Thursday, March 31, 2016

A reminder that gay rights is not about rights at all

An educational poster
modified to keep it real
It is about crushing and eradicating the same.  Or at least the right to not conform to the Leftist gospel.  The Leftist gospel sees itself as unique and exclusive, and expects the laws of the world to mandate conformity.  That is why we have stories like this.

Now, the gay couple could have gone to any one of a thousand B&Bs for their "wedding".  There are B&Bs out there for the express purpose of accommodating gay sex and everything non-heterosexual. They could take their pick.  But this is not about equality.  If that were the case, they would push to end all restrictions on marriage for any reason.  They don't.  They have very clear ideas about who can and can't be married.  Just like all people throughout history.

Nor is it about tolerance or diversity.  Hardly.  Like most things associated with the Left, it is the opposite.  It is about demanding conformity and obedience under threat of retribution.  Just like the bakeries and photography studios who have fallen victim to the Leftist juggernaut, these places are sought after in order to make a public demonstration.  Even if they aren't deliberately picked, the couple could have - in the name of diversity and tolerance - simply shrugged, walked away, and found another place that would host them.

But seizing on the disproportionately high level of problems inherent to the non-heterosexual community that nobody ever seems to want to talk about, the couple is joined by the Leftist thought police in using the strong arm of the government to mandate conformity to legislated morality.  A very liberal thing to do, right?

No.  But a portent of things to come.  Because the Left has at its back so many informational industries, it can keep those who disagree with this off balance.  After all, would they support the B&B not hosting a black couple?  A Jewish couple?  A Christian couple?  And what can we say?  As soon as we accepted the premises of the Left, that being gay is something beyond anyone's control, we lost the battle.  And whether we can reverse the clock and regain the idea that humans aren't just evolved animals who are slaves to their DNA remains to be seen.

But as of now, another victory for the coming tyranny.  And another defeat for those who would resist the loss of freedoms and liberties that so many sacrificed so much over so many centuries to give us.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Andrew Cuomo treats Christians like we used to treat Communists

And Communists better than we treat Christians.  Because some still wish to hold to that laughable notion that men who are born men are actually men, and women born women are actually women - not even a Christian distinctive throughout most of history - Andy Cuomo has banned all non-essential state travel to the State that dares hold to traditional values.

This would be the same Cuomo who, just last year, visited Communist Cuba with high fives and much love.  Remember, the Secular Left hates Christianity and Christians.  Those Christians who are loved are those who abandon the faith and mold it to fit the gospel of the Left.  Then they are OK, but only until the Left takes the next step forward and some who still consider themselves in the Christian fold begin to waver.  Then it's the same all over.  They will either jettison another tenet of the Faith, or they will face the consequences.

It has nothing to do with right or wrong, good or evil.  That's why Cuomo can embrace Cuba with hope and optimism despite all of its horrors.  Communism is to the Left.  It's already on the right path.  That makes it OK.  A Communist nation slaughtering a hundred million people is merely a bump in the road, an unfortunate freakish exception to the rule of Leftist superiority.

But a Christian who fails to follow the Left or stands outside of its parameters is lower than the dirt. Hence NC grasping for the last straws of traditional, Judeo-Christian values.   I'm sure the same goes for Jews, Muslims and others who fail to embrace the indoctrination of the Left.  But right now, it's Christians leading the charge, and its them and their states facing the wrath of liberal tolerance.

One more reason to like Jeremy Irons

If his unfortunate stint in the suffering movie Dungeons and Dragons can be ignored, Jeremy Irons is typically an actor who can do no wrong.  Even in movies of less quality, he shines.  Add this to the reasons why liking him is so easy, beyond merely his talents as an actor.  Turns out he's no fan of abortion. And he says so.  As an actor.  Naturally tolerant and diversity loving abortion activists swoop in with vulgarities and petty insults.  But then, when you're defending the right to slaughter and dismember babies, I'll grant you a little slack in trying to find more credible retorts.  Well done Mr. Irons.  I must watch The Mission in tribute to your courage for standing against sin.

When Working Whites are Angry Whites

Why is it when white people flock to someone like Bernie Sanders, or are jockeyed for by Hillary Clinton, it's the White Working Class?  When white people flock to Trump or just about anyone in the GOP field, it's Angry White Voters (usually men)?  Ever notice the difference? I'm sure I know the reason why.  But it's always fun to see the obvious played out in front of us.

Why smart people distrust liberalism

Is seen in the linked story.  The golden boy of socialist liberalism in the West, Canada's new, vibrant Prime Minister, has blocked a measure to continue funding Canada's Office of Religious Freedom.  This shouldn't be surprising.  The only thing that hates Christianity more than radical Islam is the secular Left.

I know.  I'm sure there could be some lame explanation as to why this means nothing and it's really nothing and all will be fine.  But since Canada is one of the many secular, socialist, liberal Western nations almost gleeful in its pride over punishing Christians for not being liberal, I think we can be sure any assurances are as empty as my savings account.

Which is why many who still retain some semblance of common sense are more than skeptical about such things as Bernie Sanders' socialist paradise.  We look at America's first real step toward that European Utopia, Obamacare.  What did that do?  Well, it created as many problems as it solved.  It did help some, but it hurt others (like my Mom).  It failed to resolve the main problem with healthcare costs: out of pocket expenses.  And it was used as a leftist Trojan Horse in order to undercut religious liberty via the HHS Mandate.

So 1) failure to solve the main problem, 2) creating as many difficulties as it helps, 3) and being used and exploited in order to compromise religious, and by extension all, freedom and liberty.  That was with just one, small baby step toward a European, Socialist dreamworld.  Given that this is the track record we have to work with, why on earth would anyone with more than two brain cells not be skeptical?  Unless, of course, such a regime of oppression and eradication of non-liberal rights is exactly what is desired.  Then I can see the attraction. 

God Bless Father Thomas Uzhunnalil

Again, if you get your news from the Television "All Trump, All the Time" media, you might have missed this gut-wrenching story.  In another freakish exception to the rule, Fr. Uzhunnalil was kidnapped by ISIS after they murdered four nuns at a seniors facility, was tortured, and then was crucified on Good Friday.

This is the first I've heard of it, and I follow print media as well.  It might be that this is now just being confirmed.  The story is dated March 28, but so far, I've not seen a single report on the news.  In any event, prayers be with him, those who loved him, and all Christians who are dying by the thousands and those dying by the tens of thousands in the face of Islamic violence and terror.

We are entering an age of persecution.  The Left seeks to eradicate our standing in the Dying West, and Islam is mounting attacks and killing believers by the thousands.  The remaining Communist states are increasing their open willingness to oppress and even imprison Christians who run afoul of their governments.  With the loss of standing in the last civilization capable of checking the all out oppression and persecution of believers, don't expect there to be any significant checks to the trend any time soon.

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"  Then a white robe was given to each of them: and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.    The Revelation, 6,9-11.

Believing the Resurrection

The linchpin of the Christian Faith.  As the Apostle Paul says, if there is no Resurrection then we are a pitiable brood to be sure.  Not that believing in the Resurrection is easy.  In our modern, secular world of electricity and smartphone apps, it is even more difficult.  After all, sometimes belief is a factor of meditation and reflection, and in our modern, breakneck pace, people seem to have little time for either.

