Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Perhaps it is due to the occasion of the 250th anniversary of his birth, but I find that these days I cannot get enough of the music of Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. There was time when, as a college kid, thinking that the end all and be all of orchestral music was Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich, whom I still love despite his being a Commie, I dismissed Mozart's music as being merely "pretty." What a serious misunderestimation I made!
A Trip to a Korean Spa [Oncheon 温泉]
The Snyders of Pohang took a two-hour drive up Korea's ruggedly beautiful east coast to visit a spa (덕구온천관광호텔) yesterday:
It was a Friday, and as the spa is located in a rather remote coastal mountain area of my province, we had the pools and the vistas of the forrested hills outside to ourselves almost the whole time. The kids absolutely loved it, and so did their parents. We'll go back as soon as we can.

This was my second visit to a Korean spa in almost a decade of living here. The first time was six days ago. What a fool I have been for missing out on one of Korea's most enjoyable and family-friendly cultural activities! [The other I enjoy most is Korean Alpinism.]

Here's an image of the spa we visited last week (스파비스) taken from a US Military magazine's introducton to Korean spa culture entitled Korean waters offer therapeutic options:
I've already visited most of Korea's famous Buddhist temples; I foresee a tour of Korea's famous spas next.
Duh Vinci Code Boycott
Monsignor Angelo Amato describes the book and film with these words, quoted in Vatican Official Calls for Boycott of 'Da Vinci' Movie:
    Slander, offenses and errors that if they were directed toward the Quran or the Shoah would have justifiably provoked a worldwide revolt.
Hear, hear!
Traditional Christian Worship
Father Tucker links: Ethiopian Orthodox Liturgy Video.

The above will look very familiar to anyone who, in the last two thousand years, has ever assisted at the Byzantine Rite's Divine Litury or the Latin Rite's Tridentine Mass, or even the latter's Novus Ordo Missae said reverently. It will look absolutely alien to anyone who has only attended "services" at "megachurches" with rock bands providing "praise-and-worship" music.

Friday, April 28, 2006

"The Manifesto of an Antipope"
Sandro Magister minces no words in Carlo Maria Martini’s “Day After”.
North Korean Racialism
Here is part of Robert J. Koehler's translation of a recent editorial from the North Korean Rodong Shinmun (Workers' Newspaper):
    Homogeneity, which no other race in the world has, is the pride of our race and becomes the source of the unity needed in the struggle for eternal development and prosperity. Because the homogeneity of the race is so precious, our people have sacrificed blood and lives to walk the long and difficult path of reunification, and now we are cultivating the June 15 era of reunification with all our patriotic fervor. If we cannot save the homogeneity of the race, we cannot protect the fate of either the race of the individual before American schemes for domination, nor can we block the schemes of the Japanese reactionaries to reinvade based on claims of sovereignty over the Dokdo islets. The anti-national character of the arguments for “multiethnic, multiracial society” is that it denies the race itself and entrusts the nation and race to the imperialists.
The rest of his translation may be read here: I guess this means the DPRK won’t be inviting Hines Ward for a visit.

Other Koreanologist bloggers have taken up this issue as well, including Antti Leppäsen (DPRK view on race and nation in ROK) and Horace Jeffery Hodges (North Korean View: Tainting Pure Korean Blood is Treasonous).

Such talk does not surprise me. Nationalism and Communism, along with Darwinism and Positivism, arose out of essentially the same Progressevist XIXth Century cauldron.
Catechumen No More
Constantine of Singapore has been baptized into the Holy Orthodox Church: The Death of the Old, the Birth of the New [great photos]. He's a Neophyte now, and has retitled his blog accordingly.

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !
“I fully expect to be euthanized...
“and I expect most of the people in the room will be euthanized as well," predicts Steve Kellmeyer in Killing Them Softly.

He goes on to say:
    The baby boom generation is even now beginning to create an enormous burden on the economic system. The business of America is business. That burden will not be sustained.

    It won’t matter if you have full coverage. You are cheaper dead - much cheaper dead - than you are alive. The stockholders of the major insurance companies, that is, your fellow citizens, want their profit margins.

    After having squeezed you like a grape for most of your life, insurance companies will fully support the removal of your life support, your medical treatment, whatever it is that costs them money, regardless of your level of insurance. Once they are spending more than they made on you, you are a liability. Insurance companies must stay in business. They must get rid of their liabilities.

    The rationale for killing inconvenient people has been accorded the full status of the law for nigh onto forty years. Inconvenient babies are redefined as non-human and killed. What makes you and me so special? It won’t matter that you are conscious, that you have fully paid premiums or that you don’t want to die. You aren’t going to be asked. This isn’t really even any of your business.
O brave new world!
Democracy Defined
Here's a definition of the above from a 1928 handbook distributed to U.S. Army officers, quoted in a letter to the editor in the print edition of The American Conservative:
    DEMOCRACY: A government of masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any other kind of 'direct' expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic--negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the majority shall regulate, whether it be based on deliberation or governed by passion. prejudice, or impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences, in demagogism, licence, agitation, discontent, anarchy.
The Good Ship Doulos
This missionary ship docked here in Pohang a few years ago. I bought some classic books at a good price. Needless to say, the ship did not stir up the kind of controversy here that it is now doing in India: Hindu extremists accuse world's largest floating book fair of Christian proselytism. on the Liancourt Rocks Crisis
"Takeshima to the Japanese and Dokdo to the Koreans, the two islands, 0.39 square kilometers, are claimed by both countries. The confrontation has become bitter:" South Korea and Japan nearly go to war over two islets.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Dog Meat, Factory Farming, and Animal Welfare (Not Rights)
    The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. -- Mohandas K. Gandhi
I've always thought that if the Mahatma's pronouncement were applied, England would emerge as the greatest and most moral of nations. In any case, it would not be the country that is the subject of this article, linked to by View from the Right, which, not being directly about Korea, I feel more comfortable to post: China's Animal Torture.

Here's a taste (no pun intended):
    [D]ogs and cats are not only killed, they are slowly tortured; they are bled or beaten to death; they are boiled or butchered alive. The Chinese believe that the more the animals suffer the better they “taste.” German shepherds have been seen being skinned alive in a frigid warehouse in Harbin. Ironically, China this year is celebrating “The Year of the Dog.” Does Wal-Mart, now operating and expanding in China, sell dog and cat meat there?

    Another humane group website, the Asian Animals Protection Network, has photographs showing men thrusting knives into the necks of fully conscious dogs, then hanging them on an incline as their blood runs out. Others show people gathered at a roadside with dogs tied to a truck or railroad tracks.
Something I've witnessed firsthand in Korea is mentioned:
    Dogs in Korea are strangled to death, often from trees, for up to an hour, or bludgeoned to death with pipes or hammers, then blowtorched.
To be fair, this blogger also opposes on principle factory farming as practiced in the West, as does Matthew Scully, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, who wrote this article for Pat Buchanan's magazine: Fear Factories: The case for compassionate conservatism—for animals.

Here's an article from today on the animal welfare theme: Chicago bans foie gras in restaurants.
Serge Schmemann on Chernobyl and Evil
"Chernobyl, for me, stands for a fear that many have described in recent days, a fear of an evil that cannot be seen or fathomed:" Remembering Chernobyl: Wet Rugs, Stonewalling Officials and a Run on Vodka*.

