Secularists Reaction To The Passing Away Of Ted Kennedy

Friday, August 28, AD 2009

9 Responses to Secularists Reaction To The Passing Away Of Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy and the "A Word"

Thursday, August 27, AD 2009

Ted Kennedy Abortion Letter

 

Hattip to the ever alert Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia.   Michael Sean Winters at the Jesuit publication America launched a diatribe at Patrick Madrid for his response to Sister Maureen Fiedler’s lament on the death of Senator Kennedy at National Catholic Reporter, He Made Me Proud to Be Catholic, in which Madrid pointed out the obvious:  Kennedy was a total pro-abort.  Poor Mr. Winters!  He didn’t realize he was about to enter the fisk machine of Father Z!  You may read the results here.  Here is Madrid’s response.  Note to liberal Catholics:  if you are going to lionize a person like Kennedy, who was ever deaf to the cries of the unborn since his switch on the issue, see above letter,  back in the early seventies, there are plenty of other Catholics who are going to point out this very unpleasant fact.

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47 Responses to Ted Kennedy and the "A Word"

  • Mr. McClarey:

    Did not Christ teach us not to judge???

    For shame!

    Who are you to do thus, especially when Christ taught us, his very followers, that we are not to judge our fellow man!

    Besides, who gives a squat about the screams of millions of babies being severed within their own mother’s wombs — good riddance to the innocent; they deserve to be heinously murdered.

    Kennedy was nothing more than a misunderstood wreck who was actually a good man.

    The killing of millions of children he was actually responsible for is merely a small blemish that we shouldn’t even consider.

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  • E forgets that verse of Scripture which says, “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

    Kennedy openly and publicly opposed Church teaching on every non-negotionable issue.

    What is even sadder is that the people of Massachusetts preferred a raging active alcoholic who killed Mary Jo Kopechne represent them in the Senate than a sober person who actually valued human life.

    As Thomas Jefferson said, “The people deserve the government they get.”

    It’s 1st Samuel chapter 8 all over again. It’s not God’s Prophet we reject, but God Himself.

    And that my friends is the hallmark of the putrid sickening disease known as liberal-ISM: I, Self and Me.

    There’s more here:

    What’s Wrong with Liberal Catholics
    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/2009/08/whats-wrong-with-liberal-catholics.html

  • From the link in the last comment: “yes, if the Russians had ever attacked the U.S. and I got ordered “to push the button” (extremely unlikely since I was a reactor operator, not a torpedo man), then I would have pushed the button without a second thought”.

    There you have it — a man who professes proudly that he would commit an intrinsically evil act, all the while lambasting his fellow Catholics for not doing enough to fight another intrinsically evil act. This cognitive dissonance sums up exactly what is wrong with the noisy form of American Catholicism that seems to be over-represented in the blogosphere.

    And by the way, Donald, you are a “liberal Catholic” yourself. Your radical individualism on everything from the economy to gun ownership gives you away as a pure child of the Enlightenment, especially in its Scottish form. Embrace it!

  • I’m trying to think if MM is aware that he’s just made several arguments that all boil down to, “Oh yeah, well you’re just as bad as me, so nya!” and if so, if he thinks this is actually a good argument, even if true — which in the case of his aspersions against Donald it clearly isn’t. (Which is not to presume guilt against Paul, I just haven’t looked into MM’s claim.)

    Honestly, Winters and Minion are clearly in an untenable position in regards to Kennedy. On the one hand, they desperately want to lionize him as a great Catholic legislator of a certain era — on the other Sen. Kennedy himself, while he was eager to stand up for those elements of Church teaching which he considered to be conveniently aligned with the agenda of the party he was already a member of, never chose to buck the liberal consensus on a single major Church moral issue to which his party was opposed: abortion, euthanasia, cloning, gay marriage, etc.

    I think it’s appropriate not to make a big deal of this right now, as Kennedy’s family and friends are in mourning (and contrary to the example which, as I recall, MM himself set in viciously attacking William F. Buckley on the day he died) but that doesn’t mean it’s time to whiten the sepulcher.

  • Yes, if I recall correctly, on the day of his death, Mr. Buckley – who by any objective measure was arguably the equal in stature on the American right as Sen. Kennedy was on the American left – was deemed to be “not a great man” and “just another cafeteria Catholic who simply refused to put the Church ahead of his secular ideological leanings”.

    And what, praytell, was the reason Mr. Buckley was dressed down, while his body was still warm, as not great and insufficiently Catholic? Because he allegedly coined a phrase that he never actually coined (“Mater si, magister no”) as a cover story that was never actually a cover story, and was a proponent of free markets. For that, on the day of his death, Mr. Buckley was held up as an example of a “cafeteria Catholic” unworthy of being honored.

    Meanwhile, we are told that we are “boors” if we don’t gloss over Sen. Kennedy’s despicable record as one of the most vocal advocates for unrestricted abortion on Capitol Hill, who used his position on the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose any effort at resticting abortion via legislative means (yes, even the PBA ban) and to oppose (even resorting to slander and innuendo) any federal judge who might even think about overturning Roe v. Wade. And that’s not even covering his record on issues such as ESCR, same-sex “marriage”, etc.

    No, we simply MUST NOT consider Sen. Kennedy to be, like Mr. Buckley, “just another cafeteria Catholic who simply refused to put the Church ahead of his secular ideological leanings”; rather, we are to agree with Sr. Fiedler that Sen. Kennedy was the very model of a modern Catholic in the public square (despite the clear problems Sen. Kennedy’s stance on abortion – a lead that was soon followed by a great many other Catholic politicans – has caused the Bishops), lest we be deemed “callous”, “inhumane”, and “indecent” by some blogger at America with his own partisan axe to grind.

  • I am grateful that Sen. Kennedy wrote this letter, and I hope it will be a good witness for him at the Judgment despite his fall. RIP.

    e. writes: “The killing of millions of children he was actually responsible for is merely a small blemish that we shouldn’t even consider.”

    Given Kennedy’s philandering, he was likely personally responsible for several dozen abortions. We should remember that many vocally pro-choice men and women have procured abortions themselves.

    We should remember this both out of compassion for their consciences and out of interest in evaluating the political and moral debate.

    On a different note, to repeat a comment I’ve posted at Mark Shea’s:

    I recently talked to a pro-life Democratic veteran of my city’s politics. He told me how much his political career has been hamstrung because he won’t go over to the pro-choice side.

    The conversation made me realize that Democrats who became pro-choice did not simply undergo a change of opinion. They became part of the political network which would otherwise suppress them. And they then aided in the suppression of their former comrades.

    Who was the last Massachusetts pro-life Democrat Sen. Kennedy threw his weight behind? Since his change of view, when has he supported a pro-life Democrat in a primary race against a pro-choice Democrat?

    I fear Kennedy helped strangle the careers of many pro-life Democrats in his state and his national party. Am I wrong?

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  • “And by the way, Donald, you are a “liberal Catholic” yourself. Your radical individualism on everything from the economy to gun ownership gives you away as a pure child of the Enlightenment, especially in its Scottish form.”

    No, Tony my political positions “give me away” as an American conservative in this century and a devotee of the Founding Fathers of this country. Of course one of my political positions is unyielding opposition to abortion, something that liberal Catholics like yourself find entirely dispensable when deciding who to vote for and who to lionize after death. Liberal Catholics in this country have a major problem in that most of them, with certain very honorable exceptions, support politicians who view abortion as a sacred right. This simply cannot be squared with Catholicism, and all the sophistry in the world will not do it.

  • Jay:

    Yes, if I recall correctly, on the day of his death, Mr. Buckley – who by any objective measure was arguably the equal in stature on the American right as Sen. Kennedy was on the American left – was deemed to be “not a great man” and “just another cafeteria Catholic who simply refused to put the Church ahead of his secular ideological leanings”.

    And what, praytell, was the reason Mr. Buckley was dressed down, while his body was still warm, as not great and insufficiently Catholic?

    Well, my dear Watson, there are several possible answers:

    1. The proponent has no shame whatsoever;

    2. The proponent suffers from an incurable dualist world view that divides people along American political lines; or

    3. If irony were iron we’d all build our houses out of steel.

    You were saying something recently about self-parody…

  • Donald, this one’s for you:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBKBI7DOLHA&hl=en&fs=1&]

  • MM himself set in viciously attacking William F. Buckley on the day he died

    Attacking with flagrant dishonesty, by praising G. Alkon for telling the truth about Buckley even after Alkon had admitted that he was wrong in every detail.

  • My admiration of Kennedy is based on his lifetime of fighting for healthcare reform and social and economic justice – things that don’t seem to be taken that serously around here. To define him based on his awful change of mind on abortion is a bit ridiculous. (On the other hand, Bush and Cheney WILL be defined by their war and torture policies, that being central to their legacy).

    So often, it seems to be that abortion is used as a respectable cloak to hide opinions that are not so respectable. I’ve noticed that many Catholics who oppose healthcare reform hammer on the abortion issue, but are also opposed on principles of free market liberalism. Let me ask this – if Kennedy had not changed his position on abortion, and did everything else the same, would you laud his lifetime of achievements?

    Oops, I’ve juts noticed who is commenting here. I’ll not stay here and debate when one who has threatened violence against me is in the room. Perhaps some other time.

  • Another day, another lie, eh, Tony? It’s remarkable how easily it comes to you.

    By the way, I’m here *a lot*. Thus, it sounds like you won’t be. What a shame.

  • debate when one who has threatened violence against me is in the room. Perhaps some other time.

    You know, you’re not really worth the time responding to, but when you change the topic of debate and then impugn the character of someone else in an effort to avoid talking about your own deficient understanding of Catholic teaching, then you need to be called out for your bs.

    First of all, he’s not just being called out for a change of heart on abortion, though the fact that you so easily dismiss this topic is very revealing about your own lack of concern about the unborn. Frankly you’ve never expressed any sort of feeling on the issue that demonstrates that your supposed pro-life stance is simply a respectable cloak to hide a true opinion that most Catholics would find not so respectable, but that’s neither here nor there.

    Getting back to Ted Kennedy, he was a womanizing alcoholic who let a woman asphyxiate under water while he slept it off, and then later evidently joked about the whole affair. He was a virulent supporter of abortion rights, and defamed a would-be Supreme Court Justice who certainly would have voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, and did it by engaging in one of the most obscene demonstrations of demagoguery in the history of the US Senate. The fact that you can gloss over these aspects of his personal life and public persona again is more indicative of where your priorities lie. Evidently the death of a woman due to Kennedy’s negligence isn’t as important as the fact that he supported universal health care.

    And your dig at Dale is incredibly transparent. You mocked the man for relaying a personal experience, and then essentially lied about it and exaggerated it in future communications. Truly despicable, but it’s easy to be so callous when you know you are unlikely to run into Dale. You’re noticeably a little more deferential to those who you might actually have to encounter.

  • Paul Primavera:

    It seems you missed the irony in my comments that were actually a carry-over from a previous thread wherein I and all those critical of Kennedy were castigated for having criticized Kennedy for the evils he was actually responsible for.

    The last statement in my comments should’ve clued you in on that.

    In other words, to put it mildly, I regard the man with ill disrepute.

  • Kevin Jones:

    Kennedy in his official capacity as Senator affected policy, pure and simple, such that his actions carried with them severe repercussions, not therefore only limited to his personal “indiscretions” (for those like Mr. Primavera who might misconstrue this, I am of course merely employing a euphemism for outright murder), but to the vast populations of millions of United States citizens wherein he facilitated by legislative support and, thus, enabled the very murders of hundreds of other children.

    We cannot forget that those who hold such high responsibilities will also suffer the highest penalty, pursuant to Scripture, should they abuse their position of power for evil.

    And there is no greater evil, as we know from Our Lord Himself, than harming, let alone, purposely killing children!

  • Let me ask this – if Kennedy had not changed his position on abortion, and did everything else the same, would you laud his lifetime of achievements?

    Actually, there’s a pretty clear example to look at here. If you look at the conservative Catholic reaction to the life achievements and death of Sen Daniel Patrick Moynihan, it was significantly more positive than the reaction to Sen. Ted Kennedy. Moynihan was pro-choice as well, but at least he wasn’t as rabidly and unrepentantly so as Kennedy — and unlike Kennedy he opposed partial birth infanticide/abortion. Also unlike Kennedy, he actually cared about helping the poor rather than just demogauging them, and so he acknowledged the extent to which the Great Society programs which Kennedy had been a key proponent of had come to harm the very people they sought to help, and worked to mitigate those harms.

    Nor did he have all the unfortunate (to put it mildly) personal qualities which Kennedy embodied.

    The real question is: Why do partisan leftist Catholic like you and Winters not find a better target for your admiration?

  • Why do partisan leftist Catholic like you and Winters not find a better target for your admiration?

    Partisan is exactly right. This passing, like that of Sen. Wellstone, has turned into another absurd moment to preen by many on the left. (And for Catholics to lionize someone who was a strong advocate for abortion and was the direct and unrepretant cause of death of another person is distrubing – and no I am not calling for his demonization either.)

    Fortunately, the CBO and many less than politically engaged Americans are putting a big hurt on the attempts to ram through legislation, supposedly in his “honor.”

    This is also strange and sick, if true:

  • jonathanjones02:

    I take issue with your having generalized the disillusioned, if not, deluded body of mad admirers for such a murderer as he to encompass the general assembly of Catholics, as apparently indicated in your “and for Catholics to lionize”.

    It is not we “Catholics”; it is more so those who merely think they are “Catholic”.

    Clearly, those who would be so ignoble as to support the deliberate dismembering of an innocent baby in such a heinous manner, as in abortion, are not.

  • “Donald, this one’s for you:”

    I thank you Dale and my Celtic ancestors thank you!

  • Well, MM, among the Catholic crowd here, there’s almost universal admiration for Governor Casey, who was as far left as Kennedy on issues like the minimum wage and healthcare but didn’t vote like a card-carrying member of NARAL on abortion. That suggests that it is indeed abortion, and not left-wing economics, that people object to in Kennedy (who, anyway, on economic issues was much more willing to compromise or ignore left-wing orthodoxy–as when he supported transportation deregulation–than on bioethical issues)

  • Agreed Zak. I have often lauded Bob Casey, Sr. who was a hero in the fight against abortion. I have voted for pro-life Democrats in the past, including Glenn Poshard when he ran against George Ryan for governor of Illinois. I would inquire of Tony as to whether he has ever voted for any pro-life Republican.

  • Excellent point, Zak. I’d have voted for the late Bob Casey in a heartbeat.

    Another example is Sen. Kennedy’s sister, the late Eunice Shriver, and her husband Sargent Shriver, who, although old-time liberal Democrats, are universally admired by those who don’t hold Sen. Kennedy in very high esteem.

  • It was reported that our Pope was “holding close to his heart Eunice as she is called home to eternal life” and that she be rewarded for her ardent faith and generous public service, particularly for those who are physically and mentally challenged. Have we heard anything from the Vatican regarding Senator Kennedy’s death?

  • Have we heard anything from the Vatican regarding Senator Kennedy’s death?

    The much beloved Pope might have just as well mouthed in sotto voce, “God is Good!”

  • TRANSLATION: “May he rest in peace, along with all his sordidly monstrous baby-murdering policies!”

  • I get your point, e., but let’s follow the Holy Father’s eminent example in maintaining some decorum in our rhetoric.

  • Would it break decorum to suggest to Minion and Michael Sean Winters that they take up a more hygienic hobby than selling sh** sandwiches?

