Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Anti-Americanism at the Korean University

Hats off to The Party Pooper for exposing as myths some of the anti-American beliefs popular among Korean university students.

In Korean College Students Say the Darnedest Things, he deconstructs, if I may use that word, these four myths:
    1. America has killed more people in the 20th Century than Hitler, the USSR and even China.

    2. America has troops stationed in more countries than the Roman Empire did at the height of its power.

    3. The USA, in its relatively short history, has started almost 200 wars.

    4. America has killed nearly 17 million people around the world AFTER World War 2.

He does so by careful analysis, not out of blind nationalism.

I consider myself lucky to work at a university that prohibits any form of political expression among students (although a large anti-war display was allowed). The university I used to work for at times felt like it was loacted in Iran or Saudi Arabia, not in a country with a 50-year "blood alliance" with the United States.

The anti-Americanism at Korean universities is far worse than anything I experienced a decade ago as an exchange student at the University of Chile, where most students where members of the Communist Youth, la Jota (JJ.CC. - Juventudes Comunistas), and could complain of at least indirect US involvement in the overthrow of their beloved comandante presidente Salvador Allende. Many even lost relatives in Pinochet's coup d'etat. Yet, South Korea, a country that has received no little help from the US, has a much higher occurance of anti-Americanism.
The PM a Catholic?

From Regular at mass, communion from Pope. So why is Blair evasive about his faith?:
    "In 2003, when Tony and Cherie visited the Vatican, apart from the well-publicised formal meetings with the Pope in which the latter argued against attacking Iraq, there was one utterly private meeting. The Pope's secretary, Arch bishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, said a mass just for the two of them, and both received communion from him. The Pope would not have allowed that unless he was sure his visitor was, in his heart, a Roman Catholic."

The article mentions Northern Ireland as the reason. What it does not mention is that he is the man who chooses the (Anglican) Archbishop of Canterbury. This could be another reason for his evasiveness.
The Vatican at the UN

From At U.N., Vatican Condemns Human Cloning:
    "The Vatican, in its first speech ever to the U.N. General Assembly, called Wednesday for a total ban on human cloning and criticized the war in Iraq and unilateral responses to terrorism."
Week Five

From the Oremus Prayer Network's email reminder about the Novena of Weeks leading to Election Day:

    In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

    Holy Jesus,
    Forgive us for the sin of abortion in our land
    We are sorry for the pain that it brings to You,
    Your Mother,
    The innocent little babies,
    The parents who have been deceived.
    We are unworthy.

    Jesus, give to us a new heart.
    Help us, Lord.
    Lord, with Your Light,
    We will do everything possible to stop this evil.
    NOW, not later.
    We will speak up.
    We will vote prolife, and encourage everyone to do the same.
    Jesus, we will give.
    We will be generous to the pro-life leaders who need our assistance.
    NOW, not later.
    Jesus! We weep with Your Mother!
    Jesus! We weep with You.

Today's Saint

St. Jerome

From Olga's Gallery:

    Hieronymus Bosch. St. Jerome.
    Central panel. Oil on panel. Palazzo Ducale, Venice, Italy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Generation X and the Latin Mass

Youth behind resurgence of ancient Catholic ritual
(link via Dappled Things)
A Maryknoll Priest in Korea

From Korea's Turbulent Past Through the Eyes of a Foreign Priest:

    Fr. James P. Sinnott

From Woman who had five abortions says Project Rachel saved her:
    "Choice was exposed for what it is, giving the woman the right to end the life of her child. Having ended five lives, I concluded that I didn't deserve my own."
St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus on Film

‘Modernity’s Greatest Saint’
A Long Overdue Victory for Korean Survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bombs

From Court spares overseas hibakusha trips to Japan:

    Supporters of the late Choi Gye Chol,
    a South Korean victim of the 1945
    atomic bombing of Nagasaki, hold
    his portrait and a banner declaring
    victory for Choi outside the Nagasaki
    District Court.
The West to Blame for DPRK's Human Rights Violations!

Or so says South Korean Cheong Wook Sik, author of External Forces at Work in N. Koreans' Plight.
Forty-four Escape from the DPRK

Asylum seekers scale Canadian embassy wall
Sikh Security

From Sikh Group Finds Calling in Homeland Security:

    Mukta Kaur Khalsa, left, an
    official of the Sikh Dharma
    religious group, and Daya Singh
    Khalsa of Akal Security with
    President Bush last September.
    Akal has donated generously to
    political campaigns.

I knew a few American converts to Sikhism while living in Buffalo. They seemed to be seriously trying to adhere to the tenets of their adopted monotheistic faith, unlike many Americans or Canadians I've met who claim to be "converts" to Buddhism or Hinduism. These latter ones seem to want religion (or "spirtuality" as they call it) without any rules or effort.

Still, what a sad state the West is in when so many of its children are compelled to look to the East for spiritual fulfillment.
The View from Abroad

Guillaume Parmentier, director of the French Center on the United States, quoted in Kerry Is Widely Favored Abroad:
    "If foreigners could vote, there's no question what the result would be. Bush's image, even before the war in Iraq, was not good. The way he comports himself, the vocabulary he uses -- good versus evil, God and all that -- even his body language, most people think is not presidential... I've never seen such hostility."
The Simonas - Free At Last

From World Photos - AP:

    Simona Pari, left, and Simona Torretta smile upon their arrival
    at Rome's Ciampino military airport, late Tuesday night, Sept.
    28, 2004. The Italian women were kidnapped in Baghdad on
    Sept. 7, along with other two Iraqi aid workers.

[see also Chaldean Church helps free Italian hostages (link via TCR News Headlines)]
D minus 4

From Yahoo! News Photos - Pope John Paul II:

    Austrian Emperor Karl I is shown in this 1913
    file photo at the age of 26. On Sunday, Oct. 3,
    2004, Pope John Paul II will beatify Karl I,
    Austria's last reigning emperor.
Righteous Indignation

From Pope Denounces 'Imbalance' of Wealth:

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

An Orthodox Church in North Korea?

This link comes from reader Jason:

From NORTH KOREA: Will local Orthodox dare to regularly attend new church?:
One of the Stupidest Articles I've Seen in a Long Time

From Why do U.S. Conservatives and Progressives Share a Hatred of North Korea?:
    "Despite various good points we cannot ignore, the United States is a society in need of enlightenment in several ways. The rashness of first thinking that people in turbans and beards are terrorists, the simple mindedness of conceptualizing the world into a Christian 'civilization' and non-Christian 'anti-civilization,' and the dichotomy of regarding nations that are ideologically different from the United States as 'evil,' are examples of this."

The author, Kang In Kyu, is doing Ph.D. work in media studies at the University of Wisconsin. It seems he's had a bit too much American political correctness for his own good. His article is an excellent example of "Occidentalism."
"Progressive" South Koreans Turn Blind Eye Toward North

No Moral Qualms Over Poor Brethren in North
Anti-war Korean Catholic Monk

From Brother ends fast for withdrawal of South Korean troops from Iraq:
    "Marianist Brother John Kim Jae-bok said at a Sept. 21 press conference that now he would oppose the war in Iraq by organizing a campaign for a 'people's court' to try U.S. President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun for war crimes."