That very lack of contemplation is seized upon by secularists and critics, by the way.  In an odd twist, modern atheism and skepticism seems to thrive on an age where people just don't see the need to waste time learning the details about whatever.  Give us Google and a brief skip through Wikipedia, and that should do the trick.  If we go that far.

So with such an approach, it's not hard to accept whatever sounds the most plausible at the moment, even if, on further reflection, there ends up being problems with this or that alternate explanation.  That the disciples were liars or just bought into a bunch of myths and changed the stories to fit their desires seems to make sense.  At least it makes sense if that's all the time I give to the subject before moving on to Facebook or my latest CSI episode.

On further reflection, however, the idea that the early believers were just a bunch of liars or simpletons who were duped by fabricated tales doesn't hold out as well as we might think.  Over at the always delightful Two Catholic Men and a Blog, the story of the Resurrection from the skeptic's POV is examined and unpacked.  As usual, once you think beyond the basic objection, common sense and practical experience begin to cast doubt on the doubters, and you're left with a much more plausible, and simple explanation.  That is, the Resurrection happened.

A little apologetic for a secular age during this fine Easter Season.  Hat tip as always to Two Catholic Men.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

America then and now

America that The Ten Commandments was made for
For Liberals, America is great despite its past. For Conservatives, America is great because of its past.  Those two approaches mark a fundamental distinction in how we approach the problems of our nation and the world.  That's not to say Liberals think all is wonderful today, though they tend to dismiss problems as the result of hangover from America's darker past.  Likewise, Conservatives realize not all was wonderful in the past, but unlike Liberals, they don't have past leftists to blame.  They merely say it was wrong and we're getting better.  Which is one way that Liberalism has the upper hand.  Any problems today can be the result of not being liberal enough.  While Conservatives must always admit that those in the past, for no other reason, were capable of bad things.

Nonetheless, the basic premise is that, from a Liberal point of view, there is little in the past worth longing for, that the here and now is at the cutting edge, and there's no reason to look backward except to find that obscure trail of liberal blood that points to the awesomeness of what liberalism proclaims today to be true.

From a Conservative point of view, however, there is much to lament.  Sure, things change.  Times change.  Change is inevitable.  And sometimes it is good.  But as often as not, it isn't good at all.  For the Conservative, change is known sometimes to be very, very bad.  And so the Conservative can look back and say there is much that was lost.  Much good that we should reclaim.  All was not bad, dark, vile and wrong.  There was good, no matter how flawed.  In fact, from the Conservative point of view, the bad of the past was the exception to the rule, not the defining characteristic.

So over at The American Catholic, we have a reminder of just what America once was.  From the Liberal, multi-culturalism point of view, there could be nothing worse.  New York hoisting crosses on skyscrapers for Easter?  Why, what about the Jews?  The Atheists?  The non-Christians?  How offensive and exclusionary could that have been!  That today groups would seek to eradicate crosses from a person's private property, on the other hand, must be seen as good.  After all, it's righting the wrongs of the past.  No matter how oppressive it may seem, it's a good thing, since the past was bad and any attempts to correct the badness of the past should be good.

I think it's time for Conservatives to reclaim the upper hand in the debate.  Stop apologizing for the past.  Instead of shuffling our feet and lamenting that it might have offended non-Christians to see such a thing, proclaim that it is the Truth, and therefore any offended should be the ones to rethink their position.  After all, the Left has no problem saying the same thing today.  It's simply Christians and Conservatives who are the ones told to accept the truth and change if they don't like it.  And for my money, I would rather fight for a change back to the better parts of the past, then roll over and endure the flaws and failings of the modern way.

The Religion of Peace

Monument to the Religion of Peace
For American liberals, European liberals, and the leftist propaganda organs, the verdict is clear:  Islam is a beautiful religion of beautiful people who have always just wanted to do beautiful things.  Occasionally, through some Himalayan sized number of freakish exceptions to the rule, some who incidentally happen to be Muslim do terrible things, but most often because of factors imposed upon them by the wicked Capitalist West and its bastard child America.

On the other hand, you have America.  A nation of eternal racism and bigotry, genocide and imperialism and the ongoing list of its hapless victims:  Billions of Native Americans.  Billions of African slaves.  Billions of Japanese babies. Billions of innocent Iraqis.  Why, the body count is endless.  Every day Americans are loping around like so many extras escaped from the set of The Walking Dead: killing Muslims and Arabs, blowing up Mosques, killing Imams.

That is the narrative.   And liberals, never ones to let a good lie of convenience slip through their hands no matter how unreal or demonstrably false it might be, slurp up the lies, falsehoods, half-truths and stupidity that is demanded in order to believe such a ludicrous story.

The bad news is that Dying Europe and America are officially in the basket of this delusional take on reality.  And there really isn't another force in the world capable of resisting the Islamic onslaught when push comes to shove.

The good news is that there are people in the world who see the stupid and are praying that somewhere, somehow, before it is too late Americans and Europeans will see the light.  They are not a bunch of white, racist neo-Nazis.  They are people from areas of the world where living in the shadow of Islam is not that garden paradise that the Left tries to portray.  Not that they see Islam in some radical, has-to-be-destroyed manner.  Those I've met from Eastern Orthodox churches who are from areas like the Middle East, like Syria and other places, see Muslims as their friends and neighbors.  But they see Islam for what it is.  Not for what the Left wishes it was.

In terms of curing the narrative, we have some resources, but it requires homework since our media, government, educational and cultural establishments are all bent on promoting the lies and ignorance needed to accept the untruths of leftist propaganda.  There are some sites, like this one, called "Religion of"  I can't vouch for it.  It seems to have done the footwork and research, and seems to back up its claims with actual facts and figures, many of which I have found over the years.

I've not done enough research on it to know about its overall agendas.  But so far, the stats and figures seem to match what is out there in terms of painting an alternate picture to the one presented to us by the Leftist State.  If it is true, even half so, then the picture is grim.  The number of Christians killed by Muslims, if the numbers are correct (and those I've checked so far seem to be), is over 10,000 since 2001.  Imagine if 10,000 Muslims had been killed by Christians because they were Muslim!

I know, I know.  Liberals will throw up "But what about Iraq!  We've killed millions there because they were Muslim!"  Well, no. We haven't.  Much of the death toll there was Muslims killing Muslims.  And we purposefully did not go into it to kill Muslims, but to stop states willing to support and aid terrorism back when 9/11 still mattered.  But even if Iraq and the whole war on Terrorism was simply a veiled attempt by the evil US and its wicked, racist Christian heritage to slaughter Muslims, then the most we could say is that Islam appears to be just as bad as the US and its wicked, racist Christian heritage.  And from the point of view of a Western liberal, there could be few verdicts more damning than that.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Ten Commandments still popular

I wish we could have seen it on the big screen!
Good to see.  All hope isn't lost.  I already wrote about how much I enjoy and appreciate the film.
 Last night, when we watched it on Easter on Blueray (quite a jolt of cinematic awesomeness let me tell you), we noticed just how many subtle nods to a Scriptural vocabulary are sprinkled through the movie.  We focus on the fictional love story and sexed-up elements meant to drag people away from the new invention of television.

