Thursday, 29 January 2015

Liberalism...


Liberalism is the bastard son of Whiggery and is therefore the enemy of Christ's Church. Christ was by no means "liberal," neither are the Gospels a liberal narrative. Liberalism, as subversive of society, leads ultimately to solipsism and moral cowardice. And then why don't we just put guns to our heads? There is no meaning to existence.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

King Charles...


The commemoration of bl. King Charles þe Martyr outside the Banqueting House at Whitehall will take place on Friday 30th January at 11:40am followed by high Mass and veneration of the relics. I shall be in attendance.

See the Society of King Charles þe Martyr website for more details.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Remember Auschwitz...

A "gas chamber" door. This would surely have sufficed to contain hundreds of naked people crammed in like sardines; and wood is surely the best material to prevent the lethal gas from seeping out.

Google keeps prompting me to follow a link to "remember the liberation of Auschwitz." I haven't done so for two reasons; one, it's possibly a charity and two, I couldn't be less interested in Auschwitz. In terms of charity, on the London Underground on Sunday, a man approached me at a very fast pace (I actually thought he might attack me) and put a message written on a business card on the adjacent seat that said something like "I am homeless," and "I have two brothers;" I didn't finish reading it. Gratuitous affronts like this really ought to anger me in a more than "slightly peeved" way, but they don't; at such times I tend to just feel bored and slightly threatened. I looked straight forward in silence and waited for the next station, at which he and I both disembarked; I to ascend the escalator, he to board the next carriage and bother somebody else who looks charitable. I am not in the least bit interested in the homeless; I am not like George Orwell; and I consider myself to be poor enough without hosts of leaches clinging to me and sucking what little I have for their own reprobate purposes. I'm overdrawn and in debt, you can't get much poorer than that!

So, what of Auschwitz? Are the survivors of typhus in the Nazi concentration camps looking for money or just more commiseration? Seventy years on, I am surprised that Auschwitz, Belsen and Treblinka have any relevance to or resonance with anyone. Why should it with me? I have never been to Poland. I was born forty years after the Second World War. David Ben Gurion may have found manipulation of Nazi alleged war crimes advantageous in the Jewish conquest of Palestine but the issue of the "holocaust" must surely be declining in significance with the demographic move into the next generation? It has absolutely nothing to do with me or my contemporaries. What I find most annoying about this holocaust industry, and of which I will NOT be a part, is the sense of collective guilt, the victim narrative, this cultural debt with which we all seem to have landed ourselves; which states that it doesn't matter that these alleged atrocities happened before even my parents were born and in places hundreds of miles from where my forebears lived; history did it, the Christian Church did it and therefore we have a collective responsibility to feel sad, to condemn, and to expunge every instance of anti-semitism from our literature, from our politics and from our religion. Wasn't it Jules Isaac who proposed to Pius XII the revision of the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews?

Surely it's more Christian to feel concern for your friends, neighbours and family members than for people who died many years ago, in circumstances for which I am not personally responsible (typhus can be treated with antibiotics and good sanitation); still less to judge present actions on the scale of past suffering? A constant taxation on my sympathy can only make it dry up in the end.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Libby Lane...


A black day for the Church of England. They all look the same. This woman looks like any modern RE teacher or college chaplain; they all have this homely, grotesque look about them; the same cropped hair, the same grin, and the same warped theological views. If I were to put to you any theological argument against the ordination of women it would be that it seems to attract the most hideous harpies imaginable. And nobody can say that the lobby for the ordination of women in the Church of England put forward any valid arguments thereto; it was just pressed in the name of "equality" (a dead word), so all those photographs of smiling women in cassocks on their respective days of "ordination" just make me cringe. They're not even smiles; they're grimaces of hatred and triumph.

The ordination of women to the priesthood, let alone the episcopate, is not in the Bible and it has no precedent in the history of the Church. The Christian faith, unlike the sciences which can be improved upon at whiles by the wit of men, was given to the saints once for all (Jude, 3) and it cannot be changed. The two witnesses of the Christian faith are the Bible and Tradition. If a doctrine, custom, or interpretation cannot be proved by recourse to these two then we are certain that it is not the Christian faith and is not by any to be believed or countenanced. Nothing can be both new and true. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom," (Colossians 3:16), "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good," (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

As for Mrs Lane and her unfortunate friends, I just cannot support her ministry and I do not wish her well in it.

Disturbing...


If you have a spare hour I'd strongly recommend watching this documentary. It's about the Israeli lobby (AIPAC) and its monetary and political influence in the United States of America. The most interesting feature of this documentary is what Tony Judt says. Judt, himself of secular Jewish parents, speaks very frankly and intelligently of the Israeli problem and identity politics (which can be ascribed to any minority with a strong sense of being historically hard-done-by). His is also the final word, an optimistic albeit highly unlikely sentiment. But the singular most disturbing feature of this documentary is a statement made by an independent Evangelical pastor called John Hagee about ten minutes into the video. His mission is surely the work of the Devil.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Deku Tree...


