Monday, 22 May 2017

SocialJusticeWizard: Masculinity, anime, and gender dysphoria

SocialJusticeWizard: Masculinity, anime, and gender dysphoria

"For the repressed lonely boy, getting into such anime is first of all a way to indulge in the joys of femininity in a way he himself finds acceptable. It may not be entirely socially acceptable for young men to watch “girly” anime, but the male-dominated subculture around them, and the knowledge that the anime are “officially” made for young men, provides sufficient self-justification to overcome the internal fear of indulging in the “girly.” Moreover, the female characters are not only adored, but frequently also sexualized, which provides further masculinity-conformant justification.

Eventually, since the anime girl represents all those repressed emotions in the purest, most concentrated way possible, and as the boy indulges more and more in the media, he is overcome with the desire of becoming like her. A strong identification with the cute anime girl forms. He finally admits he always wanted to be soft and gentle like her, carefree and cheerful like her, enjoy life in its fullest without the heavy chains of masculinity, like her.

And a belief in “female gender identity” begins to form."

The Pocket Scroll| Vernacular Religion in the Latin Middle Ages 1: Homilies

The Pocket Scroll| Vernacular Religion in the Latin Middle Ages 1: Homilies

"Anyway, this canon is interesting because it counters two claims sometimes made by some Protestants (not all Protestants, and not all of them all the time). First, that there was no preaching in the Middle Ages. Second, that the vernacular was forbidden from official church activities in the Middle Ages. These are both false. Given that the Dominican order (founded 1216) is even officially called the Order of Preachers, the idea that people didn’t preach in the Middle Ages very easily refuted; just search your local university library catalogue for medieval preaching. Or sit back and enjoy this anthology by J.M. Neale. Nonetheless, some may still imagine that everything was in Latin."

Evening Standard: U-turn on social care is neither strong nor stable

Evening Standard: U-turn on social care is neither strong nor stable

"The current Tory leaders should have been ready to defend their approach. Instead we had a weekend of wobbles that presumably prompted today’s U-turn. The Pensions Secretary Damian Green was unable to answer basic questions in a TV interview about who will lose their fuel payments, and how much extra money will go into social care."

Just when I was impressed with Theresa May for having the courage to pursue unpopular but necessary policies, she loses her nerve and changes her policy days after releasing the Tory election manifesto.

The Feast of Saint Rita of Cascia

When I am really worried about something, I pray to St. Rita. She is the heavy artillery when you really need a prayer answered. I have never known a prayer not to be answered when I sought the intercession of St. Rita.

Bestow on us, we pray, O Lord, the wisdom and strength of the Cross, with which you were pleased to endow Saint Rita, so that, suffering in every tribulation with Christ, we may participate ever more deeply in his Paschal Mystery. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

The Litany of Saint Rita

Lord have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us.

Holy Patroness of those in need, St. Rita,
pray for us.
St. Rita, whose pleadings before the Divine Lord
are almost irresistible,
pray for us.
St. Rita, who for thy lavishness in granting favors
hast been called the Advocate of the Hopeless,
pray for us.
St. Rita, Advocate of the Impossible,
pray for us.
St. Rita, so humble,
pray for us.
St. Rita, so pure,
pray for us.
St. Rita, so mortified
pray for us.
St. Rita, so patient
pray for us.
St. Rita, of such compassionate love for
thy Crucified Jesus,
pray for us.
St. Rita, obtainer from Christ whatsoever thou askest,
pray for us.
St. Rita, on account of whom all confidently
have recourse to thee,
pray for us.
St. Rita, comforter of thy petitioners,
pray for us.
St. Rita, lavish to thy suppliants in so many cases,
pray for us.
St. Rita, aspiring only for the greater glory of God
pray for us.

By the singular merits of thy childhood,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By the perfect union with the Divine Will,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By thy heroic sufferings during thy married life,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By the consolation thou didst experience at the conversion of thy husband,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By the sacrifice of thy children rather than see them grievously offend God,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By thy miraculous entrance into the convent,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By thy severe penances and thrice daily bloody scourgings,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By the suffering caused by the wound thou didst receive from the thorn of of thy Crucified Savior,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By that Divine Love which consumed thy heart,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By that remarkable devotion to the Blessed Sacrament,
on which alone thou didst exist for four years,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By the happiness with which thou didst part from thy trials to join thy Divine Spouse,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By the perfect example thou didst give to people of every state of life,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].

