Thursday, October 31, 2019


Just because it is Halloween

Happy Halloween!

A fun Halloween reflection on the sacred and the secular

From an unlikely source.  I stumbled on this blog years ago.  It was a blog post celebrating JRR Tolkien.  After that, I read several posts and realized it was mostly a blog about RPGs, Dungeons and Dragons and similar.  I would go back and sometimes he would have an interesting piece outside of the 'Inside RPG Baseball' stuff.  It looks like the blog is now defunct, though it's up for perusing old blog posts.

This one always struck me.  He's dealing more with artwork in various eras of Role Playing Games.  My guess is that he's no fan of recent versions.  My boys, who are into the RPG/Fantasy/Sci-Fi world keep me up with the latest of that culture, and it seems there is always a debate over the best and worst of the latest.

Anyway, he's comparing two pieces of artwork, but featuring the same monster, a demon named Orcus.  He contrasts two pictures, one from decades ago that appears almost amateurish, and one modern piece that seems right at home in our modern CGI laden world of CGI movies and PC games:

He explains his preferences and why he prefers the older, less refined version (some of it likely being a preference for older things in general - but that's an assumption on my part).  He spends much time discussing the overall evolution of art in the hobby, as well as other tidbits.

Then he comes to the point that grabbed my attention.  In unpacking the differences, he writes this:
Now, I'm not trying to suggest in the slightest that the Sutherland Orcus is a careful product of someone with a deep understanding of the medieval mind, because that'd be laughable. However, the Sutherland drawing, like most of the drawings in the original Monster Manual, is broadly consonant with medieval esthetics. Or perhaps I should say that it calls them to mind. There's something weirdly primal about that goofy Orcus DCS drew. I've always found medieval demonic images to be far creepier than modern ones, precisely because they have some atavistic connection to aspects of my cultural memory. Modern demons are just imaginary creatures; they're not monsters, if you catch my meaning. Wayne Reynolds' Orcus isn't a demon. Look at how muscular and physically powerful he is. That's a creature that inspires fear for my life, whereas Sutherland's Orcus is one that inspires fear for my soul.
You get that?  Beyond a fairly accurate take on how the medieval mind processed imagery in terms of the natural and demonic, he also 'gets' the difference between the sacred and the secular.  

We live in an atheist age.  Atheism had its Great Awakening at some point between the mid 19th and mid 20th centuries.  At some moment, atheism won the mind, and in some cases the heart, of a growing number of citizens of the old Western world.  It's been evangelizing the lost around the world since.

But with this comes a very material, physical, and IMHO shallow, grasp of things.  What does the secularist fear?  Physical pain, physical threats, physical death. What does the secularist crave?  Ultimately some form of physical pleasure since, to the secularist, everything is somehow physical or material anyway.  That second, newer painting speaks to that.  It's a buff, beat'em up type of monster that would feature in so many horror movies or Marvel films today.  Whatever it can do, it stops dead at anything beyond this physical universe.  Even the ability to destroy all life in the universe stops at all life.  There is nothing else to fear because, for the secularist, there is nothing else.

But as believers, we connect to that first old, silly drawing.  We know - or should know, if the doubts and assaults on the Christian World haven't taken their toll - that beyond this physical world is an entire part of existence that we must jealously guard, for the loss of that means the loss of everything, not just the small speck of time in which we live in this paltry material universe.

I thought of this old piece when I watched the strange events of the Amazon Synod, the confusion, and the statue that nobody seems to agree about, unfold.  In short, most defending Pope Francis, the synod, and the place of precedence for that female statue have emphasized the purpose of the synod, to reach out to the peoples of the Amazon regions, to find ways to increase access to the sacraments, to more or less apologize for the Western destruction of their ancient cultures (with no real call out to anything bad in their cultures), and of course an emphasis on the environment and ecological priorities.  All of these might be fine, but atheists - with the exception of the Sacraments - might sound no different in terms of priorities.

Somehow, the whole idea that possibly worshiping a pagan idol or 'Mother Earth' is no big deal, 'it's the environment stupid!' sounds much more modern, more material, and more like the monster in the second picture.  The problems Catholic and Christian leaders address today are big, bad and mostly physical - Global Warming, immigration, economy, sexual assault, racism and the like.  The idea of a pagan idol or pantheistic veneration of the world only matters if, well, you believe it.  Otherwise they're just material people in a material world doing material things - which is why material crises and material solutions are the focus.

I wonder if the world's Christian leaders were sitting around the table, rolling up the strange shaped dice we associate with RPGs, and getting ready to sally forth, just which of the two monsters would scare them the most. For the worst hysterics ginned up by Global Warming activists, for instance, might inspire fear for our lives, but as people of faith our main priorities should always be those dangers that are dangers because first and foremost they are threats to our souls.  And yet it's mostly those physical life saving issues our leaders are focusing on, often to the detriment of our soul saving fears.

Just a little pondering things as we get ready to wade through the torrents of yet another washed out Tricks or Treats.  Boo!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Remember when men not showing their groin area to young children was considered a good thing?

Yep.  This strange, bizarre flanking maneuver called 'Drag Queen Story Hour' that is spreading like wildfire around libraries in America is one for the books.  It's basically just 'This is our country now, screw you!' to anyone not on board with the secular Left.

It's done in our public libraries.  Recently a local library tried the same, but there was backlash.  One of my sons was part of organizing the backlash.  The protest was less based on 'you can't do that' as much as it was 'will you allow a pro-life or anti-gay marriage presentation as well?'.   Of course the question was deflected, outrage at intolerance ensued (intolerance being defined as failing to conform to liberal dogmas), and finally the library said they had to cancel due to death threats.

No actual threats were ever posted.  The police insist the threats were legit, and yet the drag queen in question merely moved down the road to a comic book store to give the story hour.  Exactly why someone who's life was endanger was allowed to publicly declare they would be down the street a week later is beyond my understanding of security measures.

But I think this is one of those little diversions that happen in times of war.  In the movie The Guns of Navarone, David Niven plays the wonderfully witty demolition expert Corporal Miller.  At the end of the movie, as they are setting the charges to destroy the fortress, Miller is seen putting some explosives in the crevices of the monster guns they are commissioned to eliminate.  Gregory Peck's character, the leader Captain Mallory, asks what is going on.  Miller explains that the explosives in the guns themselves are more or less a diversion.  The Germans aren't stupid after all.  They'll likely find them.  Of course some German demolition expert might get careless and produce the desired results.  Nonetheless, Miller says his bet is on a different trick he's devised, and proceeds to show Captain Mallery what it is.

I think of that when I consider the modern Left.  Almost every day is a full assault from a dozen different sources against almost anything we took for granted as true a half dozen years ago.  I don't think they put much faith in these things going through.  I mean, showing our groin area to kids is not something they should think will fly.  And yet, they're doing it.  Anyone, no matter how debauched or decadent, is given a microphone, a camera, and a stage.  The purpose, my guess, is a diversion.

Nonetheless, if some fringe lunacy sticks - like the idea that sex and babies are barely related, or that boys and girls don't objectively exists - all the better.  So down the road, there may be nothing come of this.  If it turns out opening a door to sex with children and all sex celebrated, no problem.  My guess is that its main purpose, along with the whole Drag Queen Story Hour fad, is simply to keep the opposition running about, putting out endless fires, and not paying attention to the real clouds gathering on the horizon.

