Thursday, January 29, 2015


I am constantly amazed at the ignorance of people as to the elite game which constantly rewrites history.

Wasn't Napoleon a product of the "Enlightenment" worse than 1800 Britain? I hear you on rewriting history. Most Americans don't realize the USSR won World War II; we were just saps/supporting players.
I think he was more moderate then his fellow Enlightenment types. I was always a fan.
He was a deist modern ruler, no Christian king. That said, I think the British victors paint him as evil because he was another threat to their security: they never want a strong, united Europe, be it under France, Germany (Europe's natural leader, Russia actually being mostly in Asia, weakening them in the West; besides, Germans are famously smart), or Russia.
That's true. His religious views seem to have varied throughout his life.

Here's an interesting take on Napoleon and Catholicism from Hilaire Belloc's "The Great Heresies." Belloc also wrote a pretty favorable biography of Napoleon himself.
Nevertheless the truth remains that had Napoleon succeeded, the prepondering culture of Europe would have been Catholic. His empire intermarried with and allied to the ancient Catholic tradition of Austria, giving the church peace and ending the revolutionary dangers, would have given us a united and settled Europe, where, in spite of the very wide spread of rationalism in the wealthier classes, Europe as a whole would have returned to the Catholic tradition. Napoleon, however, just failed... through miscalculating his chances in the campaign in Russia.
He was an unbeliever just like our Protestant founding fathers but unlike the original French revolutionaries, he put up with the church. Rather like a later wannabe, Mussolini, a red-diaper baby (born and raised leftist) who never believed, making peace with the church, being smart enough to respect Italians' long, deep love/hate relationship with it. By the way, Napoleon was Italian, Buonaparte, from Corsica (which should be in Italy or its own country, not French).
I know he was. I've always liked him though, despite his rocky relationship with the church. My uncle introduced me to Napoleon and I've always been fascinated by him, I admit.
Good points from Belloc; thanks. Just like how I wish Germany, Austria, and the Ottomans (!) won World War I. We would have a more peaceful, more Catholic world. (Exactly what Protestant Britain and Woodrow Wilson didn't want.) Rulers such as Napoleon often have no use for religion personally but are utilitarian about it politically; it keeps the proles well-behaved. Our Protestant founding fathers were the same way.
I care little what religion a person believes or not, as long as they govern me justly and wisely.
The same reason I'm a supporter of only casually churchgoing Protestant Ron Paul.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The church, England, politics, and more

  • The Society of Saint Pius X has offered traditional Latin Masses in some prominent places, including Saint Peter's Basilica and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. Add to that list the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. In about 100 years Archbishop Lefebvre will be canonized.
  • Somebody really hates high church. When you are over the target, there's flak, as Flying Fortress and Liberator pilots said during World War II. The libcaths sound like they're running scared (knowing they're slowly dying out), and while high church isn't necessarily Catholic (cf. the Episcopalians), this anti-high churchmanship sounds so Protestant (high church is "worldly"). Pictured: Msgr. Keith Newton, the ordinary for British Anglo-Catholic alumni.
  • A tiny piece of America in merry old England.
  • Anglicans themselves on their unofficial Byzantine Rite brethren. Taking in this service at face value, it seems like slightly acculturated Orthodox worship, content and all (except for the name of the Presiding Bishop), not liberal Protestant, so I'm not offended. "If they're not against us, they're with us," in spirit. But because of the true-church claim and, to sound politically correct for a moment, cultural appropriation, I understand why some Orthodox are. One of them: There's a difference between being adopted into a family and having that family's heritage become your heritage, and reading up on a given family's history and pretending to be a part of that family because you've read a lot about them in books. Is the 1979 Episcopal Prayer Book so flexible that they're allowed to have more or less the Byzantine Liturgy? Not that Anglo-Catholics closely followed the Prayer Book.
  • Not my problem anymore, but kudos to the Rev. Paul Williamson, the Low Church vicar who literally voiced his objection to Archbishop Sentamu when English history was made earlier this week: their first woman Anglican bishop, Libby Lane. We Catholics agree: it's unscriptural and the church can't change the matter of a sacrament (the Anglicans hedge on whether holy orders is a sacrament). I knew thought Mr. Fr. Williamson was Evangelical before I even read the story because he started with "Not in the Bible."
  • Ex-Army: Cultural Marxism by any other name.
  • Face to Face: Mormon morality amounts to little more than secular liberalism, stereotypically blinkered to any concerns other than harm and fairness. Notions of purity, sanctity, and taboo are not invoked, nor is the threat to communal cohesion when deviance is promoted. This story means 1) Mormonism is not conservative; it only looks so from when it tried to blend in with pre-Sixties America (hint: 19th-century America ran them out of town) and/or 2) they're politically naive, thinking the letter of the law will protect their right to act conservative.
  • Bob Wallace: Quick common sense.
  • Fred Reed via Ad Orientem: Women have never succeeded at physical things in the military becauese they can't. As West Pointer Brian Mitchell warned in 1998 (Flirting with Disaster). Women are reproductively more valuable; a sane society protects them, not sending them into combat.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The snow day that wasn't, and true community

Because the Great Nor'easter of January '15 veered east (out to sea?), I didn't get my snow day so off to work (loving it) I go. Here is a recent conversation remembering Philadelphia's Blizzard of '96 with a segue into true community.
The blizzard of January of 1996. On Palmer Street in Fishtown, with my walk up Belgrade Street to York Street. Three feet of snow. I remember we waited for days for a snow plow. When it did not come, I looked out my window and saw a group of my neighbors shoveling snow from the street. So I grabbed my shovel, and within a few hours we had one block of Palmer Street cleared.
That was so much fun! Work was only a block from home so I was one of two who showed up. I literally swam through the little parking lot, under about four or five feet of drifted snow, to get to the door. The other guy and I walked through a quiet, gleaming white Ardmore that was magical.
Shows what true neighborly cooperation can accomplish!
Subsidiarity in action: true community, not big government, but one of government's legitimate roles is maintaining infrastructure such as paving and clearing roads.
Precisely . . . and if you carry it far enough, you have a mini-economic system that benefits all.
Reminds me of longtime blogger Joshua Snyder's point: we could have stopped the Sixties if the early New Left, such as the clean-cut '64 SDS, the John Birch Society, and redneck populists sat down and talked to each other, coming to an understanding. True community; self-determination. Not the big government of the Great Society or the Rockefeller Republicans and neocons.
I am no supporter of the Great Society, but for many who practiced it--i.e., that is actually believed in what LBJ said and allegedly was trying to do--they had good intentions. OK, much of the Great Society programs such as unbridled welfare went awry; maybe government-made jobs programs (without the necessary economic value) too. I perceive looking back that the problem was the marriage of huge gov't social spending, a hugely wasteful and expensive war, and large scale businesses that dropped the ball when it came to providing workers across the whole spectrum of industries gainful employment. Oh . . . and too many college graduates. We needed more skilled laborers, except that even nowadays much of that skill is exported overseas or due to shortages now imported.
Western liberalism's a Christian heresy; it often has the best intentions.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The church, games women play, and cultural/generational trends

