Monday, January 31, 2022

Pope Francis asks believers to take off the armor of God

Yep. In even more Pope Francis news.  Read it here

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pope Francis apparently approves this modification to Scripture. 

I've never seen in my lifetime a prominent religious leader like Pope Francis.  His entire pontificate seems wrapped in the call to do as he says, not as he does.  As one writer said, he loves nothing more than telling us not to apply adjectives to people like those rigid believers over there. And for a pope made famous by his catchphrase 'who am I to judge', he sure spends a monster crap ton of his time judging.  

He judges - but not the sins of the Left.  When he condemns the sins of the Left, he never judges the sinners.  He's made it clear that while abortion might be murdering babies and homosexuality incompatible with marriage, he nonetheless would consider you a faithful Catholic if you advocate and indulge in both.  Not so for those who choose to serve and love Jesus in the context of the Latin Mass.  It's for believers who don't see an easy alliance between leftwing and Marxist politics and the Faith who Pope Francis reserves his fiery judgmentalism. 

Of course the biggest and best thing Pope Francis has taught his flock is to thank God they aren't like those believers over there, clinging to the Truth.  The not-Francis type of Catholics.  

One of the most common responses to Pope Francis's latest rants is Catholics rejoicing that Pope Francis has unloaded yet again on those other Catholics over there.  Take this example. Note well, Mark doesn't seem to stop for even a nanosecond and wonder if Pope Francis is talking about him.  According to the Reuters piece, Pope Francis mentions nobody by name, but like so many Catholics in the Francis era, Mark knows exactly who Pope Francis is challenging, and it ain't him.  Nope.  It's all those rigid Not-Mark Catholics.  The group Pope Francis has taught Catholics, and the world, to condemn and judge with impunity. 

Because it isn't only Catholics who know Pope Francis is always talking about those other Catholics over there.  The press knows it.  Note the Reuters story.  It knows exactly who Pope Francis is condemning.  The press knows it's people serious about their faith who Pope Francis seems to judge and condemn, while it's those who wallow in death, slaughter for sex and drug, hedonism and secularism that he loves.  As long as they align with politics. And the press, as well as modern godless paganism in general, absolutely approve of this Pope Francis message. 

Somewhere Pope Francis seems to have forgotten the punch line of one of liberalism's favorite passages:

Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.

Note well, they get into the kingdom of God because they believed.  They don't get into heaven because they are tax collectors and sinners.   The Pharisees and scribes miss out because they impose their religion on others, but fail to live the heart of the law themselves.  Like labeling people and then accusing people of labeling people, they have a religion built for their convenience but burdensome for others.  Imagining themselves above it all, they condemned those sinners over there but failed to repent themselves. 

But the sinners don't just get to heaven because they're sinners.  It's because they meet Jesus (or before Him, John the Baptist), and believe.  I'd like to see the numbers for Pope Francis.  How is he doing actually getting people to convert ot the Gospel and believe?   Or does he even think that's important?  That's a question I've asked, and I see no clear answer other than he doesn't, as long as I conform to his politics and align with various leftwing agendas and narratives.  

And that's not a Catholicism worth caring about.  I could get that belonging to the latest leftwing political action committee. Plus, I'd have Sundays off and could sleep in. 

Pope Francis is more political activist than pope


Though he's hardly alone in that.  It's just Catholicism, unlike Protestantism, has a few restrictions that make simply tossing out an old teaching you no longer like a bit difficult.  And therein lies the tension I think.

Pope Francis uncritically takes leftwing talking points and narratives at face value.  He just does.  On those rarest of occasions where he calls out a leftwing sin - say homosexuality or abortion - he's ever so careful to make sure he only condemns the sin, not the sinner.  And then, to hedge the bet, he also makes it clear it doesn't really matter if you endorse or engage in these sins.  Not optimal perhaps, but certainly not a deal breaker. All one big, happy family.  The important thing is that you accept at face value, as he accepts at face value, an endless string of leftwing narratives, platforms and agendas: global warming, immigration, gun control, systemic racism, the latest Covid-19 solutions, and on and on.

His wrath is forever aimed at faithful Catholics who believe that Catholicism is somehow uniquely important.  What's worse, they believe its teachings are really non-negotiable.  Or they attend the Latin Mass, which seems to bother Pope Francis more than Larry Flynt bothered Jerry Falwell.  And if you question these various leftwing narratives or agendas, he comes down on you like white on rice.  Not only does he condemn your position, but he's not adverse to hyper-politicized rhetoric, and even some select judgementalism aimed at your motives and inner thoughts. 

Sorry, but that's as useful to Catholicism, or even authentic Christianity, in the modern world as an accordion is for deer hunting.  The fact that the majority of Catholics no longer believe entire reams of Catholic teaching doesn't seem to bother him.  In fact, what appears to bother him is that there are Catholics who care that the majority of Catholics no longer believe in Catholic teaching.  And Catholics who jettison Church morals for some abortion, sex, drugs and hedonism?  Again, it doesn't seem to bother him.  If confronted, that's when we learn how little he wants to judge anyone. 

Sometimes it's like Ohio State's football team letting Michigan's coach coach us in the big game.  I don't think Pope Francis cares if I, or anyone really, is necessarily Catholic.   If we are and agree with his politics as first priority, that's fine. Maybe even the best.  But he's made it clear by his rhetoric and his priorities that he'd rather you reject God altogether and never grace the doors of a Church as long as you agree with him on his political stances.   Hate to say it so bluntly, but I have as difficult a time seeing Pope Francis as a religious leader as I do seeing late night activists as comedians. 

Saturday, January 29, 2022

How to know if a Democrat is the president

Richard Kline as Honest Larry, demonstrating secret racist gesture
Easy, because the vast majority of stories will focus on the positive, if they mention or focus on any negatives at all.  As my son pointed out while watching the news this morning, he never knew there were so many ways to put a positive spin  on inflation. 

On the other hand, if a Republican is in office, no matter how well things are going, the stories will always - and I mean always - manage to look past the good to find those "falling through the cracks" (a popular term when I was growing up in the 1980s Reagan Revolution). 

So watch the news. If no matter how bad things seem to be, news reports give the impression of peace, prosperity and well being, you can bet your bank account the president is a Democrat.  If you're seeing happiness, prosperity and good times, however, yet the stories seem to focus on those left behind and not enjoying their share, you can bet the president is a Republican. 

Just a reminder.  Believing the modern news media and believing Honest Larry the used car salesman is about on the same level. 

Oh, one more thing.  This is not to say the press won't report stories of violence, or troubles or suffering or what have you.  If they happen, they happen.  But note, there will be no connect the dots leading to the White House if the president is a Democrat.  Or if there appears to be a connection, the White House explanation will be accepted and generally repeated.  If the president is Republican, however, there will be a laser beam straight to Pennsylvania Avenue.  And most explanations unpacking the connection will come from the opposition party's perspective.  Another observation I've picked up on over the years. 

Not what conservatives need

Representatives like Sarah Palin.  She was done dirty by the press, I'll admit.  But since then she's done nothing but confirm the insults and mockery aimed at her.  Her instance on answering any question with ''I'm just a mamma grizzly' was one in a long line of actions that solidified the Left's contempt for her, and made defending her all the more difficult. 

