Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Force

Yes, I mean that the Force.

Bear with me, Catholics. I haven't become a Gnostic.

Yes, I love Star Wars. I am into the novels and shows and all that. But - I think it is obvious, but perhaps I should say it anyway - I am still a Catholic theologian who understands the differences between the Star Wars world and the actual world God created and governs.

Nevertheless, there are occasional convergences between the two - that is what makes of SW good story-telling. One specific one that I have been thinking about recently is that indicated by the second trilogy about Anakin's birth as a result of a convergence of midichlorians (tiny organisms that indicate how much of the Force is present). In the movie, Phantom Menace, it is depicted as a sort of immaculate conception. In the novel, Darth Plagueis (reviewed by me in CRB Winter, 2015), it is indicated that this was a sort of reaction in the Force to the amassment of power by Darths Sidious and Plagueis. This, I think, ceteris paribus, is a point of convergence between SW and Catholicism. But I will have to explain.

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By 'Catholicism' I mean the actual world, not an explicitation of Catholic doctrine.

I have noticed that on both the level of individuals and of groups of people reactions like this are a common occurrence. I first noticed the social importance of this phenomenon a few years ago when I was on a committee and found that the more I pushed an idea the more resistance to it grew. What the precise reason for this was is important, of course, but secondary to the fact itself. Was this more because they resented me or resented a position being pushed upon them? Likely, it was a combination of the two, but the fact remains, I believe that, regardless of the person behind the position, there will be a reaction somewhere against a destabilization. I don't believe that the people on that committee hated me or hated the idea that I was championing. It doesn't have to be that strong. I don't believe they particularly liked me, but the fact that my idea was a good one means that some explanation for their voting against it is required.

That's just what got me to thinking. Experience in general has tended to reinforce this specific experience of mine. I once had the naive idea that I could make a difference in the Church / world. What I failed to really bear in mind (because I was too young to take it seriously enough), was that the world will always push back. When I jump in the air that is me pushing against the world. The world is effected, yes, but it is me who does the physical moving, not the world. All evangelistically-minded people need to bear this lesson in mind.

Let me give a concrete example of this. A young evangelist believes he will put ideas into a vacuum. He will first need to recognize that he will not speak into a vacuum, but a marketplace. Still, not even this recognition is good enough - after all, I studied philosophy and history at a secular university in order to equip myself for that context. It's not enough. It's not simply a marketplace where people will rationally chose the best buy - the best thing for lowest price. Economics itself, after all, recognizes the important place of psychology in its discipline. So too ought evangelists. There are very few rational consumers in the marketplace of ideas. There are some - like Justin Martyr, John Henry Newman, and even people like Sargon of Akkad (no equivocation implied here!), but these are the exceptions, not the rule.

Here's my concrete example: "God loves you," proclaims the evangelist.

  • To this the feminist says, "Your patriarchal god bent on subjecting women."
  • The Marxist says, "Fables to keep the poor down."
  • The atheist says, "Superstition soon to be superseded."
  • The social justice warrior says, "Euro-centric bigotry against Muslims."
  • The sociologist says, "Aha, just like the fertility cults of place and time X."

Aquinas' Five Ways are never referenced and the Christian idea of love is never explored so as to be appreciated so as to lead to conversion.

It doesn't matter that the first four reactions incorporate ad hominem errors and the fifth the genetic fallacy. It doesn't matter because, again, these people are not given to reason to any sufficient extent. I think that far more often than places are converted by rational persuasion by people like Newman in Oxford and Augustine in North Africa, they are converted by hospitals, soup kitchens and other instances of diaconia (service). It's hard for feeling people to argue against the good feelings these service elicit. Still, some will, as we have found out in the case of some of the secular assessment of Mother Teresa's life.

But let me get back now to my point about reaction / counter-reaction.

Racism in the US, some have observed, has never been more of a problem than after eight years of a half-black president. 99% of the so-called racism is a fiction brewed up by Marxists, BLM, the Democratic Party and the MSM. Of the actual 1% that exists now, 99% was not there before but was an effect of those groups having called conservatives, whites, and Christians racist for eight years now. Reaction / counter-reaction.

Christianity grows when you make it illegal; it shrinks when you leave it alone; it shrinks even faster when you force it on others. By shrinking, I am not concerned with the statistics about external profession, but with its power of influence in people's personal lives - stats can't measure that. Similarly, Marxism began to die the moment Lenin (and especially Stalin) began to make the people suffer on account of it, rather than in those 'exciting' days of the Revolution when it was viewed as a liberating force.

The fact is, the leftists went too far in the US and resentment against them grew; Canadians are slower, and so a reaction vs. Trudeau and Wynn will be slower in coming; it seems to be growing in Europe too. You can't mandate loyalty.

Dark Side users of the Force force things, Light Side users do not. Power is inevitably fleeting. The description of the Jedi philosophy is much more similar to our understanding of God's providence in the world.

