57

A Case Can Be Made For Auschwitz!

 

 

Michael Moriarty as SS Sturmbannfuhrer (Major) Erik Dorf, in the riveting miniseries Holocaust (1978), attempts at 5:26 in the video above to convince the incredulous SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler that rather than concealing the crimes of the Holocaust the SS should stand behind them and and convince the world that the genocide of the Jews and others deemed “undesirable” by the “master race” was right and just.  He anounces to the astounded SS officers, Dorff being an attorney in civilian life, that “A case can be made for Auschwitz!”  He is speaking to mass murderers and monsters, but even they are repulsed by what he says.  They understand deep down that they have been involved in an unspeakable crime for which no excuse, no argument can possibly be made.

Would that most pro-aborts would have some such shred of moral sensibility remaining.  Alas, I am afraid that this statement of Jessica Delbalzo is much more common among pro-aborts, even if they rarely are this forthright:

I love abortion.  I don’t accept it.  I don’t view it as a necessary evil.  I embrace it.  I donate to abortion funds.  I write about how important it is to make sure that every woman has access to safe, legal abortion services.  I have bumper stickers and buttons and t-shirts proclaiming my support for reproductive freedom.  I love abortion. Continue Reading

7

George Washington Celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day

 

Throughout his life George Washington had a great deal of sympathy for the struggles of the Irish against their English rulers, seeing in those struggles a mirror for the American fight for independence.  Irish immigrants to America, Protestant and Catholic, were enthusiastic in their embrace of the American cause, and during the Revolutionary War many of the soldiers who served in the Continental Army were Irish or of Irish descent.  Therefore when General Washington heard in March 1780 that the Irish Parliament had passed free trade legislation, he issued the following general order to the Army on March 16, 1780:

The general congratulates the army on the very interesting proceedings of the parliament of Ireland and the inhabitants of that country which have been lately communicated;  not only as they appear calculated to remove those heavy and tyrannical oppressions on their trade but to restore to a brave and generous people their ancient rights and freedom and by their operations to promote the cause of America. Continue Reading

4

McClarey Polling Central

(Guest post by Don’s wife Cathy)

Don normally delegates the job of answering the home telephone to me, and so I frequently find myself stuck in the role of the “meanie” turning down phone solicitations from the umpteenth charitable group remotely related to one I sent money to a month ago.  During the past few weeks, however, as the Illinois primaries have drawn nearer, clan McClarey has increasingly been the recipient of politically-themed telephone calls.  Sometimes, such calls present themselves honestly as campaign ads for (or attack ads against) one or another candidate for state or national office.  At other times, however, I have been polled.  If the pollster hears that I’m female (and they’ve already over-sampled female registered voters for that day), or that Don blogs about politics, the poll ends very quickly.

Last night, however, asserting that I was married to a blogger wasn’t enough to shoo the pollster away.  From the way the questions were framed, it quickly became obvious that I had been contacted by a “push poll” for Mitt Romney.  I wouldn’t have minded straightforward questions about my opinion of Mr. Romney’s stands on the issues; however, many of the questions consisted of one-liner attacks against Rick Santorum, and the answer choices were either:

did they make me think much more negatively about Santorum,

somewhat more negatively about Santorum,

or not change my mind at all?

I would have liked the option of saying that a statement made me think more positively about Santorum, or that a certain assertion just plain wasn’t true; however, the pollster wasn’t equipped to deal with anything “out of the box.”  (And that “push poll” managed to ruin the retrogaming “Let’s Play” video I’d been recording for YouTube at the time of the call, too!  🙁 ) Continue Reading

28

An American Issue

Note how the Bishops in the above video indicate what a unique threat to the Catholic Church in America the Obama administration poses.  They recognize that the goal of the current administration is to strip the Bishops, through fostering a de facto schism in the Church, of their ability to stand in the way of this administration.  This is all very unprecedented in American history and all very dangerous to our concept of religious liberty enshrined in the Constitution.  The Administrative Committee of the USCCB set out what is at stake well on March 14th:

The Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, gathered for its March 2012 meeting, is strongly unified and intensely focused in its opposition to the various threats to religious freedom in our day. In our role as Bishops, we approach this question prayerfully and as pastors—concerned not only with the protection of the Church’s own institutions, but with the care of the souls of the individual faithful, and with the common good.

To address the broader range of religious liberty issues, we look forward to the upcoming publication of “A Statement on Religious Liberty,” a document of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. This document reflects on the history of religious liberty in our great Nation; surveys the current range of threats to this foundational principle; and states clearly the resolve of the Bishops to act strongly, in concert with our fellow citizens, in its defense.

One particular religious freedom issue demands our immediate attention: the now-finalized rule of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would force virtually all private health plans nationwide to provide coverage of sterilization and contraception—including abortifacient drugs—subject to an exemption for “religious employers” that is arbitrarily narrow, and to an unspecified and dubious future “accommodation” for other religious organizations that are denied the exemption.

We begin,  first, with thanks to all who have stood firmly with us in our vigorous opposition to this unjust and illegal mandate: to our brother bishops; to our clergy and religious; to our Catholic faithful; to the wonderful array of Catholic groups and institutions that enliven our civil society; to our ecumenical and interfaith allies; to women and men of all religions (or none at all); to legal scholars; and to civic leaders. It is your enthusiastic unity in defense of religious freedom that has made such a dramatic and positive impact in this historic public debate. With your continued help, we will not be divided, and we will continue forward as one.

Second, we wish to clarify what this debate is—and is not—about. This is not about access to contraception, which is ubiquitous and inexpensive, even when it is not provided by the Church’s hand and with the Church’s funds. This is not about the religious freedom of Catholics only, but also of those who recognize that their cherished beliefs may be next on the block. This is not about the Bishops’ somehow “banning contraception,” when the U.S. Supreme Court took that issue off the table two generations ago. Indeed, this is not about the Church wanting to force anybody to do anything; it is instead about the federal government forcing the Church—consisting of its faithful and all but a few of its institutions—to act against Church teachings. This is not a matter of opposition to universal health care, which has been a concern of the Bishops’ Conference since 1919, virtually at its founding. This is not a fight we want or asked for, but one forced upon us by government on its own timing. Finally, this is not a Republican or Democratic, a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American issue. Continue Reading

1

Ides of March: Brutus

This was the noblest Roman of them all:

All the conspirators, save only he,

 Did that they did in envy of great Caesar;

He, only in a general honest thought

And common good to all, made one of them.

Mark Antony referring to Brutus in Julius Caesar

I think it would have amused the Romans of Caesar’s generation if they could have learned that the assassination of Julius Caesar would eventually receive immortality through a play written more than 16 centuries after the event by a barbarian playwright in the Tin Islands that Caesar had briefly invaded.  It would have tickled their well developed concept of the ludicrous, judging from Roman comedy. Continue Reading

6

The Devil and Daniel Webster: Closing Argument to the Jury of the Damned

A scene from the classic movie, The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), based upon the short story by Stephen Vincent Benet, in which Daniel Webster bests Satan in a jury trial to save the soul of New Hampshireman Jabez Stone.   In this scene Daniel Webster addresses a jury of the damned, all villains of American history.  I have always thought this speech one of the most eloquent statements of what it means to be an American.  Go here to read the passage in  Stephen Vincet Benet’s short story.  Below is the scene as written in the screenplay: Continue Reading

5

Poor Arlen!

I know that it will sadden the readers of this blog that “Snarlin’ Arlen” Specter, former pro-abort Senator from Pennsylvania, who became a Democrat in 2009, in an unsuccessful attempt to win re-election in the Senate, complains in his memoir, according to an article in The Hill, that he didn’t get his 30 pieces of silver:

Specter laments that Obama and Vice President Biden did not do more to help him in the final days of his primary race against former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), who beat him 54 percent to 46 percent in the 2010 Pennsylvania Senate Democratic primary.

Specter writes that Obama turned down a request to campaign with him in the final days of the primary, because the president’s advisers feared he would look weak if he intervened and Specter lost.

“I realized that the president and his advisers were un-shy about supporting my candidacy after being stung by Obama’s failed rescue attempts for New Jersey governor Jon Corzine and Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley. They were reluctant to become victims of a trifecta,” he writes.

The snub was made all the more painful by Obama flying over Philadelphia en route to New York City a few days before the election and then on primary day jetting over Pittsburgh to visit a factory in Youngstown, Ohio, 22 miles from the Pennsylvania border, to promote the 2009 economic stimulus law. The painful irony for Specter is that his vote for the stimulus legislation, which was instrumental to its passage, hastened his departure from the Republican Party.

Specter was also disappointed that Biden, who was only a few blocks away at Penn University, did not attend a pre-primary day rally at the Phillies’s Citizens Bank Park — a missed opportunity Specter attributes to a failed staff-to-staff request.

Just over a year before, Obama and Biden welcomed Specter to the Democratic Party with a press conference at the White House and promised him his full support.

Specter believes Reid acted with “duplicity” while managing the party switch. Specter said Reid promised him that he would be recognized on the seniority list as a Democrat elected in 1980, but failed to deliver on it.  Continue Reading

22

The Courage of the New York Times

 

Recently the New York Times ran a Catholic bashing ad calling for Liberal Catholics to desert the Faith.  The ad was sponsored by the virulently anti-Catholic atheist group Freedom From Religion.  Go here to read a superb evisceration of the ad by Charles Lewis.

Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugged decided to submit an ad which made similar accusations, but against Islam instead of the Church.  The New York Times rejected the ad.

