As was noted on the day that this website became the new home of Christ or Chaos, the site was created in 2012 to promote my retrospective on the first quarter-century of the New York Mets baseball team. Entitled Meeting the Mets: A Quirky History of a Quirky Team, the book recounted how one growing up in the baseball-soaked atmosphere of the City of New York-Long Island metropolitan area just accepted following baseball as a way of life. It’s just what the lion’s share of New Yorkers, mostly men and boys, did as their own fathers and grandfathers had done before them.
Even priests, dressed in full clerical attire and religious sisters, dressed in the habits of their respective communities, attended games of the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds and of the incarnation of all evil in the world, the New York Yankees at the original Yankee Stadium that had opened its gates on April 18, 1923. Some of the priests and religious kept meticulous scorecards of each game they attended. There was no though back given in those days to the needless spirit of antagonism and division engendered by professional sports. Watching a baseball game was just part of life between April and October, a way of passing the time, which is how it got the nickname of “America’s Pastime.”
As I noted in my book, though, what was once a legitimate diversion became an obsession with fans to such an extent that cottage industries sprang up to feed it. Merchants and advertisers exploited the disproportionate interest that began to be given over to collegiate and professional sports. Radio and television networks (broadcast, internet, satellite) were created to make a nifty profit off of this disproportionate interest as all advertisements were created by executives in firms on Madison Avenue in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York, York, to cater to the growing licentiousness of fans and to help push the envelope of what is considered to be acceptable discourse into a sewer of profanities, vulgarities, blasphemies and tastelessness that would have been thought impossible by those of us steeped in the naturalistic pastimes of the 1950s.
Obviously, the business of professional sports has always been business, noting that it is obscenely big business now as billionaires pay millionaires to play games that are characterized by the presence, if not the preponderance in some instances, of steroid-enhanced, tattoo-mutilated behemoths who know nothing of working for the honor and glory of Christ the King as He has revealed Himself through His true Church. I know that I have much reparation to make for the years I helped to subsidize this lunacy by means of my ow patronage of it.
Moreover, collegiate sports have become such a money-maker for colleges and universities, principally by means of the revenue generated by regional and national television networks’ rights fees paid to television and/or broadcast games, that educational standards, such as they are in our ideologically-charged world of fraudulent education, are compromised in order to pay homage at the altar of the demigod of varsity sports, especially football and basketball. The tendency to sacrifice academic standards in favor of athletic programs was satirized and mocked by the writing team responsible for the “Wossamotta U” story arc on The Bullwinkle Show during the 1963-1964 television season. I watched that story arc fifty years ago. We have watched it several times in recent years on DVD with Lucy. The writers responsible for the discussion by “Wossmotta U’s” trustees about ditching professors for football coaches got it entirely right. The satire is devastating in its accuracy.
Thus it is, those of you of this site’s readers who are still with us after the transition from the original site, that I was not one of the one hundred eleven million people who viewed what is called the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 2, 2014, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Commemoration of the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany. I have such an aversion to the Super Bowl that I spent my name on Sunday evening, January 15, 1978, watching a debate between William F. Buckley, Jr., and Ronald Reagan on the then pending surrender of the Panama Canal that been brokered by James Earl Carter, Jr., a debate that was moderated by then former United States Senator Sam Earvin, who chaired the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activity in 1973. See Panama Canal Treaties. (A thirty-nine year-old Patrick Joseph Buchanan was on Reagan’s team arguing against the ratification of the Panama Canal Treaties. Also on Reagan’s team was retired Admiral John Sidney McCain, Jr., the father of the man whose ineptitude helped to elect Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro on November 4, 2008, John Sidney McCain III.)
No, I have no interest in professional football whatsoever, and I can’t even tell you anything about the “national champions” of college football in the past fifteen years or so. I simply do not see how it is possible at this late date to justify devoting large segments of time to preparing for and then watching an event in what has become a very brutal sport that is “cheered on” by indecently clad “cheerleaders” whose attire is demeaning to the dignity of the true femininity of Our Lady herself and, of course, an objective sin against the virtue of Modesty. (Mr. James Ward has written an excellent article on Modesty: Targeting Our Teens – I.)
