The Flag of Sumter

Wednesday, December 31, AD 2014

Flag of Fort Sumter

As we close this year, one hundred and fifty years ago defeat loomed for the Confederacy.  It is good to recall at this point in our almost four year examination of the Civil War the courage with which the Confederates maintained for four deadly years their lop-sided struggle for independence against a nascent world power.  This courage is not better symbolized I think than by Conrad Wise Chapman’s Flag of Sumter.  The son of a famous American painter, Chapman painted a series of 31 paintings of Charleston Harbor at the request of General Beauregard while Chapman was on duty as an enlisted man during the long siege of Charleston.  This painting, with its lone Confederate sentry standing in the bombed out ruins of Fort Sumter under a proud but tattered Confederate banner, shows how Chapman perceived the War and how most Confederates viewed their fight.  On the horizon of the painting we barely glimpse the Union fleet, its power so much greater than any force the Confederate defenders could hope to summon, but the will to resist remains in spite of the overwhelming odds.  A majority of former Confederates in the decades after the War came to eventually accept that it had been good that the Union had been preserved and slavery abolished, but they always took great pride in the fight they had waged for a cause they thought a just one at the time.  One cannot hope to truly understand our Civil War without understanding that pride, preserved forever by this painting.

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2 Responses to The Flag of Sumter

  • Kipling: “Piet” – Homage to Boer Soldiers”
    (Regular of the Line)

    “I DO not love my Empire’s foes,
    Nor call ’em angels; still, 
    What is the sense of ’atin’ those
    ’Oom you are paid to kill? 
    So, barrin’ all that foreign lot
    Which only joined for spite, 
    Myself, I’d just as soon as not
    Respect the man I fight.” 

  • For Christmas my wife and I received Ken Burn’s documentary on the civil war. Are you familiar with it, and if so what is your opinion of it?

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Edmund Burke

Wednesday, December 31, AD 2014

Edmund Burke Quote


Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

Edmund Burke,  Letter to a Member of the National Assembly, 1791

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8 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Edmund Burke

  • He is addressing here the virtues of Justice, Temperance, Prudence– and though not exactly spoken, Fortitude.

  • Anzlyne: He is addressing here the virtues of Justice, Temperance, Prudence– and though not exactly spoken, Fortitude.
    Thank you, Anzlyne. All I could think of was America,The Beautiful.

  • Sadly what came to my mind was how the so much the opposite in being taught and lived in our culture today.

  • This is at the root of all politics. Those who will not control themselves provide opportunity for power-hungry tyrants to act “in the name of public safety.”

  • I’m not seeing it in those terms. We have seen that the decay of family life has social effects which require resort to administrative controls (police and prisons), but that’s been done half-heartedly and belatedly. More of what we’ve seen (after a couple of generations of cleansing state and local politics of the worst rogues and the extirpation of creatures like Theodore Bilbo) has been the escalating distaste for democratic institutions among professional-managerial types, the co-incident implosion of professionalism among attorneys (especially law professors and appellate judges), and the race-to-the-swift among electoral politicians advancing first and foremost the most blatant hucksters (e.g. the Clintons). Co-incident with that, academic life is now a stew of smelly orthodoxies and organized appetites and most of the clergy are notable for their unseriousness. It is not tyranny we face, but idiocracy. The man who identified the incipient pathology in our public life was not Burke, but Ray Bradbury.

  • Idiocracy is but a step. Dissatisfaction with the status quo and two-bit ideologues simply set the stage for the charismatic Great Leader that all such decadent spirals eventually produce. Your POV of the current landscape is impeccable; it’s 5 to 10 years from now when eventualities will start to coalesce.
    Of course it can be reversed but such a tsunami of stupidity usually takes a cataclysm to undo. Hopefully Don’s predicted miracle of great proportion will occur.
    PS – And Robert Heinlein.

  • simply set the stage for the charismatic Great Leader that all such decadent spirals eventually produce.

    Nope. Not unless there’s some horrific crisis (see Spain, 1934-36). Contemporary electoral institutions have outside the United States proven remarkably durable in the face of much worse than we face here (see Greece or Argentina).

Predictions 2015

Tuesday, December 30, AD 2014


predictions 2015



Once again I boldly go where angels fear to tread and make predictions for the coming year:


1.   The contraceptive mandate will be found to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

2.   A major component of ObamaCare will found to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

3.   Obama will veto at least ten pieces of legislation during the coming year.

4.   Pope Francis and the Pope Emeritus will be perceived to be increasingly at odds.

5.   A major development will be announced regarding the possibility of a warp drive.

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32 Responses to Predictions 2015

  • #9 and #6 seem to be related!

    If she, Clinton-Benghazi, doesn’t run in ’16 then that IS the miracle that sparks talk of End Time prophecy.

  • If number 5 happens, then heaven help whatever extraterrestrials we may encounter!

  • PS, enjoy:
    There is a link down this web page to Alcubierre’s Warp Drive, the best possibility yet.

  • Paul Primavera….Excellent point.
    The scourge ( progressive plague ) throughout the cosmos. 🙁

  • If we run into aliens, then heaven is helping them, just like any other isolated population. (Isolated from Christianity, in this case.)

  • Foxfier, you may be correct in ways that our species would learn to regret. God’s justice is a strange and fearful thing.

  • Prepare for the worst. Hope for the best.

    Don’t sweat the small stuff. N.B. it’s all small stuff.

    Global warming will be the worstest threat to mankind even as the planet’s sea ice masses continue to expand to historical record, larger dimensions.

    The same space aliens that destroyed ancient Mars’ civilzation will destroy Earth. (Based on a theory of Dr. John Brandenburg presented somewhere IL)

    Americans’ sense of “civic duty” will continue its decline.

    “Backer Bomber” will again improve race relations for the 57th (one for each state he went into in 2008) consecutive year.

    Hillary apparatchniks will character assassinate any possible presidential candidate that rises up on its hind legs in 2015. They’re already working over Jim Webb. Not that he doesn’t merit it . . .

    Sen. Elizabeth (Pocahantas) Warren will courageously push markets in the “right” directions because for too long banks have “pounded on” working class Americans.

    The slow death of the Ameican middle class will continue apace.


    T. Shaw will (by the grace of God) push on a year older and more ornery.

  • I can see 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, and 10 happening. Nos. 1, 6, and 9 seem unlikely. No. 5 seems impossible.

    I do wish Benedict did not reside in the Vatican. The trouble is, he has a very small family and one of his more proximate relations lives in Australia.

  • I’m liking the odds of #9 if it said miracle or catastrophic event.

  • My prediction: a year from now, every “Year In Review” article will feature a picture of something that happened in China. I don’t know what it will be, or even if it’ll be good or bad, but we may find ourselves referring to pre- and post-2015 China, and how was it possible that we didn’t see this coming.

  • China reminds me of pre-war Japan. I hope not.

  • Major Miracle and End Times doesn’t add up to ultimately small potato Hillary. If it were to happen my guess it would More likely be something to do with Francis.

  • Not so much a prediction for 2015 as a trend to watch: the Next Big Issue that the former Occupy Wall Street crowd of professional leftists takes up after the media finally tires of the “(only) black lives matter”/”hands up don’t shoot”/”I can’t breathe” shtick. My gut tells me it will be some kind of labor related issue, such as right to work laws or cuts to the pensions or other benefits of unionized public employees.

  • Anzlyne.
    I hope your right about the small potatoe. We witnessed a Presidential win due in part based on the cult of personality..first black president.
    The senator from IL. with (no) experience wins?

    Potato famine a good thing!

  • Re #9 major miracle, has any studied Marian apparitions? It seems to me that Our Lady appears just before all hell breaks loose or during it. I’m hoping for one in the Near or Middle Easts to bolster the remaining Christians and scatter the forces of ISIL.
    #10 will be true which reminds me of a favorite line from “Fletch Lives”. Women seated next to Fletch (Chevy Chase) on an airplane asks Fletch his name. He replies, “Nostradamus”. She exclaims, “O, I just love the Fighting Irish!”

    Happy and Healthy New Year to all!

  • 1.The contraceptive mandate will be found to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Simply because the HHS Mandate was never voted on or approved by the voters and is taxation without representation. The HHS Mandate was added after Congress voted on and passed the ACA.
    2.A major component of ObamaCare will found to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. This is the penalty levied against citizenship for opting out of a free will and free participation. We do not live under martial law, executive privilege, or taxation without representation. That is, without an opting out clause, the ACA is tyranny and forced participation. If I am forced to live under martial law, the least Obama can do is issue me an uniform and three square meals a day, even c rations, a roof over my head and dog tags.
    3. Obama will veto at least ten pieces of legislation during the coming year. Obama is for Obama.
    4. Pope Francis and the Pope Emeritus will be perceived to be increasingly at odds.
    Like water and oil.
    5. A major development will be announced regarding the possibility of a warp drive. And fusion energy.
    6. Hillary Clinton will announce that she is not running for President in 2016. Not until she answers for Benghazi and putting all doctors in Federal Prison for two years for practicing medicine under Hillarycare.
    7. Unbroken will win the Oscar for best picture.
    I hope so.
    8. The synod of 2015 will be one of the most acrimonious synods in the history of the Church. I hope so. Would “acrimonious” be like brimstone?
    9. A major miracle will occur which will spark further speculation that we are living in the End Times. Pray always. If one is praying when the end does come, one will continue to pray for eternity. My dearest wish.
    10. Don will be wrong on one or more of his predictions.
    Not if I can help it.

  • The miracle I pray for is that Pope Francis will have a conversion, convert and become a Catholic.
    Since the gays have co-opted the rainbow, does God’s promise of not flooding the entire earth again still hold with such blasphemy, or is the earth to be inundated by the melting polar caps?

