Saturday, March 14, 2009

Leighton - PRB

Clytie (1890-92) - Frederic Lord Leighton

Shining Archetypal Example

What is it about the near-or-actual archetype of the stern, fierce Scimitar warrior (and his wife/servant counterpart, the prolifically fertile Scimitar mother with her many young offspring in tow) that seems the indomitable and inevitable master of the old, weary Christian West?

He hovers in the imagination of many Cassandras as surely as he marches with his fellows, the masters, on the streets of major cities of the dhimmis who provide an adequate breeding ground for demographic superiority and a blind eye to his hate speech and actions toward Jews and Christians, his elders.

It is the archetypal nature of this figure that I find upsetting. René Girard has exhibited sufficient evidence of the nature of the primitive sacred to show conclusively that those people not influenced by the Gospel are likely to have such unflappability. Whereas those who have heard the cock crow know their own culpability, question their innocence, and can be enervated by it.

Such is the dilemma of Ralph in Golding's Lord of the Flies and Shakespeare's Hamlet. Interestingly, veterans of the trenches in World War I, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, saw both the necessity of questioning one's fragile and dubious innocence and the absolute necessity of occasional legitimate defense.

But what is the reason for the strength, the psychological superiority, of the Scimitar figure? Why is this shining example, to use Lee Harris's phrase, without a masculine counterpart in the West? Is not Christ OUR "shining example?"

If so, then why are we enervated, degenerate (or un-generate) demographically, and quaking before an inferior "shining example" which leans so heavily on might, subjugation, and sacred violence?

Of course, the Old Testament prophets - Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah, Jeremiah - would talk to us about judgment: that our present lack of vision and coming exile are by-products of our breaking covenant, not keeping the Torah, being adulterous, murderous, idolatrous. If we cannot see our Shining Example, whose fault is it? God's or our's?

In Government We Trust

The I Won is continuing his inroads into replacing government as the ultimate security blanket. Why not? After sweeping up traditional Catholics into his fold in November's election, he believes he not only can but will lead the charge for a progressive (sic.) agenda that includes the abominations you have read about constantly in the first weeks of his presidency.

W. Bradford Wilcox at Mercatornet examines what this will mean for the United States as it follows the secularist path already taken by the Old World here.

Hitchcock's Fluff Criticism

Carl Olson at Ignatius Scoop addressing a tempest in a teapot; namely, a recent reprint of James Hitchcock's "Boozy Apologists" (Hilaire Belloc, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis) here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

We Don't Need No Catholic Bishops

On Gordon Peterson's Inside Washington this evening, regular panel member Colby King of the Washington Post blandly noted that the discussion regarding stem cell research (no mention of embryonic) needs to be calmed down. Why? Because there are bio-ethicists involved. So have no fear.

Krauthammer - O's Arrogance

Bush's nationally televised stem cell speech was the most morally serious address on medical ethics ever given by an American president. It was so scrupulous in presenting the best case for both his view and the contrary view that until the last few minutes, the listener had no idea where Bush would come out.

Obama's address was morally unserious in the extreme. It was populated, as his didactic discourses always are, with a forest of straw men. Such as his admonition that we must resist the "false choice between sound science and moral values." Yet, exactly 2 minutes and 12 seconds later he went on to declare that he would never open the door to the "use of cloning for human reproduction."

Does he not think that a cloned human would be of extraordinary scientific interest? And yet he banned it.

Is he so obtuse as not to see that he had just made a choice of ethics over science? Yet, unlike Bush, who painstakingly explained the balance of ethical and scientific goods he was trying to achieve, Obama did not even pretend to make the case why some practices are morally permissible and others not.

This is not just intellectual laziness. It is the moral arrogance of a man who continuously dismisses his critics as ideological while he is guided exclusively by pragmatism (in economics, social policy, foreign policy) and science in medical ethics. (Emphasis added)

Science has everything to say about what is possible. Science has nothing to say about what is permissible. Obama's pretense that he will "restore science to its rightful place" and make science, not ideology, dispositive in moral debates is yet more rhetorical sleight of hand -- this time to abdicate decision-making and color his own ideological preferences as authentically "scientific."

Dr. James Thomson, the pioneer of embryonic stem cells, said "if human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough." Obama clearly has not.

Read all of Krauthammer's op/ed here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rossetti - PRB

Before the Battle (1857-58) - Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Naw, Really

The NYT is reporting that some banks are returning bail-out monies, feeling the pinch of social engineering here.

While South Carolina's Governor Sanford tells whomever what to do with his bail-out money.

