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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

On Roy Moore

1917 Code of Canon Law - legal age of marriage for women is 12.
1983 Code of Canon Law - legal age of marriage for women is 14.
Even if the allegations are true, Catholics cannot really entertain a brief against Roy Moore.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Advent Play List

Courtesy of Jeff Miller

+ Adjuvabit eam
+ Alma Redemptoris Mater
+ Angelus Ad Virginem

+ A Maiden Most Gentle
+ Benedixisti Domine
+ Christ Whose Glory Fills The Skies
+ Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (18th Century)
+ Come, thou long-expected Jesus
+ Come Thou Redeemer Of The Earth
+ Comfort Ye My People (Messiah)
+ Conditor alme siderum
+ Creator Alme Siderum
+ Creator of the Stars of Night
+ Dies Irae - Tuba Mirum (Messa Da Requiem)
+ Every Valley Shall Be Exalted (Messiah)
+ Gabriel's Message
+ Hail to the Lord's Anointed
+ Hark The Glad Sound!
+ Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding
+ High O'er The Lonely Hills
+ Holy is His Name
+ I Sing of a Maiden
+ I Wonder as I Wander
In The Bleak Midwinter
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent
Lift Up Your Heads Ye Mighty Gates
Like The Dawning
Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending (Hymn)
Long ago, prophets knew
Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge
Maria Walks Amid The Thorn
Novissima hora est (The Dream of Gerontius)
O Come, Divine Messiah
O come, O come, Emmanuel
O Heavenly Word Eternal Light
O Magnum Magisterium
O Quickly Come, Dread Judge of All
O Radix Jesse
O Word That Goest Forth On High, Plainsong 7th Century Latin
On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
People Look East
Praeparate Corda Vestra
Prepare the Way
Regnantem Sempiterna
Rejoice All Ye Believers
Rorate Caeli
Savior Of The Nations, Come
Sleepers, Wake! (Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns Die Stimme )
The Angel Gabriel
The Cherry Tree Carol
The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns
The Lord Will Come And Not Be Slow
There is no rose of such virtue
Thy Kingdom Come O God
Thy Kingdom Come On Bended Knee
Veni Redemptor gentium
Veni Veni Emmanuel (Latin version)
Vox clara ecce intonat
Wake, Awake for Night is Flying
Watchman (Watchman, Tell Us of the Night)
Zion hört die Wächter singen - Choral: "Zion hört die Wächter singen" J.S. Bach: Choral

Thursday, November 30, 2017

In The Country of the Blind

Many people, including myself, have called Humanae Vitae a prophetic document. But, as I think about events, I suspect we are all wrong. It is not a prophetic document at all. Let me explain.

Everyone talks about the terrible social lapses caused by contraception. What most people don't realize is that the eugenics movement and its daughter, the contraception movement, were merely steps in an already existing problem. The problem was the demographic transition. The cause, as near as anyone can tell, was the Industrial Revolution and the improvements in housing and medical care that revolution made possible.

The demographic transition, that is, the loss in fertility rate below replacement levels, actually began in the early 1800s. Dropping fertility rates spread from France and England throughout the world, country by country, for the next two centuries right up to the present day. The current baby-bust is not the aberration, the post-war Baby Boom was the aberration.

But, because we all grew up in the post-Baby Boom years, we all think this is a post-1960s problem. It isn't. And, while the Church has never changed her teaching, while the Church has always taught that we should not exploit workers or women, Rerum Novarum, Casti Conubii and Humanae Vitae, were documents that were playing catch-up.  The Church was late in recognizing the nature of the problem in the sense that She was late getting a firm grasp of the cultural shift.

The Luddites understood that the machines were going to create a problem. They misunderstood exactly how. They thought machines would take everyone's jobs and make everyone poor. Instead, the machines took most people's jobs, but made everyone rich. They knew there was a problem, but they didn't understand the problem.