But throughout the movie there are little statements here, or little scenes there, that all point to a Scriptural worldview that the 1950s audience would no doubt recognize faster than most post-moderns today.  A scene where the Hebrews break into temple granaries reminds one of David doing the same.  A scene in which a Hebrew slave dies in a mud pit, lamenting that he didn't get to see the Deliverer when Heston (Moses - the Deliverer) is holding him in his arms makes you think of Simeon.

So while there is plenty of pageantry and Hollywood embellishments, there are no more than modern Hollywood takes.  And many of the additions are for more noble ideas of freedom and equality than the millennial caterwauling that dominates today's ventures.

And you have the parting of the Red Sea.  What more can you want!

Nathan Deal cowers before the American Duma

The Leftist juggernaut, which is all about ending liberty and freedom in return for a brief dip in the sex and drugs laced bowl of proverbial stew, has scored another victory.  With the help of America's industries of Mammon and Moloch, once again liberalism wins one for the gulag by promoting tolerance at the end of a whip.

I don't fault Governor Deal. It was tough to stand up for Communism in America in the 1950s.  But far more difficult is it to stand up for traditional Judeo-Christian values in America in the 2010s. After all, plenty of the arts and culture world of the 50s was more than happy to heap scorn on the traditional American establishment, and help with Communist and Socialist friendly neo-pagans and hedonists of the day.  And of course, the more sex, the easier to sell and market, so it's not as if American industry was upset with attempts to overthrow the old Christian way.

Now, of course, the Left has those very forces behind it.  More than happy was the American marketplace to join Hollywood, Disney, and the media in calls for punishment and swift retribution on the people of the Peach State unless Georgia threw up its hands and pledged to help move the inevitable eradication of religious liberties one step forward.  It's how the Left wins.  No threat and no oppression is too great in order to impose its values, which it still laughably totes under the faux label of 'diversity and tolerance.'  

Pray for the Lahore Martyrs

If you follow the television news, you might have missed that over 70 were killed by Islamic terrorists on Easter Sunday in Pakistan.  That's because it wasn't somewhere in Western Europe.  Unlike Brussels, which saw the media shift even from their dogged devotion to Donald Trump in order to give near round the clock coverage for almost a week, this has already been relegated to second or third tier story rotation.

Again, it is a dangerous thing to base our understanding of reality on the media.  Its job is not to inform, but to advance an agenda diametrically opposed to the teachings and values of the Christian Faith.  While we can mourn with those who joined the world via the media's saturated coverage over the Brussels bombings, our prayers and thoughts and help should be no less driven over those who gave the last full measure of devotion to the Truth in Pakistan.

Why terrorism should change my life

Because it's as much a tragedy that Justin and Stephanie Shults from the United States died as it would have been if I had died.  And as an American, I try to remember that they were my neighbor, my kin in country.  As were all who were killed in Brussels.  But they were doubly so, since they were also fellow Americans, archaic as that phrase may sound.

I realize we don't want to fly into a panic over terrorism, or overreact, or shut down and refuse to live.  But going on as usual with the evil assurance that statistics show if terrorists strike, it will be some other poor, dumb family who suffers the loss is a verdict against our post-modern age, not a valid comfort based on realistic perspectives. After all, as much as we might hate to read what happened to that bright, happy couple, the fact that it was them and not me is one of the main selling points from our leaders over why I shouldn't get worked up and let terrorism change me.

If we're honest, we would admit that, despite the popular narrative, terrorism is thriving due to our post-modern detachments to anything beyond ourselves as much as it is to our overreactions.  In fact, it is our detachment, our willingness to shrug and accept whatever as long as it doesn't personally impact us, that the terrorists seem to be counting on the most.

I've often wondered if that's why since the Iraq Invasion it seems as though the insurgents went out of their way to cause casualties, but cause them on a limited basis.  It's why ISIS does what it does, periodically, with purpose, over the course of weeks and months.  No major attacks killing in the thousands that might jolt us into action.  Though 9/11 didn't do the trick.  No matter how many of us hoped that such a nightmare vision as watching the towers fall would jolt us back into a nation with something more on its radar than the next smartphone app, it just didn't do it.  But perhaps as long as terrorists keep the body count regular, but low, they can count on a civilization that actually takes mathematical assurance of others's deaths as a basis for comfort to be the civilization they ultimately can overcome.

I have no doubt that there will be a nuclear strike some day in the future.  I fear I will live to see it.  And yet, even then, I fear more that our complacent, apathetic society of perpetual denial will find a way to crunch the numbers and remind us that 20,000 people killed is still fewer than the number of people killed on the roads every year.  So go on and don't worry.  Focus on yourself. Know that even a nuclear strike will likely impact someone else.  Or something like it.

So yes, I want things to be different.  I want our lives to be different.  I want us to be every bit as shocked by the deaths of the Shultses as we should have been by 9/11 and that were on that sunny Sunday morning at Pearl Harbor all those decades ago. And I want us to be worried, not because it could happen to me, but because it will happen to somebody. If we were to break the chains of post-modern apathy, then who knows?  The prospects of eternal terrorism from the religion of peace might not seem so inevitable after all.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Christ is Risen!

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.   
Job 19.25

Saturday, March 26, 2016

On that filler day between Good Friday and Easter

We have what the old timers called The Harrowing of Hell.  That's when Christ descended into the Pit for those souls who had groaned for the coming of their salvation.  For much of the world, it's Saturday.  A day named after a pagan god, but one that fits the bill for a day of leisure, ball games, yard work, catching up on bills, or just doing what we can't the rest of the week.  But Christ wasn't about rest when all the world began moving on from the dramatic events the day before.  Just because the cameras packed up and went home, Christ still had work to do.  And so He does today.  And will tomorrow...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

"The darkest day in history was when Almighty God laid on His Son the sins of all mankind. And Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, carried our sins to the cross, suffered, and died. He paid the “wages of sin”—death. Even though it was midday, the world went totally dark for three hours as the Savior surrendered His life and died. He did it all so that those who trust in Him wouldn’t have to live in the darkness, bondage, and death sentence of sin. When He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), it was really just the beginning… The brightest day in history was coming—in just three days."
Franklin Graham

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Paul Krugman explains

The modern, or perhaps post-modern, approach to learning:  I know they have nothing valuable to say.   Do I read what they have to say?  No.  Of course not.  I know they have nothing valuable to say, so why read what they have to say?

Some atheists are also good at that approach.  I know religion is bunk, so why study it? Ironically, it's a very classic fundamentalist stereotype approach to being informed.  The only book I need is the Bible!  The only things I need to read are the things I know aren't worthless!

 And yet the popular narrative is that it's conservatives and religious types who are against learning.  No, apart from the aforementioned fundamentalist stereotypes, we're not.  We're against that type of learning that says 'since I already know I'm right, why bother listening to what people who are wrong have to say?'.

