Sunday, March 29, 2015

In a reminder about the nature of the geek culture

Gen Con, the Vatican of all that is comic book, fantasy and sci-fi geekdom, is threatening to walk from Indiana over that state's attempt to protect religious conscience.

A friend of mine from my pastor days once said that sci-fi and fantasy types are more intelligent than most people.  I've come to realize that is not true.  Perhaps they have a high intelligence score, but in many cases I've seen over the years, they tend to lack in the world of high wisdom scores.  Pretty impressive use of fantasy RPG terms, huh?

Anyway, in addition to living in sometimes strange parallel versions of reality by assuming their own peculiar hobbies should define the way one lives, most are simply not on the traditional, Christian Western team.  As my boys have discovered, since they are quite into the world of fantasy, sci-fi and comics, most in that sizable world are quite frankly liberal, secular, or pagan or heathen, and quite proud of it.

Many apparently envision a world of endless orgies with buxom heroins in form fitting outfits, and ending this force of evil that is organized religion and traditional Western values.  Even publications now, such as that flagship product of the movement, Dungeons and Dragons, appear to read like a propaganda pamphlet for leftist, secular, post-Christian perspectives, where characters are more worried about going green than killing goblins.

Naturally, that game was never in line with your average Sunday School publication.  But given its origins, it did assume some basics that would still be in line with ideals and values that most Christians shouldn't have been offended by.

But now, Gen Con clearly knows its market and its audience.  There will be none who is part of its ritualistic gatherings who fail to conform to the True gospel of the Left.  And any law that seeks to protect the dwindling world of rights and liberties for non-liberal non-conformists, will find opposition from the lords of Gen Con and their +5 declarations of leftist intolerance.

The great gay trap continues to close

Indiana is doing just what the Leftist Juggernaut was hoping.  It has passed a law that, even to my novice eyes, seems filled with problems and issues.  This was hoped.  Because now a very good case can be made that it should be repealed, or at least changed.  And once we go down that path, any hope for resistance will crumble.

This was the beautiful part of the Leftist strategy.  Having promised that nobody would ever make people violate their religious conscience, in the wake of legalizing gay marriage, agents promptly went to work, seeking out religious photographers, bakers, and other entrepreneurs to force their hands and make them violate their religious conscience. Of course there are plenty of bakers and photographers and others who would gladly serve a gay wedding.  But that obviously wasn't the point.  The point was to set up a showdown like the one Indiana has stumbled into.

And so now it is Indiana getting the law involved to protect hate and bigotry, while allowing discrimination.  Which is exactly how the Left frames it.  And since the Left holds monopolies in the pop culture, media and educational institutions of our country, that is how it will be presented.

And because from all appearances, there are problems with the law as it stands, the inevitable defeat will occur down the road.  The law will be changed, repealed, something.  And once it is, those hoping to resist will splinter, give up hope, join the Left, and leave only a shard to keep the faith against growing resentment toward any who dare to resist.  Well done Indiana.  Heart in the right place.  But you can't always hope for good results against a power of darkness willing to throw all morals and righteousness out the window to achieve goals that are themselves wrong, if not evil.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Phil Robertson does it again

He enrages liberals and flushes out many non-liberals (of various sorts ) who will gladly jump on board with liberals in their contempt of other conservatives who offend liberals.

For what it's worth.  I don't defend Robertson per se.  What he said was heavy handed, and the type of thing best reserved for Bill Maher, Comedy Central, some talk radio and other venues of ill repute.  Nonetheless, the idea that liberals are shocked that someone would point out, however sloppily, the facts about what liberalism so sloppily promotes (moral relativism) is laughable.  This is a movement that has no problem unzipping and pissing on anything and anyone that gets in the way.

It's basically Rush Limbaugh being offended that some radio host might be biased.  It's a football fan complaining that rugby is too violent.  It's a die hard Trekkie accusing a Harry Potter fan of being a geek.  In short, the left has absolutely no place to yell offense at what Robertson said.  I hear worse said about opponents of abortion or gay marriage by respected news anchors.  It goes down from there.

