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Mainstream conservatives starting to get it: leftism is a primarily religious belief system January 11, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, paganism, Revolution, secularism, sickness, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.
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I’m short of time for the day if I’d like to go to Mass tonight, but I appreciated this article at The Weekly Standard, especially given that said publication tends to skew quite secular/agnostic, and has not often been a friend of the so-called “religious right.”  Writer David Gelernter notes what’s been apparent to many readers of this blog for a very long time: leftism is not so much a political philosophy, as a religious one.  That difference explains the mean-spiritedness and tendency to reject reason and logic on the part of the left.  This is different from adherents to Christianity, or at least sacramental Christianity, which has always been based on, and had a profound respect for, the use of reason and logical argument.  Thus, the left, as is so typical, is projecting their own fallacies onto well-formed Catholics when they view us as emotional, uninformed, illogical, and prone to magical thinking.

Unfortunately, the writer errs fairly fundamentally, because he believes left-wing partisans simply turn their politics into religion, missing the primary point: leftism is, and always has been, set up as a competing religion to Christianity.  It bears all the hallmarks of religion, even though it is patently false:

…..Conservatives, bursting with facts and ideas (and anger and dismay), are eager to have it out with liberals and maybe even convince a few. Liberals are eager to make assertions and strike moral poses, but not to respond to rational argument or speak to the facts. [Many left-wingers hold certain “facts” (often blatantly false) at their disposal, but they tend to be surface-oriented. There is rarely great depth of knowledge.  Once the veneer is pierced, anger and ad hominems tend to dominate]

Where does the asymmetry come from? American conservatives tend to be Christians or Jews. Liberals tend to be atheists or agnostics. [It’s a vicious circle.  I believe leftism predisposes individuals towards atheism/rejection of God, which drives them further left, which antagonizes them towards Christianity more, propelling them still further left, etc.] ……… Almost all human beings need religion, as subway-riders need overhead grab bars. The religious impulse strikes conservatives and liberals alike. [Because God built us to love Him, and to be predisposed to faith in His Church, but when that faith is rejected or lost, it will manifest itself elsewhere almost invariably] But conservatives usually practice the religion of their parents and ancestors; liberals have mostly shed their Judaism or Christianity, and politics fills the obvious spiritual gap. You might make football, rock music, or hard science your chosen faith. Some people do. But politics, with its underlying principles and striking public ceremonies, is the obvious religion substitute. [Again, I believe the author errs in understanding leftism.  Leftism is a belief system that has its own version of paradise and hell, its angels/saints and demons, its own moral code and system of reward/punishment for good/bad behavior.  It proposes things that are counter to facts and requires enormous faith in a yet non-existent earthly paradise to which leftists continually strive. There is in fact far less evidence of the possibility of attaining the left-wing/communist utopia on earth than there is of obtaining Heaven, but we are supposedly the ones lost in insane magical thinking]

Hence the gross asymmetry of modern politics. For most conservatives, politics is just politics. For most liberals, politics is their faith, in default of any other; it is the basis of their moral life.

Again, the author almost gets it, but then loses the plot, probably because he lacks a strong faith in God and grounding in the coherent reasoning that flows through and from Catholicism.

The point is, Christians already have a religion, and politics is a sidelight to their primary faith/belief system.  It should be a natural and coherent outgrowth of that faith, but it will never be their primary concern.  For leftists, politics IS their faith.  Leftism is their religious system.  That is why we on the right always feel “behind” the left, because not only do we have jobs and families and most of us work in the private sector making and doing useful things, but we also have a religion already!

But I think we on the right err, as well, in separating our faith from our politics far too much.  That’s another reason why we’re always behind the curve, constantly playing catch up and forced into damage-limiting situations instead of seizing the political and moral high ground and forcing the Left onto the defensive.  This “separation of Church and state” is a noxious product of the (quite liberal) political system almost all of us were taught from day one was the bestest, most wonderfulest in the whole entire world, and severely inhibits our political efforts.  Catholics from other times and other places have a great deal to teach us in that regard, which is why I strongly recommend reading about the Cristeros, Gabriel Garcia Moreno, the Carlists, the corporate Catholicism of Dolfuss, and other successful Catholic political cultural responses to the 200+  year war of leftism on the Church.

