AND NOW FOR A BRIEF MALE MOMENT

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 17 Comments

Oh sweet mother of…Pam Oliver is FIFTY-THREE??

Thank you for your kind indulgence.

AND NOW…IDIOTS

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 33 Comments

I don’t think that anyone has been as screwed over by history as badly as Jonathan Edwards.  Over his far-too-short career, the man crafted hundreds of sermons that still have influence to this day.  Freedom of the Will demonstrated that Edwards was one of the most formidable intellects that North America has ever produced.

And yet, most people who think that they know Edwards think that they know him because of exactly ONE SERMON that he delivered twice and didn’t even finish the second time he tried it.  Like Matthew Paul Turner, for example:

In the spring of 1734, the untimely death of a young man became a catalyst for Edwards to reach Northampton’s youth. At the young man’s funeral, Edwards preached a sermon that, for him, turned into a memorial service for every soul in attendance:

“Consider, if you should die in youth… when others stand by your bedside and see you gasping and breathing your last or… see you put into the coffin and behold the awful visage which death has given you, how shocking will it be to them to think this is the person that used to be so vain and frothy in conversation. This is he that was so lewd a companion. This is he that used to spend of his time in his leisure hours so much in frolicking.”

Believe it or not, those dark words knocked ’em dead, which was exactly his intention. Later, Edwards noted that many of his youngest members “clearly exemplified” what he called the universal holiness of life.

On July 8, Edwards traveled to the town of Enfield, Connecticut. He’d been invited to preach because some of Enfield’s holier residents were concerned that the Affections had as of yet passed over their town like the angel of death. According to one of the concerned few, the most they’d managed to muster out of their local heathens was some “considerable crying among the people” and a bit of “screeching in the streets.” That simply wasn’t good enough. They wanted the people of their town to experience whatever was happening in places like Suffield, Longmeadow, and Coventry, locations where the Affections had hit people like an atom bomb and proceeded to induce seizures, night sweats, and fits of rage. So they contacted Edwards and assigned to him a clear mission: Bring the Affections to Enfield.

Chances are, upon receiving his marching orders, Edwards knew which sermon he was going to preach, an effective number he’d delivered once before called “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

With a calm demeanor, Edwards told the people of Enfield that God stood ready to toss their meaningless sin-ridden souls into a black hole of fiery torment, a terrible place where Satan waited and gleefully pined for the chance to manifest his dominion over their bodies. The picture that Edwards painted was horrendous and frightening, a duty he performed with ease, as if he’d gone on a field trip to hell a couple days before with his kids, witnessed its horror, and on the way home stopped at Olive Garden. But that’s how Edwards viewed hell, as if it were a geographical location. His words brought hell to life, making it real, tangible, and terrifying, like France or New Jersey or a Carnival cruise to Cozumel.

In his book Erasing Hell, Francis Chan, one of evangelicalism’s well-loved Bible teachers, writes, “God is love, but [God] also defines what love is. We don’t have the license to define love according to our standards.” If Chan is correct, this is how Jonathan Edwards defined the love of God in 1741:

“The God that holds you over the pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked; his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times so abominable in his eyes as the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince: and yet ’tis nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment: ’tis to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to Hell the last night… but that God’s hand has held you up: there is no other reason to be given why you han’t gone to Hell since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship: yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you don’t this very moment drop down into Hell. Oh sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in.”

Even in context, taking on the presence of an individual from Enfield, Connecticut, in 1741, this prose was a vile, reprehensible excuse for a sermon. Nevertheless, for Edwards, the presentation was a success. The Affections fell over the crowd that night. In fact, Edwards’s words caused such a ruckus that he wasn’t able to finish his sermon. The one slightly hopeful line at the end didn’t even get spoken. Instead, the residents of Enfield were left dangling like spiders over the pits of hell that night, overcome with the spirit of Edwards’s “Affections.”

