We haven’t had an open thread in a while. Besides, I’ve been itching for an excuse to post the whistling dog video.
I’ve never had much use for Jimmy Carter. I view him as in the running with James Buchanan for the title of worst President of the United States, and he has always struck me as a mean and spiteful little man. Now he adds the title of bigot to his list of dishonors. In an address to the World Parliament of Religions (You know that has to give God a good laugh!) the Solon of Plains is reported to have unloaded on both Southern Baptists and Catholics.
In opposition to the vast majority of authentic scholars and historians, Carter asserted: “It’s clear that during the early Christian era women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets.” He added: “It wasn’t until the 4th century or the 3rd at the earliest that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant position within the religious hierarchy.”
Contrary to the theorizing of Carter, Pope John Paul II taught, “The Lord Jesus chose men to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry.” He added: “the Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church; 1577)
Carter singled out the Southern Baptist Convention and Roman Catholic Church, claiming that they “view that the Almighty considers women to be inferior to men.” However, both Christian faiths hold to the Scriptural truth that God created men and women equal.
Carter suggests that only in permitting women to become priests and pastors could male religious leaders choose to interpret teachings to exalt rather than subjugate women. “They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter, subjugation,” he said.
“Their continuing choice provides a foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world,” said Carter. Carter goes on to list horrific violations against women such as rape, genital mutilation, abortion of female embryos and spousal battery.
Since the topic of the economic message of the parables was recently raised, I couldn’t help remembering this little snippet which for some years hung on my cube wall. Perhaps the Conservative Bible Project can include this among their free market parables? I’ll freely make it available to them, so long as they don’t embarrass me by citing my name.
One of the lesser known apocryphal gospels was that of St. Josephus Managerius whose “Gospel According to Management” was left out of the New Testament by reason of sheer irrelevance. Managerius was a Roman management consultant and inspirational speaker who became one of Christ’s lesser known followers. In his own gospel account, he gave the following address to a management seminar the day after Christ’s delivery of the parable in today’s gospel.
“Well, folks, I think we were all pretty impressed by the Master’s parable yesterday about the Pearl of Great Price, and the importance to following major spiritual upscaling opportunities. But being a trained management consultant, I’d just like to emphasize a couple of the points the Master brought up.
Shatner has been giving dramatic readings of some of Palin’s twitter tweats, so Palin was returning the favor. Alas, Shatner has reached the stage in life when being mocked at by a beautiful woman is about all the former Romeo of Star Fleet can hope for. It was a funny bit and demonstrates yet again that the old political campaign rule book has been tossed out the window by her. And rest assured this is a campaign. Polls this week showed a single point separating her and Obama as to favorability, with Obama falling and Palin rising. I think Palin is rewriting the old Klingon proverb of revenge is a dish best served cold. I suspect she believes it is a dish best served laughing.
Hattip to the ever vigilant Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal. My kids loved Thomas the Tank Engine videos when they were little back in the nineties. Memories of those times still brings a smile to my face when I see some Thomas the Tank Engine trinket for sale in a store. Now I learn that I was not only entertaining them, I was also indoctrinating them in my political views.
A Canadian academic, surprise!, Shauna Wilson, has disclosed the political subtext underlying the Tank Engine stories:
She also highlighted the class divide which sees the downtrodden workers in the form of Thomas and his friends at the bottom of the social ladder and the wealthy Fat Controller, Sir Topham Hatt, at the top. Continue Reading
This is pretty funny, but at times it makes me cringe.
Nonetheless it is humor so don’t take this seriously at all!
Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama continue to spend, spend, spend away money we don’t have. With the public option now firmly established in the current Senate version of the health care bill, Election 2010 comes to mind.
Kick the bums out.
(Biretta Tip: Glenn Foden of NewsBusters)
Word On Fire Catholic Minstries is currently working on The Catholicism Project and is in the final stages of being completed. It is a groundbreaking documentary series presenting the true story of Christianity and the Catholic faith, which comes in an especially timely moment in human history.
