Boinkie's Blog

Universalis

Monday, December 31, 2012

Lies lies lies

moved from my main blog


Similar government propaganda is found in article after article lauding the pushing of a "RH Bill" that is actually for population control.

Typical lies:

The law makes contraceptives more widely available, especially to the poor,

Translation: They are already widely available, but expensive. So instead of subsidizing the cost, they will make them "free" and have medical personnel push them on you.

 and introduces schoolchildren to sex education.
Because destroying the taboos against premarital sex worked so well in the US.
The Philippines has one of Asia's highest birth rates, with the United Nations estimating that half of the country's 3.4 million pregnancies each year are unplanned.

Not mentioned: That the birth rate has fallen from 6 per woman to less than 3 per woman in the last 20 years. And it assumes that pregnancies are planned, which isn't even true in the US, and that if a pregnancy is unplanned it is unwanted. Again that is not true on the US.



Maternal mortality also remains high, with 162 deaths for every 100,000 live births, while 10 women die every day from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications, according to the Commission on Women.

not mentioned: The reason for this is that 40 percent of women give birth without a trained birth attendant. The RH bill doesn't address this problem.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

the hobbit's christian themes

from TORN.
While a number of Christian elements can be found in The Hobbit, three of the most important are its Christian sense of purpose, its Christian sense of Providence, and its Christian sense of morality.
Tolkien’s contemporaries — writers such as Sartre, Beckett, and Camus — show us characters whose lives have no meaning or purpose other than what they themselves invent. By contrast, Bilbo is chosen for a specific purpose — one he did not create and even rejects at first. Whoever sent Gandalf to the doorstep of Bag End has not intended that Bilbo continue to live a life surrounded and bounded by comfort, security, and predictable dinner times. Though it may seem incredible, the diminutive Mr. Baggins — and no other — is meant to help the dwarves regain their home and restore the Desolation of Smaug. In helping others, Bilbo himself will be helped. The two purposes are indivisibly intertwined. At the start of the adventure, Gandalf promises Bilbo that the adventure will be very good for him and profitable, too. In the end, Bilbo returns, not with one-fourteenth of the dragon’s hoard, but with a very different kind of treasure—one that thieves cannot break in and steal.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

factoid of the day

From wikipedia:

The revolt of Kimpa Vita was another attempt to regain independence from the Portuguese. Baptised around 1684 as Dona Béatrice, Kimpa Vita was raised Catholic and being very pious she became a nun seeing visions of St. Anthony of Padua ordering her to restore the kingdom of Kongo to its former glory. Creating the Anthonian prophetic movement she interfered directly in the then civil war between the three members of the local nobility claiming the Kongolese throne, João II, Pedro IV and Pedro Kibenga. In it she took sides against Pedro IV, considered the favorite of the Portuguese. Her revolt, during which she captured the capital Mbanza Kongo, was short lived. She was captured by the forces of Pedro IV and under orders of Portuguese Capuchin Friars condemned for being a witch and a heretic and consequently burned to death. For many African Niger nationalists she is the African version of Joan of Arc and an early symbol of African resistance against colonialism.[citation needed
found it while googling about this NYTimes editorial on measles.

I found it absurd that they always quote "doctors without borders" (founded by a guy who killed patients) while ignoring the local medical personnel and mission hospitals. Probably because their nurses are probably locally trained nurses/nuns or older European nuns.

Quote of the day

link



Facing the reality of death, I find Christmas reassuring. That’s not just because it’s the moment in which God goes “all in” on the covenant of life that he begins with Abraham and cements on Mount Sinai, but also because it’s very realistic. The very idea of the birth and infancy of Jesus—the very idea of the power of life taking such a form—allows me to affirm the victory over sin and death without requiring me to deny their present and very real power.

God does not call out sin and death to meet them on a grand battlefield. He undertakes a covert action, as it were, entering into human history by stealth as the child of a humble young woman who gives birth in a stable. Undercover, the lord of all foments a conspiracy of life from within the regime of sin and death.... . No, the way of love is different. It conquers from the inside out.

Again, this Christmas strategy allows us to be hopeful without being deluded. Most of us are so thoroughly enmeshed in the regime of sin and death that, if God’s approach involves working from the outside in, we’d have to either pretend otherwise, or conclude that we’re hopeless cases. That’s especially true of death, which will take me as surely as it took Susan. But God saves us from the inside out. My often impoverished, mediocre faith is as small and seemingly ineffectual as a helpless newborn child. It’s no less triumphant or powerful than the Christ-child. It’s no less capable of rousing within me a victorious conspiracy of life.


When myths point to the larger reality

The poem Mythopoeia, written by Tolkien to correct CSLewis' concrete thinking about myth and reality.

Tolkien insists myths point to the Larger Reality.

To one [C.S. Lewis] who said that myths were lies and therefore worthless, even though 'breathed through silver'.
Philomythus to Misomythus
You look at trees and label them just so,
(for trees are 'trees', and growing is 'to grow');
you walk the earth and tread with solemn pace
one of the many minor globes of Space:
a star's a star, some matter in a ball
compelled to courses mathematical
amid the regimented, cold, inane,
where destined atoms are each moment slain.
At bidding of a Will, to which we bend
(and must), but only dimly apprehend,
great processes march on, as Time unrolls
from dark beginnings to uncertain goals;
and as on page o'er-written without clue,
with script and limning packed of various hue,
an endless multitude of forms appear,
some grim, some frail, some beautiful, some queer,
each alien, except as kin from one
remote Origo, gnat, man, stone, and sun.
God made the petreous rocks, the arboreal trees,
tellurian earth, and stellar stars, and these
homuncular men, who walk upon the ground
with nerves that tingle touched by light and sound.
The movements of the sea, the wind in boughs,
green grass, the large slow oddity of cows,
thunder and lightning, birds that wheel and cry,
slime crawling up from mud to live and die,
these each are duly registered and print
the brain's contortions with a separate dint.
Yet trees are not 'trees', until so named and seen
and never were so named, tifi those had been
who speech's involuted breath unfurled,
faint echo and dim picture of the world,
but neither record nor a photograph,
being divination, judgement, and a laugh
response of those that felt astir within
by deep monition movements that were kin
to life and death of trees, of beasts, of stars:
free captives undermining shadowy bars,
digging the foreknown from experience
and panning the vein of spirit out of sense.
Great powers they slowly brought out of themselves
and looking backward they beheld the elves
that wrought on cunning forges in the mind,
and light and dark on secret looms entwined.
He sees no stars who does not see them first
of living silver made that sudden burst
to flame like flowers bencath an ancient song,
whose very echo after-music long
has since pursued. There is no firmament,
only a void, unless a jewelled tent
myth-woven and elf-pattemed; and no earth,
unless the mother's womb whence all have birth.
The heart of Man is not compound of lies,
but draws some wisdom from the only Wise,
and still recalls him. Though now long estranged,
Man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed.
Dis-graced he may be, yet is not dethroned,
and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned,
his world-dominion by creative act:
not his to worship the great Artefact,
Man, Sub-creator, the refracted light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.
Though all the crannies of the world we filled
with Elves and Goblins, though we dared to build
Gods and their houses out of dark and light,
and sowed the seed of dragons, 'twas our right
(used or misused). The right has not decayed.
We make still by the law in which we're made.