The moral of the story (actually, a distortion of the moral of the story) is that if I wanted that committee to do what I wanted, I should have championed the opposite. But that's manipulation unworthy of a Christian, nay, unworthy of a Jedi.

Image result for unlimited power star wars


I should make one final point, I guess (the great thing about blogs is that they never end, and so there are no truly final, final points).

My non-final final point is this: because human interactions incorporate this action / reaction dynamic there is no end-point. At the heart of Marxism is their distorted Christian belief in progress and that we can attain a final state of excellence. Funny that relativists believe in such an objective state of affairs, but anyway, it is a state where everyone is financially equal and everyone approves of the life-style everyone else has chosen.

How would all men react to being equal with men they do not deem their equals? How would all men judge a world that taught them that things they find intrinsically obnoxious were as worthwhile as those they consider intrinsically superior? You can't be educated against believing that the things you like are not intrinsically better than the things you don't. 

When states of affairs are altered attitudes change, because attitudes are formed in part in light of how states of being are interpreted. For instance, recently, atheists have become warmer to Christians because the social status of Christians has noticeably declined. Not everyone likes a winner; not everyone loves a loser. 

Thus, there will never be an end to politics.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Immigration Frustration

I meant to add this thought in the previous post, but I will add it here, as it does lay some good groundwork for the discussion below:

I was talking about Millennials' nothing to believe in. What do they believe in? When they use words like 'love,' what do they mean? When a Christian uses it he is referring to God's nature, the nature He has employed in creating us. We love because that is us moving with the movement of God. Plato and Aristotle talked about this too, but it was more or less our inability to resist God's awesomeness. What is it to secular Millennials? I said it was about unreflectively approving of any sexual 'identity,' and, strangely, of Islam. This idea has no metaphysical foundation for them. But they unconsciously like Christianity's love idea. Marxists have always employed such nice sounding notions to extend their tyranny. Christianity understands that love is about caring enough to bring about another's good and happiness. Christianity understands that because we have a human nature, good and happiness are objective realities. Secularists believe it is simply a product of what one happens to identify as their happiness.

So what are these millennials being taught? That the world can be made perfect through viewing others positively. How do they know this? They are continually reminded about slavery in the US. They are taught that homosexuals used to be tortured and abused and now they are happy. Their frame of reference has often been referred to as the "history of now," which is a great term. They are taught that the only bad thing in the world is not thinking all others are good, that the only bad thing is thinking badly of others. But does this wash? What would have happened had the Romans not thought badly of the Huns, Goths, Vandals? What would have happened had the Spartans not thought badly of the Persians? How does positive thinking on England's behalf resolve the Nazi crisis? How will it resolve the crisis with Islam today? The problem is, it is bad anthropology, historical ignorance.

Their fame of reference is the 20th century, and is centred on the US. In Canada now it is much the same: we focus on the injustices of the past - our treatment of natives and of the Japanese during WWII. Much of this comes from Marxist indoctrination, in the US from Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. I would imagine, and have some fleeting empirical evidence to back this up, that the history taught in Canada is much the same. Our understanding of history has a very powerful moral influence on us - that is why leftists don't tell us about Islam's and black African involvement in slavery, the horrible conduct of the Japanese Empire in WWII, which makes British Columbian internment look like summer camp. They approach Israel much in the same simplistic distorted sense today. (There is an interesting clip about the demoralizing policy of the Communists in Sargon of Akkad's latest video. I encourage you to watch the whole video it is great, but the part I am talking about begins at 42.42).

Eco-spiritualism. I mean, you can supply any number of prefixes, like femo, but in any case the conclusion is the same: this is immanentism, that is, politics devoid of metaphysics, that is, a higher, or ultimate frame of reference. Which is what Marxism believes: there is no higher meaning in the world than material, no other reality higher than power relations. And so these young people are preoccupied with identity politics. Their ultimate good consists in parity: an equal number of men and women, black and white, gay and straight people doing X. Of course, philosophy and religion is about evaluating what kind of X we should be doing, but secularists today stop at the power and the distribution. In this sense, for as much as we might talk about progress, it is a firm fact that what the primitive people were doing in the University of Paris talking about quiddity, esse and essentia and all that was intellectually light years beyond what students are doing today in their modern universities with their laptops. Aristotle, the much-maligned Aristotle, does far more for the human brain and soul than Zinn.

When a child I was exposed to a strange concoction of Christianity, humanism, new-ageism and so on. While the latter two could not offer ultimate explanations, Christianity could, though in the hands of my mentors, rarely in a satisfying manner. Ultimately I had to use what I was given as a sort of warn-out map, one missing some key sections, to begin to look for what I sought. Today, it seems, for so many even that much is missing. Now, of course, I don't think we should have everything handed down to us on a platter. The catechism is itself a sort of platter, but we are typically unable to digest it, so as to obtain its healthful substances. And besides, most of us are never given it. Parents deprive their children of nourishment because they are starving. Parents are starving but addicted to certain narcotics that conceal the fact from them. They have chosen stones instead of bread (Mt 7:9).

