I have been listening lately as I drive about to an audio book, Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson by SC Gwynne. I purchased the audio book with a bit of diffidence since I have been studying Jackson for a half century now, and I thought I had little to learn about him, either as a man or as a general. I was wrong. In brilliantly written prose Gwynne has given me a better understanding of the evolution of Jackson throughout his life as both a human being and a soldier. Jackson in many ways was an odd duck. Often harsh and unyielding in matters of either military discipline or violations of his strict beliefs of right and wrong, Jackson was unfailingly kind and sweet in his personal relations with almost all the people he encountered in this Vale of Tears.
Most of us can act very differently under different circumstances, but Jackson was almost a different person depending upon how a person encountered him. As a general he could be a martinet who would refuse a subordinate during the Valley Campaign time to go to the bedside of his dying children, explaining that the needs of the service must always come first. However, he could then surrender his bed to a subordinate officer he did not like when he learned that the man was unwell. He shot men out of hand for desertion following swift military trials, and he could weep like a child upon learning of the death of a child he had known from Scarlet Fever. Suggesting at the beginning of the War that the Confederacy should raise the Black Flag and take no prisoners of invaders from the North, during the War he allowed Union surgeons to continue treating captured Union wounded and then freed them to return to their own lines. Ostensibly a man fighting to help the South preserve slavery, he founded a Sunday school for blacks in the teeth of resistance in his home town and taught blacks to read in violation of Virginia state law. A grim religious warrior who would have been at home in the ranks of Cromwell’s Ironsides during the English Civil War, he became a good friend of General Jeb Stuart, the embodiment of the Cavalier legend of the South. Complex has always been a word that pops into my mind when I think of Thomas Jonathan Jackson, and Gwynne holds up to the readers all of these contradictory facets of Jackson and manages the considerable feat of making his readers see the whole man behind them. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
While heading home from a bar in St. Louis around 1:15 a.m., Begic, his newlywed wife and a friend had their vehicle surrounded by a group a teenagers who began banging on it. When Begic stepped out of his car to confront them, he was yelled at and struck with hammers in his head, abdomen and face, leaving him fatally injured. He died hours later at St. Louis University Hospital. After the assault, the teenagers ran away.
His wife of six months, after witnessing her husband’s death, said, “The last thing he did before he actually died was pull me out of the way and put himself in front of me, basically giving up his life for me.”
The friend in the vehicle, Suad Nuranjkovic, 49, said at least five teens started banging on the car. Nuranjkovic got out, ran and hid in a parking lot across the street during the attack. He said, “I was afraid that if one of them had a gun, they were going to shoot me, so I didn’t know what to do.”
Another Bosnian resident of St. Louis, Seldin Dzananovic, 24, said the teens had approached him about an hour before they attacked Begic, but he was able to fight them off with only minor injuries. He said, “I’m just lucky, God is on my side.”
What is it with the modern day Jesuits? With certain honorable exceptions, it is hard to view their antics without assuming that many of them are at heart atheists. Father Z gives us a minor atrocity:
I don’t know about you, but I can’t see any value in having this hideous thing in a church.
This rubbish is now hanging in the Jesuitenkirche (Jesuit Church) of Vienna.
Corriere della Sera has the sad story.
Need an explanation? I’ll bet you do. I’ll bet you all the money in your pocket that you can’t say what this thing represents without looking at an explanation.
“To be in limbo”.
Yes. I know.
This piece of… thing… is 8 meters high, weighs 700kg, and will stay there until 19 April 2015. So, rush to Vienna to see it.
It is meant – I am not making this up – to symbolize “faith and its menacing aspects”.
Only Jesuits could allow into their church something that make the faith look like a piece of… thing.
