A Better Life Than Julia’s

Wednesday, June 20, AD 2012


Another fine, and timelyecon 101 video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.

This is a response to the daft Obama campaign’s Life of Julia, that hymn to life as a government serf.  The truth is that in this life you have to depend upon God, yourself and, if you are lucky, your family.  Government assistance must exist for people who cannot take care of themselves, but as a way of life for those who can, it is soul destroying, trapping us, at best, in a permanent status of child-like dependence on the State, a dependence that is increasingly precarious as governments sink under the burden of unsustainable spending.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to A Better Life Than Julia’s

  • TRUTH.

    “God helps those that help themselves.”

    The welfare state rewards and fosters bad behavior; and each generation of state dependents grows more numerous and more miserable.

  • Emily comes across as cold and as isolated as Julia, and maybe a touch more smug. At least she doesn’t produce a government-financed kid along the way, who disappears as soon as he can get into day care.

  • When people aren’t living off my dime I tend to be fairly tolerant of foibles that I am not required to pay for.

  • I cannot find the cite but thought it was one of the books in Asimov’s Foundation or related series where in the robots obey the three laws and protect humans so well that humans are not allowed to do anything that might “endanger” them. Humans are slowly dying out and the robots cannot understand why. This is how I imagine government taking care of us – so stifling that in the end it kills us all.

    I do not what to discuss the problems with Asimov and his writings/theories/views but wanted to address the problem with unintended consequences and what happens to man when you protect him “too much”.

    I know the original Star Trek series seemed to have this theme in many of its episodes.

    Ophs, I think my geek/nerd is showing!

  • Independence of government is not that easy to achieve,

    I am the latest in a long line of Scottish peasant farmers, which one might imagine provides me with a life of sturdy independence. Nothing could be further from the truth. Regulations, quotas and subsidies mean that I am, to all intents and purposes, a government functionary, managing my quota of land on behalf of the state or, rather, the European Union. I understand the position in the United States is not dissimilar.

    I supplement my income by practicing as an advocate, both here and in France. As such, I benefit from the exclusive right of audience before the courts that the state grants to members of the Faculty of Advocates or the Barreau de Paris – Effectively, a Trade Union closed-shop.

    Financial dependence on the state is by no means the preserve of the underclass.

  • “Financial dependence on the state is by no means the preserve of the underclass.”

    Perhaps revolution is in order – turn the thieves out on their hind ends.

  • CatholicLawyer: Right author, wrong book. You refer to “I, Robot.”

  • I am waiting for when my generation will the ones in diplomatic positions, my general expectation is a bunch of incompitant people who decide things based on barbaric whims I hope that means they won’t have a functioning military to stop me from taking over DelMarVa mwahahaha.

Are vouchers for Catholic schools the answer?

Tuesday, June 19, AD 2012

Consider the following statistics:

  • Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago saw enrollment increase 3% in 2012 and 1% in 2011—the first two-year period of growth since 1965.  Archdiocese of Boston elementary schools had a 2% bump—the first in two decades.  The Archdioceses of Los Angeles and Indianapolis and the Diocese of Bridgeport (CN) also increased in student population for the first time in a very long time.
  • Since 2000, U.S. Catholic school enrollment has plummeted by 23% and 1.9k schools have closed.  However, the rate of decline in the number of Catholic schools has slowed.  In 2012, 2M students attended Catholic schools, down 1.7% from 2011, but less than the average yearly decline of 2.5% since 2000.

The Wall Street Journal suggests that much of this growth is due to the increasing availability of vouchers, which ease the financial burden on parents of sending their kids to non-public schools. 

For example:

  • Vouchers are currently available in 10 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Virginia, Florida, and Louisiana each created or expanded voucher or tax credit programs in the last 18 months.
  • Indiana boasts the largest voucher system in the nation.  More than 2.4k students have transferred from public schools to private Catholic schools since the program began last year.

Perhaps this “success” is for entirely the wrong reason.

While voucher programs may have “breathed new life” into Catholic schools while simultaneously offering students the opportunity to receive a superior education, are those schools decidedly Catholic?  And if it is claimed they are, how so?

Let’s try a couple of “not’s”:

  • A good private school that calls itself Catholic isn’t a Catholic school.
  • A good private school that offers a generic or optional Christian religion curriculum isn’t a Catholic school.
  • A good private school that doesn’t immerse students in the faith and its practice isn’t a Catholic school.
  • A good private school whose faculty, administration, and staff don’t believe what the Church teaches isn’t a Catholic school. 

Then, let’s try a couple “what’s”:

  • A Catholic school is one whose faculty, administration, and staff view their work as a vocation and collaborate together in the ministry of providing young people an integral education—mind and soul—as that is informed by Church teaching.
  • A Catholic school is one whose students grow in love of God and neighbor through the practice of the Sacraments and communal prayer.
  • A Catholic school is one where students learn about the Catholic religion and appreciate its role in salvation history.

The Motley Monk would rather there be no “quasi” Catholic schools than an increase in good private schools that masquerade as Catholic, take government money, and in the process, erode the important and distinctive mission of Catholic education.



To read the Wall Street Journal article, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, click on the following link:

Continue reading...

28 Responses to Are vouchers for Catholic schools the answer?

  • Much of the religion taught in Catholic schools in Europe is of the kind beautifully satirised by Mgr Ronald Knox as “Public School” (i.e. English boarding school) religion:

    “I think, then, it should be said at the outset that public schools are trying to teach the sons of gentlemen a religion in which their mothers believe, and their fathers would like to: a religion without ” enthusiasm ” in the old sense, reserved in its self-expression, calculated to reinforce morality, chivalry, and the sense of truth, providing comfort in times of distress and a glow of contentment in declining years; supernatural in its nominal doctrines, yet on the whole rationalistic in its mode of approaching God: tolerant of other people’s tenets, yet sincere about its own, regular in church-going, generous to charities, ready to put up with the defects of the local clergyman. This religion the schoolmaster is under contract to teach; it is left to him, if he be a sincere Christian, to attempt the grafting onto this stock of supernatural graces which it does not naturally develop: self-sacrifice, lively devotion, worthy reception of the Communion, and so on . That is the proposition.”

  • “The Motley Monk would rather there be no “quasi” Catholic schools than an increase in good private schools that masquerade as Catholic”

    Yes, as would most of us. The tougher question is are we better off with some quasi Catholic schools getting students who otherwise would be thrown to the secular, union, wolves at the Government run quasi “schools”.

  • My children go to a small Catholic school in Indiana. We have gotten some “voucher” kids in the previous year – which simply means they have come for the non-Catholic benefits of our school. I am thrilled about it. Our school is unapologetically Catholic, so bringing children and families into that atmosphere is a tremendous witness to the faith. It is a way to reach souls that may have otherwise been unreachable. True, some may never convert. But I am certain some who will be wandering through adulthood will eventually have fond memories of their Catholic school experience, and that will eventually bring them home to the Catholic faith. Of course, it is only a benefit when the administrators are strong Catholics, and ours seem to be.

  • During my junior year in college, I volunteered to help teach CCD at a large and
    well-off parish near campus. I was assigned to teach a class of high-school kids,
    most of whom had spent their entire academic careers in Catholic schools. They
    were good kids, and I presume their parents were anxious to see them receive an
    education in the fundamentals of the Faith– hence their continued enrollment in CCD.

    I was amazed by the ignorance these good kids had of even the fundamentals
    of their Catholic patrimony.

    They’d never heard mention of the Real Presence, and were puzzled and amazed that
    it was a part of the Faith. Some were dubious that I wasn’t pulling their legs– after
    all, wouldn’t they have heard of it before? When I asked the class to raise their hand
    if they believed Jesus to be a man but not God, half the hands in the room went up.
    ‘God, but not man’ got most of the other hands. ‘Both God and man’ saw only one
    hand raised.

    The teacher’s manual I’d been given was awful. Meaningful content was nil. Lots of
    instruction to gather in circles and share. Our first day was supposed to be devoted
    to selecting a rock to decorate and gather ’round, as it was to symbolize Christ. The
    lesson plans did not improve from there on…

    I was never asked for a progress report by the DRE. I never had a parent ask me how
    their kid was doing in CCD. I never saw or heard of a priest quizzing kids on material
    that they should have mastered. Not only was the religious education program of this
    large, wealthy parish with its three priests and deacon, liturgist and DRE an abject
    failure, but it also sucked the air out of the room for any nearby school that might
    actually have tried to pass on the Faith.

  • Pingback: TUESDAY AFTERNOON EDITION | Big Pulpit
  • 1950, more than a half century ago, when I attended a Catholic High School, really Catholic and lovely, there were many Protestants? Who knows, nobody asked, enrolled by their parents who wanted a better education for them. Their parents asked that they not be required to attend religion classes, and they were exempt. They were beautiful individuals, smarter, better looking and probably better than the lot of us. There were countless nuns and four priests from my class alone. The tuition was $60.00 per year. The school closed. The tuition was over $4,000.00 per year, grammar and high, when it closed.
    Next door to me are two brothers, both Methodists, who attended the local Catholic High school for the basketball sports that the public school did not offer. I do not know if they opted out of the religion classes, but they are the most wonderful of neighbors.
    My brother teaches at the high school level with the metal detectors in place which detect two or more guns per week.
    It appears that even the National Education Teachers Unions have lost control over their business, and attending classes in public school is often life-threatening. My own daughter has had Japanese stars thrown at her during recess, razor sharp discs that cut to kill. Hello, school is for learning. If the public schools are for learning and the students are not learning, the word “school” ought to be removed from their title. If vouchers can redeem the tax money earmarked for education, they better do it post haste.
    In addition, the government mandates that children be “educated” until the age of 16 years in most states. Vouchers is the parents’ Right to Choose and accomplishes what the public ones do not. The government mandates EDUCATION, not public school. Nowhere is there a government mandate for public school. Vouchers give the child an EDUCATION, what the government has mandated, FOR OUR TAX DOLLARS.

  • The problem with vouchers is that they are government/taxpyaer dollars and that (can) mean government control. They won’t call it control but “oversight.” Must make sure the taxpayers dollars are well spent. Many Catholics lament that Catholic Charities/Catholic Family Services have been bullied into helping gays adopt or risk their funding cut. I don’t see much difference here. Yes, the money goes to the parent and the parent chooses a school; but what if the government decides that only “approved” schools (say, ones that follow the State’s mandated comprehensive sex-ed curriculum) can get vouchers?

  • That’s why the best solution is a tax credit where this business of oversight and spending “government money” goes away.

    Until then however vouchers are a halfway measure to help the least among us while also breaking the unconscionable monopolistic stranglehold that government unions like the NEA have on our society.

  • I agree with DJ Hesselius. That is my biggest worry about vouchers. The local Catholic school gets used to the easy money from them, then the government passes some requirements that essentially make it impossible for them to remain open and still be Catholic. I believe something similar has happened in England.

    As for the amount of religion in a Catholic school, I think schools should offer the solid fundamentals of the faith. That might be different in an inner city school with few Catholic students. Perhaps that school should model themselves as a mission rather than a usual parish school. I attended a protestant school with mandatory religion classes and daily chapel services. Everyone took had to go, even Jews, Hindus, Catholics, etc. I think we were all better for it.

  • Paul D: I think the best solution is 1) eliminate compulsory education 2) eliminate tax payer funding of education 3) eliminate any and all attempts at social engineering via the tax code. Let the market sort it out. I am not sure, however, people are really ready for that concept. Vouchers and tax credits might be a temporary solution, but as Mrs. Zummo said, there is the danger the Church schools could get “hooked” on government monies. I am not up on what is going on in England currently, but the Church getting hooked on government monies has happened before, and the results for the Church were not good: http://www.mackinac.org/3461

    Even with tax credits you may potentially have to jumpt hoops: income guidelines, etc. With our children’s Education IRAs, we are allowed to pull some funds for certain education expenses (one son’s laptop–which will be used more for entertainment than education) because he goes to a brick and mortar school, but not for other education expenses (other son’s math book–trust me, his algebra book has no entertainment value!) because he is homeschooled. I see no reason why tax credits couldn’t be treated the same as vouchers–you can only get the tax credit if the school follows XYZ guidelines.

  • DJ Hesselius
    “Paul D: I think the best solution is 1) eliminate compulsory education 2) eliminate tax payer funding of education 3) eliminate any and all attempts at social engineering via the tax code. Let the market sort it out.”
    4) reduce taxes by the amount necessary to educate ones’ children. Not a tax credit, but an across the board reduction in taxes.
    Also, if the government mandates an education, government gets to fund the mandate.

  • DJ, those goals sound laudable to me. But you are right that the public is not ready to buy into such reforms. The liberal educational establishment has destroyed multiple generations and it would take a miracle to reverse the trend.

  • So let’s break this down. The USCCB and certain bishops over the years have advocated the literal tyranny of taxing the so-called rich (which happens to include most of the middle class who struggle to send their kids to Catholic schools and colleges). We tax the “rich”, federal and state, in the 40% range to waste on government handouts to every pitiful lobby group imaginable. We as Catholics then advocate/beg/implore/lobby so that the government gives some of that tax money back to be used for tuition. Stop, think, analyze. Economics is simply the observation and data collection of fundamental behaviors. Taking someone’s money so that the government hopefully gives some back is a perverted view of our freedoms. If we advocate true freedom, and economic behavior is a quantifiable reflection of freedom, then there would be no need for this nonsense. Let people keep their own money and decide. Freedom is uncomfortable to some people….until they truly taste it.

    You want the enrollment in Catholic schools to rise—lower tax rates, let people decide, and let us Catholics have the freedom to use our money for our kids tuition, or heaven forbid, trust us Catholics to give/donate that extra money (that being the money the government doesn’t take) to subsidize our schools. Ask and we give….we are Catholics afterall.

  • “A good private school whose faculty, administration, and staff don’t believe what the Church teaches isn’t a Catholic school. ”
    Then there are very VERY few Catholic elementary or high schools left in the country.

  • D J Hesselius

    You do not understand the rationale of Public Education. Jules Ferry, the 19th century architect of public education was simply more honest than most politicians, when he said that its object was to cast the the whole of the country’s youth in the same mold and to stamp it, like the coinage, with the image of the Republic [jeter la jeunesse dans le même moule, la frapper, comme une monnaie, à l’effigie de la République] Universal conscription was seen as furthering the same object.

    Ferry is seen as a sort of secular saint by the Left, which is curious, given that he was the minister of Thiers during the liquidation of the Paris Commune and the theoretician of colonialism in Algeria. He was, however, a ferocious anti-clerical, so all is forgiven.

    The state exercises effective control over the independent sector, by prescribing the syllabus of the public examinations, which operate quite as effectively as the Test Acts to exclude dissenters from government service and the learned professions.

  • The first thing Uncle Hitler did was remove the Jews from teaching positions. Einstein came to America.

    “Taking someone’s money so that the government hopefully gives some back is a perverted view of our freedoms.”

    “Who will give you what is yours?”
    Sshh. The Catholic teaching nuns are quietly and slowly regrouping. I was taught Thomas Aquinas in the second and third grades by the Felician nuns, and the Baltimore Catechism. The idea that children are too young or uneducable to learn Aquinas, Catholicism and music is subversive and un-American, prohibited in kindergarten, while transgenderism, cantraception and communism are taught is the lie.

  • The real problem is that the Church bureaucracy has decided to run parochial schools as “private” schools and not as an institution critical for the education of young Catholics. The doctrinal issues are merely a symptom of the real problem.

    What is often overlooked is that so many of these schools are financed through tuition and not directly by the parish and diocese. The “good large Catholic family” who is very open to life may find themselves unable to afford Catholic schools for their Catholic children, while a less devout Catholic (or non-Catholic) would be able to more easily afford them.

    And no, Catholic homeschooling is NOT the answer. Our faith is too universal and community oriented for that to be a long term ideal. (Homeschooling fits far better with evangelical “me ‘n’ Jesus” Protestantism than Catholic beliefs.)

  • Mary D: Yes, I suppose I should have explicitly mentioned the lowering of the tax rates, and I had that in mind when I said to stop the social engineering stuff via the tax code. But really, it isn’t even just that–its all the other taxes (tax on fuel, medicines, in some places on food, types of property, telecommunications, etc.) And then there is the costs associated with regulations. I live in one of those “minimum portfolio standards” States that says we have to have X% of our energy production come from “renewable energy” sources. Gosh darn, our electrical and heating bills went up, not down, like they said they would. They are somewhat higher than in neighbor states without the standards. All these things eat away at the family budget.

    Michael P: Yes, I am aware of what you mention. Not all the details though–I’ve heard of Dewey of course, but not Jules Ferry.

  • Jim: homeschooling works just fine even for Catholics. I confess I’m not that “community oriented” but there is a local Catholic group that gets together for all sorts of things–field trips, Mass, St. Nicholas parties, co-op classes, etc. I do not understand the mentality that insists that Catholic parents must send their children to “other education” as I call it–be it Parochial, public, charter, private, etc. I have a child who attends a private Christian (Protestant) school part time. (A large Baptist church school also offers part time enrollment.) Ideally, my child could go part time to one of the local Parochial schools, but that is not an option. Full time or not at all seems to be the rule.

  • DJ Hesselius: I know, I just needed to spell it out. What are the chances of sending the tuition bill to the Superintendant of Schools and the local school board? It is the local school board that saves money when a child is home schooled or enters a Catholic or private school? The local school board knows how much it costs to educate a child and they know how much they save when they do not have to edcate a child.

  • Mary: I am not entirely sure I understand your last post.

    In our State, it is the State that pays the local district to educate the children. Back in ’93, the State Leg passed a bill to eliminate property taxes as the source of funding for the schools. Now it is State sales tax and Lotto that pay for the majority of it, with a very small amount amount coming from property taxes. There has been much, much lamenting over enrollment declines in some areas–school counts make the paper every year. The State saves money the fewer children that are enrolled in the public system, but the local school boards consider any child that leaves their district–be it for homeschooling, another public school district (very common in my area), charter, parochial, etc.–a loss of income. The a couple of the local districts actually advertise in the paper for parents to enroll children in their district.

  • And no, Catholic homeschooling is NOT the answer. Our faith is too universal and community oriented for that to be a long term ideal. (Homeschooling fits far better with evangelical “me ‘n’ Jesus” Protestantism than Catholic beliefs.)


    Well, unless our parish school’s tuition comes down substantially OR the state decides to give me my property tax money back Catholic homeschooling is the only answer for my family. I only have two children and simply cannot afford to send them to the parish school. My husband makes too much money for us to qualify for financial assistance but we don’t make enough to cover over $5K per student per year (and no there’s no discount for additional kids, so with my two we’d be paying over $11k per year) in tuition to the local Catholic elementary/middle school. The closest Catholic high school is $10K per student per year and, again, no multiple child discount PLUS $150 a month per child to ride the school bus (because the school is 30 miles away) so we’d be out over $20K a year when my kids, who are three years apart, reach that level. On the other hand, I can keep my kids out of the local public school (that just had several aids and administrators arrested for perpetrating and covering up child molestation and a child pornography operation with 9-year-old girls at the school) and teach them myself with the Seton home study curriculum for less than $1k a year for both kids together. That’s a HUGE difference.

    As far as vouchers go, the comment earlier about the state interfering in the curriculum is a valid concern, in my experience. This past year we had our oldest in the VPK program where the state (Florida, where they approved vouchers but only for the VPK program, not K-12) gives a voucher to the school of choice (so long as its approved by the state) and your child goes for a half day of PreK. We used the voucher to send our son to the parish school for PreK and promptly found out that his class wasn’t allowed to pray, have religion lessons, or attend mass or other religious oriented activities because the state would pull the voucher funding. They were also subject to all sorts of random inspections, were required to completely change their early childhood curriculum to match the program the public schools use, and we’re overall subjected to much harsher standards than the public schools. Ironically enough, the inspector commented about halfway through the year to our PreK teacher that this class was leaps and bounds ahead of where the public preschool classes were. Yet we got all that extra scrutiny because they have to be absolutely positive that public funds weren’t going to unapproved lessons or activities.

    In short, it was a nightmare and even if they approved vouchers for K-12 tomorrow we would not use them because I want my child to get a *Catholic* education and the Catholic part was eliminated entirely once the state monies were involved.

  • DJ Hesselius: Let the school board submit the tuition bill to the state for reimbursment.
    Mandy P. I know of a case where the teacher slapped a student in the face, the parents sued and the student was enrolled in a Muslim Academy in another state at the school board’s expense.
    If parents sued the school board for having removed God from the public schools, from the students’ right to know “their Creator”, the school board will be forced to pay tuition to Catholic schools. Vouchers is what this is really all about. Giving students and parents the freedom to acknowledge “their constitutional Creator” in private school but refusing to allow the students and parents their freedom of religion and conscience. Let us hope this structure of evil domination is deconstructed at least as surely as our freedom of religon has been deconstructed by the atheist. Columbia, whose statue rides atop the capitol building in Washington, D.C. has become an evil dominatrix.

  • The law dictates an education for children up to the age of sixteen. The law does not dictate a “public school” education. If a school is accedited and I am sure they all are, some are even given awards for being above the best, there need be no state inspectors dictating or denying the execise of our religious freedom. If your child has NOT been educated up to par with Catholic schools, time to sue for civil rights. I know one case where the teacher refused to let the students go to the bathroom and students were getting sick. The parents formed a class action lawsuit. Promises, promises. Let the school board provide tuition to Catholic school. They ordered it, they want it their way, let them pay for it. The state ought to fund education to every student, but if they must be forced, force them.

  • The Ninth Circut court in California told parents who objected to the curriculum, that “once your child crosses the threshhold of the school, you no longer have anything to say. They belong to us”. Legal kidnapping of minor children.
    Every atheist, abortionist, pornographer has got his way by lawsuit in the courts. It is time to take our courts back. It is time to take our children back. It is time to take our constitutional posterity and their inheritance of unalienable rights back, legally, through the courts.
    If the state has accredited your school, that is all the reason they need to approve vouchers. Public money like the public square is for “WE, the people”

  • Mary D: So, you are serious that I submit my children’s private school bill (the youngest goes to a reading tutor) to the local school board (or, in our case, the State Board of Ed)?

    I think I prefer my plan: stop government mandates, stop compulsory ed, stop the public funding of education, etc, etc.

    Considering the mountains of debt we have piled on us, this may in fact become a reality, even if the laws on the books dictate otherwise. I’ve already had one dedicated public school mom ask for for curriculum advice in case AN EMERGENCY should happen, and she has to take over the education of her children.

  • DJ Hesselius: Public school has become indoctrination. If our chidren have not been educated to their grade level, this is grounds for lawsuit. Those in power will blame the child and then the parents for sending their child to school to be educated. Currently, public school does not want children who need to be taught, but demand from the students’ parents children who already know everything. Your plan: “I think I prefer my plan: stop government mandates, stop compulsory ed, stop the public funding of education, etc, etc.” needs to have a curriculum for educating students. To bring back the nuns would be wonderful. Your plan is workable as long as our children are rightfully educated.

  • And…who is to decide the correct or rightful education for our children? That’s the issue. Not everyone agrees on what is “correct” or “right.”

68 Responses to Too Bad It Can’t Fit on a Bumper Sticker

  • Too bad it can’t fit on a bumper sticker.

  • Suggestion: make paper copies and put them on the windshields of parked cars which sport the COEXIST number sticker. That’ll get the point across.

    Liberal. Progressive. Democrat! That’s what this “COEXIST” is all about.

  • Christians “pose no threat to the others” – Unless one happens to be a Muslim in the Balkans or the Caucuses, a Jew or Gay, pretty well anywhere East of the Vistula or anyone at all who encounters the Lord’s Resistance Army – Unless one subscribes to the “No true Scotsman” fallacy.

  • <Unless one happens to be a Muslim in the Balkans or the Caucuses

    Muslim persecution in the Balkans????

    Orthodox Christian Serbs in Kosovo are being terribly persecuted. Also to a lesser extent Catholic Croats in Bosnia and it’s not “sectarian”. Its religious based jihad. Muslims enjoy broad power throughout Bosnia and rule with an iron fist in Kosovo.

    In Bosnia the Muslim population is actively trying to force out Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats.

    The relatively new country of Macedonia is dealing with a militant Albanian Muslim population because they want another pure Muslim country.

    a Jew or Gay, pretty well anywhere East of the Vistula

    Ow yes, because Jewish and gay people are so well tolerated in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Sudan and other Islamic countries…..

  • Unless one happens to be a Muslim in the Balkans or the Caucuses, a Jew or Gay, pretty well anywhere East of the Vistula or anyone at all who encounters the Lord’s Resistance Army – Unless one subscribes to the “No true Scotsman” fallacy.

    It is not a fallacy, Michael. The “Lord’s Resistance Army” is a bizarre heretical sect that has no analogue anywhere else but the small swatches of Uganda and adjacent areas where it has operated.

    There are only about 200,000 Jews currently resident east of the Vistula and it is doubtful that the 6% or so of Russia’s population who are religiously observant constitute much of a threat to them. Of course, there used to be many more, but these cleared out of Soviet Russia or were massacred by Nazi Germany and allies.

  • It’s a fallacy to use the “no true scotsman” fallacy to describe the exclusion of the LRA from the Christian category.

    People can call themselves whatever they like. If there’s no objective, minimum criteria by which to determine who belongs in what category, then we may as well stop using words to describe things altogether.

  • I also object to the whole poster. There’s no such thing as “gay rights.” There are gay demands.

  • “Unless one happens to be a Muslim in the Balkans or the Caucuses, a Jew or Gay, pretty well anywhere East of the Vistula or anyone at all who encounters the Lord’s Resistance Army – Unless one subscribes to the “No true Scotsman” fallacy.”

