Young Mrs. Wright and her Legalistic Atheist Friend

Posted August 17, 2016 By John C Wright

A controversial post this week from the lovely and talented Mrs Wright. She asks when is it right and proper to murder grandma?

http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2016/08/16/when-can-we-murder-grandma/.

She was Miss Lamplighter at the time when the events described took place. I wonder who the friend was with whom she was secretly in love.

Many years ago, I was driving down the highway, from North Carolina to Maryland, in the company of a friend, with whom I was secretly in love, and we were discussing abortion.

I had told him my stance. I was very pro-abortion. (I realize that, since then, someone came up with cute little terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice”, but this was before that. We still called it pro-abortion and anti-abortion.)

My reasons were as follows:

I believed that all life was sacred, that to kill would be to break a commandment. I believed that this was in direct disobedience to the will of God. So, I personally would never have an abortion.

BUT, I felt I had made this decision on religious grounds. Thus, abortion should be legal so that everyone could make their own decision based on their own religion.

I felt very strongly about this. So strongly that I had voted a pro-abortion ticket one year.

I felt this was about defending religious freedom.

But, as I chatted about the issue with my friend, he brought up the word murder.

“Abortion’s not murder!” I scoffed.

But I was a bit unnerved. Never had I before heard abortion referred to as murder.

“Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being,” quipped my legal-minded friend, who was an atheist just out of law school. He then listed the times when it is lawful to kill a human being: self-defense, defense of others.

Laws in favor of abortion, he pointed out, did not make it lawful to murder a human being. They merely defined an unborn child as “not yet a human being” and, thus, not covered by these laws.

Read the whole thing, and discover whether or not the dashing yet dark-hearted logical and legalistic atheist, using only human reason, without any resort to revelation or divine authority, can convince our innocent but sweet and young Christian idealist something about the inner nature of the moral code God Himself wrote with His finger on our hearts.

You may discover why the enemy hates logical and lawful thinking as much as he hate Christian love. Both point to the divine.

 

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Somewhither and Feminine Agency

Posted August 15, 2016 By John C Wright

In which I continue to discuss, without ever being so bold as to raise any argument in contradiction to any reader’s judgment, a certain review of SOMEWHITHER by a reader who struggled mightily to overcome his bigotry against the Christian worldview, which he confuses with predestinationary determinism where God Almighty punishes men for their political opinions, not their sins. (The confusion is deliberate on his part, of course. When I told him that I believed no such thing, he assured me condescendingly that I did.)

He struggled to read the book, because his false-to-facts belief about my beliefs jarred him out of the story three times or more. He concludes that this was due to my lack of skill as an author. I make no comment about this conclusion.

I was pleased to see that he is a fellow fan of A.E. van Vogt. I would be much more interested, frankly, in his review of my A.E. van Vogt book NULL-A CONTINUUM, which I wrote to be in the mood and worldview of Non-Aristotelian philosophy, not Christian philosophy.

If he or any reader doubts my ability to write outside my own worldview, I invite him to employ his skepticism in a tale where I am deliberately not trying to speak with a Catholic voice. A story told by a Christian in a Christian setting might make it hard for the weak eyed to distinguish the author from the work.

But, in the case of SOMEWHITHER, the reviewer concludes on two final points, which he calls troubling, not for few, but for many.

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On the Feast of the Assumption

Posted August 15, 2016 By John C Wright

Send by a friend:

There was a beautiful reading in the Office of Readings today. I thought I should share it, especially with John Wright.

St. John of Damascus was a Syrian monk and priest, from the same stock from which the Maronites descended. He lived in the monastery of Mar Saba near Jerusalem in the seventh century.

From a homily by Saint John Damascene, priest
(Homily 9 on the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 3, 7-8, 10: PG 96. 727, 734-735)

You have borne for us the clothing of immortality Read the remainder of this entry »

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Pray for Light in the Darkness

Posted August 15, 2016 By John C Wright

For those of you suffering from the two-dimensional worldview called secularism, which ignores all spiritual reality, or you Christians suffering from complacency, where you perhaps think our current spiritual reality is in good order, here is a reminder that we human live on a battlefield where godlike powers, principalities, dominions, archangels and angels wrestle over the immortal souls of unwitting mankind:

http://okgazette.com/2016/06/29/black-mass-and-the-consumption-of-mary-set-for-aug-15/

In a Satanic ritual planned for public view in August at Civic Center Music Hall, sulfur, menstrual blood and the ashes of blasphemed and burned Quran pages will be used to “corrupt” a plaster statue of the Virgin Mary.

