The Book!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Gay Nazis

Among the lies our teachers tell us, there is the claim that homosexuals were persecuted by the Nazis. There were certainly some homosexuals in the concentration camps; but Hitler himself estimated the number of homosexuals in Germany to be two million. Of these, between 10,000 and 15,000 went to the concentration camps. This does not sound like an attempt at wholesale eradication. At a minimum, it is just not comparable to what happened to the Jews or the gypsies.

And, counter to this claim, there have been persistent rumours since the 1920s that Hitler and the top echelon of the Nazi Party were themselves actually gay.

It is not questioned that Ernst Roehm, the head of the SA or “stormtroopers,” was gay—openly so. So were most of the SA’s leadership.

I was vaguely aware of all this when I picked up Albert Speer’s autobiography. I also knew that Theodor Adorno, who was in Germany at the time, insisted that homosexuality was totalitarian by its nature.

Knowing this, I find intriguing hints of gayness in Speer’s book, even though Speer never broaches the subject.

Hitler, he notes, “only used the intimate German ‘du’ with four men: Hermann Esser, Christian Weber, Julius Streicher--and Ernst Roehm.” (p. 156).

So he considered himself intimate with Roehm, a homosexual, with all that might imply. And Hitler was apparently not one to bestow such intimacy indiscriminately.

At another point in Speer’s book, an associate explains why Speer could apparently do no wrong in Hitler’s eyes: “Do you know what you are? You are Hitler’s unrequited love.” (p. 196). There is no question that Speer was a very handsome young man. As was Hitler, when Roehm took him under his wing and brought him into the Nazi party.

After Rudolf Hess fled to England, Hitler declared that he was, if ever captured, to be hanged. But Hess himself, in prison, confided to Speer that “he would have made it up with me. I’m certain of it.” (p. 253). On what could he base such certainty of the power of his physical presence—except a confidence in some special emotional bond between them?

Speer reports with “astonishment” a discussion with Goering in which the Reichsmarshall’s face was “obviously rouged,” his fingernail lacquered; and he was wearing a large ruby brooch (Speer, p. 358).

Hitler, of course, never married, and he really seems, in Speer’s account, to show very little interest in women. He allowed the company of women, but “as a rule only married women were admitted, usually with their husbands” (p. 191). Perhaps not to cause scandal; or perhaps to avoid the possibility of female sexual approaches. There was Eva Braun, of course, but she may only have been cover—so adoring that she would accept neglect or sexual impotence and not spread gossip. Geli Raubal, the only other woman publicly connected with Hitler, was either murdered or committed suicide in Hitler’s apartment. The revelation of his homosexuality might explain that.

Just from this, we have as much evidence as is commonly used to “prove” that a famous figure is homosexual, if he is an artist or a writer. We have about as much, for example, as we have on Oscar Wilde. It is difficult, by the nature of the thing, to have more—one’s sexual activities are normally not public, after all, and homosexuality was illegal in Germany before Hitler came to power.

But, it turns out, there is far more. For example, the Munich police had Hitler listed as a known homosexual and male prostitute. This site has collected many more references which seem to add up to a picture of a gay Hitler:

http://www.e-z.net/wtv/v-icht-1.htm

It all, on reflection, seems to fit.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

On Sex Trafficking

The compound of Canadian academics where I live is full of Filipinas, Japanese, Koreans, and Thais. All wives of the male professors. Few single Western men seem to be able to return from a spell in the Far East without a wife. East Asian women seem to be becoming every North American man’s dream. And this seems to go especially for the best educated men.

And the Canadian women, ask why. At least they did recently, on Dave’s ESL CafĂ©.

Their explanations are, of course, the inevitable feminist ones. Asian women are stupid—that one came up pretty fast. “most of the ones that I've met don't have the brains God gave a chicken.”

