Fred Steiner, Requiescat in Pace

Thursday, June 30, AD 2011

Fred Steiner died today.  Not a household name, but you have probably heard his music, as he composed the music for many hit TV shows, perhaps most notably for Perry Mason.  A very young Don McClarey loved the Perry Mason show.  It had no influence on my decision to become an attorney, that option didn’t occur to me until my Senior year in college when I decided that I would rather not work for a living, but it was enjoyable and memorable entertainment. 

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6 Responses to Fred Steiner, Requiescat in Pace

Fiat voluntas tua sicut in caelo et in terra, Secunda pars

Thursday, June 30, AD 2011

The following is the second part to this post. It is recommended that you read the first part before reading the second part.  There has been some request for the original address given by Cardinal George.  I have been unable to locate it on the web and have not gotten around to scanning it in.  As soon as I get a chance, I will try to get to up and available, barring any unforeseen copyright issues.  For now, my humble comments and summary will have to suffice.

*******

While the time from Augustine to Aquinas embodied a realization of Cardinal George’s incarnation metaphysics, things began to take a turn for the worse with Duns Scotus, a contemporary of Thomas. Scotus radically separated God from the world, and in so doing separated grace from nature. Instead of a metaphysics of participation, Scotus promulgated that, “God is no longer that generous power in which all things exist but rather that supreme being next to whom or apart from whom all other beings exist” (George, 15). Scotus begins what Descartes (through philosophy) and Luther (through theology) would complete. “In both its Lutheran and Cartesian manifestations, modernity assumes a fundamental split between the divine and the non-divine and hence implicitly denies the participation/communio metaphysics that had shaped the Christian world thought the ancient and medieval periods” (George, 16).

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6 Responses to Fiat voluntas tua sicut in caelo et in terra, Secunda pars

  • “It is here that Cardinal George begins his critique of John Courtney Murray. “It is no secret that John Courtney Murray’s thought was shaped by a neo-scholastic two-tiered conception of nature and grace,” a conception that is “a departure from the communio and participation metaphysics of the patristic and medieval periods” (George, 32).”

    It is not just neo-scholastic, but sholastic and in fact Thomistic. Communio theology of the 20th Century seems to flow from de Lubac’s thought which George seems to endorse. George’s critique of Murray then flows from this Communio theology.

    I think there are very good critiques of de Lubac at this point which render his view of nature and grace, and those who depend on this interpretation of nature and grace, doubtful at best. Following from that, critiques of Murray and the American experient are rendered less coherent also.

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  • What garbage. More pointless blackening of bl. Duns Scotus reputation by ignorant Thomists or at least their lackeys..

    1. What, Scotus didn’t believe in the Incarnation? What on earth is “incarnation metaphysics”? Scotus did in fact believe in the incarnation, and he has an extensive metaphysical discussion of it. Ergo etc.

    2. How did Scotus radically separate God from the world?

    3. The bit about participation is just plain false. I have read many hundreds of pages of Scotus in latin and he never explicitly rejects participation. (NB: “particpation metaphysics” as a “worldview” that everyone enjoyed before Scotus is itself a chimera of post modern theology). What does do is express puzzlement regarding how participation fits into the scheme of the Aristotelian four causes.

    4. The quote is misleading:

    “God is no longer that generous power in which all things exist but rather that supreme being next to whom or apart from whom all other beings exist” (George, 15).

    this article makes it sound like Scotus said this, but this is George’s own paraphrase. The scholastics have no conception of a “generous power”. It was a matter of dispute whether creatures existed in the divine power or divine intellect prior to their creation. Aquinas’ view, that they are contained in the divine power, was never the common opinion.

    The second part of this quote betrays the origin of this nonsense. The claim that Scotus made God just a being among beings is derivative of “Radical Orthodoxy”, who say that Scotus’ view of univocal concepts results in this. But this conflicts with George’s other claim that Scotus introduced a radical divide between God and the world. You can’t have both, buddy: either there is a radical divide between God and creation, or God is just like us.

    Of course, the usual reply will be that George isn’t trying to exegete Scotus, he’s just drawing a narrative that explains how things are in the present. Truth and falsity of the narrative doesn’t matter, because it’s a narrative, and what’s important is that we are relevant and engaging the contemporary culture.

    Fine, whatever. And people wonder why there are so many crises in the church?

  • I didn’t realize this was cardinal George; I thought it was Robert George. I might have been more temperate. But he should know better.

  • lee,

    Interesting your points on Scotus. Don’t know much about him but I thought George’s comments about him sounded simplistic. I also wouldn’t say that George is completely a Thomist. As I pointed out, most Thomists think that De Lubac was wrong in his interpretation about Nature and Grace. Thus De Lubac is a poor Thomist at best. George however runs with De Lubac’s thought as a given. Thus making George a poor Thomist?

    I think George is a faithful priest and bishop. But like you, I think his understanding of philosophy sometimes misses the mark. Thanks for your insights. And I don’t mind the force of your comments. Even bishops occasionally need a good argument back.

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Houston National Cemetery: God Not Welcome

Thursday, June 30, AD 2011

Yet another demonstration of the fundamental hostility to Christianity that lurks barely beneath the surface in the Obama administration:

Local veterans and volunteer groups accuse Department of Veterans Affairs officials of censoring religious speech — including the word “God” – at Houston National Cemetery.

In one example cited in documents filed this week in federal court, cemetery director Arleen Ocasio reportedly told volunteers with the National Memorial Ladies that they had to stop telling families “God bless you” at funerals and that they had to remove the words “God bless” from condolence cards.

“It’s just unfair that somebody would ask us to take God out of our vocabulary,” said Cheryl Whitfield, founder of Houston National Memorial Ladies.

“I could’ve kept my mouth shut and let things happen, but when it comes to standing up for your belief in God and giving comfort to the families, I don’t want to regret not saying anything,” Whitfield said. “We all had to stand up for what we believe in.”

The new allegations of “religious hostility” by VA and cemetery officials follow on the heels of a controversy over Pastor Scott Rainey’s prayer in Jesus’ name at a Memorial Day service in the cemetery.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes ruled May 26 that the government couldn’t stop Rainey from using the words “Jesus Christ” in his invocation. Hughes issued a temporary restraining order to prevent VA from censoring Rainey’s prayer.

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15 Responses to Houston National Cemetery: God Not Welcome

  • It appears the locus of this is Arlene Ocasio, the cemetary director, and that the attorney for the VA is pleading ignorance in the service of public relations. It would be interesting to know whether or not that position is a civil service position, and whether Ocasio is a member of the permanent government doing what she pleases now that the constellation of her superiors has changed or whether she is someone who got the position by being well-connected in the Democratic Party.

  • I have seen her referred to in news stories Art as an Obama appointee, although I have been unable to verify it as yet. I have done a brief internet search but thus far I have been unable to uncover anything about her other than this present controversy.

  • Here is some background info on her:

    http://www.guidrynews.com/story.aspx?id=1000025672

    Interesting that she has a Chicago connection.

  • “Interesting that she has a Chicago connection.”

    Don’t both Obama and “Blago” also have a Chicago connection?

    “Yet another demonstration of the fundamental hostility to Christianity that lurks barely beneath the surface in the Obama administration.”

    Regardless of his claim to be a Christian, by his actions Obama demonstrates his anti-Christian bias.

    I do NOT suggest that Obama is THE anti-christ (I don’t think he is that smart), but at the risk of being reprimanded, I think that the words of 1st John 2:18-19 certainly seem to apply.

    “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number.”

    I have never seen anything like this: open sanctification of of homosexual activity as “marriage” by a “Catholic” governor (Andy Cuomo), murder of tens of millions of babies (again aided and abetted by “Catholic” politicians), open pornography as free speech while Christian free speech is stifled, etc. So yes, I do think these are (in a sense) the “Last Days.” Perhaps that means these are the “Last Days” for America (I hope not). Perhaps that means that the Lord will soon return (we should all hope for that). While it’s utterly depressing to view these events, they are but part of Satan’s last gasp for (as Scripture says) he knows that his time is growing short. We know the end of the story (Satan loses/ Christ wins), so we have to keep our eyes on Christ, the “author and perfector of our Faith” (as said elsewhere in Scriputre).

  • The cemetary director has been a federal employee for 27 years (most with the National Cemetary Administration) and has been the superintendant of other national cemetaries. The undersecretary responsible for that component of the department is also a career man employed by the National Cemetary Administration for decades. The secretary is a career soldier who served as Army Chief of Staff under the 2d President Bush. The biography of the general-counsel to the Department of Veterans Affairs is here

    http://www.va.gov/opa/bios/bio_gunn.asp

    None of these folk sound like promising material for the ranks of the world’s officious secularists. Curiouser and curiouser.

  • These are not the type of people to do anything like this without explicit instructions from on high.

  • Well, good for Judge Hughes.

  • Ya think? I dunno. I tend to doubt even a notorious micromanager like Jimmy Carter rationed his attention in such a way that the ceremonial regulations at national cemetaries was something he gave much thought to, and Obama is not a detail man. Given that it appears local to Houston, I would speculate that the cemetary director asked for a legal opinion on a tangential matter and was advised by a junior lawyer in the counsel’s office that she must forbid funerals with a religious component. It looks from the news story that the counsel for the agency tasked with defending it in this suit was behaving as if there were things he would rather not know.

  • No, I think this clearly came from higher up Art. Probably not directly Obama, but high up the food chain of the VA. A career bureaucrat will not usually risk his or her job for anyone or anything. Only an exceedingly stupid bureaucrat would fail to recognize that these policies would ignite a firestorm, especially the attempt to censor the Memorial Day prayer. That is why I suspect the head of the Houston National Cemetery was only following orders. Considering that the Ag department considers one of its prime goals to be the promotion of gay rights, nothing that this administration would do would surprise me.

  • “Considering that the Ag department considers one of its prime goals to be the promotion of gay rights, nothing that this administration would do would surprise me.”

    The goal is evil. The Administration considers that a prime goal. The Administration supports evil.

    It is difficult to be level-headed and dispassionate in situations like this where common sense, morality and the foundation of society (i.e., the family) are being turned on their heads. That causes me to agree that nothing this Administration would do to advance evil is a cause for surprise.

    Now I did NOT say “this man in the Administration is evil” or “that man is evil” (though truth be said I do think it). I did not make a verbal judgment above as to the condition of the souls of the persons who openly and unabashly support such evil. But Jesus did say, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” And we have no one to blame for all these things but ourselves as Catholics. We are reaping the whirlwind that we have sown for the past 40+ years. When instead of adhering to what the actual documents of Vatican II said, we adopted a false spirit of “inclusivity” and “tolerance” of sinful behavior, falsely fearing that to admonish the sinner is to demonstrate hate.

    There will come a time when to own a Bible with Romans 1:18-32 written as it has been written for close to 2000 years will be considered a hate-crime offense worthy of jail or worse. Christians will be martyred as unborn babies are now murdered and as Hitler murdered Jews in the 1930s and 40s. History teaches that this is what happens when evil is tolerated.

    I forgot – Christians ARE being martyred in the Middle East and elsewhere right now. I should have said that that will be the practice in an America overrun by liberal democracy (i.e., two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner).

    Maranatha, Domine Iesu, veni celeriter!

  • No, I think this clearly came from higher up Art. Probably not directly Obama, but high up the food chain of the VA. A career bureaucrat will not usually risk his or her job for anyone or anything.

    There are over 80 national cemeteries, but thus far we only hear complaints about the Houston cemetery. Unless she was instructed to attempt a trial balloon, I would tend to think discontent would be more widespread if this were general policy.

  • Agreed Art. Absent the local cemetery director going haywire I suspect a trial balloon, although trying this in Texas was an open invitation for a fierce reaction.