When I was a kid I was exposed to an unsatisfactory kind of religious education. But at least I was given that much. Parents attempt to inculcate lower-order politeness and civility as if it were religion or metaphysics. (I would prefer the writings of any Stoic to that!) This is why young people tend to identify lower-order things as the ultimate explanation of life - politics, social justice, equality, sexuality, pleasure. "You reign over us!" (Judges 8:9)

All we can do now is tell them to seek the higher things! No one tells them to seek the higher things. (Col 3:1-2)

Now, on to today's actual post, entitled "Immigration Frustration," which, I think, shows quite well the importance of critical thinking.

Image result for more equal than othersI was going to reserve this thought to a Facebook one-liner, but it deserves a bit more trudging out for Catholics.

Catholics (and all Christians) are torn by the idea of man's universal brotherhood. We know that there is no difference between Greek or Jew, slave or free. We know, thus, that no one has an absolute right to wealth by nature or by fact. Of course, the "preferential option for the poor" does not eradicate our belief in the right to private property. No one doubts that I have a right to my house, but I do not have a right to watch a man freeze to death outside of my house some winter night. On the other hand, if that person is a homicidal maniac, that might be justified; if he has a terribly contagious disease, it might be okay (or morally necessary) to keep him out of my house for sake of my innocent family. I usually say that I have a duty to risk my life, but I have no obligation to risk the lives of innocent others.

Okay, those are extremes. The immigration debate is not about extremes, even though sloganeering about 'love' and 'hate' make it appear that way.

How do I know that it is not about extremes? Because we are only talking about immigrants who show up at the Southern border of the United States, not the untold millions of people in South Saharan Africa who are in much worse shape than those Central Americans who are able to get themselves to the Texas border. Bishops have generally said Americans should let those immigrants in. But why not the even more desperate Africans? Everyone knows that the US does not have enough food/money to share with every poor person in the world. Are able-bodied Mexicans more deserving than Africans? Of course not. If the US has enough money for all those able-bodied Mexicans, should it let all them in... many of them in... some of them in... what?

In the US, as in most First World countries, conservatives are more generous than liberals, poor people more generous than the wealthy. This in not the view that the MSM presents, of course. But the fact is, the poor and conservatives are more Christian. Although he drives me nuts, Glenn Beck exemplifies this perfectly: he is generous and conservative, because he is Christian (well, Mormon, but close enough).

Motives are extremely important. I am talking about ad hominem stuff. Ad hominems are okay and even important because they help us get to the reality underlying often deceptive stances. People who talk about love and then physically beat people who disagree with them should not be listened to. But as leftists do all the time, there are problems with circular ad hominems:

1. people who vote for Trump are stupid

2. this person voted for Trump

conclusion: this person is stupid

Why did you vote for Trump - does that never really come up?

Why are you against more immigration from Mexico?

- Because my brother Jim, whom I love, has been out of work for six months and I am worried he will never get a job if more unskilled labour is imported.

- Because the US has a $20 trillion debt and will enter a depression if something is not done about this soon. Therefore, we cannot afford more welfare.

These are reasonable considerations that even the most well-meaning Christian must consider. The fact is, the most ardently pro-immigration person would not give up their job for person X, whether that person was Mexican, African or Alabaman, even if that person was needier and more deserving. They wouldn't want their mother, sister, son or friend to lose their job either for person X. Nor would they even want to split their salary 50-50 with person X.

The idea that there is enough money out there and there are enough jobs out there if we become socialist is foolish. The socialization of Russia and China led to the deaths of nearly 100 million people. That of Cuba and Venezuela has led to impoverishment, nothing anywhere close to the financial success of American capitalism. Socialism has proven bad for poor people. Smart people cannot chose to ignore these facts because they are 'not nice.'

In the end, what we have here is a case of ethics, for Christians, theological ethics. All men have an ultimate equal claim on the goods of the world, but how these are appropriated, preserved and distributed is quite another matter. In one sense, it would be wrong for me to acquire "in the name of the people" all the stuff that Walmart has because I haven't the means to preserve it and distribute it

In this sense, when people talk about selling all the priceless treasures of the Vatican to end world hunger, the same foolishness emerges: yes, the price these things would fetch would be enough to feed all the hungry for a day or perhaps even a week, but then what? The Marxist wanted to believe that man could live on bread alone.

