Cancel culture coming for the Church

Our Lady of Guadalupe, with distinctly non-white features, from Wikipedia

This past week we saw two very different responses to Shaun King, a self-proclaimed activist that called on images and statues that showed Jesus depicted as a white European to be taken down. On its face, that sounds legitimate because if Jesus came from the Levant, in all reality he would likely be more tan or brown color. It might make it appear that the Catholic Church was whitewashing Jesus.

Except its not hard to see past this. I’ve traveled a fair amount, and every Catholic Mass I attend overseas, I noticed that the statue depictions are different. Jesus in Turkey was more brown. Jesus in Ethiopia is black. The Blessed Mother appeared in Guadalupe with distinctly Mexican features. And so on. It only takes a brief pause from your cat videos to Google “Jesus around the world” to see this first hand. The fact that Jesus and his Blessed Mother take on the various characteristics of the local population is amazing to me. We have a truly universal Church. It really is for everyone, no matter your skin color.

(And as an aside, if he was a carpenter, he was probably ripped and muscular from working all day, and could have run a Crossfit gym)

Sadly, this is the first part of linking the Catholic Church to slavery. Already, there is vandalism on the Wikipedia page about the Church and African Americans. Already we have people linking vague actions by the Church, such as this article, to racism:

“The way the church would sustain or enable racism would be through the acts of the people who make it up,” he told Catholic News Service. “But the actions of all of those people are deeply influenced and shaped by social, political, and economic structures they inhabit.

“Many of them would not perceive their actions as enabling racism, but if they accept the structures uncritically, they are doing that, and they inhibit the church from realizing the full impact or engagement of its social teaching.”

The Boston Pilot

So, pray tell, what are we supposed to do with the above information? Feed the poor? Educate people? Help people find jobs? The Church already does these things! Has the author not looked at a Church bulletin lately? There is a ministry for all these things and more, limited only by people’s imagination and time.

As said before, the best strategy with people like this is to push back. Folks like Shaun King won’t stop with their demands, they are simply looking for weakness to exploit. I give Bishop Hying props for standing up to this mob, where he accepts that we need to have dialog and action while rejecting calls for destruction. Compare this with the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is now “reassessing” depictions of Jesus as white.

No matter what the Anglican Church does, someone in the mob will find it as not enough and will call for further action. Mobs don’t stop. When they find weakness, they push harder. Pushing back forces them to stop. The Anglican Church isn’t going to get a break, and they are going to learn this rule, unfortunately, the hard way.

We live in a democracy, but if aren’t willing to enforce its rules, we’ll soon live in a mob state.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Yup, they came for Jesus

Pearl Monument torn down, from Wikipedia

Not that long ago, the military sent me to Bahrain to work a particular mission. While I was there, I learned about the political differences between the King of Bahrain (a Sunni) and the majority Shia population on the small island nation. Protests against the King were somewhat common, and I would get text notifications if one flared up. The protests weren’t aimed at America (a nice change), but we were always advised to stay away from them because the mob mentality might make us a target of convenience.

Mobs make people stupid by allowing people to offload their decision making, and thus responsibility, onto the mob. The danger is that someone with a strong personality will use the mob’s power towards their own end. What starts as a peaceful demonstration can end in violence. That’s what happened in Bahrain, climaxing in 2011 with the demonstration near the Pearl Monument and its subsequent destruction by the government.

The scary part about mobs is that the people pulling the strings typically don’t have a peaceful end state. President Trump understands this and pointed it out in 2017 that tearing down statues to appease the mob isn’t going to work. Plenty of people ridiculed him, including Slate:

“So Trump’s comparison there is dumb. It doesn’t really even make any sense. And the notion that there’s some slippery slope is dumb.”

-Slate article, 2017

Doesn’t look so dumb now. It’s one thing for a city government to remove a Confederate statue or the federal government to rename a base. I’d be happy renaming Fort Gordon to something else, since General John Gordon seemed more capable of getting shot than being an effective general, and was probably a KKK member. There’s a system for doing that, so we should use that. We don’t need a mob for these things.

