Thursday, May 31, 2012

Too cool for school

So my oldest had an AP History project tonight.  The class divided into groups and had to produce a movie - that's right, a movie - that focused on some 'what if' scenario.  Now between you, me, and the grandfather clock, I'm not a fan of the old 'what would have happened if China would have settled America' questions.  But it was meant to engage the kids.  It seems to have worked.  Great films all around.  My star was none other than Joseph Stalin for a spin around America's involvement with the League of Nations.  Here he is, on his way to receive one of the awards for the night (they were that good).

The red carpet, so to speak, leading to a night at the movies

Big Brother, your country is calling

Again, from the top, the mantra of post-modern America is "In all things sex, drugs and bathroom humor: unbridled freedom without consequences or restrictions; in all other things: government control, censorship, oppression, and the eradication of anything that hinders the satisfaction of our libidos."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Because atheism isn't all about promoting sex

A young atheist who has fought to keep religion out of our schools is honored by being nominated for a First Amendment award named after the man who taught the world how to make millions by turning women into slabs of meat for mens' sexual gratification.  I know, I know.  Not all atheists go that direction.  But here's the point: most do.  Since I was in college till now, most atheists I've run across see abandoning God and P.A.R.T.Y.! as one and the same.  And while not all atheists support the Sam "I hope someday we can wipe all the religions I don't like off the planet" Harris approach to interfaith dialogue, many do.  And more to the point, while the extremists and radicals of religion are holed up in the mountains of Afghanistan, or in some backward hillside of Montana behind an electric fence brandishing a shotgun, those of the Harris/Hitchens/Dawkins 'ban religion, for we hates it' school are media celebrities, millionaires, and professors at the world's most prestigious institutions of higher learning.  That's just an observation.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mark Shea gets a lesson

In good old Catholic America hate.  Mark has written before on the role of patriotism under the heading of 'love thy neighbor.'  Of course patriotism does not mean we must blindly support everything our country does.  Our country is a country.  If the Church, the body of Christ, can be defined in our modern age by a scandal in which thousands of priests raped the hell out of minors while their superiors used the  power of their office to hide the fact, a country is more than able to have its share of blunders.  America has had its share.  I needn't go over the examples.  If you attended public school within the last 30 years, the history of our country increasingly has focused on those wrongs.

But here's the thing.  There's healthy confession: Father, forgive me, for I...[insert sin here].  Then there is unhealthy confession: Forget it Father, I'm beyond hope, I suck, I'm a loser, I deserve to die [followed by inserting shotgun in mouth and pulling trigger].  For various reasons, not the least of which are those that have agendas behind them, a growing segment of our population has taken the later approach to the sins of America.

So instead of a healthy desire to learn from mistakes, we have warped and twisted accounts retold for the sake of beating down the legacy of our country.  Some, no doubt, hope to replace this tarnished legacy with their own ideals.  Others just like bashing it, having spent so long doing so, they now hate and loath this country and see no value in it, nothing worth redeeming.  The best of them, of course, leave the country and live elsewhere.  The true hypocrites do nothing to change anything, all the while sucking on the bloated tit of America's waning prosperity, and bitching all the way to the bank at how disgusted they are to live in such a deplorable culture.

Self-fulfilling prophecies being what they are, America does, at times, look to be emerging as all the horrible things that people have complained about for years.  I've heard Big Brother my whole life, but never has it applied more readily than today.  I've heard debauchery and decadence in our democratic society, but it seldom has passed not only what we do today, but what we insist on legislating.  So yes, like the person told they are a loser everyday eventually becomes the loser, America is becoming everything that those who have hated it said they hated it for.

Thus in Mark's blog, on a simple throw out to the veterans, instead of getting the usual 'God bless our troops', he gets a couple of visitors whose contempt for our country is well documented; those who believe that America is the source of all sin in the world - or at least write as if they do.  There are others who frequent his blog.  As Mark, for whatever reasons, has focused increasingly on the bad of our country and its past, his blog has attracted those who are more than happy to agree.  I'm shocked so few jumped in on the bandwagon with today's post.  But it's what you get, and it's a shame for Catholics.  After all, one prejudiced claim in the age of immigration was that these papists would come to America, bleed it dry, then kick the empty husk when they were done.  I'd hate to prove those anti-Catholic bigots right.  But reading the Catholic blogosphere, there appears to be some who have made proving them true their life's ambition.

To all the veterans of all the wars

We say thank you, and pray we never forget what freedom is, and what it costs.

