Saturday, April 19, 2008

I am, obviously, a Cajun descended from the Acadians exiled from Acadia (modern Nova Scotia) in the 1750's. On this blog I mostly write about how I view religion and history, but a major part of who I am is my South Louisiana heritage. It is a cultural Gumbo, influenced by many that has grown out of the coming together of many cultures. Acadian, French, Spanish, African, German, etc.... The dominate culture was, until the mid 20th century, mostly Acadian/French with strong African/French undercurrents. Music is important part of our Culture.

Our native language (Cajun/Creole) was systematically attacked for most of the 20th century, until it has been almost destroyed. I know more French than most of my generation and I am very far from fluent. My parents, like most parent of my peers, did not teach us French, because they had been punished for speaking French and were made to be ashamed of the language when they attended school. If you spoke French on the school grounds, even if you knew no English, you were punished.

I pray and work for it's renaissance of our almost lost language.

Here are some links to examples of cajun/Creole Zydeco music on You Tube:

Some more modern Cajun/Creole music:

This is just a very small sample of South Louisiana music. Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler

Coram Deo,

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pope Julius II (reign 1503- 1513) is more popularly remembered as the “Warrior Pope.” His given name is Giuliano della Rovere and he was born in 1543. He was educated by the Franciscans and entered the priesthood.In 1471 his uncle Francesco became Pope Sixtus IV. After his uncle took the Chair of Peter, and in the same year, young Giuliano became first and bishop and then a cardinal in the Church.

Pope Julius had only one child, a daughter named Felice. The mother of his daughter was Lucrezia Normanni. To his credit, Julius was very unlike his predecessor Alexander VI, because he did not use his high office to aggrandize his child.Even though Cardinal della Rovere had an affair that produced a daughter, there were persistent rumors that he was also a homosexual. These rumors endured while he was pope and there is circumstantial evidence that appear to give credence regarding the accuracy of those rumors.

As Pope, Julius was interested in expanding the secular dominions of the Papacy. He spent much of time as pope at war and involved in political intrigues. He had his mind set on expanding his earthly kingdom and not on forwarding the Gospel and Kingdom of Christ. The Pope was, at times, a better military leader than his generals and was happy to lead a siege to over take a castle are city that he wanted subdued. The French King, James I, said to in a conversation to Pope Leo X, "Holy Father, Do not wonder that all these were the enemies of Pope Julius, because he was our (i.e. France) chief enemy, and we have not known in our time a more terrible adversary in war than Pope Julius; for he was in truth a most skilful captain and would have made a better general of an army than a pope of Rome."

Julius, as pope, was constantly involved in intrigues and creating alliances against his enemies. His first target was the city of Venice, because it stood in the way of his expansionist ideas. When Venice was defeated, he formed new alliances to attack France, whom he had allied with to make war on Venice. When the expenses of war had nearly exhausted his treasury Julius created new Cardinals who paid handsomely for the positions and thereby allowed him to continue his militaristic ambitions.

Julius II was Pope when Luther visited Rome, sent there on a mission by his Augustinian order. When Luther came to Rome he found corrupt and decadent city and a pope far more interested in worldly kingdoms than in the Kingdom of our Lord.During the Pontificate of Julius II there were, as was ever common, calls for “reform” of the church just as there had been for hundreds of years before, but Julius, while he might wink at the idea, and even called a council, was not interested in spiritual reform.

Resentment, do to the ever present and growing corruptions, had been building for so long, a reaction was bound to occur. ItIn the years of the Pope that who followed Julius II the Western Church explode and divided into schism, reform, and revolution. The next pope was Leo X and Luther's Ninety-five Theses was the spark that ignited the conflagration.

Coram Deo,

Friday, April 04, 2008

Pope Alexander VI was Pope from 1492 -1503. He was a Pope with no less than four illegitimate children. These four children were born of his long time mistress, Vannozza dei Cattanei, and were all born while he served as a Cardinal in the Church.

Pope Alexander’s main goal as Pope was to secure high places in the world for His children. His most famous child, Cesare Borgia, was originally to be a prince in the Church, so he was made bishop at the age of 15 and, after his father became Pope, he became a cardinal. He was, at that time, only eighteen. Cesare was a strong military leader, and with his father, the Pope's, assistance, he spent the majority of his father's pontificate fighting wars to extend the secular territory Papacy and power his and his fathers power.

Adultery, intrigue and murder were not unknown to the Papacy of Alexander VI. It is probable that he was involved in the death of a Cardinal now and then. He was suspected of playing a part in the poisoning death of one of them from time to time. When a Cardinal died he ceased their assets. So the death af a Cardinal was profitable for Alexander. He also made a good many Cardinals as well. The office, then, was for sale and Pope Alexander VI made a good income this way as well.

As Pope, Alexander took a new mistress, Giulia Farnese, who was the wife of another man. Alexander had a daughter by Guilia, while he was the Bishop of Rome. Guilia was referred to as “the Pope’s whore” and (more tongue-in-cheek) “the bride of Christ.”

When Alexander became Pope, Giovanni di Lorenzo dé Medici, the future Pope Leo X, said, "Now we are in the power of a wolf, the most rapacious perhaps that this has ever seen. And if we do not flee, he will inevitably devour us all.”

Pope Julius II, who gained the Papal throne in 1503, said, in a Papal Bull, “Our predecessor desiring to enrich his own kin, through no zeal for Justice, but by fraud and deceit sought for causes….”

After the death of Alexander, his many schemes collapsed and Cesare lost his land’s in Italy. Four years after his father’s death, he was killed at the siege of Viana, while fighting for his brother-in-law the King of Navarre. Cesare was thirty-one.

Pope Alexander is an example of the corruption and decadence that had become the Church at Rome. It is this Church that men, such as Erasmus, complained of in their just criticisms. Luther like Erasmus saw the corruption at Rome first hand.

I think such insight about the corruptions of that time, helps us to understand, just a little better, about the context of the then approaching storm that we call the Protestant Reformation.

Coram Deo,

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A MUST Read Article

Read this article in the National Review about Islam's Public Enemy #1 by Raymond Ibrahim. If you are a Christian, and pray for the salvation of Muslims, this article will thrill your soul.

The article is about a Coptic Priest who is seen on Arabic television by millions of Muslims. Takes this time to compare Islam to the Christian Faith and the Koran to the Bible. He is a native of Egypt and his first language is that same as Arabs to whom he is speaking.

President Bush want to give Arabs democracy, but Father Zakaria Botros is offering them something much more important than Western democracy. He is offering them the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Coram Deo,