Category Archives: Save Our Catholic Church

Divergent Political Models in the Two “Forms” of the Roman Rite

…a delicious morsel found by Allan Gillis while perusing the New Liturgical Movement blogsite!

Isn’t it wonderful to find an article that so profoundly communicates exactly what one feels and has hitherto never been able to articulate?!

Divergent Political Models in the Two “Forms” of the Roman Rite

Peter Kwasniewski

 

A reviewer of my book Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness (Angelico, 2017) made a point that got me thinking. He said that while he agreed with my critique of the Novus Ordo and himself preferred the traditional rite, he thought I should have wrestled more with the fact that there are flourishing religious congregations exclusively reliant on the Novus Ordo. He cited the Missionaries of Charity and the Nashville Dominicans as examples. Clearly, these communities are full of fervent disciples of the Lord who are nourished from the liturgy of Paul VI, so it cannot be the case that this liturgy is “all bad,” so to speak.

Now, apart from the fact that I have never argued and never would argue that the Novus Ordo is “all bad” (something that would be metaphysically impossible, in any case), I welcome this observation as an opportunity to think more closely about how exactly this phenomenon may be explained.

Such religious communities are bringing to the liturgy a spiritual disposition that enables them to benefit from the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist — a disposition they are not necessarily developing from the liturgy as such. The Novus Ordo can be fruitful for those who already have a fervent and well-ordered interior life, built up by other means; but for those who do not, it will offer few pegs on which to climb up. In this respect it is unlike the traditional liturgy, which has within itself enormous resources for enkindling and expanding the interior life.

One might make a political comparison to elucidate this point. The basic philosophical problem with the American regime is not that a good use cannot be made of its political institutions, but that they presuppose a virtuous citizenry in order to work at all. Time and time again, the American Founding Fathers say things like: “As long as the people are virtuous, they can govern themselves with these mechanisms.” But the aims of government do not include producing a virtuous citizenry; this is seen as above and beyond the government’s limited scope. Government is supposed to act like a police officer who regulates the flow of traffic; it is assumed that people know how to drive and basically drive well.

The traditional view, as we find it for instance in Pope Leo XIII’s social encyclicals, is that government has a God-given responsibility for the moral and spiritual welfare of the people, and must lead them to the observance of the natural law and dispose them as well as possible to the observance of the divine law. In this model, the government is more like a parent, teacher, and counselor who knows what the human good is and actively fosters the attainment of it by as many citizens as possible. This is why, for Leo XIII, a good government will necessarily involve the Catholic Church in educating the citizens of the regime, so that they may have the best possibility of developing virtues. Virtue does not develop spontaneously or accidentally.

The liturgical parallel is not hard to see. The Novus Ordo is like the American government. It is an orderly structure or framework within which free activity can take place, but it does not specify or dictate in a rigorous way how that activity ought to be pursued. It is like the benign and neutral policeman — a certain precondition for peace, but not the representative and spokesman of peace. The minimal rubrics function like boundaries on a sports field. The people who attend are assumed to know how to pray, how to “participate actively” (as if this is at all evident!), and how to be holy. They come to display and demonstrate what is already within them.

The traditional liturgy, in contrast, forthrightly adopts the attitude of parent, teacher, and counselor. It assumes that you are in a dependent position and must be shaped in your spirituality, molded in your thoughts, educated in your piety. Its rubrics are numerous and detailed. The liturgy knows exactly what you need in terms of silence, chant, prayers, antiphons, and it delivers them authoritatively, in a way that emphasizes the liturgy’s own perfection and your receptivity. The traditional liturgy establishes a standard of virtue and makes the worshiper conform to it. It does not presuppose that you are virtuous.

This helps to explain the intentionally Protean adaptability of the modern liturgical rites, in their optionitis and spectrum of artes celebrandi. Moderns don’t really think there can be a fixed and virtuous liturgy that should form them into its image. As heirs of the Enlightenment that enthroned human reason as king and assumed a supposedly rational control over all aspects of society, moderns feel they need to be in some way in charge of the liturgy. It has to have options to accommodate us in our pluralism.

In this way the Novus Ordo betrays its provenance in a democratic and relativistic age, in stark contrast with the traditional liturgy that was born and developed entirely in monarchical and aristocratic eras (and this, of course, by Divine Providence, since God knew best what human beings needed, and ensured that the rites would embody it). Even if one wished to say, for the sake of argument, that secular society is better off democratized — a claim that would seem counterintuitive, to say the least, especially if one could canvas the opinions of the countless millions of victims of abortion murdered under the free regimes of the Western world — one must nevertheless maintain as a matter of principle that the divine liturgy, being from and for the King of kings and Lord of lords, cannot be democratized without ceasing to exist. It must remain monarchical and aristocratic in order to remain divine liturgy, as opposed to a self-derived human patriotism.

If you are that fortunate person who has a robustly developed life of faith, whether from a Protestant upbringing prior to your conversion, or frequent attendance at adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, or a constant and childlike Marian devotion, you bring all of this fullness with you when you attend the Novus Ordo, and you fill the relative emptiness of the liturgical form with that fullness. In this case, your fullness (so to speak) meets Christ’s fullness in the Eucharist, and there is a meeting of minds and a marriage of souls. This, it seems to me, could be what is happening with those aforementioned religious communities that are flourishing in spite of the defects of the Novus Ordo as a lex orandi, in its anthropological assumptions, theological content, and aesthetic form.

With the traditional Mass, it is different. It produces an awareness of the interior life that is the first step to a more profound interior conversion. It contains ample Eucharistic adoration within it, and so, it feeds this hunger of the soul and intensifies it to the point that it overflows beyond the confines of the liturgy. Its spirituality is Marian through and through, so it tends to lead souls to Our Lady, who is waiting for them there. In every way, this Mass is actively calling into being a mind for worship and a heart for prayer; it carves out a space in the soul to fill it full of Christ. It does not presuppose that you are at that point, but pulls and draws you there, due to its confident possession of the truth about God and man. It is not leaning on you to supply it with force or relevance; it is not waiting for you to be the active party. It is inherently full and ready to act upon you, to supply you with your meaning. And paradoxically, it does all this through not being focused on you, your problems, your potentialities. It works because it is so resolutely and bafflingly focused on the Lord.

There is an irony here, inasmuch as the didacticism of the Novus Ordo seems to be aimed at explaining and eliciting certain acts of religion, while the usus antiquior seems to take for granted that one knows what to do. But in reality, the new rite’s didacticism interferes with the free exercise of these acts of religion, and the usus antiquior‘s “indifference” to the attendees more subtly challenges them to build new interior habits proportioned to the earnestness and intensity of the liturgical action. By attempting to provide for the worshiper everything he “needs,” the modern rite fails to provide the one thing needful: an unmistakeable sense of encounter with the ineffable mystery of God, whom no words of ours can encompass, whom no actions of ours can domesticate. The usus antiquior knows better, and therefore strives to do both less and more — less, by not leading children by the apron strings of a school teacher; more, in terms of calling into being new ascetical-mystical capacities that depend radically on a fixed and dense “regimen” of prayer, chant, and bodily gestures. “I have run the way of thy commandments, when thou didst enlarge my heart” (Ps 118:32). In this domain, the old rite shows us that (if we may paraphrase a contemporary author) space is greater than time. Having a capacious and symbolically dense space within which to “play” is of greater benefit, in the long run, than spending an hour doing verbal exercises in the confines of a modern classroom.

