I am the product of a different cultural environment than the one in which I live now. As a result, I may notice some things I do not say more rapidly, but perhaps more strikingly than others.
I seem to notice the de-Christianisation of this country in the way more and more people here simply look. If you are the PC, sensitive kind with the blue-haired daughter you can look away now, or read at your own peril.
Two words in advance: where I come from, the way we look shows our respect for others, and for commonly accepted rules of behaviour. It is not only that we want to look properly: by the way we look, we show others that we took care of appearing in front of them in the proper way, and that we share their same values. You may say that in Italy things are rather intertwined (we do like to look good, anyway) but you get the gist.
Together with this always went common rules of “appearance” which, shared by everyone, made the standard of decency and respect for others. People gladly submitted to these rules, out of a generally shared sense of what is good and proper. In fact, in those times there still was something like that: a generally shared sense of what is good and proper. It was a broadly Catholic society, you know…
When Christianity went out of the window, these rules were subverted like all the rest. Some examples among many:
1) the “drug addict” look. You know, half the head with the “Auschwitz cut”, the other half normal.
2) the “I wish I were a fag” look. This is the “as thin as I can”, “ephebophiles, look at me!” look.
3) the “I will make you look at my hair” look. Purple metallic, ivy green, cobalt blue. Everything goes.
4) the “I work for my tattoo man” look. Entire arms, entire shoulders, or the entire neck covered in tattoos. Grave matter? What’s “grave matter”? There is still some reaction here (cue the word “tramp stamp”: women are always the harshest judges of their sex…) but in general the epidemic is clear to see, and no sign of abatement.
5) the “stuck in 1968″ look. Any or several of the above mentioned, but worn from people, generally women, clearly beyond Sixty. This, my friends, is what a life of marijuana does to you. I notice it far less in men, and I attribute this to the need of the old hags to carry on to the bitter and very, very ugly end an “emancipation battle” their marijuana-smoking male counterparts never needed to, ahem, “fight”.
As an addendum, I shall add the “Battleship Potemkin” look: strictly below thirty, 300 pounds or more, a belly protruding from the corners before the rest, and the attitude that says “I look wonderful as I am, and if you disagree you are a chauvinist pig”. This last comes with the small caveat that there is a small possibility that said battleship got to look that way out of sheer frailty and correctly identified rather than, so to speak, ideological gluttony. But all the others are entirely voluntary, and require time and money.
Now let us ask ourselves: how comes that our forefathers were so “judgmental”, and we (I mean: the others) aren’t? Because they were Christians, are we (I mean: the others) aren’t, is the simple answer.
In sane times, the “alternative look” immediately told them one had an alternative lifestyle; and being neither politically correct nor stupid they did not fail to notice, and to say it.
The fag look would have indicated to them one who is either a sodomite or, in case he wasn’t, creepy and outright worthy of mistrust.
The purple metallic hair would have been seen – and rightly so – as an obvious sign of rebellion to all that is good and proper.
The tattoos would have been seen as an obvious sign of godlessness.
Battleship Potemkin would have been seen as an obvious sign of gluttony.
Not anymore in the “time of mercy”. Today, being seen as “judgmental” is the only sin. Everyone is a good boy, or girl, or whatever he feels he is, until proven otherwise. When it’s proven otherwise, it’s “who am I to judge”…
Some of you might say that this is not so anymore, and that today so many good people look like bad ones; but I must disagree. The simple fact is that those very rebellions our forefathers rightly condemned are still there, but now they have become mainstream. Our forefathers saw them because they were smart; we don’t see them because we are stupid, and don’t want to look unkind; but rebellion still was, and still is; it’s just that the rebel does not even feel such anymore, merely up with the times. Nowadays it is mainstream that there is no right and wrong behaviour. It is mainstream that there is no bent or straight, no sacred or profane, no sinfulness or saintliness. It is mainstream that everyone can do whatever he pleases, “if he does, oh, not, oh, harm, oh, otheeers”….
Nowadays, Godlessness is mainstream.
The way people look simply reflects it.
In England you see them, if you pay just a bit of attention, everywhere: former churches.
