Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Kardiac Kids are back

In a year that will go down as the year in which Nick Saban of Alabama threw his headset when he was 21 points ahead, there has been quite a sleeper emerging in the old, broken down town of Cleveland.

While the press continued to prop up LeBron James no matter what his record, and continued to beat the drums for the much hated New England Patriots; in a year where a sub-par quarterback embraced the Social Warrior Left and then fizzled into obscurity, a franchise that last year many were thinking might be ready to fold just lost it's last game of the season.

What's so big about this?  It's Cleveland.  The long-suffering Browns.  When its owners moved to Baltimore in the 1990s, Cleveland fans did the unthinkable and fought to keep the  name Browns in Cleveland.  A new team was formed.  But forming new NFL teams from scratch isn't easy.  And it has struggled for years, leading up to the last two years that saw wins going the way of the dodo bird. 

After a season without a single win, Cleveland earned the right for top pick in the draft and decided on dark horse breakout star Baker Mayfield.  Mayfield himself fought his way to the top, being overlooked by colleges and having to be a walk-on and prove himself as he went.  This put a massive chip on his shoulder, one that he demonstrated in full when Oklahoma beat Ohio State in the Horseshoe, and Mayfield gleefully planted a symbolic spear in the middle of OSU's field.

At first, it looked as bleak as ever.  Cleveland's coach, Hue Jackson, declared that Mayfield would not start this year, come hell or high water.  He was going to stick with their quarterback Tyrod Taylor no matter what.   That no matter what saw the usual Cleveland tendency to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory every week.   No matter how strong the lead, we knew that by the time it was over, Cleveland would lose.  And lose they did.

Then came an unfortunate turn of events.  Taylor was injured, and there was no capable backup ready, so Jackson begrudgingly put Mayfield out on the field.  He swore it was temporary, and Mayfield would be back on the bench where he belonged.  And at first, it didn't seem as if Mayfield had much of a chance.  Then something strange began to happen.  Yes, they continued to lose, but for the first time in years, we were giving teams a run for their money.  Games were tied, or almost won.  Games were down to the wire or going into Overtime.  And apart from obvious coaching decisions, it looked as if the team was coalescing around Mayfield.

Then the Brown's management did something it hasn't in years: it made a smart decision.  After losing games through obvious bad coaching that Mayfield could have won, Jackson was fired and replaced by assistant coach Greg Williams.   And then, magic.  Cleveland began to win.  And win decisively.  When they lost, they often gave teams a run for their money.  When they won, they did it decisively.  And it was all due to Mayfield.  Not since Joe 'Cool' Montana controlled the field in the 80s at San Francisco has a quarterback seemed so much in control of a game.

In the game tonight, against Baltimore (Cleveland's nemeses deluxe), things looked ugly at first.  Baltimore was ahead by 20, and it didn't look like Cleveland could beat its defense, or stop its unbeatable run.  But then, it did what it's done since Mayfield took over and Williams stepped into the coaching stand.  Cleveland came back.  Mayfield made one impossible pass after another, becoming the all time record holder for Rookie touchdown passes, despite being at a three game handicap. 

Yes, they lost.  Yes, it ended with a Mayfield interception.  Yes, Baltimore still had that terrifying offense.  But Cleveland, with Mayfield and Williams, made it a game to remember.  And they showed, after a year of ups and downs, bad coaching at first, bad decisions at first, and general chaos, that next year they will be the team to watch.  So much so, if you type Kardiac Kids in Google today, the first thing up wasn't Cleveland's famous 1980s season, but the game against Baltimore today.

So in tribute to the possibility that Cleveland is back, the edge of your seat thrills, and the thought that we might be looking at the beginning of one of the great ones in the finest tradition of Montana, or Manning or Drew Brees, I thought I would link to this blast from the past.  The first 'sports novelty song' of that era and one that foresaw the fusion of sports and celebrity culture that would hit its high point with Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods (something the sports media has been lusting for all these years):

Also, since it's Christmastime and the timing itself just couldn't be better, I couldn't resist.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

When White became the new Jew

Or the new Black.  Yes, read this.  It is not a satire piece.  It is not The Onion, or Babylon Bee.  It is real.  A woman's march is canceled because there are too many Whites in it.  Whites are now to the Left what Jews were to Nazis, or Blacks to the KKK.  That so many who feel this are as white as a JCPenney sheet sale is irrelevant.  That only compounds the evil, for those whites who insist White means 'those other White types' will likely be willing to endure any evil visited against others who are white just to prove their fealty to the Left. 

