Saturday, October 31, 2015

Disrespected tabernacles and more

  • Man dressed as tabernacle at Halloween party ignored; is moved to corner of room. Seriously, first, the Protestants' and Catholic liberals' point: Jesus didn't institute the Eucharist to be reserved but to be used. But just because reservation and adoration outside of Mass aren't the Eucharist's main purpose doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't do them. (He didn't institute Choral Matins or Evensong either.) We reserve it in order to use it (why Episcopalians have aumbries now: to give Communion to the sick instead of having a bedside Communion service). Logically, if you reserve, you can have holy hours, Exposition, Benediction, etc. And traditionally the church didn't distort this by exaggerating it as the liberals claim. "It's the Mass that matters." Technically, use of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass and Communion is tightly controlled: a parish church etc. needs to get the bishop's permission to have Benediction. (A hundred years ago Communion apart from Mass was normal.) If I recall rightly, even the ceremonial around reserving and exposing the Host ties it into the Mass so in theory that Mass continues until the Host is eaten. That said, here are the problems with the Protestants and their Catholic liberal imitators in this regard. The Protestants think Jesus' saving work is all in the past; Communion isn't the re-presentation of his sacrifice, just a commemoration so the "fellowship" and "participation," laudable in themselves, are ALL that matter. (Related: the idea that ANY "participation," no matter how inane, is good, better than adoration, which is considered backward.) It's just bread and wine. Catholic liberals fell for this 400 years later. (Not the church as such, whose teachings can't change. Trent is our doctrine.) Pushing the tabernacle "out of the way" is a sign of heresy: Catholic liberals don't really believe in the Mass. Another tell is they call the consecrated species bread. If it is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, then the sacrificial (echoing the Jewish Temple) and courtly ceremonial of the traditional rites (Western and Eastern; low-church liberals praising the East are hypocrites), and extra-liturgical devotion to the Eucharist, are only meet, right, and our bounden duty. (The Eastern rites don't have these devotions natively for historical reasons, not theological ones, as Ware has written. They do reserve: Communion for the sick, and the Presanctified service, Communion from the Reserved Sacrament, during Lent.) By the way, for the past 25 years such low-church neo-Protestantism has been slowly fading away; why blogs such as Fr. Zuhlsdorf's and the New Liturgical Movement exist. (Reform of the reform, including Pope Benedict XVI, like what the old high churchmen and especially the Anglo-Catholics did to the Prayer Book.) And conservative Novus Ordo Catholics' Exposition fad is a distortion, though not heretical. Don't overdo Exposition; bring back the old Mass! Vespers too (hard to do since modern technology for entertainment killed Sunday-night church services). Plus: not reserving on the high altar is traditional in a cathedral.
  • By the way, because Quebec used to be so Catholic (been there; I could tell that in the '50s it had been a "Catholic country"), the strongest cuss words in Quebec French are Catholic words, "tabernacle" being the strongest. (Thanks to 1800s-1925 immigration, my region, the urban American Northeast, is/was almost a Catholic country.) Quebec's part of Canada because the King kept his word. Colonies including us weren't under English religious law; the King's being Protestant wasn't our problem, and loyalty oaths to Christian kings matter, so in the American Revolution I would have been a Loyalist. (By the way, we were freer under the King than we are now.) When the French lost Quebec to the British, the King said it could remain Catholic and keep speaking French, so Quebec never supported the radical Protestant/skeptic American rebels to the south. The Puritans turned into agnostics (still our ruling class) but revivalism and Catholic immigration made the "godless republic" more religious than the British and Canadians.
  • I understand some Conservatives in the western provinces are so upset over the Canadian government overtaxing them (and their getting no benefit) and by the Liberal Party's win (so "dumb as Joey from 'Friends'" Justin Trudeau is PM) that they are proposing secession or even being annexed by the U.S. I don't see the last ever happening; Canada has a proud history of not being American going back to the refugee Loyalists (such families get to use "U.E.", United Empire, after their names). The first proposal offers a blue version of the Maple Leaf flag for a Republic of Western Canada. With some friends I'd prefer at least making the new country another dominion like Canada (the Queen as head of state), which would make sense for Tories (then again, like the mother country and Australia, all of Canada skews left of the U.S.), and while they're at it they can bring back the Red Ensign (Canada's unofficial flag until 1965, the flag with the British flag in the corner, like Australia's Blue Ensign). It could probably make it as a country; it's their Midwest, their breadbasket, and their West Coast.
  • RIP Maureen O'Hara. Not only beautiful but of course proud of being Irish, and God and the church mattered to her. I've read that Ireland was so Catholic that even American Catholics visiting 50 years ago had culture shock. People stopped on the street for the Angelus, which was also announced on TV. The church and Irish republicanism are not synonymous but good Catholics such as de Valera were part of that story.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book reports

