The Damned being Cast into Hell, Frans Francken 1610

Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe (in me) to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, 10 into the unquenchable fire.

And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’

Mark 9:41-48

I’ve been thinking long and hard about the Francis “No Hell” business and I think I’ve figured it out what is going on (although I can’t take all the credit for it).

A long time ago I wrote a post about how the internet empowers “crazy uncles”

It’s not so odd that 1% of any population might be off its rocker, the problem is in a country of 300,000,000 that is 3 million people. Even if 1/10 of one percent is crackers that’s 300,000 people. To give you some perspective that’s more troops than we have in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The problem is with the internet and social networking and the like that crazy 1% or 1/10 of one percent is suddenly empowered. Instead of the crazy uncle at the family gathering that you can ignore, suddenly he has 1000 friends that he can text to rebut and counter rebut all night. He is affirmed and empowered and boy is he motivated, because now there are thousands of people telling him he’s been right all along and is MUCH smarter than everyone thought.

300,000-3,000,000 crazy uncles as individuals isn’t a big deal, but get them all writing e-mails or making phone calls and most importantly AFFIRMING themselves and suddenly you have a potent economic and or political force. Suddenly there is a huge market for a book or 10,000 people willing to pay $20 for a DVD. That’s a fair amount of change and a person can make a good living off of it.

In terms of the church a good example of this is one given by Father Z in one of the best posts on the subject of communion and the divorced that I’ve ever read. It begins with this question:

You wrote in a recent post, “Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried (which in 99.99% of cases would be sacrilege).” Can you tell me what scenario would permit your conscience to give communion to the remarried? I can think of a couple, perhaps; curious what you’re thinking, esp. as I teach a marriage class every semester.

He lays out a scenario where a couple illicitly married choose not to separate for the sake of their children but are made to understand their sin and resolve to live as brother and sister such a couple CAN receive communion but would and should avoid doing so during their mass obligation to make sure it didn’t cause scandal and confuse people by making people think the priest is giving them communion in a state of mortal sin, as father puts it

Now I will track back to what I asked about Communion at the top.

What is it that they want?

Communion with its holy effects? Or do they want to be seen receiving Communion?

Do they want the Eucharist or the “white thing” that symbolizes affirmation?

In theory of course said couple could go for communion in public and the priest knowing that they are not in a state of moral sin could give them communion counting on the charity that people should have to presume that both the priest and the couple are acting in good faith.  In his letter to the Corinthians Paul explains how how such a situation, using the example of meat sacrificed to idols, can lead to sin.

Now food will not bring us closer to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, nor are we better off if we do.  But make sure that this liberty of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak.  If someone sees you, with your knowledge, reclining at table in the temple of an idol, may not his conscience too, weak as it is, be “built up” to eat the meat sacrificed to idols?  Thus through your knowledge, the weak person is brought to destruction, the brother for whom Christ died.  When you sin in this way against your brothers and wound their consciences, weak as they are, you are sinning against Christ.

1 Cor 8:8-12

Now if you are dealing with a small parish, and there is a busybody or a crazy uncle who sees this, the pastor could explain privately to a person scandalized by this that the couple in question are working with him and living as brother and sister (and if they fail confessing with a firm purpose of resolution) and count on that person not to gossip about this couple’s private situation or blast it out on twitter or facebook. Of course if he is unlucky the person might have already blasted this out and suddenly not only is he dealing with his bishop and the local press asking if he’s defying the church but the couple in question suddenly have all of their business out in public making leading them away from sin a complicated matter.

And that brings us to Pope Francis

A priest friend of mine one noted that the weakness of Pope Francis is he forgets that he not just a local pastor dealing with local issues but the Pope of the entire church whose every pronouncement is given scrutiny. This whole business about “There is no Hell” and the Vatican’s weak response to it is a great example of this.

Now Pope Francis might think that this is no big deal, just a conversation with an old man, John Allen describes it

The cardinal said he’d asked Pope Francis the very same question, and here was the pope’s answer: “You know, by now he [Scalfari] is quite old … we have to be gentle with him,” which is consistent with the pope’s repeated pleas to respect and cherish the elderly.

Francis’s Vatican team, sensing the pope’s preferences, may have gotten the message that when it comes to Scalfari, normally the gloves stay on.

