Monday, March 25, 2013

Disney Movies + Poor Education = Homosexual Marriage

In a few hours the U.S. Supreme Court will hear  arguments in a case that will decide if the people of California have the right, under the U.S. Constitution, to forbid same-sex marriage.  I am astounded that it is even a question.  But, I suppose, I shouldn't be astounded.  There has been a 40 year campaign to see the normalization of homosexual behavior.  The entertainment media has been full of sympathetic portrayals of homosexuals since as early as I can remember.  When I was a little boy, 8 or 9 years old, there were two television shows that had homosexual caracters: Soap and Three's Company.  I didn't know until later, probably in my early teens what the shows were about, but there they were, polluting my mind;  and polluting the minds of my countrymen.  If one watches Glee or - and here I am guessing because I do not have a television machine and only stream a few things over the internet - or other television shows, then one can witness the constant overt persuasion.

And it seems the country has been persuaded.  But why?  What has changed?  This is what I think has changed.  Two things.  The first of them is Disney.  It is Disney's fault.  They have been telling kids since the 1930s that marriage is about happiness and romantic feelings.  Prior to that, I think everyone understood that marriage was about property and children, and if one was a Christian it was also about salvation.  When did divorce laws in America begin to liberalize?  In the middle 1950s and 1960s, when those kids raised on Disney movies and other fantasies about marriage began to be legislators and judges.

Abandonment and adultery and incurable insanity had been the usual grounds for the rare divorce.  But then "cruelty" or "mental cruelty" were added.  And in in California in the 1960s up to 70% of divorce case plantiffs were asking for divorces for such cruelties as "she refuses to make dinner", and "he swears at me".  And in 1970 at the urging of lawyers and judges, Caifornia made the first "no-fault" divorce law in the United States. (A black mark on Ronald Reagans record.)   And marriage, in the pursuit of individual happiness, became completely separated from its original purpose: The generation of and provision for children.

The second thing that contributed to the acceptance of the idea of homosexual marriage is a lack of mental training.  Are you surprised I did not say a lack of evangelization, or a decline in the percentage of Christians?  Perhaps, that is what I should have said for Natural Law is an important outgrowth of Christian theology, but many of the people who favor homosexual marriage are Christians.  They think of it as unfair to forbid the happiness of marriage to people who have homosexual urges.  (There's that happiness thing again.) No, the problem is lack of mental rigor and training.

The first time I really thought about the subject was in 1988. I was witness to a man getting a "bad conduct" discharge from the Army for committing homosexual sodomy.  Of course, being a Christian, I knew what he did was wrong, but I was interested in why the United States Army cared.   So I decided to try and figure it out.

It only took a couple of days, but I reasoned out the Natural Law on the subject (I had been introduced to the concept by Francis Schaeffer), though I am sure my understanding was crude.  Later, in my mid-20s and when I joined the Conservative Book Club, I read a little pamphlet the book club sent me by Harry V. Jaffa that stated much more precisely and elegantly what I had figured out for myself a few years earlier. The worth-reading pamphlet is titled Homosexuality and the Natural Law.

So now, here our country is, poised at the cusp of complete moral collapse.  It has reached the nadir of the death spiral St. Paul described in Romans 1:18-31.    I do not think we can be a free people very much longer.  Our Constitution was not written for a wicked people, and as Benjamin Franklin predicted, we can not but now fall into despotism.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Biblical Religion

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."  Matthew 25:31-33

What does this tell us?  Those who are God's are on the right side.

But when he came to himself he said, "How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough to spare, and I'm dying with hunger!  I wil get up and go to my father, and will tell him, "Father, I have against heaven, and in your sight.  I am no more worthy to be called your son.  Make me as one of your hired servants".  And he arose and came to his father.  But while he was still afar off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion, and ran towards hin, and fell on his neck and kissed him."  Luke 15:17-20

What does this tell us?  That before the prodigal son even uttered a word, his father had forgiven him.

When I go to confession in the Orthodox Church, before I even utter a word the priest puts me on his right.

What does this tell us?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spreading Good

A couple of days ago a man I worked with had a problem.  And he came up with a way to fix it.

"Matt, I have [company asset].  I need [solution to personal problem].  Can you help me by [lying and stealing].

I answered, "No".

He asked, "why?"

"Because it's evil."

"That's not evil."

"Yes it is, but I can give you the money you need."

"How is it evil"

"It's evil because it's dishonest"

"You church people make me crazy!  Now you are making me feel bad."

"I'm not trying to make you feel bad.  I'm trying to keep you from doing something evil."

Then he walked away with a very sad look on his face.

About an hour later I saw him bouncing through the FIAT studio with a giant smile on his face.  He walked by me and said, "Thanks, Matt.  You helped me do the right thing.  I [solved the problem] the right way."

See how easy it is to keep someone from doing evil?  In this case all I had to do was refuse to participate in it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Advice for young men

I am 44 years old.  I have two divorces cut into me.  Here is my advice for avoiding my situation.