Big and small, with or without bell tower, monumental or demure. They are transformed in cottages, flats, community spaces. At times the original purpose of the building is evident,mother times it is more or less heavily disguised. But they all tell the same story: here used to gather a Christian community, that has now vanished. Very many of these churches are, from what I can see, Protestant.
Do not delude yourself into thinking that the community has now enlarged, and has moved into bigger premises. They have just vanished as the old generation went to its judgment, and the new did not believe in any judgment not delivered by a television “jury”.
Last time I looked, Sunday church attendance for the so-called Church of England was at 3%. This number alone says it all. The official 25 or more million Anglicans in the country are, officially, a joke, and among the Methodists it’s even worse.
Where the official count says that there should be millions of Christians, there is a huge hole, filled with nothing. Or better said, filled with senseless do-gooders living in a world of easy emotions, and fully persuaded of their own heathenish goodness.
They run “against this”, cycle “against that”, jog “against that others”. They make clown of themselves, as if there were any merit, let alone dignity, in that. They wear red noses or pink bras (as men; yes, they do) and think they are “making a difference”.
They aren’t. Firstly and less importantly, they aren’t because taxpayer-funded (directly or indirectly) or corporate-funded medical research vastly exceeds do-goodism by any standard you would care to find in almost every sector of medical research, and certainly in the basic research. But it’s not even a matter of numbers. It is (secondly, but most importantly) that a human life is infinitely short compared to an eternity in hell. Therefore, to everyone who lands in hell his having died at 72 or 88 is, to all logical and mathematical purposes, infinitely small and therefore infinitesimally irrelevant.
Is, then, not good to spend money on research? Yes, it is. But don’t make of it a religion, because there are things infinitely more important than when one dies, and for which almost no one cares anymore. Like, say, not going to hell. And for heaven’s sake, stop putting yourself at the crossroads with your freaking pink bra, like a Pharisee on cocaine.
The left hand must not know what the right hand does. If you went to church, you would know it. And no. You aren’t needed. Or do you think you can add one cubit unto your stature?
All this is ignored. As churches are transformed into town halls and flats for “modern living”, or in building for a variety of other purposes, “charitable” organisations multiply, and you see all these people – the children and grand-children of those who once would sit in the pews on a Sunday morning – running and cycling, sweating and panting, rowing and skating; all of them with the t-shirt saying to the world how good they are; all of them obsessed with lives ill-spent going on for as long as they can, and uncaring of what must be the eternal destiny of a scary, scary, scary number of people in XXI Heathen England. A country full of people so good, that God to them is a tale, an afterthought, or something for which they have really no time…
As the churches vanish and bells are hears less and less frequently on a Sunday red noses, pink bras and sundry “look at how good I am” t-shirts are everywhere. The old generations were Proddies; but they were Proddies with the fear of the Lord, and an often sincere – if always misguided – intention to live a Christian life, and to die a Christian death. What a difference to today.
Some years ago, the host of the popular UK TV show “Grand Designs”, dealing with the transformation of an old church in a house, said on TV “look, the Lord’s Prayer is on the wall!” as the camera proceeded to zoom on the wall in question.
It was the Creed.
This TV isn’t live. It is carefully edited, and made to a rather high standard. We do not know whether there was, somewhere else, really the Lord’s prayer. But the Creed simply isn’t the Lord’s prayer. Still, No one seems to have noticed.
The basics have gone. Christianity is rapidly fading away even as a mainstream religious flavour. Churches become apartments, or houses, or something else, or are knocked down. Bells are heard less and less frequently.
But look at that clown down the road; yes, the one wearing the pink bra. And another. And another.
Boy, how they feel proud.
A word that I read around more and more often is “healing”.
If I understand correctly, by that is meant that someone was said that “hurt” someone else, and this someone will now need some – or a lot of – time to allow the great wound caused by someone he doesn't know, and wasn't talking to him, has caused him.
Say someone is inverted – or divorced and remarried – and fully ok with it, but still pretending he is a Catholic. He listens to a conference or speech or whatever, where the Catholic speaker says that unrepentant sodomites go to hell, the sin of sodomy cries to Heaven for vengeance, and a couple of other things I knew as a child, before even making my first Communion.
Our “man” is then entirely incensed. As he was told facts of Catholic doctrine that apply to him, he is hurt; as a consequence, he has the right to be offended, and the world must now show solidarity and support to him, and help him in his healing process.