  • Has there actually been any eminent example set by His Holiness, especially as concerning how we should in fact conduct ourselves when it comes to either genocidal or even infanticidal despots?

    One of the principle advantages that such men like Kennedy have over Hitler is that Hitler’s atrocities were done ostensibly right out in the open while the formers’ atrocities are done under the most innocuous veil: their mother.

    Perhaps such men will suffer an eternity of tormented screams from all the souls of those innocent babies, who though while still living, their bodies were in fact so terrifyingly dismembered, suffering a most excruciating death.

  • Paul: “your own deficient understanding of Catholic teaching”. Really? Care to elaborate? Or are you one of those who aligns Catholicism with the strand of right-wing American liberalism that calls itself conservatism?

    Paul: “Getting back to Ted Kennedy, he was a womanizing alcoholic who let a woman asphyxiate under water while he slept it off”

    I find it absolutely disgusting that you bring that up. This is something that Kennedy had to live with his whole life. I know somebody who (when swerving to avoid a deer) ran head into an oncoming car, and killed the driver. Let me tell you that this guy has been seriously screwed up since that day, and will never be the same again. I pray to God that neither you nor I ever have to live with such a burden. And however negligent he was in this accident (you seem to liken it to homicide), we all know that his sin has been forgiven in confession.

    By the way, I’m still waiting for any recognition from you that Bush and Cheney were complicit in the death of innocent people — both people who were tortured to death based on policies they laid down, and civilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I even remember Bush making fun of people he executed in Texas. Are they truly repentent, I wonder? I doubt it.

    Let’s take this a bit further shall, we? Both Bush and Kennedy come from wealthy, priviliged backgrounds, from families with a clear sense of entitlement. Both made some pretty bad choices when they were young, and both reformed. But Kennedy devoted his life to helping the poor and the underprivilged, while Bush devoted his public career to rewarding his rich friends and starting wars. And yet Bush is the pro-life one????

  • MM,

    I find it absolutely disgusting that you bring that up. This is something that Kennedy had to live with his whole life.

    Some might find it rather disgusting that seem to care so little for the woman killed, and for the facts. The reason Kennedy is blamed for his part in this is not that he had an accident, as anyone might. He’s blamed because his account of it is clearly at least partly a lie, because it’s quite evident part of the reason he drove off the bridge is that he was drunk at the time, and because he failed to report the accident to authorities for nearly ten hours, despite numerous opportunities to do so — which according to the rescuers might even have resulted in the victim being saved in time. What makes this gross negligence particularly galling is that for all your sympathies that “Kennedy had to live with this”, any order in citizen who behaved that way would have had to live with it from the confines of jail with a manslaughter or reckless endangerment conviction. The utter corruption of his state and family mean that Kennedy merely had his license suspended a couple months.

    Seriously, have you no shame?

    Both Bush and Kennedy come from wealthy, priviliged backgrounds, from families with a clear sense of entitlement. Both made some pretty bad choices when they were young, and both reformed. But Kennedy devoted his life to helping the poor and the underprivilged, while Bush devoted his public career to rewarding his rich friends and starting wars.

    The other differences have to do with the fact that Kennedy never reformed, but continued his carousing and womanizing thorughout his life, that he anandoned his wife for one of his numerous adulturous relationships, and that his “helping” of the poor and underpriviled involved being one of the key forces in the legal regime of mass slaugher which is “pro-choice America” — a slaughter which, of course, was heavily inflicted upon the poor and minorities. Indeed Kennedy abandoned moral principles any time it was pleasurable to him personally or convenient for his career. Some help and devotion.

    Kennedy was a loud and effective foot soldier for your party of choice, and for that you are welcome to miss him, but please do not assualt reason with claims he was any sort of Catholic hero. From a Catholic point of view he was a deeply, deeply flawed politician. Perhaps one of the worst examples of a Catholic in public life in this country in the last forty years.

  • Morning Minion:

    Your blatant hypocrisy, not to mention, your natural facility for equivocation is not only disconcertingly alarming as it is repugnant.

    For one thing, you hold Bush and Cheney to be complicit for their purportedly Churchillian belligerence when it came to foreign affairs; yet, you hold Kennedy guileless in his own mindfully deliberate pro-abortion affairs which have led to the murdering of countless innocent children!

    Just why exactly you consider your platform, let alone, yourself “Catholic” is simply beyond me!

  • Mr. Bush was a heavy drinker between 196? and 1986. He was arrested for drunk driving once; a local copper in Maine discovered his inebriation after pulling him over for driving too slowly. It is a reasonable inference he may have used LSD at one time or another between 1964 and 1974. Mr. Bush has been married just once; he has no known history of sexual misconduct. Just what is it that indicates he suffers from a pathological ‘sense of entitlement’?

    Ted Kennedy has had a number of things hanging over his head for some time; he also beat a vehicular manslaughter rap, courtesy connections. Allowing a women to suffocate while you shamble back to your cabin to brainstorm with your aides (and pass by proximate opportunities to call for help) is a rather more deliberate act than having a collision while avoiding a deer.

    It was a crime to go to war in Afghanistan? Since when has the Holy See concocted and imposed upon the whole Church an obligation to pacifism?

  • Kennedy devoted his life to helping the poor and the underprivilged…

    Problem is, some of us consider the unborn and the infirm as poor and underprivileged. We may or may not think raising the minimum wage a quarter will help many people or that it may hurt more than help. But we do consider it an obligation to guarantee that those people can be born and not killed. That they can live long enough to have to worry about making a living wage.

  • My admiration of Kennedy is based on his lifetime of fighting for healthcare reform and social and economic justice – things that don’t seem to be taken that serously around here.

    Just out of curiosity, how are you defining ‘social and economic justice’?

  • I find it absolutely disgusting that you bring that up.

    To echo what others have said, I find it disgusting that you are more concerned about his advocacy for socialized medicine than that he basically killed a woman. Again, your priorities are sad.

  • I even remember Bush making fun of people he executed in Texas.

    He made a sneering reference to a statement by one Karla Faye Tucker during an interview she gave on Larry King Live (Tucker had murdered a woman by plunging a pick axe into her again, and again, and again).

  • What is “absolutely disgusting” is how tribal political preferences, pathetic name-calling, disdain, and a persistent insistence to assume the worst of others poisons discourse.

    That a public figure of your religion agrees with your political preferences is no basis for emulation. Kennedy both personally endured was personally responsible for a lot of heartache. He should be at the end of any list for Catholics in positions of public responsibility to emulate, regardless of one’s policy positions. Any figure that refuses to advocate for the most vulnerable of our society does not deserve praise. We must instead loudly, comprehensively, and respectfully demand a change of position. Had Kennedy listened to his Church on those matters, the country would be significantly better off.

  • I find it absolutely disgusting that you bring that up. This is something that Kennedy had to live with his whole life.

    Any normal person would find it disgusting that you adopt such a preening pose about a subject that Kennedy himself found humorous: http://hotair.com/archives/2009/08/28/one-of-his-favorite-topics-of-humor-was-indeed-chappaquiddick-itself/

  • To define him based on his awful change of mind on abortion is a bit ridiculous.

    Actually, the man made this one of his defining attributes. He embraced it, proclaimed it, campaigned on it, filled his coffers on it, and he fought for it. He made it a virtue and hallmark of what he was about and he tore down those who were opposed to it.

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  • Well, MM, among the Catholic crowd here, there’s almost universal admiration for Governor Casey, who was as far left as Kennedy on issues like the minimum wage and healthcare but didn’t vote like a card-carrying member of NARAL on abortion.

    Kennedy could not possibly measure up to Bob Casey, nor even to his conservative, pro-choice successor Tom Ridge.

    Any figure that refuses to advocate for the most vulnerable of our society does not deserve praise.

    I have not been able to find out any information of Kennedy’s charitable works. Did he found any charitable foundations with his millions? Did he serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless in Boston?

    He made a sneering reference to a statement by one Karla Faye Tucker during an interview she gave on Larry King Live (Tucker had murdered a woman by plunging a pick axe into her again, and again, and again).

    His sneering reference was justified, as Tucker was a nithing.

    Since when has the Holy See concocted and imposed upon the whole Church an obligation to pacifism?

    Such an obligation to pacifism did not exist in the eleventh century.

    By the way, I’m still waiting for any recognition from you that Bush and Cheney were complicit in the death of innocent people — both people who were tortured to death based on policies they laid down, and civilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Who were these innocent people tortured to death?

    . I have voted for pro-life Democrats in the past, including Glenn Poshard when he ran against George Ryan for governor of Illinois.

    He brought up the “licenses for bribes” scandal back in the 1998 campaign.

    n the other hand, Bush and Cheney WILL be defined by their war and torture policies, that being central to their legacy

    Who were these torture victims?

    And since when was torture against Catholic teaching? You have heard of the Inquisition, right ?

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Day 2: Reaction To The Passing Away Of Ted Kennedy Around The Catholic World

Thursday, August 27, AD 2009

Ted Kennedy young

Day II of what Catholics are saying on the passing away of Edward Moore Kennedy around the web (will be continuously updated until tonight at 7:00 pm CST):

A Catholic Funeral for Ted Kennedy by Dr. Edward Peters of Canon Law

A Catholic Funeral for Ted? It’s a Lie, a Sham, a Scandal, a Pretense, an Insult to faithful Catholics by Robert Kumpel of St. John’s Valdosta Blog

Dissident Catholic America magazine doesn’t want to talk about Ted Kennedy’s stance on abortion and trashes Patrick Madrid by Father John Zuhlsdorf of What Does The Prayer Really Say?

Who can have a Catholic Funeral & more by Elizabeth Scalia of The Anchoress via First Thoughts

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One Response to Day 2: Reaction To The Passing Away Of Ted Kennedy Around The Catholic World

16 Responses to 10 Reasons Not to Go To Law School

  • Well-said! May I also add that if one has philosophical ideas about learning the ins and outs of legal thought through the ages (jurisprudence), do not go into law. Your philosophical urges will be crushed – it’s really a business in many ways. Make the cleanest argument one can for one’s client, throw in equity if you must (though judges will usually ignore it), but don’t gum up the works with such arguments.

    Go into philosophy, political history, or somesuch.

  • Excellent list, Don, highlighting many of the reasons I left the practice of law early on in my career (I still do “law-related” work for a legal publishing company).

    When people ask, I recommend against going to law school.

  • I think number 7 says it all. I’ve considered law school many a time – even as I was winding down my Ph. D, but then basically sobered up. Many if not most of my friends are lawyers, and I’ve seen the consequences of said profession. You have to go to some miserable law firm for five years of hell if you want to be able to pay off your debt. If you get a job that you actually enjoy, your compensation will make it difficult to pay off that debt in a timely fashion.

    Law school just seems like a big fat racket. I know that the laws have multiplied many times over since the time of Lincoln, but he managed just fine without once setting step inside of a law school. Learn what you need to know, get some real experience, and then practice law. That seems like a reasonable way of doing things to me.

  • Speaking of the Simpsons and law school, who can forget:

    Jimbo Jones: You let me down, man. Now I don’t believe in nothing no more. I’m going to law school.

    Homer: Noooo!

  • A classic Paul! I would have posted that if I could have found a video clip of it.

  • As a fellow shyster, and in the spirit of Proverbs 18:17, let me offer this rebuttal:

    1. I know it’s going to sound like I’m saying molten lava makes a great skin cream, but if anything there are too few lawyers in this country (if you are inclined to doubt this, consider how expensive hiring even a lousy lawyer can be, and what that suggests about the relative supply of and demand for legal services).

    2. It’s true that much of legal work is, well, work. My understanding is that this is true outside the law as well.

    3. Lots of lawyers aren’t rich. However, I’ve found that attorneys tend to have an exaggerated view of what it means to be “modestly compensated.” When I was in law school I interviewed for a position at a county prosecutor’s office. The guy doing the interview emphasized how poorly paid the position was, and how other students had turned down offers when they found out how much it paid because “you can’t live on that.” He then quoted me a figure that was above the median salary for Americans.

    4. If you go into certain areas of the law, you will see people at their worst (the same would be true, I suppose, if you become a cop, or social worker). On the other hand, most legal jobs involve either transactional work or civil litigation that doesn’t involve dealing with heroin addicts on a regular basis.

    5. People dislike lawyers in the abstract, but I’ve never had anyone be rude to me or treat me with contempt or disdain when I tell them I’m a lawyer. The truth is that being an attorney is actually a fairly high status profession in these United States. And it’s a good way to learn some funny jokes.

    6. See supra at 2.

    7. College tuition is reaching frightening levels in general, though it is probably worse with the law. On the other hand, student loans tend to be low interest, and as one of my law professors said “if you die before you’ve paid off your student loans, it’s like you’ve pulled one over on them). Most schools also have a loan forgiveness program if you do a couple years of “public interest” law after you graduate.

    8. I can’t argue with this. A lot of lawyers are jerks, particularly among litigators. If you can’t cope with this, the law may not be for you.

    9. It’s true that a lot of what you need to know about the practice of law you don’t learn in law school. So what? Maybe it would be better if you could skip straight to legal practice. But that ain’t the way it is, and all things considered school ain’t that bad.

    10. Lots of people hate their jobs, and attorneys have better exit options than most. If attorneys say they hate their job but keep going, this strikes me as being cheap talk.

  • I feel what you’re saying, Donald, but I like what Blackadder says a lot.

    And I’ll toss in another good point about the profession: Every now and then, you participate in something that looks–to even the most disinterested and objective observers–a whole lot like justice.

    [And, yes, I borrowed the essence of that last line from “Philadelphia.” It’s no less true for that.]

  • “Every now and then, you participate in something that looks–to even the most disinterested and objective observers–a whole lot like justice.”

    Oh I have had those moments too Dale. What I have seen more often however is the application of the law, which, depending upon the circumstances, may or may not be justice. One of the courtrooms I haunt has the motto “Fiat Justicia” on one of the walls. I have often translated it to clients, frequently to their intense amusement.

  • Then there is Our Lord:

    “46 But he said: Woe to you lawyers also, because you load men with burdens which they cannot bear, and you yourselves touch not the packs with one of your fingers”. Luke 11.

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  • Blackadder said:
    I know it’s going to sound like I’m saying molten lava makes a great skin cream, but if anything there are too few lawyers in this country (if you are inclined to doubt this, consider how expensive hiring even a lousy lawyer can be, and what that suggests about the relative supply of and demand for legal services).

    More lawyers won’t make their services any cheaper. There are lots of unemployed lawyers.

    I don’t regret law school but it’s definitely oversold.

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Ted Kennedy, A Devoted Father

Thursday, August 27, AD 2009
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and his estranged wife Joan pose with their son Patrick who graduated from Fessenden School in West Newton on June 2, 1983. Joining in are son Edward Kennedy Jr. (L) and daughter Kara (R). Patrick is the youngest son and graduated Magna Cum laude from the 47-member ninth grade class at the exclusive all boys school. (UPI Photo/Jim Bourg/Files)

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and his estranged wife Joan pose with their son Patrick who graduated from Fessenden School in West Newton on June 2, 1983. Joining in are son Edward Kennedy Jr. (L) and daughter Kara (R). Patrick is the youngest son and graduated Magna Cum laude from the 47-member ninth grade class at the exclusive all boys school. (UPI Photo/Jim Bourg/Files)

Ted Kennedy was a devoted father.

