Tuesday, October 21, 2014

You can't argue with success

When lamenting the downward spiral of CAEI, and the tendency of a self proclaimed conservative Catholic to speak more harshly and mercilessly about conservative Christians and Americans than a KKK rally does about MLK, all to the cheers and praise of an overwhelmingly left leaning or non-conformist or even anti-American reader base, remember one thing:  It worked like a charm.  There's a reason the Rolling Stones looked at the success that arose from the Beatles' shock value and decide, not to attempt to conform to good old Christian values, but push the boundaries even wider than anyone could imagine.  It worked.

Same here.  Whatever the reasons for the strange emphasis on celebrating liberal narratives and perspectives while accepting the liberal stereotypes of any who stand against the leftist juggernaut, it can't be denied that it's worked like a charm.  And sometimes there are still those gems that speak wonderfully about what the Catholic faith is about.  But it's also a very Catholic thing that someone can appear at one point to be so balanced and discerning and objective, only to step behind "closed doors", in this case blog styled closed doors, and act in ways that would shame the most ardent fundamentalist zealots.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Some different news about the Synod

Given the disastrous public relations record of the recently begun Synod on the Family, most Catholic reactions have been along the line of 'calm down'.  That's fair.  It won't really matter until the last signature is down and the Pope has spoken.  And that's a long way down the road.  Liberals and secularists are hoping, of course, that this is the first small step toward turning the Catholic Church down the path of post-Christian liberalism.  Traditionalists and Conservatives are worried about the same. 

The reactions are basically divided between those two groups.  With moderate to liberal Catholics joining he chorus of 'don't worry'.  Which, itself, is worth noting.  Nonetheless, most of the stories picked up on by the press are things the liberal advocating press wants to be heard.  Such as Cardinal Raymond Burke being demoted; Burke is, of course, a known critic of what he sees as Pope Francis's more liberal approaches to certain social issues like homosexuality.  If there is any real push back by those not wishing to embrace a liberal turn for the Church, you'd never know it.

At least not if you're counting on the press.  Here's a story from a different perspective.  Take it for what it's worth.  If the Church embraces the liberal templates for social morality, it will not be surprising.  It already has embraced much of liberal scholarship and scientific theory.  As well as political theory and action.  This would be the next step.  And not the first.  It isn't as if the Catholic Church has an untarnished record when it comes to embracing the latest, hippest societal changes in the civilizations by which it finds itself surrounded.  But we'll have to see. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

When commercials are better than most movies today

"Are you crazy?!" This one made me laugh.  Everyone does it perfectly, including the supposed bad guy who can only shake his head in disbelief.  Listen for the hilarious line at the end, after the advertisement part.  Fun commercial just right for the season.

Amen and amen!

I've long said that while learning from and admitting the sins of our ancestors is good, and hopefully good for learning lessons, what the call for 'national repentance' is nowadays has nothing to do with penance or lessons.  It's a ploy.  For one group, it's a chance to obliterate everything that the Christian West built up in order to replace it with the New Way.  For others, it's a chance at apathy and judgement, basically meaning 'our nation sucks and everyone is evil...except me and my hand selected group of awesome hipsters.'  This quote by C.S. Lewis, over at American Catholic, nails it.  Truly a quote suitable for framing.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Freedom from Religious Freedom Foundation

Has just moved the goal line.  Remember how we were assured that nobody would try to ban religion in our own homes, on our own private property?  Remember when we were told religion just had to be eradicated from the public forum, that people who are too religious or follow the wrong religious beliefs shouldn't be able to hold office, and that the bad religions have no reason to think they deserve the same rights that advocates of Truth enjoy?  Remember how we, as a society, gradually warmed up to that, especially since it promised us lots of sex and drugs and narcissism and hedonism in return?