Here, she's reported to openly flaunt Covid restrictions by eating out a mere two days after testing positive.  Even with Omicron, the standard is five days if symptom free. Now, I'm the last one to say I agree with the way Covid has been handled.  And it isn't hard to see that much of what is happening has more to do with control and money, and far less to do with our well being.

Nonetheless, that doesn't give me or anyone a blank check to do anything we feel like doing.  As I have said, Covid is unlike anything I ever had.  It's a bugger to get, and we count ourselves blessed by having been infected by a lesser strain of the virus, if this is what the lesser strain is like.  Hopefully the resistance from this infection will match others, and will go toward that immunity down the road.

I wouldn't wish it on anyone, however.  A month later and we still have slight traces of the thing.  If she has tested positive, then the basic, decent, common sense, humane response is to avoid others.  If I get the flu, I don't run to the theater or the health club.  I  stay home and avoid my family and friends.  That's because I don't want to infect anyone.  Ancient wisdom and common good thinking that still works. 

This is clearly 'flaunt the rules' thinking, hoping conservatives will cheer her on. Oh, she may infect others, but what of it?  She's sticking it to the Left!  No.  She's being, for want of a better word, a jerk.  Some day conservatives will figure out how to fight to win, not fight to live up to the negative stereotypes. 

The rise and fall of Eric Clapton

Another liberal icon mauled by leftist tolerance
Old Slowhand.  Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, there were many different cliques to belong to.  Many different music styles to enjoy.  Many different hobbies and interests to pursue.  But there was one thing that seemed to unite all who grew up in the shadow of the 1960s: Eric Clapton epitomized awesome coolness. 

It's true.  Over the years, his story would change.  He would have ups and downs and suffer tragic loss.  But he was always respected, always admired, and always liked.  In a world filled to the brim with personalities who weren't always the most likeable, Clapton was at least respected, and often spoken well of by his industry. 

But like all that the Left must poison and destroy, that was yesterday.  Today, Clapton hath blasphemed the Leftwing narrative of Vaccine god, and thus the propaganda organs pounce.  The leftist thralls and storm troopers pounce. 

Even Catholics set aside such notions as Christian charity or reaching out to those who are hurting in the world and pounce.

I especially like Mark's definition of rebel which fits like a glove on the modern Left.  After all, the entire rise of the 21st Century Left could be be summed up by saying 'You have heard postwar liberalism say, but the Left now says.'  Which is a roundabout way of saying those principles liberals advocated were a lie.  They only supported rebels against the civilization they sought to destroy.  Now that they have power there will be no more rebels, thank you.  

Or, perhaps another way of saying it: You heard liberals once say we only want a world where all animals are equal.  The Left now says, however, that we must get used to a world where some animals are more equal than others. 


Deacon Greydanus and Mr. Shea appear to be aligning with this global force, perhaps in the hope that it will be those other animals deemed less equal and therefore worthy of the glue factory. Those of us not prepared to throw future generations under the bus would do well to resist that particular temptation. 

Friday, January 28, 2022

This made me laugh

 Because there's more truth there than I care to admit:

Why the GOP is seldom more than the bare minimum lesser of two evils

Amazon has thrown its support behind a GOP sponsored bill - get that, GOP sponsored - that would legalize marijuana on a federal level

Pardon me as one who dealt with families ravaged by drugs in my ministry days, as well as encountering it far too close in my own family's lines.  That's why I don't take drugs flippantly.  Along with AIDS, the global death count for the sex and drugs revolution has nearly surpassed WWII. We won't even get into the abortion rates that are needed as a safety net for this era of decadence. 

Speaking of Authentically Pro-Life, you have a better chance of baking Kosher ham than claiming the title while giving a nod to the Sex, Drugs and Rock n' Roll revolution that has claimed and ruined so many tens of millions of lives, especially among our youngest. 

So naturally the GOP is going to rush forth and open the doors for making drugs legal from coast to coast!  Hurray!  And I say drugs because I'm not stupid enough to think it will stop here.  For those who say, "But Dave, they've had legal drugs in Europe for decades!', uh huh.  Let's look at Europe, c. 21st Century to see how that has gone:  A civilization more than happy to let let future generations suffer its death as long as they have sex and drugs at their disposable now.  

Have I said ours is not the generation that will inspire future epic songs and poems?  

Ignoring the latest

If this was written eight months ago it would be better.  Now Dr. Fauci and company are saying they're going a different direction with pursuing a 'universal Covid' vaccine.  Plus, multiple reports since last week say the two most protected groups are previously infected - vaccinated then, close behind, unvaccinated. That's unvaccinated and previously infected being safer than merely vaccinated.  Not to mention the current requirement for endless booster shots given in ever diminishing timespans to remain 'fully vaccinated'.   

All of this is an off handed way of saying 'the current approach hasn't worked as we imagined'. And it hasn't.  The difference between ICU and death with Omicron has dropped to as low as 64% unvaccinated to vaccinated in some reports.  And doctors admit that you're just as likely to get it and spread it if you're vaccinated or not.  Something our experience more than confirms. 

That's a far cry from '98% of hospitalizations are unvaccinated' from a year ago (remember, when it hits 50%, the vaccine officially becomes irrelevant).  And then we have the creeping number of severe side effects.  They have reduced promoting one vaccine (J&J) because of multiple confirmed deaths linked to it.  The others continue to see occurrences of severe side effect increasing, especially among younger recipients.  

In the end, with all that has developed and the underperforming of the initial rollout, you just can't keep saying 'Get the Shot!'.  You certainly can't compare such a flawed product as the current vaccines to the Sacraments.  Words fail me on that last one. 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

How is this not racist?

All of these are just like the others, none of these doesn't belong

As soon as the news that Justice Breyer would retire hit the wires, almost every news outlet gushed that his replacement would be a black woman.  Qualifications?  Who cares? Positions?  Probably liberal, but who cares?  What matters?  Black skin and identifies with female anatomy. 

Now, how is that not discrimination?  It's not even cloaking it under 'most qualified' language.  It is saying anyone not a black woman will be automatically disqualified for having the wrong skin color and identifying with the wrong anatomy. 

Is this OK?  It must be, our media is cheering from coast to coast.  And is the press ever wrong? I mean, back in my college days liberals  always insisted Affirmative Action had nothing to do with quotas.  It had nothing to do with group identity and ethnicity and gender.  It was simply opening up opportunities by removing barriers to the ones most obviously qualified who otherwise would have been prevented from moving forward due to bigotry and prejudice. 

But now, they don't even seem to care about hiding it.  I guess that is proof of their hammerlock on power.  They can say this nomination has bupkis to do with anything but group identify and ethnicity and gender.  Anything else is small potatoes.  And what's more, it rightly bars candidates based on group identity and ethnicity and gender. And that's fine, too.  Welcome to 21st Century Former America.

Speaking of 'you heard postwar liberals say, but the Left now says.'  I posted here on how MLK has become a bit of a ghost figure in the last few years. Where once I couldn't go two days without him referenced or quoted, now I go months. 

