A few thoughts

These posts are worth reading:

Talking Turkey about the Mahdi



It is, of course, too early to determine whether anything will come of this, but it should not be rejected outright either. Turkey’s growing diplomatic provocation of the USA and EU, and its historic willingness to act as a mediator between the USA and Iran is suggestive of an eastern-looking, neo-Ottoman foreign policy. Nor should Turkey’s domestic political and economic problems be ignored (https://www.ft.com/content/298d8136-283e-11e8-b27e-cc62a39d57a0). There is impetus to distract from domestic problems by drumming up opposition against a foreign enemy (think Franco-Prussian War and Russo-Japanese War).

Many reading this will immediately be conscious of Ezekiel’s predication of an invasion of Israel, led by forces from Anatolia allied with forces from Persia, North Africa, and the southern Nile region. I will put my cards on the table and say outright that I interpret this prophecy futuristically. I believe it refers to the Antichrist’s invasion of Israel the prophecy is concluded by the return of Christ followed by the Day of LORD, when the enemies of God will be punished.

How close are we to the times prophesied by Ezekiel? No one can say with any accuracy: such knowledge belongs to the Lord. But we were commanded by Christ to watch (Matt 24:42). This is an interesting data-point that may yet be relevant in the future. Parts of the establishment mocked at the idea that Hitler would seriously invade Europe – but he did and Churchill’s wilderness prophecy (think John the Baptist) was vindicated. Keep watch.

Secularism and Religion


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Many here are aware that the basis of western civilization is in our Judeo-Christian heritage. Often we merely assert this, since we have known it all our lives, but it can be examined fruitfully.

I admire Melanie Phillips greatly because not only is she a very good writer and speaker, she is fully capable of thinking through things. And she does so here. Yes, this is a long read, but I think you’ll find it valuable to read the whole thing.

It has become the orthodoxy in the West that freedom, human rights and reason all derive from secularism and that the greatest threat to all these good things is religion.

I want to suggest that the opposite is true. In the service of this orthodoxy, the West is undermining and destroying the very values which it holds most dear as the defining characteristics of a civilised society.

In truth, in the United States, we don’t hear it explicitly very often, but in Britain, it is quite common in my experience. Not to mention very strident, not only from the secularists, but from Randians, and other assorted libertine groups.

Some of this hostility is being driven by the perceived threat from Islamic terrorism and the Islamisation of Western culture. However, this animus against religion has far deeper roots and can be traced back to what is considered the birthplace of Western reason, the 18th-century Enlightenment.

Actually, it goes back specifically to the French Enlightenment. In England and Scotland, the Enlightenment developed reason and political liberty within the framework of Biblical belief. In France, by contrast, anti-clericalism morphed into fundamental hostility to Christianity and to religion itself.

“Ecrasez l’infame,” said Voltaire (crush infamy) — the infamy to which he referred being not just the Church but Christianity, which he wanted to replace with the religion of reason, virtue and liberty, “drawn from the bosom of nature”.

[…] Instead of God producing heaven on earth, it would be mankind which would bring that about. Reason would create the perfect society and “progress” was the process by which utopia would be attained.

Far from utopia, however, this thinking resulted in something more akin to hell on earth. For the worship of man through reason led straight to totalitarianism. It was reason that would redeem religious superstition and bring about the kingdom of Man on earth. And just like medieval apocalyptic Christian belief, this secular doctrine would also be unchallengeable and heretics would be punished. This kind of fanaticism infused the three great tyrannical movements that were spun out of Enlightenment thinking: the French Revolution, Communism and Fascism. […]

In the Sixties, the baby-boomer generation bought heavily into the idea propounded by Herbert Marcuse and other Marxist radicals that the way to transform the West lay not through the seizure of political or economic control but through the transformation of the culture. This has been achieved over the past half century through what has been called a “long march through the institutions”, the infiltration into all the institutions of the culture — the universities, media, professions, politics, civil service, churches — of ideas that would then become the orthodoxy.

