|Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven
Sunday, March 07, 2004 Today's Quote:
Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States.
J. Bartlett Brebner posted by Mark Butterworth | 2:30 PM |
Friday, March 05, 2004 The Pilgrims' Progress
American history has been so distorted and abused these last few decades that no one is being informed of the simple and incredible facts.
The impression our children are given is that the Pilgrims washed up on shore, slaughtered the Indians, and got rich quick on all that free land they stole.
How did the Pilgrims actually feel on that day they landed?
"[T]hey had now no friends to wellcome them, nor inns to entertaine or refresh their weatherbeaten bodys, no houses or much less townes to repair too, to seek for succoure.
[W]hat could they see but a hidious and desolate wildernes, full of wild beasts and wild men? and what multituds ther might be of them they knew not. Neither could they, as it were, goe up to the tope of Pisgah, to vew from this wildernes a more goodly cuntrie to feed their hops...If they looked behind them, ther was the mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a maine barr and goulfe to separate them from all the civill parts of the world." William Bradford, eyewitness
If they had firearms, they would have been nearly useless as weapons. The bows and arrows of the Indians were far more effective.
The Pilgrims were not immigrants, either, as so many like to assert these days. They were colonists which means conquorers. It cost them dearly in blood to win the land just as it cost the Indians dearly in blood to lose the land.
But people who have to fight, organize, invent, unite, and improvise to survive are much different people than those who simply show up after all the danger has passed, and apply for a job.
But the Puritans did something even more interesting. They tried to establish a religious state. Their colony was not open to anyone. If you didn't adhere to its religious orthodoxy, you were not welcome or allowed to vote. Yet, their insistence on religious conformity created the most self-reliant spirit in them, at the same time fostering deep concern for the community.
Whereas the Quakers who had little religious dogma, became inflexible, unrealistic, insular, and absurd in practice.
The Puritans wanted people to be good, but weren't surprised when they weren't. The Quakers thought people were good, and refused to believe it when they weren't.
The Puritans were my people. They came over in the mid 1600's to Massachusetts. I hope their courage, accomplishments, heroism, and devotion to freedom and truth will be remembered one day; and that my progeny will recall the stock they sprang from - an extraordinary race of people worthy of respect and admiration.
That they should be so mocked and scorned these days -- well, that's to mock and scorn America itself. posted by Mark Butterworth | 11:26 AM |
I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room.
Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662)
The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion.
G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936) posted by Mark Butterworth | 10:32 AM |
Thursday, March 04, 2004 Tut tutting at the Boston Tea Party
A few days ago Jonah Goldberg of NRO's The Corner expressed shock at the intemperate language of Dennis Prager's column.
Prager lead off with: "America is engaged in two wars for the survival of its civilization. The war over same-sex marriage and the war against Islamic totalitarianism are actually two fronts in the same war -- a war for the preservation of the unique American creation known as Judeo-Christian civilization."
Goldberg responded: "Now I understand what he's saying and I agree with several of his specific points but he glosses over the point which should supercede all others: "secular nihilists" -- or whatever you want to call them -- aren't murdering people. They aren't blowing up buildings, hijacking planes or shooting at our soldiers either. To date, no gay dudes have been caught on international flights trying to ignite their shoes.
In short, Prager equates a metaphorical war with a literal one and not once does he distinguish between the two."
The idea that some people are beginning to see that there is a fault line developing in the nation that can only lead to violence (civil war) if those who wish to defend their freedoms put their feelings into action is more than some pundits can imagine. It puts their faint hearts in a tizzy that the war of ideas are more than moderated debates at Georgetown where everyone leaves congratulating themselves on their urbanity and tolerance.
Ideas are matters of life and death. The NRO neocons seem to think that no matter what happens, they can just keep tut tutting and writing columns wishing things were different.
It was often insisted upon that Christians revered life and thus condemned those few lone wolves who were going around trying to murder abortionists. Yet, as much as I deplore violence, I never could quite join the vehement chorus of horror that formed everytime an abortionist was killed.