Throughout the ages, things such as racism against Blacks evolved over many centuries.  It took generations and generations to see these things develop.  By the time confronting such evils was overdue, those who were immersed in such bigotry had generations of cultural conditioning behind them.

But today, we're seeing new bigotries emerge overnight.  In a matter of decades, the Left is teaching people to hate this or that demographic in ways that took some civilizations centuries to learn.  In my own lifetime, I've seen such bigotry germinate and bear fruit so fast that it is barely comprehensible.  And as a result, it will be far less forgivable. 

For those of old did not have previous generations and eras to learn from.  They were often illiterate, uneducated, and unaware of the flow of history. Today?  When people are more literate, more educated and more informed than any time in history?  Perhaps it goes to show that education is not the final answer.  It certainly goes to show that education alone won't prevent people from doing all the evil done in the past. 

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Massacre of the Innocents and the New Prolife Movement

In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are no more.

Today is, in Western Circles, the day set aside to remind people that Christmas was never meant to be only a Hallmark moment. It is the day to remember Herod's order that the newly born of Bethlehem must be murdered. 

In recent years, this has become a time to mourn our modern culture of infanticide.  Like human slavery, euphemistically called Human Trafficking, abortion is merely infanticide with medical muscles.  It reminds us that warning against losing the Christian West's civilization could mean a throwback to pagan barbarism is lost on the hearing today.  The fact is, an increasing number of Western citizens appear to want to go back to an age of pagan barbarism, complete with infanticide, matricide, patricide, human sacrifice - as long as it means Hollywood versions of pagan sexuality is thrown into the mix.

Hence why the concern that we are moving to a post-justice, post-reconciliation era where guilt and innocence no longer matter is also falling on deaf ears.  The point isn't that we have blind and gullible sheep wandering after the next Cool Thing, unaware of the side effects that come with their goals.  They want those side effects.  They have determined that a world of eliminating the unwanted and those who threaten one's own fiscal reality that, as often as not, involves endless debauchery, greed and narcissism is a world worth having.

And it's this movement that the so called New Prolife Christians have allied with.  It is the same that those who use such terms as Social Justice, or Seamless Garment, now slavishly follow.  So while a decade ago, you could find so many across ol'St. Blogs using this day to lament the modern era of infanticide, today those who have posted on this are practically none.

A few who cling to the old ways have done so.  But so many who proudly call themselves New Prolife have posted nothing at all.  Or they have deflected to this or that political policy regarding immigration or healthcare or such.  Anything but dealing with the topic at hand.  Granted I couldn't search for everyone who goes by NPL, but of those I know who do, there was deafening silence.

When Christ was born into the world, the Roman Empire had only recently stepped into the fray in the regions around Jerusalem.  Rome was now the ruling authority, the dominant political reality.  Despite a history of bravely facing up to those who would challenge the Jewish faith, a great many residents of Judea by now seemed tired of the fighting.  Increasingly, Jews were learning that when in Rome, do as the Romans.  Some resisted, even violently.  But many sought ways to either preserve the Faith at Rome's pleasure, or just go full blown Greek and be no different than the Gentile Roman down the street, or just do what it takes to get by.  When Herod, a puppet of Rome, ordered this massacre, it was done in line with the prevailing culture of the day. Though those immediately impacted would no doubt be weeping along with Rachel, most had come to accept that this was the way of things now that Rome was in town.