Worse, this mob mentality isn’t going to end anytime soon. We’re now seeing Catholic churches targeted in California. My wife alerted me to an FSSP parish in San Diego, where the address was being posted in order to mobilize a protest. The right to peacefully protest is a good thing. It allows things like praying outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. But it should be fairly obvious from the above Instagram picture, which makes plenty of assumptions on the church members, that the point isn’t to be peaceful, but rather intimidate people from attending church. Think about it, would YOU walk through a throng of angry protestors to attend Mass?

Mob leaders want people to submit to mob control. Worse still, when mob leadership adheres to Antifa ideaology, it will violently attack any authority that opposes it. This includes Church authority, especially Catholic teachings.

Prediction: we’re going to see attempts by the mob to link Catholicism to slavery, Trump, COVID-19, and whatever else comes to mind in order to justify defacing and tearing buildings down. This, despite a decent Church history of opposing slavery, even having a Pope that was a former slave. Remember that actual history doesn’t matter to the mob.

The question we have to start asking Catholics now is: are you prepared to wade through a mob to attend Mass? Will you tolerate a mob defacing or tearing down your Church? Because the mob is coming for Jesus. Which side will you be on when it arrives?

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Public Mass is Back, Satan Hardest Hit

Yesterday at 3:45 I went to confession at St. Bernard’s Parish at St. Camillus Church in Fitchburg as I have for the last 8 weeks. What was different was that instead of a few people waiting for confession, the church was ope proper with people in pews preparing for the 4:15 Saturday vigil mass which hasn’t been celebrated publicly since the 3rd week of Lent.

It was very different in some ways, there was police tape taping off every other pew and in the long pews there was tape on them marking off three spots, each end and the middle, so people knew to space out. There was also tape on the center aisle marking off 6 foot distances for communion. There was no collection, simply baskets at the entrances to put envelopes in, no missiles in the pews and the “sign of peace” was skipped (although some folks noting this turned and waved).

And of course there were the masks, everyone had masks. It was like a bank robbers convention.

But when it comes down to it, the liturgy the homily , the consecration and the Eucharist was that of the Holy Mass.

It wasn’t anything near a full church. There are many who generally attend the three Sunday masses (2 morning one afternoon) that returned today. I’m sure those who were ill stayed away, I didn’t see some of the older members of the parish, who would most risk, I’m sure a few more didn’t want to take any risks and of course given that the lifting of the obligation for Catholics in our diocese to attend weekly mass is still lifted, I’m sure a more than a few decided to take advantage of a lovely day.

I suspect every week the numbers will grow and as I heard the congregation led by our pastor finish with the Prayer of St. Michael and felt the power of that prayer declared publicly by dozens of Christian throats eager to glorify God it’s clear that no matter what the numbers the Mass IS back and Hell will tremble because of it.

Nobody’s Talking about the NYC Witches Anymore The Unexpectedly Chronicles

Yesterday in my Under the Fedora column I joked that all of this Corona Virus, Wuhan Virus, CCP Virus stuff could be because some Redsox fan made a deal with the Devil who promised that by May 1st the Redsox would be undefeated and the Yankees would yet to have win a game. That reminded me of something I meant to write about a week ago that I mentioned in the podcast last week

Remember back at the start of the Trump Administration there were a bunch of stories about Witches in New York all Hexing Donald Trump. If you do a google search of it you can find stories like this:

Most of Donald Trump’s opponents believe they will have to wait four more years to see him leave the White House.

But America’s witches are more optimistic.

At the stroke of midnight on Friday, followers of witchcraft across the US performed a mass spell designed to stop the president doing harm.

A Facebook group devoted to the ritual has attracted over 10,500 likes, and coined the hashtag #magicresistance.

Or this

Groups of witches across the country are preparing to cast a coordinated “binding spell” on President Donald Trump on October 25. It will be their third concerted attempt to make the magic happen.

The witches refer to themselves as the #MagicResistance, and they first attempted to bind the the President with magic in 2017, according to the Boston Globe, and they have attempted it annually since then. The group’s other events have included binding Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and “Hex the NRA.” (RELATED: Witches Now Outnumber Presbyterians In The US)

Now you might not be a Christian or believe in witches but given the events of the last month don’t you think it’s odd that reporters who thought this was so cool and so wonderful aren’t following up with any of these people to ask: “Hey Trump’s numbers are doing better but the country is in the grip of a pandemic, do you feel at all responsible for this?”

