Spiritual Warfare

Magic Words

I generally avoid the news, but while looking for an update on a local power outage, I saw an article asserting that according to a "trans advocacy group," people who are addressed with the wrong pronouns are 50% more likely to kill themselves than people who aren't.  The message was explicit: pronouns can kill, so you better do what we say.

This dovetails with my earlier post about how modern society has completely abandoned any and all forms of rationality.  One cannot rationally argue that the best treatment for mental illness is for the entire world to adopt the delusion.

I have never been mistake for a woman, but two of my daughters went through tomboy phases and had to be corrected.  It was a little awkward, but also not unexpected.   Eventually, they got tired of it, grew their hair out and dressed in a more feminine manner.

I have had my name screwed up all over the place because apparently L-L-O-Y-D is beyond the comprehension of most people.  It is annoying, but not to the point of taking my own life.  (Seriously, Lloyd Bridges, Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Lloyd George, Lloyds of London, even the worst SecDef ever, Lloyd Austin - it's not exactly unique.)

Hitherto, the goal of mental health services was to make people more resilient, better able to survive and thrive.  Now the goal is to "meet them where they are," feed the weakness, validate delusions and ignore obvious co-morbidities.

The answer to this riddle is that the left is all about power, and one of their sources of power is sympathy.  They have made huge gains by taking on the attitude of fragility, weaponizing Christian compassion.  I've talked about this before, but the current messaging is the epitome of the approach.

"Say the words or fragile people will die!  SAY THEM!"  That's straight-up bullying, what psychologists used to call "emotional blackmail."  Indeed, one of the interesting elements of the last few years is watching actual, serious therapists and doctors dance around these issues, striving to protect their careers while doing their jobs.  I've noticed that they are become less covert in their opposition, which is encouraging.

Perhaps more encouraging is the increasingly strident rejection of moral perversion.  It's now clear that "tolerance" was just a waypoint on the way to "dominance," and people have figured it out.  The muting of "Pride Month" and the casual disparagement of rainbow murals and such demonstrate that change is underway.



Father's Day in a gender-fluid world

Nowhere is the demonic influence on secular society more clear than in the attempt to abolish or pervert all traditional relationships.  The radical trans movement seeks to annihilate motherhood as well as fatherhood as we have known them, and replaced them with arbitrary, pseudo-technical terms that obscure more than they describe.

Yet despite all this, the hard-wiring in our brains remains, and we still default to the norms of human history.

This came to mind while watching The Acolyte reviews.  During the third episode, there was a dispute between the "two mommies" and while they are supposed to be this superior, radically feminist relationship, it was basically a same-sex simulcrum of husband and wife.  The taller, more powerful woman loomed over the shorter one, using her presence to coerce compliance.  When the smaller woman asserted that she ought to take presence because "she carried them" (the children), the other retorted "I created them."  

That's a pretty masculine way of putting things, no?  It's also very strange to have motherhood - which lies at the very heart of the female experience - be denigrated in favor of an ersatz paternity.   Because the big chick held the Force turkey-baster, this made her the superior to the woman who spent nine months carrying twins, went through the painful process of birth, and trials of post-partum depression, and of course nursing them at her breast - which is no mean feat with twins.

The Youtuber Disparu (whose excellent videos I have been following), noted that this seems to be a reference to surrogate pregnancy, and how gays think nothing of the birth mothers because they've done their thing and got paid for it.

Indeed, one of the interesting developments has been a growing awareness that "surrogate mothers" are actually a form of human trafficking.  Women are paid to be impregnated, expected to carry the baby to term (perhaps gender-selected via IVF), and the child is taken from her at birth and bestowed on the purchasers.  I've seen triumphant videos posted on social media, which go viral among religious folks in particular.

It's fascinating how we have this massive health care industrial complex built around teaching best practices in pregnancy and child-rearing and yet none of that applies to preferred groups like homosexuals.

Consider how many red flags are involved in this process.  