I stand corrected.  There was quite a flurry of MLK quotes and references this year, even if it took MLK weekend to happen.  And the emphasis?  Turns out the old MLK I grew up with was either stretching the truth, or was a-changin with the times.  

Really.  I heard more references and more quotes than I ever had where MLK draws stark contrasts between how blacks and whites should be treated and judged based on, well, skin color.  And even more than that, I saw multiple quotes where it turns out MLK was warming up to the old ultraviolence  and butt kicking when need be.  Sure some innocents might die and destruction and all, but sometimes you just can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.  Here's a handy article unpacking King's awakening to the greater Black Panther ideals and the possibilities thereof.

Again, MLK was always the man Jesus should have been. After all, Jesus overturned tables and whipped money changers out of the temple courts and as we know - Violence Is Never The Answer (repeated more when I was growing up than there are grains of sand on the beach). That's why MLK was such a gem.  Never would he condone or even come close to condoning violence.  Nonviolence and peace all the way.  And skin color?  It was nothing to him, or at least the world he was striving for would be that way. 

But not this year.  Turns out he was every bit willing to condemn whites for white, and warm up to some violence, terror and destruction when need be.  You know, like most people throughout the ages. Almost everyone else has held to that approach, including size people up based on group identity.  MLK was proxy Jesus through most of my life because he never, ever would condone such things. 

Apparently these and other quotes I've seen this year were not known, or were kept under lock and key to be revealed at a more convenient time.  That time being now. 

The New MLK: Revisionist History, or was it Historical Fantasy all along? 

Disclaimer: I realize some of my rhetoric here is a bit over the top.  But it's stunning to see the ease with which the Left can simply rewrite reality, or declare wonderful what only yesterday it said was Nazi.  I personally never worshipped at the altar of MLK.  It wouldn't surprise me if Saint MLK we grew up worshipping was a little more complex than they said.  But it's the brazenness with which they now can change the rules as they see fit, having no fear of resistance. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Mark Shea is absolutely ...

 Correct: 

Credit where it is due.  

The Christian Faith is a religion of doctrine and belief.  It is Truth incarnate.  But belief is a verb, not a noun.  It's only valid in that you live your faith.  See James.  And living the faith requires everything the Lord commands.  It requires mercy and charity.  It also demands we not follow the sins of the world.  It also insists we don't enable those who indulge in the sins of the world.  

There are many aspects of being a true, practicing believer.  And one of the most important is that we make sure not to step over Lazarus on our way to the party.  Nor do we cross the street to avoid the man beaten by robbers.  Rather, like the Good Samaritan, we cross the road to help, to heal, to aid, to stand beside and minister to.  And always so that the sinners or tax collectors we encounter will leave their lives of sin and believe.  And by belief, don't' forget, we mean a verb, not a noun. 

FWIW, if this is what Mark spent his time focusing on, you'd find no greater supporter of Mark Shea's ministry endeavors than this former Protestant/Agnostic. 

My answer to Alessandra Harris


If you mean march for Life, then I believe they would be thrilled.  I don't think many would care about the skin color of marchers for life. 

Now, if you would have people out marching only for the lives of certain skin colors, then I'd like to think most Catholics - if not most people - would shy away from that.  Especially if the justification for such a segregated approach to a march for life was suspect at best. 

 

It was forty four years ago

A common sight in 1978
That The Storm hit.  Anyone who grew up in Ohio and is over fifty, and you don't have to say which storm.  They know it was the storm.  It was the storm about which even people in Buffalo said 'Wow, that was a storm.'  

It was the legendary Blizzard of '78.  I remember when it started because some friends of my parents visited that night.  I remember that because our guests had a little girl who had significant health issues.  Sadly she passed away later that year.  That always stuck with me.

But it also framed my memories to recall the build up to that night.  It was January, and yet rather warm for January.  When the family left, it was just starting to rain. A faint sprinkle at first. For our extended family in northern Ohio, there was still plenty of snow from an earlier snow storm.  For us farther south, much of the snow had melted away.  Weather reports on the radio were signaling a warning, however.  Two massive fronts were about to collide right over the Ohio Valley.  So take care. 

And then it hit.  In only a matter of an hour or so, the temperatures plunged down to freezing, eventually near arctic conditions, with wind chills topping almost 60 below zero.  Hurricane force winds swept in, with gusts approaching a hundred miles an hour in some places.  But the coup de grace, the crushing blow, was the barometric pressure.  In one of the lowest pressure recordings in United States history, the barometric pressure dropped like an anvil; buried the needle.  And the floodgate of the heavens were opened.

In my stomping grounds, it started as rain but quickly turned to ice, then snow.  And snow.  And snow.  From January 25 through January 27 it snowed, and the winds never seemed to stop.  By the time the snow abated and the winds died down, you could believe you were in Antarctica.  It was snow and ice and snow everywhere you looked.  Almost everything was covered.

Depending on your location, your neighborhood, and your surroundings, you might see the tops of cars buried under snow drifts.  In outlying rural areas near open fields, whole houses were covered, with only the tops of their roofs showing.  My sister's soon to be first ex-husband was with us when it hit.  He stayed for a day but felt he needed to go check his home since his parents were in Florida.  

It was a good thing. Somehow the front door had been left ajar, and the winds literally tore through the house.  Snow drifts several feet high were everywhere in their split level home.  Upstairs.  Downstairs.  Basement.  Everywhere, even in closets, snow was piled.  My dad drove out to help him on the third day and, for the first and only time in his life, he actually got stuck in the snow.  He was none too happy about that. 

It was that way everywhere.  Kids often enjoyed a big snow drift, or snow plowed up along the streets.  You could build some cool tunnels and forts in those.  But with this blizzard, you could go out into your front yard and build tunnels, since well over a foot fell on snow from earlier snow storms, the total often being five or more feet high.   In addition, some drifts in our suburban neighborhood topped a dozen feet. 

Of course school was canceled the next day.  Then the next.  Finally for the remainder of the week.  All weekend Ohio was paralyzed.  Entire swaths of rural Ohio were cut off.  In some places it would be almost two weeks before people were able to get out. My dad, and my sister's fiancé, went out to shovel our sidewalks.  Understand, Dad was a veteran and had been a fireman on the railroad before becoming an engineer, and that was in the age of steam.  Her fiancé was a farmer.  Both were work horses and not adverse to hard labor.  Yet it took the two of them over two hours to shovel no more than about fifty feet of sidewalk.  The high drifts with the thick ice was the culprit. 

The following Monday ranks high in my memories of childhood.  Seeing the slow progress on the news and in our own town, we all wondered what Monday would bring.  Mom got me up for school, just in case. Then I - and every kid in Ohio - gathered around the radio to listen to the school closings.  Holding my breath, they began with the most beautiful words ever: The following school districts will remain closed for the rest of the week.  And then they said our school.

Has there ever been a better time to be a kid than to get almost two weeks of free vacation so close to Christmas?  Especially since in those days we didn't get the two weeks off at Christmas my kids had.  I know it was bad for a lot of people, and several died and many more were devastated.  But as a kid, you don't think on those things unless you're directly impacted. 