Sure, what Robertson said was not altogether accurate.  It deserves better than he gave.  But then, the moral relativism that was shoveled into the mainstream over the decades often lacked substance as well.  Many argue for that relativism in ways that make Robertson seem like a Rhodes Scholar by comparison.  And in the most basic level, Robertson is right.  He just didn't say it well.

But I will not join the post-modern conservatives whose favorite sport is shoving daggers into the backs of fellow opponents of the Leftist juggernaut.  Smart conservatives would use this and build on it to point out where he was right, and defend him against attacks from outlets and individuals who have no problem saying far worse about people who disagree with them.  It remains to be seen what post-modern conservatives will do.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Evan Sayet swings and hits

Watch the video.  And then visit a liberal website or blog.  Huffington Post, Catholic and Enjoying It, Daily Kos. The Friently Atheist. Any will do.  Heck watch MSNBC or CNN. And compare.  Find where he is wrong.  I'm sure he's not right about everything.  But boy he hits close to the mark more often than not.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Two weeks of penance and counting

So I visited CAEI today.  In addition to reminders about one of two radio shows and another speaking engagement, there were only a couple posts.  One, in typical fashion, repeating the MSNBC meme that the GOP is not only idiotic, but also vile and wicked as well.  In fairness, Mark like many of his readers, is a proud non-conformist and sees calling a pox down on both houses as the only acceptable Catholic position.  So Democrats get no better, though in recent years Mark has been more friendly to moderate Republicans and Democrats in a pinch.

But the post that caught my eye was his take on the story that women want to take Andrew Jackson's picture off the 20.00 bill and replace it with a feminine hero.  At the rate we're going, most will likely be women and minorities within a generation, so I guess this is the first step.  Mark mostly makes fund with it, but he drops the 'Jackson as crazy racist' that is common in progressive and non-Anglo-European, Catholic views.  That is, America was pretty much a racist, imperialist, genocidal men who were wicked and evil and devoid of much value.

I decided to play a little, and suggested that racism as a deal breaker means rethinking my statement that racism shouldn't be a strike against Chesterton's popularity contest canonization.  The results are predictable.  Of course Jackson was evil, a genocidal murderer, a tyrant, evil, a liar, dishonest, and unworthy of any regard.

The fun was watching the usual liberal stereotypes, childish responses, and hilarious attempts to remain consistent while explaining why suddenly racism may not be that big a deal, when set against American genocide.  I only took it somewhat seriously.  But it shows the absolute plummet of credibility that marks the blog, and unfortunately, a fairly large swath of Catholic apologetic media today.  But this is ground zero for the bizarre evolution, so there I will remain for a couple more weeks.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Lenten Penance

This year has been a struggle, as I work things out relative to the shifts that have happened in Catholicism since I've been Catholic.  The last vestiges of pre-progressive culture have been swept behind us, except for those sexual issues that would likely not impact celibate men.  Everything else is increasingly along the lines of modern, Western, progressive and even secular social and political theory.

That is enough right there.  Add to it the slammed doors on any hope that I will be able to act in the capacity of a minister of the Gospel, and it's been tough.  What to give up?  What to sacrifice?  What to commit to?

Well, I decided, a few weeks into Lent I admit, that my penance will be a daily visit to Catholic and Enjoying It.  That may sound strange.  But here is why.

In my early days of looking at non-Protestant Christianity, I stumbled on CAEI largely by accident.  I was searching for some free downloadable articles by Scott Hahn, without success.  Then I found an article by someone named Mark Shea.  It dealt with the strange aversion many Protestants have regarding Mary.  It was direct, but nice.  Even respectful.  There were some clever zingers, making the point without offending.  But the point was solid, fair, and truthful.

