Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lorelei by Heinrich Heine

I do not know what it means
That I'm so full of woe;
A fairy tale from ancient dreams,
It will not let me go.

The air is chilly and nightfall nears,
As the Rhein river flows gently by.
The summit of the mountain appears
To sparkle in the sunsetting sky.

Above in splendor and awe
Sits the virgin most fair.
Her beauty surpasses all law;
She combs her golden hair.

She combs it with a comb of glitter,
While she sings so wonderfully,
That it makes the mountain snow shiver.
It is a vehement melody.

And there is a fisher in a tiny skiff
The song takes him with wild cry
He does not see the approaching cliff
He simply looks up into the sky.

I believe that the waves before long
Drowned the boat and the fisher died.
This was done by the bewitching song;
That poor fisher was Loreleid!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Protestant Stalker

A few days ago I noticed that my protestant stalker had subscribed to the MySpace version of this weblog. I guess I should welcome him then even though I hate his guts. He grew up Catholic and then defected to the state religion of England, the country that disembowled Jesuits simply for celebrating Mass. That's kinda like a Jew becoming a skinhead. Of course, this guy would throw the Inquisition and the Crusades up in my face and pointedly tell me that I am in a very fragile glass house.

But this would miss the point. I could very well understand a Cathar, say, feeling betrayed by a fellow Cathar who converted to Rome. (The Cathars were, for those who don't know, victims of a very bloody Catholic Crusade. They were also extreme, whacko gnostics who condemned marriage and pregnancy. They also practiced ritual suicides. They were the Heaven's Gate Cult of the Middle Ages, but that may just be Romanist Propaganda.) Being a Catholic means being part of a family, and my Protestant Stalker has betrayed this family. Maybe the family is a bunch of evil gangsters. Fine, I am still a part of this family and, therefore, loyal to it. He has shown himself disloyal to it, and I have no choice but to understand him as traitor.

Anyway, I call him my Protestant Stalker because he won't let up trying to seduce me away from my family and into the arms of his Erastian Heresy. Erastianism is the subordination of Church to State, and Anglicanism had its genesis in the fiat of a tyrant, Henry VIII, and is thereby the textbook example of Erastianism. I'd like to think that he stalks me because of a nagging guilt, and guilt loves company. Perhaps, he thinks he'll feel better if I join him on his journey to hell. He'd say I am just flattering myself. Fine.

Of course, if this Protestant Stalker were a lithe, nubile woman half my age, I would perhaps be less insistent upon loyalty and doctrine. Then again, my dear mother (God rest her soul!) forbade me from marrying any Protestant, and I dare not disobey my mother. But my mother did not want me smoking, and I love smoking. But my mother smoked. She only dated a Protestant. She made him convert before she married him.

By the way, my father is a very disappointed convert. After having heard "Amazing Grace" at a mass once, he told me with a very heavy sigh, "And I thought I left this crap when I left Protestantism."

But back to my Protestant Stalker. He lives in the United States of America but is not Episcopalian. No, he's one of those so outraged by the consecration of the openly gay Eugene Robinson that he joined an Anglican Church overseen by some stalwartly anti-gay African "Bishop". He's now secure in the bosom of the authentic old time religion!

Of course, it should be noted that it is rather odd that these New anti-Episopalian Anglicans are making the refusal to accept the homosexual lifestyle as the sine qua non of Christian orthodoxy. No one in the Anglican Communion thundered about schism when the Lambeth Conference approved contraception and thereby gave its blessing to deliberate sterility in the sex act. Once you do that, you have no objection at all to the gay lifestyle. This point has been made by none other than Rowan Williams, the so-called "Archbishop" of Canterbury. Of course, Anglicans are under no obligation to follow their acknowledged primate even when he happens to be logically consistent.

