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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fr. Mark Pilon: Our President - Theologian

Fr. Mark Pilon, a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, wrote today at The Catholic Thing. The essay was entitled: Our President - Theologian, and in it Fr. Pilon takes issue with the declarations made by President Obama to a White House gathering last week, "...that the leaders of ISIS are not religious leaders but simply terrorists who have falsely interpreted the Muslim religion: “They are not religious leaders” he said, and “. .we are at war with people who have perverted Islam."

Fr. Pilon questions the motivation for such a firm and ignorant declaration by our president: "What is going on in the president’s mind and/or the minds of his speechwriters is deeply disturbing. These kinds of declarations are not to be accounted for by his rare departures from the written text. They are too consistent and too often repeated. His persistent apologia for Islam in the face of these terrorist acts by men who identify themselves as faithful Muslims is quite strange. It is out of sync with his other near obsessions regarding things like “gender identity.” There his administration clearly holds that people are to be taken absolutely at their word when they declare that their gender is opposite to their biological makeup." (emphasis mine)

After drawing comparisons between Obama's world and the world portrayed in the novels of Huxley and Orwell, he warns about the conscious and purposeful departure from truth in the world of politics today.

Here's the quote:
All this is happening in the newspeak world of politics today despite the greater availability of information than ever before. One can make absurd judgments about other people’s religious standing because truth is whatever serves the political agenda. Objective historical truth? Forget it. What is Truth? That cynicism was voiced by a political figure also, and it led to the death of Truth Himself. Today it is leading to social chaos.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Admiral James Lyons on Foreign Policy

We heard from Retired Admiral James Lyons back on February 6th.  Here's a link to that post.

On February 12, 2015, LiveLeak.com posted a short video of the Admiral in which one would be hard pressed to call him ambiguous or wishy-washy, labels that fit perfectly with most members of the current administration - including the pentagon spokesman.

You can watch the video by clicking on the below link.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fr. James Schall on Reasonable Compassion

Fr. James Schall, S.J., writing today at The Catholic Thing, explains the difference between compassion based on our emotions, and compassion based on reason.  His essay is entitled: "On Compassion," and can be read in its entirety by clicking HERE.

The essay is especially relevant in today's culture where those who make poor choices have chosen to see themselves as victims of those in society who still cling to natural law, social order, or anything that smacks of virtue.  He graphically portrays the thought process of those who would "do something against the natural order of (their) being," but refuse to suffer for it.

Here's the quote:
I wanted to re-order the world so that my suffering is blamed, not on me, but on a disordered world. I am a “victim.” Sympathize with me. What compassion can do, quite subtly, is to shift our intellectual attention from what is going on, from the disordered cause to the natural sufferings that follow. I will argue and then try to convince others, invoking compassion, that my suffering is caused, not by my disordered choices and acts. It is caused by the claim that any acts, as such, are immoral.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Peggy Noonan: The Antithesis of Honesty in Reporting

Former White House speechwriter Peggy Noonan, writing in today's Wall Street Journal,
clearly and succinctly manifested the problem that gave us the misremembering Brian Williams.

After introducing her essay with a brief encomium to former CBS foreign correspondent Bob Simon, she gives us Brian Williams as the perfect counterpoint.  Enough has already been said about Williams (and his omnipresent penchant for personal aggrandizement) in the mass media, so Noonan uses the words of an 84 year old longtime reader of her column to make her point.

Here's the quote:
A longtime reader of this column, age 84, emailed recently to say the heartbreak of his life the past few years has been witnessing the daily corruption of all information—the rigging of numbers and claiming of facts, the scientific papers that manipulate data to advance a political agenda, the misleading government statistics. We’re drowning in lies, he said. 
Noonan adds:
       That is not an exaggeration. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Roger Scruton: Music and the Transcendental

Roger Scruton, the English philosopher and writer, delivered the keynote address at the inaugural of The Future of the Symphony Conference in September 2014.  The title of his address was:   Music and the Transcendental.  An edited version of his address was posted today on the website of The Imaginative Conservative, along with some outstanding videos of the music he discusses in his essay.

Rather than attempt to highlight any particular significant quote from his essay, you can read it in its entirety by clicking on the above hyperlink, or you can watch him delivering  it by clicking on the below link:


Friday, February 6, 2015

Admiral James Lyons: Islam is Islam

Retired Admiral James Lyons, former Commander U. S. Pacific Fleet (1985-1987), speaks candidly in the below video about the problems we have been facing since the Iranian hostage debacle when then President Carter showed American weakness rather than strength to the Muslim world.  Interestingly, he paraphrases the quote of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan concerning Islam, which you can revisit HERE.

Here's the video (just click on the below link)


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fr. George Rutler: The Secularist Response to Islam

Father George William Rutler, was an Episcopal priest for nine years before being received into the Catholic Church in 1979.  He writes often for Crisis magazine, and back in October 2014 wrote an essay entitled: Mad Intelligence: The Secularist Response to Islam. In that essay, Fr. Rutler called out the Secularists (including those in high places, elites, and even naive religious leaders) who refuse to call evil by its name.  It will be left to the informed reader to determine who among those in high places, which elites, and which naive religious leaders Fr. Rutler had in mind when composing his essay.  Today's quote may help point the reader in the right direction.

Here's the quote:
Secularists play down Islamist atrocities because they seek to eradicate the graceful moral structure that can turn brutes into saints.  Heinous acts are sometimes dismissed as “workplace violence.”  There even are those in high places who pretend that Islamic militants are not Islamic and foster the delusion that false gods will not demand sacrifices on their altars.  These elites are like Ambassador Davies who said, “Communism holds no serious threat to the United States.”  Naïve religious leaders who live off the goodwill of good people, will even say that Christians and those who oppose them share a common humane ethos, a similar concept of human rights, an embrace of pluralism, and a distinction between political and spiritual realms.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Words of Relevance: St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelic Doctor

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), one of the most important figures in Roman Catholicism, is honored today by the Catholic Church: it's his Feast Day.

Many books have been written about him, and the many books authored by him have been analyzed and dissected by the greatest minds in and out of the Church.  To select a single quote of his would be unfair to the many famous quotes attributed to him, so herewith a number of my favorites:
Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained by man's own will.
Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.
Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.
There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.
To love is to will the good of another.

Needed: A New Church Policy toward Islam [Pt. 1] - Crisis Magazine

Egyptian President el-Sisi lectures Muslim clerics and scholars on the need to revolutionize Islam - not the religion, but the ideology.

Needed: A New Church Policy toward Islam [Pt. 1] - Crisis Magazine

Video of the speech by el-Sisi is at the end of the article.