Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Another take on the Transgender issue

This from a woman who doesn't appear to be altogether religious, but does appear to be a woman struggling with the new untruth we are called to accept.  If you can get past the whole 'return to patriarchy' message, which might be out of the park extreme, as well as the fact that she has some harsh ideas about an Islamic Europe, her bigger point that a society told to reject fact and truth in favor of feelings and not offending the people who matter is a society on its way to ruin.  It's an interesting read.

Monasteries contain men!

Heh, I didn't know that. Notice the BBC headline:
"Vladimir Putin visits Mount Athos, all-Male enclave"
Bwa Ha Ha!  Of course it's an all male enclave.  It's a monastery.  What did they expect?  Well, you know what they expect.  In the world of post-Christian secular liberalism, few phrases can inspire more rage or instill more disgust than the phrase "all - Male [fill in the blank]."  All Female, All Gay, All Black are just fine and dandy.  But All Male?  Perish the thought.

So hoping that post-moderns are truly as ill-informed, if not downright stupid, as the Left hopes, they flash this banner out there, likely just a method of subtle, subliminal message.  There's really nothing in the story suggesting there is a problem.  The writer of the story might not have though anything of it. But whoever wrote the headline was either shocked to find out that a monastery had all men, or knew full well it did, but somehow wanted to dangle a little red meat in front of any unsuspecting post-moderns on their way to work.

I realize I should try to find a  more charitable interpretation of why the editor felt the need to point out Mount Athos, a famed Orthodox monastery, was an all male enclave.  But right now, I'm having a hard time coming up with one.   Either ignorance or agenda.   If anyone can come up with a better reason, I'm all ears.

Only white guys

Who are card carrying conservative Republicans can be racist.  Outside of that, there is no racism, is there?  The 'Can anyone but white Americans be racist?' question has been asked for decades.  It's stupid of course. That those asking it twisted the terms and conditions to make sure the answer was always no, doesn't mean the answer was anywhere close to right, real or based on common sense.

In fact, anyone with a modicum of pre-Multiculturally informed intelligence and a couple semesters of World History knows full well that racism, in various forms and expressions, has been around for eons, is still around, and sadly, will likely be around for ages to come.  One thing that will help it is, of course, the self-imposed dumb of modern liberalism that goes to great lengths to excuse, deny, redefine, pardon, ignore or otherwise dodge dealing with issues that bring to light the fact that yes, Virginia, there are non-white, non-American, non-Conservative racists.

Kudos to The Washington Post for actually running a story that demonstrates the obvious point.  Of course racism can look different and come in many different packages.  We have the classic variety, that down home Southerner hating him some Black people.  Anti-Semitism is as good as always.  But liberals have been anti-Semitic, and even Occupy Wall Street protesters, such leftist notables as Oliver Stone, and other progressive causes have said things that, if coming from the mouths of Conservative Americans, would have been labeled Nazi Propaganda 101.

Which is my point, and just goes to show that there are other forms of racism.  Not just those in India, or even in parts of Africa or the Middle East.  We have European and American liberals who demand the world conform to their morally superior views of gender, sex, economy and religion.  We have the same group prepared to condemn, and condemn brutally, those cultures who refuse to get on board.

We also have what I might call an unintentional racism brought about by the ongoing crusade to destroy the heritage we inherited.  So it goes like this.  Have you ever wondered why we spend so much time focused on the Holocaust as opposed to, say, the victims of Imperial Japan?  Why we condemn the allies for not doing anything in their power, possibly including bombing the Death Camps, to stop the Holocaust, but almost dismiss the carnage of Japan as incidental in order to condemn the Atomic Bombings?

I'm sure a lot of it is because of political and social agendas. Of that I'm almost positive.  In an age of punditry over principles, consistency, truth and perspectives take a back seat to winning the argument of Now.  Bias is as important to historical studies as joysticks were to old Atari games after all.  But could it be because also, in the end, to most American minds (admittedly Conservative as well as Liberal, Religious or not, Catholic or not), the descendants of the Holocaust look a lot like:


While the descendants of the millions who died at the hand of Imperial Japan look a lot like:



I can't prove it of course.  But you do have to wonder.  After all, when Americans express concern about unrestricted immigration or show a willingness to act aggressively against Islam for dragging its feet about terrorism, the reason is always because we're a bunch of racists.  So couldn't that be true in this case as well?  Could it be that a reason - not the only reason, but a reason - for our casual dismissal of Japan's atrocities is that no matter how superior we see ourselves, no matter how morally advanced we reckon ourselves, in the end we're still inclined to a certain innate racism.  Not the kind defined by liberals to trap America.  But the real kind that has existed for eons and still exists, despite race, nationalist, creed, religion, non-religion, or gender?  In the end, we just care about some people a little more than others, because it's what sinful humans in a fallen world do; we find ways of redefining what a neighbor really is.

I don't know.  It makes me wonder.  How can we act as if a single person killed in one instance must stop the world and demand all attention and excuse all violence perpetrated in the name of that person killed, while mentioning millions who were killed and terrorized is almost seen as an attempt to avoid the real important topic at hand?  When are millions dead a topical diversion?  Apparently when their descendants aren't making billion dollar cinematic epics, but instead are making dime store novelty toys in sweat shops.  Whatever else might be the reasons behind the discrepancy in our focus, you have to admit...

The origins of Pope Francis

From a sympathetic source.  Read it here.  I don't know if it's true, but it shows where supporters of Pope Francis gladly place his roots and inspirations.  Sometimes it's only fair to go to the source and ask them what they think.

The media continues to worship at the church of Scientism

I saw this article, that famed physicist Stephen Hawking is baffled by Donald Trump's popularity.  The first thing that came to my mind?  What do I care if Mr. Hawking is baffled by Trump,'s popularity?  Any more than, say, a plummer or a delivery truck driver.

I know. The media's popular take is that if you are a smart scientist, not only does that mean you are a bona fide expert in every field of science (see Bill Nye), but your are an ex officio expert on everything!   Silly of course. I'm not saying that there aren't scientists out there who have broadened their minds and become informed in many areas of life.  One of Einstein's selling points was that he got physics, but he also seemed to 'get' other areas of life as well.

Mr. Hawking, on the other hand, has time and again demonstrated that when it comes to other subjects, he makes an awesome physicist.  His take on history makes me think he gets most of his information from the modern History Channel.  His takes on philosophy and theology are about akin to John Lennon's level of discourse.

For the media, however, he is a scientist.  That means expert on anything and everything.  So when we hear that he is baffled by Trump's popularity (which most people who don't like Trump seem to at laest understand why he is popular), the media slaps its head, drops its jaws, and imagines we must really have a puzzle that needs solved.

A look at the Transgender legislation

By former atheist turned Catholic Leah Libresco.  You read.  You decide.  I know I have my opinions on her piece.

Just because all societies are destined to change

Does not - repeat, does not - mean that the changes will be for the better:



As I watched this, I wondered how many Christians like me are complicit in allowing the changes.  That's long been a theory of mine, that liberalism thrives because there are no conservatives who completely agree on what should be rejected, and what should be sustained.  And, of course, changes aren't always bad, and liberalism is not always wrong.  That's obvious.  So you end up with very few things that all non-progressives actually agree should be resisted.  Most progressives, and the rest of non-progressives, are willing to embrace the next new thing, and viola!  It's change that lasts. Until the next change builds on it.  I watched this and I couldn't help wonder how much I'm to blame.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Congrats Alexander Rossi

For winning the 100th Indy 500!   It's a year of big milestones, and this was one.  100 years old.  The 50th anniversary of the Superbowl.  And, of course, we'll contribute our own little part in the "Year of Milestones", which I will touch on later.  For now, drink the milk Mr. Rossi, you earned it.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

TTFN

Ta Ta For Now!   It's Memorial Day weekend.  And on this particular weekend we will mix relaxation, preparation for exams for the kiddos, eating and, most importantly, remembering and honoring those who came before who gave everything so that we could screw up the country they left behind.  To that end, here is a post I did that shows some of the cinematic fare we will enjoy on this, and similarly themed, weekends.