Matt Walsh stokes the fires

By stating what is obvious: that Christians don't believe we have our own belief that makes us feel warm and fuzzy.  We believe Christianity is True.  That's capital "T" True.  Just as much as gravity or bad reality TV, Christianity is not just our personal opinion.  In fact, it is merely a personal opinion that all religions are just personal opinions.  If that opinion happens to be false, then by definition at least some religious belief is, in fact, True.  It might not be a religious belief we've stumbled upon, but somewhere out there a religious belief is more than just belief, it is Truth.  

For too long Christians, beaten down by repeated stories of sadistic inquisitors and witch hunting pyromaniacs, have shied from making such a statement.  Browbeat by secularism and other religions into thinking that the claim to Truth is somehow horrific when Christians make it, too many believers have slunk into the shadows and meekly declared that Christianity is just what makes us feel warm and fuzzy, other warm and fuzzy beliefs are just as valid.

It's not surprising, though sadly typical, that a self-proclaimed Catholic jumps onto the thread and chastised Mr. Walsh for daring to say Christianity is True and other religions aren't.  That's about the size of it.  How long will Christians continue to labor under the illusion that we are the reason there is all suffering in the world, and only by backing down and accepting a non-Christian viewpoint of our own Faith can we bring peace to humanity?  Will it be too late when we realize that those who make such demands of Christians have a definite concept of Truth that they embrace and demand others do the same?  Will we figure that following such a course of action might well place the well-being and fortunes of future believers in seriously compromised positions?  

Only time will tell. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Will be scarce today, maybe tomorrow, and much of next week.  It's spring break in these parts.  I know, what homeschool break?   We try to give the boys a little break.  I'll keep up with things, but with that last piece I linked to, there is enough to ponder without me getting in the way.

We'll give ourselves a Lenten dispensation Saturday for our Irish Feast.  Today it's potato and leek soup with the obligatory Guinness.  Also my first try at baking soda bread.  Woo hoo!  Some Irish videos and maybe a lesson about St. Patrick will round out the fun.

Blessings on you all, and may we come together soon so I can learn a little more than I know, and perhaps point out something worth the reading.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Stop reading right now

OK, read the last post I put up today.  And then stop and read this.  Simply one of the best assessments of our crumbling society I've read.  Sure, it has the benefit of hindsight.  It also manages to make some predictions that, unless you are a blind optimist, will likely come true far sooner than we ever imagined.  But enough of my rambling.  Click the link.  Read it and read it again.  I'm going to, and then I might dare to add something at a later date.

The most powerful weapon of liberalism

Is its ability to dismiss yesterday's truth.  We see it in censorship.  Anyone my age remembers that when a record store wouldn't carry a Madonna album, or a radio station refused to play The Rolling Stones, it was Fascism! all the way.  Cries of Big Brother and McCarthyism abounded.

Those same progressives now have no problem boycotting or pressuring television shows or entertainers who say what they don't like.  They have no problem threatening people or companies who don't share their values.  Heck, they even support elected officials who try to use the government to legally eradicate free speech.

How do they do that?  Easy.  They have the media and the popular culture to back them up.  For most of the history of educational institutions, popular and artistic culture, and journalism, those institutions were cutting edge.  They were there to critique the powers that be.  They were there to undercut, poke fun at, and even seriously challenge the status quo.  If you think about the history of Western Civilization, how many bold breakthroughs against the establishment do we attribute to movements that found common cause with the artists, the writers, the poets, the educators and intellectuals of bygone days?

But not today.  In a rare turn of events, and unheard of in the brief history of Democratic societies, those institutions are now almost fully behind and supportive of a particular philosophy and political establishment.  Therefore, when someone who they deem to be part of that movement or establishment does or says anything convenient, it becomes part of the cultural landscape.  And when it is no longer convenient, it is able to be dismissed out of hand.  That was yesterday's Truth. Or it doesn't count. Or there is some reason why it's different.  Or through the constant pounding of propaganda, we're convinced that there is a new absolute morality that should punish hate and evil as currently defined.  With the threefold cultural venues behind you, it's easy to redefine just what constitutes the hate and evil that is the exception to the tolerance and diversity rule.

So as the GOP struggles against Obama's well played hand, if anyone thought appealing to Joe Biden's previous statements was going to give them that ace in the hole, think again.  Already, the press is leaping ahead of most Democrats to explain why what the Democrats pondered in 1992 clearly doesn't apply today.  As it never does.  Just like the post-Bork progressives who, in 1993, asked why couldn't we set aside partisanship and just get along.  Or the progressives who blasted and assaulted the last two popes who now make it an egregious sin to do anything less than celebrate and fall behind the current pope.

You can't fight a movement that is always one step ahead of its own standards.  You certainly can't do it when the institutions that define a culture are prepared to play by the same non-rules.  Using principles and truth against a movement willing to flaunt its disdain for either gives you the handicap every time.  

As an aside, I can't help but think that is part of the reason for the frustration and anger from the non-Left.  It's one thing to be bested in a contest.  It's another to lose to cheaters.  And when you see the Democrats barely have to lift a finger because everything across the pop culture and media world will rush ahead to twist and turn the last principles in order to win the moment, that can be beyond frustrating.  Just as losing to any cheater always is frustrating.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Of sports and human nature

[Note; This is a former post.  I don't usually re-post things I wrote back when, but given how easy it is to get sucked into the negative this election year where behavior and fealty to political theory seem to be battling it out, I thought I'd re-post this one.  It's a reminder that us humans are both good and bad, and it brings back memories and an important lesson I learned that, every now and again, I need to remember]

One of my readers (and ahem, a frequent commenter, all you other readers out there), wrote this about the heartwarming Cornhusker story I posted a couple days ago:
Some days you wonder what God could possibly see that makes us worth saving.
Some days, you get an answer.
That's so true.  Mark Shea once said people are part angel, part alley cat.  He's right.  The story of Christianity is a story of sinful people created in the image of God, going through history within the Body of Christ in a fallen world.  And with that combination, anything can happen and it always does.  For better or worse.

The rest of humanity is there as well.  Doing good, doing bad, sometimes both.  Sports is a wonderful arena for this observation, since you can see both the pits and the heights of humanity.  In my pastor days, I used to use an illustration of two Ohio State Football games.

It's known that I'm a Buckeye fan, though my football fanaticism has diminished a bit since the University decided to screw the less well off alumni to make a buck.  Still, I follow the team. Back when my wife and I went each year (now I take one of the boys), we saw two examples of human nature, one good, one rather naughty.

The first case. The Horseshoe, OSU's football stadium, is one of the most iconic venues in all of sports.  You can't miss it.  Even when they renovated it, they had to do so around its basic design and original framework (they weren't going to, but the outcry convinced them).  Still, when they measured the seats, they couldn't have had anyone over the age of four as models.  Not only are they narrow, but the aisles in front of the seats would challenge a Hobbit's finesse.

Once my wife and I were there, in the South Stands (that's the area that closes 'the Shoe', usually stacked with alumni/students).  There was a group of boisterous  rather burly fellows about two rows in front of us. They were also, shall we say, opinionated about then coach John Cooper's abilities.  They weren't all together, they had come in separately  usually by twos (as most alumni tickets are only for two people).  But they made one pretty raw cheering section.  Not only did they look imposing, but their language was definitely not drawing room fashion, as Tolkien would put it.