Quick question, Matt.  You and the wife and kids, if you have any, are at a get-together by the seashore someplace.  At some point, you notice that your kids are running full-speed toward the edge of a cliff with the intent of jumping into and frolicking in the ocean.  Only you know that the ocean starts a good deal farther out and if your kids do what they intend, they will be dashed to death against the jagged rocks below.

How do you approach this situation, Matt?  With Shakespeare’s “sweet and honeyed sentences?”  Or by screaming at your kids at the top of your lungs?

Do you think that Hell is a real place and that eternal separation from God is a bad thing?  If you do, how else would you preach this subject?  If you don’t, why do you pretend to care?

THIS IS THE *CORRECT* WAY TO HANDLE CROWDS

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 12 Comments

I saw this posted by Kate at SDA and just had to share it. I can’t think of much of anything to say about it; the video speaks for itself, and makes for amazing viewing, especially when the molotov cocktails come out near the end. You really need to watch the whole thing to see just how nasty it got, and how effective the police were – without firing a gun so much as once. Kudos to the Korean Police for outstanding training and implementation in a very dangerous situation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uREJILOby-c

I’m sure our Canadian friends would agree that this should be required viewing (and methodology) for the Ontario Provincial Police. Those who aren’t familiar with the problems up north, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_River_land_dispute (The OPP have basically refused to take any action whatsoever against violent First Nations [Native American] factions.)

Bill (not IB)

NERVOUS ABOUT THE ISLAMIC STATE?

Monday, September 1st, 2014 | Uncategorized | 41 Comments

You might want to look into the idea:

Columbus [Indiana] Police said they’ve never had anything like it – three churches vandalized in the same night.

Someone spray painted them on the outside. It’s the words used, though, that have some people asking if this was more than a prank.

“It was just one word. It said ‘Infidels!’” Father Doug Marcotte said of what was spray painted on Saint Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in Columbus overnight Saturday.

Parishioners saw that, along with the word “Qur’an 3:151″ on their way into mass Sunday morning.

“It’s certainly not a warm and fuzzy verse. It talks about the infidels, their refuge being the fire,” explained Father Marcotte.

Specifically, that passage of the Qur’an reads: “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.”

Saint Bartholomew’s wasn’t the only Columbus church vandalized.

“It’s really bizarre and the fact that they hit two other Christian Churches. It’s not like we’re all in a line. So why did they pick the three of us?” asked Father Marcotte.

Outside East Columbus Christian Church and Lakeview Church of Christ, members there found the same kind of graffiti Sunday morning.

NEWS FLASH

Monday, September 1st, 2014 | Uncategorized | 29 Comments

Baby boomers are old.  Second news flash.  We’re whining about it.

END OF AN ERA…ISH

Saturday, August 30th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 48 Comments

Mike Sam didn’t make it:

The St. Louis Rams released defensive end Michael Sam on Saturday, the team announced.

Sam’s hopes of sticking with the Rams and becoming the first openly gay athlete to play in the NFL came up just short in a competition against undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks.

Westbrooks is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot on the team.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that Mike’s NFL career is over.

Sam officially hit waivers Saturday at 4 p.m. ET when all NFL teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players. From there, the other 31 teams will have until noon ET on Sunday to put in a claim for Sam. If he goes unclaimed, he will be free to sign with a practice squad.

And the Rams would like to keep him around.

A league source said earlier this week that the Rams would like to bring Sam back to their 10-man practice squad, but Fisher fended off questions about any potential moves Saturday, saying the practice squad will be affected by the team’s needs at other positions.

“There will be no challenge, no challenges whatsoever,” for whatever team picks up Sam, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said at a news conference.

“There’s no challenge with respect to Mike Sam,” Fisher said. “He’s not about drawing attention to himself. He kept his head down and worked and you can’t ask anything more out of any player for that matter.”

So this story’s not over by a long shot.

DEMENTIA

Saturday, August 30th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 56 Comments

I suppose that most of you have seen news reports, feature stories or documentaries about families dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease.  They’re always well-done and communicate what it’s like as best they can, given their time constraints.