I went back, found his website, and gobbled up the articles.  They were almost all wonderful.  Here was a conservative American Catholic, not afraid to point out when Conservatism wasn't following the path of Christ.  He was also fair when liberalism was correct.  His blog was a little more raucous.  But those were usually the readers.  Mark himself was often the goalie, stepping in and stopping things before they went too far.  Even telling his friends to back off.  No personal attacks or accusations were allowed.  Those would get you the door.

There you had it.  You could be conservative and Catholic.  The stereotype of Catholicism and Liberal Socialism voting Democrats as the sacramental calling of modern Catholicism was not universal.  You could love America, admit it sins, but not emphasize them (which Mark pointed out was often a very un-Christian thing to do).  You could respect the heritage of Western Civilization. You could evenly boldly declare "Why We Must Fight" following 9/11.  He even liked Tolkien, and the books I liked.  And his humor and mine were not too far off each other.

Perhaps it was my own fault that I saw in Mark's rather balanced approach as what Catholicism was, rather than looking further.  But that was well over ten years ago.

Today, the Church has changed in just the time since we came into it.  The generation that had welcomed Protestant Clergy Converts into the fold have passed to retirement.  With some exceptions in the priesthood, most now in charge (Boomer age) seem to want little to do with us, unless we can design webpages or raise money.  And it isn't hard to see that Oprah style liberalism and the growing pronouncements about reality from Church leaders sound increasingly the same.  The Bishops' willingness to almost in one voice support the Democrats in all things, as long as they don't screw the Church, and the shift toward accepting the Secular narrative are hard to miss.

True, Pope Francis is a horse of a different color.  But those who have studied liberation theology and the Marxist influences in South American Christianity will recognize at least some influences there, even if what he is willing to take a stand against other forms of radical leftist morality (again, usually where sex is concerned).

On CAEI, the change is even more pronounced.  It's almost an entirely different world.  An entirely different blogger.  Most regulars of old have long since moved on.  The readers are either post-modern non-conformists cheering on their own superiority over all those loser "tribal Catholics", or clearly hard to the Left progressives, with varying degrees of anti-abortion and non-gay marriage support.  In fact, opposing gay "marriage" is about the only thing that separates much modern talk about homosexuality in the Church from your average LGBT rally. And CAEI echoes this.

CAEI is a strange mixture now of Jack Chick, Glenn Beck, Huffington Post progressive thought, and a reminder that Catholics are, whether we want to admit it or not, heirs of the Inquisition.  For a couple years, many regulars tried to warn that there was little to do with enjoying anything on CAEI, and a growing discrepancy between a man who claims to be conservative, and a man who increasingly seems to love liberalism but hate conservatism.  One by one, those readers have apparently given up and moved on.  Only a handful remain.  God love them.

For me, who has been accused of horrible things by the stock readers and by Mark himself - including not caring about murdered children at Sandy Hook and desiring to increase human slaughter - there is little joy or happiness now.  The anti-Western, anti-American, anti-Traditional and anti-Conservative narrative fully embraced has made me more of an outcast there than I was at the Huffington Post.  And to be honest, I've been called far worse on CAEI than I was at the Huffington Post.  And it was leaving HP (as well as being banned for not being liberal) that was one of the reasons I started my blog!  Which is always a possibility at CAEI, since the thing that gets you banned now is pretty much defending traditional and conservative viewpoints, with rare exception.

So why keep going?  Because, as I've said before, Mark stepped in and helped our family when we needed help.  He also helped us by sending us drafts of his Mary books when we were asking questions, before I even visited his blog.  And I do think that, deep down, Mark is a sensitive, thoughtful individual.  It's just that he seems to get his comfort from being entirely obedient to the Vatican, the Vatican now, as opposed to "Cafeteria Catholics" who aren't.  And as the Church shifts to the Left, what can he do?  Openly disagree? Perhaps the tension between realizing the Church's embrace of modernity and his deep down preference for more Conservative ideals is the cause of the rancor.  Perhaps he was never really that conservative.  Maybe he did think Conservatives were equal to God, and had a meltdown when he realized the truth.  Who knows?  But he's become successful in this new incarnation, and it's unlikely now that he will change and go back.

