Saturday, April 11, 2020
It's not the reaction that wrecked the economy. It's the LACK of INITIAL reaction that wrecked the economy.— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 12, 2020
Proper border controls on Jan 26, plus masks & tests & we'd be fine now.
The @CDC, @WHO, UK Gov helped spread disinformation.
After 3 m, still no masks & tests!!!
Chloroquine: Does Big Pharma owns the media?— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 11, 2020
+ Studies are said to be "not rigorous" when it comes to Chloroquine in spite of robust statistical signal
+ Studies w/less rigor and significance are promoted when it comes to drugs by Gilead
Note: Chl was OTC, costs 1 Euro a pack. pic.twitter.com/UU2URRxWNV
Public Orthodoxy: Depth Psychology and the Courage of St. Mary of Egypt by Pia Sophia Chaudhari
Has a feminist taken offense? Who is "mistrusting" feminine eros, and what does that even mean? (Is she as sympathetic to masculine eros?) Feminine eros by itself is no guide for right behavior, and it is possible for feminine eros to become disordered, even if it is through no fault of the victim who has been "corrupted" and exploited by others. The Byzantine Christians seem to be more apt to use the word "sin" even more analogically than Latins, so why not in instances such as this? Can the "acting out" of a sexual abuse victim not be considered involuntary sin? There is no suspicion or mistrust of "feminine eros" by a normal Christian, just a recognition that St. Mary's pattern of life was not one that was going to bring her closer to God, regardless of how culpable she was for her behavior. Still, we must point out that there are probably women who make very poor choices when it comes to their sexual behavior, who do so because of disordered self-love and not because they were abused by others.
We enter into this stark and amazing story, in the midst of our Lenten journeys, which emphasizes not only the power of repentance but the battle between impurity and holiness. And yet, sometimes in ensuing discussions I feel left with a sense of a script for purity and piety (and possibly more than a touch of mistrust of feminine eros) rather than having touched the depth and complexity of human experience.
Who is emphasizing only the aspects of "purity" and "impurity"? Even sexual abuse victims who are acting out love themselves in the wrong ways, seeking to blot out their pain and suffering, and this self-love must be healed by God. Christ Himself welcomed the prostitutes and tax collectors (Matthew 21:31), so that their hearts might be created anew.
John Ioannidis does not get that model uncertainty WORSENS possible outcomes under exponential growth & should lead to MORE reaction.— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 11, 2020
Here is a derivation from Jensen's ineq. pic.twitter.com/XGUtqlR2py
More elegant.— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 11, 2020
It is hard to live on a planet where the most cited person in epidemiology, John Ioannidis, doesn't understand exponential, hence multiplication. Yet he tries to make policy. pic.twitter.com/iZadn4eaUK
Wrong. Levantine coast had 5 additional Greek areas. Plus Berytus and Baalbeck spoke mainly Latin owing to Law school and Roman resettlements. https://t.co/SoQcAibA3N— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 11, 2020
Friday, April 10, 2020
Is there any potential for here for a time-traveling devotion, i.e. a simulation of our being present at our Lord's burial and then behaving accordingly (as in the case with certain Latin devotions)? The Christ we worship lives; how can we simulate otherwise? If that is the case, what is the use of the image of the dead Christ on the burial shroud if it does not convey the current reality? It is like the other icons depicting events from the life of Christ, a memorial for us to remember God's saving acts and to give thanks and praise to Him now?
‘This present paradise’ by Rita Nakashima Brock, Rebecca Parker
For almost 1,000 years, the Christian church emphasized paradise, not Crucifixion. How Christianity took a disastrous turn, and how we can rediscover paradise today.
They distort the Gospel to a message of self-actualization, self-divinization.
Nearly everything we had previously understood about Christian history, theology, and ritual began to shift as we delved deeper into the meaning of paradise. Our new book, Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, reaches back nearly four thousand years to explore how the ancient people of West Asia imagined paradise. It shows how the Bible’s Hebrew prophets invoked the Garden of Eden to challenge the exploitation and carnage of empires. It shows how Jesus’s teachings and the practices of the early church affirmed life in this world as the place of salvation. Within their church communities, Christians in the first millennium sought to help life flourish in the face of imperial power, violence, and death.
The Kingdom is at hand. But this world is not the Kingdom. The Kingdom replaces this world.
What led Western Christianity to replace resurrection and life with a Crucifixion-centered salvation and to relegate paradise to a distant afterlife?
Even Latin Christianity still affirms life; orthodox Christianity recognizes that Christ gives life by destroying death with the cross, but it also recognizes that the waves of sin is death. Do the Unitarians have any understanding of sin? Or of a God who is distinct from us? While some Latins may think of heaven as a completely separate reality, not all do.
If they think that popular Latin Christianity has been wrong, then they should look to other forms of Apostolic Christianity. But they're more interested in "debunking" Christianity in favor of their man-made religion than in Christ, who was just another wise human teacher anyways.
