Tuesday, January 25, 2022

John C. Wright reviews the movie Legend

Here is the review.

I saw Legend ages ago, on VCR.  Some friends and I were just curious enough to see how it was, largely because of Tim Curry.  I don't remember much of it.  Again, never much of a fantasy/sci-fi type.  But I remember the visuals, and I remember being somewhat impressed by them.  

Why I couldn't remember the overall plot isn't something I can comment on.  I don't think it was overly complex.  I think I actually saw the movie again some years later.  Like the first time, the story didn't leave a big impression on me.  It wasn't horrible.  I didn't hate it.  I didn't even mind Tom Cruise, an actor I find continually looks worse for being surrounded by crack supporting actors. 

I just don't remember it beyond the visuals.  Mr. Wright unpacks why this might be the case. 

Pray for peace

And back off and let President Biden be a completely weak and ineffective leader.  We all knew he would  be.  The press knew he would be.  The Left knew he would be.  That's why they tried to torpedo him in late 2019 and early 2020.  It's only because every other primary candidate imploded on the campaign stage that the Left found itself stuck with Biden.  We won't discuss the subsequent months. 

Nonetheless, he's weak and he's ineffective.  The ultimate empty suit.  Leave it that way.  Don't prod and prompt him to flex his muscles or prove a point by plunging us into a conflict with, of all places, Putin's Russia.  Never get into a war with Russia anyway.  Even if you win you seldom have anything to show for it.  And the carnage that would result would never make keeping Ukraine NATO friendly a price worth paying.

Blessed are the peacemakers they say.  As a father of three sons of serving age, I would prefer this not to be the pointless conflict we enter into. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Congratulations to my second son

It's  official, he's engaged.  He began dating his girlfriend last year, in the deepest, darkest part of the pandemic.  She's a fascinating young lady I must admit.  A homeschool family, she's the sole daughter with four brothers.  On top of that, she's the oldest of the children.  Like most young girls in that situation, it puts her at the 'ten going on twenty' level of maturity. 

Her family is nice.  They're Presbyterian, of the orthodox variety.  They are close and have solid values they have passed onto their children.  Certainly their daughter.  And that's fine by me. She and my son have some work to do regarding the difference in Christian traditions, but they are committed to working things out before marriage.  They aren't going to flip a coin and pick whatever church comes up tails just to have an aisle to walk down. Which I also respect.

We always assumed it would be our second oldest who was first to step out into the world.  From around kindergarten, he's had one foot out the door.  Our oldest is rather shy and of a solitary nature.  He keeps a very small circle of friends, plus his family, and that's it.  He's comfortable with routine and, right now, trudging through college is the routine that keeps him more than busy with an end goal still years in the distance. 

As I've written before, he was going to be a gourmet chef.  His cooking skills are magnificent, and a constant challenge that runs headlong into my need to keep the weight down.   But it was not to be.  Diagnosed with a fatal seafood allergy, in which he can't even be in a Walmart Supercenter that is cleaning the seafood counter on the other side of the store, there is no way a restaurant would hire him. He changed his major and is now pursuing different goals.  Having worked with others in the Church, I might add he has pondered - only pondered mind you - a vocation within the Church.  But I'm the last to push in any one direction.  For now, getting into graduate school is his main objective. 

Our youngest is, of course, not in play at this time.  The thought that 'the brothers' are going to begin breaking up has cast a shadow over him the last couple years.  Already they were supposed to have moved out, but Covid nixed that.  He's enjoyed the reprieve, even if their schedules have made doing things as 'the Bros' fewer and farther between.  He will have friends, but his brothers worked feverishly to ensure a strong bond between them and their youngest.  Therefore, as the time gets closer, I know it will be tough on him, as it always is when the nuclear family begins going the way it must. 

Our third son is our AAA+ personality, salesman extraordinaire.  He had planned on going into law enforcement, but then was injured and laid up for over four months. During that time, society took a downward dive where police are concerned.  He concluded he wasn't prepared to go into something that all but admitted it would have to compromise officers' safety to avoid being crushed by the modern Woke.  

Instead he's gone into business, aiming at being an entrepreneur in the years to come.  Using what he's learning while working in a chain restaurant, he's already a manager, being promoted before turning twenty-one.  Despite his personality, however, he's a person who tends to be driven towards what he's doing at the moment.  He gets along well with others, and has had endless friends and has liked plenty of girls - but always at arm's length.  With him, his focus is the latest goal in sight, and he works around the clock to achieve it.

