Tuesday, October 28, 2014

No one cared who I was until I put on the mask

People oppose anonymity because they can't think for themselves:
Feminists and social justice warriors hate online anonymity. In the recent months, there has been a deluge of articles arguing that the internet is rife with harassment because people can hide behind online handles, and only total digital monitoring can make women feel safe online. Likewise, many in the manosphere have said the only way to root out fakes and posers positioning themselves as internet alphas is for men to write under their real names. Imagine that, men and social justice warriors in agreement. Too bad they’re both wrong.
In the early days of the internet, before AOL brought vast unwashed masses online, there was a utopic and perhaps naive vision, that anonymity would make the internet a place where ideas were evaluated based on their merit rather than who said them. Elite-approved experts were a constraint of old media. The internet was a meritocracy. It didn’t matter what the gatekeepers thought of you. If you had a voice and your content was good, you could have an audience.
It is ironic that social justice warriors would want to eliminate a system that removes race, gender, class, and age. You don’t know if the writer behind these words is an elderly Jewish woman, a grandfather of ten, or a very articulate thirteen-year-old. Sure, I write for Return of Kings and present myself as a young man, but how do you know?
Those of us outside the Overton window are dismissed as cranks, fools, reactionaries, extremists, and all around dangerous individuals. If all of that is true, then why do the SJWs, freaks, degenerates, feminazis, and beta herbivores work so hard at doxxing us? Surely if our ideas are so very wrong and irrational, they'll fall down on their own accord?

Truth always outs, if only because of the enormous mental and financial resources necessary to maintain the lies. I write under a pseudonym more out of long habit than anything else. If my four loyal readers are burning to know my real name, a cursory google search will probably dig it up.

The reason why they oppose anonymity is they want an easy way to disqualify persons or facts they don't like. Whether I speak truth or not is of no consequence to them. No matter what the subject, if they don't like what they hear, then they will seek to disqualify through speculation on the author's sexual prowess, his penis size, his socioeconomic status, his religion, or any number of things they'd get angry about if one poked fun at them for the same reasons.

Show me someone who is frustrated by internet anonymity, and I'll show you a wannabe dictator impotently stamping his feet in outrage.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Molon Labe

I'm admittedly impatient with people who are always speaking of nuance and shades of gray. Gray is the devil's favorite color. I'm impatient with nice Catholics who wring their hands and ask whatever shall they do about stuff like this:
Spurred by faculty and staff outrage over the refusal by two Catholic universities to pay for elective abortions, Gov. Jerry Brown's administration on Friday announced that health insurance companies in the state can no longer deny coverage for these procedures.
California's Department of Managed Health Care, which oversees HMOs, issued letters to seven insurance companies saying refusing to pay for any abortion, whether medically necessary or not, violates the state constitution and a 1975 state law.
"All health plans must treat maternity services and legal abortion neutrally,'' department director Michelle Rouillard wrote in the two-page letter that also noted the decision becomes effective immediately.
Catholic organizations should calmly inform the governor, "You and your damned laws can go straight back to the bowels of hell from which you both came. We will not comply with this law under any circumstances. We will literally be damned if we help pay for the murder of infants. We will not pay any fines, nor will we respond to any court summons. If you don't like it, send your goons to come and get us. Go on Jerry. Make us all famous."

Catholic universities and hospitals need to decide which is more important, God or Mammon.

