Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Sorry, didn't realize that Blogger doesn't let you close a blog temporarily without giving the "secret password" page. At least, not until I started getting all those requests from readers to be let into the secret club. The only other option was to delete the entire thing, which I'm not quite ready to do yet. Am still trying to figure out how to conveniently de-post everything except a "gone fishin'" sign, but to no avail thus far. Put it down to my internet incompetence. [Thanks to John Carriere who suggested a solution.]

Things are happening in the family, spiritual and personal areas of life at the moment that have made politics and blogging and snippy one-liners seem somewhat irrelevant and uninteresting. And I find I'm rather too tired.

So, if you want to know what's going on in the world, you'll just have to read Fr. Finigan and Mr. Smeaton for Blighty; Kathy and Ezra for Canuckistan news; LifeSite for the latest in the Apocalypse; and Tea at Trianon for all things gracious and Catholic. For the time being.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Green Eyed Monster

Oooh I'm jealous.

Two pals with the Great Steyn in TO.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Own Goal IV

Wrote earlier:

Own Goal II and III

Passion for Life issues a helpful postcard helpfully telling the Parliamentarians what they want to hear, helpfully:

"Abortion is really OK, more or less, and we, the nice branch of the pro-life movement, the kindly, reasonable, sensible, team player part of the pro-life movement, the kind of pro-lifers you would feel comfortable, say, inviting round to tea, or to give testimony at the HFE Bill committee, want y'all to know that you don't have to be against abortion in any kind of universal or, heaven forfend, absolutist way."

Or, more succinctly:

"Abortion Should be Rare".

Thanks for the help guys.

Just found out that the group issuing the postcard is a branch of...

wait for it...

(didja guess?)

The Parliamentary All-Party Pro-life Group!

(cue wild applause)

Let's give 'em a big hand ladies and gentlemen!

I think I'm going to add to the list of coveted Orwell's Picnic Prizes. I think we should institute the Orwell's Picnic Own Goal Prize, to be given to those pro-life groups most dedicated to undermining their own cause. We can get Planned Parenthood to sponsor it.

Pat Condell's Curse: Part I

Pat Condell is (sort of) an atheist. I don't know Pat from anything other than his videos on Youtube, which I enjoy very much, for many reasons. He is clearly a thinking man who has done quite a lot of work in his head on the meaning of religion, based on what he has observed. He has come to some conclusions, many of which are, if not correct, at least understandable, given the information he likely started with and the times we live in. He also displays the kind of cheerful belligerence with which I can identify, when faced with the more glaring stupidities and hypocrisies of our times.

Pat Condell is interesting because he used to be a Catholic and now expounds very clearly and forcefully the typical beliefs about religious matters that many people hold in our times. Pat's atheism is not of the pure sort and this, I believe, is because he has a measure of intellectual honesty and logical coherence that other public atheists, Dr. Dawkins primary among, have failed to show.

Pat, (and Dr. Dawkins) might be very surprised to learn that very often, his brand of semi-atheism is also held by the clergy at our parishes, and is clearly the guiding creed of most of the religious orders of our times. The bishops, priests, religious and most of the laity hold these opinions and have yet to be widely corrected. They are also a great deal more zealous and evangelical about their beliefs than is Pat, an irony that will be explored more fully below. This is why I would prefer to spend an hour in Pat's company than with any of his co-religionists in my own Church.

This is why I watch him, and why I think Pat's ideas about religion are worth discussing and examining. First, he has a certain amount of intellectual rigor and second, his ideas are extraordinarily widespread and have become the commonly held beliefs of the great majority of Catholics in the west.

In the video below, for example, he expounds the idea that "spirituality" and "religion" are two different, separate and opposed things with the former being good and nice and warm and fuzzy, and the latter being wicked and destructive to freedom.

Standard late post-modern boilerplate.

So common, in fact, that even most Catholics believe it. In a letter to me before she died, my mother wrote that although she did not consider herself "religious" she believed she was a "spiritual" person.

I will address this idea at length below, but for now, suffice to say that I am using Pat's video as a kind of template for what most post-Christian westerners think about religion, why it is actually a distortion of real religion (that is, Catholicism) and suggesting some reasons why these ideas might have come about.

For those who have never come across anything like this before, it is called apologetics.

I'll start with a caveat: I'm not very good at this stuff. But I've read a bit of stuff by people who are and I enjoy the exercise of the intellect in the defence of something True and Good and Real so much, I thought it would be fun to put down a few ideas here, open things up to some discussion and see if we can't come up with something useful. Maybe it will give me an excuse to look some stuff up that I haven't looked up in a long time.

Apologetics is something that the Church, in its recent state of self-imposed dhimmitude since Vatican II, has declared Bad. We are not to do apologetics nowadays, favouring instead "dialogue". Anyone who has taken the trouble to read me for more than five minutes will know what I think of this. But by way of explanation, it is clear that Pat thinks what he thinks about Catholicism in particular and religion in general, because he is of an age when, in his youth, apologetics was not taught and catechetics was complacent and half-hearted and dumbed down to the minimum. It clearly failed even to admit of what were rapidly becoming the most common modernist objections to the basic notions of the Faith.

Catechists, teachers and priests, like the young charismatic nitwit of my acquaintance I mentioned the other day, normally addressed serious questions from students like Pat with some variation on "Ya just gotta beleeeeeeve", (or a smack) and did not deign to answer. (This, I believe, is why the religious orders collapsed like soap bubbles at the slightest touch of modernism, but that's a rant for a different day.) Obviously it is the reason these people, entrusted with effectively handing on the Faith, failed to do so. They didn't know the answers to the questions themselves.

I remember the kind of scenario well: "But Sister Pauline, how can we know that Jesus rose from the dead? After all, it happened so long ago."

"It says so in the Bible, Hilary."

"Well, yes, Sister, but how do we know the Bible is right?"

"Go to the principal's office, Hilary."

Is it any wonder that Pat came away thinking that if these people, who were The Catholic Authorities, refused to answer such simple, honest and obvious questions, that there were no answers and their religion was rubbish.

Add to that the whispering of the marxists and the proto-marxist secularists of the 19th century that it was all really about power and oppression, and the case was closed.

I am guessing this was probably what happened to Pat because it is the conclusion I came to at thirteen after three years in a Catholic parochial school in Victoria BC under Bishop Remi. My response was typical and I am not sure there are enough Catholics in that town now to fill a phone booth.

Despite the work of people like C. S. Lewis and Frank Sheed, very few Catholics were taught how to answer these accusations. It seems absurd now, because these are the same accusations that have been pointed at Christianity since 1 AD. We have answers to them, most of them devised and promoted by people who are still regarded as the greatest minds in the history of western culture. Some of the answers do not even require a Christian response. Some of them can be answered with work done long before the birth of Christ, (See notes on L. P. of Non C, below) to develop the rules governing rational thought. A bunch of the answers were developed while the Apostles were still stomping around Asia Minor and have been written down in the Big Book. Christ Himself gave us a bunch of it. So, there should be no excuse for a guy like Pat Condell going over to the Dark Side.

But Pat is interesting because he is clearly a man who does not want to leave religion alone. He has thought about it, and even made something of a living out of his thoughts. He is lucky in this because there are enough people in the world whose ideas are exactly the same as his to fill the seats in comedy clubs, but not enough who can articulate them. He has made a living preaching to the choir. But I think the necessity of making a living out of mocking religion was actually a useful thing for him, because it forced him to put the thoughts together coherently and clearly. This puts him head and shoulders above the great majority of people who hold them without realizing they hold them.

Why me? Well, because it popped into my mind as a fun thing to do, for starters. But also because I'm qualified. Not because of what I know, but because of what I believe. I'm the first to admit (well, OK, it took me a long time to admit it, and my friends had already figured it out) that I'm a lousy Catholic. I don't pray very much and I like the intellectual thing more than the spiritual thing. Plus, I'm kind of a bully, and, as it says at the top of the sidebar, I'm really not at all sorry about it.

But I'm the kind of Catholic that Pat would probably not like. I am unusual in being a Traditionalist Catholic who wants the Catholic confessional state to replace whatever weird diseased thing we've got now. I think that the state should have the right to capital punishment. I think that abortion should be a capital crime. I think that homosexuals are mentally ill and their activities should be suppressed by law. (More sharing, sorry.)

