Tuesday 1/10/17

  1. All God’s acts are by personal contact
  2. Learned something new today
  3. Fakest of all fake news
  4. Does the house always win?
  5. Bullying misogynists with bad grammar


1

God could not have simply “snapped His fingers” and wiped away sin and death … remember, there is no such thing as “magic” or “distant action” … all action — even on God’s part — is work and must be done by personal contact.

 

If you believe anything about salvation as theosis (which is the only Orthodox way to know salvation), then I think you really must be confidant about the question as to whether God would have become incarnate if there had been no sin, if Adam had not failed and fallen.

Would Jesus have been born anyways? The answer is yes, because the complete issue — even before the failure of sin — was always for full communion with the divine, as this is the perfection of Creation ….

(Fr. Jonathan Tobias, Second Terrace)

2

In the number 2 position today was approbation of Meryl Streep’s Gold Globe acceptance speech, particularly her words about Donald Trump, “the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitat[ing] a disabled reporter.”

Unfortunately, it appears I had fallen for one of the major media’s unfair and inaccurate jibes at Trump — a man who, to be fair to the press, intends to stir controversy.

You see, Serge Kovaleski, the reporter Trump was going after, does not suffer cerebral palsy and has perfectly good control over his limbs. The freeze-frame photos of the two side by side misrepresent Kovaleski, but they had me convinced. This wild gesticulating is the same way Trump mocked Ted Cruz. He has even mocked himself with those gestures. (I assume he got a reality TV gig only for his extreme crassness. He’s a lousy impersonator, among other distasteful attributes.)

Rod Dreher unwittingly intervened to clue me in on this, and he has credibility because he opposed Trump relentlessly:

Two tears flowed in quick succession in that room last night. The first tear said: How nice to see Meryl Street praising us and denouncing Donald Trump. The second tear said: How nice to be moved, together with all decent-thinking people, by Meryl Streep’s praise of us and denunciation of Donald Trump. It is the second tear that makes kitsch kitsch.

(Paraphrasing Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being)

3

The fakest of all “fake news” stories turns out to be… “Russia Hacks Election.” It was reported conclusively Saturday on the front page of The New York Times, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Deep State:

Putin Led a Complex Cyberattack Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Finds

WASHINGTON — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia directed a vast cyberattack aimed at denying Hillary Clinton the presidency and installing Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office, the nation’s top intelligence agencies said in an extraordinary report they delivered on Friday to Mr. Trump.

You can be sure that this is now the “official” narrative aimed at the history books, sealing the illegitimacy of Trump’s election. It was served up with no direct proof, only the repeated “assertions” that it was so. In fact, it’s just this repetition of assertions-without-proof that defines propaganda. It can also be interpreted as a declaration of war against an incoming president.

(James Howard Kunstler, America vs. The Deep State)

4

One of the better arguments I’ve heard for Pope Francis’ seeming lenity/laxity toward communing divorced Catholics now living in marriage-like relationships:

Could it be that schism and separation, rather than being salutary for schismatics, has the effect of simply galvanizing the exiled? That is, had the pizza-mass priests been expelled in the 70s and 80s, might we today see separatist churches devolving toward some sort of non-liturgical protestant sect? It’s too curious a phenomenon to ignore, one that suggests the best way to deal with heterodoxy and heteropraxy is simply to let it die a slow, natural death within the safe harbor of the Church.

In that light, Holy Father Francis’ flirtation with communion for the divorce and remarried might make sense under his duty to the Petrine office.

Don’t mistake, I am saying this as a casual observer, not one studied or stooped in curial and episcopal politics. But it seems we have two competing claims. On the one hand, the teaching of the Church on the indissolubility of marriage and the consequence that has for sacramental admittance for the divorce and remarried. On the other hand, a group of prelates (mainly German) who seem intent to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion. The former is an unchanging position; the latter is heterodox.

So Francis has concluded, better to keep the dissenters within the walls of the Church than risk, half a millennium later, another schism out of Germany. The judgment is one of a statesman. It is a risky and hard decision. But the reality is that in the long-run the Church outlives the lineage of any heresy that crops up within her. The Holy Father knows that the house always wins.

That is, it’s a good argument if one accepts that a Pope “cannot fail to keep the Church—as much of the Church as possible—united.”

5

Since Mollie Hemingway retweeted this, I thought maybe it was some kind of obscure satire. No, Erich Kaiser really is that unhinged.

I just want the record to reflect, with examples, that bullying misogynists with bad grammar are not a uniquely Republican problem.

* * * * *

“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.