Friday, 9/18/15

  1. Challenging the rule of law
  2. I needed a trigger warning
  3. Why I’m not rushing to replace my iPhone
  4. Giving God time to heal
  5. Trump’s “Second Birth Certificate” looks bogus
  6. This book just evolved
  7. The character of our nation
  8. What pro-aborts know in private, deny in public

1

Lydia McGrew calls a spade a spade:

[L]et’s have no cant to the effect that Kim Davis has been the one challenging the “rule of law.” The legal chaos right now has been created by SCOTUS, directly. Indeed, this is how it often works when a law is “struck down” by the Supreme Court. It’s a form of hostage taking. The previously existing law, which had everything laid out in an orderly fashion, becomes allegedly null. There ensues a legal no-man’s-land, and the relevant legislature feels in duty bound to write a law (which they might otherwise have conscientious objections to) that complies with both the letter and the spirit of what SCOTUS hath uttered, otherwise it seems to them there will be a limited field of anarchy in that region of law. It’s a clever tactic. Bare-knuckled, but clever. If you want marriage law with conscience exemptions in your state, hurry up and make a new one that recognizes same-sex couples. If you want abortion law of any kind, hurry up and make one that does whatever is left to do within the confines of Roe v. Wade. Otherwise you got nothing–a legal Wild West.

It would be sweet poetic justice if, five years down the line, one member of one of these same-sex “couples” wants to get a “divorce” from their “marriage,” and the other member decides to go back and exploit the legal dubiety of the “marriage” in the first place. “Actually, our marriage license was invalid, so I don’t have to divide my retirement fund with her now that we’re breaking up.” That would be an interesting case to watch in family court.

(Emphasis added)

Even if

  • you agree with SSM,
  • think the Court had a basis to impose SSM, and
  • are trying to tease the number “666” out of the name “Kim Davis” (Hmmm. If A=7.655172414, B=15.310344828, C=22.965517242, etc. I’ve got it! QED!),

you should recognize that McGrew’s description of the ensuing chaos and effective coercion of legislatures is fundamentally accurate.

2

A wealthy and prominent gay man buys off or bullies his underage victim into silence on criminal charges. The story should have come with a trigger warning.

I cannot help but compare it to a local episode in which our fair city’s gay rights poster boy was accused by residents of the Cary Home for Children, where poster boy was employed, of taking them to his parents’ home to sodomize them. After his attorneys and local media went into hysterics about how the 63 counts were the result of a religious right hoax, the boys withdrew their charges. Poster boy walked, free, northwestward to Wisconsin where his sins found him out, self-made videos of the Cary Home crimes were found in his possession, and he’s now locked up ostensibly for life. No evidence has surfaced that the victims’ silence was purchased, but I’ve always wondered.

The point of the story is that gays have not only overcome occasional discrimination, but now sit in a cat-bird seat, largely protected by liberal sentiment and the popular press (but I repeat myself) and hired as wolves to guard chicken houses lest a cry of “Discrimination!” be heard in the land. Haven’t child welfare officials ever heard of Willie Sutton?

I’m actually surprised that The Oregonian played the newer story as straight (pardon the expression) as it did.

3

Wendell Berry, meet Baotou.

I think I’ll keep my iPhone a bit longer.

4

It deeply troubles me when I encounter clergy who want to push their parishioners into total conformity and compliance with the teachings of the Orthodox Church, without first helping them seek the healing that takes place within the Hospital of the Soul. My spiritual father, Archimandrite Dimitry of blessed memory, counseled against storming at people, before using the tools found within the Church, to bring about the transformation of the soul, and the healing of the nous. Demanding conformity in regards abortion, same sex marriage, homosexuality, and a host of other issues that separate our modern society from the Gospel teachings of the Church, drives people away from the very place that can bring about the transformation we all so desperately need. The pastor must first help those who have come into the Church to enter into an encounter with the Living God, and allow Christ to empower them for change, both morally and spiritually.

Just as a child needs the patience of a good parent to grow into adulthood, so too is there the need for pastors to patiently guide the seeker into an encounter with the Living God, and bring about the purification of the nous (the eye of the soul). Pressuring parishioners into conformity does nothing to help the person mature in the faith, for only the Holy Spirit can transform the heart, and bring the believer into conformity with the Gospel teachings. Everyone needs the Church’s transformational power to make them holy. Demanding holiness before healing has taken place, only serves to drive the seeker from the hospital before they can be made whole. A good priest once said, “Rather than wondering how you’re going to change the Church, wait and see how the Church changes you.”

(Abbot Tryphon) I agree with this strongly. There are naïve young people in my parish who’re socially liberal on keys issues simply because they’re young people, osmosis works culturally as well as physically, and they have no realistic idea of the legal and cultural eventuality of their liberalism. Let them put their roots in the Church and things will turn around eventually. A forced cultural conversion is no better than a forced religious conversion.

5

I had a commitment Wednesday night that kept me from watching the second debate. I actually would have considered watching since Fiorina was in it.

It took a very long time to get through 3 hours of Tweets Thursday morning from all the people who’d been liveTweeting the debate.

Although Evangelical support of Trump is oversold, I liked Russell Moore’s New York Times piece on how support of Trump is a repudiation of the Evangelical consensus on “culture war” issues:

We should not demand to see the long-form certificate for Mr. Trump’s second birth. We should, though, ask about his personal character and fitness for office …

Still, the problem is not just Mr. Trump’s personal lack of a moral compass. He is, after all, a casino and real estate mogul who has built his career off gambling, a moral vice and an economic swindle that oppresses the poorest and most desperate. When Mr. Trump’s casinos fail, he can simply file bankruptcy and move on. The lives and families destroyed by the casino industry cannot move on so easily.

6

Before I read this book, I wasn’t aware that I was a creationist. But Matt Ridley tells me I am, in his broad sense of someone who foolishly believes that any good can come of ‘human intentionality, design and planning’. With no little intellectual chutzpah, he offers to treat us to a ‘general theory of evolution’ of everything, surpassing Charles Darwin’s ‘special’ one that applied only to living organisms. According to the author, ‘top-down’ is always bad, ‘bottom-up’ is always good. By what evolutionary method he avoided consciously designing this book itself remains a mystery to the end.

(Steven Poole) After an opening paragraph like that, who needs the rest of the review?

Actually, you do, because at the deservedly snarky end, it is revealed that you can buy this £20 logical train wreck for just £18 through the Spectator Bookshop!

7

I dare Hillary Clinton [and] Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, “We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” This is about the character of our nation.

(Carly Fiorina in, of all places, a Presidential candidate debate)

8

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.