Thursday, January 14, 2010


Inspired by Snarky Basterd, I thought I'd better post this, from the Battle of Lepanto by G.K. Chesterton.

But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces--four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth."
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still--hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

Stirring stuff - Lepanto. Then again, I'm for the Faith, along with GKC. But more of that on the Feast of Our Lady of Victories (Oct. 7).

God bless,


Horsing Around

Rural Texas was the way England used to be before Carbon turned the erstwhile land of hope and glory into some kind of Kurt Vonnegut Ice 9 disaster. In other words, it was misty and wet with the light drizzle of rain that I always used to associate with the onset of spring, or summer for that matter. But nostalgia aside, it was good to get out to the stables and ride about, except for one thing.

As soon as I began to get into the stride of a canter, the horse would pull a quick head duck, half halt, sneeze, then proceed as if nothing much had happened. But it had, the rider had nearly gone over the handlebars; not dissimilar, I suppose, to being on a motorcycle when the brakes go on unannounced - scary. Didn't come off, fortunately.

Still, sneezing aside, it was great to get back in the saddle for an hour or so. Curious creatures, horses - they do me the world of good.

Get to sight in new M4gery tomorrow, excited about that.

Stay on the horse,


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Christian Realignment

I haven't posted much on Pope Benedict XVI's important Apostolic Constitution viz. Anglican converts to the Roman Church. So, to make up for the deficiency here's an article by William Lind, from the American Conservative. He writes about the realignment of Christianity across jurisdictional lines, amongst other things - I think it's excellent:

"Their (Frankfort Marxists/Gramscians) driving force is political ideology, not theology. They view the church as just one more venue for radical politics.

Their goal is Nietzsche’s “transvaluation of all values,” where the old sins become virtues and the old virtues, sins. In churches where they take power, the Holy Trinity is replaced by a trio of bogeymen: racism, sexism, and homophobia. Every denomination so afflicted is bitterly split between remaining Christians and the politically correct. (No, you can’t be both, as Marxists would agree.)

What is now happening, and what Rome may have discerned, is that the people on each side of this division find they have more in common with those in other denominations who share their basic faith, Christianity or cultural Marxism, than with the people on the other side of that divide within their own churches. A potential is emerging for a vast realignment, one transcending the divisions that came out of the Reformation. That realignment, in which the remaining Christians in every church would gather in a single, new (small “c”) catholic church, needs a leader. Who better than Rome? Indeed, who other than Rome could possibly pull it off?

Seen in that light, the Pope’s offer to the Anglicans takes on broader meaning..."

Read the whole thing here - well worth the effort.On another theme, you might like SBW's plea for commonsense thrift and less waste, Freeganomics.



Monday, January 11, 2010

Evil Space Aliens

I just read the most remarkable thing, about space aliens. Here's an excerpt:

"The Alien spiritual mission is to spread the gospel of the New Age Movement and to deny Christianity. They also highly encourage their contactees to participate in occult practices such as channeling or mediumship, automatic writing, clairvoyance, mental telepathy, out-of-body experiences, and other New Age related activities. Others who have been abducted have become obsessed with dabbling into the UFO phenomena and occult activities, which, for many, leads to bondage, despair, destruction and suicide. Surveys that have been taken discover that the majority of those who have been abducted have shown an interest in paranormal or mystical activities, involvement in the Eastern religions, and New Age movement. Other have also claimed they have had a past involvement with astral projection, astrology, channeling, Ouija boards, witchcraft, and so on. These things are clearly forbidden by God in His word (Deuteronomy 18:9-12)."

A Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Funes, had this to say:

"Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures over the earth, so there could be other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in contradiction with our faith, because we cannot establish limits to God's creative freedom," he told the newspaper. "To say it with St. Francis, if we can consider some earthly creatures as 'brothers' or 'sisters,' why could we not speak of a 'brother alien'? He would also belong to the creation."

