Satan Is Not An Atheist

This discussion on the nature of evil is from an interview by Christianitas with the French Catholic philosopher Fabrice Hadjadj. It comes at the beginning of a fascinating and rather complex conversation on sexuality. While the latter discussion is beyond the scope of this blog, his comments on atheism and evil deserve to be reprinted in full:

Christianitas: You are known in Poland as the author of The Faith of the Demons, a book that in France earned the Prix de littérature religieuse for 2010. … Let’s begin with the book on demons: Where did you get the idea for it?

Fabrice Hadjadj: … The topic of the book [The Faith of the Demons] is evil, radical evil. It was not my aim to write about demons, but rather an attempt at answering for myself the question: What is evil in its pure state? And also: What is faith? Therefore the most important word in the title The Faith of the Demons is “faith.”

In writing about this I asked myself the following question: It is true that atheism is considered to be a great evil, but is it really the greatest evil? I came to the conclusion that “no, it is not,” since it is obvious that demons are not unbelievers: The demons believe and tremble (James 2:19). The Devil knows that God exists and is certain about the veracity of all the articles of faith. This means that our foe—and he is the greatest—is not an atheist. Certainly he fuels atheism, he himself exists in a certain form of atheism, which consists in living without God, but he is not an atheist on the theoretical level.

Such was my first conclusion. This is why I attempted to extend my reflection by going beyond unbelief. This approach seemed interesting to me, because when we stop treating atheism as the only figure of evil, then we begin to realize that there are others, for example, deism, fundamentalism, including Phariseeism. The second conclusion of the book is connected with the topic of The Depths of Sexuality. Well, our enemy not only is not an atheist, but he also has no body. A demon is an angel, “a pure impure spirit.” Thus evil is not first located in the body, but is instead connected to the spirit.

If there is sin, then that is because there is intelligence, and because the will exists. Here is what I wanted to say with this: Do you think that your foe is an atheist or that the body is something dangerous? No, because spiritualism perhaps is the greatest evil and the root of all evil. The Catholic conclusion that it is the spirit that is on the side of evil is really something truly amazing.

So you started by delving into the issue of demonism until you reached Phariseeism?  

Yes, Phariseeism is the human equivalent of demonism. One can find such a line of thinking in the statements Pope Francis made right after his election. This pope notes the great danger in what he calls “self-referentiality.” He criticizes a Church that falls into theological narcissism. Such a turn toward oneself is precisely what happens in Phariseeism and in the faith of the demons.

Thus, there are two kinds of unbelief. One is a negation of faith. The other is the substitution of true faith with a lie–an ersatz faith. Ultimately, Satan holds to the second kind of unbelief. He cannot deny reality, but he can twist and distort the truth, redefining what he knows to be right, to turn it into a lie. This is why Phariseeism is the real human counterpart to the faith of demons. It turns the truth into a lie, and in doing so steals all hope of salvation from humanity. It bears a form of godliness, but without the power to save: It only contains within itself the power to condemn. (2 Timothy 3: 5)

(H/t The Corner)

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Quote Of The Decade

Mark Steyn, in an article about Barack Obama’s patriotism and love of Christianity, quotes Theodore Dalrymple:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.

After living many years in China and seeing how communist party propaganda works first-hand, all I can say is that Dalrymple gets things exactly right. The goal of propaganda is to gain cooperation and then compliance. When it comes to propaganda, it does not matter that everyone knows it is a lie. All that matters is that everyone agrees with the lie publicly–that no would dare call it a lie.

With their mouths and lips people agree with the lie, thinking that somehow that it does not matter as they have preserved the truth in the hearts. Yet, through small concessions and compromises, they have already lost their freedom, whether they know it or not. It is a small thing to give lip service to a lie. Yet, if through fear or calculus a person refuses to stand for the truth in a small thing, then how can he stand when it comes to something that will destroy his soul?

Since the election of Obama in 2008, America has been standing at a precipice, but it still remains unclear if it will fall.

The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?

Jeremiah 5: 31

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China’s Glorious New Internet Censorship Theme Song

In case anyone still has doubts about how bat guano crazy the government of mainland China is, this new song–a paean to Internet censorship–was introduced on Chinese TV for the Chinese New Year’s Spring Festival celebration.

