Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Ongoing Self-Debilitation Of "The Thinking Housewife"

Liberals look to the inter-related welfare of all people - even those whom the traditional Christian God might consider "lost" -
whereas conservatives are primarily interested in defining how many undeserving (or damned) people they can "rightfully" jettison from the purview of their care in order to lavish political attention on "the chosen few" made in their own image.

"You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image 
when it turns out God hates all the same people you do."
Fr. Tom Weston S. J.

Dear Fred,

I agree that Laura's blog has weakened.

She unwittingly belittles conservatism by converting her philosophy into a precious miniature of the moribund Party Of Angry White Guys.

Same holds true for conservative Christianity.

Laura's lily-white puritanism reveals that "the best is enemy of the good" and that "the best, imposed as a norm, becomes evil."

I am not sure however she has become "scattered" (as you suggest) in the customary sense.

Rather, "The Thinking Housewife's" increasing debilitation is attributable to ever greater concentration on racial purity, an obsessive subset of puritanical authoritarianism. 

I find no precedent in the Catholic Magisterium for racial segregation or opposition to marriage between spouses of different races.

If we probe Laura's supremacist lineage, Adolf Hitler stands out as the most memorable champion of white superiority.

Racial Supremacy -- white supremacy in particular -- does not ends well.

One could accurately call it "a near occasion of sin."

Perhaps Laura's blindness to the "downside" of racial purity is due to female practicality manifesting as ferocious pragmatism that predisposes her to mistake the unarguable utility of racial purity -- with its (relative) harmony, solidarity and uncomplicated peaceableness -- for divine ordination.

The presumed "virtue of utility" is a way station on the road to reification, the central depersonalization that results in the elevation of institutions and things over people.

Matthew 15: God's Law And Human Tradition. 
How Readily We Let The Latter Trump The Former

Matthew, Chapter 23: "Religious Fashion Shows" Conducted By "Frauds"

Laura seems impervious to the realization that racial purity is not only shadowed -- but stalked -- by denigration of "The Other," a degradation of God's children that is both literal and figurative.

Racial purity promotes The Self's narcissitic identification with others who are "just like oneself" - preferably "others" who sign off on doctrines that "prove" "The Other" is effectively isolated and has no proper place in the society of "The Saved!" 

Anxiety over personal salvation -- especially among people who believe that an "Unquenchable Lake Of Fire" a real, physical destination -- will do anything to relieve that unbearable angst. 

It is precisely this angst that undergirds Pascal's observation: "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."

Americans, Especially Catholics, Approve Of Inquisitorial Torture

"Trial By Ordeal: The Bloody Old Testamental Roots Of Modern Justice"

Had Laura lived in 1930s Germany, it is not hard to imagine her sympathy with Nazism's nascent denigration of Jews, the only available dark-skinned demographic on whom Aryans might shunt their "shadow."
Psychological Projection

Best Pax Posts On Psychological Projection And "The Shadow"

Psychological Projection, "The Shadow" And American Conservatism's Hatred Of Islam

Compendium Of Best Pax Posts On "Too Pure Principles" And The Collapse Of Conservatism

The Thinking Housewife goes well beyond evangelical uncharitableness to the hostile idée fixe that black (or brown) bogeymen lurk behind most social, political and religious ills. 

"Charity is the soul of faith, it gives it life; without love, faith dies."
St. Anthony of Padua

Dorothy Day: “I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”

I take Laura's refusal to engage my "liberal" position (or any liberal position) as a sign that she cannot engage except on grounds of dogmatism, dogmatism that routinely contradicts the Nazarene's spoken teaching at least as set forth in the canonical gospels.

"Love Your Enemies. Do Good To Those Who Hate You," Luke 6: 27-42

Yeshua Excoriates Fellow Pharisees: "The Woe Passages"

Liberalism: "Satanic Rebellion Against God?" (The Thinking Housewife)

It may even be that the decline of "The Thinking Housewife's" blog traces to the moment she threatened me with lawsuit and her subsequent passion for circling the wagons ever closer and digging the trenches even deeper. 

