Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Francis Divides Even First Things

Anyone who doubts that Pope Francis is dividing the faithful (The world on the other hand seems united in loving him.) should note a fracas at First Things. 

Yesterday, Maureen Mullarkey posted on her blog there a piece on Pope Francis’ U. S. tour, and it pulled few punches.  The editor of First Things, R. R. Reno, in turn not only pulled the piece but evicted her blog before sundown.

His announcement and explanation of the move may be found here.  This complaint of his stood out to me:

[Mullarkey] consistently treats him as an ideological propagandist, accusing him of reducing the faith to secular political categories.

Hmm.  Did not Reno follow the Pope’s trip?  Francis is “an ideological propagandist” who at least comes close to making Leftist politics matters of faith, particularly when it comes to “climate change” and immigration.*  One can disagree with that perception, but to banish it is what the Left does.

The piece that prompted the banishment may be found over at OnePeterFive, Mullarkey’s new blog home.  And, as I said, it pulls few punches.  I can understand (though I might still disagree) if First Things would prefer to cease hosting her for reasons of tone.  She does not sound like a First Things contributor.  But then neither do I on most days.  And I like some "tirades" with my ale myself.

But the manner in which Reno banished her and his explanation for so doing concern this long time First Things subscriber.  If one must be polite and reserved and all that at First Things in calling out church leaders who hijack the faith to push Leftist politics, then perhaps it is time my support comes to an end.

I have not decided.  I will exercise more restraint than R. R. Reno has.  But I will be watching First Things more closely henceforth.


*As I write this, word just came that the Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis met with Kim Davis and encouraged her.  And I have to be fair and give a tip of the hat to that.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Michaelmas – Looking Back . . . and Forward

Today is Michaelmas.  Long time readers may remember that this day has a lot of memories attached to it for me.

This year, Michaelmas also has me looking forward.  For there is a possibility that, this day next year, I will be about to begin studies for a one year degree (namely an M.S.) at Oxford.  Yes, there would be more at stake this time than my past two Oxford stints.  I would be an official student of the University of Oxford seeking an actual Oxford degree.  Imagine that.

The questions are how viable is that possibility and to what extent should I pursue it.  And I think I have to make a decision on that well before Christmas.  So, yes, all prayers for wisdom would be appreciated.

I’m a bit torn.  I know it would be a wonderful and intellectually profitable experience of a lifetime that would open doors for me.  I also know that it would be hard work that would tax my no longer unlimited energy.  Not to mention I have never endured an Oxford winter.

So, yes, do join me in praying for wisdom and guidance.  Particularly in this area, I want to do what God wants me to do.   

Friday, September 25, 2015

No. Just No. Pope Francis Participating in 9-11 Memorial Interfaith Service

I am disappointed (although I should now be at the point where nothing from the current Pope should surprise nor disappoint me) that Pope Francis is about to participate in an interfaith service at Ground Zero.  By lending legitimacy to false religion, the Pope is leading people astray.

As I’ve posted before, Christians are not to “give any space to the deadly delusion that Christianity is an optional way to God, and Islam et al are alternative ways to God.  Yes, these are the chief reasons I oppose virtually all interfaith services.”


Housekeeping: I was going to give links, but they were so obnoxious with ads, pop-ups, etc. I decided to spare you.  As I have gotten fed up with a number of sites in that regard, that may become my policy.


I had something else in mind to post, but I cannot let pass the news that Speaker Boehner will resign in October. 

He has not yet announced it, but I suspect what is behind this.  He is determined to avoid a government shutdown even if that means continuing to fund the baby butchers of Planned Parenthood among other enormities.  He realizes his position among House Republicans would be untenable then.  So he is going to push through the crap sandwich then fall on his sword rather than become a de facto Democrat Speaker of the House.  Again, this is my speculation.

In any case, I am very glad to see him go.  If my and other congressmen had done their duty it would have happened a long time ago.

