Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blogurgitate



blogurgitate:  to re-post articles previously posted to a web log, as in redux;  copy and paste/assemble a post from another blog, website, news portal, sometimes adding original editorial content; continually writing about the same crap everyone else does.

Real men and their sexual disorders.



Not all men of course - just the disordered ones.
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I've known a lot of guys who maybe could have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, although I'm pretty sure their problem had more to do with religious fundamentalist tendencies and excessive moral rigidity, than anything clinical.  Although maybe not, since the problem played out more like an obsessive compulsive disorder regarding romance and sexuality - and not like a virgin, rather like a Puritan.  I suppose a confessor or spiritual director would call it scrupulosity. 
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With some guys it is just a phase in spiritual development - shortly after one's conversion some guys seem to be almost overcome at times with sexual temptation - and obsessing over it, they frequently fall.  Boing!  After a fall they become even more rigid and severe - like a Puritan.  Gradually they believe they can repress even the least movement to lust - but the tension builds. Boing!
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However, as a bit self-mastery increases, some of us can become rather smug about our successes in the battle - while becoming  rather moralistic regarding everyone else.  It's a fine balance, beset with many temptations - especially to pride, yet there is nothing like humility to obtain grace in abundance - as well as that balance.
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That said, a friend alerted me to a rather good post on the subject of real men and their romantic/sexual disorders.  At least that's how I would term it.  It's a woman's perspective on tradsters and their personal regime, and I think some readers may recognize someone they know here.  Especially those guys who are bound and determined to replicate an earlier ideal of family life, such as the perfect Father Knows Best style family.  (No one ever actually lived like that BTW.)
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Real men.
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When, after a lackadaisical childhood catechesis, years spent doing my own thing, and a dramatic conversion experience, I came back to the Catholic Church in 2002, I found that there was a New York City subculture I had never known existed: the subculture of young orthodox and Traditionalist Catholics. Many of this subculture’s adherents were actively looking for a mate, and I dated a few of them, which was an experience unlike anything I was familiar with from my own long romantic struggles. 
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Many of the men in this subculture were what I can only call essentially wounded in their masculinity. It was as if their self-identification as men had been haphazardly constructed out of subversive images of masculinity refracted to them from the culture; as if, finding certain norms of masculinity repellent (not without reason, it must be said), and not having had male role models to demonstrate for them any ontological qualities of manhood, these young men had skirted around the edges of male behavior, and had finished by taking affect for essence. Their own masculinity seemed to have been forged in opposition and negation, cobbled together out of strong, oppositional attitudes to what repelled them culturally, rather than out of any positive attitudes, such as the wish to take on essential male roles -- engaging, for instance, in meaningful ways in the existential struggle to fight real enemies, and providing for and protecting the vulnerable, including women and children. In addition, some of these men seemed to have self-consciously adopted certain styles, tastes, hobbies, and mannerisms associated with other times and places than twenty-first-century New York, identifying themselves more with, say, Europe before World War I, or fin-de-siècle Paris, or the New York of the Gilded Age. One man from this set whom I dated asked me seriously once whether I considered myself American (he didn’t, in spite of the fact that, like me, he was).
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[...]
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I have no answers to the problems of wounded masculinity and femininity in the Church. We are all essentially broken, after all. Nonetheless, when one of us is wounded in this fundamental way, and acts out of his woundedness, and does damage to others as a result of it, the entire Mystical Body of Christ suffers. I hope and pray that priests and laypeople may work together to heal the wounded -- i.e., our brothers and sisters and ourselves -- which I think would go a long way towards healing relationships between Catholic men and women. - Pentimento
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I think the lady got it right.
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Image:  German Nationalist Socialist art - the ideal Aryan family.

St. Leopold Mandic



St. Leopold found me.
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He died on July 30, 1942, therefore it seems no coincidence I came upon the Saint just in time to post about him on the anniversary of his death, although his liturgical feast day is on May 12.  I like very much the following quotes from the Capuchin confessor...

  • "Some say that I am too good. But if you come and kneel before me, isn't this a sufficient proof that you want to have God's pardon? God's mercy is beyond all expectation."
  • "Be at peace; place everything on my shoulders. I will take care of it." He once explained, "I give my penitents only small penances because I do the rest myself."
  • "A priest must die from apostolic hard work; there is no other death worthy of a priest."
Leopold suffered from esophagus cancer, which would ultimately lead to his death at age 76. On July 30, 1942, while preparing for the liturgy, he collapsed on the floor. He was then brought to his cell, where he was given the last rites. Friars that had gathered at his bed began singing the Salve Regina and saw that Leopold died as they sang "O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary." - Source
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Always an ardent student of Mariology (the study of Mary's role in Christ's Redemption of man, Padre Leopoldo wrote on a picture of the Blessed Virgin in 1927: "I. Fr. Leopoldo Mandie Zarevic. believe that the Blessed Virgin as Co-Redemptress of the human race is the moral cause of all grace -  everything we receive comes from her fullness. " On one occasion he solemnly wrote: "The August Mother of God is in truth Co-Redemptress of the human race and source of all Grace. In fact, on the one hand we have in her the most perfect obedience to God's laws and, after her Son, the most perfect innocence: He, impeccable by His nature, she, impeccable by Grace. On the other hand we see her as Our Lady of Sorrows, as He was the Man of Sorrows. If, therefore, by eternal decree of God, the Immaculate Virgin was the moral victim of sorrow as her Son was the physical victim, and if God's avenging Justice found no shadow of fault in them, it follows: inevitably that they were paying the price of the sins of others, that is of mankind."
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He will be my new patron now.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fellini's view of the Roman Catholic Church



