the classic view of reason as conforming yourself to objective reality, not trying to create another reality.
  • How to live and to thrive as a cohesive religious minority in an alien culture. What, at best, I think the by-then semi-traditionalist, much smaller American church will be in a few decades.

Of course war with Syria is wrong

  • Lew Rockwell: The US regime, with its trained and financed local jihadi army, is in the process of destroying the last non-Islamist Arab regime: Syria. Like all empires, the US seeks to make trouble in order to dominate and enrich itself and its compatriots, governmental and corporate. Oh, and here is one effect of a jihadi takeover: the ancient Christian communities in Syria, there since the time of the Apostles and protected by Assad and his father, will be ethnically cleansed, with many murdered in the process. So the cannibal rebels promise.
  • Rod Dreher:
    • NR’s Ramesh Ponnuru talks sense. Maybe because the Republicans aren’t officially in power. This is not a military action that we are undertaking to defend ourselves from attack or to protect a core interest. The congressional power to declare war, if it is not to be a dead letter, has to apply here. And it seems to me exceedingly unlikely that Congress would vote to commit us in Syria, because the public manifestly opposes it. This is a war with no clear objective, thus no strategy to attain it, no legal basis, and no public support.
    • Our anti-Christian government. So we are going to spend our money killing Syrians, destabilizing Syria, setting the stage for the murder and exile of Arab Christians, and the Arab Muslims will hate us even more than they do now. Plus the Russians. What, exactly, is in this for the US?
  • Some vestige of the system still works in Britain: The House of Commons voted down the government motion to support military action against Syria. Fraser Nelson on Cameron’s defeat: It looked like an Iraqi Groundhog Day – and all for what? So Britain could piggyback on an American military strike on Syria, to help an America that doesn’t need our help anyway? From Daniel Larison.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Praise Mises, HBD and sports, Pvt. Glen or Glenda, an old charismatic rah-rah comes clean about the church, and Bob Wallace

