Thursday, April 26, 2007

Easter Inspirations Part 3 -- The Church

Now to my last point of focus from the Inspirations of the Easter Season -- the Church.

Before I truly begin in earnest, I must define clearly what I mean by the Church. By my standards, the Church is what some would call the Holy and Apostolic Catholic Church. Others, ignorant of agenda, would call it the Roman Catholic Church. I, for the purposes of being historically accurate (and for all posts in this blog) will define "The Church" in this manner. As Maurice Baring once wrote, you have only two true options in regards to your religious view -- you can either be a Catholic or an atheist. All other beliefs are really one form of one or the other.

"Europe is the Faith and the Faith is Europe."
- Hillaire Belloc

I don't think there is a quote that better quantifies the focus of this post more than this quote from an intellectual giant -- and a member of the Church. In the Middle Ages, those qualities went hand in hand. But since the Reformation, the Church has been systemically attacked by all sides. The accusations and innuendos spread throughout the histories as the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the French Revolution spread as history and fact from one town and pamphlet to another. Soon, by the 19th century, it became fact that to be Catholic, even in Europe, was seen as a mark of disgrace.

But I think Belloc's words best amplify the crossroads that Europe faces at this moment. All attempts to develop the EU beyond its current point without expressing a sincere and deep respect for the Church and the Faith that it protects signals the final groans of the old man that is Europe. During WWI, the Ottoman Empire and the Austro/Hungarian Empire were seen as the old men of Europe. Now the whole continent can be characterized as such. Culture ceases to emanate from it; respect and pride in western civilization is no longer admired in it; and the vast majority of its peoples born of native European roots have ventured into the Wasteland of Atheism. What hope is there? Perhaps the Faith?

Pope John Paul II was a great man and an intellectual giant like Belloc, GK Chesterton, and his successor, Pope Benedict XVI. He brought the Faith back into the limelight and showed what faith could encourage. The faith of the Polish people to be delivered from the monstrosity of Marxism is one prime example. He also sought the establishment of the rights of man at all times and places. And most obviously, he inspired by traveling around the world and sharing his faith with the faithful. He died over two years ago, but in that short period of time his presence is already being downplayed by the media and the intelligentsia who apparently see some issues between the dogma of the Church and the realities of a science-based civilization. And now we have his successor -- Benedict.

I don't believe it's hyperbole to state the he has one of the most brilliant minds in the world today. And these two years have given us an indication of where he wants the Church to return to -- the glories of the past unsullied by the lies of others. His determination to resurrect the Latin Mass is the clearest example of his efforts. But other things are needed for the Church to affect the world as Christ intended.

Some suggestions:

1. Massive effort toward proper catechesis -- Most Catholics don't truly know their Faith. And went it comes time to defend it and their faith, they can't. This is incredibly unfortunate given the mind-blowing intellectual history of the Church. Only when we can properly explain our faith will souls return to the Faith.

2. A return to prayer -- John Paul the Great sought this with tremendous effort. Unfortunately, it didn't filter down to the diocesan level. Simply put, it must. Many Hispanic Catholics are leaving the Faith because they want "a more personal relationship with God." Clearly, they were never taught what prayer truly is and how to go about it. Plus, the prayers of the faithful are incredibly powerful to changing the world.

3. A return to piety -- This is not meant in the typical sense. I believe that a return to understanding the feast days of the Church and understand the calender as the Medievals did -- Saint's days, Feast Days, etc. and explore and celebrate them continually will insulate the faithful from the temptation of a overly worldly focus.

4. A passionate defense -- This cannot be downplayed. We must return to the arena of public media and awareness and defend our faith and its place in history and in current events. We must go to England and explain that the formation of the Anglican Church was led by a select few against the humble piety of the masses. We must go to Germany and explain that Luther's interpretations of the Bible were false and misleading. We must go to Spain and Poland and Ireland and Italy and demand that the Faith of their fathers must not be forgotten. And we must call out to the world that our faith makes us stronger and we will defend it against all threats, from either one heresy or another.

The Faith is Europe and Europe is the Faith.