  • ha – I guess I missed this movie? ” line from “Fletch Lives”. Women seated next to Fletch (Chevy Chase) on an airplane asks Fletch his name. He replies, “Nostradamus”. She exclaims, “O, I just love the Fighting Irish!”
    Also – another good hopeful prediction would be the conversion of more movie and media types too Mary–

  • seems “Our Lady appears just before all hell breaks loose or during it”
    I have studied one apparition pretty carefully- the one at Knock. She, St Joseph, St John the Beloved and angels came WITH the Lamb of God AFTER so many people had suffered through so much for so long– The hunger in 1879 was a constant but it followed centuries of suffering ..
    The Irish were punished for holding on to their faith – Penal laws were penal or punitive and were successful according to the plan to decimate the population, but were not successful in making the Irish let go- “Jesus, Mary and Joseph” was a very common prayer. .
    It was not an apparition in the sense of only a “seer” could see them- but the scene of them worshipping could be seen by any passerby.. A truly wonderful gift and affirmation of heaven, almost as a reward for fidelity perhaps in unspeakable circumstances. Also a gift considering the great concern the survivors had for those who had died (purgatory) so young and unformed or unprepared.
    May those witnesses and the holy priest Fr. Cavanaugh, pray for us that we may also hold on.

  • Now the devil is coming against the Irish, and all of us in the West in a very slick and seductive way– not penal laws, or physical suffering– but deception, relativism, and a big smile while the Christians in the middle east are getting it physically. Maybe the major miracle of #9 will wake us up and strengthen us.

  • Mary De Voe wrote:
    5. A major development will be announced regarding the possibility of a warp drive. And fusion energy.
    It is possible that the development which leads to warp drive would also lead to harnessing controllable fusion, especially if such development were to involve artificially manipulating gravity. However, the problem with fusion is this: it takes as much if not more energy to cause fusion of light element atoms than is produced from the reaction. Why? Because of the opposition that like charges in the nuclei of atoms have for each other, being composed of protons. The sun overcomes this via gravity from the great mass of hydrogen within its sphere. Gravity forces hydrogen nuclei together passed the coulomb repulsion field until the strong nuclear force takes over to cause the nuclei to fuse. But mankind has not master gravity. Instead, we use particle or laser beam impingement and / or magnetic field confinement / compression. These methods require more energy than is released. There is however an easier method for obtaining energy from the atom and we already have it: fission of heavy metal nuclei. There is no coulomb repulsion to overcome since the neutron causing fission is by definition neutral in charge. And there is enough fuel in the form of uranium and thorium to provide such energy for millennia on end. The more difficult path of fusion is simply not required, and the polluting path of burning fossil fuels, dumping the waste therefrom into the environment is obviated.
    However, all this said, those who currently oppose heavy metal fission will (once fusion is demonstrated to be practical and economic) oppose that also. As Robert Heinlein so correctly pointed out in his novel, Time Enough for Love:
    There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who “love Nature” while deploring the “artificialities” with which “Man has spoiled ‘Nature'”. The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of “Nature” — but beavers and their dams are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers’ purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purposes of men) the “Naturist” reveals his hatred for his own race — i.e., his own self-hatred. In the case of “Naturists” such self-hatred is understandable; they are such a sorry lot. But hatred is too strong an emotion to feel toward them; pity and contempt are the most they rate. As for me, willy-nilly I am a man, not a beaver, and H. sapiens is the only race I have or can have. Fortunately for me, I like being part of a race made up of men and women — it strikes me as a fine arrangement and perfectly “natural”. Believe it or not, there were “Naturists” who opposed the first flight to old Earth’s Moon as being “unnatural” and a “despoiling of Nature”.

  • Thank you, Paul. I will learn what you have written. I am slow and this will make a couple more wrinkles in my brain.
    Anzlyne: Yes, the conversion of Hollywood and the Media would improve future generations. Father Patrick Peyton pray for us.
    It must be pointed out that Our Lady of Knock did not appear until after the Irish people had chosen starvation over compliance.

  • Paul: “”5. A major development will be announced regarding the possibility of a warp drive. And fusion energy.””
    I am still wrapping my mind around what you said, and it occurs to me that if fusion is retarded by gravity, then fusion would function better in gravitylessness, the absence of gravity, that is, in outer space. If the space ship could be built to carry a fusion mechanism into outer space, then fusion could be produced to run the ship. Please do not respond to this unless it might be in a small paragraph. “Yes” or “no” would be fine. Otherwise, go and enjoy your new wife and family for the new Year.
    and to all, for all I have learned, to all who have tolerated and ameliorated my ignorance, bullishness and all of those grievous traits to which I cling. Happy New Year.

  • Dearest Mary,
    Asking a nuclear engineer for a simple answer is like asking for the sun not to rise.
    But I will try to keep this simple – here is your answer: NO. 😉
    Now for the explanation – I will provide this in bite size chunks.
    Gravity does NOT retard fusion reactions.
    Rather, lots and lots and lots of gravity forces atoms of hydrogen together to cause them to fuse.
    The gravity overcomes the mutual repulsion between like charges of the protons in the nuclei of hydrogen atoms.
    This lets the strong nuclear force take over and cause fusion.
    We do not have a way of artificially controlling gravity.
    So instead we use lasers or particle beams or magnetic fields to squeeze atoms of hydrogen together.
    See ITER:
    It takes more energy into the lasers or particle beams or magnetic fields (at least right now with today’s technology) to squeeze the atoms close enough together to cause fusion than what fusion gives you as a result.
    Using gravity could obviate that.
    But we do not have a quantum theory of gravity.
    And gravity is different from the other 3 forces of nature: electromagnetic, weak nuclear (responsible for radioactive decay) and strong nuclear (responsible for fusion and fission).
    These four forces were all the same at the Big Band that Father Georges LeMaitre theorized.
    But gravity is unique in being the curvature of space-time (see Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity).
    We have no way to artificially curve space time.
    In fact, it takes lots and lots and lots of mass – like the sun’s – to do that.
    And that can cause fusion.
    Jupiter has lots of hydrogen but no fusion.
    Not massive enough – not enough gravity.
    Now if we could warp space-time, then we could make the distance between hydrogen nuclei seem so small that the repulsion between the like charges of their protons is overcome.
    The atoms would then smash together under the strong nuclear force to fuse and release lots of energy.
    But there is NO technology to do that. NONE. ZERO. ZIP POINT SQUAT.
    Since I was a kid, I always read that fusion was 20 years away.
    That was in the 1960s.
    It is now 2015 (or will be tomorrow).
    Fusion is still 20 years away.
    But we have something better.

  • Here is the better way:
    We chose not to follow the better way.

  • Paul, regarding “The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of “Nature” — but beavers and their dams are.” It has occurred to me that many in the so-called Animal Rights movement seek to deny human rights. Including, although not enumerated, that of a Happy New Year to you all. ~wpw

  • William, you are quite correct. In the meantime, these same “naturists” or “animal rights activists” or “environmentalists” or whatever they call themselves would transfer from human beings to non-sentient creatures the inalienable God-given rights to which you refer:
    “…they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.” Romans 1:25
    This is therefore NOT a new phenomenon for even St. Paul was familiar with it.

  • Paul W Primavera: Thank you, Paul. I first responded with WOW. I did look up the link and am impressed. I find myself more impressed, though, with your fine knowledge of the Scripture and your insight to quote Scripture and bring Scripture’s relevance into today’s conversations. For this, I am humbled. Happy New Year and may the Blessings of almighty God descend upon you and remain with you forever.

  • On a more serious note, here is a interesting article about some prediction for the near future from an alleged Catholic mystic living in the USA:

  • McClarey: 9. A major miracle will occur which will spark further speculation that we are living in the End Times.
    But the prophesy is already out there:

  • Curious how your predictions for 2014 went.


Tuesday, December 30, AD 2014




Some good news to end the year:

A new survey conducted by Operation Rescue of all abortion facilities in the United States has confirmed that the abortion clinic closure trend continued strongly in 2014. Operation Rescue is the only pro-life organization that maintains a listing of abortion facilities and tracks clinic closures and its extensive research has provided the most accurate accounting of abortion facilities known to exist.

In all, 73 abortion facilities shut down for all or part of the year. The total number of all remaining abortion clinics in the US is currently 739. Surgical abortion facilities account for 551 of that total while the number of medication-only abortion facilities stands at 188.

Out of 60 surgical abortion clinic closures, 47 were permanent. This represents a 23% decline in surgical abortion facilities over the past five years.

Thirteen surgical facilities were allowed to reopen after initially closing, primarily due to court action that enjoined abortion safety laws that had shut down the substandard facilities.

Thirteen facilities that provided only medication abortions account for the remaining closures in 2014. That more than doubles the number of medication abortion facilities that closed in 2013 when six were shuttered.


While the abortion clinic closures did not eclipse the high water mark of 93 total closures in 2013, the 73 closures this year far exceeds the two dozen closures recorded in 2012.

The 2014 figures represent a net decrease of 31 surgical abortion facilities nationwide. even though the number of medication abortion facilities increased by 11 over 2013 numbers, they still remain below the high of 196 facilities in 2012.

abortionclinic6“We are continuing to witness the implosion of the abortion cartel in America,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “The only things that are preventing total collapse are court injunctions that are blocking several state abortion safety laws from being enforced. Once those laws clear the courts, we expect to see even more dangerous abortion facilities close. This is great news for women and babies because when abortion clinics close, lives are saved.”

Like this pro-life news article? Please support LifeNews during our End of Year fundraising campaign with a donation!

The greatest number of closed facilities took place in Texas as the result of the 2013 abortion law known as HB2. Eleven surgical and three medication-only facilities shut down permanently over the course of 2014.

Closures far outpaced clinic openings. Fifteen facilities either added surgical abortions or opened for the first time. Thirteen clinics, primarily Planned Parenthood centers, added medication abortions to clinics that previously did not provide them. Eight clinics that formerly provided surgical abortions made the decision to halt those procedures, but continue to sell medication abortions.

“As new states laws add safety standards for surgical abortions, we are seeing the beginnings of a new trend. Abortion providers who cannot or will not comply with the higher standards have, in some cases, dropped surgical abortions in favor of medical abortions so they did not have to become licensed,” said Newman. “This allows incompetent abortionists to continue exploiting women for money while evading the need to increase patient safety.”

