The American Catholics Top-10 Most Visited Articles

Saturday, October 31, AD 2009

Well we are approaching the end of our first anniversary here at The American Catholic website.  Many of us have provided our favorites and most thoughtful articles that caught our attention.  Now its the readers of The American Catholic’s turn.

The following articles are the most visited by our readers on The American Catholic.  They may not necessarily be the most popular, maybe they may be the most provocative that captured our readers attention.

So here are the Top-10 most visited articles these past 12 months:

1. Excessive Health Care Profits by DarwinCatholic on August 3, 2009 A.D.

2. Pro-life Ending for Jay Leno’s Tonight Show by Tim Shipe on May 30, 2009 A.D.

3. Russian Professor Predicts Breakup of US in 2010 by DarwinCatholic on December 29, 2008 A.D.

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12 Responses to The American Catholics Top-10 Most Visited Articles

  • Feel free to delete this comment after you fix it, but you’ve got the wrong date on #10– listed as two weeks in the future, which WOULD be quite impressive!

  • Thanks Foxfier!

    Glad to know that we have readers that read every little detail!

    🙂

  • Well, that’s not fair; Tim Shipe’s article was written 1800 years ago! Of course it has more hits than any other!

  • Andy,

    Was that BC or AD?

    😉

    Thanks for the catch!

  • Hey Andy- feel free to pile on my little Leno piece- that is probably my least favorite post- not because I have any problems with it- the Leno show topic just isn’t that big of a deal. I had hoped that my recent Church and Health Care idea would have stirred up a lot more discussion leading to more mainstream consideration of a “Catholic third way” for reforming health insurance options- but alas not much movement. Maybe in 1800 more years my Catholic Health Insurance ideas will take off!

  • Tim,

    Don’t give up.

    You probably made more people think about the Catholic third way than the Leno piece.

    I’m sure it was mostly curiosity due to it being Leno’s last show combined with the pro-life theme.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Happy (belated) birthday to this blog. I don’t always comment on the articles, (some days I am just too tired to type) but I have found value in the writings of all the TAC bloggers, even though I don’t always agree with them. The people I am prone to disagree with make me think, which is a good thing.

    A special thanks to Donald for his inspiring series of stories about Catholic military chaplains.

  • Thank you Donna. Faithful readers like you is why we do this.

  • I have to thank you all for sucking up my time. I don’t have that much of it and try as I might – I can’t avoid this site. So I suppose I’m stuck. 🙂

    Tito, I know you want me to post a pic but that is beyond my technical capability. I can barely turn a computer on. All I know how to do is type and hit submit. ANd I am not so sure about the typing.

    Thanks for putting up with me. Keep up the good work.

  • AK,

    Thanks for your many comments.

    Dude, don’t worry about the pic. If you ever figure that out, your computer genes embedded inside you due to your male gender will kick in and then you’ll be in for a world of hurt.

    Hopefully your marriage won’t suffer (no seriously)!

    😉

  • American Knight: I can’t figure out the picture thing either. I once completely wasted a couple of hours trying to put an avatar up on another site and couldn’t do it, so to heck with it.

    The “computer savvy” part of my brain was completely used up when I learned PowerPoint. There’s no room for anything else.

  • My male techie and competative genes kicked in once with a video game shortly after I got married and my poor wife did not react well to the massive amount of her time I wasted playing over and over and over until I won. I was up all hours of the night. The really bad part is we were at someone else’s home.

    I have not played video games since even though she allowed me to keep my thumbs 😉

    Of course this site isn’t helping with the addiction thingy. I guess y’all are doing something right.

    I’ll keep reading and posting for whatever that’s worth but please don’t expect this uneducated immigrant to figure out how to upload an avatar. I am afraid if I tried that my marriage may be in jeopardy.

    Seriously though, when I stumbled accross this site (I can’t even remember what I was looking up but I assume it required a Catholic perspective on something political – which these days is everything, yeah totalitarianism!) I was impressed and only recently discovered that y’all are new to this. Congratulations.

3 Responses to Nothing Is Scarier Than The Legislative Process

7 Responses to Send in the Clowns

  • I think it was Mark Russell who said you look at Congress and you realize that Send in the Clowns ought to be the national anthem. All official press conferences should commence with reporters being sheparded in with this tune.

  • Art, I can’t tell you how many political speeches, and courtroom orations, I have listened to with this playing in my mind as an accompaniment!

  • Love the song Don, and also prefer Judy Collins – a big hit back in the 70’s. Notwithstanding, Streisand is an amazing voice – loved her in the duet with Neil Diamond “He don’t bring me flowers anymore”, and many other solo performances.
    Actually, Diamond had a big hit with the Judy Collins number, “Both Sides Now.”
    More great music from the 70’s eh Don 😉

  • There are always exceptions that prove the rule Don!

  • Donald, when I first saw the headline, I immediately thought it was a reference to Biden!

  • It is now his theme song on this blog Donna!

  • Would the suggested patron of the blog, St. Maximillian aprove of this theme song, Don ? 😉

Vatican Condemnation of Halloween is False

Saturday, October 31, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this post.]

In what is a common occurrence that happens more than you think, the media again has done a poor job of reporting the news that emanates from the Vatican.  If it came from the Vatican at all.  The new one today is that the Catholic Church condemns Halloween, or some variation there of.

Various news outlets have reported that the Pope, the Catholic Church, or the Vatican have condemned, blasted, slammed, or as the Times of London said, “reserved their venom for the millions of parents who allowed their children to celebrate this “pagan” festival.”

And people say anti-Catholicism doesn’t exist?

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7 Responses to Vatican Condemnation of Halloween is False

  • I’m kinda curious how folks are celebrating Halloween in Spain, that they were able to find two quotes that could be shoe-horned into this story.

    The Times story says:
    José Sánchez González, the Bishop of Sigüenza-Guadalajara, in central Spain, went further, suggesting that Hallowe’en parties had a “background of the occult and anti-Christianity”. He said that he saw the dark influence of Hollywood playing with the young minds of Spanish children as they danced innocently around pumpkins, little realising that they were attending a pagan festival.

    “Due to this influence, Hallowe’en started being celebrated several years ago and it is spreading more and more, without people knowing what it is that they are celebrating,” he said.

    Sounds to me like they might actually have a problem– same way that the GB Christian group they quote to support their article is trying to deal with the real problems of vandalism and kids getting hit by cars while they’re out trick or treating.

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  • And who wrote this article “Vatican Condemnation of Halloween is False” ?? There is no author under the title … so we don’t know who to respond to, but going to the Contributors list, I realized that not one of the contributors is a Church Official or a priest. So, how could YOU be the authority on what the Church teaches? I would rather go with the priest from Spain than your opinions. Hope you can find the Truth and discern spirits .. especially during this time of occult and satanic rituals.

  • So, how could YOU be the authority on what the Church teaches?

    The Church publishes her binding teachings, and I don’t mean in a newspaper.

    Thus, it’s not a matter of the person posting having authority or not– it’s a matter of truth, which requires no authority to share.

    It doesn’t matter if someone is a Priest or “Church Official,” if they’re saying something is true when it isn’t, or if they’re being quoted as “the Vatican says” when it’s their view.

    (BTW, while there isn’t an author listed, you could go to the trackback right above your comment, go through and notice the first comment there is “Bravo, Tito.”)

  • I would rather go with the priest from Spain than your opinions.

    So that means I can follow whatever Richard McBrien says? After all, he’s a priest and dresses like one when he’s on TV.

Funeral and Repast for Father Hinds Today

Saturday, October 31, AD 2009

Father Edward Hinds

The funeral for Father Edward “Ed” Hinds will be celebrated today, Saturday, October 31,  A.D. 2009 at  10:00am.  The Mass will be the Rite of Christian Burial and simulcast live int he Saint Patrick Parish Center Gym, East/West Rooms, and Cafeteria.  Additional audio will be provided outside.

This will be followed by a private burial.

The Repast will be at 11:30am at the Corpus Christi Parish Center, 234 Southern Boulevard, Chatham, New Jersey.

_._

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of the Diocese of Paterson where Saint Patrick’s at Chatham is located had these moving words to say concerning the death of Fr. Hinds titled, A Life Cut Short: The Mystery of Evil:

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3 Responses to Funeral and Repast for Father Hinds Today

Defender of the Faith

Friday, October 30, AD 2009

Defender of the Faith

For years I’ve read Christopher Johnson’s first rate blog Midwest Conservative Journal.  If you want to know what is going on in the Anglican world, his is the blog to read.  I have always been impressed by how frequently a man who says he will probably never convert to Catholicism has taken up the cudgels in defense of the Faith.  Recently Newsweek decided to give Richard Dawkins, an ignorant, in matters of religion, bigot, an opportunity to vent his hatred of Catholicism by asking him to comment on the Anglican initiative of Pope Benedict.  (That is akin to asking Madonna, the strumpet, not the Mother of God, to give her opinion on the Summa Theologica.)  Christopher gives his hate filled screed a fisking to remember here.  Bravo Christopher!  You may never swim the Tiber, but you will always have a cheering section on this side of the bank!

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5 Responses to Defender of the Faith

The Attorney General Hates This Ad

Friday, October 30, AD 2009

Attorney General Eric Holder asked former DC Councilman Kevin Chavous to kill this ad, according to Chavous.  An odd request from the Attorney General one would think.  However, I can appreciate the concern of the AG about this ad.  DC public schools are some of the worst in the country, chaotic and violent.  This school voucher program, which I discussed in a prior post here,  gives a few kids a chance to get out of this mess.  Who could be against the program?  Obama of course.  He, and most Democrat elected officials, are owned body and soul by the teachers’ union, the NEA, and Obama and his colleagues would sooner eat ground glass  rather than allow kids through vouchers to escape from the dysfunctional and dangerous public schools that infest much of inner city urban America.  I am sure they regret that kids suffer as a result, but such is their political reality.  Needless to say, Obama of course would never send his daughters to public schools in DC, and I applaud his parental decision while I condemn his heartlessness in preventing other, less wealthy, parents from having the same option for their kids.

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5 Responses to The Attorney General Hates This Ad

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  • Do as I say, not as I do.

    What’s new?

  • ‘We losing several generations of kids.’
    Translation: Someone besides me has done something bad and I’m here to point that out.

    ‘Something has to be done.’
    Translation: Somebody has to stick their neck out and do the right thing. That somebody will not be me.

    More accurately:
    ‘I’m losing several generations of kids. I refuse to do anything because it’s politically risky.’

  • Mr. Chavous,
    Why are you a life-long democrat? Why do you support our president? His policies are against the human spirit. Babies in the womb stuggling to join the human family are snuffed out. Kids who survived the abortionist’s vacuum are condemned to awful schools. People who have managed to get a decent education are taxed to death to support other death. After living a productive, law-abiding, and positive life, you are urged to die as soon as possible to make room for the next cog in the machine. Mr. Chavous, I dare say the blind loyalty of idiots like you are a major part of the problem you now face.

  • Daledog: there is no way anybody but a Democrat can get elected in DC.

    Mayor Barry was neck-deep in slime and corruption and still got reelected – because people in DC could not bring themselves to vote for a woman with an “R” after her name. (That she was white didn’t help either.)

New York Times Rejects Archbishop Dolans Article, Why?

Friday, October 30, AD 2009

Archbishop Timothy DolanThe New York Times rejected an op-ed article submitted by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York.  Why may I ask would the New York Times reject an article from His Excellency?  Probably because Archbishop Dolan called out the New York Times for their yellow journalism.

Of course those not familiar will Colonial American history will “poo poo” this particular article.  But as early as A.D. 1642 there were laws in the books that required test oaths administered to keep Catholics out of office, legislation that barred Catholics from entering certain professions (such as Law), and measures enacted to make Catholics incapable of inheriting or purchasing land.

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30 Responses to New York Times Rejects Archbishop Dolans Article, Why?

  • What would you expect? Evil knows who the real enemy is, and doesn’t waste effort on wannabes.

  • It would be pretty uncomfortable not to be hated by, um (coughs) “minions.”

    St. Max Kolbe, St. Frances de Sales and St. Paul the Apostle are the patrons of journalists. Integrity in the press would be pleasing, for a change.

  • Tito:

    There are far more recent examples of blatant anti-Catholicism in American history.

    For starters, you might want to look into what was then known as the Blaine Amendment.

    “The American River Ganges,” Harper’s Weekly,
    September 30, 1871, p.916. Wood engraving.

    By the middle of the nineteenth century, large numbers of Catholic children had withdrawn from the significantly Protestant American public schools to attend newly organized Roman Catholic schools. With a large and influential Irish Catholic constituency, the powerful New York City Democratic machine centered at Tammany Hall persuaded the Democratic state legislature to provide public support for the Irish schools. A firestorm of controversy ensued, especially in states like Ohio and Illinois,where the Catholic hierarchy had made similar requests. The controversy re-ignited smouldering Republican nativism, a policy of protecting the interests of indigenous residents against immigrants; and it suddenly became attractive as a vote-getter since that Reconstruction issues appeared to have been resolved. Tammany politicians are shown dropping little children into the “American River Ganges,” infested with crocodilian bishops. The American flag flies upside down, the universal signal of distress, from the ruins of a public school. Linking Roman Catholicism to the Ganges, the sacred river of Hinduism, suggested its exotic un-Americanism and also linked it with what Americans then considered a primitive and fanatical religion.

  • One significant part missing from the Archbishop’s article is that anti-Catholicism has waned a good deal since the colonial and founding days of this country. While it’s clearly still a very real and significatn part of the national mindset as he shows, had he mentioned this trend and shown an example – i.e., the positive reception of the past two popes when visiting this country – it may have been better received by the NY Times?

  • [A]nti-Catholicism has waned a good deal since the colonial and founding days of this country.

    I don’t believe this to be true; instead, I believe anti-Catholicism is not as blatant as it was in earlier days, which is why this would seem to be the case.

    After all, it is not without compellingly good reason why it has been declared (quite rightly) that “anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice”.

  • The Archbishop should remove the log from his own eye as well. He has his own biases which he shares with all his brother bishops and he, as they do, refuses to listen as well to the victims of his particular bigotry.

    What goes around comes around Timothy. Please look at yourself as well.

  • While [Anit-Catholicism] has been declared (quite rightly) that “anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice”.”, that doesn’t speak clearly to the extent of that bias, it only speaks that the bias still concretely exists. The fact that Evangelicals (see “Has the Reformation Ended?” by Noll and Nystrom) have been slowly moving toward closer relations and mutual understanding with Catholics, along with the general Protestant population as well, it’s quite clear that there is an improvement to the bias that has existed from the beginning.

    I agree that the bias is still strong, especially in the popular media, though as you mention less blatant. But even then there has been a slow but discernible improvement. See the NY Times coverage of Vatican II – the paper itself showed surprisingly positive comments on the council, granted, it tended to want to see the Catholic Church as a “changed church”, and not just development. But nonetheless, a respect was shown that would not have been present back in the 19th century.

  • Karl Says: “Archbishop should remove the log from his own eye as well”

    Karl, Archbishop does acknowledge the Catholics issues, maybe not as much as you like? But he does. Rehashing further those Catholic issues would require The NY Times to do the same every time it writes about a topic, certainly not something that will ever happen. But the Archbishop certainly deserves his say in the most influential newspaper in this country on a topic of significant importance. If you use your line of reasoning, then the NY Times would also have to do the same, and we’d have to do without that newspaper for a long time until that log was removed!

  • Publius:

    While I might grant that there has been apparently good sentiments towards establishing good relations with Catholics by some members of certain Protestant denominations (whether wholly or in part); surely, good vibes from merely a selection of Protestant individuals cannot translate as meaning the “general Protestant population”; furthermore, the general populace of America itself does not consist merely in such a population as this but extends to those who are merely secularist or are themselves beholden to other categories not even Protestant, which such anti-Catholicism also eminate.

    Rest assured, anti-Catholicism is alive and well; it’s just not as conspicuous as it used to be.

  • e.:

    I should have said that there are significant, meaningful efforts underway for decades – in particular, since Vatican II – that have made an impact in Protestantism. You’re right; it’s an overstatement to say these changes have affected the general Protestant populations. Having clarified that, it is clear that numerous Protestants and Protestant churches (not to mention a few agnostics/atheists) have gained a growing respect for Catholicism. I speak of the Protestant segment of the population because it is the largest segment and one that I know where meaningful change is taking place. If it can be shown one segment is affected, then it shows there is change, no matter how small.
    One area of change has occurred when numerous leaders on both sides of the Protestant / Catholic fences are finding important ways of working together, leaders – such as those involved in Evangelical and Catholics Together. They are leaders for a reason, they bring followers. And while this is always a bit nebulous in the Protestant world, there are a number of examples that can show this is taking root. Also, Protestants and Catholics have stood together in front of numerous abortion clinics, an action that is bound to produce more than ‘good vibes’. It builds shared values, which is a solid base to build on. This is a very slow process, but a process that is in the works. I am involved in two ecumenical groups myself where a learning process is underway that is yielding mutual respect and understanding, which requires a yield to the traditional bigotry.
    And no need to continue repeating Anti-Catholicism is still alive and well, we agree on this. I just think it’s important and helpful to acknowledge that serious effort and action has been made in past decades, especially since and because of Vatican II, that indicates the roots and resulting fruit that has taken place. It doesn’t diminish the reality of the “last acceptable prejudice” in this country.

  • I know it is called anti-Catholicism, but I think it is different in kind now than it was in the past. While many so-called anti-Catholics may see our beliefs as incoherent and superstitious as to theological/sacramental matters (eg, transubstantiation), the current anti-Catholicism is focused more on our ethical/moral beliefs. Thus, it’s not limited to anti-Catholic, but anti-anyone who does not agree with their morality.

  • c matt is correct in my view, which explains why the animus is directed more from so-called cultural elites and liberals than conservative fundies. The latter disagree with us, and have very odd understandings of our beliefs, but with a few exceptions really don’t demonize us. Moreover, the latter group is comparatively powerless.