Chivalry is dead because women want it to be dead

Poor bastard is getting heat from both red pillers and manjawed harridans:
Dating is done. Seriously, who goes on dates anymore? It’s all about hooking up, getting a number, grabbing a drink and getting down. I think I’m the only single guy I know that actually takes a girl out to a restaurant on a first date. There’s a reason for this.
I know what that reason is, though I suspect he doesn't.
 If you take a girl out and show her you’re more than some douche looking to just get in her pants, odds are, you’re going to get a second date, at least. Call me old fashioned, but a nice dinner is worth the money to get to know someone to some extent.
For me, it’s not about the money, and I get why people are stingy when it comes to going out with people they don’t know. Look, I get it. Sh*t costs money. But really, what’s the difference? Treat yourself to a good meal, and if the company is good, why the hell wouldn’t you take a girl out to a nice dinner?
I've never found dinner to be a good venue for a first date. You spend a lot of the time chewing food. A better way to get to know her on a first date is take her out for either coffee or adult beverages.
All I know is, the more I look around, the less I see men treating women the way that we’re raised to. What happened to paying for dinners and drinks? What happened to pulling out chairs and holding doors? What happened to walking on the outside, closest to the street and all that sh*t?
Articles like these always presuppose that men just spontaneously decided to stop being chivalrous out of the clear blue sky. The more reasonable, and more accurate, explanation is that most men are responding to how women behave in the 21st century.
The real problem here is that women, for one reason or another, have become complacent and allowed men to get away with adhering to the bare minimum.
We no longer have to put in the effort of flowers, chocolates, dates, etc., and if we do, we come off as stage-five clingers. I’m not looking for a girlfriend, nor am I looking for a wife.
Women are "allowing" men to get away with this. As if they're our mothers instead of women in whom we are romantically and sexually interested. If you're looking for neither a girlfriend nor a wife, and you're not a cad looking to get into her pants, then you're just another one of her beta orbiters, one of her court eunuchs.
Eventually, I feel that women will wise up and start asking for the things that they deserve, the things used to be automatic and expected of men, like holding a door, pulling out a chair, and paying for dinners.
Until then, men are going to get away with putting in the bare minimum and receiving what we ultimately want anyway – sex. It’s pretty obvious that women own the cards, and when they start acting like it, they’ll finally start getting dinner from places that don’t deliver.
If men can get sex just by doing the bare minimum, then why the hell would they put in more effort? It used to be simple: if men wanted sex, they had to get married. If men can get sex without marrying, then they won't marry. People respond to incentives.

Chivalry presupposes that 1) men and women are different, and 2) women are the weaker (fairer if you prefer) sex. Those are not popular attitudes in a 21st century feminized society. Chivalry is also a two way street: if men are expected to be gentlemen, then women are expected to be ladies. If you expect me to treat you like a lady, then you had damn well better act like a lady. If some manjawed ballbreaker presumes to be my equal in every way, and she still expects me to pay for everything, then she's just asking like an entitled princess, putting the lie to her presumption to equality.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The first feast day of St. John Paul II

Pope St. John Paul II passed on to his eternal reward one week after I was received into the Catholic Church. Sometimes I wonder if that was what pushed him over the edge.

I credit JPII with starting me on the road to being the Traditionalist crank that I am today. Like many converts, I was high on papal encyclicals when I was studying the faith on my own. It must have been the second or third confession I ever made, but I got into an argument with the priest over moral theology. He told me that it's virtually impossible to commit a mortal sin unless you consciously and willfully intend to reject God forever when you perform the sinful act. I retorted, "Excuse me Father, but JPII condemned that idea." Which he did, in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor. The short version is that some actions are objectively evil and no intentions or circumstances can possibly make an objectively evil act into a good act, although they can lessen the acting subject's culpability before God.

The priest got huffy over my citing JPII but still gave me absolution. Even before I became Catholic, I knew that progressives and heretics tended to bemoan the reactionary tyranny of JPII and how he was obstructing the Spirit of Vatican II with his Polish obstinacy and outdated theology. I always sigh and say, "If only, if only..."

The incident got me wondering what else priests and bishops were either getting wrong or actively concealing. I was already dismayed over how Protestantized the Novus Ordo appeared compared to what I was expecting. That was when I decided to learn more about Vatican II. I knew of it, of course, but I didn't realize it's watershed status until later. Nine years later and I'm the lovable Trad grump I am today.