I grew up playing The Legend of Zelda, on the SNES and its successor the N64. This was the theme tune to the first dungeon of Ocarina of Time (1998), scarcely heeded then. Oh, I know it's "new agey" (like Enya), but I like it. For me, it's the most nostalgic of the theme songs from the game. Some older readers might think it silly to feel nostalgic about a video game only 17 years old; but in 1998 I was only ten.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Winston...


As a result of the Second World War, Britain ceased to be a credible world power. In fact we were ordered to dismantle our Empire by the United States at the Bretton Woods Conference on pain of bankruptcy. We have been since then, in the words of Quentin Crisp (though he meant something quite different), an island off the coast of America. It's an unfortunate legacy for Winston Churchill, the man who spent his entire life defending British Imperial interests in his political capacities and in his A History of the English Speaking Peoples; an apologia for the British epic of liberty. It is worth reading more for its literary style and highly personal quality than for its scholarship.

My father remembers Churchill's funeral. My grandparents had bought, rather than rented, a television set for the Coronation and watched the service. A much more sober and fitting occasion than that of Diana Spencer thirty-two years later. No media-driven hysteria, no candles in the wind, no bogus eulogies; just genuine grief and deference for a man whose rhetoric in May 1940 turned cowardice into courage.

I don't really have much else to say. I have never really liked Churchill. May he rest in peace.

Friday, 23 January 2015

The sack?

Well, there's no use pretending otherwise. To-day I am being summoned to work to discuss the damning psychological report which found that a, I am grossly unfit to work with the general public, and b, I find "time management" extremely difficult too. The branch manager clearly hates me so it looks as if I am fighting a losing battle. It's interesting to reflect upon what kind of employer would want someone who is unknowingly rude at times and terribly slow but when you're that person it's by no means a pleasant experience looking for work. Even the National Autistic Society won't hire me! Needless to say that, upon receipt of the summons, I did nothing to find alternative means of income. I am already deep into my overdraft and it looks as if the Oxford English Dictionary, for which I have been saving on and off for five years, will have to be put on hold yet again.

A bank, any bank, particularly retail banking, is wholly unsuitable for me. I knew this when I applied and every moment through my training even to the day I went sick with stress. I disagree with the culture, the corporate mentality, the pace and tense of the day; I don't dislike the people but most of them are of my generation and therefore I have nothing in common with any of them. Am I to blame? When you're unemployed and you have debts piling up a job, any job, is a moment's breath. You stick with it because the grim reality, one's pretensions notwithstanding, is that there is nothing else out there. I am completely impractical. "Your trouble is you have no common sense," in the words of my kindly, tyrannical mother. I am also lazy. I don't like getting up in the morning. I don't like having to be somewhere against my will. I hate public transport and rush hour. All I want to do is write and stay at home. I know it's vain but my life has disintegrated since I left Morrisons. Nine years of relative stability, even if it came at the price of significant underachievement, gone.

It's just after six o'clock. I have been up since midnight. I am going to go over the report again before I set out at eight. What fun!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

24th May 1899...


"To-day we met at 8.45 (no early school) in the playing-fields, but dismissed owing to downpour. At 9.15 we met in the school-yard - a hot steaming day, like an orchid-house; marched up to the Castle, and after a wait got into the yard. The Queen was breakfasting in a room over the porch. The choirs sang very sweetly. We joined in the fourth verse only of the jubilee hymn, and my verse was beautifully sung afterwards. Then two madrigals, one very poor. A good many boys fainted, thirteen in all, and sat in a row, green-faced and bewildered, on a little bench under the wall. Sir A. Bigge came to fetch me to the Queen, hardly to my surprise; I was presented to the Duke of Connaught. Then we went upstairs and appeared in the corridor; the Queen sate rather in shadow, her white widow's cap showing very clear; she wore large round black spectacles. Soundy, the Mayor, preceded us; then Sir W. Parratt, to whom she made a little civil speech. Then I appeared, bowing, and drew as near as I dared. 'I must thank you for having written such a beautiful verse,' she said: 'it has been a great pleasure to me.' I bowed and withdrew, rather clumsily, as I had forgotten the backward walk, and only remembered it after a moment. However, i did not quite turn my back on the Queen, I think.

"But what was an entire surprise to me, and will remain with me as long as I live, was her voice. It was so slow and sweet - some extraordinary simplicity about it - much higher than I had imagined, and with nothing cracked or imperious or (as the imitations misled me into thinking) gobbly. It was like the voice of a very young, tranquil woman. The phrases sounded a little like a learnt lesson, but the tone was beautiful - a peculiar genuineness about it; I felt as if I really had given her pleasure. Her face was much in shadow, and confused; I couldn't see it clearly. But it was all very tremendous somehow; and though, if I had had the choice, I would not have dared to go, I am now thankful to have seen her and had speech from her." From the diary of Arthur C. Benson, pp 42-43.

It's a rather simple, sweet account of a meeting with Queen Victoria at Eton College on the occasion of her eightieth birthday. I find it interesting because I have never liked Queen Victoria, whom I have always seen as a self-indulgent and boring; easily one of the worst of the Hanoverians. Clearly impressionable, nonetheless.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Northward...