Some things never change.  The silence of New Prolife Christians where abortion is concerned, or the desperate attempt to deflect to ludicrous and flawed notions of abortion being men's fault, or capitalists fault, or anyone else's fault, just shows that, deep down, they darn well know what they are doing. More to the point, those who have said nothing at all reveal themselves the most.  For the best way to see guilt is to note silence where outward opinions once would have been.  Bring up adultery, even as a joke, to someone sleeping around behind his spouse's back, and watch the eyes drop and look away.  Today, many who strut like peacocks under the self-proclaimed title 'New and Whole Prolife' have looked away. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Turn from the world and seek the Star

I've often said that the classic picture of the magi (usually three), walking across the deserts sands at nighttime, following the star of Bethlehem, is one of my favorite images of the Christian Faith.  It speaks to something in me, deep down.  That yearning, that knowing that for all the bells and whistles that the world rings out, there is something beyond that they miss.  There is something beyond it all that every human being is seeking.  

I pray those of us who claim faith in the one at the end of that journey will keep our hearts on the prize, and that somehow the rest of the world will begin to look to that which we have found. May we be worthy of the call to help guide them to what we say is the most important discovery one can make in this brief lifetime. 

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Attention Conservatives

If you don't want Americans, especially younger ones, to reject conservatism, then stop living up to as many negative stereotypes as possible.  To start with, stop trying to act as if Old Man Potter from It's a Wonderful Life or Gordon Gekko from Wall Street, or, worse, Ebeneezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, are really the good guys. Stop coming in to say George Bailey's life still stinks because he doesn't have a huge home, expensive car, and massive bank account. 

In short, stop acting like the acquisition of financial gain is the source and summit of a meaningful life.  Stop acting as if the lusting for material wealth to the exclusion of all other priorities is what life is all about.  Stop acting as if what liberals say about conservatism being for the greedy and money obsessed and Mammon worshiper is actually onto something. 

Every year, you see things like this, whereby we're told that it's the money, stupid.  What's life?  What's friends?  What's the joy of a close family?  What's walking the extra mile?  What are these things if you don't have a crap ton of money in the bank?  Are kids or Christmas good?  Sure!  But only if you can squeeze that extra dollar out of them somehow!

Geeesh.  The point of this particular piece seemed to be that in light of the growing number of young'uns who are warming to a socialized economic model, despite what a logical appraisal of socialism should warrant, an obviously harsh message railing against greed and wealth might not be the best message.

Perhaps.  But did it ever dawn on conservatives that when conservatives write that a man's life isn't about family, friends, or helping others, but it's about the size of his home, car and bank account, you're falling into the very type of world that most people will ultimately rail against.  Yes, there are those who will become successful because that's all they care about.  But most people - God included - seem to think there are other things that are every bit as valuable.

What's more,  young people who see things like this article are apt to conclude that even if we might make more money following such a conservative message, in the end, we might end up more like Old Man Potter than George Bailey.  And if all conservatives can say is that they are wrong, and it's better to be Potter than Bailey if you just compare their bank accounts, I have a feeling we're in for a long, slow road down to the very socialism that conservatives are trying to avoid.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Democrats as enemies of Christianity

For your Christmas prayers, the Democratic Party is fast becoming open in its hatred of the Christian Faith and those who dare belong to its ministries.  In the footsteps of CAIR endorsed Bernie Sanders' statement, we are reminded that to be a member in good standing of certain traditional Christian traditions or ministries could preclude you from public service.

This is, of course, quite predictable.  The Left has long been supported and driven by forces sympathetic to an old Soviet style communism.  There is no room for religious - if any - freedom in their new land.  They'll suffer Islamic freedom, mostly out of fear, but also out of hopes for a mutual alliance against the common enemy.

In the meantime, they continue promising Americans endless debauchery, decadence, narcissism, and of course the broadened right to eliminate any unwanted humans that get in the way of their libidos.  The assurance is that if the government seems to be crushing rights and liberties, it will only be those other schmucks over there who it impacts.  After all, didn't you get gobs of trophies even when you lost and weren't you allowed to take tests over and over until you passed?  Obviously you're awesome.  It's only those other loser Americans who will lose their rights and liberties.

No, the modern Left - Marxist based and Bolshevik inspired -is fast revealing itself as the prime tool that Satan is using to attack Christ's Church.