So I've committed myself to one more round.  I will visit everyday, and try to post at least one post each day.  I will avoid anything that will bring the accusations and condescension from readers whose bizarre level of lunacy and leftist judgemental intolerance appears to be accepted, if not supported, by Mark.  If it happens, it happens.  Then, come the great celebration of Easter and the Resurrection, I too will rise from the dregs that have embraced the worst of our post-modern culture, and move on to where I can once again find joy and happiness in the historic Faith, not despite this or that blog, but because of this or that blog, if I decide to find another one at all.

Is canonization a popularity contest?

The Atlantic writes about the possibility of a Saint Chesterton.  It should be no surprise to those who frequent the Catholic Blogosphere that in some circles, Chesterton did everything short of dying on the cross for humanity.  I thought Beatles fans were a fanatic group.  Compared to that quarter set on venerating Chesterton, they pale in comparison.  And it all seems based on nothing other than a drive no different than the celebrity worship one sees at a rock concert or red carpet event in Hollywood.

Much talk is given toward Chesterton's attitudes toward Jews and race in general.  An attitude that, based upon our modern sensitivities, was clearly racist and bigoted.  As were almost all who lived before the modern era and were cursed with light pigmentation.

For me, I certainly would have no problem with that, since I tend not to judge previous generations as mercilessly and brutally as modern progressive sensitivities demand.  The strange this is how many Catholics who give no quarter to others, especially Protestants or just about any American (including, especially, our Founding Fathers), in this case suddenly say race is just one of those things.  No big deal,.  Bigger issues.  Let's move on.

That, children, is what the charge 'Superior by Catholic' means.  That is, when Catholics are at their worst, it's no big deal.  Forgive.  We're all just sinners.  Move on.  But when non-Catholics, especially those rascally Protestants, are only 99% holy, then a pox upon their houses!  That is deplorable!  Shame and merciless judgement on them all!

Sometimes I think I'm too consistent to be a good Catholic.  Fortunately, much of the worst stereotypes are only affirmed in that parallel universe of the Blogosphere.  Unfortunately, as the Atlantic article suggests, that quarter is the one with increasingly disproportionate influence.

FWIW, it wouldn't be his timely attitudes toward race that would bother me.  It's just that it's 1. all seems to be a popularity contest, and 2. he was so often so wrong about so many things.  Especially entertaining is reading his musings that suggest he believes all was right with the world until Protestants came by and ruined it all.  Apparently he didn't have access to books written about history of Catholicism before the 1500s.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

For my boys

Especially my 16 year old, who is trudging through the world of Calculus.  Years old, and I still love watching it.

Monday, March 16, 2015

St Patrick's Feast 2015

In our ongoing attempts to make different seasons special, we had our annual St. Patrick's Day feast. Despite the hijacking of the celebrations by the militant Left, we remember the traditions of the Old Country.  We watch Irish videos (yeah, videos).  We listen to good old authentic Irish music.  Maybe, if we're lucky, we catch a showing of Disney's should-never-be-forgotten fantasy classic Darby O'Gill and the Little People.  And we have our feast.  This year, owing to schedules, we moved the meal to Sunday, instead of Tuesday.  I took Monday off of work, and my wife, still looking for full time work, has Monday off.  So that was a day buffer to recoup.

Then it was off to the car mechanic Monday morning to find out in $513.00, I'll get a new axle repair.  Which can wait.  And for our situation, that's not bad. So good tax news, and at least acceptable car news, all we need now is good health news, and we'll be able to kick in and get some serious praise and thanksgiving to the Almighty.

