Friday, April 29, 2016

Whenever I listen to Donald Trump

I think of nothing so much as this:

So last night I watched Trump give some speech somewhere.  I missed where.  I don't care enough to find out.  It doesn't matter.  During his rambling, he was explaining the evil of Isis.  I assumed Isis since he mentioned beheading.  Then he went on to say that not since the Middle Ages has anyone beheaded?  Maybe?  To be honest, I wasn't sure what point he was trying to make since half the time he's as incoherent as you can get.  But I got the impression he was trying to say that this is so barbarous it hasn't happened since Medieval, I'll assume Europe.

Being a bit of a history type, that misrepresentation of Medieval Europe always gets my goat.  But that wasn't the worst of it.  My boys, without hesitating, yelled out 'The Guillotine!".  I added the Japanese practice of beheading prisoners in WWII. That was the first 20 seconds after he tried to make his point.  When it takes people sitting in their living rooms seconds to demonstrate a presidential candidate is factually wrong, it might be worth pausing a moment or two.

That he is a major contender for the president of the United States shows how deplorably lame we've become.  How stupid.  And of course it isn't just those Conservative types.  Many of Trump's supporters represent the more left leaning side of the GOP as well.  Plus, there is plenty of dumb on the Left, we just don't hear the media pound it when it originates in more liberal quarters.

This is what happens when promoting dumb is the main goal of a movement.  And much of the secular, post-Christian progressive movement relies on dumb.  Mandated dumb.  Enforced dumb.  Celebrated dumb.  Rewarded dumb.  And, of course, brutally punishing anyone who dares question dumb.  My biggest concern, FWIW, isn't that Trump could be president.  My biggest concern is that eventually someone will be president who makes Trump look sane and balanced by comparison.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

An interesting article on stopping abortion in England

Just for fun.  It's NBC News, so the bias obviously will be for abortion.  And yet it does seem to give a fair amount of time to Mr. Cunningham.  This is part of the whole wave against abortion that has been rising for some time.  Especially among those all important youngsters.  For reasons not quite clear, younger people are ditching traditional religions, embracing  all that the sex and drugs culture has to offer, and yet digging their heals in when it comes to abortion.

That's why abortion didn't end up that great cultural wedge that could divide the religious goats from the awesome, hipster secular sheep.  In the end, I knew more than one hardcore, left leaning, secular, pro-gay sex and any sex, indulge in the orgies and embrace the narcissism individual who, at the same time, would turn on a dime and oppose abortion in all its incarnations.

And as Europe is aborting itself out of existence, and the multi-cultural mandate that has insisted it's all the fault of evil white Westerners seems to be developing some cracks in the walls, many are beginning to wonder about the unbridled abortion culture that the West has so passionately embraced.  Because of this, feminists and leftists who have loved abortion and all the power and narcissism that it has allowed are understandably frightened.

Nonetheless, the article at least gives a hearing.  I noticed the part where we're told there is no real connection between slave advocates (who argued they're not really owning real people) and abortion advocates (who argue they're not really aborting real people).  And yet we accept the idea that there is no such thing as gender and being born with same sex attraction is the same as being born Jewish or Black.  Despite, of course, a staggering lack of evidence for the belief that being gay is the same as being Black.  And if Wilberforce wasn't a social reformer, exactly how do we define social reformer?  But that's modernity for you.  Or at least, post-modernity.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

It isn't the silly names for the school that bother me

It's that the school system, which is supposed to be about education, is jumping on the PC call for anti-racist blacklists that does nothing so much as dumb down the national conversation about race. The fact is, Robert E. Lee's views on slavery were, in the day, more liberal than many around him. Though his writings indicate the common notion of the day that blacks were inferior and that they were better off in America than Africa, he also made it clear that slavery was not something with the moral stones to keep going where goodness and righteousness were concerned.

But enough of that.  He was white.  He fought for the Confederacy.  His views on race were not ours today (whatever they may be), thus: EVIL!  Erase his name from the obelisks and the monuments. Pull down the statues.  Do just what the Soviets used to do when they decided someone once venerated is now anathema.  We might as well, that seems to be our societal goal.

Of course we do this because we, just like Lee and anyone else at that time, believe there are some people who are inherently better than other people over there.  And we base this notion on beliefs, religion, even race.  Since we spend so much of our time focused on mercilessly and self-righteously judging and condemning the past, we tend to blind ourselves to our own foibles, whether deliberately or not.

But in doing so, we are dumbing down the national debate about almost anything:  Race.  Gender. Sex.  Human life.  Rights.  Religion.  Philosophy.  History.  Liberty.  You name it.  Most today basically speak some gibberish, declare it fact, and then proceed to insist anyone who disagrees is nothing more than someone who is hate or stupid or this or that wing, and thus no longer worthy of my rights and privileges. If those who thus protest are part of a demographic that matters, then it's the McCarthy solution with media and pop culture support all the way.

When I look at the struggles that someone like Robert E. Lee had when he reflected on the moral controversies of his time, and then look at the boorish, vapid and neanderthal approach we take to the various debates in our age, I can't help but think the ones who should be condemned is us.  At least the people back then were struggling with ending an institution that had existed since the dawn of time.  Today, we have their examples and promptly go out of our way to ignore it.

And it isn't as if we don't have slavery today.   Note that human trafficking, largely in service of the international, multi-billion dollar sex industries, went largely unnoticed until recently.  Sure it was there.  Sure nobody would say it was good.  But where was the outcry?  Why did it take almost dragging the media and the institutions of international leadership to finally step out and call it what it is?  I've been of the opinion that since liberalism uses Sex as the ultimate carrot, it didn't want to admit that the Sextopia the Left has always promised could have a dark side.  So those who promote the sacrament of our libidos preferred sweeping it under the carpet.

Perhaps I'm wrong.  But something kept the blight of modern slavery that has existed for decades off the radar of our elites and our leading institutions.  It's not like we didn't know it was there.  But only recently has it become an issue.  Why?  You've seen my guess.  But before we start our next wave of self-righteous PC inquisitions against everyone yesterday and before, it might be worth it to eat a piece of humble pie when we think of all the similarly horrible moral affronts we ignore, pardon or even condone when we ought to know better (next up: continuing to promote our sex and drugs culture in the wake of 30 million dead from AIDS).  Or maybe it's because we've been educated by schools like the above case, that prefer bumper-sticker witch hunts over actual education.  Given the generations that have been educated by them, maybe I should give our current age a pass.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Promoting our modern Big Brother

Thinly disguised as offended PC sensitivity warriors.  John C. Wright does the take down here.  Yep.  I've said already that much of the modern Left is about convincing us that 2+2=4 is hate speech, must be punished, and those who insist on resisting the new math are the baddies.