Yes! 'wish-fulfilment dreams' we spin to cheat
our timid hearts and ugly Fact defeat!
Whence came the wish, and whence the power to dream,
or some things fair and others ugly deem?
All wishes are not idle, nor in vain
fulfilment we devise -- for pain is pain,
not for itself to be desired, but ill;
or else to strive or to subdue the will
alike were graceless; and of Evil this
alone is deadly certain: Evil is.
Blessed are the timid hearts that evil hate
that quail in its shadow, and yet shut the gate;
that seek no parley, and in guarded room,
though small and bate, upon a clumsy loom
weave tissues gilded by the far-off day
hoped and believed in under Shadow's sway.
Blessed are the men of Noah's race that build
their little arks, though frail and poorly filled,
and steer through winds contrary towards a wraith,
a rumour of a harbour guessed by faith.
Blessed are the legend-makers with their rhyme
of things not found within recorded time.
It is not they that have forgot the Night,
or bid us flee to organized delight,
in lotus-isles of economic bliss
forswearing souls to gain a Circe-kiss
(and counterfeit at that, machine-produced,
bogus seduction of the twice-seduced).
Such isles they saw afar, and ones more fair,
and those that hear them yet may yet beware.
They have seen Death and ultimate defeat,
and yet they would not in despair retreat,
but oft to victory have tuned the lyre
and kindled hearts with legendary fire,
illuminating Now and dark Hath-been
with light of suns as yet by no man seen.

I would that I might with the minstrels sing
and stir the unseen with a throbbing string.
I would be with the mariners of the deep
that cut their slender planks on mountains steep
and voyage upon a vague and wandering quest,
for some have passed beyond the fabled West.
I would with the beleaguered fools be told,
that keep an inner fastness where their gold,
impure and scanty, yet they loyally bring
to mint in image blurred of distant king,
or in fantastic banners weave the sheen
heraldic emblems of a lord unseen.
I will not walk with your progressive apes,
erect and sapient. Before them gapes
the dark abyss to which their progress tends
if by God's mercy progress ever ends,
and does not ceaselessly revolve the same
unfruitful course with changing of a name.
I will not treat your dusty path and flat,
denoting this and that by this and that,
your world immutable wherein no part
the little maker has with maker's art.
I bow not yet before the Iron Crown,
nor cast my own small golden sceptre down.
In Paradise perchance the eye may stray
from gazing upon everlasting Day
to see the day illumined, and renew
from mirrored truth the likeness of the True.
Then looking on the Blessed Land 'twill see
that all is as it is, and yet made free:
Salvation changes not, nor yet destroys,
garden nor gardener, children nor their toys.
Evil it will not see, for evil lies
not in God's picture but in crooked eyes,
not in the source but in malicious choice,
and not in sound but in the tuneless voice.
In Paradise they look no more awry;
and though they make anew, they make no lie.
Be sure they still will make, not being dead,
and poets shall have flames upon their head,
and harps whereon their faultless fingers fall:
there each shall choose for ever from the All.

Happy and Holy Christmas



so do some hate Christmas because they hate God? Or because they hate babies?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hobbits hobbits hobbits

CWN film review of the hobbit film.

After watching The Hobbit a second time (yes, a second time), I realized that this story calls its characters to poverty and humility—which in the end prove to be greater than power or glory. This seems most apparent not only in Bilbo’s character, but also in Thorin. The dwarves have already lost their home and their wealth, and Bilbo must learn to abandon his own home and everything and everyone he loves. His apparent lack of stature and power also prove to be more useful than Thorin or any of the dwarves originally thought. As Gandalf explains to Galadriel, it is not great power that will conquer evil, but the small and ordinary things

Some (presumably protestant) A--H--- in the comments asked how the film could lead people to Jesus, as if Tolkien was like CSLewis, pushing religion down your kids' throats...Actually, Tolkien made up stories for his kids, and the hobbit was only written down after Christopher caught him mixing up the color of Thorin's cloak when he retold the story...

Catholics see good in anything: a good play or film or a beautiful sunset is a sign, a "sacrament" showing god's love.

as Andrew Greeley points out:

Catholics live in an enchanted world: a world of statues and holy water, stained glass and votive candles, saints and religious medals, rosary beads and holy pictures. But these Catholic paraphernalia are merely hints of a deeper and more pervasive religious sensibility that inclines Catholics to see the Holy lurking in creation. The world of the Catholic is haunted by a sense that the objects, events, and persons of daily life are revelations of Grace.
The snobbier Catholics hate Greeley's sex filled romances and mystery stories, but they miss the point that he may be a "b" writer, but sociologically he is the best writer on what it means for a middle class American to be Catholic.

No, we don't go around "preaching". God is part of our lives and part of reality.

Which is why, when someone asks me if I "know" Jesus, I usually answer: Know him? I almost got my ass shot off because of him. (which is another story for another time, but never mind; it's true).

That usually shuts them up.

-------------------------------
Holly Ordway at Heiropraxis suggests giving Tolkien's letters and Flannery O'Connor's letters as a gift.
 