  • Fires of Faith by Eamon Duffy. I have but have not yet read The Stripping of the Altars, but arguably I can be forgiven because it's huge and I've already read much on the English "Reformation" (Michael Davies' Cranmer's Godly Order, for example). Most of the English were happy being Catholic and thus welcomed Mary's reign. A respected historian, Duffy agrees with what I of course wanted to read, that the horror stories of "Bloody" Mary's rule are a Protestant myth (Foxe's Book of Martyrs). (The Protestants and the Masons having won in Anglo-America, they have manufactured our history.) Her government burned people but so did the Protestants, on principle (protecting the common good), and Catholics in England did it relatively sparingly and as a last resort. I think Cardinal Pole's a saint. The church's successful revival in England under him (holy people including good writers effectively teaching; Trent's reforms), on top of the people's retained piety from before the changes, was why (according to Christopher Haigh) many English people remained Catholic through the 1580s.
  • Name, Rank & Serial Number by Charles S. Young. About both sides' POWs during the Korean War. I didn't realize that it was really two wars; we won the first (saving South Korea; sounds like a good cause) and lost the second (trying to take the north; when the Chinese stepped in, we were through). Or that there's a myth that our POWs were cowards who helped the enemy. (I haven't read or seen The Manchurian Candidate.) Young (I don't know if he has any bias) says 1) because of limited war, the atomic threat preventing total war, Korea was fought for show, because it was strategically unimportant (was there a smarter way to contain Communism, which would have kept us out of Korea and Vietnam?); 2) the war should have ended early but both sides dragged it out by using POWs as a bargaining tool; 3) all POWs survive by making little, non-treasonous concessions to the enemy (like sitting through the Chinese' political lessons; "only give name, rank, and service number," to use the right term for the last, is never literal) but our Cold War propaganda unfairly blamed our Korean War POWs (bad psychology at the time, then as now a "progressive" field: blame moms for raising pampered cowards and even Freudian stuff about incest); 4) the North Koreans and the dire conditions at the beginning of the war were brutal to POWs but the Chinese were relatively decent jailers (the political indoctrination didn't work because our boys remembered that America's system worked; the Chinese were clueless); 5) the Chinese lied about Americans conducting germ warfare, forcing POWs to confess; 6) the inmates largely ran the Americans' camp for North Koreans (including South Koreans forced into North Korean service) and Chinese, and, with our agents, bullied many POWs into defecting (though of course many really didn't want to go back); 7) a CIA agent, Edward Hunter, made up the idea of Chinese brainwashing (Orientalism meets pop psychology?), part of discrediting American POWs. (Looking Hunter up, he seems to have been a fine anti-Communist.) I knew that 21 American POWs defected and that at least some eventually came back.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The myth of dueling Bibles and more