But it is very interesting how many Catholics have these left wing economic views. They are confused by Catholic teaching. They make mistakes when they attempt to translate the absolute right of the poor into the practical. Leftists apply a specific interpretation of 'care for the poor' for cynical political ends - they are only interested in doing so insofar as it gives them power. So, well-meaning Catholics employ the framework these non-Christians have developed as the right and proper channel of Christian charity, which it is not. Christians do not define charity according to governmental definitions of place (i.e. my country) and agency (i.e. taxation and welfare programs). When they adopt that framework, they thereby assist the power grab of the Marxists. In other words, they concentrate on Mexicans (who are politically useful to the Marxists) rather than on any most needy person (such as, as I have said, Sub-Saharan Africans). They concentrate on political policies rather than on reaching out and actually meeting the poor.

There is a reason why the Church leaves much practical discretion to states. This always perplexed me, I admit, and I am still grappling with this. Read the catechism and note every time it mentions the discretionary power of the state with regard to taxation, education, etc. It's really quite remarkable. I would say that the best explanation for this is what I have been saying, the intrinsic difficulty of translating universal concepts into concrete solutions. In other words, to protect the rights of the poor in their own country, the state has a right to limit immigration. The Church cannot teach that there should be no borders because this can (and probably would) cause a great deal of suffering.

In the end, politicians and ideologue have their preferred victim classes. The Church cannot look on 
the needs of Mexicans above those of American poor and working class people, above the needs of Africans. Some are more equal than others to Marxists, not to Christians.

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Nothing to Believe in

"There are a lot of people out there with love in their hearts who wish you dead if you don't have as much love in your heart as they do." - Denis Miller

Just a few connected points about SJWs (Social Justice Warriors, i.e. leftist activists, usually under 40 years of age)

1. They do not realize that they have been deeply manipulated by people trying to sell them things, to make money and attain power by means of demagoguery. They are being used by Marxists just like workers and other unintelligent/uneducated people have always been.

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Murdering for love: started by Christians, perfected by Marxists.
2. Their views are utterly irrational.

2.1. I am baffled at their use of the word 'love.' It seems that by this they mean not thinking there is anything wrong with the way a person lives. This is not a traditional meaning of the word. I know they don't realize that love entered the moral lexicon because of Christianity (for the Platonists it had an exclusively theological meaning), and the meaning they ascribe to it is not one of Christianity's senses.

2.2. Their use of the word 'hate' is equally baffling. As with 'love,' they clearly believe that people should be compelled to change their inner dispositions regarding people's states of life.

3. This is a surrogate religion. I enjoy watching some of the internet 'atheists,' and I like it when they occasionally make this connection. (Sargon of Akkad is the best, IMO.) Of course, internet 'atheists' usually have Protestant fundamentalism in mind when they think of religion, but that's a topic for another time. I recently saw a video of the great Prof. Jordan Petersen (I think talking to Lauren Southern of Rebel Media) who observed that the intellectual capacity of SJWs was a significant factor in their activities, especially in terms of their irrationality, violence and how manipulable they are by the media, etc. Anyway, I am interested in their notion of community. It is a concept that fascinates me. Perhaps I will write a book on it someday. A community is, by definition, something that can impose moral duties on people and grant privileges. But what is this community? Their definition has more in common with the "international brotherhood of workers" of the Marxists than it does with the "social contract" basis of the Enlightenment thinkers. The problem is, modern nations like Canada and the US were founded with the social contract in mind. It's interesting to see the religious elements in their preferred notion. The fact is, in the 19th century workers in Russia had not natural affinity for the workers in Prussia or London. SJWs have no affinity for actual workers - farmers in the Midwest and factory workers in the Rustbelt, as their preferred milieus are Starbucks and the Apple Store. Let's face it, caring about people in the abstract is not actually caring for people. Love that merely acknowledges the 'goodness' of a lifestyle, but which walks by a homosexual destitute on the side of the road is not love in any sense that we should respect. Real love goes to Calcutta, it does not hashtag.

Ah, love. 
But these people need something to believe in. Human beings are capable of creating a whole lot of unusual religions. And they will always be religious. Atheists occasionally notice this. I wonder how many of them acknowledge by this point that we will never leave religion behind, as they thought we would in the 18th and 19th centuries. (Of course, even atheism takes on the nature of a religion sometimes, with its construction of demon boogeymen: pedophile Catholic clergy or angry closet homosexual Southern preachers, and its canonization of themselves as rational, clear-thinking, science-lovers who will save humanity.)

Picking up from Prof. Petersen, most SJWs are severely uneducated and unable to think critically. Most people are, but most people don't presume to tell everybody what to believe in and how to act. Thus, they exemplify the worst characteristics of religious people.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Worldlings Made the Locker Room. It's Called the Sexual Revolution

I think you would expect that a post from me on November 9th would be about the US election. It's not, at least not directly. Yes, I am very happy about the results. First of all because Hillary Clinton and her machine is corrupt to a degree that history has only known in times of fundamental crisis - like with Hitler's 1930s machinations, those of the Bolsheviks, the Jacobins in France, etc. So, I am glad she got what she deserves. At least some of it so far. Faith in democracy restored? Not yet.

