Friday, March 28, 2008

Scruton - The West is an Open Book

A superlative essay by Roger Scruton at Catholic Education Resource Center:

Multiculturalists argue that our curriculum has focused on the works of “dead white European males”, with the tacit or conscious intention of excluding the achievements of people regarded, on account of their race, sex, culture or locality, as “other”.

The thesis, argued with exemplary carelessness by Edward Said in his bestselling book Orientalism, has had an impact not only in European and American academies but also on intellectuals in those incendiary areas like the Middle East where grievances against the “West” gain an easy hearing.

To someone educated in Britain during the postwar period, at a time when the old curriculum was assumed as the norm, the thesis is not only astonishing but also a vivid testimony to our cultural decline. Like others of my generation I was brought up on the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament, on the Thousand and One Nights, Kim and The Last of the Mohicans; at school I was taught to love Virgil’s Aeneid and Homer’s Iliad; I was encouraged by my teachers to read Confucius in Pound’s translation and the Vedas in the edition by Max Müller, and I encountered through LP records and the concert hall amazing vistas of other worlds, from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Britten’s The Prince of the Pagodas, to Ravi Shankar playing evening ragas to packed halls of the young.

It is a remarkable fact that fewer books have been translated into Arabic over the past 1,000 years than are translated in Spain in any one year, while the works of the poet Hafiz, imitated by Goethe, evoked in music by Szymanowski and known in translation by most of my friends at school, are available in his native Iran only in bowdlerised editions. Continue reading ...

Code of Conduct - Medieval Warfare

This is one in a series on the Middle Ages that seeks to clear up misconceptions about the topic. They are brief, informative, and enjoyable.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Prince Caspian - C. S. Lewis

Avoidance of Truth Won't Help Things

In my opinion, the people of the West who justify the collective myths, rituals, and prohibitions of the Scimitar fall into two -- okay, three categories: (a) those who simply want Judaism and the Christian faith to "take a hit" by any and all possible means; and (b) those who don't give a fig for religious truth claims, but maintain the multicultural high ground stance of a "level playing field for all." The former are usually undeclared neo-pagans captured by the primitive Sacred and in need of a victim; namely, Jews and the Church. The latter folk (b) are those still high on the fumes of the 60's -- that is, also neo-pagans who haven't a clue as to what is happening. I will speak to a third group (c) who want truth about Islam squelched below.

The Scimitar itself is a rather conventional expression of the primitive Sacred. However, it is the religion of many oil-rich countries, our dhimmi lords. Many Catholics and many of other Christian bodies in the tattered and ragged West (so infused with the recrudescence of the pagan with its abortion mills of Moloch churning away) are beginning to realize the threat of Islam, but can only thematize it in ways the Mainstream Media, being members of (a) and (b) above, find intolerable so reject what they have to say outright.

Fortunately, the Spirit of the biblical faiths is not without witness. For example, Ironic Surrealism II asks:
What if everyone, each and every human being in the world who was offended at one thing or the other, reacted as violently as Muslims do upon being offended? There would be daily chaos on a global scale 24/7.
Atlas Shrugs rejoices that Geert Wilder's FITNA is up and running.

The third group are (c) those who justify the actions of ritual violence by the Scimitar out of blinding fear. Their misplaced hope is that by placating the dread-inducing practitioners of Islam, these ad-hoc priests of the Sacred will "live and let live." This group has not read enough either, again, hoping that bliss is found in their ignorance. These ostriches hide their heads in the sands of the good wishes of their Islamic overlords.

The only, I repeat, the ONLY solution is speaking the truth, living with chivalry and fortitude, and knowing "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" [Jn 14,06] - Jesus Christ the Lord in and through his Catholic Church and her sacraments of grace. Go -- GO -- to Mass; read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and anything by Girard; keep your wits about you and your dogs loose. Assume nothing, and pay attention to Doc’s Scimitar Fact(oids) in relation to your country and its Islamic demographics.