In case you are curious, here is a translation of the lyrics provided by the Wall Street Journal:

在这片天空日月忠诚的守望
Keeping faithful watch under this sky, the Sun and the Moon

为日出东方使命担当
Undertaking this mission for the break of dawn [in the East]

创新每个日子拥抱着清朗
Creating, embracing everyday clarity and brightness

像一束廉洁阳光感动在心上
Like a beam of incorruptible sunlight, touching our hearts

团结万物生长的力量
Uniting the powers of life from all creation

奉献地球村成为最美的风光
Offerings to the global village become the most beautiful of scenery

网络强国 网在哪光荣梦想在哪
Internet Power! The Web is where glorious dreams are

网络强国 从遥远的宇宙到思念的家
Internet Power! From the distant cosmos to the home we long for

网络强国 告诉世界中国梦在崛起大中华
Internet Power! Tell the world that the China Dream is lifting Greater China to prominence

网络强国 一个我在世界代表着国家
Internet Power! One self represents the nation to the world

在这个世界百川忠诚寻归海洋
In this world, all rivers loyally seek to return to the sea

担当中华文明的丈量
Bearing the measure of Chinese civilization

五千年沉淀点亮创新思想
5,000 years settle and give light to creative new thinking

廉洁就是一个民族清澈荡漾
Incorruptibility is the clear rippling of a nation

我们团结在天地中央
We unite at the center of Heaven and Earth

信仰奉献流淌万里黄河长江
Belief and giving flow for thousands of miles down the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers

网络强国 网在哪光荣梦想在哪
Internet Power! The Web is where glorious dreams are

网络强国 从遥远的宇宙到思念的家
Internet Power! From the distant cosmos to the home we long for

网络强国 告诉世界中国梦在崛起大中华
Internet Power! Tell the world that the China Dream is lifting Greater China to prominence

网络强国 一个我在世界代表着国家
Internet Power! One self represents the nation to the world

Frankly, the music and lyrics are so inspiring that we have decided to harmonize ourselves with the dictates of the one-party state, and stop using Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Google, and gmail, stop posting links to Tank Man, and even delete this website, lest we somehow harm the feelings of China.

Not!

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The ISIS Air Force?

The ISIS air force

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Scott Walker’s First Ad For President: “Our American Revival”

Walker comes across personally as a little wooden and boring, but overall this is a great ad and a great message.

Compared to Rick Perry, Walker is certainly more impressive. Perry makes a lot of claims about his role in promoting the economy of Texas that he simply cannot back up. The government of Texas employs a weak executive system wherein the governor has little power. It is highly likely that, regardless of the governor, the economy of Texas would be doing well, because the governor really does not have that much effect on the state economy. Meanwhile, Perry’s understanding of the 10th Amendment apparently is that the federal government should be restrained, but that state governments can have nearly unlimited power over their citizens.

Walker’s message on the other hand, is not just to roll back federal power, but to roll back government power in general, and empower people to make their own choices and find their own economic prosperity. And, Walker’s message resounds because it his policies have worked. Among the governors who have thrown their hat in the ring, he certainly looks like the strongest conservative candidate.

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What Kinds Of Food Are The Candidates Serving?

Imagine for a moment, that the political candidates were restauranteurs. What kind of fare would they be offering us? Such an exercise is more interesting than merely judging them by their platforms, as so often this does not really encapsulate who they are and what they have to offer.

For example, our take on erstwhile presidential candidate Mitt Romney is that all he has to offer is cafeteria food for old folks. Think whipped potatoes, green beans, turkey slice, and plenty of gravy. Hearty, satisfying, but somehow devoid of flavor, his fare appeals to everyone, and no one in particular all at the same time.

Meanwhile, the Obama Restaurant must be the most promoted restaurant on earth, with billboards advertising it for more than one hundred miles before you finally reach the highway off-ramp where it sits. You pull in, and the parking lot is so full that you can barely find a place. And, when you go in and get a seat, you discover that the restaurant has the most extravagant menu on earth, with something for everyone. Then it slowly dawns on you that you are sitting alone. There are no waiters, the kitchen is empty, the management has abandoned the place for some golf course somewhere, and there are no customers really either, except for a handful of starving people sitting in the corner, expectantly waiting for food. Alas, when you enter the kitchen and open the cupboards and freezers, you discover that those are empty as well.

In this vein, here is our preliminary take on the current field of presidential candidates, offered without fear or favor, in the hopes of offering up a little for everyone.


Hillary Clinton
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is no kind way of putting this, but at 67 years old and with her old-fashioned liberal policy proposals, all Hillary really has to offer consumers is crusty, stale bread. She has yet to offer a single proposal that is new, or that has not been heard a thousand times before, and all of it adds up to little or no substance. As Mondale would say, “Where’s the beef?” Crusty, stale bread, with mold growing on it.


Elizabeth Warren
QinoaAt 65 years old, there is no qualitative difference between Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton, except that Fauxcahontas flies her freak flag, whereas Hillary keeps it hidden beneath her pantsuit. To enliven things up and in honor of Warren’s fake Indian heritage, instead of stale bread it would be better to say that Warren offers up stale quinoa. We could not find a picture of stale, moldy quinoa, but the photo of quinoa mush that we found in many ways sums her up. (Quinoa is an Amerindian starch product that yuppies buy at Whole Foods. Most people in fly-over country would not find it all that appetizing or ever want to buy it.)