  • How utterly ridiculous! Even bin Laden got a Muslim ceremony before burial at sea. And to show how stupid this rule is, what if an atheist wanted this statement read at his burial “Even though I did not believe in GOD or JESUS, I led a good life.” Wouldn’t that be going against the last wishes of that person?
    But this country is so backwards. Example-those who drink/produce raw milk are considered more dangerous than meth labs and other dangerous drugs. Do a google search on raw milk raids and you will see how upside down our country has become when guns are drawn on innocent citizens while real criminals run loose.

  • javascript:grin(‘:cry:’) This is not secular leveling. This is communism. To take over a country you destroy their history, take over their education and remove God from the public sector. There are Christians in this country who are still oblivious to the religious persecution Christians are suffering. Any other religion is ignored or protected. It is the Christian faith that has been in the cross-hairs of the left for many years now. Christians have sat out this onslaught for too long. Perhaps this Nat’l. Cemetery issue is a good thing in that it screams at the Christian deaf to finally pay attention!

  • What is most disappointing , is the apparently lack of public comment from our Catholic leadership. I have read many items, but so far, I have not seen, or read anything which would reflect an official position by the Archdiocese of Houston. However, there are numerous public comments by other faiths.

    Even if the story is not true, there should be some guidance to correct the story as it now exists..

Lincoln and the Declaration of Independence

Thursday, June 30, AD 2011

In a speech given on August 17, 1858 in Lewistown, Illinois, in the midst of the Stephen-Douglas debates, Abraham Lincoln celebrated the Declaration as a beacon of freedom:

The Declaration of Independence was formed by the representatives of American liberty from thirteen States of the confederacy—twelve of which were slaveholding communities. We need not discuss the way or the reason of their becoming slaveholding communities. It is sufficient for our purpose that all of them greatly deplored the evil and that they placed a provision in the Constitution which they supposed would gradually remove the disease by cutting off its source. This was the abolition of the slave trade. So general was conviction—the public determination—to abolish the African slave trade, that the provision which I have referred to as being placed in the Constitution, declared that it should not be abolished prior to the year 1808. A constitutional provision was necessary to prevent the people, through Congress, from putting a stop to the traffic immediately at the close of the war.

Now, if slavery had been a good thing, would the Fathers of the Republic have taken a step calculated to diminish its beneficent influences among themselves, and snatch the boon wholly from their posterity? These communities, by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man.

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Eliminating Marriage

Wednesday, June 29, AD 2011

By now, everyone knows that gay marriage is coming to the Empire State. Obviously, there’s very little good to be drawn from this. To me, there is very little hope of reclaiming the tide. The ideology that accepts gay marriage is so tied into acceptance of divorce and contraception that it would take a much more radical shift to turn the tide. While this could happen (and I have faith in the new priests coming that they can effect this at least within the Church), rebuilding culture takes time and seems likely that the pendulum will have to swing all the way before it will swing back.

So other than rebuilding our culture from the ground up, what political strategies are there to pursue? Trying to fight state by state is one option, but this presumes that states under DOMA can be allowed to not recognize gay marriages from other states. This means we have to put our faith in the court system, and that seems dubious to me. The population size of New York, as well as its mobility, means the issue of full faith and credit will come to a head sooner rather than later. There’s the federal option, but I see no desire from the GOP to fight this fight, particularly from the libertarian wing of the party.

The only other option I see is eliminating the secular institution of marriage altogether. This makes a lot of sense. What exactly is the government’s interest in marriage anymore? Currently, government and society is exerting a lot of resources on this institution: the number of laws and divorce courts, not to mention divorce lawyers is tremendous. But what is government getting back? Love & commitment might be nice values, but you can have a ceremony and make your commitment without a government seal of approval for the commitment (& the break-up). When it was only hetereosexuals allowed to marry, the argument could be made for children (ie we want to provide a good environment for the creation & raising of children), but with gay marriage that’s no longer viable. Perhaps you could still argue family (as gay couples can do IVF & surrogacy) but what effect marriage has in this is dubious, particularly with the liberalization of divorce laws. Another argument for marriage was to protect women from being left penniless in a divorce, but as stay at home moms dwindle and as economic opportunities for women continue to grow, this justification is weaker, especially with the popularity of pre-nups that create separate property regimes anyway. So why is government still in this business? What goods are secured through marriage that cannot be secured without secular marriage?

The main goal for pushing this from a Catholic perspective is simple: protecting our priests from persecution. Although the New York Republicans supported gay marriage because they felt the protections for religious were strong enough, it’s only a matter of time before a priest is sued, have their license to perform marriages, or even arrested for denying marriage to a gay couple. There’s no room in the ideology of the gay rights movement for religions to continue to grant marriage only according to their “hetereosexist” traditions. If government gets out of the business, then priests and other religious will be protected.

There’s also the added benefit of giving marriage back over to religion. If government continues to stay in the marriage business government will continue to be a vehicle for forcing social changes, changes that are often for the worse. Government will no longer be able to impose new visions on the country. Instead, people can have whatever ceremonies and whatever commitments they want (this probably would include bigamy, but you have to figure government will permit this next anyway). In this scenario, the Church will be better able to discuss its version of marriage if it doesn’t have to fight against a government-imposed narrative.

Still, it seems a sad day when government’s marriage is so diluted that we have to give it up entirely, so I’d like to see what people here think. Are there still reasons for government to provide the institution of marriage in a world of gay marriage? Or would it be better for the government to get out of it entirely?

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34 Responses to Eliminating Marriage

  • “So why is government still in this business? What goods are secured through marriage that cannot be secured without secular marriage?”

    It can’t get out of it. The same issues facing couples in divorce face couples who are not married but have kids and/or have property in common. Then we have tax issues involving kids, rights of inheritance, what religion the kids will be raised in, who should be qualified to receive benefits under pensions, health insurance plans, who determines where kids will go to school, and the hits keep on coming. When couples split up and there are kids the government is involved every step of the way. This is akin to saying that govenment should get out of the business of resolving contractual disputes, except the legal issues surrounding marriage make most contractual disputes seem tame by comparison.

    Christians surrendering this field will simply cause the government to transform marriage further in a way directly contrary to Christian beliefs. The government will always mandate the legal rules in this area and an Amish like withdrawal by Christians from this area is neither feasible nor desirable. A better idea is for Christians to get off their duffs and to wade into the political fight and win it. The idea that believing Christians allow themselves to be pushed around by gay activists in this fight is pathetic. Christians can and will win this fight if they have the stomach for it and do not unilaterally surrender. The gay rights movement I think is a hot house plant of a fairly bizarre moment in Western culture, and if strongly resisted I believe it can be defeated in its attempt to equate gay relationships as the equal of relationships in marriage between men and women. I would also note that where gay marriage has been legalized, after an initial flurry of marriages, very few homosexuals are chomping at the bit to tie the knot. Christians need to man up and to defeat our political adversaries at the ballot box.

  • It certainly would make me happy to see the gateway to annulments, civil divorce, eliminated. Their inclusion simply destroys the life of the few faithful Catholics who try to stand up for their valid sacrament but face the double whammy of no fault, uncivil divorce and then face recriminations for having the unmitigated audacity to face off against an “annulment complex” in America that is primed to find or fabricate the necessary justification to reach a conclusion in favor of nullity.

  • “It certainly would make me happy to see the gateway to annulments, civil divorce, eliminated.”

    Except that isn’t what is being proposed Karl. Whenever one party decides to leave a marriage, the state is always going to decide where the kids go, what is the amount of child support, who pays for health insurance and a host of other issues. Doing away with civil marriage would not change this one iota.

  • It can’t get out of it. The same issues facing couples in divorce face couples who are not married but have kids and/or have property in common. Then we have tax issues involving kids, rights of inheritance, what religion the kids will be raised in, who should be qualified to receive benefits under pensions, health insurance plans, who determines where kids will go to school, and the hits keep on coming. When couples split up and there are kids the government is involved every step of the way. This is akin to saying that govenment should get out of the business of resolving contractual disputes, except the legal issues surrounding marriage make most contractual disputes seem tame by comparison.

    I’m not sure this refutes my position. Most of what you list are already being decided outside of a regime of marriage. The only issue is common property, but that can be decided based on separate property principles (ie if you buy it, its yours. If you both put in money, you get that % of it back). You’ve listed nothing that needs a secular institution to be adjudicated.

    The gay rights movement I think is a hot house plant of a fairly bizarre moment in Western culture, and if strongly resisted I believe it can be defeated in its attempt to equate gay relationships as the equal of relationships in marriage between men and women.

    I think you have a rosy picture of where we are. Even so, why must we fight this in the political arena and not in the cultural arena?

  • “Most of what you list are already being decided outside of a regime of marriage. The only issue is common property, but that can be decided based on separate property principles (ie if you buy it, its yours. If you both put in money, you get that % of it back). You’ve listed nothing that needs a secular institution to be adjudicated.”

    In regard to property Michael I can guarantee you that it is not that simple. You have a couple who have been together for 30 years and have acquired property. The woman stays home to raise the kids while the man works. All the property is in his name. He decides to trade the mother of his kids in for a 22 year old hottie. Does he walk away with all the property? Who decides? How do they decide? You wouldn’t be getting the state out of marriage except in name.

    Other factors to consider. Under Illinois law a father has no rights regarding his child if he is unmarried unless he goes to court to establish those rights. Prior to that he is guilty of a Class 4 felony if he decides that the child is better off living with him than Mom. When he goes to court, the court will be intimately involved with him, the mother and their offspring until the children are no longer minors. Nothing in what you propose would get the state out of any of this. When couples are not married and they have kids, in effect the state creates a failed marriage relationship for them and enforces the terms of divorce as it does in the case of a marriage that goes South. The State cannot and will not get out of this area.

    “I think you have a rosy picture of where we are. Even so, why must we fight this in the political arena and not in the cultural arena?”

    Not at all. Most states will not enact gay marriage and even in New York the vote was quite close in the Senate. If gay marriage passes by a hair in New York, that is a symbol of political weakness not strength. As for fighting it in the cultural arena also, I think Christians can manage to do both, but not if they approach it with a defeatist mentality and if they give way to the bullying tactics employed by the other side.

  • Most states will not enact gay marriage and even in New York the vote was quite close in the Senate.

    And all you need is 5 votes from the Supremes to make it universal under the full faith & credit clause.

    You wouldn’t be getting the state out of marriage except in name.

    Assuming that’s true, and the state has to retain much of its rules, that’s quite a victory in and of itself. As long as the state no longer pretends that what it does is marriage, that’s quite a victory.

    But there’s no reason to think that marriage is essential to answer your questions about property. This can be determined via contract, or just on separate property principles the same way disputes between roommates over property is settled. Why does a community property regime have to be used?

    When couples are not married and they have kids, in effect the state creates a failed marriage relationship for them and enforces the terms of divorce as it does in the case of a marriage that goes South.

    Well, you would lose the traditional presumptions, but DNA tests are not so burdensome as to make this unbearable for the court systems. But once you establish the father, child support and custody don’t need the institution of marriage to function.

  • The battle is lost, and the writing was on the wall with the Anglicans in the 1920s and the Griswald decision. Contraception, philosophically, is exactly the same as gay “marriage.”

  • You’re a realist when it comes to acceptance of gay marriage, but not when it comes to eliminating civil marriage. I’d love for it to happen and it’s theoretically possible but the US (and most developed countries) are too legally inflexible to adopt optimal solutions. I’ve said this before: Bureaucracy will be America’s downfall.

  • “And all you need is 5 votes from the Supremes to make it universal under the full faith & credit clause.”

    An excellent reason to make certain that next year is Obama’s last full year as President.

    “As long as the state no longer pretends that what it does is marriage, that’s quite a victory.”

