I have a CD of him and some friends singing love songs in the language of Shakespeare and I am listening over and over.
This song is on it, but sung at least an octave lower
Avoiding that undesirable response need not, however, mean sitting passively back and waiting for Church leaders to do all the heavy lifting. While they speak for the Church, we as lay Catholics have both the prerogative and the obligation to speak out against affronts to faith and morals. Rather than aiming and firing upward, we should all answer the call by addressing the threats horizontally, that is by what is directly in front of us in the lives we live as Catholics each day.
For whatever newspapers are still worth as opinion formers, hundreds of thousands of Catholics should be deluging letters to the editor mailboxes daily. Ditto open line shows. Of course, every available means of social media should serve the cause of Catholic resistance to what is being forced upon us.
It need not end there. What would happen if every faithful Canadian Catholic took it upon himself or herself to have at least one respectful personal conversation a day objecting to the forced march off a cliff that is state-organized medical killing?
We remain, after all, in the millions across this country. We remain a strong majority. There is no reason on Earth that we should hesitate to use our majoritarian influence to protect our Church and its teaching.
It is true the political opinions of the faithful properly span the democratic spectrum. On specific issues, and even approaches, our differences are a sign of the catholicity we share.
Surely, however, we all agree the Church herself must not be made to bow before the state’s raw monopoly on force that is exercised through its legislatures and courts. Surely we agree our constitutional rights to freedom of religion and conscience, guaranteed through the Charter and more ancient safeguards, are worth speaking up for.
If we feel hesitation, here is an image that might help us overcome natural reluctance. In the next issue of Convivum magazine, we have a 10th anniversary retrospective on World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto. As part of the look back, we asked those who attended to tell us their most compelling memory of WYD 2002. The one mentioned time after time was the almost overpowering visual of Pope John Paul II walking down the steps of the arrival aircraft even though he was elderly, ill and struggling just to stand.
Using all the strength he could muster, the Bishop of Rome stood up for us. Why would we, in return, do any less for all the bishops who lead us in our faith?
Fresh signs that the wolf is knocking on Greece’s door. That nation’s power-grid operator is in arrears to foreign electricity suppliers to the tune of 327 million euros. Consequently, at least four suppliers from Germany, Bulgaria, Switzerland, and Italy have now cut off or reduced electricity exports to Greece. This is what happens when countries cannot or will not pay their bills.
At the end of May the world’s biggest trade credit insurer, Euler Hermes, suspended underwriting new policies on exports to Greece for fear of lack of Greek payment. Athens certainly does not boast the most modern economy in Europe, but even so, the Greeks are going to find it hard to do much at all without electricity. What is the Greek word for “candle,” anyway?
Finally, Spanish borrowing costs were driven to new highs as Madrid announced it will formally seek a too little, too late bailout for its banks on Monday. Spanish interest rates are the market’s way of saying “game’s up, folks.”
Poor David Maraniss. The best-selling biographer of the just published Barack Obama: The Story is not only crying all the way to the bank, but also shedding crocodile tears that his new biography is giving the Right ammunition against the president. Yesterday, Maraniss told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien the following on Starting Point:
I’m not writing it as a fact-checker. I’m writing it as an historian. Other people for ideological reasons are pouncing on that part of what my book is, but in fact I’m trying to tell the truth.
A memoir is far different from rigorous factual biography. It’s not as though I’m trying to say, aha, I got you, at each point, I’m just trying to present the way I really found it, which in many cases was different from what he presented.
Let me pause to parse the above paragraph from the distinguished journalist and historian. Here is my translation of what Maraniss is actually saying:
My book has been taken up by Obama’s enemies just because I told the truth. Give the president a break. He was writing a memoir, and everyone knows a memoir is different from the truth, since Obama is the first post-modern president. His memoir was his truth — even though it wasn’t true, it was to him. I didn’t mean to show he lied — pardon me — unintentionally fabricated his own story. I only sought to show the truth was different than he said it was.
Get it now? If you don’t, Maraniss also said on the program that Obama sought to write it through the “prism of race.” He went on to note that the “right-wing” is “cherry-picking” negative things in the book, which “is almost why I didn’t want to write it.” As he went on, he got deeper into the problem:
He wrote it when he wasn’t running for president, and had no thought that people like me would come along and tell the real story.
So what is the real story? Fortunately, Buzzfeed has given us a good summary. The Maraniss bio, Ben Smith tells us, “is the first sustained challenge to Obama’s control over his own story, a firm and occasionally brutal debunking of Obama’s bestselling 1995 memoir Dreams from My Father.” And this is important because I and so many others can tell you about how many people voted for and supported Obama for president precisely because of what he related in his own memoir.
So much "progressive" debate boils down to Ring Lardner's great line:
"Shut up," he explained.
It's an oft-retailed quote. But fewer people know the line that precedes it (in Lardner's novel The Young Immigrunts): a kid asking, "Are you lost, Daddy?"
