Saturday, May 16, 2009

Seiyo - Mugged by Reality

Almost no one can scare by stating the facts of the downward spiral of the West as well as Takuan Seiyo. Here is the latest in his From Meccania to Atlantis series (#11) - Mugged by Reality.

BXVI and the Scimitar II

Michael Cook sheds light on perhaps the most important feature of Benedict XVI's trip to the Holy Land, yet one overlooked by the MSM in The Pope’s d├ętente with the Muslim world.

A Trustworthy Companion

Jordan Davis at The Nation writes on what continues to make going to Narnia with C. S. Lewis so appealing to readers of all ages:
His is a sane and playful presence, not tame and never thoughtless. Though great danger is always imminent in Narnia, there is a profound sense of excitement, of mystery, of being loved. This sense is difficult to accomplish but also impossible to counterfeit. Lewis manages it partly through frequent second-person digressions keyed to the experience of any bright but otherwise ordinary 9-year-old, the age at which he lost his mother. Most of all, he forms a bond with young readers by pledging again and again to believe them by proxy: in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lucy persists in believing that she has gone to another world, and despite the betrayal of her brother Edmund, the other children go there with her. (To my knowledge, no one has followed up on the aside that Edmund's perverse, hateful behavior began when he was sent away to boarding school.) What continues to draw children to Lewis is not only the pleasure of traveling to a world that sounds better than this one but the promise of his company, so entertaining and learned, and so light about it.
Read all of Into the Wardrobe: C.S. Lewis's Narnia.

He is Our Peace

Friday, May 15, 2009

Weigel - Catholic Higher Education

For the record, George Weigel asks, What ‘Church’ does Notre Dame belong to?

Magister - Holy Land

Granted, my refugee status as coming from the arid, dusty world of Protestantism is still a work in transition to the rich, lush, somewhat overgrown world of Catholicism. This accounts, perhaps, for my heart always turning first toward Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem rather than Rome. But I am not alone it seems.

Sandro Magister explains it in In Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Where the Foundations of the Faith Can Be "Touched".

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Welborn - "Pure Politics" Not

Amy Welborn is another of the persons within Mother Church whom I admire greatly. She applies her faith and reason - the latter being engendered, of course, by the former - to the falderal regarding Notre Dame's ill-made decision. Specifically, she dissects the charges that it is all "pure politics" here.

Coulombe - BXVI and "wolves"

Charles A. Coulombe, an adroit man about town, weighs in on the Holy Father, the "wolves" that beset him, and the enormous tasks set before this remarkable German Shepherd in By His Enemies You Shall Know Him

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

APA - a changing tune

This may change, again, but for now the American Psychological Association Changes Tune on Genetic Nature of Homosexuality.

Who's Responsible for this Mess

(I'm watching reruns of) Hawkeye and Trapper John back in Korea. I never did like those guys. They fancied themselves super-decent and super-tolerant, but actually had no use for anyone who was not exactly like them. What they were was super-pleased with themselves. In truth, they were the real bigots, and phony at that. I always preferred Frank Burns, the stuffy, unpopular doc, a sincere bigot.

- Dr. Thomas More, The Thanatos Syndrome


Brown - Catholicism's Crucible

Judie Brown gets it about as right as can be sorted out.
The president has, in many ways, manipulated Catholics, Catholic institutions and, by extension, the Church and many of her American bishops. He has been obviously testing the Catholic waters to see just how far he can push his boat into their stream. Clearly, he must be pleased.

Obama is not new at this game, but he has created the perfect storm for sorting out the challenge and identifying the real, underlying cause for this catastrophe within the Catholic Church. After all, 52 percent of Catholic voters supported Obama. After that it's been downhill, or pretty much that way until Notre Dame happened. Now perhaps the tide will turn.

But let's be clear. The problem is not Obama. Rather it has to do with the identity of a Catholic institution or a Catholic person. The problem is literally a conflict of the most enormous proportions that the church hasn’t seen in decades. The problem is the classic struggle between Christ's Church and the devil himself.

The Notre Dame controversy is simply a microcosmic example of what one writer called the Catholic civil war ...
Read all of Ms. Brown's Notre Dame: Catholism’s Crucible

Stumper of the day

Jules Crittendon asks, Should people who deny fundamental biological facts and claim to be of the opposite gender be entrusted with large public conveyances that carry dozens of commuters?

Music, Mozart, Polyphony, & Western Civ

Interesting and sage comments from Fjordmann:
The Christian Church was the dominant social institution in post-Roman Europe and deeply affected the future development of European music. The ancient Greek system of notation had apparently been forgotten by the seventh century AD, when Isidore of Seville (ca. 560-636) wrote that “Unless sounds are remembered by man, they perish, for they cannot be written down.” But with the development of complex chants, what was needed to stabilize them was notation, a way to write down the music. The earliest surviving European books of chant with music notation date from the ninth century. During the early Christian era, the Classical legacy was used, but modified. From the Jews came the practices of singing psalms and chanting Scripture. Church leaders drew on Greek musical theory but rejected pagan customs, and elevated worship over entertainment and singing over instrumental music.

It is instructive to consider the fact that Middle Eastern Muslims, too, had access to Greek musical theory, yet they decided not use it, just like they did not utilize the Greek artistic legacy. Both music and pictorial arts were integrated into religious worship in Christian Europe in a way that never happened in the Islamic world. In fact, it was Gregorian chant and the growth of polyphonic music in medieval European monasteries and cathedrals which established the musical tradition that would eventually culminate in the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven centuries later. There was no Mozart or Beethoven in the Islamic world, just like there was no Copernicus, Galileo or Newton.

The invention of musical notation enabled musicians to build upon the work of the past. It may have been a necessary condition for the expansion and development of musical expression, but it is not alone sufficient to explain later advances. The discovery of the connection between mathematical ratios and musical intervals attributed to Pythagoras – and independently the Chinese – was important, but not as important as polyphony. According to Charles Murray, “Just as linear perspective added depth to the length and breadth of painting, polyphony added, metaphorically, a vertical dimension to the horizontal line of melody.”
Read all here.

There you go again

As I've said before about falling into the sin of despair, Sherry Weddell reminds us of these blasts from the past.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bailie, Emmaus Road Initiative, BXVI

Gil Bailie, friend and mentor, continues his invaluable work in speaking engagements across the United States this month. Catch his May Emmaus Road Initiative talk at a venue near you.

Gil posts this powerful talk given by Pope Benedict at the Holocaust Museum - a most worthwhile 7 minute investment of your time.

It's one of life's simple joys to be able to support a friend, educator, and brother in Christ like Gil Bailie.

Smile real big and wave

The push back at campuses where I Won is speaking is starting. Will he even notice, or will his handlers insure he does not? After all, like Nixon watching football and ignoring peace protests, he apparently hasn't heard or seen anything about tea parties.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers' Day

Or Grovel, more like. Forget It

Jordanian clerics expressed disappointment that Pope Benedict XVI in an address to Muslim leaders on Saturday failed to offer a new apology for remarks seen as targeting Islam.

"We wanted him to clearly apologise," Sheikh Yusef Abu Hussein, mufti of the southern city of Karak, told AFP after the pope's address in Amman's huge Al-Hussein Mosque.

Read more here.

Never Forget It

"I, as a Christian, always say that I am Arabic, Jordanian and Christian," Nader Twal, a Christian tour guide in Jordan, explained. "We Christians make up 3% [of the population of Jordan], Catholic are 1.5%. We see in this visit a support for the presence of Christians, we who've been here 2,000 years.