Why?  Because if you want to follow the basic trend of most Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment era revolutions by setting up a Despotic government where liberty and Utopia were promised, and furthermore want to do so in a nation that was the capstone of 2500 years of a long, agonizing march toward freedom and liberty, you have to make the population stupid enough to declare that 2+2=4 is the most evil, hateful thing imaginable and it's good that we finally have laws that will punish those who insist on saying 2+2=4.

Much of what Mr. Wright says is, of course, spot on.  The idea that PC Warriors demand courtesy when they provide none, they demand respect when the provide the polar opposite to the traditions and beliefs they hate, and demand tolerance for their eradication of tolerance and diverse opinions, should be the neon warning signs for a generation.

It's a testimony to our education systems, our entertainment industry and our media that so many Americans are ready to rewrite the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, and even the entire notion of a Bill of Rights because we've been told it could be hateful to say men can't have babies.  It takes one stupid nation for that to happen.  Or it takes a nation that is the product of the last 50 years of concerted effort on the part of those same educational, entertainment and media industries to be that stupid.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Time to end the liberal juggernaut

Because with all due respect to Robert Altman's son, suicide is painful. Both for individuals and for societies. It is one of the most horrible crimes a person can commit.  And yet, it is becoming all too common in our liberal dominated world of affirming our awesomeness and promising no more skinned elbows.  This could come as a shock to some, but suicides in the US have increased a staggering 24%.  That's a huge increase since 1999.  Especially when you think of how much time and effort we spend affirming everyone, silencing all speech that might offend anyone, and pouring endless funds into mental health strategies and therapy for the busy American.

If you consider the overall trends of our society over the last half century, you do have to ask at what point we'll say liberalism has failed.  After all, we've been a liberal nation for most of the last 60 to 70 years.  Yes, there's been some level of traditional ideals and values still running about, but from the top down, we've been pushed by increasingly post-Christian, secular and progressive ideals since before I was born.  In the last couple decades, they have come to dominate with almost no resistance.

The ideals of post-Christian liberal values and theories dominate our academics, out mental health, our medical and scientific communities.  They are firmly entrenched in our entertainment, music, movies, literature.  They are the official curriculum we teach in our schools, our high schools, our colleges.  The are increasingly the prism through which our courts interpret the laws.  And they've been this for decades.

And the result?  Crime is dropping only compared to its historically unprecedented peak twenty years ago.  It's still disastrously high.  Violence among young people is worse than we've ever tracked.  Pessimism about the future is rampant.  We're watching our society - the pinnacle of two and a half thousand years of clawing, scratching, kicking and biting our way to a free and democratic society based on human rights and equality - slowly erode.  Drug addiction and STDs (including, but not limited to HIV) continue to run rampant.

I mean, at what point do we say "Liberalism, you had your chance.  But you have been weighed on the scales and found horribly wanting.  Your legacy is one of despair, death, suffering, depression, hopelessness, pointlessness, with dreams of narcissism and hedonism unbound and without consequences increasingly dashed on the harsh realities of the real world.  Therefore, we insist you relinquish your claim to truth, and allow those ideals that have been around for centuries the chance to make things better."?  Or something like it.
How many tens of millions more will need to die of AIDS?  How many generations will need to be aborted and euthanized out of existence?  How many millions of lives will need to be shattered and brought to ruin under the banner of progressive individualism before we finally say enough?  How long will we continue to allow the progressive revolution to insist that it's all the old traditions that are to blame, and if we just more fully embrace the latest, hippest theory or solution, the planets will align, the sun will shine, the flowers will bloom, and we'll all skip through the green grass chanting John Lennon songs every day?

I get that there are always problems. I understand that crime or suicide or other problems have ebbed and flowed throughout the ages.  I know the past had blind spots and that people in the past could be wrong.  I get that things will always change.  But the changes are supposed to work.  When we've allowed the changes to come in and, at best, cause social upheaval while solving nothing, and at worst, oversee developments and consequences that are worse than they've ever been, I think we are obliged to stand up and do something.  Or shall I say that when a long train of abuses and disastrous ideas pursuing the same catastrophic results that only evince an inevitable Despotism, it is our right, it is out duty, to throw off such revolutionary movements and provide ideas and cling to traditional values that may have worked better than we've been told by the same ones leading our society to perdition.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The important thing to remember about our post-Christian nation

Is that the official religion is now politics.  And when someone dies, within a day it's the duty of the ministry of propaganda to look past the life lost, and see exactly what politics he or she embraced and how she voted.  There is a pecking order nowadays, and where you stand on the political issues and how you vote are among the most important questions to ask.  

On the stupidity of the anti-gender movement

Two Catholic Men and a Blog takes apart the head smacking idiocy that is now the rage of our society.  Again, get a nation to think that it's good when billion dollar corporations pull out of a state and cost thousands of jobs in order to punish the idea that boys should use the boy's bathroom, and you can get that society to accept any stupid thing.

That's what happens when you throw away Truth for whatever makes me awesome and gives me what I want at the moment.  Right now, there is no need for anti-gender advocates to explain themselves.  Note that.  Pay real close attention to that fact.  There has been no concerted effort to convince us that gender is just an abstract concept by which we measure our pain. There is no real discussion by anti-gender advocates explaining why boys will be girls, and girls will be boys, and that's that.  In fact, I think in the last five years, I've only seen about a half dozen news reports unpacking just what Transgender is all about and how and why and when it happens.

And for what it's worth, that was when I knew we were in trouble.  One of the reports was on CNN, and it featured parents telling me that they knew their infant was really the opposite gender because, among other reasons, of the color of the blanket the child preferred.  Since I was told growing up that such things were merely the result of evil sexist, patriarchal gender stereotypes, I was shocked to see "experts" coming to the camera to insist now that such things could only mean a boy really should have been born a girl.

And we believe it.  No, we don't believe it.  We're past the point of needing to believe anything.  The Left needs to put forth no effort to convince us of anything.  At this point if the Left wanted to pass a law next year that all churches need to be burned down for adult movie theaters, I swear 66% of the population would support it.  We're that dumb.  And the resistance that impotent.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Happy Shakespeare Day

Today is the day to celebrate the worthy Bard.  Owning to some obligations around soccer and church, we didn't have the chance to give the day the time it deserves.  But we will finish watching Orson Welles' strangely interpreted Macbeth.  We started it the other day, but didn't have a chance to finish.  It's one of those Shakespearean takes that reminds us about artistic license when it comes to interpreting Shakespeare.  It's different.

There are others.  We're partial to the BBC's Hollow Crown series ourselves.  Though Kenneth Branagh's Henry V is arguably the best version of that play, even against a wonderful performance by Tom Hiddleston on the Hollow Crown series.

Among others we enjoy is Olivier's Hamlet, despite the absence of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.  Speaking of which, we also enjoy the film version of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.  Starring Tim Roth, Gary Oldman and Richard Dreyfuss, it's a great way to spend an evening.  In the humor category, another family favorite is the 1978 American Conservatory Theater's production of The Taming of the Shrew.  It's knee slapping hilarious at times, and gives several winks and nods to some of the seedier innuendos that one can find in the Bard's works.

