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Archive for May, 2006

I am posting this message from ISI Press without investigating any further than to verify that the links do indeed point to the materials advertised. Looks very interesting to say the least.

Maclin Horton

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Blending history, memoir, digressive literariness, and polemic–and ranging from Eugene  McCarthy to Easy Rider, from Robert Frost to Mother Jones, from Grant Wood to Dorothy  Day–Kauffman limns an alternative America that draws its breath from local cultures, traditional liberties, small-scale institutions, and neighborliness.

Here is the link to the press release on ISI’s website: 
http://www.isi.org/media/content/kauffman_5-15-06.pdf

We’ve also got a website and active blog that will tell you more about the book:
www.reactionaryradicals.com

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Over at Traditional Catholic Reflections, Melkite Catholic Fr. Emmanuel
Charles McCarthy offers a stinging rebuke to the Catholic bishops of the United
States
, who he accuses of moral laxity in applying the just war principles.
 
Fr. McCarthy is the father of the child who was healed through the
intercession of  Edith Stein (Sister Teresa Benedicta), which led to her
canonization.

Daniel Nichols

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As you have probably read, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written to President Bush:

"Liberalism and Western-style democracy have not been able to help
realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed.
Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and
fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems."

UPDATE: complete text of the letter here–thanks, ben.

Maclin Horton

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Praise God!  This is the son of Stephen Hand of TCRNews, who suffered a major brain injury. (You’ll need to scroll down to read the details.)

Maclin Horton

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What We Shall Be

Some fanciful thoughts, suggested by Sunday’s Gospel, about stuff we don’t know.

Maclin Horton

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Thomas Storck sends a link to an article of his at TCR News by way of response to the "Why I am not a conservative" discussion. I’m not free to read it at the moment but am posting it for discussion with confidence that it contains no pornography, blasphemy, etc. :-)

Maclin Horton

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Why I Am Not a Conservative

Last weekend I was talking with my friend, Will Hoyt, who some of you will remember as the author of Into the Rose, a very finely rendered essay about the naturalist John Muir–who Will argued convincingly was a mystic–which appeared in the Spring 1995 issue of Caelum et Terra.

Talking with Will one on one is a rare treat. When he questions you it is with genuine interest, and he seldom replies with anything but another question until he is satisfied that he has left no loose ends, no stone unturned, and you have demonstrated intellectual consistency.

The word "interrogation" comes to mind, though it implies hostile intent, and Will has none.

I find that this scrutiny clarifies my thought, and Sunday was no exception.

Why, Will, who does not call himself a conservative, asked, do you deny being a conservative? Conservatives honor the family, locality, and the moral tradition. So do you.

Well, I responded, some conservatives do honor these things, and I have a great deal of affinity with certain kinds of conservatives. But conservatism also implies a faith in the market and a bias toward corporate interests.

True, he said, there is that baggage, but isn’t that just one manifestation of valuing private property, as you certainly do?

Yes, but I don’t consider it an absolute. Conservatives generally resist any judicial restraint by the State over property rights, and indeed believe the State to be an evil, even if a necessary one. I, as a Catholic, believe the State to be a natural good, and the existence of evil states no more negates
this than the existence of evil families proves that the Family itself is evil.

And, I added, "conservative", at least in an American context implies some sort of assent to American exceptionalism, the messianic belief that America is the Greatest Nation on Earth, the destined model for mankind, which I deny.

Well, then, if you are not a conservative, what are you then?

The only label I will claim, I answered is that of "Catholic radical".

And what do you mean by that?

Not, I said, the popular definition of "extremist" but rather the literal meaning, which comes from the Latin radix, "root." To be a Catholic radical is to believe in a social order rooted in the Catholic moral vision, what John Paul II called "a Civilization of Love".

But couldn’t a conservative make the same claim?

Perhaps, but it would be a highly unusual type of conservative who could do so with any consistency. Priority of labor over capital, of peace over nationalism, justice over profit, and a fundamental regard for human solidarity are Catholic principles rarely encountered among conservatives.

It was at this point that I experienced the sort of flash of insight that Will’s questioning often triggers.

I think, I said, that I am a Catholic radical because that is the way of theosis, the growth into the Image of God, what the West calls the Imitation of Christ.

Jesus Christ could not remotely be described as a conservative (or for that matter, a liberal).

He had absolutely no respect for mere human tradition or social convention. He had no interest in conserving the existing order.

Rather, He turned the world upside down and inside out, contradicting human wisdom and challenging human assumptions at every turn.

Even the events of His life defy human expectation and the conventions of the Jewish world into which He was born.

The expected Son of royal David, heir to the throne of Israel?

He is born, not in a palace, but in a barnyard.

Deliverer of His oppressed people?

He spends much of His childhood as a refugee, and is Himself sentenced to death by the occupying power.

King of the Jews?

His only crown was of thorn, the only homage received was the soldiers’ mockery, and the only time the title of "King" is given Him it is a joke, nailed to the instrument of His death.

And so on.

When the Son of God became the Son of Man and walked among us, the only word for Him, for His message, and for the saving grace he gave is "radical".

And that is good enough for me.

Daniel Nichols

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It’s at BeliefNet. I’d read about it a week or two ago but just now got around to checking it out. I don’t have time at the moment to link to specific entries that might be of interest, but if you scroll down there are several discussing the reception of Crunchy Cons. Apparently First Things has panned it. Imagine that. Also, Daniel and others of or interested in the Eastern Church will be interested to learn that Rod is contemplating a move to Orthodoxy.

And have I mentioned the Contra-Crunchy Conservative blog? I haven’t actually read much of it but a couple of them (it’s a group blog) are over at Rod’s blog doing battle with him in the comments.

Maclin Horton

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Another long-humiliated minority begins to take a few hesitant steps out of the closet.

All right, I may as well confess: I’m one of them. We’re here, we’re sneered, we’re used to it.

Maclin Horton

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Interior Design Meets the Grim Reaper

Maclin Horton

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