This happens nowadays, at least in some societies, not only in extreme cases – one understands a real trauma would require a real healing, because a real wound has occurred -, but everytime everyone hasn't liked something that can be referred to him. Then, the entire community feels bound to perform the exercise described above and finds it not only normal, but necessary.
If anyone within this very community – say, the local church – where, then, to point out that facts are facts and Truth is Truth, and those who are hurt by facts and can't hear the Truth should take a hard look at themselves rather than whining like wet pussicats would be immediately accused of being even more insensitive, even more hurtful, and causing the need of an even longer “healing”.
One truly wonders what has become not only of humanity, but of manhood.
I get promised hell with beautiful regularity on this blog, for no other reason than the author of the promise not liking some sound piece of Truth. Do you think I even consider being “hurt”, and write blog posts vilifying the commenter who “hurt” me so bad, and looking for “healing”? “Help me, dear blog readers! I am sooo hurt! Unless you show me full support, I will stop blogging, because I am soooo hurt!”
I push a button, the crap is flushed out, and that's that.
I wonder what has happened to a country where even boys and men – those who should be ready to die to defend their Fatherland and loved ones – can't even cope with abstract criticism without throwing a tantrum; and where women abandoning themselves to excesses of bitchiness are constantly encouraged to bitch even more by those – to wit: the men – to whom God has given the task to keep their bitchiness in check.
Nothing of this is to be seen anymore. It's a huge “hurting” and “suffering” and right to “healing”. Personal happiness is the new god. If anyone should cause Christ to disturb it, he should be vilified as the masses of sensitive heart bleeders run to the rescue of the wet pussicats, and feel such good people that Christ should learn from them.
What has happened in Charlotte is not only the result of a minority of bitching people; it is, tragically, the result of a diffused mentality that encourages and rewards bitching instead of taking a sound approach and react with chosen words chiselled by the wisdom of past centuries; like “take a hike”, “who cares” and the immortal, extremely pithy “shut up, bitch”.
Alas, we live in politically correct times.
The bitches run the show.
It's the others who shut up.
The last controversy about Obama choosing to keep God out of his rendition of the Gettysburg Address is another very telling indicator of how the mind (or what takes that name) of this man works.
Who would, believing in the Holy Trinity, do everything possible and impossible to expunge God from every public statement? Nobody, is the easy answer. Lame excuses of wanting to “respect” those who do not believe in God are as stupid as wanting to follow the rules of Ramadan so that the colleague near you is not offended at seeing you having lunch, but then again one like that would obviously leave God in the Gettysburg address so that the Christians are not offended, too.
It is evident to everyone with a brain that for a Christian to want to expunge God from the public sphere is tantamount to be ashamed of his faith; which no Christian could ever, in conscience, be, so that of this man we could only say that he has lost his faith.
We will, therefore, have to conclude that such a man is an enemy of Christianity, bent on sabotaging it from the comfortable spot of his convenient Christian facade.
Obama, the son of an early example of liberal college slut, certainly did not get any religious education from his mother, or from his anyway absent father. He grew up in a Muslim environment, and attended schools – I am informed – reserved to Muslims, which means he either was considered such, or was such, or certainly did not have anything speaking for his being a Christian. When millions in the West were listening to the bells of the local church, he heard – and stated he is still very fond of – the call of the Muezzin. When he went back to the US – after being abandoned by his mother, too; such are liberal parents – he was raised by his grandparents, and particularly his grandmother, whose liberal ideas are well known and, by the way, clearly shown in the daughter they raised.
But did young Barry improve when he went back to the “country under God”, the United States? Not really.
His Christian facade was the one of a rabidly racist preacher, Jeremiah Wright, a man from whom even Obama at some point had to distance himself, and only after repeated controversy. Is this a good Christian credential? Not likely.
Does he attend church now that he has – finally – canned Wright? Very rarely; apparently a couple of times a year, on those TV occasions. Does he defend Christian values? Never. He would have his daughters abort if they were “punished with a baby” (my words, not his: punished. with. a. baby), and what he calls Christian values are without exceptions the flags of the atheists and liberal culture, from de facto socialism to de iure sodomy.
