Boinkie's Blog


Friday, April 29, 2011

David Wilkerson has died

according to a press release on his blog.

FR has more HERE.


the sermon behind "The Vision" is at you tube...LINK

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Manolo on modern hymns

I was checking out the shoes on Manolo's shoeblog (not to be confused with the actual shoe designer)

And he wrote this:

Then the festivities began with one of your favorite hymns, that old showstopper, “Up from the grave he arose, with the mighty triumph o’er his foes, he arose a victor from the dark domain, and he lives forever with his saints to reign!”

Unfortunately, this was followed by one of those modern songs the kids supposedly like, the shapeless piece of music which sounds like the weakest song on latest 3 Doors Down album. That would not be so bad, except the song promotes this vague theology centered on the awesome awesomeness of the awesome God. Say what you will about the old hymns, but they were written by the people who knew their way around both the G-clef and the King James Version.

the hymn he refers to can be found here

of monks and Therese

The two "where is Martin Luther when we need him" posts are about recent media stories on monks:
one, about the film "of gods and men", about some French monks who decided not to leave when threatened by Jihadis and ended up being killed

two: a report on Mt Athos. on 60 minutes.

I have no doubt those monks are holy men, and Jesus did defend their right to persue religion instead of doing the dishes when he rebuked Martha for criticizing Mary.

Yet the films both seem to equate holiness with monasteries: and I tend to agree with Luther that one can serve God just as well as a housewife as in a convent.

Which is why folks tend to like "the little flower", i.e. Therese of Lisieux, who taught the "little way" of doing everything out of love of God.

One of the impressive backstories on the film "La Vie En Rose" is that Therese was a stand in for God in the life of Piaf. God was "up there" and had little to do with her sad life, but like the hookers who took her to Therese' grave to cure her blindness, they figured Therese wouldn't be that strict about such matters, but would love unconditionally.

Mother Mary here in the Philippines is a similar stand in for God's mercy.

In the US, the sweet Jesus seems a bit emasculated because the Protestants removed her from their idea of Godliness, so we get folks who don't believe in purgatory, so because they can't believe good pagns might be in hell, don't believe bad people of all and no religion can be there either. (NYTimes has an essay saying the problem is not if Gandhi is in hell: Catholics would say no, protestants yes) but if Tony soprano, who continually chose evil over good, would be there.

True. we need both.

And we need monks, but one wonders when intellectuals love monks more than lowly housewives who risk their lives to have a child or lowly firemen "who walk up stairs when others run down" to save lives, or when EMT's risk their lives to air evac a person from remote rural areas.

Luckily, being a catholic, we have all of the above in our litany of saints.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

when are miracles not miracles? When you can find a rare medical explanation for them.

Kateri is a saint, but the standard of calling a miraculous healing a miracle is hard to prove:
this one, a cure from a viralent strep infection, won't make the cut, since medicines probablly started to work.
Another miracle, a when Patricia WhiteBull work up shortly after her family made a novena to Kateri, was probably attributed to her receiving an anti flu medicine that is also used to treat parkinsons' disease.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011



youtube also has some segments from her story of painting.

Wikpedia list of fallacies.

Something to keep in mind during holy week, when you will see lots of smart folks using these false arguments to riducule Christian beliefs.

For example, I am spending my leisure time listening to lectures on Rome and the classical world, so when I ran across a lecture about Christian sects in ancient Rome by a famous scholar, I started to listen....alas, this very famous scholar starts out by talking with the attitude of a smart ass fifth grader, mocking his students for not being able to answer some trivial pursuit questions on the Bible, and when they answer wrong, he ridiculed his students for basing their beliefs on a book they barely know.

At this point, I couldn't take his attitude, which was to mock the ignorant. I mean, imaginge someone ridiculing students in a course on Chemistry because they couldn't recite the Periodic table.

So if he starts with illogic, it means I can't trust the rest of his statements.

To make things worse, this is a "Famous professor" speaking to the Commonwealth Club, a non religious group who hears lectures from all sorts of "cutting edge" speakers.