  • Steve Sailer at Takimag: white men can’t reach. Genetics and sports.
  • The HuffPo has an article praising Mises?!
  • The non-news about Bradley Manning. Where’d he get this idea, reruns of ‘M*A*S*H’? My line remains: exposing government malfeasance is heroic but part of that heroism is taking the consequence of disobeying orders. Even if he goes to Army prison pretending he’s a cocker spaniel.
  • Good point that came up at Sailer’s: if men pretending to be women can use the law to demand to be taken seriously for that, why can’t blacks similarly just pretend to be white, or, in the era of affirmative action, vice versa, or I Bill Gates’s son and heir?
  • Ralph Martin admits the institutional American church is in ‘a catastrophic collapse’. An ’80s charismatic, fellow conservative Catholics but low-church and trads’ enemies then. Great. The truth at last. Now just admit the council’s a flop and shelve it. Happy feast of St Augustine: take up and read, our hearts are restless until they rest in God, etc.
  • Modestinus on Joseph Bottum. He thinks Catholic libertarians are part of the problem but point taken: Since I am not a neo-Catholic, I don't see any reason to treat the Bottum issue with any more attention than I pay to feminist nuns. Neo-Catholicism is the modern-day perpetuation of the heresy of Americanism. Never forget that, folks.
  • A local story about some Orthodox: the miracle of the icons. John Boyden writes: On Sunday, St Mary Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church had a four-alarm fire. 120 firefighters showed up to battle the blaze. Though they started inside the church, flames were too intense so they had to move outside. The Channel 6 site has video of the building burning. Here's an article with pictures if the video doesn't work. You wouldn't think there would be much left after a fire that large and with fire hoses pouring water on it for hours. They weren't expecting much when they got in on Monday, but this is what they found. Though the roof had collapsed over the sanctuary the icons which were painted on wood were preserved. There doesn't even appear to be any smoke damage. Even the firefighters said they hadn't seen anything like it before. I like the idea of icons as halfway between art and a sacramental presence, even though it’s recent (from Leonid Ouspensky). St Mary’s is obviously a secondhand Gothic Protestant building. Ukrainian Orthodoxy in America is, as far as I know, largely a 1930s schism from the Greek Catholics that’s now under the Greek Orthodox in Constantinople. Most of the few churchgoers in the Ukraine are either Russian Orthodox or belong to a nationalist schism nothing to do with the Ukrainian Orthodox here; only the far west is Greek Catholic. I remember the U.S. Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s late Archbishop Vsevolod of Chicago, a born Orthodox from Poland and the nicest, most pro-Catholic Orthodox I’ve met.
  • From Bob Wallace:
    • What might have been. Imagine how it would be if we had no Federal Reserve Bank destroying the value of the dollar through inflation. Imagine no national debt. Imagine the Fed not buying up the debt – “monetizing the debt.” The dollar would still be worth a dollar, not a penny when compared to 100 years ago. I have estimated the average salary now would be $70,000 a year, but Tyler Cowan, an economist at George Mason University, estimates it would be over $90,000 a year. The Romans were clearly on the verge of the Industrial Revolution, and the Greeks before them had shown some signs. Both the Greeks and the Romans collapsed, courtesy of their respective States. All empires collapse, just as the United States, an empire, is going to collapse. If the Greeks had succeeded, we’d be 2000 years ahead of where we are now. It wouldn’t be 2011; it’d be 4011. And the USSR won the war. I’ve read estimates that perhaps up to 200 million people were killed in the 20th Century, in State-created wars. (Contrary to the mythology, the Communists were ten times as bad as the Nazis. The Communists and the West won, so, as always, the winners write the history.
    • Without men there is no civilization. I met Camille Paglia: she’s fun. More.
    • The real alpha is the most evolved version of you. I don't use the word "Alpha" as a serious concept. It's a dumb word as used in the Manosphere and most of those who use it don't even know what it means. It comes from the study of canines and it means one thing, and one thing only: parent wolves. If you transfer it to humans, what you get is a patriarch. Interesting, and an example of the value of reading both sides: he’s a conservative anti-feminist but he doesn’t like Roissy. More here and here. Glad I can read both. Guess Sunshine Mary’s conservative Protestantism is somewhere in the middle. A few observations. Roissy would agree with me that he’s writing a field manual, not a religion (flexibility, a.k.a. social skills, is a key of game), describing conditions as they are, not as conservative Christians would like them to be. I see what he sees, in the field (on the job, etc.), just about every day. He also agrees what’s good for pickup artists short-term is bad for society. As the Anti-Gnostic says, beneath the bluster, profoundly conservative. Indeed, patriarchal. Better natural patriarchy than the feminists’ statism, as Bob agrees. Roissy doesn’t hate betas: he notes that in a healthy, patriarchal society, such as the old America, such were better off, more likely to be married and fathers. The best of self-help: Roissy tells frustrated men they can improve, which is true.
    • Tyranny is the deviant form of kingship (one ruler), and oligarchy is the deviant form of aristocracy (few rulers).
    • We have inherited the greatest economic machine in the history of the world, and we have wrecked it. How? Through democracy, which creates conditions in which people can vote themselves other people's money. Which works just fine until the money runs out.
    • What caused the American Revolution: Contrary to the common belief, the Boston Tea Party was not about tax hikes. It was about tax cuts – for the East India Company (they even got a tax rebate of millions of pounds from the King) so that this world-wide corporation could drive out of business its tiny American competitors. The East India Company was at that time the largest and most powerful transnational corporation in the world.
  • Dennis Farina epilogue. The quintessential Chicagoan (he and other TV cop Dennis Franz have that famous accent), he had a Catholic funeral in his home town, to which many police went. He was a real cop, on duty during the ’68 riot (a marker for when American society started to go to hell). The governor declared July 29 Dennis Farina Day. RIP, Mike Torello.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bradley Manning’s jail sentence, some Norwegian Catholics, and Pope Benedict’s mystical experience

  • From Ad Orientem: Manning gets 35 years. John C. speaks for me: With time served, good behavior and parole he could be out in ten years. This seems fair to me. Regular readers know my line: if he’s a hero, part of that is taking the due punishment in order for the military to do its proper job. He must honor the oath he swore when he enlisted. With Takimag’s Kathy Shaidle I tend to agree this troubled boy had no business being in the Army, but no matter. Caught, right or wrong? Man up.
  • From Andrew Cusack: The Norwegian church’s convert intelligentsia. Sounds good but I thought the Norwegian Catholic Church were liberal sellouts to their hostile society, turning down the small group of conservative ex-Lutherans under Roald Flemestad who are now the Nordic Catholic Church, ironically under a liberal-founded but culturally semi-conservative American schism, the Polish National Catholic Church.
  • From RR: Pope Benedict says ‘mystical experience’ told him to resign. I still wish he stayed.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

‘Strong’ Catholic identity at a four-decade low in U.S.

