Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Hilaire Belloc on Patriotism

"Patriotism has always existed, and always will, so long as men are bound in societies. One may feel that emotion of loyalty towards a tribe or a town, a tiny district, a feudal group and lord, a large nation or a whole vast culture; but it is always present, and always must be present. For if it were not, society could not hold together. Now, men must live in society; and therefore by every law of man's nature (that of self-preservation, that of the organ arising to supply the need, etc.), devotion to what the Greeks call "the City" must be present."
--Survivals and New Arrivals

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry Christmas!!

Well I'm a few days early, but I just can't wait! Plus also I'm going to busy as hell later on this week up until Christmas day to post anything.

As with most holidays, I have few things to say really. Christmas is the day we Christians celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It should have great meaning, but sadly nowadays our society neglects its true significance. Instead of celebrating our Lord's birth, Christmas largely has now become the biggest consumerist holiday of the year! I like receiving presents as much as anybody, but com'on! The parody the Twelve Pains of Christmas, gives one a hilarious take on Christmas commercialism.

Another pathetic attempt at de-Christianizing Christmas is the attempt by historians to claim that the Gospel stories of Christ's birth are not accurate at all. Frankly I'm not even getting into that discussion. Another charge is that December 25th is just a rip-off of some pagan festival. William J. Tighe takes a second look at that in his article "Calculating Christmas" that claims the exact opposite happened, the pagans took the date from Christians!

Then the ever more annoying PC assaults on Christmas. We can't say "Merry Christmas" but "Happy Holidays". We can't have nativity scenes. We can't mention Christ and blah blah blah blah. Of course other people's holidays like Hanukkah or Kwanza(what is this holiday even about anyways?) are more than welcomed. But anything Christian is a big No-No!

Pat Buchanan gave a wonderful insight into all this nonsense in his piece "The Abolition of Christmas". I particularly like the argument he makes when quoting Tom Piatak that "[w]e cannot forever shield non-Christians from the reality that they are a minority in America, and suppressing the observances of the majority seems a high price to pay to allow overly sensitive souls to live in comfortable delusion."

Right on! We the majority have every right to celebrate our own heritage!

So anyways....I wish all my Christian brothers and sisters a VERY Merry Christmas! And stay true to the real message of this special holiday.

As for non-Christians....well I wish them Merry Christmas as well. In fact I even have a little song for you. LOL!

To once again put a light-hearted take on all this, I'm going to post the (edited of course) lyrics to the South Park song "Merry F@#king Christmas"; why?.... because it give a hilarious take on all this multi-culturalist talk about how Christians should respect everybody else's customs :

Merry F@#king Christmas

(Mr. Garrison)
I heard there is no Christmas,
In the silly Middle East.
No trees, no snow, no Santa Claus.
They have different religious beliefs.

They believe in Muhammad,
And not in our holiday,
and so every December,
I go to the Middle East and say...

Hey there, mister Muslim!
Merry F@#kin' Christmas!
Put down that book the Koran,
and here's some holiday wishes..
In case you haven't noticed,
It's Jesus' birthday.
So get off your heathen Muslim ass,
And f@#kin' celebrate.

There is no holiday season,
In India, I've heard.
They don't hang up their stockings,
And that is just absurd.

They never read a Christmas story.
They don't know what Rudolph is about.
And that is why every December,
I'll go to India and shout...

Hey there, mister Hinduist!
Merry F@#kin' Christmas!
Drink eggnog and eat some beef,
And pass it to the missus..
*Hindu music*
In case you haven't noticed,
It's Jesus' birthday.
So get off your heathen Hindu ass,
And f@#kin' celebrate.

Now I've heard that in Japan,
Everyone just lives in sin.
They pray to several gods,
And put needles in their skin.

On December 25th,
All they do is eat a cake.
And that is why I go to Japan,
And walk around and say...

HEY THERE, mister Shintoist!
Merry F@#kin' Christmas!
God is gonna kick your ass,
You infidelic pagan scum!
*Japanese music*
In case you haven't noticed,
There's festive things to do.
So let's all rejoice for Jesus,
Merry F#@kin' Christmas, ta you.

On Christmas Day..
I travel around the world and say..
Daoists, Christians, Buddists,
and all you Atheists, too!
Merry F#@kin' Christma-aaaaas,
To yooo-oouuu!

*small clapping sound*

Thank you, Mr. Hat.

*Note: this was all for sarcastic and humourous purposes. Respect the faith and customs of other people, but don't let that mean rejecting your own heritage so as not to "offend" them. Thank you and God Bless you!

More links....geesh!