Finally, Europe must realize the Truth of this statement. If it doesn't accept the fact that Western Civilization is built upon the foundation of the Church then Western Civilization will fall. It will be overrun by other civilizations more confident in their roots and with no qualms about replacing an older civilization with theirs. Europe, more so now than ever, is looking down upon the precipice. The heritage of its civilization, its foundation of the Church (which is greatly supported by the Greek intellectual tradition) combined with the archetypal majesty of just monarchy and a noble aristocracy is what it must return to. The rights of all men come from God. If Europe wants to destroy God, who then is ultimate source of our human rights? And it must reject the the virus of multiculturalism, which is simply cultural Marxism.

Let today be the day that we ask for mercy for our past actions and accept the penance that we must perform to return to the Grace of our Creator. Let us accept the poor decisions of the past, understand why we were wrong, and walk confidently back into the Sun.

Regardless of the decision of Europe, The Church will never die. There will always be at least two who will believe somewhere on this Earth. And where there are at least two gathered in His name, He is there.



Next post -- A review of 300.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Easter Inspirations -- Part 2...And Imus

I will continue now upon part 2 of my Easter Inspirations regarding Europe -- the Aristocracy.

Though they held onto power longer into the modern era than the Church, their fall hasn't been any less dramatic. Being the bulwark between Monarchical corruption and illogical public dissent by the peasantry, the aristocracy provided that steadying force that guided many European countries through dark times. Their ability, most noticeably in England, to find leaders capable to the national demands, was impeccable. However, the revolutions of 1789, 1830 (France) and 1849 (much of Europe) significantly effected the power of the aristocracy and with the strong emergence from the mid 19th century to the current time of Marxism (Communism, Leninism, Progressivism, etc.), politics have all but destroyed what was left of a class of citizens and patriots equal to the task of service to King and Country.

It has even gotten so far that British Prime Minister Tony Blair could simultaneously rid the House of Lords of any power, introduce an elective House of Lords, and stock this newly elective House of Lords with Party contributors who were made Life Peers by Queen Elizabeth II under "consultation" with Tony Blair (which would be another case study from my previous post regarding the fear of Monarchs to not to the "right thing.") How this blatant act of rebellion and destruction of the English Constitution could occur without any strong comment by Tories or the public at large provides a tremendous example of how Marxism and the "Enlightened" revolutions of the last several centuries have effected the Western mind against aristocracy.

The aristocrats of a previous ages were highly intelligent, well trained, well educated citizens with a strong sense of service. Their protocols attached to that class speak volumes. For instance, lets take England as an example. The first born son inherited the title and was expected to carry it with class, dignity, and the other obligations of his class. The rest of the sons either served in the Church of England or joined the military. Any daughters were married off to other suitable families, strengthing their lines and eventually producing more citizens for King and Country. And ALL of them, whether separately or together, contributed to the stability of the country, favoring neither Absolute Monarchies nor illogical mobs.

But why should they return? Why should people be given a priviledged status based solely upon "lucky sperm"?

Because Europe needs to a steadying force. Those technocrats who have replaced the aristocratic class have destroyed what cohesive European culture and pride previously existed in their attempts to equalize all and unite Europe financially and politically. They have allowed welfare states to grow until national economies are on the brink of bankruptcy with their only outlet for their labor needs Middle Eastern workers of Islamic faith. The have chosen to destroy competition, fought for the equality of all though this is against the natural order of the universe, destroyed faith and legitimized negative behavior --- all under the pretenses of creating a new European Order that will rival any other in the World. Arrogance run amok.

I think it's time to tell these technocrats that they aren't wearing any clothes.

With the reestablishment of Constitutional Monarchies throughout Europe, I ask for a new aristocracy to come forth from those new fons honorums. Aristocrats of strong body and mind, with commitments to human rights that are guaranteed by God, with patriotic and cultural pride and with responsibility for their actions and their position. I also ask that this aristocracy be more fluid than previous ones. That those who have proven their worth raised to the aristocracy and those who have abandoned their station, purpose, and values to be removed from it.

