Notre Dame Lives

Amazing. Mere hours ago French officials were reporting that the Cathedral was likely totally destroyed.

Today, we learn that almost all art and relics are safe. The structure has been saved. The great organ is covered in debris but has no fire and water damage. The facade is safe. The nave has taken near-miraculously little damage.

And, most miraculously of all, ALL THREE of Notre Dame’s rose windows are intact! This ia almost mind-boggling. They were reported as at-risk from the start. There was hope that perhaps one or two could be saved, eith some damage – yet all are intact.

This all seems to be due to two things, the extraordinary efforts of the firefighters and medieval architecture. The stone vaults beneath the wooden roof, designed specifically to protect against fire, amazingly fulfilled their purpose and saved the Cathedral hundreds of years later.

The Cathedral was saved, through a combination of architecture, extraordinary human effort, and divine intervention. What appeared to be a sign of divine judgment might perhaps be the final call for France and Europe to repent. Let’s pray it’s enough.

Pictures later, when I’m not posting through a phone. One can be forgiven thinking all would be lost when one sees the flames. It is extraordinary that the church survived.

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Let the Dead Stay Dead

Notre Dame has been destroyed, razed to the ground in an act of arson.

Oh? Not arson, you say? So on Monday of Holy week, as Catholic churches have been desecrated throughout France, in the middle of renovations, Notre Dame Cathedral is burnt to the ground. Yeah, sure. Just an accident.

I hope they don’t rebuild it. The one consolation is that with the state of France now, Notre Dame has basically stopped being a true Cathedral and instead become a monument. But it was a monument to Our Lady of France, built out of love for her and love of beauty.

A modern reincarnation would be a monument to tourism and mammon.

There is no point. Mourn her, but leave her alone. Notre Dame is gone, gone forever. And meanwhile?

Vive la revolution.

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Annual Appeal for Sanity

This Sunday was the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, complete with a friendly powerpoint presentation from our Bishop explaining where all the money went. I, of course, did not donate. To understand why requires some background:

In my area there are four churches. My church, the Church of the Annunciation, is a tiny wooden church that has been losing parishioners for over a decade. It is located in a small town about ten minutes away from me and just outside the city. We just celebrated, despite that, our 70th anniversary as a parish.

About ten or so minutes away, if that, is a much larger and fancier church, St. Mary’s. As mentioned, I live next to a small city that is nevertheless a city, and most of the Catholics there go to this Church. Next we have Sts. Peter and Paul, which is the local Eastern Catholic church. That one is so tiny as to be of no consequence.

The last one, the most relevant to my parish, is St. Phillip and James. This is another very large church, this time located in the inner city, and almost all of the area’s minorities go here. Pay attention to that last bit.

So the Bishop went on his typical spiel about where the money went – drug programs, charity, youth ministries, and…”diversity outreach”, or something like that.

Now consider this for a moment: My parish, located in a small town on the outskirts of the city, is dying, and has been for the past at least 15 years. What, exactly, does the Bishop have to say to us? What help is he offering us?

Apparently the future of the Church is brown people. Except that isn’t going to work with us. The town and the parishioners are predominantly white. The minorities in the area have their own Church. Why would they want to come here? Who could blame them if they decide not to?

Are we not welcoming enough? I mean, we have a filipino Priest and one of the most prominent volunteers in the Parish, to my understanding a Knight of Columbus, is a black gentleman. Do they not feel welcome here?

So our money is going to go to reach out to youth, reach out to “diverse cultures” or whatever you want to call it, and help drug addicts. None of these are inherently bad goals.

Except…

Aren’t we the Catholic Church? The universal Church? And, you know, a Church?

What about our message are we changing, exactly, to get minorities through the door? Isn’t our message universal? And what is the point of our charity? Charity is a noble and praiseworthy thing, but are our organizations also making an effort to preach the Gospel? Or are they turning the Church into a social institution designed to make up for all of the injustices supposedly heaped on minority communities, with the hope that will bring them through the door?

What if the money from the Diocesan appeal went directly to the Parishes to add more iconography and statues, to make the churches more beautiful? What if the Bishop said he was going to start a program to educate parishioners who wanted to learn on the Bible so they could teach it properly to their Parish? What if he tried to make sure there were Traditional Latin Masses said throughout the diocese?

And are we not a parish in his diocese? Will he simply abandon us as a lost cause because we’re not brown enough? Do we deserve to die for the sin of being in a white town? Will there be no effort put into growing OUR ranks?

