26

Mark Shea, the Angelic Doctor, Francis Bacon and Truth

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts takes a look at Mark Shea’s ongoing debate with strawmen:

 

 

I must admit, one reason I left Patheos was so that I could keep better track of Mark Shea.  When I came on board Patheos, our editor asked me to leave Mark alone and cease and desist arguments with him.  I more or less behaved myself, usually confining any references to Mark to the praise and ‘well done’ category.

That didn’t stop Mark, however, from visiting my blog a few times and throwing out his usual preemptive accusations, and then leaving.  Since Mark banned me from his own sites, I couldn’t respond, and he never returned to dialogue with me.

That became frustrating to be sure.  I tried to behave on my part, and yet felt I was coming out on the short end.  Therefore one of many reasons to leave Patheos was so I could speak more openly about Mark’s descent into the deepest levels of the modern Left.

This post is a grand example.  First of all, there is nothing wrong with the substance of what Mark says about Church teaching.  The Church condemns racism.  If you only oppose immigration because you are a racist, then that is bad.  Likewise, our salvation does not rest in blood or soil or nation.  The Church is not America, nor is it Western Civilization.

But that’s not the problem. First, Mark used a rather poor example to illustrate the opposing side of the debate.  Assuming this all came to Mark as he indicates – and knowing how Mark falsely accused me of saying things about him, I must wonder – it is obviously a poorly written, poorly thought out piece.  There are other, better pieces explaining the problems with open borders and post-national Christianity.  The biggest problem is that whatever negative results occur, it won’t be us who pay the price.  It will be future generations.  A sort of martyrdom by proxy: By the degree to which future generations pay for our opinions have we declared our righteousness.

Mark doesn’t address those.  He takes something written by what could pass as a high school Facebook rant.  And he uses it to subtly suggest this is par for the course for those who don’t agree with the Church’s current approach to the subject.

He then does the really, super duper bad thing.  He ascribes only the most vile and evil motives to those who oppose open border immigration.  And then, to add salt to the wound, he takes it to the next level:

“…is (like all these Alt Right guys) obsessed with his sperm.  That’s why he bizarrely speaks of “cuckolds” as he insults celibate “Catholic leaders”.  It’s all about the weird fear these guys have that darkskins will inseminate “their” white women.  The sexual insecurity of these wretched bully boys just leaps off the page every time they write.”

Go here to read the rest.  Saint Thomas Aquinas would take arguments he rejected, make them stronger than their adherents did, and only then subject the arguments to his powerful analysis.  Of course the Angelic Doctor didn’t post on the internet and his goal was not to get hits from red meat fans.  His whole purpose was to arrive at the truth of any subject he wrote about, as best as he could.  Unfortunately the attitude of  most internet posters to truth is summed up in the beginning of Francis Bacon’s essay Of Truth:

“What is truth?” said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.

We can do better than that, and not just Mark Shea.  This is a duty especially for those of us who follow Truth Incarnate.

 

10

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts Finds That Telling Truth Out of Season can be an Unpopular Avocation

So Deacon Steven Greydanus has banned me from his Facebook page.

We’ve had some good discussions he and I.  We haven’t always agreed, but generally we’ve debated well, and I’ve certainly learned some things.

But this time the topic of immigration came up.  He posted an editorial about immigration (this was posted on Mark Shea’s webpage, since I can’t access Deacon’s FB page at this point), what it is, America’s rights and immigrants and all.  We’ve heard it a thousand, million times. 

I responded by something that’s been buzzing around my head for a couple days.  When Trump said he would do away with DACA, you had the obvious outcry: But the babies!   While this was being done, the MSM ran out and found case after case of people who would be hurt by this.

While doing this, some news outlets also went a different direction.  I believe they were trying to say ‘Look how unfair this is!  People who have lived their lives, and are now firmly set in a path toward contributing to society, will be uprooted and thrown out!’  To that end, they interviewed various business leaders, tech giants and even Ivy League universities about all those undocumented individuals who will be hurt by this.  Undocumented workers who have good jobs, are attending college, going to Harvard, and on and on.

And that got me to thinking, as I am wont to do.  Isn’t it possible that sympathy for people who have spent their lives breaking the law, who are now attending Harvard, might go down hard for Americans who are struggling to pay bills, can barely feed their own families, and have no hope for their own children affording college?  I mean, I’m not hearing much from the Church about that.  Oh, the Church talks its usual concern for the poor and injustice at home.  But how does it square supporting people who have broken the law, spent their lives breaking the law, and our now reaping great rewards while their surrounding citizens are watching their fortunes diminish?