Many South Korean Catholic religious are highly politicized as a result of participation in the democratization movements of the 1980s. This era brought a lot of converts into the Church from leftist organizations, including ex-President Kim Dae-jung and current President Roh Moo-hyun (currently a lapsed Catholic). As a result of this politicization, a sizable portion of the mid-level Catholic leadership here holds somewhat leftist views, and even pro-North Korean views are not unknown.
Catholic Social Teaching

The Holy Father, quoted in Pope Denounces 'Imbalance' of Wealth:
    "The Catholic Church assures all its commitment to eradicating the scourge of hunger and the other consequences of poverty from the world."

From US asks Laos to probe alleged massacre of Hmong children:
    "According to Amnesty, the unarmed children, aged between 13 and 16, were mutilated before being killed. Four of the five were girls and were also reportedly raped. The assault was allegedly carried out by a group of approximately 30-40 soldiers."
Rumors of War

Re: North Korea Warns of War on Peninsula: North Korea Blames 'Hostile' U.S. Policy for 'Snowballing' Danger of War on Korean Peninsula

This kind of rhetoric from the DPRK is nothing new, although it does seem to be heating up to a worrisome degree lately.
Terri Schiavo

Here is the statement of Citizens United Resisting Euthanasia (CURE) regarding last week's tragic court decision in Florida: Kangaroo Courts Are Killer Courts

Monday, September 27, 2004

Kamikaze Survivors

Re: They've Outlived the Stigma: Once pariahs in Japan, 'kamikaze survivors' are now honored for their spirit of sacrifice. They resent being lumped in with suicide bombers.

Although it is true that the kamikazes attacked military, not civilian, targets, as suicide bombers do (and Truman did), their disregard for life cannot be justified. I don't buy their arguments, but here they are:
    • They were ready to die out of love for their country, they say; suicide bombers are driven by hatred and revenge.

    • The Shinto religion offers no reward of life after death. Islamic suicide bombers are promised a place in an afterlife.

    • They were volunteers, motivated solely by patriotism. Suicide bombers often are recruited by militia leaders who offer money to their families.
Baby Tamara's Discarded Siblings

From "Troubling" birth of designer baby:
    "Catholic moralists have raised concerns about designer babies, following the birth of the first child from frozen ovarian tissue in a process that involves the discarding of embryos without the desired qualities."
The Church and the West

Father Ron Rolheiser, from Church - - a sanctuary for our brokenness:
    "Western culture is to us, the Church, much like an adolescent child is to its parents. We gave it birth, helped raise it, and now, with a fierceness and anger that do not seem justifiable, it is asserting its independence from us, accusing us of being bad parents, and claiming it can find life only by moving away from us."
End of Blogfast

This is the third day at my in-laws' and I've decided to end my blogfast.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Chuseok Blogfast

From > The Korea Times > Photo Salon:

    Chusok celebration: Children dressed in hanbok, traditional Korean clothes,
    jump rope in front of the National Folk Museum inside Kyongbok Palace in
    central Seoul, Friday. People have begun leaving Seoul for their hometowns
    for the Sept. 25-29 Chusok holiday.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be leaving Pohang for my wife Hyunae's hometown of Ulsan. Like most Korean households, that of my in-laws' has high-speed Internet access, but this seems like a perfect time for a "blogfast." I first learned of "blogfasting" from Jeff Culbreath of El Camino Real. "Blogfasting" on certain days during Lent was also practiced by Gerard Serafin of A Catholic Blog for Lovers.

I'll be back in a few days. Until then, have a happy Chuseok, Yom Kippur, Zhongqiu Jie, Hounen-Odori, or Tet Trung Thu!
El Che on Film

    Gael García Bernal, driving, and Rodrigo de la Serna in Walter
    Salles's film "The Motorcycle Diaries."

Re: On the Road With Young Che

If The Motorcycle Diaries(2004) is anything near as well made as was director Walter Salles's Central do Brasil (1998) , it'll be a film worth watching, regardless of its sinister protagonist.

Several years ago, when a leaned a bit further to the left, I read the hagiographic Ernesto Guevara, también conocido como el Che:

This was one of the most interesting biographies I've ever read. Called by Jean-Paul Sartre "the most complete human being of our age," El Che was an iconic figure of the Twentieth Century who embraced a deeply twisted atheistic philosphy. He turned a blind eye to and even participated in much evil, and placed ideology above reason. Sartre was probably correct, but not in the way he intended; his statement can be read not as praise for a man, but as a condemnation of "our age."
American Cuisine

Here are some interesting statistics from As All-American as Egg Foo Yong:
    "There are now close to 36,000 Chinese restaurants in the United States... more than the number of McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King franchises combined.

    "39 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 13 who were surveyed said Chinese was their favorite type of food, compared to only 9 percent who chose American."

[link via]
Population Implosion

From Korea Faces Low Birth Rates, Aging Population:
    "When a society not only has a high number of older people and a decreasing number of younger people, but also has a shrinking population, it is doomed to stagnate and decline. When the numbers of people who can work, pay taxes or join the military decrease, while the numbers of people who live on pension and need medicare increase, a country cannot but have financial difficulties, a reduced scale of economy and a weakened constitution. In this respect, the country's population growth and birth rate serve as an indication that the country is on the verge of decline. If it does not act immediately to come up with drastic countermeasures, it will miss a chance to put breaks on its downward slide."

Friday, September 24, 2004

His Excellency Dr. Abel Pacheco de la Espriella, President of the Republic of Costa Rica

Re: President of Costa Rica puts forth initiative for international ban on human cloning

I recall reading a very moving account by Dr. Abel Pacheco of his meeting with the Holy Father. I could not find that document, but found two that show that Dr. Pacheco is not only a staunch pro-lifer, but perhaps a granola conservative as well:

Costa Rican President Abel Pacheco Receives Peace Prize Today in New York

Thank Costa Rica's President Pacheco for Protecting the Caribbean Coast from Oil Development
Florida Supreme Court Orders Starvation of Disabled Woman

Florida Supreme Court Strikes Down `Terri's Law'
The Queen of Salsa

Celia Cruz Removed From U.S. Blacklist (in 1965)
"A Nuclear Sea of Fire"

From Tensions rise as N Korea steps up rhetoric:

    "North Korea on Thursday warned it would turn Japan into a 'nuclear sea of fire' in the event of a war with the US, as evidence emerged that the communist state may be preparing to test a ballistic missile."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Pablo Neruda's Homes

Re: Poet's Pacific perch

Nobel Prize-winner Pablo Neruda was a commie and a notorious mujeriego (womanizer). And although often hailed as the greatest poet of the Twentieth Century in any language, his poetry never really aroused my interest while living in his country, Chile. He did, however, have excellent taste in architecture and interior design, and his three homes are among the most exquisite I have ever visited. The article above is a description of his home in Valparaíso, Chile, although the photo is of a different house in that mysterious and romantic city.