V. Pray for us, O St. Rita,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Let us pray.
O God, Who in Thine infinite tenderness hast vouchsafed to regard the prayer of Thy servant, blessed Rita, and dost grant to her supplication that which is impossible to human foresight, skill and efforts, in reward for her compassionate love and firm reliance on Thy promise: have pity upon our adversity and succor us in our calamities, that the unbeliever may know Thou art the recompense of the humble, the defense of the helpless, and the strength of those who trust in Thee: Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Saint Rita, pray for us and for all victims of domestic abuse.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Trump says there is no Clash of Civilizations between Islam and the West

Daily News: President Trump offers mellow reversal of anti-Islamic rhetoric in Saudi Arabia speech

President Trump offered a total and complete shutdown of his anti-Islamic bombast Sunday in a Saudi Arabia speech, preaching a message of unity that sidesteps nearly two years of his fiery rhetoric.

Speaking in Riyadh, the birthplace of Islam, the man who once called for a ban on Muslim immigration to America suddenly switched to a supportive tone in his call to combat violent extremism.

“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations,” Trump said in his highly-anticipated address at the Arabic Islamic American Summit.

This is fantastic! All that Islamophobic garbage that Trump and the people supporting him had spouted- well he just went and denied it.

Pope Francis will be very pleased and impressed with Trump when he comes to visit.

Greek 1st Paratrooper Commando Brigade

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Eternity Gate

The Sci-Fi game Warhammer 40,000 has some amazing artwork, but this piece, from the second edition of the game is my favorite. It depicts the eternity gate, leading to the throne of the Emperor of Mankind. As well as the Gothic awesomeness, I love the borrowing of Christian imagery in this artwork.

I got into Warhammer 40,000 as a kid at the same time that my parents moved to another town. This involved switching from going to an Anglican Church to a non-denominational Evangelical church that met in a school. Even at the age of 12, my sense of aesthetics was informed enough to find worshiping in a school with the latest contemporary choruses and a jazz band utterly banal. I greatly missed the Medieval church building I had previously attended. Warhammer 40,000 kept up my love of Gothic architecture and gave me a life long love of English cathedrals. I suspect it also helped to establish my monarchist convictions. I suppose with the Emperor confined to his Golden Throne life-support system and power residing in the High Lords of Terra, the Imperium of Man is a constitutional monarchy like ours. I suspect in the punkish days of early Warhammer 40,000 in the 80s, the corpse-emperor was probably meant as a satire of the queen and the royal family, These days, I think the Emperor is more of a Christ figure, who died and ascended a throne, defeating the powers of evil and establishing cosmic harmony.

I don't play Warhammer 40,000 these days, but I do love reading the Black Libray novels, especially the Horus Heresy series. I recently made reference to Warhammer 40,000 when discussing Sophiology.

Milton Friedman; Champion of Social Security

Friday, 19 May 2017

Huffpost: Universal Basic Income Is the Best Tool to Fight Poverty

Huffpost: Universal Basic Income Is the Best Tool to Fight Poverty

by Scott Santens

"Is universal basic income a poor tool to fight poverty? No. It’s the best tool to fight poverty, because poverty inside a monetary system is quite simply a lack of money. Poverty is the inability to purchase food and housing. It’s the inability to afford a new outfit for that job interview, or transport to the job if given the job. It’s the inability to afford schooling. It’s the inability to focus on anything except for where enough dollars are going to come from to live day by day. Poverty is a lack of resources."

Blue Scorpions

Catholic Herald: Medjugorje report leads Church into uncharted territory, says commission member

Catholic Herald: Medjugorje report leads Church into uncharted territory, says commission member

If the Catholic Church recognises as “worthy of belief” only the initial alleged apparitions of Mary at Medjugorje, it would be the first time the Church distinguished between phases of a single event, a theological expert in Mariology has said.

Fr Salvatore Perrella, president of the Pontifical Institute Marianum and a member of the commission that Benedict XVI established to study the Medjugorje case, said that although Pope Francis has not yet made a formal pronouncement on the presumed apparitions, “he thought it was a good idea to clear some of the fog.”

I have many friends who are enthusiastic about Medjugorje, but I'm a bit sceptical about the apparitions there.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Feast of Saint Celestine V

O God, who hast raised blessed Peter Celestine to the supreme Pontificate, and also taught him to prefer the virtue of humility, mercifully grant that following his example, we may despise the things of this world, and so merit to attain those rewards which Thou hast promised to the humble of heart.

