Saturday, March 8, 2008

For the Renewal of Christendom

Mary, Help of Christians

Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, how sweet it is to come to your feet imploring your perpetual help. If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children, how can you, the most loving of all mothers forget me? Grant then to me, I implore you, your perpetual help in all my necessities, in every sorrow, and especially in all my temptations. I ask for your unceasing help for all who are now suffering. Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners. Grant through your intercessions many vocations to the religious life. Obtain for us, O Mary, Help of Christians, that having invoked you on earth we may love and eternally thank you in heaven. Amen.

From Prayers – Corpus Christianum

McCain for President

Pat Condell - Appeasing the Scimitar

God bless and keep Pat Condell long enough for him to have a Road to Damascus experience, because he knows the score on Europe and Islam, if not the score on Catholic truth:

Double Standards

Gays accused of Christian-bashing
Rev. Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission condemned a mock "Mass" performed by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of transvestites in San Diego, Calif., who dress up as nuns, Christian Newswire reported Friday.

"What would homosexuals say if Christians mocked homosexuality by dressing up like flamboyant homosexuals and gathered monthly to burn rainbow flags? The Christians would be accused of being hateful bigots. Yet, every month homosexuals gather for a drunken 'Mass' while dressed in drag as nuns. This is Christian bashing pure and simple, yet no one condemns it. You have to be willfully ignorant to miss the double standard."

On Jan. 28 the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence sent out a press advisory promoting "Sisters Saturday Night Mass." According to their release, the group will present a "Leather Mass" March 8. "Come dressed in your most 'SINFULL' Leather Fetish Wear. We have hot music... lots of irreverent Sister fun on stage, and just when you're pumped up from dancing, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will present our Confessional Contest, with prizes for the 'Hottest' confession!" the release said.

"Ironically, the homosexual community says they want the church to affirm their sexual behavior and then say nothing when Christ and Christianity are desecrated," said Cass.

Canine Chivalry

Cat at Brits at Their Best gives what I believe is the best definition of chivalry in A Friend in need.

Over a 10-Minute Film

Do you wonder what's the deal with Geert Wilders, his film on the Koran, and the Netherlands opposition to his showing it? Here is an opportunity to discern for yourself.

First, read Wilders’ statement to the Parliament of which he is a member.

Next, read, for example, what foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen says.

It is a ten-minute film. The overarching fear is that riots and pitched street battles between police and Presbyterians will result. Or, rather ...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Mitsui - Permanent Scars

From Daniel Mitsui at The Lion & the Cardinal, a beautiful and powerful Lenten essay entitled, Permanent Scars. (Strong recommendation)

Corpus Christianum

"The Catholic Church is by far the largest, the most widespread, and the most ancient of Christian communions in the world, and is moreover the mighty trunk from which the other communions claiming to be Christian have broken off at one time or another. If, then, we limit the application of the term Christendom to this, its most authentic expression, the unity of Christendom is not a lost ideal to be recovered, but a stupendous reality which has always been in stable possession. For not only has this Catholic Church ever taught that unity is an essential note of the true Church of Christ, but throughout her long history she has been, to the amazement of the world, distinguished by the most conspicuous unity of faith and government..."
- The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV

"Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world!"
- Pope Pius IX
From the homepage of Corpus Christianum, which states the following:
Corpus Christianum is an international Private Association of the Faithful, open both to men and women, dedicated to praying for a renewal of Christendom.

Guided by a Catholic chivalrous spirit and Marian in character, Corpus Christianum members daily pray for the following key points:

* The renewal, unity, and spread of Christendom
* The Supreme Pontiff and all priests/religious
* The protection of Christians around the world
* The restoration of the family
* The conversion of sinners and the sanctification of all people

We are looking for courageous souls who are willing to take up the standard of Christ the King! We invite you to review the association's Statutes for more information about the organization and its obligations.

Farewell, Brittania

Hillary White reports:
LONDON, March 6, 2008 ( - Britain's MPs voted yesterday to deny the public a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Union's substitute for the Constitution that failed in 2005 after being defeated by Dutch and French plebiscites. The House of Commons vote, 311 to 248 - a majority of 63 - defeated a Conservative amendment that would have allowed the British public a say in whether the treaty would come into effect in the country. Commentators and activists fighting the issue have called the vote yesterday in the House of Commons the effective end of British sovereignty.

The Conservative opposition are planning to reintroduce their amendment in the House of Lords later this year. The Lords, however, have little power to defeat legislation.

The vote followed closely on the heels of ten local "mini-polls" held last week in Labour and Liberal Democrat constituencies that resulted in 88 per cent support for a referendum. In the 2005 election all three major parties promised a referendum on any attempt to revive the defeated Euro-Constitution.

