Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I am so smart

Two tales of tradition:
Tradition is the best preservative available to humans. Catholic Tradition preserves important elements to our faith and hands them on, and it is capable of doing this even if people forget the reasons. A great example of traditional ecclesiastical architecture, which hands on a certain core of spiritual and liturgical principles, even if the average pewsitter is ignorant of them. When tradition is junked, we lose the ability to preserve elements of our religion and culture and wind up drifting loose.

In the second story, we see the other side of tradition - not as something that preserves a valuable core, but as something that defends us from evil, even an evil that we might not be aware of. The clearing of the caves was to keep the village safe, even though they villagers themselves did not understand the nature of the evil.
Tradition qua tradition isn't necessarily always right or true. The peculiar mix of narcissism, know nothing fundamentalism, and victimhood that is the Islamic tradition is not the tradition of Catholicism. Meaning is impossible without pre-rational traditions which inform our understanding of the world. A modern is someone who believes that meaning can be confined into one method, usually either scientism or positivism. A postmodern is someone who has realized that modernism is nonsense on stilts and despairs of ever finding objective meaning in anything at all. Both the modern and the postmodern seek to liberate the new man from the arbitrary chains of tradition, nation, family, and other constraints that he himself does not choose. We're so much better, freer, smarter, and more open minded than our stupid benighted grandparents. I'm smarter than Isaac Newton because I know how to send text messages and he didn't.

Liberalism differs in the details from time to time and place to place but the one thing liberalism everywhere has in common is freeing the new liberal man from the evils of tradition so he can create himself through his own reason and will. For liberalism there always is - existentially there must always be - some new evil oppressor to overcome. Every single one of us is somebody else's subhuman oppressor. If any of my four loyal readers agree with anything I've written anywhere on this blog, then you are one of the worst oppressive untermenschen in the world. Kind of makes you feel proud, doesn't it?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

History doesn't repeat but it does rhyme

In the matter of Cardinal Raymond Burke:
 It has even seemed to me that all the excruciating work, accomplished by the last two popes to save the Church from the tailspin in which they found her, is being undone, and we are repeating all the mistakes of the 1960s and 70s, as if nothing had been learned.
That is my opinion, and of course I could enlarge upon it, pointlessly. I think I could be characterized as a “conservative” or a “traditionalist” or even a “reactionary.” I am happy to wear the epithets, for I think these are the very qualities that have repeatedly saved the Church, in her interactions with the modern, i.e. post-Reformation, world.
Or from her beginning, for that matter; for in my understanding it is not the business of Holy Church to change with the times. It is her business to change the world, rather than be changed by it. To be “liberal” or “reformist” or “progressive” is to be – in most acceptations of those words – to be on the other side, entirely. We should think instead in terms of “recovery” and “restoration”; of “revolution” as return, not breaking out of orbit.
It's bizarre that what was plain old Catholicism 60 years ago is now considered the province of a small coterie of right-wing cranks or a special charism which Rome is currently stamping out in what was a flourishing religious order. 60 years ago I'd be just another bad Catholic. In 2014, I'm not just a bad Catholic but a reactionary extremist as well. I wear it as a badge of honor.

It can be invigorating to be a Traditionalist Catholic. You remain safely orthodox while still enjoying the thrill of rebellion. It's supremely awesome to be part of a Church that is centuries behind the times because it stands above the times. It's deeply embarrassing to be in a Church that is always five minutes behind the times, huffing and puffing to catch up.

H/T: FidesCogitActio

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Man up and marry those sluts, part 23597

I LOL'ed:
Drudge via Time has picked up Jenny Bahn’s piece at XO Jane 30 Is the New 50: “Old Age” is Killing My Dating Life.  What is fascinating is that while Bahn has stumbled on the painful truth, she still can’t fully connect the dots regarding her own choices.  She can’t see that the young women she is unable to compete against are the younger version of herself.  They don’t want to settle down now, but give them a decade and they will be singing the same song Bahn is singing now, complaining that men don’t want to commit.  What is wrong with men?
It’s this logic that has most of my 30-something guy friends dating girls fresh out of college. Girls who, in my experience, are less impressive, less striving, less volatile, less successful, less intimidating, less questioning, less pressing, less complex, less damaged, less opinionated, less powerful, less womanly. They are less, and, to a guy not ready for anything — like most of the guys I have dated in New York — less is more.
A 30-year-old woman is an undertaking…
It's an old story: party girl parties hard all throughout her twenties; prioritizes career over marriage; turns thirty and is shocked, shocked to learn that men her age are pursuing younger women for love and marriage; writes an article wondering what's wrong with men; fails to make the connection with her own choices in life. If Ms. Bahn really believes that men are looking for women who are volatile, ball busting, hen pecking drama queens then she clearly smoked too many illegal substances during her years of carousel riding.

Feminism essentially encourages women to behave like men, but balks at allowing women to suffer the consequences of their own bad decisions. It's not Ms. Bahn's fault that she's now a single, grouchy, damaged thirty something. It's men's fault. Somehow.

If I ever get married, I would never marry a woman my age. Not a chance in hell. 25 or below, or nothing. On the bright side, marriage minded girls under the age of 25 have probably never had it easier. Popular wisdom gets it backwards: by and large it's men who are the hopeless romantics and women who are ruthlessly pragmatic about relationships.

