Army Values

Tuesday, April 30, AD 2013

Obama's Military


There is an old saying in the military:  once is an accident;  twice is carelessness;  third time is enemy action.  Faithful readers of this blog will recall this post here about an Army briefing which labeled Christians, including Catholics, as extremists.  Another incident has arisen this week.

An officer at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where my brother was stationed when he was an Armor officer in the Army, recently sent out a 14 page e-mail to subordinates which makes for interesting reading.  Here is the e-mail from Lieutenant Colonel Jack Rich:

Subject: Domestic “Hate Groups” (UNCLASSIFIED)
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO
Many events have been taking place across the country – just want to ensure everyone is somewhat educated on some of the groups out there that do not share our Army Values.
When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values – don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem.
We need to make sure that we maintain our standards – starting with reception and integration.

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20 Responses to Army Values

  • He’s simply prepping them to shoot American citizens.

  • A Christian in the military today is like a Jew in the SS.

  • This is surreal.
    For Greater Glory, last years release of the true story of the Cristeros, is a wake up call for True Christians in America.
    One of the tag lines in the movie trailer asks this poignant question; “What price would you pay for freedom?”

    When we see the govt. swoop in to abolish our freedom of speech, our freedom to worship and our freedom to bear arms will you be ready to answer the question…at what price?

    I pray we are ready.

  • How disappointing but not supprising. It appears everyone except ones that hold no convictions are hate groups. Tepid water.

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  • So much for the claims that there was no problem in the repeal of DADT. Just a simple equality issue. The floodgates have been opened.

  • A 14 page email? Really? I work with Colonels every day, and I can’t imagine any of them *reading* anything that long let alone writing it. But maybe this was something crafted by one of the PowerPoint warriors at HQ, and it’s just being passed along.

    Sadly, much of the military is now on board with the dominant culture. Institutionally, its instincts are not as conservative as one might expect.

  • If this continues, then though God forbid we will be defeated in battle and what happened to King Manasseh may yet happen to President Obama. God does not change. God does the same thing in the same way because God does the right thing in the right way. And God will punish those who defy Him.

    I shall never ever accept a homosexual or abortive culture of sickening sexual depravity and murder. Never ever.

  • Hosea long ago gave us the best commentary on the Obama administration:

    “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.”

  • Those Sovereigns sound fun.

  • Unbelievable!
    This guy is a colonel? What do his fellow officers say?
    If this sort of crap infects the US military, they’re stuffed (along with the rest of us).
    Obama said he will “fundamentally change the United States of America”.
    He is doing exactly that, and the US is on its way to being the Roman Empire revisited.

  • The Fox News opinion piece “Pentagon: Religious Proselytizing is Not Permitted” adds something to this post I think. This is disturbing.

    My wife remarked that one can see Satan’s game plan clearly at this juncture. I think she is onto something.

    When I was a kid (1970s and 1980s) we talked about bad people but the things that were “bad” then are normal and OK now. We are a people without a compass.

    Satan has latched onto the perfect formula: your adherence to the Truth is oppressive and you cannot do that in public. Unless you remain quiet, you will be silenced, drummed out, destroyed. It is the State’s concern for the “oppressed” that trumps your freedom of conscience and speech.

    It is comical that the forces seeking this oppression don’t see their own doom in the architecture they raise. It will assuredly destroy them as it does us.

    America doesn’t deserve God’s Grace and we are seeing His withdrawal of Providence. When His back is fully turned to us, we shall surely suffer.

  • What a load of crap that email is.

  • P promiscuous
    R ridiculous
    I insidious
    D demoralized
    E evil

    Thirty days of gay pride and more!!

    Two events come to mind. One named Katrina. The other named Isaac.
    August 29th. Seven years to the day these two hurricanes hit New Orleans. Coincidental that the raunchy ( Southern Decadence pride fest ) was to begin on the same date?

    Sodom and Gomorrah revisited.

  • oh my. I am reading this on May Day..
    and all I can do is ask St Joseph for help. Help us Saint Joseph!
    On May Day.I remember the Kremlin used to have their military parades to frighten the world and we put up Saint Joseph to go against the Communists. I ask him to protect us today lest we will ALL reap that whirlwind

  • In your Catholic Extremist post, Donald, you said:
    To do otherwise is to simply cede [the military] to the Left…

    To which I responded:

    “I regret to inform you Donald that has already happened in large measure. The political correctness that has run amok in the military with the repeal of DADT (I favor the pre-DADT outright ban on homosexuals in the military myself), forcing male soldiers to go through the day with a strap-on bun-in-the-oven (you know you are getting old if you ever heard that phrase) as an empathy exercise, and women in combat will garuntee our demise if this is not only staved but reversed. Of course, let us not forget Gen. Casey (who was Army Joint Chief at the time I believe) being more worried about “diversity” in the wake Ft. Hood terrorist attack than he was about the fact that it was…well…a terrorist attack. I regret pointing out that the opposition of the GOP leadership on these matters has been practically, if not theoretically, non-existent.”

    I think this latest post proves what I said right in spades. The fact that most conservative do not see how this poses a lehtal threat to military readiness and by extension, national security is beyond astonishing. When you even have someone like Don Rumsfeld, as good a SecDef as we ever had, saying, that the time has come to allow open homsexuals in the military is even more astonishing.

    If my Detroit Public School educated brain can understand how obvious it it how allowing homsexuals to serve in the military when you consider how important the forming of non-sexual bonds is to unit cohesion and how having openly homosexuals living in berthing compartments aboard Navy ships (which is like living in a locker room) is a grave threat to the military, I don’t see how people who are supposed to be much smarter than me don’t get that. But apparently they don’t. Or could it be they lack the political nads to understand that and act accordingly. I suspect it is the latter. And their weakness as well as the left’s aggressiveness will reap the whirlwind!

  • So what implications does this have for Catholic chaplains in the military?

  • One of constant struggle so long as the Obama administration is in office.

  • “One of constant struggle so long as the Obama administration is in office.”

    This problem actually predates Obama. But it has been significantly ratcheted up under his administration. And that cancer will continue to metastasize long after Obama is gone unless a repulibican who has the intestinal fortitude to give the hard push back t will need to begin to reverse it. However, given the present crop of GOP leadership, even among the conservatives, I am not too optimistic about the future.

Who is the Terrorist?

Tuesday, April 30, AD 2013

The second video in Live Action’s expose on late term abortions.  Go here to view the first video.  Here is the Live Action press release:

During the breaking “Inhuman” investigation, Live Action investigated the Washington Surgi-Clinic where Cesare Santangelo performs late-term abortions in Washington, D.C. Santangelo revealed several horrors involved with late-term abortions that America needs to know.

1) Babies are purposely suffocated or otherwise cruelly killed to ensure their deaths.

Santangelo explained:

Um, I cut the umbilical cord first, wait for the baby to expire, and then we do it that way.

Of course, we all know that the umbilical cord is a baby’s means of receiving the vital oxygen her body needs to survive. The umbilical cord also conducts blood to the baby’s body. In order to ensure that a baby does not survive a late-term abortion at his facility, Santangelo purposely suffocates the baby and stops her vital blood flow.

And did we catch the word “wait”? This is a process – suffocation, that is. It does not happen instantly. What terror and pain does an almost-born baby experience through this process?

2) The ability of babies to survive at later stages of pregnancy is greatly misrepresented.

Santangelo tells the investigator, who is 24 weeks pregnant (or, in Santangelo’s words, 24-25 weeks along) this:

– in your pregnancy, it’s too early to survive, usually. It will expire shortly after birth.

He also goes on to relate false statistics:

When you have a pregnancy that is 23, 24 weeks, if you’re you know, extra – if you – if you do everything possible to help it survive, you know, there’s a – maybe a 20-30% chance that it would survive. If you don’t do anything, then, you know, the chances are much, much less.

Maybe a 20-30% chance of survival? What about the findings of this Swedish study, back in 2009:

Among babies born alive at 22 weeks, fewer than 10% survived; at 23 weeks, 53% survived; at 24 weeks, 67% survived; at 25 weeks, 82% survived; at 26 weeks, 85% survived, the study shows.

This review of 33 different studies on survival rates of premature infants found that “the survival of infants born at 23, and mostly at 24 and 25 weeks of GA is significant in the majority of studies.” Rates vary from study to study, and yet, the conclusion is that a significant number of babies at these stages do indeed survive – quite different from the picture that Santangelo was painting.

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2 Responses to Who is the Terrorist?

Life of Julius

Monday, April 29, AD 2013

My first job was doing dishes, scrubbing pots and pans and scrubbing floors at a country club in my hometown.

I was paid less than minimum wage at the time, the princely sum of $1.55 per hour.  I loved the job.  I held it all through high school.  When work was slack I was allowed to do homework and the management fed me a free meal each night I worked, whatever I liked.  I saved the sum of $3,000 for college, a not inconsiderable sum at the time.  The most important part of the job was what it taught me:  showing up on time, working hard and learning to work with other people.  I learned more on that first job of value to me in my future life, than any of the classes I took in college or law school.  Too many kids are denied this opportunity today because of government polices like the minimum wage that act as a deterrent to employers hiring employees, especially green kids with no employment track history.  If we wished to design a system that would handicap young people from becoming productive workers building a future for themselves, I think we would be hard pressed to “improve” on current policies:

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One Response to Life of Julius

Kermit Gosnell and the Abortion Industry

Monday, April 29, AD 2013

Abortion, all abortion, is violence and violence is an impermissible alternative in a world of reason.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, Eclipse of Reason


One of the myths of the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell is that he is not representative of the abortion industry.  In regard to the manner  in which Gosnell performed late term abortions, and his indifference to state laws restricting late term abortions, Gosnell is typical.  Lila Rose and her intrepid band at Live Action are helping establish this fact with their patented undercover videos.  From their press release:

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8 Responses to Kermit Gosnell and the Abortion Industry

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, April 29, AD 2013


The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

Born to a family of wealth, Theodore Roosevelt could have led a quiet life of indulgence and plenty.  Instead he devoted himself to service to the country, one of the few elected officials who actually deserved the title public servant.  He combined this with a belief that life is an adventure, sometimes a hard and dangerous one, but always an adventure.  Roosevelt always heard the trumpets of life and he led his life at a joyous charge.  As a country and a civilization we desperately need his energy, his optimism and his sheer joy.  May we know his like again at the head of our nation.

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7 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Theodore Roosevelt

  • “No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expediency.”
    -Theodore Roosevelt

  • Don, I, as a nobody lurker of TAC, a non-history/law/social studies affiliated-studies type of guy, I may have little scholastic ground upon which to stand on…however…I must comment…

    I agree with you on about 99% of everything you post. In light of that, and in light of everything I’ve read that indicates TR is a “father” of Progressivism (that which posits that, essentially, man is perfectible if we only would pass one more law), can you elucidate why TR is, as you say, suitable for quoting here whereas I would argue he is not suitable for quoting here:

    “Yet we fail to understand that such conduct is rational compared to the conduct of a nation which permits unlimited breeding from the worst stocks, physically and morally, while it encourages or connives at the cold selfishness or the twisted sentimentality as a result of which the men and women ought to marry, and if married have large families, remain celebates or have no children or only one or two. Some day we will realize that the prime duty the inescapable duty of the good citizen of the right type is to leave his or her blood behind him in the world; and that we have no business to permit the perpetuation of citizens of the wrong type.”

    “A perfectly stupid race can never rise to a very high plane; the negro, for instance, has been kept down as much by lack of intellectual development as by anything else; but the prime factor in the preservation of a race is its power to attain a high degree of social efficiency. Love of order, ability to fight well and breed well, capacity to subordinate the interests of the individual to the interests of the community, these and similar rather humdrum qualities go to make up the sum of social efficiency. The race that has them is sure to overturn the race whose members have brilliant intellects, but who are cold and selfish and timid, who do not breed well or fight well, and who are not capable of disinterested love of the community. In other words, character is far more important than intellect to the race as to the individual. We need intellect, and there is no reason why we should not have it together with character; but if we must choose between the two we choose character without a moment’s hesitation.”

    There was something else I’ve heard attributed to TR that was particularly ‘eugenicist’ but I can’t immediately find it. Ought this not temper any traditional Catholic examination of TR? Not to forbid extolling his virtues…but to avoid ignoring his vices?

  • Roosevelt had views on a wide range of topics that would draw cheers and jeers from all parts of our current political spectrum.

    Roosevelt’s views on many issues are hard to translate into simple terms. Often quotes by him that float around the internet are taken out of context from fairly lengthy articles he wrote. Eugenics is a prime example. Go to the link below to read an article entitled Twisted Eugenics that he wrote in 1914 in response to the idea that war lowers the racial stock of a nation:

    Roosevelt attacked that notion in the article. In that article he also makes statements in favor of eugenics, large families and against birth control. He notes that immigrants in New England will inherit, and should inherit, New England because the old Puritan stock were not having children. Roosevelt’s main concern in this area was that too many people were, as he would have phrased it, “shirking their duty” of having offspring.

    Roosevelt wrote more than any other president in our history, an endless stream of books and articles. To learn what he truly believed on any topic requires quite a bit of reading from his huge corpus of work.

  • No one’s free of flaws and I wouldn’t blame TR for what progressives have done since. One of my favorites is, ” it’s not having been in the dark house that matters but having come out”.

  • The quintessential anti-Catholic bigot and imperialist, Theodore Roosevelt.

  • Complete and total rubbish Kelso. Roosevelt was quite pro-Catholic and even kissed the ring of Pio Nono as a boy. Archbishop John Ireland and Cardinal James Gibbons were friends of his and he worked with them and other members of the heirarchy for the benefit of both the Church and the nation. As far as being an imperialist, Roosevelt was far less an imperialist than the Catholic rulers who held colonies at the time, since Roosevelt believed in representative rule in the American colonies with an eye to eventual independence.

