Saturday, January 30, 2016

When Conservatives walked with God

"I came to understand out of my own observation, that all plans for India's progress were going to fail unless some effective and practicable system of population control were adopted. At one time I had publicly stated that the problem of population growth in other countries was not a proper responsibility of the US government.

My trip to India convinced me that we could not stand aloof if requested to help. In spite of a high rate of infant mortality and inadequate health facilities, India was adding each year more than 5 million souls to her population. This could not go on. Until this Indian problem is solved all others will grow worse rather than better."
Source: Waging Peace, by Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, p.504 , Jan 1, 1965
Now I have no beef with Eisenhower.  I think he was an excellent General and a so-so president.  My dad, a veteran, was no fan, because he perceived several of the policies Eisenhower enacted regarding the military as baneful to veterans and servicemen.  Whether they were or not, that is how he perceived them.  Of course my Dad, at the time, was a Democrat, so there you go.
But I post this because one of the current memes among non-Conservative Conservatives is the story about how 'I once was a Conservative when Conservatives were real and beautiful, but ever since that liar Reagan and neo-cons took over and it's all gone to hell.'  This is sometimes why cozying up to the Left and hating on anything to do with Conservatism or Traditional values is seen as justified.  These folks hate what Conservatism has become, but if it was like it was back in the Eisenhower days, then it would all be hugs and kisses again.

Of course not.  That's laughable.  And I'm not saying, BTW, that Eisenhower was therefore some scum or pro-culture of death type.  I'm merely saying spare me the laughably false and demonstrably inaccurate notion that "Conservatism" is somehow all bad now, when it was almost all awesome then.  If you wish to trash Conservatism, then do so.  If you want to compare and contrast some military philosophies then and now, go ahead.  If you wish to cuddle up with the triumphant Left, no problem.  But if you take it to the next level and attempt to justify it all by suggesting that, unlike the glory days, Conservatives today are all evil and not being pro-life enough, then do your homework before you set modern Conservatives against some idyllic Eisenhower form of Conservative that, by the definitions used against Conservatives today, would have been no better. 

In case you missed it

The US economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter.  I am not happy about this.  While I admit there might be some who cheer such news on any side of the debate, most are probably not happy.  Most are, however, probably frustrated that you'd never know there are many economic problems out there, at least to hear the media talk.  Oh sure, they'll talk gender pay inequality or wage gaps - things that Democrats always have the solution for.  But they do this while continuing to act as if things are just getting better all the time.  And they're not.  I would rather the economy rebound for real and bring most Americans with it.  But if it isn't, can the media please spend as much time pointing out the problems with our economy as was spent dwelling on our economic problems from around 02/2001 through 2008? 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Guess who

I wonder what two of these kiddos will end up doing with their lives:

From Hennemusic, Daily Rock Music news
Click here for a hint.  And yes, one of them apparently set aside the saxophone for something more, shall we say, rhythmic.

Of course Muslims are people

One of modern liberalism's strengths is setting up a false premise and then assaulting all who bother to question the false premise.  So we have the fact that Muslims condemn ISIS.  OK.  ISIS kills Muslims.  It wouldn't surprise me.  We have Muslims who have, over the years, and to varying degrees, condemned the 9/11 attacks.  OK, that doesn't surprise me either.  Though in the early days, I remember distinctly how much difficulty the media had finding Muslims who would just condemn the attacks without tacking 'the Crusades!' or something similar onto the statement.

And, of course, we have Muslims who hate seeing puppies killed, cats tortured, babies crying, towns destroyed by storms, and bad reality TV.  All proving that Muslims are, in the end, people.  Just like us.  I have yet to meet a self proclaimed Conservative who would say otherwise.  That's not the problem.

Here is the problem.  When Terry Jones, pastor, threatened to burn a Quran back in the day, all hell broke loose.  Everyone condemned him.  Polls showed that the majority of Americans didn't support him.  And yet, his actions brought about weeks of news shows, anchors and talking heads lamenting how the whole incident just goes to show you America always was and still is a bunch of racists in a racist nation.  And no matter what Americans do for the good, America as racist Islamaphobic nation is the ongoing narrative.

That's my problem.  You'd think in light of 9/11, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, Boston, Philadelphia,  Chattanooga, that Americans - being the Islamaphobic racists that we are - would be wandering up and down the street, blowing up mosques and butchering any Arabs and Muslims we can find.  And yet, on the whole, out of 300 million racists, we've shown some pretty awesome restraint.  Or so you'd think. But all it takes is a little graffiti, or a broken window, or a Muslim who merely says she fears anti-Muslim sentiment could be growing, and it's RACIST NATION! 

On the other hand, let one host on an Iraqi television show do the humane thing and cry over the plight of Christians, and it's as if all 1.6 billion Muslims and the entire history of Islam have just been redeemed. And if you so much as suggest that, while it's nice and all, it doesn't really mean anything in the bigger picture, or it's a common human reaction but there are other factors to consider, or wonder why America never seems to receive the same considerations based on humane Americans, then it's RACIST NATION!

See how that works?  The fact that the fellow cried is nice.  It's good.  It's normal.  I wouldn't be shocked if most Muslims, when presented with the horrors of Christians slaughtered by ISIS, would do the same thing.  Most people I know would likely say that to some degree or another. But in the end, it doesn't matter to the larger issues and questions of the day.

Or at least let me put it this way: It shouldn't matter any more than the majority of Americans condemning Terry Jones or standing with Muslims in trying times never seems to matter.  At least then we can be consistent.  If consistency and truth are, in fact, what modern liberalism wants.

An interesting question

Is Pope Francis actually converting anyone to Catholicism?  The post is from November, 2014. But it's a good question.  I mean, he's all about the outreach.  Is it working?  Are people coming back into the Church?  Are they coming in for the first time? I'm not saying they aren't.  I'm just curious to see some numbers.    If so, then that would be a good thing, or a great first step at least.  It's not as easy as it looks to find out, BTW.  For every story I find saying "Catholic conversions on the rise!", I can find as many saying "Catholics leaving the Church", or "Catholics converting to Islam".  So I'm curious if anyone has any ideas or figures to toss around. 

Deep into that darkness peering

It was on this day, in 1845, that Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven was published.  Click here for Donald McClarey's pick for a reading, courtesy of the great Christopher Lee.  I'm more of a Vincent Price enthusiast myself:

As a side note, and for a shameless boast, my second son recited the poem from memory in two parts when he was in sixth grade.  It was for poetry/drama reading nights in school before classmates and parents.  The second night he stumbled and forgot a couple lines, but managed to improvise in such a way that it sounded like Poe.  The high school drama teacher was there, and told him that it was no small thing for a sixth grader to improvise in the manner of Poe before a large audience.  I agree.  [Shameful kid boast is now finished].

There is a reason I'm poor

Because it never once dawned on me to photograph a potato and sell it for a million dollars.

The news continues to create the news

So the media continues to be shocked that Trump can dominate the news following a debate in which he didn't take part.   Uh, that's because the media is focusing on Trump and the fact that he didn't take part, rather than the debate itself. 

I'm not one to always and only blame the media.  But I'd have to have rocks in my head to think that at least part of Trump's popularity is the direct result of the media giving him more coverage than any candidate I have ever seen in the 36 years I've been following politics.

Conservatives are sexist pigs

And racist, too.  Yep.  So this strange story, that suggests supporters of Bernie Sanders - champion of the culture of death - are acting like stereotypical sexists and racists, must be wrong. 

Of course we all need mercy

And sometimes mercy looks like this:

As opposed to this:

Just food for thought as we are all abuzz about reaching out and being awesomely merciful to folks the Year of Mercy

You think

Europe's leading human rights group has said that ISIS is, in fact, guilty of genocide.   Well yeah.  I'm not even sure ISIS would deny it. 