We'll do other things as well.  We often go to local cemeteries and visit the graves of veterans.  If we had better transportation, we'd take my Mom up to where my Dad was buried.  Memorial Day is also good for paying respect to loved ones in general.  And in Dad's case, he was a veteran from the Korean War as well.

As it stands, we'll do what we can do.  Playing military based board games and similar pastimes isn't off the table.  Hopefully it will be a time of rest, fun, family and reflection.  And I pray you all have the same, and can enjoy a little bit of this fading freedom that we, perhaps, have long taken for granted.  I'll be back next week, most likely Tuesday.  God bless.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  John 15:13, KJV

Veterans in a nutshell

I reserve my respect for Veterans, Police and Fire Fighters, Rescue Workers, and others who routinely sacrifice, devote themselves or place themselves in harms way for others.  It doesn't mean I don't respect other people of course.  And there are some in those groups who can lose my respect, but they have to work mighty hard for that to happen.

With that said, a tribute to veterans everywhere from one who came to symbolize not only everything we respected about the WWII generation, but everything we respect about Veterans period.

Yep



I want this

The Conservative Manifesto Take II

By John C. Wright.  With the exception of a few minor points, my only addition: Yep.

In a world of death and suffering

This story is so important to the liberal media.  Why?  Because it's the tool being used to destroy rights and freedoms, that's why.  Otherwise, why would we even care?  Really.  Not that people don't matter, but where are the stories about people who do other quirky things not currently being used to undermine liberty and freedom in America?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Not Trump for a reason

This.  Once again, the Don says he will do something and then, only days later, goes back on his word.  How many times has he said one thing and then done another, pledged to do something and then backed down, or denied that he said it, or did whatever and said whatever and then later did something the opposite?  For all I know, if elected he would announce he's no longer a Republican, embraces everything the Democrats have to offer, and openly laugh at all the dunderheads who bought into him.  Maybe not.  I don't know.  I have no way of knowing because of things like this.  This is, after all, during the campaign.  Usually if politicians do such things, it's after they take office.  Trump does them now.  So imagine what it might be later.

Another take on Hiroshima

I agree, Japan should apologize to us and everyone else,
including Japanese victims of the war
Courtesy of Donald McClarey over at The American Catholic.  The entire piece is worth the read, but the list of 'regrets' that it might be nice to see coming from our national leaders is the point.  As I've already written about here and here, I can see both sides, and as a Christian, I tend to err on the side of wishing the bombs hadn't been dropped.  With that said, any apologies must be withheld until Japan comes full circle, truly apologizes for its deliberate and aggressive evils that were perpetrated from the top down, often with overwhelming public support, and concedes that the war, which began in 1931, was its fault.  Then, perhaps, we can sift through the other parts that made up the overwhelming human catastrophe that was WWII.

A Memorial Day story

Worth reading, if only because of the poetry in the events.  Salute them all.  They were better than we have become.  May God bless him and bring peace to him and those who love him.

The New Media

An interesting article at The New York Times.   The new billionaires and their growing control over the media.  By now I hope there is not one person left on the planet who thinks journalists pass through some magical magnetic field that strips them of all biases and agendas.  By now I hope we know that media is, and likely always has been, biased.  What is happening now, however, is a new spin on the old Hearst 'kill Kane/puff Graham' power that older media moguls once wielded.  It's an interesting take, though the piece is not nearly as concerned as I would think a major media outlet like the Times would logically be.  Which makes you wonder.  Don't think I don't.

Fair is fair

Just because I won't support Trump, or don't particularly like the man, doesn't mean I'll accept anything and everything said about him that cometh from the mouth of the media.  So I was watching CNN report on his battle with Elizabeth Warren, who is also someone I don't care for.  Anyway, they said that in addition to blasting Warren over her fabled Native American Ancestry kerfuffle, he made a swipe at Native Americans.  I watched the clip they showed, and nope, didn't see a single swipe at Native Americans.  Beyond his going after Warren, I heard nothing that even remotely sounded close to referencing Native Americans.

Just because he is guilty of a million things, doesn't mean I can toss one extra false accusation to make it worth while.  As a Christian, it would do me well to remember that if sin makes you stupid, politics can make you sin, especially if you're not careful.

That's not to say he didn't say something at some other point.  But the clip CNN showed contained nothing even close to what they accused him of saying.  And, of course, his digs at Warren are, in the minds of many, justified.  Just because you belong to the philosophy of power, doesn't mean you can make up your own reality.  If the media is going to go after Trump for his outlandish claims or his sexual dalliances, then the names Warren and Clinton ought also to occupy the media's framing of the narrative.

Such a good story

With so many reasons to smile.

I am not into Superhero movies as a general rule

But I have to admit, this makes me smile.  I watched the first Avengers movie with my sons, and found it to be one of those movies that ended up watchable despite itself.  Part of it is due to things like the below scene, with enough subtlety to let your mind take over and ponder things that the director and writers could never imagine.  

Oh, and another case for Trump

Is here.  That is the wing of the GOP that acts like it wishes the whole religious conservative movement would die and die quickly.  The part of the GOP that continually aligns itself against the GOP and American conservatives is as much a reason for Trump as anything under the Sun.  That they picked a man who could be even less conservative to save us from the non-conservatives of the GOP just goes to show post-modernity.

A case for Donald Trump

By John C. Wright.  I've made it pretty clear that I can't bring myself to vote for Trump.  Not just because of the way he acts and behaves, which I'm happy to say so many bloggers and Internet pundits have finally joined with me to say that such behavior is bad.  I'm also not convinced that Trump would do anything he says, or not turn around and embrace the Democrats if elected.  His constant denying what he just said or going back on statements made, not after he is elected but during the actual campaign, suggests there is no way of realistically knowing what Trump will or won't do as president.

Nonetheless, I can understand why there are some who support him.  Sure, there are racists who support him.  There are racists in the Democratic party who support candidates because of their racism.  It's just not a racism the media recognizes or wants to spend too much time unpacking.  There are others, however, like Mr. Wright, who are thoughtful, wise and perceptive who believe that as bad as Trump could be, he will not be worse than the force of darkness arrayed against Americans of traditional, Christian viewpoints and beliefs.

Basically, it's a decision to support Satan so that Hell can be defeated.  Not that Trump is Satan or the Liberal movement Hell, but you get the point.  Trump, as bad as he might be, won't be any worse than what the Secular Left has made clear it wants over the last half dozen years or so.  And its disgraceful whining over things like Trump's sexual dalliances, when it was the very movement that convinced us, in the 90s, that if it was about sex it was no big deal, just goes to show the moral vacuum that we are confronted with when resisting the Secular Left.

So read it for what it's worth.  Again, I can't bring myself to vote for Trump.  I just can't.  And I'm sure some who support Trump do so for the worst reasons, as I'm sure there will always be supporters of any public figure who do so for the worst reasons.  I can sympathize, however,  with those who realize that there is a war, a soft war, a new cold war, a revolution for the heart and soul, the liberty and freedom, of our nation.  And they see that the only way to keep the end of America from happening is to keep power out of the hands of the main proponents of this revolution as long as possible.  Maybe even long enough for Americans to wake up and resist before it's too late.

Defend the freedom to not be liberal

Another story, reminding us that it isn't just the Gender Wars that are being used to crush liberty and end freedom in our society.  The good old liberal safety net for its sex and drugs bread and circus promise is as good a place as any for ending the right to not be liberal.  Stand now, before it is too late.

If you are ever in Ohio

Here are a few places worth stopping by for a bite to eat.  The G&R Tavern is just down the road, and I have yet to go there.  Some day.  I'm not a big fan of 'thick meat on sandwiches.'  If I get deli meat sliced, I'll ask them to cut it paper thin; I'll say I want to be able to read through it.  But those thick bologna sandwiches are known outside of the Buckeye State.  Perhaps I'll break down and go.  If those ten restaurants aren't enough, then go here for the first of the series of great restaurants in awesome small towns.

