The Massachusetts Miracle: What Does It Mean?

Wednesday, January 20, AD 2010

Well Massachusetts has elected a Republican US Senator for the first time in 37 years.  What does this political upset of the century mean?

1.   ObamaCare is dead.  Not only because the Democrats now lack 60 votes to invoke cloture in the Senate, but because opposition to ObamaCare was the signature feature of Scott Brown’s campaign and the results of this race in bluest Massachusetts will send chills down the spine of too many Democrats.

2.   We now have further evidence that the Democrats are looking at a political storm of the first magnitude in the Fall.  If a US Senate seat in Massachusetts isn’t safe for the Democrats, it is hard to imagine what seat in Congress outside of urban centers they can take for granted in November.

3.   The fundraising success of Scott Brown over the internet was astounding.  A demonstration that the internet fundraising effort of the Democrats in 2008 now has a GOP counterpart.

4.   Look for a wave of Democrat retirements in Congress as more Democrats decide that ending their political careers with a voluntary retirement is preferable to defeat.

5.   More Blue Dog Democrats in Congress will follow the example of Congressman Parker Griffith and announce that they are switching to the Republican Party.

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16 Responses to The Massachusetts Miracle: What Does It Mean?

  • President Obama took his election victory as an endorsement of an extreme liberal agenda.

    When people were just tired of Bush which Obama capitalized on.

    Now, even right before the results were announced, Robert Gibbs was announcing an even more “aggressive” and “vitriolic” agenda of pushing health care.

    I doubt they got the message.

    I’ve read on NBC and ABC that they refer to Tea Party activists as “extremists”.

    When the mainstream media is in cahoots with the Obama administration, I believe we may be marching towards the worst re-election campaign since Jimmah’ lost to Ronald Reagan.

  • One unfortunate (at least in my opinion it’s unfortunate) effect of the Mass. special election is that Romney now probably cakewalks to the GOP presidential nomination. Maybe I’m making too big a deal out of it since we’re still a couple of years away from the GOP primaries, but that was a huge swing of momentum Romney’s way last night.

  • Jay,
    I don’t think so at all. Romney’s absence from Brown’s campaign was conspicuous. Also, Romney was an elite candidate in 04, not the kind of retail politics-guy with Brown’s mass (no pun intended) appeal. I think it strengthens candidates with an emphasis on cost cutting (Indiana’s Mitch the Blade for VP?). I still don’t see any 2012 front-runner at all for the Republicans.

  • Romney’s a cool cat, but I am hoping for something significantly better.

    Gingrich is to wishy-washy.

    Huckabee is finished.

    McCain is a loser.

    Brownback is an opportunist and weak.

    Palin has “it”, but too many elites “pooh-pooh” her “smarts”.

    Pawlenty isn’t well-known enough.

    Pataki is a baby-killer and so is Giuliani.

    Thune, Pence, and Barber are unknowns.

    Jindal looks promising.

    Santorum is good but compromises his principles too many times.

    I’m holding out for Jindal, Thune, and Palin.

    Romney looks like “one” of the frontrunners, but he’s all for universal health care coverage, look at his RomneyCare in Massachusetts.

  • Its a victory, and that’s good. The progressive agenda might even hide out for a little while, but it will be back, and we can’t get complacent.

    They will use any tactic or strategy, however dishonest, to change this country into the progressive utopia that they envision. They’ve brainwashed the next generation with music and movies and they practically own the educational system, and run the courts.

    The only thing standing in their way is “we the people”, and our willingness to expose whats going on, even when most of the mainstream media refuses to. They have enough brainwashed zombies who think that America is a bad place to eventually get their agenda through, unless we gear up and stop it.

  • But Romney WAS conspicuously present last night. There’s a lot of talk going on right now about how his campaign team helped orchestrate Brown’s win and the important role Romney played behind the scenes.

    Unfortunately, that WILL play well with GOP primary voters, many of whom already rallied to Romney once in 2008 as the “anti-McCain”. I think the guy’s a fraud, but think he may have just notched the sort of win against the Obama team that will impress Republican primary voters.

  • Jay, I don’t see it. If you notice when Romney was introduced last night, the reaction wasn’t as loud as you would think. Sure he was cheered, but it felt muted. I think Romney might get a small boost, but it doesn’t seem like many people are really associating what happened last night with him.

  • We’ll see, Paul. I hope you’re right. But I’m guessing Kathryn Lopez and her crew will do their part to try to associate Scott Brown’s win with their beloved Mitt.

  • Romney’s people helped Brown prepare his strategy, and apparently Brown likes Romney (why else would he have Romney introduce him, and then call him out also during the speech). At the same time, 2012 is still a long way off. A lot can happen; hopefully someone better than Romney will emerge.

    I don’t really get the visceral dislike some people have for him, although I see why he doesn’t connect well. All politicians are frauds to some extent; some are better at concealing it than others. He’s not as good as some others.

  • Let’s face it, Scott Brown could just be Mitt Romney with a latex mask and some hair dye. Politically they are very similar. Personally, if Scott Brown thinks I voted for him because he drives a truck he’s dreaming, I would have voted for a brown paper bag over any Ma Democrat.

    Mitt Romney holds alot of sway here in Ma, as he won the 08 Republican primary. If Scott Brown goes out of his way to endorse Romney in the next repub primary it will probably mean that Romney helped him alot behind the scenes.

    Romney has little appeal to values voters, but hes seen as competent on the economy. If the economy and unemployment don’t get alot better, Romney will be strong contender in 012.

  • Actually, i would have voted for a brown paper bag full of dog poop and lit on fire before just about any Massachusetts Democrat.

  • Interesting that the GOP now has a state senator-come-U.S. Senator with potentially larger national ambitions.

    This win only changes the relationship between the two major parties. It does not change the trajectory of America overall, particularly in economic and foreign policy terms. If anything Brown is more hawkish than Obama, who for the most part has retained Bush’s foreign policy outlook.

    Anger and resentment drove this win, not Brown’s ideology nor even his policy positions (its should be noted that he DOES desire to expand health care, just not ObamaCare).

    Hopefully before people start voting for the GOP in droves they will quickly remember that they were the ones very much responsible for our current predicament.

    Personally I’m hoping for another attempt from Ron Paul in 2012. He will do much better this go around and can tug the GOP towards a proper, Constitutional position. Unfortunately I see little to no signs that the GOP is willing to give up its love for war-making and aggression.

  • Cupofwrath

    Sorry, Mitt doesn’t do porn, but from what I read, Scott Brown did (at least porn-lite for Cosmo).

  • Twice in one day!

    I agree with Henry again!

    Sorry, Mitt doesn’t do porn, but from what I read, Scott Brown did (at least porn-lite for Cosmo).

  • “Twice in one day!

    I agree with Henry again!”

    Two seals broken!

    In all seriousness, I think we would agree on most things, at least in the ideals, if not in how to execute them.

  • Sorry so late:

    “More Blue Dog Democrats in Congress will follow the example of Congressman Parker Griffith and announce that they are switching to the Republican Party”

    But even the devil can don a sheep’s clothing. Can we trust these ex-pats of the left? Seriously.

The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism Because Nonsensical Believers & Non Believers Are Unwittingly Showing Many the Way

Wednesday, January 20, AD 2010

Throughout the last few years and specifically the last decade or so, the voluminous number of kooky quotes and statements coming from religious believers (heterodox Catholics included) and non believers alike is mind boggling. It can’t but help push the reasonable minded into the Catholic Church. Most casual observers are familiar with the number of high profile converts and reverts to the Catholic Church in the last 25 years or so. They range from theological luminaries like Dr Scott Hahn and Dr Francis Beckwith to political figures like Deal Hudson, Laura Ingraham and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Many like them have come to the Church after years of study and reason, but many also have come to the Church after years of seeing their particular religious denomination become unrecognizable.

The latest world calamity has given us two examples of sheer kookery coming from a religious leader and a secular voice. After the horrific earthquake that left the western world’s most impoverished nation in tatters, the Reverend Pat Robertson chimed in with a quote that was not only tragically insensitive but historically inaccurate. The onetime presidential candidate (who actually came in second in the 1988 GOP Iowa Caucus) and a leading voice of the Evangelical world blamed the earthquake on Voodoo, a cult that sadly far too many people practice in Haiti.  Robertson voiced his opinion on his popular 700 Club television program. Robertson repeated the fundamentalist canard that in the early 1800s the leaders of a slave revolt fighting against French colonial forces forged a pact with the Satan to thrown off the chains of their oppressors.

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12 Responses to The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism Because Nonsensical Believers & Non Believers Are Unwittingly Showing Many the Way

  • Since when is pro-abortion Brown “the truth”?

  • Who said he was? I never mentioned his name in the article. However, when the people of Massachusetts (the only state who voted for George McGovern) can see the craziness of the left, you can rest assured that they are not alone.

