Words to remember

"Never doubt in the darkness what you believed in the light."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Finally, a break

So I decided to take the whole week off, instead of driving back tonight to sit around for one class on Monday. Lazy of me, I know, but as Grandma and Grandpa traveled up for the holidays, it makes sense to spend the time at home.

We got our first real snow of the season, and it was lovely. It stayed off the roads, but coated all the trees and the ground quite nicely; really very scenic. It should be a nice Thanksgiving.

I've once again been subjected to the laughably inept argument that "Hitler was a Christian!" by some atheist copper-plated idiot. This absurdity really has gone on long enough, but there doesn't seem to be a way to counter it. You can try arguing from the tenets of Christianity (e.g. humility, service to others, love, faith, hope, charity, turning the other cheek, whatever) but they'll repeat ad infinitum "But he was raised Catholic! His anti-Semitism came from Christianity! It's Christianity's fault!" etc. etc. Then you try and argue from his own words, using the many instances where he laments the meekness and lack of fighting valor he thinks (wrongly) plagues Christianity. And this is always where things get weird; even when you show statements by Hitler that Christianity was weak, or foolish, or that it would die of its own accord with the state ready to assume its functions, they stonewall. "That still doesn't change the fact that Hitler was a Christian."

There is only so far source information and real historical fact will go with the modern atheist mind; it really is becoming a religion unto itself, defended with all the fervor (and ironically with even more irrationality than it condemns in its detractors) associated with religious conviction. It's becoming clearer in this day and age that there really are people who preach secular tolerance, but actively and constantly work to eliminate religion from people's lives. The frightening part is that such a crusade is carried out by men and women whose thinking is utterly illogical and motivated by a vitriol towards the religious which is downright scary.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

This is heartening


It's nice to have one's own Pope telling you to start going against the grain. I think it's also of great comfort that His Holiness knows what sort of pressures college students are subjected to.

This also emphasizes how counter-cultural it is to try to adhere to the teachings of Christ in this day and age. It seems that so many institutions are geared towards indoctrinating attitudes which are antithetical to Christian life. Schools tell you to get ahead, but they will also tell you that your moral scruples are yours alone and that no other person would be expected to follow them. They will tell you that it is almost evil to have unprotected sex, but they would never think of discouraging sexual activity at all. They will preach tolerance of all beliefs, but then they will tell you that your particular beliefs are not compatible, and in fact are directly opposed to, human reason. And it's becoming evident that the Catholic students are getting fed up.

It's not a huge movement, really, but it is noticeable if you pay attention. More and more teenagers and young adults are starting to reject the relativist and religiously and morally apathetic philosophy which has held Western civilization in a death grip for the past 40 years. They're starting to raise their voices in support of traditional Christian morality, for the use of the Tridentine Latin Mass, for priests who are trained to preach the Gospel and instruct them in the faith, not to cop out and tell them that God loves you. Certainly He does; but that particular theme has been over-emphasized of late to the detriment of the concept that humans themselves have an obligation to live in the ways He taught us. God is forgiving, but He is certainly not permissive.

And it's actually a little funny to see it happen... where their forebears would leave the Church or stop caring because they found it boring, stuffy, oppressive, and absurd, the children of that generation are finding their faith to be alive, enlightening, uplifting, and beautiful.

Don't get me wrong; it would take generations of people like that to be able to rid our civilization of that 1960's mindset which has so plagued the West; but the roots are there.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Inaugural Post

My first post here, hope everything goes well!

This is meant to be a blog for me to put my thoughts out there on a few issues, the biggest one being Catholicism and the Christian faith. To that end, theology, religion, and philosophy will be big here, but so will politics, culture, art, and whatever else I decide to talk about.

One of the big stories in the news is the visit of the Saudi king to His Holiness Benedict XVI. In terms of practical solutions, I'm not sure what will come of this, if anything. But what it does do nicely is disprove a lot of what the Pope's naysayers whine about; after all, many of them are still whining about his quotation of Manuel II Palaiologos in regards to the contributions of Mohammed to history. His Holiness appears to have left these folks in the dust; not only did his visit to Turkey turn out quite successfully, he managed to get the Saudi king to visit him and it sounds like he may even be able to arrange a visit to the Patriarchate of Moscow, a dream of his august predecessor John Paul the Great. And the increased co-operation between the Roman Church and the Greek Churches is also heartening; Chrysostomos II, the Archbishop of the Cypriot Church has been very positive in this regard.

And on top of this, the rift in the Episcopal Church USA appears to be widening almost daily, with many of the more traditional Episcopalians now looking towards Rome. I do feel somewhat bad about this; it is heartbreaking to good Anglicans to see their church being so violently torn up. But many are beginning to realize that the schismatic attitude is ultimately self-defeating; one can break away again and again until the church is so fragmented that it's not even recognizable. And for all the problems faced by modern Catholicism, this isn't one of them, as there will always be Papal authority and the Magisterium to fall back on.

Anywho, tomorrow is the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, one of the four Roman basilicas, so that will be fun.