    With victories like that Michael give me defeats any day. To satisfy the demands of a handful of gay activists the State turns its back on an institution as old as Man.

    “This can be determined via contract, or just on separate property principles the same way disputes between roommates over property is settled.”

    Get back to me Michael after you have been out for a few years from law school and actually have done this type of work. Most married couples don’t have wills, let alone contracts between them. (Prenups are quite rare and are almost always a blueprint for divorce.) People who are shacked up usually have no sort of paperwork at all. The people involved are usually shocked, shocked, to find out there are legal consequences to them when they split up and kids or property are at issue.

    “Well, you would lose the traditional presumptions, but DNA tests are not so burdensome as to make this unbearable for the court systems. But once you establish the father, child support and custody don’t need the institution of marriage to function.”

    Your whole argument Michael is to get the state out of marriage. My contention is that your proposal would not do that. All it would do is be a flag of surrender to the homosexual lobby and put marriages on the same legal footing as their “unions”. The state of course would still have precisely the same involvement with heterosexual families as it ever did, but it would instruct these families, through not even dignifying them with the term marriage, that these are merely ad hoc relationships of no special importance.

  • It’s fairly well established that marriages are not subject to the full faith and credit clause.

    However, states will generally recognize marriages performed in other states, even if they would be invalid if performed in the home jurisdiction, so long as this does not violate public policy.

    The upshot of this is that while the federal DOMA doesn’t really offer much protection against states having to recognize same-sex marriages performed in New York, etc., a state DOMA would do so.

  • People who are shacked up usually have no sort of paperwork at all

    You bring up an interesting point: Cohabitation. Cohabitation as we all know is on the rise, with many never marrying before they split up. If government can handle these situations, why does it need marriage? Quite frankly, government is going to have to learn to settle extramarital disputes anyway.

    Get back to me Michael after you have been out for a few years from law school and actually have done this type of work.

    Surprised it took you that long to pull that card. Why is every time someone disagrees with me on this blog I get “you’re too young to make an argument” response?

    Your whole argument Michael is to get the state out of marriage. My contention is that your proposal would not do that.

    I think you’re making two arguments. The first is that secular marriage can be saved and the second is that government would still need to settle these disputes between close relations. A lot of your argument seems to be predicated on the first, so I’ll ask you a question. Which would you prefer: gay marriage in all 50 states or an elimination of marriage?

    B/c I’m operating under the premise that the battle against gay marriage is a lost cause, and that we need to be prepared to look at other options. I’d much prefer for marriage to be restored in our laws and our culture but absent that I’m interested in ways that we can preserve what little we have left.

  • “If government can handle these situations, why does it need marriage? Quite frankly, government is going to have to learn to settle extramarital disputes anyway.”

    Oh, I don’t know maybe because marriage has been an exellent means overall of making certain that kids are cared for properly and brought up as something other than utter savages. The courts do settle shack up disputes by treating them as failed marriages.

    “Surprised it took you that long to pull that card. Why is every time someone disagrees with me on this blog I get “you’re too young to make an argument” response?”

    Please. I would love for you to point to another example. Your youth has nothing to do with it, but your obvious unfamiliarity of the actual practice of law does. Time will take care of both your youth and your inexperience with how the law operates outside of the classroom.

    “Which would you prefer: gay marriage in all 50 states or an elimination of marriage?”

    I choose option c: No gay marriage and a strengthening of marriage under the law. For example, a restriction of the deduction for kids for tax purposes to married couples; a mandatory one year waiting period before a judgment of divorce can be entered in a marriage with kids; ending no fault divorce; ending divorce for mental cruelty or irreconcilable differences; mandatory marriage counseling in all divorces not involving physical violence; increasing the court filing fees for divorce; attorney fees in divorce cases not paid until the end of the case and set by the court, with both parties responsible for the fees of both attorneys. I could go on at great length. Marriage and its relationship to the State needs much reform, but attempting to separate marriage and State is simply impossible.

  • How close are we to popular support for any of those reforms? It seems to me more are pushing for easier divorce, not harder. While I like your ideas, I just don’t see much of them getting into law (except the one year waiting period for kids which is already law in LA and I suspect elsewhere). And if they don’t succeed and gay marriage does, what do we do then? I like fighting for lost causes, as they’re the only ones worth fighting for (as Jefferson Smith would say), but I think the cause would be easier to fight without the government imposing a view.

    As for my “obvious unfamiliarity of the actual practice of law,” (which I do concede) I think if marriage were eliminated the alternatives would enter the common consciousness such as Miranda and pre-nups have. To be sure, I don’t need out of classroom experience to know most people won’t understand this or do the right things. We will have to have default rules. I’m not disputing that; I’m questioning whether those default rules have to be those of marriage, or whether there are other alternatives such that whatever the state does is not confused with true marriage.

  • “The only other option I see is eliminating the secular institution of marriage altogether.”

    Isn’t this just another version of that dorm room bull session where somebody says we shouldn’t use money, but some other means of exchange? All the problems will creep back in.

    Privatizing marriage is a red herring that many libertarian pundits use to avoid defending marriage or offending their gay friends (or to avoid revealing to conservatives their utter indifference to social morality).

    The real long-term threat is anti-discrimination laws which destroy almost all institutional opponents of GLBT activists, a process which SSM will accelerate. While these are also unlikely to be reformed, their abolition is more likely than the abolition of civil marriage.

  • “Privatizing” marriage is an idea that I have thought MIGHT have some merit as a last ditch effort to prevent the concept or meaning of marriage from being diluted by efforts to redefine civil marriage. Another possibility might be simply to institute civil unions for everyone and no longer give the name “marriage” to the secular institution.

    A third possibility might be for the Church to voluntarily — before it gets taken away by force of law — surrender legal recognition of marriages performed by priests and deacons. Priests would no longer sign off on marriage licenses, and Catholic couples who wanted to marry in the Church would have to have two ceremonies, one secular and one religious. This already happens in instances where a couple that has married civilly outside the Church later has their marriage “blessed” or validated. It also happens in other countries where religious marriage ceremonies are not legally recognized. The secular ceremony could be done in 5 minutes or less at the courthouse when the couple gets their marriage license, or it could be a little more elaborate if the couple wishes.

    A Catholic couple could do this before or after their church wedding. If they got married in the Church BEFORE getting civilly married or “unionized” or whatever, they would be married in the eyes of God, but simply cohabiting in the eyes of the state.

    We don’t ask the State to legally recognize baptisms, First Communions, or other sacraments, nor do we ask the State to recognize annulments granted by Church tribunals, so why insist any longer that it recognize the SACRAMENT of Matrimony, especially if it opens up the Church to persecution, harassment, or charges of “discrimination” as a result? If the Church stops being involved in the legal process of marriage in any way that opening, at least, will be closed.

  • “The battle is lost, and the writing was on the wall with the Anglicans in the 1920s and the Griswald decision. Contraception, philosophically, is exactly the same as gay ‘marriage.’”

    Actually the battle already has been won through Christ’s life, sacrificial death, and Resurrection. Now we Christians have to apply the grace of that victory in the real world. Every day in prayer, mortification and actual struggle.

    Now that may take a long time and, as Michael points out, will require a change in the culture. But I have to disagree in ceding the field on this. Culture does influence the laws but if we let the laws slide that will influence the culture.

    And so what if there is a significant loss of the sense of marriage through contraception and easy divorce. Does it make it better to throw in the towel and say take the last bit now. No.

  • All it would do is be a flag of surrender to the homosexual lobby and put marriages on the same legal footing as their “unions”.

    Yes, but waving a flag of surrender is the whole point (for some people).

  • Neat post, Michael. I have actually had this basic intuition since I first became aware of the issue. Since the Church doesn’t recognize civil marriages, it seemed like the discussion was never about marriage in the first place.

    Cheers,

    Sam

  • Though I might say there is a difference between the Church recognizing civil marriages and the Church seeing the state as having a role in protecting marriage.

  • I do like Elaine’s idea as another alternative. We don’t have opting out now (at least not that I know of), so we would have to build that into the law. That would at least protect priests, though you would still have the state pushing a different version of marriage.

    I don’t look at this as a surrender. The better analogy is a tactical retreat with a scorched earth policy.

    Looking over the comments, I get two things: marriage may still be needed to settle property disputes and this isn’t necessary because the battle over secular marriage can still be won. So I guess my question now is: are there other needs for the government to keep marriage or is it just around as a helpful tool for lawyers? and if the battle can still be won, how are we to do it? More importantly, is there ever a time when we say that (for now) the battle is lost and we look to preserve what little is left?

  • “But I have to disagree in ceding the field on this.

    No, no ceding and no retreat. Our personal conduct should move out into the public sphere. Politically, however, the Catholic position is toast. What strategy now?

  • “So I guess my question now is: are there other needs for the government to keep marriage or is it just around as a helpful tool for lawyers? and if the battle can still be won, how are we to do it? More importantly, is there ever a time when we say that (for now) the battle is lost and we look to preserve what little is left?”

    Marriage is not “a helpful tool for lawyers” but the basic building block of all human societies. The State can no more abolish the reality of marriage than it could decree that men will bear children and women father them. It can do much however to either help marriages succeed or fail.

    The State has an interest in promoting sound and lasting marriages. That the policies implemented by the State, liberal divorce is the prime example, have been destructive of marriage on the whole in the past fifty years does not negate this reality, and underlines the need to change the policies rather than abolish marriage, a concept that I think accomplishes nothing other than to treat all marriages as if they were shack up relationships and thereby attempt to satisfy the cry for equality of gay activists, although I suspect that the abolition of marriage would not satisfy them. Marriage is merely a part of their fight to have the State compel people to accept homosexuality as normal and a positive good in and of itself. That fight would go on no matter if what you suggest regarding marriage would be implemented.

    The battle will be won at the ballot box by defeating advocates of gay marriage and electing opponents. Due to the number of state legislatures that the Republicans control much useful legislation opposing gay marriage can be passed in many states within the very near future, and would make an ideal election issue in most states for opponents in 2012, along with the horrible mismangagement of the economy by Obama and his party.

    Your proposal Michael would preserve nothing but would, unintentionally I am sure, merely give the death blow to the legal status of marriage in this country. Some fights, the fight against abortion is another example, you do not stop waging until you win. Considering the political strength of opposition to gay marriage in most parts of this country, I am curious as to why you insist upon contending that the battle is already irrevocably lost when the fight is still in the very early stages.

  • Donald and Michael, except for a little testiness, that was a model for internet debate. Nice job both of you expressing your points.

  • “Donald and Michael, except for a little testiness, that was a model for internet debate. Nice job both of you expressing your points.”

    An element of testiness is often needed in court to keep people awake during boring hearings Pinky, and to maintain the interest of the judge or the jury. It is not a myth that attorneys can go at each other hammer and tongs and then be the best of friends out of court, although not usually while our clients are around! 🙂

  • Michael,

    with all do respect, it sounds to me like you are simply fighting over semantics. Whether what the state does is called marriage, or simply “settling disputes among parties in a relationship” seems no different. Either way, the state is still getting involved in the relationship between men and women and deciding the rights and responsibilities thereof. How is that any different from what it does now? It’s like trying to tell the substantive difference between recognizing SS civil unions and SS marriages. But for the name, they are identical. Same thing for “getting the state out of marriage”. But for the statement that the state is “out of marriage”, it seems it would still be doing the same things, in particular, it would be enforcing anti-discrimination laws for those who would not allow a SS couple to rent their house, etc. If the state doesn’t recognize marriage anyway, on what bases could you legitimately refuse to rent to a SS couple?

  • “No, no ceding and no retreat. Our personal conduct should move out into the public sphere. Politically, however, the Catholic position is toast. What strategy now?”