No, I want to talk about 'locker room talk.' I was egged on by this article from the NYT. It's actually a letter from some of the Harvard girls soccer team. The title of this post makes clear my view of the subject. Men talk sexually about women. Very much so. I do too, or have, but try not to. I think the 'try not to' part is the key element. Christianity does not make human being into angels; it keeps them from becoming demons. I am only 42 years old, but I can tell you that in regards to sexuality the world has changed significantly even in my life time. The great factors are interdependent: the decrease of Christianity in culture and the increase in pornography. Christianity is the only thing that holds a people as a whole back from the promptings of their baser instincts. Consider the irony of Michelle Obama saying that Trump's words ten years ago were so offensive to her, but then buddying up with trashy rap lyric writers.

When Christianity decreases other things move in to take its place.

Now, on the one hand, I respect what the soccer team wrote. On the other - what reality are they living in? Am I to believe that all of them live in a world free from the values that govern pop culture? In the case of girls, Sex in the City, Harlequin, Beyonce, Forty Shades of Grey, Lady Gaga, Niki Minaj, etc. Just like boys, or perhaps even more so, girls are malleable to what pop culture tells them. Have you seen the covers of women's magazines?

I work now with a pretty good cross-section of people. No one below 30 is married. But they all live together. Some of them have kids and I am sure that all of them watch pornography or soft pornography.

So, are you telling me that the Harvard girls locker room is immune to the forces of pop culture? I would wish it were so. I am constantly telling my girls to resist the folly they see on the internet, etc. But I know they see it online, at school, etc.

I grew up with it too. I gave into part of it, but not nearly as much as was standard. Let's put it this way, when I was a kid, I think the average age for a boy to lose one's virginity was 15. I was a virgin until my early-mid twenties. Not virtue, just a speck less vice. It was only at about 15 or 16 that I finally became disgusted by the culture of my peers. I thought of women differently than my friends' words seem to indicate they thought of women. I was a romantic, and although the 'romantic mindset' has its own problems, it is generally one that idealized women, not one that treated them like sexual objects.

As Hillary Clinton has made clear, people have a public persona and a private one. And this is something all Christians work against in their spiritual life. We like to call it 'integrity.' It used simply to be called honesty. Now, the girls who wrote this letter, I think, knowing people to the degree that I do, don't realize that they are not always what their letter purports them to be. Women are remarkably moody. They change within the month. They feel sexual when they are fertile, and rather prudish when they are not. I am quite certain that there is a lot of locker room talk in the girls' dressing room too. I hope not, but I know so.

What is the case has nothing to do with what should be the case. And nothing has denigrated men more in the last two decades than pornography and rap music. I like some rap music, but let's be honest, if that is black culture, then black culture is depraved. But liberals can't call it out because that seems racist. Just like they can't call terrorism 'Muslim.'

No, it's no more black than it is white; and locker room talk is no more a problem for men than it is for women. It's the culture that was created with the rejection of 'oppressive' 'regressive' Christianity. What kind of world were you thinking you were making with the Sexual Revolution? The fact is, we are spiritual beings as much as we are fleshly, and we find this new world rather unsatisfying. So, for every feminist telling us that women should do whatever they want sexually, there is a feminist complaining about how they are being treated as a result.

At one point in their letter the girls say that the men's team should treat them as sisters. Upon what do they base this supposition? I base it on Christian principles: that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and children of the one God. What do they base it on? And, what obligations to their brothers does their sisterhood place on them - for, you can't have rights without responsibilities? That they all go to Harvard? That they are all soccer players? That they are all Americans? Those are not philosophical bases. And this is the essential problem. We have discarded all primary concepts and yet wish to appeal to the rights these confer when they are useful to us individualists.

The girls' letter recognizes that this is a problem bigger than the locker room. But what should be done about it - outlaw a few words, like they tried with 'bossy'? These well-intentioned young ladies offer no solutions. It's funny how we expect society to act like a family but only when it benefits me. If these girls want to draft a list of, say, twenty words they want men no longer to say, will they gladly receive such a list from the men?

No, we must change our hearts. If you think people will start to act in a socially respectable way just because some girls periodically express discomfort, you are self-deceived. People do what they want, when they want and how they want. We live in a consumerist, greedy, shallow, libidinous society that does not cherish objective moral values. You can't get blood from a stone.

These girls cared enough to write a letter to express their feelings. After having done so, they will rather quickly put back in their earbuds, run around the track a few times, have a shower, read their textbooks for fifteen minutes, go on Facebook for an hour, and then go to bed. Doing nothing for no one but themselves. They do nothing for anyone else and so can expect nothing from others. What they do is what they want; they cannot expect anything different from others. Do I begrudge them their selfishness? Not in any way that singles them out as more selfish than anyone else. But what you give is what you can expect. Give nothing, expect nothing, hashtag warriors.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Missing Element

Image result for left at the altarI know I've been on a bit of a jag about marriage and feminism, etc., recently. But, really, it's been an interest of mine since, oh, I don't know, I got married.

