Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Friday, September 30, 2005

Just Finished
In this book, published in 1910, Mr. Chesterton hints at his vision of Distributivism, a political philosophy informed by Catholic Social Teaching in which the "means of production should be distributed as widely as possible among the populace [and] neither be hoarded by an oligarchy, nor controlled by the government." This is a real "Third Way," unlike the false one proposed by the likes of Messrs. Clinton and Blair. It requires us to make the radical and revolutionary step of looking back, to the organic society of the Age of Faith, not forward to more mechanization under either Industrial Socialism or Industrial Capitalism.

Chesterton himself admits that "[his] book ends just where it ought to begin," so I will place below that end, because it is such a powerful piece of rhetoric. He begins by describing a contemporary outrage: "A little while ago certain doctors and other persons permitted by modern law to dictate to their shabbier fellow-citizens, sent out an order that all little girls should have their hair cut short. I mean, of course, all little girls whose parents were poor." Below is his blistering response:
    Now the whole parable and purpose of these last pages, and indeed of all these pages, is this: to assert that we must instantly begin all over again, and begin at the other end. I begin with a little girl's hair. That I know is a good thing at any rate. Whatever else is evil, the pride of a good mother in the beauty of her daughter is good. It is one of those adamantine tendernesses which are the touchstones of every age and race. If other things are against it, other things must go down. If landlords and laws and sciences are against it, landlords and laws and sciences must go down. With the red hair of one she-urchin in the gutter I will set fire to all modern civilization. Because a girl should have long hair, she should have clean hair; because she should have clean hair, she should not have an unclean home: because she should not have an unclean home, she should have a free and leisured mother; because she should have a free mother, she should not have an usurious landlord; because there should not be an usurious landlord, there should be a redistribution of property; because there should be a redistribution of property, there shall be a revolution. That little urchin with the gold-red hair, whom I have just watched toddling past my house, she shall not be lopped and lamed and altered; her hair shall not be cut short like a convict's; no, all the kingdoms of the earth shall be hacked about and mutilated to suit her. She is the human and sacred image; all around her the social fabric shall sway and split and fall; the pillars of society shall be shaken, and the roofs of ages come rushing down, and not one hair of her head shall be harmed.
The book's table of contents gives some indication of its prophetic nature:

    I The Medical Mistake
    II Wanted: An Unpractical Man
    III The New Hypocrite
    IV The Fear of the Past
    V The Unfinished Temple
    VI The Enemies of Property
    VII The Free Family
    XIII The Wildness of Domesticity
    IX History of Hudge and Gudge
    X Oppression by Optimism
    XI The Homelessness of Jones


    I The Charm of Jingoism
    II Wisdom and the Weather
    III The Common Vision
    IV The Insane Necessity


    I The Unmilitary Suffragette
    II The Universal Stick
    III The Emancipation of Domesticity
    IV The Romance of Thrift
    V The Coldness of Chloe
    VI The Pedant and the Savage
    VII The Modern Surrender of Woman
    VIII The Brand of the Fleur-de-Lis
    IX Sincerity and the Gallows
    X The Higher Anarchy
    XI The Queen and the Suffragettes
    XII The Modern Slave


    I The Calvinism of To-day
    II The Tribal Terror
    III The Tricks of Environment
    IV The Truth About Education
    V An Evil Cry
    VI Authority the Unavoidable
    VII The Humility of Mrs. Grundy
    VIII The Broken Rainbow
    IX The Need for Narrowness
    X The Case for the Public Schools
    XI The School for Hypocrites
    XII The Staleness of the New Schools
    XIII The Outlawed Parent
    XIV Folly and Female Education


    I The Empire of the Insect
    II The Fallacy of the Umbrella Stand
    III The Dreadful Duty of Gudge
    IV A Last Instance
    V Conclusion


    I On Female Suffrage
    II On Cleanliness in Education
    III On Peasant Proprietorship
The book is available on line here in its entirity: What's Wrong with the World by G. K. Chesterton - Project Gutenberg.
Today's DVD Purchase
I have seen The Crucible (1996) a few times and think it a very underrated film. The classical liberal in me loves it. Arthur Miller adapted the screenplay from his own play. One of the aspects of the film I most thoroughly enjoy is the 17th Century English, including Barbadan English. It also offers some great acting from Daniel Day-Lewis and Joan Allen. 17th Century New England is painstakingly recreated in this film, incuding the joyless Calvinism of our Puritan forebears. It dwells on one of my favorite themes: the inherent danger of the crowd. The film's main weakness is that it comes dangerously close to pooh-poohing the Devil and the very real and dangerous subject-matter of witchcraft, as so many moderns are apt to do.

There is one line in particular, uttered by the preisding judge, which illuminates the un-Catholic nature of the whole proceeding:
    This is a new time. A precise time. We no longer live in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God's grace, the good folk and the evil entirely separate.
The Catholic recognizes this for the utopianism that it is.

I like "period" films for the same reason I used to like "foreign" movies; they allow the viewer to experience, however artificially, a time and place he would otherwise never be able to experience. Books, of course, offer this as well, and it is even better to read widely.
Alta Calfornia
Today, ~ oranckay ~ links to this article from "The Capital of the Third Word": English bypassed in L.A.: Koreans learning Spanish.
The Novus Ordo in Korea
Today, Father Alvin Kimel, a.k.a. the Pontificator, makes four excellent Liturgical Suggestions. Happily, most of these are already part of the Korean Catholic liturgical experience:

(1) Although there is electronic amplification, it is not obtrusive. (2) Lectors here wear albs. There are no eucharistic ministers as we know them in the US; each parish usually has more than one priest and at least two nuns, who act as eucharistic ministers. (3) Korean celebrants are quite reverent at the words of consecration; one can almost hear the presence of the saints and angels when the Host and chalice are raised. (4) Korean celebrants very infrequently ad lib during the Liturgy.

From my experience assisting Masses in both countries, I would also identify a few things that the American laity could learn from its Korean counterpart:

(1) Dress approprately. Mass is not a day at the beach. At a typical Novus Ordo Mass in Korea, more women veil themselves than at a Tridentine Mass in the US. (2) Drop the orans position when praying. Koreans tend to keep their hands together in prayer in front of their chests for the duration of the Mass.

Koreans could also pick up a few good habits from across the Pacific:

(1) Bring back the kneelers! In the two parishes I attend, there is only one row of pews with kneelers. That's where you'll find me. (2) Genuflect. It is more reverent than a mere bow. Although the traditional Korean to-the-floor prostration-bow I sometimes see older folks do is even better.
Srdja Trifkovic answers a tough question: What To Do With Iran?
Very, Very Evil
"Colombian police chief Gen Jord Alirio Varon said the four- to five-month-old foetuses could have been intended for use in Satanic rituals": Foetuses found at Bogota airport: Colombian police have found the bodies of three human foetuses hidden in statues destined for the United States.

[link via Catholic Ragemonkey]
The Ultimate Sin
The title of the M*A*S*H theme song comes to mind: Suicide fourth leading cause of death among South Koreans.