The ceremony, known as The Consumption of Mary, is part of a ticketed black Mass hosted by Oklahoma City’s satanic Church of Ahriman Aug. 15 at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave. A black Mass is a dark parody, or inversion, of a traditional Roman Catholic Church religious service.

Church of Ahriman religious leader Dastur Adam Daniels has drawn local and national enmity for his organization’s public ceremonies and demonstrations. Archbishop Paul Coakley of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City issued a media statement calling the group’s 2014 black Mass “a satanic inversion and distortion of the most sacred beliefs not only of Catholics, but of all Christians.”

 

The article continues:

The federal government recognizes The Church of Ahriman as a legitimate religious organization, Daniels said. Therefore, while considered offensive by many Christians and others, its practices are protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, which guarantees the right to the free exercise of religion.

“We’re not doing anything against the law,” Daniels said. “Against canon law, sure. But the United States’ law? No. We’re not doing anything wrong.”

Daniels said his church’s practices draw from the occult, Zoroastrianism and elements of Eastern theologies such as Tantrism and Hinduism. Daniels said some satanic magic and rituals traditionally call for animal sacrifices and eating human flesh, but his church finds alternatives. For example, his congregation uses human menstrual fluid instead of animal blood.

“I just want people to understand that there is no danger in coming to our show,” Daniels said. “It’s public, there are going to be police officers there, it is fully protected. Everyone is going to be safe, and it is an opportunity to learn.”

My comment: Opportunity to learn, eh? Oh, well, then, in that case, burn a Koran while you are at it.

I know that some Protestants have some sort of enmity toward the Virgin, but I have never been able to discover any historical or theological explanation that makes sense. I assume even a sternly anti-Papist Reformer would still not want to side with the Satanists, and not want the mother of our Savior to be insulted and demeaned in this fashion.

It is in that hope I ask any non-Catholic reading these words to take some time to pray for the failure of the intentions of the Satanists, and for their curses to redound back upon them tenfold.

My fellow Catholics may be aware that August 15th is not a holy day of Obligation, since it falls on a Monday this year, but in light of these dark circumstances, I hope you will consider going to mass this day.

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Somewhither and the Power of the Cross

Posted August 14, 2016 By John C Wright

I am continuing a discussion concerning three criticisms leveled against SOMEWHITHER by a reviewer who tried manfully to put aside his grinding, migraine-sized hatred of Christianity, and of me in particular, to give my work a fair hearing.

Whether he achieved this high ambition or failed in a particularly embarrassing unselfaware display of gross anti-christian bigotry it would be improper and untoward of me to say.

And, as a matter of policy,  I hold it to be shameful for authors to argue with critics for the same reason a comedian should never explain his joke. If the joke does not make you laugh when you hear it, the comedian cannot argue that missed laugh into being. A successful argument might convince you that you should have laughed: but a mere intellectual conviction that one should have laughed is not the same as having actually laughed. And an unsuccessful argument is even less funny.

But, in this world of unhinged and untrammeled libel, if the critic makes a false statement of fact about what is or is not in the text, I hold myself to be allowed to correct falsehoods. No one is likely to do it for me.

This latitude extends only to statements of fact, not judgement, conclusions, or matters of opinion. On those points I recuse myself.

In this case, the reviewer was unconvinced by three of my inventions. I have already discussed the first two: a Wagner ripoff named Foster and the Highlander ripoff called the Cainim. The third is my Dracula ripoff, called Bloodquaffers.

(I note in passing the reviewer did not criticize my slavish lack of creativity. Go figure.)