But our second son has always been somewhere in the middle.  More outgoing than his older brother, he's nonetheless more reserved than our third son (but then, so is everyone I've ever known).  He has had friends, but not too many.  He's dated several girls, more than the others.   But always with a sense of looking at the next steps in life.  Right now he's honing his business skills for an ambitious venture he and his fiancĂ© are embarking upon.  

I think she will be a good help, because in the last year they've dated, I see them get on well.  They compliment each other nicely.  His inscrutable ways seem to do well when matched with her solid sense of who she is.  With a Cheshire Cat-like smile and a willingness to speak her mind, I feel she will be that fit he's long been seeking.  So here's prayers and toasts to them.  We told him after we met her a couple times that a parent could do far worse than hoping for a girl like her for their son. 

No details are forthcoming but, right now, it's that next giant leap into a bigger world. 

The boys: May they stay forever close: L-R #3, #1, #4, #2 (the engaged)

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Those rascally anti-abortion rights activists

Heh.  So almost every news story covering the March for Life labeled them 'anti-abortion activists.'  I didn't hear any broadcast name it 'the March for Life'.  All made sure to say either 'anti-abortion' or 'anti-abortion rights.'   You know, not pro-life.

And yet how often does the media repeat the pro-abortion labels of 'pro-choice' or 'reproductive rights' when dealing with that side of the issue? 

I'm sorry, but you have a far greater chance of convincing me that the world is flat, than convincing me the press is unbiased.  My ability to deny reality only goes so far. 

My problem with this National Catholic Reporter hit piece

Isn't that it's an obvious partisan hit piece.  It's that it comes from the National Catholic Reporter, a hard left partisan rag that euphemistically declares itself an 'independent' news source.  It's independent the way Rush Limbaugh was objective. 

That's one reason I'm more comfortable with conservatives, even when I disagree with them.  On the whole, conservatives, such as Limbaugh, admit to being  - conservative.  They even admit to being 'right wing' at times, despite the term being akin to Nazi nowadays.  In short, more often than not, they admit what they are.  Even Fox News never said unbiased and independent.  It merely said fair and balanced and, back in the day compared to other news outlets, that was true.  

But all too often the Left swims in an ocean of euphemism and duplicity.  Denying the obvious, it loves to declare such things as 'independent' or 'unbiased' or 'neutral' when reality and common sense say otherwise.  As if out of dumb, blind luck, their political biases, the unvarnished scientific facts, and the infallible Logos of the Thrice-Holy just happen to always be one and the same.  It loves to say it's really about Black Lives or Women this or Justice that, when everyone with more than half a brain can tell it's really about something else. 

For example, remember Americans United for a Separation of Church and State?  A hard left partisan activist agency that used 'we just want a separation of religion and the State' as a weapon to shut down and silence conservative and traditional religious belief and expression, especially of the Christian faith.  Leftwing religious groups and leaders could crawl into bed with Washington and make beautiful love for all Barry Lynn, Americans United's spokesman, cared.  Like so many things on the Left, it declared yes but lived no.  A hallmark of the modern Left in so many ways.

I hate to admit that Ann Coulter is correct

I really, really hate to admit that.  I have never been a fan of Ms. Coulter.  She is so much of what anti-conservative activists say conservatives are all about.  Nonetheless, I don't think she's some scum of the universe that's any worse than some of the better leftwing demagoguery.  Compared to even middle of the line leftwing pundits today, she comes off like Mother Theresa.  And when she's right, she's right.

And in this case, she's absolutely right.  With the Jeffery Epstein scandal and cover up, we're seeing that our modern society is being run in the same way that leftwing Hollywood and pop culture has accused the whole of America of being run since its beginning.  To watch most movies and read most books over the years, you'd think what we're seeing with the Epstein fiasco is what America and the greater Christian West has always been about.

That is, the rich and powerful - usually white - men exploiting, raping and murdering the masses, who those power players have always seen as chattel and beasts of burden to be oppressed, cheated, abused and exterminated as need be.  And because they control the power, the law, the press, and the ivory towers of the world, there is no way to catch them or call them out.  In addition, the minute one of their own compromises the grand conspiracy, that one is quickly cast out to sleep with the fishes.

So goes a not unusual trope about America's ruling class.  Whether that was true or not is tough to say.  I wouldn't say all in Europe or America's past were like that, but I'm sure some came close. 

Nonetheless, that is clearly what we're seeing today with Epstein.  The only reason the press plastered his name across the headlines for multiple days when the story broke was because of his connection to Donald Trump.  The thought of catching Trump in something like this was too good to pass.  So in keeping with the mandate of 'three scandalous stories per day' during the Trump presidency, the press ran with this. 

