Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Thursday, June 30, 2005

President Bush Cites South Korea as Model for Africa
I just caught a bit of President Bush's G8 speech. Lauding trade, not aid, as the solution to Africa's woes, he noted that just 30 years ago, South Korea was as poor as many Sub-Saharan African nations, but that after pursuing an export-driven economy, South Korea is now as rich as many European countries.

South Korea could and should serve as a model for many developing nations.
Hallowed Ground's Jeff Culbreath links today to a post by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr., The vice of effeminacy, which in turn is a response to an article by a recently ordained priest, THE FORGOTTEN VICE IN SEMINARY FORMATION.

Both are well worth a careful read.

Here is Saint Thomas Aquinas' definition:
    [An] effeminate man is one who withdraws from good on account of sorrows caused by lack of pleasures, yielding as it were to a weak motion.
Following the Angelic Doctor's definition, it seems we're becoming a society of effeminates.
Old Folks and Menial Labor in Korea
In granpa apartment guards, Antti Leppäsen reports on something I've always found sad in Korea: old folks working at difficult and low-paying jobs.

The university I work for employs old ladies to cut the lawns (by hand, not lawnmower) and trim the bushes. This is the type of work I used to do in the summers, but it's too demeaning for Korean young people, who sometimes seem like Little Lord Fauntleroys.

To be fair, I've heard the American youth no longer do this type of character-building work anymore; they leave it to illegal immigrants.
Alta California
Jeff Culbreath expresses an opinion close to my own on ANGLO-HISPANIC CALIFORNIA.
Latin Prayers
From Pope presents summary of catechism, urges memorizing Latin prayers:
    Presenting the new "Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church," Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics around the world to memorize the most common Catholic prayers in Latin.

    Learning the prayers in Latin as well as in one's own language "will help Christian faithful of different languages pray together, especially when they gather for special circumstances," the pope said June 28 as he distributed the Italian version of the compendium, which included an appendix with the Latin texts of many traditional prayers, including the Sign of the Cross, the Gloria, the Hail Mary and Come, Holy Spirit.
Follow the Holy Father's advice and visit this site with numerous prayers in the official language of the Roman Catholic Church: Thesaurus Precum Latinarum.

[link to article via rogueclassicism and Dappled Things]
Neoconservatives and...
Immoral Relativism
Countering Korea's Race Suicide
Something is finally being done abiout the abiove problem: Religions form group to fight low birthrate. Here is a statement issued by "The Civic Alliance to Counter the Low Birth Rate and the Aging of Society":
    Catholics, Protestants and Buddhists share the opinion that the low birthrate is a national disaster. We want to heighten society's awareness of this problem.
The abyssmal birth rate is the most serious problem Korea faces. Relying on the Welfare State to solve the problem is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse; abortion, contraception, sterilization, and euthansia ("The Four Horsemen of The Culture of Death," to borrow Patrick J. Buchanan's phrase) are the Welfare State's tried and effective methods of cost-reduction. Only a cultural rennaissance can save Korea, and Japan and most of the West, from extinction.
The Ugly Korean
Here are some quotes from Chinese who work for Korean companies in Qingdao, from Chinese Workers Slam Koreans:
    "Some Korean businessmen are so stingy when it comes down to money business with employees, but they squander money like water and lead an extremely luxurious life."

    "Some Korean people are so arrogant, they think they are the best in the world... They look down on Chinese people because we are poorer. I mainly had contact with Korean women, and they always complain how Chinese products are low in quality, and how Chinese maids are clumsy and lazy."

    "Koreans do not seem to earn a lot of money, but they do seem to spend a lot... Most Korean people have to go somewhere after a meal, no matter what time of the day. They go straight to karaoke parlors and love to drink shooters. Some men go to find prostitutes."
I heard a similar opinion expressed while living in Malaysia.

While Capitalism may be the world's least worst economic system, Capitalists are seldom a country's best ambassadors.
O Sayang!
Many languages have words that defy a simple definition. Sayang, from Malay, is one such term, and one of the most beautiful words in any langauge. Often translated simply as "love" or "affection," it really describes love tinged with the sadness of knowing that the beloved will suffer in this life and eventually die.

"O Sayang!" I thought to myself last night as I was putting my two-year-old daughter to sleep, marvelling at her grace, innocence, and purity and recalling the barbaric world outside that will spare no effort in robbing her of those virtues.

English has, to my knowledge, borrowed two words from Malay: orangutan and amok. English would be all the richer if sayang finds a place in the lexicon some day.
Desecration of Hallowed Ground
GI Korea, one of the best blogs over here, has taken a story linked to on this blog and provided excellent commentary: Despicable: UN Cemetery in Busan Vandalized.

Please give it a read.

It's revolting to think that someone would desecrate the final resting place of the men from 16 countries whose blood purchased the freedom the Repblic of Korea now enjoys.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Over at Dom Jim's
Father Jim Tucker of Dappled Things has some very interesting links today.

First, there is this good news from Rome: Pope set to return to traditional liturgy. Gone will be the television masses; this is what we can expect:
    Pope Benedict wants to return to the Sistine Chapel choirs singing Gregorian chant and the church music of such composers as Claudio Monteverdi from the 17th century. He also wants to revive the Latin Mass.

There is also a link to this very informative John Allen, Jr. article(s): A church more willing to fight back; Cardinal Angelo Scola, an interesting intellectual; Christians and Islam; Christians in Sudan; A new history of Vatican II.

Finally, Father Jim links to two excellent posts by his soon-to-be colleague (we pray), the convert to Rome and former Episcopal Priest Father Alvin Kimel: Become a Papist? Inconceivable! and The undeniable, offensive, glorious fact of Rome.
Secular Fanatics
Suicide Bombers as Freedom Fighters? is a review of a book that "demolishes the relentlessly repeated assertion of the neoconservatives and Israeli politicians that Islamist suicide attacks against America and other counties are launched by undereducated, unemployed, alienated, apocalyptic fanatics who are eager to kill themselves because Americans vote, have civil liberties, and allow women to drive cars."

Mohammad Atta and his cohorts, it will be remembered, spent their last night in a very un-Islamic bar.
"Catholics are not Christian"
This laughable attitude is not uncommon among Korean Protestants. Sadly, I've even had Catholic students say that they were "Catholic, not Christian" and not realize what they were saying.

Here is the entire text of an article, Religions' viewpoints, that explores this:
    Christians in Korea are no different than those elsewhere

    Here's this week's tip on Korean language and customs:

    Something notable about my stay in Korea has been the proliferation of churches not only in Seoul, but nationwide. However, recently I discovered something a little disturbing.

    In a conversation with a Korean Christian, I inadvertently let slip that I had been brought up as a Roman Catholic, although I no longer practice the religion. The person I was talking to informed me that Catholics were not Christians, which needless to say dumfounded me as the Church of Rome is the oldest Christian religion today.

    What is the cause of this viewpoint and is it common in Korea?

    The issues concerning the distinction between Roman Catholicism and "Christianity," which have continued for centuries around the world, are nothing new in Korea.

    Since both Catholicism and Protestantism were introduced in Korea a long time ago, Koreans, who have embraced either or both, have pursued their ideologies, depending on which they belong to, the way others might do elsewhere in the world.

    The particular reaction displayed by the Korean Christian mentioned above is not necessarily considered unique to most Korean Christians, but personal.
In Korean, the term 기독교 (基督敎), pronounced Gidokgyo, means "Christianity" and comes from the Chinese characters 基督, meaning "Christ" and whose Sino-Korean pronunciation is Gidok, plus the character 敎, which means "teaching" or "doctrine." In practice, however, this term is generally used to refer only to Protestantism, which in Korean is properly called 개신교 (改新敎), prounounced Gaeshingyo and meaning "Reformed Teaching."

Catholicism is traditionally designated by the term 천주교 (天主敎), prounounced Cheonjugyo, which literally means "Heaven Lord Teaching." In Chinese, the first two characters are pronounced T'ien chu and mean "Lord of Heaven." This was the Name applied to the True God by Matteo Ricci, S.J. (Lì Mǎdòu - 利瑪竇), the great missionary and scientist to Ming China.

Recently, the terms 그리스도교 (Geuriseudo-gyo) is sometimes used to mean "Christianity" and 카톨릭교 (Katollik-gyo) "Catholicism." Interestingly, these terms avoid Chinese characters except for the final one, 敎, meaning "teaching." They respectively employ the Korean transliterations of the Greek "Χριστóς" (Khristós) and the French "Catholique."
Against Profanity
Here's a Korean's perspective on swearing: How bad words lead to bad deeds.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Template Hopping
I've changed my template again. I'm looking for something that's easy on the eyes. Recently, I proofread an article for the Asian Journal of Ergonomics which compared the ease of reading of the Times New Roman and the Ariel fonts. It was found that the former, with serifs, was much easier to read than the latter sans-serif font.

Today, we remember...

St. Irenaeus
(A.D. 125-202)

Here is some information about his life and death, from the PATRON SAINTS INDEX:

    Disciple of Saint Polycarp of Smyrna. Priest in 177. Bishop of Lyons. Worked and wrote against Gnosticism, basing his arguments on the works of Saint John, whose Gospel is often cited by Gnostics. Considered the first great Western ecclesiastical writer, he emphasized the unity of the Old and New Testaments, and of Christ's simultaneous human and divine nature. Father of the Church. Martyr....ed in 202 in Lyons, France; tomb and relics were destroyed by Calvinists in 1562; head in Saint John's church, Lyons, France

[image from Christian Authors Database: The Ancient Church]

Today's Round-up

Consequences of sex-selective abortions in Korea: Country Men Go Looking Abroad for Wives

A look at modern life: Photo show features alienating aspect of Seoul

Modern-day slavery: Sweatshop owner sentenced to 40 years [via Connect Korea]

Anti-American desecration in Korea: UN Memorial Cemetery Vandalized
[via Connect Korea]

Template Woes

I spent a few hours getting this blog to look decent last night. It looked fine at home on my Mac, but this morning at the office, using a PC, I noticed my sidebar content is now at the bottom of the page. I'll try to work something out.

UPDATE: It now looks passable on my PC. Later this afternoon, I'll see if it still does on my Mac.

NOTE: I moved the images of Our Lord, His Mother, and Saint Andrew Kim Taegon and the prayers to them to the bottom of the sidebar. I did this not to de-emphasize Christ and His Church, but to acknowledge that this blog ultimately expresses only the opinions of one Katolik Shinja (Catholic believer). While I try to keep all my thoughts in line with the example of Our Lord and with the teaching of the Church, I realize that I probably fail most of the time. On issues of faith and morals, I will always strive to keep in line with the Magisterium. On issues of prudential judgement, I will strive to be consistent but also to recognize that other opinions are valid. There is the temptation to stick only to issues of faith and morals, on which there is no room for debate, and thus avoid controversial issues like politics and economics, on which there is room for debate. I enjoy these latter issues, so will cover them as well. All opinions expressed on these matters will be my own, and not those of the Church, who offers guidance and advice but not doctrinal teaching on them.

Monday, June 27, 2005

A New Template

As you may notice, I've changed my template. I don't like it as much, but it avoids the spacing issues that appeared a few days ago.
Female Smokers in Korea
Korean women under the age of sixty are not allowed to smoke in public. There is no law to that effect; the prohibition is enforced by custom, which is more powerful than the force of law.

Here's a fascinating history of female smoking in Korea that states that this was not always the case: [The Dawn of Modern Korea] (301) Where There's Smoke There's Ire.

Of the many reasons the article gives for this shift, this one stands out:
    A large role was played by the Protestant missionaries who were very disapproving of the excessive smoking of the Koreans.
It is possible to see young women smoking in Seoul, but they are usually Japanese. And the many coffee shops are refuges for young Korean female smokers.

Still, I recoil whenever I see a young woman smoking.
Template Change
Due to the spacing problem that has appeared on Blogger, I have changed my template. I'll re-add the side-bar content later today.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

There seems to be some problem with Blogger, and mine is not the only blog affected. If anyone knows how to fix this problem, please leave a comment.
A Guest
For the past two days, we were honored to have as guest in our home Jason Choi of Musings of an orthodox Korean Catholic... It was quite a blessing to be able to talk, not blog, for hours on end about the Faith, a topic that never can never be exhausted. As he said on his blog, "We literally talked for hours and hours on virtually every thing related with history, theology, sacraments, liturgy, prayers, family life, moral issues, etc." As a convert from a somewhat different branch of Protestantism than the one I came from, Jason had many unique insights to share, and we both praised God for the incredible blessing that we unworthily received in being led to the Catholic Church. May God continue to bless Jason.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

In Incheon, Again
Just two weeks after we were last here, we find ourselves again in the capital region. A rather urgent immigration matter calls us to the US Embassy in Seoul. It's been about 18 months since I last set foot on sovereign American territory, and it will feel good to walk past that Marine Guard, especially if there is an anti-American protest going on outside, as there often is.

It took six hours to drive from Pohang to Incheon, which is about as far as one can drive in the Republic of Korea, which is about the size of the State of Illinois. The country is effectively an island, cut off as it is on the north by the De-Militarized Zone. A distance of six hours is quite long to a South Korean, but nothing to those of used used to much longer distances.

I managed to drive the whole way with only once consulting my map, not a small feat as those familiar with the Korean highway system will agree. There is no problem with the roads themselves, which would make any civil engineer proud. The problem is in the signage, which is not geared toward the spatially-minded. Roads are marked not by direction, but by landmarks. This offers no problem when driving between major cities or in familar territory, but when you like to take short cuts as I do, and North, South, East, and West are not marked, it makes for quite a challenge.

We are staying at the home of my sister-in-law, in the ultra-modern and rigidly-planned New Airport Town Square, which, despite all my anarcho-traditionalist leanings, is one of my favorite places in Korea. It's clean and efficient.

These are trying times for the Snyders, yet full of countless blessings. My kids have been spending far too much time in our car, but once they were asleep, my wife joined me in the front seat. (Korean mothers sit in the back seat, which acts as an insurance policy that one parent should survive an accident.) It was the first time in a long while that I had a chance to talk at length with the beautiful woman to whom I am an unworthy husband.

If things go as planned, we will be spending the month of August in St. Loius, Missouri, which I've heard is quite a Catholic city. After that, we might be separated for several months, with me returning to my wife's country and her staying with the kids in mine, getting care for our daughter that is not available here in Korea.

Your prayers have been felt and are appreciated.

Blogging might be light for a few days.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Origins of the "Hilter's Pope" Myth
Sandro Magister explains that they lie not only with Radio Moscow: The Black Legend of Pius XII Was Invented by a Catholic: Mounier.

I have Emmanuel Mounier's Personalism on my shelf. I confess to not having read it yet, and this news will not stop me from doing so; a great mind can be wrong on certain things.
A Painting by Yoshitomo Nara

    "Harmless Kitty" (1994)
[from Exhibit Evokes Childhood Anxieties, Memories]

This painting makes me think of what Giorgio De Chirico, one of the few 20th Century painters I can stomach, would have painted had he been a children's book illustrator. Here's a great sampling of his work: Giorgio de Chirico - Olga's Gallery. My personal favorite is Mystery and Melancholy of a Street.
Mr. Truman's Crime Against God*

    The Roman Catholic Church of Urakami stands out over the
    burn-razed cityscape of Nagasaki, in 1945, after the second
    atomic bomb ever used in warfare was dropped by the U.S.
    over the Japanese industrial center. The bombing killed more
    than 70,000 people instantly, with ten thousands dying later
    from effects of the radioactive fallout. An American journalist
    who sneaked into Nagasaki soon after the Japanese city was
    leveled by a U.S. atomic bomb found a 'wasteland of war' and
    victims moaning from the pain of radiation burns in downtown
    hospitals. Censored 60 years ago by the U.S. military, George
    Weller's stories from the atom bombed-city surfaced in June
    2005 in a series of reports in the national Mainichi newspaper.
    (AP Photo)

[image and text from Japan Paper Runs Censored A-Bomb Stories]

Here's the original report, filed September 8, 1945: A Nagasaki Report.

About five years ago, I visited charming Nagasaki, still a center of Catholicism. Here is my post from last August 9: 59 Years Ago Today. The pictures seem to have vanished. I will find new ones for the sixtieth anniversary of this atrocity this year.

*See Catechism of the Catholic Church - Paragraph # 2314.
This Afternoon's Round-up
Aramaic, Hebrew, Ladino and Yiddish: Jewish Languages

ROK Army Tragedy: Eight Die, Two Hurt as Soldier Runs Amok in DMZ

He's German, after all: Pope's Style Emerges As Being Efficient
Here is another reason why I live in the sticks: Seoul World's Fifth-Most Expensive City: Survey.

Paraguay's capital, Asunción, named for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was the world's cheapest. I spent less than 24 hours in that city, travelling from São Paulo, named for Saint Paul the Apostle, to Santiago, named for Saint James the Greater. I wish I had spent more time in Asunción. I found it to be a charming town and quite unique. It looked like any other modern Southern Cone city, but you could hear the exotic sounds of Guaraní spoken everywhere and men in business suits walked the streets drinking yerba mate from gourds.

I also spent less than 24 hours in the world's most expensive city, Tokyo, and have little desire to return. I spent $70 just to take the subway into the city center from Narita for a modest meal.
Saint Yu Tae-ch'ol's Parish in Ulsan
Yesterday, my family visited a new parish in my wife's hometown, Ulsan: 삼산성당. The parish was under the patronage of Saint. Yu Tae-ch'ol Petrus (성 유대철 베드로) (1826-1839). At 13, Saint Yu Tae-ch'ol was the youngest of the 103 Martyrs of Korea. I could not find the story of this young saint's blessed martyrdom in English, but the giant stained glass window that adorned the façade of the neo-gothic church told it: there were two figures dressed in hanbok, the smaller one rising to heaven with a cross in his hands, the larger one holding a hangman's noose.

Images of Saint Yu Tae-ch'ol's martyrdom and with his father, Saint Yu Chin-gil Augustine can be found here: 성 유대철 베드로:

Sancti Yu Chin-gil et Yu Tae-ch'ol, orate pro nobis.

Here is where more information can be found: Stories of the Korean Martyrs and MARTYRS OF KOREA (1).

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Fathers' Day

This for my father, Ronald Lee Snyder, with words of wisdom from the great man whom my grandfather honored in giving my father his middle name: Fatherly Advice From Robert E. Lee.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Round-up from Ulsan
I'm in Ulsan, visiting the in-laws. If I have time, I might visit the opening of the The International Whaling Commission's 57th annual meeting in Ulsan, Republic of Korea 2005, and lend my support. Sadly, the enemies of whaling have had one small victory: South Korea puts brake on building whale meat processing plant.

Here's this evening's round-up:

Terenti Shtykov: The Other Ruler of North Korea

Dogil Maeul (독일 마을): German Village in Namhae is growing

Free at last: North Korean couple defects to South

Spain, the world is with you: Indian Catholics fully support Spain’s pro-family demonstration: the family is sacred for every culture, religion and people!

Saint Gianna Beretta Morra, pray for them: Brain-dead mother lives for unborn child [via Seattle Catholic] UPDATE: Donations are being accepted for mother and child at The Susam M. Torres Fund [link via JIMMY AKIN.ORG]

On "cyber violence" in South Korea: [Editorial] Netizens Need 'Ethical Guidelines'

After Vatican II: After Decades in the Background, Mary's Making a Comeback [via]

Christopher Blosser: On "The Preferential Option for the Poor"

Friday, June 17, 2005

Midnight Round-up
With Fr. John Neuhaus and yours truly, another convert from Missouri Synod Lutheranism: Actor Gilyard finds Catholicism is role for a lifetime

Not swayed by the Archbishop: Scientist to Continue Stem Cell Research

United in defense of the family: “The Church in Korea is with you!” Korean Bishops’ president tells Spanish Bishops

Politics and Religion: Separation of Church and State: Manifest Destiny or Manifest Heresy?

Korean leftist newspaper questions cloning: [Editorial] Korea Should be First in Life Ethics, Too

In South Korea and India, too: Red China: Ultrasounds Used to Kill Girls

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Today's Roundup
Michel Foucault in Iran: The Philosopher and the Ayatollah

Korean Diaspora: Bishop John Tong, Auxiliary of Hong Kong, presides opening of new parish for Korean Catholic immigrants

The Korean Church: More Catholics but fewer practicing

Archbishop Cheong's Homily: Embryonic stem cell research is an act against human dignity, says Korean Church

Non-embryonic (Ethical) Stem Cell Research: World first: brain cells grown in laboratory [via TCR News Headlines]

Rule of by Law: Proposed Law Seeks to 'De-Koreanize' Draft Dodgers

Korea-Japan: Collaborators serve Seoul's cause

Internet Addiction in Korea: Infant Daughter Dies as Parents Play Online Game

Dr. Norbert Vollertsen on the DPRK: Depraved Society We Can't Ignore

"Orange Revolution" Alert: Head of Russia's Pentecostals Warns of Protestant Plot Against Orthodoxy

Handmaiden of Repression: Microsoft under fire for censoring China blogs

Scientism: The End of Darwinism

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Tower of Babel Fish
Playing arond with the link to Babel Fish I came across on eclexys, I cut and pasted the Ave Maria in Korean from this blog's side-bar and let the site translate it into English. Here's what I got back:
    About Mary where the grace is full it is glad under smallness from! Week it is together in the woman to become luck, Tae public opinion son Jesus also it becomes luck, all! About Mary the Holy Mother thousand attentions, when us dying with recently, for our sinner it begs, from address. Oh it carried on shoulder.
Here's the Pater Noster, taken in English from the modern "Ecumenical English version" so as to avoid archaicisms, translated into Korean, and back into English:
    The new star in the heaven your name which it does to do and inside future life heaven with the thing in endurance our father you leans together inside you, it is. Us give the bread to us today everyday. We head and us when forgiving sin them, forgive our sin in us. From at the time of pretrial hearing if to except us, it transports us from evil. Hazard the kingdom, the force and honor are your thing, now and forever.
Obviously, this software has a long way to go and my job as a language teacher is still safe.

My bet is that language, like human beings themselves, is "beyond the complexity horizon," as one mathematician said, and that attempts at translation software, like the tower in the Book of Genesis, are doomed to fail.
George Gissing on His Former Self
These words go a long way in explaining why the youth, and those who refuse to grow up, gravitate toward the Left:
    I often amuse myself with taking to pieces my former self. I was not a hypocrite in those days of violent radicalism, workingman's-club lecturing, and the like; the fault was that I understood myself as yet so imperfectly. That zeal on behalf of the suffering masses was nothing more nor nothing less than disguised zeal on behalf of my own starved passions. I was poor and desperate, life had no pleasures, the future seemed hopeless, yet I was overflowing with vehement desires, every nerve in me was a hunger which cried out to be appeased. I identified myself with the poor and ignorant; I did not make their cause my own, but my own cause theirs. I raved for freedom because I was myself in the bondage of unsatisfyable longing.
[from page 382 of The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot by Russell Kirk]

Monday, June 13, 2005

Today's Roundup
A call for ethical science: South Korea, adult stem cells "a valid alternative to cloning of embryos"

The challenge of covering the Holy Father: Not many sound bites: New pope's discourses defy simplistic headlines

"Japan is on the brink of going under": Japan Struggles With Surge in AIDS Cases [via Ales Rarus]

Sunday, June 12, 2005

How the South Korean Nationalist Left* Views Human Embryonic Cloning...
can be summed up with this image, from "황우석 연구 살인행위"에 네티즌 격론-'황교수 지지' vs '소수 의견 존중해야:
On the right is, of course, President George W. Bush. On the left is Professor Hwang Woo-suk, famous for charting new ethical, not scientific, territory in his human embryonic cloning. Their images are superimposed on a poster for some Korean movie I've not seen nor would care to see.

Here's my attempt at a translation of the content:
    {TITLE}-Bush- Opposes Embryonic Stem Cell Research out of Reverence for Life

    {HWANG} Well, what then is the Iraq War... Afganistan?

    {BUSH} Oh! He's really tangling me up!
Those of us opposed to the War in Iraq might be tempted to concede a point to this parody; however, Catholics among us would remember that while the war in Iraq might be wrong, it is not wrong in the same way that is human cloning (or abortion, or euthansia), which is intrinsically evil. War, after all, can sometimes be right; the cloning of human embryos never can be.

These issues are not really the point of this parody. The point is that a Korean has taken on and bested, so it is thought, the hated leader of the world's most powerful country. As one of my students gleefully stated the day after Dr. Hwang's atrocity, "Because of this, America and Bush are confused." MBC, the Leftist Nationalist broadcaster, advertised a documentary on Dr. Hwang with images of disabled people (including Christopher Reeve) juxtaposed against that of the U.S. President complete with sinsiter backgroud music.

Fortunately, this type of Leftist Nationalist thinking is restricted largely to the so-called 386 Generation** and their juniors. As good Koreans, these youngsters should listen, and more importantly defer, to their elders, who have spoken quite authoritatively on this issue: Catholic, Confucian Groups Speak Out Against Hwang.

Here is part of the Catholic Statement, from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Korea (CBCK), which was printed on a full page in my parish's bulletin:
    Hwang’s research involves the unethical act of cloning and destroying living human embryos. Cloned embryos, as the result of reproduction, are living beings and therefore it can be said that experimentation on and handling of embryos goes against human dignity.
The Confucianist view was given by Choi Kun-duk, head of Songkyungkwan, the 600-year-old Confucianist institute:
    Confucianism firmly believes in human's will to do and be good... Because Confucianism is based on trust of humans it sees professor Hwang's cloning research as an act that goes against the natural laws.
*I'm tempted to call it the Roh Jugend.

**For an explanation of what this means, see this Newsweek article: Korea's 'Generation 386'. I find it to be a very cumbersome, and just plain stupid, way of describing a generation.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Kuristo Matsuri (Christ Festival)
From Yahoo! News Photo:

    Japanese women dressed in kimono waltz around the 'tomb
    of Jesus Christ' during a memorial service in Shingo, a village
    in northern Japan, on Sunday June 5, 2005. The memorial
    service, in its 42nd edition, started solemnly with a Shinto
    priest praying and offering a branch of sacred trees. The
    village's lore claims Jesus Christ died there and buried in the
    mound-shaped tomb.
Here's an article about the strange tradition : Jesus in a snowstorm.

[links via Open Book]
A Dark Day
Reader and friend Adam Goldsmith, whom I met a week ago today, did the math and sent me this sad reminder of one of history's darkest days:
    [T]oday is the day Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453, 552 years ago -- 29 May according to the Julian calendar.
Here are the evocative words of Kallistos Ware describing the events of that terrible day, from pages 71 and 72 of The Orthodox Church:
    Outnumbered by more than twenty to one, the Byzantines maintained a brilliant but hopeless defense for seven long weeks. In the early hours of 29 May the last Christian service was held in the great Church of the Holy Wisdom. It was a united service of Orthodox and Roman Catholics, for at that moment of crisis supporters and opponents of the Florentine Union forgot their differences. The Emperor went out after receiving communion, and died fighting on the walls. Later the same day the city fell to the Turks, and the most glorious church on Christendom became a mosque.
I can hardly read that last line without spitting.

Mr. Goldsmith also sends this link with the inspirational story of the last Roman Emperor:

Great Martyr, the Emperor Blessed Constantine XI Paleologos

Mr. Goldsmith ends his message with this cry, which I heartily join: "May his heirs claim their throne!"

I've said it before and I'll say it again: THE TURK HAS NO PLACE IN THE EUROPEAN UNION!

Friday, June 10, 2005

ANNOUNCEMENT: Resumption of Regular Blogging Schedule
My name is Joshua Snyder and I am a blogoholic. Much sooner than expected, I find myself able to resume a somewhat normal blogging schedule. Thanks be to God!

My wife and I have made much progress in the matter alluded to below. Thank you all again for your prayers, which are still needed. No die has been cast, nor has any Rubicon been crossed, and difficult times still lie ahead, but we can only do so much today; it is best to resume a normal daily schedule. The prayer, daily Masses, and family time mentioned in my previous message will take precedence, however, so blogging might be a bit more sporadic. Furthermore, if things proceed as planned, this blog will go silent for the month of August.
Shin Saimdang's Face and Paintings to Grace Korean Currency
From Two Chochungdo Pieces to be Used on New 5,000 Won Bill:
    Yulgok Lee Yi, a great Confucian scholar in the Joseon Dynasty, and Shin Saimdang, his mother and a famous painter, will be featured on the front and back of the 5,000 won bill, respectively.
Here are the paintings, from Cockscombs and Watermelon:

Here is a portrait of Shin Saindang, from 시.서.화.교육.인격의 영원한 어머니상 신사임당(1504-1551):
She will be the first woman depicted on Korean currency. I rejoice that such an honor was reserved for someone renowned for that most important of occupations: motherhood.
News Roundup
I foresee this becoming a regular feature on this blog: I will link to articles that interest me with a brief introductory blurb. This will save me some time and be easier on the eye for readers. As I don't trust CNN International and the BBC is often dubbed into Japanese, the Internet is the only place I go for the news, so why not link to the articles I find interesting?

This won't be much different from what I've done before, except that news links will not appear as separate posts. When I have something substantial to say or quote, I'll make an individual post.

Here are some stories that caught my eye today:

In San Diego: New Catholic University changes name to John Paul the Great Catholic University

Canadian cultural insensitivity*: Hindu deities' depiction sparks row in Canada

Summit: US and South Korean leaders seek to patch up differences

Clementina Cantoni is free: Italian hostage released in Kabul

The American terrorist: Marching on to Virginia and Armageddon: John Brown and His Heirs

The "Whig history of science": Scientism Standing in the Way of Science: An Historical Precedent to Austrian Economics [via A conservative blog for peace]

*I grew up across the Canadian border and love the country (I probably would have been a Tory in the Revolutionary War); however, after eight years of hearing what a superior country Her Majesty's Dominion is vis-à-vis the United States (Canada is a socialist country; Canadians burned down the White House in 1812, etc.), I sometimes feel the need to demonstrate that their homeland is not the Utopia it is made out to be by the numerous rabid Canadian nationalists teaching English here in Korea. Please understand. [UPDATE: This very issue is covered today by Shelton Bumgarner here: On Being An American Expat In Korea.]
The Perils of Private Judgment
Liberal Protestant Theologian Matthew Fox has posted his 95 Theses or Articles of Faith for a Christianity for the Third Millennium. I don't have the time to counter them, nor do I feel the need to do so, as their heretical nature and anti-Catholic tone convict themselves. Some of them are innocuous expressions of decontextualized Catholic Social Teaching, and some are false not in what they state but in what they insinuate. Here are some of the ones I find more objectionable, laughable, or just plain silly:
    1. God is both Mother and Father.

    2. At this time in history, God is more Mother than Father because the feminine is most missing and it is important to bring gender balance back.

    6. Theism (the idea that God is ‘out there’ or above and beyond the universe) is false. All things are in God and God is in all things (panentheism).

    11. Religion is not necessary but spirituality is.

    14. Christians must distinguish between God (masculine and history, liberation and salvation) and Godhead (feminine and mystery, being and non-action).

    16. Christians must distinguish between Jesus and Paul.

    29. No matter how much the television media fawn over the pope and papacy because it makes good theater, the pope is not the church but has a ministry within the church. Papalolotry is a contemporary form of idolatry and must be resisted by all believers.

    30. Creating a church of Sycophants is not a holy thing. Sycophants (Webster’s dictionary defines them as “servile self-seeking flatterers”) are not spiritual people for their only virtue is obedience. A Society of Sycophants — sycophant clergy, sycophant seminarians, sycophant bishops, sycophant cardinals, sycophant religious orders of Opus Dei, Legioneers of Christ and Communion and Liberation, and the sycophant press--do not represent in any way the teachings or the person of the historical Jesus who chose to stand up to power rather than amassing it.

    36. Dancing, whose root meaning in many indigenous cultures is the same as breath or spirit, is a very ancient and appropriate form in which to pray.

    41. The body is an awe-filled sacred Temple of God and this does not mean it is untouchable but rather that all its dimensions, well named by the seven charkas, are as holy as the others.

    42. Thus our connection with the earth (first chakra) is holy; and our sexuality (second chakra) is holy; and our moral outrage (third chakra) is holy; and our love that stands up to fear (fourth chakra) is holy; and our prophetic voice that speaks out is holy (fifth chakra); and our intuition and intelligence (sixth chakra) are holy; and our gifts we extend to the community of light beings and ancestors (seventh chakra) are holy.

    70. Jesus said nothing about condoms, birth control or homosexuality.

    72. Since homosexuality is found among 464 species and in 8 percent of any given human population, it is altogether natural for those who are born that way and is a gift from God and nature to the greater community.

    77. Seminaries as we know them, with their excessive emphasis on left-brain work, often kill and corrupt the mystical soul of the young instead of encouraging the mysticism and prophetic consciousness that is there. They should be replaced by wisdom schools.
[link via Camassia]

    After Reading THIS, you'll NEVER look at a banana in the same way again!!

    Bananas. Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose
    combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial
    boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough
    energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number
    one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

    But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also
    help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions,
    making it a must to add to our daily diet.

    Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people
    suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This
    is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body
    converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and
    generally make you feel happier.

    Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in
    the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

    Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium
    yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the
    US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make
    official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure
    and stroke.

    Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped
    through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and
    lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the
    potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

    Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore
    normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to

    Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana
    milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the
    help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk
    soothes and re-hydrates your system.

    Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you
    suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

    Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the
    affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it
    amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

    Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

    Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria
    found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and
    crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese
    were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to
    avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels
    by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels

    Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders
    because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that
    can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes
    over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

    Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit
    that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant
    mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure
    their baby is born with a cool temperature.

    Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because
    they contain the natural mood enhancer, tryptophan.

    Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat,
    sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we
    are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium
    levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana

    Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine,"
    eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of having a stroke
    as much as 40%!

    Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off
    a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the
    yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical

    So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it
    to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three
    times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other
    vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best
    value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so
    that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"
[From an email from the Christian Parents ~ Special Kids list-serv.]

Thursday, June 09, 2005

News Round-up
In flagrant violation of my self-imposed blogging reduction policy (see below), I just couldn't stay away from the news.

Below, I will post some stories that catch my eye, in no order whatsoever, introduced by a brief blurb of my own. Credit is given where credit is due:Progress has been made in the dilemma mentioned below. Thank you all for your prayers. Now, it is just a matter of time. Blogging will remain irregular for some time, but I hope to return to a more regular schedule sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Announcements - Prayer Request and Reduced Blogging Schedule

My wife and I now face the most difficult decision we have yet faced, or are likely to ever face.

I'm afraid that I am not at liberty to specify the details, but just ask that you consider my family in your prayers at this moment. Particularly, Hyunae and I need God's guidance. My wife has noticed God's Providential Hand at work in this matter for some months, or even years, and pointed this out to me, much slower as I am to notice these things.
    I believe; help my unbelief. (Mk 9:24)
I also ask Catholics to consider asking for the intercession of these saints on our behalf:In order to dedicate more time to my family, to prayer, and to daily Masses, I have decided to limit updating this blog to weekly intervals, every Wednesday, beginning on June 15th. I will also not be checking comments. This schedule is likely to continue until August at the earliest.

Thank you.
Back from Incheon
My family and I returned safely from our trip to Incheon. Here is a brief round-up of the major goings-on:

The purpose of the trip was to attend the celebration of my grandmother-in-law's 95th birthday. Her birthday party has become one of my favorite annual events. Not only do I get to be in the company of someone sixty years older than myself, but I have the chance to enjoy the familial atmosphere with my wife's many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

I had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with one of this blog's best commenters, the "philo-Catholic" Adam Goldsmith, who took time away from his lovely wife and wonderful son to meet me. It was a pleasure to meet someone who has been in Korea longer than I have, and it is always good to discuss politics with true conservatives, always open-minded and tolerant of a diversity of opinion and a variety in life.

Finally, I experienced the heavenly Divine Liturgy at ST. PAUL ORTHODOX CHURCH. My guide was none other than Jason Choi of Musings of an orthodox Korean Catholic... Without his help, I would have been at a complete loss. On his blog, he says that some of the parishioners were off-key. That was probably me, trying to sing a new liturgy in Korean. I also had some time (much too little) to share with Jason afterwards and learn about his many exciting endeavors.

The Liturgy was so beautiful, that had there been an Orthodox church nearby three years ago when I finally decided to leave Protestantism, I would have likely swum the Bosporus and not the Tiber. Now, I would never give up communion with Rome, but I will pray all more for the unity of East and West.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Eastern Orthodoxy
Serge of A conservative blog for peace has overhauled his informative page entitled THE ORTHODOX TRADITION: Saving Medicine for the Whole Church.

This is particularly helpful to me, as tomorrow I will attend my first-ever Divine Liturgy at ST. PAUL ORTHODOX CHURCH here in Incheon in the company of Jason Choi of Musings of an orthodox Korean Catholic...
On Kidnapping and "Concerned Citizens"
The GI Korea Blog has a great post on what our boys over here must do in the face of often violent anti-Americanism: Swallowing Your Pride.
My Weltanschauung
    You scored as Fundamentalist. Fundamentalism represents a movement in opposition to Modernism, stressing the highest importance on foundational religious tradition. Science has brought on corruption of society. God is real and is watching. Scripture leaves little room for interpretation; man is God's creation. About a quarter of the population in the U.S. is classified as Fundamentalist.



    Cultural Creative














    What is Your World View? (updated)
    created with
Substitute the terms "Traditionalist" for "Fundamentalist" and "Scientism" for "Science" and this would be a spot-on description.

A Book Review
This looks like a must-read:From this review, I learned that Kim Il-sung was born into a Christian "background":
    At the center of this totalitarian world are Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, who, along with the country's juche (self-reliance) ideology, have been likened by some observers to the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Perhaps this is less surprising when one considers that Kim Il-sung was born into a Christian background, on April 15, 1912 (the same day the Titanic sunk, Kim's critics like to point out), barely two years into Japan's brutal 35-year occupation of the Korean peninsula (1910-45). At the time, Martin notes, Pyongyang had become something of a "Jerusalem" of the Far East, because of the large presence of Christians converted by American missionaries in earlier years. In fact, a large number of Korean nationalists fighting for independence from Imperial Japan were Christians. While Kim later played down his Christian background, aspects of the religion - albeit extreme - do seem to have had an impact on his life and style of governance.
An elderly Protestant professor whom I worked with a few years back was from Pyongyang originally and also referred to his hometown in his day as "The Jerusalem of the East."
Dhimmitude in Saudi Arabia
Here are two stories from the Magic Kingdom, where there is no freedom of religion whatsoever:For daily updates on the plight of Christians, Jews, and other non-Muslims in the Islamic World, see Dhimmi Watch.
Phat Diem, Viet Nam

From Under stern official gaze, Vietnam's Catholic stronghold dares to hope:

    People leave the Phat Diem cathedral after attending Sunday
    mass. Up to ten percent of Vietnam's 82 million population
    are Catholics and nearly 150,000 of them live in Phat Diem,
    the largest of the communist country's 25 dioceses.
This 19th Century cathedral shows that acculturation is nothing new to the Catholic Church in Asia. It also shows that Catholic architecture need not be Gothic or Romanesque to be solid and traditionalist.
That's Mr. Kim Jong-il, thank you very much.
The use of honorifics in Korean explains this story: North Korea Praises Bush for Use of 'Mr.'.

Of course, the use of honorifics only goes one way; Vice-president Cheney has been called a "bloodthirsty beast," Secretary-of-State Rice a "bitch," and President Bush a "political imbecile" and "half-baked man."

I've seen South Korean television news (MBC, of course) drop President Bush's title (대통령) and just call him Bushi (부시), which would be very insulting to a Korean.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Orestes Brownson on Civilization and Barbarism
    There is no civilized nation now existing that developed from a common ancestor this side of Adam, and the most mixed are the most civilized. The nearer a nation approaches to a primitive people of pure unmixed blood, the farther removed it is from civilization. All civilizations are political nations, and are founded in the fact, not on rights antecedent to the fact.
[from page 132 of The American Republic]
Ten Sinister Books
Here's the list, without the explanations, from Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries:
    1. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
    2. Mein Kampf by Adolph Hitler
    3. Chairman Mao's Little Red Book
    4. The Kinsey Report by Alfred Kinsey
    5. Democracy and Education by John Dewey
    6. Das Kapital by Karl Marx
    7. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
    8. Course in Positive Philosophy by Auguste Comte
    9. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
    10. General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money by John Maynard Keynes
Whistling Dixie
I'm a Yankee by birth, but three-fouths of my ancestors hail from the South. Thus, I enjoyed this article: How to Be a Southern Gentleman in 10 Easy Steps.
Maggie Gallagher on Children's Surnames
    Women know our babies belong to us in a way that men never can. Wanting to give your husband's name to your children is a gift that women give to men, to affirm the tie between child and father. It's an act of love.
Not the American South...
but the Dutch East is where this story comes from: Bible-belt town bans blasphemy.

I never suspected that Holland, famous for legal Prostitution and Euthansia, had its own Bible Belt. My ancestors came from Germany and brought with them a Dutch surname. There's hope for the land of my ancestors.
Korean Church News
Korea's cardinal speaks: John Paul II, rapid canonisation, says Cardinal Kim.

Stephen Cardinal Kim played a prominent role at both John Paul the Great's funeral mass and the installation mass for Pope Benedict XVI. He is one of the most respected figues in his homeland, among people of every or no faith.

Finally, a Korean voice against human cloning: Cloning means exploiting human life, says South Korean Church.

Dr. Hwang has become something of a national hero, all the more so because President Bush, a hated figure here, opposes cloning. The South Korean media contstantly juxtaposes images of and statements by these two, as if to say, "A humble Korean scientist stands up against the world's most powerful and evil man."
Thanks for the Link
This blog has been included among the "Web Logs Worth Both Time & Eye" on TCR News Musings. This is indeed an honor, as TCR News Headlines has long been one of my daily sources for the news.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

We're in Incheon, the city immortalized by Gen. Douglas A. MacArthur's landing. We're here for the celebration of my kids' great-grandmother's 95th birthday. Blogging might be light until Tuesday, when we return to Pohang.
Two from Lew
The first is a speech given in my hometown, Buffalo, NY: Hometown Liberation.

The second is self-explanatory: Measuring Progress in the Arab World: Check the 'Christian Barometer'.
C. of E. Compromise
This is ridiculous: Anglican Church to let homosexual clergy 'marry'... but remain celibate.

Trying to make everyone happy leaves no one happy. Just a reminder to disaffected Anglicans (I spent six years among Anglicans): the Catholic Church is waiting to welcome you home.
Free and Compulsory* Education
This story supports private education:What does it say about Europe that just about the only folks standing up for traditional values are Muslims? The prospect of an Islamic Europe distresses me greatly, but so do attempts to forcibly secularize the Muslims already living there.

*Russell Kirk noted the absurd contradiction juxtaposed in these two features of public education.
Dr. Hwang Woo-suk, quoted in Koreans Forge Ahead on Cloning:
    What we are doing is not creating embryos. An embryo, basically, supposes a birth of a life. But we have no intention or goals whatsoever to create life.
This is Situational ethics or worse.
Orthodox News
Coming soon: Orthodox Christian Encyclopedia to appear on the Internet. For those who can read Russian (I am, unfortunately, not one of them), here's the site: Седмица.
Two Acton Institute Articles of Note
The first covers the non vote in France: Europe’s Statist Nightmare — Beginning of the End?

The second one is about the National Council of Churches and the Religious Left: President Bush Called "Evil," Evangelicals Equated With Nazis at NCC-Sponsored Conference.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Growing Hispanic Influence in the United States
Two Catholic bloggers, the first of them a priest, examine this issue:They find that there is nothing to get up in arms about, and, in fact, that there is a lot to be excited about.

I agree. One of the most reverent novus ordo masses I ever attended was at the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Parish in Taos, New Mexico, which is a beautiful town in a beautiful state. Mass was said in English (mostly), Spanish, and some Latin. Rodney King would have been happy, because everybody got along.

Having been a Spanish major and involved to some degree with the Puerto Ricans, Domincans, and Cubans of Buffalo, NY, my experience was that the infamous MEChA-type mentality (por la raza todo; fuera de la raza nada) was confined, like other such nonsense, mostly to the quarter-educated folks that attend our universities on government scholarships. It seems there is no surer way to encourage resentment than by throwing public money at it.
"Love Story" Was Wrong
From Secret of longest marriage is saying 'sorry':
    A British couple who hold the world record for the longest marriage said Wednesday their success was down to a glass of whisky, a glass of sherry and the word "sorry."

    Percy and Florence Arrowsmith married on June 1, 1925 and will celebrate their 80th anniversary Wednesday.
God bless the Arrowsmiths! Let us drink a toast to them. (Ah... that 安東燒酒 sure does go down nice.)

"Love means never having to say you're sorry"; I always thought this line from that movie, whether it was inspired by Al and Tipper Gore or not, was utter nonsense.

In fact, I touched on this theme earlier this evening in a TOEFL class. Tonight's Test of Written English (TWE) essay assignment was about whether marriage should be based primarily on love or on more practical concerns. I told my students that I thought one of the reasons for the scandalously high divorce rate in my homeland was that people viewed love purely as a matter of the heart (emotion), and not as an act of the will (intellect). It was the last two minutes of the last class of the semester, so I didn't have time to mention other causes of divorce, chief among them a society that emphasizes rights but not duties.
Mild-mannered Jazzman and Doctor, or Islamist Fifth Columnists?
Suspected al-Qaida Loyalists Denied Bail
Signs of Life in Moribund Europe?
This, and Sunday's non vote in France, might indicate an answer of oui, for whatever the reasons: 'No' expected as Dutch vote on EU charter.

As an aside, this was the first referendum in 200 years in the Netherlands. Referenda the world over should be so infrequent! Fareed Zakaria does a fine job exposing the colossal stupidity of governance-by-referendum, using California as an example, in The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad.
Racialist Cultists
This story is not so strange, given that Nation of Islam founder Fard Muhammad was not black, but was born of a Maori mother and a British father: Spiritual ties between Ratana Church of New Zealand with Nation of Islam in America by Mother Tynnetta Muhammad.