Knights of the Patronage

All right, so I will now get back to more edifying business. I have given everyone more than a piece of my mind on the question of the election, as have also some of you who have commented here.

I apologize for my snarkiness. My desire was to defend a pro-life woman who was being trashed all over the place. I got carried away and I am duly rebuked by the lady, though I really don’t know what her point is about Ben Stein’s movie.

Templar Prayer

I still can’t find a translation of the Templars’ prayer to Our Lady, which is unfortunate. The best I can come up with this description provided by the scholar who found the Chinon Parchment:

It was “beautiful and moving” and “full of poetry”, Dr Frale said, but “incredibly has never been studied”. The prayer is addressed to “Holy Mary, mother of God”, the “consolation of those who hope”, and “humbly implores” her to obtain freedom for the order “through the intercession of the angels, archangels, prophets, evangelists, apostles, martyrs, confessors and virgins”. It adds that the Virgin Mary knows that “our enemies” have spread “calumnies and lies” about the order, and pleads with her to make them “return to truth and charity”.

In their rite of profession, the Knights Templar formulated their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in terms of solemn promises made to “God and St. Mary,” so it is no wonder that the they would have turned to Mary in their dire circumstances, invoking Her as the “consolation of those who hope,” and having confident recourse to Her for deliverance.

In fact this spontaneous confidence in the power of Mary to overcome evil has always been the intuition of Christians. I would like to share a little reflection on the ancient devotion to Mary and the development of chivalry in the context of another prayer found on a manuscript that had been hidden in obscurity for many years. Continue reading

Another Reason to Just Turn Oprah Off

Before your brain leaks out your ears:

What I saw with Barack Obama was something that was transcendent and I felt transformational for me as a human being and for this country. And I only pray in the deepest part of my being that America will rise to this moment. And I feel that what he was able to offer us as individual citizens and as a united country was something that we have never seen before. I really, I think it’s the most powerful thing I’ve ever experienced.

Fortunately it seems that the “One” just might be done.

Talking Turkey About the Moose Hunter

Okay, I have a touch of Palimania.  I admit it.  But I am on the road to recovery.  Still, I will say up front that the Palin pick has swayed my vote.

Think about it.  All the mythology about The One, which took 18 months and the art of Hollywood to create, was all blown away in a few days by a real middle class, religious, staunchly pro-life mom who does not appear to be politically motivated.  Even if the Republicans loose, the moment is too sweet not to savor.

BTW, Palin’s speech came close to surpassing the record breaking viewership of the big 0’s speech, even though Palin’s had been carried by 4 fewer networks.  No smoke and mirrors, no Greek god motif and no support from Oprah!  Not bad.

Whatever might be the celebrity effect that has been caused by her gender, attractiveness and story, I think that the kind of support she is receiving from the right could in no way be generated if she were not the no-nonsense, social conservative that she is.

Considering what is at stake, I think Catholics and other Christians who brush this ticket off are going to die old maids.  At some point you have to be thankful for what you have, even if it is not perfect.  That just might as well be a donkey in the back of that truck.

Even so, the objections raised against the whole working mother iconography of Sarah Palin, one that militates against the traditional socially conservative religious view of marriage and family life, cannot easily be dismissed.  I was a bit mortified by this post by Debbie Schlussel:

And for the last several days, my jaw dropped to note the partisan pandering on both sides of the aisle, first as prominent liberal feminist women suddenly discover that a woman actually should stay home and raise a family, but second–and far more disappointing to me–as conservatives and Republicans suddenly endorse the fictional notions that 1) a woman can do it all and working women are good at raising a family–nix on both; and 2) it’s not a problem that a man quit his job and subvert his life to raise the family in submission to the ambitions of his wife.

It’s odd–and, frankly, jarring–to hear formerly traditional family values conservatives throw it all former principle out the window to adopt the lingua franca of what was once the exclusive domain of the Gloria Steinems and Betty Friedans of the world, to call “sexist,” those who raise the issue of Sarah Palin’s ability to mother her family and be a full-time working woman at the same time.

What is, since Friday, now “sexist” to these many conservatives-cum-lemmings, was yesterday “traditional family values.”