As any motoring pater knows, it's not easy to give an honest answer to that question. And the hardest thing of all is to turn around and go back, retracing your steps to the point where you made the wrong turn. If you're a politician, it's even harder. Leviathan has no reverse gear: "Forward!" as the Obama campaign's 2012 slogan puts it. Yet in the end, if any of the Western world is to survive, it has to find a way to turn around, to go back.
Take the euro. It should not exist. It should never have been invented. And, ultimately, it is necessary to find a way to disinvent it. Yet even one of the least deluded of Continental leaders cannot acknowledge the need to turn around: To Angela Merkel, the euro is not a mere currency but what she calls a "Schicksalsgemeinschaft" — or "community of destiny." Forward — to — destiny! Frau Merkel, like M. Hollande in Paris, has determined that what the Greeks and the Portuguese and the Spanish need is "more Europe." Onward!
A decade ago, just before the euro was introduced, I noted in Britain's Sunday Telegraph that, whereas the currencies of real nations display images of real buildings (the White House on the $20 bill, for example), the handsome edifices on the new euro notes do not, in fact, exist. Europe is full of impressive buildings — Versailles, the Parthenon — but they are unfortunately located in actual countries, and so the designers of the euro notes preferred to use composite, fantasy, pan-European architectural marvels prefiguring the Eutopia that the new currency would will into being. "In the normal course of events," I wrote, "monetary union follows political union, as it did in the U.S., Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and so on. In this instance, uniquely, monetary union is in itself an act of political binding. What's important on Tuesday is not the introduction of the new currency but the abolition of the old ones — not the symbolic bridges on the back of the new notes, but the burning of the bridges represented by the discarded currencies." In a "community of destiny," there is no road back.
Continentals talk in these Eutopian terms because of their recent history. The European Union is, philosophically, a 1970s solution to a 1940s problem. Except that, in one of those jests the gods are fond of, it seems to be delivering the Continent into the very situation it was explicitly designed to prevent. The 'tween-wars fascists sold themselves to their peoples by telling them that the world was run by a cabal of sinister foreign bankers. When the neo-nationalist Golden Dawn and the hard-left Syriza parties both reprised this line to such great effect in the recent Greek election, it had the additional merit, as Nixon liked to say, of being true. The euro has made the age-old conspiracy theories real: If you're a Greek, your world is run by a cabal of sinister foreign bankers — the Germans and the other "northern Europeans" who control the European Central Bank, plus their chums at the IMF.
What do you do when faced with the 'collapse of demographic, economic and military strength?' Ban lightbulbs because lightbulbs are the imminent threat you can deal with.
What do you do when faced with the threat of a nuclear Iran? Why, legalize illegal immigrants; or improve your golf skills; or, even work on your re-election campaign. In the end, you can always blame Bush or the Republicans or Congress.
The entire purpose of displacement is to gain control over the conflict you won't acknowledge. By focusing on something you have some control over, the psyche is much less threatened. You can even pretend, that if it weren't for X,Y, or Z, everything would be perfect hunky dory.
Anything is preferable to focus on instead of the real danger.
Displacement can be thought of as an slightly more mature type of projection. In projection, the individual remains oblivious to the fact that he owns and is responsible for the emotions that he imagines are in the person or group into which he is projecting. In other words, ownership of the idea and/or the emotional affect is banished from the self.
In displacement, the idea or emotion is deflected from one object to another, less threatening one, but the ownership of the negative emotion or idea (e.g. animosity, anger) is retained--and is often raised to a virtue. A common example is the person who is angry at a loved one, but settles for kicking the dog. The anger is evident in the action and is still owned by the person experiencing it, but the object of the anger has been displaced by the dog.
The relentless pursuit of the trivial is a way of avoiding the essential. It allows you to lie to yourself and maintain that oh so important self-esteem (i.e., "saving face") that is also relentlessly pursued in today's world..
My brother drove a chemical tanker in Chicago. He was a big, powerful man who had been an amateur boxer. One day, while he was setting up his hoses on the south side to pump chemicals into a factory’s tanks, a group of teenagers surrounded him and demanded his money. He carried a spiked billy club for such purposes and instead of producing his wallet produced a lesson in night stick justice. When he returned to his yard, he told his dispatcher that he’d never deliver to that business again. Next time, he said, the kids might have guns and a shot would explode the flammable chemical truck and take out a city block.
“Coloured people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it.”
Thus, Ray Bradbury in his prescient 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451. On June 6, the day after Bradbury’s death at the age of 91, the House of Commons passed Brian Storseth’s private member’s bill repealing Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Fahrenheit 451 draws its name from the temperature at which books burn; Canada’s Fahrenheit 13 is its frosty northern inverse—the temperature at which the state chills freedom of expression. Free speech is the lifeblood of free societies, and, as this magazine has learned over the last half-decade, our decayed Dominion was getting a bad case of hypothermia.
