Monthly Archives: June 2012

Lying Worthless Political Hack and Ex Cathedra

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When the Lying Worthless Political Hack, aka Nancy Pelosi ex Speaker of the House, opens her mouth in regard to her purported faith, The Catholic Church, you know the results are going to be unintentionally hilarious:

CNSNews.com asked Pelosi, who is Catholic, whether she supported her  church in the lawsuits it has filed, which argue that the  administration’s regulation violates the freedom of religion guaranteed  by the First Amendment.

What about the 43 Catholic institutions [that] have now sued the  administration over the regulation that requires them to provide  contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortifacients in their health care  plans?” CNSNews.com asked. “They say that violates their religious  freedom.  Do you support the Catholic Church in their lawsuits against  the administration?”

Well, I don’t think that’s the entire Catholic Church,” Pelosi  responded. “Those people have a right to sue, but I don’t think they’re  speaking ex cathedra for the Catholic Church.

“And there are people in the Catholic Church, including some of the  bishops, who have suggested that some of this may be premature,” Pelosi said.

It is unclear why Pelosi would have pointed out that when an archbishop—such as Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Cardinal Donald  Wuerl of Washington, D.C. or Archbishop Carlson of St. Louis—sues the federal government in actions designed to protect the First Amendment rights of  American Catholics he is not speaking “ex cathedra.”

“Ex cathedra” refers to the infallible authority that Catholics believe the pope exerts when he makes a formal and solemn declaration on  matters of faith and morals. It is not a term to describe lawsuits the church files in civilian courts.

In a 1993 audience, Pope John Paul II quoted the first Vatican  Council in explaining the Catholic understanding of the “ex cathedra”  authority of the pope.

When the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in exercising his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians he defines with his supreme apostolic authority that a doctrine on faith and morals is to be held by the whole Church, through the divine assistance promised him in the person of St. Peter, he enjoys that  infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished to endow his Church  in defining a doctrine on faith and morals,” said the Vatican Council.

The Catholic teachings that sterilization, artificial contraception and abortion are morally wrong—the basis for the suits that the archdioceses, dioceses, universities, schools and charitable organizations have brought against the Obama  administration–are in fact inalterable teachings that the church says are rooted in natural law. ']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Ray Bradbury: Requiescat in Pace

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You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
Ray Bradbury

When I was a boy I devoured science fiction, and I still read quite a bit half a century later.  Ray Bradbury, who died at 91 on June 5th, was not one of my favorite writers when I was young.  A bit too complex and little if any of the space opera that I enjoyed so much.  However, even then I knew that what I was reading in “Dandelion Wine” or “The Martian Chronicles” was writing of a very high order indeed.  In my teen years I came across “Something Wicked This Way Comes“, and this passage has always stayed with me:

Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles & smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he’s covering up. He’s had his fun & he’s guilty. And all men do love sin, Will, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors & smells. Times come when troughs, not tables, suit appetites. Hear a man too loudly praising others & look to wonder if he didn’t just get up from the sty. On the other hand, that unhappy, pale, put-upon man walking by, who looks all guilt & sin, why, often that’s your good man with a capital G, Will. For being good is a fearful occupation; men strain at it & sometimes break in two. I’ve known a few. You work twice as hard to be a farmer as to be his hog. I suppose it’s thinking about trying to be good makes the crack run up the wall one night. A man with high standards, too, the least hair falls on him sometimes wilts his spine. He can’t let himself alone, won’t let himself off the hook if he falls just a breath from grace.

Bradbury was a native of Waukegan, Illinois, his family eventually moving to Los Angeles.  A child of the Depression, Bradbury lacked the funds to go to college and instead educated himself in libraries as he pursued a career as a writer.  For ten years he visited libraries three days a week.  He wrote every day, a trait he recommended to all writers.  (It certainly is a handy habit for a blogger!)  He endured endless rejections and kept pecking away on rented typewriters until he became not only a financially successful writer, but, much more importantly, a good one.

