Featured Post

SEX IS DEATH [Part 95: Sexual perversion - the sin that keeps on taking and taking and taking...ad nauseam...ad infinitum]

I came to Carthage, where I found myself in the midst of a hissing cauldron of lusts. I had not yet fallen in love, but I was in love ...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Saturday, March 04, 2017

1) Okhrana could very easily have done it. He's a sociopathic power-mad commie left-fascist. 2) The Orange Messiah could just have easily made the whole thing up in his syphilitic power-mad mind. EITHER WAY, IT DOES NOT MATTER.

We are ruled by madmen with absolutely nothing standing in the way of their bloodlust or powerlust. NOTHING.

ALL are to blame. ALL are the enemy. ALL are guilty.

Has anyone tried to stop this madness? A precious ineffective few.

We are sheep. We are fat, dumb, happy, and stupid. We are reaping what we have sown. We deserve all of it. Every damn one of us.

This has been going on for generations, slowly but surely. Every day we trade a bit of our freedom for just a little more...or less...

More pussy, more money, more fame, more anything...

Less morality, less responsibility, less reason, less bother...

It looks like Mark Levin got this going...

[ Look here: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/03/03/mark_levin_
the_real_scandal_is_that_obama_spied_on_trump_during_2016
_campaign.html]



Radio host Mark Levin spent most of his Thursday evening show discussing the alleged scandal surrounding Attorney General Jeff Sessions and what he says is the real scandal: A "silent coup" by the former Obama administration against President Trump.

"They are not going to stop, I told you that the day after the election," Levin urged.

About Sessions' decision to recuse himself from 2016 investigations he wondered: "Did Loretta Lynch or Eric Holder ever recuse themselves from anything? This is the game they play! It is so pathetic to watch these Republicans on Capitol Hill. Not even 24 hours and they're all over the TV telling Sessions to recuse himself. Recuse himself from what?"

About Obama's efforts against Trump: "There's a much bigger scandal here: We have a prior administration. Barack Obama and his surrogates, who are supporting Hillary Clinton and her party, the Democratic Party. Who were using the... intelligence activities to surveil members of the Trump campaign, and to put that information out in the public. Those are police state tactics. Nothing Flynn or Sessions has done is even in the same category as that," Levin said.

"The question is: Was Obama surveilling top Trump campaign officials during the election?" he asked.

"We absolutely know this is true, the FBI did a preliminary criminal investigation based on a potential connection between a server in Trump Tower and a couple of Russian banks. That turned out to be a dry hole, but one of the most outrageous things I've ever seen... totally uncovered by the media. Instead of closing the investigation, the Obama administration tried to turn it into a FISA court investigation in June [2016]. Apparently the first application they submitted named Trump."

"Even the FISA court said no. There wasn't enough evidence to make out probable cause involving Donald Trump," he said. "In the middle of the campaign the administration was actively having Trump investigated."

Breitbart's Joel Pollack put together this timeline of the so-called "coup" launched by Obama against Trump:

1. June 2016: FISA request. The Obama administration files a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers. The request, uncharacteristically, is denied.

2. July: Russia joke. Wikileaks releases emails from the Democratic National Committee that show an effort to prevent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) from winning the presidential nomination. In a press conference, Donald Trump refers to Hillary Clinton’s own missing emails, joking: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.” That remark becomes the basis for accusations by Clinton and the media that Trump invited further hacking.

3. October: Podesta emails. In October, Wikileaks releases the emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, rolling out batches every day until the election, creating new mini-scandals. The Clinton campaign blames Trump and the Russians.

4. October: FISA request. The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. No evidence is found — but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons, Andrew McCarthy at National Review later notes. The Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services.

5. January 2017: Buzzfeed/CNN dossier. Buzzfeed releases, and CNN reports, a supposed intelligence “dossier” compiled by a foreign former spy. It purports to show continuous contact between Russia and the Trump campaign, and says that the Russians have compromising information about Trump. None of the allegations can be verified and some are proven false. Several media outlets claim that they had been aware of the dossier for months and that it had been circulating in Washington.

6. January: Obama expands NSA sharing. As Michael Walsh later notes, and as the New York Times reports, the outgoing Obama administration “expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.” The new powers, and reduced protections, could make it easier for intelligence on private citizens to be circulated improperly or leaked.