  • “As evidenced by the stunning results in the Massachusetts special election seat vacated following the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, even in the most liberal of locales the public will eventually clamor for the truth.”

    You didn’t have to say his name to mention him — you most certainly mentioned him through that statement. Do not confuse “naming names” as the only way to mention someone. And from all you wrote here, “a pro-choicer” is now the right and the truth.

  • “You didn’t have to say his name to mention him — you most certainly mentioned him through that statement. Do not confuse “naming names” as the only way to mention someone. And from all you wrote here, “a pro-choicer” is now the right and the truth.”

    Hmm, I didn’t get that from this statement. In any case, one doesn’t have to be impeccable to demonstrate the principle that the mind of the people is changing. Brown is obviously not perfect, but I don’t think Dave is talking about his politics or theology so much as the change that his election represents.

  • The change the election represents I don’t think is exactly as Republicans are making it out to be; while some of it might be on Obama, and other aspects of it might be on health care, another aspect people have to remember is Coakley assumed the seat was hers and didn’t campaign properly. That, I think, is the lesson all sides might want to remember: don’t assume you are a sure-win and do nothing because of it. Nothing, however, to do with “truth.” Nothing in the results shows truth wins — since abortion does.

  • I agree with Henry.

    Brown did make the centerpiece of his campaign as a referendum on ObamaCare, though other factors such as Coakley’s poor campaigning certainly played a factor into it.

  • “I agree with Henry.”

    Tito, that’s the first sign of the apocalypse!

  • The truth that believing Catholics shouldn’t be barred from working in emergency rooms certainly won.

    Brown is quite problematic (and it’s not like I sent him money), but at least we are spared the spectacle of another Massachusetts Catholic baying for abortion in DC.

    I’ll take my silver linings where I can find them.

  • Dale

    So, what silver linings do you find for Obama? Can you find some?

  • I questioned authority relentlessly. Holy Mother Church had all the answers.
    Some retreat to the Church, others flee or are driven, some even backtrack, and many seem to crawl, but, always, the door is wide open.
    Inquisitive mind + Road To Damascus (TM) moment = conversion/re-conversion. Sweet.

  • Despite the badly-concealed sneer with which you pose your question, Henry, sure. Haitian relief, support for a limited range of renewable energy sources, uniting (briefly) the country after the Fort Hood terrorist massacre, helping a limited range of distressed homeowners and credit card and equal pay protection come quickly to mind.

    But, as you know, he’s been a pro-abortion stalwart–deceptively so–when it comes to the protection of human life and issues of conscience.

    Thus, my great relief that a putative sister in the Church–one who expressly finds the Catholic faith disqualifying from life-saving work–will not be able to work on a national stage to implement her bigotry, nor be able to lend her support to the most problematic parts of the President’s agenda.

    Your mileage evidently varies.

Massachusetts Predictions

Tuesday, January 19, AD 2010

Go here to see the last polls on the Senate race in Massachusetts.  The seat that is up has been in the hands of the Kennedy family since 1953, four years before my birth.   The last time the Republicans won a Federal senate race in Massachusetts was in 1972 when I was 15 years old.  Against all the odds Scott Brown has engineered the political upset of this century.  In November he trailed Martha Coakley by 30 points.  He has run a superb campaign and she has run an abysmal one, but the key issue has been his opposition to ObamaCare.  If ObamaCare is  a losing issue in Massachusetts, in what State in the Union can it be a winning issue?  Brown 52;  Coakley 47;  Kennedy 1.  That is my prediction.   What is yours?

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18 Responses to Massachusetts Predictions

Martin Luther King on When Not To Be Conservative

Monday, January 18, AD 2010

I have long been, and remain, a temperamentally conservative person. To my view, the ills created by radically overturning a social order are usually far greater than the benefits realized. And yet, there are times when justice demands change that is not gradual. One of the counter-examples I generally keep in mind to my Burkian conservative tendencies is this selection from Martin Luther King’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail”, which a friend once emailed me during an extended discussion on conservative versus progressive mentalities:

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

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6 Responses to Martin Luther King on When Not To Be Conservative

  • This letter is also a mighty fine explanation of how the greatest obstacle for pro-lifers is pro-lifers themselves.

  • Well, Martin Luther King was a democratic socialist in a time when the Red Scare was still very much alive, so my guess is his answer to “when not to be conservative” would be “pretty much always”.

  • Sounds more like Malcolm X than MLK. Malcolm X also chided the complacent black community that was content that the crumbs falling from the white man’s table were getting bigger.

  • “This letter is also a mighty fine explanation of how the greatest obstacle for pro-lifers is pro-lifers themselves.”

    Yes and no. On the level of tactics, yes, but on the level of strategy, no.

    For instance, the lukewarmness or down right opposition of some pro-lifers to using graphic images to depict the reality of abortion really disturbs me. They would put the truth away so as not to be “pornographic”, and make the ridiculous and stupid argument that to use these images is “consequentialist” – presuming that showing the images themselves is somehow a bad thing that will lead to good, when in reality, to show the truth is always a good thing.

    On the other hand, when I look at the energy that sincere pro-lifers put into political initiatives that are certain to fail, such as personhood initiatives that are popular right now, I think they are asking for too much, too soon. The majority of Americans are not ready to make the leap into recognizing full personhood for the unborn. The first of these initiatives in Colorado was defeated by nearly 3/4 of the electorate. That is a brick wall of reality.

    So it is hard to know when or how to strike, but my view is that the ground has to be prepared a little better before personhood initiatives will win the day.

  • What is justice to one is terrorism to another. What is worse is that the vast majority only see what they want to see because to see things as they are might challenge their beliefs.

    To most “good” catholics, who are lost in my opinion, the issue is abortion. To me I see MLK’s “opinion” regarding white moderates, as much more applicable to the Catholic Church and its “justice” regarding divorce/annulment.

    The Church will continue to fail in its mission as it ministers to only “some” of its people and destroys others not in its “favored” status.

    The Catholic Church is a Church of “white moderates”, and we are not talking race here.

  • I made the mistake of watching some PBS yesterday, a documentary about the takeover of Attica. While the documentary sympathized with the prisoners, my reaction was the opposite to what was intended. It reminded me of just how much evil was unleashed by the radical reformers of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Was the country best served by the non-moderates?

    This inevitably raises the question of whether the moderates forced the radicals into extremism. For twenty years before King’s death, racial barriers were breaking down. If the moderates had moved more quickly, perhaps the Black Panther types would have never risen to prominence. If the radicals had moved more slowly, maybe the riots of those years could have been avoided. Maybe we got through the whole process with the least bloodshed possible. I don’t know.

Glory

Monday, January 18, AD 2010

“Once let the Black man get upon his person the brass letters US, let him get an eagle on his button and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pockets, and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship in the United States.”

               Frederick Douglass

Blacks after the Civil War would be shamefully denied equal rights for a century.  However, that sad fact does not detract in the slightest from the heroism of black troops fighting to preserve a nation that had given them little reason to love it.  The great lesson of the Civil War is that we are all Americans, all part of this experiment in self-government, and it is a lesson to be remembered on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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12 Responses to Glory

  • It is a very noble thing to risk your life for a great cause.

    Yet among all the means of fighting for justice, MLK demonstrated the redeemed form, living the call that John Paul II made in his encyclical Centesimus Annus: “May people learn to fight for justice without violence”.

    Many abolitionists believed in Christian non-violence (or ‘non-resistance’ as it was known then), including William Llyod Garrison. His is a fascinating and contradictory story, and reminds me somewhat of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

  • Garrison abandoned his pacifist views at the onset of the Civil War Nate, and whole-heartedly supported the Union war effort.

  • Blacks have fought in every war this country has ever been involved in going back to the Revolutionary War, but none was more poignant than the civil war which their very freedom from slavery was at stake. In his second inaugural address Lincoln suggested that the war may be a divine punishment for the national sin of slavery;

    “He gives to both North and South, this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether”

    How ironic that there is still economic and moral slavery being imposed on them by a President who claims to be one of their own. This slavery has two forms; economic slavery via the “community organizing” through groups like ACORN to implement Cloward/Piven Strategy inspired by Saul Alinsky, designed to foster dependence on government welfare with the intent to bankrupt the system and impose socialism; moral slavery through his unbridled support of Planned Parenthood which targets minority communities.

    Both of these are using “his own people” towards his political ends, so the ends justify the means. In that regard he makes Machiavelli look like a monk.

