Saturday, September 6, 2008
It reminds me of the anthropologist who underwent a hallucinogenic trip under the tutelage of a South American medicine man. During the episode, he met gigantic reptilian creatures who told him they lived around the world and were biding their time until the right moment came. Then they would take over the world.
When the anthropologist emerged from his stupor, he told the medicine man about the creatures and their threats.
"Psh," the medicine man said. "They always say that."
The primitive sacred hands out little violence kits not only to the practitioners within the Scimitar. But, obviously, among Hindu, etc., as well.
The Christian faith, on the other hand, gives us freedom to love God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - a Trinity of self-donating Persons - and our neighbor as ourselves. Even if they happen to be murderous exemplars of the reptilian primitive sacred, and our enemies.
Now THAT is freedom indeed.
Gandalf's warnings about the irresistible voice of the wizard Saruman in J R R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings come to mind. If these battle-hardened veterans of America's wars fell so easily under the spell of Obama's voice, who can withstand it? Obama's persuasive powers, though, are strongest when channeled through the empathy of his interlocutor. Everyone believes that Obama feels his pain, shares his dream, and will fight his fight and heal his ills. But that is everyone as an individual. Add all the individuals up into a campaign platform, and it turns into three-quarters of an hour worth of promises that echo all the ghosts of conventions past.
Obama will spend the rest of his life wondering why he rejected the obvious road to victory, that is, choosing Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential nominee. However reluctantly, Clinton would have had to accept. McCain's choice of vice presidential candidate made obvious after the fact what the party professionals felt in their fingertips at the stadium extravaganza yesterday: rejecting Clinton in favor of the colorless, unpopular, tangle-tongued Washington perennial Joe Biden was a statement of weakness. McCain's selection was a statement of strength. America's voters will forgive many things in a politician, including sexual misconduct, but they will not forgive weakness.
That is why McCain will win in November, and by a landslide, barring some unforeseen event. Obama is the most talented and persuasive politician of his generation, the intellectual superior of all his competitors, but a fatally insecure personality. American voters are not intellectual, but they are shrewd, like animals. They can smell insecurity, and the convention ...
Friday, September 5, 2008
The Christian belief in God differs from Islamic belief in serious ways. So do Christian and Islamic ideas about the nature of the human person. These differences have far-reaching practical consequences, including political consequences. But rapid Muslim growth isn't the only reason for the identity crisis now gripping secular ... Europe. The continent's real problem lies deeper. Islam is merely filling a hole in the chest of an ailing civilization. Europe has an illness of its own choosing: a hollowing out of its spirit through pride, greed, self-absorption, the rejection of children, the exclusion of God, and contempt for its own past, including its Christian soul.
- Archbishop Charles Chaput, Render Unto Caesar
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Reading real books -- especially for mere pleasure or cultural enrichment -- becomes a luxury when practically everything I need to know can be found at speed, and often conveniently pre-digested, along the highways and byways of the internet. For writers, the net is a tremendous boon. Essential background information, new data, half forgotten quotes, the opinions of major figures in the commentariat can all be accessed with a few clicks of the mouse. And there is always so much more; each hyperlink represents another lode of information waiting to be mined, and it can be hard to call a halt. Add to that the reading and sending of email, the scanning of news feeds and blogs, the odd foray into YouTube and (something I have dodged so far) greeting friends on Facebook or other social networking sites -- and the time scheduled for a couple of chapters of Solzhenitsyn (or Stephen King, if you prefer) is gone, devoured by the Shelob sitting at the heart of the Worldwide Web.Read more of The Web vs. the Book.
Does it matter? After all, reading is reading and knowledge is knowledge whether it comes on paper between two covers or on a computer screen -- isn’t it?
"We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco," she said. Mocking the speech in which Obama accepted the Democratic nomination before a crowd of more than 84,000 at a Denver football stadium, she asked: "When the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot, what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet?"
She leaned heavily on her own biography, introducing her husband, Todd, as a commercial fisherman, a union member, a world-champion snowmobile racer and an Eskimo. She described herself as a mom-turned-politician with the "same challenges and the same joys" as other families.
She also offered at least one apparent ad-lib: "The difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?" she asked. "Lipstick."
VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 3, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Christianity is not a moral code or a philosophy, but an encounter with a person, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope affirmed this today at the general audience held in Paul VI Hall. The Holy Father continued his series of catecheses on the thought and person of St. Paul, as the Church is marking the Pauline Jubilee Year.