I'm not, in other words, your normal warm, fuzzy, friendly JPII-we-luv-yoo kind of happy-clappy Catholic. I'm not politically correct and I'm pretty belligerent about it. In fact, I think I may be a match for Pat's belligerent quasi-atheism. I think Pat and I have a lot in common. We both refuse to be dhimmis and despise the current anti-intellectual, dishonest atmosphere where people cannot safely say what they honestly think. Where they are so afraid of being called a fascist or a racist or a "BNP supporter" they will cower in shame at their own honestly held opinions...opinions, moreover, that are actually held by nearly everyone.

As for not knowing enough stuff, I figure that's why God gave us libraries and later, Google. We can look stuff up. It's what I did when I was 17 and decided that I needed to find out what the real answers were to the religious questions. That questioning led me right back into the Faith. But I've become terribly slack lately, and have let a lot of this stuff to go dormant in my mind. Well, here's a chance. We can maybe look stuff up together and see if we find anything interesting and new and shake up our brains a bit from their snooze.

I read a thing in the Telegraph a while ago where some BBC atheist had asked the religious leaders of our country to try to convince him that there is a God, and that He is the kind of God they say He is. It seemed to me like an honest question, devoid of the usualy BBC/Guardian sneer. (What was his name? Ooo this is going to bug me...he's a journalist and it was all over the papers...can't'll come to me in a minute). I read some of the nonsense given in response to his challenge from Cardinal Cormac, the Archdruid, a "moderate" imam, and the leader of some Jewish group: "Ya jus' gotta beleeeeeve, man".

Anyway, this journalist is a typical post-Christian atheist and talked exactly like Dr. Dawkins, Pat, Douglas Adams and Stephen Fry: as if they simply had never in their lives been confronted with intellectually rigorous and coherent answers to their questions. As if they are just fed up with the pathetic wishy-washy new age bathwater being spewed from the religious mouths these days. Well, so am I. If this is all they've heard of religion, then honestly, I think they've come to precisely the right conclusion.

Dawkins said something a while ago in response to some droolingly stupid thing Cardinal Bubbles had said at Westminster: "There's absolutely no reason to take seriously someone who says, 'I believe it because I believe it.' God either exists or he doesn't. It's a matter of the truth."


Let's start by listening to what Pat says about his religious beliefs.

First of all, can I just say, to all the people who keep writing to tell me that I'm wrong when I say that Christians are born in debt to Jesus. Don't I realise that that debt has already been repaid by Jesus? Well, yes of course. But only in the same way that a finance company will pay off all your current debts but then you have to pay back the finance company or there's going to be trouble. Similarly if you decide to welsh on the debt that you owe Jesus, the one that He paid with is precious blood, well, then you're going to be in big trouble my friend, in fact, "big" is probably too small a word to describe the kind of trouble you're going to find yourself in if you reject Him as your saviour because you're going to fry for eternity. And eternity is not to be trifled with because it's forever. and we know this because they measured eternity and it came up exactly forever. And that's what's in store for you: eternal unimaginable suffering. And Jesus isn't going to do a damn thing about it. Why? because He doesn't give a s___. That's how much He loves you. I think after 2000 years, if anything, He owes us another crucifixion. You can't live on past glories forever...

Anyway, because of this, today I'd like to say a few words about faith, which I think has the potential to enslave us all by stealth. Because I think faith is a very dangerous and misleading word. It contains two completely separate entities which have got nothing at all to do with each other. One is good and one is evil. One's called 'spirituality' and the other is called 'religion'. One is a private experience; the other is a public nuisance. One leads to self-knowledge; the other to self-indulgence at everyone else's expense. In one there is no compulsion, whereas the other depends on compulsion for survival. One is grounded in innocence, the other in guilt. One embraces life; the other worships death. It's hard to imagine how these two things could be any more different. Yet for some reason they are always sold to us together, in a single package under the banner of 'faith'. You take one, you've got to take the other. A bit like a petshop giving away a free rattle snake with every bunny rabbit.

Now, I'm not saying there isn't more to this life than meets the eye, because there obviously is. Science has already shown us that. In the subatomic world it turns out that nothing is actually solid, if you can understand that. And some particles are so unpredictable we're not even sure if they exist or not. They seem to be there and not be there at the same time. A bit like western democracy, or is that just me? But at any rate, it's clear that we are part of a reality that we don't fully understand. And if there's a life force in this universe, and let's face it there must be, otherwise there wouldn't be any life, it's natural that we would want to make some connection with it, because everybody wants to feel more alive, right? But there's no evidence that it requires worshiping or any form of subservient behavior. Or that we are in any way central to its agenda or even relevant to it, any more than any other organism on the planet, or in the universe, this universe, or any other. So in that sense, I think we really need to get over ourselves big time.

Also, we need to stop pretending that all the man-made trappings of faith, the ornamental accessories, if you like, are really anything more than just that. I'm talking about scripture, dogma, ritual, prophecy, religious law, all these things that have been put there to give religion some kind of structure. And to be fair, that's why they're there, isn't it. It's a bit like dressing the invisible man; once he's got some clothes, you can see him. But of course, you don't see him; you see the clothes. And that's the problem. Everyone's become so obsessed with the goddamm clothes, we've forgotten if there was ever anyone there in the first place.

If you're a spiritual person, you don't need religion, and you know it. And you're certainly not interested in forcing your beliefs onto anybody else. If you're not a spiritual person, then what the bloody hell are you doing on your knees praying like an idiot, like some dog that's been taught how to do something without understanding why. Get up and stop making a fool of yourself. Because your faith is not a virtue; its a vice. It's a slave to dogma, to scriptural certainties which are, nevertheless, open to self-interested interpretation by men. Now I'm sure even you can see the obvious flaw in that little arrangement.

Also, faith in its Alice in Wonderland way, defines and measures itself according to lack of evidence. The less evidence there is, the more faith is required and the more worthy it is of respect and deference, for some reason, not to mention large amounts of public money generous tax breaks and the freedom to fill the minds of innocent young children with violent superstitions and baseless fears. And this to me really is the curse of faith. And it's something that shames us all from generation to generation. It's the cowardly way that we allow religion to be forced onto children, in a clear violation of their human rights. Hypnotising them almost at birth. Highjacking their lives and turning them into little Christians, little Muslims, little Jews before they have a chance to undestand the first thing that's involved.

Oh, we live in such civilized times in the 21st century, don't we? Human rights they're everything to us; we fall over ourselves to give compensation to every cheap-chancer, every lowlife criminal scumbag whose precious feelings have been hurt, but we don't give a damn about the rights of children having their minds molded and having them stunted by others before they've had a chance to fully form. Like deadheading flowers before they've bloomed. It's a crime against humanity is what it is, and one day, it will be against the law.


So, a lot of people talked about the liturgical "timebombs" of Vatican II, about how there were all these ambiguous bits of fluff-talk in the VII documents that were really code words for later use to help bring in clapping, clowns, balloons and teddybear Masses.

I'd like to introduce another concept for the discussion: JPII Landmines. Permissions and "clarifications" issued by his late "greatness" John Paul II that are just now coming into their own as weapons in the hands of the enemy against any possible resurgence of the Faith.

"Redemptionis Sacramentum" (On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist), 25th March 2004

"[47.] It is altogether laudable to maintain the noble custom by which boys or youths, customarily termed servers, provide service of the altar after the manner of acolytes, and receive catechesis regarding their function in accordance with their power of comprehension.[119] Nor should it be forgotten that a great number of sacred ministers over the course of the centuries have come from among boys such as these.[120] Associations for them, including also the participation and assistance of their parents, should be established or promoted, and in such a way greater pastoral care will be provided for the ministers. Whenever such associations are international in nature, it pertains to the competence of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to establish them or to approve and revise their statutes.[121] Girls or women may also be admitted to this service of the altar, at the discretion of the diocesan Bishop and in observance of the established norms".

No one liked it. Lots of people looked upon the permission for altar girls as the last straw and left the Church, or gave up the fight for the Faith in despair. I know at least one Cardinal who had been trying to improve things and who never tried again after that.

But I think the usefulness to the enemy of most of JPII's obscure and unreadable stuff was to come later.

Here we have a clear case of a JPII Landmine, planted right in road, just waiting for the Trad personnel carriers to roll over it on the way to victory.

I’m sorry to learn that yesterday’s traditional High Mass at Cardiff Cathedral was called off at the last minute because the Dean insisted that a woman server be present in the sanctuary.

Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff:
Traditionalists are not welcome in cathedrals

The Latin Mass Society cancelled the service because female altar servers are not part of the tradition of the pre-1970 Mass. Opponents of the Pope’s reintroduction of the old Mass must be delighted – what an ingenious way of throwing a spanner in the works!

