First Dividend from Installing ACB on the SCOTUS

In a 5-4 decision that saw John Roberts side with the Progs and newly appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett casting the deciding vote the Supreme Court overturned New York State’s onerous restrictions on religious gatherings.

https://archive.fo/xcOt8#selection-2345.139-2345.163

Let’s hope that Barrett’s presence on the bench will give courage to such unreliable votes as Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.  Who knows, maybe the Supreme Court will decide that allowing thugs to run wild in the street and allowing gangsters to steal a presidential election are just a tad Un-American.

 

 

 

 

 

Accentuating the Positive

One of my favorite bad thinkers never tires of reminding his readers and listeners that a negative identity is not a strong position to be in.  In other words, if you define your identity by what you are against then you lack a basis for defining what you are for.  This is the charge he lays at the feet of Conservative Inc.  By defining themselves as only against progressivism they are constantly addressing whatever new outrage the Left cooks up but they fail to define what they themselves do stand for.  If you’re always on the defensive you never have a chance to advocate for the things you actually want to see implemented.

Far better is to look at what you do believe in and formulate it into a clear and coherent statement.  That way when someone asks your stance on this or that example or scenario you have a rational basis for your answer.  And also, it gives you a logical basis for formulating an agenda of actions for the future, a plan.  Now my identity is relatively innocuous since at heart I’m just a garden variety civic nationalist.  What I would want is a return to normal American society with plenty of allowance for individual differences in background and culture.  Plenty of room for normal people who want to raise their kids as good American citizens.

So, that all sounds reasonable but when you look at our present situation it becomes much more complicated.  For instance, the Boy Scouts of America was an organization with the specific mission of providing boys with a fraternal organization to help them become physically fit, mentally awake and morally straight.  And because of that mission it was hounded by homosexuals and feminists until now it isn’t for boys and soon, I’m sure they’ll have to remove the word straight for fear of offending the delicate.

My example is meant to show that trying to define a positive identity makes you a target for those who hate what you are.  They will see what you stand for and try to destroy it.  The same thing has been done to almost all other social organizations.  The US government has forced women into every fraternal organization with the sole exception of religious organizations.  And of course, many of these have surrendered too.  One of the only exceptions I know of is the Knights of Columbus which is a Roman Catholic fraternal organization which excludes women as anything but auxiliaries.

Well if that is the only exception then that will have to be the path forward.  It’ll have to be a religious fraternal society.  The organization must utilize the Freedom of Religion under the First Amendment to protect it from the invasive forces of the federal government and may need to restrict itself to states that do not regularly harass conservative organizations.  The mission of the organization can be loosely grounded in the usual fraternal agenda.  Service to the community, family activities and religious or ethical training are all things that fall under the purview of a religious fraternal organization.  The thing that has to be carefully defined is the religious requirements that define the organization such that you can avoid all the latest abnormal behavior.  Luckily the Christian Bible (at least the one used up until the 1950s) has scriptural authority for avoiding the whole LGBTQ agenda in one fell swoop.  The only thing I’m not sure of is whether it can be structured so that any member from one of the remaining traditionalist sects is eligible or whether a separate religion will need to be founded in order to give it legitimacy.  In other words, is it enough for me to be the Grand Exalted Master or do I also have to be the Pope?

All of this sounds crazy but maybe that is what this world actually requires to permit men the freedom to live their lives as they wish to.  When the churches themselves become corrupt and controlled by the insane maybe it’s not crazy to think that new churches need to be formed.  This sort of dovetails with my earlier talk about the He-Man Woman Hater’s Club.  But of course, as time goes on it becomes less of a joke and more of a necessity.  And if anyone knows of an existing fraternal organization that already covers all the bases, I’m interested in let me know and I’ll look into it.  Until then I’ll order Camera Girl to make me some sandwiches while I think up secret handshakes and build a mystic decoding ring.