I think it has always been this way.  Worse in one era than another probably - although the filth seems to have overflowed in our day - the sewage has backed up into the sanctuary.
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Photo: Fellini's Roma, Ecclesiastic Fashion Show.

Archbishop Favarola and the Gay Hogwarts?



Miami vice:  Catholic Church leaders accused of operating a gay mafia.
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I saw the story late last night on Pewsitters - they picked up the story from Gawkers.  Disturbing story?  Yes.  Surprising?  No. 
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After night prayer I considered that the story may be fabricated, or at least exaggerated, perhaps part of a political conspiracy to shame the Church in retaliation for Catholic teaching on sexuality, and without doubt, the Church's position against same sex marriage.  It could be.  I could be in denial too.
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This morning I've spent a few hours researching the claims that retired Archbishop Favarola headed a sort of gay cabal in Miami during his tenure as the leader of Miami Catholics.  Of course such rumors are not new, but details of what went on have been lacking in the public domain - and I'm not sure the sources today are all that credible.  I expect the story is going to explode now, rather than unfold.  The details remind me of the Sebastian's Angels gay priest scandal from several years ago - another gay cabal of sorts.  However, if this Miami vice story is true - it is even worse than the Angels' story.
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Whatever the case - someone better step up to the plate really fast and make an investigation - and a serious one at that.
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Anyway, here's the story with a link to all the sordid details - but watch out, the links contain graphic material.
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One of Florida's most powerful Catholic leaders is being accused of running the Miami Archdiocese like a gay sexual mafia boss.
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Gawker reports that a group of Catholics from South Florida calling their organization Christifidelis had launched a major investigation into the activities of Archbishop Emeritus John C. Favalora. In a report from Christifidelis called "Miami Vice," the group found that Favalora was part owner of a company that manufactured an aphrodisiac drink and took trips to Key West with "gay associates."
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He also reportedly had sexual relationships with several underlings, including at least two monsignors, a rector, and a former student. The report indicated that many other priests in South Florida are gay and have live-in boyfriends. Some engaged in pedophilia.
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Favalora resigned eight months before his 75th birthday, when archbishops routinely retire. Soon after, new archbishop Thomas Wenski was supposedly brought in to "clean up Favalora's mess," a source told Gawker. Many of the 35 priests named in the report had either retired or been reassigned..
Read the full report. - Advocate
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These stories sort of make Corapi and Cutie look like saints, huh?
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Photo:  Archbishop Favarola
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Update:  Mark Shea shares his thoughts on the story.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thoughts while trimming the hedge in extreme heat...



What if reincarnation and transmigration of souls was true for animals and pets?

All the theologians say pets don't go to heaven - although I have some reservations on that, I'm not sure it's dogma either.  That said, what if their souls keep getting inserted in other animal bodies?  I don't know how reincarnation or that transmigration thing works either.  And before you call the CDF: Nope - I don't believe in reincarnation at all - we have one life, one chance, and then... and then... 
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So anyway.  And then I was wondering - never mind.
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Photo:  Transmigrating cat.

Disclaimer:  This post was not approved for World Youth Day transmission.

Once upon a time...



Once upon a time there was a Cistercian Abbey named Springbank.
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The sale is this weekend.
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h/t PML

Martyrdom



The ultimate sacrifice.
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Commenting on another post, a reader chided another commenter implying that there is something wrong with the desire for martyrdom, that it is somehow a selfish desire rending a person incapable of caring about anyone else.  What an incredibly twisted understanding of martyrdom.  Many of the early Christians considered their lives to be a preparation for martyrdom.   Self denial and following Christ along the narrow way is itself a sort of preparation for martyrdom.  The modern Christian can't be cheated of such an honor.  That is why the bishop used to slap us at our confirmation, to remind us of the difficulties of living and witnessing to the faith, even unto the possibility of martyrdom.  The  blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.  The martyrs are the furthest away from selfishness and apathy any human being could be.   St. Ignatius of Antioch begged his fellow Christians not to stop his martyrdom, writing, "If the lions don't want to eat my flesh, I will compel them to!"
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More relevant to our own day, I want to share the story of the Gorkum Martyrs, men who were tortured and mutilated before and after being hanged to death.  They died a martyr's death because they would not renounce their faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, and because of their obedience and fidelity to the Pope.