Some of the more notable abortion facility closures included:

Outpatient Services for Women, Oklahoma City, OK: This surgical clinic shut down after the arrest on December 9 of clinic owner and operator Naresh Patel on charges of fraud and racketeering after Operation Rescue filed complaints. Patel had been caught selling abortion pills to women who were not pregnant.
All Women’s Health, Chicago, IL: Clinic owner, abortionist Mandy Gittler, closed this facility after local activists protested there over the death of Tonya Reaves, which was killed by Gittler in 2012 at a Chicago Planned Parenthood clinic.
Novi Laser and Aesthetic Center, Novi, Michigan: This facility shut down after being evicted from two locations this year. After the last eviction in November, owner Michael Arthur Roth had nowhere to go.
Aid for Women, aka Central Family Medical, Kansas City, MO: Operation Rescue discovered evidence of multiple abortion abuses and lodged complaints. This facility was best known for suing in court for the right to stop reporting child sex abuse. Under pressure from the medical board and struggling for business, Aid for Women, finally shut down.
Affiliated Women’s Services, Indianapolis, IN: This facility, associated with the infamous late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart shut down in July due to financial woes and a lack of demand for abortions.
Femcare, Asheville, NC: Its shut down earlier this year for two dozen serious health and safety violations caused an outcry from abortion supporters since it was thought to be the only facility that could pass new safety standards. It reopened briefly before permanently closing after its abortionist, Lorraine Cummings, announced her retirement and placed the building for sale.


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10 Responses to Progress

  • Thank you for sharing great news!
    Our local Right to Life office just purchased a building to move into. The new location is next door to Murder Inc.
    aka Planned Parenthood.

    Talk about trench warfare. Our sidewalk presence is consistent and prayerful.

    The enemy to life has large resources however not as large as the God of Life.
    His are human hearts. His resources will not run dry.

  • When the children realize what has been done to them and what is being done to them there will be the Truth on earth.

  • I find it remarkable that there should be so many private providers.

    In Scotland, both before and after the Abortion Act 1967, virtually all abortions are performed in the large teaching hospitals. There are no more than two or three private clinics licensed to perform abortions in the whole country.

  • This is good news.

  • No Paul, No Michael: Follow the money. The respect for life, health of the child and his mother and even Justice are irrelevant to the abortionist. It is only the money that they get from satisfying any demons demands.
    The devil is everywhere and those who enable the devil will join the devil.

  • I didn’t see it on the map, but an abortion clinic, a 1/4 mile from where we used to live, closed in a little Northern VA city. The clinic was behind in the rent; fewer patients (victims); crying women coming into and out of the building were off putting to the other tenants; and the pro-life picketeers created too much attention, so the clinic lost its lease. Unsaid in the newspaper article, of course, was the answered prayers of the good Anglicans (former Espicopalians), Catholics and other good people. Several months later the city council received a business license request for another abortion clinic to set up shop and the council denied it. Two victories! Luckily the newly elected fallen away Catholic in the peanut gallery, though vocal about women’s rights being denied, wasn’t yet sworn in.

  • anybody know from whom can I order the “I am a Pro-Life Generation” signs? When my mission travels up north to pray at a clinic, we have people in their 80s on down to young people participating. It would be great for each generation present to carry such a sign.

  • CAM.


    They have kits available as well as shirts.
    We have not purchased from this great group however this might be a good starting place for your request. I hope it helps.

  • CAM. The page number in their store is 3 to order signs. Some are sold out but they have other offerings.

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Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing

Monday, December 29, AD 2014





Anti-Catholic bigot, homosexual activist and Episcopalian minister Harry Knox is back in the news.  Long time readers of this blog will recall that President Obama appointed Knox to his Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships back in 2009.  Go here to read a post on that appointment.

Knox  became the head of  the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice back in 2012.    He had a post on the Huffington Post explaining why religious people should support the slaying of children in the womb, a post which proved, once again the truth of Socrates’ adage that an unexamined life is a tragedy.

Now, just in time for the Christmas season, Susan Michelle at Live Action News brings us up to speed on his latest antics:

The not very reverent Rev. Knox heads up the largest faith-based pro-abortion organization in the nation, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). Churches like the United Methodists, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian USA, and Episcopals, as well as a host of more well-known liberal churches, are the composite of this campaign for death in the name of the One who came to bring us life. The RCRC is a shame to the reality of Christianity as it manipulates the truth of the faith.

Knox sends many letters, all in an effort to campaign for abortion rights by asking people for money — echoing the letters of Planned Parenthood, who at least doesn’t use Jesus to fundraise, as Knox does. Earlier in December, he sent what was perhaps the most abhorrent letter of all. In it, he lamented that abortion access in the United States is so limited now that “it’s as if the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade didn’t happen.” Women don’t really have a choice, Knox says, when they can’t get to an abortion clinic easily. Sounds like Planned Parenthood, right? But wait! Knox wants you to know that true Christians support abortion. He says:

[T]he majority of people of faith, and the majority of Christians support legal access to abortion. And so they wrap their anti-choice ideology in something that sounds warm and fuzzy.

The Christian tradition says that Jesus advised his disciples to, ‘Watch out for false prophets. They come to you dressed like sheep, but inside they are vicious wolves. You will know them by their fruit.

Stunning words coming from a man who leads an organization advocating death of innocent children for any reason whatsoever. Indeed, Knox shows us what a false prophet actually looks like. RCRC and its members are the ones actually walking around with fuzzy sheep coats, but underneath the costume is a vacuum that sucks a living life from the womb of a mother who’s been led to believe that death is acceptable if she can’t see the baby, doesn’t want the baby. But no, Knox says, we are the real wolves. He continues:

These laws, and the anti-abortion legislators that promote them, are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They say one thing that sounds very nice, but we know them by their fruit. They want nothing more than to deny women the right to decide to have a child on her own terms.

They’re telling a lie. In biblical terms, they’re bearing false witness. Where I come from, that’s a sin.

These false prophets – these vicious wolves – are tearing women’s rights to shreds. And they need to be stopped.

Sometimes I read words that are difficult to take seriously. I wonder how anyone with a faith in Christ and a belief in the Bible could possibly be blind enough to read a letter like this and nod in agreement or click a link and donate money at Christmas to kill a baby.

The reality is that many believe this guy, the one actually bearing false witness. The witness of Christ is the purpose of His life. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:10-11, ESV)

The witness of Christ is the reality of giving His own life so that others may live. The witness of the enemy Knox mentions, whom Jesus addresses in this text,  is destruction, such as that of abortion. This seems so obvious. Somehow, to these folks, it’s not. Somehow, they neglect to see that if Mary were carrying Jesus in today’s culture, many would suggest she abort her baby and go on with her life.

Knox ends his letter with a live link that says, “Click here and make a donation because the wolves are circling and we need your support today.”

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17 Responses to Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing

  • Thank God for small mercies: That letter wasn’t written by a nun.

    “it’s as if the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade didn’t happen.”

    “Liar, liar pants on fire!”

    In fact, largely due to peace, kumbaya! and justice uber alles, the USA likely has the most untrammeled access to the most horrific forms of abortion among free world nations.

  • “[T]he majority of people of faith, and the majority of Christians support legal access to abortion…”
    I have always felt such appeals to a supposed “consensus fidelium” are worthless, unless the speaker can give “people of faith” or “Christians” a definite meaning in extension. One suspects that the Rev Mr Knox has no ecclesiology worth speaking of, and is untroubled by the lack of one.

  • Thomas Aquinas taught that the soul is the form of the body. If the soul is the form of the body, then, how did the human body get to ensoulment, unless there is a soul present from the very first moment of existence?
    The rational soul of the human being has the faculty of free will, intellect and sovereign personhood. The will to live of the rational soul infused at procreation, also, named as fertilization and conception is the right to life of our Declaration of Independence. The rational human soul calls for a heart beating at eighteen days and a brain at forty days, and a nervous system, an arm, a leg, a nose, and a whole human body.
    Science has since proved through DNA that a new human being comes into existence at fertilization. Not too long ago, in the 1800s, people believed that the sperm contained a microscopic human being. And that the whole child was placed in the womb by the father. The mother contributed nourishment and nurturing.
    Snowflake babies and donated embryos, those frozen embryos created through in vitro fertilization, frozen in liquid nitrogen and then adopted and implanted to gestate, grow fully into human beings and children. Snowflake babies are proof, irrefutable proof that the embryo, fertilized, is a sovereign person with a rational soul, a will to live, free will and intellect, the whole human person, with moral and legal innocence and virginity, with a sovereign personhood, who has been denied the nurturing of the womb and care.
    “In-Vitro Fallout: Donor IVF Teen Says “I Wish I Had Never Been Born”
    by Rebecca Taylor | London, England | | 6/27/14 2:22 PM
    Gracie Crane is a UK teenage girl full of angst, but not the kind that troubles most teenagers. She was adopted as a “leftover” IVF embryo.
    The UK’s Daily Mail has her story:
    Gracie, who is mixed race, was one of the first children in Britain conceived from a donor embryo, which means she has no genetic link to either of her parents. She was born in 1998
    Every year 2,000 people opt for egg, sperm or embryo donation in Britain — approximately 44,000 babies have been born this way over the past 20 years.
    So even though Gracie was rescued from the deep freeze of an IVF clinic and raised by loving parents, she still feels marginalized. We need to listen to what Gracie is telling us. We all, on some level, desire to know and be loved by those that created us, even if we are one of the unwanted “leftovers.”
    ‘But then embryos that can’t be matched will be thrown away, and that’s not right either,’ she adds, her huge brown eyes welling up again.
    The reality is that we should have never made the “leftovers” to begin with.
    Alana S. Newman, founder of and a donor-conceived adult, is bravely standing up for the rights of those intentionally denied what she believes is a fundamental right: the right to a relationship with one’s biological parents. She writes:
    The facts of my conception are that my father was paid to abandon me. There is no dignity in that. I suffered from debilitating identity issues, mistrust of the opposite sex, hatred and condemnation of the opposite sex, feelings of objectification – like I only exist as a play – toy for others, and feeling like a science experiment.
    The children are counting on us.”
    The above is truncated. The article contains a photograph of Gracie Crane, a snowflake baby nurtured to adulthood.
    For the Supreme Court and the monster above to ignore the humanity of the newly begotten individual human being is evil from hell.

  • Abortion is unconstitutional as abortion destroys our constitutional posterity. “Human existence is the criterion for the ordering of human rights.” Francisco Suarez

  • Great title. Wolves in wolves clothing.
    Trying to read what Knox is selling is akin to trying to eat tripe salad with haggas flavored ice cream…..just not happening. Unfortunately many will eat this *¥€~ up and call it fine dining.

