Saturday, May 31, 2014

"What needs to die in the church"

Mainline Protestant stuff (the notion of our holy mother, the church is foreign to them). Several valid points, such as #3 (in which orthodox Catholics and liberal high churchmen, Episcopalians, are singing in perfect harmony), but re: overthrowing "white heterosexual male patriarchy" (as opposed to female patriarchy?), mainstream society's been doing this for decades, and the denominations that are doing this are dying faster (men sure are heading for the exits). The mainstream has outgrown the mainline; religion's a minority of conservatives now. Nope; MORE patriarchy. After all, the church has patriarchs! Fatherhood, from God.

Is the U.S. still British-controlled through the Masons?

Mostly hooey (if the Vatican is part of a powerful conspiracy, it's sure doing a rotten job promoting Catholicism in mainstream society), but I know the Rhodes Group/CFR was part of the handover of the British Empire from London to Washington, not really giving up control. Even in the late 1800s, British leaders saw that they'd run out of resources and money to run the empire as it was so they planned for the shift, which started to happen after WWI as Britain went broke and accelerated with the Depression (Britain gave independence to its white colonies such as Canada) and WWII (unloading the Asian and black colonies afterwards). Washington seems to call the shots but you never know. Don't forget Freemasonry, which owns the British establishment and has deep inroads in America: look at the values of our elite, basically the same as theirs. Maybe the irreligious, liberal mother country still rules us. The Crown's Masonic; they don't secretly work for the Pope, as much as some Anglo-Catholics wished they did. The Holy See thought maybe a system that still had a Christian king and some kind of bishops had the best chance among Protestants of coming back. Alas.

Ecumenism: the great apostolic family, and more

  • Great apostolic family, not branch theory.
  • Nicea 2025: probably a whole lotta nothin'.
  • Why not only seven councils? Tempting to some. After all, when you go for a branch theory and/or Vincentian canon (Declaration of St. Louis) adopting the supposed Orthodox view of only seven (some say nine), you still more or less get Catholicism. (As you do with the Nestorians and Monophysites and they have even fewer councils. Throughout the East, immemorial custom picks up the slack, most of the time.) Of course no: true church and church infallibility, and I can't buy the church going mute for a millennium. Also, Modestinus points out more liberal hypocrisy: downgrading 14 councils is cool, but questioning parts of one (which didn't define any doctrine) puts you outside the church?
  • Clerical marriage doesn't boost vocations even in cultures that are used to it. A seminary graduates three men this year. Celibacy isn't a hill I'd die on - the East has every right to clerical marriage - but still.

Same-sex pseudogamy and the domino effect in society

MCJ on The Single Greatest Moral Crusade In The History Of The Human Race™.

After state-approved homosexualism (pseudogamy), polygamy. Hard to argue against because of freedom of religion but the case against it seems due to the social evils: cults where the top men help themselves to all the girls so they kick out surplus boys - pretty much like early Mormonism (why townsfolk hated Joseph Smith) and essentially the mating market after the Sexual Revolution (the fallen natural order without Christian controls) as Roissy and others describe.

After that, while it's hard to believe now, maybe the left will go back to being sort of OK with sex with kids. Darling of the left Peter Yarrow got a pardon for doing an underage fan (not pedophilia: lots of teenage girls can pass for adults); maybe Roman Polanski will be next. (They'll find another excuse to hate Catholic priests; they always do.)

And after that, bestiality. After all, if the purpose of marriage isn't based on biology (reproduction) anymore, and the dog or donkey doesn't seem to mind...

Incest is probably the God-given yuck factor's final frontier (the only area where we all still agree* that marriage is based on biology), but again, straight people got that ball rolling by giving into temptation with contraception and no-fault divorce: redefining marriage long before people took homosexualism seriously.