Poetry in Motion

The film is a bit burned out, but just wait till you see it in Heaven. It just wouldn't be the same with Powell in a burqa and Astair's scimitar banging around his legs. Would it? [h/t: Maggie's Farm]

The point is, you won't see such whimsy in a sad, legalistic culture that is wholly a negative imitation of a grander, magnificent meta-narrative called Christendom. The Scimitar is too busy trying to bring down that despicable rival that believes the joyful revelation:
"This one, at last!, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh..."

Better Read Some Girard

So much for the myth of “peaceful” Tibetans.

Iconoclasm Redux

If it isn't the neo-pagans, it's the Scimitar having "righteous" fun and destroying our statuary:
The grotto, which was dedicated to veterans of World War II and is closed for renovation celebrating the parish's centennial, is in the front of the church, Nunn said. Worshippers are using a parish hall in the rear.

After the vandalism, All Saints pastor Monsignor Adam McClosky had the Lourdes statue stored to await a costly restoration, Nunn said. It was replaced with a 3-foot-tall statue of the Lady of Guadalupe.

During the Easter sunrise Mass at 6:30 a.m., the Guadalupe statue was placed on its head and streaked with black paint, Nunn said.

In the Easter incident, a slur was spray-painted on a wall that is part of a handicap ramp.

"Don't let them worship idols," was painted in black. In red were painted the words, "You are warned."

Nunn said Catholics believe there is a heaven that is peopled with Mary and known saints. Catholics often pray to saints to intercede with Jesus on their behalf.

"We don't worship idols at all," said Nunn. "It is like a picture of your mother.

Pity THIS Child

Department of Alchemical Gnosticism -- read "Trains that despise the Natural Law and relish the freedom of getting off the rails and into deep sandy morass": [h/t: New Oxford Review]

Transsexual man is pregnant with baby girl -
Resorted to home insemination with donor's sperm.

Children in an Age of Terror

Dr. Carol Lieberman at Family Security Matters offers excerpts from her upcoming book, American Dreams Interrupted - How to Stay Sane and Safe in a Time of Terror. I find it helpful for those of us concerned about chivalry and legitimate defense.

While yet in their cribs, children begin a lifetime addiction to media violence: escalating from cartoons and action toys to movies, music and videogames. Research has concluded that the more media violence a child consumes, the more aggressive and desensitized to violence he becomes. He also tends to see the world as a meaner and scarier place (even more of a liability, now that terrorism has made the world a genuinely meaner and scarier place).

Thousands of children are on swelling child protective registers. Most have been abused by neglect, followed by physical, emotional and sexual abuse. More girls than boys are targeted for sexual abuse, while boys are more often victims in the other categories. The saddest part is that, erroneously, these children blame themselves for somehow causing the abuse and neglect, by not being lovable enough.

Consequently, even before the explosions of 9/11, the bloom was already off the rose of childhood. Our progeny have had to struggle with thornier issues than their ancestors ever imagined. These troubles had already begun taking their toll, manifested as truancy, stress-related medical conditions, shoplifting, anxiety, depression, learning and attention deficit disorders, conduct disorders, alcohol and drug experimentation and myriad other problems. Running in front of a car, eating poisonous berries or drinking household products are no longer seen as “accidents” but are recognized for the conscious or unconscious suicide attempts that they actually are.

The main causes of mortality for children aged one to fifteen are: accidents, cancers, undetermined injuries (including suicide, homicide and mental disorders), nervous system and sense organ disorders and congenital abnormalities (birth defects).

Like most parents, you love your children and probably find these reflections hit too close to home. You want your sons and daughters to have a bigger, better life than yours, with more success, self-worth and security. Already feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of putting food on the table and smiles on their faces, you’ve been grappling to get by, while barely keeping guilt at bay. Now terrorism is on the scene, as never before, and the precarious juggling act called today’s family is tottering. As plates go flying, metaphorically and literally, children are at risk of being hurt.
Read all …

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jesus’ Resurrection is “Certain Proof” of His Teachings

.- Over 30,000 people swelled St. Peter’s Square today to take part in the weekly general audience with Pope Benedict, who arrived by helicopter from his Castelgandolfo residence. The Holy Father’s dedicated his discourse to the period of Easter, and more specifically, to the fact that Jesus’ resurrection is “'certain proof' ... that what He says is true".