If this isn’t the representation of self-absorbed promethean neopelagians, I don’t know what would be. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
The new Archbishop of Chicago has a long history of hostility to the pro-life movement. Brian Williams at One Peter Five notes that he seems much happier with pro-abort politicians:
In a homily this past June, Monsignor Henry Kriegel (pastor at St. Patrick Catholic Church in the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania) referenced an evening spent dining with the well connected Catholic blogger Rocco Palma of Whispers in the Loggia. Regarding the impending episcopal appointment in Chicago, Msgr. Kriegel said at the time:
“…(Palma) told us who’s going to be the next archbishop of Chicago; a position which will be filled in September. And if he’s correct, it’s going to be the beginning of a whole new style of episcopal leadership in the American Catholic Church, away from these bombastic, confrontational, counter-cultural bishops to bishops who are much more conciliatory and overflowing, as Francis says, with mercy.
On Sunday’s edition of Face the Nation, recently installed Archbishop Blasé Cupich demonstrated that Chicago is indeed being introduced to a new style of episcopal leadership. This was nowhere more evident than the archbishop’s response to host Norah O’Donnell’s question regarding pro-abortion politicians and the reception of Communion:
O’DONNELL: So, when you say we cannot politicize the communion rail, you would give communion to politicians, for instance, who support abortion rights.
CUPICH: I would not use the Eucharist or as they call it the communion rail as the place to have those discussions or way in which people would be either excluded from the life of the church. The Eucharist is an opportunity of grace and conversion. It’s also a time of forgiveness of sins. So my hope would be that that grace would be instrumental in bringing people to the truth.
In other words, those who persist in mortal sin and public scandal through their continued political support of abortion should still receive the Eucharist. This very topic has been thoroughly addressed by canon lawyer Dr. Edward Peters when discussing the specific case of U.S. Congresswoman and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:
“Canon 915, as I and others have explained many times, is not about impositions on individual conscience, it’s about public consequences for public behavior. It’s about taking people at their word and acknowledging the character of their actions. It’s about not pretending that people don’t really mean what they repeatedly say and what they repeatedly do.
“As a canon lawyer, my view is that Nancy Pelosi deserves to be deprived of holy Communion as the just consequence of her public actions; as her fellow Catholic, my view is that Nancy Pelosi deservesto be deprived of holy Communion to bring home to her and to the wider faith community the gravity of her conduct and the need to avoid such conduct altogether or, that failing, at least to repent of it. Quickly.”
Pope Francis continues the desperate attempts of his immediate predecessors to attain unity with an Orthodox Church that could clearly care less:
Francis kicked off his final day in Turkey with a liturgy alongside Bartholomew in the Orthodox Church of St. George, where incense mingled with hypnotic chants on an important feast day for the Orthodox Church.
The Catholic and Orthodox churches split in 1054 over differences on the primacy of the papacy, and there was a time when patriarchs had to kiss popes’ feet. At the end of a joint prayer service Saturday evening, Francis bowed to Bartholomew and asked for his blessing “for me and the Church of Rome,” a remarkable display of papal deference to an Orthodox patriarch that underscored Francis’ hope to end the schism.
In his remarks Sunday, Francis assured the Orthodox faithful gathered in St. George’s that unity wouldn’t mean sacrificing their rich liturgical or cultural patrimony or “signify the submission of one to the other, or assimilation.”
“I want to assure each one of you gathered here that, to reach the desired goal of full unity, the Catholic Church does not intend to impose any conditions except that of the shared profession of faith,” he said.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, acknowledged the novelty in Francis’ message. While experts from both churches continue to debate theological divisions between them, Francis and Bartholomew are “pushing with incredible strength toward union” through their frequent and warm personal contacts, Lombardi said. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send? and who shall go for us? And I said: Lo, here am I, send me.
Isaiah 6: 8
If a man loves the world, the love of the
Father ain’t in him. For all in the
world, lust of the flesh, lust of the
eyes, the pride of life, is not of the
Father. But of the world.