The percentage of U.S. Catholics who consider themselves “strong” members of the Roman Catholic Church has never been lower than it was in 2012, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the General Social Survey (GSS). About a quarter (27%) of American Catholics called themselves “strong” Catholics last year, down more than 15 points since the mid-1980s and among the lowest levels seen in the 38 years since strength of religious identity was first measured in the GSS, a long-running national survey carried out by the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago.
How’s that ‘renewal’ working out for youse?

From Bill Tighe.

The dark side of the special relationship and other stories

  • From RR:
    • CIA ’fesses up to ’53 meddling in Iran. Why the devout Shiite Muslim revolutionaries hated us 35 years ago. Isolationist without apology here. Like George Washington (his farewell address). Trade with them but stay out of it.
    • Justin Raimondo: UK press censorship. What’s frightening is that, ever since the baton of Anglo world supremacy was passed from London to Washington, shortly after World War II, our own history has limned their degeneration. Alongside Communist infiltration of our government (Joe McCarthy was right), through which the USSR won the war (which our war movies don’t say), the great, shadowy new-world-order story of the 20th century, planned as far back as the late 1800s. (British agents pushed us into the war too.) For its first 130 years or so, America understandably feared Britain, the superpower that could take its old colonies back if it wanted. Maybe in a sneaky way it eventually did. (The Rhodes Group/CFR, etc.) Our foreign policy didn’t line up with theirs at all until WWI, itself immoral and none of our business. Sidebar: if no American Revolution, Burkean ideal or an America as liberal as the mother country and Canada now?
    • That reminds me. We tried to steal what’s now Canada twice and were beaten, fairly: the true story of the War of 1812, which we’re taught as ‘American Revolution II: We Kicked Ass’ (where the national anthem comes from). An American monarchist blog claims that the maligned good King George III (true) kept his word to Quebec letting them remain Catholic while the American rebels wanted to protestantize them (the Yankees were the SWPLs’ great-great-etc.-grandparents), which is why the Quebeckers sided with the king. (Anglicanism wasn’t the state religion in most of the colonies; the British courts actually sided with colonial American Congregationalists or Baptists vs. the Anglicans.) True?
    • Delete the Fed.
    • Thomas DiLorenzo: Imperialism and anti-imperialism. This standard narrative, in which the United States is the perennial instrument of liberty, is a lie.
  • Robert Mugabe’s only about power, and so is our government now. (No link.) The terrorists who plotted to kill the old America’s soldiers 40 years ago are now respected ‘elder statesmen’ friendly with the president. The enemy has won our country. (Was Ron Paul our last chance?)
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury vs. payday-loan companies. Credit unions are a way immigrant Catholic groups in America helped their own. There have been parish ones.
  • From LRC: JFK assassination probably a coup.
  • From the Anti-Gnostic: The powers that be in the Middle East and Europe are doing exactly what they were doing just before World War One, and later before World War Two: running roughshod all over the place doing stupid things. I’ve been using the term hilarious because that’s what it would be if not for all the firepower involved.
  • UncleBob’s Treehouse.
  • Roissy’s three social skills for men: don’t get defensive, know when to drop the subject, and don’t ask questions when you can make statements.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Russia as the great nyet athwart the West, Egypt proves Pope Benedict right, and how to start a business

  • Russia vs. homosexualism. Russia rejects ‘the new society’ because it’s been there before. They don’t need the police to stop a gay parade — just 25,000 women carrying icons. Russia’s both big (plus it has nukes) and unique, part of the West but standing apart. From Bill Tighe.
  • In Cairo the lecture of Regensburg is relevant again. Never has a pope been so clear and courageous in unveiling the roots of violence in Islam, before Benedict XVI. And not afterward, either. As I understand it, at Regensburg he recalled the Catholic understanding of reason as conforming yourself to objective reality including the natural law. The revelation we got from the Jews plus the logic of Aristotle gave us the greatest theologian, St Thomas Aquinas. Versus the irrational mythologizing of Islam and the subjectivism, etc. of the decayed West, which now pretends two men can marry for example. Society’s gone to hell. The only question is, 20-50 years from now, will the smaller, more traditionalist American church get support or opposition from the Third World majority Catholics? (The American liberals still dominate but, like the American charismatics, are fading away.) Another sign the new world order hates the church (going back to the Masons and the ‘Reformation’): we’re supporting al-Qaeda (‘bad guys’ of 9/11?) vs. one of the Mideast’s only relatively Christian-friendly countries, Syria. From Bill Tighe.
  • James Altucher on how to start a business. From LRC.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


The critics may not have liked it but I did.