*Use to bypass registration.
Henry George
I'm not that familiar with this economist, but I know he was a major influence on The Kingdom of God Is Within You by Leo Nikoleyevich Tolstoy, a heterodox Christian anarchist book that marked the beginning of my return to Christianity, and on Father Reuben Archer Torrey III, an American Anglican missionary in Korea, a descendant of Moody Evangelicals whose son is, I've been told by someone who met him in person, a member of the The Nestorian Church.

I diverge. Here is the article about the political economist: Henry George and the Tariff Question.
Capitalism, Socialism, Subsidiarity
This is a brilliant and concise post from an excellent blog that places The Principle of Subsidiarity not at the margins of economic thought, but at its center where it rightfully belongs: Anti-Crunchy Rebuttal.

The post needs to be read in its entirety. This comment was equally enlightening:
    What is interesting is that if you read Marx, he thought that socialism was inevitible because capitalism already has a socialist (read highly centralized and planned) organization of economic production. Socialism was simply the next logical development of a centralized economy since individual, family and regional autonomy has already been practically eliminated.

    To look at the problem through the lens of subsdiary shows in a different light the relative similarity of the socialist/communist and capitalist economic organization, and how disinct the both of these forms of economic organization are from what came before, systems which have now been largely forgotten.
Traditionalist conservatives like Russell Kirk (1918–1994) and Richard M. Weaver (1910–1963) were wise to hold Industrial Capitalism in contempt along with Communism.
Debunking the Duh Vinci Code
In the third installment of a five-part series, a Baptist theologian offers an orthodox, and historically accurate, answer of "no" to this question: Did Constantine ‘promote’ Jesus?

An otherwise intelligent host of a non-religious blog I visit claimed as if it were gospel truth that it was Constantine who elevated Christ to Divine status, an historically laughable assertion, illustrating the damage the DVC is wreaking.

The only good I can see come of this is a return to orthodox teaching among all true followers of Christ: Catholics, Orthodox, and, yes, Protestants. In the past, heresy has often led to a clearer definition of dogmatic truth. This book and movie will certainly lead many astray; perhaps it will lead others to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the truths Catholicism has always maintained.
“Korean princes, let’s bring me home!”
“Vietnamese Virgins to Korea - the Country of Hope:” Korean daily draws ire for bride article.
Korean Mummy
    400-Year-Old Female Mummy Found

    The 400-year-old mummy was found with several sets of her clothes and earth wares in Hadong, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea on April 7, 2006.The 154-cm-tall female mummy has been able to keep her body uncorrupted thanks to special line plaster made out of shell powder and charcoal, according to the local excavation team. The mummy is believed to be a wife of a low ranking government official during Jeoseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
[image and text from Photo News]
Korean Royal Tradition
    Joseon Dynasty's Court Dance Reenacted

    Court dance and music of Joseon Dynast (1392-1910) are being reenacted at Myeongjeongjeon Pavilion of Changdeukgung Palace in central Seoul on April 23, 2006.

    The court ceremony is being held to show how court music and dance were done in the 50th birthday King Yeongjo (1724-1776: reigning), 21st king of Joseon Dynast, and in the 7th birthday of Queen Shinjeong,spouse of King Sunjo (1800-1834: reigning), the 23rd king of Jeoseon Dynast.

    The traditional courts performances are held at 2 p.m. on every Sunday. For details call (02-3011-2153).
[image and text from Photo News]
Umberto Eco on the Duh Vinci Code
The Italian ex-Catholic author, quoted in the latest of Karl Keating's E-Letters:
    We are supposed to live in a skeptical age. In fact, we live in an age of outrageous credulity. The 'death of God,' or at least the dying of the Christian God, has been accompanied by the birth of a plethora of new idols. They have multiplied like bacteria on the corpse of the Christian Church--from strange pagan cults and sects to the silly, sub-Christian superstitions of 'The Da Vinci Code.'

    It is amazing how many people take that book literally and think it is true. Admittedly, Dan Brown, its author, has created a legion of zealous followers who believe that Jesus wasn't crucified: He married Mary Magdalene, became the King of France, and started his own version of the order of Freemasons. Many of the people who now go to the Louvre are there only to look at the Mona Lisa, solely and simply because it is at the center of Dan Brown's book.
G.K. Chesterton's quip comes to mind: "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing -- they believe in anything."

Folks who argue that Catholics shouldn't get upset by the DVC because it is "only a work of fiction" are either disingenuous enemies of the Church or ignorant of how gullible the masses really are.
Black Tories
From Whitewashing the Founding Fathers:
    "Rough Crossings..." is the story of thousands of blacks in the 13 American Colonies who rallied to the British lines during the Revolutionary War because they believed that is where freedom lay.
They were right in that they would have been emancipated some three decades earlier, all things being equal. I, too, might well have been an American Loyalist*.

[link via]

*Thanks, Adam.
And Vice Versa
Here in Eastasia, one is Japanese, Chinese, or Korean first, then a journalist: Japanese media unite vs. Korea.

We have "yellow journalism" in the US, too, of course; but that many neoconservatives perceive an "anti-American" bias in our own mainstream media is, perhaps, something for which we should be thankful.
Principle of Double Effect?
Could very well be. Who am I to say? I have no training in moral theology. Still, I cannot help but have a sinking feeling when I read this: Vatican set to OK condoms for disease prevention.

This reassures a bit: Vatican Clarifies Its Condom-AIDS Study: For Internal Dialogue, Explains Cardinal Lozano Barragán.
Red China's Laissez-faire Capitalist Trade in Human Organs...
and one of its main customers: American vampire. Notes the author:
    When utilitarianism becomes a substitute for right and wrong, the end result is a lot more wrong.
Culture of Life
His Excellency Bishop Luis T. Stockler, quoted in Argentinean bishop: What the Nazis did in secret is today made legal:
    [Humans are not] a mass of organized molecules that disintegrate at death in order to be absorbed into the universal energy to recycle nature’s metabolism.

    The dignity of the human person lies in that we were created in the image and likeness of God and it is for this reason that human life is inviolable.

    That is the reason why the Church is so inflexible when it comes to defending human life. It’s not stubbornness, but rather the consequence of our faith.

    The one who in the name of Jesus Christ believes in the Father as Creator does not put himself in His place in order to intervene in or fabricate human life according to his own view. Today, genetic engineering dares to manipulate human life and judge it in its prenatal state as undesirable in order to eliminate it.
Vive la France!
Good news for the Eldest Daughter of the Church: Experts ponder France's high birth rate. At 1.9, hers is still under the replacement rate of 2.1, though.

But why does she have, after Ireland, the second highest rate in Europe? Here is the pondering of the experts the article mentions:
    Researchers admit that their understanding of the relatively high French birth rate still retains a degree of mystery.

    "For every rule you can come up with you find an exception," said Grant. Pison agreed: "There is a bit of mystery. We are doing studies but we don't yet have all the secrets."

    For example, it is sometimes suggested that because the two most fertile countries in Europe -- France and Ireland -- are mainly Roman Catholic countries, the Catholic tradition of having large families would help explain the high birth rates.