Bob Christie, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for the New York Times, just called me to advise me that they would be accepting my ad, but considering the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, now would not be a good time, as they did not want to enflame an already hot situation. They will be reconsidering it for publication in “a few months.” So I said to Mr. Christie, “Isn’t this the very point of the ad? If you feared the Catholics were going to attack the New York Times building, would you have run that ad?” Mr. Christie said, “I’m not here to discuss the anti-Catholic ad.” I said, “But I am, it’s the exact same ad.” He said, “No, it’s not.” I said, “I can’t believe you’re bowing to this Islamic barbarity and thuggery. I can’t believe this is the narrative. You’re not accepting my ad. You’re rejecting my ad. You can’t even say it.”

We used the same language as the anti-Catholic ad. The only difference is, ours was true and what we describe is true. The anti-Catholic ad was written by fallacious feminazis. Continue Reading

22

Cult of Obama? What Cult of Obama?

 

After a short stand off between a group of veterans and the head of the Lake County, FL Democrat Party, an American flag that had been altered to depict an image of Barack Obama in the space where the stars are normally located was taken down.

The Lake County Democratic Headquarters in Tavares has been flying two American flags outside their office.  The first an American Flag and the second the altered flag. Continue Reading

59

A Few Thoughts About Last Night

As was tweeted by a few individuals, it is remarkable that a conservative, Catholic, Republican – who largely rejects JFK’s sentiments on religion in the public square to boot – won primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.  It’s also becoming evident that exit polling means squat with regards to Rick Santorum.

Mitt Romney continues to be the weakest front-runner imaginable.  It was funny to listen to John Batchelor and his parade of insiders smugly dismiss Santorum’s victories and chat away about the inevitability of Romney’s nomination while Santorum was winning two southern states in which Romney finished third.  Yes, Romney still has an edge, and with victories in American Samoa and Hawaii Santorum’s delegate edge last night was minimal.  But Romney has far from sealed the deal.

Speaking of Romney, his gaggle of supporters truly marked themselves by their utter gracelessness in defeat.  As Mark Levin said, Romney supporters are quickly becoming as obnoxious as Ron Paul supporters.  It’s true that partisans of all of the candidates can be particularly blind to their own candidate’s faults and to exaggerate the foibles of the others, but Romney supporters in all corners of the internet have been particularly bitter and have done little to actually sway others to their side.  What might explain this phenomenon is that unlike the others, Romney voters aren’t particularly enamored with their candidate and are instead motivated by either dislike of the other candidates and/or fear that any other candidate would lose the general election.  So they don’t really have any convincing arguments to make on behalf of Romney, but instead they kick and stomp their feet every time Romney fails to win a primary.  I would suggest that calling those of us who don’t vote for Romney a bunch of hayseed hicks, and suggesting that social cons be banished from consideration this election might just not be a winning strategy.  Just saying.

As for Newt, there is absolutely no compelling reason for him to stay in this race.  He won his home state, the state neighboring his home state, and has otherwise been a distant consideration save for the states he lost last night in the south.  Rick Santorum already had a slight lead in Louisiana, and I think that last night’s victories just about clinches the state for him (though that’s a rather dangerous prediction considering the wildness of this primary season thus far).  That being said, his reasoning for staying in is not all that outrageous.  He suggested that he didn’t want Romney to concentrate all of his fire on Santorum, something I said not that long ago.  And while he has no realistic shot to win the nomination before or even during the Republican convention – is a brokered convention really going to nominate the guy with the third most delegates coming in? – he might be able to prevent Romney from securing the necessary number of delegates, and that seems to be his primary goal.  After all, not all of his supporters will switch to Santorum.  By staying in the race he is hurting Santorum, but he’s also hurting Romney by picking off a few delegates.  Take away Gingrich from last night, and both Santorum and Romney would have won more delegates.  That would have inched Romney closer to the nomination.

On the other hand, I don’t suppose Gingrich contributors are going to be all that enthused to continue propping up a candidate who has no intention of actually winning, and is instead motivated by nothing more than spite.  Also, as was discussed last night, even if Romney fails to secure the precious 1,044 delegates by the time Tampa rolls around, he’ll still be the favorite at a brokered convention if he is significantly ahead of Santorum.  There is no magical candidate that will emerge from the ashes of a brokered convention.  It’s either going to be Romney or it’s going to be Santorum.  Every delegate that Santorum doesn’t win from here until the convention is just as good as a delegate for Romney under a brokered convention scenario.  If Santorum remains fairly close in the delegate count while neither candidate has the necessary majority, then Gingrich can play kingmaker at the convention.  He would be well-advised to drop out sooner than later if he wants to achieve his twin objection of derailing Romney and having a hand in deciding the eventual nominee.

6

Of Encyclopedia Britannica and Buggywhips

I do all of my research online, and increasingly most of my reading.  However, I am one of the children of the expiring age of the book, and therefore it is with sadness that I note this story:

After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print.

Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered reference books that were once sold door-to-door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, company executives said.

In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project. Continue Reading

3

Under Southern Skies

Rick Santorum’s campaign has been truly remarkable.  From being a defeated two term Senator from Pennsylvania, on a Quixotic no cash campaign for President which no observer, including the writer of this post, thought he had any chance of doing anything with other than being an asterisk, he has become the leader of Republican conservatives opposed to the nomination of Romney, aka the Weathervane.  Last night’s dual victories in Alabama and Mississippi underlined this. Continue Reading

12

Lysistrata and the Libs

 

                                     LYSISTRATA:     There are a lot of things about us women    

  That sadden me, considering how men

See us as rascals.        

CALONICE: As indeed we are!

Apparently some liberal women are calling for a sex strike , stating that if the Government does not coerce all employers to provide health insurance policies that cover contraceptives, that somehow translates into their inability to purchase contraceptives on their own dime.  With that reasoning, I think it appropriate that they are lifting the idea of a boycott of sex from Lysistrata, a comedy by Aristophanes, that envisioned women in Athens and Sparta refusing to pay their marital debt until their men made peace.  Of course nothing like this occurred in the actual history of the Peloponnesian War, just as no one is preventing liberal women from  carrying out their project of making certain that there will be fewer of their descendants in the body politic in the years to come.  Continue Reading

8

Obama Losing Public Opinion War Over HHS Mandate

 

 

 

My favorite liberal pro-abort columnist, Mickey Kaus, is a very honest man, and will never let his ideology stand in the way of a keen analysis of the events of the day.  That is one of the reasons why I stop by each day to read his Kaus Files.  The other reasons are that he is witty and concise.  Here is his take on a recent poll in the New York Times:

Here’s what the NYT‘s story on its latest poll told readers:

In recent weeks, there has been much debate over  the government’s role in guaranteeing insurance coverage for contraception,  including for those who work for religious organizations. The poll found  that women were split as to whether health insurance plans should cover the  costs of birth control and whether employers with religious objections  should be able to opt out. [E.A.]

If the Times says women were “split,” you know that must mean they  were actually narrowly against the NYT‘s preferred position. Sure enough, when asked, “Should health insurance plans for  all employees have to cover the full cost of birth control for female employees  or should employers be able to opt out for moral or religious reasons?” women favored opting out by a 46-44 margin. The margin increased to a decisive  53-38  for “religiously affiliated employers, such as a hospital or  university.”

That’s among women. Unbeknownst to those who read only the Times‘ main story, the poll asked the same question to men. They were not split. Men  favored opting out by a 20 point margin (57 vs. 37), except when a “religiously  affiliated employer” was involved, in which case the margin increased to 25  points. Combining men and women, a substantial majority (51-40) favors  allowing an opt-out–increasing to 57-36 where religiously-affiliated  institutions are involved.

These are not close results. It’s hard to read this poll and not conclude  that, contrary to some accounts, Obama wasn’t such a genius to pick a fight over  mandated contraception coverage–because he appears to be losing the public  debate on the question. That’s a conclusion the Times story effectively  hides from readers.

It’s also one possible explanation for Obama’s otherwise somewhat mystifying  overall drop in approval during the period–March 7-11–when the poll was in the  field. But not an approved explanation.

Gas prices are the official MSM explanation. Got it? Gas  prices. Continue Reading

8

What Happened

For about five hours this morning ThePulp.it, The American Catholic, and Ignitum Today websites went down.  I want to make clear that we were not hacked, we did not get viruses planted, nothing of those natures.  What I can say is that precautions have been taken to prevent such an incident from occurring again.

I want to apologize to all our readers and visitors and affirm our dedication to providing you the content you all have expected from us on these websites.

Enjoy!

Tito Edwards

9

Bishops? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Bishops!

 

In the spirit of the Obama Worship Day at Notre Dame in 2009, Notre Dame Professor of Philosophy Gary Cutting has a recent article in the New York Times, the high worship rag for all liberal apostate Catholics, in which he explains why Catholics should not pay attention to the Bishops and the silly fuss they are making over the HHS Mandate, which, among other things, rips to shreds freedom of religion enshrined in the First Amendment.  I was going to give the article a fisking to remember, but Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, has beaten me to it:

Roman Catholics will be interested to learn that Gary Gutting, a philosophy professor at Notre Dame and someone who claims to be a Catholic, recently discovered that the Reformation is finally over and that the Protestants won:

What interests me as a philosopher — and a Catholic — is that virtually all parties to this often acrimonious debate have assumed that the bishops are right about this, that birth control is contrary to “the teachings of the Catholic Church.” The only issue is how, if at all, the government should “respect” this teaching.

Good question since Gutting thinks that Catholics have pretty much plowed it under and sowed the furrows with nuclear waste.

