Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday-morning religion and politics

  • To a high-church gentleman of conservative tastes who has left the church. I understand. I don't approve of course. Fr. LaRue has a point and I wish him nothing but good.
  • Things Episcopalians say: "You don't have to check your brains at the door." A true-church claim veiled in passive-aggression. Not that there's anything wrong with those claims per se! Classical Anglicans were open about theirs (it was all theological, not personal), minus the snobbery here, namely, the implied insult "Catholics and evangelicals are stupid." Yeah. St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the world's greatest intellects, was a brainwashed moron and an Eye-tie anyway. Classical Anglicans were content just to say they believed he was very wrong. The joke's on these mainline liberals: the cool, open-minded upper-middle-class whites (basically Nordic) they hope to attract (that culture being their gospel, the Christian ethos minus Christ really, like the Jefferson Bible: teaching it to mascot-ized minorities) don't go to their church or any for that matter.
  • One of the ironies of the Episcopalians, that weird Reformed church I was born into, because my dad had left THE church, the Catholic Church (he came back): since the 1800s it has had remarkably Catholic-like buildings. The parish is likely post-"Enlightenment" liberal but it falls into this pattern because this style was fashionable. What's more, you had the would-be Catholics, Anglo-Catholics, whose churches were meant to look like Catholic churches, pre-Vatican II; that hooked me as a teenager. Why did that exist, since Anglicanism is really Reformed? My theory is it's because England was a consecrated Catholic country driven from the church literally by force. (Heartbreaking: the people remained furtively Catholic until the 1580s, 50 years after the "Reformation.") The church haunts England (I've lived there) in its old place names and the structure of its church, in a way it doesn't America (which is a sort of spiritual no-man's-land, though Christian; Protestant but neutral). It's a scar on English people's souls. I've stood in a ruined abbey and knelt at the tomb of St. John Southworth so I will never look at Anglicanism the same again. But I'm thankful for the formation it gave me.
  • We have wonderful news! The diocese is re-opening St. Stanislaus Parish in Nashua. It will serve as a Tridentine Rite-only parish so everyone who loves the Latin Mass can now find it in another one of our churches. Wonderful indeed, but what floors me is that for all of New England's historic, populous Catholicism (Irish and Italian in Boston, Portuguese in Fall River, French in the far north) there is only one such parish and only recently. Why did ethnic Catholicism up there cave so readily to Vatican II and the rest of the Sixties? Pedantry: our Tridentine Use is not a rite but part of the Roman Rite. The Byzantines are a rite. Msgr. Gamber: with Fr. Bouyer's canon, the pseudo-canon of Hippolytus, or as I call it the express-line canon, etc., is the Novus Ordo still the Roman Rite or a Latin rite but not Roman? Fr. Bouyer was a fine fellow, perfectly orthodox; writing a new anaphora wasn't his idea (no Catholic churchman in the early '60s imagined such impertinence) but he did what he was told to.
  • I see Pope Francis' gaffes as a teaching opportunity: tell people who ask that Catholicism is not the cult of the reigning Pope's opinions. His office is infallible ex cathedra and I owe him due obedience (actually something that never comes up since I'm a layman; he's not my employer), but in most ways I don't care what he thinks.
  • Pentecost: the long liturgical off-season is here, with green vestments almost all the time. Punctuated with a couple of feasts to boost morale, Corpus Christi and the Assumption, and a few more localized ones (Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Rocco, for example). Salve regina, mater misericordiae...
  • In Nearer, My God, which I've just re-read, Bill Buckley mentioned the fallacious assumption that the home and Sunday school offset public-school indoctrination. One measly Sunday church service plus Sunday school or CCD (After Vatican II? Forget it!) leave kids with the impression that religion 1) is and should be 100% private, kicked out of the public square for pluralism's/good manners' sake, and 2) because it's purely private, is just a hobby for some. So you have a nominally Christian people, Protestant-based America (but with a huge minority of us Catholics), acting as if Christ had never come to earth.