Not a Christian, then, for sure. Certainly not a Muslim. A clearly thoroughly secular man, very probably as atheist as Stalin, with a cultural predilection for the religion in which he grew up (Islam, of course), and just that ridiculously thin varnish of Christianity that is necessary to become President in the USA.
A whitened sepulchre like few others on this planet, Obama incarnates the hypocrisy of the liberal classes, feigning some lip tribute to Christianity in abstract whilst trying to eradicate it from the planet in concrete.
Stalin was, at least, more honest.
George, the baby who is supposed to, one day, open schools and kiss babies as the King of England, will be baptised today.
He is already three months old. But hey, there must have been more urgent things to do these ninety days.
I have no idea how long did it take before former heirs to the throne were baptised. It can be Protestants were as bad as that a long time ago, and I wouldn't be too surprised.
Still, I cannot avoid seeing in a baptism that takes place three months after birth, without anyone seeing anything strange in that, another sign of the decline of Christianity.
“Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper,” the lesson reads. “Ask the students to stand up and put the paper on the floor in front of them with the name facing up. Ask the students to think about it for a moment. After a brief period of silence instruct them to step on the paper. Most will hesitate. Ask why they can’t step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture”.
This is not a joke, but what has happened in a university in Florida. Apart from the fact that the “assignment” reminds one of kindergarten exercises (without the blasphemy) one truly wonders what goes in the twisted minds of certain people.
I will not spare you the very easy, but very true remark that the genius who thought this did not consider using, say, a Mohammed Cartoon as stomping material. I am sure he knows why. A shame, really, because if one wants to “discuss the importance of symbols in culture” I can barely imagine a more fitting starting point.
Still, the problem here is much vaster than stupidity. This episode shows not only a total lack of Christian feeling, but also the complete absence of every regard for Christianity as a religion. In a Christian country like the United States, this is an obvious indication of a degree of Anti-Christian militancy speaking volumes about the degree of “inclusiveness” and “tolerance” of the blaspheming classes.
The University has apologised, after the fact. The question remains what kind of University it is that employs geniuses like the one who thought this. Personally, I also wonder what kind of kindergarten is this, where people cannot start a discussion about “the importance of symbols in culture” without stomping like little children.
If this is the level of higher education in the United States, decline and fall cannot be very far away.
The ongoing controversy about whether openly homosexual boys should be allowed to be members of the Boy Scouts of America is indicative of the confusion reigning in the mind of many people nowadays. I see a lack of elementary reasoning that is simply revealing of the utter failure of modern school systems.
You can read comprehensive articles with a short google research. My comments to what I read around are as follows:
1. Sponsors will withdraw money unless the policy changes.
Come on, this is stupid. If there’s one reason why the Boy Scouts exist, is to let boys grow with a moral spine. The idea that morals should be subordinated to sponsorship is exactly the kind of thinking a Boy Scout should never have.
In addition, the argument is self-contradictory. If it is considered discriminatory that there is a national ban on faggotry, it is only a matter of time before it will be considered discriminatory that some local groups do not allow homosexuals, with the resulting withdrawal of sponsorship. Once again, those making the argument of “sponsorships” simply do not think straight.
There has apparently been a decline in membership in the last ten years or so, which according to some implies a crisis. Now, it depends. Membership is not really an indication of real success, particularly if membership is obtained by losing one’s core values. On the contrary, every process of self-finding will cause such a phenomenon, as the organisation purges itself from elements who should not be there in the first place. A world where even the Boy Scouts constantly measure their “success” in quantitative terms is a very sad one, and I can well imagine this mentality might also be a cause of the decline in membership.
III The Rabbi
A strange Rabbi complains the Boy Scouts would, if the ban persists, continue to privilege one religious view above all others. You don’t say? Last time I looked, the Boy Scouts were clearly inspired by Christian values. The US may well be a very strange Country in many ways, but the idea that Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist value should be included in what would probably be the stupidest experiment on earth is rather new to me. Another sign of the times.
IV The Method
The methods used by the leadership of the organisation remind one of the way David Cameron treats his own party. The grassroots are informed of what the leaders have decided, and they are asked to implement the policy. This is the more shortsighted, as the grassroots in this case are largely constituted by religious organisations having – as they, ahem, often do – a certain way of understanding life.
