Why Millennial Catholics Are Re-Adopting the Traditional Chapel Veil | Fashionista

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“There’s a new uprising in the Church of millennials who are actually wanting a more traditional take on their faith,” [former “Top Model” and current Catholic speaker and author Leah] Darrow says.

Source:  Why Millennial Catholics Are Re-Adopting the Traditional Chapel Veil – Fashionista

I have posted on this subject here previously, but not for a while. This is a good article – although from an unexpected source – and a good opportunity to revisit the subject!

One thing needs to be pointed out: the key elements that differentiate Christian women veiling in church from Muslim women wearing the hijab are that it is a) voluntary, not a requirement, and b) generally occurs only in the context of actual worship: in church, or for some women, only when actually praying and/or receiving the Holy Communion. That said:

For some of these young people, “the appeal of veiling was initially an emotional one: It made her feel humbled and reverent, like removing a hat during the national anthem or at a funeral might, and made her more able to focus on prayer.”

Others “have chosen to adopt the veil after digging into the theological ramifications of the tradition.” To them,

“chapel veils represent a whole range of things: a way to emulate the veil-wearing Virgin Mary, an experience of ‘authentic femininity’ that sets women apart as specially blessed bearers of life and a reminder that she and all members of the church are to consider themselves brides in a symbolic marriage to Jesus, whom the Bible sometimes describes as a bridegroom.”

The practice of veiling is usually associated with Roman Catholics (although some Eastern Orthodox also practice it, and historically, some Anglicans have as well), but the tradition of women covering their heads in church has a long history in Christianity – dating to earliest days, and continuing until fairly recently in most churches. My very Methodist mother and grandmothers practiced it, although they used hats rather than veils!

As vicar of St. Bede’s, I commend the prayerful consideration of this practice (whether using the traditional chapel veil, a scarf, or a hat) to any women interested in our traditional Anglican mission, although I by no means enjoin it on any. Just something to think about, pray over, and perhaps research more deeply, should you feel that God is so leading you.

And of course, like any other attire worn to church, care should be taken, when choosing head-coverings, to balance the desire to “put one’s best foot forward” for God with the need to avoid distracting or drawing the attention of one’s fellow-worshipers. As one young woman quoted in the article aptly notes,

“It’s paradoxical; the best things in life are. It only can be pulled into perfect balance if you’re in it for the right reasons and you have a relationship with God. Otherwise, it does turn into a ‘look how flashy I am, or look how holy I am’ thing.”

As always, the watchwords are dignified and reverent!

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Why the Left Hates Thanksgiving | Frontpage Mag

The militant lefty is an overgrown brat who never made the emotional transition from the funk of total unfairness that teenagers inhabit to the appreciation for life of the mature adult.

Source: Why the Left Hates Thanksgiving | Frontpage Mag

I am coming to increasingly dislike the use of the word “liberal” to describe the American left-wing: there are very few authentic “liberals” out there. Most of what claims the mantle of “liberalism” these days is anything but; it is, rather, statist authoritarianism implacably opposed to everything that has contributed to the American ideal, and American success, for more than 200 years. As this essay accurately puts it,

“Resentment is the force that gives the left meaning.

“What animates the left is the conviction that everything (except their own tastes, preferences and opinions) is terrible and must be reformed until it too is like them. America is racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, arachnophobic and claustrophobic.”

Resentment, the essay continues,

“doesn’t just color the politics of a militant leftist. It encompasses his entire outlook on life. The personal conviction that the world is an unfair place fits neatly into an ideology that claims to be able to prove using science and history that the world is a truly unfair place…

“The left isn’t actually fighting for anything. It’s fighting against things. Big things and little things. It’s fighting against America. And it’s fighting against families sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner.”

In contrast, as the linked essay also points out, “the best antidote to leftist resentment is conservative thankfulness.

“There are plenty of problems in our country and the world. But if we can’t stop to be thankful for the good things, we will sink into the same swamp of resentment as the left.

“To be thankful is to be reminded of what we are fighting for. The resentful left doesn’t really fight for anything. Its resentful causes have no end point. There will never be a time when race relations, the environment, social mobility and caloric intakes are good enough for them to hang up their hats. The left maintains a perpetual state of crisis because it justifies a perpetual state of resentment.”