So during the game, a young mother and her little girl were there.  They had gone to the concession stands while the game was going.  If you wait until halftime, it's not worth it because of the lines.  She had her hands full.  The little girl was in front, trying to get through the packed aisle.  As anyone knows, it's almost impossible.  Little girl that she was, she was stumbling about as her mother tried to encourage her along.  All of a sudden, one of the fellows, sporting a bright scarlet and gray jersey, reached down and grabbed the little girl.

He hoisted her up, and then handed her to the fellow sitting beside him.  That fellow grabbed her, whipped her around playfully, and handed her to the next fellow, a brawny cuss that didn't even come with him.  That fellow did the same, and on, and on.  All the way down the aisle the little girl was handed to the next fellow, as she increasingly laughed and giggled at the ride.   Though the fellows weren't even together, nor were they the types I'd want to cross in a dark alley, without being told they just fell into place and helped the mother and her little girl, much to the girl's delight.  I wonder if the little girl remembers that like I do.  Not only did it teach a lesson about judging people by outward appearances or behavior, it was a wonderful demonstration of a little cup of cold water, just a nice act of random kindness.

A couple years later, we were at the OSU vs. Penn State game.  Penn State was never a favorite team anyway.   We were in the north section, and relatively low since we'd been getting tickets for enough years to warrant better seats (that being before the great Alumni screwing).  Well, OSU was having its way with Penn State.  But even though the weather was chilled, and it was getting late, and there was no way short of God suiting up and running the ball for Penn State that we were going to lose, my wife and I stayed.

The stands were emptying out.  And we began inching our way closer to the field.  My Dad used to take me to OSU games when a friend would give him tickets.  But he never stayed.  He hated the traffic, and refused to stay the whole way through, so I suppose it's because of that I stay until well past the end of the game.  So stay we did.  It was getting on toward the end, and we were able to stretch out and actually relax a bit, due to the emptying seats.

And then, the sum of all football fears happened.  During one of the plays, a Penn State player went down.  And there he stayed.  He didn't move.  Whenever there is an injury in football for more than a few moments, things begin to hush.  And this got bad.  Minutes ticked away, and still he didn't move.  That's bad.  That's real bad.  Ten minutes passed and he hadn't moved.  An emergency vehicle was brought in and he stayed where he was.  We knew then that this was a worst case scenario.  The stadium, emptying out thought it was, still had tens of thousands of fans in the seats.  And you could hear a feather drop.  It's as if the entire place was holding its breath.

And then, almost out of nowhere, and cutting the air like a rusty knife, a lady sitting behind us I hadn't even noticed spoke up.  I was watching the field and didn't see her, but I heard her.  I can still hear her opening statement: "I know this will sound bad..."  I knew what she was about to say, without doubt.  And I said to myself 'dear Lord lady, don't say what I think you're going to say.'  But she did: "At least it happened to their team and not ours, we've had enough problems this year."

Folks who know me know I don't get pulled into arguments.  Despite sometimes hashing things out on the
blogosphere, I'm not inclined to get into big debates.  Perhaps it's true about the Internet, it's a place where we act in ways we wouldn't otherwise.  Even when people try to pull me in, I usually avoid arguments and keep my opinions to myself.  Unless I'm feeling mischievous, or, on rare occasion,  something is so cold, so devoid of goodness, that it demands a reaction.  And this was such a time.

I swung around and looked at her.  She was actually an older woman, though wearing her graying hair long, and dressed as she was, apparently it was a fact she wasn't ready to concede   She sat there with her husband, who said nothing.  I stared at her and she at me.  Then I said, "He's some mother's son."

Certain things, apparently, can strike a nerve.  And I guess my small statement struck a nerve.  She unloaded on me, informing me that she, too, was a mother.  Her husband said nothing.  I wanted to fire back and say that's why she should have kept her big, fat mouth shut, since she should understand the terror and unbelievable panic that the young man's parents were no doubt feeling.  But, again, I don't get pulled into things like that.  I said my part, and turned around to watch the events unfold.

But I've never forgotten that.  I can still remember the chill, the darkening skies, the hush in the stadium.  And I remember a woman who could only think about how it affected her precious sports team, even while the life of a young man slipped away in front of us.  Gladly, Adam Taliaferro didn't die, but survived.  He was paralyzed, and would undergo unending treatments and therapy before he was ever close to normal.  I'm happy to say that the story has had a better ending than we could have imagined that day, back on September 23, 2000.

Nonetheless, that lady didn't know it at the time, and chose to focus on the most superficial thing imaginable  while what really mattered - the life and health of a fellow human being - was in the balance.  And yet, I also remember that little girl, getting a free ride by a bunch of hulking, boisterous football fans who decided to do a small, kind thing for a young mother and her child.  Us humans are funny that way.  Just when you lose all hope, you see those still, small voices of God through the most insignificant acts that bring you completely around to remembering what we're here for.  Yes, there will be plenty of bad times, bad actions, evil deeds.  But if we're not careful, we may sometimes miss the small good deed in a weary world.  And that would be a shame.

And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward."

One of the endearing qualities of the Left

Has always been its ability to cry about how petty Conservatives are when they focus on things like birth certificates or where Obama's middle finger was when he scratched his eye.  Then, of course, in response to Rubio's decision to drop out of the race, they have no problems with:

The water bottle.  Wow.  It's been almost a week since I heard them mention that event from years ago.  It reminds me of the famous P-O-T-A-T-O disaster of Dan Quayle.  Even though we were a bunch of non-religious, self-proclaimed liberals, my roommates and I said give a break with the round the clock coverage of that scandal.  The man made a mistake, move on.

Of course we have the famous George H. W. Bush gaff when he said Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec 7, 1981.  As if he didn't really know the date since he was actually in the war.  Yet the pre-24 hour cable news gave that at least a good weeks' worth of coverage.  And can we forget the jelly bean panic of Reagan's first months in office?  I remember the evening news running a story on the negative example Reagan is setting for kids by having jelly beans on his desk.

But when anyone who does't conform to liberalism makes the slightest gaffe, expect it to go into the chronicles of conservative losers and be brought up time and again for years to come.  Sigh. That is one of the Left's biggest aces up its sleeves.  Do in spades what you cry about others doing at all.

As an added bonus, this little comments section demonstrates what my boys meant when they said Donald Trump is the candidate the Facebook generation deserves.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Another fine piece on the influence of George Martin

One of those people, like Gary Gygax of Dungeons and Dragons fame, whose influence of our modern popular culture is probably light years beyond what most people can imagine.

Marco Rubio and Rod Dreher and the obvious

Who is to blame for Trump?   Who is to blame for the meltdown we're watching?  In a nutshell, it's us.  Rubio explains as well as anyone has:

Bravo.  He's not ready yet.  Not yet.  Give him another four to eight years and, assuming all things equal and a party left to nominate him, he could be that leader we've been waiting for.  But he nails it for today.

