Hobbit Houses, Worship, Misogynists & more

I’m finding it very difficult to concentrate with a houseful today, so here are some quick-and-unrelated things you may have missed – stick with it, I know there are some things below which will inspire you:

“Prime Minister, how much more clearly do we have to speak, before you understand us?”

Wait for the reading of Dr. Seuss at the end.

What we’re seeing in England is that huge government spending, high taxation and socialist policies don’t work. Why are we bringing them here?

Could British Christians be sued for having Crucifixes in their homes?

Obama in Cairo: David P. Goldman aka Spengler posts the most thoughtful and comprehensive analysis of the Cairo speech I have yet read.

Obama’s embrace of a declining culture and his abandonment of America’s principal ally in the Middle East are gestures without precedent in American history. The consequences are incalculable; the only certainty is that the outcome will be very different than the one for which the president hopes. In the meantime, American Jews have the opportunity to consider how easily manipulated they were, and how complacent in their exercise of influence. Obama won them over with token gestures, including a Passover Seder at the White House. But he has thrown them under the bus on the only real issue of substance for Jews, namely the security of the state of Israel.

Don’t miss it.

Lorie Byrd: Taking no prisoners with The Rush Standard. She reminds the press, who are shocked, shocked, at the Rhetoric of Rush, that the Orations of Olbermann and others have been out-of-control for a while:

Olbermann said President Bush was accomplishing what Bin Laden was trying to do to America? That sounds pretty close to what Rush Limbaugh said. In fact, it is almost indistinguishable.

Yes, it’s partisan, but it’s also true, and you’ll want to read it all.

Also partisan and very true: Feminism has long-ceased being about advancing the cause of women. Melissa Clouthier looks at how political expediency defines which women are championed, and which can be fantasy-raped or oppressed without so much as a raised eyebrow. Can you guess which women are which?

The Religious Left: Engaging in some unusual bickering. It seems, ultimately, to be all about the Benjamins.

Speaking of religion and the left: When Bush mentioned religion, it was “scary” but Obama talks about Jesus more than Bush did, and it worries the left and the press? Not at all. The Atheists are still comfortable and keeping the faith with him. Just saying.

George Tiller: Patrick O’ Hannigan on George Tiller’s Murder and how it is resonating with the “Abortion is a blessing” crowd. Also, a Lutheran explains Tiller’s church connections in ways that have not previously been spelled out, to my knowledge. I found it very interesting. I wonder what Bonheoffer would have thought of him?

Orthodox Liturgical Worship: A Baptist Minister says it’s not for Lightweights!:

Saint Anthony the Great isn’t just old school. It’s “styli and wax tablets” old school. We arrived ten minutes early for worship and the room was already filled with people lighting candles and praying. There was one greeter. I said, “We don’t know what to do.” She handed me a liturgy book and waved us inside.

Pews? We don’t need no stinking pews! Providing seats for worshipers is SO 14th century. Gorgeous Byzantine art, commissioned from a famous artist in Bulgaria. Fully robed priests with censors (those swinging incense thingies). Long, complex readings and chants that went on and on and on. And every one of them packed full of complex, theological ideas. It was like they were ripping raw chunks of theology out of ancient creeds and throwing them by the handfuls into the congregation. And just to make sure it wasn’t too easy for us, everything was read in a monotone voice and at the speed of an auctioneer.
…I LOVED IT. Loved it loved it loved it loved it loved it.

In a day when user-friendly is the byword of everything from churches to software, here was worship that asked something of me. No, DEMANDED something of me.

Behold, something greater than yourself.

A Dying Priest: Finds a teachable moment. A must read, via Deacon Greg

Speaking of Deathbeds: “tell me about the Trinity”

ACLU: America, tear down those crosses!

What Hath Toni Morrison wrought?: The inevitable line and the debatable.

Disproving the narrative that Christians “hate science”: The Vatican visits the Big-Bang Machine and says, “The Church never fears the truth of science, because we are convinced that all truth comes from God.”

Previewing Obamacare: Look to the North! Also, Merkel 1 – Obama 0

Catholic Health Care Networks: is this one complicit in abortions?

Do people still watch this bitter, unfunny misogynist?

Twitter: Changing how we live?. You can follow me on Twitter, btw, here. I didn’t think I’d like it. But when you have an opinion on everything, as I do, it’s too addictive.