Well, read this. That's right.  The Freedom from Religion Religious Freedom Foundation is protesting three crosses set up on PRIVATE PROPERTY that faces a school.  Sure, the crosses are there to make a point.  But it is PRIVATE PROPERTY.  And while no major law suits appear to be in the making, the Foundation of supporting thought control and censorship has made it clear that this is a clear violation of the right of anti-religious bigots to not be offended by the presence of religions they hate.  Again, not much on the anti-Muslim front, or the anti-Jewish front.  But strangely it's always those crosses that bring out the attacks. 

Anyway, you're seeing the next step.  It's Private Property.  The next frontier in the march to turn the US into a secular dream, and a believer's nightmare. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Because we are not stupid

Like those people who were dumb and evil.  We're smart.  Working more than a medieval peasant for less than our parents made?  Tell me we're not geniuses.  Therefore, this shouldn't worry anyone.  A polite debate perhaps.  An interesting discussion.  Apple will release the latest IPhone soon.  No need to care about anything else.  Move on. 

When post-moderns say 'we ist the master race, we....' What? 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Liberals score!

As I've said, the fundamental mantra of liberalism is that White, European and American, heterosexual Christian Men are the scum source of all suffering and the inferior manifestation of evil in all the world.  The rest of the world's peoples being an inherently good and caring lot, beautiful, perfect, loving, tolerant, buff bodies, perfect teeth and hair, the sort of people God was hoping to be in the Incarnation but never quite cut it.  

As such, it is the design of the Left to eradicate the world of all vestiges of the Western Christian tradition.  Not just fundamental teachings, but various tributes, celebrations and allusions to possible goodness. 

So like I said some time ago, it's only a matter of time before Columbus Day is a thing of the past.  The first nail has been put in the coffin in America's contribution to communism on the mainland.  Seattle has not just banned it, but has called for a celebration of Indigenous Day!  That is a celebration of all peoples oppressed by History's Horrible Bad Guys.  Including, of course, gays and lesbians and other sexually oppressed groups.  Never let it be said that American Indians and Blacks aren't being brutally and shamelessly exploited in order to advance these various leftist dogmas. 

But here it is.  the celebration bells ring.  Even on a local radio show, the conclusion was 'eh, they were screwed by America, Columbus was a racist genocidal slave owner, maybe it's time to tear it all down.'  And that's from the local conservative station.  Defeat.  Victory may be in heaven, but it saddens me to see what our children and their children will endure due to our lack of vision, arrogance, and general apathy.

A message from the tolerant free thinking Left:

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The US Economy is improving

According to CNN.  The big question is why us doltish Americans can't seem to grasp the obvious. So CNN has a round table discussion this morning sympathizing with President Obama, wondering why Americans just don't feel the love and what this means politically for the Democrats.  And it's not just on TV.  CNN has been, along with most of the national media, beating the drumbeat of perpetual improvement for years.  Read here, and here, and here.  Oh, and here, and here, and here.

Of course it is because the jobs are temp and part time jobs, or just people giving up and driving down the unemployment rate.  Wages are stagnant while cost of living continues to rise.  We were just informed that we'll likely not have a raise, but our insurance premiums are going up next year.  That's a net loss, that's losing money, having your income go down for the same work.

People working jobs that, 20 years ago, would have allowed a little savings and an occasional trip to Disney, can't pay the bills or pay for food or basics.  That's why people are upset.  And if a conservative Republican was in office, you can damn well bet the media would be all over that.  Just the fact that most of the economic boon of the last five years has gone to the top 5% would have been a rallying cry.  I remember that in college in the 80s.  But now?  Silence.