The Gorkum Martyrs.
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By 1572, the Netherlands had fallen culturally and politically into Protestant hands, and Catholics of the country became objects of persecution for Lutherans and Calvinists alike. As town after town fell to Protestant control, the Catholic clergy of the area were arrested and often tortured. The goal of this mistreatment was not death, but apostasy.
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In June of 1572, the town of Gorcum (modern Gorinchem, 20 miles west of Rotterdam) fell into the hands of Calvinist pirates, and immediately they arrested nine Franciscan priests. Later, two Franciscan lay brothers, three secular priests, and an Augustinian canon were also arrested. Eventually four more priests were added to their number. These included two Norbertines, another secular priest, and John of Cologne, a Dominican friar working outside of Gorcum. After hearing of the arrests of the Franciscans, St. John disguised himself and traveled to Gorcum to console his brother priests with the sacraments. He was eventually caught and imprisoned along with them.
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The pirates demanded that these nineteen priests and religious deny the Real Presence and the authority of the Pope. They refused, much to their captors’ distress. Despite a plea for leniency from William of Orange, the Dutch prince and leader of the Protestant Rebellion, the Calvinists of Gorcum transferred their prisoners to nearby Brielle, where they were martyred outside of town in a dilapidated shed. Their bodies were horrifically desecrated both before and after their deaths, out of mockery for their priesthood.
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One of the secular priests killed was notorious for his unchastity. When accused of this by his captors, he offered his famous reply, “Fornicator I always was, but heretic I never was.” - Source
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Their feast day was July 9.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Anders Behring Breivik was not a real knight.



This battle is not of flesh and blood but of principalities and powers. Catholics need their fortitude back, but we can do without the romantic pieties of externalist chivalry. - Fr. Angelo Mary

Though he is called a madman, I have to wonder about that.  That he thought of himself a Knight Templar in shining armor bearing the red cross of a Crusader on his tunic - that is simply delusional.  Many people today are delusional.  Many aspire to be knight Crusaders in the spiritual battle, and many take up arms of their own making - completely on their own - and with misplaced zeal claim to be serving Our Lady, even proclaiming that the Blessed Virgin wears 'combat boots' amongst other types of war mongering analogies.  Few of us living in the world really understand the profound depths of spiritual warfare however, and the humility and fidelity it takes to persevere in and through it - often amidst much tribulation and even through defeat after defeat.
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That said, Fr. Angelo Mary, a genuine knight of the Immaculata,  has an excellent post stripping away any illusion that Anders Behring Breivik was a knight or hero of any sort.
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Brievik is a self-proclaimed pragmatist, and a conspiracy nut, who in one breath ridicules conspiracy theory and then posits his own without blinking. - Fr. Angelo Mary
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I am not going to waste much time on this, as his manifesto is revealed to be what one would expect, mostly a cut and paste of any kind of conservatism he could find to justify his racism and his plans for violent revolution. Not that conservative thought leads to the recent events in Norway any more than liberal thought necessarily leads to the dirty deeds of Bill Ayers.
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When I first read that Brievik was supposedly a “Christian Fundamentalist,” I thought to myself that he is more than likely some kind of esoteric “Christian.” In fact, he is a Freemason, but that does not explain things either, because Norwegian Freemasonry is a “rectified rite” that has jettisoned the myth about the Templar origins of the Masons.
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Brievik has founded his own “church.” It is of a cut and paste construction, just like his manifesto: part Christian, part neopagan Odinist, part Freemason and whatever. I would also add that his church is Nazi as well, but he says that Nazism has been so demonized that “it is pointless to try to resurrect it in any way or form.” His interest in Christianity is about cultural unity for Europe through the common patrimony that Christianity offers. He says he is not interested in a relationship with Jesus. He is interested in his Norse and European cultural and racial heritage. And kill anyone who gets in the way.
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I once speculated that Europe’s choice to ignore its Christian patrimony in the formation of the European Union would result in the rise of nationalist fascism with a pseudo-Christian face. There you have it. Brievik has probably done what others have thought about doing but who were not crazy enough to actually do. Europe has abandoned Christianity and that is a huge void to fill—rather it is a void that cannot be filled. So Europe swirls with the liberal culture of death, Islamism and fascism. Did I mention neopaganism? 
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Brievik mentions among other things the Battle of Vienna and the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary. Unfortunately, he entirely misses the point. Whose side is Our Lady on? And a better question would be: Who is on Her side? This battle is not of flesh and blood but of principalities and powers. Catholics need their fortitude back, but we can do without the romantic pieties of externalist chivalry. - Fr. Angelo Mary, Templar Tragedy
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On a lighter note, Fr. Longenecker came to find out Brievik actually linked to a blog post on his blog, Standing On My Head.  It just goes to demonstrate Brievik most likely really did just cut and paste any kind of conservatism he could find to justify his fanaticism.
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Image: Auxilium Christianorum: Virgin of Lepanto
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Break the captive's fetters ;
Light on blindness pour ;
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.