If you think this is harsh, imagine a politician saying anything similar about Judaism, Atheism, Islam or any other belief system.  Yes, part of it is the radical, Nazi-like feminism that was once a caricature of radical anti-male feminism that is now mainstream feminism, but it's target is increasingly and only the Church. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

White people cannot use those drinking fountains

You might as well say that when you say white people can't model a sweater featuring a Black Panther movie image.  Same racism.  Same segregation.  Same mentality.  And like the racism and segregation of the early 20th century, completely endorsed by our elites and leaders and beautiful people who get all the awards and invites to all the best parties. 

Millennial America.  Showing that if you proudly ignore history, you will most assuredly repeat it.

The passive aggressive Mark Shea

Heh.  I saw this headline about Trump going 'all passive aggressive' on Ann Coulter.  Passive Aggressive?  That's a common insult today, especially on the Internet.  Believe it or not, it's an actual disorder and can be diagnosed.  Anyone with counseling training, however, knows you never - ever - diagnose anyone based on Social Media.  It might be possible to diagnose them if you can compare their real lives to what they do on Social Media.  But you need more than that parallel universe of unreality called the Internet to make a proper diagnosis.

But it's not really a diagnoses when used in most social media contexts. It's a petty insult, one of the more common types.  It reminds me of when boys used to call each other 'girl' as an insult back in the day.  Imagine that. 

Nonetheless, I was interested to see what Huffpost thought warranted the 'PA' label.  So I read the pithy little piece.  Apparently, per HP's keen diagnostic acumen, Trump blocking or unfollowing Coulter is what gets the Passive Aggressive label. 

Given the speed with which Mark Shea bans people, you have to admit there's some irony.   Projection possibly?  Again, he banned me after only a couple weeks just because I posted one of his own comments about George Soros being a supporter of murdering babies.  The post I pasted the old comment on was one Mark had written strongly suggesting that anyone who criticizes Soros does so because they love Hitler and hate Jews.  Because other readers commented on my little paste job before Mark could delete it is most likely why he threw his fit and banned me.

But I had to chuckle.  Mark's favorite insult to me, who doesn't ban anyone, and yet according to HP (which Mark has been known to reference as a valid news source), his favorite response to people is sign of passive aggression. They're wrong of course, as is Mark, but I had to laugh.  One reason among ten million why neither Huffpost, nor Mark Shea, should be listened to about anything under the sun if you're interested in truth.

Why we're Orthodox

Because for all of the myriad problems and scandals and upheaval across the Orthodox world, the one thing they aren't doing is throwing the Gospel itself under the bus.  Yes, there are some within the Orthodox Church pushing to apostatize for the modern, post-Christian global Left.  As of now at least, most of the leadership makes it crystal clear those doing so speak outside of the bounds of the Church's teachings.

Compare this to a priest who dared suggest suicide isn't always a great assurance for salvation, or Bishop Barron, on a talk interview with Ben Shapiro, letting the world know that it's being a good person following your  conscience that bringeth salvation, since it's all about love (All You Need is Love after all).

And what did the priest in our church talk about Sunday?  He talked about how God is a loving God and God's love covers all things, and that's why the Church is about love.  However, if one rejects God or lives in unrepentant sin, then that love of God becomes an all-consuming fire.  Because God is love, but God is also a just God and sin is incompatible with the holiness of God.  That second part is almost never spoken about on any side of the Tiber, and hasn't been mentioned in many moons in the parishes I've attended.

Now, as for the priest and the funeral, I'll admit there might have been a better way or time to say what he said.  And the Church might have even reprimanded him and pointed that out, and informed the parents of the Church's teaching while understanding the difficult time they were in.  But hell no.  The priest is thrown under the bus.  The Church might as well say, "What's wrong with you!  We're not here to proclaim Truth!  We're here to make all the people who matter like us!"

It's what the editors at America, The Jesuit Review said about Brett Kavanaugh after all.  It matters not whether he is guilty or innocent.  It's just that really important people will be upset if he's confirmed, and we'd rather an innocent man have his life destroyed than see that happen!

