Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Billy Graham sized special

So once again, ABC breaks from modern trends and continues to air the classic epic The Ten Commandments.  I posted on my love for this film some time ago.

This year, in which we remembered the late Billy Graham, I had to reflect on this movie, its grand and epic scale, and that brand of Christianity that became associated with Graham, fitting like a glove with the United States in the years following America's triumph in WWII.

A Japanese minister quipped, on the day Japan surrounded, that he had no idea why Japan ever thought it could win.

All was big.  All was massive.  All was larger than life.  And The Ten Commandments followed suit. The miracles became bigger, God became capable of creating this vast universe science was exposing to the world.  The heroes were larger than life.  The villains were epic.  It was all big.

Graham preaches to an audience over approximately one million in S. Korea

Graham, in many ways, became known because he was big.  His revivals - crusades in the day - were big.  He set up shop in a city and stayed for weeks. He drew audiences by the tens of thousands.  And in such a day, that's what Americans liked.  Even when I was a pastor in the 90s, in the twilight of Graham's influence, I used to quip that Christians today judge a pastor by the size of his gymnasium.  It was all about big, size, epic, grand, huge, whatever suggested larger than larger and vast and sprawling.

I know we're no longer there.  Nihilism vies with narcissism to be the greatest virtue of today.  The Church, stumbling to figure out how to make six figures ministering for Jesus in a society increasingly hostile to the same, is scrambling to whittle down the Faith, minimize the miracles, psychoanalyze the sinful, and generally erect a Faith where God miraculously wants us to have life and have it to the full - in a way commensurate with this age of nihilistic narcissism.

That doesn't mean I don't miss the bigger than life God of old, because I can't help but think that, despite our attempts to reduce God and only leave Him big in a vague way, His vastness seems closer to the way DeMille envisioned, or those old artists of bygone ages.  It's just a thought I had. 

One of the truly iconic scenes in movie history 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday

So 2000 years ago, a rabbi was executed by RomeAnd now it's all this

Today begins the period of shadows before that day of days in which all Christians find their hope.  No parties and celebrations today.  But there were earthquakes and the dead walked thousands of years ago.  Today is that day that reminds us we don't just believe a materialist model universe with a God stamp.  We believe in a Christian creation.  In our world, the Universe we see is merely a small part of Creation.  In a purely universe based model, God becomes a minor part to what really matters, which is the natural laws of physical reality.

Today challenges that.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Holy Thursday

Will be scarce for the next few days, and for a few days next week as Orthodox Easter is following fast on the heals of the West. 

Today is Holy Thursday and Fish Eaters, in its usually helpful way, has some important info, insights, customs and traditions. 

Pax.  Will be in and out until next week.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The naked assault on the Bill of Rights

The Left has made great strides in recent years.  In some ways, Trump's election was like Pearl Harbor.  A brief victory for his supporters, but a long term defeat.  Whatever he accomplishes will not stem the Left as it emerges from the closet and openly declares its desire to tear down the United States and rebuild a new nation in the Left's image.

It's not new, of course, that people are calling for an end to the 2nd Amendment, gun ownership, and right to self defense by firearms.  That's been going on for years.  What is new is that there is no pretense.  The press has thrown off all illusions of non-partisanship.  The Left is firmly invested in destroying the Trump White House, and using charges of Trump as Worst Person Ever to hoist its own vision of 'the America that should be' on the population.  It used to be wrapped up in cloaks of euphemism and deflection to greater issues and away from its impact on actual gun owners.  Those doing so today are proud of how ending the 2nd Amendment would hurt law abiding citizens and their right to purchase firearms, their contempt for gun owners being palpable.

In the old days, we called this denying the obvious
This latest debate about abolishing the Bill of Rights comes in the wake of retired SCOTUS John Paul Stevens telling the youth of the 'Not me but thee' rallies that it's time to abolish the Bill of Rights.  Of course he's not saying abolish all ten amendments.  But the Bill of Rights is properly understood as the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.  Get rid of one of them, and it is no longer the Bill of Rights.  And anyone who thinks it will end with the 2nd Amendment either wants the others to be abolished, or suffers from some chronic level of delusion.

Because, as Donald McClarey notices, this isn't anything new.  Some, like Mark Shea, make their desire to hinder the rights of gun owners obvious.  He says he isn't for banning guns.   But he says by abolishing the Bill of Rights through tearing down the 2nd Amendment, the government can then impose itself on gun ownership in such a way as to make owning a gun nigh on impossible.  Sort of like saying I'm not for starving people, I'm just for putting the food so high on the shelf that most can't get it. 

It's obvious now.  The Left is a thing, a movement, a revolution.  It has every intention of taking over the nation.  I know, I know.  We're not of this world or kingdom, we're of the heavenly kingdom.  No need getting all upset about America, it's just a country.  We'll always have heaven.  Fair enough.  Next time someone brings up global warming I'll just point out we are not of this world or kingdom, we're of the heavenly kingdom.  Whatever happens to the world doesn't matter, it's just a world.  We'll always have heaven.

But for those who understand the fragile and unique gift of freedom, liberty and the ability to freely worship and live out our faiths, we are justly concerned by this new and naked assault on our liberties.  Already this movement has launched assaults against freedom of religion, and it has been making headway against freedom of speech.  Abolish the amendment that allows us to protect ourselves, and we're one step closer to the point of no return.  After all, those first two amendments in the Bill of Rights are the ones that deal with our day to day rights and liberties.  Note they are the ones most under attack.

Now with all that said, since it's Spy Wednesday, here's the billion dollar question.  We see all manner of Christian leaders wavering before this, nipping and tucking the traditional message of the Gospel, downplaying moral stances this emergent Left considers offensive, embracing political priorities as espoused by the Left, and almost elevating fealty to the politics of the Left to being equal to belief in the Gospel:

Charity suggests these believers are duped, blind, naive, or something. Perhaps they saw the sins of America's past for the first time, somehow missing that Americans have admitted those for years, and went overboard in criticism of America or the Christian West as a result.  Imagine thinking your spouse is like God, finding out your spouse isn't like God, and filing for divorce.

That's the charitable take.  On Spy Wednesday, where we remember Judas and his betrayal of Christ, you have to wonder if many of the leaders, even those in the Catholic Church, merely see the signs of the times, the way the wind is blowing, and have every intention of being on the right side of the barbed wire fences should they ever be built.  Hard to say.  But something must explain the fact that so many believers are quickly altering their historic faith, beliefs and values to accommodate an emerging movement almost brazen in its willingness to end the rights of that same faith and destroy the values and truths that same faith proclaims.

' "And listen, Gandalf, my old friend and helper! " he said, coming
near and speaking now in a softer voice. "I said we, for we it may be, if
you will join with me. A new Power is rising. Against it the old allies and
policies will not avail us at all. There is no hope left in Elves or dying
Numenor. This then is one choice before you. before us. We may join with
that Power. It would be wise, Gandalf. There is hope that way. Its victory
is at hand; and there will be rich reward for those that aided it. As the
Power grows, its proved friends will also grow; and the Wise, such as you
and I, may with patience come at last to direct its courses, to control it.
                                                                                                         The Fellowship of the Ring.

