Daily Archives: May 21, 2009

After Ten Years

That is the title of the fragment, attributed to C. S. Lewis, of a novel about Menelaus and Helen being reunited after the Trojan War. I’m not going to get into the Kathryn Lindskoog/Walter Hooper debate here. It’s been a while since I’ve caught up on it.

I just thought the title was appropriate.

Anniversaries are interesting things. We celebrate anniversaries of our marriages, and our births, and our baptisms, and first dates, and so forth.

10 years ago this evening I saw Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

After growing up seeing that “Episode IV” thing at the top of the scroll for Star Wars and hearing that Lucas had plans for a “prequel,” it was a pretty significant event for me, like many in my generation.

I’ve never understood why people had such a problem with Jar-Jar Binks, except that they don’t have a sense of fun.

Attack of the Clones was much better than Phantom Menace, and everything that Phantom Menace did could have been accomplished in a half hour to an hour. Fans were really expecting emphasis on how Obi Wan and Anakin “fought together in the Clone Wars”, or how Vader hunted down the Jedi. The long-held expectation was that “Episode III” would predominantly feature Darth Vader.

Instead, the prequels feature a lot of exposition and politicizing and intrigue with little action.

Attack of the Clones is hardly an “attack” and more like, “Investigation of the clones.”

The original use of “Clone Wars” in A New Hope was probably an allusion to the “eugenics wars” referred to in Star Trek (since Lucas is a huge Trekkie), but I, for one, had always thought that the Jedi were fighting *against* “the clones.” So the idea that the wars were called “Clone Wars” when the “enemy” were droids, and the “clones” became the basis of the Imperial Storm Troopers, is a bit confusing. It really should be the “Droid-Clone Wars” or something. . . .
So, ironically, with the Clone Wars 2D and 3D animated series on Cartoon Network (and movie last night), we actually saw more of what, I think, fans were expecting from the prequels.

Most of the Jedi in Episode III are actually killed by the clones, not by Vader. And when “Vader” kills the Jedi (mostly kids) at the Temple, it’s “just” Anakin, but now called “Darth Vader.”

So then Lucas said he was going to do a live action series about the intervening years, presumably dealing with Darth Vader “hunting down” the remaining Jedi (what, again, the third prequel should have been), but it’s been years since I’ve heard anything about that alleged project.

And this post is not at all what I’d intended it to be. . . .

But that was a significant event in a very important weekend.

Meta-Post: No more "Anonymous" posting

Per “Anonymous’s” “advice”, but for different reasons (i.e., I was tapped out and wanted to avoid writing out of mere pride), I pooled my network of experts for assistance on the debate. They’re all unanimous on two points.

First, as Fr. Vonhogen of SQPN put it:

“Your anonymous interlocutor might be confused as to who should talk to a
priest or a theologian.”

Second, “don’t debate with anyone who’s anonymous.”

I have always allowed anonymous posting, because I can understand people not wanting to have to sign up for an account just to post one comment. I’m also not a big fan of “word verification”.

At first, I made no posting restrictions and got spam. Early on, I got some rather antagonistic “Anonymous” posts.

So then I switched to comment moderation, which a couple people in the past two days have recommended. My problem with that is that it can also be a bit intimidating.

So I dropped comment moderation (I can always delete) and went to word verification. Word verification stops spam but it doesn’t stop “Anonymous.”

And, in the four years since I started this blog, a lot has changed. There’s now OpenID. There’s also the ability to just create a screen name without an account. And plenty of people have blogger accounts that they just use for commenting and nothing else. Lastly, plenty of people do not sign up for accounts but post on blogs officially as “anonymous,” then sign some kind of first name or pseudonym at the end of the post, so at least people have something to address them by.

Pseudonyms are great, but posting totally anonymously gives a certain power to the commentor. First, it puts “dialogue” on an uneven footing. Going by the old Hebrew principle, when you use a name, it creates a certain power. Even a nickname or pseudonym has the same effect. But one party being totally nameless, while the other party is addressed by name (or nickname, or pseudonym) puts the anonymous party in a certain level of control.

Plus, if a discussion should involve multiple comments, anonymous posting causes confusion.

Therefore, I’m adopting a policy whereby *some* sort of registration is required. I think most people online now have *at least* a Google, Yahoo or AOL account, not to mention several of the other options on OpenID.

Plus, coincidentally, I had just signed up for an account with a second service for tracking my traffic. This new one allows me to see how many visits I get, based upon various criteria including location and ISP or IP address.

From John Kippley

Since “Anonymous” told me to consult some priests and theologians, I did. John and Sheila Kippley are two of the top Natural Family Planning experts and writers out there. Individually and toogether, they’ve written several books on NFP, including “the” guide to sympto-thermal (they were the authors of the official Couple to Couple League book until they started their own school). Sheila has posted here a couple times.

Basically, what he said echoes what I’ve already said, and actually anticipates some of “Anonymous’s” assertions, but here it is:

Sheila forwarded to me your request for some theological input regarding your anonymous interlocutor who says we don’t have to listen to the Popes unless they are speaking ex cathedra. I use the technical term rather than “infallibly,” for the teaching of Casti Connubii and Humanae Vitae is, in the opinion of many, both infallible in their teaching and put forth as infallible teaching by reason of transmitting the unfailing Tradition of the Church. But there is also widespread agreement that it has not been stated ex cathedra.
In response to your correspondent, you will want to refer to Vatican II, Lumen Gentium (LG), n. 25. (LG is the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, the first of the Vat ii documents.) The second paragraph of that section says it all.
In my book, Sex and the Marriage Covenant, Chapter 7, “Forming a Correct Conscience,” I have applied the teaching of LG 25 to Humanae Vitae. As the late and great Msgr. William B. Smith told me, “John, you have demonstrated ad nauseam the mind and will of the Popes on this matter.”
We might ask, “Why haven’t the Popes declared this issue ex cathedra?” We need to keep in mind that almost all the moral teaching of the Church is done via the ordinary magisterium of the Church. In my opinion, if the Pope were to teach the doctrine of marital non-contraception ex cathedra, that might have the effect of undermining the ordinary magisterium. The dissenters on other issues would say, “See, the Pope taught ex cathedra on contraception but hasn’t done so on issue X.
Therefore issue X is up for grabs.” [note that “Anonymous” made this very assertion: that JPII condemned abortion ex cathedra, so, by extension, contraception must be OK, proving John Kippley’s point.]
Two chapters of SMC are currently at our website in full. Chapter 4, “Holy Communion: Eucharistic and Marital” (first written as an article that appeared in 1967, 15 months before Humanae Vitae); and Chapter 12 dealing with the Repentant Sterilized Couple.

Jill Stanek on Notre Dame and the Modernist "infestation’ of the Church

Proof of a so-called conservative myth: Obama calls babies a punishment

H/T to Creative Minority Report

States with Abstinence Only have less abortions

Reports “Cosmos Liturgy Sex”. I’m not feeling well enough to analyze the statistics right now, so please follow the link. 🙂

Matt Abbbott quotes extensively from _Rite of Sodomy_ regarding Weakland

Randy Engel’s Rite of Sodomy is one of those books that even got a lot of criticism from the Right when it came out for its alleged poor journalism, sensationalism, etc.

Well, just like with Michael Rose’s Good-bye Good Men, revelations gradually prove it true. In today’s column, Matt Abbott quotes her passages on Archbishop Rembert Weakland.