1.  Make yourself ready for marrige before you get married.  This includes but is not limited to...
2.  Finish school.  I do not mean be graduated from college. I mean have school behind you before you marry.  Whether that is highschool or a Ph.D. program be trough with it before you marry.
3.  Get estalished in a career
4.  Buy a house
5.  Don't waste money or time.  Your 20s are not your teens.  Save save save.  Let the grasshoppers play.  You be the ant.
6.  Do not marry a woman older than 22 if you can help it.  DO NOT marry a woman older than 30. Women of that age have been running their lives for years and are not going to give up that control.
7.  Look at the family the woman comes from.  Is there divorce or mental illness?  If so, run.  Do not let yourself fall in love with that woman.
8.  Look at how her mother treats her father.  Look at the marriages of her siblings.  Can you live like that?
9.  Consider a monastic vocation.
10. Heed the warning of "The Quiet Man".  Do not be weak, do not be afraid, and do not fail.  You must never ever lose her respect.  No woman wants to be married to a failure.
11.  Get to know her well enough that you can pick out presents for her that she will like.  Some women will like knitting needles.  Some will like pearls.  Make sure you know what she likes before you marry her.
12. Politics matters.  Do not marry a principled paleo-con if you are a principled neo-con.  It is difficult to maintain respect for each other if you think each other to be idiots.  Opposites might attract but they make for difficult marriages.
13. Do not go into debt.  Not for school (there is a glut of college graduates on the market.) Not for cars. But maybe for a house.
14.  Does she always need excitement?  Is she easily bored?  If so do not marry her.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Three Gold Merchants

I saw the three young scary Russians first.  The shop was deep inside the building. Like with all shops of this kind, I had to be buzzed in.  But this one had a large man by the door with a gun on his hip and a three-bar cross hanging on his neck.  An older man, maybe 35, sweating, was weighing small gold coins and putting them in plastic bags.  The third and youngest man, a double-headed eagle tattoo peeking out above his wife beater, spoke in a thick Russian accent.  "I've seen you before."
"Yes, I was in here a couple of years ago to show my sons the jewel map".
"What brings you in today?  We still have the map.  The oceans are lapis."
"I'm selling gold.  Can you give me yesterday's New York minus 1%?"
"Let me see it."

I reached into my pocket.  The man counting coins stopped and wached me pull it out and hand it to the younger man.  The watch on his otherwise bare arm was Patek.  His fingernails were dirty. He carefully weighed it and acid tested it.

"I must have a 3% profit. So I can give you..."
"Okay.  Thanks.  I'll walk up the block.  I might be back in a few minutes."

The Chinese woman was young and pretty and smiling like a snake.  Unlike the Russian's shop, hers was open and bright and orderly.  Her fingernails were perfect.  She smelled beautiful.  She cradled my right hand in her left as she took the gold from my palm with her right.  Her skin was cold and soft.  She smiled at me.  I would have let her devour me, almost.  She weighed the gold, she read the markings with a jewelers loop.
"You bought this in Chinatown".
It wasn't a question but I answered, "Yes".
"It's very nice.  I can give you..."
"Thank you, but I already have a better offer."
Cold narrow eyes.  "I can't pay more."
"You have some pretty things.  Maybe, I'll come back for that amythest ring."
"Thank you.  Please, come again."

The old Sicilian (He's connected, by way of the Falcone fmily, to the Bonanos.), a man I've done business with before, was siting at a card table looking through a big magnifying glass at an old belt buckle.  On the table before him were what looked like military artifacts from the WWI: Old French medals, a bayonet, a map case.  Around him on the walls of the shop were swords, sterling platers, hundreds of gold chains, cloth bags full of old (from the days when our money was real silver) U.S. coins, framed Krugerand collections, a commemorative plate of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spenser, and silver goblets full of Morgans.

He stood and greeted me with a hand shake and asked if I was buying or selling.
"Selling this", I answered and I set the gold on the card table.
"Hmmm.  You know the weight?" I knew he would weigh it.  He was just finding out if I had other offers.  I saw the sparkle of avarice in his eyes.
"I know, but you go ahead and weigh it."
"I can give you..."
"I already checked the New York and London prices this morning. That's all you can do?"
"It's called profit.  If you want more come back in a month.  Gold is going up."
"Okay.  Thanks.  I guess, I'll see you later."
"You know, this is the time to buy silver.  Are you in the market again?"
"I'm only selling.  See you later."

The Russians buzzed me in.  Everyone was in the same place but now the sweaty man was weighing little bars of silver or, maybe, it was platinum and recording the weights in a ledger.
"It looks like I won."
"Last night's New York spot minus 3%" (Even though it is $4 higher this morning)
He copied my name and address from my drivers license into the state's book.  I gave him the gold.  He counted out the Franklins.
"Don't feel bad.  I see a lot of this."

I walked out the door and I sobbed alone on the sidewalk for a few minutes before I walked home without my wedding ring.
Home.  But only for a few more days.  I think, I have enough money to get my own lonely place now.