Secession lagniappe

Starting to dig into the books that someone has very kindly bought me off my Amazon wish list. I’m a couple of chapters into Felix Morley’s only novel, Gumption Island, which is modeled — the map on the inside of the cover is almost identical to — Gibson Island in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, where he lived and wrote. It’s very charming for an allegorical book; I’ll probably post an excerpt here at some point. Also, I’m a few chapters into Eugene McCarraher’s Christian Critics, about which more will be said here, but I first wanted to take note of something he mentions right in the beginning, that Ralph Adams Cram, the architect, was an early proponent of the Benedict Option — as in, 1909:

The manifold evils that canker the civilization of our own time are explicitly those that monasticism is best fitted to cure, and as a matter of fact, has cured again and again in the past Within this era are no powers of regeneration: atheism, secularism, materialism, intellectual pride and defiance of law are ill tools for building anew the ramparts of the City of God. The impulse must come from without, from God, not from the world; even as it came in such varying degrees and different ways through Benedictines, Cluniacs and Jesuits. When the abandoned insolence of man, mad in his pride of life, has dashed itself to the stars and, falling again, crumbles away in [35/36] impotent deliquescence, then perhaps will come the new prophet, son of S. Benedict (though perhaps in a new habit and with an amended rule), who as in 500 and 1000 and 1500, will release the souls of men from their captivity, and strive again to make all things new in Christ.

There have been a number of smart dissents on the Benedict Option recently, from Jonathan Rauch and Samuel Goldman that are worth reading.

Speaking of cultural disengagement, here’s First Things’ new marriage pledge:

To continue with church practices that intertwine government marriage with Christian marriage will implicate the Church in a false definition of marriage.

Therefore, in our roles as Christian ministers, we, the undersigned, commit ourselves to disengaging civil and Christian marriage in the performance of our pastoral duties. We will no longer serve as agents of the state in marriage. We will no longer sign government-provided marriage certificates. We will ask couples to seek civil marriage separately from their church-related vows and blessings.

ACNA’s new archbishop has advised against signing it. He cites Doug Wilson’s commentary. Ephraim Radner responds to some objections here. Schmitz, Reno have more.

Canadian Anglicans discover the medicine wheel. USCCB endorses beatification of Fr. Paul Wattson

*****

Almost funny Alaskan secession satire

Montana’s Confederate history

Food prices and Hawaiian independence

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs broke an open-meetings law. This is getting interesting.

Sherman as counterinsurgent

The new solid south

Texas secessionists say Obama’s immigration executive order should prompt a secession vote

Free State Project is inching closer to 20k pledge-signers. Their candidates are making inroads, slowly.

Academic says those stupid rednecks who display a confederate flag are an insult, “to all Americans who believe in human equality.”

This wicked, racist geezer argues the flag is historical for Pensacola

Not a bad piece on the Danville Confederate flag controversy

Apparently Faith Crannitch, DC’s perennial Green mayoral candidate, at one point used the word “secede” in her fliers.

*****

Hong Kong protestors being cleared

Thai government doesn’t know what to do with Uighur refugees. China wants ’em back.

Chinese court upholds life sentence for Uighur separatist

China revokes the papers of Tibetan nomads

Local Okinawan candidate who wanted to resettle the U.S. base has been defeated

Netanyahu endorses an ethnostate

Lao Christians forced out of their village for refusing to embrace paganism

8 women dead at Indian state-run sterilization camp

There’s a new political party in Chile that explicitly invokes Pinochet’s memory; it’s led by his grandson

UKIP gets its second MP

Saxons in Romania

French assembly doesn’t reunify Alsace or Brittany

Madrid sues Catalan president Artur Mas. Mas is undaunted, and is laying the groundwork for another referendum in two years.

Veneto president points to Catalonia, says a similar referendum is inevitable

Abkhazia and South Ossetia making closer ties with Russia

Thais for constitutional monarchy

Argentina’s parliament mandates displaying Falklands annexation signs on public transportation

*****

Wired on micronations

And, last but not least, I’m joining Front Porch Republic as managing editor. More details to come.

(image source)

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