In light of her new and deepening obsession, Laura's determination to rationalize black responsibility for the fatal train wreck in Philadelphia is jaw-dropping.

It is much more likely Laura cannot mention me in her blog because any light she shines on "Pax" would shake some of her followers into realizing Laura's lunacy and the "inconvenient" inquiry such illumination would provoke.

At bottom, Laura and her fellows are self-interested legalists -- neo-Pharisees -- focused on their own salvation rather than the salvation of others from which the former derives.

Matthew, Chapter 23: "Religious Fashion Shows" Conducted By "Frauds"

Every generation of Pharisees is keen to sacrifice others (particularly infidels and sinners) to advance the cause of their own salvation.

Pope Francis: There Are Two Ways Of Having Faith: 
We Can Fear To Lose The Saved And We Can Want To Save The Lost"

Yes, The Saved! can "play at religion" just as callow students "play at school."

But in the end "The Saved!" must "answer" for their hard-hearted lack of mercy and correlative determination to denigrate those they conceive as lost. 

Here is a letter I wrote two nights ago:

Dear Fred,

I've pondered Laura's existential reliance on several popes' teaching that "Extra ecclesiam, nulla salus" -- -- culminating with Pope Paul IV's passionate confirmation of "salvation only within the church."

From Wikipedia:
"Paul IV strongly affirmed the Catholic dogma of extra ecclesiam nulla salus ("Outside the Church there is no salvation"). The strengthening of the Inquisition continued under Paul IV, and few could consider themselves safe by virtue of position in his drive to reform the Church; even cardinals he disliked could be imprisoned.[5]
In 1555 he issued a canon (papal law), Cum Nimis Absurdum, by which the Roman Ghetto was created. Jews were then forced to live in seclusion in a specified area of the rione Sant'Angelo, locked in at night, and he decreed that Jews should wear a distinctive sign, yellow hats for men, and veils or shawls for women.[6] Jewish ghettos existed in Europe for the next 315 years."

Remarkably, this vicious bigot is the fellow on whom Laura hangs her hope of salvation.
Here is my question: 

"If the Holy Spirit vouchsafed the papal teaching of "Extra ecclesiam," how do we explain the Holy Spirit's inability to vouchsafe the outcome of the 1958 papal conclave, an event which took place inside The Sistine Chapelsealed off from the world, with only duly-vested cardinals in attendance?
I realize that human beings' ability to justify "whatever they wish to believe" is perhaps boundless.
Even so, Laura (and her followers) cannot have it both ways.
Either The Holy Spirit's guidance of the Vatican's most revered and rarefied body of prelates is effective in warranting the outcome of papal conclaves, or, it is just as likely the Holy Spirit is ineffective warranting other matters of church authority like the "extra ecclesiam" doctrine.

It is more plausible that corruption would have entered into the mind of individual popes (like vicious, maliciouis Pope Pius IV) rather than into the collective decision-making of "all cardinals solemnly gathered" -- with the eyes of the world upon them -- for the sole purpose of choosing a papal successor.
The "traditionalist" explanation that Cardinal Siri's purported election to the papacy (at the 1958 conclave) was subverted by "intrigue within the cardinalate" does not pass the straight face test. 

Nor did Siri himself express any public conviction that the conclave had been corrupt. 

At minimum, one would think that revelation of any shenanigans would have been Cardinal Siri's moral responsibility had they taken place.
I encourage you to read "The Siri Thesis" as detailed in the following Wikpedia entry.

