Loyal Oppositions?

vISRFFG
Ambitious? Disloyal? Or worse?……

— John Ronald Reuel Tolkien– The Lord Of The Rings: Two Towers (1955)

 

WHICH IS WORSE? Rebellion, or Blind Obedience? Or, is there another way?

In Tolkien’s story, times are dark and dire– Éomer son of Éomund, Third Marshal of the Riddermark– one of the great Captains of Rohan and nephew to the King– has seemingly gone rogue, to fight the enemies of Rohan as he sees fit. That’s the merest start of the woes.

To the North-West, the dark pinnacle of Isengard stands, surrounded by armies of huge mutant orcs, evil men, giant wolves, and the darkened powers of the fallen wizard Saruman. Rohan’s neioghbour is preparing for war on that kingdom.

To the East and South, mighty land of Mordor broods under Sauron’s cruel domination, his countless forces massing for an assault on Gondor– last bastion of the West and of all free peoples– then to fill all the lands with a second darkness. Doom will soon fall.

22058577bd467ac56f71efc8efa3e9cf

Worst of all, the king himself, Théoden King son of Thengel, a seeming lesser son of greater rulers, sits bowed and cowed, listening to the poisoned words of Isengard and Mordor via his usurping advisor, Grima Wormtongue. All faithful folk of the Rohirrim wait, and suffer, and hope for they know not what.

What then shall we say of Captain Éomer? Faithless traitor? #NotMyKing perhaps? Seeking his uncle’s crown? Enemy of Rohan and the King and the official direction of officialdom? So says Master Wormtongue into the King’s ear.

18160674_1654786184830844_196465101337788416_n

Rebel Scums?

So the U.S. is currently embroiled in what amounts to an attempted coup d’etat– the Left-wing establishment & media are seeking to effectively un-elect the new president, because he’s not one of them. He’s a bad, bad, evil man, a traitor, an icky, and anything is more “truly” loyal than observing the rule of law, or respecting results of a democratic vote by the American public. Heaven knows, those who oppose you must be enemies of all things decent and right or are you an enemy, too?

Trump-as-Devil
QUICK! Throw every bad name at him NOW!

The current U.S. crisis– as driven by radicals– gives a bad name to bullshit & nonsense. Yet all this is very serious, and not to be dismissed as some kind of insane joke.

We moderns love the advice of Jim Morrison & The Doors to “break on through to the other side“, and spent centuries now– since the European Protestant Deformation and the French Devolution– imagining ourselves as virtuous and innocent rebels against The Evil Them. All are shaped and entangled in this revolution, whether we are herd-minded, or cheering the revolt directly.

What is less common is a noble political, religious, and principled position of Loyal Opposition, if the times demand it: to have a sense of abiding right and wrong, of the good and true, beyond the momentary tug of war of the present, the misrule of rulers, and to abide faithful even in difficult circumstances. How to be good when the times are evil? How do we stay faithful if the government is bad, or the king is mad, or traitorous to his people?

p012wjzl
Revolutions.. first to the chop are the kings, then nobles & priests.. then the revolutionaries themselves.. just so much fun for everyone!

Reality Bites

The weakness of Rohan has had a cost. Éomer is caught between two obediences: his loyalty and his duty. For war marches on Rohan, but no orders come from the indecisive throne; orcs raid and plunder and kill the helpless farm-folk in Rohan, yet “Indeed in this riding north I went without the king’s leave”.*

How shall duty and loyalty and truth and love and hope serve in the seeming chaos? How shall we judge and be sure of anything? Tolkien writes

‘As he ever has judged,’ said Aragorn. ‘Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.’

As in pre-Norman England, the battle is not between blind obedience to authority, or a chaotic popular revolution. The English sought one obedience, but defined in two ways– (a) Liberty Under Law, and (b) Freedom Under Faith. Without both parts of each, neither will be enough.

Lawless liberty cannot make a lasting society; Law without freedom is slavery. Likewise, faithless freedom tends towards chaos, for God is the greatest lawgiver, and saviour of mens souls and bodies; faith without freedom is cultish and demeans the faithful, and is not Christ’s way.

See Ya, Yahweh!