Recalling a particularly pathetic example of suicide, Mark Shea quoted a great man on this topic in a post entitled The Prophet G.K. Chesterton on Hunter S. Thompson:
    Under the lengthening shadow of Ibsen, an argument arose whether it was not a very nice thing to murder one's self. Grave moderns told us that we must not even say "poor fellow," of a man who had blown his brains out, since he was an enviable person, and had only blown them out because of their exceptional excellence. Mr. William Archer even suggested that in the golden age there would be penny-in-the-slot machines, by which a man could kill himself for a penny. In all this I found myself utterly hostile to many who called themselves liberal and humane. Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin. It is the ultimate and absolute evil, the refusal to take an interest in existence; the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life. The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far as he is concerned he wipes out the world. His act is worse (symbolically considered) than any rape or dynamite outrage. For it destroys all buildings: it insults all women. The thief is satisfied with diamonds; but the suicide is not: that is his crime. He cannot be bribed, even by the blazing stones of the Celestial City. The thief compliments the things he steals, if not the owner of them. But the suicide insults everything on earth by not stealing it. He defiles every flower by refusing to live for its sake. There is not a tiny creature in the cosmos at whom his death is not a sneer. When a man hangs himself on a tree, the leaves might fall off in anger and the birds fly away in fury: for each has received a personal affront. Of course there may be pathetic emotional excuses for the act. There often are for rape, and there almost always are for dynamite. But if it comes to clear ideas and the intelligent meaning of things, then there is much more rational and philosophic truth in the burial at the cross-roads and the stake driven through the body, than in Mr. Archer's suicidal automatic machines. There is a meaning in burying the suicide apart. The man's crime is different from other crimes -- for it makes even crimes impossible.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Justice for Jean Charles de MenezesHer son was not wearing a bulky jacket, had not jumped over a ticket barrier, and had not run when challenged by officers who did not shout "stop" yet who proceeded to shoot him seven times in the head as they had been taught by the Israelis.
"Is our Lord so insignificant, that we can explain Him in 5 minutes?"
Constantine in Singapore takes on Protestant street preaching in Evangelism - As Camillus sees it.
Prostitution in South Korea
It's still ubiquitous, as this article notes and the pinks lights remind me in the morning going to Mass in downtown Pohang at 6:00 AM: The Great Prostitution Crackdown, One Year On.
An Anglican Homecoming
Seattle Catholic links today to this major story about the Traditional Anglican Communion: TAC seeking unity with Rome.
DPRK Gulags
Kang Choi-Hwan in the US: Author Speaks on Concentration Camp
Ut Umum Sint
"Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Vienna and Austria, the Russian Orthodox Church’s representative to the European Union, is once again urging a Roman Catholic-Orthodox alliance to combat secularism, liberalism and relativism in Europe -- and lands outside it": Breathing with One Lung?
Straight Talk on Katrina Aftermath
From the desk of Rep. Bobby Jindal (R - Louisiana): When Red Tape Trumped Common Sense

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Panem et Circenses
From the Arirang Festival:

    Pyongyang: North Korean students conduct a mass performance during the Arirang Festival. The culture and art festival is part of two month festivities to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Workers Party.
Universal Indult Soon?
Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez thinks so: Official sees widespread permission for Tridentine rite masses.
An Exposé of Neoconservative Folly
Democracy Won't Stop Terrorism
Why Religious Authority is a Good Thing
    The thing that Catholics have a hard time remembering is that we are the weirdos in the human religious community because we have a Magisterium. It's really hard for us to bear in mind that the overwhelming mass of humanity's experience of religion is conducted without a ruling body that decides "what we really believe". Consequently, we have this notion that there is some official who "speaks for" Islam or Buddhism or whatnot.

    There isn't. Islam is, within very broad parameters, whatever the loudest and most powerful figures in the Muslim world say it is.
-Mark Shea of Catholic and Enjoying It!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Pusan's "Russia Texas Chon"
GI Korea Blog links today to this article about an area that used by known as "Texas Street" when it was frequented by US servicemen but has for some time been the domain of Russian sailors: Russia Town in Pusan Home Away From Home.

I was last there in 1997, when I bought a ghetto blaster from a Korean-Russian gentleman and his wife. I got a good deal, but felt uncomfortable in a neighborhood that was a strange and seedy mix of sailors, prostitutes, and babuschkas.
Anti-war Protests
Cathartidae is one of my favorite expat-in-Korea blogs, although I often disagree with its author politically. We do agree about suits, though; he's one of the few Leftists who dresses in a civilized manner. He also recognizes North Korea for the abomination that it is and we agree in our opposition to Mr. Bush's War. In fact, if more on the Left were like him, and more on the Right less like me, political discourse might still be possible in the US.

Here's something else we agree on, from his latest post entitled Protests:
    With 56% of Americans now opposed to the War in Iraq, the chance of success fading away, and increased terrorism becoming the real fruit of this war, there is a compelling case to make against our current presence in Iraq. Unfortunately, rather than make this case, the recent anti-war demonstrations in America brought out the usual motley assortment of leftist activists, each with their own pet cause (who exactly is the Cuban 5, BTW?), and each a big fat sitting duck for mockery from the right or casual chuckles from Ma and Pa America right before they change the channel.

    Look, I'm all for free speech, and I would never, ever tell these people not to protest whatever it is they are angry about during any given week. But if these people are really, truly serious about bringing the disaster in Iraq to a merciful end, they really, really need to change playbooks. A disparate bunch of hippies, former hippies, communists, socialists, gays, lesbians, anarchists, environmentalists, anti-globalization groups, college kids, and "average folks," with no consistent message among them, does not make for a good visual on TV. Furthermore, the crackpots are going to attract a lion's share of the media attention ("hey is that a guy waving an old soviet flag, let's interview him") and paint the whole movement in a poor light.

    I know, it sucks, but image matters. How about standardized protest signs? Or at least strong suggestions about behavior during the protest? Any sort of effort  to clean things up a bit would be a real boon.
Since extremists love conspiracy theories, how about circulating this one: These anti-war protests were actually organized by the White House in an attempt to win Middle America back to the pro-war cause.
Lucid Dreams
Jimmy Akin takes on an interesting question in this post: Sinful Activity In Lucid Dreams?

As a teenager, I trained myself to dream lucidly after reading an article in Omni magazine. The technique involved asking yourself during your waking hours if you were dreaming. You'd look at something, a clock for example, then after looking away, check if it was still a clock. It it was, you could be assured that you were not dreaming.

Doing this several times a day, it becomes a habit that is carried over into dreaming. Then, when you look at a tree, look away, and look back to notice the tree is now your third-grade math teacher, you know you're dreaming.

After a few nights, I became aware that I was dreaming, and did what the article suggested: I flew around in my dream body. When I felt I was waking up from the dream, I also did what the article suggested: I spun around in my dream body. The dream continued.

I realized very quickly what an utter waste of time all this was, and decided to sleep through the night and spend more time focusing on reality.
Catholic Humor*
The Jester outdoes himself with this one: PWTN.

*"Humour," as it were, for visitors from member-states, in good standing or no, of that most august of organisations, the Commonweath of Nations
Ex-Protestants and Ex-Catholics
Catholic convert Dave Armstrong, whose writing helped lead me into the Church, today quotes Presbyterian Church Historian Mark Noll on Differences in Converts: Is The Reformation Over? contains a section about former notable Evangelicals (Scott and Kimberly Hahn, Thomas Howard, Peter Kreeft, etc.) who have become Catholic in recent years. Although they offer criticisms, they have a very ecumenical attitude toward Evangelicalism. Are there counterparts, so to speak, within Evangelicalism–former Catholics who became Evangelical because of serious theological reflection and who now engage in ecumenical dialogue with Catholics, either formally or informally?