Saint Celestine, pray for us and for Pope Francis.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Feast of Saint Dymphna

Lord, our God, you graciously chose St. Dymphna as patroness of those afflicted with mental and nervous disorders. She is thus an inspiration and a symbol of charity to the thousands who ask her intercession.

Please grant, Lord, through the prayers of this pure youthful martyr, relief and consolation to all suffering such trials, and especially those for whom we pray. (Here mention those for whom you wish to pray).

We beg you, Lord, to hear the prayers of St. Dymphna on our behalf. Grant all those for whom we pray patience in their sufferings and resignation to your divine will. Please fill them with hope, and grant them the relief and cure they so much desire.

We ask this through Christ our Lord who suffered agony in the garden. Amen.

Saint Dymphna, pray for us, for Ireland and for all who are afflicted with mental illness.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Crux: Leading a godless life might lead you to Hell, Pope warns in Fatima

Crux: Leading a godless life might lead you to Hell, Pope warns in Fatima

FATIMA, Portugal - Speaking at the famed shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on the 100th anniversary of the apparitions that took place here a century ago, featuring secrets and revelations from Mary, Pope Francis warned hundreds of thousands of faithful not to live a life that profanes God, because doing so leads to Hell.

“Our Lady foretold, and warned us about, a way of life that is godless and indeed profanes God in his creatures,” Francis said. “Such a life - frequently proposed and imposed - risks leading to Hell.”

It is good to hear this message from the Holy Father. Hell is real and to go there is the greatest danger.

The Blaze: No, Jesus didn’t ‘hang out’ with sinners

The Blaze: No, Jesus didn’t ‘hang out’ with sinners

by Matt Walsh

"Of course, “Jesus hung out with sinners” is a loaded statement. There’s always some erroneous insinuation or conclusion attached to it. “Jesus hung out with sinners, therefore [xyz].” Jesus hung out with sinners, therefore it’s OK for me to do whatever it is I’m doing right now. Jesus hung out with sinners, therefore I need not follow whatever commandment or moral teaching we’re currently discussing. Jesus hung out with sinners, therefore this sin that we’re discussing isn’t as bad as you suggest.

I’ve heard “Jesus hung out with sinners” as a sincere justification for going to strip clubs and gay bars. I’ve seen “Jesus hung out with sinners” trotted out during debates about pornography. Somehow “Jesus hung out with sinners” tends even to enter discussions of abortion. “Jesus hung out with sinners, therefore killing babies is alright.” Generally, whatever the application, the argument is always that Jesus “hung out with” such and such a sinner, which means He didn’t mind such and such a sin."

More no-nonsense staight-talking Evangelical thoughts from Matt Walsh.

Maiden, Mother and Queen, by Roger Greenacre

Roger Greenacre, edited by Colin Podmore, Maiden, Mother and Queen: Mary in the Anglican Tradition, 2013 Canterbury Press

This is an anthology of papers, sermons and addresses by the late Anglican theologian and clergyman, Roger Greenacre, plus a few extra bits. Roger Greenacre was an Anglo-Catholic who served as both a parish priest and chancellor of Chicester Cathedral, as well as maintaining a heavy involvement in promoting ecumenical relations between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.

The first part of this book provides a biography of Greenacre, as well as several tributes to his life. I found it a little frustrating reading these tributes as I knew nothing of the man prior to coming to the book. Perhaps I should have read the rest the book before returning to this first section. The second quarter of the book is a collection of sermons by Greenacre on the merits and glories of the Blessed Virgin Mary. These are very edifying. The next section is a collection of lectures and essays by Greeacre about the place of Mary in Anglican worship and devotion, which looks at the Caroline Divines, the Book of Common Prayer and the revival of Mariology in the Oxford Movement. I was aware of some of the Caroline Divines that Greenacre mentions on the subject of invocation of the saints from reading William Palmer's annotations on the Russian Orthodox catechism. There is some repetition of material between the material presented here, as might be expected in an anthology.

The final part of the book addresses the subject of the Mother of God in ecumenicism. I found myself frustrated by the way Greenacre quotes approvingly of theologians who caution against excess and exaggeration in Mariology. Being a Marian maximalist, I hold that if one is orthodox in doctrine, there can never ever be any excess or exaggeration in devotion to Mary. We venerate Mary because she is the mother of Christ. If our veneration of Mary is 'excessive,' its 'excess' is ultimately directed towards Christ. He also argues that the proclamation of Mary's Co-Redemptorship and Co-Mediation would be a disaster for ecumenical relations with Anglicans and other Protestants. I would suggest that ecumenical relations have become so poor that we would be past caring about so subtle a theological point.