7. January: Times report. The New York Times reports, on the eve of Inauguration Day, that several agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Treasury Department are monitoring several associates of the Trump campaign suspected of Russian ties. Other news outlets also report the exisentence of “a multiagency working group to coordinate investigations across the government,” though it is unclear how they found out, since the investigations would have been secret and involved classified information.

8. February: Mike Flynn scandal. Reports emerge that the FBI intercepted a conversation in 2016 between future National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — then a private citizen — and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The intercept supposedly was part of routine spying on the ambassador, not monitoring of the Trump campaign. The FBI transcripts reportedly show the two discussing Obama’s newly-imposed sanctions on Russia, though Flynn earlier denied discussing them. Sally Yates, whom Trump would later fire as acting Attorney General for insubordination, is involved in the investigation. In the end, Flynn resigns over having misled Vice President Mike Pence (perhaps inadvertently) about the content of the conversation.

9. February: Times claims extensive Russian contacts. The New York Times cites “four current and former American officials” in reporting that the Trump campaign had “repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials. The Trump campaign denies the claims — and the Times admits that there is “no evidence” of coordination between the campaign and the Russians. The White House and some congressional Republicans begin to raise questions about illegal intelligence leaks.

10. March: the Washington Post targets Jeff Sessions. The Washington Post reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had contact twice with the Russian ambassador during the campaign — once at a Heritage Foundation event and once at a meeting in Sessions’s Senate office. The Post suggests that the two meetings contradict Sessions’s testimony at his confirmation hearings that he had no contacts with the Russians, though in context (not presented by the Post) it was clear he meant in his capacity as a campaign surrogate, and that he was responding to claims in the “dossier” of ongoing contacts. The New York Times, in covering the story, adds that the Obama White House “rushed to preserve” intelligence related to alleged Russian links with the Trump campaign. By “preserve” it really means “disseminate”: officials spread evidence throughout other government agencies “to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators” and perhaps the media as well.

Obama adviser Ben Rhodes claims Obama didn't wiretap Trump ...



President Donald Trump Tweets Allegations That Obama Wiretapped ...

www.npr.org/.../president-trump-accuses-obama-of-wire-tapping-provides-no-evidence

In a series of tweets early Saturday morning, Trump alleged that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before Election Day, calling him a "bad (or ...


WE ARE TO BLAME! WE ARE THE ENEMY! WE ARE GUILTY!

This shit's going to get a hell of a lot worse before it gets better, kiddies. If it ever gets better..

Get yourselves right with the Almighty now. Stop pretending you are Him. Humble yourselves and beg Him for mercy...

But never bow and scrape to men, least of all the ones you like and admire, because you know not what is in their hearts.

Buy guns and ammo and plenty of both. Love your wives and children and teach them how to shoot to kill. It is already life and death. You simply refuse to see it.

TheChurchMilitant: Sometimes anti-social, but always anti-fascist since 2005.


Friday, March 03, 2017

One day, I realized I was no longer surprised that Buck Henry got away with this one.

...or, Why are people sometimes horses asses?

 photo 1959sina02_title_zpsdkq1r5f1.jpg

How about you?

Hitlery Rodham Schicklegruber won the popular vote and The Orange Menace is now the capo di tutti capi . Still wondering what the hell happened to the Land of the Free?

Get a load of this...


The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals - The Museum of Hoaxes


The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals


 photo 1959sina_fawn_zpswhavj7m1.jpg

ABOVE: Buck Henry and a nattily attired fawn.


G. Clifford Prout was a man with a mission, and that mission was to put clothes on all the millions of naked animals throughout the world. To realize his dream, Prout founded an organization, the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals (abbreviated as SINA). It was left unexplained why the society was 'for indecency' not 'against indecency'.

Prout first appeared before the American public to promote his organization on May 27, 1959 when he appeared on NBC's Today Show. His appearance generated a huge viewer response and soon thousands of letters were pouring in to SINA's headquarters. (Prout had provided a New York mailing address while on the air.)

More interviews followed after the success of this first appearance. Wherever he went Prout promoted his anti-animal-nudity philosophy and repeated his society's catchy slogans: "Decency today means morality tomorrow" and "A nude horse is a rude horse." Prout also urged SINA members (he claimed there were over 50,000 of them) to take an active role in their communities by handing 'SINA Summonses' to people who shamelessly walked their naked pets down the street.





 photo 1959sina_protest_zpseyoisfps.jpg

ABOVE: An American who was no doubt registered to vote at the time.