From multiculturalism to environmentalism, from post-nationalism to “human rights” doctrine, Western progressives have fixated upon universalising ideas which reject values anchored in the particulars of religion or culture. All that matters is a theoretical future in which war, want and prejudice will be abolished: the return of fallen humanity to a lost Eden. And like all utopian projects, which are by definition impossible and unattainable, these dogmas are enforced through coercion: bullying, intimidation, character assassination, professional and social exclusion.

The core doctrine is equality. Not the Biblical doctrine that every human being is owed equal respect because they are formed in the image of God: equality has been redefined as identicality, the insistence that there can be no hierarchy of values of lifestyles or cultures. There can no longer be different outcomes depending on different circumstances or how people behave. To differentiate at all is to be bigoted and on a fast track back to fascism and war.

So the married family was kicked off its perch. Sexual restraint was abolished. The formerly transgressive became normative. Education could no longer transmit a culture down through the generations but had to teach that the Western nation was innately racist and exploitative.

Subjective trumped objective. There was no longer any absolute truth. Everyone could arbitrate their own truth. That way bigotry and prejudice would be excised from the human heart, the oppressed of the developing world would be freed from their Western oppressors and instead of the Western nation there would be the brotherhood of man.

All this was done in name of freedom, reason and enlightenment and in opposition to religion, the supposed source of oppression, irrationality and obscurantism.

At the heart of it was an onslaught against the moral codes of Christianity. Those moral codes are actually the Mosaic laws of the Hebrew Bible.

[…] What they [Western “progressives” and the Islamists] also have in common is hostility to Judaism, Israel or the Jewish people. The genocidal hatred of Israel and the Jews that drives the Islamic jihad against the West is not acknowledged or countered by the West because its most high-minded citizens share at least some of that prejudice. Both Western liberals and Islamists believe in utopias to which the Jews are an obstacle. The State of Israel is an obstacle to both the rule of Islam over the earth and a world where there are no divisions based on religion or creed. The Jews are an obstacle to the unconstrained individualism of Western libertines and to the onslaught against individual human dignity and freedom by the Islamists. Both the liberal utopias of a world without prejudice, divisions or war and the Islamist utopia of a world without unbelievers are universalist ideologies. The people who are always in the way of universalising utopias are the Jews.

Do read it all, and there is a deal more than I have given you. The full title is: Secularism and religion: the onslaught against the West’s moral codes. It is simply a superb examination of where our basic morality came from, and how it has allowed us to exceed former civilizations by orders of magnitude, and how it has come to be endangered.

With No Free Will; An Incorruptible God Must Be The Agent of Corruption.


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One aspect of folks that I value is the ability to allow free dialogue, even if it doesn’t seem important, may hinder one’s argument, or a point that tends to lead in a different direction. Of course, I value this because I value the exploring of ideas to reveal truth.

Perfect Chaos is a blog run by Steven Colborne, who believes in God, maybe even the Christian God, but doesn’t believe in Free Will basically because God is in charge of everything existence. Steven posted again today about The Free Will Problem. Naturally, there are analogies that can be given to show when one is in charge they can allow free will etc. However, as I’ve continued to exhibit through Catholic thought, there is ample philosophical evidence within Catholicism that indicates a lack of free will is more or less rubbish.

In this particular blog of Steven’s I gave Augustine’s answer to Steven’s assertions that Free Will doesn’t exist, please refer to his post as well as his essay that he gives a link to in the post. I answered that in accordance with Catholic tradition that Steven fails to properly refute Augustinian Theodicy. More or less Steven doesn’t even address it, which of course the comment is a critique that Steven could use to finely tune his own thoughts on the matter–even for his own side of the argument. Unfortunately, Steven deleted my comment, so I present it here to you, reconstructed. 

Augustine’s point is rested in the Confessions Book 7:

Augustine explains his view of Free Will: ” I was absolutely certain when I willed a thing or refused to will it that it was I alone who willed or refused to will. Already I was beginning to see that therein lay the cause of my sin. I saw that what I did against my will was something done to me, rather than something I actually did. I concluded that it was not my fault, but my punishment.”