Actually, even before that. I was raised in a family. Like some of you. My parents' marriage was typical and a-typical. I suppose the opening words of Anna Karenina might apply:

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

Was it a happy or unhappy marriage?

I don't believe in that dichotomy. It doesn't really apply very much in the world of men, They had good spots and bad spots. Put it this way, it was good enough that all three of their sons would get married, and so far, all of them continuously for more than 15 years.

On the other hand, I am highly critical of marriage stuff and gender stuff. Even insofar as it appears in the lives of Catholics.


The problems and blessings of marriage are Christ-facts.

Consider this video. It is argued not by one person who is clearly right and one person who is clearly wrong. And that fact is what makes it interesting and worth thinking about. It is also what led me to see once again the importance of this single law: marriage with Christ is one thing, marriage without Christ is something else, doesn't work and is basically of no interest to me.

In this video we have Turd Flinging Monkey (henceforth TFM) criticizing someone from Prager U (henceforth PU) I respect both entities. But they are like children in the market place: "We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn." (Mt 17) In other words, they are playing around with ideas and missing the key point. Why doesn't either side acknowledge the role that Christian theology has played in marriage? Why do they treat it like it's a purely natural institution and that the issue of marriage today can be dealt with on a purely naturalistic basis, when what we have here, the crisis that both sides are attempting to address, is what results when you take away the benefits, values and virtues that Christian discipleship brings to marriage, though not its expectations. In other words, the high view of marriage that we have in the West about marriage came by way of Christianity, a view that replaced the Roman view that had dominated before that. Do you honestly think that Muslims, Hindus and the Chinese look at marriage the way we do, or that the differences between us are insignificant?

Yes, there are some commonalities. Marriage is about sex, children and common economies (original word, oeconomia was Greek for household management, btw) in every culture. But is this really what PU and TFM are disagreeing over? PU says marriage makes men better, and he is pretty much correct; TFM says it makes too many men victims, and he is pretty much right. But how can they both be right? Because a good thing, marriage, very often goes wrong. It's like credit cards - very useful but potentially very harmful; or guns.

No one talks about the good of marriage, it seems to me, without being influenced by the Christian tradition. Why does PU do it? I don't know precisely, but you can bet that an at least tacit espousal of Christian principles lies underneath. Why does TFM complain about marriage today? Because he wishes the Christian view of marriage were true (at least tacitly, unconsciously), that is to say, obtained in real life. From my study of MGTOW, I have been forced to conclude that these men do not hate women; they hate the way women are today. Who can blame them? And, who can blame these terrible women for acting and being the way they are, seeing that they are no longer protected by Christian assurances?

You cannot have fidelity, faithfulness and fruitfulness - the good around which the Christian understanding of marriage is based - if you do not consider these goods as laws of conduct binding your conscience and your eternal fate.

PU wants to argue us into marriage by saying that men work harder and make more money in marriage. Pretty weak argument. The alternative that TFM gives us, doing your own thing, spending your own money, working and playing as much or as little as you want, is weak too - whom does that make happy for very long? PU says that men spend less time in bars when they are married - who said that is bad? Sitting around drinking with your friends doesn't sound too bad, does it? You need to give me something more than a traditional Christian view of life disguising itself as an economic argument! PU is either confused or dishonest. Probably confused.

Christianity's view of marriage is the one we all dream about, but the one for which hardly any of us are willing to sacrifice. We want the white dress without the virginity; the veil without the 'unknowing' it signifies; we want to be desired without being sexually fruitful; we want fidelity without the concrete bonds fidelity implies; we want faith given to us without giving faith to the other; we do not trust and so cannot act in a trustworthy manner.

Because of all of this, I don't care about pagans' discussions about marriage. It's like listening them discuss when they should get vasectomies. Tune out. Because of this, I don't care about their weddings, the children they raise in insecure homes because they are not willing to give these children the security they deserve from marriage as I understand it.

To MGTOWs, I say, become Catholic. It teaches everything the absence of which has so hurt you!

To Prager and other conservative entities preaching the benefits of marriage, I say, unmask the true value of marriage! It's not economic or psychological, first of all; it is these things because it is, first of all, spiritual. You cannot save marriage by arguing its economic and otherwise materialistic and selfish benefits. All of which it has, certainly, but not because they are sought for themselves.

I am not suggesting that marriage is easy and free from the bad aspects that our post-Christian culture brings with it into marriage - are any wives truly free of the influence of feminism? are any husbands truly free of the utilitarian view of marriage Marxism espouses? I have never met any not like this. Having a road map does not guarantee that you will be able to read it properly, nor that the person you are sharing half of the driving with won't drive you into a river. But without the map, you are almost guaranteeing that your journey will fail. In the absence of the Christian faith, what are you relying on for guidance in marriage? Inspiring Facebook memes? Parents and friends with ruined marriages and who provide advice that is always only about how you must put yourself first? As Tolstoy implies in Resurrection, you will never get the difficult spiritual advice we need from people, but the stuff that's easy and that we all want to hear is really easy to come by.