They are too poor to have an alternative; they marry for the money. It’s all a “desire to escape from poverty.” They “trade ‘affection’ for your being a cash-cow for them.” They are “prostituting” themselves.

They are escaping from a culture that is prejudiced against women: “ingrained mistreatment by their own men.”

And the men? “A lot of guys, unfortunately, just like a girl they can feel superior to.” They “can’t handle a real woman.”

The Canadian Council on the Status of Women has even actually funded a study that declares all interracial marriages “sex trafficking.” Your tax dollars at work.

The racism as well as the sexism of such responses is almost hard to credit. The notion that only Westerners can be “real women” is an example. And the comment about “their own” men, as if there is something intrinsically wrong with marrying someone of a different race. And how about that assumption that Asians just aren’t as bright as Canadians?

But these theories can also be disproved in detail. Asian women are stupid? Sad to say, for whatever reason, Japanese score higher on IQ tests than any other nationality. Chinese and Koreans also score higher than Canadians, on average. So who has the right to call them “stupid as a chicken,” even if this weren’t intrinsically offensive and racist? The more reasonable assumption is that they are smarter in their approach to the mating game than the Western women. That would explain how they manage to snag so many academics, rather desirable husbands, all else being equal, in the general run of things. Secure job, good pay, prestige.

Too poor to have an alternative? That really doesn’t explain why Japanese women are just as eager as Filipinas to marry a Westerner. Japanese, after all, have a higher standard of living than Canadians do.

A culture that is prejudiced against women? In fact, in the Philippines, women make more on average than men. This is the very indicator used in Canada to “prove” that women are discriminated against. If that logic holds, it must also be true that it is men who are discriminated against in the Philippines.

In the Third World, polls also show that women are in general more satisfied with their life, are happier, than men. This too argues that any discrimination works the other way.

In any case, if essentially all other cultures are held to be more prejudiced against women than Western culture, which is also terribly prejudiced against women, where does that leave us? Occam’s Razor suggests that this means the Western culture is not, in fact, prejudiced against women at all. It seems terribly improbable that male conspiracies in all places and at all times would be successful in seizing oppressive social control. And if they really were able to do this, isn’t this overwhelming prima facie evidence that they really are superior?

As for the men marrying Asian to feel superior to them, this premise is of course based on racism—the assumption that everyone would consider an Asian inferior to a Westerner. Very offensive. It also requires the unlikely assumption that the Asian partner would buy into this premise.

So what is the real reason Western men are attracted to Asian women? Simple. The average Western woman quite openly hates and despises men in general. The average Asian woman actually seems to feel some affection for men as a class.

Love or abuse—which would you choose?

Note that it is the best and brightest among the Western men, not the poor and uneducated, who seem to have been marrying out. The attraction for Asian women can be simply that—good husbands, regardless of race. Scholars and gentlemen.

And yes, I have an Asian wife. My wish for my brothers back in Canada is that they all could have the same.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Reflections on the Truth of Catholicism

In the Bible, Jesus himself founds the Christian Church. He founds it, most obviously, in his commission to Peter: “Thou art Peter, and on this rock I shall found my church. And the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” Then he also gives Peter the “keys to the kingdom,” promising that whatever he looses or binds on earth will be loosed or bound in heaven.

But in founding the church in this way, it seems apparent that Jesus is founding, specifically, the Catholic Church. That is, the Catholic Church appears to be the true Christian church, the church as Jesus founded and commissioned it.

For he was founding the small-c catholic church, the catholic church being, as in the Nicene Creed, the church universal, as opposed to local or less generally accepted traditions. Jesus does not promise that the gates of hell will make no headway against Christians whatsoever. Only that they will not prevail, and will not sweep away the foundation.

The gates of hell, accordingly, might prevail over local areas or minority beliefs--like Gnosticism, or pelasgianism, or Methodism. But the mainstream would always run pure, the bedrock remain solid, to ensure that those of good faith were not misled.