The following is a short trailer professionally done with Father Robert Barron showing snippets from footage that is being targeted for release by Christmas 2010 A.D.
In Advent my thoughts frequently turn to John the Baptist, the last, and the greatest, of the prophets who foretold the coming of Christ. The Jews lived in expectation for many centuries for the coming of the Anointed One, the Christ. It was left for the Baptist to be His final herald. His cries for repentance in preparing the way for the Lord are a useful reminder to us as to the proper spirit to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Of the film portrayals of John the Baptist, my favorite is that of Charlton Heston in the movie The Greatest Story Ever Told, who conveys well the sheer force of the Baptist’s message and the courage with which he conveyed it. John came to testify to the Truth and nothing would stop him from doing it, not even death as the last 2000 years can attest.
Diane Francis, a columnist with the Financial Post, a Canadian newspaper, has a column here calling for a global one child policy.
A planetary law, such as China’s one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days.
The world’s other species, vegetation, resources, oceans, arable land, water supplies and atmosphere are being destroyed and pushed out of existence as a result of humanity’s soaring reproduction rate.
Ironically, China, despite its dirty coal plants, is the world’s leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation, thanks to its one-child-only edict.
The intelligence behind this is the following:
-If only one child per female was born as of now, the world’s population would drop from its current 6.5 billion to 5.5 billion by 2050, according to a study done for scientific academy Vienna Institute of Demography.
-By 2075, there would be 3.43 billion humans on the planet. This would have immediate positive effects on the world’s forests, other species, the oceans, atmospheric quality and living standards.
-Doing nothing, by contrast, will result in an unsustainable population of nine billion by 2050.
Although I think this proposal of Ms. Francis is both evil and insane, I do give her props for saying out loud what many environmental hysterics only hint at: Man is the problem. Eliminate as many humans as possible and the environment can by saved to be enjoyed by the anointed few like Ms. Francis.
What rubrics to follow at Mass in case of gunfire? (Fr. John Zuhlsdorf).
From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion. The Onion may be on shaky ground here. I constantly get packages at home and at the office that could qualify as suspicious following the loving ministrations of the Post Office. We recently sent a package to someone, and he told us that the package had tread marks on it, courtesy of having been run over by the USPS.
Hat tip to Amy Welborn
Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday took advantage of a traditional homage paid to Our Lady by residents of Rome on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception to deliver this timely reflection on urban life.
Some of you may remember the TV series “Naked City”, which closed with the famous line “There are eight million stories in the Naked City. This… has been one of them.” Then as now, of course, the media focused mainly on the stories of corruption, violence, and depravity; however, Pope Benedict reminds us that there are many, many other stories of grace which go untold and unnoticed.
I find this address particularly pertinent in light of the fact that many cities have come to be identified so closely with their most notorious residents or elements (e.g. gambling and prostitution in Las Vegas; decadent entertainment and lifestyles in L.A./Hollywood; political corruption in Chicago; financial greed on Wall Street/NYC) that it’s easy to forget the good that many of their residents do quietly and faithfully every day.