Deaconesses: An Orthodox Institution Untheologically Blocked by Petros Vassiliadis
The necessity of an immediate restoration of the order of deaconesses, the history of the decision to hold the symposium at this particular moment, as well as its expectations, were presented at the opening session. The first and primary reason for convening the symposium was to encourage the traditional access of women to the sacramental “diaconal” priesthood. Unlike the general issue and demand for women ordination into episcopacy and the “hierurgic” priesthood, the symposium aimed at highlighting the diaconal character of the Christian faith, and not the redistribution of power within the Church. As Prof. Dn. John Chryssavgis underlined, we should perceive and practice “the diaconal ministry not as a stepping-stone to the priesthood or episcopate, but as a symbol of the vocation of every Christian (male and female) to serve. It is (he is convinced) today more than ever before, harder to be a deacon in the Orthodox Church than it is to be a priest or a bishop. Unfortunately, centuries of hardened clericalism, ecclesiastical illiteracy, and blatant disregard for the diaconate have rendered it almost impossible for people in our church—clergy and laity—to appreciate how the diaconate should inform every aspect of pastoral leadership and church ministry.…If we do not understand the diaconia, we cannot understand the other ranks of priesthood…even the role of the laity in the Church…The authentic image of the Church that we should be seeking—in our minds as in our ministry—is that of a dinner table, not that of a corporate ladder. The Church is not a pyramid, where all attention and authority are turned toward the summit. Instead, we should imagine the Church as a sacrament, where the primary and essential focus is the celebration of the Eucharist.”
Diakonia, service may be important of the Christian life but that service is primarily not of others or even the Church, but of God. The Church cannot presume to violate the Divine Wisdom in order to establish a more "equal" order. What is the role of the deacon? It is not so broad as Nicholas Denysenko thinks, and is rather limited as recorded in Acts to specific purposes. Many of the particularities regarding the service of the deacon within Divine Liturgy would appear to be a much later development, after their original functions had been lost, and while some Orthodox may attempt to explain the theology of the diaconate in accordance with these later developments (e.g. serving the bishop at Divine Liturgy), I think they are incorrect to do so. Can we have a true restoration of the diaconate in those countries where Byzantine Christianity is the default religion of the population? Let them show that they can restore and renew the diaconate first before they talk about further ecclesial "reform." (It is not just corporal works of mercy, to which all Christians are called to do, but ministering from the treasury of the Church to members of the Church in need, so that the bishops/presbyteros do not have to occupy themselves with this vital work and focus instead on duties attending to the "spiritual life.")
The Eucharist does have the aspect of a "meal"; should we think of the Church as being gathered at the Wedding Banquet - there is a scriptural warrant for that, but is that image more metaphorical than literal?
If the Church is not a "pyramid" then who is pushing for the "restoration" of deaconesses other than [older] feminist-minded men and women, and their episcopal enablers? Does this initiative have broad support in Greek Orthodox communities? How many of their faithful care enough to have an opinion? Do Greek Orthodox communities have problems retaining men? Photos of the men in their young adult groups in the U.S. are not impressive. If these innovators are content to push men away even more by pursuing this initiative, then let them do so and suffer the consequences. God will not be mocked by "followers" who think they know a standard of righteousness (one informed by feminism) better than what they have received from Him. Even if they claim to be merely interpreting Tradition properly when the Church failed to do so before, they are just interpreting Tradition through a feminist lens.
Along with the diaconal dimension of the authentic witness of the Church of Christ, equally important is the moral responsibility of the body of Christ for women, their role and ministry both in society and in all the manifestations of ecclesiastical life: royal, priestly, prophetic (in other words, governance, liturgy, mission).The three offices are those proper to Christ but are manifested in the life of every Christian, no matter what their calling or role. Women are able to participate in all three offices without having to be admitted to Holy Orders, and it is a mistake to confuse the "royal" office with that of the episcopate or having authority in the Church (which St. Paul denies is possible for women). Where is the moral responsibility of the Church for non-ordained men?
Why are the Greeks pushing for this at this time? I think they have become too soft and reliant upon money from a select few, especially American money. One might even say that they are overcompensating for an ecclesial mindset that is still clericalist and imperial, trying to cement their future legacy. If anything, they are casting doubts on whether the norm of elevating monastics to the episcopate is should remain unmodified. Too much pleasing some vocal people instead of being a rock for their flocks? I think Aaron might have something to say to them about this. We must beware of false forms of "mercy" which are really idols we have set up of ourselves.