Likewise, I'll give Fr. Barron a bit of a pass since it isn't easy to actually speak the Truth on another person's talk show when the world is watching, and the Truth has already been declared incompatible with serving in high office in the US.  But sadly, it's not just this or that case, or this or that individual.

I think now we are going to see just how in bed with the world much of the Christian leadership has been all these years.  As the World becomes more openly aggressive, hostile and antithetical to everything the Gospel ever preached, we'll see just how much of the Gospel we were wrong about, needs modified, compromised or just plain abandoned.  Or so will say those who are used to being Christian and Worldly for 6.5 days a week.

Again, going back to what a fellow who works with youth said a few weeks back.  When asking why so many young  people are just abandoning the Faith, one of youngsters gave the most devastating answer I've ever heard: 'Because we don't think most people in the churches really believe any of it anymore.'  As long as we act like the Gospel is something we'd rather not talk about, don't be surprised that a growing number of people aren't interested in learning about it either.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Albert Mohler is wrong

Not that there weren't slave owners who founded Southern Seminary, or that the Southern Baptist Convention was founded in the institution of slavery in America.  He's wrong to bother going back and beating that dead horse.  It's only purpose now is to tear down the US, the Western Tradition and the Christian Faith.  One need only read the comments in Rod Dreher's piece praising Dr. Mohler to see that any hope that modern populations of leftists, non-Christians, non-Americans and non-Europeans are going to throw their hands up and convert to Christ because of the humble repentance of our forefathers' sins should by now be dashed on the rocks of reality.

Forgiveness, humility, reconciliation, praying for the persecutor and loving the enemy are distinctions of Christianity.  Others see those qualities with various degrees of value.   Some do value them, when qualified.  Others scoff.  Many want their pound of flesh.  Read Marx and try to find much emphasis on forgiveness and you'll have your work cut out for you.  Given that Marx is wildly influential today. it shouldn't shock us that forgiveness is not high on the priority list.  In fact, it's antithetical to that phenomenon known as identity politics.

Yes, people say we should repent because of the Old Testament, when generations rose up and bemoaned the sins of their fathers.  First, we've done that in spades.  If we're waiting until every American has dug up every person who harbored any type of racist or bigoted attitudes and calls them out, we'll have plenty of time to wait.  Second, it's not really morally courageous to drag the sins of the past out before us.  Third, as I said above, it is not based on any notions of forgiveness or reconciliation through Jesus.  To tack those goals onto a tirade against our racist past might just as well be tacking the stats card for a Pokemon game onto such a tirade.  Those outside of the Faith see no value in it, don't believe in it, and see us as chumps doing their dirty work.  Finally, it's far more courageous to call out our own personal sins, rather than the sins of those long deceased.

Yes, slavery existed here, as it did throughout most of human history around the world, and does today in numbers that make many slave owning societies of the past seem trivial by comparison.  It's euphemistically called Human Trafficking, but it's merely one more manifestation of the old slave sin.  Many of us benefit quite well from the modern slave trade.  Racism?  Sure it existed.  It was the excuse, not the basis, for slavery aimed at American Indians or Africans.  They weren't racists that decided to own slaves to slake their racist lust.  They developed their racist attitudes to justify the unjustifiable.  Just as we're developing the most heinous and idiotic ideals to justify the inexcusable today.

Do I mean we shouldn't study the past, learn from the failings and sins of the past, and even admit to the shortcomings or outright moral affronts of our own heritage?  No. I'm not a millennial.  Even if other cultures don't make a habit of it, I think, like confession is good for the individual soul, so this is a healthy practice for a society.  But only if the purpose is to learn in order not to repeat those sins today.  Given that we are elevating new forms of racism, sexism, bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, censorship, and basic witch hunt and lynch mob mentalities fully endorsed by our media, pop culture, political leaders, and even religious leaders, I don't think the lessons are being learned. At best, I don't think the thrice-daily emphasis on the sins of our past are being dredged up to learn anything at all.  At worst, it's being done to deflect from the clear and obvious sins and evils being endorsed now.

