zaterdag 29 augustus 2015

Religion Is Not Outdated

Nowadays (Christian) religion is being criticised from the Left and from the Right. The criticisms from the Left have little originality and can be summed up by "F*** you, Dad!" approach. As with so many things by the progressives, militant atheists appear to be forever stuck in the teenage rebellion against authority.

The Right, on the other hand, with just as little originality, resuscitates the talking points of Nietzsche about "slave morality" and drones on about the inherent limp-wristedness of "Turn the other cheek" approach. (Outside of these two groups there also exists the autistic "spaghetti monster" approach, but they hardly deserve any serious consideration).

In other words, lefties claim that religion in general and Christianity in particular is too authoritarian, while rightists think it's not authoritarian enough. There is no denying that any authority can be easily abused by those wielding it and that it certainly happened in the church, too, and will probably happen again in the future, since no human institution is perfect.

The modern liberal idea that since authority can be abused it should be abolished altogether, doesn't seem to be working too well, though, and its full as opposed to partial implementation, will eventually lead to total anarchy. Anyone who doesn't engage in magical thinking should be aware of that. The criticism from the Right about inherent pacifism and otherwordliness of Christianity has some grounds in reality as well, especially when we take into consideration the doctrine (or the lack of it) preached by modern, liberal churches. Unfortunately many contemporary Christian bloggers either don't discuss this topic, or are too busy trying to earn their credentials with the progressives.

On the other hand, we too often encounter (no doubt, well-meaning) conservatives who will comment about the problems of society and then say something along the lines that "these people need Jesus" and if they find Him, things will change for the better immediately.

As a Christian myself, I surely can agree with the thesis that everybody needs Jesus in their life, but religion is only a part (though a very important one) of a healthy, functioning society. The late Lawrence Auster once had a discussion about it on his blog, which I can't refer to since I don't have the link, and his blog contains an awful lot of material. So instead I'd like to feature this article which presents a very interesting point of view on the topic:

The essence of religion is realism 

While it states that religion by itself is not enough, it also demonstrates that religion is necessary for a healthy society to function properly and that its rules are not arbitrary, but do in fact, keep a society, any society, from degeneration.

Below is an excerpt:

Those who hate the methods of civilization — religion, identity, aristocracy and culture among them — try to style religion as arbitrary. They wish to portray it as its own domain, which chooses its ideals for its own convenience, rather than what it is: another method of describing reality and regulating individual behavior correspondingly so that civilization can thrive. Through culture, we study success in social and family matters; through aristocracy, success in war, diplomacy and leadership; through identity, principle and purpose. Through religion we discover success in discipline of our souls, but the subject of that study is reality itself.

dinsdag 25 augustus 2015

The Last Of The Vacation Pictures

 Maria Laach Abbey, situated at the lake which appeared as a result of a volcano eruption:









The church building dates back to the 11th century.





It's a fine example of Romanesque architecture:



Close-ups of the lake:











The Laacher See is 51 m deep.





The abbey is very touristic and has several stores where you can buy books, a variety of natural (biological) products, pot plants and also different sorts of wine and liquor produced by the monks.


zondag 23 augustus 2015

Summer

Actually it's nearly over, but for the last 3 or 4 days we've had some great weather which prevented me from spending much time behind computer. Plus, we've got a new family member:

Allow me to introduce, Finrod Felagund:)





We call him Finn, though. Here is he together with his new brother:



He isn't as refined and aristocratic but we still like him:)

Friday evening we spent by the seaside:




The water wasn't cold a bit, but we didn't go swimming, not this time. Sun, water and wind, what can be more beautiful?







