Friday, February 14, 2014

You know what Catholics hide in the basements of their churches?

For this priest, the Cross is his weapon.

Guns. Guns to be used in the Takeover.

NOT true.  That was the old prejudice against Catholics in the United States however. As a kid, I first heard it repeated in the film, "Dark at the Top of the Stairs". It was a fear mongering statement against Catholics suggesting they were a menace to the country and were working for the Antichrist pope of Rome.  A similar prejudice was attempted at the turn of this century by left-leaning political pundits against evangelical Republicans, fearful they and their militia-cults might stage a revolution.  I suppose they might still think that way, considering the right-wing complaints against the numerous attempts to ban guns in our country ... and Fr. Z's post(s) on the subject of conceal and carry, right to bear arms, and more recently, defending 2nd Amendment rights - against New Jersey, federal courts ...  As usual with the Fr. Z blog - the comments offer an interesting insight into the mindset:  "Save the 2nd Amendment, save the world."

On that particular post Fr. Z permitted a few negative comments.  One commenter from New Zealand dared to ask (Fr. Z's comment in his red):
Why a priest of Jesus Christ would be keen on owning a hand-gun for self-protection is beyond me. [And it might not even be any of your business! I'm just sayin'...]
Although, in another comment, Fr. Z hinted at why he feels the need to carry a gun:
The pro handgun stuff does not belong on Catholic blogs. We do not need handguns to be part of our everyday life. [When your hate mail starts to include pictures of where you live, get back to me on that.]
 I don't care if Fr. Z carries a gun.  I know people who carry guns - that isn't an issue for me.  Obviously it is an issue for others.

Since so many now days seem to be armed, I have to wonder if the conceal and carry trend has an effect on how law enforcement responds to crime wherein deadly force is not usually required, and only after investigation, it increasingly turns out to have been unnecessary?  (See Police out of control.)

Personally, I think the conceal and carry arguments go a little too far on Fr. Z's blog.  I agree - in part - with the comment "pro handgun stuff does not belong on Catholic blogs."  I believe ordinary Catholics living in the world can write about anything they want, but it seems to me it can be perceived as a bit antagonistic for a priest to be 'brandishing' his gun in public, as Fr. Z does quite regularly.  (His latest posts on the subject also suggest that he really does set the snark tone in his com box.)

That said, it seems to me such posts feed into a deeper paranoia within the culture warrior-crusader mentality.  Afraid that religious freedoms are rapidly being suppressed, religious Second Amendment supporters are afraid their right to bear arms will be taken away as well.   It also makes it easier for the 'Homeland' to assume Catholics are 'anti-government'-'domestic-terrorists' who just might be hiding guns in Church basements - for the Takeover.
Documents from an Ohio National Guard (ONG) training drill conducted last January reveal the details of a mock disaster where Second Amendment supporters with “anti-government” opinions were portrayed as domestic terrorists[Is this along the lines of the Obama Administration identifying Catholics as terror-threats, right?] 

Cat Care Mandate

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentinstag terms of endearment...

Clouseau was French of course - but it doesn't matter.
Ed. note: This post makes no sense.

Useful German terms for the upcoming holiday weekend.

Süßling - sweetie

Schatzi - treasure (although I always thought it meant sweetheart)

Liebchen - darling (darlink if you have an Eastern European accent)

Engelchen - angel (Clouseau, "my darling, my angel" - "mein libchen, mein engel" smothered with kisses.)

Schmusebärchen - little bear

Knuddel - cuddles

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Courage International Director, Fr. Paul Check on "Who am I to judge?"

Fr. Paul Check - Credit: Andreas Dueren/CNA.

No change in doctrine.

The discussion on what the Pope meant when he asked, "who am I to judge?" goes round and round ever since the Holy Father spoke to reporters last year on the plane trip home from WYD Rio.  Pope Francis was answering a specific question relative to rumors about a 'gay lobby' in the Vatican.  Controversy ensues.