"The entire liturgy of the Easter period proclaims the certainty and joy of Christ's resurrection", the Pope began. This is "the central truth of Christian faith in all its doctrinal richness and its inexhaustible vitality".

Christ's Easter, he went on, "is also our Easter because in the risen Christ we are given the certainty of our final resurrection. ... The death of the Lord shows the immense love with which He loved us, even to the point of sacrificing Himself for us. But only His resurrection is 'certain proof' ... that what He says is true". Read all …

Spring in Washington - On the Mall

Fitzgerald - How A Society Destroys Itself

A new exhibit in Gaza portrays the Jewish state burning Palestinian children in ovens. --from this news article

They have, they are, they apparently will be, destroying themselves. They will make themselves unfit for any coexistence with the Israelis, who can hardly be expected to trust those raised on this steady diet of unremitting hate, and they will be unfit, really, for living near any Infidels and must under no conditions, in any numbers, be admitted any longer to any parts of North America or Western Europe. That would merely be to endanger Infidels here, beginning with, but hardly ending with, Jews.

They are turning themselves, little by little, into monsters of hate.

Take a look again at those pictures of crowds of "Palestinian" men and boys (not a woman in sight), gawking at a burned-out automobile, or raising their hands and shouting in hysterical hate-filled unison, at some funeral or some rally, or some funeral-rally.

What is your reaction?
Read all of Hugh Fitzgerald’s article at the New English Review.

Broken Clock - Right Again

[h/t: Pam @ Atlas]

George Weigel

On ’the baptism’

Second Spring - New Men

From Carol Zaleski at Second Spring, “The Two Benedicts and the Renewal of Catholic Culture”: [h/t: Taki's]
Europe did not make Christianity, but Christianity did make Europe, and thereby gave us Dante, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Chartres, Giotto, Michelangelo, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Kant, Newton, and Galileo. Christianity was the matrix of natural science, of the first genuine democracies, of the novel idea of universal human rights and universal human dignity, and of a galaxy of humane institutions – hospitals, hospices, hostelleries, schools, public libraries,sanctuaries,shelters and sodalities –unparalleled in human history. Yet by a curious alienation from its own roots, Europe is evolving a society and culture that, in Cardinal Ratzinger’s words “constitutes the absolutely most radical contradiction not only of Christianity, but of the religious and moral traditions of humanity,” including Judaism and Islam; that proclaims universal rights, but rejects universal reason; that champions individual freedom but violates the freedom of those most vulnerable. A strange miasma has settled over the West, causing us to forget our common stories, artistic traditions, and intellectual patrimony, our neighbours, our kin and ourselves – all because we have forgotten God, because we have trained ourselves to live “as if God did not exist”.

How to recover from this forgetfulness? Should we be devising ambitious programmes for re-Catholicization? What we need, Cardinal Ratzinger said, is not so much new programmes as new human beings. “Above all,” he told his monastic audience: “what we need at this moment in history are men who, through an illuminated and lived faith, render God credible in this world.... Only through men touched by God can God once again touch men. We need men like Benedict of Nursia, who at a time of dissipation and decadence, plunged into the most profound solitude, and after suffering many purifications, reemerged into the light and went on to found Montecassino, the city on the hill where, amid all the ruins, he gathered together the forces from which a new world was formed. In this way Benedict, like Abraham, became the father of many nations.
"What we need at this moment in history are men who, through an illuminated and lived faith, render God credible in this world.... Only through men touched by God can God once again touch men." -- Benedict XVI

