Posts

The Myth of the Flat Earth

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Once upon a time, everyone with a proper education knew that once upon a time everyone believed the Earth was flat because they didn’t have “science.”  Fact.  My colleagues in academia say it all the time. Here is my University of Chicago colleague Rocky Kolb , the Arthur Holly Distinguished Service Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, saying it in his 2006 Aims of Education Address to our entering first-years: The fact that you have been admitted to an elite university is evidence that you know a lot. Although you know a lot, hidden among the things you think you know are things that ain’t so. It’s the same for us all. I can’t say what you know that ain’t so, anymore than I can say what I know that ain’t so. I only know we all have unknown knowns. I’m sorry, we all do.  For example, it was once known that Earth is flat, it was once known that Earth is the center of our solar system, it was once known that the solar system is the center of our galaxy, and it was once known tha

Script Wars

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I have it on good authority that I was too cryptic in one of my previous posts , so I will endeavor to speak more plainly today. Let’s start with a question: Do you ever get the feeling you are living in a movie script? Ha! See? This is what I am up against. I have no idea where to start. What was it the King of Hearts told the White Rabbit when the White Rabbit asked where he should begin reading the paper of “evidence” against Alice?  “‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop .’”  But what is the beginning? I am often asked how I came to convert to Catholicism, except in my mind, I didn’t really convert; I just “came home.”* I have been studying the history of Christianity for decades , but I have been studying stories even longer, ever since I could read.  I remember asking my teacher in second grade if I could take a book home from school because I wanted to rewrite the story we had been reading in class. I think it had a zebr

Seven Elevens

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For Thanksgiving Day, I invited the poets in my Dragon Common Room to celebrate each other in verse—specifically, in Swinburne roundels—as a way of giving thanks for the work we have done together these past five months . We have finished our “Dunciad” (a.k.a. “ The Centrism Games ”) and are waiting for readers’ responses before we revise. So it seemed appropriate to revisit the verse form in which I invited Milo’s chat to celebrate him at the beginning of this year. Can you remember January 2020? It seems a lifetime ago. HOW TO WRITE A SWINBURNE ROUNDEL 11 lines—nine lines having the same number of syllables, plus a refrain after the third and last lines. The refrain must be identical with the beginning of the first line AND rhyme with the second line. Rhyme scheme: A B A R / B A B / A B A R, where R=first half of line 1, rhyming with B 1 Dragons in the chat write roundels for fun, Training in meter to challenge their wit. Rhyming for Joy of the Word they have sung, Dragons in the

Jesus Christ, Our Great Spell-breaker

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The world hates clowns. Jesters, comedians, fools. Just look at what the world says about Jesus. “His mother was a menstruating woman and a hairdresser who committed adultery with a Roman soldier named Panthera .” “Jesus was a magician who learned his tricks in Egypt and used them to deceive his followers and lead them astray. When he was called out on his trickery, he set up a brick and worshipped it .” “Jesus didn’t die on the cross; he tricked Simon of Cyrene into carrying it for him. It was Simon who died, not Jesus .” “Jesus was a grandiose, narcissistic masochist who resented his mother for raising him fatherless. Mary knew the truth of her adultery, which is why she said nothing when Jesus handed her over to John from the cross, as if to say, ‘You gave me a fake father; here is your fake son .’” I don’t know about you, but I’m sure he deserved it. I mean, think about it. What kind of a fool goes around challenging the prestige and authority of the scholars and lawyers to tell

The Great Reset

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It all started with a bat. Bats fly about at night. I’m sure you’ve seen them in Halloween decorations, flying across the Moon.  Once upon a time, people knew to be wary of the Moon, with its 28-day cycle ( according to NASA, 27-days ) and its affinity for the feminine. Back in the Middle Ages, before Copernicus used his number magic to prove that the Earth revolves around the Sun, people understood that the sublunary sphere—that is, the Earth with its atmosphere—was a place of transience and change. People were wary of the Moon with its reflected light and its dark splotches. Were they shadows? Were they seas? People knew to pay attention to the Moon—and not just on Halloween. Moon magic—or so they knew, back in the Dark Ages—is dangerous. Moon magic drives men mad. Moon magic makes people put on masks and hide from the sun. Moon magic turns living souls into ghosts. * I went grocery shopping with my brother the other day. We are in Texas, staying with our mother, praying for our step

Wisdom and Folly at the Forge of Tolkien (plus Milo!)

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  It’s been a busy month! The Dragons have completed writing four of the five Quests in our “Centrism Game” (a.k.a. “ Dunciad 2020 ”). I have been reading in preparation for future videos with OBS and EMJ . And I have been recording new episodes of “ The Forge of Tolkien ” each week. If that isn’t enough gravy (hi, Bears!), have I got some tasty biscuits for you! 1. The Wisdom and Folly of King Solomon and Joe Long Poet and raconteur Joe Long joined me to talk about   Wisdom and Folly: A Book of Devotional Doggerel   (Covenant Books, 2020). Wisdom and Folly  is a book of Scripture-inspired light verse meant to instruct and amuse. These sixty poems draw upon Old Testament verses to reflect upon our contemporary scene. They may make you chuckle, groan, or sigh, but they’ll also make you think. We chuckled! We groaned! We sighed! And in the process we had a great conversation about the importance of poetry for training the soul to shun Folly and pursue Wisdom. 2. The Forge of Tolkien: An

RFB Meets EMJ and OBS

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For everyone who has been enjoying my Tolkien videos over on Unauthorized.tv, have I got a triple treat for you! For those who have not yet subscribed—now’s your chance! Last month, I traveled to South Bend, Indiana, to meet with the real Dr. Jones. If you think it was dangerous for me talking with Milo about Christianity, just wait till you hear what E. Michael Jones had to say about Logos, Whig history, and usury! And last Wednesday, I got to meet the Big Bear himself! You may know Owen from his stand-up comedy or from his recent battle with Patreon. He wanted to talk with me about Tolkien, but he is also friends with Dr. Jones, so there was lots of Logos in this interview, too. Fencing Bear salutes! All three videos are available now on Unauthorized.tv. My two episodes with Dr. Jones are on the Medieval History Channel, and my interview with Owen Benjamin is on his livestreams.  1. Why Logos Matters, RFB with EMJ Professor Rachel Fulton Brown sits down with Dr. E. Michael Jones to