Isn’t it possible that sympathy for that Harvard grad who never became a citizen might not be easy to extract from that struggling American family who can barely afford cloths and a decent car for their family? Continue Reading

9

Gettysburg the Film

 

At Daffey Thoughts Dave Griffey celebrates the film Gettysburg, the only film that  my bride and I ever hired a babysitter for in order to see, all the way back in 1993, which is now almost a quarter of a century ago, unbelievably enough to me.  Time does run in a rapid stream:

 

An annual viewing tradition around July 4th.  From a time before the dark days of Multiculturalism taught us to ignore the myriad sins of the world while refusing to forgive the sins of the West.

Adapted from Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels, it marked that last point where the Civil War was popularly understood as driven by the issue of slavery, but also about many complex issues, as history always is.

But that was then.  Today history,  like so many things, has been whittled down to a soundbite.  Hence the end of the Confederate memorials; hence raising new bigotries and racisms to replace the old.  Those hellbent on ignoring the past are, after all, doomed to repeat it.  Or – good news for the post-war generations – our posterity will be doomed to repeat it.

Sometimes I think the reason we spend so much time focused on the sins of the past is because, deep down, we can’t help but think they were better than we are (exceptions noted).  As a generation, our greatest accomplishment is watching the civilization we inherited crumble under our feet.  And in the end, that’s not much to endear us to future memory.  A generation that has concluded “we can climb higher by kicking down the ladder by which we have come thus far” has shown why the”progressive habit of thinking we can make the world better for our children by murdering the memory of our grandparents is folly.”

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.  Just some whimsy on this Independence Day celebration.  Now off to the fireworks!

 

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10

Caesar Signals Thumbs Down on Charlie Gard

 

 

For deluded Catholics who believe that Moses carried down an eleventh commandment stating “Caesar picks up the tab for Healthcare!”, Dave Griffey gives some food for thought at Daffey Thoughts:

 

God bless these parents and this beautiful child.  Already facing a fatal genetic condition, the child has struggled to live during his short life.  The parents had hoped to bring the child to the US to try an experimental procedure in a last hope of saving the baby.

In a turn of events that explains the general hesitation about turning such matters over to the State, the UK courts have said the parents can’t do this.  The hospital will remove the child from life support.  The parents appealed and took the matter to the European court.  But the court refused to overturn the lower court decision.  The child will die.

Not because the child was left to die, or because the child was removed from life support.  But because the parents were forbidden to bring their child to the US for the experimental treatment.  Therefore, after hearing the case brought by the hospital and the parents as prescribed by UK law, the courts and the state have dictated that the child will die.  Perhaps he would have died anyway.  But it doesn’t take much to see why people are bothered by the fact that it was the courts, and not the parents, that had the final say.

I can’t imagine what those parents are feeling right now, and that precious child who knows nothing of this.  God grant peace and strength to all involved in the coming weeks, and bless young Charlie Gard with all your love. Continue Reading

16

History and Leftist Inconoclasm

He was a foe without hate; a friend without treachery; a soldier without cruelty; a victor without oppression; and a victim without murmuring. He was a public officer without vices; a private citizen without wrong; a neighbor without reproach; a Christian without hypocrisy and a man without guile. He was a Caesar without his ambition; Frederick without his tyranny; Napoleon without his selfishness; and Washington without his reward.

Benjamin Hill on Robert E. Lee

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts notes that Mark Shea has embraced the leftist crusade of purging the nation of all things Confederate:

 

 

Why should we have a monument in our capital named for a hypocritical racist slave owner?  Or for that matter, why should our capital be named for one?  Mark Shea explains.  Mark isn’t advocating the eradication of Washington’s name from his home state, or the destruction of the Jefferson Memorial, or the closing down of Independence Hall, or moving the presidential residency from a building built on the backs of slaves.

Nothing in his post, however, could be used to condemn such actions.  In fact, the post could be used to defend such actions.   As a Believer, I’m a little bothered by the sudden emergence of the ‘erase the Confederacy and everyone in it’ movement that has gained steam since the Charleston Shooting.  Mark himself decried the sudden removal of Confederate symbols from museums and other historic locations.