The last one is for the more technically minded among you. My husband appears to really like it by some reason. I agree it is impressive:





Have a blessed Sunday, all of you!

woensdag 19 augustus 2015

Divorce is Dumb

Here is an interesting article on the history of divorce in England and the USA which throws light on some individuals behind the radical feminism of the 1960s and the role entertainment industry, especially Hollywood, played in it:

Americans began to absorb the immorality spewed forth by the entertainment industry. The next generation of young baby boomers was especially influenced by this new view of adults and their actions. Many young Christian people became suspicious of their parents, in particular their father, and contemptuous of their lifestyle. This was especially true for the young women. They began to wonder why any woman would risk marrying, and having a family, when the potential for abuse was so high.

Read the rest of the article over here. (H/t to Home Living)

As I have pointed out numerous times, it´s impossible to underestimate the role MSM have played in promoting the current decadence. That´s why one of this blog´s objectives is to provide movie and book reviews and promote quality entertainment.

zondag 16 augustus 2015

The Inherent Liberalism Of "Pride And Prejudice"

Or how to make a good propaganda story.

No, I'm not yet finished with P&P! Though I promise that this will be my last post on the topic. I'd also like to place a disclaimer stating that despite everything I have written about it so far, I still like both the novel and the famous Colin Firth adaptation, which I have watched countless times. So there:)

Best propaganda stories are subtle. In fact, the viewer/reader may follow such a story and not even notice there is propaganda in it, unless he is alerted to it. How can one, for instance, make traditional family look disgusting?  Invent a story where the wife is a homemaker but she is unsatisfied with her role/bored. She can't wait till the children are older and she can embark on an exciting new career. Then her husband takes her to a small idyllic (on the outside) town, where all the women are sweet and submissive (to a nauseating degree) and only interested in homemaking.

Suddenly the wife discovers that there is a conspiracy of men in the town to keep all the women subjugated by means of substituting them with robots. Just as she is trying to escape she is murdered in cold blood and her sweet submissive copy appears in the local supermarket. You all know which story I mean, do you? (Funny enough, there are men ranting on the net about how s*xbots will soon substitute wives and artificial wombs will take the place of mothers).

The power of a thrilling story to promote certain ideas was certainly known to our ancestors. So let's look at P&P again keeping the above in mind. I know that feminists love the novel because Lizzy Bennet is supposedly so sassy and independent and Mr Darcy gets rather betaized domesticated in the end, and we are even told that she "takes liberties" with her husband. This is all there and I don''t deny it, but it goes deeper than that.

Traditionally marriage was never viewed as the union of two individuals based purely on romantic feelings. Though Europeans, especially those of the Northern variety, where nuclear family was something that had existed since at least the year 1200, were rather romantic and sentimental in their views on the fair sex, and marrying out of love wasn't something out of the extraordinary, one was still expected to take into consideration things like income, class, family etc.

For instance, in the famous affair of the abduction of Jean Key by Robin Oig, a Rob Roy's son, one of the accusations  against him was that he had forced her into marriage while being of a character, circumstance, and situation, utterly unbecoming or unfit for her, as being destitute of fortune,
substance, or good fame
. (Link). (She being a wealthy widow).

The marriage in Northern Europe didn't have to be arranged (though it did happen), but the partners (to use a modern word) had to be suitable for each other, in character, circumstance and situation, i.e in reputation, social standing and income. Marrying well (or even marrying at all) was also often seen as a duty to one's family

Another thing typical for British upper classes was cousin marriage the purpose of which was to keep wealth in the family. Cousin marriage is practically an English tradition as you come against it even in children's literature (in the famous Five e.g, there is definitely something growing between Julian and Georgiana).

The liberal point of view, however, stated that feelings were the only thing that mattered; and that marriage was a private affair between two individuals and nobody else's business. So how would a creative person set about to promote this idea to the general public? Why, by writing a novel featuring a crazy mother obsessed with marrying off her (penniless) daughters to wealthy men. She goes so far as to insist that one of them marries her own cousin (the one who will inherit her father's estate). The cousin in question is a pompous fool who would give any normal woman shivers.

Then there is a young man in love with another of her daughters. His sisters and friend are against the match and try to point out the great difference in the circumstances between the two, but don't stop there, forming a diabolical conspiracy to separate two loving hearts. They succeed, but the chief instigator comes to regret it in the end, apologises and the marriage finally takes place.