 I was impressed at what I learned from Tolkien's letters.is huge: Not just about the LOTR etc. He was supposed to be a bit stubborn and prickly by reputation, and I have yet to hear a good biography that interviewed some of the students (mainly women) who he tutored...

We may have a view of what Tolkien was like via CSLewis' books..( Ransom in Out of the Silent Planet, is supposed to be based on Tolkien, and the picture of his playing with the Hrossa children resembles another writer's story of Tolkien playing Thomas the Tank Engine with his children during a visit.... and one wonders if Jane's professor and his wife in That Hideous Strength based on Tolkien and his wife, who reportedly befriended many of his female tutorial students?).

The pdf of his letters are here, if you want to read them.

In his letters, he comes across as kind and humble, but not timid as such...sort of like the Bilbo Baggins in the film. Loving his breakfast, but also strong in his willingness to fight for his friends, not as an aggressive lover of fighting, but as one who has to do it to save others.

True, Tolkien was a veteran of World War I, but he wasn't infantry, but a communications specialist ...Later in Oxford, he also fought for language to stay in the curriculum against the modern trends that insist only modern thinking is worth knowing, and he fought long and hard to get CSLewis a professorship even though a lot of people at the university hated Lewis for being popular and writing about Christianity.... And if you don't think opposing the "old sticks" takes  courage, you don't know academia...

Tolkien was also a practicing Catholic in a college at a time when few were believers of any sort, and it was considered stupid to believe in any god, let alone a papist one.


As for Flannery O'Connor: I'd love a book on her letters. I have her short stories, and they are devestating. An ordinary person would see them as anti religion, but like Walker Percy, she is part of the Southern Catholics (who the fundamentalists all said were going to hell and following the antichrist pope).

 I'll have to keep an eye on our used book kiosk here: I've managed to replace a couple books that I didn't bring alone, including the Inklings and a biography of CS Lewis from there.

IFFlanneryHadABlog posts this excerpt of her writings (concerning the story A Good Man is hard to find)

Grace to the Catholic way of thinking, can and does use as its medium the imperfect, purely human, and even hypocritical. Cutting yourself off from Grace is a very decided matter, requiring a real choice, act of will, and affecting the very ground of the soul.

The Misfit is touched by the Grace that comes through the old lady when she recognizes him as her child, as she has been touched by the Grace that comes through him in his particular suffering. His shooting her is a recoil, a horror at her humanness, but after he has done it and cleaned his glasses, the Grace has worked in him and he pronounces his judgment: she would have been a good woman if he had been there every moment of her life. True enough.

In the Protestant view, I think Grace and nature don’t have much to do with each other. The old lady, because of her hypocrisy and humanness and banality couldn’t be a medium for Grace.

In the sense that I see things the other way, I’m a Catholic writer. [Found here.]

Yes, grace for us geeks and misfits. Sounds good to me.

Labels:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Culture wars (from outside the box)

RadioRussia, which is of course biased, posts most of the TIME editorial on Obama as man of the year.

The editorial is by Andrew Sullivan, who is gay, backs gay marriage and once said that gay marriage would help heterosexuals accept the idea of open marriage. The fact that he smokes marijuana (claiming it is for HIV related problems) and opposes circumcision, even though evidence from Africa suggests that  it protects Africans (and maybe Asians) from HIV, makes him sort of a one item mania type person.

Free promiscuous sex as the norm, and drugs while you are at it so we can be happy all the time.

and, given the new age stuff that I printed yesterday (which includes the new age nuns who backed Obama against the bishops and the feminists) and the fact that these new agers have connections with the UN, then I shudder at this point of the editorial writer on Obama mania in the press:

arack Obama's open declaration of his stance on gay rights was indeed well-calculated and the timing was chosen accurately. When the GOP race for nomination is virtually over, and the remaining would-be nominee cannot present any breathtaking slogan which would be eagerly built up by media, this was exactly the right time to strike. Now, the whole media space seems to be preoccupied with the issue, and topics like war preparations around Iran or the failing economy seem to be too trivial to mention. This definitely gives Barack Obama a clear advantage.
But what is even more important is the fact that this is not a purely tactical step with Obama's reelection as its ultimate end. The offensive has much broader and far-reaching objectives. Obama, as a new idol of the new pagan liberal religion, wants to make the process of establishing it as a prevalent doctrine (at least on the national, ideally on the global scale) irreversible.
The halo over Barack Obama's head speaks for itself. Now, even if he is "crucified" on November 6 this year, this will only add momentum to the rainbow-colored religion. And Sullivan has all prerequisites to become one of the evangelists of the doctrine.

-------------------------------
Related item: Benedict points out that gay marriage is not about two people who happen to be the same sex who want to commit to a relationship, but has deeper roots in denying biological sexuality and rejecting sexual roles in the family: which is why the child quickly becomes a commodity, to be aborted or chosen according to consumer like wishes.Caution: an excerpt. Nuances are long, so check out the original speech.

 People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being.  They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God....
The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be....

Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him. 

most "ordinary" people know this, but the intellectuals rarely have the courage to oppose it, either because they are too close to the problem (which is the problem of sexuality in life, and the family as a natural part of human sociality) and have been tutored in political correctness.

And the west's rebellion against nature is part too: A Buddhist sees desire as the problem, and would say renouncing the desire to be a different gender would be part of the way to nirvana; a Christian would say that the desire is a 'cross" to be carried and fought, along with other illicit desires, and if one falls, to repent and start over again to try to follow Christ.

Neither of these ideas are welcome in "modern" society where we are told continually the idea we should have it all.

But the third reason modern intellectuals are not opposing it is moral cowardism:

from DavidMills at First Things:


In his response to Ryan Anderson’s comments on marriage, David Blankenhorn explained:
I changed my view on gay marriage for two reasons. The first is fairness. And the second is to get out of the very box that Ryan Anderson wants to put me and everyone else in — the little box inside of which the culture war on gay marriage must precede and overwhelm and define everything else.
No thank you. And, no thank you. And I can report from personal experience that the air is much easier to breath, once you are outside that stifling little box.

yes. Stay quiet on the subject and you are part of the "in crowd". Dare to oppose it, and your emails and comment box is full of hate speech.