By the way, if you follow my twitter, you knew about this before the great unwashed:

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Vatican: “It’s a Trap!”

Tuesday, I warned that Pope Francis may be walking into a White House trap of Obama’s making, namely a problematic guest list, accompanied by the usual photo ops. 

Due to my outstanding humility, I cannot claim credit, but I am heartened to see the Vatican sees the trap very much as I do.  From the WSJ (paywall):

On the eve of Pope Francis ’s arrival in the U.S., the Vatican has taken offense at the Obama administration’s decision to invite to the pope’s welcome ceremony transgender activists, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop and an activist nun who leads a group criticized by the Vatican for its silence on abortion and euthanasia.

According to a senior Vatican official, the Holy See worries that any photos of the pope with these guests at the White House welcoming ceremony next Wednesday could be interpreted as an endorsement of their activities.

Exactly. . . .  And you heard it here first.

You can also read a longer quote from the article with some background here.

Of course, seeing a trap and not walking into it are not necessarily the same thing.  Wednesday might be interesting.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Carly Fiorina’s Moment

When Carly Fiorina announced her candidacy for President, I remembered her as a California Republican who lost to Barbara Boxer and thought, “Meh.”

But the more I heard her, the more I liked her to the point where before last night she was one of my three favorite candidates.

Then last night… wow.  She not only was the clear winner of the debate, she had a great moment that had me and millions standing up and cheering.  Carly Fiorina’s moment . . . for the ages:

Fiorina’s poll numbers will go up at least 10% after this, vaulting her into the top three . . . at least.  And you might need to get used to saying President Fiorina.


This is a good time publicly to revise my favorite candidates.  I was an early endorser of Rand Paul, but both his statements and his performances have disappointed me since then.  I’ve also liked Scott Walker and still do.  I particularly agree that Federal Government employee unions should be outlawed.  But he has faded badly in the polls, and his convictions on illegal immigration are not as strong as would like.  I’ve long liked Ted Cruz but questioned his electability.  But with the electorate even more angry at Washington than I thought, I now consider him electable although his current poll numbers are not showing it.

And now Fiorina is becoming a conservative giant able to cut through B. S. without mercy, not unlike Margaret Thatcher.

So my favorite candidates (favorite as in the ones I want to win) are now Fiorina and Cruz.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dear Francis, About That White House Visit…

Readers may have noticed that Francis is not my favorite pope, but I have some friendly advice for him and his handlers anyway.  Severely restrict photo ops during that coming visit to the White House.

A pro-abortion nun, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, and at least two openly gay Catholic activists will be among the thousands greeting Pope Francis at the White House next week, thanks to decisions by the Obama administration.

LifeSiteNews has confirmed that Mateo Williamson, a biological woman who identifies as a man, and former co-chairman of the Transgender Caucus for Dignity USA, received an invitation to the White House when Pope Francis visits next week. Williamson declined to speak with LifeSiteNews about the invitation, instead recommending invitation organizer Vivian Taylor to LifeSiteNews.

Taylor is the executive director of the national LGBT advocacy arm of the Episcopal church, and a biological male.

CruxNow reports that retired Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson, currently a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, will also attend . . .

Libs in and out of the Church of Rome have been very eager to enlist Pope Francis in their causes.  So if he is not careful, the White House visit will be thus exploited, one of the methods being photos with him smiling beside the likes of heretic Gene Robinson, pro-abortion nuns, and Lord knows who else.  Libs will surely spin any said photos and anything else they can grasp to say Francis is on their side (which he may be in some cases).

And, deserved or not, the Pope will get a lot of grief from the photographed appearance of his support for - or least acceptance of - Gene Robinson and whoever else manages to slither up next to him.  (And some of the grief may come from me.)

So I suspect this White House visit is a trap.  And with Francis being sloppy, to put it nicely, with his off-the-cuff comments and conduct, he may fall right into it.

