Thursday, October 09, 2014

John Locke and the dark side of toleration, a look at American Orthodoxy, and more

  • From The Imaginative Conservative:
    • John Locke and the dark side of toleration. Not only did the American rebels not have a case in 1776 but Locke's views, of the "Enlightenment," lead right from Protestantism to atheism. Here we have the heart of radical individualism and its hostility toward communities, and communities of faith in particular. All this time, "The House I Live In," our Protestant hosts (the Masons) and their Jewish friends only barely put up with our Catholic neighborhoods and towns. The Rockefellers pushing contraception, etc., got their wish in the '60s; we were first-class fatheads falling for it by having Vatican II. (The continuation of the '50s, the space age: "Progress!" We were cool for about five minutes, then Humanae Vitae had them hating us again.) I'm not chucking American liberty just yet, and mid-century was our Catholic and American peak, but duly noted. By the way, you can hear what a phenomenal singer Frank Sinatra was in the beginning.
    • Eugene McCarthy, Catholic gentleman of the left: Postmodernism. Commonly called lying.
    • The affirmative-action president and Nobel Peace Prize winner's carte blanche for war. To give him credit, he did try to pull us out of Iraq.
  • Ed McMahon, Marine. I didn't know. Colonel and pilot. Let's see today's chat-show hosts measure up. The Greatest Generation. From Detroit when it was nice. I also didn't know his Catholic college background.
  • Cremated? The church allows it; not really a problem since bodies decompose anyway. God can resurrect ashes just as easily; the issue was always intent.
  • A word from Staff Sgt. Old School. Real World 101: Nobody cares about your problems. Manhood 101: "Houston, we have a problem." (Navy pilot Jim Lovell.) Get some courage, utilize the resources around you, have a drink, and drive the f*ck on. If that doesn't work, "shut up and die like an aviator," and hope people are offering Masses and other prayers for you so your sentence in purgatory's short.
  • The red and blue empires.
  • Steve Sailer: A new caste society.
  • The first American Orthodox church I'd been to (been to two in England), St. Nicholas, has rebranded its November Russian Festival as the "Ethnic Festival." Guess they're trying to be pan-Orthodox. St. Nick's is unusual among OCA parishes in that it was actually Russian to begin with, not Slavic ex-Catholics. Fine folks; nice laid-back Slavs like in the American heartland, no chip on their shoulders. (It's not like the Internet!) I appreciate the attempt at universality (a parish's reason to exist shouldn't be to worship Russianness) but attempts to de-ethnicize on the parish level are usually suicidal (the church is best as the Church Local; incarnation; inculturation). I'd love it if America's dominant Catholicism were Byzantine like this, not Novus Ordo (also: ethnicity and congregationalism, hedges against liberalism), but natural assimilation means this has no future beyond the third generation here.
  • St. Tikhon's: new effort underway to get more female students. Uhhhhh, why? This fine seminary near Pennsylvania's coal mines and steel mills (the Slavs in The Deer Hunter, mostly descended from ex-Catholics: the Russians' Ukrainian and Ruthenian cousins) long did not pretend to be more than it is, a practical training course for priests, so accreditation didn't matter and it didn't try to be Parisian profound like the real Russkies at St. Vlad's. (Historically, priests' sons continuing the family custom: learn how to say Mass, basic moral theology largely from us to hear confessions, and a catechism knowledge largely like us; all most people need or use.) Do you really need an M.Div. to teach Sunday school or be a priest's wife? Ex-Episcopalians who switched because of women's ordination, take note. They just might surprise us and ordain women to spite us. (Their left wing likes the idea of women deacons.) Beneath the classic Anglicanish credal orthodoxy and the liturgy and folklore that still resemble us trads, intellectually there's really nothing there. (Their right wing: "Outside of Eastern European folklore there is no salvation.")
  • The Ruthenian Catholics in coal and steel country had their own problems: banning the ordination of the married made the priests' sons become dentists and lawyers instead, so their new '50s seminary went gay-o-rama before vocations cratered because of both Vatican II and assimilation.

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