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Today’s blog is dedicated to women and my Mother, Jackie Sylvester, and so many great women I have been blessed to know.

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The woman was made out of a rib out of the side of Adam … of his side to be equal to him, under his arm to be protected and, near to his heart to be loved.

 Matthew Henry, in Exposition of Genesis

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My mother raised me by herself.  My father deserted the family when I was an infant.  My mother literally saved my life.  She placed me first and held me accountable – never failing to offer opportunity, correction, encouragement, support, love or her sacrifice for my benefit.

Through the grace of God I recognized this very early on in my life.  Accordingly, I never gave her reason to worry about me.  We were a team – we were one together.

My job was to not make her job any harder – and to protect her and support her and love her.

I love her to this day and think about her everyday.  She has been dead now 21 years – yet, I’ve not lived without her in each of my days all those years because anything good I have done, or thought, or do today is in some manner derived from her selfless dedication to me as a woman and a Mom.

Perhaps you can guess, I have enormous affection and respect for women.  No man proceeds to a good life without a woman’s guidance and instruction, love and assistance.

I loathe men who disadvantage women, hurt them and treat them poorly.  I adore the strength and manner of women, their wisdom, their courage, and their heart.

That said, I reject “identity politics” which shamelessly divides woman from man and in doing so rebels against God and nature.  In “identity politics,” like so much of what the godless Left promotes, we devalue truth and inflict needless damage on this life that we are given.

In “identity politics” we are made to be far, far less than we are, and who God has made us to be.

Shame, shame, shame – turn your back on those who divide us – they are wrong, miserably and hatefully wrong.  They bring evil to what is a great good.

Two bound together are stronger than one alone.  It is idiocy to divide what God has made as one.

Shalom.

 

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Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.

G. K. Chesterton

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Hum … That’s about were we are.

I am absolutely amazed when I listen to public debate and conversation about the events of the day.  No one seems to have even a remote sense of the flow of history and the casualties, major shifts in culture, and the gross errors we have made over time.

I give but two examples.

Who speaks today who might have any sense of what occurs in human history when we proceed from the Enlightenment and Newtonian physics to the General Theory of Relativity and the foolishness of concluding that all things are “relative” – including morality, discerning right from wrong, or good from evil?

Likewise who among our vaunted public figures can explain the role of pessimism as a causal factor in the outbreak of World War I?  Who understands the cost of pessimism in politics, culture, and psychological well-being?

When one does not know history and has not pondered its lessons, one has no claim to public discourse.  Yet, we are awash in the extraordinary uninformed.

A parade of dunces leads but to disaster.

Shalom.

… activity that is based on the frenzies and impulsions of human ambition is a delusion and an obstacle to grace.  It gets in the way of God’s will, and it creates more problems than it solves.

Thomas Merton, in Life and Holiness

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Somehow we have assigned a ridiculous gloss of esteem to “the activists.”

Now we have a bumper crop of half-baked dunderheads haranguing and threatening others if their simple-minded admonitions or preferences are not instantly honored by submission and compliance.

Why is there a presumption that the feeble fancy of the month must be honored and obeyed?

This, of course, makes no sense.

What might your objection to his nonsense be?  Listen to Merton.

Does the person screaming some ideological or personal preference at you, know anything?  (If they did they would not be acting like a two year old with a tantrum.)

Or, does this person have any control over themselves?  The answer is obvious by the mere conduct they display.

But more to the point – have they EVER thought their “activism” might be inconsistent with God’s intention?  With nature?  Or, that it might be a disaster of an idea that they are proposing?   (Chances are if they are hysterical and screaming they are not familiar with cool-headed analysis, and dispassionate inquiry – and likely stopped learning somewhere in elementary schools – college education notwithstanding.)

By the look of these self-anointed “activists” you can just imagine what disarray their lives are.

Disordered behavior mirrors disordered being.

Well, okay, how does this relate to Merton’s above insight?

We are NOT created for a life dedicated to altering the universe.  We are not the Creator of the universe.  We are merely the beneficiaries of its creation.  We are not omnipotent.  We are at best mere humans.

That said, many, many among us do not take particular interest in growing fully in life.  These people don’t much like the humbling self-examination that such a task requires.  They are, one might say, lazy – preferring ideology and childhood to maturity and hard work  … all the better, by the way, to prepare for a life of an “activist.”  Ain’ that grand!

Shalom.

 

The moment you have a self at all, there is the possibility of putting yourself first – wanting to be the centre – wanting to be God …

C. S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity

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Lewis writes here about corruption – an individual’s corruption – a vital element in human history, an issue each human must face in his or her life, a critical factor in understanding corruption in culture … in those around you – particularly among those holding or seeking power and the legions of advocates for this or that which promotes or demands simply their selfish desires without regard to anyone else.  In politics and culture today, we have many such errant narcissistic individuals and groups all more or less nihilists.

Make no mistake – the foundation of corruption is the individual desire to be his or her own God.  Yes, such thinking is insane and produces discord, division and conflict.