This is for the most part a lovely book, showing the depth of devotion that can be found among some Anglicans. I do feel sad that a man such as Greenacre who was so Catholic in his Mariology and so close to Catholics on a personal level never made the step of joining the Catholic Church.

The Feast of Saint Matthias

O ALMIGHTY God, who into the place of the traitor Judas didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias to be of the number of the twelve Apostles; Grant that thy Church, being alway preserved from false Apostles, may be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Matthias, pray for us and for all those who faithfully serve the Church without recognition.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Eastern Ukraine Situation Report 13th May

This is war. This is Europe. This is happening today.

Catholic Herald| Cardinal Nichols: Christians ‘will persist’ in being ‘awkward’ about sexual morality

Catholic Herald| Cardinal Nichols: Christians ‘will persist’ in being ‘awkward’ about sexual morality

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the most senior Catholic cleric in England and Wales, has said the Church will continue to be “obstinate” about gay marriage and other questions of sexual morality.

Answering questions after a talk at St Ethelburga’s Centre, London, Cardinal Nichols was asked about the Church’s response to homophobia. The cardinal said that society had become more empathetic and compassionate towards gay people, and that he “rejoiced” in the change.

However, he went on to say that Catholics “still stand for” a definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman” which is open to new life.

Cardinal Nichols went on: “There has never been a time when Christian sexual morality has been totally accepted in any society.” But, he said, Christians would “persist” in being “awkward” on such matters.

The New York Times: "If Liberals Hate Him, Then Trump Must Be Doing Something Right"

The New York Times: "If Liberals Hate Him, Then Trump Must Be Doing Something Right"

by Charles J. Sykes

"Here is how it works: Rather than defend President Trump’s specific actions, his conservative champions change the subject to (1) the biased “fake news” media, (2) over-the-top liberals, (3) hypocrites on the left, (4) anyone else victimizing Mr. Trump or his supporters and (5) whataboutism, as in “What about Obama?” “What about Clinton?”

For the anti-anti-Trump pundit, whatever the allegation against Mr. Trump, whatever his blunders or foibles, the other side is always worse.

But the real heart of anti-anti-Trumpism is the delight in the frustration and anger of his opponents. Mr. Trump’s base is unlikely to hold him either to promises or tangible achievements, because conservative politics is now less about ideas or accomplishments than it is about making the right enemies cry out in anguish."

The Federalist: How Conversion Therapy Bans Will Trap Transgender Children

The Federalist: How Conversion Therapy Bans Will Trap Transgender Children

by Marcus Gregory

'Consider this scenario, based on real events: One day, your high-school-age daughter comes to you with a surprising announcement. She has a history of psychological problems and is unhappy with the pressures of being a young girl. She has spent a great deal of time online reading about transgender and is certain she must really be a transgender man: her gender identity is that of a man. She wants to go on testosterone and cut her breasts off.

After you talk it over with her, she agrees to find a therapist to see if she could be happy with herself without drastic treatment. However, a nationwide law bans any professional from offering care that doesn’t uphold her feeling she is transgender. Instead, your teen daughter takes hormones, which sterilize her healthy body, lower her voice, and change her bone structure, and goes to live as a man. Years later, her body irreversibly damaged, she changes her mind and bitterly regrets losing her fertility. “Why did they let me do this to myself as a child?”'

Friday, 12 May 2017

The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

O God, who chose the Mother of your Son to be our Mother also, grant us that, persevering in penance and prayer for the salvation of the world, we may further more effectively each day the reign of Christ. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

The Litany of Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for our dear country.
Our Lady of Fatima, sanctify our clergy.
Our Lady of Fatima, make our Catholics more fervent.
Our Lady of Fatima, guide and inspire those who govern us.
Our Lady of Fatima, cure the sick who confide in thee.
Our Lady of Fatima, console the sorrowful who trust in thee.
Our Lady of Fatima, help those who invoke your aid.
Our Lady of Fatima, deliver us from all dangers.
Our Lady of Fatima, help us to resist temptation.
Our Lady of Fatima, obtain for us all that we lovingly ask of thee.
Our Lady of Fatima, help those who are dear to us.
Our Lady of Fatima, bring back to the right road our erring brothers.
Our Lady of Fatima, give us back our ancient fervor.
Our Lady of Fatima, obtain for us pardon of our manifold sins and offenses.
Our Lady of Fatima, bring all men to the feet of thy Divine Child.
Our Lady of Fatima, obtain peace for the world.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Let Us Pray:
O God of infinite goodness and mercy, fill our hearts with a great confidence in Thy dear Mother, whom we invoke under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary and our Lady of Fatima, and grant us by her powerful intercession all the graces, spiritual and temporal, which we need.
Through Christ our Lord.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us, for Portugal and for the conversion of Russia.