It's enough that the blizzard remains a major sign post in my life's story.  I'll never forget it.  Nor will I forget all of the events and people that surrounded and were included in the storm.   

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

John C. Wright reviews the movie Legend

Here is the review.

I saw Legend ages ago, on VCR.  Some friends and I were just curious enough to see how it was, largely because of Tim Curry.  I don't remember much of it.  Again, never much of a fantasy/sci-fi type.  But I remember the visuals, and I remember being somewhat impressed by them.  

Why I couldn't remember the overall plot isn't something I can comment on.  I don't think it was overly complex.  I think I actually saw the movie again some years later.  Like the first time, the story didn't leave a big impression on me.  It wasn't horrible.  I didn't hate it.  I didn't even mind Tom Cruise, an actor I find continually looks worse for being surrounded by crack supporting actors. 

I just don't remember it beyond the visuals.  Mr. Wright unpacks why this might be the case. 

Pray for peace

And back off and let President Biden be a completely weak and ineffective leader.  We all knew he would  be.  The press knew he would be.  The Left knew he would be.  That's why they tried to torpedo him in late 2019 and early 2020.  It's only because every other primary candidate imploded on the campaign stage that the Left found itself stuck with Biden.  We won't discuss the subsequent months. 

Nonetheless, he's weak and he's ineffective.  The ultimate empty suit.  Leave it that way.  Don't prod and prompt him to flex his muscles or prove a point by plunging us into a conflict with, of all places, Putin's Russia.  Never get into a war with Russia anyway.  Even if you win you seldom have anything to show for it.  And the carnage that would result would never make keeping Ukraine NATO friendly a price worth paying.

Blessed are the peacemakers they say.  As a father of three sons of serving age, I would prefer this not to be the pointless conflict we enter into. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Congratulations to my second son


It's  official, he's engaged.  He began dating his girlfriend last year, in the deepest, darkest part of the pandemic.  She's a fascinating young lady I must admit.  A homeschool family, she's the sole daughter with four brothers.  On top of that, she's the oldest of the children.  Like most young girls in that situation, it puts her at the 'ten going on twenty' level of maturity. 

Her family is nice.  They're Presbyterian, of the orthodox variety.  They are close and have solid values they have passed onto their children.  Certainly their daughter.  And that's fine by me. She and my son have some work to do regarding the difference in Christian traditions, but they are committed to working things out before marriage.  They aren't going to flip a coin and pick whatever church comes up tails just to have an aisle to walk down. Which I also respect.

We always assumed it would be our second oldest who was first to step out into the world.  From around kindergarten, he's had one foot out the door.  Our oldest is rather shy and of a solitary nature.  He keeps a very small circle of friends, plus his family, and that's it.  He's comfortable with routine and, right now, trudging through college is the routine that keeps him more than busy with an end goal still years in the distance. 

As I've written before, he was going to be a gourmet chef.  His cooking skills are magnificent, and a constant challenge that runs headlong into my need to keep the weight down.   But it was not to be.  Diagnosed with a fatal seafood allergy, in which he can't even be in a Walmart Supercenter that is cleaning the seafood counter on the other side of the store, there is no way a restaurant would hire him. He changed his major and is now pursuing different goals.  Having worked with others in the Church, I might add he has pondered - only pondered mind you - a vocation within the Church.  But I'm the last to push in any one direction.  For now, getting into graduate school is his main objective. 

Our youngest is, of course, not in play at this time.  The thought that 'the brothers' are going to begin breaking up has cast a shadow over him the last couple years.  Already they were supposed to have moved out, but Covid nixed that.  He's enjoyed the reprieve, even if their schedules have made doing things as 'the Bros' fewer and farther between.  He will have friends, but his brothers worked feverishly to ensure a strong bond between them and their youngest.  Therefore, as the time gets closer, I know it will be tough on him, as it always is when the nuclear family begins going the way it must. 

Our third son is our AAA+ personality, salesman extraordinaire.  He had planned on going into law enforcement, but then was injured and laid up for over four months. During that time, society took a downward dive where police are concerned.  He concluded he wasn't prepared to go into something that all but admitted it would have to compromise officers' safety to avoid being crushed by the modern Woke.  

Instead he's gone into business, aiming at being an entrepreneur in the years to come.  Using what he's learning while working in a chain restaurant, he's already a manager, being promoted before turning twenty-one.  Despite his personality, however, he's a person who tends to be driven towards what he's doing at the moment.  He gets along well with others, and has had endless friends and has liked plenty of girls - but always at arm's length.  With him, his focus is the latest goal in sight, and he works around the clock to achieve it.

But our second son has always been somewhere in the middle.  More outgoing than his older brother, he's nonetheless more reserved than our third son (but then, so is everyone I've ever known).  He has had friends, but not too many.  He's dated several girls, more than the others.   But always with a sense of looking at the next steps in life.  Right now he's honing his business skills for an ambitious venture he and his fiancé are embarking upon.  

I think she will be a good help, because in the last year they've dated, I see them get on well.  They compliment each other nicely.  His inscrutable ways seem to do well when matched with her solid sense of who she is.  With a Cheshire Cat-like smile and a willingness to speak her mind, I feel she will be that fit he's long been seeking.  So here's prayers and toasts to them.  We told him after we met her a couple times that a parent could do far worse than hoping for a girl like her for their son. 

No details are forthcoming but, right now, it's that next giant leap into a bigger world. 

The boys: May they stay forever close: L-R #3, #1, #4, #2 (the engaged)



Saturday, January 22, 2022

Those rascally anti-abortion rights activists




Heh.  So almost every news story covering the March for Life labeled them 'anti-abortion activists.'  I didn't hear any broadcast name it 'the March for Life'.  All made sure to say either 'anti-abortion' or 'anti-abortion rights.'   You know, not pro-life.

And yet how often does the media repeat the pro-abortion labels of 'pro-choice' or 'reproductive rights' when dealing with that side of the issue? 

I'm sorry, but you have a far greater chance of convincing me that the world is flat, than convincing me the press is unbiased.  My ability to deny reality only goes so far. 

My problem with this National Catholic Reporter hit piece

Isn't that it's an obvious partisan hit piece.  It's that it comes from the National Catholic Reporter, a hard left partisan rag that euphemistically declares itself an 'independent' news source.  It's independent the way Rush Limbaugh was objective. 


That's one reason I'm more comfortable with conservatives, even when I disagree with them.  On the whole, conservatives, such as Limbaugh, admit to being  - conservative.  They even admit to being 'right wing' at times, despite the term being akin to Nazi nowadays.  In short, more often than not, they admit what they are.  Even Fox News never said unbiased and independent.  It merely said fair and balanced and, back in the day compared to other news outlets, that was true.  

But all too often the Left swims in an ocean of euphemism and duplicity.  Denying the obvious, it loves to declare such things as 'independent' or 'unbiased' or 'neutral' when reality and common sense say otherwise.  As if out of dumb, blind luck, their political biases, the unvarnished scientific facts, and the infallible Logos of the Thrice-Holy just happen to always be one and the same.  It loves to say it's really about Black Lives or Women this or Justice that, when everyone with more than half a brain can tell it's really about something else. 