Nonetheless, he seems fine with the removal of monuments for even such luminaries as Robert E. Lee, who often was compared to Erwin Rommel, a brave and noble man on the wrong side of the debate.   Sure, you could argue there is a dearth of high schools or statues celebrating Rommel, but that is because for the longest time, people actually believed that the American South, if not America, and Nazi Germany were different animals.  Now, of course, those differences are eroding.  Since there is typically good and bad in most people, places, and things, deciding to weigh all equally on the Nazi Comparison scale seems a dangerous trend.

In fact some could argue, as Mark appears to, that there was little moral difference between the North and South.  Perhaps the rest of the US was every bit as bad.  And if so, then why keep anything honoring it or those who fought for it?  No more God bless America?  Just God damn America?  Perhaps.  Given that in my lifetime I watched a concerted effort to stop seeing such historical luminaries as Attila the Hun, or such civilizations as the Vikings or the Mongols in purely negative ways, I have a hard time seeing the reverse trend when it comes to America.

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5

Just in Time for Easter

 

 

 

Like clockwork Copts are slaughtered by Jihadists as we approach Easter.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts prays for the victims:

 

As I’ve discovered, for some Christians in Islamic countries, Palm Sunday is the main celebration day.  That’s because of generations of regulations aimed at restricting their primary holy day of Easter.  I don’t know if that’s the case with Coptic Christians.  But it’s a reminder that as horrible as this is, it’s not unique, nor is it new.

I had the pleasure of speaking to several Syrian immigrants today.  Apparently they’ve not been able to tell their side of the story because they told it all to me.  Not sure what to do with their accounts, which included request for prayers for churches they attended that are gone, loved ones and friends who died horribly, or simply the ages and ages that their communities have lived under the specter of similar periods of oppression and persecution.

All I can say is that my thoughts and prayers go out to them.  In all due respect to Walt Disney, it’s actually a large world after all.  And nothing they told me today sounded at all like what I hear in our media or from our pols or designated ‘experts.’  I fear someday we Americans are going to be in for a rude awakening.    In the meantime, we can at least pray for and remember those whose celebrations were marred by death, and pray that today, those killed will be with Christ in paradise. Continue Reading

20

Pence Drives the Left Bonkers

 

 

Vice President Mike Pence has a talent for bringing out the crazy, admittedly never far beneath the surface, on the left in this nation.  They are trying to make hay out of Pence’s statement in 2002 that he never dines alone with a non-related woman not his wife.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us the details:

Who in the world would have a problem with this? Apparently a few hellbent on looking stupid.  This is Washington, and this is Pence, a man who tries to live by his faith and thus his reputation will be target number one for those who wish to destroy him. That’s the common sense in politics part.

On the common sense in life part, neither do I. I know of few if any married men who do go out to dinner with other women one on one. Business or otherwise.  Not a single man I’ve worked for, and not a single woman I’ve worked with for that matter, does that I’m aware of.   At least ones in good marriages. That’s just common freaking sense marriage 101. It’s not really a ‘Billy Graham rule.’  Graham made it famous for pastors back in the day when clergy held a certain star status, but he didn’t pioneer the advice.  It goes back long before Graham, and generally has been followed by most men and women I know who had happy marriages.

If people do go out together with others one on one, when they’re otherwise married, that’s up to them. I wouldn’t judge one way or another.  But to make this basic common sense advice, since forever, into some scandal? I thought it was an Onion piece or SNL skit when I first heard about it. I’ll count this as almost the most stupid thing I’ve heard in a year. An actual year of stupid, and this is near the top.  And reading what the “critics” were actually saying made it worse.

Kudos to Slate for the most ‘out the arse asinine stupid’ take on this non-story.    Because the only place I can learn how much a woman has to offer is alone at dinner, not in any other setting at all.

And the “Make Walter Sobchak seem like Einstein”award goes to Philip Sherburn for comparing this principle to Sharia Law in his tweet about Pence’s choice.

I mean, the dumb has taken over the extreme left on this day in March, 2017.  Mourn or apologize or rejoice as you see fit. Continue Reading

16

Free Speech for Me, but not for Thee

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts notes the hostility that much of the contemporary left has to freedom of speech for those who have the temerity to disagree with them:

 

Is illustrated here:

Yep.  My older boys have already run into this.  The idea that ‘you don’t have a right to offend me.’  Uh, yes I do.  That’s freedom of speech.  Or let’s just whittle it down to mere ‘freedom.’  Sure, I can not listen, disagree, argue the point, or even show you to the door if I deem you rude or obnoxious.  But violence or, worse, calling for officials and institutions to punish wrong speak?

Growing up, Voltaire’s famous quip was the John 3:16 of American liberalism:

I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.

If I heard that once, I heard that a billion times. It might be worth digging it back up and using it again.  Or more of us you might end up getting caught up in the storm, as professor Allison Stranger discovered all too well.

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2

Daffey Thoughts on 2016

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts has some observations about 2016, the year in which the improbable frequently became probable:

 

 

  • Never, ever underestimate Donald Trump
  • Arrogance is a bad strategy
  • Insulting millions of registered voters is not the best response to a candidate who insults millions of non-voters
  • Bipartisanship is not accomplished by blaming everyone else
  • There is a fine line between journalism and propaganda
  • Pretending that problems don’t exist won’t convince those who are suffering as a result of those problems
  • If you pop champagne corks because experts assure you that no matter what, your side will win by the Electoral College, then don’t cry about how unfair it is when your side loses by the Electoral College. It’s unbecoming.
  • Surrounding yourself with yes-men doesn’t help
  • A nation has a right to demand higher standards from its president, it has no right to demand different standards
  • If the latest scientific conclusions are always what I want to hear, someone’s doing something wrong
  • ‘Do unto others as long as you don’t do unto me’ is not the Golden Rule
  • Expediency does not lend itself to moral outrage
  • Truth is not based on a majority
  • Working with people involves working with people, not saying you’re working with people
  • When everything is going for you, it’s still not wise to overplay your hand
  • If you cry wolf too many times for too many years, people won’t listen even when they admit they see a wolf
  • People don’t always align with partisan assumptions
  • People pay attention, even when you don’t want them to
  • If education is just a means to an end, it’s probably not the best education
  • The problem with saying ‘That idiot’s mean because he called me stupid’ should be obvious
  • It’s pointless to ignore the past in the Internet age

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3

Fall the Wonderful

 

I heartily concur with Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts celebration of our current season:

 

Anyone who has followed my blog for more than a year or so knows one thing for sure: I love the Fall.  I enjoy Spring and there’s still enough kid in me to enjoy Winter, especially leading up to Christmas.  Summer is my hibernation time.  But Fall?  It’s to me what Spring is supposed to be to most people.

Today is a day off.  The boys are off of school, owing to a local holiday that can only happen in small town America.  And with it, I have the day off as well.  Don’t know what we’ll do today.  Maybe nothing, though I always hate to let a day go by without something to do.   I often start reading The Lord of the Rings in September, but thought this year I’d try something different.  This year I’m going to read through the Appendices.  Truth be told, I’ve glanced at them over the years, but never read through them.  As for the other fun parts of Fall, those are just beginning.

Here are some links to previous posts over the years in which I muse over, in my own amateurish way, just why I love this season.   Enjoy.  TTFN Continue Reading

2

A Pope For The Lavender Mafia

 

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts ponders the Pope’s call for Catholics to apologize to gays.

 

And it is us.  Not that there is anything wrong with the occasional sermon that looks out on the congregation and proclaims ‘thou art the man!’  You can’t spend your life pointing out the window and condemning all those sinners out there.  The problem is, again, you have Pope Francis echoing that modern Catholic tendency of wanting to embrace almost everything to do with the modern, post-Christian secular progressive world view … but with Jesus.

The idea that Christians are the mischief when it comes to homosexuals is well known, and almost universally embraced, by the modern Left.  Just look at Orlando and who our popular culture ended up blaming.  And once again, Pope Francis steps in and echoes that same narrative, despite the fact that ten years after becoming Catholic, I have yet to hear a homily that even mentioned homosexuality.  He doesn’t seem to differentiate.  He simply says we Catholics must apologize.

True, he doesn’t condone homosexuality.  He already has made it clear that technically the Church still teaches that homosexuality is at least not compatible with God’s vision for marriage.  But apart from that, his take on the subject and the take I hear from Dr. Drew are about the same.  It’s certainly nothing I won’t hear on MSNBC, CNN, or the Huffington Post; several of which were cheering and celebrating the Pope’s words this morning.  I also understand that he included other groups in there as well.  But let’s face it, what will the modern world focus on, thanks to his choice of words? 

I realize that Jesus reached out to prostitutes and sinners.  I realize that he went after the Pharisees and Scribes.  I get that.  I understand that Christians are never perfect and can do with the occasional kick in the pants.  But Pope Francis is not Jesus.  The Catholic Church is not the Sanhedrin and Catholics are not just a bunch of Scribes and Pharisees.  And the forces arrayed against the Church today, using all powers and abilities to assault the Church, lead astray its followers, and assail the fundamental truths of the Gospel, are not the woman caught in adultery.  

