Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as models for the modern "family"

[Personally I've never cared much to follow all the gossip and tabloid stories concerning famous celebrities. I for one don't even consider Angelina Jolie even that attractive, so I fail to understand all the hype that's been built around her. However, this is an interesting rant about how the current relationship between the two celebrities represent the degenerate state of the family in modern society.]


The unwed union of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt has now become a perfect microcosm of the New World Order. They had previously adopted—adoption now being routinely allowed for unmarried couples and single persons—a boy from Cambodia and a girl from Ethiopia, and now Jolie has given birth to a child she conceived with Pitt in their unceasingly publicized and celebrated affair, which destroyed Pitt’s marriage with Jennifer Aniston. So this unmarried couple now have a “family” consisting of three totally unrelated children representing each of the major races of mankind: an African black child (though actually Ethiopians are of a distinct race from the main Negro race), a Southeast Asian child, and a white child. We thus have the self-indulgent and socially approved destruction of marriage, and of the normal human kinship ties and normal societies that organically proceed from marriage, combined with the artificial construction of a new society consisting of the color-coordinated diversity of the whole human race. To top it off, the baby was born in Namibia, Africa, where Jolie is serving as good will ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 28, 2006 02:57 PM
Source: View From The Right

Christians shaped European history

"So far as Europe is concerned, [Christians] did more to shape its history than anyother single identifiable group of men and women. To find something which has an impact comparable to that of Christianity we have to look not to single events but to big processes like industrialization, or the great forces of prehistoric times like climate which set the stage for history."
-- J.M. Roberts, The Penguin History of Europe, pg. 61

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hey Democrats, how about thinking about the white working class for once?

That's what Ruy Teixeira is arguing. In fact, for a long time he's been arguing this. The fact the Democrats keep ignoring what he correctly terms "the forgotten majority", the Democrats are losing their traditional support base and thus why they've been doing so poorly in recent elections. Will the Democratic leadership listen? Probably not.

As we all know, the Democratic Party still remains entrenched with its obsession with minorities and other fringe elements. They most certainly are "the coalition of the whining" as Stephen Colbert once hilariously described them during the '04 election.

Probably one of the most disgraceful incidents exposing this trend is when Howard Dean denounced the Republicans as nothing more than a "white Christian party".

I'll be the first to admit that the Republicans are hardly any better. They screw over the American people as much as the Democrats. However, they at least have the common sense to appear supportive of the needs and concerns of the "forgotten majority". Although even the Republicans in recent years have been going through their own obsession with minority voters, especially Hispanics (nevermind they still overwhelmingly vote for the Democrats). So yes, in the end, the "forgotten majority" is definately being screwed over by both major parties.

Perhaps if the Democrats wish to defeat the Republicans in the elections this year, they might wish to change all this. But we might as well spit into the wind.

Immigration is not social justice

Immigration is not social justice, no matter what Cardinal Mahony says

I have been stewing about the Church's response to the sham immigration "reform" bills percolating in the Senate. This response has been led by Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles, who has never been noted for any political activism that didn't involve running interference for liberal Democrats.

The cardinal's position boils to this: the United States should abandon its southern border and let everyone in. In Mexico alone, according to a recent survey, something like a quarter of the population would move to the U.S. if given the chance. That means about 28 million people, in addition to the 11 million illegals already here.

This is not a teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. It has little to do with the Gospel. It is the cardinal's personal opinion. Let's go to the Catechism:
The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.
How can immigration possibly be a "natural right" in the same sense as the right to life, if it is subject to "various juridical conditions" -- and thus can be denied if the civil authority sees fit? The answer must be that it is a conditional right, based on dire circumstance. Like the classic hypothetical situation where a man takes bread from a store to feed his family, the Catechism presumably means that a person has the right to leave his homeland if the alternative is death (which is the literal reading of "livelihood.")

Mexico is a Third World country, but they are well-off by Third World standards. They have a trillion-dollar economy, which works out to over $10,000 per capita. Compared to regional neighbors Guatemala ($5,200), El Salvador ($5,100), Honduras ($2,800), and Nicaragua ($2,400), Mexico is quite wealthy. Its citizens aren't fleeing north because they are starving, they are trying to improve their economic prospects. Big difference.

The Mexican government wants to keep exporting its poor, mainly so it won't have to undertake necessary social and economic reforms to solve its internal problems. I cannot recall the good cardinal, or any other prelate, calling on Mexico to institute "social justice" measures -- for instance, to insist on honest judges or property rights for all classes, which would help their economy immeasurably.

What about the effect on black people? They are Americans who helped build this country, contributed sons to fight and die in its wars, and have contributed heavily to the cultural life of the nation. Two-thirds of blacks are middle class or richer, but one-third aren't. They deserve prior consideration in any social decision regarding mass low-skill immigration, and their interests should be protected. Same thing with poor whites, or poor Hispanics, or any other poor person.

