Friday, July 31, 2020

Disclaimers and Dragons

Products of our capitulation 
So my boys pointed me to an all too common story about the makers of Dungeons and Dragons going woke and including disclaimers on republished material. This is important in our modern era, in which we stoke our self-righteous embers by heaping endless contempt on those reprehensible reprobates who had the temerity of not existing in our current moment of 'superior to God righteousness.'

Apparently there was push back, especially among older fans of the game.  Youngsters, weened on the superiority of Communist totalitarianism and taught that freedom of speech and religious liberty are stealth Nazi concepts, were quite fine with such an apology from the new game wizards.  Nonetheless, those old timers warned that this would lead to slicing and dicing the materials and republishing them with changes to fit the morally superior wokeness of modern Dystopian liberalism.

Not so, laughed the youngsters (and some older ones who know the eternal infallibility of the dogma of progress).  No such thing would occur since, obviously, that would be rank censorship in a way to make Stalin blush.  All that would happen would be an addition of the obligatory disclaimer that those who came before us were simply inferior to our majestic awesomeness.

Well, that didn't take long.  Wizards of the Coast, the company that now owns the D&D material, has announced it will, in fact, be issuing heavily 'redacted' versions of the old sexist, racist, and generally Nazi infused material from those racists and sexists from TSR of old.  In a matter of weeks.  That's not bad.

Normally the lies of liberalism take some time to unfold.  It took about a decade after the first push for gay marriage, and the concerns that people could be punished for opposing it, before people began to be punished for opposing it.  It took about a decade and a half for those concerned that hate crime legislation could lead to a social mentality of censorship and thought crimes to be proven right.

But liberalism's eternal quest to live up to the slippery slope like nobody ever imagined was particularly speedy in this case.  Why Wizards of the Coast did this, I don't know.  Like so much of liberalism seems to be, was it lies meant to gain ground?  Or did they mean it when they said it wouldn't go there, but in doing so failed to fully appease the Twitter lynch mob and the dystopian fascists yearning for a new totalitarianism?  In which case Wizards buckled because the only thing that really matters is the bottom line.  I just can't say. Either way however, the results are the same.

Again, this was never my cup of tea.  I was not a fantasy fan when D&D was all the rage.  By the time I got interested in fantasy, the great Fantasy Renaissance as I called it, along with the D&D fad, had run their course.  Nonetheless, my sons are in it, and like so many things in our society, they are miffed at the fact that almost every day the Left seems to gain more ground in its quest to turn our country - if not the world - into more than Orwell ever dreamed of when imagining his dystopian nightmare.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Loyola University Stalinizes Flannery O'Conner

Rod Dreher has the lowdown.  Yet again, the young Bolsheviks demand condemnation, eradication and destruction.  And once again the older generation soils underwear and capitulates in kind.  I've not seen anything like this.  Sure, we've been weaned on this for some time, and the move toward totalitarianism has been making strides under the oft laughed at and belittled notion of Political Correctness.

But for it to turn over so quickly.  The Charleston Shooting was the beginning.  When we went from 'remove Confederate flags from state houses' to 'eradicate anything remotely to do with the South', you could see trouble brewing.  When the whole was predicated on 'we judge entire societies, ethnic groups and do so mercilessly and without humility for those reprobates who had the temerity not to be born in our righteously superior age', we should have seen the warning flags.

The election of Donald Trump blew the lid off Pandora's box.  Had the Left not wanted the destruction of the Christian West and America, it would have regrouped and reconsidered its strategies that led to such a disastrous and humiliating defeat.  But now we know the goal of the Left is nothing less than a communist styled totalitarianism built on ever changing forms of bigotry, racism, prejudice, judgmentalism, censorship, thought control, persecution and tyranny. 

The shocking thing is the speed with which this took off.  Chart it on a graph, and it's literally exponential growth. Almost every day now we judge and condemn without mercy or humility a growing mountain pile of anyone or anything that came before.  We destroy, we erase, we ban, we censor.  And those who do it are from every corner of the country, including conservatives, traditionalists, Christians and just about anyone else afraid of what has already seized our country.

Again, thinking on all the interviews and biographies and histories I've read about the  various terror states of the last century, one thing always unites the testimonies.  Whether China, or Russia, or Germany, or Italy, or any nation that became swept up in these socialist and communist revolutions, there was always one common lament: they never saw it coming because it happened so fast.  One day it was Mother Russia, two weeks later almost anything to do with Russia was being dismantled.  One day it was the German people, the next day it was the Nazis, and you had best fall in line or else.

What we are seeing happen is what those hapless fools of the last century witnessed, and we're watching it happen just as speedily.  It might be too late at this point.  The Marxists have all of the major power centers of society, and have no compunction about using lies and censorship and attack in order to stop any who deviate.  And they're enjoying a growing number of Americans scrambling to jump on board lest they, too, end up in the Left's crosshairs.  So we'll see.  But whatever, it doesn't look good.

Confusions of a seeker sensitive pope

So a label is born.  Mark Shea is the king of Catholic labelers.  From Gun Cult to Christianist, he's never at a loss for inventing a term that, in the long run, seems to mean nothing more than 'people who don't think like me.'  It's a passive aggressive way of attacking people without accountability.  He can declare a group the 'yadahoohoos', and launch endless attacks and accusations at them, accusing them of anything and everything under the sun.  When you object, or insist it's incorrect, he can scurry behind the helpful shield of obfuscation and insist if the shoe fits, or if it doesn't apply then don't worry, or your objections prove you're guilty, and on and on.

Well, he's now coined a new term: Qatholics.  It would seem to be another variation on 'people (in this case Catholics) who don't think like he thinks'.  Take that for what it's worth.  We'll call that nothing new under the sun.  But he says something in this that was brought to my attention, and I thought it's worth pointing out.  He talks of the 'Qatholics' when it comes to Pope Francis.  And what is one thing this new breed of 'labeled groups' does?  He says this:
"Which brings us to the Qatholic phenomenon again. Because Qatholic, as distinct from Catholic, faith is all about exclusion and elitism. That’s why it hates this pope. That’s why it wants so desperately to turn the Church from a sacrament of salvation for all into an exclusive club for some.

As I have said repeatedly, Francis is incredibly easy to understand. The Qatholics who denounce him as “confusing” aren’t confused by him. They just don’t want to hear what he says. The entirety of Francis’ mission can be summarized in these words: “He has preached good news to the poor.”  

That’s it. That’s all you need to know. He is about evangelism and, in particular, evangelism to the Least of These."
First, appealing to confusion where Pope Francis is concerned is charity on the part of many.  Catholics I know who say they are confused about Pope Francis do so because they don't want to take what he says at face value.  Not because they hate evangelism or the poor, but because they listen to the words he uses. 

At face value, if you set aside confusion as an excuse, then what Pope Francis says appears quite different than what the first 2000 years of popes said.  At face value, it turns out the Church was wrong about eternity like it has been about a  growing list of other topics.  It turns out one religion is as good as another, and your relationship to Christ is irrelevant where salvation is concerned.  It appears as if the problems of the world have little to do with the Spirit, and much to do with socioeconomic issues and injustices, typically as defined by decidedly Marxist inspired liberal socialist theories and policies.  It looks a lot like any sin embraced by progressives, while technically sin, have little to do with one's sanctification or salvation.  In fact, it looks a lot like a Catholic version of those old liberal Protestant theologians who realized it was time to admit the Christian Faith was pretty much just an old myth that  modernity insists is in need of serious re-imagining.

