PopeWatch: Invitation

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

Just days after Catholic internet personality Michael Voris revealed that he had been actively involved in homosexuality before his reversion to the faith, sources tell EOTT that the founder of The Vortex has been inundated with emails by members of the Roman Curia inviting him to visit the Vatican.

“We thought it might do him some good to just get away for a while,” one official said. “Sometimes you just gotta get away, you know? You gotta get away with some buddies, drink some beer, shoot some pool…you know, guy stuff. Maybe toss a couple throw pillows on the floor and watch a little Guys and Dolls on DVD, Lemon Drop Martinis…”

After being asked about why the sudden interest in a man that many Church officials criticized in the past, the official said, “Criticized? Who, us? No, no, we never criticized him. He’s one of us, after all. I mean…one of us as in Catholic. He’s Catholic and we’re Catholic. One of us in that way. After all, there’s no other way for him to be one of us, but to be Catholic. And a man. We’re all straight here in the Curia is what I’m getting at. What’s that? Past life, you say? He mentioned that it was part of his past as in, no longer…Oh, I see.”

At press time, Members of the Roman Curia have withdrawn their invitations, claiming they were busy washing their hair that night. Continue reading

Faith Is Not Dead In Hollywood

Faith based films have seen a marked increase in Hollywood in the last several years. Critics were quick to dismiss the success of the Passion of the Christ some 12 years ago claiming its success was only caused by controversy, and the bankrolling of the picture by a celebrity like Mel Gibson. However, a few short years later came Fireproof and Courageous.  Both these films had an estimated budget of 1-2 million dollars and they grossed about $33,000,000. In 2011 a subtle pro-life film October Baby came out and moved the genre along to more success.

This set up the wildly successful 2014 which included films like God’s not Dead, Heaven is for Real, Mom’s Night Out etc.  The success continued in 2015 and 2016. Word is the big studios are now reaching out to small faith based companies to see if they forge partnerships, which while helpful also presents some serious concerns for faith based companies.

In full disclosure, the writers and producers of God’s not Dead are friends of mine who a few years ago came to a talk I gave at Family Theater in Hollywood, and then took my wife and me to dinner after reading one of screenplays. In a faith based world filled with Evangelicals, Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, as well as the crew at Family Theater in Hollywood are Catholic.  For those interested in Family Theater, you might want to read my past article on the late Father Patrick Peyton , the Rosary priest who is on the road to canonization.

In secular 2016, it is hard to believe how well received Father Peyton was in Hollywood.  Family Theater is where James Dean and William Shatner got their starts. A trip inside Family Theater affords one an array of pictures from Hollywood’s Golden Era when Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan and Grace Kelly all starred in Family Theater production films. A side note, tucked away in closet at Family Theater is an old film splicer. Rumor has it a young film student from USC named George Lucas used it to edit a Family Theater production film featuring a recently arrived young Canadian actor named William Shatner.

Everyone has their own story on how they ended up in the faith based realm. Chuck and Cary worked with the likes of Sylvester Stallone and other action oriented films for years until they could no longer resist the call to do faith based films. While they like Stallone, too few other people had the heart or character of Rocky Balboa in Hollywood. The initial years were tough, especially when hardly anyone was doing faith based films, they literally went into the valley before they could get back up to see the Promised Land. Needless to say, many thought they had lost their minds saying goodbye to the mainstream and taking the road less traveled.

Some readers might recall my initial 2014 review of God’s not Dead. The film made on a budget of $1,000,000 that initially generated a US box office figure of $60,000,000 and when all the worldwide receipts were accounted including foreign box office, DVD, movie subscription services etc totaled over$100,000,000. Generally writers and producers don’t see the kind of big money on an out of the blue success story like God’s not Dead. It comes later. If one thinks politics can be dirty, one needs to understand how the movie and music industry works.

Some film critics, even those in the faith based community complain that some of the scripts can be predictable, and perhaps the faith based angle needs to be more subtle, grittier and more provocative. Most faith based writers have no qualms with this argument. They are often put in a Catch 22, they either write a film that would be approved by faith based film companies like Pure Flix or risk the big studios saying a more subtle faith based approach is still too “faithful” for them.