For example, remember Americans United for a Separation of Church and State?  A hard left partisan activist agency that used 'we just want a separation of religion and the State' as a weapon to shut down and silence conservative and traditional religious belief and expression, especially of the Christian faith.  Leftwing religious groups and leaders could crawl into bed with Washington and make beautiful love for all Barry Lynn, Americans United's spokesman, cared.  Like so many things on the Left, it declared yes but lived no.  A hallmark of the modern Left in so many ways.

I hate to admit that Ann Coulter is correct

I really, really hate to admit that.  I have never been a fan of Ms. Coulter.  She is so much of what anti-conservative activists say conservatives are all about.  Nonetheless, I don't think she's some scum of the universe that's any worse than some of the better leftwing demagoguery.  Compared to even middle of the line leftwing pundits today, she comes off like Mother Theresa.  And when she's right, she's right.

And in this case, she's absolutely right.  With the Jeffery Epstein scandal and cover up, we're seeing that our modern society is being run in the same way that leftwing Hollywood and pop culture has accused the whole of America of being run since its beginning.  To watch most movies and read most books over the years, you'd think what we're seeing with the Epstein fiasco is what America and the greater Christian West has always been about.

That is, the rich and powerful - usually white - men exploiting, raping and murdering the masses, who those power players have always seen as chattel and beasts of burden to be oppressed, cheated, abused and exterminated as need be.  And because they control the power, the law, the press, and the ivory towers of the world, there is no way to catch them or call them out.  In addition, the minute one of their own compromises the grand conspiracy, that one is quickly cast out to sleep with the fishes.

So goes a not unusual trope about America's ruling class.  Whether that was true or not is tough to say.  I wouldn't say all in Europe or America's past were like that, but I'm sure some came close. 

Nonetheless, that is clearly what we're seeing today with Epstein.  The only reason the press plastered his name across the headlines for multiple days when the story broke was because of his connection to Donald Trump.  The thought of catching Trump in something like this was too good to pass.  So in keeping with the mandate of 'three scandalous stories per day' during the Trump presidency, the press ran with this. 

Problem is, the ties to Trump appeared to be rather thin.  On the other hand, the ones who were deep into the Epstein world, the ones who logged years of their lives at his sex slave camps, the ones with endless evidence of contact and relationships with the Epstein cabal, were as often as not leftwing moguls, power players and Democratic politicians.  Ooof.

So we see what has happened.  Dropped charges, minimized coverage, a man in maximum security committing suicide because his two guards happened to fall asleep at the same time, and news coverage that has been minimalist at best.  In fact, I can't remember his female cohort's name, though it was mentioned during her trial.  But it wasn't 'plastered' all over the place for weeks on end  It wasn't George Floyd, or 4 years and 40 million dollars, or Charleston, or January 6th, or any one of a million media hype stories that become household legends courtesy of our news media. 

It's been a story that the press must handle, because it initially plastered it across the headlines to snare Trump.  Now it will only cover on a need to basis.  And the sooner it is swept under the carpet, the happier the press, the leftwing individuals, the law enforcement and legal operators sworn to cover this up will be. 

This is our ruling class today.  We see it with our eyes and hear it with our ears.  Before it's too late we might do something about it.  If not, then it will be our children and their children who will get what our ruling class deserves. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Deplorable defined

In response to my post about Fr. Martin's outdated Vaccine narratives and Deacon Greydanus resisting the call to trash the unvaccinated when they die, I was sent the image below. View at your own risk. 

Truth be told, I had to wipe my eyes and look twice.  It really is Mark Shea unzipping, whipping it out and pissing on the memory of Meat Loaf on the day he died.  Once again, like Fr. Martin, there must be a hope that by screaming at the top of their lungs they can silence the obvious shift in results versus the initial promises of the Vaccine.

I didn't have a chance to write my thoughts about Meat Loaf, who always seemed to be around since I was a kid.  I was going to mention a hilarious moment in our family when Meat Loaf's Two Out of Three Ain't Bad was playing on the radio while we were watching a musical number in The Music Man with the sound down.  And how, with no effort, the music aligned perfectly with the action on the screen, even ending as the scene faded to a commercial. We still laugh at that.  That will always be one of those fun 'family memories.' 

But no.  New Prolife Catholic Mark Shea plows through the crowd in order to spread those mighty cheeks and defecate on Meat Loaf's barely cold body, in a way he once blasted Conservatives for doing when it comes to making politics out of someone's death.  

But then the strength of the modern Left is forever announcing that you have heard liberals say X is evil, but the Left now rejoices in X because it's convenient.  I'll say no more.  I'll let Mark's own heartless and hypocritical rhetoric speak for itself:


UPDATE: If you're a paid Catholic Apologist, especially one running about teaching on Catholic Social Teaching, but you've allowed Fox News to seize the moral high ground, it might be time to rethink your tactics. 


UPDATE II: Two things have developed.  Apparently the reports that he died of Covid are still being confirmed.  From what I can tell, the original source was TMZ, which is slightly less reliable than a supermarket tabloid.  Not that he didn't. Apparently several sources are wanting to verify.  Given the source, and given that I've found no major national outlets saying it was Covid, I'd say waiting is the best bet. 

Second, I've been informed that Mark has removed the above Twitter post.  I don't have Twitter so I can't confirm that.  When it comes to Twitter, all I can do is take images of various posts that I'm shown or sent.  If it's true, then I would like to know why.  Is it because Covid might not have been the cause and he's being cautious?  Does he regret indulging in the very evil he once so loudly condemned by exploiting a man's death for political points? I don't know.  Until I know more, I'll leave this up.  If he removes it, and then offers a mea maxima culpa over this deplorable disgrace to Christian Charity, I'll happily delete this and explain why I have done so.  

Pray with the March for Life

I've always been of two minds about this sort of thing.  Protesting is, of course, a protected right in our country.  As long as we behave and don't engage in violence or destruction or murder or such, I support anyone's right to protest, no matter how looney the cause. 

If it's a cause I support, I'm obviously more willing to support it.  When it comes to the March for Life, I became aware of it when I became a Christian.  That was my first real exposure to passionate opposition to abortion.  Naturally, as a godless youngster, I didn't care.  In fact, as I used to say there were no words more tender or lovely to hear than, "Don't worry, if I get pregnant, I'll just get an abortion."

So the zeal with which abortion was spoken of and condemned in my early church walk was an eye opener.  As a Protestant, I noticed that the Catholics were every bit the storm troopers when it came to fighting this good fight.  I also noticed the Catholics did a better job of linking abortion with other life oriented issues.

Not that Protestants didn't do that at all mind you.  Believe it or not, Protestants were about charity and helping the least of these.  Issues like gun control and the death penalty usually found differing views in any given congregation.  It was just a tendency for the churches I knew to sort of divide up the various life issues on a case by case basis.  Today abortion, tomorrow the soup kitchen.

