Saturday, December 18, 2004
ONCE CONSIDERED PERVERSION, ALTERNATIVE SEX NOW DEMANDS RIGHTS
A reader sent a link to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom website where their intentions are boldly proclaimed for all to read:
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a national organization committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF is primarily focused on the rights of consenting adults in the SM-leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory communities, who often face discrimination because of their sexual expression.
These are their stated goals:
To support efforts and goals of the NCSF
To assist SM-Leather-Fetish, swing and polyamory groups and communities in their efforts to educate themselves about legal issues that affect their communities and individual relationships
To assist alternative sexuality groups and communities by providing relevant, up-to-date information about dealing with law enforcement and other authorities, and assist them in working with their local law enforcement and other authorities
To provide law enforcement and other government authorities with information about alternative sexuality as appropriate
To assist alternative sexuality groups and communities in their efforts to educate and work with their local law enforcement and other authorities
WHY SANTA STOPPED BEING PC
(With a tip of the hat to Bill Stebbins who gave me the idea.)
Just days before Christmas and Santa's a wreck
From trying too hard to be always correct.
His workers no longer content to be "Elves"
Are "vertically challenged" they're telling themselves.
The labor conditions up at the North Pole
Are claimed by the union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer are missing. Unknown is their fate
After animal lovers had opened their gate.
The EEOC has sent Santa a notice
To hire some horses to fill up his quotas,
But horses on rooftops make way too much noise
And tend to awaken the good girls and boys.
Mrs. Claus and the elves were all up in a tizzy,
And running in circles got all of them dizzy.
The female elves had switched to toy-making,
So all of the males had to handle the baking.
The smell of burnt cookies came out of the stoves,
And forgotten the yeast in the first batch of loaves.
He checked in the workshop. The sight was horrific.
None of the toys were made gender specific.
Dolls dressed in goth and flowers by the boxful,
And nothing but books to make all of the socks full.
The worst sight of all were the trucks by the sink
That had somehow been painted a bright shade of pink.
The toys weren't loaded, the sleigh wasn't washed.
The wrapping was sloppy. The bows had been squashed.
The runners were lacking their much needed wax,
And no one was willing to launder his packs.
With little time left till he had to depart,
With no sign of Rudolf, how could he start?
To calm himself Santa had lit up his pipe
When a chorus objection enlivened the night.
"The second-hand smoke," said the chorus of elves,
"Would hamper their breathing and soot up the shelves,
And the ash made a hole in Santa's new sweater.
The pipe had to go and the sooner the better."
He thought for a moment and gazed at the snow.
Decided correctness would just have to go.
"Attention!" he said as he gazed at his crew.
"From now on the ladies are making the stew.
Tomorrow the gents will handle toy-making,
While ladies will busy themselves with the baking."
"I've made up my mind. Don't try to persuade me
To change my assignments. Instead just obey me,
And then we will get this state of confusion
Returned to successful productive conclusion."
He spoke with conviction, intenseness, directness,
And that was the end of political correctness.
And now that I've wasted the better part of the evening writing that, I'll say goodnight. Have a great weekend. I'll be around sporadically next week since company starts arriving tomorrow.
Friday, December 17, 2004
THEY HAVE A PROBLEM IN TORONTO
The Toronto Sun reports:
The young people responsible for the wave of swarmings and violent attacks that have left three GTA teens dead in two weeks are "out of control and accountable to no one," Toronto's police chief said last night. "Counting the bodies as we do is simply not adequate," Julian Fantino said last night after a community meeting at East York Collegiate Institute, the school Drew Stewart attended before his death at the hands of a youth mob.
"We have to find out why, at the most minor confrontation, weapons are brought out. Why there's this pack mentality," Fantino said, stressing that the large majority of kids are still hardworking, upstanding citizens who do not deserve to be "blackballed."
"But there's an element of young people that are, in fact, out of control and accountable to no one," Fantino said. ...
There is more to the story. One of the "swarmings" took place in the early afternoon in a wooded area near a high school. Thirty students armed with gold clubs, baseball bats, rakes and sticks attacked six students. The article doesn't offer a motive.
"We've never had anything like this happen before," said Francis Libermann Catholic high school principal Tracey Parish. "It's unbelievable."
Toronto Catholic District School Board spokesman Emmy Milne said the six students, all in Grades 10 and 11, were returning from lunch when they were swarmed.
An unrelated swarming took place on Wednesday in which two were stabbed and one bludgeoned. Police have four suspects under arrest and are searching for six others.
A sixteen-year-old was stabbed to death while trying to protect a pregnant friend.
IDENTIFICATION WITH WHAT ?
A reader sent in the letter addressed to Archbishop Flynn on the Rainbow Sash Website:
We appreciate your confidence in our word. The Rainbow Sash is never worn as a sign of protest. Others have promoted this idea, but we say, we wear the Rainbow Sash as sign of identification.
What are they "identifying" with? Sin.
If I approach communion as part of a group wearing a symbol of identification with a local street gang that is known for robberies, should I be allowed to receive? How about if I identify with a group of atheists who blaspheme God? What if I attend with a group who wear Satanic symbols on their clothing as a mark of identity? Should all of us receive? A group identifying itself as pro-abortion activists?
If the group with which you identify is, by its very nature, opposed to the teachings of the Catholic Church, identity and protest can't be separated.
ARE YOU WELCOME AT EVERYTHING BEING DONE AT YOUR KIDS' SCHOOL ?
Mothers in Massachusetts are not.
