We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"Oh, this is the end / My only friend, the end"

From The Z Man:

Part of what has destroyed the mainline Protestant churches is their full-throated embrace of Progressive lunacy. At my friend’s ordination, three of the people ordained were woman. Judging by the haircuts, all three were lesbians. Gay marriage is a huge issue in these churches, driving off the sensible and leaving only those who see Christianity as a vehicle for Progressive activism. Many of these churches are no longer Christian, as a theological matter. They are just Progressive meeting houses for the deranged.

If you are a normal person, the mainline Protestant churches have nothing to offer but endless lectures about the joys of liberalism. It’s a familiar pattern. First the women take over, then the men leave, except for the guys willing to take orders from the gals. Then the normal women bolt. This boiling off of the sensible eventually leaves the crazies in charge of the organization. Before long the freak flag is hoisted and it is the bar in Star Wars. It’s the pattern we saw with Labour in Britain and the Democrats in the US ...

The demise of the high church in the West was inevitable. Big, highly organized organizations need protection from the state to survive. McDonalds cannot exist without government protection. This is especially true of churches, which often challenge the wishes of the rulers. It’s why the Catholics were willing to cut deals with both communists and fascists. It is why the Orthodox Church supports Putin. No above ground church can exist at war with the ruling class. They always have to cut a deal.

When the the ruling classes of the West began to abandon their Christianity, it was just a matter of time. Students of the French Revolution know that the radical’s hostility to the Church started with economics, but quickly became ideological. As the religion of the Western ruling classes became one version of leftism or another, hostility to the high church was inevitable. It took longer in the US than Europe, but we are well on our way to see[ing] the elimination of the main churches.

You maniacs! You blew it up!
Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I fear that the very continuation of Christianity is doomed to follow the reinvention of Judaism from a public, temple cult to a private, familial memorial. (In this, at least, it would be a sort of return to origins, from the church to the house.) 'Common prayer' is dead as a public phenomenon: can it survive, surreptitiously, as a private one?

The crux of our problem is, I venture, the tension of stasis versus dunamis. This is an issue Anglicanism confronted at its very beginnings. An important contribution to this question is reflected in the following passage (follow the link to engage the entire, critical article):

But it is essential to recognize that, except for the accounts of the sayings and deeds of the Lord, the tradition cannot in principle be reduced to the New Testament. The structure and practice of a community are logically and really different from the written word. Rules for the interpretation of scripture and brief statements of what is, at least in part, contained but dispersed throughout scripture cannot be reduced to the scriptures they interpret or summarize ... The scripture is the form which represents to the church what is complete for it ... But, it is impossible that the tradition be reduced to scripture.

It follows from this that the dynamic features of the Christian religion belong not to scripture, which becomes fixed, canonical, but to the other constitutive elements: community and tradition.

This troubling thought casts doubt, I fear, on the GAFCON statement, which stripped of its introductory and (concluding) pastoral dimensions, can be focalized as follows:

6. We affirm that the clear teaching of Jesus, and the Bible as a whole, is that marriage is an estate for all people, not just for believers. It is a holy institution, created by God for a man and a woman to live in a covenantal relationship of exclusive and mutual love for each other until they are parted by death. God designed marriage for the well-being of society, for sexual intimacy between a husband and a wife, and for procreation and the nurturing of children (Genesis 2:18-25).

7. We contend that sexual intercourse between two persons of the same sex is contrary to God’s design, is offensive to him and reflects a disordering of God’s purposes for complementarity in sexual relations. Like all other morally wrong behaviour, same-sex unions alienate us from God and are liable to incur God’s judgment. We hold these convictions based on the clear teaching of Scripture. We hold them not in order to demean or victimise those who experience same-sex attractions, but in order to guard the sound doctrine of our faith, which also informs our pastoral approach for helping those who struggle with same-sex impulses, attractions and temptations.

8. In this respect, the Church cannot condone same-sex unions as a form of behaviour acceptable to God. To do so would be tampering with the foundation of our faith once for all laid down by the apostles and the prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2: 20-22; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11; Jude 3).

As the article linked above notes, Anglicanism can block women's ordination on the principle of stasis, while Roman Catholicism is necessarily open to the possibility of admitting it (by embracing dunamis). Aber, wer hat Recht?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The hermeneutics of sin

The great error of Calvinism is conceiving that election could be discerned through signs of material success (and vice versa). Predestination is an entirely different matter altogether.

From Archibishop Cranmer:

[One]... may apportion his fall to personal wickedness or sin, as though the universal moral order functions like clockwork, meting out rewards to the righteous and punishment to the corrupt, perverted and immoral. But God doesn’t work like that: righteous people are afflicted by suffering (Ps 13:1). Moreover:

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. (Jn 9:1-3).

Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay.. (Lk 13:4f).

Jesus separates calamity and suffering from moral wrongdoing: there is no automatic imputation of guilt. Death, disaster, suffering and failure do not damn the victim with the stain of particular sin: none is pure ..., and none is more worthy than another of suffering. To be innocent and righteous, as Job undoubtedly was (Job 9:15, 20; 10:1-7), is not to be exempt from calamity. And to be corrupt, perverted and guilty is no guarantee of retribution:

There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous (Eccl 8:14).

Monday, August 15, 2016

Global concerns

Well, this blog has been reduced to 'not much' and that lesser portion mostly devoted to cultural issues. But when not writing, there is time for thinking. And Denken ist schwer.

Since the Roman Church insists that our anamnesis is defective, I have been looking at numerous actual and proposed wordings.

But the correct wording is surely directly related to our soteriology: and what if that is all wrong?

Furthermore, hasn't the entire structure been twisted to serve precisely our -- and only our -- concerns? One can certainly see that in TEC: religion is all about us. Happy-clappy. Where is fear and awe? My Puritan forebears had a greater sense of the dangers of sacrilege and blasphemy than almost any contemporary Catholic. Isn't this the old problem of "wrong life cannot be lived rightly"?

Ultimately, it is this disconnect that thwarts François’s conversion to Catholicism. Between the Ancient Christian faith he sees within the terrifying majesty of the Black Madonna’s gaze and the banal, pseudo-Arian humanitarianism preached from the pulpits of the contemporary Church. It was hard not to conclude that the Christianity of the Black Madonna was as inaccessible as the very 11th century that had built her. Some event, both catastrophic and violent, had happened between then and now, forever severing François and by extension France itself, from the strength and virility of the faith the Black Madonna represented. She now stood silent, as a simultaneously both a witness to a forgotten past and a judge upon a present that could only be unrecognizable to her. François ends his journey with a bitter realization: “That old queer Nietzsche had it right; Christianity was, at the end of the day, a feminine religion.”

Does such insight not drive so much of the despair of the Right? After all, how does one revive a “Christendom” without a Christianity?

We, Faustians.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

MoveOn.Org: an analogy

From Jack Donovan:

I’m no longer foolish enough to believe that my opinion, or even my vote — if I were registered to vote — will have any influence on who has been selected to become the next President of the United States.

But I’d still prefer Hillary Clinton.

Specifically because she represents everything I, and most of my readers, hate about what America has become. She’ll really put the nanny in nanny state. When asked about her approval ratings with white men, she has the typically dismissive feminist shoulder shrug that says, “I guess they’d better get used to how things are going to be now.” She’s shown that she will throw any man in uniform under a bus, or a tank, if it serves her own political agenda. She doesn’t care about your rights, or freedom of speech, or the 2nd Amendment, or — apparently — national security or classified information. She and her husband have made their careers pandering to minority (soon to be majority) groups and feeding into race-baiting politics. She gets away with every illegal thing she does, and like her husband, nothing really sticks to her, though she is widely regarded as a career liar of the first order. And if she wins, she’ll ride into office hailed as the first female President, just as her predecessor was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize just for showing up for work and being black.