Man and God – Part 1 – The Existence of God

I want to preface this by saying that I have no formal training in theology, church doctrine or divinity other than twelve years of Roman Catholic schooling and the associated doctrinal education that entails.  Nothing I say can be construed to be orthodox doctrine within any sect of Christianity.  I’m sure that several of my beliefs would be considered heretical by some Christian theologists so don’t assume anything I say is dogma for any church you might belong to.  But it is what I believe and I think it’s time people start connecting the dots with what their scriptures say, what they understand it to mean and what the clerics in their churches say and do.

For all of recorded history and as far back as we can discover, man has tried to understand his place in the universe.  Earth Mother, Sky Father, elemental forces, spirits of animals, ancestors, natural objects like mountains, rivers, stars, planets, the sun and moon, all figured into the speculations and rituals of the humans who have inhabited Earth for countless generations.  Even our predecessors, the Neanderthals had burial customs that may have had a religious meaning.

But since the Age of Enlightenment the elite of our civilization has told us that God is dead.  But by that they mean that he never existed in the first place.  And within our lifetimes organized efforts have been put in place to stamp out belief in God.  The Soviets did everything they could to enforce atheism throughout the Soviet Union and the satellite nations that they controlled.  The modern academy inculcates a hatred of Christianity that borders on the monomaniacal.  And the LGBTQ mafia and their government allies confront and persecute any traces of orthodox Christianity wherever they can.

So, it is no wonder that church attendance is plummeting and surveys polling religious belief show a growing trend toward atheism among the young.  Sensing their ascendancy, the Left now asserts that religion and specifically Christianity has been discredited and will soon disappear, being completely displaced by the godless social justice cult that they adhere to.  And as if to prove their mastery of religion they now claim to be able to observe on brain scans the phenomenon which believers experience when communing with God in prayer.  From this scientific result they deduce that humans are confusing a natural neurological phenomenon with a supernatural experience.

This is the attack on the faithful from without.  At the same time, forces within the religious community are also wreaking havoc on the position of religion.  The monstrous horror that is the Catholic Priest Pedophile outrage has done more to discredit the Church than anything its enemies could have ever hoped to do.  I include in this of course the cover up of this horror by the complicit Church hierarchy which only serves to hammer home that the Roman Catholic Church has ceased to represent the traditional religious views of its hundreds of millions of adherents.  And the other Christian denominations to a greater or lesser extent have also lost much of their legitimacy through advocating almost exclusively a message of social justice and adopting a spirit of “tolerance” that effectively eliminates the tenets of their faiths.

I don’t paint a rosy picture.  And I don’t intend to.  Because I don’t have to.  Belief in God is not a delicate thing that has to be nurtured.  The need for God is one of the fundamental psychological needs of the human mind.  What has to be done is eliminate the mistaken information that confuses the minds of people.

As an example, the problem of pain.  Countless people have wrestled with the idea that somehow God could eliminate pain and suffering but chooses not to.  When confronted by the reality of innocent children suffering and dying from agonizing medical conditions or through brutal cruelty, they deny the reality of a loving God who would allow such things.

I have thought about this often myself.  The paradox is that of pure goodness and omnipotence juxtaposed with unjust suffering.  As an answer I’ve heard that free will prevents God from stopping evil men from inflicting pain on the innocent.  Of course, this doesn’t explain why natural disasters are allowed to occur.  So, we are stuck with a paradox.  But the answer is simpler.  How do we know the limits of what God can and can’t do?  If you read doctrine of the various churches, they state that God is omnipotent.  Well, what does that mean?  Human beings have no experience of any absolute.  We live in a world that we interpret with our senses and our very limited brain.  God may be so powerful that we cannot even fathom what he is capable of but that doesn’t mean he can control every drop of rain and every quake of the Earth.  It is my belief that the concept of omnipotence is the major stumbling block to belief in God.  Omnipotence sets up this idea of a game that’s rigged against us for no reason.  That is the problem that I think needs to be removed.

