~ I AM AN ONLINE FRIEND of Donna’s and am excited to see launch of her new project– Livia Magazine. How do we live well in the midst of our times? How do we redeem our days and years to live and be fully and joyfully alive?
In this first article I’ve seen, Donna herself speaks up on a very current matter to her, to modern women and families, and a modern suffering-averse society tending more and more to ugly eugenics, and erasing the blessings of having children with special needs–
Wow.. smart, interesting, unflinching, thoughtful discussion about a serious question posed by life in a child-indifferent and disability-hating society– what lives are worth living? How shall we bear our burdens as parents, friends, or supporters of special needs people, as an affirmation of life? Where will we find the blessing in life as it is actually lived?
“We at Livia believe in the innate worth of every single human being as a unique person.
We believe that the key to a good life lies in discovering our potential as a unique person, and through that, developing a health sense of self-worth.
And we believe that society is strongest when the people within it are able to harness their true potential to the benefit of themselves, their families, their friends and their communities.
Our mission at Livia is to help young women embrace their womanhood and realise their potential. We do this by encouraging them to:
engage with the wider world around them: its culture, its history and its people.
think for themselves, to develop their own opinions, and to critically assess new ideas and concepts.
be the best them they can be, by trying out new activities and finding out what it is that they are gifted at.
Broadly centre-right in our political positioning, our voice is generally informative, but also witty, light, interesting, lively. We embrace and promote Livia values of self-reliance, entrepreneurship, curiosity, civic-mindedness and, of course, femininity.
Crucially, we feel that in these divisive times a commitment to emphasising the ties that bind us is essential. At Livia we are determined to maintain a positive outlook in our editorial output.”
Sounds pretty good, huh? Binks thinks so. As most of you know, I calls ’em like I sees ’em– if this was crap, I’d say so, friends or not. I think Livia Magazine is the beginning of something really good.
So please support this project with your stories, your hits and reading and sharing and pondering. Pass on the articles to people who might need to read them, and gain a better perspective on all the topics Donna puts out there. Seek to live well, and to encourage others to do likewise.
–> Book Review: “An aspect of particular importance is his telling how young men who are both non-homosexual and who believe in traditional Catholicism are weeded out of the seminaries and barred from becoming priests. The new orthodoxy isn’t passive; instead, it actively screens out those who don’t fit its mold. The existence of this ostracism is perhaps the main thrust of his book.” [my emPHASis]
~ MOST PEOPLE IN THE PEWS, assuming the best, think seminaries and theology schools are holy centres for imparting piety, learning, wisdom, and Christ-like zeal to new clergy.
“Surely,” they suppose, “such places are little outposts of God’s Kingdom on earth, training up our ministers and priests into fine examples of preachers, teachers, pastors, and human beings.” You know, just like universities in 2017 are centres of learning, calm scholarship, and imparting the wisdom and skills of the ages to young and eager minds. Not unreasonable– but naive in 2017.
Because, The Asteroid.
The Truth-Shattering Kaboom
When the Awesome Utopian World Revolution™ was slow a-comin’ after the 1800s and the bloodthirsty Soviet revolt, Communists and Socialists decided to go after All The Things. Schools, and universities; governments; culture and media; business and Charitable Foundations; and especially all the churches. Afterwards, the outside would still appear the same– think all those hallowed & Ivy-clad towers of academe– but the inside would be radicalized beyond all recognition. The key was and is to keep the ordinary suckers mostly clueless, and still attending & paying for it all.
This group of fellow travellers were the Frankfurt School, and they taught the ideas and techniques for subversion. Imagine something which looks & sounds exactly like your dear Auntie Mabel, but she’s actually a pod person replacement.
For the churches, the same process that we see bearing fruit now in North American and European centres of higher learning– ignorance, violence, propaganda, safe-spaces, and a lock step progressive/ soft-Communist ideology which brooks no opposition, especially in the extremist professoriate. This same mutation has been ongoing since the early years of the last century. Those boys who died on the beaches of Normandy? Behind them, at home, the rot had begun to quietly settle into the very institutions and society they were fighting for Over There. A bittersweet thought.