The Forgotten War remembered

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's the Feast of Pentecost today

And did you wear red?  Red is, of course, the color associated with the Holy Spirit.  Plus, this being a more somber reflection, it also brings to mind the blood of the martyrs.  In our day and age, and with the emphasis of our modern pop culture, many forget that Christians have died by the millions over the years, and those are the ones dying for the simple fact that they are Christians.  Even today, we see story, after story, after story of Christians being persecuted, oppressed, and even killed around the world.  So red works.
But the emphasis on this day is the pouring out of the Holy Spirit.  That moment in Acts that was seized upon by a new movement in Christianity that would soon claim the name Pentecost for itself.  The movement was a reaction against the growing tendency in Christianity, toward the end of the 19th century, to reduce everything to a philosophical reflection.  Gone were stories of miracles, supernatural occurrences, and ghost stories.  Such simple and unsophisticated notions had no place in a world dominated by names such as Darwin, Freud, and Nietzsche.  At least in Protestant circles, a growing number of Christians were turning the Faith into a club, a hobby for the soul, where the important parts of life were happening on Wall Street, in the factories and laboratories, and being seen in the horseless carriages, telephones, and electric light bulbs that were changing the face of the human race.

So realizing that something important was missing, that some supernatural presence was needed, and indeed, was heralded in the pages of Scripture, a movement was born that sought to recapture the miraculous essence of the Faith.  This was no Faith that merely spoke of ancient miracles in an ancient world that no longer applied to today, this was a Faith that demanded the miraculous here, now.  Miracles needed to be seen, and evidence that this God of miracles was alive and living in the believers of today was demanded.  And so the day that the most flagrant outpouring of God's believers through Jesus was zeroed in on, and lifted up as the example of examples for all believers.  This moment in which the Holy Spirit came forth upon the faithful, allowing them to speak in the tongues of the nations, was the focal point that would define this movement, and forever link the feast of Pentecost with its most cherished attributes.  That movement was, of course, the Pentecostal movement.  And today, Pentecostal Christianity continues to be a vibrant force for growth and evangelism, particularly in countries around the world, especially south of the Equator.

But, as is so often the case in post-Reformation Christianity, a kernel of truth was bought at the price of the harvest of the Gospel.  In fact, outside of Pentecostal circles, it's not difficult to find problems with the singular emphasis on speaking in tongues as evidence of the Holy Spirits indwelling.  After all, in Paul's letter to the Corinthian church, he makes it clear just where this gift of all gifts exists on the ladder of miraculous manifestations of God's grace:

“Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? have all gifts of healings? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  But desire earnestly the greater gifts. And moreover a most excellent way show I unto you.” (1 Cor. 12:29-31)
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.” (1 Cor. 13:1)

“For he that speaketh in a tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth; but in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men edification, and exhortation, and consolation. He that speaketh in a tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. Now I would have you all speak with tongues, but rather that ye should prophesy: and greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.  But now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, unless I speak to you either by way of revelation, or of knowledge, or of prophesying, or of teaching?  Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they give not a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?  For if the trumpet give an uncertain voice, who shall prepare himself for war? So also ye, unless ye utter by the tongue speech easy to understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye will be speaking into the air.” (1 Cor. 14:2-9)

When I’ve been to a Pentecostal service, and I see people falling over chairs, waving arms around, rattling off in speech that only God could understand, I’m reminded of these passages.

Now any biblical scholar worth his salt will tell you that the ‘tongues’ Paul speaks of that appeared to be the rage at Corinth, was not the tongues that Luke relates in his account of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring at Pentecost.  Here, we have something that is remarkable, fantastic, strange, confusing, something that Paul admits is beyond the comprehension of everyone at the assembly.  But it is not a miracle.

What happened at Pentecost was a miracle, a bona fide invasion of the natural order by the power of God.  The biblical description, as is typical of its historical context, describes the event in stark, yet simple, terms:

And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.   And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language.  And they were all amazed and marveled, saying, Behold, are not all these that speak Galilaeans?
And how hear we, every man in our own language wherein we were born?  Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty works of God.
(Acts 2:1-11)
It was not a bunch of people rambling on, using incoherent sounds and guttural noises.  It was the Apostles, with the Holy Spirit (shown as tongues of fire sitting upon each one), speaking ‘the mighty works of God’, and yet in a way that the people of the world could understand.

Let’s do it this way.  Imagine going into a marketplace in New York, where people from all over the world happened to be milling about, none of whom could speak English.  Then you begin to speak about God in English, but all of a sudden, they all understand you.  It doesn’t matter a wit if one can only speak Japanese, or another Russian, or another French, or another Arabic – each one can understand what you are saying.  Not because you have some sudden magical ability to connect through ESP, but because it is God who is speaking through you, and it is God who is opening their ears and doing the translating. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that the age old divider of peoples, that the first century Jews would have remembered from the story of the Tower of Babel, is being brought down.

