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A symmetry of hatreds

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — in which a couple hundred people mimic our society at large ]
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There were reports of some people shouting “white power!” while others were shouting “black power!” at rival protests outside the South Carolina State House today — but that just means that opposing views were expressed. The report that really caught my attention was this one, from The Hill:

The media outlet’s coverage documented protesters from both rallies shouting obscenities, racial slurs and slogans at one another.

It’s not so much the simple symmetry of opposing slogans that troubles me, it’s the symmetry of obscenities and racial slurs that’s so depressing.

Maybe the weirdest piece of alleged theology I have ever seen

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — simply stunned — although I suppose i shouldn’t be too surprised ]
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There are plenty of other reasons to question the theology and behavior of the Westboro Baptist Church, and I don’t need to go into them here — but the placard on the left reading FAGS CAN’T REPENT may just be the weirdest piece of alleged theology I have ever seen. Even when Christians believe homosexual acts are an abomination, which some do and some don’t, they are still bound by Christ’s words in Luke 5.31-32:

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Not to mention Romans 3.23:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

Interfaith support for the restoration of burned churches

Friday, July 17th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — good news, whether in Hebrew, Greek, Arabic or English ]
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Today’s DoubleTweet:

Duly noted, duly grateful.

Ups and downs of the Catholic Order of Preachers (Dominicans)

Friday, July 17th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — bearing in mind that ups and downs are transitory, and the eternal remains eternal ]
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In what was effectively a DoubleQuote in my terminology (see note below), Gregory DiPippo at the New Liturgical Movement blog today juxtaposed two articles about the Dominican Order of Friars. One had to do with a downswing in vocations to the Order, the other with an upswing.

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Fra Angelico

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First, the downswing: “the shortage of vocations in the order of Saint Dominic has reached dramatic levels.” Sandro Magister writes in San Marco Must Not Die:

The fathers of the province of St. Catherine of Siena met again in chapter at the end of last May and reiterated to the superior general the request to suppress the convent of San Marco.

If that were to happen, in the cloisters and in the cells wondrously frescoed by Fra Angelico (see above the Annunciation, from 1442) there would no longer be any friar to pray. From the library designed by Michelozzo, the first library of the modern era open to the public, the robes of the learned would disappear. What has been for centuries a cenacle of men of letters, artists, bishops, saints, would give way to a trivial guest house.

The Masses in the church attached to the defunct convent would be officiated by someone from outside: from the not-distant convent of Santa Maria Novella, the only Dominican convent that would remain open in Florence.

Second, the reverse: “The man who sets aside his personal dreams to more perfectly subject himself to God is not primarily saying ‘no’ to the world, but saying ‘yes’ to a renewed life with God.” The Dominican Dominic Bouck writes in First Things:

After the ordination of eight of our brothers, there are over fifty of us studying for the priesthood or preparing to live life as a consecrated brother, about to be joined by fifteen more on July 25.

Among those roughly 75 men are lawyers, a medical doctor, a congressional staffer, professional musicians, a radio host, several PhDs and professors, a particle physicist from Stanford, a former Google employee, a dean of admissions at a medical school, Ivy Leaguers, Golden Domers, and more who were successful in the world, but sought a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church, and desired to serve his people.

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It would be a tragedy for the Dominicans to close down their convent at San Marco, “as if the Franciscan friars were to decide to close the convent of Assisi” as Magister says — and in counterpoint, I’m heartened to receive news of an increased interest in the contemplative life here in the US.

A note for Fr Augustine Thompson, OP, who writes for the NLM bog and is the author of the standard work on St Dominic’s brother friar, brother founder and friend, Francis of Assisi: A New Biography: my DoubleQuotes format is a format for the juxtaposition of ideas, based on Hermann Hesse’s concept of the Glass Bead Game, and philosophical kin, to my mind at least, with Peter Abelard‘s Sic et Non.

DoubleTweeting Islam, yesterday

Friday, July 17th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — a quick, trick question ]
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It is still too early to say what specific kind of inspiration, guidance or affiliation (IS? AQ? other?) the Chattanooga shooter may have had, but two tweets yesterday speak volumes about individuals and large bodies of believers. Question:

Is any religion with over a billion members monolithic?

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and:

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Hey, that was a trick question. The Christian Church can reasonably claim to be monolithic, having been founded, as Matthew 16.18 puts it, on a Rock:

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Nevertheless, even Christians come in many shapes and sizes, isn’t it?


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