  • Face to Face: For moron skeptics, the Bible allows everything because "Many versions, QED." Protestants said, "The Bible, not the church" (which compiled and interprets it), then took the Bible apart.
  • Bob Wallace: Manpleasers. Women.
  • Goodbye, middle class. America's been in decline since 1973.
  • Pat Buchanan: Is Pope Francis toying with heresy? Francis' biggest fans hope so. He might be. The hoopla in my city over his visit last month wasn't really for Catholicism. But the church is indefectible and infallible. The teachings can't change. The media act like they don't get that. And maybe the newsmen — diluted/lapsed Protestants (America's culture), badly catechized fallen-away Catholics, or Jews — really don't know (and don't want to know: bad journalism, advocacy, Sixties journalism). I won't get played. If something doesn't jibe with the catechism, I ignore it. Popes and synods don't have the power people think they do.
  • Cuts to the Army. Historically that sounds about right: we're supposed to be at peace with a small standing army. Having big "peacetime" (de facto wartime) forces is an anomaly from when FDR was breaking the law to get us into World War II (which we helped the USSR win; we were dupes for the Reds) and then for decades the Cold War (ostensibly against the USSR). Basically the capital of the British Empire moved from London to Washington. I'm pro-military, not pro-war (Smedley Butler was right).
  • Cracked doing one of the things it does well, which you can still find amidst recent Cathedral (narrative, MAG = media, academe, government) sermons, news of the weird or fact vs. fiction, here on emergency medicine, of course not at all like on TV. The other version of its good stories is fun history lessons (hooray for Nikola Tesla).
  • Roissy: No uptalk. Like, I remember it started, like, a little over 30 years ago? (This abuse of like is older: '40s jazzmen, someone told me.)
  • Episcopalianism: A downtown church for boomers and what we used to call yuppies who think they're smarter and more moral than everybody else; Middle Americans who want to follow Jesus go somewhere else. Built to be an established church, it's really jockeying to be the MAG complex's, but that blows it off (its movers and shakers, including Obama, don't go to church), only using it for occasional hit pieces against the real church.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The decline from progress to escapism and more

  • Probably a sign of civilizational decline (which I say America is in and I remember the starting point, around 1973): Where technology was once a tool for exploration, today it’s a tool for retreat. I didn't see Back to the Future II so I was only remotely aware of the joke this week (the date the characters ended up in), but this is good via Rational Review. In the '50s, much technological progress was outwardly focused (while Western society was still anchored in the old values of the classical world and Catholic Europe); today's it's escapist and narcissistic. No flying cars but we have video phones and the greatest library ever in this medium. (Actually picture phones have been around quite a while. Formerly, people didn't want them, for privacy's sake; I don't always answer video calls.) Problems with social media include being an easy means of surveillance (stalking including an institutional kind, writ large) and the risk of being a substitute for a real social life (the flip side is it can be a lifeline like letters and phone calls used to be).
  • From Dale: The convertodox internalize the anti-Westernism even when they claim to remain Western. Self-hating insanity; exoticism like anti-white political correctness. The Russians are receiving a continuing Anglican parish in Northern Nevada as western (sic) rite, and one of the things they are doing is inserting an ikonostasis. Hardly western at all one suspects. Goofy is the only word that comes to mind. Westerners becoming Eastern don't offend me; some are called to that. They deserve their own saint; I nominate Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky). Obviously I think if you are so called, be it unlatinized or latinized (latinization wasn't our original plan; the Eastern Catholics did it themselves), do it in the universal church, where we don't have this pathology. In person I've rarely if ever found the Orthodox hostile to converts but given their fundamental problem of confusing their cultures with the church, blogger Stanley/Varvara makes sense from them: like the Jews, an openly tribal religion that doesn't want converts, many Orthodox don't really want them either. You can come in, and they say you can remain Western, but you really can't be Western. As the Ukrainians, Malankarese, Melkites, and others show, you can be truly Eastern and Catholic; the Pope is only tradition's caretaker (as Benedict the Great reasserted in our time), which is authentically Eastern.
  • Manosphere lesson. Roissy: Betas love the idea of “feelings” conversations because betas are romantic idealists at heart and have no understanding of the true nature of women. Betas tend to project what they themselves want to hear from women — a steady stream of sappy feelings and vows of love for the beta — onto women as something they believe women wish to hear from men, and so it is that betas fool themselves into sounding precipitously similar to women when all the women want is for the beta to act more like a cocksure, self-entitled, sexily aloof, charming, ZFG alpha man. As a business article recently said, it's not exactly the golden rule; with that you can make this mistake of projection. Rather, flatter people effectively by treating them as they want to be treated. A pretty girl has heard compliments all her life, so yours actually devalue/disqualify you to her.
  • Face to Face: Why Wendy's is succeeding while McDonald's and Burger King aren't. The kiddie image backfired.
  • Justin Trudeau. Ugh. But it's no secret Canada, like Britain, is more liberal than the U.S.
  • For Halloween: Do ghosts exist? Yes and watch out. Plus, from the Christian East, there's Fr. Seraphim (Rose)'s pious opinion that departed spirits can haunt a place for a while before the particular judgment (the aerial toll-houses). And some appearances are just like a movie, an impression left by someone's long presence or a big event.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cars: Flemington Speedway Historical Society show in Ringoes, NJ, and Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania show at DCCC