Prout's campaign continued for a number of years until it reached a high point on August 21, 1962, when SINA was featured on the CBS News with Walter Cronkite. As the segment was airing, a few CBS employees recognized that Prout was actually Buck Henry, a comedian and CBS employee. SINA was subsequently revealed to be an elaborate hoax. Although Henry played the role of SINA's president, the hoax had been dreamed up and orchestrated by Alan Abel, who played the part of SINA's vice president.

Abel noted that people had been either outraged by the idea of SINA, or quite supportive of it. One woman in Santa Barbara reportedly tried to donate $40,000 to the cause. Abel politely turned down the money, insisting that the bylaws of SINA forbade him from taking any money from strangers. But surprisingly few called the bluff of Abel and Henry. Apparently almost everyone was willing to accept that such a society could be real.

Although the SINA hoax was officially exposed following the Walter Cronkite interview, Abel managed to keep the joke going for a few more years by means of a SINA newsletter mailed to the faithful. The newsletter included features such as press releases and sewing patterns for pet clothes.


TheChurchMilitant: Sometimes anti-social, but always anti-fascist since 2005.

Mensches grow in Alabama.

Every once in while I get sick of wading through the mire that threatens to overwhelm us and I begin to despair...

"No, Fyodor! Say it ain't so!"

Don't worry, kiddies. The bastards haven't ground everyone down yet...






UPS workers in Alabama surprised a teenage colleague who walked 10 miles to and from work every day to make money to care for his sick mother by buying him a jeep. 

Derrick Taylor, 19, has been working at the center in Oxford, Alabama, for a year and a half loading and unloading vans with packages for $11.90 an hour. 

He had been walking five miles in the dead of the night to begin 4am shifts and then completing the same trudge home at the end of the day without complaint to make sure he had enough money to look after his sick mother and pay their bills.

While co-workers often insisted on giving him rides for at least one leg of the journey, Derrick said he was too proud to ask for help both ways and doesn't like accepting money or help from his older siblings.

He already had a driver's license but couldn't afford a car so staff clubbed together to buy one for him. 

They bought him a bottle green Cherokee jeep for $1,100 from a local dealer and presented it to him in a tear-jerking video that was shared online earlier this month.

'This is a hard working young man. He makes me emotional. This young man wants to work so bad, he walks to work from way out of town.

'The group here, we've got some good news for you. Everybody came together and you don't have to walk no more. You've got your own ride.

'We want you to know we appreciate your hard work,' James Williams, Derrick's safety instructor, said as he handed over the keys.

An emotional Derrick wiped tears from his face before going to check out his new car in amazement. 

Speaking to DailyMail.com on Wednesday, the 19-year-old said he was bowled over by his colleagues' generosity.

'I was overwhelmed with joy. No one had ever done anything like that for me so it made me cry and I'm not really the type to show my emotions.' 

Is this love, kiddies? You tell me.


TheChurchMilitant: Sometimes anti-social, but always anti-fascist since 2005.

False Religion is also death.

Of all the people mentioned in this horrific story, Ella is the only one assured of eternal life.

By the way, kiddies, I reserve the right to use my labels here ironically.



Fundamentalist pastor charged in toddler's pneumonia death - Times Union.

The pastor of a church that shuns modern medicine was charged with a felony Thursday in his toddler granddaughter's death from pneumonia, joining his son and daughter-in-law as defendants in the latest criminal case involving the Christian fundamentalist sect.

The Rev. Rowland Foster, pastor of a Faith Tabernacle Congregation church district in eastern Pennsylvania, was charged with failing to report a suspected case of child abuse. As a pastor, Foster is legally required to report those cases.

Foster's 2-year-old granddaughter, Ella, died in November after her parents refused to seek medical treatment. Authorities say Foster anointed Ella with oil in a failed attempt to heal her.

The ironic [? Pathetic is a better word choice.] thing is these ignorant morons actually were given the power to save little Ella by God Himself. [The One True God, of course.] Us [more or less] normals know this power as the reason, love and free will that only creatures created in His image could possibly possess. We then use this power to try, however feebly, to make our sorry, sinful lot in this life better.

God actually enjoys watching us use His gifts for good. Even if that good is a tiny one like Ella. There is a particularly nasty place in Hell reserved for all who squander His great gifts...and another one for those who preach falsely in His name.

He didn't immediately return a message seeking comment on the charge.

Foster, who turns 72 on Saturday, explained to state police that the church "does not believe in medical care and that he had not been to a doctor in his 70 years," an affidavit said.