    You just can’t beat T.Shaw’s…liar, liar pants on fire. 🙂 It fits Mr. Knox like a small glove.

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  • I never have subscribed to American Catholic and I don’t want to receive it. Please take me off your mailing list. Your programmer has got it set up that when ever I send it to trash, it keeps coming. Ray Marshall, Minneapolis

  • I haven’t a clue why you are receiving it Ray. We do nothing on our end to send it to people.

  • Ray Marshall: You ought to try to get on The American Catholic when they, the heathens, will not allow it.

  • Good points, Mary De Voe. I believe that each human has a soul and that a human being starts life at conception. There are those who believe in the former and not the latter. Do they think that the soul is in the air of the delivery area and the infant sucks it in with his or hers first breath? Or do they just not think because it doesn’t fit with their pro-abort mind set?
    I wonder what sets people like Knox to become so full of hate? I agree with M P-S that Knox’s theological credentials must be non-existant or slim. Ah yes, preaching the gospel of convenience with which comes money. If abortions were totally free, i. e., the absence of profit, would there be physicians performing them, powerful organizations like Planned Parenthood, pro-abort politicians, etc.?
    Regarding the “leftover” children, another product of “reproductive rights”, I am happy that they were adopted and born, not flushed down a sink in some lab. Prayers are needed for them.

  • CAM asked, “If abortions were totally free, i. e., the absence of profit, would there be physicians performing them…”
    Absolutely there would. During the debate around abortion law reform in the 1960s, The Scotsman (23 December 1966), reported that one pregnancy in 50 was terminated in Aberdeen, compared to one in 3,750 in Glasgow, the difference resulting from the clinical practice of the two Regius Professors of Midwifery, Sir Dugald Baird at the University of Aberdeen and Ian Donald at the University of Glasgow. Both were Crown appointees of endowed chairs, with security of tenure, who derived no financial benefit from the procedures they or their registrars and students performed.
    Sir Dugald was a stalwart of the Galton Society, a dedicated eugenicist and Malthusian, who spoke with undisguised contempt of the working-class women, “stunted, multiparous, with IQs in single figures” on whom he performed abortions and tubal ligatures and which he undoubtedly saw as a form of social hygene.
    During a long career, Sir Dugald trained a whole generation of obstetricians and gynaecologists, a number of whom went on to hold chairs at the leading teaching hospitals throughout the UK.

  • Yes, CAM: “Do they think that the soul is in the air of the delivery area and the infant sucks it in with his or hers first breath? ”
    The state, in Roe v. Wade, has decreed that the immortal soul, with his sovereign personhood of the human being is bestowed by the state at birth through citizenship. The state has arrogated to tell us who “We, the people…”are.
    Ryan T. Anderson at Public Discourse writes: BAKE US A CAKE OR ELSE
    Elane Photography didn’t refuse to take pictures of gay and lesbian individuals, but it did refuse to photograph a ceremony that ran counter to the owners’ belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman (a belief that New Mexico law endorses). Other photographers in the Albuquerque area were more than happy to photograph the event.

    But in 2008, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission ruled that the Huguenins, by declining to use their artistic and expressive skills to communicate what occurred at the ceremony, had discriminated based on sexual orientation. The commission ordered them to pay $6,637.94 in attorneys’ fees. The ruling cited New Mexico’s human-rights law, which prohibits discrimination in “public accommodations” (that is, “any establishment that provides or offers its services . . . or goods to the public”) based on race, religion, and sexual orientation — among other protected classes.

    At the end of 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld the Human Rights Commission. It concluded that under the state’s sexual-orientation and gender-identity law, the First Amendment does not protect a photographer’s freedom to decline to take pictures of a same-sex commitment ceremony even when doing so would violate the photographer’s deeply held religious beliefs. Justice Richard C. Bosson, in a concurring opinion, made the additional claim that requiring the Huguenins to relinquish their religious convictions was permissible as “the price of citizenship.”
    “(T)he price of citizenship” means the invasion of personal space, forfeiture of the right to privacy and of personal self-preservation, the free will choice of whom to countenance or not to countenance, and the denial of informed consent to participate in and draw a business contract for business services rendered. The sovereign person whose soul is created by God at procreation is relegated to the back seat of citizenship and as long as he refuses to deny his soul, the human faculty, as the means through whom his creativity, imagination, understanding of the meaning of abstract concepts, make judgment as to truth and to differentiate one truth from another truth by inductive and reductive reasoning, (from Professor Peter Kreeft of Boston College), he (the endowed) and his endowed immortal human soul remain an enemy of the state. State imposed atheism… no soul, no God, no civil rights.
    Atheism is unconstitutional. “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.”. The atheist, the gay, the criminal are to be tolerated, but not indulged, nor are “We, the people…” to be forced to indulge the atheist, the gay and the criminal.

  • Someone asked me that if a child was not intended, then could it be aborted?
    The newly begotten human being, the standard of Justice for the state, the compelling interest of the state for innocence, truth and virginity is a sovereign person and as a sovereign person and an innocent sovereign person, must be given due process of law. Death of the mother must be imminent.
    When due process of law is ignored man becomes the servant of the demons from hell. And hell will not allow Jesus to enter so, hell, too, demands due process of law.
    The above wolf in wolf’s clothing, Harry Knox, (they will stand up to be condemned) is a fine example of serving the demons from hell.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: What did “Sir Dugald” get for his efforts? …that will help him now?

  • “Sir Dugald was a stalwart of the Galton Society, a dedicated eugenicist and Malthusian -” Though they claim to be scientists, when the facts and figures are against them, they are religionists faithful to their Creed no matter what.

  • Mary de Voe

    The value Sir Dugald set on individual human life is pretty clear from this extract from one of his lectures: “In India, though Nehru (Times, 11th December 1963) and his Government recognized the dangers of population increase and supported a policy of birth control, in practice in the second five-year plan for India only $10 million was allocated for population control as against $14 million for malaria control, a measure which, by lowering death rates quickly, could further aggravate the population crisis and reduce the standard of living, in that more capital, skills, and experience are absorbed in looking after children and young people and less is available for industrial development.”
    One wonders why he ever chose Midwifery as a profession.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: Mother Teresa of Calcutta came to exemplify human compassion, tenderness and love. Mother Teresa was a response of Divine Providence to mankind. Mother Teresa is a standard bearer of Hope and Change.
    The U.S. insisted on and paid for having 600 men in India sterilized without their consent which ended the reign of Indira Ghandi. These men came for her with pitchforks demanding to know why. The U.S. has made all aid dependent upon abortion and population control. This is taxpayer money. Let the chips fall where they may. If America is to be wiped off the face of the earth by the yellow race or any race, we better start praying…in the public square.

Predictions of Times Past

Monday, December 29, AD 2014

Well it is that time of the year again for me to review predictions that I made last year and eat a little crow in the process:

1.   Elections 2014-The Republicans will gain 10-15 seats in the House and the GOP will take the Senate with at least a two seat advantage.

Correct!  The Republicans gained 13 seats in the House and have a 54-46 advantage in the Senate.

2.   Our fowl President-Obama’s lame duck status will be confirmed time and time again next year, with even Democrats in Congress considering him to be a spent force.

Correct!  Even liberal Democrats like Senator Chuck Schumer (D.NY) are beginning to attack Obama on his focus on ObamaCare for example.

3.   ObamaCare Code Blue-ObamaCare will become an ever increasing debacle.  Legislation will be passed by June to largely gut ObamaCare which the President will veto.  The Republicans will be able to win an override vote in the House, but fail to do so in the Senate.

Nope.  No such legislation was passed, but the most onerous features of ObamaCare have yet to be implemented due to the Obama administration unilaterally postponing them.  Wait until the employer mandate kicks in during 2015 for the feathers to truly hit the fan.

4.   Asia War-A high possibility of a naval or air clash between Japan and China.  I doubt if it would spiral out of control, but the old power relationships that maintained the peace since World War II are weakening around the globe, especially in Asia.

Nope, although the situation remains dicey.

5.  Pope Francis and the Left-The bloom will be off the rose on the love affair that the left has with the Pontiff next year.  It will increasingly dawn on them that the Pope has no power over economies and that on social issues the teaching of the Church will not change.

Mixed.  I see fewer paeans to Pope Francis on non-Catholic leftist sites, but Catholic leftist sites are still in seventh heaven over having a pope they perceive as on their side.

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3 Responses to Predictions of Times Past

  • 9. Conversion-The atheist world will be shaken by a high profile conversion to Christianity by a famous atheist.
    Nope. Conversions there have been, but not the one I was thinking of.

    I am dying to know who you were thinking of. I, personally, pray that Bill Maher converts. That would be headline news. And since most converts I know are so very enthusiastic, he would be a powerful voice.

  • I don’t want to name names George for fear of jinxing it. Let us simply say that his name would be known by anyone who follows science news.

  • One can never know how many atheists are deathbed converts. What are atheists going to do without hell for the demons and devils except allow their evil to permeate the human race. Nice legacy for the atheist. Hell for mankind. Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned. Columbia is a woman. Lady Justice is a woman, Lady Liberty is a woman. Just asking. Are the atheists ready for the fury? The wrath of God, the atheist may deny, but the fury of a woman scorned, no atheist can long endure.

Grant on the Fort Fisher Fiasco

Monday, December 29, AD 2014

Fort Fisher



Examples of gross military incompetence were not rare in the Civil War.  Perhaps the most outstanding example is the bungling of Major General Benjamin Butler in his handling of the first assault on Fort Fisher, the fort that guarded the last major port open in the Confederacy, Wilmington.  Grant in his Personal Memoirs gives us the details:


I selected General Weitzel, of the Army of the James, to go with the expedition, but gave instructions through General Butler. He commanded the department within whose geographical limits Fort Fisher was situated, as well as Beaufort and other points on that coast held by our troops; he was, therefore, entitled to the right of fitting out the expedition against Fort Fisher.   

  General Butler conceived the idea that if a steamer loaded heavily with powder could be run up to near the shore under the fort and exploded, it would create great havoc and make the capture an easy matter. Admiral Porter, who was to command the naval squadron, seemed to fall in with the idea, and it was not disapproved of in Washington; the navy was therefore given the task of preparing the steamer for this purpose. I had no confidence in the success of the scheme, and so expressed myself; but as no serious harm could come of the experiment, and the authorities at Washington seemed desirous to have it tried, I permitted it. The steamer was sent to Beaufort, North Carolina, and was there loaded with powder and prepared for the part she was to play in the reduction of Fort Fisher.   