Does it bother Americans that we don't have a media interested in conveying information.  It's about indoctrinating and brainwashing us into conforming to a single world view.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mark Shea is not a liberal

So he points out here.  I respond thus:
Here's an observation. We go to a parish that is moderate to left as a general rule. My 16 year old made an interesting observation. There are Catholics who are liberal in the most modern sense. But after a discussion with his youth group last year, he noted that some Catholics say they're liberal, but compared to the liberal he sees in the world, he thinks they're mainly just anti-Conservative. 
I went back and found, in one month, at least 26 posts on CAEI attacking those on the Right in ways that would make MSNBC blush, taking the assumption that the radical Left's worst appraisal of conservatives and American conservatism is true. I found no more than a dozen or so on the things you're passionately against. And none taking the worst characterization of liberals or liberalism that one might hear on FOX or from talk radio. In fact, you've gone on record lamenting liberalism's embrace of things like abortion since, as you have said, liberalism has so many commendable things to offer. And you openly admire and respect some of our most visible advocates of liberalism, including advocates of some of the things you are passionately against. You have a small handful of exceptions to the rule of conservatives being what MSNBC and Huffpost say they are, but that's all. Your worst rage and rhetoric is aimed at those holding to various ideals associated with conservative viewpoints. 
So not a liberal in the modern, secular sense, though new readers could be forgiven for thinking so. Maybe not even anti-Conservative. But certainly some strange form of bleeding maize and blue while continually declaring your eternal devotion for the scarlet and grey.That is declaring yourself conservative with an overwhelming focus on the worst interpretations of those things to the right of center, with little comparable focus on those things to the left. Maybe a touch of the Nicholson? It should be noted that when something associated with the Left is hammered on CAEI, it is topic focused. That is, abortion, using gay marriage to smash liberty, things like that. The 'pelvic left' is as bad as it gets as sweeping condemnation, and usually only linked to particular issues, not echoing the worst assumptions about liberals in general. 
Oh, and it can't be because of 'readership.' One need only see the high fives and praises given by a wide range of readers for the 'conservatives are what the left say they are' posts to see the readership is nowhere near dominated by people from traditional and conservative perspectives as perhaps it once was. Just something I've noticed. Not falling into party loyalty is one thing, and not a bad one. Not doing so with an overwhelming focus on only one of the parties is another. Bound to cause some confusion.

A reader, who for defending a more conservative viewpoint was banned from CAEI quite some time ago, responds like this:

This whole post is as silly as claiming that you can't be a southerner because of [long list of catholic features] even as you speak with a southern accent, use country slang, and all while eating a plate of grits and washing it down with a glass of sweet tea. 
Signs you, Shea are a liberal: 
1) Conservative commentators on this blog get rebuked and banned more frequently and over smaller offenses than liberal commentators, the examples are pretty numerous. (this comment will probably be deleted and/or myself banned in fact)
2) You're adamant about being centrist, often using as proof that there are people more liberal. Conservatives not only openly admit that they are, but the movement as a whole has instituted a wide taxonomy for it's members. (paleo, neo, reactionary, libertarian, anarchist, many more) If you can't find the proper label to fit you on the right, well then guess what! (you're centrist -> left) Liberals are far more self-delusional about their positions on the ideological scale.
3) Your very use of "thing that used to be conservative" is in the grand liberal tradition of "only good conservative is a dead conservative". And no, that's not a threat or any statement of war, just - as Jonah Goldberg has pointed out (http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/258873/liberal-bouquets-dead-conservatives-jonah-goldberg) - liberals love to talk about how conservatives which are dead and gone were "alright" and "good folk" even as they bashed them with as much vitriol as they do current living conservatives.
4) You accepts uncritically the liberal narratives of race (i.e. Republicans are always racist), economics (i.e. the New Deal helped end the great depression!) and parts of history.
5) You speak of "leaders and intellectuals of the right" without... well dealing with ACTUAL leaders and intellectuals of the right.
6) You simply use liberal slang and assumptions smoothly and without pause while never grasping conservative slang and assumptions, in fact you often criticize them not as an insider speaking from firsthand knowledge but as an outsider repeating what you've heard.
7) And the most obvious, as Thomas Sowell pointed out once, you argue and debate as if there are solutions to problems, not trade-offs and often the solutions are the same: government (the few times you've tried NOT having that be the solution, your idea is so silly one wishes you had just went full on leftist).
In summary, while in the great leftist land of Seattle you might practically be Ronald Reagan, in "flyover country" and the halls of actual conservatives, you're a liberal. Not too liberal, there are worst leftists out there, but you're still on the left.
I don't know.  Again, if a guy is dressed up in maize and blue, season tickets to the Big House, and cheering on the Wolverines insists he's a Buckeye at heart, I have to accept it.  The Church says I should take his statements with the best interpretation possible.  And that means accepting that, for whatever reason, Mark still sees himself as a conservative.  I don't know.  Perhaps it's because conservatism has always been a mixed bag of various people 'conserving' different things. Don't know.  Anyhoo, that's what's happening on the always conservative CAEI.

