Saturday, June 05, 2021
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Earth Day is really Lenin’s birthday — an anti-feast if ever there was one. Here is Lenin in a mugshot from 1895, looking every inch the punk kid brother of satan.
Let us also not forget that the founder of Earth Day was Ira Einhorn, a guy who murdered his girlfriend, Holly Maddox, in 1977 and then hid her body in a trunk in his closet. He jumped bail, fled to Europe on the eve of his trial, and was extradited back to the United States in 2001. Although he had previously been convicted in absentia, he received a new trial upon his return. At his trial, he blamed the CIA for her murder, saying they framed him because he knew too much about their paranormal research. The jury disagreed and convicted him. Last year he died in prison, a real hero of our times.
Today I am happy to be able to burn some light bulbs and run an internal combustion engine several times in honor of Earth Day.
Monday, April 19, 2021
Jonathan Brady/AFP/Getty Images
This is the image of a moral outrage, an elephant in the room that ought on no account to be ignored or glossed over amid praise for how moving was the funeral of Prince Philip. It is a sign of how far the West has fallen, that the fear of a virus with an almost 100% survival rate has moved us to cast out kindness, charity and compassion. This is the brave new world our owners and masters are preparing for us. For over a year, bereaved families all over the world have been severely hindered if not completely prevented from paying their last respects to their beloved dead; now we see that not even the most venerable and highly-placed people — at least those who represent the last remaining shreds of authentic Christian civilization — are exempt from these appalling strictures. Elizabeth II, Queen of England, age 94, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, sits all alone at the funeral of Prince Philip. Newly widowed after 73 years of marriage, she is deprived of the consolation of her family and her subjects. Miles away from any other human being, she is compelled to mask up. That there is no way, seated all by herself, that she could possibly catch or communicate the coronavirus, is further proof that the face muzzle is really a yoke of submission and has nothing whatsoever to do with stopping the spread of disease. Even in her grief, Elizabeth Regina is pressed into the service of furthering the agenda of the godless antiseptic dictatorship.
On a human level, the treatment Britian’s political class is meting out to their Sovereign is an outrage, even after two centuries of revolutions and regicides that have blunted and coarsened our sensibilities. On a societal level, it should show us how complete is the triumph of totalitarianism, when even the Queen of England is a slave of the microbes who, disguised as servants of the people, rule us all with an iron rod.
One of the big takeaways of the coronapanic is the glaring proof that the result of toppling throne and altar in the West has not been the advent of freedom, but of godless, amoral oligarchies. We are no longer ruled by Christians who take to heart their obligations to those under them, and fear eternal damnation for misruling them, but by ruthless moneyed interests who care only about human beings to the extent they find them useful, and do not even believe in hell, much less fear going there. In Britain, the appalling treatment of their widowed Queen proves that the monarchy is effectively abolished in all but name. This is the evil fruit of Henry VIII’s break from the Catholic Church: that the oligarchy he set up to help him crush Catholicism within his realms should make slaves even of his distant successors.
God rest Prince Philip. God save the Queen. God rescue us from our apostasy and self-inflicted thralldom.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
...or whatever other orifice we're used to communicating out of.
When you meet a stranger, you have no idea where that person started from, or how far he has come from where he started. You really have no idea what he has had to overcome to get to where he is right now.
What looks to you like a train wreck, to him might be a hard-fought victory. As bad as that person's condition appears to you, it might be orders of magnitude of improvement from where he began.
And, it may be that he does not see how much progress he's made. The reality is that we are often not the best judges of where we are in relation to where we've been, and where we ought to be.
For these reasons, a tongue-lashing from you under the guise of "charity" or "fraternal correction" just might be the last thing that person needs. You really cannot know how devastating and discouraging your words can be to someone who is already struggling, and already too ready to believe the worst. And the more convinced you are of the righteousness of what you're doing, the less likely you will be to grasp the full horror of it, until you are standing before God in judgment and He confronts you with both your words and the fullness of the effects they have wrought.
Yes, we will be held accountable for every last word. As somebody with very strong opinions and a very big mouth, it's sobering to think of how much I have failed over the years to take seriously this truth that comes straight from the mouth of Christ in the Gospels.
