Saturday, January 29, 2011

Antiquities, Riots & Iconoclasts

It is heartening to see that residents as well as the Egyptian army are attempting to safeguard the Cairo Egyptian Museum, home of the Tutankamun treasures.

Let's not forget the iconoclasm of devout Scimitarists. Pursuant of Chesterton's parable, the reasons for the riots in Egypt are multitudinous. But destruction in the case of some of our greatest artifacts can be, sadly, one and final.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Lamp-post, the Mob, and the Monk

SUPPOSE THAT A GREAT COMMOTION arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, "Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good __ " At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediœval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily.

Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, tomorrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.

- G. K. Chesterton, Heretics

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Back to the Swamp

Why, do you suppose, this happened? From a mimetic theory viewpoint, it points to the expulsion of a designated and acceptable sacrificial victim - in this case the Christian faith in general and the Catholic Church in particular. Oddly, the latter alone comprises over a billion human beings, and yet the Gnostic EU overlords (so accurately depicted in C. S. Lewis's prescient book, That Hideous Strength) curiously believe that they can will out of existence belief in Jesus Christ - or, at least out of public discourse - by their hubris-filled chicanery.

It points again not only to human folly and pride; but to the deeply embedded roots of the primitive sacred in our fallen human condition.

Those EU ministers should listen, in my opinion, to a different sort of minister: Rene Girard, an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister who also happens to be a member of the L'Académie française. His work in mimetic theory not only brings broad understanding to the cultural conflagration upon which the EU is throwing kindling, but is in full submission to the Magisterium of Mother Church.

The more "modern progressives" (sic.) try to out-distance Christian truth, the more their actions show a recrudescence and regression into the pagan swamp that our Lord and His Church succeeded in pulling us out of ... for a time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"It's Not About the Money" Clip - Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

"It's not about the money, it's about the 'game' - the 'game' between people."

In Battling to the End René Girard shares his understanding of the closeness of war and exchange. Through the eyes of Carl von Clausewitz (who introduces the notion that humanity is always moving toward an 'escalation to extremes') sees reciprocal action, which covers exchange between people, market trade and bellicose relations, as the equalivance to a duel and that it is the hidden structure of all social phenomena.

Clausewitz established an equivalence between war and monetary exchange - he saw no real difference between the two activities (trade would not be a metaphor for war, but would concern the same reality).

Girard writes: "Trade thus has all the features of war: if smooth settlement of exchanges degenerates into furious competition, a trade war can become a real war."

"We exchange goods so as not to exchange blows. Exchange, whether commercial or bellicose, is an institution, in other words, a form of protection, a simple means. If the institution is seen as an end, we fall back into violent reciprocity. Our emotional and spiritual lives have the same structure as our economic life... Exchanges must not be seen for what they are, in other words, reciprocal. This is the law that has to be complied with in order to live together. Life is livable only if reciprocity does not appear. Many anthropologists have trouble seeing this... (t)hey compete with one another to describe the complexity of the differences and social rules, without seeing that the rules are only there to prevent the return of reciprocity."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In the Name of the Prophet

The bomb that killed at least 21 Egyptian Christians on New Year’s morning was packed with sharpened metal, iron balls and razor wire.

Many of those that the device didn't rip to death will never see, walk or function properly ever again. With terrorist bombs, euphemisms such as "wounded" and "traumatized" are hideously misplaced. These are not, however, the only banalities being tossed around when this latest attack is discussed. Words like "rare," "surprise," and "extremist" seem similarly absurd to those who know anything about the plight of Christians in large chunks of the Muslim world. Remember, more than 50 Iraqi Catholics were murdered in November; on Christmas Day in the southern Philippines on a Muslim-dominated island a church was bombed and parishioners hurt; and in Pakistan just weeks ago a 45year-old Christian mother of five, Asia Bibi, was sentenced to death for "defaming the Prophet." Not bad for a little over a month! Keep reading here.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

St. John Neumann Feast Day January 5

~ From the Diary of St. John Neumann

Everyone who breathes, high and low, educated and ignorant, young and old, man and woman, has a mission, has a work.

Benedict - Eclipse of Reason

Jill Fallon at Business of Life lifts up Theodore Dalrymple who sees the Holy Father Benedict XVI as the Orwell of our time. Important reading.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Gnosticism on Parade

This is a perfect example of the power of Gnosticism, alive and well even today. This is to say, the delusion that we as human beings can, through the power of our ability to imagine, create for ourselves ex nihilo our own realities.

None fall for this satanic ruse worse or more than those who "think" they hold the reins of political power, the purse-strings of mammon, or control public opinion.

But in the case of VP Biden, we see a case study of cafeteria Catholicism (sic.) that is foolish at best, doomed to perdition at worst.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Θεοτόκος - Mary, Mother of God

Bishop Paul Andre Durocher clarifies our Lady's role in a succinct, beautiful piece here.