John Allen translates Pope Francis

Regarding the latest kerfuffle over gay marriage, civil unions and traditional family.  In terms of this particular issue, like so many things over the last three years, I get the feeling people leave Pope Francis completely convinced he said what they were sure he would say in the first place.   And something about the way he communicates seems to encourage that tendency. 

Catholics for Bernie Sanders

No, it's not an unwarranted accusation.  It's a fact.  And a Facebook page.  Sometimes I think it's the doom of Catholics to be the reason why future Catholics must apologize. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gender Binary?

Feds Propose Removing ‘He’ and ‘She’ from Regulation to ‘Avoid the Gender Binary’

There's another new term for the list.  Boy, I'm expanding my vocabulary every week. 

John Kasich is a credit to the modern political discourse

Yes, I wish he had a little more 'umph' to him.  And it might be one of those judgments against our nation that a man who could have done much to repair the Conservative face in America has been sideswiped by the Trump 3-Ring-Circus.  But he is a good man, and dares to maintain his positions while doing so in a way that invites cooperation. 

Not that he would be spared if he received the nomination.  I'm not stupid.  In the 90s, he was every Democrat's favorite example of how Republicans should be, unlike that mean and hateful Newt Gingrich fellow.  And for many, he is that today - what liberals say conservatives should be if they want to win.  If he got the nomination, however, that would all change, just like it did with McCain in 2008.  They would come after him with everything under the sun. 

Still, a good guy. A good witness. And if he had a chance, I'd put my vote behind him with few if any reservations.  Just to let you know where I stand.

This could come as a shock

But some are saying that a pro-abortion documentary received a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival.  I don't know.  Seems pretty farfetched if you ask me.

It was 30 years ago today

That tears brought an end to our blind faith in the daily leaps forward in technology and innovation.  I remember it well.  I wasn't paying much attention to the lift off. I was vaguely aware that a teacher was going on this mission.  But by then, space shuttles had become par for the course.  We were waiting for the next big leap forward.

Then, this day 30 years ago, I was on my way down from classes in my freshman year of college.  I went to a branch of  The Ohio State University.  There was only one building at the branch back then.  There was a commons, and in a corner was an old manual dial television set.  As I came into the commons I saw a gathering crowd around the TV.  Wondering what it was all about, I maneuvered my way over to see the news.  As disinterested as I was in space flight, I remember feeling empty and shaken by the thought of what happened.

Later as the nation came together and mourned in a way my boys will never know, President Reagan came on and delivered one of the great addresses of presidential history. So we can remember what it was to be a country, to have values and morals beyond the waistline, and to remember that all things didn't rise and fall in the latest partisan poll numbers, here is the speech that brought comfort and a little meaning back to a nation that was stunned by an unthinkable tragedy back in the day:

God bless and keep those heroes who died, and bring peace to  their loved ones, and all of us left behind who were made a little better by their heroism. 

Leonardo DiCaprio and Pope Francis

So Mr. DiCaprio, who even caused the liberal PM of Canada, Justin Trudeau, to tell him to tone it down, received a warm welcome from Pope Francis.  Now popes greet people.  That's no problem.  And I don't expect Pope Francis to kick Leo in the shin and knock him down over points where they might disagree.

But I found this little snippet interesting, especially in light of Pope Francis's rather open embrace of the modern MMGW movement:
"As a child I didn’t quite understand what it all meant, but through my child’s eyes it represented a planet, the utopia we had been given, the overpopulation, excesses, and the third panel we see a blackened sky that represents so much to me of what’s going in the environment.” (emphasis mine)

See that?  Overpopulation.  This has been a pet of the new liberalism for some generations.  There are just too damn many [other] people in the world.  Now, with MMGW (that's Man Made Global Warming to us), there is a new reason to whittle down those pesky numbers.  Of course the question remains how do we eliminate the numbers?  How do we check population growth so it doesn't do something like bring a civilization and its culture to its knees?

Pope Francis has clearly not accepted that part of the MMGW furor.  But in a way that seems to be the modern Catholic approach, he accepts almost every other aspect of it.  That seems to be the way the Church is going now.  Accept almost every idea and every premise of the new Leftist and secular world view...except where dogma or doctrine can't be changed. 

So evolution is spot on right in every way...except God made it happen.  And most of the Bible, it turns out, was likely just fairy tales and legends created by ancient writers...except Jesus really was born and did rise from the dead.  And almost anything you hear about homosexuality from Dr. Drew is, in fact, correct...but you still can't have actual gay sex.  And women's equality, if not superiority, to men is pretty accurate...but only men can still be priests.  So we have this, where the evils of humanity (especially the Capitalist West) have brought the world to the brink of annihilation, and everything must immediately be done in line with liberal, socialist based solutions...but the number of actual people in the world doesn't have anything to do with it.

How long the Church can maintain this balance remains to be seen.  Since some of these things are predicated on ideas and views that are diametrically opposed to orthodox Christian doctrine, it will be interesting.  But for now I fear the Church will only be able to set things aside which should ring bells and set off whistles of warning, all in the hopes of being accepted on all of the other points by this new world order. 

Now drivers in California have even more to worry about

Stoned, hallucinating Coyotes terrorizing motorists.  It's not  enough that it's California.  Now this?


Next story.  Like we thought this wouldn't start happening more and more.  One thing about it, the Left's ability to declare something to be yesterday's truth continues apace.  Remember when Gay Rights was all about tolerance and living among one another despite our disagreements, and we were told it was ludicrous to believe anyone would ever be punished for not accepting non-heterosexual normality?  Yeah.  I remember when MTV played videos, too. 

If Alexander Hamilton

Can be portrayed as such:

then why is this:

A problem?  From what I've heard, the Hamilton musical is quite good.  I have no problem with it.  Or I do.  One way or another.  What I can't stand is the continual celebration of double standards as a good thing as long as they are based on skin color, gender, religion or sexual desire. 

A tale told by an idiot

John C. Wright takes on the story of the Danish girl being prosecuted for pepper spraying a would be rapist.  No, he's not the idiot.  He actually gives a lucid appraisal of the lies and stupidity of the Left that has brought about this little scandal.

In truth, I saw this story a day or so ago when it was sent to me by one of my readers.  I started to comment, then paused.  If I looked at the story in isolation, I would say it is grounds for reexamining the Danish laws.  Apparently, she did break the law.  The law says civilians can't have pepper spray and she had it.  Whether that is a good law or not would be the debate.  I would suggest that, given the climate in Europe right now, that might be a law that needs reworked. 

That is where I would have left it.  Had it been an isolated incident.  But you just can't help but get the feeling something bigger is afoot.  Mr. Wright actually seems more sympathetic than I am, though I might be misrepresenting his piece.

For me, it's not just stupidity and unreason that has brought us to this point. It is the deliberate overthrow of the civilization that Christianity built.  It is nothing short of a global revolution.  A New Order.  A New Way.  We call it, in desperate want of a better term, the Left, Liberalism, Progressivism.  But it is really none of these things.  It is a new, revolutionary World View.  It has morals.  Theology.  Philosophy.  Ethics.  And it has every intention of dominating the world and mandating conversion and obedience to those same ideals and beliefs.

Like most Enlightenment Era revolutions, however, it is more lies and evil than good.  Not that all it clings to is an evil.  It has seized and monopolized the discourse regarding equality, concern for the poor, peace making, and liberty.  All good things.  But like creature in Alien, it is merely using these things as a parasite, gestating inside the civilization in which it was conceived, and soon to explode from its host's guts and leave the host dead and rotting on the dining table. 