Unfortunately he’s not just an old man Scalfari (the elderly atheist/communist journalist) is the founder of a major paper that is read by thousands and while as Allen explains, his reputation for accuracy or the lack thereof might be well known in Italy in general and Vatican circles in particular, Allen again:

It’s also worth remembering that in 2015, when Scalfari quoted Francis as having said that “all the divorced and remarried who ask will be admitted” to Communion, the then-Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, added a very telling aside to the official denial.

Those who have “followed the preceding events and work in Italy,” he said, “know the way Scalfari writes and know these things well.”

In other words, the Vatican officials who approve public statements may have thought that it’s all been said before – forgetting, naturally, that the share of humanity that’s followed the preceding events and works in Italy is, in all honesty, staggeringly small.

Alas while Vatican officials, living in their bubble might think that this is no big deal in the age of the internet and of Drudge and a media who would like nothing more than to bring down the church this is gold and while Scalfari might be an old man, don’t think for one moment that that old Communist, Socialist Atheist and Fascist who has spent a lifetime trying to bring down the west and the Christian Culture that made it strong didn’t know what he was doing nor what it would do.

This brings scandal and disrepute to the church that he rejects but it does something even worse

Last night was the day when most new converts are received into the Church, many of them I’m sure doing so in defiance of the opinions of family and friends. How many of them, do you think, might have had second thoughts or even decided against entering into full communion because of this business, particularly the Vatican’s decision not to make a direct unequivocal denial of these statements and affirm the truth of the doctrine of the church?

Pope Francis may think of this as an attempt to reach out to an old atheist near the end of his life in the hope of conversion is mercy and decide that the idea that the Pope has to deny contradicting Saints, Popes, Marian Apparitions and Christ himself is nonsense and if Francis was a local pastor and Scalfari was just some old man near the end of it days he might be right about that.

But in so thinking and doing or in this case again (amoris laetitia) failing to clearly and unambiguously confirm and repeat the Church’s doctrine, unchanged for its two thousand years, he has managed to not only take the focus away from the sacrifice of Christ for humanity during Holy Week but has actually brought the sacrifice of Christ and the Chruch’s understanding of it into question.

This is an own goal, a gift to the enemies of the church on earth and for the enemy of men’s souls in eternity and it’s what comes of thinking like a local pastor instead of the Pope of the Universal Church responsible for the faith of hundreds of millions.

Let us pray that through the grace of God that the Holy Father figures this out.

Sheldon: Well, whether you see it or not is irrelevant. I can’t see subatomic particles, but nevertheless, they’re there.

The Big Bang Theory, The Zazzy Substitution 2010

I’ve been rather hard on my friends on the left concerning the murder of two New York City Police Officers this weekend, particularly in my ability to find members of the left willing to cheer in public concerning it, so in the interest of fair play I want to offer the following exculpatory facts in evidence for the record.

    1. Fact #1 According to census bureau protection there are currently 313 Million people in America (I thought that was kinda low but we’ll go with it).
  • .

  • Fact #2 The vast majority of that population have access to the internet.
  • .

  • Fact #3 It is my theory that 1% of the population are “Crazy Uncles” (see this post). While these “crazy uncles” would be on the edge of the bell curve in a pool of 313 million they constitute 3.1 Million people.
  • .

  • Fact #4 If you made a bell curve of that pool of Crazy uncles you would doubtless fine 1% of said crazy uncles who are people so hateful that they would cheer the murder of police in public hateful people who would like to see the extermination of people they disagree. If compared with the general population they would be on the edge of the edge of the bell curve but because of the population of the US would still be 31 THOUSAND people .
  • .

  • Fact #5 If even half of those 31,000 extra hateful crazy uncles are on the net expressing said Crazy Uncledom any person who wants to should be able to find a bunch of them saying hateful crazy things. In fact it should actually be easy to find since by definition the vast majority of people either don’t think like that & the vast majority of cray uncles who do are likely too smart to do so in public so the remarks of the real loonies would stand out like a sore thumb.
  • .

    Therefore it perhaps it’s not all that surprising that it’s so easy to find examples of members of the left cheering the murder of the police, given the number of crazy uncles out there.

    Of course if would be nice if the left took the time to denounce said crazy uncles but that’s a post for a different day.