As critics repeatedly point out, 98 percent of sexually active American Catholic women practice birth control, and 78 percent of Catholics think a “good Catholic” can reject the bishops’ teaching on birth control.  The response from the church, however, has been that, regardless of what the majority of Catholics do and think, the church’s teaching is that birth control is morally wrong.  The church, in the inevitable phrase, “is not a democracy.”   What the church teaches is what the bishops (and, ultimately, the pope, as head of the bishops) say it does.

The bishops aren’t the boss of us!!

But is this true?  The answer requires some thought about the nature and basis of religious authority.  Ultimately the claim is that this authority derives from God.  But since we live in a human world in which God does not directly speak to us, we need to ask, Who decides that God has given, say, the Catholic bishops his authority?

Who died and made the bishops religious leaders?

It makes no sense to say that the bishops themselves can decide this, that we should accept their religious authority because they say God has given it to them.  If this were so, anyone proclaiming himself a religious authority would have to be recognized as one.  From where, then, in our democratic, secular society does such recognition properly come?  It could, in principle, come from some other authority, like the secular government.  But we have long given up the idea (“cujus regio, ejus religio”) that our government can legitimately designate the religious authority in its domain.  But if the government cannot determine religious authority, surely no lesser secular power could.  Theological experts could tell us what the bishops have taught over the centuries, but this does not tell us whether these teachings have divine authority.

Out: cujus regio, ejus religio.  In: vox populi vox dei.

In our democratic society the ultimate arbiter of religious authority is the conscience of the individual believer. It follows that there is no alternative to accepting the members of a religious group as themselves the only legitimate source of the decision to accept their leaders as authorized by God.  They may be wrong, but their judgment is answerable to no one but God.  In this sense, even the Catholic Church is a democracy.

You know that joke I like to make about how in the future, everybody, to paraphrase Andy Warhol, will be an Episcopal bishop for fifteen minutes?  As far as Gutting is concerned, every single Roman Catholic is a bishop right now. Continue Reading

17

The New First Amendment

Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem have written an op-ed in which they call upon the FCC to revoke the licences of radio stations that carry the Rush Limbaugh show.

That makes this a fitting time to inquire of his syndicator, Clear Channel Communications, whether it intends to continue supporting someone who addicts his audience to regular doses of hate speech. Clear Channel’s Premiere Radio Networks Inc., which hosts Limbaugh’s program, has defended his recent comments.

If Clear Channel won’t clean up its airways, then surely it’s time for the public to ask the FCC a basic question: Are the stations carrying Limbaugh’s show in fact using their licenses “in the public interest?”

Spectrum is a scarce government resource. Radio broadcasters are obligated to act in the public interest and serve their respective communities of license. In keeping with this obligation, individual radio listeners may complain to the FCC that Limbaugh’s radio station (and those syndicating his show) are not acting in the public interest or serving their respective communities of license by permitting such dehumanizing speech.

In the course of an op-ed calling upon the government to restrict free speech rights, the authors compare Rush Limbaugh to Joseph Goebbels.

I know that Wikipedia is not the greatest source of information, but it usually gets the basics correct.  From the article on Goebbels:

Goebbels rose to power in 1933 along with Hitler and the Nazi Party and he was appointed Propaganda Minister. One of his first acts was the burning of books rejected by the Nazis. He exerted totalitarian control over the media, arts and information in Germany.

From Webster’s dictionary:

Irony : 3 (1): incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result (2): an event or result marked by such incongruity

Fonda, Morgan, and Steinem might want to have a look at this book before taking to the keyboard again.

6

The Obama Record: Of Obama and Syphilitic Camels

 

 

Roger Kimball has a post today which sums up my views of the presidential contest this year:

I was disappointed, though, with today’s featured headline:

SHOCK POLL: ROMNEY 48% OBAMA 43%

The link is to a Rasmussen poll,  and the implication, I believe,  is that readers will be shocked at the news that  Mitt Romney is ahead. (In fact, Rasmussen reports that Rick Santorum also leads Obama, though he trails Romney.)

What is really shocking, though, is that the difference is so small. By any rational metric, Obama has presided over a national disaster. Consider how he has mishandled

* the economy (real unemployment north of 9%)

* the deficit ($1.6 trillion annually)

* the prestige of the United States abroad

* our national security

Consider also

* the looming train wreck that is ObamaCare

* Solyndra and kindred adventures in crony capitalism, emetic utopianism, and fiscal irresponsibility

* The GM “bailout,” coming to a tax bill near you (buy a Volt, get a taxpayer-subsidized break of $7000)

* the regulatory nightmare that Obama’s EPA has foisted upon American business

* the malevolent joke that is the Obama Department of Justice (Fast and Furious, the Black Panther case, etc.)

And this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. What’s shocking is not that Mitt Romney is ahead. A syphilitic camel should be ahead. What’s shocking is that the distance is only 5 points.

Assuming Mitt can hold it together, his advantage should widen. He is, after all, running against one of the most vulnerable presidents with one of the worst records in American history. Continue Reading

13

2012: An Elijah on Mount Carmel Year

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

First Kings 18:21

 

When the Supreme Court begins oral argument on ObamaCare on March 26, the White House is unveiling a new secret weapon:  Prayer.

On Wednesday, White House officials summoned dozens of leaders of nonprofit organizations that strongly back the health law to help them coordinate plans for a prayer vigil, press conferences and other events outside the court when justices hear arguments for three days beginning March 26.   

The acolytes of the South Side Messiah have long known that their strongest adversaries are among Christians who take their faith seriously.  That is why they are promoting a de facto schism in the Catholic Church, and why they have attempted to promote Sandra Fluke, that summary of all that is wrong with Jesuit run Georgetown,  as the White House sponsored symbol of an alternate magisterium for American Catholics.   Religion in this country is to be transformed into a useful auxiliary for the President, spearheaded by astroturf pro-Obama “religious” groups like the George Soros funded Catholics United and the interdenominational Faith in Public Life, and dissenters will be silenced through mockery by the mainstream media which is overwhelmingly on the side of Obama, and propaganda campaigns led by the Obama administration and its allies to undermine leaders of any denomination who do not toe the line. Continue Reading

20

Was that a fluke with a capital “F”?

 

In the wake of Sandra Fluke’s testimony before several Democrat members of Congress, Mark Steyn has written what The Motley Monk believes is a superb analysis.  It’s close to being one of those “come from behind, two outs, 1-and-2 count, bottom of the ninth inning, grand-slam homeruns” that wins the ballgame for the home team.

 

Sandra Fluke
Georgetown University Law Student

 

Steyn’s article is well worth the read.  He’s articulate, witty, and forcible, demonstrating the product of a truly liberal education: Conversancy with intellectual culture and taking no prisoners when engaging in the battle of the intellect.

Concerning Fluke’s testimony and the ensuing brouhaha, Steyn writes:

…the most basic issue here is not religious morality, individual liberty, or fiscal responsibility. It’s that a society in which middle-aged children of privilege testify before the most powerful figures in the land to demand state-enforced funding for their sex lives at a time when their government owes more money than anyone has ever owed in the history of the planet is quite simply nuts.

As good as Steyn’s analysis and economic judgment is, The Motley Monk disagrees with one point Steyn makes:

Where was I? Oh, yes. The brave middle-aged schoolgirl had the courage to stand up in public and demand that someone else pay for her sex life.

No, sorry.  Ms. Fluke didn’t demand that someone else pay for her sex life…and that’s where Rush erred egregiously.  The Motley Monk believes Ms. Fluke was demanding something much more than simplistic “economic redistributionism.”

Ms. Fluke wants taxpayers to foot the bill so that she won’t have to deal with the consequences of satiating her sexual appetite.

The Motley Monk thinks this a very big “difference with a distinction,” one to the heart of the anti-life agenda that many of those on the political left wholeheartedly embrace as dogma.

As adherents of that agenda would have it, there should be absolutely no consequences for satiating one’s sexual appetite.  And that goes so far as to include murdering an innocent human life that has been conceived but has not yet been brought to term while satiating one’s sexual appetite.

And that, The Motley Monk believes, is the significance of this flukey Congressional “hearing” and its ensuing fallout.

The Democrats who invited and hosted Ms. Fluke—especially U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi—have given a name and a face to an agenda that is not primarily about religious morality, individual liberty, or fiscal responsibility.

Important as those issues may be, the real agenda concerns Nature’s law and personal responsibility.

Left or right.  Liberal or conservative.  It matters not.  Human beings are not free to violate Nature’s laws and, then, to expect that there will be no consequences.  To quote the late-19th century American botanist Luther Burbank:

If you violate Nature’s laws you are your own prosecuting attorney, judge, jury, and       hangman.