Don “Wardaddy” Collier quoting John 2:15
I saw the movie Fury with my family on Saturday. It is a superb, albeit grueling, look at an American tank crew in Germany in April 1945. Go below for my review. The usual caveat as to spoilers applies. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
The sequel to Return of the Jedi will be released in December of 2015, titled Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
What makes this different from the previous three Star Wars prequels? George Lucas had almost nothing to do with the making of the film. Yes, no more Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks, or any other poor attempts at young children product placements that ultimately killed each prequel and Return of the Jedi.
Yes, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back are in my opinion the best of the bunch. Great special effects, storyline, and action. Only to stumble with Return of the Jedi and the three prequels being prevented from being timeless classics.
The first trailer was produced for American audiences, the second trailer was made for the rest of the world.
What to look for? Storm Troopers have a slightly redesigned appearance, the light saber now has two ‘light handle bars’, a Darth Sith “may” have survived from Return of the Jedi, and a few more minor tweaks to let you figure out.
We last encountered Darlena Cunha when she wrote a column in the Washington Post in which she complained about feeling judged when she went to pick up government handouts in her Mercedes. Go here to read about that unintentionally hilarious foray into obtuseness and entitlement. Now she speaks up in Time Magazine in favor of the rioters and arsonists in Ferguson, Missouri:
When a police officer shoots a young, unarmed black man in the streets, then does not face indictment, anger in the community is inevitable. It’s what we do with that anger that counts. In such a case, is rioting so wrong?
Riots are a necessary part of the evolution of society. Unfortunately, we do not live in a universal utopia where people have the basic human rights they deserve simply for existing, and until we get there, the legitimate frustration, sorrow and pain of the marginalized voices will boil over, spilling out into our streets. As “normal” citizens watch the events of Ferguson unfurl on their television screens and Twitter feeds, there is a lot of head shaking, finger pointing, and privileged explanation going on. We wish to seclude the incident and the people involved. To separate it from our history as a nation, to dehumanize the change agents because of their bad and sometimes violent decisions—because if we can separate the underlying racial tensions that clearly exist in our country from the looting and rioting of select individuals, we can continue to ignore the problem. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
I can think of no finer guide for us as we proceed through Advent this year than the Angelic Doctor. Here is a sermon he wrote for the First Sunday in Advent:
“Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek,” &c. — S. Matt. xxi. 5.
THIS is a prophecy of the Advent of Our Lord Jesus Christ, about which there are three signs.
First, the dignity of Him Who is coming; secondly, the utility of His Advent; thirdly, the manner in which He came.
Of the first sign we read in the Gospel, “Thy King cometh;” a merciful King; a just King; a wise King; a terrible King; an omnipotent King; an eternal King. A merciful King in sparing; a just in judging; a good in rewarding; a wise in governing; an omnipotent King in defending the good; a terrible King in punishing the evil; an eternal King in ruling eternally, and in bestowing immortality. Of the first, Isa. xvi. 5, “And in mercy shall the throne be established.”
Of the second, Isa. xxxiv., “And behold, a King shall reign in justice;” Isa. xvi. 5, “And He shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David.”
Of the third, Ps. Ixxiii. 1, “Truly God, is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.”
Of the fourth, Jer. xxiii. 5, “I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute justice and judgment in the earth.”
Of the fifth, Esth. xiii. 9, “Lord, Lord, the King Almighty, for the whole world is in Thy power.”
Of the sixth, Wis. xi. 10, “As a severe King, Thou didst condemn and punish.”
Of the seventh, Jer. x. 10, ” But the Lord is the true God, He is the living God and an everlasting King ;” S. Luke i. 33, ” And of His Kingdom there shall be no end.”