  • Thanks for your response, Don. I’m still not entirely sold on TR, but I’ll keep your points in mind, especially about the breadth of his work. I would certainly agree that there are much worse figures in American history relative to the soft-collectivism presented by progressives.

Why the Episcopal Church is on Life Support

Sunday, April 28, AD 2013




Christopher Johnson, the non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, demonstrates in the following post at Midwest Conservative Journal why the Episcopal Church is dying and the Catholic Church is living:

Long-time readers of this site know that there are two Episcopalians that I don’t mention around here if I can possibly avoid it.   One, of course, is former Newark Bishop John Shelby “KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!! Spong.

MCJ veterans have long since given up sending me e-mails with “Did you see what Spong just said?!!” in the subject line.  Because I already know that whatever the megalomaniacal old fraud just said had nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity and was sneeringly contemptuous of anybody who holds anything close to a traditional view of the Christian faith, in whatever Christian church they find themselves.

The other is homosexual Bishop Gene Robinson, who is a homosexual, formerly of the Diocese of Nobody Ever Gave A Crap, Bitches, Shut Up.  As most people figured out a long time ago, if you ever stand between Robbie and a camera, you run a considerable risk of a concussion when Robbie knocks you down and runs over you.  Publicity is Robbie’s crack and I don’t want to feed his habit.

But every now and then, Robbie writes something so titanically and magisterially stupid that I’m forced to break my own embargo.  In the Washington Post’s “On No Particular Faith Of Any Truly Meaningful Kind” section, Bishop Stompy Foot is increasingly frustrated by the fact that the Roman Catholic Church refuses to be instructed by him:

Polling shows that ex-Catholics are the third largest religious group in the United States. Many Catholic laity are experiencing a painful disconnect between the official teachings and pronouncements of the Catholic hierarchy and what they believe in their hearts. It’s no wonder they are voting with their feet.

The Detroit Free Press recently reported on comments made by Edward Peters, who teaches Catholic canon law and was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 to advise the top judicial authority in the Catholic Church.

Peters stated that Catholic teaching makes it clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. He goes on to write, “Catholics who promote ‘same-sex marriage’ act contrary to ‘Catholic law’ and should not approach for holy Communion…They also risk having holy Communion withheld from them…being rebuked and/or being sanctioned.”

Allen Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, offered this clarification: “For a Catholic to receive holy Communion and still deny the revelation Christ entrusted to the church is to try to say two contradictory things at once: ‘I believe the church offers the saving truth of Jesus, and I reject what the church teaches.’ In effect, they would contradict themselves. This sort of behavior would result in publicly renouncing one’s integrity and logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”

Which is bad and stuff.

I believe that using Communion as such a manipulative tool surely profanes the sacrament. Perhaps these Catholic leaders should revisit their church’s theology of the Eucharist. Reception of the body and blood of Christ at Communion is God’s gift to God’s people, not a reward for right behavior. We receive Communion not because we are worthy of it, but because God’s offers us the body and blood of Christ despite our unworthiness.

Two responses immediately suggest themselves.  The first, of course, is, “Who the hell asked you, hot shot?”  And the second is that before you suggest that bishops of another church than your own need to “revisit their church’s theology of the Eucharist,” you might want to learn “their church’s theology of the Eucharist” yourself.

I’ll give you a head start.  Two words.  The first one’s “real” and the second one is “presence.”  If you teach that Christ is really there in the Eucharist, then indiscriminately giving the real Lord Jesus Christ to everyone who calls himself or herself a Catholic but who takes it upon himself or herself alone to decide what that means is, at the very least, hypocrisy and, at the very most, blasphemy.

After all, Judas didn’t get the very first Communion, did he, Robbie?  And then, blissfully unaware of the trap he is walking into, Robbie plays this card.

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7 Responses to Why the Episcopal Church is on Life Support

  • Same here in NZ with the Anglicans. Acceptance of woman priests and bishops, gay marriage, actively homosexual clergy. I have said for years that in 50 years, the Anglican church will not exist as at present – the serious ones will become Catholic, and the others will join/become some accepting liberal evangelical group.

  • “two gay men or lesbians (not to mention their supporters) who want to vow a lifetime of commitment, monogamy and love should be denied Communion, but those who exploit vulnerable children (and those who facilitate their abuse) for their own sexual gratification are still welcome”

    Johnson makes a great call: those who have sinned may partake in Communion; those who deny sin may not.

  • “To be blunt, Andreas Wouters had been a lousy priest. A drunkard and notorious womanizer, he had fathered several children. Suspended from his duties he was living in disgrace when the Sea Beggars captured Gorkum. This was his cue to run as far away as possible, based on his past history. Instead, perhaps understanding that God was giving him maybe his last chance to redeem himself, he volunteered to join the captive priests and brothers.

    The 19 were tortured and subject to every type of humiliation and mockery, especially Wouters who was constantly reminded by his captors of what a disgrace he was. William the Silent, leader of the Dutch rebels, sent a letter to the commander of the Sea Beggars, William de la Marck, ordering that the priests and brothers were not to be molested in any way. Ignoring his instructions, de la Marck ordered them to be slain if they did not renounce their belief in the Real Presence and Papal Supremacy. All stoutly refused.

    On July 9, de la Marck had the 19 hanged in a turfshed. As the noose was being fastened around his neck, his captors kept mocking Father Wouters. His last words before he entered eternity were: “Fornicator I always was; heretic I never was.”

    The Martyrs of Gorkum were canonized by Pope Pius IX on June 29, 1865, the feast day of the two greatest martyrs of the Church, Saints Peter and Paul.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    Thank you for taking the time to write this article. I enjoyed reading it very much. The truth is from God. Why would Catholics change our beliefs to become more to Satan’s liking? These people do not believe the Bible. But Jesus did.
    One thing that drives me bonkers is people who say they believe in Jesus, but they don’t believe Jesus. They don’t believe what He said.

  • But Judas did get the First Communion–otherwise all the Apostles would have known it was he who would betray Christ and tried to stop him. Denying communion is to avoid scandal, not sacrilege: a priest cannot licitly deny communion unless the mortal sinner’s sin is publicly known, just as he cannot say what is confessed to him in confession.

  • Gene Robinson is a fool. What else he is I will not say here.

Before They Go

Saturday, April 27, AD 2013

And there’s one thing you’ll be able to say when you get home. When you’re sitting around your fireside, with your brat on your knee, and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you won’t have to say you shoveled s–t in Louisiana.

                       General George S. Patton


Hattip to Instapundit.  People at Reagan National cheering World War II vets on an Honor Flight to Washington DC to see the World War II memorials.  Here is a post from 2009 that I wrote regarding the urgent necessity to talk to our World War II veterans now.

Time is doing what the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese could not do:  vanquishing our World War II generation.  The youngest American veteran of that conflict would now be 86, and in the next two decades or so they will all be in eternity.  Time now to express our heartfelt gratitude for what they accomplished for the country.  They have been called the greatest generation.  I am sure that most of them would reject that title, maybe putting in a vote for the generation that won the American Revolution or the generation that fought the Civil War.  Modesty has been a hallmark of their generation.  When I was growing up in the Sixties, most of them were relatively young men in their late thirties or forties.  If you asked them about the war they would talk about it but they would rarely bring it up.  They took their service for granted as a part of their lives and nothing special.   So those of us who knew them often took it for granted too.  Uncle Chuck, he works at the Cereal Mills, and, oh yeah, he fought in the Pacific as a Marine.  Uncle Bill, he has a great sense of humor and I think he was in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered to MacArthur.  When they talked about the war it was usually some humorous anecdote, often with some self-deprecating point.  They’d talk about some of the sad stuff too, but you could tell that a lot of that was pretty painful for them, so you didn’t press them.  They were just husbands and fathers, uncles and cousins.  The fact that the janitor at the school won a silver star on Saipan, or  the mayor of the town still walked with a limp from being shot on D-Day, was just a normal part of life, like going to school or delivering papers.

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5 Responses to Before They Go

  • Today, in the car at a stop sign, I saw a tag sale. On an easel was a yellowed newspaper with, at least, 5″ block letters reporting Hitler Dead. Those belongings must have been from someone that is under what you said about what “Time is doing”.

    ” The youngest American veteran of that conflict would now be 86, and in the next two decades or so they will all be in eternity. Time now to express our heartfelt gratitude for what they accomplished for the country. ”

    Thanks for the reminder – age 86. I just spoke with my mother about your post and the thankfulness you expressed. She is sitting nearby reminiscing still about those years. She will be 88 in August and has clarity and spirit. Her experience was waiting to become 18 in 1942 to work at the Armory, where she was a cutter grinder ($54/week) after 3 months training ($27/week).

    She spoke of some of the women who worked piecework on receivers for guns where there was a lot of oil, that they wore rubber aprons, boots, and kerchiefs on their hair – some who deburred barrels with rags tied around their fingers to prevent slivers. She remembers appreciating her desk, but being glared at when they walked by on the way to the Officer’s office.

    My grandfather walked to meet her for the walk home across the bridge. She gave my grandmother her pay envelopes. They read letters from my uncle who was overseas in the Air Force. Much more to tell while working until 1945.

    She was called back in 1950 during Korean for a couple of years and worked the nightshift when my father could be home for my brother and me.

    Anyway, I sorely miss family dinners and events and ‘conversations’ with people of that age and sense and humor.

  • My great Uncle Mike was a soldier in WWII. Like so many other young American men, he entered the Army, was stationed in England, fought on the beaches at Normandy and survived the Battle of the Bulge. Uncle Mike sent home German money, German Army medals and many other things. I remember my dad telling me of the things he had seen his Uncle Mike send home. Uncle Mike, a first generation American – my great grandfather fled partitioned Poland – came home, got married and had six kids.

    When I was two, my dad got a job in Cleveland. I did not grow up around my parents’ families, and what I know came to me secondhand. Uncle Mike died of a heart attack in 1981. I never had the opportunity to ask him anything.

    If you know someone who was in WWII, please talk to him or her. If you know someone who remembers the war years, talk to him or her. Personal experiences do a much better job than the documentaries on Military Channel and Military History, which, it is worth noting, is better than nothing at all.

  • “Greet them ever with grateful hearts.”

    The last of my great uncles who served in WWII has passed away.

    I was lucky to have spent many years with them.

    When they were young, they didn’t talk much. As the years wore on, they’d give dribs and drabs.

    Uncle John (RIP) survived D-Day Landing with the First. He had sent home a nazi belt that must have been worn by a kid. Only thing (I remember) he ever said was he and his buddies were disappointed they didn’t get into Berlin because they had lost so many.

    Uncle Tom (RIP) drove and was a gunner in tanks for Patton in North Africa and Sicily and was in the Italy fight up to the Po Valley. I knew him the best. He saw a lot of burned tanks and tankers. The shells would pretty much come right through. He saw his platoon shavetail get “it” by a German shell in his fox hole. He didn’t talk much. He’d give little bits here and there, more later in life.

    One thing in common: these men were the most lovely and wonderful tough men you can imagine. It was a sight to see them with little children.

    Envy is a vice. I confess I envy each and every one of them. They are/were better men than I am.

  • After thanking them start planning a trip to DC to give them a great gift, one more visit to the relatively new WWII memorial. (2004)
    My wife and I escorted twenty six WWII vets and spouses to DC in 2010 for Memorial Day weekend.
    Nothing can compare to the energy and emotion of this trip.
    Brisbane, Hawaii, Auckland….that was joyous however the Bus trip to DC with these heroes was the greatest trip we’ve ever taken.
    God Bless Our Vets.

  • My Uncle Ed’s Navy service in the Pacific was a treasure trove of stories for me. He didn’t talk about the serious side of things. He did survive, after all. He limited his tales to the humorous. Like the time an officer caught him with a red cross painted on his helmet, an obvious attempt to ward off machine gun fire from Japanese aircraft. He was told to “get that the heck off there-pronto”. He complied, and replaced it with a bulls eye. Again, the time at home on leave, he entered a bus using crutches. A civilian quickly rose up and gave him his seat. After my uncle settled in, the civilian asked, where did it happen? My uncle, who probably never told a lie, promptly answered, “Slipped on the ice, duck hunting”. Uncle Ed’s gone a dozen years. I miss him and look forward to seeing him again at the Resurrection. May God bless all the generous souls who put everything on the line for their country, especially those who lost everything of this world thereby. May their sacrifice not have been in vain. May God save and bless our beloved country, especially today when she is so much at risk. Amen.

2 Responses to Mister Here’s Your Mule!

  • “Smokin’ me pipe on the mountings, sniffin’ the mornin’ cool,/ I walks in me old brown gaiters along o’ me old brown mule …” (Kipling, ‘Screw-guns’),

    Brigadier Shelford Bidwell, author of ‘Gunners at War’ wrote disparagingly of “Kipling’s nauseating poem, sung to the dirge of the Eton Boating Song by former mountain gunners and others in their cups”.

    The last incarnation of the screw-gun was the Italian OTO-Melara 105mm pack howitzer which was designed to be mule-portable, and was used by the RA and RHA in the 1970s as a stop-gap between the 25-pr (which was too heavy to be heli-portable) and the 105mm Light Gun, which is still in service.

  • The Army Mule is the mascot of the US Military Academy.

    Fun fact: “Shavetail” has two definitions: 1. a newly Army broken mule – to distinguish it from a seasoned one; and 2. a second Lieutenant. We called them “jeep” this or that, or anyone new, in general, was an “FNG.”

    From TIME, 26 January 1942:

    “A butt for dreary jests, a homely beast to look upon, the U.S. mule—4,500,000 strong—is again coming into his own. Farmers, threatened with a tractor shortage, are buying mules. The U.S. Army is getting set to bargain for more than 15,000. Dealers in such mule marts as Memphis and East St. Louis, Ill. think a mule boom is in the making.

