Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Yes I know, I'm a few days early. However, as any reader of this blog knows, lately I've been extremely busy with other affairs. I'll admit this year in general has not been a pleasant one for me. But enough about that.

Yes indeed, it's Christmas time again, and who isn't busy this time of year? Seriously, instead of the Twelve Days of Christmas, we now have the Twelve Pains of Christmas.

Then there's the annual War on Christmas. Thanks to political Correctness, we Christians have to celebrates every other holiday except ours. I particularly like Russ Wills' take on all this, especially: "I’m a Christian. I celebrate Christmas. So have a happy Hanukkah. Have a wonderful Kwanzaa. If you’re an atheist, have a good day. I’m a Christian – will someone please wish me a merry Christmas, dammit?!"

Then there's always Mr. Garrison's particular manner of wishing a Merry Christmas to non-Christians. ROTFL!

Fr. Greeley “patronizes” Third World, oh no!

This is would almost be hilarious if it weren’t so pathetic. Apparently Naomi Schaefer Riley of the Wall Street Journal is extremely upset over some remarks Fr. Andrew Greeley recently made during the annual conference of the American Academy of Religion. Apparently a woman asked Greeley the now all too common question concerning the growing numbers of Christians in the Third World and how this might effect the future nature of the faith. Greeley’s response was, "We will depend on them for vitality…But they will continue to depend on us for the ideas."

Riley and others are appalled at such a remark, claiming that it’s "patronizing" towards Third World Christians (what a surprise they didn’t use the old "racist" charge).

Although how exactly these remarks were "patronizing" is not clearly explained, especially since Riley makes describes how Greeley had plenty of praise for many aspects of Christianity from this part of the world, even admitting that “[w]e have much to learn from them."

The simple truth is that Greeley admitted a basic fact that often gets ignored in most sensationalist talk about the future of Christianity; that even though much of current growth is taking place within the Third World, Europe and North America still remain the major intellectual centers of the faith, and will probably remain so well into the future.

Of course, to openly admit this simple fact goes against the current media fad that seeks to over glamorize the growth of the faith within this part of the world. All of a sudden, according to some, the Third World is the only place in the world where Christianity is really being practiced. Only they can save Christendom. Forget Europe and North America, they're a lost cause. In fact the only way these regions can be reconverted is through the massive importation of immigrants from the Third World (one especially hears this in regards to Hispanic immigration into the US). Or as Philip Jenkins remarked, soon the term "white Christian" will become nothing more than a "curious oxymoron" ("A New Christendom").

It seems that's what really made Riley and others so upset over those remarks, the fact that Fr. Greeley had to courage to challenge this all too common media cliché. Even more asinine is when one of Greeley’s critics, Timothy Shah, admits that "much of the wealth and many of the educational institutions within the major churches are located in Europe and North America."

Which only serves to beg the question, what exactly is the problem here? Did it ever occur to these people that maybe Europe and North America might still continue to play important roles within the universal Christendom? Apparently not!

Riley continues on with her charade right to the end, charging that Greeley is not being true to himself:
"Father Greeley isn't exactly known as a defender of orthodoxy, of course. But he is ostensibly a believer in the multiculturalist ethic -- hearing "people the church doesn't want to hear." Well, up to a point."
That’s complete utter nonsense. If anything, Greeley did exactly as he set out to do.

As noted above, the media has an almost excessive obsession with reporting the rise of Christianity within the Third World, and at the same proclaiming the death of the faith within Europe and North America.

Many of these sentiments were openly expressed in the aftermath of the death of John Paul II. Commentators across the spectrum were shouting about how the next pope would (or rather should) be from the Third World. The very idea of another European pope (with the partial exception of an Italian) was never heard. Perhaps it should be mentioned that Fr. Greeley was himself in favor of the election of a pope from this area of the world.

Whatever relations there’ll be between the Third World and us will be one-sided; i.e. the Third World will be the ones doing all the teaching (after all, they’re the only true Christians left in the world), and we should just do our best and obey their every command. Talk about patronizing!

Yet any kind of criticism to any aspect of this perspective is practically unheard of within many of the commentaries on this issue. So yes, Greeley did indeed give a voice to those within the Christian community who too often go unnoticed.

