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Group calls for end to Christmas Culture wars
Journalstar.com ^ | 12-29-2007 | Bob Reeves

Posted on 12/29/2007 11:27:39 AM PST by stan_sipple

Group calls for end to Christmas Culture wars

The outrage by some people over department stores using the phrase “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” is a distraction from real moral and social issues, according to a group of concerned Catholics and evangelical Christians.

The group has called for a “cease-fire in the Christmas culture wars,” and challenged conservative talk-show host Bill O’Reilly and others who have lashed out against a so-called secular “War on Christmas.”

In an “Open Letter to Christmas Culture Warriors” published as an advertisement in the New York Post, Washington Times and the National Catholic Reporter, the group says the debate about words used in greetings detracts from the Christmas message of love and good will.

“Christmas marks a season of hope, peace and the light of justice illuminating the dark corners of our world," said Alexia Kelley, Executive Director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. "At a time of a real war in Iraq, and 37 million of our American neighbors living in poverty, we should be focusing on promoting peace and human dignity in our world."

For more information visit www.catholicsinalliance.org.

(Excerpt) Read more at journalstar.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: antichristmas; billoreilly; catholics; culturewars; liberalchristians; oreilly; truce; waronchristmas; waronchristmas2007
Those making war on Christmas have a Fifth Column.
1 posted on 12/29/2007 11:27:41 AM PST by stan_sipple
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To: stan_sipple
Group calls for end to Christmas Culture wars

OK - you first ;'}
2 posted on 12/29/2007 11:34:30 AM PST by rockrr (Global warming is to science what Islam is to religion)
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To: stan_sipple
Christmas marks a season of hope, peace and the light of justice illuminating the dark corners of our world

Yes it does.

But it's really about the birth of the Savior of mankind (peoplekind?)and there are a Whole lot of people who don't know Him.

3 posted on 12/29/2007 11:37:32 AM PST by PROCON (Hillary '08)
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To: stan_sipple
hope, peace and the light of justice

all of course are the products of struggle, contention, battle, sacrifice.

No, we can't all just get along; at least not with our enemies.

4 posted on 12/29/2007 11:40:19 AM PST by the invisib1e hand (whose spirit is hillary channelling these days?)
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To: rockrr

Right those fanatic Christians who want to flog teachers for naming teddy bears Jesus should cool it.


5 posted on 12/29/2007 11:51:34 AM PST by stan_sipple
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To: stan_sipple

What a crock! The secular PC crowd started this war and now we are suppose to kiss and let bygones be bygones, hell no!!


6 posted on 12/29/2007 11:53:52 AM PST by ontap (Just another backstabbing conservative)
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To: stan_sipple
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

Took a while to get to the name of the group. We need more groups doing what we're supposed to be doing anyway.

7 posted on 12/29/2007 11:54:28 AM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: ontap

They forget terrorists started the war and many of those 37 million poor people got there because of liberal policies.


8 posted on 12/29/2007 12:00:23 PM PST by stan_sipple
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To: stan_sipple

We’re talking about the war on Christmas.


9 posted on 12/29/2007 12:04:21 PM PST by ontap (Just another backstabbing conservative)
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To: stan_sipple

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

Social justice, National Council of Bishops - Yep, the lefty part of the Church, listen to them!


10 posted on 12/29/2007 12:13:28 PM PST by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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To: sgtyork

Christians arent supposed to oppose abortion and immorality but its just fine to roll out ministers to denounce deporting illegal aliens.


11 posted on 12/29/2007 12:21:38 PM PST by stan_sipple
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To: stan_sipple

See the guilty parties here: The expected collection of Jesuits, aging baby boomer nuns with ambiguous hair styles, etc.

http://www.catholicsinalliance.org/cacg/catholic-commentators/


12 posted on 12/29/2007 12:33:50 PM PST by PAR35
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To: sgtyork

Looks like they have an article from one of Pilla’s boys from Cleveland on their site.


13 posted on 12/29/2007 12:34:49 PM PST by PAR35
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To: stan_sipple

I actually think that some Christians believe that the church grows best when Christians are persecuted.

“Ah, the good old days.”

Looney.


14 posted on 12/29/2007 12:35:47 PM PST by unspun (God save us from egos -- especially our own.)
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To: stan_sipple

“Looney.”

Sorry — no disrespect to the Common Loon intended.


15 posted on 12/29/2007 12:36:25 PM PST by unspun (God save us from egos -- especially our own.)
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To: RightWhale
Took a while to get to the name of the group.

Bonus points if you can come up with the 'evangelicals' involved in this Democrat front group.

16 posted on 12/29/2007 12:38:05 PM PST by PAR35
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To: stan_sipple

Ever notice that only ONE side is ever called upon to stop fighting? Ever notice that it is ALWAYS the same side?


17 posted on 12/29/2007 12:40:38 PM PST by chesley (Where's the omelet? -- Orwell)
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To: stan_sipple

I’ve decided that next year, instead of fighting about “Merry Christmas,” Christians need to start answering “Happy Holidays” with “Happy Jesus’ Birthday to you, too!” Perhaps that will make the point more clearly.