Reasons for belief

The followers of the Siri Thesis claim that during the papal conclave of 1958, Cardinal Siri, who was considered the leading conservative candidate, was elected Pope on the first day of the conclave, October 26, and took the pontifical name of Gregory XVII.[3] However, the pro-Siri movement itself quoted Siri as making clear his intention to refuse if elected. [4]
Newspapers the world over carried the Associated Press picture of the white smoke emanating from the Sistine Chapel chimney from 5:55 PM until 6:00 PM on October 26, 1958. White smoke indicates that a Pope has been elected. Vatican Radio also concluded that a Pope had been elected on the third ballot and announced it as such, telling listeners, "The smoke is white... There is absolutely no doubt. A Pope has been elected."[1] However, no Pope appeared, and at 6 PM the smoke changed to black, signaling that no Pope had been elected.[5]
Two days later, the white smoke again rose from the Sistine Chapel, and Angelo Roncalli emerged to become Pope John XXIII. Supporters of the Siri Thesis believe that evidence indicates that Cardinal Siri was elected on October 26 when the white smoke was seen but no Pope emerged on the balcony, and that dire threats against the Cardinals and the Vatican were made during this time, emanating in part from theKremlin. Some believe that the pressures included a nuclear threat against the Vatican itself if Siri were not set aside and a more acceptable candidate chosen.[citation needed]
This idea is founded on the outcry against Siri's strong anti-communist stance.
Malachi Martin later said that Siri had been elected as Pope during the Papal conclave, October 1978. He said in March 1997 on Paranet Continuum radio programme Steel on Steel, hosted by John Loefller, that Siri had received a written note after his initial election threatening him and his family with death should he accept.[6] Martin wrote of threats which involved "the very existence of the Vatican state" during a conclave on pages 600–10 of his book The Keys of this Blood. According to Martin, after such threats entered the conclave, progressive factions amongst the cardinals in the conclave, particularly the French cardinals, pressured Siri to step aside, claiming that his strong anti-Communist policies would lead, among other things, to widespread persecution of Catholics in Eastern Europe. Siri would then have accepted this suggestion and stepped aside, rather than having said that he would refuse to serve if elected.
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation allegedly claimed that Siri had indeed been elected on the third ballot on October 26, 1958,[2] according to the book The Vatican Exposed: Money, Murder, and the Mafia by Paul L. Williams on pages 90–92, which cites an FBI document as reference; this document, allegedly declassified, can no longer be found; Williams adamantly refused to comment on why he included the alleged document and reference number in his book, or why the document could no longer be viewed.[citation needed]
According to some Siri theorists, if Siri had resigned, it would have been invalid according to Canon 185 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, which states (Canon 188 in the 1983 Code of Canon Law): "Resignation made out of grave fear that is inflicted unjustly or out of malice, substantial error, or simony is invalid by the law itself."[7]


A small group of traditional Catholics rejects the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, and in some circles this rejection extends even to the validity of the post-Council Popes themselves; in their view, Pope Pius XIIwas the "last true Pope."[2]
A branch of sedevacantists, adherents of the thesis, who are also known as Sirianists to adversaries of the Thesis, also consider that John XXIII and the official popes are antipopes, while Siri reigned as the suppressed head of the Catholic Church until his death in 1989.[2] However, unlike in historical antipope disputes, Siri never publicly claimed to be Pope or questioned the validity of the papacies of John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I or John Paul II. The Sirianists hold that Siri was under constant surveillance and under a constant death threat and thus was forced to remain silent for fear of his life.[8]


The authoritative biography of Cardinal Siri by Raimondo Spiazzi and other Italian biographers do not even mention the newspaper article.[11] Hutton Gibson, who was a one time cautious supporter of the Siri Thesis, rejected the belief and asserted it was based largely on a mistranslation of an Italian newspaper article.[2][12] The change of white to black smoke was recorded by Silvio Negro for the evening edition of Corriere della Sera (Milan, Italy) on 27 October.[2] However, Negro, Gibson contends, was actually discussing an occurrence at the 1939 conclave in one key paragraph in the article.[2] Gibson's assertion has been itself disputed by supporters of the Thesis.[13][14][15]
The Siri thesis was first promoted by Gary Giuffre in four installments of 'Exile of the Pope Elect'. At that time it was theorized that Siri was elected in the 1963 (not 1958) conclave and in both 1978 conclaves. Giuffre alleges it was revealed by Siri himself in Rome in June 1988 to a traditional priest from Vietnam, that following the death of Pius XII that he was elected at the October 26, 1958 conclave and chose the name Gregory XVII.