  General Butler chose to go in command of the expedition himself, and was all ready to sail by the 9th of December (1864). Very heavy storms prevailed, however, at that time along that part of the sea-coast, and prevented him from getting off until the 13th or 14th. His advance arrived off Fort Fisher on the 15th. The naval force had been already assembled, or was assembling, but they were obliged to run into Beaufort for munitions, coal, etc.; then, too, the powder-boat was not yet fully prepared. The fleet was ready to proceed on the 18th; but Butler, who had remained outside from the 15th up to that time, now found himself out of coal, fresh water, etc., and had to put into Beaufort to replenish. Another storm overtook him, and several days more were lost before the army and navy were both ready at the same time to co-operate.  

  On the night of the 23d the powder-boat was towed in by a gunboat as near to the fort as it was safe to run. She was then propelled by her own machinery to within about five hundred yards of the shore. There the clockwork, which was to explode her within a certain length of time, was set and she was abandoned. Everybody left, and even the vessels put out to sea to prevent the effect of the explosion upon them. At two o’clock in the morning the explosion took place—and produced no more effect on the fort, or anything else on land, than the bursting of a boiler anywhere on the Atlantic Ocean would have done. Indeed when the troops in Fort Fisher heard the explosion they supposed it was the bursting of a boiler in one of the Yankee gunboats.    



  Fort Fisher was situated upon a low, flat peninsula north of Cape Fear River. The soil is sandy. Back a little the peninsula is very heavily wooded, and covered with fresh-water swamps. The fort ran across this peninsula, about five hundred yards in width, and extended along the sea coast about thirteen hundred yards. The fort had an armament of 21 guns and 3 mortars on the land side, and 24 guns on the sea front. At that time it was only garrisoned by four companies of infantry, one light battery and the gunners at the heavy guns less than seven hundred men with a reserve of less than a thousand men five miles up the peninsula. General Whiting of the Confederate army was in command, and General Bragg was in command of the force at Wilmington. Both commenced calling for reinforcements the moment they saw our troops landing. The Governor of North Carolina called for everybody who could stand behind a parapet and shoot a gun, to join them. In this way they got two or three hundred additional men into Fort Fisher; and Hoke’s division, five or six thousand strong, was sent down from Richmond. A few of these troops arrived the very day that Butler was ready to advance.  

  On the 24th the fleet formed for an attack in arcs of concentric circles, their heavy iron-clads going in very close range, being nearest the shore, and leaving intervals or spaces so that the outer vessels could fire between them. Porter was thus enabled to throw one hundred and fifteen shells per minute. The damage done to the fort by these shells was very slight, only two or three cannon being disabled in the fort. But the firing silenced all the guns by making it too hot for the men to maintain their positions about them and compelling them to seek shelter in the bomb-proofs.    

  On the next day part of Butler’s troops under General Adelbert Ames effected a landing out of range of the fort without difficulty. This was accomplished under the protection of gunboats sent for the purpose, and under cover of a renewed attack upon the fort by the fleet. They formed a line across the peninsula and advanced, part going north and part toward the fort, covering themselves as they did so. Curtis pushed forward and came near to Fort Fisher, capturing the small garrison at what was called the Flag Pond Battery. Weitzel accompanied him to within a half a mile of the works. Here he saw that the fort had not been injured, and so reported to Butler, advising against an assault. Ames, who had gone north in his advance, captured 228 of the reserves. These prisoners reported to Butler that sixteen hundred of Hoke’s division of six thousand from Richmond had already arrived and the rest would soon be in his rear.  



  Upon these reports Butler determined to withdraw his troops from the peninsula and return to the fleet. At that time there had not been a man on our side injured except by one of the shells from the fleet. Curtis had got within a few yards of the works. Some of his men had snatched a flag from the parapet of the fort, and others had taken a horse from the inside of the stockade. At night Butler informed Porter of his withdrawal, giving the reasons above stated, and announced his purpose as soon as his men could embark to start for Hampton Roads. Porter represented to him that he had sent to Beaufort for more ammunition. He could fire much faster than he had been doing, and would keep the enemy from showing himself until our men were within twenty yards of the fort, and he begged that Butler would leave some brave fellows like those who had snatched the flag from the parapet and taken the horse from the fort.  



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4 Responses to Grant on the Fort Fisher Fiasco

  • Interesting that Butler latched onto the same idea Burnside used to disastrous effect a few months earlier at Petersburg, the idea that a massive explosion would create a hole in the defenses of the enemy which could be quickly exploited by federal troops. Butler is also the general that squandered the opportunity to likely end the war a year earlier when he landed in strength a half mile from where I’m writing, at Bermuda Hundred south of Richmond. If he had advanced boldly, there would have been no stopping him. His over-caution, however, gave the defenders of Richmond the opportunity to bottle him up on the Bermuda Hundred peninsula for the remainder of the war.

  • As a general Butler was a disaster from the beginning of the war to the end Tom. The Confederates had a song satirizing Butler’s incompetence and he deserved every syllable of it.

  • As a general, Butler was rather incompetent. If the Federal government had had a few more like him, the South might have won the war. Of course, we had our incompetent generals too. If we could have traded Bragg for one of the better Union generals . . . .

  • The Army of Tennessee was a fine force that never had a commander worthy of it after Albert Sidney Johnston died at Shiloh, with the possible exception of Joe Johnston.

Cold Winter of Unbelief

Sunday, December 28, AD 2014

Holy Innocents

The Holy InnocentsToday, dearest brethren, we celebrate the birthday of those children who were slaughtered, as the Gospel tells us, by that exceedingly cruel king, Herod. Let the earth, therefore, rejoice and the Church exult — she, the fruitful mother of so many heavenly champions and of such glorious virtues. Never, in fact, would that impious tyrant have been able to benefit these children by the sweetest kindness as much as he has done by his hatred. For as today’s feast reveals, in the measure with which malice in all its fury was poured out upon the holy children, did heaven’s blessing stream down upon them.

“Blessed are you, Bethlehem in the land of Judah! You suffered the inhumanity of King Herod in the murder of your babes and thereby have become worthy to offer to the Lord a pure host of infants. In full right do we celebrate the heavenly birthday of these children whom the world caused to be born unto an eternally blessed life rather than that from their mothers’ womb, for they attained the grace of everlasting life before the enjoyment of the present. The precious death of any martyr deserves high praise because of his heroic confession; the death of these children is precious in the sight of God because of the beatitude they gained so quickly. For already at the beginning of their lives they pass on. The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory. These then, whom Herod’s cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers’ bosom, are justly hailed as “infant martyr flowers”; they were the Church’s first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.

 St. Augustine

Saint Augustine pray for us as we do battle with those who would bring on a new cruel, cold winter of unbelief, replete with millions of new Holy Innocents.

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10 Responses to Cold Winter of Unbelief

  • “St. Augustine pray for us as we do battle with those who would bring on a new cruel, cold winter of unbelief, replete with millions of new holy innocents.” Amen!

    Millions! My God. What have we become? A heartless army of bloodthirsty self seeking mongrel’s.
    Worse than that…a nation committing suicide.

  • Since 1920 one billion abortions have been performed on this planet. One billion.

    “Russia had the highest number of abortions per woman of child-bearing age in the world according to UN data as of 2010. In terms of the total number, in 2009 China reported that it had over 13 million abortions, out of a population of 1.3 billion, compared to the 1.2 million abortions in Russia, out of a population of 143 million people.”

  • Aside from abortion, we have even had a Herod in the 21st century: Kim Jong-Il. See

  • Tom D.

    Triplets a threat? Well your right. Another Herod. “Since 1920 1 billion abortions have been performed on this planet.” Outrageous! What an endless stream of tears.

  • Imagine for a moment a torment of heart. That being in the depths of purgatory women & men having made the grave decision to choose abortion, are now given a glance. A two year glance to cherish the life they helped to end. And at the end of this period they hear the thunder of Herods horses & men. They witness the brutal slaying of their children. Then, only then, they realize it’s their sword that’s pulled from the sheath. Their hand thrusting the tip of the blade into their own beloved child. A nightmare. A cold winter of unbelief.

  • Abortion has always been with us. When mom conceived my sister, the midwife sent to ask “Do you want it?…”it”. Fifteen months later when mom conceived me, the midwife sent to ask: “Do you want it?” The midwife was the richest woman in the county. Mom kept us.
    Abortion is now made legal, a supposedly legitimate and publicly acceptable “Right of Privacy”, a “Right to Choose” to murder our constitutional posterity after having invited the person into our lives by the conjugal act and then killing him for coming. Without due process of law, the innocent soul, the brother of Christ, may be put to death. (and we get to pay for it).
    Human sacrifice to satiate the blood lust of the unsaved.
    St Augustine really wrote beautifully of these children and their mothers.
    Thank You, Donald McClarey.

  • I remember first hearing the old testament story of sacrificing children to Moloch who was a pagan god. I thought it was incredible at the time. Now and today the abortion industry is much worse. The poor infants are not even allowed the dignity of looking their killer in the face. The blood is on many hands for not speaking up more forcefully. When did you last hear a homily on the topic? More recently I have been learning what the allies did to the city of Dresden at the end of WW-II. In a word, it was unspeakable. Indeed, what have we become.

  • Rick: “More recently I have been learning what the allies did to the city of Dresden at the end of WW-II. In a word, it was unspeakable. Indeed, what have we become.” .
    War is hell. No sympathy from me for Hitler and his accomplices. They were scheduled to have an atomic bomb dropped on them. The moral of World War II is: Do not start World War III. Our job was done to the best of our ability. God will differentiate between the innocent and the just.

  • It is told that King Herod rotted to death in his tent. King of the world was he?

  • I met a traveller from an antique land,

    Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

    Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,

    Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

    And on the pedestal, these words appear:

    My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

    Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

    Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

    The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

    Percy Bysshe Shelley

15 Responses to Unbroken: A Review

  • Although this man’s tail of survival is remarkable, I fail to see why he should be held up as a hero to Catholics. He turned his back on the Catholic faith and became a Protestant. I wonder what his family thought of his “conversion”?