That was the beauty, the essence of Pentecost. In an age in which the entire world saw itself as us vs. them, as our civilization vs. the barbarians, as our empire vs. the nomads, as we the chosen people vs. the Gentiles, the Gospel stood two thousand years ahead of its time and proclaimed a new revelation: There was indeed but one God, and this God, Creator of all things, sought to reach out to all people.  This God was not the God of the Jews, or the Arabs, or the Romans.  This God was God, and all people were His people.  Now, in Christ, there were no longer divisions.  Paul would reflect this in his own letter to the Galatian churches, when he wrote that in Christ, we are no longer Jew nor Greek, slave nor freeman, male nor female.  All are one. 
You can, of course, reflect on how successful the Church has been at living up to this lofty ideal.  But there it was, two thousand years ago, when barbarism and empire were the news of the day, when people were chattel at best, where slavery and human sacrifice still existed in numbers, and the plethora of gods that were worshipped set themselves against people for a host of reasons, the Creator God reached through the barriers and said once and for all that He had come to be savior to all people, for it was the world He loved, and the World he sought to redeem.  And for that, Pentecost should be a happy holiday.  So happy Pentecost!  No matter how we fail to live up to the ideals, we can rejoice that ours is the God who loves all people, me and you, rather than me or you.

Goodbye Iowa

The U.S.S. Iowa that is.  Looks like at one of the last veteran ships of WWII will be laid to rest.  There was a time when, as a budding student of history, first turned onto history by reading old war books my Dad bought, I looked at this and other battlewagons, and dreamt of joining the navy.  That was well into high school by the way.  I remember reading books on the Pacific war, learning where every ship was, studying the battles, researching the men who made things happen.  While others were watching the brand new MTV, or working on cars, or doing whatever it is teenagers do, I was holed up in my room, headphones on, reading book after book on the history of the US Navy. 

Ah, but then I realized I couldn't swim and so gave up notions of military service and refrains of Anchors Aweigh.  Still, these are good memories.  I always knew it was more than glamorous movies and flag waving.  Enough war veterans were in my family to remind me.  I appreciated the cost, and knew war was not a game.  Still, the courage, the resolve, the grit of that generation inspired me, and nothing exemplified it more than seeing photographs of the US fleet, filled with ships that stretched to the horizon.  All American made.  At the pinnacle of America's awareness of its role in the world.  Just like the USS Iowa, it will be missed.

Goodbye Iowa, and thank you

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution plays to the big lie

Who cares about religious freedom when you can get others to pay for your sex life?  Again, it takes a pretty pathetic culture to toss cherished liberties (such as freedom of religion) out the window in order to advance the satisfaction of our libidos.  But this is the post-modern age, so any depth one thinks has been reached will no doubt be surpassed in days to come.

You've got to love atheists

So I've been hanging out at a few atheist blogs to see how the other half lives.  It's not pretty.  More on that later.  I have some comments to get back to and address, and I have some cleaning up to do regarding the whole chilling experience.  But in the process, I have to say, atheism is all its cracked up to be.  Are more people losing their religion today?  Sure, skepticism and secularism are the default positions of choice in our popular culture, our education system, and because of pressure, in most major workplaces.  Our courts have helped that trend. 

Another big sell is that most atheism promotes hedonistic narcissism at its finest.  Several of the blogs I've read enjoy boasting that more and more, young people are abandoning their religious faith.  That's not hard to imagine, since most atheist blogs promote their lower moral denominators as one of the benefits of an atheistic lifestyle.  Tell young kids that if you abandon belief in God, and you can have endless amounts of video games, candy, pizza, and never do any chores or homework, and you won't have a hard time with mass conversions.

Still, every now and then, you get an atheist blog post that attempts to raise the bar somewhat.  Over at the ironically title 'Friendly Atheist', after days and days ridiculing religion and pining for a day when religious belief is shoved in the closet (or in the ghettos or catacombs), one of the contributors jumps on the bandwagon and does the decent thing - condemning Hustler magazine for the flagrantly sexist attack on conservative (and that's atheist conservative) commentator S.E. Cupp.  Of course, like most things done by Flint, it represents the odious levels of human swill to which a world devoid of morals can sink.  In most cases, Left and Right, this has been condemned.  Because it is so flagrantly sexist, even the most radical feminist of groups have condemned it. 

