Sunday, December 28, 2014

A rant on "De-vangelism"

Dear Friends,
I just attended a meeting of “Clergy Here And Out South” (C.H.A.O.S.), the support group for Catholic pastors of the south shore parishes of the Diocese Frostbite Falls. We had a very interesting presentation about the nosedive that church attendance has taken in recent years and the disaster that is overtaking the Frostbite Falls parochial school system. We are going to close a bunch of schools this year and probably should have closed a lot more. In 1988 281,000 people attended Mass on Sunday here in Frostbite Falls Diocese. In 2001, 272,000 people attended Mass on Sunday. In 2014, 121,000 people attended Mass on Sunday. That’s about 5,000 plus a year throwing in the towel. We have been practicing “de-vangelism” while prattling on about evangelism.
One of the clergy at the meeting plaintively asked, “Why aren’t they coming?”  I answered, “Because they don’t believe this stuff.”  I did not realize that my fellow pastor’s question had been rhetorical. The brethren assembled looked at me as if I had made a rude noise…. Then they continued wringing their hands.
The question was rhetorical. My answer was sincere. The generation that knew how to pay, pray and obey is dying like ladybugs in a hard frost. Their grandchildren don’t have much clue what the inside of a Catholic Church looks like. They have never heard the Gospel and when they go to Mass with grandma and hear the a little bit of the Gospel they that think it’s rather odd: virgin births, corpses coming back to life, gods being whipped and publicly executed, waving a little round cracker sort of thing around.  More than odd, grandma’s religion makes very little sense.
The world they have grown up in says, “If it feels good, do it!”  The church of creepy old weirdoes that grandma attends is just the opposite: “If it feels good, you should probably avoid it all costs.”  The Church of the Creepy Old Weirdoes can be downright nasty. It says that some people may actually burn in hell and same-sex marriage is a bad thing, even if two people really love each other, a woman has no right to terminate a pregnancy even if the baby is deformed, or is really like a total bummer. They have these odd ceremonies where they march around with round gold sunburst things with the cracker inside it; they finger prayer beads and mumble. They sit, stand, sit, kneel, for about an hour service during which they have to listen to some old man in a full length skirt drone on and on about some guy who died 2,000 years ago or maybe drone on and on about politics. The whole thing starts out with the guy in the full length skirt kissing this stone table up in front.
Says the young modern, “When I asked grandma what he was doing, she said, "He’s kissing the relic in the altar." I asked her, “What’s a relic?” She said, “It’s a piece of a dead guy’s bone or skin or something.” I said, “Eeewww… GROSS! I’m waiting outside.”
They don’t believe any of this stuff, and frankly, it is all rather implausible. Why should they believe it? The only good reason to believe it is because it’s true.  
We the clergy have not really been treating it like it’s true since sometime in the mid-sixties. For some reason, we the clergy decided doctrinal truth wasn’t that important. Recognizing the basic goodness of humanity was far more important than a tedious insistence on truth. It became somehow impolite to tell people that we were right and they were wrong. Above all it was impolite to even hint that if they lived a certain way they might burn in hell for eternity.
I suspect that we had become obsessed with being polite because we had just staggered out of the Great World War, Act I and Act II with its predictable epilogues, the Cold War, Korea and Vietnam. The 20th century was a very impolite century, and we decided that perhaps it would be better to be polite for a while and not tell people that they were living in sin and just might go to hell.