Donald Trump and Dracula: A Halloween reflection

Cover of the other Dracula issue I own
I was never a comic book fan.  Don't know why.   Not that I didn't mind a fun romp through the occasional adventures of this or that superhero, I just never got into them.  Still, because I was a kid, others must have assumed I liked them and so, at various times, I'd get one here or there as a birthday gift, a Christmas present or something similar.

Since it was others getting them for me, I ended up with rather an eclectic bunch of comics: Spiderman or Superman, The Micronauts, GI Combat or Strange Tales (or Dr. Strange), Ghost Stories or whatever bizarre one off comics featuring strange alien animals or Archie before someone at Riverdale became gay.

One of the comics I remember, and I had a couple of them, was called Dracula, Lord of the Vampires, or some such.  They featured Dracula as a sort of super-anti-hero.  Since I only had a couple different copies, I'm not hip to the backstory.  But one of the Dracula issues I have always stuck in my mind, and came to my thinking today, as I saw more evidence that the Left is going full 'down with America/up with a Socialist totalitarian state' crazy, almost drooling at the prospect.

That particular issue had Dracula hotly pursued by an entire army of pissed off vampires.  No clue why, that was likely explained in previous issues.  But flying lickety-split through the night, Dracula is only two steps ahead of the vampire apocalypse fast on his heals.

Meanwhile, a nearby log cabin is filled with kids having been left to their own devices.  Where the parents were I can't remember.  But IIRC it's the usual gang: older kid with issues, younger kids under tenuous protection, easy-on-the-eyes teen girl in charge.  All of a sudden Bang!  Dracula comes, desperately pounding at the door, begging to be let in (remember, vampires have to be invited in).  The kids let him in against their better judgement.  What happens next is the typical banter with bad vampire, smitten teen, rascally kids, ticked off vampire struggling with helping or eating kids, scared everyone as the army of vampires assaults the cabin ... and that's what made me think.

Trump is like Dracula in that issue.  We're the kids.  We don't want a vampire in our cabin.  Some might be smitten, others repulsed, yet others scared of what he could do.  But we have little choice, because outside is the beast, and it is hungry. In the case of that comic book, the beast is an army of vampire monsters with no desire for anything but slaughtering everyone in the cabin.  In our case, it is a rising force of tyranny, evil, slaughter, and persecution peddling narcissism and hedonism to dupe as many Americans as possible.

Like those kids, we might see Dracula as a villain, but we also know what happens if Dracula gets taken out by the hostile army.  We're next on the vampire horde's menu.  Likewise if Trump gets it, we're next.  Already the Left has almost proudly declared its hatred of Christians, the West and America; a disdain for the Bill or Rights, due process, or concern over guilt or innocence; embraced judging and condemning based on skin color or demographic label; the killing of babies; and a host of declarations that only half a decade ago would have been poison for any group, no matter how fringe.  Now one of America's two major political parties is embracing these assaults on our nation, as well as basic justice, decency and human life and freedom.

Trump, we suppose, is the only thing keeping the hordes out in the darkness.  And we know if they can take down Trump, anyone behind him is up for the ravaging.  Unless we join the ranks of former conservatives now embracing an 'if you can't beat'em, join'em' mentality, we see scant few options today other than the vampire in the cabin.  That, kind friends, is why so many - even now - continue to hope what they can hope for a president like Donald Trump.

Just because it's so darn fun

Possibly one of the best songs from Disney's repertoire, at least in terms of being fun.   It's also a fine adaptation, mixing in some of the Halloween fad of the 1950s.  Nonetheless we watch it every year, and it along with a host of other Halloween tunes get us into the mood quite nicely.

Why we homeschool in one simple image:

Yep.  This is where we are.  There is no science behind this.  The science, in fact, screams against it.  But once again, we see 'scientists, experts and researchers' eager to prove that the science says what those at the best parties with all the money want it to say.  Heck, even secular news outlets like the New York Times have run stories featuring those youngsters harmed by the mad rush to Frankenstein monster our children.

Nonetheless, onward we push. Our schools, like our universities, entertainment industry and news media are merely propaganda organs for the secular paganism of the emergent Left.  Christians will either abandon their faith once and for all, hoping that before it gets too bad they will die and go to whatever energy field - if any - awaits us.  Or they will have to face the fact that it's going to get ugly, violent and barbaric.

For now, my family and I eke out a living, scraping by to keep our youngest home and away from the indoctrination and brainwashing while also exposing him to it on our terms and preparing him for what will be once he steps out of the house.  What will happen in the long run remains to be seen.  There are glimmers of hope that youth are becoming worried about where things are going.

I fear too many Christian adults, however, are too cowardly or quite frankly no longer believe much in the historical faith and values we inherited to put up a fight. We'll see.  But right now, we're doing our part by keeping our youngest away from the madness and demonic that has become the indoctrination camps known as our public school system.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Thanking God that we're not like this Pharisee

Over at the always ironically titled Catholic and Enjoying It. I'm going to miss that blog.  So seldom do you see such flagrant examples of caving to the whims and winds of change on the part of someone who believes he is evangelizing those who are clearly doing a better job of evangelizing him.

I partly blame Pope Francis, and his strange 'don't label people like those rigid Catholics over there' pronouncements.   Never one to shy from dropping the third person in his assessment of who is causing the problems in the Church, he has served over an era that has seen the biggest spike in Catholics being sure that the problem is 'those Catholics over there' that I've personally witnessed.  And those seeing the obvious progressive sympathies that Pope Francis demonstrates have lapped it up like a thirsty dog with water.

There are two basic readers on Mark's blog.  Atheists, pro-abortionists, pro-gay marriage and post-gender advocates, socialists, Marxists, and hostile critics of Christianity and the Catholic Church.  And left leaning Catholics who routinely show up to high five each other for not being like those conservative Christian and Catholic types who are no doubt sexists, racists, bigots, Islamaphobes, homophobes, transphobes and any other phobes we can think on.

It's not difficult to see the problems with this, and to bet which side is in the wrong.  That's not to  say all conservatives are right, or traditionalists without problems, or that there are no bad apples in the mix.  But when the conversation constantly rotates on 'I can't believe how deplorable those other Catholics are', you can bet that the moral high ground isn't on that side.  Especially when you add a dismissive attitude about an entire demographic of people who might be suffering purely on the basis of their gender and race,  and that in the name of Christ.

Anyone can be the pharisee without realizing it.  And far be it from anyone to cast too many stones at those other sinner types.  But there is a point in which we must step up and admit that it is at least partly because of, not despite, Pope Francis that so many Catholics today seem content with assuring themselves that the problems of the Church must be due to almost anyone else who disagrees with them.  And that is never a good thing.

Signing off a week from now

So next week, a week from today, is when the ol'blog will be folding up, at least as it has been.  I've said I won't abandon the blog altogether, or at least that's not the plan.  I simply will go in a different direction.  I have no particular hobby or interest that will dominate.  It will likely be a place for me to just post this or that, a family picture here, a thought on some spiritual or religious thing there.   Nor do I want to say it will avoid any issue in the world.  If you begin reflecting on religion or other aspects of life, it's impossible to do so and not take into account where we are in the world and how we got here.  I might dwell more on the history or the biblical, as those are areas I've studied and taught on over the years.  A sort of online, public domain dairy or journal, if that.

My point is that it will no longer  be the topical blog in the sense of 'look at this latest news story or this blog post, where it is good, bad, right and wrong' and linking it to this or that hot button topic of the day.   Oddly enough, that was never the intention when I started the thing.  It just sort of became that over the years.  