A reader sent in this story of a mother who is upset with the "gay day" programs at her child's school, and attempted to videotape them. She was escorted off the campus and told she would be arrested if she returned. Apparently the school has something to hide. In fact, parents were not informed this program would take place, although the school did put it on their website calendar, complete with biased and inaccurate information, which is how some vigilant mothers found out about it.
The program that was presented is outlined in the article.
It would appear that parents who do not want their children's sexual development influenced by homosexuality are going to have an uphill battle in Massachusetts. Will polygamy, swinging, sex with animals, sex with the dead also be able to claim a slot in future programs? What's to stop them?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Do you still send them? My list gets shorter every year. I'm getting the feeling this is a disappearing tradition. E-cards are probably an exception to the trend.
I went through the ones I have received the other night. Only one pictured anything mindful of the Nativity. The rest were secular. A good Catholic friend from whom I frequently receive forwards with Christian content sent a "Season's Greeting" (words only - no picture) card.
I can't remember a year when so few of the cards were religious.
A reader sent in a review of cards from Catholic League that is interesting. Donohue's conclusion? Only Christmas can be denigrated. Kwanzaa (especially) and Hanukkah are treated with respect.
On a more positive note, I was in Home Depot yesterday where the cashier said "Merry Christmas" as I was leaving. I took the time to tell her that I appreciated it.
RECENT USCCB MEETING
A reader sent in Helen Hull Hitchcock's analysis of the recent Bishops' meeting and the elections. From "Adoremus Bulletin":
But the divisions within the conference are increasingly visible, as revealed in the conflicts over the Liturgy; even more starkly in the sex-abuse crisis; and this year, in the bishops' divergent responses on Catholics and political responsibility. This situation cannot easily be resolved.
Sounds right to me. It isn't possible yet to determine what is the crucially divisive factor, but the evidence that there is one is becoming increasingly more plain to see. It is of course possible that there is more than one.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
ROSICRUCIAN CONCEPTION OF GOD
A Christian ministry devoted to helping those caught in a cult offers an analysis of the Rosicrucian concept of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. It's not Catholic by a long shot. Here is the passage on Christ:
"The Rosicrucian Philosophy", page 181, says of Christ, "the Christ spirit which entered the body of Jesus when Jesus Himself vacated it, was a ray from the cosmic Christ. We may follow Jesus back in His previous incarnations and can trace his growth to the present day." Also, "The Rosicrucian Cosmo Conception" mentions, "...The Son is the highest initiate of the Sun". Again we see that the "Jesus Christ" of the Rosicrucians is not the Jesus Christ of the Bible, who is eternally God (John 1:1), our Creator (Col. 1:16), and the only source of salvation (John 14:6) Reincarnation is likewise a false, Eastern philosophy directly opposed to the Bible truth of the resurrection, followed by judgment, (see Hebrews 9:27). The Jesus Christ of Christianity is eternal, not reincarnated, God manifest in the flesh (Matthew 1:23, not some "cosmic spirit".
The Father and Holy Spirit are equally strangely conceived.
I found this interesting:
In the Rosicrucian mail-order lessons, new members (called Neophytes) are taught to petition the "Forty-two principal gods...
From the USCCB website:
Neophyte: One who has been initiated at the Easter Vigil. The term comes from the Greek word meaning new plant, as in a new sprout on a limb/branch.
It's possible I've forgotten, but I don't think that term, "neophyte", was used in the Church prior to Vatican II. The USCCB website also lists the word "mystagogy" and defines it:
The fourth and final period of Christian initiation of adults, which is from Easter to Pentecost. The U.S. National Statutes envision an extended mystagogy for one year.
This word, too, came in with Vatican II.
This Rosicrucian website also uses the word:
For example, the title of the poem certainly invites one to explore the possible meanings of the Rose within the esoteric tradition of Rosicrucian mystagogy.
I've often wondered whence came these RCIA words. Could be coincidence, I suppose. Alternatively, the Rosicrucians could have gotten it from the Catholics.
Manly P. Hall, claimed as a Masonic historian by some Masons and rejected by others, associates Sufi mystics with the Rosicrucians:
The Mysteries of Egypt and Persia that had found a haven in the Arabian desert reached Europe by way of the Knights Templars and the Rosicrucians. The Temple of the Rose Cross at Damascus had preserved the secret philosophy of Sharon's Rose; the Druses of the Lebanon still retain the mysticism of ancient Syria; and the dervishes, as they lean on their carved and crotched sticks, still meditate upon the secret instruction perpetuated from the days of the four Caliphs. From the far places of Irak and the hidden retreats of the Sufi mystics, the Ancient Wisdom thus found its way into Europe.
I wonder if Bugnini sought out those Sufi mystics when he was posted to Iraq after Vatican II. Considering how often he is accused of having been a Mason, it does seem oddly coincidental that he would be sent there.
It's easy to dismiss the Rosicrucians as just some conspiracy theorist's fantasy. The reality is more sobering.
Periodically I like to check in to their websites to see what's up. Within recent months they have created a new one. The website lists all of the lodges worldwide. Here are the U.S. lodges. They are more heavily concentrated in California, Texas, and New York; but 33 states in all are represented. Here is the worldwide clickable list, and the list of grand lodges worldwide.
This of course doesn't represent all of the Rosicrucians as the Anthroposophists worldwide are also followers of Rosicrucian philosophy. There are a great many of them.
According to their website they teach: a more focused attunement with life, and heightened spiritual awareness.