Problem is, the ties to Trump appeared to be rather thin.  On the other hand, the ones who were deep into the Epstein world, the ones who logged years of their lives at his sex slave camps, the ones with endless evidence of contact and relationships with the Epstein cabal, were as often as not leftwing moguls, power players and Democratic politicians.  Ooof.

So we see what has happened.  Dropped charges, minimized coverage, a man in maximum security committing suicide because his two guards happened to fall asleep at the same time, and news coverage that has been minimalist at best.  In fact, I can't remember his female cohort's name, though it was mentioned during her trial.  But it wasn't 'plastered' all over the place for weeks on end  It wasn't George Floyd, or 4 years and 40 million dollars, or Charleston, or January 6th, or any one of a million media hype stories that become household legends courtesy of our news media. 

It's been a story that the press must handle, because it initially plastered it across the headlines to snare Trump.  Now it will only cover on a need to basis.  And the sooner it is swept under the carpet, the happier the press, the leftwing individuals, the law enforcement and legal operators sworn to cover this up will be. 

This is our ruling class today.  We see it with our eyes and hear it with our ears.  Before it's too late we might do something about it.  If not, then it will be our children and their children who will get what our ruling class deserves. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Deplorable defined

In response to my post about Fr. Martin's outdated Vaccine narratives and Deacon Greydanus resisting the call to trash the unvaccinated when they die, I was sent the image below. View at your own risk. 

Truth be told, I had to wipe my eyes and look twice.  It really is Mark Shea unzipping, whipping it out and pissing on the memory of Meat Loaf on the day he died.  Once again, like Fr. Martin, there must be a hope that by screaming at the top of their lungs they can silence the obvious shift in results versus the initial promises of the Vaccine.

I didn't have a chance to write my thoughts about Meat Loaf, who always seemed to be around since I was a kid.  I was going to mention a hilarious moment in our family when Meat Loaf's Two Out of Three Ain't Bad was playing on the radio while we were watching a musical number in The Music Man with the sound down.  And how, with no effort, the music aligned perfectly with the action on the screen, even ending as the scene faded to a commercial. We still laugh at that.  That will always be one of those fun 'family memories.' 

But no.  New Prolife Catholic Mark Shea plows through the crowd in order to spread those mighty cheeks and defecate on Meat Loaf's barely cold body, in a way he once blasted Conservatives for doing when it comes to making politics out of someone's death.  

But then the strength of the modern Left is forever announcing that you have heard liberals say X is evil, but the Left now rejoices in X because it's convenient.  I'll say no more.  I'll let Mark's own heartless and hypocritical rhetoric speak for itself:

UPDATE: If you're a paid Catholic Apologist, especially one running about teaching on Catholic Social Teaching, but you've allowed Fox News to seize the moral high ground, it might be time to rethink your tactics. 

UPDATE II: Two things have developed.  Apparently the reports that he died of Covid are still being confirmed.  From what I can tell, the original source was TMZ, which is slightly less reliable than a supermarket tabloid.  Not that he didn't. Apparently several sources are wanting to verify.  Given the source, and given that I've found no major national outlets saying it was Covid, I'd say waiting is the best bet. 

Second, I've been informed that Mark has removed the above Twitter post.  I don't have Twitter so I can't confirm that.  When it comes to Twitter, all I can do is take images of various posts that I'm shown or sent.  If it's true, then I would like to know why.  Is it because Covid might not have been the cause and he's being cautious?  Does he regret indulging in the very evil he once so loudly condemned by exploiting a man's death for political points? I don't know.  Until I know more, I'll leave this up.  If he removes it, and then offers a mea maxima culpa over this deplorable disgrace to Christian Charity, I'll happily delete this and explain why I have done so.  

Pray with the March for Life

I've always been of two minds about this sort of thing.  Protesting is, of course, a protected right in our country.  As long as we behave and don't engage in violence or destruction or murder or such, I support anyone's right to protest, no matter how looney the cause. 

If it's a cause I support, I'm obviously more willing to support it.  When it comes to the March for Life, I became aware of it when I became a Christian.  That was my first real exposure to passionate opposition to abortion.  Naturally, as a godless youngster, I didn't care.  In fact, as I used to say there were no words more tender or lovely to hear than, "Don't worry, if I get pregnant, I'll just get an abortion."

So the zeal with which abortion was spoken of and condemned in my early church walk was an eye opener.  As a Protestant, I noticed that the Catholics were every bit the storm troopers when it came to fighting this good fight.  I also noticed the Catholics did a better job of linking abortion with other life oriented issues.