The sound of a culture committing demographic suicide. Views like Bill Saletan's: why the Russians and the Chinese think we're idiots. The West made unprecedented steep advances in civilization in about 200 years (easy to understand why we fell for the lies of endless progress and the perfectability of man, Pelagian-style - the space-ageyness of Vatican II) and we're throwing them away.
If Pope Francis ever suggests that homosexual marriage isn’t that big of a deal, brace yourself for the biggest stampede into Orthodox Christianity in the history of the world.
No. Orthodoxy's ethnic and homeland-based (not per se bad things, when they're not schismatic/anti-Western; the Anti-Gnostic: the church is at its best when it's the Church Local); microscopic in the West - most Catholics still wouldn't be interested. The Pope can't change the teachings of the church. The most he's suggested is something I've thought about: the plausible left-libertarian case of having the state pseudo-marry same-sex couples while making it clear it's not something the church considers marriage. (A distortion of the truth that homosexuals should be left in peace just like everybody else. No special laws; just the same protection from harm as for you and me.) The trouble with that is the social evils: again, when society denies biological reality, it commits suicide. So that's not heretical but imprudent. Pope Francis' opinions can't change the facts that Catholicism includes the East but Orthodoxy excludes the West, so no sale for me, and the Orthodox view on divorce and remarriage doesn't make sense: "sometimes adultery is OK" in the form of church-approved remarriage. Francis making noises as if he could change doctrine in that area (caving on no-fault divorce; the culture's last holdout, gone) is the bigger scandal for Catholics. The sedevacantist scenario - where we don't have a real Pope; the occupant is an antipope - can happen (if a Pope gets above himself and tries to change our teachings) but it's far from the case now, as much as I don't like Francis and he apparently doesn't like me.

*100 years ago the Protestants agreed with us on all morals. Anti-contraception and anti-abortion weren't "just Catholic things"; they were Christian things.

The people don't decide

Ultimately we don't: there is objective truth and a mob isn't always right, but the laws of God and nature are written in every man's heart, so representative government of course can work. What strikes observers like me and Ex-Army is that the government doesn't follow those laws; the common man's God-given sense would:
If the people of the United States were deciding things, instead of its feckless government, we would right now be expelling all illegal immigrants and closing our border. We would also refrain from meddling in the Middle East, affirmative action would come to a screeching halt, there would be no talk of gun control, and taxes would be held to a minimum. Public university faculties would be purged, professional feminists would have to get real jobs, and there would be no talk of "White Privilege" or "Male Privilege" on the campuses or anywhere else. It would be a curmudgeon's paradise.
Sounds like if "we, the people" really called the shots, the Sixties wouldn't have happened.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Ascensiontide, and Catholic liberals vs. high church

Maya Angelou

Interesting ratings. I met her once; some of those ring true.

A commenter at Radix:
A great many 'poets' of varying shades produce what can only be described as hastily prepared guff which, if delivered with an air of serene and aloof disconnection, the middle classes will lap up to maintain the facade of creative appreciation, even if they haven't got a clue what any of the stanzas they've just heard mean.

Most modern poetry falls within the same category as almost all modern art: garbage that anyone can peddle. Maya Angelou's justification for occupying the unofficial position she did was simply a result of being in the right place at the right time when she was younger. If it weren't for white liberals eager for a mascot to shove in everyone's faces she would've most likely died in poverty and obscurity... like most poets.
A friend had a pretty accurate assessment: not a great poet but a fine dramatic reader.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

When a society is polygamous and rootless

Great quotes from commenters at Steve Sailer's about Elliot Rodger (I and others have already covered his pathology and broken home):
When a society is polygamous, there are a lot of men left without a wife and those men tend to be angry and violent.
Rodger saw this problem clearly but because of his problem he couldn't handle it. Part of the manosphere message: polygamy in the form of partying in your 20s, namely, girls sharing (maybe serially) an alpha male, rather than marrying nice-guy providers, is bad both for men's mental health (and, ultimately, women's: no husband or kids; maybe a cat or two) and for society in the long run. (Fewer kids: demographic suicide. And illegitimacy, which like Rodger's broken home worsens problems like his. Rodger needed real family, a church, and a community, as Jack Cashill and Bob Wallace agree.)
Of course, working hard to earn a woman's affections ("The modern woman LOVES a man who will do the dishes!" "Don't act entitled to her love before you've shown her your character!") was standard feminist catechism up until about 2010, when too many guys started publicly noticing that this was a losing strategy.
Right. Most mainstream relationship advice is "pretty little lies" as Roissy says.
Almost immediately, the goalposts shifted - "Who do you think you are, trying to show us how courteous and consent-oriented you are! JERKS!" Of course, this forces "feminists" to tacitly endorse sexist, dark-triad behavior among individual men, so they're counting on government to make their dreams come true with "free daycare," paid maternal leave and such. No word on who is going to work hard to pay for all of this.
The same nice-guy providers, only now the girls don't have to live with or have sex with them.

