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Archive for October, 2005

Rosa Parks, RIP

We got to live together.

Maclin Horton

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I don’t have time to read the whole thing, but am linking anyway because it’s certainly a topic of interest to CetT readers. At Mirror of Justice.

Maclin Horton

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Black Sabbath on a Friday Night

Hey, it’s all good.

Maclin Horton

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At long last, my iconography website is more or less completed. There is still a bit of fine tuning to be done (some things only another iconographer would notice) but it is pretty much viewable: www.eighthdayicons.com

Daniel Nichols

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Matthew 7:13

…wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to
destruction…

However, says the Sierra Club (according to the Discalced Yooper, aka commenter M.Z. Forrest), we don’t need to make it any broader.

Maclin Horton

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Day of Crankiness

I’ve mostly lost interest in griping about the liturgy. But I thought this at Mere Comments was funny. Sample:

On that day, Lord, when thou comest,
And our dreadful hymnals thumbest,
Smite the ugliest and dumbest.

It’s by Anthony Esolen, who’s no slouch of a versifier, having translated Dante–in rhyme, I believe, though I haven’t seen it.

Maclin Horton

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Hitchens, Franklin, and Our Sundered America

That would be Christopher and Benjamin, respectively.

Maclin Horton

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Just As American

The other day two gentlemen appeared at my front door. The more elderly one wore a grey suit and carried a Bible and a bunch of small plastic bags stuffed with handouts. The younger one wore a neat sports shirt and dress pants, and also carried bagged handouts.

They explained that they were from Cornerstone Baptist Church, here in Massillon, and they were going door to door inviting people to visit the church. I politely told them that I had a church home. When asked, I said that I attended a Byzantine Catholic church. I’m not sure they knew what that was, but
they acted like they did.

They invited me to visit Cornerstone Baptist Church some time, then handed me a bag. A pamphlet in the bag caught my eye, one with a bald eagle and a lot of stars and stripes on the cover. I opened the pamphlet and, skimming, saw that it was not a political tract at all, but an illustrated guide to salvation,
Baptist-style.

I told them that I thought it curious that the cover was so patriotic, when the contents were religious.

"Well, why not ?", the younger man said. "After all, I am just as American as I am saved."

"Really?", I said. "I’m way more saved than I am American."

Of course I don’t share the Baptist notion that one can possess absolute certainty of one’s eternal fate, but at that point I was simply speaking their language.

The elder man inquired whether I had, indeed, repented of my sins and turned to Christ. I assured him that I had.

The younger man asked what I meant about being more saved than American. I told him I thought Christian faith put one at odds with this nation [the older man agreed].

I wished them well, and they were off.

Now I have long known that Americans are confused, but this was the first time I had seen nationalistic symbols displayed when common sense would have suggested that Christian symbol–a cross or a Bible, say–might have belonged. And apparently without a touch of dissonance.

It reminded me of the Walker Percy novel Love in the Ruins, set at a time "near the end of the world", where there is an Americanist schism in the Catholic Church, which plays the national anthem at the consecration of the Eucharist.

Chesterton famously said that America is a nation with the soul of a church, which I don’t think he meant as a compliment. But have we reached a point where many Christian bodies are churches with nationalistic souls?

Faith and nationalism do get mixed up here; after all America is a kind of religion, with a credo that proclaims that we are a Sorta Chosen People, destined to bring Freedom and Democracy to the world, whether the world wants it or not, with Liberty and Justice and Always Low Prices for all, world without
end, amen.

One would think that Catholics, belonging to a Church whose very name means "Universal", who count as their brothers and sisters men and women and children of every race and nation, living under every form of government, would be immune to this sort of thing.

Alas, I’m afraid it is not so.

Too many Catholics are "just as American" as they are Catholic.

Daniel Nichols

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FYI, the discussion that started on the Go Read This post got accidentally diverted to the Sunday Night Journal (10/9). I don’t see any way to move them except by cut-and-paste, and as it’s late in what’s been a long day I’m just going to leave them there.

Maclin Horton

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What Was Caelum et Terra All About?

Something I’ve been wanting to bring up for a while. The whole thing being fundamentally Daniel’s baby, at least editorially speaking, he gets to have the definitive word on what he had in mind, but this is a sketch of what I thought (and think). Hasty and incomplete, but maybe useful for discussion.

Maclin Horton

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