Many years ago, before my complete embrace of our Catholic faith, I used to read a lot on Ted Kennedy due to my fascination of his political career and of his father, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.  There were many good and bad things I encountered, though what stood out above all was his devotion to his children.

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32 Responses to Ted Kennedy, A Devoted Father

  • Tito, here I have to draw the line. Ted Kennedy was a terrible parent for his kids. His constant womanizing and alcohol abuse demonstrated a complete lack of concern for the figure he cut before the world and before his kids. I join you in prayers for the man’s soul, but I differ with you strongly that Kennedy has anything to teach anyone about being a parent except as a strongly negative example.

  • From the Curt Jester blog site:

    http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/archives/2009/08/for-sen-kennedy.php

    “Sen. Kennedy who was once pro-life became quite a vigorous proponent of legal abortion. This much at least most of the Catholic articles reference kind of a caveat so they could also praise him. No mention that he also supported contraception, cloning, ESCR, homosexual acts, homosexual marriage, and opposed the Defense of Marriage Act. When a Senate bill was put forth to attempt to save Terri Schiavo, Sen. Kennedy was the leader of the opposition. So when it came to five non-negotiable teachings of the Catholic Church, Mr. Kennedy was 0 for 5.”… Read More

    Social justice and the common good begin with submission to the teaching of the Body of Christ, His Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Ted Kennedy consistently defied Holy Mother Church when it came to the most important thing: the innocent lives of the unborn.

  • All of the dramatic coverage of the death of Ted Kennedy is so unbelievably pathetic. The “Lion” of the senate; how silly and melodramatic. Look, the guy is dead so he will be judged by God and God alone. The eternal decision is unknown to us as we are merely humans. One thing is certain, judgement will occur. That said, I will speak of worldly matters.

    I think Kennedy was a pompous, drunken zealot who benefited from inherited wealth and soaked the federal payroll for 47 years as a US Senator. Once again, the founders never imagined “career politicians.” My biggest issue with Kennedy is personal. As a Catholic, he was an embarassment. He divorced and remarried, which is an issue but not the most alarming by any stretch. Much more emphatic, he took opposite and public positions on the five “non-negotiable” issues of the Catholic faith. These are Abortion, Euthanasia, Embryonic stem cell research, Human cloning and Deviate homosexual marriage. Deviate is my word.

    I would not deny him a Catholic funeral but I would not allow one of those showbiz events as though he lived his Catholic faith, which of course, he did not.

    Please understand, repentance is a hallmark of the Christian faith. All of us can make grave errors of judgement here on our earthly journey. Failure to recognize these, repent for them and seek forgiveness risks eternal separation from God. There is no other alternative.

    Certainly, Kennedy was not a great man. He did, however, have the great benefit of being born into wealth, never having to work for a living and then putting on this absurd dog and pony show of being the champion of the common man.

    What a joke.

  • The Onion couldn’t have said it better.

  • One the obituaries includes a little vignette that pretty much sums up his parenting skills:

    In 1991, Kennedy roused his nephew William Kennedy Smith and his son Patrick from bed to go out for drinks while staying at the family’s Palm Beach, Fla., estate. Later that night, a woman Smith met at a bar accused him of raping her at the home.

    Smith was acquitted, but the senator’s carousing — and testimony about him wandering about the house in his shirttails and no pants — further damaged his reputation.

  • This reminds me in many ways how Ted Kennedy exhibited some of the traits of Saint Joseph.

    Tito, like the others above have said, I’m all for offering prayers for the repose of his soul. But really, this is stretching things mightily too far.

  • I am aware of his faults (terrible faults).

    I just wanted to highlight something good about the man. Not all his actions as a father are commendable, but he is human (which doesn’t excuse them, just saying).

  • I don’t think anyone has forgotten his faults (the media is not going to show someone’s good side, the faults get a lot more views!) But to say that he has no positive traits is a little cold hearted.

    I was raised by my father and he was by no means perfect, but he was still a staple for me. I’m sure his kids would appreciate some positive aspects of their father being posted and not all the horrible mistakes he made in the past.

    There is one part I may think is overboard, but I do not know that man’s heart……truly the only one who does wouldn’t posting on this board.

  • Tito, I think YOU are the commendable one. My heart doesn’t feel kindness toward Senator Kennedy, but it is folks like you that perhaps can pray him into the House of the Lord, if he isn’t there already. I personally think he owes an apology to fifty million souls and not deserving to be languishing in a place of refreshment, light and peace.

  • The body is not even in the ground, and the vultures are out in full force.

  • True Mr. Defrancisis. Even I was surprised when the Lying Worthless Political Hack, a\k\a Nancy Pelosi, used the occasion of Kennedy’s death to push for ObamaCare.

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/278298

  • Back from sabbatical. Too rich to not comment. Yea yea Teddy was good father. But not good uncle- on the scene the night that nephew Willie Smith got a little too close and personal with young lady resisting his Kennedyesque charms. Will give you that he was surrogate Dad to the offspring of Jack and Bobby. Great job- numerous of Bobby’s kids have led horrorshow lives. Briefly saw piece with Matt, son of Joe, son of Bobby last night. Whose Mom was Philly Main Line debutante who fell for Bobby’s eldest son. Gave birth to Matt and twin bro Joe Jr. Pitched a huge fit when hubbo dumped her for staff cutie. Nice try, Tito. I get you want to say kind words for deceased and will not guess how God ruled when he arrived at St. Peter’s Gate. But the 2-on-2 sessions with Chris Dodd in D.C. bistros…..Triggering the corsening political debate with the Robert Bork Land of Back Alley Abortions Speech…..turning on pro-life sentiments in early 70s to become big time abort advocate…..and oh yeah 40 years since he swam out of the Chappaquidick River. Leaving Mary Jo to suffocate in the back of the Olds. Hope he found peace in the other life. But kinda lame to praise his (limited) parental skills.

  • Good to see you back Gerard! I was wondering where you were.

  • Hi, Don. Dealing with issues like passing of dear mother this summer. Forgot to mention real reason why Jacqueline Kennedy sought the hand of Ari Onassis- to pick up enough scratch so that Caroline and John Jr. wouldn’t have to rely on Uncle Teddy. Cannot imagine much delight for Jackie particularly when Mr. O. was in frisky mood. But both youngsters turned out well- even with Caroline’s brief and unsuccessful dip into political pool.

  • My condolences Gerard and may she now be enjoying the Beatific Vision. I hadn’t heard that about Jackie, but it doesn’t surprise me. No one in his immediate family expected much of Ted. I think Joe Kennedy viewed Ted as a spare in case anything happened to the older boys. Little did he know.

  • “I am aware of his faults (terrible faults). I just wanted to highlight something good about the man.”

    So promoting the murder of hundreds, if not, thousands of babies are nothing more than terrible human faults.

    That seems like saying that although Hitler was responsible for murdering hundreds of Jews; but, hey, the guy is human! Give him a break!

    Besides, he happened to resurrect what once was a devestated Germany!

    Genocide as that shouldn’t be a biggee; so shouldn’t the killing of hundreds of babies, too!

  • I don’t mean any offense to anyone on here, but even if he did do more than just “terrible faults”, it wouldn’t be mine, yours, or anyone else’s in this physical world to judge that. To merely point out a good characteristic is the same as pointing out a bad one, but to condemn a person isn’t any of our responsibilities.

  • What we may not judge is the state of someone’s soul. We most certainly may and SHOULD judge the intrinsic rightness or wrongness of someone’s actions.

    I remain puzzled that people don’t (or won’t) get that distinction.

  • “…but to condemn a person isn’t any of our responsiblities.”

    Sure… I’ll be sure to have amended several of our history books that paint historical figures such as Hitler from the evil men they actually were and, instead, substitute a “Kumbaya” ecumenical version more pleasing to all.

    Heil, Hitler — You Poor Misunderstood Wreck!

  • I didn’t say to agree with them, the point of history is to learn what went wrong and right so that we do not repeat mistakes. So by not doing what the people who did heinous things did, it is my way of not agreeing with their choices. I don’t agree with Kennedy’s political career or a lot of other people’s for that matter, but just because you might say something nice about someone that has NOTHING to do with the bad they did, that doesn’t mean you are advocating their faults or following their example. It is okay to say that he loved his kids. Not to mention you have no idea his relationship with God, so to say something like he is “not deserving to be languishing in a place of refreshment, light, and peace” is truly NONE of our responsibility. To say that he is a horrible father may not be the opinion of his children, or maybe it is, but it isn’t ours to judge those things.

  • Latasha:

    “So by not doing what the people who did heinous things did…”

    How, exactly, do you suppose we teach people that what these figures did was actually heinous when you would dare paint them in such a way so as to actually legitimize their actions by making them appear as if without stain?

    Sorry — but I shall teach my own children the evil figure that was Hitler so that they know, for a fact, that he was evil exactly because of the heinous things he did.

    You would make it appear the a person, regardless of such heinous things such as promoting genocide, are nevertheless inculpable and, even more, stainless!

    You are given to such a mindset that would make relativists rejoice and sheer tyranny applaud!

  • E.,

    I never said not to condemn actions, I’m guilty of that EVERY day. I never said to paint people as a stainless figure, I also do that probably close to every day. What I was saying that is that it is okay to say something good about someone without agreeing to every horrible thing they did. Also, I am outright disagreeing to at least one comment about how someone personally didn’t think that he deserved eternal peace. We are human, we do not walk on water, we all sin so based on that, none of us know that man’s relationship with his maker, so to say he doesn’t deserve those things is taking God’s role into our own and that is what I disagree with.

    Also, as a parental figure, I said below that there were parts of this article that went overboard and I do not agree with, but if this was my father (faults of his included) I wouldn’t want him to be remembered for only the bad things. That is all I was trying to say, I wasn’t condoning him or Hitler (obviously, but since he was brought up I figured I needed to clarify that.)

  • Latasha,
    You are right in that God wills that we not judge. I suppose I’ve been snared by the devil again! It was my intent to applaud Tito for his graciousness and to point out my lack of same. It might be appropriate for you to pray to God for me that I receive the grace to forgive Senator Kennedy for his complicity in the murder of fifty million defenseless souls — and that I might be able to forgive him and pray for his salvation.

  • Latasha:

    “To say that he is a horrible father may not be the opinion of his children, or maybe it is, but it isn’t ours to judge those things.”

    So, when a father is found to have kept his own daughters locked up in the cellar for several decades as mere prisoners and, moreover, molested and even raped them, converting his very children to little more than sex slaves; is it still not ours to judge the father as actually being wicked, even more — given these remarkably heinous circumstances, exceptionally evil?

    In other words, there are such times when we should call good “good” and evil “evil”.

  • There are probably very few, if any, sinful, evil or corrupt people who have NO redeeming qualities whatsoever. After all, no one can be effectively evil or corrupt without having SOME good qualities (intelligence, charm, attractiveness, artistic or academic talent, etc.) that were originally given to them by God.

    To admit that Ted Kennedy indulged in or was complicit in some very objectively morally evil things (adultery, drunkeness, a reckless homicide, legalized abortion, etc.) is not to deny that he did some good things along the way, or that he was, apparently, personally generous, witty and charming, or that he provided emotional support and guidance to his fatherless nephews and nieces.

    The notion that saints do no wrong and sinners do no right, I think, blinds us to the way in which we are ALL capable of committing or taking part in great evils and also (with God’s grace) capable of heroic virtue.

  • Elaine Krewer:

    Yours is perhaps the most balanced and arguably most enlightening comment.

    Most villains often possess, in spite of the utter corruption of their souls, even small hints of redeeming qualities.

    That is not to say, however, that exponents for such things as the explicit murdering of entire peoplese (in this immediate case, mere babies) are not, on the whole, villains; indeed, it only proves, all the more, just how villainous these actually are.

  • Of course I hope he made it into Heaven. But….

    I can’t think of any man less like St. Joseph than Senator Edward Kennedy. St. Joseph was a just man, poor and worked for a living. There’s a quick strikeout for you baseball fans. But let’s give him another time at bat. Can you imagine a greater contrast than one between a man who lived a celibate life alongside the most perfect and beautiful woman created by almighty God and a twice-married drunken slob who couldn’t seem to stop donating semen to bar-sluts like an irresponsible, rich frat boy?

    Every time I hear his accomplishments touted I can’t help hearing the phrase “What profiteth it a man…” Yes, profiteth; I can’t help it if I was raised with the King James Bible. Less Catholics in the world like Ted Kennedy will mean more conversions to the faith. Rest in peace… good riddance.

  • Latasha, Jay, and Elaine,

    Thank you for driving making my point.

    E.,

    Take a chill pill.

    S.B.,

    Right on.

    Pauli,

    I said some of the traits.

    I also didn’t imply that “some” of those traits he did well “all” of the time.

    Ted Kennedy did many good things as a father. Not all, not most, many. And I appreciate and like that about the man.

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  • Ohhhh…. some of the traits, OK. I see. Being that those are likely traits that every non-filicidal father in the world shares with St. Joseph, I’m not sure why it was included other than to add to the volume of spaghetti thrown against the wall to see if at least some of it sticks. By definition, a saint is a person who achieves a heroic degree of virtue and sanctity. It is not defined as someone who practices a modicum of decency. (Matt 7:11 may apply)I’ve already spoken to that, so I’ll merely suggest that your concept of what defines heroism is quite different than mine.

    The narrative of Teddy Kennedy as exemplary father is primarily a strain on the imagination and belittles the efforts of many good fathers who don’t have professional photographers following them to capture their best moments for posterity.

Reaction To The Passing Away Of Ted Kennedy Around The Catholic World

Wednesday, August 26, AD 2009

Ted Kennedy and Pope John Paul II

Here are what Catholics are saying on the passing away of Edward Moore Kennedy around the web (updates from around the web have ended as of 8-26-2009 AD at 6:32 pm CST):

It’s Already Started: The Party of Wellstone Uses Kennedy’s Death for Political Opportunism by Jay Anderson of Pro Ecclessia

Mixed Record?! my hind end by Rich Leonardi of Ten Reasons

I had been praying for his spiritual health by Jean M. Heimann of Catholic Fire

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14 Responses to Reaction To The Passing Away Of Ted Kennedy Around The Catholic World

Jesus is Not My Pal

Wednesday, August 26, AD 2009

One of the elements of modern (often Evangelical, but sometimes Catholic) spirituality that I find most foreign is when people talk about Christ as being “my best friend.” It seems an even more familiar form of the relationship suggested by hopeful missionaries, “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?”

It’s possible to err in either direction on these things, and I make no representation that I am a perfect Christian, but I don’t think of myself having a “personal relationship” with Christ, certainly in a “best friends” kind of way. The ways in which I would normally envision Christ are not guy-next-door, my-buddy-the-savior kind of images. Christ the King, enthroned in eternal splendor into union with whom all Christians wish to enter for life everlasting. Christ Crucified, pouring out his blood for the sins of the whole world. Christ Risen, triumphing over the reign of death which had doomed humanity since the Fall. Christ in the Eucharist, kneeling before the glittering monstrance in which the Body of Christ forms the center of a sunburst of golden rays, with the crucifix above and the tabernacle behind.

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41 Responses to Jesus is Not My Pal

  • Henry Karlson:

    I don’t suppose you’ll also provide us a link showing an ancient desert father wearing a “What Would Jesus Do” bracelet, no?

  • I believe the correct title for that book is Buddy Jesus and the Early Church: A Historical Study. More seriously, while I find the image interesting, I’m curious about why Henry linked to it. I think there are a wide variety of plausible interpretations for what that image says about the Christian’s relationship to Jesus.