Jeb Bush
Michelle Obama's school lunchIf Romney serves up cafeteria food for old folks, then it can be said that Bush serves up Michelle Obama’s school lunches. How could a supporter of Common Core serve up anything else? The food ticks all the nutritional boxes and is sure to please everyone, except the people who have to live on the stuff, and they find it unappealing and inconsequential.


Marco Rubio
Arroz-con-PolloIf Rubio owned a restaurant, he would be serving up arroz con pollo, the classic (and heavenly) Cuban dish. The food is tasty and satisfying, though slightly exotic for most Americans. The main issues Rubio would have are convincing middle America to try the dish in the first place, and getting consumers to ignore the fact that the chicken used in the dish came over the boarder without a valid visa.


Ted Cruz
Bowl_of_Chili_No_BeansIn the light of Cruz’s Cuban-Canadian heritage, one would think that he is offering up a Cuban sandwich with a side of poutine, and one would be wrong. Ted Cruz offers up Texas chili all the way, prepared as it should be from cubed chuck, and with neither beans nor tomato sauce added (the red color is from the chili powder). The chili is fiery hot, and for a Texan like myself, there is no food on earth better than this. However, for people in other parts of America who omit chili powder and use cinnamon to make their chili hot, and who think that chili is defined by beans and tomato sauce, one wonders how well his food will go down. It might be too strong for people of gentler constitutions.


Rick Perry
red meatIn the last campaign, all Rick Perry really had to offer was red meat–and plenty of it. No baked potato. No salad. No Texas toast. Nothing else. The only problem was that the meat was not even half baked–it was simply raw. Now that he is gearing up to run again, he seems to think that the main problem the last go round was that he didn’t quite offer up enough red meat. That, and he had a bad back and was on meds. Will he learn this time that people want more than just red meat, and that being on meds was not the reason he failed?


Rick Santorum
Spaghetti_BologneseSantorum wants to present himself as the traditional, Italian-immigrant, working class hero. Therefore, his restaurant would serve spaghetti with a jug of red wine. We are perfectly fine with all of this. However, the snobs of the world might think that his food is too lowbrow, and that his approach is too traditional. At the same time, there doesn’t appear to be much of a constituency for working-class heroes within the GOP, and the Dems are all hooked on quinoa.


Mike Huckabee
Chef BoyardeeIf Santorum is offering up spaghetti and wine, surely Huckabee is offering up Chef Boyardee and grape juice. We don’t think this lowbrow–we know it is lowbrow. But there is a big market for Chef Boyardee and grape juice, so he will certainly have some customers. However, unless his food is up against quinoa, he has no hope of success in the presidential election. None.


Bobby Jindal
Red_Beans_and_RiceGiven his background, one would expect something exotic from Bobby Jindal, but all he really offers is red beans and rice, with perhaps a token piece of naan on the side. Now, we could live on red beans and rice, and eat it every day. There is nothing wrong with red beans and rice. However, most people would never order it at a restaurant. Hence, Jindal’s main flaw as a candidate: People love him and there is nothing wrong with him, but will anyone really vote for him?


Scott Walker
badgerPreliminary signs show that the Walker Restaurant serves up plenty of badger. This is all good. The problem is that we have never seen badger before on a restaurant menu, and have no idea what it tastes like. In the same way, Walker is the biggest unknown quantity in the presidential race. If the badger tastes as good as they say it does, then he could be a winner.


Chris Cristie
ripperChris Christie offers up a big, fat deep-fried New Jersey style hot dog–a ripper. Everyone loves these things. Everyone. The problem is, despite being full of fat–and flavor–you always find out that you have to go back for more. They just simply do not fill you up. Before you know it, you get another, and then another, and then another, and you become as fat as … Well, you get the picture.


Carly Fiorina
demon-sheepDespite her wholesome image and her success as a business executive, Carla Fiorina serves up demon sheep. If you have no idea what we are talking about, wait until the campaign begins in earnest, and you’ll hear all about it. Demon sheep.


Rand Paul
armadillo roadkillThe Rand Paul Cafe offers the classic bait and switch. The signs and the menu offer up red-meat conservatism. But, when you try to order your food, the waiter says, “Didn’t anyone tell you? This is a libertarian restaurant. You have to hunt and cook your own food here. No gun? Well, get a spatula from the kitchen and get yourself some roadkill to eat. No roadkill? That’s too bad. We’ll pray for you to get fed. Oh, the dead steer behind the counter? That’s just for promotional purposes, and for the boss to eat … Stop that! Get you hands off his dinner! The nerve of some people, coming to a restaurant and expecting to get fed!”


Of course, we have left out Ben Carson, who is running but has not yet made much of an impression, and Sarah Palin, who is certainly not running.

What is your take on the candidates? What kind of slop do you think they are serving?

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A Bad Lip Reading of The NFL 2015

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