Today's catechesis focused on St. Paul's experience of Christ on the road to Damascus, which the Pontiff called the "decisive moment of Paul's life."
"What happened on that road," the Pope asked.
To answer, he drew from two sources: the Acts of the Apostles and the letters written by Paul himself.
"The risen Christ appeared as a splendid light and addressed Saul, transforming his thinking and his very life," the Holy Father explained. "The splendor of the Risen One left him blind; presenting also externally what the interior reality was: his blindness in regard to the truth, to the light, which is Christ. And then, his definitive 'yes' to Christ in baptism reopens his eyes, and makes him truly see."
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
My experience with cancer this past April showed me that, even surrounded by my family, prayed for by loved ones, friends, and complete strangers near and far, death and the fear of death is a lonely thing to endure. It is a dark night of the soul, borrowing from Saint John of the Cross.
I am back to the same distance I was running prior to surgery, lifting the same weights, doing the same number of pull-ups (almost). But I will know the same corporal, visceral, gut-wrenching fear again, if I'm blessed. That is, I hope I'm not hit by a bus.
The church history professor back at Duke said that persons in the Middle Ages prayed for a long, lingering death so as to get properly ready to meet their Maker (as opposed to today's weakling-wish to die in one's sleep). And I agree.
Unlike some I presume, I did not feel particularly close to God, feel any comfort or experience any "lights" or easing of the fear of death. It was a true casting myself upon a faith that my prima materia (a) had a Source outside my (puny, finite) self; (b) that Source has chosen to reveal himself in Scripture, the Catholic Church's Tradition, and knowledge of Whom is vouchsafed in the Magisterium; and (c) that same revealing and covenant-making Source of my being can certainly be trusted to see this (puny, finite) self past biological cessation, if he wants to.
That's the best it gets for me. I still feel a physical fear of death that all the runs and weights lifted cannot abate. I do, however, get some comfort in the honesty of the Gospels saying that Our Lord felt the same kind of fear in the Garden of Gethsemane. Or so I read it.
I don't want to die, but I really don't get any choice. Neither do you, you just haven't experienced its awe-full presence near you, maybe. So I plan to keep my eyes open, hang on to the faith of the Church and her saints, and be pleasantly surprised. I hope.
Obama was doing cocaine when Palin's husband had a few drinks too many.
It's not that there's a double standard, it's that there is no standard ...
Where are the feminists?
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I have continuously tied the business of abortion to the satanic work of child sacrifice which has tried to rear its ugly head in every age since biblical times. Abortion is a demonic industry, and every society that opens its doors to the killing of its infants becomes slowly possessed by these demons whose thirst for innocent blood will never, ever, be sated. Mexico was at one time home of the devilish Aztec religion which practiced bloody human sacrifice until Hernando Cortes and his troops defeated the Emperor Montezuma in the 16th Century thus preparing the way for the total Catholic evangelization of that land by Our Lady of Guadalupe. Yet, demons don’t live in time. They live in the sinfulness of the human heart, and they have been given a new birth in Mexico once again.
I have no doubt that the recent appearance and immense popularity of the so-called “Santa Muerte” (”holy death”) occult practice in Mexico, whose symbol is the Grim Reaper, has presaged the appearance of the demon of human sacrifice once again. This ancient demon that once ruled Mexican society only needed a few servants on the Supreme Court to ritualize human sacrifice once again — this time in the guise of abortion on demand. And they have already begun to reconstruct the new pagan pyramids of Mexico — in the hospitals and abortion mills where blood sacrifice is being offered as we speak.
In light of this catastrophic defeat for life, I can only repeat the Lord’s stinging rebuke of the black-robed leaders of His day who were responsible for the death of the Innocent One: Woe to the eight servants of Montezuma’s abortion revenge — their souls are in danger of a worse death than they inflict on those innocent children. We must pray for their eternal salvation. And I must add: Woe to everyone who remains silent while this demon satisfies his blood lust on innocent children anywhere in the world.
Monday, September 1, 2008
A long time ago in this very country, liberals once protected the little guy. They sided against elites and fought the good fight against overwhelming odds against the powerful. But today, the self described liberals, have joined the ranks of the rich and powerful and view the rest of the country as one would an episode of "Green Acres."
Democrats, the mainstream media and the liberal blogosphere, are all joined in sneering ...