Indeed! As C.S. Lewis pointed out, decades ago,

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

However, the linked essay continues,

“Conservatives fight for the things in our lives that we value. And these are the very things that we are thankful for. Our gratitude reminds us of what we want to conserve. These include the tangible things, our families, our homes and our lives, and the intangible things, our freedoms and our traditions.

“The left can’t be thankful because it can’t admit that there’s anything worth appreciating. Revolutionary movements don’t create, they destroy. But we can and should be thankful for what we conserve…

“If we lose our ability to be thankful for the good things in our lives, we lose everything.”

Amen, and amen!

A Theist and an Atheist Walk into a Bar . . . | ORBITER

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“What I’ve always wanted to do as a philosopher,” [theistic philosopher Alvin] Plantinga said, “is defend a Christian way of thinking about things and argue that to be a Christian is not to be irrational or senseless or silly. It’s certainly not a unanimous view among philosophers that you can reasonably be a Christian; but that’s now one perfectly sensible view in the neighborhood.”

Source: A Theist and an Atheist Walk into a Bar . . . | ORBITER

For those of us who are Christians, there is nothing remotely irrational, senseless, or silly about belief in God; indeed, it is disbelief in God that is senseless and silly. But unfortunately, philosophy and religion have been on largely divergent paths for the last several centuries. As a result, many philosophers have been reluctant or flatly unwilling to seriously consider the perspectives of theologians, while as Plantinga points out, “Certain kinds of evangelical Christians thought philosophy was a bad idea.”

That is unfortunate, impoverishing both realms.

So, I am very glad to learn of this gentleman who seems to have been able to, at least to some degree, bridge the chasm between contemporary philosophy and theology. But at the same time, I also have to chuckle slightly at the idea that his thoughts – at least as expressed in this short article, I have not delved into his works – are novel discoveries, particularly when it comes to the problem of evil.

If contemporary philosophers have truly believed that the existence of evil nullifies the possibility for the existence of a good God, then I am disheartened to see how far philosophy has fallen.

Plantinga’s solution – which may be compressed (at least as expressed in the linked article) as the realization that true freedom must of necessity include the ability to choose evil; if God had created us such that we would always choose good, automatically, then we would not have free will at all – is something that I got out of reading Boethius’ De Consolatione Philosophiae (“The Consolation of Philosophy,” c. 524 AD) while I was in college.

Nonetheless, I’m glad he has apparently been able to make this ancient and key concept comprehensible and at least somewhat acceptable to today’s philosophical “establishment.”

Regarding his assertion (with which, of course, I agree) that belief in God is not irrational, he points out that

“a very common attitude among those who don’t believe in God is mistaken. That attitude goes like this: ‘I don’t know whether or not there really is such a person as God… but I do know the belief in God is irrational.’”

To which my response would be, if you don’t know whether or not God exists – if the existence of God cannot be conclusively proven, as it cannot, then neither can it be conclusively dis-proven – then how can you say belief in God is irrational? If there’s even the slightest chance that He may exist, and it turns out that He does, then disbelief in Him would be the irrational course of action! Saying that belief in the existence of God is irrational, without being able to conclusively disprove the existence of God, is itself irrational.

Which I think is what Plantinga is trying to say. He goes on to add,

“My argument, very simply, is that if theism is true, then in all likelihood God would make his presence known to us human beings. And if this is so, then it would make sense to think of God as creating us in such a way that there is an innate tendency to believe in him, or at least to have some sort of inkling of his existence.”

Which is another way of saying something that I have said on many occasions, and in a number of fora: that the human religious impulse comes from God, and leads to God. That is why – although I am a Christian and a Christian cleric, and believe that the Christian revelation is the most true and complete revelation of God humans have been vouchsafed by their creator – I also believe that elements of truth may be found in many (indeed most, if not all) religions.

If we are, as the Scriptures inform us, created in the image of God, then we simply cannot (assuming our intellectual faculties are intact) avoiding knowing at least something about God, and / or at least have a yearning to connect with our ultimate Source. We can (having free will, since God wishes us to search for and choose Him freely, not through compulsion) ignore or suppress both the knowledge and the yearning, but that does not mean it’s not there.

As I have also said before – including in this blog – I have respect for an honest agnosticism, as there is so much we do not and cannot know about God. But I find flat-out atheism – which is asserting as an incontestable truth-claim the idea that God does not exist – to be rather absurd and even silly, since there is no way to conclusively disprove the existence of a God powerful enough to create the totality of the Cosmos.