After Obama, a Hillary Clinton presidency will drive home the reality that white men are no longer in charge, and the United States government doesn’t care what they want, and that it is no longer their country and never will be again. That’s the harsh truth, and Hillary’s the one who will make that truth impossible to ignore.

I want soldiers across the country to grimace and feel a little bit sick every time they salute, knowing that she’s their commander-in-chief. I want men all over America to cry during the national anthem for all the wrong reasons. I want them to become angry and defiant. I want them to get misty during fireworks next July, not because their hearts are filled with Budweiser and Apple pie, but because they are bargaining with themselves.

“If only we’d done something sooner.”

I think most middle and lower class white American men know on some semi-conscious level that America is never going to be great again — at least not for them — but it is going to take Hillary Clinton’s cold, Reptilian resting bitch-face on a Presidential portrait to make them accept it and start working through the rest of the stages of grief, so they can finally move on. So they can finally start imagining a post-American future for themselves and begin developing tribal alternatives, before it is too late. Before there are too few of them left to matter.

Donald Trump will keep them in denial. He will make them believe everything is going to be OK.


“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Can what is happening in politics happen in religion, as well? I'm neither a Catholic nor a Lutheran but I have more in common with traditional, liturgically minded Catholics and Lutherans than I do with liberal, social activist Anglicans.

Now, I don't think much of America's choice, between a pathological narcissist with no experience whatsoever and a narcissistic psychopath with ample experience (not always counted to their benefit). But I watched the Republican convention, though sometimes with my eyes closed.

What interests me is the effective re-orientation or re-alignment underway. Just as Goldwater spelled the end of the Eastern establishment types (although it took a bypass through Nixon until arriving at Reagan), so Trump spells the end of neo-cons (many of whom were Eastern establishment types, working for the NWO, who simply re-branded (falsely) as political outsiders).

What we have now is the possibility of a new Centre-Right party that repudiates longstanding "Republican" obsessions and replaces them with elements of the Reform party

  • Populism
  • Fiscal conservatism
  • Protectionism
  • Big tent
  • Anti-corruption

as melded to as many parts of the America First party as possible

  • Paleoconservatism
  • Economic nationalism
  • Non-interventionism

What will be the response of the Democratic party? Are other hallowed institutions destined for similar transformations or schisms? Only time will tell.

Stay tuned.

A faded postcard

From AncientBriton:

Exhibiting their profound ignorance of matters spiritual, the response of New Anglicans to traditionalists has been "Go to Rome if you don't like it" or, from the mainly menopausal feminist brigade, "Get used to it, we are in charge now". There have been no concessions in Wales. The only message is keep giving. For what? ...

Sunday by Sunday we are served with helpings of the latest Christian Response from an Anglican Perspective (CRAP) heavily laced with a misguided view of equality that has everything to do with political correctness and nothing to do with Christianity as the Gospel is bent to accommodate the latest alleged injustice. It is indeed very odd that the Bible can be taken literally in circumstances which threaten our very existence while bending other parts to suit a fashionable political stance.

Led by the Archbishops of Canterbury, York and Wales with the Archbishop of Westminster often in step, Christianity is continually being sold short to its own detriment with misapplied views on neighbourliness while giving succour to Islam as Muslims abroad continue to convert non-Muslims by the sword if necessary and in the UK demand more and more special privileges to enhance their status such as opting for Sharia, a legal code that systematically discriminates against women, children, apostates, blasphemers, non-believers (infidels), adulterers, and homosexuals. Imagine the outcry if Christians espoused such discriminatory values.

The CinW is fast reaching the end of the road with extinction predicted in a generation.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

This so-called life

Two (connected) paths I have successfully avoided:

  1. I’m living like a college student at 44
  2. My job nearly drove me to commit suicide

Start with one, end with the other. Problem solved.

Anatomization from The Rat-faced Man:

I’m not particularly far gone yet, but every rat-faced man must face the prospect of growing older. Unless your retirement plan is to move to Holland and get euthanized, you may well need decades of income saved to fund your retirement. You need to be able to plan for the inevitable transitions in life. Health declines, energy levels decline, people become dependent on familiar places and routines. Stone-age tribal knuckleheads from the back of beyond know this, but we apparently don’t anymore. How feasible is it going to be for these Peter (or Petra) Pans to finally learn how to do their own dishes at 50 when they’re laid off and suffering from a spastic colon? $3,000 a month after tax is kind of a lot, are they otherwise thrifty savers?

It’s framed as pleasure-seeking, and I don’t deny that element exists, but I think this trend is fundamentally about fear and stress. Confronted by the challenges of growing up, some people are being enabled in their choice of refusing to think about it. Saving money and learning how to manage your life is scary and painful. But the party’s got to stop sometime.

First you're green then you're grey

An observer at the end of the world

I've been absent from this blog, obscure but not unawares. The old order is ending and for real but unforeseen reasons. Everything occurring at the level of religion and politics are symptoms -- and not causes -- of this structural disorder. Furthermore, the narratives that might have yielded some comforts have also broken down, putting confusion to both the questions and the purported answers. For example, to the query "Why did he do it?", I must stuff up my ears: I don't even want to know what his reasons were. How could that help me? As I remind my students, even Hitler had reasons.

From The Z Man:

The general assumption was that a real country did not have military coups or revolutions because they had democracy of some sort. If the people were unhappy, they could vote in people they liked. If elements of the ruling elite were unhappy, they could appeal to the public for change. The military, instead of being an instrument of the ruling class, was subordinate to the civilian government and excluded from politics. That’s not a bad place to start when defining a modern country. Real countries have elections, not revolts.

I think this is why the western news services were having so much trouble fitting the attempted coup in Turkey into their standard narrative. Turkey is supposed to be different from the rest of the Muslim world. Turkey is a real country with elections and globalism. Sure, the political leaderships sounds a lot like the lunatics from the Arab world, but that’s just an act. It’s their version of boob bait for the bubbas. Instead of guns and abortion, their rednecks want to hear about Allah and the Jews. Turkey is a real country, not a banana republic ...

In this civil war, Erdogan is the Oliver Cromwell of Turkey and this attempted coup was something analogous to Penruddock’s Uprising. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it helps explain what’s happening in Turkey. The army is the defender of the secular legacy of Ataturk and the defender of the old order. Erdogan is the leader of the new order, the Islamists that believe they can have a modern technological society, under medieval Islamic moral codes ...

The civil war among the Turks is about what to do about the future, a future that will have more Kurds than Turks if something is not done to arrest the low TFR of young Turks. Turkey has the Western disease, but it is still an Eastern culture. In the West, civilizational death is celebrated in the form of open borders and multiculturalism. In the East, it is met with religious revivals and bloodbaths. David Goldman makes the argument that the Iranian revolution was driven by similar forces.

The Turks are faced with a choice. They can be fully Western and go quietly into that good night. Or, they can be Eastern and fight against the dying of the light. The former means modern technology and prosperity, for a little while at least. The latter means men in robes ordering homosexuals thrown off buildings. That’s what’s happening inside Turkey today. It’s a version of what’s happening in the West, but only in a country that culturally is closer to Byzantium than Brussels.


From The Gatestone Institute:

"We are on the verge of a civil war." That quote did not come from a fanatic or a lunatic. No, it came from head of France's homeland security, the DGSI (Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure), Patrick Calvar. He has, in fact, spoken of the risk of a civil war many times. On July 12th, he warned a commission of members of parliament, in charge of a survey about the terrorist attacks of 2015, about it.

In May 2016, he delivered almost the same message to another commission of members of parliament, this time in charge of national defense. "Europe," he said, "is in danger. Extremism is on the rise everywhere, and we are now turning our attention to some far-right movements who are preparing a confrontation".

What kind of confrontation? "Intercommunity confrontations," he said -- polite for "a war against Muslims." "One or two more terrorist attacks," he added, "and we may well see a civil war."

In February 2016, in front of a senate commission in charge of intelligence information, he said again: "We are looking now at far-right extremists who are just waiting for more terrorist attacks to engage in violent confrontation."