  • From what I know, Garrison upheld his commitment to ‘non-restance’ even while supporting the war. His speech on John Brown is interesting:

    “A word upon the subject of Peace. I am a non-resistant—a believer in the inviolability of human life, under all circumstances; I, therefore, in the name of God, disarm John Brown, and every slave at the South. But I do not stop there; if I did, I should be a monster. I also disarm, in the name of God, every slaveholder and tyrant in the world. (Loud applause.) For wherever that principle is adopted, all fetters must instantly melt, and there can be no oppressed, and no oppressor, in the nature of things. How many agree with me in regard to the doctrine of the inviolability of human life? How many non-resistants are there here to-night? (A single voice—”I.”) There is one! (Laughter.) Well, then, you who are otherwise are not the men to point the finger at John Brown, and cry “traitor”—judging you by your own standard. (Applause.) Nevertheless, I am a non-resistant, and I not only desire, but have labored unremittingly to effect the peaceful abolition of slavery, by an appeal to the reason and conscience of the slaveholder; yet, as a peace man—an “ultra” peace man—I am prepared to say, “Success to every slave insurrection at the South, and in every slave country.” (Enthusiastic applause.) And I do not see how I compromise or stain my peace profession in making that declaration. Whenever there is a contest between the oppressed and the oppressor,—the weapons being equal between the parties, —God knows that my heart must be with the oppressed, and always against the oppressor. Therefore, whenever commenced, I cannot but wish success to all slave insurrections. (Loud applause.) I thank God when men who believe in the right and duty of wielding carnal weapons are so far advanced that they will take those weapons out of the scale of despotism, and throw them into the scale of freedom. It is an indication of progress, and a positive moral growth; it is one way to get up to the sublime platform of non-resistance; and it is God’s method of dealing retribution upon the head of the tyrant. Rather than see men wearing their chains in a cowardly and servile spirit, I would, as an advocate of peace, much rather see them breaking the head of the tyrant with their chains. Give me, as a non-resistant, Bunker Hill, and Lexington, and Concord, rather than the cowardice and servility of a Southern slave plantation.”

    (http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?documentprint=569)

  • “The Civil War forced Garrison to choose between his pacifist beliefs and emancipation. Placing freedom for the slave foremost, he supported Abraham Lincoln faithfully and in 1863 welcomed the Emancipation Proclamation as the fulfillment of all his hopes.”

    http://www.biography.com/articles/William-Lloyd-Garrison-9307251

  • The sheep are at the mercy of the wolves if they don’t have sheepdogs guarding them. Occasionally, a sheepdog turns out to be a wolf in disguise. That doesn’t negate the need for sheepdogs.

    One of my favorite movies of all times is “Glory.” I own it; tonight would be a good time to view it again.

  • The death of constitutional government: the federal government by force of arms imposing its policy will on reluctant states. The only reason it is not condemned as it should be is that the policy in question was a good one: abolition. The means to acheive it were horrible and permanently changed our nation from one of limited federal power to nearly limitless federal power.

    That being said, Glory is a fine movie and the story of blacks in the War of Southern Independence has not been yet fully told.

  • The Union was worth a war to preserve Tom, and I can think of at least two Presidents from the South, Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor, who would agree with me.

  • I find the notion of a war to compel the states and their citizens to remain in a “union” by conquest contrary to very notion of freedom, self-determination, and subsidiarity.

    Nevertheless, I recognize that there are at least some viable constitutional arguments for military conquest to keep people in a union they do want to be in (though I find them inadequate). But Lincoln’s attempt to alter the war into a crusade against slavery was another matter entirely, there being not one shred of arguable constitutional authority to support it, anymore than the federal government could invade Virginia today to force her to abolish the use of or trade in tobacco; or, to put a case dearer to the hearts of Catholics, invade Massachussets to compel that state to abolish abortion.

  • The Constitution was not a mere Confederation Tom. It created a new nation. A majority of the people of that nation wanted to preserve it rather than to see it rent asunder.

    Lincoln of course had the power as a war measure to emancipate slaves in territory in rebellion. The Thirteenth Amendment made the abolition of slavery part of the Constitution, and ratified Lincoln’s action.

    The ironic thing, one of many actually, about the Civil War, was that slavery would have endured in the South for years to come, but for the secession stampede after the 1860 election. By attempting to dissolve the Union to preserve slavery, the Confederacy wrote out the death warrant for the peculiar institution.

  • Donald, I think history has misread Garrison. His beliefs were more complex than a simple pacifist-warrior dichotomy.

  • Nate, you don’t get to support the bloodiest war in our nation’s history and still get to call yourself a pacifist. I would note however that Garrison did support the right of some of his sons to avoid service, because they did not wish to fight with “carnal weapons” as Garrison phrased it.

Abide With Me

Sunday, January 17, AD 2010

Hattip to commenter Cathleen and her moving story of how Abide With Me was being sung on the radio by Katherine Jenkins as her sister died.  The song was written in a magnificent act of faith by Henry Lyte as he lay dying of tuberculosis.

In the movie A Bridge Too Far, wounded survivors of the British First Airborne Division are shown singing the song as they await capture by the Wehrmacht at the conclusion of Operation Market-Garden.

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Archbishop Niederauer Instructs Nancy Pelosi on Free Will, Conscience and Moral Choice

Sunday, January 17, AD 2010

A few weeks ago I had posted my thoughts on Nancy Pelosi’s scadalous Newsweek interview, in which she chalked up her disagreements with the Bishops on Catholic moral teaching as a “difference of opinion.” At the time I had expressed my curiosity (and honest frustration) as to when her local bishop, George H. Niederauer, would be moved to respond.

He has, and I am thankful for it:

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7 Responses to Archbishop Niederauer Instructs Nancy Pelosi on Free Will, Conscience and Moral Choice

  • From the many times this professed Catholic has stated her views and had conversations with her Bishop as stated by her, when will she be asked to refrain and adhere to the tenets of the Church as she contiunes to embrassed the Church by her public statements and actions. She has been instructed enough. Is is time the Bishop ask her to refrain from the Eurchrist or leave the Church until she conforms to its teachings.

  • I wish this response could be published in Newsweek, or some place people would get to read it.

  • Enough! Without the use of Excommunication, the Bishops have become toothless watchdogs. The discussion devolves into opinion, with no authority to resolve or end it.

  • Unfortunately, I rather doubt that excommunication would mean much to Pelosi et al… her protestations to the contrary, she seems to have little taste for authentic Catholicism.

  • If your child was doing terrible things, drugs, stealing, etc. and you told him to stop and he refused and you did not give him/her a consequence, that would indicate to the child that what he’s doing is no big deal and so he would go right on doing it. Pelosi and other ‘Catholic’ pro-abortion politicians thumb their noses at the Bishops constantly and the Bishops still permit them to receive the Eucharist…this emboldens Pelosi and her colleagues to tell others that they are right and the Bishops just have another ‘opinion’ especially when the Bishops themselves do not agree with each other…

  • To be fair, this is the first I have heard of the Bp. making a clear public statement directed right at Pelosi. Perhaps this is the first step towards more concrete action should the public reprimand prove unfruitful.

  • I heard Nancy Pelosi speaking last night about her favorite word. I suspect you’ve heard or possibly seen the video, but in case you haven’t, you can find it at youtube and you particularly want to hear the question from one of the reporters in the audience. Ms. Pelosi basically said that “The Word” is her favorite ‘word’ and then went on to say and The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. The question was when did Jesus first come into the world made flesh; at the Annunciation, conception or at The Birth of Our Lord. Ms. Pelosi’s response was she would rather talk about that in church where we all bow our heads at these words, although she just talked about it from a podium in from of a roomful (at least with the exception of one) of secularists and had no problem with that. My point is that she’s making a mockery of the Catholic faith. If you haven’t seen the video, try to locate it. I believe the true Catholic Church is very strong and faithful. Its those that are pretending to be Catholic and using Her for political gain or otherwise that gives the Church the appearance of being split. We’re not. It’s as though we’ve been infiltrated by nonbelievers whose sole purpose is to create discension within the Catholic Church, to do nothing but harm the Church. History does have a tendency to repeat itself and I believe this has happened in the past. It will take great fortitude but I believe we can overcome this obstacle if we recognize it and act.

Martha Coakley Fought To Keep Innocent People Behind Bars

Saturday, January 16, AD 2010

That a Republican candidate is within reasonable striking distance of winning the US Senate seat which until recently was filled by the late Ted Kennedy underscores what a horrifically bad job the state Democratic Party did in selecting their candidate. State attorney general Martha Coakley has rapidly gained a national reputation for saying incredibly stupid things. As it turns out, however, there are serious reasons why no reasonable person, of either political party, should want to see Coakley in higher office.

Many remember the wave of bizarre day care child abuse cases which swept the country in the ’80s, featuring headline hungry prosecutors taking children to “recovered memory” counseling sessions in order to “discover” abuse which had been perpetrated upon them. Clinton era attorney general Janet Reno made her made her career, in part, by successfully prosecuting cases of ritual child abuse — which later turned out to be false charges.

One of the first of these highly publicized cases in which therapists extracted accusations of ritual abuse from very young children was the Amirault case in Malden, Massachusetts. Dorothy Rabinowitz (who received her 2001 Pulitzer Prize in part for her work in exposing ritual abuse witch hunts that resulted in false convictions) writes about how as Middlesex County district attorney, Martha Coakley fought to keep the surviving members of the Amirault family behind bars even it became clear that the charges against them were false:

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13 Responses to Martha Coakley Fought To Keep Innocent People Behind Bars

  • Well, I can agree with this. But I am not thrilled about nor would I support her opponent (Scott Brown) whom is a pro-choice Republican.

