I've not written about COVID-19 vaccines because I believe it outside my ken. I'm not a scientist and any knowledge I possess must come from someone else—in reality, the vast majority of anything we call knowledge is received from someone else, which is something that needs to be discussed and acknowledged more often. But the … Continue reading Abortion and COVID-19 Vaccines: Have the moral arguments switched sides?
https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2019/4/9/who-benefits-from-lower-housing-prices Who Benefits From Higher Housing Prices? Local, state, and federal governments, existing homeowners (It's all about the equity, right? Not about a home and contentedness), banks, insurance companies, developers, contractors, speculators, realtors, pension funds. Who Benefits From Lower Housing Prices? Only renters and the poor. Do we really expect housing prices to drop? Probably … Continue reading Who Benefits From Housing Prices?
Lately I've been pondering the old Catholic saying lex orandi, lex credendi---the law of prayer is the law of faith (CCC 1124). In principle, it seems to mean that there is an intimate relationship between how we worship and what we believe. It's a beautiful saying that highlights the need for good and proper liturgy. … Continue reading Lex orandi, lex credendi
I recently heard of a logical fallacy called a motte-and-bailey fallacy, named after the motte-and-bailey castle design. It was a medieval fortification consisting of a walled courtyard surrounded by a ditch (the bailey, easier to defend) outside of which was a raised area of ground (the motte, more difficult to defend). What the fallacy does … Continue reading The motte-and-bailey fallacy and Douglas Wilson
"The Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification. Bishops, for their part, have the right and duty carefully to watch over the exact observance of the prescriptions of the … Continue reading What would Pope Pius XII think of the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes?
Some friends and I joked a while back that 2021 might look like this Far Side strip. Apparently we were not too far off the mark.
Some things I've been pondering lately. The word "economy" comes from the Greek word oikonomíā which means "household management." The root of the word is inherently familial; family is the source of economics. Implicitly there seems a "sense of smallness". One doesn't immediately imagine an empire when one thinks of "family." One imagines a father … Continue reading Household Management, Cultivation, and Invisible Hands
The Angelus, by Jean-François Millet I’ve been loving the Front Porch Republic the last few months. It's a shame it took so long to discover them. This article from Mark T. Mitchell was quite good. Below is a particularly poignant passage. The agrarian is guided by gratitude. He recognizes the giftedness of creation and accepts … Continue reading Religious Agrarians and Atheistic Industrialists
From WikiMedia Commons Here is another critique of "The Hobbit Party" by Jonathan Witt and Jay Richards (W&R). The first one is here talking about Tolkien and Distributism. Throughout the book, Witt and Richards make offhanded comments that sound good if one already accepts their modern Capitalist/Libertarian narrative. For example, while extolling the awesomeness of … Continue reading Who can take up small farming, if they wanted to?
Sheep in the Warwick countryside, UK: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sheep_Warwick_02.jpg So I've been suffering the self-inflicted pain of reading through "The Hobbit Party" by Jonathan Witt and Jay Richards (W&R). It's a book by a couple of libertarians economists1 who try to argue that J.R.R. Tolkien believed basically the way they do; Capitalist economics. (No, you read that … Continue reading Tolkien and Distributism
I just finished reading a wonderful book. It is called Tolkien's Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages by Holly Ordway. It is the first in the new Word on Fire Academic publishing imprint. Her thesis challenges the claim that J.R.R. Tolkien "read very little fiction, and took no serious notice of it." The claim … Continue reading Holly Ordway – The next big Tolkien scholar
Víctimae pascháli laudesimmolent Christiáni. Agnus redémit oves:Christus ínnocens Patrireconciliávit peccatóres. Mors et vita duélloconflixére mirándo:dux vitae mórtuus, regnat vivus. Dic nobis María,quid vidísti in via?Sepúlcrum Christi vivéntis,et glóriam vidi resurgéntis Angélicos testes,sudárium et vestes.Surréxit Christus spes mea:praecédet vos in Galilaéam. Scimus Christum surrexíssea mórtuis vere:tu nobis, victor Rex, miserére. Amen. Alleluia! Christians, to the Paschal … Continue reading Víctimae pascháli laudes immolent Christiáni
I don’t remember where, but Jordan Peterson once said something to the effect that too many of us read history as the heroes. We read about Nazi Germany and think “I totally would have helped hide Jews” or read about Stalinist Russia and think “Why were those people so clueless to not see where this … Continue reading Read History Like the Perpetrator, not the Hero
In the debate between Distributists and Capitalists, there is a question that I’m beginning to think needs to be answered before either side can make headway with the other. The question is the title of this post: Is there an inextricable link between private property and freedom? From what I can tell, it seems both … Continue reading Is there an inextricable link between private property and freedom?
"I am not advancing that everyone should return to the land (but given that those in Feudal societies ate very well, had greater festivals, prayed more, had no need of a welfare system, and hardly paid any taxes at all—it shouldn’t be ruled out.)" Christian Economics 101: No Allowances
Yet another challenge is posed by the various forms of an ideology of gender that “denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family. This ideology leads to educational programmes and legislative enactments that promote a … Continue reading Pope Francis on the Ideology of Gender
Peter Paul Rubens - Saint Michael expelling Lucifer and the Rebellious Angels, 1622 One of the criticisms sometimes brought against the sub-creation of J.R.R. Tolkien, Middle-earth, is that it is morally simplistic. This criticism seems so self-evidentially absurd that it's difficult to write a response to it. For one thing, this criticism was leveled against … Continue reading Is Middle-earth morally simplistic?
"So it may be said that the chief purpose of life, for any one of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. To do as we say in the Gloria in Excelsis: Laudamus te, … Continue reading J.R.R. Tolkien on the Purpose of Life
"'Christopher was far more interested in preserving legacy than money.' The movie-making business is a money-making business and it will do what needs to be done for those ends alone....If worshiping the modern dysfunctional view of sex means turning some characters gay or adding depraved sex scenes, then that’s what it will do." I wrote … Continue reading The Lord of the Depraved: Amazon wants Westeros, not Middle-earth
One thing for which I have little patience is Christians who refuse to celebrate Christian holidays because of "pagan" roots. I've written about this phenomenon before. The logic employed to say such things would receive an F on a college term paper. For example, too often the anti-holiday crowd uses the logical fallacy that correlation … Continue reading Historian Tom Holland examines the myth of ‘pagan’ Christmas