Monday, July 6, 2015

On the other hand, well done Evangelicals

While I couldn't help but notice modern European secularized liberal socialism would never have made it so far without the help of the Catholic Church, I must tip my hat to those always maligned Evangelicals.  They're that vague group who you are more or less allowed to hate, spit upon, deride, insult and even suggest a second class status for.  And yet they are strong in withstanding the juggernaut.  Yes, they have their issues.  Too much attention on sins below the waistline, and not enough to those that impact bank accounts and country bombing.  But those can sometimes be arguments of distinctions.  When is war just if ever?  What is the best way to reduce poverty?

Not so with gay sex, sexual immorality, abortion, and euthanasia.  And the Evangelicals seem to get that this is not something with which we can compromise.  This is not something we can politely agree to disagree with those who hold the other views.  These views and attitudes are the results of something bigger that seeks to usurp the Christian Faith as the foundation of a dying civilization, and corrupt its adherents as much as possible.  That's why you have gay couples going to Christian bakers and photographers, as opposed to their Orthodox Jewish or Muslim counterparts.

No, Evangelicals are far from perfect.  But look at the track record of Catholics.  And that's not just from the bottom up, but from the top down.  So well done.  Credit where it is due.  And prepare to withstand the slings and arrows of opposition from the Left, as well as from not a few Catholics who would gladly grab the arrows from Satan and help him aim, if they thought they would find their marks in the back of an Evangelical.

Family fun on the Fourth of July

Loving America as a Christian is always tough.  Our country has never been a 'Christian Nation.'  The few times such things as building a real Christian society have been attempted have ended in disastrous blights on the Church's reputation and ages of apologies and backlashes as a result.  So that's probably good that we aren't actually a Christian nation.

On the other hand, European - and by extension American - society had, for most of its existence as a civilization, been founded upon some level of Christian world view and moral fabric.  That tension has been at its highest in America, where our founders deliberately avoided a Christian theocracy, and yet presupposed a Christian society.  Or at least a religious one founded however loosely on Christian values and ideals.

The subsequent centuries following our founding were anything but smooth, and many horrible things would happen.  Often by people committed to the same Faith of Jesus Christ as we today. Which makes you wonder.  Were they that bad, stupid, uncaring, evil, or what?  Did they know they were wrong and didn't care?  Or did they, in some twisted way we later generations can so easily see, believe - really deep down believe - they were right.  When Lorne Greene sits and reads his Bible while one of his slaves is being beaten in the groundbreaking series Roots, did he get the problem?  Or did he really believe there was nothing to see there?

And that gets me to thinking, as I am wont to do.  How do I know, how do I really, really know, that I'm not guilty of some flagrant blind spot like those we so quickly and mercilessly condemn from days of yore?  Sure, I can see all the other Christians and how wrong they obviously are.  But what about me?  Is there something I'm all about, knowing fully that it is completely acceptable, when in generations people will look back and see me sitting here at my computer while whatever happens and thinking it's just fine and dandy and ask 'how the Hell'?

I don't know.  At what point do we bail?  For many, the bail has already happened.  America has been weighed on the scales and found guilty and without redeeming qualities.  For others, America and the Kingdom of God are one and the same.  They really mean it, probably more than Winthrop, that America as the city on the hill is the same city that Christ spoke of.  For others, we realize that the two are not the same, but when did it pass that point of no return, or when will it?  Just when do we jump aside and let the nation drive over the cliff, lest we also be implicated?  That's the question.  For some, unless we change we are guilty of being Lorne Greene.  For others, that guilt is quickly approaching.

No answers, just kicking things around as we lit fireworks, watched movies, had cookouts, and did the same things we do every year because, as of now, we can.  As I say, the tough thing about history is that you have to wait for it to happen to study it.  So with all that, here are some important pictures of our Independence Day celebrations (which spilled over onto the 5th, since we all had Sunday off!):

Our youngest psyching himself for the fun
The boys, the smokers, the sparklers - enough said

Don't know what happened, but he was beating a hasty retreat

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble...