    The 4th  Doctor : “You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit the views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

    Doctor Who:  The Face of Evil Episode Four

    Stan:  I want you all to call me “Loretta”

    Monty Python’s Life of Brian  1979

    In the course of my reading yesterday I came across this piece at The Other McCain concerning the ongoing war between Radical feminists and Transgender activists.

    I wish Brennan and her radical feminist allies could be strategic enough to realize that there is a huge majority of people who would be willing to support them on this one point — that “woman” is a biological category, not a “gender identity” — if only they realized how important this issue is. The fact that the people being targeted now are my ideological antagonists is not irrelevant to my concern. If hardcore feminists can be targeted this way, what do you think is going to happen when the Tranny Totalitarians target conservatives?

    While I find the fight between this em “interesting” groups of people quite amusing there was a rather clarifying moment within this post.    This was a tweet from a “transgender” person by the name of Sophia Banks and a response by a person who goes under “SugarPuss”  that neatly encapsulates the actual reality here:

    Now before we comment on this tweet there is one thing that needs to be clarified. There is, in fact, a tiny amount of people who are  born with the sexual organs of both sexes and or an abnormal production of hormones.  If a person is in such a situation one should respect whatever decision said person makes at the age of decision in terms of choosing to define oneself as either (or no) sex. None of what follows applies to a person with said medical condition.

    Now back to that tweets, The bottom line is with the exception I just noted above there is a simple fact that can not be disputed:

    Women do not have penises.

    Or as Nursie once explained in Black Adder Series 2

    Women do not have penises, Women have never had penises and baring an incredible advance in genetic modification and manipulation or transplant surgery women never will have penises any more than men will have wombs.

    Now there are a statistically insignificant amount of men and women who have for whatever reason chosen to have their bodies physically altered, via surgery and or hormone treatments to resemble the opposite sex and who have chosen to live as such. The recognized term used for such a person is “Transgender”. In some countries such alteration is recognized by law, however this doesn’t change the actual reality any more than laws claiming a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s under sharia describes an actual mathematical ratio of eyewitness validity.

    Now if that tweet said “Transgender woman” rather than simply “woman” I would have no problem with it as it acknowledges the objective reality of a person choosing to physically or chemically altering themselves in a way recognized by law. Nor do I have a problem with a person such as Sophia Banks choosing to live as a woman, function as a woman etc etc etc. Whatever my opinion of the wisdom or sanity of such a decision it’s not my life and therefore not my business. Nor would I have a problem is a person meeting “Sophia” chooses to use female pronouns in discussion, particularly if they had no acquaintance with Sophia before the alternation. Two of the three “transgender” people I know I only met after their “transformation” therefore I find it convenient to use feminine pronouns particularly if they do not wish their previous status disclosed.

    However a line is crossed from amused disinterest line to outright defiance if any attempt is made to compel me to acknowledge this delusion as “fact” or if one wishes to force such an acknowledgement by law. At that point this goes from a delusion that only harms the deluded to an attempt to impose a blatant falsehood as truth which is wrong. A great parallel to this would be the group of “catholic” women who ordain themselves & others as catholic “priests”. It’s one thing for them to live this delusion, it’s quite another if they demand the actual Catholic Church to recognize the validity of their make-believe orders.

    Or think of the character of Teddy Brewster in the Movie Arsenic & Old Lace. As long as Teddy is simply blowing his bugle and just talking to neighbors his delusion is not a problem or at most a minor annoyance, but the moment he demands secret service protection as an Ex President and insists on attending international conferences being acknowledged as Theodore Roosevelt and takes legal action to secure and compel it, then one would be compelled to remind him of objective reality.

    And that brings us to this tweet I put out in response to Stacy’s post that caused so much fuss yesterday. 

    I’ve tweeted a lot over the years and I’ve never seen more uproar and quicker response from any tweet I’ve ever sent out and believe me I’ve sent out some provocative tweets in my time.

    The responses I got varied from the simple vulgar expletive:

    to tweets calling me “transphobic”:

    to those suggesting I should be removed from the radio:

    I found it all quite amusing and returned tweets for a bit until actual “life” trumped my amusement but as of this writing angry responses continue to enter my timeline. I’m not inclined to block them because I’m a first amendment guy & I generally don’t block an account unless it’s a phony troll one. Contrary to their totalitarian impulses crazy uncles/aunts have the right to their opinion just as I have and I further am confident in the wisdom of my followers.