Of the seven, collectively, 2 Macc. i. 24, “O Lord, Lord, God, Creator of all things, Who art fearful, and strong, and righteous, and merciful, and the only gracious King.” Wisdom in the Creator, mercy in the pitiful, goodness in the good, justice in the just, severity in the terrible, power in the powerful, eternity in the eternal. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
With Sherman embarking on his March to the Sea, John Bell Hood and his Army of Tennessee were left confronting the Union forces in Tennessee, some sixty thousand troops to the 39,000 under Hood. The odds were actually longer than that, as Union control of the railroads and rivers of Tennessee would allow rapid Union reinforcement in Tennessee if necessary. Hood decided that his only option for victory was to take Tennessee from the Union. This was the longest of long shots, but at this stage of the War no Confederate commander had strategic options that could be called anything other than bleak. Hood’s plan at least had his army taking the initiative, and he could hope for some massive Union blunders that might transform an impossible situation into one that gave him some hope of at least slowing what he no doubt perceived as an inevitable Union victory in the War.
Hood entered Tennessee on November 21, and his campaign began with some promise. The Union forces were divided by 75 miles with Thomas and the Army of the Cumberland in Nashville, and Schofield and his Army of the Ohio, some 27,000 men, at Pulaski, Tennessee.
Hood did his best to bring Schofield to battle before he could unite with Thomas and succeeded in doing so on November 30 at Franklin, Tennessee, some 21 miles south of Nashville, after the Army of Tennessee missed a golden opportunity to destroy a portion of Schofield’s retreating force at Spring Hill the day before.
Schofield had abandoned his pontoon bridge during the retreat and thus his army fought the Battle of Franklin with its back to the Harpeth River, and potential annihilation if the Confederates could dislodge his defense. Hood realized the opportunity that presented itself and ordered an all out assault that began at 4:00 PM.
Some of the most desperate fighting of the Civil War ensued. An initial Confederate breakthrough in the Union center was sealed after ferocious combat, much of it hand to hand. Confederate attacks continued until 10:00 PM. The unsuccessful attacks devastated the Army of the Tennessee. Union total casualties of approximately 2,200 included 189 killed. Confederate killed were ten times that number with total Confederate casualties of 6200. The tenor of the Confederate losses is illustrated by their generals who were casualties that day. Six Confederate generals died, including perhaps the best Confederate division commander, Major General Patrick Cleburne, seven Confederate generals were wounded and one was captured. Schofield withdrew across the river that night and march his army to Nashville. Hood followed with his army, now a pale reflection of the force that he led into battle the day before. November 30, 1864 was the black day of the Army of Tennessee.
Here is the report of General Thomas on the battle: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
On Novmber 29, 1864, in a stain on American honor, 700 men of the 1st Colorado Cavalry, 3rd Colorado Cavalry and a company of the 1st New Mexico Volunteer Cavalry, under the command of Colonel John M. Chivington, a Methodist minister turned soldier, attacked and slaughtered an encampment of peaceful Indians. I cannot improve on the report of this massacre issued by the Congressional Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War on January 10, 1865:
The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War submit the following report:
In the summer of 1864 Governor Evans, of Colorado Territory, as acting superintendent of Indian affairs, sent notice to the various bands and tribes of Indians within his jurisdiction that such as desired to be considered friendly to the whites should at once repair to the nearest military post in order to be protected from the soldiers who were to take the field against the hostile Indians.
About the close of the summer, some Cheyenne Indians, in the neighborhood of the Smoke Hills, sent word to Major Wynkoop, the commandant of the post of Fort Lyon, that they had in their possession, and were willing to deliver up, some white captives they had purchased of other Indians. Major Wynkoop, with a force of over 100 men, visited those Indians and received the white captives. On his return he was accompanied by a number of the chiefs and leading men of the Indians, whom he had invited to visit Denver for the purpose of conferring with the authorities there in regard to keeping peace. Among them were Black Kettle and White Antelope of the Cheyennes, and some chiefs of the Arapahoes. The council was held, and these chiefs stated that they were friendly to the whites, and always had been, and that they desired peace. Governor Evans and Colonel Chivington, the commander of that military district, advised them to repair to Fort Lyon and submit to whatever terms the military commander there should impose. This was done by the Indians, who were treated somewhat as prisoners of war, receiving rations, and being obliged to remain within certain bounds.