I can't remember the last time I went to National Review Online

Biden 2012: Romney wants to go to war with Syria
Joe Biden mocked Mitt Romney’s foreign policy during the 2012 presidential campaign — but Obama-approved air strikes in Syria, which commenced Monday evening, suggest that the administration is coming around to the position of the former GOP nominee.
“He [Romney] said it was a mistake to end the war in Iraq and bring all of our warriors home,” Biden told an audience in York, Penn., on September 2, 2012. “He said it was a mistake to set an end date for our warriors in Afghanistan and bring them home. He implies by the speech that he’s ready to go to war in Syria and Iran.”
Progressives said that a vote for Romney was a vote for war with Syria. They were right: Republicans voted for Romney and we're getting war with Syria.

People react badly when it's explicitly stated, but I believe that deep down inside most people understand that voting is for suckers. Elections are public liturgies where we formally swear our allegiance to liberalism.

Everything is awesome, everything is cool when we're part of a team

I'm going to shamelessly steal the term "Everything is Awesome Catholics:"
So what do I expect? 

Rather than a direct assault on marriage, I expect the opposite. What I expect is a nice flowery document re-stating the Catholic doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage. It will include language about the pastoral care of souls in troubled situations, but it will be generally orthodox. But at some point, whether this year or next, or in a post synodal document by the Pope, they will recommend the Bishops conferences to study and implement pastoral guidelines to help those in this situation.

No mandate, no direct assertions on what to do, but just a call for Bishop conferences to study the problem and implement pastoral practices in line with the synodal documents. That is when the horse will be permanently out of the barn. 

Then certain conferences will run wild either directly allowing it or allowing the pastor to decide. You know they will. (See German Episcopal conference) 

The traditionally minded will scream bloody murder while the "everything is awesome" Catholics will only refer to the document of the synod as the mostest wonderfulist re-statement of Catholic teaching ever, ignoring what his happening on the ground. 
That's pretty much what I've expected ever since this Synod was announced. I was surprised when the heresiarch Kasper's opening salvo was a full frontal assault. I'm astonished that the bishops are more or less openly sniping at each other these days. The heretic Kasper is now trying to hide beneath the pope's cassock. His words are incredible, no matter whether he's telling the truth or not. If Kasper had said such a thing about John Paul II or Benedict XVI, I'd have laughed him right off. With Francis... Kasper's story is plausible, if unlikely.

Continuing a theme from yesterday, another reason men are generally done with Christianity is that the Church is no longer seen as a champion of traditional marriage. I realize how ludicrous that sounds given the Church's formal opposition to same-sex "marriage," and the flak she's taken for being anti-sodomite or whatever. In her actual practice in the United States, the Church has been handing out annulments like candy for so long that people think of them as a Catholic divorce. It's a complicated issue because the fault lies in both Church leadership and the laity. Dalrock and Cail Corishev could each get a lot of mileage solely from documenting the bad advice circling around the Catholic corners of the web concerning love and marriage.

A good friend of mine who is married told me that when he and his bride were selecting the readings for their nuptial Mass, both the priest and the nice old lady in charge of marriage prep urged them not to use the selection from St. Paul about wifely submission. They did. The priest used his homily to basically undermine everything St. Paul said. Priests know on which side their bread is buttered. Few of them are willing to risk offending the Nice White Ladies who pay their bills and run their parishes.

I don't presume to know the mind of God, but sometimes I think he's allowed the Church to crumble in order to teach us greater reliance on him instead of man. Or as a wise old priest once told me, "Working with or for the Church will either strengthen your faith or completely destroy it."

Monday, September 22, 2014

You fairy, you company man: why men hate Christianity

Bonald has two good pieces on the Kasperite heresy:
Denigration of logic and concern for objective reality is key to Kasperite methodology.
...“Natural law = rule that matches my feelings.”  The author proceeds to throw up dust intended to relativize the clear position of scripture and Catholic dogma.  I’ll skip this, because I want to focus on what’s distinct to the Kasperite perspective.
...Given what has come before, we can now understand what Francis means by “ideas” and “realities”.  He is not making the obvious statement that all concepts are simplifications or the even more obvious statement that some ideas are wrong.  “Ideas” in this case means objective reality as grasped by the mind:  Catholic doctrine and natural law.  “Reality” means “people’s desires and feelings”.  “Dialogue” means we must adjust doctrine to gratify human sinfulness.
Men hate Christianity because Christianity has largely turned its back on them. Vatican II, which ran from 1962 to 1965, is the usual event cited for when the changes happened in the Catholic Church, but the feminization of Christianity had begun long before then. Christianity is a dogmatic religion. By definition, a dogmatic religion excludes some people. The unbaptized are excluded from receiving Holy Communion. Catholics who are not in a state of grace cannot receive Holy Communion. Christians who reject dogmas such as the Resurrection or the Trinity have excluded themselves from membership in the Church even if they don't have the integrity to formally leave her visible boundaries.

Men shouldn't accept Christianity because it will help them acquire money, power, or chicks. They should accept it because it's true. That's the only reason a man should believe anything. Because Christianity is true, it makes certain demands of us. Ideally, men's beliefs should be shaped by reality. They should not sit around and whine that reality doesn't conform to their beliefs. Christianity is the worship of a person who is Truth, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Jesus Christ is our friend, our brother, but he is most of all our King. Pope Leo XIII said that Catholics are born for combat. It was once commonplace to refer to the visible Church on earth as the Church Militant. We were expected to wage spiritual warfare against our three great enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. The Church exhorted us to tame our bodily lusts, our weaknesses, our fallen nature. Disciplining our bodies helps to discipline our souls. Disciplined souls are more ready for closeness to God, our final end, our ultimate purpose and reason for being. As a great movie once said, whether you're a king or a little street sweeper, sooner or later you dance with the Reaper. Our earthly lives were seen as a preparation for our eternal destinies. Our choices were heaven or hell.

