What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Recent Comments

Stewardship as The Blob

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Jul 23, 14:15:

I recall that Cavanaugh discusses Smith but I'd have to look at the book again to remember exactly what he says. ... [More]

Old Testament undesigned coincidences: The loss of Gibbethon

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 21, 23:21:

Damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Take a historian's build-up argument that X happened in history - one that is widely accepted as a good substantiation. Re-word it into a proof for X happening in the Bible. Watch the nay-sayers go hog-wild over how it is suspiciously collusive. Hmmmm, might there be a double standard? ... [More]

Stewardship as The Blob

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 21, 21:15:

Well, I went ahead and bought the Cavanaugh book. Looks interesting to me. He looks at modern economics through an Augustinian lens and ascribes many of its problems to an incorrect, non-Christian understanding of human desire. It seems common parlance that Adam Smith and the "classical" economists explicitly deny any proper limits on human desire. I think that some of the later ones say that, ( indeed, it might be more the neo-classisists) but to me it sounds foreign to Smith, and is foreign to "The ... [More]

Old Testament undesigned coincidences: The loss of Gibbethon

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 21, 18:19:

It gets even worse, because one kind of UC can involve corroboration with something that isn't even an account of the event--some piece of physical evidence or background information about the surrounding circumstances. The more common name for this would just be prima facie independent corroboration of detail. In one of the things I was recently running by people, I gave an example of an old family memoir that referred to bad visibility on a particular night, and the UC was supposed to be discovering a ne ... [More]

Old Testament undesigned coincidences: The loss of Gibbethon

Comment posted by Callum on Jul 21, 18:04:

Perhaps a reductio ad absurdum has been met. If suspicious similarities suggest collusion, the nuance connections of UC suggest collusion and contradictions suggest innacuract and unreliability ... just what are we supposed to be looking for as a sign of accuracy? Not too similar, in fact not even subtlety similar, but not inconsistencies either! ... [More]

Old Testament undesigned coincidences: The loss of Gibbethon

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 21, 17:14:

Of course, the same people who say that would probably nod their heads sagely if someone referred to "suspicious similarities between accounts suggesting collusion," which is in conflict with the idea that UC-like statements are the way that colluders behave. That is, the notion of "suspicious similarities" itself shows that colluders are generally over-similar. Probably because they are worried about avoiding contradictions--making sure they "get their story straight." ... [More]

Old Testament undesigned coincidences: The loss of Gibbethon

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 21, 17:12:

do you mean just in the "makes up all sorts of nearly-invisible marks of truth in his work" sense or that they allude to it as a natural result of collusion? The angle i'm thinking of here is a possible alluding to the independence on other gospels (though of course earlier gospels are explained by later ones as well). These are bound up together. The idea seems to be that anyone who was out to deceive *is* going to use whatever he has available (if collusion, the other person's cooperation, if another wor ... [More]

Old Testament undesigned coincidences: The loss of Gibbethon

Comment posted by Callum on Jul 21, 16:27:

Yikes! "they just made this up and it came out looking like this" is embarrassing. That's an absence of a hypothesis. When you mention the Cartesian deceiver reply by the philosophical audience, do you mean just in the "makes up all sorts of nearly-invisible marks of truth in his work" sense or that they allude to it as a natural result of collusion? The angle i'm thinking of here is a possible alluding to the independence on other gospels (though of course earlier gospels are explained by later ones as w ... [More]

Old Testament undesigned coincidences: The loss of Gibbethon

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 21, 15:16:

It's a combo. of things. One is "they just made this up and it came out looking like this" (reminds one of Aaron telling Moses that he just threw the jewelry into the fire and a golden calf came forth). Another is the ur-source thing that I wrote about in a previous post. Another is claiming that one part of the coincidence was "general knowledge." For example, I saw an attempt to dismiss the one where Pilate asks Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" in John even though John doesn't record the Jewish lead ... [More]

Old Testament undesigned coincidences: The loss of Gibbethon

Comment posted by Callum on Jul 21, 15:02:

Lydia how has the response been since the book release? I'll admit it's something i keep an eye on, especially those who want to dismiss undesigned coincidences. I'm certain they will dismiss it, i'm at a complete loss as to how! I have the feeling a few desperate attempts are on the horizon. . . . ... [More]

Stewardship as The Blob

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Jul 21, 10:39:

I've ordered it, so that's good to know. If I may recommend a book in return (another small but valuable one, actually), have a look at William Cavanaugh's Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire. He looks at modern economics through an Augustinian lens and ascribes many of its problems to an incorrect, non-Christian understanding of human desire. Quite thought-provoking. ... [More]

Selling blueberries as a countercultural act

Comment posted by Philosofarmer on Jul 20, 23:43:

Call me crazy, but in our day it seems increasingly to be the case that the "mark of the beast" is an inverted rainbow triangle, and his {zie? zer?) name is spelled "LGBTQ+". "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." (Rev. 13:6-7) ... [More]

Selling blueberries as a countercultural act

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 20, 18:33:

Right, those were some of the organizations I was thinking about. A similar one is the Christian pediatric doctors association. We need lots more of these entities. We also need to get them founded before the government shuts the door on them as capable of standard-setting. ... [More]

Selling blueberries as a countercultural act

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 20, 15:47:

I believe that Christians need to get out ahead of the curve on this and either take over credentialing entities, or gain enough influence at them to push them in the right direction, or just plain start their own organizations that write the standards properly. There are some college accreditation agencies that do this and have been recognized by the Department of Education to do credentialing. TRACS is one such. The AALE, while not Christian, is more conservative than regional accrediting agencies. Regi ... [More]

Selling blueberries as a countercultural act

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 20, 15:43:

Is it legally clear cut that what East Lansing is doing counts as regulating the Tennes farm? As far as I can tell, it's legally clear cut that East Lansing is attempting to regulate activities of the business, and specifically activities that take place outside of East Lansing's jurisdiction. Perhaps your question relates more to their having to agree "not to discriminate in general business practice" in order to participate in the farmer's market? That certainly amounts to a government body's penalizing ... [More]

Selling blueberries as a countercultural act

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 20, 13:06:

But you are right that even the "soft" pressure of such things as ISO compliance can become an irresistable force in many contexts. I believe that Christians need to get out ahead of the curve on this and either take over credentialing entities, or gain enough influence at them to push them in the right direction, or just plain start their own organizations that write the standards properly. This includes having Christian medical, legal, and other professional organizations which explicitly endorse sens ... [More]

Selling blueberries as a countercultural act

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 20, 12:04:

DR84, isn't "ISO certified" a reference to a specific ISO number (or set of them)? Like ISO 9001. I don't think anyone claims they are "ISO certified" with respect to every single ISO standard, there are 21,000 of them. It would cost billions to get certified on all of them. They might be referring to ISO 26000, but here's what ISO says about it: ISO 26000:2010 provides guidance rather than requirements, so it cannot be certified to unlike some other well-known ISO standards. Instead, it helps clar ... [More]

Stewardship as The Blob

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 20, 11:51:

The fact that it's from Acton makes me suspicious (same as it would if it were from Orbis) Given that the book is from Acton, I was a bit surprised when I actually read it. It does not read like something you would expect from e.g. the pen of Michael Novak. It is far more respectful of the "property is for the good of all" side of Church teaching than one might assume. ... [More]

Selling blueberries as a countercultural act

Comment posted by DR84 on Jul 20, 01:22:

If the Tennes can just legally split their wedding business from their farm business and by doing so qualify to participate in the East Lansing farmers market, that sounds like a loophole that East Lansing would quickly close. Is it legally clear cut that what East Lansing is doing counts as regulating the Tennes farm? "And how many people are in any position to make themselves so independent of the legal machinations of various levels of government (not to mention private businesses who insist on loc ... [More]

Selling blueberries as a countercultural act

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 19, 23:50:

I'm guessing the farming and wedding hosting are both done under the auspices of the same single proprietorship business. ADF Legal mentions only one name, Country Mill Farms. Given ADF's interpretation of the Home Rule City Act, it seems they *cannot* regulate his wedding hosting activities (nor, I would guess, his hiring practices, though that hasn't come up in this case), since those take place outside of the jurisdiction in question. If this interpretation of Michigan state law is correct, the entire a ... [More]

Selling blueberries as a countercultural act

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 19, 20:27:

I wonder if Steve Tennes can claim that in his farming business, he complies with the stupid ordinance. It is his "wedding hosting business" that does not. Since he is not in East Lansing in virtue of wedding hosting, but in virtue of farming, they can't touch him. (Unless he runs his farming business by refusing to countenance the "weddings" of gays.) I doubt that East Lansing thinks that works. But the funny thing is that there is a chance they are wrong. To the extent that the terms of such a law ... [More]