Over one hundred million people, including millions of Catholics, turned what should have been a national holiday in honor of Our Lady’s feast day, which occurred this day on the Lord’s Day itself, into a festival of gluttonous over-indulgence to celebrate what has become a carefully choreographed “liturgical” program of naturalism that is as much focused on the half-time program of debauchery and the advertisement extravaganzas produced just for the “liturgy” of the day.
Oh, I know. The millions of Catholics yet attached to the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service interested in the “big game” could fulfill their “weekend obligation” on Saturday night, thanks to an indult granted universally by Giovanni Montini/Paul VI in 1967 in Eucharisticum Mysterium (and later codified in the counterfeit church of conciliarism’s Code of Canon Law):
Where permission has been granted by the Apostolic See to fulfill the Sunday obligation on the preceding Saturday evening, pastors should explain the meaning of this permission carefully to the faithful and should ensure that the significance of Sunday is not thereby obscured. The purpose of this concession is in fact to enable the Christians of today to celebrate more easily the day of the resurrection of the Lord.
All concessions and contrary customs notwithstanding, when celebrated on Saturday this Mass may be celebrated only in the evening, at times determined by the local Ordinary. (Giovanni Montini/Paul VI, Eucharisticum Mysterium, May 25, 1967.)
Eucharisticum MysteriumEucharisticum Mysterium
Leaving aside the gradual developments, including various local “indults” that were granted for Saturday “anticipation” Masses, in the fourteen years that led up to the common practice of the Saturday “anticipation” Mass, a subject which has been explored on this site in the past, Giovanni Montini/Paul VI opened the floodgates quite wide for the descralizing of Sundays. As with many of the other innovations of conciliarsm, permission for the Saturday “anticipation” Mass was meant at first to serve the needs of those who lived in missionary lands and those who worked in professions and trades that required them to work on Sundays. Keeping innovations “limited” to their original intentions is impossible. Leaving aside the issue of the validity of the Novus Ordo service, there are millions of Catholics who think they are going to Mass in the conciliar structures by participating in the Novus Ordo and who have made it their customary practice to “get the obligation over and done with” on Saturdays although they could go on Sundays, which are now “freed up” for more “important” things (sleeping, watching the “talking head” shows on Sunday morning, Sunday morning soccer and little league programs for the children, preparing for the big “game,” fishing, golfing, anything other than thinking about First and Last Things).
What is particularly sad, of course, is to see traditionally-minded Catholics across the ecclesiastical divide “get through” with their obligation as early as possible on Sundays so that they could have the rest of the day “free” to sit in front of television screens and endure blathering, mindless idiots demonstrating their utter ignorance of future events while wallowing in video clip after video clip to dissect past games and plays and game plans that no rational, sane human being has any need to waste his time considering, no less any part of nine full hours. Moreover, many of these traditionally-minded Catholics think nothing of the immodesty and indecency of speech and attire shown in the pre-game and game telecasts, thinking nothing of how an aggressive promoter of blasphemy and lewdness and obscenity, the FOX television network, which is, after all, owned by a thirty-third Mason (and a “papally”-knighted one at that, thanks be to Roger “Cardinal” Mahony and Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II) named Rupert Murdoch, promotes its insidious throughout the course of the day of the “big game,” caring little for how the virtues of Modesty and Chastity are offended by the proliferation of “rock music” and commercials that specialize in the salacious.
The amazing thing is that only the degree of the display and the promotion of sin varies from year to year. Even this is not enough to convince believing Catholics that, apart from the merits or demerits of a “game” that is actually big business and winks at all types of violations of its porous substance-abuse program, enough is enough. So few people have the sense of detachment–or the concern for the salvation of their own souls or for those of their children or grandchildren–to say, “I will not be a passive participant in the invasion of visual and audio pollution into my home, which must reflect the holiness of the home of the Holy Family of Nazareth.”
