Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Dark night of the Catholic soul

What can be said?  I didn't leave the Church because of this.  I left the Church because my family was losing faith in the Gospel that all too many within the Church no longer seemed to think was anything other than our personal opinion.  Given what we lost to become Catholic, that was a tough pill to swallow.  It was made tougher as we had a pope who increasingly acted as if the only unforgivable sin was not keeping up with the times.  We could have stayed in Protestantism with our 529s and our retirement funds and believed that.

As a Protestant, I noticed most of my clergy colleagues didn't jump on the pop culture and media bandwagon and beat up on the Church.  That's because we all knew that such things weren't unique to Catholicism.  There might not have been the feeling of widespread, systemic cover up that we saw in the Catholic scandal.  But we did have scandals.  The Orthodox Church is no different.
Fact is, we became Catholic in the early 00s, when the priest abuse scandal was being used to bludgeon the Church on a daily basis.

But nothing - nothing in my life, in my years as a vocational clergy, in my years looking deep into the heart of the Faith traditions our lives have gone through so much to follow - have I seen anything like this.  I'm at a loss.  I just don't know of any other institution or organization that has seen this much horrific, systemic, purposeful hellish sin.  Even Hollywood in the post-Weinstein era, with the casting coach on full display, pales in comparison. 

There is something truly demonic in all of this.  Some say it isn't Vatican II.  After all, the charges go back 70 years.  But who were the ones pushing the Church into the Second Vatican Council?  Perhaps it's the Church's belief that the Faith must follow the world that is at the root cause.  Perhaps there is this constant desire to rework the Faith to keep up with the Joneses.  Others are saying it's just clericalism.  It's nothing new, just another problem needing fixed.  I don't know.

I just know it is sickening.  It's so bad that the entire Faith of Jesus Christ gets a black eye or two with this one.  It's not enough for other traditions to point and say 'it's them!'  It drags the entire Gospel down into the pits.  

There is a way toward consolation of course.  Prayer and fasting are what is in order.  Also it's time for Catholics to ask if they are more interested in keeping up with the world, or actually saving the world.  How much more has to happen before we conclude the usual stuff isn't working?  How many have to turn their backs on the Faith, or walk away, or dismiss its importance for Christians to admit the obvious?  This might be the most egregious result of the modern way, but it's hardly the only result. 

I have no intention of skipping into the Orthodox church next Sunday as if all is right since this is not our problem.  It is our problem.  Because the Catholic Church is merely the most visible example of a religion that has long since lost its ability to bring the Gospel into the darkness of the world.  Rather, the world is increasingly bringing its darkness into the Good News of the Church.  We might think we're converting the world (assuming we don't consider this a breach of ethics), but I think the world has done a bang-up job converting us.

To paraphrase Warren Hollister's assessment of the Franciscan order, Christianity may continue to serve the world, minister to the world and even pray for the world, but I fear we've altogether ceased to inspire our own members, much less the world. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The NFL is not being hypocritical




As true as this video is, the problem isn't the NFL being hypocritical.  It merely is being obedient to the Left.  To that end it does what is common among the Left: declare all morality to be based on obedience to the Left.  So censorship, we learned growing up, is one of the most vile and wicked of all human actions.  Unless it services the Left. The same with bigotry.  The same with violence.  The same with intolerance.

And on and on we could go for hours.  So the fact that the NFL has long punished expressing viewpoints or promoting agendas on the NFL's dime is not a problem.  It's not a surprise.  It's not even a problem.  A company has a right to demand conformity to a set of principles, or so I've been told when it comes to firing people who speak out against things like abortion or gay marriage.

That the NFL turns on a dime and lets players (and anyone else) openly buck the rules in order to advance a liberal narrative merely demonstrates the choke-hold the Left has on a growing portion of our society.  Just ask Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who was beaten down and forced to recant for committing the unforgivable sin of ordering a chicken sandwich at an ethically unclean restaurant.

This is the new morality.  I hope it's what Americans want, because it's what Americans will get.  I watched a CBS news documentary on racism in Portland.  One young black man summed it up pretty well.  The racist evil that is endemic to America's institutions isn't because the system is broken. The evil racism is because the system is working fine and doing what it was designed to do.  This was always an irredeemably evil nation, and the only solution is to see its various institutions burned to the ground and rebuilt.  So said he.

As we look at things like the clear double standards applied to conformers and non-conformers; as we see a nation almost proud to abandon notions of due process, presumption of innocence and burden of proof; as we see people dragged before the media court over statements made decades ago; as we watch lives destroyed because the wrong skin color used the wrong words; as we see careers threatened because someone is married to someone who heard about accusations that have yet to be proven; I'd say we should know what this new version of America will look like.

After all, these developments are being accomplished by the Left without any actual power.  Imagine what it will be someday when it finally obtains the power it so clearly desires.  The NFL, for all its manifold problems during the Goodell era, is merely falling into lockstep along with a growing number of institutions and corporations because that's where the compass is pointing.  It wouldn't be the first time such blind obedience to a rising power occurred.  It won't be the last.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Watch and see

In light of the United the Right rally falling on its behind and not leading to riots and death, let's see what the press does with this.  It hearkens back to the Zimmerman trial.  A white man guns down an unarmed black man during a dispute.  There is no reason it should have escalated, and the shooter invoked Stand Your Ground to get himself out of it.  The Sheriff, apparently, let the shooter go based on that defense.

This has all the makings of a Media Perfect Storm.  This is serious Ferguson stuff.  We're talking riots and demonstrations and protests.  History lessons about America's fundamentally racist nature.  The racism of all white Americans.  And as an added bonus, it could be used to attack the Stand Your Ground law that the media hope the Zimmerman case would be about when that story first broke.

The sad part is that a human being has been killed.  That should be a case for mourning and prayers for the loved ones left behind.  Naturally we should want justice done.  If the shooter charged in donning his Dirty Harry drag, then the punishment should fit the crime.  That's what we should want.

Will the press leave it at that, and report it as a case where justice should happen in this isolated case?  Or will we have riots and protests and cops killed and calls to overthrow the Washington Monument and all the hysterics and contention the press loves.


Hating on American in the Catholic Left

Just like most Leftists do.  Remember that the American Left typically hates their fellow Americans the way they accuse the Right of hating everyone else.  It's a defining characteristics of the modern Left that they see hating their own demographics as a virtue.  Non-American Leftists are more than happy to join in.

Of course Catholics have had a love/hate relation with America from the beginning.  Some have tried to assimilate, but it's not been easy.  From periods of open antagonism toward Catholics on one hand, to open antagonism from Catholics on the other, that's what's made being an American Catholic a tough sell.

Now in fairness, Mark's actual post praising Pope Francis as a Kairos moment in the flesh isn't so anti-American.  But as usual, people use Mark's blog as a chance to spew all manner of hate, sin, wickedness, bigotry, and evil in his comboxes. Usually with impunity.  Note the hatred, the contempt, the loathing.  Note the 'Of course Americans are scum idiots, no wonder the world is justified to despise us and laugh at us.'   Since hating stereotypes of people is apparently such a modern, progressive Catholic thing.  I'll assume those Americans saying such things, like most demographic masochism, assume it's all the other Americans that deserve to be hated.

As bad as America can be, and goodness knows the Left has ironically gotten us to be many of the things it now condemns (see the #MeToo movement for an example), I'll still take it here before almost anywhere else.  Dying, euthanizing and suicidal Europe?  The Islamic world?  Communist China?  The Canadian Soviet? I don't think so.  I might like to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

Jordan Peterson as canary in the Left's coal mine

There is no coherent reason for the left’s obliterating and irrational hatred of Jordan Peterson. What, then, accounts for it? It is because the left, while it currently seems ascendant in our houses of culture and art, has in fact entered its decadent late phase, and it is deeply vulnerable.
An interesting piece.  And I love the possibility that the above observation is correct.

