"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history." -Cardinal Francis George

Friday, November 9, 2012

Guess what this map is showing...


This is a map of the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area here in Minnesota. The top left light colored blip is St. Cloud, the huge blip is the Twin Cities, with Mankato down in the bottom left. Take a moment and try to guess what the light and dark colors represent.

...........

................

Did you guess population? Well, I can't blame you for that very good guess, and to be fair, if I overlaid a population map, it would look almost identical. So what do the colors represent?

They represent the level of degeneracy/sanity. Let me explain. We recently had a question on our ballot on whether to add a statement in our state constitution affirming that marriage as recognized by the state is between one man and one woman. Pretty simple right?

The amendment did not pass.

You see, the light colored areas apparently think marriage is an arangement that people define for themselves and their spouse, who apparently can be of the same sex, or a chimp, or 3 spouses, hell, why not a man and three chimps -who am I to decide- right!? Wrong. These people are insane. I just don't get it. When a culture looses its desire to live, and starts lying to itself on this grand of a scale, it can't last long.  

But what mystifies me is where these people live. They live in the higher populated areas. And not just the huge cities. Even my little town of Rockford, which is just a few thousand souls (which you can see on the map as the light colored blip in the south-east side of Wright county) had a below 50% "yes" vote. I am so ashamed of my town. But why oh why is every blip -big or small- of population so deranged? Every little hamlet I could think of, when I zoomed in on it is a lighter shade than the surrounding countryside. Is there something about living in proximity to other humans that makes us desire our own cultural destruction through gay marriage?

Lord, have mercy on us.


                                       

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Orthodox Catholic Reunion: What will it NOT take?


Pope Benedict XVI and Eccumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Chart of World Religions based on my own research
 In the chart above look at the grey blob at the top. Catholicism will not be reaching unity with Protestantism any time soon simply because there is no single Protestantism, and it continues to divide like a cancer cell. But what about Orthodoxy? They are true Churches in Catholic eyes, with all 7 sacraments being valid, and compared with other Christian groups they have rock solid unity. A unified "Cathodox" Church would be a great witness to the world, and would unite the 2 main Christian groups (51% Catholic + 11% Orthodox = 62%) into a true majority of Christians. But isnt there a lot that hold us back from unity?

In this post, I dont want to focus on what we need to agree on for unity to take place. I think the two biggest items on that list are obviously going to take time and effort to work through. The question I think is helpful before getting to the "big 2" is this:

What will it not take to achieve unity?

In other words: All else being equal, will my pet issue prevent unity? One thing is for sure: It should not take agreement about beards to achieve unity. Yet believe it or not I have seen this argued about as a reason for continued separation. A "sign" of where the true Church is that Latin's trend toward no beards and Orthodox have them. Stupid, silly, ridiculous, bad reasoning, which completely ignores the Maronites and other "bearded" Eastern Catholics. We need to get beyond it.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with an Orthodox co-worker. Let's call him "Nicholas" (And lest you think I am stereotyping, that really is his name!). For background, we are both "devout" in our respective traditions. I take my Catholicism deadly serious, as he does Orthodoxy. Although it is also his familys heritage, it is not merely that for him. He really cares about his faith. So our discussion gets around to distinctives of our respective "teams". Incorruptible saints bodies, quantity and types of saints, Holy Fire shooting from the Holy Sepulchre, marrying priests, monastic life, beards, ethnicity, nationalism, calendar differences, the Rosary, etc, etc.

After quite a bit of that sort of back and forth (quite congenial I might add), I was struck with the realization that we never quite got around to discussing Papal Primacy or the Filioque. As someone who is very interested in reunion between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, I always find this situation somewhat depressing. It seems comparable to a troubled couple going to marriage counselling and on the top of the list of crucial discussion topics for potential reunion is:

#1. Toothpaste tubes: Rolling or Squeezing?
#2. Toilet seat: To leave up or put down.
#3. Which is better: Mexican food or Thai food?

DUN DUN DUUUUN!

Misses the point eh? Perhaps instead of focusing on this meaningless stuff getting down to the real issues would be nice? Okay, so how to do that? I propose first using this same "non-issue" list as a starting point in narrowing the discussion. The guiding principle should be this:

If issue X were the last issue on the table would it prevent reunion? And if not, forget discussing it.

In other words, if the issues of papal primacy and filioque were resolved, and whatever else is deemed crucial to either side, and all that was left is issue X (beards for instance), would that issue prevent reunion? If the answer is "no", then please for goodness sake, let's ignore that issue from the get-go. So I propose we come up with a list which gives the many worthless, go-nowhere debates that would not and do not needfully separate Catholics and Orthodox. Keep in mind that some of these are worth discussing, and some are even fairly important, but they don't rise to the level of something that separates us from being in full communion with each other.

I would start the list thusly:

THINGS ORTHODOX AND CATHOLICS DO NOT NEED TO AGREE ON FOR REUNION:
#1. Beards. Get over it. No sane Jesus loving Christian would prevent reuinion because of such a triviality.
#2. Celibate priests. This is not a matter of dogma for Catholics, but merely the practice of the latin rite and not even the eastern rite Catholics such as the Maronites. And Orthodoxy would not need to change to accept this practice, they would merely need to allow some (latin rite) Catholics to continue this practice. And the fact that Orthodox priests may not remary, and that their bishops may not be married shows that they understand the latin reasoning to a degree, and should be able to respect and tolerate the Latin Rite on this discipline.
#3. Charisms of religious orders. Some Orthodox criticize Catholic piety for having different religious orders with different callings, unlike the Orthodox who have a more singular vision of what religious life should be like.
#4. Leavened or unleavened bread.
#5. Statues in the round vs. icons only.
#6. Different types of miracles. (Orthodox saints do not have stigmata, while some other miracles seem to only happen to Orthodox or Eastern Catholic saints, such as miracles of uncreated light appearing). Either way, let's agree that we both have holy ones who have miracles, and not disrespect the other side for it's differences.
#7. Differences of devotional practices. This one actually get's me steamed up a little. I have heard Catholics roundly criticized by Orthodox for praying the Rosary or Stations of the Cross. Generally the critique is that prayer focusing on events is not spiritual enough, and the Orthodox are soooo much more spiritual in how they pray. This kind of attitude is toxic for everyone who touches it. Both sides have deep histories of very intense types of prayer, and getting into a spitting contest here is just petty. In defence of the Orthodox critics on this topic, I have often found that they have wrong information about Catholic practices anyway.
#8. Calendar issues. Fact: There are three calendars in use among Orthodox churches who are in communion with each other: Julian, Revised Julian, and Gregorian. This fact should be the end of the discussion if this issue is brought up in the context of reunion. It is currently a controversy in Orthodoxy, and it can continue to be a controversy in a reunited Chruch.
#9. Orthodox crabbing about "proselysing" in "their lands". Give me a break. If I, as a Catholic, lived in a majority Orthodox country (in Eastern Europe or Russia), I would need to go to a Church in communion with the pope. It is as simple as that. The presense of Catholic Churches in these areas is totally legit, and Orthodox need to get over it. Was the way they got there in some cases not a good way? Perhaps. But the fact is that Catholics who wish to recieve the Eucharist from priests in communion with the Apostolic See need somewhere to go. And the fact that Orthodox have churches in America and elsewhere shows that they do the same thing the Catholics have done, yet the Catholics don't gripe one bit about it. I am just fine with there being an Orthodox diocese in my area. Let's each make our case and let people decide which team is right.
These a just a few things that it will not take to achieve unity. Unfortunaltely, that are often the ones most discussed as if they really are an impediment to unity. Anyone have any other items to add to the list?















