Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! (A Little Late)

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! (a little late).

I was on the road, so the other night I went out and had Thai food then walked around a little. I’m in a downtown area with a lot of bars so many people were out for the holiday.

I had a brief conversation with an apparently homeless guy about the bad drivers, and how the cops bugged him about collecting palm fronds. “But I told them my friend who works at the restaurant said it’s OK!” I told him somebody needs to keep an eye on things, and he agreed. I bid him a good night and went toward the festivities.

A young guy who was with another young guy and girl asked me if he could ask me something, and I assumed it was for directions or something, so I stopped. It turns out they were talking to people about Jesus, and I told them I was a Christian if not a good one, but the guy still wanted me to pray the salvation prayer with them so I requested we join hands and we did. (The salvation prayer? Or what do they call it?) I asked them to let me pray, and they agreed, so I prayed for them in their evangelical work and for the people out on Saint Patrick’s Day.

It’s a good day to evangelize. I guess the had the idea the streets would be full of drunk sinners in need of salvation, which of course it was. Saint Patrick is remembered for his evangelization of Ireland, so it’s really a good day to evangelize. I doubt most Baptists think of it that way, but it is.

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The Things You Learn

I have a really obnoxious coworker. We are theoretically equal but he has long tenure, and management has a high opinion of at least some aspects of his performance.

He behaves normally the majority of the time, and is friendly sometimes, but has a bad temper and loses it when small things don’t go his way. He never tells me what he’s doing, or tells me what he wants me to do, and I’m afraid to ask a lot of the time. It’s not so much that he gets angry, but that he is contemptuously angry, like I was some kind of idiot, which I humbly say I’m not.

I addressed this obliquely with my boss, who told me yes he was a little strange but did a great job. I addressed this more directly with my boss, who told me I already to you he was a little strange, and I took the hint to drop the matter.

My brother has better understanding of people than I do, and he told me the guy probably had some protector, maybe some client of the company who wanted him to work there, and that’s why his bad behavior was tolerated. This made sense to me.

Then I do something the coworker asked me, but not exactly as he wanted it, although he didn’t tell me exactly how he wanted it. He told me he couldn’t believe I screwed this one simple thing up, and I told him him he needed to calm down. A few more heated words were exchanged but for a while he did calm down.

But he keeps doing it. And I don’t want to deal with him, but I have to so I talk to him a little later and he acts like everything is normal.

Is he embarrassed by his behavior? Or he considers it normal so that’s why it isn’t an issue later? I can’t say. I suspect his dad was a dick, and he gets the behavior by modeling or genetics. I think this is true of a lot of men.

Anyway I decided I can’t do anything about it, I have been told all but explicitly to put up with it, and I don’t want to look for another job right now so I’m going to just ignore it. And heap burning coals on his head, if he is in fact embarrassed by his behavior.

At this point, I had an intuition. His protector is not some client, or the owner, but my boss himself. He started about the time our immediate supervisor took on his position, which involves hiring. I don’t know what exactly the deal is but for some reason our boss wants him to work there, and I know he has at least one skeleton in his closet that limits his employment opportunities, and maybe he has more. The owner has made effusive praise of him to me- in front of him- so the owner likes him, but I still think the supervisor is his sponsor.

I think accepting the reality of the situation and the need and value of taking Paul’s recommendation got me the insight I needed. The guy is a pain in the ass, but he can’t hurt me, as long as I ignore his childish outbursts. Is this a God-given insight? I think so, but maybe that’s just my mischievous pneumatology.

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Michelangelo and Charlie Sheen

Going to museums is a nice activity for family visits, so I have found myself appreciating art with my sister a few times.

Once we were at an exhibition of Asian art. My sister objected to the portrayal of breasts, perfectly round and pert ones. That’s not what they look like, she said. Maybe not, I thought, but that’s what men would like them to look like. Centuries later the silicon breast implant was created to realize the dream of these artists.

Another time we were viewing a display of drawings by Michelangelo, and she raised the same objection. This time I said “I don’t think Michelangelo ever actually saw a real breasts.” He must have, she said. “I’m pretty sure he was gay” I responded.

