Some questions from the mailbag

Q: Anchoress, I notice you’re writing a lot about Advent and nothing about politics.

A: Well, you’re very observant! I decided after the election – actually a few weeks before the election, but by then I was in the circuit and had to see it through, so to speak – that I would write about politics only where it intersects with religion. I didn’t like myself writing about politics and I frankly didn’t like the tones being sounded from the right in my email. Also, Advent is just always super-appealing to me; nothing rings my bell like “Scary John the Baptist” sounding the call, and shepherds and kings drawn to a food bin occupied – Eucharistically speaking – with a very different sort of food.

Q: You’ve lost the *&% election and you’re licking your *&%$ wounds so go on leaning on the *&^% crutch of organized &*%$ religion, you phony wannabee nun!

A: I’m not “down” about the election. I am absolutely fascinated by how brilliantly and unusually Obama is using new media and technology, I am somewhat amused by the hope many seem to hold that Obama has always been a “secret centrist.”

And I’m simply backing up so I can take it all in. I like long views.

I think Obama is a work in progress and as much of a mystery to himself as to everyone else (“the self is more distant than any star…”). He is still the Rorschach test he ever was. He wants to succeed as the American President and so we’ll see where that leads. Because I love my country (still and not “only when my side wins”) I hope – as Dennis Miller said – “that he succeeds so well that I’m salivating to vote for him in ’12.”

Until Obama can somehow demonstrate – reassuringly – that he will not be stomping on free speech, my reservations about him still stand. That hasn’t happened yet. The health of “free speech” in America will determine her health as a whole.

And I’m not a “phony wannabe nun.” I’m a wannabee phony nun.

Q: Aren’t you &^$# (same email) embarrassed to have stood up for and defended that &*^% moron Bush all this time now that you see what a *&$% loser he is?

A: Nope. I. Love. Boosh. Deal with it. I think we’ll miss him, in many ways, when he departs and even you folks on the left should be somewhat impressed (if you can be at all generous) at the predictably classy, gentlemanly way he is having his administration assist in the transition to Obama. Quite different from the way he was treated by the outgoing Clintons.

The events in Mumbai remind us that – after 9/11 – we all believed there would be additional successful attacks on the US. Thanks to Bush’s policies – to protect America, face down terrorism and, if possible, bring liberty to oppressed people – those successful attacks did not happen, which, with the robust economy we enjoyed until recently, made it all pretty easy to forget. Suddenly his policies – which for the last 8 years have been derided as stupid, ignoble, unconstitutional, greedy, terroristic and so forth – are seeming palatable, just, sensible and sadly necessary to the left and the incoming administration. They’re not admitting that, of course; they’ll find other excuses (besides the obvious “Bush was right” ones) to explain why all of the things Obama said he was going to undo he is – for now – planning to leave untouched.

Except, of course, the life-issues. Bush’s pro-life moves will be undone before the wind has carried the oath of office from Obama’s lips, and the Culture of Death will have its day. What I am wondering about is this: since there has been so much incredible success using adult stem cell therapy in so many applications, why does the Culture of Death (and Obama) insist that government funding for EMBRYONIC stem cell research must immediately be put into place when – as we have seen – EMBRYONIC stem cell research has yielded nothing usable, and more than a few nightmares – largely because EMBRYONIC stem cells are too powerful to be controlled or predicted.

If EMBRYONIC stem cells were showing real promise, the research would be funded with tons of private capital. That’s not happening. If you’re unconcerned about the ethics of using human embryos for research, you should at least be concerned with the incredible waste of taxpayer money.

I suspect the Culture of Death wants to experiment on embryos because embryos are as close as they can get to the Mystery of God-and-creation – to the moment of conception, when power and innocence in their rawest, most pure form, meet, when the spiritual and the corporeal collide. They want to screw around with embryos because they want to be as gods, and they want that secret. They’ll lose, by the way, and destroy themselves as they busily try to undo that big bang.

There. You can *&% chew on that!

