The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue
"Oh PLEASE say I'm the Archbishop of Canterbury!"

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

"By the Babe Unborn" by G.K. Chesterton


                 If trees were tall and grasses short,

                  As in some crazy tale,

                If here and there a sea were blue

                  Beyond the breaking pale,


                If a fixed fire hung in the air

                  To warm me one day through,

                If deep green hair grew on great hills,

                  I know what I should do.


                In dark I lie; dreaming that there

                  Are great eyes cold or kind,

                And twisted streets and silent doors,

                  And living men behind.


                Let storm clouds come: better an hour,

                  And leave to weep and fight,

                Than all the ages I have ruled

                  The empires of the night.


                I think that if they gave me leave

                  Within the world to stand,

                I would be good through all the day

                  I spent in fairyland.


                They should not hear a word from me

                  Of selfishness or scorn,

                If only I could find the door,

                  If only I were born.

Today is the 53rd Anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Act in the UK, since then over nine million babies have lost they lives as a result of this. Please support The Good Counsel Network. You could also buy some Pro-Life, Chesterton and other badges here.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

The Ku Klux Klan aren't going like this book or President Trump

'The authors are Catholic, one of us Mexican American and the other Irish American, and we believe racism to be a sin.' page 91

I have read this book and must say I was surprised, I thought that the only reason to Vote Trump was because, like him or not he does Pro-Life stuff. But there's more. Here follow a few notes that I've made in the book. In-spite of John spelling his surname correctly and them both quoting GKC and Belloc I don't agree with everything they have written. For example on page 147 under the heading 'Israel' they say, 'To some extent, without minimising the vast human suffering that has occurred on both sides, it matters not how we got to this point. Here we are. What are we going to do about it?' Sorry, but it matters.

But here are some interesting points on Trump and racism;

'Poverty rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have reached their lowest levels since the US began collecting such data.' page 220

'African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment is at an all-time low.' page 224

Fr Pavone in the forward to the book says, "If [Trump] were not where he is we would not be where we are”. I pause for a moment to let that sink in, and then I explain further that under the Obama administration, Priests for Life was one of the religious groups that had to fight all the way to the Supreme Court to avoid crippling fines for our refusal to include abortion in the health insurance plan that we offer our employees. The Supreme Court, in the end, didn’t technically decide the case. Donald Trump did. The court had asked that we work out a solution with the administration, and the Obama administration was simply unwilling to honour our religious objections.

President Trump did, and we were forever set free from the oppressive mandate that, had it been enforced under a President Hillary Clinton, would not have allowed our ministry and countless others to function.

If President Trump were not where he is, we would not be where we are.

Many voters, whose faith means something to them, realise this, and it’s time that the rest did as well. That’s why this book is so important and so timely. page ix 

If you don't have time to read the book, like I don't have time to write a proper review here are a few other points of interest; 

'Under the previous administration, one would have to be blind not to have noticed a creeping totalitarianism in opposition to traditional Christian values, so much so that it increasingly seemed we were allowed to let those beliefs and values inform the way in which we live our lives, organise our parochial schools, and conduct our charitable activates only to the extent that they, “the tolerance police,” saw fit. Under Trump we have a fighting chance to be allowed to raise our children and carry out our charitable works as we see fit.' pages 15-16

"Let’s be clear on one thing: the corporate media in our country is no longer involved in journalism. Their a political, special interest no different than any lobbyist or other financial entity, with a total political agenda, and the agenda is not for you; it’s for themselves." Trump 2016 page 19

'If you, as a self-described Catholic Democrat, are rabidly pro-abortion or if the promotion of the LGBTQ agenda and the normalisation of things like drag queen story hour loom large in your list of vital issues to support, you probably don’t care that much about all of the above. You will never vote for Trump or anyone like him as long as the Democrats continue to trot our candidates like this year’s roster of radicals in their primary.

'But if you are an old-fashioned Catholic Labour or Hispanic Democrat, not particularly enthused about the Democratic Party platform with respect to that stuff, if you are a Catholic Democrat because your parents were and their parents before them and because the Democrats were once the party of the union and the working man, well then, what do you disagree with in this chapter? Donald Trump is your man. He is fighting for you and your family. The economic results of his first term speak for themselves.' page 40

'Investor’s Business Daily which noted that “85 of the 154 private interests who met with Clinton during her tenure at state were Clinton Foundation donors.” But its most shocking revelation was how donations to the foundation plummeted after Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election to Trump. “Now, fresh financial documents show that contributions and grants to the Clinton Foundation plunged since Hillary lost her election bid. They dropped from $216 million in 2016 to just $26.5 million in 2017 a stunning 88% fall.

'The editors went on to ask the right questions. They did their jobs. “If the Clinton Foundation was as good as defenders claimed, why did all its big-time donors suddenly lose interest? The only reasonable explanation is that donors weren’t interested in what the foundation supposedly did for humanity. They were interested in the political favours they knew their money would buy.”' page 46

'A viciousness and single mindedness of purpose in destroying the man and his presidency is easily discernible. Nobody can deny that Trump has achieved much, or at the very least done things in terms of policy, that would normally be considered praiseworthy, to say nothing of “news worthy.” But, more often than not, channels such as CNN or MSNBC, during this first term of his presidency, have been far more likely to run stories on the Mueller probe or exposes of Trump’s alleged infidelities from the past, or stories of how he is racist, or sexist, or a fledgling Hitler, rather than any mention, let alone focus, on the remarkable gains in the stock market, foreign policy breakthroughs, unemployment numbers, details of the highly successful trade deals negotiated, hostages returned, et cetera. And it would be too much to ask, of course, for any positive reporting on what Trump has accomplished for the pro-life cause, for that constitutes and assault on personal freedom in the minds of the media elite.' pages 71-72

'Would we have voted for the Donald Trump of New York “scene” thirty years ago? We doubt it. But he seems to be very happily married now’ his children reflect very well on him. As Catholics, our support for Donald Trump means neither that we think he is without sin though most of the negative things that have been said and written about him for the last few years are false nor that we should have to defend every one of his actions. And, yes, what is more, as Catholics, we will leave the lies, slander, and detraction to others.' page 75

"We must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse. They are the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers and I have them and you have them and we all have them, and they want us to do badly, but we don’t let that happen. They predicted an overpopulation crisis in the 1960s, mass starvation in the 70’s and an end of oil in the 90’s. These alarmists always demand the same thing: absolute power to dominate, transform, and control every aspect of our lives.” page 107 Trump to The World Economic Forum 21st January 2020

'Unfortunately, many of the baptized are uniformed Catholics who don’t read the Catechism or the Bible. Therefore, they get caught up in the leftist political causes because they listen to the left wing propaganda from the Spanish language media and are led by the nose by their neighbours and that media, a classic case of the blind leading the blind as Our Lord Jesus Christ stated (cf. Mt 15:14)' page 126

'But our opinion is that, in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has been more sinned against that sinning vis-à-vis the West. Please don’t stop reading. Remember Belloc’s admonition to read widely, even, perhaps especially, views with which you may not agree.' page 142

“It’s not that we don’t have enough scoundrels to curse; it’s that we don’t have enough good men to curse them.” GK Chesterton

'President Trump signed the Prevention Maternal Deaths Act which was written by a Republican law maker that provides funding for states to develop maternal mortality review committees to better understand maternal complications and identify solutions and largely focuses on reducing the higher mortality rates for Black Americans.

In 2018, President Trump signed the ground breaking First Step Act, a criminal justice bill which enacted reforms that make our justice system fairer and help former inmates successfully return to society. The First Step Act’s reforms addressed inequities in sentencing laws that disproportionately harmed Black Americans and reformed mandatory minimums that created unfair outcomes. Over 90 percent of those benefiting from the retroactive sentencing reductions in the First Step Act are Black Americans. The First Step Act expanded judicial discretion in sentencing of non-violent crimes. The First Step Act provides rehabilitative programs to inmates, helping them successfully rejoin society and not return to crimes.' page 219

Thursday, 15 October 2020

GK Chesterton on Nietzsche on Nietzsche's Birthday

"Other vague modern people take refuge in material metaphors; in fact, this is the chief mark of vague modern people. Not daring to define their doctrine of what is good, they use physical figures of speech without stint or shame, and , what is worst of all, seem to think these cheap analogies are exquisitely spiritual and superior to the old morality. Thus they think it intellectual to talk about things being 'high.' It is at least the reverse of intellectual; it is a mere phrase from a steeple or a weathercock. 'Tommy was a good boy' is a pure philosophical statement, worthy of Plato or Aquinas. 'Tommy lived the higher life' is a gross metaphor from a ten-foot rule.

