The Benedict Option Another Take

Fr. Longenecker writes at the Imaginative Conservative that the Benedict option may be the only option for us because there is no communication possible.

 If there is a disagreement, there is very little logical thought or rational debate. The two weapons of emotivism and utilitarianism usually rule the day. No true debate takes place. Instead, arguments are dismissed by changing the subject, launching a personal attack or playing the victim.

A position is advocated according to sentimental feelings or practical considerations. The more intellectual, like Lewis’ demon- possessed Weston, use intellectual arguments not as a process to discover the truth, but as a weapon—and a weapon that is more like a bludgeon than a rapier. If their intellectual argument falls flat, they simply deny, lie, and shout more loudly.

In other words, the Benedict Option may be the only option because debate has ended. Our society is so worm-eaten with relativism the any idea that one might use reason, research and debate to discover truth is defunct. The idea, not only that truth can be discovered, but that once discovered one has a duty to believe and obey, is even more obsolete. Consequently, if there is no truth there can be no reasoning into truth, and if there is no reasoning then there is no reason to argue. All is relegated to a matter of opinion—and often the opinion is not even offered as being true. The person asserts it simply because they believe it and they believe it because they assert it.

The Benedict Option is therefore more about a change of heart and mind than growing a beard, getting some chickens, and building a utopian religious community in the woods. The Benedict Option means coming to the realization that the time for dialogue and debate is over and the time for quiet action has begun.

But what about the example of Jesus? He didn’t stop preaching, even though he knew their hearts were hardened and they would not listen. He said, ” He who has the ears to hear, let him hear.” So how do we do this?


No Cake for You

This evangelist asked a gay bakery to make a traditional marriage cake. Now he may face charges.

In the wake of heated national debate over whether business owners should have the right to refuse to participate in same-sex “weddings” that violate their religious beliefs, Feuerstein, an internet evangelist, decided to see if pro-gay business owners would give him the same deference as a Christian that homosexual activists are demanding Christian business owners give to same-sex couples, even if they disagreed with his worldview.

He made a tape of himself calling Florida-based bakery “Cut the Cake” and asking them to make a cake decorated with the words, “We do not support gay marriage.” As Feuerstein expected, the bakery – which calls itself LGBT-friendly and advertises same-sex “wedding” services in gay publications – refused and hung up the phone.

Feuerstein posted video of the phone call to YouTube with commentary explaining his position. “Cut the Cake[‘s owner]…refuses to make an anti-gay ‘marriage’ cake, so it obviously violates her principles, and so she doesn’t feel like she should be forced to make the cake,” Feuerstein said in the video. “And yet…there’s all of this hoopla going around because Christian bakeries think that they shouldn’t be forced.”

But Cut the Cake’s owner, Sharon Haller, didn’t appreciate being made an example of by Feuerstein. She claims that as soon as Feuerstein’s video was posted, she began receiving dozens of phone calls from his fans and followers placing “fake orders” and telling her and the rest of her bakery staff to “kill ourselves.”

So now the fella’s gonna get sued.  (Let this be a lesson to peeps: know your recording consent laws.)

Feuerstein took down his video as soon as he became aware that Haller was receiving harassing phone calls. “I never asked people to call, be hateful or boycott them,” Feuerstein told WKMG 6.

But Haller quickly reposted the video to YouTube, along with a description classifying Feuerstein’s phone call as an “attack.” She asked people to “put a stop to people like Joshua Feuerstein” by donating to her GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $14,000.

Haller is also threatening to press charges, saying Feuerstein’s recording of the phone call without her consent violates Florida law. She has reached out to the FBI and is considering pursuing a criminal case.

Never, ever pass up an opportunity to get yourself in the news and a bundle of pity money on GoFundMe.  If the threats were that bad, do you think they would have reposted the video?

How to appease racial tensions

America, ask yourself: do we a) wipe out all reminder of our history that involved the evil of slavery or b) re-instate segregation because that will better support the rights of blacks in our Nation?

Answer: Let’s do both!

Most recently in New Orleans, but happening elsewhere in the country, SJWs are working tirelessly to remove all vestiges of history that remind us the USA’s time as a Slavery Supporting Evil Nation by tearing down Civil War monuments and renaming buildings and institutions.  I can hear their motto now: Destroying our history to preserve our future.  Lauren Southern talks about just this in The Destruction of History.

But not all blacks think this is such a great thing.  Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was recently interviewed by Fox and one of the hosts Brian Kilmeade asked her:

“I want to talk about where your book starts, and that’s our constitution […] As an African-American woman, do you see yourself in this constitution?