  • Mass yesterday: Adorate Deum, omnes angeli ejus: audivit et laetata est Sion: et exsultaverunt filiae Judae. Epistle: Don't be a doormat but vengeance belongs to God. Gospel: Healing. "Si vis, potes me mundare." Volo, mundare. And: Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum. The church was half-full. Anglo-Catholic alumni observation: we have boat boys! Back when Anglo-Catholic parishes had kids, this was the introductory job for altar boys, as young as 7. I like to say serving is JROTC (British: cadet corps) for priests; boat boys are like Cub Scouts or even Tiger Cubs. For those who don't know, the boat boy looks cute dressed as a full-fledged chierichetto, cassock and cotta, and carries the metal "boat" that holds the grains of incense to top up the thurible. One of the best ways to teach kids and win their hearts is to give them responsibilities they can handle like that.
  • An ordinariate priest: Exhausted after my third Sunday Mass, and fourth for the weekend. I realize this is a matter of course for many of my brother Catholic priests, but for this former Anglican, it's been a bit taxing... And in two weeks, it'll be four Masses on Sunday, plus one on Saturday night... Didn't think of that. As the American church keeps shrinking, the price of Vatican II, but at the same time getting into fighting trim, slowly becoming traditional again (in Italian New Jersey, in the middle of Novus Ordo land, I've seen a young priest in a fiddleback), we now have a small corps of overworked priests, trinating (three Masses on a Sunday). Another priest: More than three? Don't ask, don't tell. "Fournicating"; ha ha. A friend has observed that the workload for married Anglican (including Continuing) priests, and the education for Continuing priests, is often about the same as for Catholic deacons. Sometimes priests resign because they treat it like a secular job; "it's not for me." Maybe not. But you can see how real burnout can happen. Also, diocesan priests, while a brotherhood of sorts, don't have the support system of living in a religious community like monks. (My parish is staffed by friars who do live and pray the office together.) Thanks, Fathers.
  • Roissy: Games women play.
  • Bob Wallace: Average IQs and below-average jobs.
  • Jim Woolsey at Libertarian Enterprise via Ex-Army: The fable of the little red hen. Communism doesn't work; there's no incentive. "The differences between liberalism, socialism, and Communism: the spelling."
  • Face to Face:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Healey Willan, T.S. Eliot, and more

  • The music of Healey Willan. This Anglo-Catholic organist's Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena was an Episcopal staple when I was growing up. It left me with the mistaken impression it was centuries old; in a religious context that's a compliment to the composer. Fittingly, seeing as it and the rest of A-Cism pointed the way into the church for me and so many others, I understand that a Catholic group now owns the rights to the music.
  • T.S. Eliot on Christian civilization, from "The Unity of European Civilization": I am talking about the common tradition of Christianity which has made Europe what it is, and about the cultural elements which this common Christianity has brought with it... It is in Christianity that our arts have developed; it is in Christianity that the laws of Europe have — until recently — been rooted. It is against a background of Christianity that all our thought has significance. An individual European may not believe that the Christian faith is true, and yet what he says, and make, and does, will all spring out of his heritage of Christian culture and depend upon that culture for its meaning. Only a Christian could have reproduced a Voltaire or a Nietzsche. I do not believe that the culture of Europe could survive the complete disappearance of the Christian faith. And I am convinced of that not merely because I am a Christian myself, but as a student of social biology. If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes. This American-born Anglo-Catholic got it. (From St. Louis, of New England Yankee stock; convert to Anglicanism; naturalized British subject; innovative artistically, reactionary politically and religiously. Which is great.) Progressivism is a Christian heresy.
  • Derb: There's no such thing as "free" community college, and college and indeed books aren't for everyone, which is not a knock on anyone's intelligence. The liberal elite assume everybody wants to be like them.
  • The MCJ on SOTU '15. It's all theater; Punch and Judy as I say. Or the "conservatives" are just the liberals a few decades ago. Stopped voting mainstream nationally in 2000.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

America's golden era: Ladies and gentlemen, "left" and right

Liberals then weren't like liberals now. For all their problems, the (often Jewish) neoconservatives were in part a regrouping of the old, honorable '60s Cold War liberals, rightly appalled by the hippies and the New Left, cultural Marxism. (Jewish gentlemen who loved America, appreciative of the great home it has been for them.) The down side, of course: Trotskyism's still Trotskyism.

First, Bob Wallace quotes Bill Kauffman (Look Homeward, America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front-Porch Anarchists, echoing liberal gentleman George McGovern's "Come Home, America"), on a great beauty then, Donna Reed:
At some point in post-World War II America, the Middle West and all its Middle American manifestations became inexplicable. Take Donna Reed, without question the most beautifully American-looking actress of the Cold War era. Donna was an Iowa girl, a tomboy who grew up playing baseball with her brothers on the farm — watch her hurl that rock at the window of the old Granville place in “It’s a Wonderful Life”; what a wonderful arm! She was an Iowa Republican who was for her fellow Iowan Henry Wallace in 1948, for Barry Goldwater in 1964 because the Kennedy-Johnson Democrats offended her Iowa isolationism, and for Eugene McCarthy in 1968 for the same reason. Viewed through old-fashioned American glasses, Reed’s politics make perfect sense as the expression of a girl who attended the one-room schoolhouse in Nishnabotna, Iowa, and won a blue ribbon at the Iowa State Fair for the whole-wheat yeast rolls she made for the Nimble Fingers 4-H Club. It is only in the funhouse mirror of postwar American politics that the Donna Reeds are contorted and the Arnold Schwarzeneggers look normal.
I like both Goldwater and Gene McCarthy too; both would have been fine presidents.

Next, Ex-Army quotes J. Neil Schulman's appreciation of Jack Webb. His shows were the "Cops" of their day, intentional good publicity for the police, resorting to re-enactments because filming or videoing ride-alongs wasn't practical yet. Interesting and inexpensive to make because the stories are public-domain: they're true.
Jack Webb was a cold-war liberal, which in the 1960′s meant that he was a hard-drinking, chain-smoking social conservative equally against communists, racists, and drug-using hippies. He believed in law-and-order, and was both pro-police and pro-military, though he never served as either* (unlike "Star Trek"'s very liberal creator, Gene Roddenberry, who served as both a World War II combat pilot and an LAPD officer).

To say that Jack Webb was “by the book” described both the philosophy he imparted to his loquacious police characters and his own production methods.

Jack Webb was a drug-warrior in the tradition of Harry J. Anslinger, who headed up the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics from 1930 to 1962. But when Jack Webb said he was for law and order he meant it. His shows had zero tolerance of police corruption, grandstanding, criminality under color of law, or incompetence, and when he showed police doing their job “by the book” it meant not even bending the law. In the very first episode of “Dragnet 1967,” “The LSD Story,” Webb’s script (credited as John Randolph), broadcast 48 years ago this week, portrays the LAPD detectives unable to make an arrest for possession or use of the drug because it was not on a schedule of illegal substances. Sgt. Friday bemoans his inability to “save” underage kids from this menace — but, ultimately, he obeys the law which says it’s legal.

“Adam 12”’s Officers Malloy and Reed won’t even make an arrest when the law says it’s a misdemeanor they haven’t personally witnessed but ask the female witness to make a citizen’s arrest.

Everyone gets read their Miranda rights.
A jazz fan in real life, he was briefly married to and good friends with Julie London.

*He washed out of Army Air Forces training. Life is about second acts.

On watching papal politics, or not

Believe it or not, I don't, much. Why? I have the Mass and our doctrine, which Popes and councils can't change. The trouble with commentary on Vatican politics is it can be construed as feeding liberals'/secularists' wishful thinking that with the "right" kinds of Popes and bishops, they can orchestrate such change by decree or vote. Like in the '60s, when the Rockefellers ginned up the world's including Catholics' idea that approving the new Pill was about to happen, "helped" by John XXIII foolishly (yes) calling Vatican II at all. The most John's commission on the subject could do was teach the church's teaching, which Paul VI eventually did, taking the backlash like a hero, the only good point of his reign. This commentator, however, is sound, taking Fr. Longenecker's "Twelve cardinals to watch" as his starting point. By the way, there's the famous expression "he who enters the conclave a Pope comes out a cardinal."

