Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The flashpoint of all heresy, and more

  • Brandon McGinley: Culture: Sex sex sex sex sex. The church: Detachment, sanctity, justice, and you're wrong about sex. Culture: Why are you so obsessed with sex? The flashpoint of all heresy is where God and his creation meet: who Jesus is, what the church is, what the Eucharist is, and sex. Satan, a spirit, rebelled because he would not serve man.
  • The "me too" Christians. Episcopal Church bishops vote for "gender-neutral" marriage rules. And in other news, the fervently religious and the equally devout secularists still don't take the Episcopal Church seriously. It changes its teachings by vote; we can't. Its semi-congregationalism was a hedge against liberalism, believe it or not, when I was a kid (why I'm pre-Vatican II), but here's the true nature of the thing. It's not Catholic. Unofficially agnostic since the "Enlightenment," when English Calvinists lost their sh*t. It tells the world what the world wants to hear and still gets jilted. I like to say if I were going to invent a church to try to please as many as possible including myself, it would be liberal high church like that. I'd congratulate myself as a marketing genius, just like the guy who came up with the Edsel (one of the most planned cars). Man makes plans; God laughs.
  • Ex-Army hits a few out of the park:
    • Never mind the dig at Christ (people blaming him for the ruling Christian heresy of our day), but this might be what "love thy neighbor" is about. "Everybody love everybody!" ... has a certain emotional appeal, as well as certain political implications. However, It is as much impractical fantasy as the perpetual motion machine, and for precisely the same reason: Friction inevitably occurs. In point of fact, to work at all machines require what are called tolerances. These are NOT "the everybody hold hands and sing kum-ba-yah!" thing the flaky Left thinks of in regards to "tolerance", but quite the opposite: In machine terms that word refers to the necessary SPACE between the parts that allows them freedom to move and work, as opposed to just locking up and grinding each other to destruction. Likely this is because most people demand that their machines actually work and create rational benefits, whereas many folks apparently do not require the same of philosophies.
    • "Leave the bastard alone" is much better. It is much more attainable, much harder to interpret in boneheaded ways that lead to messes. The man who loves his neighbor may feel compelled to "save" this fellow from the drink, the vile weed, streetwalkers, or the dice. From such flows nearly every bad policy of the last 100 years. True only up to a point. Hooray for liberty, but libertarianism too often is just part of the same problem as the Sixties, tearing down society: "do your own thing" -> "every man for himself" -> "just die already."
    • Derb: Nothing is real. Catholicism isn't escapism, Dungeons & Dragons for Christians; it's conforming yourself to reality, seeing things as they are.
    • Against trickle-down.
  • The president of the U.S. on persuading us to get over our religious convictions. It's not just that the man's at heart a New England Yankee with no use for religion. Obergefell v. Hodges is just another manifestation of American Protestantism; "America’s a place where you can write your own destiny." An anglophile friend (a conservative, not a European-wannabe lefty snob like most anglophiles today) quotes H.W. Crocker: Europeans know what Christianity is and have rejected it. Americans believe what they want and call it Christianity. Counter-point: the former, as in the mother country, is evil; the latter only ignorant.
  • That said, anticipating Canada Day tomorrow (which I think is the anniversary of Canadian confederation, when most of Britain's remaining North American colonies united, in 1867; bring back the Red Ensign) and American Independence Day, even though British countries including Canada are more liberal than here, not the Burkean Toryism they had the potential to be, here's to our rightful ruler in 1776, George III.
  • Everything you say can and will be used to destroy your life. The thing isn't all these people flying rainbow flags in their profile pictures in celebration; it's whoever's monitoring Facebook surveiling people like you and me waiting to ruin us over any dissenting things we post. Makes me wonder if "social media" are just a surveillance trick to get you to inform on yourself. Plus agent provocateurs trying to anger us so we post something uncharitable or threatening.

Anglicans: When non-Catholics say they're Catholic

The (Protestant) Episcopal Church's new presiding bishop, like an archbishop but not (he has no province nor a cathedral of his own), uncoincidentally black:
While Bishop Curry affirmed his support for his predecessor, the Episcopal Church of the future he hoped would be catholic in doctrine, evangelistic in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, soaked in the Bible, and animated by hearts converted by faith through grace to seek justice and peace for all people.
Small-c because he's not claiming to be under Rome of course.

No surprise; nice pious, even ecumenical (?), rhetoric, standard Anglican stuff. At face value all good.

But of course Bishop Curry doesn't mean you can't change the matter of a sacrament, such as holy orders and matrimony, nor that the Eucharist is Christ's sacrifice pleaded on the altar with the substance of the elements completely changed, among other matters. He's not leading the Episcopal Church back into the church.

(Blessed Pius IX on Pusey, supposedly: he was like the bell tower calling the people into the church but staying outside.)

So, Catholics, what does he mean by Catholic? What does "our" word really mean? Containing the whole; universal teachings open to all mankind.

Everybody from the Anglicans' "Reformation" founders (a schism to give the king his annulment, then copying continental heretics) to high churchmen through the years (including would-be Catholics as well as rival true-church claimants) to liberal high churchmen now, the dominant faction in Episcopalianism, has meant: keeping bishops (whom we don't recognize: traditionally from us, it's Msgr. Tikhon but Mr. Welby, for example), the creeds, and the notion of a liturgy, which was conservative by "Reformation" standards although the Lutherans, seriously claiming to be THE church (the "reformed" Western Catholic Church; the true Anglican branch theory's similar, Catholic among Catholics but the best for being "reformed"), always remained liturgically closer to us (Pietism and American Protestantism changed that). We don't recognize their bishops because we take Cranmer and the Articles at face value, heresy about the Eucharist. Apostolic succession without the apostolic faith (the creeds without the Mass: Christian but not Catholic) is impossible; it would be magic.

Of course Catholic doctrine is much more than bishops, creeds, and liturgies, though those are essential in it.

The dictionary definition of big-C Catholic is the Christian church that recognizes the Pope as its head on earth. True but not nearly enough. It's a whole set of beliefs and practices (including but not limited to my rite and culture) that includes the Pope, who's really their caretaker. It's not nominalism ("you can be as liberal and low-church as you want as long as you're nominally under Rome").

By the way, most churchgoing blacks are socially conservative, nothing to do with the Yankee SWPL liberalism of Bishop Curry's denomination: actually on the "wrong" side of World War Gay with the Wrong Kind of Whites (Not Our Class, Dear).
The era of litigation and ideological litmus tests may have come to an end for the Episcopal Church.
If you're going to enforce your teachings (changeable, unlike ours), which you have every right to do, don't lie about it. Of course you have litmus tests and conservatives aren't welcome. Non-contradiction. But the liberal "thanks thee, O Lord, that s/he is not as others": honestly enforcing teachings is for bigoted "Romans," fundamentalists, and other icky people.

Fr. Hunwicke's (married; long a traditional would-be Catholic Anglican priest, now a traditional Catholic priest) common sense about Catholic ecumenism (possible: might the Nestorian Church come back?):
My own view is that Separated Brethren should be viewed differently depending on whether they are officially set on a course of convergence towards, or divergence from, Catholic Unity.
So, Bishop Curry, "join us in spreading the gospel!"

And by the way, America's first black Catholic priest and bishop was James Augustine Healy, Bishop of Portland, Maine, in 1875.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cars: Christine and her sisters, and more

Black Tie Classics, Stratford, NJ.