That would be taking him at face value.  And there are those who do.  Liberal Catholics, who have jettisoned this old Body and Blood and Purgatory and Demons and Devils rubbish, seem to take Pope Francis at his word.  Most embrace modern liberal values, and see Pope Francis - taken at face value - as a great validator of those views.  Likewise those progressives and liberals outside of the Catholic Faith also take him at his word, and see a pope struggling to tear down the stupid, bigoted religion of Catholicism and rebuild it in the superior image of modernity.  They take him at face value.

So those who wave the flag of 'confusion' are being charitable.  They're saying what they hear is so egregiously opposed to anything historical Catholicism ever taught, that they're praying it's lost somewhere in the translation of the messaging.  They lack the credulity to take Pope Francis at face value and insist there is nothing new and it's all good old Catholicism the way grandma used to make.  That is why, in my experience, those Catholics appeal to confusion.

But to the bigger point. I've seen Mark use his statement about Pope Francis and evangelism's primacy several times.  Here's my concern.  As a former Evangelical, I saw the problems that arose from that same 'evangelism is all that matters' attitude.  It's greatest expression was found in the movement known as 'Seeker Sensitive Churches'.  I won't go into the history of that, and the myriad problems that arose.

Suffice it to say, that's why we have churches in Protestantism that look like concerts in a movie theater.  Seeker Sensitive Churches merely said that evangelism is all that matters, everything else is on the chopping block to make it happen.  The results speak for themselves.

That, to me, is not what Catholicism is all about.  Catholicism is both/and, not either/or.  Evangelism doesn't get to trump what it is we are evangelizing them to.  That's where Seeker Sensitive Churches went wrong.  So desperate were they to grow their churches, they ended up throwing their churches out the window to grow them.  What was left was a hollow shell of a church that often looked more like a musical festival at an Oprah Winfrey convention than anything found in the history of Christianity.

It could be that Mark is right, and the economic and political focus of Pope Francis is merely his way to reach out to the world.  Perhaps he sees the Marxism, the liberalism, the secularism, the anti-Christian bigotry, and has decided the best way to reach out is to modify or reform the Church and get rid of all those bells and whistles that our sophisticated moderns find repulsive.  It might  be that he feels the need to bend over backwards and mitigate or downplay all those parts of Catholicism which moderns reject or despise.  Maybe he feels the need to present a Catholicism that is acceptable to the powers that be who reside in the halls of influence in the modern world.

Perhaps.  If he does, then he'll learn what those strands of Evangelicalism are only now beginning to realize, that if you throw out anything the world rejects in order to reach the world, you'll end up with nothing to reach it for.

So perhaps that's it.  Pope Francis is the seeker sensitive pope, following the strategies of old Boomer era Evangelicals, whereby evangelism is all that matters, is priority one, and all other priorities are rescinded.  If so, then no confusion needed.  Just concern, since we have already seen where that strategy will lead, and it's not a net victory for the Gospel in general, and won't be for Catholicism in particular.

UPDATE NOTE: It was brought to my attention that there is no link to Mark's article.  No there isn't.   Mark and Mark's article really isn't the point as much as the point he makes.  At this point I don't go to any of Mark's sites.  There were too many cases of near heretical teachings, not to mention the sinful bilge and blasphemies that came to define too many of his comments sections.  As a result, when someone sends me something I think warrants an answer, I have no intention of linking to a site I find a near occasion of sin. So it wasn't an accident.  It was intentional.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Liberals attack black doctor

Wow, it is easy:

Just like people who criticize George Soros only because he is Jewish - and therefore they expose their vile antisemitism.  Or people who criticize Colin Kaepernick only because he's black and they're obviously racist.

So clearly the fact that an entire cadre of doctors appears at an impromptu press conference, and the only one that most have attacked is black, I think we can draw some obvious conclusions!  Not only have they attacked the substance of what she said, they have attacked her.  They have mocked her religious beliefs, they have twisted statements and assaulted her credibility as a person beyond merely a doctor.  I mean, they have skinned her.

And she's about the only one being attacked in such manner.  And she is black.  Nigerian no less.  It's worth noting I've learned first hand that good, white liberals have little tolerance for all those black Africans who don't accept the leftist narrative of America as racist Nazi state giving black Americans no choice but to live down to the lowest of expectations.  So it might be the African part more than the black part that has drawn the fire.

Or there could be  a substantive issue at hand.  Maybe there are facts involved and she was the most prominent individual there, and the backlash is based on a disagreement over facts and details.  But who are we kidding.  If this was everything the same except conservatives and a black liberal doctor, what would those same liberals and left wing outlets be accusing conservatives of doing?

The Left cheats and has cheated for years.  It's time to call them out. Either back off the slick accusation of bigotry anytime someone disagrees with a liberal, or accept that  all those trashing this woman have exposed their obvious racial biases.  One set of rules here.  Not two separate ones.

When scientists strike a nerve

Whenever they don't conform to the leftist line of thinking. 

So all of Social Media - and even MSM outlets today - have exploded over some press conference by some doctors challenging the majority opinion regarding Covid-19.  They aren't the first medical pros I've seen question the majority opinion.  And since the majority opinion includes that wonderful observation that large outdoor gatherings can lead to spikes in Covid-19 - unless you're doing it for Black Lives Matter, count me skeptical about lionizing the majority opinion as the same as truth.

In fact, to be honest, almost all we know about this virus is what good old horse sense would have said before we knew about the virus: avoid close contact, isolate yourself, if you get worse see a doctor, keep clean and practice good hygiene, and basically avoid those who are vulnerable since they, as in most cases, will be particularly susceptible to severe reactions to an infection.  Without doctors we could figure that out.  Almost everything else has been contradicted, changed, modified, or in some ways shown to be false or at least incomplete, often without clear and concise information that isn't challenged by other professionals.  So forgive me if I don't just belch "Science!" and think that's the end of the debate. 

But this conference hit a nerve, and almost overnight it turns out the doctors in question are, in fact, the most stupid, evil, worthless, wacked out, idiotic, religious fanatics and frauds and quacks and liars and partisan hacks you ever saw.  In just days the Internet has been flooded with pieces, like here, here and here eviscerating them.   Meanwhile, mainline outlets have come out and all but said they're wrong, they've lied, and Trump is again guilty of spreading false information.

Sigh.  To be honest, I don't know.  Again, all we seem to 'know' of this pandemic is what old timers would have arrived at without no more than an elementary education.  Almost everything else has been modified, dismissed or proven wrong. Or we're waiting for that grand breakthrough that science has done on occasion so well over the years.  Therefore I'm not wading into what the doctors say or not, and which is right or wrong.  I'm not a doctor, and there is no way to tell.

I certainly won't, however, let the press's character assassination influence me.  That's one thing the press does now, and that's act in the person of the Left's Secret Police (think Brett Kavanaugh).  Raise your head and challenge the leftist narrative and you better not have been less than perfect in your life.  The press will find the slightest imperfection and throw it out to expose you and hopefully destroy you.  If you're on board the good ship Marxist, of course, there's no such scrutiny.  For all I know, Dr. Fauci ran guns to communist rebels or was master of a child sex slave operation.  I know nothing about Dr. Fauci except what the press has focused on, and that's just enough to nominate him for Fourth Person of the Holy Trinity.  Because, at the end of the day, Dr. Fauci says what the Left clearly wants to hear (personally I'm sure he's a fine person in a difficult situation who had best be careful about the intoxicating lure of media adoration).