With all due respect to my local Bishop, I would rather donate the money to my Parish. We can use it more than inner city outreach programs.

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Not Even If I Tried

Tone deafness is back in the news again. It seems the left has pushed itself ever so slightly too far on the issue of abortion, and have started turning people pro-life again. Going off of personal anecdotes the shift seems to mostly be among people who are sympathetic to rape and life of the mother exceptions but think pro-lifers “Go too far”. I guess when you have politicians on record in favor of infanticide it starts to dawn on you that maybe those crazies were right and the pro-abortion lobby is, in fact, Satanically evil. Go figure.

This next example of tone deafness is new, so I might end up being wrong about this, but I predict that this “Bill that would require older men to report every release of sperm” is going to similarly backfire, though probably not as spectacularly since it isn’t as central in the news cycle.

Nothing can be more indicative of the insane little bubble extreme feminists (re: most modern women and probably at least a small chunk who would consider themselves conservative) live in than equating restrictions on certain types of female birth control, or a refusal to fund them through the government, with making masturbation reporting mandatory.

Actually, I’m being nice. This is in response to the heartbeat abortion bill. This means that leftist women – the men probably don’t actually agree but are too cucked to call them out on the absurdity – are literally equating male orgasms with chopping up and vacuuming a fetus smoothie.

And what else is there to say, really? There are other absurd measures on the “bill”, but if I was going to parody the left wing on abortion I would probably start off by pretending they equated masturbation with baby slicing and dicing and go from there.

It will be interesting how much of the public reacts to this with “These women are coocoo for cocoa puffs” and how many react with “Slay, girl, SLAY!!!” Well, we know they’re in favor of slaying, anyway.

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Voting, a Dialogue

I would vote for whoever is less left leaning.

That’s way too vague for me. Basically everyone is left leaning. Do you have any dealbreakers?

No, not when the choice is between somebody who will put right wing people on the Supreme Court vs. someone who will put left wing people on the Supreme Court.

That’s not the choice, though. You can vote for somebody who you believe will put the country on the actual right track, not just slow the decline.

But they’ll never win!

You have one vote. One. Your vote, alone, is not going to make a difference.

That’s ridiculous!

Why? It’s literally true.

What if everyone thought that way?

Then we wouldn’t be in this mess, because instead of making compromises we’d all have voted for who we think is actually the best person to lead the country.

Well then, why vote at all?

A vote is indeed your say, however small, in making it known who YOU best think will be the leader we need. Therefore the vote means the most to YOU, not the country. To the country you are literally statistically irrelevant, but to yourself you are expressing what values YOU consider sacrosanct.

But you’re willing to make compromises!

This is true, on certain issues. But there are matters of principle I will not budge on. This is because I don’t think a leader who supports these issues is actually best for the country.

Principles such as?

Quick, off the top of my head, not necessarily everything, just off the cuff ones: The candidate must be pro-life. The candidate must be a Christian (yes, really; we’ll get to that). The candidate must oppose letting in any refugee or illegal immigrant who wants to show up.

Wait wait wait. Must be Christian?

Of course. We were a nation founded on Christian principles, and it’s why once upon a time we were great (debateably, I suppose, but let’s put a pin in that for a whole other discussion). America without a Christian leader is headed only for disaster.

Even if, say, a Jew is ultra conservative and shares all of the same values as a Christian?

Even then. A vote for a Jewish (I mean a non-Christian Jew here, not a Messianic Jew) President is equivalent to me admitting that I no longer believe Christianity was actually important to our country’s success; that it could have flourished just as well under another religion and that our national character was never distinctly Christian. I do not believe that.

What do you think a Jew would do differently?

You seem rather fixated on Jews here, but whatever, sure. A principled Jew would probably not actually do much differently themselves, but a leader is more than just his policies. A leader is a symbol, and it means we are signaling to the world that Christianity is no longer important to us. What do you think this will pave the way towards?

What if this guy would pick principled, conservative Supreme Court justices but Hilary wouldn’t?

Let’s rewind here. Those are not our only choices.

But in theory what if it WAS between those two choices?

You’re missing my point. It never is. Don’t vote for either if it gets to that point, or else back somebody who is Christian and who you think will lead the country in a good direction.

But that guy will never win!

No, he won’t, if we continue thinking like this. Why do you insist on continuing to think like this? Incidentally we’re moving towards inherent issues in voting, but we’ll get back to that.

You’re not going to change how the rest of the world thinks, so you’re willing to just waste your vote then?

