Unholy Nation

Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man.

Month: March, 2012

When You Ignore History: You Can Be Played Like A Fiddle

This quotation:

“If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail, they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society,” he said. “They would not have believed that the world was round.”

Is from this source.

Any reasonable student of history knows there’s a problem in that statement.

People only want to pay attention to the truth when it’s advantageous.

 

 

Culture of Death = Death of Culture

When we are reduced to fulfilling every bodily desire, no matter what, problems arise.

When our media kindles such behavior, it will infiltrate minds.  A lot of folks take what they hear and see in the news as truth. “It’s in the New York Times, it must be true. These people are experts, experts I tell you!”

It has become clear to the Unholy Nation Division of Demography that a large amount of American citizens lack the critical ability to make judgments on what they read or see because:

1) We live in a culture where any judgment is bad.

2) Their parents let the TV babysit them in their formative years, so they just used to getting passively hit by noise.

3) They didn’t have anyone in their lives to tell them the importance of critical thinking skills.

The breakdown of the ability to judge things (a vague, but technical term) that passively hit the observer is linked to the breakdown of the individual’s ability to order his own desires and judge his own actions. Come on, you know you don’t like reading  his or her, his or her, his or her, his or her, his or her, his or her.

The lack of the ability to make any judgment whatsoever flies in the face of the system of natural order–to translate: everything breaks down.

When you touch a hot saucepan after boiling water, it hurts. Your brain is sent a signal that is processed. You then (hopefully) remember that touching that hot saucepan is not a good idea.

Likewise, when you drink too much alcohol, you get a hangover. Your brain is sent a signal that is processed. You then (hopefully) remember that you should better moderate your alcohol consumption.

Likewise, when you tell a lie, you negatively affect relationships. Your brain is sent a signal that is processed. You then (hopefully) remember that telling lies is not  good idea because it negatively affects relationships.

Likewise, when you punch a police officer, you get tazed, cuffed, thrown into a police car, and charged with assault. Your brain is sent a signal that is processed. You then (hopefully) remember that punching a police officer is not a good idea because you’ll be (at least) tazed, cuffed, thrown into a police car, and charged with assault.

This is not to mention the secondary effects of those actions. For example, not being able to go bowling because you have a blister on your throwing hand, or not being able to enjoy the family party because you are vomiting in the pool, or not being able to have a best friend because you’ve been awful to all of your associates, or not being able to get the job you want because of your record.

And on, and on.

You see, we are living in an age where we are constantly told that the saucepan isn’t hot, alcohol consumption has no effects, lying is innocuous, and assaulting public officials is your human right and your civic duty (#Occupy_Cop_Car_Bro_!).

We all know the world is upside down, that hot is cold, and good is bad. We were warned about this.

A culture that thrives is a culture that is build upon the natural order of things. We’ve seen this type of culture in history before.

When the natural order of things is proclaimed dead, the culture will follow.

What We Read; What We Do

While scanning the internet news for blog-fodder, I came across a story on Yahoo News, which linked to their “Love and Sex” section.  The article is about a new book trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey, which according to the article:

Unabashedly not YA, these books are part of a genre called BDSM (or “bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism”) fiction.

I’ll spare you the plot details here; you can look at the article through the link above.

The scariest part of the article was a quotation by a mother:

“I couldn’t put it down,” says NYC mom Michele Yogel, 33, “I’d be sitting on the couch at 7 a.m. with my two kids while they’re watching cartoons and drinking milk and I’d be reading it on the Kindle app on my phone.”

This is scary too:

“Kids have never seen their mothers reading so much,” says 42-year-old Allysa Goldman.

Poor women, poor kids, poor world.

This is also troubling:

Goldman, Yogel, and other bibliophiles agree that its adding spark back to “everyone’s marriage.”

Because we all know marriage is just about the sex.

Again, the comments on internet articles can be informative.

For example:

After 12 years of marriage the only BDSM activity in my home occurs when my wife smacks me with the pillow when I’m snoring too loud.

And

In my house BDSM means bed, dishes sweeping and mopping.

And

what the hell did i just read?

At least some people can have a sense of humor in the face of this junk.

Although one new porn novel might not be a sign of a trend, it’s interesting that the media puts such material in a good light. “It will save your marriage.”

Unholy Nation’s League of Social Scientists unanimously agree that if you need a pornographic novel to save your marriage, there is something else wrong.  Also, they agree that if you have time to talk to your kids instead of reading a pornographic novel, you should do that.

Meanwhile, you better not be caught reading Dante’s Divine Comedy anytime soon, because it’s offensive.

People think Rick Santorum is a loony-case, but maybe his implied message that we are the nation of contraceptives and porn is right.

Another thing.

