Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shots in the dawn

Some reactions to the morning's cybernews and bloggery:

Over at PrayTell, the whining and foot-stamping continues. Part of the shock amongst the liturgistas is that most Catholics adjust to the new lingo without a tantrum. Rather than seeing this as an indication that the PT folks have overreacted, they judge the PiP (People in the Pews) to be listless sheep, or victims so beaten down by evil patriarchal clergy that they lack any hope in their own power. God, it's silly. Some of the priests are going to the barricades and using the old translation and two regular commentors in particular continue to devolve. One is a woman named Sandi, whose only comments have ever been in the Che Guevara style, the so-called "prophetic" stance: full of bile and contempt and utterly unveiled wishes for death on the Catholic powers that be. The other is a pathetic ball-less male named Sean, who whines over and over: "It was the only Mass I have ever known and they took it from me. They took my Mass away from me." The owner of the blog is a Benedictine monk who has a big problem with the process of the translation as well as the outcome. Unfortunately, by letting voices like these remain unblocked, he let the whole thing come off as proof positive that Chicago Cardinal George was right back in 1997(!) that "liberal Catholicism is an exhausted project."

An award-winning American journalist-rabbi posted an editorial which feared that if Tim Tebow wins the Superbowl, the next things you'd see is hordes of evangelical Christians torching mosques, bashing gays and beating up immigrants. Some days, despite my counterbalancing instincts, my anti-Jewish nerve gets really provoked, making me think that Kevin MacDonald has a valid point. And it is precisely Jews like this who do it.  It's people like Rabbi Hammerman who create the very anti-Jewish emotion that they fear and then wonder why people hate them. Usually it's secular Jews like Chomsky or Zinn or Alinsky. In this case the arrogant, offensive moron is religious. (Unless he's a Reform rabbi, in which case that's up for discussion.)

GK Chesterton said that "America is a nation with the soul of a church." (Sorry, Rabbi, if that bothers you.) The politicians sound like preachers and the preachers like politicians. I thought of it yesterday when passing on the street a member of a group I do not like. An ethnic group. It dawned on me that nowadays the religious function of exhorting people to benevolence has become the message of the government. It is now distinctly un-American, according to the hierarchy in cultural and legal power, to harbor suspicion or dislike of any ethnic or behavioral group...except, of course, white rednecks and Republican Christians or the 1% (outside Hollywood or the Democrat party elite). To mandate a default moral attitude of benevolence to strangers is not the role of the State. But in churchly America's liberal State religion, that has been the message of its bully pulpit. Extraordinary. Canuckistan PM Pierre Trudeau famously remarked that "the State has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." Even less, in our souls.

I don't like Rick Santorum. He's a prig. But in standing up to the traitorous American Catholic bishops about illegal immigration, he has my support.

None of the current crop of Republican contenders for 2012 is an unmixed bag, as you will learn both from the very busy Democrat-loving media and from intra-conservative debating.  True enough. But compared to the feckless affirmative action poseur currently and so offensively in that role, any of them will do.


Anonymous said...

The American journalist-rabbi Rabbi Joshua Hammerman provides evidence for a long-standing dictum of mine, namely that in most cases an Israeli is a waste of a perfectly good Jew. Israelis should be Jews in North America doing excellent comedy material like this.

It's like he has been frustrated by America's resolution of the Jewish problem, which could be states in phraseology like that of the Catholic complaining about the replacement of the older translation of the Novus Ordo Mass: »European Judenhass was the only Gentile culture we had ever known, and America took it away from us. America took Judenhass away from us.«

So he decides to as if provoke some old-style Judenhass by public accusation against Christian sports figures who kneel in prayer in public, accusing them of promoting Christendom behaviour such as setting fire to mosques, physically assaulting gays, and disappearing undocumented workers. Because that sort of behaviour is what the rabbi wants Christians to perceive is the logical result of public Christian faith. (Christians should imitate self-hating Jews.)

Should the good rabbi have instead focus'd on promoting liberal Isma'ili Islam among Muslims in America, or maybe urged Americans to write letters to Lowes asking that hardware chain to continue placing commercials during "Allahmerican Muslim" television shows again?

Or maybe should he have offer'd a collective Jewish apology for Freud who provided by far the most culturally powerful hostility to gays (and women)? (Betty Friedan didn't set her arguments against low-class white preachers etc, but had to go after the research findings of professors at Harvard.)

But no, this rabbi thought to accuse triumphalist football prayer behaviour of promoting an environment that legitimates violence.

Didn't he have to fear that mobs of angry Gentiles would respond by pogroms and burning down synagogues and beating up Jews? Nope. he didn't have to fear that because of the unbeatable resilience of the American solution to the Jewish problem!

Anonymous said...