These differences, which play out in ways both subtle and obvious, cannot fail to have an impact on priestly and religious vocations and on the manner in which various communities understand their relationship to worship and contemplation.

I’m scared shit!

The ideological “Left” was utterly brilliant in its conquest of educational institutions in Europe and these United States.  I give you here the future of America…

They can’t even utter a rational statement about the most obvious…    You can see them shutting their minds down (almost uncomfortably) in order to spurt out the “correct-speech”!

I’m truly frightened!

Allan Gillis thanks the Family Policy Institute of Washington

Found a tidbit…

Mrs. Gillis often begins our evening “touching base” conversations while we prepare dinner by asking if I have any “tidbits”…

I found this as I stopped by the Creative Minority Report blog.  Touching again upon an issue that I’ve addressed recently on this blog.

Texas School Beats ADHD by Tripling Recess Time

This is from 2017 but I just saw it so as they say…it’s news to me. And it’s good news. And I hope more schools take notice. This is a pet peeve of mine. I see this all the time. A boy gets in trouble at school and what’s the first thing the teacher or principal takes away from him or her (usually him)? Recess. I always say that the school essentially just guaranteed that child’s behavior to get worse. Kids need breaks. They need to run around, especially boys.

Returntonow:

While most school districts across the country are cutting back on recess time and ramping up the Ritalin, one Texas school has kindergartners and first graders sitting still and “incredibly attentive.”

What’s their secret? Their recess time has tripled.

Instead of 20 minutes of recess per day, Eagle Mountain Elementary kindergartners and first graders now get an hour, broken up into four 15-minute breaks, in addition to lunchtime.
Their teachers say it’s totally transformed them.
The kids are less fidgety, less distracted, more engaged in learning and make more eye contact.
Eagle Mountain is one of dozens of schools in Texas, Oklahoma and California testing out extra recess time as part of a three-year trial. The pilot program is modeled after the Finnish school system, whose students get some of the best scores in the world in reading, math and science.
The designer of the program — called LiiNK — is kinesiologist Debbie Rhea of Texas Christian University. Rhea spent 6 weeks in Finland in 2012 to discover the secret of their success.

The biggest difference Rhea noticed was that students in Finland get much more recess than American kids do — 15 minutes of “unstructured outdoor play” after every 45 minutes of instruction.
They key is the “unstructured,” Rhea told TODAY, which means kids are allowed to run, play and make up their own games.
While indoor breaks are better than none, Rhea says they should ideally take place outdoors because fresh air, natural light and vivid colors all have a big impact on brain function.

Some of the teachers at Eagle Mountain say they were nervous about how they would keep the kids on track academically with all the lost classroom time. But halfway through the first year of the program first-grade teacher Cathy Wells told NPR her kids “were way ahead of schedule.”

Wells said she’s spending a lot less time sharpening pencils these days.

“You know why I was sharpening them? Because they were grinding on them, they were breaking them, they were chewing on them. They’re not doing that now. They’re actually using their pencils for the way that they were designed — to write things!”
“If you want a child to be attentive and stay on task — if you want them to encode the information you’re giving them in their memory — you’ve got to give them regular breaks,” says Ohio State University pediatrician Bob Murray.

There’s a reason so many boys are on Ritalin. It’s because teachers (most of whom are female) set an expectation that boys should act the same as girls. They’re essentially setting up two groups -girls and broken girls.

It’s not fair and it’s why so many boys do so poorly in school.

Brought to you by Allan Gillis

Found this gem at Imprimis

Brought to you by Allan Gillis

MacDonald is right on here!

The Negative Impact of the #MeToo Movement

Heather Mac Donald
Manhattan Institute

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She earned a B.A. from Yale University, an M.A. in English from Cambridge University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She writes for several newspapers and periodicals, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Criterion, and Public Interest, and is the author of four books, including The War on Cops: How The New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe and The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture (forthcoming September 2018).

The following is adapted from a speech delivered at Hillsdale College on April 18, 2018, during a two-week teaching residency at Hillsdale as a Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Journalism.

Our nation is about to be transformed, thanks to the #MeToo movement. I am not speaking about a cessation of sexual predation in the workplace. If that were the only consequence of #MeToo, the movement would clearly be a force for good. Unfortunately, its effects are going to be more sweeping and destructive. #MeToo is going to unleash a new torrent of gender and race quotas throughout the economy and culture, on the theory that all disparities in employment and institutional representation are due to harassment and bias. The resulting distortions of decision-making will be largely invisible; we will usually not know of the superior candidates for a job who were passed over in the drive for gender parity. But the net consequence will be a loss of American competitiveness and scientific achievement.

Pressures for so-called diversity, defined reductively by gonads and melanin, are of course nothing new. Since the 1990s, every mainstream institution has lived in terror of three lethal words: “all white male,” an epithet capable of producing paroxysms of self-abasement. Silicon Valley start-ups and science labs quake before the charge of being all or mostly male; their varied ethnic demographics earn them no protection from the diversity racket. The New York Times recently criticized the board of fashion giant H&M for being “entirely white.” We can therefore infer that there are females on the H&M board, or else the Times would have let loose with the bigger gun: “all white male.” When both categories of alleged privilege—white and male—overlap, an activist is in the diversity sweet spot, his power over an institution at its zenith.

But however pervasive the diversity imperative was before, the #MeToo movement is going to make the previous three decades look like a golden age of meritocracy. No mainstream institution will hire, promote, or compensate without an exquisite calculation of gender and race ratios. Males in general, and white males in particular, will have to clear a very high bar in order to justify further deferring that halcyon moment of gender equity.

Hollywood and the media are already showing the #MeToo effect. At this year’s Oscar awards lunch, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, John Bailey, prefaced his remarks by noting that he was a “75-year-old white man.” Bailey was trying to get out ahead of the curve, since if he hadn’t pointed out this shameful status, feminist crusaders in the press and the industry would have done so for him. Witness actress Natalie Portman’s sneer in presenting the best director prize at the 2018 Golden Globe awards: “And here are the all-male nominees.” Such shallow bean counting is now going to become the automatic response to any perceived lack of “diversity” in entertainment.

Naturally, Bailey announced reparations for the Academy’s predominantly white male profile: henceforth it would “balance gender, race, ethnicity, and religion” in all its activities and would double its female and minority members by 2020. Needless to say, this was not enough. Outside the lunch, the National Hispanic Media Coalition protested the lack of proportional ethnic representation in Oscar nominations and acting roles.