Strategies of Faith

Various strategies that give a ragged and dissolute West "borders" are now beginning to emerge. The first was James Pinkerton's Shire Strategy, and, more recently, Timothy Furnish with his Resurrecting Christendom: A Blueprint (the 'Gondor Strategy'). Baron Bodissey does a fine job parsing the latter. But the real question, it seems to me, is what borders are they talking about? The time has come and gone for closing gates, limiting immigrants from Scimitar lands, patrolling the hinterlands. Dhimmitude in the guise of gasoline price gouging, aided and abetted by Detroit and Tokyo -- unless we attempt a REAL Shire Strategy of Amish ilk -- is the way we live and move and have our being. The Pentagon and federal government -- for all the flash, shock and awe -- are inextricably caught in a web of high technology alchemical Gnosticism that can't look backward or downward. Where is the realpolitik hope here?

The only direction hope and faith have ever come, and that is the Catholic Church. Bin Laden knows this; that is why he targeted the Pope as the victim of highest importance to the West (like Nietzsche, Bin Laden knows, but rejects truth that shines the light on Islam's true nature).

+ + +

The time for a cohesive, collaborative, and unifying "strategy" is not here and now, though its necessity is great. Our leaders are hypocritically blind and obsequious worshipers of Mammon, as Chesterton, Belloc, and McNabb prophesied. Valor, honor, chivalry, and legitimate defense are the best we can hope for in these darkening days. God give us strength, fortitude, and all virtues we need to give witness, and the discernment to separate the absolutely essential from the merely necessary.

Secularism and the Scimitar

MercatorNet's Richard Bastien asks and looks into a fascinating question, Are secularism and Islam cousins?

Demographic Deluge - UK

The Telegraph (UK) reports that Muslims 'to outnumber traditional churchgoers' by 2020. For those who want an inkling of what this may mean, recall ”Doc” Morris’s demographic taxonomy of Islamic social behaviors.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Personal Field Trip

Daniel in the Lions' Den [1614/1616] - Sir Peter Paul Rubens

The Mill [1645/1648] - Rembrandt van Rijn

The Lute Player [1612/1620] - Orazio Genbtileschi

Ginevra de' Benci [1474/1478] - Leonardo da Vinci

GKC - Put Not Your Trust

IN THE HEART OF Christendom, in the head of the Church, in the centre of the civilisation called Catholic, there and in no movement and in no future, is found that crystallisation of commonsense and true traditions and rational reforms, for which the modern man mistakenly looked to the whole trend of the modern age. From this will come the reminders that mercy is being neglected or memory cast away, and not from the men who happen to make the next batch of rulers on this restless and distracted earth.
- G. K. Chesterton, The Well and the Shadows

BATB on Christopher Dawson

Cat at Brits at Their Best posts on the notable 20th century historian, Christopher Dawson:
Dawson notes that the study of religion and Western culture is so enormous and so specialized a field that many scholars are trapped on small islands of knowledge. A commentator such as Hitchens wanders through this huge, rich field in self-imposed darkness, refusing to switch on his flashlight.
I enjoy this blog a great deal and highly recommend it for fellow admiring anglophiles across the big pond.

To End 'Islamophobia'

Robert Spencer suggests the following points to follow to end "Islamophobia". He says:
Here is a five-point plan that Muslims could adopt to eradicate it instantaneously:

1. Focus indignation on Muslims committing violent acts in the name of Islam, not on non-Muslims reporting on those acts.

2. Renounce definitively not just “terrorism,” but any intention to replace the U.S. Constitution (or the constitutions of any non-Muslim state) with Islamic Sharia law even by peaceful means.

3. Teach Muslims the imperative of coexisting peacefully as equals with non-Muslims on an indefinite basis.

4. Begin comprehensive international programs in mosques all over the world to teach against the ideas of violent jihad and Islamic supremacism.

5. Actively work with Western law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend jihadists within Western Muslim communities.

Do those things, and “Islamophobia” will vanish.

His entire article is A Muslim Battle Plan Against Free Speech. [h/t: Infidel Bloggers Alliance]

McKie - Why I'm a Christian

Andrew McKie, another fine writer at the Telegraph besides Damien Thompson, concludes his three part series entitled, Why I am a Christian. He includes links to the first two posts in the series, and all are worth perusing.