Here are links to pages with beautiful photos of Pablo Neruda's three homes:

More can be learned about the poet, en español, at la Fundación Pablo Neruda or in English at Pablo Neruda - The Academy of American Poets.
My Kind of South Korean

It can be discouraging living in South Korea these days, where the South Korean government and youth place appeasement of North Korea, under the so-called "Sunshine Policy," above the human rights of the suffering people of North Korea. Pictures like that of the gentleman below remind me that there are still right-thinking people in this country, even if most of them are in their 60s and 70s.

From North Korea may be preparing to test-fire missile: officials:

His sign reads:

"Overthrow Kim Jong Il
Abolish North Korean Nukes
Liberate the North Korean Brethren!"
Pray to God That This Is Not True

From Web Site Posting: 2 Italian Hostages Slain:

    "An Internet statement purportedly by a group which claimed to
    have kidnapped two Italian aid workers in Iraq said Wednesday
    it had killed the women. The Web site posting could not be
    immediately verified....

    "The Italians, Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, both 29, were
    seized from their Baghdad offices by armed militants on Sept. 7.
    They worked for 'Un Ponte Per ...' ('A Bridge to ...') and were
    involved in school and water projects in Iraq.

    "'We in the Jihad Organization of Iraq declared that the verdict of
    God Almighty [sic] against the two Italian prisoners has been
    carried out, by slaughtering them,' the statement said."
Big Government Killed the American Indian

From Donny Ferguson of DFO 2.0:
    "People have quickly forgotten that it wasn't 'the white man,' Christianity, 'Western culture' or another PC boogeyman who killed off the American Indian, it was government's unchecked monopoly on violence, its ability to transfer land and wealth on behalf of others and, finally, its power to declare you its ward and attempt to provide for your everyday needs. As Clare Booth Luce warned us, if you believe government can be a great and good father to the people, just take a look at what it's done to and for the American Indian."

[link via Fr. Jim Tucker of Dappled Things]
Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers Remembers His Mother and the War Dead

Photographs and Memories Never Die
Buchanan Rightly Defends Putin

The Useful Idiots of Osama bin Laden
Sidebar Fixed

I deleted a colon and my sidebar looks fine now. It always did on my iMac at home, but loaded funny on a PC. Go figure.
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

From Catholic News Service:

    Richard Phillips and Phillip White carry a banner honoring
    Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha in the Native Nations Procession
    on the National Mall in Washington Sept. 21. The procession
    marked the opening day of the new National Museum of the
    American Indian. Blessed Kateri, a 17th-century Mohawk and
    Algonquin Indian, was the first Native American to be
    beatified. (CNS photo by Paul Haring)

[For more, see Kaia'ta:ron Kateri Tekakwitha: Lily of the Mohawks (1656-1680)]
Secular Ceremonies?

Re: Mixed Blessings: Are secular life ceremonies the wave of the future?

Seems like an oxymoron to me.

[Another Korea] (91) Self-Reliance on Ideology

Juche is the state ideology of North Korea. It means "self-reliance" and is also known as "kimilsungism." I can't help but think of Ralph Waldo Emerson when I hear the term.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Prostitution in Korea

Check out The Marmot's Hole for an interesting analysis of the new laws regarding prostitution in Korea in a posting entitled Whoremongers, pimps beware!
Better Off Dead?

From Campaigners say all 'miracle babies' deserve to live:
    "Following a new study, which shows that 40 per cent of children born after less than 26 weeks in the womb, suffer learning and other disabilities in later life - and so would be 'better off dead' - campaigners say that they have as much right to life as others."
Political Homelessness

Re: True Conservatives Would Back Kerry

The author makes some good points, but ignores social issues. It is true that fiscally, President Bush has "bled the Treasury dry." If we look at the economy, "[m]ore than a million jobs have been lost since the end of the prosperous Clinton era." In terms of foreign policy, President Bush has gone from a candidate who was against "nation-building" to the would-be builder of two nations.

I disagree with the author's main contention, though. "True conservatives" are repulsed by Senator Kerry's unwavering support for abortion and his internationalism.

Thus, "true conservatives," especially Catholic conservatives, remain essentially "poltically homeless," echoing the words of Chuck D: "Neither party is mine: not the jackass nor the elephant."
Victim of the "Sunshine Policy"

Re: Abducted South Koreans' Kin Fault Seoul for Failure to Act

Japan has spared no effort to free its 15 citzens abducted by North Korea. South Korea, in contrast, has done little or nothing to free its 486 kidnapped citizens for fear of "damage to the historic détente now burgeoning between the capitalist South and the communist North."
Real Science vs. Pseudo-Science (aka "Social" Science)

From Intellectual Morons:
    "Stephen Hawkins' abandonment of his own theory in favor of truth exemplifies the scholar's commitment to his professional creed. [Noam] Chomsky, [Paul] Ehrlich, [Alfred Kinsey] and other intellectual morons' commitment to bad ideas at the expense of truth demonstrates their abandonment of it."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Ugly Truth

Health risks of the homosexual lifestyle

[link via Catholic and Enjoying It!]

(Please remember, Catholics make a distinction between those who have homosexual tendencies, which, like any other tendency, can be overcome by the Grace of God, and those who indulge in the homosexual lifestyle.)
Something Good to Say about North Koreans

Re: Sex Scenes Shock Pyongyang Filmgoers

At least North Koreans are still modest, although the means by which this modesty has been maitained are horrendously oppressive and cannot be in any way condoned.
The Gospel of Prosperity

Re: TBN's Promise: Send Money and See Riches

This heretical teaching was hugely popular among the Chinese-Malaysian Pentacostals I knew in that country. I don't think it's really that big here in Korea. Although Korean Protestants (mostly Presbyterians) worship like Pentacostals, I don't think they believe in the same way.
Lying Imam

Re: Ohio Imam Gets Two Months in Prison

The Jihad's useful idiots in the US will decry this as religious persecution.
Orthodox Alaska

From Religious legacy lives on in Alaska:
    "[I]t's in the native Alaskan villages where that faith is still strongest."

The article provides a link to the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska, the largest church in the state. A while ago, El Camino Real provided a link to St.John's: An Alaskan Orthodox Christian Community, which could and should serve as a model for similar Catholic communities.
The Anti-People People's Republic

From Couple Fined $94,000 for One-Child Rule Lapse:
    "A court in China's southern boomtown of Shenzhen has fined a couple 780,000 yuan ($94,250) and sealed off their house for having more than one child, the Beijing Morning Post said Monday."
Start 'Em Young

New textbook for young philosophers provides a review of Philosophy for AS and A2.
¡Viva Chile!

Re: The Traveller's Guide To Chile's Wine Regions

Of the sixteen countries I've had a chance to visit, Chile is the most beautiful. The country produces the world's best bargains when it comes to wine. If its land and wines were not enough, Chile boasts of a conservative Catholic culture! I was there last in 1995 and hope to return someday soon.
Dalai Lama: Progressive Pacifist

Re: 13,000 hear Dalai Lama decry war as 'out of date'

The Dalai Lamas' argument is a flawed progressive one. It implies that war was once "up to date" and the humans have progressed beyond it somehow. Pure pacifism is a sounder argument, implying that war is, was, and ever shall be wrong. Better yet is the Just War Doctrine, which, while stating that war should be avoided, says that it is sometimes necessary.
Savagery Fatigue

Re: Zarqawi Group Beheads U.S. Hostage Armstrong

Disturbingly, these beheadings are becoming so commonplace that we are in danger of developing "savagery fatigue." Our humanity requires us to guard aganst this.

Eugene Armstrong, requiescat in pace.
Leave No Man Behind

Re: Long-lost soldier from Korean War to be laid to rest

The ceaseless effort the United States expends to recover its war dead is a testament to our country's Christian heritage. Burying the dead is one of the corporal acts of mercy. The North Koreans must be perplexed and probably think us fools.

Monday, September 20, 2004

The Smiling Face of Evil

Late Term Abortion Care - Women's Health Care Services, P.A. is the website of an abortuary that cares. They bill themselves as "Specialists in 2nd Trimester Elective and 2nd/3rd Trimester Therapeutic Abortion Care [sic]."

They even have a chaplain (see Meet Our Chaplain):

The Rev. George Gardner assures us that "[s]piritually, abortion is acceptable in ten of the world's religions and in Christianity many denominations affirm and uphold the right of a woman to make the choice of abortion." His services include "the celebration of spiritual sacraments such as baptism [sic] of the still born fetus and blessings for the aborted fetus."

[At this point, one might ask, does not the woman who aborted her child need the services of some kind of chaplain. Of course she does! "Abortion has two victims: One dead, one wounded." The wounded victim does not need someone to lie to her and say that her decision to kill was "spritually acceptable." Above all, if she is Catholic, she needs the Sacrament of Reconciliation (provided that she did not go ahead with her abortion in full knowledge that the penalty for abortion was excommunication). If she is a non-Catholic, she needs whatever spiritual assistance her religion can give. If she's non-religious, she probably won't admit the need for any assistance. All women could benefit from the services of organizations like Rachel's Vineyard, "a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion."]

The link to the abortuary above came to my attention from Mrs. Anne Shirley of Ruminations, who aptly described it as "chilling." She also provides a link to a pro-life site called Abortion No - The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform. Take a look at their anti-Abortion Trucks! This kind of in-your-face tactic is just what is needed on the issue of abortion.

Katolik Shinja is visited by some non-Catholics (and maybe some non-orthodox Catholics) who might think that abortion is a "complicated issue." It would be good for them to view the little mutilated bodies in the Abortion Pictures from the same site to see how simple the issue really is.

As Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, "If abortion is not wrong, nothing is wrong."
Chuseok & Christianity

From Christianity, Modernization Ease Traditional Ancestor Worship:
    "'We haven't had the traditional memorial service for the past five generations in our family,' Kim, a 25-year-old office worker, said. 'Ever since our family members became Catholics, we simply prayed for our ancestors before having a big family meal on traditional holidays.'"

Next week is Chuseok (추석 秋夕), the biggest Korean holiday, which marks the Harvest Moon like Rosh Hashanah. The high point of the holiday is a sacrificial meal offered for ancestors, known in Korean as charye (차례 茶禮). This sacrifical meal was originally banned by Catholics and allowed by Protestants, although both have reversed their original positions; i.e., Catholics now allow it while Protestants don't. Converts to Catholicism are often relieved that they will be able to participate in the charye, as failure to do so often creates strife in families, which occurs in many Protestant families.

Confucius himself, in his Analects, stated that this rite is a mere formality, that the spirits of the ancestors are not present at the sacrificial meal. It is instead merely a sign of respect for, not worship of, one's ancestors. Given this understanding of the rite, I see no problem in participating in it, especially when accompanied by Christian prayer.

[link to article via Budaechigae]
A Daring New History

“Viewing Late Joseon through the Lens of Quantitative History,” reviewed in The Fall of the Joseon Dynasty Began with Its Economy, dares to argue something unmentionable to Korea's nationalistic historians: "that Korea’s modernization properly began during the Japanese colonial era."
Culture of Death in the UK

From Revealed: full scale of euthanasia in Britain: Fury as number of 'assisted deaths' claimed to be 18,000:
    "'If you extrapolate from countries that have published data, you're looking at quite a large number of patients who may have had their end hastened, not necessarily with their consent.'"
Memorial of the Korean Martyrs

From Martyrs of Korea:

From Saint Paul Chong Hasang:

From Saint Andrew Kim Taegon:

    "O God, You have created all nations and You are their salvation. In the land of Korea Your call to Catholic faith formed a people of adoption, whose growth You nurtured by the blood of Andrew, Paul and their companions. Through their martyrdom and their intercession grant us strength that we too may remain faithful to your commandments even until death. Amen"

    "The Korean Church is unique because it was founded entirely by laypeople. This fledgling Church, so young and yet so strong in faith, withstood wave after wave of fierce persecution. Thus, in less than a century, it could boast of 10,000 martyrs. The death of these many martyrs became the leaven of the Church and led to today's splendid flowering of the Church in Korea. Even today their undying spirit sustains the Christians of the Church of Silence in the north of this tragically divided land."

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Beslan: Viktoria Ktsoyeva's Faith

From Girl clutching cross in photo tells about talisman:

[link via Precinct 333 by way of Catholic and Enjoying It!]

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Beslan, Rape, and Islam

    "The media in the United States have been oddly fastidious in failing to report one aspect of last week’s horror in Beslan: that several Russian girls were raped by Muslim terrorists in front of their parents and classmates. The failure to report rapes in the Russian school was at odds with the eagerness of American journalists, a decade ago, to report ad nauseam on the entirely fictitious 'rape camps' supposedly run by Bosnian Serbs in which Muslim women were allegedly subjected to similar degradation....

    "The behavior of Chechen terrorists in Beslan, disgusting in every gory detail by the standards of civilized humanity, was justified by the tenets of Islam and by the personal example of the cult’s inventor, Muhammad." [my emphasis]

Read the above article to learn of the rapes committed by Muhammad and his followers, detailed in the Qu'ran itself, including the rape of the nine-year old Aisha by the "Prophet" himself.

Here's some more information on what happened during the atrocity at Beslan, from THEY KNIFED BABIES, THEY RAPED GIRLS:
    "[I]t was revealed that an 18-month-old baby had been repeatedly stabbed by a black-clad terrorist who had run out of ammunition....

    "Other survivors told how screaming teenage girls were dragged into rooms adjoining the gymnasium where they were being held and raped by their Chechen captors who chillingly made a video film of their appalling exploits.

    "They said children were forced to drink their own urine and eat the petals off the flowers they had brought their teachers after nearly three days without food or water in the stifling hot gym."

And this, straight out of Sophie's Choice:
    "A YOUNG mother told how she was released early with her two-month-old daughter - but her five-year-old son was forced to stay.

    "Salimat Suleimanova said: 'I begged them on my knees to let me take Shamil out with me, but they wouldn't - now I don't know where he is.

    '"It was his first day at school.'

    "She is overwhelmed by guilt for coming out with her baby daughter.

    "'They didn't allow me to go back and say goodbye to my little boy,' she said."
Novus Ordo Mundi

    "The New World Order continues its march to eliminate the last vestiges of nationality and Christianity. In the European Parliament, deputies from Britain and the Netherlands recently expressed outrage that the government of Portugal had the gall to deport Dutch homicidal maniacs who had entered Portugese waters in a boat for the sole purpose of handing out abortion pills. Portugal should be punished, they shrieked. A Polish deputy made the counter-proposal that the EU should ban abortion. I think the Poles have begun to realize into what a nest of vipers they have entered. Perhaps EU countries with some residual Christianity—Portugal, Poland, Slovakia—should form a faction."

Blessed Emperor Charles of Austria!

Re: Pope to beatify emperer Charles of Austria and two Frenchmen

More information on His Imperial and Royal Majesty can be found at this site, Charles of Austria Beatification Site, from where this photo comes:

The Cult of the Great Leader

From God is dead. Long live Kim Il Sung: In a country where Christianity once flourished, the Great Leader stands at the pinnacle of a religious mythology with its own Holy Trinity.:
    "In a country where Christianity flourished after the arrival of the first Protestant missionaries in 1885, Kim Il Sung's policy of Juche, or self-reliance, introduced an elaborate religious mythology around a Juche Holy Trinity that placed the Great Leader at the pinnacle. His mother, Kim Jung Sook, and his son, the current leader Kim Jong Il (aka Dear Leader), form the other members of the holy family worshipped by North Koreans - the majority of whom have never heard of Jesus. Following the introduction of the Juche policy, all religions were banned in a country where until 1950, according to some estimates, there were 2,850 churches, 700 pastors and 300,000 Christians."
Beslan: Sacha's Witness

From Slaughter of Beslan children done as murderers shouted “God is Great”, says theologian:
    "Sacha, a 13-year-old boy, was among the children taken hostage in the school. He wore a cross around his neck. When one of the terrorist saw it, the man turned his gun towards the boy and shouted: 'Pray!' Sacha reacted by shouting 'Christ is risen!' and escaped through a window."
A Gypsy Blessed

Today, I thought of my grandmother (may she rest in peace), who was a Hungarian Gyspy. This lead me to search for the existence of a patron saint for Gypsies. After sifting through some false leads, like Black Sarah Gypsy Pilgrimage and KALI-SARA - QUEEN OF GYPSIES, I came across Blessed Ceferino Giménez Malla. Here's a photo of him from CEFERINO JIMENEZ MALLA:

And here's some biographical information from Blessed Ceferino Giménez Malla (1861-1936) :
    "The first Gypsy to be beatified was a martyr and a Secular Franciscan.

    "Ceferino was born in Fraga (Spain). He had a successful business, buying and selling horses. Ceferino and his wife had no children though they adopted one of his wife’s nieces. He attended Mass frequently and joined the Secular Franciscan Order. Always generous to the poor, he was known as a reconciler among Gypsies.

    "During the Spanish Civil War, he was arrested for defending a priest who had been dragged through the streets of Barbastro and for having a rosary. As the firing squad prepared to kill him, Ceferino clutched his rosary and cried out, "Viva Cristo Rey!" (Long live Christ the King!) When he was beatified in 1997, thousands of Gypsies attended the ceremony."

I assume it was the Republicans who killed him. The Nationalists wouldn't have killed anyone for defending a priest or having a rosary.

Blessed Ceferino Giménez Malla, pray for my grandmother and for us.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Sikhs in Northern California (My Home away from Home away from Home)

From Deputy speaker of Parliament in India visits:

    Didar Singh Bains, right, of Yuba City and Chanranjit
    Singh Atwal, speaker of Indian Parliament, pray
    Wednesday before the Guru Granth Sahib anniversary
    program at the Capitol.

Sikhs are commemorating not only "the 400th anniversary of the placement of Sikhism's most sacred book in the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India," but also "the 100th anniversary of Sikhs' arrival in the U.S. and California."
Down With Kim Jong-il!

From Top Stories Photos - Reuters:

    South Korean protesters wave flags during an anti-North Korea
    rally near parliament in Seoul September 17, 2004. South Korea's
    latest assessment of a widely reported explosion in North Korea
    last week is that there was no blast at all at the suspected site, a
    vice minister said on Friday. Seismic signals and strange cloud
    formations picked up last week were not from an explosion, vice
    minister of unification, Rhee Bong-jo, told reporters.
    (Lee Jae-Won/Reuters)
Indian Bibles

From the Catholic News Service Homepage:

    Bibles decorated with beads and leather are
    displayed at the new National Museum of the
    American Indian, which opens on the National
    Mall in Washington Sept. 21. The museum
    includes an exhibit of 200 editions of the Bible,
    including translations into more than 175
    Indian languages. (CNS photo by Paul Haring)

[see also New Museum of the American Indian Focuses on Spirituality]
Why US (and Korean) Troops Should Not Pull Out of Iraq, and the Role of Christians in that Country

Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk, quoted in Iraqi bishop says U.S., allies must save nation's fledgling democracy:
    "I think the United States and its allies have a responsibility to make every effort to put an end to this absurd situation, saving the democratic and representative model that will allow Christians to educate Iraqis in the culture of peace, dialogue and mutual respect....

    "In the current situation, Christians form an indispensable elite in the region, given their technical and moral formation and their sense of tolerance," he said.

    "Christians are an important element of that culture of dialogue and reconciliation which is the necessary condition for peace."
I Guess the Judge Couldn't "Understand His Situation"

Re: Congolese Gets 10 Years for Burglary

Had I been the man's lawyer, I would have argued his case like this:
    "Your Honors (Korea does not use the jury system), my client is a Congolese; the alleged 'victim,' the Beligian Ambassador, a man who represents the country that so cruely colonized the land we now call Congo. My client is suffering from 'post-colonial stress disorder,' a syndrome you Koreans can well understand, having suffered as you have 35 years of brutal Japanese rule. Your Honors, I ask you to 'understand my client's situation' and set him free!"

One of the things that most frustrates the Westerner living in Korea is that when some wrong is committed against the Westerner by a Korean, the Westerner is often told, "You must understand his (the perpetrator's) situation." I was given this line several years ago after being threatened with an attack by a drunk chair-wielding student: a university official told me that I had to understand the student's situation; his sister was dating a Japanese man and this caused him much stress.
Korean Baby Bust: Making Babies Is Patriotic

From [Opinion] Population Crisis:
    "For countries where population is the only 'natural resource,' a low birth rate is a crisis. It seems that giving birth has to be made into an act of patriotism. Not distinguishing daughters and sons should be considered as a 'democratization movement' in order to prevent political domination by the socially discontented."
Linguistic News

From Experts Study New Sign Language System:
    "A new system of sign language developed by deaf children in Nicaragua may hold clues about the evolution of languages.

    "That method of communicating now shows similarities to other languages, researchers say in Thursday's issue of the journal Science.

    "Language experts have argued for years about whether the basic traits of all languages are hard-wired in the human brain or have developed by trial and error over the years."
The study also mentions Korean:
    "The mothers in every country reported that their children learned significantly more nouns than other types of words. The researchers said this held true regardless of whether the language emphasized nouns, as does American English, or verbs, as does Korean."

[see also Babies Learn to Speak the Same Way, Regardless of Language]
The Future Is Here!

From The world's most connected place:
    "South Korea is the most connected, high-speed Internet country in the world -- and the technology is having a broad impact on society, providing hints of what may come in North America as speeds and use increase."
"The New Rebels"

From Family Size and the New Evangelization:
    "Because it is hard to stand out in this day and age, more traditional rebellious behaviors have become mainstream, while traditional family activities and attitudes have become counter-cultural."
A Campaign Ad

Via Catholic and Enjoying It!:

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Nuclear Korean Peninsula

From Seoul's clean nuclear record:
A Korean Political Cartoon

[Cartoon] 'I'm a Robber': Artist Kim Hong Mo condenses the frustration of many Koreans about U.S. foreign policy

[Note: Cartoon removed from this site due to size. Link still works.]

From [Photo]Ways of the wise

    Sungkyunkwan University students commemorating Confucius and other prominent scholars yesterday at the Seonggyungwan, the leading Confucian school during the Joseon Dynasty. By Choi Jeong-dong

The Traditionalist Conservatism Page has an excellent assessment of Confucianism entitled Confucius Today. The page also offers links to this excellent resource: Chinese Cultural Studies: Texts.
Mr. Bush & the DPRK

From What Bush Did Right on North Korea:
    "Mr. Kerry and others who insist that the administration does not have a North Korea policy are wrong. There is a policy - it's just one they don't like."

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Sixth Commandment

Re: Adultery a Crime? The Turks Think Again and Say No

Adultery is still a crime here in South Korea, and well it should be.
Love Hotels and Market Forces

Love Hotels, for those not familiar with Korea, are establishments that cater to couples looking to rent a room for an hour or two. The are usually located near bus or train stations in seedy neighborhoods that are home to "Room Salons" and other fronts for prostitution. The church where I was received into the Catholic Church two years ago was the solitary point of light in such a neighborhood.

In recent years, the Love Hotel industry has boomed. Some have spread to residential neighborhoods, and even near elementary schools, prompting the protests of angry mothers. The government responded by barring such "entertainment facilities" from operating within 200 meters of public schools.

The government's move has caused the indignation of Scott Fallis, who, in an op-ed piece entitled Love Hotels, agrues that "market forces, not angry women, [should] dictate the kinds of businesses that flourish in their communities."

I reject Mr. Fallis's argument. This kind of idealistic capitalism puts materialist economic forces ahead of people, family, and community. This type of capitalism is as bad as socialism.

Orthodox bishop proposes building church in place of Beslan school

And from The Caucasus, a religious powder keg after Beslan: The Christian witness of an evangelical pastor who, after losing two daughters, calls for forgiveness.:
    "Zalina, who was a hostage in the school, lost a son. She relates how in the first days, as terrorists started killing some adults, children began praying aloud to beg them to stop. 'A woman with a gun and explosives attached to her waist then came in,' she recalls. 'She went to the children and told them "Stop praying to your God! Start praying to Allah!”'"

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

You Know You're Middle-Aged When...

Grandmaster Flash Nominated for Rock Hall
ROK Nukes

Re: South Korean nuclear test 'is worrying'

Not to me it ain't. DPRK? Now that's a whole 'nother story.
Those "Progressive" Dutch

Re: Line Blurring Between Dutch and Nazi Euthanasia

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil." ( Isaiah V:20)

Monday, September 13, 2004

¡Viva la plaza!

Re: Mexico and Mexicans

Having spent more than a year in Chile, and having traveled extensively throughout Central and South America (including two months in Mexico and Guatemala), I agree with Fred Reed, author of the above article, that "Latin societies are more livable if less prosperous than ours." He writes:
    "Mexicans and gringos have distinctly different views of the United States. An American explaining the attractiveness of his country will usually say, 'I have a big house in the suburbs, three cars, a home theater, and 300 channels on the cable. I can drink the water, and in the mall I can buy anything, absolutely anything.' He may talk of freedom and democracy, often having only the vaguest idea of whether he actually has them or what conditions might be in other countries.

    "A Mexican is more likely to say, 'They are such a cold people. They don't know their neighbors. They don't know their children. They have no fiestas. Rules and being on time are more important to them than other people. They have no religion.' (To a robust Catholic, bland agnostic Protestantism isn't detectibly a religion.) Democracy means little to an illegal with a second-grade education; in any event, Mexico is probably as democratic as the United States. He knows the government left him alone in Mexico, which is his definition of freedom. And mine."

The author of the above leaves out one fundamental aspect of Latin society. One thing that does not exist in Anglo American (or Asian) cities or towns but that exists in every Latin American capital city or remote village is the plaza (called a zócalo in Mexico). The plaza usually has on two of its sides the seats of temporal and eternal power: the presidential palace or mayor's residence on one side, the national cathedral or village church on another. The plaza is a place were all the citizenry can meet, to buy ice-cream or food from street vendors, to watch performamces, to play dominoes or chess, or simply to people-watch (I don't know how many hours I spent in Santiago's Plaza de Armas doing just that). The plaza provides much more than a place for diversion, however; it provides a sense of community sorely lacking in Asian or American cities.

Asian and North American cities suffer from a dearth of public spaces. New York has its beautiful Central Park, but it encourages too much solitude (not a bad thing, mind you, but different from community). Seoul has its Pagoda Park, but it is the domain of elderly men; the plazas of the Latin World are multi-generational, as is much of Latin culture and society.

Every city in the world would do well to have a plaza.

¡Viva la plaza!

[link to article via A conservative blog for peace]
Solzhenitsyn on Human Rights and Responsibilties

From Text of Address by Alexander Solzhenitsyn at Harvard Class Day Afternoon Exercises, Thursday, June 8, 1978:
    "[I]n early democracies, as in American democracy at the time of its birth, all individual human rights were granted because man is God's creature. That is, freedom was given to the individual conditionally, in the assumption of his constant religious responsibility. Such was the heritage of the preceding thousand years. Two hundred or even fifty years ago, it would have seemed quite impossible, in America, that an individual could be granted boundless freedom simply for the satisfaction of his instincts or whims. Subsequently, however, all such limitations were discarded everywhere in the West; a total liberation occurred from the moral heritage of Christian centuries with their great reserves of mercy and sacrifice. State systems were becoming increasingly and totally materialistic. The West ended up by truly enforcing human rights, sometimes even excessively, but man's sense of responsibility to God and society grew dimmer and dimmer. In the past decades, the legalistically selfish aspect of Western approach and thinking has reached its final dimension and the world wound up in a harsh spiritual crisis and a political impasse. All the glorified technological achievements of Progress, including the conquest of outer space, do not redeem the Twentieth century's moral poverty which no one could imagine even as late as in the Nineteenth Century."

[link via the Traditionalist Conservatism Page]
Solzhenitsyn on Law, Crime, and Terror

From Text of Address by Alexander Solzhenitsyn at Harvard Class Day Afternoon Exercises, Thursday, June 8, 1978:
    " Legal frames (especially in the United States) are broad enough to encourage not only individual freedom but also certain individual crimes. The culprit can go unpunished or obtain undeserved leniency with the support of thousands of public defenders. When a government starts an earnest fight against terrorism, public opinion immediately accuses it of violating the terrorists' civil rights. There are many such cases.

    "Such a tilt of freedom in the direction of evil has come about gradually but it was evidently born primarily out of a humanistic and benevolent concept according to which there is no evil inherent to human nature; the world belongs to mankind and all the defects of life are caused by wrong social systems which must be corrected."

[link via the Traditionalist Conservatism Page]
Terri Schiavo

From Appeal to the Holy Father on behalf of Terri Schiavo:
    "Terri is not dying nor is she terminally ill. Neither is Terri in a "persistent vegetative state" according to two respected neurological and radiological specialists. Terri is clearly responsive and acutely joyful at the presence of her family whenever they are near her. Yet, she is in grave danger of starvation and dehydration simply because her husband wants her to die."
Nobel Prize-winner Calls for Destruction of Saudi Arabia and Iran

Re: Destroy countries inciting jihad: Naipaul

Choice quotes from Sir Vidia:
    "Hate oppression, but fear the oppressed.

    "We are told the people who killed the children in Russia were smiling. The liberal voices were ready to explain the reasons for their actions. But this has no good side. It is as bad as it appears.

    "Well, clearly Iraq is not the place to have gone. But religious war is so threatening to the rest of us that it cannot be avoided.

    "It will have to be fought... there are certain countries which foment it, and they probably should be destroyed, actually.

    "The blowing up of the twin towers; people could deal with it as an act of terror, but the idea of religious war is too frightening for people to manage. The word used is jihad. We like to translate it as holy war, but really it is religious war."

One of the readings I use with my Freshman English classes here in Korea comes from Sir V.S. Naipaul's book Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey (whose back cover incomprehensibly labels the author "a Tolstoyan spirit"). The reading is a conversation between the author and Shafi, a young Muslim Malay from the country who has moved to Kuala Lumpur. Shafi finds his rural and conservative Islam to be his only comfort in a materialistic, wasteful, and immoral modern city. [I spent over a year in beautiful cosmopolitan KL and can vouch for that description of the city.]

Sir V.S. Naipual strikes a very anti-Traditionalist tone in ridiculing Shafi's beliefs. In post-reading discussions, I usually find two or three students in each class who share the Traditionalist ideas of Shafi and myself, while the vast majority side with the Modernist attitudes of Sir Vidia.

I have used some of V.S. Naipaul's other anti-Islamic statements to teach my students to identify biases in writing. The above material will also be useful.

That said, I have to agree with much of what Sir Vidia says: "[C]learly Iraq is not the place to have gone." He is also right to assert that liberals have no explanation for smiling killers of children and that "[i]t is as bad as it appears." [Conservatives, in contrast, do have an explanation for the smiling killers of children: Evil.]

Sir Vidia might also be right about an upcoming religious war. If this occurs, Christendom should follow her tradition of the Just War, as outined in Paragraph 2309 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
    "The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:

    "- the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

    "- all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

    "- there must be serious prospects of success;

    "- the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

    "These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the 'just war' doctrine.

    "The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good."

[link to article via A conservative blog for peace]
A New Blog

Mr. Tracy Fennel, of the great state of Texas, has a new blog by the name of Nosce Te Ipsvm. It's refreshing to learn that I am not the only Catholic convert blogger with a taste for ska and Rennaissance music.
Contemplation, Communion, Mission

John Paul II Sees 3 Imperatives for Christians

Sunday, September 12, 2004

NK Nukes

Re: US wonders if North Korea is preparing for nuclear test

Today's false alarm notwithstanding (see posts below), it looks like the Korean peninsula will soon turn into a much more dangerous place.
The 51st State

From State of Jefferson Home:

[link via El Camino Real]
Olavo de Carvalho

Sapientiam Autem Non Vincit Malitia is the homepage of Brazilian Traditionalist Philosopher Olavo de Carvalho. There isn't much updated material in English, but there's much more em português or en español.

[link via Traditionalist Conservatism Page]

From AFP Top Photos:

    Icon reflection : Relatives of killed hostages
    are reflected in an icon displayed in the
    destroyed school gymnasium in Beslan.
    (AFP/Yuri Tutov)
Where's the Fatwa?

Re: "To Disarm Terror -- A Role for Believers": Cardinal Kasper's Address at Milan Meeting & Don't Use Faith to Justify Terrorism, Urges Archbishop

It's good that the Catholic Cardinal and the Anglican Archbishop are speaking about terrorism, but I doubt their message will reach its intended audience. I don't recall any recent acts of terror being done in the name of Catholicism or Anglicanism. What's needed is a fatwa against terrorism from a Muslim Mufti or Imam (or any Muslim; from what I understand, just about anyone can issue a fatwa). A fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie; why can't one be issued against those the kill children in the name of Islam?
"Ivan the Terrible"
"New Tridentine Eye-Candy"

From The Latin Mass Society of England & Wales:

[link and post title via the Shrine of the Holy Whapping]

Both The Party Pooper and BigHominid's Hairy Chasms have well nuanced postings on the post-911 world and the upcoming US elections.
Sgt. Jenkins

From 'Deserter' surrenders at U.S. base:

    "Sir, I'm Sgt. Jenkins, and I'm reporting."

[link via NKZone]
NK Blast

From Nature of Blast in N. Korea Unclear: U.S. Diplomatic Sources:
    "A diplomatic source here said a huge explosion reported to have occurred in North Korea appears not to be a nuclear weapons test, but said it remains unclear whether it was a natural disaster or an accident.

    "Another source raised the possibility of a forest fire, citing huge clouds of smoke, and added that there is a rumor that the explosion occurred near the Demilitarized Zone, not the northernmost province of Yanggang as reported."
NK Nuke?

From CNN reporter Rebecca MacKinnon's blog: Did North Korea Just Test a Nuke?
More Just In

From Mushroom Cloud Spotted in North Korean Border: Seoul source:
    "'The Sept. 9 explosion occurred at around 11 a.m. But it is not clear yet whether the explosion is related to an intentional nuclear experiment or a simple accident,' said the source."
Just In!

From (URGENT) NK explosion-mushroom cloud:
    "A reliable source in Seoul's diplomatic community says Sunday a mushroom cloud with a radius of 3.5 to 4 kilometers was spotted in Kimhyongjik County in North Korea's northernmost inland province of Yanggang on Sept. 9."
Explosion in North Korea

My wife just told me that South Korean television is reporting "breaking news" that a very large explosion was detected in North Korea by American satellites. Could this be the much-awaited North Korean nuclear test? No word yet on CNN.
The Cost of Female Feticide in Korea

Gender Imbalance of Birth Exacerbates Again
Peter VII, Patriarch of Alexandria, Requiescat in Pace

Orthodox Church leader dies in helicopter accident & Patriarch Petros: Architect of revival
Repression in Red China

From Vatican Says China 'Once Again' Abusing Catholics:
    "China does not allow its Catholics to recognize the Pope's authority and forces Christians to belong to state-backed patriotic associations if they want to worship openly."

Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Case for Michael Peroutka

The Peroutka Alternative

What Eastern Orthodoxy Offers the West


While not once mentioning Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Srdja Trifkovic in his article has done a lot to help me understand the great Russian's idea that salvation for the West (and the world) lies in Russia. Ut unum sint.
Passion Myths Dispelled

From The Triumph of Tradition:
    "Just about everything the critics said about Gibson’s film was wrong. Starting with Fredriksen, the critics assumed the pose of objective historian, lecturing us ad nauseam that all scholars believe that the Romans alone were responsible for the Crucifixion; that Pilate was such a brutal tyrant that what the Gospels wrote about him was certainly false; that no one in first-century Jerusalem spoke Latin. But Raymond Brown, the late doyen of liberal biblical scholars, wrote in his Death of the Messiah that, 'When the Jewish, Christian, and pagan evidence is assembled, the involvement of Jews in the death of Jesus approaches certainty'; that Pilate 'was not a ferociously cruel governor' and the Gospels’ 'descriptions of Pilate with their variations are not inherently implausible'; and that Pilate’s cohorts included the Secunda Italica Civium Romanorum—troops who spoke Latin, not Greek."
Free Newsletter

Faith Essentials, "a monthly electronic publication for all college students -- those who are Catholic, curious about Catholicism, or just looking for solid Catholic viewpoints -- and even for those out of college or not yet in college looking to learn about the Church!"

Re: Indiana University study: having children significantly lowers parents’ IQs

The above link came to my attention at Oblique House. Statements like the following one from Dr. Hosung Lee, director of the study at Indiana University’s Kinsey (that name should be a warning sign) Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, led me to question the veracity of the science behind the study:
    "People who before were intelligent and open-minded turn into raving lunatics who want to blame a teacher or coach every time their mediocre child fails."

In the comments, Mr. Jeff Culbreath, of El Camino Real, provided this link, which shows the kind of sinster organization that the Kinsey Institute is: Institutions and underworld academics.

Because we need to be reminded that Muslim terrorists are willing to target children, even Muslim children, I am posting this link: JI 'claims Jakarta car bombing' (viewer descretion advised) [link via Observations from an Empty Well].

Nosce Te Ipsvm has similar reminders from Beslan in postings titled A case of pictures speaking louder than words..., Russian Interior Ministry Special Forces soldier carries victim of Islamic terrorists..., In the name of Muslim ruled Chechnya..., and SpetsNaz soldier cradles victim of jihadists in Beslan, Russia.

Come, Lord Jesus.
Beslan Aftermath

News from ():
From Sierra Leone to Suburban Buffalo

Re: War's smallest survivors

My hometown of Buffalo, NY, is one of the few places that you might find an adopted African girl with a name like "Lily Szafranski." Half the kinds I grew up with had unpronounceable Polish surnames!
Former Veep Speaks

Re: Gore: Bush faith akin to fundamentalist Islam

For all Mr. Bush's failings as president, morally relativistic comments like these remind me why I'm still glad Mr. Gore was not elected.
"The Source and Summit of the Christian Life"

Back to basics: Pope begins renewed focus on Eucharist
Anglican Blues

Re: Anglicans Await Report On Possible Sanctions Over US Gay Bishop

I feel no Schadenfreude over the troubles in the Anglican Communion. I spent six years worshipping with Anglicans, and although never becoming a member, I have a great deal of respect for their Communion. From Anglicans I learned the value of the Liturgy I had grown up with as a Missouri-Synod Lutheran and once I learned of Anglo-Catholicism, I was a goner; in about two years from that moment I would be received into the Catholic Church. For me, the Anglican Church was a personal via media which ran not between Protestantism and Catholicism, but from Protestantism to Catholicism. Therefore, seeing the division caused by the arrogance of the American Episcopal Church causes me great pain, while, at the same time, the stand for "biblical orthodoxy" of Anglicans in Africa, Asia, and Latin America gives me cause for great hope.

The Traditionalist Conservatism Page could keep one busy for days. It "covers tendencies from the American Old Republic to the European New Right, from Catholic traditionalism to neo-Sufism, on out to the anarchist and fascist fringes."
Words I Come Back To

The last paragraph of The Spirit of Catholicism by Karl Adam (1924):
    "Therefore we love our Church in spite of, nay because of, her poor outward appearance. The Catholic affirms the Church just as it is. For in its actual form the Church is to him the revelation of divine Holiness, Justice and Goodness. The Catholic does not desire some ideal Church, a Church of the philosopher or poet. Though his mother be travel-stained with long journeying, though her steps be sometimes halting and weary, and though her countenance to be with care and trouble - yet, she is his mother. In her heart burns the ancient love. Out of her eyes shines the ancient faith. From her hands flow ever ancient blessings. What would heaven be without God? What would the earth be without this Church? I believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church." [my emphasis]
Pinker vs. the Pope

Re: The Duel Between Body and Soul

The above editorial appeared a few days ago in The New York Times. In it, author Paul Bloom asserts that "the great conflict between science and religion in... this century... will be over psychology, and the stakes are nothing less than our souls." He proceeds to argue against the soul, pronouncing ex cathedra that belief in the soul "would be reassuring - if science didn't tell us that this assumption is mistaken."

To make his point, he paraphrases the arguments of psycholinguist Steven Pinker and the Holy Father.
    "As the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker points out, the qualities that we are most interested in from a moral standpoint - consciousness and the capacity to experience pain - result from brain processes that emerge gradually in both development and evolution. There is no moment at which a soulless body becomes an ensouled one, and so scientific research cannot provide objective answers to the questions that matter the most to us....

    "Pope John Paul II was clear about this [the fact that the negation of the soul 'might be impossible to reconcile with many religious views'], conceding our bodies may have evolved, but that theories which 'consider the spirit as emerging from the forces of living matter, or as a mere epiphenomenon of this matter, are incompatible with the truth about man.'"

Of these two worldviews, the former strikes me as the more dogmatic.

Author Bloom would have been wise to listen to his son:
    "I once asked my 6-year-old son, Max, about the brain, and he said that it is very important and involved in a lot of thinking - but it is not the source of dreaming or feeling sad, or loving his brother."

Author Bloom makes two mistakes. First, he assumes that there is necessarily a conflict between science and religion, and that it is former's task to disprove everything the latter holds. Science as we know it exists because of, not in spite of religion. It was the Judeo-Christian-Islamic belief that the universe was created by a rational Creator that led men of those cultures, especially the Christian West, in their attempt to understand creation, to develop what we know as science.

He also assumes that there is a necessary dualism between soul and body. This type of thinking owes more to the ancient Greeks and René Descartes than it does to Christianity. It can also be found in the religions of the East, which believe in reincarnation. In the Credos, Christians affirm their belief in the "Resurrection of the Body." For Catholics, this means the union of body and soul. In fact, the Catholic sees the body and soul as forming one nature:
    "The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the 'form' of the body: i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature." (Paragraph 365, Catechism of the Catholic Church).

Dostoyevsky prophetically observed that "If God does not exist, all things are permissible," foreseeing the horrors of atheistic Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and Maoist China. Imagine the horrors the world will face when man is denied not only his God but his soul.