Oh, and the date of November 5 is cosmic coincidence.  It's not to honor Guy Fawkes!  It's because last year I said I would drop it on that particular day after much musing on what had befallen our world and nation up to that point.  Remember, that was shortly after the Kavanaugh hearings, when we saw a naked assault on almost everything we have come to assume is good and right in the world.  It was in the wake of that disaster that we heard more and more people saying down with due process, presumption of innocence, even democracy.  Within a six month period, almost the entire universe as we came to understand through endless centuries of Christian civilization it was thrown out the window, everything good now bad, everything evil and bad now a virtue.  And it was all tied with new forms of racism, bigotry, sexism, and growing calls for new extermination of those deemed unworthy of the latest modernist Reich. 

In light of that, I realized things had gone well beyond what this little blog could do.  So I planned on quitting, but then crazy begat crazy, as I said here, and I ended up being pulled back in.  I will not do that again.  I will post about this or that, and it may touch on the evolution of evil that we've seen, or musing about the future, or seeing the faith or the Western tradition in light of new hostile interpretations of history and morality.  But it won't be driven by this or that latest blog piece or news article. 

So next Monday, I will begin blocking various sites to keep me from the temptation of going back.  I know, I know.  As administrator I can unblock them.  But thankfully the blocking app is a pain in the neck, and I'll likely not go through the hassle to unblock once I block.  Patheos - the entire site - will be the first to go.  I realize there are some good blogs there, but the site as a whole is hostile to the Christian Western tradition, orthodox Christian faith, and an advocate for much that is increasingly evil and hostile in the world.  I think until Christians wake up and realize there is a time to stop the 'let's all get along' approach, the Christian faith will continue to post losing numbers. 

Others sites will go as well.  Mostly individual blogs, twitter accounts, and on and on.  I don't have twitter, but for reasons I don't understand I can access twitter, at least to see it.  Therefore I'll be blocking them.  I may keep Dreher's site up (simply because I think he is onto something with his The Benedict Option, even if he isn't the best messenger for the message), and I know I'll keep up The American Catholic, a good resource for everything from whimsy to history and culture to the important lesson that one does not need to hate America to be a Catholic in good standing. 

Beginning the 6th of November, if I blog at all, it will be based on whatever made me think on that particular day.  It will be more reflection-like, rather than political or social issue driven.  Or it might just be pictures of the latest family outing or festivity, or a lament for the Cleveland Browns.  Or, it may be a while with nothing at all.  

I certainly appreciate those who have stopped by over the years and kept the visiting numbers up, and hope you'll swing by to see if I'm up to anything.  Unless there is a 9/11 style event, however, I'll keep it simple and keep it personal.  

Monday, October 28, 2019

Hey Cleveland, it's real simple

The Amazon Synod: Two perspectives

One from a fellow named Rocco Palmo.  I'd lie if I said I know much about him.  His take is less positive than some might wish.

The other by Mark Shea.  His take, as one might expect, is extraordinarily positive.  If there are problems, they are the result of fascists right wing conservatives and racism as good as always.

My guess?  The Catholic Church continues to lumber toward the same apostasy that ruined so many mainline Protestant denominations.   The essence of liberalism, among other things, has been to destroy the past and use the sins of the past to build a new world order.

The Protestant denominations accepted that same idea.  Christians in the past did bad things.  Christians in the past were wrong.  The Civilization that Christians built did bad things.  The West was worse than anywhere else in history.  Everywhere else is fine without Jesus.  In fact, Jesus may just be our version of some abstract divine reality.  Therefore the Christian West as we know it must go and be rebuilt in our own awesome image.

There is nothing wrong with admitting the sins of the past - as long as you don't do so to declare your superiority to those in the past or to ignore the sins of the present.  But even if you do it right, you might still come up with the wrong conclusions.  One of the great lessons of history is that people might be good at eventually solving problems, but they are typically terrible at avoiding new ones.

Nevertheless, the World, secular paganism if you will, is doing a bang up job of attacking the Gospel, the civilization the Church built, and most concepts of virtue and goodness that came out of those things.  It's also doing a splendid job of converting Christians to its secular gospel.  A growing number of Christians seem bent on using the 'render to Caesar' approach to figure out just how much of the world it can align with.

When things come to pass and the plot is revealed, I have a gut feeling that the world as we know it will be gone, and a vast majority of Christians will have abandoned the faith for greener pastures.  I also feel, given where things are going and how we seem to have passed the high point of the bell curve in terms of modern innovation, there will come a time when things get really, really, and I mean really bad.  Once that happens, like the world crawling out of the rubble of the fallen Roman Empire, I think those faithful who remained in the Gospel will be there to help guide people back to the Truth.

It's a hunch I have.  Perhaps I'm reading too much history into the future.  But given how many of the evils of recent history we'd never have thought would be brought back this soon that are being brought back this soon, at least allow me to think that some of the best of history can also be raised up in times of need.

Pope Francis’s English biographer, Austen Ivereigh

Yep.  Was a time when the Church, and Christians everywhere, would have condemned praying to idols, including 'Mother Earth'.  That is one of the great distinctions of the Judeo-Christian faiths - God and Mother Earth are not one and the same.  In fact, most Christians also would have condemned cultures of human sacrifice, child sacrifice, and ritual extermination of the weak.  Yet it turns out the modern Catholic Church is hip to all  of this, seeking ways to accommodate it and assimilate it because, well, that's what the cool kids at the hip parties want. 

Why am I Orthodox and not Catholic?  I give you not only the Amazon Synod, but the growing 'love Jesus, hate Jesus, piss on Jesus - just get with the secular paganism of the modern Left or else' doctrines that are emerging as the Catholic Church lumbers toward the edge of the abyss.  For all the myriad problems with Orthodoxy, jettisoning the fundamentals of the historical Faith - at least by most of the leadership - is not one of them.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Father James Martin muses on the Bible's errors

It's funny.  Like mainline Protestant denominations, progressive Catholics lean heavily on the 'Development of Doctrine'.  That is a very Christian, and biblical, understanding of God's unfolding relationship with mankind.  Simply put, God didn't reveal everything at once.  He revealed a little and a little and a little over the ages.  The ultimate revelation being God incarnate in Jesus Christ.

Now, Jesus is the final true revelation, but that's not to say the Christian Faith never accepted new ideas or new understandings.  From the beginning, Church leaders realized a need to confront the context of the ages and even examine the historical Faith to see ways in which God interacts with new discoveries and ways of seeing the world.

What happened, at least in Protestant denominations, is that this very Christian concept became a blank check to basically throw anything and everything out the window to keep up with the latest Joneses.  Not only did it require a blind acceptance of the infallibility of progress, but it also tended toward a growing arrogance, a presentism as dogma in which many in these denominations severed almost all ties with the past, owing to their contempt for everyone who came before.  If they saw farther than those before, it's because they were the towering giants, looking back with increasing contempt on those deplorable dwarfs who came before.

Well, that seems to be where Fr. Martin is headed:

So there you have it, the Bible is just wrong sometimes.  Makes you wonder how valuable it really is.  Yes, yes.  Fr. Martin didn't say he agreed. He just found it - interesting.

Increasingly, it seems as if Catholic leaders - not to mention Catholics in general - are embracing the same notion:  Oh sure, there was a time when the Church OK'd the death penalty, or taught that women can't be priests, or the silly old Bible writers loved them some slavery and homophobia, but praise be to God!  The Lord finally got off the pot and created the first Generation to set it right! 