“Spouses are therefore the permanent reminder to the Church of what happened on the Cross; they are for one another and for the children witnesses to the salvation in which the sacrament makes them sharers”

- St. JP II

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ad Hominem Souffle!

An homage to Karen Straughan of Girl Writes What, a men's rights activist. You can see the first part of the videos I will be talking about here.

I made the 'mistake' of watching these videos, and now this picture keeps appearing on my YouTube homepage:

You might be thinking, "Big deal. It's a cute young couple."

I might have thought that before watching the videos, but it's not possible to me now. This is what I see now:

1) a couple who will not last the year (I hope.)

2) a man who needs to man-up and live out his beliefs honestly

3) a spoiled woman-child

My two television fictional heroes of the last ten years would include'Robert Goren' from Law and Order: Criminal Intent and 'Gregory House' from House. Why? Because they are the geniuses who can solve mysteries that elude everyone else, while being eccentric and, especially in House's case, non-PC.

Now, in their profiling tradition, I am going to profile these two people, and how what their podcast reveals what is actually rather apparent in their pictures, if you know how to look. If I fail to convince you, well, blame TV.

Let me start with the girl, since I am actually more interested in the guy.

The girl's name is GeeGee, or is it GG? I neither know nor care.

Look at her. At first flush she looks like a neat, interesting, empowered, 'out there' girl. See her funky earrings and kimono, or whatever it is. With her boyfriend she hosts a podcast called Dirty, Sexy, Monogamy, I think it is called. Cool. Not. Consider the words. Radical and yet safe. Dirty - oh, you go girl. And yet monogamy - safe, control, limits, wisdom? This title exemplifies perfectly the sort of eat cake, have cake too of modern feminism and liberalism. What do I mean: Bernie Sanders the socialist with three houses, environmentalist jet-setter, Al Gore, and now here, no taboos from traditional Christian sexual morality, but all those parts of it that I like, such as monogamy. Monogamy for her means control everything her man thinks, says and does.

Look at him. Mike is his name. Picture perfect gentle man. Like Trudeau. The exact thing women expect a man to be, need a man to be, insist a man be. You know the reason why men grow long beards these days? Until a few weeks ago I had been letting my hair grow long. Yes, it was a rebellion against the Super Ego. The beards of hipsters are telling women (i.e. today's 'the man') that they are not going to live how women wish them to. I am reminded of that episode of Sponge Bob when he becomes "normal."

His lips are pursed - does that not smack of anxiety and hyper-self-consciousness aroused by this tyrant-woman he has let control his life? And look at his perfect beard. His inoffensive buttoned-up collar shirt. There's a guy to make every woman feel safe. A man with no thoughts of his own to challenge queen Her.

Oh, but he does have thoughts of his own - judging from the video, he is actually rather intelligent and, moreover, rational. He is perfectly willing to question his presuppositions based upon new evidence. Insofar as she lets him.

She, on the other hand, is a dogmatist. She is juvenile. She learned everything about the world by twenty and is determined to fit everything new she meets into those rigid categories. Her response to the fact that there are 900 university programs dedicated to women studies in the US and only one dedicated to the study of men is okay in her opinion because ALL OTHER PROGRAMS EVERYWHERE ARE THE STUDY OF MEN, you know, like math, history and biology.

And, she honestly thinks history means 'his story.' (BTW, Wikipedia say: Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation")

But I don't really care what she believes. Feminists are idiots - hardly news.

I care about him. Poor Mike is shot down time and again to placate her. She seems to me to have gone through life getting everything she wants, from her parents especially, in her college years, in the affirmative action job market, and now by her boyfriend.

Rank and file soccer mom feminists, you know the kind who vote for Hillary because she is a woman and Trudeau, because he is thin, and a self-proclaimed feminist, again, want their cake and eat it too. They want to be uninhibited in their sexual expressions while decrying the self-expression of men. So, be crazy and sexy, but be monogamous in the precise manner in which you are told.

Well, that's great, but what about poor Mike? Is he a picture of 21st century enlightened man, who is ever-solicitous and attentive to the needs of the modern woman, or is he a fragile, insecure man-boy, who has been told his whole life not to be what his intuitions suggest that he should be? Here's where I need some help from Goren and House. What makes a man like this? An absent father who has made him reliant on his mother's attentions, a woman who, naturally, responds more positively to femininity than masculinity when according praise to her children? Sounds possible.