    I believe MPS the reference was to the United States where these bumper stickers are not infrequently found on cars of the self-annointed enlightened. As for the remainder of the globe, Islam has the distiction in the modern world of managing to produce a civilization that almost always has unfriendly relations with any unIslamic culture that it encounters, a fact that people who slap coexist bumper stickers on their vehicles tend to studiously ignore.

  • It’s come down to his: That all the wisdom of the world be placed on a bumper sticker. It took Thomas Aquinas three huge volumes in Summa Theologica (and he never finished it) to sort out the mysteries of life. Now we can have it all summed up in a few sentences. Wonderful. Next up: The 66 books of the Bible condensed on the back of a cereal box.

  • Unless one happens to be a Muslim in the Balkans or the Caucuses, a Jew or Gay,

    The Balkans and the Caucasus (like Ulster) are places where confessional distinctions also demarcate ethnic and national loyalties.

    I think the experience of the Occidental world in the last forty-odd years suggests that if homosexuality is not kept in check by social custom and public policy (which may or may not include provisions in the penal code) it turns metastatic.

  • “The 66 books of the Bible condensed on the back of a cereal box.”

    Actually, the Protestant Bible has 66. Martin Luther ejected 7 from the Bible: Wisdom, Sirach, Tobit, Judith, Baruch, and 1st and 2nd Maccabees. So the Bible has 73 books (and includes the Greek portions of Daniel and Esther that Martin Luther also rejected).

  • Lord’s Resistance Army

    Including that as a knock against Christianity is a rather good sign that you’re reaching and/or blowing smoke. It’s about as Christian as voodoo- and for similar reasons, what with borrowing vocab and sometimes symbols to describe the existing religion.

    It’s like trying to shove the “no true scotsman” thing to include a local basketball team whose mascot wears a kilt. “But they’re called the Scots! If you deny that THEY are true Scotsmen, then you’re just accepting the No True Scotsman fallacy!”

    Joe Green –
    I believe it has been condensed down to a single word:

  • Even a cursory review of the Wikipedia entry on the LRA would have revealed to Michael Paterson-Seymour that there is little if anything Christian about it:

    “Ideologically, the group is a syncretic mix of African mysticism, Acholi nationalism, Islam, and Christian fundamentalism. It claims to be establishing a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments and local Acholi tradition.”

    I suspect that like most anti-Christian people, Michael Paterson-Seymour is far more attached to liberal progressive atheistic ideology than to truth. Such anti-Christian ideologues – Robespierre, Calles, Stalin, Mao, etc. – have been guilty of the most heinous and murderous crimes against humanity. Whether Michael Paterson-Seymour’s ideology runs as deeply as Plutarco Calles’ or Josef Stalin’s remains to be seen.

  • Joe Green –
    I believe it has been condensed down to a single word:
    God is Love, without God there is no Love. Ask the devil to love you? Love God and your neighbor as yourself. God’s commands and the prophets’.

  • Mary, God and the Beatles must have been in sync.

  • “You Can’t Coexist With A Rattlesnake” fits nicely on a bumper sticker.

    Here’s a bumper sticker I like, “Defend Freedom – Defeat Obama.”

  • Some of my favorite bumper stickers:

    We are born naked, wet, and hungry. Then things get worse.

    Pride is what we have. Vanity is what others have.

    The more people I meet, the more I like my dog.

  • “Ow yes, because Jewish and gay people are so well tolerated in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Sudan and other Islamic countries…..”

    But they do not identify as Christians, whereas a remarkable number of Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians and Baltic Slavs do. One rather suspects that, in not a few cases, their Orthodoxy is not unlike the Catholic Atheism of Charles Maurras and the more educated mambers of l’Action Française, but their views pn Jews and gays are traditional enough, Even among the highly cultured habitués of the Paris Exarchate [the Evlogy or Rue Daru Connection] many tend to depict the Russian Revolution as the work of “cosmopolitan, anti-Christian elements,” which one rather suspects is a periphrasis for “Jewish”

    As for the Balkans, in Bulgaria, it is the literature of the small religious parties (Orthodox) that has the engaging habit of referring to their Muslim fellow-citizens as “Turks” and that hint at some form of repatriation. It would be fanciful to suggest that such attitudes are uncommon in Serbia or Macedonia.

  • LRA is a distraction from this discussion I think. LRA is not a major world religion or movement or philosophy that actually appeals to lots of people.
    The categories mentioned are not a Threat to others– except for Islam because of their imperative to convert or kill us.
    As I understand it, some of the other violence between religious groups and cultural groups is not explained as growing out of their religious beliefs strictly speaking, but arise because of cultural and economic factors; generational traditions even of hate and distrust– And sinfulness all the way around.
    But not religious doctrine…only Islam.

  • The merit of the message “Coexist?”
    I read it again more carefully. Gosh sometimes I’m slow. So…the author is saying the symbol word Coexist blames intolerance on Christians and the author thinks Christian religion is falsely blamed here.
    and I think Michael thinks Christians are a threat to others. Maybe so, but not because of their religion, maybe because of economic or other issues.
    I agree there is no such thing as “gay rights”.
    Gay men and lesbians do have a right to life, and Islam would kill them as infidels along with Jews and Christians and all the other nom Islamists.
    Pacifists – whether Jewish, Christian, Gay, Pagan, Taoists are not tolerated by Islam because the all those categories are summed up as infidel.
    Islam can kill gays, Jews and Christians. I don’t understand why the author even mentions pacifists who support islam– sort of an oxymoron.

    It is an attention getting bumper sticker though

  • But they do not identify as Christians

    No, they regard themselves as Muslims and speak out openly against Jews and gay people. Much more so than any Christians in Russia, Ukraine or Belarus do.

    As for the Balkans, in Bulgaria, it is the literature of the small religious parties (Orthodox) that has the engaging habit of referring to their Muslim fellow-citizens as “Turks”

    If Bulgarians use the term “Turk” as a derogatoy term I do not know, but I suspect in some cases it is so and unfortunate. It is an obvious reference to the occupation and brutality inflicted on Bulgaria by the Ottoman empire.

    The fact is in Bulgaria the forced conversion of Christians to Islam is still a deep wound. In addition many of the Muslims in Bulgaria (not all) feel a greater kinship to Turkey than Bulgaria.

    Bringing up the Balkans, Caucuses or Bulgaria as a “one liner” doesn’t do justice to the history and struggles of those people during the invasion and occupation by the Ottoman empire and it’s aftermath. Whether its Serbs, Bulgarians or other Christians in those areas history has been re-written and they have been defamed and painted the “bad-guys” in our western media.

  • Joe the Beatles didn’t know true love.

  • The co-exist group is incredibly ignorant and disrespectful in the way that they can’t recognise the distinction between Pagans, Catholics, Dualists, Muslims, and Rabbinic Jews.

  • Michael considering what the Muslim Turks did in Europe for 300 hundred years I would not hesitate to call Muslims Turks. Muslims for 300 hundred years before the Crusades oppresed much of Europe as well as North Africa and Jerusalem. The Crusades were multiple attempts to keep Muslims from killing Catholic and Eastern Orthodox pilgrims which happened often.

  • Also most Muslims in Germany at least are Turkish.

  • Michael The Catholics and Eastern Orthodox get killed all over the place in the Orient and Central Asia There are tonnes of Church bombings in Iraq, Eastern Orthodox people in Russia get death threats from Muslims and Croats and Serbs have to deal with all sorts of crap from Bosnians who have this insatiable hate for Serbs.

  • BonChamps don’t let the Devil words of others dissuade you from language.

  • I know we can just change so called “gay rights” on the poster to “irrational pride wants to be cool to”.

  • Anzlyne wrote “As I understand it, some of the other violence between religious groups and cultural groups is not explained as growing out of their religious beliefs strictly speaking, but arise because of cultural and economic factors; generational traditions even of hate and distrust– And sinfulness all the way around.”

    That is certainly true. I was merely arguing that Christians are not exempt from this tendency, which appears to be a perennial temptation. I am often struck by a rather amusing example of the way in which old prejudices mutate to survive. In France, where I spend a lot of time, highly cultured young Catholics including priests and religious, can be found, vicariously repenting the perceived anti-semitism of their forebears, only to indulge in a revamped version of it themselves. For them, Evil is represented by the Unholy Trinity of the United States/Israel/the West, all Virtue being embodied in the “dominated and the oppressed,” of whom the Palestinians have become the emblem. Thus, the old stereotypes are recycled, such as the rich Jew and the dominating Jew, all under a varnish of progressivism. The Jew is once more the stand-in for capitalism, imperialism, cosmopolitanism, indeed the whole economic order they detest.

  • In France, where I spend a lot of time, highly cultured young Catholics including priests and religious, can be found, vicariously repenting the perceived anti-semitism of their forebears, only to indulge in a revamped version of it themselves. For them, Evil is represented by the Unholy Trinity of the United States/Israel/the West, all Virtue being embodied in the “dominated and the oppressed

    France is France. Even so, I am skeptical. I think if you want to understand a similar phenomenon in this country you might read Thomas Sowell’s Vision of the Anointed or Paul Hollandar’s Political Pilgrims or some of Steven Sailer’s recent writings on “leapfrogging loyalties”. I think if you really got into the foetid space inside their heads, you would discover that Israel-bashers suffer not one whit from religious or cultural anti-Semitism, and that is as true among soi-disant Catholics as any other sort of Israel-basher. Their political commentary is an exercise in self-aggrandizement and their true targets are in their own vicinity, not in the Near East. (This is speculative, of course). It is amusing to watch these shnooks alternate between functional pacifism and advocacy on behalf of one of the more malicious and repulsive particularisms on this planet.

  • Well, the message of the original sticker isn’t so much “Coexist” as it is, “Be indifferent”. In other words, it recalls John Lenon’s pile of excrement, “Imagine”.

  • Kudos to Scott W. My nominee for comment of the day!

    Whenever I see that BS (or its execrable cousin: “9/11 Was An Inside Job”), the following silent Tourrettes Syndrome outburst runs through what is left of my brain: “Lump of feces for brains!”

    Of course, my brain screams the Anglo-Saxon translation for “feces.”

  • *snort* That ain’t the Church, dude, that’s France (and possibly “Europe”)– and pretty standard leftism.
    A good rule of thumb is that if the general population of a country does something, and the Catholic minority also does something, and it’s not part of Catholic doctrine, it’s probably cultural.

    I believe the popular working explanation for Europe’s (and our own left-elite) Israel-type-Jew hate is a nasty hangover from the world wars. Israel is pretty muscular, and it’s easier to blame strength for the nastiness than the philosophies that they’re still sympathetic to; thing is you’ve got to be openly muscular and fully first world to “count.”

  • Scott, why is it a “pile of excrement” to seek world peace and share with those less fortunate? What’s wrong with this stanza?:

    “Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger a brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing for the world”

    It’s Lennon, by the way. 2 n’s.

  • Manure is sweet smelling by comparison to these stanzas:

    “Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people living for today

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace”

    John Lennon, most over rated man of the last century.

  • “John Lennon, most over rated man of the last century.”

    100% correct.

  • Don, I’d give that title perhaps to Winston Churchill.

    If you’re into parody, Elton John, who apparently thought Lennon a hypocrite, wrote this:

    Imagine six apartments
    It isn’t hard to do
    One is full of fur coats
    The other’s full of shoes

  • “Don, I’d give that title perhaps to Winston Churchill.”

    I actually think he is vastly underrated as the man who did more to save Western Civilization than any other single man in the last century.

  • “Imagine six apartments
    It isn’t hard to do
    One is full of fur coats
    The other’s full of shoes”

    John Lennon was a complete materialist. He wanted as much material items as he could before he died and he got his wish. Of course he got Yoko Ono also, so there is justice in this world after all!

  • I’d give that title to John Paul II. As for Churchill, still too soon to lift the mythical fog that surrounds him. I know you’re not a fan of Hitchens, who took him down a couple of pegs but still considered him a “great man.”

  • Art Deco & Foxfier

    There is something in what you say. Alain Finkielkraut has argued that European unity is constructed around a series of ‘never agains.’ No more war, nor power, nor empire, nor nationalism. Progressive Europe has disavowed its embarrassing past. This makes it ill at ease with a state, Israel, that clings to its borders just as Europe renounces its own, that nurtures its army just as Europe demilitarizes, and that must combat implacable enemies just as Europe denies such things exist

    The reason I think there is more to it, where young Catholics are concerned is that, whilst the reasons change, the target is constant. At 67, I am old enough to remember Catholics arguing that the Revolution was a Jewish and Masonic conspiracy against Throne and Altar, that the Dreyfus affair was a plot to discredit the largely Catholic officer corps, that Philippe Pétain (whom they always referred to as “le Maréchal”) saved France from the Jewish-inspired Communists. Now, the politics are different, but the object is still the Jews

  • Europe doesn’t do Jews- on that, we can agree, by and large.

  • Or, to call back to the start…they’re threatened by annihilation not only by C* but also by (peace sign)….

  • “but the object is still the Jews.”

    The eternal scapegoat of idiots.

  • “His blood be on us, and on our children” – Matthew 27:25, The blood libel was only the beginning.
    Here’s what Martin Luther had to say in “The Jews and Their Lies” in 1543:

    “What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? . . . . . . I shall give you my sincere advice: First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. . . . . . . Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. . . . . . . Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. . . . . . . . Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. ******** Fifth, I advise that safe ¬conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let they stay at home. ********* Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. **********Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam. For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Go-yim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.”

  • “I know you’re not a fan of Hitchens, who took him down a couple of pegs but still considered him a “great man.””

    Actually Joe I referred to Hitchens on one occasion as the man I most detested who I agreed with a fair amount of the time. As to his judgment on individuals, his loathsome attacks on Mother Teresa speak for themselves as to his lack of balance when it came to judging the merits and demerits of others. Churchill was far from flawless, but he met the great challenge of his time and gave his nation “their finest hour.”

  • Now, the politics are different, but the object is still the Jews

    No, the object in the one case was the domestic Jewish bourgeoisie, who were something of a social and cultural challenge in certain countries (Poland, Hungary) or occupied neuralgic spots in the social economy (Roumania). The object today is Israel, the inhabitants of which are not peddling psychoanalysis in Budapest or consumer credit in Wilno or renting land outside Koloszvar. Israel is self-confident and butch, and that is an anathema to certain sorts.

  • Michael I hear you. I don’t know why they are the target, but it seems to always be so. Perhaps it is just that they are what they have always known themselves to be, a people set apart.
    And we, called to holiness, in Christ, are also called to be a people set apart….but lately we Christians are resisting distinction from the rest of the world.

    Defend borders (Israel). Blur borders (Europe). Progressive Europe becoming more and more borderless. As Scott says in his comment the COEXIST symbol word is about indifference. No distinction, nod definition, borderless. Progressive Europe is willing to be indiffernt to it’s Christian inheritance. (Indistinct from Turkey).
    Europe is disavowing it’s embarrassing past, not seeing the beauty and grace of it’s own growth– being perhaps a bit too much like Luther, losing hope, overwhelmed by depravity.
    I hate to hear the dismissive tone against France, the “eldest daughter” of the Church. Like my own prodigal son, she may have left the hearth, but, please God, not for ever. Christian hope does spring eternal in the Catholic breast.

    When I listened to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine” years ago I was a bit troubled by the lyrics, but I didn’t want to think about that. I wanted to go along with the wistful ‘can’t everybody just get along” idea behind it. In other Beatles songs, too, there seemed to be the hope that somehow everything would be all right for everybody. That’s why they had a bigger following than the Doors 🙂
    Convoluted to be sure, but it seemed there was a kind of Catholic influence on Liverpudlians John and Paul.
    They, like me, came out of childhood smack in the middle of the 2oth century, a century when the devil wreaked havoc with mixed messages, even from representatives of the Catholic Church.

  • Paul W. Primavera says:
    Tuesday, June 19, 2012 A.D. at 6:21am
    Suggestion: make paper copies and put them on the windshields of parked cars which sport the COEXIST number sticker. That’ll get the point across.

    Liberal. Progressive. Democrat! That’s what this “COEXIST” is all about.

    Paul: I am going to do that. We have one of these whackos with her bumper sticker teaching at our Catholic School.

  • Don: Thank you for sticking up for Winston Churchill, one of my favorite people.

  • “Now, the politics are different, but the object is still the Jews”

    The Jews carry the Book with the promise of a Savior and the Ten Commandments, therein. To tyrannize people, this Book, its promise, and the Ten Commandments must be obliterated.

  • “Of course he got Yoko Ono also, so there is justice in this world after all!”
    Well said, Don.

  • Anzlyne

    “I hate to hear the dismissive tone against France, the “eldest daughter” of the Church…”

    Even over the past century, the contribution of France to the universal church has been simply enormous. It has produced philosophers like Blondel and Maritain and theologians like Maréchal and Bouyer, the Dominicans, Chenu and Congar and the Jesuits, Daniélou and de Lubac.

    Perhaps most typical of the French School of Spirituality was the great historian of the devotional life, Abbé Henri Brémond. His response to the secularism of his age is to be found in his essays, “Prière et Poésie” [Prayer and Poetry] and “Introduction a la Philosophie de la Prière” [Introduction to the Philosophy of Prayer]. His monumental work “Histoire litteraire du sentiment religieux en France depuis la fin des guerres de religion jusqu’a nos jours” [A Literary History of Religious Sentiment in France from the end of the Wars of Rekigion to our own day] published between 1913 and 1936 in 11 volumes, was based on his unrivalled knowledge of mystical writings and devotional works, many previously unpublished. It is a measure of his influence that his writings on poetry, symbolism and romanticism earned him election to the Académie française in 1923 and a eulogy from the Symbolist poet, Paul Valéry.

    I mention Brémond at length, because no area has been more neglected by English-speaking theologians than the interior life. We have Dom Cuthbert Butler’s “Western Mysticism,” Abbot Chapman and Thomas Merton and that is pretty well it. We are indebted to Anglican scholars for the rediscover of Walter Hilton, “The Cloud of Unknowing” and the Lady Julian of Norwich.

  • You could always print it out on heavy paper and then SUPER-glue it to the trunk right above their daffy bumper sticker.

  • Hah! Excellent idea, M! It’d drive the liberal crazy!

  • Michael Seymour there multiple reasons fro antisemitism which I have heard of one which does not limit itself to Jews anymore but used to is their disrespect for justice when it comes in conflict with family issues so if a Jew had a brother who stole from the butcher and the butcher called him out calling a petty thief the Jew would probably go up to the butcher punch him in the face and say “Don’t talk about my family like that” the other reason that there is antisemitism was because of Jewish disloyalty during the Crusades where the Jews would sell Christian slaves to the Muslims and Muslim slaves to the Christians.

  • Mary De Voe one of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill is this “democracy is the worst form of government except all the others we have tried”.

  • The actual reason for anti-Semitism Valentin is rank stupidity, along with jealously of the success of Jews, coupled with the cruel joy of attacking defenseless people. During the Crusades some Crusaders disgraced themselves by pillaging and murdering Jews. They were condemned by the Popes and such great saints as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. Anti-Semitism is the conspiracy theory of choice for morons. Avoid it like the plague.

  • I know most anti semitism is stupid but it is most certainly not true that the Jews never were cruel themselves GK Chesterton even commented on people calling him anti-semitic because he simply disagreed with their attitude towards justice which I mentioned beforehand, and it can’t be denied that many of the Jews were ruthless to the Apostles they of course were different Jews but it seems ridiculous to claim that all rabbinic Jews have never done anything wrong causing a general hatred for Jews. I watched a documentary on the terrible things in Auschwitz and one of the reasons a former Slovakian guard gave for sending Jews to Auschwitz was because they never integrated into society and lazed at home he than pointed out that many of the Jews he sent off were innocent children though.

  • I will point out that we are much closer to the Jews of the old Testament than Rabinnic Jews but Rabbinic Jews next to Eastern Orthodox peoples and African Jews are the closest brothers as far as religion is concerned.

  • G.K. Chesterton was rather crazy when it came to Jews. For example, he thought that Jews should be denied citizenship. To his credit he spoke out against Hitler, but Chesterton is no authority to cite on the Jews other than as an example of how a brilliant mind had some unsavory recesses. I am quite fond of Chesterton and most of his writings, but when it came to the Jews he was an idiot. The Apostles were Jews Valentin as was Christ. A good many Jews became Christians after the crucifixion, and some who did not, Gamaliel for example, spoke out against persecuting the Christians. The Slovakian guard was attempting to justify a crime that cries out to God for vengeance. He deserves only contempt.

  • I would like to point out Don that I don’t hate the Jews I just hate the way some of them have acted, some evidence is that the girl I dance with most often at school dances during the Virginia Reel is Jewish a very pretty and cheerful Jewish diplomate at that.

  • With her snow white skin and flowing curly hair.

  • Like a goat herd coming down a mountain (I got that from the psalm of psalms).

  • The bane of many a Catholic website Valentin are people who make derogatory comments about Jews as a group. I do not tolerate that. Might be best to move on to another subject.

  • Good point Donald although I think it was either Peter or Paul who was a Roman who had killed many Jews and Catholics before he converted. Peter was also the the one who was beaten till he passed out in the sun for eating a pig his reasoning being that God made it holy for him to eat pork but the Jewish boy didn’t like that and so a crowd beat him up but he just walked it off which he was able to do as having been a Roman soldier before.

  • I love this picture!
    I am new to this site and as my handle suggests, I live in Australia.
    As an ex U2 fan (I was a fan for more than 25 years but Bono’s hypocrisy got too much along with how boring and less adventurous their music became) I always found the Coexist portrait he was fond of putting up at concerts quite incongrous. Did he have any idea of how impractical coexistence would be. I found it hard to articulate but the blog post has done it for me. Many thanks!
    PS: I came back to my Roman catholic faith after 20 years. I was born a Catholic.

  • Paul was a Jew of Tarsus and a Roman citizen. He took pride in being both as well as being a Christian after he converted. I do not recall Peter being beaten for eating a pig, you might be thinking of his vision of eating unclean food which convinced him that the dietary restrictions of Jews should not be imposed upon gentile converts. Peter had been a Galilean fisherman and was never enlisted in the Roman legions.

Book Review – Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics

Monday, June 18, AD 2012

I have been intending to write a long review of Ross Douthat’s new book, Bad Religion: How We Became A Nation of Heretics, for about seven weeks now, but due to various obligations and, well, the NBA playoffs, that hasn’t happened. So here’s a short review: it’s an excellent book that accomplishes three basic purposes: one descriptive, one controversial, and one normative.

The descriptive section, consisting roughly of the first half of the book, is a useful, accessible account of the rise of a vibrant, frequently orthodox, Christianity following World War II, and the decline of orthodox Christianity and the institutions that undergird it over the past sixty years. Douthat is even-handed in his treatment of a wide variety of theological movements, theologians, and denominations. While most of the material will be familiar to those who pay attention to these matters closely – including many readers of this blog – it should be acknowledged that most Americans do not fall in this category. And even for those who do, Douthat’s synthesis of events, movements, and people is perceptive and sympathetic. Refreshingly, he avoids most of the exaggerated caricatures that populate popular writing on these themes. The average religion reporter for the Washington Post or the Associated Press would do well to use Bad Religion as a starting point and model for writing intelligently about religion in the contemporary U.S.

The second half of the book is straight forwardly controversial, as Douthat explores a variety of influential religious works and figures, ranging from Joel Osteen to Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love) to participants in the Jesus Seminar, and criticizes the superficiality, self-absorption, and lack of scholarly rigor that characterizes Christianity-lite and Christian-influenced spirituality in much of the contemporary United States. In many respects, it reads as an update on Chesterton’s Heretics, although it must be said that none of Douthat’s targets approach the caliber of H.G. Wells, Bernard Shaw, or any of Chesterton’s original antagonists. To a certain extent, Douthat is shooting fish in a barrel; but at least they are the biggest fish, if book sales, packed stadiums, and cultural notoriety are any indication.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to Book Review – Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics

  • What I heard from a secular friend of mine is that she hated eat pray love because the woman leaves her husband who seemed like a perfectly good husband, runs off with a boyfriend and than leaves him too and does speak to her husband anymore throughout the rest of the movie and the rest is “save me brown people” movie. So i find it hard to take a movie like that seriously.

  • That was supposed to be a “doesn’t” not “does”

  • Never read any of Osteen’s books, but looking at the covers, all of which have a picture of the intensely well-groomed Osteen, I always got the impression, “con artist”. Might be very unfair of me to think that, but I just couldn’t get past it.

    Anyways – it is high time that we had a serious discussion of the ways in which even those who say they are Christian can be part of the problem. Far more damaging than open enemies are pretend friends.

  • I’ve had the book for a month, although other than glancing at it when I purchased it I haven’t read it yet. My son who just finished up his sophomore year at the U of I has read it and enjoyed it.

  • Recall that “heresy” is a Greek word (?????????) from the verb ?????, meaning to choose.

    Speaking of some of the more pernicious heresies of the past, Mgr Ronald Knox reminds us that “traditional Christianity is a balance of doctrines, and not merely of doctrines but of emphases. You must not exaggerate in either direction, or the balance is disturbed. An excellent thing to abandon yourself, without reserve, into God’s hands; … but, teach on principle that it is an infidelity to wonder whether you are saved or lost, and you have overweighted your whole devotional structure… Conversely, it is a holy thing to trust in the redeeming merits of Christ. But, put it about that such confidence is the indispensable sign of being in God’s favour, that, unless and until he is experimentally aware of it, a man is lost, and the balance has been disturbed at the opposite end;”

  • John Henry,
    You say the NBA playoffs held you up. All I can say to that…is this…Lebron, D.Wade, Bosh versus Harden, Durant, Westbrook….historic monumentality. Tonight nine Eastern Time…Critical.
    And what’s with the lenseless nerd glasses they wear at press conferences?