Ideally we shouldn't need to use labels like Traditionalist because all Catholics are Traditionalists to some degree. Even the most wacked out liberal priest puts on vestments for Mass that have existed in one form or another since Antiquity. Labels have become necessary these days. How else are we to distinguish between heretics like Kasper and good men like Burke? So I accept the label of Traditionalist when others use it to describe me, and I use it as a shorthand way of describing the kind of Catholicism I signed up for and expected to find in every parish. It's not in every parish, to put it mildly.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wooden ships and iron men

Happy Trafalgar Day. We didn't fight in the Napoleonic wars, but I'm always happy to toast a French military defeat.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wooo, getting some cold cuts baby

The good guys won this time.
An additional point concerns Cardinal Burke, this exemplary servant of the Church. He has been nothing if not humble, accepting all humiliations patiently. The way he has been treated by Francis is embarrassing for the pope, not for him. Consider how different John Paul II and Benedict XVI were with outright dissenters, such as the anti-African German cardinal Walter Kasper, and many others of a similar vein, who were never humiliated and threatened of demotion and exile, despite their position -- quite the opposite. This was not because these popes were "soft", but because they fought for the unity of the Church. 

Francis, on the other hand, played with fire and brought the Church to the brink of the precipice, her most serious division in five centuries, in order to implement what even his nominee Cardinal Pell called "the secular agenda"; not even in a Synod whose members were chosen by him and steered by Cardinal Baldisseri under his command was he able to achieve even 2/3 of the votes on the issues close to his heart, even after they had been considerably watered down. Compare and contrast this to both Vatican I and Vatican II where not even the most controversial issues reached this level of disagreement from the clear will of the Pope -- and even when there was a much smaller proportion of "non placet" votes (even fewer than 10%), the texts were changed to achieve agreements as close to unanimity as possible. 
If it wasn't already painfully clear, the problem is Francis. He's never outright said so, but anyone with eyes in his head can see that he wanted the change in pastoral discipline. The heretic Kasper was a convenient front man, but the Synod was Francis's baby. Francis has enough political sense to not publicly break with the other bishops, but everyone can see the price Burke paid for heroically defending the orthodox faith.

So what's a Catholic to do when we have a disastrous pope like Francis? Choose your blogs carefully indeed. I'm not as tough a critic as Mundabor, but it's amusing (in a painful sense) to see the mental gymnastics the New Advent and Patheos type bloggers put themselves through to assure us it's business as usual. I'm sorry, but it's not. The buck stops with the pope. He very nearly caused the Church to blow up, but the Holy Spirit intervened at the last second to prevent a major compromise in doctrine.

A Catholic's faith should be in Jesus, not the pope. The pope is not an omnipotent tyrant who can change doctrine at will. If you are an orthodox Catholic you have a duty to rebuke your superiors when they say or do wrong. Like St. Thomas More said in another stormy debate over marriage, silence means consent. I haven't watched Voris as much lately, but maybe this will move him to break his self-imposed silence about Pope Francis. Ideally we shouldn't criticize the pope because there'd be no need to. But as any barely historically literate ankle-biter can tell you, we've had plenty of bad popes in history. God has inflicted another bad pope upon us. We should take that as a well earned rebuke. The Holy Spirit does not choose the pope but he has a way of making sure we get the popes we deserve.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I'll be damned if they get the better of us again without a fight

Many thanks to the good men and women at Rorate Caeli for keeping the Kasperite heretics' feet to the fire.

You don't have to take their word for it though. Even non-Trad mainstream conservative sources like the National Catholic Register and Father Z are acknowledging that the fix may be in.

I wasn't even alive during the 1960s, but it seems like Vatican II all over again. The progressives bum rushed the poor bewildered Trads before they could even get their boots on back then. It looks as though the liberals and heretics are about to do so again. Thanks to the internet, they can no longer do so in secret at least.