We unfortunately have to turn to the past, not only because there is no coherent Catholic response to the growing depredations of leftism today, but also because our Church herself, unspotted of course in her mystical element, has a human element which is almost entirely given over to the left-liberal paradigm.  Which, by the way, entirely explains this.  But to the past I recommend we do turn, both for inspired leadership from the Church of yesterday, always with us in our great Tradition, and also for guidance on how to put the Faith into much more effective public practice than we have seen in several decades.  Beyond that, it’s going to take as many of us as possible – thousands, hundreds of thousands, pray God, millions – stepping out of their comfort zones and forcing our views back into the public square.

It’s either that, or start digging new catacombs, which probably ain’t a bad idea as a fallback, but I don’t think we should just throw in the towel, hope it all implodes and that something better comes out of the wreckage (which is a grave uncertainty, anyway).  Doing so might sound nice, but I doubt very many of us would have the pleasure of seeing what emerges on the other side should that occur.


Dallas March for Life Jan 16, and a cheeky suggestion January 11, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, contraception, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, manhood, persecution, pr stunts, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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The Dallas March for Life is this Saturday, January 16.  I didn’t attend last year’s march, the first time in several years that I had missed one.  My kids want to go this time.  I may…..we’ll see.

Anyway, event schedule below:

11:30 a.m. Concert for Life  Check out who will be performing
12:30 p.m. Rose Procession
1:00 p.m. Roe Memorial Mass
3:00 p.m. North Texas March for Life and Rally  Check out the dynamic rally speakers

Or, you can assist at a TLM at noon.  You know where.

But given Bishop Farrell’s recent diatribe, and the new and rather aggressive diocesan policy regarding guns, I had an idea:  the March itself does not take place in any locale governed by the new policy as written.  It takes place on public streets, where, under normal conditions, both open and concealed carry are perfectly legal.

I think you can see where I’m going with this.  Would it be too cheeky to turn this into an open carry demonstration?  Would it attract too much unfavorable attention from law enforcement or fellow marchers?  I’m certainly speaking of doing any confrontation with respect to Bishop Farrell, but just announcing a presence, so to speak, as well as a commitment to the God-given rights of all to defend themselves by just about any means they see fit.  I don’t think tying in firearms with a respect life effort contradictory, at all; on the contrary, I think the two go together quite naturally.

It might be interesting, even salutary, for Bishop Farrell to have a concrete response to his recent declaration, which has gotten national attention.

Notice is short, but I’m interested to know what any locals think about this.  Are there any legal restrictions on carrying firearms publicly in this state at public gatherings?  There are none I know of (according to this, open carry at the March should be OK). But I’m not completely versed in the finer points of such laws.  Note, I cannot carry a handgun publicly at present, but I could carry a long arm.

I am guessing this somewhat tongue in cheek suggestion will be poorly received?  I never really know, sometimes things I think will be controversial receive rousing support (or a barely concealed  yawn), and things I think are totally inoffensive get folks quite riled.


What I did on my Christmas Vacation January 11, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, asshatery, blogfoolery, fun, General Catholic, Liturgical Year, non squitur, reading, sickness, silliness, Society.
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What I did on my Christmas Vacation

2nd Grade  Miss Bailey

By Tantumblogo

Well folks, sorry for the inordinately long break.  I had meant to post at least a few times during what I knew was going to be a long vacation, but because of some technical issues and just being too busy all around I never got to it.  Sorry about that, if it was annoying.  It was a bit for me, but it was also really good to be almost totally unplugged for a few weeks. I appreciated the holiday much more, certainly.

