A tale of two blasphemies

It is now abundantly clear that the self-appointed champions of “free speech” never actually believed a word they were saying. They merely wanted to replace the blasphemy laws of Christian society with the hate speech laws of anti-Christian society. But the Christian societies of Eastern Europe aren’t falling for the free speech lie that has trapped most of the West:

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of offending religious sentiment, after posters bearing an image of the Virgin Mary with her halo painted in the colours of the rainbow flag appeared in the city of Płock in central Poland.

The Polish interior minister, Joachim Brudziński, announced on Twitter on Monday that a person had been arrested for “carrying out a profanation of the Virgin Mary of Częstochowa”.

A Płock police spokeswoman confirmed a 51-year-old woman had been arrested over the alleged offence. The woman had been abroad, but upon her return, the police entered and searched her home, where they found several dozen images of the Virgin Mary with the rainbow-coloured halo.

Offending religious feeling is a crime under the Polish penal code. If convicted, the woman could face a prison sentence of up to two years.

Brudziński, who described the posters as “cultural barbarism” when they appeared overnight in April, said: “Telling stories about freedom and ‘tolerance’ doesn’t give anyone the right to offend the feelings of believers.”

Poland’s ruling rightwing Law and Justice party (PiS) has sought to mobilise its core electorate in the run-up to the European elections by raising the spectre of the country being overwhelmed by western liberal social values.

“We are dealing with a direct attack on the family and children – the sexualization of children, that entire LBGT movement, gender,” said the PiS leader, Jarosław Kaczyński, speaking to supporters last month. “This is imported, but they today actually threaten our identity, our nation, its continuation and therefore the Polish state.”

Make the blasphemy laws great again. After all, many of them are still on the books.


A lot of “renovations” these days

These unlucky church renovations and computer glitches are increasingly tending to take a tragic turn.

At least 156 people are dead in an Easter Sunday terrorist attack targeting Christians in Sri Lanka after six explosions ripped through high-end hotels and churches as suspected suicide bombers blew themselves up.

The explosions injured more than 500 people across the country, and 35 foreigners – from the UK, US and Netherlands – are among the dead, sources say.

Two of the blasts were suspected to have been carried out by suicide bombers, according to one security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak with reporters.

The official said at least 45 people had been killed in Colombo, where three hotels and a church were hit, along with another 67 in the church attack in Negombo, north of the capital, with another 25 dead at a church in the town of Batticaloa, in the east of the country.

The War on Jesus Christ is real and intensifying. From Paris to Sri Lanka, from Australia to New York City, Christianity and Christians are under varying forms of attack. But for all their rage and fury, neither the Gates nor the servants of Hell will prevail.

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.

Deus vult.


UPDATE: Two more “computer glitches,” or if you prefer, “suicide bombings” are reported to have taken place in Sri Lanka.


Pope Benedict on the betrayal of the RCC

The ex-Pope, or possibly genuine Pope, depending upon how you see these things, lambastes the moral degradation of his Church:

Benedict’s “The Church and the Scandal of Sexual Abuse” has the unmistakable ring of a papal document. You might even call it a post-retirement encyclical.

It’s written with his signature precision and clarity of insight and offers a piercing account of the origins of the crisis and a ­vision of the way forward.

The church’s still-radiating crisis, Benedict suggests, was a product of the moral laxity that swept the West, and not just the church, in the 1960s. The young rebels of 1968, Benedict writes, fought for “all-out sexual freedom, one which no longer conceded any norms.”

Benedict adds: “Part of the physiognomy of the Revolution of 1968 was that pedophilia was now also diagnosed as allowed and appropriate.” This might strike contemporary readers as puzzling. But those who lived through that wretched decade will remember that some of the leading ’68ers also advocated “anti-authoritarian education,” which involved some pretty ­unsavory interactions between adults and children. Hippie communes weren’t child-friendly places, either.

“I have always wondered how young people in this situation could approach the priesthood and accept it, with all its ramifications,” Benedict writes. “The extensive collapse of the next generation of priests in those years and the very high number of laicizations were consequence of all these processes.”

The church, in other words, was no more immune to the disorders of that decade and its aftermath than the rest of society.

How come? Benedict blames clerics and theologians who, in the ­aftermath of Vatican II, abandoned natural law — the notion that morality is written into ­human nature itself and can therefore be grasped by human reason — in favor of a more “pragmatic” ­morality.

Under the new dispensation, “there could no longer be anything that constituted an ­absolute good, any more than anything fundamentally evil; there could only be relative moral judgments.”