Prince Charles and Vladimir Putin

"Your country hasn't been important since 1945."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Agent provocateurs, and more

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Soulless in Santa Barbara, and more

  • From Takimag: Soulless in Santa Barbara. No, Mr. Martinez, politicians and the NRA didn't kill your son. It was because the law and the shooter's parents didn't pay enough attention to tell he wasn't well enough to live on his own. A doctor should have examined him and told them so. If anything it was blowback from the Sixties' well-meant patients'-rights cause, emptying the mental institutions. I've partly blamed his father's movie. I watched his message and believe he was mentally ill, not a deliberate, godless "spoiled brat." Intelligent, articulate, but self-absorbed with a flat affect that either bored or creeped out normal people: that of a serial killer. If treatment didn't help him or he refused to cooperate, then he needed extended family who could watch him like a hawk, or, last resort, they should have locked him up in an institution. Better that than six random people being killed. Part of the tragedy seems that he didn't have much in the way of family, even though they were rich: broken home and it seems his stepmother didn't like him because of his condition. I understand one of the biggest advocates for keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill is... the NRA (Gun Safety Central).
  • From Radix: The myth of "rape culture."
  • From the Anti-Gnostic: Enemy of the people: macroeconomists.
  • From Fr. Hunwicke: What is a Pope? Neither Our Saint in Rome™ synonymous with the church while the liberal parishes go to hell nor a modern superhero who can approve divorce & remarriage and gay marriage (pseudogamy) with the stroke of a pen, but: At base, the Pope is just the man who goes around sticking into the ground the notices which say BEWARE OF MINES. It gets dangerous when people start to expect much more of a Pope than this.
  • The Pope and a patriarch: a whole lotta nothing, as I thought. Nice photo ops (I love the pictures at Christ's tomb), including Pope Francis' pro-Palestinian one (always the opinion of the Holy See), and you had a predictable modern liberal ecumenical statement (history apparently started in 1964). Sacramentally we're the same church, and props to the Orthodox for remaining traditional, but the Orthodox 1) don't agree among themselves regarding the Catholic Church and 2) don't want to come back to it.

'58 Edsel, '61 Plymouth wagon, and Hotsy Totsy: Collingswood, NJ May Fair

A fine car. I don't understand its bad rap other than its unexciting name, after one of Henry Ford's sons. People hated the "horse-collar" grille. The '59 slight restyling is even better; the desperate complete redesign for '60 (as with the whole make that year) unattractive.

Hotsy Totsy, a local favorite at fairs and around Christmas. Impressive vocal chops: harmonies and sustained high notes. Not a satire of the past, thank God, but rather creative anachronism like the movie Streets of Fire (a fantasy of the '80s as more like the '50s): Lady Gaga, et al., done in exactly the style of the Andrews Sisters, as well as great covers of the original. When they sing, I literally stop and listen.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Deserving of our honor on Memorial Day: yes, but...

Fine men, and the military has an important job, but... most of these didn't die actually defending us. "War is a racket" as retired Marine Gen. Smedley Butler wrote. About the only cause I can sympathize with in these 20th-early 21st-century wars is the one to fight global Communism, and global Communism was partly our own fault (World War II in a nutshell: the USSR won, we were dumb enough to help them, and broke Britain handed us their empire; the Nazis and imperial Japan weren't our problems). Even there, Vietnam was a liberal interventionist crusade; the authentic American right, such as the John Birch Society, was split on it. (The JBS now talks sense about Russia and the Ukraine: those countries are not Communist; stay out of it.) Nobody remembers that a Democrat got us in and a Republican got us out of both Korea and Vietnam. (Still, better the working-class ethnic and black young men who tried to do what their country asked than the partying rich kids cheering for the other side and worse.) World War I was an immoral European quagmire nothing to do with us, and Iraq and Afghanistan simply were and are nonsensical. Anyway, may our war dead rest in peace.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Golden-era film: "The Apartment" (1960)

Top form, worthy of its five Oscars. Far better than Breakfast at Tiffany's, which glorifies decadence; people are nostalgic about that movie for the wrong reasons. This doesn't celebrate the sleaze (unlike the stupid background mini-documentary on the disc: cheering for "sex as an end in itself" a few years after Playboy debuted); it just mostly talks about and implies it, showing what's wrong with it better than a sermon. Fred MacMurray, of Disney and "My Three Sons," as another bad guy in another Billy Wilder picture (he starred in Wilder's definitive noir classic Double Indemnity); Jack Lemmon as the likeable hapless character he became famous for. Actually the big office floor wasn't that different from my last job.

Unsurprisingly "Mad Men" is partly based on it (more).

Revenge of the nerd

Elliot Rodger, a clueless boy confused by a fallen natural order. Sick but not a sociopath. Sociopaths are charming; sad to say, he might have succeeded with girls had he been one.
The rage of the Omega is boundless. The young man wasn't bad-looking. He was obviously well-off. He drove a nice black BMW. And yet, his anti-Game was so bad that he made it to 22 without ever so much as kissing a girl. No wonder he was murderously furious with women.
He never got the mental-health treatment he needed: solve the main problem, whatever it was, then teach him social skills (not political correctness). I never saw the movie his father helped make but maybe its disturbing subject matter worsened his problem. By the way, I understand that most of the mentally ill aren't violent.