Each society, each soul, each age will fight the same battle, in different forms and garb. What is new since the Revolting Age is the attempt to live, legislate, and rule under freedom from faith, where man– or at least the ruling class and its guns & thugs and bankers– seeks to take the place of God, and dominate all things, and call it good, and true, and right in itself.*e7510b391987c95539c7a57d326f87c5

That modern hubris and madness has also infected the Church, via the poisons of various kinds of utopianism. Man is now innately good, needing only guidance, freedom, and liberation to attain perfection. Jesus is a helper and example, and God is our ever-variable and surprising cheerleader. The Holy Spirit is constantly giving us novelties in thought, truth, worship, and everything else, leading and blessing the revolution.

Shall we submit to evil by blindly obeying power gone wrong, or become crazy rebels– or, the third way: suffering and even Martyrdom? Accused on all sides, and rejected by the spirit of the age, and the herd, and the power-mongers, and even the worldly rebels, too? St. Thomas More is an example to us all in this age of conflicting loyalties & duties.

Dissent is not automatically disloyalty, or destruction. Not all watchdogs are rabid. ~

~ Teh Binks

e1cb6808b17e67ee8e53921f861a6d85

* As the story unfolds, faithful Éomer son of Éomund becomes a war hero for Rohan, and when Théoden King (having come to his senses) is slain in the Battle of Minas Tirith– having bravely led his armies to the rescue of Gondor against Sauron– loyal Éomer becomes king of Rohan. ~ 

The F-word

mydearestdad
Binks-Dad: Smart, weird, punny, a prankster, a genius, a contrarian to herd-think, a helper, and teacher.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! — This morning whilst walking Wee Wallace The Wonder-Poodle (one cat, no dogs, no birds to startle), I prayed for my own father, and my father in-law; my grandfathers and great-grand-fathers, and forefathers before that, giving thanks for them, and praying that they were resting in peace. I’m also a Dad, of twin young men.

THE Father– self-naming in revelation– is the source of all things, and Fatherhood, the Trinity itself, all creation, all living creatures; and all human fatherhood is a shadow and pointer to that original archetype.

St. Paul writes to the Ephesians:

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, For whom all fatherhood in heaven and in earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

These are the True, the Real things.. to align with them is like a compass pointing North, a bird homing for nest or breeding ground or Winter home; to try and unmake or remake God’s Fatherhood in our own image and likeness is madness, destruction, and a huge part of our current crisis in marriage, youth, and society.

+

As I did the drive-through at Tim’s this AM, I asked the window-girl (whom I tease constantly in a fatherly way) what she was up to for Father’s Day. She said ruefully: “My Dad’s in Digby.” That said it all. Whatever the cause, some fathers go rogue, yet their kids still need and crave fathering and fatherly love and guiding. Some Dads are not very noble or dadly; and modern family & divorce law torture fathers in particular, making it even harder to be faithful if a marriage goes awry. As always, the kids go wanting, and suffer most.

craycraydadday

Via

Our clever bossy people talk of countless gender-identities and social constructs and #BanFathersDay, and are too earthly-minded to grasp that they are dealing with heavenly and eternal mysteries, great things which cannot be bent or broken by human will or evil or madness, only half-forgotten, in ways which leave broken lives and hearts amidst our ruins. Or, that those great mysteries are dealing with them. You cannot break or bend God, or his truth, only yourself.

fr-richPray this day as well for those called to spiritual fatherhood as clergy or monks: by God’s name and grace, they can be conduits of grace to make whole what nature and life may have scarred or left wanting. Pray for their courage, leadership, and adherence to the truth in love, for we are in the midst of near-apocalyptic battles in Church and society, and the very foundations themselves are shaken.

There is a war afoot, and men and fathers and fatherly men of all kinds must set down their effing smartphones: there’s work to be done.  Learn up & pass it on, love and defend the truth, follow God, and set to fixing & saving All The Things.  It’s what we’re supposed to do: show up, and Get ‘Er Done, and not sit around waiting for approval, thanks, or the enemies of the good just to become good, somehow. The kids are watching, and waiting.

+

Don’t wait until too late to appreciate and tell your Dad & grandfathers and fatherly people how grateful you are. Now.

Sniff. I love you, and I miss you, Dad, Grampa George, and Grandpa Bill, and all my forefathers. You all helped make me who I am as a person, a man, and a father. Thank you– and God bless and keep you.

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace. Amen. ~

+

God_father_kotarbinski-b

 

A Battle-Cry

18952823_1097204390379177_2619562192286972534_n
Look! It’s Theology! And one of those Irritating Yo-yos.. er, Fidget-spinners.

