Tuesday, May 23, 2017

To Save the West

From Intel Huxley:
Europe and Christianity can not just be severed at the hip without a massive fallout. Why is this? Because Europe was built on the back of Christianity, even Rome herself was saved from massive degeneracy and filth by Christian values. Do not fall for the prideful lie that we can simply remove the cornerstone of European civilisation and not face any consequences. God will withdraw his blessings and you can see the fruit of that today.

Even from a purely practical standpoint, Islam has been the barbarian at the gates of Europe virtually since its inception. Only now, without the strong in-group that Christianity creates, has Islam seemingly positioned itself in such a way as looking to dominate where it had only failed in the past. Look at what our nations have turned into, yet people who complain about this plight still run further from the faith, some even blame Christianity for the very degeneration caused by its absence; the height of absurdity!

The only thing that is going to roll back the devastating changes that the west is undergoing, is a radical returning to Christ, and with it a total resurgence of Christianity. (Read more.)

On the Danger of Removing or Destroying Historical Monuments

It began during the French Revolution, when they demolished the statues of the kings. The Communists perfected the trend of removing unpleasant reminders of Russia's imperial past, which spread from the taking down of statues to the erasure of politically incorrect persons from history books. By altering the historical record, Marxists and other revolutionaries have sought to control society. Erasing history transforms citizens into slaves, for their past has been stolen.

According to Matt Walsh:
The city of New Orleans completed its purge of its own history last week when a statue of Robert E. Lee was torn down. Throngs of historically illiterate people stood by and cheered as a monument to one of this country’s greatest generals was destroyed. On social media, many more applauded the move, demonstrating a level of disrespect and contempt for General Lee that his enemies on the battlefield did not even have. When General Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, the victors treated Lee and his men with dignity and honor. It took 150 years for Lee to become nothing but a cowardly, racist traitor, as he’s been described by the noted historians on Twitter.

I have long been of the opinion that one must refrain from forming concrete opinions of historical events and historical figures if one has never read a history book. And if the pitchfork mob would stop for a moment to read a book about Robert E. Lee, they would learn that he was far from the slobbering, slave-owning, treasonous bigot they make him out to be. Indeed, Lee never purchased a single slave. The slaves he inherited from his wife’s family, he freed long before the end of the war. Lee considered slavery to be a “moral and political evil,” which means he condemned it in harsher terms than even many of his northern counterparts ever did.

No, he did not consider the black race to be completely equal to the white race, but — contrary to the cartoonish portrayal of the Northern warriors for racial equality that you get from public schools — hardly anybody on either side believed in true racial equality. Lincoln thought the black race to be in every way inferior (“I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races”), but, rather than enslaving them, he preferred shipping them all back to Africa. Lincoln also did not favor fighting a war to end slavery (“If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it”), and in that way his opinion of the peculiar institution was practically identical to Robert E. Lee’s. (Read more.)

Eighteenth-Century Undergarments

A primer on shifts, stays, panniers, pockets, stockings and garters. To quote:
Stockings then and now are pretty much the same in shape but not in materials since they could be made of woven as well as knitted silk or wool. My favourite part of 18th century stockings is the over-the-top decoration and the bright colours these people wore (and here I am with a closet full of black and grey clothes!). Since (obviously) there was no spandex back in the day, you had to use garters (ribbon or tape) to keep the stockings in place, and of course those must have a little colourful party too with embroideries, gilded threads, knitted materials, satin colours and phrases and monograms. (Read more.)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Icon of the Martyrs of the Royal Family

I could not figure out who was portrayed in this icon at first glance. It is a Russian-style icon depicting Louis XVI, Louis XVII, Marie-Antoinette, and Madame Elisabeth. It is interesting to remember that Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette became friends with the Tsarevitch Paul and the Grand Duchess Marie when they visited France in the 1780's. The future Tsar and his wife were also greatly impressed by the virtue of Madame Elisabeth. There are people who accuse me of trying to make saints out of Louis and Antoinette but it seems I am not the only one. Actually, it is my intention merely to show how their Catholic faith gave them strength, which other authors tend to ignore. I personally believe that they displayed heroic virtue at their deaths, but the final decision lies with the Church. But God can glorify whomever He chooses. Share

Bill Nye, the Eugenics Guy

From The American Thinker:
The season finale of pop scientist Bill Nye's new Netflix show "Bill Nye Saves the World" suggested that the government should punish people who have too many children, for the sake of the environment.

"The average Nigerian emits 0.1 metric tons of carbon annually," noted Nye's guest, Dr. Travis Rieder. "How many does the average American emit? Sixteen metric tons." Rieder said Americans having an average of two children are "waaaay more problematic" than Nigerians having seven when it comes to preventing global warming.

"Should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?" Nye asked.

“I do think we should at least consider it," Rieder said. Nye pushed him even further.
"Well, ‘at least consider it' is like, ‘do it,'" he opined.

The other two guests pushed back, however, pointing out that what Nye and Rieder were proposing came dangerously close to the eugenics policies of America's past, which ending up disproportionately targeting poor women and minorities. (Read more.)

