Why Beauty Matters: Roger Scruton – YouTube

“Art once made a cult of beauty. Now we have a cult of ugliness instead. This has made art into an elaborate joke, one which by now has ceased to be funny.”

Truth, goodness, and beauty were once the pillars of art, philosophy, intellectual discourse — society itself — in the West. Sadly, this is no longer the case. Now “pop culture” (its very name suggesting its throwaway nature) mocks all three.
Beauty is replaced by abstraction and intentional ugliness, truth by propaganda and political “spin,” goodness by self-interest and utilitarian “ethics.” Over all is sprayed a glittering but corrosive coating of irony and sarcasm. I pray the pendulum may soon start to swing back, before it’s too late for Western culture ever to recover.
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Monarchy Rules: a look at Queen Elizabeth II – Royal Central

Born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on 21st April 1926 to the Duke and Duchess of York, it was never thought that Elizabeth would ever become Queen. Her father, Prince Albert, was the second […]

Source: Monarchy Rules: a look at Queen Elizabeth II – Royal Central

A concise, yet complete, account of the life and reign of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, a woman who has devoted her long and fruitful life to the service of her nation and people. God save The Queen! Long live The Queen!

“On 9th September, The Queen became Britain’s longest reigning Monarch and overtook the record set by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. She shows no sign of wavering from her 21st birthday speech, where she declared that her whole life shall be dedicated to our service. A pledge in my opinion The Queen has never broken, even in her darkest days.”

Can we please stop calling her ‘Kate Middleton’? – Royal Central

…It isn’t ‘Princess Kate’ either

Source: Can we please stop calling her ‘Kate Middleton’? – Royal Central

On the proper form of address for Her Royal Highness, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge… ooops, I gave it away!

Girls Should Not Be “Altar Servers” – Crisis Magazine

In

1994, the Congregation for Divine Worship issued a letter officially specifying that it is licit for females to serve the altar in the role that has traditionally been known as “altar boy.” Bishops were not bound to permit the practice, and a 2001 follow-up specified that pastors may also choose to reserve altar service …

Source: Girls Should Not Be “Altar Servers” – Crisis Magazine

Once again, this is from a specifically Roman Catholic perspective, but it has relevance because the specific Anglican jurisdiction to which I belong — like most orthodox Anglican jurisdictions, and all Continuing Anglican ones — does not ordain women to the priesthood. The author, who is female, and the mother of four boys, discusses the connections in some depth in the article, and I do not want to steal her thunder be rehashing them here.

What I will say is this: it has been statistically demonstrated (as pointed out in this article) that boys are less likely to want to serve at the altar if they must do so “co-educationally,” thus reducing the kind and level of exposure to the liturgy which tends to breed future vocations. It also appears that men are less likely to attend church when leaders of worship (or those perceived as taking a leadership role, which would included altar servers) are female.

And a lack of paternal participation in regular worship has in turn been statistically linked to reduced church attendance by both male and female children when they reach adulthood. Are girls as altar servers thus a contributing factor to reduced church attendance overall? That might be saying a bit more than I personally would feel comfortable with, but the idea does not seem to be entirely without merit. In any case, read the article — the author, Dr. Rachel Lu, makes some excellent points!

Women Should Appreciate Masculine Virtues – Crisis Magazine

“In this column, I will do something a little bit unprecedented. I specifically wish to address my female readers, and to issue a challenge. Can we make a special resolution to be good to the men and boys in our lives?”

Source: Women Should Appreciate Masculine Virtues – Crisis Magazine

“Men are at their best when they know that the women who love them are counting on them to come through. Let’s make sure that our husbands, sons, brothers and priests all know that they have good reason to be their very best.”

While written from a Roman Catholic – and female! – perspective, this excellent essay needless to say applies equally to Anglicans, and indeed to all Christians. Well worth a read!

On the misuse of compassion

refugees-migrants-invaders

As a Christian, I am a strong proponent of the virtue of compassion, when properly understood and applied. But here’s what a lot of folks today don’t seem to get: compassion is not an entitlement; it must be earned.

To put it bluntly, if you expect people to feel compassion toward you, they have to have a reason to believe that you deserve it. This is where a lot of the Muslim migrants pouring into Europe and, increasingly, the U.S. fall short.

In the case of families with young children, or obviously oppressed religious minorities like Christians and Yazidis, it’s a no-brainer. Of course they deserve compassion! They are being oppressed and even murdered by the Muslim majority in their historic homelands (and for the few who do make it to Europe, in the refugee camps there).

But here’s the thing: a significant majority – even an overwhelming majority, especially in Europe – of Muslim so-called “refugees” are young, able-bodied men of military age. This means, to those capable of viewing the situation objectively, one of two things:

1) They are cowards, who are fleeing their home countries (and in many cases leaving families behind) rather than sticking around and doing what they can to improve the situation there; or

2) They are not refugees are all, but rather are coming into Western countries under false pretenses, with the goal of reshaping Western cultures and societies to comply with Islamic ideological teachings.

In neither case are they worthy of compassion. In neither case are they likely to be adding anything of value to countries taking them in (as left-wing politicos and pundits like to put it, “enriching the culture”), rather the contrary: their actions and attitudes are all too often proving destructive of Western culture and values.

Compassion is an important and cherished virtue, but we cheapen it when we apply it to the undeserving. And in this case, our misplaced compassion may very well be working to our own detriment.

People of the West need to wake up and smell the Erk Soos*!

(* Erk Soos = a licorice-based drink popular in Muslim areas of the Middle East)