Friday, September 30, 2016

The False Idol Of Entertainment

How many of us have uttered - or at least heard - the sentence "we need decent entertainment that's free of moral filth"?  I have.  I think we can all agree that most of today's entertainment is rife with material that mocks God's intentions for marriage and sexuality; additionally, progressives have infiltrated almost every aspect of that industry.

This post will not focus on that aspect of the statement, but another one that is largely ignored but probably much more basic.  To start, I'll counter that question with another: "since when did entertainment ever become a need"?  Think about it; the idea that the commodity known as entertainment should be placed on the same level of necessity as food, water, air, clothing, shelter, healthy human relationships and even God Himself is rather ludicrous.  Yet even good Catholics are deluded into thinking that somehow they need copious amounts of entertainment.

Much of what passes for entertainment these days is really quite mind-deadening.  We either:
  • plop ourselves in front of tv's
  • attend movies, or concerts, or sports events
and just soak up whatever is being thrown at us from the screen, stage, arena, whatever.  Rarely do we evaluate the input being poured into our minds like water poured at a sponge.  In fact, peer pressure discourages critical thinking.  I recall several times watching movies with friends and pointing out holes in various plots.  During all these occasions I was scolded, with others saying that I'm "supposed to suspend thinking".  These were fellow Christians telling me that!  When the Apostle Peter warns us in his epistle to "watch always for the devil prowls like a lion", I take him at his word and denounce this concept of "suspending thinking" even for a few minutes.  This suspension of critical thinking is something that occurs with even "decent forms of entertainment.  I suspect it's very dangerous, for it encourages people to lust after entertainment that will only yank and massage their emotions and encourage mental laziness.

Besides the mind-deadening aspects of entertainment, there is also the problem of de facto voyeurism that many (even Christians!) engage when they slavishly follow the doings and sayings of entertainment personalities.  Entire industries have arisen around the insane fascination with the lives of what some call "pretty people".  Anyone who goes to a grocery store cannot help but notice the gossip rags and tabloid trash that routinely tell us who's shacking up with whom and who's having another star's baby, and a messy divorce, and on and on and on.  If an entertainment personality dies, they yammer on and on about that for months (as though no one else in the world dies).  We are also treated to their political opinions which are for the most part, progressive.  That is, they favor gay marriage, abortion, etc and are probably embroiled in those evils presently.

This voyeurism is no new phenomenum.  It has gone on for generations, probably for as long as Hollywood existed.  Even in the 1930s and 1940s, when national morals were allegedly  more sound than they are today, stars routinely played "musical marriage".  I often wondered why on earth the ordinary person seemed so fascinated by all the juvenile nonsense going on in Hollywood, especially then when morals and common sense were supposedly more valued then than in today's post-modern culture.  

Only recently did a possible reason dawn on me.  Back then, the ordinary person wasn't as wealthy as his descendents today.  In the early part of the 20th century a large contingent of the population were living on farms, and that is how they made their living.  They could not live profligate lifestyles and still have the physical wherewithall to work their farms.  Their livelihoods depended on "clean living".   On the other hand, the stars were relatively wealthy.  If they engaged in riotous activities, they had financial resources to shield themselves from consequences of their various debaucheries.  That "shielding" included abortions; yes, Hollywood was rife with baby-murder.  That didn't work all the time for enough stars did fall into ruin owing to their wanton excesses (and of course the tabloid trash would have field days with that).

I strongly suspect that the voyeurs of past generations would have liked to engage in that behavior but their circumstances militated against it.  Their fascination by the stars was borne of wishes to live as they did.  They both envied the stars and secretly congratulated them as they carried on.  In short, the so-called "moral ordinary citizen" was not all that moral in his or her heart.  As they followed the doings and sayings of their favorite stars, they lived vicariously through them, actually reveling in the debaucheries of their star-idols.  They do so to this day.

So why, on this blog that has as its purpose the restoration of Catholicism, focusing on the common but morbid fascination with popular entertainers?  Because so many of us, even decent Catholics, have glommed onto this trend and are helping perpetuate cultural and spiritual degeneration.  The "we need decent entertainment" statement indicates that Catholics have been infected with that societal sickness.  We aren't going to be able to clean up the cultural mess if we ourselves don't stop taking swigs from the swill.