What sort of faith is this:
The Old Testament, of course, exemplifies patriarchal bias in many ways, notably in the metaphor of woman coming out of man (Gen 1:22). It is inescapable, however, that this was corrected in the New Testament, by the explicit Pauline statement that “when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman” (Gal 4:4). God becoming incarnate “from a woman” is a reversal of woman “coming out of man.”The innovators might say that it is not God who is the source of this bias (or even error) in Scripture, but the human authors, and that God makes use of inspired authors but doesn't necessarily forcibly correct their minds so that they understand His revelation of Himself properly.
the final report
But the supposition that Jesus cries for Elijah is significant in its own right. Elijah was a major figure of Jewish prophecy. In Christian Bibles, the Old Testament ends with a promise of Elijah’s coming “before the great and terrible day of Yahweh” (Mal 4:5). Earlier in Matthew, when the disciples ask about Elijah, Jesus identifies John the Baptist as the Elijah who comes to “restore all things” (17:11). First-century Jews expected Elijah’s advent to wind up the prophetic clock and trigger the arrival of the kingdom. Jesus’s call for Elijah was a call for the new creation. The mockery of the Jewish leaders has an eschatological edge: “Let’s see if Elijah comes. Let’s see if Jesus’s sufferings are the birth pangs of the kingdom.”
Funny thing is, the great and terrible day of the Lord does arrive, on Golgotha, in the darkness on a Friday afternoon. Everything Israel hoped for starts happening as soon as Jesus’s cry fades to silence.
Then there is this one by the editor, which is another instance of the magazine's Judeo-Christian leanings... Learning From the Jewish Easter by R. R. Reno. In so far as it reflects some memory of God's wondrous deeds and the tradition of the Israelites it may be somewhat useful, but the Seder meal is a post-Christian development necessitated by the destruction of the Temple (and thus the resulting inability to perform the Paschal sacrifices), and thus a product of Talmudic Judaism and not of the religion of the Israelites.
This sort of Judeo-Christian sleight-of-hand is not just misleading but really deceitful.
At The Lamp we take marching orders from neither the discredited ideologies of the progressive left or the libertarian-conservative right nor from the neoliberal consensus of atomization, spoliation, rootlessness, and mindless entertainment into which both are rapidly being subsumed, but rather from the immutable teaching of the Church. We are not nostalgists harkening after a mythical “moment before” when it was supposedly possible to reconcile the Church to the world. (We aren’t wacky neo-medievalists dreaming of the Shire either!) Nor, finally, are calling for a “retreat” from politics, an idea we consider incoherent. We are concerned with the world as it exists now and with the future that lies before us. We are attempting something at once radical and blinkeringly, even painfully, obvious: to approach questions of public import as if what the Church has consistently taught were actually true. We do not pretend to know what an authentically Catholic response to the crises of postmodern liberalism would look like. But we do know the following:
How I Joined the Resistance by J.D. Vance
Mamaw seemed not to care much about Catholics. Her younger daughter had married one, and she thought him a good man. She felt their way of worshipping was rather formal and peculiar, but what mattered to her was Jesus. Revelation 18 may have been about Catholics, and it may have been about something else. But the Catholic she knew cared about Jesus, and that was all right with her.
I thought I had posted some videos with him or Hillbilly Elegy-- apparently not...
At the National Conservatism Conference
Amy Chua Washington Watch
However, we often forget that indeed Judaism as we know it, rabbinical Judaism, is a post-Christian innovation. The real relationship between our Jews and the ancient Israelites is not particularly clear, let alone if they are their heirs. Perhaps rabbinical Jews are merely a small, unrepresentative, and perhaps elite offshoot of the old Israelite nations, while the rest got assimilated into the surrounding cultures.
Indeed, many [Judeo-]Christian "conservatives" and Roman Catholics forget this. And this could be elaborated much further, as to their religious party identifcation. Is Durocher ignorant of this or is he content merely to allude to it?
How many Jews at this point are unaware of what Christians believe about Christ and their identification of him with the Messiah promised to Israel? While there may be emotional and spiritual obstacles to their conversion which leave them not culpable of rejecting Christ, does it ever nag them that they may be wrong, and that the absence of the Temple is a rebuke to them?
Thursday, April 09, 2020
It’s interesting to reflect on how as a Christian in post-Christian America, I would probably feel better with the Muslims of Al-Maqasid as my neighbors than with nominally Christian people who fully accepted the immoralities of popular culture. But that’s the world we find ourselves in. And here’s a further strange thing, something I can’t quite figure out. I would feel more comfortable with these Muslims as neighbors than with hardline fundamentalist Christians. Why? Because if we lived around Christians, I would feel that my Christian children would have to constantly be on defense about their Orthodox Christian faith, whereas with Muslims, this would probably not be contested territory.How can those skeptical of his presentation of the Benedict Option read this and not think that his children are being sheltered and not engaging "the world"? His children should not respond to "hardline fundamentalist Christians" with a "defensive mentality" nor an "offensive aggresive mentality," but with charity and friendliness and welcoming hospitality to their Christian brethren, to hold frame, as it were, and to conquer hearts with courageous love. Even if differences in Christian belief and practice cannot be reconciled, they can still form alliances, even political friendship with other Christians, if they choose to reach out and manifest the proper goodwill needed. This should be a no-brainer for someone who supposedly is familiar with Southern culture.