The Left has responded to Peterson as it does most non-conformists: with hatred and contempt.   Most criticisms of Peterson are variations on 'He's so dumb man, and like so dumb and dumb man, and so not as smart as me man.'  Anyone who's commented on liberal blogs will recognized the worn out tactics that are always the same:
  1. Declare your infinite intellectual and moral (and if religious, spiritual) superiority to the non-conformist
  2. If this doesn't work, wade into the discussion with name calling and variations on 'Your mamma wears army boots and she dresses you funny.'  It's childish, but can be effective for rallying like-thinking Leftists  
  3. If this still doesn't work, then go for the throat; make damaging and potentially harmful accusations, engage in character assassination, or even call upon others to destroy the life and livelihood of the non-liberal heretic in question
It's as old as modern liberalism.  This has been going on for some decades, and today is almost etched in stone.  Just ask Rush Limbaugh.  Next time you see a debate between a progressive and anyone, or see a progressive take on a challenger - like Peterson - think of the above steps.  They'll fit how the progressive is approaching the debate almost every time.

This might be because most of the grand promises of the Left have died, or have led to unbelievable suffering, misery, carnage, death, suffering, and the potential disintegration of the civilization that actually brought concepts of equality, human rights, freedom, and democracy to the world.

In light of this, the usual tactics will be used against anyone who challenges the narrative.  Whether it's someone who fails to conform to the Left's dogmas, or a former believer who is in danger of leaving the plantation, the attack is the same and is predictable.  And it's often worked to beat down those non-believing conservative types far more worried about staying in the best liberal parties than standing on principle.

Enter Jordan Peterson.  Peterson isn't right about everything.  Peterson isn't God.  A powerful Leftist trick has been to convince people that anyone who disagrees with the Left must be smarter than God and perfect in every way.  Even the slightest deviation from perfection is grounds to reject the whole package.  Hence why most progressives probably think you've done nothing less than wish their death and destruction if you dare disagree with them.  Thieves who think everyone else is a crook after all.

Anyhoo, Petersen continues to be a bee in the Left's bonnet. Caitlin Flanagan at The Atlantic wades into the question about why Peterson is so hated.  Obviously because he's not liberal, and he's a threat.  Most of what Peterson says that is the most hated is, naturally, the most obviously common sense observations, like the fact that boys and girls exist, and that teenagers who can't make their bed probably aren't smarter than corporate moguls in charge of multi-billion dollar international corporations.

It's interesting that as we see the Left consolidate power and teach more Americans to embrace a Soviet styled terror state mentality, where you can arbitrarily be destroyed for sins committed when you were a child, Ms. Flanagan insists the Left is actually on its dying leg.  Hence the panic, the hysterics, the growing willingness to show its hand and declare its desire to destroy America, religious liberty, Christianity, and teach hatred and extermination of people based on the right skin color, national origin and creed.  Always promising, of course, that this oppressive regime will only punish everyone else.   It's nice to see her believe that many are beginning to see through the lies and the evil:
These are people who aren’t looking for an ideology; they are looking for ideas. And many of them are getting much better at discerning the good from the bad. The Democratic Party reviles them at its peril; the Republican Party takes them for granted in folly. (emphasis mine)
Bonus points for Ms. Flanagan noticing what I noticed: Not a single major morning "News" outlet has had Peterson on to promote his book.  That's called the press deliberately censoring unacceptable thinking, which it has done for many years.  It's just that with the Internet, it's not nearly as effective as it used to be.  Thank goodness for the Internet I guess:
It’s hard to think of a best-selling self-help book whose author has not appeared on the classic morning shows; these programs—Today and Good Morning America and CBS This Morning—are almost entirely devoted to the subject of self-help. But the producers did their part, and Peterson did not go to their studios to sit among the lifestyle celebrities and talk for a few minutes about the psychological benefits of simple interventions in one’s daily life. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The growing push within the Left to eliminate the Constitution

Here celebrated and supported at the New York Times.  Karl Keating sees the obvious:


Yep.  This isn't new.  Ages ago while I was still a pastor, I was watching CSPAN one evening, and it showed a contributor from Salon.com speaking at a Unitarian Universalist church.   I can't remember the topic.  What I remember is during the Q&A session, someone asked the speaker about eliminating the US Senate.  After all, it was unacceptable that some state like Montana or Wyoming with virtually nobody of note would have equal say alongside the obviously superior coastal liberal states with all the big populations.  The speaker merely chuckled and said that issue was for down the road.

Well, we're getting close to down the road.  The Trump election, and the recent push-back against a post-national, global Marxist, atheistic world order has kicked the Marxist Left into hyper-panic mode.  As such, they're pulling out all the stops.  Because the forces that might resist this are busy being divided and trying to make sure that they come out looking better than those other conservatives, this panic is beginning to yield fruit.

I mean, we've already abandoned the notion that we need due process, presumption of innocence or burden of proof before someone's life is destroyed.  We might even destroy their life because their wife spoke to someone who was accusing someone of doing something wrong.  Serious KGB world living.  Who says we're still free?  And we seem fine with that.

We're certainly OK with saying you can hate on people because of their skin color, national origin or religion.  Whether or not laws even apply to you might well be based on those factors.  The Iconoclasm against the Confederacy is already spreading to the rest of our nation, as increasingly we learn that there is not a single thing, not one, from the Christian West or historical America that isn't irredeemably wicked and evil.

Bernie Sanders and Dianne Feinstein openly declared their disdain for traditional Christians holding high office.  CAIR, one of our country's top Islamic organizations, proudly declared its support for keeping traditional Christians in the same place they are in most Islamic lands.  All notions of reality are being thrown out by 'scientists' looking for the next handout from agencies and movements passing out the money on the condition that science proves reality needs thrown out.

Now we're seeing the end of that long road mentioned on CSPAN all those years ago, where those Marxist inspired Lefitsts are coming clean and admitting what we all know.  They're simply carrying on the dream of the 20th century Communists; a dream that involves destroying the United States, burning its documents to the ground, and eradicating the moral and legal traditions from the Christian West, along with the Christian faith that undergirded them all.

And the most amazing thing?  Increasingly they're boldly admitting it, with full knowledge that the institutions that should be protecting us and our heritage are part of the movement to destroy both.  I guess we can say at least they're admitting it.  At least they're saying they want America as we understand it to be eliminated and rebuilt.  And given the love that Marx was shown on the anniversary of his birthday this year, I think we can put the pieces together and figure where they want it to go.

Oh, one more thing.  If your answer is 'But Dave, it's just one opinion piece.  In one of our flagship news outlets.  By one of many organizations that seek the same thing.  That echoes what was said almost 20 years ago', consider this.  I can still remember the first time major news outlets gave a platform for those fringe radicals who were saying they wanted a day when two homosexuals could be legally married.  Sounded crazy, right?  Of course many said that such a thing could create a crisis for liberty where religious rights are concerned.  Naturally they were laughed at for being the paranoid homophobes that they were.  But think on that.  How fringe and crazy it seemed when the first news outlets gave that idea a platform.

I'm not saying America is heaven or the Gospel or God.  But it's been a right fine country on this fallen planet, and many today - including those who seem to hate it and want it dead - have benefited from it like no others.  Have we done the best with our freedoms?  No.  Have we had our sinful movements?  Like everyone else.  Could we Christians have been more zealous while being free?  Sure.

But before we go and flush it down the pipes of history, we better think real hard about how unique it was, and what the odds are that another movement like the American experiment will rise any time in the next couple thousand years.  It won't be like getting a bad haircut.  If we don't like the world without America in it, it won't grow back.  We owe it to our posterity to ponder that fact.  To those who have been given much after all.

Yearning for violence and gulags in Soviet America

Do we really, really, really think that the sudden spate of stories about this 'tell all' book by Omarosa Manigault accusing Trump of racism on the eve of the one year anniversary of Charlottesville is a coincidence?  Do we really think this was just blind luck that the racially charged accusations by a black woman coming to light just as we're being primed for potential riots over racist tensions was just dumb luck?