  • Eric, don’t make the mistake of making the unobtainable best the enemy of the better. Scott Brown is clearly a better choice than all else on offer in this Massachusetts election because (1) he has a chance of winning and (2) he’s not a member of the Abortion On Demand party like Coakley.

  • I agree with Micha- he is against partial birth abortion, for parental notification, and believes in traditional marriage. He is clearly the “lersser of two evils”. He is also one shot at defeating the health care bill as it stands- which is partiually a piece meal pro-death plan.

  • Why does this not surprise me?

    The writer John Grisham has said that in ten years of practicing law in Mississippi, he found the sheriff’s deputies and prosecutors he dealt with to be ‘straight up guys’. For that reason, he was most surprised and appalled to discover, when looking into some cases in Oklahoma for a non-fiction work, a public prosecutor, agents of the state police, and a technician at the state crime lab all implicated in railroading several innocent men into prison. That particular prosecutor is re-elected every few years and has been in office for nearly three decades. The institutional culture of law enforcement is deeply diseased here, there, and the next place. This is tolerated by the political class and the public in these loci, go figure.

  • From a political point of view, an elected prosecutor or sheriff, or one with aspirations to another elected office, has more to lose by letting guilty people go free (remember Willie Horton?) than by keeping innocent or possibly innocent persons in prison. So in a case where any doubt still exists about the guilt of a defendant who has already been convicted and imprisoned, they will likely err on the side of NOT dropping charges against that defendant, until the evidence of the defendant’s innocence becomes overwhelming (and sometimes not even then, as evidenced by Coakley’s actions).

    Most voters also fear becoming victims of crime far more than they worry about being falsely accused of a crime, and vote accordingly.

    On the other hand, when it comes to cases not yet adjudicated, many prosecutors will plea bargain or drop cases that are anything less than “open and shut,” rather than bring them to trial, so that they appear to have a higher rate of success in gaining convictions.

  • The irony is in this case a pro-choice Republican may do more to advance the pro-life cause than an pro-life Democrat like Ben Nelson.

  • As our country is heading towards bankruptcy, businesses are afraid to hire people because of all the new socialist anti-business policies that are coming down the pipe. Government is the main sector that is expanding, thanks to the billions they have frittered away in the name of stimulus, and also paying off the people who got them elected. They take the peoples money and give themselves enormous retirement and pension packages amounting to in some cases millions of $, while they spend tens of millions to fly on private jets and do photo-ops in Denmark.

    They were gonna soak the rich to pay for all this, but then they realized that they are the rich, so now they are going to soak the middle class and tax peoples healthcare to pay for their corrupt healthcare raquet, concocted behind closed doors, were everyone makes out and tax payers are left holding the bag. Nothings wrong with some kind of a safety net, but they want to make it so people have a fundamental right to goods and services provided by others, which is undiluted socialism.

    I live in Mass, and the taxes are out of control, and the’ve carefully hidden alot of it so you pay more for stuff, now they double tax alcohol to. While they drive productive business out of the state, the government programs keep expanding to no end, making people dependent on government and ruining the middle class to pay for it all.

    To anyone who’s listening, we HAVE TO ELECT SCOTT BROWN on the 19th, and get some sanity and balance back in Washington. He’s the lesser of the evils.

  • The horrifying Amirault case, in and of itself, provides more than enough reason to vote against Coakley. Gerard Amirault, who is still classed as a Level 3 sex offender, has to wear an ankle bracelet, must not enter certain neighborhoods, and has other restrictions on him that make it impossible for him to find gainful employment – despite the fact that everyone with an IQ higher than a potted plant knows the man is innocent.

    While Coakley was doing her part to deny justice to the Amiraults, she was remarkably tolerant when it came to a real sex offender:

    “In October 2005, a Somerville police officer living in Melrose raped his 23-month-old niece with a hot object, most likely a curling iron.
    Keith Winfield, then 31, told police he was alone with the toddler that day and made additional statements that would ultimately be used to convict him.
    But in the aftermath of the crime, a Middlesex County grand jury overseen by Martha Coakley, then the district attorney, investigated without taking action.
    It was only after the toddler’s mother filed applications for criminal complaints that Coakley won grand jury indictments charging rape and assault and battery.
    Even then, nearly 10 months after the crime, Coakley’s office recommended that Winfield be released on personal recognizance, with no cash bail. He remained free until December 2007, when Coakley’s successor as district attorney won a conviction and two life terms.
    Coakley, now the Democratic candidate for US Senate, has made much of her record prosecuting crimes against children, and says her office handled this investigation appropriately. But the case stands out as one in which she drew criticism for not being aggressive enough. Indeed, the case gave rise to Coakley’s last competitive election.”

    Ironically, Coakley’s gaffe about Kurt Schilling being a Yankee fan has probably been more harmful than the fact that she persecuted an innocent family and gave a pass to a man who committed an incredibly depraved and evil crime.

  • The Amirault and Winfield cases are not funny in the slightest. However, the incredible number of gaffes Coakley has made during the last week are. She is giving Joe Biden a run for his money. I am now absolutely mesmerized by this train wreck of a campaign. I picture some hapless staffer at the Onion pounding his head against his desk as he reads the latest idiocy to come out of Coakley’s mouth and crying out to his boss, “How can we possibly top what she really says!”

  • So a man rapes a 23 month old child with a curling iron, and “law and justice” Coakley recommends no bail. Interesting

  • Speaking of “no reasonable person”, this just arrived in my inbox from the Catholic Democrats, who for some reason have me on their mailing list:

    Catholic Democrats is endorsing Attorney General Martha Coakley to fill Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat in Tuesday’s special election.

    “This is a critical election for advancing Catholic Social Justice priorities,” said Dr. Patrick Whelan, president of Catholic Democrats. “Martha Coakley supports expanding access to health care, protecting our natural environment through the creation of a strong green economy, and helping to alleviate poverty through greater economic opportunity. Her record as Attorney General demonstrates that she is a tough but fair voice for all of our citizens.”

    Well.

  • DarwinCatholic: Wow.

    You know, it’s fair to criticize Brown because he is only a bit less pro-abort than Coakley. But the truth of the matter is that no true pro-lifer would stand a chance in a MA Senate race. Now who’s fault is that? MA has a high percentage of nominally Catholic voters and yet most of them do not consider abortion to be a “social justice” issue, unless you’re talking about denying women their “right” to kill their baby. If voters don’t give a hoot about an issue, the pols of either party certainly won’t.

    It’s groups like “Catholic Democrats,” who assure MA Catholics that no matter what that pesky Pope says, they’re right to vote for Kennedy and Frank and Coakley that bear much of the blame for the situation.

Jesuitical 10: Campion Award to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Saturday, January 16, AD 2010

Hattip to Midwest Conservative Journal The latest in my on-going series on the follies of some modern Jesuits.  Proving yet again that they have the charism of being impervious to irony, the editorial board of America magazine announced that they were awarding the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the Campion Award.  Considering the fact that Saint Edmund Campion, SJ, was martyred for his efforts to give spiritual succor to Catholics unwilling to desert the Faith for the Church of England, one might think that even the denizens of the editorial board of America might regard this as a trifle odd.  However, it actually makes sense when you think about it.  First, it allows them to take a backhanded slap at the Anglican initiative of the Pope, and, second, what the Church of England has morphed into, a left wing pressure group with prayers, is frankly what America has been championing for years in the Catholic Church.  Their hopes have been crushed, but they can by this award salute Rowan Williams, and give another gesture to the Pope.

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9 Responses to Jesuitical 10: Campion Award to the Archbishop of Canterbury

  • Why do Catholic sites and journals refer to Rowan Williams as the “archbishop of Canterbury”? He is not even a priest, much less a bishop.

  • Any organization Gabriel can come up with their own titles. Besides, if the Vatican uses such titles, and it does, I do not see why we cannot.

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/angl-comm-docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_19660324_paul-vi-ramsey_en.html

  • In all honesty, Donald, I’ve stopped believing that the Jesuits (Sure to soon change their name to the Gaiaits) are even Catholic. I don’t count them as a Catholic order, and as soon as I see S.J. (soon to be S.G) after an author’s name, I put the book away.

    It’s too bad, really. The Jesuits used to be a powerful, orthodox order; and they had the most badass habits ever (believe it or not, Neo’s costume in the Matrix is modeled after Jesuit garb).

    Oh well, there’s always the Dominican’s, right?

  • (Sure to soon change their name to the Gaiaits)

    LOL Michael!

    In truth, what you say about the Order is all too accurate in many cases. However, there is an orthodox remnant in the Jesuits and I salute their efforts.

  • Actually, if you can find good Jesuits, they’re unbeatable. But there never seem to be more than one or two in the same place. I bet there aren’t many in the offices of America.