  • A powerful movie. Your review and the clips have convinced me. Movie night coming up. Thanks. 🙂

  • Stephen, maybe you should be asking where the Church was when this man was hurting and trying to live. From Don’s description of his post-war life, there was plenty of time for Catholics to act as doctors, but it was the Protestant who actually did.

    Someone once said: “By their fruits you will know them.” Maybe you should be asking why one tree bore fruit and the other did not.

    Besides, you think the World cares one bit about the difference?

  • “Although this man’s tail of survival is remarkable, I fail to see why he should be held up as a hero to Catholics. He turned his back on the Catholic faith and became a Protestant.”
    Mark 9:38-41
    John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward.

  • Let me make one thing very clear. This comment thread is not, and you can underline that not, going to be taken up in sectarian debates. Further comments along those lines will be deleted by me. I will not have discussion of the movie turned into that truly futile and acrimonious debate.

  • The opposite was the intent of my comment, Don.

  • My comment was not directed at your comment Paul. I want this thread to be addressed to the movie and the themes of courage, endurance and forgiveness raised by the film.

  • Thanks for the review. I’m pleasantly surprised that a film such as this can
    still be green-lit in today’s Hollywood. It sounds like this movie deserves
    all the support we can give it.

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  • A fair review, but a minor point with a major consequence. As any track person knows, a 5000-meter race is not a “dash,” since it’s roughly three miles long. Maybe, in part, Zamparini could do what he did precisely because he’d trained at long-distance endurance.

  • Good point NV, and as Zamperini demonstrated later as a POW, endurance was definitely his strong suite.

  • Apologies for earlier, Don.

    So when you say “epilogue” to the film, do you mean they actually put a “what happened next” over the credits or in text in the film or do you mean “what happened in real life after these events”?

    My mom read the book apparently and wants to go see the film but was worried if she would be able to stand the camp scenes. Thanks for letting me know those were toned down (even if doing so is a debatable choice).

  • The epilogue is in writing with still photos before the credits. I think a sequel on the events of redemption, conversion and forgiveness could be a masterful film if done properly. A subplot showing the different paths taken by Zamperini and The Bird after the War could be especially intriguing.

  • JMJ Praise God I was never a POW. Our POW training camps use methods reported to us by our repatriated POWs. What they endured at the hands the Koreans/Japanese. I was a combat crewmember on B-52s. I can identify with his B-24 time. The training I went through was frightening. Even though I was in training, I feared for my life. I kept focus on that Light at the end of the tunnel. Mel Gibsons The Passion comes to mind when I think of the torture and interrogation techniques with the Resurrection being the Light at the end of the tunnel. Viva Cristo Rey

  • Probably the best review I have seen of this film. The comments are also quite incisive. I would add only one matter, partially relevant to the film. My late wife and her family, Philipino, were forced to live in the back forest and jungle during the war because the Japanese put a price on their heads After the war, despite one million Philipinos killed by the Japanese, there was no wholesale revenge on the perpetrators of these crimes nor was a great number of judicial proceedings conducted by the allies to hold to account the war criminals. Result: Murders in great numbers by the communist Koreans, Chinese and Vietnamese. A lesson that should be noted for the future. I would not think the present location of The Bird to be very desireable.

One Response to Christmas Star

  • The cathedral in Cartargo, Costa Rica, has a rather similar painting in a side chapel which dates from the same time. It is obviously a U.S. soldier. He is not squatting and facing the star (frankly, I don’t remember if there is a prominent star, but I think there was). Rather, he is on his knees and facing the viewer, though not square on, with a small hill running up behind him. His hands are folded in prayer. There are white clouds in the distance blocking some of the stars, and in the clouds can be seen the images of Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson, among others. My driver was a bit proud of the painting.

I Saw the Light

Saturday, December 27, AD 2014


Something for the weekend.  I Saw the Light by Hank Williams.  Written by him in 1948 at age 25, it coveys the hunger for salvation that was always a part of Williams’ brief and tragic life.  Dead before he reached 30, Williams was a great talent, and he threw it all away with alcoholism and addiction to drugs, which shattered both his personal and professional life.  His life typifies what Christ spoke of in this parable:

The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

However, that is not all there is to say.  This song has brought comfort to millions as they call upon Christ in this Vale of Tears.  I hope it weighed heavily in the balance when Williams appeared before the God he clearly loved.

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3 Responses to I Saw the Light

14 Responses to On Target

  • It’s Church, Don, but not as we know it. 🙂
    Trust you had a great Christmas – best wishes to you and your family.

  • The same to you Don and the happiest of New Years!

  • Sad not too funny!
    ‘course I am one of the characters missing in this characterization of us Catholics today- the woman wearing a head covering. Trying not to press lips together or look upset at the casual antics and irreverence of the priest. You know, one of those too uptight – need to relax and feel the love.

  • Were the “good old days” that much better?

    I was 24 years old in 1969, when the Novus Ordo was introduced, so I well remember the Tridentine mass and the manner in which it was, for the most part, celebrated.

    I recall attending Low Mass in Notre Dame de Paris – the choir, from the chancel arch to the high altar is 36m and the transept adds a further 14m, so someone in the front pew was 50m (162 feet) from the priest, under a vault 33m high. The nave is 60m long, so someone at the back was about 100m from him – about the length of a football field. There was no sound system.

    A Low Mass was completely inaudible and the Sanctus bell served a very practical purpose. When the priest turned to us, we knew, of course, that he was saying “Dominus vobiscum,” but, had he said « Salut les copains » only the server would have been any the wiser.

    Sermons were preached from the pulpit in the nave.
    The celebrant’s manner was usually brisk, but reverent, and his gestures restrained; without a homily, mass lasted for some 20 minutes.

  • MPS, leave it to you to rain on the parade.

    I have seen all of that and more too many times to count. Fortunately, none of that goes on at the Extraordinary Form.

    I trust all had a Merry Christmas Day and I wish all a Happy New Year.

  • Pointed ridicule is the only remedy for this. Like looking in the mirror. Today they clapped for themselves, because God loves us.

  • Michael the way I see it, the old days were better. Even though in some huge churches, as you described, people could be at quite a distance from the altar, still the “active participation” came at the “sursum corda”
    Active participation is a matter of the personal lifting of the heart (and mind) in worship. This SNL video makes plain the lack of active heart felt participation today. Some of that steady decline in same is, I think, because even though the mass is said in the most vernacular language possible, people have a tendency to wonder exactly what it is they are participating in. The language and change of orientation and “friendliness” of the shared supper has not succeeded. So many of the those younger than you and I who are really turning to the Church are doing so not because of worship-lite, but as a response to the summons to “step up” that they find in Tradition.

  • Michael, it wasnt always the sepulchral liturgy, even at Notre Dame in the old days, as this fervent (and fiery) version of the Te Deum (alternatim) by Pierre Cochereau with the old Cavaille-Coll/Cliquot organ reeds demonstrates:
    These people are singing like they believe in something: THAT you have to look for in the standard Padre Pat’s church.

    Although, I really did like the video-clip’s stridently aggressive lector-ette bludgeoning the reading into the congregation’s grey matter…

  • Steve Phoenix

    I happen to regard Haydn’s Nelson Mass (Missa in Angustiis) as one of the great moments of Western Music, I love Mozart’s Coronation Mass and I know few things more lovely than Fauré’s In Paradisum. I love the early composers – Josquin des Prez and Guillaume Dufay, but it is the music, rather than the form of the rite it accompanies that is important here.

  • Thanks to the determination of leaders and teachers of the Church over these past fifty decades, there is a comedy of a floor show with familiar aspects.
    I agree that the music has transforming power, from an audience of egos to a congregation capable of worship.
    Thanks to Saturday Night Live, heretofore (until a user name is ever imagined), it’s Patricia.
    Happy New Year, and the blessing of strength to endure it, to all.

  • The Sunday Missal, prayer book, will help everyone through the Mass in any language.

  • Steve Phoenix and Michael Paterson-Seymour: As long as they do not clap for themselves after singing.

  • Yes, I agree: no “acclamations” (clapping): but this vignette from Notre Dame with the great Cochereau at the “old” Notre Dame Cavaille-Coll organ:
    …is probably from the 1960’s or so, when at vespers on New Year’s Eve, a plenary indulgence was granted all who attended a solemn oration of the Te Deum, to thank God for all the events of the now-concluded year—yet another Catholic custom we have mostly lost. (As Rorate-Caeli.blogspot observes, the counterpart was to sign the Veni Creator, also accompanied by a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, if done so on January 1st, to invoke the H.S. on the nascent year.
    The fervor and the fieriness of the full-organ responses (which represents the heavenly choir answering the human earthly one) conveys a profound faith that Padre Pat’s parish has of course lost.

George Washington, Howard Roark and George Bailey

Friday, December 26, AD 2014

[34] But the Pharisees hearing that he had silenced the Sadducees, came together:

[35] And one of them, a doctor of the law, asking him, tempting him:

[36] Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?

[37] Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.

[38] This is the greatest and the first commandment.

[39] And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

[40] On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.

Matthew 22: 34-40

(I originally posted this on December 26, 2012.  It seems like a good post for the day after Christmas, so here it is again.)

Joe Carter at Catholic Education Resource Center has a wonderful post entitled The Fountainhead of Bedford Falls, which compares the fictional characters Howard Roark and George Bailey:

Not surprisingly, Roark has become something of a cult figure, especially among young nerdy males entering post-adolescence. Although Roark is artistically gifted and technically brilliant, he prefers to take a job breaking rocks in a quarry than sell out to The Man. He provides a model for the underemployed, misunderstood, twenty-something misfit by choice. These see themselves in the uncompromising sulker, believing it better to vandalize and destroy than allow society to co-opt their dreams.

Rand herself would have certainly envisioned things differently. She would have sneered in disgust at the idea that Roark was anything like the slacker working at Starbucks the populists marching at Tea Parties. Her hero was a cross between the modernist architect Frank Lloyd Wright and the serial killer and child rapist William Hickman. Rand’s ideal was the nonconformist who exhibited sociopathic tendencies. She dreamed of the minority of brilliant, atheistic ubermensch who would “eventually trample society under its feet.” The vast majority of the people who read The Fountainhead might admire Roark, but they’d never emulate him.