This is why I realize that the Church is heading into a long, dark tunnel of its history. I think the Church - Protestant, Catholic and even Orthodox - is on the cusp of being about as wrong as it ever has in its love, illustrious life.  Just this rush out to declare the history of our church as racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted, evil and wrong as if it will do anything but ensure a continued vocation of suffering for Jesus on six figures is laughably naive at best.  It certainly isn't swelling the numbers, or, for that matter, stemming the growing tide against the Gospel.  How long must we fail before we learn?  That, my friends, remains to be seen.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Today is a day to remember

A symbol of what America rebounded from
That day that should have lived in Infamy.  Here are some old postsHere is a nice plug for the best movie on the subject, even if it's not Hollywood entertaining.  We won't get into the spate of stories showing that millennials increasingly know nothing of this day.  There is not enough time to spend on what millennials don't know.  Some, no doubt, break that mold.  But as an old millennial troll named Andre used to demonstrate on my blog, for millennials any appeal to history will likely fall on deaf ears.  There simply isn't a reason to look at anyone in the past who didn't have the good sense to be as awesome as they are today.  Despite a staggering lack of evidence for why today is as awesome as everyone insists.

Pray for the generation of that terrible day on a Sunday December morning all those years ago. We saw the last examples of their character during the Bush funeral and the much under-reported salute of Bob Dole to his former comrade in arms.  As Rush Limbaugh said so well, it wasn't an example of how politics used to be.  It was an example of how people used to be. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Banned from Mark Shea's platform for heresy, lies and sin - again!

Mark Shea, from Mark's blog, in a different age and time
Yep.  Mark lifted his universal bans a few weeks ago.  So initially I was just going to post a few one off warnings to Mark to pull up from the trajectory to hell that his apologetics appears to be on.  Then I decided, to atone for my many sins, I would read his blog every day and comment at least once a day through Advent.  At that point, I would wish a polite adios and offer a prayer for him to wake up in time.  I didn't comment every day, but did visit.

Now granted, I knew what I was getting into.  Mark resorts almost daily to lies and false accusation, calumny and defamation of character, spreading false rumors, character assassination, name calling, personal attacks, or similar things that apparently have made him quite a big name in Catholic apologetics circles.

So Mark posted a typical post emphasizing the rise of anti-Semitism, but exclusively that which is on the Right.  Included in this was labeling several he apparently doesn't like as closet Nazis with their own brand of anti-Semitism.  He's done that before, accusing this or that Catholic or Christian of being Nazi.  The Left has long used the old 'be liberal or be evil' tactic, and it's worked like a charm.  Mark and others across the Catholic blogs seem happy to use the same effective tactic.   That anti-Semitism is on the rise is doubted by nobody.  Hate crimes in general are on the rise.  And obviously, to any sane person who keeps up with the times beyond Left wing rags, the anti-Semitism is well beyond the borders of right wing neo-Nazi white supremacists.

Nonetheless, Mark naturally focused only on that Jew-bashing that could be used to subsequently bash opponents of the political Left and its narratives and policies. Included in the post was the usual 'opponents of George Soros only hate him because he's Jewish - thus Nazi!'  So I decided it might be worthwhile to see one of Mark's older posts on the subject:

Yep.  Banned.  Not even a chance to point out that perhaps others deserve the same consideration he's given himself on the subject.  Not a chance to rebuke Mark's false suggestion that I somehow defend anti-Jewish rhetoric.  The number of times my name has been dragged through the mud on Mark's blog being beyond count, but likely more than has ever happened in my life: among Orthodox, Protestant or non-Christians combined.  FWIW, if you ban someone for merely posting one of your own posts, that should set off bells and whistles right there.

But Mark has become like a mindless thrall of the political left.  Any deviation from the left, per Mark's rhetoric, proves your own brand of evil.  On Mark's pages, one's relationship to Christ comes across as some dashed off afterthought.  Sure, it's borderline heresy.  But Mark can hardly be blamed.  Increasingly across the Catholic Church, it's one's fealty to particular policies regarding immigration, global warming and the economy that defines one's righteousness and even pathway to heaven.  Actually living a chaste life or one in obedience to traditional Church teaching, or being charitable and giving to the poor, or even one's relationship to Christ, looks increasingly irrelevant.