    What’s the award for, anyway? “A noted Christian person of letters”? Williams is a fool.

  • Donald R. McClarey writes Saturday, January 16, 2010 A.D.
    “Any organization Gabriel can come up with their own titles. Besides, if the Vatican uses such titles, and it does, I do not see why we cannot”.

    Indeed the Vatican, i.e. the Church, does use such titles. But the titles refer to something existing, something real, a power to ordain and to confirm, “the power to bind and to loose”.

    So called bishops of Protestant rites merely go through the motions. The Church definitively decided that the Church of England ordinations and the like are non-existent. It is a fraud on their followers.

  • Gabriel Austin,

    Why do Catholic sites and journals refer to Rowan Williams as the “archbishop of Canterbury”? He is not even a priest, much less a bishop.

    Excellent point.

    Are we being disrespectful when we refer to him instead as Dr. Rowan Williams or simply Mr. Williams?

    I will never call a woman priest “father”.

    For example I call the leader of the Episcopal church in America High Priestess Katharine Jefferts Schori.

    She doesn’t deserve even the designation of Bishopess.

    Is that too far?

  • “Any organization Gabriel can come up with their own titles. Besides, if the Vatican uses such titles, and it does, I do not see why we cannot”.

    Indeed the Vatican, i.e. the Church, does use such titles. But the titles refer to something existing, something real, a power to ordain and to confirm, “the power to bind and to loose”.”

    If you had read the document I linked to Gabriel, you would have seen the Vatican using Church of England titles in regard to Church of England prelates. I am not going to be more Catholic than the Pope on the question of Protestant titles.

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/angl-comm-docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_19660324_paul-vi-ramsey_en.html

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6 Responses to I Vow To Thee My Country

  • Magnificent music, glorious voice, stirring lyrics. Thanks for posting this. I discovered Katherine Jenkins about a year ago–I was with my sister when she died after a long battle with ovarian cancer. As Anne died, Katherine Jenkins’ rendition of “Abide With Me” was playing on the radio with these magnificent lyrics:

    Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes,
    Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
    Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee,
    In life in death, O Lord, abide with me.

  • I am sure that was not merely fortuitous Cathleen. May Anne now be enjoying the Beatific Vision.

  • Thanks for the kind words, Donald. No, it certainly was not merely fortuitous. The very next song was the Hallelujah Chorus. She closed her eyes to “Abide With Me”, and opened them to the glory of the Risen Lord.

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  • Yes! The Church’s heritage includes music, painting, sculpture, architecture, all happy tributes to Our Lord and blessings to us, too. I have taken to remaining silent when the appointed hims are no more than the audio equivalent of felt banners. When good hymns have been “corrected” for modern and oh-so-delicate sensitivies I always sing the original words.

  • And, (cough), I misspelt (um…) “hymn.” I’m old; forgive me! 🙂 Life is good.

33 Responses to Hollywood Angelology

  • The movie looks demonic.

  • That pretty much eliminates this film for my viewing enjoyment.

    I’ll be watching A Man for All Seasons instead.

    Can I assume that the title of the movie is in reference to the demon Legion in the Holy Gospel of Saint Mark 5:9?

    And he asked him: What is thy name? And he saith to him: My name is Legion, for we are many.

  • Hollywood’s hatred for God is unlimited.

  • I’m going to reserve judgment until I see it. Maybe there’s some crazy plot twists and it turns out to be a good Christian film.

  • RR,

    Paul Bettany also starred as the Opus Dei albino monk assassin.

    Is there a pattern that I am detecting of this English actor?

  • I doubt it. These people absolutely hate God, and they admire Satan for rebelling against him – whether they see that as a reality or a myth, that is who and what they identify with.

  • Some people have pointed out that “the fallen angel” supporting his own messiah sounds like “making the audience root for the anti-Christ.” We have come to this.

  • Here’s a good quote:

    “So, it would appear that just about everything in this movie in relation to the Christian worldview upon which it is supposed to be based has been turned on its head. Now I understand that the producers are trying to spin this as a re-telling of the Old Testament Flood narrative with God giving up on mankind and effectively hitting the reset button, but in no way was God ever depicted as the bad guy in that scenario, so that analogy doesn’t hold up. This treatment of this worldview betrays either an unfamiliarity with the subject matter or an utter disdain for it. At this point one might think it would be time to ask what this says about the folks behind the production of this film, but there is something else that concerns me greater. Similar treatment of the Star Wars or Star Trek universes by a director would stir up a firestorm across the blogosphere the likes of which we have never seen. Yet in this case there is mostly silence. So, what does that say about us?”

    http://www.fusedfilm.com/2009/08/geekgasm-legion-who-are-the-good-guys-again/

  • As an aside, I’ve considered all the light-porn angels we see, such as in Victoria’s Secret ads, are good evidence for existence of the succubus…

  • HK,

    light-porn angels we see, such as in Victoria’s Secret ads, are good evidence for existence of the succubus

    Good catch on that one. I’m sure Victoria Secret won’t like that bit of info.

  • It also says,

    “So, we have a movie where the audience is asked to root for Satan as he tries to protect the Antichrist from being killed by God. Nice.”

    Yes, this is exactly what they want. They’ve been doing it through music for decades, and subtly through film, but now it is out in the open. It is out in the open because they know that now most people either agree with, or are indifferent to, their message – and that even the people who see it for what it is and are appalled by it will do absolutely nothing about it.

    They aren’t just mocking Christianity. They’re spitting in our faces. And there will be millions of fans of this, who have been prepared now for a generation to hate Christianity and above all the Catholic Church.

    I could say a lot more, but I’ll leave it at that.

  • Joe,

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    I could say a lot more, but I’ll leave it at that.

    That would be good for another post don’t you think?

    😉

  • “As an aside, I’ve considered all the light-porn angels we see, such as in Victoria’s Secret ads are good evidence for existence of the succubus…”

    agreed

  • Similar themes have been popular in video games for years, though that’s probably due to historical anti-Christian prejudice in Japanese culture.

  • Why would God try to prevent the second coming of Himself? Seems like a plot point thats either going to end up with a lame explanation or be completely ignored… which is what I’ll be doing to this movie.

  • Tito, the funny thing is, Bettany also played the Catholic doctor Stephen Maturin in Master and Commander with Russell Crowe.

    This story tilts as so very many windmills. The portrayal of God is obviously not a Christian one… what happened to the “for God so loved the world” stuff? What seems at least implied is the standard, superficial-yet-common view of God: angry, vengeful, ready to get medieval on your… you know what. (To be honest, I think many Christians have this view of the Father!) To apply Sheen’s famous remark about the Church more generally… there are many who oppose Christianity, but only a few of them really understand that which they are opposing.

  • “The portrayal of God is obviously not a Christian one…”

    That really depends. I believe the makers of this film fully intend for the audience to accept in their minds that this is the one God, the God of Jews, Christians, Muslims and assorted sects and cults, the God that has been called “Yaweh” and “Jehova.”

    By virtue of what they propose God is doing, no, is not our God. But that isn’t the point. The harm will be done regardless. Movies such as this are both caused by, and contribute to, the moral, spiritual and intellectual degeneracy of our time. I believe this movie has been created to give the open and violent enemies of God, and the open admirers of Satan, something to salivate over. It is a celebration of rebellion against the one true God, who it turns out was a mean guy all along – don’t you see, that Satan guy had the right idea.

    It would be a grave and foolish mistake – and I don’t accuse you or anyone else here of this, mind you – to shrug this off, or get a laugh out of it. At no point in Scripture did God find blasphemy amusing, at no point has the Church found it amusing. It is always something to be taken with the utmost seriousness.

    Finally, I do believe that God is capable of anger, vengeance, and “getting medieval” – but also, as we know, of infinite mercy and love. These are not mutual exclusives. Only to modern man have they become so.

  • Annoys me that 1) it would be *easy* to make this movie OK with at least shallow Christian mythos and 2) they are STILL making everything look like the CGI of The Mummy.

    Lazy.

    To both.

  • One could, in theory, say this is a Gnostic film, and that would be why “God” would oppose the second coming, but it really feels more as if it is an Antichrist film

  • Henry, I thought the same thing initially, but there is no “salvation through esoteric knowledge” theme… then I thought it was simply Manichaean or an even more basic dualism… then I concluded that I was giving the screenwriter et al. *far* too much credit and that the story is too superficial to merit too close a philosophical analysis.

    Joe, I appreciate your comments; I’m certainly not laughing the movie off… as I noted in the OP, I was dumbfounded by the premises. And I agree that God is capable of something analogous to anger… my concern is that we are once again seeing an implicit dichotomy between the OT and NT: the God who seeks to wipe out humanity reminds people — naturally — of the God of the flood, but far too many people fail to realize that the God of the OT is a God of mercy & love… we didn’t have to wait until Jesus to find that out! If you read the Psalms, Hosea or even “boring” Deuteronomy God’s love for His people is apparent and obvious. One of my many concerns about this film is that it will reinforce that false stereotype, even for those who see the more obvious errors in the storyline.

