Saturday, November 8, 2008


One will be hard put to find a defining reason for the successful candidacy run of President-elect B. Obama that will subsume all other reasons: economic panic is the reason Charles Krauthammer gives; Pat Buchanan seconds this and adds the Republicans' inability to alter the perception that we are losing the America that we grew up in.

Let me add a voice, silenced now eighteen years (1990), that of one of my greatest mentors, Walker Percy. Percy, author and medical doctor, turned his forensic eye to the entity most troubling to modern persons and, therefore, the most disputed; namely, the self. A self-taught student of the Existentialists, Percy performed autopsies on the so-called autonomous self with acumen, writhing humor, and piercing insight in both his fiction and non-fiction. My favorite non-fiction book in his opus is Lost in the Cosmos, with Message in the Bottle a close second; neither has lost its timeless wisdom today.

Michael A. Mikolajczak, in a tidy essay on Percy's book cites a quotation by Christopher Lasch which, in my opinion, gives an essential reason for president-elect Obama's victory:
The contemporary climate is therapeutic, not religious. People today hunger not for personal salvation, let alone for the restoration of an earlier golden age, but for the feeling, that momentary illusion, of personal well-being, health, and psychic security. Even the radicalism of the sixties served, for many of those who embraced it, personal rather than political reasons, not as a substitute religion but as a form of therapy. Radical politics filled empty lives, provided a sense of meaning and purpose.

The jejune logic of this ethic is that if people can "relate to themselves," are "self-fulfilled," become "self-actualized," and "get in touch with their feelings," they will, perforce, be happy, kind, and loving. Deriving largely from Rousseau, this ethic rests on a whimsey that human beings are flower buds which, if only allowed to blossom, will delight all beholders and freshen all nostrils. But as Allan Bloom points out, Woody Allen has basically made his film career exploiting the foolishness of this ethic.
The "therapeutic self" sought and was given answers sufficient for the day by B. Obama. The Impoverished self, the Amnesic self, and the many other selves mentioned by W. Percy in Lost were shelved this go-round. Perhaps his supporters will find their candidate of choice will not serve them long as Therapist-in-chief. It's hardly the only concern we mortal selves have. Didn't you know? Just wait.


Spengler - Lesson Redux

The inestimable Spengler rides again.

Is it Now Finally Over?

Father Raymond J. de Souza quotes late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the great Democratic senator from New York, and makes an observation or two worth noting:

Is it now finally over? One hopes. But Americans invest a lot in their presidents, extending to them not only the dual roles of head of state and head of government, but also something like cultural emperor. Many commentators gushed about how a President Obama would change the face of America abroad. No doubt true, but it is peculiarly American to think that the president is the face of America. Canadians don’t regard Stephen Harper as the face of Canada, nor do the French think of Nicholas Sarkozy in that way, even if he might. Italians are hard-pressed to remember who is serving as prime minister; that ancient land does not regard her political leaders as definitive of the national character.

The words of the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the great Democratic senator from New York, kept returning to me this long political season: “The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”

[ ... ]

Well, no. America has a new president. That’s important. But more important still is the American founding inspiration — often forgotten these past years — that politics does not a nation, or culture, make.
Read more …

Friday, November 7, 2008

There Is A Season

Our Lady Planting Seeds

Exilic, Monastic Questing

After the betrayal and annihilation of the Jedi (Episode III – Revenge of the Sith), Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda each enter a kind of exile, a kind of retreat.

This is not admittance of defeat or even a military retreat (tho' some would argue the point). Rather, it is a move much like that which Jesus makes when confronted by the hungry mob that brings Him the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8, 1-11). Obi-Wan and Yoda know the way the wind is blowing and duck, momentarily, out of its force. To try to match the power of the crowd is not only succumbing to mimesis' doubling rivalry; it can be catastrophic.