    But Italy and Spain, two other Catholic countries, fall near the bottom of the EU list, in 16 and 17th position.

    Experts also point out that while France's fertility rate can partly be attributed to generous social support, Ireland is more fertile and does not have as many incentives.

    Eunan King, senior economist at NCB Stockbrokers, says Ireland will likely enjoy 15 more years of economic growth of around 5 percent a year thanks to a young, growing workforce.
[link via Seattle Catholic]
Wormwood (Чорнобиль)
From Chernobyl:
    April 26 marks the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl, the worst nuclear reactor accident of all time, which occurred in the former USSR in what is now the Ukraine. The nightmare of 20 years ago still lingers. On that day the pictures of the firefighters who perished while extinguishing the fire at the scene were displayed in a memorial at the city of Slavutych.
[See also Pope recalls Chernobyl and urges peace with respect for mankind and nature.]
Debunking Gnosticism
Fr. Theodore G. Stylianopoulos, in A Gospel In The Gospel Of Judas?:
    In the cauldron of the current cultural war, it is no surprise that people would differ as radically as people did in the second century and still regard themselves as Christians. Some continue to teach that Jesus' transformed bodily resurrection is an unnecessary myth, despite the protestations of St. Paul (1 Corinthians, chapter 15). Others advocate same gender marriage despite the witness of the Scriptures, all of the historical wisdom and the drastic social implications. Still others have supported almost limitless destruction of the unborn as if only the will and convenience of the potential parent really counts. And many caught up in the spirit of the age, whether consciously or unconsciously, follow the post-modern message of looking for the real self, finding one's way, creating one's own truth, and doing one's own thing -- while still claiming to follow Christ. For such persons, the Gospel of Judas may perhaps be of considerable value. For many others, however, it is no gospel at all.
Anthony B. Bradley, research fellow at the Acton Institute, in Wanted: A Duke Lacrosse Team Hero:
    We should mourn as a nation because we continue to encourage men to become consumers of female dehumanization. The sensational Duke lacrosse case is a display of all-too-common failure on this score. There is outrage aplenty, but the sources of the problem are deeper than alleged acts of sexual assault. Why is there no national outrage about the fact that two adult women subjected themselves to voyeuristic, live pornography? What kind of men do we raise in America that they would even want to hire a stripper?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Korea That Was

    Samjicheon village in Damyang, South Jeolla province, features a stone wall that curves its way through the town.
[image and text from Preserving a history set in stone]
A Century of Pentecostalism
It all began with the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles: Pentecostalism at 100: a major religious force.

The article notes that largest church in the world is Pentecostal:
    South Korea's Yoido Full Gospel Church, begun in a tent in a Seoul slum in 1958, boasts more than 700,000 members.
The movement's influence on (infiltration into?) Catholicism in the form of the Charismatic Movement is also mentioned in the article, as are its assault on traditional music and its "prosperity gospel." Not mentioned in the article is the interesting fact that the movement was begun by Blacks, quickly joined by Whites and integrated, and then later segregated.


Of sorts: President Roh declares diplomatic war on Japan to protect Dokdo.

I cannot help but think this is a pathetic publicity ploy by a grossly unpopular president to harness the nationalistic mob's han (恨), often translated as "unresolved anger" (but which I translate as "victim mentality"), in order to salvage his failed presidency. The Republic of Korea is in possession of the disputed islets (and rightfully so in the estimation of this blogger), and she need not give herself over to emotionalism and come off as a belligerant aggressor*. Doing so only plays into the hands of her adversary.

*See Roh comes out swinging over Dokdo dispute.
HRH The Prince of Wales, My Kind of Radical
Tracy Fennell of CORPUS MEUM calls His Royal Highness "possibly the greatest voice for sustainible agriculture, keeping farms and businesses local and maintaining tradition" and links to an article on "Prince Charles the distributist:" Duchy of Cornwall @ National Geographic Magazine.

Of all world poltical leaders today, the Prince of Wales is the one with whom I agree most.
Mark Shea on the Duh Vinci Code* and Ahistoric Protestantism
    [H]aving to do battle with people like the Jesus Seminar and Dan Brown is the penance that anti-Catholic Protestants must do to atone for the various lies they told to justify their anti-Catholicism. Dan Brown is, after all, simply regurgitating the same sort of crap Loraine Boettner did. Except he is making the (perfectly logical) leap from 16th Century Protestantism to 2nd Century Protestantism and saying, "If Christians after the Seven Councils could just decide for themselves who Jesus was and what the faith it, then why could Christians *always* do that?" Good question.

    The Catholic faith has a response. It's called Sacred Tradition and apostolic succession. Evangelicalism's response (judging from my experience in Hollywood last week) is either "Tell people your personal story about how Jesus changed your life" or "What is truth? Let us be open to diversity! 42 million DVC readers can't be wrong!" I have a modicum of respect for the first response. The gospels are, after all, accounts of how Jesus changed people's lives. Personal witness does count for something. But personal witness that is not rooted in the awareness that we are saved *as. a. people* and that the Church is prior to us and not about our personal preference and notions of what the gospel should be is ultimately doomed.

    As to the second response, I have basically nothing but contempt for it. It's a naked capitulation to the dictatorship of relativism.

    My hope, bolstered by the response of the audience at the Hollywood do, is that most Evangelicals are as dissatisfied with these weak-tea responses as I was and want to have something more solid to underpin their faith. Several people remarked on the fact that they didn't know anything about Church history and that this was why the DVC was so hard for them. They're perfectly right, of course. For many Evangelical [sic], Church history begins with Jesus, pauses with the death of John, enters a vast parenthesis with something about pagans, monks, inquisitors and Mary worshippers, and then resumes with Luther. With a knowledge like that, the DVC does have you as a sitting duck.
[from a post entitled Speaking of Rod...]

*Thank you, Xavier.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Most Beautiful Words
My personal favorites in Castilian, amanecer and madrugada (both meaning "dawn"), didn't make this list: "Amor" es elegida la palabra más bella del castellano.

My favorite Korean word is 늘 neul ("always"), but I'm a sucker for just about any Korean word ending with the /l/ phoneme, expressed by the letter "ㄹ" in Korean.

Of course, the Greek ανάστασις anástasis ("resurrection") might top the list of any Christian familiar with the original language of the New Testament, and it tops mine as well.

But the second most beautiful word I've yet encountered is sayang, the Malay word for "love." A Singaporean writer said the word has a much deeper meaning; it might be used by a mother looking at her newborn baby with a bittersweet love that acknowledges that both mother and baby will grow older, experience both happiness and sadness in life, and evetually be separated by death.
Conservation is Conservative
Rod Dreher on Earth Day: A green Christian conservative.
Deus Caritas Est offers a translation of an article by Juan Ramón Rallo on the classical liberalism of Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical: Charity vs. the State.
Liberated Iraq
Inspectors Find More Torture at Iraqi Jails [use to bypass registration]
주체 (主體)
Juche ("self-reliance"), it will be remembered, is the state ideology of the North Korean régime: Pyongyang asks for more humanitarian aid.
A Shocking Lack of Diplomacy
It is hard to believe that a manager of an international hotel could be this rude and offensive: Japanese Ambassador insulted at COEX gathering in Korea.