Yes, thinking one is one’s own God is frankly – living a colossal LIE.   You doubt this?  Think abortion as mere “choice,” or Holy Matrimony as same-sex “marriage,” or slavery as acceptable, or division by race, or multiple “genders.”  These are manifestations of men and women acting as God.

As Lewis so correctly says this “hopeless event” of human as God: it is men and women “invent(ing) some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God.”

We like to think of ourselves as smart, intelligent, an educated society.  Yet, the thinking and conduct such as described here (and so clearly visible among political-social-sexual “activists,” pundants, college professors and their ill-schooled products of nonsense, ideologies and hubris – as well as entertainers, celebrities, the media and some who would be “clerics,” and lawyers with grossly little intellectual depth or range or insight, among others) – simply puts the lie to our brilliance, and the opinions of a whole range of people whose godlessness defines their ignorance, establishes their uselessness.

Yep, God versus godlessness.  Sanity versus insanity.  Truth versus gibberish.

Shalom.

 

Do you know what we call opinion in the absence of evidence?  We call it prejudice.

Michael Crichton, in State of Fear

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In the present moments of political discourse, you’d best listen carefully to the voices and keep calm when howling packs appear.

Once feminism sought equality – and rightfully so.  But is this the voice we now hear?  Some listen and hear “gender.”  In this, the adoration of one, and the condemnation of another.  Does the voice of prejudice sound like the voice of bigotry?

Man and woman.  We are complimentary to one another.  Each completes the other.  But do our words and deeds show this?  Live this?  Believe this?  Or is war our way?

The violence against women must be sternly punished.  Bigotry is violence too.  Division brings destruction … defies nature, fosters conflict.

The educated class knows little of nature and its laws and ways.  It sleeps with ideology – a thin and paltry cocoon that blinds the eyes, hardens the heart, numbs the senses, kills the mind, and freezes the soul.

Spiders sleep in cocoons where butterflies once lived.

Today: opinion without evidence.  Bigotry ascends.  Caution in need.  Or shame takes treacherous flight.

Shalom.

The wicked plot against the godly, they snarl … in defiance … their day of judgment is coming …

Ps 37:13

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Yesterday a good friend wrote to me and asked that I write about “angry mobs.”  Last night I saw a man and his wife shouted out of a quiet public restaurant by a ragtag collection of leftist/anarchists.

Mobs are funny things.  They are composed of those who do not act aggressively on their own – one by one.

As in the above Psalm we see that the ungodly plot together and snarl at others.  Sounds like the snowflake professor’s crowd.

Mobs are not the majority.  Far from it.  They are always a very small number of a very large universe of people.

Those in the U.S. Senate today give the shouters a place as if they are large in number. They are not.

The number of people who hate men and assert their gender politically are not the universe of all women – but rather a very small number of ideologically aggrieved who snarl and aim their particularized political voices at public targets that render attention to them.

The rule of thumb is that the small and insignificant grow in stature when the known and venerable respond to them.  The mob’s success resides in the pathology of both the small mob and venerable target.

The odd thing in all this: the Constitution protects our speech but does not require we be listened to – listening is optional.  Likewise, those who listen willy-nilly ought do so far less often, and be far more discreet in doing so.  Their listening produces a sustained tasteless, Alice-in-Wonderland, injurious discourse with those begrudging few who snarl as a way of life.  Such dialogues disorient and besmirch the peaceful civil climate, divide and spread disorder.  In this nothing good results.

Memo to Senators: Conduct the public’s business, leave the snarling mob to God’s disposition.

Shalom.

Addendum –  According to the 2010 U.S. Census women number 157 million and 151.8 million are men.  The extreme feminists pushing the Professor Ford story may have grossly overrated their appeal to women many, many of whom have fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, nephews, male friends and male colleagues.

Disgruntled splinter groups often overreach.  That’s why they are “splinter groups.”  Splinters do not justify a ride to the ER or emergency surgery.  Best to maintain perspective all the way around.

Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.

Maya Angelou

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Political ideologues are unable to do this.  They never mention love.  They make demands, insist on getting their way.  They go to extremes to divide and make enemies.  They expect all to adjust to them.  They show no evidence of a relationship with God.  On the contrary, you hear in their words only their own confusion and insistence.

It is strange that they can get away with this selfish insistence … but then again maybe that tells us that our culture is more Godless and God-ful.  If so, then we have no more ground to give the ideologue.  No more need to listen to them nor make space for their destructive disposition.  Loving them is expecting more from them, expecting them to change their ways – to be congenial, courteous, thoughtful and adult.

Yes, loving those who are unloving means not validating their nonsense.  Once the foolishness is gone – there is space to love and accept.  But no one who seeks a meal eats what is impure and spoiled.  When the standard is set, the meal can be shared.

Yup, no more ground to give.

“Well, Dear, talk to the tree until the tree listens and changes as you wish – then come back to me and we shall chat anew.”

Shalom.