Augustine explains earlier in Book 7 how this relates to God in a fashion the resembles Anselm’s ontological argument: ”

There has never has been, nor will there be, a soul able to conceive anything better than you, who are the supreme and best good. But since it is of the utmost truth and certainty that the incorruptible is preferable to the corruptible, even as I already preferred it to be, I could now attain in thought to a being better than yourself, my God, if you were not incorruptible. Therefore, where I perceived that the incorruptible must be preferred to the corruptible, there ought I to seek you. There too, ought I to observe where itself is, that is, whence comes that corruption, by which your substance can in no way be violated. For absolutely no corruption defiles our God.”

The glaring problem in a Christian argument against Free Will, or for that matter the argument for God is that for God to be God, He must be a perfect being. Naturally, this fits into Aquinas’ model in the Summa Theologica:

“Now God is the first principle, not material, but in the order of efficient cause, which must be most perfect. For just as matter, as such, is merely potential, an agent, as such, is in the state of actuality. Hence, the first active principle must needs be most actual, and therefore most perfect; for a thing is perfect in proportion to its state of actuality, because we call that perfect which lacks nothing of the mode of its perfection.”

So, as I challenged Steven, for God to be perfect, He must be without corruption or He simply wouldn’t be God. If there is no Free Will, then God would have to be responsible for evil, one would have to assert and defend those evils such as theft, rape, death, any violence, natural disasters would need to be part of God’s perfection and not corruptions in the world to argue that Free Will doesn’t exist because God would be responsible for all of these actions and they could not take away from His perfection.

Sadly, again, Steven deleted my comment which was simply a good nature criticism that I had seen lacking in his essay. As my second response was also deleted after I noticed he deleted my initial comment, I decided to bring my critique to the general readership of the blogosphere.

The Results of the Feminist Movement


Immediately, one thinks of the radical feminist movement in association with abortion, egalitarianism and man-bashing in its most distorted and perverse sense. For we see, within this cry of victimhood, an assertion that women should properly have advantages never before heard, or even presumptuously assumed, by any human individual.

Most prominently is the cry for blameless, guiltless sexual promiscuity by demanding (and getting) free contraception and abortions from the government; for they want the same freedom as men to be promiscuous without guilt or blame. Their diabolical claim that every woman has a right to end her pregnancy by killing an unborn child so that they may not be inconvenienced by motherhood is, at least in the moral realm, the epitome of self-indulgence and the most fundamental attack on their own feminine nature. For they are teaching and being taught to take the yoke of their feminine nature off their back. Congratulations, for you have remade women into a bizarre creature that is neither male nor female but a concoction of both natures. There is nothing feminine left in Feminism and they have become undesirable to men just as men have become the target of their hatred and wrath. And many men who have heeded their example have become more effete (their manly traits replaced by the natural traits of women).

Why then, do we wonder why divorce is rampant, marriages are few and children unimportant to gaining happiness in this life? For men and women have been taught to discard the central joy of the married state: the formation of a nuclear family . . . mother, father, children. It is far more important that women have high paying jobs, that they do not cede the headship of the family to the man and that children only make women less than men by being obliged to (a conceived) servitude to one’s husband and child. Role reversals are a symptom of the movement worth noting.

Masculine and Feminine traits were once regarded quite rightly as complimentary traits inherent in each of the sexes.

Males were more aggressive, more competitive in physical play and sports, more likely to be disruptive and outspoken in social settings, and generally, following their natural trait to be the ‘more active’ of the sexes; traits which were suitable to certain tasks, especially roles which called for risk and perhaps self-sacrifice for God, family and country.

Women were naturally more passive, more controlled and did not seek to compete or destroy their opponents in play or role playing. They were less likely to be disruptive in social situations and their positive traits balanced the family in a way that complimented both spouses. Men, and their more brutish traits were tamed, as it were by love of the ‘gentler’ sex and the women were given courage from their spouses who actively fought against the trials in life while the men were more equipped (after marriage) to find ways to negotiate settlements rather than simply let might make right as their only answer to a conflict.