So I turned off the video, figuring he has an agenda and it's not to teach history. (it isn't: It's to try to rewrite the Bible by adding his favorite gnostic books)

Clue? He sets up a "strawman" fallacy, i.e. that all Christians base their beliefs on the Bible.
Strawman argument: Catholics (and Orthodox) Christians base their beliefs on the bible and tradition: Indeed, they would say the books in the bible were chosen because they agreed with the beliefs of the church which conveys the truth of our beliefs (1 Timothy 3 15), and that the spirit of God helps direct the bishops to decide what should be believed and which books belong in the scripture.
(a similar argument could be made for God's spirit helping the scribes who wrote down and organized the writings of the Old Testament).

Second strawman argument: That not knowing what the Bible says means you can't be a good Christian.
Well, that eliminates most Christians, including those who lived before the Bible was organized by Jerome and most Christians in lands where illiteracy was the norm.

Third fallacy: Non sequitor, that knowing trivia about the bible is the same as knowing Christian belief.
That's like saying I can't be a doc if I can't list all the bones of the body or how many they are. Or like telling a person if they don't understand quantum theory they shouldn't believe in electricity.

Fourth fallacy: Strawman, that the literal interpretation of the bible contradicts itself.

Where he's headed, of course, is to prove all the fallacies of the bible. Yes, we can have five points of view on Henry VIII but if different points of view are given in the bible, it's false. Cops know this as the "Rashomon" effect, where eyewitnesses often get things different or even wrong.

And then there is the problem of having oral tradition changing with the telling. Those who wrote it down often tried to relay several different stories, often told with a different point of view.

Unlike Herodatus, who wrote down most of these stories, the scribes chose and crafted the stories with the aim to tell us on how God interacts with us.

In the new testament, these "different" stories are probably based on witnesses. Why do I say this? because any cop knows about the Rashomon effect of different people seeing different things in the same incident. If all the stories in the gospels were exactly the same, one would suspect they all came from a single source.

Fifth fallacy: false generaliztion: that all Christians read the bible literally. No, as far back as the early church fathers, the allegory of the stories was recognized.

Sixth premise: false generalization. we base our beliefs on a book: No, Catholics start with the beliefs that the truths of faith was taught by the bishops in unity, and can be found in both the bible and in our traditions, and say the early bishops chose the books that agreed with our beliefs, not vice versa. The non scientific theory behind this is that the spirit of God sort of pushes folks to stay on the right track in these things. But nevertheless, he has his argument backward.

But of course, it's a "straw man" argument: find the fake way of approaching a bible (strict literal approach) then find "mistakes" in the Bible, and voila, you win.

and the bigshot professor is selling a book meant to "clarify" what early christians believe (hint: it's not what most of us believe today). He'll add his own magic books that were rejected by the bishops to prove that the big bad Catholics with Constantine destroyed the real story in order to establish an empire or what ever you believe.

None of this agrees with history, as Philip Jenkin's book shows, but never mind: The press will eat it up.

the real story, also found in one of Jenkin's books, is the question: "Who do you say I am"?

If Jesus is God incarnate, then it changes everything.

If he's just a hysterical and historical construct by power hungry bishops, well, you can make up your own religion and do anything you want to and consider yourself a good man.

(in the US, this means stumpfing all the men or women you want; in the Philippines it means stealing everything in sight).

Expect to see a lot of this type of nonsense in Holy week.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pasyon on line

Every Holy week, in our area they still sing the "Pasyon". Usually we hear it in the background during the day: a sad wailing chant, usually sung by women in small chapels that are set up in the street.
from the Manila Bulletin:

“Pabasa” is an old, time-tested Holy Week tradition that has remained well-preserved particularly in the provinces, where it is held continuously day and night, sometimes for as long as three straight days.. In recent years, the melodies of popular tunes are sometimes used to make the chanting of the Biblical passages sound more interesting, lively, and appealing particularly, to the young.

The custom dates back a couple hundred years. From Wikipilipinas:

The pasyon is a verse narrative about the life and suffering of Jesus Christ. The verses are structured in five-line stanzas, with each line containing eight syllables. The pasyon is commonly sung during Holy Week, starting Holy Monday. The reading of the pasyon is a traditional religious practice in the Philippines and people gather around the reader of the pasyon to listen and reflect.

Usually we send a gift to help decorate the chapel and feed the singers at our barangay's local chapel (San Lorenzo).

But what about the millions of Pinoys working overseas?

The bishops here are modern: They have the entire chant on line HERE in streaming audio.