Friday, October 12, 2012

The Medieval Mind

The medieval mind is awesome. And personally I would say that humanity is on the slow slide downward since the 13th century. Look at our culture, be it architecture, theology, morality, music, literature, and even science (yes I went there), and a very good case can be made that humanity has not outdone the Middle Ages. In fact, in the case of architecture, I think it is not even up for debate. Shall I compare Chartres Cathedral to the signature architecture of today, which would have to be a Wal-Mart building, or the big box mega-church auditorium?  We should be ashamed. Compare the following images and ask yourself where the focus is, and what kind of mind created each worship space.


Inside the Medieval mind.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres, France, completed in 1250AD.


Lakewood Church - megachurch
Inside the Modern mind.
Lakewood Church and zombie thunderdome, Houston, TX. Completed... who cares.

    
On a personal level, I love the era because I *get* their thinking better than 21st century thinking. I did a bit of reading today in Religious art in France, XIII century: a study in mediaeval iconography and its Sources of Inspiration by Émile Mâle (Which you can read online for free btw). It is a fascinating peek into the medieval mind, to whom, to sum up the intro to the book, the whole world is a symbol. Here is a excerpt with my bolded emphasis:
The author of the Bestiary, whoever he may have been, must have drawn largely on his imagination. The traditional symbolism founded on the Bible gave him little help, for the animals of the Physiologus are fabulous monsters like the griffin, the phoenix and the unicorn, or animals of India unknown to the Old Testament, and he had of necessity to invent most of the moral interpretations accompanying his descriptions of animals. His symbolism was accounted none the less excellent, and was accepted without criticism through the Middle Ages. It occurred to no one, moreover, to verify the accuracy of stories in the bestiary. In the Middle Ages the idea of a thing which a man framed for himself was always more real to him than the actual thing itself, and we see why these mystical centuries had no conception of what men now call science. The study of things for their own sake held no meaning for the thoughtful man. How could it be otherwise when the universe was conceived as an utterance of the Word of which every created thing was a single word? The task of the student of nature was to discern the eternal truth that God would have each thing to express, and to find in each creature an adumbration of the drama of the Fall and the Redemption. Even Roger Bacon, the most scientific spirit of the thirteenth century, after describing the seven coverings of the eye, concluded that by such means God had willed to express in our bodies an image of the seven gifts of the spirit.


I think there is profound wisdom here that has been lost. We sure don't see the world this way anymore. If there is anything our age will be known for once it has passed from the earth, it will not be our search for meaning in the universe. Oh sure, we might be able to describe (to some degree)  how the physics how light is both particle and wave, or how Kryptonite has so many and such electrons in its valence field, but who cares? What we as humans long to know is why. And we long to know what the creator is telling us through His creation. And that longing is something modern "science" laughs to scorn.

At the foot of one of the side altars at the front of my Church is a pelican tearing at its chest so as to feed its blood to its brood gathered around. Something like this:


The modern mind looks at this and laughs, because of course we now know pelicans don't actually do this in the wild, like the silly medievals thought, so we have really advanced from the old superstitions they were beholden to.

But the medieval mind doesn't care if the fable is true or not, -the modern mind has missed the entire point- and in their "wisdom" has become as fools. Because the whole world is a symbol, we should see the pelicans action pointing us to Christ, who feeds us with his blood, which he says is real drink indeed (Jn. 6:55). Does it matter that a phoenix may not have existed? If you think it does, then you are a fool. You have missed a beautiful lesson about the Resurrection. And what I find ironic is that modern science has found these animals*, yet modern man ignores their significance. 

The difference is not one of scientific ability, as modern men might think, but it is one of philosophy, and specifically teleology (purpose). If medeival people had cared to know for sure if gryphons or unicorns or the pelican story were real, they could have easily examined the question. But for them it would be a worthless question. Because whether the pelican feeds its young of its own blood or not is not what matters. What maters is that Christ feeds us, and that the creation itself speaks of this feeding if we would just pay attention. What a wonderful world God has placed us in if we would only humbly look.


*Off the top of my head, I think of frogs who bury themselves in mud and are dead in a kind of hybernation, then when rain comes they come alive ala the phoenix. Or the many animals who sacrifice their life for their young, often even giving their own body as food, as Christ does for us.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Yet Another Reformed Bigshot Renounces the Reformation


The tide is turning... (cue Lord of the Rings type ominous music)

The Church, as She always has done, is winning... (slow-mo shot of pope offering the Eucharist at mass) 

As the cobbled together raft of Evangelicalism sinks before our eyes, with vapid emergentism on the starboard, and Purpose Drivel Life on the port, with wide-eyed, happy clappy Pentecostalism and every-man-a-pope fundamentalism filling the hold, Reformed Theology seems to beckon as the solid, traditional refuge from the theological anarchy engulfing global Protestantism. The problem for Reformed theology is, that when you give people an inch of authentic tradition, they will take a mile. And that mile means becomming Catholic or Orthodox.

Jason Stellman, who PCA and Reformed types will know as the prosecutor of the Peter Leithart heresy trial, and as a young up-and-comer in the Reformed world, has entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. Please read his brief article on Called to Communion titled "I fought the Church and the Church Won". (man, that is a clever title!).