[link via The Lost Nomad]
On Passports, Capitalism, Immigration and Religion
Steve Kellmeyer writes: Immigration as Religion.

Monday, April 24, 2006

"Politically Homeless"
Here's a good article on Catholics and politics: Immigration Reform Splits Catholics, GOP.

An excerpt:
    The issue highlights the roadblocks that the Catholic worldview creates for Republicans and Democrats. Catholics are generally conservative on personal issues such as marriage, but tend to be liberal on social justice problems, limiting the appeal of both major parties and leaving Catholics "politically homeless," said the Rev. James L. Heft, president of the Institute of Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California.

    "I'd like to see more pro-life Democrats," Heft said, "and social justice Republicans."
I'd also like to see a new party.
Dust Concentrations Between 500 ㎍/㎥ and 1,000 ㎍/㎥ Today
Stay inside, as more "yellow dust" from China's Inner Mongolia is expected:

    A picture taken from Mt.Namsan in Seoul on April 8, when heavy seasonal sandstorms blanketed the nation.
[image and text from Yet Another Strong Sandstorm On its Way to Korea]
Beating Swords Into Plowshares
Korea-Japan Compromise Ends Dokdo Standoff

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Feast of Divine Mercy - The Sunday After Easter
Pro dolorosa Eius passione, miserere nobis et totius mundi.

or the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Also, I wish a Holy Pascha in the Orthodox Christian Church to all readers who are celebrating Our Lord's Resurrection today.
Cardinal Martini
His Eminence, with all due respect, has had a few too many, it seems: Senior cardinal supports limited use of condoms and Life doesn't start at conception, but after says Cardinal Martini in dialogue with bio-ethicist.

Let us remember these words widely attributed to Pope Paul VI: "Through some fissure the smoke of Satan entered into the temple of God."

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Immigration Reality
Joseph Sobran expresses the opinion closest to my own in this article: The Immigrant ‘Invasion’.

I was struck most by this paragraph near the end:
    But I find it hard to see how any Christian can get indignant about poor men who leave home to take tough, low-paying jobs in order to feed their families. I can’t imagine Jesus standing on the border to turn them back. As for angry talk of an "invasion," it’ s a pretty peaceful one, and the complaint comes oddly from Americans who believe their own country has the right to invade countries around the world, and not necessarily in a pacific manner.
It is a pleasure to read a fellow reactionary like Mr. Sobran take such a non-nativist stance. Aside from progressivists, who tend to vary very little in their thinking on any issue, you can find conservatives, libertarians, paleoconservatives, and paleolibertarians diverging wildly on this issue. Very interesting.

[link via]
Shaving today links to two article on the above: The Shaving Cream Racket and Efficient Shaving.

I generally lather my face with a brush and bar soap. It seems to work well. Still, I'd like all of us to go back to the XIXth Century when long beards were de rigueur.
Serge of A conservative blog for peace links to The Benedictine Spirit in Anglicanism.

Back in my Anglican days, by a happy mistake I became a benefactor of the Order of St Benedict Pusan, an Anglican convent. Monthly donations at my parish in Ulsan included three slots for extra donations, in addition to the monthly donation to the parish. The convent was inclunded among them. I couldn't read Korean that well, so I divided what I planned to give by four. The sisters sent me wonderful hand-written letters, calenders, cards, and other gifts for many years. I visitied the convent a few times: a really beautiful place.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Nationalism Makes You Stupid
The pathetic and ironic thing is that this man thinks that committing suicide will serve a nation that, with the world's lowest birth rate, is itself committing national suicide.

[link via the GI Korea Blog]
Jeff Culbreath is back, with his usual clarity and insight: NOTES ON THE TRADITIONALIST MOVEMENT.

In addition to differentiating Real traditionalism vs caricatures, as Serge notes in his follow-up, he offers this reality check:
    As Catholics we need to be at peace with the Church.... The Second Vatican Council and the encyclicals of John Paul II are not going to go away. The Council does need to be interpreted in light of Tradition, but (coming from me, this may shock some of you) the best hermeneutic means that Tradition is also interpreted in light of the Council.
He ends with this call:
    My dear traditionalist friends, we have a holy Pope and a Church that is moving to heal our terrible wounds. Christ's vicar calls us to unity. Let us follow Benedict and help him to restore that which has been lost.
Thinking About Teaching in Korea?
Read this: The Grim Realities Of Teaching In Korea.

Here's how it begins:
    Stories of terrible work conditions, blatant disregard for labour laws and illegal appropriation of pay are nothing new to some English teachers in South Korea, but many who come here looking for a life-changing experience soon find themselves wishing they had never come to Korea at all.
Fortunately, I never taught at a hakwon (cram school), so was able to avoid most of what the article mentions.
Instruction Needed
From Korean Catholics Unruffled by 'Da Vinci Code':
    The Catholic Times and the church’s website Good News conducted a survey of visitors on April 10-14 and found that 72 percent or 474 of 657 respondents felt the Catholic Church should give them a guideline about the film and the book. Only 9 percent or 56 wanted the film banned, and a mere 3 percent said Christians should be discouraged from seeing it.

    Almost half or 301 respondents said that they had read the book, and more than half or 355 said they planned to see the Tom Hanks movie.
That last part is particularly disturbing. That's like Jews lining up to buy The Protocals of the Elders of Zion. Catholics need some guidleines about the film, which "charges their church with a millennia-long conspiracy" and "suggests the church covered up the “truth” that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and their offspring live in some comfort in the French countryside to this day." They should be urged at the very least not to lend support to an anti-Catholic book or film.
Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Ill.
His Excellency, whose diocese I stayed in four four days in January, seems very orthodox: New apologetics needed to fight ‘new atheism,’ other faith challenges, bishop says.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Pohang Prepares for War!

    On April 19, at the dock for the exclusive use of the Pohang Coast Guard in Songdo-dong, Pohang, coast guard sailors are conducting a comprehensive marine drill in order to prepare for preventing a Japanese survey ship from entering Korean territorial waters off Dokdo.

    [image and text from Defend Dokdo]
All the warmongering, however, may be in vain: "despite widespread suspicions it was unclear whether [the Japanese ships] are really headed for Korea’s exclusive economic zone near Dokdo" [from Mystery Japanese Ships Strike Out].

After this plays out, the South Korean President and Japanese Prime Minister will have to find another issue to divert their respective public's attention away from domestic issues.

The Marmot, of course, has more time and interest to cover this issue than I will ever be able to muster: Flashpoint Dokdo.

More background can be found at these pages: Liancourt Rocks and Liancourt Rocks / Takeshima / Dokdo / Tokto.

I'll just say that few things give people a chance to make bigger fools out of themselves than does nationalism.