Now here's a Cardinal who seems to be worthy of his red hat...



Cardinal Robert Sarah who only last month warned that the western world is in “serious moral regression and gradual ‘silent apostasy’ also expressed his concern that the priests who neglect their duty to "oppose the breakdown of morality in modern society, particularly pro-abortion and anti-family policies, risk the condemnation of God."
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"In a sermon delivered on June 25 to seminarians of the Community of St. Martin, whom he was about to ordain to the priesthood and diaconate, Sarah admonished his listeners, “if we have fear of proclaiming the truth of the Gospel, if we are ashamed of denouncing the grave deviations in the area of morality, if we accommodate ourselves to this world of moral laxity and religious and ethical relativism, if we are afraid to energetically denounce the abominable laws regarding the new global ethos, regarding marriage, the family in all of its forms, abortion, laws in total opposition to the laws of nature and of God, and that the western nations and cultures are promoting and imposing thanks to the mass media and their economic power, then the prophetic words of Ezechiel will fall on us as a grave divine reproach.”
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Sarah quoted the prophesy of Ezechiel found in chapter 34:2-4: “‘Son of man, prophesy against the pastors of Israel to pastor themselves. Should not the pastors feed the flock? You have been fed with milk, you have dressed yourselves with wool. You have not strengthened the weak lambs, cared for those who were sick, healed those who were injured. You have not restored those who have strayed, searched for those who were lost. But you have governed them with violence and hardness.’ (Ez. 34: 2-4)”
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“These reproaches are serious, but more important is the offense that we have committed against God when, having received the responsibility of caring for the spiritual good of all, we mistreat souls by depriving them of the true teaching of the doctrine of regarding God, regarding man, and the fundamental values of human existence,” - LifeSiteNews

Classification within gay culture.

There is a sort of caste system within gay culture.  GLBTQ culture is obviously very diverse and complex, and these folks don't always get along.  For example, the upper class professional/academic class usually looks way down on the under-educated, under-employed bar-types - unless these happen to be amazingly talented and useful, or if they demonstrate some potential which could be cultivated in some manner.  I'm generalizing here again, but suffice it to say gay culture pretty much mirrors normal social structure in that way - with a few quirks and exceptions thrown in of course.
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That said, a friend sent me an interesting Harvard Law paper touching upon similar political divisions within GLBTQ culture.  I've always been fascinated with that aspect of cultural anthropology which includes the study of class and social division within contemporary society.  Social division and class has fascinated me throughout life.  Thus, as a young student, I frequently worked well into the night - in the field, observing behavior from the darkened corners of bars, absorbed in my studies for long hours, gathering important data:
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Subject A is obviously from an upper class family and well educated.
Subject B is definitely working class. 
Subject C is just a loser, and so on.
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I know!  The Harvard paper is more thorough and academic of course, and much more reliable than my research.  I may be referring to the study from time to time in future posts as the gay marriage debate heats up in Minnesota.  Seriously, I think it is important to keep in mind, as cultural changes rapidly take place and gay issues become law, the diversity that exists within GLBTQ culture and the variety of means taken by groups and organizations not always working together under that umbrella, to achieve their ends.   The Harvard paper:
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Marriage, Cruising, and Life in Between: Clarifying Organizational Positionalities in Pursuit of Polyvocal Gay-Based Advocacy 
Douglas NeJaime
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Varying political affiliations and theoretical leanings exist in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community, hardly surprisingin a population that encompasses middle-class white gay men and butch leather dykes alike. Yet many GLBT organizations purport to speak on
behalf of all of their very different constituents. How successfully gay based organizations reconcile these competing interests has become a concern for academics and activists, many of whom fear the increasing homogenization of the gay movement and the resulting marginalization of dissenting viewpoints. The growing clamor over same-sex marriage provides an illustration of this trend. While major GLBT organizations litigate for the “right to marry,” apparently at the behest of those they seek to represent, scholars like Michael Warner worry that marriage rights for same-sex couples would only serve to strengthen the normalizing power of marriage and, while bringing the Good (married) Gay into the heteronormative fold, to consolidate the Bad (unmarried) Queer’s position in themargins.
1 Under Warner’s conception of the current gay rights movement,
the pursuit of marriage necessarily comes at the expense of articulating alternative, queer goals.

Although some scholars frame the debate in such absolute terms, an exploration of the actual work being done on the ground shows that samesex marriage occupies a more complex and tenuous position in gay-based advocacy. For the most part, gay rights projects do not, at any one moment,
express a single normative vision for the GLBT community.
[...]

