Monday, October 26, 2020

Quick picks: my three daily dissident-right reads

Christianity, Catholicism, teaches universal brotherhood, not race - a soul is a soul. It also criticizes capitalism; otherwise that system's selfish and cruel. Also, to minister to all, clergy should keep out of partisan politics, even forfeiting their votes. Liberalism, wokeness, is bastard Christianity; Christian ethics without Christ. That's why it came from and has caught on in Christian countries. Wokeness is a religion.

For every other home truth, there's the dissident right.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

My messy religion

My answer after many years, and being in a few churches, is "messy." It didn't come all in one neat package.

In practice I'm a Byzantine Catholic. Liturgically and devotionally I do almost exactly what the Russian Orthodox do. Another good option is the traditional Latin Mass a strong minority of Catholics, mostly young, are reviving.

But when it comes to teaching, to doctrine, Catholicism is the gold standard. I don't mean private revelation like Lourdes and Fatima. Even when approved it's not required belief and I'm not interested. Bare-bones doctrine. Disprove Catholicism, and Christianity collapses like a house of cards.

All of the churches used to agree with Catholicism on contraception. Orthodox theology on remarriage after divorce doesn't make sense: the first marriage is indissoluble but adulterous second marriages are allowed for pastoral reasons. And as much as I love Orthodoxy and Russian politics and culture, I can't buy the anti-Westernism, that your baptism is no good because you don't come from their culture. That's bigotry and idolatry.

That said, I agree that Catholic culture, such as it is now, what's left of it, is mediocre and effeminate. My tie for second choice of religion, Buddhism and Germanic neo-paganism, has more appeal.

My country, the United States, founded by English Protestants, used to have a big white-ethnic (Irish etc.) immigrant Catholic minority, a community with its own subculture and a powerful voting bloc because it had a unique worldview. One of my sayings: Catholic ghetto is Christian community that liberals don't like.

There hasn't been an important Catholic community in America for over 50 years. It self-destructed in the 1960s: the Second Vatican Council. American Protestants got their wish.

I needed and wanted a tribe, a family, a culture. I came into Catholicism wanting that wonderful community I saw in the movies. It no longer exists.

The only Christianity that really matters in America is evangelicalism, some of whom are our red-pill allies. Most Catholics aren't. Witness the dumpster fire who is Pope Francis.

I was an Episcopalian to begin with. This influences my religion. Scripture and early church councils, not devotions. Classic "thou" religious English; I also know Latin and Slavonic well enough to serve in church. Good old-fashioned services, not sissy ones with guitars.

As much as I don't like Vatican II, it had a point like the best Protestants. Don't play games with religion and act more Christian, understanding the real meaning behind practices rather than going through the motions. Religious practices are learning aids, not the learning. When you think they are the learning, that's superstition.

Finally, I am not trying to pick off individually, split or replace the Orthodox. You are the gold standard of the Byzantine Rite I've adopted - we're not perfect but that's actually part of God's plan, and I worship with you for Vespers or Vigil a few times a year as Communion prep and to stay in touch.

P.S. Never mind the ecumenical happy talk. The Catholic and Orthodox churches have to interact because of inevitable mixed marriages in the West but really want nothing to do with each other.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Me, trashing Catholic traditionalists? Clearing the air about Harry and Beverly Stevens

Sometimes I've been accused of bashing Catholic traditionalists. Strange since I believe all Catholic doctrine and love the traditional Latin Mass (TLM) and the traditional office. I don't go to modern services.

While I'm here... clearing the air about Harry and Beverly Stevens of Regina Magazine and, pre-covid-19 anyway, European tours.

Nearly two years ago I made a mistake going too far criticizing a traditionalist. Let's call her Nia. Someone on Facebook asked if he could have the TLM minus the L - the traditional Mass in the vernacular. Nia kept saying "go to the ordinariate." The ordinariate is wonderful but not the TLM - it resembles the TLM but isn't. The text is based on the thou-and-thee traditional Episcopalian Communion service, a version the church approved. I thought her answer was offensive, dismissing the person asking.

It's like this. It's 1984. Pope John Paul the Overrated has just begrudgingly issued a strict indult allowing occasional TLMs. You had to beg your bishop for one until Benedict the Great's Summorum Pontificum in 2007. Anyway, this is what it was like:
"Please, Bishop, may we have the TLM?"
"No. The cathedral has Mass in Latin."
"But that's not the same - "
"The cathedral has Mass in Latin."
"It's a different service - "
"The cathedral has Mass in Latin."
"It's not really about Lat -"
"I SAID the cathedral has Mass in Latin. Good day."
Not being listened to. Dismissive.

So without naming Nia I carried my frustration over to the Stevenses' private conservative Catholic FB page. Unknown to me, Nia was there too and complained. After a short while I realized I made a mistake dragging this argument over to that page, and after failing to reconcile, blocked her just to keep the peace and not hurt/upset her further.

Some time passes. Another post is about Pope Francis supposedly not kneeling enough or not kneeling at the right times during services. I commented with something mild like "let's not be judgy trads; this is an 80-year-old so give him a break."

I get a Messenger text from Mr. Stevens: "Knock off trashing traditionalists."

I've been on this earth over five decades; you don't talk to me that way.

Trashing traditionalists? I sort of am one!

I'd forgotten about Nia, thinking the matter was long resolved. I thought Stevens was rude so - and this is understating it - I blew up at him.

20/20 hindsight. Now I get it.

I'm sorry and let's save the fighting for going after the real bad guys.