Fr Tim Finigan broke the news on his excellent blog, commenting that the Vatican is going to have to sort this one out.

Personally, I’m sorry that the LMS didn’t go ahead notwithstanding the presence of the woman altar server. It’s true that the classical form of Mass makes no provision for this innovation, introduced by Pope John Paul II – but by stretching a point the society would have denied liberals the delicious pleasure of seeing the event cancelled.

For, make no mistake about it, this is not about including woman in the traditional Latin Mass: it is about excluding traditionalists from the cathedrals of England and Wales, where they are not wanted.

But hey, it's the springtime guys! Come on now, let's all clap, "JPTOOWEELOVEYOOO"

Monday, May 19, 2008

Own Goal II and III

Passion for Life issues a helpful postcard helpfully telling the Parliamentarians what they want to hear, helpfully:
"Abortion is really OK, more or less, and we, the nice branch of the pro-life movement, the kindly, reasonable, sensible, team player part of the pro-life movement, the kind of pro-lifers you would feel comfortable, say, inviting round to tea, or to give testimony at the HFE Bill committee, want y'all to know that you don't have to be against abortion in any kind of universal or, heaven forfend, absolutist way."

Or, more succinctly:
"Abortion Should be Rare".

Thanks for the help guys.

* ~ * ~ *

A Bishop Clarifies:
"Well, yeah, of course, embryos are important and all. You know, they're potential life, after all, but hey, we're not nutcases in the Catholic Church, not like those crazed extremist pro-life nutters you hear about in some circles. Hell, those guys are all just barking, you know? I mean, seriously, they want everyone to believe that the embryo, that teeeeeeny weeeeny thing, is as important as a person!. Man what a bunch of loons hey?

Anyway, what was the question?"

* ~ * ~ *

Last week when I called the British "pro-life" "movement"

"with the gleaming exception of SPUC and John Smeaton up there alone on their hill, is the most philosophically compromised, inefficient, disorganised, and moribund I have yet to come across in ten years of close worldwide observation..."

I really didn't mean to imply that I thought they should be more organised.

God forbid!

* ~ * ~ *

By the way, and appropos of nothing whatsoever, I recall, for some reason, that Archbishop Nichols is on the Terna to replace Cardinal Bubbles Murphy O'Connor.

It really just popped in there.

Another thing that seems to be just popping, for no reason whatever, into my brain is the mailing address, fax and phone number of the Congregation for Bishops at the Vatican.

* Giovanni Battista Re, Cardinal, Prefect
* Francesco Monterisi, Secretary
Palazzo della Congregazioni,
00193 Roma,
Piazza Pio XII, 10


and, equally mysteriously, the contact information to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

* William Joseph Levada, Cardinal, Prefect
* Angelo Amato, S.D.B., Secretary

Piazza del S. Uffizio,
11, 00193
Roma, Italy


Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy~ Sisters in Jesus the Lord

It still seems like Sunday to me, since we had the day off at LifeSite. So today I'm still in Sunday mode and wanted to tell y'all about my favourite charity.

Meet the Sisters in Jesus the Lord, a missionary group that is still in the "private association of the faithful" stage. I met them at the Institute on Religious Life in Chicago several years ago and of all the groups, both established and beginning, they impressed me the most. Their foundress and superior, Sister Julia Kubista, was formerly a Maryknoll sister, who told me that she had asked for ex-claustration when she just found it impossible to carry on with the order that was so completely abandoning its original charism as Catholic missionaries. She said she wanted to bring Jesus Christ and the truth of the Faith to people and all they wanted to do was dance around trees and talk about Marxism (I paraphrase).

She knew the priests of a new missionary order, the Canons Regular of Jesus the Lord, that was running the Mary Mother of God Mission Society in Vladivostok. Things in the Siberian town were not well at all. It had been a Soviet model city, built by gulag labour and populated by people who had been forcibly removed from their homes elsewhere in the USSR and plonked there with little material provision and no spiritual provision. There had been a Roman Catholic church there, but the last priest of the parish had been shot on the steps of his church in 1925. The communists used the building for administrative purposes for a while, but by the time the Soviet empire "fell", it had been more or less abandoned, along with most of the people of Vladivostok.

Sister Julia got to know the priests who ran a mission there, rebuilding the church, opening a centre for elderly people, starting social services for mothers, post-abortion counselling, boy scouts, an orphanage...there was quite a bit of work.

She told me that she had been working with the priests for some time and one day asked Fr. Myron, the superior, "What do you need the most?" The priest answered, "Sisters". Being a practical woman and one who believed fully in Providence, she said simply, "I'll see what I can do".

When I met them, Sister Julia was wearing only a tailored blue suit and veil that looked much like the old ones that used to be worn by the Maryknollers. She was accompanied by a lovely young woman who was finishing a degree in music. Since then that young lady has been clothed in the new "order's" habit and is called Sr. Stella Maris. The two of them were surrounded by a gaggle of very lovely young girls (since the Institute on Religious Life is something of a career's camp for 19 year-old girls looking for nun opportunities). The seriousness of mind, the purity of Sr. Julia's faith, the utter needfulness of their intended mission to the distressed and miserable people of the former Soviet Siberia, all struck me as the most genuine example of the old ideal of active religious life I had yet come across.

The fact that they survived years of trials under the regime in place in their diocese, and have prospered to a degree (another novice is in the habit and there seems to be another postulant) under what was doubtless both subtle and overt persecution from the diocesan authorities, tells me that this is something that God wants to happen.

Now that they have a new bishop who is at least a believer in the Catholic Faith, I can only imagine that things will begin to progress rapidly for them.

There are a lot of very large obstacles in front of them. The Russian government, that had briefly been welcoming Christian missionaries from the States has clamped down and it is now very difficult to get a visa to go there. Language barriers must be overcome with extensive study. Money and supplies are needed to send the missionaries to Russia.

The Mary Mother of God Mission Society does

an orphanage, with a special milk and fruit programme for the kids
Street kid rescues
a volunteer "grandma" mentoring programme with the orphans
Soup kitchen
The parish at Vladivostok rents a cafeteria three days a
week—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday—to provide nutritious meals for the elderly, who
are generally very poor. The meals are served in downtown Vladivostok, which means
that the elderly can take the trolley to the location for free (trolley rides are
free for those who are officially retired).

On their own, the elderly can usually afford only dry bread and tea. We serve hot
soup, meat, cooked buckwheat, vegetables, meat pies, brown and white breads, dessert,
and hot coffee with cream and sugar. Generous portions are offered so that the diners
can take home the leftovers for the following day, on which there will be no meal

drug and alcohol rehabilitation programme
Women's support centre:
Our Women’s Support Centers (WSCs) are making a tremendous difference
in the lives of Russian women who are seeking an alternative to abortion. Today,
we have seven centers that offer pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, counseling, prenatal
care, vitamins, and help with hospital costs to needy women who are pregnant.
Since 1998—the year we opened our first center—we have assisted more than 10,000
pregnant women who have come to us for help.

Induced abortion continues to this day as the primary method of family planning in
Russia. Estimates vary, but most experts agree that the average woman will have
between 5 and 12 abortions in her lifetime.

Many women openly admit to having 25 or more. In truth, the numbers are difficult to
pin down, as some abortionists report not that they are performing the procedure, but
that they are conducting surgery to “regulate the menstrual cycle.” Others, who
operate private clinics, will not report all the abortions they perform in an effort
to reduce their stated income and the income taxes they must pay.

Restoration of the Cathedral of Vladivostok
A volunteer medical programme for people who cannot afford medical insurance

Other stuff they're doing:
Summer walking pilgrimage
Bicycle pilgrimage
Catholic children's summer camp
Far Eastern Catholic Youth Conference
Evangelization and catechesis
Language and Catechetical Institute, Gaming, Austria
Rachael's Vineyard

There was a wonderful story I remember that the local Orthodox priest (remember most of the Russian Orthodox were communist sympathisers planted there by the KGB) had railed publicly about the sudden appearance of these western Catholic interlopers. He was one of the new mission's most vocal opponents. One night, however, a knock came on the fathers' door. It was the same man. He was near tears as he admitted that his family were starving and could they please help. I don't know if he became a Catholic, but his opposition probably ceased.

Here's a video.

Currently, Russia is in desperate need of more religious vocations, both native as well as foreign! A very important priority in our mission effort has been to seek out persons who might be called to the priesthood or religious life as ordained priests, permanent deacons, or as professed sisters or brothers to labor in the Russian Far East.