    “Though the Army today has only about 7,000 mules—about half the number it had ten years ago—it has never discovered anything on wheels that could replace the mule. As careless of heat and cold as of man’s advice, the mule… ”

    The mules were heavily used in the mountainous, meat-grinder that was Italy under Gen’l. Marc Clark. They brought up ammunition and rations and, sadly, brought down KIA’s.

Obama, Abortion, the 1950s and Race

Friday, April 26, AD 2013

The most pro-abortion president in our history, Barack Obama, once again displayed his fealty today to Worse Than Murder, Inc, a\k\a Planned Parenthood:

WASHINGTON     (AP) — President Barack Obama vowed Friday to join Planned Parenthood in fighting against what he said were efforts across the country to turn women’s health back to the 1950s.

Obama’s comments were the first by a sitting president before the abortion-rights group. He lauded its nearly 100 years of service to women, providing cancer screenings, contraceptives and other health services.

“When politicians try to turn Planned Parenthood into a punching bag, they’re not just talking about you,” he said. “They’re talking about the millions of women who you serve.”

Obama asserted that “an assault on women’s rights” is underway across the country, with bills being introduced in nearly every state legislature to limit or ban abortion or restrict access to birth control.

“The fact is, after decades of progress, there’s still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st Century,” Obama said. “And they’ve been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women’s health.”

Leftists like the President usually accuse opponents of seeking to roll back the clock, even as they seek desperately, and futilely, to keep the clock frozen in a present they find desirable.  The video at the beginning of this post is from the National Black Pro-life Coalition, a group dedicated to revealing that no group in our society has been ravaged more by abortion than blacks.  Kermit Gosnell’s butcher shop is merely a particularly ugly manifestation of something that every one in the abortion industry knows and almost never speaks of:  blacks are the number one targeted group for abortions in this country.  In a country where blacks make up around 12% of the population, 35% of all abortions are performed on blacks. Worse Than Murder, Inc, a/k/a Planned Parenthood locates 79% of its abortion clinics in minority areas.  Abortion, the Klan’s dream come true.

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20 Responses to Obama, Abortion, the 1950s and Race

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  • Sans Jim Crow, what was wrong with the 1950s? I like Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best, My Three Sons (I know not 50s but . . .), et al.

  • You forgot Ike. I liked Ike too! Sometime presidents simply “are” and the country seems to run okay. If we could simply make Obama and his cohort a”was.”

    I don’t much like this, this, this . . . I can’t get around emasculated . . . congress, but if you could subtract the executive influence perhaps some sense could be had.

  • But yet the GOP establishment doesn’t have the guts to make this an issue. They’re too busy trying to say “social issues are a loser”, when in fact they are the opposite.

  • In 1950 Infants were not having their spinal column snipped to “insure fetal demise” People believed that all men were created equal and that the human being has a soul endowed with unalienable rights to Life.

  • His speaches alone should make Christians cringe but we elected him twice.

    I note that the US Council of Bishops leaped on board the immigration reform train, just as they did the healthcare reform train… Giant omnibus bills with so many pieces that no one can get their arms around them. If our bishops won’t act cautiously with this clown, despite having been repeatedly burned, what hope have we as American Christians that the engines of the State can be fitted to their proper purpose.

    We need to get it into our thick skulls: this guy hates us! Nothing he does, however it is caste, is to our benefit. If what he does doesn’t hurt us, that is a mere side-effect, not an intentional avoidance.

  • In 1972, two prophetic studies published in the American Journal of Public Health, showed a widespread worry among blacks that family planning programs were a potential means of racial genocide, especially if the programs provided sterilization and were run by whites. Unfortunately, these studies were not taken seriously.
    Abortion very often is touted as an economic solution for poor women, i.e., “Black women.” Strident, pro-abortion feminists cry for abortion as a “right” for which they must fight to keep.
    The Black community has benefited neither socially or economically from an atrocity that is enthusiastically promoted by those who make 150 million dollars per year from dead African American babies; and by those who seek to entice the Black community to self-genocide through abortion. Therefore, the disproportionate number of abortions by Black Americans, as compared to our percentage of the general population, is more than a social phenomenon. It is destructive and genocidal.
    The abortion issue is not being dealt with by the black clergy or black politicians. In fact, abortion is often actually encouraged by these “leaders”.
    The aim of Margaret Sanger’s program was to restrict–many believe exterminate–the black population. Under the pretense of “better health” and “family planning,” Sanger cleverly implemented her plan. What’s more shocking is Sanger’s beguilement of black America’s créme de la créme–those prominent, well educated and well-to-do–into executing her scheme. Some within the black elite saw birth control as a means to attain economic empowerment, elevate the race and garner the respect of whites.
    Sanger’s plan has worked extraordinarily well over time – today numerous black religious leaders defend the “right” of women to kill their unborn children. It’s ironic that black leaders complain about racism, saying that white people are trying to keep them down, yet they promote one of the most racist policies in this country, abortion.
    Approximately two out of three black babies are aborted in the U.S. If that is not racial genocide, what is? What will it take for the Black moral leadership in America to come to grips with this reality? The blood of 54 million unborn babies cries out from the ground for justice. And the future of our nation, which tolerates the unjust execution of these innocents, depends on it.
    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Things like this give me cause to hate Obama and the Democrats. But hatred is wrong. I should hate the sin, the murder, not the man. I guess I really should not be allowed outside the Confessional. Tell me, how do you folks avoid hating him? I just get so incensed every time I see his face or hear his voice. 🙁

  • I don’t hate Obama Paul, I pity him. Saying God bless you to Planned Parenthood indicates just what a lost soul he is. Unless he repents, his after life does not bear thinking about.

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  • Planned parenthood is another couple of words that say exactly the opposite.As
    you do any planning you must have a timetable with an agenda.Planning the life
    of our children is to be a thoughtful,charitable and an expression of love.
    Planned parenthoods biggest profit is from the taxpayers support of abortions
    which is likened to murder.What part of Thou Shall not kill do we obey?
    Its not the ten suggestions Its the Ten Commandmants!

  • I don’t hate Obama either. Hatred is too strong to waste on someone I don’t like.

  • I treat Obama as a gentile and a tax collector.

  • In the UK, there was a remarkable overlap in membership of the Abortion Law Reform Association, the British Family Planning Association, the Eugenics Education Society, formed in 1907 and renamed the Galton Institute in 1989. The Abortion Act 1967 was passed before the rise of Feminism in the 1970’s and was, in no small measure, driven by Eugenicists and Malthusians.

  • Paul,

    Maintining a good sense of humor about myself helps a lot.

    Human beings are funny because we appeal to reason regularly but act like unreasoned creatures. I’m the most bizarre creature I know.

    Seeing one’s faults, flaws, and sins for what they are and realizing that our pretensions are terribly funny makes it easier to deal with the faults, flaws, and sins in others.

    The President is much less than he presents himself to be and his unchanging behaviors suggest to me that he is unaware, that he thinks he is making reasoned, enlightened choices. That is funny… And that is terrible, as Don intimated above.

    The most frightening line in Scripture, to me, is “to those to whom more is given, more is expected.” it is terrible to contemplate that it may well be better to live out one’s life in savage nobility than to hear the Word and act in contrary ways to it. It is unreasonable to do so and funny that we so routinely appeal to reason in defense of our unreasoned opinions and actions.

    Humor and terror, comfortable bed-fellows…

  • Something else the 1950s had that the 2010s does not: Bishop Sheen. Oh, how we need his voice today!

  • Joseph: Bishop Sheen is on EWTN

  • Thanks, Mary. I also like to watch some of his old lectures on You Tube. But we need someone like him today, to speak to today’s audiences on today’s issues. It’s probably a dream though. Someone like him would not be so well received today, speaking against abortion and same sex “marriage”, and would be restricted to a channel like EWTN , preaching to the choir, whereas Life Is Worth Living was broadcast on DuMont (at the time one of the major networks) and later ABC, with ratings that rivaled “Mr. Television”, Milton Berle (prompting Berle to quip that Sheen had a better Writer).

  • I’d settle for our clergy preaching like that to us! We have three good priests. All three give strong, useful sermons. One of them lays it on the line, artfully but without pulling punches.

    I go to Mass in a variety of places due to work travel. It is rare to have even good sermons, much less ones that tackle the tough issues.

    I’d love to hear Father Z’s take on why this is so.

    In my parish, people seem to appreciate a challenging, smart sermon. Even ones that I would think would unsettle, such as sermons about the eye of the needle and possessions are received well.

    What gives? Why do our priests and bishops pull the punches with us? We are talking about human souls. Shouldn’t we want to be called out if when we stray? Shouldn’t the clergy call us out whether we want to be or not?

  • How not to hate President Obama? Remember that he is a tool–save your hate for the real Enemy below who is using him, and the people at “Planned Parenthood”, and etc. And remember to base it in your love for Christ, lest it become wrath.

The Battle of San Pietro

Friday, April 26, AD 2013

Probably the most realistic depiction of World War II combat put to film, The Battle of San Pietro, in the public domain, is now considered a minor masterpiece.  At the time of its release in 1945 it was intensely controversial.  Fought between December 8-17 in 1943, the assault of the 143rd Infantry of the 36th Division was filmed by Captain John Huston, who was making films for the Army, a rare case where the Army actually made use of the civilian expertise of one of its soldiers.  Huston’s film shows war in all of its unglamorous horror.  After the Hollywood depiction of war during World War II it came as an unpleasant revelation for viewers.  Army brass were concerned about the film having a depressing effect on the morale of the troops.  Army Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall, however, came to the defense of the film, thinking that it would make a good training film, underlining to troops why they had to take their training seriously.  The film was used in training and Huston was promoted to major.

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Civil War History and Inevitability

Thursday, April 25, AD 2013

I’ve been on a bit of a history kicker lately, particularly Civil War history, even if by chance. On successive occasions I read Tony Horowitz’s Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War, followed by April 1865: The Month that Saved America by Jay Winik. It was purely coincidental that I read those books back-to-back, though they serve as proper bookends to Civil War history. I also happened to finally see Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. 

First a review of the works themselves. Midnight Rising is an excellent recounting of the events leading up to John Brown’s raid, the raid itself, and of course the fallout. Horowitz’s account is fairly straight, though one can’t help but detect a bit of admiration for Brown peeking through his narrative. You can probably make a good argument for both the proposition that Brown was a complete lunatic and that he was a hero who stood on principle (though probably more the former).

Winik’s narrative is engaging, and if you are unfamiliar with many of the details of not just the events of April 1865, but of the Civil War in general, then Winik’s book is a very good primer. Unfortunately it suffers from a few severe, though hardly fatal defects. First of all, Winik litters his story with repeated digressions, filling in biographical details of the main figures – Lee, Grant, Lincoln, Davis, Forrest, Sherman, Booth, even Johnston. Again, this may or may not infuriate the reader depending upon his knowledge of Civil War history. It felt like padding to me, and unnecessary padding at that.

Second, while he gets his history mostly right, there are a few notable lapses. Most grating to me was his discussion of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and their respective writings on nullification. Like many other writers, he contends that Madison supported nullification in the Virginia Resolutions, when in point of fact Madison completely rejected the doctrine of nullification throughout his life and merely argued for a concept known as interposition in the Virginia Resolutions. This is a relatively minor point, but Winik makes a handful of errors, especially with regards to Lincoln’s attitudes towards having extra protection on the day of his assassination. Winik makes Lincoln seem callous about his own security, but it was Edwin Stanton who denied him an extra bodyguard.

Finally, Winik’s fundamental thesis is overstated (and also restated repeatedly in a  seemingly unending epilogue). Though the conclusion of the war was a momentous occasion in American history, Winik overstates the willingness and the capability of the south to engage in guerilla warfare to prolong to conflict. Certainly Lee could have decided to rebuff Grant’s peace overtures, and Johnston could have listened to Jefferson Davis’s appeals to continue the fight, but would the south have kept the Union at bay as effectively and as long as Winik speculates?  I suppose that is a matter of some conjecture, but I think Winik drastically overestimates the ability of any sizable confederate band to harass the Union for much longer.

As for the movie Lincoln, I’ll largely second Donald’s review. It was an epic film, and Daniel Day-Lewis was simply outstanding. I’ll admit I even got choked up at the end – a rarity for me as usually only Field of Dreams ever makes me cry.

Beyond the merits of these works, I wanted to explore some of their themes – or at least some of the thoughts that they inspired in me directly or indirectly.

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21 Responses to Civil War History and Inevitability

  • Ah, John Brown.

    Our history has its share of odd characters, but surely none odder than John Brown. An Old Testament prophet somehow marooned in Nineteenth Century America, John Brown preached the wrath of God against slave holders and considered himself the bloody sword of the Almighty. It is tempting to write off John Brown as a murderous fanatic, and he was certainly that, but he was also something more.

    The American political process was simply unable to resolve the question of slavery. Each year the anti-slavery and pro-slavery forces battered at each other with no head way made. Bleeding Kansas was the result of Stephen A. Douglas’ plan to simply let the people of the territory resolve the issue. Where ballots cannot, or will not, resolve a question of the first magnitude in a democracy, ultimately bullets will. A man like Brown, totally dedicated to the anti-slavery cause, was only too willing to see violence resolve an issue that the politicians would not.

    Brown attacked a great evil, American slavery, but he was also a murderer, as the five pro-slavery men he had dragged from their houses at night and hacked to death at Pottawotamie in Kansas with home made swords would surely attest. His raid on Harper’s Ferry was a crack-brained expedition that had absolutely no chance of success, and yet his raid helped bring about the huge war that would ultimately end slavery.

    After his mad and futile attempt to start a slave insurrection at Harper’s Ferry in 1859, Brown was tried and hung for treason against the state of Virginia. He considered his trial and treatment quite fair and thanked the Court. Brown impressed quite a few Southerners with the courage with which he met his death, including Thomas Jackson, the future Stonewall, who observed his execution.