No, no amount of outrage from one year to the next seems to matter. Catholics thus serve as enablers of the naturalists who control Hollywood and corporate America and Madison Avenue advertising firms to “push the envelope” with each succeeding year. Catholics have grown used to–and are no longer repelled by–the horrific “half-time” programs, which feature “rock music” and displays, whether planned or “unplanned” of gross indecency, and by crowd shots of immodestly dressed “cheerleaders” and spectators). How many traditionally-minded Catholics had lavish “super bowl” parties in 2004 when a half-time program, which was produced by “Music Television” (MTV), whose producers are not exactly devoted to the fulfillment of Our Lady’s Fatima Message, shall we say, included a supposedly “unplanned” display that came straight from Hell? Oh, I forgot. It’s the “game” that matters, right? We just have put aside all notion of the mortification of our eyes and of our ears in order to enjoy the “game.” We just have to make ourselves the slaves of popular culture and to gorge on the national liturgy that has become the bread and circuses of Modernity. We just have to have “fun,” right? So what if a “little bit” of “bad stuff” creeps in with the “game,” huh?
The “Super Bowl” worships at the altar of national excess of materialism and relativism and hedonism and libertarianism and commercialism and profiteering and sloth. The situation is so bad that a restaurant in Stamford, Connecticut, Mitchell’s Fish Market, at which we ate after Holy Mass on Quinquagesima Sunday, February 3, 2008, had a sign on its door to explain that it would be closing for the day at 3:00 p.m. to permit its workers to go home and to watch the “Super Bowl.” What total lunacy, as I explained in rather modulated tones of outright disbelief to the workers who could not believe that a flesh-and-blood American would not consider the “big game” important.
“I bet you don’t close down for Good Friday, do you, the most solemn day of the year, now do you?” I asked them. Oh, no, everything is wide open on the day upon which our very salvation was wrought for us on the wood of the Most Holy Cross as the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood. Baseball teams play games on Good Friday, yes, even in Spring Training and when it falls in the regular season, something that happens this year, Friday, April 18, 2014. No, there’s no break for the bread and circuses on Sundays and Good Fridays, something that means next to nothing to far, far too many Catholic fathers and grandfathers and uncles and brothers.
I know what I am talking about here. I made compromises for decades with the increasing coarseness that crept into baseball stadia from the time of the early-1980s to the time that I walked out of William A. Shea Municipal Stadium in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York, on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 16, 2002, on the second day of a two-day series of games between the visiting Florida Marlins and the New York Mets sponsored by a pharmaceutical product manufactured by the Pfizer company that had no business being advertised in public at any time, no less in front of children (and there were thousands of day-camping children present at that game). I should have walked out years ago when the new ownership team of Sterling Equities and the Doubleday Book Company, whose chief executives, Fred Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday, were the principals who purchased the 1962 National League expansion team from the family of its original owner, the late Mrs. Joan Whitney Payson, introduced “rock music” during the 1980 baseball season. I stayed, making a compromise with what was being forced down my throat because I “loved” the game.
Take it from one who walked out of the former Shea Stadium, whose demolition was completed on February 18, 2009, over eleven and one-half years ago after attending over 1600 baseball games, sacrificing legitimate pleasures, especially those in which we have passively accepted the “creep” of cultural degeneration to accelerate with a shrug of the shoulders and a “what can I do about it?” attitude, gives us an opportunity to show God that we really do love Him as He has revealed Himself to us through His true Church, and that it is really no sacrifice at all to avoid occasions of sin and wastes-of-time in order to do reparation for our sins of indifference to occasions of sin and our having wasted time in the past. It is really no sacrifice at all to show God that we love Him with our whole heart, and our mind, and our whole body, and our whole soul, and our whole strength, is it?
Some will say that we have to accept the “cockle” with the “wheat.” True enough when it comes to dealing with our fellow human beings, each of whom shares the combination of “cockle” and “wheat” that we have within our own immortal souls. True enough when it comes to dealing with the evils that are found in supermarkets and gasoline stations, where horrible “music” is played almost all of the time. Ah, my friends, there is quite a difference.