Of course hedonism, narcissism and ignorance have been its thrice-unholy methods for advancement.  While touting education and learning, it seems to breath the air of stupidity and disinformation as a matter of survival.  Thus it was that Multi-Cultural education was born.  The whole movement suggested that we Westerners simply didn't know anything about other cultures.  We didn't care.  And to a point, that's probably right.  Most people getting by in life probably weren't too worried about other cultures.  Many probably didn't care much about their own.  And education is always a good thing.  We can always learn more.

But that's not what Multi-Cultural Education was.  It was a deliberate means of propaganda.  Its purpose was to teach against the Christian tradition.  Teach against the civilization and societies that Christianity helped create.  To do this, MCE (that's Multi-Cultural Education) laid a brilliant template that was lethal for the West, and unbeatable if you accepted its premise.  That is, we could not judge the other cultures we studied.  Like a moral version of the Prime Directive, we're not to go in and meddle about and say they were evil or bad.  That's ethnocentric.  That's racist.  That's xenophobia to the max.  We look on other cultures and their past like a scientist examining a rock.  Nothing more.

Ah, but when it came to studying the West?  Why, that's when the moral outrage was unleashed.  That's when we were reminded of the horror, the evil, the indefensible bigotry, hate, ignorance and superstition.  We condescendingly judged the West with no mercy.  We judged it with really no way of explaining when and how the West could be redeemed (apart from washing itself in the baptism of this new religion).

But here was the brilliant sleight of hand.  Because we judged the West as opposed to others, does that mean we're saying the West should be held to a higher standard?  Dare I say, the West is therefore somehow superior to the Huns, and Mongols, and the Indus Valley, and Aztecs, and Polynesians, and the Buddhists and the Hindus and the Muslims and everyone else?  That's why the higher standard?

Me genoito!  That's old Greek for May it never be!  Or even, Hell no!  To say that is, again, to show our ethnocentric xenophobic racist superiority!  What are we, a bunch of Nazi Master Race types?  We are no better than those other cultures, religions and civilizations.  Heck, as MCE progressed, it almost came to be that the West was in every way inferior to all those other cultures.  Those cultures turned out to be dreams of the modern Left.  LGBTQRSTUV rights, women's rights, religious tolerance, ecofriendly cultures - why the list goes on and on.  And it doesn't matter what civilization we're talking about.  Watch any pop-history show on PBS, National Geographic or - heh - the History Channel.  Take a history book off the shelf at a Barnes and Noble.  It doesn't matter.  The Huns, the Mongols, the Vikings; sure they did bad things, but let's look at how awesome they were in other things.  Far better in most cases than the West and its evil, worthless ways.

Good for a laugh,
not good for history
That was the trap.  The West is inferior to every other culture in almost every way, and yet we can only trash and hash it and it alone by the standards it supposedly pioneered.  All other cultures, that are mostly awesome anyway, are not to be judged.  And when there was an evil done, or other cultures did evil to the West in a way that couldn't be ignored?  Why, just as Terry Jones put it in his unintentionally hilarious miniseries on the Crusades, it's because the West had it coming.  If Muslims slaughtered Christians, the Christians deserved it.  And that goes for every other European Christian killed by other non-European, non-Christian types. Including 9/11.  We might have not joined Ward Churchill and hailed the death of thousands of little Eichmanns.  But we accepted the premise that 9/11 was, in the end, our fault.

So we have that little lie that was, in my opinion, deliberately hoisted upon the unsuspecting West.  An intellectual parasite that is eating away at the very culture in which it was conceived.  And now, we are to it.  Because one thing that happens when you lie is, you have to keep lying.  When you build your revolution on a lie, bet your bottom dollar that crazy, and likely evil, things will start happening as the lies are gradually revealed. 

Since our Founding Fathers didn't do that, but actually fought a revolution for principles they intended to follow, however imperfectly, we sometimes lose sight of that.  Most revolutions don't do that.  Most revolutionaries aren't so principled.  And so we might miss that this revolution, which assumes the evil of the Christian West above all things, and all suffering and problems in the world the result of the West and its bastard child The United States, is running into a problem.

That problem is Islam and Islamic terrorists.  Try as the Left might to insist it's still the West's or America's fault, the terrorists just seem to find ways of tearing down the wall of ignorance.  It's almost as if ISIS wants to say 'Hey!  You!  We're evil on our own!  It isn't your fault!  We're just smack down evil, so deal with it!'  And in the face of this, the Left quakes.  To think another culture, another religion, another civilization could produce plain evil without somehow blaming the West is anathema to the MCE template.  Why, that could make thinking people pause and start reexamining some of the other assumptions of the Left that are based on that simple teaching.

So even though this story of the Danish girl might just be cause for reexamining the laws at hand, you can't help but feel the overall context of it suggests something more.  Even as this revolution makes headway it couldn't have imagined only ten years ago, and scores victory after victory in the courts of America and the World, you get the feeling something is amiss.  The focus on this girl as opposed to the criminals.  The reaction to those Oregon protesters compared to the reactions to the ISIS militants of San Bernardino.  The imprisonment of Kim Davis.  Something is going wrong in the narrative, in this idiot's tale,  and it's as if there is a scramble now, a mad dash to keep things in line in the hopes that a generation drunk on sex, drugs and the latest app will miss it until it's too late.

"In the fastness of His own realm He sought the secrecy of night, fearing the winds of the world that had turned against Him, tearing aside His veils ..."   The Return of the King

I haven't heard about this film

Risen?  I guess it's due out in February.  I'll keep my eye out for more information.  Donald McClarey has some thoughts on it here.

Italian cardinal upholds science

Science c. 1988 that is.  I remember the date, because that is when I was in college at the Ohio State University main campus.  And I remember taking a sociology course.  I also was taking courses in Education.  And I remember specifically being taught that kids need a male and female presence.  Hence why "Deadbeat Dads" were the scum of the earth.  Not only did they abandon their responsibilities to the moms who could subsequently abort those same children without the dad's consent.  But they were denying the children a fundamental need. 

That's why we had things like Big Brothers and Big Sisters.  It's why Bill Clinton made the whole Deadbeat Dad problem a federal issue.  Not only was there the issue of responsibility.  But it was for the sake of the kids!  They needed that male and female presence; a mother and father to use the archaic terminology.  Or at least the dads had to pay up if they weren't going to be around to provide that presence. 

Of course today, we now know the science, oddly enough, shows that kids need no such thing.  Any combination of gender will do.  Which reminds me of a newscast I watched some time ago about Transgender kids.  Some of the parents being interviewed said they knew their kids were transgender as early as infancy.  How did they know?  Why, working with their doctors and therapists, it was concluded that the kiddos showed signs of gender relativity.  What were those signs?  Among other signs, things such as a young boy preferring a pink blanket, or playing with dolls at a young age.

Strange, but in the 70s, when I was a kiddo myself, I remember being part of those grand experiments to show that pink and blue and airplanes and dolls meant nothing at all.  We only played with those because we had been artificially programed by a sexist, patriarchal society to think playing with this or preferring that color meant anything.  That was, of course, the science of then.  The science of now shows just how stupid those scientists were back in the day.

There is Science, and then there is science.  Science can say "Look, gravity!  The earth orbits the Sun!  Photosynthesis!"  But I've noticed there is this invisible line where the Science seems to stop, and starts acting more like science: a fusion of political campaigns and an agenda driven opinion.  And it always seems that the scientific facts of this science just happen to align with the agendas of the latest, hippest who get invited to all the great parties.  I can't help but think that it's a little bit beyond cosmic coincidence.

They have a point

But for the wrong reason.  Most who are posting this story are putting it under the banner 'Oh brother, insensitivity run amuck.'  Or something like it.  The fact that a quote from MLK - perhaps the defining quote of his ministry - might have been taken down from the University of Oregon for not being inclusive enough has raised a couple eyebrows. 