  • Publius:

    While I agree with you that such advances have indeed been made insofar as our relationship concerning certain Protestants go; however, I believe what’s being neglected here is that these seemingly minor events have not led to any significant eradication or even a diminishment of anti-Catholicism in general and, as I’ve attempted to point out in my latter remark (admittedly, rather poorly), the general population of the United States is not primarily comprised of just Protestants. There are several other folks who are just as, if not, far more fierce in their anti-Catholicism.

    c matt:

    I’m afraid I need to disagree with you there.

    The PZ Myers affair itself would seem precisely indicative of the kind of underlying prejudice (still alive as it is ubiquitous & rampant) certain categories of Americans (in this case, the scientific community as well as various secular groups) harbor specifically towards our kind.

    That is, I don’t believe it is really merely a matter of Christian morals, which any other Christian denomination apart from ours may likewise subscribe to; and, yet, I doubt that they would suffer incidents similar to the hideous kind Catholics are typically victim to, like the one here.

  • This is no surprise to me. More and more, the MSM is simply ignoring criticism or stories which do not promote their leftist POV. They didn’t vet Obama properly, they barely reported on Van Jones, they dropped the ball on ACORN – but we know what designer made the dress Michelle wore on date night. People complain about Fox, but the truth is that Fox is doing the job the rest of the MSM refuses to do.

    In the meantime, the NY Times circulation continues to tank and they recently had another big layoff. If it wasn’t for Mexican billionaire Carlos Sim, the Gray Lady would already be six feet under.

    The Church will be around long after the Times prints its last snide MoDo column.

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  • If you go to Fox News you will see the entire Archbishop’s comments on their web site. I sent a copy of your web site article to Fox when it came out and whether or not they had planned to reprint it I do not know, but it is on their web site.

  • I should add that it is under their Opinion page.

  • Doesn’t matter.

    Anyone wanting to do an honest search will find our website or another Catholic website/blog with the correct information.

    As long as it gets out. Eventually most of the more outlandish attacks on our faith should subside with time. If not, those, like the New York Times, will get less and less credibility with their attacks.

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  • I do not think the NY Times is at all anti Catholic. Three years ago the Times published a Phenomenal and Wonderful Article about the NY Catholic Foundling and the work of Saint Elizabeth Seton and her Sisters of Charity.

    I think that perhaps Archbishop Dolan may just be a tad thin skinned and doesn’t understand the language of locals and natives……. He just needs time and the neverending tolerance and patience of the people we are — New Yorkers. He’s a shepherd. Perhaps sheep graze on different grass in the midwest. He’ll come around and see we’re not so scary!!!!!!!!! Francis de Sales, Gabriel, John Chrysostom, etc. love us all equally and are with us all. Maybe he was just having a bit of a belly ache after eating that case of Tasykakes sent to him by Archbishop Rigali of Philly!!!!

  • Being anti-catholic is like charging someone with being anti-semitic. This type of vitriol is thrown for the purpose of intimidating and silencing the views of others. The Archbishop has a right, if not a responsibility, to preach to his flock whatever he feels is proper according to his faith. The rub comes when he speaks or acts beyond that in an attempt to influence, if not shape, public policy. As a voter, he is free to. But as a cleric, he is out of bounds.

  • “The rub comes when he speaks or acts beyond that in an attempt to influence, if not shape, public policy.”

    So when the bishops of America speak out against abortion, would such acts be considered “an attempt to influence, if not shape, public policy”?

  • Absolutely… the Archbishop could, just as any other citizen, speak as a civilian (preferably in street clothes) and make his position clear. Speaking as a cleric and a leader of an organization accepting tax benefits, he is out of place.

  • Would similar individuals within an organization such as the Evangelical Society count?

  • The first test is whether they are granted tax free status, if so, then they would need to speak as individual and not from the authority of some tax supported organization… From the internet, I understand the Evangelical Society to believe the following: “The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory.” These beliefs are clear but the relevance to the modern world is highly unclear.

  • zukunftsaugen,

    I disagree 100%.

    He is the shepherd of the Catholic Church in New York City and he has the right and the duty to lead them.

    Your ideas are bordering on totalitarianism.

    If that is what you think anyone in a position of authority should behave, then maybe you should investigate Communist China and see how well they are doing over there.

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Healthcare & Subsidiarity: Two Interpretations

Thursday, October 29, AD 2009

I’ve been thinking a bit about the principle of subsidiarity recently as it relates to health care reform. To provide some context, here is the Catechism on subsidiarity:

1883 Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co- ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”7

1885 The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.

Despite the rancor which sometimes surrounds the health care debate in the Catholic blogosphere, it seems to me that the basic issue is different prudential judgments regarding the application of the principle of subsidiarity. I’m a bit torn between two ways to apply subsidiarity in this particular circumstance, and so I thought it might be worthwhile to explore the different positions as I understand them. 

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15 Responses to Healthcare & Subsidiarity: Two Interpretations

  • If we’re going to have to have some sort of socialized health care, why not offer vouchers to state governments. There the state legislators can deal with socialized medicine better and more effectively than the federal government.

    Granted it’s still the government, but at least each state will have different levels of socialized health care that they wish.

    For example, Massachusetts and Hawaii have something similar to what House Speaker Pelosi want to offer. Why not instead of creating one huge bureaucracy, just offer vouchers for state governments that have some sort of statewide health care system.

  • John Henry,

    Your division of the two positions are well taken and are roughly on the mark. But I think they are a bit oversimplified — or rather, I think the ‘Position 2’ is not as accurate as ‘Position 1’. The former is precisely on point; I hold Position 2 and that is not how I would describe it (or how I think most people who hold that position would describe it).

    Now I’m not saying that Catholics or anyone else must hold my view (and I hope they would extend me the same charity).

    This is how I put it when I discussed it previously:

    The principle of subsidiarity requires that social goods be met by the most local and most efficient means. This means, hypothetically speaking, if the government and private sector can both do the same task with equal efficiency in regard to one matter, it is most prudent to allow the private sector to do it and allocate government resources and energy elsewhere. But if the most local medium cannot accomplish this task, then a higher authority is obligated to offer assistance. It is a morally preferable that given the availability of health care in contemporary society, everyone should be able to both afford and receive quality health care. The private sector alone has not been able to meet this task. The cost of caring for the sick (which includes pregnant women) are so much greater than for those who are less sickly that insurance companies have strong incentives to find ways to insure only the healthy—basically, pricing the sick out of the market. As a result, it is arguably valid for the government to seek to carefully de-incentivize this.

    So far from being a rejection of subsidiarity, it is applying it appropriately to the situation. Subsidiarity is a hard principle to reconcile with solidarity and I think at times we end up with one at the expense of the others.

    So the natural question becomes this: what is ‘socialization’ and ‘collectivism’?

    I think the lack of a clear, concrete definition makes this subject to debate — no matter how tempted we are to impose a definition for the Magisterium.

    One might run into a problem with other guidelines laid out in the Catechism:

    “In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labor, and enjoy their fruits. The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race. However, the earth is divided up among men to assure the security of their lives, endangered by poverty and threatened by violence. The appropriation of property is legitimate for guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of persons and for helping each of them to meet his basic needs and the needs of those in his charge. It should allow for a natural solidarity to develop between men,” (2402).

    “Political authority has the right and duty to regulate the legitimate exercise of the right to ownership for the sake of the common good,” (2406).

    My basic point here — and this is not a blanket endorsement of mainstream Democratic proposals to health care, on the contrary — is that solidary and subsidiarity seem to be at war in contemporary political discourse.

    Now if ‘collectivism’ and ‘socialization’ means a movement toward statist socio-economic policies then most certainly the principle of subsidiarity opposes this tendency firmly.

    But…

    I have become weary of appeals to subsidiarity because I find some Catholics’ understanding of the principle to be problematic in that it evolves into a totally libertarian, social Darwinistic perspective. Historically not far removed from the rise of communism and socialism, government intervention (perhaps rightly) is regarded with suspicion.

    The turning point, which I think is not at all Catholic, is when any social interest or collective good that is not totally privatized is suspicious. In some ways (and I cannot go into much detail here), but I find this thinking to be deeply rooted in legal positivist absolutism and social contract theory. In other words, it is the abandonment of ‘ought’ — I have no duties or obligations with my money unless I (as a free and autonomous person) say so. Taxation is hardly legitimate; it is “government theft” — using my money without my permission or explicit sanction from the social contract, which I must agree to.

    This tendency, from this perspective, travels into the question of collective responsibilities and interests (as well as personal ones) in regard to health care.

    I’m not sure if all of this thinking can be reconciled with the Church’s teaching. Certainly an argument can be made by what the mainstream of Democrats proposals being put forth.

    Good post Henry.

  • Tito,

    Yours is a good question. I’ll write the legislation and you go began to lobby other Congressmen to vote with us.

  • I tend toward position 1; however, I think if we are confining this to subsidiarity then the current proposals are in clear violation. Government has a history of and a tendency to ruin the things it states to do. Far too often the results are practically opposite of the stated intentions. Why should we think this would be different?

    Additionally, we already have socialized health care and it is a disaster so how can we think that growing it and centralizing it more will result in anything other than an increase in the magnitude and quantity of the problems.

    Subsidiarity as federalism allows 50 sovereign jurisdictions to compete with one another, copy the positive, and eliminate the negative. One single decision maker leaves nothing with which to compare the benefits and the pitfalls.

    This does not rule out government’s role even at the federal level because it may have to negotiate concerns between the states, provided they cannot work them out themselves.

    For example, Maryland allows abortion in the state provided health plans and mandates that private carriers offer abortion in their plans. Virginia forbids abortion. What is to stop Virginians from crossing the border to procure abortions? If Maryland and Virginia cannot resolve this problem then it would fall to the federal government. Of course, that does not mean that the VA/MD decision should apply to Illinois and Wisconsin. [This can be any other issue, abortion came to mind because John Henry said don’t think about pink elephants so all I can think about is pink elephants]

    As for position number two: The fact that medical care is a right because it can acutely address the health of the human person does not mean that ALL medical or ALL health care is a right. Nevertheless, a minimum level should be provided to everyone who CANNOT provide it for themselves. This does not mean that the medical care, health care, medical insurance, etc. of those who CAN provide for themselves should be interfered with. If the free market is at the disposal of those individuals, which will be the majority, is working well, then it must be left alone. General tax revenue, not necessarily income tax, will be adequate for providing the care for the truly indigent who are not cared for by charities. This is reserved for the truly poor (through no fault of their own) and the uninsurable (through no fault of their own). This will be a small minority of the citizenry of the USA.

    It is a far greater mistake to provide care for all at the expense of some because that is unsustainable and eventually no one will have any medical care whatsoever. As for doing something as opposed to doing nothing: Agreed. However, that something should be to remove the restrictions on the truly enterprising medical, health and insurance providers and to stop rewarding the rent-seeking corporations that used the government to impose these restrictions in the first place. Additionally without addressing the monopoly of the Federal Reserve and their perpetual inflation of the money supply as well as the trial lawyers, all other efforts to ‘fix’ health care are irrelevant.

  • I want to add that Tito directly points out an overlooked distinction that I think could have been the real compromise on this issue — in America, there is not just a federal government, there are 50 state governments that are indeed more local.

    We use the term ‘government’ but I sense we’re often alluding to the federal government.

  • Eric,

    I’d be more than happy to work with you on this. Shoot, I’ll even register as a Democrat, so you and I can both be marginalized for our fervent faith together!

  • Tito and Eric,

    Good points. It is equally important to note that we also have county and local governments. The governing authority closest to the indigent that need to be served is going to be more personal and less beaurcratic, therefore more effective.

    Additionally, local charities and charitable individuals would have more opportunity to fill the gap and probably even leave the governments out of it.

    At the federal level government is far more prone to end up serving itself with little to no recourse for the people at large. Centralization tends to oligarchy.

  • American Knight,

    And then states can decide to pass the money down to county governments or issue refunds to their state citizens.

    On another note, AK, time for you to put up a pic. Those modernist-abstract gravatars do you no justice.

  • Isn’t it important to note here the word “cannot”? Not “will not” or “are not,” but “cannot” is important to subsidiarity. Most states offer some sort of insurance to the unemployed / underemployed (I know this…my children are on it…).

    Of course, this question seems to turn on a matter of semantics. If one insists that the issue is “everyone has federal insurance” than ipso facto, no state can possibly meet the demands. On the other hand, many states do insure the needy, and many uninsured could afford their own health care, which seems to meet the demands of subsidiarity nicely.

  • Why stop at the state level? Give the vouchers to the individuals.

  • Jonathan,

    Excellent point. Like my earlier comment, Massachusetts and Hawaii already offer something like this to some degree.

    RestrainedRadical,

    That would be my favorite, send the vouchers directly to the individuals.

  • John/Tito

    Reading a little deeper nay help this discussion.

    The section on Subsidiarity runs from 1881 to 1885 and the COMPENDIUM
    OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH, chapter IV section four has a more detailed discussion.

    185. Subsidiarity is among the most constant and characteristic directives of the Church’s social doctrine and has been present since the first great social encyclical. It is impossible to promote the dignity of the person without showing concern for the family, groups, associations, local territorial realities; in short, for that aggregate of economic, social, cultural, sports-oriented, recreational, professional and political expressions to which people spontaneously give life and which make it possible for them to achieve effective social growth.

    Snip

    186. The necessity of defending and promoting the original expressions of social life is emphasized by the Church in the Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, in which the principle of subsidiarity is indicated as Nb>a most important principle of “social philosophy”.

    Snip

    On the basis of this principle, all societies of a superior order must adopt attitudes of help (“subsidium”) — therefore of support, promotion, development — with respect to lower-order societies.

    Subsidiarity, understood in the positive sense as economic, institutional or juridical assistance offered to lesser social entities, entails a corresponding series of negative implications that require the State to refrain from anything that would de facto restrict the existential space of the smaller essential cells of society. Their initiative, freedom and responsibility must not be supplanted.

    Bold text emphasis is mine.

    I think the principle of subsidiarity says a little more than saying if the lower unit can do it better it should be done at the lower level and the reverse for the higher level. Intermediate social institutions often have the right to their own decision making and operation. The fact that the higher level of society may not agree with the decisions is irrelevant, unless the problems caused rise to the level of harming the common good.

    The principle of subsidiary is rooted in the need to protect human dignity, an institution that is to large, and with out effective intermediate levels makes the individual to an anonymous cog that has no dignity. The larger unit may in an economic sense be more efficient, but if locating a funciton there tends to harm human dignity the less efficient lower level would be preferred. A good example is that while the Pope is the head of the church the bishops have authority in their own right and the Pope should not intervene in the internal operations of their diocese under normal circumstances no matter how much he disagrees. I think we all know of seveal dioceses where the ocal bishops prunential decisions scream of stupidity, but in fact the bishop, was acting in good faith with in the confines of the faith.

    When considering the common good the Churches Social teaching is that the common good protects the individual, even the least individual. Many secular people using the term see it as meaning abanding the least individual for the more efficient operation of society. Thus some secualar persons see abortion as promoting the common good by getting rid of marginal individuals. But their language is often reminiscent of Catholic teaching if one is not listening carefully, though they are often (unknowingly) promoting the opposite.

    I think that the principle of subsidiarity requires a substantial level of evidece that, not mearly health care can be run on a national level, and run more economic efficientcy at the national level but than othe levels but that it provides for individuls and their doctors to make good health care decions on the indivudual basis. I find the case lacking.

    It seems to me, that even in the doubtful case that all the claims for National Health care could be met, it would de facto restrict the existential space of the smaller essential cells of society to effectivly provide healt care to individuals.

  • There are several important prudential arguments as to why National Health Care is not a good choice from a Subsidiarity position.

    Economy of scale. Consolidating operations of any type can produce an economy of scale that allows for more efficient and effective operation. But sooner or later you reach a point of diminishing returns where the additional consolidation starts reducing efficiency and effectiveness. It seems to that part of the problem with health care is that the current organizations providing it are long past the point of diminishing returns. Further consolidation would only increase the inefficiency and effectiveness of heath care delivery.

    Predatory pricing. Monopolies engage in predatory pricing unless there something to stop them. This is often because the normal pressures on an organization push the monopoly in that direction, rather than a premeditated sense of greed. Part of the high cost of heath care that parts of the health care system are limited or quasi monopolies. Moving heath care into a monopoly can only increase this effect. Government regulation can often restrict monopolies but when the government is the operator of the monopoly the regulator and the operator are the same and the regulator function loses. No necessarily greed, just the effect of thousands of decisions responding to normal operatons.

    Living wage. The proposal will move about 20% of the economy into the governmental sector. The government gets money by taxes, even if they are called something else. Yes paying taxes is a duty, but those who levy the taxes have duties to insure they are just and do not cause harm, certainly they should not be so high as to reduce wages to the point that they are no longer a living wage. How this is to be prevented does not seem to be a major item of discussion or consideration by supporters. But a shift of this size could easily do this or cause other distortions not consistent with Catholic social teaching.

    Human dignity. R.J. Rummel, Professor Emeritus of the University of Hawaii, is one of the worlds experts on mass murder (not just genocide) by governments. His conclusion of alife time of study is that the single predictor of government committed mass is the unchallenged ability to do it. This has nothing to do with ideology, if the ability is there sooner or later it will happen. A national health care system will give that kind of unchallenged authority to the government. Not that people set out to do that, or the establishment of “death panels,” but dening care, providing poorer care of even providing fatal drugs will be an easy solution to many day to day problems. Any one who could challenge these decisions is appointed by the same people making the decisions and under the same pressures. Even if things to not rise to the level that Dr. Rommel’s theory would predict, decisions contary to the human dignity of the patients will become more and more common.
    See his power Kills website and his book Death by Government

  • Hank, excellent comments. I was especially struck by the last part of your post.