  • They want to be admired, like us nerds.

  • Example of why I love Msgr R. Knox:
    “traditional Christianity is a balance of doctrines, and not merely of doctrines but of emphases” as Michael’s quote indicate, we can sometimes put the em pha’ sis on the wrong sy lla’ ble.

    I haven’t read Doubthat’s book yet. After my daughter’s wedding Saturday and we have all quieted down around here I hope to do a lot of reading, the old fashioned way (from a book)

    I am hoping I will get e-mail notifications of new comments again like I used to..


Franciscan Love

Monday, June 18, AD 2012

 For love of Him they ought to expose themselves to enemies both visible and invisible.

Saint Francis of Assisi


Born in Louisville, Kentucky on July 17, 1913, Herman G. Felhoelter was ordained a Franciscan priest in 1939.  He served as an Army chaplain during War II and was awarded a Bronze Star.

Reenlisting in the Army after the war, on July 16th 1950 he was a Captain serving as a chaplain with the 19th Infantry in Korea.  The 19th was in a tough spot that day.  The North Koreans had established a road block in the rear of the regiment near the village of Tunam, South Korea.  The regiment was in retreat, moving through mountains, trying to get around the roadblock, and slowed by the numerous wounded being carried due to the heavy fighting with the North Koreans during the battle for Taegu.  It was obvious by 9:00 PM on the evening of July 16th that 30 of the most seriously wounded could go no farther due to their stretcher bearers being exhausted.  Father Felhoelter and the chief medical officer Captain Linton J. Buttrey volunteered to stay with the wounded while the rest of the men escaped.  Father  Felhoelter was under no illusions of what would happen to the wounded and to him after the advancing North Koreans captured them, and swiftly gave them the Last Rites while he tended to them.

Continue reading...

15 Responses to Franciscan Love

  • Franciscan love . . . zeal for the salvation of souls . . . moral courage.

    How blessed am I that I have Father Felhoelter’s brother priests of St. Francis of Assisi on 32nd Street 24/7 loving me!

    Father Mychal Judge (RIP. 11 September 2001) ministered there as well.

  • I have to wonder about one thing: would a lesbian Episcopalian priestest give her life for the wounded?

    Or homosexual Bishop Gene Robinson?

  • Paul,
    One can acknowledge that homosexual conduct is sinful and object to its advocacy without entering into such unfair speculation.

  • This post was not written to have aspersions cast on the courage of others, but rather to marvel at the courage and love shown by Father Felhoelter. Let us thank God that God gave us such a man who so perfectly emulated the love shown by Christ and Saint Francis of Assisi.

  • My apologies, Mike P. and Donald M. I get angry that liberals say authentic Christians are unloving while the apostates are the only ones who aren’t apostate and who show true love. So I wondered aloud how many of them would sacrifice their own lives. This wasn’t the right post in which to make that comment. -10 points for me.

  • Last night on CNN Don Lemon talked with Stephen Hawking and gushed about him being the smartest man ever. Lemon talked up Hawking’s idea that God does not exist, that nobody made the universe, and nobody care about our life or death.

    Father Felhoelter – his belief in God was so strong that he went where he wasn’t comfortable, to do something so hard that it seems iin-credible to all of us narcissists who might try to “practice” our faith, who verbally acknowledge God– but, who look at Father Felhoelter- and realize he GAVE HIS LIFE for something unseen, unknown.
    Stephen Hawkings said theists only believe that to comfort themselves. Some comfort huh Father?

  • “The North Koreans killed him by shooting him in the head and the back and then proceeded to murder the helpless wounded.”

    Filthy, dirty, Godless commies.

    Steven Hawking will never experience the love that Father Felhoelter had.

  • We will meet Fr. Felhoelter in heaven

  • Stephen Hawking relies on the charity of others to stay alive, and all true charity comes from God. How ironic.

    “…ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth.” 2nd Timothy 3:7.

    Stephen Hawking will at least one day see if not experience the love that Fr. Felhoelter had. For some that sadly will be as described in Revelation 20:11-15 when it is too late. Pray that that is NOT the case for Dr. Hawking. Fr. Felhoelter would not want him to so perish, nor would he have wanted those commies who murdered him to likewise perish, regardless that they were as filthy and dirty and godless as those Roman soldiers at the foot of the Cross. “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

    OK, this rare moment of lucidity has passed. I will now return to being the malcontent that I normally am. 😉

  • God bless S. Hawking and us all. Hawking’s lack of belief, and Don Lemon’s endorsement of it promotes atheism to an ever wider group.
    The faith of Father Felhoelter is such a contrast!

  • Wow now he is one of many Men of God.

  • Jaspar I think that the reason communist countries fail is because they are godless and so are weak and based on the hatred of Good, and so despite the vast and amazing zeal among communists communist nations always fail because of how corrupt they are. So the communist ideology is just another annoying evil that gets in the way.

  • I believe Fr Felhoelter grew up in my parish, as there’s a historical marker erected outside the parish for him.

  • Pingback: Marriage Death God Evil FSSP Envy Michael Greiner First Things | Big Pulpit
  • Stephen Hawking is in the bizarre situation of depending on millions of dollars of state of the art equipment and personal assistants to function and to pay for these, he must publish popular books that make lots of money. Scholarly books will not bring in the millions he makes ‘selling atheism’ and he basically writes the same book over and over. It is macabre.

20 of my Dadisms

Sunday, June 17, AD 2012

Ah, Dadisms, the short hand that many fathers use as they attempt to navigate life with their families.  Here are some of my favorite:



1.   Clean up this dump!

2.   You are not going outside like that!

3.   When I was young and dinosaurs ruled the earth…

4.   I’m proud of you!

5.   Always get it in writing.

6.   Can’t I trade you in for a new kid?

7.   Because I said so, that’s why!

8.   Did you ask Mom?

9.   Take this twenty, it might come in handy.

10.  Careful, there are lots of loosely wired people out there.

Continue reading...

18 Responses to 20 of my Dadisms

  • My dad always makes lame puns (I picked it up from him).

  • Wait until you have kids Valentin. You will constantly find your dad’s words coming out of your mouth!

  • i like # 17 the best

  • I got one that from my Mom Anzlyne!

  • “No you can’t have an ear ring. Do you want people to think you’re a gay bob?” 🙂

    But they both got one – did it themselves with a needle.

    5 years later, they both let the “hole” grow over – no ear rings from the time they were 22.
    (That was my 2 sons, of course)
    “Dad, can I get my ears pierced?”.
    “Yes honey, of course you can.”
    See how fathers are biased toward their daughters. 🙂

  • “When you turn 18, have a job and pay your own way, then you can please yourself. But while you’re living in my home, eating my food, you’ll do as your mother wants – just like I do” 🙂

  • OT: Donald,

    I started a new blog for Federalists, Conservatives, Catholics – see here: http://sardonicexcuria.blogspot.com/ – it’s basically a link concatenator. TAC has already made a couple of appearances. Similar to the Pulp.It, but with less of a religious focus.


  • 😆 Memory.
    This one is from my Mum, when my older brother and I were still at home, 20 ish, and slept in the same room.
    7.15 a.m. Sunday morning.
    Door opens.
    “Get up you boys, time for Mass. Pooh !! this room smells like a brewery – I hope you weren’t drunk – you’ll have to get to confession.”

    Aren’t Mothers also a Godsend? 🙂

  • Yes Don mothers are the people you can count on to wake you up when you should, without regrets, and when you don’t want to.

  • Great Jonathan! I will add it to our blogroll.

  • Don I think my children might be a little more embarrassed by me making jokes about accents, becaushje I have the tawent of shounding chineje.

  • Donald,

    Thank you!


  • Some of our family’s Dadisms:

    “Every time you step on the brake, you wasted gasoline.”

    “You just gotta jiggle it.” (About anything that isn’t working)

    “Everything breaks sooner or later. A hinge has only got so many swivels in it, a switch has only got so many flips in it, etc. It’s called planned obsolescence and everything has it!”

    “So… how’s it going” (out of nowhere even after you’ve spent the last 96 consecutive hours together)

    “Are you going to remember this moment forever?”

    “A present will make someone smile, but a GIFT will make them cry”

  • Something which my great grandpa used to say apparently in German (this doesn’t make much sense on the face of it) “to get a ham you need to throw in a few sausages” and that means that if you want a good outcome (the ham) you need to put in good effort(the sausages).

  • There is a difference between “know” and “do”! Usually said after the umteenth time he was told “I know Dad!” but nothing was actually done.

  • Best advice I ever got from my Dad was almost a throwaway comment in a conversation: “Never get so attached to any _thing_ that you can’t just up and walk away from it.” Wise man…

Corpus Cristi: A Saint, A Pope and a Miracle

Sunday, June 17, AD 2012


(A guest post from Don the Kiwi on the backstory regarding the institution of the feast of Corpus Cristi.)


Last Sunday we celebrated the feast of Corpus Cristi, which literally means the body of Christ, in solemn commemoration of the Holy Eucharist.   As with many of the great feasts of the Church there is a fascinating history associated with the establishment of this holy day, which involves a saint and a miracle.

God’s instrument on this occasion was a woman known to history as Saint Juliana of Liege, or Julian of Mount Comillon where she was educated as a girl by the Augustinian nuns at the convent there, after the death of her parents when she was only five.  She was accepted into the order, made her religious profession, and became the mother superior of the convent.

Juliana had an ardent love of Our Lady, and also cultivated an extraordinary devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.  As she grew in her vocation, she increasingly longed for a special feast in honor of the Sacrament.  She had a vision of the Church as a full moon with one dark spot, symbolizing the lack of such a feast.  Juliana expressed her to desire to the Bishop of Liege and the Archdeacon of Liege, who received her request favorably.  In 1246 the Bishop at a synod of bishops from lands now in the country of Belgium, successfully proposed that a feast in honor of the Blessed Eucharist  be instituted in the dioceses respresented at the Synod.  The Archdeacon of Liege, Jacques Pantaleon, in time became the Bishop of Verdun, then Patriarch of Jerusalem, and, on August 29, 1261, was elected Pope under the name of Urban IV.

Shortly after this, in an example of that synchronicity that often reveals the Hand of God in history, one of the great Eucharistic miracles of the Church occurred.  In 1263 Peter of Prague, a German priest, stopped at a town called Bolsena while on pilgrimage to Rome.  He was a pious priest but had difficulty in believing that Christ was truly present in the consecrated host.  While celebrating Mass in the Church of Saint Cristina, he finished saying the words of consecration, when blood started to seep from the consecrated host and trickled over his hands and onto the altar cloth and corporal

Continue reading...

5 Responses to Corpus Cristi: A Saint, A Pope and a Miracle

  • Originally, the feast was kept on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, to recall the institution of the Eucharist on Maundy Thursday.

    I have been told that there was a fierce debate amongst the French hierarchy, when the government offered them either Ascension Day (Holy Thursday) or Corpus Christi (Le Fête-Dieu or Feast of God) as a public holiday, but not both – A public holiday on a Thursday inevitably means a long weekend, known as “faire le pont” (make the bridge). Ascension Day won and Corpus Christi was transferred to the following Sunday.

    The old name does survive and I think it is a splendid one.

  • That shows how direct The Holy Spirit is with convincing people of things.

  • St Michael’s near here had a week of Adoration followed by a Eucharistic Procession through several blocks of business and residential to celebrate Corpus Christi– many many participants all week and for the procession and benediction. Praise God.

  • It is with nostalgia that I remember how we used to celebrate this Great Feast on Thursdays while in Consolata and Loreto Sisters’ Convent Secondary Schools. We were sent the day before the fields around the Schools to collect flowers which we would throw down on the Route where the Procession was taking place. Following Jesus raised on a huge Monstrance stirred such strong emotions in my heart that are unforgettable.

    They still stir – even if not so strongly as when I was a teenager – each time I am sitting before the Blessed Sacrament in the Adoration Chapel, during Benediction. It was the same last Sunday, when we took Jesus around the Streets of Nairobi City Centre. Our Holy Family Minor Basilica, the Seat of the Head of the Catholic Church in Kenya, John Cardinal Njue, is smack in the middle of what we call “The City Square”.

    Oh my Jesus, may You be adored, worshiped, honoured, praised and loved in all the Tabernacles and Adoration Chapels in all the Catholic Churches all over the world, now and until th end of Time

  • [email protected]

    In Alsace, Corpus Christi is known as “Kranzeltag,” or “Day of Garlands” from the flowers lining the streets for the procession

Only a Dad

Sunday, June 17, AD 2012


When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he’d learned in seven years.

Mark Twain

Only a dad with a tired face,

 Coming home from the daily race,

 Bringing little of gold or fame

 To show how well he has played the game;

 But glad in his heart that his own rejoice

 To see him come and to hear his voice.

 Only a dad with a brood of four,

 One of ten million men or more

 Plodding along in the daily strife,

 Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,

 With never a whimper of pain or hate,

 For the sake of those who at home await.

 Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,

 Merely one of the surging crowd,

 Toiling, striving from day to day,

 Facing whatever may come his way,

 Silent whenever the harsh condemn,

 And bearing it all for the love of them.

 Only a dad but he gives his all,

 To smooth the way for his children small,

 Doing with courage stern and grim

 The deeds that his father did for him.

 This is the line that for him I pen:

 Only a dad, but the best of men

Edgar Guest

Continue reading...

3 Responses to Only a Dad

June 17, 1812: Congress Declares War on Great Britain

Sunday, June 17, AD 2012

On June 18, 1812, President James Madison signed the declaration of war passed by Congress on June 17, 1812, starting the War of 1812.  I think it is safe to say that rarely has the United States gone to war more ill-prepared than in 1812, with an Army of 7,000 men and a Navy with 12 combat vessels, which is odd considering that there was no precipitating crisis that mandated a declaration of war at the time.  The United States could have prepared for the conflict and then declared war, but no such pre-war preparation occurred.

The vote totals in Congress, in the House 79-49 and in the Senate 19-13, indicated that the war was largely at the desire of one political party, the Jeffersonian Republicans, and opposed by the Federalists.  The opposition of the Federalists would continue throughout the war, and the conflict would be bitterly divisive in the United States.

The whole undertaking has a fairly surreal quality in retrospect, with the Madison administration, propelled by the War Hawks in Congress, undertaking a war that the President himself thought unwise and ill-considered against the mightiest Empire in the world.

Here is the text of the war message sent by President Madison on June 1, and which served as the basis for the declaration of war:

Continue reading...

14 Responses to June 17, 1812: Congress Declares War on Great Britain

  • It is worth recalling that International Maritime Law on belligerent and neutral rights was very far from settled, until the Paris Declaration of 1856. Any country could find support for its own position in the writings of some eminent Publicist. And, of course, systems of international arbitration only started to be be developed after the Alabama incident (again involving the US and UK), which went to arbitration in Geneva in 1871-1872.

    Even in the two World Wars, the concept of “contraband of war” tended to be an elastic one, with the US arguing for a narrow definition, whilst it was neutral and an expansive one, when it was not.

  • In 1812 the mightiest (in the military sense) empire in the world was that of Napoleon Bonaparte, and in the midst of the struggle to overcome it Britain was not best pleased to have to divert scarce military and naval resources to a sideshow which couldn’t be ignored since the US was in the process of invading Canada. The War of 1812 is now hardly remembered in England, but its baleful legacy poisoned Anglo-US relations for much of the nineteenth century.

  • “In 1812 the mightiest (in the military sense) empire in the world was that of Napoleon Bonaparte, and in the midst of the struggle to overcome it Britain was not best pleased to have to divert scarce military and naval resources to a sideshow which couldn’t be ignored since the US was in the process of invading Canada.”

    As the outcome of the Napoleonic Wars indicates John, I stand by my contention that Britain was the mightiest empire in the world. Napoleon dominated Europe while Great Britain dominated the globe. The resources that Great Britain allocated to the War of 1812 were fairly insignificant in comparison to the resources devoted to the War in Spain and Portugal and keeping the fleets manned to blockade Europe. Although I think that declaring war on Great Britain was unwise, I think it entirely justified due to the short-sighted policy of Great Britain in stopping American ships to search for alleged deserters from the Royal Navy and stirring up trouble for the US among the tribes in the Northwest. With Britain involved in a life and death struggle against Napoleon, one would have assumed that the wisest British policy would have been one of conciliation of American grievances. Such was not the case, until far too late.

  • Don’t know much about History.

    Today, I read a WSJ article on the Canadian exhibit concerning this crappy, little war (35,000 Americans died: big butcher’s bill, small country).

    It seems there were four parties in the war. Americans, Brits, Canadians, and Injuns. Of the four, the only clear losers were the Injuns. The murderous savages picked the wrong side, as had four of the five, terrorist Iroquois tribes during the Revolutionary War.

    Re: Canada all they had to do was hold Quebec keeping the St. Lawrence R. supply line open and they held Canada. The US never got closer than Lake Erie and across from Detroit. So, Saxon murderers coming here and burning DC and invading Louisiana were utterly uncalled for. Then, Andy Jackson gave the Injuns and the Saxon “what-for” in 1814.

  • What Andrew Jackson did was abuse his power to turn American presidancy into might makes right by kicking civilized Indians out of southern towns to the western wilderness and I say “civilized Indians” because they were Indians who converted from barbarism, this happened because Andrew represented the poor uneducated people of the south, was not from the East coast and told congress to buzz off because they did not have control of the army.

  • @T Shaw

    Far from being ‘uncalled-for’, the burning of Washington was in retaliation for the American burning of York (Toronto) in the previous year. The war was (and is) perceived in Canada as a victory, and although the consensus has long been that it was a draw, in reality it was a British victory in that American aggression did not pay off. The Ghent treaty restored the status quo ante bellum, and the American victories merely ensured that the terms were not more punitive.

    To their credit, the British refused to repatriate the thousands of slaves who had sought refuge in British territory, although they were willing to compensate the owners.

  • Valentin,

    Additionally, Jackson was the democrat proto-demagogue who pitted whole classes of Americans against others. See his veto message for the Second Bank of the US Act and Daniel Webster’s analysis. Seems that class hate is in locked in the Democrat Party DNA.

    JN: As I said, the only true losers were the Injuns. I do not see how can you compare York, ON to the White House. That’s me.

    The US lost no territory. They stopped boarding US ships. The Indians were kaput as a block to western expansion and the Saxon would never again use them like al Qaeda to murder Americans. And, we got the Battle of New Orleans in our national consciousness.

    PS: Thirty-three years later the Saxon was exporting wheat out of Ireland while a quarter of the population starved. Concomitantly, the worst tyrant on Earth: Czar of Russia closed the ports of Poland and fed those people suffering in the same potato blight.

    The Brits came close to fighting for the Confederacy in the ACW. They also used slaves to fight against freedom in the Revolutionary War. Some things never change.

    By 1865, the US could have taken Canada and any other place it wanted in the Americas.

    PPS: The US went in on the wrong side in 1917.

  • “The US went in on the wrong side in 1917”

    You had me cheering until that last part TShaw.

  • Yeah, that was a little “over the top.”

  • TS, what’s this crap about Saxons? The population of the USA, Canada and the UK in 1917 were of the same racial stock, namely English, Irish and Scots (except for the Indians, who were merely an obstacle to US colonialism). Let’s face it, when it comes to treatment of the indigenous population, the Spanish were more enlightened in the 16th century than you lot were in the 19th.

    In retrospect, you should have stayed neutral in 1917. It was over a year before the Americans could field a single division (compared to the more than 20 the Brits managed in the first year of the war) and despite the individual qualities of the American soldier, he was let down, particularly in the Argonne offensive, by poor staff work. By this stage the war was virtually won. Still, Woodrow Wilson got what he wanted, a chance to influence the Peace Conference with his naive egomania.

  • Sorry, first sentence should have said 1812, not 1917!

  • JN: Probably the word “sassenach’ is a better descriptive than “Saxon.”

    Lo, we treated the noble savage no worse that you did the Mere Irish in 1847. I am 165 years old. I was there with Covington and Custer. I take full responsibility. Then, it was duty. Next time it will be strictly personal.

    I was about inform you that the largest US immigrant group was Germans.

    Empires are better suited to fight world wars than are republics.

    I bet I dislike Wilson far more than you. We still suffer from his wreckovations.

    I understand Mexican school text books depict the Alamo as a glorious victory, while US history presents a massacre that inspired ultimate victory.

    Finally, it is human nature to fear and loathe those whom we have harmed.


  • TS
    You can win spectacular victories and still lose the war. Crecy, Poitiers, Agincourt … or to give a more recent example, the overwhelming defeat of the Tet offensive by US and ARVN forces in 1968.

    “Empires are better suited to fight world wars than republics”. That explains the victory of the Japanese Empire over the US Republic in 1945! There are contiguous land empires which are republics eg the USSR, and maritime empires like the French with a republic at the centre.

    “The largest US immigrant group was Germans” This explains why spoken American English doesn’t recognize the adverb. “Ich habe gut geschlafen” is correct German, whereas “I slept good” is incorrect English. I assume Italian immigrants introduced the double negative – “non so niente” being incorrectly rendered as “I don’t know nothing”. Still, the latest wave of Hispanic immigrants shouldn’t affect the language as they’re no longer required to learn it.

    Do read what modern Irish historians have to say about their country’s past, including the Famine, rather than buying into the mythological version.

    Toodle pip!

  • JN,

    Thanks for the history lessons.

“Gay Marriage, No Religion, Legalization of Pot” Mass Media Loves Brad Pitt’s Ideology!

Sunday, June 17, AD 2012

Brad Pitt for Mayor of New Orleans? He didn’t think he’d have a chance due to his stands for “Gay Marriage, No Religion and Legalization of Pot” but the fawning Mass Media Representative Anne Curry doesn’t seem to think this is problematic at all as she gushes all over the place. What exactly does he mean “no religion”? Does that mean only that he personally doesn’t have a religion or that he would like to abolish religion? Curry doesn’t seem to care to find out more- and I doubt that the liberal secularist would mind trying to crush traditional religion down into a tame little side show- in fact traditional Faith is the great enemy of liberal secularism- and vice versa.

See More

Continue reading...

17 Responses to “Gay Marriage, No Religion, Legalization of Pot” Mass Media Loves Brad Pitt’s Ideology!

  • Brad Pitt for mayor of New Orleans? Hasn’t that city suffered enough lately?

  • Hey, he played Achilles in a crappy Hollywood throw-up of Homer . . .

    I bet he’d be a better Mayor for New Orleans than Obama is president.

    He could not do worse than Ray Nagins.

  • He has certainly had his fair share of women.

  • New Orleans: The most overrated city in the world. The French Quarter smells like a giant urinal and I’ve gotten better food from a can of Chef Boyardee.

  • “Gay Marriage, No Religion, Legalization of Pot”….aren’t those Obama’s campaign slogans? (they could also add Abortion for All to the list) Oh, I forgot, Obama and Hollywood are connected at the hip!

  • Hey, Joe – So sorry you had a bad time in the French Quarter. Too bad you missed the rest of this city. and God knows where you ate! It must have been some tourist dive. You are the first person I’ve ever heard complain about our amazing cuisine. I hope I live long enough to sample every fabulous restaurant in town!

  • The strange thing about the Hollywood establishment is how their collective morality seems to be on par with most of us who were raised as secularists who are 20-somethings going to college with something of a social conscience but no real guidance from the adults around us- and having that forever young/deeply vain mentality- so the result is a wicked brew of caring but not rooted in traditional morality or worship of God- so the ego prevails and hedonism is a no-brainer- carpe diem!

    Brad Pitt is around my age- but his politics is still grounded in immaturity- and he is the norm – it is like living as an actor with loads of money and perks and a big time group think around you- makes it next to impossible to break free and be something other than a cookie-cutter liberal secularist. I’m sure that some have broken the mold but are too afraid to break ranks publicly and risk the new Hollywood/Mass Media blackball deadend. I hear a lot about Mark Wahlberg being a devout Catholic these days- which is great- but I doubt even he would break ranks with Hollywood orthodoxy on homosexual lifestyles and definition of Marriage issues- at least publicly. So who is left to influence the young when every media outlet treats celebrity, celebrity, celebrity as the source and fount of all wisdom in our society?

    My advice to Brad Pitt et al is this: Time to grow up, you are a father now, stop promoting pot smoking, stop attacking the belief in God and traditional religions and morality, and love your friends who are involved in gay lifestyles best by trying to help them instead of cheerleading the destruction of traditional Marriage- letting “Everyone get married to everyone” sure turns something holy and special into something routine, commonplace and without any spiritual substance. If Brad Pitt won’t change his ways and stays trapped in politically correct immaturity- he can still do some things good raising money for new homes in New Orleans and helping to feed the hungry in Africa- and we can try to do our part in properly influencing the young by warning them away from celebrity kings and queens who are talented in their craft but their soulfulness seems more a pose than anything worthy of imitation. Advice to the Young- true morality isn’t something we invent or make up as we go- real wisdom is as old as the hills, and the Catholic Church is a great source of information and inspiration having stood up to every imaginable threat for over 2000 years. If you want to follow the Movie Stars- that’s your business- but I am just saying- go deeper, read the Bible and the Catechism and the writings of the Saints- and see what I’m talking about..

  • Wouldnt it be interesting to be with him and his father-in law just having an iced tea and talking about life?

  • The problem is that a lot of actors are immature, or immature yuppies and for some reason actors are considered role models by so many in the US.