But if Cardinal O'Malley, who received a quasi-sacramental from a woman Methodist minister at a Methodist service (not formally heretical but still), got in, I can imagine taking cover at the SSPX*. (100 years from now: Lefebvre for saint.) If he rolled back Benedict's reform of English Novus Ordo, I'd probably go. It'd be Francis² or Paul VI³. Except: unlike 1968, most churchgoing Catholics, having experienced liberalism in church, aren't keen on it anymore. Unlike then, the church kids want my Mass. The reform of the reform, under way since late in John Paul II's reign and based on our doctrine, won't stop. I credit the Holy Spirit. (Using the same line '80s church liberals and neocons tried on me: "Be open to the Spirit!") By the way, if I didn't understand people or the church, I'd try to be liked by having women priests as the cardinal once rhetorically said ("if it were up to me," his and the church's point being it's not).
This is superficial analysis. The next conclave is not going to be decided by demographics and experience, like a presidential election or something, but by Vatican corridor politics.

The progressive element that was aching to get JPII to resign in the early 90's backed ++Bergoglio in 2005 and the JPII loyalists rallied around ++Ratzinger and won. In 2013 "Team Bergoglio" prevailed, with the Ratzingerians dividing their votes between cardinals Scola and Ouellet (the latter was the first to fold to Bergoglio's lead; after that it was a
fait accompli for "Team Scola").

While I'd hesitate to describe the Pope's appointments to the College as mainline liberals, it's safe to say that he considers them reliable. The second batch was selected in light of the fiasco of the 2014 session of the Synod; it is probable they were chosen to create more of a consensus in the 2015 session. In any event the fault line for the "2017 conclave" (assuming Pope Francis abdicates in the time frame he has speculated on) will be identical to that of the Synod: in one corner Team Bergoglio, backing Cardinal Tagle, a young candidate in the Francis mold, and in the other corner Synodal Conservatives led by cardinals Pell and Burke, supporting a credible orthodox alternate, probably ++Mueller.

Team Bergoglio has the numerical advantage because Pope Francis has been stacking the deck with "his men," but I personally believe that many churchmen are secretly as puzzled and frustrated with the pontificate as much of the laity; it is entirely possible they have soured on this "Cool Pope" experiment. This is the X factor of the next conclave. For it to make a difference, *a lot* of them need to cross the aisle so to speak. Stay tuned.
You'd think empty parish churches and schools closing and being sold off, as is happening here in America's Catholic heartland, the old ethnic Rust Belt, would reinforce the lesson that "Cool Pope" (John, apocryphally**, and Paul) doesn't work but don't underestimate churchmen's "density" or stubbornness.

Also, again nothing to do with our teaching, as the Anti-Gnostic warns, churchmen including Popes might stay wedded to social democracy (the church as another annoying NGO, like a mainline denomination: defender of religious freedom, not defending THE faith) even as social democracy fails, and they might turn their backs on Europe and the white Christian civilization there (and in North America) that the church created, becoming in effect "the patriarchate of the former Spanish colonies." (Reminds me of the Church of England on us: "the Italian Mission to the Irish Polish".) Of course nobody, including white nationalists, owns the church (à la Nazi "German Christian" Lutheranism; we don't idolize race nor are tribal to the extreme the Orthodox are, as Christianity is both propositional/confessional/universal and tribal) but point taken.

By the way, I understand a couple of things about Pope Francis' "rabbits" remark. One, it's literally true. I've long said the same! The church does NOT teach you to have as many children as physically possible, regardless. (Sidebar: Roissy being conservative, quoting Teddy Roosevelt.) The critics' point: it was wrong for him to play into the liberals' frame, talking as though an anti-Catholic canard were true. Second, this was part of in-flight remarks that were good, even mentioning Lord of the World. Me, like in ages past, the Pope's a distant figure I send Peter's Pence (which he gives to charity) once a year and whose name the priest whispers in the Canon at Mass.

That said, Burke for Pope.

*Christmas Midnight Mass at St. Jude's, Eddystone: "The Catholic Church: here comes everybody." As in folding chairs in the aisles and mantilla'd Delaware County biker chicks and their kids, not just trad stalwarts.

**The real John: Step up teaching and using Latin in the church (a reason the council was conducted in Latin). Don't ordain homosexuals.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Another one on why the old Mass is better

Young English Catholic mum Clare Short writes: THE MASS: I ate some old cheese and had a really weird dream. Of course the priest wouldn't wear a cope for the actual Mass, such as the Canon, but the rest is spot-on. (Copes at Communion are actually a high-church Anglican thing some cathedrals did; one of the only vestments they kept after the "Reformation.")

I try to level with you: not only is American Catholic life not perfect (sinless church, sinful people; we're a hospital for sinners, not a club for the self-righteous, etc.), but last Sunday our mid-sized late-Victorian exposition chapel of a parish church was only about a third filled for my Tridentine Mass. (The ice storm overnight had something to do with it. Walking outdoors, I saved my bones and my dignity by consciously doing what athletes do, keeping my center of gravity well forward of normal.) BUT... "Look who's here!" Most aren't the old whom Novus Ordo Catholics always assumed are our core. Couples in their 30s with two, three, four or more kids, a lot like Clare and her family. That plus American Catholicism's former greatness (it was so big, peaking around 1960) mean we won't fade away. But because of the recent mistakes Clare mentions, we're getting a lot smaller. We'll hit bottom with two parishes per suburban county. Upstate, the Diocese of Allentown is closing still more schools.

Byzantine Rite Episcopalians

A reminder of how good the Byzantine Liturgy is.

Of some interest during this year's Chair of Unity Octave (started by Anglo-Papalist Episcopalians who became Catholic). There's also the Mar Thoma Church, a 19th-century slight protestantization of the Malankara Church in India: native Eastern Rite Anglicans.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King

MLK, like JFK, RFK, and LBJ*, came from an era better than this one; it's easy for me to sympathize with him and his marchers, dressed like me and appealing to noble principles, defending the rights of people historically oppressed. A heady mix of Christian values of charity and justice and space-age idealism, liberalism's belief in man's and society's perfectibility. (The Great Society!) But all principled American conservatives in the golden era opposed the civil-rights movement, I think simply because constitutionally it didn't have a leg to stand on. The dilemma: blacks' rights vs. some whites asserting THEIR right to freedom of association. You may well be mean-spirited but that's your constitutional right: the government can't make you associate with someone you don't want to be with, as long as the other person's rights are protected too. Separate but equal was an attempt to solve this legal conundrum. In a free country there is no such thing as thoughtcrime. Basing the law on feelings, however well meant, replacing logic or precedent, is bad. So, if not the status quo nor the movement, what? It's too bad the silent majority, Middle America's pushback then, seemed not to come up with an answer. My guess: the answer is a color-blind government; neither racial bans nor special treatment. Let the outcomes happen as they will. White Americans have no agenda against black ones.

Related: the "me too" Republican Party desperately looking for black candidates/spokesmen, because establishment conservatives have lost their nerve, buying into the ruling left's narrative.

