Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Legends About Luther: The 95 Theses He Never Nailed Up - RTO.org

by John Horvat
Every revolution needs legends to capture the imagination of its followers. It needs some act of defiance in which a major character charges into the mouth of the lion and plants his manifesto for all to see.
Such is the case of the October 31 commemoration of the five hundredth anniversary of Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. All over the world, people are marking the day with portrayals and reenactments of the event. The only problem is that it appears that Luther never nailed the document to anything. The defiant act never happened.

On October 31, Luther mailed, not nailed, his 95 theses to the Archbishop of Mainz and the Bishop of Brandenburg. Only one of the original two letters is still extant. The 95 theses, which he enclosed, have also faded into history since there are no existing copies of the original document (and therefore no verifiable nail holes). There is no record of any open and raging debate on the document in Wittenberg supposedly triggered by the non-event of its church-door nailing.
The legend of the nailing comes from an account of a disciple, Philipp Melanchthon, who could not have been an eyewitness to the event since he was not in Wittenberg at the time. His account was written well after Luther’s 1546 death.
It appears that the legend was embellished with time. Georg Roer, a friend of Luther, has him nailing theses, not to one but several church doors. Like Melanchthon, he also was not in Wittenberg at the time, and more than likely was drawing on Melanchthon in his account. The heresiarch Luther never mentioned this crowning act of defiance at any time during his lifetime.
Even the noisy act of nailing was uncertain. Willi Winkler, a Luther biographer, doubts the nailing took place but does acknowledge the legend. He noted that during the first centenary of the non-event in 1617, the instrument remembered was a simple feather pen which Luther used to write on the cathedral door. Apparently, the hammer was not part of the legend at the time and was added in later commemorations for dramatic effect.
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The legend of the nailing was brought to light by Catholic researcher Erwin Iserloh in 1961. He pointed to the lack of primary sources or eyewitnesses to the nailing claim. Since then, many scholars, including Lutherans, have admitted the improbability of the nailing.
While the debate still simmers, the real issue is the use of legend to promote a revolution.
Historical legends have always existed that tend to embellish reality or highlight qualities of major figures. Heroes often appear larger than life because of their great projection and impact upon a people. However, such portrayals are usually based on some elements of truth that become embellished with age. The legend of El Cid in Spain builds upon the historical figure and recounts his exploits. These legends tend to cultivate a love of virtue, social harmony and heroism.
With the dawn of the modern age, revolutionaries have always skillfully used legendary figures to pursue their goals. However, unlike heroic figures or epic tales, these depictions often consist of fabrications made to fit a narrative of class struggle. Such revolutionary deeds never happened, but they are made to capture the imagination of “the masses.” These myths are then repeated continuously and become part of popular history.
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Such is the case of Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses. Despite the lack of proofs, the story of the nailing is constantly repeated as a proof of Luther’s bold act of defiance to the Church. His disjointed and empty musings about the Church are elevated to the status of “theses.”
All this cloaks the real tragedy of the Lutheran revolt that split Christendom asunder. The non-event of October 31, 1517, was an empty and false gesture that marked the beginning of the catastrophic process of revolutions and divisions that would later follow.


Legends About Luther: The 95 Theses He Never Nailed Up - RTO.org

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Growing Tyranny of the Culture-killers