18 posted on 12/29/2007 1:04:24 PM PST by kittymyrib
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To: PAR35

Would those be the preachers who helped cover for Clinton’s philandering?


19 posted on 12/29/2007 1:53:27 PM PST by stan_sipple
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To: stan_sipple; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
I'm in .... where do I sign up? At the office, the day after Christmas, one of our Catholic co-workers posed the question: "How were your holidays?" I lost it! "Don't you mean - 'How was your Christmas' I retorted. "Yesterday was Christmas. Everyone in this office is Christian and the 'holliday' we all celebrated was Christmas. Channukah ended weeks ago and none of us celebrates Kwanzaa. That leaves only one 'holiday' - Christmas"!

Enough of this nonsense. I'm sick of hearing Happy Holidays - which, much to my great surprise, now encompasses Thanksgiving and News Year - both non-sectarian feasts. Sign me up!

20 posted on 12/29/2007 2:58:30 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: stan_sipple

They’re not calling for cease fire, they’re calling for surrender. The day you separate Christmas from Christ it becomes just another cook out.


21 posted on 12/29/2007 3:03:19 PM PST by joebuck
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To: RightWhale; All
Here's the link.

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

22 posted on 12/29/2007 3:03:56 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: stan_sipple
The fact that the simple greeting "Merry Christmas" is now viewed as an in-your-face statement of defiance, indicates that the war is in fact, already over.

Most of us missed it. It was a clean, clinical strike and it occurred while most of us were busy in aisle 6 looking at the wide screen TVs. Yes, this has been a long time in the making and many of us are complicit in its coming. With the orgy of commercialization and materialism which came to supplant the true Christmas message, the dropping of the name "Christmas" was in fact the logical and inevitable next step.

What we're seeing now is isolated pockets of guerilla resistance from those who somehow survived the secular strike. They're of no consequence. Now it's on to the next battle in the secularization of this holy day; that of removing Christmas from the calendar of holidays. As the new pagan America gathers strength, look for the winter solstice or some such festival, to supplant it.

23 posted on 12/29/2007 3:21:58 PM PST by marshmallow
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To: stan_sipple

Losers.


24 posted on 12/29/2007 4:23:29 PM PST by Thorin ("I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.")
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To: marshmallow; NYer; stan_sipple; PAR35

Isaiah’s Job

by Albert Jay Nock

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/nock3b.html

One evening last autumn, I sat long hours with a European acquaintance while he expounded a political-economic doctrine which seemed sound as a nut and in which I could find no defect. At the end, he said with great earnestness: “I have a mission to the masses. I feel that I am called to get the ear of the people. I shall devote the rest of my life to spreading my doctrine far and wide among the population. What do you think?”

An embarrassing question in any case, and doubly so under the circumstances, because my acquaintance is a very learned man, one of the three or four really first-class minds that Europe produced in his generation; and naturally I, as one of the unlearned, was inclined to regard his lightest word with reverence amounting to awe. Still, I reflected, even the greatest mind can not possibly know everything, and I was pretty sure he had not had my opportunities for observing the masses of mankind, and that therefore I probably knew them better than he did. So I mustered courage to say that he had no such mission and would do well to get the idea out of his head at once; he would find that the masses would not care two pins for his doctrine, and still less for himself, since in such circumstances the popular favourite is generally some Barabbas. I even went so far as to say (he is a Jew) that his idea seemed to show that he was not very well up on his own native literature. He smiled at my jest, and asked what I meant by it; and I referred him to the story of the prophet Isaiah.

It occurred to me then that this story is much worth recalling just now when so many wise men and soothsayers appear to be burdened with a message to the masses. Dr. Townsend has a message, Father Coughlin has one, Mr. Upton Sinclair, Mr. Lippmann, Mr. Chase and the planned economy brethren, Mr. Tugwell and the New Dealers, Mr. Smith and Liberty Leaguers – the list is endless. I can not remember a time when so many energumens were so variously proclaiming the Word to the multitude and telling them what they must do to be saved. This being so, it occurred to me, as I say, that the story of Isaiah might have something in it to steady and compose the human spirit until this tyranny of windiness is overpast. I shall paraphrase the story in our common speech, since it has to be pieced out from various sources; and inasmuch as respectable scholars have thought fit to put out a whole new version of the Bible in the American vernacular, I shall take shelter behind them, if need be, against the charge of dealing irreverently with the Sacred Scriptures.

The prophet’s career began at the end of King Uzziah’s reign, say about 740 B.C. This reign was uncommonly long, almost half a century, and apparently prosperous. It was one of those prosperous reigns, however – like the reign of Marcus Aurelius at Rome, or the administration of Eubulus at Athens, or of Mr. Coolidge at Washington – where at the end the prosperity suddenly peters out and things go by the board with a resounding crash.

