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Showing posts from July 13, 2014

It's Not About Sides

You know, I like Dennis Prager, the conservative commentator. He has that way of being right-wing without ruining anyone's day. We still need more of that. I watched a short video of him giving a primer on the Israel-Palestine conflict the other day, and it was persuasive. Then, I just watched a pro-Palestinian one today. Also, very persuasive. Don't you hate it when that happens? Still, I had a few thoughts: 1. A modern state created as a refuge for those fleeing perhaps the most horrific genocide in history, which then becomes an apartheid state against other groups, is tragic and ironic, to say the least. 2. Unjust conduct in war does not invalidate a grievance, but it does not advance it. 3. Territory gained in war--even a defensive one--cannot be licitly held. 4. A free state that maintains ethnic homogeneity by force is by definition not free.

JK's 5 Favorite Albums

5. No Fences, Garth Brooks. 4. Weezer (The Blue Album), Weezer. 3. In Pieces, Garth Brooks. 2. August And Everything After, Counting Crows. 1. In The Life Of Chris Gaines, Garth Brooks. 5 More: 5. Leap Of Faith, Kenny Loggins. 4. House Of Love, Amy Grant. 3. For The Cool In You, Babyface. 2. Affirmation, Savage Garden. 1. Faith, George Michael.

Let's Get Deeper Than Sound-Bites

I really do get it. You look at the Christian landscape, and you see all these allegedly Christian communities going soft on what Michael Liccione calls "the pelvic issues." Even though to fight in the public sphere is all we have when we cannot achieve dogmatic consensus because of the individualist tyranny of Sola Scriptura, still, it's crazy. We're down to Natural Law, basic stuff called into question, essentially because politics and identity trumps the law of God. At the same time, we've got to define our terms. What do you mean by "gay-affirming"? Really? If I don't have the guts to say that a person even practicing homosexuality is in some sense loved by God, I do not understand the corresponding evil of that sin. I'm going to say that again: You don't understand it, or the love of God, which is denied in it. There is too much "us vs. them." The activists are completely right about this, even if some of them use it agains

The Latest From The Vatican Spin Machine

Not only is this true and wise, it's hilarious. I may be an expert in pope-pologetics and fawning, but I'll tell you what, buddy: I'm not taking my right to prudentially criticize the Holy Father's imprudent (alleged) statements unless and until I'm seeing God in the Beatific Vision. You know why? Because we have too much to do. Also, spiritually, I'm just a kid. We have enough riches in the Sacred Tradition to last us our whole lives. Am I also the only one to notice my lack of being conformed to Christ, and secondarily, the need of our brothers? But we're worried about what Pope Francis says? Prepare yourself. 99.99997% of the time, what the pope says is not directly relevant to our lives. Yes, a Catholic can and should say this. The Church does not stand or fall on Pope Francis. At the same time, I'm not going to repudiate him or his legitimate authority because some of you involved in the grave matter of schism would feel better about yourselves.

5 More Thoughts For Today

5. I mean, I really love books. It's getting crazy. I need to have a book-burning, I mean sale, of all my Reformed/Protestant books.* [You are a bad person.--ed.] 4. Maybe I really should renew my library card. It's a little awkward when your 2 favorite hobbies are watching Star Trek (in all incarnations) and buying books. [Dude, you bought those books on W.J. Bryan like a year ago. At this rate, you will not read those until you are 75.--ed.] Patience, my friend. I may not read or work as fast as I'd like, but I'm persistent. 3. I would have linked to Trueman , but it was being obnoxious. Then you can read my thoughts , if you like. [Would you say that is the best he can do?--ed.] That, I can't say. But I'm going to charitably choose to believe he believes what he's written. It doesn't hold water to me, but of course, I'd say that. 2. I do not deny that the subjective experience of various infidelities among professed Catholics is a kind of sc

5 Thoughts For Today

5. Real baseball returns! Cards tomorrow. 4. I hate re-writing stuff. But humility is a cross called, "Revision." 3. Oh, man, Devin Rose! You think he's the "Cross-Examiner" now? Just wait until he edits your stuff! Buahaha! 2. I admit it: I feel bad for sleeping the last two hours on the way back from Steubenville. Not very manly, when Confirmation Sponsor Guy had to drive the whole way. [On the other hand, he didn't have to hear you talk.--ed.] So true. 1. That awkward moment when reading Numbers 16:1-3 when you realize Korah et al. were saying they wanted to be another "faithful outpost of the (invisible) church catholic."

Fred Noltie, For The Win!