CBS is considering only females to fill the anchor slot at Face the Nation, to catch up with The Today Show, which now has two female anchors. The Recording Academy, which oversees the Grammys, has promised to overcome the “unconscious biases that impede female advancement” in the music industry, after bean-counting complaints from The Wall Street Journal’s pop music critic and female music executives.

The prospect of left-wing entertainment moguls having to sacrifice their box office judgment to identity politics is an unalloyed pleasure, and of little consequence to society at large. But quota-izing will hardly be limited to Hollywood.

Major publishing houses are analyzing their author lists by gender and race and making publishing decisions accordingly. What books get reviewed and who reviews them will increasingly be determined according to gender and race. There are likely no major newspapers that are not tallying reporter and op-ed bylines, as well as the topics they cover, by gender and race. In 2005, professional feminist Susan Estrich preposterously accused Michael Kinsley, then running the Los Angeles Times editorial pages, of excluding female writers. Naturally, Estrich ignored the fact that males are disproportionately interested in public affairs, as demonstrated by lopsided sex ratios among op-ed submissions and letters to the editor. Eighty-seven percent of contributors to Wikipedia are male. There are no allegedly sexist gatekeepers at Wikipedia screening out females; contributions are anonymous and open to all. But males are more oriented towards highly fact-based realms.

Now, however, sterile bean-counting exercises such as Estrich’s have gone in-house. In response to the #MeToo movement, The New York Times created a “gender editor” who presides over a “gender initiative” to infuse questions of gender throughout all the Times’ coverage. A recent front-page product of this #MeToo initiative covered the earth-shattering problem facing NFL cheerleaders: to wit, they have a dress code and are forbidden from fraternizing with the players. Despite these allegedly patriarchal conditions, females are still lining up to be hired, to the puzzlement of the Times.

Publisher Meredith Corp. has come in for the usual criticism after buying the floundering Time, Inc. late last year. “They’re basically all middle-aged white males from the Midwest,” grumbled a Time staffer, who, you would think, would be in no position to complain. Dow Jones, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, is offering leadership training exclusively to females to try to meet its short-term goal of 40 percent female executives.

Corporate boardrooms, executive suites, and management structures are going to be scoured for gender and race imbalances. Diversity trainers are already sensing a windfall from #MeToo. Gender, diversity, and inclusion were the dominant themes at this January’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The conference was chaired exclusively by women. Windows were emblazoned with slogans like “Diversity is good for business” and “Gender equality is a social and economic issue.” CEOs shared their techniques for achieving gender equity. It’s actually quite simple: pay managers based on their record of hiring and promoting females and minorities, as Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta explained. Never mind the fact that by introducing irrelevant criteria such as race and gender into an evaluation process, you will inevitably end up with less qualified employees.

U.S. banks and financial institutions are facing pressure from shareholder groups to release data on the number and compensation of females and minorities in their upper ranks. Immediate punishment befalls anyone in business who has the courage to criticize this war on merit. The chief creative officer of the advertising firm M&C Saatchi wrote last year that he was “bored of diversity being prioritized over talent.” Saatchi atoned for this heresy with a frenzy of female hirings and promotions.

Amazingly, John Williams—a white man—squeaked into the presidency of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York this April, to the outrage of the diversocrats. Don’t be surprised if he is the last to do so. “The New York Fed has never been led by a woman or a person of color, and that needs to change,” announced New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Williams’ “progress,” as The New York Times called it, in “diversifying” senior leadership when he was president of the San Francisco Fed undoubtedly made his unfortunate race and sex more palatable to the search committee.

#MeToo enforcers are even going after classical music. New Yorker music critic Alex Ross triggered outrage against the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra in February when he tweeted that they had programmed no female composers in their 2018-2019 seasons. Never mind that the CSO was even then performing Jennifer Higdon’s Low Brass Concerto—a piece commissioned by the Chicago, Philadelphia, and Baltimore orchestras—at Carnegie Hall. It is ludicrous to suggest that these institutions are discriminating against female composers, but Ross and his followers demand affirmative programming quotas.

The public radio show, Performance Today, ran a series of shows in March about gender and racial inequities in classical music. At a time of diminishing classical music audiences, it is profoundly irresponsible to direct the poison of identity politics at our most precious musical institutions. Doing so only encourages potential young listeners and culturally ignorant philanthropists (I’m thinking of you, Bill Gates) to stay away. Facts are facts, and throughout most of music history, the greatest composers have been male. No amount of digging through score archives, however useful that enterprise may be for discovering unfamiliar works, is going to unearth a female counterpart to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, or Brahms. So what? We should simply be grateful—profoundly grateful—for the music these men created.

Orchestra boards will pay penance for their own inadequate diversity by a mad rush on female conductors, whose numbers are minuscule. It was already difficult two years ago to land a U.S. conducting position for a universally esteemed white male conductor, reports his agent. Now it would be nearly impossible, the agent believes, adding: “If I had a trans conductor, I would be rich.”

Academia, the source of identity politics, will double down on its diversity quota-izing in the wake of #MeToo. A panel at the annual American Economic Association meeting in January charged that gender discrimination was pervasive in economics—an argument that fit into the “larger national examination of bias and abuse toward women in the work force,” The New York Times reminded readers. In March, the Chronicle of Higher Education and Priya Satia, former diversity chair of Stanford University’s Department of History, went into diversity meltdown over a history conference that Hoover Institution Fellow Niall Ferguson had organized. Though Ferguson had invited females to speak, none had accepted. Not good enough, according to Professor Satia. Ferguson should have suspended the conference entirely unless he could persuade females and minorities to participate. Although Satia did not identify any scholarly gaps that resulted from the actual lineup, Stanford University was so shaken by the controversy that it issued a statement on behalf of the president and provost assuring the public that it had made its concerns about the lack of diversity known to the conference organizers.

STEM departments—departments of science, technology, engineering, and math—have been under enormous pressure from the federal government to hire by gender and race. Now they are creating their own internal diversity enforcers, notwithstanding the massive diversity bureaucracies already in place. UCLA’s Engineering Department now has its own diversity dean. Audrey Pool O’Neal, the director of UCLA’s Women in Engineering program, justified this sinecure with the usual role model argument for gender- and race-conscious decision-making. “Female students let me know how much they appreciate seeing a woman of color in front of their classroom,” she told the UCLA student newspaper.

Why not appreciate seeing the most qualified scholar in front of your classroom? Any female student who thinks she needs a female professor in order to envision a scientific career has declared herself a follower rather than a pioneer—and a follower based on a characteristic that is irrelevant to intellectual achievement. Marie Curie did not need female role models to investigate radioactivity. She was motivated by a passion to understand the world. That should be reason enough for anyone to plunge headlong into the search for knowledge.