Not that Protestants didn't do that at all mind you.  Believe it or not, Protestants were about charity and helping the least of these.  Issues like gun control and the death penalty usually found differing views in any given congregation.  It was just a tendency for the churches I knew to sort of divide up the various life issues on a case by case basis.  Today abortion, tomorrow the soup kitchen.

I noticed Catholics tended to wrap thing up better, make them part of a larger fabric - a seamless garment dare I say?  There seemed to be a consistency that was somehow lacking in the Protestant approach.  Again, you could find Protestants who were all over the place on these various issues.  And perhaps it's that 'Protestant nature of things' that was the problem.  With Catholics, you knew where they stood.  At least officially. 

Naturally when I became Catholic, things like the March for Life blew up a thousand times larger in my awareness.  Across St. Blogs, everything seemed to come to a stop at this time of year.  It was like Christmas or Easter.  Whatever was going on, I knew I was in for endless posts lifting up the march, the marchers and praying for an end to this scourge of humanity that is our modern abortion culture.  And then, an abortion culture that exists only to sustain our drugs and sex culture as we blindly lumber through the AIDS pandemic. 

So I've come to see this as a nice reminder that 7000 have not taken a knee to Baal.  True, it's overall effectiveness may or may not be clear.  That's why I'm of two minds.  I hope we never think just getting out and marching will do it.  It took more than the March on Washington to get things done.  But then, even by that point, the winds of change were at the marchers' backs that day in Washington all those years ago.

Nonetheless, whichever the way the winds are blowing, here's praying that something can happen to turn the tide. I'm of the opinion that the national legalizing of unborn baby murder and the subsequent rise of the era of random, mass killings and push for a culture of suicide are not unrelated.  Anything that might help stem this culture of death in which we live is certainly worth a prayer or two. 

Partisan beyond parody

I've said I remember Sean P. Dailey from the olden days of St. Blogs, but I can't recall specifics.  Nonetheless, this popped up and my jaw dropped:

Really. Retweet and retweet again!  Everyone shut up and never criticize President Biden - or the Democratic Party as a whole - on social media or democracy is doomed.  I love how much mileage people get from saying 'unless my side wins at all costs, the universe will explode and we'll die.'  You'd think after all the centuries in the rear view mirror, people would know better.  Apparently they don't. 

UPDATE: Under the 'birds of a feather' with Dailey file, Donald McClarey at The American Catholic notices a similar appeal:

Heh. Your free-thinking Left.  Shut up and obey.  Dailey and Shea and company have my pity.  It would be like realizing how flawed FDR is and then fleeing into the arms of the Germans, blind to what is going on there.  And when the Germans proudly make it clear, instead of admitting the error and returning to a flawed, yet infinitely better, alliance with FDR's America, you just dig deeper and deeper and deeper, becoming madder with each fathom down. 

Friday Funnies

The Guardian, an extreme left rag from Merry ol'England, expresses shock that Republicans are making an issue of President Biden. Here is the headline:

Attack, attack, attack: Republicans drive to make Biden the bogeyman

Yep, that's a first.   I don't think I've ever seen a political party make an issue of a sitting president.  Dems didn't appear to focus on Trump in 2020.  In 2016 did Obama come up in a GOP speech?   And in 2008 you'd barely know that George Bush was president to hear the Democrats talk. 

What is it with the Left that they can actually say stupidly wrong and false statements and assume people will believe?   Don't tell me that some people are so partisan that the Left can say stupidly and false statements and assume people will believe because they do. 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Goodbye Teddy Roosevelt

And thank you.  

In the Left's ongoing crusade to exterminate the heritage of the United States, the statue of Teddy Roosevelt that has greeted visitors to Manhattan's American Museum of Natural History has been removed.  As all evil things, it was done in the cover of darkness.  Just as the statue of Christopher Columbus was removed in our neck of the woods in the wee hours of the night. 

That is symbolic of the Left's iconoclasm against the West.  That which is evil is done in darkness, for darkness hates the light.  Of course on the other hand, expect crickets and chirps to be heard from Republicans about this, if not conservatives in general.  I'm stunned at how man "conservatives" I've run into over the last couple years who will at least excuse if not defend these actions.

Oh Dave, it's private property - if that's the case.  Or Dave, they're just relocating the statue.  Or Dave, we have to admit and come to grips with the fact that America was racist.  Or Dave, they're usually wrong, but in this case Roosevelt was a naked imperialist who exploited and oppressed people to further American imperialism.  And on and on.  I've seen them all on decidedly conservative sites by those who otherwise rail against the Left.