  • I think it hilarious that the new Messiah is discovered in a diner in New Mexico. Does anyone have an idea of which diner in which town?

    There is a level of absurdity which is too far out to criticize or to make mock of.

  • IIRC from the trailer, the town’s sign indicates that it’s named “Paradise”.

    Uh-huh.

  • Chris,

    I thought there could be a sense of inspiration from Pullman going on here, which would both allow for Gnosticism, and allow for the scriptwriter to include it without knowing what he/she is doing.

  • “I think it hilarious that the new Messiah is discovered in a diner in New Mexico.”

    Is his first line “Can I finish my waffle?”

  • I think it hilarious that the new Messiah is discovered in a diner in New Mexico.

    So much for returning in glory.

  • well, Hollywood has hit a new low, really low. They must be getting very desparate at trying to shock us. We all need to write a letter-to-the-editor of our local news papers urging christians, jews and muslims not to spend one dime on this movie that encourages us to rebel against God and side with fallen angels who are supposedly sticking up for us. Sure…thats going to happen.

  • Given the many *fake* “Christian protests” that have gone down, we don’t want to do that.

    Perhaps, more effectively, we could tell a better story?

  • i just saw the movie last night, and the angels certainly did look demonic, and with the due consideration that they “possessed” human bodies in order to take out the “new messiah”… well, at least it explains why they can be killed, i guess. the archangel gabriel is sent to actually kill the baby, which bothered me more than almost anything else in the plot line. the movie itself was cheesy and didn’t give any regard to the actual biblical stories, one that it even references. i was still resting under the impression that God has promised that He will never kill his children off again.

    but in the end, He is supposed to have come to his senses because of saint michael and realized that humanity is still good and He still loves them, so i suppose it has a happy ending after all.

  • also, i feel it important to add that the angels who possessed aforementioned bodies came with flies, which was, i was always taught, a sign or demons/satan. this is just a bad movie based shallowly on the end of days, with a few out-of-context biblical references and some “get your life straight” lines sprinkled in.

    overall… i wouldn’t give it much more thought than given to constantine or any number of movies fitting the same motif.

  • Emma,

    Thanks for the update! Interesting ending as you said.

    Chris B.,

    Tito, the funny thing is, Bettany also played the Catholic doctor Stephen Maturin in Master and Commander with Russell Cr

    Stephen played a cynical character that doubted and questioned tradition. His only saving character trait was that he helped secure the capture of the French frigate while disregarding his selfish impulse of continuing his naturalist research.

  • Finally saw it. I don’t think it was really anti-Christian. Despite the premise, religion doesn’t feature prominently. You’d think there’d at least be some religious imagery. Nothing. It must’ve been one of the dumbest movies I’ve ever seen. There’s so many holes in the story you wonder if the writers even thought this through. Watched it with my mother who was laughing. It’s that ridiculous.

  • Better than Hollywood angelology, or even the new novel Angelology, is a true life story of a musician and a life with angels and their teachings for the world today.

    See it at Amazon. Angels on My Stage: The True Story of Eddie Benitez

4 Responses to Mother Earth Strikes Back

Coakley: Faithful Catholics Shouldn't Work In Emergency Rooms

Friday, January 15, AD 2010

“Ken Pittman: Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. ah you don’t want to do that.

Martha Coakley: No we have a separation of church and state Ken, lets be clear.

Ken Pittman: In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom.

Martha Coakley: (…stammering) The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room.”

A charming sentiment from Martha Coakley running for the Senate seat in Massachusetts.  For this gem, I award Ms. Coakley the second American Catholic Know-Nothing Award.  If I were living in Massachusetts, I would be out next Tuesday to cast my vote against this bigot.

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7 Responses to Coakley: Faithful Catholics Shouldn't Work In Emergency Rooms

  • If I were living in Massachusetts, I would be out next Tuesday to cast my vote against this bigot.

    I wouldn’t be so sure, Don. Massachusetts is like some inverted parallel universe where right is wrong and wrong is right – stupid is wise and wise is stupid. There’s no other way you can explain the electoral history. Ted Kennedy was a living saint in MA while in the real world he was a scoundrel. And lets not mention the legacy of Barney Frank too!

  • I assume Ms. Coakley was referring to situations in which devout, pro-life Catholics would be working in emergency rooms where they might be called upon to administer emergency contraception to rape victims.

    For her to say who should or should not be permitted to work under those conditions is, of course, the height of arrogance. This combined with her other recent statements and actions also makes me wish I could vote against her on Tuesday. (We Illinois residents, however, will have to settle for voting against Mark Kirk, the pro-abort RINO running for Obama’s old Senate seat, in the Feb. 2 primary… but I digress) I am definitely rooting for her opponent!

    However, allow me to play devil’s advocate here and suggest there MAY be a grain of truth in what Ms. Coakley said — what devout Catholic today would WANT to accept a job where they KNOW they are likely to be asked to do things that are against their conscience?

    If I were interested in pharmacy or medicine I would have to think very, very long and hard about taking a job in a retail pharmacy, an acute care hospital, a student health center on a secular college campus, or any environment where I knew contraceptives or abortafacients would be distributed. That would make about as much sense as, say, a Jew signing up to work in a meat packing plant that processes pork, or a Muslim applying for a job in a restaurant that also requires them to tend bar occasionally or regularly.

    It’s one thing if a pro-life Catholic who went into the pharmacy or medical field years ago and was never confronted with this issue before is suddenly confronted with it and forced to choose between his/her job and his conscience when the employer could easily have found someone else to do the objectionable task. And I presume there are still plenty of other doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. available in just about any hospital to take over morally objectionable tasks like administering emergency contraception so it’s not as if the entire operation of the hospital, etc. will come to a screeching halt.

    However, it seems to me to be a bit disengenuous to apply for and accept a job and then say “Oh, by the way, I’m not going to perform this part of my job.” If the employer does find a way to excuse you from performing the objectionable part of your job, that’s good and they should be allowed to do so; but ultimately, should they (employers) be FORCED to do so?

    I realize that what I’m suggesting means that pro-life Catholics may find their employment prospects in pharmacy or medical fields pretty limited and perhaps eventually nonexistent, which is regrettable. It would be much better, of course, if medical employers didn’t make these kind of demands, but as long as they do so, maybe faithful Catholics really should think twice about working in emergency rooms.

  • Elaine, I couldn’t disagree more, the First Amendment doesn’t say “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; except for Catholics”.

    I understand what you are saying as a matter of prudence, but exceptions for religious reasons are made every day for a myriad of beliefs (i.e. wearing head scarfs etc). If Catholics capitulate on conscience issues then the secular society will see that as a sign of weakness and run roughshod over them.

    What Catholics DO need however is a truly Catholic Health care system that practices what it preaches – something that has and remains harder and harder to find as Catholic hospitals sell their souls to secular society in mergers & acquisitions. Fortunately God is raising up leaders in this area like:

    The Tepeyac Family Center
    http://www.tepeyacfamilycenter.com/

    Divine Mercy Pharmacy
    http://www.dmcpharm.com/

    Maybe such efforts like this should be the focus of the USCCB instead of funding groups like ACORN and issuing “Catholic Climate Covenants”

  • JB: The establishment clause has nothing to do with any issue related to abortion, since the evil of abortion falls not under the category of revealed precept but natural law. According even to Catholic teaching, a Catholic wouldn’t have to bring religion into the equation to refuse distributing the morning after pill.

  • Rick,

    I wouldn’t be so sure, Don. Massachusetts is like some inverted parallel universe where right is wrong and wrong is right – stupid is wise and wise is stupid

    Very succinct!

  • Meet the new junior senator from Massachusetts!

  • I don’t know about that one, Zach. Every article and op-ed I’ve read today sounds like “doom-and-gloom” for Coakley, including among the liberal Left. They sound as if their daggers are out for her and that they’ve all but given up on her potential to win–there isn’t a bus big enough for her to be thrown under, from the way they are reading the tea leaves. We can only hope Brown pulls the upset and puts the nail in the coffin of the atrocious HCR bills now being constructed behind closed doors!

Are You Listening Madame Speaker?

Friday, January 15, AD 2010

Archbishop George H. Niederauer of San Francisco addressed on January 13, 2010 a free will defense of abortion by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House:

In a recent interview with Eleanor Clift in Newsweek magazine (Dec. 21, 2009), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked about her disagreements with the United States Catholic bishops concerning Church teaching. Speaker Pelosi replied, in part: “I practically mourn this difference of opinion because I feel what I was raised to believe is consistent with what I profess, and that we are all endowed with a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions. And that women should have the opportunity to exercise their free will.”

Embodied in that statement are some fundamental misconceptions about Catholic teaching on human freedom. These misconceptions are widespread both within the Catholic community and beyond. For this reason I believe it is important for me as Archbishop of San Francisco to make clear what the Catholic Church teaches about free will, conscience, and moral choice.

