QOTD: On ancestors and descendants

Major David French Boyd, CSA
Major David French Boyd, 9th Louisiana Infantry, Confederate States Army; First President of Louisiana State University

“He who feels no pride in his ancestors is unworthy to be remembered by his descendants.”

Maj. David French Boyd, CSA; 1st President of LSU

Particularly ironic, in light of current events in Louisiana (New Orleans, in particular)!

Middle School Reading Lists 100 Years Ago vs. Today | The Federalist Papers

This is sad. ~ The Federalist Papers

Source: Middle School Reading Lists 100 Years Ago vs. Today | The Federalist Papers

I agree with The Federalist Papers. Here are some quotes from the post:

One of the striking features of the Edina list is how recent the titles are. Many of the selections were published in the 21st century. In fact, only four of the selections are more than 20 years old. In comparison, over half of the titles on the first list were at least 20 years old in 1908, with many of them averaging between 50 to 100 years old.

Older is not necessarily better, but the books on the first list suggest that schools of the past were more likely to give their students time-tested, classic literature, rather than books whose popularity may happen to be a passing fad…

A second striking difference between the two book lists are the themes they explore. The first is full of historical references and settings which stretch from ancient Greece (Tanglewood Tales) to the Middle Ages (Harold, Last of Saxon Kings) to the founding of America (Courtship of Miles Standish). Through highly recognized authors such as Longfellow, Stevenson, Kipling, and Dickens, these titles introduce children to a vast array of themes crucial to understanding the foundations upon which America and western civilization were built…

It’s good for children to understand the world in which they live, but as with any area in life, you can have too much of a good thing. A continual focus on modern literature narrows the lens through which children can view and interpret the world. Would it not be better to broaden their horizons and expose them to a balance of both old and new literature?

Click through the link and read on for more.

Two thoughts brought to mind by the above:

and this:

Indeed.

Europe: What Happens to Christians There Will Come Here

“Be careful, be very careful. What has happened here will come to you.” — An elderly priest in Iraq, to Father Benedict Kiely. Last year, more than 90,000 people chose to drop out of the Church of Sweden – almost twice as many as the year before.

Source: Europe: What Happens to Christians There Will Come Here

Second of two timely – and distressing – posts from the Gatestone Institute.

“I fear we are approaching a situation resembling the tragic fate of Christianity in Northern Africa in Islam’s early days”, a Lutheran bishop, Jobst Schoene, warned a few years ago.

In ancient times, Algeria and Tunisia, entirely Christian, gave us great thinkers such as Tertullian and Augustine. Two centuries later, Christianity had disappeared, replaced by Arab-Islamic civilization.

Is Europe now meeting the same fate?

It doesn’t have to happen. But it most certainly could – and likely will, if current trends and practices continue. Do you want to see this turned into a mosque? With a muezzin giving the call to Moslem prayer from the dome cupola? Because that’s what could be coming:

Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Dresden, called in German Katholische Hofkirche or Kathedrale Sanctissimae Trinitatis.

Or imagine what Moslems, with their hatred of religious imagery, would do to this church interior:

We need to be vigilant – more than vigilant – to defend our Christian and Western civilization, its heritage, its traditions and values, and yes, its physical artifacts from any and all that would seek to destroy them. Because no one else is going to do it for us!

Gardening as Medicine for Millennials, and the Rest of Us | The Catholic Gentleman

We need to turn to the earth from which we were formed, and which we were commanded to tend. There we can seek reintegration and reconnection; we can seek healing.

Source: Gardening as Medicine for Millennials, and the Rest of Us | The Catholic Gentleman

At risk of oversimplifying, I think there are three things that make this medicine so fit for all of us suffering, in varying ways, from the challenges of contemporary culture. Gardening calls us to work, to wait, and to worship.

Oh, this is good! This is very good. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest!

Beauty Matters

Beauty Matters.png

Indeed it does.