In the year of Uzziah’s death, the Lord commissioned the prophet to go out and warn the people of the wrath to come. “Tell them what a worthless lot they are.” He said, “Tell them what is wrong, and why and what is going to happen unless they have a change of heart and straighten up. Don’t mince matters. Make it clear that they are positively down to their last chance. Give it to them good and strong and keep on giving it to them. I suppose perhaps I ought to tell you,” He added, “that it won’t do any good. The official class and their intelligentsia will turn up their noses at you and the masses will not even listen. They will all keep on in their own ways until they carry everything down to destruction, and you will probably be lucky if you get out with your life.”

Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job – in fact, he had asked for it – but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so – if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start – was there any sense in starting it? “Ah,” the Lord said, “you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.”

II

Apparently, then, if the Lord’s word is good for anything – I do not offer any opinion about that, – the only element in Judean society that was particularly worth bothering about was the Remnant. Isaiah seems finally to have got it through his head that this was the case; that nothing was to be expected from the masses, but that if anything substantial were ever to be done in Judea, the Remnant would have to do it. This is a very striking and suggestive idea; but before going on to explore it, we need to be quite clear about our terms. What do we mean by the masses, and what by the Remnant?

As the word masses is commonly used, it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, labouring people, proletarians, and it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority. The mass-man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses. The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either.

The picture which Isaiah presents of the Judean masses is most unfavorable. In his view, the mass-man – be he high or be he lowly, rich or poor, prince or pauper – gets off very badly. He appears as not only weak-minded and weak-willed, but as by consequence knavish, arrogant, grasping, dissipated, unprincipled, unscrupulous. The mass-woman also gets off badly, as sharing all the mass-man’s untoward qualities, and contributing a few of her own in the way of vanity and laziness, extravagance and foible. The list of luxury-products that she patronized is interesting; it calls to mind the women’s page of a Sunday newspaper in 1928, or the display set forth in one of our professedly “smart” periodicals. In another place, Isaiah even recalls the affectations that we used to know by the name “flapper gait” and the “debutante slouch.” It may be fair to discount Isaiah’s vivacity a little for prophetic fervour; after all, since his real job was not to convert the masses but to brace and reassure the Remnant, he probably felt that he might lay it on indiscriminately and as thick as he liked – in fact, that he was expected to do so. But even so, the Judean mass-man must have been a most objectionable individual, and the mass-woman utterly odious.

If the modern spirit, whatever that may be, is disinclined towards taking the Lord’s word at its face value (as I hear is the case), we may observe that Isaiah’s testimony to the character of the masses has strong collateral support from respectable Gentile authority. Plato lived into the administration of Eubulus, when Athens was at the peak of its jazz-and-paper era, and he speaks of the Athenian masses with all Isaiah’s fervency, even comparing them to a herd of ravenous wild beasts. Curiously, too, he applies Isaiah’s own word remnant to the worthier portion of Athenian society; “there is but a very small remnant,” he says, of those who possess a saving force of intellect and force of character – too small, preciously as to Judea, to be of any avail against the ignorant and vicious preponderance of the masses.

But Isaiah was a preacher and Plato a philosopher; and we tend to regard preachers and philosophers rather as passive observers of the drama of life than as active participants. Hence in a matter of this kind their judgment might be suspected of being a little uncompromising, a little acrid, or as the French say, saugrenu. We may therefore bring forward another witness who was preeminently a man of affairs, and whose judgment can not lie under this suspicion. Marcus Aurelius was ruler of the greatest of empires, and in that capacity he not only had the Roman mass-man under observation, but he had him on his hands twenty-four hours a day for eighteen years. What he did not know about him was not worth knowing and what he thought of him is abundantly attested on almost every page of the little book of jottings which he scribbled offhand from day to day, and which he meant for no eye but his own ever to see.

This view of the masses is the one that we find prevailing at large among the ancient authorities whose writings have come down to us. In the eighteenth century, however, certain European philosophers spread the notion that the mass-man, in his natural state, is not at all the kind of person that earlier authorities made him out to be, but on the contrary, that he is a worthy object of interest. His untowardness is the effect of environment, an effect for which “society” is somehow responsible. If only his environment permitted him to live according to his lights, he would undoubtedly show himself to be quite a fellow; and the best way to secure a more favourable environment for him would be to let him arrange it for himself. The French Revolution acted powerfully as a springboard for this idea, projecting its influence in all directions throughout Europe.

On this side of the ocean a whole new continent stood ready for a large-scale experiment with this theory. It afforded every conceivable resource whereby the masses might develop a civilization made in their own likeness and after their own image. There was no force of tradition to disturb them in their preponderance, or to check them in a thoroughgoing disparagement of the Remnant. Immense natural wealth, unquestioned predominance, virtual isolation, freedom from external interference and the fear of it, and, finally, a century and a half of time – such are the advantages which the mass-man has had in bringing forth a civilization which should set the earlier preachers and philosophers at naught in their belief that nothing substantial can be expected from the masses, but only from the Remnant.