    Doubtful that the Catholic position is toast. In almost every (every?) state that it has been left up to a popular vote, the gay marriage position has lost – even in California. Need to keep it in the public and out of legislatures and courts. To that end we have to, at least at this point, keep Republicans in office. Not that that overly helped in NY but what are you going to do in an overwhelmingly blue state where there is no chance of winning. Such is not the case in the vast majority of states and if ten states have g.m. but 40 don’t then we clearly have the momentum going into any other fight.

    This is where we need to keep the pressure on local parties. That is, get state legislators and candidates for Federal offices nominated who support marriage. Also nominate those who will only vote for judicial apptointees those who will uphold marriage. Not so hard to do in smaller states though not impossible in larger ones.

    Also need to encourage those who are solid. Plenty of good people out there who would oppose g.m. if there wasn’t the attitude of “its already lost so might as well give up.”

  • Thought I’d throw my hat into the ring on this one…

    I confess that this an issue which I’ve thought about quite a bit, and I tend to agree with Michael. While there are obviously many things which could said about the points he has raised in his post, I think I’ll focus on pertaining to the theological and pastoral side of things.

    I personally know quite a few gays and lesbians, almost all of them in their 20s, some very vocal in favor of gay marriage, a few not so much. One thing I can say for sure is that the issue will not go away (or even die down) any time soon, and it is very highly improbable that even with the slim possibility that gay marriage will not be legalized in any other states, it is nearly impossible to fathom the states currently allowing gay marriage to somehow rescind their position.

    In the same vein, I can say that having talked with some on the other side of the debate, it is much more difficult to make the argument for marriage as being between one man and one woman from a secular standpoint (or from pure reason). It’s an easy argument to make theologically, but in most cases theology is off the table when debating the issue.

    One of the main things that I think the majority of gay rights activists seek does not have to do with “equal rights”, but rather a validation of what they see as being something good and true. Stauch opposition to gay marriage, therefore, is usually interpreted (or framed) as ignorance, discriminate, or hate-driven. While that might not bother many orthodox Catholics, the reality may be that Priests and Catholics will not only be protected with the issue off the table (at least from a legal point of view), but it may enable Catholics to reach out and help GBLTs in ways they actually need it.

  • So I guess my question now is: are there other needs for the government to keep marriage or is it just around as a helpful tool for lawyers? and if the battle can still be won, how are we to do it? More importantly, is there ever a time when we say that (for now) the battle is lost and we look to preserve what little is left?

    Responding to this would take a post, but if I can get away with massive short hand: It seems to me that the reason it’s impossible to get the state “out of the marriage business” in any sense other than fooling around with vocabulary is that although we talk about “civil marriage” marriage is not in fact something that the state creates — it’s something that exists on its own and recognizes when it finds it.

  • To put it succintly, the state has to deal with marriage because marriage is part of human society, and the state has to deal with (indeed, its focus is) human society.

  • Cardinal Ratzinger on gay marriage:

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030731_homosexual-unions_en.html

    “Faced with the fact of homosexual unions, civil authorities adopt different positions. At times they simply tolerate the phenomenon; at other times they advocate legal recognition of such unions, under the pretext of avoiding, with regard to certain rights, discrimination against persons who live with someone of the same sex. In other cases, they favour giving homosexual unions legal equivalence to marriage properly so-called, along with the legal possibility of adopting children.

    Where the government’s policy is de facto tolerance and there is no explicit legal recognition of homosexual unions, it is necessary to distinguish carefully the various aspects of the problem. Moral conscience requires that, in every occasion, Christians give witness to the whole moral truth, which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons. Therefore, discreet and prudent actions can be effective; these might involve: unmasking the way in which such tolerance might be exploited or used in the service of ideology; stating clearly the immoral nature of these unions; reminding the government of the need to contain the phenomenon within certain limits so as to safeguard public morality and, above all, to avoid exposing young people to erroneous ideas about sexuality and marriage that would deprive them of their necessary defences and contribute to the spread of the phenomenon. Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil.

    In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.”

  • The way I see it the options in decreasing order of desirability are:

    1. No civil marriage. Not gonna happen for legal reason.

    2. No gay civil marriage/unions. Not happening.

    3. Segregating gay civil marriage/unions from the rest. Might’ve been possible in the past. Not anymore.

    4. Devaluing civil marriage and promoting traditional marriage though non-legal means. Make civil marriage as socially significant as a driver’s license and make a Catholic marriage the thing that everyone wants. Elaine Krewer’s idea to stop Church recognition of civil marriage completely can be one important part of this.

  • Christians are too intimidated by the left and the pink swastika lobby to make a coherent stand against the agenda of the homosexuals. The way I prefer is a combination of Kathy Shadie and VFR, an equal measure of ridicule, scorn and moral outrage. If all that the homosexuals want if some measure of protection for themselves as they age, there are already many options available. The homosexuals wish to subvert the remaining underpinings of Christian society, hence the energy they put into this effort that most homosexuals would not avail of anyway.

  • “One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws (recognizing same sex unions) and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.”

    I assume the kind of “conscientious objection” to which the (then-future) pope referred covers things like public officials refusing to officiate same sex marriages, vendors refusing to service or sell goods for same-sex weddings, adoption agencies refusing to place children with same sex couples, etc.

    Could such conscientious objection concievably include couples deciding to forgo the legal benefits of civil marriage and get married ONLY in the Church and not in the eyes of the law, so as not to engage in any “material cooperation” with a corrupted system?

    This isn’t possible now because Catholic clergy are (as far as I know) forbidden both by church law and civil law from performing unregistered or non-legal marriages. However, if the Church did what I am suggesting and withdrew from any “entanglement” with civil marriage, it would be possible.

    Unfortunately, I suspect that many, if not most, couples who would request a “church only”, non-legal wedding would do so not as a sacrificial gesture of non-cooperation with evil (comparable to, say, a pacifist refusing to be drafted into the military even in a non-combat role), but as a means of selfishly escaping the legal consequences of civil marriage — for example, preserving Social Security or pension benefits from a deceased spouse that would be lost upon remarriage.

    For this reason, I would recommend that under “my” system, the Church require couples seeking sacramental marriage to marry civilly BEFORE the Church wedding (maybe set a deadline of 30 to 60 days before, analogous to the current duration of civil marriage licenses) unless the couple has a serious reason for having the civil wedding later or not at all. Church tribunals already require persons applying for annulments to have finalized civil divorce proceedings first, in order to avoid any overlap or confusion. If the policy at the end of a marriage is to get the legal stuff out of the way first, why not follow that procedure at the beginning of the marriage also?

    Finally, one minor advantage under this system would be that couples would no longer be obligated to obtain a civil marriage license in the same jurisdiction where their Church wedding is taking place. If the couple lives in County A but is having their Nuptial Mass at her original home parish in County Z, they wouldn’t have to worry about making an extra trip to the County Z Courthouse for a marriage license — they could just get legally married in County A ahead of time. Nor would they have to remember to hand off the marriage license to the priest before or after the wedding.

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Top Ten Civil War Movies For The Fourth of July

Wednesday, June 29, AD 2011

Any understanding of this nation has to be based, and I mean really based, on an understanding of the Civil War. I believe that firmly. It defined us. The Revolution did what it did. Our involvement in European wars, beginning with the First World War, did what it did. But the Civil War defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things. And it is very necessary, if you are going to understand the American character in the twentieth century, to learn about this enormous catastrophe of the mid-nineteenth century. It was the crossroads of our being, and it was a hell of a crossroads.

 

Shelby Foote

 

Two years ago I compiled a list of the top ten movies for the Fourth of July which focused on films about the Revolutionary War.  Go here to view that post.  Last year I compiled a list of top ten patriotic movies for the Fourth, and that post may be viewed here.  This year we will focus on the top ten Civil War films for the Fourth of July.  I agree with historian Shelby Foote that it is impossible to understand the United States without understanding the Civil War, and it is “therefore fitting and proper” that over the Fourth Civil War movies come to mind.

 

10.   Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)-We begin with a non-Civil War movie with the video clip at the beginning of this post.  In 1908 English Bulter Charles Ruggles, well played by actor Charles Laughton, comes to work in the American West.  It is a hilarious fish out of water comedy, as Ruggles, with his culture and British reserve comes face to face with the Wild West.  While living in America, Ruggles becomes interested in American history, and becomes a great admirer of Abraham Lincoln.  When he recites the Gettysburg Address, the impact on his listeners is obvious, and reminds us that for Americans the Civil War will never be a matter simply relegated to books or memory, but is something that still has a vast impact on us to this day.

 

 

9.    Friendly Persuasion (1956)-Starring Gary Cooper as Jess Birdwell, the head of a Quaker family in southern Indiana during the Civil War, the film is a superb mix of drama and comedy as the Quakers have to determine whether to continue to embrace their pacifist beliefs or to take up arms against General John Hunt Morgan’s Confederate cavalry during his Great Raid of the North in June-July of 1863.  When the oldest son of the Birdwell family, portrayed by Anthony Perkins in his pre-Psycho days, takes up arms, his mother, played by Dorothy McGuire is aghast, but Cooper, as Jess Birdwell, defends him.  Although he remains true to his pacifist convictions, Birdwell understands that his son is acting in obedience to his conscience, and, as he tells his wife, ” A man’s life ain’t worth a hill of beans except he lives up to his own conscience.”

 

 

8.    Major Dundee (1965)-Sam Pekinpah’s flawed, unfinished masterpiece, the film tells the fictional account of a mixed force of Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners who join forces to hunt and ultimately defeat an Apache raider, Sierra Charriba, in 1864-65.  Charlton Heston gives an outstanding performance as Major Amos Dundee, a man battling his own personal demons of a failed military career, as he commands this Union-Confederate force through northern Mexico on the trail of the Apache, with fighting often threatening to break out between the Union and Confederate soldiers.  Use of Confederate prisoners as Union soldiers in the West was not uncommon.  Six Union infantry regiments of Confederate prisoners, called “Galvanized Yankees”, served in the West.   The final section of the film involving a battle between Major Dundee’s force and French Lancers, the French occupying Mexico at the time, has always struck me as one of the best filmed combat sequences in any movie.

 

 

7.    The Horse Soldiers (1959)-In 1959 John Ford and John Wayne, in the last of their “cavalry collaborations”, made The Horse Soldiers, a film based on Harold Sinclair’s novel of the same name published in 1956, which is a wonderful fictionalized account of Grierson’s Raid. Perhaps the most daring and successful Union cavaly raid of the war, Colonel Benjamin Grierson, a former music teacher and band leader from Jacksonville, Illinois, who, after being bitten by a horse at a young age, hated horses, led from April 17-May 2, 1863 1700 Illinois and Iowa troopers through 600 miles of Confederate territory from southern Tennessee to the Union held Baton Rouge in Louisiana.  Grierson and his men ripped up railroads, burned Confederate supplies and tied down many times their number of Confederate troops and succeeded in giving Grant a valuable diversion as he began his movement against Vicksburg. John Wayne gives a fine, if surly, performance as Colonel Marlowe, the leader of the Union cavalry brigade.  William Holden as a Union surgeon serves as a foil for Wayne.  Constance Towers, as a captured Southern belle, supplies the obligatory Hollywood love interest. Overall the film isn’t a bad treatment of the raid, and the period.  I especially appreciated two scenes.  John Wayne refers to his pre-war activities as “Before this present insanity” and Constance Towers gives the following impassioned speech: Well, you Yankees and your holy principle about savin’ the Union. You’re plunderin’ pirates that’s what. Well, you think there’s no Confederate army where you’re goin’. You think our boys are asleep down here. Well, they’ll catch up to you and they’ll cut you to pieces you, you nameless, fatherless scum. I wish I could be there to see it.