A dialogue with atheists

Is going on here, on a former post.  It's not been terrible.  But a clash of world views, as the atheist in question can't seem to get why I can't provide evidence of God that presupposes a materialistic only universe.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pray for the victim

The name Colleen Hufford should be on the lips of every person in America, as should her family.  Her horrifying death is being covered, as opposed to any one of dozens of murders, because of its obvious link to current events.  Political Correctness being what it is, the media is focusing on this and then denying any clear and obvious connection at the same time.  The man who shot and stopped the murderous and despicable villain should also be a hero.  The killer?  Forget the name.  Wipe it out of our memories.  Let the judgment of God deal with that.

But call down the prayers and mercies of God on poor Colleen Hufford, her family who will live with this the rest of their lives, the other victims, the hero, and all who are in the cross hairs of such hellish hatred.

"A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more."

Should we hate Ted Cruz?

The discussion is underway at the always conservative CAEI.  One of the increasingly quoted contributors weighs in to remind us when the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church apply, and when they don't.  This is important since this site boasts many condemnations of those who hate on terrorists and others who attack the US and Christians.  Fun stuff.  

The state of things

Yep.  This is pretty much it.  But why?  Here's my thinking. My boys are homeschooled.  We use a classical curriculum.  That is, low on textbooks, high on original sources. They don't read a compilation of Greek mythology.  They read The Iliad, The Odyssey, Oedipus, and so on.  For Roman history, they read Livy, Marcus Aurelius, and so forth.

In terms of papers and assignments, they have to do research as best they can before they consult Google.  And here's why.  Those of us old enough remember that research was part of the learning process.  You learned as you researched.  The goal was to learn about Subject X.  But as you researched, you learned a host of things, sometimes about Subject X, sometimes about subjects A,B, and C.  Part of learning was the research.

But today, with social media, blogs, Facebook and worse, Wikipedia, research is a button.  You Google, click, and have the information.  Whether it is accurate or not isn't the point.  The point is, you didn't' even have to work for it.  There it was. There was no learning in the process.  Hence it could be absolute B.S. and there's a chance you won't even notice. And there sits our position on an issue.  We won.t even discuss people who reference places like Comedy Central as their primary sources!

Watch this.  The key part isn't 'the rape of the natural world.'  The key phrase is 'it didn't require any discipline to attain it.'  Which might be why we can no longer recognize the evidence for the positions we take as the bilge it is. The doom of the Social Media generation.

Losing the war for the hearts and minds

Catholics like to fuss about the HHS mandate.  Of course at this point, I've found no evidence that the US Bishops weren't one of Obama's prime allies in his push to mandate his healthcare policy.  Yes, they cautioned not to step on their toes over issues near and dear to Catholics.  But they weren't too concerned about other parts of his policy and how it could impact Americans, or other Americans' rights for that matter.

Which isn't surprising since, apart from a few genital centered topics, the Bishops and the Democrats pretty much line up side by side in most issues.  Most Catholics are Democrat, most are moderate to liberal.  It's not shocking that the Bishops would be.  It could be argued the whole Church is going that direction.  I don't know for sure.

But I do know the Bishops had to have had their heads in the clouds when they thought they could stand behind Obama and yet somehow make sure they and their priorities would be protected.  They weren't.  And Obama unleashed a brilliant assault on those who still pine for the right to not be liberal.