Silicon Valley is a #MeToo diversity bonanza waiting to happen. It’s not for nothing that the Mountain View headquarters of Google is referred to as the “Google campus”; the culture of the Silicon Valley behemoth is an echo chamber of shrill academic victimology. Managers and employees reflexively label dissenters from left-wing orthodoxy as misogynists and racists. It is assumed that the lack of proportional representation of female, black, and Hispanic engineers at the company is due to bias on the part of every other type of engineer.

In August 2017, Google fired computer engineer James Damore for writing a memo suggesting that the lack of 50-50 gender proportionality at Google and other tech firms may not be due to bias, but rather to different career predilections on the part of males and females. He cited psychological research establishing that on average, males and females are attracted to different types of work: males to more abstract, idea-centered work, females to more human-centered, relational activities. Damore was not disparaging the scientific skills of the female engineers working at Google; he was trying to explain why there were not more of them. Nevertheless, Google accused Damore of using harmful gender stereotypes that put Google’s female employees at risk of some unspecified trauma.

Google’s adoption of the bathetic rhetoric of academic victimology to justify firing Damore was bad enough. But in January 2018, the National Labor Relations Board released a memo upholding Google’s action on the same grounds: Damore had engaged in discrimination and sexual harassment by employing “harmful gender stereotypes.” The reasoning behind the NLRB memo puts at risk the job of every academic scientist researching the biological and psychological differences between the sexes. The ideological imperatives of feminism are trumping the search for scientific truth. This is a dangerous position for a society to embrace.

The following month, a Google recruiter challenged Silicon Valley’s quota mentality by refusing to obey an edict to purge white males from consideration for entry-level engineering interviews. The recruiter alleges in a lawsuit that he was promptly fired. Google, it seems, would rather not be informed about potentially groundbreaking tech talent if it comes in the wrong color and shape.

Such distortions of meritocracy will become even more intense following #MeToo. The mad rush of investor funding into the biotech fraudster firm Theranos was undoubtedly due in large part to the sex of its founder. Elizabeth Holmes claimed to have invented an advanced blood-testing device. Even as her claims about the largely fictitious device unraveled, investors continued to give her unqualified support. Her blue chip board boasted two former secretaries of state and James Mattis, then head of the U.S. Central Command and now Secretary of Defense. Hilariously, the #MeToo-obsessed New York Times opined that it was “surprising” how long Holmes was allowed to operate “before regulators stepped in.” Actually, what is surprising is that they stepped in at all, given the dominant narrative that the dearth of female start-ups is due to sexism on the part of venture capitalists and regulators.

Despite the billions of dollars that governments, companies, and foundations have poured into increasing the number of females in STEM, the gender proportions of the hard sciences have not changed much over the years. This is not surprising, given mounting evidence of the differences in interests and aptitudes between the sexes. Study after study has shown that females gravitate towards different types of jobs than men, as James Damore fatally observed. Females on average tend to choose fields that are perceived to make the world a better place, according to the common understanding of that phrase. A preschool teacher in the Bronx, profiled by Bloomberg News, exemplifies such a choice. She has a B.A. in neuroscience, but opted not to go to medical school so as to have an impact on poor and minority children. Her salary is a pittance compared to what she could earn as a clinical or research neurologist, but she said that pay is not her top motivation when it comes to choosing a job.

Even under the broad STEM umbrella, females seek jobs that are seen as directly helping others by a two-to-one ratio over males. Females make up 75 percent of workers in health-related jobs, but only 25 percent of workers in computer jobs and 14 percent of engineering workers, according to a Pew Research Center poll. In 2016, nearly 82 percent of obstetrics and gynecology residents were female—yet no one is complaining about gender bias against males. And in a resounding blow to the feminist narrative about bias in STEM, it turns out that the more gender equality in a country, the lower the percentage of females in STEM majors and fields. The more careers open to females, the less likely they are to choose math or science.

Finally, there is the most taboo subject of all: the non-identical distribution of high-end math skills. Males outnumber females on both the bottom rung of math cluelessness and the top rung of math insight. In the U.S., there are 2.5 males in the top .01 percent of math ability for every female in that category. This is not a matter of gender bias and cultural conditioning; gender differences in math precocity show up as early as kindergarten.

Given these different distributions of interests and skills, the only way to engineer gender proportionality in the hard sciences is to put a ceiling on male hires, no matter how gifted, until enough females can be induced to enter the field to balance out the males. And indeed, the National Science Foundation, which has announced that progress in science requires a “diverse STEM workforce,” seems to be moving in that direction. This is undoubtedly good news for China, as it furiously pushes ahead with its unapologetically meritocratic system of science training and research. Not such good news for the rest of us, however.

The #MeToo movement has uncovered real abuses of power. But the solution to those abuses is not to replace valid measures of achievement with irrelevancies like gender and race. Ironically, the best solution to sexual predation is not more feminism, but less. By denying the differences between men and women, and by ridiculing the manly virtues of gentlemanliness and chivalry and the female virtues of modesty and prudence, feminism dissolved the civilizational restraints on the male libido. The boorish behavior that pervades society today would have been unthinkable in the past, when a traditional understanding of sexual propriety prevailed. Now, however, with the idea of “ladies and gentlemen” discredited and out of favor, boorishness is increasingly the rule.

Contrary to the feminist narrative, Western culture is in fact the least patriarchal culture in human history; rather than being forced to veil, females in our society can parade themselves in as scantily clad a manner as they choose; pop culture stars flaunt their promiscuity. As we have seen, every mainstream institution is trying to hire and promote as many females as possible. As the #MeToo movement swells the demand for ever more draconian diversity mandates, a finding in a Pew Research Center poll on workplace equity is worth noting: the perception of bias is directly proportional to the number of years the perceiver has spent in an American university. The persistent claim of gender bias, in other words, is ideological, not empirical. But after #MeToo, it will have an even more disruptive effect.

  • Imprimis is a regular  publication of Hillsdale College – good folks!

Social Media: Part 1

It has been a while since I published on this blog. I stayed away because I strongly objected to some of the content and statements made by my fellow contributors. My disagreement to some of these posts has not changed, but I see the opportunity to examine this tiny internet blog in relation to the greater social media environment.

My utter lack of phycological training is obvious, but my life experience makes me believe that people do and say things that bring them some kind of reward within the society they inhabit. Once they learn the rules, most people quickly figure out how to succeed and make choices to bring them success. The rules drive behavior which also means that dysfunctional rules tend to drive dysfunctional behavior.

The internet is a wealth of information and a very powerful tool, but the society and reward systems that have emerged through social media create a distinct set of problems. People who participate in social media are accepting a set of rules which measure their worth with views, likes and shares. We are led to believe that smart, interesting and creative people get a lot of them and low achievers, not so much.

Once immersed in this manufactured, online, middle school, it doesn’t take long to recognize that attention is lavished along the lines of cuteness, comedy and conflict. The cuteness section is dominated by puppies, kittens and other small animals doing adorable things. The comedy section falls along the lines of visual slapstick while conflict is about choosing sides and dominating the conversation. Being successful in the first two areas of cuteness and comedy require a certain degree of talent and luck, but the area of conflict is universal and much easier to master.

