Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Unfathomable and horrific

In an echo of the terrible nightmare at Sandy Hook, we learn that another elementary school has been attacked by a mass shooter.  Apparently at least a dozen or more children - some reports say as many as 18 - have been murdered.  A parent's worst, absolute worst, nightmare.  God bless and save the agony and horror that those parents will be going through.  Those children are with the Lord, God bless them.  They had their lives to live yet were cut short, but their sorrows have been left here for us to carry.  And carry we must, especially for the families and parents and guardians of the victims.  That also goes for the adult said to have been killed.  And it goes to the family of the killer.  As one of my sons said, in our most merciful we can hope the killer made his peace with God before his life was ended.  For if the Gospel of history is even close to being right, that is his best hope.  

We will likely never know about the shooter, and any potential motives beyond guns.  And we all know damn well why.  Pray for our soulless nation.  Pray for a nation that knows what the problems are but in our arrogance and hubris would rather let such horrors continue than admit we could ever have been wrong.  How many more will weep at the graveside before we admit what we all know?  How many of our faith leaders will simply join the deflections rather than call out the problem? 

I don't  know.  I just know my heart is broken right now.  I'm trying to avoid thinking about the parents and the moment they realize their child was not a survivor. Gads I can't do it.  Lift our prayers up to the Lord, and may God's incomprehensible mercies and grace cover their hearts, protect their minds and give them the strength they will so desperately need. May God do the same for all who experience such tragedy and loss we will never hear about.  And may God have mercy on our nation. 

I admit this was in bad taste

But it still made me laugh:

Because let's face it, there is some truth there and we all know it.  Though you could replace Dr. Fauci with a news logo and it would be just as true. 

Trivializing the Eucharist for all the world to see

 Is what I'm seeing a particular group of Catholics do in light of the news about Nancy Pelosi:

Beyond the very Protestant approach of 'if you don't like this Bishop's version of Catholicism, just drive down the street and find a Bishop's version of Catholicism you do like' approach, it essentially mocks the Eucharist.  

After all, nothing says 'Psssst, we don't really think it's anything other than a wafer and some wine' more than acting like it's nothing other than a wafer and some wine.  Because nothing says to the world that we believe there is nothing real or substantive that goes on at Communion than acting as if it is a commodity to be bargained over by the highest bidders.  

Nope, in the last two years as the world has revealed itself, we've watched in stunned amazement as line in the sand after line in the sand is stepped over by those who would conform to the world.  And now we have Catholics acting as if the Eucharist is everything the world has said it is, and less.  

In fairness, Sam is hardly the only Catholic to react this way.  His was just one of the more flippant. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

If Catholics insist on fighting to keep abortion legal

 Then at least avoid spreading lies for the cause.  


It seems damning, until you actually look up the story and find out she was convicted because it was determined that her drug use led to the unborn child's death.  I know, I know.  The headline doesn't say that.  Never read headlines.  Ignore them.  Read the story. Headlines are made for the old 'Oh, I forgot to mention that part of the story' approach to lying.   

The headline, and Twitter copies above, are purposefully false and meant to stir up the old liberal tactic of inevitable doom at the hands of non-liberals.  The whole 'they're putting a woman in the electric chair because she bought the wrong crib, that's why Republicans will kill black people!' hysteria is old media driven leftwing boilerplate.  

I've watched it for years.  Any time a leftwing agenda might fail, they scream that we're three steps from the Holocaust, the world blowing up, all women raped, all minorities gassed in gas chambers, all children murdered, all grandparents thrown off cliffs, and all rights stripped away for the survivors. 

The more you watch the Left reveal itself, the easier it is to hold to the historical Christian Faith. 

Friday, May 20, 2022

A simple game from simpler times

I would never say simple times, since times are never simple.  Some times, however, are more simple than others.  I would say the years of my youth, before people could be fired for suggesting men cannot have babies, was on the simpler side of the chronological slide rule. 

One point in that period of my life came after my first year of college.  While my interests in history by then had swung to the more medieval, I never really lost my fascination for studying the Second World War.  At that time, this interest was renewed by those new personal computers that were all the rage.  While no doubt there were practical uses for home computers, there were also games aplenty.  One game I purchased was based on Germany's invasion of the USSR in WWII.   That helped rekindle interest in that period of history.  It didn't hurt that I also took an entire college course on the Second World War (it was there that I discovered John Keegan).  

By the end of the year and following summer, I was beginning to browse the books from that class, and look for others to build upon my WWII library.  At that time, it also happened that I learned about a game that had been released called Axis and Allies.  As the name implies, it was a board game based on WWII. 

Years earlier, I had become obsessed with the game RISK.  Sort of wargaming with training wheels.  Nonetheless, I played it every chance  I got with anyone I could browbeat into playing it.  There weren't as many back then, as there would be in my early college days.  Nonetheless, the chances to play were there.

While playing in those early teen years, I developed a desire to see RISK played more in the manner of the Second World War.  I even wrote out a set of rules, replacing the RISK game board with a Mercator Projection map I  owned.  I took it to a local gaming group that met in the basement of our First Federal building.  It was there I first saw that fad game everyone was playing called Dungeons and Dragons.

My interest wasn't in such fantasy fare, however but in peddling my idea for a board game based on WWII.  Me being me, however, I never saw it through.  So I was a bit crestfallen that year after  college when I learned someone else had done what I had thought of (years later I was comforted to learn A&A was actually based on a game published years before I was in high school). 

As I said here, in my youth and even college days, WWII was more or less passé.  A punch line or a neat war to build fanciful action movies or video games around.  Much cultural emphasis was on the sins of America and the Allies.  And Pearl Harbor and D-Day as good as always.  Other than that, until the late 1990s, not much else other than extra emphasis on this or that key anniversary made the papers.  And even those gradually morphed from memories and tributes to lamenting our sins and evils. 

Anyhoo, that summer after my freshman year of college saw all that come back to my mind.  It also made me want to get my hands on the game.  My best friend and I drove all the way to Mansfield to get our hands on it.  He wanted to get another game, but one in the same series, called Fortress America.  In keeping with his interests in the Cold War and all things defending America, it follows a sort of Red Dawn premise where a future America is invaded on three sides.  We played it once, until he became outraged at bad die rolls, grabbed the board, threw it out the back door of his house, lost the pieces, and that was that.

My copy of Axis and Allies fared better.  I'm not the best winner, but I also don't lose my cool and shoot myself in the foot either.  So I had that game with me when my boys came along and became old enough to play.  And play we did.  Over the years we accumulated many version of the A&A game (We find the Anniversary, Pacific and the Guadalcanal versions to be the best).  We've also branched out to other board games and war game.  Some on the extreme side of the complexity scale. More on that down the road.. 

Nonetheless, it's nice to return to the simple play of simpler times.  A few weeks ago, a couple of the boys were here while others were away.  It was raining - because of course it was.  My wife has been working on some projects, so one son decided to get the old original A&A up and play a round.  We did, and it was fun.  And nice.  It brought back memories, as this post demonstrates.  And it was quite enjoyable.