On the other hand, I hesitate to blog about it, so I am a coward too. Sigh.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Paging Dr. Schicklgruber...

The "creationists" who think the world was made in 6 days get scorned, but why do universities sponsor speakers saying things like this?







Published on Dec 20, 2012
         




(Visit: http://www.uctv.tv/)
 The discovery of evolution implies a profound revolution in human
thinking and action. Ursula King, Professor Emerita of Theology and
Religious Studies, University of Bristol, explores the implications of
this new consciousness for religion, society, and consciousness. She
describes the work of the French paleontologist and religious thinker
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who sought a new spirituality for a world in
evolution. His prophetic thought about "the planetization of humanity"
-- what is called "globalization" today -- relates to global
interdependence in all areas of human endeavor, and bears on
contemporary discussions about ecological and evolutionary
spiritualities as well as international peace and social justice.
Series: "Burke Lectureship on Religion & Society" [1/2013]
[Humanities] [Show ID: 24413]

this is the type of nonsense that got the "leadership" of the Catholic nuns into hot water with the vatican

First of all,belief in evolution is not new.



Second: this is not a major "movement" in religion outside of the elites.



Third of all, the idea of "evolutionary spirituality" by new agers who think that meditation will let them evolve, is scientific nonsense.



But scientifically, "meditation" makes one vulnerable to suggestion, but there is no evidence it changes the neurological system let alone that it induces genetic changes that can be inherited (which is what evolution means).



So this is a "belief system" that lets rich upper class yuppies feel superior to the hoi polloi, which is why I worry about it. Utopian creeds promoting Ubermensch have a bad reputation after Senor Shicklegruber  put similar ideas into practice.



If humans evolve, it will be because the transhumanists find the genes that allow us to do that.



Finally, their reverence for Chardin ignores that a lot of folks think he was either behind the Piltdown hoax, or at least involved in it. From Wikipedia:






Teilhard had travelled to regions of Africa where one of the anomalous finds originated, and resided in the Wealden area from the date of the earliest finds.

 Stephen Gould's take: for someone involved in a huge "scientific discovery" (as it was assumed at the time) he was curiously silent in his writings after 1920.



Chardin's "mysticism" see man evolving to become gods.



Catholics see evolution occuring by the laws of nature, but with God like a symphony conductor directing them how to act, and sometimes changing the script by mass extinctions. So most believe in evolution the science, but not the philosophy of scientism that is often promoted as science. Unfortunatly few people, even the dodo in the first link, know the difference.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Landmines

StrategyPage has an article on landmines


Despite these mine clearing efforts, there is no quick way to clear all landmines. That’s because many of those planted during the Korean War were not recorded or records of these mine fields were destroyed during combat or lost after the war. Even mines with a recorded location can be shifted by landslides or heavy rains. Old mines and unexploded bombs and shells will continue to show up for decades. Such has been the case in the United States, where explosives from the Civil War (1861-65) still get found. Similarly in Europe the tens of millions of mines and unexploded munitions are regularly being encountered by farmers or construction crews.
 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The story of the Lemba

From a PBS site

Given all the racism, finding Cohen DNA among the Lemba doesn't mean that "white people" built Zimbabwe, but that Africa was not the "dark continent" but had trading links with the Middle East for at least 2000 years, maybe longer.

And the story of African kingdoms and the trading routes (including alas the Arab slave trade) is not a well documented story in the west.


SIGH

Another mentally ill person murdered children.



The only "mass murder" case I was involved with was in Red Lake, where I knew the grandfather, a cop, but not the boy.



 His grandson had been abused by his alcoholic parents and after they died, was taken in by grandfather and his common law wife. That boy was depressed and on medicine/counseling, yet although anti depressant medicine helps relieve the depression it also can exacerbate impulsive behavior, including paranoia and violence. In other words, as his depression lifted, the self hatred he felt, and the hate/love for his parents was turned outward and projected on others...the boy was given school leave for his mental problems, but this left him free to surf the violent nazi type internet sites which encouraged the idea that violence against the enemy was okay.



At the local high school, ridicule was a major problem (I once gave a girl a six month excuse to get home classes because she had a skin disorder: so she wouldn't be ridiculed). So he first killed his grandfather, got his bullet proof vest and gun and then went to shoot the highschool classmates who he hated.



Sigh.



I won't comment on gun control, which I favor, because it is merely a cynical political football....New England's gun laws are strict, and you have to be over 21 and pass a test to buy a handgun, and then you have to learn how to use it. Laws only work when they are enforced...



The only answer to such things from those of us far away is prayer, so theAnchoress had a podcast of prayer for the dead.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Benedit below the fold

actually just a copy of what I wrote on my regular blog
-----------------------------------
The Anchoress reports on Benedict's tweets. 
and gives an example of what he is tweeting:
Q: Any suggestions on how to be more prayerful when we are so busy with the demands of work, families and the world?
A: Offer everything you do to the Lord, ask his help in all the circumstances of daily life and remember that he is always beside you
Hmm...seems to be channeling the busy cook Brother Lawrence.   link


-------------------------------------

Related item via Father Z: the new avant garde:

From  The Economist
father Z's comments in red

A traditionalist avant-garde
It’s trendy to be a traditionalist in the Catholic church
SINCE the Second Vatican Council in 1962, the Roman Catholic church has striven to adapt to the modern world. But in the West—where many hoped a contemporary message would go down best—believers have left in droves. Sunday mass attendance in England and Wales has fallen by half from the 1.8m recorded in 1960; the average age of parishioners has risen from 37 in 1980 to 52 now. In America attendance has declined by over a third since 1960. Less than 5% of French Catholics attend regularly, and only 15% in Italy.  [But remember... Vatican II produced many wonderful things!] Yet as the mainstream wanes, traditionalists wax.
Take the Latin mass, dumped by the Vatican in 1962 for liturgies in vernacular languages. [Umm... not quite. It was after 1962, but let that pass.  The date is not of the essence.] In its most traditional form, the priest consecrates the bread and wine in a whisper with his back to the congregation [That old "back to the people" chestnut again?  Sigh.]: anathema to those who think openness is the spirit of the age. But Father John Zuhlsdorf, an American priest and blogger, [Him again?] says it challenges worshippers, unlike the cosy liberalism of the regular services. “It is not just a school assembly,” he says. Others share his enthusiasm.

