Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Love Of God

May it come into the hearts and minds of men, so that Man lives with his neighbour in peace and charity. Pace Sam Cooke, what a wonderful world that would be.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Paul Myers

A very silly fellow.

One hopes that the scales fall from his eyes, and that he might let love enter his life. Pray for him.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Some Thoughts On Priests (And The Priesthood)

I once worked with a young woman who told me that she and her family would travel across the city to hear Mass, despite living less than 800 yards away from their local parish church.
The reason for this was that they liked to hear a particular preacher. While acknowledging that the greater good lies in attending Mass in the first place, one always had a nagging doubt that this sort of practice was in some way disrespectful to the local priests whose services they elected not to attend.
For all the oceans of ink which have been spilled in comment on the priesthood, this writer admits to being in awe of the commitment which its members make in order to fulfil their vocations, often at the tenderest ages. To be called to be a priest must be one of the greatest gifts that can be bestowed upon a man - and once he receives the sacrament of Holy Orders, then regardless of his other human qualities and failings and whether or not his sermons seem dull to the flighty, the host becomes the body of Christ in his hands; that's high cotton.
Maybe we should respect our priests a little more - that might be one route to helping men of all ages discern whether or not they may have vocations. Maybe we should respect their office more, and if we have a local parish perhaps we should make an effort to attend it, and not put our desire for one part of the experience of the Mass in front of the whole which is on offer on our doorsteps.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Comments Are Open

although they should be moderated.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Iraq War

The Archbishop of Kirkuk is quoted in 'The Catholic Herald' as saying that Christians waging war on another country is a 'scandal'.
He is right. I am a Christian; I supported the invasion of Iraq, the idea that violence would be done against other people in pursuit of a temporal goal; accordingly, I behaved scandalously, an I will have to account for it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Change In Focus To A Simpler Life

Having recently spent a period of time in reading and contemplation, I have come to believe that this weblog's focus needs to change.
From now on, it will become a 'Catholic' blog, and by that I mean one that references Catholic doctrine - not one that concerns itself with Church politics, or becomes bogged down in arguments over the merits of the Tridentine Mass. Comment appearing on it will reference Catholicism much more frequently - if any readers enjoy its current content while proudly and stubbornly rejecting adherence to revealed religion as belief in sky pixies and flying spaghetti monsters, I would urge them not to be discouraged; they might still see something that resonates with them.
Arguments based on ideology have no more interest for me. Belatedly, I have come to realise that the most important task of one's life is to win Heaven at the end of it - the arguments of man are just a distraction from this most important goal, the mud that we must scrape from our soul's boots if we are to abandon the ways of this world in favour of those of the next, and infinitely better, one. Left, right - it makes no difference. The driving force of all politics is the urge of men to seek power over other men and make the world as they, not God, want it to be. By its very nature, politics is ungodly - Our Lord's injunction to render unto Caesar states quite clearly that what is Caesar's is not God's. Caesar's ways have been praised quite enough around here.
I declare myself for God, in the hope that God will declare Himself for me; and I would ask all readers of faith to pray for the poor sinner Kelly, that he might have enough faith to sustain whatever the world throws at him and his.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Compassion Towards The Disabled

Alice Miles has it. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Some (More) Thoughts On Christianity And Economics

Without wishing to seem boastful, I have read both 'The Wealth of Nations' and 'The Imitation of Christ'.
'The Imitation of Christ' is better.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Economic Millenarianism

here and here.

As someone who saw the current crisis coming nearly four years ago, I gain absolutely no satisfaction at all; indeed, readers, I am petrified of what might happen if the economy starts to freefall. One can only pray that we do not suffer the complete collapse of our society as a result - unfortunately, as far as I can see the risks that we run from the economic decline are that grave. It has been a very long time since the United Kingdom suffered food riots; sadly, I can envisage them taking place within my lifetime.
If the position is not as bad as worst case, and we come out of this relatively unscathed, then even so it will never be business as usual ever again. The nature of the world economy is going to have to change; they forced the world upon us through globalisation, whether we wanted it or not. It proved to be indigestible. Let's hope the symptoms are restricted to the heartburn of a downturn, without the stomach pump of revolution being applied.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Medium Is The Message