I think it’s a valid question and I’ve love to hear the answer on this, but the press will never bother with it because as long as they are the media’s allies in their fight against Trump, as interesting as this story might be, nobody is the press is going to write it

Unexpectedly of course.

Update: Related?

DaTechguy’s Midnight Court Live Stream Podcast at Midnight: Quarantine, Witches and Predicting the Future

I’ve begun two weeks of Quarantine so we’ll talk a bit about quarantine and the difference between some and others. A little about Witches , some stuff about predicting the future and a little bit of Baltimore. We Start at midnight and you can watch it as it happens (or after it happens) below

If you like what you see consider giving the podcast an up arrow. If you REALLY like it consider subscribing. 100 subscribers allows me to monetize the channel and if you really Really like it consider hitting DaTipJar.

Corona/Wuhan Virus a Great Way to Illustrate the Difference between Having Faith and Putting God to the Test

Autloc: Tlotoxl was humiliated. He will not forget, nor will he forgive.

Barbara: I did as he commanded.

Autloc: But not as he expected.

Barbara: What did he want? A miracle?

Autloc: We all awaited it.

Barbara: Why should I use divine powers when human ability will suffice?

Autloc: Yetaxa has spoken.

Dr. Who The Aztecs 1964

There’s an old joke about a man in a flood zone who can’t swim but is not worried because he has faith that God will save him. A police man comes by in his truck to get him out of his house before the water comes but he refuses saying “God will save me.”

Then the water rises and he has to go to the 2nd floor of his house and some emergency workers come by in a small fishing boat to evacuate him but he refuses saying “God will save me.”

The the water rises so high that he is perched on his roof and a Helicopter comes by and lowers a man with a winch to get him to safety but he refuses again insisting: “God will save me”.

He drowns and finds himself before St. Peter and is very confused: “I don’t understand why I’m here? I thought that God would save me?”

St. Peter replies: “I don’t understand why you’re here either, why didn’t you use the truck, boat or helicopter we sent you?”

The moral of the joke is of course that there is a difference between faith in God and expecting him to perform a conjuring trick at your insistence.

This is one of the traps that is in play during the Corona / Wuhan virus. There are plenty of devout Christians. People who go to mass daily, receive the sacraments regularly, visit the blessed sacrament who might be tempted to ignore the public restrictions that have been imposed for the safety of the general public. In fact there will be a fair amount of mocking of faithful Christians who follow said restrictions by those who disbelieve or hate Christianity saying that this proves such people don’t actually believe in God prodding them to do just that.

But this form of temptation is one that is specifically illustrated in scripture as is the proper response to it

Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you and ‘with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'”

Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.'”

Matthew 4:6-8

The promise of Christianity is eternal life, but not eternal earthly life. Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter and the son of the widow of Nain were all raised from the dead by Christ but all eventually died again. While Christ came to earth to serve he is not our manservant here to do our will, we are here to do God’s.

When we put God to the test we reverse our relationship with him, instead of the loving sons and daughters that he helps guide to the right path we become Veruca Salt who wants it now!

Don’t let yourself be tempted this way, particularly in this current crisis, because the drop it can help lead you to will prove a lot worse than what’s at the bottom of a garbage chute

Ash Wednesday and my Favorite Old Testament Passage

Today is Ash Wednesday the beginning of Lent and the reason why so many people got drunk etc yesterday because traditionally this began a period of fasting and sacrificing to bring us closer to God and while many have abandoned the fasting/prayerful reflection part they’ve kept with full force the last big debauch.

Ash Wednesday is not the most popular devotion out there, you are given ashes which is a reminder of our mortality “Remember man that thou art dust and to dust you shall return.” Although because some consider that reminder too harsh a “Repent and believe in the Gospel” is substituted in some parishes.

But what I’ve always loved about Ash Wednesday is the first reading from scripture at Mass. Every Year the first reading is always this passage from the prophet Joel

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.