FWIW, I have yet to find a small, family owned restaurant that has impressed me like The Irish Rover, in Louisville, KY.  When I was in graduate school, I used to go there every Wednesday for fish and chips and a glass of Harp at lunchtime.  And sometimes I'd bring a friend or two.  It was run by a fellow from Ireland who brought back actual Irish recipes.  It's not an American restaurant decorated to look Irish.  You feel you've actually stepped across the Atlantic and entered a pub in Ireland.  If only it was in Ohio...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A powerful ability of liberalism

Is its ability to encourage adherents to be ready to jettison all of the most cherished truths they recently adopted as soon as a newer truth arrives on the scene.  So expect hardcore liberal feminists to begin backtracking on some of their dogmas regarding femininity and what it means to be a woman or to break gender stereotypes.  Of course not all will, and that's where you will soon learn about what it takes to be a real woman, and what it takes to be regarded as nowhere near a real woman enough.

Where are the AIDS deaths

Just curious.  I got to thinking, as I am wont to do, about the constant drumbeat of gun control advocates: 33,000 killed by guns every year in America.  In 2012, 11,000 of those deaths were by murder or violent crime.  The rest suicide.  That suicide number is tough, because there is no way of knowing if tighter gun laws would reduce suicide.  It might.  It could go up. We don't know.  Then again, we don't know if gun regulations would help.  Gun violence spiked after the gun regulations that hit back in the early 70s.  In some countries, there does seem to be a link between non-existent gun rights and non-existent gun deaths.  But then, sometimes those countries are known for their fast and loose approach to rights overall.

Beyond the suicides, 11,000 are killed by guns in violent crime.  And yet, in 2012, almost 14,000 died of AIDS.  That's right, died of AIDS.  That's not counting those newly infected.  That's those who died.  That's almost 3,000 more than were killed by guns.  I'm not sure, but I'd wager you heard a lot more on the news about gun deaths than about AIDS deaths.

Why?  I can only guess.  But I have a feeling that if we were really about reducing preventable death by whatever means possible, then we'd be doing more than we are.  And if it means getting crazy about the 2nd Amendment to reduce gun violence, I'd think it might include something like getting crazy about our sex and drugs culture.  Call me a simpleton, but I'm one of those types who bucks the scientific consensus that AIDS exploding on the world stage in the 1970s was just bad luck and had nothing to do with the drugs and sex culture that had been going strong and spreading its message around the world for the previous generation or two.  I think there's a link.  I think we could reduce AIDS by returning to some pre-Freudian/Kinseyan approaches to sexuality.

And you'd think, if human life is really so important, that we'd all agree. At least as much time spent calling for radical solutions to gun violence would be spent calling for radical solutions to the sex and drugs driven AIDS pandemic.  You'd think.  Assuming, of course, that it's all really about saving lives and reducing preventable deaths.

Oh, and lest you say the solution lies in more sex education, three of the five states with the highest rates of new HIV infections have either mandatory comprehensive sex education and/or comprehensive HIV education.  But then again, think of the endless millions, if not billions, spent on mental health, and yet our suicide rates are higher than they have been in times past when such things as mental health counseling and treatment as we know it were virtually non-existent.  Again, if we want to solve the problems, like we do with guns, we should be willing to go radical.  If not, then it does make you wonder about the commitment to solving the problems.  As some might say, I dare suggest that this is a pro-life issue.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Go freedom!

Not only is this good news in the ongoing fight to preserve the right to not be liberal, but it's a nice smack down against the Obama administration for using our children as pawns and canon fodder in the Left's ongoing attempt to impose itself on the United States.  We'll see what comes of it.

The fight is an uphill one, and of course it ultimately doesn't matter.  Like the HHS mandate, we can win court cases until the cows come home.  While these things are caught up in the complex webbing of obscure legal terminologies in endless litigation, the real battle is for the hearts and minds of the population.  While Christians have been left cheering on this or that minor victory, the Left has worked overtime convincing Americans that the First Amendment is a small price to pay for better sex on someone else's dime.

The same will happen here.  The Left will use the usual tools and weapons: threats, name calling, labeling, intimidation.  It also will subtly suggest that if people are open to Transgender and post-gender thinking, then they will be less likely to be judged for wanting to dabble their own feet in the T&A wading pool.  So while the lawsuits are nice on a symbolic level, let us never forget the real battle is for the hearts and souls of the people.  A battle that is in the end spiritual, and nothing else.

Remember what I said about Japan apologizing?

I said it back here.  This is what I mean.  Key statement in the story:
The prime minister, when asked during the press conference whether he would make a reciprocal trip to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, said he had no current plans for a visit.
I know it could come off as being petty, to say we will apologize if they apologize.  But there is a method here.  Again, there is a tendency in non-Western, non-American nations to not blame themselves.  Sure Japan has apologized to other countries over the years.  But usually the apology is somewhere along the lines of  'we humbly apologize for this war we were forced into and otherwise desperately wanted to end because we hear some of our soldiers got out of hand.'  That's not an apology.  Nor is it true.

In fact, it does a grave disservice to those who suffered under the cruel hand of Japan during its reign. As long as Japan uses two giant mushroom cloud shaped shields to mask its own atrocious track record, as long as it uses anything anyone else did to avoid accountability to its own people and the millions it killed and terrorized for 14 years under its self-proclaimed Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, then America groveling in the dirt and begging forgiveness could well cause more damage and allow for less accountability than anything it might help.

The Obama Transgender directive

President Obama advanced the poorly thought out mandate of a values system that has not been vetted through any significant public discourse, based upon science that only recently has changed its own previous understanding of the subject, and for which there is no legal definitions.  And this is being done by the heavy hand of the federal government not only mandating conformity to a particular moral standard, but essentially threatening the well being of our children's education to achieve the end.  No matter what your particular opinion about the subject happens to be, there is nothing about the way it is being handled that should suggest 'Wow, this can only turn out well.'  That's my take, for what it's worth.

God and the Constitution

And interesting article.  When people ask me if I think America was founded as a Christian nation or a secular nation, I always say 'Yes.'  Especially based on how we define the terms today, those are distinctions of our own making.  I have a feeling the Founding Fathers wouldn't' easily fit into any of our modern demographics.

John Allen on Pope Francis and Islamic Dialogue

As usual, Mr. Allen comes in with some balanced and fair insights regarding the recent meeting between Pope Francis and Ahmed el-Tayeb.

I only have one thing to add.  The question of what el-Tayeb meant when he said the violence in the Middle East is not really a Christian problem, but a general problem.  There has been speculation on that, and several I've read have been wondering how he could miss the obvious.

Again, I don't know for sure, but I have been reading up on Islam for the better part of last year.  Including actually reading the Koran.  That doesn't make me an expert or scholar, but I have picked up on a few things.  The main thing I notice is that, like most of the non-Western world, Muslims  generally don't spend their time hashing, trashing, and re-trashing the re-hashed trash of their own heritage.  Like Asia, like Japan and China, like India, like many Latin American cultures, Muslims don't deny problems in their past, but they don't dwell on them.  And they aren't afraid to blame others if they have to get too deep into discussions about their own culture's foibles.

Depending on the Islamic author, the acknowledgements have ranged from a brief mention before moving onto the awesomeness of Islam, to spending a little more time unpacking certain dark periods, but always with an eye to how Islam is the antidote for such abuses, and it was only by ignoring the Prophet that such problems or catastrophes happened.  Nonetheless, the accounts typically moved on to regale the reader with tales of the awesome contributions Islam made to the world despite any unfortunate actions on the part of misguided Muslims.