  • "A right to health care" sounds Christian and may very well be (we are free to disagree regarding which means are best) but these same people think it's okay to kill "inconvenient" human life, just like the Nazis did. As humorist P.J. O'Rourke (fun guy; met him) wrote, it takes a lot of "therapy" (brainwashing) to reach that conclusion. (Him: a cold-hearted pragmatist may support both abortion and capital punishment. A devout Christian may oppose both. It takes a lot of "therapy" to be pro-abortion AND anti-death penalty. An inconvenient baby hasn't forfeited his right to live. A violent criminal has.) Actually it's just selfishness: it's easy to look righteous by supporting government health care while really being monstrous by murdering unwanted unborn children.
  • We don't need deaconesses (who weren't lady deacons; there was no such thing). They did what "active" women religious (sisters) do.
  • I've noticed Google's liberal bias in its special banners, and take it for granted that anybody I've not heard of whom it honors on his birthday anniversary was no good. What a shame. The card catalogue of the greatest library ever is run by Com-symps. So do Sergey Brin and his family live in a worker hovel on subsistence wages, his profits going to "the people"?
  • "He's 24 months old." 2. Your child is 2. Thank you.
  • We had no business invading Iraq. Here the reigning Pope's opinion agrees with mine and his predecessors'. I've marched against abortion. I marched against that war to try to stop it. I stand by both of those actions.
  • How abortion and birth control destroyed traditional families. Right; all that and no-fault divorce, so now women start 70% of American divorces, not because of abuse but because they're bored with their domesticated, nice provider husbands (doing everything modern society and even well-meaning Christians tell them to). Society now encourages women to have sex with alluring strangers and laugh about it with their gal best buddies over drinks the next day. It's party time for a minority of men; unlike a healthy society, most men are frozen out. And most women aren't really happy with this either.
  • Obama is an ex-Muslim (lapsed Muslim father and he was raised in the world's biggest Muslim country, Indonesia) but that's not the issue. (Logically ISIS should hate him more than a born Christian president.) He's really a WASP (his white mother's family) with no use for religion. Rather, like white liberals, he likes to use the Muslims to stick it to conservative whites (so "down with Christianity"). Funny thing is only a Christian society could have produced a bastard like our modern secular society.
  • The Loyalists were right and the "Enlightenment" wrong in many ways but the founding fathers started a good thing with the old American republic, a serviceable home for Catholics.
  • I'm as patriotic as the next normal guy and love the WWII generation (and big-band music), but I'm a complete revisionist about WWII, or rather I'm an "isolationist" without apology. The America First Committee was right. The imperial Japanese weren't saints but weren't our problem. All they wanted was an Asian empire, not to conquer the U.S.; we should have made a deal with them like Nixon later did with China. Instead, because both the British and the Soviets (lots of Commies in FDR's government) wanted us in the war, FDR baited the Japanese to attack (and stirred up racial hatred in America to drum up support for the war). Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field were MILITARY targets; fair game for the Japanese navy carrier pilots. Targeting civilians is a war crime, even when all-American boys do it; Hiroshima was inexcusable, according to Catholic teaching. Fr. Leonard Feeney and Cardinal Ottaviani were rightly horrified, as were old-school American generals and admirals. The Germans weren't our problem either; they had neither means nor plans to invade us. They wanted to get rid of the Slavs and annex Eastern Europe (and yes, they were mad at the Jews). WWII was the Soviet Union's war and victory, not ours; the truth you won't learn from a John Wayne movie. We were played. The smart answer would have been to make a deal with Japan and to let the Soviets and the Nazis destroy each other.
  • The bathroom controversy is obviously not about the fraction of a percent of the population who want to pretend they are the other sex because they're mentally ill; it's about sticking it to straight conservative America. There are quiet ways to accommodate such people and keep others safe, for businesses that can afford it: "family bathrooms" with completely secure stalls, for example.
  • The Mohammedans are easily dealt with. Don't invade (don't take their bait; they're here to pick a fight); don't invite (they can't bait us if we don't let them in). I'm more worried about our own bastard in Christendom, secular humanism, which is trying to use the Mohammedans as its "muscle" here.

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