Monday, October 31, 2011

A Break

I have to take a short hiatus from blogging while I work on term papers.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cardinals Win World Series!

<a href='http://foxsports.com?vid=fc22b848-2cde-46d6-b17c-52751b3275af&mkt=en-us&from=IV2_en-us_foxsports_videosearch&src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='MLB on FOX: Cardinals celebrate' >Video: MLB on FOX: Cardinals celebrate</a>

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Funniest Catechism Ever

At Crisis, John Zmirak gives us a preview of The Bad Catholic's Catechism:

Q: If the best we can do by sheer reason is to end up with a kind of watchmaker god, then the rest of it has to come from “revelation.” But there are more religions in the world than you can shake a stick at—and some of them are pretty intolerant, so you’d better hide your stick. Each one makes the same argument: “God is this way, not that way, and we know because He told us so.” How in God’s name (heh, heh) are we supposed to know which one to believe?

First of all, you aren’t exactly getting that right about the world religions. Admittedly, it’s possible that the one true religion is an obscure little cult that exists in a single mountain valley in Soregonadistan, but that doesn’t seem terribly likely. A faith that got reality “right” would by its nature seem destined to make a major impact in the world and attract some followers, so we can start with the major world religions. Now when we look at them, in fact there are only three which claim to have direct access to revelation from God of what His nature is: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. What is more, all three of them claim to descend from the very same patriarch, Abraham, who they all agree was the first man to receive explicit instructions from God about how to honor Him.

Buddhism doesn’t claim to have a message from God, just a special insight into the nature of ultimate reality—which boils down to the fact that existing in the first place is a kind of curse, and wanting one thing rather than another is a really bad idea because you aren’t likely to get it, which will make you unhappy. Since the goal is not to find happiness (that’s impossible) but simply to stop the misery, you should learn to quit wanting things, and if you get good enough at this you will eventually stop existing. If Buddhism had a god, and he had a voice, it would be that voice inside your head at the dentist’s office that tells you to ask for more laughing gas and Novocaine, the risk of a coma be damned. Taoism is a mystical nature cult and Confucianism a political and ethical philosophy. The latter has so little explicit religious content that when the Jesuits made it to China, they felt they could include Confucian rituals in the Mass, since they didn’t even overlap with (much less contradict) Christianity. Hinduism claims to have passed along traditional knowledge of many hundreds of different gods, none of which claims to be unique, and one of which is an elephant. Next!

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Vatican: Reincarnation is Real

(Rome) According to an important official in the Vatican, people are reincarnated after death.  The body they assume depends upon their karma in previous lives. 

The official who made the statement is Chaiyong Satjipanon, the Thai ambassador to the Holy See.  He said, "As a Buddhist, I believe in Reincarnation and hope to eventually break out of the cycle of death an rebirth.  Hey wait a minute, this isn't one of those articles that tries to make some obscure statement sound like the teaching of the Catholic Church is it?  Hey, where are you going?"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pro-Life Petitions

HT: Is Anybody There?
There are two important pro-life petitions going around right now.

One expresses support for the congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood.  Sign here.

The other demands that the federal government defund Planned Parenthood.  Sign here.

Please sign the petitions!

So True

Friday, October 21, 2011

Politics on Catholic Blogs

I will sometimes feel especially disturbed by political or economic commentary with which I disagree when I find that commentary on a Catholic blog.  Plenty of other people get riled up by politics on Catholic blogs and I think I know why.  Catholic bloggers are not themselves infallible but we will often support infallible teachings.  If I were to write, "God is three persons in one nature" or "Abortion is evil" it would be a sin to disagree with me, not because the disagreement is with me, but with the teachings that I refer too.  A lot of Catholic bloggers myself included, write about religion and politics.  As a result, we shift from support of Church teaching to fallible political ideas which can make the reader feel as though bloggers are trying to say that any good Catholic must agree with him politically.  Bloggers do not mean to imply that their non-theological ideas are Sacred Tradition and their readers should keep that in mind.  Or not.  Feel free to ignore this advice.  I'm not infallible.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Belated Blogoversary


















As of last Saturday I have been blogging for one year.  Though I have not always been as prolific a writer as I would have liked, I have greatly enjoyed sharing my thoughts with the blog.  Thanks for reading! 

Some of my favorite posts in chronological order:

My First Post

Calvinist Monopoly

I Appoint Some Czars

Dawkins vs Plantinga

March for Life

A Witness or a Talk?

Surprising Facts About the Sacraments

Songs of the Civil War

Are You Ready to Die?