For the sake of the common good as well as for our own welfare, we should probably all spend a lot more time with our mouths and other orifices closed.
Monday, April 12, 2021
UPDATE: Charles Coulombe responds to the requests of a priest who, unlike many of his critics, addressed him on this subject with charity.
I gather, from the latest episode of Off the Menu, that Charles Coulombe is once again being attacked as an occultist. I’m not clear what prompted the hue and cry this time—unfortunately, Off the Menu tends to assume, erroneously, that everyone is plugged into the Twitterverse—but it is not the first time that Coulombe has been so accused. Part of the basis for the accusation is that Coulombe knows how to read tarot cards and has publicly done so on a number of occasions. He addressed this in this latest podcast, as he has on previous episodes. Another part that was not addressed is Coulombe’s alleged association with certain esoteric/occult groups.
Full disclosure: I am a big fan of Charles Coulombe and Off the Menu. I like to listen to Off the Menu during my long commutes to work and to Sunday Mass. I enjoy it because the content is solidly Catholic; Coulombe’s knowledge of history is encyclopedic; he is blunt and plain-spoken; and, above all, while he doesn’t candy-coat the crisis in Church and state, his overall attitude is one of joy and hope. Instead of raging about the things that are wrong, to the exclusion of all else, he focuses a lot on the things he loves; and he finds much to love about the Church, the United States, the places he has traveled and the people who make them all work. He is a monarchist, which causes many to dismiss him as a crank, despite the fact that his arguments in favor of monarchy are well-reasoned and backed by historical events, including recent U.S. history, and despite the fact that he readily acknowledges the extreme improbability of his hopes for a monarchy coming true in these United States. It is true that Coulombe grew up in Hollywood and comes from a show-business background — both his parents were actors, and he himself was once a stand-up comedian — so there is a chance I could be completely wrong in thinking him a devout Catholic. On the other hand, the possibility that a person is not in the least who I think he is is a chance I have to take in dealing with anybody. I have listened to many hours of Coulombe’s talks, both on Off the Menu and elsewhere, and I have read several of his books, and have found no evidence that he is out to undermine the Church or even covertly promote the occult. Even a really good actor has his limits and must at some point let the mask slip. His critics will argue that the tarot card thing is the slipping of his mask; on the other hand, their snarky comments about him that focus on his appearance and his dress and his social contacts indicate the most superficial knowledge of his substance as expressed in the things he has actually said and how he says them.
Coulombe has reiterated what he has said before about being an occultist and using tarot cards: he denies the former, and says that the latter has been for purposes of evangelizing those who are interested in such things. In light of the many talks of his that I have heard, and the many words he has written that I have read, I see no reason not to take Coulombe at his word on this. So the question becomes one of whether his prudential judgment on these points has been sound,and whether his attackers are really in a position to condemn him.
Frankly, the question of how far is too far in the pursuit of fulfilling our Lord’s Great Commission that is binding on all Catholics is one that I have long wrestled with myself. Specifically, how far do I go, not merely in risking my physical well-being, but also my spiritual well-being? What if, going too far, I sin? Is it possible to worry too much about keeping my skirts clean and pressed and starched? At what point does prudence become cowardice? On the one hand, if you hang out with certain types of people, you could be dragged down; on the other hand, to bring them into the Church, it is necessary to go to where you will find them, and to associate with them. If these are the people that, by dint of my background and circumstances, I may be well-suited to evangelize, would I be right to decline the risk? In a real way, spreading the Gospel is a battle to the death, especially if the people in question are also determined to bring me around to their way of thinking. When the rubber meets the road, it’s them or me, and I have to walk onto the field of battle open-eyed, knowing that.