Would I have booed if someone had shot a Dr. Mengele or sniped at a Nazi executing Jews? How can I hate the death of a doctor who got up everyday and went to a place to murder unborn babies? I can't, anymore than I can condemn the violence that set this nation free, which killed and drove out Tories to Canada and England.
The day is coming when this nation shall again convulse in spilt blood. To deny it is folly and ignorance. In fact, if this nation does not go to war with itself, it shall not survive as a nation. It shall go the way of Italy after the fall of Rome, and become balkanized.
The only other alternative to that disintegration is totalitarianism which is a possibility. posted by Mark Butterworth | 1:01 PM |
Wednesday, March 03, 2004 A rough colt
Even a lot of conservatives take issue with the satire and invective of Ann Coulter. I won't apologize. She makes me laugh. Her daggers are generally on target, and apt due to the fact that they have a basis in fact.
For example, a lot of liberals like jokes about Bush (see Billy Crystal and the Oscars) where they talk about him missing service in the National Guard, or that he's dumb (with a masters from Harvard Business School), or a liar.
None of those jokes which reference such ideas have any basis in truth. So they fall flat, and aren't funny. They're just obviously mean. If they joked about how Bush tends to mangle language and isn't the best extemporaneous speaker, we'd all laugh because it's true. He's not so good off the cuff. He's genuine, but not slick.
But Ann Coulter zings Kerry as a gigolo who goes after rich women. Well, who knows what charms Kerry has in romancing ladies (some say he's an inept scumbag), but the result has certainly been that he marries rich women to his advantage.
Anyway, Ann has a chuckle inducing column on The Passion here.
Kerry really likes rich women.
Kerry dated Gilbey, a British gin heiress, in the late 1980s before she dumped him for Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. This was prior to Kerry marrying ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz . . . NY Post posted by Mark Butterworth | 10:00 PM |
Tuesday, March 02, 2004 The detestable Al Franken
Apparently he had nasty comments to make to Mel Gibson, But the slur on his movie: "His last major movie role was in the 1995 disaster "Stuart Saves His Family," one of the worst of the countless knock-offs from "Saturday Night Live." It committed the ultimate Tinseltown sin: Beyond being terrible, it had terrible box office."
. . . was unwarranted. The movie is a small film, quite good and very droll. It had a sweetness that is unusual and it worked.
Franken, though, has proved himself a vitriolic pinhead. He has become a madman, but I can't despise all of his former work simply because, like Ezra Pound, he's gone crazy. posted by Mark Butterworth | 1:24 AM |
As a Classics student who studied Latin and Greek, I must say I was a bit put off by the fact that the Romans in The Passion spoke with an Italian accent.
Too often I heard the hard "C's" (court) turned into "Ch's" as in church. It was a small point, and inconsequential, but as a former Latin lover, I had hoped to hear the language spoken properly.
I have rarely gotten to hear ancient Latin spoken as the Romans spoke it, and was looking forward to it. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. The Italian actors co-opted it.
Latin, though, is a kind of ultimately masculine language. The movie actors feminized it.
What can I say? It's to bad. A lost opportunity. posted by Mark Butterworth | 12:59 AM |
I have suffered physical agonies that would have made a great many people blow their brains out. I have a skin disease ( I'm tempted to say "virulent" as the Bible is often translated now relating such things), which, if left unchecked and untreated, covers 100% of my body.
The skin is largest of all sensory organs of our bodies. It is incredibly sensitive. It can register the slightest disturbance of a single downy hair and signal the brain of such effect.
My skin, if allowed to run rampant, becomes a kind of hard rind and crust of dead skin cells which become thick and crack. Which causes bleeding. That's not so bad. What's bad is that every inch of my body is reacting to this condition as if ten thousand fire ants were biting every other millimeter of flesh at the same time.
Cattle and buffalo have sometimes stampeded, and rushed headlong over cliffs in order to try and flee biting midges and no-see-ums. That is nothing compared to psoriasis in total flaring of the skin.