    Brown of course lit the fuse for the Civil War. He convinced many moderate Southerners that there were forces in the North all too ready to incite, in the name of abolition, a race war in the South. The guns fired at Harper’s Ferry were actually the first shots of the Civil War.

    Brown, as he stepped forward to the gallows, had a paper and pen thrust into his hand by a woman. Assuming for the last time the role of a prophet, Brown wrote out, “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.”

  • “Winik may have overestimated the Confederacy’s ability to effectively engage in guerrilla warfare, but at the very least such a fight would have only dragged the already staggering body count even higher.”

    A low level guerilla war ultimately convinced the North that it was not worth continuing the fight in order to maintain civil rights for blacks in the South. That took 12 years. A guerilla war to gain independence for the South would have been far bloodier and much more resisted by the North. However if the white Southerners had been willing to fight it out for 30 years or so, I think it entirely possible that the North might have decided that the South was never going to be pacified and that it simply wasn’t worth it. However, after perhaps 750,000 dead by the most recent estimates, both the North and the South simply were not ready for continued large scale fighting.

  • I think both sides had had enough, none moreso than the leaders in the field who had seen the horrors of the war up close. But that was another point I was going to raise in the post but forgot to mention. We probably think it inconceivable that we could have had this perpetual mini rebellion with a band of insurgent fighters being a persistent thorn in the side of the federal government. But hasn’t that been more the norm through world history than the perpetual internal peace that has reigned here for 148 years?

  • The EP’s “changing the course of the war” from union-preserving to slave-freeing is oft-repeated, but, imho, arguable. Lincoln publically pressed it as a necessary military measure more than anything else. And he was careful, along with the Union generals, to sell the fighting men that they weren’t now fighting to “free the slaves”, lest they lose their motive to fight (their prejudice. I assure you, not mine.) While Abe might have had the private intent all along to free the slaves, the public case and public aftermath of the EP was not a clarion call of a changed war.

  • “But hasn’t that been more the norm through world history than the perpetual internal peace that has reigned here for 148 years?”

    Indeed. Condsider ETA of the Basque, still fighting the Spanish Civil War more than 77 years after the start of the conflict. Perpetual Irish rebellions against the Brits for centuries is the classic example.

  • Slavery was the underlying cause. For the South it provided the economic driver – King Cotton – to the elites. The South was intent on preserving slavery (and its economy) and extending it. The north’s elites were intent on limiting and abolishing slavery (arguably supporting the South’s economy).

    The radical differences in their societies and economies led to an absence of unified, much less cordial, “intercourse” between the two sections. They became two different peoples – jealous and suspicious of each other.

    Publications of sectional books and demagogues, on both sides, added to sectional hatreds.

    Brown’s raid brought to the surface the sectional hatred on both sides. It inspired the North’s demagogues/elites and terrified the South’s demagogues/elites.

    That being said, somebody please tell me how was OT Dispenser of Almighty God’s Just Retribution, John Brown, different from Nate Turner?

  • “That being said, somebody please tell me how was OT Dispenser of Almighty God’s Just Retribution, John Brown, different from Nate Turner?”

    Almost three decades more of time. The country was ready to split over slavery at the time of John Brown as it was not at the time of Nat Turner. Interestingly enough, Turner’s Rebellion occurred at the same time that an ultimately unsuccessful movement to abolish slavery was gathering steam in the Virginia legislature. Opponents and proponents of slavery both pointed to Turner’s Rebellion, drawing opposite conclusions from the event.

  • Slavery had become more than an economic driver. The South was riding the tiger, and they knew it. There were four million (presumably angry) slaves in the South. In Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, the slave population was comparable to or greater than the white population. The Southern whites were fully aware of what had happened in Haiti. It’s all well and good to be a Bostonian who opposes slavery, but when you’re living in Atlanta you’ve got a lot more at stake. Then some lunatic tries to stir up a slave revolt? You can bet that there was a lot of tension.

  • I love Horowtiz! Confederates in the Attic and Baghdad without a map are both hilariously entertaining yet deeply revealing travelmentaries. A great story teller who ties the past to the present in a supremely enjoyable.

  • There are two portions of “April 1865” which made the biggest impression on me. One is Winik’s blow by blow account of the fall of Richmond, from the Sunday morning church service at which Jefferson Davis received word that it was time to evacuate the capital, through a day and night of chaos, flames and terror, to the arrival of the Union troops and, finally, the arrival of Lincoln himself, bringing great joy to the newly freed slaves. When I finished reading it, I could not help but think that perhaps, this is what Judgment Day and the Second Coming will be like.

    The other, which I have mentioned before on this blog, is Winik’s account of the guerilla war in Missouri, where it was at its most brutal and where Union troops took some of the harshest measures against civilians (e.g. Gen. Ewing’s Order No. 11) in an attempt to quell the violence. He quotes a Union military official as saying “there was something in the hearts of good Christian people which had exploded.” Ever since, I have wondered, if “good Christian people” not that much different from you and I, who could have been my ancestors (or yours), and who were raised in a far more “Christian” society than us, could be literally at one another’s throats over the issue of slavery, what’s to prevent it from happening again over an issue like abortion, gay marriage, gun control, or something else?

  • Indeed. Condsider ETA of the Basque, still fighting the Spanish Civil War more than 77 years after the start of the conflict. Perpetual Irish rebellions against the Brits for centuries is the classic example.

    I think ETA has closed up shop and never amounted to much. The Provisional IRA was much more consequential. British Ulster comprehends about 3% of the population of the UK. For all that, the number of lives claimed over a generation by the most recent Troubles amounts to about 4 years worth of common-and-garden social pathology in Coleman Young’s Detroit.

  • John Brown made his solemn oath to destroy slavery in a church in Hudson, Ohio, which is five miles west of where I grew up.

    Spain, Portugal, France, Holland and England all brought slavery to the New World.
    England was the most effective in building an economy dependent upon slave labor, which remained in place after the War for Independence.

    Brazil, which has the most slaves, freed them in 1871. Brazil did so peacefully by compensating slave owners. It is to our shame as a nation that the South would not consider seriously such a move.

  • I get the following from a 1961 HS AP American History textbook.

    Nat Turner’s slave revolt was a tragic coincidence with Garrison’s start of his uber demagoguery, “The Liberator.” The combination of the two killed southern anti-slavery societies. Turner was a fanatical, semi-educated preacher who had “visions.” He and his gang butchered 60 white Virginians. Coincidentally, Georgia offered a $5,000 reward for Garrison’s arrest and conviction. LIke southerners, I sleep with a weapon under my pillow.

    John Brown was a fanatical, semi-educated lunatic preacher. He had innocent blood on his hands from KS. His plan was to invade the South, raise up the slaves and seize an area as a negro free state. He was backed by thousands of Northern terrorist dollars. He seized Harpers Ferry arsenal with 20 other bloodthirsty terrorists, killing seven innocents.

    In the Brown trial, 17 of Brown’s friends and relatives attested to his insanity. Thirteen of his relatives, including his mother and grandmother, had been insane. VA Governor Wise was so unwise as to send him to the gallows instead of an insane asylum. And so, the abolitionists had their martyr, the South was lost, and 600,000 men died.

    PS, I will never again read anything R. W. Emerson. He compared Bloody Brown to Jesus.

  • Your analysis T.Shaw ignores the violence of the slavery system, and that one reason for the vanishing of southern abolitionism was that most Southern states made it illegal. In some Southern states it was a prison offense to merely possess abolition literature. People merely suspected of being anti-slavery were routinely mobbed in the South, tarred and feathered, and run out under threat of being lynched.

    In regard to Brown he was hardly the only man to resort to violence in regard to the slavery question in th 1850s. I direct your attention, for example, to the Marais des Cygnes massacre:

    When peaceful means do not resolve a question like slavery, violence inevitably will.

  • Mac,

    I love you, man.

    That was one reason it was called “Bloody Kansas.” The Missouri terrorists hadn’t read Marx. They didn’t ride East and try to radicalize underpaid Northern factory slaves, nor try to assassinate Garrison or the New England plutocrats.

    The cited infringements on free speech were engendered by (Bless their hearts!) Nat Turner; the radical fringe abolitionists’ desire to incite mass murder; and the growing potential for thousands of other such crimes. Why did similar “mobbings” of abolitionists also occur in the North?

    Supposedly, the slavery dispute had been settled when the various states ratified the Constitution in 1789.

    I was trying to be factual (added floral phrases).

    A super-majority (about 76%, almost eight in ten) of white southerners did not own one slave. Fewer than 14% (one in eight, lawyers) of white Southerners owned five or more slave. Another 10% owned four or less.

    Why did the south fight for a small minority of evil rich southerners? The Shadow knows.

    One may weigh the facts and make a determination. If one exaggerates and omits the result is opinion, about which Plato wrote, “Opinion is not truth.”

    You and I are entitled to our opinions.

  • “The cited infringements on free speech were engendered by (Bless their hearts!) Nat Turner”

    Some of them pre-dated Nat Turner and most of them were based on the simple human refusal not to stop engaging in manifest evil which is deemed profitable.
    “The Missouri terrorists hadn’t read Marx. They didn’t ride East and try to radicalize underpaid Northern factory slaves, nor try to assassinate Garrison or the New England plutocrats.”

    Marx in America was only known at this time as an occasional European reporter for Horace Greeley. The most ultra of the pro-slavery advocates did say that slavery would expand throughout the country and one day they would sell slaves on Boston common.

    “Why did similar “mobbings” of abolitionists also occur in the North?”

    In the case of the murder of Elijah Lovejoy it was because Alton, Illinois was settled by Southerners and was a hotbed of pro-slavery sentiment. Most of the Democrat party in the North was pro-slavery, and those who were not eventually helped found the Republican party. This ensured that there was going to be anti-abolition sentiment throughout the North. However no Northern state restricted the civil liberties of either the proponents or opponents of slavery.

    “Why did the south fight for a small minority of evil rich southerners? The Shadow knows.”
    Because the average poor white Southerner was afraid of what would happen if slaves were freed and placed on an equality with himself. If it had been simply a matter of keeping slavery so Scarlet O’Hara could continue sipping mint juleps on the veranda, I doubt if the Civil War would have occurred.

    “You and I are entitled to our opinions.”

    Everyone is entitled to his opinion T.Shaw. No one is entitled to his own set of facts.

  • Mindsets definitely chanbged and hardened between Turner and Brown. David Downing points out in his “A South Divided” that in the early 1800s, the majority of abolitionist newspapers and organizations were based in the States that would comprise the Confederacy.

    By 1850, they had vanished.

    I also think its safe to say that the overwhelming majority of Confederate soldiers didn’t enter the war for slavery per se–they followed their States.

    But there was considerable ambivalence about the Cause within Dixie, and it only grew as the war dragged on. After all, the phrase “Rich man’s war, poor man’s fight” originated in the South.

  • Mac,

    Apparently, you rely on wikipedia and other propaganda for your “history.”

    “In the case of the murder of Elijah Lovejoy it was because Alton, Illinois was settled by Southerners and was a hotbed of pro-slavery sentiment. Most of the Democrat party in the North was pro-slavery, and those who were not eventually helped found the Republican party. This ensured that there was going to be anti-abolition sentiment throughout the North. However no Northern state restricted the civil liberties of either the proponents or opponents of slavery.”


    THE MOBS IN VARIOUS NORTHERN STATES AND THE DEM PARTY WERE NOT PRO-SLAVERY. THEY WERE PRO-UNION AND PRO-CONSTITUTION. The lunatic abolitionists were intent on mass violence/civil war and lower class people knew it.

    The slavery question had been decided in 1789 when the various states voted to ratify the Constitution. See Daniel Webster, et al on the sanctity of the Constitution. Such men as Webster had convinced most of the country that the Union was inviolable. The abolitionists preached insurrection and secession. Lovejoy constantly stated the Constitution was evil and the Union must be destroyed.

    Don’t go to wikipedia. Find a history written before the re-writes and look up “broadcloth mob.”

    I could go on, but I’m at work.

    In conclusion, your above slander (“No one is entitled to his own set of facts.”) is evidence of untoward reliance on others’ distortions, omissions, and fabrications to support your rank Lincoln idolatry.

  • Apparently, you rely on wikipedia and other propaganda for your “history.”

    Donald can defend himself, but this is mind-bendingly stupid. As is obvious to anyone who reads this blog, Donald clearly reads a wider selection of Civil War history than anyone, including you, T Shaw.

    It is sometimes true that the widely accepted narratives about history are mistaken or overblown. When it comes to the Civil War; however, there is a concerted effort to rewrite history so as to blur reality and make the Confederate cause just. So before throwing out accusations about others relying on Wikipedia, why don’ t you do a little original research yourself and rethink the neo-confederate propaganda.

  • “Apparently, you rely on wikipedia and other propaganda for your “history.”

    That is the funniest, although not the nuttiest, thing you have written on this blog T.Shaw.

    “First off, it WASN’T A MURDER.”

    It certainly was murder T.Shaw. Not liking someone’s opinions is not a license to attack them.


    Putting a statement in caps T.Shaw does not make it any more convincing. Being pro-slavery was not being for the Constitution or the Union, since that august document placed no restrictions on laws being enacted on the state level freeing slaves, as demonstrated by the fact that such laws were passed in many states. Additionally, contrary to the wrongly decided Dred Scott decision, Congress had the power to legislate in regard to slavery in the Federal territories. By constitutional amendment Congress could end slavery at any time. These were uncongenial facts to pro-slavery advocates, hence their ultimate resort to secession and war to protect their sacred right to treat other Children of God as chattel.