I just know that when the Left/Press reacts this swiftly and this brutally, something important happened.  I'm not saying the doctors aren't quacks. For all I know they got their medical licenses through a mail in service from Bob's Medical School and BBQ Pit.  I just know there is only one reason why Dr. Fauci has been lauded as a rock star who is only slightly lower than the angels, while in a matter of a day or two, I've learned these people are like the Waffen SS but without the whimsy.  That alone is enough to make me pay closer attention in the coming weeks.

Thank goodness parents are not spanking their children

Before our kids developed the mass murder approach to problem solving
Yep.  Apparently, once again we find that fewer parents than ever are spanking their kids.  That number has been dropping for decades.  The majority of parents 50 years ago spanked and used other forms of traditional means for raising children.  By the 1990s, that number had hit the halfway point, being around 50%.  Today, it's down to about 35% of parents still spanking.

And isn't the world a better place for it! The world of doctors and experts rejoice, of course, for they have been preaching for years that parents should not use negative reinforcement, but should use positive reinforcement.  You know, the Time Out approach. 

Here's my thing.  As I've said in other areas, I believe never before have those who would reclaim a traditional understanding of Creation, and its subsequent values, had the chance to make the argument like today.  Consider this. These 'experts' in child behavior laud parents for listening to them and changing traditional wisdom where raising children are concerned.  And in what context do they do this? 

That would be a world where drugs and drug addiction, in addition to mental health crises, among youth and children are at all times highs.  A world in which teen suicide is at its highest rates ever, and for the first time suicide is a leading cause of death for children as young as ten years old.  Did you get that?  Suicide is now a leading cause of death for children as young as ten!  That's my youngest's age.   We won't even discuss that we are having a national dialogue about arming teachers because of the all too common mass murdering happening in our schools between students.  Nor does it count the rise in violent crimes in general among our youth. 

It takes a certain level of moxie to say 'ever since you've listened to our new game plan, we've had one losing season after another ... great job!'  But that's just what is happening here.  And it's happening beyond just the world of child psychology.  How many things today are we told the experts have been right about that a plain and common sense appraisal screams otherwise?

My wife and I say that nothing makes you question the 'child experts' more than having kids fourteen years apart.  When our youngest was born, it seemed as if half of the things those experts told us we must do for our newborns in the 90s were the opposite by 2009.  The most glaring was the idea in the 90s that newborns must be forced to sleep on their sides to avoid death by SIDS (that's Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - meaning babies die and we don't know why).  When our youngest was born, they said newborns should be forced to sleep on their backs to avoid death by SIDS.  We brought up putting him on his side and were told no way, that could be fatal.  So what could kill our newborn in 2009 is just what you told us we had to do in 1995? 

We still live in the 'scientists, experts and researchers rock!' world where we assume coffee must be bad for you since the new research suggests last week's research about the health benefits of coffee is wrong.  And we do that with, well, everything.  Not just medical, not just behavioral, and not just dealing with children.

I'm not saying grab clubs and start beating you kids.  To be honest, I've seldom spanked our kids, saving it for the most extreme punishment for potentially life and death violations on their parts.  For that matter, I seldom yell or raise my voice.  But is it possible that at least something has gone wrong in our approach to  child rearing?   Certainly it wouldn't only be this one subject.  For instance, I'm not saying we ignore the impact of both mom and dad scurrying into the workplace and letting minimum wage workers raise our kids in their formative years and the impact that could have.  But is it worth at least considering the possibility that following the experts on this hasn't led to a better world for our kids? 

Or is it just Trump's fault?  I guess it could be that.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

A radical thought about Biden's VP pick

So my family was discussing politics, as they are wont to do.  One of them floated the possibility that Biden - who MUST pick a black woman as VP, black and woman being the only two things that matter - will pick Michelle Obama. 

Hmmm.  I wonder.  The Obamas were all but worshiped by the press during the Obama years.  No human suffering or death was enough for the press to scrutinize Obama.  No scandal got anywhere near Pennsylvania Avenue.  Obama was 90% of the time lauded and praised, and on the rarest of occasion, humbly asked why he wasn't perfect.  More than that, the press all but sanctioned the accusation that anything short of deifying Obama was tantamount to Hitler inspired racism.

Michelle Obama, beyond her husband, received more veneration and adoration than the Blessed Mother.  Every story about her oozed with near religious devotion.   She was, as far as I know, the only First Lady to get 100% positive press from the "news media."  To that end, poll after poll has found her popularity somewhere between The Beatles and God.

So you never know.  Power is clearly not something that the Obamas shrink from.  The humiliating defeat of Obama's Secretary of State, attempting to ride firmly on his coattails, had to have been a major hit.  Ever since 1988, the "news media" and the Left (but I repeat myself) have been trying to elevate a Democratic president to the point where his VP would then sail into the White House with the same ease that Bush did with Reagan.

So we'll see.  It's not out of the ballpark.  Remember, 2020 was the year the Left declared war on America so that Trump would be defeated.  It's willing to turn Democratic strongholds into demilitarized zones of arson, violence, destruction and death.  It's willing to destroy the lives of millions of Americans.  It's willing to throw millions of poor under the bus.  It's willing to turn as many millions of Americans against each other as possible.  I'd say propping Michelle up as the first truly immaculately conceived woman in history that she may also be the first female president - for how long would Biden last as president? - isn't the craziest theory I've heard.


This is sad, a parent's worst nightmare.  I know little about golf and, unless the press is hyping someone like Tiger Woods, I know nothing of those who play it.  I tried it once in life.  My first swing made the other guys think I was a ringer who had lied about my lack of experience.  The rest of the game validated my initial claim.  That was it.

So I don't know Camilo Villegas or his family. I just know that when made aware that a parent has lost a child, for whatever reason, it's cause to lift him, his spouse, and all involved up in prayer.  May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, cover their minds and hearts at this time in Christ Jesus.  And may God receive young Mia Camilo into His loving, everlasting arms.

Senator Tom Cotton is correct

Under no circumstances should the "1619 Project" be distributed to public schools.  It is so filled with errors and lies it isn't funny.  Just from it's headline punch that in 1619 slavery came to America.  Hello.  Slavery was universal and was in the Americas long before the first Europeans showed up.  Such an anti-American propaganda piece should never be in our media, much less our schools.  If, in fact, truth and facts matter for anything.

Anyone who values truth and opposes lies would have to agree.  This is a Marxist hit piece, designed to increase the calls to burn America - and its corresponding values and freedoms - to the ground.  It's driven by the Presentism that now saturates our approach to history.  A person who opposes Senator Cotton's sane and obvious desire to avoid teaching our students erroneous narratives is a living example as to why we bend over backwards to keep our son in homeschool. 

Monday, July 27, 2020

How Orwellian can you get?


This is why I don't use Twitter

"That might work ..."
And no other sane person of goodwill should either.  Here.

I don't have an account, though I can see the spiritual, mental and moral carnage.  The reasons for not using it should be plain.  One problem is that it has reduced the capability of actual discourse. In the minds of moderns, to have a response that is more than a couple sentences is to be long-winded.  We won't even get into a couple of paragraphs worth of discourse. This has conditioned otherwise educated people to accept slogans and bumper stickers as holy writ with no explanation needed (hence BLM or Systemic Racism).  It's also drawn out the worst in humanity and almost sanctified it, which isn't hard to see by even spending ten minutes at the digital dump.

It's almost frightening that Twitter is one of the go-to sources for our modern "News Media".  Though not surprising.  Twitter has, after all, almost completely resurrected the lynch mob, the witch hunt, the book burnings, censorship, thought crimes and a revamped Master Race mentality all on one platform.  While I'm sure not all who go there fall victim to this, I can't help but notice the majority I've read end up living down to the bilge.