    Earlier this week, I came across this post at Belmont Club. Now, that is a secular (albeit conservative) blog and I have no idea if the author, Richard Fernandez, is a believing Christian or not. And the blog post was about the rise of the BNP in the UK, not healthcare. Nonetheless, I think this comment connects to the points you have made:

    For as long as man imagined himself to be sacred and accountable to the Creator he stood at the center of polity. The state was there to serve him and not the reverse. Today he has lost that central place and is no more or less than a collection of curiously animated chemical substances with a market value of less then fifty dollars which the state has deigned to keep alive until some bureaucratic panel decides it is too expensive to do so. Just as Global Warming can be understood at one level as an attempt to bring nature into the purview of politics, it is impossible to understand the Left’s fixation with abortion except as a sacramental affirmation of the state’s power over man. The strident insistence on abortion on demand goes way beyond any conceivable need to prevent backroom abortions, or even an affirmation of a woman’s right to choose. It is really an absolute display of the power of politics over life. Abortion’s principal utility is as a stake driven through the heart of the notion of human sacredness, which once performed, ought to prevent its revival entirely.

    That is why I wonder about left-leaning Catholics who seem to assume that a large nanny state will happily co-exist with religion. The larger the state gets, the more it will view religious groups not as valuable co-partners, but as threats to the state’s authority. Forget the Bible and the Pope – the government will tell you what is right and wrong.

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Moving Halloween to Saturday: Treat or Trick?

Thursday, October 29, AD 2009

In recent years Halloween has gone from a primarily child-oriented holiday to an occasion of commercial importance comparable to Christmas or Easter. National retail sales figures indicate that Halloween is the 6th biggest holiday for retailers — behind Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day — and rapidly gaining ground, particularly among young adults.

The trend has now sparked a movement of sorts — led by the Spirit Halloween retail chain — to move Halloween permanently to the last Saturday in October. Their online petition at this link (http://www.spirithalloweekend.com/ ) asks Congress to lend its official endorsement to the change, although that would not be strictly necessary since Halloween is not a federal or national holiday.

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15 Responses to Moving Halloween to Saturday: Treat or Trick?

  • Darn, I wish Spirit Halloween had a combox. Darn, darn, darn!

  • I vote (B) a concession to worldliness and indifference.
    Vigils, feast days, birthdays… the actual dates count for something. I enjoy a movable feast as much as the next guy, but it should have a better excuse behind it than grubbing for cash or extending the weekend.

  • Remember that they then consolidated both Abraham Lincoln’s and George Washington’s birthdays to “President’s Day”.

  • Halloween and All Saints have a particular significance for me since my wedding anniversay falls on All Saints. If they change it, I will have to come up with some other way to remember, so I vote no. Or maybe I can convince my wife to celebrate the solemnity of our marriage along with All Saints, rather than the actual day of our wedding?

  • I think you make a compelling argument overall. Actually changed my mind, as a matter of fact.

    As to changing the date – I actually find it to be more confusing. When I’m looking at my calendar, it’s so much easier to assess the fixed-date holidays as compared to the floating ones. “Which weekend is that on this year?”

  • For the record, I also would vote “no”.

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  • Also, I really need to give credit here to Todd Aglialoro, now a writer for Inside Catholic, who many years ago when he worked for the Peoria Diocese Family Life Office, wrote a column for The Catholic Post titled “How Halloween Is a Very Catholic Thing.”

    It was in that article that I first came across the quote from Chesterton on paganism and Christianity. Unfortunately, I cannot find this article online anywhere, and I no longer have print back issues of The Post to refer to.

    If you happen to be reading this, Todd, thanks for the inspiration, and can you tell me where to find that article?

  • Instead of moving Halloween to Saturday, it needs to be moved right off the calendar. There is nothing good about it- junk food for kids, wild parties for adults, strangers ringing your doorbell all evening, drunks in the ER all night. Once again, America has taken a religious day and turned it into a mockery.

  • I understand your concerns, Annie, but by your standards, St. Patrick’s Day should probably be “moved right off the calendar” too.

    It lacks only junk food for kids and strangers ringing your doorbell… although strangers in an adjacent apartment who start their St. Paddy’s Day party at 2 in the afternoon are just as annoying 🙂 Likewise, it too is a religious holiday that has been pretty much turned into a caricature of itself, at least in the U.S.

    Also, I read somewhere many years ago that the government of Ireland, back in the late 50s or early 60s, briefly considered moving St. Patrick’s Day to September so there would be better weather for outdoor celebrations! Needless to say, that didn’t fly.

  • And speaking of moving holidays to weekends — if I remember correctly, students at U. of Ill. in Champaign observe something called “Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day” on the Friday or Saturday closest to the actual St. Paddy’s Day. The observance consists entirely of hanging out in bars and getting as drunk as possible.

    I suppose that no matter what happens to the Spirit Halloween petition drive, the preceding Saturday will become, if it hasn’t already, “Unofficial Halloween” for adult partying purposes anyway.

  • Goodness, perhaps someday the secularists will wish to ensure “Christmas,” which they will call “The Winter Holiday,” always falls on Friday so everyone gets a 3 day weekend.

    Awfully pesky the way things are now, when Dec. 25 can fall on a Wednesday. Once you remove the religious significance of these holidays, there’s no point to keeping to a set date.

  • Some of you should read up on history a bit.

    The reality is that the Church chose Dec 25th for Christmas in an attempt to add religious meaning to an already existent pagan holiday. There is circumstantial evidence that Jesus was actually born in April.

    Back to the holiday at hand…Halloween is and always has been a pagan holiday. The religious holiday that the Church attached to it (once again, in order to add a religious meaning to it) is All Saints Day. This petition doesn’t mention moving All Saints Day. In fact, you might end up with more people in the pews on Nov. 1st if they haven’t been out trick or treating and then stuffing themselves full of candy all night the night before.

  • Martha,

    I wasn’t aware that the Hebrews were pagans. Wasn’t Dec. 25th the date the temple was re-dedicated? It seems like a religiously significant date for the temple in Jerusalem and since Jesus refers to Himself as the temple – it makes sense, don’t you think?

    As for Halloween – move it, don’t move it – it doesn’t matter – for most of us, including the secularists, it is just a fun night to dress up act silly, beg for candy and share some frivolous entertainment with each other. There is a danger that the occult becomes cool, but I think for most people this is innocent fun. As for all the drunks, rowdy morons, witches and satanists – they are going to do what they do, with or without secular Halloween and they’ll do it on Oct 31 and/or the last Sat in Oct – do they really care?

    People are not skipping Mass on All Saints because of Halloween – how else do you account for all the other days they skip Mass?

    Holidays have the significance we give them. Christmas can be just a day to drink egg nog and get gifts. Easter can just be about chocolate eggs. We are not forced to worship God; we are just as free to worship ourselves – at least for a little while – then Bam! Halloween won’t mean a thing although some of the imagery might be familiar in hell.

  • Thanks for sharing with information. now i know more about holloween..please keep posting. I will visit again.

15 Responses to Not So Secret Ingredient

  • Elizabeth Bathory, call your office.

  • BaltoCath beat me to it: Bathory revividus. Who knew she simply was ahead of her time?

    Horrific.

  • Nazi lampshades.

  • It’s wrong when babies are used to manufacture a cure for a disease; it’s even more wrong to be used in ANTI-AGING creams.

    Garbage like this makes me look forward to wrinkles.

  • Don’t forget “Jew Soap,” Phillip.

    I’d heard of such products having been marketed in Europe for some years; this is the first I’d heard of it being sold here. I always read the labels on skin products for good measure. Ladies of a certain age: if the source of the collagen isn’t specified, beware!

  • Remember what our Dear Leader Obama said, they’re only mistakes.

  • cminor,

    I didn’t know about that one.

  • As to “Jew soap” read the speech by Barney Greenwald at the conclusion of the Caine Mutiny post.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/06/14/the-caine-mutiny/

  • But, don’t we do the same by recycling “slaughtered innocence” in blended families from divorced/annulled Catholic marriages – even when they have been held to be valid yet, laity and clergy alike, welcome those who have slaughtered that innocence and those innocents. And those who have been abandoned are openly “slaughtered” for saying the truth, because we are ignored, over and over and over.

    I do hope you do not ban me for this Mr. McClarey.

    What I say is true, no different than what you said is true. I can name names as well, so can the priests and bishops, but we cannot make them care.

  • There are degrees of evil, Karl. I would not compare “blended families” – I have a few of those in my extended family – with using the remains of a child to make face cream.

    I use face cream – have since I was a teen because my skin is dry – and am absolutely horrified by this. I have not used any of those products – thank God -and never will. And I am glad to learn of “Children of Life for God” so I can check with them before making any purchases. This is utterly revolting.

  • As disgusting and immoral as this is, it’s important to be accurate about the nature of this product.

    It is NOT like “Soylent Green” in that it requires a continuous supply of tissue from newly aborted babies. Nor is the use of the product comparable to the atrocities of Elizabeth Bathory, who (according to legend) murdered dozens if not hundreds of young girls in the belief that bathing in their blood would preserve her youthful beauty.

    Rather, the product contains a protein extracted from a line of stem cells, continously perpetuated in the laboratory, that originated with ONE aborted child, who likely died many years ago.

    A similar situation exists with regard to certain vaccines that were cultivated from fetal cell lines. One commonly used cell line for measles-mumps-rubella vaccine originated with a baby that was aborted more than 40 years ago after its mother was infected with rubella. There are other vaccines, however, that use cell lines from animals.

    With regard to the morality of vaccines, Catholic moral theologians are divided. A sampling of their opinions can be found at the Children of God for Life website.

    All of these theologians agree that the degree of moral cooperation in abortion incurred by parents who allow their children to receive such vaccinations is extremely remote, given that the original abortion took place long before the PARENTS, let alone the children receiving the vaccinations, were even born.

    Most (but not all) are also of the opinion that the need to protect currently living children from disease, particularly if no alternative is available, outweighs the miniscule degree of cooperation involved on the parents’ part. Doctors and researchers, however, have a greater ability and therefore a greater obligation to seek alternatives to these vaccines when possible.

    Of course, vaccines against potentially life-threatening diseases are one thing, while cosmetic products which one can easily live without are another. And it goes without saying that the exploitation of even one aborted baby is wrong, no matter how long ago it happened. Plus the fact that the manufacturer would use that as a selling point (probably to promote embryonic stem cell research) is, to say the least, very disturbing. So a boycott of this product is entirely appropriate.

    However, let’s be accurate about what is going on here and not give abortion advocates further reason to ridicule the scientific or medical “ignorance” or misinformation of those opposed to their agenda. Also, don’t confuse this with an urban legend that cropped up back in the 1970s claiming that collagen used in cosmetic products came directly from aborted babies.

  • I thought my post was quite clear on that point Elaine, and I don’t think it makes any difference as to the moral culpability of the ghouls at Neocutis. One innocent being “harvested” is one too many.

  • “I do hope you do not ban me for this Mr. McClarey.”

    You have an idee fixe when it comes to your divorce Karl. I’m not going to ban you again yet, but I am placing you on notice that I am not going to allow you to turn threads that have no relation to divorce into arenas where you can vent about how you feel you were ill-treated by the Church. Such comments will be deleted by me in my threads.

  • Don, it wasn’t your post I was concerned about, but some others who raised comparisons to Elizabeth Bathory, Soylent Green, and Nazi lampshades — all of which involved body parts or tissues taken directly from murdered victims, and the first two of which involved continuous, repeated use of such remains.

    And I agree 100 percent that what the company is doing is wrong.

    It should be noted that, according to the Neocutis website, the original cell line appears to have been developed with the intent of using the resultant tissue to treat victims of burns or other severe trauma. That still doesn’t justify its use, however.

  • Mine was not a “hijack” attempt. It was just to provoke thought. Thank you.

    With respect to this comment:

    “And it goes without saying that the exploitation of even one aborted baby is wrong, no matter how long ago it happened.”

    This is true but is mostly ignored in this case and in other ways in other situations when this same concept can be applied. Such as this should NEVER go without saying, regardless of the circumstances. It can never be stressed enough.

    To allow profit from an injustice is commonly accepted by priests and clergy and much more often than not encouraged. This “type” of issue needs to be
    adequately addressed but is not. The Catholic Church needs to provide avenues for redress, that is easily actionable through canon law, without expensive canon lawyers, for clergy who encourage such injustices without account. Until such services are available for minimal cost the Catholic Church is actively undermining morality and is sending duplicitous messages. How then can it not expect the same from the faithful?

Biden: 40% Approval

Thursday, October 29, AD 2009

From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  As the Onion comes to the defense of our beloved national clown, I note with dismay that only 40% of Americans approve of the Veep of Mirth.  How soon Americans forget the many times that Biden has gone above and beyond  the call of comedic duty to engage in verbal pratfalls to lighten the national mood.  Fortunately I have been keeping track here.  Reason TV reminds us why we have cause to be grateful to Biden, the greatest comic genius since the Three Stooges took their last skull slap.

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2 Responses to Biden: 40% Approval

Boycott Upcoming Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection

Thursday, October 29, AD 2009

REFORM CCHD

There is a coalition of Catholic organizations that have formed that will be pushing for a nationwide boycott of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) called REFORM The Catholic Campaign For Human Development with a website.  The Sunday before Thanksgiving a collection is done by many parishes for CCHD.  Instead of donating money to an organization that is diametrically opposed to many teachings of the Catholic Church, submit the coupon that is at the top of this posting.

You can also download a PDF file and print it out yourself here.

The many scandals that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) never ceases to amaze.  It’s been well documented how insidious and diabolical CCHD is from funding ACORN to funding abortions.

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20 Responses to Boycott Upcoming Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection

  • The Catholic Media Coalition has a two-minute YouTube video about CCHD that is a quick and easy way to warn Catholics about the collection. Pass it on.

  • I first learned of CCHD’s shennanigans after last year’s elections. I could have vomitted. We truly are our own worst enemies. I felt like leaving the Church, except there is no where better to go. These dopey bishops and priests who crave worldly acceptance are a terrible problem. I will print out a thousand of these coupons and start passing them out today.

  • Daledog,

    I intend to do the same at the more orthodox parishes.

  • Another beaut involving the Archdiocese of Chicago.

    http://tinyurl.com/yf4nhqe

  • Dear me, I’ve given to them in the past, vaguely supposing I was helping to feed and clothe the poor.
    Thank you for the tip.

    I am feeling a bit disheartened today. It’s bad enough that I no longer trust many secular institutions – the media and the people of both parties who supposedly represent my interests in DC – I have to bring that mistrust to Mass with me. I can’t trust that money given in a second collection will be used for good purposes. It’s very depressing.

  • Didn’t Jesus have something to say about making His Father’s House into a den of thieves?

  • I regret to say ican’t join the boycot.

    When a discussion of this group came up 10 or 15 yeras ago, just ignoring the accuations, the explantiohs provided by its supporters were so lame I decided I would rather give to other organazitions that at least promised to do somethng useful.

  • Hank,

    You can’t join the boycott, yet you give to other organizations that are not CCHD?

    OK, did I miss something or did you mistype?

  • I’m wondering if Hank quite understands what a boycott is. I’m guessing, from his comments, that he thinks it means ‘supporting’ a group.

  • Or perhaps he can’t BEGIN boycotting because he already started 10 years ago.

  • AKL’s second comment has it.

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  • We must not give to those organizations that are utilizing the money to do things that are against our believes and teachings.

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  • I have served on a committee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. It is an outstanding organization from local committees to national. There are many checks and balances that insure Catholic teachings are upheld. They focus on de-institutionalizing poverty hence their slogan of a hand up rather than a hand out. I quadrupled my giving to them this past year and invite others to find out the truth and trust their money can find no better charity.

  • Paul A.,

    You and your cohorts are going to have to donate more than 4x the amount next year in your cooperation with evil.

    The more of a bright spotlight we put on CCHD, the more the cockroaches will finally be stamped out of it.

  • Paul said, “I…invite others to find out the truth and trust their money can find no better charity.”

    This is no doubt absolutely true if you are a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual leftwing liberal. Congratulations to the CCHD for pulling the wool over the eyes of faithful Catholics for so long.

  • Most devout Catholics would never knowingly support pro-abortion groups.

    Yet on November 21st, many Catholics throughout the Arlington Diocese will unwittingly donate to organizations that promote abortion, homosexual marriage, and contraception.

    That is because, despite the extensive publicity regarding CCHD’s funding of questionable groups, Bishop Paul S. Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington plans to go forward with the collection next month for CCHD.

    Most people already know that CCHD gave millions of dollars to ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) before news of ACORN’s scandalous activities made national headlines. However, many people are not aware that CCHD continues to fund dozens of similar groups that promote abortion, contraception, homosexual marriage and other activities that are in direct conflict with Church teachings.

    Hundreds of parishioners have already urged Bishop Loverde to withdraw his support of CCHD by signing the Prayerful Petition found at http://www.NoMoreCCHD.com We remain hopeful that Bishop Loverde will join other American bishops who have already withdrawn their support for CCHD.

    Sincerely,

    Jeffrey E. Knight

    466 Long Mountain Road
    Washington, VA 22747
    (540)675-1440

Pray for Larry David, Creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm

Wednesday, October 28, AD 2009

[Warning: Vile language in this posting.]

Larry David Jerry Seinfeld

Larry David is the creative producer of NBC’s Seinfeld and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiam.  Over the weekend in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm he relieves himself on the picture of Jesus.  The details and context of the episode are not worth explaining due to the unfortunate attack on God and our Christian faith by this depraved human being.

Like so many in Hollywood, anti-Christian, more specifically, anti-Catholicism, is still prevalent among many movers and shakers.  Imagine if they would even consider insulting the founder of Islam, Mohammad, as such?  Not in a million years.

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90 Responses to Pray for Larry David, Creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm

  • Tito:

    While I admire the spirit with which you intended the posting of this entry, doesn’t doing so simply allows for free publicity of the very depraved act you are (quite rightly, of course) protesting?

    In other words, these days, it is this kind of free publicity that such folks crave because the controversy it generates (particularly, amongst the religious) are exactly the kind that promote their projects (in this case, a television series) amongst the general populace, potentially leading to more expanded viewership.

    Myself being aware of such tactics personally, I hardly give them the satisfaction by engaging in such action, which would only serve to promote their utterly repulsive objectives.

  • I don’t understand. They should receive
    publicity – lots of negative publicity .
    They cannot be allowed to get away with this .

    Its not just the one episode, its a whole
    series of things, and the immorality and
    violence as a whole in Hollywood .
    Pray that God intervenes and that there will
    be changes .