What makes it so easy to dive into conflict on social media is the firewall that allows us a certain amount of anonymity and separation from those we choose to engage with. This separation encourages a level of meanness and vitriol that we would never use in person. In fact, increasing the level of attacks brings a higher likelihood of reward through increased views, and shares. It encourages conflict as entertainment without the hinderance of having to recognize our targets as people. This behavior did not start with the internet, but social media seems to have all the attributes required to rev it up into high gear. We can say almost anything without real, negative consequences and increase the likelihood of our popularity with “like-minded” social media followers. We are rewarded for being assholes.

This brings us to the rise of the social media troll. This is the person who intentionally publishes inflammatory posts and comments with the intent of increasing getting someone to engage with them. These posts are focused on aggravating others and increasing negative responses. This is the point where “likes” are not as valuable as “views”. The troll wants to elicit a response, and it does not matter if the response is positive or negative.  For trolls, getting increased views is their crack cocaine. Over time, they have to come up with more outrageous postings to entice responses from their increasingly immune audience. It’s an addiction.

Since the beginning of social media, hackers, marketing firms and dodgy consulting companies found ways to prey on our gullibility and quest for social media recognition through the collection of more and more of our personal data. Facebook became the star of data appropriation scams through traps like online personality polls, and “like the puppy” trackers. Eventually, our data was used by paid trolls to increase conflict and confusion through fake postings and sites. It turns out we were (and continue to be) an easy mark.

By now any reader has figured out that I am disappointed with the promise of social media, but now that we understand the rules and behaviors they drive, we have an opportunity to make a change.  Part 2 will start to look at how we can do this.

Communing with history

By Augustinus

This past week I took my ten year old daughter (who has an insatiable love of all things historical) to the national Archives in DC, Mount Vernon, Monticello, the Civil War Museum and Confederate White House in Richmond VA and the Valentine House down the street from the confederate White House. At the national archives we studied the actual original Declaration of Independence, the emancipation proclamation, the Bill of Rights and the magna carta. My daughter would ask questions like “Did King john actually touch that seal of office attached to the document?  Did Thomas Jefferson actually write every line on this document? Who was John Carroll?….” She LOVES history just like her Dad! At Mount Vernon we actually ran into Vice President Mike Pence who happened to be having a meeting there that day! We have pics of him just 3 feet away from us! I told her that I admire Pence but she had heard negative things about him from liberal feminist fanatics (her teachers) who object to his rule of never meeting with a unfamiliar women alone. Most of the sane world actually admires Pence for his very wise rule–especially given the moral panic let loose on the world after the Weinstein scandal. When my daughter and I toured Monticello and entered a room with a small bed in an alcove the guide told us that that is the actual bed that Jefferson died in. My daughter’s eyes filled with excitement and tears. Jefferson died just hours apart from his friend John Adams both of whom were original signers of the declaration. They were also (2nd and third) presidents of the country they gave birth to. They each died 50 years to the day after they composed and signed that declaration of independence. My daughter said that I was just like Jefferson in that I “could not live without books”! In Richmond the civil war museum contained the still blood stained flags of the rebel regiments that fought in all those famous battles. We say the tent and cot and  that Robert E Lee slept in for most of the war as well as his simple military and travel kit. My favorite was examining the military kit and the sword and the saddle of J.E.B Stuart one of my heroes! My daughter was amazed at the Jefferson Davis office in the White House. She asked excitedly “Is this where he would meet with Robert E lee and Stonewall Jackson and JEB Stuart and all the rest? They sat right there around that table right??” and I and the tour guide answered yes and we could all almost see the great men sitting around the table …each with a pipe and a whiskey, somber faces looking for a way to defeat the relentless 100,000 strong mechanized armies from the north bent on destruction….I told my daughter afterwards that both the civil war museum and the confederate white house will soon be shut down by the fanatical social justice warriors who are unable to entertain views and world views different from their own. That is why THEY will never appreciate history like my daughter does.

The bankruptcy of the Christian intellectual II

By Augustinus

I just read Ralph Wood’s 2011 study of G.K. Chesterton’s life and work called “Chesterton: The nightmare goodness of God”. Ralph Wood is University Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University. His book on Chesterton was endorsed by several people whom I have read and respect including David Bentley Hart, Dale Ahlquist, Joseph Pearce and Fergus Kerr.  In the book Wood praises Chesterton for his great work on behalf of the church but then also seeks to criticize the great man on several points. One such was Chesterton’s great poem on Lepanto: the great naval battle of a European coalition against the Ottoman Turks. Wood criticizes Chesterton because the great man celebrated the bloody victory of the west over the barbaric Islamist fanatics too enthusiastically for Wood’s tastes. For Wood apparently, Christianity is mainly about peace and love and not denigrating other religions like Chesterton does in his magnificent, celebratory, epic poem Lepanto. Wood spends a lot of pages in his book trying to argue that Chesterton really wasn’t the kind of guy who celebrated bloody victories over heretic foes but Chesterton WAS that kind of guy. Believe or not the Church has always produced militant foes of heresy and that is precisely the kind of man the church needs today; unapologetic defenders of the Truth.

Fish DO need bicycles, despite International Women’s History Month!

By Allan Gillis

I have a daughter.  I raised her to be independent, intellectually curious, physically capable, spiritually sensitive and humble towards God.

As a father I communicated my expectations of excellence of mind, body and character.  I always did and continue to wish for the very best for my daughter.

She is today a very, very capable wife, mother of two well-adjusted and fine boys and she is a college-educated homeowner selling real estate on Boston’s south shore.  She and her husband are still in love and work together like a well-oiled machine as they raise my grandsons.

I raised my daughter in a rather old-fashioned way as well…    her mom stayed at home until my daughter went full day to school.  My daughter ALSO decided to be a “stay-at-home-mom”.  She CHOSE to do exactly and to give exactly as she had received.   The gift of motherhood.

I just endured another February wherein a certain race of human beings were lifted, praised, remembered and coddled all over the entire cultural plain; media spilled all over itself to remind us that it was Black History Month.   Try to imagine the shit thrown on someone who dared to call for a White History Month!   EEeeeeeee!    ( I don’t have the courage presently!)

Now we must endure 30 days or so of International Women’s History Month (the Google homepage never fails to give me a bit of indigestion with their daily selection of some unheard-of, obscure hero of the far left, hero of some oppressed group somewhere either in the Third World of “poor Amerika”  –  never a white man with an expressed Judeo-Christian ethic. – but, I digress!)

I am often reminded by the lovely and gracious Mrs. Gillis of my playful suggestion of a future novel that I should write…   titled: “Men in Cages”.  I started ranting back in the early 90’s about the dangers I saw for the fellow members of my sex. ( I HATE the word “gender” these days – overused!)  The basis of my futuristic novel would feature a society where “males” would be caged and or farmed and would be raised only for their sperm.  Milked like cattle through a mechanical process while being passively medicated and fed minimally to sustain them for the only product deemed necessary…  their sperm.   Men are bad.   Women are good.

