Thursday, January 29, 2015

"Why Do You Hate St. John XXIII?"

I've decided that the above caption is going to serve as my response to the standard "progressive" outrage over anything that passes for Catholicism these days.

Whether it's the latest insane tooth-gnashing over a priest opting out of using altar girls, the vicious calumny directed at guys like Cardinal Burke, or just a repitition of standard "traditionalist" lines of thinking (Latin in the liturgy, ad orient am worship, EENS, the role of the Roman Pontiff, eg).

The popular view, being largely ignorant of Pope John's views, will ignore stuff like his absolute prohibition on women even entering the sanctuary or his liturgical views or his views on the necessity for communion with the Pope. 

So why do people hate all of these views when they have been held by so many good and saintly popes, Fathers, and Doctors of the Church, including and especially Good Pope John? And how many of these folks who have been sipping the Haterade would identify themselves as "John XXIII Catholics"?

One side note as it pertains to the altar girls thing. Have you ever noticed how so many prelates ignore the Eastern perspectives on things unless they think they can use the matter as a gateway for modernism?

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I've been seeing this a lot what with Ferguson and all. 

If only those same people cared enough to assert that #UnbornBlackLivesMatter, Planned Parenthood would be shut down and Sanger's Dream would be a distant, though horrific, memory.

Alas, I don't see such a campaign anytime soon. Maybe Fr. Jenkins could start a dialogue with someone about it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Modest Proposal Re: Contraception

Can we just ditch the standard line about the Church's beliefs on the subject as "the Roman Catholic position on contraception"? Would it be possible simply to acknowledge it as "the Christian position on contraception"?

As terrifying as it might be to Protestants and Orthodox alike, they're embrace/creeping embrace of artificial methods of birth control are an aberration that was unheard of in all the annals of basic Christianity from the Fathers to the Reformers to everyone else until the early third of the 20th century. Unless you want to count complete whackjobs (like the Albigenisans, for example) who thought that all procreation was just evil anyway, this type of thinking simply did not exist.

For any Protestant interested in the question, I must recommend Dr. Allan Carlson's book Godly Seed, which traces the Protestant view on contraception back to the Reformation and all the way up to where Margaret Sanger used anti-Catholic propaganda to pretty much dupe your doctrinal forefathers into thinking this was all ok.

For the Orthodox, you know it's wrong. You can't just wave oikonomia in front of an immoral act and make it ok.

For Catholics, understand that, until the 20th century, there were probably fewer questions about prohibiting contraception than about the Divinity of Our Lord. That's how readily accepted this teaching was.

In other words, rejecting the use of contraception is a hallmark of Christianity in general. That so many have abandoned it in the last century will not and cannot change this. Allowing the exception to swallow up the rule as it pertains to labeling something like this strikes me as absurd and not something we should succumb to.

And yeah, I ended that sentence with a preposition.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Help With Some Math

Thousands of Christians have been murdered, raped, sold into slavery, tortured, and so forth by Islamist forces in the Middle East. 

The world greeted this genocide largely with silence, but occasionally some offered platitudes or utterly worthless gestures. 

A dozen or so secularists at a magazine are tragically killed in a sneak attack by these same individuals. 

The world reacts with vehement outrage. Protests are held. Memes go viral. World leaders convene at Paris. The US catches flak for not sending a bigger name. Vengeance is sworn. Laws are proposed specifically permitting blasphemy. And the ripples from this event are still rolling out.

Question: What is the ratio of the value of secular cartoonist lives to the value of Christian lives?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

When Did Islam Stop Being Islam?

Recent events have prompted a discussion about what makes a Muslim a Muslim. Take, for example, Howard Dean's recent comments that the murderers in Paris are not Muslim terrorists. This line of thought usually is backed by the argument that Islam is a religion of peace, ergo engaging in violence is not authentic Islam.

In examining this argument, I want to start with a couple of background items. First, the ongoing annihilation of Christianity in the Middle East didn't just start yesterday. Second, violence has been tied to Islam since it's inception. Mohammed destroyed the pagan religions of the Arabian peninsula and his followers continued the practice of conversion by sword after that.

My main question is when did this element of Islam which was present from its initial founding stop being a part of Islam? Was the Islam that offered consistent aggression and/or invasion against the West from the 8th to the 17th centuries somehow unauthentic? Was that violence somehow just politically motivated without any reflection on converting the Christian masses to Islam or reducing them to dhimmi status?

The most common response to this will be to avoid the question altogether and assert something like "Well, violence has always been a part of Christianity as well, especially among you papists." Of course, this isn't true. Anybody want to compare the first couple of centuries of Christianity to the first couple of centuries of Islam?

Moreover, there is a weird sentiment among the masses that is willing to brand anything negative associated with the Catholic Church as a product of Catholicism, whilst anything negative associated with Islam is either "not Islam," some sort of "misunderstanding," or basically something that Christianity/The West had coming to them all along. When was the last time you heard a media source give that kind of moral leeway to Catholicism? Hell, popular opinion would have you believe that only the most tolerant of pro-abortion Catholics are remotely faithful to Christ, whereas everyone else is just a Pharisaical dogmatist. Anyways, the point is that, even when you hear accurate reports (which are rare enough) about the bad stuff in Church history, it's always directly attributed to the Church, rather than bad people carrying the Catholic label.

Yeah, I know. Islam doesn't have a single authority figure. The Church does. Under the prevailing logic, that means if the Pope was doing bad things, it was automatically Catholic. Muslims who do bad things are just misinterpreting the Koran (more on that shortly). The thing about this is that it presumes the same sort of ultramontane thinking that the Church has rejected. Nobody, even his contemporaries, thought Benedict IX was being Catholic with all his evil hijinks as pope. Nobody defends the Cadaver Synod. And so forth. Yet all such evils are considered distinctly Catholic, rather than their perpetrators being regarded as rogues committing decidedly non-Catholic actions.

Back to Islam and the actual question at hand. First, I am consistently amazed at the hubris of those who demand that the peaceful interpretation of the Koran is the correct. How do they know? Who died and made them Mohammed II?

Second, if we consider violence as opposed to Islam, we have to be able to reconcile this with Islam's historical roots. I'm open to any arguments on this point. When did this sort of stuff become unacceptable in Islam? The fall of the Ottoman Empire perhaps? Before then? I don't know. I'm not asking this as a rhetorical question. I really do want some theories about it. Again, preferably those that don't dodge the question by talking about violent Christians, Hindus, etc.

I'm also open to hearing arguments that its the Middle Eastern cultural milieu that is the source of Islam's violent DNA, rather than anything intrinsic to the religion itself. I have to credit WilfordBrimley of NDNation for first introducing me to this concept.

Or we can just assume that there is no longer any such thing as actual Islam. The word no longer has any meaning and there are now just a bunch of folks running around with the label. The problem with this line of thought is that we'd have to stop asserting that there is a "true Islam" that is peaceful. There would just be the Islam that allows for co-existence and the kind that doesn't. That doesn't mean we can consider one to be the "real" version without sacrificing our intellectual honesty.