Still, the time may be ripe for creative—even audacious—action to reviving a faltering tradition.
Bishops and clergy are not uniquely subject to the forces of corruption that have wreaked havoc in the Church. They have been affected by trends in the same society that the laity inhabit. In fact, the laity may well have been even more influenced by questionable views of life that have become increasingly prominent in Western society. Successful lay leadership would thus have to be acutely self-critical and discriminating.
The challenge to Christianity in the last few centuries has not been confined to denying the existence of God. The basic terms of human existence have been reconsidered. Not only Christianity but the classical Greek and Roman heritage stressed the importance of moral character for personal and social well-being. Human beings were morally cleft, and they had to learn self-control and responsibility. Any genuine social betterment had to begin in this manner. For Christianity, the main obstacle to improving human existence was the fallenness of man. The crux of the moral-spiritual life was to recognize evil in self, repent, and reform self. A central purpose of civilization was to support this effort.
But Western high-brow and popular culture alike have long portrayed such notions of self-restraint and character as vestiges of a perverse puritanism. We should not bottle up natural cravings but live out our dreams and longings. We are not to fret over little personal failings but show moral nobility by endorsing virtuous social and political schemes for transforming the human condition. Our goal should be not so much to love neighbor—the people just around us—with all of what it entails of personal, sometimes inconvenient up-close engagement. We should love mankind, whose advancement requires the mobilization of government. This shift from self-reform to socio-political reform proved very appealing in that it greatly relieved the moral burden placed on the person.
Latin traditionalists and "conservative" Latins might think themselves to be exceptions. However, for the most part Latin traditionalists do not engage or interact with Latins who are not traditionalists, except perhaps to dispute them into attending an EF Mass. (There are those who offer a friendly invitation, without polemics, but they are in the minority it appears.)
Ryn criticizes the weak response by Catholic intellectuals to the liberalism creeping into their churches:
Thomism is a bad vehicle for evangelization, and a poor one for catechesis, both of which were needed within the Latin churches. (Even Thomistic theology could not meet both roles, as much of it was speculative and unnecessarily complicated for neophytes and beginners, despite what the Dominicans and organizations like the Thomistic Institute are trying to do for faith formation and catechesis.)
Many Catholic intellectuals continued to resist sentimental idealism. It did after all contradict a Christian view of human nature and traditional moral beliefs. But rationalistic bias made it difficult for Thomists to diagnose the root problem with the new moralism. They were used to giving primacy in moral philosophy to rational principles and rule adherence. Putting reason in charge—getting the mind to think right—was assumed to lead to proper willing. Moral character would somehow flow from or be the same as right reason. They did not see that the great appeal of sentimental humanitarianism was its capturing the imagination, stirring the entire personality with visions and images and benevolent-looking grand causes. The new spirituality also imparted a pleasant feeling of moral superiority. All that was required to be virtuous was to demand Social Justice and Human Rights.
He emphasizes the importance of a spirituality that recognizes the need for personal conversaion away from sin.
The most nefarious element of the new spirituality may be that it takes little account of personal sinfulness as the central problem of the moral-spiritual life. It denies or downplays the importance of the moral struggle within the individual and the indispensability of character. Moral rationalism does not really understand how to arm the will against the lower desires. It employs such smarts as it has to formulate intricate rules and principles, but without character no amount of intellectual brilliance or teary-eyed sentiment can control the lower desires.However, I am not sure I know whom he is criticizing as "moral rationalists."
The moral rationalists for their part are heavily invested in the belief that the crux of human conduct is for reason to guide us.I don't know of anyone who preaches reason alone, rather than the use of the sacraments and some measure of asceticism.
That there is imagination and idealism that are very different from what has been described here is not in dispute. Sound imagination and idealism are indispensable to elevating life. The problem is addiction to dubious and even impossible dreams. Terrible evil and suffering has resulted from benevolent-looking but perverse illusion. Neither is the indispensability of reason in dispute. Knowledge must inform conduct. But not even the most intricate ratiocination will rescue souls that are captive to alluring but shoddy spirituality. Rules and principles will not steer people right if will and imagination are pulling them in a different direction. Unless we be guided by what Edmund Burke calls “the moral imagination,” which is sound will and imagination in one, some lower form of imagination will direct the person. Brilliant philosophers in the latter predicament will only argue themselves deeper and deeper into self-deluding illusion.
There is a need for a Christian culture, within our churches and homes at the very least, if not in the "public square." But what more would Professor Ryn advocate so that the "renewal of the moral-spiritual and intellectual life" is not superficial but deep?
It is definitely time to make plans about the future and to take those initial steps towards a different way of life.