As the Catholic Church in Russia matures, there will inevitably be more native Russians who will answer the call to serve God in some capacity in full-time ministry. To assist in this process, though, what is first needed is European and American clergy to answer God's call to labor as missioners in what is truly the last great mission frontier of the world, Siberia.

They're real Catholic Missionaries, for whom the spreading of the Faith as their first goal, who take the liturgy seriously (Novus Ordo) (...for now) and whose primary mission is to save souls and to convert Russia to the true Faith through the witness of their charitable works.

If you want to do volunteer work as a Catholic in a real Catholic mission where your efforts are desperately needed, give it a thought. Get in touch with their office and they'll start the process of getting you over there.

If you want something really Catholic to give money to, here's the address for donations.

If, most importantly, you think you have a vocation to the religious life to do missionary work to spread the Kingdom of God in the true Catholic Faith, get in touch with Sr. Julia or Fr. Myron Effing.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I was talking the other day about incorrupt saints with my (non-religious) family. They were duly impressed with the phenomenon of which they had not previously heard.

For some reason I had been giving some thought to the Incorruptibles, having mentioned to JHW, my editor, my observation that it seems that many of the saints who remain incorrupt after death were those who had enjoyed visions of Our Lady, most prominent of whom, of course is St. Bernadette.

Today, I was just glancing over Daniel Mitsui's blog, (always a rewarding experience), and saw this:
Summa theologica 51.3
It was not fitting for Christ's body to putrefy, or in any way be reduced to dust, since the putrefaction of any body comes of that body's infirmity of nature, which can no longer hold the body together. But as was said above, Christ's death ought not to come from weakness of nature, lest it might not be believed to be voluntary: and therefore He willed to die, not from sickness, but from suffering inflicted on Him, to which He gave Himself up willingly. And therefore, lest His death might be ascribed to infirmity of nature, Christ did not wish His body to putrefy in any way or dissolve no matter how; but for the manifestation of His divine power He willed that His body should continue incorrupt. Hence Chrysostom says that with other men, especially with such as have wrought strenuously, their deeds shine forth in their lifetime; but as soon as they die, their deeds go with them. But it is quite the contrary with Christ: because previous to the cross all is sadness and weakness, but as soon as He is crucified, everything comes to light, in order that you may learn it was not an ordinary man that was crucified.

Since Christ was not subject to sin, neither was He prone to die or to return to dust. Yet of His own will He endured death for our salvation, for the reasons alleged above. But had His body putrefied or dissolved, this fact would have been detrimental to man's salvation, for it would not have seemed credible that the divine power was in Him. Hence it is on His behalf that it is written: What profit is there in my blood, whilst I go down to corruption? as if He were to say: If My body corrupt, the profit of the blood shed will be lost.

Christ's body was a subject of corruption according to the condition of its passible nature, but not as to the deserving cause of putrefaction, which is sin: but the divine power preserved Christ's body from putrefying, just as it raised it up from death.

From which maybe we can extrapolate some kind of explanation for the extraordinary phenomenon of incorrupt saints.

A saint is someone who has become the most Christ-like of people. If their extraordinary sanctity can do things like create a likeness in their lives to the point of showing the marks of Christ's Passion on their bodies, and in phenomena like bilocation, levitation etc, it would stand to reason that this likeness would be carried on after their deaths, especially if it could be a means of convincing unbelievers.

I am going to keep thinking about it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Viva Papa

Just found a terrific Benedict website. It's in Italian, but hey, there's always Google Translator if you're desperate and the photo gallery is really good.


I particularly like the Kissing Babies page.

This one just begs for a caption contest:

The Catholic Mind-Meld

More Respect

Looks like those cops being backed helplessly into the wall by the shrieking maniac have loads of respect.

More Respect?

Hey, "Anastasia" does this about sum up your position?

"...people in Europe now see [Islam] as a threat to their culture. They carry on accommodating every demand of course, but this is not because Islam is welcome in Europe, far from it. It's because people have been condition by the lie of multiculturalism to believe that what they should think is more important than what they do think. so although pee will criticise ilam in privat, they know that to do so publicly, in other words to be honest about their feelings, would instantly make them racists and Islamophobes and Nazis and disgusting imperialists, ethnocentric fascist bastards grinding their jackboots into the faces of the innocent and the weak.

So, best not make a fuss."

Well, just to please you ma'am, I've got a nice new shiny pair of jackboots on order, and although I'm sure they won't go well with the tweed skirts and twinsets, I'll be sure to wear them to the next Pro-lifer thing I go to in this country,

just to please you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Beaten, not stirred

"Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned." (Avicenna, Medieval Philosopher)

Moral Sanity and the Logical Principle of Non-Contradiction

If you are standing in the room, you cannot also be not standing in the room at the same time.

If you are going up the escalator, you cannot at the same time be going down the escalator.

These are examples of what logicians like to call the Logical Principle of Non-Contradiction.

In logic, a contradiction consists of a logical incompatibility between two or more propositions. It occurs when the propositions, taken together, yield two conclusions which form the logical inversions of each other. Illustrating a general tendency in applied logic, Aristotle’s law of noncontradiction states that “One cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time.”

It is the foundation of all rational thought. Without it, no sense can be made of anything and nothing can be discovered, grasped, taught, conveyed or decided. Without this principle, all science, engineering and economics would halt. Without it, only irrationality and chaos could result in human endeavour.

Yes, I know, there are lots of philosophers, mostly recent ones, who refuse to accept this.

And we have the results before us every day in the papers. And in Parliament.

The ignorance of and refusal to accept the L.P. of Non C. results in statements like this:

My starting point is that I have always felt that where the science
is essentially persuasive, as I believe it to be, we should have a model of
facilitation. We should go with embryo research because of the tremendous human
opportunities that it offers. That is to say, I take an empiricist, pragmatic,
instrumental view, rather than the view that some abstract principle should inveigh
against the possibility that such research should be allowed or

and in politicians being elected to Parliament who think they've said something profound and clever because they have used the word "inveigh".

Well, I was taking my late morning bath this morning after tea n' toast and reading the Spectator in the bath, as I often do, when I became very excited.

Theo Hobson met Gene Robinson. Yes, that Gene Robinson. He's in the Old Country for Lambeth, even though he hasn't been invited. In fact, he was specifically dis-invited, nevertheless, he's here.

Mr. Robinson told a group of admirers that his purpose in life is to create a new Christianity. Specifically Gay Christianity, for want of a better euphemism. The Church of Holy Gayness. He says that the Anglican Church is just the place for it.


Because it is the only one in the world that makes no bones, and never has made any bones, about accepting logical contradictions over tea and biscuits.

Apparently, in the Anglican Communion, water flows uphill and one can indeed be both in the room and not in the room at the same time.

"The Anglican tradition is uniquely capable of holding two seemingly contradictory ideas together. It's position on abortion, for example is that all human life is sacred. And, that no one has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body.

Both are true."

I have to say, when I saw this statement I was filled with joy.

AT LAST! I had found someone who can say plainly what Anglicanism is all about. Sodomy, infanticide and fundamental irrationality. Chaos, depravity and murder.

I believe this explains very well what has happened in this country.

Anglicanism invented political correctness.

Here's how it happened.

The nation's leaders abandoned the Faith when they repudiated the Church. (Maybe they didn't think they were doing this, but we have since learned that you can't separate the Faith from the Church any more than you can separate the soul from the body.)

The nation, after a period of rebellion, realizing they lived in an island and there was nowhere else to go, found they had no choice but to go along with it and followed suit, albeit more slowly and less enthusiastically. Thus the Anglican solution was born: let's just not talk about the fact that the entire nation has apostatized and abandoned God and in doing so, also abandoned its own identity. As long as we don't talk about it, things can just carry on and nothing bad will happen.

And nothing bad did, with a few exceptions. What is happening now, with the broad secularization of the whole world, happened then too. It seemed OK to go along with the Protestant revolution because nearly everyone else was doing it. Eventually, it was the Catholics who were seen as foreign and strange. The True Faith had been turned into an interloper and alien in its own land.

The bits and pieces of Catholicism that were allowed to survive in this newly manufactured "religion", were the carefully sanitized bits that fit into the political expediency of the day. But Christianity is politically inconvenient and one by one, they have had to be jettisoned as well.

Having been torn from its foundations, the Faith slowly leaked away until it died out completely.

But nature abhors a vacuum and the devil can't resist an empty house, and moved right on in, animating the corpse which, somewhat gruesomely, continues to wear the ecclesiastical clothes and occupy the buildings, gambolling lewdly around, flopping its limp and rotting appendages in a grotesque parody of Christian worship.