Nor is it limited to the Roman observance, although traditionalists in the Roman Catholic Church (and more generally, the liturgical, sacramental Churches, including Eastern Orthodoxy and – when it is being true to itself – the Anglican tradition) are often acutely aware of its importance:

“The only really effective apologia for Christianity comes down to two arguments, namely, the saints the Church has produced, and the art which has grown in her womb. Better witness is borne to the Lord by the splendor of holiness and art which have arisen in the community of believers than by the clever excuses which apologetics has come up with to justify the dark sides which, sadly, are so frequent in the Church’s human history. If the Church is to continue to transform and humanize the world, how can she dispense with beauty in her liturgies, that beauty which is so closely linked with love and with the radiance of the Resurrection? No. Christians must not be too easily satisfied. They must make their Church into a place where beauty – and hence truth – is at home. Without this the world will become the first circle of Hell.”

Pope Benedict XVI: The Ratzinger Report, p. 129

Beauty, however, is the birthright of all Christians – ours is, after all, a sacramental and incarnational faith, and therefore one which values the created order as an important source of God’s self-revelation to us. The Scriptural warrant for this goes back at least to the Psalmist:

“Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

Psalm 29:2, 96:9

And of course the classical Christian tradition, at least in the West, has repeatedly cited the “three Transcendentals” (Goodness, Truth, and Beauty) as not only pointing toward God, but being aspects or attributes of God – ones that we should seek to mirror and live out in our own lives:

[The] Three Transcendentals of ancient philosophy (which has so greatly shaped Christian Tradition) [are] the True, the Good and the Beautiful. To destructively compress Plato and the Neoplatonists, all truth points to the transcendent Truth; all good points to the transcendent Good; all beauty points to the transcendent Beauty; and in turn, the transcendent True, Good and Beautiful is the One, the source of all being, which classical theism identifies as God, and is in turn identified with the God of the Bible by orthodox Christianity.

In short: for Christians, “Beauty Matters.” It is not an extrinsic, superficial adornment to our lives and our liturgy; it is an intrinsic, essential element of them.

Pope says gender theory part of ‘global war’ on marriage, family | Reuters

Pope Francis warned on Saturday of a “global war” against traditional marriage and the family, saying both were under attack from gender theory and divorce.

Source: Pope says gender theory part of ‘global war’ on marriage, family | Reuters

The current occupant of the See of Peter can be a bit… erratic… in his pronouncements, in my opinion, but I cannot fail to agree with him in this. There is indeed a global war on marriage and family – especially in the West, where the falling birthrate among Europeans and people of European heritage practically amounts of a species of self-inflicted genocide – and “gender theory” (along with easily-obtainable, “no fault” divorce) is certainly a weapon in that war.

Gender theory is broadly the concept that while a person may be biologically male or female, they have the right to identify themselves as male, female, both or neither.

Regarding that: I hope and trust I am not alone in experiencing severe cognitive dissonance when I hear people on the left side of the political aisle decrying “alternative facts,” and loudly proclaiming their allegiance to “science” and “reason” – only to turn around and, in the next breath, proclaim “but you’re whatever gender you self-identify as.”

Excuse me? What happened to science and reason? Isn’t it an “alternative fact” for someone who was born, say, a biological male – and clearly remains one, on the genetic level (chromosomes don’t lie) – to, in effect, “cosplay” a female through the use of hormone injections and cosmetic surgery? Isn’t it an “alternative fact” to think that God or nature made a “mistake,” which then has to be “corrected” by drastic means – which, nonetheless, do not alter one’s biological / genetic makeup?

Don’t misunderstand me, I have great empathy for people with gender dysphoria (formerly known as “gender identity disorder”). It must be a terrible thing to wake up each morning uncomfortable in your own body. But as a matter of science and reason, not to mention the pursuit of objective truth – and yes, I do believe that exists – shouldn’t someone with gender dysphoria be encouraged to engage in therapy, or whatever other appropriate means exist, to help them overcome this psychological disorder, rather than enabling them in their delusion?

That was, of course, a rhetorical question. There is no doubt in my mind what the answer should be.