Wednesday, April 08, 2020
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Blade 2014 Dom Raso - Dynamis Blade Project By Winkler Knives II
Close Quarters Combat Training with Damian Clapper & Dom Raso
Nearly 450 Hong Kong police officers quit unexpectedly amid last year’s anti-government protests, Security Bureau says by Christy Leung
Biden's Covid war room is staffed by figure skater Michelle Kwan and his wife. https://t.co/gUEmJta1zW— Second City Bureaucrat (@CityBureaucrat) April 8, 2020
First Things: Coronavirus Shabbat by Cole S. Aronson
The Talmud says that you should violate the Sabbath to save a life so that whoever you save will keep many Sabbaths. Our raison d’être is the work we do on this earth. God did not give us his holidays, his sacrifices and laws of purity and agriculture, his rules of commerce and charity and personal conduct, so we could rack up points to be cashed in upon entry into the next world. He put us here, as it were, to till the garden and work it, so that he could make of us a great nation and bless all the earth through the chosen children of Abraham. The Mishnah in Tractate Avot teaches that one hour of repentance and performing commandments on this earth is dearer than all the world to come.The chosen children of Abraham? Or the chosen One, the Messiah?
The standing policy of the Jewish state is that there should not be fewer Jews. A state would only have this policy if the state were really a family. Already we’ve lost Holocaust survivors to this virus. Should we lose more of them?
So can other people have this ethnonationalism too?
There is another principle in Jewish thought—whoever saves a single life, it is as if he has saved the whole world.Does this apply to all equally? Or are some more equal than others?
Israelis are praying and loving and studying at home, the true center of Jewish life. “How goodly are your tents, Jacob, your dwelling places, oh Israel?”
The home may be an important center of religious life. But what of the Temple? What rationalizations are given for there not being a Temple? Whose fault is it?
1 John 2:22-23:
22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also.
As provocative as this is, Vermeule nevertheless pulls his punches. Rather than arguing that conservatives should reject originalism, he might have argued that they must do so if they wish to advance a morally compelling argument. For originalism, after all, is simply another form of legal positivism, the doctrine that places a Chinese Wall between what is and what ought to be the law. Originalists are the children of John Austin (1790-1859), the English legal philosopher who defined the law as the sovereign’s command backed by force. As a utilitarian, Austin thought that laws might serve the principle of utility or not, that is, they might be good or bad, but in either case they’re still laws if enacted by the King-in-Parliament.
Legal positivism? Maybe originalism is just legal interpretation 101, in so far as judges are expected to understand the law according to the mind of the legislators, and the limits of the Constitution. I don't see Buckley advocating that any of what conservatives deem unconstitutional be rejected.
Today the written Constitution includes the Reconstruction Amendments that nullified the Fugitive Slave Clause. But if we thought that Garrison was not altogether wrong in 1854, does that mean that the Framers in 1787 were something less than oracles of the law, and became so only in 1865?
Other Framers’ beliefs seem either questionable or very dated now. There are few people today, conservatives included, who share the Framers’ inordinate fear of democracy. The Framers did not think presidents should be chosen in popular elections. They thought that states had the right to secede from the union. And while they thought that a separation of powers was necessary to preserve liberty, the evidence today is that parliamentary regimes are freer than presidential ones.
This is the same author who wrote American Secession, so I don't know if he is being inconsistent or not. Don't know if I would purchase his book to find out.
Half of the commission is women--representation, of course. There are no laymen on the commision. The women, mostly biblical scholars, one theologian and one catechist: Barbara Hallensleben, Catherine Brown Tkacz, Caroline Farey, Anne-Marie Pelletier, Rosalba Manes.
Even if the commission leads to no change, the commission itself is another sign of how feminism has infiltrated into the Latin churches.
Tuesday, April 07, 2020
Every night at 7 p.m., residents of Manhattan, where I live, fling open their windows. For about five minutes they cheer, shout, whistle, and bang spoons on pots in acknowledgment of all who put their lives on the line to care for those suffering from coronavirus.
The phenomenon is rumored to have begun in Italy—where lockdown has dragged on the longest. But it has since spread to Spain, France, and even to India. In the United Kingdom, it’s called the “Clap for our Carers” tribute—an expression of appreciation. Even the royal family participates.
Perhaps such a display of solidarity of gratitude is the best that can be done in a atomized and anonymized mass population center; whether it would be "obligatory" for every citizen in Manhattan, for example, to send a thank you card and/or flowers addressed generally to the staff of every hospital and medical center on the island when considerations of space would not make it possible for everyone to do this, still it is a question that one might want to ask one's self. In a real community that exists because it is of the appropriate scale such displays would not be necessary as gratitude would be part of the political friendship that exists among its members. But we do not have political friendship in our urban mass population centers.