In conclusion, the impression is generated that a bunch of people either professionally employed by the organisation, or with a vested interest in its membership number and cash flow, have decided that Mammon is going to be the new source of inspiration for the Boy Scouts of America, and were dim-witted enough to say it rather clearly.
If you ask me, this matter should tell the basis organisation of the Boy Scouts of America that they are being led by the wrong people, and the defenestration of all proponents of faggotry at the top of the organisation should be carried out as a matter of course.
I am not joking, this is straight and true from Father Z’s Blog.
It goes to show the extent of the de-Christianisation of the Democrats. I can’t wait they ask God to be removed from the banknotes. I actually wonder why they have not done it already.
In the end, though, the move is at least coherent. It would have been even more hypocritical for them to continue to appeal to Christian values. Now the mask is off at least.
We really need to get this election right. A funny non-Christian belonging to a funny sect is still preferable to an enemy of God.
I grew up in a very simple, well-ordered world. Very rarely – actually, VERY rarely – we got as children those water tattoos, that you apply on your skin with a bit of water and create a design that disappears after a short time. I actually remember we had to ask for permission to use them, even if we had found them in the crisps packet (this might be an Italian thing; I don’t know).
In those times, tattoos were the preserve of pirates and sailors – and jail inmates, I suppose; but this we did not know – and to put a tattoo on your skin was something meant to allow one to innocently “play pirates (or mariner)” for a while. Of course, that one could come to the idea of getting a real tattoo was not of this world, and I remember once feeling “dirty” after applying the water tattoo, with the result that I never had a water tattoo again. Why did I feel dirty? Because in that simple world, to have a (real) tattoo was considered sinful. Even to a child like me, this made a lot of sense, as the idea that one might be allowed to paint and scar oneself for life had a lot to do with savages, but nothing with Christian civilisation. I cannot remember whether I was explicitly told that my body is a gift from God and as such not to be abused in any way, but the fact was so self-evident that to tell a child “tattoos are very bad” already conveyed all the meaning, and I positively remember the little girl who assured us she was told people with tattoos went to hell.
Letting aside hell for a moment, I do not know whether the people who told me tattoos are very bad were theologically correct, but I do not doubt they were right.
Fast Forward to 2012. You only need to look at some of the teams of the European Football Championship (alas, Italy not excluded!) to see in what way some people can disfigure themselves, possibly for life. It is simply shocking, and the vulgarity of those carrying such tattoos is only surpassed by their truly unspeakable stupidity in thus scarring themselves.
The vulgarity and stupidity ruling the football fields is only a reflex of the vulgarity and stupidity now invading increasingly bigger parts of our lives: those taken as examples in our times are illiterate footballers and drug-addicted singers; their fans have long ceased to be the pimple-plagued teenagers one expected in days of yore, and are more and more the ageing generation of Sixty-Eighters, and of their offspring. Teenagers without pimples, and it is not a compliment.
You only need to approach a newsstand, or to rapidly browse the channels available on TV, to see to what point we have come. One can’t be too surprised the Prime Minister can tell his electors that the so-called “gay marriage” is “conservative”. He might have gauged their stupidity better than I.
Encouragingly, this fad seems not to have taken so much ground in Northern/Eastern Europe. I am now looking at Poland-Russia and well, the situation is entirely different from the one experienced looking at, say, Italy-Spain.
One day, this craze will go like many others before and after, and an army of cretins will find themselves scarred for life of their own accord. They can only hope when the moment comes laser technology will have advanced enough to allow them to get rid of their tattoos without looking like a walking scar. In any way, with their tattoos they’ll look very stupid, and deservedly so, because the tattoos are just another example of the absence of proper behaviour, proper rules, common decency and basic Christian feelings we see in so many aspects of today’s West.
Interesting film, this one, and most certainly not only for young adults.
I will not give any spoiler, but what I found striking was the following:
1) The theme (not new) of the omnipotent Central Government, the absolute ruler of its subjects. Rather an actual theme, I would say.