If Jesus praised the Roman Centurion’s faith, at no point did he stand alongside the Roman legions, look out among his imperfect disciples, and say to the Romans, “Let’s get’em!”  Perhaps the reason was that to do so might have given the Romans a flawed understanding of the Kingdom.  It might have presented an idea that, as long as I’m not like those sinful Jew disciples over there, I must be pretty awesome where I stand, in the pagan empire, venerating Caesar, indulging in the Roman lust for conquest.  I don’t know.  Just speculation on my part.  I simply know there’s something off kilter about Pope Francis’ continued railing against the Church in a manner almost in lockstep with perhaps the greatest heresy to challenge the Faith since Arianism, even if technically there’s nothing wrong with what he’s saying.

As an aside.  My boys asked, when they heard this, if Pope Francis was calling on Gays to forgive Catholics.  I don’t know.  I’ve not heard.  Perhaps he has.  If so, the press hasn’t reported it.  If not, then I wonder why.  

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14

David Griffey Nails It

 

I will simply say ditto to David Griffey at Daffey Thoughts:

A sane take.  Michael Flynn reminds us that the prospect of people, largely young postmodern liberals, storming venues and shutting down debate, and even threatening speakers they don’t like, is not something that started last week.  It’s been going on for years now, and increasingly our institutions of higher learning have begun to rethink the value of higher learning in order to appeal to these rather tolerantly intolerant youth.

Not to say Trump doesn’t deserve some of the blame.  I think he does.  But we certainly can’t – and shouldn’t – act as if this is some fluke, that Trump just stepped into a down home culture of polite and civil discourse and suddenly started flinging verbal chairs around the room.  That’s as wrong as those who try to act like the world on August 5, 1945 was on the brink of living out the Messianic peace of the Thrice-Holy God when all of a sudden BAM!, the racist US flew in a nuked them some babies because Racism!

That type of narrative, by the way, is probably as much to blame for what we are seeing, if not more, than either Trump or the protesters.  Just my opinion.

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42

Only Four Billion and a Bad Toupee Separate Them

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David Griffey at his blog Daffey Thoughts, notes the similarity between Mark Shea and Donald Trump:

 

By that, I don’t mean Mark supports or likes Donald Trump. Quite the contrary.  Mark routinely takes on Trump and Trump’s supporters the way Mark does most things: in the same manner as Donald Trump.  In fact, that’s my point.  If you want to be brutally honest, you’ll admit that Mark Shea is simply a Catholic Internet version of Donald Trump.  If you visit Facebook or similar Social Media sites, you’ll see that Mark is far from the glaring exception.  Go onto most Internet sites, including major media outlets, read the comments and you’ll see Donald Trump all over.  And in some cases, such as Daily Kos or Salon.com or even such esteemed sites as the Huffington Post, you might find published editorials that aren’t much different.

I hate to say it, but my boys are correct.  Donald Trump is the candidate that the Facebook generation deserves.  And it isn’t because of a few radical exceptions to the rule.  It is the rule.  We are the generation that liberal society has been striving for over the decades.  From the 50s through the 60s and 70s and beyond, Trump is what we’ve been aiming at.

Just look at Mark Shea as an obvious example. Mark is familiar to most Catholics on the Internet and is highly regarded by many. And yet, not only does he resemble Trump in his approach to topics and interaction on his various sites, he does so as a representative of the Catholic Church.  At least Trump just represents politics.  And yet Mark is quite the hero for many Catholics.  For many non-Catholics, too.  Including those who are quick to attack and bemoan the Trump phenomenon.

How can I be so heartless and judgmental to compare Mark to Trump?  Or compare others on Social Media to Trump?  Easy.  I read.  I listen to Trump and what people criticize him for, and then visit various Facebook pages, including Mark’s, and I see no difference.   Trump, beyond the policies he advocates – when we can figure them out – is brash, crude, rude, vulgar, sinful, mean spirited, ill-informed and simply a lousy person because of how he interacts with others and treats others who dare disagree with him.

So how is that different than Mark, or even Mark’s own followers?  Or the followers on any one of a million sites?  For instance, Mark’s own lack of substance and knowledge of topics he comments on outside of Catholicism is legendary.  Even those who support him and agree with him have hung their heads over his approach to such topics as the Death Penalty or Gun Control.  The same is a common complaint about Trump.  Mark thinks nothing of using the same language Trump is condemned for using.  Mark attacks through name calling and condescension and scorn any who dare disagree, unless Mark happens to be friends with the violators.  Mark isn’t even above making false and slanderous accusations against people, even to the point of libel.

But Trump says horrible things!  He mocks people for things they can’t help.  He made fun of Carly Fiorina’s looks.  He talks about killing people.  He talks about destroying other countries.  So does Mark.  One of his Facebook followers recently said that things would be better off if America was burned to ashes.  Mark only disagreed because he said Americans, being the murderous barbarians that we are, would take millions of innocent lives with us.  Mark justified his view of America by reminding us of the millions of Indians and Slaves who fell to our murderous, barbaric ancestors.  Imagine if Trump or a Trump supporter produced the same dialogue about another country, like Mexico or China.  Imagine the outrage and anger.

And Mark not only uses death and suffering to advance his opinions, he even has begun to mock people murdered by guns – if those same people were hard right wing activists.  That might seem understandable to some.  But remember, Mark and many others were shocked at how many celebrated the death of Osama bin Ladin or Hugo Chavez, saying that the only appropriate Christian response was to pray for their souls.  Yet many of those same Catholics are rightly shocked when Trump appears so callous and cruel to other people in the world.  Notice a trend?   What about making fun of others like Trump does?  Last election cycle Mark was forced by his own readers to remove a post he had submitted that made fun of Michelle Bachmann’s eyes and facial features.  Sound familiar?

If you want to be objective, there is little difference between how Mark Shea approaches the modern debate and the way Trump does.  Unless you blindly follow and agree with Mark, you see some glaring problems in his approach and his stances that are not unlike Trump’s.  Ah, but that’s the rub.  How can people honestly follow Trump despite his views and behavior?  I give you Mark Shea.  More than one Catholic on the Internet has railed against Donald Trump for multiple reasons, while at the same time endorsing and loving Mark Shea and similar individuals who approach. Continue Reading

17

A Studied Indifference to Evil

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This declared indifference, but, as I must think, covert real zeal for the spread of slavery, I cannot but hate. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world,—enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites; causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty,—criticising the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.

Abraham Lincoln, 1854

 

 

David Griffey at his blog Daffey Thoughts, shines a light on one of the more disgusting developments this election year:  the attempt by some Catholic and conservative bloggers to gin up support for avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, a 100% pro-abort:

 

I read this opinion piece at The Imaginative Conservative, I had to ask myself: When did abortion go from being the only sin that matters to a sin that doesn’t seem to matter at all?  I mean, we’re not talking about a pro-choice politician who has been sort of pro-choice.  We’re talking about someone who has tried to open the gates for any and all abortions, up to and including partial birth abortion even without the mother’s life on the line.  Something so heinous, that it has been called one of the worst murderous crimes in our country today.  And yet, so what if Sanders supports it?  Big deal, right? 

I understand – and have always maintained – that there are more than one or two issues to think about in an election.  But I also understood that there were certain issues that were off the table.  They certainly were when it came to Romney or McCain.  Certain sins that were non-negotiable.  Not because they were all that mattered.  But because there was no way to support them and do so in a sinless way.  There was no ‘right interpretation of abortion.’  There might be different opinions on how to limit it or eliminate it.  But at no point could you say ‘I support unrestricted abortion rights’ and be in the running.

Now it doesn’t just look like abortion isn’t the only big deal.  As more and more Conservatives and Catholics flock to Bernie, it looks like abortion is now no big deal at all.  And by my lights, that is something that will swim around and bite Conservatives, Christians and Catholics in the ass when all is said and done.  Especially if all of the things that have been said about the horrors and evils of abortion through the years are still, you know, true. Continue Reading

25

Daffey Thoughts: Granite State

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us his take on New Hampshire:

 

While for some inexplicable reason Conservatives and Christians still support Trump, much of his support comes from moderate to non-Republican primary voters.  Not enough.  But his appeal to the non-conservative, non-religious vote is noteworthy. Despite that, he continues to wobble around the 1/3 mark in the GOP.  It’s unlikely he will get much higher.  Most Republicans and Conservatives, desperate for change and honesty and promises kept aren’t willing to drop that low.  Just the fact that he picked as his national spokesperson an outspoken hater of Conservatives and Christians should speak volumes.  That’s not counting his stances on various issues that are supposed to be near and dear to conservative hearts.

As a disclaimer, I very much like John Kasich.  I’m not sold on the idea of him being presidential material, but I like and respect the man very much.  He would be a formidable obstacle for Democrats and liberals in a general election.  Kasich was one of the Republicans in the 90s that liberals trotted out against the Gingrich Republicans to say ‘Why can’t you be awesome like Mr. Kasich?’.  That alone is tough to overcome if you’re a Democrat.