  • I like how you say they wouldn’t do this to any other religion but no other religion is constantly claiming to find ‘weeping’ icons.

    IT’S CALLED SATIRE AND IT IS FUNNY

    I know you’re not going ot post this.

  • In your gloss, such an action (for instance, this display of outrage demonstrated by Tito’s post) would seem like negative publicity insofar as those particularly religious are concerned; however, that is not entirely the case especially with respect to the general masses, which such controversies as this specifically target.

    There is nothing more reliable than counting on this kind of outrage by such religious folks, which these controversies (in particular, this kind of media attention) generally depend.

    In fact, this is what the network strategists typically count on in order to boost viewership, especially in instances where it appears to be declining.

    Put it this way, if only members of the religious community would not respond in kind to such tactics in this manner and simply altogether ignore it, they would perhaps cease resorting to this kind of tactic.

    However, some are so predictable in the kind of reaction typically expected from them due to this already age-old maneuver that religious zealots (while seeming to do the right thing) ironically play right into the hands of these seemingly clever network strategists by inadvertently giving them exactly the kind of free publicity such media folks originally sought by employing such a tactic.

    In other words:

    “How do the Hollywood types boost up viewership for our shows?”

    Simple: Attack members of the religious communities by doing something controversial that will undoubtedly offend them.

    Their outrage will not only guarantee publicity for the shows themselves to a attract a much wider audience but also, what’s even more, it’ll be free!

    Ingenious when you think about it since what could be more reliable (and, consequently, more effective) than that outrage which such media tactics depends?

    The Da Vinci Code is a prime example.

    There were hundreds of folks I know (through various fraternal and academic associations) who, if not for such outrage, would have hardly been interested in seeing that very movie. However, because of the overwhelming reaction of several Christian communities, it generated such interest amongst them to actually see that movie, which is precisely the kind of publicity these media moguls were counting on.

  • Matt

    May I direct your attention to the following site:

    http://www.miraclesofislam.com/

  • e.,

    Like you continue to post comments and attract more attention?

  • Tito:

    My posting comments is not the same as your having created an entry that actually gives the kind of free publicity the show itself craves. In fact, it is moot since harm has already been done by your having already created the entry itself.

    Besides, my purpose is to expose this tactic so that a greater awareness of how these folks think and why they do what they do comes to light.

    Again, I don’t fault you for doing so; it really isn’t your fault since you were only doing what you considered right in light of the situation.

    How could you know that you were actually playing (even if unwittingly) right into the hands of some rather devious reprobates?

    If anything, you were only doing what every good Catholic these days don’t (unfortunately): take one’s Catholic Faith seriously.

    This is precisely why (as you rightly asserted within the context of your own entry) Hollywood would not dare insult Islam but have no qualms whatsoever about insulting Catholicism.

  • Pingback: Pray for Larry David, Creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm - Christian Forums
  • Larry David has condemned himself by his actions. Pissing on a picture of Jesus is usually a last phase action of a demon who having seen the light, willfully challenges it instead of repenting. Now since Christianity is true, Larry has indeed messed with the Holy Spirit. Bleating to the press about how unfair it is that the sensibilities of other religions are spared is beside the point, as the Devil has no time for them.

  • Anyone who follows CURB knows that Larry David ridicules Judaism far more than any other religion. I urge anyone who takes offence (and most will probably have not even seen this particular episode) to sit down and watch the previous 6 series of the show and you might then understand the context. You will then be in a better position to pass judgement and decide whether to be offended.

    In fact, if all you ‘religious types’ stayed in your houses and watched more shows like this rather than going out to spread hate & prejudice then the world would be a better place.

    At last, more and more people are finally coming to see the truth that religion is a scam and deserves no respect.

    Good people will always do good things, evil people will always do evil things…it takes religion to make good people do evil things.

  • “Good people will always do good things, evil people will always do evil things…it takes religion to make good people do evil things.”

    This is quite possibly the stupidest, shallowest thing atheists say.

    How do you even know what “good” is? You have no moral compass, man to you is nothing but an animal. We eat animals. Animals eat each other. The law of the jungle does not know goodness or evil, but only survival and efficiency.

    I have watched Curb, I used to be a fan – used to be, before this disgusting outrage. I will never watch the show again.

    Do you even know the slightest thing about Jesus Christ? You expect us to know about some stupid show on HBO when your knowledge of the person being desecrated is probably based on 10 second sound bites?

  • Shmohawk,

    Just because he ridicules his own faith, doesn’t give him the right to ridicule someone else’s.

    You have a false sense of logic here without an ounce of reason.

  • Also…

    “it takes religion to make good people do evil things”

    How stupid do you have to be to even repeat something like this? Good people do good things. Someone who does evil over and over again is evil. A “religious” person who does evil things is evil, period.

  • @Tito, do you really want to live in a society where it’s only ok to poke fun at yourself? Allow me to Godwin this conversation: would you criticize Hitler? By your logic, you’d have to be a Nazi to do so.

  • Anonymous,

    Nazi’s were the governing party of Germany.

    You get to choose to remain a Catholic or not.

    You need to work out your philosophical arguments out before present them as a intellectual discourse.

    By the way, we rarely respond to people who sign in as anonymous, so I did you a favor.

  • Larry David is not a Christian. The people who watched that episode and were amused by it most likely are not Christians. As non-Christians, they are not obligated in any way to show reverence or even respect for your god because they do not believe in or worship your god. See how that works? The Constitution gives you the right to worship as you please, but that’s all. It does not give you the right to insist that others — even people of different religions or no religion — show you some extra measure of respect because of your beliefs.

    What you self-righteously and erroneously identify as “anti-Christian” or “anti-Catholic” is nothing more than a reflection of your own arrogance. Just because someone does not share your belief and chooses to find humor in your religion does not mean that person is “anti” anything — it just means that person does not believe as you do. It’s a big, cold world, and in it, people have many different beliefs and world views. That they do not agree with yours does not make them any less valid, nor does it mean they are actively opposed to your beliefs or that they are in some way persecuting you.

    I know it’s difficult for people who base their lives on unprovable beliefs that contradict reality to do this, but you Christians really need to grow up and understand that others are free to disagree with you, believe different things, and to say whatever they please about your beliefs, and that when they do that it does not mean that they are somehow morally inferior to you. It’s a free country, and in a free country people get offended. The best defense for this is to develop a thick skin. The United States does not exist to serve Christianity; it is an entirely secular nation in which no religion is officially recognized and all religions — or lack of religion — are allowed. What Christians so often identify as persecution is nothing more than the natural reaction of others to their arrogance and pious sense of entitlement and to their constant efforts to impose their beliefs on EVERYONE and to turn America into something it is not and never has been. Personal beliefs are just that — PERSONAL. They should be kept that way.

    If you find Larry David’s humor offensive, then don’t watch Larry David’s show. Whether or not other people watch and enjoy his show is none of your damned business.

  • Ray Garton,

    It’s amazing you took time out to tell us that it’s a free country and that our beliefs are unprovable.

    If so, why bother?

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • You must not have read my entire post. I assume you already know it’s a free country and your beliefs are unprovable. My point was that you Christians really need to control yourselves. The Dark Ages are over. You’re not in charge anymore — and we all know what happened when you were.

  • anon@ 11.37 In your world, when you criticise someone, say your kid, do you do so by urinating on a photograph of his? Is that how it is done? Slag off all you want about Christianity but don’t pretend that scum Larry was merely poking fun.

  • Ray Garton,

    Would it be ok to go on national television and insult you, your mother, and anyone else close to you?

    You fail to understand that there is a certain amount of responsibility involved with free speech.

    Do you think someone can get away with issuing a threat to our President and not have repurcussions?

    You really need to think this through before you make a fool of yourself.

    As far as the “Dark Ages”, if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church during the “Dark Ages” we wouldn’t have a concept called a “University”, science, astronomy, books, and beer just to name a few. Plus the fact we stemmed the tide of Islam.

    So think next time you spout falsehoods.

    If all you get is your information from tv, then you really don’t know much at all.

    So be thankful you aren’t be scourged in the city center while your mother is forced to wear a burqa and everyone around you are driving around on donkey’s as a means of transportation.

  • Larry David did not urinate on a picture of Jesus. Backsplash from the toilet spattered the picture. I think most of you know this, but you seem to lack confidence in your stand and feel you must mischaracterize the thing you’re protesting, virtually lying about it. If you have to lie to make your point, there’s something wrong with your point.

    Tito wrote: “Would it be ok to go on national television and insult you, your mother, and anyone else close to you?”

    Yes, it would be okay. I wouldn’t like it, of course, and I no doubt would respond. But life is full of things I don’t like. It’s full of things ALL of us don’t like. We need to be mature and adult enough to recognize that and live with it. I refer you to my earlier remark about thick skin.

    Tito wrote: “You fail to understand that there is a certain amount of responsibility involved with free speech.”

    I agree. However, those responsibilities do not include avoiding offending Christians or any other religion. No law exists in America prohibiting this.

    Tito wrote: “Do you think someone can get away with issuing a threat to our President and not have repurcussions?”

    It is against the law to threaten the president. It is not against the law to joke about Jesus or god or the Easter Bunny or Batman, or any other mythical figures. If you can’t see the difference, then the problem lies not in Larry David’s comedy but in your delusional view of the world.

    Tito wrote: “You really need to think this through before you make a fool of yourself.”

    I’m not the one who compared joking about Jesus to committing a federal offense. I honestly think you’re confused about who’s the fool.

    Tito wrote: “As far as the “Dark Ages”, if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church during the “Dark Ages” we wouldn’t have a concept called a “University”, science, astronomy, books, and beer just to name a few.”

    I’m sure the countless numbers of people your church tortured and slaughtered because they didn’t like them were very grateful for all those things. I would also like to point out that Hitler and Stalin and other bloodthirsty dictators like them made the trains run on time. That neither changes nor excuses the many people they killed.

    Tito wrote: “Plus the fact we stemmed the tide of Islam.”

    Defeating your competition in the dubious religion business is hardly a public service.

    Tito wrote: “So think next time you spout falsehoods.”

    You haven’t pointed out a single falsehood I’ve written here. Perhaps you need to think this through a little more, Titus.

    Tito wrote: “If all you get is your information from tv, then you really don’t know much at all.”

    My information comes from recorded history. Where on earth do you get YOUR information?

    Tito wrote: “So be thankful you aren’t be scourged in the city center while your mother is forced to wear a burqa and everyone around you are driving around on donkey’s as a means of transportation.”

    So the best way you know to defend your religion is to slam another. There’s no difference between the two as far as I can see. The Muslim faith is doing nothing different now than the Catholic faith did in the past. And I’m sure the Catholic faith would still be doing it if it were still in charge — something I’m sure it’s working on remedying as soon as possible.

  • Ray Garton,

    If you read my post I specifically avoided going into detail about what particularly happened. How it happened is irrelevant, but the fact that it did happen is.

    I agree there is free speech, I’m all for it, but again, did I say lets enact a law? No. I said lets pray for Mr. Larry David.

    To reiterate again and again, I am not asking for a federal law. I am enacting MY free speech to ask Mr. Larry David to desist from insulting God as he did.

    So as soon as you get that notion out of your head since you’ve been brainwashed that all us Krischians want is a theocracy (I’m reading between your constant accusations that we want a federal law for a federal offense.)

    I’ve pointed out all of the falsehoods you have spoken. You can be obtuse as much as you want, even a layperson could understand that your argument is about creating a federal law in which I never mentioned it.

    Besides, I was talking more about the Dark Ages.

    Recorded history? Like National Geographic?

    Again, open a book and read up on the alleged “Dark Ages”. You have failed to point out anything I said is untrue.

    As far as Islam, I was making a point about the “Dark Ages”.

    But if you insist on diverting attention from the argument, then do so at your own risk.

    I have a right to object to Mr. Larry David’s insults.

    You somehow believe I want to enact a federal law against this which I never mentioned. I asked that we pray for him and then you go into ad hominem’s about the Catholic faith. Which I retorted and you failed to answer.

    Come on Ray, it aint that hard is it?

    Or are you not used to debating with someone who has cold hard facts? Too much unchallenged thinking in college caught your tongue? (or your analytical abilities for that matter)

  • Mr. Ray Garton,

    I’m done with my early morning prayers and so I have to head back to sleep.

    I actually enjoyed engaging in debate with you and I hope you do understand where I (and many more Catholics are) am coming from.

    We can resume later today if you wish.

    Know that I love you as a brother in Christ.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • I love the “enlightened” secularist responses.

    “He wasn’t REALLY disrespecting your religion, so lighten up! Ok, maybe he was, but he did the same to another religion before that, so that makes it ok. And, by the way, your religion is bulls#$&, your so-called “god” is a fake, and you caused more evil in the world than anything else, ever and you dark age bigots deserve what you get!”

    But THEY’RE the “brights”. Got it. I can almost see the maniacal frothing as they type. Or copy and paste. Whatever.

  • “Just because someone does not share your belief and chooses to find humor in your religion does not mean that person is “anti” anything — it just means that person does not believe as you do.”

    Ray, are you serious. When Catholics stand up for their beliefs about the sanctity of life and traditional marriage (usually very respectfully btw), they are labeled ANTI-choice, ANTI-gay, homophobic misogynists. Most people want it labeled “hate speech” to even SUGGEST that the traditional definition of marriage should remain. Yet somehow it’s not ANTI-Christian to mock and desecrate an image of the Christian Lord? It is a difference of beliefs, but it’s expressed in a way that is certainly anti-Christian.

    No one is suggesting it be against the law to do this or that Larry David should be put in jail. But free speech is a two way street. People don’t have the right to suppress speech because it’s offensive, but the speaker doesn’t have the right to stop those who are offended from speaking out in opposition.

  • Never seen this show–no cable. Sounds like a pretty contrived device; good satire needs a touch of plausibility to it. Who hangs a big picture of Jesus in their bathroom? Who backsplashes to the extent that would be required for this plot? Who over the age of six can’t practice proper toilet hygiene? What moderately sane Catholic would assume random droplets on a picture to be of miraculous origin absent other factors? So was the point of the exercise to “satirize” a common human foible, or to work out a scenario that would allow the players to include an act that ranges, depending on the viewer’s level of piety, from tasteless to really, really offensive?

    “Satires” of this type are objectionable because they don’t really satirize (i.e. ridicule the vices and follies of human nature.) They manufacture a situation that allows them to get away with contempt toward something–reverence or spirituality–normally recognized as good. Most of us outgrow this level of humor by our mid-teens, if not earlier.

  • “It takes religion to make good people do evil things.”

    Comments like this give good reason to doubt the speaker has read so much as a single book detailing one of the many atrocities of the 20th Century.

    http://tinyurl.com/yjvqnt3

  • This is Zionist humor. Now we (people of the earth) are not to make pictures graven images of God, heaven or hell. Yet it is the very idea and action that he was doing says where Larry is coming from. I bet if someone wiped their ass with an israeli flag, that person whould be deemed “anti-semite” (air quote), which is really utter disgust for Zionist and their agenda.

  • “Comments like this give good reason to doubt the speaker has read so much as a single book detailing one of the many atrocities of the 20th Century.”

    I you want to bring up Hitler then you are right, you only need to read so much as a single book.

    To quote Mein Kampf…

    “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” (p.46)

    “This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief.” (p.152)

    “What we have to fight for…is the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may be enabled to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the Creator.” (p.125)

    + many others.

    Religion has formed the dividing lines of almost EVERY conflict or atrocity in human history…

    Israel / Palestine
    Kosovo
    Bosnia
    The War on Terror – Iraq, Afghanistan, 9/11
    Northern Ireland
    The Crusades
    The Spanish conquests of the Americas
    The Thirty Years War
    …and the list goes on

    And what motivates ‘good’ people to commit such acts…RELIGION.

    But I digress, Larry David didn’t deliberately pee on Jesus!

  • Considering the futility of trying to have a rational conversation with those who worship invisible deities, commenting on this blog about the “disrespect” of nonbelievers is like tilting at windmills. I readily admit that no words of mine can compete with the allure of eternal life. Any words of mine that might be volatile would at least give you the warm feeling of assurance that I would spend eternity in Hades ( it is so human to feel that being rewarded with the miracle of escaping death is not enough; that you also need to have the added comfort of eternal torture of those who disagree with you!)

    Nevertheless, I think it is important from my perspective to get god-a-holics to understand that they do not have legal standing to censure the rest of us who cheer at open disrespect of institutionalized insanity. Yah and verily, I say unto you… that THIS is human progress.

  • Shmohawk:

    Your litany demonstrates nothing more than your remarkable stupidity and ever deplorable sense of logic.

    Do you know what’s even more annoying than religious people?

    Stupid people like you who are so incapable of genuine dialogue that formulating even the semblance of a simple argument appears beyond the very measure of your capability.

    Ray Garton:

    Your comments are so amusing that it almost likens to parody.

    Your endless rant would make it seem that the United States was specifically founded for you and your fellow athiests.

    Yet, given the religious leanings of the Founding Fathers themselves and the rather bothersome language they typically employed concerning that “One Nation Under God”; these did not blindly subscribe to some blatantly erroneous notion of “freedom from religion”, as you would make it appear, but rather “freedom of religion”, wherein religion of the individual is to be respected — not denigrated — to such extent that certain measures were taken concerning particular circumstances wherein individuals so discriminated are afforded proper protection by even the law itself.

    So, next time you would like to deliver another one of your “the United States is the Promised Land of Atheists”, do give some serious attention and due examination of the language of the Founding Fathers as set out in the consequential documents from which the lay of this land was established.

    Your arrogance is not only appalling; it is repulsively revisionist.

    Of course, perhaps that “dubious religion business” of the Founding Fathers themselves from which this country was originally based may very well be the cause for why you would rather invent such delusional fiction from which to base your “U.nited S.tates of A.thiests.”!

    Yet, it can surely be dismissed as nothing more than simply “arrogance”, a “pious sense of entitlement” and the need to impose your athiest beliefs upon the masses; nothing more.