Unemployment: Yid with a Lid says The Big O Owns It.

Bank Stress Tests: Unncessary sequels

Hmmm…are we really protecting the wolf at the door? Is Obama Ozymandias? Hmmmm….

Not a big Hobbit Fan, but: This house is very cool, and I’d live in it.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Catherine

    What’s wrong with Hobbits?

    J.R.R. Tolkien said that the hobbits represented the little guy in the scheme of things:

    “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future”.

    Odd, your saying that.

    [Nothing is "wrong" with Hobbits. I believe I have married one. I just can't stand the books! :-) -admin]

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  • http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester Jeffrey L Miller

    Not to mention that the person who put forth the Big Bang theory was Georges Lemaître a Catholic priest.

  • http://victor-undergo.blogspot.com/ Victor

    Where did that expression Brown Nosing ever come from?

    Not from Dr. Seuss!

  • Stephanie

    OK, let me get this straight….
    The unemployment in 2001 was not Bush’s fault because it was already falling apart when he took office…but the unemployment now, after Obama took office is completely his fault- after all, he’s had 5 months to turn things around.
    That about right? Everything’s the fault of the Democrats?

    [No, that's not what I'm saying, Steph - but as I have a houseful of company, I'll let Ed say it better, and note, even some people on the left are saying Obama is about to own this. - admin]

  • cathyf

    Pope Urban VIII was the pope who forced Galileo to recant that the earth moves. He also was the pope who built the papal vacation compound at Castelgandolfo. In the 1930′s, the Vatican Observatory was moved to Castelgandolfo and its headquarters is still there (the telescopes are in Arizona now, though.)

    The Jesuits who run the Observatory are rather fond of pointing out that, while it may have taken 300 years, eventually the astronomers won because they ended up with Urban’s house!

  • Catherine

    “I just can’t stand the books!”

    Uh oh, did you hear what W.H. Auden said about that? ;)

    [No, tell me! My problem with the books: everytime the story starts moving, they stop for another poem or song. I know it's "wrong" of me, but I ran out of patience. And the LOTR movies...every one of them put me to sleep. I wanted to basically smack Samwise Gangee every time he started talking about the shire. The whole scene with him and Frodo and the ring and the big mushrooms and the eagles...I woke up in the middle of it and said to my son, "gawd, he's gonna start talking about the shire, again," and right on cue, there he was, whining about missing the shire. My family disdains me for it, but when I see hobbits and Elves and grey-bearded men with staffs, I go to the library and drink coffee and look at Modern Bride. - admin]

  • Catherine


    President Bush managed to stop and reverse the rising unemployment rate. Barack Obama is making it worse. The stimulus package exacerbated the problem, rather than helped it.

  • Bender

    From that O’Hannigan piece — **I have a quarrel with Rev. Katherine Ragsdale and those others who imply that anyone killed on church property automatically becomes a martyr**

    You know, Satan and his minions were “killed” in heaven itself, a place much greater than a mere earthly church building. Does that mean that he is the greatest saint of all?


    Cathyf — Actually, the popes of Galileo’s time thought quite highly of him (and Copernicus), and Urban enjoyed many private discussions with him because Urban was curious about Copernican theory. It was only when Galileo strayed strictly from science and started encroaching on theology and started insisting that various theories were true without the need for scientific verification that he started getting into trouble. And the fact that he is entombed in a prominent Catholic church (in Florence, beside Michelangelo and others) demonstrates how highly the Church actually thought of him, notwithstanding the disputes he had with the Holy Office.

  • Mike

    Speaking of religion and the left:

    The statement that Obama invokes God’s name more the G.W. Bush reminds me of a statement by Chesterton (“Germany as God” , published 19 Aug 1916, taken from “Chesterton on War And Peace”)

    But if I am asked more generally where I get the impression that modern Germany is irreligious, I get it first of all from its religious utterances… Nor is this any idle paradox; it is a very common experience about the serious and frivolous use of words…
    A man acquainted with religion – at least in the Christian sense – could probably guess that we do not pay supreme worship to the god Eros, and guess it merely from the little Cupids on the valentines. The difference may be too delicate to describe; but he would feel that it is not precisely their most serious deities that men treat precisely in that fashion. Well, the modern Germans do treat the Holy Child precisely in that fashion. A Christmas card actually appeared in Germany depicting the Infant Christ as knocking a nail into the wooden statue of poor old Hindenberg (Ed note: those who gave in war fundraisers were allowed to publicly drive a nail into a statue)… The point in the German picture is that the Christian divinity is taken lightly while something else is taken seriously.