Howitzers in Austria

Cap X: Certain europhobes disgraced themselves during the French election

Cap X: Certain europhobes disgraced themselves during the French election

by Alex Massie

"A reminder, too, that some of the talk about a civilised, grown-up, respectful Brexit was only talk. For some, it is not enough that Britain succeed; the EU must fail. The days when Brexit was simply a common-sense reform of our constitutional arrangements are long gone, replaced by a desire to see the whole European house come tumbling down. That would, after all, be a sweet vindication of Britain’s decision to leave. Few things are more satisfying than vindication.

“Taking back control” is not enough; the euroweenies must appreciate that, to adapt 1066 And All That, Britain was right and romantic while the Europeans remain wrong and revolting. Macron’s victory, the Telegraph worried, might be bad news for Britain because he’d take a tougher line on Brexit. A measure of parochial self-interest is unavoidable in these affairs but there remained something unseemly about the relish with which so many Eurosceptics welcomed the possibility of an election result that would have been disastrous for the EU and, not incidentally, for France too.

At least the broadsheet columnists largely allowed that Le Pen, though she might be onto something, remained just a little bit infra dig. No such reticence was felt in wilder, less respectable organisations. Leave.EU and Ukip’s remaining true believers didn’t bother to hide their full-throated support for Le Pen. When the mask dropped, you realise there was a mighty good reason the mask was worn in the first place."

Great article. The barely concealed sympathy for Le Pen from Brexiteers was truly appalling.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

New Atlanticist: The West’s Future Depends on the Political Center

New Atlanticist: The West’s Future Depends on the Political Center

by Stanley R. Sloan

"NATO has served US and European interests well since it was founded sixty-eight years ago.

For Europe, it provided a security blanket under which European democracies could stabilize, while rebuilding their economies aided by the construction of a “community” system that became today’s EU. The Alliance served its primary purpose of deterring aggression by the Soviet Union while balancing Soviet power and helping maintain the peace.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has proven to be the most important instrument in dealing with threats to international stability—starting with the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s and continuing today with responses to the dual threats of Russian revisionism and terrorism fomented by the Islamic State and al Qaeda.

For the United States, the Alliance has ensured that no hostile power would control the European continent—a longstanding component of American grand strategy—and stimulated the emergence of a Europe that shares American values and has become an important trade and financial partner. Despite persistent European shortfalls in defense spending, the allies have generally supported the United States in responding to international security challenges, particularly coming to its aid following the 9/11 attacks—the only time that NATO’s collective defense provision has been invoked. The allies then sent tens of thousands of soldiers to support the US military effort in Afghanistan, while providing overall management of the military effort by leading the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Today, while the transatlantic community faces serious external threats, it also has to deal with internal political challenges to the values on which “the West” is based. NATO and EU members must also deal with the factors that are giving rise to illiberal political tendencies that are eroding democratic institutions and processes, even after the defeat of Le Pen."

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Gurkha Snipers

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The Feast of Saint Damien of Molokai

Father of mercy, who gave us in Saint Damien a shining witness of love for the poorest and most abandoned, grant that, by his intercession, as faithful witnesses of the heart of your Son Jesus, we too may be servants of the most needy and rejected. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Damien of Molokai, pray for us and for Hawaii.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Washington Examiner: Why Macron's victory in the French presidential election is good for American conservatives

Washington Examiner: Why Macron's victory in the French presidential election is good for American conservatives

by Tom Rogan

"Consider national security. Unlike Le Pen, Macron is avowedly pro-American. He supports NATO and cooperation on issues of shared concern. This includes countering Iranian influence in the Middle East and the rise of Islamist terrorist organizations in Africa. But Macron is also more questioning, let us say, towards Vladimir Putin. This is also a good thing. As I've explained, there is nothing wrong with President Trump wanting good relations with Russia. But there is a lot wrong with believing that Putin wants to have good relations with the U.S. Macron's arrival offers the prospect on renewed economic pressure — and western unity — in challenging Putin to abandon Syrian President Bashar Assad, for example. Unless we see that pressure, Putin will keep pushing against U.S. interests around the world. "

Independent: Finland's universal basic income trial for unemployed reduces stress levels, says official

Independent: Finland's universal basic income trial for unemployed reduces stress levels, says official

Citizens receiving a basic monthly income as part of a radical Finnish pilot scheme have seen a reduction in their stress levels, an official leading the trial has said.