  • Schmohawk,

    There are these two atheists named Stalin and Mao who between the two of them killed more of their own people than just about all other previous wars and massacres combined. All in persuit of an ideology which, while having a certain aura of religiosity in the way that people devoted themselves to it, most explicitly rejected the existence of God or the eternal and instead pursued a transformative ideal within a strictly materialistic world view.

    I suppose you could theorize that everyone involved in the mass slaughters of their and a variety of lesser communist regimes were all the result of “bad people doing bad things” rather than “good people doing bad things” but that’s a rather silly semantic game as there’s no discernable difference between “good people” and “bad people” other than there actions. Indeed, I would argue that there is no such thing as “good people” or “bad people”. There are simply people. Some do mostly bad things, some do mostly good things, most do a pretty even number of both.

    Karen,

    You’re certain welcome to think that way, but theorizing that one of the major motives for theists is joy at the idea that some other people might be damned doesn’t correllate very well with most real world interractions with theists.

    As for whether “institutionalized insanity” should be mocked (leaving aside the question of whether that is what religion is) — I suppose it depends how much value one puts on the thoughts and experiences of other people. I consider ancient paganism to be utterly false, and indeed consider Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism to be false as well — but I would consider it the height of rudeness to go around actively mocking their rites and sacred symbols — not because I think they’re true, but because I don’t consider it particularly admirable to actively insult and trample on the beliefs which millions of people gain meaning and hope from.

    I’m perfectly happy to explain to my Buddhist and Hindu friends why I consider Catholicism to be true, or why I don’t find Hindu or Buddhist worldviews persuasive, but I certainly would actively abuse their sacred places or symbols — if only out of respect for them as people, and a desire not to cause human suffering for my own amusement.

  • I love it when dime store atheists attempt to claim Hitler was a theist, thus proving that it is not only in regard to God that they are completely clueless. From the Tabletalk of Hitler:

    ‘The war will be over one day. I shall then consider that my life’s final task will be to solve the religious problem. Only then Will the life of the German native be guaranteed once and for all.”

    “The evil that’s gnawing our vitals is our priests, of both creeds. I can’t at present give them the answer they’ve been asking for, but it will cost them nothing to wait. It’s all written down in my big book. The time will come when I’ll settle my account with them, and I’ll go straight to the point.”

    “I don’t know which should be considered the more dangerous: the minister of religion who play-acts at patriotism, or the man who openly opposes the State. The fact remains that it’s their maneuvers that have led me to my decision. They’ve only got to keep at it, they’ll hear from me, all right. I shan’t let myself be hampered by juridical scruples. Only necessity has legal force. In less than ten years from now, things will have quite another look, I can promise them.”

    “We shan’t be able to go on evading the religious problem much longer. If anyone thinks it’s really essential to build the life of human society on a foundation of lies, well, in my estimation, such a society is not worth preserving. If’ on the other hand, one believes that truth is the indispensable foundation, then conscience bids one intervene in the name of truth, and exterminate the lie.”

    “Once the war is over we will put a swift end to the Concordat. It will give me the greatest personal pleasure to point out to the Church all those occasions on which it has broken the terms of it. One need only recall the close cooperation between the Church and the murderers of Heydrich. Catholic priests not only allowed them to hide in a church on the outskirts of Prague, but even allowed them to entrench themselves in the sanctuary of the altar.”

    “The fact that I remain silent in public over Church affairs is not in the least misunderstood by the sly foxes of the Catholic Church, and I am quite sure that a man like the Bishop von Galen knows full well that after the war I shall extract retribution to the last farthing. And, if he does not succeed in getting himself transferred in the meanwhile to the Collegium Germanium in Rome, he may rest assured that in the balancing of our accounts, no “T” will remain uncrossed, no “I” undotted!”

    “Religion has formed the dividing lines of almost EVERY conflict or atrocity in human history…”

    You really did sleep through all your history classes didn’t you? Here is a sample of conflicts that had nothing to do with religion, unless one assumes that atheism is a religion:

    World War I

    World War II

    Korean War

    Vietnam

    The American Civil War

    The War of 1812

    The Napoleonic cycle of wars

    The American Revolution

    The list could go on to encompass most of the wars fallen man has engaged in. If you are going to troll a Catholic website you’ll have to do much better than this.

  • Karen Leonard:

    “Considering the futility of trying to have a rational conversation with those who worship invisible deities…”

    Well, I don’t know — the Founding Fathers themselves ‘worship[ped] invisible dieties’ and, yet, rational conversation, let alone, the founding of this very nation, wasn’t beyond the realm of reason.

    Of course, the fact that the whole of Western Civilization itself being borne from the likes of a once united Christendom should also give one pause.

    Indeed, most of the scientists that gave birth to the scientific human progress were, in fact, largely Christian.

    Yet, that would require an intimate knowledge of history itself as well as reason; both of which, unfortunately, you do not possess in any discernible measure.

    But, please, don’t let the facts hinder you from formulating such creative nonsense.

    “god-a-holics” is surely the work of a creative genius!

  • It would be easy to show respect for the beliefs of Christians if they adhered to those beliefs themselves. Reading over the comments from Christians here on this forum, I can only imagine how proud you must all make Jesus.

  • “…the rest of us who cheer at open disrespect…”

    Very telling. And this is supposed to convince me that atheism and not religion is the font of compassion why, exactly?

  • “Reading over the comments from Christians here on this forum, I can only imagine how proud you must all make Jesus.”

    Have you ever read the Bible? Jesus did not suffer proud fools gladly.

    “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2″The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
    5″Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’

    8″But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.[b] 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

    13″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.[c]

    15″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

    16″Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ 19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

    23″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

    25″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

    27″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

    29″Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!

    33″You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.

    37″O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

  • Ray Garton:

    Originally, you engaged in a long tirade concerning how awfully delusional Christians are because of their very beliefs.

    Now, your most recent comment happens to fall back on the very contents of — wait for it — their very beliefs; the very same you expressed outright animosity towards?

    In other words, insulting such beliefs are fun and even necessary; yet, when it comes down right to it, when the chips do happen to fall and you have nothing more to depend upon (save your own stupidity), you have no problems whatever with attempting to find safe harbor under the merits of such beliefs when it ultimately suits you.

    Bravo!

    You prove both the sheer hypocrisy and immense futility of the atheist project all in one breath!

  • Yes, I’ve read the bible and know it quite well. I’ve also read the Harry Potter books, but that doesn’t mean I believe in wizards.

  • No, e., my reference to your beliefs was an attempt to hold you to them. I might sing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” at Christmas time, but that doesn’t mean I believe in Santa Claus. According to your magic book, Jesus Christ taught humility, but I see none of that in Christians today. He taught his followers to love one another, and even their enemies, but I CERTAINLY see none of THAT in Christians today. He told his followers not to pray publicly, to go to their closets to pray so they don’t make arrogant spectacles of themselves, and yet Christians in America demand that their particular brand of prayer be engaged in at government functions and are angry that prayer is not allowed in public schools. *I* don’t believe in Jesus Christ — outside of the bible, there is no record that he ever existed, and the bible certainly isn’t a historical record, it’s a book of myths, so I see no reason to believe in Jesus Christ. Christians, however, DO believe in him and claim to be followers of his teachings — and yet their behavior constantly proves this not to be the case. So those of us outside of Christianity can only conclude that Jesus Christ is nothing more than a hood ornament used as a front for anger, hatred, bigotry, and a hunger for power. The fault for that lies with Christians and no one else.

  • To paraphrase Ray: “I’d believe you [Do you mean that?] if you lived up to your standards.”

    And I’ll be an atheist when they start living up to their standards — oh, wait! They don’t have any! That would be imposing moral absolutes on people, and we can’t have that.

  • I don’t know if “Voldemort” appears in the Declaration of Independence, which document incidentally provides unequivocal affirmation of both the beliefs of the American people as well as their faith in — “God”!

  • The similarities between Ray Garton’s exegesis and that of your run of the mill evangelical fundamentalist are striking, but sadly, not all that surprising. The resulting strawman massacre is, likewise, unsurprising.

  • Ray Garton:

    In the beginning, you detested our beliefs and rather have us not hold them — only to come around the second time to insist that we hold them?

    Amazing.

  • The Declaration of Independence is just that — a declaration of America’s independence from Britain. While it remains a historical document of great significance, it is a document of its time and isn’t even accurate any longer — it identifies the United States as being made up of 13 states. It is not the law of the land, nor is it a reflection of the character of this nation. The document that does that (and which is still valid today) is the United States Constitution, which remains in effect to this day and does not mention god or religion once. Out of slavering desperation, Christians often point to the date on the document, which uses the phrase “the year of our lord,” but that was simply the standard way of writing the date at that time, and was used by believers and non-believers alike. It is no more a statement of belief than using the names of the days of the week, which are based on pagan gods, is a statement of belief in those gods. If the forefathers wanted this to be a “Christian nation,” they would have explicitly pointed this out in the Constitution. Instead, that document reflects the character of this nation — no mention is made of god or religion as it outlines this secular government. No amount of groping or desperately reaching for straws will change that.

    Now, if you don’t mind, I have work to do, so I’m going to leave you to your snide Christ-like insults of those who don’t share your beliefs. Enjoy the rest of the year.

  • “No, e., my reference to your beliefs was an attempt to hold you to them.”

    “It would be easy to show respect for the beliefs of Christians if they adhered to those beliefs themselves.”

    So, which is it?

    Would you rather we repudiate our beliefs or hold them?

    “[T]he bible certainly isn’t a historical record, it’s a book of myths, so I see no reason to believe
    in Jesus Christ.”

    Okay — let me get this straight, based on your previous statement, it would appear as though your argument here is:

    ‘It would be easy to show respect for the beliefs of Christians if only they adhered to those beliefs themselves, which simply come from a book of myths?’

    In other words, your own intellectual powers demonstrated herein (not to mention, rhetorical prowess and logical thought) leaves much to be desired.

  • e.,

    Please refrain from abusive language.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/comments-policy/

    I appreciate your passion and I share your resolve and information you provide in defense of God.

  • I don’t see how exposing flaws in an opponent’s arguments counts as ‘abusive language’; but there you have it.

    Plus, it would behoove you to first examine the language you yourself employed in your own exchange with Mr. Garton prior to criticizing any of the others.

  • So many commentators, so little time and space….
    Just picking out a few tidbits; the founding fathers were not Christians, they despaired over the hodgepodge of conflicting dogma of the citizens, many-if not most- who had fled here from religious persecution of waring religious factions throughout Europe. As Jefferson so succinctly put it, “Is there anything that people won’t believe? ” The best they could do was to separate religion from government. That has not worked very well, as we have seen the injection of god into the pledge of allegiance in the fifties – due to the fear of communism, the swearing on the bible to take an official oath in court or in politics.

    Many of the wars mentioned by a previous commenter were not officially “holy wars” – but they were certainly backed by the churches. My own belief is that all wars are seeking to take over some resource that another group possesses, and religion is simply the handiest tool to use to convince people that by killing others, and dying themselves, this murder will give them eternal life.

    As to “cheering disrespect” – yes, I do think that showing open resentment for the power and influence worshipers have in our country is important. Although nonbelievers are a large segment of citizens, and have the lowest statistics of criminality, we are at the bottom of the list of for “trustworthy” in public office.

    As to scientists through history being Christians, considering the likelihood of being able to fund or publish anything in that realm without the blessing of church was nil – and even worse fates awaited you if you denied a belief, I would bet that most scientists professed beliefs they did not themselves believe. Look at poor Galileo, Issac Newton.

    So to wrap it up, I think that being able to openly protest and poke fun of what was “the holiest of holy’s” shows that humans are progressing towards a glimmer of enlightenment.

    I

  • According to your magic book, Jesus Christ taught humility, but I see none of that in Christians today. He taught his followers to love one another, and even their enemies, but I CERTAINLY see none of THAT in Christians today.

    It seems to me like you’re arguing through exaggeration here. It surely can’t be the case that you’ve seen no humility in Christians today — that you’ve never seen a Christian act in a humble fashion because he believes that is the demand of his faith. Nor can it be the case that you’ve never seen Christians love others, including their enemies. What you mean is simply that you don’t always see this, and thus that Christians are obviously not living up to their beliefs all of the time — indeed are often not living up to their beliefs as fully as they could be.

    Now, unless your theory is that Christians are not supposed to be human beings, and thus are not supposed to have the tendency to allow baser instincts to overcome their ideas of what they ought to be doing, this is hardly surprising. I can’t think of any group whose members live up to their stated ideals all of the time.

    And so the above amounts to nothing other than to inform us that generally speaking you don’t like Christians and so you tend to recall their negative actions more than their positive ones. We learn about as much about Christians from your comment as we might learn about Mexicans from someone who said, “Mexicans say they come to this country to work, but so far as I can tell they’re always just sitting around being lazy.” And indeed, the effect of your comment on listeners who are or know Christians will be roughly as positive as the example comment would be on people who aren’t racists.

    *I* don’t believe in Jesus Christ — outside of the bible, there is no record that he ever existed, and the bible certainly isn’t a historical record, it’s a book of myths, so I see no reason to believe in Jesus Christ.

    This isn’t true on either point. At a minimum, there are a large number of extra-biblical ancient sources that mention Jesus because there were a number of gospels, epistles, and other accounts which had some degree of following but were rejected by the Church when it was assembling the official canon of the New Testament. While the Church considered these documents not to be inspired scripture, they certainly do present a number of texts which attest that the authors believed the Christ did in fact live in first century Palestine roughly was was described in the canonical Gospels.

    Similarly, several non-Christian ancient sources make reference to Jesus, if only to say something along the lines of, “And the Christians believe that Jesus, a preacher who lived in the time of Herod Antipas, rose from the dead after three days.”

    Further, you seem to suffer under the illusion that there is some bright and clear distinction between “historical records” and other forms of writing in the ancient world. This isn’t really the case. Certainly, you’ll find some people self-consciously writing “history” such as Livy, Tacitus, Suetonius, etc. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the things they relate happen as described. And much modern historical work consists of taking a variety of sources (including sources such as personal letters which were not at all written with the intent of being historical documents) and using them as testimony in order to get an idea of events or conditions at a given time. In light of that, it’s certainly not in appropriate to look at all of the accounts and letters which mention Christ as someone who lived in historical Palestine and take it from that that he did in fact live there. Indeed, the idea of claiming that the very existence of Jesus is a myth is a comparatively modern one. Non-Christian sources in the past tended to accept Christ existed, but deny that he was God and insist that his followers stole and hid his body in order to claim he was risen from the dead.

    And that’s not even getting into the misconceptions you seem to have about what a “myth” is.

    Doubtless you have your own strongly held reasons for considering Christianity false, but if you’re going to wade into an area in which people know a great deal more than you and make a bunch of statements which are clearly false, you’re hardly going to be taken as an authority.

  • Karen L.,

    So the founding fathers were not Christian?

    Hey, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn!

  • @Tito, thanks for responding to me and Reg. Kudos for the inclusive debate. I’m off my high horse now, so while I urge you to reconsider your stance on LD (CYE is a brilliant show, even if it .. missed .. with that joke), I’m not going to engage in polemics. Cheers.