Bonus excerpt:
People are no longer allowed to simply exist. You must dive head-first into the meat-grinder of progress and justice, or else you are as guilty as the most despicable super-villain on Earth. We live in a post-forgiveness age. Everyone is to be treated as a superposition of the worst transgressions they have committed in their entire lives with no room for improvement or personal growth. 
How many years have I been saying we're moving toward a post-forgiveness world?  The whole leftist iconoclasm is based on increasing the number all defining unforgivable sins that apply only to the Christian West and America (and is fully endorsed by a growing number of our brave Christian leaders).  Our approach to almost anything today is the same.  As I've said, we generation of fools are about to learn the difference between a civilization founded on the highest ideals that continually fails to live up to them, and one founded on the lowest and most heinous of ideals and succeeds.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

RIP Olivia de Havilland

On the set of the now reviled Gone With the Wind
Today the world lost perhaps the last of a bygone world.  Olivia de Havilland, the celebrated Academy Award winning actress from Hollywood's Golden Age, has died at the age of 104.

She was a bright star who managed to have her name in some of the most iconic movies of any age.  She also lived long enough, sadly, to see them maligned.  From the charge of Nazi Racism aimed at her most successful film, to charges of the entire era being a cover for white supremacy, I wonder what she thought.

Her relationship with Errol Flynn was legendary.  The two made enough films together that you could be forgiven for believing they were a married couple off screen.  Their close relationship led to a powerful on screen chemistry.  Flynn, a bad boy whose antics would shock even modern connoisseurs of 21st century pron culture, was smitten with her by all accounts. Being a child of old world values, however, she maintained an intimate friendship - but no more. 

She was married twice, her first husband dying of lymphoma.  Her second marriage did end in divorce, but she maintained a close relationship for the sake of her child.  Later, as he was dying, she helped take care of him.  She never married after that. 

Like many in Hollywood of that era, she identified as an FDR liberal and fought for causes near and dear to that period's understanding of liberalism.  Like Reagan and a few others, however, she also came to see the growing stranglehold that  communists were having on Hollywood and the greater popular culture. 

As McCarthyism pushed so many into bed with those who would wave the hammer and sickle  banner, she became a shrinking minority who still clung to the old ways, the old values and the old priorities.  Like Reagan, she realized the threat of the pro-Soviet Hollywood movers and shakers, one that she sadly was able to live long enough to witness played out.

Like many from that age, my boys know her and can rattle off quite a few of  her films.  Their favorite, as far as she is concerned, is the drama The Heiress.  Seeing it on TCM years ago, they realized then that brutal rhetoric does not have to be delivered in fist fights, yelling and expletives.  Her father's dressing down of her (delivered brilliantly by the late Ralph Richardson) smacked the boys in the face when they realized that, for all the flare and overproducing in similar films today, that's about the 'coldest smack' they had ever seen.

So RIP Ms. de Havilland.  Such a long and rich life is worth more than a blog post.  A Christian herself, may she find peace in the arms of God that is so lacking in this vale of tears. 

Gog and Magog

And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall come forth to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up over the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down out of heaven, and devoured them” Revelation 20:7-9, ASV

So there you go.  What is going on in the world?  Dare we speculate that this is what we were warned about?

I know, I know  The Book of Revelation is so prone to misinterpretation that it isn't funny.  In the Orthodox traditions, they refuse to read from it or comment on it.  They begrudgingly accept that it is part of the Holy Scriptures, but that's about all they do.  Nonetheless, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the will of God, it is part of the Sacred tradition.  Why?

Obviously the original was penned at a time when some of the original assumptions of the early Church did not appear to come about.  Jerusalem had fallen, and most would have seen that as a significant moment worthy of the end of times.  But it wasn't.  By the time Revelation was written - traditionally most put the writing toward the end of the 1st Century - Jerusalem and the Temple were long gone, thanks to Rome.

Of course Rome as a sanctuary for Jewish believers being run out of town on a rail by the Jewish community went out the window with Nero.  Contrary to what some of the godless have tried to say over the years - that there were no real persecutions of Christians, the whole being Christian propaganda - a sane and realistic appraisal of the overwhelming paper trail is that by the time of Revelation, Rome as protector was now Rome as oppressor.

So what does Revelation have to say in all of that?  However one desires to see in Revelation helicopters or the Beatles or Donald Trump or Hitler or the inventor of Reality TV, most scholars across the board agree on two things: 1) it is a book of hope for the persecuted believer, and 2) it warns of dire periods for the faithful before all things come to pass.

It also repeats the fact that no matter how brutal, horrible, terrifying or miserable the world, most do not repent.  Instead, they curse God or join against Him.  That's what this passage above is dealing with.  It's revving up for the famous "Battle of Armageddon", which actually doesn't happen.  If you read the actual text above, there is no battle:
  • Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war: 
  • the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up over the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: 
  • and fire came down out of heaven, and devoured them” 
All the powers of the earth join against God and then God pulls a Raiders of the Lost Ark on them and that's that.  No battle.  No clash of arms.  This is God after all.  The unfathomable force and power behind all reality; a reality that dwarfs that small part of it that we're able to see known as the universe. I think a few hundred nations on our little planet gathering their weapons of war won't be much for God.  Which is sort of the point of the book.

No matter what is happening, God has it in the end.  Contrary to those lovable premillennial dispensationalists, there is no magical Rapture to lift us out of our car just as we're about to get a traffic ticket, just so we can escape the coming persecution.  Quite the contrary.  Despite our best efforts to suggest there is no punishment and it's all to the happy place, it is in many ways through this tribulation that the wheat will definitely be sifted from the chaff.  Therefore, we must pass through this time, showing our devotion and our faithfulness.  It is through the tribulations that we will be known, not only by how many we clothed and fed, but by how many remained loyal to the Lord.

None of this is to say I'm predicting the end of times.  That's not for me to say.  I just recall that Revelation was written to comfort the afflicted and, as the old saying goes, afflict the comfortable, or at least the powerful.   It's a reminder that, in the end, we're in a war between the Father of Lights and the principalities, the powers, the world rulers of this present darkness, and against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Sides will be drawn up, and even Jesus has always suggested a minority response of those who would enter through the narrow gate.

So take comfort.  Right now there is obviously a war on the Church.  Collateral casualties are the Western tradition and America, and the ideas of morality, democracy, liberty and the dignity of the human person that emerged from those worldly civilizations.  But it is the Church, and Christ's followers, who are in the crosshairs.  To spin it any other way is to see the world as man sees the world, not as God sees it.  And how does God see this sudden uprising against His Church?  Again, read Revelation.

Only one side wins in the end

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Happy Anniversary to me!

So it was ten years ago today that I started this blog.  I've quit it a few times over the years, only to be dragged back by the crazy.   I took a brief stint over at the post-Christian, secular and pagan loving Patheos.  I've come back and written thousands of posts. 

I'll reflect on this more later.  Or maybe not.  I've been known to start a series only to stop after the first of the series.  But we'll see.  Anyway, here's to ten years, when my earliest posts were about the fear that this thing called the Left was a storm cloud gathering on the horizon.  Shows how silly paranoid I was.

The Feast of St. James

The Greater.  Otherwise known as the George Harrison of the Apostolic Fab Four.  Of the four most prominent apostles - Peter, James, John and the Apostle Paul - James seems to be the least known and referenced.

Peter, of course, was the undisputed leader of the early Church, the first pope (a claim even as a Protestant I had difficulty refuting) and, like John, had a couple writings of Sacred Scripture to his name.  Paul, the johnny-come-lately of the Apostles, nonetheless emerged as the first great theologian and scholar of the Faith, and his writings occupy a place of prominence in the New Testament.