I did a lot over the break.  I split some of the most hellishly knotted, unbreakable live oak I’ve ever encountered.  It may be a bit hard to tell from the photo below, but I got a hold of some wood that was like one continuous spiral knot from branch to trunk.  I don’t know what the heck was up with that wood, but I finally managed just chunking over half of it.  I spent 15, 20, even 30 minutes painstakingly splitting even medium size pieces with an axe, wedge, and sledge (no head injuries, thank you).  Has anyone ever seen live oak grow like this before?  It came from a neighbor’s tree.


Like I said, it’s like a rope of spiraling knots.  Weird

But mostly I spent time with my family.  I had a lot of fun. Hopefully they did, too.  I read a lot. I finished several books, much faster than I normally read.  One I very much recommend. I will do a specific post on this book sometime later this week, perhaps tomorrow, but I really enjoyed reading The Collaborator by blog reader and co-parishioner Mitchell Hadley.  I’m not a big fiction reader, but this book, I felt, really helped me understand this pontificate a lot better.  Hadley juxtaposed the materialist, left-wing outlook of Pope Francis with that of the constant belief and practice of the Church without turning it into a screed, or even mentioning Pope Francis by name.  The book bears a lot of similarities with Windswept House and other Malachi Martin novels, but without the oppressive sense of doom.  I strongly recommend it.  I think many people would benefit from reading this book.

I should make clear, however, contra Malachi Martin, Mr. Hadley does not claim to have any special inside knowledge of affairs in this pontificate or the Vatican, he simply took the trajectory of this papacy and the known background of Pope Francis and extrapolated a bit.  The book reads quite prophetically, however, and I suspect there is a great deal of truth in the main arc of the story, even if not intended.  I should also make clear that while the Pope in the book is never stated as being Pope Francis, specifically, I think anyone can discern just who it is he’s describing.

I also saw the new Star Wars movie.  I’d say I was quite wary going in.  I so hate the prequels.  Man I hate them.  My son begged me to watch Episode 3 a few days before we went to see the new movie.  My goodness is it awful.  The story makes no freaking sense, and the characterization makes Walker, Texas Ranger look like Hamlet.  I also read some “manosphere” blogs occasionally, and some of them were very down on the female protagonist in the movie.

Having said that……I really liked it. At least, I really liked it after seeing it once.  I did feel some serious deja vu more than once, however, where the close derivation of the movie from “A New Hope” became just too obvious at times.  But I thought the histrionics over the Rey (female lead) character way overwrought, I actually thought they handled her development pretty well. I really liked the new Darth Vader, he was made more unstable and vulnerable…….more human.  The action scenes were generally pretty awesome.  Overall, I was quite sucked in.  I wouldn’t mind seeing it again, though I fear some of the movie’s MacGuffins…….why call it “The Resistance,” why is the Republic ignoring this grave threat from the “First Order,” etc., may eventually grate on me to the point where I’ll come to regard it, if not quite abject hatred like the prequels, at least benign indifference like Return of the Jedi.  Thank God there were no Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks.  Even when I saw Return as an 11 year old, I found the idea that Ewoks could kill Stormtroopers by dropping rocks on them too much to take.  Screw you, George Lucas.

I think the way the movie left off, however, opened up some really exciting avenues for future development.  Just don’t let there be an ice planet battle in the next movie.  If there is, I’m out…….

Other than that…….I availed myself of the Sacraments a great deal.  I spent too much money.  My youngest daughter (well, for now), who just has me wrapped around her finger, has a birthday coming up and I went a bit overboard with that.  I reconstituted a 30 year old compound bow I’ve had forever.  I got some new gadgets for one of my guns.  I read a book about Servant of God Fr. Emil Kapaun.  That was good.  He grew up about 15 miles from my mom.  I pretty well blew up my 4 month diet and exercise program.

Sooo……..what did you do?