The vestiges of Christianity had all but seeped out of the "national church" by the end of the 18th century and we got Rationalism and the Enlightenment. But man cannot live on this high falutin' brainy stuff alone, and needs spirituality, even if it is counterfeit, so the ordinary folk clung to the bits and pieces of genuine, that is Catholic, Christianity as long as they continued to float whilst doing what the English do and refusing to talk about it.

This carried on until, about the beginning of the 20th century, that colossal slap-in-the-face epoch in which no one could maintain any delusions any more. Life without religion was tried, but found impossible, and we have ended up with what we have now, sex and personal gratification, nihilism and crushing indifference and the sudden exponential growth of the occult.

Oh, and pretty big rates of suicide, divorce, abortion, crime and spiritual emptiness.

That's because of what the headshrinkers like to call "cognitive dissonance".

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological state that describes the uncomfortable feeling when a person begins to understand that something the person believes to be true is, in fact, not true. Similar to ambivalence, the term cognitive dissonance describes conflicting thoughts or beliefs (cognitions) that occur at the same time, or when engaged in behaviors that conflict with one's beliefs. In academic literature, the term refers to attempts to reduce the discomfort of conflicting thoughts, by performing actions that are opposite to one's beliefs.

Taken as a lifestyle choice, the refutation of the L. P. of Non C., makes you go crazy. The dissonance builds up in the mind and the soul until it becomes like being permanently locked in a noisy room. You can't escape it and you can't shut it off. It's what happened to Friedrich Nietzsche and Winston Smith.

The one thing Anglicans do that has become a British national trait, perhaps the defining British national trait, is to not talk about what we're talking about. The trouble is that this causes massive, nation wide cognitive dissonance, which is what we see in the papers every day.

We've gone from not wanting to talk about the Papacy or the nature of the Church, to not talking about anything that might be upsetting. The let's-not-talk-about-it default position of the English was, I submit, created by the Anglican schism and has since spread into every aspect of British life, and has ultimately put the nation into its current parlous and perilous condition.

Our desire not to talk about Islam. About abortion. About Multiculturalism. About the EU. About the loss of British sovereignty. About the 200,000 children getting flushed into the sewer every year. About the absurdities of expecting the abortion and teenage pregnancy rate to fall whilst bombarding the kids with sex talks and condoms in schools. About the fact that "Asian" immigrants and blacks are statistically responsible for the vast majority of violent crime in this country. About the fact that the British, once a free people have abandoned their integrity and freedom and are being ruled by a toxic combination of Islamic terrorists, Brussels marxists, and gross salivatory appetite.

In all of this, we continue not to talk about what we are talking about. It's the Anglican way. Well, I've always wanted to know where it comes from, and now I know.

Thanks Gene.

Anglicanism. The one creed in the world that requires its adherents to accept logical contradictions by the simple method of not talking about anything but the weather.

At least with Islam, adherents are given something to do to work off the rage created by being forced to accept things that are patently untrue and wicked.

I used to try desperately to get Anglicans to tell me what they thought they meant by the word "catholic" in the creed at their service. I was puzzled by the fact that none of them could speak in plain sensible English about the origins of their church, or about their notions of ecclesiology.

I had yet to learn that when people are forced to accept things they know are not true, as an obvious logical contradiction, they can do one of two things: go mad and become violent (what I like to call the Islamic solution) or apply the Anglican principle. The latter is a kind of glaze, like aspic, that is poured over the logical rift to try to fill in the gap. It holds the whole thing together, in a fragile sort of way. But it requires one thing to keep it going: the pledge of everyone in the room, never ever to talk about it. Never ever to disturb the "consensus" that holds the jelly together. The first person to dig their spoon in it and try to find out how it's made, destroys it for everyone.

Anglicanism was held together for five hundred years by this massive agreement never ever to talk about the big questions. What sort of church are we? What do we believe? I think Druid Rowan said something like it recently, as he huffed and shuffled over the Shariah law debacle. I paraphrase from memory, "Anglicanism holds together by means of deciding not to decide on things."

Well, Gene has gone and blown it. He has forced it all out into the open. As long as we didn't say out loud that we like sodomy and abortion, the Christians could maintain their denial and wouldn't have to go off on their own or join the papists.

But Gene has dug his spoon into the jelly to get the shrimps out and the whole thing has fallen down.

Gene talks about the future of the Christian world, and it is gay. Perhaps not particularly happy, but certainly gay.

Actually, I have to say that Gene showing up and telling everyone what he thinks while the Anglicans talk about the weather in Lambeth palace, is exactly what is needed. The attempt to stick the jelly back together by not inviting him is a perfect example of what I mean.

But Gene, you go girl, you keep sticking your spoon in and you GET that shrimp.

Well, it could be worse,

Since Friday, we have received threats while the authorities in Belgium, which has a large population of Turkish immigrants, fear that the pulpit and the church may be attacked. The Belgian press reported today that the police is guarding Dendermonde’s Our Lady church to prevent vandalism to church and pulpit.

at least they're guarding it, and not offering to tear it down to appease the ignorant savages.

Plausible Deniability

I note only one thing: if, as its defenders loudly assert, the morning after pill has nothing to do with abortion and was merely another innocent method of chemical contraception, why is it newsworthy?

Because for a totally innocent "emergency contraceptive", it certainly is very newsworthy.

"all 134 news articles"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

There's only one problem with this

there are no nuns anymore who dress like that.

I was told something interesting about religious life this weekend. The Congregation for Religious in the Vatican is absolutely flooded with requests for approval of new communities. There is indeed a revival going on, big time.

The one thing they never get is requests for approval of communities in the Traditional Rite.

Odd hey? Where are the trads?

Drinking Catholicism

The difference between Narnia and Middle Earth points to the underlying difference between the imagination of Lewis the Protestant and Tolkien the Catholic. For the Protestant, truth is essentially dialectical. It consists of abstract propositions to be stated, argued, and affirmed or denied.

For the Catholic, Truth, while it may be argued dialectically, is essentially something not to be argued but experienced. The Truth is always linked with the mystery of the incarnation, and is therefore something to be encountered.

Many Protestants will argue, for instance, that God's primary revelation is Sacred Scripture, while Catholics maintain that God's primary revelation is Jesus Christ.

It was said to me once, that the difference is that one learns Protestantism but one drinks Catholicism.

The Discriminating Alice von Hildebrand

Years ago, the word "discrimination" was primarily used to make intelligent distinctions. A discriminating person was one capable of perceiving the crucial difference between good taste and bad taste, between beauty and ugliness, between a cultivated person and a coarse one, between moral good and evil, between normal and perverse. To call a person discriminating was a compliment.

Zombies II

The Great Steyn (may he be widely read) talks about today's zombie issues. Movie screen visual aids from Dawn of the Dead

This thing is an (Islamic) identity that once you seize it, once you become infected by it, it becomes your primal identity.

I think the danger is that in fact we waste so much time in trying to pretend that these are conventional struggles...they're not.

I think a few years from now, they're going to be holding think tanks all over Washington on who lost Britain.

We face a future in a very short period of time where large parts of Europe will either be mired in civil war or transforming rapidly...

There is certainly something very deep in the Western cultural consciousness that fears collectivism. It is why the Borg were the New Star Trek's only really scary or interesting villains. It is a recurring theme in science fiction and in political thought that at the deepest, most instinctive level, we Whiteys fear most the threat of losing our individual selves to something dehumanizing.

I think this fear, as long as it remains healthily entrenched in our minds, will save us, particularly in Britain where it is probably strongest, from cultural annihilation.

Anyway, back to more interesting grammar-related things

In addition to the wonderful Apostrophe Protection Society, we now have some notable blogging efforts at stopping linguistic and grammatical entropy.

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

The Grammar Blog...hey baby...nice conjunctions.

And finally, an answer to that perennial vexer, how do you punctuate the title of the bakery owned by Mr. Jones?

Its: Jones's bakery but Joneses' bakery if owned by more than one Jones.

Or, to put it more briefly, and at the risk of sounding somewhat Liverpudlian...

To those who like to screech "She's a BNP supporter! Don't talk to her, we might get her cooties..."

I'm a Tory.

Unusually, though, I'm a genuinely conservative Tory who is also capable of independent rational thought and political analysis and one who, further, doesn't like to be told what to think by the fashionable politically correct whims of the day. I am also someone who is thoroughly disgusted with the tenor of British political discourse in which some things are not allowed to be mentioned or thought about. I also think that the BNP would not exist today at all had the Conservative Party not given up being conservative.