The rabbi's public speech would have been consider'd insane by Jews, in even in America say prior to 1973, but in our never-ending Anglo-Saxon genius for political flexibility his speech is part of the entertainment/politics system.

Now, the TV show about American Muslims could be thought to legitimate Islamic triumphalism. (I'm sure it doesn't. But it could be thought to do so.) (And maybe "All-American Christian" might be too scary a title for network execs.)

In any case, there really is a lot of Judenhass in certain areas of the world, including ye olde leftwinge Europe, where intellectuals don't hesitate to declare that the borders establish'd by military power in Palestine aren't just in the way that European borders establish'd by military power are just.

So one might think that this rabbi would hesitate to condemn the Christian piety of a football player not for its bad taste but precisely for its Christianness. This even though this quarterback believes that the state of Israel ought to be supported by the American government on grounds that the Jews remain Jehovah's chosen people and "who blesses you him will I bless and who curses you him will I curse."

You might think that in a world where Jews have a lot of enemies rabbis ought not to kick around their friends. But in fact the rabbi doesn't have to fear American Christian mobs will burn down synagogues in response to his vilification. In fact, the rabbi's purported worry is that American Christian mobs will burn down mosques -- the way they did all over America after 9/11.

Perhaps Jews in Cairo — the few who remain — will look askance at the rabbi's condemnation of the quarterback's Christian prayer. To them it might really seem that it would be insane to cause trouble by condemning public prayer by Gentiles. But the rabbi's editorial is good for a laugh in America. And in Canada.

Over in Egypt, Jews worry about neo-Muslims cook'd on the Protocols. Over in America, Jews worry that prayers by a Christian quarterback will provoke violence against Muslims -- if the quarterback's team goes on to win the superbowl.

A while ago Ex Cathedra remark'd on an Italian's contempt for Anglo-Saxon insanity (we are 'pazzi') for compelling President Nixon to resign simply because he had "try'd to discomfit his enemies." But in the opinion of this Anglo-Saxon, the pseudo-realistic Italian should not have marvel'd that Nixon's enemies set out to bring him down somehow (and luck'd out with Haldeman's Oval Office automatic tape recording system -- which fortunately wasn't still in operation during the Clinton presidency).

When the spectating Gods set us Anglo-Saxons up for world dominion c.1688, they said "Have fun with it," and we did. We're still having fun with it. For example, our rabbis make public statements that if taken seriously would undermine Christian American support for the State of Israel. But as Gilbert Godfrey exclaim'd of Hogan's Heroes, an American television programme about a prisoner of war stalag — "It's a comedy!"

Anonymous said...

P.S. »The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation« seems only to have been a transitional principle for dissolving residual Christendom. ... Politicians are now very much obligated to support Pride parades in Canada. (Last summer the mayor of Toronto was condemn'd for public immorality by our journalists because he prefer'd to give laisser-faire to gay sexuality rather than political endorsement.)

More deeply, the Western Platonic Christian principle in eros was for sublimation or generative improvement, and according to Nietzsche, this began in paiderastia and was transfer'd (by motivation of envy?) to eros between man and woman (letter to Erwin Rohde 23 May 1876).

Desublimation is a work ethic. Gay pride, rather the contrary of Greek sublimation, must be not mere doing whatever; it must be the social construction of community. It is proper, then, for the state to agree that gay pride is its business. Otherwise the nightmare of Platonic-Christian idealism or sublimation in eros might continue!

Admittedly, the Platonic-Christian idealism for sexuality seems to continue within today's "change the world" activism, but consider'd closely the demands for change are apply'd to thumos or spiritedness not to eros. For instance, in the "Life" section of a progressive MSM web newspaper a sermon by a white woman condemning white guys who erotically prefer Asian women for their reputed or real femininity or not-aggressiveness. The journalist wasn't requiring such men to replace a bad or unjust erotic longing for feminineness in women with a good, progressive erotic longing. Erotic longingness was simply left out. She gave such men a thumotic task.

Admittedly, if question'd on this matter, she might reply that she does advocate that guys make non-feminineness a turn on for them, and should have included that in her sermon. She might even make a quasi-Christian confession that "sin lives on" etc in her because she doesn't find non-masculinity a turn-on. And at first she might protest that because she doesn't wish to date or marry "neanderthal" violent rude brutal angry "testosterone personality disorder" men she does find non-masculinity in men a turn on.

But upon examination her prefer'd mon-masculinity turn-on would prove to be non-masculinity à la Darcy in "Pride and Prejudice."

Yet convicted of enjoying romance novel tropes and memes, she would still advocate that our public schools and journalism make it their business to do activism and critiques against such tropes and memes until the Caliphate shuts down political possibility of Western Plato-Christianity.

Anonymous said...

More defensible is the principle "The state has no business in the boredoms of the nation." That is, don't let the state as we know it fund "culture."

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