Today Christians, Catholic, Evangelical and Orthodox, came together in the Manhattan Declaration to put the Obama administration and the Congress on notice:
“. . . We will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriage or the equivalent or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”
Extremist Democrats and liberals are hailing Harry Reid’s Health Care bill as a victory for pro-abortion activists. Though the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called it “completely unacceptable“.
…Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the bishops’ conference Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, said Reid’s “is actually the worst bill we’ve seen so far on the life issues.”
He called it “completely unacceptable,” adding that “to say this reflects current law is ridiculous.”
From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion. Actually, I can think of certain domestic situations where a teleprompter could come in handy. Son learning to drive hits a tree. I turn to the teleprompter and read through gritted teeth: “Don’t worry. I’m not mad. We just have to clarify the functions of the gas pedal and the brake. We will laugh about this in years to come!” I have a kidney stone. I turn to the teleprompter and read through yelps of pain: “Oh my, I am having another kidney stone! Gee that smarts! Well it should resolve itself in three or four days! Please ignore any screams I may make in the meantime!” Dog has an accident: “Another accident! I will just clean this up, and then we can go for another walk! We will get you house trained yet, you good Dog!” On second thought I think I will forgo the teleprompter.
Bishop Roger Morin is the Chair of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Subcommittee that directs the CCHD. In theory the CCHD works towards ending poverty and injustice in the United States by basically offering grants to organizations that support these goals. But reality is far harsher than what is written.
Numerous organizations have investigated the CCHD and have uncovered many nefarious groups that are diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus. Many of these groups promote abortion to ‘gay marriage’. What is striking is that the CCHD doesn’t do anything to end the funding unless a very bright light is shined on them such as the case with ACORN.
Bishop Roger Morin continues to issue memorandums defending CCHD’s vetting process and grants. Yet time and time again he has been proven unequivocally wrong. From the Young Workers United to the Chinese Progressive Association, CCHD apparently sees no evil… anywhere.
Is Bishop Roger Morin being mendacious in his continual defense of the indefensible. I am having a really hard time believing that he could be so obtuse to such an important matter as this.
The new American history blog Almost Chosen People reminds us that today is the anniversary of the Gettysburg Addess, delivered on Nov. 19th, 1863. The Gettysburg Address stands unique, to my knowledge, in the American branch of the English-speaking world as the only speech by a political leader which is widely memorized and quoted in its entirety long after the fact. There are some isolated famous sections of speeches by FDR, JFK and Martin Luther King which are widely remembered, but unless anyone else can think of anything I’m completely forgetting, the Gettysburg Address is uniquely treated as a piece of rhetoric which is remembered and memorized in its entirity. (I still recall it nearly word for word, having memorized it in fifth grade.) Indeed, the only other similarly treated piece of oratory I can think of is the (fictional) Crispin’s Day speech in Shakespeare’s Henry V.
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate…we cannot consecrate…we cannot hallow…this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
From our international readers, I’m curious: What pieces of oratory are similarly remembered in the British-English world, or in other non-English-speaking countries?
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Senate of the State of New-Jersey: I am very grateful to you for the honorable reception of which I have been the object. I cannot but remember the place that New-Jersey holds in our early history. In the early Revolutionary struggle, few of the States among the old Thirteen had more of the battle-fields of the country within their limits than old New-Jersey. May I be pardoned if, upon this occasion, I mention that away back in my childhood, the earliest days of my being able to read, I got hold of a small book, such a one as few of the younger members have ever seen, “Weem’s Life of Washington.” I remember all the accounts there given of the battle fields and struggles for the liberties of the country, and none fixed themselves upon my imagination so deeply as the struggle here at Trenton, New-Jersey. The crossing of the river; the contest with the Hessians; the great hardships endured at that time, all fixed themselves on my memory more than any single revolutionary event; and you all know, for you have all been boys, how these early impressions last longer than any others. I recollect thinking then, boy even though I was, that there must have been something more than common that those men struggled for; that something even more than National Independence; that something that held out a great promise to all the people of the world to all time to come; I am exceedingly anxious that this Union, the Constitution, and the liberties of the people shall be perpetuated in accordance with the original idea for which that struggle was made, and I shall be most happy indeed if I shall be an humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty, and of this, his almost chosen people, for perpetuating the object of that great struggle. You give me this reception, as I understand, without distinction of party. I learn that this body is composed of a majority of gentlemen who, in the exercise of their best judgment in the choice of a Chief Magistrate, did not think I was the man. I understand, nevertheless, that they came forward here to greet me as the constitutional President of the United States — as citizens of the United States, to meet the man who, for the time being, is the representative man of the nation, united by a purpose to perpetuate the Union and liberties of the people. As such, I accept this reception more gratefully than I could do did I believe it was tendered to me as an individual.