I also have to come prepared. I have to do this first by frequenting the Sacraments as often as possible, and having a solid prayer life. Second, I have to know what motivates the people in question, what they are looking for, what their expectations are, and how to respond to their questions and objections. If I’m really serious, that is going to involve making a study of the things that interest them. Therein lies a big danger. Coulombe says that he has studied tarot cards in order to be able to use them to reach a certain class of people and interest them in the Catholic faith. Was that a wise idea? I don’t know. Certainly the Dominicans under St. Raymond of Penaforte took their chances studying the Talmud in order to convert the Jews; Bl. Raymond Llull took his chances studying Islamic philosophy in order to convert the Muslims; Bl. Bishop Clemens von Galen took his chances studying Nazi literature in order to combat their ideology. I myself would not mess with tarot cards; but then, my background and upbringing are such as lead me to a different prudential judgment than Coulombe came to. I grew up in the Los Angeles area, like Coulombe did, but I was not well-acquainted with the show business set or how they function. I do not have the same type of personality that Coulombe has. Above all, I do not have the same kind of background as a Catholic as he has. Coulombe grew up in a solidly Catholic home, with solidly Catholic extended family, and a solidly Catholic ancestry stretching back generations and rooted in what was once a solidly Catholic society. This, coupled with the frequent use of the Sacraments, probably gives Coulombe a lot of security of a sort that is frankly foreign to me, and probably to a lot of other traditional Catholics in an age when we have hirelings in place of shepherds.
If we are honest with ourselves, one of the ways in which this lack of security manifests itself is in our hair-trigger readiness to condemn other Catholics. Forgetting the scriptural admonition to put not our trust in princes, in the children of men in whom there is no salvation, we have been disappointed again and again by priests and bishops and Catholic authors and commentators who turn out to be no better than they should be, to the point where now we expect to be disappointed. In fact, it is almost as if we are disappointed any time we are not disappointed. When some Catholic public figure does something we don’t like, we pounce on him, shouting “AHA! I always KNEW this guy was a crook!” We are almost gleeful at revelations that one of our co-religionists is less than perfect. Then, whenever anyone defends that person, or even merely refrains from joining the chorus against him, we pounce on that person too for “siding with the enemy.” Is this really how Catholics ought to behave? If Coulombe is really a public violator of the First Commandment, wouldn’t the proper Catholic response be to mourn over his fall and try to win back our brother, rather than gloat over how much better we are than he?
Has Charles Coulombe gone too far in reaching out to the tarot-card-esoterica-gnostic-occult set? I don’t know: given his stated intentions, which I see no reason to either disregard or disbelieve, the prudence of his methods is between him and God. But surely Coulombe deserves credit for caring enough about the tarot-card-esoterica-gnostic-occult set to think they deserve to hear the Gospel, and to try to bring it to them in such a manner as to make them more open to receiving it. He has judged himself up to the task, given his personality, his circumstances and his background, and he has not shrunk from trying to accomplish it. That I personally would not do what he has done does not mean that he is wrong; it only means that I am probably meant to try to bring the Gospel to a different set of people with different needs that I am better equipped to meet. I hope I will not shrink from trying to accomplish it.
Both factions act as if God is not in charge or even factors into the equation.
Friday, April 09, 2021
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Gay conservative bad boy Milo Yiannopoulos has announced that he has returned to the Catholic faith and abandoned the gay lifestyle, crediting the intercession of St. Joseph for what he calls his “U-turn.” John Henry Weston’s interview of Yiannopoulos can be found on LifeSite News.
I have to admit to not knowing a lot about Milo Yiannopoulos. I have long been aware of him, his homosexuality and his conservative politics, but I have never been a fangirl. I have not read many of his writings nor listened to any of his talks except the LifeSite interview. As Yiannopoulos is a fellow creature, made to God's image and likeness and whom Christ died to save, I do hope he is sincere in his conversion. If so, he still has a long way to go. This is clear from the LifeSite video, in which he portrays himself as a crusader, a knight in shining armor on a mission to rescue other young men trapped in the homosexual lifestyle and to take down those responsible for promoting that lifestyle. Although his professed desire to help others and conquer evil is laudable, even the post-conversion Milo pretty evidently still has a monumental ego, and still attaches a vast deal of importance to his own powers and his own self. These are typical wounds that a life of vice leaves behind. There is also the fact that Yiannopoulos is still living with his male sex partner, a situation he compares with an invalidly married couple living as brother and sister for the sake of the children. To be fair, he admits the comparison is awkward; but regardless, even if there is no longer anything sexual going on, the public persistence in these living arrangements is still an open scandal.