Alas, simplicity has its limits.  After the game, it was decided to get the anniversary version.  This time all the boys set aside time to play, and it went on for days.  My second and third son and me were the allies, being Britain, America and Russia respectfully.  My oldest and youngest - Germany/Italy and Japan respectfully - were the Axis.  Despite the apparent deficiency with having a twelve year old against three adults, the two held their own

The Anniversary Edition

For the record, the game ended when my oldest and youngest conceded after ten turns - a long game for A&A.  Both of them played quite well, and we were impressed with our youngest's tactical cleverness.  Though he did make a few blunders, including splitting the Japanese fleet early on.  Ironically that was a mistake the Japanese made in the early months of the war leading up to the disaster at Midway.  

My two sons on my team kept the pressure on until they accumulated enough money to overwhelm the other two.  And, if I may, Russia (me) refused to die and kept Germany tied up through the game.  That's unusual because an A&A trope is that if Russia lasts more than five turns it's usually in Berlin.  So that was that.  A fun time overall. 

Some good playing.  And some good memories old and new. 

One of many reasons summer is my least favorite season

 Courtesy of this humorous little visual aid:


I don't know about the paper wasps. I've sat on our deck, minding my own business when they begin flying around as if itching for a fight.  My boys say they are the only insects with attitude.  But then scientists say Water Moccasins are a passive, unaggressive snake.  My dad said that during maneuvers in the South, he learned a different tale.  Being in the Army Engineers, he was often on the edge of bridges and other construction over rivers.  This, he said, was because they knew he couldn't swim.  But he insisted when they were out there in or near the water, Water Moccasins would travel far and wide just to pick a fight.  So you never know from personal experience and official assessments I guess. 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Starbucks and aiding abortion

I'm not one for boycotts.  They never seem to work.  Sometimes they do I suppose. But only if they have the press and general media culture at their back.  If you're spitting into the media whirlwind, it's typically a waste of time.

Nonetheless, I will never again grace the doors of a Starbucks.  Not that I ever have.  The only Starbucks coffee I've had was one cup seven years ago.  On my last day at the bank I worked for, one of my coworkers who knew I had never gone to a Starbucks bought me one of their cups of coffee.  Eh.  I wasn't impressed, though the gesture was nice. For me, coffee is coffee.  As far as I'm concerned the most impressive part of a can of coffee is a cheap price tag.

In any event, Starbucks has gone beyond simply throwing its support for abortion rights, which I expect from most of corporate America today.  Nope.  Starbucks has said it will pay actual money for its employees to travel to different states to get an abortion if Roe is overturned

Again, I get why Corporate America long ago threw the Christian element of our heritage out the window. A faith based on 'Blessed are the Poor' is anathema to the bottom line.  Plus, sexed up, drugged up godless narcissists with nothing but animal pleasures in this world are a marketing department's dream come true. 

Nonetheless, I have my limits.  When a company doesn't just endorse, but actively helps, grave and intrinsic evils, then by golly they'll never sell me my second cup of coffee if I have anything to say about it. 

Oh, and Elon Musk

So the news broke last week by an exuberant media that Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter might not go through.  Cue rejoicing in the streets.  Cue those on the Left blowing beer out their noses mocking conservatives for getting their hopes up.  It might be nothing, but I can tell the press is hoping it means the deal is void.  I've not heard any updates, so who knows what is going on. 

Here's my thing.  I know little to nothing about Musk.  I remember some years ago I got tired of hearing about him.  For a while it seemed as if every MSM outlet gushed over him.  There were times I couldn't go two days without some 'praise Musk' story.  I recall telling my wife if I see one more story gushing over Telsa I'm going to scream. Beyond that, I notice he says things that riles people on the Left. 

Other than that, no clue.  He could be Lenny the Leftist for all I know.  He might be Batman, more likely the Joker, or something in between.  Those who cling to the Gospel have been burned too many times in recent years after hitching their wagons to the latest potential superstar for conservatism. 

I do think that no matter what he has served his purpose.  The whole hysteria about Musk threatening democracy, the world and the universe if he gets Twitter showed a couple important things.   First, it showed what we all know, that double standards and naked hypocrisy are mother's milk for progressive activism.  The same ones screaming about his takeover were the ones, only a few months earlier, dismissing concerns about social media censorship and message control:  'It's just a social media outlet, get over it.  Find another one if you don't like it.'  Or so they said.  Again, it's wrong when it hurts progressives, it's right when it helps.  

But more importantly, he also showed how far we've descended into a world held by an oligarchy that has gamed the system, is tired of freedom for the little people, and makes sure the rules help only themselves.  We saw this a year ago with the Game Stop debacle.  That was about nothing other than someone outside of the official cabal daring to game the system the way the cabal no doubt does on a daily basis.  The system is only to be gamed by those who control it.  Hence the 2020 election. An election not stolen per se, but gamed. 

The problem with Musk isn't that he is some right wing radical.  It's not that he's some MAGA Trump type.  It's that he is out of the system.  He isn't in the rules and living within the rules of those who now control the rules.  He is a wild card, and that is anathema to the modern establishment.  Gates, Buffet, even Zuckerberg may occasionally run afoul or this or that leftwing dogma, but they nonetheless run within the system.  They pander to the system and exist within it. 

Musk does not.  He seems to go where he will, and most of the time the establishment doesn't seem to care.  But this is important, controlling the message.  Yet Musk wasn't trying to obtain Twitter on their behalf, or by their permission.  Someone outside the system getting hold of a major source of narrative control?  Hence the subsequent days of global outrage, calls for the government to step in, hysterics over the fall of freedom and democracy.  

Now the deal might not happen.  Or the deal could go through.  I dunno.  That's beyond my ability to guess one way or another.  Perhaps it was just Musk playing around.  Maybe he's snickering about all those yokels who thought he was their white knight.  Maybe he gets his kicks laughing at all those people who thought they were in control.  Again, I don't know.  I just know that no matter what, I'm not going to see us any better off if Musk does everything he's suggested he will do - when he's not doing anything else he feels like doing.  I've learned never trust people who are defined by being wild cards.  That falls under the old adage of never underestimating an enemy, but  never overestimating an ally. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Dawn Eden and which lives matter

In the below thread.   

Note the necessity of assuming ill motives for questioning BLM. A not uncommon approach in progressive discourse.  It doesn't seem to occur to her that many think it's heads-up-a-donkey's-derriere stupid to enshrine in future generations the idea that saying All Lives Matter is a bad thing.   Which is only another generation away from being convinced all lives couldn't possibly matter since saying they do is obviously wicked and evil.  Which is one more generation from the pressing need to discuss just which lives logically don't matter.

But that couldn't be.  It has to be that people disagree with BLM for some deficiency of character.  To her credit, she doesn't lean on the idea that anyone questioning BLM or wanting to say All Lives Matter must be racist.  That's it's own level of stupidity.  She leaves it with assuming some degree of cowardice, or perhaps political prejudice.  