  • Yes, the Declaration of Independence mentions god. But it’s not a legal document and does not represent the law of the nation. That came later, in the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence simply declared America’s separation from British rule. It is NOT the law of the land, and since we have been separate from Britain for over two hundred years, it’s not exactly a document of our time. While it mentions god, it also states, “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America.” America has more than thirteen states now, so it’s not even accurate anymore. While it is a historical document of enormous significance, it is not a legal document — that came LATER. It says absolutely NOTHING about our rights being secured by Christianity and does not mention Christianity at all. It refers to “the opinions of MANKIND” and states that “governments are instituted among MEN.” It refers to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” which is a reflection of DEISM or even PANTHEISM, which most definitely are NOT Christian. Mention pantheism to a Christian and if you’re lucky enough to be speaking to a Christian who even knows what the word means, get ready for a lecture about its evils. Later, the Constitution — which DOES NOT mention god (a point Christians would like you to ignore) — set up the law of the land. America’s founding fathers clearly intended this to be a nation DIVORCED from religion. Over the years, Christians have tried to have their way with the forefathers’ intentions, twisting and raping their words. It continues to this day.
    When the United States began to involve itself in foreign affairs, it became necessary to make sure that other countries — particularly those that were, unlike America, RULED by religion — understood that this was NOT a religious nation but a SECULAR government. To this end, very explicit reference was made to this in the Treaty of Tripoli in the 1790s to make it CLEAR that the United States was NOT a Christian nation. From the Treaty of Tripoli:
    “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
    A statement on the document by President John Adams includes the following:
    “And to the End that the said Treaty may be observed, and performed with good Faith on the part of the United States, I have ordered the premises to be made public; And I do hereby enjoin and require all persons bearing office civil or military within the United States, and all other citizens or inhabitants thereof, faithfully to observe and fulfill the said Treaty and every clause and article thereof.”
    In May of 1797, the treaty was read aloud in full on the Senate floor, and on June 7, ratification of the treaty was unanimously approved, with 23 of the 37 sitting senators present.
    The 7th Amendment of the Constitution refers to “the common law,” which Christians often claim is derived from the foundation of Christianity. Using various quotes, including some from Supreme Court Justices, they claim that Christianity was part of the laws of England. This is still more self-serving nonsense.
    In a February 10, 1814 letter to Thomas Cooper, Thomas Jefferson discussed the history of common law as follows:
    “For we know that the common law is that system of law which was introduced by the Saxons on their settlement in England, and altered from time to time by proper legislative authority from that time to the date of Magna Charta, which terminates the period of the common law. … This settlement took place about the middle of the fifth century. But Christianity was not introduced till the seventh century; the conversion of the first Christian king of the Heptarchy having taken place about the year 598, and that of the last about 686. Here then, was a space of two hundred years, during which the common law was in existence, and Christianity no part of it.”
    ” … if any one chooses to build a doctrine on any law of that period, supposed to have been lost, it is incumbent on him to prove it to have existed, and what were its contents. These were so far alterations of the common law, and became themselves a part of it. But none of these adopt Christianity as a part of the common law. If, therefore, from the settlement of the Saxons to the introduction of Christianity among them, that system of religion could not be a part of the common law, because they were not yet Christians, and if, having their laws from that period to the close of the common law, we are all able to find among them no such act of adoption, we may safely affirm (though contradicted by all the judges and writers on earth) that Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
    In the same letter, Jefferson explains how the confusion over Christianity came about. It was a misinterpretation of a Latin term by Prisot, “ancien scripture.” It means “ancient scripture” but was misinterpreted to mean “holy scripture.” As a result, many WRONGLY believed that the common law came from the bible. It did not. Jefferson writes:
    “And Blackstone repeats, in the words of Sir Matthew Hale, that ‘Christianity is part of the laws of England,’ citing Ventris and Strange ubi surpa. 4. Blackst. 59. Lord Mansfield qualifies it a little by saying that ‘The essential principles of revealed religion are part of the common law.’ In the case of the Chamberlain of London v. Evans, 1767. But he cites no authority, and leaves us at our peril to find out what, in the opinion of the judge, and according to the measure of his foot or his faith, are those essential principles of revealed religion obligatory on us as a part of the common law. Thus we find this string of authorities, when examined to the beginning, all hanging on the same hook, a perverted expression of Priscot’s, or on one another, or nobody.”
    Christians claim that Jefferson was a Christian, but his own words do not reflect this. Much of this comes from the fact that when Christians see the word “god,” they instantly think it refers to THEIR god. In fact, the word “god” has been used with several meanings over time, like “nature,” or a general reference to the supernatural. Jefferson was quite skeptical and fond of science. He rejected Christianity’s mysticism and superstion to such an extent that he compiled what has come to be called The Jefferson Bible. He edited the gospels, removing all of Christ’s miracles and all reference to the supernatural, leaving only what he saw as Christ’s moral philosophy. Here are some quotes from Thomas Jefferson on religion and Christianity:
    “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
    “Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it would read ‘A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;’ the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”
    -Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom
    “Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
    “I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshiped by many who think themselves Christians.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 — This was in response to a letter Price had written to Jefferson on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion, in which Price had written, “Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?”
    “They (the clergy) believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion.”
    — Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Sept. 23, 1800
    “The whole history of these books (the Gospels) is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814
    “If we did a good act merely from love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? … Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814
    “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814
    “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, 30 July, 1816
    “You say you are a Calvinist. I am not. I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Ezra Stiles Ely, June 25, 1819
    “My opinion is that there would never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest. The artificial structures they have built on the purest of all moral systems, for the purpose of deriving from it pence and power, revolts those who think for themselves, and who read in that system only what is really there.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Mrs. Samuel H. Smith, August, 6, 1816
    “Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him (Jesus) by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, April 13, 1820
    “Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.”
    — Thomas Jefferson to James Smith, 1822.
    “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.”
    — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823
    There are more, but I think I’ve made my point. When Christians say Jefferson was a Christian, they are either ignorant or lying. And Jefferson is only ONE of the forefathers. There is overwhelming evidence that America’s founders were not unanimously Christian, and Christianity had absolutely nothing to do with the founding of this nation.
    The Christians fighting for prayer in government and public schools — and doing so AGAINST the teachings of Jesus Christ — really aren’t interested in prayer. That is only one step in a greater effort. They want nothing less than to overthrow this country, to make it a Christian nation with Christian rule. To do this, they must undercut and eventually abandon the Constitution. To stop this, it is vital that we all know as much as we can of the TRUTH about this country’s history, its founders, and their intentions. Christians have been fooled by these falsehoods because of their own ignorance and willingness to believe whatever their religious leaders tell them. Don’t let them fool YOU because of yours. Educate yourself. And when you hear these lies about the United States, loudly denounce them. If you don’t and if the Christians have their way, this will no longer be the United States of America that our founding fathers created.

  • Karen L.

    For your information, it was not the scientific theories of Galileo that were found heretical (in fact, many Jesuit scientists at the time held to similar notions and even subscribed to virtually the same ideas which were, in fact, published with expressed approval of the Pope himself); rather, it was Galileo’s stubborn insistance that the foundation of Catholic theology itself be compromised simply at the behest of his own personal theological leanings.

    What goes unmentioned is that beginning in the Middle Ages, the Church was supporting research and even building observatories in the towers of well-sited churches. These facilities were made available to astronomers like Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo. Nor did the controversy over Galileo stifle scientific inquiry. “The fact is, Catholic scientists were essentially permitted to carry on their research unhindered as long as they treated the motion of the earth as a hypothesis,” as indeed it was at the time.

    Heck, it was the Catholic Church herself which founded the Linceorum Academia (i.e., the Academy of the Sciences) in 1603. Indeed, if anything, the conflict between evolutionary science and creationism in the United States comes from the Protestant tradition, not the Catholic one.

    It is a relatively simple matter to show that many great scientists, like Louis Pasteur, have been Catholic. Much more revealing, however, is the surprising number of Catholic churchmen, priests in particular, whose scientific work has been so extensive and significant. At the forefront were the Jesuits, who led the way in many fields and “so dominated the field of seismology that it became known as ‘the Jesuit science.’” One of the Jesuit-scientists highlighted by the author is Father Roger Boscovich (1711-1787) who won praise throughout Europe for his advances in astronomy, natural science and the beginnings of atomic theory.

    “The Big Bang” theory itself pertaining to the notion that the universe originated in an extremely dense and hot space and expanded was, in fact, developed by a Belgian priest?

    Here are other examples of scientists who were themselves members of the Catholic clergy:
    1. Mendel, a monk, who first established the laws of heredity.
    2. Copernicus, a priest, who expounded upon the Copernican system.
    3. Steensen, a Bishop, who became the father of geology.
    4. Regiomontanus, a Bishop and Papal astronomer who became the father of modern astronomy.
    5. Theodoric, a Bishop, who discovered anesthesia in the 13th century.
    6. Kircher, a priest, who made the first definite statement of the germ theory of disease.
    7. Cassiodorus, a priest, who invented the watch.
    8. Picard, a priest, who became the first to measure accurately a degree of the meridian.

    Here is a list of just some Catholic scientists:

    Algue, a priest, invented the barocyclonometer, to detect approach of cyclones.

    Ampere, the founder of the science of electrodynamics and investigator of the laws of electromagnetism.

    Becquerel, Antoine Cesar, the founder of electrochemistry.

    Becquerel, Antoine Henri, the discoverer of radioactivity.

    Binet, mathematician and astronomer, who set forth the principle, “Binet’s Theorem.”

    Braille, who invented the Braille system for the blind.

    Buffon, who wrote the first work on natural history.

    Carrell, the Nobel prize winner in medicine and physiology, is renowned for his work in surgical technique.

    Caesalpinus, a Papal physician — the first to construct a system of botany.

    Cassiodorus, a priest, who invented the watch.

    Columbo discovered the pulmonary circulation of the blood.

    Copernicus, a priest, who expounded the Copernican system.

    Coulomb established the fundamental laws of static electricity.

    De Chauliac, a Papal physician — the father of modern surgery and hospitals.

    De Vico, a priest, discovered six comets.

    Descartes, who founded analytical geometry.

    Dumas, who invented a method of ascertaining vapor densities.

    Endlicher, botanist and historian, who established a new system of classifying plants.

    Eustachius, for whom the Eustachian tube was named, who became one of the founders of modern anatomy.

    Fabricius, who discovered the valvular system of the veins.

    Fallopius, who was the eminent physiologist from/for whom the Fallopian tube was named.

    Fizeau, the first to determine experimentally the velocity of light.

    Foucault, who invented the first practical electric arc lamp; he refuted the corpuscular theory of light; he invented the gyroscope.

    Fraunhofer, the initiator of spectrum analysis; he established laws of diffraction.

    Fresnel, who contributed more to the science of optics than any other man.

    Galilei, a great astronomer, is the father of experimental science.

    Galvani, one of the pioneers of electricity, was also an anatomist and physiologist.

    Gioja, father of scientific navigation, invented the mariner’s compass.

    Gramme, who invented the Gramme dynamo.

    Guttenberg, who invented printing.

    Herzog, who discovered a cure for infantile paralysis.

    Holland, who invented the first practical sub marine.

    Kircher, a priest, who made the first definite statement of the germ theory of disease.

    Laennec, who invented the stethoscope.

    Lancist, a Papal physician — the father of clinical medicine.

    Latreille, the pioneer in entomology.

    Lavoisier, the Father of Modern Chemistry.

    Leverrier, the discoverer of the planet Neptune.

    Lully, who is said to have been the first to employ chemical symbols.

    Malpighi, a Papal physician, himself a botanist, became the father of comparative physiology.

    Marconi’s place in radio remains unsurpassed.

    Mariotte, who discovered Mariotte’s law of gases.

    Mendel, a monk, the first to establish the laws of heredity.

    Morgagni, founder of modern pathology; made important studies in aneurisms.

    Muller was the greatest biologist of the 19th century, founder of modern physiology.

    Pashcal demonstrated practically that a column of air has weight.

    Pasteur, called the “Father of Bacteriology,” and inventor of bio-therapeutics, was the leading scientist of the 19th century.

    Picard, a priest, who became the first to measure accurately a degree of the meridian.

    Regiomontanus, a Bishop and Papal astronomer, who became the father of modern astronomy.

    Scheiner, a priest, who invented the pantograph and made a telescope that permitted the first systematic investigation of sun spots.

    Secchi, who invented the meteorograph.

    Steensen, a Bishop, who became the father of geology.

    Theodoric, a Bishop, who discovered anesthesia in the 13th century.

    Torricelli, who invented the barometer.

    Vesalius, the founder of modern anatomical science.

    Volta, who invented the first complete galvanic battery; the “volt” is named after him.

    Other scientists: Agricola, Albertus Magnus, Bacon, Bartholomeus, Bayma, Beccaria, Behalm, Bernard, Biondo, Biot, Bolzano, Borrus, Boscovitch, Bosio, Bourgeois, Branly, Caldani, Cambou, Camel, Cardan, Carnoy, Cassini, Cauchy, Cavaliere, Caxton, Champollion, Chevreul, Clavius, De Rossi, Divisch, Dulong, Dwight, Eckhel, Epee, Fabre, Fabri, Faye, Ferrari, Gassendi, Gay-Lussac, Gordon, Grimaldi, Hauy, Heis, Helmont, Hengler, Heude, Hilgard, Jussieu, Kelly, Lamarck, Laplace, Linacre, Malus, Mersenne, Monge, Muller, Murphy, Murray, Nelston, Nieuwland, Nobili, Nollet, Ortelius, Ozaman, Pelouze, Piazzi, Pitra, Plumier, Pouget, Provancher, Regnault, Riccioli, Sahagun, Santorini, Schwann, Schwarz, Secchi, Semmelweis, Spallanzani, Takamine, Tieffentaller, Toscanelli, Tulasne, Valentine, Vernier, Vieta, Da Vinci, Waldseemuller, Wincklemann, Windle, and a host of others, too many to mention.

  • mohawk:

    You’re going to hurt your back moving that goalpost.

    This is what you originally said:

    “Good people will always do good things, evil people will always do evil things…it takes religion to make good people do evil things.”

    That’s such a monumentally stupid comment I can understand why you’d run away from it. It’s as dumb as saying Hitler was motivated by Islam because he once spoke favorably of its ideals.

    Since you aren’t interested in exerting yourself to read anything that might refute your intensely held precommitments, let me briefly explain Browning’s important book: he studied a reserve police battalion which assisted in the Holocaust in Poland. If memory serves, none of them was a Nazi party member. Instead, they were all comfortably middle class and middle-aged German men, unremarkably so, in fact.

    They killed 38,000 people.

    http://german-history.suite101.com/article.cfm/review_ordinary_men

    Instead of playing the tattered “Hitler was a religious fanatic!” card so beloved of atheists who want to end rational discussion rather than trying it, if you considered basic human history, common sense and experience, you’d understand the following: good men do horrifically evil things for reasons entirely unrelated to religion. As “Ordinary Men” demonstrates, they will do evil things out of a fear of losing face before their comrades. Indoctrination by the state. Peer pressure. Desire to belong/conformism. Fear. Any number of excuses that that have nothing to do with religion. Which the National Socialists weren’t all that big on, as, say, Alfred Delp, Martin Niemoller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer would have been happy to point out. Had not the first and third not been executed by the Nazis, that is.

    If you find glib comments like your initial quote to be an agreeable opiate, fine. Just don’t expect to ever be taken seriously by those you savage.

    Nevertheless, keep spewing those talking points cut from the atheist websites (e.g., I doubt you have a copy of Mein Kampf to hand–most people don’t. Even fewer have read the dreadful thing all the way through. I somehow doubt atheist crusaders on the internet are any different).

  • “To stop this, it is vital that we all know as much as we can of the TRUTH about this country’s history, its founders, and their intentions.”

    Historical knowledge is a wonderful thing and it consists of far more than cutting and pasting quotes from atheist websites. For example, Ben Franklin was perhaps the most secular of the Founding Fathers, and yet, according to James Madison he made this statement at the Constitutional Convention:

    “Mr. President

    The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other,”our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes and ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, some we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

    In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. ”Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments be Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

    I therefore beg leave to move, that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of the City be requested to officiate in that service.”

    By the standards of our time, almost all of the Founding Fathers were deeply religious men. Did they frequently criticize what they considered to be follies of churches? Of course, as we often do on this web site. However, using out of context quotes in an attempt to convince Americans that the Founders were motivated solely by secularism is ludicrous and will only convince atheist true believers.

  • Donald R. McClarey:

    You demonstrate once again a knowledge of American history, which you seem to hold to such an admirably considerable degree.

    I hope that you might consider creating entries at TAC devoted to the same subject as that in your above comments, concerning the fervent religious devotion of our country’s Founding Fathers.

    Even the one you authored concerning John Adams, I found similarly edifying — his own anti-Catholicism notwithstanding.

  • e.,

    So when are you going to put a pic to your avatar?

  • When my avatar puts a pic on me!

    Oh, by the way, now you see the kind of controversy you yourself generated as a direct result of your having made such an entry?

    Kudos for maintaining some semblance of patience, though.

    You and your partner, Matt McDonald, have more patience than I give you guys credit for — well done!

  • Rest assured e, that eventually most of the Founding Fathers and their religious beliefs will receive coverage, usually with some sort of Catholic tie in as I did in regard to John Adams.

  • Awesome! Thanks, Donald!

    You truly are both gentleman & scholar! Looking forward to these!

  • e.,

    You mean by the constant posting of your comments?

    Get off your miniature low horse and put a pic on.

    Or you’ll forever be called a lower case vowel (LCV) by me from now until death.

  • Tito:

    I’ve been called far worse than a “lower case vowel”, so I suppose I should be grateful to you and your friend Matt by sparing me from a fate far worse in both current and previous engagements, however heated they became.

  • I can think of no words except disgust. I find it utterly disgusting.
    I just cancelled my subscription to HBO. I also emailed HBO and explained that my subscription was being cancelled due to the episode of Curb.

    I will continue to Boycott HBO and Time Warner and affiliates. Enough is enough. I think that it is the duty of every Christian to boycott such blasphemy.

    For HBO to counter that it was done in a humorous way is nonsense. I believe that HBO would never have allowed Mr. David to urinate on an atheist symbol.

    I believe in freedom of speech, so there will always be a Mr. David, and many more that are of the same view. The rest of us have the ability tune him out. I will not pay for such garbage. If we shrug our shoulders, we bear the guilt for condoning such action.

  • A Christian: Your sentiments are noble, but what do you mean by “atheist symbol”?

  • How ’bout one of those chrome coelecanths people affix to the rear of their cars, the one’s inscribed with the letters , “DARWIN”?

  • A Christian:

    What a remarkable difference it would make if many Christians behaved as you did here.

    That is, one of the very reasons why, as Tito Taco Man himself suggested in his entry, that Hollywood would not even dare make fun of Islam in a similar manner is because of the effective action (as opposed to futile over-reactions) of Muslims as a collective that would put out such swift opposition that would undoubtedly be fatal to them.

    Christians are rarely capable of doing the same. The most they do, as with the Da Vinci Code, is make loud noise; nothing more.

  • Art–Oh, yeah. Those things.

    You usually see them in ironic juxtaposition with the “Coexist” bumper sticker.

  • Pull your heads out your arses you Philestines. If you don’t like it, or more aptly, don’t understand it, then just simply don’t watch it. I don’t particularly like the things Catholics say, I find them a lot more offensive than you find a little piss on a painting, and thats why I don’t go to church. But I don’t try to stop Catholics from going to church if thats their choice. And that’s because, I’m not an ignorant, arrogant, puritanical asshole.

  • Jon,

    Please no profane language.

    Please read our comments policy: http://the-american-catholic.com/comments-policy/

    We don’t watch it. I’m sure most of us don’t, but we don’t like it when our God is insulted, so we have a right as Americans to voice our opinions.

    If you don’t like it, move to Communist China. I’m sure they welcome your opinion.

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  • Blogging while drunk Jon is never a good idea.

  • “I find them a lot more offensive than you find a little piss on a painting”

    Amazing how atheists have windows unto men’s souls when they don’t actually believe in souls.

  • “Pull your heads out your arses you Philestines. If you don’t like it, or more aptly, don’t understand it, then just simply don’t watch it. I don’t particularly like the things Catholics say, I find them a lot more offensive than you find a little piss on a painting, and thats why I don’t go to church. But I don’t try to stop Catholics from going to church if thats their choice. And that’s because, I’m not an ignorant, arrogant, puritanical asshole.”

    What’s so ironic, Jon, is that your very comments actually prove that you’re in fact such “an ignorant, arrogant, puritanical asshole”.

    That is, “[i]f you don’t like it, or more aptly, don’t understand it”, then why for heaven’s sake did you go so far as to visit a “Catholic” website in order to offend Catholics, whose Catholic religion you obviously have no understanding of?

    Why don’t you take your own advice and just skip watching/visiting Catholic websites?

  • Tito?

    Moderation? Why?

  • ?

    You’re not on moderation.

    You were on it for an hour a long time ago, but not anymore. I double checked.