And yet, read the comments.  I laughed, and laughed, and laughed.  When you teach that all life is biological, and everything else is an illusion we invent to make sense of the process of passing on our DNA, don't expect much in the realm of common decency.  Even when the most tepid response is given from the atheist blog ('come on guys, you have to admit, there is something 'ick' about the whole thing'), the commenters will have none of it.  I love it.  I also, because of my common sense and experience as a former agnostic and as one who sees what has and hasn't changed in the world of non-religious thought, fear it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I will return

Many unexpected things have happened this week, and no, I'm not ducking out on the response I mentioned in a comments section below.  I'll get there, as soon as things slow down, hopefully this weekend.  Nothing bad, just busy, busy, busy.  God bless and see you soon.

Must get busy, busy, busy...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

In a world of untold misery

And at the twilight of Western Civilization, our age will no doubt be remembered for our greatest contributions to human history.  Andrew Sullivan of hyper-Leftist Newsweek Magazine explains why it's worthy that we celebrate our number one priority:

Sort of makes you weep with pride, doesn't it?

Mitt Romney may have cut class once in first grade

MSNBC will be providing the 24/7 coverage that such a grave and important story deserves.

Friday, May 11, 2012

An addendum to my last post

Don't for a minute think I'm not aware of the coordinated aspect of this whole 'Obama comes to the light' mantra regarding gay marriage.  My sons nailed it, I think.  This is one more attempt, like the 'War on Women' (TM), to solidify the base by dividing Americans and keeping focus away from things like the economy and America's floundering place in the world.  It was orchestrated, and based on the immediacy of the release of this most terrible of accusations against Romney, coordinated with at least some media outlets as well.  Remember, the pres isn't free when it sells itself to slavery to a political party.  This is simply one more example.  Not to take away from the bigger story that post-modern Americans truly are a vacant bunch, a people that doesn't care about anything but getting what it wants.  God help us.

Witch hunts for a pro-gay society

I often hear that we are heading in the right direction, that we are on the right side of history, that we are so much more enlightened than people in the past.  That's good.  It's good to know when we see serious news coverage focused on a mature adult male's doings in high school.  That's right.  You read that right.  My whole life, it's been a joke, a sort of playful exaggeration, meant to illustrate how brutal politics can be.  You run for office and they'll dig up dirt from when you were in high school!  Of course they wouldn't.  Nobody would ever be so vapid and shallow as to think we can judge a full grown adult based on what they did in high school, if only because norms and values can change so radically from decades ago to now. So you wouldn't think that, hippsters that we are, folks would ever care what a person did in high school one way or another.

But this is now.  This is today.  We have gotten rid of common sense and replaced it with an ethic of convenience.  That is, we have no base values or standards other than 'whatever gets me what I want.'  We don't care about consistency, wisdom, values, we just want whatever.  And we actually have serious adults explaining that what you or I did in high school could, and possibly should, follow us the rest of our lives, especially if it somehow points to the unforgivable sin of rejecting the infallible dogmas of the Left. 

Again, anyone remember the multiple times that it's been pointed out how gay marriage will no lead to equality, but to oppression, intolerance, and censorship.  To my knowledge, Joseph McCarthy never went after people's high school activity, but I could be wrong.  If he did, however, he would be in good company in today's hip, enlightened, progressive society.  Not that there could be reasons we are going on such witch hunts, but it isn't comforting to know how Right Scare accepting we've become.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sex with children

May not be a good thing, but enjoying it is sure no crime.  Or so says the glorious New York Court of Appeals.  I already posted about my experience on some atheist blogs in which I was informed there is likely not one thing wrong with such things as polygamy, incest, and polyamorous relations.  The commenters did, I should mention, stop short of endorsing sexual relations with children, citing concerns over the whole power and victim motif. 

Not to be outdone, the good old New York Court of Appeals has one-upped them by kicking the line out a little farther.  No, sex with children is still bad.  But we've made a huge leap forward by saying that sexually enjoying children via pornography is not a crime in the least.  As Mark Shea accurately predicts, in 50 years the Church will be persecuted not because priests had sex with children, but because priests will oppose those who wish to have sex with children.  Assuming, at that stage in the game, that's where the Church is standing on the topic. 

Attention Catholic Church

I noticed on an atheist website that there is a link sponsored by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, dedicated to setting up help for clergy who come out of the closet as atheists.  Understanding their plight, the fund is being set up to help with, among other things, education and temporary hardship grants.  Just saying.


                                        Oh, yesterday came suddenly
Lennon and McCartney, 1965

Boy, what a difference a day makes.  Only a day ago, our President was assuring our country that while he, like the Catholic Church, affirms the rights and equality of gay individuals in all conceivable respects, he doesn't support gay marriage.

Well, that's ancient history.  Back when the pyramids were built, Stonehenge, the Mayan temples.  Because today, our President has assured us that he actually supports gay marriage.  Good to know.