Of course Shakespeare is also a good read, and we've done our fair share with the family over the years.  Including using homeschool as a good excuse to get the boys to act out their own favorite parts of the plays.  Not that such performances always go well, as the rehearsal here more than demonstrates.  Nonetheless, we have our moments.

That rascally pope

The Vatican has come out an reiterated in clearer terms what the Pope has already said: do not move to legalize illegal drugs.  This is funny because many who love the current pope are, shall we say, to the left of center.  Others are those who have adopted a sort of anti-traditional bent, even if they are not liberal themselves.  Some are of the modern non-conformist, quasi-libertarian bent who find solace in the Pope's hands-off approach to certain social sins.

Many are ones, in the end, who have scoffed and heaped scorn at illegal drugs and our approach to fighting the drugs problem.  Not that there aren't areas worth criticizing.  Not that there aren't areas that need improvement.  If your position is that we need change, you'll always be right.  There are seldom points in history where anything is absolutely perfect and without flaws, so calling for change puts you in the drivers seat.

But many have gone beyond that to loving the Pope, and also joining the 'Legalize drugs, what could possibly go wrong?' movement.  When Pope Francis first spoke out about this, it was fun to watch several on the Catholic Internet squiggle and squirm and try to insist that the Pope was suddenly only offering an opinion, or he didn't actually say not to legalize the drugs, or he was just firing from the hip and didn't need to be listened to in this case.

That was when it was brought up at all.  In most cases, I saw it brought up in different comments sections as opposed to actual posts, since apparently those who have loved the Pope with an unending love were for some reason reluctant to post that story.

I say it is funny because with Pope Francis, much of the defense of him has boiled down to variations on the phrase 'shut up or you hate Jesus.'  Basically Catholic versions of the old fundamentalist Protestant retort 'why don't you believe the Bible is the Word of God?'   The Pope has spoken about immigration, obey!  The Pope has condemned excessive Capitalism.  Obey!  The Pope has said Catholics and Muslims worship the same God.  Obey!  Or you hate Francis.

More or less, that's the gist of most arguments by serious Francis Fans.  So when the original story first broke, it was with a certain malicious delight that I read several running about, pulling their collars in the manner of Dangerfield, and insisting that the Pope only looks like he might be thinking about the possibility of commenting on an issue that might not necessarily demand only one possible opinion.  Hey, let's all just get along.  We can disagree!

I regret that I have no links from those conversations.  Again, I had a hard time finding any posts that addressed the story when it originally broke.  In most cases, the point was brought up by critics of Francis who were throwing his statement up against people who had been jumping onto the modern legalize drugs movement while demanding total obedience to the Pope regarding more progressive topics.  In most cases, the answers were like that above: his opinion, he's no expert, we can agree to disagree, or even he's wrong.  Which is fine.  I think that works.  Just like it works with other topics on which he comments.

I will have no way of knowing if God is Not Dead 2 is any good

Unless I go see it.  Like Hearst ordering his media empire to trash Citizen Kane, bet your bottom dollar that most in the national media will trash it because it shines a light on that brand of modern censorship the Left would rather ignore.

Not that the movie is therefore wonderful.   It might stink.  It might be awful.  The writing, the acting, the directing all might be deplorable.  I won't know until I see it.  For my money, the ongoing drumbeat of our nationally mandated morality has been effective enough that I would be skeptical about a movie like this more than I would about a movie that promotes, say, racial harmony.  I will be more likely to be critical and seek out areas of weakness in story or realism.

Nonetheless, we are as divided as ever, and that will make objective reviews about as common as a Big Foot sighting.  For one take, you can check out this link here, dealing more with the backlash than anything.  Which goes far in explaining the difficulty in finding objective reviews (if such things have ever existed).

Friday, April 22, 2016

If you want to insult people in the most Shakespearean way

Go to The American Catholic for a brief tutorial.  I loved it.  

A day with Jungle Jack

One of the great parts of homeschool is that you get to take things you normally do for enjoyment, and log them as educational time (as long as they, you know, are educational).  So I took the boys to the Columbus Zoo Monday.  That's one of the reasons I've been scarce this week.  Monday's are my 'administrative' time.  During that time of grading, planning, and fitting in household needs and upkeep, I usually squeeze in many of the posts for the week.  I'll save them, and then on each day I'll pull up a couple, do a quick read-through and check for any updates on the topic, and submit.  

Sometimes a major story will pull me over to comment in the middle of the week.  But usually, that's my approach.  With the weather breaking, and the chance for more field trips, we'll probably be spending our Mondays out and about.  The three older boys all work, but have Monday off.  So if things are a bit sparse in the coming weeks, that's why.

Nonetheless, a fun time.  We're blessed with the energies and industry of Jack Hanna.  As I've said before, when I was a kid the Columbus Zoo was a few steps up on those traveling zoos that used to set up in mall parking lots.  After years of hard work, public relations, enduring the abuses of David Letterman, and being an ambassador for animals and the environment without necessarily trashing humans in the process, he has built the Columbus Zoo into one of the premier research institutions on the planet.

Recent years have seen the Zoo picking up with the entertainment side of things, with new attractions being added on an almost yearly basis.  Most recently was the African Safari section.  It's not up yet only because it's early in the season.  Several things were still closed.  But we get yearly passes (knowing we'll at least go to the Christmas Zoo Lights).  So it doesn't bother me to go, see a few sites, do a couple other things, and call it a day.  

The boys

The Flamingos.  Watch out, they bite. 

An awesome fish in an awesome aquarium

Watching the Manatees

Gorilla eats lettuce in sunlight

Gorilla is about ready to run and smack the glass

Making a new friend

On a warm day, it's amazing how interesting a goose is

Interesting enough to get my youngest to imitate him

Part of the Safari, but again, still not fully open for the season

Boys in the model of a termite mound

The other two join the fun

Polar bears are best in their icy environs when it's a blistering summer day

Our sixteen year old is wonderful at playing down at our youngest's level

At the end of the day - actually tired out

I was right

It doesn't happen much, but I have my moments.  Please see this article.  Get a nation of Christians to accept the Common Era, and you can get a nation to believe it's a  punishable offense to expect boys to use the boy's bathroom.

Notice we don't even haggle over ulterior motives with the whole transgender thing.  There is no major discussion. There are no years of debate.  I've seen no experts on news shows unpacking the reason to accept transgender as normative.  We don't have school books about 'Steve being a girl.'  There aren't endless movies promoting Transgender people and showing them as a superior breed of human versus the evil Inquisitors of intolerance and bigotry.  There doesn't have to be.  No real concerted effort is needed.  We started the path of accepting round squares years ago.  And Christians were at the head of the parade.