Connecticut Spearheader

Who is Thomas Gallagher and why does he hate the Church so much?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Light shines above this present darkness

Recent events have left nearly all Christians flabbergasted by the swiftness of "progressive" moves against life and its sole remaining on-the-books supporter, the Catholic Church. It is a move to remove and silence the voice of faith and morals, as Cardinal Pell recently noted, or, in the case of Connecticut lawmakers, an attempt (pulled for the moment) to cede ecclesial control afforded bishops and priests to the (almighty) powers of state government.

More omnipotently, the president has now co-opted the federal income taxes paid by the faithful to do the work of Moloch, one or two steps removed from the Freedom of Choice Act he arrogated to sign into law before Planned Parenthood. His agenda is clear - to "do away with culture wars," because they are "so 90's" (read: silence foes of the "progressive" agenda once and for all). To what end?

The proponents are sincere. I do not doubt their sincerity. Nor do I doubt their thinking, their logic, their determination, or their belief that they are doing it all for a good reason, even for the good of all people.

What I beg to differ on with President Obama and all who are supporting and working so hard to enact against faith and morals that are NOT "so 90's" - they are so 32 A.D. - is this: their presuppositions.

What we as people of faith in general and Catholics in particular presuppose is diametrically opposed to their presuppositions. And the difficulty is that neither of us can prove our a priori first principles through which we view the same world, same evidence, same data: they are faith statements, and ever shall be.

What we as followers of Jesus Christ say, however, is that the vast heft and glorious weight of wisdom and Tradition vouchsafed in the Magisterium of Mother Church far, far outshines and outweighs the puny, proud secular and humanist knowledge, news and information recently garnered by the advocates of "progress", utopian change, and modern-day Gnostic pipe dreams.

We're in for a huge battle. Our enemies think, naively and proudly, their recent ascension to stately power make them nearly invincible.

We know differently. And that is why we practice the virtues, pray constantly, teach our children, and trust in the perichoretic power of the Most Holy Trinity in and through the sacramental presence of the Catholic Church which Our Lord promised would prevail against all attacks till He comes again.

Regensburg Speech - Positive Results

In an interview with ZENIT, author of 111 Questions on Islam, Father Samir Khalil Samir, S.J., says I don't fear Muslims. Knowing their faith and knowing the Gospel, the Gospel cannot fear the Koran.

Cobbe Portrait

What did the Bard of Avon really look like? Recent studies say if you want to know, look to the Cobbe oil painting.

Kutuzov Strategy

Faced with an apparent indomitable French army, Prince Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov, general of the Russian forces, withdrew his men as the French marched on and overtook Moscow.

The French under Bonaparte found an evacuated Moscow, a hollow victory, and, eventually, retreated, during which Kutuzov's forces nipped at their dispirited heels.

Is there a parable here for today? Oh, and, do the Amish pay taxes?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Woe Bamanation

AP story published in the heartland: Elkhart, IN. Thank God my hometown rag got it right.

Now we are as taxpayers conspirators in an Obamanation - or perhaps with its concomitant consequential judgment Woe-bamanation.

I will give an ever-so slight benefit of a doubt: perhaps he is functioning with bad information and political handlers who see a post-ethical nation (read: he has a deft ability to see the way the crowd is headed, jumped out in front, and got elected its leader).

Hitler did it too. And we'll get what we deserve as a nation also.

A Name that will never be silenced

At the name of Jesus
Every knee shall bow,
Every tongue confess him
King of glory now:
'Tis the Father's pleasure
We should call him Lord,
Who from the beginning
Was the mighty Word.

At his voice creation
Sprang at once to sight,
All the angels faces
All the hosts of light,
Thrones and Dominations,
Stars upon their way,
All the heavenly orders,
In their great array.

Humbled for a season,
To receive a name
From the lips of sinners
Unto whom he came,
Faithfully he bore it
Spotless to the last,
Brought it back victorious,
When from death he passed:

Bore it up triumphant
With its human light,
Through all ranks of creatures,
To the central height,
To the throne of Godhead,
To the Father's breast;
Filled it with the glory
Of that perfect rest.

Name him, brothers, name him,
With love as strong as death,
But with awe and wonder
And with bated breath:
He is God the Saviour,
He is Christ the Lord,
Ever to be worshipped,
Trusted, and adored.

In your hearts enthrone him;
There let him subdue
All that is not holy,
All that is not true:
Crown him as your captain
In temptation's hour;
Let his will enfold you
In its light and power.

Brothers, this Lord Jesus
Shall return again,
With his Father's glory,
With his angel train;
For all wreaths of empire
Meet upon his brow,
And our hearts confess him
King of glory now.