Monday, September 14, 2015

About Support of Jeremy Corbyn

Due to pressing ministry duties, I cannot go into the subject in detail.  But the election of Jeremy Corbyn as UK Labour leader compels me to put my foot down.  Support of him is not morally defensible.  And, to put it as nicely as I can, the overwhelming election of him by Labourites does not speak well of them at all.

He is a vile man in so many ways, including his history of anti-Semitism and his past support for IRA and Muslim terrorists.  His appointment to Shadow Chancellor just adds to his enormities. The appointee, MP John McDonnell, once said he would like to “go back to the 1980s and assassinate Thatcher.”  What a lovely man.

And, no, although working within Labour to oust Corbyn may be morally defensible for a Christian, support for him most emphatically is not, Bishop Pete Broadbent’s support for him not withstanding.

One wonders how Church of England authorities would respond to a bishop supporting an equally vile politician of the Right.  Oh, I think we already know.

Really, I was tempted to re-run a slightly edited version of my August post questioning Christian support for today’s U.S. Democrat Party because so many of the same principles apply here.  No political party is undeserving of robust criticism (And I am hardly a supporter of establishment Republicans or of Cameronite Tories, and this post is not to be so taken.).  But there is a point beyond which arguments of moral equivalence or indifference utterly fail as such arguments often do. And arguments to Christian freedom in various spheres, which I hold dear, also have limits.  And Labour has lurched far, far beyond said limits with the election of such an evil man.

Trust me I could say more.  And I am confident Mr. Corbyn will give us all much on which to converse.

By the way, Bernie Sanders is just “delighted” with Corbyn’s election as Labour leader.

Friday, September 04, 2015

About Cheering the Jailing of Kim Davis

A great deal can and has been said about the jailing of Kim Davis already.  So I will confine myself to pointing out two aspects of the response to her jailing.

1. Protestations that jailing Kim Davis is necessary to uphold the Rule of Law are really, really rich.

Funny how Leftist Democrat officials are almost never jailed or even sanctioned for defying the Rule of Law.  Any Sanctuary City mayors or councilmen in jail?  Has Obama been impeached or even censured for refusing to enforce immigration law?  Were any of those who issued marriage licenses to gay couples when that was illegal, were any of those jailed?

And where was the concern about the Rule of Law when Justice Kennedy and four other Supreme Court justices pulled a coup against the Rule of Law to make Gay Marriage supposedly (BOW DOWN!) the Law of the Land?

Leftist attitudes towards the Rule of Law are just like their attitudes toward democracy.  If it serves their agenda, then great.  If it doesn’t, then their agenda is oh-so much more important than democracy and the Rule of Law.

2. The Pink Shirt crowd might want to think twice about cheering the jailing of Kim Davis.

Does anything show what cretins the Pink Shirts are than their cheering the jailing of someone non-violently being true to their faith?

Reasonable people can disagree with Kim Davis. Unreasonable people are glad she's in jail. 

And “unreasonable” is putting it nicely.  This is yet one more episode in which the gay rights crowd shows for all to see that they are neither reasonable nor tolerant.  They once played on people’s sympathy and still try so to do.  But I suspect they are now losing sympathy and fast.  For defeating one’s political opponents is one thing.  Overkill is quite another and evokes sympathy only in Clint Eastwood movies.  And jailing Kim Davis is overkill.

(Yes, it’s a fed judge who jailed her.  But that little changes the result nor the effect.)

But even if the Pink Shirts had enough sense to keep their glee to themselves, they might want to think twice about rejoicing in the jailing of Kim Davis at all.  Americans are a tolerant people.  But they also love freedom, particularly freedom of religion and thought.  And jailing someone for non-violently following the dictates of their faith is an outrage to many, even to those who disagree with how Ms. Davis is going about this.

These and similar episodes are likely weakening support for the gay rights crowd and are awaking, energizing and motivating those with a more sane and traditional view of freedom.  If so, the Pink Shirts may not be the ones cheering in the end.