This, incidentally, is almost the whole weakness of Nietzsche, whom some are representing as a bold and strong thinker. No one will deny that he was a poetical and suggestive thinker; but he was quite the reverse of strong. He was not at all bold. He never put his own meaning before himself in bald abstract words: as did Aristotle and Calvin, and even Karl Marx, the hard, fearless men of thought. Nietzsche always escaped a question by a physical metaphor, like a cheery minor port. He said, 'beyond good and evil,' because he had not the courage to say, 'more good than good and evil,' or, 'more evil than good and evil.' Had he faced his thought without metaphors, he would have seen that it was nonsense. So, when he describes his hero, he does not dare to say, 'the purer man,' or 'the happier man,' or 'the sadder man,' for all these are ideas; and ideas are alarming. He says 'the upper man.' or 'over man,' a physical metaphor from acrobats or alpine climbers. Nietzsche is truly a very timid thinker. He does not really know in the least what sort of man he wants evolution to produce" -- G.K. Chesterton, "Orthodoxy", Chapter 7

Both of the 1 inch [2.5cm] button badges above, are available here; 

Friday, 2 October 2020

Happy Birthday Mahatma Gandhi, Pro-Lifer inspired by GK Chesterton!

"Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on this day in 1869 and was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India's independence from British rule, and in turn inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world." Or so the internet says.

I only know that he was inspired by an article written by GK Chesterton, see Father Ian Ker's biography for details [see last post]. So wear Chesterton and Gandhi badges to inspire others. 

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Without Chesterton Would You Have Heard of Gandhi?

“In his Illustrated London News column of 2 October 1909, Chesterton addressed the question of Indian nationalism. “The test of a democracy is not whether the people vote,’ he argued, ‘but whether the people rule. The essence of a democracy is that the national tone and spirit of the typical citizen is apparent and striking in the actions of the state.’ And he thought that the principal weakness’ of Indian nationalists seeking independence was that their nationalism was not very Indian and not very national’. There is a difference between a conquered people demanding its own institutions and the same people demanding the institutions  of the conqueror. The article was read by Gandhi, who was in London at the time to press for ‘freer rights of residence, travel and trade  to members of the Indian diaspora in South Africa’, where he was then living He referred to the article in a dispatch he sent to the paper he had founded in Durban, Indian Opinion. This article for some reason did not appear until January of the following year. In the meantime Gandhi had responded to Chesterton’s criticism by completing in ten days, on board the ship that carried him back to South Africa, ‘an extended defence of the virtues of ancient Indian civilisation’. Written in Gandhi’s mother tongue, it was published under the title Hind Swaraj, and also in English under the title Indian Home Rule, in Durban in 1910. Apart from Gandhi’s two-volume autobiography and collections of articles and speeches, it was the only book qua book that Gandhi ever published.” From Fr Ian Ker's Biography, 'GK Chesterton', page 249 

I just noticed that this GKC article, that had such an impact on Gandhi was published on Gandhi's Birthday. See tomorrow's post. Chesterton and Gandhi badges here;

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Fight Back Against Anti-Christian Attacks, in a small way.

I saw an article online that said that 'Anarchists' had defaced a statue of St Boniface in Devon with anti-Christian graffiti. They wrote "God is Dead". I've noticed lots of other anti-Christian attacks all over the place. Churches burned or vandalised, statues attacked in lots of different ways in many different locations. Priests attacked and even killed while saying Mass. I'm sure that this is not new.

I can't protect every Church and religious statue in the world or even locally, but I can do something. Look around you next time you are out and about,

on a bus or train, in a coffee shop or better still a book shop [second-hand]. How many of the people that you see are obviously Christian? Sometimes you may spot a Priest or a Religious Sister, or see someone carrying/reading The Bible or some other religious book. I've seen people carrying small religious statues with them and even saw a chap 25 years ago walking around Kensington, West London, with an six foot white wooden cross over his shoulder. 

It was Friedrich Nietzsche, who died 25th August 1900, who famously said that, 'God is Dead'. I went and bought a small badge making machine. I shall be wearing a 'God's Not Dead' badge each year on the 25th August and again on 15th October, Nietzsche's Birthday. I've also made some other badges that may be a bit less 'boom!' I'm sure there are times when I won't be wearing a Christian badge, but there are lots of times when we all could. I'm selling some here. By all means, get a big wooden cross instead, or buy a badge or t-shirt from someone else, but wear something when you can.

Today is the anniversary of the death of St Therese, her Feast Day is 1st October [3rd October in the Old Rite] and I have seen one of her statues vandalised, so these badges are also available.

Monday, 28 September 2020

Commemorate the 53rd Anniversary of the Abortion Act

The 27th October 2020 will be the 53rd anniversary of the Abortion Act being passed in the UK. Millions of children have lost there lives as a result of this Act. Please join the Good Counsel Network's Day of Prayer and Fasting for Life on the day. Please see what public witnesses any Pro-Life groups will be having, if you are in London Good Counsel will has it's two normal daily Pro-Life vigils telephone them the week before just to confirm times. [Not in London see;]

Wear something Pro-Life on the day, I have badges if you don't have something already. You can see the post below for two other designs.