No one knows if the truck terrorist, who plowed into the July 14th Bastille Day crowd in Nice and killed more than 80 people, will be the trigger for a French civil war, but it might help to look at what creates the risk of one in France and other countries, such as Germany or Sweden.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

"With law our land shall rise"

From Mr. Scheuer:

Overall, the British people have given themselves a chance to again be themselves, respecters of the rule of their laws, English-speaking, self-reliant, predominately Protestant, and traders, bankers, and businessmen extraordinaire. Britons again can be quietly proud but stubborn nationalists, men and women who can now speak about their ancestors, men who were the authors of the freedom that has emanated from the precious commodity — now widely attacked and subverted – that America’s Founders called “English liberties”. These liberties graced and soundly governed life in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States until the ahistorical multiculturalists and diversity-hounds emerged from the cesspool that is the West’s academy and media to wreak havoc on commonsense, Christianity, societal cohesion, and history. Britons may well have a tough economic row to hoe for a while – and so may we, as a result — but they have acted manfully to regain their self-respect, independence, and sovereignty, as well as full control of their budget, society, and destiny. Well done. Now, it is time for Britain’s four children-nations in the English-speaking world to follow suit.

The rise of something new

From Jim's Blog:

The Altright is the Dark Enlightenment manifesting as a mob, and Trump is the altright manifesting as electoral politics. Brexit is also the altright manifesting as electoral politics.

A key point of the Dark Enlightenment is that mobs are not the solution to the problem and electoral politics are not the solution to the problem – but they are a manifestation that people are thinking about the problem and thinking of solving it. Even if Trump becomes president, his greatest accomplishment will remain that Trump set free dangerous thoughts. Ideas are far more powerful than guns, for someone has to aim the guns. The mob, and the electoral politics, are not power, but are echoes of power, they are the thunder that tells us the lightning has already struck.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Our malign institutions. How did it happen?

  • The party -- malign
  • The church -- malign
  • The university -- malign

Fewer and fewer men are going to college, especially as college becomes more and more like school (i.e., Grades 13-16). It's much too prissy, too structured, too paternalistic, filled with Stalinist re-education (e.g., "multiculturalism"), and too damn expensive. Girls love it. Guys -- not so much.

Well, now the last shoe has fallen because It’s Becoming Too Dangerous For College Males To Date Girls On Campus:

The truth is the vast majority of men look forward to college as a place to me[e]t and bang chicks. I would honestly assess that for the majority of them, their degree is a close …. or perhaps maybe distant … second reason they attend college. Additionally, for biological and marketing reasons, women and college are hyped up to be the most important thing in every high school boy’s life. So not only do they have hormones driving them to chase tail on college campuses, but all of the movies, shows, and media point to college as one huge parentless orgy of loose women with big tatas and poor decision making skills. And while most men’s college experiences fell drastically short of this, this dream that every high school boy has, will be completely destroyed if the threat of false rape or harassment makes dating women on campus too risky.


From The Z Man:

On Thursday, which I think the EU requires the Brits to call quartidi, the subjects of England vote on whether or not to remain in Europe. The vote to leave, in theory, will compel the British government to negotiate an exit from the EU and paddle the island further into the Atlantic. The timing of the exit and the terms of the deal are not contemplated in the text of the referendum. There may be something in British law that determines these things, but I can find nothing to support that claim.

That’s not an unimportant bit in this discussion. It is no secret that the ruling class of England not only wants to remain in the EU, but they dream of a day when Britain is just another administrative zone of Europe, sort of like how the Romans treated Britannia. It’s not just that the idea of separate countries has become a heresy. The ruling elite seems to think the time has come to exterminate the British people entirely, at least as an identifiable tribe. As former Lord Chancellor Jack Straw put it, “the English as a race are not worth saving.”

Looking at the polling, the way to bet is that Brexit falls short. There has been a surge in support for leaving and English nationalism bubbling under the surface often goes unnoticed in polls. On the other hand, vote fixing and browbeating don’t always show up in the polls either. There’s also the fact that people perceive the status quo as the the safe choice. Humans are funny that way. Any change meets some natural resistance, even when there is no logic to resistance. Roll it all up and Remain most likely carries the day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


From Mr. Wood:

The Trap of Global Citizenship

Williams’ strictures on this provide a new way to look at higher education’s strange new emphasis on the imaginary category of “global citizenship.” As she points out, the term doesn’t stand for “any particular knowledge about the world,” but rather “changes in students’ attitudes” mostly in the form of rejection of “national identity.” Global citizenship “connects private feeling and qualities such as care, empathy and awareness, with the global issues of the day.” It thus “places whole areas of knowledge beyond debate.” The “homogeneity of political views” on campus is thus driven as much by efforts to manipulate the psychological vulnerabilities of students as it is by the effort of faculty members to steer away from the hard task of attempting to sort truth from opinion.

Williams herself doesn’t flinch in that effort. Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity is a short (198 page) book written in lively English and rich with examples, but it is thick with thought-provoking arguments on exactly how the “benign institution” of the university somersaulted to the frequently malign institution we have today. She finds some of impetus in what happened in the academic disciplines, and more of it in the pernicious influence of academic feminism. These are compellingly presented, but American readers will note that Williams has next to nothing to say about “diversity,” race, and multiculturalism as the anvils on which academic freedom in our universities has frequently been crushed.

The absence of these topics from a book about enforced conformity on campus is arresting, and serves perhaps as testimony to the “exceptional” character of America’s descent into leftist intolerance. Our campuses share with Britain and the rest of the English-speaking world an invasive new hatred of intellectual freedom. But we have added to it our own homebrew of racial grievance and identity politics. Britain certainly has experienced the woeful side of multiculturalism as well, but Williams treats it as secondary thread. For us, in the Age of Click, it is primary.

Britain’s example shows that the intolerance endangering academic freedom is not tied to a particular grievance, but has become a force in its own right.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Green Zone

Why was it impossible for orthodox Anglicans to get their act together? Why did so few bishops lead their flock out of Babylon? What should we do now? What can we do?

From Touchstone (my emphases):

For more than thirty years now I have been an observer and sometime participant in what I will here call the conservative Episcopalian mess. The departure of more orthodox Episcopalians from an apostatizing mainstream headed by weak and clownish English archbishops and astoundingly aggressive heretics in North America, contained no real surprises, for this is the predictable fruit of religious liberalism hatched upon an ignorant, passive, and venal laity, that we have seen in other major Protestant churches, and from which modern Roman Catholicism, especially under a Nice Pope, is unlikely to be much of a refuge.

What I have found somewhat surprising, I suppose because my knowledge of the ecclesial geography was not very deep early on, was what a hard time conservative Anglicans have had getting their act (literally) together. Now to be sure, my “geographical” knowledge has increased over the years, so that I understand quite well that “conservative” applies to a number of incompatible or barely compatible attitudes. It covers the traditionalist for whom a charge of heresy applies to any change from the 1928 Prayer Book (even though that Prayer Book is a liberalization of older ones—it leaves out, for example, the bride’s charge to “obey”), to the dotty eccentrics of many varieties for which this Church is so famous, to those who reject women’s ordination principally because they are homosexual misogynists, to the odd clerical ducks for whom departure from the Episcopal Church gave them the chance to become bishops (the Volo Episcoparis and their numerous episcopi vagantes), to sober, reasonable, and catholic-minded Christians who loved the beauties of the most liturgically traditional, least sectarian-minded, and most cultured of Protestant churches.

And now ... the bitter (albeit predictable) fruit.

From Mr. Esolen:

The new odium Christi is a hatred of the moral teachings of Jesus, hatred preached in the name of Jesus himself, sometimes by preachers in churches riddled with termites, and sometimes by licentious scoundrels who want what they want, and there's an end on it. A sinner with a bad conscience might glance up from his sty should he hear the Lord say, "If a man but look upon a woman with lust, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart." So instead we give him Jesus the Anti-Christ, who resolutely never said a thing about sins of the flesh.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


We don't need a new religion; we need a new religio:

The Romans of its golden age often said that the secret of Roman success was its religio, by which they mean their piousness, how their discipline was so tight they followed the old religious practices of paganism to the letter, no matter how useless they might have seemed.