The difference I see?  Many in the GOP, and conservatives in general, are skeptical about Mitt Romney's convictions, even though these flips and flops suggest he is more conservative now than ever.  Why?  Because both logic and common sense suggests that a person who changes based on the way the wind is blowing can easily change anything based on the way the wind is blowing.  This is big news that should reveal much if we look at how the Left reacts to Obama's whiplash-inducing change of heart. After all, we're not talking about a long agonizing process.  We're talking about being told that convictions were one thing a day or two ago, and another today.

And how are those on the Left reacting?  Well, so far, based on what I've seen and heard, they are dancing in the streets.  Does it matter that this has all the aroma of a cheap political ploy, either orchestrated or as a result of pressure from White House underlings?  Apparently not.  The power of the progressive movement is that yesterday's universal moral truth is today's archaic thinking that all hip, enlightened people obviously reject.  Truth is merely that which I can get people to affirm so that I can have whatever I want now.

It isn't easy having a society based on the latest whims and fancies.  But when everyone, including a growing number of representatives of a 2000 year old faith, seem to be catching the waves, it's hard to argue against. 

Dumb headlines for lazy people

At the Atlantic Wire, the headline blazes:

"Archaeologists claim they are one step closer to proving the Bible is true!"

Oooh Hoooh!  Hurray!  Except, of course, that this is a vague and simplistic headline.  Just what is meant by true in the first place?  How much of the Bible are they talking about?  What about things that we know to be true?  The Bible mentions Rome and ancient Egypt and Assyria, and we don't doubt those.  Does that mean it's true? 

The fact is, this is a game that's been played for more than a couple centuries now. And the reason it is played is beyond any quest for actual truth or facts.  It's because of the claims that the Bible makes about the divine and our place in the cosmos.  As a result, skeptics have felt it bolstered their case if they could disprove the framework upon which many of these stories take place.

And so for centuries you have had critics claim any number of stories, anecdotes, or details in the Bible are wrong.  By that, of course, they mean not supported by any evidence outside the Bible.  Of course in many cases, if we find ancient writings, we take their word for it.  If we find an inscription on some tomb or on a pillar, we accept it at face value.  The Bible, on the other hand, is judged guilty, and only solid, corroborating evidence outside of the Bible will clear it.

And then, even not that.  Because if the charge is made, for instance that nobody was ever crucified by Rome the way the Bible speaks, by nails in hands and feet, and later we discover archaeological evidence of a skeleton executed that way, that changes nothing.  The critics can say it's a fluke, it proves nothing, it's only one case, it may be a fraud, or if they accept that this particular charge has been shown to be baseless, they simply point to another part of the Bible that has no evidence to support it.

FWIW, the existence of David's kingdom, the Exodus, and other major events that cover decades are heavily debated, but again, only because the nature of the materials puts such weight on it.  If this is found, it will only show the die-hard skeptic that the charge of error needs to be redefined, tightened, and applied to new aspects of the story. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Modern atheism would be funny if it weren't so darn terrifying

On an atheist blog aptly named 'Crommunist Manifesto', an entry inspired by P.Z. 'embrace Nazi-style hatred of religion' Meyers, a series entitled 'Because I am an atheist...' has been posted.  The dreadful misunderstanding of religious doctrine and theology is mind numbing, and it isn't hard to see why these individuals are atheists if that is what they think religion is all about.  If that's what I thought religion was all about, I'd be an atheist!  My favorite was the individual could truly appreciate marriage, since clearly us religious types don't know anything about being married. 

But then it turns to a darker tone, as one rereads some of the posts, including that of the blogger himself. 

"Far more pragmatic and less self-reflectively thanatophobic than the first one, I realize that my body is a meat machine that has a lot of parts that can be inordinately useful to others when I’m dead. I hold no reverent sentiment toward my meat – when I die, that’s the end of me caring what happens to my body. Bury me, burn me, freeze me, shoot me into space, carve me up and use me as a bizarre sideshow in a Hallowe’en display – I won’t be around to have an opinion. However, I am cognizant of the fact that there are a lot of people who are literally dying to have a fresh shot at my slightly-used organs. If my atheism-fueled joi de vivre leads me to a premature death in a freak motorcycle-jousting-with-a-tiger accident, let those salvageable bits of me go to some use!"

Yeesh.  As I've said before, the contempt that post-modern secularists have for human life has gone well beyond anything imagined in the late 19th century intelligentsia.  At least they thought European life was somehow special, though some like Schopenhauer and Nietzsche properly understood that without God, all is pointless and it's dog-eat-dog, which is more ore less what our good atheist blogger is saying.  Life is only worth something for the moment, for me, based on me having fun and doing what I think is important because it's all about me.  If I'm cut shot, so be it.  Another slab of worthless meat for the grinder. Welcome to the brave new world.