*The '60s: the Initials Decade in American politics. If only Barry Goldwater had catchy initials. (His campaign pin is on my desk.)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Life in the church, realistically

It's not just youth groups pushing people away. I was a hardcore Catholic from the dawn of my human awareness until to age 32. I was an altar boy, a youth leader, and even in the K of C. But I quit the church for ten years because of the way the church handled the sex scandals. The death of my grandmother inspired me to come back 2 years ago. But I felt like wasn't welcomed to come back; in fact, I felt like I was being pushed back out. I returned to St. Y's in Z where Father A. is the pastor. He made it a point to let me know how much my family being there upset him. He used to make hateful faces at us while he sat up on the altar during Mass. He would regularly talk in my presence about how in the ancient church those who left couldn't receive Communion for ten years as a punishment. He always seemed to come across as someone who hates us. Fortunately, I decided to stay in the church but to leave that parish, but even in my new parish where my 12 y/o daughter was baptized, received 1st Communion, and was confirmed (yes, confirmed at age 12) it's still a struggle to feel welcomed.
Reply: These aren't unusual stories. I almost left the Church a number of times because of the truly abysmal approach that many priests take to their ministry. And the overt evil of things like the abuse scandals don't help. At the end of the day, though, Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, so I go, to render unto the Lord the worship that is his due.
The Orthodox have the true Eucharist too, but that's another story. I went away for 16 years. Back for three; socially my expectations are realistically low. "Just the facts, ma'am." I go to the traditional Mass on Sundays, the Novus Ordo on holy days of obligation, say my prayers during the week, and that's about it.
Sadly, John, that kind of minimal approach is what is likely to lead to continuing involvement in and with the Church. In my experience, get too close and things don't end all that well. The current structures and culture within Catholicism do not lend themselves to laity being too involved. Best to keep distance -- go to Mass, pray the rosary, read the Bible, help out at the K of C pancake breakfast, that's about it. Personally, I would love, love, love it if the hierarchy would rework the Mass attendance rules so laity could attend once a month or so without pain of sin -- my ideal liturgical life would be Mass once a month, Communion two to four times a year, confession as needed. Alas, I doubt the bishops will be inclined to give up their captive audiences anytime soon.

Another voice: I'm loath to sound cynical but how much of that weekly attendance requirement is motivated by getting the money in?

Reply: Like much of the bishops' activism regarding immigration reform, an inordinate amount.
I'm fine with the Sunday and holy-day Mass obligation; makes sense if you really believe. But I agree with the rest.

A lost vocation, and more

Friday, January 16, 2015

Modern myths scientific and social

From Joshua Snyder:

Religion: don't settle for imitations

  • Pope Francis on being nice about religion. Seems not to go far enough: "be nice to all religions," not "don't publish dirty cartoons of the Trinity because the Trinity is true."
  • Gabriel Sanchez: Religion in the public square: projects, seeing, and options.
  • Liberal high church: some are would-be Catholics except for women's ordination and gay marriage. Self-evident modern "truths" all respectable Westerners believe in. Why that doesn't make sense: From what I have read about them they are gnostics, not catholics. They seem to think that catholicism consists entirely of fancy vestments, the centrality of the Holy Eucharist, the sacrament of penance, and having a spiritual director. But what they seem to ignore is the fact that there is a theological anthropology that underlies all of this! Inasmuch as they affirm WO and same-sex relations and the like they align themselves with gnosticism. And gnosticism is, unfortunately for them, entirely at odds with the incarnation and tradition, and, therefore catholicism. They are not SCP (Society of Catholic Priests) in my opinion but rather SGP (Society of Gnostic Priests).
  • Ex-Army: Christianity vs. Asatru. Being honest and proud about white accomplishments is good; worshipping your race obviously not. Asatru: idolatry and as fake as New Age and Kwanzaa.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

"Making men behave," and more

  • "How my parish youth group helped me leave the Catholic faith." It's not the spectacular stuff but well-meant little concessions to modern American society, going along to get along, that do it. Listen. All these high-school youth events. They’re just parents deluding themselves into thinking their kids are on the right track, when really it’s that the kids don’t have anything else to do, so they show up at this stuff. And then, shock shock! The kids grow up and move out, do their own thing, and we find out who they really are.
  • Dalrock: "Making men behave." Focus on the Family goes me-too on feminism. This isn’t just bad theology; it goes against what secular scientists observe as well.
  • City-commuter household hint: Rubbing alcohol and an old towel or washcloth take chewing gum off the soles of dress shoes.

Political dynasties, failing at re-creating the '90s, and more

  • LRC: War revisionism, fascism, and the CIA. Individualism isn't the ultimate good (Jesus vs. Ayn Rand?) but point taken. The main point about World War II is the USSR won. We were only supporting players. By the way, I'm slowly watching "The Pacific." Nice to watch Tom Hanks' tribute to America's golden era and greatest generation but beware the Hollywood left's nostalgia for the war. (I've never seen Hanks' lefty acting in Philadelphia.) In which the boomers go from cheering 1968 draft dodgers to cheering for conscription bringing all kinds of Americans together for the common good. ("The Pacific" is about the Marines but anyway.) Like how Communists kept changing their minds on the war depending on Russian-German relations.
  • 10,000 hours of practice won't nullify genetic factors. 10,000 hours and genes, talent or genius; these are necessary and sufficient. If you have the talent, you still need the 10,000 hours; if you don't, the 10,000 hours are simply practicing the first mediocre hour 10,000 times.
  • Derb: The case for political dynasties. Monarchy's a natural form of government. The church says, "We can work with that."
  • Face to Face: TV: the difficulty of re-creating even the recent past. The emotional range is what you'd find in mumblecore dialogue of the present day, and the attempts at humor are also distinctly 2010s — reading wacky or self-aware lines in a totally deadpan manner. It feels more like "Parks and Recreation," only without the annoying shaky cam, and with the cast and sets dressed up in a LARPing '90s style.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

On raising kids godless, and more

  • The Imaginative Conservative: Policing the world. The American historical record. According to the Monroe Doctrine we should have stayed out of World Wars I and II.
  • Steve Sailer: The law west of Mecca. Arabia, both 1400 years ago in the time of Muhammad and 100 years ago in the time of Sharif Ali, was mostly a nomadic wilderness on the far fringe of the civilized (settled) world, one with no police protection. An attitude of shoot first and ask questions later, of brooking no insults to honor, was only practical. Without knowing much about the topic, my guess would be that Muhammad, in his time and place, was a reformer, a modernizer, a streamliner: Islam is sort of the metric system of religions.
  • Face to Face: How faithfully is godlessness transmitted from parents to offspring? Related: liberal churches DON'T keep the young; there's no incentive to stay.
  • D.J. Webb via Ex-Army: Should Britain take in Muslims or Poles? Not having been in 20 years, I understand the Catholic Church there now is largely Polish, not Irish anymore.
  • Plagiarism? Five historical cases. I'm fairly sure Shakespeare isn't news here; they were "remakes," not thefts. Didn't know about the claim that Orwell (formative; I read 1984 in 1984 and Animal Farm along with Aldous Huxley's Brave New World) was stolen from a Russian novel. Cracked doing what it does best, little-known facts including history (hooray for Nikola Tesla) and science.
  • Fire at the Second Bank of the United States! Saw the aftermath of this yesterday; the Parthenon-esque building in the national park-esque part of Philadelphia. Glad it was only a mechanical fire in the basement. I think Greek Revival was the in style after Georgian; in this city are near-twins St. George's Greek Orthodox Cathedral (coincidence; such churches should be Byzantine, not Hellenistic), which I think was originally Episcopal, and St. Luke and the Epiphany Episcopal Church.
  • Roissy:
    • The awakening. Diversity means chasing down the last (conservative) white person.
    • The real meanings of "white privilege." The Hivemind incantation of "privilege" is best viewed as a tacit admission by bitter losers that genes and heritage matter, as does self-discipline, and that they resent having been saddled with the polluted bloodlines of degenerates. Or, if they are members of the white elite, "privilege" becomes a cheat code to implicate the majority of whites who aren't privileged (in the practical sense of the word) in a conspiracy of unfair advantage, which the elite hope will distract from their 1%er inherited advantage.
    • The great men on ugly feminists. Includes H.L. Mencken.
    • The parable of the tiger and the strawberry. From a commenter: everything good and bad about Roissyanism (or poolside-ism, if you will).
  • Bob Wallace:
    • Women are not the selectors; hot people are.
    • When women become "feral" sexually, it can destroy society. When women are allowed to do what they want, they never attempt to channel sexuality into something productive and happy. Instead, it's all about increasing excessive sexual freedom and license. It's one of the reasons women can't maintain society and instead destroy it. Have you ever seen a feminist who wasn't a libertine? And when men become libertines, too, then society is teetering. And a lot of the Manosphere, in its blindness, encourages that. In many ways it's the mirror image of feminism.
  • Fr. Hunwicke:
    • Why the ordinariates' forms of worship matter to the rest of the church. A test run for traditionalism and for a form of it not necessarily in Latin, taking away a talking/selling point of the liberals and Novus Ordo neocons. Part of Benedict the Great's trifecta along with fixing English Novus Ordo (huge as it bettered the English-speaking Catholic world, not just us trads: now just like in the '50s I can go to Mass anywhere in the United States) and freeing up our traditional Mass. A granny flat for Anglo-Catholic alumni and a test run for the "Lefebvrists," like the Brits say. A-C alumni deserve a little more, such as generational married priests (like the custom in the East) and more church buildings of their own, and no restrictions on incoming priests such as admission to an ordinariate depending on how many of your congregation you are bringing with you. And don't make the Brits do Prayer Booky Masses.
    • Dr. Eric Mascall and the errors of Walter Kasper.
    • Facing east, parts one and two.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Commuter-train dangers, space-age pop, and more