No.  Only an idiot would think that.  The press - propaganda ministry for the emergent Left - wants divisions.  It wants there to be riots and violent clashes.  Americans, who are pawns in this grand chess game being played by opposing forces, will hopefully continue to divide against each other.  Doing things like this, making sure that racially charged stories emerge at just the moment we're supposedly worried about racially charged tensions, is one way the propaganda ministry does it.

A person is smart, people are dumb.  And releasing stories like this at this moment play off of that fact.  We'll get people mad.  They'll become enraged.  More divisions.  And if the press is lucky, higher ratings, too.

Meanwhile, in another glimpse of what Soviet America will look like, we're learning that Americans can be accused of any wrongdoing at any time in your life.  And in the Roy Moore era, we no longer need to sweat proof, due process or presumption of innocence.  Especially if it's based on skin color.

So an African American has come out and charged Sean Spicer of being A Racist (meaning 100% evil, unforgivable, and worthy of being destroyed).  Why? Because he says Sean Spicer used the N-Word ... in prep school!  According to the accusation.  Already  the stories are starting to pour in.  This is Soviet America remember.

I know.  You'd think this was a joke.  Some SNL skit.  Maybe a Twilight Zone episode.  A cautionary tale about what America could become if we continue down some strange, stupid path.  Except we're there.

I hope you've never done anything in your life.  Ever.  Including grammar school.  Especially if it's one of the latest unforgivable sins as dictated by the Emergent Left.  If that's not the kind of country we want, we had best do something about it before it's too late.  Or children and their children will thank us.

Oprah and the kind of memorial the Left craves

So there is a new memorial to lynching victims.  I suppose that means blacks lynched by whites.  not whites lynched for fighting racism, or those lynched by black vigilantism.  I could be wrong, but I'm guessing.  The important thing is to keep it negative.  Always make sure that every day we are reminded of America's evil and wicked past.

The Left likes it clean and simple.  America was a vile and racist nation and needs burned down and rebuilt in the image of a secular, Marxist, socialist country.  How did it get so evil?  That would be the bourgeoisie.  That's the group that is always the irredeemable bad guys.  All of history is always explained by an easy formula - in this case racism.  And the bourgeoisie is always the villain that needs destroyed by the uprising of the proletariat.

In this case, for the moment, the bourgeoisie is Americans with white skin.  Christian is a bonus point.  That's to the modern Marxism what Jews were to Nazis or, ironically, Blacks were to the Jim Crow South.  They're the bogeyman, the bad guy, the villain, that demographic who has to go somehow or another.   And so far, it's the bigotry that has the stamp of approval from the very institutions that should protect us from the same.  Including, but not limited to, a growing number of Christian institutions and leaders.

I think I have an answer for Newsweek

So there is much being made about the fact that Fox News sees America's demographic changes as not necessarily a good thing.  In other words, Fox doesn't share the Pelosi doctrine that once white skin has been eliminated from the human gene pool, the world will be a happier place.  As a result - and this might come as a shock - there are a growing number of white people tuning to Fox.

A sane person might think it could have something to do with this.  It's not that there is serious Goebbels talk about white people in America.  It's that it is being echoed across our various institutions of power and influence.  While white nationalists are confined to the back hills of Montana or some back alley in Atlanta, those pulling the same attitude against white people enjoy the highest positions of prestige and privilege in our society.

Say white people are genetic racists, that white civilization alone is a pox on humanity, or that whatever happens to white people is deserved, and chances are you'll be getting raises, honorary degrees and all manner of praise and adoration from the power players of modern America.

The worst part of it all?  Traditional white supremacy and white nationalism are still a problem, and one can easily begin to slip the other way and ignore or even defend such sin and evil.  The challenge is to keep neo-Nazi styled racism away while seeing the clear sin and evil that is demonstrated in taking a Goebbels speech about Jews and changing Jew to White.   It's sin.  It's evil.  But like antisemitism in Nazi Germany, or racism in the Jim Crow era, it's the kind of sin and evil that's at best socially acceptable.  At worst, it will soon become mandated by law.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Just don't watch the NFL

That's easy enough.

ABC reminds us that America's problem has always been white skinned Christian men

Here.
Each time a group rises in America that is different than the white-male, Christian-dominated structure, that "different" group has been victimized by those who are losing bits of their monopoly on power. (emphasis mine, but obvious)
Wow.  Pretty wretched bunch of deplorables I'd say. Especially coming from a fellow who is quite white and quite American.  Perhaps he means those other white-male, Christian types.

The first anniversary of the Charlottesville clashes is coming up this weekend.  Of course we've had clashes over the last year, often with Antifa showing up to Right wing protests and taking it upon themselves to attack whoever they call fascists.  If you don't know this, you can be forgiven.  It's not exactly on the front pages.

But Charlottesville has been front page news for a year.  Right now, White European and American Heterosexual Christian Men are the bourgeoisie.  And any follower of Marx knows that we need one big revolution to overthrow and eradicate that pesky bourgeoisie.  Of course once the original bourgeoisie been wiped out and there are still problems, then we need to find the next bourgeoisie and repeat. Hence why every time a nation went Communist it turned into a nightmare terror state of mass slaughter and crushing oppression.

The Charlottesville Mayor knows the problem, of course. She knows, just like Matthew Dowd, that it's those white skin American Christians and their racist nation of racism who gleefully accept the white racism of Charlottesville .  Where Americans with white skin are, there will racism be also.  Plus racism, as we know, is the unforgivable sin that defines the person and strips them of their human identity.  If you think Jesus can forgive racism, you've got another think coming. A great many modern Christian leaders appear to approve this message.

Anyway, the Left continues apace.  It divides, it sets up one demographic against another.  In a bizarre twist, they get us to judge based on how we are born (gender, race) and what we believe (religion, politics) in a way that would shame both the Nazis and the Communists of old.  It's as if Lenin and Hitler took a page from Don Corleon.  The Don, as we know, sets up the traitor in the family even if the treason would be revealed after Don Vito passed away.  And that's how it happens.  Vito Corleon passes away, and the traitor falls into Vito's trap and is caught.  Don Corleon may not have been around to catch the traitor, but he made sure he was caught. 

So you wonder if Hitler or Stalin set us up.  They might not have lived to see it, but eventually that pesky American city on a hill will crumble.  Given the propensity we have of repeating all of the worst that both the Communists and Nazis brought the world, it makes you wonder.  They may have lost with their armies and navies, but they won with our televisions, classrooms and newspapers.

Bonus points go to Sarah Hoyt for noticing a little trend among the more murderous revolutions of the last couple hundred years.  Unlike our Founding Fathers, who young people are taught to hate because of their unforgivably racist, genocidal ways, most revolutions don't actually keep their promises.  Unlike the Founders, who merely said they were striving for a nation of liberty and freedom, most murderous revolutions promises the moon and the stars.  They promise a land where everyone will have everything.  No rules, no property.  Nothing.  Just everyone having everything they want.

Once in power, of course, those promises are stripped away.  So one thing that has helped the Left has been the promise of unrestrained sex, drugs, hedonism and debauchery.  Yet we're already starting to see that crumble.  For decades we were told to grab'em if we want'em, reach out for T&A, if it feels good it is good, and all that jazz.  Now, before the Left even has that kind of power, it's stripping all of that away.  In the #MeToo era, a man can have his life ruined because a woman says so.  A man can have his life ruined if his wife talks so someone who makes an accusation.  An accusation will do you.  In the Roy Moore era, we gladly jettisoned the need for presumption of innocence, burden of proof and due process.