Rubio is a good man, and I think down the road presidential material.  But I’m a little gun-shy about electing a young senator with no real executive experience.  Look what happened last time we did that.  Sure, that’s a tough attack for the Democrats, who would have to concede that things didn’t work too well under Obama.  But it is a valid complaint.

Cruz, as I said here, is that guy who seems able to piss everyone off for all the wrong reasons.   He’s abrasive.  He’s that guy who starts a war with our own allies because of the way he is.  Unless he can change on a dime, he is far from the type of person we need in our divided and struggling nation.  He would be divisive in a way that shames Obama.  And just because he might be divisive for issues I care about, doesn’t mean it would end up any better.  In fact, it would likely set up a 2020 Democrat who would then have sympathy for any causes Cruz was against.

Bush?  I’ve never seen a man who seems less interested in running for President than Bush.  I’m still not sure what he stands for except to make it clear he would be better for the pro-choice crowd than staunch anti-abortion Marco Rubio.  I don’t even know if he wants to be there.  I think of that scene in Citizen Kane where Susan pleads with Kane to let her quit singing.  She’s no good, and she knows it.  But Kane has the billions, and he’s able to build whatever opera house she needs to perform in, no matter what the critics say and how much they laugh.  Despite her pleading, he forces her to go on.  I see Bush in a back room with his establishment, billionaire donors doing the same thing.

The rest of the GOP is done and should drop out ASAP.  Christie did the right thing and dropped out, but mainly because of his dismal showing in New Hampshire, where the press had treated him like a major contender.  He torpedoed Rubio fine and good, but pretty much shot himself in the process; a political murder suicide.  And that’s Christie, the bully who holds low income earners to a standard he tries to avoid himself, who supports Obama when convenient, and is willing to jump on board with the radical left at his choosing.  He couldn’t have left the race fast enough.   All that’s left now that Christie and Fiorina have dropped out is the good Dr. Carson. 

The two Democrats aren’t worth discussing.  I certainly would consider a Blue Dog (that’s socially conservative, pro-life) if that person was capable and not off the scale loony.  But I will not vote for candidates who enthusiastically support abortion unfettered and look to Dying socialist, secular, culture-of-death, heretical Europe as their end goal.  If it came to nothing better than that, I wouldn’t vote. 

So there you go.  My disclaimer and opinions.  We’ll wait and see what happens.

 

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When a Mass Shooting is Politically Inconvenient

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts predicts the reaction of the usual suspects to the jihadist attack in San Bernardino:
Of course, it looks like terrorism.  But since 9/11, we’ve learned that terrorism is tough to pin in America.  When Muslims attacked Paris it was terrorism.  It was also thoughts and prayers.  But here, where Liberalism is fighting on  the front lines of global domination, there can be no such niceties or common sense appraisals.  
Now, I’m no soothsayer or prophet.  But here’s a guess.  The liberal advocates will do any or all of the following in the days to come:
  • Focus on gun control
  • Focus on Islamaphobia
  • Focus on parsing terrorism. Remember when any terrorism that wasn’t Al Qaeda wasn’t considered a big deal and we couldn’t focus on that since it wasn’t connected to 9/11?  Expect the same now with Isis.  
  • Focus on the fact that the shooters were not Syrian refugees
  • Appeal to rambling interviews in which we ask things like ‘does it even matter why it happened?’ (as opposed to things like the Charleston shooting or the Tuscon shooting), or just rambled about saying incoherent things about stuff and things
  • And in all things, blame conservatives.  
  • But if it can’t be used to advance the gospel of the Left, expect the whole story to be gone within a week or so.  If it lasts that long.
That’s just a hunch,. 
BTW, it’s two days and counting over at CAEI.  No prayer post or request for prayers.  No mention.  Nothing.  I can’t begin to fathom why.  Perhaps he just wants to focus on the positives of what the Faith teaches.  I just hope the first post addressing it isn’t about the evils of the NRA, conservatives, gun nuts, or racist America.  In short, I hope conservative blogger Mark doesn’t once again echo with almost stunning efficiency the biases and perspectives of the worst elements of the Left. 

