Saturday, 11/21/15

  1. Vestigal tribalism
  2. Tasmanian mutant tolerance
  3. The Feature Story as Art
  4. The Tweet as Art
  5. Trump called out
  6. Function follows form
  7. The uses of duct tape
  8. The uses of gratitude


David Bentley Hart feels a wholly unqualified admiration for Pope Francis, who “has on the whole a very good name in the Christian East.” I’m an honorary member of Conservative Catholic Cavilmongers (an organization I just invented), and many of my conservative Catholic friends seem to think about Francis the sorts of things that used to be reserved for the pages of Jack Chick comics. When you get down to it, the “liberal” or “Kasper” options at the Synod on the Family ought not, on the face of them, trouble Orthodox. I’m torn.

The New York Times editorial Board thinks that the (pseudo-Christian) Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is getting what it deserves with (supposedly) mass resignations over its updated guidance on gay marriage, and that there are plenty of (apostate) denominations ready to receive its members. I’m feeling schadenfreude even though the guidance may be one of the better things to come from the LDS.

I guess I’m not 100% free of the urge to join a tribe of the like-minded.


In Australia (in Tasmania, to be specific), the Anti-Discrimination Commission has called the Catholic bishops’ conference to answer a case against them on the grounds that they distributed a booklet criticizing same-sex “marriage.” This, the Commission agrees with a “transgender” plaintiff, constitutes a possible breach of the law through “conduct that is offensive, intimidating, ­insulting or ridiculing of Ms. ­Delaney and the class of same-sex attracted people.” I don’t have a copy of the booklet, but I seriously doubt that “Ms.” Delaney was mentioned anywhere therein!

No, what we have here is a direct attempt to tell Catholic bishops that they can’t publish a booklet on a moral matter, because their views disagree with leftist orthodoxy and hence by definition constitute “discrimination.” The term “discrimination” now acts as a portmanteau term for anything that offends homosexual activists, even when no discrimination in, say, employment or the offering of services is alleged.

(Lydia McGrew)


Rod Dreher reminds me that there’s a race of men called “feature writers,” and that some of them are insanely good at it and that Skip Hollandsworth is one of them.

And as Rod said, “It is important to remember that people like Ann McClamrock walk the earth.”


Sarah Pulliam Bailey reminds me that the Tweet, too, can be an art, kinda like Haiku:


The form we’ve inherited determines what we can do to renew it.

Making an old ugly church beautiful won’t much change the parish’s life when most of the people believe that sitting in that lovely new tabernacle, placed so prominently behind the altar, is only a symbol of our common life, and not the Lord of the universe. It will be a pretty, restful space, not a place for a life-transforming encounter with God.

(David Mills, Why All Those Programs to Renew the Church Don’t Work) Read the rest of it if you want to know what works.


Trump’s position is nakedly prejudiced, proto-fascist, and un-American.

(Conor Friedersdorf)

Let’s get one thing out of the way: from the video I saw, which seems to be the one in question, Trump did not “demand” registration of Muslims.

Let’s get another thing out of the way: The press didn’t entirely fabricate the story.

Trump’s remarks as a whole show that:

  • He thinks registration isn’t enough, because he referred to doing things “beyond databases.”
  • When asked “how do you actually get them registered,” he gave his “good management” answer, not “what in heaven’s name are you talking about, my dear man?”


Spotted on Facebook: “Even duct tape can’t fix stupid, but it can muffle the sound.”


Think positive. It trains the brain.

* * * * *

“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.