Wildwood travelogue

The church is St. Ann’s, which as you can see is architecturally a big preaching-barn auditorium.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"The city on a hill": my country, 'tis of thee

From Facebook:
If the United States was ever a "city on a hill" which many Americanists believe, and I disagree, that hill has apparently come plunging down under the weight of greed, selfishness, arrogance, warmongering, Godlessness, immorality, hedonism, avarice, broad inequalities, perpetuated racial hatred, etc.
I'm moderate and partly undecided. Like a normal person, I love my country. On top of that, I believe in the natural-law principles the original American republic was built on. I credit that, and many Catholic immigrants, with making it arguably the greatest country in the world... in the '50s. That said, the Revolution was "Enlightenment" deism wrongly accusing a rightful Christian king of wrongdoing and wrongly rebelling against him, so from there you can see how and why America has degenerated. Mainstream "conservatives," the neoconservatives, are only a kind of liberal, "conserving" early 20th-century progressivism. As for your list of sins, that's fallen human nature in any country.

The ancient Christian tapestry: "These are My rites"

A thread at byzcath based on this: The ancient Christian tapestry.
Many years ago, when I was living in Montreal, I attended a very beautiful Anglican Church in the heart of the city. This particular church was very popular among a host of groups, and particularly certain types of Roman Catholics who passed through by way of taking shelter from the appalling disregard for the sacred they had experienced in their own parishes. These were thoughtful people on the whole, who could well articulate what it was they felt they had lost in the post-conciliar Roman Catholic Church, and not ‘merely’ aesthetic things either. In fact, there was one ecclesiastical refugee who had written a great deal on the loss of the ancient propers and lectionary of the Western Church to the bland platitudes of the then-translation of the new Missal and its concomitant three-year Sunday, two-year weekday athematic tour through Scripture. I mention this, though, not to make digs at some of the more unfortunate aspects of post-conciliar liturgical reform, but to lay the groundwork for a more important point. For I learnt something at that Anglican parish I will never forget: to a Roman Catholic woman who came by the parish one day as a stop on her spiritual journey, the Anglican parish priest said, ‘you may certainly come here on your way back to the Church, but this is not your home, and you must eventually return to your Mother, the Catholic Church’.
God love him; of course I hope Father found his way home.

My post in the thread:
Of course Catholics should know more about all of the church's rites. Before Vatican II, educated Catholics such as Adrian Fortescue and Donald Attwater, and the liturgical movement, were trying to make that happen. Fulton Sheen became biritual, celebrating in the Byzantine Rite. There are Attwater's books, Cyril Korolevsky's biography of Andrew (Sheptytsky), and a picture book called "These Are My Rites." The mind of the church is apparent: Eastern as well as Western. Because the church doesn't force me to choose Eastern over Western, I'm in it...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On burning down the colleges, the Harvard Black Mass, and more

  • From Radix: Burn down the colleges. Not in the dumb Sixties sense but decrying the debasement of real higher education. Glad to see that I wasn't the only one who thought regarding "Noah goes to college," like a similar older man getting to become an Eagle Scout, that this isn't what making Eagle Scout or going to college are for. Handing out an award because of pity devalues the award for those who earned it.
  • From Takimag: Pick your demons, or why I didn't get worked up about the Harvard Black Mass. No, I'm not agreeing with Kathy Shaidle's swipe at celibacy. It's not a hill I'm willing to die on but I don't hate it either.
  • From Theden: Another 171 million people who don't care what progressives think. India.

Inflation, Bundy and Sterling, and more

  • From LRC: How inflation drinks your milkshake.
  • Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling. Bundy is not a racist; rather he was expressing the value of work vs. welfare, a standard conservative talking point even as other, more mainstream conservatives play into the liberals' frame (trying to claim Martin Luther King for example); Bundy won't have that so the media went after him. Not a word from him against real equal opportunity (as opposed to affirmative-action set-asides/quotas/reverse discrimination) as far as I know. Sterling arguably is a racist but so what? A "bigot" who hires blacks for million-dollar salaries, has a half-black mistress (seems she tried to blackmail him by illegally recording a private conversation), is a liberal Democrat and big donor to the NAACP, and, as he's pointed out trying to defend himself, is a Jew. Anyway, he has the right to associate or not with anyone he wants. If he doesn't want his mistress seen with Magic Johnson, so what? He has the right not to invite him to the owner's box at the stadium. The thought police want to take away his right to own property because of it. Some libertarians say the NBA has the right to make rules against owners with Sterling's views but it's still outrageous. Also, neither Bundy nor Sterling are smooth talkers so they became convenient targets, unlike more articulate liberals who self-segregate and know how to get away with it.
  • More from Jeff Culbreath on Pope Francis. The Pope can't change the church's teachings so I hardly give Francis a second thought. It won't affect me unless the official church locally goes all low-church liberal again (repealing Pope Benedict's liturgical-text reform), in which case there's the SSPX.
  • RIP Jerry Vale.