    Noll: I’m sure there must be, but most of the ex-Catholics I know or know about tend to be pretty severe on their Catholic past. Most ex-Catholic evangelicals of my acquaintance were not well catechized, and often their Catholic experience was nominal, mechanical, or (in some instances) abusive; by contrast, many ex-evangelical Catholics reasoned themselves into Catholicism from articulate evangelical positions. That difference helps explain the contrast in "ex"s (if, in fact, my experience speaks to a general situation).
This has been noted before, anecdotally, and is quite interesting and telling. The Catholic converts I've come across in real-life and on the Internet tend to operate more from the intellect, as Mr. Noll suggests. The ex-Catholics tend to the emotivist side. Still, while emotivism is to be surely rejected, rationalism can also not convince one of the Truth of Catholicism. Grace is needed. All the books I had read were not as effective as Sister Veronica's handing me a rosary on my first night of my Korean RCIA course and teaching me to pray it.
A Classical Liberal Among Leftists
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.: My Speech at the Antiwar Rally
Similarities Between Korean and Vietnamese
The image below comes from a tragic story, Vietnam's Unexploded War Legacy, but I post it only to make a simple linguistic observation:
The Vietnamese word for "danger" is remarkably similar to the Korean word for the same: 위험 (ui heom). Both come from the Chinese 危險 (Mandarin: wēixiǎn). Interestingly, the Vietnamese and the Korean pronunciations are closer to each other than either are to the Mandarin. This is something I've noticed many times in my acquaintance with the three Asian languages, which all come from different language families. I have a hunch that Sino-Vietnamese and Sino-Korean are phonetically closer to Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka or another "dialect" than they are to Mandarin, but having only studied the latter, I could not say.
Atheistic Communism in Red China
Ban on Internet religious information
His Holiness the Dalai Lama Mouths Progressivist Claptrap
While I oppose Mr. Bush's War, this is just nonsense: Dalai Lama Tells U.S. Crowd War Outdated.

Such statements imply that war was once right, but that mankind has progressed to a certain stage of enlightenment where it no longer is. There are conditions under which war is just.

From Just War in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
    2309 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 modern 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.
The Dalai Lama once again disappoints me. Had he said, "War is wrong," full-stop, I would have disagreed with but respected him.
A Defector Returned to the DPRK
From Stills 'Show N.Korean Soldiers Abusing Woman':
UPDATE: As revolting as the above image is, ~ oranckay ~ disturbingly notes that given "all the truly unimaginably horrific things you hear about North Korean prison camps, this incident does not horrify me quite as much as the thought of what situation the woman might be in right now and what they’ll do to whoever installed the hidden camera that took the footage if they catch him."

Κύριε, ελέησον
Culture of Death in the UK
Here's an example of just how progressive members of conservative parties have become: TORY DEPUTY MAYOR: THE BEST THING FOR DISABLED CHILDREN IS THE GUILLOTINE.

Monday, September 26, 2005

New TOEFL® Format
Koreans ain't gonna like it: English test has foreign students sweating.
Tragic and Shameful Abandonment of Children
My wife tells me that here in Korea, rather than have a custody battle during a divorce, spouses often fight not to "get stuck" with the kids: More Children Abandoned Due to Parents' Divorces.

The article cites "financial difficulty" as the main reason for this trend, but this excuse seems overused in the world's 11th largest economy.

Sadly, Confucian filial piety is sometimes incorrectly seen as extending responsibilities in only one direction. For the Catholic view, look at this balanced list of MORTAL SINS violating the Fourth Commandment:
    4. Honor your father and mother.

    - Serious failure to care for aged parents

    - Serious neglect of the duties of one’s state in life

    - Serious disrespect for or disobedience to parents, superiors or authorities

    - Wishing death or evil on parents

    - Abuse or serious neglect of children

    - Failure to baptize children in a reasonable time (within a few months) after birth

    - Serious neglect of the religious education or upbringing of children

    - Failure to carry out the last will of deceased parents
Let us pray and work for the Catholicization of Korea, America, and the World.

[article via The Lost Nomad]
Legitimizing the Divorce of the Marital Act from its Proper Context
Two stories from South Korea: Sex Workers Seeking to Form Union and Museum Explores Sexual Side of Art
Our Lady

    A statue of the Virgin Mary is seen standing in flood waters in the lower
    Ninth Ward in New Orleans, Louisiana September 23, 2005.
[image from Hurricane Katrina on Yahoo! News Photos]
Like so many artistic heroes of the Left, Picasso and Chaplin come to mind, he was a womanizing degenerate: First wife tells of violent, cheating Lennon.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Remembered Today

Saint Andrew Kim Taegon

Saint Paul Chong Hasang

Martyrs of Korea

Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Today's Mass was an illustration of how far some "smells and bells" coupled with Korean reservation and piety can go to make the Novus Ordo a less than excrutiating experience: Father made liberal use of the censor; a wonderful politically incorrect prayer for the suffering Church in the North was offered; the choir sang the Sanctus in beautiful counterpoint to the congregation. Why the Agnus Dei was not sung I do not know. The offertory hymn was the appropriate Faith of Our Fathers, one of my favorites.

These saints of the Universal Church and the estimated 10,000 Koreans who, in the 19th Century, gave up their lives at the hands of their countrymen rather than renounce the Faith are an example to Christians in Korea and the world over. If nothing else, they serve as a reminder to pagan Koreans of the absurdity of the prevailing opinion that "Koreans don't kill Koreans:" that outside forces are responsible for all the misfortunes Koreans have faced, a position seriously maintained by many on the messianically nationalist Left. This position is illustrated by the revisionism surrounding The Daejon Massacre, which occured 55 years ago yesterday.

Most importantly, these saints illustrate what Tertullian observed almost 1900 years ago: "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church." Korea now has the third largest percentage of Christians in its population in Asia, after the Phillippines and Vietnam. If one includes the several hundred Protestant sects active in this country, Korea would rank second.

Tellingly, American Protestant missionaries arrived only after the great persecutions had ended, bringing with them the variety of heterodox doctrines, the absurd teetotalism, and the distasteful nationalism now characteristic of Korean Protestantism. Our separated brethren make fewer demands on their converts: there is little need of study, just one prayer to be memorized. All one has to do is accept someone called Jesus into one's heart. It makes little difference just who this Jesus is. The grace can be cheap indeed. Koreans, like anyone else, will try to buy at the lowest possible cost.