No, we don't have the Latin mass here in the Provinces, but then we also have a lot of people converting to protestant sects looking for holiness and the joy of a personal relationship with the deity.

Benedict wrote about the emotion of God's love in his encyclical on Love, insisting that love and truth is found in a personal and mutual love between us and God (and if it seems like he is channeling the Gita here,  never mind: most of the saints think alike).

So because God loves us, we love others and try to help them: not just by giving tax deductible money to fund dry institutions...and it is via worship and prayer that we "refill" our emotional being so that we don't suffer burnout.

Of course, this wasn't reported or taken seriously by the PC in the press or US church.... maybe because it also criticized organizations that push birth control as development without helping the poor (sounds familiar) and criticizes multinational corporations who ignore the needs of people and the environment.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Religion headlines...nothing new folks just move along

GetReligion blog has the links to bad reporting on the death of an Indian woman in Ireland.

I wondered whether about the journalistic rigor being applied to the story, both in terms of the medical statements being made prior to a review as well as the blame being assigned the Catholic Church. In short, the claims that were made about what happened in the hospital and the blame assigned to the Catholic Church weren’t exactly matching up with evidence or with Catholic teaching.
None of this stopped the rather dramatic rush to judgment.
they especially cover the debunking at the UKTelegraph:
The journalist who broke the story about Savita Halappananvar’s tragic death now admits that the facts were “a little muddled”.
In an astonishing radio interview, Kitty Holland of The Irish Times admits that her report was based on the husband’s version of events, but that in fact there may have been “no request for a termination”. Her earlier account stated that Mrs Halappananvar, an Indian in Ireland who was expecting a baby, had begged for a termination when complications arose with the birth; hospital staff denied her the abortion, allegedly saying: “This is a Catholic country”.
Holland’s exclusive tale of the tragic death made headlines around the world. Pro-abortion groups seized upon the story to condemn any review of abortion laws. Protesters chanting “Never again!”marched in Irish cities. Holland’s report ensured that abortion was hailed as a life-saving operation; that it should be cruelly denied a young woman was further proof (if any were needed) that the Catholic Church was backward and barbarian.
Except that none of this may be quite as it seems.


In a second article Tim Stanley’s piece for the Telegraph, he raises some important points about media ethics:
Perhaps what was most disturbing about the Savita story is how it was leaked to pro-choice activists before it was broken by the Irish Times. At least three days before the story went public, Irish Choice Network was notified by email that “a major news story in relation to abortion access is going to break in the media early this coming week,” and that it would be followed by a pre-arranged protest. We can infer that someone at either the Irish Times or the Health Services Executive conspired to use a private tragedy to push a political agenda. It’s all very Alinsky.
Run a news search on Savita’s death and you’ll find very little in the mainstream press that addresses these problems or, more importantly, corrects earlier false reports. It’s as if the story never happened. Perhaps it would have been better if it hadn’t. Rather than waiting for a proper investigation of what went wrong, some chose to broadcast the opinions of understandably distressed family members as if they were indisputable facts. And the commentary accompanying the journalism drew a straight, short line between an individual’s death and the Catholic Church. The takeaway: Catholicism kills.
----------------------------------------

And it's Christmas, so the latest book to bash Christians imagines Mary as a bitter 20th century women's libber who hates god and her son.

Mark Shea at Catholic world report has a snarky review of the book:

In terms of content, the book is a by-the-numbers hatchet job written in sensitive, spare, and poetic diction for the delectation of UK and New York Chattering Classes and dipped in a bath of relentless, willful sadness and bitterness. The basic premise is that it has been 20 years since the crucifixion, and Mary is one nasty hag, sounding for all the world like a nun in iron grey, short-cropped hair and sensible shoes who has seized the microphone in a We Are Church group process breakout session and is now on the third hour of an extended free association monologue, grousing bitterly about the patriarchy. 
Bravely facing the applause of the UK and New York media, Tóibín advances the absolutely original thesis that Jesus was totally misunderstood by his corrupt, repressed, knucklehead disciples, who got all het up about him for no particular reason and did the whole “Son of God” schtick after his death. Tóibín’s Mary lives alone in Ephesus, relying on these disciples for her daily bread, marinated in judgmental bitterness, and filled with sullen contempt for everything.

my problem is not just that this is a politically correct blasphemous libel of a woman beloved by the religions followed by half the people in the world (Christians and Muslims).

The real problem is that, as a doc who has worked cross culturally for much of my career, the book ignores how such a person would think and act. And the answer is not like a 20th century bitter feminist nun.

How can a "historical" novel be praised when it gets the culture wrong?

------------------------------

and Fides writes about a Cardinal's memorial for the leader of a local Islamic group.
"A man of relations, a man of God, whose wisdom revealed he was profoundly inhabited by God": said Cardinal Theodore Adrien Sarr, Archbishop of Dakar, remembering in a message sent to Fides, Serigne Mouhamadou Mansour Sy, Caliph General of Tidjaniyya, one of the most important Sufi brotherhoods in Senegal. "Future generations are already enriched by the image of an ardent defender of social peace and a guide who always led far away from the paths of radical religious fundamentalism that disrupts the world today,"

Culture of death agenda

Mrs. Gay Caswell recommends this video:
LINK


AGENDA: Grinding America Down (Full Movie) FREE for a limited time. from Copybook Heading Productions LLC on Vimeo.

It sees a conspiracy, but it is not a "conspiracy" as much as a religion type agenda that is pushing these ideas and not questioning what they are doing. You want to be "in", support these ideas without questioning what it will result in.
You question it, you are the enemy.

The main thing I disagree with is calling it "communist". By using that "code" word, it allows the film to be overlooked.

Here in the Philippines, we are actively fighting the same agenda against the family, but no one dares to question what will happen to us without the extended family to help each other.

And ironically, John Paul II, who is far from a conspiracy theorist, called it the "culture of death".

Monday, December 10, 2012

Rich Yuppies spouting utopia take two

in a previous post, I criticized a poet for longing for utopia.

The reason is that I am very sarcastic at the rich upper class types who are isolated from this "valley of tears" and want their own private island of grace.