On the home page you can click the "New Online Exhibit" link that will take you to their library with a clickable exhibit of their books. Among them is a William Law translation of Jacob Boehme, books on kabbalah, Martinist texts, books about alchemy and astrology. The Adamites and the Golden Dawn turn up in one exhibit.
Many of the books would have made the Index in Catholic days gone by. Today they contain pursuits forbidden to a Catholic. But not all of them. The Coptic Case displays books from the Coptic Christian Church. The Dante's Case includes a copy of Dante's _The Divine Comedy - Inferno_. What are we to make of the woman and angel image?? There is also a copy of _The Inferno - Purgatorio and Paradiso_. _A Treatise of Painting_ by Leonardo da Vinci is in the case as well.
That monument in the Roberts Case really isn't the Washington Monument.
The webmaster has done a superb job of presenting the materials from the Rosicrucian Library.
CHRISTOPHOBIA COULD GET A LOT WORSE
From The Watchman Herald:
Saudi religious police arrested a 30-year-old citizen who converted from Islam to Christianity.
Emad Alaabadi, who has a wife and four children, is in prison in Jeddah after his Nov. 29 arrest in the town of Hufus, reports International Christian Concern, a Washington, D.C.-based human-rights group.
Alaabadi was driving his children home from school Nov. 29 when he was intercepted by police. The police escorted him home to drop off the children then took him to prison in Hufus before being transferred to Jeddah.
The Saudi man made contact Dec. 4 with his mother in Australia, who said he sounded very weak.
ICC said if Alaabadi's case is like others, he probably has been tortured as the religious police attemp to reconvert him to Islam.
We tend to think interreligious dialogue with Islam is a good idea, and we allow the Saudis to pour money into building mosques in the U.S., granting Muslims freedom of worship. They do not return the favor. According to the article:
The State Department's annual report says that in Saudi Arabia "religious freedom does not exist" and non-Muslim "worshippers risk arrest, imprisonment, lashing, deportation and sometimes torture for engaging in religious activity that attracts official attention."
Should we rethink our strategy? When Muslims are here in sufficient numbers, will they demand that America become Islamic? Colonization is a clever conversion strategy in a tolerant country, as Europe is learning. Are we next?
SEXTUPLETS AT 21 MONTHS
There's a nice story at "Pittsburgh Catholic" about coping with a 5-year-old and 21-month-old sextuplets. If you wonder what a day would be like with six nearly-two-year-olds, it's a good read.
Amy Welborn has linked this article at NRO explaining why states that enact anti-abortion laws in 2005 will inadvertently help to fund Planned Parenthood.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
STRONG WORDS AGAINST ABORTION BY ORTHODOX HIERARCH
From a reader's email:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Patriarch of Russia, His Beatitude, Alexios II, has made the strongest condemnation of abortion that I have ever seen from an Orthodox Hierarch (quoted below). May God enlighten ALL Orthodox Hierarchs to make such bold statements in public.
"We are doomed to live in a horrible time when our nation is extinguishing. We have every reason to say that its extinction has moral roots," the Patriarch went on.
"To kill a baby in mother's womb is the most heinous of deadly sins. That precept has always been part and parcel of the Church doctrine. Meanwhile, the number of abortions in Russia defies imagination year in, year out. The nation is dying out, and that is nothing surprising. Does this nation deserve to survive at all, we wonder."
If her words are headed there will be peace and Russia will be converted.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Christmas is coming, so out come the writers who want to retell the Christmas story along the lines of Christopher Bamford's essay blogged a couple of days ago. This time the reinvention appears in TIME and Newsweek. The Christian Post offers a rebuttal, claiming the truth of Scripture.
One wonders why it is so important to deny the virgin birth. Near the end of the essay we get a hint:
As might be expected, Meacham's approach to the Bible goes far beyond Christmas, the crucifixion, and the resurrection. In a May 6, 2002 cover story in Newsweek, Meacham argued that Christianity should change its convictions about human sexuality, allowing for the normalization of homosexual acts and the possible goodness of homosexual relationships. "For many of us, faith, like history, is an unfinished story, a running argument," he argued. Unsurprisingly, Meacham argued that the biblical passages declaring homosexuality to be sinful "are actually not quite so clear and unequivocal" as the church has believed for twenty centuries. He used the same interpretive methodology he applies to the birth narratives in suggesting that the Bible can be read in such a way as to justify homosexuality. Acknowledging that the Bible does appear to condemn homosexual acts as sinful, Meacham explains that "enlightened people have moved on from the world view such passages express."
Ah yes, it's about sex. Of course. What else? If one part of Scripture can be shown to be untrue, all of Scripture is up for grabs, including those passages that inhibit the behavior of choice.
And TIME and Newsweek bought it, printed it, and paid for it, presumably. Can we expect stories that undermine Islam to appear in the pages of these prestigious magazines? No, probably not. Which makes the word Christophobia come to mind yet again.
MEMOIRS OF ENCOUNTERS WITH PRIESTS IN HIDDEN PLACES
_Magical Thinking_ by Augusten Burroughs, a book reviewed in Issue 744 of SSONET the website of the Sydney Star Observer.
This is the author's third book, a collection of short stories, one of which is presented at the website. It's a story of three homosexual encounters with Catholic priests, the first one at age 14. Unlike most of the stories we hear, Burroughs is not angry or resentful. He presents the encounters the way one would talk about going out for ice cream. There is little to no evidence of any emotional involvement, and he seems to have control in each situation. His participation was consensual, and he has no regrets about any of them, but rather a sense of wonder that they occurred at all, given the nature of priesthood.