Same thing I saw in Protestantism.  Like all things today, it's happening at a faster pace.  Just like new forms of racism.  What took centuries to lead to Jim Crow, or millennia to arrive at Auschwitz, has emerged almost overnight to the point where people can, with a straight face, say the whole of white heritage must be exterminated.  So Catholics, unlike Protestants who took decades, or generations, to come to something like this, are within a matter of decades pushing the Church in all but its skeletal structure to the same brink.

FWIW, Rod Dreher notices many legit problems with Fr. Martin's take, but it is the same that we see with all of the Left.  To embrace the manifold heresies and blasphemies that characterize that thing called the Left (or SJW, or secular paganism), one must peddle in lies, idiocy, BS, and outright apostasy.  So far, despite the loud boast that the Catholic Church alone can save us from the degrading slavery of being a child of the age, it seems like a growing number of Catholics are equal to the task nonetheless.

As my boys said, it looks like we were pretty stupid to have given up everything to become Catholic, when the Catholic Church is doing everything in its power to become like the world.  We could have just become liberal Protestants and met the Church halfway and not lost almost everything we had.

The reader on Rod's blog gets it and gets it good - the abyss into which the Catholic Church is rushing by leaps and bounds:
“Where the Bible mentions murder at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether the biblical judgment is correct.”
“Where the Bible mentions adultery at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether the biblical judgment is correct.”
“Where the Bible mentions exploiting the poor at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether the biblical judgment is correct.” 

Mr. Henry Karlson is what I mean about blogging

So who is Mr. Karlson?  His name is Henry Karlson.  He has a blog at Patheos.  I believe he's an Orthodox convert, and that's how I found him. 

I only visited his site a couple times, but thought I'd try to see if there was something there.  Then he posted on something - immigration IIRC, though I could be wrong.  It was a partisan politic post wrapped in religion.  Several pointed out the problems with what he wrote, or took other viewpoints.  One or two, I'll admit, got mean.  I didn't, and most didn't.   Then I went away.

Because I have the little 'notify me of updates', I got an update a day or so later.  Apparently he declared he would not tolerate hate and racism on his blog, and had deleted and banned multiple comments.  OK.  Since I didn't say anything hateful and racist, I didn't care.

Well, a week or so ago, a blog post of his came by my desk.  It was, again, another Trump/GOP/conservative/Satan vs. progressive politics/liberal narrative/heaven template.  So I went to point out that some of that which he posted could be seen as other than the obvious Gospel truth.  It might be that he's actually reading things on the Right in the worst way possible, and giving an easy pass to those on the Left.

Well, as soon as I went type, what did I see?  Voila!:

What?  Banned?  I only commented once, and was not a racist or any such thing.  I merely disagreed with him. I guess mine was one of the many [disagreeing with Henry] comments he banned.

Not to be thwarted, I saw at the bottom of his post a link to his Facebook page (that's something contributors at Patheos were encouraged to do).  So I went and found this post on his FB thread.  I posted that he says he's eager for visitors to comment and engage in the discussion.  But if he's going to ban every comment that doesn't agree with him, that's not much of a conversation.

Well, guess what.  I went back later in the day, and my comment had been deleted on his Facebook page, the one in which he's asking for comments and discussions.  So by discussions, apparently the gist is that all who agree with him and his views are welcome.   I understand that sometimes you have to ban people.  In hindsight, I should have banned more than I did when I was at Patheos.  But there's banning abusive language or evil pronouncements, and then there is considering anything that doesn't celebrate and conform to your way of thinking abusive and evil - a staple for the move to ban freedom in our nation today.

That is the problem with blogs and the Internet in general. Sure, Mr. Henry's approach is a bit more extreme than you'll usually see. Most won't just ban anyone for daring to disagree once.  They'll usually size you up and, after so many wranglings, then ban you.   If Mr. Karlson is an extreme example, he nonetheless reflects where many  - not all, but many - social media sites have gone.  Basically, surround one's self with same-think, and develop increasingly hostile, contemptuous, and even hateful attitudes toward those outside of that same-think group.  With the all important ban button - used nowadays far more frequently than it was two decades ago - it's easy to isolate yourself in a world where the line between you and God becomes ever more blurred.  And that is a very dangerous thing indeed.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Where are the white folk?

So the movie Harriet is all the buzz.  As usual, media outlets now serve as marketing tools for movies rather than simply give the movie makers a platform to promote their own craft - and then use their critics to laud or tear apart the given product.  Sometimes you wonder why studios need an advertising budget when the news media will do the job for them.  I'm thinking of Game of Thrones or Bohemian Rhapsody.

Well, we have yet another 'America's racist past and the heroes who fought it' story.  The subject is, of course, Harriet Tubman.  Now that could be a powerful movie about a pivotal figure in America's history. But so far, based upon the previews I've seen, I have to ask - where are the white people?  At least the good ones who helped her out on the Underground Railroad.  We Ohioans are proud of the Underground Railroad and our state's role in its mission, so it's something I have to ask.

Clearly, based on the movie, her flight to freedom via the Underground Railroad plays a major role in the picture.  Yes, freed slaves and black Americans certainly helped the Railroad's success.  But it was typically white Americans fighting - and risking much - who compromised much of the Railroad's activity.  I'd think something so key to a story would at least have someone in it who is white who is not itching to murder or beat them some black slaves.

Yet so far, in the previews at least, I've not seen any.  Maybe in the actual movie there will be some.  Since I likely won't see it, I won't condemn it outright.  I will say that if whites are not represented fairly, accurately and evenly, then it would be no different than a movie that dealt with the Tuskegee Airman that had an all white cast.  I won't rant and rave until I find out from those who have seen the film.  But I just send this out as a curiosity.  Especially since, if there are no white (men) who are seen as positive characters, it will obviously be intentional.  I would think it would need to be seen as a negative.  But that's just me.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Is this climate change news real?

So I saw this in the Washington Times.  It seems legit.  Five hundred scientists told the UN to back off and stop rushing toward policies that might not help but will probably hurt people, especially the least of these.

Which is sort of what I've been saying for some time.  I don't doubt that our approach to STEM, while doing many good things, has also produced harmful side effects for not only people, but the environment in general.  And since my parents, especially my Dad, were old time conservationists before it was hip, I'm all for being more environmentally friendly.  In fact, I think one of the ill effects of STEM has been to pull people from lives lived naturally within the natural world.  Instead of using STEM to find ways to hedge off the dangers of nature, we used it to crush nature and pull ourselves out of it.  I personally think that, in ages to come, that approach will be modified.

Nonetheless, I think the current debate is 95% politics and ideologies, and 4% science.  The rest being the usual stupid in any debate.  Clearly the debate is now the vogue thing for the jet set and celebrity culture, with millionaires and billionaires flying around the world and  screaming for policies that will likely hurt a great many people who aren't millionaires and billionaires.  That seems to be what the report to the UN is saying.

Putting aside the silly notion that all scientists advocating the hysterics are pure of heart and any scientists suggesting caution are wicked thralls of the fossil fuel conspiracy, it's enough that 500 scientists have issued a caution to the UN. 

Northern Ireland votes to commit suicide

Yep.  Sad to see, but hardly surprising.  The West is not dying, it's killing itself.  If you want to know what you get when you toss Christianity out the window, look no farther than the dying West.  In all likelihood, the vote is a technicality.  Like most of the dying West, Northern Ireland has been on life support for generations.  WWII did not represent the crowning achievement of the West. It was the sounding bell that the civilization that brought concepts of the dignity of the human person, equality, liberty and democracy to the world was preparing to die.  And die quickly.