Some secular critics showed nothing but venom for God’s not Dead, ( a Variety review actually used the words “Nazi propaganda film” to describe a scene) and the just released God’s not Dead 2 claiming Christians aren’t persecuted by the secular world. Then stories emerged that literally came right out of the plot lines of both films. Yet, these militant secularists give no apology.

While the critics of faith based films will always be sharpening their pens and swords, there is reason to believe that some of the Big Studios are seeing the light–or at least the financial possibilities. As mentioned above, some of the big time Hollywood studios are beginning to reach out to smaller faith based studios. Also, more faith based film companies are emerging. In addition up and comers like Nathan Leon, a talented writer, producer  and director received some notice for his film/documentary Sidewalk Chronicles on Unplanned Pregnancies which led to adoptions that positively changed the lives of so many. He and many others like him are generating some buzz in Tinseltown.

Indeed I met Leon and many other young talented men and women, while I was out in Hollywood a few weeks ago. I had been invited invited by Chuck and Cary for their premier party for God’s not Dead 2, over dinner they shared with me their big plans. They are literally this week putting the fishing touches on God’s not Dead 3 which should start to film in a month or so and be out in theaters next March or April. Also, they have an ambitious blueprint for the future and are seeking investors for their own studio and several projects are already in the works. Who knows where there this will all lead, but there are shoots and blossoms being seen in Hollywood. In a town known for fully embracing the dark side, shoots and blossoms of faith are a very good thing.

PopeWatch: Kasper’s Victory Dance

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa explains how Cardinal Kasper has emerged victorious in his quest to give Communion to Catholics in adulterous marriages:

 

The German Option of the Argentine Pope

ROME, April 28, 2016 – The definitive confirmation of Pope Francis’s endorsement of the German solution to the crucial question of communion for the divorced and remarried has come from Germany’s most famous cardinal and theologian, Walter Kasper, in an interview published on April 22 in the Aachen newspaper “Aachener Zeitung”:

> Kardinal Kasper: Was Franziskus von der Kirche und Europa erwartet

An interview summarized in English here:

> Kasper: Pope Intends “Not to Preserve Everything as it has Been”

Thanks to the post-synodal exhortation “Amoris Lætitia” – Kasper said – the German bishops now have “a tail wind to help solve such situations in a humane way.”

And he recounted this revealing episode. Some time ago, a priest of his acquaintance had decided not to prohibit a remarried mother from receiving communion herself on the day of her daughter’s first communion. And he himself, Kasper, had helped that priest to make this decision, certain that he was “absolutely right.” The cardinal then reported the matter to the pope, who approved of the decision and said: “That is where the pastor has to make the decision.”

So “the door is open” for admission of the divorced and remarried to the sacraments, Kasper continued. “There is also some freedom for the individual bishops and bishops’ conferences. Not all Catholics think the way we Germans think. Here [in Germany] something can be permissible which is forbidden in Africa. Therefore, the pope gives freedom for different situations and future developments.”

*

Between Kasper and Jorge Mario Bergoglio there is much more than just the occasional contact.

In his last in-flight press conference, on the way back from the Greek island of Lesbos, Francis said he had felt “annoyance” and “sadness” over the importance given by the media to communion for the divorced and remarried.

And yet this has happened precisely on account of the pope’s decision to entrust to Kasper – for decades the leader of proponents of a decisive change in this matter – the opening talk at the consistory of cardinals in February of 2014.

That dramatic consistory was followed by two synods that laid bare the stark divisions within the Church hierarchy. But in Francis’s mind, the script was already written. And it is that which can now be read in “Amoris Lætitia,” the centerpiece of which is precisely the eighth chapter, composed in the typically vague and shifting form of Jorge Mario Bergoglio when he wants to open and not to close a “process,” but that now is leading Kasper and the Germans to say with absolute certainty that they have “the wind at their backs.”

Of course, not all the cardinals and bishops of Germany agree with Kasper. Fellow cardinal and theologian Gerhard L. Müller, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, is also German, and has made it known repeatedly – most recently in a book issued a few days before the publication of “Amoris Lætitia” – that he is in radical disagreement with those who, by absolving the divorced and remarried and admitting them to communion, in point of fact undermine the foundations not of one but of three sacraments, marriage, penance, and the Eucharist.