 

 

To read Mark Steyn’s article, click on the following link:
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/293094/fluke-charade-mark-steyn

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, click on the following link:
http://themotleymonk.blogspot.com/

11

Harvard and Andrew Jackson

In 1833 the administration of Harvard decided to bestow an honorary doctorate of laws on the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson.  Many Harvard alums, looking down their noses at the rough, uncouth and ill-educated Jackson, were outraged.  None was more angry than Harvard alum John Quincy Adams who had been ousted from the presidency in the election of 1828.  Adams gave his cousin the President of Harvard an earful stating “as myself an affectionate child of our alma mater, I would not be present to witness her disgrace in conferring her highest literary honors upon a barbarian who could not write a sentence of grammar and hardly could spell his own name.” Continue Reading

3

Memoriae Positum

He leads for aye the advance,

Hope’s forlorn-hopes that plant the desperate good

For nobler Earths and days of manlier mood;

James Russell Lowell

Memoriae Positum, memory laid down.  The Latin phrase is a good short hand description of  what History accomplishes.  In 1864 the poet James Russell Lowell wrote a poem entitled Memoriae Positum in tribute to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who died heroically at age 25  leading the unsuccessful assault of the 54th Massachusetts, one of the first black Union regiments, on the Confederate stronghold of Fort Wagner at Charleston, South Carolina on July 18th, 1863.  The poem predicts that Shaw’s memory will live forever and feels sorrow only for those, unlike Shaw, who are unwilling or unable to risk all for their beliefs.  It is a poem completely out of step with the pre-dominant sentiments of our day which seem to value physical survival and enjoyment above everything else.  Here is the text of the poem: Continue Reading

34

The Great Shea-Hippolito Grudge Match

Saint Blogs can be an entertaining place, and one of the more amusing grudge matches for the past decade has been the ongoing feud between Joseph D’Hippolito and Mark Shea.  This fight has been waged on every Catholic blog imaginable.  Go here for a google search of a few of their combats.  Neither of the verbal gladiators is a stranger to bombastic language, over the top characterizations and the unending construction of straw men.  On the other hand, both are pretty good writers and have some talent at argument when they deign to do so rather than to simply vent.

Joe started the latest conflict with a post at Front Page magazine in which he mildly compares Shea and his comments on Iran to the mad poet and traitor Ezra Pound who broadcast pro-Fascist propaganda from Mussolini’s Italy during World War II.  Go here to read it.  Mark responds here  by patiently calling Joe a cold-blooded advocate for mass murder. Continue Reading

29

Surprise! Sandra Fluke Being Run From White House

 

 

 

I am sure it will come as little surprise to the regular discerning readers of The American Catholic, but Sandra Fluke, the 30 year old pro-abortion activist and third year law student, read all about her here, who attends Jesuit run Georgetown law school, and who is the frontline shock soldierette in the White House battle to impose the HHS Mandate on the nation and the Catholic Church in America, is being run from the White House.

O’Reilly went on to reveal that SKDKnickerbocker,  a PR agency whose managing director is former White House Communications  Director Anita Dunn, is now representing Fluke. Dunn is perhaps best known for  her attack on Fox News and for naming Chinese revolutionary and Communist leader Mao  Tse Tung as one of her favorite political philosophers back in 2009.

“Now, late today we found out that Ms. Fluke is now being [represented] by  the progressive PR industry SKDKnickerbocker where Anita Dunn, the former Obama  communications director is the managing [director]. Ah-ha. So this whole deal  comes back to the White House, at least indirectly.” Continue Reading

26

Sen. Landrieu’s Justification of the vote against the Blunt amendment

I sent an email urging Sen. Mary Landrieu (who says she is Catholic) to support the Blunt Amendment. Today, I got an email in response (which apparently was sent to others)

Thank you for your letter in support of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. The recent decision by the administration to require contraception coverage as a health insurance benefit has raised a number of questions and brought some difficult issues to the surface. I value your input on this important issue.
I strongly support the values and teachings of the Catholic Church, and I was one of the voices who expressed concerns about the Obama administration’s initial, ill-advised policy on this issue. On February 10th the administration modified the policy, and the revised rule, in my view, protects religious freedom and respects the rights of churches and Catholic hospitals and institutions. The compromise requires health insurance companies to provide free preventive contraceptive services if a religiously-based employer chooses not to. This compromise is supported by the Catholic Health Association, and has no effect on the conscience clause protections that currently exist for providers, which allow a Catholic doctor, for example, to refuse to write a prescription for contraception.
However, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (also known as the “Blunt amendment” after its sponsor, Senator Blunt) goes too far. It would allow any employer or insurance provider to block any service, preventive or otherwise, that is “contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the sponsor, issuer or other entity offering the plan.” This not only includes preventive birth control medication, which millions of American women rely on, but could also include transfusions, organ transplants or hospice care, which some “sponsors” may find objectionable.
I understand how sensitive this issue is, and I am very grateful for your input. There are no easy answers to these difficult questions and I appreciate you taking the time to write to me.

Continue Reading

5

They Said If I Voted for John McCain the U.S. Would Engage in Endless Middle East Conflict with No Concern for Congressional Approval

And they were right.

For those who didn’t watch the video, skip to about the 3:35 mark where Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta responds to a question about creating a no-fly zone over Syria.  He states that the administration would seek international approval and then inform Congress about its actions.

That’s right – international sanction for military action would take precedence over Congressional authority.  And that makes complete sense, because in the United States Constitution it clearly states right there in Article I, Section 8 that international bodies shall have the power to declare war and therefore bring the United States into armed conflict.

Oh.  Wait.  It’s Congress that has the power to declare war.  Silly me.  But we live in an international age, and if the Supreme Court can rely on international law in order to decide cases, then by golly the President of the United States should be able to commit American troops to armed conflict with a nice note from the U.N. or some other international body.

And at least he’ll be nice enough to let Congress know.  Maybe he’ll text Speaker Boehner about it, but only after he gets off the phone with Sandra Fluke.  Priorities.

37

I Guess it is Easier to Stack Internet Polls

Hmmm, Doctor Delusional’s campaign is wondering why they aren’t winning any caucuses or primaries:

BOISE, Idaho — Ron Paul’s top strategists are confused and frustrated that the wild enthusiasm they see at their campaign rallies and events is not translating into votes.

Thousands turned out to see the Texas congressman at events in Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota in the days before Super Tuesday. Paul said publicly and believed privately that he could win all three states outright. When the votes were counted, though, he finished third in Alaska and Idaho and second in North Dakota.

Paul may still emerge with a big chunk of delegates in the GOP nominating race, but the candidate’s much-hyped focus on caucus states has yet to yield an outright victory in any state.

This gap between dreams and reality came to a head during a Wednesday morning conference call for senior staff when the discussion turned to why the campaign keeps underperforming its own forecasts.

“They count the numbers and then they count the votes,” said Doug Wead, a Paul senior adviser who was on the call. “Did they get overconfident? … We’re digesting that.” Continue Reading

5

Here I Stand And Insult, I Can Do No Other

 

The 16th Century was the golden age of the insult.  Shakespeare is replete with eloquent examples of villification including my personal favorite:

The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon! Where got’st thou that goose look? 

One of the grandmasters of the art of the insult was Martin Luther, Doctor of Theology and heresiarch of heresiarchs.   In the age of miracles we live in, someone has at last invented the Martin Luther Insult Generator.  Now you, at your fingertips, can see the vituperation that flowed freely from the pen of the “pope” of Wittenberg.  Go here to view it.  Some sample insults:

In lying fashion you ignore what even children know!  (Somebody bring in a kid, quick!)

You reek of nothing but Lucian, and you breathe out on me the vast drunken folly of Epicurus!  (Ah for the halcyon days when first-rate insults required knowledge of ancient philosophy!)

You are worthy only to be mocked by the words of error!  (Oh, I think that words of miscommunication could also mock me on some blog days.)

You should rightly be called lawyers for asses!  (Ouch!) Continue Reading

9

Rick Santorum & the Data Behind the Catholic, Evangelical, Youth & Women’s Vote

The divide between the truth of the election results and the punditry of the mainstream media is seemingly growing every major primary election night. Perhaps none more than the recent Super Tuesday results, especially those of Ohio. How could it possibly be that Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania Senator won the youth vote, all voters under 44, and the married women vote? If one listens to the mainstream media, especially that of NBC, MSNBC and the New York Times one would think the only people voting for Rick Santorum would be rust belt pre-Vatican II ordained Catholic priests, and an amalgamation of southern characters such as Jed Clampett, Mr. Haney, as well as some assorted extras from the set of Deliverance. However, the true exit poll results tell us something quite different.

The mainstream media seemed shocked that Rick Santorum didn’t win the Catholic vote and won the Evangelical Vote as well as the others I indicated earlier; young people and married women. I want to delve into the nitty grtty of the statistics and demographics in a few paragraphs but first let me give you some background on those in the heartland who became liberals even though they grew up in GOP circles and folks like myself who became conservative after growing up in a Democratic household.

I grew up in a working class steel and railroad town in Ohio. My family, like many around us was Democrat in party affiliation and social conservative in our mindset. I was educated in Catholic schools (during the 1970s & 80s) and though it was the warm fuzzy era of Catholic education, our nuns and lay teachers never completely bought into the liberal model that was so the rage in cool, upscale areas. Continue Reading

32

Blood Boil Story of the Day

In like manner, the other pains and hardships of life will have no end or cessation on earth; for the consequences of sin are bitter and hard to bear, and they must accompany man so long as life lasts. To suffer and to endure, therefore, is the lot of humanity; let them strive as they may, no strength and no artifice will ever succeed in banishing from human life the ills and troubles which beset it. If any there are who pretend differently – who hold out to a hard-pressed people the boon of freedom from pain and trouble, an undisturbed repose, and constant enjoyment – they delude the people and impose upon them, and their lying promises will only one day bring forth evils worse than the present. Nothing is more useful than to look upon the world as it really is, and at the same time to seek elsewhere, as We have said, for the solace to its troubles.

Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum

6

The History of Presidential Primaries

This is a fairly interesting document.  It takes a look back at each of the primary battles since 1972, as well as the delegate strength score after each primary date.  The delegate strength score is an indication of the likelihood that the leading candidate is going to secure the nomination.  It’s a formula based on the number of delegates won, the number of delegates needed to win the nomination, and the number of remaining delegates.

Right now Mitt Romney’s delegate strength score is 15, which is fairly weak for this point in the process.  In the previous four seriously contested Republican presidential primaries, things were all wrapped up after Super Tuesday – technically McCain needed another week, but it was basically over after Super Tuesday.  We’re nowhere close to wrapping this thing up.

