Sunday, March 29, 2015

In a reminder about the nature of the geek culture

Gen Con, the Vatican of all that is comic book, fantasy and sci-fi geekdom, is threatening to walk from Indiana over that state's attempt to protect religious conscience.

A friend of mine from my pastor days once said that sci-fi and fantasy types are more intelligent than most people.  I've come to realize that is not true.  Perhaps they have a high intelligence score, but in many cases I've seen over the years, they tend to lack in the world of high wisdom scores.  Pretty impressive use of fantasy RPG terms, huh?

Anyway, in addition to living in sometimes strange parallel versions of reality by assuming their own peculiar hobbies should define the way one lives, most are simply not on the traditional, Christian Western team.  As my boys have discovered, since they are quite into the world of fantasy, sci-fi and comics, most in that sizable world are quite frankly liberal, secular, or pagan or heathen, and quite proud of it.

Many apparently envision a world of endless orgies with buxom heroins in form fitting outfits, and ending this force of evil that is organized religion and traditional Western values.  Even publications now, such as that flagship product of the movement, Dungeons and Dragons, appear to read like a propaganda pamphlet for leftist, secular, post-Christian perspectives, where characters are more worried about going green than killing goblins.

Naturally, that game was never in line with your average Sunday School publication.  But given its origins, it did assume some basics that would still be in line with ideals and values that most Christians shouldn't have been offended by.

But now, Gen Con clearly knows its market and its audience.  There will be none who is part of its ritualistic gatherings who fail to conform to the True gospel of the Left.  And any law that seeks to protect the dwindling world of rights and liberties for non-liberal non-conformists, will find opposition from the lords of Gen Con and their +5 declarations of leftist intolerance.

The great gay trap continues to close

Indiana is doing just what the Leftist Juggernaut was hoping.  It has passed a law that, even to my novice eyes, seems filled with problems and issues.  This was hoped.  Because now a very good case can be made that it should be repealed, or at least changed.  And once we go down that path, any hope for resistance will crumble.

This was the beautiful part of the Leftist strategy.  Having promised that nobody would ever make people violate their religious conscience, in the wake of legalizing gay marriage, agents promptly went to work, seeking out religious photographers, bakers, and other entrepreneurs to force their hands and make them violate their religious conscience. Of course there are plenty of bakers and photographers and others who would gladly serve a gay wedding.  But that obviously wasn't the point.  The point was to set up a showdown like the one Indiana has stumbled into.

And so now it is Indiana getting the law involved to protect hate and bigotry, while allowing discrimination.  Which is exactly how the Left frames it.  And since the Left holds monopolies in the pop culture, media and educational institutions of our country, that is how it will be presented.

And because from all appearances, there are problems with the law as it stands, the inevitable defeat will occur down the road.  The law will be changed, repealed, something.  And once it is, those hoping to resist will splinter, give up hope, join the Left, and leave only a shard to keep the faith against growing resentment toward any who dare to resist.  Well done Indiana.  Heart in the right place.  But you can't always hope for good results against a power of darkness willing to throw all morals and righteousness out the window to achieve goals that are themselves wrong, if not evil.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Phil Robertson does it again

He enrages liberals and flushes out many non-liberals (of various sorts ) who will gladly jump on board with liberals in their contempt of other conservatives who offend liberals.

For what it's worth.  I don't defend Robertson per se.  What he said was heavy handed, and the type of thing best reserved for Bill Maher, Comedy Central, some talk radio and other venues of ill repute.  Nonetheless, the idea that liberals are shocked that someone would point out, however sloppily, the facts about what liberalism so sloppily promotes (moral relativism) is laughable.  This is a movement that has no problem unzipping and pissing on anything and anyone that gets in the way.

It's basically Rush Limbaugh being offended that some radio host might be biased.  It's a football fan complaining that rugby is too violent.  It's a die hard Trekkie accusing a Harry Potter fan of being a geek.  In short, the left has absolutely no place to yell offense at what Robertson said.  I hear worse said about opponents of abortion or gay marriage by respected news anchors.  It goes down from there.