All the testimony goes to show that the Indians, under the immediate control of Black Kettle and White Antelope of the Cheyennes, and Left Hand of the Arapahoes, were and had been friendly to the whites, and had not been guilty of any acts of hostility or depredation. The Indian agents, the Indian interpreter and others examined by your committee, all testify to the good character of those Indians. Even Governor Evans and Major Anthony, though evidently willing to convey to your committee a false impression of the character of those Indians, were forced, in spite of their prevarication, to admit that they knew of nothing they had done which rendered them deserving of punishment. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
Something for the weekend. God of Our Fathers. Written in 1876 to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it reminds each American how fortunate we are to live in this land.
God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies,
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.
Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast;
Be Thou our ruler, guardian, guide and stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.
From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.
Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never-ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.
America is a wonderful place, even when we acknowledge her flaws. I think one of the best tributes to America is contained in Stephen Vincent Benet’s The Devil and Daniel Webster, when he describes Daniel Webster addressing the Jury of the Damned: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
Well, I finally got around to seeing Noah. We picked up a $9.00 Blu-ray copy at a Black Friday special, and I think I was overcharged at least $8.99. Follow me below the fold for why I think this is one grand buzzard of a flick. The usual caveats regarding spoilers apply: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
Thanksgiving 1944 saw Americans fighting around the globe, with their families back home praying for their safety. FDR recognized this with his 1944 Thanksgiving Proclamation:
By the President of the United States of America
In this year of liberation, which has seen so many millions freed from tyrannical rule, it is fitting that we give thanks with special fervor to our Heavenly Father for the mercies we have received individually and as a nation and for the blessings He has restored, through the victories of our arms and those of our allies, to His children in other lands.
For the preservation of our way of life from the threat of destruction; for the unity of spirit which has kept our Nation strong; for our abiding faith in freedom; and for the promise of an enduring peace, we should lift up our hearts in thanksgiving.
For the harvest that has sustained us and, in its fullness, brought succor to other peoples; for the bounty of our soil, which has produced the sinews of war for the protection of our liberties; and for a multitude of private blessings, known only in our hearts, we should give united thanks to God.
To the end that we may bear more earnest witness to our gratitude to Almighty God, I suggest a nationwide reading of the Holy Scriptures during the period from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas. Let every man of every creed go to his own version of the Scriptures for a renewed and strengthening contact with those eternal truths and majestic principles which have inspired such measure of true greatness as this nation has achieved.
Now, Therefore, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, in consonance with the joint resolution of the Congress approved December 26, 1941, do hereby proclaim Thursday the twenty-third day of November 1944 a day of national thanksgiving; and I call upon the people of the United States to observe it by bending every effort to hasten the day of final victory and by offering to God our devout gratitude for His goodness to us and to our fellow men.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this first day of November in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-four and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-ninth.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
Persecution has come upon us, right honourable brethren, and persecution in the severest form. Shepherds are persecuted that their flocks may be scattered. And the worst of all is that those who are being treated ill cannot accept their sufferings in proof of their testimony, nor can the people reverence the athletes as in the army of martyrs, because the name of Christians is applied to the persecutors. The one charge which is now sure to secure severe punishment is the careful keeping of the traditions of the Fathers.
Epistle 243 of Saint Basil of Caesarea
Pray for us Saint Basil.
5And when he had entered into Capharnaum, there came to him a centurion, beseeching him, 6And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grieviously tormented. 7And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. 8And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. 9For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 10And Jesus hearing this, marvelled; and said to them that followed him: Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. 11And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven: 12But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13And Jesus said to the centurion: Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.
Matthew 8: 5-13
The American Catholic extends our heartfelt thanks to members of our military who are spending Thanksgiving far from home. It is our prayer that you have a joyous day and that you return safely to your family and friends.
By the President of the United States of America
It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading