Deborah Gyapong: February 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

An interesting visit to the Precious Moment's Centre

Over at Sub Tuum, a most interesting account of a visit to the Precious Moments Chapel in the U.S.---a evangelical phenomenon. Fascinating. Read the whole thing, because the author comes to some thoughtful conclusions about Protestant desires for the sacred, even if this expression gives you spiritual diabetes.


As I approached the Missouri line on the drive home from Clear Creek, I began to see signs for the Precious Moments Chapel. I have dual weaknesses for roadside attractions and religious sites, so stopping at a chapel dedicated to the cloyingly sweet child figurines was a foregone conclusion. It also seemed like a good place to take some photos that would make Fr. Robert, Matthew Alderman, and my other artist friends want to jab their eyes out with a pencil. (Well, my artist friends other than Amy—I think she might like this kind of thing even more than I do.)


I took the Carthage exit and soon found myself at the Precious Moments visitor center. It was exactly what I expected, with larger than life fiberglass images in the Precious Moments style and a huge gift shop. I was in a hurry to get back on the road, so I headed straight for the path to the chapel.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The lure of nostalgia for a romantic rural past

I posted today over at The Anglo-Catholic about some thoughts I had following the launch of the Development and Peace Share Lent campaign and how the lure nostalgia for a romantic rural past may prove not to be all its cracked up to be---or even possible to recreate given our connected, globalized world.

I’ve tried the homesteading thing, living on a small farm, where we raised our own beef and pork, kept chickens for eggs, (and tried eating some of them too, but my oh my are they stringy and forget trying to pluck the things), grew beans, alfalfa, got the hay in, shucked piles of cattle corn that would have made Rumpelstiltskin himself blanch, and so on. It’s hard work, and after doing it for a few years, while I liked many aspects of it, the romance is off. I like having a lawn, thank you, not something that the chickens have turned into an expanse of dirt with little shallow depressions they like to dust bathe in. And yeah, try keeping a fence intact that keeps your free-range hens from getting loose. To say nothing of washing manure off eggs. As you may have gathered, I am not good at the domestic arts. My bread always came out in stunted, mean little loaves, my jam runny, and well, journalism saved me from all that and gave me an excuse to buy at the grocery store. Homesteading was a form of voluntary poverty and as my grandmother once said in her thick Russian accent, “Being poor is very interesting for a while, but then it becomes very boring.”

How does this pertain to the Personal Ordinariate?

Because we have already seen here on this blog a yearning for the stability of a rural or small-town parish. I, too, fantasize about how joyful and wonderful it would be to live in a New England, or Ontario-type small town with a quaint main street, perhaps a village green or a park, and a beautiful Anglican Catholic church within walking distance that was open for Mattins, daily mass and Evensong.

But then I think about certain present day realities–the fact that most of the people who go to our little cathedral parish in Ottawa drive a good distance from all directions, some as much as an hour, to attend on Sunday. We dream of being able to buy a bigger building, as we are overflowing, one that could also house Augustine College and St. Timothy’s Classical Christian Academy, and perhaps have a place nearby where we could create or have housing for some of our people, particularly our elderly. But so far, the Lord has not made a way for us in this.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I respond to a critic over at The Anglo-Catholic

I was going to joke around that I was going to beat up poor Terry from Japan who wrote a rather over-the-top response to something I had written, but I decided that since my archbishop reads the blog and we now have a Forward in Faith bishop from the UK on our roster, along with several priests, I should behave myself. The problem is that some people will not get that you're trying to be funny and think you really are "beating up on Terry."

Here's an excerpt:

Last weekend, I attended a service at an Anglican Network in Canada church
in another city. This is the group that has separated from the Anglican
Church of Canada for its departure from the authority of Scripture and
represents the evangelical and charismatic streams of the Canterbury
Communion. I went early to the BCP service, but it was dramatically
different from the formal way my little TAC parish does a said Eucharist.

There were only about four of us present. The minister (he calls
himself a pastor, not a priest) sat with us part of the time. The
readings were not from the day according to the BCP for that Sunday but from the
new lectionary. It was very informal. The sermon was excellent. Very well
thought-out and beautifully linked up Old and New Testament. I was impressed at
how hard he worked at this for such a small audience. The church building
was modern, had some crosses about and some appliqued banners. The altar was a
table of sorts, with no altar coverings to indicate it was Lent. But I felt
welcomed and at home nevertheless. A drum set and microphones were set up
for a contemporary worship service later that morning.

It was not what I have grown accustomed to in our little Traditional
Anglican Communion cathedral in Ottawa, but very familiar to me from previous
experience in evangelical and charismatic churches. And this pastor is a
beautiful, holy Christian. I have had a family emergency going on in that city,
and this man, who did not know me from Adam, responded to an email request on
the recommendation of another Anglican Network priest who is on a Christian
writers’ listserve I belong to, and started visiting my family member in
hospital and has been an immense support to me. That Sunday service was my
first time meeting him face to face.

During his sermon, he mentioned how there could be beautiful, formal
liturgies, but teaching from the pulpit that ran totally contrary to the Word of
God. Uh huh. And I have witnessed beautiful formal liturgies done
with the lips flapping and the bodies moving but it seems the hearts and minds
somewhere else other than on worshipping God. Gee, sometimes it’s me
thinking about something else while my lips say the Confession or the Prayer of
Humble Access. It’s that kind of formalism that has probably done more
than anything else to turn people away from traditional liturgy.

It is possible to make an idol of the Book of Common Prayer, and sadly,
I have found many Traddies, both Anglican and Roman Catholic alike, can tend to
nurse a continual sense of mild outrage. There is always something to be upset
about, right? As I have to tell myself often, being appalled is not one of
the fruits of the Spirit.Yet, I ask, why can’t we have it all? Why
can’t we be as evangelical and fervent about the Holy Scripture and spreading
the Good News as the best evangelicals? As charismatic and freely operating in
the supernatural gifts of the Spirit as the best charismatics? As Catholic and
intellectually profound, assenting to the whole counsel of God, as the best
Catholics? As traditionally Anglo-Catholic with all the smells and bells, the
thees and thous, and genuflection to boot? And while I love and admire the
different expressions of Christian worship in the Body of Christ and have
benefited greatly from the loving witness of my brothers and sisters who are not
Catholic, I hope we can revive a precious heirloom of western civilization
through the Ordinariate and bring back a fullness that many don’t even realize
is missing because they have never experienced it.

There's more, including my relationship with "crafts".

Progressives and the hell of good intentions

Who would have thunk the Canadian 'Human Rights' Commission was behind the destruction of Africville and the destruction of other communities around Canada. But then these types always think they know what's best for the rest of us, no? Here's an interesting article from the Chronicle Herald (h/t Blazing Cat Fur.)

Progressive isn’t a word that’s usually associated with the destruction of
Africville. But some of the people who advocated its destruction had the
best of intentions, according to sociologist Donald Clairmont.

"In North America, the major trend (in the 1960s) throughout the whole society was this urban renewal thing," said Clairmont, a Dalhousie University professor who has written reports and books on the black community that existed for more than 100 years on Bedford Basin’s shores.


Native people in the North were being moved into places like Iqaluit, Nunavut, and Newfoundlanders were relocated from the outports.


In Halifax, the removal of what was considered urban "blight" was
also well underway in the ’60s, Clairmont said in an interview Thursday.

When it came to Africville, "the major players . . . were all into
progressive causes."

Those players included local politicians, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, he said.


The rationale was that the residents would be better off in better housing with sewer and water services.


"Unfortunately, people who had those positions, even if they were well-intentioned, they were unduly optimistic what the renewal would be," Clairmont said in an interview Thursday.

Some residents were moved into substandard housing or into residences they couldn’t afford.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hitler is furious at Pope Benedict and the Apostolic Constitution!

This is hilarious. I’m not allowed to say who sent it to me. Be careful you are not drinking something hot while you watch this.
In case the YouTube thing doesn't load, here's the URL. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mark Steyn on diversity

He writes, in a Corner post that must be read in its entirety:

"Diversity" is not a virtue; it's morally neutral: A group of five white upper-middle-class liberal NPR-listening women is non-diverse; a group of four white upper-middle-class liberal NPR-listening women plus Sudan's leading clitorectomy practitioner is more diverse but not necessarily the better for it. For thirty years we have watched as politically correct fatuities swallowed the entire educational system, while we deluded ourselves that it was just a phase, something kids had to put up with as the price for getting a better job a couple years down the road. The idea that two generations could be soaked in this corrosive bilge and it would have no broader impact was always absurd. When the chief of staff of the United States Army has got the disease, you're in big (and probably terminal) trouble.

Salim Mansur on Shariah acquiesence

He writes:

At the top of the Islamist demands is to make defamation of religion a punishable offence. Since Judaism and Christianity are open to criticism, even ridicule in free and secular societies of the West, such a demand is to make an exception for Islam.

The trial of Geert Wilders in Amsterdam for offending Muslims indicates the extent to which Holland, one of the most open European countries, has tilted in the direction of becoming a “Shariah-compliant” society.

Holland is not alone in this effort to appease the Islamists. Across the West, a chill has fallen over the fundamental right to think and speak freely about Islam like any other subject of public interest.

The not-so-curious fact that the mainstream media remains silent by not exposing the travesty in bringing Wilders to court for expressing his thoughts on Islam — it also remained silent by not publishing the Danish cartoons that incited a large number of Muslims around the world to rage and commit acts of violence — is proof of how great is the peril of western societies conceding de facto or de jure to Islamist demands for Shariah-based rulings.

There is terrible irony in this. Muslims remain the first victims of a Shariah-governed society, and the imposition of Shariah is the primary cause of the contemporary retardation of Muslim countries.

But the Islamists have succeeded in making the argument that the faith in, and the practice of, Islam is confined by the Shariah, and anything outside of it is non-Islam.

I don't particularly like it when things that are sacred to Christians are mocked, blasphemed, and desecrated in the name of freedom of expression, but a state-imposed solution to prevent it is far worse. And even worse than that is a state-solution that enables the mullahs or the priests or the commissars of any faith--religious or non--to use the levers of state power to punish anyone who disagrees. We're drifting into that now in Canada, with the Jennifer Lynches and Barbara Hallses of this world using state power to enforce their wonky, unpredictable brand of multiculturalism, which is really a form of secular fundamentalism. And that's to say nothing about the either strange denial or tacit awe that some folks on the left have for radical Islam.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ignatieff urges abortion for the world's poor says headline

It isn't often that the CBC reports on the Catholic Register's front page design:

Catholic Register takes on Ignatieff

catholicregistercover.jpg
As headlines go, most political leaders would probably prefer to avoid one like this.
The Catholic Register is the largest national Catholic weekly newspaper in Canada. According to its website, its print circulation is 35,000.
A February 5 article by Catholic Register staff has the following lede:
It is astonishing and sad that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is advocating that Canada fund overseas abortions, charged Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins.
Collins, the leader of Canada's largest diocese, is said to find it "sad to see Ignatieff making such a negative proposal." The article quotes from the Archbishop's February 4 statement:
"There are many fruitful ways to improve maternal and child health, and the discussion should centre on the most effective strategies for doing this."

Victor Davis Hanson asks the question that needs to be asked

At The Corner, he writes (my bolds):

Those who accuse former Bush administration officials of criminality for having supported enhanced interrogation techniques are nearly silent about the ongoing and vastly increased targeted assassinations ordered by the Obama administration, and I for one am confused by this standard of attack.

If a suspected jihadist on the Afghan Pakistan border were to be asked his choice, he might very well prefer to be apprehended, transported to Guantanamo, and harshly interrogated rather than blown to bits along with any family and friends who happen to be in his vicinity.

To make things simpler, water-boarding the confessed architect of the murder of 3,000 innocents, on a moral scale, seems less atrocious than executing suspected terrorists, as we are now doing. Since the easy denunciations of criminality are moral rather than legal — no one has actually convicted a John Yoo or a Dick Cheney of anything — surely we should hear something about these capital sentences handed down from the sky on those who, quite unlike KSM, are suspected, rather than confessed, killers.

This is not a question of either advocating the use of water-boarding or criticizing the Obama administration for its judge-jury-and-executioner Predator attacks against probably dangerous terrorists. It is simply a matter of curiosity about why in the former case there is loud moral outrage but in the latter, far harsher instance, relative silence.


This is the whole thing about the left. Little things are defined up as incredibly deviant and beyond the pale, such as telling the truth that might hurt the feelings of some protected ethnic group, but killing millions in the name of Marxist ideology gets a yawn or a is secretly supported in the name of "if you have to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs."

Mark Steyn on the Vancouver Olympics LOL

In a post called "As the World Curls" which leads to a transcript of his latest Thursday gabfest with Hugh Hewitt, Mark said:

I love the ice dancing, because the chicks are generally hot, and then the guys in those stupid, little bolero jackets all sort of twirling about like some camp waiter after John Kerry’s decided to send back the Belgian endive, I mean, I just find the whole idea of the winter Olympics, and I especially love curling, of course, which is fantastic, because curling is, the most unfit guys at the winter Olympics are guys in their sort of late 40s, early 50s, chain-smoking guys who look they’ve been sleeping in a dumpster all week…


Gosh, could you imagine what would happen if Mark Steyn teamed up with a stable of cartoonists? Heh heh heh.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

John Zmirak on why traddies like it traddy

The old liturgy was crafted by saints, and can be said by schlubs without risk of sacrilege. The new rite was patched together by bureaucrats, and should only be safely celebrated by the saintly.

snip

So what is the practical motivation that drives us Trads to schlep to distant or dangerous parishes, to irritate our spouses and incommode our pastors, to detach from local churches our grandparents scrimped to build? Why insist on external things, like kneeling for communion on the tongue, male altar servers, and the priest facing the altar? None of these, I'll admit for the 5,000th time, is essential for sacramental validity or credal orthodoxy; isn't being a stickler on such issues a wee bit pharisaical, even prissy? (I have encountered the odd Trad activist with an unnatural attachment to silk and lace -- pastors wearily call them "daughters of Trent" -- but they aren't the norm. Weary fathers of six or seven pack most Latin Mass pews.)
Here's what we Trads have realized, that the merely orthodox haven’t: Inessential things have power, which is why we bother with them in the first place. In every revolution, the first thing you change is the flag. Once that has been replaced, in the public mind all bets are off -- which is why the Commies and Nazis filled every available space with their Satanic banners. Imagine, for a moment, that a newly elected president replaced the Stars and Stripes with the Confederate battle flag. Or that he replaced our 50 stars with the flag of Mexico. Let's say he got away with doing this, and wasn't carried off by the Secret Service to an "undisclosed location." What would that signify for his administration? If people accepted the change, what else would they be likely to accept?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Australia's TAC votes to join Catholic Church

From the Telegraph:

Forward in Faith Australia, part of the Anglo-Catholic group that also has members in Britain and America, is setting up a working party guided by a Catholic bishop to work out how its followers can cross over to Rome.

It is believed to be the first group within the Anglican church to accept Pope Benedict XVI’s unprecedented offer for disaffected members of the Communion to convert en masse while retaining parts of their spiritual heritage.

So far only the Traditional Anglican Communion, which has already broken away from the 70 million-strong Anglican Communion, has declared that its members will become Catholics under the Apostolic Constitution.

snip

On Feb 13th the group unanimously voted to investigate setting up an Ordinariate - an ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church - in Australia.

It has formed a working group with a Catholic bishop, Bishop Peter Elliott, along with the breakaway TAC and the national church, ACA, to “set in train the processes necessary for establishing an Australian Ordinariate”.


I hope the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops will select someone from among their ranks to be the champion of the Anglican Ordinariate the way Bishop Elliott is in Australia.




What an annoying woman

Who gave Sr. Joan Chichester the right to judge God and the Church?

Here's an interview Patrick Craine did with her from LifeSiteNews.com

LSN: It's been reported that you hold positions that are divergent from Catholic magisterial teaching. Would you say that's correct?

JC: Well, yes, I guess it is correct. It's not an opposition position. It is a position of query, of theological and scriptural commitment and search. I'm asking the question, for instance, how do we understand God if God made women inferior to men, incapable of functioning as full adults, full moral agents, in a society. What makes God a sexist? And if God is not a sexist, when are we going to discuss this question as a Church? The way we treat women is a result of our theology. What we keep them out of, what we allow them to do, what we respect in them. It emerged out of making a statement some years ago that I felt that the question of the role and place of women in the Church was a necessary discussion, and that it stood on strong theological concerns.

LSN: How do you see the Church being sexist, as you said. In what particular ways do you see that happening?

JC: Well, I think it's pretty obvious. It's not going to take a rocket scientist to figure it out. For instance, we have always had marital instructions for women that their role was submission to the husband. Now when we see that on television, and we see it in China, or Japan, or Islam, we think it's terrible. But it was our operational theology for years and years. And even now we claim that there's very strong separate roles for women. We argue that they are not – not only are they not fit matter to be ordained, as if Jesus came to earth to be male instead of flesh, but we don't even see women as fit matter to have their feet washed in a church on Holy Thursday. Now, we have a double standard, and we have had it for a long long time. It needs to be reviewed. We have a Church that is based, like the rest of society, admittedly, on a patriarchal system – men are at the top, men are the last word, men are the first authority in everything. The problem is - it seems to me, as a follower of Jesus, when I look at Jesus and the way Jesus dealt with men and women in his society and I look at the way the Church excludes women from the heart of the system, both in the Vatican, and in chanceries, and in dioceses, and in seminaries everywhere, that I have to wonder how it is that secular institutions are leading the development of women in society, rather than churches. I think that's shameful.

-snip-

JC: I don't know. Whatever you're talking about. What are the infallible teachings in question?

LSN: Well, the question about women's “ordination”, contraception...

JC: Ordination is a question of infallibility?

LSN: Absolutely.

JC: Oh, well then what happened to Peter and his mother-in-law?

LSN: What do you mean?

JC: Well, Peter had a mother-in-law.

LSN: Yes?

JC: Well, was Peter allowed to be a priest? What are we doing here?

LSN: Yes.

JC: We had married priests all the way to the 13th century. None of them were priests?

LSN: I'm not talking about married ordination. I'm talking about women's ordination.

JC: Ah. Women's ordination. I see. That's your problem. Women, right.

LSN: My problem isn't with women. My problem is with women's “ordination”.

JC: But women couldn't be ordained. But you do know that men could be ordained, right? So it's only women?

LSN: Yes.

JC: Ah. And on what do you base that?

LSN: On the teaching of the Church and the will of Christ.

JC: No, no, no. What's it based on?

LSN: The idea that only men can be ordained?

JC: Yeah.

LSN: It's based on the fact that that's the way Christ ordained it.

JC: Christ didn't ordain anybody, Patrick.

LSN: Christ decided that men were to be ordained.

JC: No, Christ didn't decide that men would be ordained. You have to have a little more theology before you begin to ask questions, Patrick. You can't overlay it with another whole theology that is your own. You're either asking questions because you're interested in the answers, which is a good journalistic question, or you're asking questions because you want to shape them one way or another. I really think – I'm happy to come to Canada. I think this is a great program that they're doing, allowing, they're enabling a wonder reflection on life for a Lenten season for the entire Church. I think it's phenomenal, and I think that to try to upset that in any way outside of or because of your own personal questions or in order to, somehow or other, mix those questions at this time, I think that's a journalistic disservice.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Flaming vestments----LOL

My laugh of the day from over at Bad Vestments, which has several great new posts. My fave:

THEMES TO AVOID

Flames. Particularly when they're coming from that direction.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Three paradoxically creepy words: human rights commission

Lorne Gunther writes in the National Post about a recent decision in Quebec:

Still, on Wednesday, the Quebec Human Rights Commission (Are there any three words more paradoxically creepy these days then “human rights commission?”) ruled that the Ste.-Marie-de-Beauce condo association must order Ms. Nolet to give her parking space to Ms. Myrand as of March 1. On top of that, all 35 of Ms. Myrand’s co-owners must contribute to a $10,000 award to compensate her for their failure to accommodate her handicap.

The Quebec tribunal claims Ms. Myrand was discriminated against because her neighbours used “insulting and degrading language” toward her and “violated the inclusive values promoted by our society.” The condo association is also alleged at one point to have suggested Ms. Myrand might be using her obesity for personal benefit.

Oh my God, call in the Dignity Squad, ready the Diversity Brigade, gear up the Re-education Detention Facility.

There but for the grace of God goes North America

We have a growing segment of our population that sounds like this horrid description of what is happening in Greece, from a letter posted on the Spengler blog at First Things (my bolds):

The common psychological traits of the corruption are what the ancients called alazoneia (brash presumption of knowledge by the ignorant) and anaischuntia (shamelessness). All public institutions have one purpose: Suck money from the EU (or via loans) and redistribute it through an inverted pyramid of chicanery with the the loaf going to the top, the crumbs to the bottom. Most people in their little niches of decay are “expert” at this. They “know” the ropes. As the country psychologically devolves there are no lines demarcating the “good from the “bad”, “responsibility” from irresponsibility”. No one ever goes to jail; no one gets punished.

-snip-

But one should not discount the possibility that psychological despair and irrationality (fueled with desires to live the good life on a dole) may not spark suicidal actions along the way. Keep in mind that the youth have been completely alienated (corrupted and ‘consumerized’ by their parents) and their despair adds another factor of instability.

The country is sliding into psychological despair within a cocoon of unrequited desires that have been inflamed and legitimized over the years. Anger is rampant.

-snip-

One of the delusions is that there is a moral kernel in the country that we can turn to for consolation and renewal. There is no such thing. The corruption went too deep. The country is completely unprotected on the cultural and moral front. This too has not seeped in. And yet when people become desperate; when their world starts to crumble around them and all their delusions about themselves and their good life not only collapse, but do so without any legacy to fall back on and no dream to look forward to, then beware. We are in unchartered territory where Furies and Ate pilot the ship.


It would seem that the Obama administration and its huge deficits and culture of entitlement is trying to push the United States on this trajectory.

The state is no savior. It robs people of their self-reliance and independence aka dependence on the real Savior.

This is so, so sad. Yet I see these delusions among so many on the left here in Canada and in the young who do not know Christ as Lord.




The great Mark Steyn's must-read column for today

In another penetrating look at the suicide of western civilization, Mark Steyn writes about the Green Police in the Audi Superbowl commercial, the arrest of an American student named Nick George who got pulled out for extra screening because of the Arabic flash cards in his pocket, the singing of My Way and more. Here are some excerpts to tempt you to click over to read the whole thing:

But now Audi flogs you its vehicles on the basis that it's the most convenient way to submit to arbitrary state authority. Forty years ago, when they first began selling over here, it's doubtful the company would have considered this either a helpful image for a German car manufacturer or a viable pitch to the American male.

But times change. As Jonah Goldberg pointed out, all the men in the Audi ad are the usual befuddled effete new-male eunuchs that infest all the other commercials. The sort of milksop who'll buy the TDI and then, when the Green Police change their regulatory requirements six weeks later, obediently take it back to the shop and pay however many thousand bucks to have it brought it into compliance with whatever the whimsical tyrant's emissions regime requires this month.


What is the car company that has a commercial that starts with one of those thin Vegan-looking males holding one of the lightbulbs from hell to show how responsible environmentally it is to buy this vehicle. Ugh. Do they think that only women buy cars now?

Mark continues:


If you think "conformo-radicalism" is a contradiction in terms, well, such is the way of the world. It was reported last week that as many as a dozen men have been killed in disputes arising from karaoke performances of Frank Sinatra's "My Way." Surely, bellowing out "I did it my way" to Frank's backing track in a karaoke bar is the very definition of not doing it your way, but it's marginally less pathetic than the song's emergence in post-Christian Britain as a favorite funeral anthem: For what is a man? What has he got? If not himself, then he has not? Nothing sums up your iconoclastic individualism than someone else's signature song, right?

That's Nick George: "9/11? I do it my way." That's the metrosexual ninny in the Audi ad: "Thinking the way everyone else thinks has never felt so cool." The good news is, as in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," there are still a few holdouts. The Washington Post ran a remarkable headline this week: "Europe Could Use Its Own Tea Party." Underneath David Ignatius went through the obligatory metropolitan condescension toward America's swampdwelling knuckledraggers before acknowledging that the Continent's problem was that there was no similar populist movement demanding fiscal sanity from the governing class.

He's right. I've been saying for months that the difference between America and Europe is that, when the global economy nosedived, everywhere from Iceland to Bulgaria mobs took to the streets and besieged Parliament, demanding to know why government didn't do more for them. This is the only country in the developed world where a mass movement took to the streets to say we can do just fine if you control-freak statists would just stay the hell out of our lives, and our pockets. You can shove your non-stimulating stimulus, your jobless jobs bill, and your multitrillion-dollar porkathons. This isn't karaoke. These guys are singing "I'll do it my way" for real.

But it's awfully late in the day. The end is near, we face the final curtain . . . .


Go on over and read it all.

Most interesting insight into the Jewish faith

"Spengler" over at First Things writes the following about the loss of the cantorial tradition in Judaism. My oh my how this parallels what has happened in Christianity. My bolds:


Cantorial preparation, the school thinks, simply isn’t as important as it used to be. According to Marissa Brostoff’s Feb. 11 note in The Tablet:

These tensions come to the fore in the institution of the cantorate. In the immediate postwar years, most Reform and Conservative congregations boasted a charismatic, operatic cantor, who sometimes even eclipsed the rabbi. Reform Judaism began a move away from this model toward more participatory services in the 1960s and ’70s. The Conservative movement has been caught in something of a bind: while it has more recently embraced the shift in an effort to lure a younger audience, doing so has served to further blur the line that divided it from the Reform movement.

Traditional chazzanut, or Jewish cantorial art, plays a crucial role in Orthodox liturgy, particularly in the Eastern European (Ashkenazic) tradition. It is perfectly acceptable to pray without the leadership of a cantor, or chazzan, but a skilled cantor adds a dimension to prayer. Conservative congregations are important [importing?] more popular music into liturgy: Israeli folk music, pseudo-Hasidic melodies, and material derived from Hollywood. This suits the “lightly affiliated” Jews who make up the bulk of the membership at Conservative synagogues. To contemporary ears, traditional synagogue chant sounds jarring and anachronistic. “Participatory services” are about participating, not about praying. Having thrown out the bathwater, the Conservative movement now is throwing out the baby.

It is a dreadful loss, in my opinion.

How is it possible to repeat the same prayers every day and every Sabbath, and yet hear them in a fresh way? Yet that is what the rabbinical authorities require. The great 11th-century Torah commentator Rashi derives this injunction from Exodus 19:1; in in that chapter the Israelites gather below Mt. Sinai and hear the voice of God declare the Ten Commandments. The verse reads, “ In the third month of the children of Israel’s departure from Egypt, on this day they arrived in the desert of Sinai.”

Rashi asks, “On the New Moon (Mechilta, Shab. 86b). It could have said only, ‘on that day.’ What is the meaning of ‘on this day’? That the words of the Torah shall be new to you, as if they were given just today.”

Judaism above all else is the recreation of the moment of revelation at Sinai in all of time, such that time itself dissolves into a single eternal moment. The reading of the Torah in its annual cycle and the study of Torah, which the rabbis called the most important of all obligations, is sacramental rather than scholarly: all Israel continues to stand before God at Sinai.

Wow. But isn't this similar to what takes place in the Eucharist for Christians, the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stolen from Damian Thompson's blog

Yikes!

Damian writes

Never let it be said that Tabletistas have a monopoly on ecclesiastical dress that reflects the glorious diversity of our times. Thanks to the Bad Vestments blog for this picture of the Most Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori and fellow bishops of The Episcopal Church. Alas, none of them is likely to take advantage of Anglicanorum coetibus, so these glad rags are one bit of “Anglican patrimony” that won’t be crossing the Tiber…

Somebody's been raiding Mommy's wardrobe again...Somebody's been raiding Mommy's wardrobe again..

Father Z on a Roman ordinariate in the Anglican Communion

Heh heh heh. This had me laughing out loud this afternoon up on the Hot Room on Parliament Hill.

I have a suggestion for these Vatican II Spirit defending "Vat-trads".

It’s time to get organized!

Since you seem to want to be Anglicans, leave that closet and ask Archbishop Rowan Williams for your own Ordinariate.

You could get your own "Vat-trad" corner safe from Rome and its interference!

Within your "Spirit of Vatican II Ordinariate" you will enjoy your most cherished traditions. Think of all the ceramic, guitars, hip music, big puppets and, above all, an English liturgy loaded with perpetually revised dynamic equivalence.

After all, the old lame-duck ICEL translation has been in use for almost 40 whole years! That certainly constitutes a tradition worth fighting for, doesn’t it?

If the Pope wants priests to "turn back the clock", to turn their backs on the people, turn your backs on him, I say!

"Hell no! Let’s just go!" See? Slogans are easy!

"Why don’t we just say ‘Anglican’?" There’s another.

You find the most interesting comments over at The Anglo Catholic

Œcumenical Catechism

1. We agree that the best tea is Burmese first leaf.

2. Be kind to animals, unless they are crypto-fascist traditionalists.

3. Do not tolerate the intolerant!

4. Potted plants are better in church than statues.

5. Swimming pools make the best baptisteries.

6. On all else, we agree to disagree.

(This Catechism is short and therefore saves paper. Be green!)

Finding the real manly identity

I very much enjoyed writing this story up about Fr. Mark Slatter's recent Theology on Tap here in Ottawa. Here is an excerpt from the Western Catholic Reporter, which gave it a nice full page treatment:

Father Mark Slatter says some groups helping Catholic men explore male identity risk becoming parodies.

These groups promote a "hyper-masculinized version of what it means to be a man," the moral theologian, street minister and Saint Paul University professor told a recent Ottawa Theology on Tap.

Such hyper-masculinity can include speaking loudly, praying loudly, filling the room with one's presence and "taking the leadership reins," he said.

Slatter described this approach as bad psychology and bad theology. It twists the words of Jesus and can halt real transformation.

He also took aim at ways men allow themselves to be defined by women. If men think women want a man who cries, they will cry, he said.

Misandry - a hatred or contempt for men - in society at large is also attacking male identity, especially in the depictions of fathers on popular TV shows, he said. Such programs show them as "hapless, incompetent, clueless boys who haven't grown up with their toys."

Men need to find their identity as sons of God, but this requires the death of the "ego."

"My primary identity is as a child of God," he said. "My relationship with God the Father tells me who I am."

"He is the only one who gets me, who gets you."

But coming to understand that real identity involves facing the interior "civil war between the real me and the B.S. me," Slatter said.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Ayan Hirsi Ali and Niall Ferguson have a thing going' on

Kathy Shaidle produces a segment of this Daily Mail story, adding her own hyperlinks and bolds in red:

The internationally celebrated historian and TV presenter Niall Ferguson has broken up with his wife of 16 years after a string of adulterous affairs.

The 45-year-old Harvard professor has left former newspaper editor Susan Douglas, with whom he has three children, for his mistress, the Somalian-born feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Ferguson, who also has high-level links to the Tory Party, with a seat on the board of the Right-wing think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies, has been seen with Ms Hirsi Ali at a number of high-profile events over recent months.

The pair are understood to have met at Time magazine’s prestigious 100 Most Influential People In The World party in New York last May.

Ms Luscombe, a friend of Ms Hirsi Ali, said: ‘I think that is where they met for the first time. In all the years I have known Ayaan, she’s never had a boyfriend. She’s gorgeous, but with a fatwa, it’s tricky to find guys.’

Is the burka a symbolic shroud?

Phyllis Chesler writes:

In Turkey—a country which was nearly accepted as a member by the European Union—a father and grandfather recently buried Medine Memi, a sixteen-year-old girl, alive—and all because she was seen talking to boys. Medine was repeatedly beaten. She ran to the police but they did not help her. When the men buried her she was “alive and fully conscious.”

This savage, heartless, primitive act is the ultimate, logical consequence of burying women alive—shrouding them–while they are still allowed to roam the earth. One becomes claustrophobic under the burqa, until one gets used to, indeed becomes dependent upon, being seen as a ghost, a phantom, invisible, not-quite-human, as good as dead.

All this past week, I received news of this Buried Alive atrocity in Turkey. I refrained from writing about it. What can one say? There is nothing to say. There is everything to do. No one is doing anything.

But, all over Europe, they are fighting about the Islamic Veil. Should burqas (full body shrouds) and niqab (face masks) be banned? Should hijab remain banned in school in France?Imams do not have to shame the government in a place like Egypt (or Afghanistan), where Muslim girls and women are being buried alive in another way: literally shrouded, face-masked, and hijabbed.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Brian Lilley on Archbishop Collins' latest salvo



One of Canada's top Catholic clerics has fired a shot across the bow of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and in the process sent a warning to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins issued a statement late Thursday saying it was "astonishing" that Ignatieff was advocating for contraception and abortion to become part of Harper's G8 proposal to reduce maternal and child mortality in the developing world.

"When there are so many obvious practical steps that can be taken to promote maternal and child health throughout the world, it is sad to see Mr. Ignatieff introduce into the discussion this negative proposal, which in no way serves to improve the health of mothers or children, but which rather imperils the most vulnerable among us."

Archbishop Collins, who represents 1.7 million Catholics across an area that covers much of the GTA and the area north of Toronto up to Georgian Bay, says the focus of any such proposal to improve the lives of women and children should focus on clean water, improved nutrition and vaccines, not abortion.

The statement is unusual in that it singles out a specific politician for a specific proposal but comments on policy by Canada's Catholic bishops is not unusual in and of itself. In the last year, the bishops have spoken out on euthanasia, human trafficking and several international issues from Israel to Sri Lanka. And while this statement seems to focus on Ignatieff, in saying, "We all await with keen interest the tangible measures that the Prime Minister will propose," Collins has put Harper on notice as well.

Please click through and read the whole thing because Brian has some really astute analysis.

David Cameron. Conservative?

Ruth Gledhill writes:

Tory leader David Cameron has launched an astonishing attack on the Church of England over its attitudes to homosexuality. In an interview with the gay magazine Attitude, Cameron tells award-winning journalist Johann Hari that 'our Lord Jesus' would back equality and gay rights if he were around today. He says he doesn't want to get into a row with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. 'But I think the Church has to do some of the things that the Conservative Party has been through - sorting this issue out and recognising that full equality is a bottom line full essential.' He also introduces a new phrase to the English language, one that might be current in High Tory circles but not one I've heard before, in reference to Muslim women: 'Blowing the hijab off them.'

Ho ho. And we all thought he was a politician.

Our Lord Jesus would call us all to die to our sin natures so that we can receive our new nature in Him. As we die with him in baptism, we rise with Him in new life. Chastity is a hallmark of our new identity, whether married or single.

Too bad David Cameron failed Sunday school. What a terrible pass he puts real conservatives in. I could never vote for someone like this.

"Spengler" contemplates buying a black hat

He writes over at his First Thing's blog:


“Follow your bliss” was the watchword of the late Joseph Campbell, the cultural anthropologist who popularized the idea of the universal “hero’s journey” and the “spiritual quest.” Campbell was also an anti-Semite

The controversy surrounding the ritual role of women at the Kotel (the western wall of the Jerusalem Temple) peaked in the last several days with the arrest of women for adopting male roles (specifically, carrying the Torah scrolls during a prayer service last week). I do not propose to evaluate charges that the Israeli police overreacted, much less to address the difficult issue of women’s ritual leadership in Jewish worship. But the statement issued January 27 by the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary made me want to go out and buy a black hat:

By permitting ultra-Orthodox extremists to control public life and block other caring and devoted Jews from fully realizing their spiritual quest, intentionally or not you send a message that Israel is not committed to democratic principles.

Quest, schmest. Who cares if anyone realizes their “spiritual quest”? That, if you will pardon the term is not goyische naches (a deprecatory Yiddish term referring to something that would give satisfaction to a Gentile) but pagan naches. It bespeaks Campbell’s New Age, narcissistic search for self-realization, not the fearful and ecstatic encounter with the creator of the universe.

The God who loved Abraham stands beyond all hymns and praises of which humanity is capable, states our most frequently-recited prayer, the Kaddish. How is it possible to approach this transcendent and omnipotent God? Judaism’s answer (and in a different way, Christianity’s) is that God himself has given us the means to approach him, through the Temple service of which ritual prayer is the successor, through Torah study, and through imitation of God in the form of works of lovingkindness. It is not a quest that we cook up for ourselves: it is a path not too difficult for our foot to tread.

Catholic Bishop Peter J. Elliot explains the Ordinariates

But what does Pope Benedict’s welcome and offer involve? You have to be clear about this before saying “yes”, “no”, even “maybe”.

The Pastor of the nations is reaching out to give you a special place within the Catholic Church. United in communion, but not absorbed – that sums up the unique and privileged status former Anglicans will enjoy in their Ordinariates.

Catholics in full communion with the Successor of St Peter, you will be gathered in distinctive communities that preserve elements of Anglican worship, spirituality and culture that are compatible with Catholic faith and morals. Each Ordinariate will be an autonomous structure, like a diocese, but something between a Personal Prelature (as in Opus Dei, purely spiritual jurisdiction), or a Military Ordinariate (for the Armed Forces). In some ways, the Ordinariate will even be similar to a Rite (the Eastern Catholic Churches). You will enjoy your own liturgical “use” as Catholics of the Roman Rite. At the same time your Ordinaries, bishops or priests, will work alongside diocesan bishops of the Roman Rite and find their place within the Episcopal Conference in each nation or region.

There is no “hidden agenda” here, no popish trap! So beware of warnings from certain traditional Anglican bloggers or pamphleteers. They distort the Pope’s offer because they cling to small fiefdoms and purist enclaves – where they do as they wish. Indeed, the Ordinariates come under the discipline of the Church and her laws, but the Code of Canon Law is also a detailed charter of our rights as clergy and laity.

The decision to be reconciled through an Ordinariate can only made through following personal conscience, that is, after prayer, study and reflection. This is a step of faith in Jesus Christ and his Church. It involves accepting all the teachings of the Church on faith and morals.

Such a personal assent of faith needs to be formed and informed. To use an Anglican expression, please “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest” the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This summarises the Faith “once given”, embodied in one Word of God that comes to us, as the Second Vatican Council teaches, through Scripture and Tradition.

There will be sacrifices, but humility and suffering are parts of a faith journey – and many of you have already suffered much for the sake of conscience.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Jennifer Lynch is sharpening her nails--watch out!


I guess because there's been a lull in commentary about the egregious overreach of "human rights" commissions, the Canadian Human Rights Commission's chief commissar is wading back into the fray with efforts to preserve the detestable censorship provision Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Scaramouche, Five Feet of Fury and Mark Steyn are all over it. Mark writes:


Kathy Shaidle makes another point - that the CHRC is now Canada's largest publisher of racist commentary: It's the one-stop shop for all your racist needs. To take another point I made to Parliament:

Let me take the most recent example of a section 13 conviction. The sole charge on which Marc Lemire was found guilty a month ago was for a post that appeared at his website, written by somebody else. That piece was read by a grand total of just eight people in the whole of Canada, which works out to 0.8 of a Canadian per province, or if you include territories, 0.6153 of a Canadian. And almost all those 0.6153s of a Canadian going to this website and reading this piece were Richard Warman and his fellow dress-up Nazis at the Human Rights Commission, salivating at the prospect of having found another witch to provide more bounty.

In other words, no one in Canada saw this post. No one in Canada read it. Nothing could be less “likely to expose” anyone to hatred or contempt than an unread post at an unread website. Yet Canadian taxpayers paid for Jennifer Lynch and the Nazi fetishists at the commission to investigate this unread bit of nothing for six years.

In the course of securing this itsy-bitsy single conviction, these psychologically disturbed employees of the Human Rights Commission wrote and distributed far more hate speech of their own.

By the way, Kathy is absolutely right to reprint one of the "hate poems" helpfully anthologized by the CHRC. Aside from the fact that the author should have been prosecuted for his appalling false rhymes, the notion that material deemed not only criminal but dangerous if printed on a private unread web site can be disseminated perfectly legally by a far more widely read government website exposes the lie on which Commissar Lynch's lavish sinecure rests - that, if exposed to this material, the moronic citizenry would be rampaging down the 401 from one pogrom to the next.

No, they wouldn't. It's wholly irrelevant to the Queen's peace, but it's vital to control-freak conceptions of state power.



What's interesting is that under Section 13 as written there is no defense for truth and no defense for motive. The speech is deemed to be harmful because of its impact on designated minority groups, not on whether it is factually true or whether the person making the expression was inwardly motivated by hatred.

So, Jennifer Lynch et. al. could argue that their posting the tacky poem that got Mark Lemire into trouble is okay because their motivation is to show how hard they are working to rid the world of hate speech. But no, she is in violation of Section 13 as it is written.

If a magazine or a blog posts the poem for journalistic reasons, those motives would not count for a hill of beans under Section 13 and the latest postmodern "human rights" thinking if some interest group decided to make an example of you. Mark Steyn got hauled before three jurisdictions for accurately quoting Imams and citing accurate statistics about demographic trends. Truth is no defense, neither is motive under these various "human rights" codes. And clearly there are people out there who like filing complaints merely for the hassle it causes.

Yeah, yeah, the CHRT has "written in" Taylor and Jennifer Lynch has smiled her Cheshire-cat smile in agreement, while at the same time appealing the CHRT Lemire decision. What other reason than to back the previous status quo? Or to say that Lemire's poem was so hateful that it did fit the definition.

You see, the open-ended Section 13, even interpreted by the penumbra of Taylor, (which does speak to motive and narrows what constitutes hate speech) gives power to folks like Lynch that makes her the chief arbiter of what one is allowed to say or publish in Canada. It also gives activists of various stripes can use to punish their political opponents through lawfare.

Here's what the CHRC is saying now:


5.1 Definition of hatred and contempt - The Commission applies the restrictive definition of hatred and contempt established by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Taylor case. Applying this definition ensures that the exercise of the Commission’s mandate does not offend the Charter.

This means that in order to come within the ambit of section 13, the communication that is the subject of the complaint must be so excessive and extreme in nature that it suggests that a given race, sex, religion or other group identifiable in relation to one or more grounds in the CHRA is devoid of any redeeming qualities as human beings. If the message does not meet this threshold, it will not be found to come within the ambit of section 13, notwithstanding that the message is offensive, controversial, shocking or disgusting to some.


But then it thought Lemire's poem fit the bill. You can read the poem on the CHRC site here.

It goes on to talk about non-whites and people with turbans etc. displacing whites. It's the kind of stuff that would make me not want to read Mark Lemire's site and possibly explains why his readership was so low.

But should this be against the law?

Do you want Jennifer Lynch deciding? What about a legitimate news story on how some ethnic groups might be using welfare and Canada's generous family class programs to abuse our system?

Where does it end?

And then, how come you never see any human rights commission taking action against signs in downtown Toronto or Calgary talking about killing the Jews?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

David Warren and the relationship of climate change to chastity

Most interesting, as usual. Here's an excerpt but read the whole column which goes into the various projections of dire effects from Anthropogenic Global Warming that have been recently shown to have no scientific basis whatsoever:

Like communist apparatchiks in the good old days, a global warm-alarmist may "honestly" think he is serving a higher purpose, that he is on "the right side of history," that he must cut a few corners for the greater good, that the end will eventually justify the means. Read Dostoevsky on this. The book is Crime and Punishment, and the character is Raskolnikov. By subtle increments a failure of candour degenerates into major-league crime.

Not only all the numbers, but all the assumptions behind "AGW" -- not "most," but all -- have depended on the manipulation of facts by persons who had an interest in manipulating them. Often the specific incident is small, but the falsehood is cumulative. Investment in the illusion grows, the stakes become too large to forfeit. Yet the reality remains: that we still don't know any more about long-term human influence on climate than Punxsutawney Phil can know by observing his own shadow.

This should have been obvious to climatologists from the beginning. At the simplest level, they could observe that global temperature estimates depended on a slur of constantly changing thermometer locations and time sequences. NASA's recent admissions are the more pathetic for that reason: from the top down, these were men who should have known better than to think they could fly beyond the end of such a limb.

I have argued previously for chastity: not limited to the sexual sense, of keeping one's pants on. The virtue of chastity requires us to look at the world without immediately engaging our desires. Those desires are often not sexual at all; some of the most powerful involve justifying one's livelihood. A scientist with an interest in getting a result is under huge temptation, compounded by the huge public funding on which his research depends.

Our mysterious capacity for chastity can put us above the animal level: for if we try, we can actually remove the blinkers of, "What's in it for me?" -- and discover truths larger than ourselves. The highest arts and sciences require alike the highest conditions of chastity. It is what lifts us above the groundhogs.

The upcoming lawfare trial of the century

Ever heard of lawfare? Soft jihad? You will soon.

The so-called Hairless Sockpuppet is suing Ezra Levant. Heh heh heh. I'm ordering a CASE of microwave popcorn for this performance that will put Awan's name down in the annals of Canadian history.

His name will one day be synonymous with lawfare. And a source of shame for generations.

The excellent Robert Sibley gives some background on the man who is foolish enough to sue Ezra
(my bolds).


Khurrum Awan, one-time president of the Canadian Islamic Congress’s youth wing, and sidekick to Congress leader Mohammed Elmasry, undertook the complaints against Steyn. The latter, as I’m sure everyone remembers, once declared on The Michael Coren Show that every Israeli over the age of 18 was a legitimate terrorist target. (I’ve provided an excerpt below for those who’ve forgotten what Elmasry said. I’ve often wondered why he wasn’t charged with hate speech.)

Anyway, the complaints against both Steyn and Levant were eventually tossed, much to the irritation of Islamo-propagandists like Greg Felton, who, in the Dec. 9, 2008 edition of Canadian Arab News, denounced “the stupidity and cowardice” of the human rights tribunal that handled the Steyn complaint.

Khurrum Awan, however, took some consolation, according to Felton’s report. Awan gloated at the thought that his complaints had cost Maclean’s a great deal of money. Indeed, that seems to be the real purpose of the complaints.

Felton quoted Awan as saying: “‘We do not plan to appeal the decision because we attained out strategic objective — to increase the cost of publishing anti-Islamic material.’ Awan said Maclean’s spent $500,000 alone on the B.C. case, but that does not take into account the case in Ontario. The total legal cost to Maclean’s is somewhere around $2 million.” (No mention of all the taxpayers’ money the human rights commissions wasted in allowing the complaints in the first place.)

In other words, Awan and his Muslim friends weren’t really concerned about rights or justice or wanting to be treated the same as other Canadians. Nope, it was all about making it too expensive for anyone to dare criticize Islam. It was all about using (abusing?) the legal system to silence Canadians who question the Islamic worldview.

I’d call that jihad chill, or, perhaps, soft terrorism. Isn’t it a kind of terrorism when the law itself becomes the means for frightening people into silence, and, thereby, stripping them of rights to free speech and freedom of religion, which, of course, including the right to criticize religion. (Can you imagine the hullabaloo if the Catholic Church started indulging in lawsuits against those who blaspheme the Son of God?)
I cannot wait until the discovery process begins.

Hooray! Binks is back with lots of fresh linkz

And commentary, too.

Enjoy.

But take his latest warning to heart about a new front opening in the battle for preventing government encroachment on our God-given liberties. He writes:

~ THE STATUS QUO-ITES are coming out fighting, in a new submission to the parliamentary Commission reviewing Section 13 of the Human Rights thing.

So now LEAF– or, The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund– is a radical busy-body group who’ve minded business in many court cases, including some notable human rights debacles.

Their latest intervention is interesting for two reasons.

(1) It’s legally pretty, with all the proper footnotes, citations, and precedent-speak which is part of our legal tradition, even when radical things are being done. The equivalent is a scholar’s paper loaded with the right terminology, bits of Greek, Latin, German, and piled high with footnotes. It’s black tail and tie, with bells on, and partly a comfortable appeal to the lawyerly sort who largely populate parliament and her committee ranks. It shows the nanny-squads are getting worried, and bringing out their big words, and clearest case.

(2) LEAF is making a bid to reset the debate. This is utter status quo-ism as a non-negotiating position. Let’s rewind, it says, to the good old days when the rabble weren’t allowed to interfere in the betters crushing the lessers, with no witnesses, or proper justice done. This is the stuff a HRC honcho only dreams about, and even sideswipes the moderate and eminently reasonable position of Professor Moon as being too far to the extremist right.

The Thing Itself

This report (read it all, including the footnotes) is a nasty piece of work, like a vicious but well-mannered Renaissance diplomat not above using assassins and poisons to do his work. It represents a curiously dusty perspective, as if 9/11, Canucki terror-plots, the MoToon thing, HRC abuses over 20 years– heck, the entire free-speech debate concerning Muslims– and hence to Christians and other freespeechers– had never happened, and we lived in the 1980s. Problem? What problem? Nothing to see here folks, move along.

For this observer, it illustrates nicely the intellectual and historical bankruptcy of the HRC utopian position: what they can’t deal with, they ignore; what they reject, they smear; what they imagine is possible (despite all evidence and experience) they pursue by any means– even such strangely dated and well-aired and problematic ideas and language that got us to the situation we’re in in Canada, now becoming a less free state with softly advancing religious and political repression on the one hand, and utter blindness and permissiveness towards stealth Jihadi anti-Westernists and radical Leftists in our midst on the other.


The appalling push for abortion to "help" women and children

by ensuring there are fewer of them, especially fewer poor children.

The Liberals put out this appalling news release yesterday:


Liberals are concerned that Stephen Harper’s maternal health initiative will not
fund organizations that advance women’s rights to reproductive choice and access
to birth control.

Reproductive choice is a euphemism for abortion and no one on the left is willing to talk about the damage abortion does to women, mentally, physically or socially. What's abortion got to do with helping women deliver babies safely and ensuring their offspring survive past the age of five? How does killing their kids before they're born help them? As Kate McMillan writes at Small Dead Animals:

Someone really needs to get him on the record answering that question. (Just
think of the photo op ... "Prime Minister Michael Ignatieff at the Morgentaler
Clinic, Port-Au-Prince ribbon cutting".)


I hope my friend Ezra Levant does not mind if I steal his whole blog post on this. Here goes:


-->

What's
the first thing you think of when you see all those poor Haitian kids?

By
Ezra Levant on February 2, 2010 10:21

Stephen Harper's reaction
Send food, medicine and relief workers.
Be amongst the first in the world to help. Dispatch our disaster response team within
hours of the earthquake
.
Save every child you can.
Make a personal example of donating, encourage other Canadians to donate, and match those private donations.
Host an international Haiti relief conference.
Pledge to make the upcoming G8 meeting about helping the
world's poor, especially moms with infants, by funding "clean
water, vaccinations and nutrition
".