Although Bradbury is known as a science fiction writer, Bradbury rejected the label, holding that almost all his fiction was better described as fantasy, and I tend to agree with him.  In any case, he is the last survivor of the Golden Age of Science Fiction to pass beyond our mortal sphere, and that thought leaves me sad.

In a field dominated by liberals, Bradbury was a fairly outspoken conservative.  He gave the execrable Michael Moore hell when he named one of his idiot bait films Fahrenheit 9/11.  Go here to read some of his unvarnished opinions on some of our recent presidents.

His masterpiece is widely regarded as Fahrenheit 451, a cautionary tale of a future totalitarian regime with a friendly face that bans books.  For a book lover like Bradbury there could be no greater crime:

The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.’

The book, which came out in 1953, has several prophetic passages: ']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Few Things Are More Pathetic Than a Dumb Prosecutor

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One of the professional requirements of being an attorney, especially an attorney engaging in litigation, is developing a tough hide when it comes to criticism.  Most of my brethren and sistren of the bar develop such hides.  Alas, some do not:

Alan M. Dershowitz’s Perspective: State Attorney Angela Corey, the prosecutor in the George Zimmerman case, recently called the Dean of Harvard Law School to complain about my criticism of some of her actions.
She was transferred to the Office of Communications and proceeded to engage in a 40-minute rant, during which she threatened to sue Harvard Law School, to try to get me disciplined by the Bar Association and to file charges against me for libel and slander.

 

She said that because I work for Harvard and am identified as a professor she had the right to sue Harvard.
When the communications official explained to her that I have a right to express my opinion as “a matter of academic freedom,” and that Harvard has no control over what I say, she did not seem to understand.
She persisted in her nonstop whining, claiming that she is prohibited from responding to my attacks by the rules of professional responsibility — without mentioning that she has repeatedly held her own press conferences and made public statements throughout her career.
Her beef was that I criticized her for filing a misleading affidavit that willfully omitted all information about the injuries Zimmerman had sustained during the “struggle” it described. She denied that she had any obligation to include in the affidavit truthful material that was favorable to the defense.
She insisted that she is entitled to submit what, in effect, were half truths in an affidavit of probable cause, so long as she subsequently provides the defense with exculpatory evidence.
She should go back to law school, where she will learn that it is never appropriate to submit an affidavit that contains a half truth, because a half truth is regarded by the law as a lie, and anyone who submits an affidavit swears to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Before she submitted the probable cause affidavit, Corey was fully aware that Zimmerman had sustained serious injuries to the front and back of his head. The affidavit said that her investigators “reviewed” reports, statements and “photographs” that purportedly “detail[ed] the following.” →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Something “new” for Catholic high schools in Cleveland: A radical, revamped Catholic religion curriculum…

 

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Diocese of Cleveland has “revamped” its high school religion curriculum which will be implemented when school reopens this fall.

Perhaps the biggest surprise for those who grew up in the pre-Vatican II era is that the term “revamped” today means “redoux.”  Gone is the post-Vatican II “God loves you, so feel good doing it” religious education curriculum which stressed the many and varied pathways to salvation.  The revamped curriculum will feature a traditional Catholic religion curriculum that stresses orthodoxy and moral clarity.

 

The Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Cleveland, Margaret Lyons, says the revamped program will be “Gospel-centered” and “very orthodox.”  In addition, the revamped teaching materials have expunged any “shyness about talking about moral issues” and will convey concepts “known to previous generations of Catholics but absent from more recent instruction.”  The Motley Monk would note that means many of the catechetical “noun-ing’s” representative of that era—“faithing,” “theologizing,” and “deconstructing”—are “out.” 

Moral clarityVery orthodox?  No shyness?

Omigosh!  This is radical!

While the revamped curriculum “underscores Jesus Christ and the Paschal Mystery” as the source of salvation, students will “read and [will be] guided through Church documents” and if it’s to be believed…

They [will be] taught the role and importance of the Magisterium in guarding and passing on the faith, as well as being a sure guide to positive thinking and behavior.