Poor James, on the other hand, has no such honors and claims to fame.  Despite the fact that throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus, James was almost always within the Lord's inner circle, that particular distinctive is often overlooked.   Perhaps St. James should be patron of everyone who feels like this guy:

Anyhoo, this is his day.  The always informative Fish Eaters has a nice breakdown of the day, including its usual reference to obscure traditions, like the custom of eating oysters on this day.  Well, that will have to wait.  But it's a day worth remembering for the one who was in the inner circle of the Lord Himself, even if we sometimes forget that little fact about him.

A belated shout out

To our youngest birthday boy.

It's been a tough one this year.  But then, it's been tough for much of his life.  He was born a year after the economic collapse of 2008.  Both his Mom and I lost our positions and barely scraped by for several years.  At that point, owing to the crazy (and corruption) of the local schools, we had decided to homeschool.  Because there were no private schools in the area, that was our only recourse.  Doing so when we were struggling seemed a long shot, but somehow, all these years later with pulling resources and some big help from God just when we needed it, it's still worked.

Our three older boys did their best to include him into the fold.  Early on, our next youngest was nine and, given his general personality, was able to make his youngest brother into a new playmate.  As time has worn on, however, and the three have at least embarked on their respective life paths, it's been tougher for them to be available.  Even during this time, they're still immersed in jobs or school or both.

Because homeschool organizations have more or less dissolved, especially during the Covid-19 era, we've found ourselves mostly home, and him mostly by himself.  Even during the best of times there is usually limited interaction with other kids - the one thing we don't like about homeschooling now.  The older three, at the end of the day, had each other.  Plus they had spent years in the trenches of public school and were in many ways more 'savvy' than some of the homeschool kids we later came into contact with.

But our youngest has been, except for church and a few groups only loosely available, consigned to being with his brothers, or by himself.  That has led to an interesting combination.  First, he's actually quite good at interacting with kids when he gets the chance.  Since he has to stand up to brothers who are up to three times his size, dealing with kids his own height appears to be easy.

Second, he's mature in his thinking.  Just being in a household of six adults has led him to see things that other kids his age don't always appear to catch.  Sometimes that's a problem, however, since he gets things to a point, but lacks the life experience to always process them as an adult.  So we do have to watch what we say around him.

Finally, he's smart.  Beyond him being our goto tech guy, he also gets things, just by virtue of hanging with his brothers, playing (or watching) their games, and being in the family and learning through a classical education program.  He gets what anti-trust legislation is, can locate and identity the significance of Sevastopol, understands the influence of the Glorious Revolution on the thinking of the Founding Fathers, is learning Mandarin Chinese, and can hold his own in strategy games with the best of them (he won their first foray into Twilight Imperium after all).  And that's just a few off the top of my head.

Right now his passion is for coding and computer programming.  Those are outside of our pay grades.  We try to find ways to connect him to appropriate outlets, and hopefully more will come by as we delve into that strange and foreign land.

But I wanted to say a belated happy birthday.  As my sons say, he's grown up in a world even they can barely recognize.  In many ways, our family is a different family than the one my oldest were raised in.  In that regard, our youngest is his own animal.  And yet, he's also as much a part of the family as anyone else.  Much of the credit for that goes to the brothers, who worked overtime to make sure he always feels as though he is 1/4 of the Griffey Boys.

The boys doing what they do best, and that's being all for one

Friday, July 24, 2020

Great news for Nick Sandmann

Nick Sandmann, the young man whose life was almost destroyed, and which was threatened on multiple occasions, for the sole reasons of being white and not cleansed by the true saving blood of the Leftist State, has won another round against the Ministry of Lies and Censorship that led the charge against him.  He must have had some major case for them to buckle like this.  Shame on those who blasphemed the Gospel by siding with the forces of slaughter for debauchery by racism and hate simply because he dared think like a non-leftist.

I hope he wins more victories.  He has shown a million times more guts than 90% of those conservatives whining and crying about the assault on the Christian West and America.  I'm not talking about those who have joined those forces out to destroy the heritage of Christianity and liberty and life.  I mean those who speak out against this and then do ... nothing. 

Well done Mr. Sandmann.  May the mercy of God protect him and keep him from the snares of the Enemy, who is the true source behind the assault on him and all who oppose this attack on the Faithful of Christ.

Boycott Major League Baseball

John C. Wright says it rather bluntly. 

The same goes for the growing number of Wall Street corporations, CEOs, and other sports and entertainment venues aligning with Gog and Magog to make war on the best that the world has produced.

I'm not saying do this for some financial punishment.  At this point, there are enough who are dedicated to the destruction of the Christian church, the Christian West, and the United States that I doubt anything we do will stop it. 

But we don't have to keep helping them in their designs.  We can do much better than clinging to old, dying sports, superficial and shallow digital movies worth less than a cartoon strip from an old package of bubblegum, music barely worthy of the term, and almost anything produced or sold by the same companies and venues dedicated to the destruction of everything good and uplifting in this life or the next. 

Just stop supporting them.  At some point in the 1930s, most German Jews figured out it was time to stop investing in the Hitler Reelection fund.  Even if it didn't stop the juggernaut, at least they weren't ones who helped it along.

A Day of Mourning for the Hagia Sophia

A story of monumental proportions that has received very little coverage by the "news media", and even less concern in other circles. Many have dismissed the concerns altogether.  Some no doubt are thrilled.  Neither the US Bishops nor Pope Francis seem to be more than saddened.

This is not coincidence as I've said before.  This is simply the early phases of the world finally taking the steps it feels invited to take.  When the world watches Christians in Europe and America discuss just how much of the Christian and Western traditions need dismantled and disposed of, you can bet others with their own agendas will jump in.

The world of Islam spent most of its history trying at various times and in various places to invade and sweep through Europe.  Each time, in different manners and moments, it was stopped.  Do we really think Muslims just gave up on the dream?  Do we believe our own wicked Government is bent on world conquest and imperialism?  Obviously.  I hear it all the time.  Do we think such is confined to the US?  Some who are foolish and partisan do.  But they shouldn't.

There are other parts of the world that would love to have the upper hand in the world.  And we're about ready to find out what happens when they get it.  Sadly, it will be our children and their children who pay the price.  If there is divine justice, we won't slip by so easily for our folly.

Nonetheless, at least the US Bishops are doing something.  They're posting on the Twitter Account (yuck) a day of mourning for the Hagia Sophia once more being taken over by the Islamic star and crescent.  And for those secularists who mourn this only because it points to some dreaded religious fundamentalism, don't be fooled.  They'd happily see it reduced to a museum as they would see the rest of the Christian world reduced to the same.  For Christians, watching secularists and Muslims debate over what should happen to the Hagia Sophia should put in mind Fay Wray watching King Kong battle the Tyrannosaurus Rex.  There's not much to root for if that is where we put our hope.

Perhaps it's time to rise up and stand firm for our faith.  Who knows?  We might notice a difference in our people and our prospective converts.

A Catholic question about White Mary

Courtesy of one of our long talks with the boys.  And it's something I don't know.  It's regarding Marian Apparitions. I'll admit, that is one area I know little about.

Anyhoo, we were talking, trying to get our feet back in the old Catholic kiddy pool, and it was brought up about the statues we see that reflect various apparitions.  It doesn't take a PhD in Catholic Art to tell that Catholics, as Christians in general, have always played loose with the appearance of Jesus or Mary.  To be honest, it was never a thing.  Even Evangelicals knew that in Africa, Jesus would be African.  In Japan, Japanese.  In Mexico, Mexican.  And on and on.  For Catholics the same goes for portrayals of Mary.  It was usually considered a beautiful thing, the universal element of Christ and the Gospel.