But by now it is as clear as day that for Francis Cardinal Müller isn’t worth a thing, in spite of his role as guardian of doctrine and of the useless toil with which he sent the pope dozens of corrective notes for the draft of the exhortation, which had been given to him in advance merely by virtue of his office.

In fact, for the official presentation of “Amoris Lætitia” to the world on the day of its publication, the pope called not Müller but another cardinal and theologian of the German-speaking area, Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna.

And a few days later, during the flight from Lesbos to Rome, Francis once again proposed Schönborn as the main exegete of the post-synodal exhortation, he being a “great theologian [who] knows well the doctrine of the faith,” as the pope described him. To the question of whether for the divorced or remarried there now is or is not the possibility, formerly precluded, of receiving communion, the pope responded with a peremptory and for once unmistakable: “Yes. Period.” But he recommended that none other than Schönborn be consulted for a more detailed reply.

And not by accident. Because at the synod last October it was precisely the archbishop of Vienna, in agreement with Kasper, who thought up in the “Circulus germanicus” the formulas of apparent respect for the traditional magisterium of the Church but at the same time open to change – capable of getting around Müller’s objections –  which then went into the “Relatio finalis” of the synod and finally into “Amoris Lætitia,” always in that deliberately ambiguous form that however now allows Kasper’s party to chant victory and Müller and the others on his side to suffer a scorching defeat.

*

On opposing side of the victorious German solution there has been only one bishop so far who has reacted by going right to the heart of the question, not simply entrenching himself behind the “non-magisterial” nature – and therefore able to be interpreted only in the light of the previous magisterium of the Church – of “Amoris Lætitia,” as Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, for example, has instead decided to do.

This bishop is, curiously, also of German ancestry. He is the auxiliary of Astana in Kazakhstan, Athanasius Schneider.

The complete text of the remarks by Bishop Schneider came out in Italian on April 24, on the online agency Corrispondenza Romana” directed by Professor Roberto de Mattei:

> “Amoris lætitia”: chiarire per evitare una confusione generale

And in English the following day on the blog “Veri Catholici”:

> Bishop Athanasius Schneider speaks on “Amoris lætitia”

On the question of communion for the divorced and remarried, Schneider’s criticism of the “confusion” produced by “Amoris Lætitia” is very tough.

“The confusion reaches its apex,” he writes, “since all, whether the supporters of the admission of the divorced and remarried to Communion, or those who oppose them, sustain that the doctrine of the Church in this matter has not been modified.”

Schneider sets up a comparison with the spread of the Arian heresy in the 4th century. In 357, the confusion reached the extreme when Pope Liberius endorsed an ambiguous formula concerning the divinity of Jesus, which made Saint Jerome say, describing the state of disorientation at the time: “The world groaned and found itself, with shock, to have become Arian.”

At that juncture – Schneider notes – “St. Hilary of Poitiers was the only Bishop to undertake grave remonstrations with Pope Liberius for such ambiguous acts.”

But today as well – continues the auxiliary of Astana – the situation is such that some might exclaim like Saint Jerome: “The whole world groans and finds itself, with shock, to have accepted divorce in practice.”

So just as in the 4th century “St. Basil the Great made an urgent appeal to the Pope of Rome to indicate with his own words the clear direction to obtain finally a unity of thought in faith and charity,” so also today “one can consider legitimate an appeal to our dear pope, Francis, the Vicar of Christ and ‘sweet Christ upon earth’ (St. Catherine of Sienna), so that he order the publication of an authentic interpretation of ‘Amoris lætitia’, which should necessarily contain an explicit declaration of the disciplinary principle of the universal and infallible magisterium in regarding to the admission to the sacraments for the divorced and separated, as it has been formulated in n. 84 of ‘Familiaris consortio’.”

Which at no. 84, “incomprehensibly absent from ‘Amoris lætitia’”, says:

“Reconciliation in the sacrament of penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who… take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.”

*

Under the circumstances it nevertheless appears unlikely that Pope Francis would accept such an appeal.

Continue reading

Who Is the Buddy of the GOP Establishment?

