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You Vote: Trump or No? July 14, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic.
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I haven’t run a poll on this blog in years, but I’m curious, how many readers are supporting Trump in 2016?  Pretty simple poll:

I will try to keep this poll pinned near the top so more people will vote, hopefully.  I stopped doing polls because few voted in them, but that was before I became so awesome and famous.

I’m curious to get a read on at least a sub-section of traditional-leaning Catholics on this.

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What to do? “No pro-life reason to vote for Trump” July 14, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, contraception, disconcerting, error, foolishness, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, sadness, secularism, sickness, Society, The End.
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That’s the title of the very long article I was sent by reader MFG earlier this week, expostulating an extremely long pro-life defense of refusing to vote for Trump.  I’ll only excerpt a little bit of the article, both because it’s too long to effectively condense to a reasonable-length post, and because I’ve already said much of what the author claims.

I’ll just add this – for the first time in my adult life, I am considering not voting, at least at the presidential level, this November. I am having a hard time not viewing voting in the presidential election this year as pointless.  There is simply no morally acceptable candidate to choose.  I certainly don’t want Hillary to win, and view her as the absolute worst possible option, but I simply cannot accept Trump’s deplorable personal morality – of which he remains shamefully proud and defiant – and his contradictory claims regarding abortion and other moral issues.  The Libertarian candidate is also a pro-abort, which is simply an ender for me.  I guess I’m down to writing in somebody.  I’d say Darrell Royal, but he’s dead, God rest his soul.  Or, I simply won’t vote at all.

Having said that, I think if the party tries to steal the nomination from Trump at the convention next week, that will only insure Hillary’s election.  Trump won the primary by a substantial margin.  Like it or not, Trump is the candidate, and attempting to “correct” the expressed will of the people – and I’m aware of all the problems and even contradictions in that statement – is a formula for suicide.  Trump may or may not receive majority support and win the election, but what support he does have is very often extremely fervent and these people would be completely livid if the party stole, for lack of a better word, the nomination from him.

For those who don’t want to read further, it is hard to find a more succinct or accurate distillation of the development of my thought than that offered by Ben Sasse’s spokesman after the Senator met with Trump this week: “Mr. Sasse continues to believe that our country is in a bad place and, with these two candidates, this election remains a dumpster fire. Nothing has changed.” I heartily agree.

There are no conditions at this point under which I could possibly vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. [That’s pretty much my point of view, at present.  It could change, but I doubt it.]

…….

So, no, I won’t be voting for Hillary. Trump, then? No, not him either.

I have heard every argument defending voting for him over the past six months. I remain as convinced as I ever have been that there are no grounds on which it is permissible or morally licit for a conservative Christian to lend their support to Trump by voting for him.

In fact, I think it is obvious that no one should vote for the Contemporary Falstaff. However sophisticated the rationalizations for Trump become, they do not overcome the single, basic fact that he has done nothing in his personal life nor his professional career to demonstrate that he is fit for the highest office in the land. I take it as a given that nominating an unfit person to such an office would be a grave danger to American security and interests.

So there is no world where I will think that the political calculus and rationalizations add up to making voting for Trump permissible, save the world where Jesus appears in the flesh and tells me it is. And that is not this world, despite the earnestness with which many Trump supporters have assured me it is.

Now, having included that quote, I am not certain I could go so far as to say that I there are no grounds under which it is morally licit for a Christian to vote for Trump.  Hillary is so deplorable, so criminally minded, and so evil in intent and action I can understand those who would support Trump simply to keep Hillary from being elected.  I’m not in that place, but I can understand it.  I also can understand – though I think it quite wrong – the mentality that the political elites in this country are irredeemably corrupt and self-interested and that Trump represents the best shot at shocking the current system and hopefully reforming it.  There is also Trump’s seeming ability to repudiate cultural marxism that is attractive.  I can understand all of these as rationale’s for voting for him, though they don’t personally move me to be able to support him, for a variety of reasons.

I also basically disbelieve Trump’s occasional  (and often self-contradicted) claims to opposing abortion or being pro-life, among other moral issues.  But I find declaring support for him to be immoral to go a bit too far, unless that statement hinges on his personal morality, in which case I’d be in general agreement.  Regarding policy, however, since he’s been all over the map in his statements, my first question would be: which one?

Personally, I’m really not certain what I’m going to do.  I increasingly feel that these elections are pointless, that this republic has passed the point of saving by political action.  The very fact that Hillary and Trump are our two major candidates is a damning indictment of this nation. Even  twenty five years ago, the scandals attached to these two people would have made their election as president impossible, but Americans seemingly no longer care about things like faith, morality, or even criminality.  In fact, most people seem to expect it of “high” personages.

I’m sort of wandering.  The only way I could possibly vote for Trump is out of sheer spite/fear/disgust for Hillary.  At this point, however, I will probably just write in Michael Rodriguez or something like that – not that he would appreciate it!  I just cannot be convinced that Trump is not a pro-abort, pro-sodomy, bad policy immoral dude.  I feel his rhetoric about a border wall/immigration control is empty.  I feel his campaign is just a massive vanity project, an ego trip on an epic scale.