Naming Names & Details
In his heart-breaking book Goodbye, Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption into the Catholic Church, Michael Rose details the 1990s American fruit of this process– how Catholic seminarians were and are bullied, brow-beaten, threatened, and charmed or coerced into hoop-jumping and ideological mutation– even homosexuality and heresy. If you are at all “rigid™” (believe the faith), or “sexually immature™” (same-sexuality, its militancy, and that many of your fellow students and some professors were barely in the closet), you’d be black-balled– not only from that school or diocese, but almost all of them.
Young vulnerable students have left such places of mis-education utterly broken, or having lost their faith, or become radicals; older experienced students come away aghast, stressed, and boggle-minded at the horrid politics and brutal abuse of the faith and lives of people offering themselves to the Church as potential clergy or priests. Faithful souls are being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness at such places year in and out.
A Lovely Outpost Of Hell
“Pish-posh!” you scoff, “Pish and posh! How bad can it be, really? Surely we must put our trust in such reputable and accredited places to help the church provide decent future leaders for itself.” Pish-posh?.. except, I’ve been there.
The Atlantic School of Theology sits on some muy pricey real estate waterside in Halifax’s wealthy South End. Ironically, some of the Leftist professors in my day lived in small mansions, and many students lived on campus, or in nearby apartments. Looks very spiffy & hallowed, eh? Local Anglicans, United, Catholics, and even Unitarians, go there.
True Story– I Was There
When I attended in 1987-88, one of my professors was a pro-wicca (sorry, “wymyns spirituality’) lesbian, who seemingly predated on some of her female students every year. Another was apparently an all-but-avowed Communist. Still another was openly homosexual (although the best educated and freshest prof there by far).
Another faculty member was a glorified BA, who most assumed was a Ph.D. The liturgy expert (always beware those) was a bitterish radicalized nun, who loved everything about Vatican II, nothing before, and made it clear that the slightest dissent (from The Dissent™) was not welcome. Yet another wonky Roman Catholic teacher told us during the Intro To Theology 101 class that the most important thing in reading in St. Augustine, was what we thought the saint meant. Uh?
Other faculty taught as unquestionable Gospel only the most radical of theories about the Bible, morality, social justice (Marxism), theology, and the like. Our textbooks were mostly in the same line– a critique of classical Christianity, without ever actually teaching what the content or practice and worship of that faith properly was…. Er, oops.
Such A Friendly Place
There was a remarkable amount of smiling and superficial bonhomie, hugs, and slightly creepy touching. Yet at every point, you were always under ‘pastoral’ surveillance for any ‘disaffirming’ (non-radical) opinions on theology, God, abortion, divorce, homosexual marriage, feminism, homosexuality, women clergy, the creeds, and political & social issues of the day. Warms the old cockles.
In fact, if you weren’t sporting a rictus (or smirking) and faux cheery-looking and accepting of everything & everyone at all times, that was suspect, too. Malcontent? Critical? Unpastoral? Grim? Judgmental? Not gruntled, or not with The ‘rich & challenging’ Program™?!?
Not only the professors and ‘academic supervisors’ were on the snoop, but your fellow students were also watching for non-non-conformity, or ‘nurturing community’. Snitching (or “sharing pastoral concerns about X” with the leadership), I suspect, was encouraged.
Step out of line, be non-affirming, rigid, sexually immature, judgmental, narrow-minded, or dare question a prof? BAM. You risked a low grade, a black mark in your permanent record, being shunned by your fellow students and the faculty, and a non-recommendation for ordination. A nice little ‘Christian’ Gulag Archipelago nestled right there on Halifax’s Northwest Arm.
Nurturing. Pastoral. Caring & sharing. Awwk. Even some of the more progressive students found the place rather a joke, and more than a little oppressive. TO be fair, not all of them were “true believers’ like most of the faculty was then.
Like Sheeps, No Shepherds
Sadly, many of my classmates were ‘second career’ mature candidates, with little or no university background, or relevant studies. Some were nice people, but barely able to write a term paper. Others were like innocent sheep before the sophistical and practiced academic brow-beating of their wolfish profs– academics who could and did at any moment crush hopes & futures with a bad review, or a word to your bishop or sponsoring group, or sneering and mocking of your ‘naive & pietistic’ faith in class.