While the Radical Feminists divested themselves of their God-given nature they have inadvertently stripped themselves of that which is fundamentally attractive to men; their femininity. The same can be said of the men who were discouraged to act out as boys growing up or drugged in order to curtail their aggressiveness. The result is that men now produce less testosterone than men of the same age some 50 years ago. See the following:


Men have even gone so far as to emulate the natural biological trait of women by shaving their body hair while women have adopted more and more aggressive and masculine traits, tattooing and piercing their bodies and by adopting coarse language, often referred to as ‘locker room’ talk. In many marriages, destined to fail, the marriage is a competition between the wife and husband and not a manifestation of the ’two becoming one’ which balanced the family in a way that brought harmony to the family and especially provided positive role models for their children of both sexes . . . if they have children at all; for it is common these days for married couples to forego children as a desired component of their marriage.

What we are likely to see is that men are expected to meld the masculine and feminine traits within their own nature just as the feminists do. So in some sense men and women have expected to exhibit the same traits as one another; egalitarianism which has crossed the bounds of nature itself and is purely some rational social experiment to achieve parity of the sexes. It does not work because men and women are biologically different with traits which are naturally different due to their sex. In its most fundamental way it is the attraction of opposites which is being compromised and therefore why marry someone who is essentially a mirror image of yourself? I believe that the rise in homosexuality and its acceptance by the world is largely due to the fact that men and women have reached a point where they almost have as much in common with one another as men and men and women and women. It is a perverse reversal in nature and it can only make the individuals more psychologically confused and psychotic by repressing their natural, God given differences in the natural realm of things. They are operating essentially outside of nature.

It was and is being accomplished by more exposure to what was once repulsive to either sex to the point where they have become conditioned to lose their natural “eww factor” associated with such perversity. It is bolstered by politicians, movies, books and the media in such a way that many men and women have lost their way and left in confusion . . . which often leads to failure, drug use and in the extreme, suicide at an unprecedented rate.

Another almost imperceptible aspect of radical feminism is that it is only one more expression of the classical sin of Liberalism; where its twin ruling principles are ‘private judgment’ and ‘liberty of conscience’ which is centered on a generalized rejection of God and a supernaturally instilled order of not only the sexes  but of the universe which governs society and the family. More on that here:


How to fight this social experiment of Liberalism is a difficulty that we have not been able to get our arms around. I would suggest that God and morality must be reintroduced in the classroom, sex education should be eliminated as a means to indoctrinate our children into perverse sexual experiences, and the reinstitution of corporal punishment; both in schools and within our families. When I grew up corporal punishment in school was needed at times and few children were ‘abused’ by this practice . . . in fact I find that more children are abused today in physical, moral and spiritual ways than anything that ever happened during my school days. Courses in logic should be taught throughout our childhood both in school and without. What passes for rational thought these days is about as nonsensical as those who think they can “pick up a turd by the clean end” as the old saying goes. An upside down world is something that we have not seen to this extent and to once again teach that white is white, black is black and good is good and bad is bad is today revolutionary thought. Hopefully, with our societal implosion, some of our ill-thought practices will be swept aside in the dumpster where they belong. And lastly, we need to quit drugging our kids simply for being who they are and lose this distorted view of egalitarianism of the sexes (especially equality of outcomes). Both men and women are now far more likely to harbor anxiety and depression and its time to get ourselves in tune with what God instilled within our separate natures. Then perhaps marriages will last and children will have two biological parents and our children will quit killing themselves.

What are your thoughts?

A Short Reflection: Confessional Lutheran Understanding of the Incarnation.


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Many know here that my wife is a Confessional Lutheran, so, naturally, I am acquainted with some of the theology of Confessional Lutheranism. What has always impressed me with several conversations with Confessional Lutheran pastors is their rich theology of the Incarnation; the importance on St. Athanasius work on the topic, and Christ’s role, as the new Adam, means for all of humanity–especially men. A topic, I think, lacks in many Catholic circles.

A good book written by a Lutheran Pastor named Jeffery Hemmer on this particular topic is “Man Up.” Pastor Hemmer addresses every man’s call to live by the virtue of Christian masculinity exemplified by Jesus Christ. It is in Christ we see the perfect man by the offering of ourselves in service to our communities either by charity, clarity, or sacrificially we embody what God meant for men to be men. Men need structure and order; Men need to pray; Men need to sacrificially love; and men need to be bold against sin.