So, for the time the two Jedi remove themselves from the arena of satanic power. So did Saint Anthony, the founder of Christian monasticism, and other Desert Fathers. So do many still today.

What does a kind of exilic monasticism look like for the one devoted to Our Lord in Marian chivalry? I am convinced that the "meek shall inherit the earth" (Mtt 5,5), even the meek who from time to time must practice legitimate defense.

This will be an area of great concern here at Chronicles of Atlantis. I invite any reader to join in this prayerful Quest with me.

Moloch Worship Redux

Jill Stanek at WorldNetDaily writes,

This election may have prompted a turning point on the Catholic front. We had in Obama a pro-abortion presidential candidate set apart from Clinton or Kerry, who both expressed reticence about their abortion support – "safe, legal and rare," and all that.

Obama was confident, categorically supporting unfettered abortion for all nine months of pregnancy and beyond.

Catholic theologian Dr. Monica Miller thinks Obama's boldness shook U.S. bishops up.

"I've been waiting 35 years to see vigorous, uncompromising statements from the bishops on abortion," Monica told me. "With this election, we had a concerted, bold speaking out of almost 100 of 300 U.S. bishops. There have been several bishops' documents going back 20 years or more. These are decent documents, but they can be interpreted in such a way by Catholics who want to justify a vote for a pro-abortion candidate. These bishops' statements sought to close those loopholes. They were saying nothing outweighs the killing of innocent human life by abortion."

Yet almost half of all Catholics still voted for Obama, indicating edicts alone won't work. Only consistent church teaching that breaks through deadened consciences on the horror of abortion in conjunction with education on the godly confines of sexual behavior will do.

Face it. It is the Christian church's fault that legalized abortion in America – and now infanticide – exists... Read more …
The president-elect's "boldness" in supporting unfettered abortion for all nine months of pregnancy and beyond would be called Decisionism - a characteristic that flaunts guilt and shame in the face of Natural Law and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Old Testament prophets would call support for infanticide tantamount to child sacrifice; structurally, it is identical to Moloch worship.

Neo-paganism has a new and powerful advocate who is about to take the helm.

Would Kristallnact Be Ignored by MSM Today

Ruth King asks a most telling question: If Kristallnacht took place today, how would it be covered by the media?
I am always obsessed with these events. I ask myself: How would Kristallnacht be covered by the media today? Outrage? Perhaps, but the “root cause” theorists would soon bring up the murder of Rath, even though these events were already on course long before Grynspan’s fateful visit to the embassy. After all, the apologists for the murderous sprees now known as the “Intifada,” which have claimed the lives of thousands of innocent civilians, routinely blame it on the “occupation” by Israel rather than on the enduring blood lust known as Jihad.
And, what of the academies today? They should be bastions of liberal thought and the pursuit of justice and truth. Are they? Melanie Phillips has described England’s “descent into madness” as its academics boycott and viciously malign Israel. Here in America, American patriots and defenders of Israel are a shrinking and increasingly shirking minority as universities invite and lionize and give tenure to terrorists and their enablers and assorted crackpot “historians” who weave their bias into curriculum.

Mainline churches here and in England parrot the Arab line and promote divestment, the code word for economic sanctions against Israel. Even modern day blood libels such as the Al-Dura scandal are given a wide and credulous audience while Sharia law creeps silently but steadily into all society’s infrastructures.

And what about entertainment and the media? They continually spout moral equivalence between monsters and victims. Everyone has a legitimate “grievance” and the most fashionable “grievance” of all is that of Israel’s Arab enemies.
The mainline newspapers – even those in states like Great Britain, Holland and France – all directly threatened with Jihad, do not lessen their daily anti-Israel screeds.
Given the willful ignoring of certain facts by the MSM - with the promise to continue this ideological policy - I think Ms. King is right to harbor evil fantasies. Call them intuitions, more accurately.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How Satan Laughs

This is the simple fact of the matter, gruesome though it be. Those so inclined to be praying folk would do well to employ their efforts in that area, recalling that the biblical G*d is One of astonishing forbearance, mercy and steadfast love [hesed, agapn].