For the record, I think black and white lives matter, as I think Asian lives matter, Hispanic lives matter, poor lives matter, rich lives matter, Muslim lives matter, Jewish lives matter, Socialist lives matter, MAGA lives matter, Donald Trump lives matter, President Biden lives matter, Christian lives matter, even Baptist lives matter.  And that's just the tipping point. 

I'm that much of a radical.  I'm sure Ms. Eden agrees with me. Or I hope she does. Because if we're already told not to say All Lives Matter, and then become further chastised for pointing out the wide range of lives that do matter, then it won't be generations we have to wait to see which lives are determined not to matter at all.  We'll already be seeing it. 

I will point out one queer statement she made above.  She says some who call themselves pro-life sin by committing murder.  She then says yet Catholics still call themselves pro-life. Theologically that's a train wreck approach to reasoning.  I'm not sure what she even means.  If she was typing it while driving on the freeway during rush hour in a hailstorm it might explain it.  But I can't fathom what she means by some professed pro-lifers sin and commit murder and other crimes, thus it's bad Catholics call themselves pro-life?  I was going to respond with a quip until I realized I couldn't come close to guessing what she is getting at. 

UPDATE:  It's sad isn't it:

I know she must feel brave and quite the crusader, but for those who live outside the Matrix, we can see it for what it is. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

ABC News wins the award for most stunning headline in the wake of the Buffalo shooting

 Yep:


I've not seen one come close.  If the article suggested conservatives begin wearing yellow stars on their shirts, I wouldn't be shocked.  

To understand this racist and exploitive approach to human tragedy, read this political analysis by the not-at-all-right-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald here. 

Where is the White Supremacy coming from in America?

 I don't know.  Let me think for a minute:

The above is part of a list on Google from a single search including the words White and Racism in America. 

America's liberals and liberal minorities have essentially endorsed talking about white Americans the way Germans in the 1930s talked about Jews.  The question isn't if or when there will be some violent 'racial reckoning'.  The question is, why do America's liberals seem to want it to happen?  After all, no sane person of  good will would adopt the above attitudes toward a group of human beings with the expectation that harmony, peace and love will be the result. 

As a bonus, here is another slick headline suggesting why some Caucasians of a particular age group might feel put upon by our modern society:

Monday, May 16, 2022

One of Ohio's enduring characteristics

We don't like winning pro sports teams.  Absolutely not. College teams are good, especially if they're from The Ohio State University.  But winning pro franchises?  Perish the thought. 

Every now and then  something goes wrong and we end up with a winning team.  I'm looking at you Big Red Machine.  Perhaps one of the most dominating lineups in sporting history.  And what did the Reds management do to this prize winning team? Trade those bad boys away. 

The Cleveland Browns, who fought like mad dogs to keep their franchise after the move to Baltimore, embarked on a decades long losing streak.  So bad was it that a few years ago many were contemplating an end to the Browns once and for all.  Then came Baker Mayfield.  Within a year, its fortunes turned around. In two seasons there was talk of making it to the playoffs. 

So what was the reaction from Browns fans and Ohio sports media?  They ripped into Mayfield from day one.  Almost immediately anything he did was torn to pieces, any accomplishment downplayed.  Yes, he was injured and since then his on field performance has been compromised. But before that it was clear the Browns were not going to stand for a winning franchise. 

Now we're back to the Reds.  After struggles and many ups and downs, it looked like the team might have found a decent roster of players.  They weren't ready to take down the Yankees' records, or even the Big Red Machine for that matter.  But they showed promise. 

So what did the Reds management do? Trade those bad boys away pronto, that's what.  Leading us into this season where the Reds are on track to being one of the worst teams in baseball history.  Already they've flirted with catastrophic opening stats, losses, and this gem.  You pitch a no-hitter and still lose.  Do you realize how practiced in awfulness you have to be to allow no hits from the other team and still lose the game? 

But that's Ohio sports for you.  Football, especially of the college variety, is king. College basketball can show itself, and every now and then Cleveland may show promise on the court.  But most of the time our pro teams are cause for jokes and giggles, and not much more.  It's something the various teams' management seem determined to maintain. 

The type of reasoning that makes me think of David Koresh

 

Heh.  So guns have rights?  I had no idea.  I thought citizens had the right to own a gun.  Missed the legalization granting inanimate objects rights. 

FWIW, I find it interesting that Mr. Teidrech would fight like a mad dog for a woman's right to abort children,  but appears hostile to the idea of the same woman being able to defend herself with a gun against a murderous rapist.  Almost like his big concern is paving the way for an unhindered sex culture, but if the woman herself must be sacrificed, so be it. 

Perhaps there's just no amount of humans that some men aren't willing to sacrifice for their libidos..  Which is a little off from what the always brilliant Stephen King seems to be getting at, without his realizing it:


If I supported abortion rights up until the last couple weeks of unhinged insanity and madness in the service of aborting children, I think this would push me over to the pro-life side.  Or at least I'd like to think it would. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Pray for the victims of the supermarket shooting

Most likely have heard now of the shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.  So far 10 have died, and many others are wounded.  Pray for them especially.  Pray for the poor victims.  Pray for their loved ones who will be left to deal with this unimaginable tragedy.  It's impossible to think what they are going through. May God cover their hearts and minds with the peace that only He can give. 

Also pray for the retaliation.  We all know the drill.  It appears this was a white man with racially motivated reasoning for the shooting.  Therefore we're going to see more backlash against America and its past, the whole of the Western tradition, and all non-progressive whites.  Those who challenge liberal narratives will be lumped in with white racists and nationalists, who will be tied to this shooter no matter what. 

Evil begets evil.  Again, we know the drill.  Normally I try to keep prayers for such tragedies on the victims.  Sadly, the victims will be used and exploited in weeks to come - for this will be dwelt upon for weeks to come, unless the initial narrative turns out to be wrong - and it will be done for reasons far removed from anything virtuous.  

God bless the victims and their families, and God bless those who will be linked to this. 

Mark Shea is Abby Johnson's best hope

Heh.  Read the thread here:


You see that?  Notice that Mark is hanging Abby's former life as an abortion clinic worker around her neck like a millstone.  That she famously left that life, gave herself to Christ, and entered the Catholic Church seems more or less irrelevant.  The one who first showed me this thought Mark was eschewing the forgiveness of Christ.  I disagree. 

I don't think Mark is thinking of Christ's forgiveness one way or another.  Or at least I hope he isn't.  I think he's trying to be clever.  He's trying to say that Abby is some sort of horrible hypocrite for not sending herself to jail for all those babies she helped abort.  Note that Mark does a little switcheroo with the terms.  

Abby is obviously talking about what happens if a woman aborts a pregnancy if it becomes illegal.  Mark slickly injects the term 'post-abortive' to suggest Abby means any woman who has ever had an abortion before.  Which isn't what Abby - or anyone I've ever heard - appears to be saying.

Here's the funny thing however.  If we accept Mark's premise that if Roe is overturned and abortion made illegal then Ms. Johnson should send herself to jail, then Abby's best hope is Mark.  After all, Mark and most New Prolife Catholics are burning the midnight oil to help keep Roe on the books and thus the abortion mills churning along freely and legally.  If that's how things end up and Mark's side wins, then Abby will have no reason to go to jail!