Behold the ‘tolerant, affirming, open & flexible’ Revolution. It’s mind-warping and soul-crushing– and designed to be that way, precisely so you will imbibe and parrot the revolution and not The Christian Faith, then spread the infection to others. Or else.
Problem was, I came fresh to the place with a hot double BA in history and Philosophy/ Religious studies. 4.1 GPA. I’d been pushed for Ph.D work, but wanted to do parish work first, then a doctorate. “Narrow-minded and conservative, but warm and cuddly” was my motto for AST.
What Fresh Hell?…
The daily worship at that school was predictably freakish– almost weekly the furniture was moved about, and we might get an angry feminist liturgy one day (with confession prayers only for the males present); or else rainbow stoles & vestments; a pro-Sandinista/ Liberation Theology homily the next; some women galumphing liturgical dance in polyester and chiffon the week after, and then maybe Gaia-Mother Earth and native prayers scheduled for next time.
All this with a progressive/ Marxist post-Christian slant, all done very self-consciously and badly, even if robed or clothed in old-sounding forms. Missing out, or non-enthusiasm (eek!), or non-participation (GASP!) was duly noted.
For my own class of first-years, I ended up as unofficial spokesman, despite my odd-man out status. When I announced I was leaving that school for another, several of the feminists– much to my shock– were openly upset (this, in the class poorly co-taught by The Feminist & The Communist.. one day, we even did colouring with crayons). As we discussed my leaving, a young woman classmate broke into tears, and actually said to me “But who will protect us from the professors, and ask all the right questions?”
PROTECT. They knew. What a sad commentary, that. I almost stayed. However, after those same profs tried (and failed) to give me a rotten mark, I knew the fix would be in if I remained there.
Spiritual Mass Murder
Why is the church shrinking, and why are so many clergy so weird? How did we get here?
This spiritual holocaust of the future leadership of the Church has been going on now since I was born… that’s two or two-and-a-half generations of mistreatment, mutation, abuse, radicalization, mis-education of the very people who are supposed to set forth the Gospel to the Church and world, lead on moral, social and theological questions, and save souls unto heaven. Instead, we have hard-progressive or squishy or compromised and shallow clergy, many of whom may mean well, but who don’t have the education or spiritual resources people think they do, and that they should have.
The Canadian & U.S. (and U.K.– Google ‘Maynooth Scandal’) Roman Church clergy formation system has it very bad, but most of the protestant schools are close behind them. It is a horror story, a tale of abuse of trust, fraud, authority, rank heresy, and cruelty.. and a cynical exploitation of the innocent students and financial supporters of such places.
But Wait, There’s Moar!
So what? Here’s what.
(1) Don’t EVER assume your clergy have had a proper education, spiritual formation, or that their cleverness in the pulpit is worth listening to. Test the spirits. Seek out the good ones, and help, pray for, and support them.
(2) If you or someone you know or care for are thinking about going into the clergy, warn him to do lots of deep research, interviews, and fact-checking about the places they are considering. Some are outposts of heaven, most are sinks of hell, or wastes of time.
(3) The “clergy selection processes” in many parts of the church are geared against non-radicals, and are as impartial and fair-minded and godly as an ecclesiastical Gestapo. The gatekeepers are meant to weed out the “difficult”, and pass through the malleable, the naive, the well-meaning, the clueless, or the people who can conceal their real selves and just go through the motions.
(4) If you or any wealthy person you know thinks piling money, bequests, and donations into such corrupted places of clergy malformation is a great and pious work, think again. Starve these progressive outposts of post-Christianity of cash, and do your research properly. Don’t unwittingly aid and abet these outposts of darkness because the people seem nice, and it’s a fancy old building, and the profs talk all holy on founder’s day.
(5) If you’re stuck at such a place, keep your head down, keep in touch with allies outside the place who can vouch & fight for you when the hammer comes down, and do your own course of studies in all the major areas, with the best authors, so you’ve actually learned something in your time. Be friendly and happy.. the predatorial system has broken better far people than you, and spit them out like ground-up bones. Pray, pray, pray without ceasing, for yourself, your fellow students, and your professors. Prayers of light exorcism may also help. You will be scarred, hurt, and mistreated.