God created them male and female.  I never bought any theory that little boys should be medicated for exhibiting big-muscle movement and temperamentally-male behavior as the female dominated “educator class” termed the sickness; ADD or ADHD.  Adderall and Ritalin laced daily dosages to suppress “maleness” are Satanic.  Gender theory/studies are Satanic. Any ideology that works to separate men’s need of women and women’s need of men is profoundly Satanic.  Feminism is Satanic in as far as it strives to de-construct the natural realm of and the Divine beauty of the differences between the sexes.

By the way…         The Divine, God and Creator…   is a male.      For the rabid feminist…   God is FATHER.     THAT truth really sticks in their craw!

PLEASE take a moment or two and watch this  short video by Tucker Carlson…  I  find this topic very, very frightening.  Don’t YOU?

 

 

Four conversations on science and religion

by Augustinus

 

My call to science, I am sure, came to me when I was just a boy. My heart and interests lay more in the realm of the stars, the forests, the mountains, the ocean, the rocks and fields of my youth than in the human realm around me. My earliest memory is of me at about 4 or 5 years coming out of a building situated at the top of one of the highest hills in Fitchburg, MA (my hometown) holding the hand of my mother and looking up to see first, my breath condensed into very fine white particles of ice, (for it was coldest winter) and then, as my breath cleared, spread out all around and above me, a vast plenitude of stars which covered the whole night sky in such  profligate beauty that I was left breathless with amazement. They seemed to billow out of the nothingness into a glorious and ravishing display of mystery. It was my first glimpse of the unimaginable number and excess of wonders which pour ceaselessly into the abundance of the world around me, the things that I was later to discover science was dedicated to cataloging, appreciating and understanding. That vision has never entirely left me and it has fueled a long term commitment to the scientific study of the natural world and its mysteries.

I spent the rest of my childhood sitting on the rooftops of the houses we lived in and peering at the night sky through the primitive telescopes my family obtained for me, and dreaming of one day getting closer to those celestial objects. In my teenage years however, my interests turned inward. Stilled awed by the cosmos and the science that could unlock its mysteries, I now felt a more pressing need to grasp something of the meaning of that vast cosmos and my place in it.  Not finding any answers in my astronomy books I turned to religion and philosophy.

I have always been both attracted to, and repulsed by the religious realm. I am attracted to religion because of its ability to produce saints, cultures, and communities, but I am repulsed by its addiction to groupthink, sanctimony, arbitrary moral codes, superstitious thinking, infantilization of its adherents, its “mercy” posturing, its out-group stigmatizations, and its fueling of violent conflicts all over the world. But when I was a teenager I was just looking for answers and religion seemed to promise something more than a vast and indifferent cosmos.

I soon was introduced to my family’s parish priest. He was a burly, chain smoking, wily intellectual guy, with wispy hair, black bushy eyebrows and eyes that lit up whenever he was allowed to speak of the virtues and gifts of others. He was the first person that I met with whom I could have a serious and extended conversation about the role of science and religion in my life and in the world at large. Fr Gothing lived to talk and he could talk about anything including science, philosophy, politics, history, and, of course God. For Gothing there was no conflict between science and religion. He often told me that any faith that could not be intellectually challenged is mere superstition and not genuine faith. Faith had to be rooted in truth and we reach truth through reason and through love. He insisted that revelation was consistent with reason, but a form of reason that was itself rooted in the whole man, heart, mind and soul. Science was a vocation– a call from God who demands you answer that call by developing your intellectual talents to the full. “You follow science” Gothing claimed, “and it will bring you to God”.

So it was a priest who first convinced me to answer that call to science I had experienced when just a kid. But religion in the meantime had ignited a kind of burning and insatiable thirst in me for its truths, as it demanded the whole of me; not just my intellect, heart or soul but all of me. That demand for total commitment was characteristic of both utterly destructive cults and whatever was best and beautiful in the human enterprise so I wanted to taste it. An indifferent or timid response to life seemed unthinkable to me-not after I had learned something of the staggering vastness and beauty of the cosmos and the equally perplexing mysteries of the people around me.  But how should one respond to the mystery exactly? With awe? Thanksgiving? Wonder? Puzzlement? Love? Gratitude? Resentment? Hatred? Terror? Inquiry? Any of these was better than indifference or timidity.

I chose sustained inquiry. I began to read more widely within the philosophies and cosmologies that religion offered. But the deeper I read the more absurdities I encountered and despite my thirst for religious truths my scientific commitments told me there were few to be found here. Throughout my college years I struggled intensely with these two passions of mine …science and religion-never fully reconciling them but often coming close to ditching religion altogether as the patently absurd option in my life.

Imagine my surprise then, when the next great conversation I had on science and religion was with an atheist who convinced me to continue my religious quest. This interlocutor was a famous mathematician who urged me to continue both my religious quest and my scientific work by combining the two. A scientific inquiry into religious phenomena would uncover its truths if any were to be found and expose its absurdities if they were really there. At the time I was a newly minted Ph.D. casting around for a set of topics to pursue that would not only interest me but would allow for a significant contribution from someone with the set of skills I had.

Mr Mathematician was a slender man, with wire-rim glasses and a hyper-rational style when speaking. He virtually never became emotional but always spoke calmly, logically and intimately, as if he only wanted you to hear what he was saying. He had a tremendous command of facts from contemporary history, politics, and philosophy.  If I challenged him on one of his claims in these areas he would pause, tip his head back and appear to do a search through his prodigious memory banks for the relevant information. Then, having completed the search would tip his head back down again, look at me and matter-of-factly say “No, I was correct.” He routinely quoted from memory whole paragraphs from historian’s monographs, newspaper articles and technical reports. During our meetings we would walk down Mass Ave in Cambridge then through Kendall square and over the salt and pepper bridge crossing the Charles River then up the river on the Boston side and back over the river via the Mass Ave bridge, talking incessantly all the way.

I once asked him “Do you believe in God?”  He replied “All of us only provisionally “believe” in anything. We have to rely on free unrestricted rational inquiry to get anywhere near the truth on anything and when we do build up a little knowledge here and there it is always only provisional knowledge, valid only until further inquiry verifies it or requires revision.” “Fair enough,” I replied. “It sounds like you recommend humility in pursuit of science and truth.” Nodding his head he said “Yeah, of course, given the mysteries we face.” “Is religion helpful in that project of unrestricted free enquiry?” I asked. Pausing and looking out over the Charles River he considered his words and then said:  “To the extent it protects people from arbitrary power, then yes but when it itself, which all too often happens, prevents free inquiry then it is just one more force promoting servility. Still, religion needs to be studied like every other human faculty. There is so much we do not know.”