2) The absence of every Christian message, in a desolate world that has – leaving aside the theological implications of this – forgotten Christianity. This is not “The Descendants”, where there is no Christianity because in the mind of the writers and director everyone is too cool to believe in God. This is exactly the contrary, and you rapidly understand this world can only be cruel, because there is no Christianity.
3) The open criticism of the growing kitsch dominating our lives. The hair and general clothes of most of the “leaders” (not, crucially, of the two main and of the “positive” characters) is characterised by a grotesque absence of taste. Interesting, because the way most people dress, their haircut and , in some circles, their tattoos would have been considered disgusting and worse than ridiculous just a couple of decades ago.
4) The dig at the “inclusive” culture. The movie – I have not read the book – sends some unspoken messages: the hair and clothes clearly mean this is a “liberal” dictatorship, where no one is “discriminated” or “made to feel excluded” for his personal taste and at least the ruling class can “express” itself as it pleases. Similarly, there is a clear message that in this fake “liberal” world, in reality extremely cruel and devoid of any ethics, homosexuality is considered normal. I see in this a criticism to the Nazism our liberals are trying to build around us: violently illiberal, but open to every perversion in sexual morals, or simple taste.
5) This is a clean movie. A movie completely centred on adolescents of both sexes, but without sex, actually without even sexual innuendos. Mind, this is not a movie for 12 years old, and I would not bring a 12 years old to see it. Say, 15 to 18 must be the main target, but even as an adult there are no limits to its fruition.
Nowadays, when teenagers are confronted with sexual messages in every aspect of the trash “culture” dished to them, to make an expensive movie of this kind is more than laudable. I couldn’t avoid thinking that if the movie had been co-produced by the BBC, some of the “good characters” would have been most certainly perverts: the BBC does it without exception, with “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” being only the last example.
The movie is more than a bit upsetting, because the viewer is plunged in a world of brutal fight for survival for a longish time. Again, I wouldn’t bring there a 12 years old.
Still, I think you wouldn’t waste your time and money, and many of you would agree with me in my interpretation of some of the aspects of this movie. Again, I haven’t read the book – nor do I plan to – so I cannot tell you whether these issues run through it.
Dear reader, you may find the Michael Voris video above of interest to you.
There are several interesting point there: about the first (how many Americans still believe Obama a Muslim, or not a Christian) I notice after many years it can’t be said anymore such answers are in the main influenced by ignorance (= not knowing what Obama says on the matter), but largely on reflection (= not believing what Obama says on the matter). I can’t say Obama cares a lot for that, but I think it can fairly be said the nation listened, and drew its conclusions.
The second is that I envy a country where so many still have the guts of wondering whether their President is a Christian. The German have a Kanzler(in) who grew up in a communist country, from an idiot who had already completely confused belief in God and social justice; this woman has no problem whatever with open homosexuality, but she thought the best way to power was to call herself Christian, so the country at large doesn’t even wonder whether she is one (tip: they don’t do it because if they did, they should wonder how Christian they are themselves, a topic they’d rather set aside).
The third is (and I have touched this issue rather often) the progressive deterioration of the definition of “Christian” in the Western world and even – though in clearly lesser measure than in Europe – in the United States. Voris’ quotes of Obama about Jesus being such a wonderful teacher and “mediator” (a definition, by-the-by, with which every Muslim would enthusiastically agree) and at the same time not raising questions among two-thirds of the electorate.
Still, I am very thankful to the other third. I wish such a vast number existed in Europe. At least as far as Northern Europe is concerned, I can’t say this is the case.
We live in a world where a President of the United States (who is clearly far less intelligent than his supporters believe, but not a moron) expresses his “Christianity” is a view compatible with both Islam and the secular society, and two third of the population allow him to get away with it. And where, I must say with great sadness, many leaders of the Western world are not even requested to prove their Christian identity, or do anything at all to upheld Christian values.
Christianity by hearsay.
Among us Catholics, I blame Vatican II.
“values voters see big government and deficit spending as the result of policies that arise “when the natural family is looked down upon” and thereby foster dependency”.
This very intelligent reflection comes from a speech of Mr Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, about the electoral voters of Us-American Evangelicals.
Evangelical voters, he says, tend to link the economic and the social issues that will – hopefully, for the seconds – dominate the 2012 campaign, and the line above is an example.
