They betrayed the revolution

The Alt Left poses a great danger to the health and continuance of western civilisation. Its infiltration of the Democratic party in the USA and the Labour party in the UK mean that conservatives must work hard to prevent such parties from returning to power. The USA is leading the way as newcomers challenge establishment GOP candidates for seats in Congress. Will the UK do the same regarding the Conservative party?

Traditional leftists and feminists like Camille Paglia and Germaine Greer are appalled by the new-fangled take on their own positions. While no leftist myself, I could respect these ladies for their willingness to have a frank, well-constructed conversation. Empiricism (of a kind) provides a point of commonality between the old Left and the conservatives. But no such commonality exists between conservatives and the Alt Left: it is not possible to have a meaningful dialogue with them.

Where will this lead? If we are not careful, it will head towards totalitarianism. Either the Far Left will conquer us by means of a plethora of laws and peer pressure exercised through social media, or the Far Right will rise as an “immune response” to the outrages of the Far Left and impose draconian measures to stifle dissent. We must not allow either reaction to happen.

The best response we can make is to return to the kind of liberalism advocated by John Locke in the 17th and 18th centuries (minus his anti-Catholic bias, of course), and developed by subsequent political philosophers and economists. Our general angst is a consequence of increasing state interference in areas generally defined under the headings “private life” or “freedom of conscience and expression” (see the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998)).

The “sin” of the Far Left and the Far Right (amongst others) is that they bullishly impose their views on others. Lockean liberalism is a defence against this aggression on three fronts:

  1. it correctly defines toleration not as the endorsement of other views but as the civilised response to views that one personally disagrees with;
  2. it recognises that there is a class of data defined as “ambiguous” – i.e. susceptible of various interpretations – meaning that no one can impose his views in respect of such data on others because he cannot conclusively support his position or disprove his opponents’; and
  3. it removes the power of the state to get involved in such disputes.

Without the resources of the state or the power of the law behind them to oppress “dissidents”, we will place the burden back on these extremes to rationally persuade others of the correctness of their positions. A good first step in this direction would be to restore neutrality to the education system by removing leftist propaganda from various rubrics and curricula and introducing instead a general course on critical thinking and the analysis of data. A second step in this direction would be to remove state funding for partisan agenda, making them compete on equal terms with other parties in the intellectual market place.

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If you have not come across Dr Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology, who is fighting the good fight against the Alt Left, I recommend you spend a few minutes watching an interview or lecture by him.

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Thank you for your prayers for my friend: an aspirant to a Traditional Catholic priesthood

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UPDATE

Well it has been some matter of weeks since I posted that article here on the AATW website. Since that time he has made efforts to get an answer as to why he was dismissed from the prepratory year at the Institute of Christ the King without getting any reply at all. My thought is that the real reason is simply a question of money, insurance etc. which they fear may impact them financially if they keep someone within the Institute who has been diagnosed in his childhood with Aspergers.

This young man, however, is not to be dissuaded from his calling to the Tradtitional Catholic Priesthood. He arranged a visit to Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Nebraska (pictured above) where he spent 4 days living the life of a seminarian and getting a feel for the life of the FSSP (the Priestly Fratermity of St. Peter) seminarian. He fell in love with the Fraternity, the  people and the beautiful surroundings of the area and is now filling out the necessary paperwork to apply for entrance beginning next year.

So let us not forget to keep praying for him that he might find admittance and successfully complete the seven years of formation that are required of these wonderful men.  Our prayers seem to have opened up a new avenue for this young man and now it is my hope that our prayers will see him through to a glorious end.

Thanks so much. St. Peter pray for us and for this young aspirant to your Priestly Fraternity.

Source: http://newsforcatholics.info/2017/11/25/thank-prayers-friend-aspirant-traditional-catholic-priesthood/

Happy Thanksgiving

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First, no, I’m not returning, at least in any regular way, at least not yet. But I do want to say a couple things. This is a post with a few things changed that I posted on Thanksgiving in 2015. I’ll say a bit more at the end.

Today, in America is Thanksgiving Day. It is a day of celebration of what we have made of God’s gift to us all. Its history reaches all the way back to our Pilgrim forebearers, who felt called to thank God that they had survived the first year in the Massachusetts Bay.

Now it is a day of parades, football, serious overeating, and sleeping off that overeating by sleeping through the football on TV. But I think we all deep in our hearts do remember to thank “The Big Guy” for all we have, and the freedom to enjoy it.