  • The movie.
  • The true story of Claus von Stauffenberg, the German nobleman, career army officer, and Catholic, from a military family, who tried to kill Hitler.

Es lebt unser heiliges Deutschland!

Bishop Williamson on pathology

The great Queen of Spain, Isabella the Catholic, is reported once to have commissioned a painting that would show a priest at the altar, a woman giving birth and a criminal being hanged. In other words, let everyone do what they are meant to do, and not something else. But ... today people are not being what they are: teachers often no longer teach, doctors often no longer heal, policemen often no longer protect, and -- worst of all, I could have added -- priests are often no longer men of God. A modern word used by an Italian friend to describe this maladjustment to reality, widespread today, is “pathological”.

Now “pathological” is a word belonging to that jargon of psychiatrists which is well named as “psychobabble”, because it dresses up in brand-new words, each of many syllables, what are merely good old miseries of fallen human nature. Now psychiatrists, themselves godless, cannot solve problems of godlessness, but at least they are trying, so to speak. So the novelty of psychobabble serves at least to suggest that the miseries being piled up in human beings today by the past centuries piling up the apostasy, do have something unprecedented about them. My friend writes:
“Pathology may mean an occasional or congenital ailment, by extension an abnormal or distorted way of being, which, whether innate or acquired, has become part of an individual’s constitution. The same concept can be applied by extension to a group of individuals or a society. In this way one may speak of the pathological, i.e. sick, abnormal, condition of the modern world. As such, whether the condition is acquired or inborn, it is not seen for what it is by the person or persons concerned, nay, since they see it as normal they use it as a shield, and even boast about it. Abnormality becoming normal, and vice versa, is the drama of the modern world and modern man.”
Then we should find the priest neglecting the altar, women not giving birth and criminals not being hanged. But that is exactly the world around us -- the psychobabble fits ! So here is what the same friend has to say about how Catholics must react to this pathological condition of the modern world:
“Catholics must understand that we are living in an unprecedented situation in which all sense of objective reality is steadily being lost. This means for the Church that points of reference still valid 50 years ago no longer apply. Different solutions are called for which not only take into account the possibility of ever increasing disorder, but also remain elastic enough to adapt to a continually worsening situation. If then doctrine is primary and decisive, Catholics and future priests must be taught doctrinally how unique these end-times are. The Gospels tell us of their coming in the future, but they are with us here now, and they are liable to get only worse, until such time as God says enough is enough.”
In brief, centuries of increasing apostasy have piled up in the human race a refusal of reality which can be called “pathological”, and which is causing unheard of levels of distress in people, distress unalleviated by an equally unprecedented level of material prosperity. The Catholic Church fought this apostasy, but when at Vatican II it gave up the fight, the pathological fantasy took over the world, and it lurched towards the Antichrist. Archbishop Lefebvre created a fortress of sanity inside the crumbling Church...

Teachers, teach ! Doctors, heal ! Women, give birth ! Priests, study everything that Archbishop Lefebvre said and did. And Queen Isabella, please pray for us.

Kyrie eleison.
Missing: mercy and the criminal’s possible rehabilitation.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Assumpta est Maria in caelum

Signum magnum apparuit in caelo. I’m not extremely Marian. Ephesus said it all: Jesus is true God and true man, so we can and should call Mary by that wonderfully shocking title, Mother of God. The shock of the Incarnation; it doesn’t mean she’s greater than God (logically impossible) like non-Catholics think we believe. Everything else the church teaches about her is commentary on et Verbum caro factum est. That, with the resulting veneration of the flesh God-made-man came from, and the teaching about the literal resurrection of the body for all at the end of time, bring us the Assumption story. I understand that the original version is from the East and much more flowery than the doctrine: it says the apostles were whisked from wherever they were to Mary’s deathbed. Pius XII said ‘just the facts’ when he defined as doctrine what the church already believed for centuries. Where she is now, we one day hope to be, in our glorified bodies, with God. Ora pro nobis. By the way, the quote from Revelation that starts today’s Mass has long been taken by biblical commentators to refer to ... our holy mother, the church.

I only see the Novus Ordo a few times a year: flea-market Sundays and holy days of obligation. Thanks to Pope Benedict the Great, I have no conscience problems with English Novus. But next year I’ll try for the dawn Mass, the lowest of the lot; no attempt at music; just get it over with.