The British people are a naturally conservative people and they don't like to be lied to or treated like idiots, which the Conservative party, as well as Labour, has done routinely for forty years or so. This situation has made the British People mad. When they are mad, they do things more quietly than the French. They do not riot or blow things up like some people; they merely quietly go about setting up alternatives and voting for them. An entirely commendable trait for a people who invented modern democracy.

The British People also do not like to be told what to think or that their traditional culture is not good enough for the Progressive Modern World. They especially do not like to be told this by people they have themselves voted into office.

All of these things have created the BNP as a response.

When the Tories start behaving like proper British Tories, the BNP will fade naturally away. So, if you don't like the BNP, I'd suggest that the smartest thing to do would be to join the Tories and start forcing them to become more Tory.

A more productive way to spend one's time, I believe, than screeching and howling and saying stupid childish things in commboxes or trying to pretend that there isn't a problem in British politics and that everything is just hunky-peachy.

So, if you think it is a bad thing merely to think about the BNP from a dispassionate non-hysterical point of view to discuss and examine the implications of their growing popularity and the importance of it as a political indicator


then you are too stupid to be worth talking to or responding to.

Allow me to let you in on a little secret to my character: the more you shriek and howl and jump up and down, the more I'm going to enjoy making you look foolish. I'm just naturally contrary that way. Ask anyone.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Evil old me - Bump up

Update: This just in from a pro-life person of my acquaintance. She says, "Good analysis of the pro-life situation here. You are certainly right about SPUC and the attitude of others to it."

Aren't I clever? And I figured it out using only my All-Powerful Brain, the evidence and past experience...just like Sherlock Holmes.

* ~ * ~ *

Another reader writes (sympathetically) "You'll probably find that any positive comments about the BNP take up an awful lot of your time and energy dealing with the reaction."

To Which Aitchdubya replies: S'ok. I've been disgusted with the incredible stupidity and childishness of British politics for some time and I'm interested enough in trying to force people to think rationally (using their brains! What an idea!) that I'm willing to put up with some irritation. The BNP is like a claxon, just talking about them at all get's people's attention. Once we have their attention, we apply the rod of Rational Thought with a firm and unyeilding hand.

...and besides, all my life I've been told that one of my main faults is that I do not suffer fools. This will help me practice.

* ~ * ~ *

I'm really quite mad.

I think I'm going to keep this one on top for a while. Scroll down for highlights of the MPs debate on the HFE Bill. Frankly, with the quality of thinking displayed therein, I am beginning to think we might be better off if the conspiracy theorists were right and we are being governed by a small cabal of moneyed interests and space aliens.

* ~ * ~ *

Warning: This is going to be a very long post about my personal beliefs. If you are like me, you will see this disclaimer, realise it is now going to get very boring around here and move on to the Daily Dilbert or to Hansard or some other more amusing thing. But if you are the obsessive type who has no life or if you are a humourless, pinch-faced female representative of the British All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, you might want to heed my caution that I am going to become very personal and very personally insulting in a few moments.

Continue at your own risk.

I noted a few months ago that I am normally fairly reticent about letting people know what I really think.

I shall wait until the laughter has died down and people have resumed their seats.



Perhaps on the Last Day when all things are revealed, it will amaze both friends and enemies that, despite having blogged for years, I have become progressively more private and have learned not to be forthcoming about my personal beliefs and especially about my political positions. There will be, I predict, genuine wonderment at the number of times I have refrained from telling people what I really think, of their clothes, their jokes, their politics, their intelligence, the size of their feet, noses and egos alike.

It is also true that I keep my actual political and religious opinions to myself and share them only with intimates. Partly because they are works in progress, and partly because they are simply none of your damn business. Normally when someone demands to know what my position is up front, I’m inclined to tell them to go to hell.

I know that my ideas would be decidedly odd to most people and I’m not interested in going to a lot of trouble to defend or explain them. But the oddness of my thought processes has led me in some very interesting and unexpected directions and have made for an interesting life, both inner and external. So I am generally pleased with them. I do not keep my ideas to myself because I am unsure of their rightness, trust me.

But it must be said that there is no political party on earth that represents them fully. This is an important point to keep in mind as you slog through this tedious and dreary post. So important that I will say it again. There is no political party in this country or any other that fully represents my ideas about how I think the civic secular order should be run.

As I’ve just said in a different context, I'm terribly chary of climbing on board anyone's bandwagon. I’m not a joiner, in general.

In truth, and all facetiousness aside, my politics is informed by my Catholicism, particularly by my Traditionalist (that is, pre-Vatican II) Catholicism that posits the necessity of the Catholic Confessional State to create a social order conducive to human happiness and eternal salvation. I have found that in neo-conservative Catholic circles, (among the very, very few who know what the terms mean) this position is even more reviled than paid-up membership in the BNP would to wishy-washy quasi-pro-life British Parliamentary activists...but I’m getting ahead of myself.

There, I hope you’re happy. I’ve just admitted Something Real about what I think. It won’t happen again soon.

In fact, I don’t think there is a word in the mainstream political lexicon to describe my position. Perhaps “Catholic feudal paleo-conservative” might come close, but these terms have become so fluid as to be almost useless. Perhaps simply “Rightwing” (alloneword) will have to suffice, but only for the same reason Cardinal Ratzinger was and is regarded as an “archconservative” by his media detractors.

It may be interesting to some that I have occasionally taken political compass tests and found that the Catholic feudal paleo-conservative political view for which there is no name, comes out when tested as officially “moderate” centrist-conservative. I’ve had this result several times on different tests so maybe it means something.

But of course, these terms are subject to interpretation by the beholder. How Rightwing one is nearly always depends upon who is doing the observing and I believe that the “traditional” divisions of modern-era politics are becoming increasingly useless as the painful realities of our world continue to press in upon us and crowd us all together in some unexpected ways.

Needless to say, I harbour no hopes whatever that my ideas will become mainstream or that the world will come sufficiently to its collective senses to adopt any of them. At least, not until the Parousia and the Restoration of All Good Things.

Most of what you read here of my opinions is not particularly serious and what I write here is largely meant to force an alternate viewpoint from the mainstream into the consciousness of my readers. I also have a great deal of difficulty taking politicians or their works seriously. I’ve met them. I’ve read the unbelievably stupid things they say in Parliament, and I’ve learned that there is no way to support the great majority of them.

For the most part I like a joke and enjoy misdirecting, tweaking, and sometimes even deliberately irritating those around me. I especially enjoy the undoubtedly perverse pleasure of poking my stick into the hornet’s nest of British religious politics to watch the tiny impotent fury of the insects as they bounce off my fully functioning Rational Thought Shielding.

Some years ago, I amused a friend by telling him my method of dealing with readers, politicians, lobbyists and bishops who especially annoy by a carefully structured bloggers’ method. Step one: ridicule, mockery and public humiliation; Step two: vicious personal abuse; Step three: banishment to the outer darkness.

The people who like this sort of thing are generally the people at whom the joke is never pointed. They come back a lot and have read me for a long time. It’s like a small but very snooty club in high school. And that is precisely how I like it.

My gleeful enjoyment of the squirming discomfort of the humourless and pedantic is probably something about which I ought to speak to a competent spiritual director. I’m sure it comes under the heading of sins of Pride and possibly of uncharity, but for the moment it is enough to understand that this, for good or ill, is just a part of my character, whatever childhood trauma or deprivation may have induced it. (And if this is the case, I have to say it is an argument for more of that particular type of trauma and childhood deprivation; the humour of the world may be improved thereby.)

On all of this, I am willing to receive criticism from authorised sources. Just this weekend I was given the opportunity to hear some of this from just such a source and am happy to have done so. But I caution that if a random reader thinks that he may now jump in with his tuppence, I can almost guarantee that he is not on the list and will receive what such people receive at this site according to the above policy. As I have said in the commbox rules, “My blog is my universe,” of which I am the petty tyrannical dictator.

You’re wondering why I’m telling you all this.

It is all to preface a rejoinder to what was no doubt a hasty and ill-considered notice I received third hand at someone else’s blog. This notice was in the way of a denouncement from someone who identified herself as “Anastasia” and claims to be a spokesman for the All Party Parliamentary Pro Life Group, thus:

I don't think any of the major Pro-Life groups would welcome
any political association with a supporter of the violent, racist BNP.

Pro-Life affirms the dignity of all human persons regardless of their ethnic
or religious background. Support for or membership of parties with explicitly
racist policies such as the BNP is thus incompatible with any official role
in a Pro-Life organisation.