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10 Responses to Top Ten Civil War Movies For The Fourth of July

  • Civl War movies on 7/4 is sort of like viewing Vietam movies on 6/6. Most appropriate one is probably Gettysburg, since it was 7/1 to 7/3.

    More appropriate movies may be Te Patriot, Jonny Tremaine, Revolution for a few.

  • I disagree with you Bob in regard to Civil War movies not being appropriate for the Fourth. In my mind the American Revolution is not simply an historical event that played out between 1775-1783. I think it is on-going throughout American history, and the Civil War was a very important event in that continuing Revolution. Both sides in the Civil War quoted the Founding Fathers, especially the Declaration of Independence, and both argued that they were fighting for liberty. At certain points in American history the American people have an argument about first principles and when they do they inevitably look to the Founding for guidance.

  • Bob, I agree 100%. I’ll stick to movies about the American Revolution.

  • Of course one thing often overlooked about the American Revolution is that it was our First Civil War, as the approximatly 20%-30% of the population that was Tory/Loyalist could affirm. A good novel on this overlooked aspect of the Revolution is Oliver Wiswell:

    http://www.amazon.com/Oliver-Wiswell-Kenneth-Lewis-Roberts/dp/0892724684

    Partisan as I am of the Patriots I thought Kenneth Roberts played fast and loose with some of the history of the time in order to portray the Loyalists in a better light, but it was interesting viewing the American Revolution from the defeated American side.

  • I’d put Andersonville in there somewhere, Don.

  • It almost made the cut Joe. I limit these lists to 10, but I could easily have had 15 top notch films on the Civil War in the list.

  • It’s a pity “Birth Of A Nation” wasn’t included in your list. It dealt with the before, during, and after aspects of the War Betwwen The States.

  • I loved Glory when I first saw it but I was disappointed to find that they besmirched the character of the real man who was the flag bearer — who was not a jerk, and who did not actually die! When people want to make a movie about a real event they should make up some of the characters, not give real peoples’ names to characters that then do things the real people did not. Sometimes Hollywood folks don’t seem to understand the difference between real people and fictional characters. It’s still a good movie, but the real story is even more interesting and I haven’t been able to think of it the same way since.

  • Jay has his Fourth of July film recommendations up at Pro Ecclesia:

    http://proecclesia.blogspot.com/

    Jay likes documentaries far more than I do, but he has some first rate ones listed regarding the American Revolution.

  • I agree Gail. A retelling of the exploits of Medal of Honor winner Sergeant William Harvey Carvey would have been a fine addition to Glory.

    “When the color sergeant was shot down, this soldier grasped the flag, led the way to the parapet, and planted the colors thereon. When the troops fell back he brought off the flag, under a fierce fire in which he was twice severely wounded.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Harvey_Carney

Preserving the Declaration

Tuesday, June 28, AD 2011

A fascinating little video on preserving the Declaration of Independence. 

It is of course very important that the physical document be preserved.  However, it is much more important that the spirit of the document be preserved.  On the Fourth of July we do not merely engage in ancestor worship.  The principles of the American Revolution, immortally set forth in the Declaration, are just as important today as they were then, and almost as controversial. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

1.  God given rights.

2.  Government deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed.

3.  A right of revolution when Government becomes destructive of God given unalienable rights.

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17 Responses to Preserving the Declaration

  • One of the myths about the Declaration is that it was adopted and signed July 4, 1776 by all members of the Continental Congress. Actually July 4 was the day the draft was voted on and on that day not all the delegates had approved it and there were no signers at all.

    One state, New York, did not even vote on it until July 9. The actual signing was even more gradual and it is quite misleading to speak of the “56 original signers of the Declaration of Independence.” By August 6 most of those whose names are on the document had signed, but at least six signatures were attached later. One signer, Thomas McKean, did not attach his name until 1781!

    Some of those who signed were not even in Congress when the Declaration was adopted, and some who voted for it in Congress never did get around to signing it. Robert R. Livingston was one of the committee of five who helped frame it; he voted for it, but he never signed it. The other members of the committee included Thomas Jefferson, who performed the actual writing, but his version was revised by Ben Franklin, John Adams and Jefferson himself before it went to Congress, which then did some editing of is own, winding up with a terser version than the expanded, wonderful language crafted by Jefferson, et al, which sets forth the theory of this new country’s government and the justification for the break in the light of the specific grievances that its people had endured.

    All of this sausage-making, of course, does not detract from the final product, which, as Don suggests, a magnificent Declaration.

    However, in the interest of historical accuracy, all those July 4 celebrations are a tad early and should really be held sometime in August. 😆

    Source: The Dictionary of Mislnformation by Tom Burnam

  • July 4 is good as any other date in regard to the Declaration process Joe and better than most. It has been hallowed by tradition and Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on the fiftieth anniversary of the Fourth, a highly unusual coincidence to say the least.

    This video has John Adams correcting the misunderstanding that the Declaration was signed on the Fourth:

  • The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade with shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

    ~ John Adams

  • One of many predictions about the future that the ever certain John Adams got wrong! 🙂

  • Well, he appears to have gotten everything else right other than the date right. The only thing he left out was the barbecue ribs, burgers, hot dogs, and beer.

    😉

  • On the Fourth of July we do not merely engage in ancestor worship.

    So you’re saying on the Fourth we do engage in ancestor worship (but not just that)? 😛

    Reading Joe Green’s post, my first thought was “Someone needs to link to that clip of Adams correcting Reubens,” but Don beat me to it! 😀

  • I admit I hadn’t watched the clip before posting. Happy Fourth, everyone! 🙂

  • “On the Fourth of July we do not merely engage in ancestor worship.”

    Ah, the limitations of the English language, or the limitations of my ability to wield it! 🙂

  • Ack! I meant “Trumball” when I wrote “Rebuens”! 😳 As Mr. Adams pointed out, the latter is definitely not the former. 😉

  • *”Reubens”! Again with the bad spelling!

  • That video clip of Barney Fife is priceless. I used to love the Andy Griffiths Show.

    Must confess, that is the first time I have read the Declaration of Independence right through.

    But there is another, and more important connection in my family to the 4th. July. It is the birthday of my youngest very beautiful grandaughter who turns 6 on Monday –
    Oh, but I have always said she is our American connection, and will teach her the Declaration of Independence. 😉 😉

  • Happy Birthday on the Fourth to your granddaughter Don! I am glad that you will teach her about the Declaration of Independence. The Founding Fathers did not intend the truths contained therein for Americans alone.

    Don Knotts was a true comedic genius and Barney Fife was his greatest creation.

    Part of my Fourth of July film viewing will be Beneath Hill 60 if it comes in the mail in time. What more American way to celebrate the Fourth than by watching a film about Aussie sappers on the Western Front in World War I!

  • May be a bit off-topic, but in the patriotic spirit, may I respectfully recommend that everyone read “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand, as well as “Devil at My Heels,” by Louis Zamperini, a still-living member of America’s Greatest Generation. Inspiring beyond words. A story of courage, resilience and, most of all, faith. (Don, a highly linkable topic some day.)

  • This is an OT, but please, please pray for my brother-in-law.

    He has had a persistent, dry cough for a month now and it is not improving with antibiotics. I am deeply frightened (as is my sister, a RN) because he sounds exactly like my mother did when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. He is 60 years old – and you have not met a kinder more generous man.

    His CT scan was scheduled for today. I have not yet heard back from my sister. I have said so many Hail Marys in the past 4 days or so.

    150 people got laid off from my place of employment today. My job was saved; I was scared that I would lose it. However, I’d gladly trade my job for my brother-in-law’s good heath if I could. Nevertheless, I pray for those who got laid off. I saw many crying people today. It was awful. And nobody will be screaming in Madison for them.

  • The Declaration was not meant to be shut up in books, forgotten, or worshiped as some sort of priceless heirloom. It was meant to be read, thought about and argued about.

    In that same vein, far be it for me to disparage Barney Fife’s effort with the Preamble to the Constitution, but the following link has to be the best exposition of it in the known universe – and I think Fred Steiner wrote the music accomanying it!

  • Well done Jonathan! Kirk the Canadian explaining the Preamble to us has been touched on before by me:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/06/30/the-omega-glory/

    I have always found it as the most moving passage in the original Trek.

Blagojevich Guilty Today on 17 Counts

Monday, June 27, AD 2011

Well, it wasn’t quite as exciting as the above courtroom scene from The Untouchables, but today Rod Blagojevich, twice elected governor of the Land of Lincoln, was found guilty on 17 counts in the Federal criminal prosecution brought against him:

  • Count 1-Wire fraud related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 2-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 3-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 4-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 5-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 6-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 7-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 8-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 9-Wire fraud related to the Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 10-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 11-Attempted extortion related to School Shakedown-NO VERDICT
  • Count 12-Attempted extortion related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 13-Bribery related to Children’s Memorial Hospital-GUILTY
  • Count 14-Extortion conspiracy related to Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 15-Bribery conspiracy related to Racing Bill-GUILTY
  • Count 16-Attempted Extortion related to Tollway Shakedown-NO VERDICT
  • Count 17-Bibery related to Tollway Shakedown-NOT GUILTY
  • Count 18-Extortion conspiracy related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 19-Attempted extortion related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
  • Count 20-Bribery conspiracy related to the Senate Seat-GUILTY
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28 Responses to Blagojevich Guilty Today on 17 Counts

  • But Donald, at least Blago will get his just deserts in prison in ways that he has previously never envisioned.

  • It is true Paul that bad Elvis impersonators do rank pretty low in the prison pecking order. 🙂

  • So much for the theory, voiced by some jury “experts,” that a female-dominated jury (11 women and one man) would take pity on him and be less likely to vote for conviction.

    Methinks in this case, however, that the women on this jury had fully functional horse hockey detectors (the same kind they use on husbands and children) which enabled them to tell when Blago was lying to them… basically every time he opened his mouth.

    Personally, I think justice will be done if he stays in prison long enough for his hair to turn gray and/or fall out.

  • “Personally, I think justice will be done if he stays in prison long enough for his hair to turn gray and/or fall out.”

    That would be poetic justice indeed Elaine! 🙂

  • Hooray. I know he has retired, but maybe Daley next.

  • Of course 0bama and Emmanuel knew nothing of this. Innocent bystanders I tell you.

  • God love him. I may disagree with Blogo on most issues but I would have voted for him. Why? He is one of the few honest politicians out there. He is only guilty of being stupid enough to voice the thought process that most politicians go though when they make decisions and appointments, i.e., How will this benefit me? How will this effect my poll numbers? Will this effect my ability to raise funds or cause others to support my opposition?

    I was listening to the Chris Mathews show on the way home from work tonight and his guests agreed that Blogo was going to do nothing different with the open Senate position than any other politician. He was just “too crass” saying it out loud.

    How true, we have now made being crass a federal offense. But I think more importantly Blogo was guilty of destroying the illusion held by the public that politicians are “public servants” and aren’t self serving SOBs who only work to consolidate more and more power.

  • No Eva, we have made engaging in criminal acts a criminal offense. Too many politicians are just as corrupt as Blago, but that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be going to prison, but that they also should be punished for their crimes.

  • Corrupt Illinois Politician Headed for Jail…this is news?

  • Don:

    Just curious. How are Blogo’s actions any different then handing out ambassadorships to your top contributors? Or, naming political opponents to plum political positions to gain their support, i.e., Hillary to State or Bush as VP. Again, if Blogo had had been more discrete and kept his mouth shut he could have gotten everything he wanted and been praised as an sure politician.

  • Meant to say “astute” politician.

  • Blago intended to profit personally from his nefarious schemes. He made that quite clear on the tapes and that is quite illegal.

    “I’ve got this thing and it’s f—— golden” and “I’m just not giving it up for … nothing.”