Dear brothers and sisters!In the heart of Christian cities, Mary constitutes a sweet and reassuring presence. In her self-effacing style, she gives everyone peace and hope during the happy and sad moments of life. In churches, chapels or the walls of buildings, a painting, mosaic or a statue stand as a remainder of the Mother’s presence, constantly watching over her children. Here too in Piazza di Spagna, Mary stands high, on guard over Rome.What does Mary tell the city? What does her presence remind us? It reminds us that “where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more (Rom., 5:20), as the Apostle Paul wrote. She is the Immaculate Mother who tells people of our time: Do not be afraid, Jesus defeated evil, uprooted it, freeing us from his rule.When do we need such good deeds? Every day, in the newspapers, television and radio, evil is told to us, said again, amplified, so that we get used to the most horrible things, and become desensitised. In a certain way, it poisons us, because the negative is never fully cleansed out of our system but accumulates day after day. The heart hardens and thoughts become gloomy. For this reason, the city needs Mary, whose presence speaks of God, reminds us of Grace’s victory over sin and makes us hope even in the humanly most difficult situations.Those who invisible live or rather survive in the city. They make it to the front page of newspapers or the top of TV newscast—they are exploited until the end, for as long as the news and the images are newsworthy. Few can resist such a perverse mechanism. The city first, hides then exposes them to public scrutiny, without pity or with false pity. Everyone would like to be accepted as a person and considered as something sacred, because each human story is a sacred story that deserves the utmost of respect.Dear brothers and sisters, we are the city! Each one of us contributes with our lives to its moral climate for better or worse. The border between good and evil runs across everyone’s heart and none of us should feel entitled to judge others. Instead, each one of us must feel duty-bound to improve ourselves. Mass media make us feel like “spectators” as if evil only touched others and that certain things could not happen to us. Instead, we are all “actors” for better or worse, and our behaviour influences others.We often complain about air pollution, that in some parts of the city the air is unbreathable. That is true. Everyone must do his or her part to make the city a cleaner place. However, there is another kind of pollution, which the senses cannot easily perceive, but which is equally dangerous. It is the pollution of the spirit, which makes us smile less, makes us gloomier, less likely to greet one another or look into each other face . . .The city has many faces, but sadly, collective factors lead us to forget what is behind them. All we see is the surface. People become bodies, and these bodies lose their soul, become faceless objects that can be exchanged and consumed.Mary Immaculate helps us rediscover and defend what is inside people, because in her there is perfect transparency of soul and body. She is purity in person in the sense that the spirit, soul and body are fully coherent in her and with God’s will. Our Lady teaches us to open up to God’s action and to look at others as he does, starting with the heart, to look upon them with mercy, love, infinite tenderness, especially those who are lonely, scorned or exploited. “[W]here sins increased, grace overflows all the more.”I want to pay tribute publicly to all those who in silence, in deeds not in words, strive to practice the Evangelical law of love which drivers the world forward. There are so many of them even here in Rome. They do not make the headlines. They are men and women of all ages, who realise that it is not worth condemning, complaining or recriminating; that it is better to respond to evil doing good; to changes things; or better, to changes people, hence improve society.Dear Roman friends and all of you who live in this city! Whilst we are busy in everyday tasks, let us listen to Mary’s voice. Let us hear her silent but pressing appeal. She tells each one of us that wherever sin increases, may grace overflow all the more, first in our hearts, and then in our lives! Thus, the city shall be more beautiful, more Christian and more humane.
Thank you, Holy Mother, for this message of hope. Thank you for your silent but eloquent presence in the heart of our city. Immaculate Virgin, Salus Populi Romani, pray for us!
Occasionally one runs across a post that’s particularly nicely done. I think Matthew Boudway’s recent reflections on a column by Clifford Longley on the new atheists comes dangerously close to perfect. It’s brief, highlights an interesting article, and adds a thoughtful perspective that provides more depth to the article it cites. Here’s a snippet:
[In response to Richard Dawkins’s claim that it is wrong to “indoctrinate tiny children in the religion of their parents, and to slap religious labels on them,”]
“There is no such thing as value-free parenting,” Longley writes…Longley proposes this as an argument about parenting, but it is hard to see why it wouldn’t also apply to education. If the argument doesn’t apply to education, why doesn’t it? If it does — and if it is a good argument — then people of faith have a compelling reason not to send their children to schools where the subject of religion qua religion is carefully avoided. One could, I suppose, argue that the tacit message of such schools is that religion is too important to get mixed up with the tedious but necessary stuff of primary education, but of course public schools approach important matters all the time, and cannot avoid doing so.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Secretariat just released a statement denouncing the defeat of the Pro-Life Nelson Amendment. In addition the USCCB will not support any health care bills that diminishes the Stupak Amendment that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Here is their released statement in its entirety:
December 9, 2009
Bishops Call Vote a Grave Mistake and Serious Blow to Genuine Reform
Say the Senate Should Not Support Bill in its Current Form
Hope That House Provisions on Abortion Funding Prevail
BISHOPS DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED BY SENATE VOTE
TO TABLE NELSON-HATCH-CASEY AMENDMENT
WASHINGTON—“The Senate vote to table the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment is a grave mistake and a serious blow to genuine health care reform,” said Cardinal Francis George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The Senate is ignoring the promise made by President Obama and the will of the American people in failing to incorporate longstanding prohibitions on federal funding for abortion and plans that include abortion.”