Festival on the outskirts of Hammonton, NJ. Virgil Exner's Forward Look for Chrysler/Mopar, refined to perfection: a '57 and two '58 Plymouths, immortalized in literature and film, the femme fatale who runs over your enemies at night. (I think Stephen King meant it as a black comedy making fun of nostalgia and Men and Their Cars.) Hey, baby: the second Christine near-clone I've seen, Bad 58. (The other is another New Jersey girl, Evil 58.) She's basically a stock '58 Belvedere, with a few tweaks such as a modern air cleaner, automatic gearshift on the floor (the buttons remain on the dash for show), modern stereo speakers in back, and no Belvy badge, to match Christine. The moral of Christine: Arnie and Christine would still be motorvating if only he'd retrofitted her with seat belts. The Fury was a sub-brand of the Belvedere; same body but different engine, a high-performance version that only came in cream with gold trim. Christine's colors were an option for the Belvy so either she was special-ordered, custom-painted early on, or an early hybrid, a Belvy with a Fury engine swap. (The Belvy's speedo goes to 120, which is standard; the Fury's goes higher.)

Christine's heart: The Golden Commando engine with dual-quad carburetors came with the Fury as you can see in the movie (her air cleaners are chromed), but actually this is an engine swap in the '57 Suburban wagon.

"I'm not a '57 Chevy, moron!"

Withdrawal without surrender, and more

  • Desperation. This blogger doesn't like me but he's intelligent. Interestingly he has become Orthodox; besides being a mostly estranged part of Catholicism, Byzantium if anything embodies the Constantinian order (they literally canonized Constantine even though he wasn't sure if Christ was really just the old sun god, and I think a heretic baptized him on his deathbed). The answer: if we end up at Catholic Defcon 1 (out-and-out persecution), withdrawal with honor, going underground (so this blog would stop, among other things). Learn from the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the 20th century. Not the "Benedict option" of surrender including schism.
  • A friend has this interesting observation in the aftermath of Obergefell v. Hodges. The American Catholic Church will shrink by 60%; it's a line in the sand. I think I agree. It will accelerate the institutional decline the Sixties including Vatican II started; we'll hit bottom sooner. The nominal are supporting secular society; the Massgoers more and more are not. Pushed against the wall, which of our accommodationist bishops, who've been hitching their wagons to social democracy and American respectability because of Vatican II (the good old seamless garment), would actually leave the church?
  • "I woke up in a different country a few days ago." I woke up in one around 1973, when the Sixties finally won in Middle America.
  • Philadelphia Catholic colleges and the awful '80s American church. St. Joseph's University is a longtime commuter college where Philadelphia kids used to get business degrees. Maybe LaSalle's still like that. Now, it seems to me (I have nothing to do with the place), St. Joe's is a few liberalized old Jesuits trying to be Villanova, while Villanova's trying to be Notre Dame. (Maybe Notre Dame's pretending to be Georgetown.) Villanova, at least 30 years ago: another, less powerful dying liberalized old religious order (spun off from the Irish branch of the Augustinian friars Luther belonged to) and Massholes (rude people from Massachusetts: Kennedy wannabes without the veneer of bought class) who couldn't get into Holy Cross or something. (Interestingly, the social-climbing Kennedys always went to elite Protestant schools.) Sports, frats, and the only religion on offer was either obnoxious kumbaya ("social justice": liberation theology and let's ordain women) or cultish evangelicalism (technically, charismatic: welcome on campus because ecumenism was cool and it wasn't pre-Vatican II).
  • Why do conservatives keep losing? Because in mainstream society, the left sets the rules and calls the shots.
  • "Racism" and "sexism" as Aristotelian virtues. A disturbing trend in the parts of the right I read: blaming Christ for political correctness. Understandable because it's a Christian heresy. The answer's neither the sickle nor the swastika (race realism but not race worship).

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled for gay marriage

Supreme Court declares same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. That's right, believing American Catholics and other social conservatives, such as from pre-Sixties America: our highest court has kicked us in the teeth. Unthinkable 50 years ago. (Not even a thought among Cold War liberals in power such as Kennedy and Johnson.) Now what?

I guess I'm expected to do one of two things:
  • Attack the gays, which the other side would love. Not biting. I stick to my first lesson on this stuff, from the old America and conservative Christians 40 years ago. Don't pick on them; feel bad for them because they have a problem. (Today, saying they have a problem and that straight is normal are sins in showoff political correctness. "Microaggressions," venial sins.)
  • Spin it as not so bad, really.
It's bad, but...

I'll be a socially conservative scold but not in the way abusive to gays that the other side wants. (The passive-aggressive bullying of the self-righteously peace-loving: make you throw the first punch and have you busted for it. "Hate crime!" A stupid notion, by the way. The law should be about actions, not how you think or feel, other than whether you're responsible for your actions. Does it matter that I murdered you to steal your store's cash at the end of the day or because I hated you for being white? You're still murdered.)

It's a huge symptom but not the underlying problem. Human nature can't change: most people are straight and, being the sexual beings God made them, will still marry and have children, law or no law. A minority of a minority (in the population, about 3% at most are homosexual) pretending to get married doesn't directly affect that; a dog too big for that little tail to wag.

But fewer are marrying and having children. (The PUAs' and MGTOWs' point: what I will describe has turned marriage into a racket that many smart men avoid.) Which leads to this point: who started this? Not the minority of a minority. We did. Straight society, going back to towards the end of America's golden era. Contraception, especially the Pill invented then, and no-fault divorce. When normal people bought the idea that marriage is primarily about how the couple feels about each other, with children, uniting two families, and building society as afterthoughts if that, that, not this Supreme Court ruling, was the beginning of the end of Western civilization at least in the United States. Gay marriage is just a logical extension of this bad principle. As one writer put it recently, we've all become gay: our romantic relationships are superficial.

I've long liked the idea of getting the state out of the marriage business, which would leave both conservative Christians and gays in peace, respecting both's rights. (Except a healthy state has an interest in building society, which real, traditional marriage does. The Soviets were socially conservative for that reason; promote vice among your enemies, not at home.) Looks like SCOTUS has nixed that for the foreseeable future. The left isn't about tolerance; it's about forcing you and me to give up our faith.

Here's a thought. Some conservative clergy, as are some conservative judges (in Alabama), for example, are done with marriage licenses, at least until they get busted. But... since co-habitation is legal, why don't all new conservative Christian couples co-habitate legally, with a church wedding but not a legal one? There's risk and there are penalties, none of the legal benefits of marriage, but think of that as a kind of martyrdom ("offer it up" with Christ's sacrifice and as a penance, as we Catholics say) in which you don't compromise. No pinch of incense for the emperor.

More bad stuff on the horizon, looking at it logically: forget the Constitution, namely the First Amendment allowing the free exercise of religion. It begins: Clinton adviser refuses to comment on church tax exemptions.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Free men, not losers: What's right and wrong about MGTOW

This article/post from Return of Kings' Matt Forney is getting some play in the manosphere: Why “Men Going Their Own Way” is no way for men to go: The creeping cult of male loserdom. Like the thing he's criticizing, a lot of what he's saying is true (the form he's attacking is selfish, even autistic, like what's wrong with libertarianism, and denies human nature as God made it, not just sin) but the premise and conclusion are a little off. Strawman? First, there's Black Poison Soul (you bet he's bitter, understandably), the blog where I found out about this. MGTOW ("mig-tow" or, like the Greek T, "mig-tau") is far more than losers angry they can't get a date, which sounds like the mainstream trying to shame them back into being targets for its sadism (back into the Matrix). Obviously it appeals to such but a lot of it, including apparently its founding fathers, is like the divorced New Zealander who writes Black Poison Soul, worldly successes by just about any standard, married, whom fallen feminine nature (including hypergamy, a.k.a. trading up; men do it for younger and better-looking, women for power and status, both for obvious reproductive reasons, and, for women, survival/self-preservation) and modern mainstream society took to the cleaners (frivorce, alimony).