I think that this is the first time I've seen a self-described 'liberal' demand that a Christian church abandon Christian doctrine in favour of their own social preferences. Sir Simon's a great fellow for old churches. Without wishing to judge my neighbour, he should perhaps have paid less attention to how they look on the outside, and more to what was being said inside them. He then might not have written such drivel as he has done today.
Although the Church of England is an established church, it has never been Sovietised, its doctrines and teachings the subject of official approval - not since the days of Cromwell and Bloody Mary anyway. Sir Simon seems to be advocating that just such a level of control be imposed over it; which does not say much for the same chap's opinion of freedom of conscience.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Malapropism Of The Day

The blogger - "Darling, the couple who are sitting on the steps leading up to the flats across the street are merely taking their ease."
His wife - "They're taking E's?"

Abortion Errors

One wonders just how often this sort of cock-up, resulting in a child being 'incorrectly' aborted', actually happens.

Compassion (And The Lack Thereof), Part I

Compassion (And The Lack Thereof), Part II

I have a policy of not commenting upon the words of Oliver Kamm wherever possible; however, his remark that "(i) suspect that the Obama campaign sought the mantel of those who are offended, because there is a fashion for according sympathy to those who declare themselves mentally anguished. It would be nice if they were met with less understanding and appreciably more derision" cannot pass without comment.
This apparent lack of compassion is disturbing. Some of those who 'declare themselves to be mentally anguished' may in fact actually be mentally anguished; and if the best that an opinion former like Kamm can do is suggest that those more frail and less fortunate than himself be mocked and laughed at, then it's best to approach their output with caution.

Fantasy Jihad

Is 'fantasy jihad' like 'fantasy football'?

The Fruit Of Multiculturalism Is Violence

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Loving Humanity

Although he is vastly more qualified to discourse on such matters than I am, it's hard to see how that the Archbishop of Canterbury's statement that some parts of Christian teaching are offensive to Muslims advances the cause of love.
Similarly, it's hard to see how complaining about the races of the characters who appeared in a now defunct sitcom, in which the sit was critical to the com, advances the cause of love.
Similarly, how does promoting a culture of 'clients and stooges' advance the cause of love?

Bad News

Dennis, my co-blogger, is taking a sabbatical.

Hopefully, the Sage of Santa Rosa carries the best wishes of all readers.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Inhumanity And Darwin's Limits

Fashionable disciplines such as those he touts seem to do nothing but strip humanity of its dignity, and reduce Man to the level of a fungus in a petri dish. Although one can understand the scientific merits of Darwinism as a means of how explaining how homo became sapiens, Darwin's name has no place in relation to debate as to how a well-structured society of sentient higher primates, a species whose members love and think for themselves, should organise itself.
The nut of the matter is this; unlike the academic Finkelstein feverishly quotes, my belief is that we do not reciprocate favours because we are descended from people who reciprocated favours - we do so because we have developed concepts such as 'trust' and 'manners', both of which are quite un-Darwinian in character. At some point, we moved beyond the 'nature red in tooth and claw' stage to communal living. This happened because the best interests of the group coincided with the best interests of the individual - a classic 'win-win'. The necessary discipline of self-restraint which communal living imposed on humanity blunted Darwinism's edge, and it's been like that ever since.
To this layman, the behavioural sciences appear quite unscientific; no two human beings have ever possessed the same character moulded by the same experiences, and will thus never react in the same way to the same stimuli as a proton will always react the same way to an electron. Accordingly, how can any findings be arrived at except by an act of faith in the discipline's merits? The sort of faith at which behavioural scientists scoff when held in revealed religion?
Darwinism and the behavioural sciences are excellent tools for enabling the capable secular to justify to themselves how they arrived where they are. In this sense, they're a comfort blanket. However, they also justify humanity being divided against itself, and must accordingly be opposed, or at least thoroughly questioned, by people of goodwill. The question 'Am I not a man and a brother?' was once asked of the Turk and the slave - if the behaviourial scientists have their way, we'll soon be having to ask it of the ned and the hoodie.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Readers' Suggestions On Pub Names For A Violent 21st Century

Reader Andrew suggested 'Bahgdaddy's', while reader Richard suggested 'The who you looking at', 'The Underclass inn', 'The crackhouse hotel' and 'The chain any children to the railings'.
Good work, chaps.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Eurabia Revisited

Can anyone think of a better name for 'The Mediterranean Union'? Other than Eurabia?