WAS SHE A NICE NUN? I suppose if you think Whoopi Goldberg’s “Sister Act” is accurate history, or a great life-lesson.

drmaryThe nun-professor (RIP in 2013) was probably a post-war vocation, and then when the Vatican II Asteroid hit and asploded all the things, she joined the revolution. Heaven on earth! Telling all the bad people how to think! The reputation & power of the older idea of a consecrated nun, whilst undermining all the things! Women clergy now!

We talked in her office one day at the theo-illogical school where she taught. She seemed astonished to meet someone who actually still believed all the things in the Creed– without smirking, mental reservations, or intellectual finger-crossing– as if I were a centaur or leprechaun or some other such legendary beast. A hard case.

She trotted out the ultimate weapon– Latin! You know, cuz in TV shows like ‘Supernatural‘, or the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series, Latin works wonders against evil things. Plus, I was Anglican, and had only a passing familiarity with Latin.

supernatural exorcism 1
Oddly enough, opposing the forces of ultimate evil with felt banners, puppet-shows, happy-clappy guitar songs, singing ‘Kumbayah’, and 1960’s churchy cultural Marxism was not  found to be so effective. Who knew?

“It’s a ‘symbolum‘, a symbol, a meaningful affirmation of our unity,” she said nicely. Indeed, The ApostlesCreed is sometimes entitled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, likely` from Rome.

Younger me piped up. Incorrigible young twerp.

“Well, it’s that, too, but it’s also unity based on common truths, revealed by God in the Scriptures and the life of the Church by the Holy Spirit, isn’t it?”

“You need to go and read about symbolism, and not to over-emphasize ideas”, she said not quite so nicely. After all, too much of that olden-times theology taken seriously, and you might stop fighting for the revolution. ‘Heavenly minded, no earthly use’ and all that.

apostles' creed

I don’t recall how the rest of it went, except I was puzzled, slightly mystified by the power of Latin and the ‘Symbolum” thing. You know, how the Revolution undermines and then wrecks actual beliefs, like that hidden rust eating away quietly until the floor of your car is suddenly gone, replaced by… nothing.

Symbolum!

gsbiGx

Come the Roman Legion, their symbols over them of Legion and Rome and Eagles and battle-honours; and within each living breast, the symbol or vow of their military promises to serve, not to run, The Senate And People Of Rome (SPQR) and all that.

You see that coming, from 200 BC until AD 400-ish, and you’d better surrender, run, prepare for a fight to the death.

Early Christian philosopher Justin Martyr (c. AD 150) wrote to Emperor Antoninus Pius:

“….And so it was said by the prophet, The breath before our face is the Lord Christ. And the power of this form is shown by your own symbols on what are called vexilla [banners] and trophies, with which all your state possessions are made, using these as the insignia of your power and government, even though you do so unwittingly. And with this form you consecrate the images of your emperors when they die, and you name them gods by inscriptions….”

[ Apologia, Chapter 55. Symbols of the cross ]

These were not advertising symbols, like McDonald’s or Nintendo; nor ’empty symbolism’ like a now viciously secular university still preserving the dusty chapel built by the faith of the founders. Or something we ‘affirm’ but not too specifically. It was life and death: for Legion, and your brother beside you, and for Rome.

So the nun might have been nice (she did smile a lot), but she was not being entirely honest about the ‘symbolic’ nature of the realities affirmed by Christian Creeds of the Church. This glowing supernatural true Symbol– like flags or banners of an army, a nation, a clan– represent outwardly the inward promises and abiding truths taught in the Bible– and of God’s promises to us.

Finally?

old-man-dog.jpg.image.784.410

Every morning I walk the dog, and pray. For me, I say the Apostle’s Creed each morning as marching with the Lord’s Army– of angels, archangels, martyrs, saints, as the promise and rallying cry of a better country, as a spine-stiffening and soul encouraging reminder of the Real, revealed by God in His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our conquering Captain, who has led the forces of darkness captive in a triumph by his dying & rising again. It’s a battle cry, not an advertising jingle, or empty statement.

Try it, in Church, and in your devotions– say the Creed with deadly serious joy, and commitment, since we are all in a battle against evil, Satan and all his works, and the world seeking to replace God. Souls hang in the balance, including mine and yours.