I often blame the Left wallowing in its cover of darkness.  And yet, I don't know why it bothers hiding what it is doing.  I have a feeling most who walk under the banner of conservative wouldn't do any different if the statue was removed at high noon on a sunny day. 

Jordan Peterson quits

Jordan Peterson has resigned his position as tenured professor at the University of Toronto.  He explains why here.

First, my qualified and supremely trained heterosexual white male graduate students (and I’ve had many others, by the way) face a negligible chance of being offered university research positions, despite stellar scientific dossiers. This is partly because of Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity mandates (my preferred acronym: DIE). 

As the father of four white, Christian, heterosexual, American men, I feel the pain.  Our society has no problem telling me to suck on it if my sons get treated unjustly.  On that parallel universe of the Internet, I've been told boohoo more than once when lamenting the struggles of my sons. After all, they're men, white, American, Christian and heterosexual.  Whatever happens, they deserve it.

It's racism.  It's bigotry.  It's discrimination.  It's what we've heard is nothing but pure evil ever since the end of WWII.  Yet in barely a generation, the world snapped its fingers, declared good what yesterday was called evil, and how many have fallen over themselves to embrace it? 

In case they are wondering, the ones embracing this latest form of bigotry and discrimination are not the ones who would have stormed the beaches.  Far from it.  

Speaking of Fred Phelps discussing gay rights

I saw this Twitter thread from Fr. James Martin regarding vaccines:  

You can feel the contempt and refusal to listen.  That Fr. Martin seems to adopt the 'Science is 100% right 100% of the time' principle also appears clear.  Which is odd.  I don't expect science to always be right.  I know it's been shocking for people to watch the scientific community 'make the sausage' when it comes to Covid.  The scientific community has been wrong about many things since this virus first popped on the scene.  Yet our modern sloganeering about science, which is based on anything but science, has given people a false sense of what actual science is all about.  And it ain't about always being 100% right 100% of the time. 

Of course those who choose to be vaccinated, or wear masks, or social distance, or stay home are fine with me. I completely understand and I support their right to take care of themselves as they see fit.  But we now know that you can get Covid even when vaccinated, and you can spread Covid even when vaccinated,  especially with Omicron.  And based upon one report where 167 fully vaccinated and 157 unvaccinated were in the ICU due to Covid, it's appears the old 'plague of the unvaccinated' slogan might be dead on arrival. As have so many claims made since the beginning of the Covid era. 

Therefore the decision to vaccinate is increasingly a decision for yourself and yourself alone.  To deny the obvious means you're only willing to deny the obvious, not 'follow the science'. And that makes me wonder how concerned you really are about the science, or vaccines, or even the people involved. 

Whatever the case, I'm glad he's not our priest.  I don't think I knew a Protestant fundamentalist pastor with such contempt for those in his church who wouldn't agree with him.  I wonder if that's what Pope Francis is thinking when he calls out fundamentalism. Nah. 

On the other hand, there is always hope:

Hardcore vaccine proponent Deacon Greydanus draws the line at dancing on the graves of the unvaccinated.  The call to whip it out and piss all over dead people who dared question the latest infallible science gets a Barthian Nein!  

I would have liked it if Deacon Greydanus actually admitted that some of the advocates for his side can be pretty wretched to the core.  After all, I notice how easy it is for some to find a single case of crazy opposition to the vaccines and use it to paint everyone who questions the vaccines the same color. 

Nonetheless, I'll take it.  Proud of Deacon Greydanus for calling out wretched, especially when it's someone clearly on his side.  Even if he doesn't go to great lengths to portray it that way. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Like asking Fred Phelps to discuss gay rights

As I've said a thousand times, we Protestants had people like Fred Phelps. Sad but true.  But even the most hardcore fundamentalists I knew wouldn't get near Phelps with a 10' pole. 

Yet Mark is frequently picked as a contributor to, or speaker at, Catholic publications, Catholic podcasts, Catholic seminars, Catholic parishes and Catholic colleges and schools.  See the difference?  That's one point for Protestant discernment. 

UPDATE: As if to demonstrate, I saw this link where Mark goes after his favorite undesirables, the white conservative Christian with white skin, preferably of the male variety.  Nothing really to bother with, any more than I would go to Westboro Baptist and try to reason with them.  It's enough to make people aware and then move on.  There are some people who are beyond reach on this side of heaven.  All that's left to do is prayer and fasting.  