Rod Dreher also puts a rather Christian spin on it.  Takeaway quote:
As it was in the 14th century, is now, and ever shall be. Human nature does not change. Yes, American institutions have failed. A lot of this stuff really is Somebody Else’s Fault. Big business. Big government. The Republicans, the Democrats. The media. The leaders. The followers. The blacks, the whites, the men, the women, Hispanics, gays, Christians, Jews, Muslims, academics, workers, and on and on.
Yep,  It's almost impossible to believe that such a statement would pass the censors today.  But it's true.  There's not a one of us who hasn't been part of the problem somehow.  And the biggest problem of all is that group that will inevitably nod yes to the statement, and then proceed to blame them over there.

It's us.  As Rod says, the Orthodox are now in their season of Lent, as Catholics are starting to look at the end of the tunnel.  But we're all in it now, and there is no better time to repent and realize that we have all played a part.  Not in some hollow, shallow, meaningless word drool that says 'I'm responsible', but then goes on with the usual partisan rhetoric about it being them.  But realizing when we say we're all responsible, we mean we, us, our guys, are the ones who are responsible.  And that means all sides, including the Right, the Left, and that popular Post-Modern 'I'm not part of a Tribe' tribe.

The sooner we admit it, and actually act and live as if we mean it, the quicker we might be able to stop the train from going over the cliff.  If not for ourselves, then at least for our posterity.
“Out of every crisis, every tribulation, every disaster, mankind rises with some share of greater knowledge, of higher decency, of purer purpose. Today we shall have come through a period of loose thinking, descending morals, an era of selfishness, among individual men and women and among Nations. Blame not Governments alone for this. Blame ourselves in equal share. Let us be frank in acknowledgment of the truth that many amongst us have made obeisance to Mammon, that the profits of speculation, the easy road without toil, have lured us from the old barricades. To return to higher standards we must abandon the false prophets and seek new leaders of our own choosing.”      FDR’s 1932 Inaugural
How the faithful city has become a harlot, She who was full of justice! Righteousness once lodged in her, But now murderers. Your silver has become dross, Your drink diluted with water. Your rulers are rebels And companions of thieves; Everyone loves a bribe And chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, Nor does the widow's plea come before them.  Isaiah 1.21-23 
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.  And Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."  Luke 13.1-5 
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.   2 Chronicles 2.14
By "my people", I'm increasingly convinced the Lord means me.

Monday, March 14, 2016

It's pi day!

But since we are Fasting from such luxuries as pies for Lent, I thought I would post this instead:

Ouch.  In order, that was me at 18, 2, 15, -14, 15, 9, 19, 13 and 12.  Excuse me, my back is starting to hurt.

What Pope Francis actually says

Is a simple, pastoral, pretty much traditional message that we are all sinners.  Despite this, however, we are all beloved of God and can be redeemed from the bondage of our sinfulness by God's grace through Jesus Christ.

Simple stuff.  I hope I can focus on hearing that when Pope Francis talks.  It seems worth more than a treasure in a field.  Certainly worth more than winning an argument on Social Media.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Guns never protect

They only kill.  Gun Rights (and other liberty) activists would rest easier, and be more willing to talk, if those who oppose them didn't constantly trot out tired, worn out arguments that are demonstrably false.  Mention that guns can be used to protect the innocent, and expect to get laughed at.  Mention that someone in your very part of the country stopped a neighbor's home invasion, and if it wasn't on the National News, you'll be called a liar.

So we have this little tidbit.  Looks like a citizen for responsible gun ownership was shopping when a crazed attacker rushed into a store with a machete.  The citizen for responsible gun ownership was able to stop the attacker.

I realize we don't know the details.  I know something could come out where the gunman was the villain and the machete wielding attacker was the victim.  But right now, it looks like that citizen for responsible gun ownership turned out to be quite the hero.  Given that his actions betray the Media narrative, I hope he has a spotless record going back to about his 6th month of life, because if he has done anything wrong, the media will find out.  Especially if this gets picked up on the national level.

If it's true, however, then I'll be those who were spared from the machete wielder's attack will be more than happy that at least one person bucked the narrative and dared to suggest that guns, in the hands of the right people, can actually save lives, rather than be instruments for indiscriminately taking them.

I didn't know this

Chopsticks is an actual song. Well, I knew it was. I just didn't know it was written by a classical version of a 'one hit wonder.'  That makes me feel better.  At least there's one piece of classical music I can play.

When Harvard is important:

When Harvard is not important:

This is not an endorsement.  It's just an observation. I remember well the discussions about Franken's credentials.  Amazing how something like 'he went to Harvard' is supposed to mean 'you can't criticize him because he is brilliant!'   As opposed to meaning, well, apparently nothing at all.

The Trump riots

A sane take.  Michael Flynn reminds us that the prospect of people, largely young postmodern liberals, storming venues and shutting down debate, and even threatening speakers they don't like, is not something that started last week.  It's been going on for years now, and increasingly our institutions of higher learning have begun to rethink the value of higher learning in order to appeal to these rather tolerantly intolerant youth.

Not to say Trump doesn't deserve some of the blame.  I think he does.  But we certainly can't - and shouldn't - act as if this is some fluke, that Trump just stepped into a down home culture of polite and civil discourse and suddenly started flinging verbal chairs around the room.  That's as wrong as those who try to act like the world on August 5, 1945 was on the brink of living out the Messianic peace of the Thrice-Holy God when all of a sudden BAM!, the racist US flew in a nuked them some babies because Racism!

That type of narrative, by the way, is probably as much to blame for what we are seeing, if not more, than either Trump or the protesters.  Just my opinion.

In case you forgot that America once allowed slavery

There's a new 10 episode series reminding us of the fact.  I realize that for many, it's probably been at least a day since we were reminded that America legalized slavery, or persecuted Native Americans, or rounded up Japanese Citizens, or discriminated against minorities, or didn't allow women to vote, or opposed Catholic immigrants, or embraced antisemitism.

So a series like this is healthy.  It's good that a nation remember its sins.  In fact, I'm pretty convinced that the only thing a nation should do is remember its sins.  That certainly appears to be the going assumption.

It's worth noting, however, that focusing exclusively on the sins of the past appears to be a pretty Western approach.  Other countries, cultures and religions don't seem to do that.  I've been reading various books on the history of Islam.  Books written by Muslims or those supportive of Islam.  And do you know what?  They will mention times when Muslims did bad things.  But only as asides.  In fact, I have to dig and study to find details about the various events they reference.  Sure, they'll mention oppression of minorities here, or slavery there, or brutal wars of extermination over there.  But they only mention them as matter of fact, and often as an afterthought.

Usually, once the sentence or two about the various violent or oppressive moments is mentioned, the rest of the sections go on to praise and adore the Muslims at the time, their contributions, their positive influence on history, and on and on.

In texts about American history, or the history of Europe, it's just the opposite.  When anything positive is mentioned at all, it's quickly shoved aside to focus on the failings, the problems, the evils, or whatever.  Something, by the way, that the books I've read on Islam are also happy to do.  In fact, the book I'm currently reading makes it clear: all of those things the Catholic Church likes to claim credit for, like education, universities, hospitals?  Nah.  Those are straight from Islam.  Europeans just stole the ideas.

So in keeping with the West's modern approach, it's good that we are reminded, yet again, that America owned slaves.  We shouldn't allow ourselves to go too long without reminding ourselves about our sad, sad history. Heck, I'm not sure at this point if we should focus on anything else.  After all, why should we be any different than other civilizations and cultures who appear to want to do the same?