Of course, when our Lord delivers a man from a life of crime, He is perfectly capable of healing all the secondary effects of that life. But very often, He does not. Certainly, He does not do this in the ordinary course with Baptism, which cleanses us of original sin but still leaves us with the wounds left by original sin so that, with the help of His grace, we can battle through them and gain merit. Life is tough enough with just the effects of original sin to deal with, but years and years of entrenched mortal sin on top of this seriously distort the intellect and leave major scars on the soul. Just as there must be a period of physical recovery for a body that emerges from a life-threatening illness, so there must also be a period of spiritual recovery for a soul that emerges from a long state of habitual sin. Even after a person has repudiated a long-standing vice, he still has a lot to learn, and, above all, to un-learn. To a man who steps from a prolonged period of absolute darkness into the light of one candle, that one candle seems as bright as the sun. Yet, however much of an improvement one candle is over total darkness, it is still not, and can never be, the sun. You cannot see as far or as clearly by the light of one candle as you would by the light of the sun.
Milo is still in recovery and, whether he wants to acknowledge it or not, really should be treated as such. We have to also step back and consider the quality of our own judgment in this matter. We ourselves suffer terrible wounds, not only from our personal sins but also as the result of being governed by little men in both Church and State who care only about fattening their own purses and don't give a damn about our welfare. So badly are things going, with one anvil after another being dropped on us by our rulers from on high, that we prize highly the paltry crumbs of comfort that in better times we would have ignored. So bereft are we of real shepherds and true fathers, that we are apt to make heroes out of persons who, in better times, deserve to be nobodies, simply because they happen on some occasion to refrain from hurting us in some way. As Proverbs 27:7 puts it: "A soul that is full shall tread upon the honeycomb: and a soul that is hungry shall take even bitter for sweet."
So at this stage, we still need to pray and do penance for Milo, as for all others similarly situated, and to refrain from making a hero out of him before he is ready to be a hero. We would be doing both ourselves and him a great disservice by fawning over him, showering him with plaudits, hanging on his every word, and otherwise feeding his ego. Before he can become a crusader and do good to others, Milo has to attend to his own wounds. Otherwise, his crusade becomes just another distraction for him to avoid his real business of growing in holiness.
And he and we both need to remember that our real Savior is not Milo Yiannopoulos, nor any other mere mortal, but Jesus Christ.
Friday, March 12, 2021
I have been thinking about the following verse from Scripture a lot over the last year, and it comes to my mind with every new anvil our shepherds in the hierarchy drop on us. Matthew 23:13:
“But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter in; and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter.”
Everything from the campaign to abolish the traditional Mass after Vatican II to locking our churches in our faces and cutting us off from the Sacraments during the coronapanic seems to come under the heading of this verse.
Why do so many of our shepherds shut the kingdom of heaven against men? Because so many of them, not believing, do not enter in themselves. They will not suffer us to enter in because they do not love us.
Believers do not force belief on unbelievers; or at least, if they do, it is an excess not in conformity with the Catholic faith. On the other hand, unbelievers cannot abide belief and do all they can to stamp it out. If they are out of power, then their efforts are aimed at subverting and undermining believers; once they are in power, then their efforts are aimed at compelling unbelief by main force. In our time, both Church and State are dominated by the godless, whose goal is to force everyone to be like themselves. They use their power and authority to smash and destroy, and rob their subjects of everything that is good, true, beautiful, worthwhile and that makes life worth living. Some of them are deluded enough to think they are rescuing us from backward superstition, and believe our reluctance to be so rescued makes their mission all the more urgent.
Obviously, our Lord foresaw all this, which is why He said what He said. And He predicted woe upon these unbelievers, if they fail to straighten up.
Which brings us to another thing that keeps coming to my mind: Psalm 36:35-36.
I have seen the wicked highly exalted, and lifted up like the cedars of Libanus. And I passed by, and lo, he was not: and I sought him and his place was not found.
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Thursday, February 25, 2021
You currently have in the House of Representatives a piece of proposed legislation, H195, that, if passed, will outlaw what it calls “targeted picketing” — protests staged in front of the home of a government official. The text of the bill reads as follows:
AN ACT RELATING TO TARGETED PICKETING; AMENDING CHAPTER 64, TITLE 18, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 18-6411, IDAHO CODE, TO PROHIBIT TARGETED PICKETING, TO PROVIDE AN EXCEPTION, AND TO PROVIDE A PENALTY; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
SECTION 1. That Chapter 64, Title 18, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des- ignated as Section 18-6411, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
18-6411. TARGETED PICKETING. (1) Any person who intentionally engages in picketing or otherwise demonstrates on the street or sidewalk in front of a person's residence or dwelling place, or the adjacent residence or dwelling place, with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person commits targeted picketing. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a residence or dwelling place used as the principal place of business of an individual.
