T.S. Eliot on Christianity and Culture

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“I am talking about the common tradition of Christianity which has made Europe what it is, and about the common cultural elements which this common Christianity has brought with it. If Asia were converted to Christianity tomorrow, it would not thereby become apart of Europe. It is in Christianity that our arts have developed; it is in Christianity that the laws of Europe have—until recently—been rooted. It is against a background of Christianity that all our thought has significance.

“An individual European may not believe that the Christian Faith is true, and yet what he says, and makes, and does, will all spring out of his heritage of Christian culture and depend upon that culture for its meaning. Only a Christian culture could have produced a Voltaire or a Nietzsche. I do not believe that the culture of Europe could survive the complete disappearance of the Christian Faith. And I am convinced of that, not merely because I am a Christian myself, but as a student of social biology.

If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture ready made. You must wait for the grass to grow to feed the sheep to give the wool out of which your new coat will be made. You must pass through many centuries of barbarism. We should not live to see the new culture, nor would our great-great-great-grandchildren: and if we did, not one of us would be happy in it.”

— T.S. Eliot, Christianity And Culture.

We must defend.

The future of our culture and civilization is not negotiable.

 

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An afterglow of ages past

A thought worth pondering, I think.

Afterglow of past ages – York Minster

IC XC NIKA – Jesus Christ conquers!

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Jesus Christ conquers!

Jesus Christ is victorious!

Jesus Christ is Lord!

As the “Word Incarnate” blog explains it,

IC XC are abbreviations (in both Greek and Slavonic) for the name Jesus Christ. NIKA is a Greek verb that means ‘conquers’ (perhaps ‘is victorious’ is better, though not as grammatically accurate).”

And of course, the sigil in the laurel-wreath, surmounted by a crown, is the Chi Rho, another monogram of Christ, being the first letters of that divine name – CH + R – in Greek. Although the letters are Greek, they could also be seen as standing for the first initials of “Christus Rex” (Christ the King) in Latin.

I love this image, with the Imperial double eagle as well as the crowned laurel-wreath emphasizing the heavenly Kingship of Christ! And the earthly Kinship as well, of course; for although He said “my Kingdom is not of this world,” during His Incarnation, that was to warn people against thinking that he was a merely earthly monarch, or that the salvation He wrought was merely temporal in nature.

In His essence, He is King of both Heaven and Earth, and while in a temporal sense His reign has not yet come, sub specie aeternitatis – “under the aspect of eternity,” in relation to the eternal, in light of that which is eternally and universally true – His Kingship is likewise both universal and eternal, existing throughout all time and space.

Ave Christus Rex!

 

On this day in 1981: President Reagan is shot

On this day in 1981 – toward the end of my sophomore year of high school – a deranged John Hincklely, Jr., attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, in a misguided and very nearly tragic attempt to impress actress Jodi Foster. Fortunately, he failed, but by the very breadth of a hair: Reagan had been shot under his left arm, but the bullet had ricocheted off a rib and into his lung; it had stopped less than an inch from his heart.

Three others were also wounded in the attack: White House Press Secretary James Brady, D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty, and Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy, who was wounded covering President Reagan with his own body. Brady was the most seriously wounded of the four, being shot in the head and left permanently paralyzed. He unfortunately later allowed himself to be used as the poster-boy for gun control in the 1980s and ’90s.

President Reagan was severely wounded, but he was a man of tremendous toughness, both mental (until robbed of that, most sadly, by Alzheimer’s disease, in later years) and physical. The most moving episode of this incident was one we did not learn about until much later: how when they arrived at Walter Reed Medical Center, the President – in excruciating pain and weak from loss of blood – nonetheless insisted on walking into the hospital under his own power.

Once safely inside and away from the cameras of the press, he all but collapsed into the arms of the waiting medical staff, and was immediately whisked away by stretcher: but the point had been made. He did not wish America’s enemies to see her Commander-in-Chief laid low by an assassin’s bullet. That personal moral courage and strength of will is one of the reasons he will always live in my heart as my favorite President, at least of my own lifetime. God bless his memory!

He was also a man of tremendous good humor: not for nothing was he referred to as “the Great Communicator.” Historian, author, and Constitutional scholar Tara Ross commented, in her post on the subject today,

“Naturally, a little thing like being shot couldn’t dampen Reagan’s sense of humor. When he saw [his wife Nancy] at the hospital, he quipped, ‘Honey, I forgot to duck.’ On the way into surgery, he told his doctor, ‘I hope you’re a Republican.’ The doctor (who happened to be a liberal Democrat) responded with class: ‘Today, Mr. President, we’re all Republicans.’

As Reagan recovered from surgery, he was placed on a respirator to help his left lung, which had collapsed. The Gipper was still cracking jokes—even if he had to scribble them on a piece of paper. ‘I’d like to do this scene again,’ he wrote, ‘starting at the hotel.'”