And that's before we've even been taken over by some Leftist totalitarian state.  Its not even being taken away from us.  It's being given away.  Because the Left is keeping our eyes off the ball and on each other.  We are taught to fear and hate our neighbors, not love them.  We are told they are the problems and the reason we suffer.  We are told it is because of their beliefs, or skin color, or religion, or national origin.  We are told our vile and evil nation had nothing with which to commend itself, so why should we care what principles they established?  The only thing that matters is me.

In short, our nation is on the verge of being overthrown.  It is on the verge of being taken over by a power that has no concern about keeping its promises.  It is being overthrown by a power that is proud of its ability to discard whatever moral truths it proclaims on a given day.  It is on the verge of being seized by a power that has already given us glimpses of the post-justice nation it envisions.  And we are watching it crumble under the assault of a movement that has made it clear it wants us to fight each other, and will continue to find more ways for us to fight, until there is nobody left to resist.

That should be obvious.  But unfortunately a growing number of Americans who know better simply aren't going to give up their six figures for Jesus and getting invites to all the best parties in Manhattan.  Therefore it's head in the sand and closed eyes all the way, in the hopes that when it all goes down, it will only be those others who pay the price. I suppose we assume as long as it's some other person based on skin color or religion or wrong thinking, it's the sacrifice we're all willing to make.

The Left's new Abschaum

Left wing political pundit Stephen Colbert issues apology

Fair enough.  In one of its nightly advocacy pieces, Colbert labeled Never-Trumper Jonah Goldberg a "Trump Ally."   OK.  Anyone who knows the slightest bit about Goldberg knows Goldberg is no Trump ally.  He may not call for the annihilation of Trump and all his supporters.  But he is far from a Trump fan.  

That goes to show how much time and effort goes behind The Late Show's prep time.  Nonetheless, he was wrong and admitted it. But what jumped out at me was the actual apology:
“We here at The Late Show regret many things. And I want to extend a portion of that regret to Jonah Goldberg and Jonah Goldberg’s family, because to many Americans the label ‘Trump ally’ is a hurtful slur.”
Really?  Do people think this?  Is it true that Colbert thinks that 'Trump ally' is a hurtful label?  That somehow harm could be done to a family if a family member was labeled a Trump ally?  Is it me, or is this what I would expect from people in the 1950s who might have wrongly labeled a person a Communist?   Is Colbert happy that to many Americans, being labeled a Trump Ally is hurtful?  

I've said that the Left is trying to make being Conservative what being Communist was during the Red scare.  And if Colbert's apology has any truth to it, they're doing a bang up job.  

This is important

Because the press says it's important.  There is no morality attached to it at all.  The only ethical mandate is that you accept it as normal.   This is how you do it.  This is how you make the abnormal normal, the right wrong, the good evil, and the dangerous safe.  With mass media, you can do anything. 

Throughout the ages people have always been able to be convinced to do the unthinkable, accept the unacceptable, and champion the self-destructive.  Mass media simply assures that no matter how educated we are, there will always be that way to convince 66% of any population that squares are, in fact, round, and it's only a history of geophobic bigotry that is behind our refusal to admit the obvious.

So whatever their qualifications, whatever their ideals, whatever their promises, it matters not.  Because the press says so.  What matters is what matters today: the demographic.  How you are born.  What you want your gender to be.  What your skin color is.  What your national origin is.  That's it.  What you actually plan to accomplish or do accomplish is of little importance.  Because the press says so.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Dear Oscars

You are officially a joke.  You have been for a while now.  We know that Academy Awards have often been given due to issues beyond the quality of the performance in question.  Nonetheless, those were often seen as the exceptions to the rule that the Academy rewarded quality and performance.

That's been gone for years.  We know that the Oscars, where acting and actual movies are concerned, rewards message, it rewards demographics and identity, it rewards agendas.  And the actual Oscars broadcasts are mockeries; merely a venue in which  a bunch of wealthy business moguls and entertainers gather to mock half the country and everything that half holds dear.

And that's why the ratings are down.  Of course in post-modern America, we don't admit the obvious.  Therefore, the solution will never look like something that will solve the actual problem.  Creating a new category that will honor Black Panther (which seems to be the issue driving this - more on this later), will not help. 

The proper solution would be based on admitting the real problem.  Basically people don't like being mocked, preached to, and seeing awards given based on right thinking instead of actual quality.  So the proper solution is 1) start giving the awards based on quality, not identity politics or political agendas (hello Black Panther) and 2) stop having the awards ceremony be a three hour long screed against non-conformity and loser Americans who aren't hip to the liberal groove.

I'll bet that would turn things around, and not compromise what little is left of the Oscars' credibility.  But that's just me.

This made news?

How?  Sometimes it amazes me what news outlets choose to cover.  It amazes me how they find these stories.

I get it.  A white girl tried to invoke her race to get out of a ticket.  Racism!  Americans are racist!  Racist white girl!

Of course it could be that she assumes the cops are racist since that's the implicit narrative that has been established by media outlets like the BBC.  If I were a young person today, I might be forgiven for thinking that pointing out I'm white to a police officer would carry weight.  After all, despite the number being less than two dozen in one year, we're given the impression that thousands of blacks are gunned down every year by murderous cops who are racist.  Because cops and racism.  Because racist cops.

So much so, remember, that when a black man declared his hatred of all whites and pledged to murder as many white police officers as possible, and then did so, it merely provoked a few days of debate and discussion across most media outlets. Oh, they said it was wrong of course, and bad for the families of the five police officers slain.  But it was worth discussing if the man had a point, or the anger was justified because of those thousands of blacks murdered every year because of racist cops.  Who are racist.

So yeah, I can see her point.  If I were younger, or quite frankly I believed the press, I might think playing the white skin card would garner me some bonus points with cops - especially if those cops were white.  Since that can only mean a racist cop. And you know how those racist cops are!

Bet you anything that's not what the BBC article was wanting me to think.  I wonder how many people thought just that.

You can't make this stuff up

So a well known LGBT advocate is leaving her pastorate, to be replaced by an openly homosexual pastor who is in a relationship with a gay hairdresser who moonlights as a drag queen named Fruitbomb.  That's the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America for you.

I kid you not.  Go to the link. I don't think it can be called Christian anymore.  Maybe it can.  I don't know.  Many mainline denominations are producing people who have long ago left what seemed anything close to being Christian.  Probably more heresy than anything.

They could be good people who are doing this of course. I knew a dear, sweet lady who pastored a United Church of Christ back in my ministry days. We often chatted and sometimes sat together in regional meetings and ecumenical conferences.  Nonetheless, she sometimes pondered what is so wrong with Gnosticism, or whether it's presumptuous of us to believe in some personal God who cares about us on an individual level.  I used to wonder what her sermons sounded like on a Sunday morning.

Of course these are extremes of what I fear is a pandemic infecting much of the modern Christian Faith. I fear, in the end, that a great many people from the top down just don't believe it anymore.  We've been blinded by science maybe.  Or after a century or so of technology, industry, world war and atomic power, we've just lost a God centered model of creation.  Or Bultmann was right.  Whatever, I fear few even believe in Creation traditionally understood, and merely accept an atheistic universe model with a God stamp slapped on it.

There are many reasons for this I'm sure.  But I don't know if there has been such a crisis within the Faith since its inception.  This isn't to downplay the many crises it's had over the centuries.  It's to say that the Faith is being assailed on almost every front, and the question isn't which doctrines we jettison to keep up with the latest, but how many will be left once the latest round of assaults are replaced by the next round.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Candace Owens exposes Twitter Racism

By doing the very simple little test I've talked about.  Take any racist statement made about Blacks, Jews, Muslims, Hispanics, or any other minority group.  Erase whatever term is used for Black, Jew, Muslim or Hispanic and replace with the word White. In many cases today, you'd barely miss a beat.

The opposite it true of course, and that's what Ms. Owens does.  Take a vial, hateful racist statement made against White people.  Scratch out White and replace it with Black, Jew, Muslim, Hispanic, or any other designated minority group exploited cared about by the Left.   As her Tweet shows, you don't even miss a beat.