But as a veteran of that war, those of you who receive the news that someone in your family has been diagnosed with that disease had better understand something.  No Alzheimer’s stories or documentaries you watch, however long they run, can even begin to describe the hell that you’re about to experience.

For me, one of the worst parts (if you leave out that time, early on, when I left the nursing home after visiting Momma one evening, she wanted me to take her home, an attendant had to hold her back and I got to listen to Momma scream all the way to the front door) of the whole experience was when my sister Jennifer brought her first child Madeline over to the nursing home for a visit.

If Mom had been right, she would have been over the moon about Madeline.  She doted on all her grandkids and, since Jen lived in town, Momma would have taken over full-time daycare duties whether Jen asked her to or not; the simple fact of the matter is that my mom would have ordered Jennifer back to work immediately and taken up Maddie’s upbringing all by herself.

And she would have been the happiest grandmother who ever lived.

So Jen, Madeline and I are sitting at the front entrance of the nursing home one cool evening when Dad wheels Mom out and formal introductions are made.

Mom’s reaction to Madeline?  She had little or no reaction at all.  None.  That’s the thing about watching someone with Alzheimer’s die over a prolonged period of time.  You seldom lack reasons to desperately want to drink yourself unconscious.

But what must it be like to helplessly watch your entire country slowly lose its mind?

More than 1,400 children were sexually abused over a 16 year period by gangs of paedophiles after police and council bosses turned a blind eye for fear of being labelled racist, a damning report has concluded. 

Senior officials were responsible for “blatant” failures that saw victims, some as young as 11, being treated with contempt and categorised as being “out of control” or simply ignored when they asked for help.

In some cases, parents who tried to rescue their children from abusers were themselves arrested. Police officers even dismissed the rape of children by saying that sex had been consensual.

There were calls for Shaun Wright, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire (pictured above, left), to step down after it emerged that he was the councillor with responsibility for children’s services in Rotherham for part of the period covered by the report.

Details of the appalling depravity in the town and the systemic failures that allowed it to continue were laid out in a report published by Professor Alexis Jay, the former chief inspector of social work in Scotland. Victims were gang raped, while others were groomed and trafficked across northern England by groups of mainly Asian men.

Prof Jay wrote: “No one knows the true scale of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham over the years. Our conservative estimate is that approximately 1,400 children were sexually exploited over the full inquiry period, from 1997 to 2013.

“It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated.”

She added: “There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone.”

Prof Jay said: “Within social care, the scale and seriousness of the problem was underplayed by senior managers. At an operational level, the police gave no priority to child sex exploitation, regarding many child victims with contempt and failing to act on their abuse as a crime.”

It emerged that there had been three previous reports into the problem which had been suppressed or ignored by officials, either because they did not like or did not believe the findings.

Tuesday’s report concluded that by far the majority of perpetrators were Asian men, and said council officials had been unwilling to address the issue for fear of being labelled racist.

Two things.  ANY British political leaders or police officials who knew about this and did nothing should not only lose their jobs but face prosecution and even jail time for this atrocity.  Merely getting sacked because you looked the other way while thousands of innocent young British girls were essentially sold into slavery and have had their lives destroyed sounds like the most nauseating parody of the term “slap on the wrist” that it is possible for even the most depraved human mind to conceive.

British media?  If you actually want to do something about the mindset that led to these appalling crimes and the moral cowardice that ignored them, the first thing you’re going to need to do is be honest.  And the very first thing that that means is to LOSE THE DAMNED EUPHEMISMS.

Where are these “Asian men” from anyway?  Asia’s a big place.  Are they Chinese?  Japanese?  Koreans?  Mongolians?  Vietnamese?  Thais?  Cambodians?  Laotians?  Burmese?  Uzbeks?  Turkmen?  Kazakhs?  Tibetans?  Uyghurs?  Azerbaijanis?  Manchus?