Putting on my official hat, I can categorically state that the All Party
Parliamentary Pro Life Group has no interest whatsoever in working with
Hilary White for the above mentioned reasons.

You yourself would do well to examine a person's political views before
inviting them to organise Pro-Life activists so as to avoid bringing the
movement into disrepute, or causing yet another damaging split.

Allow me to put on my official hat for a moment and say that, for reasons given below, there is little danger of me asking any of the All Party Parliamentary Pro Life Group for a job. Or even an interview. As far as I have seen, they have distinguished themselves only by their abject failure, and, if we really want to know my personal opinion, would serve best by being formally disbanded. In various conversations, I have learned that many other pro-life advocates and private persons with pro-life views in this country feel much the same, though in some cases it would do damage to their work to admit it publicly.

Politicians do not impress me. Still less do lobbyists who cannot lift their heads out of the inane political prejudices of their immediate environment.

I did not think it polite at the time to fill up Someone Else’s commbox with the kind of flame war against which I have a prohibition at home. Nevertheless a response is required, I believe. And besides, I can’t resist such a golden opportunity to test my Howizters. It’s been such a long time since I’ve come out and really said What I Really Think; I’m past due for a little stretch of the legs.

Allow me to begin by presenting some home truths about the success of the pro-life movement in this country and particularly in Parliament:

I have a little running contest going with my editors about which country is ahead in the Let’s-Kill-Everyone-In-The-World sweepstakes, Canada or the UK and I admit it is sometimes difficult to detect which is going to take the prize, but for the moment, I’m going to claim the title for Britain on points.

Britain currently leads the western world in the Culture of Death and nowhere is this more evident, or more ideologically committed, than in Parliament. The only countries with worse reputations are former Soviet nations and current communist regimes. So, congratulations to the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group on a job well done.

Last week, a Conservative backbencher MP, Nadine Dorries, who is not “pro-life” but has a reputation for saying what is on her mind, called Britain the “abortion capital of Europe”.

The attitude of the British public is that a “termination” is simply a regrettable but necessary medical procedure. I have posted some thoughts on why the British situation is the worst in the western world and I stand by them.

Britain was the first large industrialized country in the western world to make abortion effectively legal, in 1967.

Here, I wrote that Britain has surpassed the wildest dreams of the Moloch Movement by adopting the most progressive attitude anywhere towards abortion. The British position surpasses that of the Canadians who still cling to some vestige of morality by trying to deny the existence of a child, and therefore disclaim that abortion is murder. In the British medical, academic and political world, the pretense is entirely dropped and there is no disagreement: there is a child, and we are going to kill her. This is the most forthright acceptance of the abortion logic in the world outside the former Soviet bloc, more even than most abortion lobbyists will admit to themselves.

Recently released statistics show that there are nearly 200,000 abortions a year in Britain. Parliament is currently trying to remove the last token restrictions to abortion, while at the same time working to increase “access to contraception”. It is also pushing to have this murderous freeforall imported into Northern Ireland.

The egregiously ignorant and self-contradictory idiocies spewing from the mouths of the Parliamentarians this week on the HFE Bill debate has also shown that the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group has done a topping job of educating their immediate constituents, their fellow- MPs.

The Health Department was recently forced to admit that hundreds of under age girls are getting their children killed at public expense. And Britain has fully embraced eugenics in its laws allowing abortions up to the point of birth for those children suspected of being defective.

Rumour has it (from the Telegraph) that there is an instruction for doctors who fail to murder a child in the womb: they are authorized to kill the child with a lethal injection, should it accidentally be born breathing and not in pieces.

Britain is proud of the fact that it has led the world in the pursuit of the Fountain of Youth and Immorality by creating and tearing apart human beings at the earliest stages of life for stem cells.

The National Health Service now routinely allows patients to be dehydrated to death against their wishes and the wishes of their families. A legal challenge that attempted to give patients the right not to be killed by medical fiat failed, and failed and failed in the British courts, all the way to the European Court of Human Rights who said that Britain’s “legal safeguards” are sufficient. Patients in this country thus have no right to override a doctor’s decision to murder them when they are helpless.

And probably the most damning of all, is the observable fact that the pro-life movement in this country, with the gleaming exception of SPUC and John Smeaton up there alone on their hill, is the most philosophically compromised, inefficient, disorganised, and moribund I have yet to come across in ten years of close worldwide observation.

So, to the Parliamentary All-Party Pro-life Group, all I can say is, “I’m surprised you’re not being paid by Planned Parenthood. You should ask them, since the worker is worthy of his hire.”

I am not an activist. I tried lobbying for a while and found that I was simply not constituted to deal all day long with people who can’t exercise basic principles of rational thought without flying into a rage. The wear and tear it took to refrain from telling politicians, and frequently other activists what I really think, became too much. I’m much better constituted to be a journalist, a blogger, a maker of snippy one-line comments on blogs. All my life I’ve stood slightly to the side and watched other people doing things. There is a proper place for everyone and I’m an observer and a recorder.

That being said, trust me Anastasia, if I were to suddenly come over all activist-minded again, the phone number of the Parliamentary All-Party Pro-life Group would not be the first one I would reach for in the Rolodex. When you’ve got something to show that indicates some kind of dedication to the cause, some kind of energy, initiative, creativity and professionalism, I might take you up on your kind invitation to be told to get lost.

I have noted in my travels that the one thing the pro-life movement excels at is backstabbing their friends. Particularly those people on their side who are judged by the world’s standards as being “too extreme”.

I am now going to shock the uninitiated: there are divisions in the pro-life movement.

My observation has been that these are based on one thing, the desire or lack of desire, to be thought “normal” and “mainstream”, “reasonable” or “a team player.” Something the traditional spiritual writers used to call “human respect”.

I have seen that frequently the worst enemies we have are other pro-life groups who want to be seen as “normal and mainstream” by the pro-abortion world of politics and media.

I’ve sometimes called this Pro-Lifer Stockholm Syndrome, in which the desire to be liked becomes so strong that the person or group ends up joining the enemy. This is especially popular in Canada among the so-called “educational arm” of the pro-life movement that wants above all to be seen as warm, fuzzy and approachable. So much so that it has in many cases abandoned the wildly and almost universally unpopular pro-life position entirely. This may seem like a nasty thing to say, but it is based on years of observation and interaction.

The most egregious example of this was one I met in Nova Scotia several years ago. I had been put in charge of some things for Campaign Life Coalition and had arranged to make a presentation at the monthly meeting of Nova Scotians United for Life, an “educational” group funded by the Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax.

I put it to them that it would be useful for our two groups to work more closely together, respecting our proper roles as the educational and political wings of the same movement.

I was thanked for my offer of keeping them informed but was told quite bluntly that they did not want to work with us.

I was told, “You see, we’re not actually working towards the same goal”.

“We’re not?” said innocent naive I, rather alarmed. “I thought we are all working to make abortion illegal and unavailable.”

“Nono, of course not. You see, we believe a woman does have a right to choose. We just feel that our work is to encourage her to choose an alternative to abortion.”

At this point, I was looking around to see if the exits were clear.

“But that seems to imply,” said I somewhat shakily, “that abortion is an acceptable choice.”

“Of course it is.”

“But, forgive me if I’m being combative here, you are funded by the Church aren’t you?”


“Well, it’s the teaching of the Church that abortion is always and in every circumstances well...wrong. And that it is our duty to try to stop it.”

I was then assured that this was not the teaching of the Church.

You see, since Vatican II, the Church is understood not just to be the priests and bishops, and especially not just the Vatican, but the entire people. And since not all the people in the Church agree on abortion, actually there is no Catholic teaching on the subject of abortion.

This group had gone all the way over to the other side in its desire to be seen as “reasonable”, “moderate”, “approachable”. (Yes, I reported it to the Archbishop, more than once. I believe Nova Scotians United for Life continues in its opinions and continues to receive the bulk of the annual diocesan pro-life collection.)

This phenomenon is only too familiar to those who have spent any length of time in the pro-life movement, and I believe it is universal (that is, not confined to one country). I do not know any member of the “extreme” (ie: pro-life) end of the movement who has not observed it.

Now, about the BNP. One of the things that has struck me as weird in this weird country is the bizarre shrieking hysteria in certain political circles and in the media over the existence of the BNP.

I have this to say in response: “Are we six?”

Is this the schoolyard? Am I being excluded from the cool kids group because I have a funny nose? Can we please grow up a little? Can we stand for a moment to make some clear headed observations? And can we please do it without the ritualistic spitting on the ground that so many believe is the necessary opening to talk about them?