We must shop for food and for other supplies. We must drive on roadways featuring billboards containing offensive material. There is no obligation whatsoever to engage in a totally discretionary, voluntary activity such as going to–or watching on television–a professional or a collegiate (or even scholastic) athletic contest where horrible “music” is played and horrible images displayed. One chooses to do such a thing. There is no moral necessity or imperative to do so. One chooses to have sounds and images from Hell to be burnished into his immortal soul. And only a fool thinks that he is strong enough or holy enough or wise enough or good enough to diminish the impact of those images upon his immortal soul as he wastes time watching millionaires playing for billionaires and as multi-billion dollar multi-national corporations that have no allegiance to any particular country, no less to to laws of Christ the King or to the honor due Mary our Immaculate Queen, assault him with images and sounds that are designed to entice him to think about and to wallow in sin and the self-indulgence that is sloth.
Moreover, we don’t knowingly invite out-and-out “cockle” into our homes unless we have been so brainwashed by the popular culture as to think that there’s “nothing wrong” with something that contains a “little bit of bad stuff” if “everyone else” is doing the same thing. What sane individual would say, “Come on in, Mr. Devil. Make yourself comfortable right here in my living room. Anything I can get for you now as you try to take me down to Hell with you for all eternity? Have you brought any of your friends over with you? Don’t worry. We’re strong enough to withstand your entreaties. A little ‘bad’ with the ‘fun stuff’ won’t take us down to Hell with you for all eternity, now will it?”
“You can come and go and please in this, Mr. Devil?. After all, we pay our cable and/or satellite bills on time, which money goes directly into your pockets. We help your friends at ABC (and ESPN) and FOX and ABC and CBS and CNN and other networks blaspheme Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother. We help to subsidize your other projects at these networks and their subsidiaries. None of that matters, right, Mr. Devil? Hey, the ‘game’ is on. Have some chips, Mr. Devil. We’ll be watching your commercials soon enough as we listen to your ‘stars’ from American Idol.”
Oh, some will protest that this is “extreme,” that it is to be a Jansenist not to see a “game” for just being a “game” when it has become a spectacle that is not worth our time. It is not to be a “Jansenist” to note that nothing in this life, is worth placing ourselves deliberately in the near occasions of sin and exposing ourselves to sounds and images that from the devil and are designed to lead us to Hell for all eternity, desensitizing us to further and more outrageous assaults upon our senses in the name of enjoying the “game.” It is not to be a “Jansenist” to suggest that none of should have television screens (or sets) in our homes and that we should withdraw from using our discretionary time and money on things that place our immortal souls in jeopardy in a variety of ways, including by organizing our lives in such a way that the “game” controls our lives every week (or day, in the case of baseball or basketball or hockey) during a particular season of play, and that enrich the very enemies of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who control the entertainment media and the world of corporate America and multinational corporations.
What can we do with our time?
How about praying more Rosaries?
Why not read more books about the lives of the saints?
Why not take our families to shrines of Our Lady to pray her Most Holy Rosary in the Sundays of Lent? Why not put First Things first in light of Last Things each and every moment of our lives?
Saint Paul explained the joys that await us are indescribable:
Howbeit we speak wisdom among the perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, neither of the princes of this world that come to nought; But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, a wisdom which is hidden, which God ordained before the world, unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew; for if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him. But to us God hath revealed them, by this Spirit. For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
For what man knoweth the things of a man, but the spirit of a man that is in him? So the things also that are of God no man knoweth, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit that is of God; that we may know the things that are given us from God. Which things also we speak, not in the learned words of human wisdom; but in the doctrine of the Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the sensual man perceiveth not these things that are of the Spirit of God; for it is foolishness to him, and he cannot understand, because it is spiritually examined. But the spiritual man judgeth all things; and he himself is judged of no man. (1 Cor. 2: 6-15.)
May Our Lady and her Most Chaste Spouse, Saint Joseph, help us to eschew the things of this passing world as we seek to make the best Lent of our lives. We do not know if this Lent will be our last. We need their Heavenly help to make it our very best.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Titus, pray for us.
Saint Dorothy, pray for us.