UPDATE: For disturbing evidence of my last point, see this photo linked to by the GI Korea Blog: An anti-Japan protester, Yang Bong-ho, stabs himself in the stomach with a knife to commite suicide demanding Japan abandon a plan to conduct a maritime survey near disputed islets, at a park in Seoul, Wednesday, April 19, 2006.
"1984 meets Brave New World"
Serge of A conservative blog for peace succinctly describes the Sino-American economic axis with the above words, linking to this article: Meet the world's proto-fascist superpower: China, assisted by U.S. corporations and government, becomes world's worst human rights abuser.
Two from Lew...
on Church and State: Jesus' Government and The Separation of Charity and State.
Christification of the Disabled
This article is from a Korean Progressivist newspaper: [Editorial] Handicapped Bear the Cross for the Rest of Us. Here's how the article concludes:
    No society can avoid having people become handicapped. Those in our society carry that cross for the rest of us. Society's reward for that is truly shameful.
A few days ago, a student in my Presentation Skills class expressed the same curious idea in an impromptu speech, although she expressed it in more Buddhistic terms, saying that a number of folks were destined to be disabled, and those that are are being so in our stead.

We Catholics believe that our personal sufferings can be united to those of Christ. In that light, the above sentiments seem a bit less scandalous.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Pope and a Korean Kid
It seems that every time the Holy Father greets a group of kids at a Papal Mass, one of them is wearing a hanbok [the one on the right]:
[image from Portada - Benedicto XVI oficia la Santa Misa de la Cena del Señor en la que se recuerda el lavatorio de los pies]
Nothing Unites Like a Common Enemy
This disturbs: Two Koreas May Discuss Japan’s Dokdo Incursion
Islam in Cuba
I find the growth of Islam among Hispanics alarming: Some Cubans are converting to Islam.

A few years ago, a got drunk with a black Cuban refugee, a veteran of Angola. He had some interesting stories about South African P.O.W.'s and Angolans trying to fly MiGs. On this occasion, he started going off about how he was a "musulmán" and how Fidel Castro was "el segundo Jesucristo."
Christian Palestine
What Israel's security wall hath wrought: Walled off Christians and Israeli wall severs ancient pilgrimage route.
Hometown Tragedy
Sister Karen Klimczak, requiescat in pace: Buffalo nun who worked with ex-convicts found murdered.
The Korean neo-Cardinal's Easter Message
From Christ’s resurrection “prompts believers to respect life”:
    The sacrament of the Eucharist is a privileged meeting place with the risen Christ. One of the best ways to live in the Eucharistic spirit in every day life is by respect for life and man, created by God. From this perspective, it is important to reject all those unethical acts aimed at its destruction, like abortion, euthanasia and murder.
I watched His Eminence's homily on Korea's Catholic channel and was struck by what I understood of the above. Another American Catholic here, 현우 (Hyun-Woo), however, was able to meet him in person: Easter Morning. He's even got photographic evidence!
Capital Punishment in the News
In Muslim Indonesia: Catholics get second chance to appeal death sentence.

And the Catholic Philippines: Arroyo commutes 1,200 death sentences to life imprisonment.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Is it even possible that the Gray Lady* is printing an article about the latter half of CHESTERBELLOC? The answer is yes: The Future of Journalism as Told by Hilaire Belloc in 1918. Here's the conclusion:
    Belloc's point is not to expose the limitations of bloggers — excuse me, the Free Press. It is to show how, imperfect as they are, they can contribute enormously to our ability to learn what's going on. Anyone who spends much time reading political blogs will hear a familiar note — in far greater prose — among Belloc's certainties. He writes, in short, as a blogger of his own time.
It never dawned on: blogging is journalistic Distributivism!

Hilaire Belloc -- proto-blogger!

*Use to bypass NY Times registration.
Brace Yourselves
The sands from the Gobi Desert are coming again: Yellow Dust Storm Expected Tuesday.

Spring in Korea is Yellow Dust season. When I heard of the "Yellow Dust from China" during my first Spring here in 1998, I dismissed it as so much xenophobic/nationalistic nonsense. It seemed like too much like blaming Japan for prostitution. It turned out I was wrong.

And it's nothing new, so we can't blame it on President George W. Bush for refusing to sign the Kyoto accord. As I learned in The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci, the great Jesuit missionary/scientist experienced the same thing in the XVIth Century.
Hyeongnim is Watching You
Is Korea Becoming a Surveillance State?
Biotech writer James P. Kelly's about-face, and that of Kevin Shapiro, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School: Stem Cells — Changing Personal Course: From Embryonic Stem Cell Support to Its Opposition.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Pray for Peace at The Online Chapel
Easter Mass in Seoul's Myeongdong Cathedral

The country's Buddhists are also getting ready for their holiday:
[images from Today in Photos]
A Message to the Cheney-Rumsfeld Administration
Pope urges talks with Iran over nuclear crisis in Easter message
A Challenge to The Brights
"Atheists accuse the church of lack of reason. It is time that they examined the poor logic of their own arguments:" Science does not challenge my faith - it strengthens it.
The Holy Father's Title Drop
John L. Allen Jr., from The pope’s 'Patriarch’ puzzle:
    Benedict’s decision to drop the title — and the way he did it — thus illustrates an important key to unlocking his mind: On matters of faith and morals, he will brook no compromise; but on everything else, including a wide range of judgment calls that don’t have clear answers in the catechism of the Catholic Church, he will be a surprisingly moderate and reconciling figure. He dropped the “patriarch” title because it could create ambiguity about the authority of the papacy, which Benedict believes comes from Christ and must be defended.
Click on the link to read the article in its entirety.
Today's Tom Sawyer
Lent is over. During the Triduum, I slept on the floor as an added penance, but I'm used to that in Korea, so it was no big deal. While I lost more than a stone during Lent (a block of lard equivalent to the heaviest bowling ball in use, to be exact), I wish I could say that I lost that much Concupiscence. While Spring women's wear here in Korea is by no means revealing, I found it hard to keep a proper custody of the eyes at Easter Mass, even if the most beautiful woman in the parish was sitting next to me holding our son. Regardless of my failures, I must say that it was an entirely enjoyable and legitimate pleasure to "Irish" my morning coffee in celebration of Our Lord's Resurrection, after forty days and forty nights of teetotalism, and the martinis that came later were welcome, too.

Holy Week could have been holier. I spent most of it working on an adaptation of the Adventures Of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain for a Korean publisher that specializes in English educational materials. Remembering what the Eye-talians say about "traduttore, traditore," I was a bit reluctant to take this job. But at the end of the day, I'm quite happy with what I produced. In fact, with all due respect to the author of the original, my adaptation may well prove be the superior work.

Whatever the case, it was a pleasure reading this American classic again. As a reactionary libertarian, I was thrilled by both the book's homage to small-town community and its lampooning of crowd culture. In my adaptation, I strove to retain as much of the politically incorrect from the original as possible. Jim was just a marginal figure; he comes into his own in Huck Finn's cronicle. But Becky Thatcher I portrayed with all her feminine charm and wiles. I noticed that in other adaptations I consulted, those made for native English-speaking children, Becky was de-feminized as Tom was emasculated. In my version, she remains the coquettish vixen who swoons in Tom's arms in the cave.

It seems that wherever I go, Mark Twain shows up. As a kid, my first job was delivering papers for a now-defunct newspaper he had once edited: Buffalo, NY's Courier Express. I recall running across his trail on a visit to the Big Easy in the late XXth Century. My parents now live near San Francisco, and we often eat at the Cliff House, a restaurant he dined at. Charming Virginia City, Nevada is another place our paths have crossed. Last summer, my family spent a month in Saint Louis, Missouri, in an apartment overlooking the "Mighty Mississip."

