Friday, October 31, 2014

A more traditional Catholic take on Halloween

Can be enjoyed here. Fun stuff.  And a reminder that there was a time when the annual festivities were all filtered through customs associated with the Christian faith.  Rather than the Christian faith rebelling against or simply accommodating what the World happens to be doing at the moment.  Bonus features are some links to some awesomely seasonal poetry and short stories.  And anything that features a nod to Riley has to be worth investigating.  So please, enter a Catholic take on our little festivities today, and remember, the Gobble'uns 'll git you Ef you Don't Watch Out!

Censoring comments is not the way to defend Pope Francis

Just saying.  For those who insist that the world and media are wrong, and that Francis isn't some rampaging liberal laying the seeds for future compromise with modernity, the growing defense trend is that Francis's comments must constantly be chalked up to misunderstandings.  Deliberate or otherwise.  Of course that's possible.  It is the media after all.  There's an agenda there, and we all know now that only a fool takes the press's take on things at face value.

Still, the one person that doesn't seem to know this is Pope Francis.  And time and again, his statements that to a word seem to be misinterpreted to reflect a modern liberal outlook, all must be dismissed as part of a vast anti-Francis conspiracy, or perhaps even Francis imitating Jesus by speaking in parables and vague ways to hide truths from all but the worthy on the Catholic blogosphere.

In any event, whether part of the grand scheme of Francis to lead all back to the Truth, or part of a vast conspiracy, or even that Francis is a typically left leaning product of S. American society, the fact remains it's been a topic of conversation for months.  Fine.  But every time a comment is deleted, at least as far as I see, it validates those who smell a rat.  Since deleting, while it can be (and often is) excused as sheer disgust at horrible comments, more often than not looks like someone trying to hide something.  And that doesn't bode well in a delicate situation like this.

Where are the posts?

As can be seen, blogging hasn't been a consistent thing here at Daffey Thoughts.  Life and all.  As I've said, I began this a century ago, when several parishes were inviting me to speak, and priests suggested I write, and this and that and so on and so on and scooby dooby doo.

Well that was years ago.  Since then our family has been through it.  We're still hanging on by a thread, and for some reason, the Church has more or less shut us - or at least me - out.  Suddenly my services stopped being considered, and as I became more direct in trying to find my niche in the Church as a former Protestant minister, it seems I'm in even less demand.

Recently, after a series of talks and meetings, I was pointed to the man in charge of vocations in our diocese.  He seemed cautiously optimistic that we might be able to find something for me.  He said there were other individuals with far more baggage than I have that they've worked with.  So he was to meet with the Bishop and bring my case to the powers that be.  That was a few weeks ago, and I'm awaiting news on that front.

But since that particular part of my life is in stall formation, and the rest of our lives have been a series of upheavals and near misses, it's taken away the time to do things like blog regularly. Not to mention other staples of the old Griffey Family.  And to be honest, if I'm going to be shut out and my ministry days ended, keeping up with a blog even remotely associated with conveying thoughts and kicking things about ceases to be on even the top 1000 list of things to do.

Nonetheless, I remain cautiously optimistic.  Despite reasons to be skeptical of any future resolution, I'm still holding out.  So I come today for my annual Halloween post.  OK, it's a cheap cop-out, like those old cartoons that were simply rehashing earlier cartoons, or those best-of shows that just looked at old scenes from earlier shows.  The following are some posts from former years, both with the boys and thoughts on the season in general.  Feel free to enjoy the day and have a Happy Halloween.

Some posts that every person should read are here, here, here, here, and here.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Where is the outcry?

My sons pointed this out.  Where are the rallies?  The calls for gun control? Where is the media analysis about the Right, Conservatives, Gun Culture?  Where are the usual tropes and the typical politicians coming out and demanding action?  It's not just the numbers.  Some could argue that the numbers of victims are the reason.  But we need only think Ferguson.  Why?  Why are there no usual outcries and calls for justice?   I don't know.  But the coverage of this has definitely been different than the coverage of other high profile tragic shootings in recent months.

Bless the loved ones of those who died, the souls of all who died, and peace and strength to all who need it, just as all who suffered similar loss during this time that we don't know about.