Piggy-backing on the gay marriage victory, now it's whatever and that's good enough. Whatever the post-Christian Left wants to mandate it will mandate.  You won't even need to convince anyone of anything. Just like now.  Nobody bothers to ask if, just maybe, some of those parents who insist their three year old boy is really a girl are just pissed that they didn't have a girl.  Nobody is questioning if gender is really more than just genitals, or maybe just a way someone gets off sexually.  Nobody is analyzing the possibility of abuse of others, including children.  Again, nobody is ding these things because there is no need for a discussion or a debate.  If these issues are brought up at all, they're acknowledged in some academic manner and then move on.

When you convince Christians that it is wrong to name the year after the birth of Jesus because it might offend, and convince them to accept the unspeak version of non-defined 'Common Era', then expect that legal punishment over boys in the boy's bathroom will follow.  I didn't think it wouldn't happen.  In fact, I pretty much knew it would.  I'll admit I'm just shocked at the speed with which it did happen.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

When doves cry

By now most have heard that Prince died today.  The reasons still aren't clear.  It sounds, as of now, like it could have been the flu.  In any event, to see a person cut down so early in life when there were still so many years left is a shame.

Personally, I was never a big Prince fan.  I felt about him what I felt about U2.  Nonetheless, his music was more popular and more played than U2 back in the day, at least in my area, and as a result, several of his songs make up the soundtrack to that all important period of my life between 1983 and 1986, when I really grew up, grew out of my shell, and started down the path that would keep winding its way over the next few decades.

Especially evocative is his song "When Doves Cry."  There are many reasons that still strikes a chord, though I won't get into them.  Probably nothing unique that anyone else can't relate to. So I was shocked, then saddened, to hear someone pass who was so young, and who had, even unwittingly, added a few bars to the overall chorus that backs up my life's story, at least in the hearing of my mind's reflections.

May God bless and keep him and those who loved him, and may the peace of Christ cover their hearts and minds.  RIP.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pat Archbold was fired by National Catholic Register

That's fine.  That's their prerogative.  I had a reader send me a link to an article by Archbold.  Clearly not overly impressed with the new 'Church is broke, we finally need to fix it and then the world will think we're swell' approach to outreach.  I did some checking, and over at the always reliable The American Catholic, it looks like it happened a year ago.  That's how in the loop I am.

Again, I don't have a beef with NCR, or Patrick Archbold.  I don't know him personally and don't know enough of his writings to have an opinion.  I know that publishers can fire people for a host of creative reasons, including not being in line with the gist of the publication.  Fair enough.

I mention it because I need to contrast the lack of news about this that allowed me to miss the story for over a freaking year.  That, as opposed to the story of Tony Spence being fired for his apparent support for the LGBTQ movement and all of the eradication of traditional rights that go along with it. How could that be?  How could NPR and the rest of the news agencies, many of which I have found running the Spence story, cover the Archbold story and me miss it?

Could it be they didn't cover it?  Could it be that they are, for some inexplicable reason, covering Spence's story more?  Uh huh.  That's exactly the point.  Dog bites man!  Not news.  Man bites dog!  News.  And since most in the national media are completely immersed in the progressive gospel, they see it as some freakish, horrible affront to normality that a Catholic representing the Catholic Faith would be canned for his support for the LGBT movement.  But a conservative being canned for being conservative?  A dog biting a man?  Nothing unusual there.  In fact, quite healthy.

Not all propaganda is the result of nefarious plots and back room dealings.  Some of it is simply the blind spots we have due to our own biases and ideologies.  We all have them.  Sometimes they prevent us from being aware.  I'm convinced that while the media often promotes agendas by suppressing stories and twisting facts and headlines, some of it is nothing other than good old human biases and perspectives.  The same kind that help the latest science always seem to confirm what the latest fad happens to desire.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Well done Garry Herbert

I don't know anything about Governor Herbert.  This is not an endorsement.  I am not saying that he is the first perfect man since God.  So dispense with any emails telling me that he cheated on a 2nd grade math test, or he didn't do enough against abortion, or that he secretly supports gay marriage, or worse, Capitalism.  I don't know any of that.

I just know in this case, he deserves a high five for wading into the holy of holies of the modern Left.  In an age where a growing number of Americans are convinced that First Amendment rights are overblown, and any State expecting boys to use the boy's bathroom should be punished, it's not surprising that Americans are dumb enough to miss a glaring hole in the media's daily 'we're all going to die' hysterics.

Usually, it's smoking, overeating, drinking, texting, guns, eating anything, driving cars, football, religion, eating everything, or any one of a thousand things that can kill us, which is why we need the government to step in, slap things around, take over and save us all. Yet in all of this 'it can kill us!' hysteria, the media is strangely silent about the entire Sex Culture that has been carefully crafted over the last several generations.  That's because sex is the number one carrot that the Left uses to convince people to end this silly liberty and freedom garbage.

In fact, the media guards the Sex Culture, and all of it trappings, rather jealously.  I remember almost 20 years ago.  I was serving in my first church as pastor.  One morning I had the Today Show on, with Katie Couric.  She was interviewing a fellow about this new Viagra pill that was all the rage due to certain unforeseen side effects.  The question was about the numbers saying they needed it.  After all, we all know the stories about how every now and then a fellow's get up might not be ready to go.  But this seemed crazy.

The individual she was interviewing had been on before about other topics.  Perhaps he was some go-to "science guy" that the media loves.  In any event, he explained several different points, including the saturation of sex and the porn culture of the day.   After all, if you get in a pool of cold water, your body freaks out because of the stimulation.  But if you stay in the water, your body gets used to it and ceases to be stimulated.  Same with sex.  If every day you look around and see sex, Sex, SEX!, then expect your body, your hormones, your nerves and everything else to get used to it.  So when presented with the real thing?  Not so much.

BAM!  That was the last time I ever saw the guy.  I can't remember Katie even responding. The idea that something problematic could result from our sex saturated society was not what the media wants to convey. In fact, when was the last time you saw the media have any special report on the negatives of our sex obsessed society?  When was the last time you saw anyone in our modern information venues draw a link with our sex culture and anything negative?

Heck, how often do they do it with things like AIDS or even Sex Trafficking (which is just a polite euphemism for slavery)?  I remember a few years back, Pope Benedict XVI came out on world AIDS day and said we need to do more for AIDS and its victims without focusing on the causes.  By my lights, that was like saying we need to focus on lung cancer without focusing on smoking. Which would be absurd.  Why in most media coverage, you'd be shocked to learn that many people who get lung cancer don't smoke. The focus is almost exclusively on smoking where lung cancer is concerned.

So with sex there is a concerted effort to separate the post-Christian sexual ethic from any possible negative side effects.  Basically as long as everyone wears a condom and everything is consensual, all is well with the world.  That's the story.