President Washington certainly knew something about dark days, far darker than ours are today, and he (and Congress) thought it fit to remember the Author of our blessings. So should we.

From the Heritage Foundation

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

That’s the reason for the day put as well as anyone has, ever.

My family’s traditional table grace is this

AATW was my second home on the internet for many years. Why? Here I found love and friendship and did my poor best to reciprocate. I miss it, not as it became, but as it was, and I also pray for it to return to that. I also pledge that when that time comes, I will do my part, God willing. Yesterday, we saw many places lit in red in honor of our persecuted fellow Christians, including in the Kurdish controlled area of Iraq. This was a British instigated moment, that many of us followed, all around the world. Now it is time for action instead of making a gesture. The US Government has started to get on board with that, hopefully, others will follow.

Those of you that are in contact with others that have fallen from the fellowship we had here, I ask you to pass along my good wishes, and prayers, and yes, love for them, along with the wish that we will be reunited, in this world or the next. Many of you have become my friends, and all of you are in my prayers. God bless you all.

From the 1928 (US) Book of Common Prayer

MOST gracious God, by whose knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew; We yield thee unfeigned thanks and praise for the return of seed-time and harvest, for the increase of the ground and the gathering in of the fruits thereof, and for all the other blessings of thy merciful providence bestowed upon this nation and people. And, we beseech thee, give us a just sense of these great mercies; such as may appear in our lives by an humble, holy, and obedient walking before thee all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all glory and honour, world without end. Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving

The First Letter of John (No Podcast This Week)

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I apologize due to the upcoming American holiday of Veteran’s Day; there will be no podcast for I was mandated for overtime work this morning. However, I will like to post the introduction of the First Letter of John. In prayer, this morning, I was reading it in a form of Lectio Divina, something called to me to do so, and I couldn’t help but reflect on how beautiful this letter is to the faithful.

The First Letter of John

¶* That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship† with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. ¶ And we are writing this that our joy may be complete.

God Is Light

¶ This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness‡ at all. ¶ If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; ¶ but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 ¶ If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Christ Is Our Advocate

¶ My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; ¶ and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. ¶ And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments.§ ¶ He who says “I know him” but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; ¶ but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: ¶ he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

A New Commandment

7 ¶ Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. ¶ Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still. 10 ¶ He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his sake. 13 ¶ I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the Evil One. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the Evil One.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.

1.The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version; Second Catholic Edition (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), 1 Jn 1:1–2:17.

 

Perhaps, I, too, must resign myself to the hills.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our friend Neo has bid farewell. I have thought about leaving in the past and I have said as much as well. However, this blog was something of a community, one that kept drawing me back. I do hope the call of the communio calls to Neo once more, but it appears as we’re all resigned to our sinful natures that one by one each pilgrim with the evening advanced looks to rid the sweat ridden clothes of our collective ecumenical dialogue.

The greatest lesson of scripture I believe is the call for repentance. I have a co-worker who is deaf and is debating whether to get a cochlear implant. She jokingly asked me today, knowing I am a man of faith if I could heal her or pray for her to receive her hearing. I told her first off that I am far from holy and that I am still working on my faith every day, but I expressed that in many of the healings of Christ in scripture, such as the paralytic, Christ preferenced the desire of forgiving sins over physical miracles. “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk?’

Love, repenting, and forgiveness

Many will claim are not miraculous,…but… with an examination of the nature of humanity, one could easily argue are perhaps the greatest miracles we can perform with our fellow man. The Spirit gives us many gifts: Understanding, Counsel, wisdom, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. Gifts that aid us in communio and can give us the ability to show the world the true miracle of Christian love.

Our community is one that can only express ideas, therefore, we do not have the privilege to see each others’ love. The Word of God took flesh, one single word of utterance of God to show us His love. The Incarnation of our Lord is God’s word–it’s the  Word from the beginning. Christ has left us so that the Paraclete could guide us. As Teresa of Avila writes, Christ has no body, but as being baptized into the Body of Christ, I am the eyes, the ears, the arms, the feet so that others can hear the one utterance of God–the Word of God.–Love….Love.

My job takes me to some of the poorest parts of my community and it tears my soul. The Word of God with the guidance of the spirit has called me to show Christ’s love by starting a ministry in my parish, one that can put forth the love of the Word in our community. Ideas are grand and fun to discuss, but they do get bogged down and stale, ideas do not move mountains, but faith, as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.

I do not know what my plans are for continuing with this blog. Many of the great Protestant voices and others have left. Chalcedon has left, Geoff gone, Jess and now Neo. We may have differences, but through the Word of God, I do love you.