At one end of the spectrum is the conservative gay position, illustrated by groups such as the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR). Guided by the mottothat “inclusion wins,”
LCR espouses integration and rejects liberal and
queer arguments regarding that it means to be “gay.”
Such political conservatives
promote formal equality and individual rights, and eschew claims that rely on the distinctiveness of the group. In this respect, the rightwing position endorses equal rights and incremental progress at the cost of recognizing the uniqueness of queer culture.
5 Marriage, while desirable,
can wait; non-discrimination and the repeal of anti-sodomy laws are more realistic and more worthwhile objectives. Furthermore, a behavioristic, moralistic call for monogamous commitment and a thorough rejection of promiscuity and multiple intimacies, often accompanied by connecting promiscuity to AIDS, maps onto a conservative gay orientation; this argument has also been used by gay-centrist thinkers.
6 Insofar as the conservative
line accepts the status quo and eschews aggressive activism, it is, by definition, not generally supported within public interest organizations litigating on behalf of gays. While the rhetoric of individual rights, integration, and equality surfaces in many gay rights campaigns, even the
least progressive of gay-based legal organizations recognizes the distinctiveness
of GLBT groups, evidenced by their push for hate crimes legislation and litigation. [...]

A gay-centrist position is closely associated with liberal calls for samesex marriage, but it is more widely characterized by an appeal to equality and liberty as bases for the inclusion of gays and lesbians in rights and protections afforded to heterosexuals. In this respect, a centrist orientation (like a conservative one) is invested in the liberal tradition of individual rights. At the same time, the centrist position recognizes the distinctiveness of the group to the extent that the GLBT community experiences specific vulnerabilities and suffers specific injuries. For example, centrists acknowledge
the unique injury and stigma that anti-sodomy laws inflict on gays. Similarly, a centrist orientation endorses frank sex education in the
name of GLBT youth whose experiences are particularly at risk of being
written out of existence by abstinence-only programs. In this sense, a centrist stance resonates within left multiculturalism and identity politics.

But while gay-centrist objectives are defensible as logical extensions of equality jurisprudence and as  means of representation responsive to constituents,  the centrist focus on the normative
nature of marriage arguably renders queer ideals undesirable.

In articulating the queer critique of same-sex marriage, Warner observes that even if gays seek to marry to revolutionize the institution from  within, “marrying [nevertheless] consolidates and sustains the normativity of marriage.”
9 He goes on to argue that the marriage debate has likewise
normalized the gay movement.
10 This queer orientation represents
the left position and is most closely associated with an embrace of sexual
shame and a celebration of marginalized sexual orientations and practices.

Queer thought is characterized by anti-identitarian, antinomian, and sexpositive
impulses. While I understand that many people oppose the imposition
of queer thought onto gay rights organizations, I ªnd the application
of queer theory in this vein useful on both an analytical and representational
level. By resisting the stability (if not the very existence) of
identity, queer thought provides a useful tool for interrogating the concept
of representation that is key to cause lawyering.
12 Furthermore, by reconceptualizing the position of gays as one of vibrant insubordination, the
queer critique facilitates a thoughtful questioning of the terms on which
gay rights are often pursued and the claims that gay advocates choose to
make. Finally, by celebrating the “sex” in homosexuality (and in everyone
else), queer theory adheres to the ethos of sexual liberation that sparked
the gay movement of the 1960s and 1970s. In so doing, it seeks to represent
GLBT individuals who celebrate deviance and resist normative sexual
practices. When a queer position articulates itself within the legal
regime, it attempts to defend distinctive sexual practices such as cruising.

Similarly, instead of focusing on the institution of marriage, queer thought
locates dependency relationships and finds ways to attach benefits and protections
to those relationships.
- Source

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Now class, wasn't that educational?  So far we have learned more than we knew about gay politics and we have been able to at least locate Michael Bayly and other religious gay advocates within the gay-centrist classification/position. 
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My apologies that the text jumped all over the post and I wasn't able to format it better.
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H/T to my friend Paula for the Harvard paper - I hope I didn't mutilate the point too much with my commentary.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Going after Michael Voris


When he ventures out of his territory...  hiss, spit, growl!