There's a reason that over the centuries religion may have killed its millions, but within a matter of decades, the elimination of religion killed its tens of millions. 

Skeptics affirm the faith of atheism

By posting this celebration of Hitchens in billboard form, skeptics inadvertently demonstrate the ugly fact that atheism, like all beliefs about the supernatural and the divine, are just that - beliefs.  So the next time an atheist tries to suggest theirs is based on anything other than mere belief, informed though they believe it is, just point to this quote by the late Mr. Hitchens. 

FFRF reminds us it's all about the groin

In yet another stellar example of bravery and courage, the FFRF packs a good deal of lies and half-truths in order to encourage women to quit the Catholic Church.  The main issues?  In its own words:

'contraception, abortion, sterilization, birth control, gay rights, marriage equality, embryonic stem-cell research'

So basically, using contempt for human life in order to focus our entire existence around issues to do with the genitals and sex without responsibility.  That's the core, the dogma, the sacrament of the post-modern secular left.  The Catholic Church is nothing because it dares to suggest that human life is not a disease to be cured so that we can ignore everything in the world for better orgasms and more money.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.  When will the Church ever learn? 

Well done Georgetown University

Yet another feather in the cap of American Catholicism.  If it weren't for American Catholics, where would they be, all those forces that want to destroy the Church? 

Looking back thousand years from now

I can't help but imagine that our age will be a joke giggled at by school children.  And a bad joke at that.  While we look down as intellectual giants and scoff at those we consider to be cognitive dwarfs who came before us, I think that the joke, in the end, will  be on us.  I can't help but think people will look at the majesty and brilliance of the intellectual revolutions of the West, from preserving the knowledge of antiquity in the monasteries of northern Europe, to the intellectual movements of the High Middle Ages, to the enlightenment and scientific revolution, and wonder, "How the hell did it come down to that?" 

Coming to an Orwellian State near you

As I said the other day, 'tis obesity that now threatens the universe, and a growing army of number crunchers and think tanks are concluding that we must end this freedom to eat and drink as we choose.  Naturally, sex is ignored, as are the myriad ills that the sexual revolution has visited upon our civilization.  Sex, drugs, bathroom humor - all are free and open in our enlightened age.  It's just everything else that we need to have controlled, regulated, censored, or banned.  Smart thinking America. 

Friday, May 4, 2012


Why does the Catholic Church always - and I mean always - lead the charge when it comes to bad stats.  While my suspicions about the accuracy and balance of surveys and studies is known, I also admit that if the sources would appear to prefer a different outcome, and the story is confirmed across the board, it might be worthy paying attention to.

So in this case, we see that approximately one fifth of American Catholics are not tied to a parish.  What does that even mean?  Well, that would be like those Protestants and Evangelicals who consider themselves Christian, but don't attend church.  The difference is, I never knew the numbers of any denomination I was affiliated with to be that high.

Of course there is a cultural difference.  The Catholic Church does treat things differently and approach things differently than other Christian traditions.  But it's not just this either.  Time and time again, you see this or that study out that Catholics don't believe basic Catholic teachings, ignore teachings on crucial issues (abortion/contraception), or don't know what their own faith teaches far beyond what those in other religions and traditions kinow about theirs.  Why?

I don't know.  But here's my thought. Because 1000 years ago, when the Christian world was confined to a single civilization, and that civilization, while not entirely based upon Christian teachings, was nonetheless heavily influenced and centered around Christian teachings, the Church could administer the sacraments, teach those who wanted to be taught, and leave it there.  Without tryinig, Catholicism was more or less in the air that Catholic breathed.  For the next ten centuries, the Catholic Church didn't appear to do much to change that dynamic.

Even in this century, we all know that Catholics were told that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Faith.  We Catholics are a Sacramental people.  It's the Sacraments, stupid.  OK.  That's fine.  The Sacraments are those all important pit stops in our spiritual pilgrimage, the sources of energy and power that we have to keep going in our quest for eternal life.

The problem is, the Indianapolis 500 is not all about pit stops.  I mean, drivers don't get there and then go from pit stop to pit stop.  Nor do they go to a pit stop once in a while and then leave for home.  The pit stop is essential for racing, but it's ultimately about the race, not the pit stop.  The pit stops are there to serve the greater goal of winning the prize.  And many things outside the pit stop, including practicing, the right car, the right crew, the training and knowledge of the crew, the funding, all go into a successful racing career.  Oh, without the pit stops, you wouldn't win races.  They are life itself.  But nobody in their right mind thinks that the Indy or any other race is just about the pit stops.