Sure, what Robertson said was not altogether accurate.  It deserves better than he gave.  But then, the moral relativism that was shoveled into the mainstream over the decades often lacked substance as well.  Many argue for that relativism in ways that make Robertson seem like a Rhodes Scholar by comparison.  And in the most basic level, Robertson is right.  He just didn't say it well.

But I will not join the post-modern conservatives whose favorite sport is shoving daggers into the backs of fellow opponents of the Leftist juggernaut.  Smart conservatives would use this and build on it to point out where he was right, and defend him against attacks from outlets and individuals who have no problem saying far worse about people who disagree with them.  It remains to be seen what post-modern conservatives will do.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Evan Sayet swings and hits

Watch the video.  And then visit a liberal website or blog.  Huffington Post, Catholic and Enjoying It, Daily Kos. The Friently Atheist. Any will do.  Heck watch MSNBC or CNN. And compare.  Find where he is wrong.  I'm sure he's not right about everything.  But boy he hits close to the mark more often than not.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Two weeks of penance and counting

So I visited CAEI today.  In addition to reminders about one of two radio shows and another speaking engagement, there were only a couple posts.  One, in typical fashion, repeating the MSNBC meme that the GOP is not only idiotic, but also vile and wicked as well.  In fairness, Mark like many of his readers, is a proud non-conformist and sees calling a pox down on both houses as the only acceptable Catholic position.  So Democrats get no better, though in recent years Mark has been more friendly to moderate Republicans and Democrats in a pinch.

But the post that caught my eye was his take on the story that women want to take Andrew Jackson's picture off the 20.00 bill and replace it with a feminine hero.  At the rate we're going, most will likely be women and minorities within a generation, so I guess this is the first step.  Mark mostly makes fund with it, but he drops the 'Jackson as crazy racist' that is common in progressive and non-Anglo-European, Catholic views.  That is, America was pretty much a racist, imperialist, genocidal men who were wicked and evil and devoid of much value.

I decided to play a little, and suggested that racism as a deal breaker means rethinking my statement that racism shouldn't be a strike against Chesterton's popularity contest canonization.  The results are predictable.  Of course Jackson was evil, a genocidal murderer, a tyrant, evil, a liar, dishonest, and unworthy of any regard.

The fun was watching the usual liberal stereotypes, childish responses, and hilarious attempts to remain consistent while explaining why suddenly racism may not be that big a deal, when set against American genocide.  I only took it somewhat seriously.  But it shows the absolute plummet of credibility that marks the blog, and unfortunately, a fairly large swath of Catholic apologetic media today.  But this is ground zero for the bizarre evolution, so there I will remain for a couple more weeks.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Lenten Penance

This year has been a struggle, as I work things out relative to the shifts that have happened in Catholicism since I've been Catholic.  The last vestiges of pre-progressive culture have been swept behind us, except for those sexual issues that would likely not impact celibate men.  Everything else is increasingly along the lines of modern, Western, progressive and even secular social and political theory.

That is enough right there.  Add to it the slammed doors on any hope that I will be able to act in the capacity of a minister of the Gospel, and it's been tough.  What to give up?  What to sacrifice?  What to commit to?

Well, I decided, a few weeks into Lent I admit, that my penance will be a daily visit to Catholic and Enjoying It.  That may sound strange.  But here is why.

In my early days of looking at non-Protestant Christianity, I stumbled on CAEI largely by accident.  I was searching for some free downloadable articles by Scott Hahn, without success.  Then I found an article by someone named Mark Shea.  It dealt with the strange aversion many Protestants have regarding Mary.  It was direct, but nice.  Even respectful.  There were some clever zingers, making the point without offending.  But the point was solid, fair, and truthful.

I went back, found his website, and gobbled up the articles.  They were almost all wonderful.  Here was a conservative American Catholic, not afraid to point out when Conservatism wasn't following the path of Christ.  He was also fair when liberalism was correct.  His blog was a little more raucous.  But those were usually the readers.  Mark himself was often the goalie, stepping in and stopping things before they went too far.  Even telling his friends to back off.  No personal attacks or accusations were allowed.  Those would get you the door.