It’s also interesting to look at some of those vote totals.  Bob Dole was basically a juggernaut.  That’s right, Bob Dole. He rolled over his competition, winning almost every single contest by double digits, securing majorities or near-majorities in most states and in a fairly crowded field (albeit a field of mediocre candidates).  Even John McCain’s victory totals were fairly impressive.  While Romney’s had a few substantial wins, his pattern looks nothing like previous Republican nominees.

16

Cardinal Dolan and the “threat from within”…

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has quickly become the Church’s voice in the United States.  Not one to back off in a fight over the Church’s right to teach its faith and morals, Cardinal Dolan—the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops—wrote a letter on March 2, 2012, to the nation’s bishops.

 

Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Archbishop of New York

 

It’s a long letter, consisting of four pages, focusing upon the “religious liberty” argument the Cardinal is currently championing.  In the letter, Dolan:

  • Despite the invitation by President Barack Obama to “work out the  wrinkles,” the White House has now announced that the new regulations of the  Department of Health and Human Services have been published in the Federal  Registry.
  • At a recent meeting at the White House between the USCCB and White House staffs, “our staff members asked directly  whether the broader concerns of religious freedom—that is, revisiting the  straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off  the table. They were informed that they are.”
  • The Church is prepared to continue discussing  these matters: “But as we do so, we cannot rely on off the record promises of  fixes without deadlines and without assurances of proposals that will concretely  address the concerns in a manner that does not conflict with our principles and  teaching.”
  • “…given this climate, we have to  prepare for tough times.”

 

 

Cardinal Dolan appears to have taken to heart the promise he made when he was elevated to the role of “Prince of the Church”—to defend the Church and its teaching.  He wrote:

We have made it clear in no uncertain terms to the government that we are  not at peace with its invasive attempt to curtail the religious freedom we  cherish as Catholics and Americans. We did not ask for this fight,  but we will not run from it.

Cardinal Dolan concluded his letter stating:

…we know so  very well that religious freedom is our heritage, our legacy and our firm  belief, both as loyal Catholics and Americans. There have been many threats to  religious freedom over the decades and years, but these often came from without.  This one sadly comes from within. As our ancestors did with previous threats, we  will tirelessly defend the timeless and enduring truth of religious  freedom.

Yes, The Motley Monk would observe, what the Obama administration is doing is not just about Church teaching but, more broadly about religious freedom.  And, yes, this threat is from within.

 

 

What Cardinal Dolan doesn’t say in his letter about that particular threat, however, is that the “threat from within” has its roots deeply sunk into the Catholic Church of the United States.

With more than 70% of Catholics disagreeing with Church teaching on artificial birth control and abortion (excepting partial birth abortion), the Obama administration knows that and is cleverly using that knowledge in an effort to divide Catholics from the hierarchy with the goal of winning the majority of the Catholic vote in November.

The Motley Monk would also observe that Cardinal Dolan’s strategy may not just be religious but also political.

By not backing down in this fight, the Cardinal–intentionally or unintentionally, The Motley Monk does not know—is redirecting attention away from the pedophilia scandal and toward the intersection of religion and politics in the marketplace.  More importantly, he is providing a cheerful role model of a priest at his best—teaching the faith in good times and in bad times—that may very  well prove attractive to young men who, through their selfless service on behalf of the Church, will carry on this mission in the next generation.

 

 

To read Cardinal Dolan’s letter to the bishops, click on the following link: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Dolan-to-all-bishops-HHS.pdf

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, click on the following link: http://themotleymonk.blogspot.com/

14

Something for Everyone Tuesday

Well, all of the remaining candidates in the Republican fight for the presidential nomination had something to brag about, and to worry about, after last night.

1.  Rick Santorum:

Brag About:  Major bragging rights go to Santorum.  He battled to almost a tie in Ohio, after being outspent four to one by Mitt Romney, in a truly remarkable demonstration that fervent volunteers can largely negate a money advantage.  His wins in Oklahoma, North Dakota and  Tennessee demonstrated that where the Republican party is strongest, unless there is a substantial Mormon population., Santorum also tends to be strongest, and that he has an appeal to the Republican base that is not limited to geography.  He came in a strong second in Alaska, and weak seconds in Idaho and Massachusetts.

Worry About:  He did not win in Ohio and thus any momentum from a near defeat in the Buckeye State will be much less.   Gingrich is giving no sign that he is leaving the race and his vote totals deprive Santorum of victory after victory.

2.  Mitt Romney, a/k/a the Weathervane:

Brag About:  He dodged a bullet by winning, barely, the big prize of Ohio last night.  He won overwhelmingly in Massachusetts.  Toss in victories in Virginia, Alaska, Vermont  and Idaho and it is impossible to argue, as much as I would like to, that Super Tuesday was not a very good night for the Weathervane.  He ran a strong second in Oklahoma, and weak seconds in Tennessee, Georgia and North Dakota.  He continues to amass the most delegates and to be the clear favorite to get the nomination.

Worry About:  Unless his money mud machine is fully deployed, the Weathervane has a great deal of difficulty in winning against a strong candidate, the prime example last night being Ohio where he eked out a one point victory with only a four to one spending advantage.  His victory in Virginia, where 40% of Republicans voted for Doctor Delusional since he was the only not Romney on the ballot, is also troubling for the Weathervane as it shows the depth of the anti-Romney sentiment among rank and file Republicans in a key state in the fall, and is mirrored throughout the nation. Continue Reading

37

Voting With The Tribe

Last night found me trying to decide who to vote for in the Ohio primary, and so disillusioned with the options that not voting almost seemed tempting. Not exactly an auspicious start for my first time ever voting in a presidential primary that was still competitive. (In prior elections I had voted in Texas or California, neither a battleground state in recent primaries.)

In general, I think that Romney is likely to be most electable, but he’s been less reassuring in recent weeks — and given that the only thing I liked about his was his apparent competence that was nor reassuring.

I’d found myself quietly cheering Santorum’s victories, but not so much because I think he’s a good candidate (I think he lacks the instinct for when not to discuss a topic that only hurts him or sets him up to be mis-interpreted — a very dangerous lack in a social conservative) as because he is the candidate to which the social conservatives have gravitated and I like social conservatives.

Given my utter lack of enthusiasm for both candidates, I ended up letting that decide the matter and pull the lever (or rather, touched the screen) for Santorum. I don’t think he has much of a path to winning, and I’m not sure he’d be a better candidate than Romney, but lacking any other means to decide I wanted to throw my vote where it would strengthen the social conservative faction of the GOP when it comes to picking a VP and making other campaign decisions. And with the economy, for the moment, appearing to have bottomed too early (though I wouldn’t put it past Europe to pull us into a swirl down the drain come fall) and social issues currently taking the fore, I want the social conservative ing of the party to be as strong as possible going.

5

A prescription for authentic school reform: Parental rights and the education of their children…

When it comes to improving the nation’s failing public schools (and not every public school is failing), solutions are “a dime a dozen.”  With solutions proliferating across the nation, that ends up being a pretty sizeable chunk of change.

Then, too, research studies examining how to improve the nation’s failing schools don’t cost “a dime a dozen.”  No, they’re a veritable cottage industry, one carrying a high price tag.  “That adds up to some real dollars,” the late-Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen (R-IL) was fond of saying.

With all of that money spent and so many of the nation’s schools continuing to fail their students, The Motley Monk would suggest once again introducing one of the foundational principles of Catholic education—the “grammar of Catholic education”—namely, “parents are the first and best teachers of their children” into discourse about school reform.

The Motley Monk was delighted to read a Washington Post article detailing where parents are attempting to do just that.

welcome sign

 

Taking advantage of a 2010 California “trigger law,” parents in the Mojave Desert town of Adelanto have petitioned to take over an elementary school.  Backed by Parent Revolution, a Los  Angeles organization funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the Walton  Family Foundation, parents like Cynthia Ramirez and Doreen Diaz organized their efforts

Diaz said:

We just decided we needed to do something for our children.  If we don’t stand up and speak  for them, their future is lost.

The parents’ wish list includes:

  • a DTE principal who has full  control over hiring, firing, curriculum, and spending;
  • every teacher to possess a master’s degree;
  • a full-time librarian and among other things; and,
  • preschool classes, a longer school day, a computer lab, and clean,  and working restrooms.

 

The facts?

Diaz’s daughter attends Desert Trails Elementary (DTE).

The 666 children attending DTE are mostly Black and  Latino, with nearly every student qualifying for the federal definition of “poor.”  DTE lacks a  full-time nurse, guidance counselor, and psychologist. DTE has had three principals in the past five years.

Last year:

  • nearly 25% of students were suspended in 2011, nearly two times the district average;
  • two-thirds of students failed the state reading exam;
  • more than half of the students were not proficient  in math; and,
  • ~80%failed the science exam.

DTE has not met  state standards for six years.  Scores on state-mandated tests place DTE in the bottom 10% of  California’s schools.

No doubt, DTE is a “failing” school.

Of course, there are critics of the takeover plan and their arguments are predictable:

  • The complex challenge of educating young people may be entrusted to people who may be unprepared to meet it.
  • Parents are  circumventing the elected school board.
  • Operators of charter schools want to take over the school to line their pockets with money that should be used to educate the students.

The Motley Monk’s favorite criticism was voiced by a group of parents who are opposed to the trigger.  Backed financially by the California Teachers Association, the state’s largest teachers  union, one of these parents who has two children attending DTE, Lori Yaun, said:

We all agree we’d like to see some improvements, but would you rather blow  everything up, start from scratch and hope for better?  That doesn’t sound  very good to me.