While the French Catholic priests had adopted Korean ways, lived among their flock, and suffered martyrdom alongside them, many of the Protestant johnnies-come-lately lived in mansions and were served by their converts. The Calvinist must be successful in worldly matters. Koreans, wanting too to be rich, were dazzled. What was more, these missionaries came from a faraway and fabulously rich "Christian" country, second only to Heaven itself in its splendor, with its mechanization and industrialization of all spheres of life. The false gospels of prosperity and progress proved very seductive for a destitute people like the Koreans.
Neoconservative Unreality
Mr. Bush's War is a failure on all counts: REALISM, NOT RELATIVISM, MUST BE USED TO GAUGE SUCCESS.
It's Official: The United States of America Practices Torture
Your tax dollars at work: The Navy Secretly Contracted Jets Used by CIA "to fly terror suspects to countries known to practice torture."
    You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to a fair trial. You have the right not to be tortured, not to be murdered, rights that you took away from Tariq Husseini. You have those rights because of the men who came before you who wore that uniform. Because of the men and women who are standing here right now waiting for you to give them the order to fire. Give them the order, General.
-Denzel Washington as FBI Agent Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard in The Siege (1998)
The Etymology of "Atone"
From Amy Welborn's post entitled The body's forgotten ally:
    St. Thomas More coined the English word “atone” by combining two words, “at one,” to produce one meaning “to reconcile opposing sides of a conflict.”
I always assumed the word was Latinate in origin, but realizing their was no Spanish equivalent, went to, the searchable online version of the Oxford English Dictionary, "[t]he definitive record of the English language," which confirmed this origin if not its originator.
Name It and Claim It
Constantine in Singapore takes on the "blasphemous, heretical and theologically unsound" Prosperity Teaching.
An Example of "U.S. Arrogance and Immorality"
That's how the Anglicans of the "global south" rightly see the Gene Robinson débâcle: Gay Bishop Predicts Anglican Church Split.
Another Reason Why My Kids Will Never Attend Public School
Here is one of several examples Jeff Culbreath cites in THE OLD DAYS: PART TWO:
    'In 1882, fifth graders read these authors in their Appleton School Reader: William Shakespeare, Henry Thoreau, George Washington, Sir Walter Scott, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Bunyan, Daniel Webster, Samuel Johnson, Lewis Carroll, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and others like them. In 1995, a student teacher of fifth graders in Minneapolis wrote to the local newspaper, "I was told children are not to be expected to spell the following words correctly: back, big, call, came, can, day, did, dog, down, get, good, have, he, home, if, in, is, it, like, little, man, morning, mother, my, night, off, out, over, people, play, ran, said, saw, she, some, soon, their, them, there, time, two, too, up, us, very, water, we, went, where, when, will, would, etc. Is this nuts?"’
This latter teacher's experience bears all the hallmarks of the Whole Language (WL) approach, one of the worst disasters in the history of education. English, an alphabetic language, is taught as if it were Chinese, an ideographic language. Teaching the relationship between sounds and letters is strictly verboten; rather, "invented spellings" are encouraged to foster student creativity. Those who fail under the WL regime are labelled as dyslexic or learning disabled.

My female professors tried to push the application of this approach in the second language classroom in my Ed.M. program. I was at the time too young and miseducated to undertsand the ideological implications behind this approach, or even recognize the obvious error of basing a system largely on the findings of a Soviet psychologist (Lev Vygotsky). Once in the classroom, however, I quickly learned that the tried and true methods of language teaching, used in the West since the days of the Greeks, were best.

WL proponents, like all leftist ideologues*, aim to erase Tradition from human memory and, like Pol Pot, start over at Year Zero. Like all utopian schemes, the end result is an inhuman dystopia. Learn more here: Whole-Language Boondoggle.

*A tautology; true conservatives by definition cannot be ideologues.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

TV Worth Watching
Every so often, there is something worth watching on TV. Tonight, EBS, Korea's educational channel, presented a French documentary on fadista Mísia. Fantastic stuff! It's wonderful to see living cultural traditions still thriving. Here's the singer's official website: MÍSIA | Online.
Saturday Afternoon DVD
My Darling Clementine (1946)
Saint Isidore of Seville, Patron of the Internet, Pray for Us
Serge of A conservative blog for peace today links to A Prayer before logging onto the Internet:
    Almighty and eternal God, who created us in Thy image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant, we beseech Thee that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, bishop and doctor, during our journeys through the Internet, we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
A View from Kuching
Audrey from Malaysia has a write-up of the Korean Martyrs and the Korean Wave: Bravo, Koreans!
Rep. Gang Gi-gap Throws Down
From [Photo]Brawl on rice pact:

Legislators tussled yesterday at the National Assembly, where a left-wing party succeeded in blocking hearings on a bill to open Korea's rice market a bit further. [NEWSIS]
Here's another angle from [사진]누가 위원장인가:

23일 오전 국회 통일외교통상위에 상정될 예정인 쌀관세화 유예협상 비준동의안의 상정및 심의를 저지하기 위해 민노당 의원들이 통외통위 회의실을 점거한 가운데 강기갑의원이 임채정위원장석을 차지하고 있다. 좌는 임채정위원장.
The gentleman with the beard on the right is Rep. Gang Gi-gap, of the ultra-leftist and econonically nationalist Democratic Labor Party and former head of the Korean Catholic Farmers' Association. I've written about him before: Gang Gi-gap: Korea's Best-Dressed Politician.
Defeating One's Own Cause
    By 1968 polls showed a majority of Americans against the war -- but a bigger majority against the war protesters.
- from The Anti-Iraq War Movement is a Far Cry From Vietnam [via]
The Confederacy and the Papacy
An interesting discussion has developed about the above in response to Jeff Culbreath's thoughts on GODS AND GENERALS. Here are some excerpts:
    If you liked Gods and Generals, if you haven't already, check out One Man's Hero. This movie tells the story of Irish Catholics in the U.S. Army during the Mexican War driven to desert to the side of their Mexican co-religionists by Protestant abuse....

    I'm intrigued that Pope Pius IX sent Jefferson Davis a crown of thorns....

    I read somewhere that Blessed Pius IX also sent Papal Zoaves to fight for the Confederacy, but I’ve never been able to confirm that. I’d guess it was because although the South condoned slavery, it was much less anti-Catholic than the North. I’ve also seen it claimed that the Union Army took special care to burn any Catholic Church they came across.
A Korean Historian Who Gets It
Here are some excerpts from Korean Historian: French Tricolor Not a Product of “Freedom, Equality, Fraternity”:
    “[F]raternite,” which is translated as “fraternity,” is a quite distant meaning from the lofty definition. As shown in the slogan “Fraternity or death,” fraternity had the violent meaning of distinguishing friends and enemies, both domestic and foreign. The author explains that in such terms, if freedom led to liberalism and equality into socialism, fraternity led to nationalism....

    He shows the darker side of western revolutions that called for noble causes, and discloses the dogma of the religious reforms calling for freedom of religion. On the other hand, he also gives credit to medieval times, branded as the dark ages, in order to justify modernization, and the positive aspects of absolute monarchies.

    The Glorious Revolution, also praised as the bloodless revolution, was in reality a bloody civil war, which, according to some researchers, had higher casualties than World War I, considered as the most miserable war in British history. During the French Revolution period, about 200,000 were massacred in a civil war in the Vendee region, while another two million French died in wars abroad. The Russian Revolution was a catastrophic tragedy that sacrificed at least 55 million.

    Jean Calvin, considered by Max Weber as having established the spiritual base for modern capitalism, was an ideological tyrant that claimed “religious freedom” but did not recognize the religious freedom of others. Geneva, under the leadership of Calvin, was a small city of 16,000. However, during his first five years of rule, 13 were hanged, 10 were decapitated, 35 burned and 76 were expelled.