The Lisbon Treaty will see the creation of a permanent EU president, foreign minister and diplomatic service that are not subject to scrutiny by Parliament or accountable to the electorate, and surrenders nearly 50 national vetoes to Brussels. The new EU president will be a full-time Brussels official, serving a two-and-half-year term and will be chosen by Europe's leaders. A Brussels-appointed foreign minister will be able to make foreign policy, binding upon member states, without a full British national veto.
Cat at Brits at Their Best has a good suggestion: "When the entire story is told by historians, future generations will be surprised that the Euro-fanatics who plotted to sell out British sovereignty and democracy avoided being sent to the Tower for treason."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bare, Ruined Choirs

The Ruins of Holyrood Chapel, Edinburgh, Effect of Moonlight [Oil on canvas, 1824] -- Louis Daguerre

That time of year thou may'st in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold;
Bare ruin'd choirs where late the sweet birds sang.

(Sonnet 73)

Swastika & Scimitar - Part 7

"It is possible to trace modern Islamic anti-Semitism back along a number of different historical and intellectual threads, but, no matter which one you choose, they all seem to pass, at one point or another, through the hands of one figure—Hitler’s mufti, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the viciously anti-Semitic grand mufti of Jerusalem and the leader of Muslim fundamentalists in Palestine, who resided in Berlin as a welcome guest of the Nazis throughout the years of the Holocaust."

Read all of "Hitler’s Mufti" (FIRST THINGS) by David G. Dalin. David G. Dalin is a professor of history and political science at Ave Maria University. This article is adapted from his book The Myth of Hitler’s Pope.

IED - Times Square

It could have been a scene out of Terry Gilliam's prescient film, Brazil (1985): Blast Damages Times Square Recruiting Station. The question is, was the Improvised Explosive Device - IED - planted by a foreign or domestic interest? Wahhabi Islamist or homegrown corn-fed?

When it comes to contagious violence, labels like the above are meaningless. Human beings are very permeable when it comes to mimesis. Violence creates its own justifying myths, as René Girard has taught us. And, sadly as Gilliam's movie predicted, it is probably just the beginning.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti - PRB

Dantis Amor [1859] - Tate Gallery, London

Head to Head

Real Clear Religion offers a useful examination, Jesus and Mohammad Compared.

Most Americans still haven't a clue as to why an increasing number of Cassandras are trying to get their attention about the realities of the Scimitar vs. the West. Sadly, it may not happen until a tipping point in demographics and dhimmitude has taken place.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Prime Opportunity for Conversion

Recently, young Iraqis expressed their feelings about clerics of Islam in their country this way:
“I hate Islam and all the clerics because they limit our freedom every day and their instruction became heavy over us,” said Sara, a high school student in Basra. “Most of the girls in my high school hate that Islamic people control the authority because they don’t deserve to be rulers.”

Atheer, a 19-year-old from a poor, heavily Shiite neighborhood in southern Baghdad, said: “The religion men are liars. Young people don’t believe them. Guys my age are not interested in religion anymore.”
As students of René Girard’s mimetic theory can attest, nothing in nature “abhors a vacuum” so much as religion, so these words must be heard as either an opportunity to conversion to authentic transcendence, or as a prelude to more of the same old same old: falling for yet another expression of the primitive Sacred with its concomitant false transcendence posited on scapegoating, religious dread, sacrificial violence, and so forth.

The expected gradient will be (a) the disaffected will throw themselves into secular Western neo-paganism; (b) they will become slowly horrified at its decadence and polytheism; (c) they will return penitently to Islam. It is an old story these past 50 years.

I can only attest to the reality of authentic conversion and the hope, promise, and fulfillment held in the Catholic Church’s adoration of the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And I pray for these disenchanted young Iraqis to find what I have found after a similar aridity and disillusionment.

William Dyce (1806-1864)

Titian's First Essay in Color [1856-57] Aberdeen Art Gallery

Scouring of the Shires

Cat at Brits at their Best relates the following:

For a thousand years the shires were the basis of local government and were answerable to local people. Sanitation and roads and lighting were handled locally; schools were locally organized. Everything was handled by local county people responsible to each other. If something went wrong, it was easy to see why, decide accountability and fix it. Sports clubs, businesses, societies, regiments, and farmers' unions were all based on the shires. They were and they are part of Britain's cultural inheritance.

No surprise, then, that the government has tried to destroy them, and take decision-making out of local hands and into its own centralizing talons. Tolkien was afraid of this. In a terrifying vision in the Lord of the Rings he called it the 'Scouring of the Shire'.