But what do we know about God?  What is clear from scripture is that God loves us.  That he says over and over again.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

1 John 4:16

So, if God loves us, he does not want us to suffer.  If nevertheless we do suffer innocently then it’s because it can’t be prevented.  To me that’s clear.  Whether that means there is a malevolence like the devil or a cold lifeless random universe outside of God’s purview then that’s what there is.  But I don’t have to understand everything.  I just need to know that I’ve got someone out there who cares for me and mine.  And who has interceded to provide help and knowledge and maybe even tip the scales a little in our favor whenever he can.

To me that’s the nature of a personal God.  He is a father to us and we have some of His spirit in us too.  And that’s not all that different from feeling the influence of the parents and grandparents that raised us and taught us and gave us understanding when we needed it.  And that is like the ancestors who passed along the laws that we live by.  God’s spirit allowed them to see how his people must live and so they wrote down these laws and provided the leadership needed to teach the people how to live.

Today many people will say that all of this can occur without God existing, that a tribe will coalesce around a leader whose mind naturally resonates to the needs of his people and will formulate the laws they need to thrive.  I know no way to prove otherwise.  But that is unimportant to me.  I do not seek to convince anyone.  I believe that there is a force in this world that impels us to do good.  And what seems like a proof of its existence is that it works against the flow of the world, the flow of which, if it does not actually work to achieve evil at the very least is completely unaffected by the suffering of humanity.  Countless stories exist of individuals laying down their lives to save a stranger from harm.  This impulse is a direct contradiction of animal nature which except in the case of parental love would put self-preservation ahead of any other consideration.

God’s exact nature can only be inferred by His effect on those that experience Him.  But I think that where genuine communion is experienced the effect is remarkably positive on the individual involved and even for the surrounding community.

The problem we are experiencing today is the lack of actual Christians in the churches.  Many of the leaders of the churches are not Christians.  They do not actually believe in God and their congregants sense this and are confused and angered by the hypocrisy.  And for the young this is amplified by the atheists that they meet up with in school and elsewhere that ridicule faith and accuse it of bigotry.  These young people are under enormous pressure to denounce Christian morality in order to avoid condemnation by the LGBTQ gatekeepers in school and the workplace.

But the first step is to re-establish the existence of God.  That takes two things.  First, convince yourself that there is no logical reason that precludes His existence.  That I’ve tried to provide above.  Then find belief in God within yourself.  That you have to find yourself.  But it’s definitely something that should be explored.  As I stated earlier there is a strong urge in humans to find the force in the universe that resonates with our happiness.  If you find a quiet spot and look inside yourself you might be surprised what you find.  Start out by not calling it God.  Start out by looking inside yourself to see what’s there.  Then take it from there.

 

What Might it Look Like if the Christians Woke Up?

Yesterday I watched the video of Robert George giving a speech to the Catholic Information Center.  In the audience were some societal heavy weights like Attorney General Barr.  Mr. George very clearly stated that Christians had lost the culture wars and that the only way to avoid living as a prisoner of war in our own country is to fight and win back the ground we’ve lost.  He explicitly said that the progressives are our enemies and no compromise is possible.  Finally.  “I was blind but now I see!”  Well better late than never.

This got me to thinking about what fighting back might look like.  One thing I thought about is the various Christian denominations that have been hijacked from within by radical bishops.  If the faithful still have the numbers then they should reassert the authority of biblical teachings and evict the LGBTQ clergy.  And that goes double for the Roman Catholics.  Their ranks are riddled with pedophiles and homosexuals masquerading as celibates.  And they must also purge their ranks of atheists.  Leave them to the Unitarians.  But even if the faithful portion of the denomination is a minority, they have an option; to leave.  They should leave en masse (let’s call it an Exodus).  As the Bible says, “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.”  And if that means leaving behind the fancy church building, the fat bank accounts and the support of the religious establishment, then all the better.  All the clap-trap of the organization is a big part of the problem in the first place.