    Jus primae noctis, Latin for “law of the first night,” is a law that allowed lords or Catholic priests to sleep with a bride first, before she was married to a serf. The author offers evidence that this law might actually have been a myth created by enlightened society members who wanted to end feudalism and criticized the lords and the old system that wanted to establish a central ruling body....

    He also criticizes nationalistic Korean history academics who adhere not to history but only to national history.

    His logic, which provides a large amount of historical background and references, criticizes the mystification of western history, and makes arguments against nationalism is very clear. However, the author, who is said to have read only three articles criticizing China’s Northeast Project, writes, “Korean scholars are not proving evidence why Goguryeo is Korean history.”
Prayer request...
for a fellow convert to Catholicism: Nobel peace prize winner Kim Dae-jung in hospital
Here's the inside scoop...
on "a human as well as a divine process": Cardinal Diary Details Papal Conclave.

Read to find out where Cardinals Jorge Maria Bergoglio, Carlo Maria Martini, and even Bernard Law stood in the ballotting.

Here's more: Excerpts From Cardinal's Diary on Conclave.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Glen Campbell's Antiwar Song
    Galveston, Glen Campbell

    Galveston, oh Galveston,
    I still hear your sea winds blowin'.
    I still see her dark eyes glowin',
    She was twenty one when I left Galveston.

    Galveston, oh Galveston,
    I still hear your sea waves crashin',
    While I watch the cannons flashin',
    I clean my gun and dream of Galveston.

    I still see her standing by the water.
    Standing there looking out to the sea.
    And is she waiting there for me,
    On the beach where we used to run?

    Galveston, oh Galveston,
    I am so afraid of dyin',
    Before I dry the tears she's cryin',
    Before I watch your sea birds flying in the sun,
    At Galveston.
    At Galveston.
Here's some trivia, from Galveston by Glen Campbell Songfacts:
    This was written by songwriter Jimmy Webb, who also wrote Campbell's hits "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and "Wichita Lineman." Webb also wrote "MacArthur Park," which was a hit for both Richard Harris and Donna Summer, and "Up-Up and Away," which was recorded by The Fifth Dimension.

    Galveston is a city on the coast of Texas that attracts lots of hurricanes. Webb was on a beach in Galveston when he wrote this. He made up the story about a soldier in the Spanish-American war and the girl he left behind.

    The Vietnam War was going on when Campbell released this. It was considered an antiwar song.

    This made the CMT Top Ten list of all-time great country music songs.
Holland with Nukes
Someone wiser that me described the US as such. President Bush and the neoconservatives are right; they hate us because of our values. They're just wrong about which values we're hated for:How dare they call us the Great Satan!
Gay Priests
I am not that interested in this story, but will attempt to write about it for the benefit of any non-Catholics who might stop by this blog: Vatican May Bar Gays From Seminaries.

I'm sure there have been Roman Catholic priests who suffered from the affliction of same-sex attraction and were every bit as devout, holy, and celibate as Father Seraphim Rose of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Surely a number of potentially good priests would be turned away from the priesthood under increased scrutiny. Some of these might even be tempted to abandon their salvation and enter into an actively gay lifestyle. We must pray for these. Nevertheless, such a move is needed.

It must be remembered that any move to bar men suffereing from this disorder from joining the priesthood is a matter of discipline, not doctrine. Doctrines illustrate eternal, immutable truths: the Trinity will always consist of three Persons; Christ will always have two Natures; Mary will always be the Mother of God.

Disciplines, in contrast, are mutable in the face of temporal and spatial challenges: the charging of interest was usurious under a feudal ecomomy, but not under a free market economy; married men may become Catholic priests in the Eastern Rite, but not in the Western.

Only recently have people carrying the cross of same-sex attraction decided to turn their affliction into an indentity, some would even suggest, laughably, a "community." Given the situation of a culture that calls good evil and evil good, this new discipline is a necessity.

In the "spirit" (not letter) of Vatican II, the doors of the seminaries we opened, along with the windows of the Church. One result was the homosexual priest crisis* of 2002, the same year I entered Holy Mother Church.

*The media sometimes erroneously refers to this as the pedophile priest crisis: the majority of the victims were post-pubescent males, not children.
City and Country
By way of the CET -- Caelum et Terra Discussion Group, I came across two articles of interest by Paul M. Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation, an organization whose "main focus is on the Culture War."

The first addresses Agrarianism and what we can learn from the Amish and organic farmers:The Next Conservatism #9: Country Life.

The second recognizes the importance of cities in maintaining High Culture: The Next Conservatism #10: Conservative New Urbanism.

NASCAR is fine; even Flannery O'Connor was a fan. But cities are needed so that we might ensure that "future generations get to see Shakespeare’s plays, hear Mozart’s music or see Dürer’s engravings."
A Boring War
Ted Rall is usually wrong, but he's right that "[w]hen it comes to the war against Iraq, Americans only agree about one thing: it is no longer interesting": WHAT SHOW DID YOU WATCH DURING THE WAR, DADDY?

While I was in the pre-Katrina US in August, the media had it that world's most pressing problem was in Aruba.
Welcoming the Money-Changers
Hollywood Marketing Films Through Churches
An Austrian Patriot
Tracy Fennel on Dollfuß
Confusion in Eastasia
This same trend is happening in Korea: Men in Land of Samurai Find Their Feminine Side: Marketing Fosters Shift in Gender Roles*.

This year, I began to notice male university students wearing pink nail polish. I don't get it.

*Bypass registration with

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Kính Mừng Maria
I so liked the way "Hà Nội" looked in the Quốc Ngữ Vietnamese alphabet in a post below that I decided to search for a prayer in the language I studied about a decade ago and in which could once carry on a simple conversation.

So here is the Ave Maria ...Kính Mừng Maria below an image of NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LAVANG:

Kính Mừng MARIA đầy ơn phúc,
Đức Chúa Trời ở cùng Bà,
Bà có phúc lạ hơn mọi người nữ,
và GIÊSU Con lòng Bà gồm phúc lạ.
Thánh MARIA Đức Mẹ Chúa Trời
cầu cho chúng con là kẻ có tội,
khi này và trong giờ lâm tử. Amen.

Read more about her in English at Our Lady of La Vang.

French Jesuit missionary Alexandre De Rhodes invented Quốc Ngữ. The JAARS Museum of the Alphabet has this informative article: Qúoc Ngú: A New Dimension for the Roman Alphabet. Here, for comparison, is what the same site has to say about Hangul: The Korean Alphabet: One of the World's Most Scientific.
Down Under
Back in August, Mr. Huberto Dharmawan sent me a kind request to put up a link to his site, CIC St. Peter Julian, a Catholic Indonesian Community in Australia.

As my students say when handing in their assignments, "Sorry for late."
"You can't make a moral argument from a picture!"
No? I guess we can't make any value judgments from this picture* then:
Pro-Life News links to this article explaining why showing photos like those found at | Abortion Photos is a necessity: Abortion Photographs Depict A Grisly Reality.

* from ! The Undeniable Holocaust: A Pictoral Archive of Nazi Atrocities
Orient and Occident
Over at ~ oranckay ~ today is posted a link to this article that he suggests might offer some explanation as to "why Asians can’t seem to get the point or why Americans have to be so darn linear all the time": In Asia, the Eyes Have It.

