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Saturday, January 09, 2016

And I'm Sending You This Signal Tonight

I had to unfollow Mark Shea. I have been critical of his way of speaking, directly and indirectly, before. Frankly, if I had to speak with him, I'd recommend he stop following politics at all. All he's really doing is sending a message: "I am better than you!" And a lot of people don't care.

There is extremism in politics, and social media mixed with vice makes it worse. But people like Dr. Alan Noble confront it with charity every day. You can say, "I think this suggestion is really bad/extreme/whatever" without demeaning people. Dare I say, without banning people from your comboxes for disagreeing with you. They can't all be Francis-hating sedevacantist members of the NRA. He's already apologized once for being generally uncharitable; it might be time again.

And that's what so frustrating about my frustration: I know he and I agree more than we disagree. But I don't want to agree, and that's a bad place to be. People need to hear about Jesus and His Church; I don't care what he thinks about the Republican Party. I'm a member; I don't intend to be otherwise. Hopefully it's less the "Party of Crazy" because I am there.

For those readers who question whether you, Mark, have ever actually been Republican, it simply stems from a feeling that you don't like us very much. And that's on you. This environment lately hasn't been healthy. We've got Tea Party guys being slurred as weak "establishment" figures, we've got outright bigotry and prejudice going mainstream, and all sorts of problems. But we'll be fine.

I'm in a dangerous business. God and politics have been my entire adult life to this point. I won't tell anyone not to do it. But without love, we are nothing. I am nothing.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Jesus Is Touching Lepers

Meanwhile, some Christians would rather build a wall. He said, "Go, therefore..." and some putative disciples would rather huddle by the flickering embers of an Americanist heresy.

Listen, people. Our betters can't even fix potholes, or run websites, and you think they will keep you safe from terrorist radicals? Tell them to stick to a budget, before they make grandiose promises about sealing our borders.

I want a presidential candidate to say, "I have no great promises to make. But I'll do my best to stay out of the way, and to not embarrass you, the people."

That's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Sorry, Dr. Hawkins

There will always be an endless war between 2 competing impulses, under the reign of Sola Scriptura. One is universality, (or catholicity) and the other is purity. Sacred Scripture as the final infallible rule of faith and practice means I am the final infallible rule of what Scripture says. You always need to be in the majority in the explication of your "biblical" views, because majorities define dogma in communities lacking a charism of infallibility.

The whole sad episode touches upon everything from anti-Muslim bigotry, to the limits of presuppositionalism and the Protestant suspicion of philosophy, race, and countless other things. You can almost hear it in everything Dr. Hawkins writes: The reality that Christ is Lord has to speak into these concrete human situations.

It is certain doom for any Protestant sensibility when the impulse for catholicity settles on the Creeds to have an anchor. It's precisely at that point where Protestantism is not catholic. The Creed is the symbol of faith promulgated by the infallible Church. One cannot coherently appeal to the infallible Church, and reject her at the same time.

Though she may be wounded, I hope the curiosity about Catholicism is driven by a desire to realize the hope of universality, rather than disaffection.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

"I Am" Walked On The Water

Did you know that the wording of what we usually translate as, "It is I; do not be afraid" is the same in both John 6:20, and Mark 6:50? I was making the case that we should translate that as, "I AM; do not be afraid." Especially in light of it being just prior to the Bread of Life discourse in the rest of John 6. It's worth a note that no English translation anywhere actually does this.

Mark goes on to tell us that the hearts of the Twelve were hardened. This is what strikes me that we should translate it so. Mark has no reason to tell us that, unless the ultimate truth about Jesus were plain, and they did not receive it.

It's not crucial, in a sense. There are hundreds of opportunities to realize and deduce that Jesus is God in the New Testament. But what does it say about our need for grace to realize that perhaps Jesus plainly told the Twelve He was God, and they were unmoved?

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

A Little Hung Up

When it was time for Holy Communion, I was thinking about the antiphon. There have been multiple occasions to think about how the way things appear is not how they are. Hope is the virtue of acting in accord with the promises of God, even though it doesn't seem to pay off.

It's right and good to say, "It doesn't look good." In fact, for me, an essential part of surrender to God is the frank acknowledgement that what ought to be is beyond my capacity.

Bless us, O Lord, as we linger upon your promises as our anchor.

Amen.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Hear Me, O God

I'm just sitting here, wanting you to know that I love you. It doesn't really seem like I do from here, but your priest said I shouldn't always trust my senses. I know that you are working out those things we've been talking about. I believe you will handle it all, because that's what you said.

I also realize that you love people more than I do. Please give me the strength to be your hands, feet, and tongue for them.

Please forgive me for all the missed moments, like this one. Help me to see them when they come.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Know-Nothing

I stand by my opinion that Donald Trump represents reckless xenophobia that by definition is un-American. I think that otherwise highly intelligent people are drawn into his orbit by a false nostalgia concerning what America is and has been. I'm certainly not going to join him in his quest to make America white again.

Furthermore, anybody who claims to be a conservative while favoring the massive government power that would be required to keep certain undesirables out is kidding themselves.

Moreover, I just don't think a person who speaks so disrespectfully of nearly everyone besides himself should represent the United States. I feel strongly enough about it not to care about offending people, especially when I think they should know better.