In reading them I wondered if what I was seeing was the recount of past events filtered through the emotionless state of a man after repeated anonymous homosexual encounters, or if he had really been that detached at age 14.
A READER SENDS THIS WARNING...
Better safe than sorry!
Abduction Precautions for Women
We can now add to the list of victims the retired 77 yr. old TCU
professor from Ft Worth whose body was found last week in Oklahoma--and
the 11 yr.old in Sarasota, FL. Because of these recent abductions in
daylight hours, refresh yourself of these things to do in an emergency
situation...This is for you, and for you to share with your wife, your
children, everyone you know.
After reading this, forward it to someone you care about. It never hurts
to be careful in this crazy world we live in.
1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your
body. If you are close enough to use it, do!
2. Learned this from a tourist guide in New Orleans. If a robber asks
for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from
you....chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or
purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE
3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back
tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy.
The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.
4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating,
working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list,
etc. DON'T DO THIS!) The predator will be watching you, and this is the
perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun
to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR
CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.
5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking
A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side
floor, and in the back seat.
B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the
passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them
into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the
passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car,
you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a
guard/policeman to walk you back out.
IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than
6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are
horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).
7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS
RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times;
And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!
8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP. It may get
you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking,
well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting
women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into
his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next
9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a
crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the
police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told
her "Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door."
The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a
window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get
run over. The policeman said, "We already have a unit on the way,
whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." He told her that they think a
serial killer has a baby's cry recorded, and uses it to coax women
out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said
they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying
that they hear baby crying outside their doors, when they're home
alone at night.
Please pass this on and DO NOT open the door for a crying baby. This
e-mail should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory
was mentioned on America's Most Wanted this past Saturday when they
profiled the serial killer in Louisiana.
I'd like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a
life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to
send this to the ladies only, but guys, if you love your mothers, wives,
sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it onto them, as well.
Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the
world we live in has a lot of crazies in it, and it's better to be safe
New York Life Insurance Company
The sympathy angle is a place where Catholic women tend to be especially vulnerable.
Last Saturday night my husband and I were headed to Severence Hall at University Circle in Cleveland for a concert. The quickest way from our house takes us into downtown Cleveland then out on Carnegie past the Cleveland Clinic. But my husband thought he could find a quicker route and tried Chester. Bad idea. Barred storefronts. We got every light red.
Since my husband grew up in the Cleveland area and financed college by working in the steel mill, he is very familiar with inner city activities. He moves cautiously and slowly up to a red light, looking around for anyone lurking in the shadows. The drive went smoothly until we attempted to cross over to Carnegie. We were waiting for a red light on the cross street when a walker approached the car. There was no one else around. He started talking to us, asking for money. Neither of us looked at him and we didn't open the window. Finally he moved on, the light turned green, and we got out of there. It was a frightening moment. I won't tell you what my husband said, because no one in a Catholic blog would approve.
Next concert we leave a half hour earlier and travel down Mayfield through Little Italy and over to University Circle!
Looks like the crying baby story may be a hoax. The link was posted in the comments box by a reader.
WHY I'M LEARNING TO DISTRUST THE HIERARCHY MORE AND MORE
I've heard the arguments before...we have to obey our hierarchy, they know what's best, they speak for God, etc., etc., etc.
Don't bother. Reality is reality.
I saw this story earlier in the morning and decided to pass by. Now a reader sent it in. Ok, I guess I can't ignore it.
Does the right hand have even a clue what the left hand is doing over there in Rome? Are homosexual acts sinful or are they not sinful? Does the Church promote them or does the Church condemn them? "Complex problem"?
&^%$# It's getting old...waffling is pathetic, and I am disgusted. Get your act together guys or become irrelevant!
The story concerns the Rainbow Sash brigade that received communion in Minneapolis-St. Paul. From Catholic World News:
Archbishop Flynn said he discussed the issue in a private meeting in early December with Cardinal Francis Arinze, head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
He said Cardinal Arinze agreed that it was a complex problem requiring clear teaching and pastoral sensitivity. The archbishop said he was not asked to change his policy.
Check out Dom's blog for a discussion on this topic as it relates to a priest from my diocese.
Ever wonder where social movements come from? What is the source of feminism, for example? We just assume someone thinks them up. Maybe not. There is an interesting statement in this report of a conference at Esalen:
Conferees then explored the connection between 19th century spiritualism and social activism. Many spiritualists were feminists and abolitionists at the avant-garde of social thinking (Braude, 1989). Victoria Woodhull, for example, was a medium in Boston who was a suffragette and the first woman candidate for vice-president. Robert Dale Owen, a British socialist, developed his whole socialist program for the country based upon transmission from the spirits. Messages today are more focused on inner guidance, while back then many of the messages were focused on social activism. Hundreds of liberal movements around the U.S. drew inspiration from mediumistic work.
What if liberalism is nothing more than channeled material? Who would the source be? I think we can be pretty sure it isn't God, considering the devastating effects it has on society. That doesn't leave many other choices. We would have to eliminate the angels because they would be interested in doing God's work, and His work is not to destruction. Then there are those fallen angels. Hmmm.
Thanks to a reader for providing the lead.
Check out Neil's comments in Amy's blog. It seems there is a whole other side to the controversy that has not come to light on this side of the water.