The Heresy of Indifference

Jack Chick vs Jack Chick

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Joe Biden is Bad at Making Comparisons

Our perpetually confused Vice President recently made a favorable comparison between the Occupy Wall Street protesters and the Tea Party, saying that "they have a lot in common."  This seems odd considering that Mr. Biden has compared the Tea Party to terrorists.  According to the transitive property of political mathematics, that means that Joe Biden has likened the left-leaning Occupy Wall Street Movement to terrorists.  Someone should tell the protesters; maybe they'll occupy Biden's lawn.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Catholics and the Crown

MSNBC reports,
HT: CMR
A 300-year-old ban on heirs to the British throne marrying Roman Catholics would be overturned and discrimination against royal daughters removed under reforms proposed on Wednesday by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron has written to the leaders of the 15 other realms who share Queen Elizabeth as their monarch, including the Solomon Islands and the Grenadines, to request their approval, his office said.

Cameron wants to banish laws dating back to 1688 and 1700 designed to ensure a Protestant monarchy and barring anyone in line to the throne from marrying a Roman Catholic unless they relinquished their claim to the crown.

Only a Catholic link is barred — there are no restrictions on Jews, Hindus, Muslims or even atheists. 
Being Catholic, American, and part Irish, I am instinctively suspicious of the British Crown and the marriage ban was just another reason to dislike the institution.  Fortunately, there are still plenty of other problems with the British monarchy that will serve to reinforce my prejudices.  For one thing, as Matt Archbold points out, the potential lifting of the marriage prohibition probably has less to do with sympathy for Catholicism and more to do with secular indifference.  Also, it is still illegal for a Catholic to hold the throne because that would awkwardly conflict with the nominal role of anti-pope.  Then there are the crazy ramblings of Prince Charles and the pre-marital cohabitation between Prince William and his wife.  Between historical anti-Catholicism and modern secular "values," the British Crown offers more than enough reasons for grumpy people like me to oppose it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Camoflage!

I'm really looking forward to December, when I get to go home and hunt.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Great Catholic Pastime

This Day in History

In 1582, absolutely nothing happened in Catholic countries on this date, or on the other days between October 5th and 14th of that year.  This is because those days did not exist in countries that had adopted the Gregorian calendar.  If you want to take your time traveling Delorean for a spin in a historically Catholic nation, don't set the machine to go back 429 years; you will end up in the temporal void erected by Pope Gregory XIII to protect the time-space continuum.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Catholic Femanazis Cry For the Altar Girls

My comments in blue.

From America Magazine,
by The Editors

This is not a local story, but one that represents larger trends in the church—in the priesthood, the liturgy and in the role of the people of God. Recently Sts. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix, Ariz., changed its policy on altar servers. From now on only boys may serve; girls may apply for jobs as sacristans. Why? The rector of the cathedral told The Catholic Sun that the cathedral is not alone in making this regulation. A parish in Ann Arbor, Mich., and the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., he argues, have found that replacing girls with boys as servers leads to more vocations to the priesthood.
 
These moves to limit laywomen’s access to the altar threaten to drag the church back into the pre-Vatican II world.
Unfortunately, that is not going to happen.
One wonders if next the altar rail will return, another barrier between the priests and the people.
Either standing in line or using an altar rail, the congregation receives the body and blood of the Living God, and kneeling at the rail is more reverent.  But the America editors don't care about that because they are Marxists who think that the difference between priest and laity is an unjust class distinction.

According to the rector, people who are upset about this decision concerning Mass servers make a mistake in considering it “a question of rights,” as if someone’s rights were being denied. But, he says, no one has a “right” to be a server or even more a priest. One must be “called” to any church office. When the secular world comments on who should be an altar server, he says, it has only an emotional view, unguided by the light of reason.
It's as if the rector predicted this editorial.

The key issue is the status of the baptized: that the laity may be called by the Spirit to offer their talents in various roles. The rejection of altar girls disregards the counsel of the Second Vatican Council that the charisms of the baptized “are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation.” By virtue of baptism, the council reminds us, “there is neither male nor female. For you are all ‘one’ in Christ Jesus.” There is “a true equality between all with regard to the dignity and activity which is common to all the faithful in building up the Body of Christ” (“Dogmatic Constitution on the Church,” Nos. 12, 32).
The charism argument presented by America is the same used by those who want to ordain women.  The idea is that if you feel called to something, you have a special charism for that activity, and that this activity ought to be pursued no matter what.  Personally, I feel I have a charism for punching America magazine editors in the face.

That this call should be fully welcomed does not appear to be a priority in Phoenix. Yes, the Vatican instruction “Sacrament of Redemption” (2004) allows women servers, but it leaves the decision to local bishops. In Phoenix the bishop leaves it to the pastors. This pastor did not consult the parish council, he says, because its members are not theologically trained.
The rector did nothing outside of his rights and America still complains because he did not consult the parish council.  Of course, the council is free to make a recommendation on a policy whether a pastor consults it or not.  Either way, the parish council plays a purely advisory role and it really doesn't matter whether or not the pastor asks them for their opinion.