I shouldn't be too hard on the guy, though. He does have the right position on Rapture Theology, meaning that he thinks that it is dangerously raving lunacy. And he agrees with Ralph Nader that the Israelis have become Nazis. He may even agree that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their neo-con minions are war criminals. So, it's quite possible that he has a brain. If he does, he may someday come to realize what the English have known at least since Newman, that Anglicanism is a joke.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Here We Go Again

Well, many people are awing and oohing about how historically significant it is that a black man is now the presumptive Democratic nominee. And some people are now worried that if this darky is elected, Obama will have the Black Panthers impose martial law. Yeah, well, if McCain is elected, he'll have Blackwater impose martial law. But Blackwater is run by a good Christian white man (yeah, Erik Prince is Catholic, and that makes me want to convert to Islam). Yeah, if we're gonna have fascism, let's make sure it is at least Christian and white.

Anyway, I am not impressed at all by the Historical Import of Obama's candidacy. Half the color may have changed for this election, but for me, a guy who at least makes a stab at being an orthodox Catholic, it's still that basic scenario we had four fucking years ago, a lunatic warmonger against a lunatic proponent of legalized abortion. Well, at least this time the lunatic pro-abort was solidly against the Iraq War from the gitgo. Then again, after the gitgo, he voted repeatedly to fund the war, except once, and even then he waited until it was clear the funding would pass before he cast his vote. And Obama has not repudiated the Doctrine of Pre-emption, which is America's divine right to use military force every time its hyperventillating paranoia acts up. Obama has repeatedly showed his willingness to bomb Pakistan, if, that is, "actionable intelligence" shows Pakistan to be a big bad ominous threat just as it once showed Iraq to be a big bad ominous threat. And Obama has not said anything about the War in Afghanistan, where we replaced the oppresive Taliban with the equally oppressive and murderous and raping Warlords of the Northern Alliance. But, next to McCain, Obama is the Peace Candidate. Next to Larry Flynt, Hugh Hefner is a gentleman. America is truly the land of Lowered Expectations.

But I as a Catholic am not allowed to vote for any Peace Candidate as long as that candidate is all for legalized abortion, and Obama is for legalized abortion. If I vote at all, I must vote for the candidate who is opposed or says he's opposed to legalized abortion, and that would be John McCain. It does not matter that John McCain wants war and more war because viagra is not enough excitement for the old man. It does not matter that he fully supports a war in which our bombs are responsible not only for the murder of babies but also for the destruction of Arab Television Crews that dared report these atrocities to the world. It does not matter that John McCain supports a war premised upon demonstrable lies and supports waging more wars simply on a whim. As long as John McCain says that he would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned, he is pro-life. Yeah, well, I want Roe overturned as well, but if pro-life means you can be a psychotic warmonger who thinks it's funny to sing about bombing millions of people to a Beach Boys' tune, then "pro-life" has obviously become an Orwellianism.

Besides, the overturning of Roe itself will not outlaw abortion. It will just give states the authority to outlaw abortion if they choose (and if South Dakota does not have the guts to outlaw abortion, it doesn't look like any other state will either). What the overturning of Roe will do is remove abortion as an issue in national elections, and then the Republicans can no longer tell us, "Yeah, we fuck the poor and the unions and want to change this country into a fascist dictatorship, but you Christians have to vote for us because we will appoint justices who will eventually overturn Roe." When they no longer can tell us that, they will lose a big part of their base. The Republicans, therefore, have an existential interest in keeping Roe seemingly threatened but nonetheless completely safe.

No, I am not going to vote for Barack Obama. His stance on abortion frankly repulses me. He went so far as to vote against an Illinois Bill that would have mandated medical aid to babies surviving that hideous procedure of dilation and extraction. He voted against said bill because, he reasoned, it contradicted the definition of personhood handed down to us by the Supreme Court. I would think that a black man, especially one schooled in American Constitutional History as Mr. Obama is, would not defer so quickly to The Supreme Court's supposed authority to define what a person is. After all, such deference 151 years ago meant acceptance of brutal chattel slavery.