TAKE IT FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH
I found it interesting but haven't checked out the claims. This is what got my attention:
The word CHARISMATIC while worshiping Chara-the Grace-only goddess, is most often attached to perverted sexuality Charismatic ecstasy is speaking as "prophets." The only background for "threskia" form of ceremonial worship was founded by Orpheus one of the "fathers" of music and what Paul identified as MADNESS or speaking in tongues in 1 Cor 14. Chara or GRACE was a goddess. Charismatic connected directly to attempting to bind spirit and flesh together in the "harmony" principle of Apollyon or Apollo: "moving together" involved only two persons and was acted out in homosexuality: usually in pederasty (sodomy) which was common in ALL priesthoods or brotherhoods of religious performers.
Did the sexual abuse in the Church coincide in any way with the Charismatic Movement?
Then there is this website that talks about "Islamic Ecstasy - Speaking in Tongues." This one doesn't mention homosexuality. It does indicate that music induces glossolalia:
Music is the primary tool of inducing ecstasy or speaking in tongues in all ages and in all religions. Indeed, any form of modern singing is both the cause and result of entry into mild glossolalia or speaking in tongues. Shall we raise our Ebenezer to that?
"Among the religious circles, the Sufis introduced both vocal and instrumental music as part of their spiritual practices. The sama', as this music was called, was opposed by the orthodox at the beginning, but the Sufis persisted in this practice, which slowly won general recognition. The great Sufi poet Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (died 1273)--revered equally by the orthodox and the Sufis--
This website gives a history of glossolalia by Rene Noorbergen who writes:
Throughout recorded history there have been many occasions where religious people have spoken in unknown tongues—glossolalia. Most of the known accounts predating the Pentecostal experience are of non-Christian origin. Therefore most Christians would hardly take the position that every occurrence of glossolalia must be an expression of the will of God. Yet there are glossolalists who subscribe to this view. As a rule, the charismatics allude to Pentecost as the supreme example of supernatural tongues; however, the recorded cases of glossolalia go back as far as 1100 B.C. At that time a young Amen worshiper made ancient headlines and attracted historical notoriety when he suddenly became possessed by a god and began to emit sounds in a strange ecstatic "tongue." In the "Report of Wenamon," a text giving the oldest account of glossolalia known to man (originating in Byblos, a temple city in historical Lebanon), we find the scanty details:
"Now, when he sacrificed to his gods, the gods seized one of his noble youths, making him frenzied, so that he said, 'Bring the god hither! Bring the messenger of Amen who hath him. Send him and let him go.'"—George A. Barton, Archaeology and the Bible (Philadelphia: American Sunday School Union, 1916), page 353.
Sort of makes you wonder, no?
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
LOOKS LIKE THEY WON !
BOSTON - After months of resistance and round-the-clock vigils at several churches, archdiocese officials Tuesday reversed a decision to close one parish, and will re-evaluate four others to determine if one should close.
Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley's decision to shutter or consolidate 83 churches by year's end came in response to declining attendance, a shortage of priests and financial pressure caused in part by the clergy sex abuse crisis.
Tuesday's decision marked the first reversal of a decision to close a parish.
Abuse Cover-Up in the Catholic Church", a Mary Healey-Conlon Film.
Over the course of the film, five victims' stories are tracked from events preceding their childhood sexual abuse, to their decision to bring their abusers to justice. These in-dividuals include: Peter Isely of Milwaukee, a former seminarian and Harvard Divinity School Graduate; Barbara Blaine of Chicago, the founder of the largest victims support group in the country; Father John Bambrick of New Jersey, a priest who was himself sexually abused by a priest as a young adolescent; Lee White of Rhode Island, a victim of the priest the filmmaker knew as a child; and Mark Serrano of Virginia, a victim who broke the silence of his confidentiality provision. These stories from around the country detail a disturbing behavioral map of sexual predators and point to a pattern of conceal-ment and intimidation by church authorities. More importantly, their stories reveal a stunning depth of faith, inspiration and testament to the power of the truth as pathway to reconciliation and healing for victims of sexual abuse crimes.
The film is 56 minutes long. Unfortunately there is no schedule of presentation, so I can't tell if it will be available in my area.
Blogger credit to Novus Ordo Watch.
Threshing Grain has linked a NewsMax story out of France about a chocolate company that may no longer send chocolate to school children if it's shaped in Christian symbols. They've wasting no time over there in making Catholicism disappear from the landscape. I thought this newly coined term for it was interesting. From the website:
Bruno Frappat, editor of the Catholic daily La Croix, wrote: "In 1968, the slogan was, 'It's forbidden to forbid.' In 2004,it 's, 'Forbidding is a must.' And one of the phobias most in vogue is Catho-phobia."
The last one still has my vote for best choice of terminology.
THE DIZZYING ARRAY OF "CATHOLICISM" ON THE WEB
some in communion with the Pope, some not even sure what denomination they belong to. A lot of these websites claim to be "traditional". It's hard to imagine anything less traditionally Catholic than being out of communion with the Pope. The word "tradition" is losing its meaning not only in Guenonian Traditionalism, but also here.
There is a problem with the web that is becoming more apparent all the time. In real life we can look at a church or a diocese and judge by its size, its appearance, the people who are attached to it whether it is to be taken seriously or not. In cyberspace, all websites are created equal and remain equal. The markers that help us make a judgment call are all missing.