All of this Pastor Hemmer tackles in his book. An interesting point Pastor Hemmer makes in his book in regards to the Genesis story is the failure of Adam’s role as protector of Eve within the marriage. So, to flesh this out a bit, I’ll take a look at another part of scripture from Ephesians 5:25-33. It’s a shame with modernity’s worship of feminism, we often lose the true focus of St. Paul’s words in Ephesians 5. Our society will object, “How dare you subjugate women with your backward religion.”  Of course, those same voices never make objections to the next part of the chapter:

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, 27 so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 because we are members of his body.[b] 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. 33 Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.

The husband’s love is a sacrificial love in which is a love that calls for the obedience of the wife in respect of the Church’s obedience to Christ’s sacrificial love on the cross. A husband must love his wife more than his own flesh, he must love her to his own death to sanctify her. Of course, this what Adam gets wrong in the garden. Pastor Hemmer explains that we often suppose that Adam is somewhere else in the garden when the serpent tempts Eve, but how the narrative follows is that Adam is present with Eve; and he does nothing to protect her from sin! Furthermore, when God comes and questions Adam, the protector, Adam does not protect Eve but places blame on both her and God for being tricked.

As such, we’re reminded of the role of the Incarnation; and the proper role of man, displayed by Jesus Christ in this Sunday’s Gospel reading:

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

Jn. 3: 14-21

Let your yes be yes and your no be no, that you may not fall under condemnation

I wrote this yesterday for AATW but published it at News for Catholics due to the publication of Philip’s piece. So here it is.


Is this how the Vatican II Church responded or the FrancisChurch responds today? If not, why not? I think it is the Modernist thinking that has infested the Church and has now manifested itself as The New Way as a welcome departure from the Faith which was known for good reason as The Way.

In so many documents from Vatican II and the post Vatican II documents we see instructions given which are usually followed up with a list of exceptions. It is like saying you cannot do this or you must do that followed by a sentence or paragraph starting with words such as,  ‘however’, ‘under these specific conditions’ or ‘but’ Nothing, it seems is simply yes or no. It is always a maybe. And Amoris Laetitia has its footnotes which add the ‘maybe’ dimension to any Truth that we may have commonly understood (incorrectly, no doubt).

Contrast these things with the simple yes (I believe) of the Credo or the simple no (Thou shalt not) of the 10 Commandments. Even these, along with the other Objective Truths taught by the Catholic Faith, have now come under attack. The answer seems to be ‘maybe’ if that is what our conscience tells us. Of course, this comes after suitable ‘discernment’ and ‘accompaniment’ has exhausted all other answers. You are free to act as God and/or Church in prescribing your own set of laws as there are no objective laws so rigid that they can be applied to all of humanity for all time. The serpent, it seems was right; you will become as gods and you are free to interpret the law as you please or exempt yourself from it. Gods have that freedom, of course, and now you do as well.

Everything can be ’tweaked’ today to fit the person or the situation (situation ethics?). If we don’t like the answer of the Church we can find another theologian or pastor to explain how it is alright to come up with a meaning that is exactly opposite to the literal meaning of the Objective Laws of the Church. You can exonerate yourself of all shame or guilt if you try hard enough. You can find good reasons to abort your child, euthanize your parents, commit adultery, live a homosexual lifestyle, change your gender, receive Communion (in the hand standing, of course) without confessing your sins; for you are without sin if you have discerned that that is the case. Besides, Fr. Billy Bob has told you that it is OK to use contraception if you like, live in adultery, or fornicate outside of marriage. All other sins follow suit. Simply decide that any given sin is not sinful for you and does not apply to your specific (therefore, special) situation and you are good to go.

Gone are the days when the voice of the Church was heard from the mouth of every bishop and priest and especially the Pope. Even if they did not live the Truth at least they taught it in concert with one voice. Gone are the days when our practice reflected our theological Truths. Now the practices not only differ from country to country, diocese to diocese but parish to parish as well.

Professor Taylor Marshall reported today that he had a vision last night about the state of the Church which can be found here.