And another action that the churches can perform is pool their resources and hire some lawyers to pursue judicial remedies for the state and local policies that clearly violate the First Amendment.  In the more godless areas of the country this will probably require appeals rising all the way to the Supreme Court but that’s what it’s there for.  From my perspective this is one of the first things they need to do.

And the Catholic Church needs to reestablish its control over the schools and colleges that it claims to run and strip them of all instructors, courses, clubs and activities that openly support any practice that the Church knows to be evil.  And just doing that will take a lifetime.  There are states where the only way to accomplish this is to either to buy out the contracts of professors or wait until they retire.  But it needs to be done.    And if in the liberal states they aren’t allowed to make these reforms then the Church should separate itself from these colleges altogether.  Religious education needs to be distinguishable from the paganism that is on display on every campus in America.

And the churches need to get back to providing support and counseling to the families in their communities.  Sports teams, fraternal organizations, festivals and every other community activity needs wholesome and devoted people who have the time and the interest to knit people together.  There is a terrible void in the lives of almost everyone in this country and that void is where the churches used to be.  That work is a better place to spend money than on stained glass memorial windows.

And the other thing these churches need to do is apologize to their flocks.  For decades the clergy have allowed themselves to be beguiled by secular humanists who claimed that cooperation and compromise would bring religious and non-religious people closer together.  Instead they just destroyed the churches and drove the faithful away.  If these church leaders ever hope to bring the people back, they need to purge their ranks of unbelievers and evil men and search their own souls and pray to God to give them guidance and read their Bibles to learn what they must and must not teach.

So, that’s a few of the things I think they need to do.  If they could do half of that it would get us a lot closer to heaven than to the hell, we’re in now.

 

The Bells of St. Mary’s – An OCF Classic Movie Review

This week is Thanksgiving and that means we’ve reached the Holiday season.  And going hand in hand with that is my annual holiday movie watching and reviewing ritual.  In years past I’ve especially concentrated on versions of “A Christmas Carol.”  And rightly so.  It is almost a transfiguration of the generosity of the Christmas holiday into a mythic experience.  There is an actual catharsis associated with experiencing Scrooge’s repentance and rebirth.  So, without a doubt I will have something new to say about Dicken’s classic again this year.

But let’s return to the task at hand.

Tonight, I watched again “The Bells of St. Mary’s.”  I’ve seen it many times before.  First off, it’s not actually a Christmas movie.  The movie begins in the Fall and ends in the late Spring.  There is indeed a scene or two associated with Christmas as it relates to the eponymous Catholic grammar school that is the focus of the film.  But it is incidental, not central to the plot.  Strictly speaking, there is no holiday theme to the movie at all.  What there is, is a representation of an American Roman Catholic parish grammar school from the middle of the twentieth century.  And when I say it is a representation and not an actual reflection, I can speak with all the assurance of thirteen years of Catholic school experience to back it up.  Without a doubt, the priests and nuns that I encountered in school and church bore not the faintest resemblance to the kind, patient, loving and wise religious figures that exist in the film.  Quite the contrary, I know without a doubt that some of the priests, brothers and nuns that I knew were truly evil and committed atrocities for which they can never be forgiven.  So, I have no illusions as to the reality of Catholic education and those administering it.

Also, this is a movie from 1945.  America was close to defeating the Axis powers in World War II when the movie was being made.  The populace was united and determined and looking forward to winning the war and returning to normal life including marriage and children.  Everything about the movie reflects a societal view that was carefully orchestrated by Hollywood and the Federal government to maintain morale for the civilians at home and the troops abroad.  Wholesome entertainment and Christian values were the coin of the realm.  And they were especially important around Christmas time.  So, what we see is the Hollywood idealization of Catholic grammar school life.

Put all that together and you have to conclude that this movie is a lie.  A deliberate fabrication.  Shouldn’t it be derided for deluding the public?  Maybe.  After all, if the Catholic Church has been enabling predatory pedophiles for decades maybe movies like the present one are part of the front that allowed this practice to exist.  That may be true.