  • No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

    John 15:15

    And that icon is an ancient one, btw.

  • John Henry

    I pointed to it because years ago, one of my Coptic friends pointed out how it was an icon of Jesus as our friend.

  • One is urged not to judge a book by its cover, but with a cover that bad, it’s sure tempting… Wow.

  • Henry Karlson,

    The icon may be an ancient one; however, the modernist interpretation you place on it to advance your liberal views concerning it, isn’t.

    Not only is it flawed; it is also anachronistic.

  • E.

    What’s anachronistic about what I said? The idea that Jesus can be our friend is anachronistic? Really? Seriously??! So I guess John 15:15 is a modernist scripture which was sent back in time?

    And as I pointed out, I was told the interpretation by a Coptic friend of mine, one who was I believe a deacon at the time (might have only been sub-deacon) and was, before moving to the Americas, active in Cairo at one of the churches (and this one a monastery-church) which is built upon a site the Holy Family hid at. I wouldn’t call him a “modernist” either.

  • Well, look, I see no reason to say that anyone is ‘wrong’ here. What we have here are different images to explain something that is basically indescribable: the soul’s relationship with God. Darwin thinks that some of this imagery – the “my pal Jesus” kind – is not to his taste because while it may convey familiarity (one aspect of the relationship between the individual soul and God), it is very misleading when considered as a description of the equality (or lack thereof) between the soul and God. Henry is pointing out that Jesus used the language of friendship to describe His relationship with His disciples, and so it is perhaps a richer analogy than the post acknowledges.
    This is not a serious disagreement, I don’t think.

  • To Jesus, Our Friend
    St. Claude de la Colombière

    O Jesus! Thou art my true Friend, my only Friend. Thou doth take a part in all my misfortunes; Thou doth take them on Thyself; thou doth know how to change them into blessings. Thou doth listen to me with the greatest kindness when I relate my troubles to Thee, and thou hast always balm to pour on my wounds. I find Thee at all times; I find Thee everywhere; Thou never goest away; if I have to change my dwelling, I find Thee wherever I go.

    Thou art never weary of listening to me; Thou art never tired of doing me good. I am certain of being beloved by Thee if I love Thee; my goods are nothing to Thee and by bestowing Thine on me, Thou never growest poor. However miserable I may be, no one more noble or learned or even holier can come between Thee and me, and deprive me of Thy friendship; and death which tears us away from all other friends, will unite me for ever to Thee.

    All the humiliations attached to old age or to the loss of honor, will never detach Thee from me. On the contrary, I shall never enjoy Thee more fully, and Thou will never be closer to me than when everything seems to conspire against me, to overwhelm me and to cast me down. Thou doth bear with all my faults with extreme patience.

    Even my want of fidelity and my ingratitude do not wound Thee to such a degree as to make Thee unwilling to receive me back when I return to Thee.

    O Jesus! Grant that I may die praising Thee, that I may die loving Thee, that I may die for the love of Thee. Amen.

  • John Henry

    Right, I am just wanting people to appreciate the great spiritual tradition which does look at Jesus as our friend, and realize it is not all sub-par, but that there is a richness to it that has inspired, and continues to inspire, saints.

  • The modern (perhaps, more precisely, the “Protestant”) interpretation of “personal relationship with Jesus” has often been, as even in our current day, the kind not unlike that which rappers and R&B singers notoriously demonstrate & subscribe to, which even large congregations of Protestant churches themselves as well as youth groups nurture even still; where one can be so buddy, buddy with our homey, Jesus, that a supposed Christian can even cuss the hell’outta him and talk to him as if he were some 21 JumpStreet gangsta.

    Apologies, but the kind of “friendship” that I subscribe to as concerning Christ is not unlike the original kind espoused in the ancient Fathers of the Church, where it acknowledges and pays due homage to one divine aspect of him that the notorious modern interpretation so often neglects and, worse, deplorably disrespects: that He happens to be not only Lord & Saviour but also God, deserving of such due homage and utmost respect.

    So, go tell yo homeys, “e.” don’t play dat.

  • (seeing Henry’s comment that it’s an actual ancient icon, and not an in-the-style-of as I’d taken it):

    1) It would be appropriate to at least ask whether the arm-on-shoulder posture shown in the icon merits the “icon of Christ and his friend” title which some people apparently now give it. (Googling around, it is a 5th century Egyptian icon of Christ and Abba Menas currently hanging in the Louvre.) Gestures do not always maintain continuity of meaning across time and cultures — as with the fru-fra over medieval lord/vassal ceremonies which involved the exchange of kisses being interpreted by modern people as “gay marriage” ceremonies.

    2) Just because a piece of art is old doesn’t mean that it’s good or expresses truth well. Perhaps I’m simply bringing my modern understandings of symbol and gesture to it, but this looks to me about as egregious as a lot of the 19th century devotional paintings of Jesus which make him look like a pale, European, emaciated and somewhat effeminate youth.

    That said, I’m not trying to argue here that Christ should never be seen as a friend. As Henry points out, Christ tells his disciples that they are not merely servants but friends. In another example of close relation, we are told that we are sons of God. Clearly, if God is our Father, he is not wholly other.

    What I wrote here is not meant to describe the only way of understanding one’s relationship with Christ, not to insist that mine is the best one. If you’re looking for someone with the deepest possible understanding of and relationship with God, I’m not the person you’re going to turn to. I’m an ordinary Catholic struggling as we all must to understand the eternal and perfect.

    But at the same time, I did write it not merely because it describes my personal experience, but also because I fear that in the laudable desire to bring Christ into their lives rather than leaving Him as some distant influence that does not impact their day-to-day actions, modern Americans are particularly tempted towards a view of Christ which is essentially humanistic and horizontal — losing the vertical sense of God’s power and majesty.

    In any given age, we often need most the images which are contrary to the spirit of the times. Through much of Christian history, it was perhaps important to remind people that Christ truly came for all, and loved the peasant at least as much as the lord. But in our day, I think we’re much more in danger of losing any sense of Christ’s divinity and kingship — living as we do in a society which celebrates egalitarianism. I think we need Christ as King now more than ever.

  • I think John Henry states the correct mean.

  • DarwinCatholic:

    I, for one, happen to laud your post, which your above comments even further explains with even greater clarity and deeper meaning.

    The fact that Henry Karlson imposes his conspicuously modern interpretation on the ancient icon, to make it appear as though the current modern interpretation of “friendship with Christ” in our day is actually not unlike that of those in the early church is as seriously flawed as it is anachronistic; not to mention, self-serving.

    Indeed, such a markedly familiar notion has exactly been what has led to a rather notorious lack of respect toward Our Lord in our modern times and the many egregious profound displays of irreverence not only in our several churches but, ultimately, in modern-day Christianity as a whole.

  • The above band will be playing at Mass in a church near your — look for it!

    Coming Up in Future Performances:

    “Down wid Christ! Hell ya, mutha******”

    by Rapper, Kenya Christian

    — end sarcasm.

  • S.B.

    Didn’t you know that was an ancient hymn written by one of the Desert Fathers?

  • In the last days of her life, St. Teresa was ordered by the Lord to go found yet another convent. Traveling through the winter weather and snows of the mountains, she fell into a freezing river.
    “That’s the way I treat all my friends” said the Lord.
    “No wonder you have so few” she replied.

    And for real friends it seems to me that “Sell all you have and come follow me” is the applicable text.

  • But in our day, I think we’re much more in danger of losing any sense of Christ’s divinity and kingship — living as we do in a society which celebrates egalitarianism.

    I agree, although every individual has their own struggles. For some, the break down of traditional family and community structures as well as the peculiar forms of isolation resulting from modern technology make it difficult to conceive a loving, caring God.

  • Not to mention, those who mistake a vulgar familiarity with Christ as actually a “personal relationship” with Him due to some sordid notion of amity, prevalently fostered by Protestant churches and unfortunately imported into our own Catholic churches by certain parishoners given to such, make it very difficult to ever conceive that Christ is, in fact, “God”; instead, one would think he’s simply some homey residing on 21st street.

  • DarwinCatholic:
    Icons are not pieces of art. For the Eastern Christians they are sacramentals. They are meant to induce prayer and meditation and avoid anything that is too much of this earth. That is why they may look strange to Western eyes brought up with a Renaissance view of art. Friendship is a noble virtue. There is a difference in degree between “friend” and “buddy”.
    Elise B.

  • Wow, very strong reactions here, mostly to that poor man posting that Icon.

    Anyhoo…wanted to add that I agree with the post and add that I think that most Catholics of a certain age have a bit of hurdle to overcome when contemplating Jesus as our “personal savior” and “best friend” and other such Evangelical and Born Again phrasing. I think it’s because the eternal view of the Church has consistently been that of “community” and “communal salvation.” Indeed, we come to Christ, not through a personal relationship with him, but through the Church, the Body of Christ, the Communion of Saints. All the mass emphasizes our fellowship duties to salvation for ourselves and each other.

    Just my thoughts. Peace.

  • Jesus in the most classical sense is more like a mob boss than a friend, or the local cacique in Mexico that everyone wants to their kid’s padrino (godfather). He has his tender moments, he can even seem like your friend at times, but don’t piss him off, and don’t mess with him. And he can hook you up with all sorts of goodies if you do what he says. That makes the saints akin to mob captains. If you want anything done in Heaven, you gotta know somebody who knows somebody.

    At least that’s how I understand it.

  • Re: John 15:15, I realize that Christ could be speaking to all of us through the scripture, and there are probably multiple layers of meaning there, but I read it as speaking to the disciples — men who really were his friends — his natural, human friends. You know, human beings he spent a lot of time with in the flesh.

    We can’t have precisely the same kind of natural, human relationship with Jesus that these men did, even if we can look to it as a model and sign for our own, supernatural relationship with Him.

  • 1. When the Lord Jesus had commended the love which He manifested toward us in dying for us, and had said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” He added, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” What great condescension! when one cannot even be a good servant unless he do his lord’s commandments; the very means, which only prove men to be good servants, He wished to be those whereby His friends should be known. But the condescension, as I have termed it, is this, that the Lord condescends to call those His friends whom He knows to be His servants. For, to let us know that it is the duty of servants to yield obedience to their master’s commands, He actually in another place reproaches those who are servants, by saying, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?”1 Accordingly, when ye say Lord, prove what you say by doing my commandments. Is it not to the obedient servant that He is yet one day to say, “Well done, thou good servant; because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”?2 One, therefore, who is a good servant, can be both servant and friend. (Augustin on John 85)

  • He both is abundantly and infinitely rich; and He desires and earnestly endeavors to obtain our friendship; we do not thus earnestly endeavor. What am I saying, ’do not earnestly endeavor’? We do not wish to obtain the good things as He wishes it. And what He has done shows that He wishes it more [than we]. For while, for our own sake, we with difficulty think lightly of a little gold: He, for our sake, gave even the Son who was His own. Let us make use of the love of God as we ought; let us reap the fruits of His friendship. For “ye are My friends” (he says) “if ye do what I say to you.” (Jn 15,14). How wonderful! His enemies, who were at an infinite distance from Him, whom in all respects He excels by an incomparable superiority, these He has made His friends and calls them friends. What then should not one choose to suffer for the sake of this friendship? For the friendship of men we often incur danger, but for that of God, we do not even give up money. Our [condition] does indeed call for mourning, for mourning and tears and wailings, and loud lamentation and beating of the breast. We have fallen from our hope, we are humbled from our high estate, we have shown ourselves unworthy of the honor of God even after His benefits we are become unfeeling, and ungrateful. The devil has stripped us of all our good things. We who were counted worthy to be sons; we His brethren and fellow-heirs are come to differ nothing from His enemies that insult Him. (Chrysostom He 2307)

  • I think part of the problem is that we have a rather cut-rate notion of what it means to be a “friend” today. I’m not a biblical scholar, but I have to think the term Jesus uses in the scene in John is a lot richer and more meaningful than what is usually meant by it in the Age of Facebook.

  • I appreciate the quotes from the Fathes, Henry, but I’m not entirely sure what you’re driving at — assuming that you’re driving at something rather than just sharing some good quotes with us all.

    I’m not trying to suggest that it’s wrong or never appropriate to refer to Christ as a friend — if that’s what’s concerning you. But I am trying to argue against a certain approach to spirituality or to talking about Christ which is highly egalitarian and familiar in it’s approach. I’m thinking, for instance, of Protestant or Catholic carismatic friends I’d had who tend to talk about prayer as, “I’ve gotta go talk this over with my best friend,” or “I’ve got to run that by my buddy upstairs.”

  • Henry is just upset that there remains genuine Catholics like DarwinCatholic who uphold the Traditions of the Church rooted in both Scripture & Oral Tradition, passed onto the Ages, from the Apostles themselves.

    The modernist enterprise of nihilistic emancipation is the very core of crusade Henry Karlson et al are prominently engaged in; to make it seem that the novel Protestant interpretations that only came about in the 16th century and, even worse, the subsequent modern versions that arose from these; are exactly the kinds of interpretations (wherein the very hermaneutics employed are believed to enjoy a certain legitimacy by the likes of these) that Catholics today should likewise adopt to the point of forming a “friendship” with our Lord in the hip-hop, faddish fashion that are of the “What Would Jesus Do?” and “Hoes Down Wid Jesus” variety.

    Is it then any wonder why even in the Masses celebrated today, these days, the Greatest Prayer of the Church has become little more than merely a liturgical performance replete with irreverence and vulgarity?

    I applaud DarwinCatholic and all those who in spite of these Pop fads that come & go, nevertheless continues to heed the High Call of the Ancient Church and cherish with right fondness the precious Treasures of Tradition contained therein and give due worship to our Master, who is both Lord & King.

  • DC

    Those were quoting explaining John 15:15 for bearing.

    Can someone explain to me where I am modernist? What has been the modernism in what I’ve shown and said?

  • Did Jesus really fully identify with us in our humanity, or, didn’t he?

    Does he have a courteous and humble familiarity with every aspect of our being, or, doesn’t he?

    He asks us to believe that he is one with us, and some seem unable to bear that thought…

  • were *quotes* sorry, typo there — I’m tired today

  • markdefrancisis:

    If you should actually believe that merely because your rather vulgar interpretation of the kind of “humanity” or “friendship” with Christ is somehow accomodated by Scripture or the Ancients themselves, then, by golly, go ahead and be “buddy, buddy” with your Homey, “J.C.”, enjoy conversations replete with profanity and utterly vile colloquialism, perhaps even have the Mass celebrated at a local strip bar — hey, why not?

    Didn’t Christ identify with us in our humanity and even entertained prostitutes?

    You might even take your peeps, Henry K., and all other homeys with you that are down wid dat.

    As for me, I prefer the pristine worship of Our Lord the way He should be worshipped and reverenced; giving due respect deserving of Lord & Creator and most especially Saviour & God!

  • e,

    Let him in…

  • Henry,

    I don’t think you’re being a modernist. I’m not sure where e. is getting that.

    e.,

    Please throttle it back a bit. While “Jesus is my homeboy” talk can be egregious, no one is advocating it on this thread so far as I can tell. And while we’re personalities with history, we should try not to view things through that lens too much.

  • DC,

    Thank you.

  • Etienne Gilson [GOD AND PHILOSOPHY] notes that the God of the Deists was something like “my pal”, le dieu des bonnes gens, a supremely good fellow.

    Which is also to say, a gentleman “one who never offends”.