Makes you wonder.  Don't think I don't. I notice some liberals are beginning to question this even as so many former conservative and traditional believers are flocking in that direction.  I wonder if that includes this particular issue of the 2nd Amendment.  Memo: I'll have to look into that.  Most liberals I find are just like most conservatives, and I believe it might be that they are just missing the truth of what is happening more than those abandoning the traditions of the Faith. We'll see.

One more thing, since I often hear this said.  For those who concede all of this, but answer with the need to take up our cross and be martyrs for the Faith, that's fine too.  There are plenty of places in the world where living out the Christian Faith will get you killed, or seriously oppressed and persecuted.  Go to one of those places and try out the martyrdom principle and see if you like it before letting it come to our home.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

She is right about the March for Our Lives spectacle

While some are comparing it to the Sermon on the Mount, MLK's March on Washington, God's decision to create the heavens and earth, others are scratching their heads and saying, "Sorry, the emperor looks naked to me."

Just why this suddenly happened after one of the few mass shootings that could easily have been prevented if the current laws had been followed and procedures adhered to is beyond me.  Apparently a couple of the students were already pretty boisterous activists, pushing for things like gay alliances and LGBT and other Leftist tropes.  Perhaps they just know how to get the ball rolling.

Since the Left has thrown out all pretense of objectivity, fairness, truth, values, morals or principles, jumping on this and ramming it through in such a nakedly partisan and deliberate manner shouldn't be surprising.

Nonetheless, those behind gun control, banning guns, eliminating the 2nd Amendment, hating non-liberals, pushing for Democratic politicians are acting like it's the dawn of a new era in the history of the universe. Since these partisans happen to occupy the halls of Washington, the news media, Hollywood and academia, and apparently high office in religious institutions, expect this to be chiseled as an event demanding all worship and adoration into the remnants of former Confederate monuments that were destroyed by the Left's Iconoclasm.  Anything less and you're a baby killing murderer.  Thus the protesters.

Nonetheless, for those looking at this and saying, "Nope, still see a naked emperor here", we have someone who explains exactly why this is.  It isn't that we worship guns instead of Jesus, enjoy mass slaughter or get our kicks out of murdered babies.  Many of us actually have kids and don't want them to be a victim of such cruel and pointless violence any more than we want anyone else to.  We just see there is something wrong in all of this, so wrong that this March/Movement is diverting attention from actually solving the problem and working to lower the rates of killings in deference to partisan agendas.

Don't know who she is. Maybe she's been wrong about everything else, but this time she was spot on correct about almost everything (save the whole arming of teachers, which I feel is still avoiding the core of the problem).

Monday, March 26, 2018

Gun control humor

HT Donald McClarey

It's humor of course, but it also shows the hypocrisy behind the complete and unqualified allegiance that the New Prolife Movement has with this movement, funded by agencies like Planned Parenthood, dedicated to demanding sacrifices [from everyone else], and aligned with many of the forces likely behind the actual reason suicides and mass killings are now a common occurrence.  At least Mark Shea admits he  wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment (other Amendments to follow directly). 
Meanwhile I say we make St. Oscar Romero, shot to death March 24, 1980, the Patron of Gun Violence Victims and ask him to obtain for us the destruction of the Gun Cult and the repeal of the Second Amendment so we can finally start instituting sane laws.  (No, repealing the 2A is not “outlawing guns”.  There is no right to keep and bear cars in the Constitution, but lots of people still have them.  Repealing the 2A would make it possible to make gun ownership as difficult and expensive as car ownership, including requiring expensive registration and insurance.  You’ll live, Gun Cult.)
Of course Mark is a political Leftist, he doesn't represent the actual Catholic teachings. He has to know what he says is BS, especially after once calling out Obama and the Left as tyrants for the HHS Mandate's naked attack on religious liberty.  It's highly unlikely the side that taught Americans to chuck religious freedom for our libidos can be over-trusted when it comes to gun ownership. 

What is troubling in Mark's piece is that Pope Francis seems to embrace such things as 'power to the youth.'  Was a time when we taught age and wisdom were what young people should strive for.  After decades of handing the torch to one generation of youngsters after another, you'd think we'd have learned something.   Especially, as I said, if the adults who are so horrible today were the youth of yesterday who were supposed to make it all right.

Apparently not.  Once more Pope Francis and most of the modern Left has very little that isn't in common.  Whether that is why the entire Church seems to be collapsing before the onslaughts of the post-Christian Left, or simply the logical extension of a process years in the making, I don't know.  But the fact that a movement so clearly partisan, post-modern and riddled with endless problems behind the attitudes, hatred, vitriol and demagoguery all but gets a pass by those who strut under the moniker of New Pro-Life, and do so in complete allegiance to forces that should be antithetical to anything close to Pro-Life, much less Christian, shows that we are heading into an age of shadows for the Church.

BTW, could anyone tell me just where Pope Francis said anything about abortion in that quote that was supposed to prove Pope Francis speaks against the evils of guns and abortion equally?

Jesuits bravely rush forward with white flags in hand

And the Catholic Left sounds increasingly Protestant as it declares the history of the Christian West to be some Babylonian captivity of the True Faith. The College of the Holy Cross is dropping the Knight imagery, including its mascot, from the school.  That's because Knight can only mean Crusaders, and Crusader means evil.  Muslims being the beautiful people of the beautiful religion who have done nothing but chant John Lennon songs every day. Yes, it's a Jesuit school.  Yes, it's liberal multi-culturalism.  Yes, it's complete surrender by accepting false history and a flawed understanding of the past.  Jonah Goldberg breaks down the stupidity and cowardice.

I'm disappointed but not surprised

One reason we have a president like Donald Trump is that American conservatives were tired of being shafted by the only party that wasn't at war with them.  As the March of Youth for Liberalism this weekend demonstrated, there is no level to which the American Left won't sink in order to gin up support for its cause.  That the overwhelming majority of the march was focused on issues and solutions that would barely phase the majority of casualties in our modern age of violence is entirely irrelevant.  It was using kids as shields for the greater cause of teaching a new generation to demand 'other' Americans sacrifice for their safety.

Conservatives have been fighting this growing plague for decades, turning to the only party not wholly and entirely invested in the post-Christian, post-Western, post-nationalist Left emerging across America and Europe.  And yet that same party continues to payback their support with the most limp-wristed, lame and impotent responses.

So whatever has happened in this charade of budget deadlines and budge compromises, there has been one ongoing consistent: Planned Parenthood continues to be funded at all times.  Supposedly conservatives are continuing to insist that abortion is the great moral crisis of our age.  After all, eliminate the right to life before it begins, and all other rights fade away.  Even as many post-conservative Christians throw abortion under the bus in order to curry favor with the pro-population control Left, conservatives are supposed to be about keeping it a central issue of the day.

So what happened?  Once again, the Republican majority congress sent a temporary budget to Donald Trump - their knight in shiny armor - that ensured Planned Parenthood would continue to be funded.  Supposedly this is why Trump was brought in, even if his own views on defunding Planned Parenthood, just like most of his views, were not easy to pinpoint.