Finally, In Conclusions
This abuse-scandal has been largely hidden for 50 years and more, and books like that of Michael Rose– though dated now– lift the rug on the creepy-crawlies, filth and dirty secrets of the radicalized Church, which has captured many ecclesiastical institutions, yet pretended to be the same as before.
And no, DON’T go to the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for any reason whatsoever. Don’t give to it, or support it. Very pretty landscape, though. ~
~ TEH BINKS, he comes from a solidly medical family (on one side): my Dad was a pathologist like his Scots-Canadian Dad before him; Dad’s Mom trained as a nurse (RN); my Mom trained as an Occupational Therapist; my Dad’s brother is a surgeon, his sister a nurse & nursing professor (both volunteered to aid victims after the Haiti Earthquake), my aunt a dental nurse (RN). I was supposed to be a pathologist, too, but you can’t do that with math-dyslexia, it turns out.
Thus, I respect what doctors are & can do, but I also know what they aren’t and can’t do… and sometimes, medicos are simply and utterly underwhelming. That, plus an overworked medical and nursing profession, health cutbacks, and too much bureaucracy & government rationing = special fun.
Binks Has The Crud
After the six hour sweaty dizzy painy weaky stint in the ER, Dr. Snitty McNoBedside *should* have said: “Sir, I’m glad to say it’s not acute or flagrant appendicitis yet, according to the tests.. however, you clearly are in pain, and your body is possibly reacting to some kind of intestinal inflammation and infection. Given your immune-issues, I strongly suggest you see your GP first thing tomorrow, and see if he recommends some antibiotics or other treatment.”
What was said to me from the above? Nada. I might as well have been a malingering street-bum looking for a mercy-hit of opioids– “You have nothing that we can treat here.” You effing loon.
Off To Another Doc
This morning? Still sweaty dizzy painy weaky. Not well. My amazing GP gave me antibiotics, for an obvious bout of intestinal/ diverticular inflammation-infection. Like I tried to tell them in the ER.
Thing is, I’m a pro-active patient, attentive to my health because I have to be. I have a medically aware mind, if not training, and I’m willing to speak up and ask questions, because doctors have not descended on a ray of light from a higher plane.
What about the quiet patient? The fearful & overly-respectful? Someone without an advocate (like She-Binks & I have in each other)? Someone with actual or serious disease which does not fit the diagnostic model? Someone with a crappy doctor? Really serious medical problems? Semi-compis mentis?
Even as we waited yesterday, the loudspeaker squeaked some code-message: I asked the nurse what it was about– the ER was officially too full. No room left. At 6pm.
We’ve had a mild debate in this country about “two-tier” health care. The bitter truth is, we have many-tier health care– all depending on rich/ poor; outspoken or quiet; rural or urban; bitchy or over-patient; informed or uninformed.
And we’re burying more people than we should– at $12-30K per person for our “free” health care, because of ER and surgical wait-times, doctor-shortages, and wait-times to see specialists. Here in NS, there are still several hundred thousand people with no family doctor.. who end up in the ER for ordinary medical issues, prescriptions and the like. Nationally, 15% of the public have no GP. It’s become euthanasia by waiting-list.. the silent killer.
Meanwhile, no doubt Glorious Leader & saviour SelfieMan Justin in Ottawa will send countless billions overseas to improve ER wait-times in some other land than his own, you know, the one he has a duty and responsibility for, in law and by God. It is to weep.
I’m really starting to think that– just like Obama and America, Mr. Trudeau & his bosses & minions &the bureaucracy don’t give a flying f*ck about ordinary people, or the suffering and death of Canadians on their watch. It’s not about you, schmuck.
Finally, In Concussion
From what I recall of yesterday afternoon & evening of the intake staff, nurses, and the intern doc? Superb. Dr. Snitty McNoBedside? Considering registering an official complaint.
Having a super-crappy day. Love you all, anyway. Prayers, please.
~ DO YOU HAVE you have a friend or loved one with Alzheimer’s?