Until about two months ago, that was no big deal. But now we're hearing Christian, and Catholic, leaders discuss just when White Jesus (and, I would imagine by extension, White Mary) is racist/Nazi, and when it isn't.

That led to the question: if it turns out a particular image of a particular apparition is deemed racist, would that somehow reflect on either the apparition, or the one claiming to have received the apparition?  What would the implications be if any and all portrayals of White Jesus/Mary are deemed racist/Nazi?  Of course this idea of 'white means Nazi' is stupidity and racism, but stupidity and racism always find support among both the weak and the willing minded.  So it's the thing younger believers may just be thinking about as they listen to their brave leaders ponder such deep topics about the Whiteness pollution of the pure Christian faith.

If we begin saying White Jesus is here or there racist, what about White Mary?  And if White Mary is linked to an apparition, then what does that mean?  Does it mean nothing?   Was it ever just artistic license that had nothing to do with the apparition in question?  Once more, I'm not saying the offense of white religious statues is a valid complaint.  It's not.  As I've said, the last time I heard such a sustained discussion over when to tear down religious art based on ethnic origins was Germany in the 1930s.  But today it's all the rage, and hipster Christians will be on board.  So these are the questions logically brought up that I have no clue about.

Therefore, I'm just curious.  Nowhere near an expert, and wouldn't even know where to look.  That I even have to entertain such a question, however, just shows how close to the railroad lines our society is getting, and how many hipster Christians will be gladly manning the gates when the time comes.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Bishop Vasa pens a Christian response to 2020

Bishop Vasa, of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, CA, attempts a balanced take on the crazy and the problems of the year 2020.

It's a good piece.  It strikes a balance between the extremes.  A couple things leaped out at me.

First, any virus that kills 130,000 Americans is serious.  Even if we assume half of them are misreported, that's still over 60,000 dead, and the year isn't over.  That's worth doing something about.  Those who run around saying 'they were going to die anyway' bring disgrace to basic human decency much less the Gospel.

With that said, anyone with more than two brain cells knows that much of the 'response' has been four parts political, one part anything else.  Destroying the lives of millions, shutting down freedoms and liberties, blocking the worship of God (while allowing sporting events and amusement parks) is the stuff any sane human, much less Christian, should rise up against.  There are ways to help fight the spread of the virus without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  That, of course, necessitates admitting that there are those who want both baby and bathwater out of the way.

The same with racism.  Of course there is still racism in our country.  There is racism today against blacks too.  There is much to examine, and we obviously don't have the stones to do it.  Even on the most superficial level, however, we can assume that in the third largest population in history, you'll have bad actors.  Other groups face discrimination as well.  My sojourns with the Orthodox of the Antiochene tradition taught me that Arab Americans face discrimination - and sometimes from white people.  In a strange way, if you know Arabic or Hispanic Americans, you also know that sometimes the most venomous racism they face comes from - you guessed it - decidedly non-white sectors.

With that said, the 'white as pox on humanity' or 'burn, destroy, desecrate all!' isn't worth discussing, much less defending.  Here, Bishop Vasa is a little more wimpy.  He appears to concede there is nothing to learn of the past from statues but the bad.  He talks of a few protests stepping out of line and destroying a few businesses, as if this is a minor misstep in a valid cause.  At least he seems to say there is no excuse for either.  He simply gives that 'surrender three steps and hope for a compromise' approach which has, well, led us to where we are.

But at least he doesn't rush forth and defend, condone or support these things.  He doesn't seem to join in the 400 Year Nazi Slave State' narrative of America, or the idea that all of Western History is a cultural swastika watermarked on the human story.  Given where much of American Catholic leadership is, I'd call that  a win.

More importantly, he points out the need for balance in responding to the virus - and everything.  That's something.  The Left has declared war on America and the Christian West.  It is using anything to destroy Trump and, more importantly, the civilization it has been at war with for generations.  To that, Bishop Vasa offers at least a slap on the wrist.  He reminds us, in the end, it's more about just keeping the person healthy and happy while waiting for the next ball game.

So it's worth the read.  Overall, not bad.  Apologetic at times, a bit conciliatory where it might not be warranted, but on the whole a fair job.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Feast of St. Mary Magdalene

If you want the skinny, at least on the traditional approach to her, here is nice piece at my goto source for Catholicism 101.  A less stalwart and pithier account is here.

Naturally the godless would rewrite the history and make Mary Magdalene anything at all as long as it isn't what the Church said.  And some Catholics, still clinging to the idea that atheists and secularists are the really honest scholars, will change accordingly.

I've learned not to get too bent out of shape over what scholar's "know."  Generally it means what they guess, based heavily on various biases and predispositions toward elevating some evidence and lowering other evidence.  I'm content with my maxim that I accept the more traditional views that are generally agreed upon, until overwhelming evidence suggests otherwise.  And overwhelming evidence doesn't mean 'some scholar now believes.'  Hopefully the open-throated assault on the Christian faith we're seeing will finally wake believers up to reconsider just what we've changed over the years under the pretense that 'we're sure non-Christian scholars have no desire but for the real truth'.

Of course we need to make sure this or any part of the Faith doesn't just become a giant Jesus cudgel with which to charge forth and win in battle.  It is proclaiming the Almighty's tender concern for us little people, the sinners.  Since judging sinners is all the rage nowadays, we only need to get people to realize we all could have sins worthy of tearing our stamp on life down and throwing it into the furnaces. 

If we do - and I can't imagine, given the carnage and suffering of our modern era, we should have a hard time believing we've sinned somewhere - then what better place to start than one of the shining examples of the Faith's love and admiration for not only the penitent sinner, but for women as well? 

I stand humbled

A teen has built the world's largest Lego replica of the Titanic.   I can say no more.

Those heterosexual homosexuals

Well this is weird.  According to at least some studies, which apparently gay rights organizations don't contest, those who identify as LGBT are getting pregnant or causing pregnancies at a much higher rate than their heterosexual counterparts.

Now, I'm not a doctor or an anatomist, but it seems that homosexuals who are homosexual because they have no choice and therefore necessarily indulge in their homosexual proclivities would be unable to reproduce.  It seems they would need to have relations with those of the opposite sex for this to happen.  And if so, it seems they are quite capable of doing what they say they were born to be unable to do.  It's almost like it comes down to choice or preference, not biological mandate.

Of course we all know there is no definitive scientific fact that says we know exactly why homosexuality or anything else is a thing.  Like  most things human, there are likely dozens of reasons.  Most actual scientific think-tanks will admit as such - at least in secret places like buried down in the Q&A sections of their websites.

But it reminds us of just how much the modern era has demanded we accept things that are likely 100% false.  Never a good sign.  It's one thing to be wrong.  It's another to accept what you know is wrong.  Of course, beyond that, it's still another thing to think you live in a free country when people accept things that are wrong because they are frightening for their lives if they don't accept them.

BTW, bonus fun part is in the original story, here.  Why are homosexuals having heterosexual sex?  Why, lack of education (our favorite explanation for why liberal dreams end up in dead ends or disastrous results).  Plus, remember that secularism rejects original sin.  Therefore, since liberalism must always be awesome, when liberalism fails, there must be some other reason making it happen.  That the whole homosexual agenda could be wrong, and the vast majority of those who so identity could, with some level of effort, lead a life within the realm of procreative sexuality, is simply not an option. That would be like saying liberalism was wrong.  And the only ones who can say when liberalism was wrong are liberals.  Like how they once said don't judge, and now say if you don't judge you're the problem.   Things like that.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Left and the most brilliant use of racism ever

You're sh----ng me!
I tip my hat.  How, after half a century of making racism the all defining, unforgivable sin that was perpetrated by nobody but Europeans and Americans, did the Left then use racism in its power grab?  Easy.  Those good white leftists aimed racism at ... wait for it ... their own race!