For the alternate, Houellebecqian view, follow the link.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


From Anglican Curmudgeon:

The rifle he used was not an AR-15.

In a moment of 'wild psychoanalysis', there appear to be grounds for thinking that this may have been a crime of self-hate. (In classic paranoid fashion, I may effectively strike out at myself by going after the (horrible) others. For, I am another.)

And, besides ...

Monday, June 13, 2016

"The Most Magical Place On Earth"

... credited with igniting a national conversation on gun control and hate crimes.

A national conversation on mental illness and radical ideology (and the possible interconnections thereof)? Meh. Not so much. Move along people. Move along.

The Grammar of Assent

A longish, mixed-up miscellany, not thought through and sure to piss-off all sorts. Are any of the following remarks true? Are they even accurate? Dunno.

The problem with 'mere reaction'

From The Old Jamestown Church:

His remark about ACNA was interesting. He noted that there is a huge segment of people in that province who, if it had not been for the consecration of Vicky Gene Robinison, would have happily remained Episcopalians. Their move out of TEc to ACNA, in his estimation, wasn't so much evidence of their being traditional Anglicans as it was of their being mere anti-gay bigots (his words). He went on to say that these people really have no clue as to what it means to be a traditional Anglican, or as to just what had happened to the Church of England and her spawn throughout the globe long, long before Robinson's consecration.

This is my (unfortunate) riposte to so many of the many rainbow flavours of "Anglicanism" out there: not very Anglican. If one wanted to be a Presbyterian or a Roman Catholic, then go for it. But ... not ... Anglicanism.

No way out

From The Old Jamestown Church:

As for me, I seek full incorporation into that "one, holy, catholic and apostolic church" in which we say we believe when we recite the Creed, and I can only do so as an *English* Catholic, not a Roman one or an Orthodox one. I intend to follow the Lord's will, *whatever that may be* ... my Anglicanism can only be that of a Catholic kind, in keeping with the stated sentiments of Cranmerians and Carolines and Tractarians, however much they have missed the mark in that regard.

English Catholicism ... precisely nowhere. Which is why my only passport is stamped 'Erewhon'.

More than a feeling

From Touchstone:

Latitudinarian Conservatives ... cannot effectively resist the liberalization of their Churches. This is especially true because most liberals ... have now mastered the language of evangelicalism, and speak easily of “mission” and “spirituality” and “evangelism.” In battle Latcons have no fixed home to defend, and in fact are sometimes not even sure there is an enemy to fight.

Because their faith is mainly instinctive and emotional, they are easily fooled by those whose instincts and emotions seem the same. Liberalism almost always makes a plausible case for laudable ends—equality or reconciliation or unity or mission. Its errors lie in the way it defines these words and in the way it defends them, which is to say in its doctrine. Thus Latcons, with their unsettled attitude to dogma and tradition, cannot easily see the errors, and therefore tend to accept the sentiment.

Yeah, liberals seem harmless enough: until they come out swinging. Duuuuuuuuuuck!

Back to the future

Old Enoch had it right, as there is but one basic choice: (Catholic) Christianity or Not (Catholic) Christianity. You may take your pick. Or not.

"Their Secular Religion"

From The Z Man:

No matter what happens, the war on normal people must continue. It’s what defines them. It’s who they are.

That’s what’s important to understand about the Progressive mind. These are not people who think like normal people. Instead, they are completely immersed in their secular religion, in the same way the Muslim fanatics are consumed by Islam. No matter what happens in the world, the Left looks for a cause in the tenets of their faith. In this case, it is Magic Shape Theory that says shaping metal into a gun imbues it with the power to take possession of a human, making them into a killer.

This is why they never seem to lose focus on their causes, no matter how many times their cause has been rejected. Disarming the sinners, the bad whites they imagine are holding up the final ascent into the promised land, is a defining goal. After the Civil War, they wanted to murder all the bad whites. They still do, but they need to get the guns first. That’s what matters, not the dead gay guys lying on the dance floor or the Muslim lunatics running loose in the country ...

It’s an important lesson. There can be no deal struck with these people. There’s no truce to be had or a balance to be struck. What defines American liberalism is an unquantifiable hatred of the sinner, the bad whites they see as the reason the prophesies have not been fulfilled. When you define yourself by the moral distance between yourself and the bad people, you can never embrace the bad people. You can never accept them. You can only lie in wait, for your chance at revenge and glory. That’s why they spring to action right after these events ...

I’m fond of pointing out that civilization exists in the space between barbarians on one side and fanatics on the other. The fear of the barbarian forces civilized people to do what they must to keep the fanatics under control. America has lost control of the fanatics and they are running amok at a time when barbarians are pouring over the border, abetted by the fanatics who see an advantage. Exploding Mohameds are a symptom of a greater disease, the disease of Modern Liberalism.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The People of Walmart

From The Z Man:

Globalism is built on the concept of privatizing profits and socializing costs. Importing migrant labor, for example, allows the employer to avoid the cost of labor laws, insurance and competitive wages. At the same time, they can shovel those costs onto the public via welfare programs, crime, charity, etc. There’s nothing more expens[iv]e than cheap goods made with illegal labor.

The Big Sleep

From Mr. Hitchens:

It has been a mystery to me that these voters stayed loyal to organisations that repeatedly spat on them from a great height. Labour doesn’t love the poor. It loves the London elite. The Tories don’t love the country. They love only money. The referendum, in which the parties are split and uncertain, has freed us all from silly tribal loyalties and allowed us to vote instead according to reason. We can all vote against the heedless, arrogant snobs who inflicted mass immigration on the poor (while making sure they lived far from its consequences themselves). And nobody can call us ‘racists’ for doing so. That’s not to say that the voters are ignoring the actual issue of EU membership as a whole. As I have known for decades, this country has gained nothing from belonging to the European Union, and lost a great deal ...

England has never been more little than it is now, a subject province of someone else’s empire.

I have to say that this isn’t the way out I would have chosen, and that I hate referendums because I love our ancient Parliament. And, as I loathe anarchy and chaos, I fear the crisis that I think is coming.

I hope we produce people capable of handling it. I wouldn’t have started from here. But despite all this, it is still rather thrilling to see the British people stirring at last after a long, long sleep.

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sixteen Hundred and Sixty-Two

I think I now see the logic -- the dialectic -- of 1662. Cranmer was practising the art of modernist collage, or dynamic juxtaposition. The only proper response to the divinity of the Sanctus ("Holy, holy, holy, Lord")? The humanity of Humble Access: "We do not presume."

So too with the question of the oblata.


The First Oblation

Then shall the Priest return to the Lord's Table, and begin the Offertory, saying one or more of these Sentences following, as he thinketh most convenient in his discretion. ...

(We begin with Dominical utterances but then ... mind-warping dialectics.)

Who goeth a warfare at any time of his own cost? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 1 Cor. ix.

If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we shall reap your worldly things? 1 Cor. ix.

Do ye not know, that they who minister about holy things live of the sacrifice; and they who wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord also ordained, that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel. 1 Cor. ix.

He that soweth little shall reap little; and he that soweth plenteously shall reap plenteously. Let every man do according as he is disposed in his heart, not grudging, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. ix.

Let him that is taught in the Word minister unto him that teacheth, in all good things. Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he reap. Gal. vi.

While we have time, let us do good unto all men; and specialty unto them that are of the household of faith. Gal. vi.

Godliness is great riches, if a man be content with that he hath: for we brought nothing into the world, neither may we carry any thing out. 1 Tim. vi.

Whilst these Sentences are in reading, the Deacons, Church-wardens, or other fit person appointed for that purpose, shall receive the Alms for the Poor, and other devotions of the people, in a decent basin to be provided by the Parish for that purpose; and reverently bring it to the Priest, who shall humbly present and place it upon the holy Table.

And when there is a Communion, the Priest shall then place upon the Table so much Bread and Wine, as he shall think sufficient. After which done, the Priest shall say,

Let us pray for the whole state of Christ's Church militant here in earth.
ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make prayers, and supplications, and to give thanks for all men; We humbly beseech thee most mercifully to accept our alms and oblations, and to receive these our prayers, which we offer unto thy Divine Majesty ...

The Great Action

When the Priest, standing before the Table, hath so ordered the Bread and Wine, that he may with the more readiness and decency break the Bread before the people, and take the Cup into his hands, he shall say the Prayer of Consecration, as followeth.

Anamnesis [= the act of identification, the same sacrifice]

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who of thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death, until his coming again;

Invocation [= following in the Western tradition, a prayer addressed to the Father]

Hear us, O merciful Father, we most humbly beseech thee; and grant that we receiving these thy creatures of bread and wine, according to thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood:

Institution [= the moment of consecration, containing the words required for blessing additional elements]

who, in the same night that he was betrayed, (a) took Bread; and, when he had given thanks, (b) he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, (c) this is my Body which is given for you: Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise after supper he (d) took the Cup; and, when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this; for this (e) is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins: Do this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me.

Communion [= as we have been commanded, so we immediately respond]

THE Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.

THE Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Drink this in remembrance that Christ's Blood was shed for thee, and be thankful.

The Lord's Prayer [= praying just as we have been taught to pray]

The Second Oblation

O LORD and heavenly Father, we thy humble servants entirely desire thy fatherly goodness mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching thee to grant, that by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we and all thy whole Church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion. And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto thee; humbly beseeching thee, that all we, who are partakers of this holy Communion, may be fulfilled with thy grace and heavenly benediction. And although we be unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice, yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. Amen.


The Oblations are distinct -- albeit connected -- to the Great Action. To mix them up with it would smack of nascent Pelagianism. The First Oblation is our attempted commercium as punctuated by the dialectical meditations on gift-giving. Then the Consecration and Communion, to which our ultimate response is The Second Oblation, whereby we finally render the acceptable and rational worship to God, in Spirit and in Truth.

The Wax Argument

Our thinking about the world depends upon its (relative) viscosity. Form necessarily entails a certain resistance to deformation. But the world is also characterized by fluidity and duality. Things are "in motion" ("in flux") and thought, if it is to be honest to things, needs swiftly to adapt, as possible. The quest for a 'fluid mechanics' of thought has been brief and fleeting. But the part of dialectics that can be quickly grasped is the replacement of the logic of either/or with that of both/and. In other words, Schmitt's complexio oppositorum. The challenge -- "Is it either x or y?" -- needs replacing by the acknowledgement -- "It is both x and y."

The salience of this for Anglicanism is, perforce, obvious: catholic or reformed? But partisans name those who seek consistency in a single, unsullied identity, one purged of all traces of the alternative. 'Complexity', from this perspective, seems incoherent. But all that is really required is easy: simply to give up the bugbear of consistency.

What is ... the party, the church, the nation, the union? German sociology introduced another dichotomy, that between Gemeinschaft–Gesellschaft.

According to the dichotomy, social ties can be categorized, on one hand, as belonging to personal social interactions, and the roles, values, and beliefs based on such interactions (Gemeinschaft, German, commonly translated as "community"), or on the other hand as belonging to indirect interactions, impersonal roles, formal values, and beliefs based on such interactions (Gesellschaft, German, commonly translated as "society") ... Weber ... argued that Gemeinschaft is rooted in a "subjective feeling" that may be "affectual or traditional". Gesellschaft-based relationships, according to Weber, are rooted in "rational agreement by mutual consent", the best example of which is a commercial contract. To emphasize the fluidity and amorphousness of the relationship between Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft, Weber modified the terms in German to Vergemeinschaftung, and Vergesellschaftung, which are the gerund forms of the German words.

As usual, we didn't need German sociology as this distinction had already been wrestled with in Roman law, by means of the (respective) concepts of societas and universitas. Per Oakeshott,

The idea societas is that of agents who, by choice or circumstance, are related to one another so as to compose an identifiable association of a certain sort. The tie which joins them, and in respect of which each recognizes himself to be socius, is not that of an engagement in an enterprise to pursue a common susbtantive purpose or to promote a common interest, but that of loyalty to one another ... [on the other hand] universitas ... is persons associated in a manner such as to constitute them a natural person, a partnership of persons which is itself a Person, or in some important respects like a person [On Human Conduct, pp. 201 & 203].

In those aforementioned organizations (party, church, nation, or union) are we societizing or universitizing? It appears that we must simultaneously be doing both, moving fluidly between these two activities, on the fly. To insist on one to the sharp detriment of the other names the only error.

With respect to what may appear to be a revival of senseless theological polemic -- what are the oblata? -- it needs bearing in mind that the "gift" we seek to yield to God (not because He needs it, but because it is a debt owed nonetheless) is turned into the "grace" that He freely gives to us. If that doesn't mess with our logic, what will?


Saturday, June 4, 2016


S. Cyprian has been thought to introduce a view of the sacrifice differing from that of the earlier Fathers. With Clement, Justin, and Irenaeus, the oblata are the bread and cup, offered in token of thanksgiving, with a special remembrance of the death of Christ. This we have seen is the language also of the earlier Liturgies. S. Cyprian repeats the same doctrine, but adds that the Passion itself is the sacrifice, the Body and Blood of Christ are offered; and this was afterwards amplified into Christ Himself, slain and sacrificed on the holy table. Differently as these expressions sound to modern controversialists, they will be found, on examination, to mean substantially the same. Cyprian himself explains, that by offering the Lord's Passion he means shewing forth the Lord's death; the cup is offered in commemoration of the Lord and His Passion. And S. Chrysostom, the greatest proficient in these rhetorical expressions, after saying, "we offer the same sacrifice," qualifies the words by immediately adding, "or rather, we celebrate the remembrance of the sacrifice." Less than this could not have been intended by Justin or Irenseus. To offer bread and wine in remembrance of the Passion, is to offer the Passion itself in the only way that a thing past can be offered. The Fathers did not suppose these gifts to be literally delivered into God's possession, or that any event could be literally recalled to His memory. By "offering" and "presenting" they meant, pleading the sacrifice before God;—objectively (as Mede writes) to the Divine contemplation and acceptance. When the bread and wine were offered in visible symbol, the things signified by them — the Body and Blood or Passion of Jesus Christ—were offered in faith and prayer, as the propitiation through which pardon and acceptance were besought.

In the later Liturgies, the expressions point more to the things signified than to the signs; still, in all the actual oblata are the elements, not the Person of Christ, nor even His Death. For of neither of these could the Church implore God that "they might be carried by the angels to the altar in heaven." This petition, retained in the Roman Missal to the present day, is a standing protest against the Tridentine sacrifice. It is the worship of the Church below, that the angels are to bear up to heaven, for a memorial before God; indeed, the earliest Liturgy of all prays for the reception of the gift, "through the mediation of Christ," without mentioning the angelic ministry. The offering of Christ's death, or of Christ slain, means the presentation of the appointed symbols of His Body and Blood, to commemorate and plead the Sacrifice once for all made on the cross.

The Catholic Doctrine

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


More Sam Francis on James Burnham (from The Social Pathologist):

The twentieth century, for the United States as well as for the rest of the world, has been an age of revolution of far more profound transformational effect than any the modern world has ever experienced. Perhaps not since neolithic times has mankind undergone simultaneous changes in economic, social, political, and intellectual relationships of such far-reaching consequences ... Just as in the mass corporations a new elite of professional managers emerged that replaced the traditional entrepreneurial or bourgeois elite of businessmen, so in the state also a new elite of professionally trained managers or bureaucrats developed that challenged and generally became dominant over the older political elites of aristocrats and amateur politicians who occupied the formal offices of government. Both in the economy and the state, organizations began to undertake functions for which a smaller scale of organization was not prepared and which the traditional elites of aristocratic and bourgeois society were unable to perform. A similar process occurred in labor unions, professional associations, churches, educational institutions, military organizations, and the organs of mass communication and cultural expression. In all sectors of twentieth-century industrial society, the growth of mass organizations brought with it an expansion of functions and power, a new elite wedded by its material interests and psychic and intellectual preparation to continuing expansion, and a metamorphosis of the organizations themselves as well as of the social and political orders they dominated.

The bane of my existence are "experts," consultants, administrators, petty bureaucrats. They have ruined the university, the church, and politics. This is why I don't put Vatican II down to individual popes: if anything it showed the complete inability of one person to manage a process that proceeded inexorably by its own rules and own logic. Just when infallible tyrants were actually required, they caved. They have been replaced by slick hucksters, who combine a firm belief in the inerrancy of their own judgement with an uncanny ability to bend in the wind. Think Tony Blair, who would be my candidate for Anti-Christ, should someone need to be named on the spot.

The New Elite

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The World We Have Lost (Redux)

There is a contemporary tendency to put failures down to personal inadequacy. This mistaken way of thinking often colors my own perceptions, for sure. But old Adorno had it nailed, in a précis best rendered in English as "Wrong life cannot be lived rightly." When the system is corrupt, the efforts of the individual to do any sort of 'right' can only come to naught.

This is why my so-called colleagues often let me down. But it isn't my fault or even theirs (which is why I must moderate my contempt). But how can it not be anyone's fault? Because they are simply responding to the general behavioral prompts of the system, just like rats in a cage.

A professor inside the Skinner box.

In the academic setting, perhaps under the general rubric of 'neoliberal self-fashioning', it can best be elaborated as follows:

To adopt this perspective is to open up the possibility of asking how infiltration of higher education by neoliberal rationality, however uneven and contested that process may be, has fostered the formation of faculty members who are ever less likely to appreciate and still more unlikely to do what needs to be done to arrest their declining role in institutional governance. This sort of fashioning occurs not because we are duped by an ideology that legitimates our subordination to a ruling class and its duplicitous agents within the university. Rather, neoliberal academic subjects are shaped via everyday experiences in multiple domains of conduct, each of which engenders a representation of conduct as so many instrumental efforts to maximize return on investments in the self, whether this return takes shape as income, status or some other good.

We are accustomed to spotting this form of reason at work when, for example, our students treat their education as a commodity whose value is to be determined by future earning capacity. Are we, however, equally adept at recognizing its operation when we upload our publications to (as I recently did), and then frequently check our “analytics snapshots” (as I now find myself doing)? To what extent does such conduct betray internalization of the neoliberal assessment techniques and productivity metrics that are now ubiquitous throughout higher education?

... Careerism, of course, is nothing new within the academy. What is new is the inconspicuous but unrelenting disappearance of rival forms of professional identity whose persistence might trouble the figuration of individual conduct, as well as our relations with one another, in a neoliberal register. To illustrate, consider the sort of faculty member imagined by the social contract that was tacitly and sometimes expressly invoked, especially in early decades of the 20th century, to justify the distinguishing features of the academic vocation.

However idealized, the terms of this [outmoded] contract, sometimes labeled “social trustee professionalism,” portrayed the academic career as an ethical trust that entailed commitment to the disinterested pursuit of knowledge that is indispensable to the altruistic good that is progressive enlightenment. Achievement of that end required that the university be subject to neither intrusive political regulation nor marketplace imperatives. To secure such relative autonomy demanded institutionalization of its necessary conditions, including tenure, peer review, academic freedom and participation in organizational governance akin to that exercised by members of other self-regulating professions, especially law and medicine. Should faculty members fail to engage in such governance, this representation cautioned, they will endanger the profession’s claim to exemption from forms of regulation to which other enterprises, especially commercial, are appropriately subject.

If that account of the academic social contract now rings implausible or even quaint, that goes a long way toward affirming the accuracy of my claim about the insidious encroachment of neoliberal sensibilities within the academy.

The notion of a "public trust" is indeed completely laughable from the squinting perspective of today's generation and the last remnants of it -- e.g., "the Wisconsin Idea," a final vestige of progressivism -- are being swiftly eliminated. All my colleagues want is to function inside the cadre of the elite managers (in virtue of their specialized training), be respected, and take home a higher salary (alongside all the perks they can grab). They would be just as happy working for the BLAND Corporation, provided it proved sufficiently ego-systonic.

This betokens, indeed, the final moments of "The Managerial Revolution," in which, as Orwell anatomized:

Capitalism is disappearing, but Socialism is not replacing it. What is now arising is a new kind of planned, centralised society which will be neither capitalist nor, in any accepted sense of the word, democratic. The rulers of this new society will be the people who effectively control the means of production: that is, business executives, technicians, bureaucrats and soldiers, lumped together by Burnham, under the name of ‘managers’. These people will eliminate the old capitalist class, crush the working class, and so organise society that all power and economic privilege remain in their own hands. Private property rights will be abolished, but common ownership will not be established. The new ‘managerial’ societies will not consist of a patchwork of small, independent states, but of great super-states grouped round the main industrial centres in Europe, Asia, and America. These super-states will fight among themselves for possession of the remaining uncaptured portions of the earth, but will probably be unable to conquer one another completely. Internally, each society will be hierarchical, with an aristocracy of talent at the top and a mass of semi-slaves at the bottom.

The military-industrial complex or the society of the spectacle?
Are we now at war with Eastasia?
We've always been at war with Eastasia.

What was the alternative, the world we have lost? (Besides the nation state?) In the American setting, what some deemed the "Old Republic."

If the Old Right stood for anything, it stood for the conservation of the "Old Republic" that flourished in the United States between the American War for Independence and the Great Depression and the civilizational antecedents of the American republic in the history and thought of Europe, and it is precisely that political construct that the managerial revolution overthrew and rendered all but impossible to restore. The Old Republic cannot be restored today because few Americans even remember it, let alone want it back, and even a realistic description of it would frighten and alienate most citizens. The essence of a republic, articulated by almost every theorist of republicanism from Cicero to Montesquieu, is the independence of the citizens who compose it and their commitment to a sustained active participation in its public affairs, the res publica. The very nature of the managerial revolution and the regime that developed from it promotes not independence, but dependency and not civic participation, but civic passivity. Today, almost the whole of American society encourages dependency and passivity—in the economy, through the continuing absorption of independent farms and businesses by multinational corporations, through ever more minute regulation by the state and through the dragooning of mass work forces in office and factory and mass consumption through advertising and public relations; in the culture, through the regimented and centralized manufacture and manipulation of thought taste, opinion, and emotion itself by the mass media and educational organizations; and in the state, through its management of more and more dimensions of private and social existence under the color of "therapy" that does not cure, "voluntary service" that is really mandatory, and periodic "wars," against poverty, illiteracy, drugs, or other fashionable monsters, that no one ever wins. The result is an economy that does not work, a democracy that does not vote, families without fathers, classes without property, a government that passes more and more laws, a people that is more and more lawless, and a culture that neither thinks nor feels except when and what it is told or tricked to think and feel.

Trying to be a "beautiful loser" -- on many different fronts -- has almost killed me. Time for a new tactic. But what shall it be? What Then Must We Do?

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low; Also [when] they shall be afraid of [that which is] high, and fears [shall be] in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all [is] vanity.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


The new analysis will fuel concern among Christian leaders about growing indifference to organised religion. This year the Church of England said it expected attendance to continue to fall for another 30 years as its congregations age and the millennial generation spurns the institutions of faith.