But here is the thing.  The quote:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream…”

perhaps shouldn't be there.  Not because it doesn't represent some new understanding of diversity -
which I'm sure it doesn't.  'Diversity' as explained and lived today seems to have little to do with what diversity was said to mean back when I was a lad.

But perhaps it shouldn't be there because right now in our country, the first and most important thing we seem to ask is 'Quick, what's the skin color of everyone involved?'  The answer then dictates just how much we should care, or if the media should cover it, or what the outcome should be.  Think about it.  What good is it to trumpet this quote as some prophetic utterance if we go around and act the way we do?

If we are going to run about saying 'Not by the color of their skin, the color of their skin, the color of their skin...', I expect that we won't, you know, judge everything and everyone first and foremost by the color of their skin.   If we insist on doing so, then perhaps we ought to stop jumping in front of each other to show how awesomely righteous we are by quoting this irrelevant phrase that we apparently have no intention of following. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

God bless this heroic woman

This is what reminds us that we didn't evolve.  We were made.  And we were made for a purpose.  That is to love one another and to love the One who made us to love one another.  May the Lord shower peace and strength upon her family and embrace her in His loving arms. 

The Orthodox Church to hold first council in 1200 years

Really?  And this is the first time I've heard it mentioned in the press?   That's no small thing.  I wonder what they will be discussing.  Beware the desire to make friendly with the latest, hippest.  It never seems to go well.  Anyway, the crux of this story seems to be the political turmoil between Russia and Turkey.  That's no small thing of course, but that seems to be the reason that the Washington Post is running the story, as opposed to what the council is really all about.  It does mention the invasions that changed the historical situation for the Orthodox, like the museum where they were going to have it in Istanbul, which is of courses so named as the result of the Islamic invasion and conquest of Byzantium.

Which makes me wonder, as I am wont to do.  Here in the old US of A, we are pretty rough on our ancestors. As I mentioned here, we've pretty much made peace with the fact that there was little praiseworthy or good that came out of our conquest of the Americas by Europe.  It's pretty much an apocalyptic holocaust by a genocidal, mass slaughtering mob of racist killers, and the results that are felt today make it necessary for us to repeatedly remind ourselves of the slaughter of the Native Americans, slavery, sexism, imperialism, fire bombing Dresden, Hiroshima, why the list goes on and on.  This is a sentiment shared by at least some of those who are descended from folks who were on the receiving end of said atrocities. 

Should then the Orthodox have reason for doing the same to their conquerors?  And as we celebrate when others join in our contempt for our ancestors, shouldn't we therefore join the Orthodox in similar chastising of their conquerors?  After all, much of the plight of the Orthodox Church has been the result of either Islamic conquest, or the travails of Russia, many of which could be blamed on the dark years in which it was subject to the Mongol Yoke. 

I mean, instead of always making nice with Muslims, shouldn't we say 'Hey, we can be pals and admit your Golden Age and all, but have you considered your destruction of Eastern Christian Culture?  The 500 years of oppression?  The ongoing trials and struggles that Orthodox Christians have as a result of your civilization's warring ways?' 

It's interesting to me that we approach these things so differently.  You'd think if all we can do is shame ourselves for our past and agree when others do the same, then we should shame everyone else for their past.  But I don't think we will. 

A commercial that makes me want to go anywhere

But Philadelphia.

Because journalism is all about priorities

The priorities of maintaining the narratives and oppressing the truth that is.  The March for Life did happen, despite Global Warming.  And yet you'd never know it.  Instead, the media preferred to focus on that adorable panda playing in the snow.  FWIW, the media is so desperate to do anything other than cover the annual March for Life that I could put wax on pine trees and watch the squirrels slide and the media would cover me before the march.  And yet how many who see this clear and obvious propaganda appeal to the media when it suits us? 

Catholic bishops congratulate Nigerian army

A reminder that there are believers in other parts of the world who would kill to have time to fight over the issues we squabble about.  Not that the issues we care about are unimportant mind you.  And in some ways, we either squabble about them now, or someday we will be in situations similar to those same believers in other parts of the world.  But it's worth remembering.  On a  personal level, no matter how tough things are, I always remind my boys that there are people who would love to have our problems.  Likewise, there are those who approach things far differently than we can imagine, because they are enduring trials that are beyond what we can comprehend.  Or hopefully, will ever be able to comprehend. 

The Harris County Indictments

I've only somewhat followed the news that the Planned Parenthood video scandal resulted in indictments against those who went undercover.  I admit I do smell a rat.  I notice that few outside of Planned Parenthood is denying Planned Parenthood actually did the things it is accused of doing. Most have tried to put it into some sort of perspective, or put a spin on it all as if there is anything about harvesting and selling that could be OK.

The indictments seem to be against the undercover team on the basis that they can't do what they did as undercover investigators. I guess.  I'm not sure.  It hasn't received as much play in the media as I would have thought.  Personally, I think the liberal media wishes the whole story would just go away.  But I guess this means there won't be future undercover work in sweat shops, or meat factories, or chicken farms, or other places.  I suppose, since liberalism is always about consistency and principles.

FWIW, I get the strange feeling that this is one more small step in our inevitable rush toward tyranny and oppression.  I'm certainly not going to make some grand 'serves them right for having been dishonest in their attempt to stop the Holocaust' statement.  I've never felt that the best strategy when fighting Satan is to shoot his opponents in the back for not being as awesome in their opposition to Satan as I am. 

Nonetheless, we'll see what happens. 

The name of my pain

Is Protestant Clergy Convert.  I received this little chart in an email the other day:

It's from a lay apostolate (that's ministry to you Protestants out there) that focuses on helping folks who convert to Catholicism.   It's main purpose originally was to help Protestant clergy converts.  But over the years that broadened to include an almost equal focus on anyone who becomes Catholic. 

A couple things.  The total number of clergy converts is 994.  That doesn't tell me since when.  But let's assume since around the mid-90s, when the apostolate began.  Let's say 20 years.  That's around 49 a year. 

It also doesn't say exactly how one defines Protestant Clergy converts.  I know it includes bi-vocational pastors, assistant pastors, seminarians and professors as well as those who are ordained but employed with denominational jobs.  It might even include people ordained who never actually went into ministry.  That happens sometimes.  And that's a big difference.  A person who is a successful lawyer who just happens to be ordained and act as an assistant pastor is not in financial harm's way by converting.  Neither is a professor, who can simply slide over and get a job in a Catholic university (or a secular one as the case may be).  It is not the same for a full time vocational pastor with no other financial resources and no career to lean upon.

Finally, it doesn't tell me when what is happening.  Of those hundreds who became priests, how many did so in the last ten years?  How many in the 90s?  The 00s?  I know for a fact that the numbers in the chart aren't too far off from where they were a few years ago when I saw similar numbers of clergy converts.  Have the numbers diminished?  How many have joined in recent years versus, say, 96 - 06? 

I'm in that 3% unemployed BTW.  I have it on good authority that the main reason for my plight is that our bishop is no particular fan of letting ministry converts get a job.  The reasons are a bit murky, but the best I have been able to piece together is that he feels somehow that it might appear that the Church is 'bribing' clergy to convert.  Well, if that is the reason, he can point to me and show that's not true. 

But that is a major problem.  Added to Pope Francis's own statements that seem to suggest that Protestants can get to God their way, the idea of 'Clergy Converts Hurray!' just seems to be fading.  It already seemed to be waning under Pope Benedict XVI, who also spent far less time focused on our 'Separated Brethren' than his predecessor.

