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Showing posts from March 1, 2015

Oh, Federal Visionists...

I saw a Facebook thread where Peter Green pointed out that a bunch of pseudo-papists, *cough, cough* I mean Federal Vision advocates, have had 3 conferences opposing Roman Catholicism. Dude. Denial is not just a river in Egypt. If I'm being totally honest, I like yanking Peter's chain about this. There is nothing more absurd than watching Leithart and Jordan badmouth the whole Reformation, but still try to ignore the obvious implications of that. It might be sporting fun to snarkily ask the confessionalists how their ecclesial deism is not a game of theological Where's Waldo, but at least we know they don't wanna be Catholic. Reading the Federal Visionists, you get the feeling that maybe it was all a big misunderstanding, at least until you suggest that it might impose a presumption of return. You might as well suggest putting puppies in blenders. Captain Jack was right, I think: somebody had a few too many beers. I was a Federal Visionist, and now, I'm Cath

The Mainstreaming Of Lechery

You know, I don't read Sports Illustrated. I love sports, you know. These days, though, we all know what makes it famous: the swimsuit issue. And if we're entirely honest, we're not as bothered by all the sensuality as we ought to be. It's a little harmless fun, we think. Or who's against beautiful women, right? Well, you know, actually, I resent the implication that men need to objectify women to be manly. The other thing that really gets me is that other supposed advocates for women think it is "empowering" to gratify the lusts of others. When the atheist Sam Harris thinks we've gone too far, we probably have. There is a family-owned "family friendly" grocery store in my area called Schnuck's selling this stuff, and displaying it prominently. Head on over to and sign the petition , and tell them to knock it off. Things weren't better in the old days, but at least we had the shame/discretion to hide it away from our ki

Classical Liberalism Is Not Christian, Or Sustainable

It presupposes that justice is reckoned only to the individual, and that his 'liberty'--absolute autonomy--is the measure of justice. In days past, the encroachment of various collectivisms allowed us not to face this important truth. What we call "conservatives" here in the US made common cause with libertarians, and uneasy cooperation continues to this day. But undue coercion is not the only threat to human flourishing. Indeed, man's own selfishness and vice can be as great a tyranny as any state. The question that matters is, "Does the state exist solely to defend private property, and to protect individuals from unjust aggression? Is it in that sense, a necessary evil?" I have to answer that with a "no." The state exists to promote the common good, both natural and supernatural. What is the common good? The common good is the set of conditions necessary for every person to reach the end for which they have been made. It doesn't dimini

Follow-Up To Yesterday

In an effort to avoid confusion, I need to explain a thing. What I intended to say regarding the married state or the unmarried state is that I cannot, and will not--by God's grace--choose a thing because of a lack that I perceive will be filled, either by marriage, or something else. I have done too much from selfish desire. It probably isn't true that I don't prefer one, but chastity is a virtue. You either have it or you don't, in a certain sense, but it's good to desire to possess it. After all the fighting I have done, I say with measured but resolute confidence that I will find joy in any case. I sat there waiting for my niece to be born, and then she was. Beautiful and perfect, more than able to bring the rest of us to puddles. Here's a truth: Hugh Hefner doesn't know anything about moments like this. You can't use another person, and end up with moments like this. Or if you do, consider it a grace, that now blessedly conspires to shake you from

I Have A Secret

It took me every day of these last 35 years to learn it. I realized it in 2 different ways. The first way was realizing there was something I ought to do, but didn't want to do it. I'm the sort of person who is more likely to do something for others than for myself. You evangelicals say weird things sometimes. Here was the weird thing I read: "I'm staying pure until marriage."  Um, what? "I'm for chastity, until the moment when I convince some woman to live with me and have sex with me." No. This is why we can't have nice things. Here's my secret: As far as I know, I don't have a preference anymore. Married or unmarried. The reason is that the temptation of unchastity is exactly the same. I know what it is. I can see it. It has nothing to do with sexual desire, as such. I had heard married people say that getting married doesn't help them with the temptation to lust, but I did not believe them. I'm sorry, but I didn't. T