Whatever happens to the West in the next generation, I beg God’s grace that I will not surrender, betray, or fail to serve in my time. Amen: may it be so. ~

d77aba8d861328ce48476ec4e528a788

Why, That’s Unpossible!

HMSJervisBay
The HMS Jervis Bay; Weaponized Ocean-Liner With An Attitude

~ ITEM: HMS Jervis Bay, 1922-1940; and Convoy HX 84

~ ITEM: HMS Jervis BayQuartermaster Sam Patience video Interview; the HMS Jervis Bay YouTube Page

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkAJDMRd7k2iNapEb_WGqWQ

~ ITEM: Official Site: hmsjervisbay.com; the KMS Admiral Scheer

~ ITEM: The heroism of Captain Fegen and the crew of the Jervis Bay

~ ITEM: Captain Pettigrew and the men of the S.S. Beaverford

~ ITEM: CBC– The fearless, near-forgotten story of HMS Jervis Bay; and Caithness Archives– HMS “Jervis Bay” Armed Merchant Cruiser

~ ITEM: If the Gods Are Good: The Epic Sacrifice of the HMS Jervis Bay (Book Review)

~ ITEM: The church can and will survive persecution. It will not survive faithlessness. This is both a theological and historical truth

~ ITEM: OnePeterFive– What is Liberty?, by CHRISTOPHER J. MALLOY; and Hilary White, No Third Way: The Fundamentals of Rationality

+ + +

~ SO WHAT EXACTLY DOES victory look like? Giant Roman triumph, displaying captives, plunder, and conquering troops? An undignified mocking of the defeated, bared butts, raspberries, and ‘Neener! Neener!’? Dignity, and proper respect for the conquered?

A World War 2 sea captain make me think that in some cases, there’s another way.

Binky’s Departed Loved Ones

My maternal Grandparents are interred in a cemetery overlooking the beautiful Grand Bay in West St. John, New Brunswick. Only a gravestone or two away from them is another stone, recording that the deceased was part of the crew of the HMS Jervis Bay.

That what-now, you say? How very last millennium!

Grand Bay, New Brunswick, NB, CANADA
Grand Bay, New Brunswick, Canuckistan

A British Bulldog

The HMS Jervis Bay was a converted British liner off the England to Australia circuit, loaded up with some surplus turn of the century 6″ naval popguns and machine guns for convoy duty, and called– almost ironically– an ‘Armed Merchant Cruiser’.  She was refitted for military service in the port of Saint John, New Brunswick.

1940 had been a tsunami of defeats and disasters: Belgium, Holland, and France had fallen, followed by the miracle of Dunkirk; Norway & Denmark conquered, and Sweden left ‘free’ if she continued to supply steel and other war materiels to Germany.

All that late Summer, the shattered and almost weaponless British armies rescued from Dunkirk along with civilian militias and the tireless RAF had guarded Britain from a seaborne German invasion– Operation Sealion— which very nearly happened. Britain stood alone. Some counselled surrender to the new order of things: WInston Churchill, the new Prime Minister, wouldn’t hear of it.

Herr Hitler had jumped the German war-plans by 3 years (thank heavens), but still had enough u-boats and commerce-raiding pocket battleships to seriously threaten the survival of Britain. Merchant convoys were the only remaining life-line.

Our Story Begins

BedfordBasinConvoy2
Convoy Assembly, Bedford Basin, Nova Scotia

The chilly but ice-free wartime port of Halifax, late October 1940– 37 merchant ships gather in Bedford Basin, and set sail with their single escort, the HMS Jervis Bay, out into the stormy & U-Boat haunted North Atlantic. Bound for Liverpool, England, Convoy HX-84 sails into history.

The whole convoy had to go the speed of the slowest ship, and to stay together despite wind, fogs, night, storms, and sometimes the questionable seaworthiness or antiquity of the merchant vessels, some of which had served likewise in World War One. The HMS Jervis Bay had to herd these cats for the whole 2700+ mile trans-Atlantic voyage.

One late November afternoon, 8 days later later and south-southwest of Iceland, the deep-laden ships of HX-84 struggled eastwards against cold and heavy seas.

Convoy commander Captain Edward Fegen of the Jervis hears from the lookouts: they’ve spotted something even worse than the u-boats: a foreboding silhouette– incoming fire reveals the German pocket-battleship Admiral Scheer, angling in for a leisurely turkey-shoot on Convoy HX-84.