Michael Voris must really annoy a lot of people.  I'm not a frequent viewer or follower of his, nor do I always agree with him on everything when I do watch him or read something he said, although many times I think he really nails several issues - but so do other online personalities from time to time.  I'm beholden to no one online, although I have to admit I like Voris' unpolished, hit the nail on the head - call a spade a spade, in your face style.  Sometimes he's over the top - but who isn't?  He's not on my enemies list - actually I don't have such a list - but it appears other online personalities just might, and it sure looks as if Michael's name is on it.  The latest tempest in a tea pot seems to be the fact Michael Voris will be at World Youth Day, operating out of a hotel room, despite the fact he is not an authorized speaker at the event.  Sounds dirty and creepy and underhanded doesn't it?
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I don't think it is however.  Not according to a spokesman for RealCatholicTV who commented on a Patrick Madrid post which stated:

"Michael Voris, “Real Catholic TV” and “No Bull in Madrid” did not receive such endorsement from their Bishop or Episcopal Conference.  Michael Voris, “Real Catholic TV” and the program “No Bull in Madrid” are not accredited to or recognized by World Youth Day 2011."
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That post moved RealCatholicTV's Marc Brammer to come to the defense of Voris and company, explaining:
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"Nothing RealCatholicTV.com has ever done has been done with “approval” owing to the fact that “approval” is not required. The laity, or their efforts, do not operate as ecclesial bodies or functionaries (e.g., prayer groups and Catholic Bible Studies do not need “permission” or “approval” before commencing activities) nor is there any real mechanism in place for obtaining such approval.
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For instance, not a single Vortex episode (nearly 800 to date) has ever been “approved” in the sense of receiving some official endorsement by the Church, nor are they required to be “approved” unless there is a claim to be speaking for the Church (which there is not). 
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Our efforts in Madrid are solely our own undertaking, as is everything that we do. We consult greatly and regularly with various clergy and religious in many of our endeavors, and we are very happy for their support.
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The work of the laity, however, is NOT the work of the clergy. - Source.
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It's a strange situation - liberal and conservative Catholic pundits seem to be gunning for Voris.  The Internet is such a weird place - it's kind of political and sectarian and - vicious.  Like cats spraying to protect their territory.  Cat fight!
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UPDATE:  CNA has the story now, saying: They (Voris and RealCatholic) are “not in any way recognized or approved” by the official event. The Pontifical Council for the Laity selects and invites only bishops from around the world to conduct catechesis sessions at World Youth Day, the statement explained.   It appears the bishops are distancing themselves as far away as possible from Michael Voris and his apostolate...
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"There had been “some confusion” about Voris’ affiliation with World Youth Day, organizers said, further noting that “Real Catholic TV” and Michael Voris’ catechetical session “No Bull in Madrid” have not received endorsements from the group’s local bishop—Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit—or the U.S. bishops’ conference. "
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Maybe Cardinal Burke could rescue this situation as well?
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Disclaimer:  No poodles were harmed in this post.

Our Lady of Springbank Update


What's going on?
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A friend sent me an email informing me that the abbey is indeed being dissolved.  Brother Stephen, the former blogger for the group has left.  The few remaining monks are having an estate sale the last weekend of July - next weekend.  Included in the sale will be religious art, expected to be sold rather cheaply.  The property is set to be auctioned within a month or so.  Fr. Bernard, the former prior is said to be 'on sabbatical'.
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Like I said, I'm not surprised the abbey is closed, but this is the quietest suppression of an abbey I've ever heard of.  Earlier this year the monks were busy with the renovation of their chapel and the addition of furnishings.  Now all of that is apparently up for sale.  There are a few canons governing the 'alienation'  or sale of religious goods and properties, to insure that it isn't just a garage sale.  In religious houses it appears the competent superior has the responsibility to oversee the alienation of goods and property, in the absence of a prior, I wonder who that authority would be?
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Perhaps those who attend the sale will find out more details.  I checked online but I haven't come across any ads for the sale.  It seems a bit strange.
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In an earlier exchange with one of the monks I was told that my discussion dealing with Gregorian Mass contracts could damage the abbey's reputation and upset the confidence of donors to the abbey.  I wonder what the donors think now?  How could a well endowed abbey go from riches to rags in such a short span of time?  And no one notices?
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Photo: Springbank chapel interior, Christmas 2010.

Cardinal Noe dies and no one mourns?


Maybe.
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So far I haven't noticed many obituaries posted for Cardinal Virgilio Noe, the former master of ceremonies for papal liturgies, who died in Rome on July 24 at the age of 89.  Usually the more Roman than the Church blog sites will always commemorate the death of a Prince of the Church.  I obviously missed it if they had.   
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"Cardinal Noe had begun serving as master of ceremonies for Pope Paul VI, and continued in that office under Blessed John Paul II. In 1982 he was appointed secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, with the rank of archbishop. In 1991 he was named archpriest of St. Peter’s basilica, and elevated to the College of Cardinals. He retired in 2002 at the age of 80." - Catholic Culture
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I doubt the late Cardinal is very well known outside Rome or the traditional liturgical circles where he has on occasion been referred to as 'the nefarious Cardinal Noe'.  Not only was he rumored to be a Mason, he is said to be the man responsible for jackhammering the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter out of existence.  Perhaps that explains the absence of any notable obituary by the online satin and lace crowd.
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Poor soul.
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May he rest in peace.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Terrorist celebrity


Headshot

I'll wager he's going to get a following... and a big fan club - if it isn't there already.

He leads me...



The enclosure within.