The Wrong Reverend is one lucky son of a bitch. For now.

A forensic pathologist told investigators Ella would have had a 95 percent chance of surviving if she had been given a routine course of antibiotics.

At least 27 Faith Tabernacle children since 1971 have died of preventable or treatable illnesses, according to a running tally kept by Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, an advocacy group that opposes faith-based medical neglect. Several church members have been prosecuted for failing to seek medical care for their children.

Like most states, Pennsylvania offers a civil exemption to parents who fail to seek medical treatment for their children on religious grounds. The law does not shield parents from criminal prosecution.

Rowland Foster, who was released Thursday on his own recognizance, is due in court next week for a preliminary hearing.

One more thing. Much of the screeching you here over stories like this comes from the left-fascists, who want people like Ella chopped up and thrown in the trash. Hypocrites much?

TheChurchMilitant: Sometimes anti-social, but always anti-fascist since 2005.


Thursday, March 02, 2017

Fyodor is so desperate, he uses the words of a left-fascist douche to hammer the Orange Messiah.

I know, I know, kiddies. Kristof is a profound dunderhead who couldn't reason his way out of a wet paper bag, but that means he speaks the same proto-fascist language [Sadly, it originated as a dialect of beautiful Italian called Fascisti.] of the Clumpskyites.


             

by

Dear Trump Voters,

You’ve been had. President Trump sold you a clunker. Now that he’s in the White House, he’s betraying you — and I’m writing in hopes that you’ll recognize that betrayal and hold him accountable.

Trump spoke to your genuine pain, to the fading of the American dream, and he won your votes. But will he deliver? Please watch his speeches carefully. You’ll notice that he promises outcomes, without explaining how they’ll be achieved. He’s a carnival huckster promising that America will thrive with his snake oil.

“We’re going to win, we’re going to win big, folks,” Trump declared Friday at the CPAC meeting, speaking of his foreign policy.

Great! Problem solved. Next? He then outlined his take on drug trafficking and what will surely be his outcome:

“No good. No good. Going to stop.” Wow! Why didn’t anyone else think of that?
Similarly, all looks rosy for tax outcomes: “We’re going to massively lower taxes on the middle class,” Trump said.

But that seems like a classic shell game. The Tax Policy Center estimated that Trump’s tax plan (to the extent that there is one) would hugely increase the federal debt and give middle-income households an average tax cut of $1,010, or 1.8 percent of after-tax income — while the top 1 percent would save $214,690, or 13.5 percent of after-tax income.

It’s still early, and Trump has nominated a smart conservative to the Supreme Court and followed his campaign line on issues like barring refugees.

But while you voted for Trump because you put faith in his gauzy pledges, I bet he will do no better with campaign promises than with marriage vows.

Holy crap! I don't know what Commissar Kristof's "marital" history looks like, but the mere fact that a left-fascist feels comfortable taking shots at Clump's proclivities with regard to random fornication is astounding. They never dared to take this tack with the conservatives' all-time favorite serial adulterer, St. Reagan.

Oreal Perras, Requiescat in pace.

It has been a rough month for wrestling fans. Mr. Perras went from Canadian farmer to evil commie strongman [the good kind] and wound up a man of the cloth in North Carolina. "Only in America" comes readily to mind.

I pray his immortal soul rests safely in the arms of his Lord and Savior. If so, the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost are getting one heck of a "Bearhug".


 photo ivan_koloff 111_zps9x1lzbyu.jpg



Legendary wrestler Ivan 'The Russian Bear' Koloff has died - Philly.com

Wrestling legend Ivan Koloff, born Oreal Perras and best known as the bearded villain “The Russian Bear,” has died at age 74.

“I'm sad to wake up and hear of the passing of my very close friend the Russian Bear Ivan Koloff,” fellow wrestler Ric Flair posted on Twitter.

Perras's most famous victory came on Jan. 18, 1971 when he defeated Bruno Sammartino in Madison Square Garden, shocking the crowd by ending Sammartino's nearly eight year run with the WWWF World Heavyweight championship belt.




 photo ivan_koloff_zps6ubm3vnc.jpg



Perras was one of wrestling top heels, employing moves like the “Bearhug” and “The Russian Sickle." But despite his raspy Russian voice, he was raised on a dairy farm in Ottawa, Canada. According to the Post and Courier, Perras was known to wrestling fans as “Uncle Ivan” and started a ministry in North Carolina with his wife, Renae.