There you had it.  You could be conservative and Catholic.  The stereotype of Catholicism and Liberal Socialism voting Democrats as the sacramental calling of modern Catholicism was not universal.  You could love America, admit it sins, but not emphasize them (which Mark pointed out was often a very un-Christian thing to do).  You could respect the heritage of Western Civilization. You could evenly boldly declare "Why We Must Fight" following 9/11.  He even liked Tolkien, and the books I liked.  And his humor and mine were not too far off each other.

Perhaps it was my own fault that I saw in Mark's rather balanced approach as what Catholicism was, rather than looking further.  But that was well over ten years ago.

Today, the Church has changed in just the time since we came into it.  The generation that had welcomed Protestant Clergy Converts into the fold have passed to retirement.  With some exceptions in the priesthood, most now in charge (Boomer age) seem to want little to do with us, unless we can design webpages or raise money.  And it isn't hard to see that Oprah style liberalism and the growing pronouncements about reality from Church leaders sound increasingly the same.  The Bishops' willingness to almost in one voice support the Democrats in all things, as long as they don't screw the Church, and the shift toward accepting the Secular narrative are hard to miss.

True, Pope Francis is a horse of a different color.  But those who have studied liberation theology and the Marxist influences in South American Christianity will recognize at least some influences there, even if what he is willing to take a stand against other forms of radical leftist morality (again, usually where sex is concerned).

On CAEI, the change is even more pronounced.  It's almost an entirely different world.  An entirely different blogger.  Most regulars of old have long since moved on.  The readers are either post-modern non-conformists cheering on their own superiority over all those loser "tribal Catholics", or clearly hard to the Left progressives, with varying degrees of anti-abortion and non-gay marriage support.  In fact, opposing gay "marriage" is about the only thing that separates much modern talk about homosexuality in the Church from your average LGBT rally. And CAEI echoes this.

CAEI is a strange mixture now of Jack Chick, Glenn Beck, Huffington Post progressive thought, and a reminder that Catholics are, whether we want to admit it or not, heirs of the Inquisition.  For a couple years, many regulars tried to warn that there was little to do with enjoying anything on CAEI, and a growing discrepancy between a man who claims to be conservative, and a man who increasingly seems to love liberalism but hate conservatism.  One by one, those readers have apparently given up and moved on.  Only a handful remain.  God love them.

For me, who has been accused of horrible things by the stock readers and by Mark himself - including not caring about murdered children at Sandy Hook and desiring to increase human slaughter - there is little joy or happiness now.  The anti-Western, anti-American, anti-Traditional and anti-Conservative narrative fully embraced has made me more of an outcast there than I was at the Huffington Post.  And to be honest, I've been called far worse on CAEI than I was at the Huffington Post.  And it was leaving HP (as well as being banned for not being liberal) that was one of the reasons I started my blog!  Which is always a possibility at CAEI, since the thing that gets you banned now is pretty much defending traditional and conservative viewpoints, with rare exception.

So why keep going?  Because, as I've said before, Mark stepped in and helped our family when we needed help.  He also helped us by sending us drafts of his Mary books when we were asking questions, before I even visited his blog.  And I do think that, deep down, Mark is a sensitive, thoughtful individual.  It's just that he seems to get his comfort from being entirely obedient to the Vatican, the Vatican now, as opposed to "Cafeteria Catholics" who aren't.  And as the Church shifts to the Left, what can he do?  Openly disagree? Perhaps the tension between realizing the Church's embrace of modernity and his deep down preference for more Conservative ideals is the cause of the rancor.  Perhaps he was never really that conservative.  Maybe he did think Conservatives were equal to God, and had a meltdown when he realized the truth.  Who knows?  But he's become successful in this new incarnation, and it's unlikely now that he will change and go back.