Doom. A very nasty wolf chasing down a parcel of sheep and one semi-sheep-dog. The Admiral Scheer was a  fast heavy cruiser with 6 powerful 11-inch guns, each able to fire every 17 seconds effectively out to 20 000 yards, or 11 miles. 38 juicy targets just ahead.

White flag? Run away? 

AdmiralScheer4

Captain Fegen of the Jervis Bay had a decision to make, and little time to make them.

Here’s our convoy to protect, and we’re it, lads– All hands to battle stations; Signal ‘Scatter the convoy, maximum speed’!; and then came the surprising orders: Turn to port, and full speed towards that enemy cruiser! Make smoke! All guns, fire as you bear! Let’s see if we can’t draw  her fire.

_48466187_captainofjervisbay,edwardfegen
Captain of Jervis Bay, Edward Fegen, VC

With her retro-fitted guns roaring more as defiance than as damage-dealing weapons, Captain Fegen steered the Jervis between the enemy and the fleeing convoy. The eager German Captain Theodor Krancke needed to get at the convoy before nightfall. A collision or lucky shot could harm the Admiral Scheer: best sink the Jervis right away.

“Our captain knew just what we were going to get, but it didn’t matter.”, one crew member later recalled. The Armed Merchant Cruiser drew heavy enemy fire as towering fountains of water exploded around the Jervis Bay, whose own shells mostly fell short of the enemy.

The merchant cruiser Jervis Bay fought to the death when a British convoy was ambushed
Victory In Defeat: Just A Little Longer!

Behind the ocean-liner turned Armed Merchant Cruiser, her convoy scattered to starboard at various speeds; every minute of distraction and delay meant lives and ships and supplies saved. The Scheer’s 11-inch shells pounded into the Jervis, which was soon crippled, aflame, unable to steer or communicate– but for almost half-an-hour the outgunned 15-thousand ton ship had preoccupied the guns of the German pocket-battleship, as the daylight faded away, and had even managed to damage her radar & ranging by a lucky hit.

While the surviving crew abandoned the drifting liner for lifeboats, flotsam, and the bitter North Atlantic, the pocket-battleship finally sailed past, and began to destroy 5 of the 37 ships of HX-84 in the twilight. But Captain Krancke’s frustration was far from over.

The S.S. Beaverford
The S.S. Beaverford

A little-known or remembered chapter of this story is the other convoy ship which fought the Germans. Following Fegen’s example, Captain Pettigrew and the men of the S.S. Beaverford, a Canadian freighter, likewise sailed interference against the Admiral Scheer, and bought even more valuable time for the convoy, allowing the other ships to scatter in the darkness. For over four-and-a-half hours, the Beaverford fired her two small guns, until she was sent to the bottom with torpedoes from the Scheer around 10:30pm. All hands were lost.

Sadly enough, there’s no movie, medals, novels, or memorials for the valiant S.S. Beaverford & her lost captain & crew.

The Aftermath

Captain Fegen himself was killed at his station, but received a posthumous Victoria Cross for his actions. Sixty-eight survivors of Jervis Bay‍ ’​s crew of 254 were picked up by the neutral Swedish ship Stureholm (three later died of their wounds). One survivor went on to live his life in St. John New Brunswick, and to be buried near my Grandparents (I believe it may have been “MORROW. Everett. R.C.N.R. Scullion. Saint John, New Brunswick.)”.

The Jervis Bay inspired many books, including Alistair MacLean’s novel H.M.S. Ulysses, and a short story in his book “The Lonely Sea”; the poem “The Ballad of Convoy HX84“, amongst others; and the final action of the Jervis Bay was portrayed in the movie San Demetrio London (1943, entire movie online here); and various standing memorials in Bermuda, Wick, London, and Saint John, New Brunswick.

Any Point, At All, Binks?

What does victory, or defeat, look like?  Not always how we expect.

The seemingly captive and defeated Lord Jesus went down to a dreadful and criminal death. But in truth, it was a universe & heaven-changing sacrifice. The lamb for his flock; the one for the many; the Lord for his people.

It didn’t look like that, on Good Friday, or Holy Saturday, of course. ‘Another rebel rabble-rouser crushed‘, thought Rome; ‘Blasphemer dealt with‘, thought his enemies in the religious establishment. ‘So much for all that‘, thought the fickle crowds. ‘We thought he really was The One, the promised Messiah‘ thought most of the disciples. The came the bright morning after the Sabbath rest.