Pope Francis’ horrible, awful, embarrassing, no-good January prayer intention video January 11, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, different religion, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, Papa, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.
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Can you say indifference?  Can you say kumbayah?  Aging hippie?  Materialist?

When I watched this, aside from feeling an enormous sickness in the pit of my stomach, my biggest sensation was one of profound embarrassment.  Embarrassment for the Pope and hangers on who produced this worldly abortion.  Disgust was another emotion.

It’s profoundly disgusting to see the Pope elevate heinously false religions and disaffected sects to any kind of equivalence with the Church.  But even more disgusting is his apparent willingness to forget the name Jesus Christ whenever his worldly ambitions necessitate doing so.

Oh, I really enjoy watching the muslim declare his belief in love.  Right…….sure thing.  Ask any woman in Stockholm, Cologne, Helsinki, or anywhere in the ummah just how much muslim men “love” them some women.

I’m sure most everyone has seen the video already.  I don’t think Rorate backed the clock up quite far enough when prognosticating what this pontificate would be like, it’s past 1977 and more like 1968.  The very heart of the Revolution, and also a time when the so-called ecumenical movement was really much more vibrant and a graver threat than it is today.  Obviously, there seems an effort afoot to recreate those “glory days.”

Louie Verricchio produced a new set of subtitles for the video to produce something that I think is, sadly, much more accurate:

“I enjoy the esteem of men, honoring their false gods and encouraging their rejection of the One True Faith”  Whether one believes this is the Pope’s deliberate intent, or not, practically speaking, can this be denied?

Do you find it too strong when Verricchio said Pope Francis denies Jesus Christ?  But isn’t ecumenism/interreligious dialogue as it is practiced by the progressive wing more or less predicated on that denial?

Look, this kind of worldly pap has been going on since Vatican II, there were these three things called Assisi, after all, but the really difficult to stomach aspect is this new video format all the Pope’s prayer intentions will be publicized in.  If the prayer intention had been merely verbal, it would have been banal and forgettable, but  in video format it becomes unforgivably worldly, cheap, and cloying.

Much more of this kind of thing to come as the year unfolds, I fear.  The papacy is being remade in ways it may be impossible to undo, short of a true saint/great miracle.

Look, I know for some readers this stuff is beyond old hat.  I know they are past done with the entirety of what might be called the institutional Church.  But there are many more who haven’t grasped the nature of the crisis.  I will continue to write for them, since I was one of them myself not long ago.

Shorter Response to Farrell: Franklin Armory Binary Firing System January 11, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, family, fun, non squitur, Society, technology, Victory.
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I’ve never really wanted an AR……until now.  I assume this works with all calibers/lowers/uppers?  But firing, say, .308 at the rates shown below would likely have me spraying the sky with bullets in no time.

Franklin Armory has produced a new drop-in trigger replacement for your AR that fires every time you depress…..and release……..the trigger.  That latter bit makes tremendous rates of fire possible, as shown below:

Can you believe it?  Practically automatic fire from an ATF approved semi-auto trigger drop-in?  Amazing!

I’ve got to think the ATF will move on this shortly?  Anyone know the finer points of the definition of semi-auto and whether this would require specific legislation to ban, or could they move against it administratively?

That is to say, just how long do I have so save up at least $11-1200 for a gun (including $400 binary trigger!).

Franklin Arms, how about making one of these for AKs next!

Dallas Bishop Farrell writes a screed against the 2nd Amendment/firearms ownership worthy of HuffPost……. January 11, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, rank stupidity, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.
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……..and just as riddled with factual errors and logical non sequiturs.  I am stunned at Bishop Farrell’s apparent willingness to insult and deride a huge portion of his flock – probably a majority of practical Catholics in the Diocese – immediately on the heels of his imposition of an unprecedented $125 million diocesan fundraiser, the first ever in the history of the Diocese.  I guess now that most of that money has been raised, he can safely give vent to his real opinion regarding the souls he shepherds.