The funny thing is that Twitter immediately banned her vile and racist tweet.  Until it realized that the same exact thing had been tweeted by Harvard graduate New York Times hire Sarah Jeong.  The tweet that was banned was literally what Ms. Sarah Jeong had tweeted about Whites, only with the word 'White' replaced by 'Black'.  And when it said White, it was allowed with no problem.   

Yes, the Left hearts racism.  It hearts sexism.  It adores censorship, violence, the culture of death.  It advocates blasphemy, debauchery, narcissism, apathy, nihilism, and anything that will turn the human race into drugged up, sexed up idiots.  And it reminds us, almost openly, that it will gladly push the very things liberalism railed against back in the day.  Things like bigotry, discrimination, racism, sexism, and anything that advances its goals.

Does this mean that the Left is the only problem?  Does it mean there are no bad elements  to the right of center?  Of course not.  But as I've said a million times, the big difference is that the institutions that should protect us from such evils are now fully behind advocating, promoting and imposing such evils on our nation.  The press, arts and entertainment, our higher education system, should all be about challenging such things as racism and sexism and other forms of evil, no matter who is doing it or who it is doing it against.

But that's not what is happening.  As the case study courtesy of Ms. Owens shows.  Twitter is well aware of what is bad and wicked and evil.  It only cared when it was applied to Blacks, even if the individual who tweeted it was black herself.  Anyone who can't see the problems behind this is blind or a fool.

Advice: Flee Twitter and other outlets that are about peddling evil and the death of all we hold dear. If you were Jewish, would you buy from a Nazi store?  If you were Black, would you patronize a KKK laundromat?  I don't think so.   I wonder how much longer those who don't want to be the next demographic sent to the back of the bus will cater to those who want to send them there.

Bonus point for Rod catching yet another Marxist/Leninist/Stalinist tendency among the modern Left.  When people say 'cultural Marxism', I think what they mean is  that the Left might not be dyed in the wool Marxist by purpose.  Rather the Left, because of the heavy influence Marx has had upon modern progressive ideals, tends to echo and imitate many of those wonderful Marxist tactics and perspectives that brought so much joy and happiness to so many millions over the last century.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

If you condemn Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the grounds of consequentialism

It goes down easier if you don't defend your support for a political party that officially advocates the culture of death on the grounds that it is for the greater good of defeating Trump. 

Just saying.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Three basic reactions to the Death Penalty change

1. There is no change.  It's development of doctrine.  It's tweaking a bit, but it's the same.  Church teaching can't change.  Therefore it is no change.

2. It's not change, but it's more than development of doctrine.  It's based on the obvious changes in the world from years ago.  Because our modern systems can prevent crime, now we don't need the death penalty.  Or, in a different variation, the death penalty in the US is a farce, the other primary capital punishment countries aren't great examples anyway, let's ditch the death penalty.

3. Thank goodness it changed!  Now it can get busy and start changing some other teachings, like those that deal with sex and sex stuff.

Rod Dreher looks at number three

Friday, August 3, 2018

An important bit of information about Ohio's big Congressional election

So the national press is going bonkers because the House of Representatives seat that has been held by Pat Tiberi for ages unknown (actually first elected in 2000) is up for grabs.  Two candidates, Democrat Danny O'Conner and Republican Troy Balderson are in the running.  It's neck in neck.  Who will win is anyone's guess.

Of course the press's narrative will be that it's all a massive anti-Trump tidal wave that is causing it to be so close.  What else could it be?  It's a seat in Ohio that's been red for years!

Well, it was red because everyone - Democrat and Republican - liked Pat Tiberi.  He was an all around good Joe.  Unless there is some unknown pile of skeletons in his closet, he made it through his career relatively unscathed.  Likewise, he was what Ohio is - laid back and middle of the road.   Sure, he aligned with the GOP most of the time, but he wasn't fire and brimstone.  He was willing to listen to other points of view.  Whether that's considered an admirable trait nowadays or not, I don't know.  But it used to be, and went a long way toward explaining his long tenure here in the Buckeye state.

If O'Conner wins, it will not - repeat, NOT - be the result of an anti-Trump backlash.  In fact, one of his flagship commercials features him telling voters that he will work with all sides: Democrats, Republicans and Donald Trump.  By name.  That's Donald Trump, president.  He's assuring the districts he is not going in to be a partisan, but will work with everyone, including Trump.  In fact, specifically Trump.

That's not to say he doesn't take shots at Trump.  Naturally.  But one of the things that has helped his numbers has been his insistence that he's not some Never Trumper going in to overthrow the Don.  In fact, he is a bit Trumpish himself, insisting that the whole of Washington is broken, and everyone deserves the blame, including Democrats (and, by name, Nancy Pelosi). 

If he wins it will be because of a tendency among Americans to vote against the sitting president in midterm years.  Also, because the GOP picked a rather blah, empty suit candidate in Balderson.  Balderson is swinging with 'fake news' and 'drain the swamp', but it doesn't appear to resonate.  It sounds too partisan.  He might swing it of course.  Kasich has come out with his endorsement (remember kids, Tiberi replaced Kasich in 2000, who was also stayed a long time by reaching across the aisle - notice a trend?).  Believe it or not, despite national opinions from more hard line conservatives, Kasich still caries clout in this neck of the woods.  That might help him get pushed over the line.

But if not, it will be because O'Conner promised to shake things up on all sides - including Democrats - while also promising to work with all sides - including Trump.  It's not some anti-Trump tsunami with this one. 

It also should be mentioned that if Balderson pulls it off, it's not necessarily a big stamp of approval for Trump either.  Ultimately, it's more about Washington being broken as a whole that voters here are looking at.  Don't let the press fool you into thinking otherwise.

Oh, and one more thing.  Don't let the press focus on everything the GOP is doing here. Both sides are throwing everything in plus the kitchen sink. 

Speaking of the Left's beloved racism

So The New York Times has hired a bona-fide white hating racist Harvard Grad (well done Harvard!).  That's right.  She speaks of whites in ways reminiscent of Goebbels or in ways one might hear at a KKK rally.  She hates them and is proud of her hate. 

Remember Solzhenitsyn.  Just because the West gave up its imperial holdings doesn't mean other cultures or civilizations are willing to let bygones be bygones.  It certainly doesn't mean there is no idiocy behind liberalism's assertions that only the West had such things as racism, sexism, bad slavery and bad genocide.  Forgiveness was a mandate in Christianity.  Most of the rest of the world, and most of the secular West, reserves the right to jettison all notions of forgiveness or reconciliation when it sees fit.

Why we don't see the glaring problem with turning a blind eye to such hate is a level of dumb I can't comprehend.  I don't fear that liberals and the rest of us are going to learn horrible lessons as a result of the modern dumb.  I fear it will be out posterity who pay the price for our socially sanctioned idiocy.

UPDATE:  I didn't bother looking at the comments until now.  The only thing more atrocious than the flagrant racism is the numerous commentators defending it.  Most popular defense: Racism and the hatred of people based on race is only bad if you have the power to do something about it.  Since, I guess, if you don't have power now, you never will, so no big deal.  The level of dumb in our society reminds us that in a thousand years, we will be compared to the peasant of the middle ages and likely found wanting.

Yes, Pope Francis changed Church teaching

Admit it.  Love it. Sing it. It's true.  Development of Doctrine is the appeal.  There is a very Christian, even biblical, basis for the Development of Doctrine.  That's what made it so easy to exploit by various mainline Protestant denominations. 

Want to change teaching?  Want to call good what was once called evil?  Want to call evil what was once called good?  No problem.  Development of Doctrine!  Oddly, when it came to homosexuality, DoD was both appealed to and denied.  On one hand, you'd think that Protestants accepting homosexuality never heard of the concept.  If you condemn homosexuality, then you can't eat pork or you must stone adulterers to death!  Because, apparently, there was never such thing as the Development of Doctrine.  Apparently the Jerusalem Council never happened.