    Blago is an attorney, and so I assume that he knew what he was doing was illegal. If he didn’t then, he does now. Thank God he was too stupid to cover his tracks effectively as many another politician has.

  • Don:

    I understand where you are coming from; but again how does that make Blogo any different from any other politician. Let’s be honest they all use their positions to their personal profit (either direct or indirect). Blogo just spoke out loud what other politicians think. Not to be insulting, but it is somewhat naïve to think that Presidents and Governors make political appointments based upon who is the best person for the job and not based primarily upon personal political considerations, i.e., Will it help me get re-elected? Will this appointment or decision get me more political contibutions? Politicians aren’t an altruistic class.

    There are few, if any, politicians who don’t enter the political system (especially the federal system) as paupers and don’t leave as millionaires or who don’t enter the system as millionaires and leave as multi-millionaires or billionaires. There are few congressmen who after leaving office (voluntarily or involuntarily) don’t step into a nice cushy job with industry (Haliburton, Blackstone), lucrative speaking engagements before those groups that were favored by your policies or votes, or as a lobbyist. Politicians often remind me of the wicked steward in Luke 16:1-9.

  • It is as wrong Eva to say that all politicians are crooks as it is to say that all politicians are self-sacrificing statesmen in the mode of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. I tend to think that politicians overall reflect the people they come from, and if the current crop of politicians are a poor lot, they might mirror a general decline in morality, and educational standards come to think of it, over the past few decades.

    When dealing with those who wield power, it is always important to prosecute those who cross the line into illegality. As is true with all criminal prosecutions, far more escape prosecution than are prosecuted, but those who are caught deserve the full severity of the law. As for the rest, it is up to the voters to elect good men and women to public office. As long as the average voter is content to be apathetic and often shockingly ill-informed, idiots, charlatans and outright crooks will continue to be elected to high office in our nation.

  • Thanks for deleting my post, Donald. Sometimes I am an idiot. 🙁

  • There are few congressmen who after leaving office (voluntarily or involuntarily) don’t step into a nice cushy job with industry (Haliburton, Blackstone), lucrative speaking engagements before those groups that were favored by your policies or votes, or as a lobbyist.

    Last I heard, Gary Condit and his family were running an ice-cream parlor. A none too lucrative one.

  • Art:

    I guess leaving Congress under a cloud of suspicion of murdering an intern doesn’t do much for your market value. Definitely an exception and not the rule

  • …that bad Elvis impersonators do rank pretty low in the prison pecking order

    On the news item over here, the TV commentator suggested that Blago wasn’t very inclined to do Elvis’ “Jail House Rock” 😆

    (Back in my callow youth, I thought that was a great movie) 🙂

  • Elvis had his moments Don, although most of his films are better relegated to the memory hole.

  • Well, I’d feel all superior to you flatlander folks – if it wasn’t for the Wisconsin Supreme Fight Club we have goin’ up here. Justices in their golden years accused of choking each other, rushing each other with upraised fists and so on. Boy, wouldn’t you subscribe to pay-for-view to see a Prosser vs. Bradley smack down?

    Really, to all of you who are tired of Wisconsin politics – I agree wholeheartedly! I’m tired of Wisconsin politics too! I now HATE Wisconsin politics!

  • And I believe that is exactly one of the tactics Alinsky advocated – wearing down conservative folk to the point where they would simply give up.

    Well, I am tired of Wisconsin lefties, but that does not motivate me to stay at home come election day. Quite the opposite, Mr. Alinsky.

  • Each of the charges for which Blago was convicted carries a maximum prison term of 20 years, which means his theoretical maximum sentence would be more than 300 years… that must include time in purgatory 🙂

  • “Wisconsin Supreme Fight Club”

    That is hilarious Donna! In my experience appellate court and supreme court justices not uncommonly have fairly poisonous relations with some of their colleagues, but usually they are bright enough to restrict it to some tart rejoinder in an opinion. They forgot that the cardinal rule of Wisconsin Supreme Fight Club is that you do not talk about it! 🙂

  • For a Illinois politican to be indicted and convicted is not a shame, it’s a career move! LOL!

  • Talk to your kids before they get involved in Illinois politics!

  • Friends don’t let friends… run for public office in Illinois 🙂

  • Paul Simon, Charles Percy, and Richard Ogilivie. Were any of these men crooks?

  • Paul Simon was a loon but not a crook. Percy was a Rino’s Rino, but too rich to be a crook. Ogilvie was an honest man, but radically expanded the size of Illinois government during his one term in office and championed passage of the Illinois state income tax.

Captain America

Monday, June 27, AD 2011

A trailer for the Captain America movie coming out in July.  Two superheroes have managed to become symbols of the nation:  Superman and Captain America.  One of the first of the comic book heroes, Superman first appeared in 1938  and helped establish the whole concept of a superhero.  “A strange visitor from another planet with powers and abilities far beyond those of a mortal man”, Superman was a hit from his first publication and rapidly achieved fame around the globe, as World War 2 GIs carried Superman comics with them throughout World War II.

Captain America was another favorite comic of American GIs.  He first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 dated March 1941, which was actually on sale in December 1940.  It told the story of Steve Rogers, a classic 98 pound weakling, but with the heart of a lion.  A student of fine arts, he desperately wanted to fight for America in the war he saw coming against Nazi Germany, but was rejected by the Army due to his physical weakness.  He was offered an opportunity to serve his country by volunteering to be a  human guinea pig in an experiment by Dr. Josef Reinstein.  Reinstein injected him with a formula that transformed him into a perfect human specimen:  muscular, quick and agile.  He was to be the first of many volunteers who would be injected with this “super-soldier” formula, but a Nazi agent who had infiltrated the project shot Reinstein to death, before being subdued by Rogers, and therefore he would be the one and only “super-soldier”.  The first issue sold an astounding one million copies, an indication of just how popular Captain America would be with the American public.  However, not all of the public.  Writer Joe Simon and artist Jack Kirby also received hate mail and death threats from isolationists and Nazi sympathizers in the country.  I guess Captain America punching out Hitler on the cover of  issue # 1 was a clear indication of where Simon and Kirby stood as to the Third Reich.

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3 Responses to Captain America

  • I really want to go see this, but I’m worried that the American patriotism will be toned down to make it palatable to an international audience.

    The only other “summer movie” that I’m looking forward to – with some reservations – is Cowboys & Aliens. If it takes itself too seriously, I don’t think it will be good. It needs to be slightly tongue-in-cheek.

    So far, I’d say this summer was a bust, with the exception of X-Men: First Class.

  • I saw X-Men First Class which surprised me as I enjoyed it and I have hated the other X-Men movies. I am looking forward to Cowboys and Aliens also ( What a natural combination!). In regard to Captain America, it is always a mistake to predict a movie on the trailers, but I am willing to risk paying for movie tickets based on the good impression that the trailers left me with. If I am disappointed, I will make sure that TAC readers hear about it! 🙂

  • Haha. I will see both of these movies. It is wise to note that the recent Marvel movies are setting up the eventual Avengers Movie(s). That should be fun.

3 Responses to Star Trek’s Final Mission

7 Responses to Eucharistic Flash Mob

  • We need more of these…..

  • Bravo, Bravo, Bravo…Jesus Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity truly present in the Blessed Sacrament have mercy on me a sinner.

  • Wow I enjoyed that!

  • I really enjoyed this, and the litany read out loud by the 2nd friar sent chills up my spine. However, I realized that the 1st friar, the one holding up the monstrance in the center of the plaza, later stuffed it in a duffel bag and walked away with it as if it were a gym bag. I’m not sure that demonstrates the Catholic belief of Christ’s Real Presence in those who witnessed (and appreciated) the previous act. I also wonder if it’s even licit to carry it in such a way. I applaud the act itself and moreso since these friars did it in the heart of secular England, but I wonder if they may have damaged their cause and shown a lack of respect for Christ’s Real Presence during the Corpus Christi feast? Any thoughts?

  • Jesus has to ride the subway just like everybody else.

    The monk brought the monstrance in and out of the square in the most reasonable and respectful way possible. If you observe at the very end of the video, a woman tries to engage the monk in conversation while he’s leaving the square, and he waives her off. It’s clear he was serious and respectful. What would you expect him to do — build an altar?

  • “Jesus has to ride the subway just like everybody else.”

    Huh? What does this mean?

    “The monk brought the monstrance in and out of the square in the most reasonable and respectful way possible.”

    Nope, not even a little bit correct. Haven’t you seen Eucharistic processions through the streets? I used to live in Spain and witnessed a few myself. The priest is properly vested with the shoulder vestment (not sure of the name?) and carries the monstrance reverently wrapped in the vestment, not in his bare hands; often there are four faithful men carrying a beautiful canopy over the monstrance and the carrying priest; generally there are others walking in prayer before and after the priest with the monstrance, etc. I don’t know if all of those things are prescribed specifically in the GIRM, but I’ve seen it done that way every single time I’ve seen a public Eucharistic procession with a monstrance involved, except for this time. Here’s alink to a video showing such a procession around Manhattan with the CFR priests (in Harlem, no less!), as well as probably diocesan priests (the vid was created by the Archdiocese of NYC:
    http://youtu.be/NX5X2cXMh0o

    “a woman tries to engage the monk in conversation while he’s leaving the square, and he waives her off”

    I didn’t get that sense at all. Instead, I think she was briefly touching him and thanking him for his brave witness, and he waved to her to say “thank you” to her.

    I think it’s easy for us to inadvertently show a lack of reverence for Christ present in the Eucharist, and this could be one example. My point is that it is incongruous with the message we really wish to spread, that this is the Lord of the Universe physically present. I’m not saying the friars did this purposely at all, but merely that they probably didn’t think it through well before they did it.

  • Simply brilliant! I hope that The American Catholic will organize a flashmob in a major American city. Simply tell us where to go and when. Nowadays, that is all it takes. The success of social media in the recent “Arab Spring” is a testament to the power of this new age of global connectedness. [On the flip side social media made it easier for the attackers during the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack].

    I respect that Kevin in Texas points out the need for reference in how the monstrance is handled — may God bless him for his courage… even though he temporarily sucked the wind out of my sails!

    But there is a roll for all Catholics if we are to preserve everything we think is sacred about our faith. He is not unlike “The Vortex” which is relentless in its demand for accountability and spiritual perfection, even though some of their commentaries focus on what I tend to consider “spiritual minutia,” such as whether or not we should kneel when receiving the Eucharist or whether or not we should receive it directly on the tongue.

    I truly appreciate the nit picking because it forces us to reevaluate and appreciate everything we do with reference to our faith.

    This flash mob idea should be extended locally, and it should be done right.

Corpus Christi

Sunday, June 26, AD 2011

There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to so be it. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.

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Of Saint Sabina’s, Guns and Palin Derangement Syndrome

Sunday, June 26, AD 2011

For those of you fortunate enough not to live in the Land of Lincoln, or, as it is commonly known today, The State Everyone Laughs At, you may have not been familiar enough with the State and therefore thought that Cardinal George’s most recent attempt to remove Father Pfleger, or as many of us refer to him as Father “Flakey”, would have caused him to mend his ways.  Those of us who have followed Father Pfleger for decades, realized that this was merely the latest useless huffing and puffing of Cardinal George, and that Saint Sabina’s would soon return to normal, which is as a bastion of Left Wing political orthodoxy, with an exteme emphasis on race,  where Catholicism is very much an afterthought.

This was graphically demonstrated by Father Pfleger having Gary McCarthy, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new top cop, preach a “sermon” during Mass earlier this month.  Chicago has an atrocious murder rate.  It also has the strictest gun control laws in the nation.  Here are Gary McCarthy’s deep thoughts on this contradiction:

“Let’s see if we can make a connection here. Slavery. Segregation. Black codes. Jim Crow. What, what did they all have in common? Anybody getting scared? Government sponsored racism.”