For surpassing all we could ask or imagine, God had the last word about Good Friday on Easter Morning when the Lord Jesus rose again bodily from death, and then came Pentecost day, and all the days from those days to this. One sacrifice, once, for all mankind forever. Jesus The Lord wins us eternal victory, through– not despite– his own suffering, death, and resurrection.

Victory In Defeat: There’s More Than One Way To Win

Sacrifice, courage, fighting on come death or defeat, not counting the cost– the HMS Jervis Bay and her crew did not surrender, and did what seemed to be impossible: they put themselves in the way, at the right place & time to do the maximum good. As Christians, our prayers and plans and efforts neither arise from, nor go forth into emptiness. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done”– ultimately, it’s all God’s business, and if we strive to be faithful, to speak up and act and pray and not despair in the face of evil’s apparent victories, He will bless and bring forth– even from our weak and wavering and unworthy faith– wonderfully good things.

Those incoming blessings may be elsewhere, and for others, or for future generations; they may be for us, and such a time as this. That’s His business, not ours.

As for me, I sail in the spirit of the HMS Jervis Bay and the S.S. Beaverford; with the angels and archangels, martyrs, saints, apostles, and all the company of heaven, following Jesus, the author and completer of our faith, under the victory-banner of the blessed and glorious Trinity– even the Father, and the Son, and The Holy Ghost, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. ~

So Preacheth Teh Binks

Christ Pantocrator (“All-Powerful”) Cathedral of Monreale, Palermo, Sicily
Christ Pantocrator (“All-Powerful”) Cathedral of Monreale, Palermo, Sicily

Just One More Time, Sir

27408-at-the-edge-of-a-cliff-1680x1050-digital-art-wallpaper

~ ITEM: Father Raymond J. de Souza: Michael Coren converts, Michael Coren complains

~ ITEM: Why Two Famous Catholic Writers, Michael Coren and Rod Dreher, Left the Church – Aleteia

~ ITEM: How a change of heart led to a backlash from the ‘Church of Nasty’

~ ITEM: Temporary Inattention or Willful Blindness: Why Did Michael Coren Leave the Church?

~ ITEM: The Rev’d Michael Coren?; and Michael Coren’s Twitter Stream

~ ITEM: Binks Vs. Coren Part I; and here’s Binks Vs. Coren Part II

elfhat0155btn

~ PICTURE A HOWLING dark night, with someone teetering on the lip of a black and echoing chasm, buffetted by the winds this way and that. I’ve been there, spiritually.

Thus, I have a certain sympathy for those who have no steps left, except to turn back, or plunge; and I’d rather be a last-minute rescuer at Hell’s Gate than a comfy bum in the pew, confident of my own righteousness. While there’s life, there’s hope: 23rd hour 59th minute 59th second chances? Please God, yes!

So, with apologies to my various Popish friends who have no use and wish to hear nothing further from or about Michael Coren, the following is the final word from Binks on the matter.

slide-1

Once More, Mr. Coren

Whatever Michael Coren has been going through in his life– a sad peregrination hither and yon, from no church to one church to another church, then away, then back, then off again– is partly God’s business, but also the business of attentive Christians concerned for souls, and for how things can be represented in the media.

The Toronto Star & National Post seem to quote Coren approvingly for leaving “The Church Of Nasty”, identified as particularly the Roman Catholic Church, or any Christian or Church which does not agree with him & the Toronto media about progressivism Über classical Judaeo-Christianity.

Two recent articles bring to bear on Coren’s situation (and depiction thereof) that fine, calm, wise Catholicism which seems to go along with accepting the whole enchilada, as opposed to sniffing and picking endlessly at the buffet.

Article The First

Hypocrite

Amongst the gems of Fr. De Souza’s article, the Catholic journalist and priest writes:

“Coren, despite his aggressively polemical style in print, radio and TV, constantly complains that people say mean things on the Internet. That too does happen. Most columnists deal with it without public whingeing, as Coren puts it, about “the Church of Nasty.” Coren has been calling people names and disparaging their motives for decades. He doesn’t like it when it happens to him. That he is able to denounce the speck in the comment threads while ignoring the beam in his own prodigious output is noteworthy, but not news.”

Hypocrisy, that most human and easily ignored sin, is (in the Greek sense) derived from the large masks which were worn in Greek and later Roman dramatic performances, such masks showing who the actor was supposed to be playing, and magnifying the voice through the large shaped mouth on the mask. Look at me!

