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Flightline Friday: Obama quietly expanding US missile defense after allowing Iran to obtain nukes May 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, disaster, Flightline Friday, foolishness, pr stunts, scandals, silliness, Society, technology.
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I’ve seen quite a bit on this lately.  The sole national missile defense system presently operating to defend the Contiguous United States (CONUS) – the Ground Based Mid-Course Intercept system – is being expanded.  The number of interceptors stationed in Alaska is going to be nearly doubled, and, much more significantly, a second interceptor site, along with associated radars and command and control facilities are going to be deployed to the eastern US to deal specifically with the Iranian threat.

More below. I am out of time:

Among the first acts the Obama administration took in the arena of international affairs was to scrap a Bush-era plan to provide Poland and the Czech Republic with interceptor missiles and radar installations.

Many accurately saw the move as a gift to Moscow as part of the Obama White House’s ill-fated “reset” in relations with Russia. Since interceptor technology has existed, the Kremlin has regarded even meager missile defense installations in Europe as destabilizing, since they could theoretically weaken the very pillars of deterrence by neutralizing Russia’s ability to mount a retaliatory nuclear strike. Like so many pronouncements from Moscow, this theory was accepted as the gospel truth by the forever credulous academic left, and Barack Obama dutifully codified it as American foreign policy once he assumed command of the reins of government.

Critics of the Obama administration’s antipathy toward missile defense countered that a massive volley of Russian missiles could not be thwarted by a handful of interceptors. Moreover, Russia was not the nation that the Western powers were trying to deter. Only the threat posed by a small number of missiles launched from a rogue state like Iran could be neutralized by the proposed missile defense installations in Europe.

“I think we are fully capable and secure dealing with any present or future potential Iranian threat,” Vice President Joe Biden insisted dismissively in 2009.

Guess not.

“President Barack Obama will re-engage with Gulf State allies at a summit next week on a proposal for a common ballistic missile defense system that could act as a deterrent to a potentially nuclear armed Iran,” read a CNN report published on Wednesday. The dispatch cited an unnamed U.S. official familiar with the administration’s thinking on regional security matters……..

…….This is apparently only one prong of a multifaceted approach to enhancing the security capabilities of America’s allies in an increasingly unstable and chaotic region. Other elements of this strategy will include maritime and border security measures.

And the very quiet expansion of GBI to defend CONUS.  That, plus more Burke class destroyers are going to be equipped with SM-3 ballistic missile interceptors.

Well…..it shall only cost us a few tens of billions of dollars to make up for Obama’s muslim sympathies and disastrously inept foreign policy decisions. If we’re lucky……I should say, that’s the least it will cost us.  If we are unlucky, it could cost far, far more.  And his decision to basically allow Iran to acquire nukes makes his decision to block the planned GBI system in eastern Europe look even more craven and ridiculous.  But anything Bush was bad and had to go.

A good, high level overview on Luther and the start of the protestant revolt May 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, paganism, reading, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.
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So I’m reading a new book on Church history called The Church Under Attack by Diane Moczar.  Having read all of Dr. Warren Carroll’s very good Christendom series, and many other more scholarly books aside, this one looks on the lighter side. It tries to cover 400+ years of history in about 220 pages, which means you’re getting only the broadest strokes.  But Moczar pulls few punches, writes from an orthodox Catholic perspective, and writes in a humorous, jabbing, style, so even though the book is lighter on content than I usually prefer I’m enjoying it quite a bit.  It would probably make a very good book to introduce Catholics just coming to Tradition or just beginning to study Church history to the concept of the Church experiencing revolt, persecution, and abandonment at the hands of the protestant revolutionaries, rather than the usual presentation of the so-called reformation in secular/protestant dominated sources as being this great work of liberty and modernity.

From the first chapter, Moczar starts in on Luther and the sect he founded and doesn’t let up:

For the years before 1517 [Luther] had been a tormented monk and an unhappy priest, obsessed with guilt and developing startling new ideas on human nature and salvation. [Ideas founded to explain away his own inability to remain chaste and temperate]  He was not simply indignant at the sinful lives of some clergy, nor was it even the spectacle of papal Rome during the Renaissance that scandalize him.   He made use of these points later, but when he visited Rome as a younger man he seems to have said nothing about its [ostensible]  moral failings.  it was his new theology that absorbed him, and the indulgence issue gave him his opportunity to proclaim it.