Despite Riley’s attempts at painting Greeley as a patronizing racist (she doesn’t call him that, but it most certainly is implied), the fact remains that the man is a staunch defender and advocate of Third World Christianity. However, unlike most other advocates, like Philip Jenkins (the most famous example), Greeley clearly has more honesty in refusing to dismiss European-based Christendom as completely irrelevant. We have much to learn from them, but at the same time they have much to learn from us.

Perhaps there is hope that Greeley’s remarks are a sign signifying a major backlash against the constant claim that Europe and the Western world in general have no real place in the future of the Christian faith. Pope Benedict XVI himself challenged this notion, during his August interview with German reporters, explaining:
"We still need Europe, even if Europe is only a part of a greater whole…So it's important that today we don't give up, feeling sorry for ourselves and saying: "Look at us, we are just a minority; let's at least try and preserve our small number!" We have to keep our dynamism alive, open relationships of exchange, so that new strength for us comes from there."
In other words, we white European Christians are neither irrelevant nor a "curious oxymoron"; we still have much to give to the world. So the likes of Jenkins, Shah, Riley and others can go shove it!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I'm still alive!

I know I know, I've been posting here rather erratically lately. What can I say, real life is constantly distracting me from blogging. I wish I could blog on a more consistent basis, but for the foreseeable future that may not be possible. And what a shame, there's so much I wish to comment on.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The fraud that are modern universities!

Another sarcastic but insightful rant by Fred Reed on why universities should be abolished!

Now why should they be abolished? For one thing, to attend one is absurdly expensive and places you and your family in debt for decades to come (possibly for the rest of your life). This alone makes them an incredible scam!

Also you don't really get that much of an education anyways; you're better off just going to the local library and reading up on various topics for yourself. Interesting Fred makes mention of Mark Twain, who himself once stated "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." That pretty much is the philosophy I've followed in the several years of enduring school.

Don't even get me started about all the political correctness and cultural Marxism that prevails on most campuses these days.

Plus, you're constantly surrounded by spoiled brats who basically just want to base their life around getting drunk and having sex. Yes, there's a time and place for those things, but surely there's more to life than that. Not to mention the irresponsible manner in which university students often "party" gives off the impression that they're nothing more than overgrown kindergartners (which is in fact exactly what they are).

So yes, there are plenty of reasons why universities are complete frauds and need to be abolished. Or at the very least one should avoid attending one.

If you really wish to attend college, try going to a community college, since there are several advantages to doing so.

If you must attend a major university, then try hooking up with TFP's Student Action, which is dedicated to bringing together Traditionalist-minded students together for a common cause.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Benedict XVI on Europe's role in the future of Christianity

These are some inspiring exceprts from a two-part interview the Pope did with various TV channels. You can read part one along with part two of the interview at Zenit.org.

Within the course of the interview, Pope Benedict made clear his thoughts about the important role Europe will continue to have within the mission of the universal church:

Q: Holy Father, Christianity has spread around the world starting from Europe. Now many people think that the future of the Church is to be found in other continents. Is that true? Or, in other words, what is the future of Christianity in Europe, where it looks like it's being reduced to the private affair of a minority?

Benedict XVI: I'd like to introduce a few subtleties. It's true, as we know, that Christianity began in the Near East. And for a long time, its main development continued there. Then it spread in Asia, much more than what we think today after the changes brought about by Islam. Precisely for this reason its axis moved noticeably toward the West and Europe. Europe -- we're proud and pleased to say so -- further developed Christianity in its broader intellectual and cultural dimensions.

...Europe definitely became the center of Christianity and its missionary movement. Today, other continents and other cultures play with equal importance in the concert of world history. In this way the number of voices in the Church grows, and this is a good thing.

It's good that different temperaments can express themselves -- the special gifts of Africa, Asia and America, Latin America in particular. Of course, they are all touched not only by the word of Christianity, but by the secular message of this world that carries to other continents the disruptive forces we have already experienced.

All the bishops from different parts of the world say: We still need Europe, even if Europe is only a part of a greater whole. We still carry the responsibility that comes from our experiences, from the science and technology that was developed here, from our liturgical experience, to our traditions, the ecumenical experiences we have accumulated: All this is very important for the other continents too.