The Hunterdon County 4-H Fairgrounds used to be the Flemington Speedway.

The Chevy Fleetline Aerosedan, this one from '47.

Even slightly schlock-rodded, a quintessential beautiful '40s car.

'59 Ford: Mike Torello's cop car.

'49-'51 Mercs were then the last word in streamlining: the ponton look.

Inside a '62 Impala.

'57 Volga, a high-end Soviet car.

Some say the '53 Studebaker was a perfect design: smart, ages well, and practical. So if carmakers were practical we'd all have been driving something like that, like a nicer version of the Volga and a much nicer version of the Volkswagen (the Karmann Ghia is reminiscent: a VW in an Italian style). But that would have been boring. Some of Detroit and Madison Avenue was hype and waste (planned obsolescence; let's pretend your car is a jet plane or spaceship) but the market (including competition) made some great designs and engineering too. In America you could work hard to afford a choice of the best cars, etc., supporting the country because they were made here. Populuxe ("the '50s") was the style of a country on the leading edge but keeping the old values.

Mopar: the Forward Look.

Playing a recording of the national anthem. Military regulations once said you weren't supposed to salute in civilian clothes; that's been changed so off-duty personnel and veterans can. (Also, the naval services only saluted wearing a cover, a.k.a. hat.) President Reagan started returning salutes from his guards, et al. Naysayers call that playing soldier; I like it just because I like the military, but I appreciate the traditional rule.

Non-news: the church's teachings remain, and more

  • The Synod on the Family's a non-story. It's now quite certain that Pope Francis' big summit on family issues won't endorse any changes to church doctrine on the church's teaching about homosexuality or whether civilly remarried Catholics can receive Communion. Anybody who knows Catholicism could have told you that. But the anti-Catholic media are still trying to make something out of nothing, as if dissident churchmen are anything new or can change anything vital: And yet, it seems, everything has changed. You wish. It's all just talk. As for decentralization, the Washington Post quotes Pope Francis: “The pope is not, all by himself, above the church but rather inside it as a baptized Catholic among other baptized Catholics, and inside the episcopal college as a bishop among bishops,” he said. At the same time, he added, the pope is called “to guide the church of Rome that presides in the love of all the churches.” Which is true. A lot of people don't understand, but Catholics who know history (Newman: to know history is to cease to be Protestant) do; the doctrine of papal infallibility wasn't defined until 1870: the church isn't infallible because the Pope is; the Pope is because the church is, and the church is because God is. Exactly why the Pope can't change essentials. By the way, decentralization can be a hedge against Modernism, as it has been in the Christian East (estranged Catholics) and among a few Anglicans. (The various alterna-Catholicisms, rival "true churches," aren't the church but we can learn a thing or two from them, on matters other than doctrine.)
  • A difference between Catholicism and liberal high church. Recently watched a pledge video, professionally done, for a city Episcopal church that claims it's still Anglo-Catholic. Such in the late 1800s confidently preached basic orthodoxy about God first, as is right, and then got into their rival true-church claim, much like the Orthodox convert boomlet does. (Some Anglo-Catholics have always pushed their rival claim; others, as suspected, wanted a "reconciliation with honor" with the church: what's now the ordinariates.) I respect that. Granted, the video was for insiders who presumably already know the basics, but it was more "see how cool we are: we have women in the priesthood, we do charitable work," etc. Beautiful architecture, art, and music, of course. But what struck me is people in the neighborhood aren't going there no matter what, whether they like the clergy or the music or not, for the good of their souls, like Catholics do. It's a private club. Granted, one you can join, but a club nonetheless. Not the universal church. I belong to a parish I don't live in because the old Mass is better (a matter deeper than clubbiness) but if Pope Benedict's new Mass is the only option, as it is when I'm on vacation, I'm there.
  • Roissy:
  • Bob Wallace links to: The four-year itch, feral female behavior.
  • Historic motels.
  • How to read and work a room.
  • The card catalog is officially dead.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Ignoring the Synod on the Family and more