Charles Upton discusses this phenomenon in _The System of the Antichrist_:
The internet is the perfect socio-technological symbol of postmodernism. There is no 'over-arching paradigm' to give order and coherence to the view of reality it presents...the Web represents not an objective reality, either material or metaphysical, but rather a mass subjectivity with objective consequences. (p. 50)
I don't agree with everything Upton says about the web, but that insight is very perceptive, and the above-linked website of "Catholic" churches is a good example of it.
A much better word to say than "Christianophobic." Anyway...
George Weigel, speaking at the Gregorian, pronounces sentence on Europe in this Zenit piece:
"European high culture is, largely, Christophobic, and Europeans themselves describe their cultures and societies as 'post-Christian,'" said Weigel, a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, in Washington, D.C.
"Why did so many European intellectuals deem any reference to the Christian sources of contemporary European civilization a threat to human rights and democracy?" asked Weigel, who was invited to speak by the Gregorian's School of Philosophy.
"Was there some connection between this internal European debate over Europe's Constitution-making and the portrait in the European press of Americans as religious fanatics intent on shooting up the world?" inquired Weigel.
His answer is that Europe is going through a grave cultural and moral crisis.
Europe. The territory surrounding the Vatican. Hmmm.
ORDO LAPSIT EXILLIS
A reader sent in this website that contains a statement, signed by Boyd Rice and K. S. Anthony, repudiating any association with Tracy Twyman, and requesting that Twyman remove from the Dagobert's Revenge website all material written by Boyd Rice. The statement is dated February 18, 2004.
As of my last visit to her website earlier this Fall, Twyman had not done so.
The history of the Ordo Templi Orientis is replete with disagreements much like this one. That is the reason there are many lodges and little to no central organization.
Did you know Michael Rose is not allowed to have an opinion about church architecture? It's true, and Fr. Steven O'Brien, Xavier High School Campus Minister, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, wants to be sure he knows it.
Perhaps Fr. O'Brien is afraid a lot of other people share the same opinion.
FORMING COMMUNIST ALLIANCES
A Spirit Daily lilnked story, "China, Russia Will Hold First War Games"
BEIJING (AP) - China and Russia will hold their first joint military exercise next year, the Chinese government said Monday, as President Hu Jintao called for an expansion of the rapidly growing alliance between the former Cold War rivals.
The announcement came during a visit to Beijing by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, who was expected to discuss expanding the Kremlin's multibillion-dollar annual arms sales to China.
The exercises are to take place on Chinese territory, the official China News Service said. But that report and other government statements didn't say when they would take place or what forces would be involved.
Brings my thoughts immediately to Fatima. If Russia is consecrated, there will be peace in the world. If Russia is not consecrated, Russia will spread her errors around the world.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
ARE YOU READY TO BE CHIPPED ?
An editorial at Raiders, linked at Spirit Daily, is enough to give me nightmares. Once the chip is implanted, it's permanent. Think of it as wearing a leash and the government holding the business end.
We are primed--being primed--for this technology. How many articles about identity theft have you seen recently? Will we finally trade our freedom for security? It's a lousy bargain.
IS IT ACCURATE ?
I don't know. It appears in many places on the web, including this one from Radio Islam.
It is refuted here and labeled anti-Semitic.
A Christian and a Jew who believes in Jesus call themselves "Saltshakers" and offer translations of the Talmud that contain this passage along with a lot more:
Sanhedrin 106a--R. Yohanan said [concerning Balaam], "In the beginning a prophet, in the end a deceiver." Rab Papa said, "This is that which they say, She was the descendant of princes and rulers, she played the harlot with carpenters."
Of all the websites I've looked at, Benjamin H. Freedman's website is the most concise. A glance through it will give you an overview of the claims that are being made about the content of the Talmud that is anti-Christian.
SEMINARY VISITATION IN THE WORKS
according to Catholic News Service.
Lots of preparation going into it. Can we assume these will not be surprise visits? If they are not surprise visits, will this be just a PR move--a press op to say that oh yes, the seminaries are now reformed? I'm not a trusting person on this one. I expect to be deceived yet again.
A tip of the hat to Spirit Daily for this story.
LAY LED LITURGIES DOWN UNDER
From the Diocese of Canberra website:
Attendance of the Archdiocese's priests at the Synod is so important for the good of the local Church that it justifies parishes arranging the conduct of lay-led Liturgies of the Word and Communion Service for the weekend of 15-16 May, Archbishop Francis Carroll says.
A special liturgy has been prepared by the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission and is being distributed to all parishes. Suitable preparation of parishioners is to be provided before the Synod weekend.
Catholic Voice, May 2004
Didn't anyone consider holding the Synod on Monday through Friday? Strange. Seems like the priorities are out of order.
Blogger credit to Novus Ordo Watch.
THE NEWS OBSERVER
has an article documenting the increasingly heated debate over "Merry Christmas." One group has recommended boycotting the stores that refuse to use the words.
The Rev. Patrick Wooden may not have realized it, but when he took out a full-page ad recently in The News & Observer urging Christians to shop at stores with "Merry Christmas" displays, he was contributing to a national grass-roots effort to reverse the secularists of Christmas.
Laments that Christmas is becoming a secular holiday are not new. What's new are the assertiveness and urgency around the issue.
Across the country, Christian church members and coalitions have taken to phone, e-mail and media outlets to reassert the religious nature of Christmas in a society that often prefers the more inclusive "Happy Holidays"...
Stores--shopping--after all, really is not Christian. Those stores have been enjoying the fruits of the celebration of Christmas for a long time. Yet they want to bite the hand that feeds them. Reject the very spirit of this winter holiday while still expecting to make profits off of the people who celebrate it.