I’ve seen the amazing musical memory of such people over and over and over in nursing homes, in the ‘quiet’ wards.
The soul is still there, but a veil has fallen in the brain, and ‘Now’ is just a jumble. The past? Still very present and alive for many. That’s why they often won’t recognize close loved ones– you didn’t look like that 30 years ago. Make of them what can be made, and rejoice with them when they can.
How Do I Even..?
Bring music. Hymns (old ones); music from the time of their youth (when were they 15-30?). Sing to them and with them when they click in. Read to them form the old version of the Bible– familiar Psalms and Gospel stories, and familiar prayers. Learn up and talk to them about old news, events of past days, interests they had when younger.
I remember one dear lady in Cape Breton who was suffering from this– but she still played the organ every week for the nursing home chapel services, and almost never missed a beat. Likewise, a dear lady in a wheelchair who recognized almost nobody, and did not respond to mostly anything– except tapes of old-timey hymns, which she remembered completely, and sang along with her husband, who would bring the tape-player in three times a week. She didn’t know him any more– but she knew love, and the music and the words.
A Battle For Life
And in the face of increasing pressure & laws to kill the sick & old– here’s a pretty specific way to help, to show love, and redemption of the time, and to fight for each creature of God, and the dignity of every human being as made in the image of God.
The main problem with helping such folks is us– it feels weird, and awkward, and we wouldn’t like to be like that. Get over yourself. +
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” [ Proverbs 15:1-3 ]
+++ +++ +++
~ CURRENT EVENTS are testing a lot of us, and many are falling into temptation and sin because we are not close enough to God. THe war is especially visible online.
Harsh words, harsher attitudes, insults, disrespect, hate, contempt, social media flame wars, defriendings.. and please don’t tell me it’s all of the Lord, and that Satan isn’t rejoicing to see brothers and sisters in Christ at each other’s throats like rabid dogs. Gack.
To be tested or tempted is not in itself sinful.. only to give in, to wallow in it, to take the easiest way, and thus to have ourselves revealed in that moment to be unstable mud, and not polished steel. It’s humbling, and calls for repenting and beseeching grace, not more of the same.
We must forgive those who trespass against us, if we would be forgiven; we must ask God not to allow us to fall into the time of testing, because we too easily fail. These two petitions of the Lord’s Prayer are all the more important in perilous and troublesome times.
So warneth the Binks to himself, and to others.
Some catechetical goodness on the matter to ponder and pray about, from equally difficult and divided times, the mid-to-late 1500s:
~ ONE OF THE great joys whilst wandering the fever-swamps of YouTubia, is occasionally finding islands of sanity, patient explanations, which visiting said islands makes you smarter and better informed for having done so.
In fact, Professor Fiamengo appears to be an actual professing old-style liberal. Old School Liberal– Believes 1st year kids have skulls full of mush, which must be shaped and formed. Believes in facts, truth, hard work, and the free exercise of the mind and will on learning & mastering a topic. Education, knowledge, wisdom, and degrees are hard-won over years, not handed out like prizes for everyone– and only in real areas of knowledge.
Worthwhile Professing Persons
Someone like Professor Fiamengo represents (like other kick-butt Canucki profs such as Doug Farrow & Dr. Margo Somerville, amongst others) some of the best kind of Canadian scholarship: detailed, insightful, impartial, quietly passionate, and worth hearing and pondering. They are– to the best of my knowledge– unbought, unradical, uncorrected, and serve as educated minds and consciences speaking back from our Western Tradition to the various concerns and controversies of the day.
You know, out loud. In public and stuff. Common sense, even.
Unlike radicalized profs, or the ‘false consensus’ global weather academics, with the best professors & teachers, you don’t feel like you’re listening to the same old script, or hearing only one side of an issue (usually Leftwards), or that a whole dimensions of learning are being deliberately silenced or misrepresented for political or ideological excuses. You know, college as usual: Brainwashing, only $20K+ a year, thank-you Cha-Chinnng!
Go And Do.. Braining Are Good!
Watch her on YouTube, read her via Google, and her excellent series via. Studio Brulé. Because Binky said so.