Efficiency and reasonable taxes, democracy and and freedom flourish when local government is run locally according to the principles of justice and equity. That is why we support the mission of the shires and their human scale. That is why we ask, are we going to be forever at the mercy of a national government that does not remember or respect the fundamental principles of freedom, local rule and competence?

Read all …

What's In Your Hotel Bedside Drawer?

Steve Ray asks what is the difference between what you will find in a hotel room drawer in Europe and in the United States. Can you spot the difference? And for how long, do you suppose?

Oprah Smackdown?

Chuck Norris (yes, that Chuck Norris) takes on Oprah in Oprah’s New Easter. The man quotes C. S. Lewis and says:
My battle is not with Oprah – she has her guru (Tolle), and I have mine (Jesus). The real war is between those who espouse to be bearers of the truth, like Tolle and Jesus. And the question is: With contradicting truths, will we believe a mere man or one who claimed to be so much more?
Who'da thunk it?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Tragedy of Mimesis

E. Weatherwax brings to the fore an astonishingly horrific and sad tale at New English Review's "The Iconoclast," Man beheads nephew, 1, in Saudi Arabia store.

First reported with all the dismay and shock it so richly deserves in the Arab News, my words are not one of finger-pointing and accusation of a world religion. Rather, I want to ask, "Where did this uncle get such an idea, to behead a toddler in the fruit and vegetable section of the supermarket? Did he wake up thinking, "If that kid or his mother annoy me today, that's it!"

With the slightest amount of awareness, people are capable of recognizing the indisputable fact of mimesis: the reality known by Aristotle and so magnificently expounded upon by René Girard in his "mimetic theory." We are capable of recognizing that the images and ideas that influence us are "caught" from others. The notions that we allow into our realm of conscious and unconscious being have power, heft, and, finally, take action almost without our willing them -- particularly if we believe them somehow to have sanction. Then such actions take on a sort of finality and destiny that leaves us feeling righteous before the divine authority we believe calls us to carry out these actions, peaceable or violent, gathering or scattering, destructive of others and/or ourselves.

This event of a murderous uncle's cleaving his nephew's head from his body if we follow the mimetic thread will lead, I surmise, to recent actions of similar decapitation in the realm of the Scimitar. I do not say this self-righteously as a Christian. After all, where did the once-popular public house name Saracen’s Head come from, do you suppose?

No; the world needs to understand the power of mimesis now as perhaps never before: Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh ... all need to learn. Come, Holy Spirit ...

UPDATE: This story, it is hoped, is evidence of the Holy Spirit at work today: Violence Leaves Young Iraqis Doubting Clerics

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Quest

Imagine There's No Israel

Lebanese researcher declares, A new Middle East without Israel will soon be a reality. What? Where would the mighty Scimitar be without its favorite scapegoat? Talk about up that proverbial creek without a paddle!

Satanic Music & The Dionysus Mandate

Meanwhile on the home front, Satanic black metal music points ignorant youth, young adults, and older adults who should know better not toward Mount Sinai, but up Mouth Cithaeron, the realm of Dionysus. In Northern Virginia, "Jaxx" -- a dive-concert venue in a strip mall -- offers such bands as Sweden's Dark Funeral.

In The Dionysus Mandate – A Fable of Desire & Death, I try to bring to life in narrative form the anthropological insights of René Girard regarding the recrudescence of the "primitive Sacred," as he calls it, in such efforts as the above. The lyrics are patently obvious about the final destination of such "entertainment" -- "The day you die is the day I smile."

Of utmost importance is to realize that Dionysus is not the cherubic god of wine and laughter handed to us in Disney-esque images from Fantasia. Rather, in the words of Wallace Gray, the dionysiac consisted of the following:
"The plague that struck Athens in the first years of the Peloponnesian War, the unnecessary butchery of both friends and enemies, and the total loss of self-control led many Athenians to return to the earlier and more primitive Dionysiac celebrations. The religion, complete with rituals of animal or human sacrifice, lasted well into the second century of the Christian era." [Homer to Joyce, 72]
This is what Euripides limned so clearly in The Bacchae: Dionysus, a young, wrathful, vengeful god who delights in his followers' blood sacrifices of animals and humans.