And yet, get down to it, and the Catholic Church continues to take this 'we're just here for the sacraments' approach in a culture increasingly open about its hostility toward the Faith.  A non-Christian culture.  A civilization where, outside of the Catholic Church, where exactly are the faithful going to get anything BUT the Sacraments if the Catholic Church isn't providing it? 

The good news is that the Church is coming around, and seeing the need to cultivate an inner fellowship, an essential kerygma but also an absolutely crucial didache.  Evangelism and teaching.  Our culture isn't going to advise people to check out the Church.  And nothing in it is going to encourage people to live that Catholic life. 

So while the good news is that the Church appears to be learning that you can't take the Medieval European model for Catholic living and apply it to a post-Christian, secular hedonistic civilization, the change is, as can be expected, painfully slow.  And as that giant ship lurches its way in a half circle to get to where it needs to be, no small number of Catholics are slipping through the cracks. 

Incest loving atheists?

In an update on my post below, I notice that one scurvy wag got on there and attempted to put these atheists' feet to the fire about marriage discrimination.  He's right, of course.  As I've said before, it's only marriage equality if any combination of adults can get married, not just homosexuals. 

Well, not to be outmaneuvered, our brave new world advocates step in and make our brave interloper look foolish by explaining that this whole incest and polygamy things are just forbidden based on archaic emotions anyway.  Except for a few biological problems that science and medicine may be able to help with, there's not thing one wrong with good old incest, bother and sister, polyamorous sex, heck maybe even mom and son and dad and daughter (providing, of course, consent is in the equation).

Once more, from the top.  Any idea that this is not a revolution to obliterate the Christian/Jewish foundations of the West, and replace it with a shadowy mockery of pre-Christian barbarism and debauchery should, by now, be all but put to rest.  FWIW, I particularly liked the comments where the gay rights atheists scream 'paranoia and fear mongering' over bringing the whole incest question up, even while others are arguing for its potential legitimacy.  That should speak volumes right there.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fear not

For the latest smartphone is due to be released!  Why worry about the erosion of liberties and freedoms, the decline of Western Civilization, the crumbling of the American dream, genocides, global starvation, the emergence of non-democratic Superpowers, the naked assaults on religious liberty, and the collapse of basic human decency and morality?  Indeed, why care when we can all rest easy knowing that the latest smart phone is even bigger and smarter than the last?  And beyond that, it will be completely obsolete in 6 months!  Do you hear that noise?  That's the ghosts of medieval peasants laughing at us.

Meanwhile on the same atheist blog

That is skewering the Rev. Billy Graham for failing to conform to the secular left's dogmatic definitions of diversity, there is another entry where the commenters sing the praises of pornography and insist there's not one thing wrong with it.  You know those stories by former porn stars about the dark underworld of exploitation, druge, and suicide, the crime stats that link the pornography industry with the international sex slave trade, the AIDS cases and stats of emotional and psychological harm that come with pornography addiction? Well, our good rationalist thinkers insist they just aren't true.  All is well.  All is fine. 

What's the difference between Never Never Land and modern atheism?  Well, for starters, Never Never Land had at least some things in common with reality and fact.  We could go on from there.

Secular political leaders endorse atheism

Atheists cheer.  I wonder if the ACLU will ride in to save the day.  Ahem.  Again, the idea that leftists and secularists want anything other than a brutal secular totalitarian state that brutal crushes, oppresses, and censors all religious thought and practice should clearly, at this point, rank among the most naive and ridiculous ideas in history. 


noun, plural big·ot·ries.
stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.
the actions, beliefs, prejudices, etc., of a bigot.
failure to conform to the superior and infallible dogmas of post-modern secularists 
Though it could be pointed out that since so many post-modern secular leftists define bigotry as the failure to kowtow to the groupthink of liberal atheist freethinkers, one could use definition 1. to show that they are the ones, ironically, who are the bigots. 

The Holocaust of tomorrow

I've long said that I'm not overly concerned with that most famous of holocausts that already happened.  It happened.  We are told the important thing is that we learn from it. Despite the fact that it, like slavery and civil rights, is kept in front of us on almost a daily basis, I fear we are not learning anything from it at all. Thomas McDonald demonstrates the case in point.

Utterly, utterly mind numbing.  This is how it begins.  Any student of even Basic History 101 knows that before there was 'The Holocaust', there were those baby steps that the Nazis took to get there.  The Holocaust, after all, was merely the final solution.  There were plenty of attempts before that to answer a host of questions.  And building on the scientifically driven attempts to redefine humanity as nothing other than glorified animals who should be treated as such, it wasn't long before the Nazi party figured out the first part of 'How to build your own Master Race.'  You can't have the crippled, infirm, mentally ill, or others getting in the way, draining society, and polluting the gene pool.  As this little poster demonstrates:

The sign is translated: “60,000 Reichsmarks is what this person suffering from a hereditary defect costs the People’s community during his lifetime. Fellow citizen, that is your money too.”