    “your above slander’

    Truth is an absolute defense to a charge of slander T.Shaw. When it comes to the Civil War you choose to believe in neo-Confederate myths rather than deal with the actual historical record. I will call you on it every time you choose to comment on the Civil War and slavery on this blog.

  • “In the early 1800s, the majority of abolitionist newspapers and organizations were based in the States that would comprise the Confederacy. By 1850, they had vanished.”

    The hardening of Southern opinion on slavery in the 19th century seems to have followed a trajectory roughly similar to the hardening of liberal/Democrat opinion on abortion in the 20th and 21st centuries. Pro-life liberal Democrats today are as scarce as anti-slavery Southerners were in the 1850s.

Anti-Bullying=Gay Trojan Horse

Thursday, April 25, AD 2013

48 Responses to Anti-Bullying=Gay Trojan Horse

  • Once example of an outrageously poorly planned and poorly executed program to address bullying does not represent or should it condemn the entire anti-bullying movement. The laws concerning bullying and the efforts at education are not aimed at sexual orientation alone, but also race, ableism, disability, nationality, RELIGION and all types of difference. Extrapolation from a single incident (which I agree is atrocious) to all efforts is a huge epistemologcal fallacy. Shame!!!

  • “Extrapolation from a single incident (which I agree is atrocious) to all efforts is a huge epistemologcal fallacy. Shame!!!”

    Who said anything about just one incident Phil? The game has been given away time after time as to the forces behind this movement. Dan Savage, homosexual activist, de facto anti-bullying tzar for the Obama administration and all around jerk, gave a fine display as to what the anti-bullying movement is all about last year:

  • This is pathetic and sick…

  • Now it seems that their focus is switching to indoctrination

    Just now switching? It’s been that way for decades. The long march through the institutions took place a long time ago.

  • Maybe I’m under a rock and things are different but I don’t see what we need a whole slew of new laws for “anti-bullying”. At least where I grew up, what would be called “bullying” was the way a bunch of awkward pre-teens socially normalized each other.

    The way I’ve seen it presented, bolstered by a few (legitmately sad) sob-stories, its a way to push through more leftist indoctrination.

  • State sanctioned kidnapping if parents are kept out of the classroom their taxes paid for and their minor children are forced b law to attend, a captive audience of minor childen to state indoctrination. Preferable a man, a father, ought to be present in every class. Soul rape.

  • @dominic1955…yes, your assumption is right, you do live under a rock, Your comment about sob-stories is pathetic and downright immoral. There is nothing sob-story-like about a many suicides, many beatings, many hazings in the schools. I would hope that your view of kids “normalizing” each other does not condone the old adage that “boys will be boys!”
    I have been, before retiring, a high school principal for 30 years and I have witnessed the most atrocious and inhumane behaviors among some students. I have seen parents deny and defend their kids who were perps.
    Bullying is the most serious problem facing schools: sports hazing leading to physical and psychological damage; words, hitting, ostracization, cyber-bullying leading to scarred children and in a number of cases suicide. Recently in MA , five students were prosecuted for bullying which led to a suicide and it had to do with in groups, not gender orientation.
    So let me give you the facts: the prime targets of bullies are the disabled kids, then kids “perceived” to be gay, then kids who are poor and cannot the abilities to fit in, then those of a particular religion, then the in-crowd vs, the out-crowd, and also race related bullying, and on and on. Many kids are cruel and for a fact I can tell you that they learn bullying behavior from their parents who will defend their little children’s behavior as “part of the normalizing” process of adolescence.
    We need laws to protect the vulnerable and we laws so that we can prosecute the vulnerable. Come up from under your rock. When religion fails to protect the most vulnerable, the state must. Books have been written….

  • @Phil Dzielo: How can religion protect the innocent when religion, man’s response to God has been banned from the public square? When heaven and hell are no longer real destinations for the criminal? Our public schools have become the stage for “Lord of the Flies”. The atheist says there is no God, no soul, but blames God for everything. How convenient.

    Now my post: Every person came into the world through a mother and a father. While demanding equal Justice, the homosexual will not allow children to have a mother and a father. Discrimination against minor children because of age and human need.
    It seems that when the state, or those in control, I will not say authority, because authentic authority no longer has a place in our culture, bully minor children, the people must have recourse to equal JUSTICE. Let the people decide what will be taught to their children and how. Put the syllabus on the ballot. The teacher must be prosecuted for bullying and the Board of Education. So your children are having nightmares?

  • @Mary
    Of course, religion can and should protect the all, especially the vulnerable. All religions should teach that it is wrong to hit, to say mean things, to devalue, to ridicule others, to exclude others, to abuse others, to cyber-bully others, to call others names, to deprive others of their rights as human beings. This is the primary moral duty of religion and parents. All religions spend too little time on teaching others to respect and to love everyone, so the society often must step in.

    When speaking of bullying, some people always turn to a supposed “gay agenda” and conspiracy. Religion should teach people about sexual mores and their religion’s particular values. The anti-bullying programs I see focus upon respect and kindness to all, no matter how you perceive them. It is perfectly legitimate for the RC Church to teach that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered”, although this is dismissed by the all major medical, psychological and legal systems. It is never legitimate to bully, hurt, intimidate someone because they are gay or perceived to be gay. Now I will admit with the author of this blog that there are some approaches, as mentioned, that are wrong and unethical…the vast majority are not.

  • Me thinks thou dost protest too much, i.e. you sound hysterical. Looks like to me your experience has put blinders on a wider perspective. Now, at the risk of totally wasting my time talking to a wall, where I grew up boys could be boys and none of this crazy stuff you speak of happened. Parents wouldn’t teach it let alone tolerate it from their kids. We don’t need more laws, we need a more normal and sane society. How is that going to happen? “Anti-bullying” laws used to push deviancy isn’t going to do it, I can tell you that much.

    When you want the “State” to protect the most vulnerable, you get the crap that is the subject of this post.

  • Mr. Dzialo,

    Bullying is not “the most serious problem facing schools.” Bullying is simply a symptom of a much deeper problem: the collapse of Catholic culture and the consequent dissolution of stable family life. Christian chivalry is the opposite of contemporary bullying, but there will be no return to chivalry apart from a return to the Catholic Church.

  • Ed, the Catholic Church does not belong in American public schools where the children of Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Bahai’s, Hindus, agnostics, atheists, attend. That is the purpose of sectarian institutions and their role. Public Schools serve the public and are protected by the Jeffersonian separation of “Church and state.” Render to Caesar, render to God. One does not need Christian chivalry to be morally good and upright; one does not need a God to bring out the highest qualities of the human primate. People were moral, upright and chivalrous long before the RC Church was established. Good and moral people existed for hundred of thousands of years before Christ walked the earth.
    Except for the caveman who batted a woman on the head with a club and dragged her by the hair. Hopefully, we have evolved beyond that era of misogyny?

  • LOL, Phil Dzialo, you decry Christians as not doing enough and then ban them from the public square when no ban is needed or was conceived. You separation does not exist – instead it was to stop government from interfering with religion not the other way around.

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” “Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.” John Adams

    Religion must be let back into the public square for our physical and moral health.

  • Mr. Dzialo,

    Regarding your first point, “The Catholic Church does not belong in American public schools…”, the Catholic Church disagrees.

    I encourage your to start your exploration of the Church’s teaching on education with the Declaration on Christian Education of the Second Vatican Council.

    Also, if you haven’t noticed, separation of Church and state in our country is fast becoming state suppression of the Church.

    Concerning your point, “one does not need a God to bring out the highest qualities of the human primate,” are you out of your mind?

    There are no qualities to bring out of your so-called “human primate,” except those placed in man by his creator.

    Indeed, what you are saying is something less sensical than pelagianism. Please read some St. Augustine, specifically his City of God.

    Beyond God’s law – divine and natural – there is no human morality, unless you believe relativism is morality, sir.

    According to Christ Jesus himself, we need his grace to be morally good and upright. St. Augustine highlights the criticality of grace and Christ’s justice in his City of God.

    Finally, in regards to your point, “People were moral, upright and chivalrous long before the RC Church was established,” have you read any works of ancient history, sir?

    From what you have written, it seems only too clear that you fell for the lie of either materialistic social Darwinism or atheistic Freudian psychology or both! And yet, you actually think that Darwin and Freud or whoever you rely on for your threadbare intellectual scaffolding actually support morality?

  • Dear Lawyer,

    Religious in your quotation is a very broadly construed word.
    (2) Oh, John Adams? “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries” unanimously approved by US Senate, signed by Adams in 1797…could Adam be any clear!…The Treaty of Tripoli

  • Ed,

    Sorry to dispute your rather blatant judgment, you cannot put me into any simple philosophical or cosmological category. I do not disparage your beliefs, please don’t tell me what box my beliefs fall…the world is larger than Freud, Darwin, Dawkins or Hitchens.

  • Phil, you either miss my point or willfully ignore it. I did not say government was religious but its people must be for them to stay free. The Treaty does not diminish what was stated and does not relate to what we are talking about – morals, religion, public expression thereof, and bullying/indoctrination of children by LGBT under the guise of anti-bullying. Please stick to the point and do not obfuscate the issues. I shall pray for your soul and that you see the light of truth.

  • No one disputes that the U.S. was not founded as a confessional state but that is different than the expectation of the FF that the U.S. would be governed by religious people with Judeo-Christian morals (rather widely interpreted). The treaty merely states that the U.S. isn’t a confessional state with a State Church that has a religious bone to pick with the Barbary state or any other Muslim state on account of their professed religion. It was piracy that started that little scuffle.

  • Sorry, my misinterpretation was unintentional and for that I apologize.
    (1) Discrimination against gays is illegal? NO? Hate crimes are illegal? No? Do most schools have an anti-bullying curriculum? Yes! Is sexual orientation a civil right? I think so! Schools are teaching the law…..
    (2) One favor, Please, Please do not pray for my soul or for me… I am neither afraid of God nor death; I spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week caring for a totally disabled 27 year old son because it is a good and right thing to do. Haven’t had a vacation in 15 years, I need no god-given nor man-made creed to do the right thing. Please honor me my praying for someone else…I believe I am in touch with the truth and the Source. I honor the fact that you are in union with your God and doing his bidding…that’s good.

  • By and by, Phil would that be in the same disrespectful and insulting box you put dominic1955 in with your comments or would it be the humanist box or Nietzsche’s Beyond Good & Evil box or some other box. Please tell, since you are so much more enlightened then us who cling to our guns and God.

    You claim to want civility but then fail to show it to your fellow man. You claim to not like bullying then bully dominic1955.

  • @dominic
    ….ok “widely construded” but most FF were deists (historically speaking)

  • By and By, C|L, I would apologize for putting D in a box, that’s wrong! My words to him originally should have been kinder without deviating from my intention.

  • If you would apologize then please do.

  • I don’t consider “bullying” to be a normal behavior. I concur that it is the homosexualist bunch that is pushing the anti-bullying. Where were the anti-bullying movements when I was a kid? In five years of Catholic school, my name on the playground was bonehead and my name on the bus was Polock. I was blamed by the good Principal Sister for instigating. The bus driver did the same thing. I did everything I could do to avoid attention.

    There was one kid who relentlessly teased me on the school bus. Poked my ears, slapped my head, knocked off my glasses. On the playground he took a swing at me and connected on my left cheekbone, which throbbed with pain. He shattered his knuckle. Of course, no teacher was around to see any of it. He kept up the big mouth on the bus and I turned around and punched him in the face. Only then did the bus driver decided to enforce discipline.

    Junior high school was no better. I entered seventh grade and all it took was one eighth grade kid – a 6’2” bully on my street – to tell everyone he knew at school that I needed a babysitter – I have three younger brothers, my mom took the 3-to 11:30 shift as a nurse, and I was doomed in school.

    It wasn’t only me. I remember a stunt a fellow senior pulled when we returned from a college expo day at Kent State. There was one junior who was gay, but bothered nobody…at least he never bothered me. a big, tough football playing senior slapped him around to the laughs of his fellow in-crowd seniors.

    Normal behavior my eye. Kids are mean. It takes a thick skin to get through school, but when an entire class gangs up on you, as happened to me, it’s that much harder.

    God help the family of the kid who bullies one of mine. I will make their lives miserable. I will get in the face of the school superintendent, the teachers who let it happen and the parents of the brat all by myself. My recently deceased 98 year old grandmother once said, “You can sh_t on a Polock but not his family.”

    I wish my dad stuck up for me like he did when my brother was accused of cheating in high school. Incidentally, a college professor accused him of the same thing and he lasted one year in college.

  • I noticed that the school district where this BS on is in New York State. It stands to reason that a state that elects Andrew Cuomo, Charles Schumer and Hilary Clinton would enforce this garbage.

    My five year old starts kindergarten this fall. If I catch one whiff of this in the South Fayette school district, my son will never set foot on that school property again and the school administration and school board will regret being born.

    Parents must remember that a school superintendent, school board and teachers work for the parents. Don’t let the school bureaucracy ever forget it. My old man took no crap from any teacher, school board member or administrator. Too often school bureaucracies talk to parents like they are children. You do NOT have to stand for it. Get in their faces, politely but firmly at first, and make their lives hell.

  • Homosexual orientation is protected by civil law. Homosexual acting out is a violation of a child’s informed sexual consent, modesty, privacy, innocence and parental jurisdiction. In public school, this does not conform to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity” from the Preamble to our Constitution. Had the children been forced to actually kiss, charges of assault and battery, and sexual abuse ought to be filed against the teachers, and Board of Education. Anti-bullying cuts both ways.

  • The state does not own our children or their virginity.

  • “The anti-bullying programs I see focus upon respect and kindness to all, no matter how you perceive them.” The anti-bullying programs need to respect all persons, starting with the dignity of the students. Bypassing parental consent is a violation of the parent-child bond. It basically arrests the captive audience as though they had committed a crime of bullying and takes the children into custody of the state. Even in police action, the first person to be notified is the parent, the first person responsible for the minor.

