Friday, April 27, 2018

NY farm submits to hosting same sex marriages with a big "But..."

SCHAGHTICOKE -- Even with a state ruling and a court decision against them, the operators of Liberty Ridge Farm may have found a way to avoid having same-sex weddings there after all.

The Schaghticoke tourist farm and wedding venue was in the headlines in 2014 when the state Division of Human Rights ruled that operators Robert and Cynthia Gifford couldn't discriminate against same-sex couples who wanted to get married there.

Now, though, the farm notes on its website that it donates a portion of its profits to the Family Research Council, a Washington, D.C.-based group that opposes same-sex marriage and believes that homosexual conduct is wrong.

"At Liberty Ridge Farm, our deeply held religious belief is that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and the Farm is operated with the purpose of strengthening and promoting marriage. In furtherance of this purpose and to honor and promote our moral and religious beliefs, we donate a portion of our business proceeds to organizations that promote strong marriages such as the Family Research Council," its online statement reads.

"The patronage of all potential clients for all services offered is welcome regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability or marital status. ... All couples legally permitted to marry in the state of New York are welcome to hold their wedding at Liberty Ridge Farm. We serve everyone equally."

Liberty Ridge also has a number of agritourism attractions ranging from animals to corn mazes and pumpkin patches, and hosts field trips for local schools.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Abortion

So a video dealing with late term abortion has been brought to my attention. You may watch it here. Caution: I found it to be extremely disturbing.

Abortion is the great moral issue of our age, in the same way that slavery was in the 19th century. And the similarities are stark. In both instances you have one group of people trying to strip another group of people of their basic identity as human beings in order to reduce them to the status of property, that can then be disposed of in whatever manner is convenient to the owner. I believe that with the general acceptance of prenatal infanticide on an industrial scale, even to the point of elevating it to the status of a "human right," that we have crossed over into a new Dark Age. An era of barbarism that would make the ancient Roman's with their fondness for blood sports seem quite civilized by comparison. I know there are a lot of folks who don't believe in God. And at times I almost hope they are right. Because if there is a God, one has to wonder how much more of this He is going to put up with before dropping the hammer. I note that in Britain today there is a hospital that together with the courts are trying desperately to kill a small boy against the wishes of his parents. It's as if the entire world has gone mad, or alternatively been given over to demonic possession.

The world desperately needs a moral reawakening, and a revived abolitionist movement. I don't know how much time we have left.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Socialism is once again in vogue. Why?

Socialism is extremely in vogue. Opinion pieces which tell us to stop obsessing over socialism’s past failures, and start to get excited about its future potential, have almost become a genre in its own right.

For example, Bhaskhar Sunkara, the founder of Jacobin magazine, recently wrote a New York Times article, in which he claimed that the next attempt to build a socialist society will be completely different:
This time, people get to vote. Well, debate and deliberate and then vote—and have faith that people can organize together to chart new destinations for humanity. Stripped down to its essence, and returned to its roots, socialism is an ideology of radical democracy. […] [I]t seeks to empower civil society to allow participation in the decisions that affect our lives.
Nathan Robinson, the editor of Current Affairswrote in that magazine that socialism has not “failed." It has just never been done properly:
It’s incredibly easy to be both in favor of socialism and against the crimes committed by 20th-century communist regimes."
When anyone points me to the Soviet Union or Castro’s Cuba and says “Well, there’s your socialism,” my answer […] [is] that these regimes bear absolutely no relationship to the principle for which I am fighting. […] The history of the Soviet Union doesn’t really tell us much about “communism” […]
I can draw distinctions between the positive and negative aspects of a political program. I like the bit about allowing workers to reap greater benefits from their labor. I don’t like the bit about putting dissidents in front of firing squads.”
Closer to home, Owen Jones wrote that Cuba’s current version of socialism was not “real” socialism—but that it could yet become the real thing:
“Socialism without democracy […] isn’t socialism. […] Socialism means socializing wealth and power. […]
Cuba could democratize and grant political freedoms currently denied as well as defending […] the gains of the revolution. […] The only future for socialism […] is through democracy. That […] means organizing a movement rooted in people’s communities and workplaces. It means arguing for a system that extends democracy to the workplace and the economy.
And Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig wrote an article with the self-explanatory title It’s time to give socialism a try:
Not to be confused for a totalitarian nostalgist, I would support a kind of socialism that would be democratic and aimed primarily at decommodifying labor, reducing the vast inequality brought about by capitalism, and breaking capital’s stranglehold over politics and culture.
Despite differences in style and emphasis, articles in this genre share a number of common flaws.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

John Kasich is Testing the Waters for Possible 2020 run against Trump

John Kasich's political allies are reaching out to GOP mega donors, seeing if they’d back him in a run against Trump in 2020.