And yet, they would also appeal to the same concept if pushed back by the clear and obvious fact that even in the New Testament, homosexuality is considered the epitome of sexual sin.  Maybe, they would say, but that's back then.  Now we're discovering new revelations every day, and it turns out homosexuality is just fine.  It's Development of Doctrine!

That's how they do it in downtown mainline Protestantism.  For the Death Penalty, Pope Francis has taken a page from the old Mainline Protestant playbook.  That appears to be a growing trend with the Catholic Church I've noticed.  He has insisted that we don't need the death penalty since prisons will do the job.  I'm not sure where that's true.  We still have violence in and out of our prisons, and we've seen multiple cases where violent criminals have escaped.  And that's here.  There are other countries where it seems hell and gone from the reality that their prison systems are keeping them safe.

But he says so, and has therefore changed what the Church taught for most of its existence.  He has redefined its teaching to say that what the Church officially taught was acceptable is no longer acceptable.  We won't get into the rather shaky premise of our prisons' ability to keep the peanut gallery safe.  We certainly won't compare this to his other statements about abolishing life in prison sentences. 

It's enough that he said the Church must change its teaching.   One thing we learned from Protestants over the years is that once you begin changing your traditions, it's a bit like eating potatoe chips.  Once you start, you just can't stop.  If what was once good - and right - is now evil when we all know things really haven't improved that much in our world, it's nothing to say that what was once wrong can now be right.  It might take a few, but you'll get there.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

What the press just told the world about the Catholic Church

The Catholic Church has changed its teaching on the death penalty.  It is now unacceptable in all cases.  Traditionally the Church allowed for the death penalty in extreme cases.  But now it has changed its teaching to reflect Pope Francis's complete rejection of the death penalty.
As reported by CBS this morning.  And it is, at least on some level, true.

So, what do we get from this?  1) the Catholic Church changes its teachings.  2) it does this when the Pope says so.  3) it doesn't matter what it used to teach.  It matters what it teaches today.

Now, Catholics will have a way around this.  They will insist it's either development of doctrine, or was always there and the result of some old hardness of hearts, or something.  But as a former non-believer, what you don't want to hear is that a religion 'changes its teachings.'  As much as you might want it to do so in the temporary, it's like kids and parents.  Kids might want their parents to let them do anything they want, but what they really want is parents who discipline them and teach them responsibility.

Same with religion.  You understand that churches will have opinions now that they didn't have centuries ago, such as commenting on the Internet or praying for safe flights.  You get that things have to be adapted to.  But you don't want to hear 'changes teachings.'  As a non-Catholic Christian, you certainly don't want to hear 'because the Pope says so.'   As a non-believer groping for God, you instinctively know that what the world provides isn't the answer.  The last thing you want is a religion that will surely follow suite when the world says jump.

Granted, I'm sure the media spin on what just happened is as accurate as most of its reporting.  Which isn't saying much. Nonetheless, not in my life have I seen the Catholic Church so ripe for misreporting as it has been under the leadership of Pope Francis.  It's as if he begs for the inaccurate  and twisted accounts of what is going on.  Meanwhile, the Barque continues to gush people.  Assuming, of course, that the media report isn't accurate.  That remains to be seen.

Update: A reader pinged me with something I missed, and I was also sent this.  Granted, I skimmed Mark's post because I knew what he would say.  But I missed his invoking the modern Racism.  Note his use of 'White' Conservatives, as if they are the only ones who support the Death Penalty in America.  Judging people because of their skin color is an intrinsic evil, even if it's the skin color that all the hip kids on the playground are hating on.  Kudos to Orthodox Christians for making that clear.  On the other hand, flee Christians who go along with the latest evils because they happen to be promoted by all the beautiful people who go to the best parties and give out the most awesome awards. Nothing suggests a flaw in the approach to Church's current instruction more than one who invokes a grave evil to celebrate the overthrow of a Church teaching.

As for the link, that's Dreher trying to ponder what has actually happened.  Leftist Catholics and those who are stuck with their loyalties to Pope Francis have no choice but to say this is obviously what the Church has always taught, we're just now making the necessary adjustments since all of the prison breakouts, violence, expanded ability to incite violence through the internet, and inner-prison violence doesn't take away from the fact that we no longer need things like the death penalty to protect society.   Pope Francis is on a mission to change the Church by not changing it.  So far, he is doing a stellar job.

Update II: It looks like Mark has unpacked the issue more than he had.  Basically it's resting on what I said: Development of Doctrine.  Since the Church didn't arrive on day one with the entire canon of Catholic Teaching in one book the day after the Ascension, that proves the Church is always changing.  Likewise, he appeals to one of the worst arguments in history, the dreaded 'Right Side of History' argument that has nothing to do with the course of actual human history.  Naturally there is plenty of judging others, especially Conservatives, who he knows are always asking when they get to kill more people.  Personally I'm at pains to think of a time when the Church taught something was right as a matter of doctrine and later said it was wrong.  Perhaps, but I can't think of it.   Again, Pope Francis is pushing the Church to change.  You can't miss it.  He's making it so the Church doesn't have to change, or coming straight out and changing it when need be, as in this case. Nonetheless, accept it.  All of the twisting and turning of common sense and logic to make it something it isn't doesn't do the Church any favors, not at a time when it is bleeding members and devotion like a waterfall.

Another popular atheist meme gets owned

Courtesy of Mike Flynn

Yes, as a non-believer, you always know in your gut that many of those little digs at religion are more flash than substance. For instance, you usually know enough religious people to know not all are bad.  At least you know that there are as many bad non-religious people.  Likewise, as much as popular portrayals have religious types being slightly off of the IQ scale, you're also aware that many, many brilliant people in the past and present are quite religious.

Nonetheless, you chase whatever you think will be that final 'proof' that not  being religious is the obvious truth.  You know in your gut it's just your opinion, but being non-religious, you cling to anything that is remotely scientific sounding to give your opinions heft.  Of course sometimes that 'science' is less science than belief in the King James Bible as the only authorized word of God.  You just hope nobody comes by like Mr. Flynn and points out the obvious.


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A jolly holiday

We're back.  We had our own little patchwork vacation this past weekend.  Nothing big this year.  Our dream - our hope, maybe even prayer - is that before the boys all move on and get going with their own families, we can all take a trip together out West.  That and/or Washington D.C.  To that end, we're hoarding our acorns and not going hog-wild in the meantime.

So this year, with school schedules, job schedules, accounting for my Mom's care, and basically dodging the various slings and arrows of life, it was a miracle that everything converged this weekend for us to have a couple days with the boys.

My sister was able to watch my Mom (who wouldn't be able to keep up), we found a reasonable care location for our pooch, everyone was able to get the same days off, leaving us a week or so to plan.  We knew it wouldn't be a long, four day away trip.  For six people, too expensive.   Plus, we weren't ready to put our dog in care for more than a night or two.  Having just got her, we didn't want the routine we've worked hard to establish to fade away.

We decided on a nice trip by train for a day, followed by going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame the following day.  Never been there.  That was for our oldest, who's had a tough year this year.  Starting with an auto accident in March, he was still working toward his career as a gourmet chef.  That is, until he was diagnosed with a near fatal food allergy to fish.  Since fish and gourmet cooking are rather close at hand, and since the allergist said it's about the worst he's ever seen, it's forced him to stop mid-way and consider a different vocational path.  Since he's our resident sports guru, we thought he would appreciate the visit - and he did.

The rest of the long weekend was a kit-bash of low key hanging about the house and games, going to a get together with families from our church, and just basically driving about and enjoying our company.  Maybe we're a freakish family, but we actually get along on our family trips.  With the exception of one iPod they shared, they left their phones and iPads home so we could just spend the time visiting.  As the boys said, they'll be moving on once school is done, if not before, and they want to spend what time is left visiting with the family.