Then the Modernists came along.

Modernists saw religion less as a matter of objective truth about the nature of God and man as a subjective experience that effected man's feelings. It used to be that heretics claimed that the Church had got something wrong and they had gotten it right. They still cared about objective truth. Modernists don't outright say that the Church is wrong. They drain her pronouncements of all objective meaning. They fret over thinking up innovative ways to communicate with modern man. They seek not to convert the sinner, but to dialogue with him and assuage his feelings.

In other words, they want to turn religion into something for women and children only.

Catholicism is what I know best, but from everything I've heard it's ten times worse in other Christian communities. Christianity has become largely a service industry for women. In the average Catholic parish, women hold pretty much every position that doesn't explicitly require a priest. Even then, if you're hospitalized it's more likely than not that some little old lady will bring you the Eucharist instead of a priest. You can hear it in priest's homilies. Seldom do they speak about preparing the soul for receiving the Eucharist, or confession, or taking up one's cross, about discipline, about truth. We get soothing reassurances that Jesus loves us just the way we are. On Mother's Day we get endless paeans about the wondefulness of women. On Father's Day, if they mention it at all, men are often chastised for being poor husbands while their wives rub circles on their backs.

Above all, the focus is on our feelings and our subjective experiences. Theology rejects reason and logic, and Christianity itself is reduced to a noble sentimentality. Men pick up on this and they conclude not unreasonably, "Fuck this hippie bullshit." Everything Is Awesome Catholics avoid the cognitive dissonance by focusing exclusively on formal doctrine while ignoring what's being done in practice. Now it's true that we shouldn't allow the bad example of others to diminish our own faith, but it's much more difficult for your faith to thrive if you're immersed in lukewarmness and mediocrity. That's why the Desert Fathers fled the cities for hermitages in the wilderness. If you're relying solely on your own strength, you're in for a fall.

Progressives are always reacting to the world. The Church must change because the world is different. Doctrine must change because modern man isn't like medieval man. Worship must change because 21st century man doesn't know Latin. I have a counter-proposal: instead of following the world, we should be leading the world. We should be changing it, not allowing it to change us. If the Church is always going to be huffing and puffing five minutes behind the world, always struggling to catch up, then why bother? Be strong. Be daring. Be confident. For the love of God, be yourself again Holy Mother Church.

Andrew's End

Andrew Sullivan, as always, is a useful barometer for trendy SWPL thinking:
When I was asked – with mind-numbing regularity – how I could remain happily gay and a Catholic, I answered honestly that, for those very reasons, I could live with institutional dissonance, as any thinking member of a hierarchical church has to, from time to time. But I think now that I misread a couple of things – and that the whole question may be a much bigger deal than I once believed and hoped. Here’s a story thatunderlines the problem:
A Catholic church in Montana has told two gay men that they can no longer receive communion simply because of their gay marriage and, in order to do so again, they must file for divorce. The two men, Paul Huff, 66, and Tom Wojtowick, 73, have been together for over 30 years and were married in Seattle in 2013. They’ve attended Saint Leo The Great Catholic Church in the town of Lewistown since 2003 and have also been members of the church’s choir. The’ve also now been denied participation in that church group.
It's only a problem if you presuppose that there's nothing sinful about sodomy.
Maybe years ago, removing two faithful choir members because they’re gay would have passed some kind of muster. First off, the couple wouldn’t have been out of the closet and so the entire don’t-ask-don’t-tell paradigm would have allowed the pastor to ignore the fact that two gay men were in the choir – or to keep their expulsion on the down-low; second, they would probably have been too ashamed to protest, and their peers too embarrassed to support them. But those two conditions are now no longer close to being met:
Huff and Wojtowick have received support from many of the church’s congregation. Forty members have reportedly either voiced their disapproval of the church’s offensive decision or have quit attending mass there altogether. One parishioner has suggested the title of a song sung at the church be changed from “All are Welcome” to “Some are Welcome.” How apt. 
There's a difference between manfully struggling with one's own sinful nature versus demanding public approval and celebration of unrepentant sinners' ongoing sin. All are indeed welcome to attend Mass. Only baptized Catholics in a state of grace are welcome to receive the Eucharist. If priests and lay people wish to speak up in defense of sodomy and sacrilege, then I'm sorry they've chosen to become lapdogs of Satan through their formal cooperation with evil. The bishop must, for the sake of his own soul if nothing else, must bar notorious public sinners from committing sacrilege.
The controversy has now led to the bishop intervening and holding a meeting with 300 parishioners to air views. The bishop claims there is polarization in the congregation over this and is now mulling the decision to bar the couple from the sacraments and from participation in their church – unless they get a civil divorce and sign a statement supporting civil marriage as exclusively heterosexual. Yes, the church is now in favor of divorce as a condition for being a Catholic! If that sounds perverse, you’re not wrong.
It's only perverse if you presuppose that two men can validly marry one another. They can't, so it isn't. Sullivan knows perfectly well that the Church doesn't recognize two sodomites shacking up together as marriage, but he prefers to make a cheap gotcha in order to rationalize both his own behavior and that of the two men in this story.
And the action against the men came not because they are gay but because they decided to celebrate their love and friendship with a civil marriage license. So they’re not really being targeted for sex; they are being targeted for their commitment and responsibility and honesty. And the only reason they have been excluded on those grounds is because they are gay.
Let's try this with another sin: "And the action against the man and woman came not because they are adulterers but because they decided to celebrate their love and friendship with a civil marriage license after divorcing their spouses. So they're not really being targeted for sex; they are being targeted for their commitment and responsibility and honesty. And the only reason they have been excluded on those grounds is because they're adulterers." Sullivan reminds me of the school yard bully who claims he didn't punch anyone, but nerds keep bashing their faces against his fist.
If the church upholds this kind of decision, it is endorsing cruelty, discrimination and exclusion. 
 A dogmatic church is, by definition, exclusionary. If you formally accept its teachings in both faith and morals, then you're in. If you willfully reject them, then you cannot claim to be a good Catholic. By definition, all forms of authority discriminate in favor of a particular vision of the Good. For that reason, liberalism is incoherent because it demands that we discriminate without discriminating. Sullivan knows this and has made a career out of rationalizing away something which he knows is sinful. Sullivan and his readers have chosen which side they're on, and it won't be long before they discriminate against their fellow Catholics while claiming they are not discriminating. They can try, but men made of sterner stuff than they have tried and failed. I pray that bishop has the courage to hold fast to the Gospel and doctrine and tell them that they can go straight to hell if they think they have the right to have their sins celebrated in public.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My loins are girt