By the way, the man behind No Ma'am who's written the better manosphere map (real alpha males are leaders, nature's kings, who build society, faithful to their sexy alpha females; sociopath pickup artists destroy it and themselves, just like feminism; beta's just normal) is Rob Fedders, apparently one of the MGTOW non-movement's founders. (Thanks go to manosphere critic Bob Wallace for linking to him.)
These people who are starting to shame the MTGOWs have thus far have not suggested any viable options other than just criticize the guys who are getting their act together and living life on their own terms.

Over the last few months more and more regular guys in all sorts of forums and sites have said "Well, I'm living my life my way for my benefit rather than for the benefit of some female, so I guess that means I'm Going My Own Way". As many have said, MGTOW isn't a group, it doesn't have products, it doesn't have spokesmen. It has a couple of really simple principles: don't live for the benefit of a woman, and find yourself a project or goal of your own. MGTOW lets men do whatever the heck they want, including getting married and raising children, as long as they do it on their terms. I like its phrase: the answer to what a man is cannot depend on a woman.
It's about men learning to be men again.

As I like to say, nobody owns a great man. (Even great men I don't like or agree with, such as Pope Francis.) Like the centurion in the gospel, we're all men under authority, God's law including the law of the universe, but within that authority, man is free. It's how leaders among men, whom women naturally want, by the way, live. Neediness isn't sexy to a woman; she wants a strong man who will make strong babies with her and take care of her and her babies. Mainstream society and well-meaning Christians pedestalizing women want you to think that today's society is or reflects God's plan. (Egalitarianism including affirmative action, as if giving women power and not standing up to them endears a man to them.) Living as a free man doesn't necessarily mean abusing women. Fedders, for example, is clear it doesn't. Game isn't necessarily about that; it's just a tool, social skills. And Roissy, for example, isn't selling snake oil. Learn social skills, he says, and your social life, including your sex life, WILL improve, at least just a little. Even bad game's better than no game or anti-game. A smidge of game will do you good (he covers that: calibration, or how naturals subtly adjust their approach for each woman). Pickup artists are destructive, disrupting a community, because game does work.

P.S. A good one from Roissy's picture blog: dads used to be cooler when they were more emotionally distant. Score one for British reserve, or why the world's still crazy about James Bond. Learn from nature's leaders among men: charming and even caring but also keeping some distance; men of mystery. (Much like Roissy's point about chicks digging jerks; an "uncaring asshole" isn't needy.) As I like to say, leftism's a Christian heresy so I understand the appeal, if you will, of the man in the picture. But compare that to the truthful snapshot of the female libido, the romance-novel cover or the movie idol, even the aging Harrison Ford. Mainstream relationship advice is at best worthless; disinformation. As manospherians note, it's even money this wife (yes, she's cute) gets bored and in a couple of years divorces the man, who's done everything society and even Christians have told him to do; alimony and child support (transfer payments to women) but no more sex for him. Way to stick it to patriarchy, girls. The other picture: Ward Cleaver, neither a mouse nor a monster. Probably not a millionaire or president of the firm, but happily married, etc. The American dream.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Another one bags Byzantium. Not so fast...

Former archdiocesan cathedral musical director: Why I'm leaving the Greek Orthodox Church. Sounds promising. By the way, born Orthodox, don't panic. Regular readers know my line: we're not trying to break you up; we want to bring you all into the church at once and leave your rite alone.
My experience of church is beginning to take a different shape, however, after several years of difficult and painful discernment. I am now leaving the Greek Orthodox Church, and continuing to live out my Christianity as an Anglican, in the Episcopal Church in the United States.
Uh oh. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? These days that's usually what this means. (Hint: World War G.) There are principled people, even ex-Catholics, I respect who join things such as the Episcopal Church; Fr. Jonathan Mitchican, for example. True believers in the English "Reformation" and Elizabethan Settlement. More normally it's a few divorced and remarried boomers (younger people don't go to church) and fewer homosexual ones who've rewritten their principles to suit their circumstances, just like Henry VIII. A church musician, someone in the arts? Not a knock on all such (I love their work), but you know what I mean.
I grew up in a loving parish in North Carolina, where I assumed duties as church organist at the age of 13. I had taken piano lessons and played by ear, so I eagerly jumped into the complex world of Greek Orthodox choirs, replete with arguments over composers that were too “modern”, the appropriateness of choral music versus Byzantine chant, the use of the organ, and more. I attended regional choir conferences, collected scores, and purchased almost every CD of Greek Orthodox music on the market.
Took me a minute to realize Gus Chrysson isn't a convert or a second-generation one (maybe a Swede from Minnesota) but an ethnic Greek (Constantine is shortened to Gus for some reason). His picture confirms it.
During the length of my tenure, I experienced the same, persistent feeling of underlying panic in church that had begun when I was a teenager and had come out of the closet.
I called it. The bad kind of assimilation, nothing theologically profound. Most Orthodox in America leave by the third generation just because they're not really Greek, etc., anymore (American Eastern-rite Catholics lose their people for the same reason), and as a Catholic friend told me, anybody who's really spiritual and/or fairly intelligent sees through the ethnocentrism masquerading as a faith.

Some will ask if these stories signal the American mainstream turning on the Orthodox like the old Protestant one understandably never really liked or fully trusted Catholics. I predict no. The Orthodox are and will remain too small for that. Most American Orthodoxy is Greek Orthodoxy, and that's largely Greek immigration. American Protestants were afraid of us partly because there were so many of us. By 1960, parts of the country had become Catholic. Vatican II, the Pill, and the Sixties in general did what many American Protestants wanted: assimilating the country's huge Catholic minority.

Then there's the matter of, yes, even the outwardly conservative Orthodox going with the flow on homosexuality as they have long done on divorce-and-remarriage and now do on contraception, on both of which they now sound just like Protestants.
Several progressive priests encouraged me to stay on board and fight from within.
Maybe even doing it because of their anti-Westernism, namely, to spite us Catholics. Another reason the American mainstream has given them a free pass. St. Vladimir's Seminary or Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology 20 years from now: "As part of the church's patristic renewal and gradual liberation from Western captivity, leading scholars now say the mind of the Fathers says..."

My prediction: their first public gay weddings will be attempts by desperate clergy to keep some ethnics from leaving.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Skeeved by Byzantium

The paradox of Byzantine Christianity's beauty. As I like to say, Byzantine Christians turned me against them. I've been to Christ the Savior, Chicago, for example: an almost-fiancée joined; her conversion was nothing to do with me. Everything you see and hear in this link is objectively good (the icons and the singing are entirely Catholic) and better than the Novus Ordo, but, knowing the Orthodox' true-church claim including what they think Catholics are, I long wanted nothing more to do with this stuff, and now it's so. I could be Greek Catholic, and under some circumstances I would, but that is why I'm not.

All this got me thinking. My acquaintance with the Christian East goes back 30 years and is much more than my "doing time" with the Orthodox (that's what it felt like). I don't regret that my first traditional Catholic Mass was Ukrainian.

It can be so good and holy; they say the worst is the corruption of the best. It seems to have potential to be a fine, traditional form of American Catholicism. Some Latin Catholics are called to it; Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky) should be their patron saint. But even in the church, it dies by the third generation in America. It has no future here.

Both unlatinized and latinized, as long as it's not Novus Ordo, are good.

So let me back up. Real Orthodox normally don't creep me out. And yes, theologians, I know that sacramentally every member's the same. That said, of course you know what I mean. How and why I'm pro-Russian, pro-Putin, politically. Christos running his local eatery with the best spaghetti sauce around. Heck, at the Olympic Flame in Wildwood I've given to the family's donation can for St. Demetrios Church. I mean born Orthodox who just are what they are, with nothing to prove. Estranged Catholics acting in good faith, with a clear conscience. They don't know they're schismatic. God understands.