Here is the salient critique:

Wright wants to set the rule that the cross works [automatically] as a dynamic symbol of christ’s power not of the belief of the wielder – this is let me stress absolutely fine as a given in a  vampire using novel, vampires are often glossed as having an origin in sin, and I can see why Wright doesn’t want to go down the ‘faith as energy’ route [which for instance in Doctor Who sees vampires defeated by faith in the Russian Revolution, or the Doctor’s faith in his companions] but there needs to be consistency both thematically for ‘vampires are like demons’ and for similar issues ‘what you believe vs it’s God’s power/action’ Wright’s vampires however aren’t vampires, they’re people from an alchemic aeon who have replaced their blood in part with alchemic silver (?) and lost the part of the soul that makes moral judgements – this in itself is nice invention, but as a backstory, how does it justify the automatic curse of the cross upon them?  Is alchemy or soul-lessness inherently cross invoking, if its not trad vampireism?  We don’t know.

So for the Bloodquaffers, some ado seems to be made over the fact that I have crucifixes drive back vampires. Normally this is no cause for objection, but the vampires here are not explicitly said to be sinful mockeries of the Catholic communion where we faithful gain everlasting life by drinking the blood of Christ. Vampires drink our blood and gain everlasting death.

Indeed, the text says the vampires are created by alchemy, black magic, and deliberately destroying one’s own humanity in order to gain diabolic powers, but the text did not explicitly say that was sinful or involved any hellish influence.

I confess to the criticism: The author assumed the reader would be familiar enough with the basics of the traditional vampire story to render it unnecessary to explain that crucifixes repel them.

Because many readers might assume the user’s faith, not the power of Christ, is what repels the vampire, the author did think it necessary to explicitly state that rule was the rule in my invented world. Anne Rice vampires work differently, as do those in BUFFY, in the Dresden files, and in Dungeons and Dragons. So I put the rule onstage, as any author of speculative fiction must.

Now the reviewer explicitly allows me this point, but then seems to think it is not believable that a girl baptized with the baptism of John (she is from  world where John the Baptist arrived centuries before Jesus) could not wield the crucifix to drive back a vampire.

His comment:

Equally in the final battle of the book, Foster Hidden who it is revealed is a worshipper of Odin invokes Odin, and is seemingly as a result empowered in combat. Is that his faith?  Is that God choosing to empower a believer in a false god, because even though Odin is not a real God, the cause and the faith are good (but if so how is that not ‘the faith’ of the user).  Or is it Odin, but if so what does this do for the ‘biblically true’ backstory.

Honestly, I am not sure what scene the reviewer has in mind here. There is a scene where one character uses the crucifix to drive back the vampire, but it is not Foster. As best I can tell, the reviewer merely mistakes  Abby the twelve year old female Babylonian ninja-princess kidnapped by gypsies with Foster Hidden the German gypsy taught by dark elfs, who never even attempts to use the crucifix in this way.

As I have said prior, I am honor bound not to argue the point, but I allow myself the indulgence of reprinting part of a post I posted a year or so ago on the same topic. I apologize for repeating the description of my book to anyone who has read it.  Read the remainder of this entry »

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Mr. Smith Goes to Christendom

Posted August 14, 2016 By John C Wright

A reader with a Saved-by-Pocahontas style name of John Smith asks the following about the Morlockian reviewer discussed here:

How much of your disagreement with readers such as this do you think could be traced back to those readers not being aware of or lacking understanding of Chesterton, Lewis, and the intellectual tradition those authors represent, especially considering the influence Chesterton and Lewis seem to have on your writing?

Do you think this reader would even agree that western civilization is Christian civilization?

Many people today I’ve met believe that religion is and has been a parasite and that western civilization developed out of secular institutions. Do you think a reader with such difference in axioms could understand your writing without the odd conclusions that you highlighted in your post?

Good question: I simply do not know.

You are asking me to speculate about the thought processes of barbaric and illiterate men who have been trained in schools to think of themselves as being not merely literate, but enlightened.

It is a question I have often pondered, because the thought processes are so bizarrely alien to my own.

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Grandson of the Black Sword

Posted August 14, 2016 By John C Wright

Certain readers said my links to this column are bad. I reprint all columns o this topic here in honor of the upcoming Dragon Award, in hope of garnering votes for Mr. Correia. 

***

Review of Chapter 1-15 of SON OF THE BLACK SWORD

This is not a book review, because I have not finished reading the book yet. I am only on Chapter 15.