For those who believe this election was about racism, remember: abortion has killed more African-Americans than handguns, than war, than racist violence. And - again - who is the most pro-abortion president-elect in the history of the United States? Let that sink in.

If the New York Times and Washington Post had stated this clearly and forthrightly, maybe, just maybe, the Holy Spirit would have got through to the hearts of many Americans. Their silence on abortion realities was deafening - be it on their heads.

Child sacrifice was always the primary indicator of paganism. And even forbearing mercy has its limits.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Start of the Revolution

David Lean's Dr. Zhivago (1965)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Face to Face II

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"

They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

- Matthew 16, 13-15

'Change Made Me Feel Free!' - Train

Now this made me smile in real time. The number should be much, much higher, but it reflects a respect for the Magisterium and Natural Law among Catholics that show the Church does not believe a train is "freer" off its tracks. [ht: New Advent]

Tim Kelleher tells why.

A remnant always survives. Who will join me in Marian Chivalry – Pro Christo et Ecclesia!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve, Bella, and Grace

Watching for the first time the small and beautiful film Bella (2006), I became aware on this election eve that I cannot change anyone's theology, ideology, anthropology, or tautology.

It's all over except the shouting, so what shall come to pass shall come to pass. I am grateful for the grace that led me into the arms of Catholic truth and the Church's sacramental life. May others be so blessed also.

Our Lady, Founding Fathers, & Our Vote

The Prayer at Valley Forge - Arnold Friberg

Dan Lynch writes this at Catholic Exchange:

Our Founding Fathers wanted to “insure domestic tranquility” through the Constitution of the United States as the framework of our government. They did this by recognizing our God-given natural right to life in their Declaration of Independence. This was later protected against infringement by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. This right was protected for almost 200 years until the United States Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973.

When the right to life is violated by abortion, contraceptive abortifacients, in vitro fertilization, embryonic experimentation and infanticide, all other rights are at risk. If the mother can kill her unborn child, logically why can’t a child kill its mother by euthanasia? Failure to protect the paramount right to life may lead the United States to what Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI warned us about — totalitarianism and the dictatorship of relativism.

For true freedom and peace in the United States, we must protect the paramount right to life recognized by our Founding Fathers and follow the request of Our Lady of America for purity. She requested our purity and promised us peace and protection. The devotion to her is the only canonically approved devotion based upon apparitions in the United States. To no other country in the world has Our Lady identified herself as its Patroness as she did to the United States. She said, “I am the Immaculate One, Patroness of your land.”

Read more …

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Catholic is as Catholic Does

Purgatorial Work

I would go so far as to say that if there was no purgatory, then we would have to invent it, for who would dare say of himself that he was able to stand directly before God. And yet we don't want to be, to use an image from Scripture, 'a pot that turned out wrong,' that has to be thrown away; we want to be able to be put right. Purgatory basically means that God can put the pieces back together again. That he can cleanse us in such a way that we are able to be with him and can stand there in the fullness of life. Purgatory strips off from one person what is unbearable and from another the inability to bear certain things, so that in each of them a pure heart is revealed, and we can see that we all belong together in one enormous symphony of being.
- Pope Benedict XVI

Each generation has the duty to pray for those who have gone before, for they cannot pray now for themselves. However, as we pray for them, we may solicit and receive their prayers for us - a true boon and blessing.

How much our generation has need of their prayers! And how much we fail to pray for our blessed departed and solicit their prayers! They are now free of the space/time continuum in which we dwell, and biological matters do not hinder them in the foothills of heaven that we call purgatory. They who are there truly want to be there, for, as the Holy Father says (above), it is in purgatory that they are being made ready to join joy and revelry of the marriage banquet of the Lamb.

And who'd want to show up there in the rags of sin and wrath, I ask you?