The first of its kind in Europe, the scheme sees 2,000 people receive 560 euros (£473) every month for two years. Recipients do not have to report whether they are seeking employment or how they are spending the money, which is deducted from any benefits they are already receiving.

Marjukka Turunen, head of KELA, the legal unit at Finland's social insurance agency, said as well as cutting bureaucracy, reducing costs and tackling poverty, the scheme was having an indirectly positive effect on people's mental health.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Well done, Monsieur Macron

As Father Anthony Chadwick says, I'm a smug little establishment conservative, so yeah, I'm pleased.

The French people have spoken. They have voted against fear, racism and bigotry. They have voted for Europe. They have voted for the European values of tolerance, respect and decency.

The Blaze: Dear Christians, there’s nothing ‘compassionate’ about helping people get to Hell

The Blaze: Dear Christians, there’s nothing ‘compassionate’ about helping people get to Hell

by Matt Walsh

First, the habitual and unrepentant sinner whose sin is being so politely and nicely tolerated. It may be true that this person will feel relieved to be encouraged in his wickedness and told that it’s really very good and natural for him to do whatever it is he wants to do. He may be grateful for such an assurance. For now. But the wickedness he partakes in still destroys him all the same. He is brought closer to eternal damnation all the same. And for us to facilitate this easy and casual descent into the fires of Hell is not compassionate. It’s rather like injecting morphine into a man’s hand so that he no longer feels pain when he places his palm on a hot stove. Not feeling pain is nice, but the problem is that the guy’s hand is still getting burnt to a crisp. Better that he feel the pain and save his hand. Better that the sinner feel the weight of his sin and save his soul.

Matt Walsh tells it like it is. Immorality is immorality and if we tell people otherwise, we are simply leading them towards everlasting torment in the fires of hell.

Borderland, by Anna Reid

Anna Reid, Borderland: A Journey through the History of Ukraine, Second edition 2015 Weidenfield and Nicolson, London

This book felt similar to Simon Winder's Germania and Danubia, which combined travel writing with historical exposition. Anna Reid tells the story of the history of Ukraine, while also giving a very vivid picture of what Ukraine looks and feels like. Where it differs from Winder's books is in the interviews she conducts with Ukrainians. Her focus is on modern Ukraine and the direction she has been going.

This is a second edition. The original edition was published in 1997 and some pretty significant events have happened since then. The updated edition includes chapters covering the Orange Revolution, Maidan, the Russian occupation of Crimea and the Russian backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine, as well as reflections on Ukrainian politics and the nation's future. Of opposition politician and former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, Reid says most Ukrainians think her incarceration put her in 'the right place for the wrong reasons.'

This is a very interesting book and was mostly very enjoyable to read, if at times a little depressing, as Reid focuses a lot on the tragedies that have sadly befallen Ukraine. It is somewhat biased in its negative portrayal of the country and might come across as having a rather condescending western tone of superiority. The impression she gives is of Ukraine being a morass of corruption and kleptocracy, ignoring the progress and reforms that have been achieved. While Reid does not seem to be a fan of Putin, some readers have detected something of a pro-Russian bias to the book. The title seems problematic, serving the narrative that Ukraine is not a legitimate nation, but a collision of frontiers. Is Ukraine a borderland? If she is, she is a very big one.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Eastern Ukraine Situation Report 6th May

This is war. This is Europe. This is happening today.

Iluminated Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

2016 Caritas Publishing

I already have the modern Catholic Publishing Corps edition of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin and the Bridgentine Daily Office of Mary. I also have the short set of hours of Mary in A Catholic Book of Hours. I bought this book because I fancied having a Little Office in more traditional language (my heart belongs to the King James Version). This book is indeed traditional in using the Douay-Rheims Bible, though strangely, some of the prayers are in contemporary English. I couldn't help concluding after using this, that the Douay-Rheims Psalms do not flow nearly as beautifully as the Coverdale Psalms in the Book of Common Prayer or in the King James Bible and feel somewhat awkward and cumbersome in language.