A typical example of the off-key chanting is at this video link, but

Maeken16 in Dubai has this video of a modern version of the custom (I say modern, because they use guitars and sing hymns along with the chant).

cross posted from fkcf

Friday, April 15, 2011

Office for JP2: Readings on line

The Office of readings for John Paul II will be that of

Common of Pastors: For a Pope.

but the office of readings will include this as the second reading.

Do not be afraid. Open, I say open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of states, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows “that which is in man”. He alone knows it.

So often today, man does not know that which is in him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you, therefore, we beg you with humility and with trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of life eternal.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Factoid of the day

I'm just reading a book with anecdotes on CSLewis...

One new piece of information was that his brother Warnie, who was in the military and an agnostic at the time, began his voyage back to God when he visited a Buddhist Shrine in Japan...he felt the loving presence of something outside himself, and it started him thinking that his agnosticism was overlooking something...he eventually returned to the faith of his childhood, Anglicanism.

Since I have no doubt that Buddha was a saint and a seeker of God, I have no theological problem with this.

That lead book of Jesus: Another Easter time hoax

Yes, Easter is coming, and the press trots out their latest news story of how we need to rewrite Christianity.
This year it's a metal book with information of early Christianity, even a picture of Jesus on the cover. The book looks like copper, but some stories say it is bronze or lead...or were there two versions...and it was found somewhere by an unknown Beduoin, or maybe by his father, in Egypt, or maybe it was Jordan.

But GetReligionBlog says the myth is already exploding, and that there is quite a few reasons to believe it's merely another hoax.

Daniel O McClellan's blog quotes Peter Thonemann of Oxford about some of the problems,

first problem: they were found in Egypt, or maybe Jordon.

second problem:"

"The text was incised by someone who did not know the Greek language, since he does not distinguish between the letters lambda and alpha: both are simply represented, in each of the texts, by the shape Λ."

third problem:

"...The text literally means ‘without grief, farewell! Abgar also known as Eision’. This text, in isolation, is meaningless.

However, this text corresponds precisely to line 2 of the Greek text of a bilingual Aramaic/Greek inscription published by J.T. Milik, Syria 35 (1958) 243-6 no.6 (SEG 20, 494), and republished in P.-L. Gatier, Inscriptions grecques et latines de Syrie XXI: Inscriptions de la Jordanie, 2: Region centrale (Paris 1986), no.118....
The longer text from which it derives is a perfectly ordinary tombstone from Madaba in Jordan which happens to have been on display in the Amman museum for the past fifty years or so. The text on your bronze tablet is repeated, in part, in three different places, meaningless in each case....

there is a longer discussion at the blog, much of it technical, if you are interested.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Do "Catholic" bishops back "secular" tyrants in the Middle East

in the Catholic news, we always see laments about the fleeing Catholics in Iraq.

True, some of them are being frightened by Muslim extremists, but the dirty little secret is that Saddam Hussein essentially ran the place with Sunnis (a minority), and that many Catholics supported him because he allowed religious freedom.

So now we hear about a million Catholic refugees from Iraq, but no one wants to say: Yeah, they are afraid of payback from the majority Shiites who see them (and the Sunnis) as the reason for hundreds of thousands killed by Saddam.

Similarly, in Fides news, we see for the second time a bishop in Tripoli lamenting that there is a war, and now complaining about "civilian casualties". Were these the "civilian casualties" who were nearby when the Allies bombed some Gadaffy army trucks, and one of them was full of ammunition and exploded?

Hello: a lot more folks would have been killed if that ammunition had been used.

Uh, did he ever open his mouth when Gaddafy was stealing everything in sight or bombing civilian airliners in Europe?

And one wonders how many murders right now are occuring outside the vision of a limited press by Gaddafy and his African mercenaries? Are the refugees fleeing the fighting, or fleeing the possibility that Gaddafy will win and massacre thousands of civilians while the press is out of sight?

One is reminded of Ceylon (aka SriLanka) where the gov't finally ended a very bloody and violent "insurgency" by kicking out the NGO's and "human rights" organizations that were manipulated by the insurgents.

and I hate to say this, but back in World War II, a lot of French bishops backed the Vichy gov't because it represented law and order against those nasty rebellious folks trying to fight the Germans.

Right now, we see a Brit whose "report" of Israeli atrocities relied on Hamas' reports, and now two years later he laments in the Washington post : THEY LIED.