Because I only go to this Mass on some important days, they do the creed when I’m there. I say it from the old Prayer Book and Anglican missals from memory, genuflecting. And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary: and was made man.

Jesus saves; Mary prays.

Blessed be her glorious Assumption.

Tomorrow: St Rocco.

Monday, August 12, 2013

What a post-U.S. America might look like, and more

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Deus, in adjutorium meum intende

  • Today’s Mass. We shared Fr Check with his main Sunday job at St Clement’s Jr., Holy Trinity. It’s Not About Latin™ watch: I wonder if the archdiocese emphasizing the Mass’s Latinity is simply a nod to the common way of speaking or meant to scare people away.
  • Father mentioned before his sermon that the priest shortage means many have to say three or four Masses per Sunday. The ideal is the Orthodox rule: one. They are allowed two, three on Christmas, but may do more if needed. Reminds me of a corny joke my old priest told: if it’s two, he binates; three, he trinates; so if four, is he fournicating?
  • Sermon by Fr Bob Hart. The parable of the good Samaritan, a fictional character meant as an example. People outside the fold can do God’s will better than us; keeps us humble. The Samaritans are still around, barely; descended from the Jews who stayed behind when the rest were exiled to Babylon, they practice what’s considered an illegitimate form of Judaism that compromised with the local pagan faith.
  • The greatest saint who never was.
  • Modestinus on Schmemann. My guess is he’s like the council: fine if read in a hermeneutic of continuity; very dangerous otherwise. Basically sound, as befits an estranged traditional Catholicism: Schmemann wanted nothing to do with embracing the Zeitgeist over the Holy Spirit. It seems to me American Orthodoxy mostly comes in two versions, the Greek majority and other non-Slavic groups who have ethnic customs not analyzed or much understood, with an overlay of basic Christianity (love of God and neighbor) not much different from the old mainline before it wigged out in the Sixties, and the Slavic (Ruthenian) American ‘Catholicky’ (Greek Catholic two or three generations ago) version, much of the OCA and of course most of ACROD. Maybe the real Russians of the MP and ROCOR fall under the first category, only, while not Catholicky, 19th-century Russian culture (which ROCOR preserves) is, as Fr C says, a halfway house between Byzantium and the West.
  • As Jonathan Munn wrote, the Sacred Synecdoche of God’s love for man: Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy upon us.
  • Summit dark-blue hat. After Mass today. Catholicism’s about loving God and neighbor, but we’ve got great hats too.
  • A paleo view of the Zimmerman/Martin case. The answer: patriarchy?
  • Jordan has become the hapless dumping ground of excess humanity throughout the Arab world.

New Hope Automobile Show 2013

It’s gotten smaller over the years but it’s worth seeing as part of a Lambertville/New Hope fleatiquing trip. Begun as a horse show, it’s been cars since ’57.

My pick for best in show this year is the Christine-like ’58 Studebaker President.

Project car for people who really know what they’re doing.

From the war. Willys’ most famous vehicle.

Related, from the Collingwood Flea Market, Farmingdale, NJ: technician’s and sergeant’s uniforms. Technicians were noncoms paid the same as corporals and sergeants but outranked by them and without command authority outside their fields. Navy specialists during the war, like the Army ones since ’55, weren’t noncoms; their grade was seaman.

The last of the beautiful ’40s cars, a ’48 Chevy Fleetliner. Production was suspended during the war so the first real postwar cars weren’t until the next year.

Meanwhile in GB.

Three years of Skyliners. Hardtop Ford convertibles seemed part of this year’s theme, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Henry Ford’s birth (July 30). The black and yellow ’58 is this year’s poster car. ’59 look familiar?

Time machines.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Internet 32 and 20 years ago

The Internet was a novelty whose concept few had grasped and most were confused by. These clips remind us of online’s astonishing conquest.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Is democracy’s sun setting?