The real world result was that “in various seminaries, homosexual clubs were established, which more or less openly and significantly changed the climate in seminaries.”

The new morality also encouraged a “critical or negative attitude toward hitherto existing tradition,” he writes, in favor of a “new, radically open relationship with the world.”

For one bishop, the German pontiff says, that meant going so far as screening porn for seminarians. In many seminaries, meanwhile, students caught reading his own books, written while he was still a cardinal and known for their doctrinal rigor, would be “considered unsuitable for the priesthood.”

The looseness of those years also affected how the church ­handled cases of abusive priests, who we now know targeted mostly boys and young men. In church proceedings, “the rights of the accused had to be guaranteed” above all else, “to an extent that factually excluded any conviction at all.”

Such absolutism in defense of the accused was ­incorrectly seen as a “conciliar” requirement — anything less was a betrayal of Vatican II. Hence the cover-ups and shuffling around of abusive priests.

You will note that the key to abnegating Christianity, even in the Church, is the redefinition of evil. The existence of evil is not, and has never been, a philosophical problem for Christianity. To the contrary, in the absence of the existence of evil, there is simply no need for the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, his Crucifixion, his Resurrection, salvation, or the Christian faith.


The post-Christian dilemma

The problem Google is facing with its AI ethics council is a microcosm of the larger one facing post-Christian society:

An ethics board set-up by Google last week to help the tech giant tackle morality issues surrounding its technology has already been disbanded. Eight experts from outside the company were recruited for the panel, which was announcement of on March 26

Employees at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, took issue with two of the panellists and decided to revolt. More than 1,000 of its protest-prone ‘liberal’ workers signed an open letter objecting to two of the board members. Google has now bowed to the pressure from within and is dissolving the board, according to Vox, who first reported the news….

‘It’s become clear that in the current environment, ATEAC can’t function as we wanted,’ a Google spokesman said in an emailed statement.

‘So we’re ending the council and going back to the drawing board.’

The board had been specially curated to steer the firm away from any future controversies by ensuring it fully considers morality while developing its artificial intelligence.

How do an immoral people, who reject both truth and Christian morality, provide a moral basis for artificial intelligence or for anything else?

The answer, of course, is that they don’t and they won’t, because they can’t. Google is not going to succeed where centuries of philosophers have relentlessly failed.


Africa saves the Methodists

The African delegation ensures the exit of the sodomite churchians who have been trying to converge the United Methodist Church:

After days of passionate debate, deliberation, and prayer—and years of tension within the denomination—The United Methodist Church (UMC) voted Tuesday to maintain its traditional stance against same-sex marriage and non-celibate gay clergy, bolstered by a growing conservative contingent from Africa.

The plan passed, with 438 votes in favor and 384 against (53{4d03d95b39ff3945e1167b873be0fa6c962ca88d8712576869a88f7cbbdd4402} to 47{4d03d95b39ff3945e1167b873be0fa6c962ca88d8712576869a88f7cbbdd4402}), in the final hours of a special UMC conference held this week in St. Louis to address the issue of human sexuality.

The decision leaves a sizable, vocal opposition, ensuring the exit of many progressive pastors and churches in the largest mainstream Protestant body in the US.

After the final vote, protesters began chanting, “no” and “stop the harm” through the rest of the session until the conference ended over an hour later.

The “Traditional Plan” preserves existing UMC positions and adds further accountability measures for those who violate them by performing same-sex ceremonies or ordaining gay clergy. But this is not the outcome many Americans, including most bishops, had been praying for.

In the States, a large portion of Methodists wanted to see the church accommodate LGBT ceremonies and clergy, as other mainline denominations have done in recent years. One poll through Mainstream UMC reported at least two-thirds of US delegates supported the inclusive “One Church Plan” instead.

But the growing global presence among the 12 million-member denomination held more sway. Methodists from outside the US, who favor more traditional positions on sexuality, made up 41 percent of the 864 delegates at the general conference, including a full 30 percent from Africa.

It’s reprehensible that the vote was anywhere nearly that close. But good riddance to all the churchians; those that don’t leave of their own volition should be excommunicated without hesitation. There is no place in any Christian church for gay or female leadership of any kind; any so-called “church” that permits gay, female, or child leadership is Churchian, not Christian, at best. It is informative to contemplate  how much convergence would have been avoided, and how much sexual abuse would have been prevented, had the various Christian churches that allowed themselves to become converged instead followed the clear instructions on the Bible concerning who is permitted leadership in the church.

An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Appoint elders who genuinely love what is good and what is true, not those who call good evil, and call evil good.


Bring back the Inquisition

And ban all homosexual priests. Because the Catholic Church is almost completely converged.