Ouch.  O course, I know this.  It is why I pointed out that Palin’s political career appears more like the efforts of a mom, who was fed up with the good ‘ol boys, to set things right.  This has happened before, even in Catholic cultures.  Women have found themselves in extraordinary circumstances and have risen to unheard of prominence in order to right the wrong.  This usually happens when the men who should have done this, either were afraid to do it or were incapable of doing it.

I also have been willing to consider the possibility that providence has led us to this point.  How else do you explain the  fact that a middle class hockey mom with little backing, money and power has come this far, this fast?  And she is still nursing a special needs baby!  One might argue that just because she is stepping outside the traditional role, does not mean that every woman should.

The problem is Sarah Palin does portray herself as a feminist and does encourage women to break all the barriers.  It does seem as though she thinks that a mom can do it all, and all of it well.

Schlussel also points out that the Palimania is also causing the advocates of traditional values to except the emasculation of men:

When Palin was initially announced, last Friday, as the McCain choice, I cheered her on. What I didn’t realize is that she had five kids, some of them very young. What I also didn’t realize was that, for all the talk by the GOP about this “hockey mom,” the real hockey mom in this picture–for the last two years, at least–has been Mr. Mom, Todd Palin.

I am, as you can see, inclined to see the best in all this. I am not so sure that Todd Palin is quite as emasculated as Schlussel thinks.  It remains to be seen.

I also think that Schlussel goes a bit overboard on her comments about the situation with Bristol Palin.  Everyone knows that Sarah Palin advocates abstinence and has backed that up in both her political and personal life.

In the end Schlussel is not so scandalized that she feels obligated to abstain from voting for the McCain / Palin ticket, and neither am I:

I like Sarah Palin, and I will be voting for her, more than John McCain.

But is her Mr. Mom marital employment and child-rearing dynamic a good example for the boys of America? Is it a good example for the girls of America?

Only if you want your men–no matter how studly and masculine–to be women, and your women–no matter how good-looking and feminine, as Mrs. Palin is–to be men.

For conservatives to sweep these issues under the rug now that “one of ours” is doing it, is to say that for all these years, our movement was a fraud.

Well, I for one will not sweep it under the rug.  But neither am I so naive to think that this culture war is going to be won overnight and without some measure of imperfection.  I do agree, however that it is ridiculous for social conservatives to be suddenly screaming sexism when they are asked if a mother with five children can reasonably undertake the office of Vice-President.

Templar Update

The universally acknowledge (i.e. in the universe of Hertfordshire) expert on all things Templar has condescended to tell us what the Vatican’s new release of a Templar prayer means:

Modern day Templar Ben Acheson told the Herald: “This seems to be an attempt at apologising. Saying sorry by releasing a poem is rather cryptic and dramatic, but the Templars and the Vatican like to conduct business that way when it comes to matters grave and ancient.”

Ben, old man, What is so cryptic about a prayer to Our Lady by the monks who actually pronounced their vows to “God and St. Mary?  Perhaps you have access to the ancient manuscripts?  No one else seems to have a copy of the prayer.

Even the warden of the Illuminati Conspiracy Archive from whence comes the link cannot verify the story of the supposed Templar/Vatican conspiracy codified in the prayer:

TM:I have no definite opinion on the Acheson claims. The local Hertfordshire “press,” however, have been “reporting” on this for quite some time, and never seem to seriously question the validity of the Achesons. This, it seems, is outright exploitation of the public’s credulity in the wake of the Da Vinci Code phenomenon.

I know I am such a stick in the mud.  I can’t help it.  I just think it would be much more fun if these Templar poseurs would do more of the reanactment stuff and less of the esoteric skullduggery.

The Archbishop Has Not Wasted Any Time

Archbishop Raymond Burke, the new prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, and thereby the pope’s canon lawyer, has not wasted any time in authorizing any minister of communion to deny the Eucharist to phony Catholic politicians.  I should clarify that the good bishop has not done this in any official capacity but in the context of a interview with the Italian magazine, Radici Christiane.  In any case it is very significant that Archbishop Burke, in his new and very powerful capacity, has been willing to commit himself once again to this position in the public forum at all.  This clearly means that he is willing to back this up with his authority if necessary.

Woohoo!  Finally!

I wonder what Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden and Doug Kmiec are thinking now.

Might I not suggest a special ceremony to celebrate.  Something like the following:

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