Bishop William Murphy, Chair of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said: “Congress needs to retain existing abortion funding restrictions and safeguard conscience protections because the nation urgently needs health care reform that protects the life, dignity, conscience and health of all. We will continue to work with Senators, Representatives and the Administration to achieve reform which meets these criteria. We hope the Senate will address the legislation’s fundamental flaw on abortion and remedy its serious problems related to conscience rights, affordability and treatment of immigrants.”
Hattip to Ed Morrisey at Hot Air. Live Action, under the intrepid direction of Lila Rose, continue their undercover exposes of Worse Than Murder, Inc., a\k\a Planned Parenthood. It will come as little surprise to pro-lifers that Planned Parenthood’s counseling of pregnant women consists of a sales pitch for their “abortion services”. It may come as a surprise to the general public. Bravo to Lila Rose and Live Action for their innovative tactics and courage! No Worse Than Murder, Inc, employee can ever know for certain now when they might become part of a YouTube expose. Good!
For many Christians today, the thought that the leaders of the Protestant Reformation believed in the Immaculate Conception of Mary or her bodily Assumption into heaven would seem ludicrous, even more bewildering would be the devotions many of the Reformation’s leaders had for the Blessed Mother. Believe or not it, they did. In this month of December when Catholics celebrate three feast day’s commemorating the Mother of our Lord, perhaps it is time to remind our separated brethren of the truths their founder’s believed.
Sometime ago when I was writing my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, I showed a friend of mine, who is an Evangelical, a homily about the Virgin Mary delivered in the 1500s. I asked him who gave that homily, “probably some pope,” he exclaimed. No, I said it was Martin Luther. He replied, “Dave I trust in almost everything you say, but I am going to have to call you out on this one. I mean isn’t that what the Reformation was all about, ending superstitions like those about Mary?” His mouth dropped when I showed him the passages. I am sure many of today’s Evangelicals, especially of the Calvinist lineage, would have the same reaction.
The Senate defeated the pro-life Nelson amendment that would have disallowed public money to be spent on killing babies.
Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com explains what the current bill contains without the pro-life Nelson amendment:
The legislation currently allows abortion funding under both the public option and the affordability credits to purchase health care insurance.
Pro-abortion Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine voted along with most Democrats when pro-abortion Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer of California moved to kill the bill. Democratic Senators Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania, David Pryor of Arkansas, Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Edward Kaufman of Delaware, and Evan Bayh of Indiana voted along with the rest of the Republicans to not kill this amendment.
I wrote a while ago about the first issue of Matthew Lickona’s graphic novel: Alphonse, Untimely Ripp’d, and also published an interview with Lickona about the series.
The second issue of the series, Murder Sleep, is now available for 2.99 a copy from IndyPlanet. Lickona also has an account up at Kickstarter to fund the production of Issue Three. I’ve contributed and would encourage others to do so if they’re enjoying Lickona’s unique vision and Catholic sensibilities in the series.
A week after Honduran elections were held, with conservative candidate Porfirio Lobo Sosa the clear winner, the US is recognizing the president-elect as legitimate, while some countries in South America and Central America are hesitating. Turnout in the election — which it is hoped will bring stability and legitimacy to the country, which has been in legal and international limbo since it ousted President Zelaya for unconstitutional attemps to prolong his time in power — was slightly higher than in the previous Honduran election (initial official estimates were higher, but CNN currently projects voter turnout was 56.6%, vs. 55% in 2005 when Zelaya was elected). However, some countries (not only Zelaya allies such as Hugo Chavez, but also regional power Brazil) have not yet decided whether to recognize the elections as valid.