So for Governor Herbert to promote a law that will not ban pornography, but will link it to a host of ailments, evils and harm that results from a life of sexual debauchery and decadence, is quite the step forward.  It's certainly stepping out and being honest, which many even in the Church and religious worlds are reluctant to do.  So expect this to be ignored, or expect to learn anything and everything about the entire life of Governor Herbert over the coming weeks, as experts are trotted out to laugh away this silly notion that the post-Christian sexual ethic isn't the most awesomest thing in the world, that everyone is happy, that the negatives are the result of not enough condoms, and that if we just keep opening more doors to unlimited sex, we will only see a happier world to come.

My fear is how many in the religious world will chime in and join any potential crusade against him. We'll see.

Monday, April 18, 2016

I hate it when Internet Memes are right

Yep.  I hate to turn to silly Facebook memes for insights and observations, but when they're right, they're right. The hypocrisy is almost nauseating.  And yet, it's what the Left has always been about.  It was never about rights or freedom or diversity or liberty or tolerance.  It was a new world order seeking to overtake and impose itself on society.  The essence of the entire progressive movement has been to demand we accept Liberalism's belief that nobody should be allowed to impose their beliefs on others.  It was so slick, we missed it.  But now we're seeing how the tree of negligence bears fruit.

Words can't express how much I love this story

That, kiddies, is why opening ideas to the Internet nowadays can be a risky thing.  For my money, they need to stand by the poll.  If they invite the public to christen a ship in the modern internet era, then they need to take what they get.  Besides, read the article for all the new spins on this wonderfully hilarious turn of events.

George Clooney demonstrates the John Lennon principle of Liberalism

Nobody does it better than Mr. Clooney in this interview, in which he decries the "obscene" amount of money that he and his multi-millionaire colleagues raised for Hillary Clinton at a private, exclusive fundraiser.

That's Liberalism's Lennon principle in a nutshell.  Doesn't matter what you do.  It's that you have your mind right and speak the words, that's all that matters.  So you can be friends with African Americans, you can marry an African American, you can employee African Americans, you can devote your life to helping African Americans, but if you reject the liberal narrative, or don't support Affirmative Action, or embrace the policy proposals of the Left, you're a racist.  You merely demonstrated your views by what you do.  Instead, you should have based it on what you say.

So Mr. Clooney, fresh off of a round of multi-millionaire hand slapping, steps up to the cameras to denounce all this big money in politics.  In the olden days, that's what we used to call hypocrisy.  Nowadays, it's standard, modern ethics.

Context goes a long way

Another hat tip to Michael Flynn

Absolutely true.  How often are we willing to fall on the sword over things we've spent virtually no time studying or trying to understand, just because we saw someone in the news say so?  And of course if  they say what we hoped was true all along, that's a bonus.

The Left was never about rights

The way every woman should look?
Not civil rights.  Not women's rights.  Not equal rights.  It's about a new world order that seeks to conquer and oppress, to eradicate all challengers and mandate conformity and obedience.  Yes, it has piggy-backed on various liberal movements and ideals.  To that end, it was more than happy to latch onto women's rights here, or black rights there, or over there LGBTQ rights.  With that last one, it has found what it's been looking for all along: The ultimate weapon with which to bludgeon all resistance.

Think of it.  Just last year, the Supreme Court headed by conservative John Roberts made mandating gay marriage the law of the land.  Now, just a year later, we have America's aristocracy, its wealthy and elites, its multi-billion dollar industries, all swooping in to punish an entire state that felt compelled to legally spell out the need for men to use men's bathrooms.  Just the fact that such a law was necessary should be the splash of cold water that wakes us up from our tripped out stupor.  But no.  It's that the entire state is being punished for actually proposing such a law.

Ah, but what about those other groups?  Catholic News Agency has an interesting take on this, from a feminist point of view.  It's not the first time that competing "minority" voices have clashed under the liberal tent.  After all, the Left has thrived by taking in any number of oppressed minorities and promising to protect them from the evil forces of oppression and hate and bigotry.  But sometimes, those various groups aren't always on the same page.

So when Gay Rights thrived some years back under the pop narrative that there 'must be some gene that makes you gay', it didn't take clever wags long to suggest that parents who find out their unborn baby has such a gene might be able to abort the baby if they don't want a gay kid.  I remember a round table on CNN years ago, shortly after I became Catholic.  All hell broke loose, since Gay Rights activists screamed foul, only to be chastised by feminists who said how dare they suggest a woman can't be in control of her own body.

So this time, CNA looks at the whole Trans Rights phenomenon that is turning reality upside down, but from the vantage point of an upset feminist.  Turns out, some women, those who might actually care about women's rights and not just use them to advance the greater cause, don't like the fact that so many Trans, most notably the individual formally known as Bruce, don't really 'become women'. Instead, they become caricatures of all the gender stereotypes that feminism has tried so desperately to overcome.

But while just a few years ago, such stereotypes would be criticized and those who advanced them ostracized, now they are becoming the standard identities that must be celebrated and accommodated.  Including accommodated by women.

Why? Because just like liberals who told Sarah Palin that she should stay home and take care of the kids, or radicals in the Occupy Wall Street movement who were more than happy to blame those Jews on Wall Street, it's important to remember that for much of the Left, women's concerns, Jewish concerns, American Indian concerns, Black concerns, and in all likelihood LGBTQ concerns are most likely of secondary importance.  They are convenient in that they help tear away the fabric of the Christian heritage of the Dying West.  They are useful as tools for attacking and dismantling the society the Left wishes to overtake.

When those groups are no longer convenient, or their concerns no longer beneficial, or their needs at conflict with the newest oppressed group that will help push things to the next level, then it's off to the corner with the rest of the old shoes.  Or off to the knacker for a round of whisky to celebrate another victory over freedom and common sense.

Muslims to pay reparations to Eastern Orthodox for conquest of Constantinople

Really, read it here.  Oh, I'm sorry.  That's Georgetown being told to give it over to ancestors of slaves who were sold to keep Georgetown running back in the day when about 89% of the human race still engaged in slavery.  Not saying that makes it right.  Of course it was wrong.  Dead wrong.  Evil.  Just like the Islamic conquest of the Byzantine Empire.  Every time we hear 'Istanbul', shouldn't we demand something?  Hardly.  

The thought that any civilization that ever attempted or successfully overtook and conquered or enslaved Christians or Western Civilization would ever submit itself to such everlasting repentance is almost impossible to imagine.  That we will continue to do nothing but forever grovel and apologize for the sins of our ancestors, our ancestors alone, and only our ancestors while letting anyone and everyone off the hook is one of the many reasons why the Christian West will be the first civilization in history to die by suicide.  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Attention Bono

Not that we shouldn't take our cues from rock stars, even self-described important ones like Bono, but there comes a time.  Bono recently made the circuits by suggesting that a way to combat the terrors of ISIS is through comedy.  Yep.  Use comedy, that should do it.  Make them laugh.  There seems to be a lot of htat in recent years.  Laugh at Satan.  Laugh at evil.  Laugh at ISIS.  That will make it what?  Go away?  Ahem.  Allow me to demonstrate a problem with this thinking.  It turns out this isn't something new.  Using humor against evil is quite old.  But typically it's done for the morale at home, not with any illusions that it will make the evil go away.  Thus this:

Did not stop this:

Not that humor is bad or without value.  But let's keep it real.  The post-modern tendency to call it like it ain't is one of the more disturbing trends in an era of disturbing trends.  So while comedy has it's place Mr. Bono, don't ever imagine it will do anything other than make those laugh who perhaps should be spending more time working on actually solving the problems at hand.

