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

Another day, another jihad attack

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 24, 16:10:

Not sure I follow, MA? ... [More]

Another day, another jihad attack

Comment posted by MarcAnthony on Oct 24, 15:20:

The numbers from the survey are factually useful, but I think I'm still dizzy from all the spin. ... [More]

Another day, another jihad attack

Comment posted by Ilion on Oct 24, 12:43:

I've (slightly) expanded the above comment as post on my little blog -- 'Moderate Islam' vs 'Moderate Christianity' ... [More]

Another day, another jihad attack

Comment posted by Ilion on Oct 24, 12:19:

Something to keep in mind when The Usual Suspects start spouting The Usual Hemming and Hawing -- There is no more such a thing as "moderate Islam" than there is such a thing as "moderate Christianity". A "moderate Christian" is someone who claims to be a Christian *and* who simultaneously holds that Christianity just isn't all that important to how one conducts one's life. A "moderate Christian" is someone who isn't trying to emulate Christ ... which is to say, someone who is not really a Christian. Sim ... [More]

Another day, another jihad attack

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 23, 16:21:

I _have_ to think that, if this guy was an open and vocal enough jihad supporter/ISIS supporter that they thought he was going to travel abroad to join them, he would be caught in the net of a jihad sedition law. So that might help. But it seems crazy just to prevent him from traveling abroad while leaving him free to roam about. Heck, it almost seems like it would be better to _let_ him travel abroad than that. ... [More]

Another day, another jihad attack

Comment posted by Jeffrey S. on Oct 23, 16:17:

And speaking of other recommendations, here are a few from a recent interview with Geert Wilders: What message can you offer Americans about the threat posed by Islam and efforts to stifle freedom of speech critical of Islam? Americans are more patriotic than Europeans. That is a good thing. Europe would be in a better shape if it were more patriotic. Americans should cherish their pride in being American. They should insist that everyone who settles in America accept its values, which are based on its W ... [More]

Another day, another jihad attack

Comment posted by Jeffrey S. on Oct 23, 16:09:

Lydia, I'm glad you posted on this. Mark Steyn, a Canadian by birth, has been particularly thoughtful about this attack: And finally I joined Sean Hannity, and among other things I mentioned the only good news of the day: Kevin Vickers is the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons, which is, most of the time, a ceremonial role - he's the fellow who wears a goofy looking hat and carries the mace into the chamber each day. But he knew enough to understand, in a split second, that the ceremonial role had ... [More]

The zero-sum game: Christian college may lose accreditation for Christian moral policy

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 22, 23:03:

Michael B., what do you think of TRACS? ... [More]

The zero-sum game: Christian college may lose accreditation for Christian moral policy

Comment posted by Michael Bauman on Oct 22, 20:52:

I think it's time for Christian schools to organize an alternative national accreditation association, one that would accredit (or not) schools from religious traditions across the board. ... [More]

Good witch hunts

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 22, 14:57:

Another very interesting sociological point arises here: Sometimes denominational distinctives are bellwethers for a whole slew of other issues that are not _logically_ related to the denominational distinctive. Here's an example: Do I really want the Catholic Church to change its stance on married clergy? As a sociological matter, I don't. This despite the fact that I believe that Paul in the pastoral epistles clearly envisages a married clergy. But as a sociological matter, if the Catholic Church allows ... [More]

Good witch hunts

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 22, 14:49:

Well, of course a school might have a Baptist identity and require all of its professors of theology, or all professors, to hold to Baptist distinctives! I don't know that this is a good idea, particularly, but one can readily picture it. In philosophy, I would be especially concerned to root out postmodernism and the denial of objective truth. It was suggested on my Facebook wall that this should be a special concern for philosophy departments, but relativism and postmodernism could affect other departmen ... [More]

Good witch hunts

Comment posted by Thomas Yeutter on Oct 22, 13:10:

