Saturday, February 16, 2008

Prince Rilian's Advice

In and throughout the fictional works of C. S. Lewis there are gems of heartiness to be kept in mind. Here is a jewel I carry with great fondness: a short speech of the newly awakened Prince Rilian, son of Caspian the 10th, from The Silver Chair.

He, with the good old honest Narnian Marshwiggle, Puddleglum, and the children Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole, are deep in the realm of the Witch. A shield, once black and without device, now has turned bright as silver, and on it, redder than blood or cherries, is the figure of the Lion, Aslan.
"Doubtless," said the Prince. "This signifies that Aslan will be our good lord, whether he means us to live or die. And all's one, for that. Now, by my counsel, we shall all kneel and kiss his likeness, and then shake hands one with another, as true friends that may shortly be parted. And then, let us ... take the adventure that is sent us."

Moussaoui - Who is Paying the Fees?

According to his attorneys, Zacarias Moussaoui, unrepentant conspirator in the 9/11 events, reports the Washington Post, was deprived of his constitutional rights.

Just a question: who is paying his attorneys?

Outlining the Primitive Sacred & the "Normal"

A blog aptly named for a common designation for Jews and Christians by Scimitar devotees - "Sons of Apes and Pigs" - asks a great deal of questions:
Do you still think that any Muslim praying to be in a paradise filled with the thugs of the world, starting by their chief thug, is really a normal person?

Can you imagine Allah's paradise filled with the Guantanamo crowds sitting around Mohammad, the one that was sent "mercy to the world", listening to his deeds, that makes Muslims so proud of? like the slaughtering of the Jewish tribe of Korayza or splitting a hundred years old woman in half and parading her head on a stick, or playing soccer with the decapitated heads of the ones who criticized him, while his listeners are praising him with "peace be upon you". If that's the eternity Muslims long for, how can we expect them to help us with the war on terror against their co-religionists killers, that will be their companion in that paradise?

They're the only followers of a so called "religion" that go on rampage, bombing, killing and destruction after prayers. When you look at the faces of people from any other religions after their worship, you see peace and serenity. Do you see the same thing on faces of Muslims after their prayers? How could it be, if their prayers consist of cursing all other people, and asking their Allah's wrath, death and destruction even for the people they're living within. Do you feel secure, seeing the enraged faces of their imams. Or they too are hijacked. and if their imams and sheiks are hijacked, their prophet is the prophet of doom, their Allah is made on the image of their prophet, so who's left, who's not hijacked in this "religion" to be considered normal human being?

Any wonder who they pray to and worship? Our western governments still call their mosques: Houses of worship and prayers. I know they worship, but worship to who and pray for what? Can any one from the medical profession do humanity a favor and offer us a study on the effect of the Islamic prayers on Muslims? Read all …
The blogger, Ibn Misr, outlines the insidious shape of the primitive Sacred with his questions. He also traces something that has been revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of the Word made flesh [Jn 1,14]. Misr calls the latter "normal", but it is highly abnormal, in my opinion.

We in the West have taken far too much for granted this Normal of which Misr speaks. It is summed up in what are in the Christian faith calls the Two Great Commandments: to love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and to love your neighbor as yourself. Christ answered the question, "Who is my neighbor?" by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan. How can anyone say we worship the same deity when actions like this come under the auspices of acceptable, even laudable, "worship"?

Thomas Madden and other scholars are showing that the Crusades were not primarily an aggressive victimization of Muslims in "their" lands, but charitable mobilizations of Christians to protect other Christians who were (a) already present in those lands prior to the Prophet's incursive forces, and (b) efforts to protect the sites revered by Christendom and pilgrims to those sites.

How are Christians being called to mobilize in the clash today?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ibn Warraq Interview

Pam Geller ("Atlas Shrugs") interviews Ibn Warraq at an undisclosed watering hole in New York. Warraq takes on the Muslim Brotherhood founder's grandson, Tariq Ramadan (speaker at the upcoming COVR event in the Midwest) and Edward Said in his book, Defending the West.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

10,000 Religious Police - 1 Witch - 0

A Saudi court has sentenced a witch to death. Boy, do I feel safer now that an illiterate woman of Jordanian extraction is off the streets of decent, sharia abiding people. Don't you?

The primitive Sacred of the Saudi Wahhabist courts needs duly sanctioned victim fodder to feed its sacrificial mechanism just as certainly as Moloch needed children to pass through fire.