In contrast, as Plantinga points out,

“many philosophers have argued that belief in God is indeed, irrational; and of course if it is irrational, we ought not to accept it. They think as follows: it would clearly be irrational to believe in God if there were not good evidence for the existence of God . . .

“Now what I’ve argued, in a nutshell, is this. First of all, that there are some pretty good arguments for theism, for the existence of God. More important, though, what I’ve argued is that if belief in God is true—if there really is such a person as God—then belief in God is not irrational.”

Indeed! Needless to say, I agree. At any rate, Plantinga seems like a very interesting fellow, and I look forward to hopefully having a chance to read some of his writings in the relatively near future.

Primo de Rivera: “Freedom does not exist except within an order”

Freedom does not exist except within an order

I was very pleased to have one of my young driver’s education students, in response to a comment on the importance of following “the rules of the road,” respond, “Without order, there’s chaos.” Maybe there is hope for the rising generation, after all!

Indeed, freedom is only possible within order: in chaos, or raw anarchy, the only persons to have “freedom” are those in the highest positions of power. An orderly society both protects the rights and also enunciates the responsibilities of all members.

The Constitutional, representative Republic bequeathed us by our Founders is one way of accomplishing this end, and, so long as their prescription was faithfully followed, an effective one. But it is not the only approach; King Charles I of England, executed by the “Roundhead” Parliament during the English Civil War, articulated another:

“No man in England is a better friend to liberty than myself, But I must tell you plainly that the liberty of subjects consists not in having a hand in the government, but in having that government, and those laws, whereby their lives and their goods may be most their own.”

James Kiefer goes on to elaborate,

“one may reasonably ask of a government that it establish justice in the land; so that judges do not take bribes, so that innocent men are not convicted of crimes, while the guilty are convicted and punished, so that honest men need fear neither robbers nor the sheriff. One may further ask that taxes be not excessive, and that punishments be not disproportionate to the crime. Charles would have said, ‘Do not ask whether the laws were made by men whom you elected. Ask whether they are reasonable and good laws, upholding justice and the public weal.'”

These principles are equally manifest and necessary whether the source of orderly government and society is viewed as “top-down” (from God, through a Monarch, to the people) or “bottom-up” (ultimately from God – if you read the Declaration of Independence – but flowing through the sovereignty of the people to those elected to perform the functions of government).

Like a human person whose physical being is defined by skin and skeleton, a cell defined by its walls, a poem defined by form and meter, a country defined by its borders, or art or music defined by the conventions thereof, one’s freedom can be expressed most fully within an orderly society. The alternative is indeed chaos, and the “freedom” thus engendered is temporary and illusory.

Leaked recording: Berlin police instructor calls Muslim recruits ‘enemy in our ranks’

polizei

Source: Leaked recording: Berlin police instructor calls Muslim recruits ‘enemy in our ranks’

Sadly, this does not come as a surprise!

On the tape, the unidentified police instructor complains that many officers who come from migrant backgrounds, particularly those of Turkish and Arabic origins, refuse to pay attention in the academy classrooms and many have trouble speaking or writing German, Die Welt reported…

These Muslim recruits have put the future of the Berlin police force in jeopardy according to the instructor who said the migrant police officers would be “a second-class of police that will only be corrupt”.

“These are not colleagues, that’s the enemy. This is the enemy in our ranks and I have never felt such hostility in this class,” he added.

An English friend of mine on Facebook comments, “My son attended an Uniformed Services course at College prior to joining the Paras, and he said the same thing about the Middle Eastern [students] on his course. He said 50% of the class were made up of them, they were lazy, cheeky, stupid, bereft of discipline and he thought they were there for inside information to help them fight against us.”

Unfortunately I would not be a bit surprised. I am reminded of the fact that the 9/11 terrorists here in the U.S. learned to fly the airliners they used as weapons at American flight schools. The idea of Muslims in Germany and Britain learning information, tactics, etc., from the police and military of those countries seems all too credible, to me.

Kindness, openness, and willingness to share information has been a hallmark of Western society for centuries, and especially following the end of the Second World War – and heretofore, it has been a source of strength. But in the present environment, it seems to be more a source of vulnerability.