"We must hold fast to the faith; which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all of the faithful." Saint Vincent of Lerins Ideally theological education should occur in an institution under the direct control of an ecclesiastical body. The training of clerics should properly be in the the sphere of the Church not the Academy. The Church may append its Theological Seminary to the University or College. The Theological Seminary is still the responsibility of the Church. But what about those who teac ... [More]

Good witch hunts

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 22, 09:05:

Yes, I thought about that as "word of God and infallible rule of faith and practice," which might well work. Interesting question about theology faculty. I think it would depend on whether one wanted one's theology department to be denominational. A Catholic school, for example, might want only Catholic theology teachers. Since I was expressly envisaging a multi-denominational school in general, the question would be whether the theology department would not be similarly ecumenical. That's not something on ... [More]

Good witch hunts

Comment posted by Thomas Yeutter on Oct 21, 22:53:

I am pleased you singled out Latter Day Saints as a heretical group; who your doctrinal statement would expressly exclude? The creedal statement should be clear to also exclude some of the Latter Day Saints splinter groups; like the Communities of Christ. The LDS, and the modality heretics, have acquired respectability, that should not be granted to them. In the past adherents of the Society of Friends, Unitarians, Swedenborgians, and Universalists, to name a few, have infiltrated historically Christian ... [More]

That didn't take long

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 21, 19:07:

It looks pretty unambiguous to me that the Knapps do offer their services to the public. However, the constitutional issue arises in that those are specifically religious services that depend upon their status as ordained ministers. Prima facie there is a freedom of religion problem with coercing members of the clergy to offer their distinctively clerical services against their consciences, regardless of whether they are operating a public accommodation. Ryan Anderson points out that the state of Idaho has ... [More]

That didn't take long

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 21, 18:58:

Wherever "public accommodation" is not very broadly defined, one would think that a church could easily argue that it is not a "public accommodation" as regards renting out its space, even if it does sometimes rent the space. Still more a pastor who sometimes performs weddings for non-members, whether he accepts a fee or not. In the former case, there could be gazillions of things the church wouldn't rent out its space for--dances, for example. Black masses. Secular rap concerts. On and on and on. In fact, ... [More]

That didn't take long

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 21, 18:38:

I think you are right - it's the public accommodation issue that will carry the weight. Apparently some states define "public accommodation" very broadly, and some not so broadly. For the former, virtually business whose premises are normally available for commerce qualify by that very fact. In the latter, it's a little more finely drawn, and it is at least theoretically possible for a business to have premises in which commerce takes place that are not a public accommodation. For example, a consultan ... [More]

That didn't take long

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 21, 13:03:

I read that in some states now any layman 18 or older can get a one-day officiant's license to perform weddings so that a friend or family member who isn't even clergy can perform your wedding. So it seems like right now the states are not treating the power to perform a wedding as something for which you have to be specially qualified. It's given out pretty freely. That is all to the good in the present climate, and since that is the situation, certainly clergymen should have the power, so I think we shoul ... [More]

That didn't take long

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 21, 12:52:

Well, I assume the "declaratory judgement" thing is what the ADF attorneys are seeking. The Knapps have not been fined. They are asking the courts to state, on constitutional grounds, that the city cannot fine or jail them. I disagree that a strict separation such as there is in Europe is a good direction to go. The way things presently are does not seem to me (I looked into it a little) to give a loophole for the concern about "pulling" a pastor's ability to perform marriages. Moreover, if the state did p ... [More]

That didn't take long

Comment posted by c matt on Oct 21, 12:16:

Also, it is perfectly reasonable to take a preemptive approach to this sort of thing, and most jurisdictions allow you to file a declaratory judgment action to test the constitutional validity of a law, statute or ordinance that affects you, without having to go through the "break the law, get fined, then sue" rigamorole first. ... [More]

That didn't take long

Comment posted by c matt on Oct 21, 12:12:

Other countries do separate the civil marriage from the religious one. Thus, you would get "married" by some official for state recognition, and then get married in your religious ceremony for the religious one. Given the current direction of things here, not such a bad idea. ... [More]

What We’re Reading: “Drink, ye harpooneers!”