Additionally, students [will be] instructed in ancient prayer practices used throughout the Church’s two thousand years of history, including the Rosary, Lectio Divina, meditation, the Liturgy of the Hours, the Psalms, litanies and readings in Sacred Scripture.

Omigosh, again!  Magisterium? A sure guide?

What happened to magisterium of the vox populi Dei?

Superintendent Lyons also says the purpose of the revamped curriculum is to cultivate an enduring and lifelong faith, one that’s capable of standing up to cultural secularism and moral relativism.

Wasn’t that called forming “the Church militant” in a previous era?

 

Most Reverend Richard G. Lennon
Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland (OH)

 

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the revamped religion curriculum comes in response to concerns raised by teachers and clergy about the quality of religious instruction in local Catholic schools.  After being appointed Bishop of Cleveland in 2006, Most Reverend Richard G. Lennon listened and assessed the situation, a process that resulted in the 2012 revamped religion curriculum based upon the Catechism of the Catholic Church and guidelines from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Motley Monk will be watching closely to see if Cleveland’s revamped Catholic religion curriculum will demonstrate significantly better learning outcomes than the post-Vatican II religious education curriculum did.  Since the 1970s, the National Catholic Educational Association’s Assessment of Catechesis and Religious Education has demonstrated very little difference in outcomes between students attending Catholic schools and those attending CCD programs.  All along, the dirty little secret everyone knew—including the nation’s Catholic hierarchy—was that few young Catholics learned anything demonstrably Catholic during those decades.

At a minimum, future graduates from Cleveland’s Catholic high schools will hopefully know something about the Catholic faith and its practice.  That certainly would represent one important step in the right direction.

After all, knowing little-to-nothing about the Catholic faith and its practice, whatever became of the vast majority of those graduates of Catholic high schools students who were taught the post-Vatican II religious education curriculum?

One thing is certain: They surely aren’t attending Sunday Mass but want those big, expensive church weddings…what has been called “an important catechetical moment.”

 

 

To read the Cleveland Plain Dealer article, click on the following link:
http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/06/cleveland-area_catholic_high_s.html

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

Nimitz Reports on the Battle of Midway

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My wife has the distinction of being one of the few people born on the Island of Midway.  (We have pictures of her as an infant with some Laysan Albatrosses, better known on Midway as Gooney Birds.  The medical staff was so excited at her birth that they put her in the new incubator, although they did not turn it on.)  This has led to never-ending confusion over the years when she has presented her birth certificate, with puzzled individuals wondering where Midway is.  Seventy years ago today all of America was learning where Midway was.  A battle which has been called a miracle, Midway was the turning point of the war in the Pacific, with the decisive defeat of the Japanese strike force aimed at Midway that Admiral Yamamoto had intended to give a crushing blow to the remaining US carriers.  The victory of Midway was the product of hubris, MAGIC, luck, courage and skill.

1.  Hubris-Since Pearl Harbor the Japanese had won incredible victories on land, sea and in the air, and now controlled a huge Empire throughout East Asia.  Japanese historians have described this as the period of “victory fever”.  Even a very level headed and pragmatic individual like Admiral Yamamoto was affected by this atmosphere of seeming invincibility.  Japanese intelligence as to the dispostion of the US fleet in the Pacific was poor, and Yamamoto’s plan to lure the Americans into battle by threatening Midway was very much a strike into the unknown, and risked Japan’s fate in the war on one battle. 

2.  MAGIC-US cryptographers had broken many Japanese diplomatic and military codes.  The project was collectively known as MAGIC.  In December of 1941 Naval cryptographers had broken the Japanese high command naval fleet code designated JN-25.  Nimitz, the commander in chief of the US fleet in the Pacific, knew as a result that Midway was the target of the Japanese fleet and assembled his three carriers and support ships to oppose the Japanese fleet with its four carriers, two light carriers and support ships.