As an Italian, I can resonate with the phrase chosen by Mr Perkins, as in those societies where the welfare state is rather weak – in Italy it is very weak if you consider it as “welfare state proper”, that is: entitlement – the family is very strong and conversely, you can afford to have an almost non-existent welfare state and survive as a politician only because the family is so strong.
I do not use the word “natural family” because in Italy the absurdities and perversions of the US have not yet gained a foot in the social and legal framework of the country. Long may it last.
I do agree with the statement, particularly after having lived in Germany and the UK and having seen the result of the mentality prevailing in those countries.
Still, I wonder what resonance it would find among the US Catholic voters, as this would seem to be a more specifically Evangelicals-related phenomenon.
Dio Perdona tante cose per un’opera di Misericordia
“God forgives (so) many things for a work of mercy!”. With these words, the simple but pure peasant girl Lucia addresses her mighty kidnapper, a man so powerful that the Spanish power is a joke to him, and so corrupt as to be willing to have a girl kidnapped and consigned to her raper for a matter of prestige and reputation among his peers. A man, though, not mighty enough to escape the patient, silent work of the Holy Ghost, and whom the sight of such helpless, desperate purity will move to the point of causing the explosion of a looming crisis; a crisis that will see him, after a terrible and liberating night, see the dawn of a new life.
Millions of Italians know these words, who have become – like so many expressions from this wonderful novel – part of the everyday language in Italy. They are particularly fortunate because – like many other expression of the Promessi Sposi, written by a man very fit in Catholic doctrine – they give to the reader beautiful snippets of Catholic wisdom, a wisdom that will, hopefully, came back to them in moments of crisis even after they have – like most of those who know these words – stopped attending Church.
Like millions of other Italians, the one or other phrase from this immortal novel comes back to me from time to time, and makes me think. It seems to me that one of the greatest strenghts of Catholicism is in its attention to the little things, in the quiet knowledge that God doesn’t abandon those who don’t forget him in the little things, and helps them to stay – or to return to – the straight and narrow even when they stray in the bigger ones. The attitude of your typical Italian Catholic of one-two generations ago – before the “everyone’s a saint” era that has, to an extent, polluted Italy as well as the rest of Catholicism – was exactly this idea that when one does his part, and even not such a big one, the Provvidenza – a concept Manzoni comes back to again and again – takes care that the sheep finds his way, in due time, to the fold.
This is in my eyes the reason why the Countries that are more traditionally Catholic are also the ones with, I am sorry to have to say so, the happiest people. Not for us the life-quenching rigidity of old Presbyterians, the tortured morality of old Puritans, the virtue that kills joy. A stream of quiet optimism runs through the veins of Catholics, the idea that salvation doesn’t come without doing anything to deserve it, but that deserving it is well within the reach of sinners like you and I.
God forgives so many things for a work of mercy.
This is the reason why I do not stop boring you with my insistence on the Rosary, as I am fully persuaded that – besides Mass attendance – no other weapon in the Catholic armoury is so powerful in its effects, or so easy in its use.
As, though, God forgives so many things for a work of mercy, I have thought to flank my link to the Rosary with a smaller, less demanding link to a short prayer also linked to by Father Z, the Daily Offering to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This short prayer will take you, literally, twenty-two seconds, but exactly because of its non-demanding nature can become a habit everytime you visit this site.
In case you understand or enjoy Italian – how silly of me: the two are one and the same….. ;) – below is the scene I was talking about, the beautiful and extremely accurate – with the text used as script; basically, it is the excerpt of an audiobook with images – 1967, Sandro Bolchi rendition of I Promessi Sposi , featuring a beautiful and very moving Paola Pitagora as Lucia and the – as usual – stellar Salvo Randone as the Innominato.
The scene begins at 7:10.
I read this article on Father Z’s blog, and his invitation to echo it. I am all to glad to help.
Whilst this is more specifically American, the issues at hand are relevant for everyone of us.
If you are American , please consider following the link leading you to a letter template for your member of Congress. In the comment box you will find suggestions now collected about wording and sites to collect electronic petitions if you don’t want to write. I doubt that writing to Sebelius will lead to any result but hey, it’s your adrenaline…..
The deadline is the end of September.
If you have a blog, you may want to echo this.