Fr. Paul Check is Director of Courage Apostolate, and in a recent interview with CNA, Fr. Check shares his insight into what the Holy Father may have intended with his comment.  Fr. Check's words are very helpful and may offer a more spiritually hospitable and conciliatory understanding of the attitude taken by the Holy Father, while putting at ease those who think the Pope made a mistake - or was indicating a change in Church teaching.
In the Scriptures, Jesus does not hesitate to teach doctrine and basic truths to large groups, as in the sermon on the mount. Yet he also “engages people in another way, a very personal way, one at a time.”

“I think that the emphasis Pope Francis is bringing to us right now is on the second way: very personally, listening to people and speaking with them and 'walking with' them, guiding them, bringing them to Christ,” explained Fr. Check.

“I am not an authoritative interpreter of the Pope's comments,” he cautioned, “but here's the way I understand them.”

The priest then turned to the story of Jesus' meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well who has had five husbands.

“Our Lord knows well that there is a moral question here that's involved, and indeed it's a chastity question. The woman is living in an 'irregular' way. But he doesn’t begin the conversation with her about the moral problem. Instead, he talks with her about her interest – and more than her interest, her desire for God.”

“So he engages her in a very personal way about something that is already resident in her heart…he speaks with her about God, and then he speaks with her about the life of God…(and) also about her desire for eternal life, which is something that we all have,” Fr. Check continued.

Jesus “engages her in this very lovely sequence, and he keeps the conversation going with her until he reaches that point when it is appropriate to say, and when she can receive, what it is that she’s about to hear about the irregular condition in which she’s living, and she doesn’t deny it.”

“But he has established a relationship with her, and I think this is very much what our Holy Father is suggesting: that we are to walk with people, to get to know them, (although) of course, we don’t have the benefit of knowing what’s in someone’s heart the way that Jesus does, so all the more reason that we have to take care,” Fr. Check noted.

“I think that personal engagement, the walking with, is something that he is proposing,” and “I think the Holy Father is very prudent and charitable in wanting to think about how people receive the message of the gospel today and to find ways in which that teaching can be announced in a way that people can receive it.” - Finish reading here.

For information on Courage Apostolate go here.

How I know I can't draw or paint...

Rubén Belloso, an artist from Seville, Spain. He draws over-sized portraits - pastel on wood.  He is so incredibly talented.  Pastels.  He uses pastels.  See more hoffman take me with you!

I'm so happy for this guy, that I can't stop crying... can't stop crying... I'm laughing through my tears... laughing through my tears.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The real and present danger of Gender Ideology...

A message from letter of the Polish Bishops Conference.

Many people ask 'what is cultural Marxism'?  "Why are advocates of sexual revolution so often referred to as 'cultural Marxists'"?  And why do I write about the dangers of gender ideology and genderqueer as if it is so bad for people?  Read what the Polish Bishops have to say about it.


The gender ideology is the product of many decades of ideological and cultural changes that are deeply rooted in Marxism and neo-Marxism endorsed by some feminist movements and the sexual revolution. This ideology promotes principles that are totally contrary to reality and an integral understanding of human nature. It maintains that biological sex is not socially significant and that cultural sex which humans can freely develop and determine irrespective of biological conditions is most important. According to this ideology, humans can freely determine whether they want to be men or women and freely choose their sexual orientation. This voluntary self-determination, not necessarily life-long, is to make the society accept the right to set up new types of families, for instance, families built on homosexual relations.
The danger of gender ideology lies in its very destructive character both for men, people contacts and social life as a whole. Humans unsure of their sexual identity are not capable of discovering and fulfilling tasks that they face in their marital, family social and professional lives. Attempts to form different types of relations de facto seriously weaken marriage as a community created by a man and a woman and the family built on marriage.
We see different attitudes formed in reaction to actions demonstrated by advocates of the gender ideology. A decisive majority has no idea what this ideology is about and consequently does not feel threatened by it. A small group of people, particularly teachers and educators, as well as Catechists and pastoral ministers, tries to find their own constructive ways to counter this ideology. Finally there are those who, seeing the absurdity of this ideology, believe that Poles will reject the utopian visions they are presented with. Meanwhile, without public knowledge or Poles’ consent for many months now the gender ideology has been slowly introduced into different structures of social life: education, health service, cultural and education centres and non-governmental organisations. Some media portray this ideology in a positive way: as a means to counteract violence and to aim for equality. - Source

Critics ask why the Polish Church is only now speaking out, asking "Why is this anti-gender paranoia happening now?"  The question is totally disingenuous, intended to make the Church look stupid.  Yet I would answer because, as the Bishops point out in the letter, "A decisive majority has no idea what this ideology is about and consequently does not feel threatened by it. Meanwhile, without public knowledge or Poles’ consent for many months now the gender ideology has been slowly introduced into different structures of social life: education, health service, cultural and education centres and non-governmental organisations. Some media portray this ideology in a positive way: as a means to counteract violence and to aim for equality."

