Ides of March

  1. It’s unwinding.
  2. Vast matrix of dishonesty.
  3. Getting someone-or-other out of the marriage biz.
  4. “Who’ll be there for us?”
  5. The Second Coming (no, not Blake).
  6. Lovely, noble, good — and secure


These left-wing demonstrators tried to shut down an American presidential candidate’s speech during the campaign — and they succeeded, through an implicit threat of violence. People who support Trump drove hours to hear him talk, and they were denied their constitutional rights by left-wing hotheads who believe that they are so righteous that they don’t have to observe basic civility. You come to a Trump rally and you start flipping people off? You should not be surprised if you get a sock in the face.

What those protesters have done tonight is create a lot more Trump voters out of people who are sick and tired of privileged leftists using thug tactics to silence their opponents.

… Protest all you want, but do it outside the venue, or silently inside. Do not silence the speaker, because if you do that, you legitimize your opponents trying to silence the speakers from your side. Thuggish, illiberal tactics like this from the left call forth the same kind of thing from the right. When right-wing white nationalist types show up and make trouble at Democratic rallies, or BLM rallies, and get them cancelled, on what grounds will you on the left have to complain?

(Rod Dreher) I should note that I have some misgivings about some other things Rod wrote in this blog, but I’ll gladly “own” the parts I just quoted.

Dreher, a day or two later, admitting that he’s sick of being sick but having to travel and work anyway, unloads. This is not a summary, but a typical vignette:

“Their kids have no direction,” he said. “I’ll have in my office college-age young people with strong test scores and good grades, but no direction. They’re just drifting, and they’re getting no direction from their parents.”

The counselor is around my age. I suggested to him that our generation was not raised that way, but that’s how we seem to be raising our kids.

“This is new,” he said. “I don’t know where this comes from.”

Again: he’s not talking about the poor or the working class. He’s talking about middle class people. He’s talking about the kind of people who look at the dysfunctional black and white poor and working classes and think, thank God I’m not like them.

But they are like them. They just have money. For now.

At the end, he observes:

It’s all anecdotal, these conversations I’ve had this weekend, but thinking about them all on Sunday night, I recall how very little actual political content there was. I don’t know how many of these people I talked to — most of whom were strangers to me — are Trump voters, or planning to vote at all. (The one acknowledged liberal Democrat I talked to lamented how the extremes run both parties, and how partisanship has disempowered the vast middle by demonizing anything that breaks ideological orthodoxy.) What was present in these conversations was fear and anxiety, and a sense that what is wrong with America is much more deep-seated than any politician’s ability to fix. The rot, the decadence. You can see it all over. It’s unwinding.

And as it unwinds, the leading candidate my former party is inciting his followers to violence against protesters in the hall, promising to pay legal defense for some and even hinting at paying the legal defense of a cracker who blind-sided a black protester as the protester, compliant, was being led out of the hall. Trump, having paid for the hall, has the right to treat non-sycophants as trespassers, but he does not have the right to incite violence against them. “Eject them” is legitimate; “Clobber them” is not, and has more than a whiff of fascism.

As recently as Monday noon, I projected that I would vote for a Libertarian or other third party Presidential candidate were the race Trump versus Clinton. But as I reflect on Trump’s incitements and threats of violence against opponents, I’m not so sure. It may, as I think I’ve said before, come down to “Vote for the crook. It’s important.” as the signs said when Edwin Edwards was running against David Duke.


James Howard Kunstler is not a conservative but he’s willing to tell it like it is. Monday’s column was tremendous:

The Twitter-incited mob that shut down last week’s Donald Trump rally at the University of Illinois’ Chicago pavilion was the first skirmish in what is shaping up to be a civil war between a political Left that has lost its mind and a political Right that has lost its mind and its soul. The tensions between these two camps are so contorted and dishonest that even trying to unpack the issues puts the un-packer in jeopardy of being branded as one kind of thought-criminal or another.