Or are they Pakistanis, British media?  If they’re Pakistanis, then bloody say that they’re Pakistanis, damn it.  But let’s cut to the chase here.  Are those “Asian men” also Muslims, British media?  Then say that too.

If you can’t do make yourselves do both of those things, if being labeled “racist” or “anti-Muslim” scares you more than telling the truth about what happened at Rotherham and who it happened to, then the whole lot of you might as well quit your jobs, look for media positions overseas and start the citizenship process.  Because Great Britain will no longer be good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

AND NOW…IDIOTS

Thursday, August 28th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Content, as I always say, edited slightly

A photo of a Garwood home flying a Nazi flag has gone viral on Twitter after it was posted Tuesday morning, with commenters expressing concern the resident supports the Holocaust, with which the flag is sometimes associated.

The Winslow Place resident, Mark Dunaway, 44, told NJ.com he has flown the flag for at least 10 years.

“I understand now that people turn on CNN and see the flag associated with Nazism, but that’s not the intention of that flag at all,” Dunaway said. “It’s not meant to be a symbol of hate but a symbol of my pride in my German heritage. I am not a Nazi, I’m not anti-American and I certainly don’t support genocide. I love my country, but I also respect where my ancestors came from.”

DEAR ESPN

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 33 Comments

My name is Christopher Johnson.  I’m the day-to-day proprietor of a blog called the Midwest Conservative Journal; perhaps you’ve heard of it.

But that’s not important so let me get straight to the point.  I’ve got a business proposition for you.  Since you don’t seem to currently have a position comparable to it, I would like to suggest that ESPN establish a position in its broadcast and print divisions which would be called “Editor” and which I feel more than capable of filling:

Rams coach Jeff Fisher remains angry over an ESPN report that dealt in part with the “showering habits” of defensive end Michael Sam by ESPN reporter Josina Anderson.

The function of the “Editor” would be twofold.  One, of course, would be to tighten up pieces as much as possible.

“I’m extremely disappointed in her piece,” Fisher told the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday, not long before the team boarded buses for Lambert Airport and the trip to Miami for Thursday’s preseason finale.

The other would be to determine whether this or that piece should even see the light of day what with it being too stupid for words.

“I think it’s unethical,” Fisher continued. “I think it’s very, very unprofessional. Not only the piece itself, the content. The manner in which she did it.”

This would be a great deal for ESPN since I could work entirely online, saving ESPN the moving expenses.  I could tighten up this piece, tell the author of that piece, “What the hell were you thinking, writing something this mind-blowingly idiotic?  Hell, no,” that kind of thing.  Let me know what you think.

Sincerely,

Christopher Johnson
Webster Groves, Missouri

AND NOW…IDIOTS

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 17 Comments

The Rev. Bruce Shipman, Episcopal chaplain at Yale, blames the victim:

Deborah E. Lipstadt makes far too little of the relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.

The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.

As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.

David Bernstein points out the blindingly obvious.

Next on Rev. Shipman’s bucket list: blaming women who dress provocatively for rape, blaming blacks for racism because of high crime rates, and blaming gays for homophobia for being “flamboyant.”

If Rev. Shipman had made analogous comments about any other “ism,” he’d be out of a job.  And if it were any group but Jews, their student organization would be occupying his office and demanding it.

YOU KNOW WHAT SUCKS?

Sunday, August 24th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 42 Comments

I’ll tell you what sucks.  What sucks is when your favorite professional sports team’s season ends before it has even had a chance to officially begin.

We’d actually been talking playoffs around here.  We punched up the offensive line in the draft, we picked up a great running back in Auburn’s Tre Mason to add to our stable, the wide receiving corps here is better and Tavon Austin has another year under his belt.  So who’s going to be handing off and/or throwing to those guys?

As of now, Shaun Hill.  Thirteen years in the league, thirteen wins as a starter and thirteen losses.

Yay.