On the whole, a great time.  As patchwork vacations go, nothing really out of the ordinary, just a fun time with the family.  And that's enough.


Our first day off.  We considered the Ohio State Fair, or the Zoo, but the boys brought this game out of mothball
 and we spent the entire day playing.  My oldest boy won. I lost. Still, a relaxing day.

Next day was a belated July 4th party with families from church.  Not a great pic, but caught my second oldest taking it upon himself to hoist the daughter of one of the families and carry her to the wagon ride.  She, being unable to walk, was more than appreciative.  Moments that make a Dad proud. 

My third oldest looking uncharacteristically pensive the following day waiting for the train

It's been a long time, but I believe that's an older General Motors engine.  My Dad would approve. 
He loved the GMs, but couldn't abide the GE engines. 

The boys took one of the booths to hang out together, leaving my wife and I
to sit by ourselves, stretch out and enjoy the scenery.

Speaking of which, the scenery was beautiful.  Much better than a plane.  If it was more convenient,
this is how I'd travel. We must come back someday during the Fall. 

Our oldest outside the Hall of Fame on the final day.  He thoroughly enjoyed it. 
Surprisingly, so did the rest of us. It was impressive. 

Our youngest suited up, just like his older brother.  Don't know if he'll play or not.  Homeschoolers can play,
but it's not something the schools go out of their way to accommodate. 
A quick shot of the great one.  A reminder to the press as it pushes the likes of Tom Brady, LeBron James and even J.T. Barrett: Legendary greatness in athletics is more than just stats, which can be fickle and not show the whole picture.

The boys outside the construction for enshrinement week.  All is right with the world.

Back in enough time so that, once our youngest retired, the three older boys and I repaired to the fun room
and went another round of Flames of War. A splendid vacation overall. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Food for thought

Courtesy of my second oldest: In Australia, do they sing "I bless the rains up in Africa"?


Ciao.  We'll be back in a few days.  Blessings and thanks for visiting.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Vatican II killed the Catholic Church

Here.  Rod Dreher walks us through his departure from Catholicism and into the Orthodox Church.  Since Rod's life echoes mine - former Protestant, to Catholic, thence to Orthodoxy - it's always an melancholy read.  I should say that, unlike Rod, the abuse scandal did  not bother me.  That is, it wasn't something that kept me from coming to the Church.  It was in full swing when I began the baby steps that led to the Catholic doorstep.  I had been pastor long enough to know that similar things happened in Protestant churches, too.  Perhaps without the systemic cover ups, but it happened.

That's obviously not why we left Catholicism.  Why we left has more to do with the other part that Rod mentions, that is expounded on by the French writer Jean-Claude Larchet.  According to him, twas Vatican II that killed the beast.  Of course we all know that it wasn't really Vatican II.  Just like the Sexual Revolution didn't begin in the 1960s, the 'Spirit' of Vatican II was already alive and well within the Church well before Howdy Doody was prime time.  The Council merely put the attitude down on paper.

Perhaps the worst part of the council was the attitude that Vatican II means never having to say you're Catholic.  That was certainly what we experienced going through RCIA.  At times the teachers - but for one notable exception - seemed almost apologetic.  'We're sorry, but the Church teaches this.' If they got around to what the Church taught at all.  Possibly with the exception of abortion, almost every issue was either openly in line with a more liberal posturing, or they kept it quiet.  Marriage was spoken of as being between a man and woman, but to this day, I have yet to hear homosexuality spoken of at all.

What's more than merely the social issues was the idea that Christ was, well, optional.  I mean, you needed to confess Him and all.  But there wasn't really much there.  There certainly wasn't an attitude that this was something we needed or else.  It was nice to have Him.  It was our thing; our meat.  Jesus rocked it and all.  But it was our opinion.  Far be it from them to suggest that Catholicism had something that the rest of the world would be at pains for lacking.  It was as if they simply didn't want to act like Catholicism was anything that might offend someone.

I spoke to our Orthodox priest about that some time back.  Orthodoxy, as we know, has often been associated with the 20th Century Ecumenical Movement.  We chatted about that, and I mentioned to him that I think that emphasis on ecumenicism has hurt the Faith overall.  The idea is that we meet to reach across tables and find common ground.  The problem is, on almost every topic imaginable, there will be people who disagree.  Therefore, on almost every topic imaginable, if our focus is on getting along, we'll be inclined to downplay the importance, or even emphasize some escape clause so as to say not everyone has to agree with me.

As a result, you get a lot of what I hear in churches in general nowadays, and certainly heard in RCIA.  You get the constant drumbeat that one need not believe n Jesus to be saved.  Oh sure, it's advised.  But fact is, you can love Jesus, hate Jesus, piss on Jesus, it matters not.  As long as you're a swell person, God can save anyone.  Some even act as if God will save everyone.  No matter what.

I explained to our own Orthodox priest that, if you think on it, we usually don't approach most important topics like that, other than perhaps AIDS.  Take cancer and smoking.  We know for a fact that people can be exposed to smoke, second hand smoke, and fifth hand smoke, and lead long and healthy lives. You're playing a big gamble of course, but we know that smoking doesn't kill everyone. Nonetheless, we don't run around emphasizing the fact.   We don't say 'Hi kids!  We're here today to remind you not to smoke, because smoking can kill you.  But if you do smoke, don't worry!  A lot of people can smoke and never have a bad health day from it.'

Nope. We don't talk like that at all.  We emphasize the fact that you can die. Same with drunk driving.  Same with overeating.  Same with offending people.  I doesn't matter if what you say might not offend everyone.  It's enough that it might offend someone!  Our priest, FWIW, agreed, and said this very thing is why there are many in the Orthodox Church beginning to rethink the wisdom of such a high ecumenical emphasis.

And yet, in the 20th century, the Catholic Church concluded the best approach getting along was getting along.  It decided it would meet the challenges of the Western Atheist revolution by - modifying and even changing its own teachings to keep up with the secular Joneses.  Even as secularism has become more militant and less tolerant about a wide range of issues, the Church has rushed forward each time and thrown down its arms in a display of acquiescence.  And after generations of this approach, I have yet to see the world inch closer to the Gospel, even as the Faith leaps farther and farther away from its own teachings.

With each passing generation, people seem to lose more and more of the Faith that the Church is supposed to guard.  Right now the fastest growing denomination in America appears to be Former Catholic.  I don't think it's just the abuse scandals that have exploded on the Church's scene once again.  I don't think it's because of those evil conservative converts blemishing the purity of the True Faith, as not a few NPL Catholics seem to suggest.

I think it's because of what my family came to believe.  What was that?  Easy.  We lost everything we had to become Catholic - and that was a damn fool thing to do.  That was often the attitude we encountered.  Maybe not that bluntly.   But it was there.  Except for some older Catholics,  well past retirement age and reminiscing about the Great World War Two, most Catholics just sort of gazed at us with a puzzled look.  Sometimes appreciated our story.  But they just couldn't see the whole 'give it all up for the Church'.  After all, that's like saying their non-Catholic friends might be wrong!

So my boys, exposed to this attitude from the top (Francis assuring Protestants to get to God where they are), down to our priests and laity, began to question the whole Jesus thing.  Or at least Jesus and the importance of any one approach.  Sure, Jesus.  Maybe.  But really?   Couldn't it just as well be the Budha?  The Prophet?  Quakers?  Or just some Oprahianity version of feel-goodism were everyone goes to the happy place where nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about?

We couldn't point them anywhere to curb their developing lack of faith.  We couldn't say 'there are Catholics out there who hold the True Faith!'.  After all, many other Catholics point to them as the problem with the Faith.  Rigid I've heard them called.  We couldn't send them to the Church itself, since its leader and laity were why they were questioning their faith in the first place.  Increasingly, we were keeping our kids in line with the Faith despite, not because of, the Catholic Church.