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 21, 10:07:

I think the whole "a day may come" motif is actually not very great oratory. It looks good on an Internet meme, and it can be part of something that sounds good in a movie if delivered by a good actor, but as real oratory I think it falls down. If one analyzes it, it's not very inspiring. We shouldn't be telling our _friends_ that "a day may come when" our courage will fail, etc.! That's not what one wants to be making them think of in the day of battle! What it's really better for is chest-beating as spoke ... [More]

A Tale of Two Cities

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 21, 09:38:

From what I gather, the inclusion of the "not approved" paragraphs is contrary to traditional practice for synods, and happens here because of the direct intervention of the Pope. As well as the citation of the votes for each paragraph. One might suppose that this is all in the pursuit of transparency: even the not-approved paragraphs got considerable support, and showing that is part of showing the truth. But one would be naive to leave it at that. The Pope, just like his colleagues and his predecess ... [More]

What We’re Reading: “Drink, ye harpooneers!”

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Oct 21, 06:35:

What about John Galt's speech in 'Atlas Shrugged'? Kidding, kidding!! ... [More]

A Tale of Two Cities

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 20, 23:29:

I'm a little confused myself, even though I've been following this fairly closely (as a friendly, interested Protestant), as to the relevance of the 2/3 vote. I had thought that a failure to get the 2/3 vote meant it didn't go into the final doc. Then I saw stories that seemed to indicate that the final doc. will include (or already includes?) even paragraphs that didn't get a 2/3 vote, but with the numbers given (somewhere) showing the votes each paragraph got! Which is pretty weird, if true. The idea bein ... [More]

A Tale of Two Cities

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 20, 22:10:

Lydia, the stuff about gradualism in reference to SSM and cohabiting / remarriage-with-communion did NOT get the 2/3 vote. So, if the process goes honestly, the final document will reflect that view by the Synod Fathers and will not push the SSM and cohabiting / remarriage-with-communion. However, I would expect to see snide little forays of those agenda items in minimal form pushed in anyway, under cover of "questions" and the like. So the bishops will have to be alert still. The real test will be th ... [More]

That didn't take long

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 20, 20:55:

I'd wondered that before myself. I have never looked into it. I _think_ that right now if you are an ordained minister or clergyman in any denomination you automatically get that power. But what about little, tiny denominations? I am _quite_ sure that there is no "registration" process for denominations in the U.S. and that Baptists, in particular, would never submit to one. And a good thing, too. So how comes it to be that small denominations' ministers have the authority vested in them to perform weddings ... [More]

That didn't take long

Comment posted by Glen on Oct 20, 19:26:

Interesting, level-headed article, Lydia. It got me to thinking, the state basically controls who can perform marriages, correct? ("...by the power vested in my by the State of..." and all that). Could we eventually have a situation where the State says, "OK, so if you don't want to marry two SS persons, we won't sanction any of your marriages." In that case, the pastor would basically be stripped of his ability to legally marry two people, but not religiously marry two people. Christians, in this sense, wo ... [More]

A Tale of Two Cities

Comment posted by MarcAnthony on Oct 20, 15:30:

Ultimately, the Synod was really underwhelming. My take on the final results that got published was that pretty much nothing new occurred...which is a victory, I suppose, given the proposal. ... [More]

Good witch hunts

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 20, 13:35:

The downward spiral is happening too fast for me to keep up with anymore. It appears that evangelical and Christian colleges (such as Baylor, where this guy teaches) now also need to include something in their statement of faith and morals about the evil of assisted suicide. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2014/10/can-a-christian-support-physician-assisted-suicide/ ... [More]

A Tale of Two Cities

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 20, 11:01:

Did the stuff about gradualism and cohabitation (or homosexual unions) get the 2/3 vote? ... [More]

What We’re Reading: “Drink, ye harpooneers!”