Catholic teaching on free will recognizes that God has given men and women the capacity to choose good or evil in their lives. The bishops at the Second Vatican Council declared that the human person, endowed with freedom, is “an outstanding manifestation of the divine image.” (Gaudium et Spes, No. 17) As the parable of the Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevsky’s novel, The Brothers Karamazov, makes so beautifully clear, God did not want humanity to be mere automatons, but to have the dignity of freedom, even recognizing that with that freedom comes the cost of many evil choices.

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5 Responses to Are You Listening Madame Speaker?

  • So what next? Nice statement and all, but what hapens, in the highly probable event that this goes in one Pelosi’s ear and out the other (there being nothing in between to catch it)? What will he do when she comes back with some form of I politely disagree but must follow my own reason and conscience which tells me campaign fund– I mean, a women’s right to choose, is an inviolable right necessary for her dignity?

  • To answer the question posed by the title of this post: No.

  • What a great statement by the bishop! And thanks for posting it in its entirety, Donald.

  • Thank you Pinky!

  • Even though Speaker Pelosi may not take the archbishops instruction, this is a positive sign that many bishops in America are finally defending life in a public manner in the correct circumstances.

    Especially from this archbishop who is breaking the stereotype of a “personally orthodox” but “episcopally lax” mold a la Archbishop Wuerl of Washington DC.

For We Are Saved By Hope, Crucifix Survives Devastation in Haiti

Thursday, January 14, AD 2010

Catholic Relief Services have labeled the earthquake that has left Haiti literally in ruins as the Disaster of the Century.

As The American Catholic has posted about the 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti and the devastation it has wrought, we should turn to Christ for hope.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering (for he is faithful that hath promised), And let us consider one another, to provoke unto charity and to good works: Not forsaking our assembly, as some are accustomed; but comforting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching. [1]  For we are saved by hope. [2]

Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end. [3]

To help our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ you can donate to Catholic Relief Services here.

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2 Responses to For We Are Saved By Hope, Crucifix Survives Devastation in Haiti

Pat Robertson, Haiti and History

Thursday, January 14, AD 2010

 

For the benefit of Mr. Robertson.  The Haitians revolted during the French Revolution and the reign of Napoleon I.  The Haitians were never ruled by Napoleon III (1852-1870), having their independence recognized in 1825 by France.  Although Voodoo has been sadly ubiquitous in Haiti, there is no evidence of a pact between Satan and Haitian insurgents, although Robertson is not the only person to propound this myth, which is quite common in some evangelical circles.  A good article debunking this myth is here and here.  This of course is far from the first time that Pat Robertson has said something factually challenged and insulting, although considering the vastness of the tragedy, Robertson expounding his kook theory at this point as Haiti mourns countless dead and lies prostrate is truly beneath contempt.  Certain Catholic religious orders enjoin silence for the good of the souls of their members.  Mr. Robertson could benefit by following their example.

For those wishing to donate to Catholic Relief Services for Haiti, here is a link.

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30 Responses to Pat Robertson, Haiti and History

  • Pat Robertson is a pathetic litlle man. God bless Haiti.

  • I’m not sure which disturbs me more… Robertson’s belief & propagation of this assertion, or the reactions to his comments I’ve read elsewhere which pile non sequiturs on top of one another. e.g. at Politico and The Political Carnival.

  • Some people hear the word “Christian” and think of the nonsense that Robertson spouts. He sets back the cause of the Faith in this country.

  • Perhaps Robertson may have gotten his facts mixed up, but there’s no denying that Haiti seems cursed. A National Geographic article calls the country “possessed by voodoo,” so even if the country did not make a pact with the devil directly, it seems to have done so indirectly by messing around with the occult.

  • At one time (late 70s-early 80s) I watched The 700 Club with some regularity and respected Pat Robertson as a man of God even though I didn’t agree with all his ideas. I still think he means well, but his advancing age combined with his fundamentalist (and from a Catholic point of view, heretical) interpretation of Scripture make him increasingly prone to ill-concieved statements like this.

  • Well at least he’s consistent, because he also blamed the US for 9/11.

    He needs to get a tattoo to remind him not to blame victims for natural disasters. Like one of Job’s self-righteous friends, “this is all your fault you sinner”, its only a tragedy when its personal, but not for someone else.

    Not to mention the fact that something like a pact with the devil is basically impossible to prove, and if anything the french revolution and the likes of Napoleon were far more satanic than whatever happened in Haiti.

  • Rev Robertson may have gotten cause and effect wrong. To wit it is the unfortunate tendency of men living at the mercy of nature, to enter into all sorts of pacts with the devil or even the Devil himself. One can observe this in other countries such as Indonesia and the Phillipines that are particularly prone to earthquakes and storms. In other words the Haitians fear the wrath of Nature and so try to come to some accomodation with Her through misguided and frankly evil rituals. Christians have a role to play in weaning away the Haitians from their voodoo fetishes. And it is a fact that devil worship will turn one’s soul into an ugly mess. But as Jesus Christ taught when the Tower of Siloam fell, all of us have sinned and are under the sign of the hourglass. I pray that God be merciful to the souls of the dead who had no time to prepare for a Confession.

  • I agree about the tower of siloam, a very relevant passage. I think voodoo and Paganism in general are about power and revenge and control, and seeking blessings from the god(s) of this age, as opposed to surrendering oneself to the Lord, essentially demon/Satan worship.

    Listening to Robertson’s comments one more time its as though he’s saying that they are basically victims from a curse of the past. Now we know that there are no curses in Christ, so he is lamenting the fact that they are not Christians, saying that it would not have happened if they were more Christian, and espousing the “generational curse” doctrine. The first one I agree with, but the next two I don’t.

  • “and if anything the french revolution and the likes of Napoleon were far more satanic than whatever happened in Haiti”

    Indeed.

  • “the likes of Napoleon were far more satanic than whatever happened in Haiti.” Napoleon sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States after his brother-in-law was defeated in San Domingue. Some think it was the largest peaceful transfer of land from one nation to another. Maybe the Anglophiles here would prefer Louisiana remained in French control than receive a bargain from a “satanic” vendor.

  • I would be cautious about equating Napoleon and the French Revolution. Very different things with very different moral concerns.

  • Just because we tangentially benefited from the chaos and wickedness that took place in the French revolution, doesn’t mean that it was right, just that we as a competitor nation made out because they needed money. Besides, if the people of that territory identified themselves more as Americans than a French colony it was destined to happen.

    Mike:
    As far as I know, Napoleon rose to power out of the chaos and social dissarray that went on for years after the revolution. They got rid of the old and corrupt establishment and eventually got a secular dictator who led them to war. He was a classic “type of AntiChrist”.

  • Also, for some reason I doubt that Robertson would have blamed this on a generational curse if the earthquake had happened in Israel. It would just be an absolute irrational tragedy.

  • Robertson might want to note that Haiti is 95% Christian.

  • Napoleon did sign the 1801 Concordant with Pope Pius VII, thus ending the “official” persecution of the Church in France.

  • One writer thinks the French should pay Haiti reparations:

    Haiti’s chronic impoverishment began at its birth in 1804, when, having overthrown its French rulers in a bloody, 12-year slave revolt, the newborn nation was subjected to crippling blockades and embargoes. This economic strangulation continued until 1825, when France offered to lift embargoes and recognize the Haitian Republic if the latter would pay restitution to France—for loss of property in Haiti, including slaves—of 150 million gold francs. The sum, about five times Haiti’s export revenue for 1825, was brutal, but Haiti had no choice: Pay up or perish over many more years of economic embargo, not to mention face French threats of invasion and reconquest. To pay, Haiti borrowed money at usurious rates from France, and did not finish paying off its debt until 1947, by which time its fate as the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country had been well and truly sealed.

    One is not impressed with the state of former French colonies – Haiti, Benin, Algeria, Cote d’Ivorie, Vietnam, heck, throw in New Orleans,…, compare that dismal list with Hong Kong and Singapore. Former British colonies are certainly not all garden spots (think ME), but India is a rising democracy.

    While the French certainly squeezed Haiti, I think one also has to take into account the fact that Haiti is a very corrupt society. Like Africa, Haiti has received millions in aid money. What happens to it? Where does it go? Certainly not to the people living in shacks. We know Papa Doc certainly helped himself.

    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help those poor people now. But I’m at a loss to as to how one improves the lot of Haitians in the long run. Even getting them back to their pre-equakequake level of misery is going to be hard, since what little infrastructure there was is gone.

    One sobering thought: the few professionals, physicians, government officals etc. Haiti had were probably more likely to be in office buildings in Port-au-Prince and thus were more likely to die than someone in a shanty out in the country. I’m not saying professionals are more valuable or loved by God than poor farmers – just that it further complicates the question of how Haiti can function. How can you have a functioning society in this day and age if most of the literate people and professionals are dead?