And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the LORD God fell there upon me.
Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber.
And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.
And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.
Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.
He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.
And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.
Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.
And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.
And there stood before them seventy men of the antients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.
Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the antients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, the LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.
He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.
Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.
Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.
And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.
Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.
Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them. Ezekiel chapter VIII.

This post has nothing to do with the curious tradition of Roman Rite deacons and gospellers proclaiming the Gospel northwards. That developed, as I recall, out of episcopal liturgy and the customary etiquette surrounding turning one's back to the bishop and to which was later appended this northward theological interpretation. What rubbish. It would be better to have the Gospel proclaimed in the midst of the congregation eastwards. This would better suit the twofold end of the Gospel as an act of worship first and for the edification of Christ's faithful second.

No, I was thinking here about Tolkien's placement of Hell (Angband) in the North of Middle-earth. He once said that that was the traditional direction of evil and no Tolkien scholar, to my knowledge, has picked up on this.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Maimonides...


"You know that the Christians falsely ascribe marvellous powers to Jesus the Nazarene, may his bones be ground to dust, such as the resurrection of the dead and other miracles. Even if we would grant them for the sake of argument, we should not be convinced by their reasoning that Jesus is the Messiah. For we can bring a thousand proofs or so from the Scripture that it is not so even from their point of view. Indeed, will anyone arrogate this rank to himself unless he wishes to make himself a laughing stock?" Epistle to Yemen.

And the Jews are an innocent, misunderstood people without guile? Nobody can reject Christ without sin. This was the position of the Roman Catholic church until fifty years ago when, caught up in the Zeitgeist like everyone else, it adopted a form of inter-religious relativism.

Monday, 19 January 2015

The Accepted...


I was in receipt of a letter from a reader of this blog the other day in which it was said that I put too high a store by "tradition" as opposed to wisdom attained by didactic methods. I wonder if this actually so. I am conservative in matters moral, political and religious forsooth but there is a lot more to it based on my own experiences. Take my autism. Any textbook definition would classify me as mentally, emotionally, and developmentally crippled. Perhaps, a century ago, I would have been sent to an insane asylum. These days, in this "care in the community" environment bequeathed to us by Mrs Thatcher, weirdos like me walk among the οἱ πολλοί like sheep among wolves. Several months ago, for example, I was subjected to various indignities on the 161 bus because of my appearance, and autism is supposed to be an "invisible" condition. But what of the invisible ingredients? Autism alters my entire worldview, the way I think and experience things, etc. Then there is the issue of my being a sexual pervert. I am blessed by the autism in this sense because autism vastly inhibits any chances of sexual union with another person which, for me, is surely a benefit?

So, in terms of tradition, of Christianity, etc where do I fit in? Do my peculiar proclivities put me at a profound soteriological disadvantage? I am not ready to be fruitful and multiply. I tend to think, as any Puritan would, that any kind of sexual compulsion is a filthy abomination and I do sincerely think that humanity should stop producing children; and trust me, if I were Big Brother, this would be enforced most severely. In terms of sexual desires, I am as much riddled with corruption as any harlot and I have often flirted with the idea of emasculation to cure this problem. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee, etc. Friends to whom I have confided this have invariably said that it would be a grave mistake and that no doctor in the country would perform such an operation on religious grounds; that is, my own. Is this symptomatic of a pathology or an obsession? Is not the desire to be rid of lust a legitimate one? David Starkey, commenting on the Castrati, once said that emasculation is an abomination to every man. I read once that Domenico Mustafà, a castrato in the Sistine Chapel choir, spoke with vociferous contempt of the doctor who had relieved him of his testicles; his wealth and fame notwithstanding. Farinelli, the greatest virtuosic singer of all time, wrote of his heartache upon falling in love with a ballerina in 1733; "Cupid again has me bound in his chains...God knows when I will be set free." He died fabulously rich, famous and alone. Well, I have neither wealth nor fame, and neither do I speak for every man, but I do have a debilitating, unfulfilled, frustrated and hideous lust that won't go away.

I suppose in terms of the accepted, conventional wisdom, that is among churchmen, I am an anomaly. I am, by nature and instinct, conservative but the nominally conservative dislike me. Even if I were married, to a woman with low expectations, I could not countenance the idea of a family. "Gay marriage," like AIDs, is a fad. I tend to agree with Quentin Crisp's cynical diatribe against human relationships. I certainly have no interest in them, even if I could tolerate constant companionship. I am far too selfish to live in such close proximity to another person. I have not only accepted my being queer but constantly protested the fact; but simultaneously I don't want to be "straight" either. Perhaps this is what the conservative churchmen consider to be the root cause of my insanity? I suppose the golden question is: is complete aversion to human relationships a moral evil? Is it a form of insanity? It certainly draws nigh to nihilism, even to sour grapes. We're all called to chastity in one form or another. Must it be so bloody bitter, though?

This post demonstrates my inability to stay relevant to the subject, doesn't it?