Thursday, December 29, 2011

Squirrel Hunting

I spent most of yesterday with my dad hunting in Aucilla.  We started out hog hunting but when the pigs didn't show we switched to birdshot and shot some squirrels.  My dad got six.  I got . . . less than six.  This morning we're having a southern breakfast of grits and squirrels.

The bushytails could have learned a lesson from Monty Python:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Defending Jack Chick

In the spirit of St. Steven's feast day, I think it appropriate to extend some charity to someone who is an enemy of my faith.  Uber anti-Catholic Jack Chick is rather dumb.  However, so are we all to one degree or another and although intelligence is handy it is not a virtue.  I harbor no ill will toward Mr. Chick but some people certainly do, and I feel the need to defend him against unjust accusers. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is mostly concerned with telling the government what it already knows and soliciting white liberals for money.  The SPLC studies the five or six people in the country who belong to hate groups and publishes several reports a year on the subject which it ceremoniously hands over to the United States government because the SPLC is apparently unaware of the FBI's existence.  The decline in racism over the last several decades means that the Law Center would be out of business if it had not extended its surveillance mandate to anyone who might possibly be tarred with the "hate" brush.  The SPLC condemns super-trad Catholics for their supposed antisemitism and opponents of illegal immigration for "racism."  For reasons that are not entirely clear, Chick Publications also stands accused of being a hate group.

Chick Publications is listed as a hate group under the category of "General Hate."  No profile is provided and I suspect that Jack Chick's group is included for the same reason that the Catholic newspaper The Wanderer is labeled a hate group, a means of inflating the number of hate groups to cite on fundraising appeals.  Jack Chick certainly hates Catholicism, but I have yet to see any indication that he actually hates Catholics or anyone else for that matter.  Besides, he believes that the Catholic Church was founded by Satan.  If I were ignorant enough to believe that the Church is satanic I would hate Catholicism too and would be justified in doing so.  Chick also hates Islam and homosexuality, but that does not mean he hates Muslims or homosexuals.  The SPLC is applying the liberal notion that a judgement of an act or ideology is a judgement of a person.  Chick Publications is not a hate group, it's just stupid.  Jack Chick would probably not want to be associated with me but whether he likes it or not I stand with him against the self-righteous and silly people of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

May Jesus Christ the Word made flesh bless you and your family this Christmas season!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Conciliar Option

Theoretically, convincing someone to abandon Protestantism should be fairly straightforward.  No one disputes that the canon of the New Testament was organized by the Synod of Hippo.  If the New Testament is inspired by the Holy Spirit then so must be the post-apostolic men who constructed it.  To acknowledge the New Testament canon is to accept an extra-biblical Sacred Tradition and to deny Sola Scriptura and Protestantism along with it. (There are of course decent arguments made by Protestants who suggest that things are not quite this simple.)

However, even Protestants who tentatively accept this argument are not necessarily ready to swim the Tiber.  To many of my Protestant friends, the doctrine of Papal infallibility seems even weaker than Sola Scriptura and I suppose I can see why.  After all, it does seem a bit strange that an elderly German man living in Rome should have a direct line to God.  Though there are good arguments for papal primacy, they are more complex than the evidence for Sacred Tradition offered by the Synod of Hippo.  If you cannot convince a Protestant that the Bishop of Rome has teaching authority than it may be time to switch to Plan B: The Conciliar Option.