Getting ready for chocolate fondue redux
I don't know, but he seems to be anticipating the treat

Our youngest is no shy wall flower when it comes to chocolate treats

Even my Mom, after a life of meat and potatoes, enjoyed the fondue moment

The family, the fondue, the fun - a jolly 4th.  Thanks to the Founding Fathers and the Veterans for making it happen

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Birthday America

And may we wake up from our stupor soon, before it is too late for our posterity, and live up to what has, after so many eons, been given to us through so much sacrifice and suffering.  Perhaps reading that little greeting card from all those years ago might help us wake: 

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
   Button Gwinnett
   Lyman Hall
   George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
   William Hooper
   Joseph Hewes
   John Penn
South Carolina:
   Edward Rutledge
   Thomas Heyward, Jr.
   Thomas Lynch, Jr.
   Arthur Middleton

Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
   Robert Morris
   Benjamin Rush
   Benjamin Franklin
   John Morton
   George Clymer
   James Smith
   George Taylor
   James Wilson
   George Ross
   Caesar Rodney
   George Read
   Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
   William Floyd
   Philip Livingston
   Francis Lewis
   Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
   Richard Stockton
   John Witherspoon
   Francis Hopkinson
   John Hart
   Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
   Josiah Bartlett
   William Whipple
   Samuel Adams
   John Adams
   Robert Treat Paine
   Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
   Stephen Hopkins
   William Ellery
   Roger Sherman
   Samuel Huntington
   William Williams
   Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:

   Matthew Thornton

Supporters of gay marriage should thank Catholics everywhere

Among Christian traditions, few are reliably more supportive of the new paganism of the left than Catholics.  Especially in America.  But based on stats from Europe and S. America, the new paganism's evangelists are having their way beyond our shores.  
Remember, this is supportive of Gay Marriage (TM).  Not just gay rights.  Gay normality.  Post-Christian sexual ethics and morality.  This is the seal and signature of post-Christian morality.  For every person who supports actual gay marriage, there are ten at least who indulge in the rest of non-Christian morality.  And look at those numbers.  Given Pope Francis's fire and brimstone aimed at those who hold to more traditional and conservative Western values, one would imagine Catholics around the world were overwhelmingly there, and only a small minority of progressives held sway.  But the numbers suggest otherwise.

They suggest that Pope Francis may need to reconsider his priorities and where the bulk of his passions are aimed.  And it might suggest that advocates of gay marriage and the paganism which is sweeping the dying West need to pause and thank our Catholic brothers and sisters here in the States.  They never could have made it without them. 

Which America do you want?

Your choices:

One represents the old America which, however flawed and imperfectly, bred a nation of people who sought the better of things other than themselves in some even vague reference to the idea that our individualism and individual responsibility were oriented to things greater than ourselves.

One represents the new paganism, which promises us that we are alone the center of things, that freedom is about me, that nothing matters more than me, and that we are giants gazing back at insignificant dwarfs who paled in comparison to us, and were only of worth when they pointed forward to a world in which everyone else can have their liberties compromised in order to satisfy my desires for myself.

Which one will we pick?  Only the future will tell.

Tyler Blanski nails it

As a nation of drugged up, horny idiots continues to throw the birthright of freedom and liberty out the window in the hopes of the latest smart phone, legalized drugs and better orgasms, Tyler traces the breakdown of our moral fabric vis-a-vis gay marriage, and does a wonderful job eviscerating some of the lame arguments against traditional marriage that count on a generation of college educated idiots to accept.  Read it here.  I have nothing more to say.  

Columbus Red, White and Boom 2015 was an embarrassment

Not because the fireworks themselves weren't good.  And they weren't.  Perhaps it was the weather, the lack of wind, the moisture, but most of the display was a giant multi-colored cloud of smoke for most of the night.  Still, I don't fault the fireworks for that, because they are now digital and don't adjust well to sudden changes in conditions. 