But we know for a fact that each time he has had the chance, he has done nothing to get the Republicans, who control congress, to actually do one of the chief policy demands of conservatives, and that's defund planned parenthood.

It's been compared to Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown, the way the GOP has treated American Christian conservatives over the last couple decades.  Sometimes, I'm inclined to agree.
…Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), joked that “It’s a good thing we have Republican control of Congress or the Democrats might bust the budget caps, fund planned parenthood and Obamacare, and sneak gun control without due process into an Omni…wait, what?”

The face of the anti-gun youth movement

Is, apparently, one David Hogg.  I know nothing about him apart from this issue.  I saw him on a videotaped interview and, boy, he doesn't hold back.  His opinions are not for polite company.

Eh.  It's a serious issue, so I suppose why worry about the language itself.   But he does seem to possess a rather 'they suck, so we're here to save the world' attitude that the last few generations of youth have had.  And since the basic premise of this latest 'hail to the youth' movement is that the adults stink and screwed everything up, it makes you wonder.

The adults today were simply the last generation of youth who were praised and told to rise up and save the world.  In fact, we've been passing that torch to the youth generation for about 60 years now.  And if the adults have continually done such a bad job, and knowing that they are merely the latest generation of youth who were supposed to save the world, perhaps it's time to rethink the whole 'youth to save the world' strategy.

This is especially true if this young man, boldly and bravely declaring the real way to do democracy, seems to embody that new spin on asking others to give up their rights while insisting - and rather proudly as well, if I may add - that he's not about to give up even the smallest little sacrifice himself.  Even for this most important of all issues.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

A Palm Sunday reflection from days gone by

Courtesy of the always informative The American Catholic.  History is a treasure trove of lessons learned from those who came before.  Today historical studies are a sham, a farce, a club with which to bludgeon the past and venerate ourselves despite our stunning lack of accomplishments.  But there was a time when we learned of the rich and wonderful heritage of the Christian West and the United States, as well as those wonderfully flawed yet fascinating individuals who laid the groundwork for our nation.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Fear the Nun

March Madness has lived up to the name.  I lost my bracket in the ancient days.  And if people have managed to limp along with their brackets, it's no thanks to Loyala.  That school has a ringer.  And the ringer is Sister Jean.  Bob Kurland has the scoop.  Having watched some of Loyala's victories, I'm beginning to think she's convinced the Almighty to root for a particular team.

I am in awe of Arnaud Beltrame

And sadly, he has passed away.  Col. Arnaud Beltrame broke from our modern trends and sacrificed himself for those he never knew.  As an ISIS soldier attempted to keep the slaughter alive by taking hostages in a neighborhood store, Col. Beltrame and the French police surrounded the location and began working to keep the hostages alive.  Eventually, Col. Beltrame offered to trade himself in for a hostage, and went into the jaws of death that others might live.

Leaving his phone on so that the police could track the ISIS terrorist, the resulting firefight unfortunately included Col Beltrame receiving fatal wounds.  He passed away this morning.  God bless that hero and his family who gave the last full measure.

As we watch forces dedicated to oppression and control exploit youth willing to march for the proposition that it's time for others to sacrifice so I can be safe, Col. Beltrame lives as a stark reminder of what kind of attitudes we seem to be working so hard to eliminate.  He didn't ask that others give what they can so he could remain safe.  He sacrificed everything so that others would have more days and years in which to live.

You choose.  Which would you prefer?  A world in which Col. Beltrame represents the basic philosophies of the day, or one in which a generation is taught that it's not what we can do for others we should be asking, but how much others must surrender so that we can have what we want out of life?  I know I have my answer.  And I'm thankful that one of my sons, looking past his peers' aligning with the majority marching today against others' rights, has chosen to follow the same path  as Col. Beltrame so that someday he might be able to help - others.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15.13

Multiculturalism and the Dying West

One of those 'not bad' pieces of mine from a year or so ago.  It's my thoughts on how the Left's desire to destroy the Western Tradition has been aided immeasurably by this entire Multicultural Education movement.  The piece was from a news story back then, but I have seen nothing to suggest things have changed for the better since. 

We needed more Toys R Us kids

That Toys R Us filed bankruptcy and is closing all of its US stores made quite the splash.  We'll miss it - to a point.  Given our own financial issues, it's been a long time since the family and I shopped in the house of Geoffery.  Nonetheless, there has been much debate about the role that Amazon played, and the role that bad management and marketing decisions played.

What hasn't been discussed, however, is this little snippet from a TRU representative.
The decrease of birthrates in countries where we operate could negatively affect our business. Most of our end-customers are newborns and children and, as a result, our revenue are dependent on the birthrates in countries where we operate. In recent years, many countries’ birthrates have dropped or stagnated as their population ages, and education and income levels increase. A continued and significant decline in the number of newborns and children in these countries could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.
Interesting.  I'm sure that isn't the only, or even the main, reason TRU collapsed.  Nonetheless, there is something about that suggesting a lack of smarts.  Give money to an industry that spends much of its time eliminating your clientele. 

This makes me think on the lingering suicide of the West.  The question has long ceased to be "If Europe ceases to exist", but "When Europe ceases to exist."  And it's not so much the evils of immigration as much as unfettered immigration mixed with unsustainable birthrates.  Were it not for immigration, European countries (and possibly the United States) would already have proven themselves generationally insolvent.

Of course the multi-cultural Left doesn't' mind.  Since it sees the West in mostly evil terms, and every other culture and civilization through the rosiest glasses, the end of Europe and America might be a good thing for humanity.  Pope Francis, who often sounds suspiciously like a Latin American Liberation theologian, also echoed that view when he praised the ascension of Islamic leaders in Europe, rather than lament the possibility that the civilization that brought the world concepts of human dignity, freedom, liberty, equality, the scientific revolution, and Democracy might be dying before the rest of the world is prepared to pick up the flag and run with it.

Nonetheless, there's reason to believe the Christian West wasn't all bad, and in fact brought a positive contribution to the world, one that won't easily be replaced with its elimination.  Those Christians, especially Catholics, who have developed a rather Protestant view of the West's history might also have something to answer for down the road.  Losing toy stores is just small potatoes next to what might end up being the result of the West's diminished role in the world.

A March against their rights will happen this weekend

Whose rights?  Why 'their' rights, that's who.  Because just like being willing to let terrorists kill other Americans, so taking away other Americans' rights is the price I'm willing to pay for making America a better country for me to live in.  After all, it's one thing to demand others give up their rights, it's quite another to think I shouldThat's going too far.

Nonetheless, this whole episode is what we used to call pay dirt.  The Left, seizing upon a tragedy that was aided by systemic bureaucratic failures and breakdowns, has found a new weapon in its war against the traditional West:  Kids who came from a high school where a shooting occurred.

"As long as we have victims in front of us, we're invulnerable!"
Like the suffering individual advocating for Democrats' healthcare policies, these kids are invulnerable.  Put a disabled child, a parent of a slain youth, a student from a school shooting at the front of your column, and you're nigh on invincible.  Any criticisms or observations about collusion or exploitation will immediately be spun as 'you hate babies.'  Charges of bigotry, racism and sexism will be forthcoming.