If every bishop on earth was put on trial for the faith, most of them would be acquitted. Sometimes I think God has allowed this to happen to his Church to strengthen the faithful remnant for even greater trials ahead. We can no longer implicitly trust the bishops to teach the orthodox Catholic faith, or even to have simple human decency anymore. We have to actively engage the Faith. We have to learn it ourselves. We are responsible for the state of our own souls. It's wonderful to have a pastor and a bishop who are both solid in doctrine and gird up their loins like men to speak in bold declarative sentences. Most of us are not so fortunate anymore. It's tempting to give in and go with the flow. All serious Catholics have heard Satan whispering in their ear, "Don't be such an extremist. Stop being so divisive. You'll never get anything done that way. You won't have a place at the table. You'll be ostracized and cast out."

I have first hand experience with being cast out for making waves. It hurt, but I regret nothing. I refuse to submit to the pampered and perfumed bureaucrats who repeatedly assure us that everything is fine. Do they really care so little about the salvation of souls? Are they really so timid in the face of the world yet so vindictive against good men and women like Father Hardon and Mother Angelica?

Their actions speak louder than their words. I fear for their souls and pray for their conversion. We lay people have to go it alone more often than not. Bad bishops we have always had with us but we cannot let them drive us out. The Catholic faith is too precious a gift to give up that easily. The bishops are not the faith. Jesus Christ is. Gird up your loins like a man. Take refuge in prayer, penance, and Scripture. Don't back down when the Church of Nice crowd tries to shame you into silence.

"But for Wales?"

The heretic Kasper is trying to hide underneath the pope's cassock:
Instead of taking the complete destruction of his false doctrine standing, he runs to the Pope, and says it has always been the Pope's idea. Well, the truth is in one of these: (1) either Kasper is not telling the truth, in which case the Kasper-doctrine of Communion to "remarried" divorcees is purely his own, and he is using the Pope's name as a prop to support his crumbling edifice of doctrinal mess; or (2) Kasper is telling the truth, the so-called Kasper-doctrine on Communion to "remarried" divorcees is the Pope's alone (or a joint Bergoglio-Kasper production), he merely presented it in the consistory to give it a non-papal face, and he now reveals it to save a little bit of his destroyed reputation. If the latter is the case, then the Synod game is up: there is no need for this expensive assembly if the decision on a completely new doctrine for the Church (a doctrine that, since it involves the repudiation of dogma, is something other than "Catholic") is taken beforehand.
Many Cardinals, to their credit, have spoken out against the heretic Kasper. I'm certain that many more Cardinals share his views, but they aren't so gauche as to speak them out loud. One does not ascend the hierarchy of the Catholic Church without being a political animal. Bishops instinctively keep their cards close to their chest. These days they seldom teach or preach outright heresy. As in most things, pay less attention to what they say and more to what they do. The devil is literally in the details. They're remarkably lax in governing and disciplining, except when it comes to Tradition. If Father antagonizes too many people by preaching against divorce or contraception, then he will be banished to the diocesan Siberia.

No offense to any priest readers, but I consider many of your brothers in the priesthood to be a sign that God is angry and wants to punish us.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

There's nothing new under the sun

Whittaker Chambers on St. Benedict:
For the briefest prying must reveal that, simply in terms of history, leaving aside for a moment his sanctity, St. Benedict was a colossal figure on a scale of importance in shaping the civilization of the West against which few subsequent figures could measure. And of those who might measure in terms of historic force, almost none could measure in terms of good achieved.
...I venture that [St. Benedict's Rule] did something else as well. For those who obeyed it, it ended three great alienations of the spirit whose action, I suspect, touched on that missing something which my instructors failed to find among the causes of the fall of Rome. The same alienations, I further suspect, can be seen at their work of dissolution among ourselves, and are perhaps among the little noticed reasons why men turn to Communism. They are: the alienation of the spirit of man from traditional authority; his alienation from the idea of traditional order; and a crippling alienation that he feels at the point where civilization has deprived him of the joy of simple productive labor.
These alienations St. Benedict fused into a new surge of the human spirit by directing the frustrations that informed them into the disciplined service of God. At the touch of his mild inspiration, the bones of a new order stirred and clothed themselves with life, drawing to itself much of what was best and most vigorous among the ruins of man and his work in the Dark Ages, and conserving and shaping its energy for that unparalleled outburst of mind and spirit in the Middle Ages. For about the Benedictine monasteries what we, having casually lost the Christian East, now casually call the West, once before regrouped and saved itself. 
Chambers despaired of Western civilization. If anything, things have gotten worse since he went on to his eternal reward. I think we're headed for a catastrophic fall sooner rather than later. It wouldn't be the first time the West has descended into barbarism. This time too it will be the Catholic Church that stands tall and preserves the dying embers so future generations can rekindle them into a blazing fire. Like St. Benedict, the saints of the future won't set out to change the world. Their aim will heaven, and they'll get the world thrown in.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Deus vult, friends