I wonder, did he ever make it to Pohang? Neil Armstrong did [scroll down].
Serge's Field guide to the Roman Catholic civil war
The above is spot-on analysis. Here in Korea, I'm happy to report, there is no civil war. There is only one faction: Conservatives. Sadly, Traditionalists, the ally of the conservatives, are essentially nonexistant*, but happily there are no Dissenters to speak of. Here in Korea, it's Novus Ordo, love it or leave it. But it's done with reverence, and even the occasional smell or bell, like the EWTN masses Serge speaks of.

*Aside from The Society of Saint Pius X in Korea, which is miniscule.
Islam - The World's Next Superpower
From Moussaoui: 'No Regret, No Remorse':
    In a lengthy explanation of why he hates Americans, Moussaoui said Islam requires Muslims to be the world's superpower as he flipped through a copy of the Quran searching for verses to support his assertion. He said one verse requires Muslims "to fight against all who believe not in Allah."
Absurd and horrific as it sounds, Muslims might just be the world's next superpower.

In the chaos that followed the fall of the Roman Empire, Mohammedom had access to Greek science and philosophy and Indian mathematics, but was unable to do anything substantial with them. Once Christendom got a hold of these, the West began its unassailable ascent to supremacy.

Sadly, however, like a rebellious adolescent, the West has turned its back on its Christian heritage. By embracing abortion, euthanasia, sterilization, and contraception, it is now spiraling toward civilizational suicide. This is not the case with Muslims, who, however deformed their man-made religion (a Christian heresy, to be more correct) may be, have not abandoned the Creator's first injunction to "be fruitful and multiply." [France will be an Islamic nation in twenty-five years, even without any further immigration: it's the demographics, stupid!]

Muslim dominance of the world will surely bring a great many good things. Was it Saint Augustine of Hippo who, with great sadness, acknowledged Rome's fall to the barbarians as divine chastisement for gladitorial combat and other sins? Muslim rule will bring an end to abortion and the toxic sewage pouring out of Hollywood.

Ironically, and justly, while those Militant Secularists who in their blindness serve as Militant Islam's fifth column in the West will be asked to submit or face the sword, we Christians will be allowed to practice our Faith. Still, we will have to submit to the humiliation of Dhimmitude.

Whereas the barbarians who conquered Rome were eventually conquered themselves by its glorious civilization, this will not happen with Muslims. A world ruled by Muslims will look much like the Dar al-Islam (دار الإسلام) today: a pretty ugly place that grows uglier in inverse proportion to the percentage of non-Muslims living in any given country: Malaysia is a relatively decent place; Saudi Arabia a nightmare.

Of course, they won't win in the End; we are assured of that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church.

As far as Mr. Moussaoui is concered, I say give the swine life imprisonment, not the "martyrdom" he seeks.
The Racialism of the Korean Left
In The Gates of the Minjok, Michael Hurt examines the origins of the Pure Race (단일민족) Ideology in Korea, specifically its links to Nazism. He also quotes a Marxist philosopher on the origins of racism:
    Various historians and philosophers have shown how deeply rooted in the notion of mankind, the human species, the progress of human culture - as they were elaborated in that great blossoming of universalism, the Enlightenment - were anthropological prejudices concerning races, or the natural basis of slavery, and indeed the very notion of race, which at that period first acquired its modern meaning.
It's been a long time since I've agreed with a Marxist on anything.

Here's another article on the same theme: [Michael Breen] Raising Little Nationalists. Here's a taste:
    For the record, I have no argument with patriotism. Love of country is a good thing. But the education I’m taking issue with is not patriotic. It’s nationalistic. And nationalism is not about love of country. It’s about power. The nationalist does not share international values. That’s why he can go crazy over Dokdo but be unmoved by human rights violations in North Korea.

    Some aspects of nationalist education are extremely nasty. For example, in a year or two, today’s 1st graders will be taught to be proud that Koreans are racially "pure." Hands up, children, if this reminds you of a World War.
Coming to Korea was an eye-opener for me politically. Here in Korea, the most vociferous propopents of racialism and nationalism are on the Left. In my political naïveté (I had not yet even heard of Russell Kirk (1918–1994)), I at first thought this was another Korean contradiction. Discovering that racialism and nationalism, and Nazism itself, were in reality Leftist, not Rightist, political manifestions was the beginning of my political awakening. Baudelaire famously noted that "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist." The greatest trick the Left ever pulled was concincing the world Nazism was of the Right.

Soon, I came to agree with the "extreme rightist arch-liberal" Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909–1999): "Right is right and Left is wrong."

[link to both articles via The Marmot's Hole]
Sour Grapes
His Eminence Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, a noted liberal, is not happy after losing his job as as President of the Pontifical Council for Migrants: Japanese Curia cardinal says Asia requires special attention.

The article quotes some outlandish statements of his:
    [T]he Catechism is a theology - a theology that is European, not Oriental....

    If we declare at the beginning that Christ is our Saviour, we cannot enter into dialogue.
I once received a free copy of Pentecost in Asia by Thomas C. Fox for a review I never got around to. I've always feel gulty for that. Well, here's my belated review: The book was a cronicle of wishy-washy bishops like Hamao, who are far removed from the orthodox faithful they shepherd.
Synaxis Meme
Serge of A conservative blog for peace has "[o]pen[ed] this up to anybody who’d like to play:" MEME: All Saints of You. Huw Raphael:
    We are then able to assemble, as it were, our own personal synaxis (gathering together) of saints. What are yours, and why?
Here is my "own personal synaxis:" (top five)
    Saint Andrew the Apostle, my patron. My parents gave me this middle name as Methodists. I was received into the Catholic Church on November 30th, his feast day. "The First-Called" and brother of Peter, he is of extreme importance in the Christian East.

    Saint Andrew Kim Taegon, the patron of this blog. I came into the Church here in Korea. This saint was Korea's first Catholc priest and protomartyr. Had it not been for this Andrew, his companions, and the 10,000 Korean martyrs of the XIXth Century, the Catholic Church would not be what it is today (Sanguis martyrum, semen christianorum est), and I might not be a Catholic.

    Saint Athanasius, my son's patron: the Champion of Orthodoxy, Holy Hierarch, and Pillar of the Church. Without him, many of us might be Arians, or even Muslims. The Latin phrase "Athanasius contra mundum" sums up his battle against popular opinion, and serves as a warning not be a slave of one's times especially in matters of Faith.

    Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Apostle of Consecration to Mary, Auschwitz Prisoner #16670. Before following the injunction of Our Lord and laying down his life for his friend in a Nazi starvation chamber, Saint Max spent some time in this part of the world, in one of my favorite cities, Nagasaki. He was the Martyr of the XXth Century.