Of course there's plenty to suggest that using them for political clout is a happy byproduct.  That a growing number of these kids, chanting an end to the NRA, a willingness to ban guns, and a general disdain for gun owners and conservative Republicans, might also ensure a new wave of registered voters who will join in supporting the party that wants to save us from racists, global warming, sexists and Christians, is even better.  Hence why this great movement is supported by the great alliance of the Left, given finances and support from the wealthy and powerful, and fully advocated by and promoted by the press.

Yes, there is that nasty little part about the press deliberately ignoring those students who were victims who don't support gun control as the only issue worth discussing.  Sometimes it almost seems like these kids are being exploited, rather than joined by the various national forces that want guns gone.

But almost overnight, the generation that has been taught America and Nazi Germany were practically one and the same, the entire history of America was a great evil, and it's time to end this notion that people have the freedom to be evil (that is, not Leftist), has adopted a new mantra: I'm perfectly willing to take away their rights for my safety. Exploitation is a small price to pay for such a reward.  Whatever the morality of it is, at this point, entirely irrelevant.

Fun Observation Update: My boys were watching the obviously coordinated marches, and my second oldest noted that 'to hear the media talk, you'd never know there was a Republican in Parkland.'  That is true.

Updated Observation: Another point was made, and I'm not sure.  I heard on the news yesterday that there were students on buses heading for Washington.  The press said last night some students were arriving in Washington early on in the evening.  Are these students on Spring Break this week?  Don't tell me schools are letting them out again.  I'm not saying they are, but the press certainly suggested the kids were on their way yesterday, a school day.  I'm just curious. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Joe Biden shows how popular Trump really is

Of course Joe Biden is every bit the genius that Sarah Palin or Dan Quayle were ever accused of being.

Here he shows that the Left doesn't really mind the things Trump does, it only hates it because Trump decided to run with an (R) in front of his name.

Bonus if you know that kids are often bullied in school because of their looks and weight more than almost any other reason.  Weight is especially a major cause of bullying.  So what does Biden do?  Speak of physical appearance and weight entirely in derogatory terms, right when he is speaking of beating up the president.

Again, Trump is the president that shows what we are, but just didn't want to admit.  He is what the Left loves.  The Left doesn't care about kids bullied or people hurt.  Those are convenient issues for advancing the cause.  And nothing shows this more than Joe Biden and the Left's ongoing silence where his perpetual foot in mouth campaigns inevitably end up going.

I don't know what to make of the Vatican Letter issue

The BBC brings us up to date.  It seems pretty small potatoes.  I think the problem is that Pope Francis, like many Christian leaders across the board, is trying to make the Faith relevant to a world openly trying to evangelize the Faith out of existence.  He is doing this, again like others, by taking the banner for issues that modernity says is important - open immigration, post-national globalism, global warming, primacy of the individual - and downplaying such old notions as Salvation by the Gospel, the traditional marriage unit, abortion, homosexuality and other things considered important up to a decade or so ago.

Because Pope Francis has jumped on things like "Fake News" as one of the great evils of the age, it becomes imperative to keep a tight ship where reporting news is concerned.  If the sins of the world were sexual or immorality, then you couldn't have people running around sleeping with their secretaries.  If the sins of modernity have been pushed aside under the auspices of 'mercy' and 'just love'em', while Global Warming or Fake News are elevated to the great threats to humanity of the age, then you have to keep your you-know-what wired tight where Carbon and Fake news are just the same.

And in this case, it obviously wasn't.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Dwight Longenecker offers up some common sense for Christian living in the Facebook era

Or a little Top Ten list of Satan's sleight of hand, tailor made for the new millennium.  A reminder as we begin the last leg of Lent.

Conservatives can be wrong

As can capitalists, socialists, atheists, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, druids, pagans, witches, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, doctors, lawyers, chefs, police officers, priests, ministers, doctors, lawyers, evangelists, architects, railroad engineers, journalists, politicians and delivery truck divers.

So why do I spend most of my time harping on the modern Left?  Easy.  Because I consider it the most direct and visible threat to our nation, our well being, our freedoms and the world in which my sons will raise their children.

This is not because the Left itself is filled with people any worse at their worst than the worst in any other group.  Nor is it because the Left alone is wrong, and everyone else is spot on correct about everything.  It is because the Left has the full support of the agencies, industries and institutions that should, and typically do, protect us from the excesses and wickedness of various groups.  The press, the world of arts and culture, the academy and educational institutions, and those professions that they fill, such as courts and judge's benches, are increasingly backing and promoting even the worst the modern Left has to offer.

These bulwarks of freedom have embraced new forms of racism, bigotry, discrimination and pining for segregation based on ethnicity, nationality, religion and gender.  They have stood by as the worst of the Left has called for censorship, oppression, intimidation and outright violence.  They have pardoned and made excuses or downplayed or ignored as the radicals of the Left have declared themselves grand inquisitors, judge and jury with the right to accuse and then destroy all based on a mere insistence of guilt, even including destruction of property and physical violence.  These institutions have even turned blind eyes to antisemitism, racism, sexism and even sexual assault when those might tarnish the designs and narratives of the Left.

Instead of protecting us and our democracy, the press, schools, entertainment industry and even some courts look away, or even cheer along.  When Muslim groups said they want Christians with traditional beliefs barred from government positions, we heard nothing.  When radical leftists attacked, shot at, tortured and assaulted conservatives and  Trump supporters, it barely made more than a polite discussion on most media outlets before being swept under the rug.  When people were fined, fired and punished for their non-liberal views about gay marriage or gender, the press and most of our popular culture venues rejoiced with great rejoicing, or joined in the fray.  Oh, and it's worth noting that a growing number of liberals, religious or otherwise, are joining in, as are some conservatives who are clearly growing tired of the fight.

That's why I'm so hard on the emergent, insurrectionist Left.  If conservative radical racists came out and said Blacks deserve what they get when it comes to violence, and the press said nothing or, worse, entertained debate about it, I'd pounce all over it.  If someone on the right said that violence against non-conformers could be justified, and you had scholars and movies and television shows and news broadcasts giving it some form of legitimacy, I'd be on it like white on rice.

As it is, it's the Left saying the same damn thing about whites committing suicide and falling through America's cracks who receive the same exact responses I just laid out as extreme examples, and that's why I focus on the Left.  Because it's not focused on by the press, universities, or halls of Hollywood - unless it's to excuse and support the evil.  The same goes for the left's calls for censorship, oppression, violence, government retribution against non-conformity, and the manifold sins with which the Left has long flirted.

When you see even Christians justifying the grave evils of our age in fealty to a force of evil, and those agencies that should protect us joining in, it's time to admit what the greatest threat to our well-being and the future of our posterity actually is.  We'll have time for other, less direct threats down the road.  And some day other forces of evil may tickle the ears of our establishment, and then we will focus accordingly.  But today's evil is enough, and today's evil threat wears the label 'Leftist' for easy identification, fully supported by our protectors, and advocated by a growing number of leaders who appear to have given up the fight.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Remember when a hardcore liberal democrat tried to murder Republicans at a ballpark?