    One should not infer a religious motive behind Obama’s use of God’s name in his speeches. He has a history of using others in service of his political ends – his grandmother (in his Rev. Wright speech) is the most notorious example.

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  • Catherine

    “If someone dislikes it, I will never trust his literary judgment about anything ever again” – W. H. Auden

    But, you’re not alone, Anchoress – most women do not have the “epic” gene, as Camille Paglia put it.

    Funny thing, I could not read the books for a long time, in spite of all the raves from friends in college. It wasn’t until 3 or 4 years later, when I was bedridden and had nothing else to read, I picked them up again, and then it hit me, and I read them non stop until I had finished, and then I knew what C.S. Lewis meant when he said, “Here are beauties which pierce like swords, or burn like cold iron”. And I have re-read the books every couple of years or so, because I love the Catholic themes contained in them.

    [I can quote this, though, from one of the books: All that is gold does not glitter/not all those who wander are lost/the old that is strong does not wither/deep roots are not reached by the frost/From ashes a fire shall be woken/a light from the shadows shall spring/renewed shall be blade that was broken/the crownless again will be king. I think that's how it went. Odd that I can remember that, but I can never remember to by Brillo pads when I go shopping! -admin]

  • Ellen

    Just skip the poetry in the LOTR – I do. Also, a big thank you to Peter Jackson for leaving out Tom Bombadil, that twee tree hugger.

  • http://spreadingolive.blogspot.com Elizabeth Anne

    Anchoress – I’m with you.The Hobbit I could tolerate, but 1 husband and countless high school boyfriends / guy friends tried to get me to read LotR, and every time I traded it in for something else.

  • Catherine


    Odd, indeed! But it’s so much more pleasant to have those words in one’s head than “brillo pads”! :)

  • Bill Daugherty

    I think the reason the Left doesn’t object to Obama’s talking about Jesus is that they know he’s not really sincere – actions being so much louder than words and all.

  • Mark H.

    This is laughable, the idea that Obama should inherit the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and be blamed because he couldn’t snap his fingers and make it better. Truly laughable. BTW, I don’t think the crisis was all Bush’s fault. It sure seems to have hit just about every nation on earth, and it’s also true that Democracts in Congress bears a lot of the blame.

    But then I am political independent. I don’t have to always villify one side while pretending my own is 100% perfect and blameless. Too bad more Christians don’t adopt this stance in politics. Maybe people would once again take our ideas if we did.

    [I don't think I ever said the man should snap his fingers to make it better. Like you, I have noted this is a global crisis, and that the Democrats have not taken their fair share of the responsibility for it. But Obama has made an "opportunity" of the crisis, to grab control of banks and industries, (against, it must be remembered, the advice of Germany, France and Russia - who all know something about big-governments seizing power) and to spend beyond anything Bush ever dreamt of spending, all while neglecting to create jobs THIS YEAR, not in 2010 or 2011, in time for elections, but now. No one ever expected the president to "snap his fingers" or sprinkle fairy dust and make everything right...that's what the press and the left may have asked of Bush, but no one fairly expected it of Obama...we just didn't expect him to make everything WORSE instead of better. And his policies have done that. And he knows it, which is why they're spinning wildly from the WH right now. And why some people on the left are getting fractious and antsy...because they know the policies really can't be defended. -admin]

  • Catherine

    Mark H:

    “I don’t have to always villify one side while pretending my own is 100% perfect and blameless.”

    Well bully for you. I guess you weren’t around for the last 8 years when the Dems blamed President Bush for everything ranging from improper fractions to hangnails.

    When someone puffs up and declares himself an “Independent”, that tells me he is too cowardly to take any side in an issue… sort of like Switzerland during WWII (and we all know how they fared by helping the Nazis with Jewish money).

  • YogusBearus

    Yep, I could live in the hobbit house. Provided the neighbors didn’t have one of those yippy dogs that knows when I head for a overdue nap and then proceeds to complain loudly. Stupid dog…