He himself falls in love with the sister mentioned first. The difference between their character, circumstance and situation is even greater since he is related to the landed nobility, and he also has a cousin! Her mother insists they marry each other and points out all the disadvantages of an imprudent match. Of course, his aunt is an arrogant old witch and his cousin is sickly and ugly. He makes a proposal to his sweetheart (actually he does it twice which shows the tremendous power of love, but I'm talking here about the second of his proposals). The girl's father isn't initially thrilled to have him as his family, because love. But it all ends well!

Of course, Elisabeth and Mr Collins, just as Mr Darcy and Miss de Bourgh are suited to each other being societal equals but the reader can´t expect these marriages to take place, not after all the negative things said about Lizzy´s cousin and Lady Catherine´s daughter. For a bonus, Darcy´s dwelling on the differences in his and Elisabeth´s situation is shown as unpardonable arrogance. While the Bennets´ behaviour is criticised, the idea that the difference in their situation amounts to anything, is ridiculed.

And that´s why I think Pride And Prejudice is Jane Austen´s most liberal novel.

donderdag 13 augustus 2015

An Easy Blueberry Dessert





For 4 persons, you will need:

ab. 2/3 of 250g pkg of blueberries, frozen
red grape juice
2 pkg vanilla sugar (size shown)
500g quark

honey, to taste
walnuts, to taste



Combine blueberries, grape juice (enough to cover them) and vanilla sugar, bring to the boil, then let the mixture cool. Mix quark and honey.  In dessert glasses or small bowls, arrange: first, blueberry mixture; then quark+honey, top with walnuts.


Adapted from a recipe out of Wohnen &Garten.

maandag 10 augustus 2015

Pride And Prejudice: The Most Unrealistic Of All Jane Austen´s Love Stories

Let´s just look at her other heroines and the matches they make. Marianne Dashwood is young, well~educated, has aristocratic relatives on her mother´s side, is described as extremely handsome and has more dowry that Lizzy Bennet (though it´s still not much). Marries a wealthy man who is about twenty years her senior, out of sense of duty to her family. Elinor gets her Edward in the end, but not after he loses all his property rights to his brother and gets just enough from his mother to live on.

Catherine from Northanger Abbey comes close to being unrealistic, however, when we take into account the fact that Henry is but a second son and would probably never go so far had not his father, mistaken as to Catherine´s riches, positively insisted on him courting her, and also that Catherine is a type of a ditz head which makes men feel their inherent superiority and thus can be very attractive, it becomes more believable.

Fanny Price from Mansfield Park is a poor relative who marries her cousin, which is practically an English upper class tradition (more about it later), but not after his family realise how worthy she is. He is also only the second son.

Emma Woodhouse, the richest girl in town, marries the richest man in town, who also happens to be family, since her sister is married to his brother. Nothing to see here, move along.

Anne Elliot, the second, unloved daughter of a baronet in reduced circumstances who is nearing thirty, is finally allowed by her family to marry a naval officer who became wealthy after the war. One could say the way he kept pining for her after she had rejected him was unrealistic, but such things happen.

Enter Elisabeth Bennet. She has next to nothing in money department (1000 pound which she will inherit after her mother´death), comes from a family the drawbacks of which have been discussed in the previous post, is not particularly pretty and has rather a sharp tongue, not exactly an asset for a young woman in her situation.

She gets a marriage proposal from one of the wealthiest men in the country, who on his mother´s side is a nephew of an earl. After she most rudely rejects him, they meet again by strange coincidence, he tries to make all the amends possible, bribes the man he hates to marry her youngest sister, proposes again and even goes so far as to tell her how unworthy he is of her affections. Small wonder that feminists love this story!
,

zondag 9 augustus 2015

More Vacation Pictures: Romans

a Roman villa in Gerolstein:










the remnants of the floor heating system:

















a Roman temple, reconstructed:








a Roman well:





a Roman burial place, reconstruction:





the remains of a coffin:






donderdag 6 augustus 2015

The Real Villain Of "Pride And Prejudice"

It so happens that while I was on vacation I discovered that my mobile phone had two books uploaded to it, one being Pride And Prejudice, so having nothing to do in the evenings, I decided to re-read it.