3.  Luck-It is hard in our era of satellite surveilance and ubiquitous electronic sensoring systems, to realize just how much a deadly game of blind man’s bluff a carrier battle was in 1942.  Radar, still in its infancy, gave the US a critical edge at Midway, but finding the Japanese fleet carriers to attack them was as much a product of luck as anything else.  If the Japanese had been luckier, Midway could easily have been a disastrous US defeat.

4.  Courage-There were many brave men on both sides, however the palm for gallantry has to go to the aviators of Torpedo Squadron Eight from the Hornet and Torpedo Squadron 6 from the Enterprise and their attacks on the Japanese carriers on June 4.  The men had to know that without cover from their own fighters they would almost certainly not survive their attack runs on the carriers.  They went in anyway, and almost all of them died.  Many Japanese observers were stunned while watching this.  Japanese propaganda called Americans weak, decadent and cowardly, and here were American pilots going to their deaths in the best samurai style as they attempted to sink the well guarded carriers.  The attacks failed, but they drew most of the Japanese carrier air patrols away from the carriers, kept the carriers off balance and unable to launch their own strikes and depleted the ammunition and gasoline of many of the Japanese planes guarding the carriers.

5.  Skill-Approximately 30 minutes after the torpedo squadron attacks, three squadrons of American SBD’s from the Enterprise and the Yorktown came upon the Japanese carriers.  They were led by Commander C. Wade McCluskey who decided to prolong the search for the Japanese carriers and found them by following the wake of a Japanese destroyer.  In a matter of minutes the three squadrons inflicted devastating damage on three of the four Japanese fleet carriers, winning the battle of Midway for the United States.

Here is the report of Admiral Nimitz on the battle.  Note the emphasis in his report on lessons learned and improvements that had to be made based upon these lessons: ']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Gay Fascism & Judicial Tyranny Strike Again

A ruling by the New Mexico Court of Appeals has found that Christian photographers cannot refuse to photograph a “gay wedding” on religious grounds. The absurdity and tyranny of this ruling is almost unfathomable, but what is less surprising is the vindictive nature of the entire case. As an entire slew of court cases in Canada demonstrates, the radical homosexual movement is not about fairness, tolerance or equality. Like its equivalents among racial minorities (think Black Panther Party) or feminists, it is about envy, revenge, and domination. As I have argued and will continue to argue, the homosexual movement is the movement of hate, intolerance, bigotry, and totalitarianism. Whether your are Christian or not, whether you have homosexual inclinations or not, the implications of the New Mexico court’s rulings for political liberty, religious freedom and private property rights ought to frighten you if you care in the least about these concepts.

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They Show Their Love By Insulting You

Last night marked the darkest hour in all of human history. Humanity has seen pestilence, wars, famine, genocide, and atrocities of all shapes and sizes. But all of that paled in comparison to Scott Walker’s “surviving” a recall victory by a “narrow” 7-point margin.

Why was this the darkest day in human history? Because it was the day democracy died.

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It’s the end of the USA as we know it, but strangely I feel fine.

According to Democrats, the recall election was either the moment western civilization marked its inevitable decline or a great sign that Barack Obama is going to roll to re-election. While the truth is probably somewhere in between, either way Democrats expressed tremendous outrage over this election that was bought by Scott Walker and the evil Rethuglicans. Evidently spending a lot of money on elections is a bad thing. Unless of course you’re Barack Obama.

The narrative shift demonstrates a couple of things about the progressive left, neither particularly positive. The first is the blatant dishonesty. It’s quite amusing to listen to these people complain about “the death of democracy” when they’ve spent the better part of the past 18 months organizing, busing people in from other states, staging rallies and sit-ins, ushering their representatives out of the state in the middle of the night to shut the legislature down, and basically just throwing giant hissy fits because they aren’t getting what they wanted.

More importantly, it highlights something that has been an essential fabric of the left since the Enlightenment: their utter contempt for people. According to their vision of how the world should work, Scott Walker would easily have been thrown out on his keister were it not for all the money funneling into Wisconsin on his behalf. The implication is that the people are so dumb that they forgot how angry they are supposed to be with Walker just because of a bunch of 30 second advertisements. I wonder if these people even realize how arrogant and snobbish they sound. Because there is a rather nasty undercurrent to all this talk that makes it seem that they don’t have too high an opinion of most other individuals.