One point of contention that has particularly intrigued me is whether health care workers should be prioritized. Many feel that they should. Medical professionals are a scarce resource, the logic goes, akin to N95 face masks. We must do everything we can to conserve them. Others argue based on morale. Fighting a pandemic with limited resources is hard enough—doctors and nurses may mutiny if their well-being isn’t considered paramount. And then there is the issue of competing obligations. Sure, health care workers are responsible for caring for the sick, but they also have commitments to their own families and neighbors.
Less often, over the last few weeks, have I heard my fellow physicians voice a willingness to “go down with the ship.” Maritime tradition holds that in an emergency, captains either save their passengers and crew, or they die trying. Medical ethics emphasizes that physicians have a duty to care for patients, even in crisis. Should we doctors be willing to serve, no matter the cost, and to put ourselves last? For my own part, I’m inclined to say yes, even if the personal protective gear proves inadequate. But I’m on the favorable side of fifty, in good health, and not afraid to die. For me, it doesn’t seem too much to ask. But this isn’t the case for everyone.
After the 2003 SARS epidemic, a survey of health care workers in New York City hospitals found that just under half would be willing to serve in another SARS outbreak. They counted the cost and determined it wasn’t worth it. They worried about their families and about their own health.
There’s no way of knowing for sure, but my hunch is that far more than half of New York’s health care workers are serving in this present crisis. The same will probably be true as disease acuity shifts to other locales. Health care workers are rising to the occasion. But it’s not just doctors and nurses.
As for the obligation or the love of medical professionals, they may do it out of duty or love, but they don't do so intelligently or wisely if they don't consider whether they have a duty to an abstraction or a community that exists only as a polite fiction. What duty or love do they owe to strangers that is as important as the duty or love that they owe to those who are close to them, such as their family? We can commemorate soldiers and these medical professionals for their subjective states, but let us not celebrate the things to which they were attached, whether it be the Empire or illusions of community. They love as cogs are supposed to love other cogs subject to the same state, and while there is some good to that love, it is some sense not a properly ordered love. The state will, of course, celebrate that love and take credit for it.
Rod Dreher may condemn some as "free riders" and maybe some are just selfish "individualists" hiding behind the cover of "rights talk" but some are seeking to build community to prepare for the economic devastation that may be the result of the lockdown measures. It's on their own conscience whether they have done the risk assessment correctly or not. At least they are aware of the absence of community, and appeals to "solidarity" or "good citizenship" will not suffice if they believe these to be illusions. If those people who are engaging in risky behavior recognize they have an obligation to self-isolate after their meeting and to warn others with whom they come into contact about possible exposure, then they must be judged according to their conscience. Otherwise, one could criticize them for negligence and endangering others. Indeed, I would expect a bunch of preppers or those of like mindset to take extreme precautions, but I wasn't there for the meeting. Dreher is not just concerned about the spread of COVID-19, he is enabling the state with his use of shaming language. The debate about civil liberties and the danger of the state in the present context of the COVID-19 emergency will continue so long as the government continues to act during the emergency.
WCC: The Church: Towards a Common Vision (other languages)
Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: The Catholic Response to "The Church: Towards a Common Vision" (the document: 2019 Catholic Response to "The Church: Towards a Common Vision")
The typical Roman Catholic continues to conflate the patriarchate of Rome with the Church Universal, just as Latin progressives are ultramontanists when the occupant of the "see of St. Peter" suits them.
I note that the WCC started off as a Protestant endeavor and even today, the patriarchate of Rome is not an official member of that body. Maybe this is to put it in wordly terms, but it is rather presumptuous for Protestants to put themselves on a equal level with Apostolic Churches, when their dispute is first of all with the patriarchate of Rome. Do any of them recognize their denomination in the early Church? Can any of them say that their doctrines are from the Apostles, when there are other Apostolic Churches, not just Rome, that objects to them? Maybe paradoxically they are tied as partners, even if as unequal partners, to the patriarchate of Rome when it comes to engaging the other Apostolic Churches.
When the WCC has as members Christians who are heretical on one or more points that are not included in statements of mere Christianity (which may be reconcilable with Roman Catholicism), do these documents really matter? Orthodoxy with no orthopraxy does not matter. There will be no real reconciliation with Christians who are actually liberals and feminists -- their communities will disintegrate, even those that profess to be "Catholic." (Take a look at the leadership for the Anglican Diocese of London. An ecclesial community that has no future.) There can be reconciliation with conservative and traditional Protestants who have rejected liberalism and feminism, and perhaps the key is not further "agreements" between them and Latins but to take fresh look at Scripture and Tradition, and not through the lens of medieval Western Christianity, whether it is in the form of scholasticism or in a form that rejects scholasticism but doesn't go far enough to question other parts of the inheritance from late medieval Latin ecclesial tradition. Let Protestants recognize the insufficiency of "sola scriptura" and the need to engage in a discussion about Tradition with the other Apostolic Churches, who need to be recognized as senior members in the dialogue.