Now, in these terms, the Catholic Church of Rome has the clearest claim to be this mainstream. Other churches are much smaller in numbers, except for the Orthodox much newer in existence, more local in their administration, and perhaps with the exception of the Orthodox have less claim to direct succession from Peter and the apostles.

And it was to Peter, specifically, that the commission was given.

Luther, by contrast, can hardly be seen as the bedrock, the foundation, of Christianity. If nothing else, he came too late. Nor was he the mainstream, in his time any more than in ours. He rebelled; he was not rebelled against. He might argue that his principles, such as “salvation by faith alone,” are the true Christian bedrock. But Jesus did not found his faith on a principle or a set of principles, but, oddly and so conspicuously, on a human being. On the bishop of Rome.

The primacy of the Pope, of course, also follows from this reflection. The doctrine of papal infallibility seems already implied.

The personal qualities of a Pope, as of a priest, do not matter.

First, quite obviously, this would be unjust to the faithful: why should your salvation be dependent on my conduct? God would not act so.

It is also apparent in the Bible itself. For Jesus makes Peter the rock, the foundation of his church, but it is very clear from the Bible that Peter has human failings. If you deny that God would choose a fallible human for this office, are you not denying the Bible itself?

Jeremiah, or Jonah, or Moses, also had human failings. Moses, for example, was a murderer. Same for David or Solomon. Nevertheless, the books they wrote are holy scripture, and have God's guarantee. So too the Pope, in the same way.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Hitler's EQ

The description of Hitler by Speer in his autobiography Inside the Third Reich, makes it clear that Hitler was a genius in terms of the current concept of Emotional Intelligence, or, more stylishly, EQ. As previously noted in these columns, Hitler formed party ideology primarily in response to public opinion; he was sensitive to the feelings of others to a fault. Speer indeed speaks of his “remarkable duplicity.… With enormous histrionic intuition he could shape his behaviour to changing situations in public while letting himself go with his intimates, servants, or adjutants”(p. 55). His thinking was entirely “pragmatic” (p. 80). “He did not seem to deal with people but rather to manipulate them.” (p. 94). All the top Nazis Speer calls “gifted actors,” (p. 105), able to emote convincingly on cue.

In other words, they were psychopaths. For that is all “emotional intelligence” is: psychopathy. Even Hitler’s generally acknowledged physical courage is part of this: lacking feelings generally, he also lacked fear. Similarly, he was not moved by comedy (p. 71), beyond mockery and practical jokes.

Lacking emotions, Hitler and other psychopaths are highly capable of exploiting the emotions of others. They can observe them clinically and coolly, and dissimulate as needed.

Accordingly, the whole current notion of “emotional intelligence” is a travesty. When we speak of rational intelligence, it means being more rational than others. But “emotional intelligence” means being less emotional than others. It is a matter of lacking something others have.

And, of course, the result is appalling: the triumph of the selfish will, and no feeling for one’s fellow man.

Going to Heaven in a Handcart

It seems the world is getting better. Bill Emmott, the longtime editor of The Economist, retired recently, and wrote a valedictory piece in which he reviewed events since the beginning of his tenure in 1993:

Worldwide, GDP grew by 3% per annum; or 3.9% in purchasing power parity.

World GDP per head grew by 2.5 % per annum. This means the average person worldwide is now making 40% more than he was in 1993.

The proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day fell from 22% to 17.8 %.

The proportion of the world’s population living in countries that are “fully free” grew from 20% to 46%.

-- “A long goodbye,” Economist, April 1, 2006, pp. 13-4.

In a letter two weeks later, David Harland, of the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations, chimed in that during the same time, the number of wars dropped by one third, and the number of battle deaths even further.

-- Letters, Economist, April 15, 2006, p. 15.

So the world is becoming richer and safer.

How does this jibe with the current calls of alarm about growing poverty and starvation in the Third World, and about growing tensions over declining resources?