As I said, this really dates back to the Enlightenment, particularly the philosophes of the French Enlightenment. As Gertrude Himmelfarb wrote, it was a common tendency among the philosophes to generalize the virtues and elevate “the whole of mankind” over the individual. The most striking example of this wariness towards real, live, human beings was Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Throughout his writings, but especially in his Confessions, he continually wrote of other people in a manner that demonstrated his contempt for them. He felt so isolated from the world that he wrote:

I am now alone on earth, no longer having any brother, neighbor, friend, or society other than myself.  The most sociable and the most loving of human has been proscribed from society by unanimous agreement.  In the refinements of their hatred, they have sought the torment which would be cruelest to my sensitive soul and have violently broken all the ties which attached me to them.  I would have loved men in spite of themselves.  Only by ceasing to be humane, have they been able to slip away from my affection.  They are now strangers, unknowns, in short, nonentities to me – because that is what they wanted.

And yet his entire philosophy was geared towards improving the lot of mankind.

This succinctly summarizes the attitude of much of the left throughout history: they love humanity, but they hate people. Much of what I have read and seen over the past 24 hours has made that abundantly clear.

Father Ranger

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Monsignor Joseph R. Lacy

The men of the 5th Ranger Battalion could barely keep from laughing when they first saw their chaplain, Lieutenant Joe Lacy, a week before D-Day.  These were young men, in peak physical condition.  Father Joe Lacy was old by Ranger standards, knocking on 40, overweight by at least 30 pounds, wearing thick glasses and short, 5 foot, six inches.  He was described by one Ranger as “a small, fat old Irishman.”  No way would he be able to keep up when they  invaded France.

On the trip across the Channel to France,  Chaplain Lacy told the men:  “When you land on the beach and you get in there, I don’t want to see anybody kneeling down and praying. If I do I’m gonna come up and boot you in the tail. You leave the praying to me and you do the fighting.”  A few of the men began to think that maybe this priest was tougher than he looked. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Letter from Granddaughter of General Gorostieta

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Here is a translation of a letter from a granddaughter of  General Gorostieta, who is portrayed by Andy Garcia in For Greater Glory, to Andy Garica.  Go here to read the letter in the original Spanish.   Hattip to commenter Rogelio Núñez Ruiz. Translation is by my hard working and deeply appreciated better half Cathy:

[Opening commentary by Fernando Banuelos, Editorial Director of the Cine 3 film news website:]

Letter from Maria Teresa Perez Gorostieta to Andy Garcia about Cristiada [AKA For Greater Glory ]

This is an emotive letter sent by Maria Teresa Perez Gorostieta, granddaughter of General Gorostieta, to Andy Garcia for his role in Cristiada.  Although I’m not a fan of Mexican films, especially Mexican history films in another language and with non-Mexican actors, I believe that this film falls in the “top-priority must-see” category of films, just to see what they say about us, and to see how faithful this adaptation is to what history tells us.

[Maria Teresa Perez Gorostieta's letter follows:]

Mr. Garcia:

I saw the film last week, and I enjoyed the character of my grandfather, even though I don’t share the legend that he was an unbeliever and converted in the Movement; it seems to me that [portraying him that way] brings him to people in a better way than if they had portrayed him as being too religious.

I congratulate you for having accepted the role on behalf of my mother, who unfortunately died 4 days before they finished filming it; she was happy that it would be you who would interpret it.  His death scene is lovely and, as the Bible says, the applause that counts is in Heaven, and the whole family is there, so that the Glory of the Cristeros is now that they’re with God.