There are principled Westerners who don't accept the Catholic Church: the high-church Anglicans such as the Tractarians and Bishop Grafton, for example, and their spiritual progeny.

Still, what weirds me out about convertodoxy, the hyperdox Hermans, beyond their aggressive anti-Catholicism is, rather like how I see the Episcopal Church now, those parishes are creepy counterfeit Catholic churches by Westerners to convert other Westerners.

I know we have freedom of religion in America, which protects us, but any healthy Catholic community would literally tell those folks to get out of town.

Then there are the Byzantine Christians worse than the convertodox, the "Orthodox in communion with Rome," mostly an Internet phenomenon (like Dungeons & Dragons for church geeks). Because they're trying doubly hard to deny they're Catholic, sort of like Rachel Doležal making an extra trip this month to the tanning salon. They want us to get rid of our teachings. Just like Catholic liberals.

Religious Catholics almost never switch anymore. The few the schismatics get tend to be indifferent ones, probably most often, as before, through marriage, with a few who came in by way of fervent Evangelical Protestantism. Convertodoxy won't last beyond two generations. It's not a threat. It's just that it's so spiritually wrong, in a way that hurts more than Evangelicalism because they have the Mass, for example, that it's annoying.

By the way, the reason Christ the Savior's building looks Anglican is I understand it was built for the Irvingites, the Catholic Apostolic Church, actually not related to Anglo-Catholicism or even Anglicanism but contemporary with early A-Cism. Rather fitting venue for self-hating Westerners.

My reaction to groups of literal ex-Catholic Orthodox, such as some Slavic-Americans, is different from either the one to born Orthodox or to the ex-Protestants. Felt that once, seeing the now-ACROD parish in St. Clair, Pa., St. Michael's. Profound sadness. As a Catholic friend understands, they didn't choose "the crazy" at first; they almost had it forced on them. Nothing to do with our teachings and, though it takes two to have a fight, mostly our fault.

Photo: Never been and plan on never going. A convert parish of "the Russian Church Outside Reality" in Michigan.

Manosphere reads, Love and Rockets, and more

  • A wise man: The real division in the United States, and by extension the West, is not between political liberals and political conservatives, or Evangelicals and Catholics, or liberal Protestants and conservative Protestants, etc., but between those who think like traditionalists and those who think like modernists. And believe me, there are many Evangelicals, Catholics, "conservative" Protestants and political "conservatives" who are numbered among the latter. Right; learned that 35 years ago, when the mainstream pushed the idea to me of "conservative" meaning "plays the stock market" for boys and "shops at the mall" for girls, because there really was no generation gap; the Sixties won.
  • Roissy: Game in the ego validation age. Classic psychology: showering a girl with compliments, which inexperienced men do, doesn't endear you to her. She takes it for granted. Interesting graph on how couples meet in America: church has nose-dived. I guess the North is becoming Europe in that regard.
  • Black Poison Soul: What do you like to do? Perhaps that's why the divorce/frivorce occurred. He's literally not the man that she married. Much or all of his individuality has been wiped away, replaced with an interchangeable robot who can do not much more than acquiesce to whatever her desires are. So she leaves because he's not what she fell in love with — no duh, stupid. Giving women power doesn't endear you to them. Shorthand for the female libido: romance-novel covers. All those pirates grabbing girls in prom dresses. (Apparently Fifty Shades of Grey is really of this genre, plus perverse modernity.) Not a sweet guy who caters to his girl among them. That said: No Ma'am on the Keynesian sexual market, a better map for men than that of the pickup artists (very modern sociopaths, parasites, any sane community would run out of town; beta's actually normal, not a dirty word) that doesn't sell out like many Christian-based (white-knight) sites (the woman- and child-centered herb as the ideal Christian husband and dad; ask Leif Erikson how that's working out). Leftism is a Christian heresy so I think I understand male feminism's appeal to naive nice guys. Men shouldn't be saps for women (naturally hard when your glands start screaming at you as a teenager) but Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) shouldn't be the regressive (childish) He-Man Woman Hater's Club either. It's about men becoming men again, which incidentally is what healthy women want. Which — authentically conservative, authentically Catholic (which isn't a pious game or fantasy but conforming yourself to what's real, what Aristotle meant by reason) — builds society the way nature's leaders, real alpha males and their sexy wives, do, or at least used to.
  • The Rational Male: Build a better beta. How the manosphere can sell out.
  • Radix Journal: Rachel Doležal and the quest for identity. I agree with the amateur psychologizing about her: her ultimate revenge against her "pathologically altruistic" parents, still seeking their approval, was to become their perfect person, then disown them. Whatever became of those criminal false reports to police? Charges against her? That's what interests me. With that, she wasn't harmless anymore. She probably didn't think anybody would get hurt since, after all, there was no real threat against her.
  • Music: Love and Rockets, "So Alive," from 1989.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Putin, the Pope, and more

  • Putin meets Pope Francis: The pontiff and the pariah. Nothing new: he met Benedict too. Francis may parrot liberal platitudes (but not always, which we don't hear about) but here he's right, not being reflexively anti-Russian. It fits my Catholic big picture: respect the Russians so they'll come back to the church. I don't think Francis gives the Christian East much thought; he seems to know little about the world outside Argentina. He has a quality of great men as well as of the faith in that no secular ideology, left or right, tells him what to do; some worry that's a sign of megalomania. A friend recently made the interesting parallel to Argentina's Juan Perón, a well-meaning populist economic blunderer.
  • A little story from the mother country: At Cambridge, former Archbishop of Canterbury bans jelly wrestling for being sexist. Again nothing new. Here Rowan Williams fits an outdated image of the British establishment as moral and proper (the image Americans who love the royals and "Downton Abbey" have), only the Christian beliefs about purity and modesty have been rewritten to fit today's fashionable Christian heresy ("Down with sexism!"). Both devout Christians and the politically correct tend to agree these things demean women. That said: jelly wrestling; lighten up! Plus, healthy desire: witness the sexuality in Italian and Latin-American cultures.
  • South Dakota: Angry anti-white Indians vs. New Age Indian wannabe festival.
  • Jeff Culbreath: How many of you have noticed that "let's have a conversation about..." really means "the hammer's going to fall on you hard"? Very WASP (SWPL); euphemistic.
  • Takimag's Kathy Shaidle: Moral and comedic anorexia.
  • Bob Wallace:
    • An entirely free market may not always be the answer: his experience running a taxi company.
    • When I was a teenager only teenagers worked at fast-food places. Adults weren't hired (the phrase used was "overqualified," which is something I don't hear anymore). Now adults work at these places and it's considered acceptable. In fact, the economy is so bad the last time I heard the average age of someone making minimum wage is 35 years old. Since you can't live on that kind of money we now have all kinds of transfer payments: Earned Income, Section 8 housing, HUD, food cards. Nothing good is going to come of all this.
  • Roissy:
    • Power, then charm, then affection. That’s a pithy aphorism describing the contours of female attraction for the competing character traits of sexy men. Establish your dominance (which can be done by showing you won’t cave like a supplicating beta to her feminine wiles), engage her with your charm (an attitudinal cue that you live with an abundance of women mentality), bestow her with your affection (but only after she’s bestowed you with her sex and love). The problem with the more romantically earnest sort of beta males is that they start with the affection, and then clumsily try to segue to the power and charm when they see that their affection is driving the girl away. It never ends well. True but that said, remember the better manosphere map Bob Wallace posted, from the writer of No Ma'am. Real alpha males (in the canine world, simply fathers: patriarchs) are faithful (they mate for life with alpha females) and build society; Roissy's pickup artists are sociopaths who ultimately destroy themselves, others, and society. As part of modernity they're part of the problem.
    • "Hey, beautiful! How was your day?" is actually anti-game. Supplication: weakness, which naturally kills female desire. On the contrary, as the mild, mainstreamish The Art of Manliness (Brett and Kay McKay) filters it, start dating women instead of being friends with them.
    • Trump for president. May as well shake it up and enjoy the spectacle of the ruling globo-equalist class sweating bullets.
    • America then and now: Game in '63.
    • Mainstream relationship advice is worse than useless. Women not only give wrong advice to men about how to seduce them, they usually give advice 180 DEGREES removed from what actually works! This is a bug in woman code that men must accept and work around.