My vote already means nothing to the overall result, remember? Statistically it is insignificant.

That’s absurd.

It’s really, really, really not.

So why vote?

See above.

If everyone thought like you, we’d have leftist supreme court justices.

If everyone thought like me we wouldn’t be voting for compromise candidates to staunch the bleeding in the first case and we wouldn’t be in this mess.

So you would be willing to just let a leftist in who would fill the court with leftist justices?

You’re still not listening. No matter what I do in the voting booth, it won’t make a difference to the overall result. Therefore I will throw my support behind a man who I think is going to move the country in the right direction and will get results for me when elected. Trump fit this criteria, at least at the time. He was someone I thought would do better at getting results than other candidates, actually stood up to would be bullies, and yes, did not have any of my dealbreakers.

What if the election came down to a conservative Jew and a leftist?

Man, you really are fixated on Jews, huh? Then I wouldn’t vote.

So you are effectively saying you’d prefer a leftist get in than a Jew. After all, if everyone thought like you then they would avoid voting on principle and the leftist would get in.

Actually, if everyone thought like me we wouldn’t be in that situation in the first place.

But what if we’re already there!

Why would I grant that premise? Sure we’ll probably get there, but only because you’re not thinking like me at all. Once we’re at that point I’m going to continue to stick to my principles.

You’re the reason conservatives keep losing elections.

Sigh.

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Chivalry, or how to Submit to a Lady

Wanting to do more research to corroborate Dalrock’s excellent series on chivalry I stumbled upon this gem from our old friend the Catholic Match Institute. Excerpts from Why Holding Doors Matters. I don’t want to go through the trouble of quoting the whole article, so here are assorted sections. I want you all to note the sections where the mask slips:

There is a moment in Ben-Hur where the Emperor Tiberius is preparing to give a proclamation. The servant tasked with handing it to him is momentarily distracted and doesn’t realize that Tiberius is sitting there with his hand held out, glaring at him and waiting for him to give him the scroll. It’s within easy reach, but he is the Emperor; he doesn’t move to meet his servants, his servants move to meet him. No one who valued his head would dare suggest this implied weakness on the Emperor’s part; quite the contrary. His power and authority is shown in that others do things for him, not because he can’t, but because he shouldn’t have to.

Aha. In other words, when a man holds a door open for a woman he is doing the equivalent of acknowledging that she has authority over him – that he is, in fact, her subordinate, and she is owed deference.

Men naturally have more physical power than women; therefore, we must drill ourselves in the habit of using that power for women rather than for ourselves (in the same way, women have tremendous attractive power that they must learn to use safely and justly, which is what we call ‘modesty.’ But that’s a topic for another time).

A topic for another time indeed. Do you think modesty will have a counterpoint to this?

The man who opens the door and lets you enter a restaurant first is building the same habit that might one day cause him to stand back and let you enter a lifeboat first. The rich men who went to their deaths on the Titanic while chambermaids and seamstresses were lowered to safety could easily have thrown the entire crew into the sea and saved themselves. They didn’t, in part, because they had been trained all their lives to afford certain basic courtesies to women. And though you may never find yourself in such dire circumstances, every woman ought to hope that the man she marries has a similar attitude towards her wellbeing.

Well now, strange indeed. What if such a forced policy literally leads to more deaths than it prevents? Is it still wrong if you don’t do it, or merely smart? What if the husband is the breadwinner, knows he will be better able to take care of their children, and knows it would be in the family’s best interests if his life was secured first? What would the wife’s obligation be in such a situation?

If these are the obligations of chivalry, what are the obligations of modesty that correspond? Covering up your chest with a nice sweater and a skirt that goes past the knees? Listening to your husband when he asks you not to show off your ass at the office?

It’s always interesting to see the mask slip.

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Setting Aside the Blinders

Speaking as an average man among fellow average men, the idea that the average man – ESPECIALLY the average Christian – is picky about women is completely absurd. I don’t need to look up statistics to back this up. I’m telling you right now, it is an utterly ridiculous thing to think. Speaking for myself alone, my baseline for the sort of person I’d be willing to date – that is, consider marrying – is extremely broad. Age between 19 and 25, maybe 26, hair color irrelevant, height irrelevant, weight anywhere from slightly overweight (just slightly) to thin, chest size more or less irrelevant (I have my preferences because I’m a guy, but this would not be a dealbreaker with an otherwise pretty girl).