While the ouster of Zelaya had no effect on the slate of candidates available on the ballot (under the Honduran constitution he was not eligible to run for reelection), many countries including the US had expressed hope that the Honduran congress would vote to re-instate Zelaya for the remainder of his term. However, the Honduran congress voted overwhelmingly not to return Zelaya to power for the rest of his term, and Zelaya urged supporters to boycott the elections, insisting that any elections held under the interim government were illegitimate.
Brazilian representatives have voiced the possibility that evidence that voter turnout was similar to in past years would sway them towards recognizing the elections as valid, as the US already has. However, it remains to be seen how widely accepted Honduras’ newly elected leadership will be within the international community.
I guess for most Americans living today the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, seems like ancient history. It does not seem like that to me. As I was growing up in the Sixties I was surrounded by adults who recalled Pearl Harbor. My father, who was 8 years old at the time of the attack, remembered the long lines the next morning in our small town of men waiting outside of the recruiting offices of the Army and Navy to join up. He also conveyed to me the shock of a nation one moment at peace, and the next morning at war. Until September 11, 2001, I really didn’t fully comprehend what my father was talking about.
It is important to recall Pearl Harbor to remember that the safety and security we enjoy can be wrenched from us so easily if we are not vigilant, and also to recall the 2350 Americans who died that day. I have written about one of them here, Father Aloysius Schmitt, a Navy chaplain, who died on the USS Oklahoma saving other men. These men deserve to be remembered and to have prayers said for their souls and today I will do both, and I hope you will join me.
Update: 15 men were awarded the Medal of Honor for their valor that day, 10 of the recipients dying that day. One of the Medal of Honor winners, John Finn, is still alive recently turning 100. Go here to read about these very brave men.
[From the website]: The New Jesuit Review has as its goals the recovery of Jesuit spirituality from its authentic sources and reflection by contemporary Jesuits on its significance for their lives. The writings of St. Ignatius and the First Companions, the lives of Jesuit saints and martyrs, and classics of Jesuit spirituality are examined in the spirit of Perfectae Caritatis, the Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life of the Second Vatican Council:
It redounds to the good of the Church that institutes have their own particular characteristics and work. Therefore let their founders’ spirit and special aims they set before them as well as their sound traditions — all of which make up the patrimony of each institute — be faithfully held in honor. (Perfectae Caritatis, 2)
A promising venture (HT: Fr. John Zuhlsdorf).
Part II of my presentation of the four sermons on the Anti-Christ given by John Henry Cardinal Newman during Advent in 1835 before his conversion. Part I is here.
In this second sermon Newman concentrates on what we can glean of the Anti-Christ from Scripture and from the writings of the Fathers of the Church. One thing stands out in this sermon for me. The idea that the reign of the Anti-Christ may involve both ferocious atheism and a return to paganism. This seems like a contradiction, but Newman points to the French Revolution:
In that great and famous nation which is near us, once great for its love of CHRIST’S Church, since memorable for deeds of blasphemy, which lead me here to mention it, and now, when it should be pitied and prayed for, made unhappily our own model in too many respects,-followed when it should be condemned, and admired when it should be excused,-in the capital of that powerful and celebrated nation, there took place, as we all well know, within the last fifty years, an open apostasy from Christianity; not from Christianity only, but from every kind of worship which might retain any semblance or pretence of the great truths of religion. Atheism was absolutely professed; -yet in spite of this, it seems a contradiction in terms to say it, a certain sort of worship, and that, as the prophet expresses it, “a strange worship,” was introduced. Observe what this was.
I pray and hope that your Advent is going well.
In the meantime, enjoy this little clip in reminiscing a much more simpler time.
America, the Jesuit magazine, has an article against the new Roman Missal translation which attempts to rectify some of the truly wretched translations that the English speaking peoples of the world had foisted upon them in the Sixties. The piece is written by Father Michael G. Ryan. Little did he know that he was going to be subject to one of the best fisks ever delivered by the Master of the Fisk, Father Z.