Anything sound familiar? Notice the eerie resemblance to many of the mantras today.  First, the appeal to the financial costs of keeping people who are less than perfect.  Remind anyone of anything?  You know, like the cost of obesity?  Are you taking notes yet?  

Second, there is that underlying assumption that human life is, by definition, not sacred.  It is, on the contrary, subjective.  What one person's idea of human life is may not be another person's human life.  The idea that this person with a hereditary defect is set apart from the community strongly suggests that there are people, and there are real people. 

This sign was, of course, a testimony to Germany's euthanasia project, the precursor of the Holocaust, in which such terms as 'quality of lfie' were used to illustrate the notion that there was, indeed, some human life that simply fell out of the 'worthy of the right to live' domain.  That is, naturally, the foundational ethic behind our abortion rights culture.  The entire abortion rights argument hinges on the idea that human life is an abstract concept, in which the State has every right to arbitrarily decide when one is or is not human.  In keeping with America's modern religion of hedonism and narcissism, the Courts have obliged by allowing that arbitrary decision to be placed in the hands of doctors and their patients.

There's a good chance a rocket scientist might miss the implications,but an average yokel with common sense would be able to connect the dots, and figure that the next logical step - that if human life inside the womb is arbitrarily defined as human or not, what's to say that little birth canal means anything, and human life outside the womb may be just as subjectively defined - isn't far behind.  In fact, as I blogged about some time ago, the idea that parents might be able to simply euthanize their babies after the babies are born for any one of a list of reasons is already being kicked around by our best and brightest.  Since we know that the Nazis were just ignorant thugs who hated intellectuals and scientists, it's smart that we instead put our undying trust in intellectuals and scientists to explain such complicated issues to us.  It's not like intellectuals and scientists had anything to do with those horrible genocide and human experimentation things in the last century or anything.

Of course all of this is simply one more step away from being on deck and getting to the home plate of full blown genocide.  Right now, our good Dr. Phil is helping us break down even more antiquated barriers based on the ridiculous notion of life's sanctity by allowing this good woman to pine for the right to mercifully euthanize her seriously disabled children.  Dr. Phil's audience, the same audience that helped Oprah and Phil Donahue convince our nation that there was no higher truth than that which confirmed the right to abortions, gay sex, suicide, and the knowledge that all religion is evil and the Divine Spirit in the sky is merely an abstract concept by which we measure our pain (St. John Lennon 3:15), chimes in with overwhelming support for this poor mother's request to kill her disabled, and quite grown, children.

I know.  Take a breath.  It's not easy when you look into our televisions and start to realize that when you think you're seeing a revolution that promises something like this:

You might be seeing a future that will look more like this:

But we're going to have to do something soon, or we will have passed the sell-by date of our ability to save our civilization.  As so many in the emergent secular Left cheer for the likes of Dan 'death to religion' Savage, as it promotes decadencesexism, bigotry, hate and rage, and yearns for the end of religions that they don't like, some resistance is going to have to happen.  Peaceful of course.  But resistance nonetheless.  Burying heads in sand, fighting amongst ourselves, ignoring the coming storm, blaming each other for not being pure like me, all of these things are helping us toward the day when first this:

Then this:

And finally this:

Will be the stuff which is gleefully put to the axe, not for some "higher notion" of national pride, imperial conquest, or racial purity.  But in keeping with the deplorable muck and mire that is post-modern debauchery and hell inspired hedonism, all of this will be so that our enlightened age can cash in on the promise of Orgasms and IPads (as opposed to meat and circuses or bread and peace). Pretty pathetic I know.  But it's not a case of if, now it's merely a case of when.  Be warned.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I know I would scream

Looks like Edvard Munch's "The Scream" may fetch a whopping 80 million dollars at an upcoming auction. Why can't I ever find something like that in an attic. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Utterly worthless research to be published

For the record, I've made my skepticism toward the worth of modern studies and surveys known before, especially where such light and fluffy disciplines as sociology and personality study are concerned.  Based on the upcoming release of a 'study' that suggests atheists are more compassionate than religious people, I won't be changing my mind any time soon.  I mean, really?  How many assumptions, biases, and personal beliefs had to go into the premises behind this study in the first place?  Just the fact that the researchers even bother to separate compassion that are not based on things like doctrine shows the bias of the researchers.  After all, the idea that atheists aren't influenced by doctrine, communal identity, or reputation concerns is, itself, a personal point of view.  Many would argue that atheists have these things in spades.  Again, there are few things I'm more cynical about than the modern news media.  Academic studies and surveys are, however, a close second.