Interesting - can both be right? In the light of The Episcopal Church's 'Bench of Bishops' and their Pelosian allies in government, I'd have to say that Fr. Funes is guilty of wishful thinking.

God bless,


Sunday, January 10, 2010

What Gun?

Woke up to a beautiful morning, the sun was rising on frost covered grass and all was still save for the distant sounds of shotguns firing away on the farms. Then it was a spirited Mass and off to the next Mission; fine, until Global Warming and its friend, the New Ice Age, stopped my pick- up from starting. Disaster! Until a friendly parishioner lent me a car to complete the journey.

As I drove along my mind turned towards that burning and knotty issue - what gun to buy? Part of me thinks, "Get an M4gery", sure, but what brand? What caliber? .223 or .308 - maybe something else again... Bushmaster or Armalite? DPMS or Colt? etc. And with what optics/flip up iron sights?

Then again...

Why not get an M1A? Tempting. Or should I just be sensible and get a Tikka T3? No easy choice, is it, but then again, who ever said life would easy?

All advice welcome. Forgive the incessant questions.

Have a blessed Sunday,


Friday, January 8, 2010

Just Get Out & Shoot

For some strange reason I haven't shot my .45 for a time, probably thinking in the back of my mind that I should 'save ammo', which is ridiculous because I have plenty and what's the point of owning working firearms if you don't shoot them? With thoughts such as these I drove bravely off into the New Ice Age to the local supermarket to buy yet more ammo - Winchester White Box, God bless it - and then off to my Treasurer's place for a shoot.

The Treasurer wasn't in but another parishioner was, feeding horses. We set up a range against some hay bales and blasted away from eighteen or twenty yards.

Shot reasonably well, though I tended to pull low left, which is doubtless some kind of lesson in the making. Then, before our range was crushed under the weight of oncoming glaciers, it was back to the parsonage for evening prayer and dangerous thoughts of purchasing a 1911... all in good time.

Good shooting,


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy Epiphany

A blessed Feast of the Epiphany to all; I like this, from the Old Rite (translation by Rorate Caeli):

Accept, O holy Father, from me, thine unworthy servant, these gifts which I offer in humility to the honour of thy holy name and to thy peerless majesty; as thou didst accept the sacrifice of the just Abel and the same gifts from the hands of the Magi.

Creatures of gold, incense, and myrrh, I exorcise you by the Father + almighty, by Jesus + Christ, His Only-Begotten Son, and by the Holy+ Spirit, the Paraclete, that freed from all deceit, evil, and cunning of the devil, you may be a saving remedy to men against the snares of the enemy. May trustful souls who use you in their homes or about their persons be delivered from danger to soul and body, rejoicing in the possession of every good; through our Lord and Saviour's power and merits, through the intercession of Mary, most holy Virgin Mother of God, of all Saints and of them who on this day venerated Christ, the Lord with similar gifts. R. Amen.

O God, thou the invisible and unending One, in the holy and awesome name of thy Son graciously bestow blessing + and power upon these creatures, gold, incense, and myrrh. Protect them who will have them in their possession from illness, injury, and danger to body and soul, so they can joyously and securely serve thee with zeal in thy Church. Who in perfect Trinity livest and reignest, God, for ever and ever. R Amen.

God bless,


PS. Check out the All Seeing Eye's comments on 'climate refugees', an, er, epiphany - for me, anyway.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

All Saints Bombplot

I’d like to say I made the following All Saints Day liturgy up but I didn’t, its real, as reported by Virtueonline from an Episcopalian (TEC) church in Arkansas. Here’s a snapshot:

CELEBRANT: Blessed are all you holy ones, the saints, you who have done the will of God, and now rejoice in the reward of Eternal joy.

Holy men and women who worshipped the All Holy One as Rama, Vishnu or the Lord Krishna, forest hermits, ascetics and wise ones whose lives were incarnations of the holy books the Vedas, Upanishads and Gita -

ALL: All you Hindu saints; we praise you for holy are you.