We’re not alone in this. In Britain, Australia, France, Denmark, the Netherlands and many other places, democratic societies have become far too comfortable in policing the opinions of the citizenry. But even by comparison with our Commonwealth cousins and Western Europe, Section 13 and its provincial equivalents are repugnant—practically, philosophically, and operationally.
As a practical matter, an extremely narrow licence to combat the mortal threat to Canadians of 1970s answering machines effortlessly metastasized into investigating the country’s most-read magazine for publishing an excerpt from a No. 1 Canadian bestseller. Which was entirely predictable to everyone except genius jurists on the Supreme Court—because make-work bureaucracies are never going to content themselves with being a little bit pregnant.
In his book, Branding Obamessiah, Mark Edward Taylor wrote about Obama's "Devotional Code" -- religious-sounding rhetorical themes that permeated Obama's communication during his campaign for the presidency. Taylor identified the "Sacred Six" characteristics -- a creation story, sacred words, sacred images, sacred ritual, true believers, and a messianic leader -- that created a public perception that Barack Obama embodied "hope and change" for the future, that created an image of him as "The One."
Knowing that he was an inexperienced candidate (arguably the most inexperienced ever), Mr. Obama's campaign staff in 2008 sought to downplay the importance of experience, even to make it appear undesirable. Thus was born the idea that Obama would be portrayed as a "change agent" bringing in fresh new ideas and pushing out the stale, outmoded ones. Taylor wrote, "Obama talked about 'Change' in a way that made both Clinton and McCain pay the price for their years of experience. Obama's ad copy 'Change' trumped the 'Experience' of his opponents and made them appear to be just a couple of recycled Washington insiders ... it turned Obama's major liability into an asset."
Obama's advisers admitted to relying on the axiom, "Your strength is your weakness, and your weakness is your strength." Mr. Obama's savvy strategists for 2008 figured ways to make the Ivy-League elitist into an "everyman." With inherently vague, evocative rhetoric, the presidential candidate allowed the voters to "fill in the blanks" while he promised everything in general, but nothing specific. It didn't suit their purposes to explain the kind of change that was coming; indeed, it would have spelled disaster to have elaborated on the "changes" that Mr. Obama envisioned. No one on Team Obama -- in particular those who really knew, like, for example, Valerie Jarrett -- wanted to address the specifics of the "fundamental transformation" Mr. Obama intended to make happen. It was enough to build up people's anticipation that their hopes -- no matter what those hopes were -- would finally be realized. As Taylor said, "[t]rue believers read into the [campaign] language a meaning that suited them."
Candidate Obama, the secular ideologue, used "Sacred Words" to shape himself into the image of an evangelical believer. The radical leftist Saul Alinsky acolyte told voters what they wanted to hear, convincing them that with Obama they could "make progress" (another generality that voters could shape into their own interpretation).
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/06/obama_reinvents_sacred_themes_for_2012.html#ixzz1x3kNs5Rh
ROME, May 11, 2012 – "Windows open on the mystery": this is the title of the conference with which, two days ago, the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross broke the silence on one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, the French Jesuit Jean Daniélou, made a cardinal by Paul VI in 1969.
A silence that lasted almost forty years, and began with his passing away in 1974.
In effect, the memory of Daniélou is today reduced, for many, to the mystery of his death by heart attack, one May afternoon, at the home of a prostitute on the fourth floor of Rue Dulong 56 in Paris.
When in reality the true mystery on which Daniélou opened the windows to many, in his activity as a theologian and a spiritual man, is that of the triune God. One of his greatest works was entitled "An essay on the mystery of history." A history not governed by chance, nor by necessity, but filled with the "magnalia Dei," by the grandiose wonders of God, each more astonishing than the last.
Today, few of his books are still available for purchase. And yet they are still of extraordinary richness and freshness. Simple and yet very profound, as few theologians have been able to do over the last century, apart from him and that other champion of clarity named Joseph Ratzinger.
Daniélou stands alongside the current pope because of the historical rather than philosophical framing of his theology, his expertise in the Fathers of the Church (the one enamored with Gregory of Nyssa, the other with Augustine), the completely central role given to the liturgy.
Daniélou, together with his Jesuit confrere Henri De Lubac, was the brilliant initiator in 1942 of the series of patristic texts entitled "Sources Chrétiennes," which marked the rebirth of theology in the second half of the twentieth century and paved the way for the best of Vatican Council II.
An author, in short, absolutely to rediscover.
But the mystery of his death and of the taciturn explanation that followed it must also be resolved.
Mimì Santoni, the prostitute, saw him fall to his knees with his face on the floor before he breathed his last. And to her "it was a good death, for a cardinal." He had gone to bring her money to pay for a lawyer capable of getting her husband out of prison. It was the last of his works of charity carried out in secret, on behalf of despised persons in need of help and forgiveness.