If nothing else, this debacle should teach lay Catholics to stop being so docile. There's a long ingrained reluctance to ever criticize clerics about anything, ever. That can be a good thing when we're presenting a united front against the world. But we've taken it to ridiculous extremes. One of the problems is that the average Catholic knows so little about the faith. Sometimes a little knowledge can be dangerous though. Catholics trust their priests and bishops to be orthodox at the very least, but we can't take this for granted anymore. We haven't been able to take it for granted for decades.

We have a duty to know our faith well enough to recognize the wolves in sheep's clothing our Lord warned us about. And very often those wolves will be wearing Roman collars. Some people have thrown up their hands in despair saying that even if we're aware of what the heretics are up to, there's nothing we can do to stop them. Maybe not from a worldly perspective. We can always pray. Prayer is even more important when we can't take direct action. Pray that the good and orthodox bishops may have the courage to say no to the Kasperite heretics and even Pope Francis if necessary. And pray that God have mercy on our souls, because it's a sign that he's very angry with us when he allows his Church to fall into the hands of worldly heretics like Kasper.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The crisis of the Church is a crisis of bishops indeed

We should keep praying of course, but I admit it's a bit discouraging that the leaks are telling us that the fix is in:
A 6,000-word document, made available in the original Italian, and excellent English, French, German, Spanish translations immediately on early Monday Morning "summarizing" the views of the first week of the Synod that had ended on Friday evening, with details published on Saturday morning? So in one full day, Sunday (or in 2 days, 48 hours, if all hours of Saturday are included, with no time for meals or sleep), the rapporteur and his secretaries gathered the views of all the Fathers, identified and separated those portions that had more widespread support and thus represented a truly Synodical opinion, wrote, and translated this 6,000-word report? Has the Vatican suddenly become the most efficient bureaucracy in the history of the universe?

Or was it all simply prepared and translated beforehand, to create "facts on the ground" that could not be reversed and created pressure on the Synod Fathers during this second week
Ideally, it should be the bishops who guide, cajole, and when necessary kick lay people in the ass to keep them away from rank heresy. In the 21st century Catholic Church, it's usually the other way around.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Readings for Sunday 10/12/14

Far be it from me to criticize a modern innovation of Holy Mother Church, but I think she made a big mistake going from the one year cycle of readings to the current three year cycle. It's much easier to memorize the letter and spirit of Scripture when we hear the same reading once a year as opposed to once every three years. There's something to be said for quantity being its own quality, but I've got a hunch the average Catholic doesn't know Scripture any better, and probably a good deal less, than his great-grandfather did.

Isaiah tells us of God's promise to destroy death and wipe away every tear. The Lord of Hosts will provide us with the best food and choicest wines on his holy mountain. St. Paul reminds us that in this life we will experience both plenty and want. Whatever our circumstances, our strength is in the Lord in whom we can do all things and God will provide us with what we need through Christ Jesus (what we need won't always be what we want however.) Jesus tells the parable of the wedding feast, where the invited guests spit on the king's hospitality. The king orders his men to invite whomever they meet in the streets. On the night of the wedding, one guest is without a wedding garment and he is cast into the outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Isaiah and Paul remind us to be confident in God. Whatever hardships we experience in this life are as nothing compared to what awaits us in the next. Many are called, but few are chosen. God desires that all men be saved, but not all men will be saved because we choose to turn away from God. Jesus came to gather the House of Israel. The Jews were the invited guests in the parable, but many of them turned away from God's invitation to enter the New Covenant. The men whom the king's men recruit from the streets are the gentiles, for as Paul tells us later on, in Christ there is no more Jew or Gentile, slave or free. The wedding garment is righteousness. We cannot enter into the wedding feast if we are not clothed in holiness and virtue. We may honor God with our lips, but if we have not put on the new man and cast off the old, we too will be hurled into the outer darkness.