 

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One of the frustrating thing about this campaign for sentient observers is the absurd claim of the crony capitalist Donald Trump to be an outsider running against the establishment.  John Boehner, former Speaker of the House, put paid to that notion yesterday:

A few months ago I asked a Washington insider for the scoop on Ted Cruz. His first words were, “No one likes Ted.” Well, John Boehner certainly doesn’t:

The longtime Ohio powerhouse had not been very outspoken on the race since retiring last year, but he held little back when asked about the Texas senator and underdog GOP presidential candidate during a forum at Stanford University.

“I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life,” he said, according to The Stanford Daily.

Boehner also called Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh.” Trump, on the other hand, he described as a “texting buddy.” Continue reading

Danegeld

 

The thirtieth in my ongoing series examining the poetry of Rudyard Kipling. The other posts in the series may be read here, here , here , here, here , here, here, here, here, here, here, here , here, here, here , here, here, here , here, here, here , here, here , here , here , here , here,  here and here.  One of the many reasons to read Kipling is due to how much of his writing stands the test of time.  A good example of this is Dane-geld written in 1911.  Danegeld was a tax levied by the Kings of Wessex to buy peace with the various invading warbands of Danes in the ninth through the eleventh century.  The Danegeld of course convinced the various Danes in Denmark that it was a good idea to invade England, be bought off in gold by a Saxon king and then to settle in England and repeat the process whenever money ran short.  One would think that the bad consequences of giving way to such extortion should be obvious, but it is amazing how often this simple lesson has been repeated down the centuries.  The Obama administration has paid Danegeld of a sort to various enemies, or would be enemies, of the US, including Iran, Russia, North Korea, thus having the US pay for trouble down the road.

Kipling is not merely to be read for amusement during an idle hour.  Read carefully he often has wisdom useful for today.  Here is the text of Dane-geld: Continue reading

Catholics Who Support Bernie: You Are Idiots

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Either that or you don’t give a damn about fighting abortion:

Sanders stated, “I think we should expand funding for Planned Parenthood. And it is no secret, that in states all over this country, in a dozen different ways, there are governors and legislatures who are trying to make it impossible for a woman to control her own body. I will use the Department of Justice to go after those states, in every way that I legally can.” Continue reading

PopeWatch: Bishop Athanasius Schneider

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Voice of the Family is hosting the English translation of Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s reflections on Amoris Laetitia.  Go here to view the translation  They indicate that the Bishop has given permission for the text to be shared widely, so I have taken the liberty of setting it forth below.  Here are his reflections:

 

 

 

 

The recently published Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia” (AL), which contains a plethora of spiritual and pastoral riches with regard to life within marriage and the Christian family in our times, has unfortunately, within a very short time, led to very contradictory interpretations even among the episcopate.

There are bishops and priests who publicly and openly declare that AL represents a very clear opening-up to communion for the divorced and remarried, without requiring them to practice continence. In their opinion, it is this aspect of sacramental practice, which, according to them, is now to undergo a significant change that gives AL its truly revolutionary character. Interpreting AL with reference to irregular couples, a president of a Bishops’ Conference has stated, in a text published on the website of the same Bishops’ Conference: “This is a disposition of mercy, an openness of heart and of spirit that needs no law, awaits no guideline, nor bides on prompting.  It can and should happen immediately”.

This opinion was further confirmed by the recent declarations of Father Antonio Spadaro S.J., after the Synod of Bishops in 2015, that the Synod had established the “foundations” for the access of divorced and remarried couples to communion by “opening a door” that had still been closed during the previous Synod in 2014. Now, as Father Spadaro alleges in his commentary on AL, his prediction has been confirmed. There are rumours that Father Spadaro was a member of the editorial group behind AL.

The way to abusive interpretations appears to have been paved by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn himself, who said, during the official presentation of AL in Rome, with regard to irregular unions, that: “My great joy as a result of this document resides in the fact that it coherently overcomes that artificial, superficial, clear division between ‘regular’ and ‘irregular’”. Such a statement suggests that there is no clear difference between a valid, sacramental marriage and an irregular union, between venial and mortal sin. Continue reading

Ted Cruz Names Carly Fiorina as Veep Running Mate

 

Taking a tip from Ronald Reagan’s playbook, Ted Cruz names Carly Fiorina as his running mate.  Back in 1976 Reagan was behind Ford.  Prior to the Republican convention he named Senator Richard Schweiker (R.Pa) as his running mate.  Schweiker was a moderate Republican, although a strong pro-lifer.  Reagan came close to taking the nomination away from Ford at the convention.  Interestingly, Schweiker’s voting record became much more conservative thereafter.  In 1981 President Reagan appointed him as Secretary of HHS.