He spoke of religion’s myriad incarnations down through history; from its bloody sacrificial monstrosities among the Aztecs, to its extravagant displays of sacrificial love among the catholic saints who defended the defenseless poor under attack from both right and left wing dictatorships in Latin America. Listening to his multidimensional take on religion, I began to see religion as a phantasmagoria of cultural excesses, a kind of generative cultural dynamo that was forever churning out rituals, pageantries, dogmas, gods, goddesses, dances, basilicas, temples, fanfares, taboos, silences and pilgrimages.

I began to see that religion’s claims, dogma’s and rituals are not merely negative or costly absurdities. Instead, they manifestly possess the power to send their adherents into everything from the most depraved lunacies up to the most sublime of contemplative states where one encounters the true, the good and the beautiful. Unlike democracy, religion isn’t interested in creating mere mediocrities. Instead it prefers monstrous sinners, grotesque impostors, febrile and apocalyptical madmen and extraordinary saints. How could I as a budding scientist not want to study that?

After my conversations with this extraordinary man, I began to use scientific techniques to study religion itself in hopes of either burying the religious option for myself once and for all, or of creating a kind of personal reconciliation between my scientific commitments and the burning need I felt to encounter God face to face.

After 20 years of investigation into religion I cannot report that I have come any closer to reconciling my religious quest with my scientific work. While I think it is fair to say that I have inched the natural understanding of religion a little further, I have concluded that all religions are ultimately dead ends. They can take you so far and then no further. I do not consider Roman Catholicism a religion as it contains ultimate truth and is not designed to confer mere gnosis on its adherents. It promises nothing less than salvation but that is a story for another time.

I recently have had a third conversation on science and religion with a man who is a professional religious philosopher …and who unlike most academics I meet these days has somehow managed to preserve a traditional religious outlook while simultaneously penning the most abstruse analytic tomes on the question of God and religious experience I have seen. He is a tall, bearded guy with a bald head, fierce eyes and an easy going and engaging demeanor. He’s a heavy pipe smoker, with yellowed teeth, and a speech style drenched in nicotinic-studded, multi-syllabic subordinate clauses.

I told him that I thought the most accurate description of the human religious scene was Borges’ “Library of Babel” wherein a group of mad librarians frantically attempt to find some pattern in the avalanche of randomly constructed texts in an otherwise infinite library that leads nowhere and goes nowhere.

“All you religious philosophers are doing is charting imagined patterns where none exist in the randomly arranged stacks of gibberish that surround us on all sides of the library.”

Whereupon he replied: “Recall, however that Borges’ library was generated by a simple combinatorial rule, the recombination of every possible mix of the 26 letter alphabet into books and thus any book that ever could be written with that alphabet was written and was stored in the library. So there is a book in that library that contains your entire life story, from beginning to end and every possible variation of that life story.”

I pounced: “But doesn’t that near infinite library with my life story all laid out in excruciating detail in trillions of books therefore rule out the possibility of any fundamental science or of a loving creator God? After all if a loving rational God exists why would he write out every possible outcome of my life beforehand? Do I really have free will if all of the possible actions that I will ever perform, all the good and all the evil I will ever do is already known and written out in minute detail in a set of books stored and ready to be read in a near infinite portion of the near infinite great Library of Babel?”

“No not in the least!” he replied. “Two facts about the library prove God’s existence and that He is a loving God. First, once again note that the library is generated by a very simple combinatorial rule and thus it is intrinsically knowable by organisms like us who have minds that can use reason. And second, note that we who are trapped or find ourselves within the library can discover that combinatorial rule and thus unlock the secrets of the library. I do not see in the library just seas of gibberish but there is also an infinite garden of delights waiting to be discovered. And don’t forget that within the library there is a book that tells the story of how you unlocked the secrets of your own heart and found indestructible peace. Why can’t we seek out those books that god has provided for us within the library”

“Well, for starters, (I replied somewhat impatiently) that good and gracious God of yours buried those wonderful books within a near infinite sea of books of horror, gibberish, rubbish and misery so that the good books are near impossible for us to find or access. And even if we could find them how does the existence of these books outweigh the existence of all of the books where my life story is drenched in suffering, evil, misery and horror?”

“That is a question whose final answer will only be revealed when God brings an end to the world and library itself. But reason suggests that the two (the good and the bad books) cancel one another out and we are left with what is; reality, which is neither wholly good nor wholly evil, but is definitely not just another book in the library and therein lies a clue to the meaning of the library itself.”

Unconvinced by these arguments, I changed the subject and asked him point blank: “How do you do it? How do you reconcile your faith in God with reason and science?” Then he replied:

“You have to do it personally. You have to verify for yourself, personally that God is a reality, a personal, living being.”

But how? I cried. “By inviting Him in. You have to ask him into relationship with you. He will not appear without your invitation.” When I replied that I had tried that before and experienced nothing, he pulled reflectively on his pipe, blowed out a few rings of aromatic smoke and replied “Well try again. Don’t give up! A good scientist chases the truth. He does not give up.”

“Look”, he said “religion and certainly God, cannot be grasped by the mind alone, unless we enlarge our conception of what is meant by the term: “mind”. We need an enlarged conception of reason and of science if we are going to grasp the world’s or even religion’s capacities for good and evil. We have to use that form of reason that can not only discover the combinatorial rule that generates the Library of Babel, but that can allow us to find the books that really matter for us. As numerous of my colleagues, the religious philosophers have pointed out, religion is a matter of the heart, as well as reason. This is not some sentimental appeal to emotion or a flight from reason or the scientific method. Rather it is giving reason or Mind—and religion their due.

You can verify for yourself whether reason involves neutral computations on inert clumps or matter or instead is a kind of discovery and valuation process. Think for a moment about what you have learned about the universe. Science reveals an enormously large universe and a potentially infinite set of large universes like the Library of Babel. We are inured to the wonder these facts should evoke in us. Our world is just a little speck of dust when considered from the point of view of space-say, a satellite orbiting the earth. An astronaut circling the earth, cannot see any people down there on the earth. Alls he or she sees are oceans and continents. But, the earth itself, of course is just a speck of dust from the point of view of the boundaries of the solar system. Even the sun, only 8 minutes (in light years) away from the earth dwarfs the earth into nothingness. But the sun itself is just a speck of dust from the point of view of the boundaries of our local sector of our galaxy. But our sector of the galaxy is very, very small compared to the size of the galaxy itself. And how noticeable am I from the point of view of the galaxy itself? But wait again, our galaxy is just a speck of dust from the point of view of another galaxy or cluster of galaxies perhaps thousands of light years away. But there is a real possibility that this gigantic universe, (that contains me as only a speck of dust, on a speck of dust-so small that I am vanishingly small) may be only one of a huge number of such universes!