God Bless.

A farewell to arms

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sign post (2)That Neo should be going is a cause of great sadness, but not surprise. I have been out of action here, other things have had a greater call on my time, and I have appreciated the way Neo, and others have kept the flame burning. But we live in dark times. There is a passage in Lord of the Rings where Frodo regrets living in parlous times, but Gandalf simply responds by saying that so do all who live through such times.

Commenting upon Catholic matters is a parlous affair. Given that my own position is not adequately safeguarded by my pseudonymity, I have preferred silence to comments which would be bound to get those without the courage to comment openly, writing to my employer with whining complaints. We are where we are, and my one comment is that those who want an Anglican future for the Catholic Church should take that route for themselves and let the rest of us get on with the Faith once received by the Apostles.

But this is a post about Neo, who is the polar opposite of such people. He first came across my line of vision when I worked with the founder of this blog. I noted then what all his posts show. Firm principle, warm heart, and a loyalty beyond compare. That he and I were not of the same Church mattered not one whit. We were of the same timber. And through many years here, I never once saw him flinch, never once saw him waver, and never once saw him fail in the duty of a Christian gentleman. Kipling knew the value of a man by whether he was the sort of fellow you would go tiger-shooting with. Well, now that would get one ostracised in no time at all. But Neo is the sort of man with whom one would go on a tiger shoot, or any other activity which required a strong and loyal backer.

His words have stirred my out of my, well I won’t call it a reverie, but I will call it a reluctance to venture out. Neo, like Jess, is right, there is much in the blogging world which is touching pitch, but it is there whatever one does, and a small light in the darkness means that the darkness has not won.

Neo has kept the light burning. If, as has happened before, it passes now again to me, I shall do my best to keep it lit. Neo is in my prayers, as he has always been. Pray for him, and for all who in these dark times, do what they can to keep the flame alight. He fought the good fight, he ran the race. He encouraged others, and set an example of how those from different backgrounds and traditions can find an agreement. If he does go, we shall not see his like again.

I would thank him, from the bottom of my heart.

At Journey’s End

In reading the comments the last few days, I was moved to think back to the first post I read here when I followed a comment by Jessica on another blog that moved me. It was the day after the Obamacare decision in the Supreme Court, and it moved me then, as it does now. Rather than link it, I shall merely reprint it since it is short.

A prayerful thought for American Catholics

A word of sympathy and a prayer for all my American Catholic friends. This too shall pass.

As St. Peter reminds us:

1 Peter 1:6-9 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

How like Jessica it was to prove, with her care for all Christians, yet because the Catholic Church has the clearest defined views on abortion, she addressed it to them, knowing full well, that many of us Protestants agree with them on most issues.

That was always Jess, as it was the site she founded, ecumenical without being syncretic. It was always a place where we could gather to discuss, forcefully, yet without heat, the things we agree on and perhaps, more importantly, the things we don’t.

That very day, almost 5 and a half years ago, I was made welcome in her camp on Mt. Nebo, as Jessica, herself soon became the dearest friend I ever had, or will have.

But over the years we have seen with some regularity sectarian Catholics who can’t seem to admit that anybody but them could possibly Christians. Personally, I have come to believe they are not actually Christians, because they believe in Rome instead of Jesus. Maybe that is wrong, but it is how they present to me, who agrees with more than 90% of what they say.

Fifteen hundred years ago the intransigence of Rome split Christianity in two. A thousand years ago the intransigence of Rome split western Christianity again. And five hundred years ago this weekend the intransigence of Rome split Christendom still again. It is obvious to all fair observers that it is happening still again in front of our eyes. Rome is becoming a remnant church, not because of its beliefs, which are in the main correct, but because of repeated and continuing attacks of hubris. Nothing more an nothing less.

 

When I look at our sidebar, I realize that of the 15 of us listed there, only Phillip and I are still contributing here, and when I do, I’m not pleased with the tone of the comments.

And so I am reminded of another of Jess’ posts, one she wrote the night of her return from her pilgrimage to Walsingham, which is here. In it, she explained why she would no longer comment on the Telegraph blogs, and I find that I have come to the same conclusion now in regard to All Along the Watchtower.

It came to me, very strongly whilst I was in the Holy House at Walsingham that, as Sirach 13:1 says, ‘He that toucheth pitch, shall be defiled with it’, and with that the thought that the Thompson blog on the Telegraph has become as pitch. Yes, I have shown that I will not be bullied and that I can give as good as I get – and usually better – but it does not contribute a cubit to spiritual growth; indeed, quite the opposite.