Yet for those with problems (the poor, but also those in poor health or who suffer from depression etc) the call that Jesus will wipe away our tears and be our hiding place is powerful. There is joy knowing that.

Ethel Waters tells of how she was "saved" after a preacher actually prolonged a rivival and had everyone pray for her as a child...and she says after that, God was like having a powerful loving presence inside her, where she could know she was loved and cared for despite the terrible world she lived in.

So this song shows the same theme:




Lyrics

Bwana Yesu, Bwana Yesu | My Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus
Kimbilio langu, ni wewe Baba | You are my safe haven Lord
Tumaini langu, liko kwako Yaweh |My hope is on you Yahweh
Mimi sina uwezo, sina Bwana mwingine ila wewe | I don’t have the might, I don’t have another Lord but you
Mimi sina uwezo, sina Bwana mwingine ila wewe | I don’t have the might, I don’t have another Lord but you
Chorus:
Wewe ndiwe Baba yangu, msaada wangu wa karibu | You are my father, my close help
Wewe ndiwe Baba yangu, msaada wangu wa karibu | You are my father, my close help
Verse 2:
Haleluya, Haleluya Baba | Haleluya Father
Oh ulinifia mwokozi wangu, dhambi zangu zote ukaziosha | You died for me my savior, you washed away my sins
Sijapata mwingine, dunia yote kama wewe yahweh | I do not have another one, like you Yahweh
Sijapata mwingine, sijapata mwingine kama wewe Yahweh | I do not have another one, like you Yahweh
(chorus)
Verse 3:
Nakuinua, nakuinua | I lift you up
Milele milele,nitakuimbia | Forever I will sing for you
Kwa yale umenitendea Baba nakusifu | Because of what you have done for me I will praise you father
Milele Milele, milele daima Bwana wangu | Forever my Lord
Milele na milele, milele daima Bwana wangu we | Forever and ever my Lord
(Chorus)
Verse 4:
Hakuna hakuna nasema (Hakuna kama wewe) There is no other I say (None like you)
Mbinguni na duniani tuimbe (Hakuna kama wewe) Heaven or earth (None like you)
Aliye filia dhambi zangu nasema (Hakuna kama wewe) Who died for my sins (None like you)
Mponyaji wangu ndiye Jehova rafa (Hakuna kama wewe) My healer is Jehova rafa (None like you)
Hakuna hakuna naimba (Hakuna kama wewe) There is none I sing (None like you)
Hakuna hakuna nasema (Hakuna kama wewe) There is none I say (None like you)
Ulimwengu wote tuimbe (Hakuna kama wewe) Sing oh world (None like you)
Dunia yote tuseme tusemee (Hakuna kama wewe) All the earth let us say (None like you)
Nasema hakuna hakuna hakuna (Hakuna kama wewe) There is none (None like you)
Oh hakuna hakuna nasema (Hakuna kama wewe) Oh there is none I say (None like you)
Oh hakuna hakuna naimba (Hakuna kama wewe) Oh there is none I sing (None like you)
Hakuna hakuna tuimbe (Hakuna kama wewe) There is none Lets sing (None like you)
hakuna hakuna nasema (Hakuna kama wewe) There is none I say (None like you)
Hakuna hakuna naimba (Hakuna kama wewe) There is none I sing (None like you)

so what is the difference?

Maybe reverse snobbism, thinking that affluent and "sensitive" poets are faking it.

Albert Schweitzer once said that those who confront pain are part of the brotherhood of those who bear the mark of pain...







Christian or Buddhist?

I already made a comment on an earlier post by this "poet" songwriter (pointing out his "peace" stuff was PC). Ah but today he sees "peace" and God as...being away from the world and detached from all the nasty stuff.

It is similar with the acquisition of Christ. It begins with renunciation of all other attachments. We must forswear the lesser attachments that fragment us, and recollect ourselves in order to present ourselves wholly to Christ; only then will his coming (the gift of himself) have much meaning. If Christmas is really an exchange, which I believe it is, it is important to understand that we can’t give away what we don’t possess.

Years ago, I wrote in a song:



Fashion for me a desert of peace

A land that is empty of endless disease

With  no-one to suffer hate or appease

With nothing to covet, desire or compete

But you  alone



Grant to me lord by your sovereign hand

To wander forever in this boundless land

Where all of my yearnings  fears and demands

Are abandoned and lost  to the great desert sands

Surrounding me



Fashion for me a desert of peace

Where Father, Son and Spirit meet

Together as one, together release me

Free from sin, to enter in to life forever more





Fashion for us a  city of love

Where the lamb and the lion together lie down*

Where all of the long-lost pilgrims are found

Rejoicing in song for the Savior is crowned

As Lord and King



Grant to us lord by your sovereign hand

A city of joy in the heart of the land

A home for the weary alien man

The fatherless children, the widow who’s hands

Are tired and worn



Fashion for us a city of love

Where Father, Son and Spirit live

Together as one, together allow us

Free to take, and celebrate the life forever more 
----------------------------------
 Ah yes. Utopia.

Hello: The description is heaven, and Jesus did go to the desert to find prayer and God, but then he came out and did the dirty work needed in this "vale of tears".

I am not sure what annoys me the most: Those so involved in the "social gospel" that they ignore the spiritual aspects (and by "social gospel" I mean the activists, who often ignore the real problems to push the latest left wing fad. Andrew Greeley's "Virgin and Martyr" has a subplot about these types, and only if you read carefully do you notice a minor character who is actually helping people).

On the other hand, I get annoyed by the holier than thous, who are busy in becoming saints or evolving to a higher power ("buy our tapes, sisters, and you too can evolve to a higher level this December") to notice reality.

Christianity does insist Jesus comes first, but it does not condemn ordinary life:

Indeed, unlike Buddhism it does not insist we renounce every day life and withdraw emotionally and physically from every day life.

Buddhism is a nice religion, but I wonder why it is popular among Americans who say they are "spiritual not religious" but mean they want the emotional high of meditation but want to stay promiscuous and rich. True Buddhism is exactly the opposite.