And it's not just me.  I've talked to a few others who are recent clergy converts and basically have asked 'where's the party'?  If there was a time when the Church doors swung wide, and dioceses and parishes bent over to accommodate the particular hardships that clergy experience when converting, that time appears to have passed.  In my diocese, in fact, I've been told by no less than two priests and a deacon that a blank resume with nothing on it that doesn't include 'former Protestant Clergy' would be much preferred over any resume that included 'former Protestant Clergy.'

That alone has been a major source of our trials, and has put our family to the test.  Exactly how that test plays out remains to be seen.  But I had to think on that as I looked at this chart, pondered the questions that immediately arose, and set it in light of our own experience.  For what it's worth, the email mentioned others who have gone through our trials and tribulations, and have been "disturbed and discouraged by what they experienced and how they were treated after their conversions."  Again, I just wonder exactly when they came  in, and if there might be a chronological trend. 

Who is Pope Francis to judge?

He's Pope Francis, that's who.  My problem isn't that Pope Francis simply repeats a tried and true biblical formula about the potential fate of the rich and powerful.  The Bible has more than one passage that suggests a dire outcome for those who cling to coins and chariots rather than faith in the Almighty.

My problem is that everyone runs around talking about how nice and swell and non-judgmental and open and merciful he is.  Sure, it can be a type of mercy that boldly calls out sin as sin.  But the fact that he only seems to do it against those things that certain people rage against, while avoiding like the plague speaking so directly about other sins that those same people support, is the issue.

In Pope Francis's discourse, it appears that below the waistline the only real mortal sins are those emanating from the wallet of the wealthy and powerful.  Inside the clothes are merely lifestyles and choices that technically run afoul of Church teaching, but are issues we can lovingly and graciously and mercifully agree to live together and commune together over despite the differences.

No. It would be better if Pope Francis maintained a similar tone across the board.  Condemn the powerful and the wealthy all you want, but also the narcissist and the hedonist, the sexually immoral and the decadent.  Let fly against both types of sin the same.  Or move forward with mercy and compassion.  One way or another.  It isn't as if it can't be done.  In reality, the Church has done just that under Popes JPII  and Benedict XVI.  While they stood firm on the Church's teachings on homosexuality, or abortion, they were also critical of rampant greed and consumerism, and even Capitalism run amuck. 

Where most Catholics would be
if they thought about it
But Pope Francis has, in contrast, almost set the sins below the waistline aside, reforming our approaches to them and even pushing the boundaries of tolerance and even inclusion and acceptance, while doubling down on the greed and powerful (often defined specific ways) beyond what either of the previous popes came close to saying.

I can't help but feel that this discrepancy is a major part of the angst many traditional Catholics feel.  Even if some were complacent about the rampant greed and corporate corruption by the powerful, it's not as if most would have excused them or would do a Gordon Gekko about how good greed happens to be.  And if the Church leaders had to speak about issues like gay marriage and abortion, it's because society was reimagining the moral fabric of our culture and demanding nothing less than conversion and conformity to this new morality.  In the face of that, responses had to be given.

But now we have Pope Francis, who while continuing to stand on the technical teachings of the Church regarding those personal - dare I say, liberal - issues, seems almost to set them aside as minor topics with which we can lovingly and respectfully agree to disagree.  But against those who have long been the targets of the modern progressive movement,  the jaws of Hell yawn ever before them by way of the wrath of the Thrice-Holy God. 

As long as that is his tone, please spare me the nice and happy Pope who's all about love and giving mercy a chance.  He merely has chosen to be that way toward one side of the sinful coin.  Against the other side is, ironically, the fire and brimstone I've seldom heard toward homosexuality or abortion, but aimed instead at the enemies of the post-Christian Left.  Exactly why remains to be seen.  But it is a fact that I cannot reconcile with the image of 'the sweet and kind Pope who never judges.' 

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor 6.9-10

"He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble.”  Luke 1.52

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

RIP Abe Vigoda

I'm sad, and a little guilty.  Abe Vigoda has died. The poor man became famous in our house as the fellow who was always thought to be dead.  Apparently we weren't alone.  He even made a minor comeback a few years ago in a Super Bowl commercial (the same one that re-jumped the career of Betty White), that caused a new wave of 'I didn't know he was still alive!'.  Of course he is most known as the ill fated Tessio from the monumental film The Godfather, and as Fish from the 70s TV show Barney Miller.  But the ongoing joke that he was already dead had almost surpassed the Paul is Dead rumors of the late 60s.  So it's with a little shame and much sorrow that I must say goodbye Mr. Vigoda.  I hope you were a good sport about it all.  It seems you lived a good, long life.  Peace be with you and yours, and God's blessings for the joy you brought to my generation.  Even if it wasn't always intentional.

The changing of a tradition

Over at National Catholic Register, a fairly balanced and fair look at the changes in the Foot Washing ceremony that was all the buzz a couple days ago.  Whether it is the beginning of seismic changes or just a minor tweaking to bring the Church up to date will remain to be seen.  Ultimately, we won't know until we look back on all that Pope Francis plans to accomplish.  For now, Mark Brumley's article gives a nice overhead of what is happening and why some are concerned. 

Liberal lies and the Enemy

John C. Wright looks at the lies of liberalism and its inability to call the enemy the enemy.  It's a wonderful piece looking at our liberal culture in light of the very under-reported destruction of Iraq's oldest monastery. 

The only thing I would say is that liberalism is not always silent when it comes to calling out the enemy.  The problem, as I see it, is that liberalism sees the Christian Faith, the Western Tradition, and the West's bastard child the United States as the enemy.  Against that enemy, the Left calls out from the roof tops, through the media and popular culture, by way of our educational institutions and even through legal mandate if possible.  That is because the Left genuinely sees the Christian tradition and the civilizations it developed as the only real enemy.  One that, unlike other possible enemies we may face, definitely needs nothing less than eradicated from the human experience.

Otherwise, it's a typically great JC Wright piece.

My problem with the Death Penalty

Contrary to what some esteemed Catholic apologists suggest, I don't want to increase human slaughter.  Nor do I not give a flip what the Faith teaches.  I also can see some very good, Christian reasons for abolishing the Death Penalty.  For that matter, I can see some very practical reasons.  As the Left gains power and influence, it makes it clear that my type is a thing of the past.  And it will use any tool or weapon in its arsenal to see my type eliminated from the public forum, if not altogether.  So taking the Death Penalty away from that arsenal, even if for a time, isn't a bad idea.

Still, there are also good, Christian reasons for it, especially if you tend to hold to pre-modern notions of Christianity.  That's not to say if you oppose it you are automatically some modern compromiser.  There are obviously areas here where good Christians in good faith can agree to disagree.

But my big beef has always been on why the Catholic Church, all of a sudden, within only the last few decades, has chosen now to change its near-2000 year consistent teaching on the subject.  Why now?  What is different now than, say, 70 years ago when Pope Pius XII actually used arguments now mocked and ridiculed by Death Penalty opponents?  What is the big difference?

In the Catechism, the main statement about why now, what is it about now, that allows us to abolish the Death Penalty is that the State now has the ability to prevent crime.  I don't even know what that means.  And when I follow this story, I'm not sure the State is any better at preventing crime than it was a hundred years ago.  That's not getting into areas like prison violence and prisoners harmed or even killed by other prisoners.  That's just keeping dangerous criminals from escaping.

Again, I have no problem listening to the debate.  As a non-Catholic, I opposed the Death Penalty on practical grounds: I could see me being someone falsely accused and wrongfully executed.  Once I became Catholic, I liked the Church's take on the issue: rarely used, but sometimes if the need to protect the innocent is on the line.