The modern mind has enormous difficulty grasping concepts like universals, median, and average. If I say, "Men are generally taller than women," then it's inevitable some ankle biter will respond with, "Well I knew a girl on my high school girls basketball team who was 6'7"! Ha ha, what now smart guy?!" Last night I gave a talk to the LifeTeen group about Islam and why the ISIS wogs do what they do. They're a good bunch of kids. They were able to grasp that Islam may be a demonically inspired false religion that must be resisted to a martyr's end, but that doesn't necessarily mean all Muslims are evil. Catholicism is the one true religion outside of which there is no salvation, but that doesn't mean all Catholics are good people.

There's a peculiar line of thinking I've noticed among Westerners, even Catholics. They believe that Islam is whatever Muslims say it is. If that's so, then it follows that if we can get enough Muslims to agree that Islam is peaceful (by which it is usually meant that Muslims will become secular liberals) then Islam will be peaceful. Islam is a real thing that exists independently of what any particular Muslim thinks it is. To be Muslim is to be loyal to Islam. Being loyal to Islam means being loyal to some false and evil ideas. Just like Christians, there are good Muslims and bad Muslims, Muslims with strong informed loyalty and those whose knowledge and loyalty is nominal.

Mine wasn't the sort of talk they'd probably tell their parents too much about, but I did manage to tell them that the Crusades were mostly a good thing that got out of hand in a few isolated cases due to human greed.

John C. Wright tells us what victory looks like:
I submit that victory shall be ours by using the same methods we used to overthrow the Roman Empire and replace paganism with Christianity.
First, we must pray. We must live differently from the pagans around us, according to standards of higher discipline, displaying more fidelity in marriage, eschewing divorce, assisting the poor and downtrodden, and living lives so holy that even the devils are amazed.
Second, by being willing to suffer public scorn, loss of prestige, position, and fortune for Christ.
Third, by being open, vocal, coordinated, and relentless in our efforts. Fourth, by staying on message and never giving an inch.
Fifth and last, by showing the imagination of man that no one can live in the craven airless cesspool of the mental environment of political correctness, but that men flourish and grow strong and brave, not to mention more sexually appealing, in the walled gardens of the Church and the battlefields of life.
Traditionalists are an understandably pessimistic lot because our struggle has been one long defeat spread out over centuries. I'm a pessimist in the short term. Things aren't going to get better in my lifetime. I'm an optimist in the long run though because it's harder to prop up lies than to acknowledge truth. I imagine it's hard work for our progressive overlords to constantly monitor every public venue for signs of badthink. It takes a lot of mental energy to constantly believe transparent myths like racial and sex equality. They've built a citadel on the commanding heights of the culture, but the internet is their vulnerable flank. Keep fighting. Keep striving for goodness and right. Never, ever back down to them.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lift high the cross

Today is the seventh anniversary of Summorum Pontificum going into effect:
Many priests deeply convinced that a return to the “Tridentine” Mass was needed, became frightened at the possible punitive measures they could have faced and did nothing more; thus the faithful entrusted to them did not even have time to realize what was at stake. We daresay that all of these punitive measures (made up of resistances – threats – large and small restrictions – transfers or confinements) concerning priests, who decided to celebrate the Old Rite, in themselves are unjust, but they have also been a good thing.

Indeed, the sufferings they have caused us, the sufferings to priests and faithful who asked to leave the disastrous post-council liturgical reform, have, all in all, been a good that God has providentially allowed, so that the struggle to live and die as Catholics and not as “crypto-Protestants, is purified.

What is it that we are trying to say? Simply that sufferings experienced for Christ, besides sanctifying those who experience them with Him, preserve[us] from a much greater evil for the Church in this age: ambiguity!

How did the disaster in modern Catholicism progress so far? Precisely with the method of ambiguity: some traditional aspects in the Church were apparently saved, but they were emptied of any real content and were re-interpreted according to a mentality no longer completely Catholic.

After the Council this is what happened: first the Mass was translated into Italian, then the texts were changed, then the priesthood was “re-styled” in a more democratic way, [so much so] up to reaching the modern hypothesis of modifying the Sacraments ( an example: the request for Communion to the divorced and civilly remarried). Ambiguity is the method of practical Modernism in the Church: it pretends to respect Tradition, but it changes the reality of the Faith and morality under the pretext of deepening the Faith itself and adapting to changed times.
Whenever neo-Catholics go on about how terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Traditionalists are, they're typically thinking of the ones old enough to remember the Ecclesia Dei regime. In his letter "Ecclesia Dei," St. John Paul II allowed the old Mass to be celebrated again with the permission of the local bishops. He encouraged the bishops to be generous in granting this permission. In practice, this meant the celebration of the old Mass was restricted to once a month, on a weekday, in the basement of the mental ward downtown or some such inconvenient time or place. It's difficult to overstate how passionately 1980s-90s era bishops despised everything that smacked of pre-Vatican II Catholicism.

Traditionalists picked up on this sentiment and returned it wholeheartedly. All they wanted was to live, pray, and believe the Catholic faith in the same way their grandfathers did, and yet their fiercest opponents were not the world, the flesh, and the devil but their own bishops! They became understandably bitter and distrustful toward the hierarchy. Hell, if I'd been in their place back then I would too.