  • If there is anyone I found who qualifies as self serving it is ” trad catholics”. e. is a prime example. They will stop at nothing to shove their ” infallible ideas down everyone’s throat!

One Response to Scary Music From the Sky!

  • Actually, a true sign of the imminent apocalypse would be if some other late ’70s overblown romantic ballad like “Sometimes When We Touch” or Rex Smith’s “You Take My Breath Away” began blaring from the sky…

Edward Kennedy, 1932-2009 AD, Requiescat In Pace

Wednesday, August 26, AD 2009

Ted Kennedy

[Update at the bottom of this post as of 8-26-2009 4:38 pm CST]

Edward Moore Kennedy, known as Ted Kennedy, passed away late last night in Hyannis Port after a battle with brain cancer at the age of 77.

A brief statement was released from his family:

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,”

Requiescat in pace Teddy.

Elizabeth Scalia, a.k.a. The Anchoress, has an in-depth look at Ted Kennedy’s life titled, Ted Kennedy, Healthcare & Purgatory.

Update I:   For reactions around the Catholic world click here.

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22 Responses to Edward Kennedy, 1932-2009 AD, Requiescat In Pace

Notre Dame Must Answer For The Obama Scandal

Wednesday, August 26, AD 2009

Obama Notre Dame

[Updated as of 8-26-2009 AD at 6:01 pm CST, see below]

Bishop D’Arcy pens an article in the dissident Catholic Jesuit-run magazine, America, by rapping the University of Notre Dame in it’s failure in being a witness to the Gospel by honoring the most anti-life president in the history of the United States.

He goes on to single out Father John Jenkins for his failure in leading as a man of faith and to the board of trustees for their deafening silence.

Finally he asks the University of Notre Dame, but also other Catholic universities, whether they will follow the Land O’Lakes Statement, which proclaimed in ambiguous language that it was ‘ok’ to dissent from Catholic teaching, or adhere to Ex Corde Ecclesiae, where Catholic teaching and identity must be a priori.

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32 Responses to Notre Dame Must Answer For The Obama Scandal

  • Should Notre Dame have avoided teaching or even discussing evolution until the Holy Father accepted it as fact? Should any Catholic school not asked Galileo to speak if the Church leaders believed the Earth was the center of the universe?

    Sometimes ignoring those we do not agree with and at times violently opposing them, simply means leaders will have to apologize for the backwards thinking a few decades or centuries later.

    I understand abortion is less cut and dry than evolution or the basic structure of the solar system. Ethical and moral positions may not need objective knowledge in determining their validity, but often morality is seen as a means to ignore the pain of others, a means to stop thought and discourse, a means to vilify the “other.”

    Allowing President Obama to speak did not cause anyone to perform an abortion and keeping him from speaking would not have prevented any abortions.

    There is more to life and to the Life of Christ than one issue, no matter how important it is, and I would have liked to see a similar discussion take place when anyone who supported the death penalty or the war in Iraq or the torture of prisoners came to Notre Dame.

  • MacGregor,

    I’m not sure you know what you’re talking about.

  • I am sure MacGregor does not know what he is talking about. Abortion is more cut and dry, not less, than the other issues he raises.

    But putting that aside, how will ND answer for the O scandal? Will D’Arcy walk the walk? Them’s fine words, but what consequences has ND suffered, other than increased applications from liberal students and professors? Do you seriously expect that, if push comes to shove, that ND’s Catholic creds (to the extent they exist) will be removed by the Bishop?

    Heck, I haven’t even seen one deny communion to a Catholic pro-abort politician, much less yank a Catholic university’s affiliation.

  • Hi Tito and c matt

    I actually do know what I am talking about.

    I am very clear that abortion as an issue is more cut and dry as to its moral consequences than the other issues, however it is less cut and dry when it comes to being able to prove that personhood and the soul enters the body at the moment of conception/fertilization. It will never be possible to PROVE the existence of the soul much less prove that the Bible or Church Teachings are infallibly correct … that is why it is called FAITH.

    Both of you act as if your conservative views of Catholicism are the only ones that matter.

    Asking Obama to speak at ND is no different than asking Bush to speak there. That is the point.
    Capital punishment is no less a sin than abortion. That is the point.
    Not all student who go to ND are Catholic and not all Catholics believe that we should force others to believe everything that we do. Should all speakers and professors at ND take a test as to whether they believe in transubstantiation? in speaking in ex cathedra?

    My point is that reasonable and moral people can have differing opinions on matters of faith. It is unreasonable to disagree that the Earth is in the center of the solar system, but it is reasonable to disagree on at what point human life deserves legal protection or at what point a woman has control over her own body.

    ND should not merely stand for dogma, like a radical Islamic madras, as both of you seem to feel. ND as an institution of learning needs to stand for the free and honest and ethical exchange of ideas so that those who come have all of the opportunity to seek the Truth and live a moral life.

    I believe that abortion is the ending of a human life, but it is not self-evident to everybody that that is true. The Catholic Church can deny communion to anyone that the Bishops want, but the Church and they must do so for the right reasons, not just to make conservatives feel good about themselves or because they have a 3rd grade Sunday School view of theology.

    My comments are merely a voice asking those who feel the need to condemn others, to look at ourselves first. More people die because of neglect (starvation, disease) and murder (illegal wars, crime) than from abortions, yet I rarely see conservative Catholics protest these as much. They may not be as viscerally abhorrent to you as abortion or as politically significant, but they are just as important. Maybe both of you did protest the war in Iraq – I don’t know. I simply want the discussion of Obama at ND to be fair and reasonable and sometimes a quick post to a blog isn’t enough for that to occur.

    Peace.

  • Actually Capital punishment is not a sin. Sorry, as cmatt and Tito point out, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Capital punishment is no less a sin than abortion. That is the point.

    Errr, no. It isn’t. The Church is very clear in its teachings that abortion is neve permissible under any circumstance, whereas the death penalty is permitted, though under strict applications. This is not the “conservative” Catholic approach – it’s simply the Catholic approach. If you disagree with that, take it up with the Pope.

    Not all student who go to ND are Catholic and not all Catholics believe that we should force others to believe everything that we do. Should all speakers and professors at ND take a test as to whether they believe in transubstantiation? in speaking in ex cathedra?

    I am beginning to agree with Tito. Clearly you do not understand what you’re talking about, or what the issues of this debate are. The question has always been whether or not it is appropriate or permissible for a Catholic institution to honor someone who holds positions that are in direct conflict with Church teachings. The answer again is no.

    My point is that reasonable and moral people can have differing opinions on matters of faith.

    You sound like my Junior year high school theology teacher, who was unsurprisingly a Jesuit priest.

    It is unreasonable to disagree that the Earth is in the center of the solar system, but it is reasonable to disagree on at what point human life deserves legal protection or at what point a woman has control over her own body.

    No, actually, you have this reversed, unless you are looking at this from a non-Catholic perspective, which I take it you are.

    a 3rd grade Sunday School view of theology.

    Considering that every single statement you have uttered indicates that you have not ever picked up a Catechism, I would refrain from such comments if I were you.

    More people die because of neglect (starvation, disease) and murder (illegal wars, crime) than from abortions

    Aside from the fact that your stats are wrong, at least as applied to the US, your comment is just silly. The fact that you think that the war in Iraq is a more pressing moral issue than abortion just confirms the fact that your viewpoint is pretty much worthless.

  • The whole quote on the death penalty from the Catechism. This is probably at a higher level then just pure Sunday school.

    2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
    If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

    Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

  • Paul, Phillip, C Matt,

    Thank you for supporting my points with examples.

    MacGregor,

    Paul made it pretty clear.

    The fact that a Catholic university gave an honorary degree to a person that implements policies that are diametrically opposed to the most important of Catholic issues is the scandal.

    Not anything else.

  • Thank you Phillip for the quote from the Catechist. I do understand the doctrine, but I also believe that maximum security prisons are quite able to “effectively defend human lives against the unjust aggressor” and that there are plenty of “non-lethal means to defend and protect people’s safety.”

    Maybe in times of war or civil strife on the battle field it is necessary to execute a guilty aggressor, but

    I agree that the Catechist IS at a higher level than Sunday school, I just think some people who read it are not and that comment was not even directed at anyone on this blog. I did make the observation that this blog seems to be as much about political conservative principles as it is about Catholic theological principles.

    As I do not know anyone in this forum, I wouldn’t presume to attach any of you as uninformed. As for myself, I went to a diocesan elementary school, a Jesuit high school, an Holy Cross university and my home parish was Franciscan. Maybe that makes me mixed up a bit, especially when it comes to donating to alumni associations, but I think it was a great education. The diocesans taught me how to respect authority, the Jesuits taught me how to think, the Holy Cross taught me how to be a college football fan and the Franciscans taught me how to love.

    I don’t have the time or the space to explain each of my points fully, and I acknowledge that I may have been a bit chavalier comparing abortion and the death penalty, but I have had a good deal of time discussing these issues with Catholic theologians, and I do believe that life is a little more complex than a few paragraphs in the Catechism. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t need the Holy Spirit to continue to guide the Church.

    Regarding the extremely limited allowance for death penalty, this is largely an acknowledgment of the position of self-defense and the defense of others who are innocent. I would hope it were obvious that the hundreds of prisoners that are executed in Texas each year would never be released and executing them is not an act of self-defense. It is an act of revenge or “justice” or some other emotion that is not clearly self-defense. No one on death row to my knowledge has ever escaped unless they were exonerated and I’m pretty sure most people in the judicial system would admit that more than a few innocent people have been executed in the last 100 years. So here simply quoting the Catechism may be a good sophist’s argument, but it isn’t particularly practical for most cases.

    As for the immorality of “any and all abortions,” I don’t have the time right now to describe my thoughts on the historical context, historical writings by Church Fathers (Didache, etc.). The supposed moral clarity of a few lines of text in old writings were never sufficient defense for the stagnant, overly conservative, “whitened sepulcher” Pharisees when Christ came to articulate the new commandments of Love so I hope that the same is true for you. Acknowledging of course that most abortions are not done in self-defense, if self-defense can be a reason to kill a prisoner, why is it not reason to kill a fetus? The logic is one-dimensional.

    Again not enough time to go over this and I do appreciate and agree with most of Donald DeMarco’s writings concerning this in http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=3362&CFID=14144486&CFTOKEN=20473498

    However he and many here act as if any question of interpretation or any critical thinking that may find contradictory propositions in Catholic teaching as being “liberal” and “anti-Catholic” is absurd. My issue in this thread is not with the details of the abortion debate, it is with the peculiar atmosphere of the debate as to whether President Obama deserved to be honored. And that atmosphere is one of being partisan and political and exists within the context of a vehement conservative backlash that goes beyond theology.

    How is it, Tito, that abortion is “the most important of Catholic issues?” Did the Pope tell you this? Is euthanasia and unjust war suddenly numbers 2 and 3? Are only conservative issues of life the ones that Catholics should be concerned with?

    Let’s not fool ourselves, George Bush was not protested by many of the same people who protested Obama because they only care about their social/political biases, not by theological arguments.

    No person or president is defined by one issue, no matter how important that issue is or no matter how important it is for you.

    When I was in my parishes boys choir, we went to the state capitol to sing for a pro-life rally. It was a deeply respectful and moving moment and even though I know a good deal more about life and morality now than when I was 12, I still remember it as a spiritual event. I did not see that in the fearful, ignorant, arrogant and angry faces that I saw on some at ND, nor on those at tax teaparties or at some of the latest health care town halls.

    I didn’t challenge anyone’s morality or question anyone’s education or honesty in this forum in my post. I wish you would do the same.

    If it is true, paul, that the ONLY question “has always been whether or not it is appropriate or permissible for a Catholic institution to honor someone who holds positions that are in direct conflict with Church teachings. The answer again is no.” Then I accept you opinion and I sympathize with your statement. However you and the protesters have proven that that is not the only question, and that many who hold placards really haven’t gotten beyond Sunday school level theology.

  • I would hope it were obvious that the hundreds of prisoners that are executed in Texas each year

    Texas executed 18 people last year, 16 people so far this year, and they are by far the leading state. Let’s at least start with facts, okay.
    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/number-executions-state-and-region-1976

    Acknowledging of course that most abortions are not done in self-defense, if self-defense can be a reason to kill a prisoner, why is it not reason to kill a fetus? The logic is one-dimensional.

    Okay. If a fetus comes at its mother with a knife, we’ll grant that an abortion might be okay. So we’ll carve out a new exception to the complete prohibition against abortion: knife-wielding fetuses can be killed in self-defense.

    As an aside, you spill a lot of verbiage for someone who doesn’t “have time” to explain their positions.

    How is it, Tito, that abortion is “the most important of Catholic issues?” Did the Pope tell you this?

    Actually, yes.
    http://www.the-tidings.com/2004/0917/difference.htm

    In his letter, Cardinal Ratzinger also wrote that “Not all moral issues have the same weight as abortion and euthanasia…. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion, even among Catholics, about waging war or applying the death penalty, but not, however, with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    that many who hold placards really haven’t gotten beyond Sunday school level theology.

    Again, since you have repeatedly shown a complete lack of knowledge about basic Catholic teaching, you ought to quit making this ridiculous assertion.

  • If a fetus comes at its mother with a knife, we’ll grant that an abortion might be okay. So we’ll carve out a new exception to the complete prohibition against abortion: knife-wielding fetuses can be killed in self-defense.

    Perhaps MacGregor has this in mind:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HT38B2/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1400046416&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1Q9W3T79BK6BRZZ4283P

  • MacGregor, the faithful here will pillory you if you don’t subscribe to THEIR version of the Catholic faith. They are all about capital punishment, as you can see by their defense of it. Abortion is the holy grail by which all matters will be weighed. If you dissent, you show a “complete lack of knowledge”.

  • MacGregor, the faithful here will pillory you if you don’t subscribe to THEIR version of the Catholic faith. They are all about capital punishment, as you can see by their defense of it. Abortion is the holy grail by which all matters will be weighed.

    To my knowledge, more of our writers here oppose capital punishment than support it, and even among those of us who think there on occasions when it is called for (a claim that the catechism supports — though it questions whether they exist in modern first world nations) that support is generally fairly quiet. What people are pointing out here is simply what the Church teaching, indeed what the pope himself has written: that the justice of a given war or issues such as capital punishment are prudential while the evils of abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage and cannot legitimately be questioned by any Catholic.

    That this does not align with your personal preferences is unfortunate, but it’s not “our version” of Catholicism but Catholicism itself that you have a problem with if you find this unacceptable.

    We are all called to accept correction and guidance by Christ’s church on earth — and this applies even when this does not align with one’s political tribe.

  • Master C,

    I abhor capital punishment.

    You need to do your research before you say anything accusing us of what we aren’t.

    The American Catholic was put together with varying points of view being represented. The one thing that unites us is our love of the triune God and fidelity to the Magisterium.

    I hope that helps you the next time you accuse us of something we clearly are not.

  • Since when do you oppose the death penalty?

  • I never commented on it until now, that’s why you didn’t know. But I’ve always opposed the death penalty. Most of my friends know this, but now you know.

    Final judgment is for God, not man.

  • remember this?

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservativism

    Call it an accusation if you like, but this blog has certainly stood up for it
    [the death penalty] previously.

  • Master C.,

    That is a blanket statement. You are reading too much into this particular topic.

    Just because we don’t fit into your worldview of an evil conservative doesn’t mean you need to accuse us of what we aren’t.

  • I am glad to hear you are opposed to the death penalty. Indeed, the mind of God is unsearchable.