I will close with a meta-level analysis.

In any organization, the most adamant believers -- be they Christian fundamentalists, orthodox Zionists or Islamic jihadists -- will assert their infallible authority.  (Not surprisingly, competing authoritarians, particularly among the three Abrahamic religions, are convinced their counterparts are woefully deceived.)

The assertion of "infallible authority" is what "true believers" do, not because they are infallible but because their psycho-spiritual pre-disposition obliges them to assert superiority and self-certainty.

Infallibility - vehemently opposed by Lord Acton - is a self-confirming, self-perpetuating form of egotism.,_1st_Baron_Acton#Religion_and_writings

In the end, all such assertions are fatuous certifications  of tautology, and all adamant believers who follow in the track of presumed de facto infallibility conveniently overlook the core tautology blinded by the light of Grand Proclamations that cannot be questioned because, conveniently, questioning itself is verboten.

If something is to be "taken on faith," let it be Luke's 6th chapter, not the pronouncements of a small-minded 16th century bigot who laid the groundwork for The Final Solution.

In any organization, there will always be people of narrow, self-certain outlook just as there will always be people of latitudinarian, accommodating outlook.

This dyadic variation is built into the nature of the human psyche, a paradoxical interplay whose two components are essential for Wholeness.

Liberalism: "Satanic Rebellion Against God?" (The Thinking Housewife)

Against this backdrop, and in light of the post-modern conservative urge to anathematize liberalism, rigid authoritarianism distills to a philosophical or theological position that Must Manifest because it is a widespread human reflex "baked in the cake of creation" and not a lopsided certainty warranted by God.

The Truth -- or as close as we can come -- emerges from the everlasting interplay between liberal and conservative tendencies - tendencies as intrinsic to The Natural Order as gravity, entropy and and electro-magnetic fields.

In fact, viewed from "meta-level distance" those who are absolutely enclosed around "The Truth" --- and those who remain ever open to unexpected, paradoxical and surprising promptings of the Spirit --- are alternating faces of political and ideological realities like any sine wave phenomenon and neither can even exist but for the interplay of poles.

Excepting the self-arrogated certainty of authoritarian conservatives, any comprehensive overview would entertain the possibility that "open" believers are at least as likely to discover Truth as those who believe they are absolutely right because -- predictably -- they (and their ideological kin) proclaim rightness-and-rectitude in direct relation to the summary amputation of what is essential to Being.

In the end, we again confront the Manichaean heresy, the entire "pool of believers" divided between the "cathari" who side with God... and the "Ishamaelites" who side with Satan.


Most doctrinaire Christians believe the truth is "self-evident" and therefore lends itself to confirmation of the Manichaean view.

But anyone who reads the actual words that came from Jesus' lips (at least as spoken in the four canonical gospels) quickly realizes that many of The Master's teachings are anathema to the orthodox. 

Gospel of Luke 6:27-38
"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
If the comforting cocoon of doctrine were set aside long enough to engage actual discussion of Jesus' own words "hell would break loose."

"Seldom Sermonized Bible Verses" 

Behind the pompous bafflegab,
this is what white conservatives really believe.

Pope Francis: Quotations On Finance, Economics, Capitalism And Inequality

Fred Owens

May 19 (1 day ago)

to me
I don't think the Thinking Housewife makes a good target or foil to your criticism.
You have failed to gain her attention. She has successfully ignored you, at least to the point where she never mentions you in her blog. To me that means she is winning and you are losing.
Plus she adheres to a double standard and might claim that you are picking on her because she's a girl.
In general, your discussion of her writing is not fruitful.
Actually, her blog has become somewhat weak and scattered lately.
I suggest seeking a worthier foe.
As it was said of my father. "He had few enemies, but those few he cherished."


Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

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Fred Owens

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Ventura CA 93001

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