Now we are re-doing an old play called “The War between Islam and Christendom” and we just can’t seem to shake this politeness thing. We hear daily reports of people cutting off other peoples’ heads and we just can’t bring ourselves to say that if a religion tells them to do that, it probably is not such a good religion and they should drop it like a bad habit. (I can hear you say, “What about all those people the Catholics burned at the stake in the olden days?  “When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks…” Quran 47:4.  The prophet who gave us the Quran himself seems to have lopped off quite a few heads.
Jesus never told us to burn anyone at the stake. We decided to do that on our own initiative. It was never part of our religion and I suspect that Jesus is going to be rather hard on those who decided to do such things in His name since He never asked them to do it.  
In short, we the clergy took grandma’s faith for granted.  We didn’t explain it very well to her children, and they didn’t even bother to push the issue with the grandchildren. Now they don’t believe it. We just sort of assumed it would rub off on them.
So what do we do? (By we, I mean myself, my fellow clergy and those who are in the business of religion.)  Step 1: Ask ourselves if we really believe this stuff.  If the honest answer is “Virgin birth, resurrection, the hope of heaven, bread becoming flesh and blood? I guess I’m not sure I really believe it all.” We have to take stock of where our life is. We are living a lie. (Those who are believers will ask, “How can this be? A priest who goes to the altar every day and says, ‘This is My body. This is My blood.’” 
Remember the recently dead founder of a famous religious order? He was leading a double life. He was the sainted founder of an enthusiastic religious community. He was the friend of popes and presidents, an inspiration to all, that is until his illegitimate children started coming out of the woodwork as did some of his very special friends.  He never believed a word of this, but it was a paying job that allowed him to control the lives of thousands and pay for his double life, his houses his girlfriends, boyfriends and fairly numerous offspring. 
I had a teacher who was not quite so corrupt, but he never really believed in the more sensational claims of the faith. He had a philosophical belief in morality, of a sort, and taught us seminarians how to think our way around the strict rules and ridiculous superstitions of Catholicism. He seems to have admitted on his deathbed that he really didn’t believe in eternal life or resurrection or all that stuff. He never believed and he taught us to believe half- heartedly. We in turn have taught the people of God to believe only minimally.
The above mentioned founder and the theologian were at least honest liars. They may have lied to us, but they weren’t lying to themselves.  A lot of us practitioners of religion convince ourselves that we believe these things when we really do not. We think of them as useful symbols for moral behavior. We can’t convince others of the truth of these things, because we are not sure they’re true. We can’t win others to the Gospel of Christ with the joy of our salvation, because we are not really sure that we ever needed saving in the first place. Our religion is quite convenient, but rather joyless, and certainly not very demanding.
So, Father (or deacon or sister or religion teacher or chancery worker or parish secretary or janitor) stop kidding yourself, but don’t despair either. There is a step two. A friend of mine was told by a priest that he, the priest, thought he had lost his faith. My friend simply asked him, “When did you stop praying, father?”  All this relic kissing, virgin birthing and rising from the dead is rather implausible. I only think it’s true because Jesus tells me it’s true. And I can trust Jesus whom I meet in prayer.
So, Step 2: Ask the Lord to let you know and love Him so that you might really serve Him. If once you knew Him and have lost Him, ask him for His friendship once again. I really can’t think of any reason to believe all this stuff, other than Jesus, and I certainly can’t imagine being a priest except for Jesus’ sake.  
Rev. Know-it-all
Next week: More about miracles.