Halloween: An Orthodox Christian Perspective

Source: Halloween: An Orthodox Christian Perspective | DAIMONOLOGIA

Good morning, all, and wishing everyone who celebrates a joyful Eve of All Saints (All Hallows Eve), Hallowe’en, or Samhain! Yes, I said Samhain. Let us be clear, shall we, that while there are indeed some Pagan – or at least folkloric – roots to Halloween, it is not Satanic in origin. Although the Evil One and his minions can infect, warp, and twist this as they can many other things, let’s not hand him a victory by conceding the field uncontested, shall we? And Pagan does NOT equal Satanic, unless you want to claim that all of our pre-Christian ancestors were so: a notion I vigorously deny, decry, and protest!

Leaving nutcases like Anton LeVey and his followers out of it, there are two basic roots of Halloween, as we have it today: the pre-Christian Celtic, and the Christian. The latter is clear and historical; the former is more suggestive, based on linguistics, mythology, and folklore.

With respect to the Celtic root, Samhain is the Irish Gaelic name for this holiday, apparently derived from “samh” = summer and “fuin” = end. In Gaul (ancient Celtic France, before the invasion of the Germanic Franks, and the conversion to Christianity), it was Samonios, or Trinuxtion Samonii, “the Three Nights of Summer’s End.” This comes from the Coligny Calendar, IIRC, and because the Celts tended to start things on their eves (days were reckoned as beginning at sunset of the day before), it is generally believed that Samhain (Samonios) was the “Celtic New Year.”

The word “Samhain” is used today in modern Irish to refer to the month of November: it is NOT the name of the “Celtic God of the Dead,” that is Annwn (and he was not evil either). As a holiday (holy day), it marked the boundary between the season of warmth and light, and that of cold and dark, and corresponded to Beltane (May Day), its opposite on what some have called “the Wheel of the Year.” It was a liminal time, being neither (quite) Summer, nor (yet) Winter.

The ancient Celts were fond of these “boundary” times and places, which are neither one thing nor the other – dawn and dusk, for instance, which are neither day nor night, or the sea-shore, which is neither land nor ocean – and appear to have considered them to be “thin spots,” where the “veil between the worlds” (our ordinary physical-sensory world, and the “Otherworld” of spirit and the sacred) was permeable. Thus, at both Samhain and Beltane, spirits – both the spirits of the dead, and spiritual beings such as fairies – were thought to be able to cross between the Otherworld and this one.

Some were benevolent, some baneful, and some neutral: that Samhain had a darker cast to it than Beltane is understandable given that, Beltane is the beginning of the season of warmth, light, and growth (“Summertime, when the livin’ is easy,” to borrow a line from the American musical “Porgy and Bess”), whereas Samhain is the beginning of the season of cold, dark, and decay, a time of danger and potential death in an agricultural society. But again, while such considerations are unpleasant and frightening to humans, they are not evil, unless one considers the natural cycle of birth, life, death, decay, and rebirth (new life springing forth from, and nourished by, the detritus of the preceding year) to be evil.

Still, no one likes to die, or have one’s loved ones die, and in pre-modern cultures, Winter was a time when death – by disease, starvation, exposure to the elements, etc. – was an all-too-likely outcome. So many of the customs and traditions which developed around Samhain were, in origin, human efforts to come to terms with this aspect of existence. Many of our Halloween traditions today remain, from a psychological perspective, ways to deal with – even to defy and laugh in the face of – those things which most frighten us.

And then of course there is the second stream, the second major taproot, of Halloween, and the one which gives it its name: the Christian Feast of All Saints, or in England, All Hallows. This is described in more detail in the attached essay (which tends to deny or minimalize the Celtic root), so I will not go into as much detail, but basically: this is the feast (actually a triduum of feasts) celebrating all the saints (the “holy ones” of God), known and unknown, and including both those notable figures of extraordinary sanctity which we typically think of as “saints,” and also those whose holiness is known but to God – ordinary Christians, living out our lives to the best of our ability, as God gives us grace.

This began in Rome in the 8th century of the Christian era, and whether by chance or design, mirrored the three days of Samonios: the Eve of All Saints (All Hallows Eve) on October 31st, the Feast of All Saints (All Hallows) on November 1st, and the Feast of All Souls, on November 2nd, for the rest of us. 🙂 What is lacking is a clear-cut connection that would indicate a specific intention to “Christianize” Samhain; but in the all-encompassing design of Divine Providence, I do not think the parallelism is coincidental!