The stories our news media should be covering


Yep.  As soon as I saw the headline I knew the story was a must-read.   

Speaking of MLK

I was shown this:

The quotes in question are here:

First, could Deacon Greydanus point me to a recent time in which he's referenced whites as an ethnic group in a non-negative, non-pejorative, non-judgmental way?  I'm not thinking of any, though I don't follow everything he writes.  If he can't, then that, good deacon, is racism.  Even if it's against your own race. 

Anyway, speaking of racism, notice the lead in to the series of quotes.  Us white folks don't ever talk about these quotes because, well, us white folks. So let's unpack them. 

First quote?  I've seen that before.  I can't account for the skin color of those who have quoted it, but I'll assume there's a chance some of them are white. I am, and I've seen it more than once over the years. So nope, that one is known and quoted. 

Second quote? Oh yeah.  I 've seen that many, many times.  Usually it's quoted in the context of "the only thing necessary for evil" discussions.  I've seen it recently, quoted by conservatives watching the modern assault on democracy and freedom and life.  So sorry, that's a common one. 

Third quote? Nope, you got me there.  That's the first time I've heard of the hellhound quote.  So there's one.  Not sure if it's because of white people being white, but haven't heard it until now.  Or if I did read it, it didn't stick.

Fourth quote?  I've heard this one, but not often.  But it's not white people being white.  It's those who have tried to make MLK into the peace loving non-violent love child who Jesus should have been.  Like Attenborough's Gandhi, he was the man who was never about violence.  Violence, after all, was never, ever the answer (pre-2020 America).  And if mister peace, love and John Lennon songs himself was advocating riots (which are essentially using or threatening violence, assaults, destruction and even terror for a cause), this quote doesn't help.  Hence why I've heard it, but not often (until recently, especially after 2020, I should add)

Last quote?  Yeah, I've heard it.  Not often, since 1) it seems to touch on economics, and 2) it could be seen as a somewhat pro-not-Capitalist private ownership quote.  Given the charge that MLK was a communist agent by some detractors back in the day, I can see this one not flying.  Truth be told, I probably heard it more on leftwing Catholic sites than anywhere.

So that's that.  Most of those listed are quoted, even by white people who spend most of their days being white.  With the exception of hellhound discrimination, if I haven't heard much of them, there is a reason.  And it isn't because of whites being uncomfortable as much as the quotes being avoided by those trying to present MLK in a prepackaged image of convenience.  

So there you go.  FWIW, aside from a few conservatives and conservative outlets I know, there is one quote that was conspicuously absent yesterday in all the news and social media outlets I saw:

I wonder why. That, to me, is the interesting omission.  It also helps to answer this question:

My third oldest son has an observation that I adore.  If you think you would have been one of the brave heroes of history standing up to the evils of the age, there's a 95% chance you're wrong.  Would I have marched?  Probably not.  I'm not doing much to stop what's happening now.  

But if you embrace the modern racism, the racism against whites, the judging of a 12 year old girl as having privilege because of her skin color no matter her station in life, then there is a 99.99% chance you wouldn't have marched.  In fact, there's an overwhelming chance you would have unleashed the fire hoses if you had the chance. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

I didn't become Catholic for this

My wife's employee diversity training was more religious than this

When we entered the Church in 2006, the torch had already passed to a new generation of Catholics.  As I've said many times, this was not that fundamentalist Scott Hahn's Catholic Church.  These were the Boomers.  The post-Vatican II gang.  Oh, they may have been born before Vatican II, but already the Church was being led by those who would take it through the Vatican II reforms.  

But more than Vatican II Catholics, they're post WWII liberal culture Christians.  That is, Christianity  is a right fine belief, but no better than all the other beliefs.  After all, all religious beliefs were just made up by ancient humans.  As my son's Mythology 222 class demonstrated, the Bible, the Iliad and the Aeneid are about the same in terms of myth and fantasy.  

These Catholics looked at our testimony and more or less scratched their heads.  Sometimes you could almost see the puzzlement in their eyes.  Lost your friends and colleagues, investment accounts and retirement funds, and came into the Church with no professional prospects ... just to become Catholic?  Why that was a strange thing to do!  The welcome mat that awaited the Hahn generation of clergy converts had long gone the way of the dodo bird. 