Judging from the facts of the past 5 years and the President of the Adelanto Teachers Union, LaNita M. Dominique, Ms. Yaun better not hold her breath waiting for “some improvements” to appear.  According to Ms. Dominique:

We have a great school district, serve great kids that live in a great  community.

Authentic school reform comes down to a battle of principles.

Are parents the first and best educators of their children and educators delegated by parents to assist in the education of their children?

Or, are educators delegates of the states who tell parents what and how their children are to learn?

 

 

To read the Washington Post article, click on the following link:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/parent-trigger-school-tests-california-law-that-allows-takeover-via-petition/2012/02/23/gIQAl9gYtR_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, click on the following link:
http://themotleymonk.blogspot.com/

58

10 Most Cited Arguments in Favor of the HHS Mandate

[ed note: This is a helpful write-up of some brief arguments against the HHS mandate that a friend of mine wrote up. She allowed me to share it with you, so enjoy!]

I am a Catholic, unmarried, left-leaning centrist, female, 20-something, law student. Not only does this mean that I enjoy those oft-avoided subjects of religion and politics, it also means that no matter what the topic is, I am sure to be able to point you to an entire circle of my friends that will argue with me to the death. Very enthusiastically, in fact.

The Obama/HHS Mandate is the perfect example. Within my various circles, and across the nation, this mandate has simultaneously sparked debate about religious beliefs, Constitutional freedom, political party divides, and the issue of women’s rights, to name a few. These discussions result in recurring arguments made in support of the mandate which have a tendency to surface regardless of which issue was the catalyst of that particular debate. And so, in light of that fact, I present to you the un-official list of the ten most cited arguments made in support of the mandate, and why every one of them fails.

10.   “The Church is just opposed to universal healthcare!”

I’ve got news for you: the Catholic Church actively advocates for universal health care. In fact, the Church teaches that health care is a right, not merely a privilege, as articulated by Pope John XXIII in Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) in 1963. At an international Papal conference on health care in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI stated that it is the “moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or their ability to pay.” Want more evidence? Look no further than the Catholic Catechism (n. 2288), or the U. S. Bishops’ pastoral letter, “Economic Justice for All” (1986) (nn. 86, 90, 103, 191, 212, 230, 247, and 286.) The examples are countless, and the Church’s official teaching is clear. The issue is not that the Obama administration seeks to provide access to healthcare, the issue is that it wants to compel religiously-affiliated employers to provide health care coverage that runs counter to core doctrinal beliefs.

9.     “Contraception is used for purposes other than avoiding pregnancy, and sterilizing procedure are sometimes necessary to treat medical illness; therefore the Church has no reason to refuse to provide health care that includes contraception and sterilization for those purposes!”

It is true that the birth control pill can serve the secondary purpose of treating the symptoms of poly cystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, and even moderate to severe acne.  However, there are many medical alternatives to the pill. The Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction specializes in such alternative treatments. The Church is happy to provide health care coverage for these.  As for sterilization, suppose a woman had a hysterectomy to remove a cancerous uterus. The intention of the operation was to remove the cancer, not to sterilize her. The sterilization was an unfortunate but intended consequence. As Pope Paul VI said in Humanae Vitae, “The Church… does not at all consider illicit the use of those therapeutic means truly necessary to cure diseases of the organism, even if an impediment to procreation, which may be foreseen, should result therefrom, provided such impediment is not, for whatever motive, directly willed.”

Unfortunately, the HHS Mandate does not allow religiously affiliated businesses and organizations to provide these procedures only in these limited circumstances of medical necessity. If it did, this conversation might be different. In fact, Catholic universities that exist in states where coverage is mandatory, such as the Franciscan University of Steubenville, University of Dallas, and University of Notre Dame, provide that coverage only when medically necessary. The HHS mandate makes no exception to allow for the Church to freely exercise its religious beliefs by making this distinction.

 

8. This is more of a category of arguments that all basically say the same thing: the Church is trying to trump the Constitution. Most often phrased:

“You Catholics are trying to tear down the wall between church and state again! THAT is the Constitutional violation we should be concerned about.”

-OR-

“The Church is trying to force its belief system on everyone in the US and effectively establish Catholicism as the religion of the nation. So much for ‘Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion…’”

First of all, let’s clarify something. The phrase “separation of church and state” does not exist in the Constitution or in any of the nation’s founding documents. Rather it originated in a letter from Thomas Jefferson in response to the Danbury Baptist Association, which was concerned about the implications of the 1st Amendment on religious freedom. Reassuring the Baptist Association, Jefferson explained that the 1st Amendment effectuated a separation between church and state in order to protect religious groups from interference by the government. This foundational purpose of the Religion Clauses of the Constitution continues to be reaffirmed by the courts. In fact, the Supreme Court unanimously echoed this respect for religious autonomy less than a month ago in Hosanna-Tabor v. E.E.O.C..  In their concurring opinion, Justices Alito and Kagan noted that “[t]o safeguard this crucial autonomy, we have long recognized that the Religion Clauses protect a private sphere within which religious bodies are free to govern themselves in accordance with their own beliefs. The Constitution guarantees religious bodies ‘independence from secular control or manipulation—in short, power to decide for themselves, free from state interference, matters of church government as well as those of faith and doctrine.’”

With that said, the Church is not seeking to abolish this “separation of church and state.” In fact, in an essay written in First Things in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI, he recognized the importance of this dual autonomy. He notes that the United States, “formed on the basis of free churches, adopts a separation between church and state” and hails this as being what the early church had in mind. The Church is not seeking to eliminate the rights granted by the 1st Amendment or somehow attempting to override the Constitution and establish Catholicism as some sort of national religion. Far from it. The Church simply opposes the government’s attempt to cross that line by forcing the Church to chose between obeying the law and violating her conscious. The 1st Amendment prevents the government from forcing citizens to make this choice. Plain and simple.

7.     “Universal, free access to birth control will mean fewer unwanted pregnancies, and thus fewer abortions. The Church should be happy!”

First, birth control pills are potentially abortive in-and-of themselves because one function of several varieties of “the Pill” is to thin and shrivel the lining of the uterus so that it is unable or less able to facilitate the implantation of the newly fertilized egg. Because life begins at conception, pills that prevent a fertilized egg from implanting on the uterine wall in effect cause the abortion of that life.

But, secondly, even if we discount the unknowable number of lives lost in that manner, there is absolutely no evidence to support the claim that an increase in the use of birth control decreases the frequency of abortions. In fact, studies show just the opposite.

58% of all abortion patients were using contraception during the month when they became pregnant. Only 11% of abortion patients have never used a method of contraception. Moreover, studies have shown that once contraception is more widely available, abortion rates may actually rise. In Maryland, for example, the first state to enact a contraceptive mandate, the number of abortions rose by 1,226 the year after the mandate took effect. This holds true in several other countries as well.  A study in Spain analyzed data from 1997-2007. During the study period the overall use of contraceptive methods increased from 49.1% to 79.9%. The elective abortion rate increased from 5.52 to 11.49 per 1000 women.

By the way, this isn’t some kind of secret. Several professionals who promote and administer abortion freely acknowledge this link.  As merely one example, take these statements made by Malcom Potts, former director of Planned Parenthood of England:

  1. “As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate…”  Cambridge Evening News, 7 February 1973
  2. “…those who use contraception are more likely than those who do not to resort to induced abortion…” Abortion p. 491.
  3. “No society has controlled its fertility…without recourse to a significant number of abortions.” “Fertility Rights,” The Guardian, 25 April 1979

So in reality, there is a link between the use of contraception and the abortion rate. When the first increases, so does the latter.

6.     “The government regulates religion all the time, such as when it outlaws religious practices such as ___________. (polygamy, ceremonial human sacrifice, ‘honor killings,’ etc.) This is the same thing!”

Actually, the government does not “regulate religion all the time.” It actually continuously upholds religious autonomy. In order for the federal government to step in, there is an extremely high standard that must be met: the infringement on the religion must serve a “compelling government interest” and must implement a means that is least restrictive to religious freedom in order to achieve that interest. So looking at the examples in the argument, the Constitution guarantees American citizens the right to life itself. That easily explains how the government can prohibit human sacrifice and honor killings. As for polygamous communities, the courts have recognized indisputable links between polygamous communities and substantial, repeated harms to women and children such as incest, statutory rape and sexual assault. These harms are so egregious that the government is permitted to step in to prevent these physical harms to human life.

5.     “If Obama amends the mandate to provide a religious exemption, that will mean that an employer who is a Jehovah’s Witness could refuse to provide health care coverage for life-saving blood transfusions because doing so would run counter to his religious beliefs. That is absurd.”

Two points. First, blood-transfusions and contraception are not interchangeable. The difference here is that a blood-transfusion is a life-saving procedure, while contraception is not. The Supreme Court has continually upheld the right of the government to step in when it is necessary to preserve life (see #2 below). Obviously, contraception does not fall within this category.  Not only does contraception fail to qualify as “life-saving”, it is an elective intervention that interferes with the functioning of healthy women’s reproductive systems. Additionally, contraceptives have numerous side-effects and risks of serious complications. The side-effects of the pill include headaches, depression, decreased libido and weight gain, and serious documented complications such as heart attacks, cervical cancer and blood clots. An ongoing a class-action lawsuit against three pharmaceutical companies alleges that a form of the pill has caused death, strokes and life-threatening blood clots.