And that is why we went Orthodox.  I like Rod's description BTW.  Like the animal chewing its leg off to survive.  When we became Catholic, we were wild eyed with wonder and expectations, and we watched each one dashed on the rock, not of Peter, but of Vatican II.  When you add the fact that we lost almost everything we had to experience this post-Faith reality, we had to bolt.  Even if it cost us a leg to do it.

I still pray mightily for the Church.  One of my sons remained.  He's our little pathfinder, keeping the signal clear for us, holding out that things will blow over soon and the barque will right itself.  For the rest, the Orthodox church we attend - for all the myriad problems Orthodoxy has - nonetheless has helped rebuild what was a floundering faith.  For all their issues, they still believe that the Orthodox Faith has something unique to offer; even something necessary.  Hell is spoken of, and the urgency of repentance and staying along the path of righteousness is emphasized.  For no other reason, our move has been worth it.

I can't say I don't - deep down - still hope and pray that the Church will right itself.  I would love to return with my family or (pipe dream here) see the Orthodox and Catholic traditions reconciled where we can each learn from the other.  But as of now, the piece by Dreher, linking to the sad state of the Church in France (which also applies here), is the main reason we left.

NOTE:  I wanted to get this out here because Rod's piece struck a nerve.  I don't usually spend much time editing my posts, except spell check.  Nonetheless, I'll at least do a once over to make sure it makes some semblance of sense. Today begins a four day vacation - woohoo!  I wasn't planning on anything other than an adios, but felt this needed mentioned.  I have said the Christian Faith is facing the greatest crisis and heresy since Arianism.  And nothing suggests it's even aware of this fact.  It's not just the Catholic Church.  All monotheistic faiths are struggling with the secular onslaught.  But perhaps none are succumbing more quickly than the Catholic Church.  If there are any passages that don't make sense or seem to fade into the ether, just let me know.  I'll correct them when I can.  Blessings!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Was she out of her cotton picking mind!

So I was watching CBS this morning while getting ready for the day.  It has a segment dedicated to 'what unites is more important than what divides us.'  So it picked this story.  Fair enough.  I'll just cut to the chase.  During the interview, one of the twins (sorry, couldn't keep track of which) said that when she told her Dad she would run - presumably as a Republican, though I missed that detail - he said "Are you out of your cotton picking mind?!"  That was according to her.  Her words.  An African American.  I assume her father is as well.

Why do I waste time on such a trivial thing?  Because of this.  Oddly enough, I saw this story in the second link on CBS, in which the hosts lamented the clear insensitivity of the individual in question.  CBS wasn't alone.  It's enough that it made the rounds, screams of outrage, charges of racism, and the requisite groveling in the dirt and begging for forgiveness.  And what is the difference?  The young women in the first link are not white, the fellow in the story of outrage was white.  I could be wrong.  Perhaps there will be some outcry against her use of such a racist and thoughtless phrase.  But I'm not holding my breath.  I'll leave you to figure out why.

Am I the only one who is sick of hearing about the musical Hamilton?

I know.  It's today.  The age of hyped up hyper hype.  It's the internet age.  It's the age of Social Media.  It's the era that made that elongated CGI cartoon Avatar into the biggest money maker of all time. 

Nonetheless, I can tell purposeful hype when I see it.  I can tell that desire to make something a 'moment in time' phenomenon.  I'm not saying it isn't good or entertaining.  But I'm just tired of turning around every other day and hearing 'all the rules have been broken for Hamilton', as if it's the musical God couldn't equal.

End of rant.

Why we must homeschool

Two examples.  First, in Philadelphia, principles and administrators are taught that parents are the enemy where a child's gender identity is concerned.  If a student follows the current "Science" and decides gender is a state of mind, then its incumbent upon the staff to shield them from any threats to their reality, including their parents.

The other example comes from sunny California.  In San Diego, public schools are launching a special anti-Islamic bullying initiative.  I'm sure kids are bullied for being Muslim, just as they are for any one of a thousand reasons, but that was enough for CAIR to jump in and work with the schools to ensure followers of the Prophet and Allah are rightfully treated.   Of course CAIR, as we remember, has made it clear that its America is one where believers in salvation through Christ will not have access to high office.  And it's worth noting that in our neck of the woods, where there has been no more anti-Muslim crimes than anti-anyone else crimes, Muslims still insist they live in a world two steps away from the Holocaust, even when the most violent hate crimes involve Muslims attacking others.  So there you go.

Modern schools, as we know, are the main platform for indoctrinating our children into the ways of the Left.  While that's not why we initially homeschooled, I can't help but be glad we homeschool now.  It isn't easy.  We were already floundering financially due to becoming Catholic on the eve of the economic collapse of '08.  It would be easier to put our boy in school, though now my Mom also needs looking after, so that would still be an issue.

Either way, it's a day to day for us.  Just recently we finally got some new furniture in our living room after being almost a year without. Well, not new.  It was used.  The fellow who sold it is a franchise owner for Chick fil A.  Obviously franchise owners for Chick fil A do well.  He was moving to another state, and explained that his new house only had room for three living rooms, not four.  I told him to be brave.

But he was a good guy, we chatted and he asked if we needed any bedroom suites or such.  I laughed and told him when he saw our house, he'd get the joke.  His garages (he had two) were literally larger than our home.  But no hard feelings.   This is the life we've chosen.  It's what it is, and it isn't the responsibility of others to hand us things on a silver platter.

After all, charity exists when things beyond our control hit us.  That's when various outlets, including the government, can be a safety net to help us through the hard times.  But we are where we are because we choose to be.  If it means my boys never get to Disneyland, or we seldom have steak and caviar, so be it.  It's not everyone else's job to give us the results of a life we've not chosen to earn.  It's only incumbent upon them, and our government, to do the best they can to provide us for our basic needs if forces beyond our control have put us there.

Anyhoo, these stories are why we endure it all.  We know that the kids will be out in the world some day.  Our oldest boys went through public school for many years, and saw first hand what is there.  We've wondered about our youngest, and about putting him in public school just to expose him to what is out there.  But this is also 2018.  Without trying, he is exposed to things that our oldest would never have known without being thrown into the mix.  So rather than have schools shield him from us while explaining the beauty of Islam and gender preferences, we'll buck up, pull the belts tight, and do what we can to keep our youngest from becoming another lemming in the herd of Leftist indoctrination camp attendees.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Support for Roe v Wade is at a new high

According an NBC/WSJ poll.  Which isn't surprising.  After all, a favorite tactic of the press is to hand over the megaphone to one side and allow that side to spout with impunity.  So when President Trump had the opportunity to move the Supreme Court to the right, the press kicked into action.  Handing that golden megaphone over to pro-abortion rights advocates, we were given a constant 24/7 deluge of warnings about the inevitable death and suffering of billions of women; the world would be destroyed; billions would die; the universe would explode; God would be killed!  And it would all happen if Roe v Wade was repealed.

Guess what?  In light of this, more people favor keeping Roe v Wade in the law books.  That's one way the press does it.  St. Goebbels, the patron saint of mass media, knew full well the power of mass propaganda.  He knew that if you held every outlet of information, you could convince 66% of any society that squares are, and always have been, round.   That's just what happened here.

Of course in 2018, every day is a new day that SatanHitlerTrump will plunge us into NuclearHolocaustGate and destroy the planet and kill humanity.   Trump is guilty of every sin ever committed, and  the inevitable suffering and death of hundreds of billions on a daily basis will always be the result of his waking up in the morning.

I know.  It's stupid.  It's like Goebbels but without the whimsy.  Nonetheless, despite the fact that we are the most educated generation in history, with more access to more information than any other historical period, people still fall for it. We call it sin in the Christian community.  Or you could just call it a sad but simple little truth we learn from our pre-multicultural history classes: