Saturday, January 04, 2020

Friday, January 03, 2020

Buying a Ticket for a Sinking Ship

US bishops declare solidarity with immigrants, refugees

“As a founding principle of our country, we have always welcomed immigrant and refugee populations, and through the social services and good works of the Church, we have accompanied our brothers and sisters in integrating to daily American life,” Bishop Mario Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chair of the US bishops' Comittee on Migration, said Jan. 2.
Someone needs to take a remedial US history class.

More Pontificating in the Vein

A "legitimate" development from Rome's claims about the responsibilities of the bishop of Rome?

Solidarity, subsidiarity needed to provide medical care to all, pope says


Thursday, January 02, 2020


Still Wishing for the Improbable

And doing nothing to prepare for the alternative scenarios.

Rod Dreher:

To restate: Tomorrow’s social conservatism will not be about sex. It will be about nationalism and identity. I fear that if this is not managed carefully, it will end up being, in the US, about race. The Left has already staked out its position that social liberalism, on this front, is about being anti-white. I hope that the Right can and will define social conservatism not as pro-white, but pro-American, in the sense of fighting for fair and just treatment for all Americans, regardless of race. I think that still has purchase among Americans. I hope so.

Recognizing what the left is doing but wishing that the "Right" will adopt a response that will do nothing to counter it but merely let the Left exploit it, in the name of "fairness" and being reasonable, that is worse than liberalism. (It does rest on the liberal assumption that "being reasonable" will convince others to adopt that position and to ally with one's party. BS.) It is cowardice.

Pat Deneen on Lowry's Nationalism

Rich Lowry’s Nationalist Review by Patrick Deneen
The problem is that his American nationalism is at once too small and too big, thus missing the mark. Here's why.

Lowry commends a newer new nationalism that flattens all the remarkable and genuine diversity that once and even today still marks the American nation. While he claims that a defining feature of a nation is a common and shared language—countries like Switzerland, Canada, Belgium, and Ireland notwithstanding—during the period Lowry acknowledges as a high-water mark of American nationalism, America was a multilingual and genuinely multicultural nation. My maternal grandfather’s primary language was French, as was the case for many French Canadian immigrants living in Maine, not to mention the many French and Creole speakers in New Orleans. Large swaths of the upper Midwest spoke Norwegian, Swedish, and German, and nearly every major city had sections where only Italian and Chinese were spoken. America was a multicultural nation during a period in which Lowry praises American nationalism, yet this fact is erased as he tells a tendentious history of a once-strong nationalism displaced by the rise of a new Babel. Through a concerted project of assimilation, the Progressives succeeded in a project of eliminating most of these distinct cultural enclaves, and Lowry proposes to finish the work through encouragement, among other things, of intermarriage of immigrants aimed at erasing cultural and religious distinctions, a sure path to a citizenry of homogenized, deracinated, cultureless cosmopolitans.

Lowry also commends “cultural nationalism” by encouraging certain holidays such as Thanksgiving and Independence Day as the basis of a shared national identity. But what of the annual springtime Shad Derby of Windsor, Connecticut; Scottish Walk Weekend in Alexandria, Virginia; Dyngus Day in South Bend, Indiana (just to name three memorable celebrations in places I have lived); and the thousands upon thousands of festivities and celebrations that make up the far richer fabric of shared memory and community spirit than three or four national holidays alone could ever supply? What of St. Patrick’s Day, Columbus Day (at least once upon a time), Cinco de Mayo, and the enlarged calendar of religious and ethnic holidays that have been a legacy of the variety of Americans who have populated the nation? A nationalism that asks us to have as our primary and even sole devotion the abstract reverence toward the flag, the American eagle, and a national history that leaves aside all the various particular histories of America’s many places asks us to love something too abstract, too distant, and too artificial. For good reasons, conservatives of a different era mistrusted this Progressive project.

But while Lowry’s nationalism is too big, risking erasure of our appropriate devotions to more local and distinct cultures, at the same time, his nationalism is also too small. Like the Progressives of old, he endorses a nationalism that takes on the trappings of civic religion and that, in effect, seeks to create a religion lodged in the nation that implicitly takes place of priority over any transcendent religion. Lowry quite clearly endorses this dimension of nationalism: in praising England as the nation par excellence worthy of our admiration and emulation, he takes the side of Henry VIII against St. Thomas More, whom, he writes, “represented a worldview that considered nationality as an accidental division and an incidental loyalty, a perspective that would steadily lose ground.” He dismisses More’s famous refusal—“to conform my conscience to the council of one realm against the General Council of Christendom”—as a stance on the wrong side of history. History, in fact, cautions us otherwise.