Well done Mark.  Protecting women  like Abby Johnson from jail time by bravely fighting to wreck anyone who would try to overturn Roe v. Wade.  I can't think of anything that more perfectly demonstrates the mindset of the New Prolife Catholic movement.  :) 

Friday, May 13, 2022

I hate to break the news to Pedro Gabriel at Where Peter Is

But if this is your true response:

I have been pleasantly surprised that many pro-lifers are expressing the notion that “the real work starts now.” 

It's likely you've spent too much time taking pro-abortion talking points at face value.  Because the false pro-abortion narrative that abortion opponents don't care about anyone (including even the unborn) is a boldface lie.  I've not been in a church since I became Christian that didn't do what it could to help the unborn, the born, the mother and, sometimes when they're really crazy, the father as well. 

Just once I'd like to see someone repeating that lie provide actual stats showing that pro-life activists don't care, or care less than pro-abortion activists.  Oh, and that doesn't include the old slick trick of assuming liberal economic and social policies are the only path to salvation, so anyone who disagrees must hate poor people and minorities.

BTW, I don't care for this sort of thing either:

Unfortunately, I’ve also seen some self-described pro-lifers celebrating the news in a triumphalist and callous way. 

Triumphalism?  Over the possibility of hindering the wholesale mass slaughter of unborn children (Biden's words)?  Please.  As if the other side is all about humility and modest discourse.  To my eyes, it's the usual 'Gee, I must find something bad to say about the opponents of death.'  That always strikes me as the first step toward entering the modernity camp of death and debauchery.  Plus, if I'm going to be triumphalist or callous in my reaction to something, let it be over the possibility of saving innocent life. 

Nonetheless, the old 'of course the Left can fire verbal nukes at dissenters, but how dare you fire a pea-shooter in return' template is another way of saying we're really on the side of the nuke shooters.   I don't think the faithful should do what we call wrong just to win.  I do think, however we should be honest about what we're fighting and stop acting like tea cosies and lace napkins are the appropriate response to an assault by Tiger tanks.  

If the good Dr. Gabriel actually wants the forces of good to succeed, then please stop embracing the usual approaches of failure that have defined so much of the children of light over the last many generations.  That couldn't help but be a good place to start. 

I blame Gutenberg

 Yep, this is his fault:


When books are this cheap and easy, you get the above book on a Barnes and Noble bookshelf.  Personally I could come up with at least one or two other important speeches before stumbling on anything young Ms. Thunberg has to say.

The problem isn't just the proliferation of books, however. I only jesting.  It's that the above cover reflects the dominant media narrative.  Per the media, Ms. Thunberg is one of the most important people of our age.  Because the media says so, that's why. 

It almost makes you rethink anything we've ever heard from the media over the years, don't it. 

Commenting

It looks like the Comments Section of my blog has changed a bit. I don't know tech.  I've been informed by more than one reader that they're having trouble commenting. 

If anyone has any clue what is going on or how to fix things, I'd appreciate the help.  Meantime, I suppose you can comment anonymously.  Just post it and then sign your name manually (because multiple anonymous unsigned comments is though to keep track of).

Hopefully it will be fixed soon  Till then, thanks for the comments! 

How to be a court prophet with one foot in the Temple

My old classmate Russell Moore demonstrates. Here is a long screed that basically threads that needle between old timers from the Faith while keeping those to the left on good terms.  He does this by referencing the problems with abortion, while making sure those in the Ivy league and New York press offices notice his constant drumbeat against White Nationalists, White Supremacist, Racist Evangelicals and similar deplorables.  

Especially entertaining was his acceptance of the racist motivation theory for Evangelicals.  In this case, the accusaiton that the only reason Evangelicals cared about Roe was to get back at Carter for bravely cutting off funds to racist white people and organizations (a spin on the old Southern Strategy narrative for Republicans): 

Randall Balmer argues against the idea that Roe v. Wade mobilized evangelicals into political action, saying that this a myth. Balmer contends that the motivating factor was, in fact, religious conservatives’ backlash against Carter administration initiatives to remove tax exemptions from racist all-white “segregation academies” run by church groups. Balmer is hardly the only one to make this case.

Of course he does this under that intoxicating idea of 'don't be part of tribal loyalties.'  Ah, I remember that one well.  Mark Shea went there over a dozen years ago.  He read someone somewhere who spoke of the evils of tribalism.  Overnight, Mark cast a pox upon all tribal houses, declaring himself - in a less subtle way than Russ - above such tribal partisanship.  

At the time I warned Mark to be careful.  It's not so easy to be purely of the Gospel with no social or cultural loyalties.  We are creatures of our time and place after all, often beholden to others for what we have.  Eventually, if you're not careful, you end up being part of the worst tribe of all: The dreaded  "I'm not part of any Tribe" tribe.  And there are few tribes more incorrigible than that one. I believe it was Sean Dailey who mocked me for my warning. 

But beyond that, this is a case where those trying to keep one foot in Hell and one in Heaven are working right now.  Of course Russ makes many of his points in the vaguest terms, often pointing to nothing or no one in particular for examples of those making others 'invisible' or being scared to address racism for fear it might anger their racist allies.  

Again, this is the part of the church that can no more be trusted than Laval or Quisling.  Arnold was more trustworthy. Unlike the full apostates who have abandoned the Faith verbally and in name, or those who simply align with the Left wherever the Left may go:



Russ represents that middle of the road, two feet in the World's camp but one foot back in that old time religion ... for a time. I fear there will come a time when most in that last camp will finally sever all ties when the pushing becomes outright shoving.  As it is, they do much to muddy all waters, make sure the appropriate groups are spat upon - mainly traditional believers, white skin conservatives, or whatever group the Left has targeted - and keep just enough loyalty to the Faith by suggesting issues like abortion or gay marriage are technically something less than ideal, but only that.  Just in case. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Enemies of God and Man

 If you are aligned with this:


You are an enemy of both God and Man.  And by the word Man, I mean its classical use referring to humanity, because I'm tired of pandering to the same feminist bilge that gave us the above mentality in the first place.  It's time to stop losing if we don't wish to be remembered as losers. And first things first. 

BTW, kudos to our parish priest.  On Sunday he called out the lies of the abortion movement, including lies spread by Catholic abortion supporters.  Then he did something strange, weird, amazing, great, wonderful, terrifying and everything all rolled into one:  He acknowledged that the abortion issue is about the mothers, the babies and - get this! - the fathers.  He actually pointed out that care for the father is important.  Imagine that.  Of course care for the mother and baby is crucial, but let's not forget the often forgotten father!

Can you believe it?  I've seen men try to say this only to be smacked down by pro-life conservatives, much less pro-abortion liberals. I've actually seen people on the pro-life side insist men should accept the subordinate position and shut up.  Men should stand in the corner, wallet ready if, and only if, the mother decides not to abort the pregnancy.  The castration of men is something purely at the feet of feminism, and one of the capstones of the whole modern paganism we're seeing.  That men accepted being told they have no say in a child's life unless the woman chooses was a major defeat for the dignity and gift of manhood.  