Marx saw it as well - he was wrong in an entirely different way than the Luddites. He thought the machines would allow a small group of people to exploit the workers. It never occurred to him that it would allow that small group of people to simply ignore the workers. Again, he knew there would be a problem, but he didn't accurately predict what the problem would be or how it should be resolved. Indeed, he thought the destruction of the family would be a good thing. He absolutely did not understand that the industrialized destruction of the family was the problem.  The worker-employer relationship was just a symptom. The central problem completely eluded his grasp.

The Church has always taught that people are subjects, not objects, and the larger Christian society had largely understood this, for over a millennia at least, by 1800. What the episcopate took too long figuring out, in re both workers rights' and contraception, was that Christian cultural attitudes towards those two issues were undergoing such a major and rapid shift that encyclicals were required.

Culture had already gone 70 years down that road before we saw Rerum Novarum, 100 years down it for Castii Connubi and 150 for HV. THAT is the sense in which the Church was late to the table.

Not that anyone else was much earlier - we would be hard-pressed to identify someone who pronounced earlier AND correctly, about what was coming. Lots of people pronounced earlier, but they all got something important wrong. Others got the essentials right, but largely by mimicking what the Church had already said.

The problem is precisely in the fact that, by the time the Church had articulated the problem correctly, in a way the culture was likely to understand, the culture had changed to the point that the Church was largely ignored.

In that sense, Rerum Novarum, Castii Conubii and HV were actually not prophetic at all.  They were all three simply descriptive. After all, what those documents described was already well underway - it was just that the Church was the only one who saw it, because She was the only one who was still able to see.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Double Standards: The Church and Science

"Within the next week, two doctors cleared Geoghan for parish duty, according to an archdiocesan chronology that is in court files. It reads: “12/11/84 Dr. [Robert] Mullins - Father Geoghan `fully recovered.’ . . . 12/14/84 Dr. [John H.] Brennan: “no psychiatric contraindications or restrictions to his work as a parish priest.”

But, of course, NO ONE blames the medical profession for being wrong. Instead, everyone tells the Church, "You should NOT have followed SETTLED SCIENCE!"

And the science of the time WAS settled - according to the medical professionals then, they could cure it. They were experts, after all.

So, when the Church questions science, She's wrong, and when the Church accepts science She is wrong. Nice double standard you got there.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Usury and Capitalism (short version)

"Usury", in its simplest meaning, means "to charge for the use of a thing."  But Aquinas points out that the ACTUAL definition of usury is "to sell that which does not exist", i.e., to commit what we would now call "fraud."

In a subsistence-level society, money is functionally identical to consumption. In a surplus-goods society, money is NOT functionally identical to consumption.

Thus, as the monasteries were able to produce local areas of surplus goods, the function of money changed and the definition changed with it.

See Aquinas' commentary here as he explains why you can charge for the use of some things (e.g., you can rent a house), but not for the use of other things (you can't rent food).

Money was originally understood to be very much like food, but over time, the medievals began to realize that surplus food made it possible to think of money more like a house. It was this change in the understanding and use of money which allows one to "build a house of gold", i.e., accumulate capital.

I have a longer gloss here on his commentary which may (or may not) help to understand what he meant.

So, both capitalism and the industrial revolution are the result of Christian philosophy. The Catholic willingness to understand that the definition of money could change, and the affect this change had on the definition of usury was central to the development of capitalism. The Catholic development of experimental science was built off the high regard Catholics have always had for manual labor, and central to the industrial revolution.

Islam never understood the change in the definition of  "money" from the 600s through the 1500 years that followed. Christians, on the other hand, realized that the definition being used in their Scriptures was fundamentally different than how the word was being used even by the end of the first millennium. Thus, you see Aquinas drawing very fine distinctions in the Summa Theologica about what does and does not constitute usury.