What if Christians did truly return to celebrating Christmas...in other words, turning it back into a religious holy day, and stop the commercialisation entirely. That should make the stores happy, right? No longer would they have to decide whether to allow their clerks to say "Merry Christmas" or not. They could say "Happy Holidays" to their hearts content. There would be Kwaanza shoppers, and Hanukkah shoppers, just no Christmas shoppers. Surely it would make them happy not to have Christians shopping for Christmas, wouldn't it? The problem of what to wish their customers would just evaporate.
Somehow I have a suspicion that this is not what they want at all!
Blogger credit to Crux News.
Monday, December 13, 2004
I SHUDDER TO THINK WHERE THIS LINE OF THINKING WILL TAKE SOCIETY
BRITAIN'S leading medical ethics expert has suggested that the frail and elderly should consider suicide to stop them becoming a financial burden on their families and society. Baroness Warnock spoke on the eve of a Commons debate on the Mental Capacity Bill, which critics claim will allow "euthanasia by the back door".
In an interview with The Sunday Times, she said: "I know I'm not really allowed to say it, but one of the things that would motivate me [to die] is I couldn't bear hanging on and being such a burden on people.
"In other contexts, sacrificing oneself for one's family would be considered good. I don't see what is so horrible about the motive of not wanting to be an increasing nuisance.
Blogger credit to Crux News.
CHRISTIANITY WILL BE DRIVEN UNDERGROUND
is the conclusion of this article sent in by a reader:
Christianity in Great Britain is imploding, fragmenting and will soon be driven underground, says a senior adviser to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
Jayne Ozanne told Williams and Archbishop of York David Hope that a time of great persecution for the church is coming, reports the Times of London.
The article ends with a prediction for non-denominational cell groups to replace established religion.
THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS SPEAKS OF CONSPIRACY THEORY
From Bill O'Reilly:
"Christmas with the Kranks" is not only the name of a holiday movie this year, it is also a national trend. Once again, Christmas is under siege by the growing forces of secularism. Put these facts in your stocking:
Federated Department Stores, which includes Macy's, has suggested that managers avoid displaying "Merry Christmas" banners and have ordered employees not to talk about it.
In Denver, a church was banned from the Festival of Lights parade because it wanted a religious theme to its float.
The Maplewood, N.J., school board has banned religious music from "holiday" concerts.
Mayor Bloomberg insists that the lighted tree outside City Hall is not a Christmas tree, it's a holiday tree. (What holiday, Mr. Mayor?)
He goes on to elaborate on the ways that Christmas is being edged out of the culture to accommodate the secular agenda, and likens this to the road that Canada has already traveled and America is copying. The closing paragraphs are the clincher for me since it is there that he uses the word:
Since Christmas is the most demonstrative display of organized religion, a strategy of minimizing the birth of Jesus makes sense.
I know this sounds conspiratorial, but it isn't. Most of those marginalizing Christmas have no idea about the big picture. They simply think they're looking out for the minority of Americans who don't celebrate the birth of Christ.
But committed secularists in the media, courts and education system know what's going on. And now so do you. Merry Christmas!
A quick look through the titles and reviews of Arthur Versluis's books gives a good overview of where the metaphysics of Guenonian Traditionalism can go. Versluis is the editor of "Esoterica Journal" at the College of Arts and Letters, Michigan State University.
The review for the book _Sacred Earth_ even cites the Traditionalist authors:
Following in the footsteps of Rene Guenon, Frithjof Schuon, Ananda K. Coomwaraswamy, Martin Lings, Titus Burkhardt (the modern one) and Seyyid Hossein Nasr, Mr. Versluis brings the analytical methods of these, the "new traditionalists," to the issues of Native American spirituality. Except for some relatively minor analytical flaws common to the methodology he adopts, his perspective on this subject is a generous and welcome one, and his writing opens out the fundamental qualities of this spiritual tradition for neophytes, as well as for well-informed students of other traditions. It is clearly intended for intelligent and well educated readers, but not for academics or intellectuals. This is an inspiring book, which reinforces my already great respect and reverence for the spirituality of this place, Turtle Island.
TRADITIONALISM AND PAPAL COMMENTARY
There has been an interesting discussion going on over the weekend at Dom's blog. under the heading "Not this reality." I wanted to add some comments, but it gets complicated putting them into the comments box which is much more accommodating to short posts.
A poster named Rodney made the argument for Tradition that has been made for 40 years. Not only have Catholics been aware of the argument, I presume so have others outside the Church been aware of this argument. It gets in the way for those who oppose the Church, and ultimately the leader of the opposition is the Prince of This World. The Catholic Tradition is such a fortress against heresy that a way must be found around it if the Church is to be overcome.
Reducing the faith to just one of many is a useful step on the way toward eliminating Her. Thus it is an objective of liberalism, and we have United Religions Initiative on the left. It doesn't take much to see the unacceptability of URI, encompassing as it does Wicca, Theosophy, Paganism, Oriental Religions, Islam, Judaism, and just about anything else that can possibly be called religion. This is not working out quite as planned. Tradition is still keeping many Catholics grounded in the faith. The Pope is not cooperating with URI. So now what? If you are coming from the perspective that Roman Catholicism must be destroyed, what do you do next?