…..Among the doctrines invented by Luther that were really new in Christian thought, five stand out as truly revolutionary. [and heretical]   First, Luther saw human nature as totally depraved, although the Church had never taught this.  Human nature is good because it is created by God, although because of Original Sin it has been weakened and beset by sinful tendencies.  Secondly, because we are so depraved, thought Luther, we cannot help sinning. Indeed, everything we do – even “good” works – are sins: “Sin boldly, but believe more boldly still!”  This amounts to a denial of free will. Thirdly, Luther distrusted reason: “Reason is the devil’s whore; it must be drowned at Baptism.” [Do righteous, saintly men speak like this?  And Luther very often said far coarser things than this]  This may echo the pessimism of William of Ockham, whose ideas were popular in sixteenth century German universities.  Again, it is opposed to the Catholic view of reason as the means by which we come to know truth, and therefore both good and necessary to faith. [Which Aquinas, building on Augustine, proved to a point of utmost philosophical certainty to be true]  Fourthly, we come to the famous sola fides principle enunciated by Luther. only faith, he declared, leads to salvation, and he defined faith subjectively, as a sort of “fiduciary trust” that Christ will save us.  For the Catholic, faith is the assent of the intellect moved by the will and prompted by Grace, to all the truths God has revealed. It is not of itself sufficient for salvation because we need hope, charity, and other virtues and “works” also. Lastly, sola scriptura was Luther’s radical answer to the question of where the authentic teaching of Christ was to be found: in Scripture alone.  Here he was rejecting the oral teaching of the Apostles transmitted by the Church (Tradition), as well as the dogmatic teachings of the popes and councils. [As I have argued in the past, Sacred Tradition can be seen to be greater than Sacred Scripture, since the Tradition predates Scripture, and especially the dogmatically-defined Canon of Scripture (the books dogmatically viewed as divinely-inspired)] Any Christian who prayerfully reads Scripture, Luther thought, would be guided by the Holy Ghost to its meaning.  No need for priests to explain what it meant.

As his new sect became organized, Luther decided it could do without priests, religious, most of the Sacraments, and a hierarchy.  When he realized there had to be some authority to settle disputes that might arise within the Lutheran community, he appealed to the local duke, saying that none of the community had received a calling to do the job, so would his highness do it? His highness was only too glad to do so; this was just what secular authorities in Germany had wanted all through the Middle Ages – the chance to control religion.  Everywhere, in fact, the new protestant religions would be imposed by lords and kings, and religion would become entangled with politics and an emerging nationalism…….

…..Peasants took some of Luther’s ideas so literally that they mounted a widespread revolt against their landlords, whereupon Luther urged merciless suppression of the “lying, thieving peasants,” and tens of thousands were slaughtered………..

……..Of course, none of the innovators of the new religions proved their novel propositions or backed them up with miracles, but somehow they gained a following. [Often, by having convinced both the secular authority and illiterate, half-formed peasants to their side.]

———–End Quote———–

I’m running out of time as always on Friday, but I’d just add that prior to devolving final doctrinal authority to the secular princes, Luther made himself the sole judge of Scripture, whose judgments all had to accept unquestioningly.  Luther had at least as much bile for those protestants who took his advice to read Scripture and come to their own conclusions, but different from his, as he did for the Church.  Basically Luther promoted himself Pope and even Jesus Christ over his new sect.

That this is true, is evidenced by the degree to which Melancthon and other more “moderate” Lutherans had to conduct a “reformation of the reformation” in order to curb the unsustainable excesses of Luther’s thought, and bring back to a more defensible position his more extreme claims.  Thus, Lutheranism after Luther moved much closer to a Catholic position, while always retaining at least lip service to many of his more extreme errors.  But Lutheranism maintains to this day many formal heresies regarding justification, salvation, the source of Divine Revelation, etc.

The other point is that Luther’s prime doctrinal point of the Bible being the sole rule of Faith, and individual interpretation of Scripture, remains the driving force behind the continuing fracturing of the protestant sects, who have multiplied so much in the past 50 years it is really impossible to keep count, though generally there are believed to be tens of thousands of different sects right now.  If there be no final authority to settle matters of belief (reliance on princes having broken down centuries ago), then it is inevitable that squabbling, fallen men will continue to revolt and divide, revolt and divide, until we literally have the “house church” phenomenon of today, where a family or small group of families form their own tiny “church” according to their own beliefs.  A quintessentially American approach to the Christian faith, no?