So, will this work?  Quien sabe?  It will get Cruz a lot of publicity going into the crucial Indiana primary.  Fiorina is an articulate and tough campaigner, and she should be getting intensive coverage for the next few weeks.  Trump, in the truly classless manner that he normally displays, will probably go over the top in his attacks against Fiorina.  All in all, I like the move.  It is unusual, but when you are behind doing the usual is a recipe for slow defeat.   Better to be bold and do the unexpected.

PopeWatch: Peronist Pope

 

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa reprints an extract from an  interesting article on the Peronist vision of the Pope:

The chosen people

by Loris Zanatta

Bergoglio is Peronist? Absolutely he is. But not because he took to it in his youth. He is so in the sense that Peronism is the movement that sanctioned the triumph of Catholic Argentina over its liberal counterpart, that saved the Christian values of the people from the cosmopolitanism of the élite. Peronism therefore embodies for Bergoglio the healthy conjunction between people and nation in defense of a temporal order based on Christian values and immune from that [. . .] Protestant liberalism whose ethos projects itself as a colonial shadow over the Catholic identity of Latin America.

But then Bergoglio is populist? Absolutely he is, provided that this concept is properly understood. [. . .] On his great journeys of 2015 – Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay; Cuba and United States; Kenya, Uganda, Central Africa – Francis used the word “pueblo” 356 times. The pope’s populism is already present in his words. But Bergoglio is less familiar with another lexicon: he said “democracy” only 10 times, “individual” 14 times, mostly with a negative connotation. [. . .] Are these  numbers meaningless? Not so much. They confirm for us what could already be guessed: that the notion of “pueblo” is the keystone of his social consciousness. [. . .]

His people is good, virtuous, and poverty confers an innate moral superiority upon it. It is in the popular neighborhoods, the pope says, that wisdom, solidarity, values of the Gospel are preserved. It is there that Christian society is found, the deposit of faith.

Moreover, that “pueblo” is not for him a sum of individuals, but a community that transcends them, a living organism animated by an ancient, natural faith, where the individual is dissolved in the whole. As such, that “pueblo” is the chosen people that safeguards an identity in peril. It is no coincidence that identity is the other pillar of Bergoglio’s populism; an eternal identity impervious to the unfolding of history, on which the “pueblo” has a monopoly; an identity to which every human institution or constitution must bend in order not to lose the legitimacy conferred on it by the “pueblo.”

It goes without saying that this romantic notion of “pueblo” is debatable, just as the moral superiority of the poor is. It doesn’t take an anthropologist to understand that popular communities have, like every community, vices and virtues. And the pontiff himself acknowledges this, contradicting himself, when he establishes a cause-and-effect relationship between poverty and fundamentalist terrorism; a relationship that moreover is improbable.

But idealizing the “pueblo” helps to simplify the complexity of the world, something in which the forms of populism have no rivals. The border between good and evil will then appear so diaphanous as to unleash the enormous power inherent in every Manichaean cosmology. This is how the pope contrasts the good “people” with a predatory and egotistical oligarchy. A transfigured oligarchy, devoid of face and name, the essence of evil as the pagan devotee of the God money: consumption is consumerism, the individual is selfish, attention to money is soulless worship. [. . .]

What is the greatest harm caused by this oligarchy? The corruption of the “pueblo.” The oligarchy undermines its virtues, homogeneity, religious spontaneity, like a tempter devil. Seen in this way, Bergoglio’s crusades against it, inasmuch as they emulate the language of postcolonial criticism, are heirs of the anti-liberal crusade that hardliner Catholics conducted a couple of centuries ago. Something that is not strange at all: the Catholic anti-liberalism that on the secular level sympathized with the anti-liberal ideology of the moment, fascism and communism first of all, naturally embraces with ardor today the anti-globalization lingo.