  • I just finished watching the movie Gigi. The word gay was used to describe happiness, joy and being carefree. The homosexual radicals have taken the rainbow and a word from those of us who love rainbows and like feeling gay. Just to be on the safe side, I and my husband have been married for 26 years.

  • Edie, I was born and reared in NYC, which has the world’s best restaurants. While in New Orleans for 3 days I sampled a lot of food and didn’t like any of it. Crawfish, yuck. Most of the rest was either unidentifiable or too spicy. Then again, there’s not accounting for taste.

  • typo…no accounting.

    (Aside to Don and Shaw: How about including an edit button to allow posters to fix those embarrassing errors we all seem to make?)

  • Joe,

    Proof-reading takes more self-control than hitting (with irrational force) the “post comment” button.

    If I thought anyone read my comments, I would be embarrassed.


  • During an interview with Fr. Barron and Mike Leonard on the Today show some weeks back Curry admitted that she is a lapsed Catholic. How sad.

  • As usual, the celebrities flock towards the issues they really don’t understand.

  • I have never understood why the media fawns so much over everything Brad Pitt says or does or anyone connected to him. The most ludicrous example I ever saw was about 15 years ago, when a small weekly newspaper in central Illinois did a FRONT PAGE story about a woman who had been a high school classmate of Brad Pitt (back in Springfield, Mo. in the early 80s). No, she didn’t date him or anything, she just happened to be in the same class as him and she sorta knew the girl he went to the prom with. Nor did she provide any great insights into his thinking, his personality or his acting skills, such as they are. It was one of the lamest excuses for a feature story I had ever seen, but when it comes to Brad Pitt any lame excuse for publicity will do, I suppose.

  • Michael Yon (recently referenced in “Never Yet Melted” blog) apparently has taken a sabbatical from excoriating Army brass-hats and is reporting on the theological anthropology of contemporary liberals.

    “There exists in India Aghor, a branch of Hinduism. Its believers worship Shiva, god of destruction. The Aghor belief system is simple: The gods are perfect (unlike Greek and Norse gods). The gods create everything: each thought, each act, each thing, etc. The gods are perfect therefore every created thing is perfect.

    “So, being disgusted by anything or banning any behavior is rejection of the gods. Michael Yon, “This explains why some ardent Aghoris act out to overcome the most gruesome items of revulsion. In my travels I’ve met Aghoris who would just as soon pluck an eyeball from a rotten human corpse and pop it into their mouths as eat chicken. He or she might carry a rotting dead dog over their shoulder for a week, or have sex with a dead cow (holy to other Hindus) or with a rotting human corpse. One Aghori in northern India ate part of the rotting penis of a bloated, vivisected corpse on the banks of the Ganges, engaging in this “sacred ritual” in full view of onlooking police.”

    Sound familiar? I estimate about three-quarters of the delegates at the Dem National Convention think like that, assuming they think at all.

What’s a Constitution Between Friends?

Saturday, June 16, AD 2012

The federal DREAM Act failed to pass Congress; however, President Obama has never been one to let a pesky little thing like the U.S. Constitution to get in the way of achieving his policy objectives.

The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.

The policy change, described to The Associated Press by two senior administration officials, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military.

Let’s take a look at Article II of the Constitution (the article dealing with the presidency, for those of you in Rio Linda). Hmmm, we’ve got length of term, eligibility requirements, the electoral college, Commander-in-Chief, state of the Union, adjourning Congress . . .  don’t see anything here about just ignoring the will of Congress when they don’t implement policies you approve of.

Oh. Wait. There it is. It’s right between the penumbras and emanations guaranteeing the right to privacy and abortion. My bad. Clearly my Ph. D training was incomplete.

Now you might be upset with this decision, but do not question President Obama’s fealty to the Constitution. This is a man who has been a zealous guardian of the Executive Branch’s duties and responsibilities. And if you don’t believe me, just take a closer look at the tremendous work the Justice Department has done in fighting for the Defense of Marriage Act. No, that president would never let partisan politics prevent him from faithfully upholding the laws of our land.

In all seriousness, this is another power grab that would be impeachable in a saner world. Make no mistake, this is not about the policy itself. That is a topic for another discussion, and is absolutely not the point of this post. The merit of the policy is irrelevant to the concerns over constitutional authority and power. Last I checked this was still a constitutional republic, not an autocracy, and the president of the United States cannot simply make policy absent a grant of legislative authority.

What’s troubling to me is seeing a handful of Catholics applauding this decision, including Archbishop Schnurr of Cincinnati. I understand why these individuals support the overall policy, but again, the policy itself is beside the point. You should not applaud a policy when the manner in which it is implemented so flagrantly violates the Constitution.

So let me say this bluntly: if you approve of the president’s actions in this particular case, then you have absolutely no standing whatsoever to to complain about the constitutionality of the HHS mandate. If you support this action but think the HHS mandate is a tyrannical show of force, then you are a complete hypocrite. You’re essentially signalling that you are okay with usurpation of constitutional authority when you agree with the policy outcome. Just as we can’t be cafeteria Catholics, we don’t get to be cafeteria constitutionalists either. You don’t get to pick which parts of the Constitution you uphold. Now of course constitutions, unlike dogma, can be amended and changed, though I suspect permitting the president of the United States to do whatever he likes whenever he likes would not be an advisable change.

This president has absolutely no regard for the Constitution, and this action only helps underscore this undeniable fact.

Continue reading...

53 Responses to What’s a Constitution Between Friends?

  • “So let me say this bluntly: if you approve of the president’s actions in this particular case, then you have absolutely no standing whatsoever to to complain about the constitutionality of the HHS mandate. If you support this action but think the HHS mandate is a tyrannical show of force, then you are a complete hypocrite.”

    Speaking of hypocrites, John Yoo, who famously claimed that a wartime president had the legal authority to torture anyone he wanted, including crushing that child’s testicles, now claims executive overreach on the part of Obama:


    My own feeling is that the president does in fact have an obligation to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Congress should fund enforcement adequately, but we know they don’t. And when resources are stretched, sometimes the prudent thing to do is go after the worst violators. Obama’s action may or may not be prudent. I’m opposed to the HHS mandate either way.

  • Sometimes I think Obama is the culmination of everything that is evil in this country, and maybe that is part of God’s plan. He must draw unto his person everything that is wicked – media, hollywood, academia, unions, the illegals, abortionists, homosexuals, etc., and when the time comes, all of this will be taken out in one big swoop. I can dream can I?

  • “Sometimes I think Obama is the culmination of everything that is evil in this country…”

    How is this policy/excecutive overreach pertaining to illegal immigrants “evil”? It may be imprudent, it may be unconstitutional for all I know, but I don’t see it as evil. How are illegal immigrants “wicked”?

  • The way in which it is being done Spambot I would say is evil. There are laws on the books regarding deportation. Obama by presidential fiat is now saying that he is not going to enforce those laws. Such action is lawless and goes to the heart of whether we are ruled by law. His action is destructive of the Constitutional order by which Congress makes the law and the Executive, Obama, enforces the law. His action instructs each and every citizen that when you disagree with the law you have the right to ignore it. Yes, evil is the term I would apply to this.

  • Paul

    You missed the latest amendments to the constitution.


    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    We, Barrack H Obama, in Order to form a more perfect Commune, establish Fairness, insure domestic Tolerance, provide the Nomenklatura’s Defense, promote the Welfare system, and secure the Benifits of Multiculturism to ourselves and our (unaborted) Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.</i?


    Article 1 Section 8

    1: The Congress shall have Power [Delete to end and replace with] to legislate the wishes of Barrack H Obama


    Article II Section 1

    1: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. Barrack H Obama. He shall hold his Office ,during the Term of four Years, for life

    A new Constitution

    Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

  • Donald, thank you.

    An analogy: Congress does not fund the IRS sufficiently to audit every income tax return, so the Executive Branch conducts audits on the returns that are flagged as suspicous and/or contain egregious errors. Tax returns of wealthy income earners are more likely than poorer Americans to be audited. Penalties for those caught cheating on returns might differ, too. Those caught cheating in big ways might face criminal prosecution, while those caught cheating in small ways may be let off relatively easy.

    This approach to enforcement of income tax laws does not seem evil, even if Congress did not authorize it.

  • A better analogy Spambot would be the President proposing that the IRS stop auditing tax returns below a certain income threshhold. Legislation to accomplish this is defeated in Congress. The President announces that he will simply order the IRS not to audit such tax returns anyway, any existing laws regarding the auditing of such tax returns to not be enforced by his administration.

    When a President has a blank check not to enforce laws that he does not like we are pretty far down the road to tyranny.

  • Illegal immigration IS a great evil. They know they’re breaking our laws, they know they’re stealing from our treasury, and they know they’re pulling down our workers salaries and eventually taking the bread out of the mouths of OUR children. They are not displaced people – they have a country and they have chosen to invade mine. Their presence in this country is an insult to the proper citizens who ancestors built it and to those who have legally and legitimately entered this country, sometimes taking them years to do so and at the cost of thousands of dollars! They are also willing pawns of a larger agenda of a wicked ruling class that wants to crush and depose the founding people so they can impose their communist agenda! I have very little sympathy for these criminal invaders.

  • D. McCleary ” Obama by presidential fiat is now saying that he is not going to enforce those laws.” Agreed. Just what I was about to say although ” Fiat” dignifies his actions– could just call it “power grab” I am willing to use the term evil.
    Not enforce of DOMA
    Overreach past local school boards
    1st Amendment
    2nd Amendment
    5th Amendment
    Zimmerman endangerred by him
    voter fraud, I.D.
    voter protection
    hope martial law doesn’t occur to his Hench-people

  • The USCCB is a toothless tiger in the fight for the preservation of our Constitutional freedom of the free exercise of religion because in part it openly supports this latest usurpation of due process through Congress:


    I am thoroughly disgusted with the American Roman Bishopry. At heart they are Democrat and always will be. Social justice crap has always been more important to them than conversion and repentance.

  • What is more disappointing than Obama’s action is the reaction from the majority of the citizenry and the opposition party. It will be a little hand wringing here and there and then nothing.

    This movie scene is for the bishops council and Spambot…

    How many more trees are you willing to see cut?

  • Jobs . . .

    Where are the jobs?

    Maybe jobs would be created if he decided to not enforce the penal (as in Federal prison) sections of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Maybe Obama, the genius, can concoct something – anything – unConstitutional or otherwise, that will create jobs for 23,000,000 Americans who can’t get work.

  • Paul,
    If you want to know what happened to the Catholic Church in this country, please read Bella Dodd’s “School of Darkness”. The Church was infiltrated and compromised a long time ago. With few exceptions, I have no faith in the Bishops to stand tall and fight Obama on the HHS mandate. I believe a schism is coming and the authentic Church will be greatly persecuted. I pray I’m wrong.


  • Oh no, Siobhan, you are sadly 100% correct.

    John 6:22-27 describes this people and their Bishopry so very well:

    22 On the next day the people who remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 However, boats from Tiberias came near the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27* Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.”


    This people and their Bishopry are not interested in the Gospel of conversion and repentance. They are not interested in saving souls from the eternal fires of hell (for they believe not that such a place exists except as myth to scare school children). For them the gospel is all about social justice, the common good and peace at any price. Oh how how I despise and loathe those three phrases!

    So they will welcome the illegal immigrant whole heartedly into this nation to suckle off the teat of the public treasury, Constitution and Laws to the contrary be damned, while they, by their inaction on and apathy towards the true Gospel of conversion and repentance, damn the souls of these same immigrants to hell.

    Ezekiel 34:1-10 rings loudly and clearly. The US Council of Catholic Bishops had better start listening in this life because it will be too late before that Great White Throne of Judgment in Revelation 20:11-15.

    No Democracy. No two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner!

  • Interesting observation about the parallel between the cafeteria Catholic phenom and that of the cafeteria Constitutionalist phenom. Neither wants to abide by or acknowledge any authority above its perverse self.

  • Exactly, Paul. In my eyes, when the Bishops support amnesty, they tip their hand and reveal themselves as frauds. They always talk about “welcoming the stranger”, but how about “THOU SHALL NOT STEAL”, which is a mortal sin! The illegals are not only STEALING our money, they are attempting to steal what they did not build in this country, and our sense of nationhood. That the bishops cannot see the obvious tells me that they are either completely out of touch with reality or they are complicit in the destruction of this country. Plus, in catering to the hispanics, they are also dividing the Catholic Church between english speakers and spanish speakers which will be very destructive. Though, with all of this, we musn’t give up hope because there are signs of renewal with the young and dynamic priests and religious coming up today. We’re still in the darkness, but I do see light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope our country will survive.

  • I’ve always been a little bit unclear to the extent to which the executive branch is permitted to determine its priorities when it comes to enforcement of laws. Let’s say for the sake of argument that the United States was not able, because of budgetary constraints, personnel limitations, or some other practical matters, to apply 100 percent effort to the enforcement of all federal immigration and border control laws and regulations. Every deportation costs money and personnel, after all. Is it perhaps within the executive branch’s authority to set enforcement priorities? (E.g. to focus on deportation of people who have committed crimes besides immigration violations, or on people who arrived in the country voluntarily). After all, it is in the legislature’s authority to write laws more stringently and to assign budget dollars more specifically, and it remains with the people to vote an executive out of office if we judge that he sets priorities poorly. And I don’t know — maybe it’s possible for a state to sue the U. S. in the Supreme Court to force enforcement if they can show harm from the feds’ refusal to enforce some part of the law?

    Don’t get me wrong — the *announcement* of such a policy is obviously a campaign move, and I recognize that there are good arguments for why this makes bad immigration policy. But I’m not entirely convinced that priority-setting is outside the bounds of the executive branch’s powers. Yes, the executive branch has a positive obligation under the constitution to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” but as we know from Catholic moral doctrine, positive obligations usually come with an “unless.”

  • “this is another power grab that would be impeachable in a saner world.”

    One of the offenses for which Gov. Blago was impeached by the Illinois General Assembly was his attempt to implement a health insurance program for low-income families by executive rulemaking alone, without any approval from the legislature (which had not appropriated any funds to pay for it). The offense was NOT that he tried to obtain healthcare for poor families (a good end) but that he attempted to do so without proper authority (bad means).

    I believe that, as a Catholic, one can argue either way about the justice or injustice of allowing illegal immigrants who were brought to this country as minors (and therefore cannot be faulted for choosing to break the law themselves) to stay. Remember, illegal immigration, in and of itself, is NOT a criminal offense but a civil offense — it is still wrong, but not on the same level as murder, rape or robbery.

    That said, the means which Obama has chosen to do this is wrong even if the end is just or justifiable. The separation of powers must be respected. In my opinion it would be just as wrong if a future president who was a devout Catholic and staunchly pro-life were to attempt to outlaw abortion or gay marriage nationwide by executive fiat alone, without approval of Congress or of the states.

  • Speaking of hypocrites, John Yoo, who famously claimed that a wartime president had the legal authority to torture anyone he wanted, including crushing that child’s testicles, now claims executive overreach on the part of Obama:

    Why not provide quotations verbatim and in context ‘ere making particularly inflammatory remarks?

  • AD:



    Obama-worshiping imbeciles don’t need no bloody facts.

    The Executive branch executes laws passed by the Legislative branch. The executive doesn’t have power to ex post facto veto any law nor to pick and choose which law it will enforce and which law it will flaunt.

    Sic semper tyrannis.

    The common good and social justice form the alibis of all tyrants.

    It seems bishops et al place a progressive, liberal temporal narrative ahead of the salvation of souls.

    St. John Chrysostom: “The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”

  • So what IS the proper use of an executive order? I am unclear on that. For the record, Archbishop Schnurr didn’t say anything about the president. The quote is from an archdiocesan official.

  • Obama is pandering to just about any groups for votes but what I don’t understand is that Hispanics in general are Catholics & conservatives but yet they support him. I can understand illegals supporting him but most legals do too. Of course, they know many illegals so they don’t want them deported. Why didn’t he do this when the democrats were in control two years ago if he believed in it so strongly. He once said he couldn’t do because it was illegal but, of course, he needs votes.

  • “So what IS the proper use of an executive order?”

    I don’t know all the details of federal law on this question, but based on my own experience in Illinois state government, I would say that executive orders are properly used to manage or change details of a program or policy that has been legislatively authorized, or to reorganize executive agencies (e.g., merge them or change their names). Oftentimes the legislature will authorize a program in law and insert a clause in the law saying that such-and-such agency will have charge of the program AND will adopt rules for it. Also, executive orders in Illinois don’t become effective unless ratified by the legislature within 60 days. Again, this doesn’t directly relate to how federal law works but I’m offering it as an example of how legislative/executive power COULD be balanced (the only example I’m really familiar with).

  • T. Shaw — While I may (or may not) be an imbecile, please do not imply that I am “Obama-worshiping”.

    Art Deco — Do you really need me to introduce you to Mr. Google?

  • No, you do not.

    Mr. Google will introduce me to 1,001 online rants from people like you, about which I do not give a rip and cannot be bothered to read. Show me a published article or intra-office memorandum where he develops an argument which can be fairly characterized the way you do it.

  • Paul Zummo: for what it is worth. June 17, 2012 10:16 AM
    The Mexican constitution forbids Catholicism and therefore, religious freedom. All the illegal Mexican immigrants may have sought political asylum for religious freedom had they been educated to the fact. It may be too late since the United States no longer has any religious freedom.
    When Obama learns that the Mexican aliens have come to America for freedom of religion, will he allow it?
    Right-wing extremists, as Obama likes to call pro-lifers, returning veterans of war and individual citizens who disagree with him, are trying to save humanity by keeping to “the laws of nature and nature’s God” (from The Declaration of Independence) and by serving “WE, the people”(from The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.) Obama, Pelosi, Sebelius and Obama’s 32 czars, Thomas Malthus, Paul and Ann Erhlich with their book Population Bomb, along with Uncle Hitler are trying to save humanity from extinction by a bloody, and obscene massacre of “our constitutional posterity”.
    The Mexican constitution outlaws the Catholic Church, priests and freedom of religion to this very day to protect freedom for humanity.
    The Mexican government does not give freedom. God gives freedom. The Mexican government does not give life to humanity. God gives life and liberty to His children. The Mexican government tells God how God’s people will experience God. Satan, the devil said: “If you eat the apple you will be like God – infinite.” The Mexican government killed the priests and citizens who dared to profess that Christ is King. The Mexican government tortured and killed a fourteen year old boy for being Catholic. The young man had not reached the age of legal majority, emancipation at eighteen years of age, and is considered to be an infant in a court of law. In “a court of law” is not one of the tenets of the Mexican constitution.
    Will Obama give the Mexican aliens protection from Mexican tyranny, asylum and a homeland to practice their freedom of religion and their free will and their observance of the precepts of their conscience? Will Obama give protection from tyranny to U.S. citizens to practice their freedom of religion, their free will and their observance of the precepts of their conscience?
    Only atheists, secular humanists and communists have religious freedom in the United States. This is why we have no religious freedom to petition Divine Providence in the public square for the blessings of Liberty and prosperity. Only atheists can petition Divine Justice for relief from prayer, other persons’ prayer, other persons’ speech to God, other persons’ assembly to pray, other persons’ petition for Divine Justice. Communism, atheism, and secular humanism is the diabolic intervention of the devil in human affairs.

  • applaud Mary De Voe
    thanks for the great link Siobahn

  • Anzlyne. Many Hail Mary’s for you and yours. Please pray for me and mine, one Hail Mary.
    Siobahn: Let us pray too, that the Cardinals planted by the Communists coverted to the Catholic Church.

  • It may be too late since the United States no longer has any religious freedom.

    All right, let’s dial it back a little. We haven’t quite reached Soviet status in this country. This administration has been bad enough that we don’t need to exaggerate what has happened.

  • Paul Zummo makes a point we are not quite at the extreme of the soviets, but I do think there are several things communist already in the US.

  • Not sure about the exact relevance of the Mr. Yoo reference, but I did see the piece and Spambot seems pretty accurate about Yoo being comically hypocritical about presidential overreach. But again, so what? Bush and Obama are both guilty of overreach – is that supposed to exculpate one or the other?

  • But again, so what? Bush and Obama are both guilty of overreach – is that supposed to exculpate one or the other?

    No, you are right about that, cmatt. I was just providing a counterbalance to Paul’s inference in the original post that a Catholic bishop was “a complete hypocrite” for supporting this one particular action by Obama while opposing an unrelated action by Obama. I suspect the constitutionality of each action will be determined on grounds unrelated to each other (not that I’m the expert).

    It’s been said that President Bush selected judicial appointees who favored his vision of a strong “unitary executive” — a president with broad and complete authority to execute the laws and prosecute the wars, including the war on terror. My memory is that people on the left complained most about a strong “unitary executive”, while people on the right were generally supportive, because the context was often treatement of captured terrorists. Now, the shoe is on the other foot.

    Anyway, that was all my mind when I read Paul’s piece that I may be a hypocrite.

  • The concept of the “unitary executive” is one of the most misunderstood concepts in our political lexicon. To put it as succinctly as possible, all it means is that the executive branch of the federal government is under a single head – the president of the United States. He is ultimately responsible for all executive decisions of the federal government. So even with the labyrinth bureaucracy that exists today, the buck stops with the presidency, and he and he alone is responsible for executive branch action. It does not mean, and was never meant to imply that the chief executive has plenary decision making power over all the government. He only has the ultimate authority within his own sphere (or branch), a concept that our Founding Fathers would heartily have endorsed.

    So, your counter-example of hypocrisy falls flat.

  • The concept of the “unitary executive” is one of the most misunderstood concepts in our political lexicon.

    Maybe it’s easy for me to get “misunderstood concepts” about the definition or extent of “unitary executive” because of what John Yoo stated in testimony. He said in so many words that unless a treaty or law explicitly forbade the president from crushing a child’s testicles during lawful prosecution of a war, then the president had the power and authority to do so.

    I think my counter-example is a pretty good one: John Yoo is a complete hypocrite for pushing broad powers to the president then, but regretting it now.

  • I think my counter-example is a pretty good one:

    Just thinking it doesn’t make it so.

    John Yoo is a complete hypocrite for pushing broad powers to the president then, but regretting it now.

    Even if your depiction of what he said is true, so what? You’ve proven that another person is a hypocrite. Congratulations, but you haven’t in any way made you or anyone else who supports the president’s actions any less of a hypocrite.

  • By the way, even your example doesn’t exactly hold up as a case of hypocrisy. I think Yoo has a too expansive view of executive authority, but his theoretical exercise is still distinct from the situation under discussion. According to Yoo, presidential authority is expansive absent a Congressional prohibition. In this particular case, President Obama is essentially defying a law enacted by Congress (and passed under previous administrations).

    Of course this is still beside the larger point, but I’ll give you points for trying to change the subject.

  • Even if your depiction of what he said is true, so what? You’ve proven that another person is a hypocrite.


    In your original post, you called out one particular individual as a hypocrite, and then used that as a launching point to say like-minded persons were also hypocrites. I’m just following your lead.

    …but you haven’t in any way made you or anyone else who supports the president’s actions any less of a hypocrite.

    The legal basis/justification for (or against) the HHS mandate would seem to be completely unrelated to the legal basis/justification for (or against) the new amnesty policy. Your original post complained of “usurpation of constitutional authority” which I believe still needs to demonstrated in both instances. My man-in-the-street view of my 1st Amendment rights is that HHS over-reached and intruded into my free exercise of religion.

    On the subject of amnesty, the administration complained of inadequate resources to faithfully execute the laws preventing illegal immigrants from entering the country, and now choose to enforce them selectively, picking on the “worst violators” for severe treatment. The allocation of resources would be more of a judgment call than a constitutional issue.

  • In your original post, you called out one particular individual as a hypocrite, and then used that as a launching point to say like-minded persons were also hypocrites. I’m just following your lead.

    My lead doing what? I said that any individual who holds a certain viewpoint is a hypocrite. Instead of arguing the case, you pointed out another person’s supposed hypocrisy on a completely different issue. What does one have to do with another? This is called a red herring argument.

    The legal basis/justification for (or against) the HHS mandate would seem to be completely unrelated to the legal basis/justification for (or against) the new amnesty policy.

    The point I was trying to make is not that the issues are the same, but that you can’t cry about unconstitutional decision making in one area, and then excuse it another. As I said, you can’t be a cafeteria constitutionalist.

    The allocation of resources would be more of a judgment call than a constitutional issue.

    But it didn’t end there. The president of the United States issued a directive that said a law would not only not be enforced, but went above and beyond to essentially declare that a federal law (or aspect of a law) is nullified. This is far beyond the powers of the presidency.

    By the way, though I disagree with your assessment of the constitutionality of this decision, that’s a legitimate argument to make. This Yoo red herring, on the other hand, doesn’t advance the ball for anybody.

  • …and maybe I should add that if the amnesty action is a constitutional issue and it withstands a court challenge, John Yoo should be the last person to complain.

  • Spam Buddy,

    This is not about John Yoo or illegal immigrant salutatorians being denied the opportunities to give Spanish orations at their graduation ceremonies.

    This is about distracting and confusing the people about Obama’s policies and their horrid effects on Yoo and me.

  • It may be too late since the United States no longer has any religious freedom.

    All right, let’s dial it back a little. We haven’t quite reached Soviet status in this country. This administration has been bad enough that we don’t need to exaggerate what has happened.
    I was thinking of the aborted children who have had all of their constitutional rights taken from them. These persons have no religious freedom, taken from them by a government that ought to protect them and their constitutional rights.

  • Aside from issues of constitutionality, I oppose the HHS policy outright, but am ambivalent on immigration. I’ve always favored an orderly process for immigration and this new policy has long-term disadvantages in that regard for various reasons people have pointed out. Catholic bishops have supported the DREAM act as “a practical, fair, and compassionate solution for thousands of young persons.” So, the is the basis for my tentative support of the policy, as long as the causes of mercy and justice are served.