I noticed Catholics tended to wrap thing up better, make them part of a larger fabric - a seamless garment dare I say?  There seemed to be a consistency that was somehow lacking in the Protestant approach.  Again, you could find Protestants who were all over the place on these various issues.  And perhaps it's that 'Protestant nature of things' that was the problem.  With Catholics, you knew where they stood.  At least officially. 

Naturally when I became Catholic, things like the March for Life blew up a thousand times larger in my awareness.  Across St. Blogs, everything seemed to come to a stop at this time of year.  It was like Christmas or Easter.  Whatever was going on, I knew I was in for endless posts lifting up the march, the marchers and praying for an end to this scourge of humanity that is our modern abortion culture.  And then, an abortion culture that exists only to sustain our drugs and sex culture as we blindly lumber through the AIDS pandemic. 

So I've come to see this as a nice reminder that 7000 have not taken a knee to Baal.  True, it's overall effectiveness may or may not be clear.  That's why I'm of two minds.  I hope we never think just getting out and marching will do it.  It took more than the March on Washington to get things done.  But then, even by that point, the winds of change were at the marchers' backs that day in Washington all those years ago.

Nonetheless, whichever the way the winds are blowing, here's praying that something can happen to turn the tide. I'm of the opinion that the national legalizing of unborn baby murder and the subsequent rise of the era of random, mass killings and push for a culture of suicide are not unrelated.  Anything that might help stem this culture of death in which we live is certainly worth a prayer or two. 

Partisan beyond parody

I've said I remember Sean P. Dailey from the olden days of St. Blogs, but I can't recall specifics.  Nonetheless, this popped up and my jaw dropped:

Really. Retweet and retweet again!  Everyone shut up and never criticize President Biden - or the Democratic Party as a whole - on social media or democracy is doomed.  I love how much mileage people get from saying 'unless my side wins at all costs, the universe will explode and we'll die.'  You'd think after all the centuries in the rear view mirror, people would know better.  Apparently they don't. 

UPDATE: Under the 'birds of a feather' with Dailey file, Donald McClarey at The American Catholic notices a similar appeal:

Heh. Your free-thinking Left.  Shut up and obey.  Dailey and Shea and company have my pity.  It would be like realizing how flawed FDR is and then fleeing into the arms of the Germans, blind to what is going on there.  And when the Germans proudly make it clear, instead of admitting the error and returning to a flawed, yet infinitely better, alliance with FDR's America, you just dig deeper and deeper and deeper, becoming madder with each fathom down. 

Friday Funnies

The Guardian, an extreme left rag from Merry ol'England, expresses shock that Republicans are making an issue of President Biden. Here is the headline:

Attack, attack, attack: Republicans drive to make Biden the bogeyman

Yep, that's a first.   I don't think I've ever seen a political party make an issue of a sitting president.  Dems didn't appear to focus on Trump in 2020.  In 2016 did Obama come up in a GOP speech?   And in 2008 you'd barely know that George Bush was president to hear the Democrats talk. 

What is it with the Left that they can actually say stupidly wrong and false statements and assume people will believe?   Don't tell me that some people are so partisan that the Left can say stupidly and false statements and assume people will believe because they do. 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Goodbye Teddy Roosevelt

And thank you.  

In the Left's ongoing crusade to exterminate the heritage of the United States, the statue of Teddy Roosevelt that has greeted visitors to Manhattan's American Museum of Natural History has been removed.  As all evil things, it was done in the cover of darkness.  Just as the statue of Christopher Columbus was removed in our neck of the woods in the wee hours of the night. 

That is symbolic of the Left's iconoclasm against the West.  That which is evil is done in darkness, for darkness hates the light.  Of course on the other hand, expect crickets and chirps to be heard from Republicans about this, if not conservatives in general.  I'm stunned at how man "conservatives" I've run into over the last couple years who will at least excuse if not defend these actions.

Oh Dave, it's private property - if that's the case.  Or Dave, they're just relocating the statue.  Or Dave, we have to admit and come to grips with the fact that America was racist.  Or Dave, they're usually wrong, but in this case Roosevelt was a naked imperialist who exploited and oppressed people to further American imperialism.  And on and on.  I've seen them all on decidedly conservative sites by those who otherwise rail against the Left.

I often blame the Left wallowing in its cover of darkness.  And yet, I don't know why it bothers hiding what it is doing.  I have a feeling most who walk under the banner of conservative wouldn't do any different if the statue was removed at high noon on a sunny day. 

Jordan Peterson quits

Jordan Peterson has resigned his position as tenured professor at the University of Toronto.  He explains why here.

First, my qualified and supremely trained heterosexual white male graduate students (and I’ve had many others, by the way) face a negligible chance of being offered university research positions, despite stellar scientific dossiers. This is partly because of Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity mandates (my preferred acronym: DIE). 

As the father of four white, Christian, heterosexual, American men, I feel the pain.  Our society has no problem telling me to suck on it if my sons get treated unjustly.  On that parallel universe of the Internet, I've been told boohoo more than once when lamenting the struggles of my sons. After all, they're men, white, American, Christian and heterosexual.  Whatever happens, they deserve it.

It's racism.  It's bigotry.  It's discrimination.  It's what we've heard is nothing but pure evil ever since the end of WWII.  Yet in barely a generation, the world snapped its fingers, declared good what yesterday was called evil, and how many have fallen over themselves to embrace it? 

In case they are wondering, the ones embracing this latest form of bigotry and discrimination are not the ones who would have stormed the beaches.  Far from it.  

Speaking of Fred Phelps discussing gay rights

I saw this Twitter thread from Fr. James Martin regarding vaccines:  

You can feel the contempt and refusal to listen.  That Fr. Martin seems to adopt the 'Science is 100% right 100% of the time' principle also appears clear.  Which is odd.  I don't expect science to always be right.  I know it's been shocking for people to watch the scientific community 'make the sausage' when it comes to Covid.  The scientific community has been wrong about many things since this virus first popped on the scene.  Yet our modern sloganeering about science, which is based on anything but science, has given people a false sense of what actual science is all about.  And it ain't about always being 100% right 100% of the time. 

Of course those who choose to be vaccinated, or wear masks, or social distance, or stay home are fine with me. I completely understand and I support their right to take care of themselves as they see fit.  But we now know that you can get Covid even when vaccinated, and you can spread Covid even when vaccinated,  especially with Omicron.  And based upon one report where 167 fully vaccinated and 157 unvaccinated were in the ICU due to Covid, it's appears the old 'plague of the unvaccinated' slogan might be dead on arrival. As have so many claims made since the beginning of the Covid era. 

Therefore the decision to vaccinate is increasingly a decision for yourself and yourself alone.  To deny the obvious means you're only willing to deny the obvious, not 'follow the science'. And that makes me wonder how concerned you really are about the science, or vaccines, or even the people involved. 

Whatever the case, I'm glad he's not our priest.  I don't think I knew a Protestant fundamentalist pastor with such contempt for those in his church who wouldn't agree with him.  I wonder if that's what Pope Francis is thinking when he calls out fundamentalism. Nah. 

On the other hand, there is always hope:

Hardcore vaccine proponent Deacon Greydanus draws the line at dancing on the graves of the unvaccinated.  The call to whip it out and piss all over dead people who dared question the latest infallible science gets a Barthian Nein!  