Whether or not one accepts this as true is insignificant in what meaning was ascribed to it by Prof. Marshall. My response to his vision was a bit more critical and specific than the explanation given by him:

“I have no reason to dispute Taylor Marshall or his visionary experience. What always comes into question in these things is the ‘interpretation’ of said visions. My own thoughts as he was reiterating the vision was that Mother Church is writhing in pain due to the fact that something has made her sick, or bed-ridden, unable to go to Her children. Her love for Her children is being frustrated by the works of satan and His lies. And what could that be other than the willful action of leaders, educators, priests, bishops and theologians, that have poisoned our minds to think of ourselves as our own God as we go about our lives . . . living outside the Traditional Teachings of the Church and trusting our own consciences? We deny the Real Presence, the teachings on contraception, the teachings on adultery, on sodomy, same sex marriage and recently, abortion and euthanasia for the old and suffering. We have a Pope who claims all go to heaven or in the worst case our souls are annihilated . . . so no fear of hell at all. Confession is rarely used and Our Mass is a closed in circle which makes the Mass about us though Mother Church always had us face the Lord; not ourselves. We treat the Blessed Sacrament as a symbol instead of a supernatural Grace of receiving God into our hearts and have no problem receiving this ‘mere symbol’ in an objective state of mortal sin. Her objective Truths and Sacraments remain though they are not taught but rather shunned. In their place we have been given the equivalent of baby formula rather than the Living Milk of the Church: a man-made, liturgy, with novel man-made practices that seem to make of the Timeless Truths simply one of many passing customs, completely obsolete and not fit for the modern world. We have become as Gods and we make decisions based on that rather than going to Mother Church and drinking from Her Fount of Truth which still wants to feed us. Who are those who are trying to keep Her bed-ridden, who are depriving us of the nourishment She wants to give us? I think we know and I think these diabolical narcissists who have infested the Church need to be expunged and driven off. They are the nanny’s that give us poison rather than food. Get them out of the way and Mother Church will supply us with all our needs. Indeed His conclusion that there is nothing wrong with Christ’s Church is true. It’s just that we are being led further and further away from Her and pointed to a Church without Christ and with symbolic sacraments rather than the vital means for our salvation.”

I only bring this up because Mother Church is ‘sick’ and ‘bed-ridden’ by any objective standard. When we accept nuanced explanations for truth and exonerate ourselves as we please and thereby cut ourselves off from the Traditional and Constant Teachings of Mother Church we have effectively locked Her in a room and kept Her from tending to Her Children. Perhaps, when we get rid of the indecisive obscurantists who lead the Church of God and replace them with those whose yes means yes and no means no then we will once again find ourselves on the road to recovery and Christ’s Church might once again be the light on the hill that beckons us all to come to Her, partake of Her Salvific Grace and Save our Souls.

A Short Reflection: The Cap on Catholic Schools/Anti-Catholicism/Fascism.


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I thoroughly enjoy the UK’s Catholic Herald publication. In comparison, it’s faithful to the Catholic faith and it’s fairer than National Catholic Register in regards to those who are considered to be heterodox by the respective publications. In the last week, I’ve seen articles pop up on the topic of the removal of capping on religious schools in England, which requires 50 percent of the enrolled students to be of the school’s faith.

Naturally, secularists and humanists in England have been leading the charge against the removal of said capping. The surprise of many writers at the Catholic Herald is that the retired Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has joined their ranks citing that these newly formed schools would lack diversity and promote a monocultural. The particular commentary that I’ve read this morning argues that Catholic schools do, in fact, promote diversity within their schools. Read via: Catholic schools are diverse and successful. How did Rowan Williams end up opposing them?

My response, “Who cares?” “Why do you feel the need to argue this point?”

I argue this because at stake here shouldn’t be necessarily a religious issue, it should be a personal issue based on the parents’ rights to choose what they feel is the proper education for their children. If an Anglican, Lutheran, Muslim etc. parents believe that a Catholic school gives their child the best education, they have the full rights, as afforded by their human dignity as parents of children to decide where their child is to best educated and not the state.

