Saint Mary the Virgin | For All the Saints

“In the person of the Virgin Mary, the Church has seen an image of itself, the representative of the community of the faithful, a model of what each Christian ought to be: prayerful, humble, joyfully submissive to the will and word of God, devoted to her Son and loyal to him even when she did not understand him. the honor paid to her goes back to the earliest days of Christianity, and because she is the mother of the Redeemer she is accounted preeminent among the saints. The words of the song ascribed to her, Magnificat, as well as her humble acceptance of the will of God bear more than accidental similarity to the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount.”

Source: Saint Mary the Virgin | For All the Saints

Wishing all of my Christian friends in sacramental, liturgical churches a holy and blessed Feast of St. Mary the Virgin!

Magnificat. St. Luke i. 46.

My soul doth magnify the Lord, * and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded * the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth * all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me; * and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him * throughout all generations.
He hath showed strength with his arm; * he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, * and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; * and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel; * as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.

“New Video Evidence Proves James Fields, Charlottesville Car Wrecker, Was Attacked By Antifa” | Squawker

Since the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, on August 12th-13th, one of the biggest headlines across news outlets everywhere is the allegedly nefarious plot of car-wrecker James Fields…

Source: New Video Evidence Proves James Fields, Charlottesville Car Wrecker, Was Attacked By Antifa | Squawker

Field is the individual whose vehicle, pictured above, struck and killed a female counter-protester at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville on Saturday. The incident is being portrayed by the mass media as a deliberate ramming attack on peaceful and innocent protesters by a hateful, racist, neo-Nazi. Well, a hateful, racist, neo-Nazi Field may (or may not) be, but as is usually the case, the reality is not as simple or clear-cut as the media reports would like it to appear…

Disclaimer: I know nothing about this “Squawker” website, and its veracity or lack thereof. That said:

I have absolutely no sympathy or tolerance for anyone who would attack defenseless, non-aggressive people, with a vehicle or otherwise. However, the videos and commentary found here suggest (suggest, mind you – this all needs to be sorted out, objectively and truthfully, in a court of law) that the supposed “ramming attack” by James Field, regardless of whatever his personal views and philosophy may be and whether or not we agree with them, may not be exactly what it is being portrayed as by the media, either, any more than Charlottesville as a whole was.

If these videos are accurate and tell the story as it happened, it appears at least plausible that Field ended up going down the wrong street, got surrounded by a group of Leftist protesters, had his car attacked by them, and did what any sane person would have done under similar conditions: accelerated the heck out of there. Again: I am not saying for certain that this is what happened, I cannot possibly know that. I am saying that it appears at least plausible that this could be what happened, and that we should therefore resist rushing to judgement.

If, on the other hand, he did indeed charge down that street with the intention to run over people, then of course he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and suffer appropriate punishment. But let’s make sure that’s what happened, first.

Dear Traditional Worshipers: How Do We Find Our Way?

It’s not about sentimentality. It’s not about taste or preference. It’s about meaning.

Source: Dear Traditional Worshipers: How Do We Find Our Way?

“It’s devastating to see what’s happened to worship in the church… The blindness surrounding the issue is astounding. The insistence that the common trends of the day are most fitting for public worship is wrong and short-sighted. It’s [grievous] that most churches now let Christians choose to not learn the historic creeds, or the great tradition of hymns and songs, or the great privilege of praying together and reading Scripture together. The commercialization of our sacred time, well, it’s nothing short of tragic…

“[But] it’s not enough to say ‘we like [traditional worship].’ That doesn’t matter. The worst thing that ‘contemporary worship’ did when it came on the scene was to promote itself as just another worship option, and then get away with labeling the liturgy as a choice, also. When we make the conversation about preference, we don’t get anywhere… It’s not about sentimentality. It’s not about taste or preference. It’s about meaning. So maybe we need to rethink our plan of action…

A lot of wisdom, here, in my opinion.

Charlottesville: latest battle in the culture wars

A tale of two rallies.jpg
The top picture is from a torchlight procession held on Friday night, the night before a “Unite the Right” rally scheduled – and legally permitted – for Charlottesville, Virginia, yesterday: Saturday, August 12, 2017. The second is of “protests” in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2015, following accusations that police officers had mistreated an African-American suspect, resulting in his death while in custody; the officers so accused were either acquitted by the mostly-black juries, or the charges were dropped. The contrast, I think, speaks volumes.