Both predictions were really always based primarily on Marxist theory. The price of oil aside, they seem to have been proven wrong by events.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Think of All the Hate There Is in Red China...

GlobeScan, an international polling firm, asked people in twenty countries, “Is the free-enterprise system and a free-market economy the best system on which to base the future of the world?”

Seventy-four percent of Chinese said “yes.” In Canada, 65% agree. But only 36% of the French.

Shows where Marxism’s last redoubt really is.

The Chinese were actually more pro-free-market than any other country surveyed. That's what seventy years of Marxism can do to your politics.

Top five most pro-business populations:

China
Philippines
USA
India
South Korea

Note the heavy Asian presence. This could also explain why it is booming, while France's economy is on the ropes. Although, to be fair, the equation might work the other way: in Asia, the successes of the free market are most evident. Hence more popular support.

The full report is on the web here.

Hitler's Bastards

More than one friend, perhaps sadly influenced by the current creed of moral relativism, has theorized to me that Hitler and the Nazis were sincere according to their own lights; that in their own minds they believed that what they did was right.

It would follow that we cannot really blame them for what they did. It is only a case of might makes right. We won, so we set the rules.

This came up, specifically, in a discussion of Ernst Zundel, Canada’s own “neo-Nazi.” One of these friends had actually met him in person. He was presumably hardly a supporter of Zundel and his theories, being Jewish himself. But he reported, puzzled, that Zundel, in his professional life, was once asked to doctor a photo to remove evidence of pollution. And he had refused, on the grounds that this would be immoral.

So my friend concludes that Hitler himself could well have been similarly morally motivated. Mistaken, perhaps, but honestly so.

I think that is quite wrong.

For, as Albert Speer, who had been Hitler’s close friend and a leading Nazi, remarks in his autobiography, Hitler and his staff always functioned by “picking up anything that promised success without regard for ideology—in fact, determining even ideological questions by their effect on the voters.” (Inside the Third Reich, p. 53).

This is the strategy of the psychopath. Hitler was, in other words, completely without principle.

He claimed, for example, to be sacrificing himself for the benefit of the German volk, and called on all Germans to do likewise. All other concerns must be subjugated to the good of the race and nation. Yet, when Germany was falling apart, he ordered a scorched earth policy which would have reduced Germany to penury, and he declared that the Germans had failed him and deserved what they got.

In the end, proverbially, he preferred to see his country die for him. It was not about race or nation or ideology. It was about power for Adolf Hitler.

The other top Nazis were also recognizably psychopaths: Goebbels, Goering, Himmler, Ernst, Bormann.

Yet Zundel is the very reverse. A psychopath always sacrifices principle for personal advancement. Zundel has always sacrificed personal advancement for principle. A psychopath cunningly adjusts his persona to be as popular as possible, as a good demagogue knows how to do. Zundel has systematically done the opposite; he has done everything he could to be unpopular.

A psychopath seeks power. Zundel has done precisely what would be most likely to attract persecution.

Zundel is merely a harmless eccentric. And a moral man. He is, indeed, quite possibly, a prisoner of conscience. For, bizarre as his ideas are, he apparently genuinely believes in them. At worst, perhaps he seeks notoriety; but that is harmless.

He could not be more different from a real Nazi. And aside from distracting us from the real danger of Fascism, absolutely nothing is served by imprisoning or fining or deporting or persecuting him.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Affirmative Discrimination

A recent poll by Ipsos Reid and CanWest shows that Canadians would be more likely to vote for a Muslim or an atheist for Prime Minister than an evangelical Christian. Thirty-seven percent would not vote for an evangelical Christian under any circumstances.

Among other things, this shows which groups in contemporary Canada are truly discriminated against. It is hard to imagine similar figures for a gay PM, or a woman, a Quebecois, or a Jew. And it is hard to imagine the press reporting them as casually.

And among other things, this points out a problem, already hinted at a couple of blog entries ago, with all “affirmative action” programmes.