I'm a weak man, and I can't put on righteousness through my own willpower alone. We need God's grace. We need to be strengthened through regular reception of the sacraments. If we trust not in ourselves but in the grace of God and the love of Christ, then we can do all things through him who strengthens us.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The New Evangelization done right

Earlier this week we had a good meeting. Our speaker was Fr. Matthew Spencer, OSJ, rector of the Oblates' seminary in Loomis, CA. The topic was the prevalence of evil and the resurgence in occult practices over the last few decades. When true religion is on the decline, superstition will increase (though dimwitted heathens often conflate the two.) We laugh at things like ouija boards, tarot cards, seances, etc. The danger is that we open ourselves up to the demonic when we take them seriously. If you are intentionally trying to make contact with the other side, whatever or whoever speaks to you is of demonic origin, period. Don't do it.

The real work came after the talk ended. We always hold them at the Kilt Pub on Arden in Sacramento. Afterward, as is our wont, a bunch of us were drinking and smoking. A man bummed me for a smoke. He overheard some of our conversation and he was fascinated. Brad was a good man. He's of the typical American Christian type: God exists, Jesus died for our sins, but otherwise don't let it affect your life too much beyond trying to be a generic good person. Our leader got him interested in our monthly lectures and he expressed interest in attending next month. God works in mysterious ways indeed.

The New Evangelization is primarily aimed at fallen away Catholics who were cheated out of a good formation in the faith. But we still have to reach out to the godless heathens and the Protestants as well. The bars and clubs are where many of them are at. There's more to life than getting drunk and hooking up with bar skanks pal. Let's get out there and do some good work.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On this day, the Mohammedans got Lepantowned

Today is the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, or what used to be known as the feast of Our Lady of Victory. The Collect for OLV in the Roman Missal is the prayer that we say after completing the rosary:
O God, whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech Thee, that, meditating upon these mysteries in the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through the same Christ our Lord.
The Gospel reading is that of Ember Wednesday during Advent, i.e. the Biblical account of the Annunciation, Luke 1:26-38.  Interestingly, the Novus Ordo Gospel reading is Luke 10:38-42:
Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”
Pope St. Pius V asked Christendom to pray the rosary and ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to grant victory to Don Juan's fleet. His hagiography states that he was in the middle of a meeting with the curia on the day of battle when he stopped in mid-sentence and went to look out the window. He smiled and told the cardinals that their meeting was adjourned because they had to go thank God for the great victory he had given them. A few days later, Rome received official word of the Christian victory against the Turks.

A lot of times when Christians say, "I'll pray for you," what they really mean is, "I can't do anything actually useful like giving you money or food, or finding you a job, so I'll just say this to make myself feel better." Us American Catholics are as prone to this as our separated brethren. Pope Leo XIII called us out on it in one of his encyclicals. Prayer just doesn't feel like it's good enough. Don't just kneel there, do something!

And yet our Blessed Lord himself said that contemplation was the better way. The rosary did as much to win Lepanto for Don Juan as any orders he gave during the heat of battle. Faith means fidelity and trust in the promises of God, in the goodness of God. We must labor but it's God who grants the increase. Whatever good you do, God granted you the grace to do it.

Scripture is pretty clear that one of the ways God punishes us is to send us wicked, dissolute rulers. Pray for their conversion of course, but pray that we ourselves keep the faith in the midst of assaults by Mohammedans on our bodies and assaults by the hierarchy on our faith, and assaults by the devil on our souls.

Beefy Levinson's miscellania

A rare steak washed down with a glass of eggs is truly the breakfast of champions. I've been on a diet of meat, eggs, butter, and a little V8 so I don't get scurvy for less than a week and I already feel about ten times better.