The legally-permitted “Unite the Right” rally scheduled for yesterday – Saturday, August 12th, 2017 – to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee by the City Council (part of the ongoing purge of Southern and Confederate iconography, and in fact much other historic iconography as well), and in the process to serve as a rallying cry for conservatives and others on the rightward side of the social and political spectrum to come together against the mass of cultural Marxists and social-justice warriors arrayed against anything and everything conservative, traditional, or classic in our present-day culture, didn’t take long to go awry.

What was intended to be a peaceful rally turned violent when radical Left-wing groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter showed up and began showering the rally attendees with expletives, punches, pepper spray, and water balloons filled with urine, feces, paint, and other noxious substances. Unsurprisingly, some of those so attacked fought back. But did the local and national news media broadcast stories about a peaceful, permitted rally being attacked by extremists? Nope. Instead, all the news media could do was accuse those present at the rally of being right-wing racists, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists.

To which my response is: Continue reading “Charlottesville: latest battle in the culture wars”

Anglican Pentecostal: Christian Just War Theology

The introduction is subtitled “Against wishful thinking,” and together with chapter one, “Against Christian pacifism” counters the opinion, widely popular in university settings, that pacifism is the default setting for the “Christian.”

Source: Anglican Pentecostal: Christian Just War Theology

While I disagree – quite strongly – with the anti-Germanism which appears to be implicit, and at times, explicit, in this book (which, to be fair, I have not read yet, myself), I am nonetheless pleased to see a serious Christian scholar arguing against the all-too-common presumption that, as the above quote states, pacifism is the “default setting” for those who seek to follow Christ.

It is about time more people began to realize that righteous anger is, indeed, righteous; that “turning the other cheek” does not mean knuckling under to evil – and emphatically does not mean condemning others to oppression at the hands of those who would subjugate them; and that Aristotle was right that there is a virtuous mean between surfeit (in this context, too much anger, aggressiveness, militancy, etc.) and deficit (again in this context, unwillingness to fight to defend what is right).

In any case, we need to remember that He who is (rightly) hailed as the Prince of Peace nonetheless said, “I come to bring not peace, but a sword.”

BBC’s Grantchester: Father Brown It Ain’t | The Christian Review

The PBS/BBC version [does] such violence to James Runcie’s creation that no true fan, except one star-struck with James Norton’s puling Sidney, could countenance the result.

Source: BBC’s Grantchester: Father Brown It Ain’t | The Christian Review

I must be clear, I have neither read the books nor seen the series. Having read this review, I have no interest whatsoever in the latter, although I may very well want to check out the books at some point. Just colour me disgusted, but not surprised, that the once-great BBC has so completely sold out to the forces of political correctness and social engineering.

Disappointing, to say the least! But not, as I say, surprising. Unfortunately!

The Greeks really do have near-mythical origins, ancient DNA reveals | Science | AAAS

Ever since the days of Homer, Greeks have long idealized their Mycenaean “ancestors” in epic poems and classic tragedies that glorify the exploits of Odysseus, King Agamemnon, and other heroes who went in and out of favor with the Greek gods.

Although these Mycenaeans were fictitious, scholars have debated whether today’s Greeks descend from the actual Mycenaeans, who created a famous civilization that dominated mainland Greece and the Aegean Sea from about 1600 B.C.E. to 1200 B.C.E., or whether the ancient Mycenaeans simply vanished from the region.

Now, ancient DNA suggests that living Greeks are indeed the descendants of Mycenaeans, with only a small proportion of DNA from later migrations to Greece…

Source: The Greeks really do have near-mythical origins, ancient DNA reveals | Science | AAAS

The title of this piece is a touch misleading, in that it may seem to imply that the ancient Greeks really were descended from the gods, or at least their heroes were. But although the truth is somewhat more prosaic, it is no less interesting!

In addition to the usefulness to historians, archaeologists, mythologists, and students of literature of confirming that there was and is a Mycenaean – and indeed, Minoan – connection with modern Greeks, and a very significant one, this also is further evidence that ancient myths and legends, originally carried down through the oral traditions of a people and only later put to writing, may nonetheless have striking validity.

This is not news to many of us, of course; but it may be to others, who have bought into the popular misrepresentation of “myth” as a synonym for “fallacy.” Leaving aside the 19th centuries discoveries of such men as the highly controversial Heinrich Schliemann (Troy) and the brilliant but political Arthur Evans (Minoan Crete), it is remarkable how many biblical accounts have been either confirmed or at least rendered markedly more probable by archaeological discoveries.

Nowadays, it seems that genetics is following in those hallowed footsteps!