Like a growing number today, whether by design or by accident, Mark acts as if it is fealty to the modern way that matters.  And like most, especially inclined as Mark is to his own brand of rhetorical flourish, failure to fall into Mark's circle of acceptance damns you.

I saw similar behavior to this in some more radical Protestant fundamentalist, independent churches back in the day.  But usually not this extreme.  That beyond the lies, sin and heresy of his own posts and comments, his combox is a bastion for racism, evil, murder, wishing death, abortion (including late term), witch hunts, sexual debauchery, heresy, blaspheme, tyranny, slander, anti-Christian and anti-Catholic rhetoric, merely reminds you of what was no doubt behind many who proudly goosestepped behind the ones who got invited to the best parties in Germany in the 1930s.  For example, lest you think I exaggerate, a smattering of comments from only a couple posts in a couple days:

When I called out Mark on his failure to reprimand the fellow who wished a gun rights activist's children would be murdered by cops, you'll note the limp-wristed 'ah come on now, stop with the whole I want children murdered thing - or I'll do something!'  Compare that to outright banning someone for merely posting one of Mark's own posts (you'll note that even after pushing back against Mark's criticism of wishing the children murdered, the commenter was allowed to post again).

Sure, Protestants had their Fred Phelps*.  But you know what?  Anyone who was anyone stepped as far away as humanly possible from him, and practically beat each other up to get to the microphone to condemn him.  But then, Phelps spewed hatred against the designs of the popular culture.  Mark's is right along with the designs of the popular culture.  Perhaps that's why he can say or do anything, or excuse or advocate anything, and he still gets accolades from the leaders and clergy and prominent voices of the Church.

Again, the problem is not - repeat, NOT - Mark.  It is that such a flagrant display of near blasphemy, heresy and sin is generated by someone not only popular, but one who is increasing his own profile among Catholics, Catholic leaders and even clergy and Catholic ministries.

Yes, in fairness, Mark seldom presents himself this way in public.  In an ironic twist, he almost personifies Social Media era passive aggression, in which face to face he swoons over people and insists he's just Mark and everyone just love Jesus and let's be friends.  He then slinks back to the protection of his computer screen and lobs his endless slander and lies and minimizing the manifold sins of the Left through any means necessary.   So there is a chance - a chance mind you - that not everyone knows of his alter ego.  Nonetheless, many do, and even make excuses for him.  And don't forget Catholic bishops who have moved aggressively against various Catholic ministries or spokesmen for far less, but for far more traditional perspectives.  This strongly suggests that, once again, there are those in the Church poised to ally with a grave and intrinsic power of Satanic evil rather than give up suffering for Jesus on upper middle class incomes at the best awards assemblies.

As my oldest son, who remains Catholic, once said, "The Catholic Church has taken some long naps in its history, and right now it is in the middle off one of its longest."  I fear he is right.

Oh, and lest you think I'm too harsh with the whole 'heresy, lies and sin' thing, I give you:

In other words, we came here to trash Jew hatred (which apparently means only those on the right who, per Mark, hate Jews - other examples being noticeably absent).  Do you disagree on abortion?  Do you support abortion?  It matters not what your reasons are.  Aborting babies is just one of those things we'll have to respectfully agree to disagree over.  But opposing Republican political and economic policies?  Now that is something over which we can come together as allies!  I give you the New Prolife Movement Seamless Garment in action and its take on what the teaching of the Church really should be about.

*BTW, this is not to suggest that Phelps was guilty of everything Mark engages in.  His issues are merely well known, and one of the closest comparisons I have from outside of the Catholic world.

Monday, December 3, 2018

How I know the Church is not ready for the coming storm

To atone for my many sins, I've committed myself to visiting Mark Shea's blog until the end of Advent.  I was just going to go and throw out a one-off comment then leave for good, now that he has undone the myriad bans he imposed on people.  But since I can comment, I'll do penance in the comboxes one last time.  That's fitting, because Mark's was the first blog I ever commented on.  Also, since I'm free to comment there, I won't talk trash here.  In the future I may speak to the importance of Mark Shea and why his particular trajectory matters to my family.  But for now, I want to point out something that jumped out at me.