Shortly after becoming pope, Pope Francis met with Protestant leaders and echoed the same attitude.  Stay where you are and get to God in your own lovely traditions.  That's when my boys concluded ol'Dad had screwed up royally.  There we were, me a pastor, wife a teacher in a private school, kids with one of us at any given time, yearly vacations and time together and a nice close life centered around church and family.  Then BAM!  Out the windows,  after school care, scraping by, ramen noodles and rice for dinner, vacations confined to the local park, picking which bills to pay in a month, and all to enter the Catholic Church.  The same Catholic Church whose members and leaders made it clear that it was the strangest thing we ever could have done.  Clearly dad isn't the one to trust in such things. 

That's when we went to the Orthodox Church.  At least there the Orthodox still subscribe to the idea that Orthodoxy is the true Church, and those who make the journey, if they do for the right reasons, are absolutely right to do so.  Actual sermons on heaven and hell, on sin and holiness, and on the necessity of remaining in God's proper church showed my boys that the "Catholicism is our meat, but any meat is fine" shtick was not a universal attitude in modern Christianity, even if it was the majority opinion they encountered in our parish. 

Because of many reasons, I couldn't reconcile with Orthodoxy as a Christian home, though I appreciate the life preserver they were for us.  Therefore when our old Catholic parish brought a firebrand priest from Africa who was more than prepared to call sin sin, and the Catholic Church the True Church, we returned. 

Sadly, we came back just as Covid hit.  A year later, he was gone.  No clue why.  He showed up one Sunday, said Monday he was no longer our priest, and perhaps he might see some of us in heaven someday.  That was that.  To this day nobody has told us what happened.  I do know his fire and brimstone insistence on the truths of the Catholic Faith rubbed some the wrong way, and he was in for some heavy criticisms in the time we were there.

Be that as it may, we remained because I'm still convinced that the Catholic Church, more than any other tradition, is the right tradition.  Obviously that is minority opinion today, and not one that appears to be held by our bishops, many of our leaders, or even our pope.  It certainly isn't the attitude of many, if not most, modern Catholics.  Some even seem offended at the idea that Catholicism has any unique value that can't be found in a thousand different beliefs. 

Nonetheless, at my age, it's time to settle in for the final curtain.  Our financial fate was sealed when the economy collapsed in 2008 and we found ourselves under a bishop who would rather see the Church sink into the 7th level of Hell than see a former Protestant minister so much as scrub toilets in the diocese. Since then, it's been Indiana Jones one step ahead of the boulder.  As I joke with people we know, my retirement plan is to grab my chest at 65 and do a Fred Sanford. 

But we did all that to become Catholic because, again, I believe it is true. And not just true, but also non-optional. No, I don't think every non-Catholic in the world will burn.  But I don't think the belief that not every non-Catholic will burn means anyone can be anything and not burn.  

Just because I know not everyone who smokes will die of cancer or heart disease doesn't mean I hand out cigarettes and tell everyone to light up.  Something I don't feel our bishops, leaders or pope think.  I think for them, it's far more important that everyone at the best parties think they're cool for handing out the cigarettes, rather than take a firm stand on the need to stop smoking.  Whatever that might mean in terms of people's health. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

What the heck?

 I mean, this:

Wait.  So a Muslim British national comes to America in December, according to press reports.  He promptly goes within a couple weeks to a local synagogue.  He holds several members of the synagogue hostage.  He does so in order to free another Islamic extremist.  

And this shows anything about anti-Semitism in America how?   I swear if three Mongolians gang raped a Nigerian girl in Argentina, the leftwing press would make it about the history of racism in America.  

It is rage inducing to the extreme.  It doesn't help that the ADL seems to be the one floating this.  There are times when I appreciate the Orthodox for some things I learned while sojourning with them.  One is that owing to the complex history of Christianity in the Middle East, they don't suffer from "Holocaust Guilt" the way we do in the West.   

Believe it or not, there were times when Jewish leaders of various communities conspired to give as good as they got to the Christian population.  Sure, the Christians did the same, and both sadly have blood on their hands.  But through the long centuries, it wasn't always as lopsided as it was in the history of Jewish communities in Western Europe.  

Therefore, if they feel Israel, or Jewish individuals in general, have crossed the line they'll say so.  Yes, they mourn the anti-Semitism in their own past, but because Orthodox Christianity's history is not the same as Western Christianity's (most of it was as second class citizens under Islamic rule), it's different.  They don't forget that more than a few Christian slaves sold to Muslims came by way of Jewish traders.  Something we learned in college, but my sons have never heard about except from the textbooks I possess. 

Here in the West, we may rage against the press.  We may rage against the Left.  But no matter what, we'll shrink and cower and look the other way when anyone Jewish plays the same games.  Guilt can be a cleansing thing.  It can also be an emasculating one. 