So these are the two “roots” of Halloween: the pre-Christian Celtic, and the Christian. What is notably lacking in this history is any reference to evil. That was, as the linked essay makes clear, largely a modern invention. True, the holiday has always had a close connection with death; but with the death which leads to rebirth: either in the naturally-inspired, “wheel-of-the-year” sense of the ancient Celtic feast, or in the rebirth to life eternal of the Christian faith (the dates of the deaths of saints are often referred to as their “heavenly birthdays”).

Of course, one may do as one wishes with this day – celebrate or avoid. But let us at least be fair and accurate to the history, and to the spiritual significance of this date. After all, for those of us who are Christians, our God is among other things the God of Truth. We do Him no honour by making up fables, or by lending the Evil One more influence than he actually possesses!

Twilight of Europe: Hundreds of European Languages Facing Extinction

European governments are calling for “diversity” at the expense of native European diversity. And this is literally a cultural genocide.

Source: Twilight of Europe: Hundreds of European Languages Facing Extinction

Another interesting essay from Carolyn Emerick.

I remember back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when I was in college and, later, grad (divinity) school, how incensed my mostly progressive classmates and I were at the threat being posed by globalization to the rich variety of languages and dialects found among the indigenous populations of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Central and South America. The villains in these stories were generally American, European, or generically Western corporations, governments, or both.

While this was and remains a real issue, Ms Emerick points out that the same thing is happening, but with much less fanfare, outrage, or even awareness, among the people, languages, and dialects of Europe. Once again, globalization is the culprit, but this time, it is not Europeans going out into the world that are causing the problems, but the rest of the world pouring into Europe.

For us in the U.S., the leveling and conforming effect of American culture – while not entirely bad, when utilized to build a reasonably cohesive, unified society – and the standardizing effect of modern media and marketing, have combined to blunt and minimize our awareness of the distinctiveness, particularity, and vibrancy of various European cultures, languages, dialects, and their associated customs and traditions.

The result has been to lend an element of “truthiness” to the false narrative that “white people have no culture,” and we must therefore import “diversity” from elsewhere in the world. And it is sadly true that, all too often, Walmart, cable TV (and increasingly the internet), and professional sports seem to be the limit of many Americans’ cultural experience.

The reality, however, is that Europe and Europeans are replete with cultural and linguistic diversity! But it is a diversity which is under threat. With respect to Britain, the major focus of The Anglophilic Anglican, Ms Emerick notes that

“The United Kingdom is home to many forms of Celtic language as well as dozens of dialects of English, many of which have close roots to the original speech of the first Anglo-Saxons. 

“But, instead of making an effort to preserve this important cultural heritage, the U.K. government is making concessions for illegal immigrants and using taxes of hard working British people to pay for foreigners who live off their taxes and refuse to work.

“These unemployed migrants then reproduce in vast numbers. But native Britons will consistently tell you that they cannot afford to have more children. What is going on here? Native Europeans are being taxed for their own demographic replacement.”

This is, to say the least, problematic! And that is putting it very gently. One must ask oneself, what is the rationale, what is the reasoning, what is the sense in this apparent drive to self-immolation on the part of many in Europe?

If it is to gain cheap workers – which I’m sure was at least part of the initial impetus – it has been demonstrated repeatedly that most of those coming in from Africa and Middle East have little desire to work; they are there to live off the European social safety net… which will shortly be strained to the breaking point, if it is not already.

And if it is to atone for Nazism, colonialism, or any other real or imagined evil of the 19th and 20th centuries, one must inquire, how much self-flagellation is enough? How much is too much?

With immigrants responsible for a vastly disproportionate amount of crime – including rape and sexual grooming for prostitution – to the point of over-stretching the police forces of several European countries, and insisting on special considerations in every area from law to cuisine from their erstwhile hosts, how much of this orgy of cultural masochism – even cultural suicide – can Europe endure?

Because unlike the immigrants, Europeans have no other homeland. They cannot return to their home countries, for they are there already. Their backs are to the wall. If Europe does not remain hospitable to Europeans, they will be homeless indeed… and 40 or 50,000 years of European ethnic and cultural evolution and development will be ended.

Is it worth it, for the false promise of pseudo-“diversity” and a mockery of “multiculturalism,” in a continent which has, historically, embodied the terms? Europe has a plenitude of diversity – linguistically, culturally, ethnically. This is a fact which needs to be celebrated, not suppressed!

But as with all other areas of problem-solving, the first step is to admit that we have a problem, in the first place…