The Jameis Winston Sweepstakes has just received its first official entry.  As for me, I need bourbon.  Later.

COUNTERINTUITIVE

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 35 Comments

Polls routinely ask the Young PeopleTM what will keep them attending church and the answers given are all pretty much the same.  Ordain women, spend less time on “sin” and more on “social justice,” stop being so mean to da gaze, etc.  Alexander Griswold isn’t sure how seriously to take these results since churches who have adopted this leftist agenda are pretty much all basically tanking:

By now, we’ve all heard the refrain that U.S. churches need liberalize their teachings on sexuality and homosexuality or rapidly decline. The logic behind the argument is simple: more and more Americans are embracing homosexuality and same-sex marriage, including growing numbers of religious Millennials. So long as churches remain the face of opposition to gay marriage, those churches will shrink into irrelevancy when gay marriage (inevitably, we are told) becomes a settled political issue.

These arguments often see church acceptance of homosexuality as a carrot as well as a stick. It isn’t so much that denouncing homosexuality will drive people away from church, but that embracing it will also lead people into church. LGBT individuals and their supporters, many of whom hold a dim view of religion after a decades-long culture war, will reconsider church if denominations remove their restrictions on gay marriage and ordination.

But a number of Christian denominations have already taken significant steps towards liberalizing their stances on homosexuality and marriage, and the evidence so far seems to indicate that affirming homosexuality is hardly a cure for membership woes. On the contrary, every major American church that has taken steps towards liberalization of sexual issues has seen a steep decline in membership.

Read the whole thing.

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 | Uncategorized | 32 Comments

For a long time, it’s been axiomatic with Your Editor that many of you should be running blogs of your own.  After all, running one of these things is neither brain science nor rocket surgery.  One of you has already been added to the MCJ staff and more of you will soon be taken on here.

But if this post by Michelle Goldberg at The Old Stalinists’ Retirement Home Nation is any indication, perhaps Your Editor ought not be so sure of himself. Seems Shelly thinks she’s caught pro-lifers in a contradiction:

A couple of years ago, when I was newly pregnant and reporting in the West Bank, some of my local colleagues insisted that I skip covering a protest at an Israeli checkpoint. At first, I was resistant to letting pregnancy stand in the way of my work, but they knew from experience that there might be tear gas, and tear gas, they said, causes miscarriages.

Granted, the science isn’t there…

They were right: though rigorous studies are few, there is evidence that tear gas is an abortifacient. In 2011, Chile temporarily suspended its use after a University of Chile study linked it to miscarriage and fetal harm. Investigating the use of tear gas in Bahrain in 2012, Physicians for Human Rights found that local doctors were reporting increased numbers of miscarriages in exposed areas. And UN officials have connected tear gas to miscarriages in the Palestinian territories.

But any port in a storm.

This means it’s likely that police in Ferguson, Missouri, have been spraying abortion-causing chemicals on crowds of civilians. Recently at TheNation.com, Dani McClain wrote about the killing of black youth as a reproductive justice issue, one that goes to the heart of the rights of parents to raise their children in peace, safety and dignity. She’s correct, of course, but if the anti-abortion movement were actually concerned about the well-being of the unborn, then the violence in Ferguson would be a pro-life issue as well.

Let me get this straight, Shelly.  According to as leftist a journal as exists anywhere in the world, “the well-being of the unborn” has now become a legitimate concern.  And anything that might harm that “well-being” can and should be vigorously opposed.

Good to know, Shelly.

AND NOW…IDIOTS

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 64 Comments

This area simply cannot buy a break:

[St. Louis City] Police Chief Sam Dotson walked from a sidewalk press briefing toward the crowd at midday Tuesday. As he was describing the scene, someone scolded the others, “Listen up.” Another added, “Keep quiet.” Dotson said a city alderman had witnessed the shooting.

Afterward, Dotson said, “I want this message to be out as quickly and truthfully as possible.” The tension on the street seemed diminished.