This edition of the Little Office tries to emulate the Medieval books of hours with their beautiful illuminations. It therefore contains illuminated pages with Medieval illustrations. The book is not nearly as decorated as a Medieval primer, but the illustrated pages are distracting enough. Call me a Puritan if you like, but I bought the book to say the prayers rather than to look at the pictures.

The office has the hours of matins, lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers and compline. Each hours begins with a Hail Mary, which is a very worthy touch. Separate offices are provided for Advent and Christmas, while there are minor variations for Easter and Lent. The big limitation of this book is that, unlike the Catholic Publishing Corps edition, it has no daily variations, so one has the same set of Psalms and prayers every day.

This prayer book will appeal a lot to traditionalists who want an alternative to the Liturgy of the Hours, but personally I think one would miss out a lot if one used this exclusively for daily prayers. Still, any resources that foster increased devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary are to be welcomed.

Independent: Hate crimes almost doubled in schools during Brexit campaign period, figures reveal

Independent: Hate crimes almost doubled in schools during Brexit campaign period, figures reveal

Reports of hate crimes in schools almost doubled during the Brexit campaign, new figures have shown.

There was an 89 per cent rise in police reports of hate crime last May, the month before the referendum was held, compared to the same month the previous year, according to figures obtained by the Times Educational Supplement (TES) through Freedom of Information requests.

The statistics, based on responses from 30 of England's police forces, also show that in the three months surrounding the 23 June vote — May, June and July last year — reported hate crimes and incidents in schools increased by 54 per cent.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Some Friends of Mine

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Independent: Tory think tank rounds on May over pledge to cut net migration to below 100,000

Independent: Tory think tank rounds on May over pledge to cut net migration to below 100,000

A leading Conservative think tank has urged Theresa May to drop the Government’s target to reduce net migration when the party issues its general election manifesto.

Bright Blue, a group of modernisers who describe themselves as liberal conservatives, has attacked the goal of bringing net migration below 100,000 a year as “arbitrary, indiscriminate and unachievable".

The group’s advisory board includes Damian Green, the Work and Pensions Secretary and former immigration minister; George Freeman, who chairs Ms May’s No 10 policy board; and the former ministers Nicky Morgan, Maria Miller, Nick Boles and Lord (David) Willetts.

Happy Retirement to the Duke of Edinburgh

National Review: A Conservative Defense of Women’s Rights

National Review: A Conservative Defense of Women’s Rights

by Kaeley Triller

"The data consistently show that 99 percent of sexual crimes against females were committed by males. When the data change, then maybe we can have a discussion about whether or not anatomy matters. I won’t be holding my breath. In the meantime, it’s hard to overstate the significance of anatomy. Anatomy is why girls are trained to never to walk alone at night, to carry pepper spray, to use a buddy system. Like skin color, biological sex is not something one can peel off at the end of the day, or paint on with liquid eyeliner and fishnets. Anatomy is what puts women on the losing end of the power differential almost every single time.

And speaking of the power differential: Gender-identity politics carry deeply troubling implications for women’s sports. Is it really okay for Fallon Fox, a transwoman, to compete against females, hitting one of them so hard that it shattered her eye socket and ended her career? Is it okay for a biological male to claim the $500 first prize in a woman’s marathon? When do women ever win in this equation? Are there any women in the NFL? The NBA? MLB? Has anyone actually thought this through? Research from the Women’s Sports Foundation indicates that female athletes already receive 63,000 fewer opportunities at NCAA institutions than males do, and we receive $183 million less in NCAA athletic scholarships. We can’t afford to relinquish our coveted spots to men, nor should anyone ask us to."

Monday, 1 May 2017

Workers' Day

The Feast of Saint Athanasius

Almighty ever-living God, who raised up the Bishop Saint Athanasius as an outstanding champion of your Son's divinity, mercifully grant, that, rejoicing in his teaching and his protection, we may never cease to grow in knowledge and love of you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Athanasius, pray for us, for all for theologians and for the Christians of Egypt.

The Athanasian Creed

WHOSOEVER would be saved / needeth before all things to hold fast the Catholic Faith.

2 Which Faith except a man keep whole and undefiled, / without doubt he will perish eternally.

3 Now the Catholic Faith is this, / that we worship one God in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity;

4 Neither confusing the Persons, / nor dividing the Substance.

5 For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, / another of the Holy Ghost;

6 But the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one, / the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.