How long is the only question,  If Western Civilization will survive is no longer a question for sane or informed people to ask.  The only thing left to ask is when the inevitable will happen, and which other civilization(s) will rush in to fill the gap.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

I don't know about a Dark Tower board game reboot

So I heard that there is a Kickstarter campaign for some company wanting to reboot the old 1981 electronic board game Dark Tower.

I've written on this before.  Owing to the lawsuit that shut down production, and the shape of the game which made storing it a pain, and led to the majority of games likely thrown into the wind like my copy, it was one of the holy grails of old retro games.

When I pulled strings to get a working copy, I wondered if my boys would like it or if the hype they had been exposed to for their entire life would make it impossible to live up to.  As I said here, it turns out they like it.  It is what it is.  They love the brutal randomness of it.  No attempts at AI here, it's all random.  You can go the whole game and have nothing bad happen, or get plastered every turn.  That's half the fun.

They also appreciate the effort and quality that went into it.  As they said, it's like the moon landing.  Folks say a cell phone has more memory than we had for the first moon landing.  And yet today we seem to have no end of problems that they were able to overcome back then with more efficiency.  Something about the more tech we have, the less good we are at using the tech we have.

Nonetheless, much of the fun is just playing a game they heard so much about.  For me it's pure nostalgia and fun with the boys.  The game play is almost incidental.  Truth be told, we play it once every few months because that's all the time we have anymore, plus much more and I think it would wear out its welcome.

A recent game with a few of the boys

A close up of the quality that met the consumer in the fantasy heyday of the early 80s

A brand new version?  I don't know.  Some fear it would just be a shell with updated or - worse - PC variations.  For instance, the famous sound effects - including the Bazaar theme - might be dropped, and that would be a shame.  Or it would be rebuffed with female this or make sure you have all demographic assignments represented or such that.

Not to mention, on the practical level, you just can't go back.  You can visit, but not go back.  To have an actual copy of the original, enjoy it with the family, and see the boys relish in the chance to play this artifact of great worth is one thing.  But just to play it?  In 2020?  A version just released with nothing more to it than any other hundred games on the shelf?  In a world where you can get a thousand variations of a fantasy game, board or otherwise, and find millions of texts and graphics illustrating the same? I don't know.  Maybe.  But it might just become a piccolo in an orchestra of fantasy tubas when all is said and done.

Monday, October 14, 2019

A nice tribute to Columbus on Columbus Day

Courtesy of The American Catholic.  At this point we realize that the Left has made an unholy alliance with any people group or culture that will help destroy the Christian West and the American Experiment.  

To that end it will celebrate anything and anyone if it will tear down its enemy.   Therefore appeals to such ideas as rejecting Indigenous Peoples Day due to morally questionable practices on the part of American Indians will fall on deaf ears.  The Left doesn't care if someone tortured or enslaved or practiced human sacrifice.   It is completely prepared to give a justification or defense if need be.  It only cares insofar as it can use such things to tear down the civilization the Church built, as well as the Church along with  it. 

So any desire to sit and rationally discuss why Columbus Day is an appropriate celebration or that we don't want to credit native Americans too broadly will be met with blank stares.  That's not the point.  The Left firmly believes that everything to do with the Western Tradition is bad and must go, including such self-evident truths as the importance of liberty, freedom and the dignity of the human person.   In fact, it doesn't seem to care about people at all, unless their suffering or plight can aid its agendas.  

So for those who get it, the link is a nice remembrance of not only why we celebrate this day, but why we had best start striving to reclaim that which the Left seeks to destroy.  After all, the Left isn't going to stop until it gets its job done, nor should we.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, Google continues it's 'We'd rather celebrate snails than anything from America or the Christian West' mantra, by posting this:

A tribute to the very interestingly fun fact about where a certain strain of optical illusions come from.  But not Columbus.  Anything but Columbus.   Again, the Christian Faith, the Christian West and the American Experiment are the enemy to be destroyed.  We had best admit that, or our posterity is going to pay an awful price. 

I missed the Tennessee day of prayer and fasting

Because I've been cutting down on the news (and being much happier for it).  John C. Wright has a snippet on it.

Good for the Governor Bill Lee.  I have no doubt atheist and other groups are screaming and wanting the governor's head on a platter.  That's because they want to impose their beliefs on us and eradicate or exterminate  thinking and beliefs they hate.

I think now Christians should realize the big con that was secularism.  We were told Christians did terrible things in the past.  We were told it is evil to try to convert others to your religious beliefs.  We were told it is Nazi to impose your values on others, or tell others their values are wrong.  We were told religion should stay in the closet where it belongs.  We were told no religion is True, and none have superior claims to truth. And we ate it up with a spoon.

Now, we are realizing that the ones telling us all these things have every intention of doing them to us.  The days of compromise and concession should be over.  But I fear there will be a great purging as those who are either cowards, or simply don't really believe in the orthodox version of their faith traditions, but merely carry a few of them around in their wallets to use on Sundays (or pick a respective holy day), will abandon the faith.  Many will side with the oppressors, the blasphemers, the heretics, pagans, heathens and enemies of God and Christ.  After all, they have long abandoned the idea that the actual historical Christian Faith is actually true, so why resist?

Those who are able to stay faithful, or realize the great and terrible flaws and mistakes in modern thinking and who return to the faith once for all passed down from the saints, will be there when this world we know collapses as the world the Romans knew collapsed.  And in such a horrific dark age as that will be, those who remain faithful to the true Gospel of Christ will be the ones providing what people truly need. And then the people will finally realize it and return and seek God's face.

Is a day of prayer and fasting a promise of all this?  No.  But it, and the reactions, should be seen as a start for where it will be.  FWIW, here is a nice piece from the National Review.  You don't have to be with a particular tradition of the Christian Faith, be a Christian, or even be religious to be on the side of righteousness and good.  You simply can no longer be on the side of mass slaughter for debauchery, tyranny and the destruction of Christ's church and His people.  That is the line that it's time to draw.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Beto o'rourke calls for an end to tax exempt status for churches if they oppose gay marriage

Yep, you read right.

The problem is, among those most loudly proclaiming a need to cleans the world of the unclean evil that is the white Christian conservative, are white Christians who are decidedly not conservative.  In addition, almost every day I'm seeing non-whites and non-Christians jump on board, casting hatred and contempt on Westerner type white Christians, and  even guffawing when some ill fortune comes their way. 

I get that Beto is at the bottom of the pile.  He won't be president.  He's nothing but an empty husk in a JFK suit.  But listen to the audience.  That is the same cheers and rejoicing Hillary Clinton got when she gave her disastrous 'Irredeemable Deplorables" speech.  This is a side that hates the opposition and wants that opposition taken out, one way or another.

To think it can't go anywhere bad is to deny Christian doctrine and historically based common sense.  It will go bad.  Because it is the ultimate alliance: white liberals have called upon all other peoples in the world to join them in the extermination of the whites, particularly Christian, who won't conform.  The only thing they're hoping is that once the ashes settle, the rest of the world won't turn on them.  It will serve them right if the rest of the world does just that.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Hello I must be going

So last year, on November 5, I posted that I was going to semi-retire from blogging.  If I blogged, I would keep it on topics like personal faith, personal experiences, frivolous things, or other interests.  No more hot button issues, politics, religious controversies, or monitoring other blogs.  I decided to take a page from the now closed Saint Corbinian's Bear blog, and realize that much of blogging, like much of modernity, is less good for the soul than we might care to admit.  It tends to keep one in the rage-machine of outrage for two days, then move onto the next outrage.  Something, I think, that the news media wants to happen.

