Saturday Miscellany (Vol. 3)

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I remember last year when that viral video “Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus” came out.  Of course it was easily refutable post-modernist nonsense, so I won’t bother commenting on that now.  However I did recently discover this brilliant internet meme featuring the master of nonsense himself Willy Wonka.  The still is taken from that great scene where Wonka tells a loud and obnoxious child, “Speak a little louder next time I’m a trifle deaf in this ear!”  The meme says, “So you hate religion but love Jesus?  I’m so looking forward to reading your forthcoming commentary on James’ Epistle.”  I love it.  It brilliantly combines the caustic whimsy of Willy Wonka with good old fashioned Christian mocking.  Martin Luther vs. Willy Wonka.  Now that’s a debate I would love to have seen.

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Still from Hitchcock’s ‘I Confess’

Attending Mass last Saturday evening I noticed the Priest doing a funny thing.  In the middle of the prayers he would stop, glance around the sanctuary in silence as the laity waited anxiously for the conclusion of the sentence.  “On the night he was betrayed he broke bread, and, giving you thanks, he said the blessing, gave it to his disciples saying . . .” imagine a long uncomfortable silence here during which the congregation waits in suspense.  Then finally, “Take this all of you and eat of it.  For this is my body” and so on and so forth.  Perhaps if Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, had been a priest, this is how he would have celebrated Mass.

-3-

The Replicants have arrived.  Animatronic technology, devised by Disney’s WED department almost sixty years ago has reached a new level or realness.  A recently added attraction in Disney’s California Adventure park features some of the most mind-blowingly real-looking animatronics ever.  The attraction is based of Pixar’s Cars.  Well, this ride has cars.  Lots of them.  And they talk, like they do in the movie.  Nothing too special about that.  But their lips move so perfectly.  They move like they do in the movies.  As if they actually had muscles and could articulate words.  Very strange.  Very strange indeed.  Next they’ll add a gymnastics Daryl Hannah animatronic to “It’s a Small World”.  They could add a whole Future World section to “It’s a Small World”.  Gymnastics Daryl Hannah would fit right in there, although that song doesn’t sound much like Vangelis.

-4-

Considering the Crystal Cathedral, the future Christ Cathedral of the Diocese of Orange, I’ve decided the first thing that needs to go in the upcoming renovation of the campus to serve Roman Catholic needs are those atrocious palm trees.  I don’t know what so attracts people to that confounded shrub.  They look like those pencils with the furry-headed trolls on the end.  The Crystal Cathedral is packed full of ‘em.  I doubt I’ll have my wish.  I’m sure Bishop Tod Brown has other things to worry about.  Like getting an appropriate altar and baptismal font for the main sanctuary or fitting sacred art into that spare glass house.  And of course the all important, “Don’t be shy when the plate comes by.”  The Crystal Cathedral would be perfect if not for those ugly pencil trees.

-5-

            And speaking of music, which we’re not, I sometimes wonder if whole scenes in movies were not written to fit certain pieces of music.  Consider that epic finale of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly accompanied by Ennio Morricone’s “Il Triello”.  It’s about the most suspenseful piece of film you’ll ever see, and with that brilliant score it becomes ever more taught.  The scene is so long, stretching out over seven minutes.  One wonders how any film can hold an audience’s attention for seven minutes of three characters starring intently at each other.  However, it works in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  And this is due in no small part to Ennio Morricone’s endlessly complex music.

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Sign the petition asking His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, to disinvite President Barack Obama from the Al Smith dinner this October.  This is a scandalous debacle on the part of the New York Archdiocese to recognize the near and present danger of Barack Obama’s polices concerning the Catholic Church.  Information about the Al Smith dinner and the Archdiocese can be found at ChurchMilitant.tv.

Sign the Petition

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5 Responses to Saturday Miscellany (Vol. 3)

  1. greg Metzger says:

    Every presidential candidate gets invited to the dinner and has for years. It makes no statement in support oif the candidate’s views. Does it somehow imply support of Romney’s views of the Trinity? If you disagree with inviting a candidate, then you disagree with the whole idea of the event and should leave it at that. Singling out Obama as if his policies are somehow uniquely inappropriate in the history of American politics is miopic.