Paintball Ho!

So some friends at church invited my two middle boys to a birthday party that included an afternoon at a local paintball park.  I've never been to one.  I've never been to Laser Tag either.  Nonetheless, they seemed to have had a blast.  They also seem to have several welts and bruises, since apparently paintball pellets are less likely on cold days to explode when they hit.  Still, a fun time was guaranteed for all.

Paintball Warriors.  Mine are the two on the left. 

Watch out for those Conservative Catholics

Is the underlying warning in this editorial at the NYT that gushes over Pope Francis's Amoris Laetitia.  Since it's conservatives who are missing the point.  Like a growing number in the secular media, the spin appears to be that even though Pope Francis didn't do the right thing by declaring all religions the same and glorifying gay sex, he did the next best thing.  He tore away at the Church's ability to resist those changes in future generations.

After the initial disappointment in a lack of doctrinal overhauls, this particular spin is gaining steam, and Mr. Egan's piece is only the latest example of the positive spin that I've seen and heard.  Essentially, Pope Francis didn't say gay marriage is grand.  Just the opposite.  But he has framed it so that we no longer really know what is and isn't an irregular relationship that is and isn't sinful. Or at least we don't with any type of dogmatic assurances.  As a result, the lines are necessarily blurred and we must err on the side of mercy.  Kindness.  Acceptance.  Conformity.

Well, he doesn't go there.  But my guess is, watching the last 30 years of the progressive movement, that this is where many desire it to go.   As I said before, the hope I've picked up on from progressives in and out of the Catholic Church isn't that Pope Francis will gut the last 2000 years of wickedness and stupidity and finally get the Church up with the times.  A pipe dream perhaps, but not a real hope.

No, the real hope is that he will make it so the Church doesn't have to.  He will water it down to such a level that the Church need never actually change the official teachings that still reside in some dusty old tome in the basement of the Vatican.  Like laws on our books that still forbid camels from spitting on the sidewalks, those teachings are fine to remain where they are.  But the Church will move on, and in its lived out day to day ministry, the doctrines of the Left and all lifestyles therein will be as normal as a Mary statue behind the altar, despite what those old camels aren't supposed to do in the jots and tittles of irrelevant manuscripts.

That, my guess, is where much of the hope is.  How correct they are remains to be seen, and will likely play out long after future popes have come and gone.

Was Archie Bunker right?

Was it all a giant, Commie-pinko plot?  Apparently more than we were told.  John C. Wright and his wife, have interesting articles confessing what people my age know so well: that growing up, we were told the most evil thing to happen in the 20th century after the Holocaust was "The Red Scare!".  Joe McCarthy and Hitler were in the same camp.  The streets ran red with the blood of innocent martyrs who were accused of Communism, Socialism, or any other -ism not in line with good ol'American Values.

But here's the thing.  We know, since the fall of the USSR, that many who were accused of being Communists were, in fact, Communists.  In some cases, we've known all along.  Dalton Trumbo, the famous black-listed Hollywood writer, was known to be a Communist since I was a lad.  Kirk Douglas famously gave him billing for the movie Spartacus.  The funny thing there is that Douglas envisioned the movie as a parallel to the Jewish return to Israel following the terrors of WWII.  Trumbo, never one to lose a chance for promoting his beloved Communism, spun the story a different way.   If you watch the great movie Spartacus (and it is one of the greats), watch it with the knowledge that Trumbo made it about the beautiful Communist upstarts defying the evil American Empire. You'll never see the movie the same way again.

Anyway, there were Communists in the country.  Many who were accused by McCarthy were Communist.  Sure, he went overboard and some were falsely accused.  But much of what he said was correct.  And if you think about it, we ought to be darn bothered by that.  In fact, why would we treat as heroes people who advocated for perhaps the most horrific and brutal and murderous ideology ever to find its way into human history?  We certainly wouldn't think twice of ostracizing someone who still had positive things to say about Nazis.  Heck, imagine someone in Hollywood coming out and saying that homosexuality is immoral or disordered.  Imagine how long they would last.  Talk about blacklisting.

Yet those who were blacklisted despite being avid supporters of this murderous ideology are almost deified.  That's because, in the end, those Communists did their jobs and did them well.  They convinced the nation, especially the Left, that the only thing we have to fear is, well, America.  And the Christian West.  The foibles of Communism, while certainly exposing a few abuses, were not nearly as bad as, say, the Crusades, or the Inquisition, or the Founding Fathers, or the Civil War, or Segregation, or the Trail of Tears, or Japaneses Internment Camps, or on and on and on.  America was the most wicked nation for killing its hundreds, but Communism was nothing less than awesome despite the slaughter of its tens of thousands.

Food for thought on this sunny, April morning.

Don't blame the Middle Ages

The Middle Ages, so named during the Renaissance, get a bad wrap.  Especially from our age that - for reasons I can't fathom - believes we are so superior to the caricatures of Medieval Europe. Partly due to the polemics that arose during the Reformation, partly egged on by Enlightenment thinkers, and capped off by lazy Hollywood script writing, many believe that the Middle Ages were the era of stupid superstitious people torturing innocent victims when they couldn't take part in genocidal wars of religion and conquest.

Fact is, many of the things we attribute to the Middle Ages didn't happen then, but happened later.  Just like, on the Christian theology front, many of the doctrines the Church is accused of inventing during the Middle Ages were already up and running from the early days of the Church, many of the atrocities and horror stories attributed to that period come much later.

Take the witch burnings.  This is not to say that nobody was ever executed for witch craft during that vaguely defined era known as the Middle Ages.  It is to say that the worst documented cases of mass witch hunts and executions happened after the beginning of the era known as the Renaissance.  Or take European Imperialism.  Hardly a Medieval phenomenon.  Apart from the Crusades, which were understood by Medievals as a defensive maneuver against growing aggression from the Islamic world, the age of exploration and conquest happened well after the end of the Middle Ages.

The same thing goes with torture devices.  Go into any museum of the period, or go to a Renaissance festival, and expect to see displays of all the neat and cruel little instruments of torture that those barbaric Catholic Medevials used on endless armies of hapless victims.  Except, many didn't actually exist in the Middle Ages, if they existed at all.  A fine piece on the phenomenon of faux history versus the real thing over at is worth your time.  

