The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Extra, extra! News and views for Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Here are some articles, essays, and editorials that caught our attention this past week or so.*

Oliver Anthony singing "Rich Men North of Richmond." (Image: Screen shot/YouTube)

Viral Tune – “What Does the Popularity of ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ Tell Us about State of our State?” Distress Music (SALVO)

A Kind and Witty Man – “Father James V. Schall, S.J. remains a beloved figure among those who value intellectual curiosity, liberal learning, whimsical writing, and fidelity to the best of classical and Christian wisdom.” Modern Will vs. Classical Restraint: The Mind of James V. Schall (Intercollegiate Studies Institute)

Liberal Policies – Legal expert says SB 596 could punish parents for sending two emails that cause a school board official to ‘mentally suffer’ Critics warn California bill protecting school officials would punish parents who speak out at board meetings (Fox News)

Postliberal Intellectuals – “Figures ranging from John Kenneth Galbraith to Robert Reich have long insisted that American capitalism must be restructured to correct major imbalances that, they hold, unjustly favor capital at everyone else’s expense.”   Postliberal Manifesto (The Washington Free Beacon)

The Power of Song – “The oldest written body of law in classical antiquity, known as the Locrian Code, was attributed to Zaleucus, a lowly shepherd who was born a slave in a Greek colony in southern Italy.” How Musicians Invented the Law (The Honest Broker)

Wild Drug Abuse – Ben West was incensed. Oregon’s attempt at drug decriminalization has been ‘an unmitigated disaster,’ he said. People are ‘dying on our streets.’ Voters had been ‘bamboozled.’ Oregonians Turning against Drug-Decriminalization ‘Mistake’ amid Record ODs, ‘Dystopian Nightmare’ (National Review)

Eugenic Conservatives – “In May 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump promised, ‘Five, 10 years from now—different party. You’re going to have a worker’s party.'” Against the Eugenicons (Compact)

Chicken Scientists – “Researchers everywhere are doing work that raises hard questions about the safety of mRNA Covid shots. Everywhere except the United States, that is. Why?” On the cowardice of American scientists (Unreported Truths)

Eucharistic Revival – “Preparations have been underway for some time for the National Eucharistic Congress, which will take place next summer in Indianapolis.” How to Start a Revival (The Catholic Thing)

A Pandemic of Failures – “Three of the most important of these lessons concern public health officials: The tendency of leaders to overstate dangers and, therefore, the measures necessary to counteract them; a failure to exhibit sufficient forthrightness and self-correction; and the active suppression of alternative points of view.” A Pandemic Post-Mortem (Law & Liberty)

Grand Jury Reports – “Some felt that prosecutors were piling on, that the church was not offered an opportunity to defend itself. Some saw an anti-Catholic bias at work or headline-chasing by politically ambitious district attorneys.” The complicated legacy of state investigations of the Catholic sex abuse crisis (America)

Moment to Moment – “We live in a world where time is indivisible. Our lives become more meaningful and tradition becomes possible only when we acknowledge that fact.” The Indivisibility of Time and the Meaning of Tradition (National Catholic Register)

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  1. @ Moment to Moment
    Dr DeMarco identifies a phenomenon that convinced Einstein that time is a commonly held illusion. There are relations in space. We have simultaneous causal events rather than sequence. Mozart, says DeMarco, envisioned an opus in the moment, rather than sequence [time].
    Saint Peter tells us time is irrelevant for God, All is one, a thousand years likened to a day. Theologically, we know God doesn’t know in sequence. What that means for Man is that his future is contained within, rather than the expectation of sequence of events. It confirms our freedom of will. To determine what we are rather than wait for events to occur over which we have little control. It’s our teleological realization through the gift of grace rather than a haphazard expectation of events.

  2. Eugenic Conservatives – “In the interwar American South, the greatest opposition to involuntary eugenic sterilization came from evangelical Protestants”

    That may have been the case in other Southern States but in Louisiana, it was Catholics who successfully opposed state sterilization laws. I know that some otherwise decent, respected Southern Protestants enthusiastically promoted eugenics back then. It was a huge progressive delusion similar to “transgenderism” today.

    Catholics opposed eugenics in Massachusetts also. Even though Mass. couldn’t get state sponsored sterilization laws enacted, they did that through the back door in state mental hospitals as a “treatment.”
    And thank you very much for sharing the link to this article.

  3. One point is missed in this whole debate. That is nobody makes a person serve on a school board. If the boards cannot be responsive or the individual members feel oppressed for whatever reason, then they should resign. That is how our democracy works. These school boards have only encourage the growth of private education which they despise.

  4. @ Eucharistic Revival
    Writer Stephen White summarizes: “The real challenge, of course, is what comes after.”
    Well, yes, what continues after the glitz? But even more important to the scheduled Eucharistic Revival event, is what came before…. Two points:

    FIRST, do we drift away from the sacramental Real Presence because, historically and culturally, we post-Enlightenment types have already and long-ago drifted away from the earlier and astonishing (Benedict said “alarming”) fact (!) and the deep meaning of the Incarnation of the Triune One into a selected moment of human history?

    About which, von Balthasar offered this to an anesthetized, and therefore “pluralist” and religiously amnesiac world:

    “The responses of the Old Testament and a fortiori of Islam (which remains essentially in the enclosure of the religion of Israel) are incapable of giving a satisfactory answer to the question of why Yahweh, why Allah, created a world of which he did not have need in order to be God. Only the fact is affirmed in the two religions, not the why. The Christian response is contained in these two fundamental dogmas: that of the Trinity and that of the Incarnation.”

    What’s this?

    Deeper than the physics of Quantum Mechanics; or economics or any other kind of mechanics, “God is Love” (1 Jn 4:8)? The Incarnation! Finally, pastorally direct and inspired instruction (CCC 1374) from all 17,000 parish ambos can now ramp up, even before the more managerial big doin’s in Annapolis in 2024! What a difference ten minutes can make!

    SECOND, and then there’s the USCCB’s substitution of this quarantined “revival” for the originally proposed Eucharistic “coherence”—as if morals, e.g., while in public office, are now temporarily separable from revivalist sacramentality? A Pentecostal/Catholic “Great Awakening!”

    But, surely, this necessarily remedial and short-term sequencing of integral Faith & Morals soon will be clarified by Cardinal Fernandez of the DDF (Dicastery for the Doctrine of the faith) as he champions the inborn natural law and non-negotiable moral absolutes reflected in the Catechism and Veritatis Splendor.

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