Yes I've managed to post some more links to this place.

Communion and Liberation - seeking to make the sacred teachings of the Church part of Catholic everyday life.

Many of these links have an Agrarianist theme to them. Agrarianism is very closely related to Catholic Third Way movements, especially Distributism. An agrarian based society has always been a bastion of faith, tradition, and communitarian based values.

Wendell Berry - a major Catholic agrarian thinker. I was really surprised to read Berry is Catholic, since I remember some negative remarks about Christianity in one of his books. Oh well!

The Agrarian Foundation - this has to be the best site on the web that promotes Christian Agrarianism. Very good!

Biblical Agrarianism - this is another good Christian-based agrarian site.

Hallowed Ground - very good Catholic Agrarian/Distributist blog

The Deliberate Agrarian - another Christian agrarian blog

Christian Self Reliance Info site - interesting site promotimg Christians to live the simple life!

And various other themed links:

Chesterton and Friends - blog dedicated to GK Chesterton

Democracy of the Dead - a blog that takes a look at politics and society as a whole from a traditionalist perspective.

Athanasius Contra Mundum - a new Traditional Catholic blog

Wilderness Voices - a Kinist blog. For those who don't know, Kinism is a Calvinist-based movement that stresses the validity of ethnic identities as the basis for social organization. You can read a basic introduction here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What exactly is racism?

Maclin Horton of Caelum et Terra makes some interesting points on what is very much a heated topic for discussion nowadays.

I certainly agree with him that many accusations of "racism" go overboard at times. The term itself is often vague. At times it seems that pointing out the obvious differences between various groups of people is considered "racist". Often just taking deep pride in your own heritage is "racist", and so on.

In a previous post, I already pointed out the absurdity of claiming Frosty the Snowman as a racist figure.

It's sad to see that there is a great lack of common sense when discussing issues like this one.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

New Links

Yes, Ive added some new links to blog.

The Underground Bakery - A Catholic "alternative" nationalist website that offers real good insights

Breaking all the Rules - Conserative America First Populism

Ignatius Insight - Catholic commentaries

Center for Economic and Social Justice - great resource for Third Way economics

And two blogs run by young Taditional-minded Catholics (nice to see Im not the only one around hehehehe):

Hard Sayings

College Catholic

So there.............

Religious faith in Europe, on the decline?

Back in the October edition of First Things Magazine, Richard John Neuhaus gave a brilliant analysis of the nature of religious devotion in the so-called "New Europe" (named after Donald Rumsfeld's remark), which is mostly referring to Eastern Europe. In particular it focuses on Poland.

Neuhaus makes an interesting observation that religious devotion in Poland is on the rise, and this is challenging the old notion that Europe by and large is secularist in nature. Yet Neuhaus also mentions that "[o]bservers are struck by the small but dynamic movements of Christian renewal in, for example, France and Germany. Moreover, some studies suggest that the general population of western Europe is not as secular as many think."

I myself have challenged this notion of a secularist Europe many times on this blog, and it seems that my basic arguments have support elsewhere.

In particular, I turn to Andrew Greeley's insightful article "Religious Decline in Europe?", in which he exposes many of the cliches about religious devotion on the continent. His basic argument is that the status of religion in Europe is far more complex than the mainstream media portrays. As he summarizes:

[Religion] has declined in some countries (France, Britain, the Netherlands), has increased in other countries (Russia, Latvia, Slovenia, Hungary), remains high and stable in yet other countries (Ireland, Poland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Cyprus, Austria), stable and diffuse in still other countries (Spain, Italy, Portugal) and stable and low in yet other countries (Scandinavia, the former East Germany, the Czech Republic).

I fully agree with Greeley on this. Religion is by no means finished in Europe. Like Neuhaus, Greeley has also written about the religious revivals taking place in Eastern Europe. So while I may not agree with Greeley's progressive views, I certainly admire his spirit in challenging all the cliches about religion in modern society. For example, He has also exposed many of the myths concerning the sex abuse scandals within the priesthood, among other things.

I certainly do not wish to say that everything is all good with concerns to religious devotion in Europe. What I am saying is that things are not as bad it may appear at first sight. There's still plenty of evangelizing work that needs to be done. However, I prefer to see the glass as half full in this respect; as opposed to the commonly portrayed perception of the glass largely being empty with only three drops of water left.

That most certainly is the image you would get if you simply go by accounts like William Murchinson's overly pessimistic "Vanishing Sea of Faith: European Islam & the Doubtful Future of Christian Europe". Many of Murchinson's arguments are easily refuted by Greeley(especially the ones about low church attendance rates). Murchinson relies heavily on George Wiegel's The Cube and the Cathedral as a source for his doom and gloom sentiments.