According to Bullivant’s report, Contemporary Catholicism in England and Wales – which will be launched at the House of Commons on Tuesday, both the Anglican and Catholic churches are struggling to retain people brought up as Christians.

Four out 10 adults who were raised as Anglicans define themselves as having no religion, and almost as many “cradle Catholics” have abandoned their family faith to become “nones”.

Neither church is bringing in fresh blood through conversions. Anglicans lose 12 followers for every person they recruit, and Catholics 10.

"I'm nobody's houseboy now."

Monday, May 23, 2016

So many mistakes

I ought to know: after all, I'm guilty of most of these, and then some.

Some interesting reflections, from The Southern High-Churchman (my emphases):

Among other things, I think I made the mistake of mistaking ideology and this-worldly institution for Tradition and Church. Coming from the Anglo-Catholic tradition, it seems useful to begin there, with some things that may at first seem trivial, and I apologize if this seems round-about, but my argument depends on examine the problem of tradition, and especially of liturgical praxis, since "the law of praying establishes the law of believing."

I think one serious mistake that many Anglo-Catholics made, that I made, was to take current Roman Rite practice in the Roman Church as their model. We have our own tradition, which goes back to St. Augustine of Canterbury, and that tradition already includes everything of consequence that the Anglo-Catholics strive for. I am not saying we cannot learn from, or even borrow from RC's (including baroque-style vestments), but the model must be our own tradition. Likewise this does not mean that recovery is not part of the program. It must be our duty to "restore those things that are gone to decay" and I would include among that the venerable Roman Canon. So, while I would not now use the current Roman Missal, I am sympathetic to the English and Anglican Missals, using the latter, which happily provides Sarum options. Latin in the liturgy is another thing we need to revive, although it never fell out entirely, being in use at the two ancient Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, (which also maintained, through its celibate fellows, the spirit of monastic life until the revival of that in the mid-19th century). I celebrate in Latin as often as I can, that is whenever I am not dealing with a congregation who would be alienated by its use, and for my private prayers use a form of the ancient Roman office that was in use in England prior to the Reformation (key elements of which were likewise long preserved in the universities), and taken up again by religious communities during the Catholic Revival.

To take another problem, taking the position that Anglican-style vestments, with their pre-Reformation origins, are somehow Protestant, seems to me a very un-catholic and sectarian approach into which some Anglo-Catholics have fallen. Many Anglo-Catholics also adopted the Novus Ordo. However, when I look at the Novus Ordo Missae and the ethos that produced it, it seems to me the product of a repressed sexuality, especially homosexual desire, that came out in destructive anger towards the liturgy. (I believe it is sacramentally valid. I believe it can be celebrated reverently, and I know of good priests and congregations that do so—but they are a decided minority.) I would say that there is much about it that is consequently un-catholic. There is a lot in the current Anglican liturgies that is an improvement, but for Anglicans to have taken on so much of the Novus Ordo and its ethos, the whole a deeply flawed and foreign product, and one that is the result of a deeply conflicted and repressed sexuality, seems to me a terrible mistake. To my fellow Anglicans I would say that we need to get over being governed by other people's neuroses, deal with our own, and get back to the fullness of our own tradition. Further, our approach to Scripture, Tradition, and Reason gives us a much better theoretical basis to address the crisis in human sexuality, if only we will use it.

Some would say that the ordinariates for former Anglicans set up by order of Pope Benedict XVI in Anglicanorum Coetibus allows for us to keep our traditions in union with the Roman Church. However, the fact that the ordinariate in this country does not use Anglican-style vestments, does not use the traditional Anglican lectionary, and was forbidden the use of the traditional Latin liturgical forms, is to me more than sufficient evidence of the un-catholic and sectarian spirit behind its the implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus (though not about the Pope who authored it), and the un-catholic and sectarian approach of the Bishop's Conference and the Roman dicasteries, commission, and bureacracy that implemented it. In short, insofar as the presumed goal of the ordinariates was catholicity, they have failed by failing to respect the Anglican tradition, and this reveals a profound and wider failure in the Roman Church—one which made keeping the legitimate traditions that I received impossible.

How Green Was My Valley

Not Christianity

"Christianity does not, repeat not, look forward to a gradual betterment of human behaviour and society or to the progressive spread of peace and justice upon earth. Still less does Christianity purport to offer a scheme or general outline for bringing that about. Quite the reverse, it uniformly teaches, as if to emphasize the point for good measure, that things will get worse rather than better before we are through. So far from it being the function of Gospel revelation to prevent that happening, the reversal which it promises is sudden, apocalyptic, external; something which irrupts into the world like a lightning flash ...

I have no wish to be unecumenical. Dear me, that would be too terribly unfashionable! Yet I cannot refrain from quoting the remarkable words which the Pope addressed to Harold Wilson on the occasion of the latter's recent visit to the Vatican. The Supreme Pontiff welcomed the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Economic Community -- a provisional political arrangement, about which British electors are all entitled to hold their own opinion, and upon which I suppose the head of a foreign state may arguably be permitted to comment, though with due restraint. But what His Holiness said was astonishing:

[In joining the Community] not only will Great Britain be furthering the cause of the brotherhood of all men but she will be also bringing closer the day when the goal of universal peace and justice will finally be attained.

Nothing could be plainer or more emphatic. If the actions of politicians, such as the governments party to the Treaties of Rome and Brussels, can bring nearer the final establishment of peace and justice upon earth, then other similar actions can bring it nearer still and nearer, until eventually it must be attained through their agency. You cannot both believe this and be a Christian; for if this is true, then Christ died in vain, and mankind can be saved and glorified by its own prudent endeavours. Whatever such a belief is, it is not Christianity; and surely it is striking testimony to the compelling power of fashion that such language should be held, apparently without any sense of incongruity, by the successor of St Peter himself."

--- Enoch Powell, "Then Shall the End Come," Wrestling with the Angel (London: Sheldon Press, 1977).

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Quicunque vult

"The Prayer Book commends that at Christmas, Easter, Whitsun and no fewer than ten other feast days there shall be said or sung at Morning Prayer, instead of the Apostles' Creed, a confession of our Christian faith, 'commonly called the Creed of Saint Athanasius' ...

It seems to me that the Creed confronts us with three facts which we are extremely reluctant to recognize, and to which the prevalent mood of our age and society renders us particularly allergic.

The first fact is that Christianity is an intellectual religion ...

From this follows the second fact which we are desperately anxious to avoid seeing, namely, the possibility, indeed the probability, the prevalence, of failure ...

What is more, and this is the third fact which the Athanasian Creed will not allow us to evade, failure can be final, absolute and irrevocable ...

Once more, men have sought means to cushion and shield themselves against having to meet this truth face to face. The comfortable doctrines of purgatory and intercession for the dead attract because they offer some escape from the intolerable finality of judgement on the human life completed. Yet that finality is already implicit in the basic assertion of Christianity that salvation is about belief ...

It is an uncomfortable conviction to live with, a conviction which imposes solemn, almost insupportable responsibility. But here we stand already on the threshold of the content of the Catholic faith, 'which except everyone keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly'."

--- Enoch Powell, "Whosoever will," No Easy Answers (London: Sheldon Press, 1973).

Ego te baptizo!

Really! Just press this link!

Oh, and ....

Happy happy joy joy.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Our Hitler

So much fodder! Deaconesses, transgender bathrooms, Brexit! But let's step back for a moment and consider the lasting contributions of Adolf Hitler. I say that there are three that continue to dominate and determine our world today: The State of Israel, NATO, and the European Union.