The Ecumenical councils of the early church are accepted by both Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox churches as valid sources of Sacred Tradition, and both Catholics and Orthodox have their own subsequent set of councils.  For the Orthodox, councils and the ordinary magisterium of bishops are the only sources of authoritative teaching because they reject Papal primacy.  I think that it might be easier to convince a Protestant to adopt the Orthodox position than the Catholic one.  Protestantism is culturally "democratic" while Catholicism is more "autocratic" so a conciliar approach might be more attractive to a potential convert.  Ideally, Protestants and everyone else in the world would embrace the fullness of truth that is to be found in the Catholic Church but accepting the teaching authority of ecumenical councils would be a huge step in the right direction.  It would be impossible to affirm the teachings of all Catholic councils while denying Papal infallibility, leaving the Orthodox Churches as the only logically consistent options for someone who believes in Sacred Tradition but not Papal infallibility.  Any Orthodox church would be a great improvement over a Protestant denomination because the Orthodox can claim apostolic succession and have legitimate sacraments.  I say that if we can't make Protestants Catholics, we should make them Orthodox.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book One of the Kingdom Trilogy Released!

My friend Sean McGuire has just released his novel The Kingdom: The Quest on the Kindle store for $2.99.  I have purchased the book and will review it after I read it.  You can buy it here.

For more information, check out Sean's website.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Full-Auto Pizza

H/T: Pundit and Pundette
Nashville Local News reports,

Boy disciplined after waving gun-shaped pizza slice

For the rest of the semester, a Rutherford County elementary student has to eat lunch at the "silent table" for allegedly waving around a slice of pizza some say resembled a gun.
Nicholas Taylor attends David Youree Elementary School in Smyrna, about 30 miles southeast of Nashville.
A spokesperson for the school district said that the punishment has nothing to do with the pizza gun and that Nicholas is being disciplined for lying to a teacher about the incident.  However, the same spokesman then said
The principal is just trying to use an abundance of caution and send the message that we don't play about guns and it's not something we joke around about.
The article reports that Nicholas has been sent to the school resource officer to learn about gun safety.  It would seem that the kid really is being punished for brandishing a pizza gun.  I don't need to tell you that this is stupid.  To paraphrase Dave Barry, if boys were raised on a desert island and had no idea what guns were they would still collect gun shaped sticks and "shoot" each other.  The fact that schools ban boys from doing something as natural as shooting each other with sticks and pizza is indicative of the feminization of education.  Like Pundit and Pundette said, this is just another reason to homeschool.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sex and the Sims

The Sims Medieval for iOS happened to be free one day so I installed it on my iPod Touch.  The Sims franchise could be described as a series of digital dollhouses inhabited by "Sims," people whom you have to take care of and whose lives you can direct.  If you are wondering if I have suddenly become gender-confused, you should know that I only got the game because the Medieval version has swords and mostly because it was free.

First a word about the game.  The Sims Medieval is a departure from the tradition of the series and includes both rpg elements and sandbox gameplay.  Neither are done very well.  The quests and leveling system are some of the most boring things I have ever experienced in a game.  The Sims Medieval is actually worth less than the $0 I paid for it because someone would have to pay me to play it for very long.  Even the freestyle sandbox gameplay that is the core of the Sims franchise is very dull because it is extremely restrictive.  You can neither build a house for your Sim nor burn it down.  No fun at all.

The limitations on the actual life of your Sim are not simply boring but actually disturbing in regards to Sim sexuality.  In my game, I had my Sim marry the only Sim woman who would give him the time of day.  With some embarrassment, I directed my Sim to engage in conjugal relations with his spouse.  I figured that it was ok because they were married and it would be interesting to raise a baby Sim.  However the oddest thing happened, or rather didn't happen.  My Sim's wife never became pregnant.  I then noticed that there were no children in the entire game world and it did not appear as though any were likely to show up.  A childless world would be a good setting for a creepy dystopian novel but the game world is presented as a cheery vibrant place whose residents are entirely nonchalant about the coming demographic collapse.  It would appear that sex in the Sims Medieval (at least the iOS version) is inherently sterile.  The procreative is not merely separated from the unitive by the sinful act of contraception but is entirely and intrinsically foreign to the sexuality of the Sims.  While the game designers probably thought that this was of little consequence, it is actually rather disturbing.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm Back!

I'm done with the semester and home on break!  Now I just need to think of something to write about.  Hmm....