So I've committed myself to one more round.  I will visit everyday, and try to post at least one post each day.  I will avoid anything that will bring the accusations and condescension from readers whose bizarre level of lunacy and leftist judgemental intolerance appears to be accepted, if not supported, by Mark.  If it happens, it happens.  Then, come the great celebration of Easter and the Resurrection, I too will rise from the dregs that have embraced the worst of our post-modern culture, and move on to where I can once again find joy and happiness in the historic Faith, not despite this or that blog, but because of this or that blog, if I decide to find another one at all.

Is canonization a popularity contest?

The Atlantic writes about the possibility of a Saint Chesterton.  It should be no surprise to those who frequent the Catholic Blogosphere that in some circles, Chesterton did everything short of dying on the cross for humanity.  I thought Beatles fans were a fanatic group.  Compared to that quarter set on venerating Chesterton, they pale in comparison.  And it all seems based on nothing other than a drive no different than the celebrity worship one sees at a rock concert or red carpet event in Hollywood.

Much talk is given toward Chesterton's attitudes toward Jews and race in general.  An attitude that, based upon our modern sensitivities, was clearly racist and bigoted.  As were almost all who lived before the modern era and were cursed with light pigmentation.

For me, I certainly would have no problem with that, since I tend not to judge previous generations as mercilessly and brutally as modern progressive sensitivities demand.  The strange this is how many Catholics who give no quarter to others, especially Protestants or just about any American (including, especially, our Founding Fathers), in this case suddenly say race is just one of those things.  No big deal,.  Bigger issues.  Let's move on.

That, children, is what the charge 'Superior by Catholic' means.  That is, when Catholics are at their worst, it's no big deal.  Forgive.  We're all just sinners.  Move on.  But when non-Catholics, especially those rascally Protestants, are only 99% holy, then a pox upon their houses!  That is deplorable!  Shame and merciless judgement on them all!

Sometimes I think I'm too consistent to be a good Catholic.  Fortunately, much of the worst stereotypes are only affirmed in that parallel universe of the Blogosphere.  Unfortunately, as the Atlantic article suggests, that quarter is the one with increasingly disproportionate influence.

FWIW, it wouldn't be his timely attitudes toward race that would bother me.  It's just that it's 1. all seems to be a popularity contest, and 2. he was so often so wrong about so many things.  Especially entertaining is reading his musings that suggest he believes all was right with the world until Protestants came by and ruined it all.  Apparently he didn't have access to books written about history of Catholicism before the 1500s.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

For my boys

Especially my 16 year old, who is trudging through the world of Calculus.  Years old, and I still love watching it.

Monday, March 16, 2015

St Patrick's Feast 2015

In our ongoing attempts to make different seasons special, we had our annual St. Patrick's Day feast. Despite the hijacking of the celebrations by the militant Left, we remember the traditions of the Old Country.  We watch Irish videos (yeah, videos).  We listen to good old authentic Irish music.  Maybe, if we're lucky, we catch a showing of Disney's should-never-be-forgotten fantasy classic Darby O'Gill and the Little People.  And we have our feast.  This year, owing to schedules, we moved the meal to Sunday, instead of Tuesday.  I took Monday off of work, and my wife, still looking for full time work, has Monday off.  So that was a day buffer to recoup.

Then it was off to the car mechanic Monday morning to find out in $513.00, I'll get a new axle repair.  Which can wait.  And for our situation, that's not bad. So good tax news, and at least acceptable car news, all we need now is good health news, and we'll be able to kick in and get some serious praise and thanksgiving to the Almighty.

So here are some shots of our dinner, our awesome meal, which was made up of Dublin Coddle, baked cabbage, soda bread, potato and leek soup, and whiskey glazed carrots, seed cake, with of course an obligatory shot of our boys at the Warren Harding memorial.  The stuff that life is made of.

The family getting ready to dine, green Kool-Aide and Guinness accompanying

The whole of what awaited me - it was as awesome as it looks

A close up of the main dish; Dublin Coddle, a traditional Irish course.  It was filling. 