Because of Hitler, there can be no Brexit. The game plans were mapped out long before today and tomorrow will, quite literally, never come. So, lean back and enjoy some Kojevian reflections:

There is no doubt that we are currently witnessing a decisive turning point in history, comparable to the one that took place at the end of the Middle Ages. The beginning of the modern age is characterized by the unstoppable process of the progressive elimination of “feudal” political formations dividing the national units to the benefit of kingdoms, which is to say of nation-States. At present, it is these nation-States which, irresistably, are gradually giving way to political formations which transgress national borders and which could be designated with the term “Empires.” Nation-States, still powerful in the nineteenth century, are ceasing to be political realities, States in the strong sense of the term, just as the medieval baronies, cities, and archdioceses ceased to be States. The modern State, the current political reality, requires a larger foundation than that represented by Nations in the strict sense. To be politically viable, the modern State must rest on a “vast ‘imperial’ union of affiliated Nations.” The modern State is only truly a State if it is an Empire.

The historical process which formerly replaced feudal entities with national States, and which is currently breaking down Nations to the benefit of Empires, can and must be explained by economic causes, which manifest themselves politically in and through the requirements of military technology. It is the appearance of firearms, and notably of artillery, which ruined the political power of medieval subnational formations. The feudal “Prince” – baron, bishop, city – was capable of arming his vassal-citizens with swords and spears, and he maintained himself politically as long as this armament sufficed to enable support for a possible war, with his political independence at stake. But when it was necessary to maintain an artillery to be able to defend oneself, the economic and demographic bases of the feudal political formations showed themselves to be insufficient, and this is why these formations were progressively absorbed by national States, which alone were able to arm themselves in an adequate fashion. Likewise, nation-States were – and are still – sufficient economic and demographic foundations to maintain troops armed only with handguns, machine guns, and cannons. But such troops are no longer effective nowadays. They can do nothing against a truly modern army, which is to say motorized, armored, and involving an air force as an essential weapon. Now, strictly national economies and demographics are incapable of putting together armies of this kind, which Empires alone can maintain. Sooner or later these Empires will thus absorb nation-States politically.

This fundamental inadequacy – demographic and economic and, consequently, military and thus political – of national States is demonstrated in a particularly striking way by the example of the Third Reich. Throughout the High Middle Ages, Germany pursued an imperial project, at once anachronistic and premature, and thus utopian, which is to say without a real foundation in the present, and consequently unrealizable. The pursuit and inevitable failure of this project had as a consequence that Germany entered into the truly feudal period and emerged from it 150 years late, from which it has never known how to catch up since (never having been able to or having wanted to skip stages with a revolutionary act). So it was with a delay of a century and a half that Hitler began his political action. And thus he imagined and created his Third Reich as a State strictly in keeping with the “national” ideal, born at the end of the Middle Ages and having already reached its perfect form in the revolutionary ideology and its realization, signed with the names of Robespierre and Napoleon. For it is quite evident that the Hitlerian slogan: “Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Führer” is but a (poor) translation into German of the watchword of the French Revolution: “The Republic, one and indivisible.” And one could say that “the Führer” is but a German Robespierre, which is to say an anachronistic one, who – having known how to master his Thermidor – was able to undertake the execution of the Napoleonic plan himself. Moreover, Hitler expressed the essence and the motive of his political thought very well by putting himself at the head of a movement which calls itself “national-socialism,” and which consciously contrasts itself with Soviet “imperial-socialism” as much as with Anglo-Saxon “imperial-capitalism.” Generally, the Third Reich was undoubtedly a national State, in the particular and precise sense of the term. This is a State which, on the one hand, strove to realize all national political possibilities, and which, on the other hand, wanted to use only the power of the German nation, by consciously establishing, qua State, the (ethnic) limits of the latter. Well, this “ideal” nation-State lost its crucial political war.

So now? Playtime!

Frau im Mond

From The MCJ:

Have you noticed that there hasn’t been much commentary on things Anglican, Episcopal, or Druid lately? Not just on MCJ, but pretty much anywhere?

Speaking only for myself, I think that a major barrier has been crossed. To put it simply:

Nobody cares anymore. Using colloquial terms, WTFC???

TEC has become irrelevant. The C of E has become irrelevant. And the Anglican Communion, in its traditional incarnation, has become irrelevant.

The controversies which have raged for the past 4 decades have finally burned themselves out. The church yielded on the issue of women clergy. The church rewrote the BCP to allow for all sorts of modernistic practices. The issue of same-sex marriage and homosexual clergy was at first carefully side-stepped by the church, and then ultimately approved.

All of which was about 10-20 years behind the “norms” of everyday society. And Society very deliberately and effectively has ignored TEC/the Anglican Communion.

IMHO, there is no longer any such thing as the “Anglican Communion”. There are churches which try to call themselves “Anglican” (TEC, the ACC [Anglican Church of Canada] ) and various offshoots/variants, but for all intents and purposes, the Anglican Communion is dead. There’s a VERY large and strong faithful remnant in GAFCON; the Global South has demonstrated for many years that they received the Gospel of Christ as it was taught to them, and they are unwilling to compromise that Gospel, to their eternal credit.

Still, they cannot halt the rush to secularism and popular acceptance that encompasses the 1979 BCP, acceptance of gay clergy, tolerance of lay presidency, “open communion”, and so many other examples of putting social trends and popular causes ahead of scriptural authority and the Gospel of Christ.

Does anyone even care any more if Vicky Gene Robinson is gay? Does anyone care if TEC stands up for any cause whatsoever – gay rights, Native American rights, illegal immigrant’s rights, or Marianne vs. Ginger rights???

I used to follow all sorts of Anglican blogs regularly, to keep abreast of events and be aware of the latest theological and doctrinal developments. I can now do the same thing with a tarot deck missing 13 cards, a loaded pair of dice, and the white pages for Somerset, Kentucky.

It’s now been 40 years since the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States irrevocably launched itself down the road to being a religion governed by popular opinion and abandoned the Faith as Received from the Fathers. If one reviews the various statistics (membership, baptisms, parishes, ASA, etc.; all readily available on TEC websites) it’s clear that the “new and improved” TEC hasn’t exactly been a resounding success.

So – this is one case where I’d have to summarize with, “No news is NOT good news.”

We have now escaped the Earth's atmosphere completely!

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

One of my old-fashioned prejudices in favour of Roman Catholicism was the prominence formerly accorded to philosophy in its educational institutions. It used to be said that a RC college "had to have" a philosophy department, no matter how tiny.

As the process of "all that is solid melts into air" continues unabated, it must finally be acknowledged that here, in America, this is no longer the case. The following is just one more entry (archived here, from the comments section there).

It’s too late for anyone to do anything about the philosophy department at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina, but what happened to the philosophy department there seems to be prescient of what is happening or going to happen at many philosophy departments across the country.

In the Spring of 2009, President William Thierfelder announced that the Board of Trustees had mandated an examination of academic programs at the Abbey in light of financial concerns (it has always been the case that BAC suffers from extreme financial insecurity.) Despite repeated requests from the faculty, it was never revealed how this “examination” (which most of us realized was just a euphemism for making cuts to faculty) would place the Abbey on any kind of securer financial footing. An ad hoc committee was hastily assembled to meet over the summer to carry out this “examination.” The committee was organized and controlled by the Academic Dean, Carson Daly, whose name should be familiar to readers of this blog since she just recently resigned as President of Mount Saint Mary’s College in New York, after firing faculty there.

Long story short, it was obvious to me that both Thierfelder and Daly intended all along to eliminate the philosophy department and its faculty, and that all of this was just a cover (Daly’s constant trying to have votes on whether to eliminate the philosophy department during meetings of this committee without any warning was certainly a clue) . Despite her constant maneuverings, both the committee and later the Faculty Assembly voted to keep the philosophy major and the philosophy requirement in the core curriculum. Still, she misrepresented the will of these two bodies in her presentation to the Board of Trustees and had philosophy eliminated. When inquiries were made as to how a Catholic college could eliminate all philosophy from its academic offerings, Abbot Placid Solari, Chancellor of the college, responded that of course, there was still philosophy since the Political Science department would be offering required political philosophy courses in the core! Yet those of us in the philosophy department were told that either we didn’t have the credentials to teach these courses, or that there no need for extra faculty (the college hired another political science professor that fall).

No department but we still got a philosophy!