The faith on near-death experiences

There is defined Catholic doctrine on the afterlife of course but as far as I know not on near-death experiences in which someone dies temporarily and remembers his experience.
What are Catholics to think of near-death experiences that we often hear about by several sources? I have a skeptical attitude towards what many claim to experience when it comes to near-death experiences for various reasons.

"The four last things" are death, judgment and heaven or hell. Catholic teaching states there are several places that a person can go upon death: Heaven, Purgatory, Hell and possibly of Limbo of the Children, a theological opinion. Many theologians are of the opinion that most people who are saved, who are heaven-bound, need to undergo purification in Purgatory. Furthermore, many theologians and saints are in agreement that sadly many will be lost as well. Scripture itself alludes to the point in many places that nothing unclean will enter Heaven.

With all this being said all these descriptions of near death experiences sound more New Agey than Catholic. Most people who claim to have had near-death experiences come from a variety of backgrounds. Some of them may be Catholic, but many others may be non-Catholic and many others are nonbelievers or non-Christian (pagan). Yet most of them claim that they feel a sense of peace and comfort upon these experiences, so much so that they do not want to come back to earth. There is often no reference to a particular judgment in which traditional Catholic teaching states that we are all judged immediately upon death.

I am naturally skeptical of these accounts for obvious reasons. I doubt that many of these people are without sin or any stain of sin. These accounts almost make it sound like they are going directly to Heaven, which I doubt is the case of even the majority of devout Catholics. Furthermore there is not only no description of Heaven but many of these near-death experience accounts give no account of anything sounding even close to traditional Catholic teaching on different aspects of the Afterlife.

What are you guys' thoughts?
Right; too many modern Catholic funerals are universalist: canonization ceremonies for the deceased, who needs prayers, and/or primarily to make the mourners feel better. On the contrary, no eulogy is allowed for a good reason, and stop calling such Masses "memorial Masses." Bring back our culture: "Requiems." I've been to someone's funeral and actually instead asked her to pray for me. Privately that's fine too.

The Soul After Death by Fr. Seraphim (Rose) is worth a look, with just some Catholic correction required (he was a convert from Methodism by way of the Beat movement and Buddhism to Eastern Orthodoxy: "purgatory is too literal" is stupid and any form of universalism is heresy; hell is final — his version is really purgatory where you can be stuck forever if nobody prays you out). It does a lot to explain near-death experiences. According to Russian folklore, the newly dead are in a natural but spiritual state in "the aerial realm" undergoing the particular judgment ("the aerial toll-houses," actually controversial in Orthodoxy). Parts of this are what people in near-death experiences see and remember. The feeling upon entering it is peace, relief from physical suffering (note, in the image, the angels holding the soul symbolized as a child, right after death). That realm, heaven, and hell (and we add, purgatory and possibly limbo) are states of being, other dimensions in the universe sharing our space which we don't normally see. We don't have to believe all outside the church are going to hell; God is infinitely merciful as well as just. There may be no people in hell but we can't presume it.

Image: Greek icon, "The Mystery of Death." Not to be confused with the the Mexican magic cult born of ignorance, Santa Muerte.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Flannery O'Connor vs. Ayn Rand, and more

  • Academician and old friend John Treat on what's wrong with libertarianism (but, being open-minded, I've learned much from it: I'm a live-and-let-live Ron Paulian who's consistently voted LP since '04; first did in '92 — socially conservative MYOB, not the libertarians' sassing of all authority), or to be more accurate, Randianism (Objectivism; Ayn Rand didn't like many people, including libertarians); "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Flannery O'Connor used the abnormal and parochial as a mirror for what she saw as the shallowness of modernity. Ayn Rand idealized modernity and rootlessness. Rand's books are full of a Russian Jew's charming wonder at the marvel of golden-era industrial America, but part of their problem besides Rand's philosophy is the message came first, the art second, which makes them excruciating to read. I've tried.
  • "Safe spaces" for Benedict-optioners. Rod Dreher's dangerous because he's persuasive, but once you've figured him out (as someone has done for me) you can refute him calmly and briefly, not cruelly: his strategy is one of surrender for conservative Christians (he's a false friend to them); fitting that perfectly, his Christianity is schismatic; and like us all, the man has faults; he's a little conceited.
  • U.S.: Already long gone, Eastern puma declared extinct. I wonder why it was listed as endangered in '73 when it went extinct in the '30s. Still hoping for survivors, I guess. Good point about keeping the deer population down. Bambi, my foot. Kitty's gotta eat.
  • Basics: Why liturgy? From a Lutheran pastor.
  • Humour about Canada. (As our northern neighbours spell it.) Old. In short, it's very cold and they're Americans too but underneath it they're really British.
  • Photo: '60 Impala, Vineland, NJ.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Charleston: I smell a rat

A libertarian online asks, as Roissy has. The Charleston massacre: staged or random? I think it could have been either. It's definitely NOT what the media, still pushing the Narrative, are making it out to be: "Because of the evil Wrong Kind of Whites with their guns, even flying the Confederate flag at one of their statehouses. How dare they? The Wrong Kind of Whites have no right to be proud of their past in those parts as an independent nation." (Nor, apparently, do they retain their constitutional right to freedom of association; well-meant feelings have trumped rule of law.) In contrast to Charleston (I've never been), I've been to Raleigh, where Reconstruction has rewritten their history; a beaten nation.

Of course it's horrible that nine people were killed, Christians in their house of worship no less. Criticize the Narrative and you're accused of not caring about them.


When that starts to be questioned, gin it back up. Too convenient, too pat.

Also awful: the left's preening. The posturing about forgiving the alleged killer (yes, innocent until proven guilty; hooray for Anglo-American rule of law). Obviously appealing because it riffs on Christianity.

Steve Sailer:
The murderer who perpetrated this Charleston black church massacre appears to have intended to maximize publicity for himself by pushing every conceivable hot button of the mainstream media in the fashion that would generate the most unending coverage of this Teachable Moment.
A socially impaired 21-year-old can't do that on his own.

Dylann Storm Roof may well be a random nut (again, not representing white Americans). Either he's mentally ill (but maybe still guilty) or he's acting. By the way, such creeps aren't the ones to watch out for. Sociopaths don't make ugly faces with thousand-mile stares; they're charming. He reminds me of Lee Harvey Oswald, who in my guess was an American agent, even an agent provocateur. This kid might not be a full-fledged agent but he may have been coached or pushed over the edge. By the way, most of the mentally ill aren't violent.

And America's No. 1 promoter of gun safety and keeping guns away from the mentally ill is the NRA. Rate of violence at gun shows: approximately zero.

"You think dangerous criminals will obey anti-gun laws? You must be a special kind of stupid." At least naive, to give the well-meaning credit.

Friday, June 19, 2015

On schools

Following up on this.
Schools really shouldn't tolerate talk-back from students, so he got what he deserved. Still, it would be interesting to know what kind of disruptive behavior is tolerated by school officials and if he was singled out because he hurt the feelings of petty tyrants. In any event, this will all be in the rear view mirror quickly.
Schools shouldn't tolerate backtalk (in the good old days they sure didn't), but maybe the Prussian "progressive" education system we adopted in the late 1800s isn't the best. One of Bob Wallace's points. School as kiddie jail (granted, some of that's needed given their charges' cognitive limitations, but it's a perfect hideout for petty tyrants... and pedophiles), turning people into cogs for the machine; that was the "educators'" dream.