Dotson spoke on the 8700 block of Riverview Boulevard, at McLaran Avenue, north of Calvary Cemetery. About 12:30 p.m., he said, two of his officers had shot and killed a man who, they said, attacked them with a knife.

Fortunately (if that’s an appropriate word to use here), this incident seems to have been better witnessed than the one in Ferguson.

Powell started throwing the items on the street and sidewalk. St. Louis Alderman Dionne Flowers, who works at a nearby beauty shop, witnessed the encounter and told officers the man was acting erratically and was grabbing at his waistband.

Dotson said the store owner and the alderman said the suspect was “armed with a knife, acting erratically, pacing back and forth in the street, talking to himself.”

Employees at the market and the beauty shop called 911. Two arriving officers ordered Powell to get down, but he became more agitated and walked toward them, reaching for his waistband. Witnesses told police the man was yelling, “Shoot me, kill me now,” during the encounter, Dotson said.

As for Ferguson, the award for the hands-down stupidest thing anybody has said about this whole tragedy goes to a guy who used to be an institution around here.

Ted Simmons, the former eight-time All-Star catcher, witnessed racial bias when he moved to St. Louis nearly 45 years ago, and for the Cardinals.

He was a kid who was born and raised in Michigan, drafted by the Cardinals in 1967, and saw things he couldn’t believe.

Simmons vividly recalls the hurt and anger when his own Cardinals’ teammates, Bob Gibson and Bill White, were turned away when they tried to move into an upscale neighborhood in St. Louis. Gibson wound up simply staying at a downtown hotel during the season, and immediately leaving for his hometown of Omaha, Neb., when the season ended. He remembers a disproportionate amount of cars pulled over in Clayton and Ladue belonging to African-American drivers.

Did such indignities happen to black Cardinal players in St. Louis back then?  To our shame, yes they did.  Our shame is made much more unbearable by the fact that such things never ever happened to black players in any other major-league cities at allEVER.  End particularly corrosive sarcasm.  Then Teddy Ballgame doubles down.

“This has been tough on everyone,” says Simmons, the Seattle Mariners’ senior advisor, who has lived in the St. Louis area for nearly 45 years. “You live here, and people think that things like this only happen across the river in Illinois. Well, this is the still the South, and things happen that shouldn’t.

Still.  The.  South.  The South.  Capital S.  Teddy Ballgame, who “always perceived myself as integrated and civilized with a broad perspective,” knows that such things only happen in “the South” and never happen anywhere else.

Leave aside the fact that St. Louis predates Missouri.  Forget the fact that St. Louis was perfectly happy as the dominant settlement of Upper Louisiana until this “United States of America” doohickey bought the lot from Napoleon, created this “Missouri” thing and decided to let all those ’necks move in.

Ignore the fact that antebellum St. Louis business interests, which were coming to dominate the state, were directed toward Boston, New York and Philadelphia and were manifestly anti-slavery.  Ignore the fact that the City of St. Louis elected an emancipationist mayor before the War.  Ignore the fact that St. Louis County was one of only two counties in Missouri that voted for Abraham Lincoln for president.

Ignore the fact that St Louisians are Missourians in the same way that Basques are Spaniards; it might be drawn that way on a map but I wouldn’t suggest that to the locals if I were you.

Because NO racial bias ever occurs north of the Mason-Dixon Line.  Absolutely no racial bias at all.  None whatsoever.

UPDATE: Legendary MCJ commenter Katherine reminded me of something that I left out.  In the comments to the post below this one, where I mentioned the Civil War’s gift to the South, according to Robert Penn Warren’s The Legacy of the Civil War, I also mentioned that war’s gift to the North, something Warren calls the Treasury of Virtue.