And remember how his actions had nothing to do with his beliefs, his politics, or motives or any such things.   Remember how we were cautioned about linking his politics to his actions; you couldn't blame liberalism or Democrats or leftist rhetoric?  It was declared that he was merely a sick man, his actions were stand alone, and there should be no attempt at drawing a line of blame to anything but his own evil actions.

Wait for itMark Shea has already thrown the hammer down and used the bombings to attack his favorite demons of Hell.  He even threw a dig at homeschooling in for good measure.  Folks who used to read Mark in the old days will appreciate the irony.  No matter what the bomber's motives, I'm willing to bet there will be much made about people like him (conservative) being natural killers.  Mark has already drawn the line to conservative Evangelical homeschool types.  Let's see if the rest of the press follows suit.

I would talk about being thankful it might be over, praying for the victims and all, but such rubbish has long fallen along the wayside in our modern era, as evidenced by not only Mark, but by so many on all sides rushing in to make ideological hay out of this, even while people were dying.  So there you go.

UPDATE INFORMATIONAL NOTE: So it was pointed out to me that Mark has been using the old term he once condemned, Christianist.  What is a Christianist?  Basically someone who thinks they are a Christian, but Mark knows otherwise. And how do we know a Christianist?  Basically, according to Mark's post, it is a person who is conservative, Evangelical Christian (the most hated group in America), opposes gay marriage, is homeschooled, opposes abortion and thinks brandishing people for life for sex crimes is not a good idea.  So there you go.

BONUS NOTE: If you browse the sad spectacle of CAEI's comments, note the quick and easy attribution of racist motives based purely on the skin color, religion of the bomber.  We know nothing of his politics, only views on some social issues.  We know his race and religious affiliation.  Based on that - and that alone - we have people weaving entire narratives of his racist and evil purposes. Those on CAEI are not alone.  The strange irony of an entire swath of our nation that believes religion, nationality and skin color alone are enough to prove you are an evil racist has to be unprecedented. 

World Down Syndrome Day

As countries like Iceland rejoice in diminishing numbers of people with Down Syndrome due to abortion, and other clips and stories emerge of people pulling the old Nazi Mater Race theories on those with Down Syndrome as the societal burdens that they are, it's nice that we can sit back and celebrate these human beings made in the image of God.

But today, even as we get rid of these yucky notions of death penalty and just war, the forces behind this development seem diligent in pushing for broadening just when we, personally, can end life for our own convenience.  With medical technology where it is, we are laying the ground work for birthing only little Master Race people, with any runts or other unwanted dutifully exterminated before they can become burdens to society or our own happy little family plans.

It's frightening if you think on it.  It's as if no matter what humans realize in life, there will always be a new movement to drag us down to the mire of sin and death.  The only thing more stunning that the evils behind such thinking is the stunning silence among Christian New Pro-Life advocates who insist they are about the whole person - which usually means they believe the only hope for salvation and righteousness means aligning with the political Left.  Because the political Left is by platform and dogma open to almost all forms of eliminating unwanted humans, including those with Down Syndrome, the NPL Christians have adopted a 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' approach.  When one aligns with Nazis, what can you do but insist you don't smell anything?

So because the forces of this present darkness seem to have found a new target, and Christians who should be the first to rise up in their defense have chosen to look the other way, there is no better time than now to join in this day to celebrate those who not only bring their own gift of life to the world, but those of us who have so much to learn from them.

President congratulates Putin after election victory

No, not this presidentThat president.  Yep, in 2012 President Obama congratulated Putin on a victory, despite Russian and international criticism of the election's legitimacy.   You decide.  Why the difference in how this is being covered?   I think the answer is obvious.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Austin Bombings and Racism

At this juncture, it's fair to ask what the motives are when it comes to a serial crime like this.  Bombings are happening around Austin, TX.  There have been fatalities.  There have been serious injuries.  It looks to be ongoing.

Because the first bombs targeted Hispanic and Black Americans, it was obviously an easy leap to imagine the attacks were motivated by race.  Even if police were hesitant, I can understand why some would at least want to ask the question, or even draw a conclusion about racial motivations.

That is where it should stop, however.  Fact is, we don't know what the motive is, and the last bombing was set in a predominantly Asian and White neighborhood - whatever that means.  I mean, does it mean mostly Asian, are there some Asians, are there only a few Whites, is there nobody else?  A vague description to be sure.  But the latest two victims - who thankfully seem to have suffered minor injuries - were White.

So while racism is obviously on the table, it's less clear now than it was only days ago when even then it was hardly a sure conclusion.  If you are asking the question to help solve the riddle, then that's fair.  If you've already drawn the conclusion, accused and convicted, and furthermore jumped over any barriers to convict and sentence and verbally execute an entire swath of America for being racists who love this sort of carnage because racists, then you might want to look in the mirror the next time you ponder why we've become so violent and hateful as a nation.

Meanwhile the Telford Child Sex Scandal continues to pick up steam

You can be forgiven if you haven't heard of this.  I'll admit I hadn't heard of it until a month or so ago.  Unlike the Priest Abuse Scandal, which saw the media descend on the Church like soldiers hitting the beaches at Normandy, and occupied headlines, front pages, special broadcasts, weekly series, A-list Hollywood productions, and endless lawsuits, this has remained under the radar.

Cosmic coincidence no doubt. Whether the Left really believes or doesn't believe its own propaganda, that only the Christian West and America are evil and everyone else is lovely, I don't know. If Leftists think that, once they've ground Christian civilization to dust, they'll just turn on the next monotheistic bad guys and do the same to them, I'm not sure.

Whatever it is, Muslims can do and say and advocate almost anything and receive barely a wrist slap from the Left.  Most often, the Left bends over backwards to avoid discussing or even speaking of such things.  Sometimes they'll just turn things upside down and find a way to blame the Western Christian tradition. True, technically the Left joins various rights organizations in condemning the manifold human rights violations across the Islamic world.  But in a strange twist, it sees no  connection with Islam as a whole, and seizes upon any movement in a positive direction as proof that nothing needs to be said or done.  Islam rocks.

This isn't to say that Muslims are all rapists or that Islam is about raping girls or conquering the world.  Most Muslims, when weighed ounce for ounce, are like most Christians, Atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, or anyone else.  They wake up in the morning, get ready for the day, hope the best for their kids, go to work, get stuck in traffic, have to mow the yard, pay bills and go to the ball game.

FWIW, so did Nazis.  We're all human, but some can be rather bad.  And even if the bad ones are a minority, that minority can sometimes dupe a majority that is too concerned with college loans and wedding dates.  But even the good ones don't all see the end of the human game in the same terms.  And it's the height of arrogance mixed with ignorance to believe everyone in the world wants a nice, post-Western, post-Christian secular Leftist socialist vision of the world once the dust settles.

Which is why, perhaps, when stories like this happen, they receive so little attention.  As has been demonstrated time and again, when various 'designated minorities' run afoul of the narrative by being murdered, attacked, raped or whatever, by other 'designated minorities', then that's when they are also swept under the carpet.  Just ask yourself, if this was equal in every way, but was connected to the Catholic Church, or some other European Christian sect, do you think you'd hear so little about it?  Do you really think so?  Perhaps I'm being unfair, but there's a point when credulity just can't withstand the overwhelming evidence.