But if you watch this movie you see a story about people working together to raise children not only by educating their minds but also by nurturing their spirits.  The pastor and the nuns spend the time to find out what problems the children are experiencing and giving them practical advice and help to overcome their problems and face the real world they will soon be joining.

The portrayals by Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman are extremely enjoyable.  Both of them radiate warmth, intelligence, humor and vitality.  Bergman especially shows us a sensitive woman enduring an extremely confusing and demoralizing reversal in her life.  Some of the other characters and circumstances have some predictable tropes and stereotypes painted on but these do not greatly distract us from the central plot lines and some are quaint in and of themselves.

Overall, I found this movie to be a beautiful story.  Whether it’s classified as a story, a fantasy or propaganda it is emotionally powerful and very enjoyable.  For the Christmas season it provides an idealized version of what the Christian religious community is supposed to be.  If only it truly were like the movie.

Plug for An Article on the Z-Blog – On Atheism

The Z-Man has a very interesting article on faith, skepticism and atheism.

On Atheism

That he is a skeptic but sees the hollowness of the militant atheists is I think quite perceptive.   His final statement,  “I do know I’d never want to live in a world ruled by atheists“  resonates for me.  I imagine that almost all reflective religious people wrestle with questions about how to reconcile an omnipotent, benevolent God with the world such as it is.  But the world view of people who feel their highest calling is to mock Christians speaks of individuals nursing an enormous inferiority complex whose egos need to be constantly revalidated.

Andrew Klavan’s The Great Good Thing: A Short Book Review

Andrew Klavan is a multi-faceted individual.  He is an acclaimed suspense novelist whose stories have been adapted into movies starring Clint Eastwood and Michael Douglas.  Since the 2001 terror attack he’s produced a series of web based videos that allow him to advocate for conservative views on a range of topics.  It was in this capacity I first noticed him.  In my opinion Klavan is one of the brightest and funniest people on the conservative side of the fence.  I’ve read several of his novels and found them equally engaging.   He is undoubtedly a gifted and entertaining writer.  But the full title of his present work, “The Great Good Thing (A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ),” made me stop and consider whether the traits that resonated with me in his other work would translate well in an autobiographical story of religious awakening.

Well, I’m glad to say they do.  I won’t specify my own religious beliefs but I do come from a background where upbringing has steeped me in the Christian world.  And my feelings are very sympathetic to religious people.  We’ll leave me at that.  Of added attraction is that Mr. Klavan and I are of about the same age and both grew up in the New York City area.  The world he speaks of is extremely familiar to me.  All these factors made the material comfortable for me.

So, now you know I liked it.  Will you?  Let’s review what this book is and isn’t.  It’s not an in-depth story of every facet of his life.  We do not find out all the technical details of how he honed his writing style.  We will not hear anecdotes of his acquaintanceships with famous actors and writers.  We don’t hear details of his other conversion, from a liberal to a conservative.  What we will hear is the personal history from early childhood right up to fairly recent years that impacted and informed his spiritual journey.  His family life and his education, much as they are with most men, are the arenas where his search for meaning and truth began.  His circumstances are unique but the questions are universal and timeless.  Unless this is the subject matter you are looking for, you shouldn’t read this book or this review.

Okay, if you’re still there, let’s move on to what I’d like to say about “The Great Good Thing.”  I found it to be an interesting read. Klavan is writing about some extremely difficult, sometimes depressing events in his life.  But the writing is never slow.  The story propels itself along.  The emotions represented run the gamut from comical to desperate but the writing style is never over-wrought which is especially unusual when describing religious experiences.  I would describe the effect as lyrical.  And this I attribute to the combination of the experience the author is describing along with his very great talents as a writer.  If I were to compare this book it would be to C.S. Lewis’ “Surprised by Joy.”  Both books describe the journey of an intelligent witty author from atheism to faith.  Both books include a measure of humor and pain.  Both books are well written.  Both men reveal themselves down to their very souls.  I found the book inspirational and satisfying.  The title is apt.