Please don’t take my (or anyone else’s) criticism of Trump as an attack on you.  As I’ve said, I do understand why many support him, though I cannot.   If he is elected, I’d love to be proven wrong.  We shall see.  It seems the e-mail/influence peddling scandal may have hurt Hillary more than many thought – her support has seriously eroded and many polls now show the race tied or Trump in the lead.

However, I’m afraid the Simpson’s writers were right, if a bit premature:

Maybe I should run a poll to see how many readers are supporting Trump.

Socialist Paradise of Venezuela Moves Deeper into hell July 14, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, disaster, error, General Catholic, horror, It's all about the $$$, persecution, Revolution, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, unbelievable BS.
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God often works in ironic ways.  Or, I should perhaps say more accurately, God allows the ironies of our perversions from His Truth to play out in deeply ironic ways.

As an example, the more man rejects God, the more hellish a society he tends to create.  Some of the most horrific monstrosities ever created by man as governments or societies have been ones deliberately founded not just on atheism but on a kind of anti-Christianism most closely associated with secular leftist regimes.  Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Maoist China, Castro’s Cuber, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, the Paris Commune, the French revolutionary government……all visited unbelievable horrors on people, all in the name of some great service to mankind!

Venezuela is only one of the latest nations to be added to the list of countries that have descended into a man-made hell as a result of their embrace (or their government’s embrace) of hardcore atheistic Leftism.  In spite of years of record-high oil prices and sitting on one of the largest oil reserves in the world, socialist policies have left not only Venezuela’s government bankrupt, but mired what was once one of the more prosperous nations in Latin America in such dire poverty and want that even obtaining enough food to live is almost impossible for millions.  While the government fantasizes about right-wing plots and imaginary “hording” (something, anything to deflect the blame from where it squarely belongs, on the government itself), most Venezuelans can’t find any food on store shelves to buy, and when they can, looting, rioting, and chaos most frequently result.

The situation has gotten so bad that Venezuela’s President Maduro has now decided to nationalize the food supply, placing the military in charge of its importation and distribution.  Welcome to hell, Venezuela-style:

Venezuela’s military is getting a major promotion as the socialist-run country struggles to combat severe shortages and stave off food riots.

President Nicolas Maduro on Monday created a new government initiative to boost production and guarantee the smooth distribution of food supplies in the face of what he called economic sabotage by his opponents. He said the Great Mission of Sovereign Supply will be headed by Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino, who will coordinate the work of every ministry. [This is nothing but national-level state-imposed food rationing, the kind that can only result from the sort of economic implosion that socialism is so good at achieving, contrary to its false promises of a humanistic paradise]

As part of the new campaign, control of the country’s five biggest ports was handed to a top military official Tuesday. Maduro said he was tapping army Gen. Efrain Velasco to head the nation’s port authority in order to root out corruption and mismanagement at the point of entry for imported food. Previously, the agency had been under civilian control.

Maduro said he was acting under the authority of an economic emergency decree he declared earlier this year. [Exactly the kind of vast, self-appointed powers we see our own president enacting in his own favor]

As food shortages have worsened this year, Maduro has leaned more on the military and community groups of government supporters[state funded militant leftists] to organize food distribution and ease the blocks-long lines that are a focal point for spontaneous unrest and bouts of looting when hungry shoppers are turned away. He has also tried to tighten a rationing system that gives Venezuelans access to staples only on certain days. [To the extent there is hording and manipulation of the availability of foodstuffs, the evidence indicates it is the government or its allied groups that is doing the hording, projecting it’s own actions onto its perceived adversaries.  Sound familiar?]

It’s not clear if the strategy is working.

In June, there was an average of 24 protests each day, according to a study published Tuesday by the local group Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict. About a third of the protests were sparked by severe food shortages.

Coming soon to a country near you?  It’s hard to believe that a nation possessed of such enormous bounty as this nation could ever endure food shortages caused by disastrous leftist policies, but it’s certainly happened many times before, in the Ukraine, in Zimbabwe, and now in Venezuela.

It just confirms, when men reject God and try to create their own version of Heaven, hell almost inevitably results.

Are Orthodox, Copts, and Similar Killed for the faith Christians? July 14, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Holy suffering, Interior Life, martyrdom, persecution, Saints, sanctity, sickness, Society, Virtue.
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Two weeks ago, I did a post on the persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt.  A commenter objected that those holding heretical views or in schismatic groups are not Christians.  I argued back that they are certainly considered to be Christians by the muslims, and are dying for the Faith, even if they hold erroneous beliefs.

This may seem like hair-splitting, but touches on matters foundational to our self-understanding as Christians.  As such, I ran the matter past a local traditional priest, and was gratified to find his understanding of these folks essentially identical to mine.

In normal situations, it is not wrong to say that Copts or Orthodox are not Christian, or are at least highly faulty ones.  They hold views that are erroneous, dangerous, and perhaps even damnable under certain circumstances.  Of course, most all of these people know no better, they were raised in this error or in schism and were taught it was right and correct from a very early age.  Their personalresponsibility for holding such errors is, then, highly debatable.