No matter how rich or powerful it is, the United States is a country like any other, and it has the right to require documentation of immigrants, to refuse entry to criminals, and protect its poorest and most vulnerable citizens against economic calamity. Aiding and abetting a corrupt and dysfunctional government, impoverishing the poor, imperiling our common culture -- how exactly does mass immigration further social justice?

Posted by Eric Johnson at May 16, 2006 08:44 PM
Source: Catholic Light

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Taking a break from blogging

Many fans of this blog may have noticed that I haven't been posting here much lately. Well there's a reason for that, I'm taking a short vacation away from blogging. It's largely due to personal reasons. Don't know when exactly I'll be back, but it should be sometime in June.

I know...I know...and there's so much that I even want to comment about!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Belgian Churches being used as Mosques

Read about the story here. Sorry, I don't have much time at the moment to give a full commentary. This just goes to show how far off the wall the clergy have gone with their obsessive fetish for foreign immigrants.

Nevermind that Charles Martel, Jan III Sobieski and countless others fought hard to keep Christian Europe out of the hands of the Islamic hordes. Speaking of which, one can read my post "Charles Martel...Where are thou?", in which I deal with the issue of how thankful Europe should be that these men did indeed stop the Islamic invasion. And now these supposed "Catholic" priests betray the legacy of these heroic men! It just makes ones blood boil!

Along with the fact that last October, Muslim immigrants went on a rampage of destruction in nearby France further shows the irresponsibility of these priests. How on earth is it justified to protect people who have complete utter contempt for European culture and its spiritual foundation of Christianity, not to mention strong violent tendencies? Oh yeah, and let's not forget they're in Belgium ILLEGALLY!

Seriously, you wonder what is going through the minds of these priests!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Shelby Steele on White Guilt

Despite the fact that Shelby Steele's article "White Guilt and the Western Past" is largely intended to advocate a more belligerent course of action towards the Islamic world, nevertheless he does hit on some very important points about what's wrong with Western society today; namely the fact that it refuses to acknowledge its own rich heritage and given its internal enemies the moral highground.

And he pulls no punches when exposing the cause of this self-hatred:
"After World War II, revolutions across the globe, from India to Algeria and from Indonesia to the American civil rights revolution, defeated the authority inherent in white supremacy, if not the idea itself. And this defeat exacted a price: the West was left stigmatized by its sins. Today, the white West–like Germany after the Nazi defeat–lives in a kind of secular penitence in which the slightest echo of past sins brings down withering condemnation. There is now a cloud over white skin where there once was unquestioned authority."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

James Bowman's Sense of Honor

The concept of honor has been at the basis of any true civilization throughout history. Over several centuries this concept governed matters of moral and social responsibilities. Yet over the past century or so, Western society has been rejecting this very concept, with the decline of cultural vitality and strength as the major result. This decline has only left the West vulnerable to attacks from Islamic fanatics (who still adhere to a primitive form of honor). If the West wishes to survive these attacks and eventually defeat its enemies, the West will have to rediscover its forgotten ideals of honor and valor. That’s the basic argument made by James Bowman in his new book Honor: A History. Within its pages, Bowman seeks to give an authoritative account of the development of Western concepts of honor and valor done through the ages: from its origins in the Greco-Roman world, to the Medieval concept of chivalry, to the Victorian gentleman, to its eventual decline during World War I to the rise of the “post-honor society” in wake of the Vietnam War and the cultural revolution of the 1960’s. Bowman then goes on to show how honor still has a place within the modern world, and it’d wise for Western society to recover at least some form of it.

Although Bowman certainly deserves credit for attempting to bring light on a matter like this to the public eye, and to especially critique modern decadence with a call for a return to forgotten principles; yet as far as this work being an actual history of the development of Western concepts of honor, it’s not too impressive.

For example, only a few pages are actually devoted to describing the concept of honor during the Middle Ages, which is perhaps the historical epoch Westerners most associate with honor. Exactly how on earth is that possible? We’re talking about the Age of Chivalry, and only five or so pages are dedicated to it!

In fact when concerning the whole history of honor prior to the 20th century, one gets the impression that Bowman only glances over it very briefly; almost as if he wants to get to the modern era as quickly as possible. Only when Bowman starts getting more and more into the 20th century and describing the eventual decline of honor and the rise of the “post-honor society” does he seem to devote any kind of real attention to the matter. Why is this? Probably due to two important factors the author mentions within the pages of his book.

Well within the introduction to the book, Bowman recalls his youthful days as an anti-war activist during the Vietnam era, lamenting the fact that he never served in the military. Furthermore, he laments the rampant decadence that was become all to prevalent within modern society and America’s supposed “weak” response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th (more on this later). So Bowman makes it clear that this book is largely intended to be a commentary on modern society rather than a full historical account of the concept of honor.

This is further proved by the fact that Bowman admits to largely disregarding most scholarship on the matter, claiming that it is too full of liberal bias. Although I would certainly agree with Bowman’s basic assessment, however I think he simply uses this as an excuse in not having to do a more thorough scholarly work and to attack those who disagree with his positions. This is particularly true when Bowman pretty much knee-jerks Leo Braudy’s From Chivalry to Terrorism: War and the Changing Nature of Masculinity, for supposedly arguing that chivalry and terrorism are basically the same thing.