Do you think that, when we look at nine of our first twelve presidents as slave owners, should we start taking their statues down and say, we’re embarrassed by you?”

Rice didn’t think so:

“I am a firm believer in ‘keep your history before you.’ So I don’t actually want to rename things that were named for slave owners. I want us to have to look at those names, and realize what they did, and be able to tell our kids what they did and for them to have a sense of their own history.”

Rice, currently a Senior Fellow at the Stanford School of Business, said, “When you start wiping out your history; sanitizing your history to make you feel better? It’s a bad thing.”

She then took a quick trip through the constitution as it relates to blacks in America.

Noting that her ancestors were originally counted as three-fifths of a man, how her father faced trouble in 1952 trying to register to vote in Birmingham, Alabama, and how, in 2005, she stood in the Ben Franklin Room of the State Department and was administered an oath of office by “a Jewish woman Supreme Court justice, that’s the story of America,” she said.

Rice said George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other slave owners were “people of their times.” “What we should celebrate is that from the Jeffersons and the Washingtons as slave owners,” she added, “look at where we are now.”

At Harvard, however, they’re working to turn back the clock.  Blacks are leading the way to segregate themselves, so I guess it’s ok this time.  And I’m impressed that these Harvard students raised the money to pay for this, instead of demanding it from Harvard, but it’s seems like a waste of money.

Harvard University will be holding a special separate graduation ceremony this year for black graduate students, with plans to expand the new tradition to include black undergraduate students.

The special ceremony and subsequent reception will feature some 125 black students, who raised upwards of $27,000 themselves to cover the ceremony and party, The College Fix reported. It is worth noting that these students will also be taking part in the regular Harvard graduation ceremony for all students…

“This is an opportunity to celebrate Harvard’s black excellence and black brilliance,” said Michael Huggins, soon to graduate with a master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. “It’s an event where we can see each other and our parents and family can see us as a collective, whole group. A community.”

“This is not about segregation,” Huggins added. “It’s about fellowship and building a community. This is a chance to reaffirm for each other that we enter the work world with a network of supporters standing with us. We are all partners.”

Except that graduation ceremonies already provided a venue where parents, family and friends could celebrate the achievement and take note of the “network of supporters” without regard to race, color or creed…

The Root reported that black student college graduation rates across the country averaged 44 percent in 2011, yet the graduation rate for black students at Harvard approached 96 percent, far higher than the national average and seemingly indicative of there not really being a problem with black students being unable to achieve success at the school.

Not so fast though, as student Courtney Woods, soon to hold a master’s degree in education policy and management, explained: “Harvard’s institutional foundation is in direct conflict with the needs of black students. There is a legacy of slavery, epistemic racism and colonization at Harvard, which was an institution founded to train rising imperialist leaders. This is a history that we are reclaiming.”

If a group of students wants to raise $27,000 to have their own private graduation ceremony/party, more power to them, I guess.  But why?!  And how does excluding other races not just keep racism going?

But maybe they’re on to something.  Come on white people, let’s start holding our own private functions just for whites!  Oh, wait?  That’s racism and not allowed?  Even if we pay for it ourselves?

Liberal logic goes something like this:

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The conquest of Europe moves forward

Since we’re seeing a new Islamic conquest of Europe (one that just took a step forward due to the French election outcome), it seems timely to be reminded of the previous Islamic conquests.  Before you say, but remember the Crusades! take a look at this:

Also of interest from Bill Warner:

The Fate of France

As we all know by now, Le Pen lost and Macron won.  What will happen to France?  Time will tell, but I’m glad I don’t live in France.  Some folks think it was too late anyway. Some think that Le Pen’s loss won’t be the end of nationalism for the French, but that it will continue to grow.  What option do they really have?  Fight back or be destroyed.  Here are a couple different responses (PJW and Razorfist so language of course):

Paul Joseph Watson made this before the results were in.  His take was somewhat more hopeful than Razonfist’s but since Le Pen lost I’m not sure it matters.


Study attacks calling breastfeeding “natural” as unethical

This woman (and of course the people responsible for this “study” – if you can use the term so loosely) may be some of the stupidest, un-educated, and un-scientific people I have encountered.  Right… breastfeeding isn’t natural; it’s natural for dads to feed babies formula; and people didn’t used to rely on breastfeeding they way they do today – it’s some new, phenomenon.  The lack of ability to think is astounding.  The lack of historical or biological knowledge is dumbfounding.  This woman has clearly never been around or even met a real breastfeeding mom.  She thinks “breastfeeding is not beautiful; it’s horrible.”  Tell that to all the happily breastfeeding moms and babies out there, lady.