Joel 2 12-18

Even now! Those are words of power and hope. Most importantly there are no qualifiers to those words

  • Even Now….unless you’ve had an abortion
  • Even now….unless you’ve cheated on your spouse
  • Even now…..unless you are a thief
  • Even now…..unless you are a drug dealier
  • Even now…..unless you are a murder
  • Even now…..unless you are a terrorist
  • Even now…..unless you are an atheist
  • Even now…..unless you promote sodomy
  • Even now…..unless you’ve sold your soul to the devil

In other words, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past or where you are, if you are willing to turn your heart to God, his outstretched hand will be there.

And note the time given is the ever present NOW, the time that every man spends their entire life in. As long as you have breath in your body, even if that breath is your last God will accept your return in that ever present now.

Does that mean that the path that follows will be painless? Nope.

Does it mean that the path will be easy? Nope.

But it means that path is available at every present moment of your life and that the time to embrace the forgiveness of God is always NOW.

Fr Longnecker Nails Catholicism Perfectly

As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”

Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

John 6:66-69

This weekend after a prolonged nap I woke from my sleep to see this tweet from Fr. Dwight Longnecker, one of the few married priests in the Catholic Church that speaks to one of the most salient things concerning the Catholic Church

This nails one of the most critical things about the Catholic Church that there is.

Think about it for a second. If you think about the kind of church you want to join, the Catholic Church would not likely be high on your list.

You aren’t allowed to divorce your wife or husband if the inclination comes

You an’t allowed to have premarital sex, or even contraception

If you’re gay, forget marriage, if you want to be a priest for nun, forget marriage and sex.

In fact forget about porn, masturbation and a bunch of other things that you might like to get away with

and even worse if you do any of these things you have to go before a priest, confess that you’ve done these thing, “firmly resolve to not commit these sins in the future” (and mean it when you say it) and when (hopefully if but usually when) you falter on some of those sins as is the way of life, have the embarrassment of going back and confessing them AGAIN.

And if you don’t do these things you either have to refrain from communion or go up for a blessing and left everyone SEE that you’re in an unfit state to receive communion.

And consider how many attractive alternatives there are avaialble.

You have Christian churches who preach predestination meaning that it’s all God’s will so no matter what you do now it doesn’t matter (so you might as well do what you want).

You have Christian churches who proclaim “one saved always saved” which means that you can sin all you want without fear of hell.

You have Christian churches that redefine sin to the point where not only are the sins you are most tempted from no longer considered sin but are even considered virtuous.

And beyond that you not only have a culture that hates the church, but celebrates you when you leave it but you have scandals from sexual to financial that makes being a public Catholic a very hard thing.

And if you are devout despite this you have a Pope that has at best been a Lemon or at worst been a heretic to the point where some of the alternatives like the Society of St. Pius seem not only reasonable, but honorable. You even have alternatives that the Church recognizes as valid like the Orthodox whose sacraments are recognized but do not return said recognition

So why does one stay Catholic, or as in Fr. Longnecker case convert to the Catholic faith? Simply for the reason Fr. Longnecker said

“…because it’s the true church.”

My degree is in Computer Science, I’ve trained as an engineer, I’m a maths guy. Do you realize how easy it would be to go to a denomination that said my current sins that I battle were not sins and that the various temptations to other sins I have were no big deal if I thought that the Church was not true? Do you think I would put myself though those things if there was the slightest doubt in my mind that the church wasn’t true?

And that not even dealing with the various ethical dilemmas that have come up regularly from loving one’s enemies rather than taking easy revenge on them or taking ethical shortcuts that would have made me wealthy and my life comfortable

Those alternatives are all dangled before us, from the abolition of our since (as opposed to forgiveness) on one end to the affirmation of our virtue on the other with worldly celebration in between. Almost as if it was being said to us.

All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me

Matthew 4:9

That’s the real irony. We are in fact being given the same tempting offer that Christ was and by the same being too. Might I suggest the same answer:

At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: ‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.'”

Matthew 4:10

Now I’m no Jesus. I’m going to fail a lot and so are all the rest of us but the Eucharist remains the Eucharist, the Sacraments are still the sacraments and the Church for all the scandals it has had over two thousands years and for all the lemons we’ve seen from it, past present and future, remains the One Holy Catholic Church in faith in reason and in truth.

That’s is why I have stayed and will stay. With the Church’s help I might obtain heaven despite my sins and maybe if I’m very lucky and very blessed be of some use to Christ in helping a few others, by the grace of God, along that same narrow path.