Another issue is the image of the priesthood today. Is it wise to re-enforce the sense of the priesthood as a clerical caste?
Better a distant clerical caste than a collection of middle-aged men who insist on being called "Bob" and wear gay sweaters.
Is the acolyte supposed to be like the page who serves Sir Galahad until King Arthur dubs him a knight?
Well yeah, that's the idea.
In a culture where parents want their daughters to have the same opportunities as their sons—in co-ed Catholic colleges, in the armed services (getting shot at), in athletics, in employment—the church can look irrelevant, even foolish, in shunting them aside.
America says the Church ought to conform to the culture so as to avoid looking foolish.  In other words, ordain women, marry gays, and endorse contraception!
The more the priesthood is presented as an exclusive club, the smaller and more remote it will become.
No, the more priests are presented as liberal and effeminate, the smaller the priesthood will become.
Those who put up barriers between themselves and the people should, using modern parlance, recall Jesus’ words to his disciples: “Look, how many times do I have to tell you? You are here to serve.”

Inevitably the issue of women’s roles in the church raises the question of women’s ordination to the priesthood. Recently a cardinal in Lisbon and some bishops in Brazil, among others, also raised the question; but since Pope Benedict XVI, despite continued agitation, has reaffirmed the policy of John Paul II to allow no discussion of the topic, the matter of altar servers must be considered a separate and independent issue.
If it's a separate and independent issue why bring it up at all?  Obviously because America supports the imbecilic idea of women "priests."

In no way should policies imply that women are second-class citizens—welcome to tidy up the sacristy, arrange flowers and clean linens but not to set the gifts at the altar or hold the sacramentary or censer.
Only in the mind of a liberal Catholic could a simple division of roles mean oppression of women.
Rather, they must be welcomed into every service and leadership role, including catechists, lectors, chancellors and general secretaries of bishops’ conferences.
Calling for women to be welcomed into "every service and leadership role" is a less than subtle endorsement of women's ordination.
(The diaconate for women remains an open question and ought to be explored.)
Women deacons used to exist in the Church though they were probably not ordained.  Even if women could be ordained to the diaconate, doing so today would only confuse the great mass of unthinking Catholics who do not understand the major differences between priests and deacons and further the cause of women's ordination.  This of course is exactly what the editors of America want and their call for the question of female deacons to be "explored" really means "make women deacons now!"
Churches that invite all their people to bring all their talents to the welfare of the congregation will thrive. To tell a young woman that she may no longer pour the water on the priest’s fingers at the Lavabo looks like sexism.
Liberals have terrible priorities.  Who cares about increasing priestly vocations?  Not looking sexist is what's really important!
If the ban in these dioceses continues and spreads, perhaps women and girls will consider withholding their other services to the parishes, and men and boys, in solidarity with their sisters, will decline the honor of acolyte.
No, that is not going to happen because the sort of girl who wants to serve her parish is not a spoiled diva, and the sort of boy who wants to serve at the altar is not a feminist wimp.

Having girls share serving opportunities with boys is an expression of their equality in Christ. Parishes must create a variety of social and service activities. A distinguishing characteristic of today’s young men and women, even when they are not “devout” in the usual sense, is their rejection of discrimination in any form.
Well heck, I'm more or less opposed to discrimination and that makes me "alternatively devout".  I guess I don't have to go to Mass!
They are highly sensitive to any hint of exclusionary policies in organizations. Perhaps if more young people  (notice they write "people" instead of men) believed they could continue that commitment to equality as priests, more would be ready to follow a priestly vocation. 
The mission of the priesthood is the salvation of sinners and the glorification of God, not the advancement of liberal ideas about "equality."  If a young man is primarily concerned with political correctness, he should not be a priest, he should be a writer for America magazine.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Defending the Dumb

The Remnant newspaper is fond of the SSPX and often defends the Society.  The editors of The Remnant correctly insist that the Society is not in a formal schism with Rome, but fail to see that the SSPX has a greater problem.  Local bishops do not grant SSPX priests their priestly faculties, making any Sacraments performed by them illicit.  The Orthodox churches are definitely in schism with the Catholic Church, but they are in better shape than the SSPX super-trads because Sacraments performed by Orthodox priests are licit.  The Remnant and other defenders of the SSPX are right to refute the charge of schism, but they do not realize that there are other important considerations besides basic unity with Rome.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Question of Caliber

Those who dislike guns often suggest that male gun owners use firearms as a type of "extension" for anatomical shortcomings.  However, if this is true, why do we gun owners care so much about our right to own this:

 

















Instead of this?
















Just a thought.