A seed cake that Bilbo would be proud of

The ever camera attracting boys, on a chilly morning 2015

How to succeed as a Catholic apologist

Don't admit you are one first.  Following the Comedy central or Glenn Beck approach, just say you're some nobody important slob laity throwing out opinions.  This allows you the forum of a pundit or apologist, with the post-modern desire to avoid accountability.  Which fans love.

Then, know your audience.  In the end, the Catholic Church, in America at least, is hard to the Left.  Most Catholics are more liberal than conservative.  And it isn't hard to see the Church is making strides in that direction.  You want numbers, you go for the largest market.

Now if you really want to get a following, then declare yourself a conservative and then spend almost all of your time trashing conservatives.  That is important.  It's common today.  Declare your demographic to be as bad as everyone else says.  Those not in the demographic love it.  And then take the next step and praise the demographic you insist you have nothing to do with!  Look at how Ron Paul and McCain were loved by the press.  The Media love them.  At least until you run for office.  And if you aren't running for office, then there's no reason to change.  It is also beneficial because you can insist it's all just part of being a bold non-tribalist.  Another important factor in the new 'non-hyphenated Catholics' movement.  That is, everyone is a tribalist, but I'm just pure, unblemished Catholic.  Many wishing to thank God for not being like those hyphenated Catholics over there will surely flock to the banner.

And of course, dispense with the old 'let's reason together' approach to discourse.  Lay it on, judge ruthlessly, and declare that there are only two groups: those on board with the Truth (that is, your interpretation of things), and the stupid, evil people.  If the bulk of those stupid, evil people are your own demographic, you'll have quite a fan base, and do quite well - as witnessed by the sheer uptick in engagements and venues you'll be offered.

FWIW, when you have multiple sources of income, and are seeing an average of three or four speaking engagements a month at $2,000.00 to $3,000.00 base per engagement according to your own website (even assuming some are for free for charity sake), however, I'd suggest that the description 'lower middle class' no longer applies.  Even assuming living in a high expense city and 1099 income.  At least in the world of the Faith. In the world of media driven polemics and self promotion?  Who can say.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

It's Pi(e) day!

In case you missed it, you can catch it again.  Make sure you eat the appropriate desert.

UPDATE: Here is what we had for Pi Day, courtesy of our oldest son/resident baker:


Good stuff!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Milestone!

I've officially lost 50 pounds!  Woohoo!   That's one of those things that has been occupying my time for the last few months.  Since November, when I was diagnosed as borderline diabetic, I've been hitting the YMCA and cutting back on the vittles.  I don't plan to super diet for long, settling into a more steady intake to maintain rather than lose, but I still have a few pounds left to get to my optimum. Still some good news on the old scale this morning.

On the prayer side, I have to get some tests done.  A few issues came up in my physical yesterday, and they need to figure what's going on.  The C-word was dropped, albeit as a slim likelihood.  Still, once that is said, all thoughts go to that until the tests come back.  So prayers would be appreciated.

Someone's face has been edited onto my body!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Scott Walker kills unborn babies

According to the always balanced and reliable CAEI.  Warning: The post-modern is strong with this one.

UPDATE: It looks like Mark has pulled this vile post.  Though an apology and explanation would have been better, I'll take its removal.  It was one of the worst accusations I've ever seen, and I can't think of anyone in media, save for possibly a couple of the most vitriolic contributors on MSNBC, that would say such a thing.  If even then.  So well done Mark.  Next time try not to post such things in the first place.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Happy Anniversary!

To the world's cutest and most tolerant wife.  I hear the second 22 years are even better than the first!  Thanks for agreeing to share them with me.



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Jonah Goldberg agrees with me

Wow.  I'm not saying I always agree with Mr. Goldberg, but that I caught this story before I read his take, and it is so close to my spin on events, makes me feel a little like that kid who catches a fly ball at a Cincinnati Reds home game.  I'm not in the big league, but I've touched it.

Of course it isn't difficult to see the bleeding obvious.  Only hardcore liberals and idiots can miss the obvious, level-rising-to-stink degree of hypocrisy and double standards behind the latest inquisitorial witch hunt aimed as Rudy Giuliani   FWIW, I'm not a big fan of the good former mayor, but this is laughably beyond ridiculous.  If it was a Monty Python skit or Saturday Night Live routine I would object to it on the basis of being way over the top.