Hat tip to Michael Flynn for the link.

John Kasich embraces the moderate way

In his speech at the Women's National Republican Club, John Kasich basically outlined the moderate alternative to the front runners.  And by moderate, I don't mean compared to the front runners.  I mean moderate in the sense of Joe Scarborough, John McCain, or Mitt Romney.  That is, hold onto certain key economic principles like low taxes and a strong military...and chuck the rest.

The essence of his speech, despite what the NYT headline says, was not to channel Reagan, but to deify the 90s, when he and everyone else, who apparently weren't worried about polls and were all about harmony and compromise, were building the greatest decade ever, with money and security and happiness everywhere.  Yes, he referenced Reagan some, but usually as a person. It was noteworthy that he spent most time discussing the 90s, even if he occasionally gave a nod to Reagan in the process.

Kasich's primary target was not Hillary, or Sanders, or the Democrats or liberalism.  It was [Republicans] "clinging to the past" who were being snookered by fear and paranoia, hatred and bigotry.  He condemned the calls to halt Muslim immigrants, to push through religious freedom bills in Mississippi, and to point out the dire straights in which America finds itself.

In fact, while he conceded that we have issues and problems, even significant ones, he turned around and praised just how wonderful America is, how great things are in the big picture, and how promising it will be if we all just learn to live together.

OK.  Basically, no problem with anything he said.  On the surface.  I don't care for the call to ban Muslims, nor do I believe a wall along the border will do any good.  I do support religious freedom bills, because of where I see the alternative heading (more on that in a few).  And you don't want to succumb to fear, to miss where things are working, or to refuse to give credit where it is due.

And I also realize that Mr. Kasich is a politician.  This is the primary season, and his main opponents are on his own team.  Likewise, he will elevate the 90s to the decade when God was in charge since that was the high point of his own political career.  Despite some of his accomplishments in Ohio, there have been set backs as well.  And as for his much proclaimed healthcare reform, either he hasn't implemented it yet, or we haven't seen the benefits.  So focus on the 90s and that legendary balanced budget.

But my problem with his entire presentation was that it reeked of moderatism.  That is, not moderation, or even compromise.  It reeked of that same problem that haunts moderate Conservatives in the same way it haunts liberal Americans and Europeans on the international stage.  That is, liberal Europeans, as I have said before, believe that white, European and American, heterosexual, Christian men are the manifestation of all evil and the singular cause of suffering and problems in the world.  As a result, when something like radical Islam (or Islam as a whole), or Communist China (or Cuba), or any other culture or civilization or demographic seems to be threatening, the Left retreats and imagines that the only real cause of the problems must be conservatives who refused to denounce our heritage and refuse to compromise, since clearly everyone else merely wants to smoke the peace pipe and give peace a chance.

Moderate Republicans are the same on the national front.  In addition to sometimes seeing global affairs the way of the Left, they see domestic issues the same way.  Only this time, the enemy is those other Republicans who are 'clinging to the past', embracing all of the bigotry and hate and stupidity that non-conservatives accuse them of harboring.  Everyone else, on the other hand, just wants to smoke the peace pipe and give peace a chance.  Compromise will abound.  We will all just agree to disagree and live in harmony and buy the world a Coke.

Of course these views are fundamentally flawed.  It seems almost incredible to liberals, or those who compromise with the liberal narrative, to believe that Communist China or the Islamic world actually don't want to end up being just like a liberal, Western civilization.  That's not the vision they have.  Likewise, it appears just as unbelievable to the moderate Conservative that not all liberals just want to get alone and live in peace.  To them, it's impossible to imagine that some might want to ruthlessly oppress and eradicate any opposition to their superior values and ideas.

As a result, Kasich, in channeling this brand of moderatism, appears as if he believes the only real mischief today is Trump's and Cruz's followers.  When it comes to all other groups, everyone is just itching to get along, so if we compromise on our side, such as over issues like Gay Marriage, no doubt those to the left of center will compromise as well.

This isn't to say all Muslims want to conquer the world, or all liberals want a Leftist totalitarian regime.  It is to say that Muslims and Liberals might be slow to recognize the problems in their own demographics until it is too late.  It also is to say that there are those who are Muslim, and who are progressive, who want just that.  And the moderate Conservative's inability to look past the sins of his own demographic seriously compromises his ability to ultimately protect liberty and freedom from their machinations.  Just like one of the greatest threats to safety and security today is the American Left's refusal to look at the evil thriving within Islam and call it out and demand the same stark condemnations from the Islamic world, simply because they can't believe a civilization not rooted on the Western Tradition could be capable of anything so heinous as desiring world domination.

That's why, as we witness one of the most sustained campaigns against basic First Amendment Rights since the Bill of Rights was ratified, it's unlikely we could trust someone like Kasich to protect those jeopardized freedoms and liberties.  Not because he wants to see them eroded.  But because he appears to embrace the modern way of imagining that, in the end, the only real threats to our well being must be at the feet of my own demographic.  If we could just get our team in order, then the rest of the country and the rest of the world would fall into line and we would all live happily ever after.  A more flawed understanding of reality I can't imagine, nor could I imagine supporting someone who embraced that flawed understanding of reality except under the most grievous of circumstances.


In a sort of nuts and bolts story, it looks like the Catholic News Service editor has resigned because of pressure from conservative outlets.  OK.  Tony Spence appears to blame the conservative websites and uses the usual 'far right' rhetoric to describe his critics.  A first warning flag.

Then, the accusations appear to be correct.  Apparently he has tweeted opposition to the Religious Freedom bills in support of the LGBTQ community.  So the accusations, at least based on the example given, are correct.  And I have a funny way of not being outraged at people who simply tell the truth.

Hey, if you want to embrace the radical Left, then do so.  But don't embrace the Left's modern approach to PC censorship  that cries foul when someone points out a truth.  If you support the LGBTQ community, then say so.  Admit it.  Cheer it on.  Proclaim it from the rooftop.  Defend your position. Fight!  Win!

Don't act like the bad guys are the guys who are calling for you to resign because you support forces that are not only diametrically opposed to the Faith, but are clearly out to attack and oppress the Faith.  Explain that you are, why you are, then fight to stay in.

For my part, I'm curious as to why it took a bunch of blogs pointing out where he stood to get the Bishops to 'pressure' Spence to resign.  I mean, don't the Bishops pay attention to what he is writing?  What he is publishing?  Is it just possible that if he does have certain stances, that they would find their way out in various publications?  That was the part that struck me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

An answer for William Ligon

Senator Ligon asks, over at the Wall Street Journal, why so many American companies are aligning themselves against religious liberty and basic First Amendment freedoms.

It's pretty easy to figure out, if we want to be honest.  First, most American companies are headed by decidedly left leaning corporate leaders.  And nobody loves ending freedoms above the waistline more than the modern Left. 