(2) Any person who engages in targeted picketing shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
SECTION 2. An emergency existing therefor, which emergency is hereby declared to exist, this act shall be in full force and effect on and after its passage and approval.
One of the lawmakers who sponsors this bill declares that there has been an uptick in protests that cross lines and engage in intimidation tactics. She asserts that this bill is meant not only to protect civil servants from intimidation tactics to but to protect regular citizens. “Your voice,” she said in an email to me, “should not be drowned out by the loud but hollow voice of intimidators.”
To begin with, this is a statute that could impermissibly impinge on constitutionally protected activities, namely, speech and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. There are already laws on the books to deal with behavior that goes too far. Disturbing the peace (section 18-6409, Idaho Code) and disorderly conduct (various municipal ordinances) are misdemeanors that carry maximum penalties of up to 180 days of jail and $1000 in fines. Rioting (section 18-6402, Idaho Code) may, depending on the circumstances, be either a misdemeanor carrying up to a year of jail and a $5000 fine, or a felony carrying 5-20 years and a $25,000 fine. There is no need for yet another crime on the books.
Secondly, I do not accept that this bill protects my constitutional right to petition my government for the redress of grievances. Public servants know the difference between writing, emailing, carrying signs and testifying before committees on the one hand, and lighting fires on the other. Public servants also know that they are not entitled to disregard my peaceful petitions just because others happen to be rioting. It appears that lawmakers and other officials who support it are just trying to further insulate themselves from the pesky plebes. Indeed, they try to assume privileges for their homes that even monarchs have not had. Where would citizens in a monarchy go to air their grievances with their politicians? To the king’s residence: the palace.
For the record, I have never protested at anyone’s home, nor do I plan to. I don’t like breaches of the peace or anything that threatens the peace. But I can understand people resorting to this tactic, even while I disagree with it. I think it ought to give pause to remember that regular working stiffs (as distinguished from professional leftist storm troopers) really do not want to set aside their lives and their business to engage in protests; so, if they feel provoked into doing so, there must be something seriously wrong. A bill like this does nothing to address the root causes of why these protests happen.
I would submit that, instead of trying to shut down protesters, our elected officials should devote their energies to considering why it is that citizens are protesting outside their homes. The answer is that the citizenry perceive that their elected officials are not listening to them. Year after year policies are imposed on us that we don’t want and that go against what we know to be right. If there is one thing that the events of the last year in particular have made clear, it is that our elected officials view us, not as citizens whom it is their duty to serve, but as economic cows to be milked; yet they have not got the sense to give us even the minimum of cultivation that cows require. Our officials are responsive, not to the voices of their constituents, but to the dollars of private, powerful, moneyed interests, to the inflow of federal “emergency” money and to the strident voices of leftist activists who often do not even live here. All over the country over the last year, we have seen mayors and governors failing in their God-given duties of governance. They have treated their own people like the enemy, depriving them of their livelihoods, excoriating them for trying to go about their legitimate business without jumping through hoops, and all while coddling leftist storm troopers who were bussed into their communities to burn, loot and destroy monuments. They have walked all over their people, because they can. In our own city of Boise, we have had the spectacle of Mayor McLean identifying with these same storm troopers while deploring her own citizens who want nothing more than to be left in peace to go on with their lives. This sort of bad governance provokes decent people to take their grievances to their officials’ doorsteps, since they are not being listened to in any other forum.
The real solution to protesters outside the homes of government officials is for those government officials to stop provoking their citizenry by their arrogant disregard of their legitimate needs and interests, to stop abusing their powers, and to start engaging in good governance. Right now, we are being treated as though the obligations only flow in one direction, from us to our masters. They don’t. Our masters also have obligations to us, and they will be held responsible before God for their failure to fulfill these just as much as we will be held responsible for our failure to fulfill ours.
For these reasons, this bill should be rejected.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Wednesday, January 06, 2021