For us Christians, especially in the Western post-Reformation era, it's almost impossible to fathom that there are other cultures that don't routinely beat themselves down, blame themselves and their ancestors, and hold their very religious and philosophical traditions to blame for the world's problems. Because of this, we sometimes seem shocked to find others, like Muslim leaders, reluctant to do what we would do in a fast heartbeat.  In fact, I believe to date there only have been about three confirmed cases of violence against Muslims in America since 9/11.  Violence based upon them being Muslim that is.  And yet, to hear Americans talk, mostly liberal and in the media, you'd think we had death camps and Muslims were dying by the millions every day.  That's because it's what we do; partly because of the revolutionary tendency the Left has of wanting to drag our traditions into the street and beat them to death, partly because of our Christian heritage of confession and penance.  We can't go a day without blaming ourselves, blaming ourselves for slavery, genocide, imperialism, bigotry, sexism, racism, homophobia, nuking babies, death camps, environmental destruction, you name it.  Heck, many Americans blame us for 9/11.

But when we see other cultures or nations, like Japan or China or the Islamic world seem reluctant to point out the obvious, we become confused.  I'm sure there's a balance there.  I'm sure there's a way we Christians, and Americans in particular, could come around and stop beating senseless everything to do with our heritage.  Likewise, we could be a little more forthright about insisting others, like Muslims, don't think they can get away with 'Hey, Christians are to blame, Americans are to blame, but Islam is never to blame.'  Time will tell I guess.

Anyway, that's my take on the good Imam's statement.  Islam isn't to blame anyway, so the obvious reason why Muslims are dying more than anyone simply goes to show that it has nothing to do with Christianity either.  If we accept all of the other premises Islamic leaders insist upon, I see no reason to disagree with him now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Since the Left thrives on hypocrisy

And by that, I mean the Secular Left, which is really just saying the damp wetness - since the Left thrives on hypocrisy, we have stories like this.  A non-profit art museum will, once again, step out with courage to mock ... Catholics.  At least the Catholic Mass.

It was a testimony to the cleverness of the Left, and the dumb of the traditional Christians in America, that we accepted this double standard.  We accepted the premise that if a painting of Jesus was put up someplace that accepted tax money, it was a gross violation of Church and State, but if you encase that same painting in urine, suddenly it's artistic expression, bold tolerance for expression, and a worthy cause for our hard earned taxes.

Shame on our dumbness, or our wimpiness, or both.  I'm never sure which.

Happy Birthday Professor Dawkins

Or at least, happy birthday to the Selfish Gene, his little brain child in the endless attempt by atheists to solve the reality equation without that substantial variable known to many around the world as God.  Still, he's made his millions and brought up an entire generation of atheists to demonstrate the fact that everyone must worship something, since worship is in our God breathed DNA.


Fuzzy Fonts

So a visitor said that the fonts on my blog appear fuzzy on his mobile device.  Any suggestions?  Also, apparently - and I can't see this myself - the comments require a Word Verification.  I thought I had disabled that, but it looks like I merely took away my ability to see it on the comments section.  Is there a way to completely rid myself of that meddling Word Verification?  Thanks for any input!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Unpacking the dumb

John C. Wright continues his broadside against the unprecedented dumb being hammer into our brains by our education systems, our media, and with the help of President Obama, our federal government.  It's almost so stupid, I think we were caught off guard.  And yet, it's not just stupid, but it's set to become the law of the land.  And unless you bow and accept stupid, proclaim stupid, and are prepared to join in persecuting any others who challenge stupid, you could wind up the target of life destroying lawsuits and vocational termination.  It's a dire time, and one that reminds you ever empire, no matter how grand, must die eventually.

The way it is in politics today

Is demonstrated by the fact that the two least liked candidates in America, who are about the only ones capable of losing to the other one, are the two nominees brought to us by the two major political parties in our nation.  The only question remaining is which one will prove to be the least popular.  Right now Donald Trump is the least liked candidate.  But Hillary Clinton, in keeping with the Democratic party's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, is closing on him.  At least, if nothing else, this election cycle hasn't been predictable.

Resist the Tyranny

Again, a reminder that the entire Gay Rights movement and subsequent 'Transgenders pick a bathroom' movement has absolutely zilch to do with Gay Rights or the ability of Transgender individuals to pick their favorite bathroom.  It's a ploy, a tool, a weapon being used to crush the last remnants of the Judeo-Christian heritage of Western Civilization and its bastard child America.  As long as we do nothing, cases like Barronelle Stutzmen's will become the norm, not the exception.

Quote of the day

Courtesy of Theodore Dalrymple, by way of Nate Winchester:
"Political correctness is the means by which we try to control others; decency is the means by which we try to control ourselves."
Read the entire piece here.  I can add no more to what was said.  


The legacy of Capitalism

Is mused upon here.  So I'm a pack-rat.  Not because of sentimental reasons.  My wife is a sentimentalist.  She keeps things because of various emotional attachments.  I think I do so out of conditioning.  When I was growing up, my parents moved.  Not because they had to, but because they wanted to.  It was a glaring blot on an otherwise pretty impressive parental resume.  We would move into a house.  Stay a couple years.  Dad would fix it up, make some improvements, and then get bored.  Before I knew it, things were boxed up, the sale sign was in the yard, and it was off we go.

In addition to constantly being pulled away from the neighborhood kids and tossed into new areas with kids I didn't know, my parents had a tendency of tossing things when the moves came.  And that included, at times, my toys.  Not just old, worn out and forgotten toys.  Sometimes it could be the toys that were at hand, whether I was currently playing with them or not.  Boxed up, sealed, sold or given away.

Believe me, I've never let them live it down.  To this day, I remind my Mom about the awesome aluminium castle set I had when we left our house in the country and moved into Mt. Gilead, Ohio.  That was just one of many.  So I imagine it's because of that I have a tendency to hold onto things.

Nonetheless, every now and then, we'll do some spring cleaning.  Perhaps it's bad stewardship on my part, but most of what I have is the result of gifts through the years. I don't buy much for myself, apart from DVDs and perhaps and odd hobby or two (which I don't get rid of).  Other things come from presents: Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas.  So I decide to give things away rather than sell them.  Plus, my Mom and Dad were the garage sale royalty back in the day, and I remember the work that went into those things.  I'd rather give to charity.

So we had a couple old TV sets in our basement.  Not horribly old, but before the whole 'digital/flat screen' revolution.  I decided to take them to Goodwill.  Guess what.  They wouldn't take them.  I asked why.  They said they were incompatible with modern television broadcasting.  I argued that they were still compatible with all but the most recent video game systems, and they could hook up to DVD and even Blue Ray just the same!  Nope.  That does't matter.  The TVs would likely just sit and take up space since nobody will get something that only works for old games and DVDs.  With Netflix and PS4s, there just isn't a point.

Ahem.  So class, the lesson is, the legacy of Capitalism:

What the poor in America won't settle for
The legacy of Socialism:

The poor in Venezuela scrounging for food

I'm the first to criticize the abuses of Capitalism, and admit that without Christ, the end result may be no better than what Communism or Socialism produced.  Christ, not economic theories, being the source of salvation. But still, let's keep it real.  I know there are homeless people.  I've worked with them before in inner city missions.  But even then we had extensive networks of help for them based upon our country's abundant financial resources as well as mostly religious based charities.  Beyond the homeless, however, you have a class of poverty that balks at the idea of a television that does't play the latest PS4 video games.  

Compare that to poverty around the world, especially in nations that are so close to the Socialist ideal, the same ideal yearned for by the American Left, embraced by Europe, and increasingly advocated by Catholics, as well as Catholic leaders including, but not limited to, Pope Francis.  Compare and contrast.  Not that wealth equals salvation.  But we don't talk about salvation do we?  We talk about the importance of helping the poor.  I would suggest the best way to help would be reclaim Capitalism from the new paganism and get it back on track to doing what it seems to do the best.

Pope Francis is wrong

Sometimes when I hear Pope Francis, I wonder what world he is talking about.  If he isn't a liberal Catholic child of Marxist inspired Latin American liberation theology, he keeps coming across as one.  And even if the endless legions of Francis apologists will descend upon the Internet en masse to correct the liberal interpretations and tell us, once again, what Pope Francis really meant, I can't help but notice the Left is more than happy to accept the initial meanings that most attribute to his statements.