Second, most in our society support sex deviations out of convenience, since a growing number of Americans prefer a hedonistic society over a religious one.  This is something corporate America prefers as well, since hedonistic Americans make better consumers than ones dedicated to a religion of poverty and moderation.  

Which leads to third reason, in which we concede that most Americans are not religious, or if they are religious, they place their religion somewhere in the bottom half of the top ten list of priorities, if there.  

Fourth, Americans have been indoctrinated against traditional Christian values for almost half a century.  Younger Americans (who many of these companies cater to), have been raised to believe that the Western Tradition and its Christian heritage are the true evils of history, and all who challenge these value systems and Christian morality are by default the good guys.  See the comment by reader 'Tom Bradshaw' for an example of the hatred and contempt for any who desire the right to believe in traditional religious morality. 

Finally, Corporate America is about the bottom line, and if the bottom line is buttressed by a majority of people who want to end other people's freedoms, then that is who they will cater to.  Since the willingness to fight has long left the majority of Christians, and those who still desire to resist are increasingly piled on by fellow believers both to the left of center, as well as those who would try to appear as the voices of reason, there just isn't a sound, financial reason based on demographics to do other than throw their corporate logos decidedly on the side of oppression and retribution for failing to be liberal.  After all, most of these companies also have plenty of revenue outside of the US, so if there was to be a 'what comes around, goes around' backlash down the road, they wouldn't be the ones to pay the price anyway.  They would just move physically to be where their bank accounts and tax shelters have been all along. 

There is Christian Persecution

Without the need for Gulags or Gas Chambers.  Pope Francis says so over here.  All too often, when Christians object to the clear and obvious assault on the right to not be liberal, advocates of the new tyranny resort to denial if not downright mockery.

Stop whining, we're told.  There is no persecution. I've always wondered what their standard for persecution happens to be.  This is a movement, after all, that used to declare Fascism! and McCarthyism! when a record store wouldn't carry a Madonna song.  So I'm not sure how they reconcile Christians saying they don't want to be forced by the government to take part in a ceremony against their religious convictions as whining.

After all, as far as I know, the various cases that have arisen where a photographer here, or a bakery there, have been legally assaulted have had to do with actual gay marriage ceremonies.  It's not that the businesses in question refused to serve gay people.  At least two of the owners I've seen interviewed said they don't mind serving anyone.  They just don't want to be part of something that specifically cuts against the exercise of their religious conscience.

And yet, against that, all hell has broken lose.  And when Christians have objected to being financially punished, to being hit with exorbitant financial penalties because of this, advocates of the Left simply shrug, wink, giggle, and act as if Christians have no reason to complain.  Why not?  Again, go back to the 70s and 80s and see what liberals said when religious groups tried to get a show pulled from television or a radio station wouldn't play The Rolling Stones.  It was nothing less than Big Brother all the way!

That includes Catholics and other Christians, BTW.  Not just those who have embraced the gospel of liberalism, but others who want to come off as voices of reason.  Perhaps afraid of looking too conservative, or afraid of being laughed at by those who want to do the persecuting, they often step forward and say, "Now let's not be hasty.  There's really no persecution.  We don't even know what that means.  Look at Syria or Iraq."  Sure.  Those are cases of one extreme form of persecution.  Often, it's the final stage of persecution.

But as Pope Francis says, there are other stages, and we're seeing those play out now.  I wish he would speak more bluntly as to just who and what is behind this.  When it comes to things like the historic sins of the Western Democracies or Capitalism, he has no problem dropping names.  I wish he would drop names here. That would leave no wiggle room.  It would leave no doubt as to just who he's talking about.  It would also keep people from trying to twist it around and say he's really talking about those traditionalists who want to impose their values on others by committing the mortal sin of failing to embrace the true religion of the Left.

By the way, speaking of principalities and powers.  The battles we fight are ultimately spiritual battles beyond the visible.  But in keeping with the usual Satanic promises, have you noticed the essence of this entire religious liberty battle?  The fight is over businesses who don't mind serving anyone, gay or otherwise.  They just don't want to be forced to take part in a religious observance that is against their fundamental beliefs.  Like making a Kosher deli cater a pig roast for Easter services. They aren't even attacking gays.  They simply say, in this particular case, they would prefer not to be part of the event.  And yet it's nothing less than Nazi flavored hatred and bigotry.

And how do those who want to impose their values on these business owners fight back?  Why, with nuclear retribution.  They come in and punish entire states.  They do things that could hurt everyone in the state, allies and opponents alike.  They pull out and hurt the entire flock of people: gay, straight, religious, non-religious, LGBTQ supporters, gay marriage opponents, friend, foe.  They essentially carpet bomb the opposition, hurting anyone and everyone in the process.

An observation of warning.  We've come to believe that a Christian business owner, willing to serve anyone, but asking not to be forced to take part in a morally pronounced religious ceremony fundamentally opposed to their own beliefs, is the essence of hate and intolerance.  And those institutions and organizations and individuals who wield tremendous power and have billions at their disposal, who are willing to do nothing less than extortion in order to mandate conformity, and do so by harming anyone in their target range - friend and foe alike - are the champions of tolerance and inclusion.  How we got there has to be a tale of unprecedented dumb. But given our cultural and educational standards over the last few decades, I'm not shocked.  Not in the least.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Some views of Amoris Laetitia

Are here, by the always delightful Ross Douthat, and a far more openly critical view here, by Michael Dougherty.   In addition, Douthat reacts to those who are critical of the critics here.   Meanwhile, at The American Catholic, Donald McClarey catches a footnote that could pack more punch than some of the larger issues being discussed, many of which center on Pope Francis himself, rather than what is in Amoris.

On the positive side, we have Cardinal Burke saying this is nothing new and is in agreement with constant Church teaching.  This seems to be the opinion of the Grey Lady, where professor Julie Byrne also sees this as the Church getting back to old traditions, at least where authority distributed to local bishops versus a strong, centralized papacy is concerned.   Not to be discouraged by its lack of doctrinal change, the hyper-fanatical left-of-Left Slate sees the entire document as a coded, secret, closeted argument for Gay Marriage.  

You will have to do some digging.  Again, because the document didn't come forth and declare that there is no God but gay sex, and all shall worship and despair, the media has dropped this like a hot potato in order to get back to covering Trump and Clinton.  That means we'll have to sift through various articles and opinions to get a handle on what people are saying.

So far, it seems to be divided into two basic camps.  One camp consists of those who have faith in the promise of Jesus that the Church will never be allowed to sink into error, therefore this, a papal document, can be nothing other than a continuation of consistent Church teaching.  And on the other side are those who see this as planting subtle and nuanced seeds of future doctrinal evolution.  Oddly, those in the second camp include folks on opposite sides of the debate.  Both those who hope that the Church will eventually embrace the Leftist Gospel, and those who fear the same, are in that second camp. We'll see.  It will be a while before I have time to sit down and read it myself.