But I promised myself to write a blog post praising this book, because I think it is one of Larry Correia’s best, and I found out to my chagrin that he wrote a post praising my work, and so now my sense of fairness is unbalanced: he is not allowed to give me compliments I do not merit while I am silent about compliments he does.

I’ve talked to the man and like him, so take that into account when reading my non-review. This is both fanboy gushing and a friend saluting a friend, and yet, since in my own way I am as iron-hearted in justice as the hard-souled hero from this book, I speak only truth, and only what is due.

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Somewhither and the Curse of Eve

Posted August 13, 2016 By John C Wright

SOMEWHITHER is currently a candidate for the Dragon Con Award, and I hope any reader wishing to support my work will consider voting for it. Sign up is here: http://application.dragoncon.org/dc_fan_awards_signup.php

To promote interest in the book, I thought I would find some excuse to discuss and describe it.

I read a review from a year ago from a reviewer who, after saying that he could read something written by a Christian with an open mind, based on the merit of the work alone, tried to read and review SOMEWHITHER.

He manfully attempted to overcome his loathing of me to see whether my work was worth reading. Or, at least, he said he would try.

Like Gaul, it is in three parts:

I am too reserved to proffer an opinion as to whether he succeeded in his venture.

Bigotry of any kind is difficult to uproot, and bigotry against Christians is more difficult than most. Not only does it caress and magnify one’s pride and hardheartedness, Christophobia is lauded and rewarded by every sign of honor modern society can bestow on the conformist mind. To express contempt and hatred toward Christians is regarded as the apex of good taste, civility and proper breeding.

Few men possess the exceptional character needed to overcome such seductive pressure. No one should be blamed for falling short of the exceptional.

I am grateful with profound gratitude that even one reviewer thinks my humble work worthy of being read. Many a would-be writer never enjoys the privilege. Even a bad review is a compliment for the same reason that even the worst knight on the field of battle is still a knight. Many works are not worth the time needed to dissect their errors and shortcomings. This reviewer held my was worth it. I thank him.

Be that as it may, in his review, he explains why three of my creations are in his eyes unbelievable, merely the author’s fiat rather than a well-thought out counterfactual speculation, hence failures as works of art: the Cainim, who are basically a paleolithic version of the immortals from Highlander, but creepier; the vampires, who are basically vampires, but Greek; and Foster Hidden, who basically has the gold ring of the Nibelung from Wagner’s opera, and learned the arts of Alberich the dark elf.

Let me explain what are my three make believe alternate worlds are before quoting the reviewer’s report as to why he found them unconvincing as literary devices.

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Dragon Award

Posted August 13, 2016 By John C Wright

Several readers have pointed out to me that my novel SOMEWHITHER is up for the Dragoncon award this year, its first year.

If I win, I will be in the same position as Frank Herbert was with DUNE for the Hugo Awards.

This comes as a very pleasant surprise, since I was unaware that it was a candidate at all.

Below is list of finalists for the book categories. There are other categories.  Register to vote at awards.dragoncon.org

The award is purely popular. Any fan can vote. There are no wrongfans and no entry requirements. Anyone who says he is a fan is a fan.

 

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Larry!

Posted August 11, 2016 By John C Wright

He says what needs saying. Take heed:

http://monsterhunternation.com/2016/08/08/fisking-the-latest-diversity-in-sci-fi-freak-out/

 

Editors, understand your target market, then buy stories you think your audience will like enough so they will continue to give you money for them.

Authors, write the best stories you can and try to sell them. Be professional. Keep improving. Repeat.  

My comment: imagine the shoe was on the other foot, and this diversity freak out were instead an article about how Christian virtues, values, and ideals were insufficiently hammered across the heads of the vile pagan infidels and Philistines whom it is our sad duty to teach our enlightenment. Do you think our friends on the Progressive side of the Force would welcome such a message with cool aplomb? Or would they take such a manifesto as a declaration of war?

More to the point, would they not see it as a declaration that we are missionaries sent to preach, not writers paid to entertain?

I am willing to preach my opinions. I do it free of charge, right here, right now. But if I take money from a customer, I am morally obliged to give him the goods for which he paid, not to swap the story he bought for the sermon I decided was for his own good.

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