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Saturday, January 31, 2015

I'm Sorry, But Not

So true, it's a kick to the groin.

My Birthday

Now that I turned 35, there is a gravity to me that wasn't there before. The powers that be will stop targeting me with their Young Adult things. My TV viewing habits will be compared to people who are as old as 44. I'm now old enough to be President Of The United States.

St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways."

Here's to heeding St. Paul. Look out, here I come!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mark Shea Is Right Again

Just sayin.' I'm eagerly awaiting the Holy Father's thoughts on ecology and the environment. He usually says good and interesting things. Remember when progressives were the emotionally unstable people averse to facts? Those were the days.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Obligatory Modesty Post

I think we over-think it. It's not a woman's fault that men lust. Lust doesn't care what she is wearing or intending. Are there ways to be complicit in male lust? Of course. By the way, women lust also. Intention is the heart of the whole issue, in any direction.

The tenor of the whole discussion overlooks one obvious implication of being a non-egalitarian: The man takes responsibility, even for things that aren't his fault. Which means that he doesn't blame a woman for her dress, however inappropriate it might be. He becomes the sort of man who laments and prays about these kinds of things, and doesn't take advantage.

What's the feminist word? Begging your pardon, it's "slut-shaming." In general, our culture does a ton of it. We blame women for our failures as men. When we do this, we provide the fuel for the feminism we hate.

Christian women will face a trade-off: a little patriarchal paternalism, in exchange for the kind of men they want and need. In the fight for "equality," women will still lose out, and the smug progressives who orchestrated the whole thing won't care.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

"From Scripture" Doesn't Exist

Really. Scripture doesn't talk. Unless you are simply citing a verse, or reciting it, you aren't saying what "Scripture says." You are appealing to an interpretation, either yours, or someone else's. This is why most people trapped in the nightmare of Sola Scriptura have to eventually question the salvation of someone with whom they cannot agree, or decide the difference isn't that important. Most "nice" people take the latter, which is why otherwise kind, thoughtful, Christians end up agnostic or worse. No one has bothered to really question the method/premise: "All we need to do is search the Scriptures. Everything we need is in there." Well, consider it questioned, brethren. Openly, repeatedly, and without shame. Moreover, most of you are missing some books in your Bibles. Yes, I know what they told you. It doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

Does it mean that we stop reading them? NO! It means we are a lot more humble about exactly what we find. It means that a "traditional" teaching was actually handed on by someone to someone else. You cannot expect that an innovator will fail to use his individual interpretive authority, given to him by the adoption of the premise, to reject your view. Easy as pie. Welcome to chaos.

The full force of this hasn't hit most of you, and you will call me a "liberal," or something worse. You'll hide yourselves in myriad derivative authorities, like denominations, confessions, and the like. It may seem to help, for a while. But the Bible reader that disagrees with you knows a truth very well, and he's going to exploit it, daring you to prove him wrong: If God didn't say it, it doesn't matter.

In other news, if I had a dollar for every time someone used the word "church" as in "the church" to refer to some vague, amorphous, collection of people claiming to follow Christ, whilst having no meaningful visible or otherwise connection to one another, my money problems would be over.

Your Pithy Witticism Makes Me Roll My Eyes

If I say something clever, I want it to be something I said. There's nothing more pretentious than hearing the same clever line from the same clever book 27 times, so that (white) evangelicals can seem well-read and edgy. This is a clear sign in fact that the comfortable are being comforted.

[Maybe you just don't like evangelicals.--ed.] That's a thought. But I wouldn't say I dislike anyone. Here is every evangelical blog comment thread ever on An Important Topic:

Person A: I read that book, and it's great! I had questions about [Intellectual Words, demonstrating, on the face of it anyway, more than a vague familiarity with whatever it is.]

Person B: That's a good question, and I think a partial answer can be found by reading this in conjunction with Another Smart Work By Another Person. They don't line up precisely, but that's what makes it interesting!

Person C: Kudos to the writer of this post. I will now deploy a quote from Chesterton, Lewis, or Flannery O'Connor that has only the remotest relation to the post, but it will demonstrate that I am Well-Read and Concerned About The Right Things. (Let me remind the reader of the "Kudos" Vainglory Corollary: If someone starts a comment off with "Kudos," the chances that they have not read the work in question approach 1.)

That's the other thing: If you need Catholics (or almost-Catholics) to say what you're trying to say, well, come on in; the water's nice.