Free Speech and Abortion head to court

The Supreme Court will hear a case pondering the age old question: does free speech include the right to remain silent - even for medical providers?  The details, the facts, the topics are well beyond my pay grade.  I'm neither lawyer nor medical provider.

It seems to me that since the person is not compelled to go to that particular provider, especially if the provider is up front about his or her beliefs, then they can't demand that provider to act like any other provider in terms of what it does and doesn't offer.

But then I'd have bet you dollars to buttons that people free to pick any bakery to bake a wedding cake couldn't go in and demand a particular baker violate his or her conscience.  So there you go.

Here are two opposing views, one representing the more conservative opinion at National Review.  The other the decidedly liberal view at the always progressive Center for American Progress.  Read it and decide.

America is good at remembering its sins

When destroying statues was bad
We're not so good at forgiving them.  Contrary to popular belief, America has spent most of its times reflecitng on its sins, even if it didn't awlays take decivie measuers to make them right.  It's just that in recent years, using America's sins as a justification to eliminate America as it was historically understood has taken confession of sins to a new and  depraved level.

Mitch Landrieu, who has been pushing the great American Iconoclasm, linking the Confederacy to a Nazi styled phenomenon, and insisting it's time to see things from only one point of view, is out promoting his book which has come to define post-modern America's understanding of itself.  He brilliantly demonstrates where this trend of remembering but never forgiving is taking us.

The goal of the Left in our post-modern age is to burn the heritage of the United States and the larger Christian West to the ground.  Racism, being real and being a fact of the past and the present, is the best club with which to beat down the United States.  It is used to define, to attack, and to destroy.

The Confederacy, which - like all things in history - was a complex phenomenon in our complex past,  doesn't stand a chance in our post-truth, post-nuance age.  It has been boiled down to America's version of Nazi.  Traitorous too.  If the general lack of concern about treasonous behavior over the years has you concerned, look no further than the unwavering resentment and unbridled condemnation aimed at the Confederacy for being the traitors that they were.

All Confederates are now Nazis.  Treasonous Nazis.  All who fought for the South are to be forgotten.  All are guilty with no possible hope for redemption or forgiveness.  And from there, of course, we'll soon move to other parts of The Great Satan's history.  As my boys said, nothing proves the old adage that 'history is written by the winners ' more than what is happening to the Confederacy and the history of the United States today.

Naturally you don't dare complain.  After all, since the Confederacy was nothing but Nazi racist, and all about racism, and any attempt to remember the Confederacy a celebration of racism, to do anything other than seek its elimination from the public forum must mean you're a racist, too.  I'm sure when other popular monuments to slave owners begin to come down, we'll have the same line of reasoning.

Remember, Christianity demanded forgiveness, and that had an impact on how we viewed struggles and conflicts in the West's past.  It was in our bloodstream, below the surface, and was likely how the West was able to let bygones be bygones, even if it did so imperfectly.  It's why we used to look at other cultures that held thousand year grudges and wonder what they could be thinking. 

The new secularism, like most cultures and civilizations, has no such command.  Forgiveness can be a polite response or even a smart one, but it is not mandated.  Expect more and more of America's history, as well as that of the greater Christian West, to go the way of the Confederacy in the years to come. 

After all, when resentment and retribution replace forgiveness and reconciliation, then they will become ingrained in our psyche and become part of the bloodstream in the way humility and forgiveness were in ages gone by.  The fruits of an imperfect application of forgiveness can only be superior to the fruits of a perfect application o revenge. The results will be interesting, but more likely frightening, as most moves away from the Gospel message tend to be.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Mike Pence has a daughter

I didn't know that.  That's because Pence is a Republican.  During the Obama years of course, we heard never ending praise and adoration for Joe Biden and his wife and family, his late son, Obama's family, his wife, his daughters, and almost every week heard or read some form of hagiography about someone in the respective households.

But Pence?  I assumed he was married, and I assumed he had kids.  But hadn't heard anything.  Trump's kids don't count since they're in the news all the time - at least in terms of the latest scandal or investigation.  But Pence?

Of course Pence also reminds us of the hypocrisy behind the whole 'we're only like this [fanatical and hysterics about removing Trump] because Trump is such a horrible person.  Both during the 2016 campaign, and over the last year every time someone suggested Trump could be impeached, we saw the Left come after Pence with both barrels.  Each time we were reminded it is really Pence who is Hitler, Himmler, Charles Manson, Satan and the guy who squeezes the Charmin rolled into one. 

Trump has allowed the Left to excuse what they have done for decades, and that's use any weapon possible to destroy the lives of those who don't conform.  Like Bush's invasion of Iraq was an excuse used by countries that had long hated us to finally admit it, so Trump is the excuse used to justify what the Left has done forever.  The hatred aimed at Pence, and the general ignoring of his family or anything at all to do with him that isn't negative, should be all the evidence we need to see the obvious.

Speaking of Farrakhan and the Women's March

Well, we weren't speaking of that, but The Atlantic has done so.   This isn't the first time that feminism has been linked to strange issues.  It was during the 90s that many feminists and feminist leaders sacrificed the safety and well being of women on the altar of Bill Clinton's libido.  Sometimes it's almost as if there are other agendas under the surface that we're not hearing about, and all this talk about sexism and racism and all that jazz is just a shield to cover up what really matters.

BTW, note what I said.  The emphasis is only on Farrakhan's naked Antisemitism, not his overall racist attitudes towards Whites.  That also says something.

Louis Farrakhan, racism, and the Left's stunning silence

Yep.  Even if it's an editorial, at least someone is saying something.

Farrakhan is a man who liberal Democrats have wined and dined with over the years, even as he spewed Nuremberg level rhetoric at white people and at Jews for decades.  Where is the outcry?  Where is the outrage?  At best we have some liberals say he is wrong, or insist they denounced what he said here or there.  But imagine conservatives yucking it up with a white man who says such things, leaning on 'but we reject what he said here or there.'

Is there racism in America?  Sure.  Always has been.  Still is. Some of the newer brands are just the old racist attitudes applied to new skin colors.  But it's always been there, as it has in different ways and shapes around the world.

Do conservatives have racists in their ranks?  Of course.  And being conservative, their brand of racism will likely be the kind you could have experienced back in the day.  Likewise, the racism embraced by progressives will be new, fresh, and different.

The irony here is that racism is the Left's favorite weapon with which to beat down America and its heritage. Every day we're reminded of America's past or present racism, at least traditionally packaged.  After the Charlottesville clashes, we turned the Confederacy to America's Nazi, all Confederates became Himmler and we embarked on an iconoclasm not witnessed since the Taliban swept into power in Afghanistan.

But despite this hair trigger intolerance for the slightest notion of anything remotely close to racial insensitivity, we have Louis and his band of merry men in government while the press has, until recently, stood silently by.  When mentioned at all, most of the press's concern is aimed at his Antisemitism, not his anti-white racism.  After all, replacing the word "Black" with "White" has become all the rage for liberalism's new and improved racism.  So that he simply echoes that isn't going to raise concern.