  • I think we all can agree that bullying and violence in schools are bad, and that teachers and administrators should enforce rules against it. The problem, however, occurs when schools try to draw up one-size-fits-all policies that can be easily applied across the board and don’t require too much effort to try to examine or sort out the individual situation. “Zero tolerance” policies under which kids can be suspended for merely drawing pictures of guns are a prime example of this. I suspect that many of these policies are designed, not with the well-being of each individual child in mind, but with the potential liability of the school in the event of a lawsuit in mind.

  • Pingback: Columbus, Same-Sex Attraction & Marriage - Big Pulpit
  • Right you are. The anti-bully thing is indeed a homosexual Trojan Horse. Do not buy into it.

  • Separation of School and State NOW!

  • Fr Bill…
    Anti Bullying is NOT a homosexual trojan horse. I would challenge you to present wide spread, scientifically data to support this contention. Kids, I know as a retired 30 year public school principal, bullying (stalk, ostracize, cyber-stalk, assault, demean, etc) other kids who are different. Difference is based upon race, upon religion, upon sexual orientation, upon economic status and especially today, in our society, based upon disability. Disabled people are bullied and demeaned more than kids of perceived sexual orientation.
    I will readily admit that some misguided efforts have been made to have kids sensitive to gays….those efforts have been wrong. Many, most other efforts, have been to extend kindness and friendship. We live in a society where people in power bully others because they are different. Is an anti-bullying program so different from “LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.” When you focus on a few poorly executed program, you deny the positive effects of the many, many good program which save kids from being hated.
    BTW, it was the public schools which instituted “good touch, bad touch” programs upon which Protection of Children were modeled. We teach acceptance of all people, remember that studies by many people like Skipe, Doyle (canon lawyer, Andre Greeley have concluded that 50% of Catholic clergy are gay…we are all God’s children; god would not have allowed difference if he knew that people would bully and hurt other based upon who they are. Data, research, Father, please present objective, verifiable data,

  • @ Mischa
    The state is responsible for public education based upon the written constitutions of most states. The State Board of Education regulates schools, programs. and curriculum. Local elected School Committees govern . Public schools are of the state, run by officials elected by the populace. You cannot separate the public schools from the state which funds them from general taxation. We always have the option pf electing new officials if we choose to not to follow the given direction.

  • @Phil Dzialo:
    “bullying (stalk, ostracize, cyber-stalk, assault, demean, etc)” Assault is preventing another person from pursuing their Happiness. Battery is laying hands on another person. The student in the video saying she was embarrassed by the program is assaulted. Had a kiss ensued, the kiss would have been physical battery. There is all the proof you need. As far as Skipe, Doyle and Greeley, it is all hearsay. In fact, a questionaire was sent out to priests by Greeley. Most were discarded by the priests. Those not returned, were counted as affirmative for gayness, rather than disgust for nonsense.

  • @Mary
    I NEVER said I agreed, approved or condoned of the approach of this featured example. There are many educational programs that are very sound, however, the one featured in this plan is NOT. I do not agree with this program at all. If my child were involved, I would also be ripped…more than you could imagine.
    As for my statistics, I stand by by their consistency across many studies.

  • You say you were a high school principal for 30 years. During that time:

    What did you do to prevent or reduce the incidence of bullying in your school?

    Was it effective? If so, why do we need more laws?

    If what you did was not effective, why not? What could you not do that new laws will enable today’s principals to do?

  • The preceding was addressed to Mr. Dzialo.

  • Dear Bob,

    When I started in 1975, bullying existed in several forms only (at least that were seen on the surface). There was athletic bullying, now called hazing; and there was bullying because of economic factor…the poor kids were ostrazised. I dealt with hazing through team meetings and a threat to cancel a sports season…then it was pushed off campus and underground with coaches remaining silent. Finally Massachusetts made hazing against a law and the threat of legal consequence squelched 90% of hazing. We dealt with economic bullying through counseling and sensitivity training (no, not Esalen). Parents were always involved and when cooperative, bullying was squelched. When someone told me: “no my kid” and I knew different, or “you know, boys will be boys”…they got rapidly suspended. Things decreased.
    As society de-volved, bullying was directed at blacks and blacks directed it at Puerto Ricans…pecking orders were established. Talking rarely worked, punishment infrequently worked. Kids learned this stuff at home. The came “hate crime laws” and criminal offenses defining these actions put a rapid damper. Then came the nike, aeropostle, abcrombie, etc groupies vs those who could only afford K-Mart clothes…talking. In crowds, out crowds….Then Protestant kids versus the papists….parental intervention worked. Then came bullying because of perceived sexual orientation, and this was really vile stuff…it became a virtual non-issue when we started GSA’s in the mid to late 90’s. When the oppressed joined with allies, things got better. Now in the 00’s it became disability…you now “retard”, “spaz” “cripple”…vulnerable were targeted. This stopped real quick because my son is totally disabled, more than you could imagine. So a 10 day suspension stopped that trend. Inclusion of disabled in regular classes helped greatly. I retired in 2006 and things did not get better…from speaking with collegues anti-bullying programs which teach kids about difference and have them meet difference works. Peer advocacy programs where kids who are bulllied get allies work. MA passed laws that mandated each school have an antibullying program, that reporting of bullying (directly or anonymously) was available; that each report must be followed up by an administrator and that each parent spoken with, and that there be behavioral consequences. Teachers and parents were legally liable for not reporting and looking the other way which happens to often. School resport statistics to the state yearly….emphasis on the fact that being a bully is wrong, no matter what the target has reduced significantly the issue. When an issue is taken seriously, spoken about, allies developed the problem diminishes.
    Now I live in Massachusetts, we have laws on hazing, bullying. gender discrimination, etc. MA does not need more laws, I do not know about other states.
    What I tell you for a fact is that if teachers and administrators become allies with the oppressed; things change. Although we all want parents to be the moral educators, let me tell you IT DOES NOT HAPPEN. When sex ed came into being in the 70-80’s, we often surveyed kids in high school and asked them is their parents ever talked to them about the “birds and the bees”…about 10-15% did. If parents fail, schools step in. Most schools, teachers and programs are very good and reduce bulllying; cyber bullying has made it harder with the anonymity of the internet. People do not want to use real names…why fear? So now cyber-bullying is illegal because no one is really anonymous…track an IP address. I can tell you the 70’s are not the 2010’s and at least we are talking and doing stuff about the issue. The story cited in this blog is a stupid program and I am quite progressive…I hope the teacher gets nailed, literally.
    Anyway, a long answer to a simple question…could be longer, I’ve experienced too many year in the mill. I hope I addressed your concern.
    BTW used to be principal here, the first three issues on the side bar give you and idea of policy and procedure in 2013….

  • @Phil Dzialo: You speak of “necessary” programs, sensitivity training, sex ed and bullying. It is the duty of the state to protect virginity and innocence to deliver JUSTICE. Abstinence was outlawed in sex-ed. Bullying was redefined according to a politically correct culture. Sensitivity training failed to include everybody’s religious belief because God was outlawed. Calling Catholics “papists” reveals a very strong animus against Catholics. Respect for God was outlawed. How can men live free when their Creator is disrespected?

  • @ Mary,
    Abstinence was NEVER outlawed in sex education…it is always, to the best of my knowledge, taught as the best behavior for a myriad of reason. Birth control is also taught because not all teens adhere to the best practice…: abstinence. Sensitivity training does include everyone’s right to worship or not worship whom they believe…this is a public school system which represents all faiths and non-believers in any faith. I used the word papists because it is a bullying word used by some against Catholics as an example of what bullying by others is to Catholics…it is not proper for anyone to stereotype based on religion or lack of it. The public schools represent and teach no particular creed … no one in public schools disrespects the Creator. There are many. many views of the creator, there are many religions, there are many paths…the public schools would be WRONG to disparage any system of belief or to support a particular system of belief. Respect for one’s belief in God was never outlawed…public school support of a particular God is outlawed by the first amendment. Men are free to believe in the God they worship or they are equally free not to believe. This is the fundamental principle of the USA.

  • @Phil Dzialo: “their Creator” endowed men created equal with free will. Why weren’t the parents notified to opt out? It is said the children could not opt out. Where is their freedom? Where is their choice? The “papists” are given no statute of limitations for the crime of child abuse. The public schools have a 90 day window to report any crime of child abuse and endangerment. If you read the newspaper you know that abstinence was defunded, the Ten Commandments were forbidden by atheism, now Islam, and condoms are given away as favors.
    The children are minors, un-emancipated, sexually uninformed with no consent, a captive audience, infants of the court. The teachers act “in loco parentis”. The teachers are called to teach the children what the parents want the children to learn, not only as salaried employees, but as decent human beings. This law is nothing more than assault and battery of infant children, a violation of the parent child bond and the sacred mandate to educate. An education is teaching children how to think, not what to think. Training in homosexual behavior falls under the term indoctrination. The sovereign personhood of the individual needs to be acknowledged, or the term “free public school” needs to be discarded.

    Fornication and homosexual behavior are the chief forms of Satanic religion. How do you square your claim that religion is not allowed in public school with the video above?

  • Mary,
    Sorry I won’t continue this dialogue as it is turning a bit to hateful for me and facts are distorted beyond my comprehension. BTW abstinence was not de-funded… “abstinence only curriculum” is no longer federally funded because scientific analysis is clear that it doesn’t work. Again, public schools teach all students of all faiths or no faith.. BTW, in Massachusetts, schools are required by LAW to inform parents whenever human sexuality or reproduction is taught either in science or sex ed. The information is in writing and parents can always opt-out. In all my years, I have had only a handful of parents opt out.
    “Training in homosexual behavior”? In Massachusetts, there is no window for reporting abuse…it’s a criminal offense not to immediately report even the “suspicion” of any type of abuse. Too many distortions, Mary.
    You have a sacred right to your beliefs, but not to impose them on the public schools. Again, that is why sectarian schools exists…to teach their truths.

  • @Phil Dzialo: Scientific analysis never proved that man is not created equal or endowed by “their Creator” with an unalienable right to Life. Nor did scientific analysis prove that the human being has no rational, immortal soul. Sorry Phil, I am not impressed with your secular view of the human being as created by “their Creator”
    “abstinence only curriculum” is no longer federally funded because scientific analysis is clear that it doesn’t work. Only despair works in your agenda. “Abandon HOPE all you who enter here” above the gates to hell.

  • Phil, quit being ignorant. Go to to a local high school. As a recent graduate, I remember that no gay kid was bullied in high school. In fact most high schoolers have already been indoctrinated with accepting the mortal sin of homosex. But what I do remember very vividly was many faithful Christian girls & guys who were truly wanting to be faithful & abstain from sex b4 marriage & how many of them were bullied, mocked, ridiculed & called names (like Jesus freaks & virgin & worse) & this happened while these brave Christian kids being called names & bullied were still praying for those aweful high school bullies. (And again, only gay bulliying is reported in the media. Why not the many other kids who practice abstinence? O yeah, they’re ignored because it goes against the media’s & homosexual movement’s agendas.) Phil, where is you outrage about the kids being bullied for abstaining from sex b4 marriage or wanting to be devout Christians? I forgot, you don’t care about them because they don’t help you advance your homosex views.

  • And Dan Savage… what a hypocrite. Most of this National anti-bullying propaganda, I mean, eh, campaign (with the flashy Hollywood celebrities, who should be the last people teaching our kids about morality, & government money) is actually very pro-homosexual & anti-Christian (specifically anti-Catholic) in nature.

  • This article is a ludicrous overreaction to one clumsily presented workshop and an insane attempt to link the anti-bullying movement with the gay rights movement.

    There are so many instances of bullying carried out by straight people on straight people (not to mention that homosexuals are far more likely to commit suicide as a result of bullying.)

    Phoebe Prince of South Hadley, MA, was a beautiful smart straight girl that was bullied by other straight girls and eventually killed herself.

    Hope Witsell, 13, of Florida, a straight girl, made a rash decision and texted a topless photo of herself to a straight boy whose attention she wanted to get. After the picture was distributed around school and the bullying started she hung herself in her bedroom.

    Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz were straight, 14 year olds in rural Minnesota who committed suicide together after enduring torment from their classmates. Haylee had recently been expelled for getting into a fight to defend her friend against bullying.

    Eden Wormer, an eighth grader at Cascade Middle School in Vancouver, Wash., hanged herself after being bullied by girls in her class.

    Unfortunately, the list goes on…

    I went to an all boys Jesuit High School near Boston and there was a rumor of one boy kissing another and the reaction from the students was vile. The kid ended up leaving the school. Thank God his fellow Catholics didn’t pound him into oblivion.

    This is the same High School of Father James F. Talbot, SJ, a wresting coach who was indicted for forcing student wrestlers to grapple with him in the nude.

    Bullying has way more to do with power than sex.

  • “Bullying has way more to do with power than sex.”

    Yeah sure Tomas. I am sure that the people putting on the “clumsily presented workship” are equally concerned with power and sex. The power to force people to bow down to the idea that homosexual sex is perfectly normal and acceptable and the wonderful opportunity this gives them to indoctrinate kids at a very vulnerable age into homosexual sexual behavior. Any other justification you care to make as to why teachers would require kids to act as if they were lesbians?

    In regard to bullying schools have thrown out traditional forms of discipline such as paddling and expulsion and as a result bullies will rule the roost. If schools were truly interested in stopping bullying, there would be calls to return to methods of discipline that worked throughout the ages. Of course that isn’t occurring, because the anti-bullying campaign isn’t against bullying except as it may be used to allow homosexual activists to have access to kids for indoctrination purposes.