Friday, December 19, 2014

to the Rev KIA, "You, sir, are no scholar!"

Dear Rev. Know-it-all,

I unfortunately stumbled across your last incoherent and un-scholarly article about the reality of the Christmas story. It simply leads me to think that you are a Neanderthal with no real in-depth understanding of Scripture. I am a tenured professor of Scriptural Deconstruction at the Hackenbush Institute of Threebingen University in Verwirrt am Sumpf, Lower Lichtenstein, where we have continued to develop the work of Reformation theologian Hans Von Unmoeglich, and his theory of “Sola Scriptura, Sola Securum Stipendium.” If you ever picked up a scholarly book more involved than the Sunday Funnies, you might have the makings of a real scholar!

Professor Jurgend Von Schnickelfritz, D.Min, S.S.D., B.Y.O.B.

Dear Professor Von Schnickelfritz,

I was educated in the thought of Hans Von Unmoeglich in my seminary daze, I mean days, as were most people of our generation, but my thinking changed when I made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to see exactly where all the things we believe in didn’t happen. There I met an Arab tour guide. Until that time I had been rather dismissive of Arab tour guides who were happy to show you the stone for want of which Jesus had no place to lay his head and the inn where the parable of the good Samaritan would have happened if it had not been a parable. 

The Arabs are not, well, Northern European. How could they be as jaded and sophisticated as are we? This guide was different. He was Catholic and his English was excellent. I discovered that he was a teacher of History and English who had graduated from the University of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was, like most Palestinian Christians I have since met, very civilized, courteous and intelligent. Their ancestors were actually bathing regularly when our Teutonic ancestors were still painting themselves blue and running naked through the forest with pointy sticks. He completely changed my view of history. He explained oral tradition in a way that I had never heard it explained. He used a very homespun example of how oral tradition works. He recalled the time that his grandfather showed him a particular tree in a particular field where that grandfather’s grandfather had proposed to his soon to be wife. 

It became clear to me that Middle Eastern people value their families in a way that you and I in the West do not. The old stories are important to them because of the people they love. If a story was important to my grandfather, it is important to me, and if it is important to me it will be important to my grandchildren with whom I will carefully share it. 

I heard a similar story from Cardinal Francis George, who is a real scholar, and has a very precise mind. He told us about his grandmother who shared stories that her grandmother had told her about what it was like to be a Catholic on the Kentucky frontier around 1812. They had no priests, but that didn’t stop them from coming together on Sunday, reading the scriptures of the day and saying the Rosary, all this to be followed by a time of food and fellowship. That’s more than 200 years before the date of this writing. 

Accurate memories of important things can endure for centuries if they are about memories of those who are dear to us. Accurate tradition is the result of love, which is often in short supply among tenured professors. Hence, some of them fail to value or even understand tradition. Professor Martin Luther of Wittenberg University who developed the principle of “Sola Scriptura” is a fine example of the disconnect that has created modern Biblical scholarship. Martin and his parents had a rough time of it. Luther remembered that, “For the sake of stealing a nut, my mother once beat me until the blood flowed”, and “ father once whipped me so hard I ran away.” Perhaps if the Luther family had enjoyed the occasional family game night, things might have been a little more peaceful in Europe for the next five centuries.

Modern Scripture study seems sometimes to accept the “sola scriptura” principle rather uncritically.  In my education, it was an unnoticed assumption. If someone had studied in a German university they were thought automatically brilliant whether or not we could understand a thing they were saying. (An aside: One particular professor came back from Tubingen and wrote hymns embodying the latest biblical theology, things about the empty tomb and the doubts that plagued him. We were forced to learn them and sing them at Mass. We called these dreary songs the “Dead Sea Chanties.” He left the business of religion about a year after he arrived at my seminary. We were a surly and rather difficult bunch of adolescents.) 

The principle of Sola Scriptura is unworkable when it looks only at the text in order to understand the text, even if it is clothed in scholarly language.
Some scholars are fond of saying that the story of Jesus’ birth and death are just tired reworkings of old myths such as Adonis and Isis and Mithras. There is a difference. Jesus and his birth, death and resurrection are not “once upon time” or “in a land far away.” They happened in the places and times that were remembered well by their families and friends. The children of the first followers of Jesus were more than able to share the stories accurately with the first Christian scholars such as Justin Martyr.

“But when the Child was born in Bethlehem, since Joseph could not find lodging in that village, he took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger, and here the Magi who came from Arabia found Him… those who presided over the mysteries of Mithras were stirred up by the devil to say that in a place, called among them a cave, they were initiated by him.” (Justin. Dialogue with Trypho, Chapters LXX and LXXVIII).

 Justin Martyr is asserting quite the opposite of what some modern scholars assert. It was the pagan Mithraist myths that imitate the Gospel!

And who was Justin Martyr? He was a Greek or perhaps Roman scholar who was born about 100AD in Nablus in the Holy Land. Nablus is about 35 miles from Bethlehem.  After his conversion to Christianity from Platonism Justin set about reconciling the details of the Gospels. He did research, and remember that he lived only a strenuous day’s walk from Bethlehem and one long lifetime after the death and resurrection of Jesus. He was researching things that had happened less than a century before his time and less than a day away from where he grew up. He spoke of the Magi, the cave at Bethlehem and all these things that we associate with the Christmas story, and he was so convinced of the reality of these things that he was willing to die for them, which he ultimately did. He travelled to Rome to establish a school of philosophy and there he was beheaded in around 165 AD for refusing to deny Christ. It wasn’t only the stories of the Bible that he believed to be true.
"And this food is called among us the Eucharist ... For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh."
He believed that the flesh born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem was no different than the Flesh and Blood we receive at Mass. He believed strongly enough to lose his tenured teaching position along with his head. I would say that his opinions are a bit more valuable than that of any scholars who think themselves his intellectual superior.

