Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Random thoughts

  • I wish people would stop comparing Michelle Obama to Marie Antoinette. Antoinette was a vivacious young girl who didn't have a mean bone in her body. She was modest, charitable, gentle, well meaning and at the end of her life, a woman of enormous courage, dignity and grace. When urged to flee for her life she declined and chose to stay with her husband. She NEVER said, "Let them eat cake," that was a complete lie spread by her enemies and perpetuated by the ignorant.

  • A growing number of conservatives and Catholics are saying that in the wake of the gay "marriage" decision in California it's just a matter of time before it's the law of the land and that the rest of us should just drop out of the whole civil marriage thing. They argue that the goverment shouldn't be involved in marriage anyway and that we all ought to go to our churches, synogauges, worship spaces, fetish huts or whatever floats your spiritual boat and get married that way. That sounds okay but do you really think the professional gays will be satisfied? If we abandon civil marriage---and I'm okay with that--- they will eventually follow us into our churches and demand to be married there. It's not about tolerance, it's about rubbing our noses in crap and making us say "thanks."

  • I find the Inside Catholic site to be nigh on underable now. Between the new design and the recent low quality of the essays I think I'll skip it and read Creative Minority Report instead.

  • My family reunion was great but a bit sad. One cousin has been blinded in one eye by glaucoma, another is still vital but is showing signs of age, an aunt has gone deaf... I found myself looking fondly around the room and wishing that I could stop time and keep everyone together healthy, laughing, just as we are. It was a childish wish I know but I was feeling tender and sentimental.

  • Abortion really doesn't fix anything. The 1930s and '40s singer/actress Jeanette McDonald got pregnant out of wedlock while filming one of what became one of her biggest hits. The head of the studio told her to have an abortion. Jeanette told her sweetheart, Nelson Eddy that she'd miscarried. He didn't believe her and broke off their relationship. She lost her child and the one man she really wanted but she had the cold comfort of her career. Years later Eddy forgave her but by that time she was too old for childbearing and he'd married another.
    I thought about Jeanette when I read about the death of actress Patricia Neal. Patricia fell in love with Gary Cooper but he was married so she had an abortion. Both Gary and Patricia later converted or in her case, returned to Catholicism. She had a brilliant career but made it clear that she spent the rest of her life wishing that she'd gone ahead and had her baby.

  • It's a mistake to call radical Muslims Medieval thinkers or use the term as an insult. In the Middle Ages Catholics built the first universities, castles that still stand, and the great cathedrals. They wrote poetry, sang songs and composed music that is still performed today. A Medieval queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine married the king of France, went on a crusade. Legend has it that she and her ladies rode to war dressed like Amazons. She divorced her boring husband and fell in love with Henry Plantagenent who became king of England. When she fell out of love with Henry she instigated a revolt against him and although it failed she survived the defeat, ultimately triumphed and lived to see two her sons crowned king. You think the Muslim world could've produced such a woman? And what about Saints Genvieve, Anthony, Gertrude, Francis, Dominic, Augustine of Cantebury,Leo, or Thomas? Our age has obviously not bred such powerful saints. The Middle Ages were a fascinating, complex, time, an age of legends.


Old Bob said...

Fine commentary, Dymphna. Thanks very much!

Kindred Spirit said...

I most heartily concur with each and every one of your observations in this post, Dymphna. Thank you for making these points so well, and may God bless you.

cwbullets said...

One of your best posts.

Baron Korf said...

Ugh, I agree with the Inside Catholic format. It does them no favors. I now just go for my weekly (or so) dose of Zmirak. Von Hildebrand is good too, but she rarely writes there.

In addition to all your distinctions between Michelle and Marie would be that Marie had amazing taste in fashion for her day.

Lola said...

Dymphna, I know you are a librarian, but you really are also a writer. Or a poet.

Bravo Dymphna for writing in a few words what needs to be said on several subjects. Starting with the lovely Marie Antoinette! She's been given a terrible review these past few centuries and it's good to read her name in the care of a kind soul.

(It's not childish about wanting everyone to stay, healthy and happy. Right now I wish I could have my favorite uncle back for this comming family reunion this September.)

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you for your great insights, Dymphna, and especially for defending the Queen!

patrice said...

In America at the present there is no difference legally between a civil and a religious marriage. In parts of Europe that is not true. In Monaco, for example, you must first be civilly married and then married in the church. (Witness the wedding of Princess Grace & Prince Rainier.) In their case the civil marriage--April 18, 1955--is the date of their anniversary, and the religious marriage is not. This despite the fact that in Monaco, to be a reigning prince or princess one must be a Roman Catholic.

I have often said that the Church in annulments has jurisdiction only over the religious aspect of marriage and not the civil aspect thereof.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"I wish people would stop comparing Michelle Obama to Marie Antoinette."

Are they?

Saw some idiotic comparison once, but really?

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"It's a mistake to call radical Muslims Medieval thinkers or use the term as an insult."

Especially to use the term as an insult, yes.

"In the Middle Ages Catholics built the first universities, castles that still stand, and the great cathedrals. They wrote poetry, sang songs and composed music that is still performed today."

Now, we have a little problem, insofar as Catholics and Muslims were in rivalry then, and radical Muslims have one case of good taste, namely looking back to their own forebears of that time with admiration.

They are thus in a way as Medieval as a Catholic looking back to the Middle Ages, like Chesterton or me.