“What if we, the parish priests of this country who will be charged with the implementation, were to find our voice and tell our bishops that we want to help them avert an almost certain fiasco? What if we told them that we think it unwise to implement these changes until our people have been consulted in an adult manner that truly honors their intelligence and their baptismal birthright? [What would that entail, this “consulting our people”? Would that mean, what… having our people do the translation? Would it involve, what… voting?] What if we just said, “Wait, not until our people are ready for the new translations, but until the translations are ready for our people”? [How would that work, exactly?]
Heeding Our Pastoral Instincts [Two really precise terms there!]
The bishops have done their best, [But apparently, they did a pretty bad job of it, according to the writer. Maybe “our people” can do a better job of making these decisions. Right! The bishops shouldn’t decide! “Our people” should decide! Down with the bishops! Up with “our people”! UNITE! Crush the IMPERIALIST…. er um… okay… sorry…. I digress….] but up to now they have not succeeded. Some of them, led by the courageous and outspoken former chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pa., [ROFL! You knew his name would pop up, right!] tried mightily [What a Hercules, he! What a David! What a … er… um…. sorry….] to stop the new translation train but to no avail. The bishops’ conference, marginalized and battle-weary, allowed itself slowly but steadily to be worn down. [By those wicked new translation loving types! DOWN WITH THEM!] After awhile the will to fight was simply not there. Acquiescence took over to the point that tiny gains (a word here, a comma there) were regarded as major victories. Without ever wanting to, the bishops abandoned their best pastoral instincts and in so doing gave up on the best interests of their people. [The writer is pretty worked up.]”
Go here to read the whole fisk. It is not to be missed.
In regard to President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan this week, I thought he made the cardinal error of basically telling the Taliban that if they keep their heads down for the next year and a half they can pretty well count on us being out of Afghanistan before he is up for re-election in 2012. It is immoral to tell troops to die in a struggle that the Commander-in-Chief has clearly written off, and I think that is the reality behind Obama’s speech. Rule one of fighting a war is to win it, but I suspect that is not Obama’s intent. But for the political consequences of Afghanistan quickly becoming terrorist haven number one, I doubt if Obama would do anything other than withdraw all American troops as quickly as possible.
At any rate, as a war speech by a President I would rate this a solid D. If he wants examples of better speeches, he might try something like this minus the cussing.
Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal has Lincoln adopting a similar policy to Obama’s during the Civil War:
After months of what his opponents called weakness and indecision, President Abraham Lincoln announced a new strategy for ending the war with the rebellious Southern states to a group of reporters today.
The Army of the Potomac, now under the command of Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant, will be granted an additional 35,000 troops, well short of the 200,000 requested by Grant several months ago, for the invasion of the South which will begin next spring.
Declaring that, “Unions and freeing slaves and such are one thing, the lives of brave young Americans quite another,” the President also indicated that the United States committment would have a definite time limit.
If the seceding states cannot be persuaded to return to the Union by August of next year, Washington would begin to withdraw US forces. Asked if this implied eventual recognition of the Richmond government by Washington, the President declined to comment.
The indispensable Iowahawk gives his interpretation of Obama as war President here.
Our enemies are not idiots. Based on the evidence I think they have reached the obvious conclusion that Obama is weak and vacillating. They will now act accordingly. We are in for interesting times.
Hattip to Creative Minority Report. Economic times are tough and they are especially tough in Michigan, so the Northland Family Planning Centers of Michigan are touting their contract killing of the unborn in the above video as “sacred work” , and they assure us that they “believe in the goodness” of their work. Well, I guess it beats saying that they kill unborn kids for a living for cash on the barrel head. A nice video to recall when a pro-abort argues that no one is pro-abortion.
Of course, what would an ad for an abortuary be without a quote from the late Tiller the Killer?