The Rev. Know-it-all

Friday, December 12, 2014

Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25?

Dear Rev. Know-it-all,

I just saw a TV program that said the whole Bethlehem story was made up and that Christmas is celebrated on December 25th because it was a way for the Church to keep people from enjoying the ancient Roman Saturnalia feast and they put Jesus’ birthday on December 25th because it was the winter solstice when the ancient Romans celebrated the feast of the Unconquered Sun. Is all this true? It must be true because I saw it on television.

Yours truly, 

Virginia Schwarzpeter 

No, Virginia. 

All this is hogwash and balderdash. Saturnalia was a feast in honor of the god Saturn and was originally celebrated on December 17th. It expanded over the years to the 23rd, the feast of the Sigillaria. Saturnalia was a kind of feast of fools. In the 400’s (AD) an ancient Christian author, Macrobius, tells us a little about the feast. “The head slave of the household, whose responsibility it was to offer sacrifice to the household gods, to manage the provisions and to direct the activities of the domestic servants, came to tell his master that the household slaves had feasted according to the annual custom. For at this festival, in houses that keep to proper religious usage, they first of all honor the slaves with a dinner prepared as if for the master; and only afterwards is the table set again for the head of the household. So, then, the chief slave came in to announce the time of dinner and to summon the masters to the table.”

It was a wild time of the year. Everything was upside down. The ancient Romans disapproved of gambling and couldn’t get enough of it. Slaves were certainly not allowed to gamble. Yet on the Saturnalia, everyone gambled and slaves were allowed to gamble with their masters! Banquets were held and a lord of misrule was appointed who could order people to do outrageous things and who had to be obeyed. Gluttony and drunkenness were the rule for all. It sure sounds like a modern Christmas to me! Saturnalia even had its Grinches. Pliny the Younger, an aristocratic intellectual, went to his country retreat during the Saturnalia. It was just too noisy for him. “(I go to my villa at Laurentum) especially during the Saturnalia when the rest of the house is noisy with the license of the holiday and festive cries. This way I don't hamper the games of my people and they don't hinder my work or studies.”  Sounds like a real Scrooge.

Eventually this feast was extended to the Sigillaria on December 23rd. Sigillaria was a feast dedicated to gift giving. Little wax or clay dolls were exchanged, rather like greeting cards. Gift giving seems to have gotten out of hand as it always does. The feast was originally a throwing off of social status and expensive gifts would add the element of social class back to the feast, so simple gifts were usually given like the little wax dolls or gag gifts. Children received toys and simple things like writing tablets as gifts. (That sounds more like Hanukah than Christmas. I have heard Hanukah described as a celebration of socks and school supplies.) 

I don’t know. It sure sounds like Christmas to me. Wait a minute!  Christmas among the early Christians was not celebrated with the giving of gifts, and certainly not with drunkenness and gluttony.  Giving was more associated with the feast of St. Nicholas and perhaps with the Epiphany when the gifts of the magi to the Christ child were remembered. Dec. 25th was Mass. Hence the name, Christ-Mass. 

Well, what about the feast of Sol Invictus and the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year?  It is true that in the old Julian calendar the 25th of December was the shortest day of the year, but this was not associated with the feast of the unconquered sun until the last pagan emperor, Julian the Apostate who tried to establish the feast of the unconquered sun on December 25th as a sort of pagan anti-Christmas. 

In other words, it was just the opposite of what your TV show claimed. Christians weren’t celebrating Christmas on the 25th to distract believers from the Saturnalia or the feast of the unconquered sun. Pagans were trying to distract themselves from Christmas which was already well entrenched by the fourth century after Christ.   

So why did the Christians celebrate the birth of Christ on the 25th of December? Simple — because in certain places they celebrated the death of Christ on March 25. March 25th was celebrated and still is celebrated as the feast of the Annunciation on which the angel Gabriel told our Blessed Mother that she would be the mother of the Son of God. They celebrated the Annunciation, the Incarnation, when the Word was flesh and dwelt among us on the 25th of March, because that is when they believed Christ had been crucified.  