I would have liked it if Deacon Greydanus actually admitted that some of the advocates for his side can be pretty wretched to the core.  After all, I notice how easy it is for some to find a single case of crazy opposition to the vaccines and use it to paint everyone who questions the vaccines the same color. 

Nonetheless, I'll take it.  Proud of Deacon Greydanus for calling out wretched, especially when it's someone clearly on his side.  Even if he doesn't go to great lengths to portray it that way. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Like asking Fred Phelps to discuss gay rights




As I've said a thousand times, we Protestants had people like Fred Phelps. Sad but true.  But even the most hardcore fundamentalists I knew wouldn't get near Phelps with a 10' pole. 

Yet Mark is frequently picked as a contributor to, or speaker at, Catholic publications, Catholic podcasts, Catholic seminars, Catholic parishes and Catholic colleges and schools.  See the difference?  That's one point for Protestant discernment. 

UPDATE: As if to demonstrate, I saw this link where Mark goes after his favorite undesirables, the white conservative Christian with white skin, preferably of the male variety.  Nothing really to bother with, any more than I would go to Westboro Baptist and try to reason with them.  It's enough to make people aware and then move on.  There are some people who are beyond reach on this side of heaven.  All that's left to do is prayer and fasting.  

The stories our news media should be covering

 


Yep.  As soon as I saw the headline I knew the story was a must-read.   

Speaking of MLK

I was shown this:


The quotes in question are here:


First, could Deacon Greydanus point me to a recent time in which he's referenced whites as an ethnic group in a non-negative, non-pejorative, non-judgmental way?  I'm not thinking of any, though I don't follow everything he writes.  If he can't, then that, good deacon, is racism.  Even if it's against your own race. 

Anyway, speaking of racism, notice the lead in to the series of quotes.  Us white folks don't ever talk about these quotes because, well, us white folks. So let's unpack them. 

First quote?  I've seen that before.  I can't account for the skin color of those who have quoted it, but I'll assume there's a chance some of them are white. I am, and I've seen it more than once over the years. So nope, that one is known and quoted. 

Second quote? Oh yeah.  I 've seen that many, many times.  Usually it's quoted in the context of "the only thing necessary for evil" discussions.  I've seen it recently, quoted by conservatives watching the modern assault on democracy and freedom and life.  So sorry, that's a common one. 

Third quote? Nope, you got me there.  That's the first time I've heard of the hellhound quote.  So there's one.  Not sure if it's because of white people being white, but haven't heard it until now.  Or if I did read it, it didn't stick.

Fourth quote?  I've heard this one, but not often.  But it's not white people being white.  It's those who have tried to make MLK into the peace loving non-violent love child who Jesus should have been.  Like Attenborough's Gandhi, he was the man who was never about violence.  Violence, after all, was never, ever the answer (pre-2020 America).  And if mister peace, love and John Lennon songs himself was advocating riots (which are essentially using or threatening violence, assaults, destruction and even terror for a cause), this quote doesn't help.  Hence why I've heard it, but not often (until recently, especially after 2020, I should add)

Last quote?  Yeah, I've heard it.  Not often, since 1) it seems to touch on economics, and 2) it could be seen as a somewhat pro-not-Capitalist private ownership quote.  Given the charge that MLK was a communist agent by some detractors back in the day, I can see this one not flying.  Truth be told, I probably heard it more on leftwing Catholic sites than anywhere.

So that's that.  Most of those listed are quoted, even by white people who spend most of their days being white.  With the exception of hellhound discrimination, if I haven't heard much of them, there is a reason.  And it isn't because of whites being uncomfortable as much as the quotes being avoided by those trying to present MLK in a prepackaged image of convenience.  

So there you go.  FWIW, aside from a few conservatives and conservative outlets I know, there is one quote that was conspicuously absent yesterday in all the news and social media outlets I saw:



I wonder why. That, to me, is the interesting omission.  It also helps to answer this question:


My third oldest son has an observation that I adore.  If you think you would have been one of the brave heroes of history standing up to the evils of the age, there's a 95% chance you're wrong.  Would I have marched?  Probably not.  I'm not doing much to stop what's happening now.  

But if you embrace the modern racism, the racism against whites, the judging of a 12 year old girl as having privilege because of her skin color no matter her station in life, then there is a 99.99% chance you wouldn't have marched.  In fact, there's an overwhelming chance you would have unleashed the fire hoses if you had the chance. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

I didn't become Catholic for this

My wife's employee diversity training was more religious than this

When we entered the Church in 2006, the torch had already passed to a new generation of Catholics.  As I've said many times, this was not that fundamentalist Scott Hahn's Catholic Church.  These were the Boomers.  The post-Vatican II gang.  Oh, they may have been born before Vatican II, but already the Church was being led by those who would take it through the Vatican II reforms.  

But more than Vatican II Catholics, they're post WWII liberal culture Christians.  That is, Christianity  is a right fine belief, but no better than all the other beliefs.  After all, all religious beliefs were just made up by ancient humans.  As my son's Mythology 222 class demonstrated, the Bible, the Iliad and the Aeneid are about the same in terms of myth and fantasy.  

These Catholics looked at our testimony and more or less scratched their heads.  Sometimes you could almost see the puzzlement in their eyes.  Lost your friends and colleagues, investment accounts and retirement funds, and came into the Church with no professional prospects ... just to become Catholic?  Why that was a strange thing to do!  The welcome mat that awaited the Hahn generation of clergy converts had long gone the way of the dodo bird. 

Shortly after becoming pope, Pope Francis met with Protestant leaders and echoed the same attitude.  Stay where you are and get to God in your own lovely traditions.  That's when my boys concluded ol'Dad had screwed up royally.  There we were, me a pastor, wife a teacher in a private school, kids with one of us at any given time, yearly vacations and time together and a nice close life centered around church and family.  Then BAM!  Out the windows,  after school care, scraping by, ramen noodles and rice for dinner, vacations confined to the local park, picking which bills to pay in a month, and all to enter the Catholic Church.  The same Catholic Church whose members and leaders made it clear that it was the strangest thing we ever could have done.  Clearly dad isn't the one to trust in such things. 

That's when we went to the Orthodox Church.  At least there the Orthodox still subscribe to the idea that Orthodoxy is the true Church, and those who make the journey, if they do for the right reasons, are absolutely right to do so.  Actual sermons on heaven and hell, on sin and holiness, and on the necessity of remaining in God's proper church showed my boys that the "Catholicism is our meat, but any meat is fine" shtick was not a universal attitude in modern Christianity, even if it was the majority opinion they encountered in our parish. 

Because of many reasons, I couldn't reconcile with Orthodoxy as a Christian home, though I appreciate the life preserver they were for us.  Therefore when our old Catholic parish brought a firebrand priest from Africa who was more than prepared to call sin sin, and the Catholic Church the True Church, we returned. 

Sadly, we came back just as Covid hit.  A year later, he was gone.  No clue why.  He showed up one Sunday, said Monday he was no longer our priest, and perhaps he might see some of us in heaven someday.  That was that.  To this day nobody has told us what happened.  I do know his fire and brimstone insistence on the truths of the Catholic Faith rubbed some the wrong way, and he was in for some heavy criticisms in the time we were there.