January 6, Bishop Farrell posted on his personal blog his strong support for President Obama’s unconstitutional (and, in the opinion of many 2nd Amendment experts, legally unenforceable and thus meaningless) executive action expanding background checks and other measures to limit certain kinds of gun sales.  There is a lot to unpack in the post, so I go through it, more or less line by line:

Thank God that someone finally has the courage to close the loopholes in our pitiful gun control laws to reduce the number of mass shootings, suicides and killings that have become a plague in our country. [First of all, whether the US has severe gun control laws or not, the US murder rate is not substantially higher or lower than countries that do have such draconian limitations on their citizens natural right to defend themselves.  There are countries with strict laws that have lower murder rates, it is true, but there are others that have higher murder rates in spite – or, perhaps, because of – such legal strictures.  The factors that most predict a high murder rate are rampant poverty, political disenfranchisement (a sense that the people have little to no say in the affairs of a nation), and ethnic diversity/balkanization.  More on the last later]

President Barack Obama’s executive actions, though modest, are first steps in correcting gun laws so weak that they are ludicrous. [Ludicrous to whom?] Congress has unabashedly sold itself to the gun lobby. [See what I mean by a screed worthy of Huffington Post or Daily Kos?] If there was ever any doubt, its recent action to kill legislation to ban people on the terrorist no-fly list made it obvious. [That was exceedingly problematic legislation.  For one, the process for placing people on this no fly list is done in secret judicial proceedings where most of the normal constitutional – nay, God-given – rights accorded citizens are not operable. Once placed on the list, there is very little recourse to appeal. This is a process meant for abuse.  I do not trust our government to not place political opponents on such a list as a means of persecution.  We have seen this administration in particular use all kinds of illegal means – OSHA and BATF raids, IRS persecution, etc – to punish political opponents.  That is to say, there are many reasonable, prudential grounds to oppose this legislation beyond simply being in the pocket of the so-called gun lobby. That Bishop Farrell apparently refuses to acknowledge this indicates not reason, not leadership, but ideology at work]

It is absurd that terrorists, criminals, and mentally unbalanced people can freely and openly buy weapons not intended for sport, but designed to kill people. Writers of the Second Amendment envisioned smooth bore muskets and not semi-automatic and automatic weapons of war. [Every single claim in this paragraph is wrong.  Criminals cannot legally purchase weapons.  Nor can those who are known terrorists or adjudicated to be mentally defective. And no, the writers of the Second Amendment did not envision only smoothbore muskets, they wanted an armed citizenry equipped to resist governmental tyranny.  There are literally thousands of books, articles, research papers, and court rulings to attest to this fact.]

The president’s action is a small but important step to control sales of weapons at gun shows and over the internet that sidestep background checks. These “back door” gun dealers have effectively nullified the law requiring background checks by legitimate gun dealers by creating a black-market in firearms for those seeking to avoid background checks for whatever reason. The proliferation of weapons must be controlled. [Once again, Bishop Farrell dramatically misrepresents the facts.  I have purchased guns on the internet.  In the vast majority of cases, they must be shipped to federal firearms license holders (FFLs) where the background check is performed.  There are larger booths at gun shows where background checks are performed, if the seller is an FFL.  The ONLY exemption – this so-called “loophole” – is to private individuals who might sell at gun shows and/or on the internet.  What Bishop Farrell and President Obama are demanding is a massive imposition on occasional gun sellers/traders whose volume does not require FFL.  These are basically people who a few times a year, at most, sell a gun.  Gun dealing is not their business. Bishop Farrell and Barack Obama call that a “loophole,” I call it granting reasonable freedom to private individuals to buy and sell.]