There is really no such thing as “reverse discrimination.” Discrimination is discrimination.

Imagine a situation in which there is discrimination in employment against, say, women, smokers, and evangelical Christians. If you impose a hiring quota for women, you may help prevent discrimination against women, but only at the cost of increasing it against smokers and evangelical Christians. The few jobs that would previously have gone to them are now likely to go to women instead. You have not ended discrimination; you have just shifted the burden from group to group.

It is impossible to establish “affirmative action” quotas for all conceivable groups that might suffer discrimination. There are too many, and they are always changing; never mind the impossible burden on HR departments and the impossibility of concurrently hiring on merit.

But it is worse than that. In a democratic society, those groups that will be singled out for such preferential treatment will be those on which there is a wide popular consensus. In other words, necessarily, it will be the most popular groups who will be given this “affirmative action” advantage. Which is to say, the groups that do not need it, groups that relatively few are prejudiced against. Those who most need it, conversely, will necessarily be most harmed by any “affirmative action” programme or “reverse” discrimination.

For a graphic example, who could conceive, at present, of a programme of “affirmative action” in Canada for evangelical Christians or smokers? Yet, as the present poll reveals, there is in fact more prejudice against them than against most other groups.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Would Mother Nature Wear a Sealskin Coat?

A correspondent recently opposed the seal hunt with the following argument:

“By definition, healthy ecosystems are perfectly balanced. All the participating organisms, including humans, have evolved while coexisting, and thus form a well-tuned whole. One cannot improve a perfect system; modification can only make it less perfect.”

Amazingly enough, this seems to be a common point of view.

But it is nevertheless a very strange one.

Nature left to itself is perfectly balanced? Then how to account for those plagues of locusts as early as Biblical times? There was another one across North Africa last summer.

Wallace, co-discoverer of the Theory of Evolution by NaturalSelection, scoffed at such claims of a balance in nature.

"The numbers of wild animals are constantly varying to a greater or less extent, and the variations are usually irregular in period and always irregular in amplitude."

This can, quite naturally, reduce species to very low numbers, even to the point of extinction. Stephen Jay Gould's concept of "punctuated equilibrium" relies on these natural fluctuations; without them, we cannot explain the fossil record.

I recommend a brilliant paper on this issue by Canadian KimCuddington, available on the web at:

http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~cuddingt/pubs/B&P.pdf

As she points out, the term “balanced” in this context has no meaning, beyond expressing an arbitrary preference for the “natural” over the cultivated. Indeed, even the term “natural” itself is badly in need of deconstruction. It’s all a sort of pseudo-religion.

I’d also challenge whether there can be such a thing as a “healthy” or “unhealthy” or “crippled” ecosystem. Sounds like anthropomorphism to me.

And what does it mean to say “Nature” is “perfect”? Perfection is more commonly an attribute of God. I can see the sense of talking about a theoretical “perfect” equilateral triangle, of course always with the proviso that such a thing cannot occur in nature. What can it mean to claim that nature itself is “perfect”?

I suppose one is entitled to a religion of nature worship. But it should at least be recognized as a question of faith, not science.

And note an apparent inconsistency here. The correspondent himself argues that perfection necessarily implies an absence of change: “One cannot improve a perfect system; modification can only make it less perfect.” For this very reason, Mother Nature is an unlikely candidate for divinity. For the word itself, “nature,” means change: “nature” is that which is born (and, by extension, dies). So it cannot be perfect in the sense claimed.


Of course, actions on natural systems can have unforeseen results. As with most things, it is nevertheless true that humans have a better chance of managing them than does random chance. Compare any managed garden to a vacant lot. Granted, the garden probably never produces exactly what the gardener intended, but it probably comes a good deal closer to it than does the vacant lot next door.


And what qualifies as “destroying an ecosystem”? Is it any change, or any human change? Or is it a certain level of change? If so, what level? Because ecosystems can’t really cease to exist, barring some sort of cosmic cataclysm.