Abraham Lincoln, February 21, 1861
Announcing a new blog, Almost Chosen People. It is a blog dedicated to American history up through Reconstruction. I am one of the contributors. A fair amount of my initial posts at this blog will be reposts of material first posted at The American Catholic, but they will be interspersed with new material. My fellow contributors, including Paul Zummo of the Cranky Conservative, and Dale Price of Dyspeptic Mutterings, will be providing posts that will be well worth reading, so please stop by. Needless to say, although I’ll say it anyway, this new blog will not lessen my posting frequency here at The American Catholic.
Should Chavez be taken seriously? Yes, says Maruja Tarre, former international relations professor with a degree from Harvard Kennedy School and now a Caracas-based consultant to multinational firms.
With his revolution losing popularity amid rising inflation, rampant crime, a stagnant economy, and frequent water shortages and power outages, Chavez needs a galvanizing event, she says. A border skirmish, if not a full-fledged war, would solidify his support base ahead of next year’s legislative elections and give his Bolivarian Revolution the heroic episode that it lacks.
Tarre was interviewed Tuesday at her home in Caracas.
Verbal assaults by Chavez are nothing new. People usually react by saying it’s all talk. Should his threats be taken any more seriously this time?
In the immortal words of Al Capone (Robert Dinero) in the movie The Untouchables, “Like a lot of things in life, we laugh because it’s funny and we laugh because it’s true.” Joe has lived up to the comedic potential recognized last year by Saturday Night Live here. Keep us laughing in these dark days Joe! You are our Three Stooges during this Obama-ession!
I do not endorse some of the overheated added commentary, but I believe Friedrich von Hayek’s warnings of the long terms dangers of a planned economy are just as prescient today as when the book The Road to Serfdom was published in 1944. It is a short book and well worth the time it takes to read it. Some memorable quotes of von Hayek:
The Venezuelan ambassador to Bogota, Gustavo Marquez, said that the seriousness of the situation could not be overstated and that “there is a pre-war situation in the entire region”.
Diplomatic relations between the South American neighbours are frozen and on Saturday President Chavez escalated the war of words with President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia by saying there was no chance of dialogue.
While those who are committed Chavez fans, convinced that he wants only what is best for his people and the region, may accept his claim that this escalation is necessary because Columbia has invited the US to set up military bases in their country, which Chavez sees as presaging a US invasion of Venezuela, most will see this as evidence that Chavez is seeking to establish a national enemy in order to distract his people’s attention from the economic problems the Chavez regime has inflicted on them. His ability to use Venezuelan oil revenues to buy support at home and abroad is suffering because his government-run oil companies have failed to invest in infrastructure and thus have experienced declining output over the last several years.
This video re-awakened one of my alternate history fantasies: Tolkien publishes the Lord of the Rings in the Thirties to immediate acclaim. The film rights are bought by Hollywood with the condition that Tolkien has script approval. Tolkien relunctantly travels to Hollywood during the filming where an epic, and comedic, struggle ensues as Middle Earth and the Golden Age of Hollywood come into mortal combat.
The D.C. Council is considering a law forbidding discrimination against those in gay marriages. The law would apply to all groups that have contracts with the District, including Catholic Charities, one of the city’s largest social services providers. The Archdiocese of Washington says that because of the Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage, it would have to suspend its social services to the poor, the homeless and others rather than provide employee benefits to same-sex married couples or allow them to adopt.
Should the city require the Church to follow a law it considers immoral?
Perhaps there are braver men than Walter Ciszek, but they don’t come readily to mind. Hard enough to be brave for a short period when the adrenaline is flowing. Ciszek was brave under often horrendous circumstances for almost a quarter of a century.
Born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania on November 4, 1904, the son of Polish immigrants, he grew to be a wild, tough kid, a bully and gang member. He therefore floored his parents when he told them he wanted to be a priest. Entering a minor seminary he remained tough as he related:
“And I had to be tough. I’d get up at four-thirty in the morning to run five miles around the lake on the seminary grounds, or go swimming in November when the lake was little better than frozen. I still couldn’t stand to think that anyone could do something I couldn’t do, so one year during Lent I ate nothing but bread and water for the forty days –another year I ate no meat at all for the whole year –just to see if I could do it. “
Always looking for a challenge, Ciszek simply presented himself to the Jesuit provincial in the Bronx in 1928 and announced, “I’m going to be a Jesuit!”
Lukewarm means death to the spirit, death to the Church, death to Hope. It is often disguised as a worldly contentedness which seems to suffice until tragedy strikes- then you know you should’ve given your all – instead of taking the ones you love for granted, instead of assuming that Christ is ok with lip service comm…itments- if you want it All, you have be ready to give your all. I’ve been down that Half-Assed Christian path, and it is a loser. Who wants a half-assed husband, a half-assed father, a half-assed teacher, a half-assed disciple of Love and Truth???? Well, not my wife, not my children, and not my Lord Jesus Christ- my students don’t seem to care most of the time but that doesn’t mean the seeds I’m planting are a waste of my efforts. Spending your time spreading love and truth is never a waste of time.