    While flogging this reaction might be good for traffic & DaTipJar there is a more interesting phenom to note in term of both psychology & the net that I’d like to discuss.

    Five years ago (have I really been doing this that long?) I wrote a piece called “The Empowerment of Crazy Uncles” where I talked about how the internet empowers the 1% of people who are, shall we say reality challenged.

    The problem is with the internet and social networking and the like that crazy 1% or 1/10 of one percent is suddenly empowered. Instead of the crazy uncle at the family gathering that you can ignore, suddenly he has 1000 friends that he can text to rebut and counter rebut all night. He is affirmed and empowered and boy is he motivated, because now there are thousands of people telling him he’s been right all along and is MUCH smarter than everyone thought.


    300,000-3,000,000 crazy uncles as individuals isn’t a big deal, but get them all writing e-mails or making phone calls and most importantly AFFIRMING themselves and suddenly you have a potent economic and or political force. Suddenly there is a huge market for a book or 10,000 people willing to pay $20 for a DVD. That’s a fair amount of change and a person can make a good living off of it.

    While the net empowers these crazy uncles there is one limiting effect upon them. While they make up a considerable niche market and an excellent activist base in reality they are a rounding error when compared to the actual population. That means if you have constructed your psychological identity based entirely on an illusion and have spent thousands of dollars and years of your time reinforcing said illusion via  surgical & chemical alteration the one thing you dread above all else is the person who,  without fear, is willing to deny your illusion , to pull back the curtain of the Wizard, or point to the procession and say “but the Emperor has nothing on!”

    And if such a person is in any way a public person that might encourage others to do the same the carefully built lie that is one’s life becomes as fragile as a block of flats put up by hypnosis: You want to talk phobia THAT’s phobia.

    But it’s not just those deluded and fearful of reality who are endangered, it’s the people who make their living supporting and enabling such delusions. The expensive treatments, the bestselling books, the political machines who can count on shock troops, the ability to exploit these people financially & politically for their own gain is never more in danger than when people are willing to stand up and bluntly say the truth. And the truth is this:

    When your identity & belief system in your life can be summed up neatly in a 3 minute gag from a Monty Python movie Then it’s likely a wise move to re-examine that system closely.

    It’s one thing to lose a cherished delusion, it’s quite another to lose the gravy train that those people illusions finance.  That demands a loud, immediate and even a totalitarian response. That’s the real fear on display for the world to see here, if they did not have this fear they would have ignored me as just some guy on twitter to block.

    Two things in closing: None of this nonsense removes the inherent dignity owed a person by virtue of humanity. Furthermore said person remains a child of God and thus the proper subject for prayer as required.  Those are the rules.

    If one’s goal is to intimidate and silence that last thing you want to see is this:

    retweted by Instapunit


    As a wise man once said:  ” Heh, indeed.”   ***************************************


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    On WCRN this morning the talk was the why’s of the conspiracy theories and their success. A look at memeorandum shows that they are alive and well.

    You have the Alex Jones types on one side and the Cindy Sheehans on the other playing either the “Bin Laden was already dead” or the “You’re a fool is you think Bin laden is dead” cards.

    As I’ve written before you have the 1% of the population as Crazy Uncles and that 1% is empowered by the net. They gather acolytes and followers and like a pyramid scheme the people at the top tend to make their living off of their followers at the bottom.

    In a free society you are going to get some of this of course. This contrasts with an unfree society where a government will put out a falsehood and force feed it to a public that can’t get alternate information or a cult where other information is simply ignored…

    …which brings us to the misnamed Think Progress who are not crazy uncles but who in my opinion operate like a well-financed cult.

    Think Progress is pulling a bait and switch trying to claim that Andrew Breitbart is “pushing the theory that Bin Laden is not dead”. This is demonstrably false.

    Looking at the Breitbart sites there is article after article about killing of Bin Laden and what it means. Breitbart’s own tweets complement the president over this success. The single article by J. Michael Walker on Big Peace talks primarily about the proper propaganda use of this victory and concludes thus:

    I’m going to raise a mug of beer and munch a Hebrew National pork sausage to celebrate the brave CIA men who took bin Laden down.

    Then it’s back to work to destroy what the al Qaeda leader left behind. That means piling dirt on bin Laden’s legacy, destroying his appeal, and providing the world with all the necessary facts to heap humiliation on anyone who insists on continuing to follow his cause.