And here we find the most pressing matter, why is it up to the law, or for that matter ‘the state’ to decide such matter against the parents’ wishes? During my time within academics, I took a class on the Soviet Union in which I learned that the Soviet Union did all that it could to take parental rights away from parents. In fact, the Soviet propaganda machine would create poetry and songs that told of children snitching on their parents for not being loyal to the state! Naturally, the motive was to instruct children to tell on their parents and create fear among the parents. And this where both 20th century, and it appears the 21st century, fascism and socialism/communism become blurred. More or less, communism has always been about economics (albeit distributed and managed by the state), but fascism is about a growth in state power as opposed to more localized forms of government including self-autonomy.  It’s about forming, unnaturally a uniformed sense of allegiance to what the state deems as the appropriate culture, which ironically the UK secularist and humanists are forging when they seek to limit parental rights over the education of their children.

So, who cares if Catholic schools teach Catholic beliefs, so long as this is the parents choice, the state should never have any say on the matter.

A Short Reflection on Ulrich L. Lehner’s Catholic Enlightenment


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When I first read the book, I gave it a fairly negative review on my own blog that the author, Ulrich L. Lehner; a professor here in the United States, contacted me to refute some of my objections. I told him “fair enough” that I would give the book another read and assess it again.. It’s been about two years since that exchange and I’ve finally gotten around to reading the book again after I checked a few other books off the list. This post is not a book review, just a few notes of mine that I jotted down in the beginning of the reread of the book.

The author in his introduction claims no attempt to persuasion; however, it’s a sentiment I simply do not buy after studying historiography. I believe it’s easy to see from reading Lehner’s book that he’s in full support of Vatican II conciliar reforms, supports Pope Francis’ reforms, in favor of more authority given to the national bishop conferences. Of course, perhaps he’ll chime in again to clarify his own stances. A basic thesis of the book is that the reforms of Vatican II are the natural development and true spirit of the reforms after the Council of Trent.

Lehner appears at times critical of Augustinian theology, a primacy of grace, as he gives no rebuttal from the Augustinians. He also appears to be critical of scholasticism of Thomas Aquinas and in favor of the approach taken after Vatican II. Again, he doesn’t give the counter argument against Catholic Enlightenment thinkers that most certainly existed. Lehrner also makes a point to indicate that Papal Authority is an invention of popes in the 19th century rather than being present in Catholicism prior to or in the aftermath of Trent.

An interesting examination of the Jansenists, after the Augustinian comments on grace, later in the book Lehner indicates that Jansenists were traditionalist of the Catholic faith that strongly rejected the council of Trent as an aberration of the faith, as the Church rejected traditional teachings of St. Augustine with Protestantism. It was the Jesuits who favored the Council of Trent and asserted the importance of Free Will within Catholicism. I can’t help but feel that Lehner is somehow attempting to pair current Traditionalist with Jansenists and current Catholic modernists with Tridentine Catholics, as well as argue that Catholic modernists who are in favor of many of the pastoral changes of Vatican II are one in the same.

Personally, I find all of the theology a bit more complex with all the various stances on Catholic theology and again, out of fairness for the author, he might claim the same but it appears nonetheless that it’s a bit more generalized.

If you happen to read the book please reference pgs. 26 and 50-53 for the above assessment. Lehner does present the arguments of many Catholic Enlighteners, so perhaps it’s important to note that I may simply disagree with some of their theology rather than the author’s own; however, it’s hard not view it as his own as he often doesn’t give the counter view of the period. The book does have some gems such as Fr. Nicholas Bergier, Peter Adolph Winkopp, Laura Caterina Baise, Maria Gaetana Agnise, Catholicism in Latin America, North America such as John Carroll etc.

A Short Reflection on The Word and Biblical Inerrancy.


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I believe that scripture is the word of God, I believe that limited Biblical inerrancy is a mistaken approach due to the failure to properly understand the historiography of ancient writings. Any modern failure in properly understanding the words of eternal life stems from our cultural loss of ancient Judaism and Christian historicism.

It’s important to understand that scripture, inspired by God and written without error, is limited by the cultural identity of the Biblical writers. Simply, Biblical authorship that was needed for worship and evangelization from Babylonian Captivity to 1st Century A.D. that incorporated ideas of 21st Century positivism–that especially predated Herodotus and Thucydides–would have been dead on arrival during the period of their authorship. In this manner of understanding, it is important to put trust in God’s grace, our faith and the traditions of the Church.