"The children of this world were dedicated to surviving this life by whatever method possible.  I too must be totally dedicated, but with an added dimension.  I must not seek to avoid hardships or to soften their impact.  I must see in them the will of God and through them work out my salvation.  Otherwise, I would be acting rather as a child of this world than a child of light.  I would be acting not out of faith but as a fatalist.  I would have survived a series of moments, a succession of days, but I would have made nothing of them nor of myself.  I resolved again, therefore, to accept each day and every moment as from God's hands, and to offer it back to him as best I could.  I would not merely passively survive, like the children of this world, but with his help and his grace I would actively participate - and I would survive.  I never doubted that, because I did not fear non-survival.  Death would simply be a call to return to the God I served each day.  My life was to do the will of God, as the prayer of our Savior taught us put it quite simply, 'On earth as it is in heaven.'  His will would determine how long I would spend on earth.
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In such thoughts and prayers, peace returned.  It was the peace, once again, that total abandonment to God's will brings." - Servant of God, Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J.: He Leadeth Me
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"Take neither great nor little notice of who is with you or against you and try always to please God. Ask him that his will be done in you. Love him intensely as he deserves to be loved." - St. John of the Cross

Feast of Santiago


Today is the feast of St. James, my Baptismal patron.

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The Infant Jesus

In thanksgiving for favors received.
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The monthly novena to the Infant Jesus ended yesterday.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

From the Opinion Page: Homophobia on the rise in Minnesota.