Abortion is not a cerebral or reproductive issue. Abortion is a matter of the heart. For until one understands the heart of a woman, nothing else about abortion makes any sense at all. Dr. George Tiller 1941-2009
Who knew? I always thought that Tiller the Killer, late term abortionist, did it for the money that made him a very rich man. Instead, he did it because he understood the hearts of women! (Except, I guess, for the little females he slew.)
For a rather more accurate view of what the abortion business is all about, here is a video regarding the change of heart of Abby Johnson, a former director of a Planned Parenthood, a/k/a Worse Than Murder, Inc, clinic.
As to the temporary restraining order mentioned in the video, a judge voided it after a hearing, so Abby Johnson is free to speak. Her testimony is important, and it also reminds us that even the most hardened advocates of abortion may be touched by grace and find themselves as our allies for the unborn. Pray that the makers of the video at the beginning of this post may experience such a conversion.
Individualism is one of those terms which a great many people use in a great many different ways, so it has been with interest that I’ve been reading Individualism and Economic Order by F. A. Hayek. The book is a collection of essays dealing the individualism, its definition and its place in the economic order.
From the first essay, “Individualism: True and False” comes an interesting thought:
Here I may perhaps mention that only because men are in fact unequal can we treat them equally. If all men were completely equal in their gifts and inclinations, we should have to treat them differently in order to achieve any sort of social organization. Fortunately, they are not equal; and it is only owing to this that the differentiation of functions needs not be determined by the arbitrary decision of some organizing will but that, after creating formal equality of the rules applying in the same manner to all, we can leave each individual to find his own level.
There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. While the first is the condition of a free society, the second means, as De Tocqueville described it, “a new form of servitude.”
(Individualism and the Economic Order p. 14-15)
This strikes me as touching on the sense in which classical liberals in the tradition of Burke and Smith can still be considered “conservative” in the old sense of the term. Although Burke is commonly accepted by those who argue that classical liberalism is not “truly conservative” as being conservative in his outlook because of his reaction to the French Revolution, he was (like Smith) Whig, though they were Old Whigs, not True Whigs or Country Whigs. Prior to the French Revolution, Burke had been generally supportive of the cause of the colonists in the American Revolution.
Taking Hayek’s point, classical liberals in the tradition of Burke and Smith do not reject the necessary hierarchy of society. Nor do they embrace sudden, transformative social change. As such, they can certainly be seen as conservative. However, they do seek sufficient freedom within society to allow people to “find their own level”, believing that there is a natural hierarchy of ability which will thus result in an ordered society, and a more desirable one than one in which hierarchy comes strictly from birth and rank.
In this sense, the freedom of a classical liberal society creates social order, and a more stable one than the sort that an ancien regime conservatism maintains. Indeed, arguably, at this point in history, it is only this Whig-ish conservatism which is commonly found within society. Ancien regime conservatism has virtually died out.
Entirely different are notions of politics or the human person in which it is held which all people are truly and fully equal — in ability and inclination as well as in human dignity. Such systems would indeed seem to lead quickly to a most undesirable oppression.
As a service to our readers who missed the Charlie Brown Christmas Special due to its pre-emption by Obama’s speech on Afghanistan. ABC will show the Christmas Special on December 8th at 8:00 PM, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The words of Linus are of course taken from the Gospel of Saint Luke:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them,
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
When I was a boy the Charlie Brown Christmas Special was my favorite TV Christmas Special. As a man, I agree.
With the recent scandals rocking the Catholic Church here in America as in President Obama receiving an honorary degree at the University of Notre Shame to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claiming that abortion is an open-ended issue in the Church, we have seen a reemergence of ecclesial leadership on behalf of our shepherds. Many bishops have awoken to the fact that being “pastoral” has been a remarkable failure in resolving the deviancy emanating from Catholics and Catholic institutions.
The upsurge of young adults rediscovering their faith to the excellent parenting of Catholic families in raising fine orthodox Christian children, we have seen what is only the beginning of a Catholic renaissance here in America. And let us not forgot the ever faithful cradle Catholics among us that have contributed in keeping the faith in the tumult arising from the Second Vatican Council to today.