I haven't gotten any calls, but where do I send my non-mega check?

Cardinal Tobin: ‘The church is moving on the question of same-sex couples’ ​

VILLANOVA, Pennsylvania, April 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic Church is “moving” on the issue of couples living in homosexual relationships, a prominent Francis-appointed U.S. cardinal said.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin said that LGBT-identifying persons’ place in the Church is not an easy subject for some Church leaders, but they must contend with it.

“I think it’s a very difficult question,” Tobin said in response to a question on the firing of LGBT individuals from Catholic institutions while speaking at Villanova University last Thursday.

“The Church is moving on the question of same-sex couples,” Tobin said, although not as swiftly as some would like.

St. Peter Damian, an 11th century Italian Catholic reformer and Doctor of the Church, described homosexuality in his famous Book of Gomorrah as a “diabolical” corruption of God’s plan for sexuality between a man and a woman.​ Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, the Church teaches that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and are “intrinsically disordered” since they are “contrary to the natural law” in that they “close the sexual act to the gift of life.” “Under no circumstances can they be approved,” States the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The cardinal’s opening address of last week’s Villanova conference centered on the fifth anniversary of the Francis pontificate. It was covered in a report from Jesuit-run America Magazine.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

And now for something a little lighter

The Jack Benny Show from January 28, 1951. Old time radio show starring the cheapest man in the world as well as, Don Wilson, Mary Livingston (Benny), Phil Harris, Dennis Day and Rochester (Eddie Anderson).

Click here.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Fr. Peter Heers On the Essential Identity of Ecumenism and Phyletism

As Fr. Seraphim Rose once wrote, the difference between Orthodoxy and heterodoxy is most apparent in that the Orthodox Church (in Her Saints) is able to discern the spirits. Moreover, discernment of the methods of the fallen spirits is a requirement in the formation of Christology and Ecclesiology. As the Evangelist John writes, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

Insomuch, therefore, as one is purified from the passions and illumined by the Spirit of God, so much is his spiritual vision open and discernment acquired. This gift of discernment, the greatest of the virtues, presupposes initiation into the death, resurrection and life in Christ which is lived within His Body, the Church. That few Orthodox Christians possess a good measure of this gift is a testament to the inroads of the spirit of anti-Christ, which, by another name, is secularism. The end of the worldly spirit is the denial of the theanthropic nature of the Christ and His Body, “the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” before the ascent of the man of iniquity, the Antichrist. This temptation is coming upon the world primarily through the spread of the ecclesiological heresy known as ecumenism.

Ecumenism and Secularism

Ecumenism as an ecclesiological heresy and denial of the Truth of the Body of Christ, and as a methodological distortion of The Way of Christ, has been born and bred within a secularized “Christianity.” As we said, secularism is first and foremost the spirit of antichrist, which is “already in the world,” namely, “every spirit which confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” This refers not only to that “Christianity” which expressly denies the divinity of our Lord, the various contemporary “Arianisms,” but every spirit which denies that the Jesus Christ is come – that is, has come and remains – in the flesh, in His Body, the One Church.
Ecumenism as a unification movement ironically seeks to overcome the scandal of division by denying the “scandal of the particular” – the Incarnation. Instead of crucifying their intellect on the cross of this scandal – that Christ entered and continues within history in a particular time and place, being mysteriologically-incarnationally ‘here’ and not ‘there’ – the uninitiated and rationalist followers of Jesus seek a theanthropic Body in their image: “divided in time,” in search of a fullness which they imply exists only on the heavenly plane. They see the Church as divided on the historical plane, as limited by the heavy hand of history. They see as Church identifiers not primarily the exclusive marks of oneness, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity taken together, but rather the externals which “already unite,” such as the water of baptism (whether sprinkled, poured or immersed), the rites of the Liturgy, the belief in Christ’s divinity or the common text of Holy Scripture. It matters little that such externals, and indeed much more, were possessed by ancient heretics such as the Monophysites or Iconoclasts and were never seen as sufficient to produce any sort of “partial communion” or “already existing unity.” Neither does it seem to faze them that “the demons believe and tremble” and thus “unity in belief in Christ’s divinity” would necessarily include the demons.

Read the rest here.

See also this short video on The Meaning of Repentance and the Reign of God within us.

Roberto Pertici: THE END OF “ROMAN CATHOLICISM?”

