Monthly Archives: November 2016


Kimberly and I are in Europe, combining our 25th anniversary, pilgrimage, and an opportunity to stay at a friend’s apartment in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. And now I can see why my friend abides here several times throughout the year. It is astoundingly beautiful with Zugspitze and other towering alpine peaks guarding the town on all sides, its historic cobblestone Ludwigstraße with restaurants and shops, and the handsomely built Bavarian homes with dark wood accents, gable carvings, tiled roofs and white stucco walls. Indeed, Garmisch-Partenkirchen looks like the place Busch Gardens tried to pretentiously replicate in their theme parks.

But Garmisch-Partenkirchen has a deeper beauty Busch Gardens could nor would ever attempt to replicate, a beauty forged from centuries of tradition and spirituality that calls from an integrated Papal Christian Europe.  On walls and in windows, be it a home, hotel or bakery, are crosses (cum corpore), statues, and images depicting Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Apostles, saints, or scenes from the Bible. In backyards, amid fields, and along roads are numerous small gabled shrines of the crucified Christ. These are created in the artistic tradition of the West to forever proclaim the gospel to an illiterate world, not because Gutenberg had yet to mass produce books centuries ago, but because Zuckerberg has mass produced social media on Facebook in our own day, heralding another dark age in which knowledge is not burned by the barbarian hordes, but buried in the big-data deluge of the mundane and meaningless.

Even in the local language, there is an unabashed and unbuffered perspective on life and the eternal. Around here one may say “Guten Tag” or “Auf Wiedersehen” but it is often to hear “Grüße Gott” which I believe literally means “God’s Greetings”. Imagining such fixtures in the United States, the images would be defaced, the monuments would be removed by judiciary, the businesses would be boycotted, the greeting would be met with scorn or rebuke. Consequently, we have no culture, no identity, no conviction and no truth. We have only power and the world view of those that wield it. As Hillaire Belloc stated in his book Characters of the Reformation: “The religion of the government becomes the religion of the state.” Is he wrong?

The Reformation (or at least the ultimate manifestation of it) roughly divided Germany into the Catholic south and Protestant North. This was more political than religious and resulted in state religions (the Church of ENGLAND, the Church of NORWAY, the Church of DENMARK to illustrate the point). In Germany (then the Holy Roman Empire) it was the religion adopted by the prince in whatever principality or territory ruled over. For the ordinary subject that meant adopting the prince’s world view or have a rough life of persecution to look forward to.

CUT TO: The United States of America where, supposedly, there is no official State Religion by Constitution. It sounds great on paper but in practice it has evolved to be the same thing as Old Europe.  If I don’t embrace the administration’s stance on faith and morals (homosexuality, same-sex marriage, abortion) I can expect legal or financial persecution: no federal funding for schools that are not on board with trans-gender bathrooms; no tax exemption for churches that preach against the power of the state; severe penalties if I object to selling abortifacient drugs; total annihilation if I don’t use my business in support of a same-sex wedding ceremony.

So I ask again, is Belloc wrong?

I Protested

I voted protested.

This is in response to those who, disappointed with the presidential election results, are either protesting in the streets or packing bags to move to another country. To those peoples I say, stop what you are doing, for such actions reveals how you regard democratic ideals—the ideals which the U.S. has attempted to “export” to the countries to which you flee.

In full disclosure, I did not, repeat DID NOT, vote for Donald Trump. My candidate lost. I knew my candidate would lose, for I voted for a third-party candidate of which most people never heard. Indeed, the party I voted for was so small and obscure, I had to write it in (although my state supposedly tallied those votes as if it were listed).

It has been said that, in voting third party as a conservative, I virtually voted for Hillary Clinton. Supposing this is true, well then my selection lost twice.  It was also said that my vote was wasted and thrown away. But I voted the way I voted, not just to deny the major party candidates, but to protest the media’s election-shaping from beginning to end, first elevating Trump to the nomination with jillions of dollars of free exposure and elevating Clinton to the nomination with judicious reporting (and CNN cheating via Donna Brazille). The presidential debates further shaped the binary choice with irrelevant questions designed to highlight each candidate’s lack of morality—hey, tell me something new. I see reason that the same air time could have been used to include third party candidate’s responses on issues that would affect me if they enter office.  But the media had decided that TWO is the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be TWO!

But now the strange reality: Donald Trump is president elect. If protestors protest that fact, who or what could change it? That the presidency should be simply handed over to Clinton? Why not the party I voted for who also lost?

We have an election every four years to register our protest—our revolt. The nation protested the establishment in a huge way; the nation protested the usual politics and politicians. The nation protested at the ballot box, for better or for worse. If one believes using some sort of force to remove Donald Trump from power, you are basically saying you want to change our Constitution and our form of government. Do you really? Do you want to disenfranchise a segment of the population? Shall we go back to 1 acre = 1 vote? How about white, male, landowners? If you are protesting in the street or flying off to Canada, can you say you believe in democracy? Yes, I think we should only allow people the right to vote but only if they agree with my politics. Sound good?

The bottom line: democracy requires that 1) I participate by voting 2) I accept the results. Agreed that the first one assumes one is making an informed choice but the media has made that difficult to do. The second is more unilateral. If I were to protest anything it would be the vetting we use to arrive at the candidates we get from which the president is elected. But as it stands, we must accept the results or renounce our Constitution altogether. Personally, I was fully prepared to accept a Clinton presidency—indeed it seemed like a foregone conclusion. But now it is a Trump presidency and the only proper thing to do is to accept that fact, get behind him, and move on.