In the Hebrew calendar, that date was the 14th of Nissan. It was the anniversary of the first Passover, the Exodus and of the creation of the world. It was always thought that a prophet died on the anniversary of his conception and so, Jesus dying on the Passover, meant that he would have been conceived on the Passover and thus born nine months after Passover, the 25th day of December on the ancient Roman calendar.  

A further problem is that calendars were not coordinated in the ancient world. The Roman calendar had gone wildly of the tracks so that the beginning of summer might be sometime in fall. You didn’t know if it was today or half past three days from now. The 14th of Nisan was constantly re-calibrated according to the cycles of the moon and the sun and nobody quite knew what day it was when they compared calendars. Days of the week are a Jewish/Babylonian invention. Romans had ides and calends dividing their incomprehensible months into sort of double weeks of fourteen or fifteen days. Throw in the Egyptian calendars of which there were a few and the whole thing becomes an irretrievable mess. 

So, it makes great sense to celebrate the birth of Christ on the 25th of December. It is quite possibly the time around which He was born, at least according to some early authors and it has great symbolic meaning in the sense of the Hebrew Scriptures. It has nothing to do with a Roman feast. 

What about the scholars who say that there was journey to Bethlehem and that part of the story was thrown in just to make the prophecy about the messiah being born in Bethlehem come true? All I know is that the Christian author St. Justin Martyr (100 – 165 AD), a Palestinian Christian, said in his Dialogue with Trypho that the Holy Family stayed in a cave outside of Bethlehem. So, from the first days, Bethlehem and its cave were venerated and are still venerated to this day as the site of Christ’s birth. 

In 135 AD, the Emperor Hadrian built a shrine and planted a sacred grove of trees at the site venerated by the first Christians of the Holy Land in order to obliterate the memory of Christ there, just as he built a pagan temple over the site of Calvary and the Holy Sepulcher. He sure went to a lot of trouble to obliterate nothing if there was nothing there in the first place. 

Once again, Virginia, I remind you not to get your religion from TV. I am always amused that the pundits of our enlightened time know so much more two thousand years and  ten thousand miles distant from the actual events than do people who lived there a century after the fact. They hate us and always will. Bad mouthing Christians makes for good entertainment, just as did when they used to throw us to the lions in the Roman amphitheaters.  

It strikes me as humorous that we now celebrate Christmas beginning in November and by December 17th we are in full swing.  By December 25 we are so sick of Christmas that we can’t wait to get the tree down. It seems that the world really has decided to celebrate the drunken, gluttonous, gift-giving-gone-wild holiday of the Saturnalia, so let me ask you Virginia, which one are you going to celebrate this year?

Rev. Know-it-all

Friday, December 5, 2014

Can you recommend a good Catholic University?

Dear Rev. Know-it-all,

Can you recommend a good Catholic University?  Little Leroy has finally decided to leave home. He is only 53 and has never been away from home, and so of course we want send him to a good Catholic College where he will be safe and his brain will not be fried by strange new ideas. 

Louie and Alma M. Whiffenpoof

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Whiffenpoof,

My sainted mother always said if you haven’t anything good to say then say nothing at all.   (Imagine the sound of crickets chirping)……………………As for new ideas? Very few Catholic institutions of higher learning, so called, have had a new idea since 1965.

I remember my college days at Crayola University here in Frostbite Falls.  I took a philosophy course offered by Dr. Siegfried Hansen. He said, “Zuh great Kvestion of 20th zenchury philosophy…” In English that is “The great question of 20th century philosophy is….. ‘Why is there something instead of nothing?’” 

I raised my hand and said “Because there is no nothing! Nothing cannot 'be' by definition.”  To which he responded, “Wrong!”  and continued his lecture pacing back and forth expounding in a soothing monotone. I dropped that class like a bad habit. 

In our times education has gone from bad to worse in most places, especially in the liberal arts. I know. I am an aging hippie who taught at a university for 25 years. Don’t ask questions. We young radicals asked the questions and figured out the right answers that our parents and teachers were hiding from us. You young folks don’t have to ask any questions. We tenured revolutionaries will tell you what to believe.

I have just heard a wonderful example of this enlightened attitude that I and my Aquarian generation have tried to instill in younger minds, now middle-aged, who are teaching minds yet younger than they how to petrify their own brains.