Yet Wiegel himself admits that the younger generations of Europe are more openly expressing their religious faith; as could be seen just this year by their large numbers both at John Paul II's funeral in Rome and Benedict XVI's visit to Colonge for World Youth Day. It's only a question how much more damage will the secularist generation of '68 cause before the new generation takes command. This only proves my basic point(backed up by Neuhaus, Greeley, and others) that the situation is far more complex, and that the Christian faith is still a force to reckon with in Europe.

I'll let Greeley give the final word:

"M. Voltaire and his colleagues confidently predicted the quick end of religion in Europe. They were wrong. A quarter millennium later, their successors are still wrong. Religion—imperfect, troubled, always changing, conflicted, always surviving, always under assault—still manages to hang on. Those who know more about such things than I do tell me that modernity is finished."

Amen to that!

**Final Note: I should also note that Neuhaus' article is not simply about religious decline/revival in the "New Europe". It also stresses the conflict within Poland between two major camps: one envisioning a Poland embracing its historical heritage, which is based in the Catholic faith; and those advocating a more universalist and secularist society(whose supposed utopia will be the European Union). This is certainly a struggle all nations in Europe must face. Just wanted to bring this to attention.

Memory and Identity

Last night, I came across a copy of John Paul II's last book Memory and Identity. In its pages, the late Pontiff reflects on many political and social issues concerning the modern world. I must say I was really moved by what I read.

I particularly enjoyed the section of the book concerning issues of patriotism and nationality. John Paul II asserted that nations, like families, are natural entities that are not forged merely by convention. He also claimed that patriotism is a noble virtue, and decried how many in the world today have rejected their rich heritages in the name of a "post-identity" world. He spoke often about the experience of the Polish nation and his own relationship to it as a guide for many of his viewpoints on the topic. These are all positions I most certainly agree with, and to which this blog is fully dedicated to spreading.

The Pope addressed other issues as well: the relationship between Church and State, Europe's identity and relationship to other continents, and so on. Sadly, I was not able to fully read the entire book, but as soon as I can will obtain a copy of this book.

Although I remain critical of many of John Paul II's policies and teachings, and how many of his followers portray him(I do not believe he should be canonized nor referred to as "John Paul the Great"); nevertheless, his words always touched a deep chord with me. Rest in Peace John Paul II.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Politically Incorrect Science

During my recent visits to local bookstores, I've come across Tom Bethell's recent book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, which claims to expose many of the myths that surround the scientific field. Bethell claims that science has been hijacked by certain political cliques to push their own agendas onto society at large.

I was particularly interested in his chapters concerning cloning, stem cell research, and genetic engineering in general. Bethell utterly annihilates the commonly held notion that these developments are the key to mankind's future, and how man has now supposedly conquered nature. Interesting, since most public discussions on these issues try to present the issue purely as one of ethics vs. science. Yet in reality, it's more complex. Many scientists are skeptical of the miraculous possibilities of such.

I've always been interested in exposing the eugenics agenda that pushes forward these developments, and countering the knee-jerk responses by supporters to any form of criticism. Just carrying on the banner from where G.K. Chesterton left off with his 1922 book Eugneics and Other Evils. Bethell now gives us anti-eugenicists actual scientific data in which to defeat its supporters on their own ground.

The chapter dealing with the supposed myth of Christianity vs. science was also interesting. Much of the information presented I already knew(for example no educated person since the third century B.C. believed the world was flat, all the Church fathers believed it was round) but it was still interesting nevertheless. The notion of science vs. Religion is largely a 19th century invention.

The chapter dealing with Intelligent design vs. evolution was also of some interest. I already put forth my basic view concerning this issue, namely that my general sympathies were with the Intelligent Design camp but that I was not a strict adherent to it.

So yes, I highly recommend this book. It exposes the agendas behind scientific "advancements" that only serve to the moral fabric of our society.

What's your style of Catholicism?

I found a link, via College Catholic, to a very good quiz that discerns what form of Caholicism you adhere to. I agree with College Catholic, that provides more depth than other quizes on the topic.

My results are as follows:

You scored as Traditional Catholic. You look at the great piety and holiness of the Church before the Second Vatican Council and the decay of belief and practice since then, and see that much of the decline is due to failed reforms based on the "Spirit of the Council". You regret the loss of vast numbers of Religious and Ordained clergy and the widely diverging celebrations of the Mass of Pope Paul VI, which often don't even seem to be Catholic anymore. You are helping to rebuild this past culture in one of the many new Traditional Latin Mass communities or attend Eastern Catholic Divine Liturgy. You seek refuge from the world of pornography, recreational drugs, violence, and materialism. You are an articulate, confident, committed, and intelligent Catholic.