I wil not catalogue the number of times I have suffered such agony for days at a time which have nearly driven me mad with both horror and anguish.
Yet, when I saw Jesus on the crucifix during the movie of The Passion, I said to myself, "What I have suffered doesn't come close to that. Forgive me, Lord, because I am weak."
Yet, I can honestly say that what I have physically suffered from my skin disease is probably (if we can measure such things) a hundred times greater than what the mass of humanity have suffered in the course of their lives.
But my suffering doesn't come close to the crucifixion of Jesus.
I don't know if this puts anything into perspective for others. But it does for me.
There is nothing like physical suffering. A lot of artists like to focus on mental anguish, the hardships of poverty (been there), rejection by others (that, too), but the pure fact of the matter is that nothing compares to the horror of physical misery.
If you want to quickly break a strong man down, make him ill and prolong it.
I want to say so much about pain and suffering but to heck with it , Jesus is Lord!
God bless Mel Gibson. His movie, his vision is a renewal of truth.
posted by Mark Butterworth | 12:22 AM |
Social Security Delenda est
We all know it must be destroyed, but it will have to be done carefully. A little at a time. As it is, it is a joke. It will ruin the nation to try and support that boondaoggle into the future. Yet, an incredibly inept group of septugenarians and sexagenarians think it is a lifeline; when, in fact, it was an immense waste of money. Even the cheapest savings account would have paid more in interest. What a scam! posted by Mark Butterworth | 12:01 AM |
Monday, March 01, 2004 Amendments
I agree with Thomas Sowell who writes: "The time is also long overdue to re-examine lifetime appointments of judges, which allows them to act like little tin gods, at the expense of our freedom and the country's elected government."
If we're going to amend the Constitution, lets amend that lifetime appointment to Federal benches. Let's give U S Supreme Court judges five years or so on the bench by appointment by Congress, and then force them all to be elected to continue. The same with other Federal judges in various jurisdictions.
Others might put a limit on service, forcing retirement after so many years. That's not my agenda, but I wouldn't hate it if a majority likes it. In any event, something must be done. posted by Mark Butterworth | 11:56 PM |
The EU is imposing fines on us for violating WTO agreements on tax subsidies for exporting companies. Okay, I think most trade should be free. Go ahead and change our tax code to comply, Mr. President, but after you do that, go ahead and submit a bill to the EU for the cost of their defense and our involvement in NATO.
If we're going to be real about economics, then let's be real about what it costs us to keep them free. posted by Mark Butterworth | 11:26 PM |
Christians and moralists have been hearing for decades how they don't have the right to impose their "values" on others.
Yet, what exactly are the leftists, the judges, the renegade mayors, and homosexuals doing except that?
Well, but we knew that it wasn't we who were so "judgmental", didn't we?
I'm always amazed at how clearly the psychological principle of projection works while those most guilty of it are also the least aware of it, or mmost insistent of immunity from it. posted by Mark Butterworth | 10:54 PM |
Just a Business
Catholic Charities in California has been declared an outlaw by not offering contraception and abortion coverage in its health plans. The State Supreme Court ruled that CC broke the state law by not doing so.
"The Supreme Court ruled that the charity is not a religious employer because it offers such secular services as counseling, low-income housing and immigration services to the public without directly preaching about Catholic values.
The court also noted that the charity employs workers of differing religions. "
Well, I have privately held the opinion for some time that Catholic Charities and other Catholic charity groups have been doing a disservice to people by not being evangelical in their outreach and charity work. It has finally caught up to them in this terrible legal judgment.
They can't actually prove that they are religious organizations by their mission or practice.
Don't get me wrong, the law is horribly unjust and tyrannical. It is an attempt to thwart the Catholic teachings and free exercise of religion, but Catholic Charities has become so liberal and wishy washy that you can hardly blame secularists for not finding any religion in it.
posted by Mark Butterworth | 1:53 PM |