Let this new aristocracy form one house of the Legislative branch of this countries and, just as the House of Lords in the UK had done for centuries, prove the conservative, Burkean influence upon the actions of the government and the nation. Let them be a reminder to the Monarch that it truly is a heavy head who wears the crown. He is responsible not only to the country, but to God as well. And then also remind the average citizen that each station in society has a purpose and a responsibility. A reborn, truly noble aristocracy would provide the necessary steadying force to combat the rampant illogical, marxist ideologies in current European politics and help to restore the integrity of Europe.


Imus

I want to briefly comment on this American issue in several bullet points.

  • This precedent is obviously going to be used as a pretext to attack ALL radio hosts who say anything controversial or even principled. Anyone who doesn't toe the politically correct line, which includes most conservative hosts on talk radio, will be targets by a populace confused by what's truly at stake.
  • Is anyone else amazed that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton (sorry, don't see them serving the Lord too often) come out of the woodwork when they can spin an incident into something racial? Is anybody else amazed that the black community continues to let them be their leaders, making millions yet doing nothing for average black man or woman in America?
  • The Rutgers basketball team handled themselves well, though I wouldn't say the same for their coach. In her news conference on Friday, it certainly appeared to me as if she was milking it for all that it was worth, making this whole thing a much bigger issue than it really is. It's a shame.
  • Shouldn't it be black rappers who are apologizing to Imus? Imus is just a pathetic, old white man. What does he know about the black community? I don't think he's hanging out in Harlem all that often. So how could he know such phrases as "hos"? Seems to me that for him, as well as for many whites in America, they get their impression of the black community by what they see on tv and what they produce with their culture. With so many black rappers calling every woman a "ho", how should Don Imus know, as it was so succinctly put by Snoop Dogg, that only certain women are "hos" and not all women? Aren't we demanding a bit more intelligence from Imus than he's ever shown in his entire broadcasting career? Just a thought.
  • Lastly, isn't anybody amazed that an icon of radio broadcasting could be taken down so easily? Regardless of what you think or thought of him, Imus, together with Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern, are the most listened to radio hosts in history. And with three words, an icon got taken down? Either we should all be scared that we may say in public could get us in serious trouble or there was more to this.

Next up, part 3...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Easter Inspirations -- Part 1

Rather than posting on Easter about the inspirational quality of Easter, I've chosen to wait a few days to gain perspective.

Of course, Easter is only an inspiration of what I'm writing about today -- not the subject matter. I wish to discuss Europe...over several parts.

PART 1 (European Monarchies)

Being of European stock (only three generations removed from the Old World) and with a great appreciation for European and Western Civilization, I can't help but grow increasingly disenchanted by the current status. Yes, it is true that you can't discount the two world wars for the road that Europe has traveled. But what is transpiring is nothing less than suicide. Any rights that Europe had to the claim of being the fountainhead of culture have been summarily destroyed for several reasons. And this progression ultimately began in the 16th century.

The three pillars of European society since the Christianization of the Roman Empire where the Church, the Monarchy, and the Aristocracy. Do any of them exist in Europe any longer?

The death of monarchy, beginning in 1789 with the gross and abhorrent French Revolution that incorporated only the worse aspects of humanity and without an understanding of the archetypal nature of man, has reached an equilibrium. Not one of the current monarchies in Europe have any real power other than as figureheads for their "kingdoms" and all of them are too scared to say anything other than the most politically correct statements less their "subjects" vote them off their thrones. Their modern purpose, out of fear of being replaced by a "president", have made them antithetical to their true purpose within society. Rather than heeding the "republicans" (more likely socialists) call for the end of monarchy once and for all, Europeans should embrace monarchy and allow it to gain a level of power that will stabilize their countries, and allow these newer regimes an opportunity to connect with their past histories.

Of course, I am not arguing for absolute monarchies like you would find in other parts of the world. But a constitutional monarchy, with the Monarch as head of the Executive, would greatly enhance the cultural quality of these countries and allow for leadership to emerge. Europe lacks leaders with true understanding, true vision, and true legitimacy. This could resolve at least some of those problems because the original intent of monarchy, from its ancient foundations, was to provide leadership crucial to the survival of the community. The King was the leader and how he acted, the choices he made, and the way he lead his people reflected upon the health and well-being of his community. What else can be said of Europe other than its dying and does this reflect upon the lack of leadership within the countries of Europe? I think so.