The only thing that is news to me

Is that this is news to anyone.  The Secular Left, with its foothold in the national media, enjoys the crafted narrative that bigotry and prejudice are the domain of the Right of Center.  Thinking people who don't succumb to (or gleefully embrace for personal reasons) the propaganda of the Progressive Juggernaut, are not surprised.  Again, against the Secular Left there is no compromise.  You either conform and obey, or you're the enemy.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

When I read news stories about Catholicism

Like this, I am reminded that the attitudes of the post-Christian Left are basically summed up by this.  As Ross Douthat has pointed out, there is no compromise with the secular Left.  Every Western faith tradition that has tried has died in the process.  So as the Catholic Church bumbles and stumbles its way to find a compromise, just remember the other times in history when the Church adopted the attitudes and ideals of the surrounding, non-Christian age.  The results, I'm afraid, were seldom good.

When Catholics are too closely conformed to the spirit of their age, any age, the Gospel is compromised.    Francis Cardinal George.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pope calls to end life sentences?

Catholics pining for an end to the death penalty have put almost all eggs in the 'life sentence' basket.  That's because we're not prepared to say 'just let the criminal go, and if he kills, we'll try again.'  That was common among the liberal attitudes of the 70s, because the idea was that there were not criminals, only victims of cruel and unjust, oppressive societies.  And those who were part of those unjust societies?  Well, it was never said, but I always got the impression that there was a sort of 'serves them right' attitude whenever an innocent was killed by a released prisoner for whom rehab hadn't taken hold.

The Death Penalty, in the end, is part of the realization the Church had ages ago that we not only live in a fallen world, but are called to be in the fallen world.  Unlike the Amish or monastic communities, most are called to be in this fallen world a light to the world.  Salt of the earth and all.  Because of this, our heavenward focus had to be tempered with concessions to living in light of the way it is.

Hence, Just War.  Hence, the Death Penalty.  Hence putting an end to that idealized Church of Acts 2, where all share and none are in need.  Some Catholics will have millions.  Some will starve.  And like the Death Penalty and Just War, this was simply a fact of life.  We could try to do it in light of endless layers of Christian teaching.  But we had to accept the realities.

Now we have the Church, in light of endless assaults by the post-Christian Left, and to be fair, some left over barbs from Protestants and non-Catholic Christians, trying to revise its old teachings to conform to the expectations of the post-modern world.  Just War is almost - almost mind you - a thing of the past.  Likewise, the  Death Penalty has been under assault for decades.

But now Pope Francis throws in the gauntlet against not just executing prisoners, but imprisoning them for life.  In fairness, advocates of the Death Penalty have used this very argument.  How is imprisoning a person for life, with no hope of escape but death, any different than executing them?  For Catholic legalists, of course, there is a world of difference.  In that particular branch of the Church, you can indirectly cause the death of millions, as long as you don't directly cause the death of one guilty person to save them.

But for most, that's not the way it should be.  Something about throwing someone into prison for life isn't much better than executing them.  Assuming the generally implicit universalism in the modern Church, there is no concern for saving the prisoner's soul. So no real reason to execute, and yet how to validate keeping them in prison for life?

Enter Pope Francis.  Not just do we ban the Death Penatly, but we ban life sentences, too.  Which is, in fairness, consistent.  But it opens up a problem.  Are we advocating the old liberal notion that if a person kills again, we'll just try again?  We have loved Bonnie and Clyde, but have hated Ozzie and Harriet?

And if not, how do we reconcile the radical discipleship that says 'if the innocent be like to die, then so be it, we'll just try again', with a Church that still allows us the creature comforts and luxuries of commercialism and affluence while our fellows starve in the mud around the world.  That, to me, is the challenge.

For if the Church builds a radical discipleship on 'by the degree to which I'm willing to let others die so I can live in comfort have I displayed my righteousness', then I can't help but think we're entering into a new period of history destined to once more give Jesus a couple black eyes and take the Gospel, yet again, down a notch or two in the eyes of the world.

The good news is that Pope Francis may be pushing for a completely radical discipleship that will soon challenge the non-Acts 2 approach of living out the faith in addition to such favorites as capital punishment and Just War.  Whether Catholics will hear all of it, or just the portions that help them win arguments on the blogosphere, has yet to be seen.

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 ( - 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.