I will try not to be triumphalistic here...

It is really hard not to. Bear with me...

WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
Ok thanks for letting me do that.




 
This guy looks like a cool cat. I would love to share a hookah and some scotch with him.
Perhaps read some poetry or talk about how the new Star Wars movies suck.
 As a former PCA guy, let me just say that it gives me a lot of comfort to know that all these smart guys are coming over to the Church. I mean, I would still be here if they didn't keep coming, but seeing them come, and reading their arguments and reasoning for their choice really bring me much peace about my decision. I find it so fascinating that his crucial "breaking point" issue was Sola Fide. Mine was Sola Scriptura, and for him S.S. was important too, but the lack of biblical and historical evidence for forensic imputation (which is what sola fide boils down to in it's essence) seems to be what really did it for him. Is the dunghill still dungy yet covered with snow? Or does God transform the dung into snow? That is the Protestant/Catholic paradigm difference in a nutshell, and unfortunately for the Protestant position, scripture and history know nothing of forensic imputation. Facts is facts.
This man is giving up his pastorate (his job), and really has nothing worldly to gain by this choice. Much of his Reformed schooling will be of little employment value now. He has a wife and kids. You got to respect a man willing to give everything to follow Christ.

So please pray for him, and Catholics reading could offer their next mass intention for him.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Archbishop to speak at man night

I just got this email from the local Catholic Men's group here in the western X-urbs of the Twin Cities. Anyone reading this who is within range of attending (or even if you arent), whether Catholic or not, please attend and stand in solidarity with Archbishop Nienstedt on this issue.

Dear Brothers in Christ,

 Next Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. there will be a special CatholicManNight at the Church of St. Michael in St. Michael.

 We will be gathering to hear Archbishop Nienstedt teach about Jesus Christ - Defender of the Family. This is a particularly timely and important topic as we prepare for the Marriage Protection Amendment vote in November 2012.

 Please help us get the word out for this event! We pray for a large outpouring of support for our courageous Archbishop.

 
The Catholic Man Night is a great thing. There is a well put together message given by a priest (or in this case an Archbishop!), confession, and there are always ample priests on hand so everyone has a chance. There is adoration during that time followed by benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and then a meal. The whole experience is one of quiet interior reflection on how we are living our vocations as men, whether called to marriage, holy orders, or singleness.
Archbishop Nienstedt rocks.
He has been out front protecting marriage in this state, and he is very orthodox. I can't wait to hear him next week. I think I will bring a crucifix or statue for him to bless as well.
Directions to the Church of St. Michael can be found here. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Will There Be Zombies? Look around.


I love Zombie shows. The Walking Dead on AMC has been my surprise favorite viewing entertainment of the last several years. And even he movie Zombieland strikes more than a funnybone. There is some underlying truth that makes it so funny and entertaining. I have often wondered why we love zombie stories though. I think these shows (particularly The Walking Dead) are the most culturally relevant art available at the moment. They are relevant because they are true. What follows is an excerpt from an article with some of the most profound social commentary I have ever read. It answers my question about zombies better than anyone (including myself) has yet done, and it has an extended prophecy of the coming collapse, its causes, and what we can do to be prepared. It is sobering yet encouraging.

From Will There Be Zombies? by :


...it is often so that popular culture, guided only by its intuitive and communal wisdom, sees what can’t be seen, but is nevertheless real. But having gained some trust in that, I was still confused by the rather odd phenomenon of the zombies. Why did this rather obscure Caribbean cult of people in a drug-induced catatonic state get so easily transformed into such an elaborate metaphor of the post-apocalyptic world? And why did they think that the world after the collapse would be filled with people stripped of their souls, stripped of all feelings, whether of pain or pleasure, anger or joy, who spent their time relentlessly pursuing one product?


And then it struck me: they aren’t looking into the future, they are looking at the present moment; and they aren’t looking at what will be done to others; they are looking at what has already been done to themselves. The image, so silly on its face, resonates with the young because they know, at some intuitive level, that we are already in the midst of the apocalypse, that the world wishes to strip them of their minds and their hearts and make them pure consumers, and relentless consumers of one product, the advertiser’s dream. They know, in their heart of hearts, that the world is out to get them, and means them no good. They have seen a deeper truth than anyone cares to admit.

And what they have seen is something for which there is no parallel in history. Literature and the arts have always had, as their purpose, the transmission to the young of the most important values of a culture; they were the means of initiating the young into their own history, of telling them their own story. But never in history have such vast engines of persuasion and manipulation had, as their sole purpose, the degradation of the young, the stripping them of their minds and spirits; never has any society deliberately dedicated so much energy and wealth to corrupting its own young, to sacrificing its children to the idol of mindless consumption. There have been, to be sure, periods of bad literature and awful art, but even the worst was done with the best of intents; its purpose was never deliberate degradation for mere commercial advantage. Indeed, the Supreme Court of the United States has once again affirmed that the organized corruption of the young is a commercial right, even as it has affirmed in the past that exposing them to prayer in the classroom would be a violation of their rights. No civilization has ever committed such crimes against its own children.

Or perhaps there is a precedent. The Carthaginians, under siege from the Romans in 146 BC thought they could revive their fortunes by sacrificing their children; 300 children were thrown into a furnace to the god Moloch, but the city fell anyway, the inhabitants were sold into slavery, and the ground sowed with salt so that nothing would grow there, so deep was the Roman revulsion with the city. Carthago delenda est, and no city more deserved its fate.

But what of our fate? Have we not, in a way, committed the same crime to be condemned to the same fate? Have we not condemned our children to be sacrificed to the fires of a commercial Moloch, and must we not suffer a fate much worse than Carthage? Well, after all of this, I have a rather odd message: be of good cheer. We can get through this; we can do this, and perhaps it is only us, and people very much like us, who can do it. I believe that if we keep our wits and our faith about us, we can show our neighbors how to live—once we relearn the art ourselves.

We start by asking what happens in a collapse. ...
Read the full article here.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Four Sins that Cry to Heaven (And USA's report card)

Dr. Taylor Marshall has a great post that comes just in time for the 4th of July season. I like his take on politics. For instance he does not believe the HHS mandate is really a freedom issue, but thinks we should be proclaiming the gospel instead:
Is Religious Freedom a God given right and if so, what are its limits? That is, should I pray my Rosary so that Satanists have the protected human right to practice Satanism? Are we merely asking for a toleration of our beliefs or should we be speaking with the voice of Christ and the holy martyrs against an evil empire. Should we be on offense or defense?