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3

Daffey Thoughts

 

A blog I have been reading lately is Daffey Thoughts, run by David Griffey, a Baptist minister who converted to Catholicism.  The video above is from 2006.  He is a graceful writer as demonstrated by this recent post:

This year has been a struggle, as I work things out relative to the shifts that have happened in Catholicism since I’ve been Catholic.  The last vestiges of pre-progressive culture have been swept behind us, except for those sexual issues that would likely not impact celibate men.  Everything else is increasingly along the lines of modern, Western, progressive and even secular social and political theory.

That is enough right there.  Add to it the slammed doors on any hope that I will be able to act in the capacity of a minister of the Gospel, and it’s been tough.  What to give up?  What to sacrifice?  What to commit to?

Well, I decided, a few weeks into Lent I admit, that my penance will be a daily visit to Catholic and Enjoying It.  That may sound strange.  But here is why.

In my early days of looking at non-Protestant Christianity, I stumbled on CAEI largely by accident.  I was searching for some free downloadable articles by Scott Hahn, without success.  Then I found an article by someone named Mark Shea.  It dealt with the strange aversion many Protestants have regarding Mary.  It was direct, but nice.  Even respectful.  There were some clever zingers, making the point without offending.  But the point was solid, fair, and truthful.

I went back, found his website, and gobbled up the articles.  They were almost all wonderful.  Here was a conservative American Catholic, not afraid to point out when Conservatism wasn’t following the path of Christ.  He was also fair when liberalism was correct.  His blog was a little more raucous.  But those were usually the readers.  Mark himself was often the goalie, stepping in and stopping things before they went too far.  Even telling his friends to back off.  No personal attacks or accusations were allowed.  Those would get you the door.

There you had it.  You could be conservative and Catholic.  The stereotype of Catholicism and Liberal Socialism voting Democrats as the sacramental calling of modern Catholicism was not universal.  You could love America, admit it sins, but not emphasize them (which Mark pointed out was often a very un-Christian thing to do).  You could respect the heritage of Western Civilization. You could evenly boldly declare “Why We Must Fight” following 9/11.  He even liked Tolkien, and the books I liked.  And his humor and mine were not too far off each other.

Perhaps it was my own fault that I saw in Mark’s rather balanced approach as what Catholicism was, rather than looking further.  But that was well over ten years ago.

Today, the Church has changed in just the time since we came into it.  The generation that had welcomed Protestant Clergy Converts into the fold have passed to retirement.  With some exceptions in the priesthood, most now in charge (Boomer age) seem to want little to do with us, unless we can design webpages or raise money.  And it isn’t hard to see that Oprah style liberalism and the growing pronouncements about reality from Church leaders sound increasingly the same.  The Bishops’ willingness to almost in one voice support the Democrats in all things, as long as they don’t screw the Church, and the shift toward accepting the Secular narrative are hard to miss.

True, Pope Francis is a horse of a different color.  But those who have studied liberation theology and the Marxist influences in South American Christianity will recognize at least some influences there, even if what he is willing to take a stand against other forms of radical leftist morality (again, usually where sex is concerned).

On CAEI, the change is even more pronounced.  It’s almost an entirely different world.  An entirely different blogger.  Most regulars of old have long since moved on.  The readers are either post-modern non-conformists cheering on their own superiority over all those loser “tribal Catholics”, or clearly hard to the Left progressives, with varying degrees of anti-abortion and non-gay marriage support.  In fact, opposing gay “marriage” is about the only thing that separates much modern talk about homosexuality in the Church from your average LGBT rally. And CAEI echoes this.

CAEI is a strange mixture now of Jack Chick, Glenn Beck, Huffington Post progressive thought, and a reminder that Catholics are, whether we want to admit it or not, heirs of the Inquisition.  For a couple years, many regulars tried to warn that there was little to do with enjoying anything on CAEI, and a growing discrepancy between a man who claims to be conservative, and a man who increasingly seems to love liberalism but hate conservatism.  One by one, those readers have apparently given up and moved on.  Only a handful remain.  God love them.

For me, who has been accused of horrible things by the stock readers and by Mark himself – including not caring about murdered children at Sandy Hook and desiring to increase human slaughter – there is little joy or happiness now.  The anti-Western, anti-American, anti-Traditional and anti-Conservative narrative fully embraced has made me more of an outcast there than I was at the Huffington Post.  And to be honest, I’ve been called far worse on CAEI than I was at the Huffington Post.  And it was leaving HP (as well as being banned for not being liberal) that was one of the reasons I started my blog!  Which is always a possibility at CAEI, since the thing that gets you banned now is pretty much defending traditional and conservative viewpoints, with rare exception. Continue Reading