Here are some excerpts from the article:
    Asians and North Americans really do see the world differently. Shown a photograph, North American students of European background paid more attention to the object in the foreground of a scene, while students from China spent more time studying the background and taking in the whole scene, according to University of Michigan researchers....

    Nisbett illustrated this with a test asking Japanese and Americans to look at pictures of underwater scenes and report what they saw.

    The Americans would go straight for the brightest or most rapidly moving object, he said, such as three trout swimming. The Japanese were more likely to say they saw a stream, the water was green, there were rocks on the bottom and then mention the fish.

    The Japanese gave 60 percent more information on the background and twice as much about the relationship between background and foreground objects as Americans, Nisbett said.

    In the latest test, the researchers tracked the eye movement of the Chinese and Americans as they looked at pictures.

    The Americans looked at the object in the foreground sooner -- a leopard in the jungle for example -- and they looked at it longer. The Chinese had more eye movement, especially on the background and back and forth between the main object and the background, he said.

    Reinforcing the belief that the differences are cultural, he said, when Asians raised in North America were studied, they were intermediate between native Asians and European-Americans, and sometimes closer to Americans in the way they viewed scenes.
P'yŏngyang Ted
Hà Nội Jane's ex-husband is "absolutely convinced that the North Koreans are absolutely sincere": Useful Idiot: Ted Turner.
From the Pinnacle of Human Civilization
Here's another enlightened advance from my progressive ancestral homeland: Dutch Talk-Show Host to Take Heroin on Air.
Yankee Go Home
Fifty-four percent of South Koreans suggest just that: Majority opposes U.S. troop presence.

I agree. The world's 11th largest economy can and should defend itself.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Nigerian Anglican Schism

On the one hand "[a]ll former references to 'communion with the see of Canterbury' were deleted and replaced with another provision of communion with all Anglican Churches, Dioceses and Provinces that hold and maintain the 'Historic Faith, Doctrine, Sacrament and Discipline of the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church'."

On the other hand "[e]mphasis was also placed on the 1662 version of the Book of Common Prayer and the historic Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion," the latter being of questionable Catholic content.
An Important Day, Missed
Yesterday was the Memorial of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon, the patron of this blog, Saint Paul Chong Hasang, and the rest of the 103 Martyrs of Korea.

I thought the memorial was today, which is the Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle.

Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Dei, intercedite pro nobis.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Pledge of Allegiance
Throw the whole thing out, "under God" and all, I say, agreeing with the author of this piece: A Federated Republic or One Nation?
Hard Truths
Samuel Lee of East Asia Affairs observes that Korea Cannot Be Peacefully Unified.
I'm so bored...
with the DPRK: North Korea Pledges to Drop Nuke Programs.

Perhaps I'm being overly cynical in echoing The Clash with this post's title, but it seems we've heard this before, many, many times. On the other hand, maybe President Roh's prayers (scroll down), and ours, have been answered.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The holiday weekend allowed me to catch up on some reading: I was able to finish two books at the in-laws'.

The first was The Habit of Being : Letters of Flannery O'Connor, a writer Thomas Merton compared to Sophocles. In her fiction, she captured the "Christ-haunted" South as only a cradle Catholic could, and as such had the kind of all-encompassing faith we converts can only hope our children will have. In her epistolary, the "Hillbilly Thomist" demonstrates how much orthodox Catholicism engages the intellect, rather than stifling it as our enemies and those who misunderstand us would have it. Yet she would rightly loathe to be called an "interlekchul," knowing the true meaning of the word. Through her letters, she brought a few souls to the Catholic Faith, and gave a good many others a truer picture of it. No, the Catholic Faith is not an "electric blanket" (her words). She also lets the reader in on the demands of being a writer (a year for a short story; seven years for a novel). A reviewer calls this the "best tutorial you're apt to ever read on how to write fiction." Knowing her fate, it is a struggle to read her last letters as she faces debilitating lupus. Yet, she bears her cross as a Catholic, never complaining nor too proud to ask for prayers.

The second was Light in the Far East: Archbishop Harold Henry's forty-two years in Korea, about one of the 20th Century's great missionary bishops. His life moves from Minnesota to Ireland, to a ship bound for China that never makes it past Korea, to a Japanese prison, a ship bound for New York via Portuguese East Africa, to England and the Invasion of Normany and the Battle of the Bulge, and back to the US before returning to Korea, surviving the fratricidal war, spending the rest of his life building the Archdiocese of Kwangju before handing it over to a Korean, and then dying on Cheju Island before the Blessed Sacrament. I cannot believe my feet have touched so many places this man of God had walked. This book serves as a great introduction to Catholicism and to Korea. It's a shame it's out-of-print. I thank the kind reader of this blog who gave me this book.

What to read next? I'll try Aquinas's Shorter Summa: Saint Thomas's Own Concise Version of His Summa Theologica, which has been languishing on my shelf far too long. It's scandalous that I went through nineteen years of education in the Western Hemisphere without ever having read the Angelic Doctor, not to mention not having learned Latin and Greek. I've got a lot of catching up to do!
A Choreographer Asks a Question I'd Like to See Answered
From Bill T. Jones Is About to Make People Angry. Again.*:
    In part of the performance, for instance, a voice is heard reading from Leviticus ("Do not have sexual relations with your father's sister," "Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father's wife"), a selection intended, Mr. Jones said, to prompt his secular audiences to ask themselves why it is that they abide by certain biblically derived proscriptions on sexual conduct while maintaining that others have no validity. Here he is involved in an act of self-interrogation as well. "Why do I think it's O.K. to lay with another man," Mr. Jones pondered over the phone one day, "but not to sleep with my sister?"

"This primitive taboo against incest," the secularist will confidently begin to answer , "is merely a result of the backward eugenic methodology of earlier, unenlightened times. Genetic engineering will soon allow incestuous couples to have perfectly healthy babies. In the meantime, the eugenic problem can be overcome by sterilization and contraception. If a slip-up occurs, abortion is always a solution. And any fetal matter that makes it to full term and is accidentally delivered can be euthanized on the spot. Science and technology have all the answers. There is no reason siblings should not marry. Anyone who rejects the normalcy of such relationships is a judgmental troglodyte, a Bible-thumping bigot, an intolerant incestophobe!"

Atheist Isaac Asimov described such an incestuous utopia in his The Robots of Dawn.

* Use to circumvent NY Times registration requirement.
In Defense of Natural Law
From a professor at my alma mater: No Right of Rape
The Mass
Serge presents some thoughts On the Mass.
Dismantling standard progressivist arguments, my friend Jeff Culbreath hits many nails on the head with this piece: THE OLD DAYS WERE BETTER.
"Let me go to the house of the Father."
Vatican offers graphic details of Pope's last hours
Indic Religions
M.K.V. Narayan takes a detailed look at what Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists believe: Symbolism in Indian Concepts of God.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Today begins Chusok: The Korean Thanksgiving:

    In observance of the Chuseok holiday, Kindergarten students in traditional Korean dress walk down the steps of Geunjeongjeon, the main audience hall of Gyeongbok Palace on Friday.
    [image and text from Front - Sept. 17, 2005]
Soon, I'll be leaving to pay a visit to the in-laws' (sans Mrs. Snyder and the kids, who are in America) in order to offer my respect to their ancestors and pray for the repose of their souls.