Monday, May 19, 2014

St. Peter Celestine and Dante on the responsibility of high office

Fr. Z:
Dante, in his Divine Comedy, in Inferno 3, places in hell someone whom we think may be Peter Celestine V. Dante calls him “the shade of him who in his cowardice made the great refusal”. ”The great refusal” being the rejection of the highest office to which one might ascend in this world, with all the duties and responsibilities and implications for the bonds of society that that office carries.

Remember that the
Divine Comedy is about, among other things, the interrelationship of the secular and the sacred. Dante was writing political theory in the Divine Comedy. His Hell is constructed to reflect the ways in which people harm not just themselves, but also the bonds of society. Dante would have hated Peter Celestine’s abdication also because he opened the way for Dante’s great enemy Boniface VIII, whom he detested.
Cf. Hilary here. He's still Benedict the Great in my book, but.

Is divorce contagious?

From an email circle:
One of the more interesting bits of modern social science is that divorce spreads like a disease (or for Christians... like leavening). If couples A and B know each other and A divorces, B is more likely to divorce in the future. It appears that female social networks tend to drive this phenomenon.
Knowing nod from manosphere pundits.
Therefore churches that in any way sanction divorce are likely to face divorce epidemics as divorce spreads from couple to couple. And since family life is the basis of church attendance you will see an overall decline in church life. So this isn't about being "pastoral" so much as devils scratching at the gates.

The case for lowest-common-denominator instruction in the church

After accepting the line about the cold rationality and vacuous nature of "Latin theology" for a number of years, my own forays into that region of theological-philosophical studies has revealed very little evidence of such horrors. Sure, manualism was part of the course of studies for most seminarians from the 19th to mid-20th Centuries, but let's keep things in perspective. Not every priest was going to be an intellectual and most probably never had to make use of anything more sophisticated than what is found in the Baltimore Catechism (or some other comparable teaching tool) over the course of their service to the Church. Manualism provided a quick n' dirty entry into philosophy and theology which, though dry, wasn't necessarily incorrect. Given the pathologies which infected the priesthood over the past half-century, one has to wonder if it wouldn't be better for priests to be handed manualism once again lest they go glibly astray on the more "poetical" and "mystical" theological workings of certain figures whose thought leads -- or at least has definitely led -- more than a few folks into all kinds of troubling errors.

American decline since the Great Society, and more

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Car show in Mount Holly, NJ

Probably the best one: '40 Cadillac with Glenn Miller playing on the radio and memorabilia from the war: Army officer's uniform, newspapers, and ration sticker in the windshield.