Indeed he appears to have been. He wrote love poetry to one of his artist’s models. He seems to have been enamored of at least one other. In his old age he had a relationship with a widow with whom he exchanged love poetry, but it never went past kissing her hand.

He seems never to have acted on any of these impulses though. He lived very ascetically and devoted himself to his art. It’s not like anything was stopping him- he was living in a Roman Catholic society, but this was Italy, not Ireland or Spain, and I’m sure nobody would have cared. He was a rich, famous artist and that’s all anyone really cared about.

In modern times we have Charlie Sheen. We learned recently that he is infected with HIV. Forty years ago nobody knew what this was, but once the virus was discovered avoiding HIV infection is simple by taking certain precautions.

Charlie however was going full speed ahead. He is very handsome, very rich, very famous, and very charismatic. So if he wants to have sex, he’s got people lined up around the block. He doesn’t need to pay for it, but he has, I guess to make the process just a little bit easier. He was not screening for anything but excitement, and not “taking precautions”, or “practicing safe sex”, as they say.

It’s easy to say he was a crazed sex addict, or a man-slut, but would you do the same thing if you were in his position? I can’t say I wouldn’t. It’s pretty much every man’s dream, from the day you notice the girls in school are starting to stick out in certain places. Most guys get a rude awakening of their place in what the pick-up artists call the “sexual marketplace” which is to say the girl you want to exchange bodily fluids with isn’t going for it, at least not without a lot of work.

I don’t think Charlie Sheen ever had any rude awakening. I think got all the sexual activity he wanted from the day he wanted it. He saw every reason to say yes and no reason to say no. Sheen didn’t live in a Catholic society, but he lived in Catholic home, so it’s not like he was totally unfamiliar with the idea of sexual restraint.

So one man did, and one man didn’t. Sheen’s logic is much easier to see. Other than getting HIV- which is pretty bad, actually, even with modern drugs- he had a great time, we are supposed to think. It sounds to me though that he got to the point where it wasn’t a good time, he was just frantically addicted and needed to have three porn stars and two hookers waiting so he could be sure there was one he could get it up for.

Sex addiction on this level is hard to achieve. Addiction to other things is a lot easier and rampant in the US. It takes a while to get addicted though. The user starts out saying “I can do this, or not do this” and decides to do it.

So why did Michelangelo not do it? I think whatever made him a great artist made him want to preserve his mind and his heart for his art, and not expend them in ultimately empty sexual activity.

The current belief, understood as scientific truth by progressives, is that sex is a basic bodily function that must be exercised for physical health and mental well-being. I’m not sure where this comes from, maybe Wilhelm Reich but I don’t know for sure. In this view expecting people not to act on their sexual urges is simply cruel and heartless.

The problem with this is it is impossible for all your sexual urges to be satisfied. If you are single, you will want to find someone to have sex with. This won’t be ideal- no matter who you have- so you will look for something else. Eventually you may get married, and then you will want to have sex with someone besides your spouse. You can commit adultery or get divorced, but the problem continues.

Our society has long been bourgeois enough that a good marriage- even for gays, now!- has been thought to solve all sexual problems. The Victorian home was thought to be a solution to the licentiousness of Regency England. But there is no solution. You can, if you have the resources, go Charlie Sheen, but even that is not a solution.

Hedonism is going to blow up in your face. But we live in a society that not only gives you no reason to say no, it says you have to say yes.

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Metaphysics and Reassurance

Bruce Charlton has been explaining that metaphysics is our assumptions about the world, and what we assume provides the basis of what we can know and understand. To this he attributes many of the problems of the modern world, its assumption of a dead, material universe and I think we can agree on this.

Metaphysics and what proceeds from it, particularly theology, provide us with things to know about the world. People want to know a lot, and they put a lot of effort into this.

But we can also be be secure in that we don’t need to know everything. God knows, and Jesus knows, and they will take care of everything.

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Decide This Day Whom You Will Serve

I’m in a New York area airport- airports are no fun, but New York airports are a little less fun- and I see a young woman walking by on the other side of the security glass wearing a black t-shirt with big white lettering on it. It said, in part, “blessed are the destroyers of false hope” but I didn’t get the rest.