  • Ex-Army: Multiculturalism's days are numbered. The Anti-Gnostic says this: watch out when the sh*t hits the fan. France has always opposed multiculturalism in theory — their principle has always been that anybody in the world can and should become French in language and culture and values. The French revolution established the universal nature of this French ideology. If your conservatism isn't just liberalism with a 20-year lag, like me you are no fan of la Révolution. Sure, it has a universal nature, because it's a Christian heresy.
  • Speaking of that Christian heresy: Walter Brueggemann. At least the libprots will probably nice themselves out of existence; the trick is not to let them take the rest of us down with them.
  • Bob Wallace: The state is the worst serial killer. Not standard left-libertarian daddy issues. I'm pro-law and order (pro-police) and pro-military. Christian order, not "the Cathedral's" (the left, a false universal church). But be aware.
  • "Christians did not build the Cathedral." I imagine some liberals might point to their roots in English Calvinism to claim they're of the true faith, the logical successor to orthodox Christianity. So in a sense yes; it dominoed from an earlier heresy. No in the sense this now-Catholic writer argues; like what Mormonism became, it is a new thing that talks Christian language since it came from our culture, not a legitimate "development of doctrine." By the way, Samuel F.B. Morse hated the Catholic Church.
  • Ad Orientem: Sorry, liberals; Scandinavian countries aren't utopias. Even in the later years of the golden era, in the mid-'60s, Americans had a funny idea of those places as being let-it-all-hang-out (literally?) sexual, an orgy funded by the magic of socialism; the Great Society meets Valhalla. ("Free": you keep using that word but I don't think you know what it means. You all end up paying.) No, being naturally gifted including a serviceable modest, hard-working Lutheran culture made the Scandies great, including Scandinavian-Americans (zero unemployment among them, too). The few Swedes I've met have been reserved to the point of being cold, so it's not party time, certainly for foreign visitors. (A friend told me that in Norway he was talking in a normal American indoor voice but a Norwegian shushed him.) Toxic liberalism (arguably Europe's most irreligious countries now, and I've been told very anti-Catholic) but balanced with that culture of extreme reserve, so the Scandie attitude to sex is "matter of fact"; not much action but they just shrug and accept what little that happens. By the way, among the Sweden Democrat party's supporters are Christian Arabs who moved to Sweden because it's not Mohammedan and they want to keep it that way.
  • Yesterday I wrote that "England's creepy." Sorry, chaps; should have put that better. Balancing things out, you can criticize England because the English won't gun you down for it, and even during the worst of the Novus Ordo, there you could find high churchmanship, even the Catholic kind, if you were looking for it. Plus the problem I described is the same as some of the place's appeal: it's haunted by Catholicism in a way the United States isn't; all those medieval churches with saints' names. One big pond difference is in the Catholic communities and presences in the cultures; England's are deeply rooted in its own culture but in the past, having been literally forced from the church centuries ago, while America's are thanks to massive Irish, Italian, and Slavic immigration over 100 years ago (Mexican and Puerto Rican numbers now being a kind of epilogue), marking the cultures of big cities such as New York and Chicago.
  • Something to think about as a train commuter: One dead after smoke fills DC Metro station. Been on the Metro including the L'Enfant Plaza stop.
  • Thank God I don't have to drive an hour to office-park land in the exurbs anymore, sliding off icy roads, but simply walking to the train station has taught me a science lesson. Apparently water freezes on concrete, as in sidewalks, before it does on asphalt.
  • Perfect pitch may be explained by connection between two brain regions.
  • Golden-era music, or the Fifties (Elvis, et al.) were only part of the '50s: Frank Hunter and His Orchestra, "White Goddess." Where Alexander Courage might have got the idea for the "Star Trek" theme's sound; I didn't know it was part of a genre. Also used as an effect in the '80s pop song "Send Me an Angel."

Monday, January 12, 2015

NY Daily News: "You let the world down." No.

  • "Obama and America shamefully skip Paris march against terror." I pretty much wrote "Enough! No more Charlie Hebdo coverage" last night, but this caught my attention. I'm glad they DIDN'T support CH, which is more blatantly evil than the snobbish putdowns in The Onion (I stopped looking a long time ago) or even Larry Flynt's proudly trashy porn. I know CH is trying to get my goat, but these were/are apostate Catholics who knew EXACTLY what they were doing with their sodomitical Trinity front-page cartoon, etc. Same reason England's creepy: the ruling class knows exactly what Catholicism is (there are reminders of it everywhere there) and says "hell, no." American anti-Catholicism isn't as scary because it's not as self-aware; it's often ignorant. As Fulton Sheen said, they understandably hate what they THINK the church is. Besides, maybe it was really a march against the Euro-right.
  • A pastor allegedly boasts of beating up a boy to try to convert him. I don't know if this is real or a cultural-wars bait hoax. Seems exactly the kind of thing leftists would fake to discredit conservative Christians. That said, I like the conservative muscular-Christianity reactions to that hitherto mostly unknown French rag: maybe CH and their Mohammedan murderers deserve some "je suis Charles Martel ou Vlad Tepes" tough love. Sometimes hard cases need that. A boy asking questions doesn't. Also: evangelicals using game? Muscular Christianity because chicks dig jerks, plus a reaction to the feminized churchianity (part of the Christian heresy of political correctness) of the mainline and American Catholicism? By the way, in Catholic life I've found bully father confessors left AND right. (Thomas Merton and John Jay Hughes ran across them in the good old days.) I understand priests traditionally are taught not to do that and in my experience 99% of them don't. St. Padre Pio was special: he could read minds/hearts, a spiritual gift. And priests CAN refuse absolution if they don't think you're sincere.
  • Jim's Blog:
    • A non-Catholic take on sex and the natural law. Food for thought, not agreeing with criticizing the church as such (though of course churchmen make mistakes); Jesus is God, and you have to make clear you're talking about fallen nature (original sin, concupiscence).
    • A radical solution to jihad in the West. Christianity, the Catholic Church, is "universalist," here meaning "truth is universal and salvation is offered to all," not that all necessarily will be saved (Jesus is clear that all might not). Progressivism, a Christian heresy, remains so. Islam is likewise. All incompatible with each other: rival true faiths. The traditional solution for Mohammedans in the West: convert or leave.
  • On that note, Steve Sailer via Ex-Army: Only disconnect. Proposed: 1. Stop bombing, invading, and occupying Muslim countries. 2. Stop inviting Muslims to live in Western countries. "It's a crazy idea, but it just might work." So maybe both the well-meaning conservative Christians hoping for "interfaith jihad" working with the Mohammedans and the Christian heresy of "the Cathedral" (leftism) trying to use them to wipe out conservative Christianity are wrong (the left would end up dhimmi, eventually wiped out).
  • By the way, criticizing Muslims isn't risky. Ruled by the Cathedral, we're not allowed to criticize blacks, Jews, and homosexuals. Conservative Christianity has taught me it's wrong to pick on them, of course; the left won't let you even THINK critically about them.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Liberal vs. conservative behavior, enough of Charlie, and some free advertising