I'm not as pessimistic as Bonald, but the Synod deserves the subtitle "The Heretics Strike Back." This is the last ride for the first generation of progressive crazies, and the heretic Cardinal Walter Kasper is making the best of it.
Kasperism is thus more akin to the modernist heresy than to Protestantism.  The modernists reinterpreted statements about God to be statements about man’s religious experience, and the Kasperites take this immanentist turn to an even further and more degrading extreme, reducing religion to a system of wish fulfillment, of the expression and manipulation of feelings.  It is the ultimate heresy.
Kasper says that this debate is on a level lower than doctrine, the level of pastoral policy.  In fact, it is on a level higher than doctrine, the level of deciding what type of “language game” doctrine is presumed to be.  To be blunt, is religion supposed to be serious?  Do we really mean what we say in the creed or the sacraments?  Or is it all just play-acting?
If Francis hadn't already made his own preferences clear through his embrace of Kasper, his homily for the opening of the Synod should put all doubts to rest:
The temptation to greed is ever present. We encounter it also in the great prophecy of Ezekiel on the shepherds (cf. ch. 34), which Saint Augustine commented upon in one his celebrated sermons which we have just reread in the Liturgy of the Hours. Greed for money and power. And to satisfy this greed, evil pastors lay intolerable burdens on the shoulders of others, which they themselves do not lift a finger to move (cf. Mt 23:4)
What I expect to happen is that the Synod will eventually publish a nice flowery document that formally upholds doctrine if read a certain way, but bishops' conferences will be given greater leeway in granting annulments and allowing public adulterers to receive communion. Traditionalists will scream bloody murder as usual, while conservative Catholics will praise the document as the bestest most wonderfullest restatement of the Church's doctrine on marriage ever, carefully ignoring what's happening on the ground.

I suppose the best case scenario at this point would be Humanae Vitae redux: the document doubles down on traditional praxis, the progressives scream bloody murder and give communion to public adulterers anyway while Rome impotently wrings its hands and asks them if they could pretty please stop doing that.

The other night at LifeTeen the topic was the Bible, specifically why you should read it more. One of the kids asked me a good question: "So if I'm reading the Bible on my own, how do I know I'm not engaging in private judgment? Like, how do I know if my interpretation is the right one or is in line with what the Church says about it?" I made the following analogy: suppose you want to play basketball. You'll need some kind of court with clearly defined lines. If you stay within the lines, you have a lot of freedom to decide how you're going to play. If you stray outside the lines, you get a foul or you're no longer playing basketball.

We actually do have a lot of freedom in how we approach Scripture. The "lines" we have to stay inside pretty much only say, "We are wrong if our interpretation contradicts Magisterial teaching or Tradition." This necessarily implies that we need at least a passing familiarity with both Tradition and Magisterial teaching. You have to put in the work to be a good Catholic. Fortunately, for all of the evils it brings with it, the internet has made it easier than ever before. Imagine if Fulton Sheen had had the entire Summa downloaded onto his smart phone.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

On the evil that women do

If nothing else, the manosphere serves as a reminder that women are fallen creatures too. Traditionalists and conservatives give lip service to Original Sin and our particular sins, but there's a definite unwillingness to hold women accountable the same way we do men. Instead of recognizing the sins to which women are prone and telling them to knock that shit off, we generally take it as a given and figure out ways to work around it. For example, let's suppose a man feels bored and trapped at his job. He quits, he lies around the house in despair for a few weeks, and then he decides to take a round-the-world vacation so he can find himself and hook up with lots of hot babes. Meanwhile, his wife and children are stuck at home without any means of supporting themselves while dad is gallivanting around the globe.

Most of us would tell the man to stop it. If he felt bored and trapped by his job, we'd tell him to suck it up because he has a responsibility to himself and to his family. If a woman feels bored and trapped in her marriage, the world encourages her to blow it up and take an Eat-Pray-Love break for herself. Tradcons would say that if her hubby was doing his job, she'd have never felt tempted to blow up the marriage. Many Churchian institutions would no doubt encourage the wife to threaten frivorce as a means to getting her husband to man up.

Perhaps the main problem with a society swimming in feminism is that men are still expected to fulfill their traditional roles while women are not. Men are slowly recognizing that the old social contract doesn't work anymore and are wisely deciding to drop out.