Father Jim Tucker of Dappled Things today links to an article explaining the astronomy behind this lunar holiday: Three Nights of the Harvest Moon.

I wish a Happy Harvest Moon Festival to all of you!
A Prayer Request from the President of the Republic of Korea
    Every time I think about the North Korean nuclear weapons issue, I always pray to God... I ask you to do the same.
--South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun, quoted in Amen, Brother Roh.

Our prayers are with you, Mr. President.

President Roh is, as far as I know, a lapsed Catholic.
The Coming End of Communist China?
Open Book links to an article that asks, "Just how many Christians and communists are there in China?"

Some say the former might now outnumber the latter.
Pat Buchanan on Katrina
Here's a taste from Failure of an idea... and a people:
    At the Superdome and New Orleans Convention Center, we saw the failure of 40 years of the Great Society. No sooner had Katrina passed by and the 17th Street levee broke than hundreds of young men who should have taken charge in helping the aged, the sick and the women with babies to safety took to the streets to shoot, loot and rape. The New Orleans police, their numbers cut by deserters who left their posts to look after their families, engaged in running gun battles all day long to stay alive and protect people....

    The real disaster of Katrina was that society broke down. An entire community could not cope. Liberalism, the idea that good intentions and government programs can build a Great Society, was exposed as fraud. After trillions of tax dollars for welfare, food stamps, public housing, job training and education have poured out since 1965, poverty remains pandemic. But today, when the police vanish, the community disappears and men take to the streets to prey on women and the weak....

    Americans were once famous for taking the initiative, for having young leaders rise up to take command in a crisis. See any of that at the Superdome? Sri Lankans and Indonesians, far poorer than we, did not behave like this in a tsunami that took 400 times as many lives as Katrina has thus far.
[Click on the link to read the article in its entirity.]
The Religion of Peace
Here are the six predominant Western views of Islam identified by the author of What's your problem with Islam? [use to bypass LA Times registration]:
    1. The fundamental problem is not just Islam but religion itself. The world would be a much better place if everyone understood the truths revealed by science, had confidence in human reason and embraced secular humanism. What we need is not just a secular state but a secular society.

    2. The fundamental problem is not religion itself but the particular religion of Islam. It does not allow the separation of church and state, religion and politics. The fact that an Iranian newspaper gives the year as 1384 points to a larger truth: Islam is stuck in the Middle Ages. What it needs is its Reformation.

    3. The problem is not Islam but Islamism. Fanatics such as Osama bin Laden have twisted a great religion into the service of hate. We can separate the poisonous fruit from the healthy tree.

    4. The problem is not religion, Islam or even Islamism, but the specific history of the Arabs. Among 22 Arab League members, none is a home-grown democracy. (Iraq now has elements of democracy but hardly home-grown.) This is not a racist claim but an argument about history, economics, political culture, society and a set of failed attempts at post-colonial modernization.

    5. We, not they, are the root of the problem. From the Crusades to Iraq, Western imperialism, colonialism, Christian and post-Christian ideological hegemonism have themselves created the mortal enemies of Western liberal democracy. And, after causing (via the Holocaust), supporting or at least accepting the establishment of Israel, we have for more than half a century ignored the terrible plight of the Palestinians.

    6. The most acute tension between the West and Islam comes at the edges where they meet, where young first- or second-generation Muslim immigrants encounter secular modernity. Its seductions attract them, but, repelled by its hedonistic excesses or perhaps disappointed in their secret hopes or their marginalization, a few Muslim young people embrace a fierce, extreme new version of the faith of their fathers.
The author dissects each of these opinions in his article. Here are some quick thoughts of mine:

Positions 1. and 5. are pure politically correct nonsense. The views of the majority of Muslims rule out position 3. Position 4. has some validity, but assumes democracy is some panacea for the world's ills. That leaves positions 2. and 6.

Position 2., the neoconservative position, is correct in suggesting that the problem lies with Islam itself, but its analysis is dead wrong. Secularization, the fruit of the Reformation cannot be the answer. [See Edward Feser's Does Islam Need a Luther or a Pope?]

Islam, like Mormonism, is a Christian heresy. [See Hillaire Belloc's The Great and Enduring Heresy of Mohammed.] That is its problem. That leaves position 6.

The West has embraced secular modernism and is rapidly aborting, sterilizing, contracepting, and euthanizing itself out of exisitence. East Asia (Eastasia?), with an inferiority complex and without any religion to fall back on, accepted secular modernism without much of a fight.

Muslims, God bless them, are resisting secular modernism! However, Muslims are facing its ungodly challenges with nothing to fall back on but a twisted, heretical theology!

Thus, I have a lot of sympathy for Muslims in their unenviable plight. I pray for their conversion daily, entrusting this seemingly impossible task to Our Lady of Fatima:
[See Matt Abbott's Islam and the Message of Fatima.]

Describing The Modern Phase, Hillaire Belloc identifies secular modernism as the greatest threat the Church has ever faced. What chance could there be of a temporary strategic alliance with Islam against this shared foe?

"Why not stand beside Islam, and against Hollywood and Hillary?" asks Pat Buchanan in What Does America Offer the World?
Little Manila in Seoul
Not surprsingly, Seoul's Filipino community is centered around the Catholic Church: For a taste of home, Filipinos gather at 'Little Manila'.
The Holy Father's Upcoming Visit to Constantinople
From How Pope Addresses Bartolomeos Worries Ankara:
    The main reason for Ankara's hesitation concerning a planned visit by Pope Benedict XVI is that the original invitation for the visit was by Fener Orthodox Patriarch Bartolomeos and that the pontiff might use the "ecumenical" title for Bartolomeos, a title that is rejected by Turkey, during his visit, according to NTV.
[Click on the link to read the rest.]

UPDATE: The Turks have renegged: Christians disappointed: Ankara has put off the pope’s trip to Turkey.

In response, Vatican Nuncio Edmond Farhat minces no words: “Turkey is a nation which is an enemy of Christians."

Friday, September 16, 2005

Flannery O'Connor on New Orleans
    If I had to live in a city I think I would prefer New Orleans to any other--both Southern and Catholic and with indications that the Devil's existence is still freely recognized.
[pg. 500 of The Habit of Being : Letters of Flannery O'Connor]
A New Orthodox Parish in Korea
St. Dionysios Orthodox Church opened a few months back in my wife's hometown, Ulsan, becoming the seventh Orthodox parish in the country. As far as I can tell, the parish has no homepage yet, but Korean-speakers can read about its founding from a local Orthodox bulletin board: 울산 성 디오니시오스 정교회 성당.
The above photo comes from the "EDITORIAL" page of a consulting firm. Scroll down to see more photos of the church's exterior and interior. On this page we learn that the church was founded by shipping magnate Captain Vasilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos. Another photo and more information can be found on Father Na's bilingual homepage: 정교회 한국대교구 인천 성 바울로 성당.
Quote of the Day
    Hitler lost the battle, but he's won the war.
-- Mark Shea of Catholic and Enjoying It!
Much-needed Oversight
This is much overdue: Catholic probe to look at gays in US seminaries.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

An Antiwar Movie
A "war indictment every bit as moving and powerful as Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" without the divisive politics and snide jokes": 'I Know I'm Not Alone'

It was precisely "the divisive politics and snide jokes" that weakened Mr. Moore's film. Had he played it straight, people outside the hard-core Left might have listened to him. "I Know I'm Not Alone" looks to be a far better film.