  • e. the moderation system seems to have gone rogue today, as I have been pulling comments out of moderation all morning. Hopefully wordpress will cure the glitch that is causing this.

  • JEWS WHO HATE CHRISTIANS

    Jewish hate is as old as some ancient Hebrew prophets.
    Speaking of anti-Semitism, it’s Jerry Falwell and other fundy leaders who’ve gleefully predicted that in the future EVERY nation will be against Israel (an international first?) and that TWO-THIRDS of all Jews will be killed, right?
    Wrong! It’s the ancient Hebrew prophet Zechariah who predicted all this in the 13th and 14th chapters of his book! The last prophet, Malachi, explains the reason for this future Holocaust that’ll outdo even Hitler’s by stating that “Judah hath dealt treacherously” and “the Lord will cut off the man that doeth this” and asks “Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?”
    Haven’t evangelicals generally been the best friends of Israel and persons perceived to be Jewish? Then please explain the recent filthy, hate-filled, back-stabbing tirades by David Letterman (and Sandra Bernhard and Kathy Griffin and Larry David) against Sarah Palin and other Christians, and explain why most Jewish leaders have seemingly condoned the continuing “crucifixion” of Christians and even their Leader!
    While David, Sandra, Kathy and Larry are tragically turning comedy into tragedy, they are also helping to speed up and fulfill the Final Holocaust a la Zechariah and Malachi, thus helping to make the Bible even more believable!
    (For even more stunning information, visit MSN and type in “Separation of Raunch and State,” “Michael the Narc-Angel,” “Bible Verses Obama Avoids” and “The Earliest Hate Criminals” to learn even more about Jewish connections!)

  • Roma,

    As a Catholic, we tend not to dwell on prophecy as much as our Protestant brothers and sisters.

    But it’s a stretch to say that Larry David’s misguided attacks on the Catholic faith would cause Catholics to attack Israel.

    If there is any action, Catholics tend to switch away from his show or even cancel subscriptions to HBO. But that’s about it. Oh, and complain on websites such as this.

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  • “If you don’t like it, move to Communist China. I’m sure they welcome your opinion.”

    Tito, you are an intolerable, racist disgrace to your own religion which is already so disgraceful that people find it comical to piss on your savior for cheap entertainment value. Oh, so valiant the defender of Catholics and Jesus that thou purifies the realm of the cyber-blog in the name of the Lord. Don’t you see that David does this stuff to get a rise out of you people. Your religious conservatism (what you call “faith”) binds you to a realm of predictability, and you are doomed to react with puppet like instincts to offenses that don’t directly effect you. If you truly were spiritually comfortable, why would you care what a fictitious character does on a fictional program. Instead you comfort yourself with the blanket of Catholicism and the knowledge that you “fit in”, attempting to make narrow-minded fools out of those who reasonably object to such hypocrisy as Christianity.

  • Xavier,

    Listen to your logic…

    I’m intolerable for voicing my defense of my faith, but Larry David is not intolerant because he relieves himself on God?

    You just undermined your own argument.

  • “…attempting to make narrow-minded fools out of those who reasonably object to such hypocrisy as Christianity.”

    Narrow-minded fools, so-implied, are those who are intolerant of other people’s perspectives; thus, you have demonstrated yourself not only as a prime example of such but also an apparantly unintelligent arse whose cognitive deficiencies are so severe that s/he actually refutes his/herself in the very comments s/he presents. Well done.

    “…who reasonably object…”

    Nice demonstration of petitio principii; perhaps you might first present an argument for why their objection was reasonable as opposed to your demanding we concede to your rather absurd assertion here.

  • “I’m intolerable for voicing my defense of my faith, but Larry David is not intolerant because he relieves himself on God?”

    What? When did I defend Larry David? I never said he wasn’t intolerant; the man is as rigid and prone to bigotry as you. Actually, I bet you’d make good friends given your shared personality defects. My point had less to do with David and more to do with your proclaimation “If you don’t like it, move to Communist China. I’m sure they welcome your opinion.” That statement is NOT the same as voicing defense of your faith. And listen to YOUR logic— just because David has a view in opposition to yours does NOT instantly validate your argument. There you go again being so incredibly narrow-minded…

    And to e.:

    You’re entirely correct— I do stand intolerant of those who are intolerable, thanks for your reiteration of my argument; you seemed to have managed to comprehend the main idea I conveyed.

    And here is the presentation of the argument I neglected to cover in detail (I thought it quite obvious) to which all are free to reasonably object:

    Acceptance of God/Jesus via Catholicism is essential to obtain salvation when you pass on.

    Any competent individual thinking with their own free will (this excludes you two) is reasonable in thinking the above is completely ludicrous, highly offensive to modern society, and an enormous waste of time.

    *How am I doin’ boys? Workin’ towards my second strike or what!

  • X,

    You did defend Larry David when you compared my ‘intolerant’ beliefs to Larry David relieving himself. Reread what you wrote, you made a direct reference to my defense:

    Tito, you are an intolerable, racist disgrace to your own religion which is already so disgraceful that people find it comical to piss on your savior for cheap entertainment value.

    So because I am intolerant that is why Larry David relieved himself?

    Again, you’re having problems with logic.

  • You are intolerant, yes. But your religion is intolerant whether or not you exist, whether or not people worship it, whether or not people pay it any mind. Do you see the non-exclusive relationship I presumed was already obvious? It is not simply because your religion is intolerant that David relieved himself on your savior’s likeness, but because it represents little to no value to his fictional character. Here, I’ll settle this once and for all in a way that simultaneously clears David’s actions and relieves your stress: Curb Your Enthusiasm isn’t real. It’s a scripted (often improvised) television program that is set in a world similar to our reality, but slightly off-kilter. David isn’t really playing himself, the woman portraying his wife on the program is not his real-life wife (although now ex-wife). The events, although inspired by reality, never actually occurred. Possibly in this Jewish ethnocentric (though self-deprecating) fictional land called “Hollywood,” Jesus doesn’t represent what he does in our reality. Honestly, I can’t argue any longer it’s been fun but I’ll have to throw in the towel and begin packing for communist China, comrade. Keep fighting the good fight Tito. I hope we can remain friends, nay Brothers!

  • So in the case of Tito, you hurl the absurd accusation of his being intolerant all the while demonstrating the very same kind of intolerance you purportedly detested in Tito?

    Also, you yet again wish us to concede to your assertion that it is “reasonable” for modern society to object Catholicism; yet, you’ve made no argument whatsoever as to why such a thing is “reasonable” other than to demonstrate for the nth time the very extent of not only your ineptitude in conducting (let alone, formulating) arguments but also the sheer magnitude of your own stupidity.

    Thus, any further communication with you (unless, of course, you finally decide to demonstrate some aspect of human rationality and not simply render yet again a superb immitation of the beast) would be tremendously futile.

  • Xanadu/Xavier,

    That was a good comment up until the very last sentence.

    There’s no need for that type of juvenile behavior.

    Please be charitable when engaging in dialogue.

    Your brother in Christ,

    Tito

  • I’m sorry but I hear almost every religion being made fun of these days. They weren’t targeting the Catholics. It’s a joke that makes people laugh and by making it a controversial joke, it was more popular.

Anne de Gaulle

Wednesday, October 28, AD 2009

Anne De Gaulle

Charles de Gaulle could be a very frustrating man.  Churchill, in reference to de Gaulle, said that the heaviest cross he had to bear during the war was the Cross of Lorraine, the symbol of the Free French forces.  Arrogant, autocratic, often completely unreasonable, de Gaulle was all of these.  However, there is no denying that he was also a great man.  Rallying the Free French forces after the Nazi conquest of France, he boldly proclaimed, “France has lost a battle, France has not lost the war.”  For more than a few Frenchmen and women, de Gaulle became the embodiment of France.  It is also hard to dispute that De Gaulle is the greatest Frenchman since Clemenceau “The Tiger”, who led France to victory in World War I.  However, de Gaulle was something more than a great man,  he was also at bottom a good man, as demonstrated by his youngest daughter Anne de Gaulle.

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16 Responses to Anne de Gaulle

  • Lovely! Thanks for sharing, Don.

  • It is a remarkable story Rick. It had to be for me to write positively about de Gaulle, not my favorite historical figure.

    http://www.cavortingwithstrangers.com/bookVIII-Gaulle.php

  • Yeah, I guess that’s part of why the story is so good. That a total *Richard Cranium* like de Gaulle could be capable of loving someone other than himself deeply and sincerely is a welcomed thought. It was a great love story in its own right, but also one of those things that reminds us of the dignity of the person and demonstrates that God is at work in all hearts – whether or not the effects can be seen.

  • A lot of what made de Gaulle such a pita was that he simply *had* to be in order to pull France through the crises it faced. The wounded national psychology required a kingly figure–in fact, a king in all but name, imperious and proud. It was a role imposed by the times, a necessary facade. Anne provides a welcome glimpse behind it.

  • What we need in our own time is a figure – kingly or not – who can persuade the general public that you cannot consume 4% more than you produce for 27 years without a serious danger that your creditors will (rather abruptly) ask for some of the principal of that loan back.

  • Art Deco;

    I read your post and thought Carthago delenda est.

    Not that you are incorrect, but that this does not seem like the appropriate place to bring up defecit spending

  • Beautiful story. Ofttimes a little glimpse into the private history of famous (or infamous) characters can make or break the surface impression formed by public history.

  • First time an article about de Gaulle ever made me cry.

  • Not that you are incorrect, but that this does not seem like the appropriate place to bring up defecit spending

    It was in response to Mr. Price’s comment on Gen. de Gaulle’s qualities as a leader. Our contemporary problems (and I am not referring to the public sector) are intractible but less intense than those faced by France in 1940. If it bothers you, c’est dommage.

  • Yes, I remember deGaulle from the days of WW2. The US of A helped win his country France for him, handed it back to him, and then he kicked the Americans (SHAPE headquarters) out of France. We have been despised by the French ever since.

  • I never realized DeGaulle had a daughter with Down syndrome until I read “Cultural Amnesia” by the Australian critic and writer Clive James. “Cultural Amnesia” is a wonderful book, a compendium of essays about literary, cultural and political figures ranging from Mao and Trotsky to Chesterton, Gibbon – and Louis Armstrong! The villians of the book are the murderous tyrants of the 20th century and their apologists and enablers (Sartre gets a drubbing).

    Here’s what James said about DeGaulle:

    Had he (DeGaulle) been a megalomanic, he would have been less impressive. Napolean, owing allegiance to nothing beyond his own vision, was petty in the end, and the fate of France bothered him little. De Gaulle behaved as if the fate of France was his sole concern, but the secret of his incomparable capacity to act in that belief probably lay in a central humility.,…, the touchstone of his humanity was his daughter. Nothing is more likely to civilize a powerful man than the presence in his house of an injured loved one his power can’t help. Every night he comes home to a reminder that God is not mocked, a cure for invincibility.”

  • WW2 Marine Veteran: First of all, thank you for your service.

    Things have come to a pretty ironic pass these days, haven’t they? The pro-American Sarkozy, elected to replace the anti-American Chirac, has found the new American president is rather cool toward his countries’ allies. Sarkozy publicly chided Obama several weeks ago for being naive about the intentions of the Iranians. It came as a shock to me to realize I agreed with the French president and not the American one.

  • “Nothing is more likely to civilize a powerful man than the presence in his house of an injured loved one his power can’t help.”

    Amen Donna. Thanks also for the tip about Cultural Amnesia. I am going to pick it up.

  • That quote also made me think of Lincoln and the personal tragedies he had to deal with while acting as Commander in Chief.

    I heartily recommend Cultural Amnesia; it’s one of the most original and thought-provoking books I have read in years. If you are like me and enjoy books with a wide historical and cultural range, I’ll bet you’ll like it.

  • I can assure you that the majority of French people hold no grudges against Americans, on the contrary they are deeply grateful for their role in liberating occupied Europe from Nazi Germany. I am currently reading a biography of De Gaulle by his on Philippe (an admiral) who knew him well and am discovering a very different man who had to fight many private battles in his life. He was critized and misunderstood even by his own countrymen. His pride and determination was for his country, but he accepted humbly many personal defeats as a true Christian. He was also a daily communicant.

  • There is an enormous amount of biographical information on Charles de Gaulle. Reading the essential sources by writers from different point of (political) views could make one clear that:
    – De Gaulle had a very sincere conviction about his mission; when he fled to Great Britain in 1940, he had nothing but his beliefs and his family;
    – De Gaulle was a profound democrat; he was the first president not elected by the parliament, but by the people (one man one vote), on his own initiative;
    – De Gaulle gave the French women the right to vote;
    – He was asked to replace the government to save France from chaos as the fourth republic had 22 governments between 1945 and 1958 – the masses demonstrated in the streets at the end of the fifties to call him;
    – De Gaulle gave all French colonies the possibility to gain their independence by vote;
    – De Gaulle had to unite and cure a country that was torn apart by pre-war corruption, largescale wartime collaboration with the Nazis and postwar chaos; by no means he could just go by his own will; he had to be cunning and in many instances had to weigh the bad against the worst;
    – De Gaulle had to fight the permanent threat of mutiny by the highest ranks of France’s military officers in the years of the Algerian independence war – the last attack on his life was on August 15th (sic!) of 1964 by the French terrorist OAS;
    – De Gaulle never threw the US out of France; he did not want a nuclear war between the USA and the USSR being fought at the cost of the European population; for that reason he refused to handover the command in the Mediterranenan area to foreign (read: American, British etc.) powers; for that reason too he created France’s ‘force de frappe’, the necessary nuclear strike to deter any aggressor from threatening Europe’s and especially France’s safety (at that time, we were in the Cold War); moreover his distrust in especially the British government is very understandable as they initially handed over power to pro-Vichy and anti-semitic factions in French colonies in the Middle/Near East at the end of WWII;
    – De Gaulle held F.D. Roosevelt and J.F. Kennedy in a very high esteem;
    – by reading and listening to De Gaulle’s books and speeches and taking his strategic insights into account, much of the misery in Vietnam in the sixties and recently in Iraq would have been avoidable;
    – you cannot measure a statesman’s acts by the way you and your neighbor are supposed to act when discussing the fence that divides your gardens;
    – all sources affirm his immense strategic insights;
    – on humility: in the famous Panthéon in Paris where all great French are (re)buried, De Gaulle is absent; he insisted on being buried next to his daughter Anne; he insisted too that his funeral in his village Colombey-les-deux-églises in Northern France there was not meant to be attended by politicians, by statesmen or by any other celibrity whatsoever, but just by his fellow villagers and his companions of the WWII-resistance; actually, there were more than 30.000 people gathered there, while in Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral the powerful and famous attended the ‘official’ service while all over France church bells were ringing; De Gaulle served as a colonel when WWII started; he was made a brigadier-general by what developed as the Vichy-regime; when he was outvoted by referendum in 1969, he refused his pension as a brigadier-general; he also refused his pension as a president; the pension of a colonel was what he chose; De Gaulle did not wear any signs of honor or distinction other than his brigadier-general’s uniform after WWII (the lowest general in rank); he had not built prestigious personal projects by the time of his stepping down as his successors did; instead, in the sixties he started France’s freeway project, an impulse to France’s weak economy at that time; once he stated that the French were too attached to their belongings and affluence;
    – and so on.

USCCB Caught Red-Handed, Archbishop Chaput Tap Dances, Oh Joy

Tuesday, October 27, AD 2009
Abp Chaput Tap Dancing

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, otherwise known as the USCCB, is once again involved in another scandal.  It doesn’t matter anymore if this is a real scandal or perceived as a scandal, the pattern of perversion of integrity, ineptitude, combined with poor judgment is so apparent that even “Joe Catholic” comes to the same conclusion.  And that is that the USCCB is failing in its mission to evangelize as is called for by Lumen Gentium (21), and instead is involved in liberal pet projects that have nothing to do with their mission statement.

This time the USCCB has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate free speech.  As a member of the liberal So We Might See coalition, a letter and petition has been sent by said coalition to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski which the Catholic News Agency reported it as stating:

The letter and its related petition asked the FCC to open a “notice of inquiry into hate speech in the media” and to update a 1993 report on the role of telecommunications in hate crimes.

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47 Responses to USCCB Caught Red-Handed, Archbishop Chaput Tap Dances, Oh Joy

  • The USCCB has denied that they are involved in this particular petition but has admitted they are a member of the the So We Might See coalition.

    So let me get this straight, I can be a board member and donate my time and treasure to Planned Parenthood because they do good things for women, but if they provide abortions I can categorically deny, with a straight face, that I am responsible for any death of an unborn innocent child on just this particular occurrence. Yeah right.

    This analogy breaks down since it essentially compares the So We Might See coalition as being exactly as evil as Planned Parenthood, which the entry itself did not actually demonstrate.

    It’s not like this has happened before, if you can ignore the fact that the USCCB has donated money to fund abortions, pushed for same-sex marriage, officially endorsed anti-Catholic and pro-atheist movies, approved of homosexually active films, supports contraception, funds to provide the morning after pill, and wants to legalize prostitution.

    Those are some serious accusations; I hope, for your sake and the sake of your soul, that they are in fact true less you not only commit libel here but also attack the Church herself merely by false witness.

  • e.,

    If you ever bothered to read my entire post you wouldn’t make such slanderous accusations.

  • …And the USCCB is not the Magisterium.

  • If you bothered to read your own post, you would see that it is actually you who’s the person making such slanderous accusations.

  • I think they risk being attacked themselves by such a rule, if Catholic broadcasters don’t support homosexual behavior, which opposition the administration is quickly moving to categorize as unacceptable.

  • Patrick Duffy,

    Which is what the USCCB is concerned about. They actually sent out a separate petition outside of So We Might See. Which was part of their explanation about the confusion, yet the USCCB has not posted any official denouncements on their website concerning So We Might See.

  • e.,

    Read the very last paragraph of my post.

    If you can’t do that, then don’t bother commenting.

  • A few points:

    1) Supporting or opposing hate speech legislation is a matter for prudential judgment. While I oppose hate speech legislation because I think it’s vague, and can easily be abused for partisan political purposes, I’d be hard-pressed to declare that someone was a bad Catholic for supporting ‘hate speech’ legislation. Hate speech, after all, is a bad thing. There are laws against many bad things; I just don’t think as a matter of prudential judgment that hate speech should be one of them.