By the way, where does your gasoline come from?

Swastika & Scimitar - Part 6

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Demographic Winter

From Catholic News Agency: [h/t: New Advent]
.- Filmmakers announced at a National PressClub press conference on Tuesday a “groundbreaking” documentary that addresses the problems of population decline and predicts a coming “demographic winter” that will result from weakened families.

Population decline is projected to seriously affect the sustainability of present societies by reducing the economic and tax bases of nations. The movie claims that as the number of elderly people swells there will be fewer and fewer young people to help care for them.

The documentary, titled "Demographic Winter: the decline of the human family,” was written and directed by Rick Stout to examine developed countries that are below population replacement rates. The film brings together demographers, economists, sociologists, and civic and religious leaders to explore problems present generations will soon face due to shrinking and aging populations.
View trailer "Demographic Winter."

Europe In the House of War

Spengler speaks truth not myth in this important piece, Europe in the House of War: [h/t: Brussels Journal]
By proposing to concede a permanent role to extralegal violence in the political life of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury pushed his phlegmatic countrymen over the edge. No one is better than the British at pretending that problems really aren't there, but once their spiritual leader admits to an alien source of coercion and proposes to legitimize it, they understand that a limit has been reached.

Williams' exercise in what might be termed the Higher Hypocrisy shows how deeply Europe has descended into the Dar al-Harb, or the "House of War" in the Muslim terms for all that lies outside the "house of submission", or Dar al-Islam. Europe's governments refuse to rule, that is, refuse to enforce their own laws because they fear violence on the part of Muslim immigrant communities who refuse to accept these laws. "No-go" zones proliferate that non-Muslims dare not enter. In the United Kingdom, according to evidence presented by respected journalists and public-interest organizations, Muslim community organizations, Muslim police officers and medical personnel collaborate to stop women from escaping domestic violence. Read all …

Man and Woman He Made Them

Archbishop of Toledo, Spain warns of a "Gender Revolution"

Cardinal CaƱizares said the panorama of modern culture manifests the need for a rereading of "Mulieris Dignitatem" in which John Paul II outlined the anthropological and theological roots of the truth of the human person -- man and woman.

The cardinal recalled how the papal text uses the story of creation in Genesis as the foundation for the teaching on the human person. It notes that God is the creator of the person, and man and woman's creation is "the culmination of the creation that God saw was good," the cardinal stated.

"The human species, that has its origin in the calling into existence of the man and the woman, crowns the entire work of creation. Both are human beings in the same level," he continued. The biblical description also "speaks of God's institution of matrimony, in the beginning of the creation of man and woman, as an indispensable condition for the transmission of life. [...] It is about a reciprocal relationship, of man with the woman and of woman with the man."

Because of all of this "man-being" and "woman-being" are realities "desired by God" "in their equality and in their differences, both the one and the other have a common dignity," Cardinal CaƱizares affirmed.

"The human being becomes the result of the desire of choice," the cardinal said. "Regardless of the physical sex," the person -- whether man or woman -- "can choose his or her gender" and later on, modify the choice if so desired, taking on homosexual, heterosexual, transsexual or other lifestyles.

The 62-year-old cardinal warned that the "social and cultural change that this phenomenon implies has far reaching effects" given that for this ideology "nature doesn't exist, the truth of man doesn't exist, only unlimited freedom." Read all …

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tolkien (1968) and Tolkien (2007)

Battle for Oxford

They know the dreamers in the dreaming spires of Oxford won’t put up a fight. [h/t: Dhimmi Watch]

Sacrificial Preparation, Violence, & Virtue

Professor Barry Rubin makes an interesting observation at Global Politician in his piece, "Take Me to Your Leader."
The day of giants—though some of them were ogres—is certainly over among Middle East leaders. In fact, what is most remarkable fact is how unremarkable the current rulers are. There is both good and bad in this situation, since while there is no one capable of turning around a whole country Samson-like that also means there is no one likely to pull down the temple and crush everyone underneath. That is, with one possible exception we will discuss shortly.

The job description is as follows: Wanted: A strong charismatic nationalist figure to guide the Arabic-speaking world toward modernization along with stability, an acceptable peace with Israel, good relations with the West, and solidarity against threats from both non-Arab Iran and radical Islamists.