Size is one thing, essence is another. I am truly just a speck of dust-at least in terms of size. But what about my essence? The fact that I can stand apart from this gigantic universe, from this massive Library of Babel and evaluate it objectively, suggests that my essence, my reason is a powerful faculty not reducible to the Library, the universe or its constituents. If my reason or consciousness can stand outside the entire cosmos and evaluate its size and composition both morally and scientifically, then Reason or Mind cannot be a purely mechanical process. Instead it can judge whether it itself is a mechanical process. It can stand apart from “it”, observe it, evaluate it and then judge whether “it” is the same or different from some other “it”—therefore it cannot be reduced to “it”.   Mind can also judge the value of things in the cosmos and whether or not they are good. In that sense it stands in judgment of the cosmos—this small puny human speck of dust can condemn the universe as worthless if he wishes. He can reject as gibberish any book found in the great library and this rejection in favor of meaning will matter infinitely for him and his loved ones. Finally reason or mind can reflect on itself; it is (uncannily) aware that it is aware. Thus, science and reason must involve passion, heart, valuation and judgment-not mere tabulation, cataloging, computation or contemplation. When we approach the world, the Library or even religion and science with this enlarged conception of reason what do we find?  We find a universe composed not merely of randomly arranged shelves of gibberish, but of “persons” as well. We find those disembodied (and fully embodied!) agents that the naturalists despise but that the religions universally celebrate. Persons can evaluate any given portion of the library as meaningful or as gibberish and therefore they are different from any possible book that can appear in the library.”

I grew impatient with his claims and tried to steer the conversation back to my personal religion and science concerns. “OK, I am different from any book that has been written about me and that is contained in the library….but how does this information get me any closer to God?”

He replied “Only you and God can answer that and when you invite God in he will actually show up.”

“And if and when he shows up what then? I asked sarcastically.” “Then…he’ll answer you… everything will seem the same but be different. Listen to Pascal’s first encounter with God (At this point he set aside his pipe and pulled out of his wallet a scrap of paper that he apparently carried around with him): “…joy…silent, quiet, deep, indestructible, searing and exultant, joy and happiness…he felt his heart blazing up within him…he felt the Lord there with him, the sacred one whose heart too was blazing- the two of them silent with eyes of fire and peace and beatitude. He leapt up and ran out into the street with prayer on his lips and with gratitude in his heart. Yes he had seen it now and nothing would ever be the same.”

“Sounds like gibberish to me…” I replied but thanked him for the conversation.

I am back in my hometown with my 6 year old daughter. I take her to see the old family house way up there on the hill. I show her where I played as a boy of 4-6 years old. Strangers living there now. We knock. No answer. We turn and walk into the darkness of the night and the frigid dark air. We breathe in and out the fresh cold air, she follows her breath as it drifts up and dissolves into the freezing night sky, and then she exclaims… “Papa look! She is pointing up into the night sky and with wonder in her voice says “Look at them Papa!” I just nod, smile and lift her up on my shoulders so she can drink in the beauty and mystery that awaits her.

 

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I’m baaaaack!

Just when you thought this blog was safe from the politically-incorrect incivility and bravado that characterized my blog entries and made you wince these past few years… I return!

I return as sick as ever about this culture.  How difficult it is to live life as a guy trying to take his Roman Catholicism seriously!  I’m attacked from both inside and outside the institution’s franchise that I live to support and help widen!  The Church’s leader and his like-minded apostatized henchmen, (or most are nearly-apostatized!) these “princes of the Church” call me and my fellow sojourners names, they ridicule us and thwart our efforts to live and worship in the true fashion concomitant with our ancient and blessed patrimony.  Sickening.

While I was engaged and otherwise distracted from this blog  –  as life often takes turns which can sometimes delay us from tasks, goals, and accomplishments – this culture seemed to vomit all over itself with this huge sex-scandal miasma.  Sickening.

Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor etcetera, etcetera.  Hmmm…  a very interesting thought just spawned here…how many of these guys are media-pig liberal Jews?    Ooops!    NOT supposed to say stuff like that Allan!  My bad!  (I just rapped myself on the wrist)

Media-pigs are those who feed at the filthy profit-trough of TV, film , radio and/or printed media where the shit-strewn jetsam is spun and fed out to the masses…to the poor souls who consume it and suffer all sorts of spiritual malady in their ignorance and hunger for “community” and relevance.  Liberal Jews, (as opposed to “Jews”) as I use the term here refers to the sometimes ethnic/sometimes ideological group that nearly always seems to be either planting or cultivating or distributing what they deign as progressivism in sexual morals, wrought from a specific political receptivity to smash all vestiges of real Roman Catholic morality and governance.  I cite a bit of anecdotal history here – wherein it seems to me that the Jews hurriedly put together Hollywood in the 1920’s and found huge success selling everything from an insidious politically-leftist/progressivism to downright smut – both on the screen and print  –  and rock music that shook the culture violently from it’s mores from the earliest time of recorded sound where we heard and watched the filthy machinations of Tin Pan Alley and then on up to the most vile genre…Hip-Hop/Gangsta-Rap.   Sickening.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I also blame another “ethnic group” for the disassembly of morals – especially in these United States.  There seemed to be a cabal of Protestant-Yankee “de-constructionists” as it were.  The very same group who first chaffed at the Church of England (after their fathers threw away their salvation by raping and abandoning Holy Mother Church)  to become Methodists and to chaffe there and become Unitarians and then to chaffe further to become some iteration of Congregationalists – believing in everything from transcendentalism to Tarrot-Card reading and rainbow flag homosexualism.         Sickening.

Interestingly…as I ponder further;   both groups are renown for their work-ethic and success in science and the arts.    I also think they unknowingly (and quite adeptly) worked together during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries to bring Roman Catholicism to it’s knees.

As for the poor bastards that have tarnished their careers (actually, since Bill Clinton – one seems to enhance their career with allegations of sexual mis-conduct!) these clowns stand dead and stinking as sad, un-buried skeletons of the human sexual paradigm planned and created by God.   There seemed to be a real mob-mentality going there for a while…we’ll see how this “me too” hash-tag thingy pans out.

Women today in their unconscious embrace of modern feminism don’t realize that men have won exactly what they’ve wanted instinctively…       easy sexual access to the woman.    The culture has rotted away such that the days of courtship and Holy Matrimony are amusement – while easy sex and the hook-up culture spins a horrible web of sadness, confusion, allegations of rape (whether true or not) and abortion on demand.   Women don’t want anymore (or many have confusion on this topic)  the masculine men of old.   These young (seemingly hetero-sexual) guys even talk with a feminine-like lisp and with a higher pitch it seems to me!  I’m serious.   Men primping?   Shame.  Take a look at an old daguerreotype photograph of a typical man in the early/mid 19th century.  He is invariably unkempt.  Not too-too trimmed and primped.   Men ideally where to be fine of character and groomed with honor…not foppery!

Today’s media-driven image of men…     Sickening.

I’ll ramble on again soon.

 

Until then…God Bless You and may Mary pray for us, that we might be worthy of the promises of Christ!

Allan Gillis