Saturday, September 5, 2009

Silencing Truth and New Hope in China?

URUMQI, China from Associated Press
Thousands of troops, backed by tanks and metal barricades, patrolled the western city of Urumqi on Saturday after five people died in protests over a series of bizarre needle attacks that China's police chief has blamed on Muslim separatists (emphasis added)...More>>
So, why does a Chinese police chief see a fact so clearly and state it so forthrightly when there is the most timid shuffling of feet and averting of glances and talk of "Asian youth" regarding Scimitar crowd contagion, threats to Israel, and routine violence across Europe and elsewhere?

Truth - Gr. aletheia, to stop forgetting - is something that is being plowed under in the West by an avalanche of euphemisms, shoddy incomplete thinking, and, of course, the mimetic mayhem of cultural meltdown.

As a result, the best remnants of Christendom are being silenced - clear vision and erudite truth-telling most of all. The record is clear: we have in office the most pro-choice, pro-abortion president in history (Just check his voting record; don't listen to his themes, check the structure of his actions) who wants to reform "health care" while invoking compassion and "moral" duty. Seemingly, only those still in touch with Catholic truth see this disconnect.

Too, his preferential treatment toward the Scimitar, including a decidedly selective and abridged historical understanding of its cultural contributions, shows clearly a silencing of truth as long-understood in the Judeo-Christian world.

Perhaps, just perhaps, with the slow killing of truth in the West we are arriving at what Sisci sees as a defining moment for Catholic truth … in China.

Fjordman - 14 Centuries and Counting

For the record: Fjordman's Fourteen Centuries of War Against European Civilization.

Flare for Disaster

Amidst all the nuttiness being opined about a Mayan prediction of the end of the world in 2012, if this (and this) happened, it would definitely make the world different. Maybe for the better.

Awesome Find in City of David

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- An archaeological dig in Jerusalem has turned up a 3,700-year-old wall that is the largest and oldest of its kind found in the region, experts say.

The wall is built of enormous boulders, confounding archaeologists as to how ancient peoples built it.

The wall is built of enormous boulders, confounding archaeologists as to how ancient peoples built it.

Standing 8 meters (26 feet) high, the wall of huge cut stones is a marvel to archaeologists.

"To build straight walls up 8 meters ... I don't know how to do it today without mechanical equipment," said the excavation's director, Ronny Reich. "I don't think that any engineer today without electrical power [could] do it." More>>

Friday, September 4, 2009

What, Me Worry

Noonan nails it. But will he ever admit it? Not a chance. Hopey-changey is shorthand for we don't believe in original sin and we will drag you along with us into our sordid Romantic-Gnostic utopian project come hell or high water. After all, I wun.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Penn and Teller Go to H*ll

Too bad. I used to enjoy Penn and Teller a great deal. Unfortunately they've become sad, old, and crotchety scapegoaters of the sole source of sanity, civility, and truth in this depraved, nihilistic time.

Suffer the Little Children to Come to Me

I see that the president wants to talk to our school children next week. Why not? I think it's a nice gesture. What do you think? You don't have suspicions, do you?

But what if he wants to every week? What would you think about that? Why? Explain.

UPDATE: I think I've got it. We will watch Frank Capra's Why We Fight that morning - you know, the one that shows the nice little German schoolchildren pledging allegiance (of a sort)? I'll merely let my students make their own inferences.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ending Political Correctness?

The beginning of the end? Yeah, right. Maybe, as Winny said, it is the end of the beginning (of battling boneheaded political correctness). Recently elected mayor of Doncaster, in South Yorkshire, announced "I'm not a homophobe," he said, "but I don't see why council taxpayers should pay to celebrate anyone's sexuality."

The Real Odo the Hero

J. K. Rowling and others have teased us with the supposed doings of Odo the Hero. Now Benedict has cleared the air once and for all holding up St. Odo as example of joy amid a society of vice.

Rescuing Wonder from Calvin's Icy Fingers

Daniel Mitsui does it again. An excerpt from Religious Art in France of the 13th Century by Emile Mâle:
The historian of art has no right to scorn the relics. It should be remembered that the Sainte-Chapelle, the most perfect of thirteenth-century buildings, was a shrine destined to enclose the crown of thorns. And the most beautiful mystic dream of the Middle Ages, the sangrail itself, what is it but a reliquary?

Calvin dissipated all this poetry in a breath. With his reasoning and his rude vigour he demonstrated to the poor world that God is everywhere, and that it is not necessary to make long journeys and like pagans to adore doubtful relics. Pray, he says in his Traite des reliques, has not the world gone mad to travel five or six score miles at great cost and pains to see a flag (the holy shroud at Cadouin) about which one can have no assurance, but rather be constrained to doubt?. Nothing finds mercy at the hands of this terrible iconoclast; none of those memories which should be dealt with tenderly, neither the water-pot of the marriage at Cana which was shown at Angers, nor the tear shed by Christ for Lazarus which was enshrined at Vendôme, nor the pictures which had been painted by angels, for one knows that it is not the metier of angels to be painters.

The world emerged from the age of poetry. The enthusiasm of the Crusaders who went to defend an empty tomb, and brought back a little holy earth as the greatest of treasures, henceforth appeared as inexplicable folly. As a matter of fact, said Calvin, they consumed their bodies and their goods, and a large part of their countries' substance, in order to bring back a pile of foolish little things with which they had been gammoned, believing them to be the most precious jewels in the world.