It seems that a male studentgot into it with his ethics instructor, Cheryl Abbate,   when she made a list of ethical questions on the blackboard regarding philosophy and modern political questions such as gay rights, gun rights, and the death penalty.

 “We had a discussion on all of them – except gay rights,” reported the student.  “She erased that line from the board and said, ‘We all agree on this.’” 

End of discussion. 

After class he told the teacher that he thought they should have included the issue of gay rights. Long story short, she told him that, “You can have whatever opinions you want but I will tell you right now – in this class homophobic comments, racist comments, sexist comments will not be tolerated,” she said. ‘If you don’t like it, you are more than free to drop this class.” The student dropped the class.

“I understand that other people have very different views than I do and that’s understandable, but when a student is not allowed to have an open discussion in a discussion-type class on a specific issue because it’s regarded as homophobic – that really irks me,” said the student. 

The teacher defined ethical behavior in such a way as to restrict speech in a university classroom, a Catholic University classroom. Years ago I wrote an article about the transvestite beauty contest at DePeter University, a local Frostbite Falls Catholic University. The event was featured on the front page of the student newspaper. The gala event ended with a drag ball in one of the university dormitories on campus. The president of the school called me upset, not that I had questioned the wisdom of having such an event at a Catholic University, but that I had made the event public and upset one of his donors. It was not important to the reverend father that he was raising funds under false pretenses nor that he was allowing behavior inappropriate to life at a Catholic institution. He was simply upset by the bad publicity. The most astonishing part of my conversation was that he insisted that he could do nothing about it, neither the full-color full cover picture of a very scrawny boy in a wig, makeup and a rather skimpy women’s bikini bathing suit, nor the transvestite dance in a university-owned dorm, because of (get this) academic freedom. 

I don’t know if DePeter University still has the transvestite beauty contest and drag ball, but they do now offer a minor in queer studies. I wonder if the reasons for Catholic teaching about same-sex teaching are highlighted and clearly explained in this bold, new academic department. (By the way I am not making any of this up, except for the name of the school, whose real name I bet you could never guess.)  

This, I believe, is the heart of the matter. Academic freedom in some places means the freedom to discuss only what the new pseudo-orthodoxy demands. The same academic freedom that allows behavior which for two thousand years has been thought contrary to the Gospel prohibits discussion of what has been perceived for the same twenty centuries as the obvious meaning of the Gospel.  

This is crazy. To say that the academic freedom permits boys to think they are girls but forbids other boys to say they think that is bizarre. It is just as bizarre as saying that sex has nothing to do with the birth of children; just as bizarre as saying hormone shots and mutilation will turn a man into a woman or vice versa; just as bizarre as pretending that ejecting a student with a varying opinion from class is a form of tolerance.

If you look at human physiology, the nature of gender is quite clear. If you look at the political correctness of our time and the convoluted definition of academic freedom that forbids students to express the teachings of the Church in a Catholic university philosophy course in this age of new-speak tolerance, it is clear that we are a religious culture that has lost its mind and lost its way. We no longer have the right to call ourselves Catholic — that is universal — because we have cut ourselves off from those who have gone before. We live only in the present age, not the past and the future. Unlike our Lord, we are no longer the same “yesterday, today and tomorrow.” We are just a fad. We may be modern, but we can no longer claim to embrace the fullness of humanity.  We cease to be Catholic in the most basic sense.

Human beings have experienced sexual dysfunction since Adam and Eve left the garden, but as far as I know this is the first generation to define dysfunction as normal. The only people not welcome in church are those who have not sinned and thus have no need of a savior. People with their moral shortcoming and their disordered appetites are welcome in the church; the embrace of Christ extends to all, except to those who say I have not sinned. For a Catholic sin is not the greatest problem. The greatest problem is a refusal to recognize sin in oneself. This kind of pride is called hubris and it invites disaster.  

This aging hippie recalls an old Bob Dylan song from 50 years ago “A hard rain’s a gonna’ fall.”

Rev. Know-it-all

P.S. To my fellow ageing hippies, “Power, brother” (I mean I hope your electric scooter has enough battery power. Keep on truckin’)