Sunday, July 24
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Blogs are just like the newspaper opinion/editorial pages.  Anyone can have a blog and express their opinions or editorialize on the news of the day.  Not everyone can be published in a newspaper, but anyone with a computer can publish themselves.  I simply publish my opinions and thoughts based upon my lived experience in a web log format.  In other words, I pretty much keep an online journal with running commentary on the issues of the day - from my personal perspective.   
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Today the MplsStar published an opinion piece observing that homophobia is on the rise in Minnesota.  Homophobia is a modern term which is usually defined as 'unreasonable fear of homosexuals or homosexuality' although the definition is frequently extended to include 'hatred of homosexuals, sometimes leading to acts of violence or antipathy towards homosexual persons'.  That is a reasonable definition, despite how politically highly charged it has become.  One should keep in mind that there are reasonable objections one may have as regards homosexual behavior and its affects upon what philosophers, theologians, jurists, etc., refer to as the common good.
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Language is an important political tool these days, which is why I decided to post a few quotes from an article I read in today's newspaper.  It is interesting how the author employs terms frequently used by religious opponents to the theory that homosexuality is normal sexual behavior, and/or that gay marriage should be equal to heterosexual, or normal marriage between a man and a woman.  There is almost an evangelical vigor to his words in an attempt to demonize those who oppose the cultural changes gay activists hope to impose upon fellow citizens. 
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To be sure, violence or hatred against any person, no matter his sexual orientation is to be condemned, yet it needs to be acknowledged that homosexuals already enjoy the same equal protection under the law as heterosexual citizens do.  Obviously that isn't enough for some gay people - like 'thought police' they seem to want to outlaw reasonable, conscientious objection to any of the political, moral, and societal changes demanded by homosexual 'activists'.  I think it is worth noting that the homosexual movement is the group which initially politicized gay issues in the first place, in an effort to place their fight for acceptance and equality on the same level as the civil rights battle for racial equality of the 1960's and '70's.  However, sexual preference and race are two different issues: sexual preference is a moral issue, race and gender are civil rights issues.
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The homophobia on the rise piece.  (My comments in blue, the author's passionate language in red.)
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Yes, assailants should be apprehended and tried, but taking predators off the street does little to address the underlying issue: the continuing demonization of Minnesota's LGBT citizens. That nefarious project, aided and abetted by discriminatory politicians and organizations, reached a contemptible milestone with the vote to place a constitutional marriage amendment on the 2012 election ballot. And now, as in other states that have voted on anti-same-sex marriage amendments, the nightmare of escalating violence is well underway in Minnesota.
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I was there at the Capitol when Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, introduced the amendment. He trotted out one obscure academic and several clergy members in support of the measure. One after the other laid out tortured and ill-conceived arguments, paying no heed to pesky constitutional issues such as separation of church and state and equal protection under the law, (Seriously?  Because someone is a minister or priest he is not allowed equal rights to speak?)  not to mention their own guaranteed freedom of choice regarding who can and cannot marry in their own religious settings. (Huh?)
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I was again at the Capitol when the bill's sponsor, Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, sat before the House committee charged with saying yes or no to sending the bill to the floor for a final vote. When Gottwalt's responses failed to convince his questioners, he resorted to the favorite slogan of the amendment's supporters: "Let the people decide" -- as though it were somehow our patriotic duty to decide the rights of a minority group of Minnesotan citizens by popular vote.
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The authors of this cynically divisive legislation deny any partisan political intent, but they are willfully and knowingly endangering Minnesota's LGBT citizens in a bald-faced attempt to consolidate their power base. This amendment is an instrument of antigay rhetoric. It protects nothing and harms much. It contributes powerfully to a culture of bigotry and homophobia that inevitably finds expression in hate crimes. By definition, this amendment is hate speech and bullying. (I'm sure I'll be charged with the same.)
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Gottwalt said of the amendment, "This is not about hatred, it is not about discrimination or intolerance. I have faith we as Minnesotans can have a reasonable dialogue on this issue characterized by respect and decency and allow the people of Minnesota to decide." His disingenuous call for civility was apparently unheard by the man who attacked us.
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I have faith that the majority of Minnesotans will not be persuaded to vote for discrimination. Early polls indicate that the amendment will fail, but as election-year money flows into Minnesota in support of this perverse legislation, it's crucial that the antigay rhetoric about to wash over us be challenged, its sources identified and called out, and yes, Rep. Gottwalt, that "the dialogue on this issue is characterized by respect and decency."  (The money flowing into Minnesota is support of gay-marriage and against this legislation is and will be considerable.  Don't kid yourself, there are very wealthy gay people and gay friendly corporations who finance such things.)
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Let's choose the path leading to a world in which all of us, kids and adults alike, are appalled by homophobic bullying; a world in which hateful legislation such as the Minnesota marriage amendment is denounced as abomination; a world that refuses to accommodate homophobic thugs who attack innocent people as they walk through their own neighborhoods with their friends. - Gary Gimmestad, of Minneapolis, is a musician, arranger, composer and piano teacher.
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One last personal comment.
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Without doubt I sympathize with Gary Gimmestad and what he and his friend went through - these men met hatred face to face in that encounter.  It was wrong - but it wasn't state sponsored or church approved and mandated.
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In my life I've encountered worse incidents; years ago a companion of mine was badly beaten one night when we were out for drinks.  Many years ago now, I too was shoved around leaving bars, walking my dog on a Sunday morning, exiting an elevator in a hotel, walking downtown with a friend.  I've gone through name calling incidents, spitting, contemptuous looks, and so on. 
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Likewise I've been mocked for trying to be a faithful Catholic and embracing Catholic teaching on morality.  Even more ironically, I've been accused by uber trads and religious fanatics of being a sort of 'gay spy' or undercover activist, posting inside jokes and blog articles, hoping to change or undermine the Church's teaching on homosexuality.  I've been accused of being a so-called novus ordo liberal and closet case who just pretends to live a chaste life.  My next door neighbors wouldn't let their kids play in their yard or talk to me for most of their youth because a male friend and I share the house and worked in design.  I'll never forget the day we moved into the neighborhood and a woman walked by and hissed, "Two men in one house!  Sheesh!"  Within the next month the Seventh Day Adventist church across the street put up a poster on the telephone poll outside the house and placed a pamphlet in the mail box on the evils of homosexuality and the coming judgement.  And there I was, trying to mind my own business and live a life faithful to Catholic Church teaching. 
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Gay friends have harassed me over the years as well. For people who constantly whine about bullying, they sure know how to be jerks.  (Thanks Penny!)  I've been gossiped about, laughed about, and a few friends have sent me porn or penis-enlargement information - and before caller ID one or two made obscene and harassing phone calls.  Yup - it was funny - not the crap they sent or said, but their retarded behavior.  So don't cry to me about homophobia, rejection, discrimination and bullying.   
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It's tough all over.  Deal with it.

Anders Behring Breivik, the Neo-Crusader



Knight of the Long Knives.
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If I hadn't read that the Norwegian mass-murdering-domestic-terrorist was a Freemason, I would have thought he must belong to some borderline-sedevacantist, uber rad-trad, right-wing-nut Crusader group. I'm serious - I've read blog posts on trad blogs just as nuts as what Breivik spouted on his site. 
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OSLO (Reuters) - The man suspected of Norway's gun and bomb massacre had belonged to an anti-immigration party and opposed multi-culturalism, Islam and the "cultural Marxists" of the establishment, web postings, acquaintances and officials said Saturday.
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Anders Behring Breivik was accused of gunning down 85 people at a youth camp and killing another seven in a bomb attack on Friday.
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"Before we can start our crusade we must do our duty by decimating cultural marxism," said a caption under a video called "Knights Templar 2083" on the YouTube website.
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At the end of the approximately 12 minute clip, several images appear of Breivik, including one of him in a Navy Seal type scuba diving outfit pointing an automatic weapon.
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Two pictures also appeared earlier on a Facebook page created on July 17. The video was uploaded to YouTube on July 22, the day of the attacks. - Read more here.
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Disclaimer:  My comments referring to right-wingnut sedevacantist trads was not directed at any of my frequent commenters/readers, or the blogs I link to in my sidebar.