But some kind of school is of course natural and inevitable. Suppose you homeschool. You probably aren't a master of all fields of knowledge, but maybe your church friend Bob can fill in the gaps in your math or science skills, while Betsy also from your church is an avatar of home ec (French, P.E., computers, etc.). Before you know it, you have a little private school. Harvard Lampoon wrote a parody like that 30 years ago, about kids playing hooky at the mall. (When malls were popular, pre-Internet. I always thought they were a waste of resources. We had perfectly good downtowns we trashed or abandoned.) Soon... some of the store owners start teaching video-game machine repair and auto shop, and the kids "sing mall songs and do little mall dances," and even have rivalries with other malls. Rah rah.

That said, if you want to truly homeschool or unschool, and you have the knowledge and the time, go for it. This medium is the greatest library in history. For the cost of your Internet connection, you can get a humanities education, including "great books."

Actually, kids' brains are still developing but they're not stupid. Of course they resent being herded into kiddie jail and resist the forced socializing by forming cliques. (Sometimes even as evolved as junior fraternities or mini-gangs.) Working-class kids wanted to get out and make money and make babies, and a lot of them did drop out; actually pretty smart. (As a good friend says, learning HVAC repair now is probably a lot better than many colleges.) A better society would make that happen again, for every class, for everyone who wants it. True college is for the 14% of smart kids who can benefit from it (future doctors, engineers, and real "great books" humanities talents), not sleepaway camp for rich airheads or a ripoff for everyone else aspiring to be middle-class. "It takes a village": extended family, neighborhood, parish, for young people to be adults when their bodies say they are, at their sexual peak. (Not our nonsense with extended adolescence.) Employers for the young men and built-in help with child care for the young ladies. I don't know how to make it happen again.

The curious case of Devan Solanki

This local-ish news story got my interest, from northern New Jersey, Lodi, a town I've been to: School wouldn't #LetDevanSpeak, now valedictorian can't walk at graduation.

The media seem to cheer for young Mr. Solanki; it makes a good story. I wasn't there. He may well be arrogant and rude; the school, like real life, has authority. The universe is hierarchical. (Yes, patriarchy. God is a father, for example.) In other words, of course I'm not saying it's OK to sass a teacher in principle. (You'd have been bumped as valedictorian in 1960, probably rightly so.) Still, as a conservative, in this story I see more of the same modern nonsense from teachers, suspending kids for drawing guns, etc. Teaching these days is a very liberal profession. I forget where I read it and the particulars, but there's a kind of bullying mastered by people raised in self-righteous, "nonviolent" households such as whites in or aspiring to a certain class on up, the PBS-watching, NPR-listening culture of teachers. (Update: probably passive aggression, goading the other guy to make him make the first threat or throw the first punch. Like we did to Japan at the beginning of World War II.) This school's treatment of Devan reminds me of that. "That's a threat! You're suspended." Right, an ethnic Indian with a 4.3+ GPA is going to get violent. It's pettiness: these adults just plain don't like this kid. "Made him undergo a psychiatric evaluation." How Soviet, but that's not surprising from these people. You know they want to do this to any conservative Christians who use their schools out of necessity. Back when American Catholics had the nerve, they said no to such do-gooder Protestants by setting up their own schools (by the way, famous for not taking backtalk from their charges, actually not much different in that from public schools of that time), now watered down with government funding and Vatican II. The speech, as he's representing it, is innocuous. Another theory: education majors tend not to be the brightest ("those who can, do; those who can't..."); these teachers may well fear a kid smarter than they.

The universe is hierarchical but a great thing about earning adulthood in a free society is being able to tell off such petty tyrants. "I'm your age or older, First Name, and the money the government taxes from me pays you, so back off." P.S. Never apologize to such people. Our Christian culture conditions us to, but don't. It's like shark chum to them.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

ABC revisits the golden era, and more

  • Fr. Mitchican: The good wall. “Catholic doctrine and discipline may be walls; but they are the walls of a playground,” wrote G.K. Chesterton.
  • The opportunity for a globo-equalist ruling class false flag. Roissy read my mind about the Charleston story.
  • Fr. Rutler: Mixing up the sciences of heaven and earth. Pope Francis’ encyclical on the ecology of the earth is adventurously laden with promise and peril. Contrary to this news cycle, he did not come up with the notion of good stewardship of God's creation for Christians (once boring old conservation) nor that there are more sins than sexual ones.
  • "The Astronaut Wives' Club." Of course I'm watching. ABC's trying again to cash in on "Mad Men." ("Pan Am" was their first go.) Thanks to that show's unintended effect: America misses its golden era. Great costumes and props, beautiful women, wooden acting from them, and dumb expository dialogue. "Mad Men" minus about 30 IQ points. I know the real story of course; The Right Stuff retells it well.

Ecumenism, Anglicanism, and the Ukraine and Russia

  • "What God has joined together': recovering Christian identity amid the ruins of the Reformation era. Intelligent and compelling, including noting the return to small-o orthodoxy in the church (traditionalism, a minority but robust, and Benedict the Great's "reform of the reform") and the denominations. Even Ephraim Radner's Episcopalians are going back to basics, sort of. Creed, sacrament, and liturgy, not Spong's unbelief. Fine apologists such as ex-Catholic Jonathan Mitchican (Anglicanism as it really is, good and bad, not what we as would-be Catholic Anglicans wanted it to be). But while this hint of repudiating the "Reformation" sounds great, it's just a tease. That Radner's an Episcopalian, by choice, gives the game away. Writers like him don't want to come back to the church. This is a retread of Sixties ecumenism, when the media ginned up the idea that we were all getting back together any day now. That and Anglicanism itself screwed us over when we were would-be Catholic Anglicans. Either we thought we were already Catholic (the myth of non-papal Catholicism: Hooker minus Erastianism) or that we were about to come home, thanks in part to Vatican II. Ecumenism was fashionable so lots of middle-of-the-road Episcopalians were starting to do high church. Even better, actually a number were becoming high-church before the council: very Catholic-looking. All for naught. By the way, to give poor, crazed Dr. Luther credit, he meant well and, ironic considering his place in world history, he didn't mean to start a sect. His best followers, such as the Missouri Synod, un-Protestantly think they're the true church, "reformed" or "evangelical" Western Catholicism, preaching a pure gospel; a few even say they're not Protestants.
  • By the way, with Archbishop Morse's passing, the last of American Anglo-Catholicism's '70s all-stars has left us. Bishop Chambers and the four bishops he consecrated, like the LCMS trying to save what they thought was the church in its purest form (Hooker minus Erastianism, with liturgical practice largely imitating us before Vatican II). Trying to save Catholic order (tradition's consensus: you can't change the matter of a sacrament), they hoped the Archbishop of Canterbury would have their back, choosing them over the Episcopalians. And even if they were pro-papal, Vatican II had wrecked the American Catholic Church then so it was inhospitable, locally as liberal as what they were leaving, and with worse liturgy, anti-high church (a problem that actually pre-dates the council). The first four Continuing bishops; only one, Peter Watterson, ended up a (married) Catholic priest. In English (moot most of the time because my normal Mass is in Latin) I still say the same creed they did.
  • "Russian youth pays price for speaking out over Ukraine." Would you be defending this boy if he were American and wore something or carried a sign saying "America Sucks" or "Go Communist"? Wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt? Or something even the left hates, such as "Let's Do 9/11 Again" or "Go ISIS"? Because it was the same thing. Ukrainian independence is like China getting California to secede from the Union, turning it against us, and having military maneuvers there. And taking one of our dialects, spelling it phonetically, declaring it the sole official language, and forcing it on the population. The Crimea even more so, because it's all Russians who were handed to the Ukraine in the '50s. It and the eastern Ukraine were integral parts of Russia for centuries. The Crimea is again, nearly unanimously. The Ukrainians had just overthrown their government; "Why don't we do that?" reasoned the Crimean Russians. Almost immediately they took over the statehouse and raised the Russian flag over it. Patriots. That said, I have nothing against the new Ukraine; they and Russia aren't my problems. Just don't fall for this anti-Russian stuff. Slavs and democracy don't fit (strongmen rule them because the people love them); here's hoping both Russia and the Ukraine are conservative authoritarian states fitting their culture, with the Ukraine as a pro-Catholic version. Now to get Patriarch Sviatoslav to stop parroting Western liberals. Understandably, Ukrainian Catholics are the most patriotic Ukrainians, actually speaking that language, for example. By the way, in English it's "the Ukraine," because "English language has articles." We're "the United States." The Russians don't like us, but they're anti-liberal estranged Catholics, the biggest such group, in a country's that's still a superpower. (That underrated statesman Nixon: they'll never be our friends but we can't afford them as an enemy.) Catholics should see the big picture: bringing in the whole Orthodox Church (such as it is: a loose confederation little to do with each other); we are not trying to break up their families, parishes, dioceses, or peoples, nor trying to destroy their rite, which is better than the Novus Ordo. I'm pro-Russian because I'm Catholic.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