Q: I know you *&*^% hate Obama…
A: “Hate” is a strong word thrown around way too easily, these days – usually by people who are projecting their own feelings onto someone else. I don’t hate President-elect Obama. I don’t love him as I do Dubya, but he’s going to be my president. I just don’t trust him, yet, but I’m watching. I pray for him, too, everyday. I say a nice rosary for President Obama, every day. I know a lot of my readers do, too. Because we’re such haters.

Q: I hate your *&%^ guts.
A: Happily, my guts are not here for you to love.

Q: Anchoress, why aren’t you writing about this offensive video?
A: Because it’s boring. And because if I did write about it, it would not be to condemn the silly “lock-stepping originalists” Hollywood, but to warn the Christians not to fall into the trap of getting all hysterical with rage about the “unfairness” of their targeting “only” Christians when the African American and Hispanic communities voted enthusiastically for Proposition 8. I’d say, “So what? You think carrying on will change any of that?” And that would just piss off the “perpetually loud-and-insulted” sector of Christianity and then I’d have to deal with them, again, telling me to shut up because I’m not a “real” Christian. They are of a piece with the conservatives who routinely denounce me as “no true conservative.” As though I care whether or not identity-obsessed folk want me in their club. Endearing, though, ain’t they?

Also, I’m not commenting on it because I’ve already said – several times – where I stand on this issue of Christians feeling hurt and insulted: on this issue of Christians feeling all hurt and insulted:

The job of the Christian is to hold fast in the face of chaos and recall that Christ is more powerful than any man or media, and that darkness does not overcome light. To be honest, all the fretting from us Christians is a bit unseemly. If we are secure in what we believe, a cartoon does not take us down, no matter how perverse and offensive, because Christ is alive, and Grace abounds, and because just as an Abbess or Abbot is entitled to use whatever resources his or her community contains to advance the stability of the abbey, the Holy Spirit has a way of confounding us by using what is out there in the world – sometimes very surprising things and people – to do the will of the One.

Pray for those who hate us. There is power there. And don’t be afraid of a “what if.” Bad times might come. So, what? “If in all things thou seeketh Jesus, doubtless thou shall find him.” (St. Theresa of Avila) and “All things are alive in the sight of their King” (Avila, again). Christians are joint-heirs with the Chosen people – it makes perfect sense that we might taste some of the sting and poison the world keeps offering His people, Israel. There is nothing to fear, here. Changing situations in the world are nothing in the face of the Unchanging.

21st Century Christians have to go buck it up; the Christians of the 1st through 4th century wouldn’t be terribly impressed to see how thin their skins have grown.

Q: Anchoress, why aren’t you writing about Obama’s Birth Certificate? Better Americans than you have been doing yoeman’s work exposing the fact that Obama was probably born in Kenya! (These emails go on for a long, long time)…

A: I’ll take a line from Ed Morrissey here: None of it — absolutely none — has any real, solid evidence showing that Obama was born anywhere else than Hawaii apart from sheer speculation and hearsay…It’s a conspiracy theory spun by conspiracy theorists (Philip Berg is a 9/11 truther) who use their normal thresholds of evidence for this meme.

I think it’s remarkable that Berg and these Birth Certificate folks are teaming up. As ever, politics makes strange bedfellows. I don’t disagree with Ace – people have a right to ask the question – but I get the feeling that if they don’t like the answer they’d be content to bring genuine havoc and chaos to the nation after a very hot election. I think it’s nsufficient evidence, brought way too late. Put down the electoral college fantasies, back away from the notion that Barack Obama will not be sworn in on January 20th, and try to put some faith in the long view, would you? Things happen for reasons. They happen so that other things can happen, so that other things can happen, and sometimes it takes a really long time to see how good triumphs. But it always does.

Q: What a smug *&^% knowitall you are! (Back to the other email…)

A: Actually…you’ll be surprised and maybe pleased to hear that one thing this election has taught is this…I’ve realized that I don’t know much of anything at all, and I’m rather glad to admit it. The things I know, I know well. And the rest:

An old Arab, whose tent was pitched next to a company of whirling dervishes was asked, “Don’t they bother you?”

“No!” he said.

“What do you do about them?”

“I let ‘em whirl!”
Acceptance, by Vincent P. Collins

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