Sadly, Texas has become the 45th state to embrace the cowboy mentality that permits the open carrying of guns. [Why doesn’t he just call us a bunch of mouth-breathing inbred hicks and be done with it? BTW, it’s ALWAYS been legal to open carry long arms in this state, the recent legislation simply extends the privilege to handguns]  It is difficult to see how this new law allowing persons with concealed handgun licenses (CHL) to openly carry firearms can accomplish anything other than cause people to feel threatened and intimidated. [And, I think we get to the crux of the bishop’s angst right here. He fears and loathes firearms. He doesn’t seem that hot on those who don’t share his ideology, either.  Note, Bishop Farrell enjoys a very expensive home (at lay expense) in one of the most secure, crime-free locales in the state.  He often has security paid for by faithful souls. He has no spouse or children to protect. All of which means, he lives a privileged and unique existence, far different (one might even say above) the vast majority of those who make his comfortable life possible]

Under the new law churches may prohibit CHL holders from carrying open or concealed weapons on church premises with appropriate signage. In accordance with the law, the Diocese of Dallas will prohibit the possession of any weapon in any facility owned, leased and operated by the diocese or a diocesan entity, except as specifically permitted by diocesan policy.

This policy is rooted in the belief that our churches, schools and other places of worship are intended to be sanctuaries – holy sites where people come to pray and participate in the ministry of the Church. [I personally feel safer knowing there are good people carrying when I’m at church.  As I still don’t have a CHL, I rely on them for protection.  I don’t see them as a threat. I see them as a potential life-saver]

Let us pray that our legislators will see this as a human and not a political concern so that gun violence can be mitigated through appropriate legislation that allows us to live in a safe environment while respecting our Second Amendment rights.

————End Quote————

A few more points.  One, once again we see a bishop invest immense moral capital in a matter that is strictly prudential, instead of saving that capital for truly grave moral matters.  I certainly hope Bishop Farrell’s excitability on this issue – quite beneath the dignity of a bishop, to my mind – is due to his great love of human life, and not simply political ideology or a fundamental distrust of his flock.  That granted, deciding how best to reach the goal of preserving human life and the God-given rights of citizens from crime, terrorism, or governmental repression is an entirely prudential matter and one really in the purview of the laity.  Bishop Farrell has squandered a great deal of moral capital here, earning enmity where he had no real need to do so, on a matter over which reasonable people of good will can disagree while remaining good, faithful Catholics.

Second, I find it stunning that Bishop Farrell could simply lionize Obama’s stand, thus giving him political support, without making even a slight mention of Obama’s atrocious record on so many matters of truly grave moral import, such as the intrinsic evil of abortion and his frequent warfare against the liberty of the Church.  Whatever happened to “Fortnight for Freedom” and all that jazz about defending the Church’s rights?  I guess Obama’s fig-leaf of having insurance companies “pay” for “free” contraception was an effective one, after all.

Thirdly…….Bishop Farrell has come out quite stridently in favor of unlimited immigration, whether legal or no.  And yet illegal aliens commit murders in this country at a far higher rate than the general population, and contributed several thousand of the roughly 11,000 firearms homicides committed in 2013.  This leaves aside deaths due to drunk driving and other causes. In Texas alone from 2008 to 2014 illegal aliens committed nearly 3000 murders and over 600,000 other crimes.  There is more than a little bit of hypocrisy here, then, if Bishop Farrell is going to insist on trampling the rights of his sheep by excoriating one source of violence while ignoring other significant factors.

Finally, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, guns are tools like any others, tools Bishop Farrell so evidently despises because he regards them as alien and the propriety of “others” in the worst sense of the term.  More Americans are killed by automobiles every year in this country than firearms, but Bishop Farrell doesn’t spend time, effort, and precious moral capital railing in favor of legislation demanding greater automotive safety, because he’s familiar with cars, probably uses one most days, and thinks they’re great.  So he’s quite willing to put up with their downside.  But he doesn’t feel that way about guns, because they’re black and scary and icky and only a knuckle-dragging troglodyte would ever want one.  Even though almost 2/3 of annual firearms deaths are involved not in murders, but in suicides.

Anyway, there’s your shepherd, Dallas. Now you know what he thinks of you.

In conclusion, I have two words for you………..cowboy up!