The Treasury of Virtue, which is the psychological heritage left to the North by the Civil War, may not be as comic or vicious as the Great Alibi, but it is equally unlovely. It may even be, in the end, equally corrosive of national, and personal integrity. If the Southerner, with his Great Alibi, feels trapped by history, the Northerner, with his Treasury of Virtue, feels redeemed by history, automatically redeemed. He has in his pocket, not a Papal indulgence peddled by some wandering pardoner of the Middle Ages, but an indulgence, a plenary indulgence, for all sins past, present and future, freely given by the hand of history.

And that is why I keep recommending that little book.  Because when was the last time you heard or read of an American leftist admitting a policy mistake or confessing that some leftist program or other was a failure?

They don’t.  Ever.  Every idea that pops into their heads is not only right but sanctified by God.  QED, anyone who opposes them or who believes that some objective can be achieved by different means must be the Other.  Utterly evil.

From the “South.”

Nothing ever goes away in America.  That war didn’t stop at Appomattox in ’65.  It just went cold.  And it’s still going on.

THE GREAT CHRISTIAN ALIBI

Monday, August 18th, 2014 | Uncategorized | 41 Comments

In 1961, at the start of the United States Civil War Centennial observances, LIFE magazine asked Robert Penn Warren for an essay about the effects of that war on subsequent US history.  That essay eventually became a small book entitled The Legacy of the Civil War which is still in print and is well worth your time.

It’s slightly more than one hundred pages and if you’re not as glacially slow a reader as the Editor is, you can probably polish it off in an hour or less.  Warren, a Kentuckian, is equally harsh with both sides, as he should be.  But the curse which was laid upon the South as a result of that war was something that Warren labels the Great Alibi.  I’m transcribing directly from the book so any errors are mine:

By the Great Alibi, the South explains, condones and transmutes everything.  By a simple reference to the “War,” any Southern female could not too long ago, put on the glass slipper and be whisked away to the ball.  Any goose could dream herself (or himself) a swan– surrounded, of course, by a good many geese for contrast and devoted hand-service.  Even now, any common lyncher becomes a defender of the Southern tradition, and any rabble-rouser the gallant leader of a thin gray line of heroes, his hat on saber-point to provide reference by which to hold formation in the charge.  By the Great Alibi, pellagra, hookworm and illiteracy are all explained, or explained away, and mortgages are converted into badges of distinction.  Laziness becomes the aesthetic sense, blood-lust rising from a matrix of boredom and resentful misery becomes a high sense of honor, and ignorance becomes divine revelation.  By the Great Alibi, the Southerner makes his Big Medicine.  He turns defeat into victory, defects into virtues.  Even more pathetically, he turns his great virtues into absurdities–sometimes vicious absurdities.

It occurred to me that one of the most terrible tragedies of the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandals is that it granted something like Warren’s Great Alibi to the Catholic left, the Christian left and other enemies of the Gospel.

For example.  You’re a Catholic theologian of leftist leanings or a feminist nun.  You have publicly written that not only should Katharine Jefferts Schori be allowed to preach in Catholic parishes, she should also be allowed to concelebrate the Mass.

The Vatican calls you out.  How do you respond?  Easy.  You simply invoke the Great Christian Alibi in the same way as Sister Elizabeth Johnson [No relation - Ed] does here:

A nun who drew U.S. Catholic bishops’ ire with what they consider radical feminist writings fired back Friday (Aug. 15), saying their investigation of women’s orders is wasteful when financial mismanagement and sexual abuses are being covered up.

“When the moral authority of the hierarchy is hemorrhaging due to financial scandals and many bishops who … cover up sexual abuse of children, a cover up that continues in some quarters to this day, and thousands are drifting away from the church … the waste of time on this investigation is unconscionable,” Johnson said.

And debate is officially over.  Who are you, you male member of the church hierarchy, to lecture me about anything at all, considering that the MALE hierarchy of this church covered up the sexual abuse of CHILDREN?

Leaving aside the psychological trauma of the victims, the Great Alibi freely provided to the enemies of both the Catholic Church and the Gospel may actually be the single most damaging thing to emerge from the sexual abuse scandals.

Because how do you answer it?

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