Her Eminence

Okay, so. Episcopal bishops (I know it's redundant) can go to a worship service wearing lederhosen and an oven mitt? [h/t: Chris Johnson @ The MCJ - READ IT ALL!]

BXVI's Mustard Seed Strategy

More from Spengler at Asia Times: ”I have a mustard seed, and I’m not afraid to use it.” I like this guy, Spengler. [h/t: Mark Shea]

And He Quotes Tolkien

Spengler at The Asia Times on the way Obama’s women lift the veil.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Chivalry is Decidedly Not Dead

Just a reminder: If you are looking for a noble and faithful way to join in chivalric prayer, meditation, and action in devotion to Our Lord and his good Lady, consider Corpus Christianum.

Our Lady - Shelter of the Word

Mary, crowned with living light,
Temple of the Lord,
Place of peace and holiness,
Shelter of the Word.

Mystery of sinless life
In our fallen race
Free from shadow, you reflect
Plenitude of grace.

Virgin-Mother of our God,
Lift us when we fall,
Who were named upon the Cross
Mother of us all.

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Heaven sings your praise;
Mary magnifies your name
Through eternal days.

Music: Gossner's Choralbuch, Leipzig, 1882
Text: Stanbrook Abbey

Catholic Church - The Key

"A key is necessarily a thing with a pattern, so this was one having in some ways a rather elaborate pattern. When people complain of the (Catholic) religion being so early complicated with theology and things of the kind, they forget that the world had not only got into a hole, but had got into a whole maze of holes and corners ... If the faith had faced the world only with the platitudes about peace and simplicity some moralists would confine it to, it would not have had the faintest effect n that luxurious and labyrinthine lunatic asylum ... There was undoubtedly much about the key that seemed complex; indeed there was only one thing about it that was simple. It opened the door."
- G. K. Chesterton

Catholic Resistance

The Telegraph reports that the Roman Catholic Church has led the ethical opposition to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill in Britain, becoming a "serious irritant" to the Prime Minister. This is a superb example of "Catholic resistance" and calls for praise. [h/t: Creative Minority Report]

In a similar vein, it is good to see Mark Gordon posting again at Suicide of the West following his Lenten hiatus. Mark is hitting the ground in stride with a series, as Providence would have it, on Catholic Resistance.

Let's Play the Old Switcheroo

Hugh Fitzgerald performs a fascinating mental experiment: Reversing the roles of the Arabs and Israel.

MSM Wakes Up, Rolls Over

The BBC blinks and sees Mark Steyn fighting a dragon called Multicultural Canadian PC. Goes back to sleep.

Jihad Begot the Crusades

For those who don't have a lick of historical time-line sense -- sorry. For the historically challenged, Andrew G. Bostom clears the air with Jihad begot the Crusades. And recently he writes about clear indications that the administration still does not understand Islam.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Chesterton - Legitimate Defense

Dale Ahlquist at the Catholic Men's Quarterly discusses matters of chivalry and legitimate defense in Sometimes You Have to Fight: A Chesteronian Perspective.

For the Record - I'm with Fitz

Hugh Fitzgerald asks, How could anyone in his right mind not be on the side of Israel? However, I will continue to pray for the Christians who are persecuted in Iran, Iraq, and Israel.

Welcome Home, Brother

CNN reports a Prominent Muslim becomes Catholic on Easter. [H/t: New Advent]

Christus resurrexit

The Morning of the Resurrection [1882] - Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God's throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!


The whole bright world rejoices now, Hilariter, hilariter;
The birds do sing on every bough Alleluia, alleluia.

Then shout beneath the racing skies, Hilariter, hilariter;
To him who rose that we might rise, Alleluia, alleluia.

And all you living things make praise, Hilariter, hilariter;
He guideth you on all your ways, Alleluia, alleluia.

He, Father, son, and Holy Ghost - Hilariter, hilariter!
Our God most high, our joy and boast. Alleluia, alleluia!