The Incas and Aztecs get a look in too:

CELEBRANT: All you Incas of Peru, holy Mayans and Aztecs of Mexico, all you Native children of the sun and stars, you who with creative love and sacrifice raised up wondrous temples to your God…

Moslems also find their place in the liturgical sun:

CELEBRANT: Holy prophet Mohammed and all holy saints of Islam, all who surrender to the will of Allah: Holy Martyrs of Islam, who with your lives declared the Allah is One and only One, all you whirling dervishes and mystic Sufis, you ecstatic lovers of the divine Beloved.

With all due respect for the genius of Arkansas Episcopalianism, it has to be said that the above ritual isn’t original but sprang from the mind of a Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Edward Hays. You can find it in his aptly titled tome, “Psalms for Zero Gravity”, published by Ave Maria Press. There you have it, along with the tacit assumption that all religions are basically the same and, you know, if only we’d respect each other there’d be no more war.

It’s a pleasant thought, after all, who wants conflict, religious or otherwise? But the problem here, contrary to modern myth, is that all religions are not the same. Taking the order of Fr. Hays’ litany: the Hindu goddess Kali is represented wearing a garland of fifty two skulls, a skirt made out of dismembered arms and in two of her hands she holds a sword and a severed head, dripping blood. Anyone might be forgiven for thinking that Kali has something to do with human sacrifice, and they’d be right. According to Alex Perry, reporting for Time in 2002:

“The following month, police dug up the remains of two sisters, aged 18 and 13, in Bihar, dismembered with a ceremonial sword and offered to Kali by their father. Last week on the outskirts of Bombay, maize seller Anil Lakshmikant Singh, 33, beheaded his neighbor's nine-year-old son to save his marriage on the advice of a tantric. Said Singh: He promised that a human sacrifice would end all my miseries."

There’s more, but I’ll spare you the grisly details; suffice to say, the Hindu Kali cult isn’t nice and the British did a good thing in stamping out its holy adherents, the Thugs, who used to sacrifice some 20,000 people a year to their goddess. That was back in the 1820s, evidently the cult’s made a come-back; "for holy are you"? I don't think so.

But what about the “holy Mayans, Incas and Aztecs” whose “creative love and sacrifice raised up wondrous temples”? Well, “sacrifice” is about right because that’s what many of the temples were for, human sacrifice. Bernal Diaz, one of Cortez’s lieutenants, gives us a first-hand account of the great temple in Mexico City, Tenochtitlán:

“There were some smoking braziers of their incense, which they call copal, in which they were burning the hearts of three Indians whom they had sacrificed that day; and all the walls of that shrine were so splashed and caked with blood that they and the floor too were black…”

The Spaniards recount that the walls of the “wondrous temple” ran with blood, a sight so appalling that even the bloodthirsty Cortez himself ordered them cleaned before negotiating with and finally killing the last Inca ruler, Atahualpa.

Last but not least we have the “holy prophet Mohammed” and the “holy Martyrs of Islam”. Perhaps Fr. Hays and his Arkansas friend are unaware that Mohammed was a warrior, some would say a warlord. Does that make him holy? Well, in the eyes of Islam those who die fighting for the Prophet’s cause rank as Martyrs, with a guaranteed place in a heaven populated by dark eyed houris. This would include today’s suicide bombers. Nasra Hassan, writing for the Times, interviewed one:

“How did you feel when you heard that you’d been selected for martyrdom?” I asked.

“It’s as if a very high, impenetrable wall separated you from Paradise or Hell,” he said. “Allah has promised one or the other to his creatures. So, by pressing the detonator, you can immediately open the door to Paradise — it is the shortest path to Heaven.”

“What is the attraction of martyrdom?” I asked.

“The power of the spirit pulls us upward… We were floating, swimming, in the feeling that we were about to enter eternity. We had no doubts. We made an oath on the Koran, in the presence of Allah — a pledge not to waver. This jihad pledge is called bayt al-ridwan, after the garden in Paradise that is reserved for the prophets and the martyrs… All martyrdom operations, if done for Allah’s sake, hurt less than a gnat’s bite!”