1. At this point in the pontificate of Francis, I believe it can be reasonably maintained that this marks the twilight of that imposing historical reality which can be defined as “Roman Catholicism.”

This does not mean, properly understood, that the Catholic Church is coming to an end, but that what is fading is the way in which it has historically structured and represented itself in recent centuries.

It seems evident to me, in fact, that this is the plan being deliberately pursued by the “brain trust” that has clustered around Francis: a plan understood both as an extreme response to the crisis in relations between the Church and the modern world, and as a precondition for a renewed ecumenical course together with the other Christian confessions, especially the Protestant.

*

2. By “Roman Catholicism” I mean that grand historical, theological, and juridical construction which has its origin in the Hellenization (in terms of the philosophical aspect” and Romanization (in terms of the political-juridical aspect) of primitive Christianity and is based on the primacy of the successors of Peter, as emerges from the crisis of the late ancient world and from the theoretical systematization of the Gregorian age (“Dictatus Papae”).

Over the subsequent centuries, the Church also established its own internal legal system, canon law, looking to Roman law as its model. And this juridical element contributed to gradually shaping a complex hierarchical organization with precise internal norms that regulate the life both of the “bureaucracy of celibates” (an expression of Carl Schmitt) that manages it and of the laity who are part of it.

The other decisive moment of formation of “Roman Catholicism” is, finally, the ecclesiology elaborated by the council of Trent, which reiterates the centrality of ecclesiastical mediation in view of salvation, in contrast with the Lutheran theses of the “universal priesthood,” and therefore establishes the hierarchical, united, and centralized character of the Church; its right to supervise and, if need be, to condemn positions that are in contrast with the orthodox formulation of the truths of faith; its role in the administration of the sacraments.

This ecclesiology finds its seal in the dogma of pontifical infallibility proclaimed by Vatican Council I, put to the test eighty years later in the dogmatic affirmation of the Assumption of Mary into heaven (1950), which together with the previous dogmatic proclamation of her Immaculate Conception (1854) also reiterates the centrality of Marian devotion.

It would be reductive, however, if we were to limit ourselves to what has been said so far. Because there also exists - or better, existed - a widespread “Catholic mindset,” made up of the following:

- a cultural attitude based on a realism with regard to human nature that is sometimes disenchanted and willing to “understand all” as a precondition for “forgiving all”;
- a non-ascetic spirituality that is understanding toward certain material aspects of life, and not inclined to disdain them;
- engagement in everyday charity toward the humble and needy, without the need to idealize them or almost make new idols of them;
- a willingness also to represent itself in its own magnificence, and therefore not deaf to the evidence of beauty and of the arts, as testimony to a supreme Beauty toward which the Christian must tend;
- a subtle examination of the most inward movements of the heart, of the interior struggle between good and evil, of the dialectic between “temptations” and the response of conscience.

Read the rest here.
HT Dr. Tighe

Good News

Lung Cancer patients who are treated with a form of imunotherapy in conjunction with the standard chemotherapy are seeing drastically improved long term survival rates according to a recent study. This is extremely good news since Lung Cancer has historically been among the most lethal of the various common and semi-common carcinomas.

Sad news...

R Lee Ermy of Full Metal Jacket fame has reposed at 74. His was supposed to be a supporting role but his performance was so great that he ended up stealing the show. Many did not realize at the time that he had actually been a USMC DI at Paris Island back in the day.

Art Bell- Before Alex Jones, Bell was the king of late night radio specializing in the weird and fringe. My late Godfather was a big fan.  He recently passed at 72.

Former First (and Second) Lady Barbara Bush is reported to be in poor and declining health at 92. A family spokesman says she has decided to forgo further medical treatment.

I'm back...

Time for a little catching up.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Christ is risen!


Wishing everyone the joy of the Feast!

For those interested...

Great Saturday Service of the Annunciation (appx 4 hrs)
https://youtu.be/Xw9_2Y6TOro

Great Saturday Reading of the Acts (appx 2 hrs)
https://youtu.be/pSl88CMOUGM

Great Saturday. Midnight Office with the Canon of Great Saturday (appx ½ hr)
https://youtu.be/HinoiwJFGZk

THE GLORIOUS RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. PASCHA. Paschal Procession of the Cross, Matins, Hours and Liturgy (appx 3.5 hrs)
https://youtu.be/JZU50Rj_uE4

Paschal Vespers (appx 40 mins)
https://youtu.be/uFuv4J6elOM

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Holy Week

There will be little or no blogging until Pascha. I wish each of you a blessed end to the Fast and a joyous Feast.