A Video You Won’t Be Seeing Much Of

Thursday, April 25, AD 2013

3 Responses to A Video You Won’t Be Seeing Much Of

The Third Rail of the Catholic Blogosphere, Part II: Crying Kids at Mass

Thursday, April 25, AD 2013

A couple of years ago I tackled a topic (modesty in dress for women) that had become a “third rail” of the Catholic blogosphere — a topic that had a tendency to burn any St. Blogger who touched it due to the intensity of the resultant combox war.
Recently it seems an even more highly charged topic has come up at several blogs: whether or not infants and toddlers belong at Sunday Mass, given their propensity to squirm, bounce, giggle, cry, scream and otherwise do things adults find distracting.
In general, commenters on this issue fall into two camps: the “Bring The Kids” camp who believe children of all ages should attend Mass regularly from birth if possible, and the “Leave Them Home” camp who prefer that parents not  bring children to Mass regularly until they are old enough to sit still, pay attention and maintain appropriate behavior for a reasonable length of time.
As with most combox wars, each side seems to believe the worst of the other. The Bring The Kids faction accuses the Leave Them Home crowd of buying into the secular anti-life mentality that treats children as spoilers of adult peace and contentment. Meanwhile, the Leave Them Home camp accuses the Bring The Kids camp of placing unreasonable expectations upon their children and others, and selfishly interfering with the ability of other parishioners to worship in peace.

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26 Responses to The Third Rail of the Catholic Blogosphere, Part II: Crying Kids at Mass

  • My wife and I brought our kids to mass from birth. That is why God created cry rooms!

  • Very very well said. In my experience, my annoyance rarely comes from the kids who cry or fuss – it’s the parents who choose to ignore their children (or are unaware) who are kicking the pews hard enough to make them vibrate, engaging in shove matches with their siblings, or bring children to Mass who are hacking hard enough to sound like they should be in the hospital, never mind the Church. Crying – eh, it happens, and when it gets bad enough with my own 5-month old (for instance), I take her for a walk around the narthex, where I meet with other sympathetic parents. However, at least the walk calms and I am doing something for the other congregants.

  • the discussion here seems to be “problem” oriented- no notes in any of these paragraphs of earnest youngsters watching and following the movements of the mass. ..looking into mom’s or dad’s prayer book with them, or turning to see the organ and the choir when the music soars. I good humor and a positive attitude covers a multitude of sins!
    There are plenty of children who come to mass with their parents and the experience is good for all parties. Sometimes I have seen a “holy” look on a child’s face when Father does something unusual or wonderful like the Holy Water before Mass, or the incensing of the altar.
    It also seems to me that children are little mirrors. I’ve been recently to one of those churches “in the round” where everything was beige and not a statue to be seen… of course the children acted and looked bored– so did the parents! When everybody gets dressed up in “Sunday ” clothes and goes to Mass, even the youngest child can recognize that this is different than a Saturday morning outing.
    We are all to be like little children aren’t we, as regards our receptiveness to God and all he offers us.
    I think going to Mass begins at home. Children who are not actively taught or related to in a positive way – sort of home schooled in the faith are going to have a harder time settling down.
    I want to tell you about a wonderful family who had an active son who would sometimes go down into the nether world of the kneelers and be very difficult to retrieve. He was a curious young man…I would say right at the age of reason. One Sunday morning he had apparently thought ahead about his church experience. He brought a screw driver and dismantled that kneeler. What a joy for all of us near him in church that morning!

  • Thanks Elaine. I saw this round of discussions the other day and had to shake my head. This: ” What worked for you, your parents, or your kids does not necessarily work for everyone” is so true. Whenever a parenting topic comes up it seems we see warring factions develop, each side thinking that what they did is the only proper way to raise a child. What – you don’t breastfeed? Your child is clearly unloved. What, you breastfeed? What a waste of time. Etc.

    I had to laugh at the suggestion that those who bring their children to Mass are being selfish. In a sense it was selfishness that made us stop taking our kids. Our daughter is, shall we say very active, and so it was a struggle bringing her to Mass. Finally, at about age two we finally relented and brought her to the babysitting that our Parish provides courtesy of the mothers of the parish. When our second daughter was of age, we started taking her as well, thus we got to attend Mass without worrying about the kids. This has always nagged me a bit, and over the past couple of weeks we’ve started going with both of them, who are 4 and almost 2 respectively. They still don’t sit very still, but they generally stay in the pew and don’t cause too much of a ruckus. Luckily we attend a parish where we don’t really have to worry about that. They say that at St. Bernadette’s the B stands for baby, and indeed there are LOTS of kids. So no dirty looks for us.

    I think it’s a bridge too far to say that you HAVE to bring kids younger than 4 or 5 to Mass. But I’m genuinely surprised at the hostility of some who think they should be all but banished.

  • People who are annoyed by kids in Church need to get over it.

    What is actually annoying is when non-parents are in the crying room. The crying room is supposed to be for a child who is actually crying, not non-parented parishoners!

  • I should note that I have 2 kids (with 2 more coming in June) and bring them to Mass every week.

  • I don’t have children and twenty years ago–I’m now 64–I didn’t want to hear kids crying at Mass. All that changed as I experienced further conversion in the Faith.

    About three years ago a young family with five kids–all under seven–sat in front of me in church. I loved watching the kids and most of them were very well behaved. But there was one little girl who was willful and headstrong. I would think to myself “heaven help the man who marries her.”

    One Sunday we were all kneeling at the consecration of the Precious Blood when I felt a tiny hand grab my shoulder and a tiny foot step on the back of my calf. I opened my eyes and stuck out my arm to stop this little girl from proceeding to climb my legs behind me to the other side of the pew. Her little hand tightened on my shoulder because she was determined to continue. Fortunately, her mother looked around at that moment. Completely mortified and apologetic she leaned over and picked up her daughter. I thought the whole incident had been hilarious.

    When I hear infants crying I think it it must be music to God’s ears because it surely is to mine. OTOH, if a child is screaming then take her back to the vestibule. We have a number of home schoolers with large families in our parish and I notice that as the children hit 4-5 years old they accompany their parents to the front while they receive communion. Their faces are usually glowing when they come back and you know they’re going to be anxious to receive the Eucharist when they hit 7 years old. It’s great training.

  • First love the post. Its a private decision that only the family should be making.

    Kyle some people sit in the cry room sans children for medical reasons. My mother’s migraines are triggered by perfume. Just like the sounds accumulate so do the smells for her. She sits in the cryroom usually during an early mass were there are fewer children because usually its not so bad for her.

    As Catholics we should not be so quick to judge others choices without knowing the whole story.

  • The “your negative comments to the parents will not make things better” advice is particularly key.

    Sure, there may be the occasional oblivious parent who just ignores tons of screaming, but generally a parent dealing with a loud kid is already mortified. I remember when visiting another parish, a time when a priest stopped suddenly in the middle of a sermon and demanded, “Will you please take that child out?” I saw the mother stumbling towards the cry room with her other kids in tow and thought, “If she doesn’t leave this parish, that’s an act of grace right there.”

    Even less public attempts to put parents on notice can be really aggravating. There was one week I was heading out with a baby under each arm and an elderly lady usher came up to me and said, “Maybe if you didn’t look so mad all the time they wouldn’t want to cry!” Needless to say, my first reaction was to look a lot madder!

  • “There was one week I was heading out with a baby under each arm and an elderly lady usher came up to me and said, “Maybe if you didn’t look so mad all the time they wouldn’t want to cry!” Needless to say, my first reaction was to look a lot madder!”

    Everyone is an expert when they don’t have to deal with the child!

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  • The key in all of this (and I admit I’m on the “Bring the kids side” otherwise my special needs Christopher would know almost nothing of the faith) is don’t block others from Christ. Concentrate on yourself and your family’s needs.

  • We have an odd situation at my parish. There’s someone who can’t handle screaming children – the assistant pastor. Fussing, he can handle, but when a child gets loud he glares, and sometimes even stops speaking. Now, the icing on the cake is that he’s an overly-dramatic speaker. He inflects (shouts) during the homily. That, of course, frightens the kids, and starts them bawling, which then upsets him.

    By the way, he’s from a large family, but the youngest. He never learned the basics.

  • I was six or seven years old when I saw my last Latin mass (until recently). Now forty five years later I went to my first Latin mass since then. It was amazing. I felt that same feeling I had then of being in the presence of God, where heaven meets the earth. If those younger then seven years old don’t get anything out of the mass, why do I remember these experiences so well and the spiritual benefits I received. Children should all be at mass whenever possible. I remember being threatened with not being able to come one week because I was acting up (I would have been about four at the time), it really tore me up. I behaved well always after that.

  • About a year ago I read a pretty smart blog by a priest about kids at Mass, the title of the post was “Crying children call to mind the mystery of the Mass” and if you google it it’s the first hit.

  • Sadly, it is less of a problem now than was the case in parishes I was attending 15 years ago because there are fewer children (and fewer people of any description) where I have been lately. The last time I can recall a situation disagreeable enough to remember was a tow-headed four year old permitted to run his mouth for about 20 minutes. I was farther away from him than just about anyone not in the sanctuary and I could hear every word. You need working ushers – which that parish lacked – to address that situation. Working ushers are elderly but ambulatory men in dark suits and ties, blessed with self-confidence, and able to both smile and scowl.

  • My parish has a number of families with lots of kids, and the young ones are normally brought to Mass. If they fuss, they are taken to the back. My four year old loves going to Mass and hates to be left at home. Of course, that doesn’t mean we didn’t spend a lot of time in the vestibule to get there.

    I think the benefits outweigh the costs. Every child is different, but sometimes you need to present going to Mass as a reward. If they make noise, they can’t go. Telling a kid they “can’t” is often a great motivator! We also make sure that there is a reward for good behavior. A parent should set expectations and follow through with appropriate rewards and punishments.

    We once went to Mass at a different parish in another nearby state for a couple of Sundays, as my wife was a friend’s sponsor for RCIA. We had a baby at the time. The usher insisted that we leave the church building, not even staying in the vestibule, if the baby made any peep. We noticed that there were no other children to speak of in that parish. We went to various Mass times and only saw one other child. It was sad and depressing. I couldn’t imagine a parish without children. It just didn’t seem “Catholic”. It seemed like we were in some other denomination. Or perhaps in some dystopic novel like “Children of Men” or “A Brave New World.”

    We love seeing cute babies and toddlers at Mass. My four year old always points them out for us. Now that we are beginning to send the oldest of our eight into the world, I’m a bit saddened to face the prospect of eventually going to Mass without children.

  • I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but in the DC area where we live we have no shortage of parishes. Many of the downtown parishes are filled with mostly single apartment dwellers and tourists. If you want a quiet mass, there are lots of chruches with fewer families. Also I’ve noticed that the vigil mass and early morning masses (before 8am) have fewer kids. Most colleges and universities also have masses without many kids. So I feel that if you really want a quiet prayerful mass you can find it.

  • First of all, thanks for the link! 🙂 I wrote a more recent post addressing parents of young children directly, and I think (I hope!) that one clarifies where I’m coming from.

    Second, I don’t have any problems with people deciding to do split-shifts etc. if they can and if this is what works best for their families. The problem I have comes in when people assume, first, that everyone CAN do this and that everyone therefore should. In the comments under the various posts about this there are people who point out that they have one Sunday Mass in their rural area, or that their husbands are deployed, or even in some sad cases that they are widowed or separated or divorced raising young children whom they still must bring up in the faith. It simply doesn’t help the situation when there’s a default presumption that small children don’t belong at Mass at all until the age of five or six.

    Third, and this is where I admit that this gets tricky, I think that the “don’t bring the kids” crowd is presently the more vocal of the two groups (at least on the Internet). Over the years I’ve been told a number of times by people a good 20 to 30 years older than I am (I’m 44) that when they were little, by golly, people understood that the Mass was holy and that you didn’t bring babies to Holy Mass and turn it into Romper Room ™. Since I wasn’t alive back then I can’t say whether that was true everywhere or just in some places, but it does seem kind of strange to me. Then again, in the 1917 Code of Canon Law the canon saying that men and women were to sit on separate sides of the church was still in force, so perhaps there never really was a perception that it was a good idea for families to pray at Mass together before the modern era. Whatever the case, I think given the attacks on families at the present time and the need to see husbands and wives as truly living an important vocation (not just being the poor slobs who couldn’t make it into the priesthood or religious life), we need to see families all present together to worship God in the principle liturgy of the Church whenever possible. No, that doesn’t mean Mom isn’t excused if the teething toddler is screaming in pain, and no, that doesn’t mean families can’t decide to do split-shifts when necessary, but I do think that setting out an ideal that all families will leave everyone under age five at home no matter what that takes is placing the most serious burden on those families who are the most open to life, and who may not be able to attend Mass together for a couple of decades if they’re doing split shifts until the very youngest is 5.

  • The infant learned very quickly that fussing would bring going home. The Children are very adept at abstract thought, I believe learned from the metaphysical nature of the Liturgy, and they are darling. If there is not someone willing to help with your child at Mass, there is something missing.

  • We’ve taken our kids to Mass since they were infants without problems but your point is well made: the parents are in the best place to judge so the rest of us should stay out of it… To a point.

    I don’t mind small children fussing in Mass. Jesus clearly didn’t mind them fussing during his sermons either. I find older kids misbehaving to be far more distracting.

    The boys in tank tops, underpants hanging out of their shorts. The kids’ phones goingoff, the occasional text, the disrespect shown to their parents when asked to behave, these things annoy the daylights out of me.

    Give me an unhappy innocent any day rather than a disgruntled teen.

  • “I’ve been told a number of times by people a good 20 to 30 years older than I am (I’m 44) that when they were little, by golly, people understood that the Mass was holy and that you didn’t bring babies to Holy Mass and turn it into Romper Room ™.”