Yet the withdrawal from everyday life, and the idea of reincarnation leads to seeing those in need as fulfilling their own karma: So that although individuals do good deeds to gain karma, many use this as an excuse to ignore the poverty and exploitation in their midst, figuring these folks deserve it, or because they have withdrawn from life to seek the truth, and such images will disturb their meditation.


Fashion for me a desert of peace

A land that is empty of endless disease

With  no-one to suffer hate or appease

With nothing to covet, desire or compete

But you  alone
 In Carmelite spirituality, the desert is "inside" you: But Carmel also has a sub context, which is the home of Jesus in Nazaerth.

Without the second it becomes "belly button gazing".


Yes, guys, just ignore the kids on the street or the reality of Christ to do your own thing...

Christmas

a baby is born and the world turns

Friday, December 07, 2012

Culture war updates

The US push against tradition, religion, and the family continue at a swift pace.

FT notes that it is the Russians who are opposing the homosexual propaganda juggernaut, including in international affairs.


Pink News is reporting that the Russian government is considering banning homosexual propaganda nationwide. Many municipalities in Russia have already done so, including Saint Petersburg.
Russia is taking an increasingly active role globally in pushing back against the Homosexual Internationale. Hungary and Lithuania have followed suit.
he then adds this part:
Greg Forster reports in these pages today about homosexual propaganda being foisted upon American school children.
We may not agree totally with the Russians, but I wonder if most Americans would agree such things should at least be banned in grade schools?
Foster's article notes:

it goes without saying that gay couples are families too, and anyone who doubts that is on par with people who doubt that cross-racial couples are families. NRO’s Kevin Williamson discovered the video being shown in a town he used to live in and comments: As a fellow practitioner of the occult arts of persuasion, I must confess my admiration. . . . That’s a Family! is not about tolerance or treating people decently. It is about indoctrination, a fact that its enthusiasts make little attempt to hide.
One is reminded of a prophecy from Medjugorje in the 1980's, dating back to before the fall of the Berlin wall. It said that there would not be a World War III, and added that the west was getting proud in it's own capacity and rejecting God, but that Russia would spread the word of God throughout the world.

At the time the prophecy seemed absurd: the European press was promoting the idea that President Reagan was provoking a World War III, and the USSR was still actively atheistic.

And in a country where the PC are pushing the idea of "holiday trees" and getting rid of the smallest crosses, no one notices that teaching homosexuality as normal behavior is a religious dogma.

Sigh.

------------------------------------
Obama care has all sorts of surprises inside the bill, which was passed unread.

similarly, a UN bill for disability includes the idea of "reproductive rights" that will negate countries from banning abortion.

TurtleBayblog is reminded of this item:

How can anyone be against a global treaty on disability rights?

Uh, maybe because of the fine print that would allow outside, unelected officials to order you what your laws should say?
or as the blog points out: these treaties are like Arthur Dent's eviction notice:

Readers of the late Douglas Adams’ classic book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” will no doubt remember the following exchange, which occurs when protagonist Arthur Dent confronts the local bureaucrat who is attempting to demolish his house:
`…You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to [the plans] had you? I mean like actually telling anyone or anything.’
`But the plans were on display…’
`On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.’
`That’s the display department.’
`With a torch.’
`Ah, well the lights had probably gone.’
`So had the stairs.’
`But look, you found the notice didn’t you?’
`Yes,’ said Arthur, `yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of the Leopard.’
Sadly, the practice of deciding on a course of action, forcing it through by any means necessary, and then retroactively pointing out that one’s critics could have voiced their objections at the proper time and place is not just the stuff of comedy...

Thursday, December 06, 2012

who is funding the Love Foundation?

A Catholic bashing article (again) in the Inquirer.

Apparently a bishop dared to mention the emperor has no clothes, i.e. that promiscuity among gays is the fact behind much of the HIV epidemic in the Philippines.

So a gay NGO whose links go the Love Foundation releases a press release with the usual talking points.

The real questions that docs need to lower the HIV rate are of course not addressed: You have to know the facts to stop an epidemic, and you have to know what works (and in Africa, at least, condoms didn't work).

my comments to the article:

This is just propaganda from a medical point of view.
Promiscuity spreads HIV, and certain sex practices found in the gay community are more likely to spread it than vaginal sex.
Condoms? Supposedly Thailand is a success story because the government there has supported condom use since 1990, yet there are a million cases of HIV in that country...
In comparison, the highest estimate in the Philippines that I could find is 18 000 "suspected" cases. Medically, it makes me wonder if it is the open sex industry in that country, or if the Philippine custom of "tuli" has protected us from the epidemic.
the last report says the increase is in OFW and in the gay community. Yet we aren't given facts on why. Are local gays (and young boys) at risk because of the sex tourism by HIV positive foreigners? Is HIV clustered among gays who "cruise" or does it extend to all gays? Are OFW at risk from IV drug use (in China, Iran, and Russia, IV drug use is behind the epidemic) or from working in the sex industry, or are some men turning to each other when women are not available, as in Muslim countries?
As for condoms: do they work in a tropical country? Statistically they do not work in Africa.
Catholic bashing will soon be a worldwide phenomenum because only the church and the Muslims oppose the culture of death being promoted by our American masters under President Obama.
According to Wikileaks, a lot of the groups and propaganda behind the RH bill are American, including Hillary coming here and ordering the President to pass it, which will give out free birth control (just ignore the kids dying of Dengue or because their parents can't afford antibiotics, just ignore the 30 percent of births that occur without a trained birth attendent).

And now, of course, since Obama was reelected, again there is a push to pass the bill.

So I have a question: The press release behind the anti catholic article is the "the TLF Share Foundation". and googling that foundation, Up popped "The Love Foundation".

When we bring unconditional love back into our personal, professional, community and family lives, we begin the journey of restoring wholeness and happiness to our planetary adventure.  Of course it takes determined effort on our part as the old ways of being are quick to return in our mind.  However, this effort to love is rewarded with a new perspective on everything and all life benefits as a result.
Here at The Love Foundation, whether through Global Love Day each May 1st, our annual Art, Essay and Poetry Invitational, the Love Ambassador designations, and our newest programs, Love Begins With Me film project and All Nations Love/America Loves, each of these opportunities are simply ways to keep the understanding of love fresh in our collective hearts and minds.
Over twelve years ago we started this nonprofit organization as a way to inspire and remind people of the simple power of loving unconditionally.  In just these few years, we have witnessed a growing worldwide momentum embracing this opportunity to bring the awareness of unconditional love back into our daily lives.
Hmm...Reminds me of Gracie in "Miss Congeniality", who when asked about how to make the world a better place, advises carrying guns and knowing how to use them, but quickly adds "and promote world peace".