His success is unimpressive. On the evidence so far presented one must say, I think, that the mass-man’s conception of what life has to offer, and his choice of what to ask from life, seem now to be pretty well what they were in the times of Isaiah and Plato; and so too seem the catastrophic social conflicts and convulsions in which his views of life and his demands on life involve him. I do not wish to dwell on this, however, but merely to observe that the monstrously inflated importance of the masses has apparently put all thought of a possible mission to the Remnant out of the modern prophet’s head. This is obviously quite as it should be, provided that the earlier preachers and philosophers were actually wrong, and that all final hope of the human race is actually centred in the masses. If, on the other hand, it should turn out that the Lord and Isaiah and Plato and Marcus Aurelius were right in their estimate of the relative social value of the masses and the Remnant, the case is somewhat different. Moreover, since with everything in their favour the masses have so far given such an extremely discouraging account of themselves, it would seem that the question at issue between these two bodies of opinion might most profitably be reopened.

III

But without following up this suggestion, I wish only, as I said, to remark the fact that as things now stand Isaiah’s job seems rather to go begging. Everyone with a message nowadays is, like my venerable European friend, eager to take it to the masses. His first, last and only thought is of mass-acceptance and mass-approval. His great care is to put his doctrine in such shape as will capture the masses’ attention and interest. This attitude towards the masses is so exclusive, so devout, that one is reminded of the troglodytic monster described by Plato, and the assiduous crowd at the entrance to its cave, trying obsequiously to placate it and win its favour, trying to interpret its inarticulate noises, trying to find out what it wants, and eagerly offering it all sorts of things that they think might strike its fancy.

The main trouble with all this is its reaction upon the mission itself. It necessitates an opportunist sophistication of one’s doctrine, which profoundly alters its character and reduces it to a mere placebo. If, say, you are a preacher, you wish to attract as large a congregation as you can, which means an appeal to the masses; and this, in turn, means adapting the terms of your message to the order of intellect and character that the masses exhibit. If you are an educator, say with a college on your hands, you wish to get as many students as possible, and you whittle down your requirements accordingly. If a writer, you aim at getting many readers; if a publisher, many purchasers; if a philosopher, many disciples; if a reformer, many converts; if a musician, many auditors; and so on. But as we see on all sides, in the realization of these several desires, the prophetic message is so heavily adulterated with trivialities, in every instance, that its effect on the masses is merely to harden them in their sins. Meanwhile, the Remnant, aware of this adulteration and of the desires that prompt it, turn their backs on the prophet and will have nothing to do with him or his message.

Isaiah, on the other hand, worked under no such disabilities. He preached to the masses only in the sense that he preached publicly. Anyone who liked might listen; anyone who liked might pass by. He knew that the Remnant would listen; and knowing also that nothing was to be expected of the masses under any circumstances, he made no specific appeal to them, did not accommodate his message to their measure in any way, and did not care two straws whether they heeded it or not. As a modern publisher might put it, he was not worrying about circulation or about advertising. Hence, with all such obsessions quite out of the way, he was in a position to do his level best, without fear or favour, and answerable only to his august Boss.

If a prophet were not too particular about making money out of his mission or getting a dubious sort of notoriety out of it, the foregoing considerations would lead one to say that serving the Remnant looks like a good job. An assignment that you can really put your back into, and do your best without thinking about results, is a real job; whereas serving the masses is at best only half a job, considering the inexorable conditions that the masses impose upon their servants. They ask you to give them what they want, they insist upon it, and will take nothing else; and following their whims, their irrational changes of fancy, their hot and cold fits, is a tedious business, to say nothing of the fact that what they want at any time makes very little call on one’s resources of prophesy. The Remnant, on the other hand, want only the best you have, whatever that may be. Give them that, and they are satisfied; you have nothing more to worry about. The prophet of the American masses must aim consciously at the lowest common denominator of intellect, taste and character among 120,000,000 people; and this is a distressing task. The prophet of the Remnant, on the contrary, is in the enviable position of Papa Haydn in the household of Prince Esterhazy. All Haydn had to do was keep forking out the very best music he knew how to produce, knowing it would be understood and appreciated by those for whom he produced it, and caring not a button what anyone else thought of it; and that makes a good job.

In a sense, nevertheless, as I have said, it is not a rewarding job. If you can tough the fancy of the masses, and have the sagacity to keep always one jump ahead of their vagaries and vacillations, you can get good returns in money from serving the masses, and good returns also in a mouth-to-ear type of notoriety:

Digito monstrari et dicier, Hic est!

We all know innumerable politicians, journalists, dramatists, novelists and the like, who have done extremely well by themselves in these ways. Taking care of the Remnant, on the contrary, holds little promise of any such rewards. A prophet of the Remnant will not grow purse-proud on the financial returns from his work, nor is it likely that he will get any great renown out of it. Isaiah’s case was exceptional to this second rule, and there are others, but not many.