I’d say that the martyrdom of pressing the detonator is rather different from that aspired to by Christians, but don’t let that stop you, go ahead and call these operators holy. Just be sure that they don’t waver and neither, in the end, can we.

Just a thought.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Good Children Bad President

Many thanks to The Fact Compiler for pointing out this post on the
excellent Hermeneutic of Continuity blog. Here's the transcript in
full, (Hermeneutic's commentary in brackets) :

THE PRESIDENT: I think one thing that's important to remember is that, even though there's a lot of fun at Christmas, you know, you got -- especially when it's snowy like this, so it's pretty outside, you got the Christmas tree, you got the Christmas cookies, you've got presents. You know, I think that the most important thing is just to remember why we celebrate Christmas. [You're on dangerous ground there, Mr President. One of those children just might know.]

CHILD: I know! [Oh! Here it comes!]

THE PRESIDENT: Do you know? [Nail-biting moment...]

CHILD: The birth of baby Jesus. [Aaargh - that's not in the script! The White House
only just about allowed the Christmas crib this year.]

THE PRESIDENT: The birth of baby Jesus, and what he symbolizes ["what he symbolizes"? - I'm not sure the children are going to follow this] for people all around the world is the possibility of peace and people treating each other with respect. And so I just hope that spirit of giving [Shifting onto safer ground here - "peace, respect, spirit of giving" and all that.] that's so important at Christmas, I hope all of you guys remember that as well. You know, it's not just about getting gifts but it's also doing something for other people. So being nice [Oh yes! Being nice is good] to your mom and dad and grandma and aunties and showing respect [Yep, that too - nobody can argue with showing respect] to people -- that's really important too, that's part of the Christmas spirit, don't you think? Do you agree with me?

CHILDREN: Yes. [They're nice children and they show respect; but they also have this darned knowledge of the Christian faith...]

THE PRESIDENT: You do? Do you have an interesting observation? [This child was waving frantically - always a warning sign.]

CHILD: I know why we give gifts to other people.

THE PRESIDENT: Why is that?

CHILD: Because the three wise men gave gifts to baby Jesus. [Aaaargh! - the child has gone back to the gospel again!]

THE PRESIDENT: That's exactly right. [Cool - always affirm the answer even if you think it is wrong.] But [Not so cool to come in so abruptly with the "but"] the three wise men -- the reason -- (
sign falls off wall) -- uh-oh, I thought that was the cookies going down. We couldn't have that. You know, the three wise men, if you think about it, here are these guys, they have all this money, they've got all this wealth and power, [Oh yeah? Or were they just Persian priest astronomers? Neat link in to the socialist agenda, though.] and yet they took a long trip to a manger just to see a little baby. And it just shows you that just because you're powerful or you're wealthy, that's not what's important. What's important is what's -- the kind of spirit you have.

So I hope everybody has a spirit of kindness and thoughtfulness, and everybody is really thinking about how can they do for other people -- treating them well, because that's really the spirit of Christmas. [and that's got it all dumbed down nicely Mr President. Forget the divinity of Christ, the incarnation, the redemption of the human race from sin - kindness, thoughfulness, niceness and nonrespectfulnesslessness will do fine.]

God bless,


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Late Christmas Message

I know this is old but I liked it; from Ben Stein on CBS:

"I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees…

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat…

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves…

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell."

You can read the whole thing here, or for something different visit GNN for an interesting tale of a Norwich clergyperson and Global Warming.



PS. "Downtown" Norwich was once described to me as "hell with the lid off" - but don't let that put you off.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hog Poem

Thanks, GWB, for this New Year Hog Poem - with apologies to the Confederate dead:

There is no crying allowed here past midnight,
But only hogs,
Flying, plunge and expire,
Here by the sagging gate,
Stopped by the wall.

Good hunting,