The Pope vs the Nazis

From The National Catholic Register:
In modern times, many seem eager to believe anything and everything negative regarding the Catholic Church, regardless of how bizarre the legend or conspiracy theory may be. One such theory is the supposed complicity of the Vatican and other influential Catholics toward Hitler’s Nazi regime. Of course, such a position completely collapses under the weight of solid historical investigation performed in such books as The Myth of Hitler's Pope: Pope Pius XII and His Secret War Against Nazi Germany by Rabbi David G. Dalin; Hitler, the War, and the Pope by Ronald Rychlak; and Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History by Rodney Stark.

In word and deed, both Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII were devastating opponents of Nazism, and the issuance of Mit brennender Sorge—largely written by the future Pius XII and issued during the reign of Pius XI—was the philosophical hallmark of that opposition to Nazism. By 1937, Pope Pius XI wanted to address the situation directly to German Catholics. Since this would be completely impossible, he did the next best thing. He issued this encyclical, whose title translates into English as “With burning anxiety.”

There were a number of unique aspects of the encyclical. First, its unique and original authorship in German was a sign of solidarity with faithful Catholics in Germany and as a reminder of exactly who the encyclical was holding in contempt. Second, Mit brennender Sorge exhibited something rarely seen in papal documents: anger. Consider the following passage:

The experiences of these last years have fixed responsibilities and laid bare intrigues, which from the outset only aimed at a war of extermination. In the furrows, where We tried to sow the seed of a sincere peace, other men - the ‘enemy’ of Holy Scripture — oversowed the cockle of distrust, unrest, hatred, defamation, of a determined hostility overt or veiled, fed from many sources and wielding many tools, against Christ and His Church. They, and they alone with their accomplices, silent or vociferous, are today responsible, should the storm of religious war, instead of the rainbow of peace, blacken the German skies.
(Read more.)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Poetry in Bloom

From Victoria:
Botanical illustration is concerned with naturalistic studies of flowers, while botanical art embraces a much broader range of interpretation. Illustration defines, educates, and often is used to enhance or exemplify the written word. Botanical illustration is a specialized art—a world of beauty in which the nature of the subject matter is fascinating and ever-changing....Working with flowering plants requires patience, perseverance, and a certain amount of ingenuity in order to keep up with nature. Maintaining specimens long enough to complete drawings is a fundamental concern, and I am often driven to search for more samples. There are occasions when I have had to wait to complete a painting until the next year, or season.(Read more.)

Two Cardinals Speak

From the National Catholic Register:
Cardinal Caffarra, who helped found the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in 1981, began by explaining that human history has always been a tale of confrontation between two forces: “The force of attraction,” that is the wounded Heart of the Crucified Risen One, and the “power of Satan,” the father of lies, the “murderer from the beginning” who seeks to extinguish truth in the heart of man.

This area of confrontation, the cardinal continued, is being fought in an interior and exterior dimension: within both the human heart and human culture.

He made clear that the Lord’s force of attraction “can only take effect on those who ‘are from the truth’ — those “profoundly available to the Truth, who love the truth, who live in familiarity with it.”
But “there is no truth” in Satan, he added, who seeks to kill truth in the heart of man by “inducing” him to unbelief. He is constantly refusing the truth; his action in society is to oppose the truth. “Satan is this refusal,” the cardinal remarked. “He is this opposition.”

Satan is therefore always working against the Lord’s strong force of attraction to Himself, seeking to “neutralize” it. And this battle within the human heart becomes manifest in society and culture, leading to “the culture of the truth and the culture of the lie.” (Read more.)

From CNS News:
In what he called "portentous times" for the Catholic Church and for the world, Cardinal Sarah condemned same-sex marriage, transgender bathroom laws, and attacks on the family as "demonic".
“All manner of immorality is not only accepted and tolerated today in advanced societies, it is even promoted as a social good,” the African cardinal said. “The result is hostility to Christians and increasingly, religious persecution.”

“This is not an ideological war between competing ideas,” Sarah told the D.C. gathering. “This is about defending ourselves, children and future generations from the demonic idolatry that says children do not need mothers and fathers. It denies human nature and wants to cut off an entire generation from God.”

“The entire world looks to you, waiting and praying to see what America resolves on the present unprecedented challenges the world faces today. Such is your influence and responsibility,” said the archbishop emeritus of Conakry, Guinea.

“I encourage you to truly make use of the freedom willed by your founding fathers lest you lose it,” he warned his American audience.

Quoting St. John Paul II that “the future of the world and the Church pass through the family,” Sarah pointed out that “this is why the Holy Father openly and vigorously defends Church teaching on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, reproductive technologies, the education of children, and much more.”

“The generous and responsible love of spouses made visible through the self-giving of parents who welcome children as a gift of God makes love visible in our generation. It makes present the perfect charity of eternity. ‘If you see charity, you see the Trinity,’ wrote St. Augustine,” the cardinal noted. However, a broken family can also be the source of deep psychological wounds, he said.

 “The rupture of the foundational relationship of someone’s life through separation, divorce or distorted imposters of the family such as co-habitation or same-sex unions is a deep wound that closes the heart to self-giving love into death, and even leads to cynicism and despair. These situations cause damage to the little children through inflicting upon them deep existential doubt about love….

"This is why the devil is so intent on destroying the family. If the family is destroyed, we lose our God-given anthropological foundations, and so find it more difficult to welcome the saving good news of Jesus Christ: self-giving, fruitful love.” (Read more.)