But it's real.  It shows the swagger and confidence that the post-Christian Left is developing as it seeks to consolidate power and tyrannical rule by crushing opposition and ending these antiquated notions of freedom of speech and religious belief.

What Tolkien taught me

I've learned that the wisdom of Tolkien might very well exceed his intelligence, and that's saying something.  As I watch the rot set in and the rolling victories of the post-Christian Left, I must say that the keen perception that Tolkien had for the reality of things far outpaced that of most authors of the 20th century, even those more often lauded for their insights.

So one of the many lessons I've learned from Tolkien's works is that when there are failings or breakdowns in the Fellowship, you still don't leap over and join with Sauron's forces to hammer the culprit.  You might chastise, but you do so ever mindful of the dark power that grows in the East.  So when Boromir fails his test with Frodo and attempts to steal the ring, the appropriate response is not to join with the Orcs and pounce.  It is to attempt to undo the damage, ever mindful of what the enemy really is.

I thought of that, as I read this post at CAEI.  It's not hard to find this headline across the blogosphere, with many being anti-Christian and anti-religious blogs joining in, declaring that homophobes have no business being doctors, and that this is why we need laws punishing anyone who doesn't celebrate the gay juggernaut.

Personally, I think it was a bad decision by the doctor in question and poorly handled.  But I also sympathize.  We are seeing homosexuality being used as a wedge issue to ramrod a new morality into society, using every trick in the book and seeing as its end the ultimate reduction of rights, especially the right to not embrace the post-Christian secular Left.

Call it a culture war or not, but the results are the same.  And especially Catholics, who puddled the floor over the HHS mandate of the healthcare law that the Bishops otherwise fully supported, even though the Catholic Church had already reached such compromises on the state level in many cases anyway, ought not be so dismissive of those who see other fronts in this 'non-culture war' battle zone.

Taking a stand, even badly done or in a wrong way, should not be cause for daggers in the back emblazoned with Christian symbols.  At worst, it should be an admonition that the decision was wrong, but understandable given the climate in which we live, in which sane people can see that there is a concerted effort on the part of a growing swath of our society that wants to redefine what freedom and rights are, and is prepared to do so with the crushing, iron gauntlet of the law if at all possible.

Jumping on the side of the opposition (assuming it is still seen as the opposition), does little.  It won't stop those forces wishing to end liberty as previously understood, and it will silence those who may want to take a stand, for fear that the slightest deviation from perfection will be met with attacks, not from the forces arrayed against the Faith and its faithful, but from the very faithful we are supposed to be united with.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Do not criticize Obama

Don't do it. Just don't.  CNN just opened a segment saying that Giuliani's recent statements about Obama might not just ruin his legacy, it could hurt the entire GOP. Wow. I love liberalism's ability to fire verbal nuclear missiles at opponents, and then act as if the latest Holocaust took place over a pea shooter statement in return.  Reagan, Bush, Bush, Jr., have been accused of heinous, horrible things. They were accused of hating poor, children, minorities, gays, other countries.  They were called war mongers, racists, bigots.  They were accused of being idiots, of hating the world.  And the most that did was spark a discussion on Sunday morning talk shows.  

But let someone say Obama might not love America the way others have, given that many of Obama's own mentors have little love for America, and all hell breaks loose.  And naturally, David Axelrod jumps in and makes it about racism and racial divisions in order to advance the liberal agenda.  Did anybody not think that racism would be used to bludgeon anyone who didn't obey Obama?  What would liberals do without the boon of racial tensions?  

Anyone getting nauseous at the hypocrisy and wickedness of the modern Left yet?   Just wait. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sex, drugs and Catholicism

So, it looks like 50 Shades of Grey has made quite a stir across that strange landscape known as Catholic apologetics, and more specifically the Catholic blogosphere.  This is somewhat funny to me.  Why?  Well, here's the thing.  I once posted this.  I noticed that the Catholic world of apologetics had no problem cheering all the worst elements of the sex, drugs and even abortion culture - as long as there isn't actual abortions or sex.