And suddenly nobody cares about Martin Luther King

Or so you'd think.  I'd forgotten that this weekend was MLK weekend until it was mentioned on the local weather report.  It's been a long time since I've heard MLK mentioned or quoted.  I know President Biden referenced him in his 'enemies of the state' speech.  But that's one of the few times I've noticed him mentioned in recent months.  Ten years ago I knew three months in advance how many days it was until MLK Day. 

This is quite a development.  It was the late 1970s that schools were compelled to give the day off, even before it became an observed federal holiday.  I remember that well.  States that didn't go along with recognizing the day were protested and boycotted.  Economic boycotts in some cases.  Walk outs by black students.  Until they agreed and recognized it.  

In our school district, they handled it by making us go on Presidents Day and giving MLK off for a couple years until they could adjust the calendars.  My mom, a former Civil Rights Movement supporter, was upset about that, as were others.  But it was part of the movement to make MLK into America's default hero.

By the 1990s, I began to call him our proxy Jesus.  Since by then mentioning Jesus in mixed company was no longer proper, MLK became a fine alternative.  Plus by then you had several books and documentaries lifting him up to almost godlike saint status. 

I remember an episode of The Cosby Show that touched on the holiday.  I forget the storyline.  But the climax of the show centered on the Huxtables watching The Speech on television.  The whole family gathered to watch.  Suddenly halos appeared and a divine light emerged from the television screen as angels gathered to sing holy praises.  I exaggerate of course, but it was that level of hagiographic adoration and worship of the event that was emerging across our country.  The Speech was quickly becoming the single great moment in our nation's history. 

When I entered ministry, it was nothing to hear MLK be the most quoted individual in a given sermon.  That was especially true among my African American colleagues.  But even white ministers could be heard quoting and referencing MLK more than anyone else, save perhaps Jesus.  

When my sons went to public school in the 00s, MLK season was that, a season.  Before the Winter Break, they would begin preparing for the really big celebration of MLK Day.  January was the crescendo, but it extended through February owing to Black History Month.  Plays and programs, special assignments, movies and specials - it was ten times more than Christmas ever was when I was in school.

By the time I was moving to become Catholic, I remember saying not a week went by that I wouldn't hear MLK referenced at least a half dozen times.  You couldn't encounter a news article or editorial, or a sermon or an interview, or a documentary or speech, without hearing MLK both referenced and quoted.  When I was still part of a ministry conference, I said I didn't get into the whole MLK day brouhaha.  You'd think I denied God's existence.  

And then suddenly, BAM!  It started before 2020, but since 2020 he's almost fallen off the edge of the world.  I literally go months now and never hear MLK mentioned.  In fact, the only real mention I've seen of him before last week was when Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of the laughably anti-American 1609 Project, insisted MLK never wanted a nation where we didn't judge based on skin color. 

Which might be the problem. What the Left is doing in its move to destroy the West and America is to reinstate racism and racial discrimination and segregation.  White Privilege, Systemic Racism, BLM rely on the idea that you absolutely should judge based on skin color.  After all, how did we know racism had anything to do with George Floyd but by racially profiling the police officer in question, and judging based on his skin color?  How do we know someone has White Privilege but by judging their skin color? 

The whole trick is to use whiteness the same way Germans in the 1930s used Jewishness.  The idea that the white race is a pox on humanity, and anything you don't like or want can be blamed on white racism and dispensed with accordingly (including such laughable ideas as equality, liberty, freedom, sanctity of life, and even democracy), is predicated upon judging and condemning based on skin color and ethnicity.  

And when racial discrimination and prejudice are so essential, you can't be lifting up some crazy looney adulterer (which has been pointed out quite frequently I've noticed) running around saying we need to judge content of character and stop judging based on color of the skin.  Hence why I had forgotten about this weekend until our dear weather person dropped the name.  I've seen a few things mentioned since.  But nothing - not a damn thing close - to what it used to be.  

Welcome to Orwellian America.  Another unperson for your lost files. 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

President Biden gives me a choice

Will I consider myself a racist enemy of the State, or will I support President Biden's voting regulations overhaul?  With choices like that, I think I'll take Mussolini.  Whether Trump or Biden or Obama, I have never cared for politicians who give me the choice to be stupid or evil, or give them what they want.  That's too close to dictatorial thinking in my opinion. 

For what it's worth, it appears the President's attempts to act as if the last 100 years of progress for blacks hasn't happened has gone over like a lead balloon.  When you're a Democrat and even Joe Scarborough and - get this - Rev. Al Sharpton say you overplayed your hand where racism is concerned, you stepped in a big pile my friend.