Education irrelevant, money irrelevant, living place irrelevant unless it’s particularly stupid (live with your parents fine, live with your ex/with a random dude who is “just living with you, nothing’s going on” no thanks).

What exactly am I looking for? Ah, here’s the rub. My standards probably WOULD be called picky despite all of this, because I would only date:

  • Somebody who is against premarital sex and has no kids, or – in a very rare, very specific, extreme situation, where both sides are thoroughly confident of the relationship going forward and how it should progress – a widow. This probably sounds strange to you, so before you jump down my throat, hear me out below.
  • A Christian at LEAST, a Catholic preferably, or at least Orthodox
  • A weekly churchgoer who makes Mass/service a priority
  • Anti-abortion. This is the mother of all dealbreakers. I don’t consider people who are pro-murder.
  • Somebody who doesn’t froth at the mouth when they hear the word “Trump”
  • Somebody who takes their faith seriously, AKA, is not a leftist. Nobody who wants to live the faith as actually commanded by God can be a leftist.
  • Is not a land whale.
  • If a Protestant, is not opposed to living a Catholic centered lifestyle, e.g. the children are raised Catholic, no contraception.
  • A marital debit is acknowledged. Verbally acknowledges that she would have sex with me on a frequent basis and when asked.
  • No kids, widow or no
  • Does not self identify as feminist

When push comes to shove I’d probably be stricter than this and might be missing something, so if you find yourself gasping at some obvious dealbreaker I missed, it probably is a dealbreaker and I forgot to mention it.

Dalrock has pointed out that a little feminism in a young women is basically impossible to avoid. What’s important is how she reacts to the more conservative Christian ideals. Does she recoil in disgust, or is she willing to hear you out and attempt to come to terms with your beliefs? As a bonus this will tell you how willing she would be to listen to you overall.

Here’s the thing: For the AVERAGE Christian, most of what I said should probably have you saying “duh”. If you have some problem with something I wrote: Take a good long look at the compromises you are willing to make to yourself and God.

And remember – these are the broad things, stuff that I would try and figure out at least by the first date, or bare minimum in the first 3. Why not just “a virgin”, flat out? Because it’s an unusually personal question to ask within the first couple of dates. Rest assured that if I learn my date is not a virgin, that would be grounds for out immediately.

Again, you are probably looking at some of what I wrote – living situation, debt, education – as red flags. I’m not saying that stuff isn’t important, I’m saying it wouldn’t disqualify a get-to-know-you date.

Okay. Long prelude. So why did I write all of this?

Because women – Christian and otherwise – are lying to themselves.

There are good Christian gentlemen – men, with an e, as in there are multiple men out there – who are perfectly willing to date and marry good Christian women. You are lying if you are saying these people are not around or don’t exist or you’re only finding men who try to “bait and switch” you. Lying to yourself perhaps, but lying.

Be honest: What you really men is that there are no good Christian men out there who you actually find attractive enough to consider dating. 

The dating system is ahistorical. It’s what we have, but you should not assume its rules in advance. Men approaching first is not the “traditional” way to go! It’s the way the current dating system assumes is traditional. If there are shy, quiet men who nevertheless go to Church every day, absolutely nothing stops, or should stop, Christian women from approaching them first. No rule is being broken and nothing bad is inherently baked into this approach.

I know what you want to say. “What sort of man is too afraid to approach a woman? Are they the sort of man who would make a good husband? Why are you trying to push the onus off of you/make excuses?”

Stop, woman. Stop doing that and think for a moment about what you just said. You, hypothetical woman, just proved my point. You are willing to leave potentially God-fearing, Churchgoing Christian men behind because of personal hangups and assumptions you have made, assumptions that may or may not be true, that you can’t know aren’t true, because you are actively making the choice not to try.

“But men should still have enough courage and self esteem too – ”

Stop. We are discussing you, not men. Stop blaming men for your issues. If you cannot find good Christian men, then you yourself have hangups you need to deeply consider. Let the men worry about their issues. They are not relevant to what you should be doing.

Think about what my criteria actually boils down to. Essentially, I would be willing to date – not marry, but potentially vet further to see if a woman would make a good match for marriage, which is all that dating is should be – a young woman who takes reasonably good care of her body and goes to Church weekly, to the point that she appears to be taking her faith seriously. I’d go on a couple of dates if you proved that you really are serious about your faith and don’t have deepseated, unresolved personal issues. That’s really it.

If your criteria is narrower than that, that is actually fine! Just stop whining. The good men don’t want to hear it.

A public service announcement from Malcolm the Cynic.

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