So good signs I'm seeing.  Could the proverbial giant be waking?  I dunno.  I think we've lost much and lost them in key areas.  The Gospel will live, even if the civilization it helped forge dies.  And abortion is one of the key killers the new paganism is fighting hard to maintain.  Nonetheless, prayers are effective, and when the prayers involve saving the life of the most innocent of these, we can be assured that they are heard. 

As a bonus point, I should add that our priest also echoed what I've seen several mention in recent days.  There is no guarantee the repeal of Roe will happen. Nonetheless, if it does happen, then there will be new pressures on the moms (and yes, the dads!) and that's where we must build upon our good works already out there.  I loved that, too.  For he went on to name different ways that the Church and individuals already help young mothers and babies, countering the lies of abortion rights allies like Mark Shea.   

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 19.14

Sometimes it is not worth commenting

When you see people respond to a discussion like this, you can bet your bottom dollar that further discourse is a waste of time. I'll bet most readers here will immediately see the glaring problem all too common on the Left. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

From that thing once known as the Episcopal Church

You can read the whole thing here. Here are a couple parts that jumped out at me:

The cause for alarm goes far beyond abortion. The draft opinion argues that rights not explicitly enumerated in the Constitution are protected only if they are “deeply rooted” in American history. This history, as we know, was significantly shaped by all-white, all-male electorates that chose all-white, all-male executives, legislatures and judges. (emphasis mine)

And this:

As Episcopalians, we have a particular obligation to stand against Christians who seek to destroy our multicultural democracy and recast the United States as an idol to the cruel and distorted Christianity they advocate.  (emphasis mine)

Wow.  Not sure what religion her church is part of, but it ain't mine.  I mean, talk about seething hatred, contempt, bigotry, and arrogance. Not to mention the lies. All in service of the right to abort pregnancies by the millions in order to sustain our AIDS era sex culture.

Oh, and when we're faced with the equivalent of Nazi-hate, it's OK to call them out on it.  I see little difference in her attitude toward whites and men and the attitude of Goebbels toward Jews. 


Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a woman soweth, that shall she also reap.  

                                                                                                                                            Galatians 6.7

Laura Klassen helps MSNBC understand

Understand the difference between a vaccine and a baby.  Follow this link, and you'll see the ridiculous argument that compelling people to get a rushed through vaccine is the same as not letting women abort their pregnancies.  

Like so many arguments for progressives, it's stupid and so ridiculous you almost feel an SNL skit wouldn't do it justice.  Yet the man stands there, a serious face, and seems to think this is really a 'gotcha' moment.  For any thinking, sane person of good will, it's far from that. 

So in the clip below, the devoted Life defender Laura Klassen explains why the whole 'my body, my choice' is false to begin with, thus demonstrating the stupidity behind a 'vaccines equal babies' argument: 


Yep.  Again, like so many progressive arguments, it relies on a mountainous pile of credulity to accept.  Slick slogans and bumper sticker activism does wonders for justifying sin.  When one steps back and thinks honestly, however, it's not difficult to see the glaring problems.  

Thursday, May 5, 2022

God bless him

One of the last of the WWII generation celebrates his 101st birthday.  That is significant because he served in the fabled 101st Airborne Division in WWII.  As much as any single military unit, the 101st has achieved almost mythical status in American lore.  At least until recent years.

The book, and subsequent HBO miniseriesBand of Brothers didn't hurt either.  I remember a vet who served in the 82nd Airborne quipping that the 101st gets all the breaks just because it had the luck of being at Bastogne.  That's probably true.   That's how history can be sometimes: Fickle. 

Nonetheless, BoB enjoyed a brief time when, for a moment, we cast our eyes back at the WWII generation for one last salute.  Most of my life it was not like that, Vietnam was the social obsession where American wars were concerned.  The Civil War was a lightning rod issue as always.  But WWII?  It was generally just 'that war' Archie bunker or Jonathan Higgins prattled on about and younger generations quickly ignored. It was fodder for comedic sparring and not much else. 

That is, until Tom Brokaw wrote his book The Greatest Generation.  At the same time, Spielberg released his popular, albeit flawed, WWII tribute Saving Private Ryan.   I've often thought that was penance from a generation defined, rightly or wrongly, by walking with middle fingers perpetually raised at its parents.  Then, by the late 90s, those parents were beginning to pass. Therefore their kids needed to rush out and give a few hasty nods to the generation that their children seemed to work overtime to forget.

In any event, those days are gone, and the war is largely forgotten.  Even the Holocaust, which dominated the majority of the war's focus for most of my life (the A-Bombs and our Japanese internment camps being most of what else was emphasized), is largely forgotten as anything other than a political punch line.  From what my sons observe from their peers, it's not an uncommon narrative now that the whole of WWII was basically a vast American Military Industrial Machine conspiracy.  Hitler and his party were hoisted by the USA to produce need for an American military power able to subjugate the world and funnel endless trillions into the pockets of our industrial lords. 

Nonetheless, for a time in the late 90s and early post-9/11 years, the generation of the 101st and their fellows enjoyed its last bow in a shrinking spotlight.  By the 75th Anniversary, most media coverage was focused on their racism and prejudice, and contemporary movies made about that time followed suit, reminding us that, more than anything, they were racists and sexists fighting for a racist nation and not much more. 

For my part, I wonder if I've met him.  Years ago, when my three oldest were much younger and before our fourth son came along, we were in a local Wendy's.  While I was heading to the counter for a drink refill, I noticed an elderly gent with a military ball cap.  On it was the 101st.  I can't remember if it said which company.  I plucked up the courage to approach him, like some groupie, and asked if he was in the service in the war.  

He was actually quite approachable and understanding.  He was in the war and served in both D-Day and Market Garden, where he was wounded and put out of commission for the rest of the war.  I told him I had learned much from the book and miniseries, and asked if he knew of any of the men featured. He said he knew Richard Winters and several others.  He named some others, but I can't remember which other ones.  He wasn't with E Company, but he was in the 506th.  I asked him if I could call on him, and he said yes.  Though when I did, it seemed he was having difficulties with his wife's health and not to revisit the conversation.  I decided to leave it drop.  

I've often remembered him, however.  I wonder if this fellow is him, it's been so long.  The story doesn't give me much info, and that's probably just as well. It gets the year of the D-Day invasion wrong, as can be expected at this point.  But I'll leave it go.  At this stage, he's served his time and can pick and choose the parts of his memories he wishes to revisit. 

Just for fun, here are a couple of clips that demonstrate how the WWII generation was generally portrayed in the broad sweep of pop culture when I was growing up:



And here is how it was portrayed, albeit briefly, in those formative years of my sons - especially my three oldest.  I often wonder if that is one reason why they are less inclined to see America before the 60s as nothing but a racist fascist state of sexist deplorables.  Timing, as they say, is everything. (Language Advisory on this one)

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Deacon Greydanus speaks to the Roe leak

This is from his Facebook page.  Again, he banned me some years ago after suggesting my opinions about immigration are racially motivated.  That's where he was then.  Here is where he is now.  The comment was sent to me by a reader.  I was going to respond or go line by line, but I figured I would just post it and let others decide.  I know I've drawn my conclusions about what he did, and what he appears to be trying to do.