Under Summorum Pontificum, a priest can celebrate the old Mass any where and any time he wants, in theory anyway. In practice, the old timers in the chancery still have a lot of bureaucratic tricks up their sleeve to ensure that doesn't happen. If Father gets a little too vocal in his preference for the old Mass and the old discipline, then he'll find himself banished to the diocesan equivalent of Siberia. He might have to shuttle between three different parishes out in the boonies, or spend the rest of his life in hospital or prison ministry.

Still, I remain optimistic. SP was the beginning of the end of the Spirit of Vatican II and the Modernists know it. The surviving members of the first generation of crazies are gathering what strength they have left for one last hurrah at the upcoming Synod on the family. That's not to say things will automatically get better once they go on to their eternal rewards. Father Z somewhat exaggerates the effectiveness of the biological solution. Even so, it's better to have lay Catholics and clergy who are simply ignorant of Tradition instead of furiously hostile to it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son

The Western World has an addiction problem:
The generally accepted definition of addiction is the dependency on a substance. However, addiction manifests itself in many different ways which are not discussed as regularly as they should be. Addiction can be understood as the inability to abstain from any activity which releases neurotransmitters in the brain; most commonly serotonin, endocrines, or dopamine.
Pornography, sex, television and video-games can fall into this category and can become the downfall of many. The underlying reason for addiction is a lack of happiness and fulfillment, leading the addict to compensate for the brain’s shortage of essential “feel-good” chemicals through unfulfilling, hedonistic activities.
Add the breakdown of the family into the mix and you have a recipe for an epidemic of addictions. Anxiety about our social standing appears to be deeply ingrained in our national character:
Tocqueville expresses wonder and awe at the activity of the Americans that he encountered during his visit to the United States in 1830-31. In contrast to the relative complacency of people in their social roles in aristocratic Europe—where no amount of work, effort or activity could move one either from the ranks of the aristocrats to the commoners, or vice-versa—Americans live daily with the awareness that their station in life is one of variability, potential, and fragility. The result was a society that was, by appearances, industrious, but more deeply riven with anxiety. Thus, Tocqueville was moved to call this condition one of “restlessness,” or “inquietude,” the inability to be “quiet” or still or in a state of quiescence.
We self-medicate with booze, drugs, sex, porno, video games, TV and any number of addictions to relieve our social anxiety. Always wanting to get ahead has made America the world's great superpower but it's come at a heavy social cost.

If I knew what to do about these things, I wouldn't indulge my internet addiction. Analysis paralysis is a real thing which affects many men. Choose one option or set one goal and pursue it to completion. Then move on to the next. Having a mission in life can cure many an addiction. Idleness is what gets most of us in trouble. Civilization depends on delayed gratification. Discipline hurts but you won't survive long without it. Unfortunately, many men grew up without a father. That's not to say mothers are incapable of instilling discipline, but women are inclined toward protection whereas men are inclined toward toughening the kid up.

Speaking of which, I need to toughen myself up and begin stockpiling supplies and ammo. I might be an old man when it happens but I expect the United States to break up within my lifetime.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thirteen years ago

I was a twenty year old community college student back then. I remember my contemporaries and I wanted someone, anyone to die for what they did to the United States. I tried reenlisting but the Colonel said "Nothin' doin'" for my medical waiver. It's just as well. Hindsight is 20/20 but I'm glad I didn't kill and possibly die to give the Iraqis a few years of breathing space before they inevitably fell to an Islamic police state. Iraq is the greatest American foreign policy blunder since... well, arguably ever. The domino theory didn't pan out with Vietnam but ISIS is present in Iraq, Syria, and God knows where else.

The correct response to 9/11 would have been focusing exclusively on Afghanistan and then pulling out once we'd smashed up the place. Neither the Afghans nor the Iraqis will ever be transformed into mild mannered Minnesota Democrats. It was foolish to try. From what I've seen on Fox News, the neocons have been remarkably shameless about shifting the current state of Iraq onto Obama's shoulders. Many wrongs can be laid at the feet of the baby killer in chief, but the backwardness and savagery of the Islamic world isn't one of them. There's an old joke about there being a twenty year gap between Washington's foreign policy adventures and the demographics of its cabdrivers. I hope Iraq has tasty cuisine because a bunch of Iraqi restaurants will probably be the only thing America gains from this in the long run.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It's like we're fundamentally broken in some way

Cail Corishev offers an important reminder:
The traditional Christian viewpoint is that it's Original Sin. Eve violated her husband's headship by eating the apple without his permission and then encouraging him to follow her example, so her descendants are cursed with the temptation to commit the same sin. Ever seen a woman in a restaurant second-guessing her husband's order and commenting on how much salad dressing he uses? It's the apple all over again.
There's a lot of justified bitterness in the manosphere about the injustice of Marriage 2.0 among other things. We shouldn't see women as the enemy though. They've been raised on the same lies that we have. That's not to absolve them of responsibility for their bad decisions, but many women are as miserable as men under feminism and liberalism. You don't need to peruse blogs to know that those two irrational and inhuman ideologies have created an ocean of human misery. Normal women want to be wives and mothers. Granted, they want the highest status man they can get, but most women aren't as happy working in marketing and HR as they would be as wives and mothers. They've been raised from birth to go against their most hard wired instincts.

If you ask any woman raised in a postmodern liberal society what she wants out of life, she'll likely parrot the script: get a college degree, begin a career, and then think about marriage.
At least that's what she'll say. Pay less attention to what women say and more to what they do. Marriage will be put on the backburner. In her youth she'll be treated as a rock star with CEO potential no matter where she works. Hordes of thirsty guys will validate her ego and maybe she'll sleep with or practice serial monogamy with the alphas. If an earnest young man lets slip that he's looking for a wife and not a girlfriend, she'll split. She has to earn her feminist merit badges.