The reasons for this decision last  year were many, personal, and just timely.  For one, I started the blog under assumptions that simply are no longer viable.  Another reason is that I became convinced that somewhere along the line STEM turned a corner and is causing more problems than it's solving.

Within this development is the push toward turning people into thralls of digital living and relations, despite how obviously bad it is for human relations and human interaction.  The resulting tolerance of new categories of accepted bigotry, and the increasing desire to eliminate other unworthy people in a way nobody in the ashes of 1946 ever imagined we would see again, should be more than ample evidence that where we've been going is not good.  I couldn't help but think, therefore, that continuing to communicate in a digital/computer format on such a scale might smack of hypocrisy.

So I said sayonara.  That one of my old Patheos trolls stopped by on that very post to hurtle insults and expletives (he was a fun one who was almost always wrong about everything he posted, but covered it with name calling and vulgarities), just confirmed what I concluded about relations in the Internet age, and therefore it wasn't worth going on, at least with the focus on controversies of the day.  In the end, you largely deal with people who agree with your observations (not a bad thing in itself) or face people who can do nothing but troll and yell and call names like children because they are safe behind their keyboards.  Life is too short for that.


So what happened? Where was the retirement?  Obviously I have spent most of the last year doing just the opposite of what I said I would do.  Well, it's hard to say.  At about that time, Mark Shea lifted his ban of everyone he had banned.  I thought I could get back in and reach him and get him to turn away from the pit.  That lasted a month before he banned me again.  By then, however, he was clearly beyond reaching, as he appears to be now.  Nonetheless, it pulled me back into the issues.

Then the Left emerged from behind the curtain, declaring 'Socialism fore!', making the desire to abolish freedom and liberty, and even challenge democracy, its clear goal.  The Kavanaugh lynch mob had, like any sane person, left me aghast at what type of country the Left wants.  Furthermore its push to embrace unbridled late term abortion, even infanticide, while taking the first steps to push for state mandated euthanasia, all shocked me despite my belief the Left could do nothing at all to shock me.

By the early year, as hopes of overturning the 2016 election faded, the Left kicked into full unhinged radical mode.  With the press, education and Hollywood as its slavish thralls, the fact that we were seeing more and more that was so evil and wrong embraced was an eye opener.

I mean, as the year moved on, the idea that all white people are racist, and all of Anglo-European heritage is Nazi, was rolling off the tongues of the post-modern without effort.  Movies were being made that might as well boast 'no whites in our cast!' as their selling points.  Schools were encouraging students to throw books into dumpsters because the books were not properly woke and anti-Western. Men were all but emasculated with no rebuttal from most men.  And non-European and American individuals and organizations, such as CAIR, were joining Democrats who told orthodox Christians they should have no place in the modern state.

All of this was in addition to seeing the clear push to ban the notion of boys and girls, open sexual pursuits to include anything we want, and of course push to abolish the heritage of the Christian West and the American Experiment, which was becoming the proud gospel of this emergent force of death and destruction.  I'm the first to say evil exists in all quarters of the human family, including the Right.  Nonetheless, it's clear that the Left was now the force of evil to watch because it has the willing ear of the institutions that should be protecting us.

This was quite shocking to realize, and as each story became worse, more unbelievable, more jaw dropping, I would post.  While doing so, I began to see with communism what, 20 years or so ago, I saw with socialism, and that's when it began coming together.

Years ago, in the 90s, talk radio and other conservative outlets often accused the Democrats of wanting to go full blown socialism.  Those on the Left objected and declared it slander and lies, that nobody was being a socialist.  They would bristle at the accusation, and insist nothing the Democrats or liberals were wanting had anything to do with socialism.  Sometimes even mainline conservatives stepped away from such name calling, in order to take the high road.

Then, by the late 90s and early 00s, I began seeing, here and there, the odd 'Socialism rocks!', 'Why we need socialism', or 'I'm a proud Socialist!'.  The editorial here, the pundit there, the Newsweek cover over there.   Now, in 2019, you have news round tables politely discussing the openly Socialist Democrats who are pushing the Democratic party to fully declare itself Socialist! and make America a socialist nation once and for all.

And while this is happening, what's occurring alongside?  If calling the Left socialist was an insult, calling it communist was a joke.  Pure Frank Burns and Archie Bunker style idiocy from back in the McCarthy days.  But now, however, as socialism becomes openly embraced by church and state, I'm seeing, here and there, the odd 'Communism rocks!', 'Why we need communism', or 'I'm a proud Communist!'.  The editorial here, the pundit there, the Jesuit publication over there.

So it's clear where things are going, and what we'll have when it gets here. In another 20 years, if not sooner, there is no reason to think we won't see with communism what we are now seeing with socialism.  And if that wasn't enough, it is more than mere communism, but a fusion of the last century's evils: racism and bigotry and oppression and collectivization, genocide and eugenics and the elimination of those deemed unworthy of life, and oppression, tyranny and the destruction of freedom and liberty and the dignity of the human person, all under the promise of unbridled debauchery and decadence in a material universe while people die from the sexual revolution by the tens of millions.  Therefore whether or not communism by name, I fear it will nonetheless be far worse than what we have witnessed in many an age.

So with breaking the code and figuring it out, what is left to do on this blog?   I look back at some of my oldest posts and realize what I feared then as a long shot paranoid prediction pales in comparison to what is happening. But it's likely that my blog will not make a difference.  It is what it is, and that's a tiny voice unheard by most.  Whether the world has moved past the point of no return I don't know.  Whether it will be my sons' time or their children's time, I also don't know.  But unless things change, or the Faithful of Christ go radical, I'm not seeing much to stop it.

So I've decided I've said what I can say.  Everything I would post will likely affirm what anyone with a brain should know - that we're seeing a global revolution to tear down the old orders, the old faiths, the old morals, and build a new one from the bottom down by retrying all of the worst we've seen in the modern era.  The track record is obvious, we simply ignore it, or through unwarranted arrogance, assume this time it will be awesome because it's us.

The revolution - call it the Left if you will - pulled the coup of the ages.  By mythologizing the rest of the world and demonizing the civilization that brought concepts of equality and liberty and democracy and the dignity of the human person to the world, it has made great strides in bringing the world back full circle to a 'c. 100 AD' mentality.

Of course it will impact everyone - eventually.  But most, naturally, are hoping the bad comes after we are long gone, since concern about an afterlife for most in the West has long since gone the way of the Dodo bird.  Most certainly don't think your religious opinions have any bearing on your eternal destinies, and I would include the current pope in that observation.  The Martyrdom by Proxy principle that defines the post-modern era, where the suffering of others is the price I'm willing to pay, has also made it natural to not care as long as it doesn't impact me.

But for my part, if I keep commenting and pointing this out, I will be grinding bearings and running up a down escalator by merely stating the obvious.  Those who get it will agree.  Those beholden to the revolution won't listen anyway.  So there's no sense continuing to block time out in the day to do what I've been doing.  Those in positions to make a difference will need to take it from here.  Some are; a radical few.  And where there are those Faithful of good will, there is always hope.

So come November 5 this year - a year after my psuedo-signing off post - I will stop blogging on the issues, topics and troubles of the day.  I may stop blogging altogether, or I may just do what I planned to do last year, and that's the odd post about some frivolous fun or family or faith topic that catches my attention.  Once every now and then.