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Adiós and good riddance, liberal newspapers

  • LRC picks:
  • From RR:
  • From TAC: Who’s middle-class?
  • Orthodox churchmen’s positive reactions to Pope Francis. Gives me the same sinking feeling as reading Ware’s The Orthodox Church. Underneath the excellent liturgy, far superior to the Novus Ordo, and valid orders, there’s nearly nothing there, like liberal Protestantism. Credal orthodoxy but no coherent moral theology. The Orthodox view of divorce and remarriage has never made sense to me: ‘sometimes adultery is OK’. That said, the original reason for it makes sense: so the wronged party wouldn’t starve to death. And it’s never been a bone of contention between the sides. The Melkites kept it for 200 years after going under Rome. Still, outward traditionalists supporting liberalish low-church Francis should be cause for pause. Once modernity hits those pre-modern ethnic cultures, they’re toast. Witness ethnic Orthodox attrition in America, a longtime, pervasive problem. Sure, our churchmen did a number on us with the council, but we have a foundation on which to rebuild (the magisterium plus the living memory of Cardinal Spellman’s Powerhouse and Going My Way?); small-time, we are. (Trads have kids. We have a future.) Anyway, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev)’s culture-war ally approach is of course good. But dialogue has gone as far as it can. It’s all or nothing. The church can’t renege on defined doctrine. Why should it? It has upheld the essentials of the faith. The Orthodox can either come fully into the church, which should leave their fine rite alone (moral support for us trads), or we should say goodnight.
  • Dreher: True recent story of mysterious, holy priest. That he sees grace here suggests to me he’ll eventually be back in the church.
  • Sailer Notices Things™: Fashion’s gay mafia tend to be — in their aesthetic tastes, feelings of superiority, and cruelty — pretty much Nazis. Gay fashion designers barely even pay lip service to the dogmas of equality, so they never thought the rules of diversity applied to them. And for the last several years, they’ve been hearing constantly about what huge victims they are, so that's just made them even more self-centered and self-indulgent. Also, two theories about transsexualism (a mental illness) in men: either extremely effeminate gays who are frozen out, since gay men of course are attracted to masculinity, or straight but very narcissistic men whose turn-on is a feminized version of themselves.
  • Take a walk. Walk like a man. Mental and spiritual health. President Truman and I may have little in common but we have the same coping tactic for frustration. Can’t stand the heat? Someone else is the problem? Can’t fix the problem? As the Chairman of the Board sang, that’s life. I don’t smoke nor really drink (of course not on the job). I know the literal paths of my ‘corporate campus’ well. During the allowed breaks, I go for at least one 15-minute walk every day. After dark. Cold out? Better still. Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer quotation’s true too.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Grahams sell WaPo to Bezos, Catholics and libertarianism, and more

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The libcath mind

The NYT cheers for libcaths. In other news, the sun rises in the east. A glimpse into the libcath mind, the ideology that’s run the American church into the ground since the folly of the council let them hijack it. We went from our peak under Cardinal Spellman to a national joke (thanks to the gay priests’ underage sex scandal); Mexican immigration hides the fact that our numbers have nosedived just like mainline Protestants. ‘How’s that renewal working out for youse?’

Georgetown’s a private institution not really Catholic; it’s old and, according to a Vatican document on the matter, Catholic because it hasn’t said otherwise. It’s prestigious, part of the elite, so no wonder, in order to keep that, it’s sold out, joining the Cathedral, the dominant Christian heresy on steroids today. Homosexualism is presented as charity, a half-truth. (I overheard once that the Ivy League by definition is not Catholic; otherwise Georgetown would be an Ivy.) I remember when secular culture was meaner to homosexuals than were conservative Christians, who taught charity; Dreher gets it: protect them from bullying but don’t play along.

Anyway, far more pervasive than homosexuals (something like 3% of the population; the tail has no right to wag the dog), libcaths:
Mr. Lloyd, the pride group president, says he is often tempted to join the more tolerant Episcopal Church. But for many young Catholics, particularly of Irish or Italian descent, Catholicism is interchangeable with identity. “You stay Catholic because you have a love of the institution and you want to change it,” he said.
That is the cancer in American Catholicism, the now-old priests and (dwindling rapidly) nuns who’ve been trying to wreck the church from within.

Not to be confused with what I call Bad Catholics, who I think are far more numerous: they don’t practice, don’t agree with the church, but don’t leave the church for about the same reason as Lloyd. But, just like us, they know they can’t change the church. Sometimes it’s like the humility of Huw, a Russian Orthodox; old-school St Clement’s, most of which is now in the church, was the same: they’re homosexual, they’re Catholic or Orthodox, but don’t call them gay Catholics or gay Orthodox, an oxymoron.
I’m not a “Gay Christian”. I reject “Gay Christian” because I’m willing to admit I’m wrong. I’m not pitting my 45+ years of experience in my skin against 4000 years of Judeo-Christian moral tradition. I don’t expect my halting theological steps to be yours: but even so, I might be wrong. The Church does not need to change: by God’s grace I’m man enough, adult enough, to be challenged by a preacher, thanks. And I’ve heard it all my life. I’m still here — struggling to work out my salvation.
That and libcaths are low-church, a problem in the American church going back to before the council as the great Thomas Day explains to Anglo-Catholic alumni. (Fr Matthew, my Mass’s usual celebrant, likes to point out that Our Lady of Angels, a now-gone little Italian national parish in West Philly*, was wreckovated in the ’50s.) Episcopalians are often liberal high-church (so are lots of vagantes, come to think of it), not Küng-ian or Spong-ian Modernists anymore, but socially liberal, credally orthodox, and liturgically semi-trad. (Educated, cultured people got sick of Marty Haugen pretty fast. Their own musical tradition is so much better.)