Read that post of his here.

And yesterday he had another post right in line with that one concerning the true state of our nation which lists the 4 sins that cry to heaven in Scripture, and gives our nation a report card. Here is an excerpt:


According to the Holy Spirit speaking through the Holy Scriptures, there are four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance.


From the Douay Catholic Catechism of 1649
CHAPTER XX - The sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance
Q. 925. HOW many such sins are there?
A. Four.
Q. 926. What is the first of them?
A. ........
Ok, now thast you are interested, go read the post for yourself.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Catholics: Acid in Uncle Sam's Belly

Burning of St. Augustine's Church in the 1844 Philadelphia Bible Riots
I want to link to a great article about Catholics in the US from the blog Forgotten Altars. The author makes the case that Catholics will always be acid in the belly of Uncle Sam, particularly the older, fatter, and more cranky he gets (these are my words not his). My take is that yes, we need to fight these "battles" like the homosexual marriage and HHS mandate stuff. But let's not kid ourselves. This country's fate was sealed when the good guys lost the civil war, and it will end the way all empires end... with coliseums and killing of Catholics. I think the final death throes are as much as a century or so in the future, but we need to be prepared for this eventuality. Don't get me wrong, I love America. This is still probably the greatest nation on earth. But as Chesterton has said:
 "My country, right or wrong is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying My mother, drunk or sober."
There comes a point where our patriotism becomes entirely something that looks back... to what our country once was, and to the men who in days past have died for it. But when increasingly our country ceases to resemble the former one, and our primary freedoms are taken from us, it gets harder and harder to wave the flag out of anything but mere nostalgia.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Of chimp poop and men

[What follows is a exchange I had with a friend by email. After patting myself on the back after reading my excellent use of the term "chimp poop' in a sentence for the first time in my life, I figured I would share this]

[My friend:]
"Joe S [Soucheray] doesn't have much to do with it, but I find his complaints ring hollow because he is always blaming 'liberals', without seeing that his belief system leads to similar outcomes."




[Me:]
I agree. I stopped listening to him years and years ago because his Republicrat country club psuedo-conservatism was retarded.

I want to make 2 points to you.

1) Look, I understand wanting to see the "fruit" of a religion. There is nothing wrong with wanting to see how members of a religion live out their lives and judging, to at least some degree, their religion by their actions. So I agree with you to a point there. So does the Catholic Church. The marks of the Church to us are different than for Reformed. One of those marks is that the Church is Holy, along with One, Catholic, and Apostolic. So yes, holines does have to be a mark of the Church. But even in the new Testament we see poor behaviour even among the Apostles. So of course when we say the Church is holy, that does not mean impeccable, and if that impossible standard of impeccability does not apply even to the Apostles withing the writings of the New Testament, they we can't expect it to apply now.



2) Follow my train of thought. I think we can agree on the following points:

1. All people in all religions sin and do dumb stuff.
2. Catholics are people in a religion.
3. Angicans are people in a religion.
4. Presbyterians are people in a religion. Etc, etc.
5. These groups not being impeccable does not disprove the validity of their religion, unless their being impeccable is a doctrine of their religion.
6. None of these groups have a stated doctrine or dogma that they will be impeccable.

Ok, so I think we can agree on those points, right?

So, why all the fuss about Catholics being sinners from you? And not only that, but connecting it to the validity of Catholicism in general? I can see if you decided to leave Christianity because of hypocrisy and sin among Christians, but to sit over in the Anglican/Reformed corner of the Christian room and throw your chimp poop on the Catholics for being sinners is just shameful. Take a look in the mirror dude, we all suck.

So I see a big inconsistency in your problem/argument with Catholicism. If sin disproves Catholicism in the way you seem to think it does, then it should also disprove Christianity in general. But yet you do not reject Christianity in general. So do you see where it seems to me you are inconsistent?

In the Catholic Catechism, check out 823 to 829 and read for yourself what we believe about the holiness of the Church.http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a9p3.htm#II

Particularly 828 and 829 explain it well. And most of the whole section could be afirmed by me before I was Catholic (other than the bit about canonizing saints). The saints are how the Church exibits the holiness promised it by God. Again, this is not really disagreed upun between Prots and Catholics. We both agree the Church is holy, and we both agree the Church has sinners in it. So again, I just don't know what you think you acomplish by pointing out Catholic failings (or percieved failings as sometimes you have done)? Yes it is a scandal for Christians to sin, but this does not disprove the holines of Christ's Church, however that Church might be concieved of in it's organization.

Along with this point, I want to also say that you are really being one sided in your pointing out the faults of Catholics. Yes there are sinners, but there are saints too. Many thousands of saints! There are great and holy reformers like St. Francis who revolutionized the Church and really cleaned house, bringing much needed renewal. And St. Catherine of Sienna who boldly stood up to the pope and cowed him into doing the right thing. Both of these reformers didnt change any dontrine, they just helped the Church to live up to what it already believed. These are two examples among many. Waht about all the monestaries filled with quiet people spending a life in prayer and solitude?

Ever seen the indie film Into Great Silence? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUYjqp5PDdc
These men arent sinless, but please, they are holy people who have given everything for Christ and exibit the holiness of the Church! Even in modern times, who can bring a charge against Bl. Mother Teresa or St. Padre Pio? These are holy people who exibit Christ to the world. And yes, I would include many Protestants I have known too who are just visibly holy people. You can almost feel it being in the same room that they are so full of Christ they are bursting. This is the holiness that is a mark of the Church. I believe the Catholic Church has that holiness, and I wouldnt argue with even my Pentecostal brother if he were to say that his denomination was the true Church based on some of it's holy men and women. I have seen Pentecostals that looked like they had a halo they were so holy. I have seen a few Reformed women that did as well. And I have seen more Catholics like that than any. Perhaps because Catholics are more numerous, whatever. My point is that the Church is holy, and if you atack the Catholic Church for it's sin, you are proving too much, because you are atacking whatever Christian group you are a part of too at the same time. If Catholicism is false because of it's sinners, then your denomination is false too.

The Catholic Church is the largest charity in the world. Period. Does that say anything to you? Do you know the bishops conference in the US (USCCB) has a "Fortnight of Freedom" going on right now in every diocese in the US for Christians to show their displeasure with government removal of our freedoms? Have you seen Cardinal Dolan recently in the media talking trash on Obama? Do you know that ALL ~188 bishops in the USA, yes, every single one of them, came out personally, publicly and in writing AGAINST at least the abortion/contraception mandate and most against Obamacare in general? That is not bad.