Of course, there is in the history of Catholicism a robust Catholic-liberal tradition, devoted to political secularism, to the rights of the individual, to economic and civil liberty. But such is not the family that saw Francis grow up. If the sacred college had elected a Chilean pope, who knows, perhaps he would have fished around in that cultural universe. But the Argentine Church is the tomb of the liberal Catholics, killed by the wave of national populism. [. . .]

In the background, meanwhile, many things are happening and raising enormous questions on the foundation of Francis’s vision of the world and on the notion of “pueblo” that inspires it; and therefore on its efficacy in restoring to the Church its lost stature.

Modern societies, including those of the southern hemisphere, are ever more articulated and pluralistic. Speaking of a “pueblo” that preserves its pure and religiously imbued identity is often a myth that does not correspond to any reality.

Continuing to consider the middle classes, growing by the millions and anxious for more consumption and better opportunities, colonial classes that are enemies of the “pueblo,” makes no sense. So many poor of yesterday are in the middle class today. [. . .]

Also on the political level, the forms of populism with which the pope shares such affinity have suffered severe blows, especially in Latin America, so much so as to prompt the suspicion that they are being orphaned by the “pueblo” that they invoke.

It is no accident that Bergoglio appeared to be disoriented when a journalist asked him for his view on the election of Mauricio Macri in Argentina and on the new anti-populist course that some think is beginning in Latin America. “I have heard a few opinions” – the pope stammered – “but on this geopolitics, at this moment I don’t know what to say. There are a number of Latin American countries in this somewhat changing situation, it is true, but I cannot explain it.”

At first glance he is not an enthusiast of this, considering the rather more secular and cosmopolitan profile of the forces that are coming forward to replace the forms of populism in crisis. But it is with these that the Holy Father will have to come to grips. Adored by the faithful, but he too an orphan, at least a bit, of the “pueblo.” Continue reading

Monmouth College

 

My bride and I took yesterday off from the law mines to attend the Honors Awards ceremonies at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, in which our twenty-one year old “baby girl” was participating.  (Fortunately our daughter inherited both her looks and her brains from her mother rather than me.)  The ceremony was wonderful.  You haven’t lived until you have seen an academic procession, led by a student clad in a plaid mortarboard and a white gown carrying the American flag, conducted as bagpipers play Scotland the Brave.

Founded in 1853 by Scottish Presbyterians, Monmouth was co-ed from the first.  During the Civil War its student body was almost entirely female when male students, and many of the faculty, enlisted as a body in the Union Army.  Two of them would earn Medals of Honor during the conflict.

It is a fine school offering degrees in most areas for undergraduates.  Its tuition is a scary 35K a year.  However, Monmouth works hard at making the college affordable.  I have never paid more than 8000 a year out of pocket at Monmouth.  That contrasts to the approximately 21000 a year I was paying out each year for the undergraduate education of my son at my alma mater, the University of Illinois.  This comes about due to the mixture of scholarship and grants awarded to our daughter.   In that she was by no means exceptional, as some 95% of the student body receives assistance to make Monmouth one of the better academic choices for families on a budget.  Our daughter will graduate almost entirely debt free.

More important than the cost is the quality of education which is quite superior.  Our daughter loves Monmouth and if I had known about it back in 2010, our son probably would have attended there also.

The campus is lovely and there is a good alum support system after college for Monmouth grads.  The total student body is about one thousand, perfect for students who do not want to be lost in the crowd.  Our daughter reports good one on one interaction with her professors.

I heartily recommend Monmouth to any parent looking for a good college for their offspring at a reasonable cost. Continue reading

Five State Sweep for Trump

 

 

This surreal election year continues with Trump victorious in the primaries of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware.  After tonight Trump has about 950 delegates pledged to support him on the first ballot.  He needs 1237 to get a first ballot win.  There are 622 delegates left to be awarded.

In other news Trump apparently has rejected attempts by his new advisor, Paul Manafort, to make him appear “more presidential”.  Trump the ego-maniac of course only wants yes-men and yes-women around him, and it was predictable that he would reject any attempts to have his campaign strategy be anything other than the next fool thing he wishes to utter.  In almost any other election year such a “strategy” would be disastrous, but Trump is riding a wave of voter discontent and the normal rules of politics appear not to apply to him, at least not yet.