Anyway, liberal religion has no appeal or staying power for the young; the modern West, the Cathedral, has outgrown it. The kids see it doesn’t make sense, and there’s no more social pressure to go to church. So in 50 years the American church will be even smaller but more trad; trads have kids. The Anti-Gnostic has a point that we in the First World might get swamped by Pope Francis-like Third World low church.

From Bill Tighe.

*How to avert a schism: the Italians wanted a neighborhood parish so they built one and asked for the archbishop’s approval. He gave it.


  • We committed a war crime. Regular readers know that’s my position. Obviously I love the era and the greatest generation. Two uncles were in the Pacific (one flew a B-26 over Alaska). But I don’t hate the Japanese. It wasn’t our fight. To be on an equal footing economically with us, they wanted a local empire the same way the U.S. naturally dominates the Western Hemisphere, Germany Western Europe, and (fine when they’re not Communist) Russia Eastern Europe. They weren’t a threat to our sovereignty. Only an excuse Roosevelt used, setting up Pearl Harbor and blaming Admiral Kimmel (Manila’s bases were bombed too but the then-connected General MacArthur got away with it), to sucker America into the war, because British and, far worse, worse than the Nazis, Soviet agents in our government were egging him on. We were saps. We helped the USSR win.
  • That said, I don’t make excuses for them either. Above: why many of the greatest generation hate the Japanese. RIP this POW and so many other of our soldiers and sailors who were trying to do right.
  • Not incidentally, this moment in history was brought to you by ... progressives. Not conservatives with their old-fashioned notions of honor. Admiral Leahy, Truman’s own chief of staff: The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. ... My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make wars in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children. (Source.) The government’s wants trump truth. Just like Henry VIII.
  • Classic: Fr Feeney and the bombing of Nagasaki. We could not find it in our hearts to rejoice over the wholesale slaughter of innocent people.
  • Also today: The Transfiguration of Our Lord. Deus, qui fidei sacramenta, in Unigeniti tui gloriosa Transfiguratione, patrum testimonio roborasti, et adoptionem filiorum perfectam, voce delapsa in nube lucida, mirabiliter praesignasti: concede propitius; ut ipsius Regis gloriae nos coheredes efficias, et ejusdem gloriae tribuas esse consortes. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Monday, August 05, 2013

The NYT sells the Globe at a 93% loss, the irrepressible Damian Thompson, and homosexualist state-enforced unreality