Yet when it comes to providing an actual detailed historical account of Western notions of heroic masculinity and its development, Braudy’s book far outclasses Bowman’s work. Yet when it comes to describing the continual relevance of such notions in current society and into the future, Bowman shows more promise. Braudy is of the common opinion that modern society has basically outgrown any real need for a heroic sense of masculinity based on honor and such. Masculinity altogether needs to be redefined. Bowman argues the opposite, claiming that such ideals still have great relevance, but yes may need to be modified a bit in order to pertain to current concerns and needs. So in a sense, both works complement each other.

Yet failing to give to a general historical account of Western concepts of honor is not the only flaw of Bowman’s book. His description of the relationship between the concept of honor and the Christian faith deserves a proper answer. Bowman at first praises Christianity for its immeasurable role in the development of Western culture. He even notes that Christianity was an important factor in making Western notions of honor far more unique from that found in other cultures. For example, the elevated status that women enjoy within Western honor is not found in other cultures, particularly the Islamic world.

Yet despite all this praise, Bowman insists that at the heart of Christianity is a bias against the concept of honor. Christian teachings go fully against everything that honor stands for; and that the advent of chivalry and eventually the Victorian concept of the Christian gentlemen were nothing than an uneasy compromise between the two ideals that was doomed to eventual failure (in World War I).

I can only say that Bowman doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The basis of the concept of honor is largely an adherence to high principles and maintaining the good will of ones peers. There’s nothing un-Christian about that. However, many times honor can too easily degrade into egotism and protecting ones pride and vanity. This certainly has happened many times throughout history, and was a major element to the pagan sense of honor. The Christian sense of honor goes on the other hand condemns this, calling for a self-sacrificial adherence to ones principles. If one must endure severe insults to ones reputation in the name of a greater cause, then so be it. The Catholic Encyclopedia goes into more details about the significant differences between the Christian and the pagan concepts of honor.

Yet it is the Christian sense of honor that Bowman seems to reject. Bowman declares that a man of honor must answer any challenge made to him, while Christian demands that a man turn the other cheek. Bowman wrongly claims that this means Christianity is pacifist in nature, it does not. CS Lewis gave wonderful insight into the question:
"Does anyone suppose that Our Lord's hearers understood Him to mean that if a homicidal maniac, attempting to murder a third party, tried to knock me out of the way, I must stand aside and let him get his victim?"
Christ’s command to ‘turn the other cheek’ does not mean that the legitimate use of violence for purposes of self-defense is not acceptable. Rather Christ is telling his followers not to take the law into their own hands. Yet according to Bowman, a man of honor is supposed to take the law into his own hands, in the practice of the duel.

There certainly is no doubt that the relationship between Christian teachings and the ideals of honor was complex, however Bowman fails to provide a proper account of it. A far better account of such is provided by Allen J. Frantzen’s Bloody Good: Chivalry, Sacrifice, and the Great War. Unlike Bowman, Frantzen actually gives accounts about how Christianity since its beginnings had a deep admiration for martial valor; which is clearly seen in Ephesians 6:10-18, where St. Paul calls on Christians to put on “the armor of God”, “the helmet of salvation”, and wield “the sword of the spirit”. Frantzen also explains in great detail the important role that Christ’s passion and death had on the development of chivalry. Frantzen also gives more detailed accounts about the Medieval development of chivalry and its 19th century revival.

As mentioned before, the main value of Bowman’s work is largely detailing the decline of honor in modern society, and how a revival of such ideals can help drag us out of our rampant social decadence. Yet even here Bowman’s analysis is highly flawed, especially when dealing with the role of honor in America’s foreign policy. Long story short, Bowman advocates a Neo-Con policy of complete aggression towards the Islamic world, and that anybody who doesn’t agree with that is basically a liberal sissy who wishes to give in to terrorists. In other words, it’s a dressed up version of the famous "Dicks vs. Assholes vs. Pussies" rant made by the character Gary Johnson in the movie “Team America: World Police”. I’m sure Bowman could’ve done much better than that.

Sadly this also destroys the potential value this book may have had. Bowman’s call for the revival of honor in the end is reduced as just another way of knocking off the liberal Democrats and an excuse for waging wars of aggression against the Islamic world. If this is what Bowman considers honor to be largely about, then count me out!

That is not to say Bowman’s book is utterly worthless, it most certainly is not. However, one has to selectively absorb what Bowman is saying in order to get a true picture of the story.

Also in fairness, at his website Bowman provides a collection of several articles and essays he’s written on the matter. In my opinion, these are of far better quality than many of the statements he makes in his book.

So in a final and ironic twist, Bowman is correct in stating the West is need of reviving its now forgotten notions of honor and valor in order to maintain any kind of strength and cultural vitality. Yet the exact form of honor that Bowman advocates to fulfill that mission may not actually be what the West truly needs right now.