Institutions of Higher Burial

Global Politician's Amil Imani reports on the delightful practice of the Scimitar in Turning Islamic Universities into Graveyards.
Amir Kabir Newsletter reported ... the situation in the university is horrible. While protesting students at the university are being beaten up and wounded, the coffins of the so-called nameless martyrs have been placed in a corner, left in a disgusting fashion along the graves while clerics are singing mourning hymns.

"By burying the bodies of the martyrs on university campuses, they can destroy every freedom seeking movement under the claim that the blood of the martyrs is being disregarded and trampled upon," says a University of Tehran's student activist.

Surely, the Islamic state and its anti-Iranian forces have once again brought death into universities with the intent of suffocating discontent and strangling freedom of speech and thought. However, the Iranian student movement might come alive again from such brainless actions as that carried out this morning by the Islamic State. One student, identifying him/herself as ‘a Patriot' wrote:

"Right in front of me, they kicked and carried off a couple of the kids in a red van. I swear to God, from now on, I count the minutes until the fall of this regime and I will do anything. Long Live Freedom, Death to Dictatorship".

Slaves to Choice

Moloch has a new name for these new and improved times. His name now is Choice. His minions are Legion.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Scimitar How-to Domination

UK jihadist explains how the Scimitar will take over the UK here. All you have to do is listen to him, he makes it crystal clear.


The Calling of Saint Matthew (1599-1600) - Caravaggio

Roots of Today's Economic Brinkmanship

As we see the nation's economy sliding in a kind of death spiral, the bail-out continuing to throw inconceivable amounts of money (whatever happened to the gold standard?) toward the outstretched hands of institutions of "wealth" and businesses ill-run and ill-governed, the Easy Essays of Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement come to mind.

Modern society believes
in separation
of Church and State.
But the Jews
did not believe in it,
the Greeks
did not believe in it,
the Medievalists
did not believe in it,
the Puritans
did not believe in it.
Modern society
has separated
the Church from the State,
but it has not separated
the State from business.
Modern society
does not believe
in a Church's State;
it believes
in a business men's State.
"And it is the first time
in the history of the world
that the State is controlled
by business men,"
says James Truslow Adams.

I agree with every word that Maurin writes and quotes, except the bit about "the first time in the history of the world that the State is controlled by business men." During the so-called English "reformation", Lord Cecil and his cronies wrenched the State from the Church and made the template for modern wealth and business. The truth of the adage, "Follow the money" could easily be seen during Elizabeth's reign; to do so, however, would probably have landed one in the Tower.

The foundations of today's economic crisis lie in the corrupt and hoarding worship of Mammon during the English reformation. One more "easy essay" of Maurin:

Uncle Sam does not believe
in the unemployed dole,
but Uncle Sam does believe
in the money lenders' dole.
Uncle Sam doles out every year
more than a billion dollars
to the money lenders.
And it is the money lenders' dole
that put Uncle Sam
into a hole.
The money lenders are first citizens
on Uncle Sam's payroll.
There were no money lenders
on the payroll
in Palestine and Ireland
because the Prophets of Israel
and the Fathers of the Church
forbid lending money at interest.
But Uncle Sam does not listen
to the Prophets of Israel
and the Fathers of the Church.

Slippery Slope of Embronic Stem Cell Research

Embryonic stem-cell research immoral, unnecessary, bishops say
By Nancy Frazier O'Brien

Catholic News Service
ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS) – Declaring that stem-cell research does not present a conflict between science and religion, the U.S. bishops overwhelmingly approved a statement ... calling the use of human embryos in such research "gravely immoral" and unnecessary.

(T)he bishops voted 191-1 in favor of the document titled "On Embryonic Stem-Cell Research: A Statement of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops."

"It now seems undeniable that once we cross the fundamental moral line that prevents us from treating any fellow human being as a mere object of research, there is no stopping point," the document said. "The only moral stance that affirms the human dignity of all of us is to reject the first step down this path."
Read the entire article here. In other words, as Gil Bailie says, we must not let “the new cannibalism” become the status quo.

Abbot Joseph on Compassion

Abbot Joseph, a monk for 22 years, has for the past five years been the Abbot of Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Redwood Valley, California, a Byzantine-rite monastery in the Ukrainian Catholic Church. He writes,
I have compassion for those who abuse the term "compassion," especially if they do so for "pastoral" reasons. I'm calling them to repentance. I'm concerned not only for their souls, but also -- and especially -- for those whom they mislead, whom they lull into spiritual somnolence. If any souls are lost, let it be only because they remained hardened in willful rejection of God until death -- not because some "compassionate" person convinced them that they had no need to repent.
Read all …