I know this isn't the first time. And many of Pope Francis's biggest supporters will try to draw parallels to the misunderstandings of Pope Francis and those of previous popes.  But here's the thing.  Those who hated and loathed Pope Benedict or Pope John Paul II because of their stances on homosexuality, women priests, abortion and contraception, or other issues near and dear to the liberal heart, were right.  In typical form, those popes were accused of hate and bigotry and sexism and the usual.  Those who defended them knew exactly what they meant.  Nobody said 'well, Pope Benedict really meant, or Pope John Paul II actually said.'  They might have ignored inconvenient teachings, but everyone knew what they stood for and what they meant.  When they were disagreed with, attacked, or celebrated, it was done based upon the biases, stances, beliefs or traditions held by those doing the commenting, defending or attacking.

But with Pope Francis, we have an entirely new dimension to the age old pope wars.  We have those who don't like him because of stances he has taken that they don't like.  We have those who cheer him because he speaks to issues from the point of view that is near and dear to their hearts.  But we also have this new level of debate, the 'what Pope Francis really intended to mean when he said what everyone misunderstood' level of debate.

 Apart from Pope Benedict attacking Muslims at Regensburg and his call to allow condoms for gay prostitutes, misunderstanding was not a hallmark of the last two papal debate cycles. But with Pope Francis it is a twice daily event. It allows those who subscribe to liberal religious doctrines to disagree with Pope Francis on several key issues (most of which cleave heavily unto the regions of the genitals), while nonetheless finding solace in various statements he makes, believing that they are simply ways to assure them that not now, but soon, the Church will finally come around to their way of thinking. So we have this that I commented on the other day.  It turns out I'm not the only one throwing the yellow flag on this one.

In 2004, Sam Harris, a radical proponent of the new, aggressive evangelical atheism, published a book titled "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason."  Of course there were a million problems with the book, and greater minds than mine had no problem unpacking those problems and pretty much skinning the thing and leaving it out to dry. Despite its problems and its premise - that it's high damn time non religious types get aggressive and start being open about their desire to eradicate religion from the planet - it was met with much praise and adoration by many in the Christian community who were, shall we say, left of center. The president of Union Theological Seminary famously gave the book two thumbs up.

One of the most often referenced points of agreement between Harris and those liberal Christian leaders I knew was his insistence that only by embracing secularized societies can the world have hope.  The more secular, the more peaceful.  The more religious, the more horrible, violent, and oppressive.  Even folks like me didn't take more than a minute to say 'The Soviet Union?  North Korea?  The Khmer Rouge?'  Eventually Harris did back down and drop that as part of his stump speech.

Enter Pope Francis.  His latest interview is, once again, drawing attention to say the least.  The idea that converting people to Christianity and jihad might be the same thing has found stunned reactions by many in the Christian community.  Likewise the idea, much embraced by Western liberals, that Christianity and Islam are two of many sides of the same coin, just like any other religion, seems to have gotten a jolt from him, especially when he added his praise to London for electing a Muslim mayor and seemed open to a potentially Islamic dominated Europe.

Over at The Catholic World Report, Carl Olson takes apart some of this, pondering why Pope Francis seemed so reluctant to ascribe Christian influence to the roots of European Civilization.  If Pope Francis is a child of Latin American liberation theology, that's easy.  I don't know Catholic liberation theology, but the Protestant brand was a simple nut to crack. Basically, there is no Satan or Hell, there's only the Democratic, Capitalist West.  That is pretty much the source of all evil and suffering in the world.  A child of Latin American theology might well chafe at the idea of associating Christianity too closely to the Western Tradition.  In the same way Gnostics chafed at the idea of an Incarnation.  What is by definition evil can't possibly have a spark of the divine.

Perhaps Pope Francis means to distance Europe from exclusively Christian origins in order to separate the Church from always bearing the brunt of Europe's sins.  There were, after all, other historical ingredients in the soupy mix that would become the European stew.  Charity suggests I might take that approach to understanding his statement.  His follow up statements, however, suggesting that appealing to Christian roots equated to triumphalism and even colonialism make that interpretation difficult.

But on the factual level, his subsequent dismissal of confessional states in preference to secular states is even more baffling.  Again, Pope Francis seems to say it doesn't really matter.  Things like Global Warming, open borders for immigrants, Socialized economies and tolerance and mercy for liberal sexual norms are the key positions to have regarding life and death, blessings and curses.    Other things don't seem to be much more than opinions with which we can respectfully disagree, and as a result, it doesn't really matter what religion is running the ship or what religious ship people want to board.

As I looked at the interview a couple more times, his preference for a secularized society was most troubling.  Assuming Pope Francis isn't hardcore to the Left and speaking the words of his heart, then he seems almost tone deaf to the majority of the secularized world that hears his words and rejoices to hear a leader of one of the world's largest religions conceding the superiority of secularization.

Beyond that, you have the basic problem that he is wrong.  There is absolutely nothing historically to suggest that going secular is the key to happiness and embracing religious confessional states will kill an empire.  In fact, after the 20th century, you would be hard pressed to find a more wrong statement to make.  And given the track record that arguably could be attributed to secularized nations, it goes beyond just wrong to being dangerously wrong. It is so wrong that even Sam Harris finally had to concede and change his spiel to acknowledge the facts.  And yet, it is something of which our Pope appears convinced.  If he is not a liberal Catholic child of Marxist inspired Latin American liberation theology, he makes less and less sense every day.  For it to make sense, well, you know.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Facebook is innocent of wrongdoing

Phew.  That was close.  Turns out all of the stories about Facebook deliberately suppressing conservative friendly news in its trending section was just the result of some wild and crazy employees.  Just like all of the other instances where journalists have been caught lying or making up stories to discredit conservative views, or government agencies have appeared to target conservative agencies.  It's all just a coincidence, or some unfortunate employees, or nothing but a couple incidents that can be explained away.  That in almost every case the instances point to something or someone making conservative views look bad or attacking conservatives outright is just dumb luck.  Doesn't mean a thing.  Good to hear.

Can you support homosexuality and freedom at the same time?

I'm sure you can.  Somehow.  But you'd never know it today.  So I saw this story and had to do a double take.  The eye-opener is this part:
A Phoenix law required Brush and Nib to create invitations and other artwork for same-sex wedding ceremonies. It also prevented Brush and Nib from explaining to customers and the public why they could only create art consistent with their beliefs about marriage. And this law did all this through criminal penalties.
It also prevented them from explaining?  Ahem:
Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech.  
Again, it should be obvious to anyone that the whole LGBTQ gender abstract movement has nothing to do with these people who, at various times in the recent past, would have been considered as mentally off balanced as a pedophile.  Those who don't see that are either fools, or liars, or both. What it will do with them once the goals are accomplished I can only guess.

But right now, they are useful fools, being exploited in order to seize the civilization that the radical, secular Left has long desired.

Communist Christians: A different perspective

It's common in liberal Christian circles to imagine that the early Church was a socialist paradise, or that the intentions of Jesus were closer to a pseudo-Marxist flavored society than some vile, greed laced Capitalist nightmare.  True, Capitalism in the hands of a godless, hedonistic and narcissistic culture will likely prove to be no better than Communism.  That's something advocates of Capitalism and the Free Market must remember.  Today, Capitalism embraced by our godless age has turned the best of Capitalism on its head.  Sure, the worst results haven't been felt - yet.  Right now, we still see the boon that historic Capitalism brought to the world.

But it's not hard to see how this boon could fade away.  Shorn of a Christian foundation, a Protestant work ethic if you would, Capitalism has turned away from the old idea of increased quality at lower prices while providing opportunities for expansion and job creation as the preferred consequences of a market free form outside interference.  Instead, what we increasingly see is a market trying to figure out how to give the least possible, with the lousiest quality and smallest quantity, for the highest prices possible while employing as few people with the lowest possible benefits imaginable.  That isn't good.  But it isn't necessarily Capitalism either.