So who is behind the organization? the "founder" is a self help guru, which is a no brainer, but his bio says he left his job as a banker to found the organization...but the time line shows he was a banker for only two years.

Huh?

More disturbingly, he is a member of the "world shift 2012" organization.

Do you believe we're now in a global emergency?
An emergency filled with opportunity and positive potential.
What does climate change mean to you?
It is time to become aware of our interconnected and interdependent relationship with the earth and her many life forms.
What does peace mean to you?
Peace is a state of personal inner awareness and balance.
What does community mean to you?
All life is our community, whether plant, animal, mineral or human kingdom.
What does politics mean to you?
Inspired leadership filled with honor and integrity for the benefit of all.
What does money mean to you?
Money is simply an exchange of energy.
What makes you truly happy?
Inspiring people to love unconditionally!

Yup. That and ten bucks will buy you a box of Pampers.
 
in case you are wondering, the world shift folks plan for their members to evolve to a higher power this december:

 
Yes: a lot of this, like the Green Religion, is rewarmed up Marxism. Morales is a communist, of course. The Utopia of "collectivism" is coming.
 
But I've run into the World shift people before: 
 
 
Remember the ditzy nuns of a "leadership conference" who are rebelling against the Vatican? Their last meeting was addressed by one of the world shift people too: Barbara Marx Hubbard.

One is reminded of the Aquarian conspiracy.

But my question is: where do these folks get all their money? Yes, they are now rich as "motivational speakers", but who gave them the seed money to get their start?

And notice

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

New intercessor order from the IOTL?

I pulled up an old link from the sisters who left the Intercessors of the Lamb to discern what to do, and up popped a new order: Brides of the victorious Lamb.

Hmmm...
If I were them, I'd change the name: too protestant. But that's just me. And their dress changed to powder blue, which is an improvement.


Hopefully they have gotten rid of the cult like tendencies of the IOTL and will become a new contemplative group so badly needed in the US.

The website also has prayers and daily bible reading which could be helpful this Advent season.

------------------------
Wikipedia reports they started the new order in February.
the local newspaper's article on them is found HERE.

nine of the 48 who have left have started the new order...others left to become lay people, and a few stayed with Mother Nadine.

I have no idea what happened to Mother Nadine: She joined a Protestant intercessory prayer group called IHOP (no not the pancake house). And the last article I saw in the news about IHOP was a juicy murder case, but then it's a pretty large organization and may have attracted a few nut cases.

The IOTL website is still up and selling tapes for Christmas. Actually, the spiritual formation tapes from past converences are probably valuable if you want to learn about holiness, but I can't vouch for the latest ones.

The last conference noted on the website was advent (i.e. late fall) in 2011, so no new information there.

Mother Nadine is a bit sugary sweet for my taste. She tends, like many Charismatics, toward magical thinking, but unlike a lot of modern preachers stresses holiness, and not the idea that if God loves you, you will become rich.

Holy spirit interactive has an essay which is an example of her sugary writing style.


Her disobedience distresses me, and makes me suspect she is passive/aggressive (think "church lady from Saturday night live")...

The charismatic types often get into trouble because of the magical thinking stuff makes them think they are bigshots, but Mother is not a sociopath like a few others I can think of...but she had done some good during her time (my impression was that the charism, except for the magical thinking, was good, but what upset me was that they lived in luxury, and I have worked with too many poor people to approve of rich religious, be they new age nuns, charismatic types or old fashioned ones).

When you get a "word of wisdom" from on high, if someone questions you, then they assume you are evil for rejecting God. But the word of wisdom often comes from our subconscious.

True, God can talk to us "in the silence of the heart", but so can the devil, and so can our own imagination. That is why one of the first lessons of spirituality is to have an outsider to discern what is going on.

Ironically, the outsider doesn't have to be a priest, and doesn't have to be anyone who is a mystic: Indeed, the best one is often someone with psychological training and a common sense background who is a bit sceptical of mysticism.

That is why Mother Nadine got into trouble: No one there discerned or questioned her, and it grew and grew. And when the bishop stepped in, she balked, because she was used to assuming what she thought was what the Lord wanted.

The website says they still give retreats, but no new information. and someone is updating the "daily messages" from Mother Nadine's old books.

But no hard information (like who is paying the bills, how many still live on campus, etc),

This community seems to have links with Mother Nadine. and has set up a radio station in West Virginia. They seem to have connections with the Catholic charismatic community, but I'll have to check their site and get back to you.

and so far, no information about their group here in the Philippines.







Story falls apart?

http://youtu.be/jQmc-eeNXCU


 yup...the reporter didn't ask any one else for information on the case, or even ask a medical oponion, and she now states that the husband's changing story means his "version" can't be trusted either.

This is marxism: You find a sob story, blow it up and allow five minutes of hate, never mind that it's not true.

In the US, this would be a "kaching" moment: where an ambulance chasing attorney is after a lot of money, and he presses the family to imagine the evil doctors who deliberately did X or who were so incompetent they did Y instead of saving the baby or mom. see John Edwards's description of how he would manipulate malpractice suits by "channeling" the child, and blame the docs for not doing an instant Caesarian, never mind that many of these cerebral palsy babies actually were brain damaged from placental problems.

Everyone has sympathy for the family, yet one has to condemn those who exploit tragedy for their own reasons.

And I still wonder: Why the back pain? Did the back pain cause the infection?

FYI: The AAFP guidelines in such cases is watchful waiting, to see if labor starts or if the membranes reseal and allow the baby to survive in the womb long enough to live after delivery.

And if the mom died of "septic abortion", then one wonders: Did they use dirty gloves to examine her? Or did the pessary/catheter introduced to induce delivery cause the introduction of ecoli into the womb..

I'm betting they missed a retrocecal appendicitis...or used the wrong antibiotic for her UTI...