You don’t hear much in the mainsleaze media about how the pornography industry exploits and objectifies women.

Why is that?

Is it because pornography is in line with that body autonomy argument?

Project Excrement

This morning when I saw the news article about the teen killed at a Project X inspired party, I thought about graduate school.

Graduate school students studying English literature often have conversations about very trite topics.

One of which I remember is “does life reflect art, or does art reflect life.”

We must remember that Project X is a fiction.

Or is it?

A society that thrives on crap visual art, crap literature, crap TV, crap film, and crap music will have those tastes manifest in public behavior. You know, what you do and what you say. (Not to mention how you vote or how you allocate resources.)

Crap art, crap literature, crap TV, crap film, and crap music are all technical terms, mind you.

Mimetic desire?

Teens being teens?

They’ll grow out of it?

When is our enlightened and progressive culture going to grow out of it?

Prayer, Fasting, and Internet News Comments

Catholic bishops in Pennsylvania have recommended March 30th to be a day of prayer and fasting in opposition to the non-compromise HHS mandate-gate.

It’s never a good idea to look at the comments on any mainstream news stories regarding the Catholic church.

Sometimes I have to look at them, and I’m glad I did today because there is one comment that essentially sums up the church in America.

The Church, the people in the pews, has rejected the anti-contraceptive teaching of the bishops; it has not been “received by the faithful,” as theologians say. The bishops are playing with dynamite here, and this whole thing just may backfire on them. As a practicing Catholic, I will have none of their political maneuvering in this election year. I will not fast on March 30. How can the people in the pews show our loyal dissent? My suggestion: sit in the last pews of your parish church, as close to the back as you can. If enough people do this, it will begin to make a statement. Next, only contribute money to your parish; give nothing to the archdiocese. These two simple actions will give the people a voice.

First, the comment starts out with a presumption that the “people in the pews” (which is the only thing important in the post-concilliar church, mind you) is the church.

Second, if you are a dissenting catholic, the dynamite is in your hands.

Third, where you sit in the church building will have no affect on anything. I don’t know what that’s supposed to do.  I guess if someone has already spiritually distanced themselves from the Truth, the physical distance is small potatoes.

Fourth, money given to the parish usually trickles back up, doesn’t it?

Fifth, Holy Mother Church is not a democracy.

Sixth and lastly, there is no such thing as loyal dissent.

The other comment that is just way too ridiculous not to share is:

@Jacob, the Church has declared birth control to be intrinsically evil. It has not made the same declaration with child rape. It is very difficult to take the Church’s teachings in this matter seriously.

It’s come to my understanding that some people think child rape is actually in Catholic doctrine somewhere.  I can’t find it.

As far as the church making the declaration on child rape, it’s in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

(2395) Chastity means the integration of sexuality within the person. It includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery.

(2396) Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.

The Vatican’s website also has a whole page of links dedicated to the abuse scandal.

It’s my honor to give those comments the first Unholy Nation Dunce cap.

Music and the Novus Ordo

I played saxophone in the school band from fifth grade until I graduated high school. I decided against joining the marching band in college because I got enough of it in high school. I never took a course on music theory, yet being around music for so long allowed me to understand music in a way that I don’t think is possible by reading some kind of textbook.

One day in band, the band director came around to each section to get everyone in tune before a concert.  He explained that you can easily tell if an instrument is out of tune is you play the same note with one that is.  The dissonance produces this strange wah-wah-wah-wah-wah-wah-wah awful sound. You can almost feel it.

Don’t worry, there’s a point to this.

My local parish uses what I can best describe as those ICEL disposable paperback hymnals. We’ve all seen them in their various brandings.

I’ve noticed that the  fundamental type of hymns that are selected ranges differently from parish to parish–another ill of the post-concilliar age.

Again, we’ve probably all heard the bad pop hymns that make you feeeeeeeeeeeel good, or the Non-Quaker “Quaker” standard that makes you actually not want to keep singing.

This past Sunday before Mass started, I flipped through the hymnal to check to see what we would be singing.  I always check to get mentally prepared. I have to prepare to not get distracted or too affected by Haugen and company. It’s not good to be blind-sided by hymns that shouldn’t even be in sung in the church parking lot or in a 5 mile radius from Our Blessed Lord in the tabernacle. In fact, the song of the robins in the trees  is probably more suited for the liturgy than 4/5ths of the hymns in the ICEL disposable paperback hymnals.

After I did my preparatory page flipping, I thought about my band teacher and the dissonance between out of tune instruments (especially out of tune instruments of the same section–saxophones–ick!). I also came to the conclusion that a lot of the hymns sung at my parish were composed in the 60s, 80s,90s.