Australian Cardinal George Pell, who helped elect popes and ran the Vatican’s finances, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two choirboys, a court said Tuesday, becoming the most senior Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sex crimes.

An Australian court found Pell guilty by a trial jury on one count of sexual abuse and four counts of indecent assault of two boys at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in the 1990s.

Pell, now aged 77, was accused of cornering the boys — then aged 12 and 13 — in the cathedral’s sacristy and forcing them to perform a sex act on him.

The cleric denied all the charges and an initial trial ended with a hung jury in September, but he was convicted on retrial on December 11.

Catholics have to stop trying to defend their church and start fumigating it. With a righteious vengeance.


The end of atheism

The Z-Man explains why atheism is on the decline in parallel with the retreat of Christianity from the public space:

The central defect of atheism, old and new, is it is an entirely negative western identity and entirely dependent on Christianity. Specifically, it requires people of some status to defend Christianity and the Christian belief in the super natural. Atheism has always been the oxpecker of mass movements. Everything about it relies on its host both tolerating it and thriving on its own. It’s why atheism has had its spasms of success when Christianity in America has had a revival, as in the 80’s and the 2000’s.

Atheists will deny this, of course. They will argue, as Dennett often does, that the steep decline of Christianity is proof their arguments were superior. The reason they no longer talk about their thing is they won and their enemy is dead. The fact that there are plenty of Muslims and crackpot feminist airheads around spouting magical oogily-boogily never seems to get their attention for some reason. The only guy to venture into this area was Dawkins, but the Prog quickly reminded him who pays his bills.

That’s always been the tell with atheism. Belief in something as insane as male privilege or implicit whiteness should get their attention. After all, these are not just beliefs in the supernatural, they are primitive beliefs in the supernatural. Men of the classical period had more plausible and complex beliefs than people like Amy Harmon. She is a click away from demanding human sacrifice. Yet, the new atheists were never much interest in those magical beliefs. They were too busy hounding the last Christians.

That’s another tell. Atheism has always been a popular pose on the Left, because it was a useful signal. The bad whites loved their boom sticks and sky gods. The good whites rejected all those crazy beliefs. It’s why atheists tended to focus on the mainstream of Christianity, like Catholics and mainline Protestant churches. Mormons were always an easy target. They avoided the Jews and black Baptists. Sure, once in while a zinger against the tribe would be tossed in, but the enemy was always white Christians.

The decline on atheism is a good example of the perils of negative identity. When you define yourself as being in opposition to someone or something, you inevitably become a slave to it. Your very existence depends on it. As the main Christian churches collapse in scandal and bizarre attempts to move Left, the enemies for atheists to attack are getting more difficult to find.

What I find interesting is how many people now understand that atheism is not what it etymologically purports to be, a lack of belief in gods, or even a lack of belief in the supernatural, but what it has observably been since the Abbe Jean Meslier posthumously published his Memoir of the Thoughts and Feelings of Jean Meslier: Clear and Evident Demonstrations of the Vanity and Falsity of All the Religions of the World in 1729, mere Western anti-Christianity.

That’s all very well and good. But now apply precisely the same historical observation and logic to the concepts of free speech, freedom of thought, and the Enlightenment. What you find yourself concluding may very well surprise, if not dismay, you, depending upon your allegiance to the aforementioned dogmas.


No church can serve two masters

The African Methodists choose Jesus Christ over Mammon:

Please hear me when I say as graciously as I can: we Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to “grow up.”

Let me assure you, we Africans, whether we have liked it or not, have had to engage in this debate for many years now. We stand with the global church, not a culturally liberal, church elite in the U.S.

We stand with our Filipino friends! We stand with our sisters and brothers in Europe and Russia! And yes, we stand with our allies in America.

We stand with farmers in Zambia, tech workers in Nairobi, Sunday School teachers in Nigeria, biblical scholars in Liberia, pastors in the Congo, United Methodist Women in Cote d’Ivoire, and thousands of other United Methodists all across Africa who have heard no compelling reasons for changing our sexual ethics, our teachings on marriage, and our ordination standards!

We are grounded in God’s word and the gracious and clear teachings of our church. On that we will not yield! We will not take a road that leads us from the truth! We will take the road that leads to the making of disciples of Jesus Christ for transformation of the world!

I hope and pray, for your sake, that you will walk down that road with us. We would warmly welcome you as our traveling companions, but if you choose another road, we Africans cannot go with you…. Some Africans have been told that if a gracious exit petition is passed our evangelical friends in the U.S. will go their own way and no longer support efforts in Africa. That is not true.

Many of us in Africa have developed deep and long lasting friendships with our brothers and sisters in the U.S. Those relationships will not be severed if a gracious exit petition passes.

Unfortunately, some United Methodists in the U.S. have the very faulty assumption that all Africans are concerned about is U.S. financial support. Well, I am sure, being sinners like all of you, some Africans are fixated on money.

But with all due respect, a fixation on money seems more of an American problem than an African one. We get by on far less than most Americans do; we know how to do it. I’m not so sure you do. So if anyone is so naïve or condescending as to think we would sell our birth right in Jesus Christ for American dollars, then they simply do not know us.

We are seriously joyful in following Jesus Christ and God’s holy word to us in the Bible. And in truth, we think many people in the U.S. and in parts of Europe could learn a great deal from us. The UM churches, pastors and lay people who partner with us acknowledge as much.

Please understand me when I say the vast majority of African United Methodists will never, ever trade Jesus and the truth of the Bible for money.

What a bold and admirable man of God! God will bless those African churches for their faithfulness and bless their nations through them. Those enlightened liberal American churches will die, for they have forsaken Jesus Christ in the name of sin and worldly approval.


Merry Christmas

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
– John 1: 9-14


Aquinas and the knowledge of God

While I harbor great respect for the intellect of Thomas Aquinas and rather like his philosophical methodology, no man’s reasoning is flawless. Consider the little Socratic switcheroo he pulls here on the subject of the knowledge of God.

Article 9. Whether God has knowledge of things that are not?

Objection 1. It seems that God has not knowledge of things that are not. For the knowledge of God is of true things. But “truth” and “being” are convertible terms. Therefore the knowledge of God is not of things that are not.

Objection 2. Further, knowledge requires likeness between the knower and the thing known. But those things that are not cannot have any likeness to God, Who is very being. Therefore what is not, cannot be known by God.

Objection 3. Further, the knowledge of God is the cause of what is known by Him. But it is not the cause of things that are not, because a thing that is not, has no cause. Therefore God has no knowledge of things that are not.

On the contrary, The Apostle says: “Who . . . calleth those things that are not as those that are” (Romans 4:17).

I answer that, God knows all things whatsoever that in any way are. Now it is possible that things that are not absolutely, should be in a certain sense. For things absolutely are which are actual; whereas things which are not actual, are in the power either of God Himself or of a creature, whether in active power, or passive; whether in power of thought or of imagination, or of any other manner of meaning whatsoever. Whatever therefore can be made, or thought, or said by the creature, as also whatever He Himself can do, all are known to God, although they are not actual. And in so far it can be said that He has knowledge even of things that are not.

Now a certain difference is to be noted in the consideration of those things that are not actual. For though some of them may not be in act now, still they were, or they will be; and God is said to know all these with the knowledge of vision: for since God’s act of understanding, which is His being, is measured by eternity; and since eternity is without succession, comprehending all time, the present glance of God extends over all time, and to all things which exist in any time, as to objects present to Him. But there are other things in God’s power, or the creature’s, which nevertheless are not, nor will be, nor were; and as regards these He is said to have knowledge, not of vision, but of simple intelligence. This is so called because the things we see around us have distinct being outside the seer.

Reply to Objection 1. Those things that are not actual are true in so far as they are in potentiality; for it is true that they are in potentiality; and as such they are known by God.

Reply to Objection 2. Since God is very being everything is, in so far as it participates in the likeness of God; as everything is hot in so far as it participates in heat. So, things in potentiality are known by God, although they are not in act.

Reply to Objection 3. The knowledge of God, joined to His will is the cause of things. Hence it is not necessary that what ever God knows, is, or was, or will be; but only is this necessary as regards what He wills to be, or permits to be. Further, it is in the knowledge of God not that they be, but that they be possible.

That’s all well and good. But now consider the subsequent statements in the two following articles.

From Article 12: Since God knows not only things actual but also things possible to Himself or to created things, as shown above (Article 9), and as these must be infinite, it must be held that He knows infinite things.

From Article 13: Since as was shown above (Article 9), God knows all things; not only things actual but also things possible to Him and creature; and since some of these are future contingent to us, it follows that God knows future contingent things.

Now, where is it shown in Article 9 that “God knows all things?” It was certainly CLAIMED in Article 9 that God knows all things, to be precise, Aquinas writes, “I answer that, God knows all things whatsoever that in any way are.” But it was not SHOWN.

This is an uncharacteristic Jordan Peterson-style appeal to self-authority. But at least Aquinas did not marvel at the wisdom of his own assertion.