So John Stewart, Andy Warhol, Roger Ebert, and any number of champions of the post-Christian secular Left also receive much praise and adoration from multiple sources in modern Catholic circles.  In addition, you have that ages old tendency that I've found Catholics live up to quite nicely.  In college, it was always assumed that if you wanted to learn about that God and Jesus stuff, it was the Protestants you wanted to hang with.  If you wanted to get wild and party, then you went Catholic.  Most Catholics I knew growing up - most, mind you - lived up to that.

Since I've been Catholic, I've noticed little to change that stereotype.  Copious amounts of cussing, F-bombs, dirty jokes, vulgar humor, drinking, smoking, even advocating for drugs are all what one can find in abundance throughout the Catholic world in America.  And you don't even have to go to a bar or party to find it.  The Sanctuary or the Church can be just the place.

I know, I know.  There's nothing wrong with cussing per se. Though the Bible does seem to prefer restraint of speech, we don't want to go puritanical legalism, and we recognize that language is a fluid thing, something Catholic advocates of speech in a manner that would make George Carlin blush are often quick to point out.  After all, Shakespeare!  Chaucer!  Even St. Paul and Jesus!  Why people in the Middle Ages said shit!  They cussed.  Sex and bathroom humor!

As one who fought against Evangelical obsessions with such things, arguing that a glass of beer or even an odd cuss word is not the end of the world, I've met my match as a Catholic.  I attended a Knights of Columbus training for the Lenten Fish Fry Fridays in the parish's school cafeteria, and was able to hear a litany of vulgarities and sex jokes and cussing the likes of which I've not heard since being in a high school locker room during track practice.

So here's the thing.  I call it 'dry-porn'.  That is, no Catholic actually condones online pornography, or sleeping with your secretary, or actually doing the things they joke about.  They just joke about it, and wallow in and enjoy the culture that produces it.  They mock those who have problems with it.  Until, you guessed it, something actually goes the next step and there is real snorting of cocaine or real penetration involved.  And then it's Katy bar the door.

Which once more illustrates that weird, strange world of Catholic living that one sees in so many places across the Catholic culture.  That idea that we can accept the premise of the latest, hippest.  We just must reject the logical conclusions. We can so mock and deride something like puritanism that we becomes cheerleaders for the opposite extreme, imagining that this is the clear and obvious solution.  Instead of fleeing from the near occasion of sin, we can slide up right next to it and cheer it on, yucking it up along the way.

So when some Catholics were bothered a few years ago about pictures that came about from a worldwide Youth celebration in Europe, showing teens sleeping together in their undies in tents far removed from adults, those expressing concern were lambasted (puritans!), since, you know, there was no actual penetration involved.

But now, that it's gone the next logical level, Catholics everywhere are now weighing in.  You see, one time years ago, I was warned about my preaching.  While doing a guest stint in northern Kentucky, I mentioned that it isn't a sin to drink alcohol.  In moderation of course.  A fellow who was a mentor told me, "Dave, those folks in Kentucky might be brewing their moonshine, but they don't want to hear it's OK."

Same here.  Something about much of the modern Catholic culture seems to love the sex, drugs and rock n' roll era and everything that comes with it.  They just don't want the actual porn and penetration and snorting that goes with the next step.  And for my money, they are no better than what was being said about those Kentuckian evangelicals when it came to alcohol.   Long and short, they were being accused of hypocrisy in the highest degree.

And furthermore, and this is just MHO, I find it hard to believe that one can be authentically pro-life in an age of AIDS and still take lightly, or even indulge in, the whole sex and drugs culture that to my mind is directly related to the pandemic that has killed more than Hitler or Stalin in their worst of days.  But that's for another post.

Bonus point: Commenter in one of the above links points to Medieval practices to suggest 50 Shades isn't all that bad!  I love it when bad arguments are turned back on those who love to use them without realizing how bad they are.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

How do Catholics do it?