Progressives love anti-religious art – provided it’s anti-Christian May 8, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.
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Some readers might say: “well, duh,” but I think the deeply ingrained………is hatred too strong a word?………for Christianity among the more militant on the left is starting to be understood by even more secular, or weakly Christian conservatives.

Of course, any student of the left knows that it is nothing if not hypocritical.  Blasphemous and sacrilegious depictions of the sacred are fine, so long as the religion being mocked and ridiculed is Christianity.  Other religions not only get a pass, but deserve special, even fawning, treatment.  I’ve argued here for some time that the core belief of the political-cultural left, and the entire reason for its coming into being, has always been their desire to see Christianity, and especially the Church, crushed.  They vary from agnostic to enthusiastic when it comes to other faiths – the more obscure, false, and permissive of sexual license (pagan, wicca, certain eastern religions, etc), the better.

Some interesting points to pick apart below:

Why aren’t liberals offering Pamela Geller a federal subsidy? Geller is the blogger-activist who organized the “Draw Muhammad” exhibition in Garland, Texas, which inspired some DIY jihadists to attack the event. The would-be terrorists chose poorly: They were cut down by Texas lawmen shortly after wounding a security guard.

Let’s hop in the WayBack Machine for a moment.

In 1986, the National Endowment of Arts paid about $20,000 for Andreas Serrano’s “Piss Christ.” Serrano peed in a glass, plunked a plastic icon of Jesus on the cross into it, and then snapped a picture………[follows a list of similar blasphemies displaying zero talent and endless bile. Also notes that many Christians and others objected not so much to the creation of such art, but through their having to pay for it through the National Endowment for the (leftist) Arts.]

………Federal subsidies for “art” — or even art without scare quotes — are legitimately controversial for all sorts of reasons: Surely the government has higher priorities; bureaucrats shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers, in the marketplace or the art gallery; it’s particularly annoying to be asked to fund expression you find inartistic and obscene.

Thomas Jefferson said it well: “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” [Probably said as a complaint against British taxation, but I imagine Jefferson would be aghast at the present system of compelling Church entities to fund activities directly counter to our beliefs, like abortion and contraception.  Funny how the federal government doesn’t seem all that interested in forcing muslim schools to do the same.]

……….But I am utterly baffled how people who think it’s censorship to withdraw funding for anti-Christian “hate speech” can argue that private individuals have no right to express anti-Muslim views. [And that is precisely what is being argued by a substantial majority of the media.]

“While we have freedom of speech,” a New York Daily News columnist insisted, “we also have freedom of religion, which shouldn’t be impinged upon.” [Full stop. Really.  REALLY?!?  So did this same  columnist write pieces vigorously protesting Obama’s persecution of the Church and other Christians in violation of that supposedly sacrosanct freedom of religion?  How much do you want to bet the author is fully in favor of churches being forced to “marry” sodomites, and would be very happy to see us persecuted if we refuse?  Given the reflexive progressivism of the author, and the many pieces she has written favorably covering matters like “transgenderism” and fake same-sex marriage, it’s almost certain she would favor seeing churches losing their tax exempt status or being otherwise persecuted for refusing to hop on the latest cultural shibboleth]

CNN’s Chris Cuomo, a law-school grad, tweeted that Geller’s “hate speech” isn’t protected by the Constitution. At first Cuomo suggested proof of this could be found in the Constitution itself. He then hastily clarified that it fails the “fighting words” doctrine of the Supreme Court. [His argument has been completely destroyed elsewhere]

I’m dubious about that. But if he’s right, the lesson is clear: Violence pays.

Which is one reason why the left has a massive double standard between Christianity and islam, certainly.  They do fear them, very much.

But it takes more than just fear of islam to argue that drawing pictures of a supposed prophet is so out of bounds that those promoting such work had a terrorist attack “coming to them” while arguing that denial of federal funding to those who blaspheme with urine and elephant dung the literal God Incarnate, believed (even still) by a large majority of Americans, is such an assault on “free speech” it constitutes the veritable collapse of the Republic.  These two beliefs are not even remotely reconcilable. And yet they are held by a huge majority of the self-anointed elite that constitutes our political/media class.

That discrepancy can only be explained by a deep seeded animus towards Christianity. So when we have that animus on the one hand, always seeking avenues to persecute and marginalize believing Christians, and the trembling obeisance offered to islam on the other, am I alone in seeing a disturbingly diabolical inclination?