Like most things in human history, Capitalism is man made and therefore less than divine.  As such, it will have flaws built into it; flaws that can either be overcome or exploited.  In our age of godlessness and greed, narcissism and hedonism, they have become exploited.  And they have been exploited precisely by those forces of individual self focus and disregard for the divine that traditional supporters of Capitalism once believed to be so important; exploited precisely by those advocates of Socialism who are using the decay of godless Capitalism as a reason to embrace Socialism.

Despite this, we need to look beyond the abuses of the Capitalist approach to what Socialism and Communism have done in their best of days. I've often said that the Christian West, as well as America, were at worst on the same level as other civilizations when those civilizations were at their normal.  But at best, the Christian West and especially American experiment soared beyond what humanity had ever seen.

The same is true for Capitalism.  Abused by godless and self-focused generations, of course the results will be bad.  But it's unlikely it will be as bad as the worst that Socialism and Communism have produced. On the other hand, Capitalism, when done right, even if it will always fall prey to fallen human nature, has brought more well being, more prosperity, more care and opportunity than all of the Socialist and Communist experiments have in their best days.  Given that fact alone, it's difficult to imagine that Jesus had in mind an approach that, when tried time and again, has all too often brought poverty and want, oppression and squalor.  It's equally hard to imagine that the early Church thrived under a system that, when tried today, produces societies that are at best no better than Capitalist nations and often far worse.

In this article, a different alternative to the Communist Jesus spiel is presented.  It's worth the read.  If for no other reason than to remember that there are alternatives to the propaganda presented by much of our media and educational institutions and heartily embraced by not a small number of Christians and Christian leaders.

Friday, May 20, 2016

GOP shoots self in foot

And demonstrates why so many are sick to death of the GOP and will support anyone, even Donald Trump, as long as he doesn't represent what the GOP has produced for the last two decades or so.  I understand that with abortion proclaimed a Constitutional right that any attempt to curb it will be thrown out by the courts.  Liberalism is now the interpretive canvas upon which most legislative and judicial decisions are made.  Much in the same way that a grande mixture of European Enlightenment and historic Judeo-Christian views and philosophies once occupied that position.

As a result, the bill was doomed to die.  And Governor Fallin could have had a justifiable concern about its ultimate success.  But right now, the headlines read variations of  "[GOP] Governor Vetoes Anti-Abortion Bill."  Somehow, in some way, she could have done it differently.  I don't know how involved she was in the process, so I don't want to judge that, nor judge her too harshly overall.  But the way in which she did it simply gives fuel to those who are pro-choice, those who are fed up with the GOP, and of course, those who insist they're conservatives at heart but seem to search for any and every reason under the sun to support liberal Democrats.


There is a John Lennon Airport?

I didn't know that.  I wonder what Paul must think.  Or Ringo or the family of George Harrison for that matter.  Ah, but John was the prophet of the Boomer generation, and they're still calling the shots.  He gave them their mantra, their holy hymn.  He taught them that there is nothing to believe in but me, Yoko and me, that's reality.  That school and education was a bore.  And of course, that Jesus was OK, but his disciples were thick and ordinary, it's them twisting it that ruins it for us.

The most important thing he did, however, beyond proclaiming a world where there is nothing worth killing or dying for (that is, nothing more important than me), he pioneered the John Lennon Principle, which is an essential element of the emergent Left today.

So I guess, in hindsight, it's a good thing that they named an airport after him.  After all, if it was someone else, I might have to believe in Zimmerman after all.

Censorship takes a holiday

Good to see.  While the Left makes unimaginable strides in stripping away the notion that anyone has a right to not be liberal, there occasionally are a few missteps.  This is one.  Yeah.  If a guy has an almost spotless record and is a decorated war veteran, canning him over daring to think and talk like a non-liberal could have consequences.  True, this is an editorial on FOX, so it will be brimming with a more Conservative take on the story.  But even if the story was divided in half to assume bias, it's still unthinkable.

BTW, the credibility of the editorial's take is buttressed by the all too common instances of stories like this.  Right to an opinion?  This is America.  Where do people think we are?

More on Pope Francis and the good that comes from judging others

Is demonstrated here.  Again, few popes in modern history have so perfected the art of judging, and doing so brutally, as has Pope Francis. And the Left, that for so many generations insisted that judging was wrong, and subsequently hoisted an endless stream of sins and stupidity on the unsuspecting West as a result, is the first to line up and cheer.  Once more this reminds us that it is time to rethink some of those lofty principles that Christians have been forced to accept.  Especially since the ones who forced us to accept them seem to be the first ones happy to abandon those same principles when convenient - assuming they ever believed in them at all.  Not only does following such folly weaken the Faith's ability to proclaim Truth to a fallen world, but if we're not careful, just like the emergent Left has demonstrated time and again, we can become the type who declares principles to be things that are merely convenient for getting our way at the moment or being awesome in the latest argument on the blogosphere.

Why I will not visit

Catholic and Enjoying It again is best summed up in this and this.  Two links sent to me since I mentioned it was up and running. Personally, I'd rather go to Jack Chick's blog to learn about Catholicism, or the Friendly Atheist to learn about Christian history.

As I said, I don't care for Donald Trump, and that includes the many imitators out there who might despise Trump, but can't seem to resist acting like the very things in him they so zealously condemn.   A Catholic apologist representing the Church who resorts to declaring himself in perfect obedience and fraternity with the infallible interpretation of the Holy Catholic Church, while accusing anyone who disagrees with him of being murderers and torturers and blasphemers with blood lust can barely rise above the level of a Jack Chick.  And often being no more balanced or informed than Donald Trump, CAEI is not the place to go for spiritual edification or doctrinal instruction.

Those who continue to cheer Mark while continue to trash Trump (or Jack Chick for that matter), simply illustrate the point my boys were trying to make about the Facebook generation in the first place.

Heh



Meanwhile in other minor news

Making territory grabs and threats are becoming China's official policy towards the United States.  It's almost mind-boggling how so few nations have any real concern or respect for the United States anymore.  Of course liberalism knows this is a good thing.  Liberalism believes that the Christian West and its bastard child America are the primary forces of evil and oppression and human suffering in the world.  How this will square with what will happen in the future remains to be seen.  It doesn't really square with what happened in the past, but that hasn't stopped the Left.  So we'll see.

Democrats explain liberal tolerance

Here.  The House narrowly missed a passing vote designed to protect LGBT individuals, so defined by liberalism, from discrimination.  At least on the federal level.  The inside baseball part of it has to do with procedure and the nuances behind the voting.  But read through and see the reactions on the part of the Democrats.  Note the ease with which they toss out words like 'discrimination' and 'bigotry.'  Again, are we finished with this silly old notion that we want a nation of tolerance and diversity where all morality is opinion and we all just agree to respectfully disagree?  I hope so.  

Thursday, May 19, 2016

An opinion about the Obama pro-Transgender crusade

Is here.  I don't vouch for it personally,  nor do I know about the facts cited.  That might seem a bit cowardly.  If I don't vouch or confirm, why post it?  Because it is a voice representing a point of view that has become maligned overnight.  With no public debate, no scientific consensus, no legal definitions, the Obama White House has used the power of the Federal Government to legislate morality by threat of retribution.  And those who are bothered, including women and young girls?  Variations on 'shut up and deal with it you bigots!'  Whenever something like this happens in a society, it's worth paying attention to.  And if you have to appeal to some serious table pounding and even a few choice words, then that is what needs done.  A few more leaps forward like this, and the First Amendment and our traditional concept of liberty and freedom won't be worth a roll of used toilet paper.   At least not for those who don't embrace the modern secular way.

When Japan apologizes

Perhaps.  But as long as Japan's official attitude toward apologizing to America is variations on 'you had it coming', I'd say the apologies can wait.  I hate it for the victims of the war that Japan started, including those innocents killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  But it was Japan's fault.  Besides, as I said here, if we do blame the US for using the bombs, then we blame the entire world that had embraced the philosophies of the age allowing the use of such things.  Things that, had Japan possessed the resources and ability to produce, it would have used in a fast heartbeat.  That the US was capable of doing what other nations gleefully would have done should say to us be careful about being coerced by the world into accepting the latest, hippest philosophies of the age.