Sure, it's in the courts now.  And people smarter about such things than I am say that the Church will eventually win.  That despite the fact that on the state level Church institutions have been compromising over providing such coverage for years, they will be victorious regarding the HHS mandate.  I guess there's an argument there, being on the federal level and all.

But that's not the battle.  The battle in any free society never starts at the federal level, or the presidency. It starts on the streets.  In the trenches.  In the hearts and minds of the population. You have to get people to support you there.  Then eventually, you win.

Fact is, most people are fine with the birth control coverage.  And even at the beginning a sizable portion of Americans were content with forcing religion to compromise.  That's because a growing number of Americans are accepting the Left's premise that traditional freedoms like speech and religion are not absolute anyway, but things like gender equality, sexual orientation equality, reproductive health and affordable healthcare are inalienable rights (that is, liberal values).  And when the traditional rights run afoul of the new rights, then those traditional rights just have to go.

That's the battle. That's the point.  Convince people that there is no Truth but liberalism, and eventually get to mandate the Truth accordingly.  Assuming the Bishops don't agree with that assertion, then they were played the fools.  Of course perhaps they do.  I don't know.  But if not, and if in some court case they cheer victory, I've got news for them.  They may have won a battle, but the war was lost almost before it began.

Save us from Global Warming!

So the marchers said.  And Catholics proudly joined forces, calling for an end to this imminent threat to humankind.  All of this, of course, while evidence is mounting that not only were all the doom and gloom predictions wrong, but that scientists are aware that they were wrong.

That's right.  Wrong.  Of course the predictions were wrong.  One of the predictions - if you remember - was that the Ice Caps would be melted away by - wait for it: 2013.  That's last year.  Not only are they not melted away, ice on the other side of the world could be doing the opposite.

All of this is to say that yes, climate change happens.  Always has, always will.  And I'm sure our reliance on artificially manufactured synthetics and pollutants is altogether good for us or the environment.  But like all things in our politics-as-the-new-religion age, this was seized by activists and ideologues with ulterior motives and is now a jumbled mess.  And an embarrassing one at that.

Again, I'm not saying we couldn't make changes.  I'm saying that there comes a time when the manufacturers of hysteria have to be seen as the buffoons they are.  Or at least we have to see how they see us as the buffoons we are. How many times does a person have to cry wolf before smart people say 'wait a minute'?

After all, if the whole point is that warming is going to kill us so we must end the Industrial West as we know it, actually realizing that we have yet to see the predictions come true might be the first step toward calming ourselves and demanding a more reasoned, rational discussion.

The last story about Catholics and gays, part deux

And just as I look down the list, I see this story.  A pregnant gay teacher is fired from a Catholic school.  Well duh.  First, by virtue of being openly gay.  Second, we have to assume by getting her child the old fashioned way by manufacturing it with the latest hip science. The story doesn't say, but is there any other way?  Unless they just brought in a man for the job, which cuts across another Church teaching.  And third, as the teacher herself points out because she's pregnant and not married.  Basically everything the Church teaches about sexuality thrown out the window.

Not a few paragraphs down the story.  Pope Francis is the great liberal hope.  There's much in the Catholic Apologetics sub-culture focusing on those deplorable traditionalists and their Francis hate.  And yes, some of the things said about Francis are over the line.  For that matter, some things said about people who criticize Francis are over the line, too.

But if Francis doesn't turn out to be the Great Liberal Hope, then it looks as though there will be more than just Traditionalists with egg on their faces.  In fact, it looks like a goodly amount of the planet will be mighty disappointing.  On that, I suppose, we're just going to have to wait and see.

Try working in a pro gay denomination some time

I love stories like this. You can just feel the unspoken references to Orwell, Big Brother, Fascism, and all those other tropes from the old days of liberalism, when we were promised an open society of free thought and respecting diverse opinions.

Of course this is the same culture that feels no compunction about trying to punish and ostracize anyone who fails to conform to liberal values regarding the same subject.  And it's not just the secular Left.