What I fault it for was the deplorable music.  If you like rap and hip-hop, then it was just right for you.  But if you expect things like patriotic music or themes, then a massive disappointment.  With the exception of a couple songs associated with The Ohio State University, Proud to be an American, Neil Diamond's America, and the annual military music medley, there was nothing.  Nothing.  No God Bless America.  No This is My Country.  No Stars and Stripes Forever.  They didn't even have the 1812 Overture which, admittedly, has little to do with our independence but has become a staple on 4th of July over the years.  Nothing. 

It was hip-hop.  It was rap.  More hip-hop.  Some sexually charged themes. A few allusions to drugs. More sex.  Hip-hop.  Rap.  A momentary nod to the Scorpions' Rock You Like a Hurricane.  One or two songs from the 60s and 70s.  Back to the rap.  Hip-hop.  Then two movie themes I didn't recognize to round up the show.  

In some country that had little to do with independence, freedom, or God, it was good enough.  Perhaps a country that cared for nothing other than hedonism, narcissism, sex, drugs and more sex, it was just the right mixture of keen and inspiring music and show tunes.  But for those silly folks who think America is something more, you couldn't help but be disappointed.  

The good news is that PBS was showing an older concert and fireworks display in Baltimore hosted by the always wonderful John Lithgow.  We saw the last five songs, and not a non-patriotic song among them.  Well done Baltimore.  

Friday, July 3, 2015

Have a happy and blessed 4th of July

For all its faults, and for the ease with which our most educated generation in history is throwing away liberty and freedom for a romp in the sack (my sixteen year old says the Founding Fathers tried to foresee as many challenges as possible, but they didn't see us coming), it is still a great country.  For all its sins - sins shared by all cultures, nations, kingdoms and empires in history - it was also a shining beacon, if only for a season in the history of the world.  

For myself, I await news to confirm that I may have a new job, one that pays substantially more than I've been paid in many a moon.  My wife also has an interview on Monday.  My Fifteen year old appears healthy, and things are about as good as they've been in recent memory.  We're praying that it continues. 

We will have cookouts, watch fireworks, ponder the answer to Francis Scott Key's lingering question in light of the new paganism's machinations, and of course reflect on our nation, our blessings and our prayers for the future.  Here is a little post I did about movies we watch during Memorial Day.  They work for Independence Day as well.  Especially the movie Gettysburg (though apologies for its rank and despicable displays of the Flag that cannot be mentioned).  

In it all, there is still much to be thankful for, and maintain hope that as close as we are coming to the cliff, we can still turn around.  God, I don't think, hates America as much as some would have us think.  And if we don't deserve God's exclusive favor, I don't believe we alone of the nations deserve his wrath (though some strong kicks in the pants are more than deserved, as they always are).  Though if we keep listening to those who would have us believe we have always deserved God's wrath, then I have no doubt we'll eventually deserve it. 

So God bless America.  Real America.  Actual America.  Historic America.  God bless those whose labors gave us this nation that has always been, at its best, among the greatest civilizations in history, and even at its worst, no worse than most that has defined human history.  May we be worthy of the blessings we ask from God, of those who struggled, worked and died for our liberties, and may God and common hobbit sense protect us from those who would have us sell our birthrights of freedom and liberty for a quick romp in the sack with the carbon-based life form of our choice.  

And call me an old heretical Catholic, but if I must pick a heroic image of Americans to celebrate outside of the faithful Saints and Martyrs, I'd rather pick something like his:

than the hipster favorite celebrated by so many cool and sophisticated Catholics across the internet today:

Though I admit, one is likely a glorified and false image set up to inspire hero worship, while another actually tries to capture the genuine attributes and characteristics Christians everywhere should hope to identify with and even emulate.  Ah, silly old me. Happy 4th!

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.    2 Chronicles 7:14

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Birthday Number 15!