Stewardship as The Blob

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 19, 20:09:

Several Catholic friends of mine, none either a knee-jerk Francis supporter or detractor, have described Laudato Si as more of a prophetic or pastoral document than a doctrinal one, even while granting his penchant for ambiguity. They tended to view the encyclical as diagnostic rather than prescriptive, so to speak. Maybe it was intended that way, more as prophetic or pastoral than doctrinal. In my opinion, though, a pastoral encyclical makes sense when the doctrine is clear enough and doesn't need much ... [More]

Selling blueberries as a countercultural act

Comment posted by DR84 on Jul 19, 17:23:

Is this a sneak preview of what will become even more common if Jack Phillips loses? To explain, it seems there are basically two views of Obergefell. One, that it is strictly limited to requiring state governments to issue "marriage licenses" to two people of the same sex. The other, that it establishes a broader mandate that homosexual relationships must be spoken of and treated in the public square with the same regard as real marriages. I think it is clear which side East Lansing is siding with, and ... [More]

Stewardship as The Blob

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Jul 19, 09:55:

Fyi, Amazon currently has Grassl hard copy for $6.00. The fact that it's from Acton makes me suspicious (same as it would if it were from Orbis) but I'll still give it a look-see. ... [More]

Stewardship as The Blob

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Jul 19, 09:48:

Thanks, Tony. I'll take a look at Grassl. My thoughts on these matters have been largely shaped by the agrarians (the Burkean variety, not the radical environmentalist sort), the distributists, and a few recent Catholic writers like Christopher Franks and Wm. Cavanaugh. Roger Scruton's recent writing on these issues has been very good as well. Several Catholic friends of mine, none either a knee-jerk Francis supporter or detractor, have described Laudato Si as more of a prophetic or pastoral document t ... [More]

Stewardship as The Blob

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 18, 18:30:

Nice, I like a lot of what I read in Laudato Si, what he says in it is a welcome correction to the materialist mentality, that the only value there is to earthly things is our consumption of them. Still, I cannot recall a single instance in which the Pope chooses to be clear, or even point in the direction of, our use of the earth as being for our own good as proper to our (limited, delegated) dominion. Pope Francis has a habit of being obscure or ambiguous. It is almost certainly in some sense intenti ... [More]

Stewardship as The Blob

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 18, 09:53:

Very helpful analysis,Tony, and insightful comment that lefties don't want to acknowledge (nowadays) that stewardship is for the benefit of other humans. This is, I believe, somethng of a shift in the rhetoric of left-leaning environmentalists. I'm pretty sure that in the 60s they still talked as if the point of environmentalism were human well-being, and they still do talk this way when raising money. When the Sierra Club boys come to your house to ask for donations, you'd never think "speciesism" were eve ... [More]

Stewardship as The Blob

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Jul 18, 07:55:

"As a result, our misusing God's earthly gifts to us is not merely the sin of ingratitude" True, although ingratitude seems to be part and parcel of that misuse, and therefore a generally present signal of it. What was it Dostoevsky said about a good definition of man being "a creature that goes about on two legs and is ungrateful"? ~~so also he really does allow us the room to err in the exercise of dominion; not that it is "our right" to misuse the goods of the earth, any more than it is "our right" to ... [More]

Stewardship as The Blob

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 16, 16:04:

And the ownership depends upon the fact that Creation is a gift. Gifts that are intended for use should be used. But no gift-giver appreciates seeing his gift abused. I completely agree. God's gift is not of the sort "feel free to do whatever you like with it". He can't give that way. He is not just a giver of gifts, he is also, at the same time, the originator of our natures and our being, and is also the end and summit of our objectives, our final purpose in life. Because of that, everything he gives ... [More]

Stewardship as The Blob

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Jul 16, 14:32:

"Hence, the sense in which we are stewards of this earth is derivative from the sense in which God gave the earth to us for our dominion. The stewardship depends first upon the ownership." And the ownership depends upon the fact that Creation is a gift. Gifts that are intended for use should be used. But no gift-giver appreciates seeing his gift abused. I think that "stewardship" is primarily a bad semantic choice for the idea that there is a middle way between non-use and bad use. If stewardship doesn' ... [More]

Surrender, Or Else...