The BNP are interesting and an important political phenomenon, they are the canary in the political coal mine and are taken seriously as such even by Labour (“British jobs for British workers”...sound familiar?) There are a lot of people, people without a personal stake in being liked by the mainstream parties, who have been giving the BNP some thought, and I’m one of them.

I’ve read their manifesto, and I’ve spoken to some of their leadership and they are a genuinely grassroots political movement. All the more interesting since such a thing is nearly impossible in the current situation in which political parties exist only at the sufferance of the Two Big Ones and their friends in the financial world and media.

Lots of people, few of whom are “BNP supporters” have noted this. The party’s success is getting them quite a bit of airtime lately and where there was once a concerted effort to ignore them out of existence, their popularity with the public has forced media not only to acknowledge their existence but to air their views. It was noted recently that the BNP’s website is the most visited of all the party websites put together. People are interested in them and for good reason.

The simple fact is that the BNP is a backlash party. A result of the “mainstream” Conservative party abandoning its traditional political positions. If Toryism had not followed the current fashion for “re-branding” itself as the warm fuzzy left to try to attract Labour voters, the BNP would never have come into such a position of prominence.

It is also the result of people getting fed up with being told patent untruths by mainstream politicians. When Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems all tell the people of, say, Blackbourne, that mass immigration from the seething hellholes of the Third World is the best thing to ever happen to their community, it is natural that they would turn to the party that refuses to deny what everyone can plainly see.

It is also as refreshing as a cool swim in a sultry Toronto summer, to hear them say out loud what nearly everyone outside Westminster is really thinking. That alone is probably explanation enough for a great deal of their growing popularity.

It is interesting to note that recently an experimental poll was taken on BNP policies, but without telling those polled whence the policies originated. The support for the BNP’s policies was overwhelming when the people were not hampered with the weird hysterical loathing of the party itself.

But the effect of the anti-BNP hysteria is to create a frightened atmosphere of politically correct silence. People refuse to say anything about any of these issues for fear of getting slapped with exactly what I’ve been slapped with.

I am not the only one to have noted the deleterious effect this self-censorship has had on democratic freedoms in this country. I have observed that the people who might otherwise have been spending the last 30 years or so developing a strong comprehensive conservative political movement, have instead spent the time back-pedalling as fast as possible from any genuinely conservative positions for fear of being branded as “Enoch Powell” followers.

Well, as of this month, those days are gone and it is time for the wretchedly ineffectual conservative movement to get off its collective rear ends.

One of the first things I noted as extremely telling was that the shriekers hurl exactly and precisely the same epithets at the BNP as they do at pro-lifers in general. This meant there had to be something interesting in there. Because of my constitutional inclination to curiosity and observation, it is this very hysteria that first made me interested in the BNP as a significant British political phenomenon. That they exist at all, is an important indicator of what is going wrong in this country, and particularly with the Tory party.

What Anastasia’s shrieking denouncement reminds me of most is the frantic back-pedalling of an insecure sophomore trying to get accepted by a posh college fraternity but who has friends or relatives who might be seen as unacceptable to the desirable cool kids. Having been a somewhat isolated and bullied child in school, I’m only too familiar with the experience.

This denouncement told me pretty much everything I needed to know about the Parliamentary All-Party Pro-life Group. Actually, it more or less just confirmed what I had surmised by other circumstantial evidence. Terrified of being seen as “extreme” (meaning genuinely pro-life), these are company men who will do anything, denounce anyone, stab any friend or colleague in the back, commit character assassination, calumny, detraction or libel to avoid being tarred with the ‘conservative’ brush.

All pro-lifers are accustomed to being called “fascists”, “racists”, “Nazi’s” etc. It is part of the fun actually. But Anastasia, (and all the detractors both of the BNP and the pro-life movement) has forgotten that there is one rule in political debate:

The first person who screams “racist” has conceded the argument.

Or, as someone recently said, (I can’t remember where I read this), “It is not intolerance to say the truth. In actual fact, it is intolerance to yell 'bigot' or 'racist' when you disagree with someone because you have no logical argument to offer in response.”

What “truth” am I saying that has garnered this hysterical and rather imprudent denunciation from our friends in the Parliamentary All-Party Pro-life Group? That the pro-life position is at the same time, both naturally conservative and ‘extreme’.

Now it is simply an uncomfortable fact that is seen by many “pro-lifers” who like to be liked, that the genuine pro-life position (which I like to sum up as “you can’t kill people to solve your problems) is, in our current political climate, a naturally “conservative” one. And the media oracles tell us that conservative = bad. It is “fascist”, it is evil, it is racist, it is any number of awful things, because it clings doggedly to the notion of objective reality and does not admit of the now-standard liberal fantasies.

“Liberals” in our time do not hold a pro-life position. Cannot hold it for reasons too complicated to go into here and having much to do with their fundamental denial of the Principles of Rational Thought. But Liberals rule the world. Their thought is the “mainstream” of politics, media, academia, the professions, the medical world and the Churches. So to dissent from that is to be a de facto radical and to leave oneself open to the charges and punishments normally meted out to anyone outside the mainstream. And no one likes to be out of the cool kids club.

This is the price one has to accept for being a pro-life person in our times. It cannot be avoided. People will hate you. You will not be invited to the right parties.

Sorry, Anastasia, but it’s true. I submit that the sooner the members of your little club accept this, the sooner they can start being more effective.

Some groups around have accepted this.

In Canada, Campaign Life Coalition has been on the receiving end of attacks from within and without the pro-life movement for its entire history.

In the US, American Life League is frequently denounced by the “cool” and “mainstream” pro-lifers as too “extreme”.

In Britain, though I am not familiar with the details, I am given to understand that the pro-life position doggedly held by SPUC is regularly backed away from by those who like to be liked.

Pro-lifers learn early to suck it up and get on with the task.

They also do not ally themselves to the fashionable political trends or parties. It is necessary to choose a side and to make common cause with anyone who is on your side.

Now, just in case anyone is interested in my own political beliefs, I will say that I am a Tory. Literally. I am a paid up member of the Tory party. And one who is delighted by their recent amazing electoral success. Joining the party was one of the first things I did here. In fact, it was even before I got my phone line installed.

That being said, I must thank Anastasia for making for me a point that I have been trying to get across for some time.

The pro-life movement in Britain welcomes everyone...except anyone who openly and objectively examines the political assumptions of the day without giving the politically correct nod to hating the people we are all supposed to hate.

It is not the first time I have observed the existence of a rigid pro-life political correctness. We are allowed to think only certain thoughts, yes? Accept and support certain memes and assumptions or you have stepped outside the magic ring.

My alleged support for the BNP is a case in point, and the knee-jerk fury it apparently engenders is also very interesting and very telling. It indicates a pro-life movement that has been hopelessly compromised by political expedience and that has therefore lost any hope it has of exercising moral authority. It has joined the group whom it was charged with educating and evangelizing.

Of course, to a combative personality like mine, such hysterical screeching of this kind is too tempting a red flag. So, let's just break a few taboos, shall we, and talk openly and dispassionately about what we're so afraid of.

On the pro-life obsession with stabbing their friends in the back: I asked an old pro-life campaigner, John Muggeridge, once why pro-lifers are so addicted to petty squabbling, backbiting and finger-pointing.

It is, he said, simply because they have no power. It's human nature in any political or even social situation for the powerless group to amuse itself by fighting amongst itself.

But it does make a person rather tired.

an essentially persuasive model of facilitation...

I wonder if the honourable member thinks normal people really talk like this.

John Bercow (Buckingham, Conservative)

My starting point is that I have always felt that where the science is essentially
persuasive, as I believe it to be, we should have a model of facilitation. We
should go with embryo research because of the tremendous human opportunities that
it offers. That is to say, I take an empiricist, pragmatic, instrumental view,
rather than the view that some abstract principle should inveigh against the
possibility that such research should be allowed or extended.


If the Great God Science says we can do it, then it's OK because whatever we can do, we should do.

But this isn't "some abstract principle", it's the empiricist view, and therefore the correct one. Abstract is bad, you see...and so are principles...but that isn't a principle, you understand...just an empiricist view.

And there's a difference.

And the difference is shut the hell up you weird religiousy people. That's what.

Seriously, do these people ever hear themselves?

But I'm disappointed. I am used to hearing this kind of blithering gibberish from Canadian MPs, but it wasn't that long ago that we had real schools in this country. Honestly, this could have come out of the mealy mouth of a Quebec MP.