This siding with Henry—and, endorsement of the attendant philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, who commended the joining of Church and State with the political sovereign as head of both—throws into stark relief many of Lowry’s awkward attempts to dismiss atrocities and injustices of American history as so many unfortunate but ultimately excusable occasions. At various points throughout his book Lowry acknowledges the sins of America—foremost, slavery, but also treatment of Native Americans, Catholics, Mexicans, its imperialism and, today, white nationalism—and regards them in each and every instance as regrettable, but occasionally necessary (the decimation of the Native Americans for their backward economic order), and finally not an essential expression of American nationalism. Lowry concludes with the bizarre claim that Martin Luther King’s achievement represents proof of American nationalism’s inherent excellence—though, he admits, King “was a Christian universalist who issued a prophet’s stinging rebukes of the failings of his own country.” King himself understood, a nation that is not “under God” (added only in 1954 to the Progressive-era Pledge of Allegiance) is a nation too likely to rationalize its own interests. What does Lowry make, one wonders, of King’s reliance upon the transcendent natural law to which Thomas More appealed as a guidance and corrective to the nations?

And yet what does Deneen think should be the alternative?

The nation is the necessary protector of such people who seek to make a home rather than construct a launching pad, who rightly view the nation as the bulwark against a predatory globalism, superficial “woke” egalitarianism that shrouds rapacious corporate greed, and the self-serving disdain of urban cosmopolites toward those in flyover country. The nation is best defended on these terms—as the appropriate vessel of a broad, civic common good, and especially as a constraint upon those who would plunder the common treasury for their own benefit.

But the nation should also be defended as a “community of communities,” a place that is not itself most essentially a home, but a space allowing for the viable pursuit of a common good that makes a stable and good home more possible, regardless of one’s educational and financial attainments.

Federalism has been dying; whether it can be recovered in reaction to a central government that has amassed too much power or some other form of localism will instead replace it remains to be seen. In either case, identity politics will become stronger, nor weaker, and talk about a common good is useless when we are dealing with a population that is divided in its interests and loyalties.

Bring Me Home

WB Korea

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Heresy, Again

“Jesus Christ came as a child on Christmas to show us that every person is a child of God, made in his image,” Gomez states. “He came to show us that all humanity is one family, that we are all brothers and sisters no matter where we are born, the color of our skin or the language that we speak.”


More Papal White-Knighting

Pope Francis: Honor the dignity of women for a better world in 2020

I Never Watched a Full Episode of The Waltons

when I was growing up; I'd see a commercial from time to time or manage to catch the closing credits before the next show came on, whatever that might have been on CBS. So today I happened to catch most if an episode; John Boy believes he has received a solicitation from a publisher for his stories. I then found that even this supposedly family-friendly show had some indoctrination in it, with the subtle and not-so-subtle undermining of the authority of the father, who wanted to look at the contract before signing it, since John Boy was a minor. Instead John Boy gave it to his mother and she signed it, without reading it through or bringing it to a lawyer. Later John Boy and his mother realize that this was a mistake, but they never really acknowledged how they had offended the authority of the father, nor did they apologize for this, and the father was too soft in his response, amounting to sweeping it under the rug as everyone was guilty of being emotionally overwhelmed by John Boy's apparent success, which was ridiculous.

Now I would not be surprised if the show never touched upon the War to Prevent Southern Independence (do any of the characters have a real Southern accent or was that already being stigmatized at that time). Probably no mention of an ancestor who fought against Lincoln.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

First Cow

SJW story-telling? Does it advocate the melting pot myth of American identity? Or something more? Or something less?

Italian Localism

The Cascina San Benedetto Vision

What about the ethnic homogeneity?

Phalanx vs Legion : Battle of Cynoscephalae


Monday, December 30, 2019

A Hidden Life

A Hidden Life is the best movie of this year, best Christian movie certainly. IMO.

The Gospel According to Terrence Malick
August Diehl and Valerie Pachner, stars of "A Hidden Life," on what it's like to work with cinema's most famous recluse

Reflections on Filmmaker Terrence Malick and His Rumored Life of Christ
Terrence Malick’s ‘A Hidden Life’ is an Example of What Great Christian Art Can be

The Not-So-Secret Life of Terrence Malick by Eric Benson
The world’s most private director turns his lens on the place where he’s always been most public: Austin.

Terrence Malick and the Christian Story by David Roark

Brad Pitt talks about Terrence Malick and The Tree of Life
What happened when Hollywood's most photographed actor teamed up with Terrence Malick, its most reclusive and paparazzi-shy director? Brad Pitt tells all


AmConMag: The Pope’s Appeasement is Making Catholicism More Chinese by Don Giolzetti
Be warned: the thaw between the Vatican and Xi Jinping brings the faith one step closer to sinicization.

More Girl Power Garbage


Sunday, December 29, 2019


Democracy Too Soon?

Liberal democracy + feminism, ideals of some of the Chinese revolutionaries of the last century.

Johnnie Hunnicutt