  • My long rant of the night. Since we’re talking about the death penalty, I want to talk about the prison system.

    I oppose the entire prison system as it exists today… it makes monsters out of mere lawbreakers. The condition of prisons in states like California are a testament to how little we value human life. A non-violent criminal has no business being thrown into a jail with hardened, violent, career criminals. And no one deserves to be beaten, gang-raped, and given terminal diseases, yet it happens all the time – and the prison guards are either indifferent or the perpetrators themselves.

    With such a system in place, I would actually prefer a quick execution to a long prison sentence, especially a life sentence. As things are, I’m not sure it is even an effective deterrent.

    I do believe there is a small percentage of criminals who are incurable sociopaths/psychopaths who should be put to death. I mean, these people are going to suffer an eternity in hell (most likely); if we’re so terrible for wanting to put them to death, how does the angry liberal deal with the reality of hell? Is God just a mean old man, or has hell been effectively written out of liberal theology? Is the problem REALLY that we’re supposedly taking the judgment out of God’s hands, or is it just materialist-determinist sociology seeping through theology – they didn’t really “choose” to be criminals so they shouldn’t really be punished?

    Let’s not forget that there is an unforgivable sin, the total and willful rejection of God. It is unforgivable, I think, because forgiveness would do nothing for such a person. A psychopath/sociopath that has willfully rejected all restraint and consideration for others, I believe, can and should suffer the final punishment. They cannot be cured because they will not be cured. We have to respect their decision.

    For the other 95% of criminals, I think the death penalty should be off the table and prison reform enacted as soon as possible. We have more criminals than any other developed country in the world – over 2 million prisoners. States like NY have ridiculous drug laws. Rehabilitation programs that work are deliberately denied funding by people who want to “get tough on crime”, even if it means sending non-violent, first time offenders into a hell on earth.

    This attitude is unconscionable for a Christian. Every effort at rehabilitation must be made in a society that places value on human life, and sensible policies regarding sentencing, placement, the structure of the prison, the screening out of sadists and bullies among the guards, all must take place.

  • Indeed, the mind of God is unsearchable.

    I bet Google will find a way. 😉

    Joe, I agree, our prison system is an abomination. It’s a scandal that persists quietly in the background. Infinitely more good would be done by working to reform the prison and justice system before tackling the death penalty.

  • Looks like Joe is our google. He has already figured out which 5% should be put to death. He already knows they are going to hell. Bravo.

  • I never said I knew. It’s just an opinion, one I’m willing to defend with a reasonable argument.

    Can you say the same about anything you believe, or do you think indignation is an adequate substitute for argument?

  • Rehabilitation programs that work are deliberately denied funding by people who want to “get tough on crime”, even if it means sending non-violent, first time offenders into a hell on earth.

    Suggest that the State of New York issue brief determinate sentences specified precisely or by formula in the statute. Families and charitable organizations can work on rehabilitation after convicts are released.

  • I agree with Tito that capital punishment is wrong.

  • Master C,

    Absolutely.

    Who are we to judge a man and take his life away.

    That is for God, not man.

  • It looks like my last post on Friday didn’t make it to the thread, but I appreciate reading the discussion that has taken place since.

    First to paul:

    Thank you for actually using facts on the number of death penalty executions in Texas, my suggestion that the number was in the hundreds was incorrect and came from what I read concerning those on death row, not actually executed. Here is a graph from the US State Dept. that represents the number of exectutions by year over the last century.

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/exe.htm

    It is interesting to see what the effects might have been of the civil rights movement and a more “liberal” slant to national politics during the 60’s and 70’s. However, paul, your data begs several questions.

    1. If Texas is on tap to execute over 20 prisoners this year, is that much different than executing 100 prisoners (beyond of course the perspective of those individual prisoners)? Meaning, is a morally questionable act moderated by how often one does it?

    2. If Texas executed 18 individuals last year and the entire US executed 37 individuals, what does this mean for Texas – that it has around 50% of all the most vicious criminals in the country? That it is 50% better at finding, convicting and then executing its most vicious criminals, or that it has a political bent that make it more likely to execute someone than in most other states?

    3. Even if you believe capital punishment is okay, do you trust the system to be fair and impartial and effective in implementing it? Many governors, those who have the most personal and public choice about allowing the death penalty in their states have found that the system is far too biased and have found too many innocent people have been on death row, though I think only a few have been exonerated after their execution.

    My point is that with capital punishment, there seems to be more than a few grey areas and many times when one side acts very self-righteous and misses their own moral relativism.

    Also, paul, you wrote:

    “Okay. If a fetus comes at its mother with a knife, we’ll grant that an abortion might be okay. So we’ll carve out a new exception to the complete prohibition against abortion: knife-wielding fetuses can be killed in self-defense.”

    You are either being overly glib or completely ignorant and callous as to what giving birth entails. Abortion as means of self-defense is an incredibly small number, but to say that the risk does not exist is too ridiculous to waste time arguing. So what is more common, to die in childbirth (600 deaths per year in the US) or for death row prisoners to escape (0 per year in the US).

    I’ll leave your comment of – “As an aside, you spill a lot of verbiage for someone who doesn’t “have time” to explain their positions.” – as just an example of snarkiness or it being a long day for you.

    As for your final quote from Cardinal Ratzinger – certainly it is obvious that not all moral issues of life and death are the same. Certainly times of war one of the greatest evils is that people are put into violently diverse grey areas regarding the morality of killing someone else – is it murder or self-defense, is it personal or political self-defense, etc., which is why war is so terrible. I am certain that the Cardinal at the time did not think World War 2 was a particularly insignificant moral issue.

    As I read the article from 2004 regarding then Cardinal Ratzinger (http://www.the-tidings.com/2004/0917/difference.htm), the author actually has to explain a series of “technical” terms to interpret the Cardinal’s remarks. The point behind the article was good, in that voters are often lazy in how they vote and in how much responsibility they take for voting.

    Again, this thread and my purpose is not to argue abortion, Roe v. Wade or liberal vs. conservative values, it is about how we should view Notre Dame’s honoring of President Obama. Those are all related, but different discussions.

    I am saying simply that I disagree with those in this forum who feel that Obama is pro-abortion and that this one issue should be the sole barometer for any university to decide upon conferring honors. I do not question the theology behind Cardinal Ratzinger’s letters, but I do question how they are used by others to act holier-than-thou and how they are applied to political decisions.

    This forum does not seem to be the place for an open, sophisticated or truly rational debate on how Catholic teachings should operate in the public sphere.

    As for the view that gay marriage is of similar evil as euthanasia, this is an example of what I mean. I respect the Church’s opinions on both, but my “fidelity to the Magisterium” does not simply give me a hall pass to ignore the fact that there is a difference between the legality of civil marriage and the grace of the sacrament of marriage. Two people choosing to live together even if they can not produce children does not need a papal blessing and it is not morally equivalent to killing an innocent person. As much as I am sure DarwinCatholic knows all about the biological and psychological and spiritual truths of homosexuality, I find space to still question those who “cast the first stone.”

    Obama is against gay marriage. I did not see any signs of support by those who picketed his speech at ND, showing that they support his views on gay marriage. THAT is my point. THEY obviously already made up their minds about Obama and THEY did so from a very narrow viewpoint.

    I agree that the justice system is broken, but also based upon medieval ideas of punishment and rehabilitation. I also believe that a just economic system and a rich cultural/familial/social system are the best means for reducing criminal behavior outside the very rare sociopaths that any population will have.

    I believe a supportive family and just economic system and a just and universally accessible health care system is the best way of eliminating abortions. Anyone who claims to be pro-Life and yet wants to continue the current system in which cut-throat competition and corporate board rooms get to arbitrate all aspects of our health system are blinded by ideology.

    In the end, in my opinion, those who protested the Presidents visit to ND may be driven by honest opinions, but in the end they will probably save more innocent lives by helping him succeed, than by holding signs in opposition.

    Thanks for your comments.

    PS That conservative website http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservativism is pretty funny. The fact that it has these two sentences at the very beginning and that the author doesn’t see the inherent contradiction is amazing:

    “Reagan said: The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom . . .

    The sine qua non of a conservative is someone who rises above his personal self-interest and promotes moral and economic values beneficial to all.”

    This shows the basic flaw in current American, neo-conservative thought. This is the notion that there is no conflict between self-interest and community values, that one can hold the Bible in one hand and Atlas Shrugged in the other.

  • “I am saying simply that I disagree with those in this forum who feel that Obama is pro-abortion and that this one issue should be the sole barometer for any university to decide upon conferring honors.”

    Has anyone ever heard the President describe abortion as a tragedy? Unlike Hillary Clinton, I have not seen him say anything like that.

    Not to get into the kerfluffle of “pro-choice” v. “pro-abortion,” but it is a significant insight into his thinking on this that he is unwilling to make even a verbal nod toward the idea that an abortion is morally problematic. It is of a piece with the statement that his administration will work to reduce the need for, but not the number of, abortions. Leaving aside the difficulty of measuring reduced “need,” as opposed to measurable numbers, the former comes from a world view where abortion is the morally responsible decision. Troubling, to say the least, and difficult to see how workable common ground can be found.

  • “…it is a significant insight into his thinking on this that he is unwilling to make even a verbal nod toward the idea that an abortion is morally problematic”

    It appears you didn’t watch the last presidential debate last year between he and McCain wherein Obama had actually mentioned that he considered abortion itself not even being a moral matter.

  • that one can hold the Bible in one hand and Atlas Shrugged in the other.

    Yeah, I love me some Atlas Shrugged. Good, perceptive analysis there.

  • Paul, you kinda take things personally, don’t you.

  • Pingback: Adios Heretics, Hello Orthodoxy! « The American Catholic

"Objectivism"

Tuesday, August 25, AD 2009

Over at CrankyCon, Paul Zummo offers a brief review of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:

The atheism is only a small part of the issue with objectivism. Galt (and thus Rand’s) objection to the concept of original sin is naive, but even absent this aspect of objectivism, it remains a dehumanizing and abhorrent moral philosophy. Rand detests totalitarianism, it is true, but other writers have written better and less repugnant works in defense of capitalism and against totalitarianism. If libertarians and conservatives wish to seek out inspirational works on the topic, they are better off with the likes of George Orwell, C.S. Lewis, Thomas Sowell, Wilhelm Roepke, F.A. Hayek and countless others.

The fundamental problem is that Rand is as naive about human nature as the socialist utopians. After all, a utopian is a utopian, whether they are Marxian or Randian utopians. Therefore the rejection of the concept of original sin is something of a problem because it blinds Rand to the idea that human beings cannot simply shut off their passionate desires. If totalitarians are blind to the reality that human nature cannot be perfected, Rand is blind to the fact that the altruistic tendencies of humans cannot similarly be wiped out. Believe it or not, we are social beings (Aristotle and Aquinas being right), and it is simply unrealistic – and Rand is supposed to be about reason and realism – to expect humans to simply ignore these aspects of their personality.

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33 Responses to "Objectivism"

  • Okay, I actually laughed out loud at that cartoon.

  • ROTFLOL! I’m printing the cartoon.

  • As has been pointed out by others, Objectivism is a philosophy for people without children. Hard to fit a hive-erupting allergy to “altruism” with the need to repeatedly wipe the crap off a wholly dependent being’s behind.

    As between Marxists and objectivists, I’ll hang around with the former every time. Underneath the warped theology (and that’s what it is) is a concern for the downtrodden.

    Objectivism is a middle finger jammed in a human face, forever.

  • My comment on Paul’s post.

    This book sounds like nothing but a temper tantrum in defense of privilege.

    In reality, no one would care if CEOs went on strike. Assuming that the means of production could still be operated by the workers – that they weren’t locked out and threatened by the police – business at all levels could continue as usual.

    Also, the end of that book – replacing the sign of the cross with the sign of the dollar? And there are Catholics that stand up for this trash?

    Christianity is a lot of things; important for this discussion is that it is Matthew 25, which in no way can be reconciled with AS. We are to be judged on the basis of how we cared for the least of our brothers, not the extent to which, and the glee we felt, as we trampled them underfoot. That’s elementary.

  • And there are Catholics that stand up for this trash?

    I’ve never encountered any, but maybe I just don’t run in the right circles.

    The cartoon is brilliant.

  • Objectivists are hard core atheists and pro-aborts which makes their appeal limited among Catholics to say the least, especially among Conservative Catholics who might otherwise have some sympathy for their libertarian world view. I laughed my way through Atlas Shrugged when I was in sixth grade. It still is in my top ten list of the most unintentionally funny novels ever written.

  • As for the cartoon, I suspect this is the Charlie Brown kite eating tree after it has choked down a copy of Atlas Shrugged.

  • In reality, no one would care if CEOs went on strike. Assuming that the means of production could still be operated by the workers – that they weren’t locked out and threatened by the police – business at all levels could continue as usual.

    In a sense, this ties in to the basic implausibility of Rand’s idea of the heroic producers removing themselves from the world until everything falls down around the ears of the “looters” and the producers can them come out and rule the world: It assumes some sort of complete and absolute class solidarity based on ability.

    If all the CEOs, to take Joe’s example, went on strike, what I’d expect to see happen is the people with similar abilities and experience working closely with them would essentially step into their roles, do what the CEOs had done, move other people in to replace them, and so on. Sure, you often have some disruption when someone with a lot of knowledge and ability leaves a job (picture Steve Jobs leaving Apple, for instance) but a well built company can survive that kind of thing pretty well, and even thrive as a result of new people moving in.

    Rand’s scenario imagines that:

    a) the world is clearly divided into producers and “looters”
    b) all the producers would cooperate in stepping out until the looters were tought a lesson.

    But why should they? If according to Rand’s theory people have no higher purpose than to maximize gain and productivity, then according to game theory it’s to the advantage of any given producer to get many of the other producers to step aside, and then gain advantage by breaking the strike and working anyway. So if a CEO goes on strike, it’s in the interest of some other executive to step in and take over running the company (thus benefitting himself and closing out the striker) rather than joining him.

    How a supposedly smart libertarian could miss such an obvious economic implication is beyond me.

    And that’s before I even start in on a rant about how it’s totally unrealistic to posit a clear dividing line between producers and “looters”.

  • Donald:

    Nothing on your keen intellect or am I even advocating the likes of Ayn Rand (who I personally regard with ill disrepute); however, did you actually understand Atlas Shrugged when you read it in the 6th grade?

    I can’t help but think that perhaps it was your own (quite understandably, at that age) puerile musings that might have provided such comedy back then.

  • No e., I understood it. The comedy was all Rand’s crackpot philosophy and the fact that she was a very poor novelist.

  • One quick note as I don’t have much time to get into the details, but what Rand might suggest is that while the existing infrastructure might carry on, innovation would cease as the producers exited stage left. There are numerous holes in all this, obviously, but I think she was less interested in defending CEOs per se (see her treatment of James Taggart) than the people who are the inventors and creators.

  • As much as Rand was herself a crackpot; her followers are undoubtedly an even worse version.

    The greatest irony I’ve ever witnessed was when several representatives from the Ayn Rand Institute actually sought donations from me.

  • A few years ago, John Stossel ran a special on capitalism and “greed.” He interviewed the head of one of the Objectivist organizations and asked, “Who has done more good, Mother Teresa or Bill Gates?” The Objectivist snapped, “Bill Gates, hands down.” There was no recognition that Mother Teresa just might be pursuing a different goal from Mr. Gates. Everything boiled down to material contributions.