That I am not going to vote for Mr. Obama does not mean that I am going to vote for Mr. McCain. No, in fact, I have little or no respect for people who would vote for that senile fascist. Also, if I am told by my fellow Catholics that true pro-lifers will vote for McCain, I will become so sick that I might vomit on them.

It should be noted that my vote does not matter anyway. I live in Southern Illinois, and in national elections, my vote always gets drowned out by the Chicago dead, and this year it is a certainty that the dead of Chicago will be out in full force for Barack Obama. I am never any match for the Chicago zombies.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Harold Pinter as a speechwriter for W.

Harold Pinter, the British Playwright known for his terseness, expressed in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech a desire to work as a speechwriter for Our Dear Leader. Below is the speech he wanted to write for W. Pinter captures the very essence of Bush der Zweite and with words small enough that even the subliterate fratboy himself could not fuck up (well, fine, he might trip up on "electrocution"):

God is good. God is great. God is good. My God is good. Bin Laden's God is bad. His is a bad God. Saddam's God was bad, except he didn't have one. He was a barbarian. We are not barbarians. We don't chop people's heads off. We believe in freedom. So does God. I am not a barbarian. I am the democratically elected leader of a freedom-loving democracy. We are a compassionate society. We give compassionate electrocution and compassionate lethal injection. We are a great nation. I am not a dictator. He is. I am not a barbarian. He is. And he is. They all are. I possess moral authority. You see this fist? This is my moral authority. And don't you forget it.

Why do Protestants go to Bible School?

The basic principle of Protestantism is sola scriptura, the idea that the Bible is the only infallible rule of faith. Now Catholics have always responded, "Well, what good is an infallible book without an infallible interpreter of that book?" To which the Protestant rejoinder has always been, "Scripture interprets itself, so there!" And then followed the Thirty Years' War, which ended in the ackowledgement that where Catholics have the most gunpowder, that region will be Catholic and where the most gunpowder belongs to the Protestants, that region will be Protestant. If guns can't penetrate the hermeneutic circle, nothing can, and several centuries later the debate over sola scriptura is pretty much the same as it was in 1521.

This means, among other things, that Protestants still insist that Scripture is self-interpreting. Okay, if this is so, then why do Protestants attend Bible School? What can Bible School teach you that the self-interpreting Scripture can't? True, Protestants do acknowledge that the Bible does contain several obscure passages, but these can be deciphered in the light of those passages that, as the Westminster Standards put it, "are so clearly propunded that not only the learned, in a due use of ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them."

The Protestant must say that at least parts of Scripture are so clear that even the unlearned can understand them simply because he can't acknowledge the need for something like, say, a teaching Church. If he did, that would undermine the very essence of Protestantism, namely the rebellion against anything that gets between the believer and the Bible. The Bible should fit the believer tighter than Calvin Klein jeans on Brooke Shields. Furthermore, the Protestant must also say that those obscure passages can be made clear by those parts even the dummies understand. Otherwise, it could not be said that Scripture interprets Scripture.

If all this is the case, then I have no idea why a Protestant has any need of Bible School. The Bible is its own school and clearly comes with its own step-by-step instruction manual. If you are a member of the unlearned, then just start with those dummy-proof passages and work your way up to the obscure ones.

But how are the unlearned to know which are the dummy-proof passages and which are not? Maybe this is what Bible School is for. Maybe students there get Bibles with pages in various colors to denote various levels of obscurity and perspicuity: red for obscure, yellow for somewhat obscure, green for fairly clear, and blue for dummy-proof (and copies of Hustler for the unregenerate). The students spend their class time interpreting the red and the yellow in light of the green and the blue.

But it should be noted that the Bible school is not the Bible. Therefore, it is not infallible. So, it could very well screw up and label obscure passages dummy-proof and vice versa, in which case Protestant Bible school would hinder true understanding of Holy Writ as much as, say, the Whore of Babylon (Protestant speak for the Catholic Church) did and does.