But his overt hatred of, and condemnation of, Jews in a way that is no different than a neo-Nazi rally has become too much, and at least some outlets are beginning to tug their collars.  Just note, however, the difference.  Ask yourself why.  Why the different treatment?  What does it say about racism as America's unforgivable sin?  What does it say about the zero tolerance for racism we hear so much about?   There's much that is revealing in all this, even if now some are beginning to step forward and say enough.  Why did it take this long?  And compare it to, say, our Charlottesville response.

Sort of makes you wonder, don't it.

For fear of little men

Up the airy mountain,
   Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
   For fear of little men;

The Faeries,
by William Allingham

For St. Patrick's Day, John C. Wright posted this amusing video.

Mr. Wright gives credence to the possibility that the fellow is on the up and up.  And as I've said before, I'm the first to concede the existence of what people refer to as The Supernatural.   As the good visitor at that post demonstrated, we have people who have turned skepticism into its own blind faith, willing to grasp at anything - no matter how far fetched or demonstrably false - to avoid the easier solution that rests on there being more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our latest philosophies.

I do have a hard time jumping anywhere too traditional in terms of superstitions and little people.  I'll concede the probability of the nether regions, but not imagine them in cultural terms.  That something could be there that stands outside of science's rather narrow corridors is something I can believe.  Adding the terminology, born of culture and history of that particular society, is - to me at least  - just the trappings that try to make sense of that which stands beyond our five senses.

Nonetheless, with that said, I'll take the possibility of seeing the world through created eyes, rather than material ones.  I think the Church has conceded too much to the non-believer over the years.  In some ways, listening to religious scientists and even religious leaders speak of the universe and life and humanity is barely different than listening to an atheist speak of the same.  We just smack a God stamp on it and try to make it all religious.

Christianity believes in creation, not a universe.  We don't see it as 'Big Bang, evolution, monkeys and humans and, oh yeah, God made it happen.'  We see the 'universe' as a mere part of Creation, a creation that includes many things beyond the ken of the physical sciences.  To believe in the supernatural is not to accept a material model of the universe and then proclaim 'Sure, there are demons and spirits.'  It is to say the demons, spirits, angels, heaven and hell are the real parts of creation, with the atoms and molecules and cells that make up what we see being merely one part of that grander Creation that groans along with us for Christ.

This isn't to say religious leaders and scientists don't think the same thing.  I just believe that when we hit the stage to discuss our model of Creation, we begin using the terms, assumptions and premises of the secular model of the universe, and sometimes I think that ends up being a tough sell for the post-modern ear.

Because of that, even if I don't envision little men guarding their fairy forts, I much prefer a model that allows for that possibility than one that dismisses almost all such possibilities but tries to maintain the thought that God is still there and, oh yeah, Jesus rose from the dead.  After all, an empty tomb is easier to swallow when set next to a fairy fort than set next to molecules or cells under a microscope.  One seems to reduce Creation to nothing but the materials of the universe, one says everything science imagines about the universe is but a small part of Creation.

The problem with Babylon Bee

Is that its attempts at humor are often what passes for enlightened reasoning in our post-modern era.  One of the greatest travesties of the Roe v. Wade era has been the notion that we really don't know what constitutes a real human.  But we each get to hammer out our own definitions!  Next to that, can Babylon Bee be more ludicrous than what we teach in our schools, media and popular culture?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

For all your St. Patrick needs

Starting here.  And some more tidbits over at The American Catholic (always a wonderful resource for your history needs).

We'll divide up with a weekend's worth, since the boys are not always around now but still like to get together for the annual feasts.  One day will be corned beef and cabbage.  Then eggs and Irish sausages.  Soda bread is a must.   On Sunday will be our big feast after church with leaks and potato soup and meat pies with butter herb sauce.  Guinness and Harp will accompany root beer for the young'uns.  And we'll watch Irish documentaries, read Irish poems and of course catch a viewing of Darby O'Gill and the Little People.

With all that, there won't be much time for blogging.  So have a wonderfully green and Patrick weekend, and remember just who Patrick was, and what he wasn't.  Be back next week.  TTFN and God bless.

St. Patrick at our local parish 

And the rest of America's brackets join my bracket

Wow.  As one announcer said, a victory of biblical proportions.  Maybe not that, but possibly the most stunning upset since the Miracle on Ice.  The first time a 16 Seed ever beat a 1 Seed.  That's why I'm up at midnight posting this.  It was an afterthought game, scheduled at the end on Friday night.  This was the step that Virginia had to walk over to get to the meat and bones of the tournament. 

A shame.  Coach Bennett is a fine coach and much respected, and Virginia is a good team.  But that's what happens in sports.  You don't let failure define you.  You celebrate one week, undisputedly the best team in the nation.  The next week you're making history by being the first 1 Seed ever to lose to a 16 Seed.  That's  life, as Frankie would say.

At least Kentucky is happy. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Student was suspended over not taking part in gun control protests

It is true.  Despite the headline, he was in fact suspended because he refused to take part in the anti-gun protests that were staged Wednesday.

Here's how it happened.  The local school down the street essentially sanctioned the protests, as did many across the nation.  Because it was unseemly for a school to force kids to miss class in order to advocate a particular political view (which the protests did), it gave students the option to not take part.  Those who chose not to take part were instructed to gather together and stay in the study hall.  Just like we were told schools couldn't have kids do if the school was mandating something like the Pledge of Allegiance.

Well, young Mr. Shoemaker said no.  He said to go to the study hall was its own protest against the protests, with several of the students who chose that option making it clear they were against the anti-gun protests.  Mr. Shoemaker said there was no reason politics should be in schools like this, as it clearly was.  So he stayed in a classroom and choose to do school work.

For that, he was suspended.  After all, schoolwork in a school?  The school district and media outlets have tried to spin it like the linked to headline.  But of course he was suspended for not taking part in the protests, either the way the school wanted, or the optional way the school mandated.

This is what happens when schools cease being places of learning and become places, like everywhere else in our nation, to advance a singular political agenda.

Let's be honest.  The 'walk out' was coordinated and aided by decidedly partisan forces in favor of varying levels of gun control.  Schools, which overwhelmingly swing Left, have become ever more brazen about using their facilities in order to advance the progressive views already taught and supported by various lessons, unions and departments.  This student called it for what it was, and was punished.  Yes, he was punished because he didn't take the option offered him by the school.  But that option was only presented because the school had chosen to endorse one particular view, and insist those who didn't follow along go to a predetermined location as if to set them apart.

Oh, and because this here at home happened as the student said, despite the headline's best efforts to suggest otherwise, it becomes easier to believe stories like this.  Have I mentioned we happily homeschool?

Mark Shea ponders Jordan Peterson

Hilarity ensues.  Mark's hatred of everything to the right of center, mixed with his slavish devotion to almost every narrative and doctrine of the political Left, should have put Peterson in the cross hairs months ago. With the exception of "gay marriage", which Mark barely mentions anymore, and abortion, which he blames almost exclusively on capitalism and sexist men, there are few significant differences between Mark and Daily Kos, or MSNBS, or Vox, or any other radical secular Left wing rag.