This seems trivial.  But it is not.  And if it was just Mark, it would be no big deal.  But it has become common across the Christian Faith, and across all traditions: Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox.  This particular example seems small, but it points to the larger problem.  And what is this trivial little example?  Why, this:
Just as the prophets had warned, Judah and the monarchy descended from David were smashed to atoms in punishment for their infidelity to God, starting around 597 BCE. But that was not the end of the story, because God also promised they would be restored to their homeland.
From this piece.  The piece itself isn't bad, and I almost commented, hoping to encourage Mark to stick to these subjects, rather than the world of politics that has polluted his media pages.  But what's the big deal?  Read it again.  What jumps out at you?

What jumped out of me was B.C.E.  Now that's a designation that I believe came from Jewish scholars many moons ago.  It means 'Before Common Era' (or, for AD, it's changed to CE, Common Era). They simply weren't going to use the designated BC/AD across the Western/Christian world.  No references to Jesus for them, they picked their own designation.  It's not really intellectually honest, since the reference point is still Jesus.  But if it makes them happy, so be it.  By the late 80s, however, following the increased sensitivities emerging in America due to the sins of the past where slavery or the Holocaust are concerned, there was a growing push to rethink the very existence of this Christian society that had sinned so much.

Soon, by the late 80s and early 90s, it was becoming common for scholars across the board to drop BC/AD and go to BCE/CE.  By the mid 90s, some liberal Christians were following suit.  By the early 00s, you began having more than just hard line liberal Christians using BCE/CE, especially in academic works that were aimed at mixed audiences.

But Mark is a Catholic apologist publishing this piece in a Catholic publication for Catholic audiences.  He's not alone.  I caught this being used about a year ago in a small book about the history of the Bible.  A book written for Christians within a Christian context, deliberately avoiding calendar designations that refer to Christ. 

That's surrender folks.  That's giving up.  That's literally saying we'll hide it under all the bushels you want. Those who demand such self-censorship from Christians, of course, have no problem proclaiming their own beliefs, their faith, their values, their morals, their demands on others.  Christians alone are told to put Jesus in the closet and keep Him there. And more and more, Christians are complying with the demand.

As long as that attitude continues, don't expect the Church to stand up against the tidal winds that will define much of the coming storm.  If we can't even use a traditional dating mechanism that references Jesus because we fear offending people who have no care about offending us, then do we think we'll stand when actual persecution comes? 

This comes from a comment written on Rod Dreher's website:
Some sort of sub rosa maintenance of your Christian values and world view will simply not be possible in the long term, any more than the worshipers of Zeus could function as Rome became more and more overtly Christianized. When all the apparatus of the modern techno-information state is applied against you (and more importantly your children), nothing will be able to withstand such pressure. And it needn’t be camps and gulags. In fact, it almost certainly won’t be so over. It’ll be something far more insidious, subtle, and effective. A constant pressure, an inevitable squeezing, making life more and more difficult, more and more impossible, unless one stops offering pinches of incense to the old gods, and embraces the new.Persecution? You will beg for something as sweet as persecution.
Christians will pray for mere persecution once the crap hits the fan.  Because what will destroy the faithful is the same thing that has been destroying it for generations.  Not gulags or death camps or gladiatorial arenas.  But the steady drumbeat of '!Aw you meanies, don't be too Christian, that's offensive or we won't like you!'  And it's been working like a charm. 

Right now, we don't dare even say Before Christ in terms of a referenced date.  My money is on the persecutors on this one.  It will be generations, and likely a mere seed of the billions who call themselves Christians today, to replant the Faith and watch it begin again.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

RIP George H. W. Bush

I'm only seeing the first stories, and won't have time to verify or comment or learn the details.  If true,  and it appears it is, then prayers to his family and loved ones, and that God welcome him into His loving embrace. 

I'll comment more later.  I have several obligations I must tend to today.  Pax