I don’t know if you read the letters which we sent to you through the Director, but I believe that my grandfather had the arrogance with which you characterized him, and the tenderness he showed his people.  He had a great love for his family:

[Quoting a letter from General Gorostieta to his family:]

“For my little children, who I can’t give a kiss to, who I can’t buy a ball for, who I can’t, as I did so often, let sleep in my arms, on such a great date for the world, on a day in which even wild beasts become tender with Glory!, by your conduct I send them this gift:  all the privations which they suffer, all the sorrows which you and I suffer, are only obedient to one end – leaving them a road, marking for them a route.  I know well that there are smoother roads in the world, and God well knows that I know how to walk them.  But those aren’t the ones that I will leave marked for them.  It’s the same bitter, gloomy road that their grandfather marked for me, the only one that exists, if one is to be forever content to have finished it and able to give an account of the journey.  The only one which, having been walked, imparts true peace.  I give them as a gift, the privations and the sorrows which the road is giving me.  Give them many kisses, and never rest from preventing – I don’t say now, but [even] within many years – that they should lose their faith on such a road.” ']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

ABBA Open Thread

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Well, Governor Walker won last night in Wisconsin, we have had more than two million visits to our website, and I am on vacation next week, so I am in a good mood!  Time for my ABBA guilty pleasure, and, besides, we haven’t had an open thread in a while.   The usual open thread rules apply:  be concise, be charitable, and, above all, be entertaining!

Walker Wins

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Pro-life Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin has won the recall election decisively.  His victory is a clear sign of how the political winds are blowing in Wisconsin and strongly indicates that Wisconsin may well end up in the Republican column in the presidential election this year, which is devastating for Obama.  One little statistic that should send shivers down the spine of Democrat strategists this evening.  When Walker won in 2010 he won the Catholic vote by two points.  Exit polls show him winning the Catholic vote by ten points tonight.  More and more Catholics are realizing that they have no home in the modern Democrat party.  When a conservative Republican like Walker can win in a traditionally Blue state like Wisconsin, largely due to the Catholic vote, the political landscape is changing rapidly. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

More on the “instruction”: Sr. Margaret Farley, RSM fires back…

It didn’t take long for the New York Times to report a statement issued by Sister Margaret Farley, RSM, whose 2006 book concerning sexual ethics was deemed unfit for Catholic consumption.

In her statement, Sr. Farley wrote:

I can only clarify that the book was not intended to be an expression of current official Catholic teaching, nor was it aimed specifically against this teaching. It is of a different genre altogether.

Sr. Farley is a crafty thinker.  Note her use of the phrase “official Catholic teaching.”

Invoking that phrase, Sr. Farley communicates something subtle: She was not intending to write a book that would reflect what the Vatican teaches.

Crafty indeed!

What Sr. Farley is distinguishing between is what the Vatican teaches about sexual ethics and what she believes is an authentically Catholic sexual ethics.

At the same time, however, those who serve on Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) also happen to be clever.  Its members possess decades of experience in spotting such crafty linguistic games.

The Motley Monk thinks this distinction earned Sr. Farley a slap on the wrist.  After all, the CDF’s instruction makes clear there is no authentic Catholic teaching that is not official Catholic teaching.

In contrast, Sr. Farley would like others to believe that her book is eminently suitable for Catholics, even though it does not present official Church teachings. That’s unacceptable to the CDF.

Consequently, if Sr. Farley wants to write ecumenical theology, she remains free to do so.  But if her theology does not square with the teaching of the Magisterium, then Sr. Farley should expect that the CDF will not allow Sr. Farley—or any Catholic theologian who plays the same crafty linguistic game—to pass her speculations off as suitable for Catholics.

In short, “Just Love” is not suitable for Catholics to use to form their consciences.

 

 

To read the New York Times article, click on the following link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/us/sister-margaret-farley-denounced-by-vatican.html?_r=2&hp

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

The Fugitive (1947)

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A Fugitive: I have a question, Lieutenant. When did you lose your faith?

 A Lieutenant of Police: When I found a better one.