Second, even if the courts were to say blood-transfusions and contraception were equitable, no one is talking about prohibiting/outlawing these things. The Church advocates for a religious exemption from the mandate for religiously-affiliated employers. When applying for jobs, we weigh several factors to determine which job we want. What are the hours? What is the salary? Where is the job located? What does the benefits package look like?  No one is being forced to work for a religiously-affiliated employer. We, as American citizens, have every right to either (1) work for a religiously-affiliated business, and supplement our insurance if we so choose, or (2) chose to work for an employer that provides as comprehensive of a health care plan as we desire.

4.   “The controversy over the HHS Mandate is about contraception, not religious freedom.”

The Bishops have gathered in very vocal resistance to this mandate, and in doing so brought to light the Church’s opposition to contraception, sterilization and abortifaceints in order to explain how this mandate would violate the religious freedom of the Catholic Church.  So while the issue of contraception itself remains at center of the headlines, the issue really is religious freedom. “This is not a matter of whether contraception may be prohibited… [or] supported by the government…It is not a matter of ‘repackaging’ or ‘framing’ this as a religious freedom dispute. It is a matter of acknowledging the basic fact that government is forcing religious people and groups to do something that violates their consciences,” (Bishop Lori of Bridgeport, CT).

In fact, that this truly is an issue of religious freedom is evidenced by the fact that many many non-catholic, pro-contraception groups and individuals have spoken out against this mandate because of the risk it poses to religious freedom across the board. This list includes, among others, Democratsa self-defined conservative with libertarian leanings,orthodox JewsLutheransBaptistsevangelical ProtestantsAnglicans, andnondenominational organizations.

3.     “Religiously-affiliated businesses receive millions of dollars in Federal funding, therefore the government has every right to impose regulations on those businesses.  If the Church doesn’t want to be regulated, it should stay out of the business-sector altogether.”

Bishop Lori responded to this argument best in saying: “We don’t get a handout. We have a contract for services, and we deliver them. … We bring the generosity of the Catholic people, and we bring volunteers. When you contract with the Church, you get a bang for your buck.” If religious organizations, particularly Catholic organizations, were forced to shut down due to regulations such as the HHS mandate, this country would be astounded by the results. The Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students every day, at a cost of $10 billion a year to parents and parishes. If there were no Catholic schools, these same students would have to be educated in public schools, which would cost $18 billion to American taxpayers. In secondary education alone, the Church has more than 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students. In terms of health care, the Church has a non-profit hospital system comprising of 637 hospitals which treat one in five patients in the United States every day. Every city and town benefits from Catholic organizations. In Chicago alone, there are hundreds of Catholic organizations that serve the needs of that city. One of those is Catholic Charities which provides 2.2 million free meals to the hungry and needy each year. That is 6,027 meals a day, in one city.  Does anyone really have any desire to see what our nation (and our taxes) would look like without these businesses and the services they provide?

2.     “The church is trying to interfere with women’s rights!”

As Cardinal Dolan has noted, “the Church hardly needs to be lectured about health care for women.  Thanks mostly to our Sisters, the Church is the largest private provider of health care for women and their babies in the country…. [I]n New York State, Fidelis, the Medicare/Medicaid insurance provider, owned by the Church, consistently receives top ratings for its quality of service to women and children.”

When right are granted to you by your governing nation, you expect them to provide it. Your children have a right to an education, and thus the right to attend public school at no additional cost. You do not march up to the main office at a private school and demand that they let your child in, free of charge, because they have a right to an education. Similarly, if you cannot afford to put food on your table, you have a right to ask the government to provide for you through welfare, but you don’t have the right to walk into a restaurant and demand that they feed you.  The government can and should provide access to health care for all citizens, but that requires actually providing it, not shifting the responsibility to private employers. The Obama Administration has decided that women employees have the right to health care coverage that provides contraception. The problem with the government forcing business-owners to provide that “right” to society is that the scope of governmental authority is limited by the rights and freedoms that protect individual business owners. If the administration really wants to provide comprehensive, universal health care, it needs to do so itself without involving private entities.

1.      “98% of Catholics don’t abide by this core doctrine of the Catholic faith; therefore, it should not be entitled to First Amendment protection.”

First and foremost, that statistic is absurd. Seriously, 98%?  I am with Glenn Back on this one, “I mean, when your poll looks like the results from a Saddam Hussein election, you know you have problems.” Among other issues, the study that touts this statistic doesn’t include: anyone who isn’t a Catholic woman between the ages of 14-44, anyone who is pregnant, anyone who gave birth recently, anyone who hadn’t had sex in the past three months, anyone trying to get pregnant or was indifferent to getting pregnant, anyone having sex and trying to avoid pregnancy without implementing a specific contraception method. It did, however, include self-identified Catholics who listed their church attendance rate as less than once a month, or never. Actually, 2 in every 5 of those polled fell into this category. But I digress.

Even if 98% of Catholics used contraception, that fact would have no bearing whatsoever on the fact that the doctrinal beliefs and teachings of the Catholic faith have never wavered on this issue, a fact that illustrates the strength and conviction of the Church. As one Evangelical Lutheran put it, “That a Roman Pontiff would lead the opposition – often painfully alone – to contraception at the end of the twentieth century is no small irony. Perhaps the Catholic hierarchy model, reserving final decisions on matters of faith and morals to a bishop whom Catholics believe is the successor of Peter, has proved more resilient in the face of modernity than the Protestant reliance on individual conscious and democratic church governance.”

The Church’s beliefs are clear. Whether or not individuals choose to disobey the Church’s directives does not change the fact that “the First Amendment stands tightly closed against any governmental regulation of religious beliefs.” (Stated in the Supreme Court’s 8-1 Johnson v. Robisondecision.)

45

Jesuitical 13: Rush and Georgetown

Part 13 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.  Georgetown University, founded in 1789, is the oldest Jesuit college in the United States.  Last week it found itself at the center of the debate over the HHS Mandate.  How the powers that be at Georgetown reacted to all of this is instructive.

On February 16, 2012 Representative Darrell Issa (R. CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on the ramifications of the HHS Mandate in regard to religious freedom.  Democrats had the opportunity to present witnesses.  Initially they were going to have Barry Lynn, a Methodist minister and Leftist political activist, and head of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, but for some reason that fell through for the Democrats.  They then proposed Sandra Fluke, identified as a third year law student at Georgetown.  Issa refused to allow her to testify on the grounds that she wasn’t testifying about the religious liberty issue but rather about a perceived need for contraception.  The Democrats, who realized that they were in trouble on the religious liberty issue, used this as an argument against the hearings, arguing that women were banned from the hearings as speakers.  This was a lie, as there were two panels which testified in opposition to the Mandate at the hearing.  The second panel included Dr. Allison Garrett and Dr.  Laura Champion who testified as to the dangers that the HHS Mandate poses to religious liberty.

On February 23, 2012, Nancy Pelosi (D.CA), minority leader, organized a Democrats only “hearing” at which Sandra Fluke gave her testimony.  Go here to read that testimony.  Among other statements she said that in three years contraceptives could cost a law student three grand.

The idea that someone at Georgetown Law School, an elite school that costs over 50k a year to attend, was crying poverty over the alleged cost of $1,000.00 a year, a sum about $800-$900 too high in relationship to the actual cost, to make illicit whoopee has its comedic possibilities, and this was  seized upon by Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday February 29:

What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps. (interruption) The johns? We would be the johns? No! We’re not the johns. (interruption) Yeah, that’s right. Pimp’s not the right word. Okay, so she’s not a slut. She’s “round heeled.” I take it back.

This caused an uproar and on Thursday March 1, John J. DeGioia, the first lay President of Georgetown, released this statement: Continue Reading

12

Newt Refuses to Play By Mainstream Media Rules on HHS Mandate

Hattip to commenter Chris for pointing this out to me.  Newt Gingrich is a flawed candidate, but when it comes to standing up to the Mainstream Media, and refusing to allow them to set the terms of the debate over issues, he is in a class by himself.  In the video above, he takes David Gregory apart on Meet the Press today, refusing to allow Gregory to frame the debate, dishonestly, as access to contraception rather than as an assault on religious liberty.  Newt recognizes that the Mainstream Media is almost entirely an unpaid arm of the Democrat party.  He knows that they are adversaries and he treats them accordingly.  All Republicans and conservatives:  look and learn! Continue Reading

8

Lincoln Our Contemporary

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjEEZx1CuP8&feature=related

 

 

“Many free countries have lost their liberty, and ours may lose hers; but if she shall, be it my proudest plume, not that I was the last to desert, but that I never deserted her. I know that the great volcano at Washington, aroused and directed by the evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption in a current broad and deep, which is sweeping with frightful velocity over the whole length and breadth of the land, bidding fair to leave unscathed no green spot or living thing; while on its bosom are riding, like demons on the waves of hell, the imps of that evil spirit, and fiendishly taunting all those who dare resist its destroying course with the hopelessness of their effort;  and, knowing this, I cannot deny that all may be swept away. Broken by it I, too, may be; bow to it I never will. Continue Reading

39

The White House Hopes For Schism

Timothy Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York has been a leader in the fight against the HHS Mandate.  Below is an update that he gave on the current status of that battle this week.  His remarks are fascinating on several grounds.  Here are a few observations:

1.  Schism.  The Cardinal believes that the White House is attempting to take advantage of a de facto schism in the Church in America and render the opposition of the Bishops harmless.  “Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent hardly-surprising but terribly unfortunate editorial in America.  The White House seems to think we bishops are hopelessly out of touch with our people, and with those whom the White House now has nominated as official Catholic teachers.”  Some of us have of course seen this coming for a very long time, symbolized by the Obama day of worship at Notre Dame’s commencement in 2009.  The Obama administration hopes to create their own de facto version of a “Patriotic Catholic Association” here in the US, completely subservient to the administration.