So what to do?  For starters, I'd suggest procuring and reading "Amusing Ourselves To Death" by Neil Postman.  He offers some great commentary and research regarding the harm that most modern "entertainment" (even the "clean" sort) has done to people's abilities to engage in simple linear reasoning.  I'd also suggest turning off the TV; there are reasons why it is called "boob tube" and "idiot box" and "electronic deity".  For healthy entertainment, create your own by:
  • reading good books that serve an educational purpose - including ones that teach the Catholic faith
  • learning to play a musical instrument
  • engaging in sports yourselves as opposed to watching paid athletes snub our flag when the Star Spangled Banner is played (good exercise, too!)
  • learning a form of arts and crafts
  • family recreations
  • getting together with like-minded people for good conversation
The possibilities are endless.  The above-mentioned list does not involve dependence on major sports or mainstream entertainment industries.  Why pay one cent of your hard-earned money to fill their purses, knowing full well that some of that money will go to finance their profligate lifestyles or go to their favorite progressive causes?

Comments/suggestions welcome.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lazarus Vs Rich Man = Catholics In Pews Vs Progressives In Chanceries

Today's Gospel was the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.  I'd be willing to bet that many parishes heard "social gospel" pabulum from the pulpits and even invocations to "end poverty".  Leaving alone the fact that the cry to "end poverty" actually lies in contradiction to Jesus' own words, let's look at some groups of people who might fall into the "rich man" or "Lazarus" categories: folks who fall off the radars in too many pulpits across the country.

We also remembered the victims of recent shootings.  The Baltimore shootings happened within 60 miles of me so that's relatively close to home.  However, I'd bet that yesterday in any five abortuaries in Maryland, at least an equal number of babies were wantonly slaughtered in their mothers' wombs.  I submit that they are a group who would most definitely fit into the Lazarus group.  How about their mothers?  Into which group might they belong?  It depends.  I see too many cases where the mother is being dragged (often literally) into the mill by her parents, male companion, etc.  In that case she too is Lazarus and these others are the rich man.  The abortionists clearly fit into the "rich man" category, quite literally.  I've been to their houses before to pray Stations of the Cross in front of them.  They all live in the Potomac area, where every dwelling is a veritable mansion. Theirs' however, are more like impregnable fortresses.

But let's look at poverty for a moment.  What's the biggest indicator that a child will find him/herself in poverty as they attain adulthood?  If they grow up in a broken home, their chances of ending up poor are greatly increased, no matter the social strata in which they grew up.  What influence leads to most broken homes?  Contraception.  When Paul VI wrote Humanae Vitae back in 1968, he predicted that if contraception became widely accepted, a whole host of social evils would ensue as a consequence.  Every single one of his predictions is coming to pass as we draw our breaths!

Now how much do we hear of these diabolical attacks on marriage, family life, abortion, contraception etc do we hear from the pulpit?  In the Archdiocese of Washington, way too little, particularly contraception.  Homosexuality is another topic that is particularly taboo in the ADW.  I know of at least two priests who preached on these topics over the years; both were punished.  Here we have a clear case of the rich man (some "powers that be" in the chancery) denying truth to the Lazarus-people in their pews.

Below the jump break I'll post two videos - one by Venerable Fulton Sheen - telling the truth about contraceptives and their immense sinfulness.  Only when our priests speak this forth from the pulpits will there be revival in the Church and in our Western civilization.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

is Tom Hoefling Having, Uh, "Problems"?

A few days ago, I wrote about the "third-party" candidates (namely Hoefling and Castle), looking askance upon ethics that would allow them to enable Hillary's win.  Now I wonder if there are other issues as well with the American Party candidate.

Any candidate  running for federal office must comply with regulations promulgated and enforced by the Federal Election Commission.  They must file periodic reports, and these reports are open to public inspection.  Well, I took a look at the FEC page dealing with such reports.   I see that all the other presidential candidates have filed their reports, but see nothing on Tom Hoefling.

Whoopsie!!!  That's quite an omission!!  Would anyone from the Hoefling camp care to explain that?  Your would-be voters have a right to know.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Open Letter To Pope Francis From Remnant And Catholic Family News

This letter is penned by the Remnant and Catholic Family News.  It is entitled: "With Burning Concern: We Accuse Pope Francis".  I just linked to the first of three installments.  Please read it, along with the Liber of Accusation that is at the bottom of that post.

At this time, I can only reply "AMEN".  I will post these as they are published and ask that my readers circulate these.

Please offer your Masses and Rosary for Our Church, Pope and all clergy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Vaporous Principles Of Some Third Party Candidates

We've all come across good people who are disappointed in the selection of candidates  - Trump and Clinton to be specific.  Most of them voice their displeasure regarding Trump with scarcely a word for Clinton.  While I find that odd I'll leave that aside for the moment.

Some have stated their intentions to vote for a third-party candidate such as Tom Hoefling or Darrell Castle.  Why?  Because they "are principled unlike Trump". 