  • Newspaper death watch: New York Times sells Boston Globe at 93% loss. Na na na na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye.
  • Damian Thompson Q&A. Anybody a Church of England paper called a blood-crazed ferret (he’s Catholic) is worth reading.
  • From Hilary: I think not a lot of the people who think they’re atheists really are.
  • From Mark Shea: Christian democracy has to live in tension between our dignity and our fallenness. Ideology is the attempt to reduce reality to some All-Explaining Theory of Everything. Catholic faith, in contrast, is the assertion of a few truths, coupled with a huge openness to Mystery.
  • From incarnatus est, a pastor with our Missouri Synod Lutheran cousins: Time and again, the assumption among Christian leaders, and evangelical leaders in particular, is that the key to drawing twenty-somethings back to church is simply to make a few style updates — edgier music, more casual services, a coffee shop in the fellowship hall, a pastor who wears skinny jeans, an updated Web site that includes online giving. But here’s the thing: Having been advertised to our whole lives, we millennials have highly sensitive BS meters, and we’re not easily impressed with consumerism or performances. In fact, I would argue that church-as-performance is just one more thing driving us away from the church, and evangelicalism in particular. Many of us, myself included, are finding ourselves increasingly drawn to high-church traditions — Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. — precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so unconcerned with being “cool,” and we find that refreshingly authentic. World Youth Day is naff. The 25-year-olds I work with would laugh a church worker trying to be cool out of the room. Episcopal? Yes, but few. They’re liberal high church, neither the unbelieving old liberal Protestants nor Catholic liberals, who are low-church. Part of the same trend as Pope Benedict’s conservative revival and the Orthodox convert boomlet. They believe the creeds and more or less what we do about the sacraments, and they love my trad liturgy and theirs. They may mean well but they’re really part of the Cathedral pretending to be us (as Erastians turned Protestants they always were; naturally they want to be the new world order’s established church): trying to be charitable and just, they hold modernity on women and homosexuality to be self-evident truth. Fallible, fungible church. And just like with the rest of mainline Protestantism, the modern West, most of the rest of the Cathedral, has outgrown it.
  • From LRC: America already has gone to Hell in a handbasket, and it’s only getting worse by the day. Most Americans are in denial about how totalitarian and self-servingly corporatist this whole society is becoming. But, if you just look around you, and consider the everyday assaults on innocents by government police, the federal bureaucrats’ illicit “war on terror” and the drug war, the bureaucratization of just about everything, the Obama-Pelosi-John Roberts Unaffordable Careless Act … it’s a never-ending Hell, and worse.
  • From RR: The mainstream GOP’s phony libertarianism again. They put that on when they’re out of power. They aren’t really conservative populists either. They fooled me with George W. Bush in 2000. Now that Ron Paul’s retired I’ll never vote for them nationally again. Third party or stay home.
  • Government unreality watch: homosexualists now call the shots. I’m old enough to have grown up when secular culture was meaner to homosexuals than were conservative Christians, who offered charity but not approval, sensibly (‘they have a problem’). An about-face led by an apostate Christian elite trying to be nice.
  • From Takimag: Craven submission to group pressure. Here the cultural Marxists distort the Christian virtue of humility along with charity.
  • From Tea at Trianon: Edward Snowden. The real concern here is the fate of the Internet and a potential coming conflict over how it will be used as a tool, not of free information, but of social control by a hostile state.
  • Nobody asked me, but Riley Cooper shouldn’t be punished at work or by the law for saying something rude outside of work.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

11th Sunday after Pentecost, the WaPo on libertarianism, and Modestinus has more worth reading

  • Mass: Deus in loco sancto suo. Happy feast of St Dominic, although not commemorated in the ’62 version of the missal today. Here, Sung Mass but with no smoke (until recently, I didn’t know the incense, standard here, is an exception), with Fr Check from Holy Trinity (St Clement’s Jr., now at the beautiful, long-disused old German church downtown); the organist is back, and my friend Michael Miller did the chant. Great, but I liked last week’s a cappella chant Mass: a liturgical fantasy of mine is plainchant bouncing off the stone walls of a Romanesque basilica.
  • Sermon by Fr Robert Hart. The right kind of ecumenism.
  • From Ad Orientem: The WaPo on libertarianism.
  • Modestinus on various and sundry, including Orthodoxy and American politics.
  • My usual on the mainline, liberal high church, and the modern West. I start here.
  • Good thing the church isn’t a personality cult because so far I don’t like this Pope. (We don’t have to.) Dom Hugh in England writes: Is it not remarkable that the Vatican Press Office must spend most of its time explaining what “the pope really meant” every time he speaks “off the cuff”?

Thursday, August 01, 2013

The divine office, anarcho-capitalism, failed idealism, and Pope Francis

  • The divine office as a sacrifice of praise.
  • From LRC: Hoppe on anarcho-capitalism.
  • A Catholic crackup and Pope Francis’ controversial press conference. Daniel Nichols and I are very different. Catholic essentials and opposing things like the Iraq war are among the few things we have in common. High-church, too, in that he’s become Greek Catholic, painting icons, but other than that seems sympathetic to American Catholic low churchmanship. A third-wayer who thinks libertarians are selfish. The first part of his story, of a failed lay community, sounds like the charismatics, whom I guess are the other Catholics who still go to Mass, besides us trads. Of course the anti-Catholic media don’t report that Francis can’t change the teachings of the church and in this press conference didn’t say anything new, even if it was injudicious; at face value it is entirely true. What Nichols doesn’t mention is what struck me: sounds like business as usual about gay priests. ‘What molestation scandal? Nothing to see here. Move along.’ Regrettably, the nice stuff about the Orthodox liturgy is only ecumenical politeness; cliché. The man is low-church. Catholics don’t have to like him.