But to say we can now abolish it altogether because the State is near a point of effectively preventing crime?  First, shouldn't we wait until it's there if that is the reason?  Second, is it really any closer than it ever has been to preventing crime?  That has been my beef with the Church's call to end the death penalty.  The main reason for justifying the timing of the change in teaching just doesn't seem real.  It doesn't seem to be a fact.  It doesn't align with what is happening in the world.   And if someone says we can eliminate traffic laws because leprechauns now live in traffic lights and can control the cars, you can be the first thing I'll ask is 'are their really such things as leprechauns, and are they in fact living in the traffic lights and able to control cars?'  If the answer is no, then it's back to the drawing board. 

What about Tim Tebow isn't awesome

His character cost him his career.  There is no doubt.  Sure, his playing style and its compatibility with the NFL was a fair debate.  But when was the last time a player praised as one of the best college players of all time, who took his team his first year to the second round of the playoffs, was subsequently benched without another chance?  Make no mistake, this is the future for orthodox Christians of a traditional bent.

Still, he keeps coming out and being an awesome witness.  It saddened me how many on Catholic blogs blasted him back in the day because he was part of a missionary family working to convert Catholics.  My advice there is that if we don't like it, then we Catholics should work on converting our separated brethren.  If we don't, then we're not doing what we are supposed to and they are. 

But the man seems to have character out the ears, not to mention a level of self control that I can only dream about.  So well done Mr. Tebow.  If my boys wanted to pick a sports hero, they could do worse than you - though you obviously would advise them to choose better.  And for that, you deserve the trophy. 

Here's my thing with Trump

If this is real, then it's yet another reason not to vote for Trump.  I'm all for reaching across the aisle.  In my Protestant ministry days, I was one of the most ecumenical pastors in my denomination.  Sometimes I actually received some major push back from my own congregations as a result.  But I've always been OK with people I disagree with. 

But there are limits.  Somewhere, Christians lost our ability to call out our enemies.  It's OK to say we have enemies.  As a dear friend who was a Presbyterian pastor once told me, Jesus commands us to pray for our enemies, love our enemies and do good for our enemies...but at no point does he say that in doing so they will cease to be our enemies. 

So assuming that the above story is true, and Trump has picked as a spokeswoman someone who seems to hate Conservatives and Christians as much as the KKK hates blacks, you have to ask yourself 'what is he thinking?'.  I mean, if these posts are true, this is nothing but hatred and contempt by a person who clearly would be happier if people like me weren't taking up space on the planet.  And this is who Trump picks?

I'll wait and see if this is accurate, though I found other sources that appear to agree.   But if it is accurate, then no Conservative or Christian with half a brain should support Trump until he does something about this.  If he doesn't?  Well, figure it out. 

Self Defense stories you seldom hear

So a man shot, and unfortunately killed, a man who used Craigslist to rob him.  FWIW, I wouldn't use Craigslist if my life depended on it.  But back to the point, this happens more often than we hear.  In our little neck of the woods, there were two separate stories of gun owners using their guns for self defense in only a matter of months.  One of them involved the gun owner saving and elderly woman who lived next door.

All of this is to say that the issue of gun ownership, self defense and gun violence is far more complex than the media sometimes presents.  Part of it is the fault of the media selecting choice stories more concerned with advancing agendas than presenting all of the facts.  Another issue is those of us who know the media is capable of this in other areas, but then act as if it could never be a factor in this debate. 

Again, I'm not saying we shouldn't look at solutions or find ways we might be able to help reduce violence.  Of course reducing violence is good.  But it should involve looking at all the factors, not just ones that help our agendas.  When we refuse to actually look at all the factors, I have to wonder if we're really all about reducing violence, or we are simply using violence to advance the agendas. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Striking a nerve for the sake of the Good

So I broke my promise and went back to visit Mark Shea's Facebook page.  I know, I know.  I said I wouldn't. What am I, some glutton for punishment?  I didn't comment on anything. I just went to look.  I wanted to see if Mark was continuing with the very problematic practice of having 'Isn't Bernie Sander's the cutest thing?' posts on his very Catholic Facebook page.  The whole thing, and my banishment, came from that. 

When CAEI went offline, I decided to take a look at Mark's Facebook Page.  I don't typically do Facebook that much, and I had never visited his page.  I heard horror stories, but found it hard to believe them.  Well, once I was there, I believed them. 

By now, of course, Mark falls into that Orthodox Liberal Catholic group.  That is, they don't reject traditional doctrines about God or the Trinity or the Resurrection.  They also stand with the Church on issues like abortion and gay marriage.  But in almost any other area where there is wiggle room, they tend to fall down along the modern, post-Christian liberal paradigm.  The reasons are, no doubt, many.  For some, as my boys pointed out with our parish, it's less that they love liberalism as much as they hate American Conservatism and the GOP. 

Be that as it may, today Mark could in no way be called a conservative or traditional Catholic and have those terms mean anything.  And his Facebook page reflected that.  Moreover, those who commented were a rough brood, many of which seemed to be the sort of thing Pope Francis could have been thinking of.  It often got mean and ugly.   Quite a bit of contempt and condescension toward those who aren't following lockstep behind the modern Left.

Nonetheless, for all his Left leaning and liberal cheering, Mark remains adamantly pro-life and passionately against abortion.  Period.  No suggestions otherwise can be entertained.  So it came as quite a shock, in those couple weeks I was visiting there, to see how many 'Bernie Rocks' posts Mark had uploaded.  Especially when it was set in juxtaposition to almost every other candidate Mark mentioned, who received nothing but scorn and insults from Mark and most of his readers.  Like a sore thumb, Sanders stood out above it all and Mark's Facebook page looked like quite the Pro-Sanders Facebook headquarters. 

So when Mark posted yet another 'Equestrian Sanders Pic', I merely said that his page was becoming like a campaign stop for the Sanders campaign, and he might want to do a double check.  After all, Sanders goes beyond pro-choice.  He is pro-abortion, and in fact, pro-culture of death.  He is part of that secular liberalism that reminds us how so few societies that have opposed war or the death penalty have done so in the name of life's sanctity.  Just the opposite.  They do it because things like torture, war and the death penalty run afoul of the Left's great sinful promise: that pride is, in fact, a good thing.  The universe does rotate around me.  Things like death penalties or punishment or war suggest there are things bigger than me, and so they are clearly bad.  But things like abortion, any marriage or sex any way I want, euthanasia, assisted suicide: they serve me and a world set firmly under my whims and desires.

That is the sort of Left Sanders advocates.  As a politician, he has gone into areas that even pro-choice politicians fear to tread.  He advocates post-Christian sexuality, and further appears to support the punishment of those who don't do likewise.  He supports gay marriage, and also the HHS mandate, thereby solidifying his opposition to multiple things that Mark holds near and dear.

In some ways, it reminded me of Mark and Ron Paul some years ago.  For a while, Mark became quite the Catholic voice for the Ron Paul campaign.  While he insisted he wouldn't vote for him, that he was merely pointing out where he thought Paul was correct, his blog became a major boost for Ron Paul supporters.  Eventually, Mark did admit that if Paul was in the primaries by the time they came to Washington, Mark would vote for him.  When he did that, it wasn't really a shock.

In some ways, this sudden high-five to Sanders sniffed a bit like the old Paul posts.  Sure, he wasn't saying 'Vote Sanders' or 'I Support Bernie!'  But his posts were stacking up quickly, with many having nothing to do with anything other than "Bernie Sanders: Awesome Guy!"  Sorry, but someone who pushes to loosen the restrictions for a partial birth abortion has dropped at least one rung down the awesome ladder in my book. 