Many thanks to Rorate Caeli for the Polish Bishops Letter translation.

Missing Pope Benedict

A year ago today he announced his resignation.

What a shock.  A year later I still miss him very much.

A year later we have a new Pope, which Archbishop Ganswein said would never have happened without Pope Benedict stepping aside:
“We are all seeing the impact of Pope Francis on the world, not only on the faithful in the Church, but on the world; it is a huge impact, and this impact was also facilitated by Pope Benedict in his resignation. He opened up a possibility that until then was not there, and we see that Pope Francis has taken up this situation and we are pleased that today it is so. " - Vatican News

I pray every night for both Popes - with a special mention for Archbishop Ganswein and Mons. Ratzinger, the retired Holy Father's brother.  They are like family, don't you think?
Today I ask you to join me in prayer for His Holiness Benedict XVI, a man of great courage and humility.” - Pope Francis

Gave de Pau

Lourdes Grotto, October 1858

I love Lourdes.

Our Lady appeared near a dump, in a natural niche formed in the rock just above the river, referred to by locals as the "pigs' shelter" as Magnificat noted for today's Mass.

The Immaculate Conception appeared in a filthy dump, where the poor scavenged for firewood and any usable scrap.  The Queen of Heaven revealed herself in the filthiest, poorest, most undesirable section of the little town - to ask for prayer and penance for the conversion of sinners.

Pray for us now
and at the hour of our death.

Our Lady of Lourdes

O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comfort of the afflicted, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Obituary for a Pop-Star

The party for Warhol*

Gordon Locksley.

In the 1970's Mr. Locksley was a local pop-star. An important one.

Not that it matters, but I 'worked' for him - I was moonlighting as a bartender at a bar he owned, Sutton's. As a kid in my early 20's, I was impressed with what many regarded as his cultivation of the Warhol-Factory-Pop-Star culture. Along with his partner George Shea, Locksley developed a sort of cult following amongst the very chic and trendy. As one obituary noted: their parties attracted socialites, hippies, business executives, professors, politicians, actors and art collectors. The more successful they became, the more notable they became. The pair built a lucrative art business, their mansion was also their gallery, sort of a refined version of Warhol's factory one might say. Indeed Warhol was the starring guest at more than one event, yet many A-list pop artists and celebs traipsed through the venue, attracting local glitterati and wannabe famous types and star struck pretty boys.  If you are actually interested, you can read the obituary here.

May he rest in peace.

Locksley welcoming Warhol.

All I want to say is there was really something very dark in that underground.  The scene was openly gay - proudly gay - when gay was still a degenerate subculture.  The people involved in Warhol's Factory were notorious, as were some of the people in the Locksley milieu.  The clique surrounding him developed a reputation for a lot of sex, drugs, rock'n'roll - and young guys.  There was an ambiance or illusion of connection to the trendy gay scene in NYC and San Francisco - call it a collection of radical faerie tales - too many to recount here.  In retrospect, it is easy to recognize the art scene and gay-chic thing they capitalized on was totally superficial and pretentious - yet it was a business venture.  The art world is big business - manufactured, packaged, marketed, promoted for fun, fashion, fame, and profit.  In that respect it is very much like the entertainment industry.

The deception continues.

*Ed.note:  The news of Locksley's death and photos which accompanied the stories creeped me out.  In the top photo there is a guy who went after young teen boys at the time.  I was in junior high when we 'met'.  

Johnny Weir-d

Johnny Weir is an NBC Commentator at the Olympics.

He's getting people riled up too.  Fr. Z is disgusted - which almost makes it even funnier - but for me, it's just queer.  Really queer.