On converting to a faith for the culture

Orthodoxy has very little defined doctrine. What little of it that it has is true; it's our doctrine too. (Not to be confused with erroneous Orthodox opinions, of which there are plenty.) But aside from that, underneath the traditional liturgy, valid orders, and folk religion (all of which are Catholic), theologically there's not much there. Like I've said, leaving Catholicism for it is intellectually like if Newman left for the Salvation Army (nice people, strong Christians: an offshoot of Methodism, yet another try at winning modern Britain back for Christ, but it's not the church) or Chesterton for the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Reminds me of people converting to Mormonism: nobody does it for the theology, because there is none worth believing in. They do it, and generations stay in Mormonism, for the culture. The theology's science fiction (and polytheistic, among other problems, such as an eternal universe and God as a created being: it's not Christian) but the culture, as Jeff Culbreath says, elevates natural goodness to a religion. They adopted the old America's wholesome cultural ideal in order to blend in (they're actually radical, not conservative) and are made fun of now for still having it. So somebody meets nice Mormons, wants what they seem to have, and joins. There are no intellectual conversions to Mormonism, because there's nothing intellectually worth taking seriously in it. (No St. Thomas Aquinas' five proofs, no Summa. Just Joseph Smith's and Brigham Young's imaginations.)

A lot of convertodox (self-hating Westerners like Rachel Doležal's a self-hating white) are that for the same reason: Byzantium's cultures are great. (We have them; we don't idolize them.) They want wholesomeness so they dress up like they think 19th-century Russia was like, for example. And, to give our secular liberal enemies in the culture war some credit: just like the evangelical or fundamentalist (actually different brands) worlds many of the convertodox come from, it can be pride that goeth before a fall, lying to themselves about their own problems (like the Duggars, now laughingstocks). A cult.

By the way, I don't think of myself primarily as an ex-Orthodox. An ex-Anglican, sure. (I've been in St. Margaret Clitherow's house, among other such places in England. I would never revert. The Anglo-Catholics I hung out with 10 years ago didn't believe in Anglicanism.) My faith (not that I'm holy) is entirely Catholic; my idiom (including the liturgical English, the first such I learned) for that faith is that of American Anglo-Catholicism from around the '50s, which, because it largely imitated Tridentine Catholicism (the theology was a little different: Hooker minus the Erastianism; non-papal), fits into it perfectly. (British A-Cism was would-be Roman Catholic and went Novus Ordo.)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Bloggers leaving the church, and the Greek Catholic option redux

First Owen White, then Gabriel Sanchez... are you next, John, or me?
Are you being facetious? Speaking for myself, no way. I respected them both; they know better. This is sort of what it felt like when Tertullian left the church, or what if Chesterton had chucked it all to join the Jehovah's Witnesses? Harsh, sure. Orthodox are estranged Catholics, not a no-longer-Christian faith. But the illogic is much the same.

Somebody else:
I entered the Church as a Russian Catholic, and remain so — including attending St. X's near where I live now. Within a year or two, I may need to move to a place where I do not know if there are any Eastern Catholic options.
I'm fine with Greek Catholics being ecumenical; pretending the Orthodox don't exist would be silly. Saturday Vespers with the Orthodox if your Greek Catholic parish doesn't have it, and certainly if there is no Greek Catholic parish near you. But if there's no Greek Catholic parish available, then receive the sacraments from "the Latins": Catholic is Catholic.
I also admit that I do not see the schism as a grave issue, as you do. In 1995, I read RC apologetic books, and read EO apologetic books. My eyes glazed over. I thought: "This whole mess is stupid. Guys in the funny hats, can you just grow up and stop the politics?" I went Eastern Catholic because it worked out for me ... and in fact, changing jurisdictions from Anglican to Catholic was the equivalent of major surgery. Necessary, but I would not make another change unless forced to by dire necessity.
"Worked out for me" vs. objectively true: not good. Of course "major surgery" because we weren't changing jurisdictions, like Latin Catholics called to the Christian East canonically switching ritual churches (a friend is a Ukrainian Catholic by choice). We went from "not the church" to the church.

Many years ago when I tried to come back to the church, the "Orthodox in communion with Rome" ("the schism is not a grave issue") told me not to, so their views are worth about as much as Zimbabwean currency.

Wiggity wack: The fall of Rachel Dolezal

It seems to me money wasn't Rachel Dolezal's motive to pretend she's black, so she's not a classic con artist. Not a criminal. Just someone with emotional problems; as the manosphere says, an attention whore. That's what got the better of her in pure Greek tragic fashion. Craving still more sympathy (which she already abundantly had in white liberal Spokane), she put racially harassing mail in her own mailbox; because of that, some inquirers found her parents. She sure got attention, just not the kind she wanted.

At first I thought the really interesting question is if the NAACP has the right to make membership rules and kick someone like her out, why not all-white or all-gentile institutions? (Freedom of association: why principled American conservatives opposed the civil-rights movement. The losing side in that had constitutional rights to stand on.) The doctrine of our betters saith: because whites used to have power. But it turns out you don't have to be black to belong to or hold office in the NAACP. Fair enough. Still, she can't be trusted and has embarrassed the organization; she should be expelled. Obviously she knows the game's over ("we're all from the African continent"); my guess is she'll resign and try to hide for a while, before her lust for attention gets her started again.

Her disguise seemed more convincing on some days, such as in the picture of the sidewalk march.

You need not be a psychologist to figure her out. Interesting to conservatives, particularly conservative Christians: she's the daughter of Nice White People, (hippie-ish?) do-gooder Christian missionaries who (ostentatiously?) adopted several blacks. In an arguably hurtful way (rivals for Mommy's and Daddy's love), she's heard Black Is Better all her life. (A distortion of Christian teachings about exalting the lowly and defending the oppressed.)

The jokes come easily: "Spray-Tan Lives Matter." ("Black Lives Matter" is obnoxious, implying that your political opponent thinks they don't when he has said or done no such thing. Slander.)

And of course a black has got her sussed; never mind the anti-white stuff here. Like many blacks, Gazi Kodzo's charismatic and socially attuned. That is one infectious laugh.

Of course she knows that in American culture, a smidge of black makes you black. That was the basis of her lie.

I don't think she meant to hurt blacks. But I don't think she really cares about them either except as props in her autobiographical fantasy.