First, we have the inherent immorality of the contract.  A woman is being paid to give birth and hand over a human being.  How this is not "involuntary servitude" I do not know.  The entire transaction is fraught with moral problems. Why is this woman doing this?  Is she compelled by circumstance?  Is she a lawful resident?  One can easily imagine trafficked women being forced into this role.

Now consider her mental state.  Instead of treasuring the movements of her growing child, she is instead painfully aware that she will not enjoy the tender moments after birth, holding, feeding, nurturing the child of her flesh.

Post-partum depression is practically guaranteed.  How can it not happen?  She has no solace of holding the child, just money.

Meanwhile the child will not form a proper maternal bond.  A key part of development (and comfort for both mother and child) is the closeness after birth.  The beating of the mother's heart is uniquely relaxing.  That is now gone.

Volumes of research show that breast-feeding is best for both mother and child, yet here it is categorically off the table.

I could go on.

In a consistent, rational world, the people who style themselves "women's advocates" would be up in arms over this, but of course they're celebrating the commodification of babies, just as the celebrate killing them in the womb.

As I said, it's demonic.

The truth is that fathers and mothers are complimentary, each bringing different gifts and fulfilling different needs.  A huge part of the societal strife and breakdown we are seeing comes from the unwillingness of elites to sustain these vital institutions.

On the plus side, the market failure of The Acolyte is encouraging.  Perhaps the tide is starting to turn.

If Disney trashes Star Wars and no one watches, does it even matter?

I'm amusing myself by watching reviews of The Acolyte, a show I would never actually watch but which appears to serve as a marvelous punching bag.

Disney's latest Star Wars offering is really an exercise in self-parody, an exemplification of the South Park joke about "putting a chick in it and make it gay and lame."

Only three episodes have yet aired, but it very much seems to be a paint-by-numbers affair, where various ideological/demonic boxes are checked and plot, character development and consistency within the setting are recklessly disregarded.

I've seen people say that this will "kill" Star Wars, but the abysmally low viewership tells me that it is already dead.

The larger question is why Disney is permitting this to happen.  The company spent four billion dollars on the rights to Star Wars and has yet to make it back.  Apparently, The Acolyte cost $180 million to produce, a staggering $22.5 million per episode.  What this bought them is a viewing rate among their subscribers of 3%.

The pessimists among us ('black pilled" in the popular vernacular) assume that the woke oligarchs have limitless amounts of cash to throw at unwatchable propaganda films, but nothing made by human hands is too big to fail.

That's perhaps the most important element about the show - no one cares.  When the sequel movies and spin-offs were out, there was immense debate and discussion about them, but reviews seem to be relatively sparse and someone dilatory.  There's no sense of urgency because no one's watching.

I think it's likely that the viewership of the people watching the review will significantly exceed that of the show itself.  Certainly the reviews are less of a time investment, but also likely far more entertaining.

It's strange to think back to a time when I was so worked up over Star Wars that I wrote the Man of Destiny series to fix it.  Now, it just seems like a waste of time and energy.

Truly, Star Wars is dead to me.

Tiananmen Square and the tragedy of the Catholic Church in China

I know that many of Pope Francis' critics focus on his muddled theology and apparent indifference to the victims of abuse at the hands of the clergy, but for me his treatment of Chinese Catholics is his biggest sin.

Several years ago he agreed to an arrangement whereas Communist Chinese government gained veto power over ecclesiastical appointments.  While some tried to compare it to concordats with various European regimes, the fact of the matter is that China's government is official Communist - that is to say, implacably opposed to the Church.  The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association is designed to keep people from Christ, not bring them closer to Him.

A church subject to Communist approval is no church at all, and proof of this can be found in the way that the Catholics in Hong Kong once again canceled their Mass in honor of the Tiananmen Square victims.

Francis clearly has a soft spot in his heart for Marxism, and that's a problem.  I can understand why faithful Chinese Catholics would rather risk the perils of underground worship than receive the Official Government Mass provided courtesy of the CCP.

