Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Benedict Option: "Here’s Why It Didn’t Work"

I report. You decide.

Libby Anne in her own words.

I will point out that, if people still aren't sure whether your name is "Rod" or "Rob", there may be a persistent leak in your message. First, be sure the basics are nailed down, then save Western Civilization.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hough rhymes with tough

And now they have bells at St. Agnes-Our Lady of Fatima parish in the Hough neighborhood. Good news for a place which has historically appreciated every bit of good news it can get.

The $2.5 million dollar construction project introduces a new church building to the redeveloping area.

The bells, like many of the items being used in the new construction, are re-purposed items from nearby churches which have closed. The bells had been in the tower at Holy Trinity-St. Edward parish on Woodland at east 72nd Street which closed in 2004.

SA-OLF-bell-work-DSC02313_500The new 350 seat sanctuary is scheduled for dedication on Wednesday, November 25th, the day before Thanksgiving. The worship space was much-needed as the parish has continued to grow in recent years as the neighborhood also has seen new life.

Mark Steyn: "If you say we're crazy and violent, we'll go nuts and kill you."

George W. Bush to Mark Steyn on Muslims' lack of proportion: "If it's not the Crusades, it's the cartoons."

Mark Steyn. An International Treasure.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pope Francis supports actual exercise of religious liberty

Pope Francis often has a roundabout, "chatty" way of expressing Universal Truth, but he was pretty direct about conscientious objectors like Kim Davis. Excerpt:

"I can't have in mind all cases that can exist about conscientious objection,” Pope Francis told journalists on his flight, “but, yes, I can say that conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right."

"And if someone does not allow others to be a conscientious objector,” the Holy Father said, “he denies a right."

The pope also said conscientious objection must be respected in legal structures.

"Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying: 'This right has merit, this one does not,'" he stated.

The unambiguous comments from Pope Francis in support of religious freedom come after other comparable statements he made, spoken and symbolic, throughout his historic visit to the United States, making religious liberty a recurring theme for the trip.

It would seem like the Pope believes, as do all of us in the whole 1st Amendment crowd, that you actually have to exercise your religious freedoms the way you exercise your muscles to keep them from atrophying. And it would seem that conscientious objections to bad laws would strengthen the case for religious liberty, not weaken it. It's in line with the whole St. James "screw faith without works" thing.

UPDATE: When I posted this yesterday I was thinking about Dreher's contempt for Kim Davis. But I wasn't thinking about the Benedict Option. Silly me; I forget about the principle of material equivalence. Rod Dreher is the Benedict Option, or BenOp, or Benny, or Strategic Withdrawal, or "Pull and Pray"... at this point in his life at least. I was also thinking about Michael Medved who said a lot of similar things about Davis on his radio show. Medved has a masterful mind and I usually agree with him, but I was not swayed on this point. Maybe Kim Davis isn't the best spokesperson for religious liberty, but this is a time in history to take a stand poorly rather than withdrawing or doing nothing.

Keith's posted comment showing Dreher's use of the photoshopped face of Pope Francis incenses me. And so that is why I feel compelled to make this update. I have lost friends over my refusal to attack the Pope over his deficiencies, real or perceived. Rod Dreher is NOT A CATHOLIC ANYMORE and therefore feels like he has the freedom to say whatever he wants about the leader of another religion. Oh, yeah—if it happens to be the Roman Catholic religion. But my guess is that he has borrowed this image from others with an opposite opinion from his, i.e., people who think it is great that Pope Francis is more lax, less rigid than his predecessors and aligned with mercy rather than justice. At the same time these people tip their hand on what they really think about the Office of the Papacy, the Vicar of Christ, by painting his face like a clown to get their message across, and that is what Rod Dreher and those on the opposite side have in common: contempt for the Catholic Church and her mission in and to the world.

A lot of people do not realize that a week before Rod Dreher penned his famous 2013 Time article "I'm Still Not Going Back to the Catholic Church" he wrote this article in the NY Times titled "The Pope Did More Damage Than He Realized". Taken together, these articles give the impression of a Goldilocks personality who doesn't even care for the baby bear's bed, chair or porridge. His position can be stated "I completely disagree with the Pope's position, he is damaging the church even worse than it was when I left it, he's proving my point about the general unseriousness of Catholics especially in America, he is empowering the dissidents, but I'm still not going back to the Catholic Church." Oh, well to be honest we sort of didn't think you would, Rod, after the article you wrote a week earlier.

So Rod Dreher is all for taking a stand... but not like Kim Davis, God forbid! He stands up and points a finger at her and cries "Who is she to judge!?" He is all for judging himself, and he damn sure wants a father figure who presages Almighty God at the final judgment. But everyone else can just shut the hell up.

If we are entirely confused at this point about how exactly Rod Dreher wants Christians to behave then it is Rod Dreher's fault. And this is nothing new. In his confusing world, we have seen over and over again conflicting images. We've seen a story where an Orthodox Priest reports jubilantly that Rod Dreher has left the Catholic Church and become Russian Orthodox, followed by an angry Rod Dreher lashing out at the messenger in the case, my friend J-Carp, a Citizen-Journalist, for revealing something he was supposedly proud of and yet hiding it under a bushel basket. We've seen him now constantly playing the part of a little, misunderstood Alfred Prufrock when people sensibly and persistently point out that the Benedict Option sounds an awful lot like the refusal to be "salt and light" in the world. And throughout all of this there runs a current of anti-Catholicism of Rod Dreher. The fact that his anti-Catholicism is more intellectual than that of Jack Chick makes it no less real. And no less disgusting.

And the fact that this update is long enough to be its own post... well, it probably means it will be its own post when I have a little more time.