The problem?  Bishop Robert Barron has spoken and written somewhat extensively on the positive contributions that Peterson brings to the modern table. Of course Bishop Barron points out that Peterson is not a priest expounding the complete Gospel message.  And he, like most I know who value Peterson, can tell where Peterson is in line with the Christian tradition and where he isn't.

Nonetheless, Bishop Barron, who has not bowed before the Leftist juggernaut, obviously sees much value in Peterson and in the timing of Peterson's ascension.  This makes it tough for Mark.  Mark has long praised Bishop Barron as a shining light in modern Catholicism.  And rightly so.  Bishop Barron brings much to the modern debate.  And what's more, he says the same thing about Peterson that most Christians I know say about Peterson.

So Mark does what he can. I was going to write a lengthy piece unpacking Mark's humorous attempts to twist and turn and desperately avoid the obvious points Bishop Barron makes, but I figured I'd do what he did to Barron's review of Peterson - post a link. Read away.  Especially read the comments, since they help explain why so many see value in Peterson, given the appeal to arrogance behind many of his critics.  Not just arrogance aimed at Peterson but, as usual, aimed at any who don't fall in line behind the Left (which one reader seems to think doesn't really exist).  There are exceptions of course. (NOTE: as of now, the comment explaining identity politics/Marxist influences has been removed, though it could be a glitch since there is no note saying it was removed - having been on Patheos, I know it's a different animal to actually erase a comment than merely deleting one..  Perhaps check back later) 

I will say one thing.  Mark compared the kids at Parkland with vets hitting the beaches at Normandy.  It's not like exaggeration is foreign to those on the Left, where every ally is an angelic hero, every problem the next Holocaust, and every opponent Hitler.  And there is something to be said about the comparison, since those who are victims of mass shootings are not trained the way soldiers in war are trained and prepared.

Nonetheless, I have it on good authority that even witnessing the worst of a mass shooting pales in comparison to the horrors and reason defying carnage and slaughter that one experiences in combat, especially modern, industrialized combat.  That sort of exaggeration goes a long way toward nowhere, and does little to elevate the debate, honor the dead, or keep things where they need to be, and that's real.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


There went my bracket

nuff said.

Things I heard from the student walk out

First, apparently all the students are on the same page when it comes to focusing on guns as the solution, since almost every student interviewed went straight to guns and dealing with guns as the focus.  Well, that's not true.  FOX News managed to find a student who wasn't supporting gun control as the answer, so make your own call on that.

Many students apparently have no problem saying they want guns gone, they are against guns, they want them banned, and they have no issue admitting it.  Both in interviews, and during various chants, the message was clear.

Many apparently hate the NRA and see it as right up there with the KKK and Nazis.  They want it gone.  I didn't hear anyone chant 'Kill the NRA', but the NRA, when mentioned, was talked about the way one might mention a serial killer, or a terrorist organization.  Given that national leaders and pundits refer to the NRA in such a way, that shouldn't be surprising.

Nobody in the press confronted the kids about bullying and who is actually doing it.  There were a lot of demands that someone[else] do something, but not many of the students said 'Given the almost universal link between mass shootings and bullying, I pledge...'

I heard parents who were interviewed speak about how they had hoped their youth would become activists, even if not because of something like this.  I thought that was interesting.

Several of the protesters had no problem suggesting people who weren't on the same page as them about gun measures were more concerned about their guns than their kids.  That was repeated in speech and posters.

I noticed several youth linking this movement to other movements, like the Civil Rights marches or the Vietnam War protests.  I wonder if the above parents noticed that, too.

Nobody talked about the media violence, rhetoric and other characteristics of modern life.  It's not even worth wondering if I heard any links to our abortion culture or our more hedonistic tendencies. Because of this, there were no pledges by students to turn away from all the violence and rhetoric that has come to define our modern culture.  In fact, again, there were no pledges from students to do anything, other than demand political leaders do something about gun violence.

Nobody talked specifics.  Even when students were given substantial time in an interview, there were no real specifics.

Those are what I noticed the most.  No mention at all about suicides, the growth of suicides among white Americans, the disproportionately high level of violence among certain demographics and in certain reigns of the country.  Just mostly what I posted here.  I'm sure there were other things I didn't hear, but that's what I heard.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Avoiding self reflection in the wake of school shootings

Is just what youth are doing across our nation today, as students bravely skip school to serve the designs of the Gun Control movement.  The fact is, almost every school shooter was a student who was brutally and ruthlessly bullied.  You'd think someone in our media would bother to ask all these students if they could reflect on what part some of them might have played in bullying others.

We know that before the Parkland shooter was officially identified, students reported that they knew who did it.  And they knew why.  The kid was bullied.  Given the fact that we have elevated bullying to being the worst thing since the Holocaust, this should somehow have made the news.  Of course the myriad failures that led to the shooting have been all but ignored, so I suppose that's grasping.

As Ashe Schow at The Federalist points out, this is ultimately just exploiting and using these convenient youth as ideological shields. After all, who dares question them?  They're the victims, they're the future and they're the hope.  A common partisan tactic.

BTW, Jonah Goldberg posted a rather controversial, but sane, piece exposing the lunacy behind this notion that 'the kids have spoken, so it must be.'  At least the kids that have spoken about gun control.  Kids who aren't about gun control seem to be strangely silent.

Fact is, we know guns have nothing to do with the overall violence problems in America today.  People have killed with or without guns for ages.  Around the world, where guns are scarce, in violent societies, people will turn to other means of mass killing.  And guns were far more available decades ago when we didn't have this phenomenon we casually refer to as 'school shootings.'

In our country, the mass shootings - as horrible as they are - account for a small portion of deaths by gunfire. The solutions everyone is talking about might have reduced some of the casualties in a few of the mass shootings, but that is all.  Despite promises that gun control activists know there is more to do than lobby for gun restrictions, they never seem to get around to anything other than lobbying for gun restrictions.

When thinking about the violence, more likely than anything is the fact that we are a society that peddles hedonism and narcissism as the two cardinal virtues, and that might not be a healthy trend.  We are a society that thinks nothing of defining what is and isn't a human being per our latest convenience, and that has to have a subconscious impact on people.   We are a nation that increasingly sees life as pointless unless we are able to indulge in creature comforts or even debauchery and decadence, and that must have devastating consequences for those who can't keep up with the material world.  We are a country that has become divided, and spews hatred and contempt at those who don't agree with us in a way that would shame most wartime propaganda, and we know what wartime propaganda is capable of inspiring.

These things and more are likely why we have school shootings, not guns.  The fact that our kids see adults acting like our nation just described, but without the cleverness and maturity of 'adults', has likely turned old time bullying into something truly wicked and evil.  And those who are in the cross hairs of that behavior, who have other problems to contend with, become the killers that are subsequently ignored by the forces who only see things like Parkland as validation for their agendas. 

If we cared about stopping the violence, instead of merely pushing an agenda, we might show up to the student protests and apologize for the nation we have built, and assure the kids it's time for all of us to begin walking back from the problems we have made.  I won't hold my breath.