But do you support legitimate reform of the Church, and are you willing to submit to the directives of the Second Vatican Council? Will you cooperate responsibly with others who are not part of the Traditional community?

Traditional Catholic - 79%
Neo-Conservative Catholic - 57%
Radical Catholic - 57%
Lukewarm Catholic- 50%
Evangelical Catholic - 41%
Liberal Catholic - 33%
New Catholic - 29%

No suprises there. As for the questions at the end: 1) I certainly am in favor of the more positive aspects of Vatican II that are in place(particularly concerning Eastern Catholics). and 2) Yes Im willing to cooperate with non-Traditionalist Catholics. My link to Andrew Greeley proves that!

Berdyaev and the Catholic Third Way

I found this interesting article concerning the influence of Russian emigre philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev on many Catholic political and intellectual movements of the early 20th century. In particular it emphasizes his relations with the Personalist movement headed by Emmanuel Mounier.

Nikolai Berdyaev has long been one of my favorite philosophers and his teachings have been a strong influence on my intellectual development. Emmanuel Mounier, on the other hand, I have only recently been aware of. I first heard of him when reading John Hellman's wonderful account of the Ordre Nouveau, which was a movement of European Catholic intellectuals in the early 20th century. Nevertheless, I'm hoping to learn more about Mounier and his theories of Personalism in the near future(possibly even reading Hellman's own biography of him).

The political and social teachings of Personalism truly are remarkable. It stresses the full development of the person in not only his individual strengths but also his social associations(after all, man is a social animal). It rejects both Capitalist individualism(which borders on narcissism) and Communist collectivism(which denies the individual dignity of the person). Instead, as noted in the article at the top, Personalism advocates a "Third Way" that involves "the development of organic, communal societies to encourage the creation of true persons, and to replace urban isolation."

So this is very much an interesting read about the relationship between of two truly great Christian intellectual geniuses of the 20th century.

The Chronicles of Narnia and more PC nonsense

Well this weekend Disney released its own adaptation of C.S. Lewis' classic The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. From what I've heard, the film has received very positive reviews and how this maybe the start of a new trend for Hollywood, that is making films with more overt Christian elements. I certainly hope that's true. When I get some free time I will most certainly try to see it.

However, it seems that political correctness and multi-culturalism have several problems with the Chronicles of Narnia. Recently this article has come to my attention that outlines the supposed racism of the books. My particular favorite is that C.S. Lewis' books are clearly "Anglo-centric" since all the visitors to Narnia are British, all the door-ways to Narnia are in England, and Narnia coincidently resembles medieval British society.

Yes, how dare a British author write books about British people visiting fantasy worlds that so happened to resemble British society. Is that racism, or simply an author writing within his own cultural context and trying to make the fantasy aspects more understandable to his general audience? Not only that, Lewis was a very patriotic Englishman, so his writings most likely reflected that world-view; which was the same with the Brother Grimm as I explained in a previous post. That can be said of many writers, including Dante or even Shakespeare(Henry V being the most famous example of his patriotic plays).

Sadly, this is only the beginning. The Chronicles also are racist because the villains of the story, the Calormenes, are "oily and dark-skinned people who wear turbans, pointy slippers and armed with scimitars". Not to mention they also worship a "false God". Clearly the Calormenes are allegorical references to Muslims. And your point is what? It's not uncommon for figures in fantasy literature to be based off actual people and creatures. And since C.S. Lewis' fantasy works are clearly Christian allegory, what else would you expect? Muslims have been the arch-enemy of Christendom for several centuries, and they still hold hatred for Christendom as they recently showed with their rampage of destruction in France.

So far, I have not heard any of these criticism leveled at the film per se. Most criticisms of the film I've heard so far is largely technical in nature. Thank goodness for that! Although it would be funny to see these politically-correct loud-mouths spew their nonsense and see the deaf hearing they'd most likely receive. Just like happened with their cries against Mel Gibson's film.

It can be quite comical at times at what many "academics" consider "racist" nowadays. My particular favorite is the condemnation of the supposed racist and sexist icon of Frosty the Snowman. You're seriously tempted to ask these people what are they smoking when they come up with this stuff.

So yeah go watch the film and enjoy it. Be glad of the fact that you're among the many other viewers who understand that the Chronicles are largely childrens' stories that contain a strong moral message. Just leave it to the academic morons to come up with all the nonsense.