It may be thought, then, that while taking care of the Remnant is no doubt a good job, it is not an especially interesting job because it is as a rule so poorly paid. I have my doubts about this. There are other compensations to be got out of a job besides money and notoriety, and some of them seem substantial enough to be attractive. Many jobs which do not pay well are yet profoundly interesting, as, for instance, the job of research student in the sciences is said to be; and the job of looking after the Remnant seems to me, as I have surveyed it for many years from my seat in the grandstand, to be as interesting as any that can be found in the world.

IV

What chiefly makes it so, I think, is that in any given society the Remnant are always so largely an unknown quantity. You do not know, and will never know, more than two things about them. You can be sure of those – dead sure, as our phrase is – but you will never be able to make even a respectable guess at anything else. You do not know, and will never know, who the Remnant are, nor what they are doing or will do. Two things you do know, and no more: First, that they exist; second, that they will find you. Except for these two certainties, working for the Remnant means working in impenetrable darkness; and this, I should say, is just the condition calculated most effectively to pique the interest of any prophet who is properly gifted with the imagination, insight and intellectual curiosity necessary to a successful pursuit of his trade.

The fascination and the despair of the historian, as he looks back upon Isaiah’s Jewry, upon Plato’s Athens, or upon Rome of the Antonines, is the hope of discovering and laying bare the “substratum of right-thinking and well-doing” which he knows must have existed somewhere in those societies because no kind of collective life can possibly go on without it. He finds tantalizing intimations of it here and there in many places, as in the Greek Anthology, in the scrapbook of Aulus Gellius, in the poems of Ausonius, and in the brief and touching tribute, Bene merenti, bestowed upon the unknown occupants of Roman tombs. But these are vague and fragmentary; they lead him nowhere in his search for some kind of measure on this substratum, but merely testify to what he already knew a priori – that the substratum did somewhere exist. Where it was, how substantial it was, what its power of self-assertion and resistance was – of all this they tell him nothing.

Similarly, when the historian of two thousand years hence, or two hundred years, looks over the available testimony to the quality of our civilization and tries to get any kind of clear, competent evidence concerning the substratum of right-thinking and well-doing which he knows must have been here, he will have a devil of a time finding it. When he has assembled all he can and has made even a minimum allowance for speciousness, vagueness, and confusion of motive, he will sadly acknowledge that his net result is simply nothing. A Remnant were here, building a substratum like coral insects; so much he knows, but he will find nothing to put him on the track of who and where and how many they were and what their work was like.

Concerning all this, too, the prophet of the present knows precisely as much and as little as the historian of the future; and that, I repeat, is what makes his job seem to me so profoundly interesting. One of the most suggestive episodes recounted in the Bible is that of a prophet’s attempt – the only attempt of the kind on the record, I believe – to count up the Remnant. Elijah had fled from persecution into the desert, where the Lord presently overhauled him and asked what he was doing so far away from his job. He said that he was running away, not because he was a coward, but because all the Remnant had been killed off except himself. He had got away only by the skin of his teeth, and, he being now all the Remnant there was, if he were killed the True Faith would go flat. The Lord replied that he need not worry about that, for even without him the True Faith could probably manage to squeeze along somehow if it had to; “and as for your figures on the Remnant,” He said, “I don’t mind telling you that there are seven thousand of them back there in Israel whom it seems you have not heard of, but you may take My word for it that there they are.”

At that time, probably the population of Israel could not run to much more than a million or so; and a Remnant of seven thousand out of a million is a highly encouraging percentage for any prophet. With seven thousand of the boys on his side, there was no great reason for Elijah to feel lonesome; and incidentally, that would be something for the modern prophet of the Remnant to think of when he has a touch of the blues. But the main point is that if Elijah the Prophet could not make a closer guess on the number of the Remnant than he made when he missed it by seven thousand, anyone else who tackled the problem would only waste his time.

The other certainty which the prophet of the Remnant may always have is that the Remnant will find him. He may rely on that with absolute assurance. They will find him without his doing anything about it; in fact, if he tries to do anything about it, he is pretty sure to put them off. He does not need to advertise for them nor resort to any schemes of publicity to get their attention. If he is a preacher or a public speaker, for example, he may be quite indifferent to going on show at receptions, getting his picture printed in the newspapers, or furnishing autobiographical material for publication on the side of “human interest.” If a writer, he need not make a point of attending any pink teas, autographing books at wholesale, nor entering into any specious freemasonry with reviewers. All this and much more of the same order lies in the regular and necessary routine laid down for the prophet of the masses; it is, and must be, part of the great general technique of getting the mass-man’s ear – or as our vigorous and excellent publicist, Mr. H. L. Mencken, puts it, the technique of boob-bumping. The prophet of the Remnant is not bound to this technique. He may be quite sure that the Remnant will make their own way to him without any adventitious aids; and not only so, but if they find him employing any such aids, as I said, it is ten to one that they will smell a rat in them and will sheer off.