“Now I want you to connect one more dot on that chain of the African American history in this country, and tell me if I’m crazy: Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms, into our urban centers across this country, that are killing our black and brown children,” he said.

McCarthy blasted the NRA, telling parishioners that their communities have paid the price while the gun manufacturers are getting “rich and living in gated communities.”

And he told an anecdote of just one night with the New York Police Department. After returning home from investigating a pair of shootings, he said he flipped on the television to relax, only to find “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” being broadcast.

“She was caribou hunting, and talking about the right to bear arms,” he said. “Why wasn’t she at the crime scene with me?”

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37 Responses to Of Saint Sabina’s, Guns and Palin Derangement Syndrome

  • Don, as the last holdout to concealed carry, Wisconsin becoming the 49th state to have just passed it, Illinois is not laughable in my opinion. I do not see how allowing citizens to carry a handgun hidden in their pants or whatever improves public safety.

    As ratified by the States, the Second reads: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Gun advocates seem to ignore the first four words.

    In fact, the original raison d’être for gun rights included the following:

    * deterring undemocratic government;
    * repelling invasion;
    * suppressing insurrection;
    * facilitating a natural right of self-defense;
    * participating in law enforcement;
    * enabling the people to organize a militia system.

    Only one had to do with the right of individual self-defense while the rest focused on collective security.

    When I lived in AZ, I kept a loaded revolver under my car seat but never in the house because my wife feared the kids would get to it. I used to plink in the desert mostly, but it was more lethal and efficient than a baseball bat should i get into an altercation of some kind. Still, there were moments of road rage that caused me to come close to menacing others who I deemed to be a threat to my safety. Once I got cut off by a bunch of Mexicans on the freeway or began waving their weapons at me. For an instant I thought I’d respond in the same way and who knows what would have happened next? But being outnumbered and outgunned I refrained from reaching for my gun and instead got off at the next exit rather than try to be a macho man.

    There came a time when I got tired of target shooting and sold the gun and never got another one.
    Perhaps in time Illinois will succumb to pressures of the NRA and join the rest of the nation in allowing concealed carry. Then maybe you won’t be laughed at so much.

  • “The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed – where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once”.

    Judge Alex Kozinski

  • The militia when the Bill of Rights was drafted Joe consisted of all adult white males in most states, and all adult males in some states. The idea that government could take away a right to bear arms from an individual law abiding citizen would have struck the Founding Fathers as bizarre.

    I haven’t shot a weapon since my Army days. I have no interest in them. However, I do like living in rural Illinois where most of my neighbors are armed, some of them quite heavily. I think it does have a negative impact on the crime rate when it is assumed that almost everyone in an area has a firearm.

  • The pictures we see today if we are looking are clear to a lot of us.

    I have never owned a gun and never had one in the house or car or in my pants. Why, because for about seventy of my years I never saw the need for one. I lived in what one would call safe neighborhoods all of my life. Yes, there were areas in every city I’ve lived in which were not as safe as mine and the local police spent most of their time and our tax dollars in those areas.
    However, having observed the gradual decline of our society over the last thirty to forty years like any other normal citizen who is the least bit concerned with his or community safety we realize two things for sure.
    One. The local police anywhere today are by numbers and fiscal constraints unable to cover adequately the responsibilities we as citizens are really expecting of them. They will tell you that today more than ever they only are able to handle the steam off the boiling crock-pot of crime in our major cities. There is no room in the jails and the courts are overloaded with cases to the extent police feel compelled to “allow” petty crime to go unnoticed. We might add that honest cops who would be watching out for us are responding to 911 calls from fast food outlets by customers upset that the restaurant is out of French fries. Get the picture?
    Two. Our federal government, now in the hands of career politicians able to assert themselves as a separate “ruling class” charged with providing our every need cradle to grave, has gradually assumed the role of our “protectors” by actually using things like the plight noted above as cover for their own protection from a public now aware of their intentions to remove (relieve us of) our freedoms and liberty and be “transformed” within a modern fundamentally changed America. They are convinced as a group of elite intelligentsia with unlimited power and benevolent compassion that we are incapable of caring for ourselves and they are duty bound to take our weapons before we are so unappreciative of their obvious plan that we should, God forbid, take action to prevent it from happening. But some still don’t get the picture.

    What is clearly disheartening to many Catholics at this very moment is we have to witness the amazing contrast in ecclesiastical maneuvers of making Pfleger even more famous by extending his reign and at the same time shutting down Fr.Corapi. A very sad picture for the church in America.

  • Well stated, Bill Sr., except it was Corapi who shut himself down not his superiors. He could have fought it out but didn’t. Now on his website there are ads to join something called “The Life Universal Church.” Jim Jones redux.

  • Joe
    I have heard many of Fr. Corapi’s sermons and lectures but I haven’t visited his website as yet. I wonder if there is such a new thing as “The Life Universal Church” will it be condemned by the Vatican or will Corapi be invited to Sunday mass along with the Muslim and their Quran as being proposed now to expound on the equality of their faith.
    I hate having to say things like this

  • “Only one had to do with the right of individual self-defense while the rest focused on collective security. ”

    1 is plenty

  • There are no collective rights, the Constitution is all about individual rights and strictly limits government power.
    Not only does the Constitution limit government it limits democracy, individual rights are protected againt the whims of popular opinion.

  • While I think there are serious problems with John Corapi’s behavior as of late, watching Fr Flagrant (a little Ann Coulter lingo there) get reinstated makes Corpai’s suspension look like an injustice on steroids. Hey, maybe you Chitown Catholics can petition the Holy See to have Bp. Mulvey installed as Abp. of Chicago. It seems at least when he suspends a priest, it actually sticks. And Fr. Pfleger can start his own ministry, Barack Lap Dog.

  • Re Bill Sr.’s remarks.

    The homicide rate in this country has declined by about 55% in the last 30 years. Currently, the Chicago municipality is suffering a rate of 16 homicides per 100,000 residents per annum. The metropolitan mean for the country as a whole in 1980 would have been around 13 per 100,000 and that for the central cities where the slums are higher still. The inner city homicide rate where I grew up peaked at 27 per 100,000 in 1993. This same report assesses it at half that, even though the inner city comprehends a smaller and poorer slice of the whole metropolis than was the case 18 years ago. Homicide rates in the five boroughs of New York City are now lower than they were in 1963. Some things have improved in this country in recent decades.

  • Art,
    Those are great stats and we should be proud of ourselves.
    Now over the same period can you give us a rundown on the abortion rates both overall and in urban areas in particular. While we’re still smiling.

  • Our household has four firearms. Three handguns and one 12 GA coach gun. For those who wish to know a coach gun is a side-by-side shotgun with a short barrel used on stage coaches for close in defense. Though it has nice IC and M chokes so can be used in the field. Don’t need accuracy when using it. Approximating the target at 40 yards is enough. Add to that a concealed weapons permit and all I can say is come and take ’em,

  • I’ll also add that our neighborhood has more than enough guns of varied types to deter any criminals.

  • Phillip that reminds me of one of my friends, a deputy sheriff, who could easily arm a squad from his personal arsenal. He is also one of the easiest going, live and let live persons I have ever met. However, he is amply prepared if he encounters people who do not share his peace loving view of life.

  • I tried to laugh, but it came out kind of choked, as I live in NY. I’ve long found it disturbing that in this state self-defense seems to be earnestly frowned upon…. non-lethal pepper sprays and stun guns are out, and knives are suspect, and handguns a trial to obtain. Even slingshots with wrist braces (which help weaker individuals to shoot with more force and accuracy) are mystifyingly forbidden by law.
    The joke is, “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” About twenty minutes away—in good weather—assuming the phone is available, and you’re not out in the woods somewhere facing down two-legged or four-legged predators. So, “facilitating a natural right of self-defense” is a very immediate, important gun right to me, and NY doesn’t “facilitate” too well.

  • Yeah, Don, trust in God but keep your powder dry.

  • That has always been my sentiment Joe, but normally we do not quote Oliver Cromwell on this blog! 🙂

  • OK, Don, I’ll bite. What do you have against Ollie?

  • OK, Don, I’ll bite. What do you have against Ollie?

    Really?

  • “I’ll bite. What do you have against Ollie?”

    Uhhh, this IS a Catholic blog, right? And beyond that, do you really need to ask an Irishman why Cromwell is persona non grata?

  • I thought Protestants were your “separated brethren.” At least that’s what the Pope says. And in Cromwell’s case, he was separated all right — literally from his head and body. Isn’t that enough revenge for you Catholics? 😕

  • Don, “…and forgive us our trespasses and those who trespass against us…”

    Ah, the blood spilled in the name of God. I suppose Charlemagne gets a pass and Pope Alexander IV who established the Office of the Inquisition within Italy in 1254. That Torquemada was a charming fellow after working hours. :mrgreen:

  • I have ancestors who were persecuted by Protestants and others who were persecuted by Catholics.
    As Christian Americans, in today’s world, we will either hang together, or we will hang separately, to paraphrase Ben Franklin.

  • Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms, into our urban centers across this country, that are killing our black and brown children,” he said.

    Did he ever get around to mentioning who was on the trigger side of those firearms? I have never heard of a federal gun law discharging a firearm.

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    You seem to draw the exact opposite meaning from that sentence than I do. You interpret the first clause to define the purpose of the latter, that is – because we need people to be in our well regulated militias, they need to have arms to serve in them. That is, the right to bear arms serves the need of the militia. Personally, I see that as bass ackwards.

    I see the first clause as explaining the that, because a militia is a necessary evil, the people need to be free to carry arms to protect themselves from the militia, should it turn on them. The right to bear arms is a protection for the people against a well regulated militia gone bad. Seems that, the founding fathers having just experienced standing armies under British rule, it would make more sense for them to intend this as a protection for the people, not a recruiting call for the army.

  • Tu Qouque is always a poor argument Joe. As for the blood spilled over religion, a popular topic for agnostics and atheists, it is a terrible thing although it no more discredits religion than blood shed to preserve a nation discredits the nation. The admonition of Christ to forgive our enemies has never been taken as a call for amnesia or a “get out of jail free card” as to justice either in this world or the next.

  • All credible research, I have seen, indicates there is a correlation (not causation) between conceal carry laws and a reduction in the crime rate: 30% lower homicide rate and 46% lower robbery rate.

    http://www.collegiatetimes.com/stories/14664/statistics-show-concealed-carry-saves-many-lives-takes-few

    The author of Freakonomics argues that backyard pools are more dangerous to children than guns. He states children under 10 years old are 100 times more likely to die in a backyard pool than from a gun related incident.

    Joe’s argument that when he carried a gun he almost used it is a reason that it is best that Joe doesn’t carry a gun. It does not speak to others carrying a gun. His argument is anecdotal evidence and policy decisions should not be made on anecdotal evidence alone. Other people have used the same argument or one very similar to it and it makes me wonder if there is some type of “talking point” memorandum propagated by the anti-gun advocates.

    Finally and most importantly to me, the Catholic Church’s position on gun control is nuanced but grounded in the protection of human life:

    “[One has] the right of legitimate defense by means of arms exists. This right can become a serious duty for those who are responsible for the lives of others, for the common good of the family or of the civil community. This right alone can justify the possession or transfer of arms”. (Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, “The International Arms Trade: an Ethical Reflection” in Origins 8 (24), 7 July 1994, p. 144).

    The Catechism states:

    “The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor…. The one is intended, the other is not.”

    Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

    If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful…. Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.

    Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.”