I recognized director and star Michael Franti's name from two 80s/90s acts that I listened to when I could stomach such genres as hardcore punk and hip-hop: The Beatnigs and The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. I saw the former in 1988 with perhaps a dozen people in a small Buffalo, NY club called "The Pipe Dragon" that catered to the Straight edge* crowd. Their intelligent music epitomized the best and worst of the Left, striking a true note with songs like "Television: The Drug of the Nation" but going astray with a pro-gay, pro-abortion agenda.

*How dark indeed must 1970s mainstream culture have been to have produced a "no drugs, no alcohol, no sex" counter-cultural movement?
Urgent Prayer Request
From the Christian Parents ~ Special Kids list-serv:
    A 16 month old baby girl from Dover, Delaware is hospitalized and not expected to live. Her grandmother has cancer and they gave her some type of medicine in a lollipop form (radiation?) I'm not sure of what it is but the baby got ahold of one and ate it and isn't expected to make it through the night. Please pray for this baby girl and her family. They are all heartbroken. Her father Forrest works with my niece Brandi at the Dover Downs Race Track. Please pass this on to any prayer warriors you know.
"Pour out thy heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands to him for the life of thy little children." --Lamentations 2:19 (Douay-Rheims Bible)

O Mary conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee.

[image and prayer from the Association of the Miraculous Medal]
Memory and Time
This English-language Korean review of a Dutch book attempts to answer the question of why life seems to speed up as we age: The More You Remember, the Slower Time Passes.
My kind of liberals...
are those of the classical type, like the good folks at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.

Here is their analysis of the most sinister philosopher of all time: Low Marx for Poor Memory.

Also not to be missed is their archive entitled In the Liberal Tradition: A History of Liberty.
"The Resurrected Priest"
Read the story of Father Eugenio Laguarda: Priest who survived execution attempt during Spanish Civil War dies.

"I commended myself to the Virgin Mary and I prayed to her out loud," he said, speaking of his torture at the hands of the Republicans, the darlings of the Left then and now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What do Ted Rall and the Maoist Sendero Luminoso have in common?
They both hate charity (and faith and hope as well, I'm sure).

Peru's Maoist "Shining Path" insurgents would routinely kill aid workers. Mr. Rall, the Ann Coulter of the Left (but without the wit), says of charity that "[i]t's time to 'starve the beast'" and "[l]eave Katrina [r]elief [e]fforts to [the g]overnment": CHARITIES ARE FOR SUCKERS.
Just Ordered
The Life and Religion of Mohammed by Menezes, J.L. ("Mohammed: the ugly truth about the founder of the world's most violent religion")

The Trivium by Rauh, Sister Miriam Joseph ("An engaging, thorough introduction to the foundations of classical education: logic, grammar, and rhetoric")
Readers from this blog will know that my wife is from Ulsan, Korea's whaling center since pre-historic times. Having lived there for three years, I developed a taste for the meat. I never had it prepared like this, though: Report: School in Japan Serves Whale Curry.

[link to article via Shrine of the Holy Whapping]
Global Warming and Katrina
From Light on Dark Water:
    [R]egarding the question of global warming and its role in this year's epidemic of hurricanes: this chart from NOAA seems to put that question pretty well to rest for the time being, at least as far as this country is concerned. There is no correlation between whatever warming has occurred since the 1850s and either the number or severity of hurricanes striking the U.S. The possibility remains, of course, that the U.S. is not representative of the entire planet.
[link via Caelum et Terra]
The Wages of Contraception
"Blood clots, pulmonary embolism, heart attack and stroke": Johnson & Johnson Sued Over Ortho Patch

[link to article via A conservative blog for peace]

Of course, contraception would be just as lethal even if it were perfectly safe, leading as it does to spiritual death for the individual and race suicide for nations.

Here's what the "Hillybilly Thomist" had to say on the subject from a 1959 letter in The Habit of Being : Letters of Flannery O'Connor:
    The Church’s stand on birth control is the most absolutely spiritual of all her stands and with all of us being materialists at heart, there is little wonder that it causes unease. I wish various fathers would quit trying to defend it by saying that the world can support forty billion. I will rejoice in the day when they say: This is right, whether we all rot on top of each other or not, dear children, as we certainly may. Either practice restraint or be prepared for crowding.
[The above quote was copied from this FT article: Flannery O'Connor: A Life.]
Adiós Habeas Corpus
This harkens back to the dark days of the Lincoln dictatorship: U.S. Can Confine Citizens Without Charges, Court Rules.

[link via Catholic and Enjoying It!]
Supreme Court
Pro-Life News today links to this article: I was wrong about Roberts. I'm beginning to think I was too.
Martyrdom in India
Hindu Nationalists are to blame: Father Agnos, a tribal Catholic priest, dies a "martyr for peace"
Latin at Mass
The Novus Ordo reigns in Korea. The only place one can find the Traditional Latin Mass on the whole peninsula, as far as I know, is at the Seoul chapel of The Society of Saint Pius X in Korea.

Given this situation, any use of the official language of the Church during Mass is most welcome. This morning, as we celebrated the Triumph of the Cross, during Communion a young new priest* said the usual "그리스도의 몸" to the Korean parishioners but "Corpus Christi" to me.

*Korea has no problem with vocations and most priests are quite young, a blessed and amazing thing for a country with about an 8% Catholic population.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Just Watched

The Robe (1953)

"The first motion picture in CinemaScope."

A very Catholic film. The story of Our Lord's robe.

Richard Burton was great. Costune designer Emile Santiago made a very papal-looking robe for Michael Rennie in his role as Saint Peter the Apostle, the first Pope.
Today is the memorial of..

Saint John Chrysostom

"Golden-Mouth" has long been one of my favorite saints, ever since reading about him in Henry Chadwick's The Early Church, a book that lead me to Anglo-Catholicism on my way to Rome, thereby illustrating Venerable John Cardinal Newman's maxim: "To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant."
The Archdiocese of New Orleans Still Needs Our Help!

The "Red-Blue Syndrome"
Hallowed Ground today links to this thoroughly enjoyable article from the "granola conservative" perspective: Point: red state politics, blue state tastes.
Our Lady and the Tax Man
At lunch today, I caught part of a program on Korean TV about folks who turned their homes and property into works of art. One segment was about a fellow who turned his backyard into a terraced shrine of bathtub madonnas, which became known as "The Sancuary of Love":
The above image, the only one I can find, does not at all do the shrine justice. The photo comes from this Roadside America - Guide to Uniquely Odd Tourist Attraction page: Norwich - Greeneville, Connecticut - Sanctuary of Love. From this page, we learn the following sad news:
    This place has closed unfortunately. The old guy had to go into a nursing home, the city took over the property for the back taxes he owed and they sold all the statuary.
And then...
    Salvatore Verdirome, 84, died May 15, 2004. He began constructing religious bathtub shrines in 1971, and filled his yard with them. All the statues were sold at an auction.
Here is an obituary: Sal Veridrome, who built religious shrine in his yard, dies at 84.

Requiescat in pace.