Of course, not only have I read the novel multiple times before, but also watched the famous TV series with Colin Firth I don't know how often. It was an interesting experience, though, to read it again at a more mature age than 20+.

Pride and Prejudice is perhaps the most famous work of Miss Austen, probably partly due to its inherent liberalism, which deserves a blog post of its own, so that there is hardly any need to tell or even to remind my readers what the story is all about. By now everyone knows, or at least have heard, about the romance between Elisabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy and the obstacles they have to overcome on their way to living happily ever after.

Even minor characters hardly need any introduction, and the general opinion concerning them is more or less fixed, so if one asks who is the villain of the story pretty much everybody will point to Mr Wickham, a reckless cad who refuses to pay his debts of honour and spends his time seducing young girls of fifteen. There is little to say in defence of his behaviour, so I'm not even going to try. Instead, I want to direct your attention to another character, who is hardly less responsible for the disaster which awaits the Bennet family in the end.

Let's look at the situation in the story from a pragmatic instead of a romantic point of view. What do we see? There are five Bennet girls who, though daughters of a gentleman, have virtually no dowry and after the death of their father will lose the roof over their heads as well, since their estate is entailed to Mr Collins. Their mother who is shown as vulgar and silly and constantly made fun of, realises the seriousness of the situation and does everything humanly possible to marry them off, while their father seems not to care at all.

By now you all must understand what I'm trying to say. Mr Bennet marries a rather poor and stupid girl who is also socially beneath him. When he finally realises she is stupid, instead of trying at least to raise the children well, he retreats into his library and lets his idiotic wife indulge and spoil the younger children as much as she wishes, without even trying to influence them in a more positive way or to teach them (especially Lydia) some rudimentary morals.

It's enough that his two eldest daughters are not total idiots, it seems. He doesn't even bother to hire a governess though he could perfectly well afford it, allowing the children to do pretty much what they wish. Elisabeth, a gentleman's daughter, can't ride a horse, for instance.

Mr Bennet has a considerable income, and since there is but 7 years difference between his youngest and his eldest daughter, he learns soon enough he will never have a son, yet does he try to save money to provide for his children after his death? Not a penny. Moreover, he actively undermines the efforts of the girls' mother to find suitable marriage partners for them, by refusing to curb the behaviour of his three younger daughters which brings the ridicule upon the whole family wherever they go.

Not to forget, that it's possibly his influence which persuades Elisabeth to get married only "out of great love" since in the end of the story, he actively tries to persuade her not to marry Darcy. The question of what would be his daughter's future otherwise seems to never enter his head.

And here I come to my next point. In the times when the novel was written, by law and custom, the father had all the authority in his family over his children and his wife, and yet he chose not exercise it, hoping that the things will turn out well in the end. They do, but only because the author's fantasy allows it. Pride And Prejudice has one of the most unrealistic endings in literature and films and next time I''ll write why.

woensdag 5 augustus 2015

More Vacation Pictures: Trier

Porta Nigra:




the church where Apostle Matthew is buried:







the grave of the apostle:





city pictures:
















maandag 3 augustus 2015

Links For August

The Problems of Democracy  by Mark Moncrieff

Rambling by Retro Homemaker

Jihad vs, McWorld by Will

What Cecil the Lion Tells Us About America by Captain Capitalism

An overabundance of diversity by Vox Day

Books are (mostly) bad, but necessary by Bruce Charlton

Is adoption always a great idea? by EvolutionistX (Warning:language)

Disclaimer: Articles linked to reflect the opinions of those who wrote them and not necessarily those of the author of this blog. Use discretion.