  • The writer I referred to in the post above is Tunku Varadarajan. Here’s the link:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-01-14/why-haitis-earthquake-is-frances-problem/

  • And Pinky might want to note that 75 to 90 percent of the Haitians practice voodoo, depending on whom you ask.

  • Donna V you cannot blame the French for this. They got the colonies whose populations have low IQs. The British Empire had a large Anglo component in the white nations. The societies of Hong Kong, Singapore are dominated by the Chinese and they are a major player in Malaysia. In India the British ruled with the help of the Brahmin and other educated castes. In all these cases the British were fortunate to find intelligent and capable races to work with. The French were not as fortunate, they had to do everything by themselves. Twenty or thirty ago I would have hesitated to voice these opinions, but I have come to the regrettable conclusion that quite a lot of the difference in performance between nations can be put down to race.

  • The varied fortunes of the predominantly black nations of the West Indies should be more than enough to argue against a racial explanation for Haiti. The sad truth is that Haiti has been badly governed from the time it was a French colonial possession, and that it lacks much in the way of natural resources.

  • It isn’t just Pat Robertson using the Haiti tragedy to push his own agenda.

    Jon Stewart of The Daily Show provides this excellent fisking of Robertson, Rush Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow for their attempts to use Haiti to promote their own agenda (warning: some questionable language):

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-january-14-2010/haiti-earthquake-reactions

    I never thought I’d see the day when Stewart would quote Scripture on the air… and use beautiful and appropriate passages from Isaiah and the Psalms to boot. “Have you read this book? …. You got all this, and you went with an urban legend about a deal with the devil!”

    Also, Rush’s statements and his reaction to a critical caller are perfect examples of what I cannot stand about his show and why I quit listening to it:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20100115/pl_politico/31539

    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/01/14/limbaugh-haiti-tampons/

    Now it probably is true that Obama will find a way to benefit politically from the Haiti situation — any president would — but that does NOT mean that he really doesn’t care about the victims, or that everything he does will be bad or wrong; nor does it mean people shouldn’t give to help earthquake victims because they “already gave” through taxation.

  • “we tangentially benefited” doesn’t exactly express a high opinion of land and the citizens of 15 states…. “if the people of that territory identified themselves more as Americans than a French colony it was destined to happen”…After seeing three changes of government in a lifetime, the citizens of Louisiana hardly thought of themselves as Americans, especially the free men of color who realized they would lose enfranchisement; the states of New England threatened to secede over what they considered President Jefferson’s unconstitutional act and the incorporation of an “alien” (French, Catholic) culture into the United States. The response to Katrina shows how little the pre-Purchase attitudes have changed.

  • Paul: we “tangentially” benefited because America’s gaining of the land was not a direct result of the revolution, but the revolution did eventually lead to the purchase because they needed money.

    Unlike the situation in Haiti, I don’t particularly feel all that bad about Katrina, they were given ample warning and even told to evacuate, and many refused to listen or even prepare for what was coming. Surrounding areas were hit as hard, but the people heeded the warnings. When you’re told to leave and do nothing, that’s not Bush’s fault, that’s your fault. The loss of life and sufering was tragic, but not comparable to Haiti.

    Pax: Voodoo itself is fundamentally Paganism with some Catholic symbolism blended into it, so I’m not surprised the stats are so varied.

    Ivan: I disagree with your racial explanation, but the sad truth is that our continued financial support of haiti enables the corruption and status quo to continue.

    Bill O’Reilly is right that we need to help them, and that its also time to take a serious look at bringing accountability and an effective government and actual economy to the nation, “teach a man to fish” and so on. I’m not saying we should invade them, but enabling the status quo isn’t the right thing to do either.

  • Ivan: It’s not that easy. Thomas Sowell has pointed out that a disproportionate number of blacks with West Indian roots are among the black elite in this country; in Harlem in the 1920’s, they were nicknamed “black Jews” by other blacks because they were adept at business. Sowell thinks that, ironically, the extremely harsh conditions slaves endured in the West Indies has something to do with the relative success their descendants have enjoyed in the States. In the West Indies, the slaves who labored on the sugar cane plantations were not provided food or in some cases, even clothing, like American slaves were. They had to feed themselves from garden plots they tended after exhausting days chopping sugar cane and engage in trade to get cloth and other staples that were provided for American blacks. Cruel, but they developed a barter economy and a sense of self-sufficiency that American slaves did not. American slaves, who were used to having food, clothing and shelter given to them by their masters, had a tough struggle when freedom came, and not only because of the racial discrimination they faced. They weren’t used to operating in a market economy – something unscrupulous whites were quick to take advantage of. West Indians had more savvy.

    You can’t point to genetics because the slaves of the West Indies came from exactly the same genetic stock as the slaves of the American south.

    And yet, the success of the West Indians in the US has not been replicated in Britain, or indeed, in the West Indies itself.

    But the same is also true of the Chinese – an extremely successful, business-savvy minority in countries throughout the Far East. And yet the vast majority of Chinese were and still are very poor, even before the adoption of Communism.

    I’m not completely dismissive of IQ, but people who rely too heavily on that arugment forget that in most of the 3rd World, you have to be born either very rich or be very lucky to escape dire poverty, because the odds are stacked against you. The form of government one lives under is essential.

    Let’s not forget that Russia, a country far richer in natural resources than Haiti, has been miserably poor for centuries. They’ve produced scads of scientists, artists, and chess grandmasters, so I don’t think it’s because gray matter is lacking.

  • Donna V and others you have the better arguments, as you say IQ differences should not be the first cause for the situation in Haiti. Good governance is far more important. We will have to wait another 10-15 years to see the results.

  • Do any of you realize that 80% of these so called devil whorshipping Haitians consider themselves Roman Catholics? Do any of you realize that Pat Robertson and his followers hate Roman Catholics?

  • Bringing change to Haiti is the kind of thing these Washington crooks ought to be thinking about instead of spending tens of millions of tax payer dollars for a photo op in “Copen-Hoggen”, (as if its incorrect to say names in English).

    All they care about is making political hay, and I’m sure if it was there money they wouldn’t be so quick to throw it down rat-holes.

  • Actually, why don’t we send the current congress over to Haiti to govern them, because it might the one place that they will be an improvement in terms of corruption and incompetence.

  • Bernadette, Who, exactly, are you referring to when you ask if “any of us” know Robertson is anti-Catholic? In reading Donald’s initial posts and the ensuing comments, I’m not getting the impression that this blog is a gathering of the Pat Robertson Fan Club.

    And yes, we are aware that Haitians are Catholics, albeit their Catholicism is laced with a very large dose of paganism, i.e. voodoo. The country has more witchdoctors than it has physicians. Do you think that’s a good thing?

  • Ivan: I don’t discount the importance of IQ, by any means. Obviously, a person with an IQ of 90 is not going to become a nuclear physicist. But back in the 1960’s, the “nuture” arguments held sway and now the reverse seems to have happened, with people falling into biological determinism as a way of explaining why some individuals and countries do better than others.

    It seems to me being born with brains will only benefit you if A. you live in a society where there are ample opportunities to succeed and enough freedom to persue opportunities (ie a democracy) and B. your immediate culture values strong family ties, hard work, study, delaying gratification and so on. The Asian-American medical residents I know had all these advantages. One told me it was simply unacceptable for her to bring home a report card with B’s and C’s on it. If a person with the same potential has the misfortune of being born to a desperately poor family in Haiti, what are his or her chances? If there is no opportunity to go to school because you have to focus on simple survival, your potential will remain unrealized. If you’re an very bright person born to a dyfunctional single mom in the US, and everyone around you is indifferent to education and moral values, instead of becoming a doctor, you might become the leader of a drug cartel. The person with the IQ of 90, born into a loving family with a strong work ethic will contribute more to the well-being of society, even if that means working at a low-status but necessary occupation.

Port-au-Prince Earthquake: Archbishop Killed, Cathedral Destroyed

Wednesday, January 13, AD 2010

Vatican Radio and the Catholic News Agency report that Archbishop Serge Miot was among the many victims of yesterday’s earthquake.

According to the brief report, his body was found in the rubble of the archbishop’s office. They also reported that the Vicar General, Msgr. Benoit, was still missing.

According to the Vatican’s Fides news agency, Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, Archbishop Bernardito Auza was reported as saying:

“Port-au-Prince is totally devastated. The cathedral, the Archbishop’s Office, all of the big churches, all of the seminaries have been reduced to rubble. The same luck for the Ministry buildings, the Presidential Palace, the schools. The Parish Priest of the Cathedral, who was spared, told me that the archbishop of Port-au-Prince would have died under the rubble, together with hundreds of seminarians and priests that are under the ruins.”

The historic cathedral of Port-au-Prince, an 18th century building, has collapsed, as have many other church’s through the city.

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5 Responses to Port-au-Prince Earthquake: Archbishop Killed, Cathedral Destroyed