Of course, there is a mirror-image role that could also be filled: A strong charismatic nationalist figure to mobilize the Arabic-speaking world for battle with Israel , confrontation with the West, and solidarity against threats from both non-Arab Iran and radical Islamists. Read all …
What I find of interest about this leader-lessness is this: it may substantiate the notion that the Islamic culture is in a sacrificial preparation stage. The rivalry among potential leaders is so multivalent that internal mediators rise and fall in and out of power at a rate that makes it impossible for any one to gain sufficient prestige to maintain power to unite the whole. Even as significant a scapegoat as "the Great Satan" cannot accomplish it.

If this is so, it does not lead to the hope that Islam is facing a demise of any kind. Rather, it may be an indication of an increasing number of ad hoc "priests" (anthropologically speaking) who are quite willing to succumb to Sudden Jihad Syndrome, as Daniel Pipes has coined the apt phrase, from heretofore seeming respectable positions in western society. The frenzy of sacrificial preparation is not a pretty experience in which to be caught.

Again, my recommendation remains vigilance, practice of the virtues including that of chivalry, and what Jack Wheeler says: Not give a damn about their envy!

This is short-hand for giving our best effort NOT to become embroiled in a mimetic doubling rivalry with jihadists. A state of scandal will not help disciples to be faithful if the sacrificial crisis peaks in its apotheosis of frenzy and violence (besides - it makes your trigger finger shaky). We must remain in a state of Grace to be of any help to those around us.

God continue to bless us in preserving the very best of the remains of Christendom in and through the sacramental power and grace of the Catholic Church.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bless Your Family

I like it - Sacramentals are a growing edge for me:

Dhimmitude 101

Evan Williams takes the viewer into the intolerable realm of Christianity in Egypt. [h/t: The Iconoclast]
Part One.
Part Two.
Part Three.

The Macabre Paganism of "Bodies" Exhibit

Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Peter Bronson digs up (sorry) a few creepy facts about the "Bodies - The Exhibition" that is making its deadly excursion around the United States. Recall that Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk stated that it the macabre exhibit was inappropriate for Catholic schools to consider for "field trips" saying the church maintains that dead bodies must be treated "in a way that recognizes the dignity of the human person."

I can understand how some see beauty in "Bodies." But I saw macabre manikins dressed in death's latest fashions. I don't condemn people who like it. But people who object don't need to apologize, either.

The people who should be ashamed are those who don't care where the bodies came from.

"When I see pictures of the exhibit, I feel something," said Morris Tsai, a Chinese-American of Mount Auburn, who protested at the Museum Center. "Maybe it's in the eyes or facial structure, but I can totally see that they're Chinese and I feel sorry for them. For we have taken advantage of the fact that since they died poor and alone, that somehow consent isn't necessary to turn a human being into a museum piece."

He wonders how Americans would feel if the bodies were unclaimed victims of Katrina. The answer is obvious: There would be hell to pay.

"Allowing Chinese to be put on display diminishes me and others like me," Tsai said.

I'd say parading dead bodies for profit diminishes everybody.

Read all of Bronson's story here.

Friends, Lovers, & Spouses

Al Salibiyyah (Arabic for "Crusade") features a Valentine of a story from Kuwait City:
Valentine's Day is just three days away, but one Muslim politician is heading up a committee to make sure it goes completely ignored.

Kuwaiti MP Waleed Al-Tabtabae, head of the National Assembly’s Committee Monitoring Negative Alien Practices, will chair his group Wednesday to discuss ways to repress all public displays recognizing the international day of love.

“We want to discuss measures that should be taken by these ministries to prevent such alien events from impacting Kuwaiti society and spreading corruption among the Kuwaiti youth,” Al-Tabtabae told reporters Monday.

Committee member Islamist MP Jamaan Al-Harbash said many Islamic countries ban Valentine's Day celebrations because the holiday “spreads moral corruption.”
Gil Bailie is wont to note that only in Christian lands do couples walk hand-in-hand. And for a very good reason, it seems to me. The Catholic faith teaches that a ramification of Original Sin is the subjugation of women and the domination of men over them. With conversion and through God's grace in the waters of our Baptism, the stain of Original Sin is cleansed away. Probably the clearest reflection of Trinitarian charity [hesed; agape] is seen in the love of husband and wife who are in lifelong covenantal and sacramental marriage with one another.

Pity the poor denizens of cultures whose only image for their deity is master to whom they are slaves. What else shall they be to their wives?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Archbishop in a Bubble

I don't agree with Pat Condell about everything by a long shot, but on this I can say I do agree with him about England's "Archbishop in a Bubble."