If you have seven or eight hours to kill

Then go to John C. Wright's website and read through this post.  Here, he takes on the notion that the media is absolutely fair and balanced when it comes to covering Islam and the modern terrorist culture that has arisen from that one primary source in the world today.

In the post, Mr. Wright links to multiple cases where various pundits, politicians and journalists have done what seems to be a double-step to avoid, at least initially, linking Islam to anything negative.  Which always makes me think of this.   It's a long list that he's compiled, though I'm sure it's by no means exhaustive.  I know in our own neck of the woods, an Islamic immigrant attacked a Jewish business owner but, at no point, was the obvious link dwelt upon or even mentioned more than in passing.  So read away.  It will take some time, but it's worth it, especially when coupled with other sources of non-liberal same think.

This could be a parody of an actual editorial

It's hard to say.  With the some forms of punditry, you never can tell.  Jesus as the first Transgender person sounds like a middle school attempt at wit.  Obviously, any good liberal isn't going to say Transgender started anywhere definitive.  So that's my first clue.  Yes, the Left will often hijack our Faith and use it against us.  The Devil does that.  Remember the film The Exorcist?  The demon will mix lies with truth to attack us.

The Left, and compliant Christians, will rush to the Bible to explain why gender has always been an abstract concept by which we measure our pain (St. John Lennon, 4:18),  So believers with common sense and at least an iota of faith in the Traditions passed down to us by previous generations should be wary.

I know, I'm assuming the editorial is a put-on.  Note I have to assume.  That's because of the scientific and academic communities' propensity for always discovering that science proves what the latest cultural trends embraced the the awesome hipster beautiful people want it to prove.  Because of that, blind appeals to science appear to be just that: blind.

In any event, since the whole Transgender Normality demands an almost epic level of dumb, expect epic dumb to accompany the demand to dismantle Christian society and common sense morality.  As I've said, only through mandated dumb can a nation proud of its heritage of liberty and freedom give away both so easily.

Atheists against freedom

I say against freedom, because if you are against religious freedom, you are against freedom, at least as defined by liberalism.  You're saying that freedom only exists for the right kind of people who have the right kind of beliefs.  And that's fine.  Christians have long said that.  Knowing that, ultimately, we are all slaves to something, we've understood that freedom is not some open ended invitation to anything.

Against the Left's deceptions, however, many Christians have buckled and folded over the years, conceding that no nation has a right to define - anything.  True enlightenment means anyone can do or say anything, we all have to respect that, and any suggestion otherwise is in the same camp with the gas chambers and gulags.

Despite the fact that the same movement that told us such lies was, at the same time, launching protest after protest based on absolute moral standards that it demanded the nation accept and conform to, Christians continued to believe the lie.  And what a powerful lie it was. By bringing up endless images of sadistic inquisitors and witch trials and Nazi kangaroo courts, we were reminded to what fraternity we belonged if we dared say that our religion is right, or our morals are the ones that should define the nation.

So it is refreshing that, as the secular left gains power, it becomes more and more flagrant in its disregard for the universal freedoms and liberties it sometimes preached.  Like my boys noticed a while back, have you ever caught how little the terms 'liberty' and 'freedom' come up in modern punditry, especially on the Left?  Equality, diversity, and even fairness yes.  But not freedom and  liberty.  And that's because the secular Left is only finally admitting what we've all known all along, that a nation can't survive on 'no rules, just right.'

Now, since they are admitting it and becoming flagrant about it, will Christians (and other people of other faiths) wake up and stop the movement before it's too late?  Or have we been so duped for so long that the stupor is beyond our ability to overcome it, no matter how obvious it is and how much we acknowledge the danger for religious believers everywhere?  I don't know.  Time will tell.  But right now, I find it refreshing that atheists are attacking a public servant for posting an Easter message  on an official website, which Christians long conceded should never be done in an open and tolerant society.

Good to see.  When Tyranny finally shows itself, people can sometimes wake up.  That we are post-moderns who subscribe to the notion that we belong to nothing except our carefully handcrafted demographics, and it is no big deal if it happens to them over there, could be a problem.  The post-modern Golden Rule of 'Do unto others as long as you don't do unto me' has helped the forces of darkness for some time.  Another area where Christians let the world's forces change us.  Again, we'll see.  I'm not optimistic, but I'm not altogether pessimistic either.

Why Hate Crimes are for fools and future tyrants

Really.  Remember when the idea of Hate Crimes was open for debate, and a heated one at that?  Remember when the idea was considered a dangerous step by some very sane, thoughtful individuals who saw danger in the idea that the reason you kill somebody based upon subjective labels could indicate whether your crime was worse than killing someone else, all things equal?

This came back to me as I find out, just strolling through the Internet, that a historic Orthodox Christian Church in New York City was burned to the ground on Orthodox Easter Sunday.  You'll forgive me for not mentioning it earlier.  I didn't hear about it.  I didn't see anything about it.  I did notice something on the news about fires in NYC, but when I checked, it looked like commuter fires or something similar.

Anyway, the story I found in the NYT went out of its way to point out that there was no suspicion.  Think on that.  Imagine if a Synagogue was burned to the ground.  Or a Black church.  Or a Mosque.  What do you want to bet that the theory would almost universally be 'hate crime', with overwhelming evidence needed to convince us otherwise.  With no more information than we have, we would have assumed hate crime where in this case there is none.

None, at least, according to the NYT.  Over at the New York Post, it looks like some are noticing that there were three other churches that burned on that same Sunday.  That is prompting some to go radical and think, you know, that there could be a connection.  I'm not saying they were the result of hate crimes or deliberate attacks.  I'm saying that, if this had been certain other locations burned, you can bet the media headlines would start with hate crime and only retreat if overwhelming evidence suggested otherwise.

It reminds me of a string of church fires here in north central Ohio a few years back.  Most were Catholic.  One was the Catholic church in my childhood hometown.  They happened within a few weeks of each other.  Our local news mentioned each one, but with no connection.  The national media didn't cover it at all.  I still don't know anything about the cases, since nobody is bothering with them.

So you see, that is a problem with Hate Crimes.  They are based on subjective labels, and they are subjectively applied based upon the proprieties or fancies - or dare I say, prejudices - of the moment.  They are also a way of starting down that path that says 'these people are, in the end, a little more important than those people over there.'  And that can be seen in the lack of coverage or concern given to what, if it was a story about fires across a string of Mosques or Synagogues or Gay Bars, would warrant enough attention to overtake the media obsession with Donald Trump.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Did Pope Francis really say that?

The Washington Post is reporting that Pope Francis, in a way common throughout liberalism and liberal Protestantism, suggested that one could see the Great Commission as nothing other than an alternate version of conquest not unlike Islam's proclivity toward conquest.

I know, I know.  It could be and, on some level, it is.  After all, we're saying that there is only one Truth and we need to proclaim that truth and the world needs to embrace it.  Muslims, atheists, liberals, secularists, Christians, all believe the same thing when it comes to proclaiming their truth claims.  On one level.

But as often as not, when understood through a post-Christian, liberal prism, they mean that the Christians are no better than the Muslims since, in the end, Christianity is no truer than Islam or any other religion.  Basically saying all religions are right is a backhanded way of saying all religions are ultimately wrong.  Or at least pointless.  No more important than having a preference on what type of topping you put on a pizza pie.

I have no clue what Pope Francis actually meant.  Charity suggests he isn't equating the Great Commission to Jihad.  Nor does it allow me immediately to assume he's saying that our call to spread the Gospel is no different than the Islamic call to subdue the world since, well, they're all the same anyway.

Exactly what he meant will, once again, be the subject of debate and we'll have official and non-official interpreters rushing out to say what Pope Francis really meant.  Which, if nothing else, is a problem I have with Pope Francis.  The Office of Explaining What Pope Francis Really Said is almost an institution unto itself.