The film For Greater Glory has reminded me of director John Ford’s forgotten The Fugitive (1947).  Very loosely based on Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory (no priest in an American film in 1947 was going to have the moral failings of Greene’s whiskey priest) the film did poorly at the box office and soon fell into oblivion, except among film critics who regard it as one of Ford’s more interesting works.  Ford said it was  his favorite film.

The film is set in a nameless country, obviously Mexico where the movie was filmed, where religion has been abolished by the government.  Henry Fonda is the last priest hunted by a police lieutenant, played maniacally by Pedro Armendáriz.  Armendariz is a whole-hearted convert to atheism, and views the capture of Fonda as a noble task.   →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Sex-Selective Abortion Follow-up

I recently posted on the topic of sex-selective abortion. After seeing an article on LifeSiteNews on the recent Congressional vote on the sex-selective abortion bill, I felt a little bit of a follow-up was in order. LSN’s Steve Mosher writes:

 [T]he vote on PreNDA has exposed dozens of Democrats, along with a handful of pro-abortion Republicans, as pro-abortion extremists. After all, what else are we to call those who favor abortions performed for the sole purpose of eliminating unborn baby girls because of their sex?

Call me the perpetual nay-sayer if you will, but I find this entire statement to be flawed from top to bottom.

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Morrissey on Converts, Faith and Politics

Ed Morrissey had a great post inspired by the conversion, so to speak, of Jo Ann Nardelli. She is the former Democratic party official in Pennsylvania who left the party, prompted in part by the Democratic party’s embrace of gay marriage. Joe Biden’s appearance on Meet the Press sealed the deal. As a result, she has not been treated kindly by former colleagues.

The longtime Democrat from Blair County quit the party and registered as a Republican, and then boldly walked in a Memorial Day parade in support of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“A couple of people who I thought were friends turned their backs on me, literally, as I was walking in the parade,” she said on Tuesday. “I have to admit it made me sad, but that is the way it is.”

Morrissey discusses this as well as the case of Artur Davis, who also has quit the Democratic party. Then he explains, in very charitable terms, the reasons that some Catholics remain in the Democrat party, despite it holding positions that are antithetical to the Catholic Church on most social issues. He does a great job of explaining the nuances of Catholic economic teachings to an audience that is mostly non-Catholic. The following succinctly captures the tone of Morrisey’s post:

However, even while we do our best on a personal and institutional level within the church, our community, state, and nation have an impact on the scope and depth of the societal and human ills we hope to alleviate.   Some Catholics feel that significant involvement of representative government represents the best and most direct way to achieve our mission, and support the political party that more closely aligns itself with that philosophy and agenda — Democrats.  Others feel that the mission is best directed at a personal and institutional level and oppose significant government involvement as wasteful, impractical, and counterproductive, and those Catholics are more likely to be Republicans.

As such, these fellow Catholic liberals (many of whom do oppose abortion) do not deserve our scorn or a condescending attitude; they come to these positions honestly and faithfully.  We may disagree on the best approach to the mission at hand, but we are at least united on the mission itself.

In a sense it might be more difficult for conservative Catholics to accept this than for conservative non-Catholics, particularly because we are so close to the issue. We can get easily frustrated by fellow Catholics who persist in supporting a party that upholds so many terrible positions on life and death matters. And I do think that a handful of left-leaning Catholics offer up merely token opposition to their party on social issues, but who largely ignore these matters so as not to distract from the more important (to them) economic issues. Yet there are leftist Catholics  who are genuinely committed to the pro-life cause and who struggle with their party’s stance on social issues. And it is with regards to these individuals that we ought to heed Ed’s words.

Another thing strikes me about all this, and it’s that many of these political conversions have occurred due to differences of opinion on social issues. We have been told more times than I can possibly count that this election is all about the economy, and nothing but the economy. Yet we’re seeing more and more Catholics leaving the party that has been not only their home, but likely their parents’ home and their grandparents’ home. And they aren’t leaving the party because of its stance on income taxes. For those who insist that social issues are a losing proposition for conservatives and the Republican party, they might want to reconsider that position in light of the mounting evidence.

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