I'm also planning on dropping Facebook by the end of the year and, with only a couple exceptions, stop visiting social media sites and blogs altogether.  I'd like to think it will make the sun shine a little brighter before the darkness comes.  I know leaving the worst and most evil blogs and sites already made life better.  I'm thinking this will improve my outlook and faith walk even more.

Finally, as if to remind myself how long I've been at this and all that has happened during this time, a picture of my boys taken right before I started the blog:

 By comparison, here they are back in July on a family trip to southern Ohio:

I think it is time.  If anything is going to stop the storm clouds, it will be them and their generation.  Our generations have proven sadly inept at facing up to the obvious.  Knowing what I know of the boys - and that's warts and all, not just rose colored glasses viewing you see on Facebook - that actually gives me some reason to hope. 

Between now and Nov. 5 I will keep posting topically as normal, if not a bit more sparsely.  I will also throw out other fun things as befits one of our favorite seasons.  But come Nov 5, I will stop.  After that it will be more personal reflections, celebrations or just musing on hobbies or personal interests, if it ends up being anything at all.  I'll pass the baton of heavy lifting the issues to the next generation, with some regret that we didn't do a better job standing up to the storm soon enough. 

Friday, October 4, 2019

How we begin our Halloween season

This year, owing to our boy's injury (thanks to the awesome folks who helped us out!), following a couple other health issues that weren't brought up, plus unusually hot and dry weather all through September, we haven't done much 'Fall' this year.   Mostly we've watched some spooky movies with cider and apple donuts. 

Now however, on the Feast of St. Francis (which I still celebrate), and due to it being October, the day before a Buckeyes game for which I have tickets, and since the weather finally got to 'fall' feeling, we decided to make it official. 

Here is the song that my boys say is forever etched in their minds as indicating the glorious season of holidays is upon us:

It lacks a couple Disney flourishes that open the old VCR tape we have, and it doesn't go right into the Halloween Haunts part of the tape that we watch.  But that song, per my sons, says as much to them about the upcoming holidays as fireworks does the Fourth of July.

Happy Halloween!

Thoughts on Abbey Road

So this week the pop culture news was all about it being the 50th Anniversary of Abbey Road's release.  That's the last official release from The Beatles.  The recording sessions for it were also the last ones in which the four Beatles would work together in the studio. In fact, those recording sessions would be the last time all four Beatles would be in the studio together.

Because it's the Beatles, everything about them is given significance.  This album's identity as their last, even up to the final song, a throw away ditty poetically titled 'The End', is given meaning.   True, Let it Be would be released after Abbey Road.  But that was a compilation put together by Phil Spector, using reams and reams of recordings from the abandoned 'Get Back' project that happened before the Abbey Road sessions.  Neither the Beatles themselves, nor their producer George Martin, had much to do with the album's release (in fact, at one point McCartney sued Spector, feeling that Spector's legendary 'wall of sound' approach ruined what McCartney envisioned for his songs, most notably the songs Let it Be and The Long and Winding Road).

In fairness, at the end of the day, Abbey Road is merely an acceptable album.  Compared to those works being released alongside of it, Abbey Road sounds no more or less than what was coming out at that time.  In fact, you might say that most of the music coming out was the result of the musical innovations and revolutions that the Beatles brought to the music industry.  It's just now their musical children were doing it better.

Fact is, the Beatles myth lies mostly in their early years.  From their explosion onto the world stage and their unprecedented adoration by millions, the hysteria, the mania, the shattered records and the bringing of rock and roll into the mainstream of popular culture, the Beatles altered not only the music industry, but the Western cultural world.

Still, credit where it is due.  As their producer George Martin pointed out, they were not content with just riding the Mop Top/Teeny Bopper image until it ran out of gas.  From the beginning they wanted to push boundaries and challenge themselves.  To that end they were blessed by Martin, who was like their Sherpa, leading them to ever higher heights and pushing the recording industry to the limits in order to do what they wanted.  Some call Martin the Fifth Beatle.  In honesty, he was the Third Beatle, because it is his work with the domineering Lennon and McCartney that defined the Beatles sound.

Nonetheless, all of their records, all of their contributions, all of their groundbreaking studio and recording work, all of their creative breakthroughs, came mostly in those first few years of their fame.  From their breakthrough in late 62/early 63, through the release of their milestone Sgt. Pepper, they definitely led the cultural and musical pack.

But after that, and after the death of their manager Brian Epstein, it was never the same.  After that, their contributions, had they been from any other artists, would be seen as average at best.  In some cases, albums such as legendary White Album, would likely be panned.  In fact, most of their work following Pepper received mixed reviews at best.  Several news outlets mentioned this about Abbey Road, expressing shock that critics of the time didn't think much of the album, at least compared to the place in history it now occupies.

No, they didn't.  They didn't for Hey Jude, or Let it Be, or Abbey Road, or the White Album.  In all of those cases, the reviews were at best luke warm.  And if you pretend it's not them recording these works, it's not hard to see why.  None of them leap out, break ground, or really do anything special.  Truth be told, by the time Abbey Road rolls around, most of them are being recorded by the lone Beatles, off to themselves, working as individuals apart from their band mates, with only Martin holding them together.

So as we look at this week's time in music history, just remember that things become classics for various reasons, and not always to do with quality.  I like the album.  Heck you might say I love it.  I also enjoy it for its place in the whole of the Beatles' story.  But I also admit what it is, and that's an album that is no different or better than one of a hundred others from that year, if as good.  Heck, apart from the technical aspects (it's likely their most technically perfect recording, owing in part to the technical innovations they helped pioneer), it's not even their best.

The era of Christian Buddhists

An interesting take.  I've called it Christian agnosticism, or secular Christianity.  Whatever it is, it's the realization that the world has done a far better job evangelizing and converting Christians than Christians have done in recent generations evangelizing and converting the world.  Perhaps it's because Christians let the world convert us into its belief that only the world can convert Christians, but Christians can never try to convert the world. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Would Mark Hamill please stop ruining my childhood memories

By acting like the usual spoiled brat idiots that populate so much of modern social media? 

So Ivanka Trump tweeted a picture of her kids in a Star Wars costume for Halloween.  Being a Woke Leftist, Hamill reacted in typical Pavlovian activist fashion by mocking her and following it with a highly suggestive vulgar insult.

I mean, come on people.  They're kids, and it's Halloween.  Stop making Joe McCarthy seem like the sane and balanced one in the room.  And stop acting so foolish as to taint my viewings of the original Star Wars.  Geeesh. 

Sometimes I think Christians are just giving up

If they even believe there is anything left to give up.

There was a letter on another blog in which the individual lamented that he doesn't think most people even believe it anymore.  Most in church that is.  He was Catholic, and though beaten down by this observation, isn't planning on leaving the Catholic Church.  Nonetheless, I fear his lament transcends any particular tradition in the Christian world.  It might even touch on Judaism as well.

Fact is, most are mostly atheist and assume atheism until an atheistic, material explanation doesn't work.  Then we'll consider the possibility of God and spiritual stuff.  Sunday mornings is a little different, but otherwise, throughout the week, it's mostly assuming a reality that smacks more of Dawkins, Harris, and Hawking than Matthew, Mark and Luke.

I thought of that as I saw on the news this morning a story about a local middle school having classes on yoga and meditation.   It's in partnership with BalletMet (the local ballet company).  Apparently the whole class is about teaching meditation, mindfulness and yoga.  Turns out, that's all the rage, and not just in that local school.