Not a clipped haired lesbian in the bunch.
Did you know Communism, according to oficial Catholic doctrine, is not a valid form of government, and that John Paul 2 was instrumental (with Reagan) in bringing the beast to it's knees? Do you know that the central, underlying principle of Catholic economic theory that must be present in any governmet is privatye ownership of property? That is not negotiable for Catholics.

This pic has nothing to do with this post. Now back to your regularly scheduled rambling.
Did you know that many of the Catholic politicians you have criticized are already excommunicated, either by decree or by latae sententiae excommunication? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latae_sententiae
Kathlean Sebalius herself has been excommunicated in her home dioces and in D.C? And Nancy Pelosi was recently denied a photo op with the Pope and instead he privately lectured her for 15 minutes, giving her an excommunication warning.

Do I wish the bishops did more? Yeah. But they are doing some things, and they are getting better and more faithful as each year goes by and the hippie ones die off. The members of the Church arent perfect. But the Church is holy.

So...

Will you please admit that bringing sins of Catholics to light does not show the Catholic Church to be false?

Sorry you didnt get your job. Perhaps you should learn some farming skills and head out to the hills somewhere. That's my plan!

-David

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI on Agricultural Work

"It is essential to cultivate and spread a clear ethic that is up to the task of addressing current challenges: Everyone should educate themselves in more wise and responsible consumption; promote personal responsibility, along with the social dimension of rural activities, which are based on perennial values, such as hospitality, solidarity, and the sharing of the toil of labor. More than a few young people have already chosen this path; also many professionals are returning to dedicate themselves to the agricultural enterprise, feeling that they are responding not only to a personal and family need, but also to a "sign of the times," to a concrete sensibility for the "common good."

Let us pray to the Virgin Mary that these reflections can serve as a stimulus to the international community, while we give our thanks to God for the fruits of the earth and the work of man."

Pope Benedict XVI

NOV. 14, 2010
From an address titled:
On Agricultural Work 
(His full statement here)

Monday, June 18, 2012

A new Christendom by connecting to the soil

Great thoughts from Kevin Ford at the Catholic Land Movement:

"...we need families to return and nurture her [the land] for the sake of future generations. So it is that we need others who see, as Pope Pius XII saw, that "The farm is the ideal nursery for the family."


A connection to the soil is a connection to our beginning and our end. It is a constant meditation on the first and last things. It is a connection to the reality of our own powerlessness in the face of life, and leads us to a greater trust in Divine Providence. Here we learn to number our days aright as season leads to season, and we begin to see that it is God who is in control of all things. When things don't go right we look up to God and say with Job: "I have received good things from the Lord and ought I not to accept evil things as well? " This connection to the soil is vital for any civilization and is one that when lost leads to catastrophic results. Such was the case with every civilization. With the degrading of the soil comes the degrading of society. We must seek to rebuild a new civilization by returning to the soil. There we see that from which we are made and that to which we will return. There we will work out our salvation with fear and trembling, and earn our bread by the sweat of our brows. It is a humbling and difficult task, but one that many more are called to."
Build the farm, to build the family, to build the culture. With God's grace going before our efforts, it really does seem this simple folks. Keep it up Kevin.



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Baby Steps Towards Christendom: Step #5: Plant some food

Here are some pics of my garden as of this morning:

~36 bags. ~30 different veggies and herbs.

Notice the irrigation timer in the corner. I zip tied it to a cheap plastic fence post. The town home does not have water out back!!! So I had to run a hose through the house from a shower head through a window- no simple feat.

Front row here has broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts. In the back you see a big Jalapeno plant I got for cheaper than the value of the jalapenos that were on the plant... so sad. Also cukes, Japanese eggplant, echinacea and black cherry toms in the back.

Back row: Alaska peas growing about 6 inches a day, beans struggling after transplant, Nasturtiums in front of eggplant, young tomatoes. Front row: Bug eaten lettuce, 6 kinds of herbs.

Back row: second from left is something I am excited about: Willamette hops. Yes, as in for making beer. The trellis for these goes up to my living room window on the second floor! I hope they get that high. To the right there is a 6ft steel fence post with three hanging bags or strawberries, green peppers, and tomatoes. You can just some of the drip line going to the top bag. This fencepost system is SOLID and works really well for a small space and I will be doing more of it next year. Also putting it in front of the lettuce for shade was planned.

You get the idea. More tomatoes and some chard I just planted yesterday from seed. Oh, and my Bonsai tree hanging out on the right getting in on the drip irrigation action.

From left wall to right wall my townhouse space is only 30' wide. The bags are on landscaping rocks which go out 3' from the wall. So all the usable ground space would be maybe be 100 sqft including the sides. I am using 36 grow bags which are 1.57 sqft. apiece for a total "dirt surface area" of 57 sqft in a total garden area of ~80 sqft. If this were in a raised bed style garden, it would be the equivalent of a 4'X14' raised bed, which is really not all that much. But it sure seems like a jungle to me! (And my neighbors!) What is weird is that there is unused space! And the vertical fencepost system (which I hadn't really planned on doing) is supporting 30 plants in a space of about 1.5 sqft! If I had another dozen of those posts, this garden would be ridiculously space efficient.
Here it is in April. My kids were quite interested in the whole thing.
Filling the bags was probably the most labor intensive thing so far. My mix was 1 part Vermiculite, 2 parts peat, and 3 parts composted manure. 1, 2, 3, easy. I mixed it on a big tarp and measured with a 5 gallon pail. It was nice to do this on cold April days.

Baby hops rhizome from a month ago in back, broccoli or brussels in front. You can see the drip tubing. I have it set to water in the morning. I found that the water in the tubing gets super hot, which would kill plants I bet, so I make sure to water in the morning when the water will have cooled.


Drip tubing half installed.