    I suspect you are right, Erin; as noted above my own parents took the Leave Them Home approach (my brother and I were born in the early 60s). There are several reasons why that approach MAY have been more prevalent in the pre-Vatican II era:

    1. Back when most moms stayed home with and were solely responsible for supervising babies and toddlers ALL day, EVERY day, and most kids didn’t leave home during the day until kindergarten or 1st grade, Sunday Mass might have been the only break some moms got during the week. Also, husbands and wives tended to move in different social circles so attending Mass separately was not seen as odd or abnormal.

    2. The child-rearing “experts” of the early to mid-20th century seriously underestimated the learning abilities of infants and toddlers. I think the prevailing “wisdom” up to, say, about 1960 was that kids weren’t really capable of learning anything important until at least age 3 or 4. There certainly was not the emphasis on early learning that we have today, as evidenced by the fact (noted above) that most kids didn’t set foot in anything resembling a classroom until age 5 or 6.

    3. The Mass was in Latin, and if you assumed (based on #2) that little kids weren’t ready to learn Latin you probably assumed they weren’t ready to attend Mass either.

    It also should go without saying — but I’ll say it anyway — that “leave them home” doesn’t mean “leave them home every Sunday for the first 5 years of their lives, then start bringing them to Mass with no advance preparation.” If you simply leave them at home and do nothing else, then yes, chances are they will have trouble adjusting when they do begin attending Mass. However, there are ways to prepare children for Mass attendance even when they are not yet going every week — for example, by bringing them to less crowded and shorter weekday Masses or on brief church/adoration chapel visits.

  • In general, commenters on this issue fall into two camps: the “Bring The Kids” camp… and the “Leave Them Home” camp…
    –Elaine Krewer

    I disagree. I strongly disagree. Commenters fall into three camps, (1) Bring ‘Em And Keep ‘Em At Mass No Matter What, (2) Leave Them Home No Matter What, and (3) Love Thy Neighbor (a.k.a. Let’s All Behave Reasonably And Be Reasonably Accommodating Of Others).

    In my experience camps 1 and 2 are unreasonably touchy and try to dominate the comboxes any time the subject comes up. But they’re not most people even if sometimes they leave the most comments. 80% or more are in the third camp but one wouldn’t know it to hear just one parent in the first camp talk. And most of the folks in the second camp were driven there by parents of the Bring ‘Em and Keep ‘Em At Mass No Matter What camp

  • – The size, layout and acoustics of the church may mitigate or aggravate the annoyance level caused by baby/child noise. If several crying babies or fussy toddlers are spread out in a huge cathedral with 800 to 1,000 seats, a high vaulted ceiling and an excellent sound system, chances are they will be less disruptive than if they were crammed in a tiny country church with only 150-200 seats and no cry room, or in a 1970s-style “church in the round” with low ceilings and a poor sound system.
    –Elaine Krewer

    Well said. And thanks for pointing out one of the horrors of those theatre-in-the-round things. Their interior cross sections are elliptical. This allows sound from the back of the space to propagate very well, sabotaging the efforts of the parent who reasonably supposes that taking the non-stop crying child to the back will reduce the amount of disturbance the child is making. My parish has one of those buildings (built in the 1980s) and everyone can hear any conversation in the vestibule, the doors open and close for every late arrival, and every child crying or being hushed. Some of us joke about moving the musicians and choir back there to take advantage of the acoustics. (And a few of us are serious.)

    Alas, the diocese where I reside is still building those horrors. (Seems to me a 2000-year old Church would know how to build a proper worship building by now. And how not to. Sigh.)

  • My wife and I brought our kids to mass from birth. That is why God created cry rooms!.
    Donald R. McClarey

    God did not create cry rooms. They may even be an abomination in the sight of the Lord.

    I started in the “Cry rooms, what a good idea!” camp and have moved over the years toward the opposite view. I’ve too often seen them lead parents and children into tempation to make play rooms and snack rooms out of them. You know what the Lord has warned about those who cause others to fall. And how the Lord treated those who abused His Father’s house. No whips and millstones for me, thank you very much.

  • “They may even be an abomination in the sight of the Lord.”

    Only for the truly crazy among us Micha.

Congress Seeking to Exempt Itself From ObamaCare

Thursday, April 25, AD 2013

10 Responses to Congress Seeking to Exempt Itself From ObamaCare

April 25, 1943: ANZAC Day and Easter

Thursday, April 25, AD 2013

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon

In 1943 Anzac Day, April 25, fell on the same day as Easter.   Anzac Day commemorates the landing of the New Zealand and Australian troops at Gallipoli in World War I.  Although the effort to take the Dardanelles was ultimately unsuccessful, the Anzac troops demonstrated great courage and tenacity, and the ordeal the troops underwent in this campaign has a vast meaning to the peoples of New Zealand and Australia.

New York City saw its first public observance of Anzac Day that year as some 300 Australian airmen and sailors marched in the Easter Parade and were cheered by the crowds lining the parade route.  Anzac Day observances in Australia and New Zealand were muted that year, due to the day falling on Easter, and so many men were away fighting in the War.

American audiences had become familiar with the courage of Anzac troops by viewing the documentary Kokoda Front Line, the video at the beginning of this post, which memorialized the struggle of Australian troops fighting in New Guinea.  Damien Parer, the cinematographer on the film won an Oscar for the film in 1943.  He would die on September 17, 1944, age 32, filming Marines in combat on Peleliu

In Melbourne, Australia on Anzac Day, the US 1st Marine Division marched through the streets in honor of the day to the cheers of their Australian hosts.

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3 Responses to April 25, 1943: ANZAC Day and Easter

  • Thanks Don.
    Just returned from my communion round. (12.30 pm. here)
    I checked Dad’s diary he kept in the war years. He has no entry on Anzac day 1943 – he was still in training camp in NZ; Dad was 31 years old, I was coming up 1 year old, and my brother who died 3 weeks ago was 2 -1/2. I checked Dad’s diary for 1944, and they were just going into action in Rimini in Italy on the Adriatic coast.
    Busy now – add later.

  • Fascinating Don. Diaries are little time capsules.

  • Mmmm…… a bit later than I intended.

    On checking dad’s diary, they were still at sea on the troopship heading toward the theatre of war in Europe.

    I am very proud of the heritage of my forebears, particularly in relation to Gallipoli.
    Donald Vincent Piper – born Fowey, Cornwall, 27th.May 1891 – my maternal grandfather. Emigrated to NZ in 1912, joined up as soon as war was declared in 1914 – First NZ Expeditionary Force, 16th. Waikato Regiment. ( I am named after him – Donald Vincent Beckett)
    He served in the first NZ force in Gallipoli. He received shrapnel wounds in one leg, but because they were not painful, stayed on. Because he was a Cornishman, he was a tunneller. I recall as a lad, him telling me in his Cornish brogue, of how they would tunnel under “the Turk”, set explosives, set the fuse, and go like hell.
    He also served in the Trenches in France, and was sent home to NZ in 1917 after he had been wounded a second time. Entered duty as a private, returned as a 2nd Leutenant. He married Kathleen Rose Nicholson, uncle Nick’s sister.
    Eustace Charles (Nick or Eusty)) Nicholson – born NZ 1887. With his younger brother Phillip Charles Nicholson, they signed up when war was declared in 1914 and seved at Gallipoli. Uncle Nick was wounded and went to England for convalescence. He met his future wife, Charlotte Jeanne Dahlem, from Paris France, whom he later married in England and took his bride back to NZ. Uncle Nick returned to active duty in France and saw the was out, as a Sergeant Major.
    Uncle Phil Nicholson served in France as well, had a charmed life – I attended his funeral in Auckland in 1974.
    We have a Nicholson family anthology compiled by our cousins who live in Tacoma, Wa. Through the Nicholson Family, I have many relatives in the USA, originating here in NZ in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s but sadlt have lost a large degree of contact, with the exception of Bill and Carland Nicholson of Tacoma Wa.. with whom we have occasional contact.

Feeling Mulish

Wednesday, April 24, AD 2013

Sometimes com threads take on a delightfully daffy life of their own, and so it was on my other blog, Almost Chosen People, in regard to my post on Streight’s mule raid.  Such threads I cherish.

The kind of things that leads people to say that “military intelligence is a contradiction in terms”.

  • On April 21, 2013 at 9:12 am Donald R. McClarey said: |Edit This

    You can say that again Fabio!  I have always found studying military disasters fascinating.  To be fair to Streight he did seem to recognize the problem of the mules from the first.  What I can’t understand is why Grenville Dodge and his 8000 cavalry weren’t sent along on the raid.  Dodge went on to win fame as a manager of military railroads for Grant and played a substantial part in the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, but he was unimpressive in his role in the Streight Raid to say the least.

  • On April 24, 2013 at 8:46 am Dennis McCutcheon said: |Edit This

    I wrangled mules in Montana the summer after high school and before joining the Navy… I think I joined the Navy knowing that there were unlikely to be mules in my future.  Strong beasts, could take impressive loads, but a devious lot they were.

    • On April 24, 2013 at 10:29 am Fabio P.Barbieri said: |Edit This

      Mules are for high mountain fighting. When I served in the Italian Army in the eighties, the Alpini unit I was attached to had hundreds of them, and although the barracks and grounds were kept wonderfully clean, when the wind was in the wrong direction and you caught the whiff of them you knew it. Luckily for me, I was infantry and under no obligation to care for them – though I’m sure it would have taught me a lot. I don’t think they have invented anything better, even now, for moving heavy loads at high altitude. But as for using them at any other level, WELL!

      • On April 24, 2013 at 10:50 am Dennis McCutcheon said: |Edit This

        Chuckle.  We had a huge white mule (Tony) that could carry a house but he always wanted to lead the string.  The head wrangler would shorten the lead so that the lead horse would crap on Tony’s face.  I cleaned his face on several occasions.  He would take off through the woods in an attempt to take the lead if you didn’t keep him on a short rope.  He bit me once and tried on several other occasions.  The second weekend I was at that ranger station I saw someone putting his children on Tony for a ride.  Fabio I cleared the steps five/six at a time to get down to the pen to save those children.  But that damn mule had a completely different attitude with kids.  He would side step to keep those kids balanced on his back. The ranger laughed at me when he found out I was trying to save his kids from death. Tony loved kids… hated adults trying to load him.  Maybe they are smarter than we think.

        So infantry in highlands of Italy, must have been some mighty pretty sights at times.

    • On April 24, 2013 at 5:50 pm Donald R. McClarey said: |Edit This

      “He would side step to keep those kids balanced on his back.”

      Mules tend to have well-developed senses of personality and I suspect their own mule codes of right and wrong.  Looking at that it sounds crazy, but they are very strong willed creatures but will be quite obliging if they like you.  If they do not however…

  • On April 24, 2013 at 11:11 am Fabio P.Barbieri said: |Edit This

    Not infantry – Alpini, specialist mountain troops. That is why I, as a mere infantryman, had no truck with mules. Mind you, being an Alpino had its perks. Because of the hard work to be expected on mountain duty, they get larger rations than ordinary infantry, plus one large block of solid chocolate and a glass of strong “grappa” with every lunch. And because Alpini officers are the cream of the army, you may in general count on exceptionally well ran barracks and facilities – I tell you that, for as long as Lt.Col. Mario Giordano was Deputy Commander at our base, we ate better than in many restaurants. It may be the good fellowship, the songs (Alpini choirs are famous), the mountain environment, or just the grappa, but boys who have been Alpini never forget it, and annual reunions are enormously well attended and enjoyed. You might like these photos, from an Alpini festival held in Rome,when a particularly popular public personality was given an honorary Alpino hat with the gold-on-red badge of an Army Commander-in-Chief:

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4 Responses to Feeling Mulish

  • The mule’s greatest moment was at the Battle of Wauhatchie, Tenn. when a herd (pack?) of panicked mules charged the rebel lines who broke and fled:

    Half a mile, half a mile,
    Half a mile onward,
    Right through the Georgia troops
    Broke the two hundred.
    “Forward the Mule Brigade!
    Charge for the Rebs,” they neighed.
    Straight for the Georgia troops
    Broke the two hundred.

    “Forward the Mule Brigade!”
    Was there a mule dismayed?
    Not when their long ears felt
    All their ropes sundered.
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to make Rebs fly.
    On! to the Georgia troops
    Broke the two hundred.

    Mules to the right of them,
    Mules to the left of them,
    Mules behind them
    Pawed, neighed, and thundered.
    Breaking their own confines
    Breaking through Longstreet’s lines
    Into the Georgia troops
    Stormed the two hundred.

    Wild all their eyes did glare,
    Whisked all their tails in air
    Scattering the chivalry there,
    While all the world wondered.
    Not a mule back bestraddled,
    Yet how they all skedaddled —
    Fled every Georgian,
    Unsabred, unsaddled,
    Scattered and sundered!
    How they were routed there
    By the two hundred!

    [more . . .]

    Yes, I’m aware the story is supposedly apocryphal & I don’t care. Sometimes the truth needs a little help.

  • I had forgotten about that classic poem Thomas! The Confederate Hampton Legion apparently was disordered briefly by a stampede of Union mules and that allowed the Union to plug a gap in the battle line. Union troops waggishly suggested after the fight that the mules be breveted as horses.

  • The mule poem calls to mind a commentary, I read, comparing the courageous charge of the 1st Minnesota at Gettysburg to the glamored “Charge of the Light Brigade.”

    General Hancock saw a gap in the line and ordered the 1st Minn. colonel to charge and take the colors of the advancing Confederates. The 1st Minn. did, suffered 85% casualties and preserved the Union line.

    Pacem Tennyson. At Balaclava, a blunderous order was given. The Light Brigade charged contrary all military sense, lost 37% casualties (plus 337 horses, only 195 troopers were mounted afterwards) and accomplished nothing. French Marshal Pierre Bosquet commented “”It is magnificent, but it is not war.”

  • To be honest, after reading the original article, I double-checked it online to make sure it wasn’t a late April Fools joke. Quite a read.