    Part 3, Section 2, Chapter 2, Article 5, Subsection 1, Heading 2, Paragraphs 2263-2265 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

  • Why Joe, I have nothing against Oliver Cromwell other than the following:

    1. His bloody persecution of the Church in England and Ireland.

    2. His massacres of priests and Catholic laity in Ireland.

    3. His stealing of massive amounts of Irish land from the rightful owners and giving the dispossessed Irish the choice of Hell or Connaught.

    4. The fact that in memory of all this the worst curse that any Irish man or woman can give is “The curse of Cromwell on ye!”

    Other than that, I am certain “Old Ironsides” was a fine fellow! 🙂

  • Catholic Lawyer, et al…To be clear, I am not anti-gun and my decision to give up my gun was mine alone and not meant as a template for others. Each person has to make his or her own decision. And I happily concede and indeed affirm the right of self-defense in whatever manner is necessary, whether as an individual or a nation.

    Don says, “As for the blood spilled over religion, a popular topic for agnostics and atheists, it is a terrible thing although it no more discredits religion than blood shed to preserve a nation discredits the nation.”

    The key phrase would appear to be “to preserve a nation” and must mee the following conditions, according to the U.S. Catholic Bishops, “for legitimate military defense by military force”:

    * the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
    * all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
    * there must be serious prospects of success;
    * the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power as well as the precision of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

    As you know, Augustine, Aquinas and many other leading theologians weighed in heavily on the definition and questions of what is a “just war” often disagreeing with each other. Such inquiries, then, are not confined to “agnostics and atheists” alone as you would suggest but are grist for the earnest quest for truth.

  • “but are grist for the earnest quest for truth.”

    And no more gets Oliver Cromwell off the hook for his misdeeds than any other red herring that may pop up. At any rate this is getting a few light years off target from the subject of the post, and I would request that all further comments be directed at the subject of the post.

  • Don, in that vein (or is it vain?), herewith a quote from Mario Puzo for your reaction:

    A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.

  • Mr. McCarthy needs a history lesson.

    Gun control was actually an element of Jim Crow, with Southern states passing restrictions on the right of blacks to keep and bear arms. The same was true during the antebellum period. In fact, if you read the Dredd Scott decision, it explicitly argues against treating blacks as citizens because if you did so they would have the right “to keep and carry arms wherever they went.”

    Source.

  • “A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.”

    Depends upon the lawyer and the hundred men. 🙂

  • Good answer, Don! You’re really on your game today. One of these days I’m gonna getcha though 😕

  • To Joe Green,
    Father Corapi is fighting this. He is willing to put himself in Civil court to fight the charges by the former employee. As Bill Donahue of the Catholic League as said, the American priest has less civil liberties than any segment of the United States population.
    I have been on all of Fr.Corapi’s Facebook pages for almost a year. I have never seen anyone promoting the Life Universal Church. If you are a Facebook user you would know that there are all kinds of adds on the right hand side of the page. They chaneg form each time you log on. I have had ads for Wonen ‘s Dating Services for Women, Lesbians Untied, Rainbow coalition. Am I gay-No, but if you logged on to my page you might think I am. I can click on an x by the side of it and click on an add asking not to post that particular ad. They ask do you find this offensive, uninteresting, sexually explesive, against my views, boring. Over time, and much time and clicking on ads, I have found very very few gay oriented ads on my page. Father’s pages were set up by followers of his ministty. He does have 2 that He set up and reads occasionally. As views of those pages, we cannot click on those ads. It has to be the page moderator on a group page or Father himself. I hardly think he is watching his 2 pages 24/7. I will mention it to the moderators of the page and post this on his page, hoping he reads it. Maybe he can contact Facebook. He stated on his page that he is not leaving the priesthood, not seeking lacization. He is fighting for his civil and spiritual rights.

  • Thank you Marcia
    It’s sad but not surprising that today a Catholic priest is a preferred and easy legal target with an almost automatic assumption of quilt not just for the accuser but also the mainstream media. I will stand with Father Corapi and his word and honor rather than the gleeful press thirsty for a kill.

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  • First impression is that Pfleger’s church looks more like the Jerry Springer show than any part of a Catholic mass. As a Chicago native, how far the city has fallen when they believe they have to bring in someone who by his accent sounds like he’s from New York to be Police Chief of Chicago…talk about the ultimate insult.

Stars and Stripes Forever

Saturday, June 25, AD 2011

Something for the weekend.  We are one week out from the Fourth of July weekend so Stars and Stripes Forever seems called for.  Beyond a doubt the best known composition of John Philip Sousa, it is the National March of the United States.  Sousa wrote it on Christmas Day 1896 and it proved massively popular, especially when it was played during the Spanish-American War.

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom’s shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

A “unique”, yes that is what we will call it, muppet rendition of Stars and Stripes Forever, hosted by Sam the American Eagle, who is the answer to the question, “Don, if you were a muppet, which muppet would you be?”

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Choice and Gendercide

Friday, June 24, AD 2011

Last weekend’s Wall Street Journal featured an interesting review of Mara Hvistendahl’s new book Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men. The topic is one that pro-lifers are all to familiar with — the use of sex selective abortion throughout the world which has resulted in the death of 163 million unborn girls being aborted over the last 40 years, specifically because their parents wanted a boy instead. (In other words, over and above all of the abortions going on for other reasons.) The sheer number of “missing girls” is staggering — imagine a number of women equal to the current total populations of France and the UK combined.

Mara Hvistendahl is worried about girls. Not in any political, moral or cultural sense but as an existential matter. She is right to be. In China, India and numerous other countries (both developing and developed), there are many more men than women, the result of systematic campaigns against baby girls. In “Unnatural Selection,” Ms. Hvistendahl reports on this gender imbalance: what it is, how it came to be and what it means for the future.

In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that’s as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.

Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China’s and India’s populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.

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6 Responses to Choice and Gendercide

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  • Sex-selective abortion is a problem that more stringent abortion laws and government regulations will not change, because the root of the problem is cultural. These cultures do not value their women; they are seen as inferior and undesirable when compared to sons for various reasons, many of them financial (see, for example, the use of dowries in India). If these cultures started treating their women with respect instead of as commodities, there would be less “incentive” to abort a female child, and women would be less pressured by their families to abort for this reason.

  • The British stopped suttee in the Nineteenth Century by threatening to hang those who immolated a widow on her husband’s funeral pyre. Cultures do change in the face of laws that are enforced. If one is waiting for sex selection abortions to end as a result of oriental cultures equally valuing women to men, than in regard to some of those culutures I suspect one would still be waiting when Gabriel sounds the Final Trump.

  • I understand what you are trying to say re: sati, but from what I’ve read, the practice of sati never reached epidemic proportions, and was practiced only in certain sects of Indian culture. It still occurs very rarely in India, even though there are laws against performing and even observing sati. It’s disingenuous to say that the British stopped it, and it’s not comparable to sex-selective abortion.

    “Cultures do change in the face of laws that are enforced.” I agree. But the key word is enforced. Dowries were made illegal in India in 1961. Nonetheless, due to insufficient enforcement, it’s still a common practice, to the point that women who refuse to pay dowries (or have “insufficient” dowries) can find themselves verbally and physically abused, even murdered.

    If you were to simply outlaw abortion (sex-selective or otherwise) in these countries, yes, there would be a rise in female births. However, there would also be a rise in female infanticide and neglect. An unwanted female child will not suddenly become wanted because of legislation. Education (teaching, among other things, that daughters have rights, and are valuable members of society, just like sons) is an essential factor in changing cultural attitudes, perhaps the most important one.

    Please don’t misunderstand me and think that I am advocating or approve of sex-selective abortion. But singling out and focusing on abortion over all other things is like treating a broken bone with painkillers — it’s treating a symptom and failing to deal with the reasons why it’s happening in the first place.

  • The British did stop suttee for all practical purposes. A law cannot stop all incidents of any brutal practice, but it can greatly reduce the rate of occurrence. Laws against infanticide can greatly lessen the chance that a parent will murder their child, just as the absence of such a law can mean that infanticide becomes accepted as was the case in ancient Greece and Rome. With the rise of Christianity, laws were passed against infanticide. They did not work overnight, but the incidence of infanticide was greatly reduced, and orphanages were established to care for abandoned children. Cultures rarely change by themselves until the law points the way.

    Today, advocates of abortion promote abortion as a safe and legal solution to unwanted children within the womb for any reason or no reason. In that environment I have a hard time understanding how an advocate of legal abortion can say that a sex selection abortion should not occur, while still steadfastly holding that abortion for no reason is acceptable. Once the law begins to ban certain types of abortion, then the “abortion liberty” is in danger, which is why advocates of abortion fought so hard to preserve the disguised infanticide known as partial birth abortion.

    Atheist and uber pro-abort Richard Dawkins has no problem with sex selection abortions in theory as long as the deaths are handed out even-handedly:

    “Even sex selection itself and selective abortion of early embryos is not necessarily a social evil. A society which values girls and boys equally might well include parents who aspire to at least one of each, without having too large a family. We all know families whose birth order goes girl girl girl girl boy stop. And other families of boy boy boy boy girl stop. If sex selection had been an option, wouldn’t those families have been smaller: girl boy stop, and boy girl stop? In other words, sex selection, in societies that value sexual equality, could have beneficial effects on curbing overpopulation, and could help provide parents with exactly the family balance they want.”

    http://richarddawkins.net/articles/639930-sex-selection-and-the-shortage-of-women-is-science-to-blame

    His main point is that it is the nasty religious and cultural prejudices against women of societies that are to blame rather than scientific abortion for sex selection abortions aimed exclusively at girls. He is, as usual, wrong. The problem is people believing that it is perfectly proper to kill children either in or outside the womb for any reason or no reason.

  • One would think that in a society where women are scarce, they would be treated with GREATER reverence and protection, kind of like we treat endangered species of plants and animals or rare materials like gold or jewels. Instead the opposite seems to be the case — they get treated worse, subjected to all sorts of violence, coercion and discrimination. Maybe some environmentalist group should declare Chinese and Indian women to be an endangered species? (Of course it will be a cold day in hell before that happens…)

GOP Pro-life Win in New Hampshire

Friday, June 24, AD 2011

 

One of the consequences of the Republican sweep in 2010 is that the Republicans control many state legislatures by very wide margins.  A host of pro-life legislation is making its way through these GOP chambers.  One of the latest pro-life bills to be enacted into law is a parental notification law when minors seek to have an abortion in New Hampshire.  The text of the law may be read here.

On its way to becoming a law it was vetoed by Governor John Lynch.  Lynch is a Democrat, a Catholic and a pro-abort, a combination all too common in our nation.  The veto was overridden in the New Hampshire legislature on June 22 by votes of 266-102 in the House and in the Senate 17-7.

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  • “The next time some “Catholic” shill for the party of abortion attempts to convince you that there is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans on abortion, you look them straight in the eye and call them a liar. You may place whatever adjective you please before the term liar.”

    I agree 100%, Donald.

  • Not that Repubs. are perfect but clearly there are differences of substance with Dems. I did point out on Red Cardigan’s blog the substantial voting differences between Repubs. and Dems. on abortion and called it a lie to say there were no differences between the two. She was not pleased. However, I was not calling her a liar as one has to know one is not telling the truth in order to be lying. In this case I believe she has stopped presenting this lie and is not a liar.

    This is opposed to other blogs where the truth has been pointed out and the lies continue. These people are liars.

Reveille in Washington

Thursday, June 23, AD 2011

It is easy to forget that Washington in Lincoln’s day bore little relationship to the Washington of our day. In many ways the Washington of Lincoln’s time was still a small town, ill-prepared for the avalanche of rapid growth forced on it by the War. The classic account of Washington during the Civil War is Margaret Leech’s Reveille in Washington, published, ironically, in 1941, just as Washington was about to undergo another rapid period of expansion during World War II.

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