    The question about executive overreach is something the courts will need to decide. I don’t think Archbishop Schnurr of Cincinnati is a hypocrite for expressing his opinions for how these complex matters should be resolved.

  • There are as many as 20 million illegals in the country, according to many estimates. Nobody knows the actual numbers. But what we do know is that they came to America unlawfully and more than 80% are from Mexico and other Latin American countries.
    Mexico, which is responsible for around 57% of the total, has done nothing to stop the unlawful exodus until, ironically, it issued a warning to its citizens not travel to Arizona, which was forced to toughen immigration laws because the federal government failed to do so. Notwithstanding its concern for its own people, Mexico has managed to export drug cartels, kidnapping rings and criminal gangs to the U.S., all of which have rightly caused fear and loathing by lawbiding U.S. citizens.
    When he placed his hand on Lincoln’s Bible back in January 2009, Barack Obama swore to “faithfully execute” the laws of the United States of America. But is he?
    . As Pat Buchanan wrote: “(Obama) is siding with the law-breakers. He is pandering to the ethnic lobbies. He is not berating a Mexican regime that aids and abets this invasion of the country of which he is commander in chief. Instead, he attacks the government of Arizona for trying to fill a gaping hole in law enforcement left by his own dereliction of duty.
    “He has called on the Justice Department to ensure that Arizona’s sheriffs and police do not violate anyone’s civil rights. But he has said nothing about the rights of the people of Arizona who must deal with the costs of having hundreds of thousands of lawbreakers in their midst. Obama has done everything but his duty to enforce the law.”

  • The question about executive overreach is something the courts will need to decide

    This is a very dangerous attitude. I don’t fault you, spambot, for expressing it because it’s been so deeply rooted into our collective psyche. But the Courts are most definitely not the sole repository for adjudicating constitutional matters. What’s more, when it comes to inter-branch squabbles, the Court is generally reluctant to act.

    So while the Court can intervene, we should shake off this attitude that dictates that we await their say and only their say.

    I don’t think Archbishop Schnurr of Cincinnati is a hypocrite for expressing his opinions for how these complex matters should be resolved.

    I’m not saying he’s a hypocrite for expressing an opinion, but for being okay with violations of the constitution that are in accord with his personal policy preferences.

  • Thank you, Paul Zummo for responding to my comment. My opinion is dialed back to reset.
    Mary De Voe

  • No worries, Mary. I’ve been known to engage in hyperbole from time to time.

  • Not sure about the exact relevance of the Mr. Yoo reference, but I did see the piece and Spambot seems pretty accurate about Yoo being comically hypocritical about presidential overreach. But again, so what? Bush and Obama are both guilty of overreach – is that supposed to exculpate one or the other?

    The Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice has a handy website providing links to legal opinions issued by the office since 1995 or thereabouts. Included among them are four (4) opinions issued during 2001, 2002, and 2003 bearing the signature of one John Yoo, Esq. I am not an adept of this, so maybe you and Spambot can read through them and tell us all where we can find the text about crushing children’s testicles or something remotely related thereto.

    When you are done with that, maybe we can have a panel discussion between you, Spambot, Mark Shea, Zippy, Daniel Nichols, Ronald Dworkin, and any three members of the Gitmo Bar where you can all discuss the circumstances under which we should have boards of judges on battlefields (helpfully advised by white shoe lawyers and professors) reviewing tactics and strategy.

  • Art Deco,

    John Yoo’s comments that I referenced are not posted to the OLC website that I am aware.

  • Obama is doing what he said he couldn’t and wouldn’t do. He is flaunting the law. I think he (and the DOJ) should be should be impeached. Only..I am afraid that if he were impeached the left thinkers see that he has no support and no leg to stand on, they might try to convince him to let another democrat run instead of him, and then Romney would have a harder time.
    Borrowing trouble?

  • Not to be picky, Anzlyne, but believe you meant “flouting,” not “flaunting.”

  • ok — you are right Joe
    I could say that he flaunts his education and knowledge of the Constitution… : )

  • Joe I hate it when I make mistakes like that because then you look at the mistake and not at the content of the comment. Maybe not such a worthy comment but I’ll ask:

    Are we too close to the end of his term for an impeachment process to get started? Can the actions and authority of the DOJ be scrutinized?
    Even if his time as president is over, shouldn’t an investigation be done, so that our system of government is protected from this kind of breaking the Constitution.

    I hope he is out of office soon, I hope we vote him (and all his appointees out) but I wouldn’t be surprised if the bad guys pull a fast one and try to run someone else if he gets too much more unpopular… or like LBJ, just pull out – then it would be quite a different race

  • Anzlyne,

    Who would they run – Barney Frank?

    Your comment’s content is perfect.

    November must mark the end of an error or the USA could well be finished.

    Re: this latest ill-advised campaign ploy/Exec Order: Which is served social justice or common good for 20,000,000 American citizens and legal immigrants that cannot find work, when the Anointed “Won” doles out extra-special work benefits to 600,000 extraneous persons who absconded into the USA?

    Joe, Did I correctly use the word “absconded”?

Lincoln and the Liberty of Catholic Americans

Saturday, June 16, AD 2012

Something for the weekend.  Lincoln and Liberty Too.  Perhaps the most effective campaign song in the history of our nation, it resonates strongly in me this year when our Catholic Church is engaged in a fight for our religious liberty.  Our bishops have proclaimed a Fortnight for Freedom from June 21 to July 4 for Catholics to meditate upon, and proclaim, our American heritage of liberty.  In that fortnight the memory of one man from our history should stand tall, Abraham Lincoln.  Although he was not a Catholic, and most Catholics of his time were members of the Democrat Party, Lincoln ever stood for the rights of his fellow citizens who were Catholics.

In the 1840s America was beset by a wave of anti-Catholic riots.  An especially violent one occurred in Philadelphia on May 6-8 in 1844. These riots laid the seeds for a powerful anti-Catholic movement which became embodied in the years to come in the aptly named Know-Nothing movement.  To many American politicians Catholic-bashing seemed the path to electoral success.


Lincoln made clear where he stood on this issue when he organized a public meeting in Springfield, Illinois on June 12, 1844.  At the meeting he proposed and had the following resolution adopted by the meeting:

“Resolved, That the guarantee of the rights of conscience, as found in our Constitution, is most sacred and inviolable, and one that belongs no less to the Catholic, than to the Protestant; and that all attempts to abridge or interfere with these rights, either of Catholic or Protestant, directly or indirectly, have our decided disapprobation, and shall ever have our most effective opposition. Resolved, That we reprobate and condemn each and every thing in the Philadelphia riots, and the causes which led to them, from whatever quarter they may have come, which are in conflict with the principles above expressed.”

Lincoln remained true to this belief.  At the height of the political success of the Know-Nothing movement 11 years later, Mr. Lincoln in a letter to his friend Joshua Speed wrote:

“I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty-to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy [sic].”

In our battle for religious liberty, we have Abraham Lincoln on our side, a man who understood that the great principles enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution apply to all Americans.

Continue reading...

39 Responses to Lincoln and the Liberty of Catholic Americans

  • Don, forgive me, but you need to wean yourself from the Claremont Institute, my friend.

  • You need to read and understand some actual history regarding Lincoln Joe rather than the idiot neo-Confederate diatribes you are addicted to.

  • As a lawyer, perhaps you can only understand one side of an argument. I can understand that. However, step back now and then and appreciate that history is a vast landscape and that you may be seeing only the part that you choose to see. Start with a fresh slate and open mind and expand your horizons. It can’t hurt and might illuminate.

  • It really is simple Joe. I have read hundreds of books about Lincoln and the Civil War and I know what I am talking about. You are addicted to Lincoln hating cranks like Dilorenzo and do not.

  • Don, the minority view is sometimes the right one. But far be it from me to disabuse you of your prejudices. I’ve a voracious reader, too, and find some historians more credible than others. DiLorenzo is not a scholar, true, but a good economist in the Ludwig Von Mises/Milton Friedman school of supply side economics, which was embraced by one of your favorite presidents, Reagan. I don’t swallow everything Tom says but he raises some issues that are worth exploring without dismissing him as a “crank” or “idiot.” I’d expect something better than mere ad hominem from you. To me such labels would be better applied to Marxist historians such as Eric Foner and pop historian Doris Kearns Goodwin who champion the Church of Lincoln.

    I spent most of my adult life as a journalist and try to sell all sides of a story and not rely on single-sourcing for facts. I haven’t quite read “hundreds of books” about the Civil War as you have but enough to raise doubts about the legends created by the court historians. Then again, as Napoleon put it, “What is history but a fabled agreed upon?” And Plato said the winners get to write the history.

    Don’t mean to spoil the thread or the weekend. On more prosaic matters, I’ll be watching the US Open and enjoying the views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge, which is 75 years old — a marvel indeed.

    Thanks as always, Don, for allowing me to sing off-key in the choir.

  • Dilorenzo purports to write history Joe and he is abysmal at it. A typical example which I have cited before:

    “To quote Loyola College economics professor Tom DiLorenzo, who has gained fame as a Lincoln basher: “Hamilton was a compulsive statist who wanted to bring the corrupt British mercantilist system — the very system the American Revolution was fought to escape from — to America. He fought fiercely for his program of corporate welfare, protectionist tariffs, public debt, pervasive taxation, and a central bank run by politicians and their appointees out of the nation’s capital.”

    Citing DiLorenzo on any historical point Joe is akin to quoting Bill Clinton on celibacy. DiLorenzo is an historical illiterate who lies to support the political points that he is trying to make in his ignorant polemics. An example of Dilorenzo at work:

    DiLorenzo repeatedly asserts that Lincoln did not believe in human equality and shared the widely held prejudices of his time that blacks were inferior. Here is DiLorenzo:

    “Lincoln even mocked the Jeffersonian dictum enshrined in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal. He admitted that it had become “a genuine coin in the political currency of our generation,” but added, “I am sorry to say that I have never seen two men of whom it is true. But I must admit I never saw the Siamese Twins, and therefore will not dogmatically say that no man ever saw a proof of this sage aphorism” So, with the possible exception of Siamese Twins, the idea of equality, according to Lincoln, was a sheer absurdity. This is in stark contrast to the seductive words of the Gettysburg Address, eleven years later, in which he purported to rededicate the nation to the notion that all men are created equal.”

    DiLorenzo cites the first joint debate between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, held in Ottawa, Illinois, in 1858, as the source of the quotation. The language actually comes from Lincoln’s eulogy of his longtime friend and colleague Henry Clay, delivered in July 1852. But that is the least of DiLorenzo’s problems. He uses this quotation, and a few other excerpted phrases, to “prove” that Lincoln’s professed belief in human equality was disingenuous. Here are Lincoln’s actual words:

    “[There are] a few, but an increasing number of men, who, for the sake of perpetuating slavery, are beginning to assail and to ridicule the white man’s charter of freedom, the declaration “that all men are created equal.” So far as I have learned, the first American, of any note, to do or attempt this, was the late John C. Calhoun; and if I mistake not, it soon after found its way into some of the messages of the Governors of South Carolina. We, however, look for, and are not much shocked by, political eccentricities and heresies in South Carolina. But, only last year, I saw with astonishment, what purported to be a letter of a very distinguished and influential clergyman of Virginia, copied, with apparent approbation, into a St. Louis newspaper, containing the following, to me, very extraordinary language:

    I am fully aware that there is a text in some Bibles that is not in mine. Professional abolitionists have made more use of it, than of any passage in the Bible. It came, however, as I trace it, from Saint Voltaire, and was baptized by Thomas Jefferson, and since almost universally regarded as canonical authority ‘All men are born equal and free.’

    This is a genuine coin in the political currency of our generation. I am sorry to say that I have never seen two men of whom it is true. But I must admit I never saw the Siamese Twins, and therefore will not dogmatically say that no man ever saw a proof of this sage aphorism.

    This sounds strangely in republican America. The like was not heard in the fresher days of the Republic.”

    DiLorenzo thus attributes to Lincoln the words of a Virginia clergyman whom Lincoln quoted and then went on to criticize. In the course of his eulogy of Clay, Lincoln defended the proposition of human equality and equal natural rights, as he did in all his major addresses. His argument is precisely the opposite of what DiLorenzo claims it to be.


    History is very important to me Joe. Any study of the past has to be grounded in a search for the facts of what actually occurred. Dilorenzo, through mendacity or incompetence, lacks that fundamental requirement for any historian.

  • Too much here to rebut except to say that some is out of context or otherwise incomplete. It is a fact that Lincoln supported the Fugitive Slave Act, made several white supremacist statements, enthusiastically backed colonization of blacks back to Africa, etc., suspended habeas corpus and rebuffed third-party efforts to reach a peaceful settlement to prevent the war.

    As long as you bring up Lincoln-Douglas, I’m sure you’re aware that some of their debates ran for several hours. In one instance, Douglas spoke for THREE HOURS, then Lincoln called a recess for a rebuttal that came later after dinner and ran at least as long.
    Who can know what they said or in what context?

    Cherry-picking quotes from Lincoln speeches, some of which were fictional according to historians other than DiLorenzo, is often used to support or refute an argument but more than words actions are what matter. And looking at the Civil War and all its bitter fruit — which remains to this day — I cannot hold the 16th President in high esteem.

    And truth to tell, I’d rather live in a Jeffersonian America than Hamilton’s America, which is what we have now. States once were sovereign; now they’re just mere vassals. If the colonists asserted the right to secede from King George’s tyranny, then why was it wrong for the confederates to do the same when the North imposed unfair tariffs on the South. The issue of slavery was only a small part of the South’s grievances; it was rooted in economics primarily, but the legend lives on that Lincoln wanted to “save the union” and “free the slaves” and fails to take into account the political and economic oppression that the South genuinely felt. Again way too much here to debate and I’m sure we’ll never agree on what version of history to believe.

  • I deal in the actual historical record Joe. Dilorenzo does not. Here is a portion of a review of DiLorenzo’s the Real Lincoln by Professor Richard Gamble. Gamble himself is a severe critic of Lincoln, but he is honest enough to recognize abysmal scholarship when he sees it:

    “Despite its provocative insights and obvious rhetorical skill, however, The Real Lincoln is seriously compromised by careless errors of fact, misuse of sources, and faulty documentation. Although individually these flaws may seem trivial and inconsequential, taken together they constitute a near-fatal threat to DiLorenzo’s credibility as a historian. A few examples indicate the scope of the problem: DiLorenzo’s own article on Lincoln as “The Great Centralizer” appeared in the The Independent Review in 1998, not in 1988 (p. vii); Lincoln advised sending freed slaves to Liberia in a speech in 1854, not “during the war” (pp. 16–17); Lincoln was not a member of the Illinois state legislature in 1857 (p. 18); the commerce clause was not an “amendment,” and Thomas Jefferson was not among the framers of the Constitution (pp. 69–70); Thaddeus Stevens was a Pennsylvania representative, not a senator (p. 140); and Fort Sumter was not a customs house (p. 242).

    Unfortunately, these lapses are more than matched by a clumsy mishandling of sources that violates the presumed trust between author and reader. DiLorenzo claims, for example, that in the four years “between 1860 and 1864, population in the thirteen largest Northern cities rose by 70 percent” (p. 225). On the face of it, this statistic is absurd and defies common sense, and sure enough, the source DiLorenzo cites says that the growth occurred “in fifteen years.” Page 11 says that Lincoln’s law partner and biographer William Herndon was quoting his own recollections of Lincoln, but he really was quoting another biographer. A few pages later (p. 14), DiLorenzo claims that Lincoln, in his eulogy for Henry Clay, “mustered his best rhetorical talents to praise Clay,” but all of the examples that follow come from the “beautiful language” of a newspaper that Lincoln was quoting at length. Moreover, Lincoln’s supposed comment about the “deportation” of blacks in his Cooper Union speech was in fact a quotation from Thomas Jefferson, as Lincoln himself says (p. 18). In chapter 3, DiLorenzo claims that in a letter to Salmon P. Chase, Lincoln “admitted that the original [Emancipation] proclamation had no legal justification, except as a war measure” (p. 37). His source, however, is the recollections of a conversation (not a letter) that portrait artist Francis B. Carpenter (not Chase) had with Lincoln, and at no point do these recollections sustain DiLorenzo’s summary of them. Moreover, in the reference for this section, DiLorenzo misidentifies the title of his source as Paul Angle’s The American Reader, when in fact the jumbled material comes from Angle’s The Lincoln Reader. Other errors include misplaced quotation marks, missing ellipses, and quotations with incorrect punctuation, capitalization, and wrong or missing words.

    Further examination of the endnotes leads into a labyrinth of errors beyond the ingenuity of Ariadne’s thread. On page 281, for instance, note 1 cites page 66 of David Donald’s Lincoln, when in fact the quotation comes from page 66 of Donald’s Lincoln Reconsidered. On the next page, note 7 cites Lincoln’s debate with Stephen Douglas at Ottawa, Illinois, on August 21, 1858, but the quotation comes from the debate at Charleston, Illinois, on September 18, 1858. Moreover, hardly a single citation of the Basler edition of Lincoln’s Collected Works includes the volume number (see notes 25, 26, and 33), and several of the remaining citations of the Collected Works turn out in fact to be references to Basler’s Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings (notes 24, 31, and 44). Note 9 on page 282 again cites Lincoln’s 1858 debate with Douglas at Ottawa, but the quotations this time actually come from Lincoln’s 1852 eulogy for Henry Clay. Note 14 leads down another blind alley to no trace of the quoted material. On page 287, note 3 cites the wrong page number from Donald’s Lincoln, and although note 4 immediately following says “ibid.,” it actually refers to Basler’s Abraham Lincoln. On page 293, DiLorenzo cites Federalist No. 36 as his source, but the quotation comes from Federalist No. 46. Sad to say, this catalog of errors is only a sampling. Readers looking further into the matter will find incorrect titles and subtitles as well as misspelled publishers’ names. Obviously, in view of these problems, the maze of endnotes does not provide the “meticulous documentation” promised by the book’s dust jacket.

    As it stands, The Real Lincoln is a travesty of historical method and documentation. Exasperating, maddening, and deeply disappointing, The Real Lincoln ought to have been a book to confound Lincoln’s apologists and to help rebuild the American historical consciousness. Ironically, it is essentially correct in every charge it makes against Lincoln, making it all the more frustrating to the sympathetic reader. DiLorenzo’s love of the chase needs to be tempered by scrupulous attention to detail. Without it, his good work collapses. He is an author of evident courage and ability, but his sloppiness has earned him the abuse and ridicule of his critics. A book such as The Real Lincoln needed to be written, but until it is revised and corrected in a new edition, this is not that book. In the meantime, there is still hope for skeptical cynics.”


  • “As long as you bring up Lincoln-Douglas, I’m sure you’re aware that some of their debates ran for several hours. In one instance, Douglas spoke for THREE HOURS, then Lincoln called a recess for a rebuttal that came later after dinner and ran at least as long.
    Who can know what they said or in what context?”

    Because reporters from several newspapers were making contemporaneous stenographic records:

    “Both then and now, the debates’ impact was amplified by changing technology. In 1858, innovation was turning what would otherwise have been a local contest into one followed from Mississippi to Maine. Stenographers trained in shorthand recorded the candidates’ words. Halfway through each debate, runners were handed the stenographers’ notes; they raced for the next train to Chicago, converting shorthand into text during the journey and producing a transcript ready to be typeset and telegraphed to the rest of the country as soon as it arrived. “The combination of shorthand, the telegraph and the railroad changed everything,” says Allen C. Guelzo, author of Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates That Defined America. “It was unprecedented. Lincoln and Douglas knew they were speaking to the whole nation. It was like JFK in 1960 coming to grips with the presence of the vast new television audience.””

    Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/face-the-nation.html#ixzz1xxtjULAG

  • “Too much here to rebut except to say that some is out of context or otherwise incomplete. It is a fact that Lincoln supported the Fugitive Slave Act, made several white supremacist statements, enthusiastically backed colonization of blacks back to Africa, etc., suspended habeas corpus and rebuffed third-party efforts to reach a peaceful settlement to prevent the war.”

    Lincoln gave very grudging support to the Fugitive Slave Act as part of a compromise to keep the Union together. Neo-Confederate attacks on Lincoln as a racist are absolutely hilarious beacause during his day their ideological ancestors attack him routinely as a n—-r lover. Here is what black abolitionist Frederick Douglas had to say:

    “When, therefore, it shall be asked what we have to do with the memory of Abraham Lincoln, or what Abraham Lincoln had to do with us, the answer is ready, full, and complete. Though he loved Caesar less than Rome, though the Union was more to him than our freedom or our future, under his wise and beneficent rule we saw ourselves gradually lifted from the depths of slavery to the heights of liberty and manhood; under his wise and beneficent rule, and by measures approved and vigorously pressed by him, we saw that the handwriting of ages, in the form of prejudice and proscription, was rapidly fading away from the face of our whole country; under his rule, and in due time, about as soon after all as the country could tolerate the strange spectacle, we saw our brave sons and brothers laying off the rags of bondage, and being clothed all over in the blue uniforms of the soldiers of the United States; under his rule we saw two hundred thousand of our dark and dusky people responding to the call of Abraham Lincoln, and with muskets on their shoulders, and eagles on their buttons, timing their high footsteps to liberty and union under the national flag; under his rule we saw the independence of the black republic of Haiti, the special object of slave-holding aversion and horror, fully recognized, and her minister, a colored gentleman, duly received here in the city of Washington; under his rule we saw the internal slave-trade, which so long disgraced the nation, abolished, and slavery abolished in the District of Columbia; under his rule we saw for the first time the law enforced against the foreign slave trade, and the first slave-trader hanged like any other pirate or murderer; under his rule, assisted by the greatest captain of our age, and his inspiration, we saw the Confederate States, based upon the idea that our race must be slaves, and slaves forever, battered to pieces and scattered to the four winds; under his rule, and in the fullness of time, we saw Abraham Lincoln, after giving the slave-holders three months’ grace in which to save their hateful slave system, penning the immortal paper, which, though special in its language, was general in its principles and effect, making slavery forever impossible in the United States. Though we waited long, we saw all this and more.

    Can any colored man, or any white man friendly to the freedom of all men, ever forget the night which followed the first day of January, 1863, when the world was to see if Abraham Lincoln would prove to be as good as his word? I shall never forget that memorable night, when in a distant city I waited and watched at a public meeting, with three thousand others not less anxious than myself, for the word of deliverance which we have heard read today. Nor shall I ever forget the outburst of joy and thanksgiving that rent the air when the lightning brought to us the emancipation proclamation. In that happy hour we forgot all delay, and forgot all tardiness, forgot that the President had bribed the rebels to lay down their arms by a promise to withhold the bolt which would smite the slave-system with destruction; and we were thenceforward willing to allow the President all the latitude of time, phraseology, and every honorable device that statesmanship might require for the achievement of a great and beneficent measure of liberty and progress.

    Fellow-citizens, there is little necessity on this occasion to speak at length and critically of this great and good man, and of his high mission in the world. That ground has been fully occupied and completely covered both here and elsewhere. The whole field of fact and fancy has been gleaned and garnered. Any man can say things that are true of Abraham Lincoln, but no man can say anything that is new of Abraham Lincoln. His personal traits and public acts are better known to the American people than are those of any other man of his age. He was a mystery to no man who saw him and heard him. Though high in position, the humblest could approach him and feel at home in his presence. Though deep, he was transparent; though strong, he was gentle; though decided and pronounce in his convictions, he was tolerant towards those who differed from him, and patient under reproaches. Even those who only knew him through his public utterance obtained a tolerably clear idea of his character and personality. The image of the man went out with his words, and those who read them knew him.

    I have said that President Lincoln was a white man, and shared the prejudices common to his countrymen towards the colored race. Looking back to his times and to the condition of his country, we are compelled to admit that this unfriendly feeling on his part may be safely set down as one element of his wonderful success in organizing the loyal American people for the tremendous conflict before them, and bringing them safely through that conflict. His great mission was to accomplish two things: first, to save his country from dismemberment and ruin; and, second, to free his country from the great crime of slavery. To do one or the other, or both, he must have the earnest sympathy and the powerful cooperation of his loyal fellow-countrymen. Without this primary and essential condition to success his efforts must have been vain and utterly fruitless. Had he put the abolition of slavery before the salvation of the Union, he would have inevitably driven from him a powerful class of the American people and rendered resistance to rebellion impossible. Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined. “

  • “suspended habeas corpus”

    Yep, Joe in the midst of a Civil War. His action was ratified by Congress.

    Jefferson Davis also suspended habeas corpus, for the same reason.


  • “The issue of slavery was only a small part of the South’s grievances; it was rooted in economics primarily, but the legend lives on that Lincoln wanted to “save the union” and “free the slaves” and fails to take into account the political and economic oppression that the South genuinely felt.”

