Saturday, October 7, 2017

Picking Sides

“Wizards are always troubled about the future. I do not like worrying about the future. I am not altogether on anybody’s side, because nobody is altogether on my side, if you understand me.”
The busybodies of online Christendom are forever insistent on side-picking. In the eternal struggle between Them & Apollyon, there is little patience for those engaged in unhasty thought and deliberation, those who watch and pray, those who are not swift to judge and are willing to work within the established rules. Cdl. Burke has been viciously insulted by those who lack the capacity for longsuffering, and others who will not sign the correction for various reasons are despised for their tardiness. These gadflies do have a point that consideration must eventually lead into action, but not all action is wise even if it is well-intended, and not all delay is cowardly or lethargic.

Hasty action ends, more times than not, in regrettable situations. It ends in pro-choice conservative candidates. It ends with a charismatic young actor in the papacy. It ends in the trusted white wizard devastating your forest to fuel his war machines. It ends with hands covered in blood or a belly full of hemlock.

The whole Western world has turned activist. Long gone are the days when common folk could keep to themselves and fight only when fought against, or when forced to fight by their rulers. The half-educated are propagandists who exploit the wrath of the quarter-educated with crafty slogans and long-buried resentments. We are rending the Church apart over a footnote inserted by a devil, but have more than a few dozen across the globe even bothered to read Amoris Laetitia in its entirety? Who would even care to do so, when the next papacy or the one after that will overturn it? Our days would be better spent reading The City of God or even Tolkien's Silmarillion than the doorstops printed by the Vatican press.

Is the age of activism better than the previous age of passive clericalism? Perhaps in some aspects, but it is scarcely a lasting solution. The earlier sense of lay people that they were comfortably sheltered from the occasional madness of their betters by the mere fact of their lower station has been eroded by the artificial elevation of the laity. There is no escape from the news cycle, nor from the demand of busybodies that they must decide on Important Issues without delay and without sufficient education. Suspension of judgment is considered unacceptable when all people are required to choose between polar positions that did not even exist mere weeks before.

Lay siege to Isengard and imprison the mischievous wizard within, if that is necessary for the world's safety. Make sure that Wormtongue is captured as well. Enjoy the peace of good Shire tobacco while the enemy screams and withers away.


  1. J.,
    Well stated! Two things come to mind. First, the old Spanish adage, "Act in haste, repent at leisure." Second, the quasi-mythical elderly British lady when asked if she was going to vote in the Parliamentary elections: "Oh no, I never vote. It only encourages them."

    1. I once experienced the wrath of a fellow grad student who couldn't understand why I would not make an absolute decision on "the global warming issue" after only a cursory examination of a few popular presentations. Twat.

  2. "Long gone are the days when common folk could keep to themselves and fight only when fought against,or when forced to fight by their rulers."
    This statement is why I attend a traditional chapel with Traditional holy orders & Sacraments.
    If Rome would reinstitute Traditional Episcopal Consecration,Ordination,and Sacraments,I'd gladly attend the local Indult with no problem.

    1. We don't live in 1984, so the "indult" term is a bit outmoded if backward, since it is where the most tangible interest in the old rite is and where the most viable path to its wider use rests.

      I guess the most difficult part about staying aside as a layman is that the problems in the Latin Church were brought on by the clergy and continue in great measure because of them.

    2. Thanks be to God, ABS has access to the Divine and Holy Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in a beautiful Greek Melkite Church less than 30 mins from home - just enough time for a rosary and a silent car ride.

      The Lil' Licit Liturgy is a laughable Latin Rite labile and laic Lord's Super event which features women roaming about the sanctuary as altar girls and Lectrix as the Presider parks it in the corner on his throne.The entire production is illustrative of how we Latins have made Christ decrease so we can increase and the Magisterium quite clearly does not give a damn about either right reason or right worship.

      One is tempted to say we have been left to the wolves but one can shoot the wolves and they can not talk and daily denounce us.

  3. It really is hard to find balance. After Trent, it was clericalism to the extreme. Now the tendency is to the opposite, although the clericalism hasn't really abated: extreme laicism is also very undesirable.

    After my brief stints with extreme opinions, I found it better not to worry about all that stuff and focus on living a good Catholic life; even if all that stuff is true, what does it profit me? I only need to do what God wants me to do, what I THINK I can do. I just read the stuff, if necessary, but I don't dwell on it.

  4. The day will come when the hobbits must scour the Shire. An act which wouldn't have been necessary had the hobbits not lain about smoking, and taken care of Sharkey and Wormtongue in the first place.