I’m old enough to remember when “Is the Pope Catholic?” was a Rhetorical Question

One of the advantages of actually reading scripture, having been brought up by devout Catholics and having a faithful priest is that if a Pope says something like this:

The first is all. In front of an unbeliever the last thing I have to do is try to convince him. Never. The last thing I have to do is speak. I have to live consistent with my faith. And it will be my testimony to awaken the curiosity of the other who says: “But why do you do this?” And yes, I can speak then. But listen: Never, never bring the gospel by proselytizing. If someone says they are a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, they are not a disciple of Jesus. Proselytism is not done, the church does not grow by proselytism. Pope Benedict had said it, it grows by attraction, by testimony. Football teams proselytize, this can be done. Political parties, can be done there. But with faith there is no proselytism. And if someone says to me: “But why?” Read, read, read the Gospel, this is my faith. But without pressure.

emphasis mine

I can reference the opinion of a higher authority in the Church (again emphasis mine):

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.  When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.

Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Go, therefore,  and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Matt 28:16-20

Furthermore I recall a fellow named Paul who said this:

I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by (the) grace (of Christ) for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed!  As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed! Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ

St. Paul to the Galatians 1: 6-10 Emphasis mine

Now I don’t pretend to be anywhere near as well trained and educated in theology than the Holy Father nor more familiar with scripture as a whole but as a person with a Computer Science Degree I can certainly read and comprehend a plan set of instructions with the best of them.

So while the Holy Father’s words on living your faith and setting an example are well taken I think I’ll decline to share his advice to judge those who choose to spread the Gospel in the very way that the apostles were instructed by Christ.

Incidentally if you told me as little as ten years ago that I’d hear a Pope say something like this I wouldn’t have believed you, but I’m not worried.

Given the Catholic church survived the Romans, the Huns, the Rest of the Barbarians, the 1st Islamic Invasion, the Black Death, Napoleon, Hitler & the Cold War it’s certainly going to outlast Francis we’ve had 2000 years of Popes and lately we’ve had a good run of saintly ones so I guess we were overdue for a Lemon.

After all Lemon Pope is still the Pope until God decides he isn’t so I will endeavor to give all the respect that the chair of Peter set up by Christ himself deserves trusting that God knows what he’s doing even if I don’t.

And don’t forget pray for the Pope remembering that he is no more and no less deserving of and in need of the mercy of God than anyone else.

Update: Forgot to give a hat tip to Insty here, my bad.

Update 2: Lemon Pope? sounds like a song…

Lemon Pope very iffy

And his message ain’t so sweet

but the truth of the old Gospel

Is impossible to beat

I’m here all week, try the veal.

Remember Canonization doesn’t make a Saint, it just acknowledges one publicly

There is a very important point that is being missed both by the Vatican in their attempt to block the Canonization of Bishop Fulton Sheen and in the various commentaries on the tactics being used by the Catholic left in positions of power to kill it.

In the long run they don’t matter.

A saint is, by definition a person who is in heaven (the only exceptions to this rule that I’m aware of are certain canonized angels who would are not “human”) beatification or Canonization is merely the church publicly acknowledging this fact which already exists. For example during the entire time the Vatican was blocking the cause of St. Faustina and proscribing against the Divine Mercy devotion, she was in fact a saint, with all the ability to intercede for us in heaven that any other saint has.

I would wager real money that each of us have at the very least dozens of these “unknown saints” in our ancestry from children who died before the age of reason (including the aborted unborn) to devout relatives. Most of these folks will never be known to the Vatican, but are known of course to God.

The number of what I call “unknown saints” in heaven dwarfs the number of canonized saints and is in my opinion one of the greatest untapped resources for the faithful in need. In my own daily prayer routine the 20th the final decade of every 20 decade rosary (the 5th Glorious mystery ) is always prayed in honor of the “unknown saints” and I constantly request prayers from them for people with various needs.

If Cardinal Sheen is a saint in the presence of God no amount of political shenanigans either at the Vatican nor at any dioceses in the nation will end it.

It seems to me that this would be a perfect time to begin a devotion to the “Unknown Saints” and I submit and suggest a daily request that this great untapped source of spiritual grace pray for the hierarchy of the Church might be exactly what we need during these hours of crisis.