Fourth Sunday after Easter

  • Mass: Cantate Domino canticum novum. My parish about to have a May crowning. We had "Hail, Holy Queen, Enthroned Above" for the recessional. Also: you forget how important the master of ceremonies is until you try to have Sung or High Mass without him, as happened today.
  • Brooklyn's Holy Name Church partly restores/high-churches itself. The Pope Benedict effect continues. Too bad the table is in front of the high altar but it's livable with Benedict's reform, and far better than the upside-down hockey sticks remodel that this replaced. You'll see more of this as the church recovers from the council.
  • It's always puzzled me that there weren't more holdouts pushing back against the Sixties, like Cardinal McIntyre (an almost forgotten hero of the American church: he kept L.A. Tridentine throughout the '60s and kept celebrating our Mass in retirement; he pushed back like Cardinal Spellman wanted to), Archbishop Lefebvre, or Fr. Gommar DePauw. Lots of well-meaning priests and nuns, not necessarily heretics, bought into the spirit of the space age, thinking that a streamlined, modernized church would be even bigger and better. And, as Lefebvre said, a lot of this stuff was shoved down people's throats in the name of obedience. Women may have been particularly gullible about this business, with the result that the big old orders of sisters have destroyed themselves. In my past life as a journalist I once visited one of their motherhouses, built in the '60s as big as an Army base. They had one middle-aged postulant. Local conservative orders are doing fairly well but the damage is done. The church is bouncing back (which is why the Pope Benedict effect started and places like my parish exist) but nuns are now gone from American Catholic culture.
  • Latin. The trouble with this article, as with most mainstream coverage of traditionalism, is it makes it sound like the only difference between the two forms is the language, as though traditionalism were mostly about Latin. I like Latin and defend its usefulness in the church (unchanging standard/template and universal auxiliary language) but my traditionalism isn't about Latin. The Mass just happens to be in Latin.
  • Patriarch to meet Pope in Jerusalem, talk schism’s end. "Talk schism's end" has been around for 50 years. Not going to happen. It's up to us to persuade the Orthodox (who are not Protestants; they are estranged Catholics) that the Pope is just a defender of the faith and not the threat to their customs they think he is, and we have to walk the walk and defend their right to their customs plus clean up our act by dropping things like the Novus Ordo to become more like them again. The Orthodox are proud, ethnocentric, and nationalistic; they don't want to come back. Ecumenism's played out: we know what the others teach and aren't trying to kill each other anymore. Pictured: "Christ is risen." St. Demetrios, Upper Darby, in Tina Fey's old neighborhood, which had its festival this weekend. Had a gyro, Coke, and an apricot square for lunch today. It's Greek immigrants but Fr. Rutler's former secretary from Rosemont's a parishioner here.
  • Another vagante "womanpriest" story with the usual media ignorance/spin. What strikes me, coming out of Anglicanism after I learned of women's ordination there, is that in the church, this just doesn't come up, despite the liberals trying to sell it for over 40 years. Only old cranks want it. For Anglo-Catholics, WO was like a neon sign flashing, "You were wrong about Anglicanism. This is not part of the Catholic Church. Move on." Anyway, the anti-Catholic media pick up these stories on slow news days to spite the church. The less dramatic reality is this poor woman left the church to become a non-Catholic minister, if that (I doubt she has a congregation). Also, the people who push this are clericalists. Did she do this because she's fervent about the teachings of the church? No, she wants what she thinks is the power of the clergy.
  • The idea of our holy mother, the church is foreign to Protestants.
  • For some reason, the church trying to defend itself by using liberal arguments doesn't work.
  • Fr. Matthew Venuti on being a married priest.
  • The devil doesn't come with horns and wearing a red suit. Neither he nor you are that stupid. He comes as everything you've ever wished for. Pray for wisdom and discernment.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Honour the king"

  • From Tea at Trianon: Bad history: rethinking Whiggish American orthodoxy. Regular readers know I'm undecided about the American Revolution. The rebels' original republic was good, but they wrongly blamed George III, and besides, Americans had vowed their loyalty to him. Because the colonies weren't under English law regarding religion, his being Protestant wasn't a problem. So the Loyalists are unsung heroes, not traitors but quite the opposite. Better an anointed Christian king than the principles of the "Enlightenment." (The founding fathers were proto-Modernists.) But wasn't Edmund Burke sympathetic to the colonists? Also, look how the mother country, Canada (the alternative America minus the Revolution), Australia, etc. have turned out, more liberal and less religious than here. By the way, is it true that a reason what's now Canada didn't side with the rebels is that the king promised Quebec that their Catholicism would be protected while the rebels wanted to Protestantize them?
  • Also, a monarch with an unwritten constitution might mean the government ruling in his or her name has most of the monarch's power, so you get government control of everything in the form of semi-socialism.
  • Edward VIII and George VI. Monday was the 77th anniversary of George VI's coronation. Some say he was temperamentally unsuited to be king so the office eventually killed him. (Or he died too soon simply because he smoked.) Anyway, it got me thinking about the king who would have been. He was the Prince William of his day, good-looking thus very popular. “’Ark, the ’erald angels sing/Mrs. Simpson stole our king.” (He abdicated right before Christmas.) It seems the official "unofficial" story the British government fed the public around the time of the war was that he was a Nazi symp so intel said he had to go. Plus he was sent away to the Bahamas for the duration in case Germany invaded so he wouldn't become a puppet king. But the Nazi angle may have been "fleshed after the fact." Actually for once the Church of England stood up for principle. Even though it was founded to give a king an annulment he didn't deserve (technically none of his five failed marriages were divorces, and it remained as strict as the Catholic Church about divorce and remarriage), it said it couldn't bless his marriage. But yes, stepping down for "the woman I love" was romantic, though manosphere pundits might say it was a mark of "demonstrated lower value" so it would backfire for most men. Then again he was still a duke and set for life, so there you go.
  • Dead end. When you see the ceremonial around the coronation, with coped bishops, or royal weddings with that and the best of the Prayer Book, it looked like an official British return to the church was possible (which is what the Holy See had in mind, rather than the Irish cause, for example). Alas. After the council, the Pope gave Archbishop Ramsey (the last good Anglican archbishop of Canterbury) one of his rings, so Anglo-Catholics thought they were becoming Catholic and Catholic liberals thought they were becoming mainliners. Now everybody knows such unions won't happen and the world's less churchy now so nobody's interested. We know what the others teach and aren't trying to kill each other. Good enough.
  • That said, despite the history of England being forced from the church - the martyrs (orate pro nobis) and the anti-Catholic Articles of Religion, leaving Anglicanism can be harder than it seems because the Episcopalians' semi-congregationalism enables conservative congregations, or at least it used to, so people talk themselves into staying. It's also how I started to learn pre-conciliar Catholic practice from some of them, when official churchmen wanted nothing to do with it. Parishes are small so you get close communities. Hooker's mildy "reformed" religion was a made-up faith and again forced on the English.
  • The closest I've been to the royals wasn't there but here once. Remembered that Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla were visiting someplace in Philadelphia and literally ran over there. Saw them pull up and get out of the limo; if they'd turned to their left I would have talked to them.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The peril of low paternal investment, universality vs. particularity in the church, and more