However, my post was not describing a normal situation.  It was describing a situation of dire, religious-oriented persecution.  These people are being wounded and killed for professing Jesus Christ as their Savior and rejecting islam.  They can, in that sense, even be considered martyrs.  Of course, the specifics of individual situations mean everything, but broadly speaking, they are dying for their belief in Jesus Christ, an act always held to be immensely meritorious.  It is even quite possible that in some situations this profession was sufficient to overcome whatever guilt they hold for their erroneous/schismatic beliefs and provided a baptism by desire/blood into the True Church.  That’s an elaborate issue and goes beyond the scope of this post, but I believe, and the priest agreed, that such a profession of faith could – could – even be meritorious of salvation.

And that’s precisely why the muslims torture, maim, and kill them, because these people refuse to deny Jesus Christ as their savior and refuse to accept the false, demonic religion created by the Arabian goat herder Mohammad.

A critical note of distinction: these people are NOT dying for the errors they hold or in rejection of the Catholic Faith.  If they were, their actions would not be efficiacious of Grace and would be greatly offensive to God.  They are dying for Jesus Christ and His religion by the lights they have.  Those lights may be faulty, but they are the best they have.  Those lights are not extinguished from merit due to these errors.  In the same sense the Church has declared martyrs and Saints certain souls from the days of the Fathers who died for the Faith even though they had not been formally received into the Church and probably still held wrong beliefs even up to the moment of death.

As I said, it’s a complex issue.  Fundamentally, I believe in Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus as a straight up, literal interpretation, but I have a hard time believing souls holding errors innocently would still be damned by God for all eternity after dying for the Holy Name.  Since they are being viciously persecuted for Christ, since they are dying for Christ, I will call them Christian.  The priest agreed.

I’m open to refutation based on quotes from Saints, Fathers, and/or Councils.  I don’t think there is such, but one never knows.  There has always been a mystical element of the Faith, however, in that we must recognize that what we can see and record is not all there is to reality.  God operates beyond time and space and even a murderer who viciously repudiated the Faith throughout his life was often considered saved by a mere kiss of a crucifix on the gallows.  We don’t know what God sees in the human heart.

July 15th 2016: Take Yer Gun to Work Day July 14, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, rank stupidity, Revolution, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, unbelievable BS.
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No, it’s not a formal event.  But it might not be a bad idea, given the “day of rage” planned by “Black Lives Matters” groups and the internet coward’s association Anonymous, for tomorrow, July 15th 2016:

The entire global collective of Anonymous is outraged at these vicious murders. The time has come to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. We are infuriated as we watch day after day, another human, murdered, because an irresponsible, corrupt system allows free reign to cops that continuously abuse their power.

Thus, we are calling upon the citizens of the United States to rise up and stand in solidarity with the people of Dallas, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, as well as Baltimore and Ferguson……[There goes the stupid, co-opted left (co-opted by a super-rich, super-powerful ruling elite that plays them like puppets on a string) again, inverting truth for a proven lie.  Whatever happened with Alton Sterling and Philando Castile – hardly the most saintly of characters – there was ZERO police brutality in Dallas, Ferguson, or Baton Rouge in the sense these boneheads claim.  In Dallas, it was the police who were viciously attacked, while in Baltimore and Ferguson media hype – it was really lies – created a brutality where there was none.  Michael Brown, a huge man, physically attacked a police officer who subsequently killed him. The false, politicized Baltimore prosecution of police officers has completely fallen apart in court once fictions are separated from fact.  And yet here these guys go, whipped into a frenzy by the people who pull their strings so easily]

We are calling on a collective day of rage. A day of action centered around civil disobedience and the right to protest.

To police departments across the United States. We are not your enemy. However, it is in your hands if you want us to stay that way or not. We will not be silenced and we will not be intimidated. [Nice veiled threat.  We’re not  your enemy, BUT DON’T CROSS US, whatever that means]

These events are planned for cities across the country. The current list is at the link.  Austin is the only city in Texas currently on the list.  Most of the cities on the list are either state capitols or left-wing bulwarks.  Again, go figure.  They claim they don’t want violence, but what the heck is a day of rage without a little smashy-smashy?

If you live in one of the scores of cities on the list, you might want to plan appropriately.

To explain the phenomenon of millennials being co-opted by a trans-national elite, see the video below.  No one argues for more “establishment,” statist solutions than today’s young Left:

Are the millennials the stupidest generation in the history of the West since the rise of mass-literacy in the 18th century?

Here’s, perhaps, a more provocative question – given how access to the internet and addiction to social media has seemingly destroyed the ability of the vast majority of an entire generation to think, should the internet, or at least social media, be banned to those under 21 years of age, if not older?  By sheer coincidence, I first got on the internet in 1991 when I was 20, but that was way before social media (and before the Web) and consisted entirely of e-mail and telnet sites.  That is to say, its impact was minimal.  Today, young people in the culture are so addicted to social media they seem to prefer it to reality in many situations.

Maybe it’s time to consider some limits?