    2) The USCCB has made it clear they didn’t support the petition.

    Basically, the USCCB is a member of a group that wrote a petition, which they didn’t support, on a matter of prudential judgment. Where’s the scandal?

  • John Henry,

    I agree with both of your points. I even wrote in so many words on your second point.

    The scandal is the perception of scandal. More along the lines of the “straw that broke the camels back”.

    The accumulation of so many missteps by the USCCB prompted me to make a point.

    Hopefully drawing attention to this will cause our good bishops to reform the institution and truly become an instrument of evanglization instead of funding liberal pet projects that divert from it’s main scope of evangelization.

  • e.,

    On your point concerning the analogy between Planned Parenthood and So We Might See. The comparison is that of association. Yes, what So We Might See did is not anywhere near the same as what Planned Parenthood provides in killing babies.

    I’m making the guilt by association analogy.

  • But, Tito, I don’t even see a reasonable basis for a perception of scandal. Could the USCCB devote its resources to more worthwhile enterprises than So We Might See? Sure. But every bureaucracy uses resources inefficiently (which is one of the chief conservative criticisims of big government); this is a dog-bites-man type scenario. The USCCB has its share of problems, but I’m not sure this makes even the top 20.

  • John Henry has aptly summarized some of my main concerns in his above comments to a degree more articulate & concise than I ever could have.

    Suffice it to say, I’m not so sure as to whether or not Tito himself has given the matter much serious consideration as his own outrage warrants.

    That is, I see no scandal here other than the fact that they would, at the surface, appeared to have supported some measure that would dare advocate some anti-hate speech legislation, which for some would appear, at worse, fascist while to others, at best, necessary in order to stem the growing tide of the kind of speech that seemed, at least to some, to have promoted hatred by the very nature of what essentially underlies all such hate speech.

    As to how the USCCB had conducted itself therein, the worst possible interpretation one could suppose would simply be their apparent ineptitude in regards to their engagement in the matter in deciding exactly whether or not they actually intended to do so.

  • John Henry,

    You have a point to a certain degree.

    The perception that the USCCB wants to control free speech is disturbing. The USCCB is an organization run by humans who are prone to mistakes. But those mistakes continue to add up that it’s in institutional rot and needs of reform.

    We’ll agree to disagree on this point.

    I’ll give you that it doesn’t make the top-20 nor the top-50, but to me anyway, this is one to many.

  • e.,

    As to how the USCCB had conducted itself therein, the worst possible interpretation one could suppose would simply be their apparent ineptitude in regards to their engagement in the matter in deciding exactly whether or not they actually intended to do so.

    In agreement here.

  • The catechism of some posts is apparently as poor as that of some at the USCCB. When a coterie of American bishops and their staff whose values were formed in the 1960’s collaborate with leftists,it’s not “scandal.” The USCCB has no teaching authority,and articles of faith and morals are not implicated here. It’s just more left-wing political nonsense,i.e.,politically liberal bishops acting politically liberal.What is sad is that someone like Chaput would provide cover.About as transparent as the Obama regime.

  • The USCCB did not endorse this particular petition because if this petition is passed, it could really cause a persecution of the Church and of anyone who declares that abortion or homosexual activity are against the teachings of the Catholic Church, so the USCCB was wise not to sign the petition. However, the organization itself is a far left radical organization and is supported, in part, by George Soros..that should speak for itself. The only way the USCCB supported abortions – indirectly – was when they donated funds to ACORN … they said that when they found out about ACORN’s agenda, they gave no more funds. Even so, many parishes are using funds that used to go to the Bishops’ annual appeal to projects within their own parishes. It would be wise for the USCCB to investigate any organization they want to donate our money to.

  • Sam,

    The USCCB, through back channels, have not endorsed this. But they haven’t made any official announcement nor posted this on their website.

    Hence why they should not only do so, but withdraw from So We Might See to eliminate even the hint of scandal.

    They’ve also donated to groups, via the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, funds that directly procure abortions.

    Everything else I pretty much agree with you.

  • Hence why they should not only do so, but withdraw from So We Might See to eliminate even the hint of scandal.

    Please define “scandal” as it seems the way you yourself are employing it requires nothing more but an arbitrary predilection.

    Also, didn’t you just mention in the preceding paragraph:

    The USCCB…have not endorsed this.

    So, why should they withdraw from something they did not actually endorse?

  • I wonder if pornography is included as a kind of hate speech, mainly directed against women?

  • It is not un-Catholic for the USCCB to choose to be a member of the liberal So We Might coalition; it is a matter of prudential judgment. But it is risky and arrogant business nonetheless, since Catholics are also entitled to exercise their prudential judgmenet in determining whether to support the USCCB and its efforts.

  • Clearly a liberal political group. Bad for bishops to be associated with such a group. Fine if they take a beating for it.

  • I agree with Tito…the Bishops have to be more alert especially after so much scandal and the reluctance to deal with it until it was brought out into the open…there are times when I fervently wish Mother Angelica could rise up out of her sickbed and go after those radical Bishops that are not standing up for the teachings of the Church and who are contradicting one another in public, as well as in private. The Bishops should be on the front line of authentic evangelization, they should be on the front line in defense of life, of traditional marriage…they should be on the front line of the fight against poverty and ignorance and despair…they should certainly be on the front line of all these radical agendas that are being presented in a benign way to the American people. The Bishops are the guardians and the shepherds of the faith and of the people and should be teachers…and back off from any organization or project that would harm their people and their faith. I wonder if it’s time to refuse any and all federal/state funding of Catholic institutions? As long as we accept money from the government, we are going to do, for the most part, what they mandate us to do. Darkness will spread and the feeble light of those Shepherds who do not live or teach others to live the fullness of faith will not be able to overcome it…but the Light of Christ will penetrate the darkness and then all will see as He wants us to see…and so we hope and we pray…

  • “The USCCB has denied that they are involved in this particular petition but has admitted they are a member of the the So We Might See coalition”

    This reflects a misunderstanding of how coalitions work. Coalitions sometimes push for things their individual members don’t like, but individual members believe their membership will benefit other causes they do like. Compare this to the situation of members of political parties.

    The original reports were pretty irresponsible in assuming that the USCCB’s Communications Office signed on to the specific controversial petition. The originator of the story at AmSpectator was more concerned about the UCC’s involvement, and mentioned the Catholic bishops only in passing.

    While I sometimes tire of hearing denunciations of the talk radio echo chamber, this story is a prime candidate to reverberate there without benefit for anyone but talk radio show hosts. Fake controversy driven by lazy reporting.

  • Nope, bishops being involved in an organization they really shouldn’t have been involved with.

  • Kevin,
    It is one thing to cooperate with a coalition when interests align; it is another to be a member. The latter presupposes that interests generally align. It is not a reach, therefore, for one to assume that the USCCB sees itself as generally aligned with “So We Might.” This is imprudent and, at bottom, more in keeping with liberal policy preferences than Catholic teaching as such. While some of the reporting may come across as over the top and simplistic, that is mostly because these reports don’t spell out the problem with clarity.

  • Mr. Petrik: Doesn’t your above argument concerning membership actually prove Tito’s point in one of his previous entries wherein he decried Fr. Jenkins as being a member of Millenium Promise and, incidentally, you as member of United Way since both purportedly supported what could very well be deemed as objectives of the Culture of Death?

  • Tito:

    Curious, for how long do you intend to keep me in moderation?

    All because of one mere remark that you happened to disagree with?

    I would’ve expected more mettle from you, Taco Man!

  • Mike Petrik,

    It is not un-Catholic for the USCCB to choose to be a member of the liberal So We Might coalition; it is a matter of prudential judgment. But it is risky and arrogant business nonetheless, since Catholics are also entitled to exercise their prudential judgmenet in determining whether to support the USCCB and its efforts.

    I agree, it’s what that liberal organization does and that is to request a suppression of free speech.

  • Kevin Jones,

    I agree about how the coalition works.

    I am just sick and tired how many times the USCCB has failed to be prudent in their decision making that continues to taint their organization and undermine their ability to be taken serious.

  • The problem with “hate speech” laws is that who defines what hate speech is? A pro-abort liberal might define it as speech which calls abortion murder. An gay atheist might define it as a priest’s or minister’s refusal to affirm gay marriage as a right. The so-called “Human Rights” Commission in Canada opened a big can of worms when it attempted to bring Mark Steyn to book for “anti-Islamic” speech (Steyn had the bad taste to publish quotes from actual imans which were not very peaceful). But before they went after Steyn, they had previously attacked clerics who spoke out against gay marriage from the pulpit.

    The USCCB is guilty of very poor judgement if they support anti-hate speech laws.

  • It is not wise to pick up the stick and hand it to the people who will beat you with it.

    ‘hate speech’ sounds like a bad thing and it is tempting to want to punish it; however, as Donna points out above: Who defines it?

    It is very, very dangerous to go down this path and it will come back and hurt the Church in America. If this is in the realm of ‘prudential judgment’ then isn’t it prudent to stand against something that can, and probably will be, used to silence the Church and threaten the Bishops’ ability to lead their flock?

    Perhaps the USCCB should visit China and see how ‘hate speech’ is used against the Church. Perhaps a glimpse into the future the secularists, like Soros, are trying to make ours may stiffen the USCCB’s backbone.

  • Please be clear: THE USCCB DID NOT SIGN ONTO THIS PETITION!!! Precisely because they knew it could be used against them. Should they continue to be a member of this organization? I think not…whatever Soros is involved in, they should stay away from. But I guess there are those Bishops who stand with people like Soros and that will come back and slap them in the face some day…meanwhile, let us show support for those Bishops who are authentic Shepherds of the Church…and those Priests who often stand alone and have many burdens to bear…

  • We need to support and obey our Bishops and we are called to love them in truth. When they make a mistake, and they do and they will, it is incumbent on us to respectfully approach them about it. When as a group they keep making mistakes in the same direction it goes beyond error and begins smelling like something rotten.

    The Church is, has been and always will be under attack but knowing that doesn’t mean we have to coopertate with forces that are seeking to tear the Church appart.

    Remember the devil always presents sins as goods. It sounds nice to be part of an organiztions that seeks to end ‘hate speech’ or promote ‘world peace’ or ‘universal brotherhood’ but unless the organization actually seeks those things then it is foolish to even seem to be associated with it. Is it possible that evil forces lie by naming sinsiter organizations with nice-sounding names and promoting ‘beneficial’ causes?

  • Agree that they did not sign on. But they did to an organization that clearly was going to do stupid things like the petition. Bad judgement whoever made it. Good politics to point it out and make those shephards who aggreed with this more sheepish next time. Those who didn’t are big boys and may likely appreciate the spotlight on stupid actions like this.

  • I agree that we do have to write/speak to our Bishops when we believe they are going in the wrong direction or when they are part of a group that is not following the authentic teachings of the Church. We need to speak to our Priests about it too. I write often to my own Bishop and meet with him when I can and respectfully speak when I believe something is wrong such as permitting the morning after pill in Catholic hospitals without pregnancy testing in cases of rape. The devil doesn’t always present evil as good…it depends on who he is presenting to. Some are drawn to absolute evil; others will succumb to evil which comes in the guise of something good. I was thinking of the parable about the wheat and the weeds…didn’t the Lord say not to separate them lest what is good be harmed? But rather to let them grow until clarification between what was harmful and what was good could be easily discerned…we have to pray for discernment, but mistakes will be made because we are human. However, I believe the Bishops need to make sure they have a team to do the sorting out. After all, they are dispensing the hard earned money of their Parishioners and need to be held accountable for that. For a while, the USCCB had a communications director who approved obscene movies, books, etc…and they kept him on even after a public outcry. I don’t know if he is still there…but, as someone else has pointed out, the USCCB is not the magisterium…they made a terrible choice in the wording they used to guide people in their voting options…so much so that many used that voting guide to show that they could vote for a racically pro- abortion, pro-infanticide candidate such as Obama as long as they were not voting for him BECAUSE HE WAS FOR ABORTION!!! Tragic. Archbishop Raymond Burke, who is now in Rome, pointed out the errors in the paper but it was too late…Catholics gleefully voted for Obama…so we do have to let our Bishops know what we think, and point out errors where they occur but we need to do so respectfully and not give certain Bishops the excuse to disregard honest challenges because they were offered in a disrespectful, self righteous way…we all have a lot to learn and the challenges that face us are enormous…so let us challenge each other while strengthening each other and building on what is good and right according to the Lord…

  • Agree with doing it respectfully. But not so much so that it loses the force of the correction. Some corrections are so subtle that they are not corrections at all. And if a bishop is embarrased or otherwise put out by a truthful and respectfull correction, his problem and not ours.

  • e.
    I regret that don’t have the time to research and respond to your reference to Tito’s prior point. As far as the United Way goes, the analogy fails for several reasons. First, I don’t have a problem with the USCCB determining that it is in general alignment with the SWM coalition, and that it may be a member even if that alignment is imperfect. But that determination has at least three prudential components. First, the imperfection must not be so substantial that it leads the USCCB into evil or scandal. Second, the USCCB must determine that the liberal policy preferences favored by SWM will be effective in securing the objectives favored by Church teaching. Third, it must determine that any benefits of membership outweigh the costs of loss of credibility or confidence from those Catholics who disfavor SWM’s liberal policy preferences on prudential grounds. My discomfort goes mostly to the second and third considerations. I do not think that the USCCB has the competence to discern the comparative effectiveness between liberal and conservative policy preferences, and I think acting as though it does by favoring one over the other will cause it to lose credibility among those who disagree, some of whom actually have greater competency in the relevant policy areas.
    As far as the United Way goes, I’m confused by your remark. You are aware that each local United Way is an independent organization, right, and therefore makes its own funding decisions. Some fund Planned Parenthood and some don’t; some who fund PP give a lot, others very little; and some who fund allow donors to avoid directing money toward PP and others don’t. Finally, a Catholic may choose to become involved precisely for the purpose of eliminating or reducing objectionable funding. Which assumptions were you making, and what were they based on?

  • Mr. Petrik:

    Thank you for the clarification. I am always grateful for your edifying comments.

    If you would kindly recall, as concerning the discussion that took place in the previous thread, I was of the personal opinion that such membership (specifically, board membership as far as that dialogue went) did not itself actually prove complicity on the part of an individual member as regards to a particular interest that might be pursued by that organization as a whole (unless, of course, the whole purpose of that organization is not to engage in genuine charitable work).

    It is precisely for that reason that I was disinclined to agree with Tito, asserting that Jenkins (however awful I personally find his other actions to be) simply being a member of said organization did not really prove that Jenkins himself actually endorsed the scandalous project Tito accused it of that the body of the organization may have pursued as a whole. For one thing, other majority members may have been responsible.

    Your recent comments (i.e., membership presupposes that general interests are aligned) seemed to imply the contrary, making it appear as though membership itself was sufficient for indictment.

  • Is it necessary that there be a USCCB? What good does it do except spread dissension? Are our bishops so incapable that they must rely on bureaucrats to do their thinking for them?

    How many bishops voted on this matter? Which ones?

    Every bureaucracy is like THE BLOB in the Steve McQueen movie. It grows without restraint and without direction.

    If the bishops’ organization wanted to make a statement about this bill, it [sic] should have done so independently of any other group. There is nothing which prevents a single bishop from making such a statement

  • e,
    Thanks. Just to further clarify, I do think that voluntary membership in an organization normally would presuppose general alignment of interests and views, though not perfect alignment. In this case it seems reasonably plain that the USCCB is not in alignment with the SWMS in connection with the latter’s hate speech initiative. Nonetheless it seems fair to assume more general alignment given USCCB’s decision to be a member of the SWMS. My objection is not in regard to the imperfection, since I agree that the USCCB should not be held responsible for each and every initiative of SWMS. My concern is that the general alignment, while not in any way inimical to Catholic teaching, is not required by Catholic teaching and is grounded in a prudential judgment that more or less assumes that liberal policy choices better advance Catholic policy objectives. In my view this is imprudent for the reasons I mentioned above.
    Finally, I do very much agree that the characterization of the USCCB as petitioning the FCC to regulate speech is unfair given that (i) it did no such thing and (ii) a coalition cannot fairly be considered the agent of each and every member on each and every issue. And that is especially true in this case where the USCCB has apparently made it clear that it does not in fact support the petition.
    The bottom line for me is that while I do not hold the USCCB accountable for the petition in question, I do hold it accountable for choosing to be a member of the SWMS. It is that latter decision that is in my view imprudent, and I worry it is grounded in an arrogance that stems from an unfortunate and often mischieveous ideological bias.

  • Mike Petrik writes: “The bottom line for me is that while I do not hold the USCCB accountable for the petition in question, I do hold it accountable for choosing to be a member of the SWMS. It is that latter decision that is in my view imprudent, and I worry it is grounded in an arrogance that stems from an unfortunate and often mischieveous ideological bias.”

    I doubt any of us heard about the SWMS until the past two weeks. We know nothing about it except as it has been filtered through a poorly reported controversy. Isn’t it a bit silly to issue our judgments about it when we’re so far from the situation on the ground?

    It seems a far less clear cut case to me than, say, CCHD funding for abortion-supporting community organizing groups.

  • Kevin,
    I am well acquainted with SWMS, so your doubt is misplaced.

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  • One might argue that the USCCB joins hands with some of these rather questionable organizations in order to influence their direction. A suggestion that they are partners in but don’t support all the efforts of some organization brings to mind an analogy. When you see someone stuck in a bog or fallen through thin ice, it is prudential to remain on firm footing and toss them a rope, not to jump in with them to help them find their way out. Now that the USCCB seems to have gotten itself into the bog, let’s hope and pray that the Bishops will remain on firm ground while proceeding to help fix things. Hopefully Archbishop Chaput will consider this. We badly need some clarity in these confused times.

  • David King,

    I hope and pray that they find their way out.

    It just seems they think that this uproar will go away and they can continue pursuing democratic party goals, catholic teaching be damned-kind of attitude.