What helps

THIS HELPS . . . . A line from the Gospel that rang true for me was “I believe, Lord. Help thou my unbelief.” Another, from St. Paul, says we will see things clear in heaven but now only “through a glass darkly.” Not to worry, you who think you are of little faith.

ASSESSMENT . . . . Here’s an aptly stated judgment, rendered at the end of a Power Line dissection of Obama’s claim for Banking Committee membership as part of his newly discovered toughness toward Iran:

Barack Obama has proved himself an extraordinarily cynical politician. He doesn’t believe in much, but he certainly believes in his own power to make voters believe whatever he says, even when what he says today contradicts what he said yesterday, and even when it constitutes a bald fiction, such as his claim that the Senate Banking Committee is “[his] committee.”

Some day it may begin to dawn on attentive observers that Obama represents a type that flourishes on many college campuses. The technical term that applies to Obama is b.s. artist. Obama is an overaged example of the phenomenon, but his skills in the art have brought him great success and he’s not giving it up now.

Some day.

REACTION . . . . I told an Oak Parker about recent armed robberies in the village, including one in the block next to hers, and she said, “People are really getting desperate,” identifying instantly with the guy holding people up. She also wants to fight terrorism by going after the root causes?

ANTIDOTE . . . . Here’s a possible antidote to this people-getting-desperate approach: Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self Defense, by Charl van Wyk. He was a missionary in S. Africa in 1993 when terrorists attacked his church during worship. He shot back and saved lives, though not all, and it’s called a massacre. In his book he makes

a biblical, Christian case for individuals arming themselves with guns, and does so more persuasively than perhaps any other author because he found himself in a church attacked by terrorists.

“Grenades were exploding in flashes of light. Pews shattered under the blasts, sending splinters flying through the air,” he recalls of the July 25, 1993, St. James Church Massacre. “An automatic assault rifle was being fired and was fast ripping the pews — and whoever, whatever was in its trajectory — to pieces. We were being attacked!”

But van Wyk was not defenseless that day. Had he been unarmed like the other congregants, the slaughter would have been much worse.

“Instinctively, I knelt down behind the bench in front of me and pulled out my .38 special snub-nosed revolver, which I always carried with me,” he writes in “Shooting Back,” a book being published for the first time in America next month by WND Books. “I would have felt undressed without it. Many people could not understand why I would carry a firearm into a church service, but I argued that this was a particularly dangerous time in South Africa.”

During that Sunday evening service, the terrorists, wielding AK-47s and grenades, killed 11 and wounded 58. But the fact that one man – van Wyk – fired back, wounding one of the attackers and driving the others away.

SITTING, KNEELING . . . . Reading in May ’08 New Oxford Review of Donna L. Kruger’s complaint about half sitting, half kneeling worshipers — “Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament must surely be offended” — instead of sitting straight up if you have to if elderly and/or with “sore or weak knees,” I was offended mightily, being one of the last mentioned, though also elderly, I guess.

Then imagine my delight in reading the July-August issue with two excellent letters, one from a 71-year-old arthritic male from West Palm Beach, Florida, “with a knee wrecked in a skiing accident fifty years ago,” who does the half and half, partly out of concern for the worshiper kneeling behind him, presumably with strong, healthy knees, for whom it would be “awkward” otherwise. As for offending the Lord, “Who knew?” he asks.

The other letter, from a Very Reverend in Vladivostok, notes perceptively that Americans are getting “bigger year by year” and “half and half may be the only way some of us will be able to kneel” in the churches he visits in Eastern Poland, where kneelers are squeezed in for space considerations.



These animal activists can get active whenever they want, as far as I’m concerned.

This guy has my vote too:


GOOD BOOK . . . . Only at page 548 of Prince of Darkness, Robert Novak’s memoir, did I encounter the second name that I did not recognize. The individual had been identified a few pages earlier, but it hadn’t stuck. That’s how good a book this is: it keeps you attentive and it makes identities clear along the way — two signs of clean copy.

QUOTE . . . . And our wise(guy) quote of the day about newspapers:

If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read:  “President Can’t Swim.”  ~Lyndon B. Johnson