Of course she moved to a whitopia such as Spokane to get positive attention. Blacks are likely to see through her, as they did Obama when they handed him a defeat in his first Chicago election.

What a mess.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The end of British Christianity, and more

  • Damian Thompson: Christians in Britain will be statistically invisible by 2067; Anglicans there by 2033. John Wesley, the Tractarians, and the Victorian Roman Catholic revival after emancipation stood athwart history, trying to win Britain back for Christ. I understand Catholicism there is now mostly immigrant Polish. Liberal high church looks like marketing perfection; so did the Edsel, getting the same result.
  • "Spiritual, not religious" really means you worship yourself. The American Religion and moralistic therapeutic deism, which are easy to fall into while keeping the church's trappings.
  • RIP Sir Christopher Lee. Part of the old Europe and a deadly British agent in World War II who kept his secrets. Decades ago I read in Current Biography that Christopher Lee was an expert on the occult and owned an extensive personal library on the subject being so well-read on the subject. By expert I do not mean a practitioner of the dark sciences but a principled opponent — on religious grounds. I recall in particular one comment of his in the Current Biography article. He stated that people who mess around with — even casually and for fun — ouija boards are risking at the very minimum profound psychological damage! That comment has stuck with me for decades. I would never let my children near one of those things, especially after learning that some of their friends played with them at parties. My fifth-grade teacher happened to be Catholic and from the '50s, and even though it was a public school, she shared one of the same stories (the thing made accurate predictions down to getting names right); she and her friends eventually burned the board. That's why I don't believe those who say that before the movie The Exorcist it was just a party game.
  • Spokane NAACP leader caught lying? Race is a construct except when it isn't, say our betters. Hey, if Bruce Jenner can force us to play along with his pretense, and such in reverse (fake men) can keep going to Wellesley (wanting a safe space, giving the game away right there), why can't this lady pretend she's black? Hater.
  • Women don't understand GoodFellas' appeal to men. The synopsis of the movie as written by a woman is funny and would read like that. (Distortion of Christianity: Henry Hill needed a nice white lady to make everything better.) By the way, much of the culture in The Godfather is fictional. For example, it copied the ring-kissing from the church.
  • Pope Francis, white knight. The manosphere and MGTOW are maps, not the terrain; definitely not doctrine. (Roissy's version of the alpha, the jerkboy fornicator/adulterer, is a sociopath who'd disrupt society and lose in the long run; he does get lots of sex. Real alphas mate for life with the alpha females, lots of sex the right way, and build society, not tear it down.) But I've learned enough from them to know that this well-meant conservative Christian (in this case, for a change, from the reigning Pope) criticism of men misses the mark. ("White knights" joining feminists in trying to shame men to keep giving women stuff.) The manosphere and MGTOW can be part of the problem, sterile and childish (a masculine version of "Sex and the City"'s lie about awful BFFs enjoying sexy strangers forever), but given the modern liberal West's feminism and resulting misandry (a Christian heresy distorting "exalting the humble" and defending the weak), some men's reaction is understandable (why get married only to be cleaned out in a frivorce when your wife gets bored, a.k.a. the seven-year itch?) and, up to a point as with any assertiveness training, even healthy. Men should rediscover their own way, becoming men again. Camille Paglia (met her; she's great: contradicts herself but speaks the truth from the heart a lot, very Italian) is right: if men went Galt, civilization would collapse.
  • Too proud for gratitude: Russell Kirk via Jeff Culbreath on what's wrong with libertarianism. Again, like with the manosphere, part of being open-minded is learning from people you don't necessarily agree with. Libertarianism has much to teach, and nationally I've consistently voted LP since 2004, but like the centurion in the gospel and all mankind, "I am a man under authority": God, the natural order, the church, and Caesar (like Luther's two kingdoms?). (Aristotle, the Catholic Schoolmen, and classical Anglicans: reason means conforming yourself to objective reality, not sassing custom for its own sake.) So I'm a minarchist, a conservative, not a libertarian.
  • The heart of Jesus is a natural, universal symbol of God's love. Privately, Eastern Orthodox, Protestants, and even non-Christians are drawn to it and use it. By the way, there's nothing wrong with the unlatinized forms of the Eastern rites not using it, as long as they don't condemn it. ("You worship a heart" is stupid like "you worship a piece of bread" and "you worship paintings.") The Pilgrimage of Grace banner: "We wyll haue the masse."

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Campolo sells out, perfidious Disney, and more

  • The slippery slope. In this case I'm actually surprised: Tony Campolo has sold out on gay marriage. He's long been a social-justice warrior who seemed respectable to conservative Christians, theologically evangelical and thus conservative but politically liberal, which is also shorthand for (a caricature of?) Catholic social teaching to many. Lots of good Christians buy this or at least used to. Understandable since modern secular liberalism is a Christian heresy. And no; Campolo didn't leave the Catholic Church. His Italian immigrant parents did; he's a born Protestant. Slippery slope II: his son Bart has lost his Christian faith.
  • Why I seldom read libertarian sites now. Rational Review (Gay Marriage R Us) headlined one of the McKinney stories thus: "Thug cop resigns after assaulting 15-year-old girl." Libertarianism has valid points but the movement isn't just selfish losers who think they're as smart as John Galt; it's arrested adolescents who hate all authority, still sassing Daddy. It's now just '80s-style "greed is good" fiscal stuff combined with socially liberal ideas. (The Alex P. Keaton model: "A conservative is a social liberal who plays the stock market.") That's why it appeals to disgruntled youth so much. They feel that they can still be trendy by buying into some conservative ideas, but still be acceptable enough to their left-wing peers by going along with the gay and anti-cop jargon. By the way, ex-Cpl. Casebolt has had the sense not to apologize; conservatives are getting streetwise to that. The powers that be demean you deliberately by forcing you to apologize and firing you anyway.
  • To our elite, there are no countries anymore. Disney stabs Americans in the back: letting go a couple hundred techies and hiring foreign guest workers because it's cheaper, and forcing the Americans to train their replacements or no severance. Makes me happy I've not been to a Disney amusement park in nearly 40 years.
  • Common sense 50 years ago that's now thoughtcrime as America's founding majority nices itself out of existence (things like McKinney's aftermath are a class war on the Wrong Kind of Whites): Anglo-Americanism, or what if we're not a propositional nation but a white mix, yet British-based? (England vs. Scotland moved here: North vs. South.) The Japanese are great because they're almost homogenous and want to keep it that way. Thoughtcrime II I picked up somewhere: folk-music fests and Renaissance Faires are white-pride fests by people who would never admit it. (Like the rich liberals who preach diversity but live in whitopias.) Sort of like NASCAR is one for people (of the wrong class) forbidden to even think that, and church is one of the last refuges for that (so Greek parishes are OK, for example). (Christianity, the church, is both local and universal.) White men created the greatest civilization, from philosophy (Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas) to industry to cures for disease: pre-modern life was nasty and short. Humility is right and worshipping your race wrong (as is any idolatry), of course. (The Nazis, actually leftist: state worship, emperor worship, and race worship. Falangism, on the other hand, is a Catholic option: Franco Spain.) Still: "I'm proud to be white," said the racist.
  • Conservative Novus Ordo still aren't our friends. Just like in the '80s under St. John Paul the Overrated. You know my line as a traditionalist: "It's Not About Latin."™ (The Anglican missals and breviaries are ours for the asking: Catholic but in classic English.) But this Catholic pundit still sounds like a jackhole. I love languages but this is not about fetishizing a language; by the way, among other things ("religious orders, don't ordain homosexuals"), St. John XXIII wanted to step up the use of Latin. A template because it doesn't change and a perfect auxiliary language because it's everybody's and nobody's language at the same time. And it's beautiful: the mother of Italian.