Mom was wrong

Apparently two wrongs do make a right.  The always wonderfully articulate TM Lutas explains. I'm the first to say Trump deserves some blame for the problems he's gotten himself into.  I have to admit, Hillary is correct. When you play with matches, you might just start a fire you can't control.

Unfortunately, in many ways Trump is the fire that decades of liberal disdain for good old fashion common sense and common values has gotten us.  Remember, these are the same liberals who praise Bill Maher, or Jon Stewart, or Dan Savage simply because they advocate the awesomeness of liberalism.  Despite the fact these esteemed pundits have been known to say things I can't imagine Trump saying.

So Hillary is correct.  But it applies as much to the Left as to anyone.  So in addition to that point being missed, the Left adds to the error by refusing to do the right thing by condemning those protesters who are following the modern Leftist desire to shut down freedom of speech and expression.  They can still blame Trump, that's fair.  I certainly won't expect them to blame themselves.

But the can blame those who were clearly in the wrong.  If there's anything the Left has taught us when trying to look at America's heroic past, it's that both sides of a conflict can be equally wrong.  Now would be a good time for them to show they really mean it, rather than simply use it to attack and bring down those traditions they hate and want to replace with their own brand of tyranny and oppression.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

To those who are outraged at the Trump culture

Please note.  If you are sending around partisan posts that include memes from Daily Kos, featuring the crusade to boycott Rush Limbaugh, you are part of the problem. Daily Kos is nothing other than a radical leftist version of the worst of Right Wing media.  Either renounce them all, or learn to accept them all and work with what we have.  As long as we turn blind eyes and ears to sources we agree with that are about the very things we condemn in others, we ensure the problems will continue.  

Friday, March 11, 2016

I would blame Trump entirely

If this was the only time I've seen this happen.  As it stands, I think Trump and the culture he has fostered deserves some of the blame.  But make no mistake, there is no greater threat to freedom or no movement more dedicated to eradicating the free exchange of ideas in an open and Democratic society than the modern Left.  This scene is playing out more and more, and increasingly with support from the institutions of authority in our country.  So blame Trump?  Sure, he deserves part of it.  But don't for a second take our eyes off the ball and forget where the greatest threat to our liberty is coming from.

Oh, and one more thing.  I know some will fire back with "Sure Dave, but Conservatives do the same thing.  They protest.  They boycott.  They call for speakers to be cancelled."  Sure they do.  They always have.  Because Conservatives traditionally believed in absolute morality and a nation's right to have a common set of values that the population should be expected to follow.  Conservatives were not the ones who strutted like peacocks under the lofty banner of free thinking, diversity, tolerating ideas, subjective morality and the eternal need to respect opinions and beliefs of others.  The Left gained tremendous footholds in our society under the pretense of those standards.  Now, of course, we can see just how committed the Left was to those standards it still demands of others.

Fair enough

An article of repentance for the Trump phenomenon.  I won't say that Conservatives, Republicans, and Christians don't share responsibility for the specter of Trump in the White House.  Democrats and liberals and the media and Obama and Clinton and on and on do as well.  Trump, as my boys rightly say, belongs to the 21st Century American Facebook generation.

Nonetheless, there are good point to be made in the article.  The best is calling out that strange tendency Conservatives have had of doggedly defending the Free Market and Capitalism to such an extent that they end up defending those who abuse it, use it, and exploit it to advance all of the things Conservatives - especially Christians - find most abhorrent.

Despite the fair points and my agreement that Conservatives deserve some of the blame for Trump, that does not mean I therefore conclude that we must embrace Liberalism and Secular Progressive ideals in all their glories except for a couple unfortunate sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance with which we can lovingly and politely disagree.  We do not have to say that Liberalism and the Gospel are one and the same, nor that only by accepting Socialist ideals and the principals of dying, Secular Europe can we be saved.

Nope.  Clean house, admit where we failed or were wrong or blind, and change.  Take what liberalism has to say that is correct and find ways to incorporate it into the principles that have always made leaning on the roots of our beliefs better than chasing the latest fad.

And they should be worried

It's unlikely that the attack was some random event that had nothing to do with this being an Arabic television outlet.  It could be. But best to assume that the attacker had other motives, and that could help track down the suspect and thwart other attempts at violence.

See how easy it is?  So next time a Muslim or Muslim convert walks into an office and opens fire in the name of Islam to honor the Prophet, can we stop banging our heads on the wall and wondering if it could be because the suspect could have played violent video games?  Could we then make the obvious first assumption and go from there?

I'm fine with it, as long as it's consistent.  If it isn't - either direction - then it's simply two sides of the bigotry coin.


Hat tip to Michael Flynn.

The Huffington Post is good enough to demonstrate

What I was referring to here.  Notice the shock, the awe, that indignation that Conservative Catholics could - horror of horrors! - prefer the Trumpster over their own beloved, wonderful Pope!  Yeah, I'm a little bothered by that myself, assuming it is true as stated.

But I was no less bothered by Catholics on the other side of the aisle that, by the same description in the article, apparently preferred Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama, or any one of a million non-Catholic leftists who advocated for the sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance, rather than fall in line behind Popes Benedict XVI and PJPII.

You see how easy it is?  Consistency.  Again, no problem with Catholics who disagree with this or that pope, assuming it isn't over dogma or established doctrine (and even then, struggles and questions are appropriate).  But when we see the media running about, dribbling down its legs over how horrible it is that these American Conservative Catholics would dare fall behind someone else over the Pope, and the ensuing age of Sorrows that will commence, I have to admit, I almost barf.

Really.  Is there no shame?  These are the people who once all but venerated anyone who railed against JPII, or Benedict, no matter how brazenly and disrespectfully it was done.  This is a site that had no problem running editorials that eviscerated those two popes with no apology.  This, and others, frequently praised those Catholics bold enough to claim fealty to the Church and then launch full salvos at the popes over such cherished issues as the right to abort the hell out of ten million babies for more orgasms, or promoting gay sex and loose sex in an era of 30 million dead from AIDs, or laughing at the notion that the Church's freedoms shouldn't be crushed to provide me with more contraceptives.

I give you the Left, and all of its hypocrisy.

I love history

Not the stuff you see discussed on Cable News, many Facebook pages, or in 83.4% of the books in the "History" section of Barnes and Noble.   I mean real history.  Studying the texts, examining the source material, gleaning from multiple historians past and present.  Which is why it's always a joy to read the history posts over at The American Catholic.  Take this one.  I admit, I've not spent much time reading or studying the Confederate Constitution.  It just never came up.  Though I admit, the American Civil War is not one of my favorite subjects.  Still, it's history.  And a far more complex history than our post-modern Social Media generation is willing to admit.  So grab a cup of English breakfast tea, sit back, and have a read.  It's worth it.

You mean we can criticize Pope Francis?

Wow, I never imagined.  In a splendid piece over at Crux, we're reminded that it's actually OK to disagree with the Pope.  Sure, if the Pope says there is a God and you object, it might be time to consider rethinking your faith walk.  But not everything the Pope says is ex cathedra, and not every person who disagrees with the Pope is a Church hating, Jesus hating heretic.