  • Gail Stephen via Ex-Army: Liberal vs. conservative behavior. The opener: If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one. If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
  • Steve Sailer: Should schools teach "personality"? They used to call it “character.” This is representative of a pervasive problem in 21st-century America: often, authority figures eventually figure out that they are dealing with the same problems authority figures dealt with in the past with more success. But they can’t come out and say it because everybody knows America’s past was Evil because racism, sexism, cisgenderism, etcetera etcetera … So let’s use a different word … because science.
  • Mario, Italian style: learning the uses of an ethnic past. The Village Voice ♥ Mario Cuomo (reverse snobbery: "Mair-ee-oh"). An Italian-American conservative writes: It does seem to try and paint Southern Italians as die-hard leftists whose current tilt to the right in American politics is due to feelings of repression by WASPish society and a desire to assimilate. I've heard this particular view time and again, and even had it thrown in my face by a liberal college professor. However, I really have a hard time believing that Southern Italians were/are supposedly so far to the left in the Mezzogiorno when all the evidence seems to point otherwise. Even today the voting patterns in the south are far more to the right then most other regions of Italy. The whole myth of the Southern Italian radical spirit seems to have largely been concocted by liberal idealists (mainly within the Italian-American community itself). And is used ironically as a weapon to try to force guilt from Italian Americans over their ingrained conservatism. As I like to say, in the Sixties the lefty vandals tried to co-opt Catholic ethnics for a while as part of tearing down the old America, feeling encouraged by Vatican II. Didn't quite work as planned: the church being the church, the libs started hating us again after Humanae Vitae and Roe v. Wade; hooray for the hard hats, Reagan Democrats, and Philly Rizzocrats; and sadly, most of the third and fourth generations are just deracinated peer-pressure liberals. But the churchgoing Catholics are conservative.
  • Granite Run: that's one DEAD mall. I was there this weekend. Morbidly fascinating to explore, walking through the whole thing. Just as well: malls are ersatz downtowns that waste resources; white elephants in the Internet age.
  • Fr. Chadwick speaks for me: enough of the Charlie Hebdo media orgy. I'm not giving any more free advertising to that rag I'd never heard of before the killings.
  • Here's some free advertising for some well-known but rather recent products that work: Zicam (and its drugstore house-brand copies; same zinc minus the markup) and Airborne. Important in this season (here in the Northern Hemisphere) infamous for huddled crowds spreading nasty upper-respiratory viruses (the closest I've been to being waterboarded). Been taking them since being particularly exposed to a virus about three weeks ago. Even after getting some initial symptoms this week (which I blame on being in a cathedral with lots of croupy people; I was in the packed pews in front to get pictures), the combo of zinc mouth spray (it numbs my mouth, which makes me think it's killing viruses) and vitamin-packed Alka-Seltzer lookalike sent the virus packing after three days with minimal symptoms. "Wisdom; be attentive!"
  • Moonshiner's 1957 Ford Fairlane is one of a kind. Reminds me of the '57 Chevy I've seen that was made just for racing.
  • The Bishop Heather Cook incident. I wasn't going to say anything because it's not my denomination and it's between Bishop Cook, God, the Episcopal Church, and the law, as in "innocent until proven guilty in a court of." RIP Tom Palermo, a father. Some commentary. I wonder if this scandal will finally make the media ignore the Episcopalians: make them stop using that little sect every time they want to take a potshot at us. Believing the modern Episcopalians' own line about being a cooler Catholicism. Probably not: TEC serves the key purpose of being the SWPL version of Catholicism. The MSM won't ever give it up for that reason. As long as TEC exists, it will be trotted out as the acceptable version of the actual Church. "Catholicism" with the values of the elite.
  • The living man without a pulse. Thanks to a new kind of artificial heart.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

"Je ne suis pas Charlie," and what will you fight for?

  • More on je ne suis pas Charlie (nasty images): the secularists' long game. The idea of “moderate” religion is completely stupid. Moderation is good with respect to finite goods, but how can it be considered good with respect to the infinite good? Moderate religion is fake religion.
  • Hilary White: Fight 'em until we can't. There's a problem in the West, the cultural and political mega-entity that we used to call Christendom, and that the Muslim fanatics (who clearly haven't been keeping up with the news in the last 50 years) still imagine they are fighting. Will I fight and die for the disgusting, drooling, squelching anti-culture we've created since 1965? No, I'm afraid that thing is on its own.
  • Bob Wallace: Science fiction, wars, and a meaning to life. Actually the idea of parallel dimensions has become my understanding, partly from reading Fr. Seraphim (Rose) (The Soul After Death), of heaven, hell, purgatory, limbo if it exists, and, Fr. Seraphim's contribution from Russian folklore, the aerial plane ("toll houses") where the particular judgment right after death happens (where people who temporarily die, near-death experiences, go). States of being, or places that might occupy the same space as us but in different dimensions we normally can't see. (When Jesus ascended into heaven, he used an image his followers would understand.) Like Elvis (who would have been 80 Thursday; tempus fugit) I was born believing in God, and evangelicalism has enough truth to appeal to many young people, but if all I had was the '70s Novus Ordo or the modern mainline, I might have liked a clever fantasy world like Star Wars better too. The best of old movie serials, some B+ philosophy and theology with "the Force," and boffo special effects even before computers were used for them. "Star Trek" is a mainstream liberal fable I remember fondly for its mirror of the real American '60s.
  • Catholic traditionalism: It's Not About Latin™ but this from Fr. Finelli via Fr. Z is worth repeating. Getting rid of Latin has filled our churches! Oh, wait. I say if you want to attract young people to Mass, challenge them and give them something that will help them enter into the sacred and not what they have in the world.
  • The drugs doctors are paid the most to promote.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Taki's Catholic faith, on Charlie Hebdo, and more