    Jefferson Davis begs to differ Joe:

    “In the meantime, under the mild and genial climate of the Southern States and the increasing care and attention for the wellbeing and comfort of the laboring class, dictated alike by interest and humanity, the African slaves had augmented in number from about 600,000, at the date of the adoption of the constitutional compact, to upward of 4,000,000. In moral and social condition they had been elevated from brutal savages into docile, intelligent, and civilized agricultural laborers, and supplied not only with bodily comforts but with careful religious instruction. Under the supervision of a superior race their labor had been so directed as not only to allow a gradual and marked amelioration of their own condition, but to convert hundreds of thousands of square miles of the wilderness into cultivated lands covered with a prosperous people; towns and cities had sprung into existence, and had rapidly increased in wealth and population under the social system of the South; the white population of the Southern slaveholding States had augmented from about 1,250,000 at the date of the adoption of the Constitution to more than 8,500,000 in 1860; and the productions of the South in cotton, rice, sugar, and tobacco, for the full development and continuance of which the labor of African slaves was and is indispensable, had swollen to an amount which formed nearly three-fourths of the exports of the whole United States and had become absolutely necessary to the wants of civilized man. With interests of such overwhelming magnitude imperiled, the people of the Southern States were driven by the conduct of the North to the adoption of some course of action to avert the danger with which they were openly menaced. With this view the legislatures of the several States invited the people to select delegates to conventions to be held for the purpose of determining for themselves what measures were best adapted to meet so alarming a crisis in their history.”


    The secession of the Southern states was to protect the instition of slavery Joe. As Alexander Stephens Vice President of the Confederacy put it:

    “The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”

    Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”


  • Faced with that onslaught, I still refuse to wave the white flag. For now, you have the last word on this. As a lawyer and Illinoisan, no doubt this plays heavily into your views. We all need heroes, Don.

  • Abraham Lincoln said: “One person cannot own another person”. The Declaration of Independence says: “All men are created equal, WE hold these truths, and endowed by their CREATOR with unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”
    Saint Voltaire (are you sure???) said: ‘All men are born equal and free.” This last is the Declaration on Human Rights from the United Nations. All that “born” stuff. All men are “created equal” in innocence and sovereign personhood by “their Creator” Created equal with a rational and immortal soul as a member of the species HomoSapiens, with each his own DNA when two become one, scientific proof that all men are “created equal”. The soul brings the human being to birth in a human body who has responded to the gifts of charisms and personality endowed by “their Creator”. The sovereign personhood endowed to the newly begotten individual by “their Creator” constitutes the nation from the very first moment of the person’s existence. “Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights”. from Aquinas through Suarez. If the individual’s sovereign personhood is not acknowledged, as in abortion, the newly begotten person is a slave of the state, constituting the nation but receiving no Liberty. When the state owns the person, the person can never be a citizen who constitutes the state. FREEDOM is granted by God, not the state. Life is granted by God, not the state. If men “are born equal”, then the state endows Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. God is infinite. The state is finite. Man’s soul is immortal, something the state could not in its finiteness endow. Abraham Lincoln said that one person cannot own another person.
    A great truth, the following is not. “upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” because this reasoning denies that God created all men equal. If there is anyone who will deny or distort our founding principles, he shall forfeit them to himself.

  • Don, while I wait for Zummo to pile on, here’s more grist to chew on:
    Having read The Real Lincoln, Lincoln Unmasked, Hamilton’s Curse and Killing Lincoln, I’d have to say DiLorenzo got the much the better of “Mr. No-Spin Zone.” O’Reilly’s book is replete with laughable errors. As for Gamble’s review, the worst that could be said is that The Real Lincoln may have had some sloppy footnoting but the same could be said of many other highly rated history books.

  • O’Reilly is not a historian Joe and does not pretend to be. Neither is DiLorenzo, although he pretends to be.

  • As a casual observer of this banter between Don and Joe, it would be a lot more sporting of you Joe to link to sources which don’t make reference to Santorum as the Ayatollah. Just a thought.

  • Dilorenzo tends to express himself in bitter hysterical vituperation against those he differs with politically, as well as being a joke as an historian.

    More on Dilorenzo’s shortcomings in The Real Lincoln:

    “Contrary to a number of reviews that have appeared on Amazon’s website for this book, DiLorenzo’s ‘Real Lincoln’ is NOT well researched; it is sloppy and looks hastily written, in spite of the fact it has been revised from its original release. In addition to the book’s highly questionable interpretations of a number of abridged Lincoln quotes and a sweeping and blanket acceptance of several controversial legal and historical claims, there are numerous errors of fact and citation that mar this book and do irreparable damage to its thesis. I have written a longer review of this book elsewhere; just a small fraction of the myriad of errors is listed below. To cite a few, on p.68 in the first edition of his book DiLorenzo wrote: “In virtually every one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Lincoln made it a point to champion the nationalization of money and to demonize [Andrew] Jackson and the Democrats for their opposition to it.” I challenge the Amazon reviewers that said DiLorenzo’s book is “well researched” to go and read the Lincoln-Douglas debates for themselves – they will strain to find anything much on the nationalization of money and related topics. In a later edition of his book, DiLorenzo corrected this mistaken reference to the debates, but then compounded his error it by replacing it with the statement: “Lincoln frequently made it a point to champion the nationalization of money and to demonize Jackson…” Yet there are no such “frequent statements” in Lincoln’s Speeches and Writings nor is any citation given to show that Lincoln “frequently” did this. Such a citation is obligatory, certainly in a “well researched” scholarly book. This book is characterized by numerous similar sweeping statements that are either unsupported or have very weak support.
    A few more examples are worth noting. In chapter 3, DiLorenzo wrote that Lincoln, in a letter to his Treasury Secretary, stated that the Emancipation proclamation had no legal justification, except as a military [War Powers?] measure. But DiLorenzo did not cite from a letter, rather from a recollection of a conversation that painter Francis Carpenter had with Lincoln, and this recollection is inaccurately rendered in the book. The cited reference, Paul Angle’s ‘The American Reader’ (p. 286 n14) is also wrong. In fact, this (incorrectly rendered) material actually comes from Angle’s 1947 book ‘The Lincoln Reader.’ On p. 289 of the endnotes, DiLorenzo corrects the Angle book’s title for us but then gets the publisher wrong, listing Da Capo Press rather than Rutgers (Da Capo was not in business in 1947). On p.14 DiLorenzo wrote “Lincoln mustered his best rhetorical talents to praise [Henry] Clay…” but the examples given came from a newspaper that Lincoln was quoting — hardly Lincoln’s rhetorical talents. Similarly, Lincoln’s supposed comment about the “deportation” of blacks (frequently and incorrectly ascribed to Lincoln by sloppy writers) was actually a quote from Thomas Jefferson, which Lincoln states clearly in his famous Cooper Institute speech – and Lincoln is clearly NOT advocating this position. Rather than reading Lincoln’s work for themselves, sloppy writers and Lincoln critics seem to simply read and cite each others’ work and thus regularly make this and similar errors of interpretation. In addition, almost none of the references to a major primary source – Roy Basler’s Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln – includes the volume number while several references to ‘Collected Works’ were actually references to Basler’s ‘Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings.’
    Many more small errors emerge for those that are familiar with U.S. 19th century history. On page 293, DiLorenzo cites Federalist # 36, but the quote cited actually came from Federalist # 46. In chapter 7, DiLorenzo calls Lincoln a war criminal and describes certain rules on treatment of civilians and civilian property in war, supposedly adopted by governments at an international conference in 1863 and based on an 18th century book. At the end of the chapter he again refers to the 1863 conference and its rules, and criticizes Lincoln and the U.S. government for not following them during the Civil War. Like so much of the work in `The Real Lincoln’ the 1863 conference never occurred. There was a conference on the law of war held in Geneva in 1864, but it primarily about the treatment of wounded soldiers, not civilians. The U.S. did not attend. The first conference to adopt a treaty dealing with civilians and civilian property was held at The Hague in 1899, some 30 years after the Civil War. Further, DiLorenzo gives no evidence for his claim that
    “American politicians and military officers relied on the [18th century] work of Swiss jurist Emmerich de Vattel…” (p. 174) about the rules of war. He mentions a book by Halleck written in 1861, but that book’s publishing date indicates that it hardly could have been an authoritative source that trained officers of the Civil War. DiLorenzo states that it was so used but again offers no evidence for this. The errors in this book continue relentlessly: miscites, wrong publishers, wrong pages, misquotes, sweeping statements with zero evidence offered, etc. Although The Real Lincoln’s book jacket says this book is meticulously documented, it is nothing of the kind. As well known Lincoln historian Phillip Paludan has stated, ‘The Real Lincoln’ “subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge.” If you choose to read ‘The Real Lincoln’ do so with the primary sources such as Basler, Fehrenbacher, Donald, Angle, and others open on the desk next to you. But rather than putting in that much effort, try reading the seminal works on the American Civil War from James McPherson, Gary Gallagher, David Herbert Donald, Phil Paludan, Gabor Boritt, Steven Woodworth, Robert Toplin, Henry Jaffa and many others. Or read some of the good books by DiLorenzo on economics. Your time will be much better spent.
    Professor David Ahlstrom
    The Chinese University of Hong Kong”

  • The Real Abraham Lincoln was called “Honest Abe” and the “Great Communicator” by his people, the people whom he birthed at Gettysburg. I am far more inclined to call them friends than some writer who never even met Abraham Lincoln and puts his opinion on paper.

  • “As a casual observer of this banter between Don and Joe, it would be a lot more sporting of you Joe to link to sources which don’t make reference to Santorum as the Ayatollah. Just a thought.”
    Sorry, Paul, but I don’t get the Santorum reference.

  • Don, I think “bitter hysterical vituperation” is a bit strong. I suspect DiLorenzo’s contrarian views stem from his avowed Liberatarianism. Like Ron Paul, he’s a Jeffersonian and a states rightist through and through and takes a dim view of Hamilton because of what he perceives as “big government” ideology. If you watch his YouTube interviews he comes across as a bit arrogant at times. I would concede he’s no Toynbee or Durant but he makes for interesting reading. I don’t buy everything he says, of course. He tends to be repetitious in his arguments. Lincoln Unmask did not really break any new ground.

    Have you ever read Neil Postman? His “Amusing Ourselves to Death” is an insightful read 28 years after being published. He felt Huxley and not Orwell was more accurate in predicting the future.

  • Pingback: SATURDAY EXTRA | Big Pulpit
  • The Church at which John Paul Neumann’s body lays in Germantown Philedephia has the windows extra high because protestants had broken the windows before.

  • Somebody mentioned Liberia which I would make interesting social note about which is that after lots of the freed slaves went to Liberia they enslaved the local Africans and for a while after the local Africans were free they had good and beautiful country so much so that it was called “The Switzerland of Africa” but now after several wars the whole country is rampant with brothels, cannibalism, and drug dens and most townships have war lords ruling them or at least for protection. So if anybody is gonna send a free slave to Africa make sure he’s chaste, straight, and morally sound.

  • Lincoln was a great friend of the Irish Catholics in particular. Off the boat and into a blue uniform.

  • And quite valorous most of them were:

  • About 150,000 Irish served out of the 2,000,000 men who made up the Union Army.

    Listed below are the names of Irish Born Medal of Honor Recipients for bravery in the line of duty during the war.

    1. ADAMS, PETER – Company A, 98th Pennsylvania Infantry
    2. ALLEN, JAMES – Company F, 16th New York Infantry
    3. ANDERSON, ROBERT – USS Keokuk
    4. BARRY, AUGUSTUS – 16th U.S. Infantry
    5. BASS, DAVID L. – USS Minnesota
    6. BEGLEY, TERRENCE – Company D, 7th New York Heavy Artillery
    7. BLACKWOOD, WILLIAM R. D. – 48th Pennsylvania Infantry (Philadelphian)
    8. BRADLEY, CHARLES – USS Louisville
    9. BRANNIGAN, FELIX – Company A, 74th New York Infantry
    10. BRENNAN, CHRISTOPHER – USS Mississippi
    11. BROSNAN, JOHN – Company E, 164th New York Infantry
    12. BROWN, EDWARD, JR. – Company G, 62d New York Infantry
    13. BURK, E. MICHAEL – Company D, 125th New York Infantry
    14. BURKE, THOMAS – Company A, 5th New York Cavalry
    15. BYRNES, JAMES – USS Louisville
    16. CAMPBELL, WILLIAM – Company I, 30th Ohio Infantry
    17. CAREY, HUGH – Company E, 82d New York Infantry
    18. CASEY, DAVID – Company C, 25th Massachusetts Infantry
    19. CASSIDY, MICHAEL – USS Lackawanna
    20. COLBERT, PATRICK – USS Commodore Hull
    21. COLLIS, CHARLES H. T. – 114th Pennsylvania Infantry
    22. CONNOR, THOMAS – USS Minnesota
    23. CONNORS, JAMES – Company E, 43d New York Infantry
    24. COOPER, JOHN – USS Brooklyn (2 Citations)
    25. COSGROVE, THOMAS – Company F, 40th Massachusetts Infantry
    26. CREED, JOHN – Company D, 23d Illinois Infantry
    27. CULLEN, THOMAS – Company I, 82d New York Infantry
    28. CURRAN, RICHARD – 33d New York Infantry
    29. DELANEY, JOHN C. – Company I, 107th Pennsylvania Infantry
    30. DONOGHUE, TIMOTHY – Company B, 69th New York Infantry
    31. DOODY, PATRICK – Company E., 164th New York Infantry
    32. DOOLEN, WILLIAM – USS Richmond
    33. DOUGHERTY, MICHAEL – Company B, 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry
    34. DOUGHERTY, PATRICK – USS Lackawanna
    35. DOWNEY, WILLIAM – Company B, 4th Massachusetts Cavalry
    36. DRURY, JAMES – Company C, 4th Vermont Infantry
    37. DUNPHY, RICHARD D. – USS Hartford
    38. ENGLISH, EDMUND – Company C, 2d New Jersey Infantry
    39. FALLON, THOMAS T. – Company K, 37th New York Infantry
    40. FLOOD, THOMAS – USS Pensacola
    41. FLYNN, CHRISTOPHER – Company K, 14th Connecticut Infantry
    42. FORD, GEORGE W. – Company E, 88th New York Infantry
    43. GARDNER, WILLIAM – USS Calena
    44. GASSON, RICHARD – Company K, 47th New York Infantry
    45. GRIBBEN, JAMES H. – Company C, 2d New York Cavalry
    46. GINLEY, PATRICK – Company G, 1st New York Light Artillery
    47. HALEY, JAMES – USS Kearsarge
    48. HARRINGTON, DANIEL – USS Pocahontas
    49. HAVRON, JOHN H. – Company G, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery
    50. HIGHLAND, PATRICK – Company D, 23d Illinois Infantry
    51. HINNECAN, WILLIAM – USS Agawam
    52. HORNE, SAMUEL B. – Company H, 11th Connecticut Infantry
    53. HOWARD, MARTIN – USS Tacony
    54. HUDSON, MICHAEL – U.S. Marine Corps / USS Brooklyn
    55. HYLAND, JOHN – USS Signal
    56. IRWIN, PATRICK – Company H, 14th Michigan Infantry
    57. JONES, ANDREW – US Ironclad Chickasaw
    58. JONES, WILLIAM – Company A, 73d New York Infantry
    59. KANE, JOHN – Company K, 100th New York Infantry
    60. KEELE, JOSEPH – 182d New York Infantry
    61. KELLEY, JOHN – USS Ceres
    62. KELLY, THOMAS – Company A, 6th New York Cavalry
    63. KENNEDY, JOHN – Company M, 2d U.S. Artillery
    64. KEOUGH, JOHN – Company E, 67th Pennsylvania Infantry
    65. KERR, THOMAS R. – Company C, 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry
    66. LAFFEY, BARTLETT – USS Marmora
    67. LOGAN, HUGH – USS Rhode Island
    68. LONERGAN, JOHN – Company A, 13th Vermont Infantry
    69. MADDEN, MICHAEL – Company K, 42d New York Infantry
    70. MANGAM, RICHARD C. – Company H, 148th New York Infantry
    71. MARTIN, JAMES – U.S. Marine Corps / USS Richmond
    72. MARTIN, WILLIAM – USS Varuna
    73. McCORMlCK, MICHAEL – USS Signal
    74. McGOUGH, OWEN – Battery D, 5th U.S. Artillery
    75. McGOWAN, JOHN – USS Varuna
    77. MOORE, CHARLES – US Gunboat Marblehead
    78. MORRISON, JOHN G. – USS Carondelet
    79. MORTON, CHARLES W. – USS Benton (Philadelphian)
    80. MURPHY, MICHAEL C. – 170th New York Infantry
    81. MURPHY, DENNIS J. F. – Company F, 14th Wisconsin Infantry
    82. MURPHY, JOHN P. – Company K, 5th Ohio Infantry
    83. MURPHY, PATRICK – USS Metacomet
    84. MURPHY, THOMAS C. – Company I, 31st Illinois Infantry
    85. MURPHY, THOMAS J. – Company G, 146th New York Infantry
    86. NOLAN, JOHN J. – Company K, 8th New Hampshire Infantry
    87. NUGENT, CHRISTOPHER – U.S. Marine Corps / USS Fort Henry
    88. O’BEIRNE, JAMES R. – Company C, 37th New York Infantry
    89. O’BRIEN, PETER – Company A, 1st New York (Lincoln) Cavalry
    90. O’CONNELL, THOMAS – USS Hartford
    91. O’CONNOR, TIMOTHY – Company E, 1st U.S. Cavalry
    92. O’DONNELL, MENOMEN – Company A, 11th Missouri Infantry
    93. PLATT, GEORGE C. – Troop H, 6th U.S. Cavalry (Philadelphian)
    94. PLUNKETT, THOMAS – Company E, 21st Massachusetts Infantry
    95. PRESTON, JOHN – USS Oneida
    96. QUINLAN, JAMES – 88th New York Infantry
    97. RAFFERTY, PETER – Company B, 69th New York Infantry
    98. RANNAHAN. JOHN – U.S. Marine Corps / USS Minnesota
    99. REYNOLDS, GEORGE – Company M, 9th New York Cavalry
    100. RILEY, THOMAS – Company D, 1st Louisiana Cavalry
    101. ROANTREE, JAMES S. – U.S. Marine Corps / USS Oneida
    102. ROBINSON, JOHN H. – Company I, 19th Massachusetts Infantry
    103. ROBINSON, THOMAS – Company H, 81st Pennsylvania Infantry
    104. RYAN, PETER J. – Company D, 11th Indiana Infantry
    105. SCANLAN, PATRICK – Company A, 4th Massachusetts Cavalry
    106. SCHUTT, GEORGE – USS Hendrick
    107. SEWELL, WILLIAM J. – 5th New Jersey Infantry
    108. SHIELDS, BERNARD – Company E, 2d West Virginia Cavalry
    109. SMITH, WILLIAM – USS Kearsarge
    110. SPILLANE, TIMOTHY – Company C, 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry
    111. STEWART, JOSEPH – Company G, 1st Maryland Infantry
    112. SULLIVAN, TIMOTHY – USS Louisville
    113. TOBIN, JOHN M. – 9th Massachusetts Infantry
    114. TOOMER, WILLIAM – Company G, 127th Illinois Infantry
    115. TYRRELL, GEORGE WILLIAM – Company H, 5th Ohio Infantry
    116. URELL, M. EMMET – Company E, 82d New York Infantry
    117. WALSH, JOHN – Company D, 5th New York Cavalry
    118. WELCH, RICHARD – Company E, 37th Massachusetts Infantry
    119. WELLS, THOMAS M. – 6th New York Cavalry
    120. WELSH, EDWARD – Company D, 54th Ohio Infantry
    121. WELSH, JAMES – Company E, 4th Rhode Island Infantry
    122. WHITE, PATRICK H. – Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery
    123. WILLIAMS, WILLIAM – USS Lehigh
    124. WILSON, CHRISTOPHER W. – Company E, 73d New York Infantry
    125. WRIGHT, ROBERT – Company G, 14th U.S. Infantry

  • Don, it’s possible digdigby forgot to turn on his sarcastic font.

  • Oh I got the sarcasm Joe and gave it the historical content it ignored.

  • Don the video you posted seemed a bit inaccurate in the way that there was probably a hell of a lot more smoke on the battlefield.

  • I know my Grandpa was the German Ambassador to Ireland and Egypt (he even met Mubarak) but he knows more about Irish German relations and the Irish civil war (much of which was insane on both sides), now he lives in Dun Laoghoraie.

  • Don why do Irish spell Gaelic in such wierd ways? My friend Joe who is a part of the ancient order of Hiberniens tells me it’s because they picked the roman alphabet when they were preliterate.

  • It wasn’t meant to be a documentary Valentin as to battlefield conditions of the time. The US military did not adopt smokeless powder until 1894 so Civil War battles, using black powder, did tend to be smokey affairs, although how smokey depended upon volume of fire and wind conditions.

  • Gaelic was the language of a people, the great mass of whom were illiterate and divided with no central authority. Irish scholarship tended to be traditionally carried out in Latin, until the English came, and then often in English. Irish Gaelic uniform orthography was largely a creation of the twentieth century since the Republican movement placed great emphasis upon the language:

    “Printface and Spelling

    There was always an awareness among those involved in the Oireachtas translation service of the need to develop a system of orthography and a typeface that would promote and facilitate the use of Irish as a modern European language. For instance, the Irish version of the new state’s Acts were printed in roman type from the beginning, despite the fact that the gaelic type was in common use. Moreover, the staff of the translation service simplified the spelling used in Dineen’s Dictionary (1904 and 1927). Great advances were made in this respect and, in the year 1931, a memorandum entitled Spelling of Irish in Official Documents was issued, setting out the approach employed by the Translation Section and advising that Translation Section usage be generalised throughout the civil service. Liam Mac Cionnaith, who was compiling an English-Irish dictionary, was also directed to use a roman typeface for the work. However, things took an unexpected turn when a newly-elected government immediately reversed that direction. As a result, Mac Cionnaith’s dictionary was published using a gaelic typeface in 1935, as was the Constitution of Ireland in 1937.

    The Constitution

    The first Act passed by Dáil Éireann was the Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann) Act, 1922. A committee was established to translate the Constitution from English. Sitting on the committee were Eoin Mac Néill (Minister for Education), Pádraig Ó Máille (Leas-Cheann Comhairle), Piaras Béaslaí, Professor Osborne Ó hAimhirgin, Professor T. Ó Raithille, Liam Ó Rinn (Translation Section) agus Colm Ó Murchadha (Clerk of the Dáil). Although there were a number of dictionaries available at the time, the committee had to devise a large number of new technical terms that were not available in any dictionary. Quite a number of terms that are still in use in Acts of the Oireachtas were first seen in the Constitution of the Irish Free State.

    With regard to the current Constitution that was approved by the people in the year 1937, Mícheál Ó Gríofa, a writer and native Irish speaker from County Clare, was charged with providing the Irish language version. Liam Ó Rinn and Tomás Page were asked to review the text before it went to the printers, however. At the same time, a document entitled Tuarascbháil choiste litrighthe na Gaedhilge sa Dréacht-Bhunreacht (Saorstát Éireann, 1937) [Report of the committee on Irish spelling in the Draft Constitution] was submitted to the Government. Not all of the changes were accepted, resulting in a mixture of old and new spelling in the Constitution. It appears that an Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera, regretted that decision. In 1941, he said that the wiser course would have been “to follow the spelling of the translation department”. The Translation Section has, of course, provided the Irish version of every Bill drafted since then to amend the Constitution.

    In 1945, it was decided to further progress the standardisation process, and Taoiseach de Valera asked the Translation Section to review the spelling system of the Irish language and draw up proposals for a simplified system for use as a standard. That standard was devised as a guide for the civil service when writing Irish, but it was decided to make it available to the public. This led to the publication of a booklet in July 1945: Litriú na Gaeilge: lámhleabhar an chaighdeáin oifigiúil (The spelling of Irish: the official standard handbook). This manual was of great assistance to people writing schoolbooks and to those involved in Irish language journalism. That same year, a version of the Constitution using the simplified spelling system was published. This first ‘popular edition’ of the Constitution was based on the work done by the Translation Section in simplifying the spelling.

    Legal terminology

    The Irish Legal Terms Act was passed in 1945. Under that Act, ‘the Irish Legal Terms Advisory Committee’ was established to approve legal terminology in Irish. Under the Act, the representative of the Translation Section is joint secretary to the committee. Arising out of the committee’s work, ten Legal Terms Orders were made between 1947 and 1956. They were published together as a dictionary, entitled ‘Téarmaí Dlí’ (Legal Terms) in the year 1959.


    In 1957, the Translation Section was recognised as the authority on grammatical and orthographical matters when the Taoiseach asked the Chief Translator to prepare a manual for publication ‘as a standard for all official purposes and as a guideline for teachers and for the general public’. That project led to the publication of the Official Standard, (An Caighdeán Oifigiúil) ‘Gramadach na Gaeilge agus Litriú na Gaeilge’. Material from Litriú na Gaeilge: lámhleabhar an chaighdeáin oifigiúil, which had gone out of print, was incorporated into this manual.”


    Some of the more hard core Republicans thought that Gaelic would replace English in Ireland which has not occurred. About 94,000 Irish, claim, note the emphasis on claim, to use Gaelic on a daily basis outside of school. Other than those who work for the government and the few who live in the small areas which retained Gaelic down through the centuries, I find that doubtful.

  • great information song and video. Very nteresting about the language.
    Do you know why we with Welsh in our names use the letter “y” so much?
    …seems like thre should be a rimshot there— but I don’t ave an answer either.
    I do really appreciate history and would always like to know more!
    My family came from Ireland, England and Wales. My husband’s came from Ireland and Scotland….We are both very proud.
    Husband and I have as much Normandy and Belgium as Elizabeth Warren has Cherokee. The Harding part of me still has no definite answer to the woodpile mentioned in an old thread!

Obama’s Gay Military

Friday, June 15, AD 2012



Opponents of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” , a policy to keep out of the closet homosexuals from serving in the military, predicted that such a repeal would be merely a first step, and they have proved prophetic:


Last summer, gays in the military dared not acknowledge their sexual orientation. This summer, the Pentagon will salute them, marking June as gay pride month just as it has marked other celebrations honoring racial or ethnic groups.