Yes, I know.  Gay marriage continues to be the club with which the New Way bludgeons the old religions of the past.  The ACLU is talking about ending this religious freedom rubbish - which is refreshing.  At least it's being honest. We're making friends with Communist Cuba.  Russia continues to intimidate.  Pope Francis has declared a global government to be the hope against the evils of Corporations.  There's just so much to talk about!

Well, I've been busy with the important things.  Those things we never read about in history books, but we have some vague idea that they happened.  Contrary to popular belief, the Middle Ages weren't dominated by Inquisitors wandering up and down and torturing people every day in every village.  Nor were American settlers spending every waking hour trying to imagine ways to beat slaves or slaughter Indians or burn witches at the stake.  Just like today, we aren't all about gunning down people in churches, or blowing up buildings in Iraq, or executing innocent prisoners in gas chambers.

For most of us, life goes on.  As it did in Colonial America, in the Middle Ages, in Ancient Greece, or anywhere.  And so in keeping with the ages old tradition of actually living life rather than imagining that human existence is only about what the latest scholars decide should be on the next chapter heading, we decided to set aside an entire weekend to celebrate our Fifteen Year Old's birthday.

Last year, things happened, crazy and wacky and worrisome, and we never quite got around to really celebrating his number fourteen.  Even though he insists it was still a good birthday, we know better.  So this year, he merely asked for a couple Lego sets, a Nintendo game, and a tropical feast.  So we went to work.  And in a burst of blessed fortune, we had one sunny day between a dozen rainy, cloudy days.  And here is the result.

A football player who wanted flowers on his cake.  I love it. 

Happy Birthday number 15!

In keeping with the tropical theme, we made (alcohol free) margaritas 

The brothers get in on the margarita act

Our youngest struggles with the drink's umbrella while his older brother looks on

He's reading "Le Morte d'Arthur", but I'm not sure he's getting it all 

Our birthday boy with friend 

Hand made sign says it all 
It was tiki time, and that night, we did fondue with tiki light and torch light around the deck
(followed by some awesome stargazing at a gorgeous nighttime sky)

The beginning of his creation; so much more to do

The obligatory shot of the world's most tolerant wife wearing a Hawaiian shirt and lei (we all did, at our son's request)
We love you kid.  The doctor says he thinks you're better, and we hope so.  You're that little burst of sunshine that has always brought more to us than we ever could to you.  Happy Birthday!  May God bless this day and a million more.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

It's a good thing Dylann Roof wasn't holding a Cross in those pictures

I know, knee jerk in an age of censorship.  Our immediate first response today is ban and censor.  I get it, too.  I think there is a legitimate debate about actually having the flag of the losing side of a war flying in government locations.  After all, there weren't too many Union Jacks flying in the states following the Revolution.  Plus, I get the problem descendants of slaves dragged here from Africa would have with seeing that flying over their state houses  (see Obama post below regarding who owns what government buildings).

Nonetheless, today a rush to ban and censor is becoming the preferred goto solution for almost anything.  There just isn't anything I think that enlightened and educated Americans wouldn't rush to ban and censor today. And if the Confederate Flag today, what's not to say something else tomorrow.  Not that the cross would ever be spoken of in that manner.  Nonetheless, I'm getting a little nervous about the growing acceptance our brilliant generation has toward silencing dissenting views and legally eradicating the ability to not bow down to the Left.  Especially under the auspices of 'I'm sure they'll only ban real hatred, not anything I happen to believe!'

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  The Golden Rule, no longer allowed to be taught in our schools.

"Do unto others, as long as you don't do unto me."  The post-modern Rule, widely taught and accepted by humanity's smartest generation.

Catholics and liberalism

Are increasingly one and the same.  True, unlike our Protestant brethren who simply throw the Gospel and the Faith out the window to embrace the hedonism and paganism of the non-Christian world, the Church will never throw certain things out the window.  Christ will have to really live.  Christ has to rise from the dead.  After all, where would the Real Presence be without that?  Likewise, the Church will never allow gay marriage.   It might end up supporting gay civil relationships, or just wash its hands of it, but it won't be able to just say 'I now pronounce you Man and Sam.'