So I posted my message.  And oh my, all hell broke loose.  Mark came at me with everything: mocking me, calling me names, accusing me of passive aggressively suggesting he is pro-choice.  He used the old Sea Lion cartoon against me.  Several of his readers did the same.  I tried to keep it where I was, insisting that while you can quote someone you don't agree with (as a general rule I try to find better examples unless I'm making a specific point), there is a logical difference between a single quote and days of 'thumbs up' posts.

Mark and his readers would have none of it.  Mark simply repeated the charges over and over again.  Even my oldest son tried to bring some perspective, echoing a logical assessment of the current political climate being partly to do with Obama's legacy.  That went as well as you can imagine.

Finally, I had enough.  Especially since Mark continually repeated the charge that I was passive-aggressively insinuating he is pro-choice.  Of all the things I could say about Mark, that would never be one of them.  And I told him that.  But it did no good.  Mark was falsely accusing me of falsely accusing him; like a fundamentalist insisting that Catholics worship Mary no matter how many times we say we don't.  I simply couldn't do anything.  Mark was answering with mockery and accusations and hearing nothing else.  With readers sympathetic to Mark's position, I was outnumbered.

Finally, Mark told me to just leave.  To get the hell off of his page.  At that point, there was little else I could do.  There was no reason to stay.  I might as well have gone to Jack Chick's website and argued for a Dungeons and Dragons tournament in a Catholic Church.  Which is a pity.  Mark Shea, c. 2016 bears almost no resemblance to the Mark Shea I first encountered, c. 2004/2005. 

But, never one to cry quits, I just wondered.  I wondered over the weekend.  I wondered if he was still going full steam with the 'Awesome Sanders' posts.  So I snuck over today to grab a peek and, guess what?   From that day, and in fact that post, there have been no Bernie Sanders posts.  There was one blasting Sanders and Clinton for their relationship to Planned Parenthood.  But that was it. 

So you see kiddies, sometimes you have to suffer the slings and arrows to help keep someone from going down the dark path, even if their intention is to do no such thing.  Part of me wants to be smug and go there and point it out, but I know better.  That would be wrong anyway, and it could back fire.  For now, be glad that a leading Catholic voice in Apologetics isn't allowing his Facebook page to be a major stopping point for one of the most ardently pro-culture of death politicians in our national government. 

Young Catholic Students Rocketh!

Read this story for its awesome witness. They celebrate Mass on a snow mound, they pass out food and snacks and check on other drivers who are stuck in the snow, they sing and rejoice!   That, my friends, is what Christmas is all about.  It's what being a Christian is all about.

What journalists should ask Spike Lee

"Exactly which of the actors or actresses who were nominated this year do you think were really unworthy, and only received their nominations due to the color of their skin?"  That is, instead of jumping on the bandwagon and making yet one more aspect of society all about the color of people's skins.  Oh well.  As per usual, Hollywood caves and makes it clear that all the BS about affirmative action never being about quotas is just BS because, well, it's once again all about the quota. 

Will Internet Catholics listen to Pope Francis this time?

In this case, Pope Francis echoes what I have heard multiple Church leaders say: The Internet is not a forum for flagrantly ignoring the Church's calls for how we are to treat our fellow human beings.  Disrespect, insults, slander, name calling, false accusations, defaming the character of others, assuming the worst and judging wrongly those we speak to are wrong. 

One of the byproducts of the Internet world of Catholicism is a new bar added to the Catholic cafeteria.  That is a place where our righteousness is based on lofty political and social ideals and theories that we likely could never impact.  Meanwhile, things like how we treat our fellow believers, if not our fellow human beings, are tossed aside like so many nickels and dimes. 

I know I've even been mocked and ridiculed on Catholic sites for being polite and not wanting to hurt people or insult them.  And when I have pointed to things like the Church's teachings on how we are to interpret the words of others, or that Raca and Fool are not supposed to be part of our daily allowance of discourse, I've been laughed at and dismissed in kind.

It's easy to be righteous by taking an unwavering stand on our Iranian policies, or what we should think of Putin.  What does anyone care what I think about those things?  It's even easy to take a strong stand on Hiroshima, the death penalty, or gun control.  I could be murdered.  Perhaps wrongly executed.  But the numbers are on my side.  In any event, it likely matters not if I'm wrong, and if I do things like oppose gun rights and someone else ends up dying because they couldn't defend himself?  Oh well.  In post modern martyrdom, by the degree with which I am prepared to tolerate the suffering and death of others have I declared my righteousness.

But how do I treat people?  How do I react to people?  How do I interact with those on the Internet?  I can do something about that.  It is within my grasp.  I can make an immediate difference in how I choose to deal with those who disagree with me.  And yet, that simple and obvious fact, that has to this point been spoken about the exact same way by every Church leader I've heard discuss it - including, now, Pope Francis - is not just ignored, but flagrantly mocked and ridiculed by Catholics who make it their entire business to point out other Catholics who don't listen to Church teaching. 

As I've said on other forums, standing at one bar in the Catholic Cafeteria is a bad place to be when spending all my time accusing others of being Cafeteria Catholics.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Wonder of wonders

Miracle of Miracles!  I was wrong!  Not only did the Broncos defeat NFL's Evil Empire, but they did it with the venerable Peyton Manning at the helm!  I have nothing else to say.  I can rest.  Relax.  And enjoy the rest of the season.  Ding dong the Pats are dead!  At least for another season.  And we can all thank the Broncos and one of the most beloved NFL players to play the game in many a year.  Well done.  I still haven't gotten over the shellacking that the Broncos gave Tebow, but this, at least, brings back some of the ill will.  Defeating the Patriots covers a multitude of NFL sins in my book. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Charlotte Rampling challenges the acceptable racism

As a disclaimer, I have no idea who Charlotte Rampling is.  She is British, and it's tough for us Americans to get, but not everyone in the world sees things the way we do.  Whether we are Right or Left, Black or White or Red,  Religious or not, other people in the world actually see things differently.  I have no clue where she stands on things or how she votes.  I only know that she has called this spade a spade.  Basically what the Black actors are doing is saying that the ones who are nominated this year are unworthy and were only nominated because of their skin color.  At best, they are saying some of the ones nominated are unworthy and were only nominated because of their skin color.  Which, if you said it about an NBA player or an NFL player, how long do you think you would last?  The socially sanctioned racism of the day.

But as I've already noticed, there seems to be some push-back starting.  Hollywood is the Pravda of American liberalism.  It goes out of its way to promote all of the dogmas of the Left.  As a result, I'm not sure how long it will tolerate being smacked down and told those it chose to nominate were unworthy and that the ones doing the choosing are no better than your typical David Duke fan club member. 

Of course, as I pointed out here, it could be that it really is racist.  Just that second form of racism that the modern Left has popularized, similar to its take on human life and suffering.  Basically, if the minority experience doesn't help the narrative, then it is of no value.  Just like the murdered child or the dead black teen.  Unless they help the cause, don't expect to here a thing outside of a local news story. 

Add Cisnormativity to the list of new words I learned today

I've read the definition and I still don't get it.  The best I can tell is that it is a term for people who somehow act or speak as if not being LGBTQ is somehow the norm.  I think.  Though I loved this little line from Queer Dictionary:

"Examples of cisnormativity are closely linked to gender essentialism and may include statements like, "Men can not get pregnant." Although cisnormativity is rarely deliberate, it is almost always perceived as hurtful and offensive to the trans* community."

I don't usually laugh out loud.  But the idea that saying 'men can't get pregnant' could be hurtful or offensive?  To anyone?   What's next, pointing out that gravity exists could be offensive? 

We are literally the emperor not only being naked, but doing everything in the world to make it illegal for anyone to point out the obvious.  FWIW, the word came from an article pointing out the obvious, that Notre Dame is hosting events directly tied to liberal causes.  Again, Notre Dame.  When I tell people I don't cheer for Notre Dame in football, they ask me why not if I'm Catholic.  I just smile. 