7 Such as the Father is, such is the Son, / and such is the Holy Ghost;

8 The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, the Holy Ghost uncreated;

9 The Father infinite, the Son infinite, the Holy Ghost infinite;

10 The Father eternal, the Son eternal, the Holy Ghost eternal;

11 And yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal;

12 As also there are not three uncreated, nor three infinites, / but one infinite, and one uncreated.

13 So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, / the Holy Ghost almighty;

14 And yet there are not three almighties, but one almighty.

15 So the Father is God, the Son God, the Holy Ghost God;

16 And yet there are not three Gods, / but one God.

17 So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, / the Holy Ghost Lord;

18 And yet there are not three Lords, / but one Lord.

19 For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity / to confess each Person by himself to be both God and Lord;

20 So are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion / to speak of three Gods or three Lords.

21 The Father is made of none, / nor created, nor begotten.

22 The Son is of the Father alone; / not made, nor created, but begotten.

23 The Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son; / not made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

24 There is therefore one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; / one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.

25 And in this Trinity there is no before or after, / no greater or less;

26 But all three Persons are co-eternal together, / and co-equal.

27 So that in all ways, as is aforesaid, / both the Trinity is to be worshipped in Unity, and the Unity in Trinity.

28 He therefore that would be saved, / let him thus think of the Trinity.

29 FURTHERMORE, it is necessary to eternal salvation, / that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

30 Now the right Faith is that we believe and confess / that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and Man.

31 He is God, of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; / and he is Man, of the Substance of his Mother, born in the world;

32 Perfect God; / perfect Man, of reasoning soul and human flesh subsisting;

33 Equal to the Father as touching his Godhead;/ less than the Father as touching his Manhood.

34 Who although he be God and Man, / yet he is not two, but is one Christ;

35 One, however, not by conversion of Godhead into flesh, / but by taking of Manhood into God;

36 One altogether; / not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person.

37 For as reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ;

38 Who suffered for our salvation, / descended into hell, rose again from the dead;

39 Ascended into heaven, sat down at the right hand of the Father, / from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

40 At whose coming all men must rise again with their bodies, / and shall give account for their own deeds.

41 And they that have done good will go into life eternal; / they that have done evil into eternal fire.

42 THIS is the Catholic Faith, / which except a man do faithfully and stedfastly believe, he cannot be saved.

GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, / and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, / world without end. Amen.

A Hymn to Terrify the Protestants

1. Bring flowers of the fairest
Bring flowers the rarest,
From garden and woodland and hillside and dale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest flower of the vale!

Refrain: O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

2. Our voices ascending, in harmony blending,
Oh! thus may our hearts turn, dear Mother, to thee;
Oh! thus shall we prove thee
how truly we love thee,
How dark without Mary, life's journey would be. Refrain

3. O Virgin most tender,
our homage we render,
Thy love and protection, sweet Mother, to win;
In danger defend us,
in sorrow befriend us,
As pure as the lilies we lay at your feet.Refrain

4.Their lady they name thee,
Their mistress proclaim thee,
Ah, grant that thy children on earth be as true
as long as the bowers
are radiant with flowers,
as long as the azure shall keep its bright hue. Refrain

5.Sing gaily in chorus;
the bright angels o'er us
re-echo the strains we begin upon earth;
their harps are repeating
the notes of our greeting,
for Mary herself is the cause of our mirth Refrain

This has become my favorite Catholic hymn. It's in part a counter-reaction to my hostility as a fundamentalist Protestant to Mariology. This would probably have horrified me years ago. A song about crowning the statue of Mary with flowers in May, like a pagan goddess of Spring. I'm going to try and sing it every day this May.

I argued not that long ago, that in a sense, Mary is Mother Earth. The Earth was created for Christ, to bring life to Him that He might indwell the cosmos. Likewise, Mary was created to bring life to Christ, to bring Him into the world.

M1A2 Abrams

The Feast of Saint Tamara

Let the mountain-tops and vales of Georgia sound with songs of praise to laud Tamara as the vessel of wisdom, the smiling sun, the sword of truth, the conversion of infidels, the most harmonious reed-pipe of Jesus Christ, and our fervent intercessor before the King of Kings, entreating Him to grant great mercy unto us.

O Thou whom thy people called a king in justice and truth, the father of orphans and the judge of widows, thou sun which shone on the Georgian land, thou who spentest all thy strength defending thy kingdom, rise up, O Tamara, and defend us now also, and by thine intercessions with Christ, save us from sufferings.

Saint Tamara, pray for us and for Georgia.