A possible career advancement is in the works for the benefit of my family. Your prayers appreciated. Thanks.
Archive for September, 2011
Witness the replay at W4: An Ungenerous Orthodoxy. Warning: There is plenty of “eww” factor in Rauser’s contentions. At one point we got the life-isn’t-black-and-white-but-shades-of-grey shpeel, and Lydia responds:
Funny how statements like, “The real world contains shades of grey” never mean “Take up your cross and follow” or even a more secular version: “Life often stinks, but men of integrity keep their integrity in the face of its unexpected vicissitudes.” No, somehow those sorts of platitudes always mean, “There’s a way for me to get to do what I feel like doing notwithstanding boring old ethical principles to the contrary.”
We expect malcontents to throw the abuse crisis card anytime he doesn’t like where the discussion is going. Commentor DP at Rich’s blog answers well:
The problem with commentary like Mr. Ahrens’ is that the abuse crisis has become a freeze-tag totem for some Catholics: “We can’t do X because of the abuse crisis.” Usually this comes from Catholics of a more leftist political bent or progressive liturgical mindset.
After all, it’s difficult to picture Mr. Ahrens demanding a stop to the bishops’ advocacy on behalf of illegal immigrants on the same grounds. Which would suggest that his justifiable outrage over the behavior of prelates and other priests is a mite too…situational.
Not that they should stop speaking on behalf of such immigrants, of course. Though I have seen non-Catholics of a right-wing bent make exactly that argument.
Perhaps the Church’s actions on liturgy and political advocacy should be evaluated on their own merits and not through the distorting lens of the abuse crisis.
James Bowman reviews Drive here, and gives us a clue about why some of us can’t gin up much interest in films anymore:
Strange, isn’t it, that the more (officially) pacifistic and non-violent our society becomes, the more incendiary and warlike our political rhetoric is? I wonder if there could be any connection with the movies’ penchant for seeking out new but politically correct ways to idolize men of violence? The seemingly endless string of celluloid superheroes is one example. They earn their right to murder and mayhem through their inhumanity. They belong to a master race of their own and live in a world which allows them to operate according to different rules and with a different morality from the rest of us. Vigilante justice in real life, administered by any mere mortal like ourselves, would be in the highest degree unacceptable, but we don’t call it that when superheroes do it. Of course the price we pay for our superheroes is having to live in toon-town with them to the extent that we take them to any degree seriously.
But there are other ways to revive the old sense of honor attaching to killers. The precursor of the cartoon hero in the movies was the cool hero played by the Steve McQueens and the Clint Eastwoods (before the real-life Clint turned into a morally earnest director) of old and their later imitators: men who earned their right to violent methods by being outsiders, lone men of integrity standing up to a corrupt system. Their violence is sanitized partly by being stylized, like that of the cartoon hero, and partly because they are seen as existing in a state of Hobbesian nature where civilized alternatives to violence are either corrupt or not available. The trope of the lone honest man fighting a corrupt system has become rather a cliché, however, so cool heroes mostly go heavy on the stylization — which means that there is a certain sameness to them.
When I was looking for a new job, I tried looking at the VA Employment Commission and saw a few possibilities on their web site that featured a blinking leaf followed by, “This is a green job!” Really, I don’t know why they didn’t go hole hog and use multiple exclamation points and say, “This roXorz teh BIG ONE!1!111!” You know how you get that funny feeling when you are being sold a load of cobblers? Ever get junk mail that looks like a fedex package or a letter with the warning that it can only be delivered by a federal official (i.e., a mailman)? That was the feeling I got seeing those green job entries.
So hat tip to Fr. Philip for this article confirming the suspicion.
Warning: you may need to roll 1d20 against your Constitution to keep your lunch down:
Wasn’t there a W4 post about referring to your “smokin’ hot wife”?
Hat tip Fr. John at On this Rock.
P.S. If you are having trouble figuring out what the problem is, try this just for starters:
Make it this one: Advice for a New Bishop Sample:
Hire an outside firm to do a thorough financial audit, and be sure to have a closed-door chat with the on-the-ground auditors to find out what they found.
Your next pastoral should insist upon the proper celebration of the Mass. It should contain disciplinary teeth. Narcissistic priests hate constraint. It’s easier to catch them in an act of liturgical abuse than an act of sexual abuse.
Put the religious orders on notice. Maybe throw out one of the smaller ones just as a warning shot.
Recently, the champions of offenses against chastity have latched on to a peculiar argument: Saying homosexual acts are a sin causes guilt, which causes people to commit suicide; therefore saying it is a sin is killing people. When you ask the obvious question, “Ok, how do we prevent suicide AND make it unambiguously clear that homosexual acts are a sin?” the responses ranging from crickets chirping to hem-hawing indicate that suicide isn’t the real objection and that this argument is really an elaborate way to say, “Shut up!”
Well, apparently now it’s the pedophiles’ turn.
There’s an additional reality that may be hard to accept, but that must be faced if we’re serious about combating suicide. Some adolescents discover they’re preferentially attracted to children or younger adolescents, and this stays with them throughout their lives. Most of us want to believe that only older adults have such feelings, but sexual feelings don’t suddenly appear in adulthood. Experts estimate that in puberty, 1% to 7% of all boys first experience preferential attraction to younger children that will be lifelong. In a recent survey, adults attracted to children or young adolescents reported they first experienced these feelings at a median age of 13.
One comment there was that perhaps certain Catholic diocese should ask for their money back.