The mere thought of discussing today in that baleful place brought Matthew 7:6to mind:

Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

I have made my point there, and it is enough; honour is served; to do more would be to serve pride. As Proverbs 26:4, where my Bible opened in the Holy House, reminded me:

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him

And so like her journey from Walsingham, where we became dearest friends, my journey along the Watchtower, which is one of the causes of me losing her friendship, now ends.

And so I close with great sadness of spirit, a tab which has been open in my browser since 28 June 2012. But I must if I am to keep my faith. Hier ich stehe, ich kann nicht anders.

God bless you all.

 

Reformation Day: Prelude

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We’re coming up on the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation, and like the author of this article, I have many Catholic friends (here and elsewhere). What do I want them to know? In this article from The Federalist, Anna Mussmann does a pretty good job of explaining.

[…]In their eyes, our admiration for Martin Luther is as misguided as holding a big party in honor of one’s divorce. They argue the Reformation ushered in a world where each individual’s personal taste in interpretation became supreme, leading to the moral chaos and postmodernism that riddles the cultural landscape today. At best, they see Protestants as limping along without the spiritual blessings God bestows through their church yet, like anorexics, rejoicing in this near-starvation.

I readily concede that the Reformation brought costs as well as benefits. Yet as a Lutheran, I am profoundly grateful for the sixteenth-century return to Scripture that reminded us of Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, and Solus Christus. I deeply appreciate the Lutheran determination, demonstrated in the “Book of Concord, “to find and cling to biblical truth. That is why I want my Catholic friends to know three things about the event I will be celebrating on October 31.

1. It’s Not about Individualism

Secular historians, like secular journalists writing about Pope Francis, often misunderstand religion. Mainstream history textbooks portray Luther as someone who struck a blow for the individual by rejecting the authority of people who wanted to tell others what to believe. As long as these historians don’t peruse his actual writing, they see Luther as a pretty progressive guy by the standards of 1517. My Catholic friends read this stuff and, quite naturally, pick up the idea that Luther’s teachings led to hyper-individualism.

Yet Luther’s actual theological legacy is not conducive to extreme individualism. He intended to participate in a conversation about reforming errors that were harming the Catholic Church. That is because he wanted to point out where individuals were going wrong by failing to submit themselves to the authority of scripture. […]

It’s true, we are just about as hidebound to what Christians have always believed everywhere as the most traditional Catholic. We don’t do novelty (well some of us do). The Rev Dr Luther was essentially what we would call today a whistleblower. I too have taken Catholic friends to church with me, and especially in the LCMS, they are surprised, if anything we are more liturgical than many Catholic parishes. What Old Luther tried to do was to go back to our roots, in the early church. To be sure there are places we disagree.

The Lutheran Reformation was not about making up new traditions from scratch, but about identifying the parts of the historic liturgy that convey the gospel well. One reason it’s so much fun to talk about philosophy and literature with my Catholic friends is that we share a rich sense of history and see ourselves as taking part in a conversation that has been going on for centuries.

However, we Lutherans disagree with Catholics in a highly significant area. They say church tradition is as reliable a guide as scripture, and that one can safely construct theological dogmas on promises and statements that aren’t found in scripture. Thus they accept concepts like the bodily assumption of Mary as doctrine even though the Bible says nothing on that subject.

Now, Lutherans respect church tradition. The Lutheran reformers frequently referenced the writings of the early church fathers. We, too, are grateful for the history that ties us to the church universal throughout time, and we, too, commemorate the faithful saints who have gone before us (although we don’t ask anyone dead to pray for us—the Bible offers no promise that we will be heard that way).

There is considerably more. Do follow the link above.

I do note that Luther believed in the bodily assumption, but it was something that he took on faith, because, well it isn’t mentioned in scripture. We do, some of us anyway, following Luther’s practice, venerate Our Lady, though.

One of the main points that I always make though is that (so does Anna) without Luther, there is no Trent. He was causal in the reform that the Catholic Church needed badly.

In truth, many Lutherans do as she said, refer to our Reformation as a conservative one, in keeping with the traditional definition, keeping the good and reforming the bad. Some of those that followed had different goals, such as being as not-Catholic as they could be. We (and perhaps the Anglo-Catholics) sit firmly in the middle, Catholic but not Roman, Evangelical but traditional.

Occasionally it’s an uncomfortable spot, as we have neither the Pope nor do we get to make it up as we go. For me, it’s the right spot, as it is for many of us.