  • In my younger days I was very interested in ” Objectivism. ” But I just couln’t buy a world without charity, that would be a world of unbelievable heartlesness and cruelty, a world in which immoral behavior is enshrined as ” enlightened ” self interest. It would be a world of moral ” Fascism. ” And in the end, I think it would be a world much like the one which we see spreading today, one in which immorality is being legislated and enforced. Capitalism is fine, preferable but unfettered Capitalism would be just as bad as unfettered Socialism.

  • Once again, I run into my old friend Ayn Rand. In the last few months, I have run into more mentions of this Philosopher than the rest of my life put together.

    You see, I once was very influenced by Ayn Rand. I considered myself an “Objectivist”. This was thanks to my older brother, who himself was an Objectivist for many years. But God’s grace intervened, and I found Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

    Ayn Rand is directly opposite from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My brothers hatred of St. Augustine was extremely deep. When I found the writings of St. Augustine on my own, he became my favorite author ever, as he understands the human person better than anyone else.

    I have never finished Atlas Shrugged, although I attempted to live the Objectivist philosophy and read many of her writings. What turned me off of Objectivism was Objectivists, who believed every word of hers was truth, much like a Protestant Fundamentalist believes regarding the Bible.

    My conversion testimony is found at http://quovadisyouth.org/Peter%20Rowe%20conversion.html

    Good news about my brother: he too, has found Jesus Christ and goes to Mass almost every day.

    God bless,
    Peter
    marianconsecration@yahoo.com

  • While I think many of the points posited here are quite valid, I do want to point to another modern philosopher. One who many won’t be expecting, and one that I may catch derision for. That person in Bruce Lee. Yes, Kato from the Green Hornet Bruce Lee. Lee wrote a book on Martial Arts theory called “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do”. The core tenet of his philosophy in a nutshell was to keep the good and strip away the bad. That being said, Rand did have some very valid points, so did Marx. Both also had huge failings and both were as previously stated utopianists. Also as previously stated utopias have a pretty shoddy track record when it comes to human nature. But it doesn’t mean that there isn’t something to learn there. In either case let’s not paint with too broad a brush.

  • I found Ayn Rand unreadable and her characters utterly unbelievable. I agree with Paul Zummo’s view of objectivism, although some of my political views could be characterized as libertarian. For me, libertarianism was a brief way station on the way from left to right, not a place to pitch a tent and build a permanent home.

    I have met a few conservatives who had sort of a nerdy crush on Rand in late adolescence. Well, I suppose it’s better than Madonna, but thankfully they grew out of it.

  • Dale Price: You raise an interesting point. Who’s worse, objectivists or Marxists? It’s a tough call, but I’d have to award the palm to the Marxists, simply because their version of Utopia has been tried many times in real life and has resulted in many millions of deaths, whereas Galt’s Gulch exists only in fantasy. The Marxists are a reminder of the evil that can be done by those professing the highest intentions and great concern for humanity. Objectivism hasn’t been tried in real life the way Marxism has. During my brief time as a libertarian, I noticed Rand fans were actually rather soft touches despite their lip service to the desirability of selfishness. Based on real world track records, I’d choose the finger in the face rather than the boot on the face. The Objectivists will leave you to starve (or say they will), the Marxists will starve you deliberately in the name of a higher good.

  • My husband used to be an Ayn Rand fan, when he was in high school and just before he joined the military. When I met him, he had returned to his Catholic faith and pretty much given up Objectivism, but he still had some of her books, which I later read out of curiosity.

    I do not at all care for her novels (I can tolerate “Anthem” because it’s short, but gave up on “Atlas Shrugged” after about 40 pages) but her essays and books like “Philosophy: Who Needs It” and “The Romantic Manifesto” do make some good points.

    The one thing I give Rand credit for is recognizing that ideas matter and philosophy is not just navel-gazing — it has real-world consequences. In my opinion, a lot of her condemnation of “altruism” was an overreaction to the oppression she experienced in Communist Russia. She had seen people like Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler twist the concept of sacrificing for a common good into a means of exploiting people, so she and her followers to this day reject the whole idea of “common good.” A textbook case of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    I also agree with Dale that Objectivist philosophy is pretty difficult if not impossible to reconcile with marriage and family life. I sometimes wonder how her philosophy would have changed if she’d had children. She was married for over 50 years, although she and her husband had a pretty much “open” marriage and they both had affairs with others.

  • Objectivism obviously appeals to young, single, healthy people who have no responsibilities to anyone other than themselves. However, I doubt very much that you will find a lot of married people, parents (especially if their spouses and/or children have illnesses or disabilities), elderly people, disabled people, or minorities in the Objectivist camp.

  • Donna:

    Oh, definitely–Marxism’s body count is unrivalled in terms of world history, and I don’t mean to downplay that aspect of it. I do have The Black Book of Communism on my bookshelf, after all. 🙂 No, objectivism doesn’t have that horrific, bloodstained roll of shame to its discredit.

    I suppose I was thinking of your local Western Marxist (e.g, politically ineffectual) or genuinely good guys like Whitaker Chambers, Sidney Hook and such historians as Eugene Genovese and John Haldon. There are good instincts (for lack of a better world) there to build upon (and definitely some bad ideas to break) in contemporary Western Marxists.

    I don’t see quite the same with Randians, who, despite their worship of achievement, haven’t produced much of material, intellectual or (especially) moral merit. Whatever good there is in objectivism is hopelessly entangled in pride and the worship of self. Objectivism is the opium of adjunct professors, assistant managers, failed writers and jerks destined to stall in middle management. It’s hard to want to associate with those always and only looking out for number 1.

  • I never followed through on the moderate interest in Objectivism I had in my my youth. I found (and still find) appeals to reality, facts, and objective thought quite…well, quite appealing. Unfortunately, Objectivism is neither objective or based on reality.

    I still like old Rush, though.

    😉

  • Fair point, Rick–Neil Peart is one objectivist who can boast of impressive, enduring achievement. 😉

    Freewill contains a lot of bunkum, but it’s a fine tune!

  • Objectivism and Marxism share materialism in common; that is probably why both are so rabidly pro-abortion. Rand herself mocked women who cared about “fetuses” as irrational and crazy, and her latter day followers use the stupid “an acorn is not an oak” argument to justify abortion now. Here is Rand on the subject:

    “I cannot project the degree of hatred required to make those women run around in crusades against abortion. Hatred is what they certainly project, not love for the embryos, which is a piece of nonsense no one could experience, but hatred, a virulent hatred for an unnamed object…Their hatred is directed against human beings as such, against the mind, against reason, against ambition, against success, against love, against any value that brings happiness to human life. In compliance with the dishonesty that dominates today’s intellectual field, they call themselves ‘pro-life.'”

    In fact, they say abortion is truly “pro-life”.

    http://www.abortionisprolife.com/

    At least some of the prominent Marxists had the tact to say that materialism – technological progress – might one day remove the need for abortion. Objectivists sound like they’d abort for fun.

  • Oh there are definitely aspects of Rand’s philosophy that merit appreciation, but as I said in my review, others have said the same thing without adding all the convoluted drek.

  • Freewill contains a lot of bunkum, but it’s a fine tune!

    Indeed. I learned a new word today. Bunkum is the perfect word for it.

  • You know, Dale brings up a good point. What havve any Randians ever accomplished? For a movement that claims to believe in innovation and production, they’ve innovated and produced very little. I honestly can’t think of any major person who’s accomplished anything that was a Randian. I guess Rorschach, maybe, but he really didn’t amount to much, did he? Also Neil Peart, but he’s distanced himself Rand in recent years, and actually gets annoyed at being called a Randian so I’m not going to include him either, since his “randianism” seems to have been a (protracted) phase.

    Anybody else? Most Randians I’ve encountered just like to troll around on blogs.

  • The best (perhaps only) example I can think of of a Randian who “accomplished something” is Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, who was a close associate of Rand in his younger days. However, the merit of his accomplishments are debatable, and he himself admitted after the financial crisis of ’08 that some of the economic assumptions he had held most of his life had proven to be wrong. Also, hard-core Objectivists (at least the ones who post on YouTube) consider him a sellout because he strayed from their economic creed in a number of ways.

  • The comments on Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand’s philosophy are generally ridiculous. For example, one of the first comments saying that some producers would basically screw over the others within the strike to gain power, etc., is just plain wrong. The strike as I know about it was based on the morality of production, not on gaining short term benefits. They were striking to make a point.

    You people are socialists in disguise, just like Jesus as a historical figure was.

  • “You people are socialists in disguise, just like Jesus as a historical figure was.”

    I’d rather be mislabeled a socialist by someone like you than accurately labeled an Objectivist by anyone.

  • Alex,

    It is easy to fall for Ayn Rand she makes a compelling argument, some of it is even correct. What it certainly is not is objective. Objectivism is extremely subjective just take a look at all the Randroids that followed her – they were totally conformed to her in a creepy Single White Female/Cable Guy kind of way.

    Ayn Rand’s philosophy falls apart because, just like Marxism, it is athiestic.

    As for Jesus being a socialist – come on, you can’t be serious! Jesus Christ respects human dignity and socialist can’t even spell dignity. For that matter Objectivists view man exactly the same way as socialists. One advocates anarchy to get us to hell and the other advocates collectivism to do the same thing. Chaos is the result which ever extreme you take.

    The only true objective view is from Heaven and that is the most extremely subjective view possible – God’s view.

  • “You people are socialists in disguise, just like Jesus as a historical figure was.”

    I have been called many things in my life, but this is the first time I have been called a socialist! That comment is almost as funny as the unintentional humor that suffuses Rand’s buffoonish novels.

  • McClarey a socialist!!! Now that is funny 🙂

Oops!

Tuesday, August 25, AD 2009

three stooges

Ah the glories of government medicine!  1200 veterans were recently informed by the VA that they had Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

 

Former Air Force Reservist Gale Reid received a letter from the Veterans Affairs Department that told her she had Lou Gehrig’s disease, and she immediately put herself through a battery of painful, expensive tests. Five days later, the VA said its “diagnosis” was a mistake.

The Montgomery, Ala., resident was among at least 1,200 veterans who received a letter about disability benefits for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, even though they hadn’t been diagnosed with the illness, according to the National Gulf War Resource Center. Veterans were initially suspicious of the letters, but still went through the agony not knowing exactly whether they had the fatal disease, which typically kills people within five years.

At least 2,500 letters informing veterans of disability benefits for ALS were sent out, and of those, some 1,200 were a mistake, according to the National Gulf War Resource Center. The wrongly sent letters were supposed to inform veterans of an undiagnosed neurological disorder, according to the Gulf War veterans group, which provides information, support and referrals about illnesses to veterans.

No one knows for sure exactly how many letters were mailed to veterans treated at VA hospitals and how many were a mistake. VA spokeswoman Katie Roberts didn’t return telephone messages or an e-mail Monday.

Read the whole story here.  The last line in the story says it all for what we all have in store for us in the unlikely event that ObamaCare ever becomes a reality.

 

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6 Responses to Oops!

  • Actually I’ve worked in the VA system and what I’ve saw there and what I’ve seen regarding surveys of VA patients, it is almost always ranks as the highest rated health care provider in the United States. Higher than the best private insurers!

    What this story shows is a mistake that happens in ALL large institutions, including the big insurance companies. Don’t be fooled into thinking private companies are the pillars of efficiency – see, Enron, Lehman Brothers, AIG, GM, etc. You just rarely hear about their problems because they fix them in private or hide them and people can not use the Freedom of Information Act to find out what is going on.

    Also, there is no such thing as ObamaCare. He hasn’t articulated or chosen any one of the half-dozen plans out there.

    Finally, philosophically as a nation we figured out that we wanted the military, the police dept., the fire dept., the interstate freeway system, the FBI, etc. to be publically (government-run) because even if we don’t need the police, fire fighters or each and every freeway personally, it makes sense to put vital national services like those in a government system. They still need to follow free markets, but I as a citizen if my house is on fire, I don’t have to go to the yellow pages and choose a private fire fighting company. We want businesses that produce things (milk, cars, toothpaste) and serve normal service functions (dry cleaning, architects, etc.) to be capitalistic free market driven institutions.

    I feel health care somewhere in between fire fighting and toothpaste manufacturing, so I don’t mind government regulations or a public option that works with private corporations. It works for FedEx and security companies and all sorts of businesses that do more than what the government itself is charged to do – so why not health care?

    Just let people have a choice beyond the multinational bureaucracies!

  • Contra your statement MacGregor, the VA throughout most of its history has received terrible marks for its care. Most veterans who went to it did so only because it was “free”. Towards the end of the Bush administration during the Iraq War conditions improved because large amounts of money were spent and because Bush took a personal interest in making sure that veterans received adequate care. Like most government entities the VA has only performed well when the people at the top made it a clear priority.

    A good brief overview of some of the VA problems prior to the push by the Bush administration to resolve some of the more glaring defects is linked to below.

    http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/broken_government/articles/entry/1041/

  • There is a good recent article in the London INDEPENDENT on a report from a nurses’ association that over one million elderly patients were neglected or maltreated in NHS hospitals.

  • Hi Donald: I understand your need to make Bush out to be the one who took a “personal interest” in the VA system, but it was he who cut funding by a significant amount until people in the media and other lawmakers started making it a scandal.

    The website link you indicate is hardly unbiased and obviously ignores the longer more complete history of the Walter Reed story. Websites like The Center for Public Integrity are good for bringing up issues that the bland corporate media ignores, but I would take its publications with a healthy dose of skepticism, just as I would for left-wing websites … even if you do believe in their political slant.

    Again, I worked for the VA hospital in Portland Oregon and I’ve worked for a large private hospital, Emanuel Hospital, also in Portland and many of my family has worked in private practice and in public medical clinics.

    ALL HAVE PROBLEMS!!! They just have different problems and they all depend upon how good the administrators are and how effective they medical staff performs. For every report on one million elderly being neglected in British govt. hospitals, I can give you one on one million elderly being neglected in private US institutions. Have you folks forgotten the private nursing homes that were the death of so many in New Orleans?

    My wife worked in the health field as a surgical nurse for 20 years in private practice. She made a great deal of money and enjoyed it. But she eventually grew to hating the system that she realized she was supporting. She saw the pharmaceutical companies bribe doctors with dinners, workshops overseas, generous kickbacks for using their products regardless of what the patient really needed. She saw the fraud in the radio-oncology practice that over estimated EVERY expense to the insurance companies and the insurance companies never asked or investigated because it simply meant they could increase rates and keep the money machine working. She was paid $15,000 to be on-call for one weekend a month in case there was an accident that needed her assistance (brain trauma) and 90% of the time nothing happened. This was in the PRIVATE SECTOR.

    Like I said, she eventually could not morally work in that system anymore which seemed to only favor unethical doctors and profits over patient care.

    I can understand that so many people are skeptical about government run systems, but if you think private care is sustainable and ethical you are completely ignorant or willfully ideological.

    What the 20th century taught us, was that neither government nor the free-market have a monopoly on wisdom. Neither liberals nor conservatives have a monopoly on virtue, and you can come up with websites that support any ideology you want.

    The important thing is to remain curious, intellectually honest and open to changing your mind – otherwise you are not approaching the issue like an ethical adult.

    So why do you think health care should be run like the financial industry and not like the fire fighting industry?

  • “I understand your need to make Bush out to be the one who took a “personal interest” in the VA system, but it was he who cut funding by a significant amount until people in the media and other lawmakers started making it a scandal.”