The controversy around Confederate statue removal rages. Revisionists are on the rampage with all the fury of communist mobs that want no memory of a past culture to remain. They are involved in a cultural cleansing of heroes, legends, and symbols that threaten to fragment yet more a divided nation.
The wrath of the iconoclasts knows no limits. High and mighty captains of industry quiver in fear of being labelled politically incorrect. It is the hour of the spineless and mediocre to scamper into hiding, losing themselves in the darkness of history. Leftist city officials nationwide rush to swear fidelity to the new keepers of the culture by cowardly removing Confederate statues in the silence of the night.
Nations have been devastated and robbed of their treasures. But there is no greater treasure of a people than the lives of those among them that developed great thoughts, produced great works or fought great battles. Their deeds made those leaders legendary.
It is true that these figures were not all saints. It is also true that they lived by the standards of their times, which were far from perfect, just as the present times are imperfect. But they did set a standard. They challenged countless people to look above their own interests and sacrifice for the nation. The fact that their statues peacefully stood in public spaces for well over a century is silent testimony to their popular esteem.
The meaning of these statues has suddenly changed, not because they are no longer legends, but because those who have set themselves up as the self-appointed keepers of the culture now decree their removal. That is the crime of the legend killers. They destroy that which does not belong to them. Legends belong to the people who create them. The new censors ascribe to these figures attitudes and labels that do not correspond to the real person but rather what they want them to be.
These revolutionaries know that by taking away the physical structures they undermine and hope to destroy the much more important pillars of the American soul. Sociologists speak of the need of nations to have representative characters and symbols that capture the imagination of a people and provide points of reference that help harmonize a society. They serve to assure a continuum with a nation’s heritage and traditions.
In creating their legends, people look beyond the flaws and defects of the individual, and idealize those qualities that stand out and deserve to be imitated. They see and love these figures not so much as they historically were, but as if they had attained that sublime measure of perfection they were called to by God when He endowed them with brilliant qualities. Thus, they become timeless figures, from which any member of society can borrow to give dignity and meaning to life.
The legendary figure of George Washington, for example, serves as a point of unity for all those American values that he upheld. Any American at any time can draw inspiration from his example.
However, it is not the very real defects of these legendary figures that inform the destruction wrought by the statue-topplers. Their target is the Christian culture of times past. They abhor anything that represents the virtues, honor and purity that stands as a rebuke to their amorality. They shrink from sanctity as devils flee from holy water. Above all, the keepers of the culture hate the Christian narrative that calls for acceptance of the Holy Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the symbol of resignation and suffering that is part of the human condition after the fall.
That is why these legend- and symbol-killers can also be found tearing down crosses wherever pious Christians have placed them in memorials and parks. These symbols must be removed to make way for a world stripped of all virtue and heroism. However, the new inquisitors curiously have no problem with the setting up of Satanic monuments that counter those of Christians.
In the face of a world in which people only look after their own gratification, more not fewer self-sacrificing figures need to be put on pedestals, presented to and esteemed by the public. In a healthy society, such recognition would create conditions whereby every family, community or association could have “legendary” members. Such figures, by their extraordinary deeds, sacrifices, and works, would elevate the whole family or group.
What is needed today are legions of legendary figures at all levels of society not a brave new world of empty monument pedestals.

As seen on American Thinker.








The Growing Tyranny of the Culture-killers - Return to Order:

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Cardinal Zen Receives ‘Return to Order’ - ReturnToOrder.com

Cardinal Zen Receives ‘Return to Order’ - ReturnToOrder.com: Cardinal Zen Receives ‘Return to Order’ during his visit to Prague. In a June 12 interview by Valdis Grinstein of Polonia Christiana, Joseph Cardinal Zen …

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

This Is the America I Celebrate on July 4th -


Looking at the state of the nation, I wonder which America we are celebrating this July 4th. The nation is clearly divided, and thus many Americas appear. Not all are to be celebrated.
This year has been particularly marked by disunity and vitriol. One image that particularly stands out in my mind is the shockingly bloody representation of a beheaded president that recently went viral on social media.
I do not celebrate this America. Indeed, there are many Americas I do not celebrate.
I do not celebrate an America which applauds such gruesome portrayals of those they disagree with. Some may claim such depictions are expressions of freedom. However, such violent portrayals represent a horrific abuse not a healthy expression of freedom. This action and others like it deliberately offend, divide and terrorize the nation by breaking all standards of decency and morality that are the foundation of our unity.

I cannot celebrate an America that distorts the concept of freedom so as to give free reign to the most disordered and enslaving passions. I cannot applaud an attitude that installs immorality as the norm and has consequences everywhere. Thus, I cannot look on indifferently as this twisted abuse of freedom leads to the killing of the unborn, the destruction of countless families, and the shattering of so many communities. It is only logical that I oppose this attitude since it is leading to the self-destruction of the nation I love.
Finally, I cannot celebrate an America in which a deformed concept of freedom has come to mean a denial of reality itself. Political correctness rules over us with oppression and cruelty. People now self-identify as that which they are not and force all of society to conform to them. Such abuses lead to a dangerous regime that threatens to make reality whatever people fancy it to be with official sanction from government or Supreme Court.
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All of these Americas involve the abuse of freedom that impacts upon society as a whole. I cannot celebrate all these so-called freedoms because they soon become tyrannies. We have seen how those who cry out most against intolerance are also those who will not tolerate any opposition. They will not rest until they have triumphed over those who freely voice their objections. Indeed, we are already feeling this tyranny in cases in which people are forced to act against God’s law for failing to accept same-sex “marriage” or transgender bathrooms. The final goal of this America is a land of no restraints that punishes all dissent. Everything must be allowed, and all must not only accept but celebrate the fantasies of others. It is only prohibited to prohibit.
The America I and countless others celebrate, is different. It is an America of ordered liberty. This America recognizes that freedom is only maintained when enslaving passions are restrained by strong moral principles. Thus, I celebrate those “Ten Commandment” Americans who still uphold a moral law that says objective right and wrong exist. They believe correctly that America will only be great if she is good.
I celebrate an America that grieves for the nation because we are going down the path to ruin. I further celebrate those Americans who act upon their grief and have the courage to say no to the politically correct commissars who artificially rule from their media seats of power. This America defends those institutions of family and faith that are so vehemently attacked.
I celebrate an America that sacrifices for values that are worth more than life itself. For this America, heroism is not an empty word. It respects, admires and applauds Americans who have served, shed their blood and offered their lives so that truth, good, and true freedom might prevail.
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Finally, I celebrate an America that prays. It corresponds to those Americans who rise above the materialism of our day and turn to Heaven for aid. These recognize that natural solutions have failed and we must appeal to God if we are to survive.
In celebrating the America that represents these attitudes, I do not wish anyone harm. It is a principled stand devoid of all personal hatred or prejudices. It targets no one person but rather vigorously reaffirms those perennial values that never die and will ensure the survival of the nation.
I believe there is still much to celebrate in America today. We stand at a crucial fork in our history and the future will be decided by the answer to the question: Which America do you celebrate this July 4th?