Precisely because the definition of "money" changed, the definition of what it meant to "charge interest" also changed, and Aquinas recognized those changes. Usury is still a sin to this day, but Christians don't use the 600s AD broad-based definition still used today by Muslim banks, which inhibits capital formation in Muslim countries.

Instead, Christians recognized the elements of the underlying economy, distinguished them, and pointed out that many uses of this new "money" paradigm didn't actually violate any spiritual principles that had been put in peril under the old definitions.

The change then was almost as profound as the move from gold-based to fiat-based to crypto. Christians recognized, tracked and leveraged these changes without violating the spirit of the Faith. Muslims still haven't figured out that anything is different.



Thursday, November 09, 2017

SJWs and the Duty to Defend

The state legitimately defends its citizens against foreign invaders.

The biggest killers in time of war, e.g., invading armies, is not the military action itself, but the disease, malnutrition and exposure to the elements that these invading armies inflict upon the citizens.

So, arguably, when defending its citizens against an invading army the state is not primarily tasked with defending its citizens against a bloodless coup, but against agents that inflict disease, malnutrition and exposure on its citizens.

But, if THAT is true, then the state's duty to defend its citizens should also involve defending its citizens against those deleterious effects regardless of whether an army is invading.

Which means the state has a duty to make sure its citizens are at least somewhat protected against those three things under all circumstances. This means the state has the duty to conduct, say, nation-wide vaccination campaigns to wipe out smallpox and polio, mandate campaigns against vitamin-deficiency and malnutrition (which contribute to disease spread in addition to being threats in their own right).

You see where this is going.

IF we admit, as the Constitution does, that the state has a duty to protect its citizens, THEN arguments about the nation's duty to commit acts of social justice are really just variations on an argument over  where the "defense" line is drawn.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"Green Energy" Kills Black Children


Al Gore, Barack Obama and Elon Musk support killing black children for personal gain.
Follow the bouncing ball:
  1. "Green energy", i.e., energy from wind and solar, is unreliable.
  2. Because it is unreliable (the sun doesn't always shine, the wind doesn't always blow), any electricity it generates that is not instantly transmitted and used must be stored. 
  3. The only way to store that electricity is to put it into a battery.
  4. The most efficient batteries use cobalt.
  5. Half the world's supply of cobalt is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  6. The companies in the DRC use small children to mine the cobalt.
  7. Because there is virtually no safety equipment, the children die.

SO, anyone who supports green energy tacitly supports killing small black children to make their money and/or their political point.

Now, Tesla (Elon Musk) has publicly and specifically said he refuses to source cobalt from the DRC.  Oddly enough, it seems Elon Musk is a liar.
"Human rights charity Amnesty International also investigated cobalt mining in the DRC and says that none of the 16 electric vehicle manufacturers they identified have conducted due diligence to the standard defined by the Responsible Cobalt Initiative."
Even if he does eventually succeed in not using DRC cobalt directly (which is highly unlikely, given world cobalt demand), his use of all the other cobalt supplies in the world will drive up the price of DRC cobalt so that DRC's child-mining operations become even MORE profitable than they are now. Supply and demand, and Elon still ends up contributing to the deaths of small black children.

As for Gore and Obama always nattering about "green energy", both seem (as you do), oblivious to the fact that "green energy" REQUIRES battery backup for off-peak power, and those batteries currently REQUIRE cobalt, which is mined by small black children who are worked to incapacity and death.
"Cobalt is up 150% in the last year, but it's likely to see far higher prices due to a severe deficit. According to Macquarie Research, the deficit for the next year will be 885 tonnes. In 2019, that number rises to 3,205, and by 2020, we are looking at a 5,340 tonne supply shortage!"
So, Gore, Obama, and Musk are deliberately blind to the fact that they are essentially advocating the death of small black children. "Green energy" can't avoid killing small black kids until it can avoid using the DRC's cobalt. It can't avoid using the DRC's cobalt until new cobalt-free battery technology comes on-line. That battery technology is not projected to come on-line for years, if ever.