The Left has lost its mind in a climax of zealotry over the new religion of social justice, with its sacred “victims” (blacks, LBGTQs, etc), its sacred tenets (“diversity,” “inclusion”), and its endless charges of blasphemy (renamed “micro-aggressions”) against heretics (“racists,” “homophobes”) who object to absolutist thought policing …

The religion of the social justice warriors, got a huge boost with the deaths, and subsequent canonization of the new mega-saints, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and other black youths who were killed under circumstances that were, at least, ambiguous, and, at most, due to their own poor judgment and misbehavior. (Pause for cries of “racist” to subside) …

Possibly the worst blasphemy — which I will now state — is the idea that the new religion of social justice exists to disguise the vast disappointment over the failure of the civil rights movement to uplift — that is, raise out of poverty, illiteracy, and crime — a substantial part of the black population. In fact, much of the official policy of the civil rights era only made matters worse, especially the well-known failures of the welfare system with all its disincentives to economic striving …

Enter Trump, perhaps the worst figure possible to call bullshit on this vast matrix of dishonesty … Why? Because the well-educated non-yahoos of both parties are too cowardly and too corrupt — too busy making money off the war racketeers and the medical racketeers, and the Wall Street racketeers, and the campus racketeers — to take on some of the central lies of our times, which Trump manages to do in the crudest possible ways.

 Read it all.


In anticipation of an Obergefell-type imposition of same-sex marriage, in the direction of which public opinion was being manipulated anyway, First Things magazine had eight authors discuss the merits — and mostly demerits — of getting the Church out of “civil marriage.” One jurisdiction of my Church has decidedly declined to disengage, in tacit response to one Priest who had declared his personal disengagement.

Now the same debate, in a different key, is taking place about whether the government should get out of civil marriage — by calling them all civil unions. A law professor says that would undermine “vital benefits and features of marriage as we currently understand it” (‘Getting the Government Out of Marriage’ Post Obergefell: The Ill-Considered Consequences of Transforming the State’s Relationship to Marriage).

I’m curious about what those “vital benefits and features of marriage as we currently understand it” might be. I’ve downloaded the article (the link is to an abstract) with the attitude that “this is likely to be the kind of strained construct that only an intellectual could believe.”


Single People Worry: Who’ll Be There For Us?

That seems like a very good question, which the linked article, unfortunately, treats quite superficially (granted, the deeper questions might be inappropriate for the forum).


The Second Coming of Christ, the Universal Resurrection and Judgment Day happen at the same moment. This will be the end of time. Our world and all creation will be completely transfigured by the Uncreated Light. It will happen, as the Apostle Paul said (in 1 Corinthians 15.52), “in a twinkling of an eye.” This means that it will be instantaneous.

There is no space or time between the Second Coming and Judgment. Those who try to divide these up into separate events by inserting an interruption or length of time between the Second Coming and Judgment are called “chiliasts” by the Orthodox Church — and according to the Second Ecumenical Council (and the Nicene Creed), chiliasm is heretical and toxic to the faith. The “Rapture” as taught by many protestants is “chiliastic.” So also is the teaching of the “seven-year tribulation” and the literal “thousand-year millennium” heretical.

(Fr. Jonathan Tobias) Any questions?

Oh! You thought I was talking about this “Second Coming”! No, enough of bleakness for now!


In times of turmoil like this, it’s good to remember some fundamentals “that we easily overlook”:

  1. The love of God that has been poured out to us in Christ Jesus is so strong that no conceivable hardship can separate us from that love. (Romans 8: 35-39)
  2. Everything that happens to us is organized by Divine Love for our benefit, even if we can’t understand how. (Romans 8:28; Matthew 10:29-31)
  3. In response to this love, we are commanded to replace anxious thoughts with a moment-by-moment awareness of all that is lovely, noble and good. (Philippians 4:6-8; 2 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Luke 12:29)

Thank you, Robin Phillips (hyperlinks added). This is so good I’ve added it to my “standing advice,” below.

* * * * *

“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.