Similarly, Capra’s audience flatters themselves by believing the message of Wonderful Life is that their own lives are just as worthy, just as noble, and just as wonderful’ as George Bailey’s. In a way, they are as delusional as the Randian Roark-worshippers. Despite the fact that they left their small-town communities for the city, put their parents in an assisted living facility and don’t know the names of their next door neighbors, they truly believe they are just like Capra’s hero.

Such delusions are the reason these characters have remained two of the most dominant archetypes of American individualism in pop culture. The pendulum of popularity is swinging back toward Rand but it’s Capra’s creation that should be our model for inspiration.

Roark is nihilistic, narrow-minded, and something of a bore. Bailey is far darker, more complex, and infinitely more interesting.

What makes George Bailey one of the most inspiring, emotionally complex characters in modern popular culture is that he continually chooses the needs of his family and community over his own self-interested ambitions and desires – and suffers immensely and repeatedly for his sacrifices.  

 Although sentimental, Capra’s movie is not a simplistic morality play. It’s true that the movie ends on a happy note late on Christmas Eve, when George is saved from ruin. But on Christmas Day he’ll wake to find that his life is not so different than it was when he wanted to commit suicide.

 He will remain a frustrated artist who is scraping by on a meager salary and living in a drafty old house in a one-stoplight town. All that has really changed is that he has gained a deeper appreciation of the value of faith, friends, and community – and that this is worth more than his worldly ambitions. Capra’s underlying message is thus radically subversive: It is by serving our fellow man, even to the point of subordinating our dreams and ambitions, that we achieve both true greatness and lasting happiness.

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8 Responses to George Washington, Howard Roark and George Bailey

  • I’ve enjoyed this look into the soul of man. Many thanks. When pondering on the concept of, made in the likeness and image of God, it is precisely this self-sacrifice that George Bailey (reluctantly at times) finds himself. The “loosing of oneself.” It is in this loosing that our true identity is revealed…the one in which we see an image and likeness of divinity itself. The death of self is the beginning of a life that surpasses expectations, the skyscrapers bridges and grandiose accomplishments are manifested in the depth of Georges heart…in the servitude to the people around him. They ARE the great works and George is helping to build them.

  • The Church in America was given the choice to sell out to The Man and, alas, her bishops took it. Inviting in the smoke that materialized as Obamacare was not the first such sell out and hasn’t been the last. (Heard a bishop thunder from the pulpit about casting a vote with an informed conscience during the election year? I haven’t. Been hit up for a handout to the Catholic Campaign for Obam-alinsky Development? I have.)

    So I must ask: if the Church’s bishops had chosen more wisely and not sold out, would that have made them cult-figure sociopaths too?

  • Thank you The power of movies and stories as parables is profound, i think, because when a parable is told, whether by Rand or Capra or by Jesus, we get to observe and consider that parable more or less remotely; detached enough that we can draw conclusions and learn lessons without having to fight through the fog of defensiveness. it is happening in someone else’s life, but we can relate.
    “but even here on earth it is not that uncommon to see that our actions do have consequences, for ill and good. ” We tell stories of noble lives hoping they might help guide young people through — maybe avoid some of those consequences! God bless those film makers who are actively trying to “do Good” with their work.

  • To me, the “best” scene is where young George Bailey declines to deliver the poison Mr. Gour (?) mistakenly mixed (because he had imminently learned of his son’s death). At an early age, George Bailey was tested. Even then, he had the maturity and love to see the good and evil and chose to do the good regardless of the personal cost/risks. Even better, George never said a word to anyone about the mistake. The desultory testing of GB follows throughout the movie.

    We are ever presented with choices: good or evil. love or hate, our desires or the common good, life or death. Sometimes, we need to take a step outside ourselves and dispassionately review what we have done, and decide if we chose good or evil. Go to Confession . . .

    We hear a lot about peace at this time. What is peace? It is simplistically the absence of war/violence. But, for us peace needs to be more. Peace needs to be love for God and for our brothers/sisters. It means that we are not only not about to harm our fellow man, but that we will aid him if he needs it; and forgive him if he harms us. Peace is love. It is not that warm/fuzzy kumbaya stuff, either. Peace oftens involves physical/worldly courage, pain, and sacrifice. The rewards of eternal life (which Christ purchased for us by His life, death and Resurrection) are infinitely more desirable than any temporal good.

    Anyhow, the meditation in my Rosary booklet for the Nativity, the Third Joyful Mystery, is to (I add fiercely) desire to love God. And, to think of how Mary so lovingly accepted poverty as she lay the infant Jesus, Our God and Redeemer, in a manger in the stable in Bethlehem.

    And, none of that is possible without God’s grace. Remember when Peter first told Jesus He is is his Lord and his God? Jesus tells Peter, that God had given him that faith and Peter “picked up the ball and ran with it” albeit with a few “hiccups” along the way.

  • Anzlyne. Agreed. God bless filmmakers and artists that strive to promote goodness trumping the commercial aspect. ($) The public is thirsty for such films.

    T.Shaw. That young George was “born older” as his father told him at the dinning room table. Recall the heroic jump into the icy water to rescue his younger brother. And as you mentioned Mr. Gower’s shame concealed by Georges maturity at such a young age. GRACE for sure.
    God has loved us so much and for so much longer than we have attempted to love him. “Behold the Heart that has loved man so much and has been loved so little in return.” Jesus to St. M.Mary Alacoke…the Sacred Heart appriation

  • ( apparition. ) please excuse me.

  • This is a bit off topic, but to me the best love scene of all time is the phone conversation between George (James Stewart) and Mary (Donna Reed).

  • “the American struggle for independence might well have died in the winter of 1776-1777.”
    The American struggle for independence will live on in every generation. Man is hardwired for independence.

Hallelujah Chorus Open Thread

Friday, December 26, AD 2014



Well, I trust that all of TAC’s contributors, commenters and readers had a Merry Christmas!  I am keeping the law mines shut today and enjoying the day with my bride and kids, who are home from college and law school.  We will be seeing the movie Unbroken which depicts the harrowing experiences of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete and Army Air Corps Captain, as a “guest” of the Emperor during World War II.  A review to follow.

The usual open thread rules apply:  be brief, be charitable and, above all, be entertaining.

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7 Responses to Hallelujah Chorus Open Thread

  • Loved the spirit of flash mob. In 2009 Johnny Carson’s side kick Ed McMahon passed away… what gives?
    @ 1:55 sec. Heeeeeeere’s Edddddieeeeee..
    He came down to participate with the chorus. Beautiful.

    The movie trailer Unbroken is promising.
    Do give your review Mr. McClarey.

  • It will probably be posted tomorrow.

  • Some atheists and others, after rejecting Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the four eyewitnesses to Jesus Christ’s life on earth, demand to know from believers, when, where and how Jesus said the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus said the Lord’s Prayer outside of time, in ecstasy, when Christ communed with His Father in heaven.
    And some others refuse to believe in the Virgin Birth, Mary overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. To bring the Word made Flesh into the world, this God become man, brother of every soul ever created, those souls in heaven, on earth and in purgatory, and even those souls who refused God and choose to go to hell in eternity and are not remembered by the Church Triumphant and Militant because no one in their right mind rejects Perfect Love and Perfect Justice, (but some souls do in arrogance and pride embrace lies and untruths of their own making to do their own will instead of accepting humility) and prefer hell rather than follow Jesus as his brother. Of all these souls, those in heaven, on earth and in purgatory and those souls in hell, Jesus Christ is our brother and Mary, the Blessed Virgin, is our Mother.
    Mary gave informed consent to be our Mother when Mary gave informed consent to become the Mother of Jesus Christ, our brother. Or can we be Jesus Christ’s brother without Mary, His Mother, being Our Mother. Only interdict can rationalize another way.
    Catholics have the Immaculate Conception as our Mother. “Oh, Mary conceived without sin pray for us.” How did Mary remain a virgin while bringing forth the Son of God, the Son of Man? How did Mary remain a virgin while bringing forth every innocent soul of mankind created by God, brothers of His Son, Jesus Christ? Mary indulged nothing for herself, as Jesus Christ indulged nothing for Himself. Mary is Christ’s perfect disciple, walking in His footsteps, with Christ in her heart from the very first moment of her immaculate existence.“How can this be? I do not know man.”
    Mary became the Virgin Mother of Adam and Eve. Eve was the mother of all mankind, of all the living. Mary was Eve’s Mother, through the brotherhood of Jesus Christ.
    When Jesus descended into hell to free the patriarchs, the damned refused to follow Christ in time and in eternity, then and now. Jesus honored their free will and left some of his brother souls where they chose to stay.
    This brings us to some very interesting things known by our very lives. Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist on Holy Thursday. Then Christ went out to the Mount of Olives to suffer in agony, to be scourged, made to carry the cross and then to be crucified. When people receive the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, they are fortified with the grace to follow Christ is His self immolation. “No one takes my life from me. I lay my life down and I take it up again.” Jesus assumes the guilt of every one of His brothers and in doing so forgives everyone, every soul His Father gave to Him, including the souls in hell…but these souls refuse Christ’s forgiveness.
    It was after the Resurrection that Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Penance, whereby souls can aspire to renewed innocence. The souls in hell cannot come to the Sacrament of Penance because they have chosen to remain where they are and they cannot change their relationship with God after death and in eternity. Is it possible the souls in hell have repented of their pride? Their sin of pride does not allow repentance.
    Of the souls in hell, Mary is still their virgin Mother. The souls in hell are still Jesus’ brothers. “Those who hear the Word of God are my mother and my brothers.” The souls in hell were created in perfect innocence and were Christ’s brothers and Mary was their Mother until they chose not to serve.
    If Pope Francis allows the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist to sodomists without telling them that they will have to lay down their lives, the sodomists will not have informed consent to give to reform their lives and realize that they are brothers of the Son of God, brothers of Jesus Christ.
    If abortionists are not informed that the unborn are conceived as innocent and are brothers of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the abortionists will not have informed consent to give to reform their lives.
    If the divorced and remarried are not informed that their lives belong to the Virgin Mother, Christ’s Mother and our Mother they will not share in the divinity of Jesus.