In the latest remarkable sign of change since the military repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, the Defense Department will soon hold its first event to recognize gay and lesbian troops. It comes nine months after repeal of the policy that had prohibited gay troops from serving openly and forced more than 13,500 service members out of the armed forces.

Details are still being worked out, but officials say Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wants to honor the contributions of gay service members.

“Now that we’ve repealed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ he feels it’s important to find a way this month to recognize the service and professionalism of gay and lesbian troops,” said Navy Capt. John Kirby, a spokesman.

This month’s event will follow a long tradition at the Pentagon of recognizing diversity in America’s armed forces. Hallway displays and activities, for example, have marked Black History Month and Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

Continue reading...

56 Responses to Obama’s Gay Military

  • I’ll tell you what this is really about. It is about finding one more way to equivocate homosexuality with racial groups, to make opposition to homosexuality as socially unacceptable as racism.

    I think it is time to start really exploring the extent to which the gay identity is socially and politically constructed.

  • Right Don. This was always a cultural issue – changing another institution to acceptance, and then endorsement, of homosexuality. Those who didn’t understand this don’t understand the methods of the radical left.

  • God will let us now lose wars.

  • Question for General Foghorn:

    What does celebrating this crap have to do with the mission: destroying things and killing massive numbers of bad guys?

    In my opinion, 97% of our brave troops will be treated like puppy dogs that crap on the carpet and get their noses rubbed in this crap.

    This will be one huge negative both for mission orientation and unit cohesion.

  • No Paul, God, with some help from the voters, will allow Obmama to lose this election.

  • Yep T.Shaw and Obama and his cronies could care less. They will probably only begin to care when the military vote is counted this Fall.

  • As one who actually served (very few if any of the Washington policymakers have), I can unequivocally say that having a queer within the ranks is at the least a distraction and at the worst disruptive of morale and unity. Of course that was back in 1959 when I was in boot camp at Great Lakes, Ill., and of the approximately 100 guys in our company it wasn’t hard to tell which one of us was a bit light in the shoes. He never made it all the way through the 8 weeks because of his disruptive behavior.

    A military unit must have cohesion and a clear objective and not be distracted by such attempts at social engineering for the sake of so-called “rights.” The Uniform Code of Military Justice governs the lives of servicemen and women and the rules, like them or not, are different than those in civilian society.

    There are age limits, weight and height and other criteria that determine one’s fitness to serve and homosexuality is an automatic disqualifier if one is to be true to the mission of the military. Unfortunately, all the traditional old soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are dying out or deferring meekly to the likes of Obama, Panetta, et al, who are clueless about military life. Then perhaps they think someone has to bring up the rear.

  • Fixing typo: There are age limits, etc…

  • One of your more recent posts concerned a speech given to a convention of high school yearbook and newspaper staff by an obnoxious sex columnist. The contemporary liberal mindset is like the Borg. It recognizes no part of public life as having a legitimate dynamic, sensibility, or set of standards of its own. (And about this all of our Vichy Catholics and most of our Republican politicos are clueless).

  • Bingo Art. Perhaps worse than the Borg:

  • Joe Green wrote, “I can unequivocally say that having a queer within the ranks is at the least a distraction and at the worst disruptive of morale and unity.”

    I mostly agree. There was one gay person on my submarine. He kept mostly to himself when we went on shore leave, though he was a great drinking buddy (alcohol being a favorite past time of sailors the world over regardless of sexual inclination). But when after entering port most of us directed our energies to the local brothels, he went out by himself to do what he wished with whom he wished, and no one of us made a fuss about it. What he did in a closet was none of our business (just as we didn’t want anyone to see what we were doing in a brothel, which is just as much a sin). But being gay, he never seemed to have the ambition to advance in rank or do anything really noteworthy (though he was one of the best sonarmen aboard). I really don’t know what makes people like this tick (nor do I want to know), just as long as they don’t parade themselves in public. They can make all the social contracts between themselves for medical care and visitation, inheritance, power of attorney, etc., that they want to. But what they do isn’t marriage and shouldn’t be celebrated at all. They are perverts, plain and simple. If they keep their activities to the closet where those activities belong, then I will be happy to ignore their sexual perversion. As regrettable as I find it to be, people have a right to send themselves to hell if that’s their wish (including unrepentent frequenters of brothels as well as sodomy perverts; after all, the same rules apply to everyone, sodomists, lesbians and whore mongers alike).

    Oh, but I am being unkind, unjust, divisive and intolerant by writing such words. Absolutely and proudly so! 😉

  • AD: Kudos on your liberal-borg analogy.

    My only qualifier: liberals are far more evil.

  • Excellent, Art Deco and Donald M., excellent!

    “The contemporary liberal mindset is like the Borg. It recognizes no part of public life as having a legitimate dynamic, sensibility, or set of standards of its own. (And about this all of our Vichy Catholics and most of our Republican politicos are clueless).”

  • *edits comment*
    Fixed per request, Joe.

  • Donald, that’s still one of my favorite speaches– villain has a point. (Of course, they were treated like terrorists because they WERE terrorists, and pursued so much because the Cardassians are prickly at best, but I still think he had a point….)

  • I would be interested to see how this is all going to work out on a practical level.

    Will everyone still take showers together in bootcamp?

    At various training schools were bunks are in the open will they still be?

    We used to share canteens in the field, share MREs and engage in other such non-sexual male bonding. Engage in certain pranks and joke about each other. I have my opinions on how all of that will change, but I wonder how troop “bonding” will now be enforced.

    During afterhour’s barbecues and other events will soldiers bring their same sex partner? Will other have to watch them flirt and kiss? Will officers or enlisted wives clubs have to allow a partner of a gay soldier to join?

    How are they going to figure out who your bunkmate is going to be in the barracks? How will sexual harassment of non-gay soldiers by gay soldiers be handled?

    Will soldiers be allowed to talk about religion to each other? Will it be hate speech for two Catholic soldiers to talk about the latest sermon at church? Or will chaplains be told to refrain from preaching about “hate”?

    Lots of practical issues involved, it’s a big social engineering project that’s going to end very badly.

    Unfortunately, now that the genie is out of the bottle you cannot put him back in.

  • Good points, Paul and Chris. Ever seen the sleeping quarters aboard ship? My son, who also was in the Navy, sailed with the USS Kitty Hawk for 2 years and they were stuffed in bunks like sardines. Although I’ve never been on a sub, it’s no doubt just as tight or tighter and a good night’s sleep after pulling a double shift is vital. A swabbie can’t be worried about the guy next to him while getting some much needed shuteye.

  • Make it easy – those who wish to identified as Gay soldiers, sailors and and airmen should wear the rainbow flag. Those who wish to be identified as American soldiers, sailors and airmen should wear the American flag.

  • I really don’t get what the fuss is about. As long as they behave like all other soldiers, why does their orientation matter?

  • Kristin…that’s the point. They don’t behave like others.

  • How do you know that for sure? Not all gay people exhibit “gay” mannerisms or behavior.

  • There are drones to be relied upon, so now the objective of military service is sidetracked by internal humanism issues.

    ” Details are still being worked out, but officials say Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wants to honor the contributions of gay service members.

    “Now that we’ve repealed ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ he feels it’s important to find a way this month to recognize the service and professionalism of gay and lesbian troops,” said Navy Capt. John Kirby, a spokesman.

    This month’s event will follow a long tradition at the Pentagon of recognizing diversity in America’s armed forces. Hallway displays and activities, for example, have marked Black History Month and Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. ”

    This reminds me of what became of education, when computers became the teaching modules.

    Thinking and doing done electronically for self absorbed humans.

  • Kristin, easily identifiable most of the time especially in this day and age where they love to flaunt it. My comments were confined to military settings and situations where they don’t fit in, not to civilian life. Personally, I don’t care what people do in privacy, but when they’re perverted acts get too close to me or my family I have a problem. I don’t mean to be offensive but the sexual depravity displayed by homos is repugnant to normal people.

  • Kristin, your point is well taken. But if that were always or even most usually the case, there would be no issue. Gay servicepeople would refuse the effort as unnecessary and distratcive to their desire to simply serve as anybody else does. So it’s not our perception and treatment of gay servicepeople, but their behavior and desire to make a political issue that is, in fact, the issue.

  • where did you get that photo of those buff half naked men– not in combat clothes for sure.
    has the military ever had a month celebrating families or marriage or fidelity or Irish Catholics, or the G.A.R? : )

  • One of the problems with gays in the military is that it degrades the standard for soldiers form real men to slaves of passion which makes the military look less and less honourable.
    The problem I have with woman soldiers in the military is something different, I think the problem with women soldiers is that they fight too well because the moment they find out that someone from Iraq might kill her children she would destroy the whole country, so my problem with women soldiers is that they are too effective, not ineffective soldiers.

  • I think the O administration move is about politics– I don’t think he esp favors gays. and would throw them under the bus eventually if it suits the long term goal of transforming America and the world. Division. Loss of unity. But I think the nefarious plan will be foiled– in November.

  • I think the Star Trek clip helps explain why man would have been kicked out of paradise the reason being that God respected mans freedom to leave which is important because if God didn’t respect mans freedom he would be rejecting a Good part of man which is his freedom, and if man does not have freedom he can’t do good things freely, but the problem with Adam is that he rejected God and so kicked himself out of the country club.

  • Don as long as the military fights for abortion and allows homosexuality, it is sure going to fail just like Roman empire, the Third Reich, and the Soviet Union. God is all Good and all Evil that gets in the way gets destroyed by Good.

  • I”’ll tell you what this is really about. It is about finding one more way to equivocate homosexuality with racial groups, to make opposition to homosexuality as socially unacceptable as racism.”

    As it pertains to the military, it’s about a lot more than that. It’s mainly about undermining the cohesiveness and effectiveness of our military. One of the things absolutely crucial in the military is forming fraternal bonds within a given unit or division. I don’t think I need to tell you what happens when you throw sexual attraction into that mix. This is especially crucial aboard Navy ships where you have around eighty guys living in an area of the same size of an upscale suburban home or maybe even less. This is something I know from experience. I spent eight years in the Navy and five of those years I spent aboard ship. It’s like living in a men’s locker room.

    Furthermore, put yourself in the position of someone with same sex attraction (or even a practicing homosexual for that matter) who didn’t want to make an issue of their sexual inclinations (and believe it or not many of them don’t) you would not want to be put in that environment.

    This is why I favor going further than don’t ask don’t tell and reinstate the outright ban on homosexuals in the military that existed prior to DADT.

  • On March 14, 1778, George Washington, then Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, approved the sentencing of LT Enslin on attempted sodomy of another soldier. General Washington called it an infamous crime to be viewed “with Abhorrence and Detestation”. He ordered Enslin “to be drummed out of Camp tomorrow morning by all the Drummers and Fifers in the Army never to return.”

    Read more here:
    Thomas Moore Law Center


  • I can see November from my front porch.

    For liberal dolts (I repeat myself again): We will straighten out this mess on Election Day.

  • Mr. Shaw:

    It’s gonna take a lot more than just this election to turn this around. I don’t see Romney having the stomach for it. It isn’t just the political part of the government, it’s the left wing careerists who control the bureaucracy.

  • GM: You are probably right.

    If Obama gets re-elected on the backs of lisping lieutenants and high school salutatorian invaders, America is finished.

    I’m preparing for that, too.

  • All I can think of for preparation is to include prayer for a happy death. How to prepare?
    The following list is from a post on Abyssus – Am sorry that I don’t know how to copy links to references and all – any way I just saw this article and thought how extremely beautiful the sound of the birds is this morning in what is becoming my little world.

    Vision to America News [email protected]

    Constitution, Government


    Obama has signed 923 Executive Orders in 40 months! What did Congress do in those 40 months?

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates theof all persons. Postmaster General to operate a national registration

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 11049 assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.

    -EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months.

  • Thank you PM

  • PM No wonder Obama is so cocky about being re-elected. His has preempted the will of the people, Congress and the founding Principles. Executive Order 11004 “establish new locations for populations.” sounds like relocation to Auschwitz by Uncle Hitler.

  • PM I think one thing to prepare is if people have enough courage and hutzpah to figure what a new government (or rather governments) should do after the US collapse further than its society and economy, because it is real easy thinking of ways to take over the government it’s hard to figure out how to replace it and with what.

  • Pingback: MONDAY AFTERNOON EDITION | Big Pulpit
  • The hatred you spew takes my breath away. And you call yourselves Christians? Jesus called us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

  • The Navy Chaplain Corps’s leadership last year tried to get the chaplains to sign on to the repeal of DADT by equating it with the kind of mutual cooperation already practiced by chaplains and faithful of different religions. (This was the approach taken by the, admittedly, not-very-bright head of the Reserves; without a doubt, though, he was following the line, if not the talking points, of the Chief of Chaplains et al.) One chaplain objected: Aren’t you equating religious beliefs in the one case with sexual behavior in the other? Additionally, we were all assured that homosexuality would never be regarded like ethnic groups (African-American, Hispanic, Native American, etc.), which are made the focus of interest and recognition throughout a month dedicated to the same. So now the fear is that we will receive regular emails next June with “Gay Pride” month facts, famous “gay” servicemembers, etc., all culminating in a command assembly celebrating “Gay and Lesbian” month. The which may God forbid!

  • PM:EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 GRANTS authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.

    If the Department of Justice fails to do what Executive Order 11310 tells them to do, then the Department of Justice is violating the Order. Obama is ordering the Department of Justice around and writing Executive Orders to enforce ordering the Department of Justice around. The Executive branch of Government does not order the Department of Justice around, nor does Obama have authority to authorize the Department of Justice to be the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice exists because the Constitution says that The Department of Justice exists. (And Alexander Hamilton thought that giving the Department of Justice free reign would beget tyranny. He did not foresee Obama)

    Obama does not get to redefine the existence and purpose of the Department of Justice for his own agenda. “EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders”

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis. “ECONOMIC OR FINANCIAL CRISIS. Never let a good crisis go to waste. Use the crisis to take over the country.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months. I think Obama already has…by Executive Order.

  • And to go and sin no more. Love never means pretending that sin is not sin.

  • Why is it that people like LXP deliberately confuse love with condoning? Homosexual behavior is sin just as adultery is sin. If we love the homosexual, the. We will not shy away from pointing out that his unrepentant sinful behavior will land him in hell. The same was true in the case of Jesus confronting the woman caught in adultery. Self-righteous people wanted to stone her to death. But it was Jesus who cast the first stone, as Donald quoted: go and sin no more.

    1st Corinthians 6:9-10 gives a list of people who won’t make it into the kingdom of heaven. In that list are malakos (the receivers in the act of homosexual intercourse) and arsenokoites (the penetrators in the act of homosexual intercourse). Now how is it loving, kind, just, or nice to grease the skids of such people so that they can burn in hel forever and ever? I may as well go there myself! I pray that I don’t because I know what I deserve. Why would I want that to happen to someone else?

  • Arrrgghhhh – darn iPad touch screen. Sorry for the typos.

  • LXP Christian was a word made up by the murderous protestants, and some advice I was given is to hate the sin and love the sinner. Loving homosexuals is to help them in refraining from sin so that the Devil doesn’t drag them to Hell.

  • Paul I think Homosexual acts might be even worse than adultery in the way that it disregards natural law to such a high degree.

  • LXP I think that hating the Devil and sin seems perfectly reasonable considering how corrupt both are. We don’t hate our neighbors we hate what they do.

  • LXP:

    What are you talking about?

    Cite concrete examples of HATE.

    HATE compared to what? Compared to Obama pitting whole classes of people against their fellow Americans?

    “Cliches: How the left cheats in the war of ideas.

    You don’t have one example of HATE.

    You are a typical lying liberal villain.

    We hate the sin and love the sinner. Because as long as the sinner lives he/she may come to a better disposition.

    3 . . . 2 . . . 1 RACISTS!!!!

  • Here is string of Obama Exec Orders that show Obama’s HATE for poor children trapped in failed , union-controlled public schools. He gave nineteen states waivers so they don’t have to comply with the “No Child Left Behind” law.

    Another example of liberal HATE: Huge, public school teachers benefits are never reduced, so school children’s education and life-long well-being need to be diminished.

    It’s not that Obama loves less poor school children. It’s that he loves more public school teachers unions and their money.

    3 . . . 2 . . . 1 RACIST!!!!

  • Gays in the military is really about lesbians in the military. Gay men don’t last long unless they have desk jobs, while lesbians are relatively common among military women.

    And I would say that lesbians cause FAR fewer problems than the heterosexual women.

  • Valentin wrote, “Christian was a word made up by the murderous protestants.”

    This is incorrect. Acts 11:26 states:

    “And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”

    The actual Greek word is ??????????.

  • Jim-
    Spoken like someone who didn’t have to deal with them.
    Lesbians cause the same sort of trouble as straight women, in the style of a man, but good luck getting anybody to listen to you.
    As much as I really hated how women would use their sexuality to get ahead, I also disliked the assumption that if you were not using your sexuality to get ahead, you were a lesbian.

  • “1st Corinthians 6:9-10 gives a list of people who won’t make it into the kingdom of heaven. In that list are malakos (the receivers in the act of homosexual intercourse) and arsenokoites (the penetrators in the act of homosexual intercourse). Now how is it loving, kind, just, or nice to grease the skids of such people so that they can burn in hell forever and ever? I may as well go there myself! I pray that I don’t because I know what I deserve. Why would I want that to happen to someone else?” Jesus went to hell for us and led us into heaven. That’s LOVE.
    In embracing sin, the sinner denies God, Holy Scripture, his rational, immortal soul and the soul of his partner, and the souls of all human beings, thereby imposing his sin on all humanity. This is not love but hatred, starting with the hatred of God and ending with the hatred of mankind, himself, included. Sin and death are cast into the Lake of Fire in Revelation. Paul, Help me out here, as I do not have the quote. I am in awe of your knowledge of Scripture.

  • Imagine having two lesbians as parents. As Woody Allen once said, “Having one mother was tough enough.”

John Wayne-Cardiac Catholic

Thursday, June 14, AD 2012

(John Wayne died 33 years ago this week.  It is amazing to me that a third of a century has passed since that sad day when I heard that he had passed.  In his memory I am reposting this post from August 24, 2009.)


John Wayne died on June 11, 1979.  Like many Americans at the time I felt as if a personal friend had died.  Growing up, Wayne was a part of my childhood both on TV and at the local theater.  Remarkably, more than three decades after his demise, he still routinely appears among the top ten favorite actors in polls.  For three and a half decades he dominated American film screens and became the archetypal Western hero.  Frequently savaged by film critics in his life, something which bothered him little, his appearance as a Centurion in the film The Greatest Story Ever Told, the video clip which begins this post, was a special target,  Wayne’s work has endured the test of time.  A staunch conservative, Wayne upheld  love of country when such love was popular and when it was unpopular.  Eventually he became a symbol of America, recognizable around the globe.  What is less known about Wayne is his religion, and, at the end, his conversion to Catholicism.

Continue reading...

25 Responses to John Wayne-Cardiac Catholic

  • Remarkably, three decades after his demise, he still routinely appears among the top ten favorite actors in polls.

    Dude, he’s the Duke!

    Our little Duchess is named partly in his honor, and both her parents are dang kids; I dearly hope that he fully embraced the Church at the end, and that my father will follow in his footsteps. (My dear dad’s sins are too few and private for me to know– my mom’s, I know because I share in them. Gunpowder temper and all.)

    Curse it, now I’m going to have to ask Marion Morrison to pray for my daughter, just on the off chance that he’s there and interested. I dearly hope he doesn’t get a chance to prove he’s a saint from my family!

  • “Dead as a beaver hat”
    Oh how I hope I can remember that line in daily conversation. (Never heard it before).

    Perhaps I can file it with one of my Dad’s favorites: “Hot as a $2 pistol”.

  • Pingback: John Wayne-Cardiac Catholic | The American Catholic | John Wayne
  • Matthew Muñoz, a priest in the Diocese of Orange County California is John Wayne’s grandson. (Father Matthew Munoz Talks About The Conversion of His Grandfather: John Wayne, Published Wednesday, October 5, 2011 A.D. | By Donald R. McClarey )

  • “Don’t apologize – it’s a sign of weakness.” Nathan Brittles, Captain, United States Cavalry, Retired – She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

    If you must have an example of manhood, you could do a hell of a lot worse than John Wayne (RIP).

    ” . . . and somebody oughta belt you in the mouth. But I won’t. I won’t. The hell I won’t!” – McLintock (1963)

  • Yes – The DUKE.
    Man, he was always impressive – almost larger than the screen in all his films.
    I just liked the rugged, manliness that he portrayed.

    Remainder edited by Donald R. McClarey (I would appreciate the humor of the joke you told in the remainder of the comment in other venues Don, but I decided that for TAC I couldn’t let it through, mild as it might seem on other forums.)

  • It’s nice to hear of deathbed conversions. I hope to make my own someday despite clinging to my agnostic notions. Unlike Wayne, I’m a cradle Catholic and have since strayed from the vineyards. As an actor, Duke made some decent films with with glaring exception — The Green Berets, a blatant piece of Hollywood propaganda designed to quell critics of Vietnam.

    In real life as opposed to reel life, Wayne obtained 3-A status, deferred for dependency reasons — hiding behind the skirt of his wife. Wayne was like like Bush, Chaney and all the other chicken hawks who had connections and skipped service. Cheney said Nam wasn’t in his career path. Dan Quayle golfed through the ’60s and early ’70s and there were other neocons who beat the war drums and sent kids overseas to die while they stayed home and brayed about patriotism, honor, courage, freedom, yada, yada.

    If Duke’s in heaven, that’s fine. Not for me to judge. But let’s set the record straight about what sort of human being he was.

  • “The Green Berets, a blatant piece of Hollywood propaganda designed to quell critics of Vietnam.”

    Nope it was all John Wayne propaganda. He firmly believed in the mission in Vietnam and toured combat bases twice, coming under enemy fire. Hollywood was mostly firmly on the Left by the time of Vietnam.

    As for Wayne and World War II, he was already getting pretty long in the tooth by World War II. At the time of Pearl Harbor he was 34 with four kids. With his bad eyesight, and a football injury that he incurred in college and which curtailed his athletic career, he had zero chance of getting into a combat unit and probably near zero of even being shipped over seas. He did volunteer to serve with John Ford’s film unit with the OSS in the Pacific during the War but nothing ever came of it.

    John Wayne helped save the Marines after World War II. Go here to read the post:


  • Thanks, Don, for sharing the link. I did not mean to be so harsh on ol’ Duke. He did some good things but The Green Berets was a terrible movie in so many ways. For starters it was shot in Georgia and the typography was all wrong. For another, the cardboard characters were irksome and, yes, Wayne was too fat and old for the part. Former fugitive David Janssen, cast as the lefty journalist, was wasted and cliches abound including the hackneyed WWII veteran, the guitar-strumming Jim Hutton, the brave commander, the tough-as-nails with heart-of-gold field grunt, the submissive natives, ad nauseum. It was all so gung-ho, complete with a “fight song.” Other war movies including The Dirty Dozen were ridiculous but at least entertaining. TGB is not one of them.

  • Oh, I agree with you on the Green Berets Joe. Although I agree with its politics, it was a dreadful film, the worst film Wayne ever made, except for The Conqueror. In regard to the Dirty Dozen, a film I greatly admire, Wayne was up for the starring role but rejected it.

  • Yep, Don. The Dirty Dozen is a guy’s movie no doubt and well done. I didn’t much care for Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson torching all the Krauts in the basement, including the gals, but otherwise enjoyed it. Ernie Borgnine is one of my favorite actors along with Telly Savalas who nailed the role. Kojak was a great TV series. “Who loves ya, baby?”

  • Telly Savalas was great as the aptly named Maggot:

  • Despite their flawed personal lives, I regret that “The Duke” and the “Chairman of the Board” are not alive today . I can only imagine what they would be doing and saying about what is being done to America.

  • That’s fine Don.
    After I had hit the “Post Comment” button, I had second thoughts – but, alas, too late. 🙁

  • I roared with laughter when I read it Don! After I recovered I decided that even though it was funny I couldn’t allow it to go through on TAC. Truly funny and bad taste often walk hand in hand! 🙂

  • Joe Green God bless you. You are an interesting person! You say, “..deathbed conversions. I hope to make my own someday despite clinging to my agnostic notions.” Then you go on to talk about other people being chicken hawks.
    I don’t mean to be disrespectful to you, but do you see irony there?

    You HOPE to have a conversion? go ahead and have it– it’s your choice. Dancing around the issue, not making a commitment though your heart is there, your hope is there, does not preserve your freedom but limits your freedom

    It seems we are infatuated with doubt these days. We struggle with idea of accepting that whatever the Church teaches us is true. ( reference post by LarryD) We dither we dance… playing with opposing ideas as possibilites and are unable to claim one as the truth.

    During B16’s visit to this country, I heard a “man on the street” interview in which the man said that he didn’t buy into any religion because religion puts you “in a box”. He was apparently afraid he would have to restrict his thinking if he became Catholic.

    Of course even the most free of the so-called free thinkers, are “in a box” of their own paradigms.
    I wonder if you have already read John Henry Newman Discourse 11, (esp around 220 TO 222) Anyway come on in, the water is fine.

  • Truly funny and bad taste often walk hand in hand!

    That’s us South Pacific, spade weilding, earthy Colonials for you 😉

  • So Grandpa Folger [Yep, real name.] is sitting in a bar in the Beverley Wilshire somewhere in the 1950s and a tall handsome guy sits down next to him and orders a drink. He strikes-up a conversations with Grandpa and then challenges him to flip for the next round. Grandpa wins.