Heresy needs to be recognized as heresy, even if this offends the world, and there need to be consequences for those "ecclesial communities" which persist in heresy. I'm not referring to disputes about sacraments or justification or ecclesiology, as those need to be revisited, but that which should be beyond doubt, the commandments revealed by God to His Church, including those commandments pertaining to "gender roles." If an "ecclesial community" embraced same-sex "marriage," but professed a "mere Christianity" that was compatible with Roman Catholic teaching, could there still be dialogue? Or should such denominations be left to wither?
This is a great expression of why ecumenism is so valuable – in addition to following the will of Christ that we would all be one, that the world might believe, our dialogue provides ways for the Catholic Church to more easily receive the practices and wisdom of synodally experienced churches, even as we might share some of the gifts of structures of primacy. But, in the meantime, we can see here more clearly how and where Pope Francis is leading the Catholic Church back to the renewal of synodal structures first renewed in modern Catholicism at the Second Vatican Council.
Maybe synodality needs to be recovered in the west, but what has passed for synodality since Vatican II is really not. Eastern Catholics need to recover synodality as well, but be willing to hold to their synods against any possible interference from Rome.
If we do this – and this, perhaps, is where you the reader come in – if we make TCTCV an object of study beyond academics and ecumenical specialists; if ecclesiologists explore how ecumenical convergence statements like these have a kind of magisterial authority analogous to that of conciliar, papal, and other forms of ecclesial teaching; if pastors and liturgists renew or return to liturgical practices of doing all thing we can do together, together; if parish book clubs and college courses, seminary formation programs and priest study days, take this text seriously – if we do all this, then we might help better form our Catholic Church for dialogue with our fellow Christians, for renewing our Church, particularly as a synodal community that listens to each other and to the Spirit together, and for the day when a common vision of the church will allow it to be more fully a sign of unity and an instrument of God’s peace.
Latins should first reconsider their ecclesiological presuppositions as they relate to other Apostolic Christians, instead of assuming their presuppositions are of Tradition. (They can't help it given their beliefs about the papacy.) More and more non-Latin Catholics will disagree with them. What will Rome do at that point? Start excommunicating them again?
Academics who are insulated in their ivory towers are probably the last ones who should be engaged in any sort of ecumenical dialogue. Perhaps the same could be said of monastics who are completely cut off from the world as well. What skin in the game do any of them have? They can defend themselves by arguments from authority, and in practice cannot be held accountable by other Christian faithful.
"We are all in schism," some more so than others.
BREAKING: Modly is out. Acting SecNav resigns after upbraiding the TR's beloved captain he had just fired to his crew. https://t.co/ZWqvWT7yKV— Gordon Lubold (@glubold) April 7, 2020
That NYT?— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 6, 2020
+Ran articles about irrationality of worrying about the pandemic
+Opposed the travel ban
+Now blaming the administration for not having stiffer travel ban https://t.co/4NNOpkeO1V pic.twitter.com/czrGEeI6Lu
The argument by the @WHO imbeciles & journo fellow travelers that masks "can give a false sense of security" is interesting. Let's apply it to:— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 7, 2020
Condoms may be an exception, as the ignorant may use them thinking that it will protect them from all STDs.
From last month:
Army Special Forces Command Disbands Elite Units by Stavros Atlamazoglou (Business Insider)
Jack Murphy: Special Forces to disband the Commanders-In extremis-Force (CIF)
Popular Military: Army Special Forces command decides to disband elite units
Pentagon to Decide if it Still Needs Green Beret Crisis Response Forces
From 2019: U.S. Army Green Berets Conduct Multi-Building Objective Training
SOFREP: Exclusive: Army and Special Forces leadership throw decorated operator under the bus by Stavros Atlamazoglou
Against all odds: Decorated Special Forces operator fights for his innocence
Special Forces operator hounded by leadership catches a break by John Black
Monday, April 06, 2020
Looks like the FB post was taken down. The story is here.
A different version of the story here. Business Insider.
One Green Beret: Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and beyond: 15 Extraordinary years in the life - 1996-2011 by Mark Giaconia
SOFRep interview, SOFRep Radio ep. 390
Quest For War: And One Green Beret's Subsequent Evolution
What We Know About KSSO, The 2,000-Strong Russian 'Delta Force' Training For War
The Church teaches that baptism is necessary for salvation; whatever else God may do in His freedom, He has revealed to us only one path by which we are saved: plunging into the death of Christ and rising with Him. The Church teaches that confession is the only way to be certain of the absolution of mortal sins, and in this sense, it is necessary for those in mortal sin. Extreme unction, as it was once aptly named, prepares the soul for the great passage from death to eternal life, lest it be a passage from death to second death. It fulfills the petition in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy: “For a Christian, painless, blameless, peaceful end of our lives, and for a good account before the dread judgment seat of Christ, let us beseech the Lord.”