  • “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” This part of the First Amendment prohibits the Federal Government at any and every level of interfering with a citizen’s freedom of religion in the public square or any public arena supported by the tax dollars of “We, the people,”.
    As for the states, and the states’ constitutions, these concerns may be put on the ballot. Ignorance has long enough masqueraded as enlightenment. Tyranny has paraded as a new world order. And depriving the citizen of his civil rights is taxation without representation.

  • Donald McClarey: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey , Connecticut and New Hampshire and perhaps other eastern states are putting their energies into jettisoning God’s Justice by disallowing capital punishment, the death penalty, for a literal pig in a poke. I have used your comments from Terry Schiavo and Mary Jo Kopechne
    The murdered victim was not available for comment. He might have written but his hands were frozen in rigor mortis. He wanted to speak but he could not move his tongue. He wanted to peaceably assemble but six feet of cold clay lay upon the door to the coffin. The only way he could practice his religion and acknowledge God, was by being a corpse, a victim of homicide, a dead man.
    In the meantime, his murderer gets to be warm and alive, breath and eat, write letters, and have company. The murderer gets to be free of Justice. He gets to relax and enjoy his crime, and the freedom from the penalty for capital one homicide, the temporal punishment due to capital one homicide, the death penalty.
    A truly repentant murderer will have expired with grief over his crime of homicide. A half repentant murderer is a liar and a coward and a constant threat of committing another homicide. The warden, the warden’s family, the doctor, nurse and any contractors needed to facilitate the prison are in danger of being murdered, unless, of course the murderer escapes, than all people are potential victims.
    Minor children do not need to be vindicated because they are innocent. Not so with adult homicide victims. Adult homicide victims must be vindicated. The murderer has imposed the death penalty on them, as though they were deserving of capital punishment. Justice must be theirs. Any person who is unwilling to assume the power of attorney of the condemned and bring the murderer to Justice is unfit to be a citizen. And is an accomplice after the fact.
    The principle of separation of church and state expounded here by John Henry Cardinal Newman separates clergy from the laity. Although all are citizens, the clergy must see to God’s province, the Church, while the laity must produce God’s Justice for the state.
    “It in no way depends upon the caprice of the Pope, or upon his good pleasure, to make such and such a doctrine, the object of a dogmatic definition. He is tied up and limited to the divine revelation, and to the truths which that revelation contains. He is tied up and limited by the Creeds, already in existence, and by the preceding definitions of the Church. He is tied up and limited by the divine law, and by the constitution of the Church. Lastly, he is tied up and limited by that doctrine, divinely revealed, which affirms that alongside religious society there is civil society, that alongside the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy there is the power of temporal Magistrates, invested in their own domain with a full sovereignty, and to whom we owe in conscience obedience and respect in all things morally permitted, and belonging to the domain of civil society.” From the Pastoral of the Swiss Bishops on Papal Infallibility cited by John Henry Cardinal Newman.
    Justice by consensus remains a very poor indication as to Divine Justice and the will of God. 10 million dollars for Justice and a priceless human being is the money changers’ job.

  • P.S. Justice would require that the murderer face jeopardy of life. Double jeopardy of life is unconstitutional. People face double jeopardy of life, once from the murderer and a second time from the lack of deterrence from the state.
    The cost of keeping child murderers and Boston bombers in solitary confinement because the prison population knows that they deserve death is also unconstitutional because this is taxation without representation. Why should the parents of those victims of the Boston bomber be made to suffer the cost of their incarceration in solitary confinement when Justice would require that the murderer join his victim in the grave?

  • The ordained priest consecrates the Holy Eucharist through the power of attorney of Jesus Christ:”In persona Christi”. The lay person executes the condemned capital one murderer using the power of attorney, the reviled citizenship and sovereignty, the hated Justice, righteousness and innocence of the condemned.
    Such is the separation of church and state, the affirmation of Justice, the deterrence of homicide and the correction of the criminal.

Messianic Prophecies: Isaiah 40: 1-5

Wednesday, December 24, AD 2014


Concluding our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, a series which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102 and 2013, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here, here, here , here,  and here, we come to Isaiah 40: 1-5:


[1] Be comforted, be comforted, my people, saith your God.

[2] Speak ye to the heart of Jerusalem, and call to her: for her evil is come to an end, her iniquity is forgiven: she hath received of the hand of the Lord double for all her sins.

[3] The voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the wilderness the paths of our God.

[4] Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough ways plain.

[5] And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see, that the mouth of the Lord hath spoken.

As Saint Augustine notes, this is a clear reference to John the Baptist:

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One Response to Messianic Prophecies: Isaiah 40: 1-5

The Plot to Overthrow Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, AD 2014


How wonderfully daffy the golden age of Radio tended to be.  A broadcast on December 19, 1944 of the show This Is My Best:  Norman Corwin’s comedic poem The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, a hilarious look at a plot by Hell to stop Christmas, with Orson Welles starring as Nero.  Amazing the entertainment heights that could be reached without car chases, explosions, profanity, bathroom jokes and sex.

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Your Peter’s Pence Contributions at Work

Tuesday, December 23, AD 2014



The above video is courtesy of the Pontifical Council on Culture.  I truly hope this waste of money and time was a product of good old fashioned nepotism rather than anyone being confused enough to think this vanity-vamping-selfie serves any useful purpose except the obvious one of making the Pontifical Council on Culture appear truly absurd.  Vatican Bureaucracy-a sure sign that God clearly protects an institution cursed by such fools.

Update December 28:  The English version of the video has been yanked, although the Italian version is still up there.  No doubt the Council pulled the English version after all the caustic comments on English speaking blogs.  The fact that they left up the Italian version indicates that the powers that be on the council do not understand the criticism.  Hattip to Patrick Madrid for preserving this monument to the cluelessness of the Vatican bureaucracy.

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21 Responses to Your Peter’s Pence Contributions at Work

  • The Gospel is about Jesus Christ, NOT about women, NOT about men. Let us imitate Jesus Christ. Let men aspire to be like St. Joseph. Let women aspire to be like the Blessed Virgin Mary. This godless narcissism is abominable! Even on Facebook I do not post selfies of myself. Doing so is by definition selfish, self-serving, and vain-glorious. This freaking crap has got to be condemned as the horse manure that it is.
    PS, but I do rant a lot both here and on Facebook. Why my wife surely destined for sainthood tolerates me I do not know.

  • PS, I will wager that this crap has the full support of Pope Francis.

  • The head of the Pontifical Council for Culture was appointed in 2007 by Pope Benedict. Evidently, he’s a fan of social media.

  • Art,
    He can be a fan of any medium he wishes, but this is just embarrassing insipid crap. As my late mother-in-law would say, “It is a crime that working people pay for this.”

  • Solar indigestion is on the way. One belch or flatulence from the Sun and poof! The narcissistic culture will be busy planting crops and knocking fruit down from branches. Just one finely timed btttappthhummph and end the chapter face bookies….off the air!

  • I already saw this at CMR. I hope someone puts up a satire of this pap on Youtube soon!

  • Embarrassing. She looks and sounds like a really creepy Stepford Wife. Who thinks this is appealing to women again? Stuff likes this makes the Gates of Hell seem all that much menacing. Yuck.

  • Call me a self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagian, but I can’t for the life of me see what this has to do with culture.

  • I agree with Lisa. That woman seems trampy. She may not be, but that is what I felt when watching the video.

  • PS, but I do rant a lot both here and on Facebook. Why my wife surely destined for sainthood tolerates me I do not know.
    Tell her I greatly appreciate it. I enjoy your posts. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  • It has always been charged that a male hierarchy knows nothing about women. Rather than appear transparent and caring, this video only confirms their know nothingness.
    Catholics have Our Blessed Lady

  • Yes, Stepford Wife, or more likely, a droid: I think I see the glint of transistors and a motherboard thru her pupils..

  • – The Woman’s Consultation Group – Rome, Jan. 4!!!
    Hair and makeup, it’s just what women do, serious looking glasses to type a string of words, new look of formal apparel exampled, clones reply for satisfaction of a statistic study of interested seeker types. Don’t worry about Peter’s Pence – let the improperly cultured do that.
    Forget it if you missed the ‘culture’ boat of proper phones and style, or have homes and family ties to keep you where you belong.

  • Ugh! Sorry I viewed the video! Other than the near-lethal dose of the foreign accent, the “model” has serious problems with blepharospasm, making me want to keep narrowing my own eyes to avoid being blinded in addition to avoiding reverse peristalsis aka vomiting. Agree with Mary De Voe 100%!

  • I note that, as of 8:51p EST Dec 24, it has 2 likes on Youtube, and 65 dislikes. 3, 180 views, lots of interesting comments there, including this quote by a woman named Karen W: “On top of all else that is wrong with this thing, you do NOT ask a woman how she feels about being a woman two days before Christmas.”

  • Such catty sourpusses here! The young woman in the video reminded me of a young, almost-as-blonde-yet-just-as-beautiful Milanese woman I once met. Any transistors one saw in her eyes were only reflections of the microprocessors she, as a Ph.D. process engineer, she oversaw the manufacture of.

  • Yes, Micha, you are so right: We all see how your observations are so much more serenely profound and certainly NOT superficial (on “blonde, beautiful MIlanese women”) than facing the facts of a vapid, shallow advertising campaign entirely unworthy of the Peter’s Pence.

    So, how much are you donating to this, Micha? If is over $250, you know you have to get an acknowledgement with their Tax ID# from the organization for the IRS. Do tell.

  • she said: ” inspired by Pope Francis openness.. ” reflecting on woman’s place – at what point today is woman between “equality” and “difference”? who are you what do you think about being a woman? your body? your spiritual life? ”
    your answer could be used to ” be part of a GREAT MEETING OF CARDINALS AND BISHOPS! in February.”

    What will the bishops do with this information – what women will respond to this ad to send in something for the bishops/cardinals at their great meeting?
    🙂 i guess the headlines could be about the women from around the world who sent in pictures of themselves in roman collars

  • Anzlyne: “What will the bishops do with this information – what women will respond to this ad to send in something for the bishops/cardinals at their great meeting?”
    I am afraid that any traditional women will be thrown out with Cardinals Pell and Burke.

  • There goes the close minded Catholic Church again….discriminating by omission against the third and fourth genders… and maybe the fifth if there is one….my cultural IQ is rather low.

  • ha- yes, that’s right- as in any democracy, of course other genders certainly would want to give their input for the great meeting!