Religion, Envy (Desire), & the Evil Eye

Jack Wheeler, one of the architects of Reagan's work against the Soviet Union, speaks about islamization of Europe, traditional religions, and the "evil eye" of he calls religions of envy. An astoundingly good "non-Girardian Girardian" analysis on how to deal with doubling rivalry on a global scale. Listen with your Christocentric anthropology antennae tuned in! [h/t: Brussels Journal]

Conversion of England - Update

An update on Fr Aiden Nichols' project to convert England. Fr Richard Neuhaus writes in FIRST THINGS the following:

Father John Christopher Aidan Nichols, O.P., is a figure to be reckoned with. Aidan Nichols, as he signs himself, has written extensively and authoritatively on the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar and has also authored the very useful volume The Theology of Joseph Ratzinger. He has collaborated on several projects with Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and is currently the first John Paul II Memorial Lecturer at Oxford University, the first lectureship in Catholic theology at Oxford since the sixteenth century.

In view of Nichols’ theological and ecumenical stature, it is rightly thought to be newsworthy when he brings out a little book titled Realm: An Unfashionable Essay on the Conversion of England. His proposal will, as you might expect, be receiving careful attention in the pages of First Things. The conversion of England is, of course, a topic with a long and troubled history. Some prefer to speak of the reconversion of England. As Eamon Duffy demonstrated in his marvelous study The Stripping of the Altars, the English were once a very Catholic people.

From a Catholic perspective, the Church of England is a schismatic form of the Church in England that should be restored to full communion with the bishop of Rome and those in communion with the bishop of Rome. In this ecumenical age, to be sure, this is not usually stated so bluntly. Father Nichols’ candid reopening of these questions is, as he says, unfashionable.

To say that the history of these questions is troubled is an understatement. Remember the Spanish Armada, the English martyrs of the sixteenth century (Thomas More, Edmund Campion, John Fisher, et al.), Bloody Mary, the Gunpowder Plot, and on and on. The identity and, at times, the very survival of England has been viewed as inseparable from the established church with the monarch as its supreme head. When in the nineteenth century Rome reinstated the Catholic hierarchy, first under the leadership of Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman and then under the former Anglican, Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, many Englishmen saw it as a direct assault upon the religious, cultural, and political definition of the nation.

Read all …

Daring Conqueror Still Trying

Modernism was born of the false belief that a bridge may lie between the conceptions of Catholicism and those of unbelief; unable to build on theological ground, it sought another: this is the ground of art and literature. On it modernism has pitched its tent, and on it, doubtlessly, modernism will show itself to be a most daring conqueror. And the reason for this is very simple: artists and poets know no other master than their hearts and imaginations. And besides, we live in times when art and literature are granted a credit and an authority that is almost dogmatic... Modern literature, it is evident, is not Christian. In the novel and the short story, an unrestrained subjectivism rules, that cherishes the fantastic dream of a new religion for future men.

- Gaspard Decurtins, 1911 or earlier [h/t: Daniel Mitsui]

Cantalamessa on Demons

Saint Wolfgang and the Devil - Michael Pacher

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap, reminds us of the reality of the demonic in his commentary on the first Sunday of Lent.

Many intellectuals do not believe in demons in the first sense. But it must be noted that many great writers, such as Goethe and Dostoyevsky, took Satan's existence very seriously. Baudelaire, who was certainly no angel, said that "the demon's greatest trick is to make people believe that he does not exist." (And, yes, Girard says his second greatest trick is making people believe that he does exist, but that will be explained elsewhere.)

The principal proof of the existence of demons in the Gospels is not the numerous healings of possessed people, since ancient beliefs about the origins of certain maladies may have had some influence on the interpretation of these happenings. The proof is Jesus' temptation by the demon in the desert. The many saints who in their lives battled against the prince of darkness are also proof. They are not like "Don Quixote," tilting at windmills. On the contrary, they were very down-to-earth, psychologically healthy people.

If many people find belief in demons absurd, it is because they take their beliefs from books, they pass their lives in libraries and at desks; but demons are not interested in books, they are interested in persons, especially, and precisely, saints.

How could a person know anything about Satan if he has never encountered the reality of Satan, but only the idea of Satan in cultural, religious and ethnological traditions? They treat this question with great certainty and a feeling of superiority, doing away with it all as so much "medieval obscurantism." Real all ...