It isn't as if people are more stupid, or more partisan, or more prone to twist things than they ever were. It's that, at the end of the day, if we take everything he's said at face value, then he comes off as a somewhat traditional Latin American Catholic who embraces social liberalism and Marxist inspired economic theories, along with various elements of the secularist liberal interpretations of doctrine and theology and social justice.  That's how he would look if we take the catalog of his statements at face value.  If we don't want him to look that way, are not ready to accept it, or don't know what to do with the idea that if he isn't those things, he appears to have no competent way of conveying his ideas, that's when we turn to the Official Interpreters of the Pope to explain why so often that does seem to be the case, but in reality, it is not the case at all.

Mark Shea is correct

So I guess Mark Shea has rebooted his blog Catholic and Enjoying It.  I won't be visiting it, and I'll explain why some day when I have a minute.  But while searching for Catholics and voting, I noticed this link where Mark is making it clear that in order to stop Trump, a Catholic can vote for Hillary Clinton in good faith.  Of course the Catholic can't support the myriad sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance (assuming they still do) that Hillary, and the Democrats, support.  But assuming they don't, a vote for her to stop Trump can be a valid choice.

Now there is nothing new here.  It's what the Church teaches.  It's what the American Bishops teach.  It's what they've taught since I've been Catholic. It's how Catholics should be taught when anyone representing the Church is trying to guide believers.

The problem is, this isn't what was said years ago.  Yes, in official publications Mark and others would admit the same thing, that Catholics could, in good faith, vote for the lesser of two evils.  But even then, it was made clear that the more spiritual way was to not vote at all, or vote for a more perfect candidate no matter how unlikely it was that candidate could win.  To do otherwise was almost immediately cast as a suspicious choice.

On his own blog and Facebook page, as well as the websites of others, it was more caustic.  Those Catholics, basically conservative Catholics, who argued that voting for Romney or McCain was a valid option were skinned.  Their motives and spiritual lives were questioned.  They were accused of being partisan hacks, of being tribalists, ideologues putting ideology above Church teaching, of not caring what the Church teaches, of not loving Jesus more than their party affiliation, of being hyphenated Catholics.  In short, for those who agreed then with what Mark is saying now, Mark and others presumed guilt, then accused and attacked accordingly.

I understand people can change.  That happens.  Not being perfect and always right, as I hope we realize we never are, we can change.  We can realize that we were wrong and admit it and proclaim our new understanding.  From what I can tell, from what I could see when Mark was writing about voting for Bernie, that isn't what is happening.  It's as if this has always been the case.  Why, who wouldn't get that you can vote to lessen evil (see this link for the little linguistic double step there)?  Of course you can.  How could people not accept the clear teaching of the Church and its bishops?

So the lesson here is that either the Church is right this time, or it's right when it says what I want, or conservatives are simply so evil and wicked there could be no justifiable reason to vote for one, while apart from a plethora of failures, evils and sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance, liberal Democrats are almost at one with the Gospel? I don't know.  Personally I like to get my direction from sign posts the point the same way every time, that way I don't have to guess.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

In celebration of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Or, as I like to call it, anti-Opinion Day, I thought I would link to an appropriate post from days gone by.  It's from the once legendary Zippy Catholic.  Ah, Zippy.  Sometimes too quick with a zinger, he would occasionally miss the point others were trying to make.  But when he had a chance to sit back, collect his thoughts, and reflect on the world around us through a Catholic prism, there were few better.

In this post, he takes on that sleight of hand used by the Left known as [Term]-phobia. In this case, the word Homophobia.  It's a way, like so many liberal terms, of shutting down debate and imposing values on others.  It's a code word, and nothing more.  Like adding Big-[name of industry] to something, or [name]-hater, they're just modifiers used to signal that the Left is about to declare you and your values unacceptable, and unless you convert to the Left way of thinking, expect the strong arm of money and power to come down on you like an iron gauntlet.

But read the post.  Zippy explains why a perfectly valid term like -phobia can have very invalid uses.

Google joins anti-Opinion Day

With nothing less than a link to a video that is labeled 'Why We Fight.'  That's a nod to the old Frank Capra series produced in WWII that documented just why the US was fighting a nation like Nazi Germany.

Ironically, on this crucial day, there is little vocal, international outrage against the Islamic world, in which treatment of gays and other LGBTQ groups rages from overt oppression to slaughter and torture.  Not that the left and non-Christian world doesn't condemn such things.  But compared to the screams and yells against, say, teenage girls who are bothered about boys using the bathroom next to them, you can't help but notice a difference in tone.

Anyway, it's nice to know we have a day dedicated to mandating opposition to diverse opinions.

The Daily News offers a bit of propaganda

Just read it.  I love the whole cisgender thing.  Just invent a new word, define it your way, and then condemn people who don't agree or even understand accordingly.  Remember, we're not supposed to judge!  The story is about a woman who was harassed for being transgender even though she is, I guess, cisgender?  I don't know.  Sometimes I think this whole thing is some frat boy prank by a bunch of guys in a bar off campus wondering just how stupid they can get Americans to act.   So far, my money is on the frat boys.

Monday, May 16, 2016

John Clark is more polite than I am

When it comes to the growing tyranny of the Leftist movement.  PC?  Litmus test?   It's how you get a country to chuck liberty and freedom out the window, it's not a litmus test.  It's how you convince a nation, once proud of its uncompromising stance on liberty and freedom, to invite Big Brother into our homes to begin mandating conformity and retribution against wrong-think, as long as we can have sex and legalized drugs.

That Bill de Blasio has called on New Yorkers to boycott Chik-Fil-A is not surprising.  Like the Boy Scouts used to be, Chik-Fil-A is in the crosshairs of the Left for daring to refuse to convert to the gospel of liberalism and conform to the Left's dogmatic definitions of diversity.   And since de Blasio represents the ideological movement that is developing a righteous rage and intolerance against non-believers that would shame a Spanish Inquisitor, I'm not shocked that he would say what he said.  I'm actually shocked it is so tame and understated.

But I give Mr. Clark credit for keeping his cool.  I'm just not sure if keeping our cool about the folding of freedom is that prudent.  We'll see.


Have you ever noticed the difference

Between a scandal that impacts non-liberals vs. a scandal that impacts liberals?  Ever notice the difference in how they are covered?  Assuming, of course, that scandals impacting liberals are even covered.  I asked my boys when was the last time a liberal Democrat became the target of a media driven scandal over something he or she said?  At least, not in an election year, where the media will pick its favorites, even in the Democratic party.  Other than election time, can you think of a major scandal centered around anything a liberal Democrat said?  I can't either.

So just finding scandals that could impact liberalism is tough.  When it happens, notice some of the tricks used.  Take the story about Facebook workers told to suppress Conservative news stories.  I have no idea if it is true.  I'll probably never know, since I doubt it will receive much coverage.  Right now, I've only seen it mentioned a couple times outside of FOX and some conservative news sites.

That's the first trick, by the way.  The old Hearst approach to Citizen Kane.  If you don't like it, simply suppress the story.  Don't cover it.  Act like it isn't there.  So the idea that a major billion dollar corporation that is a key factor in modern discourse and information was deliberately censoring news based on beliefs and ideologies would, you'd think, get some attention.  More than a handful of stories.  But you'd be wrong.  At least so far.

When they do cover the stories, as in this little piece here, notice what happens.  It's all nuance and breakdown and details.  It's analyzing the schematics, the flowcharts, the history of all involved.  It's breaking down the numbers, parsing the verbs and trying to divide the subject into a million smaller issues, each of which are worth months and years of examination.  In short, I got bored reading the thing.

But when it's a scandal that can impact or harm conservatism?  Then it's War Peacock!  There is no need for subtlety.  It's sexism and the War on Women!  Racism and Black Lives Matter!  Homophobia and Gender Binary! Carnage and death and the world teetering on the brink of ruin!  And it gets 24/7 coverage, headline news, round table discussions for days or even weeks, all wondering how such evil could run amok in the conservative ranks and threaten so many innocent people.

That's how they do it;.