Next up in my word studies: Gender Essentialism? 

Manning so doesn't have a chance

I'm not saying there is 0% chance that Denver will win.  In football, anything can happen.  But poor Manning has been past his prime for several years.  Denver picked him to essentially get Tim Tebow the hell out of there.  But except for one year that ended in one of the worst defeats in Super Bowl history, his record has been on a slow decline.  And this year has barely been worth mentioning.  If Denver wins, I can't imagine it being with Manning at the helm.

That kills me, since I can't stand the Patriots.  I know the media, sports media included, is always on the lookout for that next 'it!'.  Be it Babe Ruth or the Pittsburg Steelers.  Or Magic vs. Bird.  Or Tiger Woods or Michael Jordon or Joe 'Cool' Montana.  They've been pushing Brady and the Patriots for years, and it's taken this long to get where they are.  But the Patriots have come to symbolize the modern 'no ethics or rules, just winning for money's sake' NFL, if not all of professional sports.  Right or wrong, you can't think of the Patriots and not think 'cheaters.'

I fear they will win, and the media will crown the Patriots the greatest sports team in history and Brady the greatest athlete since Heracles.  But one can always hope.  Who knows?  Maybe Manning can do it one last time for the credibility of the sports media narrative.  Here's hoping!


I guess I'm not really keeping up with the latest.  I typed the word Heterosexism and there isn't even a spelling error indicator.  It is that common I guess.  What does that even mean?  I realize that guys and gals in lab coats have effectively convinced our college educated generation that the whole idea that sex ever had anything to do with procreation was a big, homophobic conspiracy.  Is heterosexism simply another way of saying that?  There are so many -isms and phobias out there, I can't keep track.

The article itself is from my Alma Mater, The Ohio State University.  The meat of the post is nothing new.  Basically liberals exploring whether or not humans are morally obligated to obey liberal dogmas.  In this particular case, it is the non-white, non-Hispanic, non-Asian, non-Native American Lives Matter Movement.  Though I do appreciate how deftly that movement is now being defined as a movement that draws attention to all minorities declared oppressed by structural evils.  It's just that the term Heterosexism threw me.   Someday liberalism is going to have to publish the official Dictionary of Liberal Terms. 

Maybe racism is behind the Oscars snubs

But not the kind we think.  The kind that says blacks and their stories are valuable only insofar as they advance the narratives and agendas that we support.  A different, and interesting, take on the great Civil Rights struggle of 2016. 

Liberalism in a nutshell: The Lennon Principle in action

John Lennon's hymn for the Baby Boomer cultural revolution, Imagine, gives a little insight into one of modern liberalism's biggest problems:

"Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can"

The emphasis is mine, but it reflects the accent Lennon puts on it when he performs the song.  You see, Lennon is already there in that secular liberal paradise.  He is just beckoning the rest of us to join the happy land.  But there is a problem.  Observe:

Did you notice that?  That's the official 'promotional clip' (later known to us youngsters as music videos) for the song.  That's Lennon and Yoko.  And that, dear children, is their home.  A sprawling, multi-million dollar English estate.  And that's his famous Steinway piano that was a birthday gift to Yoko in 1971.  Not bad for a fellow bidding the rest of us to imagine no possessions.  Personally, I have no problem imagining no possessions. The one struggling with the concept appears to be Lennon.

It never hit me about the song until the weeks following the 9/11 attacks.  During one of the many concerts and come-together events trying to bring America back from the brink, some country artist performed the song.  Forgive me, but I can't remember who, and not being a fan of country music, I wouldn't know where to begin.  Anyhoo, during his performance, when he came to that part, he sang it thus:

"Imagine no possessions
I wonder if we can"

Again, emphasis mine, but based on his own.  You see that?  He caught the hypocrisy of Lennon's statement.  And yet, so much of liberalism is just that.  Speaking the words.  You don't have to believe it or even live it, just speak the words.  You may not have a black friend in the world.  You may not even like blacks.  But if you accept the liberal narrative about Affirmative Action and other political ideals promoted by the modern Civil Rights Movement, that's all that matters.

And global warming?  Why, as long as you say you believe and are doing anything about it, that's OK.  That's what allowed Al Gore to yell at the rest of us and tell us we have to get radical in slashing our standards of living to save the planet.  Yet while he did so, he was able to wait around for his limo to take him to his private jet to fly back to his own multi-million dollar estate.

And it's the sort of thing that leads to this story.  San Francisco, the closest thing to a Vatican that American liberalism has, and the starting point for some of the most zealous promotion of liberal ideas and values, is moving those pesky homeless people in preparation for the upcoming Super Bowl.

I know, there could be legitimate reasons. But can you imagine some city in Texas or Montana doing the same for any reason at all, and not being blasted by the MSM and the liberal movement?  How does San Francisco get away with it?  Because, it speaks the words.  It embraces the ideals.  It says what is important to say and advocates that which is important.  Whether it actually lives up to it, especially the part about dealing with the poor and homeless around those high rolling Super Bowl fans, is pretty much anyone's bet.  And that's a major coup in the ideological grasping for control of our society because it almost makes how you actually live your life to be more or less irrelevant. 

With so much that defines modern and post-modern liberalism's hammerlock on the modern narrative, it's important to remember that sometimes those who aren't liberal are more liberal in their actions than the liberals who accuse them of hating the poor and babies.  And those liberals who speak the words and are celebrated for it?  Well, sometimes they may speak of a world with no possessions, but they do it with their nearly half million dollar Rolls Royce* in the driveway waiting to take them away. 

*The famous psychedelic paint job alone cost almost $30,000.00 in today's money. 

Hollywood producer makes bid for early retirement

Gerald Molen, who won an Oscar for the eerily disturbing yet inspiring Schindler's List, seems to be taking issue with the recent outcry against unworthy actors who were only nominated for Oscars because of the color of their skin.  The award for most obvious statement of the week goes to this little observation:

"There is no racism except for those who create an issue."

My only problem is that it extends well beyond the hallowed hallways of Tinseltown, and could easily describe most of the progressive media and Civil Rights movement over the last few years or so. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Pro-life Americans write your elected officials

And remind them of our expectations for pro-life citizens in a pro-abortion nation:
As we prepare to mark the 43rd anniversary of the fatal Roe v. Wade decision, thousands of you are already streaming into Washington, DC to stand up for the right to life. Whether you are walking the halls of Congress tomorrow or at home, I ask your help in letting Congress know what we expect. Although we were disappointed by Congress’ failure in December 2015 to pass even a modest measure to safeguard our freedom of conscience represented by the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, we are not giving up. We will continue to fight for conscience rights for all who reject abortion and we encourage you to keep standing with us. Please speak up for the conscience rights of pro-life health care providers today. Click here.

In his statement on the 43rd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Timothy Cardinal Dolan recently noted the “rising opposition of some political leaders to the very notion of the right of conscience on abortion. A few years ago, for example, President Obama pledged to defend the conscience rights of those who do not accept abortion, and his Administration assured us that longstanding federal laws protecting these rights must be fully enforced.  Yet in the final days of 2015, he and other Democratic leaders were unwilling to support the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, a modest measure to provide for effective enforcement of these laws...”

Tell Congress to enact the protections outlined in ANDA. Let’s make sure Congress can hear America’s majority voice loud and clear. Take action then tell as many people as you can to join us. Together we will be heard!

Amy McInerny
Executive Director

 P.S. For the full Action Alert click here.

My note here: If you were wondering, Bernie Sanders voted no on the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act as well. Just saying for Catholics who are suddenly enamored with, and are providing free publicity for, one of the least pro-life politicians in the field.   If not the least.