“He was a man who had experienced great change in his life and he was proud to openly share his faith with all who crossed his path,” said Pastor Andy McDaniel, who grew up watching Perras wrestle and later ministered with him.

“While indeed he will always be known as the ‘Russian Bear,’ those who were blessed to truly know him knew that he was a gentle Lamb,” McDaniel told the newspaper. “It was a blessing to have known him.”

Perras captured many championships during his lengthy wrestling career, including a bevy of NWA tag team titles. Despite never being voted into the WWE Hall of Fame, Perras received the Frank Gotch Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2015, he was selected as a member of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross hopes the lack of recognition from the WWE changes:

"I'm hopeful recognizes the passing of on plus recognition at feels warranted. "


Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, better known as "The Iron Sheik," was one of many wrestlers to weigh in on Perras' death:

"ONE OF MY FIRST TEACHERS WHO HAD THE REAL HEEL HEAT. MY BROTHER IVAN KOLOFF REST IN PEACE"

Perras is fifth wrestler to die in a span of just the past month. Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka's death in January was followed in recent days by the passing of Nicole Bass, Chavo Guerrero Sr., and George "The Animal" Steele, who died from kidney failure on Friday.


TheChurchMilitant: Sometimes anti-social, but always anti-fascist since 2005.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.

“Remember, O man, that dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return.”

Today is Ash Wednesday, yet another day when the Lord my God grabs me by the scruff of the neck and reminds me that I am the greatest sinner I know.

Please pray, fast, sacrifice, and love during this solemn season of Lent, kiddies, because we know not the day of His return, nor the hour of our own deaths.

Here are today's readings from Holy Scripture:

Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 219


Reading 1 Jl 2:12-18

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, "Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
'Where is their God?'"

Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17

R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R.
Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight."
R.
Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R.
Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R.
Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Reading 2 2 Cor 5:20—6:2

Brothers and sisters:
We are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:
In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.


Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.

Verse Before the Gospel see ps 95:8

If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.

Gospel Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

"When you fast,
do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."








Here is the Catholic and, therefore, the actual explanation of the rite:

Remember That Thou Art Dust - Catholic Exchange

by



Ash Wednesday is the holy day on which you are asked to face the facts about yourself. Letting someone smear ashes on your forehead while telling you that you are dirt is a statement that you have seen and accepted the facts about yourself, and know they’re not in your favor. And, though this isn’t as obvious, it is also a declaration of the good news.

The Church doesn’t give official explanations of what her rites mean, but here’s what I think what is being said through the imposition of ashes. Even if this meaning was unintended as the rite developed, it dramatizes St. Paul’s remark in 1 Corinthians that “since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The rites points in two directions, one corresponding to “As in Adam all die” and the other corresponding to “In Christ shall all be made alive.”

To see this, we will have to use the original Latin version. It goes, “Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.” In the traditional English, “Remember, O man, that dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return.” If I have read the rite correctly, the meaning depends upon the double meaning of man. The word is, unfortunately I think, absent from the Mass today. The Mass now offers two things for the priest to say as he imposes the ashes: either “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” (listed first) or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We can keep the word man in mind even if it is not said out loud.

The first movement dramatizes the truth that “in Adam all die.” The words “you are dust and to dust you shall return” are a quote from Genesis, which comes at the end of the list in which God tells Adam (“man” in Hebrew) what his disobedience will cost him, which is also a description of what our disobedience is costing us. So it begins as a statement of our identity and the consequences of our identity.

“Remember, man”: Remember, you descendent of Adam; remember, in the phrase from the Narnia Chronicles, son of Adam, daughter of Eve; remember, original sinner, that you are dust and to dust you shall return.

It is important to remember that we are not only children of Adam but willing children of Adam. It is not so much that we fell with Adam into sin, as that we jumped into it with our eyes wide open and a cheery wave to the crowd. We have chosen to return to the dust.

Note that as a sinner you are merely an example of a category, “man.” You are not Bob or Ted or Patricia or Ashley. You are just “man.” Sin destroys personality. It is a turning in upon yourself that makes you less you. As a sinner, you’re much less original and interesting that you would be if you were a saint.

Think of people you have known who relate everything that happens in the world around them to themselves, almost always with either calculation or resentment: Think not just how miserable they are but how bone-wearyingly boring, because their world is so small. To put it another way: Whose world is more interesting, wider, deeper, more filled with interesting facts and stories, whose conversation would be more enlightening, in whose world would you rather live: the average movie star’s or St. Francis’s? To put it even more sharply: your’s or St. Francis’s?