So it's important that today we don't give up, feeling sorry for ourselves and saying: "Look at us, we are just a minority; let's at least try and preserve our small number!" We have to keep our dynamism alive, open relationships of exchange, so that new strength for us comes from there.
So yes, even with the growth of the faith in the Third World and elsewhere, Europe will still maintain an important place within the universal church. Even today Europe is still recognized as the intellectual leader of the Christian world.

Must a blow to those circles that insist that all our attention should be focused on the Third World, even at the expense of losing Europe.

And it seems that the man who started this whole charade, Philip Jenkins, is up to his old tricks with his newly released book The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South. According to the link, Jenkin's book about "Europe's coming religious struggle is scheduled for late 2007". Gee, I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What Katrina really exposed

Well it's the one year anniversary of the Katrina disaster, and it's all over the media. Great, as if all the attention given towards the annual anniversary of September 11th wasn't enough. Not that we shouldn't remember such events, far from it, but the manner in which people nowadays try to honour such events gets tedious and asinine at times. For one thing, did September 11th really need to become a holiday (Patriot Day of all possible names)? I don't recall December 7th being a holiday, even though that's the day when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Will Bush push forward a proposal to make today "National Disaster Rememberance Day" or something along those lines? I certainly hope not, but I guess anything is possible.

Of course Liberals will probably try to use this anniversary as another excuse to bash down on Bush and show how his incompetence help brought about this disaster. While there is some truth to that, it must be remembered that fault for the Katrina disaster goes well beyond Bush - it extends to whole segments of federal, state, and local authorities as well.

That was the argument put forth by Kara Hopkins' article "Fire and Rain", written in the October 10, 2005 issue of The American Conservative. Basically the whole welfare state system that had governed in Louisana and New Orleans not only proved to be too incompetent to organize an effective evacacuation of the city.; but for generations promoted social values that would've made such an evacuation possible to begin with. And course that's not just all, but more on that later.

Yet Hopkins also addresses one issue that was most certainly overlooked by the mainstream media and still is - the issue of race. Let's face the facts, the vast majority of looters in New Orleans were Black. Of course many will try to excuse that by claiming that Blacks have been victims of racism and poverty. Hopkins of course dismisses this as nonsense, stating:
"Lawlessness didn’t rule because the looters had spent lifetimes deprived of DVD players. They were out to get something for nothing—an ethic bred by years of guilty generosity prefaced on the assumption that the standard rules of social advancement don’t venture into the ghetto."
Not only DVDs, but also Heineken beer as well.

Nevetheless, it cannot be denied that issues of race came to the forefront in the aftermath of the Katrina disaster - if only because Blacks themselves chose to make it an issue. Many of sought to blame racism for the slow response to the disaster. As New Orleans evacuee Patricia Thompson stated: "No one is going to tell me it wasn’t a race issue...Yes, it was an issue of race. Because of one thing: when the city had pretty much been evacuated, the people that were left there mostly was black."

Not only that, a certain rap music video seeks to prove that George Bush Don't Like Black People. Then who could forget Louis Farrakhan's remarks about how Bush blew up the levies to deliberately drown the Black residents of New Orleans. Oh yeah and to top it all off, Mayor Ray Nagin's remarks about New Orleans being a "Chocolate City".

Of course some might want to dismiss these incidents as merely the extreme rantings of a random few. While these remarks might have been the extreme, they did expose the seemingly deep-seated sense of anti-white bigotry that appears to prevail within significant portions of the black community.

Michelle Malkin, for one thing, even exposed the open support Farrakhan enjoys among many prominent black celebrities and leaders, as was demonstrated by their widespread turnout to the Millions More gathering last October. And the names she lists are quoted directly from the official website for the gathering. Amazing!

Yet it takes little imagination to wonder what would happen if any prominent white leader or celebrity decided to openly endorse such overt racist bigotry. So clearly a double-standard is in place here, in more ways than one.

For one thing, it's perfectly alright for blacks and other minorities to embrace and openly proclaim their heritage. Yet for whites to do the same is denounced as racism and a bigotry. This is the common logic being promoted into maintstream society by multiculturalism.

After all, so multiculturalists will say, white European and European-descented peoples have contributed nothing of real lasting value to the world; only wars, slavery, and imperialism. Oh yeah and let's not forget that white Europeans imposed that intolerant faith of Christianity on the world along with it. Peoples of European-descent have nothing to be proud of, in fact they should be ashamed of themselves. There is only one proper response to such allegations - HUMBUG!