    Yup, sounds like denial to me.

    Thus the double bait and switch, not only do they misrepresent the base article but they attribute that misrepresentation to Breitbart himself with the goal of making him “untouchable” by “respectable” opinion people. This is vital because unlike Think Progress’ own pieces in context they don’t chase away the general public.

    Andrew being Andrew instantly took the bull by the horns:

    That is pure projection by the institutional left, which can neither celebrate American victories in the war on terror, nor mourn American tragedies like Tuscon, without politicizing them.

    So I am challenging the left to prove what it is alleging.

    If anyone can prove that I believe American special forces did not kill Osama bin Laden, I will donate one million dollars to ThinkProgress.emphasis mine

    Put up or shut up, John Podesta. And let Americans celebrate as one.

    Talk a bout a million reason why Think Progress if full of it. Expect the MSM to ignore Andrew’s Challenge as they did the last one, it’s too easy for the general public to understand.

    You know there were a lot of people behind the iron curtain who were paid to write propaganda, Think Progress carries on that fine tradition today.

    Update: Speaking of crazy uncles

    Update 2: Another crazy uncle self identifies.

    …Anne Applebaum’s just seems to be odder than others.

    As one commenter on the site noted, if Applebaum finds the description of rape and sodomy “salacious”, she needs help.

    Her statement is here one quote:

    Of course, there were some very legitimate disagreements, including two excellent ones from my colleagues Gene Robinson and Richard Cohen, and I take some of their points. But to them, and to all who imagine that the original incident at the heart of this story was a straightforward and simple criminal case, I recommend reading the transcript of the victim’s testimony (here in two parts) — including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski’s house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson’s jacuzzi — and not just the salacious bits.

    Patterico has this to say:

    There is nothing in there about asking the victim’s mom for permission to have pictures taken in the jacuzzi. Applebaum made that part up. [UPDATE: Not that it matters. The suggestion that the mother’s consent to jacuzzi photographs would amount to consent to her daughter’s anal rape is perhaps Applebaum’s most amazing and offensive contention yet.]

    It is amusing to read her commenters. They are having none of it.

    You know I think I should revise my crazy uncle theory. After the past month maybe everyone is a crazy uncle, just about different things.

    Update: Hey it’s not like it was Mark Foley or Elia Kazan. It is eye opening.

    …concerning the MSN case:

    What other major stories are they missing — or sitting on?

    Answer: What ever they damn well can get away with! And by the tone of his post Dan Riehl would agree.

    I think the MSM needs a Lombardi to coach them and insist on excellence. I can imagine their Max McGee moment:

    Lombardi once opened pre-season camp by holding up a ball and saying, “Gentleman, this is a football.” To which team cut up Max McGee replied, “Can you slow down coach. You are going a little fast.”

    Jake Tapper can be Lombardi, he actually does the work, I think Barnicle can play be McGee.

    Update: RS McCain demonstrates the crazy uncles are driving the coverage on the left.

    Jane Hamsher, Alan Colmes, and Keith Olbermann apparently live inside an echo chamber where a man who was a leader of a Marxist outfit like STORM, and who subsequently signed a 9/11 Truther petition, is not legitimately controversial. (The next time Colmes goes on Fox, somebody needs to ask him, “Hey, Alan, do you think Marxism is a bad thing?”)

    That someone like Jones could be appointed as a White House policy “czar,” and that Olbermann can’t see where some people might have a problem with that, tends to disprove the worry-wart concerns of certain centrist Republicans that the GOP is the more “extreme” of the two major parties. Does anyone seriously expect an avowed “Birther” to get a White House job in the next Republican administration?

    We need to remember that phrase when power comes our way and our own crazy uncles try to rise.

    Update: VDH expands on the left’s indifference to this stuff:

    What is strange about all this chic-radicalism is how would-be revolutionaries that wish to dismantle America as we know it and/or emulate failed systems abroad, always do so from comfort, security, affluence, and freedom of choice unique to America and Europe, suggesting that radical politics and those who agitate for them are sort of a fashion statement, aimed to resonate among particular elite leftist audiences and to bring dividends from them, but not to be taken too seriously as guides in their own lives.

    Not so strange it’s the gravy train.