Yes, and the "Rev Jones Koran Burning" was taken out of context and exaggerated in the press and by mullahs in Afghanistan to incite murders of the innocent.

The real dirty little secret is that the press "reports" what is said, but believes liars, cheats and murderers. And too many Muslim lands have gov't press that do so deliberatly.

But no, we won't ask for the equivalent of a "Radio Free Middle East" in Farsi and Arabic.

VDHanson has a good article on the press bias, Excerpt here:

The Goldstone Report, I thought when I first scanned it, was worse than most undergraduate research papers I have graded — and therefore I expected it to be praised by the international community.

And it was until even the author, like the rare guilty undergraduate who confesses to plagiarism, wants his signature off the report.

But then long ago I got used to Israel being damned by reporters, NGOs, and the UN and EU types as apartheidists, racists, imperialists, and Nazis in direct proportion to the fact that visitors to the Middle East usually prefer to go Israeli cafes, hotels, and hospitals. Reporting on the West Bank is a 10 AM-2 PM day job, with a commute back across the green line.

Half a million Jews ethnically cleansed in the 1960s from Baghdad, Cairo, and Damascus were opportunists; half a million who fled to the West Bank twenty years earlier are still recently arrived refugees. But then I don’t know why Jerusalem is a divided city and Nicosia is not; or why the Kuril Islands or East Prussia are not similarly said to be “occupied”; or why the fence is Israel is worse than the fence in Saudi Arabia.

millions of Muslim radicals are captives of emotion and ignorant and thus not “like us,”so we must create much different standards for “them” that we don’t apply to others? We as adults laugh when symbols of Christianity are defaced in thousands of incidents; they as children naturally and understandably kill when one Koran is burned by one silly wannabe minister? Or is the Ministry’s fear that when Christ is satirized in a cartoon, no bomb shows up at the editorial office; when Mohammed is so caricatured, two do — and that because reporters are said always to be brave and publishers principled we cannot just admit to that?

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Bah humbug

I don't really admire Thomas Merton for various reasons, but he's big among the pious contemplatives and the radical left part of Christianity.

But if you like his stuff, you can download some of his books at HathiTrust Digital Library.

Why don't I like him? Because he fathered a child by a "lower class" woman in England, before he found Jesus..This post says the child, a girl, was thought to have been killed in the convenient for Merton, who felt guilty about it, but never seemed to think getting his hands dirty and working for filthy lucre so that he could send money to support her might be the right thing to do. Yet he is a hero to the left, since he backed all the PC causes, including pacifism during the second world war. He didn't want to kill, he says. Fine, but he didn't risk his life helping refugess or any other dangerous alternative service either, so one suspects his pacifism was skin deep: save his own skin deep.


and then you have the Anchoress asking "Are you happy"...

A good question. Are you happy? If you are, why? And if you are not, what might make you happy? And how much of what you are feeling — happy, or unhappy — is related to how aware you are of the blessings you have in your life....Life can be hard, disappointing, full of struggles. But Abraham Lincoln supposedly said that most folks are “as happy as they make up their minds to be” and to an extent, I endorse that.

yes. Want to be happy? Go take your prozac, or get some meth from the local pusher.

My problem? the word "happiness" suggests chance (e.g. happenstance). It has connotations of your mood, not how good you are or what you do. And in American society it means you have lots of toys.

Maybe a better question would be: Are you joyful? Are you content?

As for her happy nuns, as my sainted mother used to say when we would listen to the nuns praying each evening when we worked at an African mission: "Yes, they lament all the things they gave up, but I know a lot of housewives with a couple young kids who would love to have a quiet hour of prayer each evening"...


Don't mind me: a local pastor (of my stepson) is holding a wedding here tonite (we have a hall that we rent out sometimes). That means an hour sermon before anyone eats.

Tell you the truth, the way the protestant pastors in the Philippines use any party to give a long sermon to a captive audience (often that has pious but easy going Catholics in it) makes me annoyed.

But Uncle Orson lifted my mood.

Who is Uncle Orson? most sci fi readers know Orson Scott Card as the author of Ender series of books.

And after blasting the stupid prose of modern day poetry (of which I agree) he posts this sonnet from the 1940's.

I think that God is proud of those who bear

A sorrow bravely -- proud indeed of them

Who walk straight through the dark to find Him there

And kneel in faith to touch His garment's hem.