  • Taki's Catholic faith. Surprise of the day: he's a born Roman Catholic. Greece has had a Roman Rite minority for centuries, since Venice ruled part of it. There's also a smaller Byzantine Rite Catholic church, from a failed mission of the French Assumptionists about 100 years ago. I have to give the Greeks credit for enforcing their mirror true-church claim.
  • Also from Takimag: If there’s any “supremacy” in America, it’s the cultural supremacy of Frankfurt School-tinged leftism.
  • Burke for Pope: men don't like sissy religion. The sanctuary party at my vacation church, St. Ann's, Wildwood, looks like a Swedish Lucia fest: little girls in albs. I think St. John Paul the Overrated caved on altar girls later than 1983; sometime in the late '90s. Altar boys are JROTC for priests, chierichetti who are stand-ins for minor clerics.
  • Theden: If the courage of the martyrs is lacking in our generation, it is because the faith is for sale. It's not really for sale but as in ages past some churchmen treat it thus. As I like to say, young Catholics who no longer believe now just leave; they don't try to change the church, so despite their apostasy they're more orthodox than their Catholic liberal elders. Apparently the Diocese of Brooklyn has been trying to look cool (like Buddy Christ in Dogma) to get them back. "Fail" as the kids say. The Episcopalians are smarter than that, with their liberal high church: teaching church history, quoting the church fathers like an Oxford don 200 years ago, incense, and chant (St. Clement's, Philadelphia, still does the Tridentine Mass because it's a unique selling point). Observers of religion who are paying attention have noticed that the young who still go to church want strong doctrine (the liberals fear American evangelicalism, I guess because it's doing fine, thanks) and, in liturgical churches, conservative practice, a foundation of Western culture. As Pope Benedict XVI "the Great" has forecast, the American church in 50 years will be Cardinal Spellman's New York again only very small. But, being the church, not just a chaplaincy for an ethnic group or social class, still trying to (re-) evangelize.
  • More on Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Philadelphia (partly the Catholic faction formerly of St. Clement's) having High Mass at our cathedral: I hope they'll be able to adjust well to Catholicism. Catholic Philly has never been hoity-toity like the Episcopal set. Some were born outside the church; some were born Catholics who came back; others had come into the church at one point and have returned. St. Clement's was both my refuge from the Novus Ordo in the '80s and my bridge back to the church in the '00s. Understand that old-school St. Clement's wasn't typically Episcopal; these were Tridentine Anglo-Papalists, serious would-be Catholics. Which is why they're not in the ordinariate. So what you see is the Mass they've always done. Extreme Anglo-Catholics tended not to be hoity-toity Episcopalians, who are liberal. St. Clement's was one of the most extreme in America: prayers for the Pope and occasional all-Latin Masses. Pope Benedict undoing American Catholics' militant anti-high churchness just enough, and at the same time the rector of St. Clement's turning out to be liberal, brought them in a few years ago. All those Roman Catholic things they were doing and saying all those years? They really believed in them.
  • On Charlie Hebdo:
    • "It's not a cutesy, more risqué version française of The Onion." Bill Donohue: Those who work at this newspaper have a long and disgusting record of going way beyond the mere lampooning of public figures, and this is especially true of their depictions of religious figures. Chances are most Americans, still religious at heart, don't realize how anti-religious Europe has become. Not "spiritual, not religious"; anti.
    • Catherine Alexander on Facebook: There seems to be much murky thinking regarding the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Except for the terrorists themselves and their supporters, we agree that the massacre was an evil act which cannot be justified. Beyond that, though, it's troubling how many people, especially Christians, don't get that we can condemn the terrorists without making heroes out of the dead cartoonists who blasphemed God (not Mohammed, God). It's troubling how many Christians are willing to say "I'm personally opposed to blasphemy, but... I support [your blasphemy] as free speech," etc. We can support the First Amendment as a good and necessary restriction on our government and, at the same time, practice restraint and discernment in our personal speech, and encourage others to do the same. Christians should be leading the way here, yet many of us are jumping on the "Je Suis Charlie" bandwagon. All we can see is our hatred for terrorists, our love for freedom of speech, and our affection for underdogs. We can't seem to think beyond that. We seem more willing to defend free speech than we are to defend God. Indeed, we don't even know what true freedom is, or what it's for. H/T to Michael J. Russell for this thought: should "pointing a gun at someone confer de facto legitimacy" on him? If instead of Charlie Hebdo, the terrorists had attacked the pedophile organization NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association), would we change our Facebook and Twitter avatars to theirs? Would we say ‪#‎IAmNAMBLA‬? Well-meaning Christians and their apostates, secular humanists, nicing themselves out of existence: distortion of Christian values.
    • Steve Hayes: A Western fundamentalism of "freedom of expression." There is not a reaction to human beings being killed. It is rather that it was seen by many of the pontificators as an attack on "freedom of expression." The almost identical reactions to the Charlie Hebdo killings and the Pussy Riot affair makes this quite clear. There seems to be a huge reaction, quite out of proportion to the events themselves. Yes, it is horrible that 12 people were killed, but how many people were killed by Obama's drones last week? Why doesn't that stir more than a murmur of protest, and that only among those far from the centres of power in the West?
    • Hilary White: Had enough "multiculturalism" yet? The Holy See doesn't issue fatwas so we're "fair game."
    • The Anti-Gnostic: Fourth-generation warfare comes to Paris. Secularism is slowly dying.
  • Alternative Right: The internationalist Leftist elites that have ruled Europe since World War II have failed. They have failed not just by our high and exacting standards, but by their own low and sloppy ones. They have created the very world that they most feared, and generated a situation that even they are now coming to realize is unsustainable and impossible. Import Mohammedans in your war on other, conservative whites, and get wiped out yourselves.
  • Bob Wallace: It’s too bad the words “sin” and “virtue” even exist, because they don’t get across what the words really mean. “Sin” comes from the archery word “hamartia” and means “to miss the mark.” It means to miss the mark for yourself, but has come to mean some sort of moral condemnation from God, usually for reasons defined by modern-day Pharisees. “Virtue” comes from words that mean “strength” and “power” and also “man.” It’s also related to the Greek word “arête,” which means “excellence.” What sin and virtue really mean, then, are weakness and strengths that people have within them, that help or hinder. Good points but course there is objective truth, not just "missing the mark for yourself." There is no "my truth," just truth. The Bible's clear that God judges. The church is also clear that mortal sin is not only grave matter but with sufficient reflection and full consent of the will.
  • On the passing of Bottom Dollar. Bought by the less impressive Aldi, they're all closing in six days. I had one in walking distance, closer than my regular, nearly top-brand market, and appreciated the convenience (except the Soviet-style standing in line), the prices, and the real service this business gave to the poor. So thanks.
  • From The New American: Dr. Sandra L. Stotsky, professor emerita at the University of Arkansas, recently said that Renaissance Learning’s latest report revealed that a large number of college freshman are reading at a seventh-grade level. More from teacher Pauline Hawkins: Only a handful of my college students said they had any kind of formal grammar instruction in high school — and it showed.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Pro-NYPD, and more

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Rusyn Christmas

  • Julian-date Christmas. Clip: the Gubi, a Rusyn (Greek Catholic) tradition from the Carpathian Mountains in eastern Slovakia. From here.
  • Blog: The Carpatho-Rusyns of Pennsylvania. The ethnicity of The Deer Hunter. Most Americans who identify as Russian, including as Russian Orthodox (because of schism among immigrants), are of this related Slavic stock, but many other Rusyn-Americans don't. Back home they're a micro-ethnicity, politically never a nation, but like their brother Slavs, the Roman Rite Slovaks (whose country's borders at times have been wiped off the map, like Poland's), have managed to survive. Unlike their Slovak neighbors, with whom they get along, they liked being part of Czechoslovakia, carved out of Austria-Hungary after World War I, like another Slavic made-up country that no longer exists, Yugoslavia.
  • Russian Orthodox condemn UNICEF for promoting homosexuality.
  • By the way, the Rusyns who are Orthodox (most are Catholic) aren't necessarily pro-Russian.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Epiphany: Holy Trinity has High Mass at our cathedral

In Philadelphia, "St. Clement's Jr.," formerly St. Clement's Episcopal Church's longtime core group, now Holy Trinity Catholic Church, had High Mass for the Epiphany at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter & Paul (finished by mid-1800s Scottish architect John Notman trying to be Bernini; Notman also designed St. Clement's).