So here are some shots of our dinner, our awesome meal, which was made up of Dublin Coddle, baked cabbage, soda bread, potato and leek soup, and whiskey glazed carrots, seed cake, with of course an obligatory shot of our boys at the Warren Harding memorial.  The stuff that life is made of.

The family getting ready to dine, green Kool-Aide and Guinness accompanying

The whole of what awaited me - it was as awesome as it looks

A close up of the main dish; Dublin Coddle, a traditional Irish course.  It was filling. 

A seed cake that Bilbo would be proud of

The ever camera attracting boys, on a chilly morning 2015

How to succeed as a Catholic apologist

Don't admit you are one first.  Following the Comedy central or Glenn Beck approach, just say you're some nobody important slob laity throwing out opinions.  This allows you the forum of a pundit or apologist, with the post-modern desire to avoid accountability.  Which fans love.

Then, know your audience.  In the end, the Catholic Church, in America at least, is hard to the Left.  Most Catholics are more liberal than conservative.  And it isn't hard to see the Church is making strides in that direction.  You want numbers, you go for the largest market.

Now if you really want to get a following, then declare yourself a conservative and then spend almost all of your time trashing conservatives.  That is important.  It's common today.  Declare your demographic to be as bad as everyone else says.  Those not in the demographic love it.  And then take the next step and praise the demographic you insist you have nothing to do with!  Look at how Ron Paul and McCain were loved by the press.  The Media love them.  At least until you run for office.  And if you aren't running for office, then there's no reason to change.  It is also beneficial because you can insist it's all just part of being a bold non-tribalist.  Another important factor in the new 'non-hyphenated Catholics' movement.  That is, everyone is a tribalist, but I'm just pure, unblemished Catholic.  Many wishing to thank God for not being like those hyphenated Catholics over there will surely flock to the banner.

And of course, dispense with the old 'let's reason together' approach to discourse.  Lay it on, judge ruthlessly, and declare that there are only two groups: those on board with the Truth (that is, your interpretation of things), and the stupid, evil people.  If the bulk of those stupid, evil people are your own demographic, you'll have quite a fan base, and do quite well - as witnessed by the sheer uptick in engagements and venues you'll be offered.

FWIW, when you have multiple sources of income, and are seeing an average of three or four speaking engagements a month at $2,000.00 to $3,000.00 base per engagement according to your own website (even assuming some are for free for charity sake), however, I'd suggest that the description 'lower middle class' no longer applies.  Even assuming living in a high expense city and 1099 income.  At least in the world of the Faith. In the world of media driven polemics and self promotion?  Who can say.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

It's Pi(e) day!

In case you missed it, you can catch it again.  Make sure you eat the appropriate desert.

UPDATE: Here is what we had for Pi Day, courtesy of our oldest son/resident baker:

Good stuff!

Friday, March 13, 2015


I've officially lost 50 pounds!  Woohoo!   That's one of those things that has been occupying my time for the last few months.  Since November, when I was diagnosed as borderline diabetic, I've been hitting the YMCA and cutting back on the vittles.  I don't plan to super diet for long, settling into a more steady intake to maintain rather than lose, but I still have a few pounds left to get to my optimum. Still some good news on the old scale this morning.

On the prayer side, I have to get some tests done.  A few issues came up in my physical yesterday, and they need to figure what's going on.  The C-word was dropped, albeit as a slim likelihood.  Still, once that is said, all thoughts go to that until the tests come back.  So prayers would be appreciated.

Someone's face has been edited onto my body!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Scott Walker kills unborn babies

According to the always balanced and reliable CAEI.  Warning: The post-modern is strong with this one.

UPDATE: It looks like Mark has pulled this vile post.  Though an apology and explanation would have been better, I'll take its removal.  It was one of the worst accusations I've ever seen, and I can't think of anyone in media, save for possibly a couple of the most vitriolic contributors on MSNBC, that would say such a thing.  If even then.  So well done Mark.  Next time try not to post such things in the first place.