Michael Ignatieff's reaction "Liberals support the plan so
long as it includes abortion".

h/t sda
P.S.
Surely it's just a coincidence that Ignatieff's first major policy statement
about abortion has to do with Haiti and other Third World minorities, right? I
mean, it's not like Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist woman who called
blacks "reckless breeders" and had a special "Negro Project" right? I mean, Planned Parenthood would never argue that eugenics was the best solution
of racial, political and social problems
would they?
Right?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Binks needs to get well soon so we can Free Guy Earle


I realize I've been dropping the ball lately on a number of developments on the "human rights" front. Yuppers, those are scare quotes.

Unfortunately, Binks over at Free Canuckistan is under the weather and we don't have our one-stop action central for all the threats to our liberties and way of life. Please head over and wish the Binks well, okay? We need him to get well soon.

I trust most of you know already that Ezra Levant is being sued by the Hairless Sock Puppet (that's Kathy Shaidle's useful description). Read about it here. Hairless took part in a lawfare jihad against Maclean's Magazine, using "human rights commissions" to make any criticism of Islamism too costly for publishers worried about their bottom line. Grab the popcorn as this will be the gift that keeps on giving, ensuring us hours of entertaining, vintage Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn posts. Head on over to Ezra's site and hit the PayPal button so he can "follow the money" in discovery.

And don't forget to Free Guy Earle. Remember him? He's the comic being dragged through the B.C. "Human Rights" Tribunal. Mark writes:

Different people react to "human rights" torture in different ways: Ezra Levant and I are oppositional by nature and by profession. You take a swing at us, we'll swing back. Go ahead, "human rights" punks, make our day. So is Marc Lemire, whose bloody-minded refusal to sit there and take it wound up inflicting more damage on the racket than anything else.

But most victims of Canada's thought police aren't like that: They're just regular folks trying to get on with their lives without catching the eye of the state enforcers, and, in that sense, Guy Earle is far closer to the gay guy with acute sinusitis forced to close down his b-&-b or the health-club owner taken to the cleaners by a pre-op transsexual who wanted to use the ladies' showers. These are fellows leading fully compliant Trudeaupian lives who nevertheless find they've managed to attract the attentions of an ever more whimsical tyranny. It would be interested to know what might have befallen Catsmeat Kinsella, notorious ethnic comic and Count Iggy's lead attack chihuahua, had he essayed his culinary jests in a Vancouver comedy club. That's the point: No matter how daintily you tiptoe on PC eggshells, it'll never be enough.

I feel very sorry for Mr Earle. The most interesting part of the Rob Breakenridge interview is when he muses on some of the website comments that appeared after news reports about the case: "This is the best thing that could happen to Guy Earle’s career", etc. "That is not how this works at all," explains the comic, recounting how he was being lined up for some event in Vancouver until the promoter got wind of the suit and decided he didn't need a lot of trouble from the gay community. "A lot of people don’t want to have anything to do with me," he says. "I don’t know what the silver lining is."

And he hasn't even been convicted of anything yet.

It's interesting to me how all those promoters who claim to be committed to producing "edgy", "transgressive", "provocative" comedy wilt like pansies in the face of one "human rights" complaint. But it's invariably the case that the self-congratulatory left, forever hailing itself for its courage in speaking truth to power, is never there when real courage is needed - even if, like Guy Earle, you're essentially one of their own.

Rob Breakenridge has more, including an interview with Guy.

Dear Guy,

Please write a new comedy routine about your battle with the "human rights" people. Make a CD of it. We'll buy it. Find the humor in this. As Omar Khayyam wrote in his famous poem the Rubaiyat: Make a game of that which makes as much of thee.

Have fun. Take your depression, turn it into righteous anger and put all your talent into making a mockery of these censorious clowns. Make a financial killing on their sorry arses. Next time you are before the Tribunal be watching for how you can impersonate the cast of characters. Take notes. Heh heh heh. I can see it already. Heh heh heh. In fact, you could get a blonde wig and some killer fingernails nails and do a Jennifer Lynch impersonation (with that Cheshire Cat smile) so easily. I know you're fight is before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, but hey, you have such a wide selection of easy targets to lampoon.

There is a whole audience out there that is tired of oral sex jokes and the other sexual fare that seems to be the "transgressive" humor in comedy clubs. Be genuinely transgressive and take on this travesty.

We're rooting for you, but you need to fight for yourself, too.

Revenue Canada is "way out of line" says Bishop Henry

OTTAWA - Revenue Canada is “way out of line” and could be setting a worrisome precedent by revoking the charitable status of a church run by an activist lay pastor, said Calgary Bishop Fred Henry.

The Glory Christian Fellowship ran afoul of Revenue Canada due to the activities of its lay pastor, Artur Pawlowski. In December, the church received a letter from Dian Prodenov of Revenue Canada informing the fellowship its charitable status was revoked because “members of the Board of Directors espouse strong negative views about sensitive and controversial issues, which may also be viewed as political, such as abortion, homosexuality, divorce, etc.”

Revenue Canada had taken information off StreetChurch.ca, a web site for the entirely separate Street Church Ministries that Pawlowski, 37, also runs as part of his ministry to feed the poor and evangelize the homeless.

Andrea and ProWoman Prolife has some questions for World Vision

She writes:

A follow up post to the maternal health saga of last week. This week I will be writing Mr. Dave Toycen of World Vision a letter, because this press release says World Vision is partnering with Action Canada Population and Development. I’ll ask why they chose to do so. Does World Vision believe abortion is part of maternal health? If not, how did Action Canada wheedle their way in to this otherwise good group of charities? I need to hear a concrete answer. This press release doesn’t look good.

In praise of the Holy Father, Father Z and Mark Steyn

Over at The Anglo-Catholic.

I add a little rant at the bottom, too.

Monday, February 01, 2010

The Holy Father urges bishops to be generous to Anglicans wishing to join the Catholic Church

The Anglo-Catholic has posted the text of Pope Benedict's remarks to the British bishops making their ad limina visits to the Holy See (via Vatican Radio). Fr. Anthony Chadwick has helpfully bolded the portions that stand out to me as well. I am excerpting some paragraphs that include those bolds. Go on over and read the whole text:

Your country is well known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society. Yet as you have rightly pointed out, the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs. In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed. I urge you as Pastors to ensure that the Church’s moral teaching be always presented in its entirety and convincingly defended. Fidelity to the Gospel in no way restricts the freedom of others – on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth

-snip-

In a social milieu that encourages the expression of a variety of opinions on every question that arises, it is important to recognize dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate. It is the truth revealed through Scripture and Tradition and articulated by the Church’s Magisterium that sets us free.

-snip-

Be close to your priests, and rekindle their sense of the enormous privilege and joy of standing among the people of God as alter Christus. In Newman’s words, “Christ’s priests have no priesthood but His … what they do, He does; when they baptize, He is baptizing; when they bless, He is blessing” (Parochial and Plain Sermons, VI 242).

-snip-

Ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue assume great importance in England and Wales, given the varied demographic profile of the population. As well as encouraging you in your important work in these areas, I would ask you to be generous in implementing the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, so as to assist those groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. I am convinced that, if given a warm and open-hearted welcome, such groups will be a blessing for the entire Church.

From the Vatican, 1 February 2010