The certainty that the Remnant will find him, however, leaves the prophet as much in the dark as ever, as helpless as ever in the matter of putting any estimate of any kind upon the Remnant; for, as appears in the case of Elijah, he remains ignorant of who they are that have found him or where they are or how many. They did not write in and tell him about it, after the manner of those who admire the vedettes of Hollywood, nor yet do they seek him out and attach themselves to his person. They are not that kind. They take his message much as drivers take the directions on a roadside signboard – that is, with very little thought about the signboard, beyond being gratefully glad that it happened to be there, but with every thought about the directions.

This impersonal attitude of the Remnant wonderfully enhances the interest of the imaginative prophet’s job. Once in a while, just about often enough to keep his intellectual curiosity in good working order, he will quite accidentally come upon some distinct reflection of his own message in an unsuspected quarter. This enables him to entertain himself in his leisure moments with agreeable speculations about the course his message may have taken in reaching that particular quarter, and about what came of it after it got there. Most interesting of all are those instances, if one could only run them down (but one may always speculate about them), where the recipient himself no longer knows where nor when nor from whom he got the message – or even where, as sometimes happens, he has forgotten that he got it anywhere and imagines that it is all a self-sprung idea of his own.

Such instances as these are probably not infrequent, for, without presuming to enroll ourselves among the Remnant, we can all no doubt remember having found ourselves suddenly under the influence of an idea, the source of which we cannot possibly identify. “It came to us afterward,” as we say; that is, we are aware of it only after it has shot up full-grown in our minds, leaving us quite ignorant of how and when and by what agency it was planted there and left to germinate. It seems highly probable that the prophet’s message often takes some such course with the Remnant.

If, for example, you are a writer or a speaker or a preacher, you put forth an idea which lodges in the Unbewußtsein of a casual member of the Remnant and sticks fast there. For some time it is inert; then it begins to fret and fester until presently it invades the man’s conscious mind and, as one might say, corrupts it. Meanwhile, he has quite forgotten how he came by the idea in the first instance, and even perhaps thinks he has invented it; and in those circumstances, the most interesting thing of all is that you never know what the pressure of that idea will make him do.

For these reasons it appears to me that Isaiah’s job is not only good but also extremely interesting; and especially so at the present time when nobody is doing it. If I were young and had the notion of embarking in the prophetical line, I would certainly take up this branch of the business; and therefore I have no hesitation about recommending it as a career for anyone in that position. It offers an open field, with no competition; our civilization so completely neglects and disallows the Remnant that anyone going in with an eye single to their service might pretty well count on getting all the trade there is.

Even assuming that there is some social salvage to be screened out of the masses, even assuming that the testimony of history to their social value is a little too sweeping, that it depresses hopelessness a little too far, one must yet perceive, I think, that the masses have prophets enough and to spare. Even admitting that in the teeth of history that hope of the human race may not be quite exclusively centred in the Remnant, one must perceive that they have social value enough to entitle them to some measure of prophetic encouragement and consolation, and that our civilization allows them none whatever. Every prophetic voice is addressed to the masses, and to them alone; the voice of the pulpit, the voice of education, the voice of politics, of literature, drama, journalism – all these are directed towards the masses exclusively, and they marshal the masses in the way that they are going.

One might suggest, therefore, that aspiring prophetical talent may well turn to another field. Sat patriae Priamoque datum – whatever obligation of the kind may be due the masses is already monstrously overpaid. So long as the masses are taking up the tabernacle of Moloch and Chiun, their images, and following the star of their god Buncombe, they will have no lack of prophets to point the way that leadeth to the More Abundant Life; and hence a few of those who feel the prophetic afflatus might do better to apply themselves to serving the Remnant. It is a good job, an interesting job, much more interesting than serving the masses; and moreover it is the only job in our whole civilization, as far as I know, that offers a virgin field.

This essay first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1936. See also Jeffrey Tucker on Nock.


25 posted on 12/29/2007 7:59:28 PM PST by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: Huber

Wow!


26 posted on 12/29/2007 9:02:56 PM PST by RobbyS
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To: RobbyS

It’s a pretty famous essay by one of America’s leading conservative thinkers from the first half of the 20th century.


27 posted on 12/29/2007 9:19:51 PM PST by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: stan_sipple
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good = socialist Democrat Catholics, who want to be secular Catholics, like secular Jews.
28 posted on 12/29/2007 9:24:50 PM PST by Eva
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To: Huber

It has been forty years since I read anything by him. Among other things I have never seen a plainer description of Isaiah’s mission. Just this evening I was reminded of an old story about bishop Sheen, who was famous for his conversions. It seems a young priest went to Sheen’s deathbed and asked him for advise, saying that he wished to convert people to Christianity as Sheen had done, that he had already converted fifteen. What should he do? Sheen painfully pushed himself up on his elbows and looked the young priest in the eye, and said.”The first thing is, stop counting. “ To exaggerate, a bit, Jesus himself stopped at Twelve, or with at least HIS remnant of the people of Israel.