Be that as it may, we remained because I'm still convinced that the Catholic Church, more than any other tradition, is the right tradition.  Obviously that is minority opinion today, and not one that appears to be held by our bishops, many of our leaders, or even our pope.  It certainly isn't the attitude of many, if not most, modern Catholics.  Some even seem offended at the idea that Catholicism has any unique value that can't be found in a thousand different beliefs. 

Nonetheless, at my age, it's time to settle in for the final curtain.  Our financial fate was sealed when the economy collapsed in 2008 and we found ourselves under a bishop who would rather see the Church sink into the 7th level of Hell than see a former Protestant minister so much as scrub toilets in the diocese. Since then, it's been Indiana Jones one step ahead of the boulder.  As I joke with people we know, my retirement plan is to grab my chest at 65 and do a Fred Sanford. 

But we did all that to become Catholic because, again, I believe it is true. And not just true, but also non-optional. No, I don't think every non-Catholic in the world will burn.  But I don't think the belief that not every non-Catholic will burn means anyone can be anything and not burn.  

Just because I know not everyone who smokes will die of cancer or heart disease doesn't mean I hand out cigarettes and tell everyone to light up.  Something I don't feel our bishops, leaders or pope think.  I think for them, it's far more important that everyone at the best parties think they're cool for handing out the cigarettes, rather than take a firm stand on the need to stop smoking.  Whatever that might mean in terms of people's health. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

What the heck?

 I mean, this:


Wait.  So a Muslim British national comes to America in December, according to press reports.  He promptly goes within a couple weeks to a local synagogue.  He holds several members of the synagogue hostage.  He does so in order to free another Islamic extremist.  

And this shows anything about anti-Semitism in America how?   I swear if three Mongolians gang raped a Nigerian girl in Argentina, the leftwing press would make it about the history of racism in America.  

It is rage inducing to the extreme.  It doesn't help that the ADL seems to be the one floating this.  There are times when I appreciate the Orthodox for some things I learned while sojourning with them.  One is that owing to the complex history of Christianity in the Middle East, they don't suffer from "Holocaust Guilt" the way we do in the West.   

Believe it or not, there were times when Jewish leaders of various communities conspired to give as good as they got to the Christian population.  Sure, the Christians did the same, and both sadly have blood on their hands.  But through the long centuries, it wasn't always as lopsided as it was in the history of Jewish communities in Western Europe.  

Therefore, if they feel Israel, or Jewish individuals in general, have crossed the line they'll say so.  Yes, they mourn the anti-Semitism in their own past, but because Orthodox Christianity's history is not the same as Western Christianity's (most of it was as second class citizens under Islamic rule), it's different.  They don't forget that more than a few Christian slaves sold to Muslims came by way of Jewish traders.  Something we learned in college, but my sons have never heard about except from the textbooks I possess. 

Here in the West, we may rage against the press.  We may rage against the Left.  But no matter what, we'll shrink and cower and look the other way when anyone Jewish plays the same games.  Guilt can be a cleansing thing.  It can also be an emasculating one. 

And suddenly nobody cares about Martin Luther King

Or so you'd think.  I'd forgotten that this weekend was MLK weekend until it was mentioned on the local weather report.  It's been a long time since I've heard MLK mentioned or quoted.  I know President Biden referenced him in his 'enemies of the state' speech.  But that's one of the few times I've noticed him mentioned in recent months.  Ten years ago I knew three months in advance how many days it was until MLK Day. 

This is quite a development.  It was the late 1970s that schools were compelled to give the day off, even before it became an observed federal holiday.  I remember that well.  States that didn't go along with recognizing the day were protested and boycotted.  Economic boycotts in some cases.  Walk outs by black students.  Until they agreed and recognized it.  

In our school district, they handled it by making us go on Presidents Day and giving MLK off for a couple years until they could adjust the calendars.  My mom, a former Civil Rights Movement supporter, was upset about that, as were others.  But it was part of the movement to make MLK into America's default hero.

By the 1990s, I began to call him our proxy Jesus.  Since by then mentioning Jesus in mixed company was no longer proper, MLK became a fine alternative.  Plus by then you had several books and documentaries lifting him up to almost godlike saint status. 

I remember an episode of The Cosby Show that touched on the holiday.  I forget the storyline.  But the climax of the show centered on the Huxtables watching The Speech on television.  The whole family gathered to watch.  Suddenly halos appeared and a divine light emerged from the television screen as angels gathered to sing holy praises.  I exaggerate of course, but it was that level of hagiographic adoration and worship of the event that was emerging across our country.  The Speech was quickly becoming the single great moment in our nation's history. 

When I entered ministry, it was nothing to hear MLK be the most quoted individual in a given sermon.  That was especially true among my African American colleagues.  But even white ministers could be heard quoting and referencing MLK more than anyone else, save perhaps Jesus.  

When my sons went to public school in the 00s, MLK season was that, a season.  Before the Winter Break, they would begin preparing for the really big celebration of MLK Day.  January was the crescendo, but it extended through February owing to Black History Month.  Plays and programs, special assignments, movies and specials - it was ten times more than Christmas ever was when I was in school.

By the time I was moving to become Catholic, I remember saying not a week went by that I wouldn't hear MLK referenced at least a half dozen times.  You couldn't encounter a news article or editorial, or a sermon or an interview, or a documentary or speech, without hearing MLK both referenced and quoted.  When I was still part of a ministry conference, I said I didn't get into the whole MLK day brouhaha.  You'd think I denied God's existence.  

And then suddenly, BAM!  It started before 2020, but since 2020 he's almost fallen off the edge of the world.  I literally go months now and never hear MLK mentioned.  In fact, the only real mention I've seen of him before last week was when Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of the laughably anti-American 1609 Project, insisted MLK never wanted a nation where we didn't judge based on skin color. 

Which might be the problem. What the Left is doing in its move to destroy the West and America is to reinstate racism and racial discrimination and segregation.  White Privilege, Systemic Racism, BLM rely on the idea that you absolutely should judge based on skin color.  After all, how did we know racism had anything to do with George Floyd but by racially profiling the police officer in question, and judging based on his skin color?  How do we know someone has White Privilege but by judging their skin color? 

The whole trick is to use whiteness the same way Germans in the 1930s used Jewishness.  The idea that the white race is a pox on humanity, and anything you don't like or want can be blamed on white racism and dispensed with accordingly (including such laughable ideas as equality, liberty, freedom, sanctity of life, and even democracy), is predicated upon judging and condemning based on skin color and ethnicity.  

And when racial discrimination and prejudice are so essential, you can't be lifting up some crazy looney adulterer (which has been pointed out quite frequently I've noticed) running around saying we need to judge content of character and stop judging based on color of the skin.  Hence why I had forgotten about this weekend until our dear weather person dropped the name.  I've seen a few things mentioned since.  But nothing - not a damn thing close - to what it used to be.  

Welcome to Orwellian America.  Another unperson for your lost files.