    Guy says the LA Dodger at the plate on the bar tele is no good and gonna strike-out, Grandpa says he’s due and the batter pops one into the outfield. Finally, in exasperation the guy bets Grandpa dinner the Dodgers will lose and they win.

    Step-Grandma walks in from a day with the girls, kisses Grandpa and as he turns to introduce their dinner partner she nearly faints. Yep, John Wayne.

    Wayne dropped anchor in Grandpa’s cove on Vancouver Island many summers thereafter just to enjoy his company. When he was dying of cancer in the early 1970s he sent him a card, I still have: “Folger, get well again soon so we can flip for drinks – Duke”

    Why did Wayne like Grandpa so much? Because he had no idea who Wayne was. Grandpa never watched movies! He liked John Wayne just for himself and couldn’t imagine another side to him.

    Grandpa was also a devout Roman Catholic, attending daily Holy Mass, although he couldn’t receive Holy Communion since he was divorced from Grandma. I wonder what affect his quiet, manly Catholicity had on John Wayne’s conversion?

  • @anzlyne. First to admit I am the misanthrope among you. There’s a character in Sinclair Lewis’ “Elmer Gantry” who says he was “saved” seven times. Yes, I am the doubter, putting St. Thomas to shame, struggling daily to find the peace that Jesus promises to each of us. But it just doesn’t come no matter how hard I pray. In my dreams I am always traveling, seeking and never finding.

    Have you read Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia? There’s a character in The Silver Chair, called Puddleglum. He’s a Marshwiggle, temperamentally disposed to thinking that the worst will probably happen. That’s me. Maybe there are saints in heaven as curmudgeonly as me? Who knows?

  • Joe Green
    “But it just doesn’t come no matter how hard I pray”

    I think it becomes a matter of your will to accept. There is a peace in acceptance.

    For me there is also some enjoyment in the ongoing discussion with God that still continues. I believe Lord help my unbelief…with all my what ifs and yeahbuts and whatabouts

  • Joe I wasn’t careful in my post.I did not mean to say “YOUR will to accept” specific to you– but including myself and all others too I should have said “one’s will to” or “my will to..”

  • I am embarrassed that I have not read the Chronicles of Narnia– but I do remember Arlo Guthrie talking about The Last Guy ( as in the poor guy who is at the end of the list of ;there is always somebody worse off than you;…) you are prob not the Last Guy in curmudgianity

  • “Curmudgianity” — love the coinage, Anz.

  • I think I am a believer, but I keep sinning . . . The friars at St. Francis of Assisi on 32nd Street have heard it all. Every time I need to be humble and pick myself up and try to do better.

    Jesus tells us to lay down our heavy worldly (fleeting) burdens and take up his yoke which is light: to love God with all your heart and with all your might and to love others as yourself. Then, take up your cross (whatever you need to do to be saved) and follow Him.

    There is the 100% likelihood that we will die. We need to increase our odds of being saved. We can’t do that without God’s grace.

    Obviously, I don’t read much.

    I (imperfectly) remember my 1950’s Baltimore Catechism. God made me to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him so that I may be happy with Him forever in Heaven.

    Jesus tells me my Faith must be like that of a little child.

  • ‘ We also have this line from John Wayne as Davy Crockett: “It was like I was empty. Well, I’m not empty anymore. That’s what’s important, to feel useful in this old world, to hit a lick against what’s wrong for what’s right even though you get walloped for saying that word. Now I may sound like a Bible beater yelling up a revival at a river crossing camp meeting, but that don’t change the truth none. There’s right and there’s wrong. You got to do one or the other. You do the one and you’re living. You do the other and you may be walking around, but you’re dead as a beaver hat.” ‘

    Have been noticing the smiles and eyes on the faces I see and have been connecting them to either true, warm, living, good and right or false, cold, dead, bad and wrong. John Wayne was a man, with a powerful smile even when he was wasn’t just actively ‘smiling’. The Grace of God shows through.

Out of the Closet and Married

Thursday, June 14, AD 2012

Humor writer Josh Weed has written a remarkable personal piece. Weed is an out of the closet gay Mormon – who also happens to be married with three children. Josh, as well as his wife Molly, detail how Josh struggled to live up to the tenets of his faith. He didn’t hide his homosexuality from his parents, who by the way were understanding right from the outset. His wife Molly had been a close friend and confidant, so she was aware of Josh’s same sex attraction before they even began dating.

It’s a truly remarkable story that should be read in its entirety. Clearly it is applicable in Catholic circles, though as my wife suggests, celibacy is a more viable option for gay Catholics than for Mormons.

Josh gives every indication that he is perfectly happy, but he does not come off as preachy, nor does he suggest that all individuals who struggle with same sex attraction can or ought to make the same choice he did.

Even more heartening is that this post has over 3,000 comments, and the overwhelming are supportive or at least understanding. Now I stopped skimming after about a thousand comments, so it’s possible that things got nastier once the post went viral on Facebook. But the relatively generous feedback that he received is almost a story unto itself.

That’s all. Please go read. Now.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Out of the Closet and Married

  • When I first started to grasp Catholic teachings on sexuality I tried to build a story around a character that had a disordered attraction to children of the same sex; he recognized it as wrong, dangerous and evil, and made dang sure to distance himself. Sadly, I have zilch skill at story telling, so it fell to the wayside.

    That said, I’d be highly interested in a story about a character who lusts after the same sex and resists it. I know that if I hadn’t had the grounding that I did, if I’d had a ‘normal’ upbringing, I’d probably have become a lesbian. (and been much sadder for it, looking back)

  • Thanks for posting this, Paul. Great read.

  • “I’d be highly interested in a story about a character who lusts after the same sex and resists it.” Temptations too, are road signs that tell us not to go there. Lust destroys true love and the friendship that grows from real affection and human bonding. Lust is destructive. Love creates all that man needs or wants.

  • Well even if a boy gets good vibrations around a girl he likes that can be used to do good and end up marrying her.

  • “Passions and emotions in themselves have no moral Good and no moral Evil.” this statement is in the Catechism.

  • Passions and Emotions can only do Moral Good or Moral Evil if they are applied otherwise they are not morally Evil or morally Good.

Do the Girl Scouts Really Help Girls?

Thursday, June 14, AD 2012

Founder Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low with two Girl Scouts (1912)

With the bishops in the United States investigating the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) this question seems to be on a lot of people’s minds. Do the Girl Scouts really help girls? In many ways, what they teach goes against how I want to raise my own girls, but I never really thought about why. The Girl Scouts have this whole attitude about them that is just, frankly, not feminine.

I grew up with the “you can be anything a man can be” cultural message, and I took it seriously. As a child, I tried to run faster, climb higher, and make better grades than the boys in my classes. Heck, I even hauled hay and shot rifles (still can) as a teen. When Hillary Clinton made her comment about staying home and baking cookies and having teas, I even remember thinking how proud I was that I was just like that in my twenties. Nope, no standin’ by my man like Tammy Wynette. At that point I was a single mother, and an unstoppable force as a scientist on a career path of success (so I stupidly told myself). Older, wiser, and full of regrets, I have come to regard such messages to young women as dangerous to the institution of the family – and to a young woman’s own sense of happiness and fulfillment.

Enough of the trip down memory lane. Do Girl Scouts help girls now?

Rather than base my opinion only on my personal experiences though, I decided to ask my friend Mary Rice Hasson about it. She is also a mother of seven and a lawyer who serves as a Fellow in Catholic studies at the conservative think tank in Washington D.C., Ethics and Public Policy Center. She is an expert on these issues, particularly on Catholic women’s views of  faith, conscience and family. A LifeNews article cites her as agreeing that the bishop investigation is needed, and then quotes her.

“A collision course is probably a good description of where things are headed,” she said. “The leadership of the Girl Scouts is reflexively liberal. Their board is dominated by people whose views are antithetical to the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

That got my attention. I asked her about the Girl Scouts, and for advice about raising girls in general. I am more interested in guiding principles than details. I was struck by this advice: “My parents raised us girls (7 of us) to believe we could do anything—but to value motherhood and to retain the sense of femininity that flourishes by embracing womanhood, not aping masculinity.” Bingo!

Value motherhood. Be feminine. Embrace womanhood. Do not ape masculinity.

Continue reading...

28 Responses to Do the Girl Scouts Really Help Girls?

  • So girls and women shouldn’t shoot rifles and bale hay because it isn’t “feminine”? Women shouldn’t be leaders in their communities because they’re more suited to being mothers? What about fathers?

    I agree with a lot of your points, but you seem to imply that girls should avoid certain activities just because they’re “not for girls.” If they have a genuine interest in shooting or boxing or politics, why not pursue it?

    And while not all girls are called to be leaders in their communities, others aren’t called to be mothers, either, and may not benefit from learning how to be homemakers.

  • Thanks Kristin! Girls and women should use whatever gifts God has given them, which necessarily means they honor their femininity and appreciate men for their masculinity. It’s possible to shoot a rifle and still be womanly. 😉

  • The reason I don’t support the girl scouts any more is that they promote planned parenthood.

  • Girls should shoot, do physical work, dream of being a board member and/or be outspoken in class because it’s a good development of who they are, not because they’re told they’re supposed to ape a stereotypical male. Heavens knows that when I got my little .22 rifle, I wasn’t thinking about it as “success”– I was thinking that I could be like my mom, who could take down a jack rabbit from a moving pickup on a bouncy field. (I managed it, too!)

    Heaven knows that when I was outspoken in class and got mocked for it, it’s doubtful Girl Scout’s leadership would’ve objected– I was usually voicing either conservative views or contrary-to-the-narrative facts. (Really bites to be a leftwing manhater when the little loudmouth in front had BOTH grandmothers through college before the second world war, or who insists on correcting you when you say “all” Vietnam Vets are crazy and “all” draftees hate the US, now. In her defense, once she figured out I wasn’t blowing smoke we got along a lot better.)

  • “Girls and women should use whatever gifts God has given them, which necessarily means they honor their femininity and appreciate men for their masculinity.”

    Okay, gotcha. I’m not sure what it means to honor one’s femininity, though. In the eyes of the Church, what is femininity, and how does a woman embrace it?

    “Girls should shoot, do physical work, dream of being a board member and/or be outspoken in class because it’s a good development of who they are, not because they’re told they’re supposed to ape a stereotypical male.”


  • The author’s point, as I read it, was that making out as if the only measures of success (not e the word, “only”) are doing those things. Was/is there any mention of motherhood in Girl Scout materials? I’m on my fourth Girl Scout; I haven’t seen anything. Girls should aspire to use their talents for good, in any way that serves God’s purpose for their lives. but teh *lie* that a woman can *have it all*, and be better/faster/stronger than a man, to the point that no man is necessary, ignores the complementarity built into the Man and Woman He Created Tehm (to shamelessly pplagiarize Blessed John Paul II’s title).

    My wife and I have always taught our girls to seek to be the *women* of God they were created to be; that doens’t exclude motherhood, should they be called to marriage. But it DOES include striving to be MEN. They won’t ever succedd at that (the body parts are wrong, I’m pretty sure).

  • Pingback: Do the Girl Scouts Really Help Girls? « Tall, Bald, and Called
  • “My parents raised us girls (7 of us) to believe we could do anything—but to value motherhood and to retain the sense of femininity that flourishes by embracing womanhood, not aping masculinity.”

    Sounds much like what I was shown by example by my Girl Scout Leaders back in the 1960s and 1970s. Not only were we expected by our leaders to learn and use all the camping skills our brothers in the Boy Scouts did, but to also be able care for someone sick at home, take care of babies and toddlers, AND plan and prepare a party menu, and to serve it, during a power outage!

    Being a Girl Scout meant that you knew proper behavior, at an awards function, at a Memorial Service, and at a parade. Sadly, after witnessing some of my much younger sister Girl Scouts last weekend (Rock the Mall) I find, we ARE no different than any other youth group.

    We were once “prepared” for adulthood;
    1. Develop to full individual potential.
    2. Relating to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect.
    3. Develop values to guide actions and to provide the foundation for sound decision-making.
    4. Contributing to the improvement of society through the use of abilities and leadership skills, working in cooperation with others.

    Now? We are told to DISCOVER, CONNECT and TAKE-ACTION. The problem being that so far, there are many girls and adults that have discovered, have connected with others, and our action taking is to take leave of the Girl Scouts USA, Inc.

  • I don’t understand why girls should aspire to be Men rather than Women. There are more differences between Men and women than just bodily features. I can understand girls being taught to act like gentlemen because Gentlemen refers to Men as in Mankind, and the Gentle in Gentlemen doesn’t mean a unwillingness to throw a punch but rather Gentiles who are the ones who run the Villa to make sure that it runs well so Gentlemen are people who make sure society runs well.

  • Stacy it’s interesting that you mention rifles because I have a friend Germany who I as well as others ocassionally skype with (we study the German language) and more recently she got a hunting license which in Germany is pretty tough to get but now she has this huge shotgun so whenever we skype with her you see her pink room with a hello kitty blanket and she say “I shot a boar this weekend.”.

  • Sandra the problem with saying “You can do anything” to a child is that it is false and just bad advice and if you tell a boy that he will say he wants to be a dinosaur.

  • We must not carry the distinction of the sexes to the point of making men and women two different species.

    St Augustine insists that the mind or spirit (mens, anima) is the same in both men and women, who only differ in their bodies. He is very instructive on this and I hope you will excuse some rather lengthy quotations.

    Thus, in his Literal Commentary on Genesis, he says, “Some people have suggested that it was now (Gen 1:27) that the human mind was made, while the human body came later, when scripture says, ‘And God fashioned man from the slime of the earth’ (Gen 2:7); so that where it says ‘he made’ (1:26), it refers to the spirit, while ‘he fashioned’ (2:7) refers to the body. But they fail to take into account that male and female could only be made with respect to the body.”

    And again, he says, “the woman too, who is female in the body, she too is being renewed in the spirit of her mind, where there is neither male nor female, to the recognition of God according to the image of him who created her (Rom 12:2, Eph 4:23, Col 3:10, Gal 3:28)”

    He also points out that mind itself has a masculine and a feminine side, “the human mind, in which the human being is made to God’s image and which is a kind of rational life, has two functions: the contemplation of eternal truth and the management of temporal affairs; and that thus you get a kind of male and female, the one part directing, the other complying; it is still the case that the mind is only rightly called the image of God in that function by which it adheres in contemplation to the unchangeable truth. It is to symbolize or represent this point that the apostle Paul says that it is only the man who is the image and glory of God; ‘but the woman’, he says, ‘is the glory of the man’ (1 Cor 11:7)”

    St Augustine is always keen to demonstrate the agreement between Reason (as exemplified by his beloved Plato) and Faith.

  • The message GSUSA wants to convey is what is helpful: that you, a girl/young woman, are alike in dignity with boys/young men, and your gender will not automatically preclude you from participating in society to the best of your abilities with your God-given talents whatever they are. Many character traits and actual skills are gender neutral. If boys grew up knowing how to cook, they could better serve their wives and children should something happen and the feminine arts can’t be attended to by the wife/mother. And if girls grow up learning practical skills like customer service with people who are not related to them, they can feel confident they can function as independent adults, because in this broken world, there are very few valiant white knights around who are providers worth standing by. (Of course, now it seems necessary to hedge against critique and admit what is implicit in the previous line is the disagreement with the notion that letting women know how to provide for themselves creates the slacker man. Taking St. Augustine’s thought as correct, both adults have the same level of mind and ability, and ergo shouldn’t use the other sex’s use of the intellect preclude his ability to use his.)

    The area where Girl Scouts now fails girls and young women is in the application. I agree with the post that it is not helpful to not affirm all choices (motherhood, religious consecration, being happy with “stereotypical” womanly things like cooking and knitting, etc.). That being said…why does it have to be one or the other (only selling cookies vs. only baking cookies)? It certainly seems more holistic to children’s discernment of talents and ways to be God-serving people to find what works for each individual child.

    There is a profound problem of girls/young women and their concepts of self esteem, value, and capabilities – which leads to earlier sexual activity – which leads to larger socioeconomic problems. So it is not wrong to try to find a group that inspires commitment, time away from randy teen boys, service to one’s community, and a sense of worth about yourself (which helps delay sexual activity). But as the post says, the Girl Scout leadership is going about it all wrong. If more Catholics got involved with promoting groups that fostered all the above, but embraced the totality of the feminine genius, we could be the change we seek.

  • Michael I think the word you meant to use is genera not species because species means looks and I am willing to assume that you meant something deeper than looks, species comes from the Latin word specarae which is where the words circumspection, spectacles, and inspector come from. i am not implying that Men and women have different types of souls but rather different bodies, different minds, and different roles in a family, as well as society. I also think the story about woman come from the man’s ribs keeps us from being matriarchal because otherwise we would just realize that men came from women due to women giving birth.

  • I did not mean mind but rather brain.

  • Michael are the quotes you quoted from the Latin St. Jerome Bible? because there are noticeable differences between the Latin Bible and the New American Bible.

  • Michael when you said that both the man and women have both feminine and masculine qualities did you take into account that Men should act like Men and appreciate Women by having some understanding of how great they are in their way of thinking and vice versa? I truly think that one of the reasons why all Men have to a certain extent be sissy-boys and all Women to a certain extent be tom-boys is because otherwise we wouldn’t be able appreciate the beauty of the other sex, Men would otherwise not appreciate the way women jump from one thing to another which make it hard for boys to talk to girls.

  • Stacy, well said.
    Proverbial Girlfriend:
    “The message GSUSA wants to convey is what is helpful: that you, a girl/young woman, are alike in dignity with boys/young men, and your gender will not automatically preclude you from participating in society to the best of your abilities with your God-given talents whatever they are. Many character traits and actual skills are gender neutral.” No, the GS message does not take into account “God given” talents or God’s plan for us. The GS message is actually narrower than the Church’s message for girls and women. The GS have one outcome that is considered successful, the church has many and that success is God’s plan for us.
    My daughter and I are in American Heritage Girls which is a Christ centered scouting organization for girls. The program focuses on building virtue and service to God, family, community. We do that through many different activities including outdoor skills like camping, fire building, hiking etc. And “indoor” skills too. AHG has a memorandum of understanding with Boy Scouts that allows us to use facilities and attend programs. AHG is taking advantage of the successful model and programs of Boy Scouts and adapting it for girls. Girls do benefit from non “traditional” activities like camping and shooting. 1. they learn both the specific skill (fire building), 2. they develop perseverance and discipline by sticking with the task, 3. they learn things boys know which are fun to know and 4. they develop their own interests along the way which might be camping, hiking, and a love of the great outdoors that they would not otherwise have without the exposure. More “traditional” skills are also developed. Girls need to know how to cook and sew and all that good stuff too. All these activities takes place in the context of our values as Catholics recognizing that all our gift and talents come from God and we give them back to God through our service withing the troop, family, church and community. Our troop scripture verse is 1 Cor. 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” You will not get the Christ centered approach in GS. In GS you will walk away with thinking that you control the universe.
    BTW, boys in Boy Scouts will learn to cook. Otherwise they go hungry when camping. As Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts my sons learned meal planning, shopping and cooking (camp and home).

  • I often hear radio spots during “cookie season” about how selling cookies is preparing some scout for managing money and a career in business. Sorry, it’s a lie, like so much we’ve talked about here (the only money handling the girls do is to take it from the cookie buyer and hand it to Mom–the moms are held accountable for all the money, not the girls). If the Girl Scouts can’t be honest about their signature event, how can we believe anything they say about the appropriateness of their goals, let alone how their actions supposedly support those stated goals.

  • Valentin

    In fact, the Vulgate frequently uses genus and species synonymously, as in Genesis 12,
    “et protulit terra herbam virentem et adferentem semen iuxta genus suum lignumque faciens fructum et habens unumquodque sementem secundum speciem suam”

    I was translating from St Augustine’s De Genesi ad litteram, mainly from chapter 22 and I did not check St Augustine’s scriptural quotations against any version, Latin or English

    The distinction between “made” (fecit) and “fashioned” (finxit) is based on “ Et finxit Deus hominem de limo terrae” and the quotation from St Paul is partly in indirect speech “Paulus apostolus virum tantum dicit imaginem et gloriam Dei: ‘Mulier autem,’ inquit, ‘gloria viri est ‘”

    St Augustine develops his point about the male and female aspects of the mind at some length in the De Trinitate, book XII. His distinction between the contemplative and active functions (illa parte consulente, hac obtemperante).

    He always uses “homo” in its usual Latin sense of “human being,” thus, glossing “faciamus hominem,” he says “secundum id quod et femina homo erat, habebat utique mentem suam eamdemque rationalem, secundum quam ipsa quoque facta est ad imaginem Dei – According to which the woman was a human being (homo) and they both had the same rational mind, whereby she was made in the image of God”

  • I’m sure the women of Israel during the Exodus would have been startled to learn that camping was a traditional male skill.

    “Yup, dear, God says you have to set up the tent tonight! Rebecca and I are checking into a hotel in Canaan, because all this wilderness stuff is a man’s job. See you in forty years!”

    As for killing animals, that’s a female skill as soon as something shows up in our ecological niche that looks like food or could kill babies.

  • The question at hand is “Does girls scouts really help girls?”. Let us rephrase the question “Does feminism help girls?”.

    We choose the lacy veil!

    We can teach the kids to start fires, hunt, fish, camp and farm without GS.

    There are many other leadership opportunities for girls to participate in where they will learn to work together, as a team with the opposite gender. This is a much more valuable life skill.

  • Ok, the woman who wrote this article has a phd. She refers for advice to her friend who is a lawyer at a conservative think tank. She is also a woman. So education for these two women is good but our girls should just learn to cook and clean? so by their standards they aren’t feminine.

  • well said Claire….

  • Back when Catholic schools excelled in reading comprehension, the Girl Scouts was a wholesome organization.

  • @Claire,
    The article doesn’t say you shouldn’t learn and be educated. She is questioning why the girl scouts do not hold motherhood as a goal to be achieved by young girls. It should be held at just as high an esteem as the business women. There is absolutely nothing in the article that says girls should just learn to cook and clean.

    I would also say from reading the article that she is a professional who has experienced both worlds and finds motherhood to be more rewarding then business world. Hooray…every young girl who feels called to motherhood should do so and society needs to support them in their “career path”! They deserve the recognition and esteem as the business professional…(really they deserve more)

11 Responses to Defense of Self Against Unlawful Attack

  • Did you notice that according to that law and probably many such laws, a person cannot use force if the bad guy is escaping after stealing? Now this contradicts the ever prudent sage, Axl Rose inter alia…” you can take anything you want, but you better not take it from me.”…from the yesteryear tune, “Welcome to the Jungle”. You according to law have to watch the criminal leave with your goods….( in your fav blue athletic bag no less.) My bad. But I retrieved by force a lethal weapon that likely would have been used later in a street murder. Aquinas…”the lawgiver cannot foresee every situation”…ergo, epikeia is needed. The law literally means that a gunstore owner coming upon a thief leaving his store with 30 Taurus pistols in a sack….cannot use force to stop him despite the imminent distribution of said guns to thugs. Lawyers….help me out with this.

  • Bill, I’m pretty sure that if you run into a thief coming out of a gun store with guns, you can reasonably be expected to conclude he’s an imminent threat to life and limb.

  • Foxfier,
    I hope you are correct but if the bag were closed and like many burglars (for sentencing reasons) he carried no loaded weapon himself outside the bag, I wouldn’t bet on the outcome in court if the owner fractured the guy’s skull with a gun butt.
    On your topic of the police, there have been cases of home invaders announcing themselves as police. Awful dilemna….whether you have a gun or do not. What do you do outside Indiana? Amazon sells great adjustable door braces (knob to floor white metal pipes with rubber ends) that you place in position in a second.
    Very good for big city life.

  • If more Gentlemen and good willed citizens owned guns Criminals would think twice more often and people would not have to wait ten minutes for cops to arrive to arrest a man who left eight minutes before, The problem of Mexican drug smugglers killing ranchers in the Southwest would not happen as often because criminals get guns whether it is legal or not, your average Joe on the other hand tends to obey the law.

  • Bill whether someone is a cop or not it is still wrong for them to kill someone innocent.

  • Atleast in Newark Delaware a lot of cops act like totalitarians I know a story about a young girl who was taken to the Police station because she was looking for a balloon for her birthday with her friends in the middle of the day and the way the cop got her to go to the station was by threatening to send her parents to Jail. All because people are so freaked out about security when no one was doing any harm to them except the po po pig that took her away to the station on her birthday.

  • The common law rule was very simple and straightforward. A householder could use force against an unlawful intruder, but he acted at his peril: if the entry was authorised, then killing the officer was murder.

    Just as the entry was either lawful or unlawful, so was the killing. As far as justification went, the householder’s state of mind was immaterial. The fact that the householder believed the entry was lawful, when, in fact, it was not, would not turn him into a criminal for killing the officer. Likewise, his belief that it was unlawful, when it was not, was no defence.

    This meant that no enquiry as to his state of mind was necessary at the trial. The test was purely objective, which makes for simplicity and certainty.

  • Michael, I think you have it backwards, but you’re right– up to that court decision, the common law was perfectly fine.

  • I am not sure why a guy who you don’t know, probably doesn’t live in your neighborhood, and makes a living sending people to jail somehow is the exception to the rule of people not being allowed to barge into your house. I think neighborhood guards who are local and morally upright are more trustworthy than a lot of police officers.

  • I find it odd for police officers to be surprised when someone their putting in shackles fights back, I think something which Christ tells to Peter is “Those who live by the sword die by the sword” one of the things that means is that if you punch someone or spray mace at their eyes don’t be surprised to get a hay maker in the jaw.