Random quotes

“I’m a married man, as you know, Peter. A comic figure, the married man kept by his wife.”

“We all have to be kept by somebody, you know. Better one’s wife than a person of low character.”

Lord Peter Wimsey in The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers, BBC production, 1973.

The statistics on crime and guns are often confounding. Nationally, guns account for 60 percent of all homicides; and yet gun violence has been declining for the last decade. The murder rate in Texas has dropped from 16.9 per 100,000 in 1980 to 4.8 in 2015 — an astonishing decline. In California, the most restric­tive state in the country for gun ownership, the murder rate is exactly the same as in Texas. The states with the lowest homicide rates are North Dakota and Wyoming, which have very permis­sive gun laws; and lowest of all, at 1.6 per 100,000, is Vermont, which has ‘constitutional carry’ — i.e., anyone over the age of sixteen can carry a gun. (Vermont is one of thirteen states where permits to carry concealed weapons are not required.) Chicago, which has highly restrictive gun laws, also has one of the high­est rates of gun homicides in the country, but it doesn’t compare with the District of Columbia, which tops the charts in both restrictive gun laws and gun homicides.

Lawrence Wright, God Save TexasAlfred A. Knopf (2018), pp. 150-152.

I once tried to explain the problems faced by faithful Catholics to my good friend Eric Metaxas. [author of good books on Bonhoeffer and Wilberforce] “Imagine you felt your salvation depended on staying inside a Church with apostolic doctrines, which is run by liberal Protestants.”

John Zmirak at Stream (quoted by Fr. Z).

 

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How the news distorts reality

It is the one great weakness of journalism as a picture of our modern existence, that it must be a picture made up entirely of exceptions. We announce on flaring posters that a man has fallen off a scaffolding. We do not announce on flaring posters that a man has not fallen off a scaffolding. Yet this latter fact is fundamentally more exciting, as indicating that that moving tower of terror and mystery, a man, is still abroad upon the earth. That the man has not fallen off a scaffolding is really more sensational; and it is also some thousand times more common. But journalism cannot reasonably be expected thus to insist upon the permanent miracles. Busy editors cannot be expected to put on their posters, “Mr. Wilkinson Still Safe,” or “Mr. Jones, of Worthing, Not Dead Yet.” They cannot announce the happiness of mankind at all. They cannot describe all the forks that are not stolen, or all the marriages that are not judiciously dissolved. Hence the complete picture they give of life is of necessity fallacious; they can only represent what is unusual. However democratic they may be, they are only concerned with the minority.

G.K. Chesterton, The Ball and the Cross (1909), Chapter IV.

Confused by liberalism

Sullivan & Cromwell partner Francis Aquila deleted his Twitter account after he posted a response to presidential press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in which he told her to “Rot in Hell You B!tch.”

The ABA Journal reports that the tweet was “a sarcastic response to the White House press secretary after she praised Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who had attacked Democrats motivations during a spirited defense of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.”

In an email to his firm colleagues, Aquila wrote: “Last evening, I responded to a tweet from Sarah Sanders in an inappropriate and hurtful manner. Clearly my emotions got the best of me, but equally clearly neither Ms. Sanders nor any woman should be subjected to such animus. I take full responsibility for my ‎actions and I sincerely apologize to Ms. Sanders.”

General Counsel News, 10/3/18.

No woman should be subjected to such animus? I’m confused. Is the implication that it’s OK to subject men to such animus? Isn’t it insulting to women to imply that men can handle it but women can’t?

Or did they usher in a new era of chivalry when I wasn’t looking?

What it means for God to be impassible

While God and rocks may both be impassible, they are so for polar
opposite reasons. A rock is impassible because, being an inert
impersonal object, it lacks all that pertains to love. God is
impassible because His love is perfectly in act (“God is love”) and no
further self-constituting act could make Him more loving. God is
absolutely impassible because He is absolutely passionate in His love.
Thus creatures, and particularly human beings, through the act of
creation are immediately and intimately related to God as He exists in
His perfectly actualized love.

Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M. Cap., “Does God Suffer?“, First Things magazine, November 2001.

Biblical doubletakes

In the third year of Osee, son of Ela, king Achaz of Juda was succeeded by his son Ezechias. This king was twenty-five years old when he came to the throne, and his reign at Jerusalem lasted twenty-nine years. Here was one that obeyed the Lord’s will no less than his father David before him; scattered the hill-shrines, overthrew the images, cut down the sacred trees; broke in pieces, too, the brazen serpent Moses had made, because the Israelites, till his day, used to offer incense to it; the name given to it was Nohestan.
4 Kings (2 Kings) 18:1-4, Knox translation.
They destroyed the brazen snake?? They called it Nohestan (or Nehushtan)?? This is my third time reading through the Bible and I don’t recall ever noticing this before.
After this the Assyrian king, who was still at Lachis, sent Tharthan, Rabsaris and Rabsaces at the head of a strong force to Jerusalem, where king Ezechias was. . . . Rabsaces bade them tell Ezechias, Here is a message to thee from the great king, the king of Assyria. What confidence is this that makes thee so bold? Doubtless thou hast some design, in so committing thyself to the fortune of war. On whose help dost thou rely, that thou wouldst throw off my allegiance? … [W]ilt thou answer, We trust, I and my people, in the Lord our God? Tell me, who is he? Is he not the God whose hill-shrines and altars Ezechias has cleared away, bidding Juda and Jerusalem worship at one altar here?
4 Kings (2 Kings) 18:17-22, Knox translation.
Note that Rabsaces gets it wrong: God isn’t the God whose hill-shrines and altars Ezechias has cleared away. The hill-shrines and altars are of the native gods, to whom the Israelites had been disobediently offering sacrifices.
I realize the books of the Old Testament weren’t meant to be accurate historical documents in the modern, scholarly sense. Still, the OT often has little details like this which make it ring true to me. A foreign king comes to Jerusalem to threaten it, and in the course of waging psychological warfare on its citizens (he made this speech in public, in their native language), tries to criticize their reliance on God, and gets it slightly wrong. Almost exactly like a modern journalist reporting on something to do with Christianity.

Agellius sells out

If you’ll excuse me for commercializing this blog, this business is run by someone close to me. He designs and sells travel bags and accessories, specializing in anti-theft features. He recently lost a couple of large buyers and is therefore clearing out his inventory at deep discounts. In all sincerity, he is one of the kindest, most generous people you would ever want to meet. His stuff is not Gucci or Chanel, but is very well made with quality materials, and he stands behind his products. I get nothing for endorsing his business.

Integralism and Ralliement

Laodicea

Ralliement

“[T]he principle of the separation of the State and Church … is equivalent to the separation of human legislation from Christian and divine legislation. We do not care to interrupt Ourselves here in order to demonstrate the absurdity of such a separation; each one will understand for himself. As soon as the State refuses to give to God what belongs to God, by a necessary consequence it refuses to give to citizens that to which, as men, they have a right; as, whether agreeable or not to accept, it cannot be denied that man’s rights spring from his duty toward God. Whence if follows that the State, by missing in this connection the principal object of its institution, finally becomes false to itself by denying that which is the reason of its own existence. These superior truths are so clearly proclaimed by the voice of even natural reason, that they…

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