What the world doesn't tell them is that her career isn't going to be there for her in her old age. Most women instinctively know this no matter how much they try to rationalize it away. It's amazing how quickly they change when they meet a man as opposed to a nice guy. Nice guys are like the furniture. Confident men sorely tempt them to throw the script in the trash.

Original Sin wounds us all. Women seem particularly tempted to rebellion. No matter how much they may feign offense, they crave male dominance. If you cede headship of your marriage to your wife, she will soon come to despise you with a seething hatred not even rapists can inspire. If you're a naysayer or an ankle biter, try it yourself. Tell a woman in your life to shut up. Tell her you're not interested in her opinion. If she henpecks you as you're working on something, then tell her she can do the damn thing herself. In short, don't put up with her bullshit. You'll be amazed at the results.

Friday, September 5, 2014

You're doing it wrong

That's our Dolan:
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City has finally thrown in the towel and agreed to let gay Irish groups march. The announcement was made yesterday. In response, Monsignor Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington posted on that archdiocese’s website a short commentary saying that it’s time for the Church to withdraw support for events like this.
Msgr. Pope’s remarks were kind of grumpy, I suppose you could say, but pretty uncontroversial for a Catholic priest, yes? Ah, but you miss the back story: NY Cardinal Timothy Dolan has agreed to be the Grand Marshal for the 2015 parade.From the NYT:
The buffoon Dolan was once considered mildly conservative by the media. This is the same Cardinal Dolan who said "bravo" to an openly sodomite athlete and yukked it up with the baby-killer-in-chief Barack Obama. With shepherds like these, is it any wonder the flock is ravaged by wolves? If I may be so bold, Your Eminence, if you're trying to curry favor with the world, you're doing it wrong.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

It ain't easy being gifted

A manosphere blogger unwittingly channels St. Paul:
Remember our discussion on values? What do you value? If you are a gifted but unaccomplished man, you have revealed your values. You value taking the easy way in life by coasting on a wave that you did not make. You can change your mindset. I did.
I used to value being highly intelligent, especially when I was younger. Yet growing up showed me countless examples of high IQ men who were total failures at life.
Even though I did OK in life, I didn’t apply myself. I viewed grinding as beneath me. “Hard work was for stupid people,” I told myself.
Time, however, waits for no man. When you look to your left and right, you see men who get ahead or fall behind based less on their gifts and more on their ability to keep moving through adversity.
Or as one of the great presidents of the 20th century put it:
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. 

One of the many problems facing Western civilization is that men have fewer incentives to persevere and work hard. Why should a young man bust his ass in a dead end, part time, minimum wage job when he can stay home, play video games, and either hook up or look at pornography?

As always, reform always begin with ourselves.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

No Islam, Know Peace

Where's the hash tag campaign?
Back in April, the Islamic Boko Haram organization in the backwoods of Nigeria kidnapped 276 local black Christian schoolgirls and threatened to sell them as wives and/or sex slaves. This became a vast global story with the great and good all over the world weighing in to demonstrate their concern.
This hasn’t, actually, helped — some girls subsequently escaped, but but 217 are still unaccounted for. But that’s not the point, the point is that Awareness Was Raised, and, more importantly, that numerous celebrities were seen engaging in Raising Awareness so that your awareness of their awareness has been raised.
In contrast, for many years in England, Pakistani pimps have been luring pubescent white Christian girls into sexual slavery; but the English Establishment — police, political, and media — responded with a long Awareness Lowering campaign. In the first decade of the 21st Century, those who protested were ignored, censored, or sent to diversity sensitivity training. The most prominent politician to take up the case a decade ago, Nick Griffin of the BNP, was put on trial twice for inciting racial hatred (but juries did not convict him).
If I had to guess, it probably has to do with Boko Haram being a distant threat in a foreign country. We don't risk anything by calling them out. On the other hand, Islamic savages make up a significant minority that lives among ethnic Britons. If a white citizen of the UK says out loud that the savage wogs in their midst are, in fact, savages, then he risks the loss of his livelihood and social ostracizing from his countrymen, and he risks his life if the Vibrants catch wind of it.

As Sailer's correspondent said, sex slavery has a long and rich history within Islamic culture. That's in addition to waging war and murdering infidels mind you. The English Establishment is reluctant to take this ram by the horns because they fear accusations of racism. If anyone from the UK or Europe reads my words, allow me to assuage your fears by assuring you that Islam is not a race but rather a demonically inspired false religion that must be resisted to a martyr's end if necessary.

As long as Europe continues allowing Muslims to come in, stories like these will continue. If anything, it should be the Muslims themselves who reconsider Islamic immigration. Europe is slow to rile but when they make up their minds to do something, they tend to be quite thorough.

What if we really wanted to be saints?

Many Catholics I know unwittingly hold to the Protestant notion of once-saved-always-saved. They don't really do confession, and they're indifferent about going to Mass. Eventually you realize it's because they believe they're going to heaven by virtue of being baptized as a baby, with maybe a short stop in Purgatory. I mean they haven't killed anyone. They don't tell colossal lies or steal anything super valuable. They sleep around if they're single or use contraception if they're married, but who doesn't?