Thus, what I am arguing is a rebirth in monarchy enabled through it's divine purpose. Monarchs are rarely divinely guided (mostly through human free will mistakes), but they can begin the process of these ancient civilizations within the larger Western civilization regain the integrity of their heritage. Think of the great Polish-Lithuanian territories of the 14th and 15th centuries -- at the time the largest in Europe. What could a new Polish Monarch, in the mold of the Great King John Sobieski, do for that embattled land of loyal and penitent peoples? Think of how that King could unite the lands of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belorussia and the Ukraine -- an area with great potential but still recovering from the repeated rapes of their cultures and peoples by other empires, most recently, the Nazis and Soviets.

Easter is about rebirth and a new start filled with the Grace of God. What else does Europe need but exactly that?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

A brief introduction...and Iran

I have created this blog so that I may be able to present my thoughts and opinions about many issues so that others may read them and reflect upon them. Perhaps at a later time I will give more information about my background. But for now, I will simply accept the characteristics of the title that I have chosen to label myself -- A Guardian.

Now, to the topic that I wish to begin with -- Iran.

The recent announcement by the most beneficent President of Iran that he wishes to present a gift to the United Kingdom by releasing 15 sailors that were illegally siezed in Iraqi waters and paraded about under pressure and diress did end this geopolitical hot potato rather quickly. And of course, Tony Blair responded in that all to common manner that has become a hallmark of European foreign policy directed toward all countries except the USA -- gracious thanks for not having to prove that Europe (or in this case, the UK) still has a backbone. He was also quick to inform the press that there wasn't any quid pro quo, but how can we be sure?

Regardless of if there was one or not, the actions taken by Ahmadinejad certainly gave the perception that Iran is a more powerful country than the UK. To be able to break international law (including maritime laws on the books for centuries), comment toward the UK as if it was a petulant child and then free the slaves to be seen as a glorious ruler of a glorious empire --- all without criticism except from some corners of the US media is amazing to me. Then in the Washington Post, there is an article regarding the Red Cross visiting captured Iranian operatives in Iraq. I guess there is a greater threat of abuse by the US than Iran.

But something that bothered me while this incident was present regarded Iran's position. Nobody really made the logical leap to question whether or not Iran would go to war with the UK (and the US) over these 15 sailors. Whether or not you believe that the Iranian regime is a rational one or not, they aren't stupid. They would much rather have the West attack them first so that they may fight a defensive war and instigate the other Muslim regimes in the Middle East -- and make life for the US in Iraq that much tougher.

But this question needs an answer -- would Iran go to war over these sailors? Could the Iranian economy deal with a naval blockade of the Straight of Hormuz and cut off, at least, 40% of their oil exports? In my opinion, the answer is strong NO. That means that the West could have played "hard ball" with Iran and gotten its way. But instead, we played the role of the "evolved, enlightened" Western leaders and got pushed around. Clearly, the commodities traders in the pits felt that Iran would voluntarily cut off oil exports to the West, raising per barrel prices over $68/barrel at one point last week. But once again I contend -- would Iran, whether voluntarily or during war, prevent most of their oil exports from hitting the market?

NO. Their economy would simply collapse.

In conclusion, I think the West needs to develop a greater sense of critical thought and analysis in order to properly deal with these mounting threats instead of adapting to the political correct actions of the day. In the end, the country that comes out worse for this is the UK. It proved, in this small episode, that it is far from the country of Churchill, Palmerston, Pitt, Edward I, and William the Conquerer.

And a regime being run by a man that is far more dangerous than anybody realizes has just reinstated it's position in world geopolitics. And he won't give it up without a fight.

Lastly, I think it's humorous that Ahmadinejad gave the 15 sailors to the UK as a "Easter gift" since according to Islamic theology, they don't believe that Christ died on the cross and, obviously, that he wasn't the Son of God. So if he didn't die on the Cross, how could he rise again and prove his divinity?

Just a thought from a Guardian.