Such was, in fact, the feeling of the Crusaders who in the thirteenth century sent a host of relics to the churches of Champagne, the Île de France and Picardy, from Constantinople. These matchless treasures, which were enclosed in precious wallets, had a certain influence upon art...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Far from the Maddening

I truly love this, and everything it says about how one can live through extreme times and still witness to the substantiality of homeliness and splendor, symbolism and rock-solid matter, grandeur and peace. In my estimation, it is a masterpiece of what Tolkien deemed "sub-creation".

Mitsui describes the interior:
Inside the house is remarkably plain, providing compact and simple accommodation for a gamekeeper or someone of similar status. The building is often referred to in the Rushton estate documents as The Warryners Lodge. Not a lavish palace, an impressive stately home, or a romantic country manor house, just a bizarre little dwelling created by the imaginative, perhaps slightly eccentric, mind of a devout Catholic man. Even if the religious connotations seem a bit heavy going and difficult to interpret, the fascination of identifying some of the emblems, and trying to understand how Thomas Tresham's mind worked, invites a compelling investigation of the lodge.

Islands of Sanity

Several bloggers have recently sworn off the habit. Dawn Eden. Mark Gordon. Even brother Mass’keteers. For my part, settling down with a free half-hour to browse the internet reminds me of those characters in Matrix movies who get plugged in and visit bizarre, disturbing, and even dangerous territory. So unsettling, in fact, that one experiences the intensification of what is referred to in Girard's Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World as "sacrificial preparation." That is, the cultural meltdown of the remnants of old Christendom.

For indeed it is the mortar of the Christian faith that keeps the vast muddle of the ant-hill of popular culture, so-called, continuing to date. Oh, sure. It's gussied up in the doubling rivalry of left against right, Conservative against Liberal, Democrat against Republican - everyone looks so authoritative, powerful, presidential.

But truth be told, it is a mimetic swirl that simply cannot be held at a sane and civil distance. This is the bureaucratic nightmare that has normal, common citizens ranting at town meetings (astro-turf, my *ss).

It will only get worse, sadly, and will make Kafka's Castle look like punting on the Thames.

The sole source of coherence and sanity, civility and humanism is the Christian faith in general and the Catholic Church in particular (certain unbalanced convert celebrities notwithstanding).

The hope I feel when I get to know men and women who gather at Our Lord's altar to receive the Holy Eucharist, who join to support and share their giftedness in Catholic education, who cheerfully and lovingly influence what is still true, good, and beautiful in society is sheer, deep, and abiding joy for me.

The parishes filled with Catholic families faithful to the Church's magisterium are islands of civility, sanity, and beauty. The mimetic swirl of insanity, viciousness, and despair is but a fleeting thing by comparison. Deo gratias.


Titural and the Grail (1912) - Willy Pogàny

But I Abhor Big Business, Too ...

The Archbold brothers at Creative Minority Report post a video with which the socialist left, no doubt, would disagree heartily: Jon Voight: I Wun playing the ‘God Card’.

No, It's Not

Fr. Benedict Groeschel - clinical psychologist and Franciscan Friar of the Renewal, asks, Is this in any way a part of the responsibilities of a psychological organization?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Two Roads Diverged

From the NYT:

Only 13 days separated the passing of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics, from the death of her brother Ted last week. But amid the wall-to-wall coverage and the stream of retrospectives for the senior senator from Massachusetts, it was easy to forget that he wasn’t the only famous Kennedy sibling to enter eternity this month.

Liberalism’s most important legislator probably merited a more extended send-off than his sister. But there’s a sense in which his life’s work and Eunice’s deserve to be remembered together — for what their legacies had in common, and for what ultimately separated them.

What the siblings shared — in addition to the grace, rare among Kennedys, of a ripe old age and a peaceful death — was a passionate liberalism and an abiding Roman Catholic faith. These two commitments were intertwined: Ted Kennedy’s tireless efforts on issues like health care, education and immigration were explicitly rooted in Catholic social teaching, and so was his sister’s lifelong labor on behalf of the physically and mentally impaired.

What separated them was abortion. (Emphasis added.)

Along with her husband, Sargent Shriver, Eunice belonged to America’s dwindling population of outspoken pro-life liberals. Like her church, she saw a continuity, rather than a contradiction, between championing the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed and protecting unborn human life ... More>>
And a child - albeit a precocious one - might right there, between Edward and Eunice, draw a rough crayon line between a faithful Catholic who held to the teachings of Mother Church in faith and morals, on the one hand, and a so-called "liberal Catholic."

But that crayon line would demarcate more. It would be a chasm separating the Christian faith in its fullest expression - the Catholic headwaters that nourish all christianities downstream - and a dangerous road leading many, oh so many, toward a recrudescence of the pagan in all of its "needed" pragmatism.

Alas for ones who stray from the Barque of Peter if one wants to die a holy death.

Mitsui - Sword of Sir John Conyers

Daniel Mitsui posts on Sir John Conyers who killed the Sockburn worm. Is this the legendary basis for the vvery campy 1988 thriller (based on Bram Stoker's book - same title), starring a very young Hugh Grant, Lair of the White Worm?

Scimitar Hatred of Jews 101

For the record: the Baron at Gates of Vienna publishes probably one of the best descriptions of the Scimitar's "hatred" of Jews at present by Mrutyuanjai Mishra. If you have Girardian spectacles, put them on and read The Swedish Mohammed Crisis, Jew-Hatred, and Anti-Semitism.