Well at least that's the most proper non-vulgar response to such allegations.

The truth of the matter is that white European descented peoples should not have to be ashamed of who they are. Yes, our ancestors committed some cruel and unfair things, but in fairness all cultures have engaged in such actions, so why single out Europeans?

Perhaps it should be noted that white Europeans weren't the only ones involved in the slave trade. In fact the African nation of Benin even admitted its key role in the slave trade and sought forgiveness for its actions. A. Peter Bailey of Vital Issues: A Journal of African American Speeche even had this to say: "There has been a tendency to blur over the pivotal role that some African chiefs played in the enslavement of African people." So there's plenty of blame to go around, but that's not even the point here.

To reduce the rich European derived heritage - from its origins in Greece and Rome, to the Medieval period, the Renaisance, and yes even the Enlightenment to some extent - to just slavery and imperialism is in the end nothing more than an atrocious act of bigotry in its truest form.

So yes, in the end Hurricane Katrine did indeed expose many things, and not just the incompetence of Bush and FEMA. It certainly did expose the deep seated racial bigotry that exists within certain segments of American society, although not exactly in the manner many would want us to think. In a terrible irony, the very people who claimed to have been the victims of such bigotry in the end were the ones who openly engaged in it. And worse off, this bigotry was only one piece in a larger puzzle.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pope Benedict on St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Yesterday was the feast day of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who was one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the Medieval period. He remains one of my personal favorite saints and his writings have had a profound influence on my spiritual growth.

On the occasion of his feast day, Pope Benedict XVI gave his own thoughts on the importance of St. Bernard to Catholic spirituality in the modern age. Here are some excerpts:
"Among the saints of the day, the calendar mentions today St. Bernard of Clairvaux, great doctor of the Church, who lived between the 11th and 12th centuries (1091-1153). His example and teachings appear particularly useful also in our time.
The wealth and value of his theology are not owed only to his opening new avenues, but rather on his having succeeded in proposing the truths of faith with a clear and incisive style, able to fascinate those who hear him and to dispose the spirit to recollection and prayer.

In each of his writings the echo is perceived of a rich interior experience, which he succeeded in communicating to others with an amazing capacity of persuasion.

For him, love is the greatest force of the spiritual life. God, who is love, creates man out of love and out of love rescues him. The salvation of all human beings, mortally wounded by original sin and burdened with personal sins, consists in adhering firmly to divine charity, which was fully revealed to us in Christ crucified and risen.

In his love, God heals our will and sick intelligence, raising them to the highest level of union with him, namely, to holiness and mystical union.

St. Bernard speaks of this among other things in his brief but consistent "Liber de diligendo Deo" (Book on the Love of God). He has another writing that I would like to point out, the "De Consideratione," a brief document addressed to Pope Eugene III. The dominant theme of this book, extremely personal, is the importance of interior recollection -- and he said this to a Pope -- an essential element of piety.

It is necessary to pay attention to the dangers of excessive activity, regardless of one's condition and occupation, observes the saint, because -- as he said to the Pope of that time, and to all Popes and to all of us -- numerous occupations often lead to "hardness of heart," "they are no more than suffering for the spirit, loss of intelligence and dispersion of grace" (II, 3).

This admonition is valid for all kinds of occupations, including those inherent to the governance of the Church. The message that, in this connection, Bernard addresses to the Pontiff, who had been his disciple at Clairvaux, is provocative: "See where these accursed occupations can lead you, if you continue to lose yourself in them -- without leaving anything of yourself for yourself" (ibid).

How useful for us also is this call to the primacy of prayer! May St. Bernard, who was able to harmonize the monk's aspiration for solitude and the tranquility of the cloister with the urgency of important and complex missions in the service of the Church, help us to concretize it in our lives, in our circumstances and possibilities."

You can read St. Bernard's famous treatise On Loving God online at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

Today's Catholic Cultural Heritage Image

Well actually yesterday's but oh well, it's never too late to appreciate the aesthetic traditions of European Christendom!

Thank you Recta Ratio for such a beautiful picture of our Lady.