One possible next step is to take a step back, and thus a conservative posture--the posture of the right. If Traditionalism is the fortress of the Catholics, then adopt Traditionalism. Talk about it, encourage it, structure it in such a way that even the Catholics will have no solid ground for objection to what you are saying. Even the Lodges can talk about "Masonic Traditionalism," and they do. (In fact I know of one Ordo Templi Orientis website that mentions tradition as well. It also talks about their opposition to the Church, and their devotion to Lucifer. Their tradition is that of the Cathars. They are very much attuned to myths of the holy grail.)
Once Tradition is established as not just the province of Roman Catholics, talk can commence about unity through differences. To facilitate this, conferences can be held to discuss the tradition in each religion. Here there can be a search for a common ground on which all religions can stand. Discover it in mysticism where there is no inconvenient dogma to deal with. In fact such a conference took place at the University of South Carolina, in 2001. The book _Paths to the Heart_, a book in the Perennial Philosophy Series of Wisdom World publishers, is a collection of the talks presented at the conference.
What if the Roman Catholics object? What can be done if they insist that Jesus Christ is God? Then the Catholics can be branded as divisive, and interfering with the peace process, because all of this effort to find common ground is really being done to promote world peace. Now the Catholics are the bad guys. Now you have a situation where all of the religions of the world oppose Catholicism together. All of the other religions have found "unity in their separate Traditions", but the Catholics are refusing to join. They don't seem to get it. All Traditions are valuable. All Traditions must be upheld. Which means that conversions work against the peace process.
The designers of this formula thought they could eliminate the occult by this method. But they will discover that when the occult wants in, claiming the perennial philosophy, and they refuse to allow the occult into this new clique, they have reinvented religious warfare. To avoid the warfare, they will have to allow the occult to come in, or their purpose is self-defeating.
An argument can be made that the Church Fathers are welcome in this new unity in differences. Fr. Kallistos Ware was a speaker at the above-cited conference. At one point he cited the Gospel of Thomas as evidence for what he was proposing. When the Roman Catholics object to this new strategy to promote world peace, the perennialists can counter that opposition with the evidence for the compatibility with Christianity by citing the Orthodox approval. The Church Fathers can be brought to bear on the Roman Catholics. They are not being asked to join some kind of universal religion. All that is asked is that they acknowledge other Traditions as their own is acknowledge.
Catholics, of course, cannot do this. We cannot say that Mohammed is no different from Jesus. We cannot see Jesus as just another prophet among many prophets. Allah is not a Trinitarian God. Oriental religions tend to be pantheistic. But to claim that Jesus is unique and the Catholic faith holds a fullness of truth that is lacking in all other religions is to work contrary to that unity which the others believe will bring peace.
This, I believe, is where the emerging movement of Traditionalism will lead. It will so water down the Catholic argument for Traditionalism that those who cling to it will be seen as marginal. The social gospel will be given pride of place. An argument of social justice can be applied from within the Church to encourage the acceptance of all other religious Traditions.
Isn't this, in fact, the way the Holy Father is leading us by his sometimes quite peculiar papal Masses and prayer services? Isn't this, in fact, the message of the elevation of Cardinal Law to "keeper of the keys" to one of the four most important basilicas in Rome, after the outrageous scandal in Boston, and his kissing of the Koran? I see that elevation as a reward for that kiss.
The actions of our Pope and those who support ecumenism/interreligious dialogue seem to present to us two beliefs:
1. Jesus Christ is Son of God and Lord of the World who will return in Glory. The Catholic Faith is unique among world religions.
2. God has provided some absolute truth in all religions, and we should go looking for it outside of our faith. Ecumenism trumps evangelization.
These two ideas make God schizophrenic. On one hand He tells us Catholicism is all we need, and is His religion of choice. Then He hides some of His truth in places outside of the faith and expects us to search there until we find it.
The two ideas are mutually contradictory, and yet they are both moving ahead within the Catholic Church with a Papal blessing for each of them. It's not working, as the upheaval shows us. Too many Catholics are feeling deceived by this approach.
In fact Cardinal Ratzinger says much the same thing in his newest book _Truth and Tolerance_, in the last chapter titled "Religions and the Question of Truth." In that chapter he discusses the perennial philosophy which is what lies behind Guenonian Traditionalism, demonstrating that this approach will lead us to the position that there is no goodness in the world because ultimate truth is denied. Without an ultimate standard for goodness, we are left with nothing but utilitarianism. Though Cardinal Ratzinger doesn't say it, it is utilitarianism that fuels the arguments for abortion, stem cell research, euthanasia.
In fact Cardinal Ratzinger even uses the word "schizophrenia" in his comments. Speaking of the philosophy of an Egyptologist named Assmann, he says:
Assmann himself showed how this schizophrenia led to a fiction defended by the state: for the uninitiated the gods remained as entities necessary to maintain the state, while the initiated could see through them as nonentities. (p. 221)
That is where we will end up if we take up the perennial philosophy of Traditionalism. There will be those "in the know" who believe that there really is no truth, thus no religion, and thus no God; and those second-class citizens of the religious realm who are "true believers." Hitler was able to make political capital out of this. May God save us from going there again!
E-MAIL FROM DR. BOND
Bishop James Timlin of the Diocese of Scranton has again been accused of negligence in a federal lawsuit accusing a priest ordained by Timlin of sexually abusing an altar boy.
As for the suppressed Society of St. John, their suspended founder, Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, and their designated liar, Fr. Daniel Fullerton, were recently in Rome to appeal Bishop Martino's decree suppressing the SSJ. Talk about chutzpah.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond
REGARDING THE STATUS OF FR. NICHOLAS GRUNER
A reader sends this website that makes it clear he is not incardinated.