The hypocrite is playing a part, and expecting people to mistake the part for the real person. I’m a great supporter of hypocrisy, if the choice is between that (which at least back-handedly recognizes right and wrong), versus simply pretending there is no right & wrong, no sin or guilt to worry about anyway.

The most doomed kind of hypocrites don’t even know any more that they are hypocrites: this kind, as Jesus points out repeatedly, present a false self not only to God and others, but most of all to themselves– and then attack others for precisely that sin. I’m not sure if Michael Coren is self-blinded in this sense, but there are signs of it, as De Souza notes above. And as this Tweet indicates:

shut up twerps

Quoth The Savior

jesus-icon-12

Then there’s that Bible thing, about trouble & faith. Jesus says:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jn. 16:33

“And if the world hates you, know that it hated me before you.” Jn 15:18

“Blessed are you whenever they revile you and persecute you and they say every evil word against you for my sake, in falsehood. Then rejoice and triumph, because your reward is great in Heaven, for just so they persecuted The Prophets who were before you.” Mt. 5:11-12

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous….” Mt. 5:44-45.

So– might want to cut back on the snark & finger-pointing and seeming self-pity waah about “Church Of Nasty”, Michael, if you truly believe you are in the right. (1) Worry about your own sins, (2) Mind your own business, (3) “reviling back” is a human, but not a Christian choice: “love your enemies.. pray for them” is the Christian way. “Martyrs suffer + I’m suffering = therefore, I must be a martyr” is bad logic, and worse religion.

I’m serious. Big articles trumpeting you in the national dailies may get you attention, but you may have “had your reward”, and very much missed the point. (Matthew 6:5).

And why are some people so mad? Really?

Simply put, in marital terms, you betrayed and divorced and denounced them, publicly, after pretending for the past year or more that your were still deeply in love. Now, you are yelling and mocking and all whiny from the rooftops, and going on about your horrible wrecked marriage to anybody who will listen. Get it?

What The Second Article Says

Tom Hoopes, writing on Aleteia.org, still has hope. He writes:

“Coren need not fear. The Church’s sexual morality does not denigrate human love, it protects its nobility. But in addition to what Dante can teach about sex is what he can teach about writing.

Coren, I can only guess, is tempted by the sin that every political or religious writer is tempted by — the sin of writing to increase something in my life (money, fame, social media shares, pride) instead of writing to increase something in my reader’s life (understanding, love, conviction, joy).

The sin is both more universal and more banal in the blogosphere than it was in 14th-century Florence.

Ironically, Coren and Dreher both started out as spirited defenders of the truths of the Catholic Church — and ended up inadvertently championing relativism.”

Look Around You, Dude

corenjrr

Any one of us can be dumb as a box of rocks, or lost in the middle of a dark wood, or not see the obvious consequences of our choices. I’d like to remind author Coren that whatever his current motivations, he is in fact rejecting the moral, Biblical, and spiritual basis and actual beliefs of C.S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and J.R.R. Tolkien— about all of whom he wrote approving books, in a different frame of mind, and presumably in good faith at the time. Never mind ignoring Jesus, the Church Fathers, St. Augustine, Dante, St. Thomas Aquinas.. it’s a long list for “The Church Of Nasty” membership.

To consider who is on his side now in the morally relativist, liberal Christian, and progressive social engineering crowd he has adopted as his own, versus the Church Of Nasty? Sad to say, but it’s most definitely not the side of the hobbits, the Men of the West, the elves, and free folk everywhere.

Tolerance! Diversity! Man-flesh!
Tolerance! Diversity! Man-flesh!

Part of Michael Coren knows this, I believe, or I at least hope so. May that part be a crack in his interior walls through which the living God may pluck him from doom, for the day is far spent, the night is a hand, and death comes whispering for many of us unsuspected, unheard, unprepared for, sooner than we thought.

In Catholic terms, there’s a world of difference being the last one into heaven’s gates, Purgatory, versus stepping over that dark cliff-edge into perpetual screaming darkness. ~

So Saith The Binks

P.S. Just like the other two, I will be tweeting a link to this to Mr. Coren. If he chooses to regard it as insulting, or extremist nastiness from the right-wing blogosphere, well, that’s his choice, isn’t it?

elfhat0155btn