There's certainly angst over the upcoming Synod on the Family. I've been catching snippets from Rorate Caeli and John Zmirak's Twitter feed. Rorate Caeli seems to think the pro-gay position is already baked into the outcome. Zmirak has all-but stated he's prepared to leave the Church for the Antiochian Orthodox Church (although Zmirak is so sarcastic, it's impossible to know whether he's joking or not).
I write my Monday "Miscellaneous Rambling" weekly column on Sundays, then program it to post shortly after midnight. I'm typing this one on Sunday morning but posting it immediately, since it pertains to the Synod. There will be no Monday Miscellaneous Rambling column, but one will appear on Tuesday.
Pope Francis' opening remarks at the Synod would appear to favor an orthodox outcome (see Reuters story). But I don't trust Reuters, and I sure as heck don't trust the gay mafia that is so active inside the Vatican these days. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the MSM slants coverage in a way that makes a pro-gay outcome more defensible.
So I decided to read Pope Francis' opening comments from a few hours ago.
It is possible to look at a few passages and conclude that Pope Francis is setting the stage for a pro-gay outcome, but overall, the address simply doesn't seem to do this. In fact, the statement appears to be exactly what the Synod is purportedly supposed to be about: marriage and offering pastoral support for those who are divorced. Here are a few passages, with my highlighting, that, I think, support my perspective:
This is the introduction to his address: This Sunday’s Scripture readings seem to have been chosen precisely for this moment of grace which the Church is experiencing: the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the family, which begins with this Eucharistic celebration. The readings centre on three themes: solitude, love between man and woman, and the family.He made men and women for happiness, to share their journey with someone who complements them, to live the wondrous experience of love: to love and to be loved, and to see their love bear fruit in childrenThis is God’s dream for his beloved creation: to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman, rejoicing in their shared journey, fruitful in their mutual gift of self. It is the same plan which Jesus presents in today’s Gospel: “From the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female’. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh.”[T]he Church is called to . . . carry out her mission in truth, which is not changed by passing fads or popular opinions.
Based on these passages, I'm not presently harboring great concerns about the Synod.
A few caveats:
First, I have not followed the whole Synod pre-game discussions as closely as I would have liked. I don't consider myself an observer knowledgeable in current ecclesiastical affairs. If my perspective is naive, I'll readily admit it.
Second, Pope Francis dedicates the first thrust of his address to the problem of "solitude." If this is going to be the theme of the Synod, I could see where a pro-gay argument could erupt: "Solitude is one of the modern world's greatest problems. These people, born with a sexual proclivity they didn't choose, have a right to companionship."
Third, there is a legitimate fear that the Vatican bureaucracy, which, depending on your viewpoint, is either hopelessly in thrall to the gay mafia or, alternatively, too influenced by it, is going to push through its agenda, whether or not the Pope is on board.
Regardless, the faithful need to be steeped in history. The Church has undergone more severe inside trials than this. The novelty theologians have been plaguing Rome since the beginning. Orthodoxy has always prevailed. Keep the faith.
Three Posts in One
I have three posts for this morning, but time for only one. So you, TDE reader, are hereby the beneficiary of three posts combined into one efficient, pithy, post:
1. Jobs report yesterday was abysmal, but the stock market rallied. If that doesn't scream "absurd world," I don't know what does. The market is no longer driven by financial concerns, but rather by what speculators think the Fed will do next. Horrible jobs report = weak economy = more Fed money = speculation that there will be a bounce in the market.
2. Must-read by Pat Buchanan. I'm in an impossible position with Putin: I don't trust him, but I think he's pretty much the only guy in the world who is speaking the truth.
3. If you have a shred of respect for the MSM, just read the absurdity that is Ronda Rousey. She says she could beat Floyd Mayweather in a no-holds barred fight. Everyone knows it's absurd, but story after story bends over backwards to explain why she might be right. Then last weekend, a former MMA fighter, Tank Abbott, says he'll fight Ronda and pay her $100,000 if she wins. If he wins, she just has to make him a sandwich. The MSM then jumps to her defense. The Washington Post even dug out two male MMA fighters to side with Rousey. One of them said, "I think Tank is wrong. He’s a great fighter, but I think Ronda could beat him. Speed always beats size." Link. Speed always beats size? Really? Then why have weight classes? A bantamweight can unleash three times more punches than a heavyweight, but a heavyweight will crush him every time. Just ask the greatest fighter of all time, welterweight Sugar Ray Robinson, who out-boxed and pummeled light heavyweight champion Joey Maxim but lost in the thirteenth round because Robinson's punches simply didn't do much damage to such a larger man. Again, the press is absurd. If you read it, you're wasting your time. Aye, if you read it, you're becoming dumber because you're getting misinformation, which decreases your total knowledge.
A statement from Dr. Obvious: The Internet really pumps out novelties in the area of drinking.
If you subscribe to the (in)correct Twitter feeds, you'll see an unusual drink every day, often more than one. Come Christmas, hundreds (billions?) of holiday drinks will be splashed across blogs and online MSM outlets. Extreme beers seem to get as much cyber-ink as Taylor Swift (then again, I intuitively filter anything that says "Taylor Swift" from my surfing habits, though I far prefer her to the execrable Miley Cyrus, who, by herself, gives me ample reason to ban People magazine from my house).