29 posted on 12/29/2007 9:35:54 PM PST by RobbyS
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To: marshmallow

I do not think it is over, as a matter of fact, Christmas has been making a roaring COMEBACK from what I have seen this year. I see this as the glass half full.


30 posted on 12/30/2007 3:13:29 AM PST by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation, with 4 cats in my life as proof. =^..^=)
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To: unspun

Because that is when the Church does its best to atract new members is when it is being persecuted. The SP forgets that when Christianity is attacked, it grows and spreads.


31 posted on 12/30/2007 3:16:50 AM PST by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation, with 4 cats in my life as proof. =^..^=)
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To: joebuck

Even the RCC in the Vatican says this is nonsense, cannot seperate Christ from Christmas.


32 posted on 12/30/2007 3:18:59 AM PST by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation, with 4 cats in my life as proof. =^..^=)
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To: Biggirl
Even the RCC in the Vatican says this is nonsense, cannot seperate Christ from Christmas.

Even?

33 posted on 12/30/2007 5:43:43 AM PST by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: stan_sipple; motoman; mgist; gpapa; roughman; Not gonna take it anymore; GOP Poet; Apparatchik; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic Ping List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to all note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

34 posted on 12/30/2007 5:44:38 AM PST by narses (...the spirit of Trent is abroad once more.)
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To: Biggirl
I agree, where ever I shop I say Merry Christmas, and most of the clerks said it right back. With a warm smile too...
God Bless America...
35 posted on 12/30/2007 5:48:09 AM PST by just me
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To: Huber

Here is an URL which says that the Pope said about how senseless seperating Christ from Christmas. Should have said Pope, not Vatican. Me sorry.

http://www.zenit.org/article-21341?l=english


36 posted on 12/30/2007 6:14:27 AM PST by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation, with 4 cats in my life as proof. =^..^=)
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To: just me

Thanks for making my day. I did the same thing, saying Merry Christmas, with a smile. :)


37 posted on 12/30/2007 6:18:48 AM PST by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation, with 4 cats in my life as proof. =^..^=)
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To: marshmallow

Would it also suprise you that the much talked about movie, “The Golden Compass” bombed bigtime in the boxoffices across the country. Goes to show that the majority of Americans, well over 80% are Christian and wanted to send a message to the so-called SP’s and pagans: we are still here and in the vast majority.


38 posted on 12/30/2007 6:21:15 AM PST by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation, with 4 cats in my life as proof. =^..^=)
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To: Biggirl

Thanks. I was merely curious about your use of the term “even”, as one would presume that the Vatican, or the Pope would be among the very first to stress the linkage between between Christ and Christmas.


39 posted on 12/30/2007 6:37:07 AM PST by Huber (And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. - John 1:5)
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To: stan_sipple

If American Catholics wondered this year why it is their Christmas is losing its intimacy and signifcance and becoming an empty, commercialized holiday with the political correct crowd working overtime to erase Christ and Christmas from the nation’s vocabularies, the children of Our Lady of Guadalupe might be able to tell them.

The Mexican revolution, fomented by Mexico’s Freemasonic era (from 1800 to the present), and conceived in order to prevent children from receiving an education at the only facilities available that were operated and staffed by the Catholic Church, clearly shows a variable pattern of American masonic intervention. This revolution was waged to eliminate any prestige or influence on young lives that Catholic clergy clearly held.

In the Jesuit weekly ‘America’ appeared this summary: “Always an American hates to say it. there was the sinister Power of the north, meddling always, offically and unoffically.” Joel Poinsett, American Minister, introduced the York Rite of Masonry, and kept the Mexicans fighting over it for a dozen years. Later, President Polk made an agreement with Santa Ana to fight a fake war—which we call the ‘Mexican War’—with our forces, in return for some millions of dollars. After our Civil War, General Sheridan allowed Juarez to ‘steal’ American Army stores, and conquer his enemies with them. In our time, Bryan and Wilson by as dark a piece of double-dealing and treachery as history can show, put Carraza into power—and the fruits are being reaped by their policy today.

The project was already one hundred years old by 1917, and because the Faith was still flourishing in Mexico, the Masonic crusade in that year took on a fresh impetus. With no less an adviser than Lenin himself, the Carranza crowd (creatures of Woodrow Wilson) drafted a new constitution. Detailed oppression of the Catholic Church became the supreme law of the land. The 1917 constitution forbade the church to own any property, to conduct schools, to preach to the unbaptized natives, to train additional priests. It confirmed the prohibition against religious garb for priests and nuns, and further provided that the government of each Mexican state should decide how many priests it thought it needed; these would be ‘licensed,’ and all others expelled.

Father Pablo Garcia de Jesus Maria: priests of Aguascalientes, seized by the police for giving absolution to a dying man was a typical fatality. HE was pummeled with rifles, his hands were smashed, his tongue cut out; finally he was ordered into exicle and put on a train where he died.