~month ago

Farmer Dave


What is interesting about this garden (if I do say so myself!) is that I live in a townhome. This means that I have like... no space to garden. I think if I asked the association (who takes care of all the common areas in my neighborhood) they would say I shouldn't even have this garden. Which is precisely why I didn't ask them! ;-)
Also because I don't actually own any of the land, I decided to do something which could be removed. I wanted to build a raised bed, but I knew as soon as the last screw went into the bed that I would be told to get rid of it all. So... I started looking for something more portable. There are lots of options! At first, I thought of doing something like the Big Bag Bed from the Smart Pot company. These smart pots are awesome. They are fabric, so obviously portable, and they breathe, and help regulate heat, but also they are expensive.
I looked at hard plastic pots and all sorts of things, but finally I opted for some plastic grow bags that ended up being about 60 cents apiece!
They are thick, and black on the inside/white outside, and have holes already in them. I am pretty sure I am the first person to grow veggies in these bags by the look of the website (ja know what I mean mon?) but hey, they work great.
Drip irrigation and a timer was the priciest item of the non-essentials (~$60), but I really wanted to do this thing right, and it is something I won't have to buy next year. Soil was expensive, but again, mainly a 1 time cost. And I could have just got all compost for a third of the price, that probably would have worked just fine.

So do a garden. If I can do it in a townhouse you have no freaking excuse! There is absolutely no downside to this. I tried to think of one, and I just can't. My kids love it, I love it, the food is good, it's cheap, my wife loves the fresh herbs, my chubby body likes the exercise, whats not to like? And even the failed parts of it, like dead plants are lessons for next year. Really no downsides at all.

So, tell Monsanto to eat crap and die. Grow some food today!

Previous posts in this series: Introduction, Step#1: Quit Pimpin', Step#2: Homeschooling, Step#3: Brewing Beer, Step#4: Question Technology.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Catholics are knaves or fools I guess


Foolishness:
1: foolish behavior

2: a foolish act or idea

Knavery:
a : rascality b : a roguish or mischievous act

2obsolete : roguish mischief


As Mike Liccione has said, Reformed people will generally attribute someones lack of belief in the Reformed system to either foolishness or knavery (my summation), with no third option. Wow is this true. The event horizon of online Christianity (where the worlds of Reformed and Catholic meet) has exploded recently with the defection of a bright young PCA pastor named Jason Stellman. Jason anounced he will be stepping down from his pastorate because he no longer can affirm the Westminster Confession on the points of sola scriptura and sola fide. If you want to see Christian love (NOT) peek into the comments bellow his post to see how the Reformed treat a defector.
Anyway, this along with many other defections to Catholicism (Jason hasnt said where he will land yet) in recent years of pastors and seminarians led Michael Horton to write an article wondering why they are defecting.
First thing I found funny... he mentions a Called to Communion article, but not by naming the site or the article and without linking to it. To me that signals that he percieves himself on the defensive. Why is he so afraid to reference what he is talking about if he is interested in the truth?
As for my commentary on Horton's post, let me just say it is a joke. He starts out by saying he wonders why they are defecting, but nowhere actually gives the reasons the people themselves give for their defections!!! This Twilight Zone-like weirdness is compounded by the fact that he then... makes up his own reasons... for why they convert! He gives a mini-conversion story of his own journey from Evangellyfishicalism to Reformed faith, sounding reasonable and measured throughout, then when he makes it to the point where the Catholic convert might depart ways with his story and breach the event horizon, he throws up his hands and pretends it is just a utter mystery why they went to Rome, and then hazzards a guess that they were just looking for Utopia in the Reformed world and didnt find it, so on with the quest. How patronizing! It is as if upon conversion they become charged particles shot into another dimension, where their motives and reasoning become matters for wild eyed physicists, but really can just never be known by the likes of you, me, and Horton. Here's a tip Mr. Horton: instead of attributing the motives of foolishness and knavery to converts, perhaps take them at their word that they actually have come to see sola s. and/or sola f. as unworkable/unbiblical, and at least quote their supposed reasoning. Until you decide to treat people with that respect, I have to conclude your post as mere damage-control/propaganda to prevent more defections at any cost. Even at the cost of the truth.

And listen to this from "TurretinFan" down in the comments of the post. (btw, according to TFan, I am not "satisfied with Christ", that is why I decided to leave Christ for "Rome's gospel"). Listen to how one Reformed guy will peck the speck of blood on the other guys head like chickens when even the slightest deviation from the "Rome is Satan" mantra is percieved:


Dr. Horton,


Some of us are a little disappointed that you did not cast the matter primarily in terms of gospel and Scripture, but in terms of ecclesiology.

I assume you still agree that Rome’s gospel is a false gospel.

If so, then surely on a Scriptural basis the fundamental reason why men – even men educated in your seminary – leave the gospel for a false gospel is a lack of love for the truth, because of an absence of the work of the Holy Spirit in their heart.

Maybe this is so obvious you didn’t think it needs to be stated, but there are many out there who don’t seem to grasp the seriousness of leaving the visible church for Rome.

-TurretinFan
Like Mike says, to them we are knaves or fools. Knaves or fools. No middle ground for discussion. For TFan and his buds, if you do not believe in imputation exacly like he does, you are pure evil.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Heads I win, Tails you lose.

So let me get this straight:

Reformed conversion story = helpful retelling of true events.
Catholic conversion story = Manipulation.

Go West, it is peaceful there. The city set on a hill awaits! [Warning, manipulation in progress]


In an article entitled CTC Conversion stories, Reformed apologist James Swan criticizes the conversion stories on the website Called to Communion, which is a Catholic website devoted to dialogue between Catholic and Reformed Chrsitians.
(Full disclosure: This website is the reason I am Catholic. Not the only reason of course, but without it, I would not have converted. It is to me what tolle lege was to Saint Augustine. It is a very successful website in achieving its goal of bringing unity to Christians. James Swan critiqued my letter explaining my family's conversion to my PCA congregation. I found the critique something like a year later by chance, which makes me think I wasnt really his intended audience.)
What I find weird is that Mr. Swan seems to view the same activity of... telling a story... as either helpful or manipulating depending on -not the way its told or the content- but on whether he agrees with what the character in the story did. It seems to me that according to Mr. Swan, if I were to recount the religious conversions in my life, that my describing becoming pentecostal would be manipulative on my part, describing my conversion to the Reformed faith was not manipulative, then describing conversion to Catholicism would, again, be obvious manipulation on my part. Isn't this the definition of Ad Hominem argumentation? Here is an excerpt from his post with my [comments in red]:

The story relates more than facts to be scrutinized for truth. It places you and the facts in the realm of emotion. [Nothing wrong with that right?] Perhaps the particular experience described also strikes a cord in your own experience. For Mr. Lim's story, did any of his questions about epistemology resonate within you? For instance, can you, my Reformed friend, recall when you were in your non-Reformed church [Yes, I can.] like Mr. Lim and came across "an anti-intellectual ethos, and the study of too much theology, which was often held in contrast to the Bible, was sometimes frowned upon"? I sure can. [So can I!] Can you, like Mr. Lim, recall coming into contact with deep Reformed systematic theology like Calvin, Berkhof and Bavinck for the first time? I sure can. [Again, me too! So far so good. No manipulation here, just a normal experience we all relate too.] Then, having such deep theological tomes at your fingertips, have you ever wondered why, as Mr. Lim recounts, "Luther felt that it was necessary to separate from the Catholic Church, Zwingli from Luther, the Anabaptists from the Magisterial Reformed, the Calvinists from Arminians, and on and on- all on the conviction that I have the correct interpretation of Scripture"? [Yes! I know what he means! I relate to Mr. Lim here. Still no manipulation right?] If you've scratched your head "yes" then the story is probably manipulating you. [Huh? So when the dice roll for the Reformed they are fair, but when they don't they must be loaded?]  These sorts of recollections of experiences are attempting to provoke you to question the validity of your own experience. [What is wrong with this? This is how I came to faith in Christ, and later, this is how I came to be Reformed. Part of it was people telling me stories that made me question my experiences. "Maybe those things I have done are really sins after all?" "Maybe I was wrong to think otherwise?" "Maybe I need a saviour after all?" "Perhaps that gnawing feeling in my heart is my yearning for a saviour!" These are all questions we want people to ask themselves... to challenge the validity of their own experience! I guess not James Swan though.] The more times you can empathize with a CTC story, the more you're being manipulated. [So the more times I empathize with a parable of Jesus am I being manipulated too? Or can a story be a way to help us relate to the truth?] If you haven't had the same experience as that being presented, why not? Is it because your experience wasn't as real as the account in front of you? Don't you want something real?
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar Mr. Swan. People like conversion stories. And yes, being able to relate to someones thinking through a true life story of their experience is a great way to communicate. Is this really news? Think of the parable of the Good Samaritan. This story does exactly what you criticize! In this story we find Jesus is "attempting to provoke you to question the validity of your own experience." Jesus uses a story to make us think about the question of "who is our neighbor". It is a very effective story! Was Jesus being "manipulative"? Is it true that "The more times you can empathize with [the Good Samaritan] story, the more you're being manipulated"?

If Reformed theology is true, James Swan has absolutly nothing to fear from these conversion stories. Nobody is going to convert to Catholicism because they are jealous of someones story. Have a bit of respect for peoples intelligence. Instead of accusing people at CTC of manipulation perhaps give them the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to help people. If, I repeat IF they are trying to help people... then they are not manipulating people. They might be wrong, and the pope might be the antichrist, but it ain't manipulation. Likewise I don't think your boss James White is being manipulative when he asks Catholics to question their beliefs about salvation or the Church. I know he does these things out of a love for the truth.
Why does Mr. Swan have to resort to ad hominems though? Well if I wanted to throw one out there myself and try to get into his head like he seems to want to get into others heads... I would say he is secretly intrigued by these stories. Perhaps a bit insecure about his theology. Perhaps he wakes up at night in a cold sweat with the smell of incense in his nostrils and Gregorian chant in his ears... pope Benedict XVI beckoning him with that humble smile he has... holding out the Eucharist. Or perhaps that little story was trying to get too much into James' head and a bit over the line.

Update:
Mr. Swan says:
"This isn't simply taking the allegedly simple rudiments of Reformed theology and sprinkling them with magic Roman dust so as to watch it flourish into a full faith."

Uhm. We use holy water for that dude. It's called a sacramental. And it isnt magic, but it does prepare the recipient to recieve grace, which is pretty cool.

Yet another update:
Mr. Swan says:
"I'm tempted to launch into the story of Athanasius as he stood alone against the church of his day."
Correction: It was Athanasius AND the pope. Don't forget Peter! Of course Jesus promised that the pope would never err, so it follows that he would be with Athanasius contra mundum.



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Protestant Superstition



God coming to earth bodily
 G.K. Chesterton writes,
“All these are possible as general views of life; and there is a [fifth] that is at least equally possible, though certainly more positive. The whole point of this last might be expressed in the line of M. Cammaerts’s beautiful little poem about bluebells; le ciel est tombé par terre. Heaven has descended into the world of matter; the supreme spiritual power is now operating by the machinery of matter, dealing miraculously with the bodies and the souls of men. It blesses the five senses; as the senses of the baby are blessed at a Catholic christening. It blesses even material gifts and keepsakes, as with relics or rosaries. It works through water or oil or bread or wine. Now that sort of mystical materialism may please or displease the Dean, or anybody else. But I cannot for the life of me understand why the Dean, or anybody else, does not see that the Incarnation is as much a part of that idea as the Mass; and that the Mass is as much a part of that idea as the Incarnation.


“A Puritan may think it blasphemous that God should become a wafer. A Moslem thinks it is blasphemous that God should become a workman in Galilee. And he is perfectly right, from his point of view; and given his primary principle. But if the Moslem has a principle, the Protestant has only a prejudice. That is, he has only a fragment; a relic; a superstition “If it be profane that the miraculous should descend to the plane of matter, then certainly Catholicism is profane; and Protestantism is profane; and Christianity is profane. Of all human creeds or concepts, in that sense, Christianity is the most utterly profane. But why a man should accept a Creator who was a carpenter, and then worry about holy water, why he should accept a local Protestant tradition that God was born in some particular place mentioned in the Bible, merely because the Bible had been left lying about in England, and then say it is incredible that a blessing should linger on the bones of a saint: why he should accept the first and most stupendous part of the story of Heaven on Earth, and then furiously deny a few small but obvious deductions from it—that is a thing I do not understand; I never could understand. I have come to the conclusion that I shall never understand. I can only attribute it to Superstition.”
Any Catholic who tries to defend his Catholicism for more than a minute has run into this in a hundred forms: Pick a doctrine that is shared by Catholics and Protestants out of a hat... say, the Trinity or the incarnation. And compare it with one we disagree on like... say, the Eucharist and mass. How in the world could they get up in arms about the latter and sit quietly by happily defending the former.
Take the Trinity. It's a crazy doctrine! Last Sunday was Trinity Sunday and I was sitting on my porch smoking my pipe after mass and asking my kids to explain it to me. They mostly could, but I couldn't blame them for not understanding it. I don't understand it myself. Three persons in one God? Eh? How is that again? Oh and the incarnation. The uncreated God who is being in himself becomes part of creation? Huh? Don't get me wrong, I believe these mysteries with my whole heart. They are beautiful. But, with Chesterton, I cant help be perplexed when incarnation-Trinity-believing Protestants get up in arms about bread becoming the Body of Christ! (next Sunday is the feast of Corpus Christi btw)

What is harder to believe?-
A. Uncreated God takes on human flesh.
B. A piece of bread becomes that same flesh.
Hmm. Both are pretty mind blowing to think about. But to get up in arms about B while affirming A as quite reasonable -as Protestants do- is just baffling. It is Superstition.