That's because the Church has the Sacraments, and as a result can't so easily just throw the Faith out the window.   It must compromise, slice, dice, shave and twist.  But there are some things it just can't accept.

Still, what will happen, and what one sees increasingly in Pope Francis and his priorities and passions, suggests it will accommodate all it can, and increasingly agree to disagree over where it cannot change.  So at the zealously liberal Catholic website Catholic and Enjoying It, Conservative Catholic Mark Shea gushes over his love and admiration for Stephen Colbert.  What happens next is a sad display of liberal Catholics embracing varying levels of calumny, denial and flat out lunacy in order to suggest that Colbert is a faithful son of the Church in every way.  If he isn't it doesn't matter.  And even if he supports abortion and the sex culture, so what?  He trashes conservatives, and that's enough.

If it weren't for Pope Francis, I'd be more shocked.  But if you want to be an obedient Catholic, and you see liberalism and want to embrace it, you could do worse than living now.  Since it appears embracing liberalism and hating conservatism, as one of the commenters notes, covers a multitude of sins.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The idiocy of postmodern liberalism

Is so overwhelming, sometimes you don't know if it's a put-on, or if it's real.  So the latest installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, the predictably successful Jurassic World, has unleashed a host of outcries for a variety of reasons.  Its sexist portrayal of women as not eternally superior to men has been under fire from the start.  And now, it looks like an abbreviated term for the dinosaur pachycephalosaurus, has been found to be a racist term for Pakistanis.  Just like the word thug is really a secret code word used by evil racists, add to the growing list Paki.  When will our champions of liberal enlightenment learn that you just can't ever be liberal enough?  Someday, we're just going to have to have laws against them.  

Hopefully it's a joke.  And yet, given the stupid acceptance of censorship and thought control embraced by postmoderns, you can never be sure.

No President Obama it is not your house

It is our house.  I know, I know. Some right-wing wacko.  Obsessing about little things.  But only idiots believe that little things don't matter.  Little things, more often than not, give us a look at the workings of the bigger things.  Most who criticize this sort of criticism will, in other cases, be the first to point out some slight or some small gaffe as proof of greater evil behind the curtains.  So in that time honored, and justifiable, tradition of carefully listening to words because they may actually mean something, I just thought I'd remind President Obama that it's not his house.  It's ours.  And we don't serve him.  He serves us.  Not that it will matter in years to come.  After all, a growing segment of our society couldn't possibly understand the big deal. But it's worth mentioning while it still holds true.

FWIW, I'm sure other presidents in history have also said that.  But again, consider the track record, the ideology, and the source.  If Pope Francis were to say someone should have their butts kicked, we'd take it as a figure of speech.  If a football coach says the same thing, we'd understand it differently.

Monday, June 22, 2015

And Happy Father's Day Dad

To the one who made it possible.  I might be prejudice, but to me the best Dad in the universe.  Thanks for everything Dad.  We miss you.

Those were happy times

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Fathers Day to me

With the best presents I ever received, or ever will receive.  Thanks to God that he gave me a wonderful wife and four pretty darn awesome boys.  Our fourteen year old continues to struggle with some health issues he's had, but he seems to be coming out of it.  The others are chugging along quite nicely.  They are good together (usually), and make me proud.  Of all that God has given me, I count them with the most humility and honor that I was seen fit to be their dad.  To all fathers who feel the same, may God bless you on this day set aside to celebrate, well, you.  Just don't forget that Father of fathers in the process of a good cookout.

Squirrels have to be a result of the fall

We long gave up on growing corn in our garden.  It resulted in too many fat squirrels.  And in our back yard, squirrels have become the number one pest we deal with.  For instance, we have no less than three bird feeders hanging from the trees that have grown up next to our deck.  And to this day, I don't know if more than a handful of birds have managed to get to the seeds before those rascal squirrels.  