    Saint Flannery O'Connor. Of course, she is not canonized and her biting humor and acid personality might prevent her from ever being so. [About the Eucharist she famously said, "If it's just a symbol, to hell with it."] My devotion to her is, of course, entirely personal. She was an uncompromised Catholic, an alien both in her Protestant "Christ-haunted" South and in pagan literary circles. She suffered from debilitating Lupus, and walked on crutches during the last years of her life. My reading of her works has coincided with some important events in my daughter's life, and I pray every evening for Saint Flannery's intercessions for my daughter's walking.
As Serge notes, "The Mother of God is of course in a hyperdulic category unto herself." Among all the titles by which we venerate the Holy Theotokos, I am especially drawn to this one: "Our Lady of Guadalupe, Empress of All the Americas." I visited her shrine outside of Mexico City twice, both times as a pre-Catholic: once as a backbacker in search of indigenous America, once on my honeymoon. I believe these two pre-pilgrimages had something to do with my conversion to the Church her Son established. Under this title she is also the patroness of children, and I have witnessed her protection over my daughter. Also, as a child of the New World, I am especially devoted to her. Call me un guadalupano yanqui if you will.

Runners-up include Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Blessed Charles of Austria, and three Francises: Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Francis de Sales.

At the risk of polluting the sacred with the profane, I will include synaxes in each of three of my other passions, politics, literature, music:I extend Serge's open-ended tag, inviting Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican readers to tackle the first part and secular readers to do the same with my latter embellishment, and to feel free to embellish on their own. I'd especially like to hear from Corpus Meum, eclexys, and Adam Goldsmith.

If you take up the invitation, please leave a note in the comments to the post; the blogless may use the same as a platform.
Sports and the Mass Man
I've never been a huge fan of sports, even before reading the great José Ortega y Gasset link them to the "culture" of the mass man. Still, I used to enjoy "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" at international sporting events, like the Winter Olympics and the World Cup. That was until a few years ago.

The American Conservative print edition of March 27, 2006 carried an article that decried the "vulgarity and nativism" of the US media coverage of the Winter Olympics, especially compared to that of years gone by.

The Marmot's Hole not too long ago linked to an article that reaches the same conclusion about Wolrd Cup soccer here in Korea: [Korean Sports] For Fans or Fanatics?Here's the crux:
    I hope to see a Confucian sense of moderation during this World Cup. But when you're Korean it's much easier to be a nationalist than a patriot, easier to feel a constant xenophobic aggrievement than to cultivate an informed love of an ancient tradition.
To be fair, the same could be said of any soccer-loving nation.

Still, that distinction between nationalism and patriotism needs to be driven home. A frequent commenter to this blog informed me that Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909-1999), whom I still haven't had a chance to read, saw the former as Leftist and the latter as Rightist. [See also Eric von Kuehnelt-Leddihn on Leftism.]
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Here are some stories I might have blogged about while I was away during Holy Week:*Use to bypass registration.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Christus Resurrectus Est!

Hans Memling's Resurrection

[image from Sacred Heart Catholic Church and St. Yves Mission]

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

The Crucifixion, El Greco, ca. 1600

[image from Santa Maria Catholic Church, Orinda, CA]

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Holy WeekMy niece is currently residing in Seville. Blessed girl!

This blog will remain largely silent until Monday in the Octave of Easter.
Filicide in Koreatown, USA
Cases of fathers killing their children, often along with themselves and their wives, usually in cars, while not common, happen often enough here in South Korea. Usually, the motive is financial, a failure to keep up with the Kims. Often, the high-cost of cram schools is a factor. Tragically, the story has repeated itself in LA: Koreans Stunned by Tragedy: The fiery deaths of two children horrify the community. Experts say immigrant men like the father face pressure to attain financial success.*

What is surprising is that both the author nor the so-called experts he cites, all of them Korean-American, fail to acknowledge the background situation in Korea and rather place the blame on American society or adjustment to it, as these comments from the article suggest:
    But most struggling with personal or financial troubles find ways to resolve their problems through family and friends, their church or social service agencies, said Edward T. Chang, professor of ethnic studies at UC Riverside, who has spent a quarter century studying the Korean American community of Los Angeles.

    "Korean immigrants live under tremendous pressure to earn a living and to educate their young," he said.

    "Sometimes those pressures can reach crisis proportions…. But what Mr. Yun did is so extreme, even those of us who know the community well are at a loss to explain. His action is an aberration — a tragedy for him, his family and, also, the community," he added....

    Grace Yoo, executive director of the Korean American Coalition, said many immigrants struggle with the pressure to achieve financial success, especially in a status-conscious society like America's.

    "It's so much of what you wear and what you drive versus your character," she said. Korean Americans "have fallen for that. A lot of Americans have fallen for that. Think about it: Why do so many Americans have huge credit card debt?"
*Use to bypass registration.
Senator Brownback on Illegal Immigration
The Honorable Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), Catholic convert and Opus Dei member, quoted in A Conservative Crosses the Border*:
    One of the key measures in any society is what you do for the so-called least of these... People who have difficulty with status, difficulty having laws applied to them, have difficulty accessing the system are considered the least of these.
*Use to bypass registration.
What Hines Ward Hath Wrought
I never realized my kids were illegal: Korea to Legalize Mixed-Race Status.

The proposal is mostly feel-good fluff:
    [The Ministry of Justice] is also considering changing the term "mixed-blood people" to "people of international marriages" in government documents.
It also contains some highly objectionable proposals:
    Under the contemplated bill, the government would establish nursery schools for the children of mixed parentage in the low-income bracket.

    Also, universities would be required to receive a certain number of mixed-heritage students....

    As a first step, the government will conduct a survey of the mixed-race population and their sufferings in real life, the officials said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ward's mother has a few things to say, from Football Star's Mother Looks Back in Anger:
    Even in America, Korean's don't get along. Koreans who immigrated ignored us. Koreans of the same skin color are even more racist among themselves. It doesn't make sense. If everybody hates our children so much because their skin is a different color, then why do Koreans run around dying their hair blond and red?
Or get "double eye-lid" surgery by the millions?
Entertainment News
London Calling: Man held as terrorism suspect over punk song. One of the few rock bands of which I haven't grown bored, and probably never will, is The Clash.

"[O]ld-style glamour still has the edge over modern-day" trash (that last word is mine): Hepburn tops 'most beautiful' list. At the top of my list might be Olivia Hussey, Jane Seymour, Monica Belucci, or Gong Li.
The Da Vinci Hoax
A statement from the Christian Council of Korea (CCK), quoted in Korean Christians Mobilize Against 'Da Vinci Code' Movie:
    The movie will severely infringe on individual's religious beliefs and will be an obstacle to the Christian Church's missionary work... The film is based on a conspiracy that the church attempted to hide the fact that Jesus Christ's children are alive, and did not hesitate to kill people to protect their disclosure... The film will incite even greater conflict and chaos than the novel -- to Christians and non-Christians alike -- as it makes people believe that a fictional tale is historical fact.
Sadly, attempts to block the film's release will only feed conspiracy theorists and increase ticket sales.

UPDATE: After some reflection, I've decided to join the CCK and the lovely Miss Park Geun Hye, head of the Grand National Party, in their call for a ban on the public showing of this film. What folks do in the privacy of their own home is their concern, and they may be free to view it there.