Facebook

Steven D. Greydanus

10 hrs ·

THOUGHTS ABOUT ROE V. WADE, RECENT SUPREME COURT NEWS, AND THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT

 1. I believe human life is sacred and inviolable from conception until natural death. Direct abortion is a grave injustice and a grave violation of the moral law.

 2. I believe no law permitting the wrongful taking of human life has any legal or moral validity. On the contrary, states are morally obliged to protect the lives of all members of the human family, including the unborn.

 3. In addition to having no legal or moral validity, I believe Roe v. Wade is terribly reasoned and without even nominal Constitutional validity. Roe is among the worst Supreme Court decisions of all time—along with Dred Scott (which excluded even free Black Americans from the rights of citizenship), Buck v. Bell (the 1927 pro-eugenics decision that included Oliver Wendell Holmes’ infamous opinion that "three generations of imbeciles are enough”), and Korematsu (the 1944 decision upholding the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII)—and absolutely should be overturned.

 4. I thus agree entirely with the statement of the documented drafted by Justice Samuel Alito, and leaked to Politico, that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences.” If and when the Supreme Court overturns Roe, that will be a significant per se victory for justice, one long in coming.

 5. Supreme Court cases are decided when the opinion is issued, and there is a reason that deliberations and draft documents are confidential. Whoever leaked the document drafted by Alito, whatever their motives (I can think of possible motives in both directions), has further undermined the already damaged credibility and legitimacy of the Court.

 6. I thus agree with Chief Justice John Roberts that the leak “was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here,” and I hope that the investigation that Roberts has directed the marshal of the Supreme Court to launch will identify the culprit(s) and hold them responsible.

 7. The Court’s legitimacy has been damaged in part by increasing partisanship conduct in the process of confirming nominees, an issue implicating both sides.

 8. To my mind, it seems that Democrats began the politicization of the confirmation process with nominees Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. On the other hand, the last bipartisan confirmation process was for a Republican nominee, John Roberts, and since then Republicans have been the worst offenders. In particular the blocking of Merrick Garland in President Obama’s last year in office, the rushing in of Amy Coney Barrett in President Trump’s last year in office, and, finally, the evident determination of Republican leaders to block *any* nominee of President Biden if they have the power to do so regardless of circumstances, constitutes such a profound challenge to the legitimacy of the process that it would be hard to critique any Democratic response, including packing the Court if they have the power to do so, as excessive or unwarranted.

 9. In the process of getting the Court they wanted, conservatives have been implicated in, and have largely embraced and defended, troubling evils.

 They elected and largely supported a president credibly accused of sexual assault or misconduct by over 25 women. Many women, including conservative, Christian, pro-life women, have felt betrayed and alienated by the indifference of conservatives, including pro-life conservatives, on these matters.

 The Trump administration instituted a policy of systematic family separations at the border. Thousands of infants and children were separated from parents or guardians for months or years. Parents were tricked into agreeing to self-deportation on the promise of being reunited with children who were never returned to them. Infants and children slept on concrete floors with no one to care for them but slightly older children. Detainees had inadequate access to soap, toothpaste, and sanitary pads.

 Beyond all this, immigrants who had lived here all their adult lives, for multiple decades, were wrongfully deported to countries to which they had no meaningful connection and in some cases didn’t even speak the language.

 Trump stoked racial animosity. Among many other things, he made common cause with White nationalists, told congresswomen of color to “go back where they came from,” and called neo-Nazis and White supremacists “very fine people” (do *not* start with me on this, I am not wrong and I have receipts). Many Black Americans and other people of color, including pro-life Christians, felt betrayed and alienated by the indifference and complicity of their White brethren in connection with these events.

 Trump promoted election denialism and misinformation. He tried to influence or intimidate state officials into not certifying election results. He tried to force Pence to reject the election results on January 6. He had a legal team prepared to defend this and supporters in government pushing for martial law. He helped to instigate the Capitol attack. The full consequences of all this are still unfolding.

 This is just scratching the surface. To a sigificant extent—especially insofar as conservatives continue to deny or defend on the above points—the pro-life movement is tainted with all of this.

 10. Overturning Roe, while a significant per se victory, will not of course end or outlaw abortion in the US. At most, it will leave greater power to the states. What actions will conservative states take with this new liberty?

 Troubling signs include the new Texas law, which washes the state’s hands of its own obligation to enforce the law and instead incentivizes private citizens to sue anyone they suspect of aiding or abetting in an abortion. This may lead to ugly court proceedings (e.g., an activist plaintiff hoping for a $10,000 payout hauling friends or family members into court over a D&E that might have been a second-trimester abortion or a post-miscarriage procedure).

 Conservative states tend to have high maternal and infant mortality rates. They also have higher rates of out-of-wedlock births, single mothers, and children living in poverty.

 There is nothing pro-life about any of this. Overturning Roe will be a pyrrhic victory if we lose hearts and minds, not to mention our souls, in the process.

As a final note, I'll address that last sentence. It's a fair and true sentiment, but could easily be applied to any issue: Global Warming, fighting racism, immigration reform, feeding the poor, defending women's rights, etc.  Perhaps that's the best way to understand everything he wrote above.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

America's Catholic president speaks

No, not to the problem with the leaked SCOTUS document, but to the abortion issue. He rushes to prevent the possibility that abortion might not remain a federally sanctioned American value.  Here are a couple highlights:

"I believe that a woman's right to choose is fundamental," Biden said in a statement. "Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned."

And: 

"[I]t will fall on our nation's elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman's right to choose. And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November. At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law." (underlines mine)

Again, our very Catholic president.  If it wasn't for the fact that from the pope to most Catholics he likely reflects an entirely acceptable position, it would be easier to condemn him.  As it is, as one of my sons said, it becomes easier to sympathize with those Germans in the 30s who saw what was happening but felt powerless to stop it. 

Meanwhile, for a Scriptural spin on things:  

They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command them, nor did it enter My heart.  Therefore, truly the days are coming, says the Lord, that it will no more be called Topheth, nor the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place.  Jeremiah 31,32

Yep. Some say the Bible is too unrealistic for our sophisticated age of science and technology.  I say the problem is it's too realistic.   Our nation has for decades fully endorsed the practice of encouraging women to abort pregnancies by the tens of millions in order to sustain our drugs and sex culture in the era of AIDS.  I fear on the day of Judgment that the people of Jeremiah's era will rise up and condemn us, for we had them to learn from, but refused to do so. 

Sometimes I get the feeling the 21st Century wing of Heaven is going to be a sparsely populated part of eternity. 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Still here

Just an update to say I've not fallen off the edge of the world.  I said here that I was going to lay low over the Easter season.  Technically that season, Eastertide for sticklers, lasts until Pentecost.  I didn't really mean for that long. But I've been thinking on things.  I said here that life itself was beginning to push me in new ways as I also wonder about the effectiveness of fussing about things on Social Media. Especially because things appear to have entered a new era.  