    Simply untrue. Bush increased funding throughout his administration for the VA.

    http://www.factcheck.org/funding_for_veterans_up_27_but_democrats.html

  • Donald: Thanks for sending that FactCheck site. Those are good numbers and I see that I was incorrect in saying that he cut benefits … at least by 2004. Obviously the last wars in Iraq and an aging veteran population had put real pressure on each of the last Presidents to increase the VA budget, and Kerry’s claims were unfounded … kind of like Bush’s claims about McCain’s war record.

    Yet the same article showed that even with increasing discretionary funding, the increases were less than the increases in the demand. Clinton did not increase the budget as much as Bush obviously as the first Iraq war vets were just beginning to leave the military.

    As much as I admit my error, and I am not particularly anti-Bush, it was a rather minor point of my post and doesn’t say anything about government health care … at least from a Catholic, moral perspective. I also know from my brother’s experience in Iraq as a marine that most of the problems he had medical coverage wise, was a problem with the military in general and not in the administration or benefits or competence of the medical staff.

    The article also does a good job of showing how good the VA benefits package is. It is probably more than what needs to happen in civilian health care, but again I propose that a public option is not by definition immoral or ineffective. It is just somewhat liberal and it seems that some people are more interested in espousing a conservative or Republican opinion than simply espousing a Catholic or moral opinion. I doubt Christ would have much issue with health care from a government or private source as long as it truly helped the sick. At least that seems to be what the gospels say.

    Again, thanks for the information Donald.

Ad Orientem

Tuesday, August 25, AD 2009

Bishop Edward Slattery of the Diocese of Tulsa is a champion of Ad Orientem.  Here you can read his thoughts on the subject.  The National Catholic Reporter wrote a piece on the subject which Father Z has put through his patented fisk machine and which may be read here.  I of course am all in favor of Ad Orientem.  Priests should render the sacrifice of the Mass at altars when possible and not at the Protestant-lite communion tables that have come into vogue since Vatican II, in a well-intentioned but completely wrong-headed attempt for greater involvement by the laity in the Mass.  Quotes from Pope Benedict regarding Ad Orientem are here at the wonderful blog New Liturgical Movement, which I had not read until researching this post.  What do you think?

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3 Responses to Ad Orientem

  • I never “got” all of the carrying-on about Ad Orientem until I attended a triple of back-to-back Masses (for All Souls), where the celebrant did the first Mass “the regular way”, the second Ad Orientem in English, and the third Ad Orientem in Latin.

    Oh. The difference was striking: in the first Mass it was to some degree the “Father X Show”, while in the second and third the priest was not so much “Father X” as he was the archetypal Priest.

  • Precisely Karen! Ad Orientem underlines that the Mass is a sacrifice to God and our greatest act of worship. It is all about Him and not all about us. After Mass there is plenty of time for the extensive duties that God mandates that we owe to our neighbors.

  • If “ad orientem” means towards the East, what does one do for the many churches in NYC which are built North / South?

Res et Explicatio for AD 8-25-2009

Tuesday, August 25, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!Ketef Hinnom Silver Amulet

Buckle Up! Because here are today’s Top Picks in Catholicism:

1. An interesting find of Biblical proportions has been announced.  Silver amulets predating the Dead Sea Scrolls by 400 years was found with Biblical inscriptions, the Book of Numbers 6:24-26:

24 The LORD bless you and keep you:
25
The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you:
26
The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Written in Hebrew script, the pure silver amulets were discovered in the ancient tomb complex of Jerusalem’s Ketef Hinnom.  Archaeologist Gabriel Barkay wrote the discovery in the Biblical Archeology Review.

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6 Responses to Res et Explicatio for AD 8-25-2009

  • Just by way of interest, your no. 1, the two tiny silver amulets were discovered by Dr Barkay way back in 1979 (in Chamber 25 of Cave 24 at Ketef Hinnomin). They are inscribed with portions of the apotropaic Priestly Blessing which is found in the Book of Numbers (6:24-26). They are the earliest known citations of texts that are also found within the Hebrew Bible.

  • Stephen,

    I haven’t done any research on this, but I’ll take your word for it.

    It could be that they verified the age and the inscription on the silver amulets only now, but that is just a stab in the dark on my part.

    Nonetheless, I do find this fascinating and intriguing since this is another piece of the puzzle that continues to provide evidence and verification of the validity of the Holy Bible.

  • Yes, ‘fascinating and intriguing’ indeed. That is why I have such a passion for Biblical Archaeology. The amulets were fully re-examined in 2004. The latest news is that BAR in its 200th copy (this month) reviewed it as one of the most significant finds in Biblical archaeology thus far… and it truly is! I am constantly examining archaeological finds, and that, in light of the Scriptures… If you like, you can visit my blog and have a look…

    Many blessings to you and your readers,

    Stephen.

  • Oops, I almost forgot, I blog at http://biblicalpaths.wordpress.com/

  • Looking forward to parousing your blog when I have time, good stuff!

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Don't Negotiate, They're Crazy!

Monday, August 24, AD 2009

I made the mistake of following a link to a Frank Rich column this morning — an activity liable to cause lowed IQ, severe irritation, or in extreme cases, the gnawing off of one’s own arm. In an effort to channel possible side effects into a vaguely positive outlet, I hope that readers will forgive me if I revisit a topic that I already touched on once before: the increasing attempts by Democratic partisans to insist that the only people who could possibly oppose their agenda are evil, racist, gun-toting, potentially-violent freaks.

abc_rifle_protestor_090821_mnLike many of Rich’s pieces, this one is wandering and somewhat inarticulate. However, the basic thread is that the right as a whole is made up of violent extremists who should not be a part of the current health care debate in congress. In support of this, he points to the handful of 2nd Amendment activists who have been showing up at Townhall Meetings and other public venues in states that allows the open carry of firearms and exercising that selfsame right. This, he argues, proves that they are just like Timothy McVeigh (after all, one of them quoted Thomas Jefferson, who was also quoted by McVeigh), and to cap it all off some Republicans opposed counter-terrorism bills proposed in the wake of the OKC bombing. Got all that?

A couple things strike me about the unreasonableness of this line of thinking.

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13 Responses to Don't Negotiate, They're Crazy!

  • Darwin don’t be too hard on Mr. Rich. When Obama was elected with large Democrat majorities in Congress he, like much of the Left, thought that this was their final victory over conservatives. Instead, Obama is proving himself singularly unable to carry his agenda through Congress in the teeth of popular resistance. So what is Rich to do?

    He could write that Obama made a key mistake in attempting to shut out the GOP from his legislative initiatives, thereby ensuring that 40% of the country would be in automatic opposition. Another possible column might be that Democrats with such a large Blue Dog contingent have to learn how to compromise. Finally, Rich might tell his fellow Leftists that they should adopt an incremental approach and that bold schemes such as federalizing health care simply produce too much opposition to succeed.

    Of course, these type of columns would detract from the idea that Obama is a Leftist Messiah who will lead his followers to an unending political reign in an earthly socialist paradise. Thus we have Rich, rather than dealing with an unpleasant reality, writing another blame the Right column, which allows him and his faithful readers to vent emotionally, while doing absolutely nothing to address the fact that the Obama legislative agenda is taking on water faster than the Titanic.

  • I made the mistake of following a link to a Frank Rich column this morning

    I made the same mistake. I generally enjoy the give-and-take of partisan debate, but the last couple months have been depressing, and Rich’s column is just another salvo in the bitter recriminations following the health care debacle.

    Democrats think they’re on the side of the angels with health care reform. I think they’re right – at least as a matter of intention – but they’ve mismanaged it badly, and now are reduced to pretending as if it’s shocking – shocking! – that an amorphous and chaotic mess of a reform bill is being successfully mis-characterized by its opponents. It would be nice if they found a better outlet for their frustrations than writing shrill and incendiary op-eds, and it certainly would be better for the country. On the other hand, Republican partisans must enjoy seeing Democrats like Mr. Rich in such a state. The surest and fastest route to a Republican recovery is for the Democrats to convince themselves that it was evil Republican lies, rather than their own mishandling, that prevented health care reform.

  • On the other hand, Republican partisans must enjoy seeing Democrats like Mr. Rich in such a state. The surest and fastest route to a Republican recovery is for the Democrats to convince themselves that it was evil Republican lies, rather than their own mishandling, that prevented health care reform.

    There’s a sense in which it is perversely satisfying to see many Democrats consistently unable to understand that some people of good will actually oppose their program, but from such cheap victories come lazy habits.

  • Finally, Rich might tell his fellow Leftists that they should adopt an incremental approach and that bold schemes such as federalizing health care simply produce too much opposition to succeed.

    Yes, but what we are seeing is the incremental approach to federalizing health care. When Hillary the co-president failed, she said that they would have to take incremental steps. That’s what the idea behind expanding SCHIP to upper middle class adults was about. This is about that too. Remember the Barney Frank clip from a week ago, he’s all for federalized medicine but prefers this plan be pushed through as an incremental step.

    I don’t think anybody, left or right, sincrely believes this is actually a good or workable plan. Most on the left still want it as a step toward government control of HC, the less workable this plan is, the better for their objectives. Some on the left oppose it because they have no patience for the incremental approach, they want it all, and now. The rest of us oppose it because it’s not only a bad plan but we know where it’s leading.

  • but from such cheap victories come lazy habits.

    I admit I’m enjoying watching both parties flounder to some extent. My hope is that the end result will involve better access to health care for the chronically under-insured – and little else.

  • To be fair, I think Clinton Derangement Syndrome played some role in the coarsening of public discourse as well.

  • Fair point. And indeed, though it was a bit on my early end, there seemed to be a pretty clear Reagan Derangement Syndrome as well. I’m not really clear if Carter managed to inspire that kind of craziness. Nixon did — but then managed in many ways to deserve it as well.

    Come to that, I’m not sure there’s a real beginning to the trend. It may just be that after a certain point that kind of pop culture phenomenon fades into the background of historical awareness.

  • Jefferson was a crazed atheist, Adams a dangerous monarchist. Just ask the partisans that opposed them. I think every president since Washington has attracted extreme opposition, and by the middle of his second term even he was not immune.

    The advance of mass communications, especially the internet, makes it seem like we’re in an intensely partisan age, but this sort of bitterness has always been there. That said, I think Peter Wood makes a good case that perhaps anger is more intense now than ever before.

  • Come to that, I’m not sure there’s a real beginning to the trend.

    Robert Bork has said that there was a change in the culture of official Washington around about 1981. Larry Sabato identified 1966 and 1973 as salient punctuation marks in the evolution of the national press corps.

  • I don’t remember ’66. ’73 was pure anti-Nixon. ’81 pure anti-Reagan. I suspect if the MSM were more objective in their reporting on Obama there might be less aggressive displays by conservatives.

  • I became eligible to vote in ’81. Reagan Derangement Syndrome was very much extant, but I think things have gotten worse since. Reagan’s personal charisma, like Clinton’s after him, may have had the effect of toning things down a bit.

  • That in part is probably true. Obama’s charisma seems part real and part manufactured. That plus the “messianism” of his movement probably also contributes to the extremes of response.

  • Sabato referred to the period running from 1966 to 1973 as a sweet interlude. By his account, from about 1941 to about 1966, the national press corps had little critical distance from the politicians and government they covered. (Critics who read Katherine Graham’s memoir said one of the disconcerting elements was unselfconscious description of the incestuous relationship between the Kennedy Administration on the one hand and Philip Graham & Ben Bradlee on the other). In his view, from about 1973, the press was overtaken with unprofessional behavior. Nicholas von Hoffman has been critical of what he called “media Monovox”, but has also said that there was a lowering of standards of journalistic proof that began around 1973 and that the behavior of major newspapers during Richard Nixon’s last years in office was embarrassing.

    Bork has said that political life in the capital was adversarial but not vicious prior to 1981, and that was what changed.

Rifqa, Islam, and the Mainstream Media

Monday, August 24, AD 2009

Rifqa BaryYou may have heard by now of the case of Rifqa Bary who fled her Ohio home to Florida to escape her father’s grasp.  The reason being is that she converted to Christianity and her family are extremist Muslims.  Meaning that she will be put to death for being a kafir, or apostasizing from Islam.  This is in line with most mainstream Islamic jurisprudence (see the Koran verses such as 2:217 and 4:89) that calls for the death of a convert away from Islam.

Andrew Bostom of the American Thinker wrote an excellent piece concerning Rifqa Bary:

Rifqa Bary faces death for her apostasy from Islam, while the media ignores the solid religious and institutional grounding for the practice.

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2 Responses to Rifqa, Islam, and the Mainstream Media

  • We need to get people to stop believing in the Quran and the Hadiths; they aren’t the word of God and they are leading people astray as to what He requires from them. Islam as a religion needs to be dismantled.

    God Bless,

  • LEST WE FORGET…

    September 1st is the fifth anniversary of the almost forgotten Beslan atrocity. The full story was never published at the time.

    In particular, the Islamic involvement was censored. The MSM never reported the child-rapes or other typically Islamic aspects, even though the children were being knifed to shouts of ‘Allah Akhbar’.

    The full uncensored story can be found in the links under ‘BESLAN – Child rape, torture and ritual murder’ at The Religion of Peace™ Subject Index

    Could all bloggers please help to spread the truth about this massacre to warn the public of the truly Satanic vileness of this predatory murder-cult.

John Wayne-Cardiac Catholic

Monday, August 24, AD 2009

 

 

John Wayne died on June 11, 1979.  Like many Americans at the time I felt as if a personal friend had died.  Growing up, Wayne was a part of my childhood both on TV and at the local theater.  Remarkably, more than three decades after his demise, he still routinely appears among the top ten favorite actors in polls.  For three and a half decades he dominated American film screens and became the archetypal Western hero.  Frequently savaged by film critics in his life, something which bothered him little, his appearance as a Centurion in the film The Greatest Story Ever Told, the video clip which begins this post, was a special target,  Wayne’s work has endured the test of time.  A staunch conservative, Wayne upheld a love of country when such love was popular and when it was unpopular.  Eventually he became a symbol of America, recognizable around the globe.  What is less known about Wayne is his religion, and, at the end, his conversion to Catholicism.

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9 Responses to John Wayne-Cardiac Catholic

  • Great post!

    Glad to know that both my childhood favs, Bob Hope & John Wayne, in the end ultimatley became Catholic.

    As for the “certainty that their Catholic faith gave them”, this is so remarkably true!

    I find it ironic then many Protestants lay the charge of how tremendously troubling Catholicism is due to some sort of uncertainty it brings about to the believer; no doubt, a sad symptom of that Lutheran mindset that emits cries of adolescent angst, not understanding the wealth of comfort that a genuine Christian faith as that actually brings.

  • e.,

    great point. There is a story (I believe unfounded) that on her deathbed Luther’s mother declared to him that “his religion was easier to live by, but hers was easier to die by”.

    Regardless of the attribution, it is a very true statement.

  • Matt,

    In other words: live Protestant, die Catholic.

  • e.,

    Theoretically, if we knew the hour of our passing then yes. As Christ made abundantly clear nobody knows but the Father, so best bet is to assume it’s immediate.

  • e,

    Only if easier = better.

  • Steve,

    very succinct and very accurate.

  • <3 John Wayne.

    I wonder if my mom's dad grinned a bit when John Wayne passed… Papa loved Mr. Wayne's movies, and my granny converted the entire family to the Catholic faith some time in the 50s. The Church is surely a good place for men like John Wayne and my grandfather.

  • My favorite John Wayne film sequence:

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