Restoring the Sacred

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Words of Relevance: Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Te Deum in D

This arrangement of Te Deum by the French composer,   Marc-Antoine Charpentier, is a perfect way to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

Thanks to Rorate Caeli for posting.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Words of Relevance: Edward C. Banfield and the Ferguson Riots

Edward C. Banfield (1916-1999), one of the leading political scientists of his time is quoted in the Wall Street Journal today.  The quote is from his great book: The Unheavenly City, which was published in 1970.  His words are relevant today in view of what has happened the last few days in Ferguson, Missouri.  The quote, which is a little lengthy but well worth reading, appeared in the Notable & Quotable section of today's paper.

Here's the quote:
The rioters knew they had little or nothing to fear from the police and the courts. Under the pressure of the civil rights movement and of court decisions and as the result of the growing ‘professionalism’ of police administrators . . . the patrolman’s discretion in the use of force declined rapidly after the war. At the same time courts were lenient with juvenile offenders. ‘Tough kids’ had always attacked policemen when they got the chance, but by the 1960’s the amount of toughness required was not very great, for in most cities it became more and more apparent that a policeman who shot a boy would be in serious trouble. Not being able to use force, the police could not effectively use the threat of it. It was not uncommon for a gang of boys to disarm and beat a policeman who, following orders, would not use his gun against them. During a riot, the police were especially ineffective—because their offenses were not very serious, most rioters could not be successfully threatened; the only thing that could be done with them was to take them into custody, and this was something the police were seldom numerous enough to do. Sometimes the police had to stand by and allow looting to go on before their eyes. This, of course, increased the tempo of the rioting.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Words of Relevance: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks on Marriage

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, gave perhaps the most inspiring speech this past Monday at the Humanum colloquium on complementarity in Rome.  The colloquium was a "three-day gathering of scholars and religious leaders from numerous countries and faiths" focusing on the theme “The Complementarity of Man and Woman.” It was sponsored by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The colloquium concentrated on marriage between one man and one woman, and so was, and will be, excoriated by the sodomite lobby.  Without addressing that lobby or what it stands for, Rabbi Sacks spoke eloquently about "what he calls the “seven key moments, each of them surprising and unexpected” by which we can track the development of the institution of marriage."  (quotes are from Catherine Harmon at CWR)

The full text of his speech, as posted by Austen Ivereigh in Rome, can be found HERE.

The full text is something to be read when time permits, but in the meantime one particular quotes stands out.

Here's the quote:
[Our] compassion for those who choose to live differently should not inhibit us from being advocates for the single most humanising institution in history. The family, man, woman, and child, is not one lifestyle choice among many. It is the best means we have yet discovered for nurturing future generations and enabling children to grow in a matrix of stability and love.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Peggy Noonan: Obama & Mealy-Mouthed Filibustering

Peggy Noonan, who has occasionally worked both sides of the street since her days as a Reagan speechwriter, perfectly captured the essence of Barack Obama in a piece she wrote recently for the Wall Street Journal.  The piece was entitled "The Loneliest President Since Nixon," and today's quote, taken from it, will raise a chuckle in the mind of anyone who has been paying attention to the president during his not perfectly scripted interviews.

Noonan writes: I mentioned last week that the president has taken to filibustering, to long, rambling answers in planned sit-down settings—no questions on the fly walking from here to there, as other presidents have always faced. The press generally allows him to ramble on, rarely fighting back as they did with Nixon. But I have noticed Mr. Obama uses a lot of words as padding. He always has, but now he does it more. There’s a sense of indirection and obfuscation. You can say, “I love you,” or you can say, (and here's the quote)
“You know, feelings will develop, that happens among humans and it’s good it happens, and I have always said, and I said it again just last week, that you are a good friend, I care about you, and it’s fair to say in terms of emotional responses that mine has escalated or increased somewhat, and ‘love’ would not be a wholly inappropriate word to use to describe where I’m coming from.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Words of Relevance: MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber on The Stupidity of American Voters

That's Jonathan Gruber, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and one of the architects of Obamacare.  By now most of the world knows of his candid - and honest - explanation of  how the Obama administration was able to get the (not so) Affordable Care Act passed.

His explanation provides a most interesting look behind the scenes at what was supposed to be the most transparent administration in our nation's history.

Here's the quote:
“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that.  In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass…" 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Words of Relevance: G.K. Chesterton on Tradition

G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), one of the most prolific writers of his time, who wrote in virtually every genre employed during that era, had something very important to say about a topic that has taken front stage today: Traditional vs Modern.

Those who hold to Tradition today are called Conservatives, and those who oppose tradition are called Modernists or Progressives.  One can easily find support from a host of people for either of those positions, but Chesterton spoke eloquently in support of the position adhered to by Conservatives.

Here's the quote:
Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors.  It is the democracy of the dead.  Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Words of Relevance: Jonathan Swift on Lack of Reason

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), one of the most eloquent writers of his time, wrote many things that are relevant today, especially concerning politics, politicians, and the people who vote for them.  With the just concluded mid-term elections, many voters are scratching their heads trying to understand, for instance, how anybody who values life could have voted for a politician who has promised time and time again that he or she steadfastly and forever will support a mother's "right" to kill her child.

How does one convince the supporter of such a politician that there is no such "right" in our Constitution or anywhere else?  Swift saw the hopelessness of trying to sway that supporter toward righteousness, and made his feelings very clear.

Here's the quote:
“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”