The Glasgow East Bye-Election

As a Catholic with some interest in public affairs living in the west of Scotland, I am afraid to say I have less faith than my bishop in the solidity and solidarity of 'the Catholic vote'.
That is not intended to be impertinent - merely a subjective observation. As far as I can see, once they've been told to go in peace to love and serve the Lord, trying to get the faithful to think with one mind and speak with one voice about public affairs is as productive an exercise as trying to teach a choir of parrots to sing 'Mammy'. Sodality before solidarity, if you ask me...and God above all...

Homosexuality Amongst The Anglican Clergy

I've read and re-read Madeleine Bunting's article on the subject in today's 'Guardian', and am sad to say I am no wiser now than I was before I started. No doubt this is because I am not part of the 'Guardian's liberal, enlightened target audience, but an ignorant, knuckle-dragging troglodyte instead. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea Marxima culpa..
Without wishing to seem unecumenical, it is hardly surprising that the Anglican Communion should suffer such convulsions over sexual predilections. Despite a great many words having been written about its history, and how the English Reformation was driven as much by dynastic matters of state as by doctrinal disputes, at bottom the Anglican Church only came into being because of one's man's pursuit of his sexual desires. It should come as no surprise that that man's church should subsequently suffer difficulties on account of other men wishing to pursue their own.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Socialism's Counter Commandments

Laban Tall has linked to a semi-blasphemous list of socialist counter-commandments from the early 20th Century.
The early socialists wrote, "be as grateful to your teachers as to your parents" - the fruits of that thinking have been Doug McAvoy and several generations of under-worked, overpaid teachers who insist on retaining the rights of guild labour while demanding the rewards of the free market. Many teachers couldn't cut it sewing buttons in a Bangladeshi sweatshop; many are not fit to be within a mile of any child. Teachers are not, and have never been, in the 'breed apart' category of labour, like, say, clergy, firemen, and astronauts; and too many think they are. That is the problem with our schools. That is the fruit of that kind of thinking.
No teacher is the equivalent of any parent - and it is blasphemous for any person to suggest otherwise.

Glasgow And The Well-Meaning Tory

As well-meaning as Ian Duncan Smith actually is, neither he, nor Ted Heath, nor any other Tory who has ever been appalled at how some Glaswegians are forced to live will ever get their heads round the idea that if you set out to destroy a way of life, you should not be surprised when those who lived it, and those bred to live it, it end up lifeless.
It was a way of life that took centuries to develop, and which was actively destroyed within a generation. That is the cause of Glaswegian poverty, not the symptoms which repel so many well-meaning Tories. Fix that, and you fix the problem.

Hardly Surprising They Should Say That

The chief economist of Goldman Sachs thinks that globalisation's good.

Without once saying what globalisation actually is.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Back From Holiday

As a brain user locked in a constant, bloodless stalemate with that most baffling, infuriating organ, it is both baffling and infuriating to be unable to raise one's right leg more than two inches off the ground while remaining able to perform the splits; and to be apparently unable to walk properly, but still be able to swim.
It makes no sense.
Less than 24 hours after returning, our poolside holiday is now a distant memory, deader than the dormant volcanoes we could see from the hotel balcony. Never mind - ad initium.

Where Are The Jesuits?

That is the question I was asking myself after reading Gregory Davis's discourse on Eurabia.

Monday, July 07, 2008

More Pub Names For A Violent 21st Century

"The Knife and Asbo"

"The Shroud and Stabvest"

"The Flame and Flakjacket"

Other suggestions welcome, as usual.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Pub Names For A Violent 21st Century

"The Dogger and Duck"

"The Royal Soak"

"The Happy Slapper"

"The Sights and Crosshairs"

"The Bomb and Burqa"

Other suggestions welcome.

Drinking Songs For A Violent 21st Century

"Roll Out the Gunbarrel"

"Down At The Old Bull and Ambush"

"Hands Up, Mother Brown".

Other suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Currently Away From Keyboard...

may post in next few days.