    • True, his political views are not new at all. And that’s why in 2004 Archbishop Emiretus Edward Cardinal Egan did not invite either George Bush or John Kerry and in 1996 the late John Cardinal O’Connor made the same decision concerning President Clinton. There is certainly a precidence for not extending an invitation to candidates who support positions the Church considers repugnant to its teachings.

      Source
      The Huffington Post

  2. Greg metzger says:

    The key with Kerry was that he was a Catholic. The issue with O’Connor and Clinton was around abortion, an issue that they would have a hard time demonstrating that Obama and Romney share major differences on given Romney’s actual governing record. The groups calling for this boycott speak for themselves and for their understanding of the issue is clearly about abortion. You seem to be calling for him to not be invited because of threats specifically to the Catholic Church, which would seem to imply you mean the HHS Mandate controversy. But here again, Romney’s own policies as governor of Massachusetts are not so clearly distinguished from the HHS mandate. Maybe Cardinal Dolan understands all this?? Maybe he knows that to disinvite Obama is to invite an obvious charge of partisanship given the reality of Romney’s record? As with the case of the Humanae Vitae post, the issues involved are far more complex than the explanations you are giving. The Catholic community is much more complex than many of the things you write suggest. Faithfully applying the rich 2,000 year tradition to the modern world is not as simple as you suggest, especially when it comes to non creedal issues like contraceptives and relations between Church and State. I believe that given Cardinal Dolan’s bold resistance to the HHS Mandate it is ridiculous to accuse him of causing scandal by going ahead with regular invitation to two nonCatholic candidates with similarly troubling positions on key moral teachings. If he were not to invite Obama and invite Romney in this instance he would causing way more problems for the non Catholic world’s understanding of the Church’s teaching I think.

    • “The issue with O’Connor and Clinton was around abortion, an issue that they would have a hard time demonstrating that Obama and Romney share major differences on given Romney’s actual governing record.”

      Mitt Romney’s as dishonest as any good politician. However, he is not, at the moment at least, a direct threat to the Catholic Church’s religious freedom nor to the natural law. He may be a flip-flopper, but for now he’s on the right side of the flop.

      “Faithfully applying the rich 2,000 year tradition to the modern world is not as simple as you suggest, especially when it comes to non creedal issues like contraceptives and relations between Church and State.”

      So contraception is a non-creedal issue? If, by non-creedal, you mean it is never mentioned in any of the numerous creeds of history, then you are correct. However, if by non-creedal you mean that the prohibition of contraception is not binding upon all by natural law, then this is a problem. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (the teachings of which are binding upon the Catholic faithful) says, “[E]very action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil” (CCC #2370). As for relations between Church and State, this is not a matter of Church and State. It is a matter of prudence, and the possible consequences of America’s leading Cardinal being seen fraternizing with a man whose policies he claims to oppose.

      “I believe that given Cardinal Dolan’s bold resistance to the HHS Mandate it is ridiculous to accuse him of causing scandal by going ahead with regular invitation to two non-Catholic candidates with similarly troubling positions on key moral teachings.”

      Perhaps scandal is a poorly chosen word on my part. I do not agree necessarily with, say, Michael Voris’ criticism of the Cardinal himself. His Eminence is a staunchly faithful man, and his efforts in the past months have been praisworthy. In this case, however, I just think His Eminence is wrong.

      “If he were not to invite Obama and invite Romney in this instance he would causing way more problems for the non Catholic world’s understanding of the Church’s teaching I think.”

      Again, simply a difference of opinion on our parts. I think it is time for the Catholic world to start painting a more aggressive image of itself in America. There is a reason the President felt he could get away with the HHS Mandate. And again, if Romney were turned away at the door, I can’t say I’d be sorry to see him go.

  3. Greg metzger says:

    Here is a link explaining a bit more about the group’s pushing Dolan to disinvite Obama. It really is hard for me to understand how inviting Obama somehow “recognizes” his policies towards the Church.
    http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/lifesitenews-attacks-dolan

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