In practice, eco-advocates seem to define “destroying an ecosystem” as any major human change, and are merely expressing a prejudice against humans. For lions and gazelles, as Wallace points out, are certainly capable of changing their ecosystems—to the extent of eliminating other species.


Yet in opposing all human intervention, eco-advocates are faced with a paradox: humans themselves are part of any natural landscape. It is profoundly unnatural to remove them. They usually seek to overcome this by making a radical difference between modern “civilized” agriculture and the traditional activities of “aboriginal” or “primitive” groups.

So this correspondent:

“These [plagues of locusts] are symptoms of a damaged ecosystem. Cultivation cripples an ecosystem by reducing genetic diversity to a fraction of the original species. Locust populations would not boom without a large monoculture of grain plants on which to feed.”

But unwanted change to the environment is actually more likely to happen in a “primitive" or “aboriginal” culture, as this generally means a culture having less material technology. It rather follows that, with less knowledge of nature, one is less likely to use it wisely.

Recall, if you will, some of the examples of treatment of other species by North American Indians: chasing entire herds of buffalo off cliffs; burning entire forests to snare fleeing animals.

There is nothing “respectful of nature” here. Just rather inefficient, wasteful, material technology. Given the rifle and the horse, the Plains Indians did not reject them in order to maintain their spiritual balance with the buffalo.


And what if such plagues are indeed caused by cultivation per se? Where does that leave us? If human cultivation were banned or prevented, there would be a massive die-off of that particular species, humans. It would be far greater, both proportionately and in absolute numbers, than anything happening as a result of the hunt of harbour seals. How justify the one while opposing the other? How justify this extreme preference for one species over another?

In any case, this cannot account for the massive die-offs and ballooning of species we find in the fossil record. These clearly happened without human cultivation.


What about the notion of human "monoculture?"

The climate in North Africa (I am nearby, in the Persian Gulf) is pretty monocultural with or without a human presence. The number of viable species is quite limited in such severe climates. With human intervention, it is probably more diverse than it would be naturally. Ditto the Canadian prairies. They naturally have a pretty limited range of species. Humans, with their supposed monoculture, have probably introduced many more new species there than they could have made extinct, at least in historical times. This may not be true everywhere; but it is commonly true, of areas under cultivation.

Cultivation also probably usually produces a larger biomass than wilderness, with such improvements as irrigation and systematic reseeding. So it presumably means more animals and plants, in absolute terms, get to live. Why would anyone be opposed to this, unless they care nothing for either animals or plants, let alone human beings, but only for an anthropomorphized abstraction such as “Nature”?

I’d call it all silly Romanticism, except that this would not be fair to the Romantics. For it was William Blake who wisely wrote, “Without man, nature is barren.”

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Closing Gaps--and Widening Them

According to The Economist ("Closing gaps," March 25, p. 36), the British government recently appointed a commission to look into ethnic discrimination in employment. The commission, happily, reported back that it was disappearing: non-whites are closing the gap.

This the commission, and The Economist, credits to the current economic boom. For, before it began in 1992, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis were actually falling further behind. But once there is a job shortage, employers can no longer afford to discriminate.

Now here’s the next puzzle: why did an earlier boom, in the eighties, do nothing to help non-whites?

Simple, really. As The Economist explains, in those days, thanks to feminism, women were entering the workforce in droves. “The previous economic boom sucked in a reserve army of women workers.”

In other words: jobs given to women are, generally speaking, jobs taken from the poor and given to the rich. Women, usually, represent a second income for their families; and poor women have always had to work outside the home if they could. The influx into the workforce in the seventies and eighties was of middle class and upper class women, and they were taking jobs that would otherwise have had to go to the poor.