Yes, I've watched with some humor the apocalyptic hysterics regarding Elon Musk and Twitter.  It's not surprising.  The problem everyone has isn't that he's some hard right MAGA Trump Conservative Religious Right fanatic.  For all I know, he's Lenny the leftist  and might be as bad for Twitter as anything we've seen.

Then why the outrage?  Because they can't control him.  That's why. He's outside the cabal and the control now demanded, and that has them going unhinged.  Which shows how much and how many are now controlled, that one single out of control individual sets off so much unilateral outrage.   And how many are already thralls of this new order?  Observe:

Note well, Fr. James is pro-LGBTQ and embraces the liberal framework of all minorities against the White Western Majority.  That's typically where his advocacy is aimed.  Deacon Greydanus is among the 'not wanting to align with the Left, but the horrifying MAGA Trump racist sexist Alt-Right types make me do it' clan.  If they're taking to Social Media, it's typically to attack on behalf of this or that minority group, or attack the Trump/MAGA/Right.

Yet Musk is none of these things.  For all I know, he is nothing but liberal about most LGBTQ issues.   He's not a Trump person from what I can tell.  I could be wrong on that.  But MAGA and Musk are not terms I've heard linked.  So why the rush to Social Media by these two in order to lob barbs at Mr. Musk?  I don't see them fuss about money spent by Soros, or Hollywood, or various Social Media moguls.  I don't recall them being worried about Free Speech one way or another regarding what Social Media outlets have been doing to dissenting voices for several years.  So what gives? 

Because the Machine has said so, that's why.  They're simply charging forth because the hysterics demand it. The whip was cracked, they moved into action.  Not because Musk is pro this or that in anything.  But because he is now a threat to the established order.  Yes, Fr. Martin uses the old ploy of 'bad use of money' first floated by Judas all those years ago.  That's a common trick, almost always reserved for people on the opposite side of an issue.  But the reason can be nothing other than the Left has gone into hysterics, and these two Catholic voices have charged forth in complete obedience to the bugle call.  It's no longer about embracing this or that template, or promoting this or that cause. It's about responding when the machine says so.  I find that development very significant. 

It shows just how far things have gotten. It also shows how far we've sunk.  We have long ceased to be the nation, and even culture, we grew up with. That ship has sailed.  This shows how long ago and far away that ship is. 

So during this Eastertide, I'm still sitting back and thinking.  Praying.  Pondering.  Reflecting.  If something catches my eye, or some special prayer request.  I may just post dribble or fun things as always.  

Sunday, April 24, 2022

A happy and blessed Pascha to our Orthodox brothers and sisters


Today is Pascha - that's Easter to us Westerners.  Of course Pascha works for those in the West just the same.  But popular Western parlance calls it Easter, while most Orthodox will correct you in two shakes of a paschal lamb's tail if you use Easter in their company. 

My second oldest son has chosen to remain in the Orthodox way, even as the rest of us returned to the Catholic Church.  This wasn't surprising, just as it wasn't surprising our oldest remained Catholic when the rest sojourned with the Orthodox tradition for a season.  

Years and years ago, on our way into the Catholic Church, we actually visited with the Orthodox for a bit.  In Protestantism, you have engrained certain 'anti-Catholic' biases that are a bit like having the Queen of Diamonds laid in front of you when you get too close to a Catholic tradition.  Because my wife had been born and bred Baptist, her family drinking deeply from the well of Baptist life, it wasn't easy for her to transition to Catholicism in a direct line.

Therefore we went in an outflanking maneuver that included visiting the Orthodox cathedral in Columbus, Ohio.  It was too far to seriously consider visiting on a regular basis.  And it was quite foreign to us.  But it wasn't Catholic, and that helped us look at various doctrines and teachings in ways a lifelong Protestant might not have if the only option was through a Catholic lens. 

Eventually we came into the Catholic Church - a long road to be sure.  But we did get an appreciation for the Orthodox tradition.  There were problems, of course, and that's why we returned.  But for my son, the problems our outweighed by the benefits, and the problems he sees in the churches of the Dead West.  Plus, from the time we first entered an Orthodox church before becoming Catholic, he had a wide eyed wonder that he never quite matched in the Catholic tradition.  

So for him, and all who will be worshipping through the Paschal Celebration today and last night - especially those in war torn Ukraine who will be doing so from underground bunkers and hiding places - prayers for a blessed and joyous celebration. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Prayers for Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher has posted that his wife has filed for divorce, and he has accepted.  I can speak no more about the topic, follow the link to his post which has more details. 

I've long said that Rod is a couple hits and a few misses to me.  Like many Orthodox, he doesn't hold back the chance to hash and trash the Catholic Church.  He also epitomizes my rule that at any given moment, modern leftwing activism can count on 1/3 of conservatives to join in with the cause.  

Nonetheless I value his book The Benedict Option, because I think Rod caught what many are denying - that the Christian Faith, in the dead West at least, is about to enter an era we've never experienced.  From the dawn of Western Civilization, Christianity was the big kid in the class.  Now we're not.  We're a shrinking minority in a secular pagan society.  And this new paganism enjoys a growing number of believers who are aligning with it in order to dodge the implications of resisting the new diveristy. 

Rod calling out what so  many, including conservatives, deny is valuable beyond compare.  Rod also is a tireless fighter against our culture of death, debauchery, and assaults on the youngest of these merely to slake our self-righteousness and hedonistic culture. 

All of these things, however, do not a person make.  I know nothing of Rod personally.  I've interacted with him in the comments section a couple times.  That makes me as useless of a source for understanding Rod as you can get.  Much less understanding him, his wife and family, and everything that has happened. 

In fact, true to most cases, despite the thousands of people Rod meets, most know little more about him than I do.  This is the stuff best left to Rod and his wife, his family, and the few inside their circle  of confidants.  

Prayers for him, and his wife.  Prayers especially for his children.  Divorce is a wrecking ball in the life of a child, no matter what the age.  I know few whose parents divorced, no matter what the age, who weren't scarred.  

Rod didn't allow comments to load for this post, fearing some might jump on board and use his suffering for their chance to score a few zingers.  Given my experience on the Internet, I have a hard time believing he's wrong.  

Nonetheless, I also feel many would have liked to post encouragement and prayers for him.  In lieu of posting it there I'll post those prayers here. I pray for him and his wife, and especially his children, that the Lord can reconcile and they can seek some path, however dim, to find their ways back to each other. 

You have to admit this is impressive

 


Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter Sunday

 An old Sunday cartoon strip that says it all:


Have a happy and blessed Easter. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Holy Week and Catholicism at the crossroads

Same adversary, new tactics
By now it's easy to see that the goal of secularism is to portray Christianity as a half-baked flying saucer cult.  To believe in Jesus will be one step lower than believing you were abducted and operating on by aliens.  That is the goal.  With a firm grip in our cultural outlets - education, media, arts and entertainment - it has all the means necessary for this to happen. 