I had a few thoughts on this . In the first case, they are likely responding to liberals, or some other "bad people" who disagreed. In the latter case, I suspect it's a set-up, to convince broad evangelicals that they need to be Reformed (and that an appeal to scholarship will settle the interpretive disagreement). But everybody has their Captain Jack. We're back to the original problem. And pointing out the potential problems in the Catholic way of thinking doesn't really do anything against the Noltie Conundrum, which stated essentially is, "What is the doctrine of God on these essential matters of faith, given the fact of interpretive disagreement, in spite of the mutual appeal to the Holy Spirit?" A tie goes to the papists, essentially because the Reformation promised doctrinal and moral certainty and clarity, against the backdrop of the Papacy's "failure," both real and imagined. It doesn't make Catholicism true, but it gives a rea

We Live For Each Other

...and for God. I see more clearly each day that I live (when I bother to look) that it's not about me. The world does not revolve around me. The best thing I can do is to point others, in big ways and small, to Him, because it does revolve around Him. I read this today. Annie doesn't want pity or sympathy, I'm sure, but I have buckets full, if she ever wanted it. It intrigued me that she really wanted to meet Derek Jeter, and got to do it. He's all the talk these days, with this his final season serving as the coronation of a Hall Of Fame career. It struck me again as I watched that commercial "Respect" from the other day that none of these elite athletes understand how much bigger than the games they play they can be. Remember the firefighters who tipped their caps to Jeter? Firefighters. "Heroic" is in the job description, for goodness' sake. And yet, here they are. Why? Because sports are not an escape; they are a mirror. Jeter and others

10 Thoughts On Carl Trueman's Best Attempt To Remain Non-Catholic

10.  “A key part of the book's argument is the apparent anarchy created by the Protestant emphasis on the perspicuity of scripture.” You don't say, Carl! How's about giving us an answer, instead of pretending that the "problem" was invented at the last Catholic Answers confab. 9.  “Perspicuity was, after all, a response to a position that had proved to be a failure: the Papacy.  Thus, to criticize it while proposing nothing better than a return to that which had proved so inadequate is scarcely a compelling argument.” The fact that rival claimants to the Papacy proved so disruptive proves the opposite point, no? He either has jurisdiction, or he doesn't, and never did. If he does, he does, and no amount of human weakness changes it. This is why the moral objection to the Catholic Church falls flat in any century: it argues for conversion, not for starting over. 8. " Empirical fact: The Papacy as an authoritative institution was not there in the early

Game 6, Revisited, And A Fan Reflects

If you're a Cardinals fan, you know which game I mean. The greatest comeback I've ever seen. I was so happy when Freese tied it at 7, I should have repented. When they came back again after the Hamilton homer in the 10th, I knew the whole Series was ours. Everybody knew. Game 7 felt like a formality, after the greatest comeback in World Series history. And it was. Chris Carpenter in Game 7. Sorry, Texas. You lost. I took one of those, "How St. Louis Are You?" quizzes. What do you think, Sparky? I'm apparently as St. Louisan as the Arch, which is funny, since the steel was made in Pittsburgh. I hate Imo's Pizza; I'm just being honest. But I noted with some amusement that the balance of the questions were about our sports teams, and the balance of those were about the Cardinals. And rightly so. You don't understand until you've been here what that means. As a kid, you're a kid. Even if you're a fan then, you don't understand, truly. Y

5 Thoughts For Today

5. I'm not sure if I like grits, or if I just like them to put butter on. [Doesn't that apply to everything you eat?--ed.] Yes. 4. The All-Star break festivities are for the casual fan. Those of us with baseball in our blood hate the whole thing. Yes, I do watch the All-Star Game itself. And to make it count for World Series home field advantage was brilliant. Still, I wait for Friday, when the Cardinals resume. 3. This . [Wow, they still let Catholics write for Protestant Things, eh?--ed.] That's mean. [But true.--ed.] 2. I'm gratified that my phone knows the word, "goober." It's the little things. 1. Thank you, Derek Jeter .

So True It Hurts

Dale Carpenter in the Washington Post : " In my world, activists and liberal professors (like me) are constantly asserting that corporations can and should care about more than just shareholder profit. We sing the praises of corporate social responsibility. Well, Hobby Lobby is a socially responsible corporation, judged by the deep religious beliefs of its owners. The court decisively rejects the notion that the sole purpose of a for-profit corporation is to make money for its shareholders. This fits perfectly with the expansive view of corporate purpose that liberal proponents of social responsibility usually advocate — except, apparently, when talking about this case."--Brett McDonnell, corporate law scholar If we really reflect upon what's being said here, we have the basis for not only political common ground, but a truer anthropology for living. Consent cannot be the sole criterion for whether any interaction--economic or otherwise--comports with justice an

5 Thoughts For Today

5. Actually, I don't think marriage is the best remedy for lust. Chastity is the best one. The opposite of a vice is its corresponding virtue. It shouldn't take a feminist to say that you ought not use a woman's body to indulge your own inordinate desires. I'm preaching to myself as much as anyone. But it should be said. 4. "Complementarian". You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means. 3. Because underneath all of the frustration, if we are speaking frankly, is a much deeper desire to be loved and in some way, understood. Sex can be a part of that, but only a part. And that loneliness is the longing for Home, and you can't find that here. Except in part again, in Mass, in union with the Holy Father. Good news and bad news. 2. For all the chatter that the Church teaches a "religion of self-effort," all I keep hearing and experiencing is a deeper meditation on, "Apart from me, you can do nothing."