More Weekend Reading (Plus Arinze Rocks!)

The US Bishops have issued a document on liturgical music. Hopefully this will help clean up some of the problems we currently have.

Also, Cardinal Arinze on liturgical dance:

Dance is not known in the Latin Rite of the Mass. Our congregation [for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments] has considered it for years. There is no major document of the Church on dance, but the directive we give from our congregation is this: In the strict liturgy — that means the Mass, the sacraments — Europe and America should not talk of liturgical dance at all because dance as known in Europe and North America is not part of worship. So they should forget it and not talk about it at all.

But, it is different in Africa and Asia: not a concession to them, but because their culture is different. If you give a typical African the gifts to bring at Offertory, and you give a typical Eur the same gifts to bring, if they don’t see one another: the European will be rather stiff in walking to the altar; the African is likely to have movement, right, left. It is not a dance, it is a graceful movement to show joy and offering. Also in Asia they have refined movements showing respect, adoration, joy. In Africa all the cultures are not the same. If you are in Ashanti in Ghana, they have some refined movements.

The Bishops of each country have to watch this, knowing that the aim, the reason for Mass, the reasons are four: adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and asking for what we need. If the movements help towards that, yes; if they do not, no. Now, if you say dance in Europe and North America, people think of Saturday evening, ballroom dance: one man, one woman. And it is all right as recreation. But we do not come to Mass to enjoy, we don’t come to Mass to admire people, and clap for them, and say “Repeat! Repeat! Wonderful! Excellent!” That is all right for the auditorium, for the theater, even for the parish hall… presuming that the dance is acceptable from a moral point of view. Because there are some dances that are wrong everywhere, even in the parish hall and in the theater, because they are provocative unnecessarily. And also in Africa and Asia, every dance is not acceptable. There are some dances that are totally not acceptable in any religious event.

So it differs. But as for North America or Europe, we think that the dance should not enter the liturgy at all, and the people discussing liturgical dance should spend that time saying the Rosary. [laughter and applause] Or they should spend that time reading one of the documents of the Pope on the Holy Eucharist. We have already enough problems; why banalize more, why desacralize more? Haven’t we already enough confusion? If you want to admire a dance, you know where to go. But not Mass.(partial transcript from here)

If only he weren’t so old, he could be our next Pope. That would be great.

Fred Thompson: The Candidate of Ideas

Kimberley Strassel:

[Thompson]’s proposed revitalizing America’s armed forces by increasing the core defense budget, building up a million-member ground force, and instituting sweeping missile defense. He went where no other GOP candidate has yet gone with a detailed plan to shore up Social Security, by changing the benefits formula and offering voluntary “add on” accounts for younger workers. He would re-energize school vouchers. His border security blueprint certainly matches Mitt Romney’s or Rudy Giuliani’s in its, ahem, creativity and thoroughness.

This week’s tax proposal was decidedly fresh, going beyond the run-of-the-mill candidate promise to extend the Bush tax cuts, and calling for the end of the death tax and the AMT, a cut in the corporate tax rate and even a voluntary flat tax. According to a campaign source, in upcoming weeks Mr. Thompson will unveil plans to reduce federal spending by limiting nondefense growth to inflation, earmark reform, and a one-year freeze on the hiring of non-essential civilian workers and contractors.

There’s plenty here to get conservative voters and bloggers and pundits engaged in some healthy, even lively, debate. That is, if they’d heard any of this. Most haven’t, and for that Mr. Thompson has mostly himself to blame.

I think Thompson’s biggest problem in this campaign is his late start. Not because it allowed other candidates to set the tone or attract the voters, but because the top campaign talent and activists were locked in. The only truly experienced national campaign staffers were those fired by McCain back during his campaign’s cost-cutting days, so, with no disrespect to those people, there wasn’t a large quantity of talent out there. When you add in that most of the party activists in New Hampshire and Iowa plus fundraisers were committed, there wasn’t much for Thompson left to pick from in assembling an organization.

Which is a shame, because he’s the only candidate in this race talking about ideas, putting forth policies that really could change things. The good news is that many voters are still making up their minds about who to support, even in the early primary states. Rush Limbaugh’s non-endorsement of Thompson today should help a great deal also.

So, yeah, I’m a Fred Head.

Top 100 Movies Meme

There a meme going around using AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies list. Bear in mind, I’m not a big movie fan.

5 favorite movies on the list:
1. Star Wars
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
3. Pulp Fiction
4. Patton
5. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

5 movies on the list I didn’t like
1. The Graduate
2. 2001: A Space Oddessy
3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
4. Wuthering Heights
5. ET: The Extra Terrestial

5 on the list that I haven’t Seen, but Want To
1. The Third Man
2. The Manchurian Candidate
3. Citizen Kane
4. Psycho
5. Vertigo

5 on the list that I haven’t seen, and no interest in seeing
1. Platoon
2. Annie Hall
3. Dances with Wolves
4. Dr. Strangelove
5. Schindler’s List

5 favorites that aren’t on the list
1. Die Hard
2. The Great Escape
3. Airplane!
4. Bull Durham
5. The Passion of the Christ

Quote of the Day

“Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks-no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea, if there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.”

— James Madison (speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 20 June 1788)

Reference: The True Republican, French, ed. (28-29)

Henry Hyde, RIP

Long-time Congressman Henry Hyde passed away last night. He was one of the first national politicians I took a shine to when I began becoming interested in politics as a kid. I haven’t always seen eye to eye with him on all issues (gun control), but I admired him for his strong devotion to the weakest members of our society: the unborn. The Amendment that came to be named after him (the Hyde Amendment obviously) which prohibited the national government from paying for abortions. Who knows how many lives this saved? In terms of lives saved, he has to be one of the great humanitarians of our time. In recognition of his long service to our country, he was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

America’s lost a good one.

National on Henry Hyde

I do have to agree with much of his take on the 2008 Presidential race:

So what does Hyde think about the 2008 presidential field? On John McCain: “He’s interesting and unpredictable but I think he’s electable and correct on social issues.” On Rudy Giuliani: “I like him and he’s electable, but he’s dead wrong on the life issue and that invalidates his candidacy for me.” Mitt Romney: “I don’t know enough about him but he sounds promising.” Then there’s Hyde’s House colleague, Duncan Hunter: “He’s a good man but he’s too protectionist.” Asked about George Pataki, he simply snarls. And what about Barack Obama? He’s not a Republican, but he’s from Hyde’s hometown: “I’ve never seen anyone with such a slim record receive such adulation. He seems like a nice and capable man, but he’s being treated as Pericles revisited or something.”

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.