  • From Bob Wallace:
    • "Low paternal investment" brings down societies.
    • The child of Poverty and Plenty.
    • The thrive/survive theory of the political spectrum. Good attacked by Evil, Order attacked by Chaos. All horror fiction, without exception, follows that archetype. Reality, unfortunately, follows that archetype: Civilization attacked by Chaos. Civilization is just a thin veneer on top of a lot of bad human nature. That's the way a "conservative" sees it. That's the way I see it. I don't quite understand leftists. They're ruled by their feelings. It's a feminine philosophy, specifically the Bad Feminine. They see things short-term. They have fuzzy minds. I don't see anything good in it. Moldbug suggests that rightism is common sense, and leftism is Christianity minus the religious trappings and rightism is rational thought. Another of his posts suggests that leftism is naked power-grabbing and rightism is virtuous pro-social behavior. Also: r/K Selection Theory.
    • The two false selves. Bob's a critic of the psychology of game. I'd say that like libertarianism it's not a complete worldview like a religion. Roissy would agree that it's not so much about reciting the right pickup lines (magical thinking, not social skills) but rather "the game is mental"; it's about attitude. It can be taken too far (Bob's point that the dark triad taken literally is psychopathy, and Roissy's got that covered: calibration, or normal people naturally change their pitch because they can tell what their audience is like) but like libertarianism's nonaggression principle it's still useful. An emotionally healthy person may have a positive ideal he aspires to and a negative image that he wants to avoid, but on some conscious level he’s aware that neither of these ideals or their corresponding labels truly represents him, or are even truly attainable (although in all honesty the despised false self is probably easier to come close to attaining than the idealized one is). And that's pretty much all this alpha/beta business is about. Also, beneath the bluster, Roissy's conservative. As Bob agrees in "Low paternal investment," people are happier under the natural order, patriarchy. (It's no coincidence that true churches have patriarchs, such as the Patriarch of the West.) Civilization, America around 50 years ago, for example, meant average Joes, betas, had a better chance of being happily married fathers; the sexual revolution - happy hunting for alphas; bad for society - was a return to the post-fall jungle.
  • Perhaps related to that, from RR: The truth about income inequality. Of course inequality of outcome is just: come up with a better idea and/or work harder, earn more. (In Communism there's no incentive.) The problem is unequal opportunity. The American dream is slipping away and we're becoming the Third World, reverting to the longtime world standard of a few very rich and many poor; no middle class. Politicians offering ordinary voters a free ride on taxes, subsidized health care and other enticements are really picking their pockets by giving the country away to the oligarchs.
  • From the Anti-Gnostic: Traditionalism's unprincipled exception. Maybe a white nationalist trying to join a Syrian-based church isn't contradictory after all. Phyletism is the clan instinct taken too far, making an idol out of your race or culture, but: I am not aware of any Church doctrine which compels any nation to actively pursue the displacement of its founding stock. Breaking with the universal church for an ethnically based nationalist one is a form of that idolatry; that said, as the A-G says, the church East and West is at its best in its natural state as the Church Local. I'm fine with a church that's a loose federation of conservative national ones, if it includes the West, which means including the Pope. There were schisms in this country to the Orthodox because some churchmen made the mistake of suppressing part of some immigrants' culture (married priests), which, according to our teachings, the immigrants had every right to (the church accepted those customs in the immigrants' homelands).
  • From Cracked: 16 things movies and TV always get wrong about jobs. The one I'd noticed was people who do lab work in real life (CSI) acting like cops on TV.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The Lerner IRS scandal, the NSA using Google to spy on you, and the failure of voluntourism

From Rational Review:

What the church really teaches and practices about the Pope

Benedict the Great: a good Pope is a blessing but it's about the church and the office, not the man.