She adds,

“Despite his age and the bullet wound, Reagan recovered quickly and was soon back at work, signing a bill from his hospital bed by the next day. In the end, he spent a little less than two weeks in the hospital.”

One tough cookie! But the story isn’t quite over, yet:

Later that year, while giving a speech in West Berlin, a balloon loudly popped. The President paused for the briefest of moments, glanced up with a twinkle in his eye, commented “Missed me,” and continued with his speech. The crowd, understandably, went wild with applause and cheering. He was one of a kind: God’s gift to our nation at that crucial time in our history, he was by turns inspirational, entertaining, and reassuring. Sometimes all of the above, at once!

President Reagan was President from 1981–1989 – basically throughout my “coming of age” years – and was the first President I ever voted for (in 1984). I must confess that I did not and do not agree with everything he said and did as President, but between his success in restoring America’s self-confidence following the debacle of Vietnam, his key role in bringing down the Soviet Union, and incidents such as this which revealed him as a man of great and admirable character, there is a sense in which he will always be, for me, “the” President.

Is It Immodest to Wear Deliberately Ripped Clothes? | The Catholic Thing

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This particular pair of “distressed” jeans is only $19.97 at the website “Zulily“; many are much more expensive. Young women (and some young males) are paying good money for clothing (?) that looks like they rescued it from the dumpster.

Is It Immodest to Wear Deliberately Ripped Clothes? Short answer: yes. Deliberately ripped garments work against the purpose of clothes. They are caricatures of clothing.

Source: Is It Immodest to Wear Deliberately Ripped Clothes?

This article, the link to which appeared in my email in-box this morning, is timely. I had just been thinking, over the last week or so, about the difference in attire between “my generation” in middle and high school, and what I am seeing now, at the high school where I teach driver education.

In some respects, high schoolers are dressing, at least in school – whether voluntarily or due to imposed dress-codes, I do not know – in a way that is less overtly revealing or provocative they they did in my day. (I am addressing primarily female students’ attire, as I have never had, and still do not, any interest in inspecting males or their clothing! But many of the same problems and principles apply equally to popular contemporary male attire.)

At any rate, there are fewer bare midriffs, nowadays; fewer if any camisole tops and not many tank-tops. Shorts (if worn at all) are, for the most part, not particularly short. Skirts of any sort are rare, but I can’t remember the last time I saw a miniskirt (wail and gnash your teeth, women for whom the “right” to wear a miniskirt was a political issue in the 1970s). And while there are “skinny jeans,” there is something decidedly less attractive about the way they hug the form than I recall of the Jordaches and Calvin Kleins of yesteryear!

In that sense, I suppose it could be said that young women are dressing (at least while at school) more “modestly” than they used to, “back in the day.” That is good, to a point. The problem is what they’re replacing it with. Continue reading “Is It Immodest to Wear Deliberately Ripped Clothes? | The Catholic Thing”

A Conservative Russian Lion With Real Mass Influence – The Painter Ilya Glazunov | Russian Insider

 

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Source: A Conservative Russian Lion With Real Mass Influence – The Painter Ilya Glazunov

While I’m on Russian Insider: an interesting article on an interesting individual!

“In contrast to the values of the marketplace, [Glazunov] calls for placing spiritual and political ideals in first place. He believes that patriotism, service to society and its head, a monarch, are far more important than filthy lucre.”

Two examples of his paintings will illuminate the point. Continue reading “A Conservative Russian Lion With Real Mass Influence – The Painter Ilya Glazunov | Russian Insider”

“Was Hitler’s Invasion of Russia Defensive, to Foil an Attack by Stalin?”

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According to Suvorov, Stalin – not Hitler – ranks as “the chief culprit” behind the outbreak of World War II in Europe.

Source: Was Hitler’s Invasion of Russia Defensive, to Foil an Attack by Stalin?

“The ‘Suvorov Hypothesis’ claimed that during the summer of 1941 Stalin was on the very verge of mounting a massive invasion and conquest of Europe, while Hitler’s sudden attack on June 22nd of that year was intended to forestall that looming blow. Moreover, the author also argued that Stalin’s planned attack constituted merely the final act in a much longer geopolitical strategy that he had been developing since at least the early 1930s.”

If this theory is correct – and it must be said, it is a controversial one, and one which (as this article points out) scholars in the English-speaking world have been reluctant to touch with the proverbial ten-foot pole – but if, I say, if this theory is correct, it means that the other Allies (Britain and France, initially, and then later Britain and America) were the unwitting dupes of Stalin, and participated in – even enabled – his plan to bring Europe under Communist domination.

A plan which darned near succeeded, in the aftermath of WW II! Continue reading ““Was Hitler’s Invasion of Russia Defensive, to Foil an Attack by Stalin?””