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 20, 08:52:

That's from the movie! Hence, unreal. :-) ... [More]

A Tale of Two Cities

Comment posted by David on Oct 20, 06:26:

It is thoughts like this that uncover my own lack of clarity on such issues that keeps me coming back. Thank you Tony, and all the others involved. ... [More]

What We’re Reading: “Drink, ye harpooneers!”

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 19, 22:54:

How about Aragorn's battle speech at the Gates of Mordor? Hold your ground! Hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers, I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight!! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid ... [More]

What We’re Reading: “Drink, ye harpooneers!”

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 19, 18:43:

Paul, after that comment, I have to give you this poem, which I'll bet you've never heard of. I ran across it in a literature anthology we use for home schooling: Square-Toed Princes by Robert P. Tristram Coffin My ancestors were fine, long men, Their hands were like square sails, They ran the lengths of longitudes, Harpooning spouting whales. Men to put a twinkle in The proud eyes of their Maker, Standing up against the winds On the square toes of a Quaker. From Baffin’s Bay and Davis Strait To the Se ... [More]

What We’re Reading: “Drink, ye harpooneers!”

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Oct 19, 17:54:

That's a fine entry, Lydia. The thing is that you had to be a touch "round the bend" yourself, to sign up for one of these whalers. So even the sound wisdom of Starbuck, who instantly perceives the folly of Ahab's vow, and works hard to counter it, even unto the edge of dishonor, is overwhelmed by the necessities of sailing those hunter ships: the Captain's word is law, and he cannot gainsay it. Hierarchy, change of command, the commander is absolute dictator on a ship. Which is another reason why it is as ... [More]

Suffocated by Diversity: A Review of “Against Inclusiveness” by James Kalb

Comment posted by John Roesch on Oct 19, 16:27:

Contemporary liberalism is not liberalism at all but simply social democracy, a form of socialism. Classical liberalism is liberalism and is a flawed ideology as is socialism and it antithetical to human nature. Modern, contemporary liberalism/social democracy is a thoroughly corrupt ideology that can not with stand the impending crisis that it itself has created. Liberalism has brought western civilization to the brink of moral and economic bankruptcy. When the collapse comes it will be sudden and swift ... [More]

What We’re Reading: “Drink, ye harpooneers!”

Comment posted by Lydia on Oct 19, 16:04:

Thanks for this post, Paul! I don't know how ashamed I should be to admit that I have never read _Moby Dick_. As for candidates for great oratory, I was surprised to discover how few candidates I have. It seems that great oratory has not been something I have focused on in my own study of literature. But, if I may be permitted to bring in English as opposed to American literature, I would back Tennyson's Ulysses: How dull it is to pause, to make an end, To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use! As tho' t ... [More]

What We’re Reading: “Drink, ye harpooneers!”

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Oct 19, 07:34:

Two excellent points, Tony. I agree that the objective/subjective estimate of literary quality is a treacherous and forbidding question. Still, I would venture at least a few points of objective quality available to the careful reader's eye. Leaving Ahab's quoted words aside, just for the moment, there is the quality of the sparse but arresting descriptions surrounding the speech. The ingenuous innovation in converting parts of speech: Here Ahab "brimmed the harpoon sockets" -- a noun becomes a very vivid ... [More]

What We’re Reading: “Drink, ye harpooneers!”

Comment posted by Tony on Oct 18, 18:52:

Unlike those who know and teach about literature, I can never distinguish between oratory that I find worthwhile and oratory that really is good. I know what I like, but I can never pin-point what it is that makes it good. Or 'good, objectively' rather than good merely in my mind. I am more patient than many with literary diversions or side-essays on a multitude of theories in a novel, so coming across them in Moby Dick didn't actually bother me. But since this is a rather common thing in other noveli ... [More]