Really?  Are these third-party guys as "principled" as they portray themselves?  Think about what they are doing and the realistic impact of their actions.  Unless they are suffering delusions of grandeur, they know they haven't a prayer (literally) of garnering a decent showing let alone winning the election.  They have to realize that the few votes they'll get would have gone to Trump but for their candidacies.  Of course anyone with a modicum of common sense will understand that this would only make easier Clinton's bid for the White House.  Again I don't believe they'll garner that many votes, but since this will probably be a close election, every vote counts.  Consider that in 1960,  JFK defeated Nixon by a margin of less than one vote per precinct.

Either they really believe they have a shot at the White House or they don't care what their diversion of votes will do.  Therefore in the first case they haven't the intellectual acumen to hold the office of the US presidency or they really don't have the nation's best interests at heart.

I think it's the latter.  So what's driving their stunts?  Is it some sort of ego trip, self aggrandizement or even some, uh, "financial incentive"?  It's hard to say, and it probably doesn't matter.  Suffice it to say that their blithe disregard for the consequences of their actions causes me to look askance upon these so-called "principles" of theirs'.

I'm not opposed at all to the concept of a third party.  However, if a third party is to have any success, they have to start from the bottom up. They need to win lots of local offices then move up to Congress.  For any third party to go straight for the presidency is at best a publicly stunt; in today's circumstances it could have disastrous consequences for the nation.

If a third party does get off the ground, they better not float the above-mentioned individuals as candidates.  In their reckless pretensions for the presidency, they have demonstrated to me that they are utterly undeserving of public trust.

Monday, September 19, 2016

DC Readers! Urgent Request For Information!

Please see the comment from "Tomboysuze" in the preceding post regarding Father Imbarrato's homily.   On Sunday, Sept 18, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington gave a homily in which he flat out mocked the teachings of Jesus Christ regarding marriage and homosexuality.  This rot needs to be exposed so that it can be rectified.  If you have knowledge of this situation, please provide details in the combox.  We will investigate and publish accordingly.  Thanks.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Father Imbarrato On The Necessity Of Voting For Trump

Below I'm posting a recent homily given by Father Imbarrato of Priests for Life.  He is indeed a "protest priest" spending many hours outside the new Two Rivers Planned Parenthood abortion mill in NE Washington.  Please listen closely to this homily.  Thanks to the Johnson Amendment (the amendment that he praises Trump for promising to eliminate), he cannot name Trump nor Clinton explicitly, but one would have to be incredibly dense not to understand his meanings.

Some might think he's addressing those Catholics who would be so stupid and callous as to vote for Hillary, but I think his words could just as well apply to the #nevertrump crowd: those who plan to vote "third party" or not vote at all.

A few days ago one of my facebook friends stated his opinion that his conscience was bothered by Trump and he was considering voting for Johnson (libertarian) although the latter is pro-abortion.  I objected, of course.  In the interest of not repeating myself, I posted links to several of the blog posts that I've written in recent weeks regaarding this particular election.  For my trouble, one of my friend's other friends engaged in ad hominems, calling me a "nutcase".  My friend rebuked him and some time later the attacks disappeared from his page.

I mention this because I suspect at the heart of the #nevertrump movement, emotion reigns at the expense of logic and reason.  When I broach principles of Catholic moral theology to these people, I'm largely ignored, signifying to me that #nevertrumpers are threatened when asked to see if their stances actually square with Church teaching.  Others simply carry on as that man cited in the preceding paragraph albeit not nearly so rudely.

As I mentioned previously, a couple of mental anomalies in the #nevertrump mindset are really quite bizarre:
  • Acknowledging the fact that Hillary will win should they get their way, and welcoming that outcome, opining that "our nation needs to be punished".  I suppose they haven't a care about the babies who will be murdered should she attain the White House.
  • Somehow dreaming that Trump and Clinton are morally equivalent.  Leaving aside the obvious differences of policy statements that they've both made, let's look at Hillary's track history.  She allowed the four men to die at Benghazi.  She probably caused many more deaths with her sloppy handling of classified emails.  There have been a number of former associates and others connected with her that have "mysteriously" died over the past several months.  Can anything remotely similar be uttered about Trump?
  • Many of these #nevertrumpers are quite blithe in assuming that our country would survive four years under Hillary, not considering that during these past eight years the fabric of our republic has been weakened and mutated almost beyond recognition.  While I might hope they'd be correct I'm not making that brash assumption.  They fail to consider that they are gambling with their children's futures.
In the video below, Father refers to an interview given by Cardinal Burke; I wrote a piece on it that gives a few more details of the Cardinal's words.  Father also cites paragraphs 2239-2240 of the Catechism.  On the right side bar of this blog is a link to the Catechism.  Please refer to this also.  Please also pass word of this video along to your other contacts.  Thank you.