How do they manage to come in near last when it comes to surveys of those faithful who are knowledgeable of their own traditions, to sustain divisions and divisiveness that would shame a baptist street corner, and do so with a cocksure assurance that Catholicism doesn't suffer from all the failings and flaws that other so called Christian traditions do?  How is it that the plain sense experience most people have when they meet average Catholics or even visit the blogosphere seems to contradict the notion that since Catholics have a real life breathing mageterium, papal authority, and the Bishops, that makes Catholicism safeguarded from such problems more than other traditions?

Easy.  Case study A.  Apparently, at some point, Pope Francis said something that suggested spanking isn't the worst thing since the Holocaust.  That parents who do so aren't murderous abusers setting their children up to be the next mass murdering psycho killers.  This, of course, dismissing the fact that fewer parents than ever in the last 50 years spank their children, while violence among young people under the age of 21 has skyrocketed during the same period.  No doubt cosmic coincidence.

For liberals - and it'ts usually those who lean left who have such a righteous indignation about the practice - it's no big deal.  It's Francis.  He's Pope.  As long as he affirms the true gospel (liberalism), OK.  But otherwise, screw him.

But for Catholics who are obedient, follow the Pope, listen to the teaching authority of the Church, we have a problem.  Enter the article in question.  It is, like so many articles about the Pope, one stacked with 'you thought it was said, but I tell you what was really said.'  Context, bad translations, the evil media (believable that), all are brought to light as reasons why we don't need to believe Pope Francis disagreed with me about something I really believe, but the really true interpretation when taken in proper context and understanding of what the Pope really meant to say happens to, out of dumb luck, validate everything I thought to begin with.

Same thing happened a while ago. when Pope Francis challenged the more libertarian/liberal leaning Catholics by coming down on the idea of legalizing drugs. A problem? Not so for the creative Catholics!  They simply did what was done here with spanking, and what I've noticed has become the cornerstone of modern apologetics in the Catholic Church, especially of the Internet variety: context, true interpretation, bad reporting, etc.  Everything that proves I'm still awesome and the latest Pope happens to agree.

So there you have it.  Why is it that Catholics tend toward dead last when, according to Catholics, they have everything going for them that Protestants and Orthodox and other traditions don't?  Easy. With all due respect to Mark Twain fans who got it wrong, the most Protestant Christians I've ever known are the Christians I've met who belong to the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis may not approve

Saturday, February 7, 2015

I don't visit the Catholic blogosphere much anymore

Much of it, as seen here, is a drawn out version of 'thank you God that you haven't made me like those deplorable sinners over there.'  Not to mention the clear and obvious move the Church is making toward somehow trying to find compromise with the post-Christian secular Left.  Sure, it's not going to embrace it or just jettison dogma.  It doesn't have to.  As apologists made clear during the issue of lying, there are thousands of ways to be less than honest to entirely dishonest without actually lying.

So there's plenty of opportunity to stand on the rock of ages while keeping up with the currents of the latest, hippest.  That, combined with 'someday may true heroes of the faith not have to contend with deplorable sinners who embarrass the Gospel like those over there' I just don't find much edification any more.  Not like I used to.  Truth be told, there are some Protestant and even Orthodox and Jewish sites I've found that are fare more spiritually edifying.  Sure, sometimes there can be a gem, like this.  But on the whole, it's wading through acres of chaff for a few grains of wheat.

Because of this, it's easy to lose site of some real gems out there representing the Church, the traditions, the good of the Faith and the world it helped build in ways that are challenging, edifying, and sometimes downright fun.  I give you Jimmy Akin.  Mr. Akin is honest enough to admit just embracing everything science says about the universe and evolution isn't easy, and there are legitimate questions worth answering.  It's noteworthy that the tone isn't 'loser idiots who aren't as awesome as we are don't like God or science', but rather 'here's some honest questions, let's find some answers.  Listen away.  Always good and I dare you to listen to the likes of Mr. Akin or John C. Wright and not at least be tugged a bit toward that historic Faith that walked the earth for more than a millennium before Martin Luther.