I thought, “Hmmm, maybe that’s from Jeremiah” so I googled it. After all, it makes sense. False hope is best destroyed. Hope in money, power, pleasure, status, all the false things people place hope in. Abandon your hope in these things, people. It will hurt at first, but you will quickly feel much, much better. Sort of like being seasick, and then you get on land and you’re magically better.

But no. It’s from the Satanic bible. It turns out Anton LaVey thought hope in God was false hope. But Anton LaVey is dead and God is alive.

What kind of society do we live in that someone feels perfectly comfortable wearing a Satan-worshipper t-shirt in public? You already knew the answer, of course.

I would like to have asked her about it. I can’t say power worship is an irrational choice, really, but she was getting on a commercial flight, most likely coach, while the people actually benefitting from worshipping power and money where on the other side of the airport, getting on their corporate jets.

I think the girl and people like her are more ignorant than anything else. I pray they will repent of this.

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God Hates Fags, and God Hates America

Not too much has been said, since it was a foregone conclusion and expected for a long time.

I haven’t read Justice Kennedy’s sentimental ruling. We already knew the law is whatever they want it to be, for whatever reason they want. And Kennedy’s status as a “conservative” is of no consequence- of course he has singlehandedly built the “constitutional” “law” of gay rights, but a conservative is just another kind of progressive.

Amusingly- or not, as it may strike you- Greg Johnson of Counter Currents has run through the standard arguments against gay marriage, and finds them wanting. Like many other conservatives and “neo-reactionaries” he has a horror of being thought of as one of those people, not modern, not sophisticated. It wouldn’t save him, and he knows it, but at least he can feel like the most orthodox zek in the camp.

But allow me to be frank. Sodomy is wicked. Wicked is a very old-fashioned word, hardly ever used, unlike evil, bad, or disgusting. But “wicked” implies deliberate defiance, in ways these other words don’t.

Sexual perversion is a big deal. TPTB have spent the last 150 years assuring us it wasn’t, which is just more proof it is. Revelations assures us that outside of the City of God, the New Jerusalem, will be “the murderers and the sexually immoral.” Sexual perversion, and particularly sodomy, defy God and defile man in unique ways. And they create a bond of evil among perverts to subvert and destroy society.

Here’s the thing- lots of countries have gay marriage. But they just say, “OK, we will let the fags play house.” The US is unique in that contrary to the will of the people, sodomite “marriage” is now a sacred human right.

America is now a fag country. Every official American, especially the military, represents the sacralization of sodomy. Think of an Arab in the boondocks of Syria or Iraq, or a Pashtun in the mountains of Afghanistan. The American soldiers that pass through represent now, not meaningless foreign concepts like “democracy” or “freedom” but the sacralization of sodomy, a gross evil very real to him, that he seeks to protect his children from at all costs. Why would he held them in any way? Why would he not help ISIS or the Taliban, who are at least not trying to establish a regime where butt sex is a sacred right.

Fred Phelps was right. He saw something in Tulsa, something terrible, and he realized what was coming for the US.

God is not mocked. Or, if you will, the God of nature, or nature is not mocked. God will repay, eventually.

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The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church

I find Trinitarian theology hopelessly obscure but this is the best explanation I have seen.

I never heard of the “Filioque” before, I will have to look this up.

The Orthosphere

[Some time ago, I asked readers for recommended reading on their branches of Christianity.  Below is my understanding of Eastern Orthodox theology, as gathered from Vladimir Lossky’s “The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church”, one of the books recommended to me.  This is the second in a series as I work my way down my reading list.  Orthodox commenters should be considered to have more authority than me on this topic, and I will gratefully take their correction.  The goal of this post, and I hope of the subsequent discussion, will be to accurately describe the Orthodox faith, rather than to criticize or defend it.]

Lossky’s book was first published in French in 1944, so Thomist Catholicism is naturally the tradition to which he most often compares his own, and the “individual” vs. “person” craze of that era definitely left its mark.  These points of familiarity will aid western readers…

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