Oh, proud of them who lift their heads to shake

Away the tears from eyes that have grown dim,

Who tighten quivering lips and turn to take

The only road they know that leads to Him.

How proud He must be of them -- He who knows

All sorrow, and how hard grief is to bear!

I think He sees them coming, and He goes

With outstretched arms and hands to meet them there,

And with a look, a touch on hand or head,

Each finds his hurt heart strangely comforted.

he discusses National Poetry month:

During poetry month, let's celebrate poems like these -- poems that are actually talking to real people with reallives, poems that are offered to us as a gift, as a blessing in our lives.

and he includes several poems such as this one written during World War II....

God, make me brave for life,

Oh, braver than this!

Let me straighten after pain

As a tree straightens after the rain,

Shining and lovely again.

God, make me brave for life,

Much braver than this!

As the blown grass lifts let me rise

From sorrow with quiet eyes,

Knowing thy way is wise.

God, make me brave. Life brings

Such blinding things.

Help me to keep my sight,

Help me to see aright,

That out of the dark comes light.

he then goes on to comment:

Without forcing you to sit through a long disquisition on poetic form and diction, let me simply point out that this poem consists of naturally flowing language. It is never forced and twisted into jarring syntax in order to fit the meter. It is so masterfully composed that the apt words seem to have fallen into their perfectly ordered places quite naturally.

So why isn't a poem like this one respected today? Why aren't poets in writing programs in universities encouraged to learn the skills that this poet has so completely mastered?

Let me answer the first question: There is zero chance that a poem that simply takes Christian faith for granted, and which has as its purpose the comfort of believers in the face of death and loss, can be treated with anything but disdain in most modern university literature programs. Atheism is such an intolerant religion.

And student poets aren't taught to write like this because (a) it's hard and few can master it, and (b) it's not "experimental" but "traditional," and everyone knows that only "revolutionary" art is worth paying attention to, even if the "revolution" is a century old and all the "revolutionaries" are imitating each other and communicating with nobody and haven't had a new idea in a century.

go to his post and read all these poem, and check out the modern poetry website he is now editing.


intercessors Update (Philippine story)

Desert whirlwind has a link with a photo of the Philippine intercessors, but no information on them except that they are obeying the bishop.

I was aware that there were lay associates in Manila, but am not sure if this means they are full intercessors with vows or not.

However, the link provided is to the obedient ones in Omaha who left the order. They have a webpage with lessons for the day.

and HERE are the photos of the group in the Philippines.

I googled the name, and the parish noted in the article has a facebook page LINK


Friday, April 01, 2011

How do you push embryo killing stem cells?

why, find two folks, one from the pro death Harvard stem cell program, and one from a company that is trying to push their embryo killing stem cells to comment.

the problem with the bioethic part is that this " “It has not ever been a scientifically driven argument that iPS cells are a worthy and complete substitute for embryonic stem cells. Those arguments were always made based on political and religious opposition to embryonic stem cells.”

It is because embryonic stem cells will make huge profits for a few companies, but the adult stem cells are easy to get, and as a bonus match the DNA of the donor...and have already been shown to work

so what happens to the childless career woman?

NYTimes article on those who chose careers over children are now aging.

How childless adults should approach their later years is a question that surfaces with some frequency among readers and commenters here. It’s true, as many attest, that being a parent doesn’t guarantee elder care. But it’s also true that the bulk of America’s old people are, in fact, cared for primarily by relatives: spouses first, then adult children.

of course there is another answer, first proposed in a magazine "Lear" twenty years ago:

she kills herself of course

but no one wants to discuss this is the reason behind the suicide laws.

and Secondhand smoke reports that not only are they allowing such deaths in Belgium by the non terminally ill but they are moving to harvest organs from such deaths.

contraception empowering women

my latest audiodigest lecture is "Contraception...empowering women".

Ah, empowered not to have children

Empowered to deny that mother hood is an important vocatin

Empowered for the men to have sex with them (not make love with them) and then desert them when they get pregnant

Empower men not to help them raise their children

Empower the idea that sex is for fun and children are a burden

Empower the idea that children are a choice, so if they come at an inconvenient time they need to be killed in the womb

Empower the idea you can have children anytime you want, even if it means paying a poor woman to give you an egg (and harm her health) or pay a poor woman to carry the child for you (and break her heart).

and empowering girls to think that imitating a "male" career path is happiness, not having a family