I also feel that for Francis to lead his flock astray in this way is far more damaging than his flirtations with legitimizing homosexuality or ordaining women.   Those positions are self-evidently heretical, but when the pope legitimizes a Communist bishop, what are the faithful to do?

Pride cometh before the fall

Humans are not rational creatures, they are spiritual ones.  We do have a capacity for reason, but it is impaired by sin, particularly the sin of pride.

For example, there is a common assumption that if a person reacts to a certain stimulus one way, they will always react to it the same way.  This is manifestly untrue.  If I step on your toe once, you may not take any immediate action because you assume it was a mistake or even that you incautiously put your toe in the path of my stride.  However, when it keeps happening, you will eventually try to end it, either by moving away, warning me from doing it again, or physically assaulting me.

A clear example of this is the way that "Nice Christianity" has all but disappeared.  At the time, it seemed compassionate to welcome people suffering from moral shortcomings into the faith, perhaps hoping to heal them by refraining from criticism.  But - as is the case with all demonic behaviors - the afflicted were not content to sin in private, or even confine their acts to willing audiences, but instead felt the need to impose their degeneracy on all of us, particularly those most opposed to it.

"Live and let live" was immediately replaced with "bake the cake, bigot."

Right now, we are seeing a full-spectrum push against this, as all normal people - believers and non-believers alike - tire of being hectored and lectured by moral degenerates who demand endorsement for their degeneracy.

A year ago Bud Light was entering this month with its brand in freefall, and Target's bold decision to promote perverse, sexualized clothing to children generated an immediate and severe backlash.  Both companies have repented of their actions after severe financial damage, and many others wonder how to navigate the new terrain.  To ignore Pride Month is to court the wrath of radical activists who have access to immense wealth and power, but that is not enough to cover the economic costs of a broadly-based boycott by everyone else.

There is also a new assertiveness on the part of Christians, particularly the Catholic Church.  Eucharistic processions are taking place around the world in honor of the Solemnity of Body and Blood of Jesus Christ (Corpus Christi).  These are public demonstrations of faith, a direct challenge to the secular and demonic forces who currently control the culture.

A big part of why the "Woke" are so terrified by even the slightest dissent is that they know how fragile their position is.  Decadence is always a passing thing, sustained by a combination of apathy, affluence and moral complacency.  Economic turmoil, societal upheaval and a reassertion of traditional morals pose an existential threat to our current cultural environment.  "Gay marriage" has only been on the books for less than a decade and already public opinion is turning against it.  The crime of "surrogate pregnancy," wherein the rich and powerful buy the children of the poor and weak is also creating rising outrage at the very moment when desperate leftists are trying to lock into law.

A moment that founds itself on sin will reap the wages of sin.



Pope Francis zags back into Orthodoxy

If nothing else, the pontificate of Francis is never dull.  For much of this year, the faithful have been roiled with accounts of drastic changes to doctrine, including the ordination of women and the blessing of "irregular" relationships.  Though the term is broad, everyone knows that there is no one pushing to legitimize adulterous relationships, it's being pushed by homosexuals and their allies.

Last week the pope spoke with remarkably firmness on both issues, and liberal Catholics have to be feeling pretty bad about it.  On the recent 60 Minutes interview the pope was giving a rather long-winded question about allowing female ordination.  It's a remarkable clip because he almost immediately releases the thrust of the question shows clear irritation and boredom with the setup, and when finally given an opening to respond, leans forward to give a firm "No," rejecting it outright.

Similarly, the confusion of Fiducia supplicans, had prompted a large swath of Catholic theologians and senior clergy to call for its retraction.  Apparently that will not happen, but the pope did "clarify" that it only applies to individuals, can never be used to affirm homosexual unions and that Church teachings on homosexuality remain unchanged.

Lest there be doubt, Cardinal Fernandez was dispatched to Egypt to heal the rift with the Copts.   This is clearly an effort to save the pope's legacy, which at this point is looking pretty bleak.  The Coptic Church had been steadily moving closer to Rome, but FS created a rupture.  The pope's recent statement that: “Blessing a homosexual union goes against the law, the natural law, the law of the Church,” will likely heal this wound. 