I have not read the book nor seen the film nor do I plan to do so; as an elitist I do my best to avoid bestsellers and blockbusters. Just as one need not see Debbie Does Dallas to know what kind of film it is, knowing the premise of this book and its film adaptation is enough to know that it is a libelous attack on Holy Mother Church and her Founder, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Muslims the world over were right to protest against the militant secularists in Denmark; we should do the same against those in Hollywood. Of course, we needn't issue a fatwa calling for the deaths of Dan Brown or Tom Hanks; having them answer to the Grand Inquisitor would be sufficient. Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.

My decision came about after reading a post entitled Democracy for BOTH Koreas!, a title which could be construed to equate South Korean Christians protesting a movie with North Korean Stalinists running over Christians with steamrollers. The Marmot's post has extensive commentary: Why Koreans have their doubts about anti-NK protests: Exhibit A.

UPDATE 2: In some formerly Christian lands, the civil authorities do not allow the slandering of the Christian Faith: Lebanese Authorities Ban 'Da Vinci Code' and Da Vinci Code confiscated in Jordan.
Preach It, Your Eminence!
His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, quoted from Cardinal Arinze discourages "liturgies to order":
    The Mass is the most solemn action of the sacred liturgy, which is itself the public worship of the Church....

    A do-it-yourself mentality, an attitude of nobody-will-tell-me-what-to-do, or a defiant sting of if-you-do-not-like-my-Mass-you-can-go-to-another-parish, is not only against sound theology and ecclesiology, but also offends against common sense.

    Unfortunately, sometimes common sense is not very common, when we see a priest ignoring liturgical rules and installing creativity, in his case personal idiosyncrasy, as the guide to the celebration of Holy Mass.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Clash of the Paleos at Wal*Mart
Paleolibertarian and Paleoconservative ideas go head to head in the comments to this post, while "crunchy cons" get crushed in the battle: Real Christians, It Seems, Shop at Wal-Mart . . .

I get ideas from both paleocons and paleolibs. I also reject certain ideas put forth by both. In the meantime, I agree with what one commenter to the above said about "the idea Dr. Fleming expressed of agreeing to disagree until the government is reduced around 90 percent, then get[ting] down to the nitty gritty."

Patrick, a commenter to this blog two posts below, describes himself as a "subsidiaritarian," the best neologism I've heard in a long while and something I can agree with wholeheartedly.

I confess to being a Wal*Mart shopper. It's the only place in Pohang were I can get certain foods. Still, I'm not a happy shopper, and side largely with the paleocons in the above argument, agreeing with the commenter who said, "Wal Mart is to small town America what the Turks were to Byzantium."
Good News for Africa...
and bad news for the gay agenda and the HIV industry, as even the WaPo is catching on to the scam: How AIDS in Africa Was Overstated*.

Here are two earlier pieces from more reliable sources: The African heterosexual AIDS myth and Symposium: The Radical Lies of Aids.

*Use to bypass registration.
The Principle of Subsidiarity in a Nutshell
From Budziszewski on Subsidiarity:
    As [Pope] Pius [IX] explained, what pushed the principle of subsidiarity to the forefront was the crisis in civil society brought about by the industrial revolution. For a time it seemed as though the middle rungs of the ladder might be crippled or destroyed, leaving nothing but the vaunting state at the top of the social scale and the solitary self at the bottom. Collectivists and individualists made strange alliance to cheer this holocaust of the little platoons. The principle of subsidiarity reaffirms the social design of the species, corrects both its individualist denial and its collectivist perversion, and champions the rights and dignity of all those in-between associations which, if only allowed, will take root and flourish, filling the valley between State and Self with fruit and color.
Now that's a real "third way."
The Super Bowl MVP comes home to Korea...
sparking much reflection among Koreans and a chance for expatriates to feel superior over their progressive attitudes about race:For the record, my mixed-race kids have never received so much as a negative stare here. Most Amerasian Koreans, like Mr. Ward himself, grow up without fathers, which is the real root cause of their problems, not Korean racism.
Ut Unum Sint?
Don't get your hopes up: Russian Orthodox says Pope should shed more titles.

Here are the titles His Excellency Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev would have the Holy Father shed and those he would have him keep:
    Hilarion objected to three of Benedict's eight remaining titles -- Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church -- because the Orthodox do not believe any cleric can claim such authority.

    The rest -- Bishop of Rome, Primate of Italy, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Province, Sovereign of Vatican City and Servant of the Servants of God -- refer to more limited powers of the pope and do not clash with Orthodox views.
Back in my Anglo-Catholic days, I remember being struck by Kallistos Ware's assertion in The Orthodox Church that his co-churchmen viewed Catholics and Protestants as basically the same thing. I also think it was in this book that I read that during World War II, Orthodox Christian American servicemen had "Protestant" stamped on their dog-tags. If you want to insult a Catholic or Orthodox, it seems, call him a Protestant.

I hate to be less than œcumenical when it comes to the Orthodox, but, with all due respect, when I read His Excellency saying that "[o]nly renouncing titles stressing the universal jurisdiction of the pope, and the ecclesiological doctrine hidden behind that, would be a real step on the path toward reconciliation between the Orthodox and Catholic churches," the first thought that comes to mind was Protestantism. This could well be an over-reaction on my part, but when it comes to the Papacy, I am unabashed in my Ultramontanism.

If I were Pope or Patriarch, my œcumenical strategy would be to set these doctrinal differences aside for the time being and focus on re-evangelizing the world and fighting common enemies like militant secularism, which I think is being done.
Keep Praying
Stephen Hand, editor of Traditional Catholic Reflections & Reports, is keeping us informed of his son's condition and the life-and-death ethical issues faced by his family here: Jeremy Hand.

Our prayers remain with the Hands.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand again shows what a powerful force for unity and stability monarchy can be: Thai PM resigns out of respect for the king.
Persecution of Christ in the DPRK
KoreanCatholic's Jason Choi passed this along to me: Number one target in North Korea: Christians.

Here's the situation up north:
    At present there is only one Catholic church in the country, in the capital city of Pyongyang. The whereabouts of the Bishop of Pyongyang, Msgr. Francis Hong Yong-ho, and 50 priests, remains unknown. There are an estimated 3,000 Catholics in the country who mostly practice their faith at home, with no priests available to them.

    Father Joseph Veneroso, M.M., who visited North Korea in 1989, said, “They can’t have any public display of religion. Even if they have a crucifix in their home, it’s in a place where nobody else might see it except for them.”

    Whatever religious activity takes place is staged by the government for the benefit of foreigners. During Father Veneroso’s visit, he was permitted to say three Masses in the country’s only Catholic Church.

    “The church was filled, but we’re not sure if it was filled because the government told [the people] to come out. But they knew all the songs by heart even though they didn’t have any hymnals. They sang them from memory. And they knew all the responses to the Mass.”
My friend Jason points out a problen in what Fr. Veneroso says:
    How can they remember the mass, since the Novus Ordo Mass didn't exist for them? Because of the Vatican II reforms in the 1960s it's impossible for N. Koreans to have learned the new mass since they've been closed off from the international world since 1953....

    My bet is that a bunch of people were probably forced to remember all the responses before Mass was said. Someone I know went to a protestant church in n. korea and the church service seemed legit. After the service he asked a simple question to a n korean church goer about heaven, and the person had no idea what he was talk'n about.