Therefore in the coming years, expect the Great Apostasy to continue.  Sad to say, it has been happening for quite some time.  Decades.  Generations.  Dare I say, centuries?  It's just picking up steam as secularism continues its quest to evangelize the Church, and convert the faithful.  Yes, secularism told us for years how horrible it is to convert people and tell them their religion is wrong ... all while converting Christians and telling us our religion is wrong.  A common progressive tactic if you've noticed. 

Anyhoo, we're heading into that Dark Ages period that must inevitably follow a golden age. In our case, a moderately Christian era to return to its pagan roots.  That is the carrot on the stick, to revert to a secular paganism.  The paganism being of a vague Hollywood spin where lots of sex and hedonism is the fringe benefit of godlessness and material focus. Devaluing the dignity of the human person is merely a happy price to pay.  Paganism is, after all, a sort of default position for humanity.  Devoid of the direct revelation of God, humans will labor to mold the divine into their own image. 

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. 

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen. 

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. 

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.  Romans 1.18-32

How is the above passage not a spot-on assessment of the last century or so of Western and American history?  Not only do they approve those who practice them, they will quickly punish those who dare call out the ungodliness and sin.  Where Christians had it easy - perhaps too easy - for endless generations, that is no longer going to be the case.  Just now, the movement is afoot to demand that people be fired for refusing to say men can get pregnant.  Hate crime charges will no doubt follow.   

In the face of this version of being told to say O'Brien is holding up five fingers, expect many believers to buckle and surrender.  Many already had their faith undermined by an inordinate amount of blind trust in scholarship, science and academia as disciplines that obviously proved the ancient beliefs about God have long been debunked. 

Having their faith undermined on all fronts no doubt made believing in that old time religion quite a chore.  And that likely held for those leaders under the same pressure to ditch the thing, even while making a comfortable living preaching the same. At least they could rely on post-war secularism's lofty ideals of subjective morality, tolerance, diversity and inclusion.  Respecting different values and beliefs was all the rage, and a reassuring safety guard against this non-religious world view.

But this new world has revealed itself.  In a manner that would make Big Brother blush, it has now said racism, discrimination and bigotry are virtues. Censorship and banning of offensive art, literature and speech are essentials. Violence can be a fine answer.  Equality is bad and liberty can be stealth oppression. And if it says women are men, men can have menstrual cycles, or squares are round, then by golly we expect politicians, SCOTUS nominees, doctors and scientists and, yes, preachers and believers to say the same under threat of retaliation. 

With the press now acting in the manner of a secret police force, dispensing with anyone who stands in the way of this new world, many leaders, including religious ones, who we trusted to resist are showing their true colors.  That is leaving many who imagined they would have the same easy faith walk that our parents had swinging in the breeze. In the wake of that, we're seeing a stunning number of believers jumping ship, baling altogether, throwing the values and teachings of the Faith under the bus or, at best, working to mold the old Faith into the image of the new world.  

If there is one thing I appreciate about Rod Dreher, it's his book The Benedict Option.  Not that Rod is the best ambassador for his own work.  It's easy to speak of forming some Benedictine alternative when you can afford to jet set around the world and wine and dine with people in the highest levels of society.  For the average person scraping by it's a different matter altogether.

But the basis of the book is spot on honest: The Christian Faith is entering into a brand new era, the likes of which it has never seen.  Some insist it's just the same old sins of the world, and that might be true.  But they're packaged in a way we've not encountered before, at least in the West.  A hostile culture hell-bent on converting the faithful, and willing to punish those who resist the call to bow before this new Power in the world.  A Power found on denying almost anything and everything assumed to be true by the last 2000 years of the Christian Era. Even in my ministry days in the 90s, when we could see the winds of change increasing, nobody imagined it would happen like this, at least this quickly.

But it has. I fear even many of us who hold true, firm and solid to the Faith are at times more secular than we like to admit.  I feel in hindsight we might be shocked to see how much we've compromised without realizing it.  Many were tripped up by the 'stand five yards away from the world' tactic, until you realize the world is now a hundred miles from the revealed Faith.  That comes from thinking your eyes are on the divine prize, when they were on the world all along. 

There is no way as believers we can't be subject to the context of our age.  But we can begin to cling to the old 'in the world not of the world' principle.  The answer won't lie in politics, that's for sure.  Not that we shouldn't still try to exert our values into the political sphere.  Just be aware that for traditional believers, there are a diminishing number of those who agree with our world view on any level of worldly importance.  Which is how it's often been.  Only in the past, the worldly designs were in the context of a vaguely Christian model of reality.  Now it's in the context of an ever shifting model more hostile to the Christian Faith with each passing day.  

This development includes conservatives by the way, as it obviously would.  If, that is, the conservatism is merely a wordily brand with eyes on the here and now.  As my sons have noticed, among there peers who call themselves conservative, the big fight is against pregnant men or woke censorship.  That homosexuals should be able to marry and that our nation is best defined by its racist past are simply assumptions they take for granted. Because by now those things are taught with the assurance that America the Beautiful was sung in my elementary school days.  My guess is that most political professionals will reveal such views when pressed.

No, we need to learn what it is to be an oppressed minority with eyes set firmly on the eternal prize. You can be an oppressed minority and still have numbers on your side by the way.  Just ask South Africans during Apartheid.  In fact, that's sort of what we're seeing.  The last thing you want in our nation today is to be a majority.  That's why so many fight to define themselves in some minority way.  We've already said that the only path to anything good is to draw a straight line away from whatever majority group in question says is true.  And those in that group who get steamrolled?  Sucks to be them.  

Am I saying we reject the world and go live in caves, foraging for berries and hunting squirrels for dinner between Bible studies?  No.  I'm saying we're going to have to buck up and begin reevaluating where we are and how we got here.  It may mean rethinking some of what we have cherished, and at least admit it may have been handed down in ways not consistent with a belief in the Gospel. 

I dunno.  I just know the storm clouds are no longer on the horizon, they're here.  Already we're seeing the fruits of our post-Christian society, and we're watching many we thought would stand firm buckle.  What's more, and in an odd twist, the ones who seem least willing to admit to this are sometimes those who are loudest about resisting it.  As if we see the problems emerging, but have a limit to how much we're willing to look at the root causes of those problems, lest they snare something we've come to value. 

What I do know is that for Holy Week and the week following, I'm going to lay low with blogging.  Last year I did a daily reflection on the seven churches of Revelation.  It actually got me to thinking, since I noticed a couple things I hadn't noticed before.  I've spent the year thinking on that.  

This year for Holy Week, I'll spend my time in more meditative pursuits.  Perhaps I might post something on a devotional level, something that touches me in a certain way.  Whimsy and fun are always on the table.  

But let the world have its troubles.   I'll focus on the Creation of God and His revealed Truths.  After all, there are better ways to spend Holy Week than getting obsessed about inevitable defeats in battles for a war we've already lost.  Better to look upon the greater war that was won long before we entered the picture.