After awhile, your attention deadens toward the glitz of novelty drinks, especially after you try (too) many of them and pretty much always comes away with the conclusion that the packaging and promise was far better than the experience.
You're better off getting your novelty drinks the traditional way: word of mouth, so to speak. That's how I came across one of the all-time best novelty drinks: Red Bull and vodka. When I first heard about that concoction, I was like, "Man, you're one decadent individual if you're mixing alcohol with extreme amounts of caffeine and taurine" (though not as decadent as this lawyer: "He’d make this cocktail, Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and wash it down with Red Bull"). A few years later, I was hosting party and was really dragging. I had to "answer the bell," so I tried it. I was amazed. The vodka and Red Bull blends really, really well. I rarely drink it (I can't remember the last time), but if they ever come out with a caffeine-free Red Bull, I'd consider it much more often.
But if you're into high energy alcohol drinks and early heart attacks, you might want to try this novelty drink that came across my Twitter feed last week: the espresso martini cocktail. I'm not a big fan of coffee, so I doubt I'd like it, but it sounds like it might be worth keeping up your drinking sleeve if a guest ever needs a pick-me-up.
.75 oz Patrón Silver Tequila
.75 oz Patrón XO Café Liqueur
.75 oz Brewed espresso
TIL: In a report from 2013, most of the funds raised by the NFL don't fund cancer research. In the end, after everybody has taken their cut, only 8.01% of money spent on pink NFL merchandise is actually going towards cancer research.
More good passages from his Poetry Night at the Ballpark and Other Scenes from an Alternative America
"[T]he Cinematic World On Its Head Act of 1991 . . . mandated that all judges in movies and TV be stern black females while the meaty criminal parts must go to white actors, preferably those who can affect Southern accents and play characters named Dean."
"Before perpetual war and suffocating bureaucracy, this used to be a helluva country, as Jack Nicholson mused through a haze of marijuana smoke in Easy Rider."
"When Sam and his cousins asked her, 'Did you kill lots of people?' Aunt Harriet disappointed them by answering no. 'Why not?' they wondered. 'Whuffoh I want to kill folks?' replied Harriet Tubman. 'Nobody nevah kill me.'"
"[T]hose Americans not blinded by Second World War nostalgia understand that war and militarism are the family’s most ferocious enemies."
"The idea that at this very moment a teenager in Butte, a down-and-outer in El Paso, and a grandmother in the Great Smoky Mountains are absorbing the same televised soma fills me with dull dread. Television has done more to erase local culture and color than any other noxious device in our place-effacing empire."
"Russell Kirk famously threw a TV out of a second-story window of his home in Mecosta, Michigan, but the damned things are like zombies: they keep coming on, no matter how furiously one fights them off. My friend Kara Beer tells me that one of Kirk’s daughters had friends audiotape episodes of “Charlie’s Angels,” to which she would listen intently at recess. (I love that image: listening to “Charlie’s Angels.”)"
"H.L. Mencken as grad student is no more plausible than Bill Clinton as Benedictine."
"Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis—A regionalist dystopia by a Minnesota Firster. George Babbitt is a fool not because he is provincial but because he has bought into the lie of mass culture. If you drink at Starbucks and watch Sex and the City, you’re Babbitt."
A referee in a professional soccer match in Brazil pulled a gun out during a game last week because he was tired of being treated poorly by players and coaches. And then out of habit, several players fell down and pretended they had been shot.
China is now home to the world’s longest glass bottom bridge, which hangs 600 feet over a canyon. It’s a great moneymaker. Access to the bridge is free, but they charge $400 for new pants.
Presented without comment:
"Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. He was simple, calm and courageous. He seldom lost his poise; pondered his problems slowly, made his decisions clearly and firmly; never yielded to ostentation nor coyly refrained from holding his rightful place with dignity. He was the son of a serf but stood calmly before the great without hesitation or nerves. But also—and this was the highest proof of his greatness—he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate.
"Stalin was not a man of conventional learning; he was much more than that: he was a man who thought deeply, read understandingly and listened to wisdom, no matter whence it came. He was attacked and slandered as few men of power have been; yet he seldom lost his courtesy and balance; nor did he let attack drive him from his convictions nor induce him to surrender positions which he knew were correct. As one of the despised minorities of man, he first set Russia on the road to conquer race prejudice and make one nation out of its 140 groups without destroying their individuality."
W.E.B. DuBois (link)
Could everyone do me a favor?
Be careful when you use the conjunction "as." I just saw this last Sunday: "The Big Ten is making a comeback, as they have not had schools in the top two of the rankings since back in 2006."
That's terrible, simply terrible. It's insipid stylistically and screams, "I can't be bothered with crisp prose." Just write, "The Big Ten is making a comeback: it has not had schools in the top two since 2006." Let the reader supply the obvious conjunction, instead of you supplying a vague one.
The conjunction "as" also tends to be ambiguous. It could mean "because," "since," or "while." It's not always bad, of course. Strunk and White supply a few examples of proper usage: "Chloe smells good, as a pretty girl should."
Catholic Men's Quarterly, a one-of-a-kind general interest men's magazine written by Catholic men for Catholic men. Makes a great Father's Day gift.
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