This Is the America I Celebrate on July 4th -: This Is the America I Celebrate on July 4th

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Patriarchy: The Father Figure as He Should Be




The figure of the father is under attack these days. To those who insist upon total equality, he is seen as an overbearing figure who has long abused his power. Like all symbols of authority, he must be overthrown.
It is curious that whenever feminists wish to attack the father, somewhere in their long tirades, there will appear the word “patriarchy.” The mention of this word is not by chance. It echoes the core of the feminist creed.

Ironically, those who are accused of defending patriarchy are usually members of nuclear families, not patriarchal ones. Many indeed are not even members of extended families. They do not have a notion of what patriarchy means and how it functions. And thus they are not in conditions to defend themselves against the feminist rage.

Embracing Patriarchy

Those who defend the family have no cause to fear the term and every reason to embrace it. When stripped of its non-Christian forms and feminist caricatures, patriarchy becomes a refreshing idea. Even today, the image of an ancient patriarch evokes sentiments of veneration and respect.
However, there is a reason why feminists attack patriarchy so violently: It represents the plenitude of fatherhood. It is the father figure as he should be. Such a vision is part of the natural hierarchical society that feminism rejects.

Understanding Patriarchy

The key to understanding patriarchy lies in the long forgotten idea of the traditional family. The Catholic Church has long taught that the family is not a single social unit existing in the present without connection to the past or future. Rather, the family is a rich and continuous whole that encompasses all those who have come before and will come after. Thus, each family becomes a vast network of interwoven relationships and is part of the social fabric.
Patriarchy is a natural consequence of the traditional family. It holds that since this vast social unit exists, there should be an authority that maintains its unity. This authority is usually the patriarch.
The influence of the patriarch extends beyond his immediate household and encompasses several generations. It might include several branches of the family, even an entire clan.
The patriarch does not exercise an arbitrary or tyrannical authority. Indeed, he exerts a unifying leadership over the whole that is expressed more often by influence than by command. He guides with great care and subtlety the interrelationships between so many people who are alike in so many ways but who are also so very different.

The Patriarch as Harmonizer

Thus one of the most important roles of the patriarch is to be a harmonizer. He maintains the family line in harmony with its past and future. He must strike a delicate balance between those in the family who guarantee necessary continuity and those who energetically introduce healthy innovation.
The patriarch is a true leader of the family. He has a special gift to discern and coordinate the general direction of those under him. He seldom imposes his will upon the others, but rather sets the tone and the example. He unifies and brings out the best in others.
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That is why traditionally the patriarch is portrayed as one who ponders things. He is judicious and weighs matters with criteria and acumen. He applies the family’s treasure-trove of wisdom which is preserved, enriched, and passed on from one generation to the next.

Source of Progress and Culture

It is easy to see that when society is filled with patriarchal figures on all social levels, it creates the ideal conditions for the true progress of a culture. The patriarch is what sociologists call a representative character who moves his family members toward goals of perfection in line with the family’s qualities and talents. When imbued with Catholic virtue, the patriarch moves his family members to the highest of all goals: their sanctification.
Such figures are sadly missing in today’s crumbling society. Individuals each go their way. There are no harmonizers or coordinators that unify families and direct their progress.
When attacked for being patriarchal, fathers today should embrace the idea. The patriarch only does on a larger scale that which the father is called to do within his family.
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There is nothing wrong with building a family thinking of the long term. There is nothing wrong with desiring unity and direction for those under one’s care. Rather than an undesirable condition to be avoided, patriarchy is an idea whose restoration time has come.