I loved saying "Jesus saves; Mary prays; Benedict is our Pope," and wish I still could, but:

  • From Fr. Hunwicke: The Montini years: a sadly maximalising Papacy. May it rest in peace. "In fact, the First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word." Heads up for our cousins in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod; what we believe isn't all that different from you. (Fulton Sheen: Most people don't hate the church; they hate what they wrongly think the church is.) ... the limitations which Vatican I had put upon the Petrine Office ... by defining the Infallibility and Primacy of Roman Pontiffs, that admirable Council automatically set limits upon it. That is what the verb definire means. He can't change the church's teachings.
  • On resisting bad Popes. My life in the church: Between Pentecost and the launch of, most Catholics did not have access to the day-to-day musings of their pope. The Roman pontiff's theological speculations have been of almost no interest to Catholics throughout history, and never became so unless he was a great theologian already, or there was a great controversy which the authority of the Roman Church might settle. To the average Catholic living hundreds of miles from Rome the Faith was the Faith, whether the pope was zealously orthodox like St. Benedict II or a sex criminal like Pope John XII. The trouble with well-meaning neocaths, or why St. John Paul the Overrated's reign was low-church: During the post–Vatican II upheavals in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, conservative Catholics developed a mental architecture that told them that even if their parish priest or local bishop was lax, immoral, or even vaguely heretical, there was practically a living saint in Rome, whose unassailable orthodoxy, personal charisma, and good works were taken as the living sign of the indefectibility of the church. They are more loyal to an imagined Catholic party than to the Catholic faith or the church. The truth: Unlike a party, the church already knows the outcome of its election; the blessed reign, the accursed don't. The church already has victory. And so the church and its believers do not depend on the righteousness of the pope; the papacy and the church depend on the righteousness of Christ.
  • As Jeff Culbreath explained to me shortly after he came into the church, "We are papal minimalists." The difference, he went on to explain, between traditionalists, of which I am one by default (not very devout but a convinced Catholic just like many people 50 years ago), and conservatives with "our saint in the Vatican."
  • Like I said, I'm a trad by default, more like what simply were Catholics a few decades ago. Thanks to Pope Benedict's reform of the Novus Ordo, I live in the official church just like people did then. I can go to Mass in good conscience anywhere in the country. I'm leery of trad chapels: self-selected groups of the pious, or cults with the trappings of the church, not the church. That said, in a pinch there's the SSPX: Fellay for cardinal; Lefebvre for saint.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Left-right alliances? Probably not

  • From the Pittsford Perennialist: Ralph Nader on possible left-right alliances. Not entirely sold on this. I found that it didn't work regarding protesting the Iraq war (maybe because the left never really was for peace; com-symps who are happy now that they've taken over the establishment). Conservative observers (real conservatives, not TV talking heads) have noted that letting the ruling liberals set the frame for the discussion concedes defeat before you even start. Ex-Army quoting Frank Roman: conservatives "often end up making convoluted liberal arguments toward an illiberal end," and paleos and good integralist Catholics such as third-wayers point out that even my all-American modus of classical liberalism/soft libertarianism/right-libertarianism might be part of the problem. But it's still a nice idea that Joshua Snyder has had since his old blog from Korea. What if the rednecks and the early, clean-cut SDS sat down and talked to each other? I haven't seen it yet to prove it, but he says Easy Rider is a conservative movie. A thought: the '60s American government was liberal. Protests such as Cliven Bundy's could have come from the New Left then as much as from the right now ("this land is our land"), back when the left (as recently as the '80s, Face to Face notes) pretended to stand up for the little guy and rage against the machine (they really wanted to run the establishment/machine, rather like the USSR and Red China).
  • From LRC: Eric Margolis on the dim prospects for peace in Palestine.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Good Shepherd Sunday

Old Bridge, NJ car show and more

Phila Flea Markets' spring blowout all around the old Eastern State Penitentiary.

Grand Marketplace, Willingboro, NJ.

Along New Jersey Route 38.

Ardmart Antiques, Garnet Valley, PA:

Car show in Old Bridge:

All hail the humble Checker cab. Once all of New York did. Introduced in ’61, the design never changed. Production stopped in ’82.