The blame for this mentality rests in large part upon the Church itself. I've known people who made it through 18 years of Catholic education without ever learning the most basic demands of the faith such as being bound under pain of sin to attend Mass every Sunday. Each of us is ultimately responsible for our own soul, but I have a feeling the average lay Catholic won't be as severely judged as those whose responsibility it was to teach him. There's a big difference between knowing the standard and trying and failing to live by it from time to time. There's a big difference between falling down 10% of the time vs. deciding beforehand to flout 10% of the Church's teachings or whatever.

One of the best homilies I ever heard touched on Sunday's readings only a little while focusing on the subject of indulgences. Every Catholic can earn one plenary indulgence and as many partial indulgences as he wants per day. What if we prayed the rosary inside a church every day? Or read Scripture for thirty minutes every night? Or made a good confession, received communion, and prayed for the intentions of the Holy Father every week? We'd establish the good habits that would put us on the road to salvation.

That's one of the reasons why progressive Catholicism gets under my skin: whenever I look around a liberal parish, I see a lot of untapped potential.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The greatest of these is magical thinking

Some enterprising blogger could probably make a full time occupation out of documenting the sketchy advice doled out on the Catholic Answers forums.

These discussions at Dalrock's are useful for learning more about Catholic marriage and decrees of nullity. It's sad, but reading all of the comments on that thread alone will probably make you more knowledgable of Catholic doctrine concerning marriage than many young Catholic brides and grooms.

The woman who posted the question to CAF says that her first marriage was annulled. What that means is, her diocese made a prudential judgment that no sacramental marriage took place with her first husband. After her divorce, she dated a player who gave her major tingles. Now she's dating a solid, reliable Catholic man who doesn't give her tingles and she wonders if they should be marrying when they haven't "fallen in love."

Many Christians have a peculiar tendency to believe that not only should God forgive us our sins, but that he should rescue us from the temporal consequences of our bad decisions. The Church has made a judgment that this woman is free to marry. However, she is still a 34 year old divorcee who refuses to adjust her expectations. She should be grateful a 36 year old man is giving her the time of day when he could theoretically be dating women fifteen years younger. Based on her description of him, he sounds like the stolid sort who feels compelled to only date women closer to his age.

St. Thomas Aquinas wrote a lot about a lot of different subjects. In his writings on marriage, something is conspicuous by its absence: romantic love. The Church used to teach that the most important vocational discernment a man could make is whether to marry or embrace chaste celibacy as a priest or religious. The specific woman you married was left to the layman's discretion, much like the decision on what career to pursue or which car to buy. Marriage was seen as the proper venue to pursue romantic love and sex. Now romantic love is seen as the appropriate venue through which to pursue sex and marriage.

One commenter in the Dalrock thread said that if you're a reasonably attractive and confident bachelor in a nice suit at church on Sunday, the little old ladies would flock to you to fix you up with their daughters or granddaughters. That might have been true sixty years ago, but it's definitely not the case today. For starters, young single Catholic women are just as likely to have apostatized during college as not. Even if they go to parochial schools, young Catholics listen to the same music, watch the same TV and movies, and study from the same textbooks as their secular counterparts. Catholic girls are just as likely as their secular sisters to follow the feminist script: go to college for five or six years in pursuit of nebulous career goals, practicing either serial monogamy or riding the carousel. Think about marriage only when the Wall is looming.

I wore my nicest suit for the first Catholic Mass I ever attended, when I was 23 years old. I stuck out like a sore thumb as most of the other men were in Hawaiian shirts, jean shorts, and sneakers. None of the grandmas, nanas or abuelas  introduced me to their granddaughters. Or maybe they could smell I was trouble?

I've always had a talent for picking the losing side

Great fiction has never been for the masses:
I recently read with great interest B.P. Rouleau’s Why Men’s Fiction Is Suffering A Great Decline. Rouleau’s perspective as a fiction writer is invaluable, and without doubt he accurately diagnoses the malaise that surrounds much of American fiction today. Yet, more than once I found myself sitting up in my chair as I read, begging to differ with him on one or two points. I intend to elaborate on those here.
Was there ever a “golden age” for the consumption of fiction in America? I am not so sure. Much of the best fiction, as I see it, was surrounded by obscurity and lack of appreciation from the moment of its initial appearance. The literati here comprised an islanded class, aristocratic in its presumptions and preferences. Was there ever a time when men “appreciated” fiction?  Here again, I am not so certain of the answer. Like all great things, great fiction has always been an elite pursuit; it has never been for the masses.
It wasn't that long ago that novelists were also celebrities, i.e. Philip Roth, Norman Mailer, and Isaac Asimov. Which authors are like that today? J.K. Rowling comes to mind but she doesn't appear in the American press as much as in her home country, obviously. Maybe a few genre guys like Stephen King and John Grisham and Dan Brown, though I don't think anyone will ever accuse them of writing great literature. My personal favorite "literary" novelist is Tom Wolfe. No one has come close to painting as accurate a picture of contemporary American life as he. "The Bonfire of the Vanities" nailed the Establishment and its search for the Great White Defendant. In real life, that search usually blows up in the media's faces; see the Zimmerman case or Ferguson.

Great fiction deserves a place on every man's bookshelf because it allows us to explore humanity at its best and its worst. Once in a while though, I enjoy some good old fashioned pulp about badass dudes doing badass shit. I strongly recommend the original Robert E. Howard stories about Conan the Barbarian and Solomon Kane. Howard is considered a pulp writer but his style is surprisingly good for the genre.

Physical books are dying as an industry. Story telling will always be with us. If the numbers are accurate, i.e. men make up only 20% of the market for fiction consumption, then there's a great untapped market out there waiting for someone of my incomparable writing genius to crack open like a lobster and feast upon the innards. Have I ever mentioned how proud I am of my humility?