Surprised.  You might be surprised at how many voice and sources I no longer listen to or pay heed – MSNBC, CNN, PBS, the major news networks, The Washington Post. The New York Times, feminists, Democrats and “social” Democrats, leftists of varied stripes, shapes and sizes to name but a few.  I prefer the clear air of a monastery of one to the open air “nitwitary” of many.

The process which, if not checked, will abolish man goes on apace among Communists and Democrats no less than among Fascists … The methods may at first differ … But … the means in the long run (are) just the same … ‘Traditional values are to be debunked’ and mankind … cut into some fresh shape at will.

C. S. Lewis, in Abolition of Man

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Perhaps the Professor Ford – Judge Kavanaugh story indicates a significant turning point in the flow of radical politics from the 1960’s to the present.  Perhaps we see in the Kavanaugh episode a significantly outlandish and destructive “overreaching” by the extreme Left.

Years ago Lewis saw what was afoot. The voice of others like Solzhenitsyn and Milosz who fled what Lewis describes are echoing in the public today.  Maybe citizens are now focusing more on the efforts of American Leftists to remake us in their fractured image … and rejecting their dubious project?

Odd as he is, President Trump, signifies something.  He is, as is shown by the pollsters and political professionals who gave him no chance to win the last presidential election, a statement that something has changed here.

Contrary to the popular Left-leaning commentary it may not be that the great-unwashed “deplorables” made a huge mistake – but rather that people have began to repudiate precisely the “re-make” that Lewis identified.  Perhaps what we are seeing in Trump and in the Kavanaugh mishmash is a reaction to the arrogant elites who, without hesitation, desire to shape us to their liking – and perhaps we have said or are starting to say “Get lost.”

Think about it – abortion is no longer coveted by many of the younger people in this country, Catholics are prepared to hold their clerical leadership to account, the cost of education and the product it produces in “the snowflake era” is now seen as a poor investment.  Likewise, perhaps the impermanent policies and practices of President Obama executive orders and fiats being easily dismantled are further evidence of a fundamental shift afoot.

There are a number of such schisms much like these which appear to be a reaction to the excess and the hubris of the educated, celebrity, privileged and governing class.  Think, for example, of the failures in Democrat governments in Chicago, in California and other places where public debt verges on bankruptcy and social order is in disarray.

Could it be that we are seeing tradition reasserted?  Normalcy restored.  Radical propositions put in check?

Think about it.  Be assured – humans are designed to seek what is good and in the long run that instinct prevails – often trigger by the excesses of those who do not promote what common sense knows to be true and good.

Shalom.

… with you is my grievance, O priests … My people perish for want of knowledge!  Since you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you … Since you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your sons.  One and all they sin against me exchanging their glory for shame.  (Emphasis added.)

Hos 4: 6, 7

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The words of the Jewish prophet Hosea tell of his understanding about what his God would do to those (the Jewish people) who consistently ignored God and God’s teachings.

Reading it I cannot but help thinking of those among us, yes even the high clergy, who reject God’s teachings enshrined in the Canons of the Church.  Likewise I think of so many in public life who proceed always with what interests them while never putting their ideas, opinions, plans to a test of faith.  Nary do they ask: What might God seek of me this day?

Too, too many people in positions of authority and influence readily exchange their own glory for shame … never giving a moment’s thought to what God might otherwise desire.

This is the road to perdition (i.e., the loss of soul and path to eternal damnation).  

Mind you, if Mr. X or Ms. Z wishes hell as their destination, so be it – but those in positions of influence and authority have no justification for leading us to that same eternal misery.  Be very, very careful as to who you listen to, who you elect, what ideas you entertain and any who appear strangers to faith, to God.

You are forewarned.

Shalom.

Why do the nations protest and the peoples grumble in vain?  Kings on earth rise up and princes plot together against the Lord and his anointed … The one enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord derides them.  Then speaks to them in anger … “I myself have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”

Psalm 2

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Present day contemporary cultures world-wide are highly political climates.  Yes, it is as if politics and power as self-aggrandizement are the reason for being – that which makes life worth living.

The love of self enshrined in political matters – ’tis a story old as man.  We see it in the above Psalm.

When you think about it for but a moment, we live precisely the thing discussed above.  Look at the “resistance” shenanigans on Capital Hill and in national politics, particularly among those who have lost influence in the last decade or so.  Yep, princes plotting together …

Just as the Psalmist reports – those seeking power act as if there is no God, nothing wiser or better than they reckon that they are.

Why do we repeat the problems of the past?  Why do we act so foolishly?  Can it be that we have no relationship with God and know not humility and the stability of a bended knee.

Shalom.

Moses told us very explicitly that our blessings come from obedience to God.

Listening to John Rutter’s Requiem preformed by the Choir Clare College Cambridge – exceptionally beautiful … moving, deeply touching, truth and rejuvenation – feeds the soul and soothes the psyche.  Please avail yourself of such things – let that be your act of gift to yourself and others.  God bless you each and all.

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