So, I still don't understand why Protestants go to a man-made institution like a Bible School. If they need help understanding and interpreting Holy Writ, why don't they just rely on the Holy Ghost who is supposed to indwell the saved and guide them to all truth. Or, perhaps, if you have to attend Bible School to understand the Bible, then the Holy Ghost does not indwell you at all, and you are really one of the damned. Well, then you might as well save the tuition money, stay home, and gawk at Hustler.

A Scientific Law of Myspace

It's been over a week since I last posted something to this space. I hope all my adoring fan have not missed my curmudgeonly rants too much. Anyway, the reason why I have not posted is that I was sick. I was coughing up nearly all my insides. It was not pretty. I nearly died. In fact, I had a near death experience. In one of my agonizing coughing fits, my soul fell out of my mouth along with a gob of smoky phlegm and soon found itself being led down a long white tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, I saw God with his arm around Martin Luther. And then God looked at me quite sternly, leveled His divinely wrathful finger at me and said in a voice that made all of creation shake, "Protestantism is true, my son! Sin boldly!"

Well, I wiped up the phlegm, and since the out of body experience lasted only five seconds, I figured it was safe to put my soul back in my mouth and digest it. But then there was the matter of the divine endorsement of Protestantism I had just witnessed. I had just seen God give His very own imprimatur to Protestantism. So, if my devotion to God and His truth means anything at all, I would have to become a Protestant. But I had written that I would rather be a gay porn fluffer than a Prot, and I never wanted to be a gay porn fluffer. I wrote that merely to show the utter contempt I have for Protestantism. But now I may not have contempt for it since it is God's truth.

Neither may I have contempt for gay porn fluffing for that is an instance of bold sinning that shows, because of the power of God's grace, Satan has no power over us. We can sin as much as we want, and the devil can't take us because we've been saved by grace. So, as long as I give my heart over completely to the doctrine of sola fide, I can fluff as much as I want and say "nya nya nah nya nya" to Mr. Satan after each fellation. Yeah, fine, but I really would like to do another bold sin. Yes, I know that all sin is equal in the eyes the Lutheran God. Well, actually He doesn't see our sins because He has covered all of us worthless pieces of shit with glistening snow. All He sees is the snow. He doesn't give a rat's ass about what we do underneath, but I certainly do, and if I am to sin boldy to show the power of His grace, I'd much rather have mass quantities of sexual intercourse with lithe females half my age than blow gay porn stars.

But there is a problem with this, as well. After years of careful empirical observation, I have noticed that the amount of nakedness a young woman shows on her MySpace default picture is indirectly proportional to her intelligent quotient. If you see, for instance, a young woman in a bikini so flimsy it might be water-soluble, it is a certainty that her book section will, if it lists anything at all, list Cosmopolitan (invariably abbreviated as "Cosmo" because the full title is just too polysyllabic) And if this woman does go to college, her major will be Communications. The data have spoken: Females who show pictures of themselves scantily clad on MySpace are airheads. Now, this is a problem for me because although my leering eyes really liked gathering all this data and I would really like to indulge my middle-age lechery for the glory of Protestantism, I just can't have sex with the braindead. I draw the line at necrophilia.

Now, I would like to have lots of assignations with lithe, beautiful women half my age who not only know what an "assignation" is but can use it in a sentence. But that, too, is a problem because such women are far too smart to allow themselves to be seduced by some pathetic middle-aged lech still trying to commit all the Lutheran sins he saw others do in high school and college. The only young women who would allow this are, I repeat, too dumb to be counted among the quick. So, it's a Catch-22.

So what will I do to show that I am saved by grace alone? Wank off? Yeah, I could do that. That's why Luther re-wrote James to say, "I by my masturbation will show you my faith." Of course, such banal self-indulgence has long since become a Protestant cliché and, therefore, boring. I want to do something a little bolder.

Hey, I know. I'll wreak havoc upon the world with lots of bombs, mayhem, and perpetual war. I will try to kill as many people on this planet as I can, and those whom I can't kill, I will torture and maim. Yes, that will be my sinning boldy. I will come this November vote for John McCain!