What's that Dave?  You mean they're racists, but instead of any other race or ethnicity, it's their own race they hate? 

Why yes Dave.  That's exactly what they did.  In fact, that's all this whole 'wokeness' rubbish is all about.  It's convincing us that what we actually do in life doesn't matter, but it's our attitudes about others that are the real unforgivable sins.  Then we apply those same unforgivably sinful attitudes to ourselves and our own demographics, rather than applying them to others outside of our own demographics.  It happens with more than just race, but for now let's stick to the racism part.

But Dave, how does that work?  How does a white person talk about white people the way Nazis talked about Jews, and make it not be, well, kooky? 

Again, I don't know.  That's something I've not quite figured out.  How with a straight face the very white Fr. James Martin can decry the horrible sin of whiteness while insisting Jesus is happier with people closer to His own dark skin color, or decidedly white commentators speak of whiteness the way Germans spoke of the Jewish problem, is something I've not figured out.

It certainly has nothing to do with Jesus or our relationship to God.  You can tell that by white Christians being lambasted as inherently racist by other good white Christians, their relationship to Christ being of no consequence in the equation. Exactly how these decidedly white Christians can speak of the universal blight upon humanity that is 'whiteness', use 'white' entirely in a pejorative manner, and somehow emerge from this with the moral upper hand is a code I've not cracked.

But it's happening.  I say this because I got involved in heated debates on Facebook this weekend over posts touching on this very subject.  One was the whole whiteness thing, or at least the celebrate blackness thing.  In that case I asked if we can celebrate the gift of blackness, why not the gift of whiteness?  Another post dealt with the removal and destruction of European Catholic statues. An individual said those wishing to destroy them should be listened to.  That individual stated that he has no say in the matter.  Why, I asked, would anyone not have say in the matter?  Just because of being European, or white, or better, Caucasian?   In both cases rage exploded, with one banning me from seeing the thread of comments.

Imagine going back and finding out that the Holocaust was carried out by Jews all along.  Or that Jim Crow was entirely the brainchild of blacks in America.   That would be stupid.  And yet that's exactly what is happening.  I can't think of a time in history where this has happened or even come close. 

I used to say, years ago in a different life, that we (meaning the Christian West) will be the first civilization to commit suicide because of unbalanced levels of guilt and self-loathing.  But I didn't think it would become so racially tinged.  I mean, I'm waiting for good white liberals to start insisting whites should drink at separate drinking fountains and ride at the back of buses.

Again, no answers or solutions here.  Just an observation of something I never thought possible that is happening in our modern age - openly embracing racism.  But doing it in a way that common sense suggests could never happen in a million years, and that's hating and seeking the eradication of one's own race and ethnic heritage. 

I do get the strange feeling that all those good white leftists doing this expect a net positive at the end of it all without any negative repercussions.   I could be wrong.  Maybe they would love nothing more than donning striped pajamas and marching with shaved heads into the gas chambers for the cause.  I have a hunch not, however, but I'll be damned if I can figure out how they'll thread the needle of coming out on top of the hill by literally beating themselves down to the bottom of it.  Unless it's that they've not bothered to think that far ahead, and all they know is that the best way to get a star of righteousness badge - not to mention the moral upper hand in debates about power and control - is to hate themselves and every demographic to which they belong more than Himmler ever hated Jews.  And, of course, getting others outside of their own demographics to join the hate.

I Dunno.  Just riffing on a few thoughts after being chastised by white Facebook readers for daring to question their own racial self-loathing and abasement.  I have to admit it's brilliant.  Insist there is no real sin in the world but bigoted attitudes, and then seize upon those same bigoted attitudes in a grab for power, since bigotry is always a great way to establish power and control.  How could you ever do such a thing without hypocrisy charges flying like crows?  Now we know.

A seven year old observation about the Catholic Church

From a post about a Catholic diocese giving the green light for girl football players.  Read the post here.  I go into depth about that particular subject, knowing what I know of football and my son's participation in it (when they were having the same thing relative to a girl on their team).  That whole business seems to have died down right now.  The point of the Church's continual 'when the World speaks, we jump' approach, however, appears nowhere as strong as today - despite catastrophic results.  Sort of like saying 'we started a new game plan ten years ago and haven't won a game since ...  let's keep going with it!'.  Since it was seven year ago, and comparing where the church of the Pope Francis era has come, it's worth a look back and a reflection.

Monday, July 20, 2020

When science is fun

This is cool, close up photos of the sun that are closer than we've ever seen.  It's fascinating, but also a reminder of just how much we don't know about the things we've discovered over the years.

Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral in Nantes burns

And it doesn't look like the arsonists even tried to hide the fact that it was arson.  Why would they?  The war on the West and, more broadly, the war on Christ has begun in earnest.  Powerful forces are arrayed against it - corporate interests, political interests, the popular culture and news media, most education systems.  And, as can be expected, many believers are finding ways to justify siding with the forces against Christ, life and freedom rather than risk being the targets of the SJWSS.  So expect more flagrant attacks in the future.  And as Turkey has demonstrated with jumping on the bandwagon and shutting out Christians from the Hagia Sophia, expect a growing number of those from outside historical Christian civilization to jump on the bandwagon.  Some outside cultures, after all, have been waiting for centuries to make this move.  It took the modern generation of Westerners and Christians to make it possible.

UPDATE:  So I went on a little hunt across the world of Catholic Twitter, just to see.  I visited several high profile Catholics, including (but not limited to) Fr. James Martin, Dawn Eden, Deacon Greydanus, as well as other well known wags like Jimmy Akin, Mark Shea and Scott Eric Alt.  Guess what?  Not a single mention of this.  Not one.  In fairness, a couple hadn't updated their Twitter for a day or so.  Others, such as Fr. Martin, had copious tweets celebrating John Lewis.  Others who had posted today had much about Trump, the evil Feds, racists in America, Covid-19 and masks, and of course one celebrating a black Communist activist.  But nothing so far about this, the latest in a line of attacks and destruction aimed at Catholics and the Catholic faith.  Just FWIW.   In the olden days, we used to say we always make time for our priorities.  The absence of mentioning something doesn't mean much, if looking at a single person or outlet.  But when you look across multiple platforms from multiple individuals, and the same major story is missing, while other similar stories are emphasized, that says much.

UPDATE II: I've had several point out that Pope Francis has not spoken to this yet.  I don't know time zones, and it can take a few for the Pope to come out, even in the face of huge global catastrophes.  Since I don't know the papal time frames, or time zones, or whatnot, charity demands I assume it's no big deal and he'll speak to it in a timely manner.  The first update was pointing out that, across multiple Twitter (and other) outlets from multiple people known to jump on things and post regularly, I saw nothing at all about this.  Perhaps by now some have commented.  I'm not going to keep watch.  So that's the difference.  If several days pass and nothing is from the pope - which I can't really imagine - that would be a thing.  But I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt at this point.