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 14, 08:13:

(I may or may not have come up with this example on my own.) ME, that may be the best example of an outlandishly insane "situation" I have ever heard. :-) Thanks for sharing. Now, please report to your doctor, I fear your medicine has worn off. You failed to note whether you are a soldier, the frail elderly man is a known terrorist (that's why he has the WMD), and the goons are soldiers of an enemy with whom you are in a declared war. I select "yes" for all of the above. Therefore, you disarm and di ... [More]

Trump admin takes away with the left hand

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 14, 07:58:

A *tremendous* amount of this is sociologically generated, particularly during times when young people are under stress or are feeling confused about themselves and their identities. Absolutely. It's due to psychotic psychology theories and identity politics and other problems in the adults, not the kids. We won't be remotely able to get good numbers for the real ones any time soon. My main point was that the numbers of real ones are, almost certainly, much higher than they were 60 years ago, due to the ... [More]

Trump admin takes away with the left hand

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 13, 22:41:

There is plenty of evidence out there that at least SOME of it stems from identifiable physical / biological causes, such as in utero exposure to hormones. But there is really no good way to gather data on this because the numbers are *wildly* skewed by the sociological insanity--parents who take a child's statement that he "wants to be a girl" with deadly seriousness, psychological counselors who suggest the idea in therapy to a troubled teen, and general teaching that "gender is fluid" now starting at ve ... [More]

Trump admin takes away with the left hand

Comment posted by Tony on Jul 13, 22:33:

Seriously, gender dysphoria doesn't usually just pop up out of nowhere. There is plenty of evidence out there that at least SOME of it stems from identifiable physical / biological causes, such as in utero exposure to hormones. Try this, for example: http://www.hormonesmatter.com/hormone-treatment-pregnancy-gender-variance/ All of the evidence for physical causes are, ipso facto, evidence that it is a disorder and not just "a different way of being human". Whether they have been damaged in a way t ... [More]

Trump admin takes away with the left hand

Comment posted by DR84 on Jul 13, 22:23:

" One workable "solution" is alternative education methods that don't involve teaching children that they might be the opposite sex." Yes, supposing the law allows this at all is no longer a given sadly. Already in the UK a Jewish girls school is being told they will be shut down if they don't start teaching their girls they might actually be boys. Also in the UK, LGBT activists are complaining that a new compulsory sex ed law allows religious schools to teach about sexuality with respect to the tenets of ... [More]

Trump admin takes away with the left hand

Comment posted by The Masked Chicken on Jul 13, 19:16:

This isn't just an indictment of transgender theory, but psychology, as a whole. We've seen the same pattern in the 1980's psychological treatment of pedophiles. It is stupid to transform society based on politics masquerading as science. Many garden variety psychological problems will self-correct given the right environment. There are serious disorders (most of which psychology does not understand), but many everyday problems are corrected by living by simple Christian principles. The Chicken ... [More]

Trump admin takes away with the left hand

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 13, 17:27:

Yes, I should have mentioned. Here are points 7 and 8 from the pediatricians article I linked earlier. The whole idea that "transition" and "nondiscrimination" somehow prevent suicide is bunkum, just as one would expect. Meaning there isn't some case for conservatives to answer or some need for them to come up with an alternative. That would be like saying, "Hey, if I don't cut of George's head, he'll be very unhappy. You gotta *better* idea, huh, huh?" 7. There is no proof that affirmation prevents suicid ... [More]

Trump admin takes away with the left hand

Comment posted by Jeffrey S. on Jul 13, 13:49:

Amen to everything Lydia says. I would just add that there is plenty of *empirical* evidence that the so-called "liberal solution" has in fact harmed people who identify as transgender -- read any of these Walt Heyer articles on all the people who have had transgender surgeries (or other interventions) and later came to regret that "help": http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/author/walt-heyer/ ... [More]

Trump admin takes away with the left hand

Comment posted by Lydia on Jul 13, 10:40:

The number of "gender dysphoric" people is not some kind of independent given. It's being continually inflated by insanity in the schools. One workable "solution" is alternative education methods that don't involve teaching children that they might be the opposite sex. Seriously, gender dysphoria doesn't usually just pop up out of nowhere. Moreover, please read the link I just posted. That pediatrician states that, if children who "presented" as gender dysphoric when there was less insanity were just left a ... [More]

Surrender, Or Else...

Comment posted by The Masked Chicken on Jul 13, 08:35:

Obviously, you pick up the seizing man and carry him with you until far enough away to administer the anti-seizure medication. The goons will stay frozen long enough to make a getaway. It helps to have a helicopter. The Chicken ... [More]