Then, I thought that there is a dissonance between the music and the rest of the liturgy especially after the new translation.

It’s hard to reconcile the richness of the language of the new translation and the idea of “sing[ing] a new church.” (And all of the other not-really-catholic hymns).  Some people would probably complain that I want to sing the old church. I don’t want to sing the old church. I want to sing the church.

Don’t get me started about the guitars.

St. Cecilia, ora pro nobis.

War Within and War Without

The newsroom over here at Unholy Nation is going to stay silent (for the moment) on the current issues in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. Of course, the mainscream bilestream media is all over the story (here’s another for good measure). The letter to Fr. Guarnizo is over at Rorate.

Time will tell indeed.

In other news, holy war ensues in Africa as on Sunday ten were killed in a car bomb attack in Nigeria.  This comes shortly after the group Boko Haram declared war on Christians in northern Nigeria.

It doesn’t take a whole lot of thinking to get the obvious point:

The war against Holy Mother Church is heating up.

Quick Review: Render Unto Caesar

Recently, I had the pleasure to read Archbishop Charles J. Chaput’s book Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life. Although published in 2008, the book remains quite relevant in the debate of religion in the public square. Of course, that debate predates all of us.

With the assault on the Catholic Church intensifying, Roman Catholic Americans are looking for direction.

Chaput’s book provides a clear and easy-to-read description of how we can use Catholic beliefs to edify our nation. His simple message is that we should live as Catholics. His impetus for writing the book is clear as he writes:

“Over the past decade, I’ve grown increasingly tired of the church and her people being told to be quiet on public issues that urgently concern us.”

Within that kernel is the argument for the whole book–Catholics should not be quiet on public issues. He affirms that we are human agents who must live our faith, not just providing lip-service, or going through the motions.

We must live our faith. Chaput writes that:

“People, not words, make converts. This is because the Catholic faith is much more than a set of principles we agree to, but rather an entirely new way of life. People must see that new life being lived. They must see the joy that it brings. They must see the union of the believer with Jesus Christ.”

One of the best features of the book is how Chaput characterizes the complexities of the American political system with a Catholic context. He even goes as far as to indict Roman Catholic Americans.  Chaput writes:

“When we look back over the past four decades, Vatican II may have assumed a maturity and zeal in Catholics that too few of us have lived—or even understood. Many Catholics who invoke the council to defend personal conscience and religious liberty seem to have little grasp of what the council actually meant about either of those issues. And too often in the United States, Catholic thought since the council has not been a child of Vatican II, but of American political and popular culture. In fact, too many of us have become evangelizers in the most ironic sense of the word: preaching the world to a church we claim to love, but which we no longer really understand.”

And so, it becomes clear to the reader that there is a perfect storm within the church and without. It’s not just the government. It’s not just the mainstream media. It’s also bad catechesis.

Chaput’s message is clear. We need to live our faith as it has been handed to us, not as we want to choose to live it. We must know out faith to inform our choices in all areas of life, not just in politics.

Render Unto Caesar is a gentle call-to-arms, and I recommend that you read it if you already have not done so.

As a side note, Archbishop Chaput has a weekly column that can be found here.

Unholy Nation?

At an earlier time, I’d probably have named this blog Fr. Pfleger Watch. Needless to say, I would not have wanted to limit my content to that extent.

Interestingly, Fr. Pfleger has received praise from his friend Louis Farrakhan last week according to the Chicago Tribune. Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, has also been a participant in Fr. Pfleger’s African-American Speaking Series at St. Sabina in Chicago.

Silly.

We should remember that Fr. Pfleger needs NOTHING (skip to 1:16)!

It almost seems as if Fr. Pfleger is pushing a message of radical autonomy. Within such an ideology, where is there actually room for Christ, His church, the communion of saints?

I suppose Fr. Pfleger is right (in a way). We can all go to God ourselves through prayer, but that’s only part of the faith. I’m afraid that Fr. Pfleger’s apparent rejection of tradition, and his priestly duties (as a leader of souls in line with Church teachings (e.g. we need priests to lead us to Christ through the sacraments)) might uncover something troubling.

Fr. Pfleger’s words could be interpreted that the individual is the supreme arbiter of the faith.

I’ve never heard that before.

Strangely, Fr. Pfleger has been given duties at another parish in Chicago in addition to St. Sabina, again according to the Chicago Tribune.

While Fr. Pfleger has contributed greatly to the anti-violence movement in Chicago, his activities make this writer think about ends, and the means to such ends.

I don’t get worked up about Fr. Pfleger like I used to.  In fact, we should keep praying for him, Cardinal George, and each other.

We should also pray for our country. I invite you to click the link above to a wonderful prayer written by Archbishop Carroll of Baltimore, Maryland in 1800.