They still are, of course. And “affirmative action” programmes exacerbate this. The rich get richer, and the poor get a kick in the cojones.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

On Heaven and the Holy Bible

Dear Abbot:

People have many different interpretations of the Bible. How do you personally decide which possible reading is right?

- Dazed and Amazed


Dear DA:

Good question. First, I do not accept the value of textual criticism as practiced by, for example, the “Jesus seminar.” It is irrelevant. The Bible as it is was accepted by Church council; at this point, it does not matter who wrote or said what when. The Bible as given has been declared to be authoritative, not any subset of it.

In any case, textual criticism of this sort gets us nowhere; the assumptions on which it is based are always arbitrary, and must be, at this distance in time.

It also subverts the Bible's purpose, which is to serve as a guide to the faithful. Once you can pick and choose among its passages and take them out of context, you can quote it to advocate almost anything, and it is no longer any kind of guide.

Arriving at the correct interpretation of the Bible, it seems to me, follows the common sense rules for arriving at the correct interpretation of any document or piece of literature. Apparent contradictions must be reconciled, not ignored or chosen between. Genre, intent, and audience should be considered. Cultural and historical background is relevant. One must make allowance for literary devices, such as irony, hyperbole, metaphor. This last is the mistake Bible “fundamentalists” make. They imagine the Bible is a shopping list or a piece of technical writing.

Abbot

Dear Abbot:

Jesus kept making two apparently contradictory claims about heaven:
1. You never know when it is coming
2. It is here right now among you
Which is correct?

Dazed and Amazed


Dear DA:

Jesus speaks of the kingdom of heaven as a seed, as leaven, as a treasure hidden in a field, as a pearl, as a fishing net. These all suggest heaven as a potential; whereas at the end of time, often in the same allegories, it becomes a vast judgment, in which good is separated from bad. It has these two phases or conditions, as water can be either liquid or ice.

It is in that first sense, surely, that it is present among us now: as a potential. As a potential, I would even suggest that its seat in this world is the imagination.

Also, even at the end of time, heaven clearly does not embrace everything. The chaff is thrown out; the bad fish are thrown back; the evil servant is driven away.

Heaven is found among us, I would think, firstly in loving, altruistic acts and relationships. If all our acts and relationships were mutually loving and altruistic, this world would be heaven. We would be there now.

It is found at the pinnacle of prayer, and by extension in ritual, in the mass and in the Eucharist; in the sacraments. This is what is called the “mystical experience.” If all our moments were as God-directed as we are at the pinnacle of prayer, this would be heaven. For that is the essence of heaven: being in the full presence of God.

And, I personally believe, it is found in great art, or more correctly, in the experiences expressed and evoked by art, the experience we call inspiration. If this world were to become all art, it would be heaven. God himself is a potter, in Genesis, a Creator, and he made us in his image: he made us to be artists. The architectural vision of the New Jerusalem is a vision of living in a vast work of art. The Mass is high art, multimedia.

Romans 14:7 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”

At the same time, every act of kindness, every work of art or craft, and every mass or prayer, builds the eventual articulated heaven, the New Jerusalem.

Abbot

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Slobodan Milosevic Shall Rise Again

I note, reading the obituary for the recently deceased Slobodan Milosevic, that he grew up without a father: his parents separated, and his mother was given custody. Soon after, his father committed suicide.

I’m afraid I have seen this as a common pattern among serial killers and mass murderers: an absent dad.

It is not always true. Hitler, for example, was raised with two parents, albeit, according to his older half-brother, “spoiled by his indulgent mother.” And many children seem to survive the absence of a father to become good citizens. However, the apparent pattern should concern us.

After all, over the past forty or fifty years, thanks to feminism, we have systematically created a society in which an absent father is the norm: more children are now raised in broken families or by single moms than by intact families. And, thanks to the family courts, if one parent is absent, it is invariably the father.

We have every reason to expect to reap a whirlwind. As time goes on, if my casual observation is correct, we will see a lot more Milosevics.