2. Religious Liberty.  The Cardinal understands the gravity of this attack on religious liberty.  And it is not just about sterilization, abortifacients, and chemical contraception.  Pure and simple, it’s about religious freedom, the sacred right, protected by our constitution, of any Church to define its own teaching and ministry.  This of course is all about Obama’s goal of making the Catholic Church in this country harmless to his ambitions, ambitions I am beginning to fear even his most ardent opponents do not truly comprehend yet.

3.   Shocked, Shocked.  Obama’s word is meaningless.  When the President announced on January 20th that the choking mandates from HHS would remain — a shock to me, since he had personally assured me that he would do nothing to impede the good work of the Church in health care, education, and charity, and that he considered the protection of conscience a sacred duty — not only you, but men and women of every faith, or none at all, rallied in protest.   Frankly I am shocked that the Cardinal was shocked, but better wise late than never.

4.  Litigation–  The Cardinal believes that the HHS Mandate can be beaten in the courts.  And the courts offer the most light.  In the recent Hosanna-Tabor ruling, the Supreme Court unanimously and enthusiastically defended the right of a Church to define its own ministry and services, a dramatic rebuff to the administration, but one apparently unheeded by the White House.  Thus, our bishops’ conference and many individual religious entities are working with some top-notch law firms who have told us they feel so strongly about this that they will represent us pro-bonoThis of course underlines one of the many reasons it is essential to defeat Obama in November.  Another four years would give him probably at least two more supreme court appointments and hundreds of lower federal court appointments.

The Bishops I think, at least the vast majority of them, are now awake to the danger posed to the Catholic Church by the Obama administration.  It is therefore a great pity that too many of them, and their predecessors, over the years, allowed underlings in the Church bureaucracy to continue to have the Catholic Church in this country act as the Democrat party at prayer, and thereby helped foster an attitude of casual indifference, or active approval, as that party embraced position after position directly contrary to Catholic teaching and thus lull most Catholics into the belief that none of this was important when it came to them casting their ballot.  The canonization   funeral Mass given to Teddy Kennedy was a prime example that members of the hierarchy in this country shared fully in this attitude.  These ecclesiastics have sown the wind and now we are all reaping the whirlwind.

Here is the statement of the Cardinal: Continue Reading

13

Witchita Lineman

Something for the weekend.  Witchita Lineman, the signature song of Glen Campbell, written by Jimmy Webb.  If you were alive in 1968 in the United States it was impossible not to have heard this song played endlessly.  I would not say that I like or dislike the song, but rather that it became imprinted upon my 11 year old unconscious that year and has stayed with me ever since.  However, the real reason that I am posting it is due to the classic filksong parody, which I have always been very fond of: Continue Reading

3

Thanks For Proving Our Point

Rush Limbaugh is famous for “demonstrating absurdity by being absurd.”  His satire works because it usually exposes the ridiculousness of the thing being satired.  Unfortunately for Missouri Democrat Stacey Newman, she doesn’t quite understand that satire doesn’t really work when it highlights your side’s stupidity.

A Missouri House member frustrated with recent legislative debates over birth control and reproductive health is proposing to restrict vasectomies.

Legislation sponsored by Democrat Stacey Newman would allow vasectomies only when necessary to protect a man from serious injury or death. Vasectomies would have to be performed in a hospital, ambulatory surgery center or health facility licensed by the state Department of Health and Senior Services.

The Missouri House last week approved a resolution objecting to the federal health care law and a requirement that most employers or insurers cover contraceptives.

Newman, who’s from St. Louis County, says that such issues affect women the most. She says men also must make family planning decisions.

This is priceless, and for a number of reasons, but three spring immediately to mind.

On the obvious level this doesn’t work because her bill doesn’t mirror the debate that is taking place.  Just about no person is actually seeking to ban contraceptives; rather we are simply fighting attempts to mandate that all employers grant insurance coverage for contraceptives, even when they have moral objections to contraception.  So it fails on a literal level.

Second, to the extent that there would be people interested in restricting access to birth control for moral reasons, they almost certainly would also support a ban on vasectomies.  Guess what Ms. Newman, the Catholic Church is no keener on vasectomies than it is on artificial birth control.  So if you were hoping to shame people into dropping their opposition to birth control, they would only hop aboard your bandwagon.  So that’s your second fail.

Finally, the legislation itself highlights the fundamental problem with the HHS mandate.  Leaving aside the issue of religious liberty, what is disturbing about the mandate is that the federal government is decreeing what is and, by logical extension, what is not to be covered by health insurance.  Who is the government to dictate to insurers what they cover?  A government big and powerful enough to make these decisions is certainly powerful enough to restrict access to certain procedures.  So by introducing this bill, you’re actually proving the fundamental point that opponents of the HHS mandate specifically, and Obamacare in general, have been making.  Yet another fail for you.  But your failure is our success, so thanks.

16

Weakness and The Truth

“Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil.  For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore, take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day and to stand in all things perfect”  Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesian 6: 11-13

 

Mr. Voris is exactly right.  The American bishops are asking for a fight after having failed to feed, train and arm their military.  There is no way a single letter, as well intentioned and necessary as it is, read from the pulpit on a single Sunday, urging us to call our elected representatives, is going to save our freedoms and protect our right to practice the faith that Christ handed to us.  It will not help catechize the silly young woman mentioned in the Real Catholic video, nor will it educate the nation as to why the Church teaches abortion, artificial contraception and sterilization are evils.

I hate to say this but in many ways the bishops almost deserve to be ignored. Truth be told, they have lost an immense amount of respect among the devout laity (the non-devout obviously having no respect for them). This is not a loss of respect for the position,  but for the men and the way they hold it; weak and timidly.  The result is a wasteland of liberalism and heresy that is to be found in so many parishes across our nation.  Now, after having the President of the US attempt to force them into committing mortal sin, they want the help of those few who actually believe, practice and uphold the faith to come to the rescue. Continue Reading

28

Shenanigans in Michigan

Despite losing by three percentage points in Michigan on Tuesday night, Rick Santorum could claim a small moral victory.  Because Michigan awards its delegates proportionally, Santorum and Mitt Romney walked away with 15 delegates each.

Or so we all thought.

Well lo and behold the Michigan Republican establishment got together and made sure that didn’t happen.

On a 4-2 vote, the Michigan GOP’s credentials committee met Wednesday night and awarded both of the state’s at-large voting delegates to the party’s national convention to Romney — who won the popular vote 41%-38% over his chief rival, Rick Santorum.

Based on earlier explanations to reporters and the campaigns that the party’s rules said the at-large delegates would be awarded proportionally, it had been expected that each candidate would get one at-large delegate.

. . .

Saul Anuzis, one of six members of the credentials committee, said the credentials committee voted in early February to award both at-large delegates to the winner of the popular vote.

Republican Party spokesman Matt Frendewey said he didn’t do a good job explaining the rules to reporters.

“I just didn’t explain it clearly enough,” he said.

You see it was all just a big misunderstanding.  They always meant to award both at-large delegates to the winner of the popular vote.  Nothing to see here.  The native son won after all.  Have fun in Ohio.

Unfortunately for Anuzis (who at one point came close to heading the RNC), not all Romney supporters are this dishonest.

Not to former Attorney General Mike Cox, a member of the committee, who said the vote doesn’t pass the smell test.

“I have this crazy idea that you follow the rules,” Cox said. “I’d love to give the at-large delegates to Mitt Romney, but our rules provide for strict apportionment.”

Cox supported Romney and even acted as a surrogate for the candidate on several occasions during the last three weeks. He was one of two “no” votes Wednesday night — along with attorney Eric Doster. Voting for the distribution of delegates to Romney were party Chairman Bobby Schostak, Anuzis, party Co-chairwoman Sharon Wise and party official Bill Runco.

Cox figures the issue will become moot when Romney does well on Super Tuesday, when 10 states hold primaries and caucuses next week.

“But this niff-nawing over one delegate doesn’t help him,” Cox said.

He acknowledges that there was discussion of giving the popular-vote winner both at-large delegates, but that it didn’t get written into the rules.

Obviously Mr. Cox’s ears must have had a typo during that discussion.

So we have further proof that Mitt Romney is such an incredibly awesome hurricane of a candidate that party insiders have to change the rules post facto in order to give him a victory in his native state.

One would like to think that by now Romney and company have done enough to repel any Republican voter from even considering voting for Romney.  HA!  Romney now commands a 16-point lead according to Rasmussen, and has all but erased Rick Santorum’s lead in Ohio, and now leads in Washington state.

I don’t know what to say.  In light of the events that transpired yesterday I made a vow that I was no longer going to hector those whom I normally agree with about this election.  It doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to try and do everything in my power to help Santorum get the nomination, but I’m done banging my head against the wall.  It is what it is.

 

2

Andrew Breitbart Addresses Students for Life

At C-PAC on January 10, 2012 Andrew Breitbart, who died today, explains how he became pro-life.  Brietbart always understood that the struggle over the culture was more important that the political battles, although they were very important.  Adopted as an infant, and the father of four kids, Breitbart understood how the pro-abort dominance of the arts and entertainment helps sustain the pro-abort cause.  Something for us all to remember and to work to change.

19

Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

Shocking news as one of the most tenacious fighters of the conservative movement has died this morning.  This from his Big Journalism site.

Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles.

We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior.

Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love.

Please keep him and his family in your prayers.