That's not to say there aren't those who disagree with Pope Francis who don't need to work out some issues. But it is to say that whether bishops, priests or laypeople, we can actually differ with the Pope.  We can look at what the Pope says and disagree.  And we can do so while still loving Jesus and following Church teaching.

The funny part about this is the people who are suddenly outraged at anyone who criticizes Pope Francis.  The media and progressives all of a sudden seem to have this notion that a proper Catholic falls completely in line with the pope and does nothing other than pledge allegiance to anything and everything the pontiff says.  As the article rightly points out, that would be the same ones who all but lionized critics and rebels who constantly stood against previous popes like JPII and Benedict XVI.

But that's not something new.  Just like after 12 years of fighting, clawing, blocking, attacking, stalling and obstructing Reagan and Bush, progressives and the media turned on a dime and said it was time to put all that partisanship behind us.  The year was 1992.  No doubt a cosmic coincidence.

So given the track record of those who are now saying the pope must be worshiped and obeyed, it might be time for people to realize their opinions on the matter are not worth that much.  In the end, within limits, a Catholic of good faith and love of Christ can actually disagree with the pope.  And if you think this is a radical concept, just as the Apostle Paul for a second opinion.

Democratic attempt to stop religious liberty bill is defeated

Well done Mighty MO GOP.  Remember, there is a darn good reason that most non-liberals are highly skeptical of the new 'Socialism - what could go wrong?' fad.  The tendency of the Left to come clean about its contempt for the right to not be liberal is getting more flagrant with each passing day.  It's nice to know there are still some out there fighting the fight.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Speaking of Harry Potter

At the Imaginative Conservative, we have a reminder that Harry Potter is steeped in Christian imagery.  Of course it is.  So is Cool Hand Luke.  It's the underlying messages and the prism through which the imagery is filtered that allows me to recommend it, but only with an asterisk.  Those who throw out all obvious filters of Rowling's clearly European Liberal interpretive template forget that Jack Chick, Gene Robinson, and Rudolf Bultmann also communicated in ways steeped in Christian imagery.  And yet, I think we'd agree that there are some big differences there.

A good article about Sir George Martin

Compliments of the New York Times.  Worth the read.

Could The Remnant have a point about Fr. Longenecker?

As I said here, as long as people like Fr. Longenecker, Patrick Madrid, Simcha Fisher, Steven Greydanus, and other celebrities of the Internet Catholic Apologetics world continue to give high fives to Mark Shea, who in my opinion has become nothing other than a Catholic version of Jack Chick, they have no reason to launch salvos at arbitrarily chosen targets like The Remnant.

As for the argument at hand, I'm not saying I agree with The Remnant or would always take its side.  Truth be told, I don't visit there much.  Who knows?  Maybe everything Fr. Longenecker said about The Remnant, how it compares to the worst stereotypes of Protestant Fundamentalism, and why it's a problem, is spot on accurate.

My issue is that many of the same complaints could be said about Mark Shea.  I don't mean these people have to call out Mark if they are good friends and buddies.  Though truth be told, if I was Mark's friend or buddy, I'd do everything in the world to call him out to stop and change what he has become.  That's up to them.

But can they please stop running around denouncing Trump here, and Rad Trads there, and over there the dreaded Fundamentalists?  Almost nothing they say about those individuals or expressions of Christianity couldn't easily be said about Mark and so many of his followers.  If they aren't going to call out Mark, then they should keep silent about the subject altogether.  If, however, they feel compelled to step forward and offer what they feel is just criticism, that's fair.  But make sure it's done across the board and includes all - and I mean ALL - noteworthy examples.

Otherwise, they themselves could become guilty of one of the things they are quick to condemn various 'fundamentalists' for, and that's cherry picking the truth at hand.  And nothing says 'opinion over truth' faster than cherry pickers.  That's something I learned in dealing with Protestant Fundamentalists, BTW.

Not to say Hitler was good

But he did do a few good things at first.  Remember when that statement marked the end of Marge Schott's reputation?  If you don't remember, allow me to post a little blast from the past.   Yeah, that was the end.  Das ende.  And it would be for just about anyone.

Of course we're all aghast that Trump, after disavowing the KKK more than once, stumbled when asked a third time if he did.  That proves he loves the KKK and his followers are bigots, and by extension the majority of Conservatives who haven't voted for him are all racists.   That's how it works for Conservatives.

Let's look to the left of center to see how it compares. Last night, during the Democratic Agreements, this little clip was played:

It was obviously a 'gotcha' moment.  The press is worried sick about a Sanders nomination.  Not that it loves Clinton.  It doesn't. It would rather have had Biden to work with.  But between the two, they'll pick Clinton.

Why?  Because at the end of the day, a radical, pro-culture of death Socialist with good things to say about Soviet satellite countries will pose a problem with most Americans in a general election.  So this was put out in front of a Latino focused debate in order to hamstring him.  Despite the Media narrative of the Left, not all who are against Castro and Communist of Cuba are evil, white, racist Conservative American men.  Believe it or not, one or two Cuban immigrants are also mighty unhappy with the Castro regime.

We'll see if it does any harm to Sanders, or if Clinton's inherent Cruz-like abrasive personality mixed with her almost unequaled level of corruption and scandal will save the day for Bernie.  Right now the focus is on how Sanders responded and how Hillary answered.  There is no 'I can't believe he said something about one of the most oppressive, murderous regiemes in the hemesphere over the last 50 years!'

Which illustrates an interesting point.  One of the powers of the Left, beyond its ability to replace the Gospel with its own philosophies and ideals, is its ability to cleave unto whatever is to the left of center, no matter how horrible.  That's not to say the Left cheers the Stalinist regime, or the death toll of Communist China, or the Khmer Rouge.  It doesn't.  Though in each case, good Leftist hermeneutics blames each of those reigns of terror somehow on America or the Democratic West.

But even as it does renounce the abuses, it has no problem trying to find whatever seeds of goodness it feels are associated with those nations' ideologies.  After all, many on the Left believe that Communism, or Socialism, is the only appropriate way for a society of good will to function.  That they have been oppressive or terror states in the past means nothing at all.  It was just bad leaders, mixed with interference due to Western Imperialism, that messed it up.  So this time if we try it will only be a garden paradise that they've always known it should be.

Of course forget a Conservative appealing to a State's Rights argument used by a Segregationist.  Or suggesting that everyone in the Confederacy wasn't entirely racist.  Or that Hitler did turn the economy around.  Can you even imagine?  I'm not sure even Trump could survive such a thing.  Marge Schott certainly didn't.

Can Catholics support Trump?

Obviously if John C. Wright says he could at least consider supporting Trump, I'll think twice before assuming anyone who does so is just wanting to make love to Satan.   Nonetheless, personally I can't see myself supporting Trump.  Then again, I can't see myself supporting Sanders or Clinton either.

But because of all the esteemed Catholics who have rushed out to declare how beautiful are the feet of those who choose Sanders, I thought another opinion about Trump from a non-Wright source is fair.  Of course not everyone will agree.  But take that for what it's worth.