Tag Archive for history

Terrifying Tales of the Late Jack Chick

I grew up in the 1980s loving Halloween: carving fantastic faces in pumpkins and toasting the seeds, dressing up in homemade costumes, prowling the neighborhood scaring my friends and collecting candy and treats from our moms and assorted little old ladies. The only hint of Hell was on the news the night before: the annual bout of arson and mayhem in Detroit that had been dubbed Devil’s Night. Beyond that Halloween was, for me, good clean fun. But we kids had heard hints of another side to the sugar-fueled frivolity — of tampered candy and razor-infested apples, of pagan rites and

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Only One Way Out

I had at least four ideas for posts this week, but only energy enough for this one. We live in a country on a downward spiral. The two front-runners in our current presidential race are, I fear, bad people. Not bad like they have bad ideas or  I don’t agree with them — though both of those things are true. Bad as in not good. As a country, we have enough experience and history with the Clintons to guess the sort of people they are: power-hungry, elitist, vindictive, and predatory. And the Donald makes no attempt to hide what he is: opportunistic, unprincipled, selfish, and

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The Case of the Missing “Sacred Givens”

A couple months back I waded through a theology professor’s detailed analysis of Cardinal Kasper’s intellectual foundations, upon which his troubling views on church doctine are founded. This week, George Weigel posted a much clearer and briefer summary of his understanding of Prof. Stark and Cardinal Kasper on First Things. Weigel says that by absolutizing history, Cardinal Kasper minimizes or does away with the “sacred givens” of God’s revelation. It’s a short read, and much clearer and easier to track than my earlier post — and as always, the First Things comments are interesting, as well — although many focus on Humana Vitae

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Still Time to Write Good Things On the Sky

During a long road trip this past week, I had the opportunity to listen to an audiobook version of The Wise Men Know What Wicked Things Are Written on the Sky, a volume of eleven lectures by Russell Kirk, sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and given delivered in the 1980s. The theme of the lectures was whether, on the heels of President Reagan’s election, our country was conceivably at the beginning of an “augustan age” which would see us reclaim the ideals and virtues of our forefathers and our sense of mission in this world. These lectures were a followup to an earlier series

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Nowa Huta: A Story of Catholic Culture and Courage

Shortly after the Nazis were driven from Poland by the Soviets, the communist masters of the new People’s Republic of Poland commenced construction of an industrial city outside of Krakow, Poland’s cultural and intellectual capital.  It was to be a tribute to the socialist ideal of order and perfection, as the proletariat and farmer were to flock there to enjoy the state-provided parks, apartment buildings and employment at the factory.  The name given the town by the typically imaginative communists:  The New Steel Mill, or in Polish Nowa Huta.  Through a combination of curiosity, perceived opportunity and a bit of

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Quid Est Veritas? Cardinal Kasper’s
Troubling Foundations

On Tuesday, the Catholic World Report posted a paper by Prof. Thomas Heinrich Stark of the Benedict XVI Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Austria, entitled “German Idealism and Cardinal Kasper’s Theological Project.” It is a lengthy read, and reminded me of everything I disliked about the philosophy classes I took in college and my brief forays into academic writing. But I understood enough to be alarmed. Using one of Kasper’s early theological works, Prof. Stark shows the philosophical foundations that appear to have brought the cardinal to the point positions he currently holds on questions of morality, marriage, sexuality, and the sacraments. I

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Lessons from Recent History: Prepare for Martyrdom

In late 1944 the American Hierarchy issued the following resolution [condensed] expressing support for the freedom of Eastern Europeans when the Allies finally prevailed: “The bishops of the United States in Christian solidarity share the sufferings, misery, and fears of their brother bishops, the clergy, the religious and the faithful of all the war-torn countries of Europe… They recall how centuries ago the Western Slavs, later joined by the Lithuanians, associated themselves with the peoples of Europe in weaving and embellishing the fabric of Western Christian civilization.  History records their heroic exploits in the defense of the West against Tartar

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We Are Doomed!

Some examples of our nation’s intellectual atrophy need no color commentary.  If you think that our educational woes are overstated, that our young collegians really do understand the historical foundations of our liberty, and are prepared to responsibly exercise their citizenship, watch and weep! St. Thomas More, pray for us.

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Euromaidan vs Eurasianism

As the Ukraine marks the one year anniversary of the pro-Europe protests which ousted then president and Kremlin-ally Viktor Yanukovych they will commemorate the ‘Heavenly Hundred’ – the men and women who lost their lives in “Euromaidan.” Named for the Maidan, Kiev’s main square, where more than 50 people were shot and the bulk of the protests took place. The total killed during police clashes is estimated between 110 and 123. As a result Ukraine elected a pro-European government and president, Petro Poroshenko and made constitutional changes. Unfortunately, this did not solve the country’s problems but lead to confrontation with

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Poland’s Place In Defeating the Soviet Empire

In the course of collecting material for a personal project, I’ve discovered the amazing and unique bulwark against atheistic communism that Poland represented during the Cold War.  Despite having been fought over (and through) for centuries, the Church and the Polish state were completely intertwined for the first one thousand years after its conversion in A.D. 966.  The post-WWI Polish constitution exerted religious freedom for all, but nonetheless proclaimed Catholicism as the favorite due to its demographic advantage.  During World War II, the Church was attacked and devastated by the Nazis.  Three million Polish Jews were killed in the six

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