Weir is protesting Holy Russia's policy against GLBTQ propaganda and the rough treatment shown to gay protesters.  How?  By simply showing up ... making some sort of fashion statement.  I wonder if Lady Gaga is his fashion consultant?
Weir has appeared with full makeup -- blush, lipstick, etc. -- as well as silk blouses and gaudy jewelry. Hairstyles have ranged form piled on top to a braided tiara. This was his plan from the beginning, as reports:
[My wardrobe will be a] cross between Coco Chanel and Brooks Brothers” with a hint of “Stanley Tucci’s character in the Hunger Games without the blue hair.
Weir says the games are not supposed to be about politics.
The Olympics are supposed to be about these wonderful athletes who are chasing these lifelong dreams, not politics.
Weir just made it all about politics.
Photo credit.  I think he's looking more Lily Tomlin than Coco Chanel.

The Beatles: The Night That Changed America - A GRAMMY Salute

Of course I watched it.

It was great.

[I never knew Katy Perry could actually sing - and she had clothes on too - ugly clothes, but she was covered.]

Fabulous show - I was totally surprised, never expected such a great show.  Adam Levine did well.

Yoko Ono looked like an idiot.  I am so glad she wasn't allowed on stage - please let it mean she was snubbed.  Please.

John Mayer - Best Pants!

Don't tell Dr. Marshall, 
but I think Yoko was putting a hex on Ringo as he sang.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Reviewing the blog


I was going through the archives this morning - which takes so much time.  I began blogging in February of 2006.  I wrote a lot of unnecessary stuff, revealed too much about myself - and documented too many careless observations about others, as well as a whole lot of worthless chatter.   I need to figure out how to start at the beginning and delete the worthless material.  Some of my writing I want to keep, my children's stories and some of the memoir stuff - the rest can be trashed - how to do it though?  I have to get my life in order.  I keep saying that - but I really do need to start cleaning things up.

I came across an interesting post on Rod Dreher, the convert to Catholicism who left the Catholic Church for the Orthodox.  The most interesting part of the story - for me - is the summation by a New Advent writer on what went wrong:
Journalist Rod Dreher details his conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy here. I'm not going to dwell on this too much, but I want to make four points:

First, take it as a personal warning.
Rod candidly admits that his devotion to Christ was eclipsed by golden calves of his own making. These include:
  • All-consuming anger -- "I became so tormented over what had happened to those children at the hands of the Catholic clergy and hierarchy that I could see nothing else but pursuing justice. And my own pursuit of justice allowed me to turn wrath into an idol. I didn't know I was doing this at the time. . . . That is something that could happen to anybody, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox or what have you. Be warned."
  • Politicized faith -- "I can look back also and see that my own intellectual pride helped me build a weak foundation for my faith. When I converted to Catholicism in 1992 . . . it was a sincere Christian conversion. But I also took on as my own all the cultural and intellectual trappings of the American Catholic right."
  • Churchcraft as a hobby -- "I had become the sort of Catholic who thought preoccupying himself with Church controversies and Church politics was the same thing as preoccupying himself with Christ. Me and my friends would go on for hours and hours about what was wrong with the Church, and everything we had to say was true. But if you keep on like that, it will have its effect."
  • Clericalism -- "Without quite realizing what was happening, I became a Professional Catholic, and got so caught up in identifying with the various controversies in the American church that I began to substitute that for an authentic spirituality. This is nobody's fault but my own. Part of that involved hero-worshipping Pope John Paul II, and despite having a healthy awareness of the sins and failings of various bishops, exaggerating the virtues of bishops my side deemed 'orthodox.'"
Don't think you're personally immune from errors like these.  You're not, and I'm not.  (Read Matthew 24:22.)
I posted about it at the time - as if it was any of my business.  Since that time a few more bloggers have left the Catholic Church for another Church - or church.  Some have just walked away from religion entirely.  I don't read Dreher very often, but I think the same dynamics may be at work in what he writes today, as well as for many others online.

Of the four errors listed, I think "churchcraft as a hobby" or even "churchcraft as a job" is probably the most common fault - especially amongst lowly no-name bloggers.