Cum ergo natus esset Jesus in Bethlehem Judae, in diebus Herodis regis, ecce magi ab Oriente venerunt Jerosolymam, dicentes, "Ubi est qui natus est Rex Judaeorum? Vidimus enim stellam ejus in oriente, et venimus adorare eum."

Noveritis, fratres carissimi, quod annuente Dei misericordia, sicut de Nativitate Domini nostri Jesu Christi gavisi sumus, ita et de Resurrectione ejusdem Salvatoris nostri gaudium vobis annuntiamus. Die prima Februarii erit Dominica in Septuagesima. Octava decima ejusdem dies Cinerum, et initium jejunii sacratissimæ Quadragesimæ. Quinta Aprilis sanctum Pascha Domini nostri Jesu Christi cum gaudio celebrabitis. Quarta decima Maii erit Ascensio Domini nostri Jesu Christi. Vicesima quarta Maii festum Pentecostes. Quarta Junii festum sacratissimi Corporis Christi. Vicesima nona Novembris Dominica prima Adventus Domini nostri Jesu Christi, cui est honor et gloria, in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

Christus Mansionem Benedicat 20 + C + M + B + 15.

From the past: Ratzinger on Catholic basics, and more

Sunday, January 04, 2015

On leaving church, and more

The politics of pronouncing foreign words

My guess from reading Mario Cuomo in a New York Times article I linked to earlier is "Mair-ee-oh" ("Marry-o" with the New York pronunciation of "marry") was his reverse snobbery, keeping up the no-longer-true image of the Democrats as the home of working-class whites. Condescending to them? (The NYT article struck me that way too about the sound of the Italian: trying to sound cute using a food allusion.) Unlike some other Italian names that are also spelling challenges (Guglielmo, for example), the name's easy for English speakers. The right pronunciation in English politely approximates the Italian, "Mar-ee-oh," which most Americans know, from a not-very-high class on up. Most Americans can't or won't mimic the original accent ("Mar-yo" or "Mahr-yo"), which would either be showing off that you know Italian ("hear how well traveled and cultured I am") or sound like you're making fun of it, in either event rude.

Reminds me of how white liberals treat a sister Romance language, Spanish. Because it's the opposite of the Cuomo treatment. "Saturday Night Live" once did a wonderful spoof of that when Jimmy Smits (whose mother was from Surinam so he plays Hispanics) was the guest host: a sketch set in an office where everybody (over-) pronounced Spanish or even Spanish-sounding words (Bob Costas' name) exactly as in Spanish. Interesting since white liberals also hate the Catholicism that's rooted in those cultures. My guess is this treatment's because the Spanish fits the white liberals' romantic idea of revolutionaries (cowardly murderer Che Guevara's poster image) and their war on conservative American whites, since Hispanics here are now not considered white. But they bend that non-whiteness when it doesn't fit their anti-white narrative: George "Justice Is Served" Zimmerman, who indeed is not white, vs. Trayvon "Not a Harmless Child" Martin. Anti-"conservative whiteness" seems número one in American lefties' hierarchy of truths so Hispanics' inconvenient Catholicism (or, like blacks, conservative Protestantism; read on) gets a pass — for now. Sort of like the Sixties: in the counterculture's war on the old America, even though by the '50s we Catholics had become an integral part of that America, we (and our constituent ethnicities: "Kiss me; I'm Irish") were cool for about five minutes, partly too because Vatican II had the liberals thinking the church had changed to suit them; then Catholicism of course remaining Catholic (contraception and abortion, the stuff Cuomo tried to shove under a socialist rug) had them hating us again. That and I understand that many Hispanics aren't that devout (it's a mile wide and an inch deep) so many don't practice or become conservative Protestants in America.

By the way, I know Spanish. My treatment of it in English varies: usually I pronounce words their American English way, nice and apolitical, not showing off, but sometimes I say foreign place names in or near the Spanish way. For example, Paraguay is "Pa-ra-gweye," not "Pair-uh-gway," which like "Mair-ee-oh" just sounds ignorant.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Catholicism in New York City: an interview with Fr. George Rutler

The question is, how many will we make Catholic? Our job is not to just serve ethnic communities with large concentrations of Catholics, but to fulfill the great evangelical commission of Christ: make disciples of all nations. He didn’t tell us to just go out into the Catholic neighborhoods.

In some of our schools we’re covering up our religious symbols so we can receive money from the state.

Yes, Andrew Cuomo’s comments are alarming, but I’d find it more alarming if government officials who are promoting evil are happy with the Church. One positive aspect of this Cuomo is that he doesn’t pretend his position is Catholic. Mario Cuomo, his father who previously served as governor, did.
Government officials and secularist liberals generally: the problem with Pope Francis making the cover of Rolling Stone.
Only once every three or four centuries do you get a pope with an intellect like Pope Benedict’s. I miss his clarity.

Catholic World Report: You’ve spent half your life as a Roman Catholic and half in the Episcopalian church. ... How has the Episcopalian church changed over your lifetime?

Fr. Rutler: It’s changed very significantly. It is vanishing. A few generations ago, it was the unofficial official church of the United States. It was a visible presence in the national order. It was prosperous and effective in many ways.

That’s all gone now. It doesn’t exist anymore. The remnant you see is post-Christian. It is a vivid but tragic example of what happens when you abandon a serious commitment to the teachings of Christ. Demographically, the Church of England will not exist in 20 years. Other Anglican groups outside England have been ordaining women as priests and bishops in recent years, and the result has not only been theologically chaotic but a demographic catastrophe.

CWR: More Roman Catholics in England go to Mass than Anglicans in England.

Fr. Rutler: Yes. And, more Muslims are going to mosques there.
The real significant change was long before I or Fr. Rutler were born. As a kid I took the Episcopal Church's high-church trappings (actually rather recent) at face value, that either we were already Catholic or about to come back to Rome, so I was actually hurt to find out it wasn't so. (Learning about the Thirty-Nine Articles, Bishop Spong, and women's ordination were like three punches in one beating.) It turns out the abandonment Fr. Rutler describes has been going on for a long time. Of course Catholicism believes England got the ball rolling by becoming Protestant. Many Anglicans lost their faith at the "Enlightenment," like many of their English Calvinist offshoot, the Congregationalists, many of whom in America became the Unitarians. Unbelieving Anglicans included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. The Sixties only made it more obvious. The Episcopal Church was an obvious substitute for the Church of England in government "civic religion" in which we followed the mother country's model. That and America's top class belonged to it, making it America's richest denomination. But it never was big in America nor a cross-section of the country. The secular world has taken its values and turned them into secular humanism (like Anglicanism, a Christian heresy), leaving it behind. It becomes more liberal to try to get people to come back but that doesn't work.
The World Trade Center was not destroyed by Presbyterians. Western socialists or progressives are hostile to Judeo-Christian civilization and see Muslims as an effective force against it. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Our Catholic education system is a disaster, from kindergarten to the university level. I am continually appalled by the ignorance of Catholic college graduates I meet. They know nothing at all about the Faith or Western culture. We’ve returned to the period of 800-1200, with the Church the repository of learning in the midst of the total dearth of the life of the mind.

We have a generation of parents who did not receive the Faith from the previous generation. Fifty years ago, parents had some sense of their obligations to God and tried to pass them on to their children. But today, many parents are a blank slate when it comes to religion.
In 50 years the American Catholic Church will still be, because it used to be so huge, especially in places like New York, and it will be sound again, because the remaining Massgoers are conservative, but it will be much smaller.