Caught in the act!

Rosie the Riveter redux

When I was in school and college, there were two things the left despised; three things they hated:  Father Knows Best, Ozzie and Harriet, and Rosie the Riveter.  Why?  Because they were the go to examples of flagrant propaganda meant to hoist false and fake narratives and agendas on a button down, conformist society.  

Ironic, because today, Ozzie and Rosie don't hold a candle to the singular mind controlling propaganda being pushed on every corner of our culture at every moment and in every subject by the very ones who used to cry foul over such forms of collective thinking.  Sports, religion, science, history, finances, and now even over the counter medications commercials, are all aligned to advance The Agenda.  

Remember when we used to mock the totalitarian states for their brainwashing ways and singular control of every venue of communication and dialogue?  Yeah. We were right.  Which is why at this point in time, we must be really, really, really dumb. 

Shooting victims who matter, encyclicals, and the new world order

It should be painfully obvious now that human suffering and carnage, like just about everything else in our world, exists only for the purpose of advancing the doctrines of the post-Christian reformation known as the secular left.  So a week ago, four people were shot to death in my neck of the woods.  It made the national news.  For a moment. 

Then they discovered the victims were black, the killers were black, and it was likely related to drugs. Nope.  Nothing for the propaganda organs of the left to sink their teeth into.  Black on black violence?  The blight of drugs in an age itching to legalize the same?  Expect to hear nothing about those precious children of God and their sudden, tragic deaths.  

Then the horrific shooting in Charleston happened.  And there you have it.  Before the end of the very day it occurred, when no real information was known, we had the narratives and the agendas:

Racism in America (as opposed to Islamic terrorism which never seems to have anything to do with Islam). 
And as a bonus, banning the Confederate Flag

Propaganda gold. Without any real knowledge to go on, this became the main story arc for interpreting that work of racist evil.  Defy it at your own risk.  Sure, pause has been given on a national scale. Mourning and tributes.  As well they should.  I would like to see this reaction to it without the rush to advance agendas so quickly.  If only for a day or so. 

But the left now sees its victory as clenched.  It's fourth quarter with the two minute warning and the left is four touchdowns ahead.  The officials are paid off.  The announcers are on their side.  And they have the ball five yards away from another touchdown.  There is no need to be subtle.  To pay lip service.  To act as if the important thing isn't seizing the moment to advance an agenda or two.  They can do it right along with the actual human response of weeping and mourning and praying.  There is no need to pretend.  

This assurance of victory that allows for such flagrant and cynical exploitation of human tragedy mirrors the very rejoicing that those on the left are experiencing in light of Pope Francis's encyclical, Laudato si

On the surface, I admit there is little to be alarmed about.  Take care of the planet.  We have a responsibility to be stewards of, not exploiters of, the environment that God has evolved around us.  Be wary of those who hinder solutions for selfish motives, and likewise never forget that humans are also part of the natural equation.  

But on further review, a couple things begin to emerge.  As one observer notes, for a Catholic encyclical written by a Catholic pope, its language and presentation isn't too far off a modern, secular rallying cry for human animals and their relationship to Earth First.  Second, the almost complete condemnation of the dying West, in which the West is not only responsible for virtually all international conflicts, all poverty, but also now the prime cause of global warming, echoes the post-Christian, post-Western progressive school of thought of who is to blame, and who are the heroes.  And furthermore, Pope Francis even gives a nod to that post-war 20th century liberal pipe-dream of a singular global world order led by a single worldwide government.  Not the first modern pope to suggest such a thing, but telling nonetheless.  Perhaps these are incorrect interpretations or alarmist reactions.  But simply, given the overall body of comments by Pope Francis, they are far from unfathomable.  

Why are those who seek to replace the values of the historic Faith with their post-Christian values so confident that they immediately can move to exploit human tragedy before the bodies have been taken to the morgue?  When the leader of over one billion people even appears to accept that the opponents of the left are indeed the villains, and with select exceptions, the new order is the only acceptable paradigm for rethinking our place in the cosmos, score more than a touchdown.  Chalk up a major victory on Superbowl Sunday. 