The freedoms we enjoyed back in 1253

An excellent post from Traditio in Radice explaining much of the freedoms people enjoyed during the Medieval period as opposed to what we in the modern era have to face. Here's a small list of some the freedoms we would've enjoyed:

  • There were no written medical, financial or family records for the government or anyone else to snoop into.

  • Security would be a matter of closing your door.

  • Every major feast day on the Church calendar would be a day of prayer, celebration, and abstention/exemption from servile labour.

  • Most goods purchased would have been made locally by one of your neighbours or a craftsman from the nearest city.

  • Government welfare would not exist; begging for alms or relying on the charity of the Church would be a humbling experience, not a government entitlement.

  • Neighbors would not be encouraged by the government to snitch on one another.

  • Neighbours would actually know each other and attend Mass together.

  • Personal responsibility, cause and effect, and consequences of bad decisions would not be replaced by terms such as genetic defects or the results of a dysfunctional family.

  • The borders would be there for a reason other than to make lines on maps.

  • Citizens would have the right (duty) to protect their lives, families and property without fear of being prosecuted for doing so.

  • Most people would have their own plot of land and could not be forced off of it.

  • No one would pay income or property tax. Farmers would work their lord's land one or two days a week. They would have to pay tolls on major roads, but these would be travelled but rarely.

  • The media would consist of travelling pilgrims, peddlars, and troubadours.

Well thank God we no longer live in "the Dark Ages" anymore.

BTW, I addressed some of these issues in my post "the Myth of Medieval Totalitarianism".

The enemy within British society

As you may know from watching the news lately, British authorities were able to successfully prevent what might have been the most devastating terrorist attack since 9/11. Yet the recent arrests have also exposed what a major issue that for the most part British leaders and the mainstream media deny even exists, the fact that Britain(or even Europe in general) has what Srdja Trifkovic correctly terms a "Jihadist Fifth Column" within its midsts.

Of course, Blair and the media would insist, is simply the work of a small fanatical minority. Maybe so, but there are some significant pieces to the puzzle. The fact that many of the suspects arrested not just in this case, but those also involved in the bombing of London last year, were British-born Muslims(maybe second- or even third-generation) certainly hoists severe doubts about the possibility of assimilating these people to European society.

As I stated in relation to Blair's weak response to the London bombings: "You cannot possibly expect European Christians and Arab Muslims to coexist in the same society, considering that the two faiths and cultures have been at each other's throats for so many centuries. One has to be incredibly naive to believe that they can coexist without any significant conflict."

And I'm not the first person to raise such concerns. The British writer Roger Scruton raised these exact same concerns in his book The West and the Rest: Globalization and the Terrorist Threat. In contrasting European and Islamic values Scruton notes: "The West has consisted of territorial nations, each defined by language and a legal system. Islam, however, is universal (hence, "the rest"--and more), bound together by the Arabic of the Koran and Islamic law. The West's religion, Christianity, discriminates sacred and secular realms of authority; Islam doesn't, regarding secular arrangements as conveniences, at best, and ultimately accepting no territorial state. Westerners' loyalties historically have been national-territorial; Muslim loyalty is nonterritorial--to Islam."

The late Adrian Hastings also contrasted Christian and Islamic attitudes towards nationhood in his treatise The Construction of Nationhood: Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism, noting that while Christianity is largely supportive of national aspirations, Islam is not.

Let's pray that now Europe's leaders will finally get the message!

Look out I'm back!

Yes it's been a while since I've been blogging here for some time. I apologize to the readers of this blog for my long absence, however I'm sure you understand that as of lately many issues have come up to distract me from updating this blog.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Let's stay out of Israel's war!

Concerning the recent violent clashes between the state of Israel and the Hezbollah militia stationed in Lebanon, what role(if any) should the United States play within the current conflict? My opinion is the same as Pat Buchanan's in flat out stating that "No, this is not 'our war'". It's Israel's war plain and simple. Hezbollah has attacked Israel, not America. America has absolutely no vital interests at stake within the region (unless you consider cheap oil a vital interest), so we should stay out. We already have problems in concern to Iraq, we don't need any more. Quite frankly, I feel America should not get involved in the Middle East period! It's caused us far too many unnecessary geo-political headaches.

One thing I find particularly ironic is how just a year ago, George W. Bush was praising Lebanon as a true beacon for democracy in the Middle East.