There seems no end of dioceses where the faithful are being cut off even from necessary sacraments like baptism and confession—and for what atheistic persecution? Where are the Red Shirts breathing down our necks?
Bishops who believe in the Christian faith will seek every creative solution to be with their people and to ensure that the clergy, who in a way represent them, can remain where they are most needed. By contrast, for an indifferentist or a universalist who thinks, Abu Dhabi-like, that many different paths lead to God, or that perhaps no path at all is needed as a merciful God will scoop us all up in the end, baptism would not be necessary. To one who no longer believes in the reality of mortal sin—sin that kills the divine life in the soul—confession would no longer be necessary. It helps, of course, that laymen can baptize their own children in a difficult situation and that one can make a firm resolution to go to confession as soon as it is available again. But will the laity who feel abandoned today by their pastors feel confident in them tomorrow after the crisis has passed? The abuse crisis and the coronavirus response are, in many ways, like a one-two punch.
No mention of the necessity of Confirmation?
Baptism by water and the Gift of the Holy Spirit should never have been separated -- both are part of one baptism into Christ; even now Latins think Confirmation is an "optional" Sacrament and is treated as such by many, even clergy.
The Roman Code of Canon Law on Confirmation:
A most unsatisfactory explanation of the sacrament:
Can. 879 The sacrament of confirmation strengthens the baptized and obliges them more firmly to be witnesses of Christ by word and deed and to spread and defend the faith. It imprints a character, enriches by the gift of the Holy Spirit the baptized continuing on the path of Christian initiation, and binds them more perfectly to the Church.
The gift of the Holy Spirit should be mentioned first, as this explains why the sacrament is a necessary part of initiation.
Can. 883 to 886 reiterate the Latin emphasis on bishops being the regular or primary (not necessarily "ordinary") minister of the sacrament. This tradition, no doubt linked to a biased view towards the monoepiscopate, needs to be revisited.
The reception of the sacrament is obligatory: "Can. 890 The faithful are obliged to receive this sacrament at the proper time. Parents and pastors of souls, especially pastors of parishes, are to take care that the faithful are properly instructed to receive the sacrament and come to it at the appropriate time."
But it presupposes that the bishop is the regular or primary minister, even if it is not explicitly stated. What other reason for there to be a delay until the "age of discretion," instead of having Confirmation at the same time as Baptism? "The bishop is too busy."
"Can. 891 The sacrament of confirmation is to be conferred on the faithful at about the age of discretion unless the conference of bishops has determined another age, or there is danger of death, or in the judgment of the minister a grave cause suggests otherwise."
No Latin dares ask what the consequences are of an incomplete sacramental Christian initiation, even if they may resort to saying any defect in initiation is made up by God or reception of the Eucharist. Theological speculation but is it warranted by the witness of the early Church and Scripture?
Sunday, April 05, 2020
A reminder of who is running this sh*tshow.
Hundreds of years before the Skywalker Saga, the Galactic Republic is at its height. Protected by the Jedi Knights, guardians of peace and justice throughout the galaxy.— Star Wars (@starwars) February 25, 2020
Get the details on #StarWarsTheHighRepublic, exclusively on https://t.co/mVXi17qoJk: https://t.co/iEdglKjC6Y pic.twitter.com/hmDuUZwNjD
"Evidence based" means that she recommended in her Forbes column in late February that people wear no masks. Yes, NO masks. Because absence of evidence is not evidence based.— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 5, 2020
It is hard to share the planet with such dangerous people. https://t.co/iKVU52M7Cd
I am amazed that an error that eludes "evidence based" "scientists", nonprobabilist statisticians, Pinker-style naive empiricists... is explained very simply by Mike to his kids. https://t.co/lXsStELc6Y— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 5, 2020
Department of hindsight: the NYT is now blaming mobility. Yet they were publishing crap saying it was not rational to panic when Yaneer, Joe, and I were advocating what looked like an "overreaction".https://t.co/5MOhTJeeyA— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 5, 2020
"A call to honesty in pandemic modeling"https://t.co/TR7zrGCXeE— BrendanEich (@BrendanEich) April 4, 2020
Some East Asian-Americans have to [s]tell their story to American audiences... for "representation" or "to be heard" or something. Duty to family, lost love, poor father/child relationships, etc. The same themes repeated over and over again...
Do these Asian-Americans have nothing to say about what it means to be "Asian-American" in the United States? They are focused so much on family issues and family drama, which is often linked to some trauma suffered back in the homeland.
Perhaps there is an awareness that they aren't really Americans, and one of the few markers of identity they have is their family (and its problems). Being a "banana" isn't acceptable either, because it means that they have no "Asian" identity; any sort of depiction of them participating in Anglo-American society as Anglo-Americans do, embodying the same values, isn't allowed because it's not "authentic" or because it's whitewashed (in more than one sense).
With such identity issues, I don't know if they have what it takes to be integrated into an Anglo-American community.