  • On not "reporting" on the Synod on the Family. It doesn't matter. Nothing, nobody, can change the teachings of the church. To make a big to-do about the Synod is to buy into the idea they can. Which of course is what the secular world, and even some "conservative" pundits who've left the church, want you to think. Some churchmen don't believe the teachings. That's not news. In a way the argument among clerics is a repeat of Catholicism vs. Protestantism: through the church, God offers transforming grace right now, through the sacraments, not tokens but actually doing what they signify, and its infallible teaching voice; Protestants believe Jesus's saving work was all in the past so he just covers up your sins, so sure, give Communion to the divorced and remarried (implied: the sacraments are only tokens, and the church is changeable by vote). By the way, hooray for the Ukrainian major archbishop (head of the biggest Eastern Catholic church, a patriarch in all but name; my first traditional Catholic Mass in person was Ukrainian, 30 years ago) and Melkite patriarch for defending the faith on divorce and remarriage to their brother bishops; logically, the few "Orthodox in communion with Rome," mostly an online phenomenon, should change their minds or leave the church (a lot of them do).
  • So let's see, Pope Francis visited Kim Davis and sound Catholics cheered, then when that was criticized, a story went around that it was a mistake and some are calling for the cleric who arranged it to get in trouble? And the spin is the Pope was lamely defending "freedom of conscience" (like Prince Charles' proposed "defender of faith," not "defender of the faith," originally a Catholic title), not Davis' stand, which is the church's and, thanks to a retained belief in natural law ("I hate to break it to you, boys, but you can't make a baby that way"), until recently was Western society's? It is pathetic when the left (today's ruling Christian heresy; no other society could have come up with it) sets the terms for the church's discourse (like it does for the Republican Party: "See? Open borders! We can field black and women candidates too!"). So the spokesmen for the Pope end up mouthing the expressions of the French Revolution. But the great sifting goes on; old liberal clergy stay because they have nowhere else to go, but mostly, Catholics who no longer believe now just leave. We'll have a smaller, sounder church, while at the same time, in the Internet age, the church has fulfilled the Great Commission.
  • From 2011: "Youth" vs. "teenager." Interesting, adolescence. Of course no two people are alike so it varies a lot. Anyway, adolescence is real; basically, children in adult bodies for a few years. What's changed for the worse is how they're treated, as society has broken down, especially since the Sixties. Before, "it took a village"; you had extended family and real community (society) to help these people be the adults they physically are. Get married young, have lots of sex in your body's prime, and thus have babies. The boys apprenticed or studied to get good jobs; the girls had built-in child care and advice. We don't have families and communities like that anymore, and, to be fair, since the '50s, "teenager" has been a marketing plan, as society unnaturally prolongs childhood only now with expensive adult vices. Turning a profit. Gangs/"peer group": media-fueled substitute for real families and communities. There's money to be made off manufacturing a generation gap.
  • The hardline Orthodox view against our sacraments is historically untrue. There's long been mutual recognition, theirs in practice mirroring ours in principle.
  • A downer with a point. Welcome to the future: downward mobility and social depression. The end of the American dream.