During our journey into the Catholic Church, I knew many ministers from more liberal denominations.  Many of their congregations declared themselves 'welcoming and affirming.'  That is, pro-gay.  Fair enough.  As crazy as those hazy days were, I actually considered some of those as possible avenues. After all, I wasn't sold on Catholicism just yet, and wanted to keep my ministry alive, and certainly had grown tired of some of the extremes of conservative evangelicalism I experienced.

But here's the thing.  By welcoming and affirming they meant pro-gay.  Just like so many euphemisms used on the Left, it didn't mean what it suggested.  They weren't welcoming and affirming at all.  And if I wasn't going to celebrate marriage equality and other euphemistic doctrines, then there was the door.

So while stories like this are meant to get people to think 'gee, that's like intolerant, isn't it?'  Just try watching the news sometime, and see the same treatment go the other way from those who want to suggest intolerance is a one way street.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

At times I'm ashamed

To visit certain blogs.  By certain I mean CAEI.  I usually stop visiting blogs that bother me that much.  I still go to CAEI for reasons I've already outlined. After several days of posting the usual screeds against conservatives, conservatism, the US government, the US, police, and most other things associated with your typical hard left blogger, the usual 'stop voting and call down a pox on both houses' post has popped up.  There will be more of course.

The reason is because the Bishops (those are the ones we are supposed to listen to) have made it clear on the subject of voting.  Be informed by the Church.  You can't vote to support intrinsic evil.  If a candidate supports intrinsic, grave evil, you shouldn't vote for him or her.  If there is no choice, and the candidates each have their own evils they support, you can take the extraordinary measure of just not voting (and that includes voting for a hopeless or pointless candidate), or vote for the one least like to do the most harm or most likely to impact the greater good.

Pretty simple stuff, huh?  But you see, that's the trick in some areas of Catholicism.  Many Catholics are content doing their best.  Living as they see in light of their faith.  Trying to make sense of things.  Sometimes the Church doesn't help in that.  As Mark himself said years ago, the Catholic Church does have an incorrigible knack for obscuring beautiful - or even useful - truths with confusing terminology.  Or sometimes what I call Catholic unspeak, the never quite getting around to saying it plain and simple.

But there are those, and many seem to dwell in the world of Catholic apologetics and the blogosphere, who aren't content with doing their best.  They seem to want to hedge their approaches by destroying any other view or interpretation.  Sometimes, as in the move to abolish the death penalty, the ball is in your court if that's what you want to see happen.  Sometimes it's a battle over the way something is interpreted.  But in cases like this, where the Church is clear about the acceptability of possible approaches, then what does that proud-to-be-obedient Catholic do who really doesn't agree with the Bishops' teaching?

Well, attack, that's what.  Declare that you have to read between the lines, or guessed what the ninth inner secret circle of what the Bishops really intend to mean actually is.  Or simply say you'll probably burn in Hell, but I'm not saying so (assuming Hell actually exists).

Nonetheless, these posts aren't bad for that.  They're bad because like drawing puss from a wound, they seem to draw out those proud individuals, many Catholic, who proclaim their contempt for America (or Murka as it's known), Democracy, Voting, or anything else that those schmucks called veterans fought and died for other the years.

I try to refrain from commenting, but when the verbal urinating on the country my kids are stuck inheriting gets too bad, and when I realize it's just this sort of asinine attitude that is actually helping us to the very direction everyone complains about, I have to say something.  So I did.  Consider it said.

BTW, kudos to TMLutas, who approaches these posts with a grace and dignity that once defined the blog, but now is a rare exception.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It is not marriage equality

Again, from the top, it's simply redefining marriage discrimination.  Assuming that it is automatically discrimination to tell human beings they can't marry who they want, then everyone is for some form of marriage discrimination, and most really aren't for real equality. Like so many things on the Left, it's dishonest and a lie and false and all those wonderful things which should warn our society like blaring whistles and bells.  But it doesn't.  So like the other utterly worthless term 'homophobe', 'equality' has been completely remade into a pointless and hollow term for an equally pointless and hollow generation.