Are Video Games a Problem?

The Problem Behind the Problem with Video Games

I have been involved with mentoring apostolates for young men since I was in high school, and I can tell you that in the last 5-10 years there has been a major shift in the topic of video games. Prior to this shift, proposing that video games might not be a good thing resulted in benign reactions, maybe a little pushback, and usually just a reinforcement about moderation in all things, blah blah.

But now, the defensiveness of those wrapped up in video games reveals deep insecurity and disordered love. Recently I was in a room with hundreds of young men, and the talks were ranging from the problems of abortion, masturbation, pornography, adultery, gay marriage, transgenderism, and every other hot-topic of the culture wars. But then someone brought up video games, and suggested that perhaps young men should put those aside in order to grow in maturity. Outrage! The roar in the room and the backlash was astounding. You would think someone propose that they castrate themselves. Someone was attacking a disordered love and insecurity.

His title implies that there is a problem with video games. Maybe the push back he’s getting is because he’s lumping video games in with abortion and pornography and is trying to take games away from them.

In America, young men who are the same age as Don Juan of Austria was when he won the battle of Lepanto are rallying for few things, but they rally to defend their games. Usually this includes talk of “all things in moderation,” which is actually not a true statement. Lots of things – like love, compassion, and virtue – are not done in moderation. Moderation, then, needs moderation. And the inability for modern man to distinguish between leisure and amusement makes that a difficult conversation to have anyway.

Perhaps in some other post this fellow elaborates on what he means by the difference between leisure and amusement and what that has to do with anything. Who knows. On topic he then dismisses the possibility that games might have some good effect on coordination or problem solving because “the ends don’t justify the means.” The ends don’t justify the means IF the ends are evil. Are games intrinsically wrong?

I had games (Scorpion’s fatality is done by holding block and pressing up up), but when Mortal Kombat came out the game industry was just starting to capitalize on male boredom as a 13 billion dollar industry, and I was blessed with opportunities for real experiences too, but by college the growing addiction was clear among us. Addiction to games is similar to addiction to pornography, and both are growing the masculinity crisis. Today the industry is over 30 billion, and if pushers of drugs and porn are any indication, the focus on getting and keeping males addicted will continue.

I’m so impressed that he played Mortal Kombat. That sure makes him an expert. Or maybe it just means he’s old and out of touch. The idea that game addiction is the similar as pornography addiction is absurd. Is my addiction to caffeine the same as a heroin addiction? Excuse me a moment, I need to step out and go see the coffee bean dealer behind the dumpster in the McDonald’s parking lot. I gotta get my fix.

The things that typically draw in young men, even when unhealthy or imperfect, share a sense of loyalty and solidarity, with the nobility of self-sacrifice being praised and selfishness being punished. The military, gangs, and sports – things dominated by males – all share a belonging, a hierarchy of codes and authority, and the call to do daring and dangerous feats. They are ways of living and belonging, and the dangers is are not just for the cheapness of “thrill” but in the willingness to sacrifice for a cause – to be for others and for a mission. What, beyond economic security, are we for today? If you have ever felt repulsed at the disrespect of a young man absorbed in video games, you can usually count on him being absorbed in a game that attempts, however feebly and pitifully, to reproduce the things forgotten by a society gone bored. That’s the problem behind the problem.

The problem is that society has crushed everything that is noble, interesting, and fun out of men’s lives. Woman have invaded almost every male only space, and SWJs poison is creeping into even things like sports. And now this fellow appears to be saying we can’t have video games.

First, video games are not evil. They are not porn or drugs. Second, you can consume them in moderation. Third, men need an outlet which allows them to do these things. They need an outlet in a man dominated space. (This is not to say that there are no female gamers.  It is to say that there’s nothing wrong with more guys playing games than girls do.) This is good for men. While the author of this dismisses the possibility that video games can have good effects, don’t you think that something that encourages men to behave in heroic and loyal ways might be helpful in inculcating these good traits which aren’t being encouraged anywhere else?

Certainly you could be addicted to video games, and when life sucks, it’s pretty easy to sink deep into a hobby which is fun and escapist. But if guys have the right incentive they’ll come out again. In GamerGate you’d see people talking about how with their games they’d trained for years for this moment, the moment where they get to fight a boss in real life, and they trained to win. If you think guys are spending too much time withdrawn, playing games, then be constructive not destructive. The trick should be giving men a real world outlet for things that men naturally want to do rather than telling them that what outlets they have are no good.