Ignorance as Brave New World

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Much of leftist politics today consists of leftists stating that what is manifestly not true must be believed with a religious fervor that would put to shame most Trappist monks.  Dave Griffey at his blog Daffey Thoughts reminds us of the essential element in all this:

Thinly disguised as offended PC sensitivity warriors.  John C. Wright does the take down here.  Yep.  I’ve said already that much of the modern Left is about convincing us that 2+2=4 is hate speech, must be punished, and those who insist on resisting the new math are the baddies.

Why?  Because if you want to follow the basic trend of most Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment era revolutions by setting up a Despotic government where liberty and Utopia were promised, and furthermore want to do so in a nation that was the capstone of 2500 years of a long, agonizing march toward freedom and liberty, you have to make the population stupid enough to declare that 2+2=4 is the most evil, hateful thing imaginable and it’s good that we finally have laws that will punish those who insist on saying 2+2=4.

Much of what Mr. Wright says is, of course, spot on.  The idea that PC Warriors demand courtesy when they provide none, they demand respect when the provide the polar opposite to the traditions and beliefs they hate, and demand tolerance for their eradication of tolerance and diverse opinions, should be the neon warning signs for a generation.

It’s a testimony to our education systems, our entertainment industry and our media that so many Americans are ready to rewrite the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, and even the entire notion of a Bill of Rights because we’ve been told it could be hateful to say men can’t have babies.  It takes one stupid nation for that to happen.  Or it takes a nation that is the product of the last 50 years of concerted effort on the part of those same educational, entertainment and media industries to be that stupid. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Amoris Laetitia-Overall Thoughts

 

 

 

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There is no way to mince words in regard to Amoris Laetitia:   it is a disaster for the Church.  In the Exhortation, the Pope and his ghost writers engage in a lengthy exercise to find excuses to disregard the clear command of Christ in regard to divorce and remarriage.  That much of this is done with a wink and a nod merely adds mendacity to the charges that could be brought against this document.  The reasoning, to use a charitable term for the arguments made by the Pope and his ghost writers, could be used in reference to any sin imaginable.  The Catholic Church has always taught that both confession and a firm intention at amendment of life were necessary for the forgiveness of sins.  Pope Francis seems to do away with amendment, and although it is not completely clear from this turgid, twisted document, he seems to be arguing that, depending upon the peculiar situation of a particular individual, what is clearly sin may not be sin, at least not mortal sin, in regard to them.  Thus even the confessional may not be necessary in many cases, since confession is in reference to sin, and who are we to judge?  This stands the teaching of the Church on its head.

Some people are content to focus on the true parts of the Exhortation and do their very best to ignore the rest.  This is understandable for people who find it heartbreaking that a Pope put his name to this dangerous mess, but it is ultimately mistaken.  The only reason why the Exhortation was written is because the Pope regards the position of Catholics in adulterous marriages to be a crisis for the Church.  That on his way to addressing that question he dispenses some truisms and bromides is of no consequence.  Rather than calling upon Catholics in adulterous marriages to repentance and amendment he changes the teaching of the Church.  That sad fact is all one needs to know about Amoris Laetitia.

 

Here in one post is PopeWatch’s stripped down version of Amoris Laetitia with the commentary of PopeWatch: Continue reading

April 26, 1777: Sybil Ludington’s Ride

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The eldest of twelve children, Sybil Ludington grew up in a household of ardent patriots, her father being the commander of the local militia in Duchess County New York.  On April 26, 1777 she became, at age 16, a heroine of the Revolution when she rode forty miles to her father’s militia encampment at night on her horse Star to spread the alarm that the British were moving on Danbury Connecticut.  During her ride she successfully defended herself against a highwayman using a long stick.  She used the same stick to bang on the door of houses along the way to let the occupants know that the British were on the march,  Thanks to her, her father Colonel Henry Ludington chased after the British with 400 of his militia.  They were unable to intercept the British before their attack on Danbury, but they, along with other militia units, harassed the British as they retreated to New York.  The campaign is considered a turning point that helped ensure firm patriot control in Connecticut.  Sybil received the personal thanks of George Washington. Continue reading

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