I know.  It's supposedly a 'secular' spin on these things.  Nonetheless, you know as well as I do that the line between 'meditation' and 'meditation as spiritual discipline' is paper thin.  Remember, this is the country where students have been told they can't even thank God in a speech about their own life's experiences.  That high level of intolerance seems to stand in stark contrast to our rather high tolerance of a broad approach to disciplines with roots in a decidedly Eastern spiritual worldview.

And it dawned on me, thinking of that letter.  I think of things that Christians were fighting against and trying to resist all those years ago when I became a Christian in 1990.  I guess if you really don't believe most of it, you're certainly not going to put up a fight for it.  Most don't seem to think religion has much to do with your eternal destiny anyway.  Just be a swell person (see Pope Francis).  Beyond that, I wonder how much most actually believe anymore.  It's as if we're entering the period of Christian agnosticism.  And the speed with which the defenses are failing and the offense is faltering is the best proof you can find.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Making kids into wimps for Global Warming

OK, so here in Central Ohio, we're entering into the second day of schools being closed because of the heat.  Yesterday it reached 91, and they're saying it could be 90 today (more likely high 80s). 

What?  Back in the day, we called this Indian Summer.  Except we haven't had a freezing day.  Indian Summer was when the temperatures went up after the first cold snap.  It wasn't uncommon.  It's more uncommon today.  For all I know, in the grand scheme of things, it was uncommon most of the time, and for only a brief period geologically speaking it was something.

What happened this year is that the normal was off.   Usually in our neck of the woods the temperatures rise in June and remain high until sometime in mid to late September.  Then it cools off, except there could be a sudden uptick (see Indian Summer above). 

This year, June stayed cold.  We had our heater on until the end of the month. It was crazy cold (though in most cases not record breaking).  Then it heated up in July and we had quite a few hot days scattered about (but again, mostly nothing record breaking).  And it has remained until now, when they are calling for the temps to drop this week.  Basically it's what usually happens, just a few weeks off.

But you'd think everything was a record, it's all unprecedented, and we're all going to die.  No.  The temps aren't that bad.  I was out in the heat of the day yesterday.  There was a nice breeze and, while certainly hot, not disastrously so.

And yet yesterday, and now today, they've shut down the schools.  Our kids can't survive.  Here's the funny part.  They say it's the old buildings that don't have air conditioning.  But you know what?  Those old buildings were built without air conditioning.  They have air flow.  If classes do what our schools did and open the doors in the classrooms, and turn one row of lights off, you'll have a decent breeze.  Modern buildings (like our house) aren't built for air flow and yes, you need air conditioning since there is no breezes to be had.

But the kids could survive these low 90s/high 80s temps.  But the news is all about the terror.  The Columbus Superintendent is about how this is a crisis that must be solved.  It's all hysteria.  And it's all brainwashing.  It's making our kids into sissies.  Wimps.  And it's scaring them because to hear everyone talk, you'd think the world is three days from ending.

Remember, we only have day to day records going back the last 150 years or so.  That's it.  We can't tell what the temps were at the Battle of Hastings, or the day Christopher Columbus began slaughtering Natives.  We have a general view of the ups and downs of the climate that has changed many times over the ages.  But not day to day.  We only have that in a brief snippet of history.  Compared to the world's entire history, that's like judging people based on the last 1 1/2 seconds of their lives.

But they're in panic mode now.  They're scared.  Young Miss Greta Thunberg is raging over her inevitable death and suffering from Global Warming.  And since science has done a bang-up job proving that whatever happens regarding the weather or the temperatures, it all proves climate change, climate change must be true.

Again, I have no problem believing that STEM has hurt the environment.  Just like scientists say.  But looking at what is happening, at how we're teaching children that even temperatures in the high 80s are beyond what a human being can bear, it's not hard to see the brainwashing going on.  Oh, and also using kids as leverage to warrant money for upgrading old school buildings.  There's also that.

Journalistic sleight of hand

Here's how it works.

The headline reads: "Nearly 30,000 children under age 10 have been arrested in US since 2013: FBI"

Wow.  No wonder they're calling Trump a white supremacist and our border situation akin to the Holocaust.  That's bad.

Then, however, you read down and realize that this statistic is up through 2017, the last year in which we have the most complete data available.  The data is from 2013.  Obama left office in January, 2017.  This was on his watch.  Except for the latter part of 2017, these numbers are Obama.

OK now McFly, think.  What does this mean?  It means that this headline, perhaps meant to shock, awe, grasp and scandalize, is deceitful. Oh sure, it didn't say anything wrong, and it's not false.  Nor did it say it's all Trump's fault.  But notice it leaves off the end date of the data.  Note it makes no effort, in the headline, to make sure we know this is mostly under Obama's watch.

You know, Obama.  The guy who liberals respectfully yet lovingly disagreed with over his flawed, and yet sincere and well meaning, border policy.  Not Trump's Holocaust and Death Camp border policy.  Before which, apparently, many were being rounded up under Obama.

Oh sure, more are probably being arrested and separated now, because the Left/Media have been telling the world to come to America and you'll get in no questions asked, free of charge, and everything free.  So we shouldn't be surprised if numbers have ticked up in the last few years.

But the point is that many defenders of the 'Obama = respectfully disagree/Trump = Hitler' is that anything happening under the Obama administration was just dozens, a handful of unfortunates  and nothing more.  Now we see the obvious.  If we didn't see it during Obama's presidency, it's because nobody was spending much time focusing on it, least of all the national press.

One of the great evils of our age is how the press has trained Americans to look at human suffering and only ask if it can be exploited in order to advance the politics of the day.   During the Obama years, you'd barely know anyone was arrested, tear gassed or separated along the border.  And so many activists seemed happy to echo the silence  That is a far greater scandal than how many Obama actually arrested or separated, or how many Trump has.  And we had best damn well realize that before our souls become more corrupted.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Why we homeschool

Because we want our sons to understand that two plus two equals four.  Not that two plus two equals four is a vile oppressive construct imposed on the oppressed by evil white skinned Westerners who were nothing but evil:

Rod Dreher has the details.

I've often said that modern education is about equipping young people with the tools needed to rationally dismiss common sense.  I'd say this story goes a long way toward showing that I'm right.

In ages to come, once the terrors being built upon today finally come to fruition, and then mercifully pass, people will look back on this time as the era of educated idiots.  An entire narcissistic generation whose purpose seemed to be to disprove the idea that education is all you need.

Pope Francis meets with Father James Martin

Father Martin is most known for being a powerful advocate for LGBTQ agendas and viewpoints within the Catholic Church.  He's certainly to the Left on many issues, including the mounting obsession with skin color as first determiner of one's value and worth.  So a meeting with him and the pope is interesting.

Fr. Martin has made some stunning statements along the way.  I'll leave those to others to parse.  What strikes me is that I can't bring myself to think he was there in any way to be chastised by Pope Francis.  I'm not sure if anything he has said and done would be chastised by Pope Francis.  Including the aforementioned 'Jesus hearts skin color' tweet. 

I don't know.  It was a private audience, and we'll probably never know what was said.  I just find it interesting.  Fr. Martin is one of the things that keeps me from returning back to the arms of the Catholic Church.  Not because of him, but because the growing witness of Catholics and their leaders (African priests notwithstanding) seems to be falling in line with where Fr. Martin, or Pope Francis for that matter, clearly want to take the Church.