So rather than get sucked up in the obvious momentum of the movement that makes it clear the value of human life ends where the fleeting promises of my narcissism and hedonism begin, let's pause to remember all victims of violence, hate, anger, and victimization by an ideology that promises godhood to anyone, then strips away God to oppress everyone.  Let's rise above it, pray for the victims, their families, and yes, the killers all.  Act as we are called to do, and pray that we can break from the juggernaut and truly be courageous enough to look for the real solutions, not just the ones that satisfy competing agendas or dominant ideologies. 

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
    nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
    no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
    they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.

Psalm 91

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Humbled and honored by The American Catholic

Thanks to the efforts of Nate Winchester, it looks like my blog has been mentioned on The American Catholic.  Wow.  Talk about letting a chihuahua run with the great danes.  So I'm a little taken by my goofy little blog home being mentioned by Donald McClarey.  The American Catholic continues with the thankless task of reminding us that not everything to do with American religious conservatism is as stupid and bigoted and evil as Comedy Central and Huffington Post say. Heck, you can actually be Catholic and value traditional ideals and experiences, even if they sometimes coincide with traditional American ideals and experiences!  Radical.  For some places in the Catholic blogosphere, saying that is as tolerable as opening a Kosher deli in 1940s Berchtesgaden.

I still should be honest and admit that I am having issues with certain aspects of Catholic thought and life and the ways in which the Church is edging ever closer to the post-Christian, secular Left model of reality.  There were always some issues, as there will be whenever someone enters a new tradition.  There were when I became Christian in the first place.  The problem has been that I've not reconciled these issues ten years later, especially in light of where the Church has clearly been moving in recent years.

Sure, the treatment we've received, the slammed doors, the cultural issues have made it difficult. But be that as it may, I'm still at a point of struggles.  And as people who know me can attest, I won't just stand around, shrug my shoulders, and accept things.  Not where eternal questions are concerned. The good news is that there is more in the historic Christian Faith that I value, so I will never simply leave.  But how things end up working out in my Faith walk remains to be seen.  Just thought I would put that out.

On a more personal note, yuck!  I can't stand that video.  Marcus didn't give me any prep time or a pre-show interview as usually happened with the guests.  I was more or less dropped on the stage and told do my best with no clue what to expect.  If I don't ever watch that again, my life's fortunes could only improve.

But thanks to Nate and to Don for lowering the quality quotient of The American Catholic by including my little voice in the chorus.

Personal Note: Start proof reading my posts!   :)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rest in Peace Christopher Lee

A major part of my childhood just passed.  Growing up, Christopher Lee was, to me, as big as Elvis or Sinatra or James Dean.  He was iconic. I remember seeing old Movie Monster magazines with photos of Mr. Lee, thinking that the photographer must have been some sort of awesome to have the chance to photograph 'The Man.'  

Of course as I grew up, I realized that particular place that Christopher Lee occupied in the overall cinematic canon.  Nonetheless, he was never entirely outside the main stream of cool.  And each decade, he seemed to manage to put a foot in the latest currents of popular culture.  Most youngsters who know his name at all will know him from The Lord of the Rings or the unfortunate Star Wars prequels.  

And yet he was so much more.  A genuine Renaissance man, he spoke more languages than I have coffee cups.  He was a war veteran, a capable singer, a lover of literature, and what's more, a bona fide Tolkien fan.  In fact, he claims to have made it a point to read Lord of the Rings every year (beginning in September, of course).  

But now the world is a bit less interesting.  Not that it was a surprise or a shock.  It's almost not even sad, for such a rich, celebrated and joyful life to have moved onto the next realm.  May he experience a small part of the joy he brought to many like me.  And may he not have to endure too much of his eternity with his dear friend Peter Cushing, who will always be able to gloat that he was in the classic, not the catastrophe.