UPDATE III:  For fairness and charity sake, I went back to these and other sites and twitter feeds (which I'm able to access thanks to a little end-run I was notified of) to see if anyone had mentioned the burning of this famous and celebrated Catholic cathedral.  As of now, nope.  Now not everyone has updated their blogs or twitter feeds since it happened.  So fair is fair.  But of those who have - including Fr. Martin - not a jot or tittle.  When you side with a movement becoming increasingly hate filled, violent, destructive, racist, bigoted and self-righteously intolerant, the most you can do is ignore these things.  Eventually, however, you'll begin to justify and defend them.  Finally, you'll be at the head of the torchlight processionals, goosestepping around the bonfires, and marching those problematic types to the camps where they belong.  Be warned.

Oh, and still no word from Pope Francis. He's still within that grace period, owing to the slow response time of the Vatican in most things.  But that grace period is shrinking, and if nothing is said, then see UPDATE III above.

Abortion in Ireland and the Number of the Beast

I know, it's just coincidence.  Of course our silly superstitious forebears would have thought it was significant that the number of abortions in Ireland the first year after abortion was legalized was 6,666.  Us fancy and sophisticated science era types know it's just a cosmic coincidence.  We live in a material universe that obeys the laws of nature, and generally those strange things that old timers would have applied religious significance to we know, for a fact, are just coincidence. 

Of course the real story is that Ireland is seeing what almost always happens.  Legalize abortion, and you get waves of abortions.  True, in America, abortion was already picking up steam by the time of Roe v. Wade.  Despite only a handful of states having legal abortion, the rates were increasing at an alarming rate beginning in the 1950s.  By the end of the 1960s we were approaching the close to one million human lives aborted every year that has marked the body count ever since Roe. 

For reasons I don't know, the Church has now chosen to insist this is all due to socioeconomic problems and injustices, perhaps a dose of sexism and, when needed, a pinch of racism and good od-fashioned misogyny.  But the fact remains, we see happen in Ireland what always happens, and that is the link between the collapse of a Christian culture with its Christian virtues regarding human life and sexuality, and the skyrocketing rate of abortions and the logical consequences thereof. 

I realize this is touchy ground, and the Church as a whole (not just Pope Francis) prefers to focus on the 'sin' when it comes to things like abortion, rather than the sinner.  The latter it leaves for things like racism, antisemitism, corporate greed, arms manufacturers, and others who oppose things like open immigration or government run healthcare systems.

Nonetheless, since there is nothing in Catholic theology that suggests when we sin certain sins, we can enter the confessional with variations on 'bless me Father, for those reprehensible reprobates made me sin', perhaps it's time to be a little more consistent in how we address the issue of sin, and the awful nature of the culture of unimaginable death and killing for the sake of our libidos (since, in the end, that's what this is about) we have constructed.  Just saying.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

The lunacy of modernity exceeds the memes that make fun of it

So here is the meme:

And here is the actual statement from a news cast (from a different network) reporting on how experts say we can avoid leaving our kids to die in a broiling car on a hot summer day:

The story is here.  I've seen this multiple times.  These are the experts being interviewed by the press.  None of whom seem capable of seeing the glaring problem.  Heck, it took me a minute for it to register.

If you don't want to forget your kid in a sweltering car, then put something else you really need in the back to remind you.  Others have said 'put something important' in the back seat.

That's what an abortion culture gets you. That's what a generation of godless nihilists and hedonists gets you.  What we are seeing is the result of this secular pagan godlessness spun for decades.  Ripe for the picking.  That's how you take over the freest, most prosperous, one of the most charitable and penitent societies in history.

Get your best and brightest to affirm that for parents in the world today, it's logical that they need their cell phones at least as much as they need their babies.  The signs of Satan's reign in our world today are so clear, you must want to deny it.  It couldn't be because you can't see it.

In case I'm not clear, allow me to repeat.  If we live in a nation where our betters and brightest say the best way to avoid consigning your child to agonizing death in a sweltering car is to put something else that really matters in the seat beside them, we're in big, big trouble.

Or, perhaps my boys hit the nail on the head.  If this is what our modern age has produced, perhaps this is why so many now are getting off by consonantly pointing to the sins of old sinners from long gone.  By constantly adding disclaimers that more or less say how morally inferior those people from before yesterday were, it takes our attention off of the monstrous hot mess disaster we've made our own world in our own time.  That might be.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Portland: Two takes from social media

Because as this shows, the mainstream press is barely mentioning it at all.  Some local outlets are running with stories, but on the national level, as can be expected, almost nothing at all.  So we have this:

And this:

And this is the problem, isn't it. Which is right?  Which is true?  They're both looking at the same events, but the read is polar opposite.  I would say this is why we should ignore social media, since the ability to spin things based on partisan agendas is so easy.

And yet, where else could I go?  Local news is sometimes better, at least it tries to be. I've often thought that's because local news is aimed at a tighter, often more homogeneous audience.  Plus, people are able to access those in local media in ways they can't access national press stars in their wealthy communities behind their ivory walls.  It isn't easy to make sweeping condemnations of people who can get in your face at this year's Arts and Barbecue festival.

But even those can be wanting, and perhaps don't have access to the resources to really unpack the stories.  Another flip side of local news is the lack of resources.  That's why sometimes you'll see the same shot of the same neighborhood when they're covering the latest crime scene that happened somewhere else.  Stock footage, since they can't afford to send a crew out to every story. 

But the national thing we used to call the press isn't interested in reporting news any more.  It isn't even trying to present itself as objective.  It's goal is the defeat of Donald Trump.  Period.  That is it.  To that end, it puffs whatever will do the job - such as George Floyd as opposed to any one of a dozen other unarmed Americans killed by cops.  Likewise, it ignores things like this, where protesters and rioters opposed to Trump, conservatives and America in general are possibly turning another American city into a demilitarized zone.  

So it's off to social media we go.  It may be biased, but at least it's there. 

NOTE: Keen observers who go through the stories in the link will notice that conservative outlets like Fox focus on the story in a way similar to Walsh, while other liberal outlets like Newsweek or The Washington Post (one of the few national venues I found mentioning this) sound a lot like Burbach's take.  Again, another problem.  Even when the "press" does cover something, is it really any different than social media?  Indeed, one wonders if social media is where they get their information from in the first place. 

How to reclaim the world for the Gospel

Easy.  Stop acting like the World is always right about everything, but on those rarest of occasions where it might drop from perfection, then God stuff.

This Saint day website I visit had this nifty insight as it reflected on today's feast of Saint Camillus de Lellis:

Are you sick and in need of healing? Do you realize that you can lay hand on yourself, family, friends and call on Jesus with faith to heal . This should be the first step before going to the hospital. Medications and hospitals are gift of God to mankind. They should be used with deep gratitude to God.  Jesus is still active in the healing ministry and testimonies abound.
You see that?  Lay on hands as a first order?  I'm sure they don't mean if you're pinned under a truck or your arm just got sliced off by a lawnmower.  Though I don't know. 

I've become more convinced than ever that the Church's 'keep up with the worldly Joneses' approach has allowed endless seeds of doubt and confusion to be sown in the minds of the faithful for generations.  It's even to the point where a Catholic exorcist says that the  Church assumes a purely  materialistic, atheistic explanation for problems and if that fails, then we go demon and angel.

That hasn't worked, and it reflects poorly on the spiritual Creation that Christianity proclaims.  For Christianity proclaims God and God's Creation, the Holy Trinity, and the whole of the human person made in God's image and alive in his Creation, which includes that one aspect of Creation we call the universe.  Letting the godless and the secularist have the wheel has allowed us to assume the secular view that the vast, eternal universe is all that and a bag of chips, and then maybe spirit stuff (but probably not). 

So there you have it.  I won't make prescriptions about just when you should default to the laying on of hands before consulting the medical doctors of the day.  But just the fact that someone says it as such a matter of course was worth noting.