Seventeen priests of Mexico City: shot by a firing squad. Though many of them were not killed by the volley, their bodies were all thrown into a long trench and buried.

Jose Farfan: an aged shopkeeper was told to remove from his window a placard reading, “Christ lives! Christ reigns!” He refused and was shot down in his store.

A twelve-year-old boy of Guadalajara: arrested for distributing Catholic leaflets. He was tortured to tell the name of his director, but urged on by his mother (”Say nothing, my son, Our Lord will give you heaven for your constancy.”), the boy kept silence. The soldiers twisted both his arms till they broke, and he died.

Father Sabas Reyes: parish priest of Tolatlan. He was hung by his wrists from the portico of his church and left for three days without food or drink, exposed to the scorching sun. Then his feet were doused with gasoline and set afire. Finally he was marched to the cemetery and shot.

Forty old men and women of Jalisco, discovered going to Mass in a private house were taken to the cenetery in the middle of the night and shot.

Father Miguel Augustin Pro: Jesuit priest, most celebrated of the Mexican martyrs. This almost-legendary popular hero was arrested on a confected charge and put before the firing squad, without trial, on November 23, 1927. As a supreme bit of Masonic bravado, photographs were taken of the execution. The next day newspapers around the world were supplied with pictures of the priest, standing erectr against the stockade, his arms outstretched to form a cross. He was subsequently killed by a volley fired by a firing squad.


40 posted on 12/30/2007 8:33:14 AM PST by fweingart (Give Hillary a chance. (She'll change your life.))
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To: fweingart
Say what?
I’m afraid you are really stretching on this one!

The anti-Christian movement is certainly NOT fomented by the Masons who are quite religious in their own right.

Where do you get this stuff????

41 posted on 12/30/2007 9:00:25 AM PST by ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY ( Terrorism is a symptom, ISLAM IS THE DISEASE!)
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To: Biggirl
The colossal sloppy flop of Golden Compass is indeed one thing I use to cheer me up whenever I'm feeling a little blue. Just thinking of it --- it made in 4 weeks less than 1/2 of the opening weekend of Alvin and the Chipmunks! Ha! And it cost $200 million to make! Ha HA! And there will never be a sequel, no subtle knife, no amber spyglass, ha HA HA!

Whew. (Catches breath.)

Thanks, Biggirl. I needed that.

42 posted on 12/30/2007 9:02:42 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Point of clarification.)
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To: Huber

Your welcome!!!!


43 posted on 12/30/2007 9:07:01 AM PST by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation, with 4 cats in my life as proof. =^..^=)
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To: ontap
Typical leftist tactic: Start a war on some traditional value and wage it as aggressively as possible until the Good Guys get organized and start to push back, and then call for a ceasefire.
"At a time of a real war in Iraq, and 37 million of our American neighbors living in poverty, we should be focusing on promoting peace and human dignity in our world."
Funny that they didn't mention the million and more abortions committed every year. Guess these "Christians" aren't so interested in uniting against the violence and indignity inflicted on the most innocent. All people of real faith should keep fighting the culture war against these evil ones.
44 posted on 12/30/2007 10:32:05 AM PST by Hunton Peck (Evil often presents itself clothed in piety.)
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To: Biggirl
Because that is when the Church does its best to atract new members is when it is being persecuted. The SP forgets that when Christianity is attacked, it grows and spreads.

Then, do your best to destroy the Christ-affected culture, so we all can be persecuted for the Gospel! /s

45 posted on 12/30/2007 12:45:04 PM PST by unspun (God save us from egos -- especially our own.)
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To: Hunton Peck

Good point about this group’s silence on abortion. Even on their website, I didnt see too much about abortion.


46 posted on 12/30/2007 12:59:31 PM PST by stan_sipple
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To: stan_sipple

JUST LOOK AT THE PICTURES!

Especially of the “Sisters” or “Nuns” !!!!!!

HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

Pearls, earrings, fashionable clothes.

RSM (Real Sad Messes, aka The Ms’s of Misery) and SSJ (Sisters of Social Justice) you would expect, but OP ?????

Guess she’s not part of the Nashville Dominicans.

And poor sad O’Brien from Holy Cross College (just barely Catholic), who was whining recently in The Boston Globe about Cardinal O’Malley’s (just barely vocal) complaint about liberal Democrat Catholics . . . .

By all means, yes, lets declare a truce in the Culture Wars = by which, of course, they mean SURRENDER.

I’ve got a better solution: how about these 60s Leftover Lefties get out of the way and go stuff envelopes for the Hillary Campaign and leave the warfare to those of us who actually believe in something.


47 posted on 12/30/2007 1:02:52 PM PST by TaxachusettsMan
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To: TaxachusettsMan

i didnt know much about these folks but I did recognize that some belonged to the Maryknolls who were helping the commies in Central America back in the 1980s


48 posted on 12/30/2007 1:08:36 PM PST by stan_sipple
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