Monday, June 4, 2012

Farm real estate values by distance to populations centers

While looking for info about the cost of farmland, I came across two interesting facts.

1. It is widely believed that there is a "bubble" in the price of farmland right now similar to the housing market a few years back. I find that interesting, and I hope it is true. And I hope a lot of corporations lose their shirts in it and get out of the farming business when the bubble pops.

2. The cost of land goes down as you get further from a populated area (duh... no surprise there right?) but -and here is the fact that surprised me and has me scratching my head- it mostly doesn't matter what size the city is that you go out from.

Here is a tidy graph to explain it:



There is a big difference between 5,000 and 500,000 people! but apparently when it comes to farmland a city is a city is a city. Hogwash. There are lots of things I can think of that it is nice to be near a metro area for (all else being equal). 50 miles from the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area is the boonies. But I could drive 50 miles once in a while to do the 1,000 different things that are only in a metro area. This is why I am surprised by these numbers. I would have though that a farm 50 minutes away from a big city is more valuable than one which is 90 minutes. But it ain't.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bryan Cross on the origins of gay marriage

Bryan Cross has a comment I just can't bear to see buried in a comment box. In "Two questions about marriage and the civil law", he brings much clarity to the whole gay marriage debacle. But in this comment, I think he really gets down to it. I hope he doesn't mind that I am reprinting his entire comment. Please read the whole article yourself and perhaps chime in as well, as I have and even my friend Bob B. has.

How did we get into this situation, culturally, and how do we move forward? The root problem is the conceptual separation of sex and procreation, such that procreation is no longer recognized as intrinsic to the meaning of the sexual act. Emily Stimpson argues this in “Why We’re Losing the Marriage Question.” Catholics and Protestants both bear responsibility here — Protestants, for formally rejecting the Tradition concerning contraception, and Catholics, for failing both to teach and to live the Church’s own Tradition concerning contraception, spelled out very clearly in Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae.


In her article Stimpson links to Andrew Sullivan’s 2003 article titled “Unnatural Law” and subtitled “We’re all sodomists now.” Sullivan is quite right on that point, namely, that the culture as a whole has disassociated sex and procreation. Endorsing contraceptive sex undermines any principled opposition to sodomy. (Nota bene, Sullivan makes some reasoning mistakes in that article, based on, among other things, a failure to distinguish between per se and per accidens, but his thesis is correct that if sex need not be intrinsically ordered to procreation, then there is no basis for the immorality of sodomy.) Mark Driscoll’s popular endorsement of heterosexual sodomy within marriage only drives home Sullivan’s point. Pounding the pulpit and quoting Leviticus 18:22, while giving the green light for husbands to have anal sex with their wives, is a moral voluntarism that collapses, as Pope Benedict showed in his Regensburg Address, under the weight of intellectual scrutiny seeking to reconcile faith and reason. But so does pounding the pulpit with Leviticus 18:22 while promoting or ignoring the practice of contraception.

How do we move forward? To address the internal problem first, we need Catholic bishops and priests to catechize the faithful on this subject, and not absolve those who have no intention to stop using contraceptives. Likewise, Protestants need to be humble enough to realize and admit that they made a mistake in going along with the sexual ‘liberalizing’ culture in the middle of the twentieth century on this issue of contraceptives. Protestantism needs to replace its moral theological deficiency concerning this subject with the resources provided by the broader Tradition (summed up well in the Theology of the Body), and a recognition of that Tradition’s authority. Otherwise, if it becomes illegal to publicly oppose same-sex ‘marriage’ (which is quite possible, given that such opposition can easily be construed as hate-speech), we will have only ourselves to blame for having promoted a conception of sexuality that made such an outcome all but inevitable.

In my experience (David here again), Protestants are not ready to concede on the issue of contraception. Although I did reject contraceptive use while still a Protestant, I think that was a bit out of the norm. And even then, I wouldnt have dreamed of seeing contraception as the grave evil that it is. As long as this is the attitude, I fear Protestants will continue down this dark path. I hope they wake up and join us though.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thomas Storck on censorship

"It never hurts to order our thoughts correctly, even if we cannot just now put them into practice."

One area where I believe many Christians cave to the culture around us is in our view of what freedom is. We often are too ready to allow evil a place at the table so that we might not lose our seat. But I believe this accommodating attitude is in itself evil. Whether they are evil actions or words, they affect us all, and therefore government has a duty to stop them.


And the problem with that is what? I wish it was 100% And so do you.

In his 1996 article titled "A Case for Censorship", Thomas Storck makes a convincing case for government censorship. And as the above quote implies, of course this seems to be an out of place discussion in our libertine society that is so eyerollingly "beyond" censorship. We are so proud of the fact that we would never dare allow our government to censor anything (Which of course is bunk. We all approve of censorship already in many ways). But censorship is necessary to a properly ordered society.
Stork makes great points about how the degenerate rich (think Marquis De Sade) take advantage of the poor and working classes through their influence, which destroys society. It is governments job to promote the common good and not allow this abuse of power.
My first thought was to apply this to Wal-Mart. For instance, I think it would be an excellent use of government to ban television ads by Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart destroys communities for money. So government should destroy Wal-Mart to protect communities.
Government should also imprison all executives of credit card companies and confiscate every nickel of their "profits" which are gained through usury.
If only we had a hero with the will to do this.
If only we had a government that would protect us instead of killing us through abortion and objectifying us through an economic system that encourages us to be consumer/slaves.
In the name of freedom evil is allowed to reign.
We are like the do-nothing galactic senate in Star Wars who is frozen in bureaucracy and cannot act even to do something blatantly good and in the interest of all.

Instead of freedom to serve God and do good, our culture sees freedom as the freedom from responsibility and the "freedom" to do evil. In an Orwellian way we have reversed the meaning of  the word 180°.