Among my many flaws is a deep appreciation for biting sarcasm. A recent post by Damian Thompson at his blog at the Telegraph is a masterpiece of this form of verbal combat:
“It is 40 years ago today since the New Mass of Paul VI was introduced into our parishes, writes Margery Popinstar, editor of The Capsule. We knew at the time that this liturgy was as close to perfection as humanly possible, but little did we guess what an efflorescence of art, architecture, music and worship lay ahead!
There were fears at first that the vernacular service would damage the solemnity of the Mass. How silly! Far from leading to liturgical abuses, the New Mass nurtured a koinonia that revived Catholic culture and packed our reordered churches to the rafters.
So dramatic was the growth in family Mass observance, indeed, that a new school of Catholic architecture arose to provide places of worship for these new congregations. Throughout the Western world, churches sprang up that combined Christian heritage with the thrilling simplicity of the modern school, creating a sense of the numinous that has proved as irresistible to secular visitors as to the faithful.
For some worshippers, it is the sheer visual beauty of the New Mass that captures the heart, with its simple yet scrupulously observed rubrics – to say nothing of the elegance of the priest’s vestments, which (though commendably less fussy than pre-conciliar outfits) exhibit a standard of meticulous craftsmanship which truly gives glory to God!
The same refreshing of tradition infuses the wonderful – and toe-tapping! – modern Mass settings and hymns produced for the revised liturgy. This music, written by the most gifted composers of our era, has won over congregations so totally that it is now rare to encounter a parish where everyone is not singing their heads off! Even the secular “hit parade” has borrowed from Catholic worship songs, so deliciously memorable – yet reverent! – is the effect they create. No wonder it is standing room only at most Masses!”
Did Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, who birthed this kairos, have any idea just how radically his innovations would transform the Church? We must, of course, all rejoice in his imminent beatification – but, in the meantime, I am tempted to borrow a phrase from a forgotten language that – can you believe it? – was used by the Church for services before 1969: Si monumentum requiris, circumspice.” Continue Reading
Pajamas Media has put together a complete database for the Climategate documents here. The docs make for fascinating reading. On a whim I did a search using the term Hitler. The e-mail that came up is from February 21, 2005:
“From: Phil Jones <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Subject: Fwd: CCNet: PRESSURE GROWING ON CONTROVERSIAL RESEARCHER TO DISCLOSE SECRET DATA
Date: Mon Feb 21 16:28:32 2005
Cc: “raymond s. bradley” , “Malcolm Hughes”
Italics added by me. It seems that the reluctance to release supporting data by these scientists has been going on for years. These documents give us an astonishing look inside a group that has been spearheading the global warming movement.
Witnessing the continued implosion of the Anglicans and the ELCA over matters of Christian morality, I am intrigued by the way present circumstances have inspired renewed consideration of tradition, authority and obedience.
As I wrote a few months ago (“On the troubles within the ELCA” American Catholic September 7, 2009): “What is interesting, at least from this Catholic perspective, is the extent to which the critics of recent decisions recognize the seeds of their present troubles woven into the very fabric of their tradition.”
In a recent post to First Things‘ “On the Square”, Rusty Reno described the crisis of those experiencing “the agony of mainline Protestantism” thus:
One either recommits oneself to the troubled world of mainline Protestantism with articulate criticisms, but also with a spirit of sacrifice, as he so powerfully evokes. Or one stumbles forward-who can see in advance by what uncertain steps?-and abandons oneself, not to “orthodoxy” or “true doctrine” or “good theology,” but to the tender care of Mother Church.
As Joe Carter (First Things) noted, as with the Anglicans, so a faction of Lutherans have chosen a third route — forming a new Lutheran church body separate from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Meanwhile, it appears that the homosexuality debate is fanning faculty and student protests at Calvin College — the furor instigated by a memo reminding faculty that they were bound to the confessional documents of the Christian Reformed Church: Continue Reading