In your sins, you are not even the unique individual you think yourself. You are not special. You are average, mediocre, run of the mill. But nevertheless, the rite recognizes that you are particularly interested in the fate of one boring sinner, yourself. Having established your status, the rite goes on to pronounce your doom in the singular form, literally to your face: “You are dust and to dust you shall return.” You: You individually, you Bob, Ted, Patricia, and Ashley, are dust and will return to dust.

All this is conveyed in the action of the rite itself. You go forward and line up, either at the chancel steps or along the altar rail, and you receive the ashes with the same words everyone else hears. Remember what you are hearing when the priest says, “Remember that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return.” You are hearing what is in essence your death sentence — your eternal death sentence.

And it is delivered without the drama and pastoral sensitivity we expect. It is as if a doctor walked into his waiting room full of people with cancer, simply pointed to each one and said in a monotone, “You’re going to die,” and turned around and walked back into his office and closed the door.

So we hear on Ash Wednesday that in Adam all died, which means that we are dead in our sins. It is a fact of some importance, but one we spend most of our lives ignoring.

That is the obvious meaning of the rite. Because you are a sinner, you are going to die and disappear, your decayed body scattered like the gold dust at the end of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, a symbol of the vanity and futility of human life.

In Christian worship, however, you cannot avoid the Christian hope. Sin does not have the final word, even here, when your doom is being pronounced. As St. Paul says, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Where in this statement that we are dust and will return to dust is any kind of hope? In the double meaning of man. When we hear the words on Ash Wednesday we also have fixed in our minds the words of the Nicene Creed: “for us men and our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.” To be a descendent of Adam is also, and more importantly, to be a man or woman for whom the Son of God became man, died, and rose again.

So the rite is saying: Remember who you are, by your own choice, but remember also who you are by God’s choice. Remember, O Son of Adam, that you are not only a Son of Adam but that you are also a child of the Father through adoption. You are dust, yes, but you are redeemed dust, you are dust that God will reassemble. You may look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. After all, the God who created us from the dust of the earth can just as easily recreate us from the dust into which we have decayed.

It is this second part of the message that changes the imposition of ashes from a drama of despair to a drama of repentance. Without the Christian hope, the rite would be a poetic statement of the ultimate futility of human desire and effort, a biblical version of Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias.” In that poem, you will remember, a traveler is describing a broken statue he saw in the desert,


. . . And on the pedestal these words appear:

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

That is the best we can hope for, a sort of grand romantic and mournful realism, without the Lord who for us men was made man.
The Ash Wednesday hope is conveyed in the action of the rite itself. You receive the ashes at the same place and in the same posture you receive Communion, and in fact will receive Communion a few minutes later, with its assurance of God’s favor. And psychologically, at least, it is a “safe place,” indeed a sort of home: precisely the sort of place you would want to hear bad news. And the ashes mark a cross upon your forehead, a sign not only of the cost of your sins but also of your redemption from your sins.
So the imposition of ashes has a double meaning, one despairing, because it describes the reality of what we have made ourselves; the other hopeful, because it describes the new reality God has made for us. For the Christian, hope trumps despair. “In Adam all die” and “In Christ shall all be made alive” are both true, but Christ has conquered death.

This is not a reason to feel good about yourself on Ash Wednesday. It is a fast day given us to remember what we have done and to try to learn how much of the old Adam remains in us. The more you see what Jesus did for you, the more you will want to track down your sins to the places they have hidden, drag them into the light, and with God’s help drive them away.

Mills has also written an ecumenical explanation of the rite, which can be found here. “Remember, That Thou Art Dust” is a revised version of “The Dust of Adam,” which appeared in the March 2004 issue of Touchstone.



TheChurchMilitant: Sometimes anti-social, but always anti-fascist since 2005.





Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Thank God for Jonah Goldberg. [Although he cuts The Orange Menace entirely too much slack.

Check out Mr. Goldberg's newsletter, kiddies. I don't think he realizes that GermaineGreerInDrag is pulling our...um...legs. Yes, let's say legs...

The G-File | National Review


 Down with the Administrative State

      The most interesting moment of CPAC wasn’t Trump’s speech — it was Steve Bannon’s performance. 

         
By Jonah Goldberg — February 25, 2017
         

About Me

My photo
First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

Labels

Blog Archive