Such practitioners of black metal had best remember that the devil uses his followers as tools. And then he destroys them.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Arianism - Cosmoses in Conflict

Historian Hiliare Belloc's The Great Heresies (1938) should be required reading for all engaged in fighting for truth, goodness, and beauty. On the Arian heresy he writes:
Had this (Arian) movement for rejecting the full divinity of Our Lord gained the victory, all our civilization would have been other than what it has been from that day to this. We all know what happens when an attempt to simplify and rationalize the mysteries of the Faith succeeds in any society. (I wish.) We have before us the now ending experiment of the Reformation, and the aged but still very vigorous Mohammedan heresy, which may perhaps appear with renewed vigor in the future. (Do tell; a prophet's insight borne out with such ferocity today.) Such rationalistic efforts against the creed produce a gradual social degradation following on the loss of that direct link between human nature and God which is provided by the Incarnation. Human dignity is lessened. The authority of Our Lord is weakened. He appears more and more as a man -- perhaps a myth. The substance of Christian life is diluted. It wanes. What began as Unitarianism ends as Paganism. [27-28]
We will see that, as Belloc predicted, attacks on the Catholic faith would take one or all of five tacks taken by the "great heresies." Arianism's "Christian faith Lite" is plainly visible today as various Christianities drift further and further from the safety of Peter's Barque.

Mad World

Creative Minority Report on the Born Alive Infants Protection Act and the sole presidential candidate who opposes it. (WARNING: Brief graphic image of a voiceless victim.) Moloch worship, crowd contagion, a false prophet, and demographic winter never looked so bad.

Heart's Ease

A colleague of mine, decades younger than I and recent grad of Notre Dame University, said that she felt indescribably happy watching the Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland film, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). It seemed nearly incredible to me that one so young should get a rush from a great old movie like this; it nearly destroyed my faith as a curmudgeon that "young people are hopeless."

For me, I still must trek deep into the Himalayas to Shangri-La with Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt, H. B. Warner, Sam Jaffe, Thomas Mitchell, and Edward Everett Horton in Lost Horizon (1937).

Unlike Joseph Campbell's mythic treatment of an universal archetype of the hero's quest in The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), a pablum based on C. G. Jung's analytical psychology with Gnostic, pagan overtones, I far prefer to steer away from Eternal Return bunk of Nietzsche and European "mythomania". The Great Tradition of the Faith, given and safeguarded by Mother Church, can make far more sense of this heart's yearning and desire than can psycho-philosophical hokum (Compare Dante and DeLubac to, say, Jung or Nietzsche).

The yearning is to be fully in the Divine Presence of the Most Holy Trinity. Our heart's desire is the Beatific Vision, kneeling before the One who is more me than I am myself (to paraphrase Gabriel Marcel via Gil Bailie). But until then, we have in our heart and mind a pattern given to our race by the Second Person of the Trinity, a blessed template and glimpse of glory: the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, and Ascension. All heroes and heroism have their origin here. Robin Hood, Aragorn, High Llama, et al.

Our mortal dream is to be rescued and to abide in the realm of a just, merciful, eternal King. Lost Horizon and The Adventures of Robin Hood help keep this dream cognizant. The Catholic Church offers a foretaste of Heaven providentially, eucharistically, magisterially. She invites all -- all who have strayed and become scattered, all who have never heard the good news, all who previously stood on their pride or indifference -- to come. Enter the gates of the good King and healer, come into his Blessed Realm.

64% Say Mainstream Media Sux

Mea culpa for the low level of discourse, ahem. Little Green Footballs notes -- Survey Says: 64% Believe Mainstream Media Are Out of Touch. I would tweak that slightly and say, "64% are certain that traditional news and information organs are editorially inclined to give their "spin". Therefore, one must read between the lines at all times, and, if possible, gain access to what is really going on independently in order to see through philosophical paradigms and make an educated judgment for oneself." But that is a bit long for a headline, isn't it?

This is particularly vital during the election time kerfuffle and excitability, but essentially so when one realizes the extent to which papers like the New York Times and Washington Post, liberal progressive organs through and through, treat the masses like illiterate and wayward children who do not know what is "best", and so must be led kindly yet inexorably toward the newest expression of liberal fascism, a multicultural utopianism and pipe dream.

As friend Aramis would note, philosophy -- and I would add ratiocination and reason -- come replete with their sacrificial origins intact though covert. The a priori first principles of all paradigms are called into question by the Gospel (cf. Chapter 13 of Violence Unveiled). So, discerning truth in the media is a tricky business. Approach all such attempts with the following in one's kit: (1) prayer and humility; (2) the Catechism of the Catholic Church; and (3) a basic understanding of René Girard's mimetic theory. Any questions? Class dismissed.

Candidate Pushes for Sacrificial Meltdown

Senator Obama promises to use the presidency as a “bully pulpit” for homosexual activism, according to an open letter released on his campaign website. This is a predictable statement of intended behavior denoting the naïveté of Senator Obama when it comes to understanding the nature of a culture in social and psychological meltdown. It is similar to making a promise to throw more dry tinder on a conflagration already in progress. Sadly, many -- many -- will tearfully applaud this as progress.

Chronicles of Atlantis endorses John McCain for president.