Image result for beard
A big middle finger to Mrs.The Man.
Now, to be fair, I can't stand lives repressed, any lives, whether we are talking men or women. For instance, I encountered an East Indian family the other day and the father acted like his serene highness, dictating to his family how things are going to be. I wanted to punch him in the face. The wife seemed like a neat person, resourceful and cheerful. I get the same feeling when it comes to Mike and GG. That's what this post is about. I want people to be themselves - sure, I want them to be polite and all that - but free to be as dumb, smart, clumsy and awkward as God made them! Poor Mike. What some men won't do for sex and/or affirmation.

A man doesn't need to grow a big beard or even take off his collared shirt to be a real man. But I hope he can wear the same sort of decisiveness that comes from being okay with who he is on his heart. I hope he can live with a healthy amount of independence from the Super Ego of the modern gynocentric world in which we live. Men (and women) shouldn't ever be so sensitive that they are afraid to do what they know is right. Mike, obviously, doesn't agree with a thing his girlfriend/podcast partner believes. How can it be moral for their relationship to continue? Anne-Marie and I do not agree on everything, of course, but we do agree on the fundamentals. As a result, we are not colleagues and best friends, but we are good enough husband and wife, raising awesome kids.

Image result for catherine doherty

Here's a perfect way to end a post like this. A picture of two homies doing their own thing in the way they liked. Catherine Doherty and Jean Vanier.


I leave you with this:

The one great rule for dealing with social justice people:

Never trust a human being who does not care that you find it offensive when people tell you that you cannot say what you like because it is offensive.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Tyranny is Always Respectable

It strikes me that, in terms of tyranny, we are always caught up in its previous manifestations. That leaves us vulnerable to the forms it would take next. When tyranny comes next, it won't look anything like Mussolini. No, we are prepared against that. When it comes next, it will be dressed up according to modern orthodoxies, just like Mussolini, Sulla, Marius, Caesar, Robespierre, Lenin, etc, were enrobed in the orthodoxies of their times. Next time our tyrant will come to us speaking of 'safety' and 'security' - like tyranny always does - but next time it will be the safety of women, minorities and such like against a supposed great foe, in other words, it will be about the things we hold precious, but which make us vulnerable to manipulation by the unscrupulous. But if this foe were truly great, would we be able to suppress it, would the one who jumps to the fore as our saviour be able to? Of course not. Classic misdirection.
Next time our tyrant will enslave us, but only after he has drafted us into the service of eradicating the great foe - he is called misogyny and racism this time - the foe who, it turns out, was the only person or institution capable of offering any resistance at all to the new tyrant.
The first casualty will be the media because they are always listening to the wind that blows. That's their job. More than any other group they make the mistake of confusing trends with morality, new with good.
A tyrant uses a people's fears and values against them, not by blatantly contradicting them, but by fanning the fears and pride we have attached to them.
It is best to remember that no ones loves 'the people,' 'women,' or 'diversity,' the least so politicians who direct most of their energy toward accumulating power for themselves. You can't spend 99% of your life working on your own reputation and expect us to believe that the final 1% will be spent on 'the people.' The ones who love 'the people' are found in soup kitchens and retirement homes, nowhere else.
The only defense against tyranny is the insistence on everyone's maximum liberty. We all differ over in what goodness consists. That's not the problem. The problem is the idea that one can increase the good in the world by imposing these conceptions on others. There is a great difference between education and propagandizing. The former respects others' learning processes and their freedom to dissent from your conception. The latter works and works until agreement is met with. It seeks to attain assent at any cost, not understanding that true, fruitful consent can never come about by such means. There are pluses and minuses in everything. Have you hidden this fact when it comes to your pet thesis? Then you are engaged in propagandizing, not enlightenment.
The types of people most prone to the manipulations of the promised saviour are the unwise. These are the people who have to stick with simplistic either/ors - hate/love, tolerance/bigotry, etc. No matter the issue, activists are usually the most simple-minded among us. Although this is itself a gross simplification, it is better to be wary of them than, as we do now, consider that what they have to say is important and that their utterly unschooled position is credible. Activists are simple-minded and they live within the dim corridor of undisciplined feeling. They are the worst; the second ones to fall to the saviour. They don't know how to disengage and look at things impartially for their feelings have always been their only guide.
I have spent my life studying. But even now, at my age, after all of that study and thought, I would be completely at a loss were I to be saddled with questions of how to make the world a better place, company X more profitable, to reduce the debt of country Y, to decrease unemployment, to work out a superior tax plan. How is it that so many uneducated, unthoughtful people believe they have the answers to these problems? The tyrant has no idea either. He or she - likely she - has not spent her life trying to work out these problems in think tanks with the most highly educated people in the world. The highly educated are usually far too smart to have this requisite inflated sense of their own capacities.
In the end, tyrants, journalists and activists cannot live in a vacuum of personal liberty. The US, for instance, was founded by people who wanted to run their own lives, farms and businesses themselves, to engage with whom they saw fit, and not with whom he they did not.