It's no secret that Francis is not in good health, and I've seen some of his critics claim that he hasn't presided over a public Mass in two years.  Much of what has been going on in his name may very well be happening behind his back.  This does not exculpate him, however because personnel is policy.

If he can heal the schism with the Copts, much of this confusion will be forgotten.

The Church offers new rules for supernatural events

When word came out that the Vatican was going to release new rules for discerning supernatural events, it was hard not to be pessimistic.  The mess of Fiducia Supplicans continues to spread, but at the same time his pontificate is never consistent, so good regularly follows bad.

Based on the initial coverage, the guidelines seem reasonable, but I will have to dig deeper.  One of the elements used to determine if a vision or event is authentic is whether it is compatible with existing doctrine.  Would that this would also shape current policy!

Another point that stuck out to me is that the Pope has claimed authority to make a final judgement.  This is consistent with the increasingly autocratic rule of Pope Francis, which completely undermines the "Synodal Way," that he's been dragging out for years.  Is it a blind, or just a disordered mind?

Only God knows.

At any rate, I see this is something of a response to the growing spiritual turmoil in the world.  The Enemy is pressing the attack, and overt displays of Satanic beliefs are being mainstreamed.  There are increasing reports of demonic possession and oppression and exorcism seems to be a hot topic.

Indeed, I'm trying to finish a book on the topic, but between grandkids and yard work, reading time is limited and this is also why my posts have been less frequent.  Still, being outside in great weather is a good problem to have.

The United Methodists formally embrace sodomy

I was actually surprised that this was not already the case, but apparently the rump United Methodist Church has now formally declared itself a sodomite worship community.

All manner of sexual perversion is now licit, and of course it's not only licit, but encouraged!   First Things has a nice summary of what happened, and also notes the underhanded way that this was achieved.

I think that's an important aspect of this shift.  For the last two decades, the UMC leadership was actively thwarting attempts to enforce its own rules against deviant behavior.  There was an actual process to change their doctrine, but radicals knew they didn't have the votes, so instead of accepting defeat, they simply used their influence to thwart all attempts at enforcing their own rules.

This included attacking traditionalists, forcing them out of local councils and boards, regardless of their many years of service.  All of this was done in the name of "compassion," of course.

This is classic progressive/woke behavior, Yard Sign Calvinism at its finest because breaking rules is just fine so long as you are part of the elect.  There's also a strong element of justification by rage alone because as always, the righteousness of the cause obviates every nasty thing done in advancing it.

The resounding irony here is that Methodism started as a call to individual holiness, a way of achieving individual perfection through Christ.  The aspirational Methodist did not smoke, drink of swear.  They not only met but exceeded Biblical standards of behavior.

This vote is a resounding repudiation of their faith.  It is a theological purge to ensure that none of the traditionalist can possibly remain in the denomination.  It is an open declaration that the United Methodist Church stands squarely on the side of sexual perversion and license.

I'm old enough to remember people saying that "gay marriage" would actually reinforce Christian values by teaching sexual deviants the virtue of monogamy - as if they needed a scrap of paper to realize the virtue of not banging everyone within reach.

But of course there will be no sanctions against any UMC minister for extra-marital sex.  That would be "judgemental," and I expect the next step will be plural marriage, which after all, is just another exciting experiment in love - and as we all know, "love is love."

I for one welcome the UMC finally being honest about what it stands for.  They have chosen their side, and they will surely receive their reward.

The call to conversion

British comedian Russell Brand has announced his intention to be baptized this Sunday.  He is the latest in a series of celebrities to convert (or revert) to Christianity.  Apparently Hulk Hogan and his family have been baptized, along with a smattering of people I'm only vaguely aware of (but am assured are famous).  Shia LeBeouf has followed through with his pledge to enter the Catholic Church, and he has been joined by political commentator Candace Owens and Tammy Peterson, the wife of Dr. Jordan.

Is it opportunism or sincerity?  Perhaps it is a mixture of both.  One could argue that "finding religion" is a someone worn-out trope in American culture, typically the result of having destroyed all other career opportunities.  Everyone loves a redemption story.

However, the culture has never been more hostile to people of faith.  It's interesting that Kanye West has gone from church-like Sunday concerts to contemplating building a pornography empire.  Satanic imagery and overt denigration of Christ has never been more popular.

As Brand himself has observed, there's something deeply wrong with the world right now, with every institution crumbling into ineffectiveness if not a tool of downright oppression.  The Catholic Church is not immune to this, however the strange diktats coming out from the Vatican seem to be producing the opposite of the intended effect.  Both the laity and the clergy are becoming more stridently orthodox, decisively proving that the Church is more than its leadership.

I think people are realizing the reality of spiritual warfare.  Technology - once held as the solution to the mysteries of faith - has been exposed as a mindless recording of our follies, spitting nonsense back at us even as it tries to lock us into a virtual reality of endless depravity.

At the same time, the allure of Yard Sign Calvinism is wearing off.  Oh, the signs are still up, the virtue signalling continues, but as the situation deteriorates, there are more pressing issues than asserting "love is love" or that "science is real."  The latter is actually becoming a problem because so much of science has been shown to be false, from the effectiveness of masks against Covid to treating gender dysphoria with medical mutilation. 

As is their wont, humans have erected new gods, which have predictably failed.  It should not be surprising that a number of them (perhaps a remnant?) should turn to the true God as a result.

Cameron and Ringwald epitomize Hollywood's cheap penance

One of the hallmarks of the ongoing Cultural Revolution in the United States is the desperate efforts of successful entertainers to try to stay relevant and ingratiate themselves to their new moral masters.

Exhibit One is James Cameron now repenting of his wildly successful Terminator franchise, which had two good movies and then a bunch of crappy ones.  I don't actually know how many there are at this point as I stopped watching.

There are a couple of things to unpack in this particular "confession," because what Cameron is doing is a clear case of Yard Sign Calvinism.  His alleged regret for "fetishizing" firearms is actually a pretty bold claim that Hollywood didn't push gun violence until he, James Cameron, entered the scene.  Death Wish and Dirty Harry would like to have a word with him.

This is of course the cheapest for of repentance, because he's not giving up anything, and actually trying to ingratiate himself with the current power brokers. 

"Gosh, I'm sorry I made a boatload of money and am now fabulously rich.  This apology relieves me of any obligation to donate to charities that benefit the victims of violent crime.  I'm going to go play with my submarine now."

Similarly Molly Ringwald has also announced that - after decades of affluence thanks to movies she merely acted in - she now thinks that they are wrong.

Again, her statement contains no pledge to spend the fruit of her ill-gotten gains on charities or in any way inconvenience herself, it's just about letting everyone know she's now a better person than she was, and also a better person than anyone who likes her previous work.

One of the worst abuses of Catholicism is when the Rite of Reconciliation is treated as something of a box-checking exercise.  You do the sin, go to the priest, confess, say some prayers, and then do it again.

No.  That's now how it works.  Without sincere remorse, the sins aren't forgiven.  Without sincere acts of penance, the sins aren't forgiven.

There is an increasing emphasis on this in the Church.  I'm noticing that penance is no longer an arbitrary number of prayers, but also requires some effort to heal the wound that sin has caused.

This is as it should be.  Simply telling God you're sorry is not enough; one must then go and make amends for the harm one has caused.

Because so much of Hollywood (and its elite wannabees) are immune from consequences, this is an alien concept to them.  (Heh)

One of the Enemy's most effective snares is the combination of pride and complacency, perhaps with a dollop of self-righteousness on top.  The signs of repentance are not directed toward God, but the popular culture.

Their goal is not to clear their conscience to to maintain (or regain) access to the decadence of their youth.

As scripture tells us, they shall have their reward.